Tagliatelle with tiger prawns and tenderstem broccoli

Tagliatelle with tiger prawns and tenderstem broccoli

For this delicious, yet simple and quick pasta with prawns and tenderstem broccoli recipe, you can use any type of good quality shell-on prawns. Instead of tagliatelle, you could also use spaghetti or fettuccine. See my home-made egg tagliatelle recipe if you want to make your own!

Ingredients (per person):

  • 4-6 tiger prawns (I used frozen black tiger prawns, which I’d left to defrost at room temperature)
  • 100-150g egg tagliatelle or other pasta
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic (use less if you’re not as much of a fan of garlic as I am!)
  • a few dried chilli flakes or 2-3 slices of fresh red chilli (go very light on this – you want a slight bit of heat in the dish, not a heat that will overpower the delicate flavour of the prawns)
  • a generous dash of extra virgin olive oil (I used 1 tablespoon to keep the fat content low, but ideally I would use more than that)
  • fine sea salt (to taste) plus coarse sea salt for the pasta water


A few hours before you are due to start cooking, finely slice the garlic and mix it with the chilli and olive oil, then marinate the prawns in a small bowl or a plastic bag in the oil, garlic and chilli (place the marinating prawns in the fridge so they don’t go off!).

When it is time to start cooking, place a large pan of water with a handful of coarse sea salt on the hob on a high heat. While that comes up to the boil, prepare your broccoli: halve the stems so they are about 7-8cm long (if they are particularly long, you may have to cut each stem into 3 pieces), then cut them lengthways once or twice, to create thin strips.

Once the water is boiling, place the broccoli into the water to begin cooking.

While the broccoli are cooking, transfer the prawns, garlic, chilli and oil into a pre-heated (on high) non-stick frying pan, then turn down the heat to medium so you don’t burn the garlic while the prawns are cooking. Sprinkle on a little fine sea salt for seasoning. Cook the prawns for 4-6 minutes, until they are fully pink and cooked all the way through, turning them 2-3 times. When the prawns are cooked, take them out of the pan and set them aside.

Once the broccoli are cooked but still have a bit of bite/stiffness, lift them out of the cooking water (don’t discard the water, as you’ll need it for the pasta!) and place them straight into the pan with the garlic, chilli and olive oil. Put the pan with the cooking water back onto the heat so it comes back up to the boil. Briefly sauté the tenderstem broccoli, then add a little of the cooking water to stop them from burning while you’re cooking the pasta.

Place the tagliatelle (or other pasta) into the boiling water and cook them until they are almost cooked (a bit harder than ‘al dente’), so about 1-2 minutes less than the recommended ‘al dente’ cooking time on the pack. Or, if you have made tagliatelle yourself (see my recipe here) and they are still fresh (not dried), you’ll only be cooking them in the water for about 30 seconds; if you have left them to dry, you’ll cook them in the water for about 60-90 seconds.

Once the tagliatelle are almost cooked, lift them out of the cooking water, straight into the frying pan with the tenderstem broccoli, garlic and chilli. Add a little bit of the cooking water, turn up the heat and, stirring occasionally, finish the cooking process until they are ‘al dente’ and ready to eat and the pasta has reduced to almost nothing, leaving just a little bit of slightly thick sauce (the starch from the pasta as it finishes cooking give it the thick and creamy texture). At that point, add the prawns back into the pan to re-heat them prior to serving.

Serve and eat immediately. Enjoy!

Tagliatelle with tiger prawns and tenderstem broccoli – Gloriously Simple, Gloriously Good!


Creamy smoked salmon and dill soup

Creamy smoked salmon and dill soup

One of the ways I have kept things interesting during the post-bariatric surgery liquid diet is by using ingredients in my soups that the rest of the family were eating in their meals (it’s usually just me and hubby most of the time these days, but my mother-in-law kindly came to stay for a couple of weeks to help me out – e.g. driving me everywhere – after the surgery, and we had our eldest daughter’s 21st Birthday the middle weekend, so lots of family meals to take into account!). 

On this occasion, my family were having penne (pasta) with smoked salmon and cream, so I went with the theme 🙂

Creamy smoked salmon and dill soup

Ingredients (for 2-3 small post-bariatric surgery liquid diet meals, or one medium portion):

  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 50ml ‘fortified’ milk (make up skimmed powdered milk according to pack instructions, but using semi-skimmed milk as the liquid, instead of water).  If you are not making this soup as part of a post-bariatric surgery liquid diet, you can just use extra milk, or add a dash of cream, instead, to replicate the creamy consistency.
  • Approx. 1 tbsp of smoked salmon trimmings
  • 1 very small potato
  • A pinch of fresh dill
  • Sea salt, to taste


Peel the potato and cut it into small dice so it will cook quickly.  Place the milk, fortified milk (or cream), potato and salmon into a small saucepan and gently bring to a simmer.  Simmer gently (take care not to burn the milk) for approximately 10 minutes or until the potato is fully cooked and easy to mash with the back of a spoon. 

Turn off the heat and add a pinch of fresh dill (only the fine parts, not the stalks).  Leave to cool for 5 or so minutes. 

Place in a fine blender and blend until all ingredients have liquidised, then pour through a fine sieve to ensure there are no ‘bits’ in your soup. 

Re-heat gently on the stove, serve and enjoy!

Gloriously simple, gloriously good!

Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian or medical professional.  These are simply ideas based on meals I have created to suit my own dietary needs and, as I’ve enjoyed them, I wanted to share them. If you are unsure about the suitability of any ingredients or recipes on my blog for your own requirements, please check with a health professional first. 

Seared tuna steak with salsa and cous-cous

Another low-cal, low-fat, low-carb quick lunch / dinner

seared tuna steak with salsa and cous-cous

This is another one of my quick lunches for the pre-surgery diet before I have my weight-loss surgery, though of course it’s a delicious dish in its own right.  If you are not following a strict pre-op diet for bariatric surgery, feel free to adjust the quantities, of course, though I found this to be surprisingly filling!

Ingredients (for one person)

  • small tuna steak (approx. 100g)
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 2tbsp cooked cous-cous (seasoned with a pinch of salt at time of cooking)
  • salt (to taste)
  • garlic (to taste; fresh or granules – if fresh, crush or chop very finely)
  • chilli (to taste; fresh or powder – if fresh, chop very finely)
  • coriander leaves (to taste; fresh or dried – if fresh, chop finely)


Cook the cous-cous and set aside. If you really want to give the whole dish a kick, you can add garlic and chilli to the cous-cous straight after cooking.

Cut the tomatoes into very small chunks, season to taste with salt, garlic, chilli and coriander leaves.  I used dry store-cupboard ingredients for this as I wanted a fuss-free, quick lunch, but of course you can use fresh ingredients for an even richer, fresher flavour! Set aside. 

Pre-heat a griddle or non-stick pan until it’s sizzling hot.  Lightly season the tuna with salt, garlic and chilli (powders work best here so you don’t burn the fresh ingredients, and they stay on the tuna steak better).  Place on the hot griddle and sear for a minute or two, then turn over and sear the other side.  The aim is for the middle to stay nice and pink (that’s how I like it, but of course you can cook it more thoroughly if you prefer your tuna well-cooked). 

Serve the tuna with the tomato salsa and cous-cous on the side. 

Gloriously simple, gloriously good!

Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian or medical professional.  These are simply ideas based on meals I have created to suit my own dietary needs and, as I’ve enjoyed them, I wanted to share them. If you are unsure about the suitability of any ingredients or recipes on my blog for your own requirements, please check with a health professional first.