Sunday Spanish Lunch, Potaje de Hinojo (Stew of Fennel)

Hello Folks!!

Sunday we were invited to have lunch with some friends here in Spain at their Cortijo they have. Here they have land where they grow fruit and vegetables, have chickens running around and rabbits.  Also 3 very cute dogs!!  It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and was warm and I was pleased and excited to have been invited over earlier so I could watch Marie prepare lunch.

Lunch was a dish called Potaje de Hinojo (Stew of Fennel).  It is a stew of white and broad beans, fennel, potatoes, pork and black pudding.  The broad beans came from the land which they had previously picked and dried, the fennel too is from their garden.  The beans had been soaked overnight and then the dish is cooked in a pressure cooker. This needs to be slow cooked so the meat can be tender and melt.

Another one of the main ingredients to this dish is ‘tocino anejo’ which is salted bacon/pork fat, this flavours the stew and helps give it colour.

It is a favourite recipe of Marie and her family, and a typical Spanish dish, it is hearty and filling; a perfect winter’s lunch.

Take a look at the recipe below:



Dried white beans soaked in water overnight

Dried butter beans soaked in water overnight

Dried chickpeas soaked in water overnight

Tocino anejo

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Fennel stalks and leaves only

Potatoes diced

Pork, Marie used chunks of belly pork, it needs to have a lot of fat on it so it becomes tender when cooked.

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Spanish Black Pudding (morcilla)

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Olive Oil




Place the white beans and broad beans in a pressure cooked pan full of water and bring to the boil.  Add the full piece of tocino anejo, then add the pork, fennel, potatoes, chickpeas and a good pinch of salt.

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Stir again then drizzle in a glug of olive oil.

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Seal the lid on the pressure cooked and let this cook for an hour.  If you do not have a pressure cooker, then use a large pan, cover and cook for at least 2-3 hours.

After the hour, the beans should be cooked the sauce should be white in colour and the meat should be tender.  

Now add in 2 of the black pudding sausages whole, cook for a further 10 minutes.

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To serve remove the meat chunks, the tocino anejo and the black puddings and pop onto a plate.  the idea is each person has a bowl of the stew and takes a chunk of meat and sausage.

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Here are some photos of our day :-)..

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This is one of their Avocado trees, with a tiny one starting to grow!!

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Our tapas starter below, it got eaten before I could take a photo as it was just delicious.  These are anchovies, that had been dried previously by Marie’s Mother in law.  On the day oil is heated then garlic is dropped into it along with these little fish.  They are tasty and crisp!!



Broad Beans


Aloe Vera

What a lovely day, thanks to Marie, Juan for inviting us over ūüôā ‚̧

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Lulu xxxx


Happy New Year…here’s 2 ways to cook turkey meatballs…..#lowfat #lowcarb

Happy New Year Folks!!

I hope you all had an amazing festive season. ¬†2016 is going to be very exciting for Lululemonandlace, lots to look forward to, videos to come, and I am also featuring as the recipe column in Bmag….check out the January issue here;

It is available now in Gibraltar and is being distributed also in neighbouring Spain; Sotogrande, Casares, Sabinillas and La Duquesa.  If you are in the area please check it out.

I haven’t shared a recipe for a few weeks, but now I am back in Spain I am hoping to share more regularly.

For now here are two ways to cook Turkey meatballs; a healthy low-fat meatball alternative for January…even if you think you’ve had¬†enough of Turkey this recipe¬†proves not, the meat is tender and tasty and completely different to the Turkey roast you have eaten during Christmas.

No 1…

I was visiting a friend in London and said I would cook us dinner, she requested it to be low carb and low-fat.  This recipe is an old recipe of mine, using Turkey mince instead of beef, as not only is it lower in fat, it also stays more moist than beef.  Instead of rice I used a cauliflower and it really did taste good, it was very filling and was a perfect replacement.

Turkey Meatball Goulash with Cauliflower rice

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Serves 4


500g Turkey mince

1 onion sliced

1 red pepper sliced

1 tin plum tomatoes

1 Tbsp. red pesto

2 tsp paprika

2 cloves garlic grated

Fresh thyme

1 red chilli de-seeded and finely chopped

1 cauliflower

Olive oil


Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Place the meat in a bowl with the pesto and season well with salt and pepper.  Get your hands stuck in and mix it all well.  With wet hands make the meatballs, try to keep them all the same size.

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Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan, use a pan that can also be placed in the oven.  Pop the meatballs into the pan to brown, do this in batches and carefully turn them to brown each side without breaking them up.  Once browned set them aside and cook the next batch.

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Once all the meatballs are browned and removed from pan, pop in the onions.  Cook these until soft then add the garlic and chilli.  Cook for a further minute then add the paprika and red pepper.  Mix well then pour in the tomatoes.  Add the meatballs back to the pan and carefully mix.

Sprinkle over lots of thyme leaves and season well, then carefully mix the pan not to break the meatballs.  Pop into the oven and cook for around 25 minutes.

For the rice, if you have a food processor blitz up the cauliflower to be like rice, if not then grate the cauliflower into fine pieces.

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Drizzle over some olive oil (about a tablespoon) and season really well with salt.  Give it a mix then scatter it onto a baking sheet as evenly as possible.  Place into the oven and cook for 15 minutes.  The cauliflower should dry out like rice.

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Serve up with an extra sprinkle of the thyme leaves over the top.

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There it is, healthy, hearty and low carb.

No 2….

This is a quick recipe very similar to my Turkey Meatball Goulash.

But this is an Italian take on it rather than Hungarian. ¬†I make this fairly often as it is substantial but low fat. ¬†You can serve with spaghetti or linguine, or if you are cutting down on¬†carbs use courgette spaghetti…..

Italian turkey meatballs

Serves 4


500g Turkey mince

1 onion sliced

1 red pepper diced

1 tin plum tomatoes

1 Tbsp. red pesto

1 tsp paprika

2 cloves garlic grated

Fresh thyme

Fresh basil

1 large glass of red wine

1 Tbsp. tomato puree (try my recipe…

optional 1 red chilli de-seeded and finely chopped

2 tsp soft brown sugar

Olive oil


Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Place the meat in a bowl with the pesto and season well with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle over a good handful of thyme leaves.  Get your hands stuck in and mix it all well. Then with wet hands make the meatballs, try to keep them all the same size.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan, use a pan that can also be placed in the oven.  Pop the meatballs into the pan to brown, do this in batches and carefully turn them to brown each side without breaking them up.  Once browned remove with a slotted spoon and set them aside; cook the next batch.

Once all the meatballs are browned and removed from the pan, pop in the onions.  Cook these until soft and then add the garlic and chilli; if using.  Add the paprika, red pepper and mix well. Now pour in the wine.  Let this bubble away for a few minutes before adding the tin tomatoes, tomato puree and sugar.

Season well.

Tear in some basil leaves and mix.  Add the meatballs back to the pan and carefully stir.

Pop into the oven and cook for 25 minutes.

Cook your pasta, then serve up with the meatballs and sauce, and a extra sprinkle of basil, a good glug of extra virgin olive oil and maybe a little parmesan ūüėČ

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Love Lulu xxx

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London eats

Morning Folks,

I have arrived in London and have already eaten some great food out and about, please check out my eat out page….

Here are the photo’s of what I have been eating this weekend….

When I arrived I went for a lovely meal in Crouch end, this is my friends area and the first time I have really visited the main street, so many restaurants and bars. She took me to Melange restaurant:

Here I ordered the Duck and it was delicious, very tasty cherry sauce with pink tender duck and sliced roasted potatoes…


Pan Roasted Duck (served pink) with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Griottine Cherry Sauce

On Friday I was treated to a amazing breakfast in Cafe Beam;

I love Eggs Benedict and usually choose this option whenever I am having brunch, this was served with Serrano ham…


Eggs Benedict with Serrano ham @cafebeam

My friend ordered the breakfast burrito which looked amazing, I did have a little bit of food envy…


Breakfast Burrito…..Scrambled Egg, Avocado, Chorizo, Cheese served with soured cream

Finally lunch…..after having a mooch about the shops we went and had lunch in Kingly court and found this little¬†ramen noodle¬†place, we ordered the simple soup but the broth was delicious and tasty, the pork melted in your mouth;


Origin Tonkotsu Ramen Soup @shoryulondon Tender char siu barbecue pork belly in a broth with kikurage mushrooms and spring onion

Thats it for now, short and sweet….

Happy Sunday ‚̧

Lulu xxxx

a little bit of Oxtail…

Hola and happy Monday!!

The weather here in Spain has cooled thankfully, the humidity has been unbearable. This weekend was¬†really windy, we went down to the beach and I actually felt a little chilly, and last night I even wore winter pj’s ha!!

I have come to stay with my Aunt Heather for a few days, and she had bought some oxtails from the butchers. So we both sat and discussed what we could make with it. As the weather was a little cooler we fancied something homely and comforting. We decided on a French inspired stew with red wine, thyme and garlic.  However we did not want to over complicate the flavours and make sure we could still really taste the rich meat.

We decided to braise the meat in red wine. Braising comes from the French word ‘braiser’ and involves both frying the meat at a high temperature to sear then cooking the meat slowly in liquid ¬†in a covered pot. ¬†After much discussion on which way to do this; I’m a one pot ‘braiser’, my Aunt is a ‘de-glazer braiser’ ha ;-)… We went ahead with my Aunts method of using a frying pan¬†and then placing the meat and onions in ¬†an oven dish and de-glazing the frying pan with the wine. However after we¬†browned it all¬†and de-glazed the pan,¬†we popped the oven dish into the oven and it wouldn’t turn on!!¬†Thus ruining our plans of a rich slow cooked meal with reduced sauce. So the hob it was, but it still ended up tasting amazing…..

French Oxtail Stew

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Serves 4

Difficulty Easy

Time 3 1/2 hours


3 1/2 lbs oxtail

2 celery sticks

4 small red onions sliced

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3 tbsp plain flour

1 whole garlic bulb

1 1/2 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 doz thyme sprigs

4 carrots chopped chunky

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3 tsp Brown Sugar

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp black pepper

60ml olive oil

1/4 cup butter

2 cups good quality red wine (french if possible)

approx 1/2 pint of good quality beef stock

(Serve with buttery mashed potatoes)


Empty the flour into a bowl with the sea salt and pepper mix well.

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Then coat the oxtail in the flour.

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Place oil and butter in a frying pan,  then add in the onions. Let these cook until golden.

Then with a slotted spoon remove and place into the oven dish (or crock pot for hob)

Next into the same frying pan add in the oxtail keep the heat high, again you are searing this to get a good colour.

Turn the meat so each side is browned. Once they all have a good colour remove and place with the onions in the pot.

Tuck in chunks of celery, carrots, thyme and the garlic which I just chopped the whole bulb into half.

Now splash some red wine into the hot frying pan to de-glaze and then pour over the onion and meat.

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Then pour the rest of the wine to the pot.

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Stir in the tomato paste, sugar and add¬†the stock. Just pour in enough stock to ‘just’ cover the meat. You could use my organic tomato paste here, we unfortunately have ran out ūüė¶ but it would have been great in this recipe.

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Cover well.

OVEN: Heat oven to max. Cook on highest heat for 25 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180 degrees and cook for around 2/3 hours or until the meat falls off the bone. Once it is tender remove lid and let the sauce reduce and meat colour for another 20 minutes.

HOB: With the heat on the highest get the pan to a boil then turn down and cook on low for about 3 hours. Keeping the lid on, until the meat is tender. Again once tender un-cover, I removed the meat at this point and then turned the heat up and let the sauce reduce a little before adding the meat back to the pan.

Half way through each pf the above options taste the sauce and see if it needs anymore seasoning.

Serve with buttery mashed potato.

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Rich and tasty

It really was delicious, give it a go…

Have a great week,for printer friendly option see the recipe in my recipe index page.

Lulu xxx

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