Eat yourself fitter


We’ve been told often enough as a nation that we should eat our greens. Catherine Fellows found out about a new booklet

which aims to give

practical advice on how.

Scotland is worse at feeding itself than any other country in EurOpe. In December. the Scottish Office published a lengthy report on eating habits called The Scottish Diet which makes depressing reading. and serves only to confirm earlier findings. In I990, research showed that. of Scottish children between the ages of twelve and thirteen. 65 per cent eat cn'sps. 66 per cent eat sweets. and 30 per cent eat chips everyday. Last year another survey. this time of 2000 adults of all ages and social groups. found that 30 per cent of Scots never eat salad or

cooked green vegetables.

The latest attempt to redress this situation and to make some impact upon the far more alarming health statistics related to it is a user- friendly. ring-bound. wipe-clean little booklet of advice and recipes. Hassle Free Fund has been produced by the Health Education Board for Scotland. and the title reflects its intentions. ‘People often say they haven‘t got time to think about eating properly. they‘ve got fussy kids or they just don‘t like cooking,‘ explains Carol Bryce. one of a team of authors. ‘We‘ve tried to provide enough tips and ideas to prove that it doesn‘t have to be difficult. But of course. the thing that stops most of our target group eating healthily is


The cartoon cover of the booklet shows a hapless individual juggling cans and pans and money; the hard fact is that many Scots are effectively locked into bad eating habits by

poverty. Without access to

supermarkets. many rely on comer shops which are often expensive and poorly stocked with fresh fruit. vegetables and other healthy foods. Others are hampered by inadequate cooking facilities. or buy from day to day. not having the money to invest in


t'v" .. h. ‘\ View‘vnyogy. r .. p- ‘L g \ .A )H‘xu‘mii \ [,_,A _ . c..e\..» whet

those ‘store cupboard’ basics which make it possible to conjure up tasty meals from cheap. raw ingredients.

Hassle Free Food is realistic. but resolutely positive. In the ‘shopping I tips‘ section. it recommends buying one pot of herbs every couple of weeks and gradually building up a collection. But the main thing. says Bryce. is to dispel ; the idea that a healthy diet is something 5 faddy and unachievable. ‘What we‘ve '- tried to make people realise is that they , don‘t have to scrap everything and start again.‘ she says. ‘Fish fingers and baked beans. for example. are good value and healthy. Also. there‘s nothing wrong with tinned and frozen fruit and veg. which are often more convenient and accessible. In some things. like spinach. the vitamins leech out so fast that the frozen version. processed on site. is actually better for you.‘

The booklet contains basic advice on food hygiene. cooking techniques and economy. but the major part is reserved for healthy snack and meal ideas and : recipes. These range from the simplest throw-it-all-in-the-pan-and-boil lentil soup for absolute beginners. to more ‘. adventurous dishes like tuna and pasta.

. fish pie and chilli con came. The

5 selection may not seem very inspiring. but market research has shown that fancy food has few takers north of the

Border. Market research is also behind the _ booklet's somewhat worthy. functional design. Surprisineg perhaps. questionnaire responses suggest that . when it comes to encouraging people to ' i eat healthily. harsh words from a doctor : 5 are much more effective than the sight of a famous footballer tucking into i muesli.

So can we be persuaded to change our eating habits? Bryce believes there are already encouraging signs. ‘Look at E something like semi-skimmed milk fifteen years ago it was practically unheard of.‘ she says.‘Now. it accounts for about half of all milk consumed. That is a radical. voluntary shift

motivated entirely by health considerations.‘

For a free copy of Hassle Free Food write to: Hassle Free Food. Free/inst. PO Box 5000. Glasgow GIZ 8BR. N0

stamp needed of course.

' parked just off Woodlands

Road. beside the Gulf

_ Garage. Open Mon—

? Thurs. lOam-midnight:

Fri lOam—3am; Sat. 6pm— I Biddy Mulliganscm Grassmarket. 220 I246. Only a couple of months refurbished Oddfellows after the opening of Scruffy Murphy‘s on the two bars have the same I

Bridges. another lrish pub OWIICI’S. Biddy Mulligans has opened in Edinburgh. is Open {Or {UH [Ti-9h

; The management of

Biddy Mulligans say it is of pub lunches including

: savoury fillings cheese purely coincidental, but it such warmers as minced

5 and ham. ratatouille and a may have something to do beef pie and Irish stew.

; sumptuous combination of with a surge in the

banana. cream. nuts and

5 Nahar and Nikki Sharp. ' have been causing

i something of a stir with 1 their mobile créperie.

They offer seventeen

different sweet and


Hassle Free Food, the Scottish llealth Education Board’s newly published guide to ‘cheap, quick, healthy eating’, has no illusions about turning us into gourmets. Many of the recipes use convenient, readily available ingredients like canned tuna fish and sweetcom or make a tin of soup more nutritious and tasty by adding fresh vegetables, milk and a dash of Worcester sauce. A couple of its best and simplest suggestions, though, are ones that not even Albert Roux could turn his nose up at:

POTATO PAIGAKES (serves one to two) 1-2 medium raw potatoes, grated

1 099 1 tbsp plain flour

(Any other starchy food can be used instead of potato, eg carrots, turnip, swede, courgette)

Mix all the ingredients together. Lightly grease or add a small amount oi oil to a frying pan. Fry lightly, flipping over when the underside is golden brown. Serve with pickle or chutney, salad and brown bread.


(serves two)

1 cleaned (gutted) fresh mackerel thyme

black pepper

Make diagonal slits down each side of the fish (not too deep). llub in black pepper and thyme. Grill fish under moderate to high heat for ten minutes each side. Serve immediately with boiled potatoes and a salad.

APPLE Allll llAl’E CllllMBLE

(serves two)

%oz (209) a small cube margarine

102 (25g) 3 tbsp wholemeal flour

101 (25g) 4 tbsp porridge oats

1/202 (15g) 1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp oil

one cooking apple, cored and chopped or sliced (no need to peel - lust wash) a few chopped dates, raisins, sultanas or other dried fruit

sugar to sweeten (optional)

Make the crumble by rubbing the margarine into the flour and oats. Stir in the sugar and oil. Grease a baking dish or loaf pan with a little fat. Place the apples, dates, a little water and sugar in the dish. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the fruit. Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 0/375 F/gas mark 5 until top is golden brown.

W Piecc- The "a" 3'30 Sens i type ale from Ireland are baked potatoes. croissants. bmh being promoted in

- filled baguettes. '

homemade soup. hot

i I Crepe a Croissant Van f chocolate. coffee in fact. building that was once a

the perfect ingredients for Salvation Army hostel a post-club binge . . .



3am. Two enterprising Glaswegians. Keshan

syrup to name but three.

popularity of Guinness. This fine beverage. and Crepes are around ii I .75 a Kilkcnny. an 80 shining- | seven days.

; the spacious. eclectically ; furnished space. The

now boasts multi-coloured chaise longue-style wall seating. classical columns and stained glass. Anyone familiar with the

will know the score the

breakfast. and has a range

together with a good selection of vegetarian dishes. Open 9am—lam


fiesta UPaflt



10, anchor close, Cockburn Street

LUNCH 12-2.30pm EVENINGS —- 6—11pm (last orders 10.30pm)

EDINBURGH 226 5145 50, east fountelnbrldge

EDINBURGH 228 4005 l

The List l4—27 January 1994 73