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Orange and Soy Sole

As promised, here is one of the recipes I tried from Annabel Karmel’s new book, ‘Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes’, which I reviewed in a previous post and which is out today.

I’ll definitely be making this again. It’s very quick (under 10 minutes!), very tasty and perfect to make for the whole family. Even if your little one isn’t a huge fish fan, give this a try as the sweetness of the orange juice might change their minds. You could cut the fish into more manageable ‘fingers’, before dusting with flour, for little hands to feed themselves.

orange and soy sole

Serve with a side salad for adults and some raw vegetable sticks for toddlers (prepare a stash of these to keep in the fridge for a few days to save you some time).

Annabel’s recipe says two lemon sole fillets makes 1-2 portions which is confusing to me as the serving sizes throughout the book seem to be a toddler portion. For me, allow at least one fillet (one half of the fish) for each adult and 1/2-1 fillet for each child.

You don’t just need to use lemon sole with this orange and soy sauce; any white fish (cod, plaice, haddock, etc) would go well with the sauce. Next time I’m going to try it with salmon chunks for Nicholas.


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 3 mins
Feeds 1 adult and 1 toddler

2 lemon sole fillets, skinned
Salt and pepper
Plain flour, for dusting
A knob of butter, for frying
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp soy sauce

Season the fish fillets and coat them on both sides with the flour, shaking off any excess.

Melt the butter in a frying pan until foaming, add the fish and fry for 1 and 1/2 minutes. Turn them over and fry for 1 minute more.

Mix the orange juice and soy sauce together, pour it over the fish and let the sauce bubble away for 30 seconds.

Serve immediately.

Creme fraiche fish (adult recipe)

I’ve realised living in the UK (just gone eight years now… wow how time flies) I crave comfort food. A lot. Food has always been something I turn to when I’m sad, depressed or even bored especially during the colder months, and the regular grey skies and drizzly days here really take their mental toll on hubby and me. Since moving to the UK from Italy we’ve both gotten fatter. Not good!

So I’ve been on the search for low-calorie but tasty dinners. And they also need to be fairly quick and easy. This fish recipe has now become a favourite and tastes great (I don’t feel deprived at all!). The ‘secret’ is replacing the creme fraiche in the original recipe by Barefoot Contessa with low-fat creme fraiche. I don’t think anyone could taste the difference.

Smothering the fish with the mustardy creme fraiche keeps the fish lovely and moist, and there’s less chance of it overcooking. It goes great with the grated courgette/zucchini from this recipe (and it’s also low in calories). A perfect midweek meal that’s quick to make and tasty.


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Makes 2 adult servings

2 white fish fillets (eg. haddock, cod or plaice)
4 tbsp low-fat creme fraiche
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp capers, drained
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray or an ovenproof baking dish with baking paper.

Sprinkle the baking paper with salt and pepper to season the underside of the fish. Place the fish fillet on the paper (skin side down if it still has skin). Season the top with salt and pepper.

Put the creme fraiche in a small bowl and mix in the two mustards and the capers.

Spoon the mustardy creme fraiche evenly over the fish, making sure to completely cover it.

Bake for 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let sit for a couple of minutes. If you’re not sure if it’s cooked through, put a knife into a thick part and see if the flesh flakes.

Serve with a green salad or stir fried grated courgette/zucchini.


  • the original recipe also has finely diced shallots in the sauce
  • add some fresh herbs (chives, parsley, etc) either to the sauce or sprinkle over at the end
Do you have any low-fat yummy recipes to share?

Cod in prosciutto with courgettes (adult recipe)

As promised in my previous post, the recipe for a great zucchini/courgette side dish. It goes fantastically with any fish and can turn a rather boring piece of poached or fried fish into something more special.

I came across this way of cooking zucchini through a Jill Dupleix recipe I’m fairly sure was in The Times when she was a food writer for them. Her idea of wrapping cod (or any white fish) in prosciutto is very yummy and a great way to avoid overcooking the fish. She has a cod in prosciutto recipe on her website but she serves it with cabbage (I’m not convinced I’d like it as much as the zucchini!).

Jill Dupleix suggests the variation of substituting the prosciutto for streaky bacon which I’m sure would work very well. When I made this a few days ago I was sure we had prosciutto in the fridge (I live with an Italian after all!), but when I came to make it I discovered it was pancetta. I used the pancetta without saying anything to hubby but after his first mouthful his critique was ‘Pancetta’s too sweet for this recipe’. And he’s probably right!

If I’m making this for other people I cut the fish into smaller pieces, as the recipe suggests, to look prettier, otherwise I just wrap the whole fillet. To wrap the fish, lay your slices of prosciutto horizontally on a cutting board overlapping a little. Place the fish vertically in the middle making sure very little if any of the fillet extends beyond the prosciutto at the top and bottom. Bring the prosciutto over on one side and then the other, folding in any excess.

The only thing I’ve changed from the original recipe is to omit seasoning the fish well before wrapping in the prosciutto. Sometimes I use some black pepper, but never any salt as the prosciutto is salty enough. The weight of the fish is also very generous in the original recipe; I usually use 150g more or less for each person.

I tend to always use caraway seeds in the zucchini rather than fennel. Caraway has a subtler flavour and hubby isn’t a great fan of fennel seeds. Why not try both and see which you prefer?


Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Serves 2 adults

2 cod fillets, 150-180g each
4-6 slices prosciutto
1 tbsp olive oil
2 courgettes, washed
1 tsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp fennel or caraway seeds
salt and pepper
a few sprigs of parsley to serve

Trim cod into neat squares or rectangles. Wrap them neatly in prosciutto. Warm two dinner plates in the oven.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over a medium heat in a non-stick frying pan and cook fish presentation-side down first, until prosciutto is crisp (about 3-4 mins). Turn and cook until other side is crisp and fish just cooked through (another 3-4 mins).

While the fish is cooking, coursely grate the unpeeled courgettes. Heat butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a second non-stick frying pan over a med-high heat and toss courgette very quickly in the hot pan, adding lemon juice, fennel or caraway seeds, salt and pepper.

Arrange courgettes on the two warmed plates, top with the cod and some sprigs of parsley.


  • Use any other white fish (haddock, plaice, etc.)
  • Use streaky bacon instead of prosciutto (you’ll need about 6-8 slices)

Other uses:

  • The courgette works well as a side with any fish

Asian-style salmon

I’ve discovered that while Nicholas isn’t a big lover of fish, he usually happily eats salmon. Well it does have a meatier flavour and texture to white fish. Maybe because of the sweetness from the honey in the marinade, this recipe is one of his favourite salmon dishes.

Nicholas happily eats a 50g chunk of salmon, but if this seems too much for your munchkin a serving half this size will still give fabulous health benefits.

I’m usually not organised enough to think ahead and marinate the salmon overnight. I tend to marinate it just for around 30 minutes while I’m doing something else in the kitchen and it still works out great. I have it marinating on the bench and when I remember I spoon the marinade over.

This is definitely a meal you can do for the whole family without making any changes. All you need to remember to make more marinade is that there are equal portions of the three ingredients. Easy!


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Makes 1 serving

Small chunk of salmon fillet, skin removed (25-50g depending on your toddler’s appetite!)
1 tbsp vegetable or ground nut oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp honey

Mix oil, soy sauce and honey in a small container. Put salmon in and spoon over the marinade. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge or leave to marinate for 30 mins spooning over the marinade a few times.

Heat a small non-stick fry pan over a medium-low heat.

As your piece of salmon is very small it will cook quite quickly. A minute or two on each side is plenty. The honey will caramelise and burn if the heat is up too high and if you cook it for too long, so keep an eye on it. Take the salmon out of the pan and let it rest for a couple of minutes (it will keep cooking in this time).

Flake the salmon and check for bones. Serve with rice or noodles.


  • bake the salmon in the oven rather than frying it
  • use dark soy sauce for a less saltier flavour

Other uses:

  • use the marinade with chicken or white fish