Ask the Hairy Bikers - aka The Agony Uncles

Ask the Hairy Bikers - aka The Agony Uncles' Cookery Corner

Ask the Hairy Bikers - aka The Agony Uncles

Each week during our Agony Uncles’ Podcasts, we have a ‘Cookery Corner’ section where we digest and read out a selection of cries for help and advice appertaining to our wonderful listener’s dilemmas.

This can range from kitchen utensils to food substitutes, recipe advice, and what to do when it all goes wrong.

So, if you would like to send in your questions, please email them to

Make sure that you follow our podcasts each Friday when a new episode gets released. You never know, your question and our solutions and advice may get some airtime.

Please note that we cannot give specific advice on medical conditions and suggested diets for legal reasons.

Check below to see if your question has been included.

January 2023

Episode 46

Hayley asked – I enjoy cooking and for Christmas decided to treat myself to your cast iron pan set. They recently arrived and are lovely (and using them might even count as a workout as they're quite heavy!)

“My question is do I need to do anything, in particular, to care for them and make them last? I've seen online that with some cast iron cookware you need to season the base etc but not sure how you do that and if that applies to your pans. They're amazing cookware and I want them to last a long time so any advice would be appreciated.”

- Response from Uncle Si & Uncle Dave – “care instructions are included with the packaging”. Uncle Si mentioned in the podcast to consider using Walrus Oil - Cast Iron Oil, for Restoring, Seasoning, and Maintaining Cast Iron Cookware

Here is a link to our cast irons pans range found in our online kitchenware shop

Georgina from Cambridge asked “if with your dumplings can an egg alternative be used to bind them? I am allergic to chicken's eggs?”

- Response from Uncle Si & Uncle Dave - an alternative to consider is xanthan gum

Here is a link to one of the recipes with dumplings - veggie chilli with cornmeal dumplings taken from our book One Pot Wonders

Episode 47

Su T wrote I've been on a serious diet over the past eight months, I've lost nearly 5 stone and I'll admit to being very proud of myself. Obviously, I've had to sacrifice or adapt my favourite dishes to do this, and the one I really miss is spaghetti pesto. Now, pesto is full of oil and cheese and pine nuts, so it's massively calorific. My question is a simple one: is there a way of contriving a half-decent basil pesto with a fraction of the calories?

- Response from Uncle Si – as an alternative try replacing the pine nuts & oil with a sun-dried tomato and some of the oil from the jar.

NB: There are several low-cal pesto sauces in jars that can be found in the usual supermarket chains, just check the calories on the jar.

Here is a link to one of the recipes using pesto – pesto-stuffed mushrooms taken from our book Eat to Beat Type 2 Diabetes