A Rundown Of Some Of Princess Diana's Favorite Foods

Known as one of the most beloved and memorable members of the British royal family, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, was accustomed to a multitude of cuisines on a regular basis, although there were a few dishes and delicacies that she continuously fancied.

What were some of Princess Diana's favorite foods? One of the perks of being a royal was having her personal chef on hand. With Darren McGrady holding the ladle in the royal kitchen from 1982 to 1993 (via Reader's Digest), the princess got to indulge in her favorite appetizers and dishes for over a decade. Following her experience with bulimia, Diana chose a more health-conscious approach to eating and would request alternative low-fat versions of recipes (via E! News). The Princess of Wales was treated to a variety of such recipes with a diet that focused mainly on chicken, fish, and vegetarian dishes. 

From fanciful desserts to simple soups and fortifying fruits, Diana loved to indulge in McGrady's various culinary creations. Keep reading for a more intimate look at some of her top tastes.

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Bread and butter pudding

Simple yet delicious, bread and butter pudding is an indulgent British dessert that may be the ultimate comfort food, especially for Princess Diana. Originating from the classic bread pudding, bread and butter pudding is more luxurious, incorporating a velvety layer of custard. In the 18th century, as the dish became more widely known due to the increasing availability of butter and eggs throughout marketplaces, American cookbook writer Eliza Smith included the succulent recipe in her book, "The Compleat Housewife," per Coultons Bread Limited.

What does it taste like? Somewhere between bread pudding and crème brûlée, bread and butter pudding consists of white bread slices (preferably stale) infused with an egg yolk-based vanilla custard and topped with amaretto-soaked raisins, sliced almonds, and an elegant dusting of powdered sugar. You might add cinnamon or nutmeg for additional spice. Dense and rich, bread and butter pudding was Princess Diana's preferred dessert, although she reportedly never overindulged in it. Instead, she requested it only when her two sons William and Harry were at home or visiting.

Eggs suzette

Given her focus on healthy eating, Princess Diana would generally refrain from heavily oiled or creamed foods and dishes altogether. When it came to potatoes, she preferred baked delicacies like eggs suzette, also known as the baked jacket potato. Unlike the famed Parisian crepes suzette, eggs suzette is not a dessert at all but a take on the twice-baked potato. Once baked, the potato's filling is removed and filled with other desired ingredients, with a poached egg for the topper and a drizzle of hollandaise sauce. Chef Darren McGrady has said that Diana loved wilted spinach filled in the bottom of the potato jacket, and he would pipe mashed potatoes around the edges for a creamy presentation, per Hello Magazine.

Although Diana rarely ate shellfish, and omitted bacon entirely, sometimes eggs suzette might be filled with bacon or creamed prawns and topped with sour cream, chives, and cheese. These items may be mixed into the potato mash as well and displayed within the skin or around it. You may also incorporate one or two eggs. However you fill it, this delectable dish is satisfying for brunch or lunch, and the princess requested it many a time.

Homemade veggie juices

Another way Diana, Princess of Wales, chose to maintain a healthy diet was by sipping on homemade vegetable juices. Whether juiced or pureed, one of her favored combinations consisted of carrots, celery, spinach, and parsley, per Taste of Home. In an exclusive interview, Chef Darren McGrady told Mashed that Diana was an early adopter of juicing prior to its rise, as he would often experiment with various fruit and vegetable concoctions for her. With her love for beets, she once requested an all-encompassing beet juice, although it had to be mixed with apple juice following a sudden skin reaction.

From green- and orange-colored juices, there's a variety of combinations you might explore. A superb wholesome green combination may include kale, cucumber, celery, apple, and lemon. An orange variety could integrate carrots, celery, oranges, and ginger. For a hearty red, try beets and carrots with apples, celery, and parsley.

Low-calorie fish dishes

Fish offers a variety of healthy nutrients when consumed, including omega-3 fatty acids and minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium, according to the Washington State Department of Health. While raw fish (such as in sushi) may offer a slightly higher amount of nutrients compared to cooked, per City Fish Market, baking and poaching fish is a healthier method than frying any day. As Princess Diana specifically steered away from fattier meats like beef and pork, she enjoyed dining on rainbow trout and other fish without the addition of heavy sauces, creams, or butters, via the Daily Mail.

From salmon and tuna to tilapia and cod, there are numerous ways to spice up the sometimes bland, mild-tasting meat. With a touch of salt and pepper, you might add herbs like dill, chives, thyme, rosemary, and garlic, the latter of which the princess especially adored, per PureWow. Along with some lemon wedges and fresh, steamed vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or wilted spinach, there's a healthy perk in each bite.

Lychee fruit

The princess would never pass up a bowl of lychees. Sweet and floral, lychee (Litchi chinensis) is an exotic and cherished fruit that stems from southern China. Sometimes known as the "alligator strawberry," some might say its flavor reveals a soft resemblance to strawberries or pears, as it provides a load of antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamin C, per Greatest. Part of the soapberry family, Sapindaceae, the exterior texture of a lychee is slightly coarse with a vibrant pink color throughout, while its interior is fleshy and juicy with a smooth, brown pit inside.

Whether eaten raw or cooked, lychees offer great support for your bones and heart health. While rich in fiber and nutrients, lychees may contain a high amount of carbohydrates, depending on how much you consume. Chef Darren McGrady has said that Diana loved indulging in a bowl of lychee fruit while in his royal kitchen, per The Healthy Journal.

Minted lamb

Despite eating largely vegetarian, sometimes Princess Diana indulged in lamb; minted lamb especially was one of her favorite choices. Former Kensington Palace chef Carolyn Robb has said Her Royal Highness showed much gratitude with a handwritten note for a lamb salad with lime and mint vinaigrette that she delighted in, per Kitchen Stories. Roasted lamb and mint can be a sublime pairing. Whether it's roasted or grilled, lamb pairs well with a sweet and minty cream sauce.

High in protein, lamb can be served as an alternative to beef or other roasts for special occasions. The most popular cuts of lamb include chop or rack, loin chops, rump, and shoulder. You should choose an organic, grass-fed option for optimum natural quality, according to Great British Chefs. Serve it up with roasted baby potatoes or carrots, including garlic and other herb-infused vegetables like squash, baby leeks, and savory salads.

Pizza at Da Mario

Everyone likes to splurge on pizza, even a princess. Da Mario in Kensington is known for its charming Venetian-Gothic architecture on the outside and its authentic pizza on the inside, as well as gourmet pasta dishes, salads, and enticing desserts. What started as a Pizza Express (a popular London pizza chain) in the mid-1960s evolved into an Italian eatery that many Londoners frequently revisit, as did Princess Diana. Located near Kensington Palace on 15 Gloucester Road, Da Mario was a go-to spot for Her Royal Highness to periodically treat her two boys to pizza, according to Yahoo.

With an intimate, rustic setting and a bountiful menu, Da Mario has grown in popularity, including being recognized as the princess' favorite pizza place. Her business made such an impression on the dine-in/take out eatery that her name is inscribed on the entrance steps. Inside is a vibrantly colorful painting in tribute of Diana and Mario which features them looking down at a pizza pie as she wears an elegant red gown.

Poached chicken

Compared to roast chicken, Princess Diana found poached chicken (with the skin removed) to be a much healthier alternative, an option made available for her by Chef Darren McGrady, per Showbiz CheatSheet. According to Women's Health, when chicken is boiled in water, as opposed to rubbing it in oil or other heavy coatings, you will receive less calories and fat overall. A 4-ounce portion has only 1.4 grams of fat and 120 calories. The fat and calorie content will also depend upon how it's seasoned and what other foods are served with the dish.

Simple remedies to enhance poached chicken might include boiling it in various herbs like bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme, or garlic cloves and peppercorns. For additional aromatics, add your choice of beer of or a dry white wine to the boiling stock, including any vegetables or relishes to enhance the flavor of the chicken. Poaching your chicken gives an opportunity to refrigerate it for leftovers and slice it up for a salad, wrap, sandwich, or snack.

Stuffed bell peppers

Classic and delicious, stuffed peppers are a bountiful dish that offers both an enticing presentation and a satisfying meal. While the interior ingredients of the peppers may vary from culture to culture, traditional American recipes may typically combine ground beef, rice, tomatoes, onion, and garlic with cheddar cheese melted on top. Chef Darren McGrady's vegetarian stuffed bell peppers may have been Princess Diana's all-time favorite recipe, as she came into the kitchen to request it for lunch at least a few times a week, he told Delish.

McGrady's dish featured sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, and rice situated in a roasted red bell pepper while fixed up with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses to melt down from the top. The shell was nestled within a unique a savory smoked tomato and pepper sauce. Full of nutrients with a little lift from the rice, this dish was sure to keep Her Royal Highness going throughout the afternoon.

Stuffed eggplant

Like the stuffed bell peppers recipe, stuffed eggplant, or stuffed aubergine, was a substantial veggie-centered dish that Chef Darren McGrady made frequently for the princess. Even without the presence of meat, the dish was weighty with the flesh of the eggplant, not to mention a mixture of celery, mushrooms, orange peppers, red onion, tomatoes, and zucchini within the elongated, boat-like shell, which was all topped with a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Because of the size of the dish, McGrady noted that Diana would save portions of it to reheat another day.

Originating in Turkey, stuffed eggplant, also known as Karniyarik, has been delighting taste buds for centuries, as people found the intoxicating purple skin of the eggplant fit for royalty. Elegant and refined, this nightshade fruit can delight the appetite in a variety of ways. Original recipes may have contained a filling of beef, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and added garnish with salt and pepper for seasoning.

Tomato and dill mousse

Princess Diana was delighted by Chef Darren McGrady's exquisite tomato and dill mousse, which was often served at state banquets. The dish received particular attention from talk show host Oprah Winfrey, as she was inquisitive as to how the princess stayed so trim despite always being served such luxurious foods. With a similar color and texture to chicken liver pâté, the soft, whipped side dish was a light and savory indulgence that complemented various meats and seafood, even when the creamy ingredients were secretly replaced with fat-free substitutes at Her Royal highness' request.

McGrady stated in his cookbook "Eating Royally" that the unique mousse recipe was a dish that Diana adored every time. Since McGrady would substitute the rich sour cream and cream cheese (sometimes with heavy cream and mayonnaise included) within the mousse for the nonfat replacements for Diana, the princess could dine without worrying about calories.

Ukrainian beet root soup

In 1981, the Avril Smith Home for the Mentally Handicapped in Johannesburg, South Africa, asked Diana what her favorite recipe was, planning to put her response in a cookbook about celebs' favorite foods to be sold for charity. Diana contributed the vibrantly red, yet slightly unusual, Ukrainian beet root soup commonly known as borscht. The enticingly sour soup integrates chicken stock, milk, natural yogurt, onions, sour cream, and salt and pepper for zest, as the princess clarified in her official letter (via Yahoo).

Beets likely originated along the Mediterranean, and ancient Greeks and Romans used them for the benefits of their green stems, which are also edible, according to Hamilton College. Beets alone offer a multitude of health benefits, which is why the princess may have taken a liking to borscht. While high in nutrients and low in calories, other benefits of beets may include maintaining low blood pressure, fighting inflammation, digestive and brain support, and some anti-cancerous properties, per Healthline. Besides all the robust attributes in the dish, beetroot soup is simple and eloquent, just like the late Lady Diana Spencer.