GF & DF Spicy, Saucy, Soft Shell Fish Tacos!

I can’t fathom the fact that it was near 30 degrees in London for multiple days in March and now in the middle of May, the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and I’m still in a jumper! I’m really going to miss the clean fresh air here in the UK but I am certainly looking forward to going back to the heat (smog?) of Hong Kong. As I have yet to embody that summer excitement as the warm months draw nearer, I thought it would be a great time to make my SPICY, SAUCY, SOFT SHELL FISH TACOS (not to mention they are also gluten-free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free, soy free AND full of flavour!

After binging on all the gyros, feta and wine during my trip to Santorini, I have found it hard to get back into the rhythm of watching what I eat and I have definitely started to feel the effects. The headaches are back, the lack of energy has peered its ugly face, I am constantly fatigued at all hours of the day and not to mention the fact that my stomach and face is so bloated I could easily be mistaken for an 8 month pregnant lady. At no fault but my own, it’s time to cut the excuses and give my body back the love it gives to me! I opted for some Tilapia fillets as my local Waitrose didn’t have the largest selection. Sole, red snapper, grouper, halibut or cod also work well. Whatever tickles your fancy. I seasoned the Tilapia with cumin, chilli, paprika, coriander, parsley and a splash of lime juice and placed in the oven for 15 minutes at 200°C.

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Whilst the Tilapia is baking, I prepared my toppings. I wanted to create a balance between spice, sweetness and a buttery flavour. (Avocado makes a great butter alternative and It is loaded with healthy fats, fibre and various important nutrients) IMG_8799

Toppings: I diced some cherry tomatoes, cut some cabbage and watermelon, grilled some red onion and picked some coriander.

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Sauce: I blended 2 avocados with fresh lime juice, almond milk and jalapeños for the spicy creamy sauce.

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For the taco shells I used soft corn tortillas by Cool Chile Co. They are 100% gluten free and contain nixtamalised ground maize, water and sea salt. I absolutely love them and they don’t leave you feeling groggy after.

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Taco: Heat a dry pan until medium hot. Warm each side of the tortilla until toasty but still soft. Lastly, add your toppings and enjoy!

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K

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Camden Lock Street Food

Camden Lock has got to be one of, if not, my favourite place to eat in London. If you can withstand the mass amount of people and tourists pushing each other around, the street dealers and the drunks, you cannot be disappointed. The food is incredible with an array of cuisines and tastes and nothing quite beats the quirky vibes attracting an alternative crowd. I think everyone can agree that there is literally never a dull moment whilst walking through Camden.

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I dragged my hungover self to Camden Lock Street Market in the hopes of bringing myself back down to earth with some of my favourite artery clogging dishes. Please keep in mind that there is so much more variety at the lock, it was my alcohol infused body making the not so daring choices!

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Firstly we hit The Mac Factory, whom specialise in gourmet Mac and Cheese. They have a number of flavours which include:

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NostalgicA classic blend of mature cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella

La Med BabeNo nut basil pesto, confit tomato, bocconcini    

Super Mario – Sautéed Portobello mushrooms, truffle oil, oven roast garlic  

Posh Spice – Spicy chorizo, harissa, lyonaisse onion  

The Big Smoke – Home smoked chicken, fire roasted peppers, apple wood smoked cheddar

Blue Jacob – Bbq glazed, slow cooked short rib of beef, danish blue cheese, spring onion

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we opted to share the The Big Smoke which was oozing with cheese and had the optimal amount of flavour and crunch.

As if we hadn’t already gone way over the weekly dairy consumption recommendation, we made our way over to the TOASTITS for the best toastie (grilled cheese for you Americanos) my taste buds have had the pleasure of experiencing. They offer gluten free bread which is always a plus.

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We went our usual cheddar avocado and parmesan mash with Prosciutto and chilli flakes toastie. The cheese was melted to perfection with each of the flavours not too overbearing for the other.

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To end the day, we ventured over to my personal favourite find, COOKIES AND SCREAM. Every product is dairy, egg, wheat and gluten free. All bakes are low fat, boasts low cholesterol and are made with unrefined sugars. This place is extremely popular and with everything freshly baked that morning, you’ll have to make sure you get there before everything runs out!

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We shared The Affogato shake which comes with a fresh shot of espresso. It completely hit the spot and didn’t leave us with the sugar shakes.

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Other favourites from our previous visits include Churros, Churrasco & Wild Game BBQ and Oliver’s Fish & Chips –

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I’m already looking forward to my next hungover venture!

Santorini Part 2

We had one more day to spend with our friends from the states before they flew back to the UK the following day so we decided to rent Quad bikes and go all Dora The Explorer on this island. I felt like we just had to show them Santo Winery which Phil and I had visited for 5 minutes a few days before. It’s located on the hill of Fira and just had the best view, so much so, that we saw about 3 weddings going on whilst we were sat there. After getting over the initial awe of the views, we decided to do a little wine tasting before heading over to Perissa Beach. After my time in Greece, I’ve definitely taken more of an interest in wine and ventured out of my Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot comfort zones. A dry white is the way forward for my little taste buds!

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It was a 20 minute ride to Perissa Beach which involved driving through some real local villages which is always great to see. Perissa Beach is distanced away from all the hustle and bustle but was still pretty touristy..and not in a good way. The actual beach is unexpectedly beautiful with volcanic black sand and pebbles and views of mountain churches, however, the bars and restaurants above just brought the Kitsch factor up by 500%. To make matters worse, the service and food were just awful. I’ve never had tougher calamari in my life, it was like chewing through an iron bar! I can’t say I would recommend staying anywhere near Perissa Beach, especially during high season.

We headed back to Fira and hit Theoni’s restaurant for one last portion of the feta cheese fries and seafood.

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The next day we decided to stay around Fira and check out some local hotspots. Our hotel recommended a restaurant called Chefs Garden and as many do with recommendations from locals, you take with a pinch of salt, due to the fact that it can just be a case of mass promotion. We decided to try it out on a Sunday afternoon and were a bit hesitant as there was no one else in the place. We were absolutely blown away! I would definitely recommend trying the sausage with mustard and honey, the grilled sea bass with oven roasted brussels sprouts (so meaty!) and the tomato and crushed feta seafood saganaki. Service was fantastic and as the lovely Greeks do, we were presented with a rich chocolate orange soufflé and ice-cream with our bill.

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We followed dinner with cocktails at a bar which was highly recommended on TripAdvisor called Palia Kameni. The bar was split into 4 levels and had couches all facing the sunset. It was such a lovely location to watch the sunset and what made it even better was the unlimited Prosecco for 20 Euros. As soon as we had put one glass down, a refill would magically appear in front of our eyes in seconds. Perfection.

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On our last full day, we decided to make one last trip to Oia to catch the sunset. We had read that you could hike from Fira to Oia in around 3 hours and that the views were spectacular. I absolutely love hiking and haven’t been able to do any since I left Hong Kong for London so I was extremely excited! We left Fira with massive bottles of water and no expectations of what was ahead of us. Thankfully the hike wasn’t that physically demanding at all which allowed us to take our surroundings in and finish within just over 2 hours. I think overall, this was probably one of my most favourite experiences during my time in Santorini, coming after first settings eyes on Oia. Santorini really does have an energy about it that you just can’t explain, must be something to do with it being Volcanic lands.

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We had a quick snack at Ammoudi’s Fish Tavern  (Baked Feta in a crisp leaf, covered in honey and sesame seeds. YUM) and then relucatantly said our farewells to Oia and caught the 20 minute bus back to Fira wedged between a pervert and an old woman. Like I said in my pervious post, I wouldn’t recommend using the bus service unless you don’t mind not being able to move an inch or breath without inhaling someones sweaty armpit.

Santorini exceeded all my pre consumptions and I am so thankful that I was able to visit this island with my boyfriend and meet all the people I did. I will be seeing you in the not so distant future Santorini! 

Santorini Part 1

I booked flights to Santorini as a Christmas present for my boyfriend and I back in December. We had chosen to go at the end of April to beat the swarm of tourists as well as treat ourselves to one last European adventure before we head back to Asia. I chose Santorini as it has been number 1 on my bucket list since I can remember (I have to admit The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants was a huge influence!) Stupidly enough, neither of us really checked the temperature before hand and were shocked to find out even though it was sunny it was still quite cold. Thankfully after a couple days of nearly freezing to death in our summer array, the weather warmed up to about 20-23 degrees.

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We set our alarm for 3am and made our way to Gatwick airport bright eyed and bushy tailed with no expectations, plans or recommendations for the 8 days ahead (Just the way it should be) The flight took 3 hours and boasted great views of Belgium, The French Alps, Spain, Croatia and the ever so beautiful Grecian lands. We were met by the friendly Chris of Evgenia Villas (http://www.evgeniavillas.com) located in Fira. Fira is the capital of the island and is only 10 minutes away from the airport. It caters to both the culture seekers and party goers so we definitely picked the right place!

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On our first day we were both completely knackered so we sampled our first Gyros (What dreams are made of) and had a couple drinks & Shisha at Two Brothers Bar. I would highly recommend this bar to anyone visiting Santorini. It’s probably the most popular bar in Fira and the staff are lovely and definitely do not hold back on the spirits when making your drink.

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The following day we rented Quad bikes and drove up the coast to Oia. We drove through a number of towns, saw a number of beaches and quite a few of the 300 churches located on the island. (Quad biking is definitely the way to go as it’s allows you to hop on and off whenever you please and not become victim to the hellish bus service company who push as many people onto it as they physically can.)

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I had heard that Oia was thee place to see and MY GOD it exceeded my expectations on every level. It really is as picturesque and serene as it is in pictures and has such an amazing energy to it. I found myself getting frustrated at the fact that my pictures could just not measure up to what I was seeing in front of my eyes. Hundreds of people flock to Oia to capture the sunset each and every night, even thousands during high season. I’ll tell you what though, It could’ve been bloody Chinese New Year in Hong Kong with the amount of Mainlanders walking about screeching! The majority of restaurants even had separate Chinese menus – Crazy!

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We had been recommended a Restaurant by the hotel at Ammoudi Bay which was just below Oia. It was a little fishing village on the waters edge with the view of the volcano and the most amazing backdrop of Oia. (For those who aren’t aware – Santorini is a volcanic island and was originally shaped like a full moon but due to the The Minoan volcanic eruption of Thera in the mid-second millennium BCE and it now stands in the shape of a half moon.) We sipped on our new favorite dry white wine, Sigalas, before heading back to Fira. I was also conveniently bitten by the restaurant cat and spent the next couple days in absolute fear that I had contracted rabies or some other animal related disease. People who know me well know that I am the biggest worry wart so after questioning a number of people like a mad woman and even a pet shop owner (cringe) I was given the all clear to enjoy the rest of my holiday and not annoy my poor boyfriend with ‘what if’ questions.

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It was the third day of our trip and we still had the morning to take the Quad Bike out before having to reluctantly return it, so we headed to Pygros just south of Fira for a little morning coffee at Franco’s Cafe. It was such a quiet and quaint town with some beautiful churches (excuse my constant use of beautiful and stunning. Visit Santorini and you will understand there is no other way to explain it.) Back at the hotel we met a few groups of people but in particular really hit it off with two American guys, Hunter and James, whom were both on an exchange semester in the UK. From then we ended up spending the majority of our holiday with them. We invited them out for dinner and drinks that night and ended up at a new restaurant which James had found on Trip Advisor, Theoni’s. The food was unbelievable and very well priced . We ordered chips in a creamy feta sauce, grilled sea bream, shrimp, tzatziki..ah I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. We then hit Two Brothers Bar for more drinks and more dancing.

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