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Carina in Print – October Scotsman

In print 27th October 2019

It’s Halloween.  That scary time of the year.  Brexit aside what’s scary is the shift in how different groups are eating.

Fat is bad we now know isn’t true.  Good fats are great it’s processed fats that are deadly.  Sugar although sweet is the real evil. It’s addictive and the cause of the epidemic in type 2 diabetic and obesity that we are witnessing around the world.

Where I see the real horror is in the massive shift to a non meat, non fish, non dairy world.  Dare I say the word vegan.

I believe we should be eating less better quality meat and eating sustainably to protect our planet is essential.  Cutting food groups out of our diet that we have been eating for thousands of years isn’t the solution.

My recent appointment as the first Ambassador for the Royal Highland Education Trust is taking me out of the kitchen and onto farms across the county.

I’m learning so much!  Already a convert to biodiversity I’m becoming even more determined to share the message when you see and hear the real benefits of healthy and sustainable food system.

This year I see this largely as a generational choice.  Yes there are 50 year old vegans but they are in much smaller numbers than the millennial’s who have embraced this.

I serve family after family where the younger generation are choosing vegan and the parents and grandparents (who are often in their 80’s and 90’s) are eating traditional diets.  Do we not learn by example rather than by propaganda?

I do read and follow the journalists that I respect hugely on this matter and they have the same beliefs as I have.  Biodiversity and a balanced diet is the best choice for the planet and for human health. What I see is based purely on my experience of serving people but there seems to be principles that align for starters and mains but go out of the box for dessert and cake.  What’s more alarming is not the shifting of principles part way through a meal but how much sugar and how many air miles are substituted and to compensate the diet.

To read of babies dying due to a vegan diet is hell.

A generation with a health bomb of malnourishment with lack of vital nutrients and  and potential diabetes due to high sugar and. This would be the scariest ever.

Bloody Mary Tomato Salad 

We’re just coming to the end of the local tomato season and this is a refreshing grown up version of a tomato salad.

Serves 2-3


200g heritage tomatoes
100g crowdie, beaten until it’s soft
100ml tomato juice
25ml Edinburgh Gin
1 teaspoon tabasco
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Worcester salt
Salt and Black pepper
Crackers to decorate
Micro herbs to decorate


1. Make the Bloody Mary by mixing the tomato juice, gin, lemon juice, olive oil, Tabasco, Worcester and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate to chill.
2. Cut the tomatoes and scatter on a plate
3. Spoon or pipe the Crowdie around the tomatoes and dress with the chilled Bloody Mary dressing.  You can drink whatever is left.
4. Decorate with some crackers and a few herbs
Mozzarella in Carrozza 

There is hope that the Buffalo Farm in Auchtertool may be Scotland first mozzarella producer.  If so this recipe may taste even better. It’s a great meal or snack if anyone is tempted to be guising it’s all treat no tricks.

Makes one sandwich


2 thin slices of good sourdough
1 small ball of Mozzarella di Bufala DOP, sliced and placed in a strainer so the water drains
1 free range egg
2 tablespoons of milk
salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon EVOO
20g unsalted butter
1 unsalted anchovy finely chopped
½ teaspoon of dried oregano
1 sundried tomato finely chopped
2 tablespoon of EVOO


1. Mix all the ingredients together, you can cream the ingredients in a pestle and mortar for a smoother consistency.  Set aside
2. Make a sandwich by layering the mozzarella on top of one slice of bread
3. Spread a generous spoonful of the Don’t tell anyone it’s got anchovy surprise on the other piece of bread and join them both together
4. Beat the egg and milk together and season with salt and lots of black pepper
5. Heat the oil and butter until it starts to foam in a frying pan
6. Dip both sides of the sandwich in egg mixture and then fry until both sides are golden brown.  The sandwich need time to cook so the cheese is hot and starting to melt so lower the heat if you feel its browning but not heating all the way through
7. Serve cut in half, wrapped in some brown paper, put some Cafe Italia music on and enjoy your city break


Lets face it, when it comes to pudding it’s very hard to be a vegan.  A little sugar even if it’s deep fried may not tick the health box but it’s definitely a treat!
Serves 3 – 4

For the batter

275g plain flour
55g caster sugar
150g whole milk
10g fresh yeast
1/4 tsp salt
50g melted butter
1 organic egg


1. Warm the milk but don’t let it boil.
2. Whisk in the sugar and the fresh yeast. Leave it, covered, in a draught free spot of the kitchen until it starts to foam.  This will take about 20 minutes
3. Sieve the flour and salt into a large warm mixing bowl and add the yeast mixture
4. Next fold in the egg and then the melted butter
5. Mix with your electric dough hook until smooth with no lumps.  Allow to rest for at least 2 hours
6. Next form the dough into golf ball size balls and leave on a sheet of grease proof paper until you start frying
7. Choose a 20cm – 24cm deep cast iron casserole.  I feel this holds the heat more consistently and is safer if you are frying at home
8. Gather a slotted spoon for frying, a flat baking tray lined with a sheet of grease proof paper to drain the bomboloni after you’ve fried them
9. Heat the oil until it reaches 370’C. Test the oil with a walnut size ball of the dough  It should bubble immediately when it touches the oil but not spit
10. Keep adding the balls of dough

The trick to frying is keeping the oil at a constant temperature so you need to add enough dough to help the others to cook and not burn.
Each ball will take about 4 minutes to cook.  Check they are cooked when they are golden and the centre is fluffy and not pasty

11. Remove onto grease proof paper.  Once they have cooled slightly dust in caster sugar and enjoy hot or cold