Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and Daily Calorie Needs - Calculator Online (Harris-Benedict equation)

kCal Guilt-O-Meter

If you have set up Google Drive, this link allows you to copy my kCalorie calculator.

Using your own copy, you can add new ingredients and recipes.
You need to know the kCal per 100 grams or the kCal per unit (like a medium egg).
Accurate digital scales are essential for measuring quantities for kCal amounts.
Cups and guestimates don't work so well.
By duplicating the Recipe Template sheet you can make your own daily diary or organise your recipes.
I'm not willing to give spreadsheet help. I've retired from teaching.

Mousagne - 16 Servings - 870 kCal per serving and 4 of 5 a day - it's a super food.

This is the best bits from lasagna, mousaka, pizza and carne con chili.

Neil has finally documented one version of his recipe.

Steak Mince - 1500g
    Fry in oil
    It should spit and hiss and absolutely NOT boil!
    There should be blackened caramelised bits for flavour.
    Set aside when done.

While the mince is frying prepare the next three ingredients.
    Use the mince pan for this stage.
    DON'T wash it up. You want the burned bits to get flavour into the onions!

Chopped Onions, Chilies and Garlic
    Fry in oil
    1.2 kg of onions should become soft and begin to caramelise - Set aside when done.
    Fry the chillies with the onions. 65 g medium hot or one super hot chili.
    Fry the garlic with the onions, adding it when the onions are nearly done.
    Use an entire bulb, around 10 cloves chopped, or elephant garlic if you can get it!

Divide the onion, chili and garlic fry-up into two approximately equal parts. Set half aside for later.

Meat Sauce
    Add the cooked mince back to half of the onion, chili and garlic.
    Add 1600g (four tins) of premium chopped tomatoes - Cirio are good - own-brand are not.
    Add one bottle of white wine - Portuguese Vinho Verde is good or any medium not-too-sweet white wine.
    Keep back one generous glass for the chef!
    Add 100g dried sweetened cranberries - or fresh if it's Christmas.
    Add 200g double concentrate tomato Puree.

In a huge tray bake dish, start assembling the mousagne.

Layer 1
    1000g aubergines sliced to cover the base of the dish. (four small or three large) .
    Cover the aubergine layer with 400ml coconut milk/cream.
    Cover with 480g baby spinach leaves.
    Cover with the first lasagna sheets pasta layer - half of a 500g box - soaking but not cooking the sheets might be a good idea.
    Cover with the meat sauce before the sheets begin to curl up at the edges.
    Cook in a low oven (gas mk 1, 110C, 230F) to allow the aubergine and spinach to reduce in volume - about 1 hour.

Cheesy Bacon Topping
    Fry 500g chopped cooking bacon in 150g butter and a little water which should boil off allowing the bacon to start crisping.
    The large amount of butter is needed for the belch me sauce.
    Add 125g self raising flour and four teaspoons of English mustard powder. 
    Stir like hell and start adding milk to make a wet belch me sauce with surplus liquid needed for the pasta. 
    2 or perhaps 3 pints of milk might be needed!
    Add the other half of the onion, chili and garlic fry-up.
    Add 500g thinly sliced mature cheddar and melt into the mix.
    Add eight large open mushrooms, sliced - 200g.
    Bring to the boil then turn off the heat.

Layer 2
    Cover the meat layer with more lasagna sheets - half of a 500g box - soaking but not cooking the sheets might be a good idea.
    Pour the cheesy bacon sauce over the pasta before the pasta sheets curl up at the edges.

Decorative Topmost Layer - Use your imagination
    440g Ramiro Red Pepper Strips
    200g tin olives stuffed with jalapeno, drained - flavour bombs
     50g tin anchovies - flavour bombs

Regional and seasonal variations.
    Use decorative haggis chunks for St Andrew's day.
    Try black pudding chunks for a change.
    Substitute Chorizo for the bacon.
    Top with grated Parmesan for a zingier topping.
    Top with melted mozzarella for a pizza tribute.
    You could add ground cumin and/or ground coriander to the meat layer.
    Substitute other dried fruits for the cranberries.
    Prunes stuffed with Stilton cheese instead of bacon or chorizo.
And finally, don't be neurotic about ingredients and quantities. Take advantage of seasonal or on-offer ingredients.

There is no added salt or pepper in this recipe. The cheese and bacon are both salty.
Cook for three hours on a very low heat as above. Longer slower cooking is better at this stage allowing time for a pub visit.
Cook for a final 30 minutes at gas mk 4, 160C, 320F or until the topping is brown and bubbly. 
The dish is huge and will stay hot for a long time.
The pasta will soften and improve if you let the dish rest for up to 30 minutes.
If the dish is too wet it's edible and tasty - you might need a spoon.
If it's too dry the pasta will be tough and unpleasant.

Half quantities and shorter cooking times work OK.

This freezes well and cuts up neatly once cold.

Batter / Pancake / Toad in the Hole

For pancake batter add one tbsp oil to the mix.

Omit the mustard for sweet pancakes or recipes.

Add the egg to the dry ingredients and make a paste. Gradually loosen this by adding milk and stirring.

Chill the batter mix before use. The oiled cooking pan needs to be smoking hot when you pour the batter in.

Plain flour 50 g 100 g
Mustard powder 1/2 tsp 1 tsp
Salt to taste to taste
Medium egg 1 1 or 2
Whole milk 100 to 150 ml 200 to 300 ml


Sponge for a mug or small jug

Scale this up as necessary.

Blend the sugar into the almost melted butter. Blend in the egg. Add the flour and mix well but stop once it's mixed.

Bake or, for something more like a soufflé, microwave but be careful not to overcook. Test after one minute by stabbing with a skewer. If it comes out dry, it's cooked.

Butter 60 g
Caster sugar 60 g
Self raising flour 60 g
Medium egg 1


Santiago Tart

Cream the sugar and eggs, add the ground almonds, fill the greased and floured case and bake.

Individual Shared Big
Ground Almonds 100 g 200 g 400 g
Sugar 100 g 200 g 400 g
Eggs 2 4 8
Lemon Zest 1 Lemon + 1tbsp juice 2 Lemons + 2 4 Lemons + 4
Orange Zest (optional) 1 Orange 2 Oranges 4 Oranges
Orange flower water,
Brandy, Almond extract
Experiment Experiment Experiment


Red hot chilli pickle

This makes nearly 7 kg of pickle so you'll need a lot of jars. It's OK to scale the recipe down.

When chopping, take care to avoid large areas of peel which cook into unsightly strands.

Chop or liquidise the tomatoes and chillies using some of the vinegar to loosen the mix.

Chop or liquidise the peeled onions with more of the vinegar.

Chop the apples.

If there are large pieces of ginger, chop them smaller.

Boil all the ingredients. There is a high risk of the mix burning onto the pan. Stir frequently and don't leave unattended.

It's ready once the volume has reduced and very little liquid separates when the mix is off the heat. The apple should have dissolved completely into the mix and the colour will be dark. If the pickling process is incomplete, the fruit might ferment. This could give you exploding pickle jars.

Vinegar without spices 1600 g
Tomatoes 1200 g
Cooking apples 1200 g
Sultanas 1000g
Dry crystallised ginger 700 g
Onions 600g
Sugar 600 g
Salt 3 tsp
Chillies Up to three Scotch bonnets OR a lot more milder ones

Substitute some of the the apples for other fruits seasonally, such as cranberry at Christmas, apricot, in season or whatever is in surplus.

Alcoholic chocolate freezer cake

Crush the biscuits, almost to powder. Add the booze to the biscuits. For very soggy alcohol laden Christmas biscuits, use the full amount.

Slowly melt the butter. Add the treacle and drinking chocolate powder to the melted butter.

Add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter mixture and stir well. Flatten this mixture into a dish / dishes with a large area. Compress the mixture well. It should be a bit thicker than a biscuit.

Melt the dark eating chocolate and spread it over the biscuit mix. After spreading the melted chocolate, roughen the surface by stabbing it all over with a fork. This helps the chocolate layer to stick.

Allow it to cool and set. Before it becomes brittle, cut it up into slices. Freeze it.

Big Small
Digestive biscuits (McVitie's work best) 1000 g 400 g
Butter 400 g 160 g
70% dark chocolate 400 g 160 g
Drinking chocolate powder 160 g 64 g
Distilled booze (optional). Rum, brandy or try others. 100 to 400 ml 40 to 160 ml
Black treacle 60 g 24 g


Dumplings / Pie Crust

Pie crust might benefit from an egg wash or grated cheese on top.

Self Raising Flour 125 g 100 g
Fat, Suet or Finely grated cheese 60, 60 or 90 g 50, 50 or 70 g
Salt, Pepper, Mustard powder, Herbs, Spices To taste
Water Make a wet dough. Don't kneed it.


Bread of the Beast - Stand Mixer Recipe

The evening before ...

Thoroughly mix the following but don't kneed much at all. Cover and leave the mix overnight. The next day there might be some fermentation bubbles. This is OK and might give a slight sourdough flavour. If you have some sourdough starter, try adding some. If you happen to be passing the mix, give it another stir. If you're in a hurry, proceed to step 2, skipping the overnight soak. The bread might rise a bit less.

Water 640 g
Seeded Flour (e.g. Hovis Granary) + Strong White Flour 500 g + 166 g = 666 g
Salt 1 tsp
Dried Skim Milk Powder 4 tbsp
Sugar / Treacle / Molasses 3 tsp

Judgement day ...

Strong White Flour 333 g
Yeast, Fast Action Dried 1 sachet
Oil (extra virgin olive or substitute other oils, melted cool fats, suet, lard, fried onion, fried bacon, fried garlic or herbs for various flavours). 6 tbsp
Seeds or nuts (optional), sunflower, sesame, poppy, oats, barley, chopped pumpkin, etc.  

Throw in the rest of the flour and the dried yeast. Kneed for at least five minutes adding the oil last, bit by bit. This helps to unstick the dough from the bowl.

Leave the dough to rise but not too long. If you are in a hurry you can skip this first rise. The bread will be good but will have a slightly less bready and more cake-like texture. As soon as the dough is rising strongly, knock it down with a few seconds of kneeding. Leaving the dough too long at the first rise, causes lifeless dense loaves or even bricks.

So far the entire process has taken place in the mixer bowl. Now divide the batch it into two large bread tins or more smaller ones. At this stage the dough can be covered with flour, oats or seeds or left as it is.

Let the dough rise again in the baking tins. Leaving the dough too long at this stage gives larger uneven bubbles and possible loaf collapse in the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes on gas mark 7 or 220 C fan. A skewer stabbed into the loaf centre should come out dry. Overcooked loaves are too dry. Undercooked loaves will be too soft or even soggy and raw. If you use several smaller baking tins, the cooking time will be shorter. You can make rolls. The cooking time is 10 to 12 minutes.

All ingredients should be at an ambient temperature around 22C. If it's cooler things take longer but work well. If it's a lot cooler, pre-warm the ingrediants. If it's hotter everytthing is faster and there is more risk of a loaf collapse. If it's a lot hotter, try to keep the mix cool.

I use a Kenwood Chef Major which copes with this amount of dough with spare capacity. Beware of similar machines, often more expensive, which are not rated for this batch size (1.7kg).

I line the baking tins with silicone cotton and the bread never sticks. Afterwards, the tins and fabric need to be dusted clean but not washed.