Recipes by Karo Lifestyle – Please No Butter!

I love watching food shows. I am enthralled by how chefs perform their magic and I really enjoy tasting great food. BUT… I am always amazed at how much butter and cream is used – on, and in, almost everything.

If I am eating a mushroom dish, I want to savour the earthiness of the mushrooms, not the cream. If I am eating pisaladiere, I want to be able to taste both the sweet onions and the salty anchovies – not the cloying aftertaste of butter.

So I thought to myself, ‘why can’t food be both tasty and healthy and yet not include either butter or cream?’

So here they are – a selection of recipes I will be adding to as I make them up and use on friends and family as guinea pigs…

And if, like me, you hate wasting or throwing away food, there are also some good ideas for using food in interesting ways – it helps with the budget too!

Yummy Mummy Mushrooms on Toast


Yummy Mushrooms on Toast

This is great option for lunch or a light supper. It is super easy and quick to make. Use any mushrooms you might have in the fridge and any soft blue cheese you need to use up.

The quantities don’t have to be precise. Just tip in as much or as little as you like.


Mushrooms (2 punnets)
Spring onions (3 – 4)
Raisins (a handful)
Mirin (a dash) – this is a staple in my kitchen cupboard!
Blue cheese ( 2 tbsps)– the softer the better
Salt & Pepper – to taste
Splash of water – to help create the juice
Olive or vegetable oil for cooking
… and finally chunky bread to mop up the juice

Step by Step

Use a brush or kitchen towel to wipe the mushrooms – don’t wash or peel them.
Chop them roughly.
Slice the spring onions – I like cutting them diagonally but that is optional.
Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan – this is also when I add my salt and pepper.
Add the mushrooms, spring onions, raisins and mirin and cook gently till the mushrooms are soft. At this stage you can add water as well for the juice.
When the mushrooms are soft, add the blue cheese and cook for a few more minutes.
Put the chunky bread in the bottom of a dish and pour over the mushrooms – enjoy!

Leek, Broccoli and Celery Bake

Leek, Broccoli and Celery Bake

I always wondered what it would be like to do a MasterChef ‘Invention Test’ – faced with an array of ingredients, what could you make? So, I sometimes open the fridge door and just pull out things I think might work together.

This was a single server supper so add heaps more for more people!


Broccoli (a couple of stems)
Celery (2 stems)
Leeks (1 leek)
Spring onions (1)
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice
A good handful of hard cheese – just add whatever you have in the fridge

Step by Step

Chop all the vegetables and throw them in a casserole dish.
Add the oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper.

I let the vegetables marinate for a bit so the lemon and oil can work their magic.

Put the dish in the oven till the vegetables are softish.
Add the cheese for the final few minutes.

Serve with crusty bread and a nice glass of white wine!


Stir Fried Brussel Sprouts – great as a side dish – for anything really

I always feel sorry throwing away the ends of asparagus so instead I came up with a dish for them. Having lived in Asia for many years, I developed a taste for Nam Pla (fish sauce). It adds incredible flavour to a host of dishes and is another staple in my cupboard. The dried fish is available from most Thai food stores.


Brussel Sprouts (about 10-15)
Asparagus ends (a handful, sliced finely)
Dried Thai fish (a quarter of a fillet, shredded)
Fish sauce – Nam Pla (a good squirt)
Mirin (…the same)
Spring onions (3-4)
Garlic salt & pepper
Vegetable oil for cooking

Step by Step

Roughly chop the sprouts.
Finely slice the asparagus stalks.
Slice the spring onions.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
Sprinkle in the garlic salt and pepper and then add the brussel sprouts, spring onions, fish and asparagus ends.
Splash in the fish sauce and Mirin.
Cook till you get a slight carmelisation but there should still be a slight crunch to the sprouts. Delicious!


Smoked Haddock Fishcakes – a  healthy light lunch

karo lifestyle recipes - smoked haddock fishcakes

These small but punchy little haddock cakes are ideal for a ‘rushed for time’ lunch as you can make them before hand and keep in the fridge.


2 pieces of smoked haddock

A nice handful of dill

2 or 3 Spring onions

A table spoon of fish sauce

A table spoon of Mirin

Salt & pepper

1 egg

Flour and Panko crumbs for coating the fishcakes

Step by Step 


Whizz all the ingredients except for the flour and Panko in a food processor until combined but still a bit chunky. Adding the egg to the mix at this stage gives a firmer consistency and helps to bind the fish.

Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for a few hours – or even better – overnight.

When you’re ready for lunch, form the fish mix into patties. Put the Panko and flour into small bowls. First dip the cakes in the flour then in the Panko. Pour olive oil into  a baking dish – enough to form a puddle and bake in the van for about 20 minutes. That’s it! Enjoy with a fresh green salad…