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Monday, 31 December 2018

Recipe Choices For Hot Climates & Cooler Ones : Moderate Low Carb

Summer Salad … it's epic!
Perfect for BBQs and buffets, this is an assembly job of gorgeous ingredients – no cooking required.
 You may like to serve it with lamb kebabs !


Ingredients
Serves Six
400g black beans, drained
2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
500g heritage tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
½ cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out and sliced on an angle
1 mango, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large red onion, halved and finely sliced
6-8 radishes, sliced
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
100g feta, crumbled
handful of herbs (reserved from the dressing)
For the dressing
large bunch mint
small bunch coriander
small bunch basil
1 fat green chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 small garlic clove
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp honey

Method
1. Make the dressing by blending all of the ingredients in a food processor (or very finely chop them), saving a few herb leaves for the salad. You can make the dressing up to 24 hrs before serving.
2. Scatter the beans and spinach over a large platter. Arrange the tomatoes, cucumber, mango, onion and radishes on top and gently toss together with your hands. Top the salad with the avocados, feta and herbs, and serve the dressing on the side.
Nutrition: Per serving

fat 30g carbs 18g protein 8g
From an original idea here

Goulash Soup : Perfect for a Winter's Day
This low-carb take on a traditional Hungarian dish
Goulash, is a warming soup with a rich taste of tomatoes, red bell peppers and caraway.
A great ground (minced) lamb dish that is easy and quick to make!


Here is what you need to serve six:
(12g carb per serving)
1 yellow/white onion
2 garlic cloves
½ lb / 225 g root celery or rutabaga/swede
1 red bell pepper
1 lb / 450 g ground (minced) lamb or ground beef
4¼ oz. / 120 g butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon crushed caraway seeds
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
14 oz. / 400 g crushed tomatoes
2½ – 3 cups / 600 – 700 ml water
1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
For serving:
1 cup / 240 ml sour cream or mayonnaise
fresh parsley, for garnish
Tips:
This soup is best with lamb, which has more flavour than beef, but you can use any ground (minced) meat you like. Why not try ground chicken or turkey for a milder taste. You can also make the soup a day ahead before enjoying it, almost all soups taste their best after a day or two!

Please see recipe and full instructions here


A variety of recipe ideas are within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Celeriac Hash with Ham Hock and Eggs


LOL! I wonder who said, 'it looks a bit messy but tastes delicious'. This hearty hash is a great way to use up any leftover root vegetables. We love celeriac but it could be swapped with parsnips, potatoes or Jerusalem artichokes … for those of you who live the LCHF lifestyle just bear in mind the carb quantities!

Ingredients:
Serves Two
small knob of butter
2 tsp oil
1 small onion (I like the red ones), halved and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
½ celeriac (about 350g), halved, thinly sliced, then roughly chopped
2-3 large leaves Cavolo Nero or spring greens, stalks removed, shredded
90g cooked ham hock, shredded
1 tbsp. wholegrain mustard
2 eggs (we like free range)

25g gruyere, cut into small chunks (optional)

Method:
1. Heat the butter and oil in a wide frying pan. Add the onion and cook slowly for 15 mins or until turning golden. Stir in the garlic and thyme for 30 secs, then add the celeriac and some seasoning. Stir to make sure the celeriac is well coated in the buttery onions, then add a splash of water and cover the pan with a lid or piece of foil. Cook for 8-10 mins until the celeriac has softened and is caramelising in places.

2. Add the Cavolo Nero and ham, and stir well. Increase the heat to wilt the cavolo nero and crisp the ham in places. Add a splash more water if anything starts to stick to the pan. Dot around spoonful's of mustard, then create two spaces to cook the eggs. Add a drizzle more oil to the gaps if the bottom of the pan looks dry, then crack in the eggs. Dot the cheese around the pan and cover with a lid or foil for 2-3 mins. By this time, the egg whites should be cooked and the yolks still runny. Season the eggs with a little black pepper and serve from the pan.

Nutrition, per serving:
fat 23g carbs 9g protein 29g
From an original idea
here

Here are three other Hash recipe suggestions …
  • Butternut squash & apple hash with ground/minced turkey or chicken - recipe details here 
  • Chicken, chorizo and sweet potato hash - recipe details here 
  • Aubergine (eggplant) hash with eggs - recipe details here
A variety of recipe ideas are within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues please take these into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Andrea Bocelli, Matteo Bocelli - Fall On Me

Father Christmas very kindly left me a copy of Andrea Bocelli's album Si. It has some wonderful tracks on it. Like this one for tonight's Saturday Night Is Music Night spot! Andrea sings a duet with his son Matteo and he says, " Anyone who is a parent, anyone who knows the precious responsibility of being a mother or a father, will fully grasp the meaning of this piece. ‘Fall On Me’ is the first time I have duetted with my son Matteo Bocelli ". I hope you enjoy it too. All the best Jan

A Late December's Winter Walk ... and a warming bowl of soup !

Eddie and I recently enjoyed a winter walk.
It was quite a cold day and not many people were out and about.
The fisherman had probably been out early, but now their pots were empty!


The Inn looked quite cosy …
but we resisted the fish and chips!


Instead we continued walking, turned the corner
and this is what we saw …


Quite a nice view - well we thought so !
We liked the way the sun was trying to peep through the cloud.
Is that a seagull sitting on the post ?
(all above photographs taken on a mobile phone - so handy to have in your pocket!)


After a while we headed back home, with the image of delicious
Parsnip & Cauliflower Soup on our minds … 
more details / recipe here 

All the best Jan

Friday, 28 December 2018

Finding Your Way Through The Gluten-Free Maze !

Jordan Pie writes:
"There are well over 50 autoimmune diseases linked to gluten. Why is this? Why is something that is so widely available SO toxic? 

In the 1970’s, when wheat was hybridized, it went from a short, stumpy crop to a huge, tall crop which had the ability to yield a lot more than the natural form. This resulted in the wheat being mass produced, creating an extremely financially viable product. 

Due to the change in wheat production, some people react more than others when they consume it. This depends on the integrity of their gut lining, gut flora, enzyme production and so on. Someone who has a mild reaction to wheat and continues to consume it may, over time, become more intolerant to other foods, as well as wheat. 

This is why, when the tiniest amount of wheat or gluten enters the digestive tract, gliadin (a protein found in wheat) leads to the upregulation of zonulin, which opens up the ‘tight junctions’ in our gut lining, leading to increased gut permeability. 

This happens to 100% of people, despite whether they have a diagnosed gluten intolerance or celiac disease. 

In basic terms, the consumption of wheat leads to a ‘leaky gut’. When these tight junctions open, undigested food floats out into our system and immune reactions occur, leading to an array of symptoms including weight gain, headaches, migraines, joint pain, sinus issues and skin problems, which can then progress further to autoimmune diseases. These immune reactions can last up to three months, depending on the form of your reaction, your gut flora, if you have an autoimmune disease, and so on. 

As a result of this, more people are choosing to follow a wheat-free diet. 



Is there a simple solution to avoiding wheat? 
You might be wondering if it’s simply a case of buying the same foods you love but a gluten-free version of them. 

Not necessarily, as some gluten-free foods can still be ‘junk food’ as they can still contain additives and preservatives, colours, flavours, thickening agents, emulsifiers, and refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils which aren’t conducive to optimal health. There are many gluten-free versions of bread, muffins, crackers, pies, cakes, pancakes to pasta and waffles, so it’s an easy trap to fall into. 

When there is a gluten-free logo on the package, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the food is 100% gluten-free. The same way ‘fat-free’ doesn’t actually mean the product is 100% fat-free. Mega food manufacturers use clever lawyers and loopholes in food manufacturing to produce ‘gluten-free’ products that still contain 20ppm (parts per million) of gluten. 

Although 20ppm is a small amount, if one were to consume large amounts of gluten-free products daily, or every second or third day, such as: cereal and toast for breakfast, a muffin for morning tea, a sandwich for lunch, crackers for afternoon tea, pasta for dinner and a piece of gluten-free cake for dessert, they could be ingesting enough gluten to seriously impair the progress of their gluten-free diet. Even a very small amount of gluten can still have a huge impact on the body and cause systemic inflammation, among other things. 

What about other grains. Can I still consume them? 
If you are serious about improving your health and making some positive changes, then we do recommend avoiding all processed modern gluten, which contains grains that have been refined and highly sprayed. 

These gluten-containing grains include: rye, barley, spelt, Kamut, farro, bulgar, durum, triticale, oats and semolina. We do realize that for many people, completely avoiding ALL grains is neither desirable nor practical, and it certainly may not be necessary for everyone. 

Tips for eating healthy food on a gluten-free diet 
  • If you want to consume gluten-free grains, opt for properly prepared organic white rice, wild rice, millet, amaranth, buckwheat or quinoa. Soak your choice of grains in filtered water with a dash of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of Himalayan salt overnight. This will help to make the nutrients in the grains more available to the human body and reduce the phytates that can bind to minerals in the body. 
  • If you do purchase something in a package, make sure you read the ingredients list and choose the product with the shortest list of ‘real’ ingredients.
 Whenever possible, use vegetables in place of grains. Vegetables are packed with nutrients and minerals that are easily absorbed into our bodies.
Instead of using a gluten-free tortilla, make a wrap out of either nori or rice paper sheets, or large spinach, collard green, or cabbage leaves. The individual leaves can be blanched to take on a softer texture so they are more pliable!
  • Another good option is coconut flour or vegetable based wraps such as ‘Cauliflower Wraps‘. 
  • Choose pasta that is made from gluten-free grains such as rice, quinoa, millet, beans or even seaweed, such as kelp noodles – or simply make your own “noodles” out of spaghetti squash and/ or carrot, sweet potato or zucchini using a spiralizer. 
  • Make pizza crust from vegetables. Cauliflower, cheese and eggs blended together make a great dough for pizza that’s packed with nutrients. Cauliflower also can be blended up in a food processor into ‘rice’ that you can easily sauté for a few minutes to make the perfect rice substitute. 
Get creative in the kitchen and use different gluten and grain-free flours such as: coconut flour, almond, hazelnut or sunflower seed meals. You can also buy a banana, plantain or cassava flour. There is also buckwheat, quinoa or chickpea flour available, too. Sometimes these can be mixed with a bit of tapioca or arrowroot flour to create a better texture in certain baked goods.
  • There are many gluten-free bread recipes online or in recipe books. Here are a few of our favourite recipes - Paleo Almond Bread and Zucchini & Coconut Bread. If you can’t bake your own gluten-free bread, seek out store bought bread that is made from nutrient-rich, gluten-free flours or grains. ‘Grainer – smart food, no grains’ is an Australian company that provides beautiful gluten-free paleo bread made from 100% real food. 
  • Instead of choosing store-bought, refined crackers, make them yourself. 
For snacks choose ingredients like seeds, nuts, dates, dried coconut, Inca inchi seeds, paleo jerky, homemade jelly, chia pudding, Panna Cotta, homemade chocolate, gummies, organic popcorn, a smoothie, a piece of fruit or a chunk of cheese (if tolerated). 
  • Last but not least… eat more fresh produce! Fruits, vegetables, salad greens, eggs, seafood and fresh quality meats are all naturally gluten-free, so don’t be afraid to try new ones every week until you find your favourites. 

When it’s done right, a gluten-free lifestyle doesn’t have to be rigid, overly restrictive, or isolating; it can actually be easy and delicious. Remember to seek out naturally gluten-free foods, and continue to test substitute recipes and ingredients until you find the perfect balance for you. Food is such a personal choice, as only you know what tastes good and feels right for your individual body."
The above words and picture from original article here 

This Creamy Tarragon Chicken Bake is gluten free


You can find the recipe here

These Lemon Baked Custard Pots are gluten free


Please find more details/recipe here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 27 December 2018

New Year Celebration Desserts : Four Low Carb Recipe Ideas

With New Year celebrations just around the corner
one of these recipe suggestions
may be just the perfect low carb dessert you are looking for !

Gingerbread Crème Brûlée
more details here


Cheesecake Cranberry Mousse
more details here


Chocolate Mess With Berries and Cream
more details here


Citrus Custard Dessert
more details here


I wonder which one you may choose ?
Enjoy your celebrations

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Wildlife Photography Can Make You Smile !

From time to time we post something completely different ...
Like these photos from the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards


Geert Weggen photographed this red squirrel doing the splits in Sweden


This exasperated bear was snapped by Danielle D'Ermo in Alaska
… mind you, he could just be thinking 'oh, my head hurts!'


Mary McGowan's photograph of a shocked Florida squirrel was the overall winner
'Stop right there! This squirrel is giving you the right to remain silent' 

There are more amazing photographs to see here

All the best Jan

Monday, 24 December 2018

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers


Thank you so much for reading our blog,
and a special thank you to the very kind people who take the time to comment.

Jan and Eddie 

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Caponata : Sicilian Aubergine (Eggplant) Stew : Moderate Low Carb




"Hailing from Sicily, this vegan-friendly aubergine (eggplant) stew is packed with tomatoes, olives, capers and sultanas. A blend of sugar, garlic and white wine vinegar gives it a unique sweet-sour flavour that coats the vegetables like a salad dressing, bringing out the natural sweetness of the dish. This caponata recipe is delicious warm or served at room temperature slathered onto crunchy crostini", 

Ingredients: 
Serves Six
2 aubergines (eggplants), cut into chunks
2 tbsp. light olive oil
5 celery sticks, cut into chunks
5 tbsp. olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
227g tin chopped tomatoes
250g cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. white wine vinegar
4 tbsp. capers
100g green olives
2 tbsp. sultanas
2 tbsp. pine nuts
handful fresh basil leaves

crostini, to serve 

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the aubergine in batches and fry until golden.
3. Tip into a roasting tin with the remaining ingredients (except for the pine nuts and basil) and toss to combine. Roast for 1 hr, until softened and golden.
4.  Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan. Remove from the heat and set aside, until needed.
5. Scatter the pine nuts and basil over the veg and serve with crostini. 

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 13.9g Protein 3.6g Fibre 2.1g Fat 19g 
From an original idea here 

Please see this recipe suggestion for low carb coconut bread to make your crostini here 

If you've seen Inspector Montalbano on television I'm sure he would enjoy this dish! LOL! 

A variety of recipe ideas are within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues please take these into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. 

All the best Jan

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Danny Boy Eric Clapton

Regular readers know Saturday night is music night on this blog, they also know Graham was far more knowledgeable on modern music than me. While working around his home and garden, he often had his radio on, listening to the latest sounds. So often when I called him he said "hang on mate let me turn the radio down" I expect he would have picked a modern song for tonight, but this track seems appropriate. Eddie 

Graham

It is with great sadness, I have to inform our readers and friends, the death of our friend Graham. Co-founder and regular poster on this blog, he was a stalwart promoter of the low carb lifestyle, he helped countless diabetics to a safer place. Graham was a kindly man and a gentleman, that being said, he had no time for fools, liars and spreaders of false information. His highly critical posts on forums and blogs, regarding the charity Diabetes UK and on the junk food payola system dietitians, was ruthless, and justifiably so.

No one realised more than Graham, the best way to control type two diabetes, was by way of dietary changes. His posts on here and elsewhere, highlighted the ineffectiveness of diabetes drugs, and the huge money making racket type two diabetes has become. 

Graham succumbed to a stroke, and died peacefully with his family around him this week aged 74. He was active and happy to the end, after over ten years with diabetes, he had no diabetes complications whatsoever. In short, Graham was one on the finest men Jan and myself have ever known. We know he will rest in peace, he was one of the good guys, and will be forever missed, by his great family and many friends.

Eddie and Jan

Coconut Milk Health Benefits and Uses ... and some recipe suggestions

Franziska Spritzler RD CDE writes:
"Coconut milk has recently become very popular. It's a tasty alternative to cow's milk that may also provide a number of health benefits. 

This article takes a detailed look at coconut milk. 

What Is Coconut Milk? 
Coconut milk comes from the flesh of mature brown coconuts. It is used in many traditional cuisines around the world. 

How Is It Made? 
Coconut milk is made by grating flesh from a brown coconut, soaking it in water and then straining it to produce a milk-like consistency. 

Nutrition Content 
Coconut milk is high in calories and saturated fat. The milk is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals. 

Effects on Weight and Metabolism 
Coconut milk contains small amounts of MCTs. Although MCTs may increase metabolism and help you lose belly fat, the low levels in coconut milk are unlikely to significantly affect weight loss. 

Effects on Cholesterol and Heart Health 
Overall, cholesterol and triglyceride levels improve with coconut intake. In cases where “bad” LDL cholesterol increases, “good” HDL typically increases as well. 

Other Potential Health Benefits 
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that coconut milk may reduce inflammation, decrease ulcer size and fight viruses and bacteria that cause infections — though some studies did not solely examine coconut milk. 

Potential Side Effects 
Coconut milk is likely safe for most people who are not allergic to coconuts. It is best to choose BPA-free cans. 

How to Use It 
Coconut milk can be used in a variety of recipes. It’s generally best to choose coconut milk in cartons or make your own at home. 

The Bottom Line 
Coconut milk is a tasty, nutritious and versatile food that is widely available. It can also be made easily at home. It’s full of important nutrients like manganese and copper. Including moderate amounts in your diet may boost your heart health and provide other benefits as well. To experience this tasty milk alternative, try using coconut milk today."

The above words are just a small snippet from Franziska's post, please read it in full here



Here are three recipes that use coconut milk, that you may wish to try.

Individual Fish Pies : Low Carb, Dairy Free and Tasty
see more details here

Sweet potato, carrot, red pepper & tomato soup : Nana's 'magic' recipe
see more details here

Chocolate Mousse à la Paleo
see more details here

Dear readers, you will find a variety of articles/recipes within this blog, and it is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Friday, 21 December 2018

Reindeers don't eat low carb chocolate chip cookie biscuits !


Did you know "a reindeer is a reindeer everywhere in the world apart from North America where it’s known as a Caribou.

You can find reindeer (or caribou) to the north in the arctic and subarctic regions of the planet. They like to move around a lot and rarely stay in one place for very long. They have been known to cover up to 3,000 miles in a year…that’s roughly the distance from Folly Farm 
in Pembrokeshire, UK to Toronto in Canada! 

It’s not really much of a surprise that Reindeer have very thick coats. In fact, they have a double layered coat designed to keep them really cosy in chilly temperatures. 

Conservation:
Although considered ‘least concern’ there are efforts to maintain the population further. The ‘WWF’ charity for instance, work with local people in order to find ways of reducing their impact on the environment through forestry, mining and reindeer herding. Plus, Santa’s got eight and they’re really well looked after!

Fun facts about reindeers:
Reindeer antlers are found on both males and females.
Their sense of sight and hearing aren’t brilliant, relying mainly on their sense of smell.
When they walk they click…it’s a tendon in their foot passing over a bone!
The first known written account of reindeer in association with the legend of Santa Claus occurred in 1821 in a booklet called ‘A New Year’s Present’. 


Reindeer questions and answers:
So where do reindeers live?
Domesticated reindeers are mostly found in northern Scandinavia, Russia, and Iceland where they were introduced by humans in the 18th century.

Do reindeers live in large herds?
They do…massive in fact, anywhere between 50,000 and 500,000.

What do they eat?
They’re vegetarians so that means they don’t eat meat at all just anything green. Mainly lichen, fungi and leaves.

Can they run fast?

They certainly can. They have been recorded at speeds of between 36-48mph. The fastest man on the planet Usain Bolt runs at 27mph. How fast can you run?"

The above picture and words from here


two of our grandchildren having fun at Santa's Grotto,
the reindeer look friendly


Reindeers don't eat low carb chocolate chip cookie biscuits
but the grandchildren enjoy them,
recipe details here

All the best Jan

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Christmas ?

Question? Do you say Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas? Thinking about it sometimes I say Merry and other times Happy. Is there a right way and wrong way?

You may find this article of interest:
"We wish people a 'Happy Birthday', and if you're in the USA in November and December you might say 'Happy Holidays', so why do we say 'Merry Christmas' more often than 'Happy Christmas'?!

Saying 'Merry Christmas' rather than 'Happy Christmas' seems to go back several hundred years. It's first recorded in 1534 when John Fisher (an English Catholic Bishop in the 1500s) wrote it in a Christmas letter to Thomas Cromwell: "And this our Lord God send you a mery Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire."

There's also the carol "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" which dates back to the 16th century in England. It comes from the West Country in England and it was first published in the form we know it today in 1760.

In the English language of the time, the phrase 'Rest You Merry' didn't mean simply to be happy; 'rest' meant "to keep, cause to continue to remain" and 'merry' could mean "pleasant, bountiful, prosperous". So you could write the first line as "[May] God keep you and continue to make you successful and prosperous, Gentlemen" but that would be hard to sing!

The comma in the phrase should be AFTER the 'merry' not BEFORE it! But it's often put after the merry which changes the meaning to make 'merry Gentleman' and so a 'Merry Christmas'!

The term 'Merry Christmas' might well have been made very popular in 1843 from two different sources.

The first Christmas Card, sent in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, had this wording on it: "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You".

"Firstchristmascard". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was also published in 1843 and the phrase 'Merry Christmas' appears 21 times in the book! Charles Dickens also quoted "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" in A Christmas Carol, but changed it to: "God bless you, merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!" moving the comma to before the merry!

The Carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas [and a Happy New Year]" is another old carol from the 'West Country' (South West England) but was only first published in 1935 and this probably confirmed the use of 'Merry Christmas' over 'Happy Christmas'."
The above words and picture from an original article here


Perhaps I can offer you a slice of Low Carb Cinnamon Coffee Cake, and a tea or coffee while you ponder the question!


you can find the recipe for this lovely cake here

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues please take these into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Pork and Pepper Sunshine Casserole ... cheers up a dreary day !

Has it been dull and grey where you live? This time of year can often feel grey and drab. There is also the added pressure of getting things all done and ready in time for Christmas!
How about cheering yourself, and your dining table up, with this recipe idea - I call it 'Pork and Pepper Sunshine Casserole' because I thought for a change I'd pick some bright and cheerful colours to put in with the meat. This is what I used and how I made it - I can also tell you it didn't hang around on the plate long either … delicious was the word used when the meal was complete!


Ingredients
Serves 2 / 3
0.450kg diced leg (or shoulder) of pork
1/2 large red pepper
1/2 large orange pepper
1/2 large yellow pepper
1 carrot
1 onion (you can use white or red) sliced
mushrooms, a handful 4 - 6
salt and black pepper for seasoning
mixed herbs
gravy / stock (of choice) about 3/4 pint (to cover meat etc)


Method
Wipe / wash meat and all vegetables with water before using
Put oven on to warm up. Gas 4, Electric 180
Dice up meat into approx. 1 inch 'chunks' and place in oven proof casserole dish
Remove skin from onion and slice, add to casserole dish
De-seed, as appropriate all, peppers and cut into square pieces, add to casserole dish
Peel and slice carrot and add to casserole dish
Slice or quarter mushrooms and add to casserole dish
season with salt and black pepper
add herbs of your choice - I used dried mixed herbs
Make up your stock and pour over meat and vegetables to cover
Put lid on casserole dish, place in warmed oven, cook for approx. 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender. 

Tip - I usually gently stir all ingredients at least twice during cooking 

Whilst casserole is cooking prepare any accompanying vegetables 

Serve on warmed plates and enjoy

How about this tip for preparing onions:

First slice off the top of the onion (leave the root on for the moment), then remove the papery skin and any brown outer layers.

To chop the onion, cut in half from top to bottom. Put the cut side down and make a number of horizontal cuts towards, but not quite reaching, the root. Then make as many vertical cuts through the onion, again not quite reaching the root. Holding the onion very firmly and with the knife blade at right angles to the first set of cuts that you made, slice down vertically - the onion will fall away in small pieces as you go. Continue cutting until you reach the root, which you can now discard.

To slice, trim the root off, then cut in slices moving from the root end towards the top. Leave as slices or separate each one out into rings.

All onions are best prepared just before you use them.
Read more about onions here

You will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Happy Low Carb Christmas Tips

Food and drink play an important part in Christmas traditions, which can sometimes encourage people to stray from their diet (lifestyle) plan during the festive period.

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us. Tinsel, baubles, and fake snow are out in full force as Christmas and the festive period is well underway.




For many of us, gaining a few lbs during the holidays and then making a New Year’s resolution diet is a yearly event. However, it doesn’t have to be that way this year and you can still enjoy all the festive food and treats with low-carb living. So, how do you cope with all the goodies that the festive period brings, yet still maintain a balanced lifestyle? 

Find Alternative Recipes  
With every holiday season comes the tasty treats that go with it – whether it’s Christmas, Easter, or the spooks of Halloween. You don’t have to swap out those indulgences completely, because using alternative recipes means you’ll never have to feel left out of the holiday feasts. 

Typical Christmas Feast  
Luckily, the traditional Christmas dinner is very low-carb-friendly. So don’t be shy in piling that turkey up on your plate. Get those vegetables stacked high (watch for any falling Brussels sprouts), and tuck in to the meal you’ve been waiting for all year. To stay on the low-carb living track, try swapping out the potatoes for delicious roast turnips instead, and the naughty-listed stuffing for cauliflower stuffing. 

Pre-Work-Party Snack 
Not only is this time of year filled with delicious treats, but it’s also the time to go out with your fellow colleagues and your work office. Whether you’re going for a sit-down meal or a buffet, a top tip is to have a pre-party snack. This way you won’t be tempted to overindulge in high-carb hors-d’oeuvres or meals with starchy sides such as potatoes or rice.

Usually, work Christmas buffets are full of antipasto foods to choose from, which are always tasty and won’t ruin your low-carb efforts. If you’re choosing set meals, then try to opt for protein-rich options such as steak, salmon, or chicken. Now, we know it’s hard when it comes to the dessert part of the night. But, guess what? That cheese and olive platter is calling your name, plus it’s low-carb – what a Christmas winner!

Christmas Tipple 

We all like to celebrate the festive period with a toast and clinking of glasses. Trying to avoid alcohol or keep it to a minimum can be tricky. If you like the odd tipple during the holidays then try using mixers such as diet tonic water or a splash of sugar-free cordial.
Sticking to red or white wine, and spirits such as gin and vodka, will let you celebrate the holiday season along with maintaining your healthy balance. Remember: stay hydrated and have a glass of water for each alcoholic beverage you drink. 

Throw Some Shapes 
Once you’ve finished eating, take a step away from the food table and take a step towards the dance floor. Time to let loose and throw out some dance moves – not only will you be letting your hair down, but you’ll also be losing some calories along the way. 
Words above (and more) from an article here 

Some lower carb recipe ideas:

Roast Turkey:
cooked to perfection, see more details here

Stuffing - it's Low Carb and Gluten Free

see more details here

Brussels Sprouts
see more here

The Best Low Carb Christmas Pudding Ever …. well probably !
please see details here

Mince Pies
The Low Carb Way, more details here

Fruit Cake
A Low Carb Alternative - learn more using this link here 

Alternative Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving / Christmas recipes

have a look here but please note not all shown in the link are low carb


This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and it is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Monday, 17 December 2018

Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze : The Low Carb Way


This recipe suggestion from Kim is for a low carb Bundt cake (pound cake) made with almond flour, coconut flour, and cream cheese that’s topped with a luscious sugar-free lemon glaze and almonds.

Ingredients:
Serves 16 
4 net carbs per serving.
Dry Ingredients
2 cups (190 g) almond flour
3/4 cup (75 g) Coconut Flour
2/3 cup (145 g) e.g. Sukrin 1 (or Swerve granulated)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum, improves texture
1/2 teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients
1 stick (4 oz. /113 g) butter, melted
1 package (8 oz./ 227g cream cheese
6 large eggs
3/4 cup (177 ml) buttermilk (or almond milk or light coconut milk from can)
2 tablespoons lemon juice and zest from the lemons
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract, or 1/2 t lemon & 1/2 t orange
1 teaspoon (5 ml) stevia glycerite
Lemon Glaze
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup Sukrin Icing Sugar (or Swerve Confectioners)
Optional
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions:

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 and position rack to the lower third of the oven. Grease a Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons of very soft butter. Melt the 4 oz. of butter and soften the cream cheese. Gather the ingredients. 

Dry Ingredients: Measure all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk together to combine and break up any lumps. 

Wet Ingredients: Put the soft cream cheese (mine was gushy) in a large bowl and beat until smooth with a hand mixer. Add 1 egg and beat until incorporated. Add 1 more and beat until incorporated. Add two at a time beating until incorporated. Add the buttermilk, extracts, stevia glycerite and beat. Add the melted butter and beat one more time, scraping down the bowl. 

Combine: Add half of the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and combine. The batter will be really thick so spoon it into the prepared pan. Lift the pan off of the counter a few inches and let it fall back onto the counter 2-3 times to knock out the large air bubbles. Smooth the top with a small offset spatula to make sure the batter is even - it will rise but not really spread. 

Bake: Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The Bundt cake should feel springy when pressed with a finger and may even sound a little moist. Put a clean towel over the top and let it cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. 

Glaze: Mix the lemon juice and powdered sweetener. Add more sweetener to taste. Drizzle the glaze over the top, encouraging it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with almonds if using. 

Kim's recipe may seem a little long on ingredients, but don’t be intimidated, as it offers a good sized cake with a nice, moist texture. 
Please see original idea, and more, here 

You may find this post about Low-Carb Pantry Essentials of interest, see it here 

If you'd like more guidance about low carb flours then Libby, at 'Ditch The Carbs' site has a very good article called, 'The Ultimate Guide To Low Carb Flours', find it here 

You will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan 

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Peppermint Low Carb Mocha Latte : Delicious at Christmas-time !


"If you want a festive coffee beverage without any sugar added, it’s time to take the reindeer by the horns and make it yourself. Here’s a recipe for a decadent yet low carb version of my favourite Christmas coffee drink.

Peppermint Mocha Latte
(Yields 1 latte)
1/4 cup half and half or the dairy/non-dairy milk of your choice
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (check the label for no sugar)
1 drop peppermint essential oil or peppermint extract

6-8 ounces brewed coffee (e.g. Pure Coffee Club Double French blend

In a small saucepan, heat half and half to medium heat, being careful not to scald. Whisk in cocoa powder and peppermint oil. Remove from heat. In a Vitamix or similar blender, whip together coffee and half and half mixture until frothy. Pour and serve, garnishing with a few extra sprinkles of cocoa powder."


No wonder the reindeer is smiling - it's a great coffee
Enjoy

All the best Jan