Itsu Gyozas: A Taste of Japan At Home

I’m a massive fan of gyozas, so much so that I own three gyozas presses, have written my own published recipes for them, and have spent an excruciating five minutes in a ramen joint in Tokyo trying to work out how to pronounce the word properly so I could order some from the waitress (disclaimer: I still don’t know. But I just pointed in the end!).

Although gyozas aren’t exactly the mysterious food item for UK consumers that they used to be ten years ago, you’d still be hard-pressed to find any ready-made in supermarkets outside of Asian speciality stores. That’s why I was so excited when I found out that Itsu were launching their own cook at home gyozas, ready frozen and available in Tesco and Waitrose in three flavours:  Vegetable Fusion, King Prawn and Sesame Tuna. The packets cost £3.50 per pack and contain 20 dumplings, and dipping sauce.

Itsu Gyoza packet

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Be The Hostess With The Mostest: Easter Desserts and Wine Pairings

Easter is fast approaching, and if you want a couple of great chocolate recipes to wow for dessert on Easter Sunday, you’ve come to the right place! Bordeaux Wines got in touch with me with some fab recipes from chocolatier Laurent Favre-Mot, and wine pairings to match, to make you look like an effortless, chocolate-bestowing goddess this weekend. I’ve tried them both, and they are divine!

Easter wine 1.jpg

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Snackage of the Month: March Edition

I told you guys before that I’m the queen of snacking  – and if you’re going to snack, you better make sure it’s healthy. Okay, I like to chow down on chilli crackers and pork scratchings (sorry), but sometimes you want to reach for something a bit more wholesome.

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Lizi's Granola Parfait and Smoothie Bowl

Lizi’s Granola Parfait and Smoothie Bowl: Healthy Breakfast Recipes

One of my favourite things to eat at breakfast time is a smoothie or a granola and yoghurt parfait. Okay, so they’re not as quick as grabbing a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast, but it’s so much better for you, and keeps you feeling fuller so much longer than empty carbs! Plus, are you really going to Instagram your Marmite on toast? Well, maybe if you cut it into triangles…

Lizi's Granola Healthy Breakfast recipe FoodFashFit (1)

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Rosé up this Valentine’s Day!

What better way to start Valentine’s Day than with some post from Provence Wines, containing this little beauty?! The Chateau La Gordonne Rose Verite du Terroir Cotes de Provence is available now from Ocado for £14.99.

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Itsu instant miso soup

Snack Attack! Eat Beautifully with Itsu!

Bonus: why you need iodine, and what the heck is sirtfood?

I’m a Japanese food fan, and a snack queen, so when Itsu asked me if I wanted to try their range, I jumped at the chance. (It felt like I’d only just left Tokyo before I wanted to go back again!)

Istu crispy seaweed thins and miso soups

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By Heck – You Better Check!

You might have seen Heck sausages in the supermarkets already – and maybe wondered why they’re suddenly called CHECK this month… There’s a good reason for it, I promise!

The company is hoping to raise £25,000 for the Movember Foundation through sales of its sausages, and have renamed the Chicken Italia flavour to help spread the word and encourage men to CHECK! I know that testicular cancer and sausage recipes don’t really go together but I’m hoping that the visual image will stick in your mind and maybe encourage you to check or remind your partner to…

There’s a personal story behind this, too. Jamie Keeble, co-founder of Heck, discovered a lump earlier this year and was able to catch his cancer early. To encourage other men to do the same, Heck is hoping that their name change and fundraising will do the trick and save lives. Saving lives with sausages – yes please! I was only too happy to help out when Heck asked me to post.

But what about these sausages? Chicken sausage is a fairly new product to the British market but American readers might be fairly familiar with it thanks to its association with diets and health food. Heck’s blend is rich and hearty and perfect for a tasty low calorie meal. Here’s one of my favourite ways to eat Heck’s chicken sausage – and it’s even got tiny little balls in it, so you’ll definitely remember to CHECK. Right?!

This is not a recipe, because it’s so simple! For two people, boil 150g of orecchiette pasta (or whatever shape you have). While that’s going, deskin half a pack of Heck chicken sausages, make into balls, and fry in olive oil. Add halved Brussels sprouts (frozen are best and cook fastest) and fry until its caramelised and brown. Add some garlic if you fancy! Stir in chilli flakes or pesto, and serve topped with Parmesan cheese. I love this dish!

Heck’s special Check sausages are available now for £2.99 a pack from Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose throughout November. Visit for more about the campaign for men’s health this month.

I Love Soup! Beverley Le Blanc Tells It Like It Is…

Few dishes get me as misty eyed as soup – there’s something so delightful about a lavishly prepared bowl of savoury goodness… Whether it’s a simple quick pea soup made in under half an hour, or a umami stock that’s been simmering all day, I love soup – but not carrot and coriander. That’s the devil’s brew. 

That’s why when I got a press release about Beverley Le Blanc’s new book I Love Soup, I had to ask for a copy right away!

As it’s autumn and my house is full of pumpkins and butternut squash, I decided to make this roasted butternut squash and tomato soup – I’d never had tomato in a soup like this and was really intrigued about what it would taste like. 

The soup is so simple to make – you roast the main ingredients in the oven, and then blend and purée, making a comforting yet tangy and rich bowl of happiness!

This book is full of classic recipes like stew, bouillabaisse, and even bread recipes to make some great accompaniments. You can pick it up now for £12.99 from Amazon – a great investment for the months ahead!  

Grow It Inside!

Summer’s over, the garden’s been abandoned, and now the only produce you can rely on is stuff bought in from the supermarket, right? Wrong!

Use your kitchen windowsill (or any windowsill you like!) and you can still grow a pretty wide variety of tasty treats to keep your green thumb busy during the  colder months. These were all sent to me by the kind folks at Suttons Seeds, and you can find them here!

James Wong’s Grow For Flavour range is full of great plants you’ve probably never heard of or tasted before! What’s the point of growing things you can buy for pennies at the shop when there’s a whole new world of flavours just waiting to be discovered, like this Land Seaweed?!

Equally, try out new varieties of items you’ve probably eaten umpteen times before. These micro greens will look fab atop some festive spreads, so get growing now in time for the party season. 

Make sure you leave yourself enough time for them to grow, though – these pea shoots would look great on a wintery salad of pear and blue cheese, but give yourself at least three weeks to get them grown!

Growing veggies on your windowsill is a great way to motivate yourself to eat more of them – who can resist the promise of unbelievably sweet sweet corn shoots? Not me! This is the one I’m looking forward to growing the most, because I really can’t imagine what they’ll taste like…!

And finally, it’s not just humans who benefit from a spot of indoor gardening… Your feline friend would probably love a pot of cat grass somewhere in the house, too!

Do you grow anything indoors during the colder months? Have I inspired you to check out some of the weird and wonderful seeds on offer at Suttons? Let me know in the comments!

Have A Pizza This: Pizza Express Pasta!

Pizza Express launched a new range of filled pastas based on their most popular pizza flavours! This is such a simple idea, but it’s also a genius one – when the pizzas are so popular, it makes sense to see if those flavours will translate into tortelloni and ravioli. I asked Pizza Express to send me some so I could see whether they really stacked up, and I’m pleased to say they do. So, I decided to make a post about some ways to serve ready-made filled pasta, to give you some ideas!

First up, a classic. This is probably how you do it already! Serve them simply for lunch with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. My tip for some added crunch is to toast some pine nuts and toss them in, or some cooked cherry tomatoes, and maybe finish with some herbs.

Or you can make a meal of it with sautéed onions and peppers and roasted chicken breast. I did this with the American Hot and used some of the same spices inside the filling – paprika and chilli – to coat the chicken breast, which I then covered in foil and baked. While that was happening, I fried red onions, red peppers and yellow peppers in some olive oil, boiled the ravioli, and then tossed the drained, cooked ravioli in the veggies. Then, top with your cooked chicken breast and prepare to get really, really full!

How about a tortellini soup served with garlic bread? This is so simple to make. Sauté an onion and garlic in some olive oil until soft and tender. Add in a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes, then simmer until thickened. Blend into a thick soup and taste for seasoning. Now, add in your tortellini (I used the Margherita flavour for this!) and poach in the soup until cooked – this will only take a few minutes. Serve with chopped basil scattered over the top, and pop some homemade garlic toast on the side. You can even chop mozzarella and add to the soup just before serving for that extra cheesy taste – or scatter over grated cheddar cheese!

Finally, you can make it into a proper restaurant worthy dish by frying some chorizo and adding the cooked, drained tortelloni and a handful of spinach into the pan. It’s amazing what a fancy garnish will do! I used the Sloppy Giuseppe flavour for this, and unsurprisingly (as it’s my favourite Pizza Express topping!) it was my favourite of the four new flavours.

The range is available at Waitrose and Ocado now for £2.99/250g each. It includes Sloppy Giuseppe Tortelloni (spicy hot beef and pepper), Margherita Tortelloni (mozzarella and tomato), American Hot Ravioli  (pepperoni and hot pepper) and Pollo Ad Astra (chicken with pepperdew pepper).

What’s your favourite way to prepare filled pasta? Let me know in the comments below!

Pizza Express provided me with samples of the new range to review. The opinions, content and photography are all my own.