Penny Isaacs - Food writer

December 18, 2008
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Everyone likes to be cooked for and people appreciate it when you have gone to the effort of making them something special.

Garlic roasted honey and lemon chicken: I use industrial quantities of garlic, then squeeze honey and lemon juice over the bird.

Chocolate: I walk everywhere so I feel that I have “earned” a daily treat of chocolate.

Smoked salmon: Salmon strips drizzled with oil and dill goes well with crunchy fennel.

Honeycomb ice cream: It’s creamy but not cloyingly sweet, and, even allowing time for making the honeycomb, it can be whipped up in minutes by the most basic cook.

Pasta with pesto: pungent basil mingles with salty, lactic Parmesan, sweet pine nuts and fruity olive oil.

Dietician Joan Wides writes:

Garlic not only adds flavour but contains phytochemicals thought to have heart-protective and anti-cancer benefits. Garlic should be chopped and allowed to stand for 10-15 minutes to allow phytochemicals to develop.

Dark chocolate with high cocoa solids (ideally 70 per cent) provides the highest anti-oxidant flavanol content, as well as iron, copper and magnesium.

Ultra-rich ice-creams such as this one are best kept for special occasions.

Although pesto is high in fat, the intense flavours of the ingredients mean you need only use a small amount to coat the pasta.

Salmon is rich in omega 3 oils which are valuable for their anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory effect. Penelope’s addition of an oil-based vinaigrette dressing over the smoked salmon may not appeal to those who are aiming to reduce their fat intake.

    Last updated: 4:32pm, September 23 2009