My Week in Food: Nicola 'Milly' Millbank

Judy Johnson 1 August 2016
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Milly Cookbook's Food Diary

Actress Nicola Milbank (or Milly, as she’s also known) moonlights as a food blogger at  to indulge her foodie passion when she’s not on screen, exploring how to create healthy dishes that don’t compromise on taste, cut out food groups or involve any kind of guilt.

Milly’s ‘fad-free’ philosophy is a breath of fresh air amid the Instagram-fuelled trend for elimination diets, preferring instead to focus on real, honest food made using ingredients that are as sustainable and accessible as they are affordable. Ahead of the release of Milly’s new cookbook ( available to pre-order now here ), she shares a week of her food diary with us to reveal what enjoyable, healthy food can look like…

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Breakfast: My boyfriend and I go for a long dog walk. We live and work together so it’s really important we get time off to be ourselves. We take our miniature Dachshund Darcey to the park and stop off down the Northcote Road for breakfast. We have coffee and croissants with lashings of butter and jam and watch the Lycra-clad gym bunnies suck on their green juices.

Lunch: I’m at the computer this afternoon writing recipes for the book. I pick at my  Herby Hummus  with crisp flatbreads and sip a peppermint tea.

Dinner: My boyfriend and I are in Soho for dinner. We head to one of our favourites, Blanchette on D’Arblay Street. I order my favourites, braised lamb shoulder and green bean salad with aged comté cheese and walnut dressing.

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Breakfast: Lazy Sundays call for my  Italian Baked Eggs  with a cup of tea and a wedge of bread for dipping.

Lunch: I’ve been recipe testing all day so I’m not hungry (I always pick as I go!) so it’s a cup of mint tea and a cheeky meringue from the patisserie on Northcote Road.

Dinner: The last thing I want to do is cook dinner so we order in a Chinese feast and share half a duck and pancakes; our favourite.

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Breakfast: I have a day full of meetings so a quick poached egg on toast and a wedge of watermelon.

Lunch: I’m really close to Borough Market after a meeting so I head straight to my favourite dim sum stall and order chicken potstickers with lots of chilli oil and vinegar.

Dinner: In need of an easy dinner tonight so I turn some of the honey, soy and garlic beef I made on Sunday into an Asian rice bowl with lots of shaved carrot and cucumber, sriracha and crushed peanuts.

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Breakfast: I make a quick fruit salad of donut peaches, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Lunch: Craving something green so I whip up a super easy lunch of shaved courgette, rocket, feta, caramelised pecans I have in my cupboard and cranberries.

Dinner: My fridge is overloaded with filo pastry for some reason so I make a  chorizo, feta and rosemary quiche  with a citrusy green side salad on the side. I’m not normally a pudding person but in the mood for something sweet so I go dark on a pack of Oreos.

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Breakfast: The last few weeks are catching up with me (I’ve only just wrapped filming Series 6 of Mount Pleasant in Manchester) and I feel like I’m coming down with a cold. I make a teapot of rooibos tea and spike it with ginger and lemon and devour three clementines.

Lunch: I’m with my mother all day at an art exhibition. We head out for lunch and share a seafood platter with a glass of white wine each.

Dinner: I come home to a freshly made lasagne, whipped up by my boyfriend. He’s followed my  pork and sage lasagne recipe  and made it just the way I like it. I curl up on the sofa and tuck in whilst we watch a movie. Perfect.

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Breakfast: I’m in Stockholm meeting with my photographer Susanna Blåvarg and Food Stylist Sara Hultberg to chat about the shoot in September for my book, 'Milly’s Real Food'. I eat breakfast at the hotel, I have scrambled eggs, bacon, black coffee and lashings of watermelon.

Lunch: Before it’s time to head home I go straight to the Diplomat Hotel for Swedish meatballs overlooking the water.

Dinner: We land a little later than expected, it’s 10pm and I’m starving. We go for pizza down the road. I order a large pizza with anchovies, capers and olives. I’m stuffed but I’m #ProPizza!

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Breakfast: In the need for a quick breakfast this morning so I whip up a banana and peanut butter smoothie before I head out.

Lunch: I meet a girlfriend for lunch. We share some small plates, Thai calamari, pan-fried chorizo and a large salad with a glass of prosecco… or three.

Dinner: I’m hosting dinner for family tonight but I’m keeping it simple. I make my signature lamb shanks with rice and lots of greens.