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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Spring Salads - will it be with Potato or an Unpotato Salad !

Jersey Royals with Spring Vegetables and a warm vinaigrette dressing

Did you read this post here which included 'Jersey Royals', well continuing with this theme this recipe uses, 'Jersey Royal Potatoes'. This vegetarian side dish is brimming with springtime flavour. Packed with nutty Jersey Royals, crisp carrots and sweet peas, it makes for a vibrant potato salad, which really makes the most of seasonal 'spuds'. This side is a brilliant accompaniment for both meat and fish dishes. 

Ingredients: 
Serves Four
2 sprigs mint
500g Jersey Royals, halved if large
200g baby carrots, scrubbed and halved lengthways
bunch spring onions (scallions), trimmed and halved lengthways

300g peas, fresh or frozen 
For the dressing
1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
1 tsp clear honey
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp wholegrain mustard

2 tbsp. chopped chives 

Method: 
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the mint and the potatoes, then bring back to the boil and simmer for 15 mins, or until tender. Drain and discard the mint.
2. Meanwhile, steam or boil the carrots for 2-3 mins, until just starting to soften, then add the spring onions and peas and cook for 1 min more.
3. To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small pan and gently heat for 1-2 mins, stirring occasionally until warmed through.
4. Put the potatoes, carrots, spring onions and peas in a large serving dish and pour over the warm dressing. Toss to combine and serve.  

Each serving:
Fat 18g Carbohydrate 14.2g Protein 5.6g Fibre 6.2g
From an original idea here 

'Jersey Royals'-
referred to in this post are from the Island of Jersey in The Channel Islands (UK) which are an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy.

They include two Crown dependencies: the Bailiwick of Jersey, which is the largest of the islands; and the Bailiwick of Guernsey, consisting of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and some smaller islands.

They are considered the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy and, although they are not part of the United Kingdom, the UK is responsible for the defence and international relations of the islands, more details here

Now onto the Jersey Royals, they are a premium, branded potato and the only fresh fruit or vegetable in the British Isles to boast an EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, similar to that enjoyed by other products such as Champagne, Camembert cheese and Parma ham.

The Jersey Royal brand attracts this level of protection because of the unique way in which it is grown, cultivated and harvested and the PDO ensures that only Royals grown in Jersey can be called ‘Jersey Royal’. 
There is more information about this potato here

Spring onions -
are also known as scallions or green onions. Spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested before the bulb has had a chance to swell. Both the long, slender green tops and the small white bulb are edible, and are good either raw or cooked. They have a similar flavour to onions, but are much milder.
There is more information about Spring Onions/Scallions here 



Unpotato Salad


You are going to be so surprised - this is amazingly like potato salad - some people take two or three bites before they figure out it’s not potatoes! This is modelled on the old-school picnic favourite. This side dish also works well as an accompaniment for both meat and fish dishes. 

Ingredients:
Makes 10 -12 servings
1 large head cauliflower, cut into small chunks
2 cups (240 g) diced celery
1 cup (160 g) diced red onion
2 cups (450 g) mayonnaise
1/4 cup (60 ml) cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

12 drops liquid stevia (plain) 
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Method:
1. Put the cauliflower in microwavable casserole dish, add just a tablespoon (15 ml) or so of water, and cover. Cook it on high for 7 minutes, and let it sit, covered, for another 3 to 5 minutes. You want your cauliflower tender, but not mushy. (And you may steam it on the stove top, if you prefer.)
2. Use the time while the cauliflower cooks to dice your celery and onion.
3. Drain the cooked cauliflower and combine it with the celery and onion in a really big bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, pepper, and stevia. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and mix well. Mix in the chopped eggs last, and only stir lightly to preserve some small hunks of yolk.
5. Chill and serve.
Each Serving:
Fat 33g Carbohydrates 2g Protein 3g Fibre 1g
Aren't cauliflowers wonderful …
Recipe seen here 

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 a reliable meter.

 All the best Jan

Monday, 29 April 2019

Wash Day Blues !

It's Monday Again, and I have those Wash Day Blues !

Can you believe Monday comes around again? Growing up in the 50's it was always the traditional wash day, and come rain or shine the washing would be done. My dear mum originally had a washer board and a hand-mangle (I think they were called) before the more modern washing machines were available. I can remember she would use a blue bag which was meant to bring out the whiteness of your tea towels, shirts, bed linen etc. - not sure if this were true, but she always used them.

I thought I'd share a poem, hope you enjoy it.

Wash Day Blues
We all get those wash days blues
Ironing clothes and washing shoes
I wish that I could iron quicker
Baggy shorts and blooming knickers

When you think you’re near the end
In comes your son and his best friend
He grabs the shirt that you just done
And just discard the other one

The hair on your neck begin to raise
And a few choice words were put in place
The door slams as he goes out
I’m sure he is off to sit and pout

I know the shirt must be worn some day
But at least wait till I put it away
Hours pass the ironing done
Sitting relaxing just for once

Peace and calm is all around
When I hear the door handles clicking sound
In comes my son and sits right down
Then he murmured a little sound

I love you mum you work so hard
Ironing clothes to brushing the yard
Never mind son I love you to
We will put it down to the wash day blues

Poem Above By Jim O'Donnell





Now, I do have the wash day blues because the laundry basket is full to over flowing - well almost - so I'd better get on with the Monday wash! LOL! Of course these days it is no hardship, in fact perhaps the ironing is more of a chore than the washing - what do you think?

One important point! I always reward myself with a cuppa! Can I make you one? Would you prefer tea or coffee … ah, yes, I also have some chocolate chip (low carb) cookie biscuits.

only 2 net carbs per cookie biscuit for this low carb version of chocolate chip cookies,
you may like to give this recipe a try, more details here 

All the best Jan

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Heart Disease Burden On The Rise




Bret Scher, MD FACC writes: 
"There was a time when everyone wanted to stand up and take the credit for the reduction in heart disease deaths. Interventional cardiologists with better stents and quicker response times to heart attacks, statin makers with their less than 1% absolute risk reduction in risk for heart attacks, smoking cessation efforts, and of course “healthier lifestyles,” however they chose to define them, all shared the credit. 

While we can’t say for sure what caused a slight down turn in risk of dying from heart disease in the 1980’s to early 2000’s, cardiovascular disease still remains the number one cause of death for men and women worldwide, and now the slow progress appears to have halted. 

A recent article in USA Today highlighted the stalled progress, and showed how, in many communities, mainly in the Southern United States where obesity and diabetes are widespread, the incidence is rising sharply. 

USA Today: Progress against heart disease stalls: ‘We are at a point of real stagnation’ (article not available outside the USA) 

With studies showing that only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy and only 3% follow four aspects of a healthy lifestyle, I think we can be confident that it wasn’t our stellar lifestyles that improved cardiovascular risk. Now, however, the biggest impact — from smoking cessation — is mostly behind us, and while people continue to quit smoking, this will have a smaller effect than it did in past decades. Our interventional progress has plateaued, and so-called “blockbuster” drugs like statins and PCSK9 inhibitors continue to have a very small impact on absolute risk reduction. 

While our progress has declined, our obesity and diabetes epidemics rage on. They have been increasing since the 1970’s and continue to do so. Thus, it makes it fairly clear what the top contender is contributing to our increasing risk: these twin epidemics of chronic disease. 

The bigger question, however, is how do we reverse the trend? The USA Today article highlights encouraging examples of local shop owners providing blood pressure checks for free. Knowledge is power, and most people with hypertension don’t even know they have it so this is positive. 

The article also mentions that The Centres for Disease Control has a five-year program aimed at preventing more than 1 million heart attacks by promoting “controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, cutting salt, being physically active and stopping smoking.” 

While we can all agree that not smoking and maintaining a baseline of physical activity are helpful, the focus on cholesterol, blood pressure and salt gets murky. First of all, salt is not a significant risk factor for the majority of the population, and large epidemiological studies show the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease in those consuming 3-6 grams of salt per day (not less than 2.3 grams recommend by most health organizations, a level so low there are no interventional trials to support such a recommendation). 

Furthermore, what do they mean by controlling blood pressure and cholesterol? Does that mean more drug therapy with minimal benefit? Or does it mean a focus on a lifestyle that has proven to reduce blood pressure, improve weight loss, reverse diabetes, improve the overall cholesterol profile, and improve cardiovascular risk? (Hint: this proven lifestyle is a low-carb, high-fat diet!) 

I think it is clear that if we rely on the same old message to lower dietary fat, lower total calories, exercise more and take various prescriptions, then our progress will continue to go backwards. After all, that’s been the prevailing message for decades as we got into this mess. 

That’s why we continue to promote making low carb simple for everyone. So we all can find and follow the lifestyle that helps us become metabolically healthy and helps us lower our risk for chronic diseases. The chronic disease epidemic, including heart disease, can be reversed. We just need the right message." 

The above article taken from Diet Doctor site here


All the best Jan

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Alpha Blondy - Jerusalem

Saturday night is music night on this blog, and I try to bring something different. Check this guy out. A stunning and very unusual voice backed up by a brilliant band, enjoy. Peace to all. Eddie 

Alpha Blondy is a reggae singer and international recording artist. Many of his songs are politically and socially motivated, and are mainly sung in his native language of Dioula, French and in English, though he occasionally uses other languages, for example, Arabic or Hebrew. Alpha Blondy was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, and was brought up by a grandmother "who taught him to love everyone". Blondy's respect for all religions and the spirituality he derives from them can be heard on the tracks “God is One” or “Jerusalem” where he sang for unity between all religions in 1986.

Mediterranean Beef Stew ... serve with celeriac mash !


I always look forward to sitting down with family (or friends) and enjoying a relaxed meal catching up with everyone's news. It is just so relaxing and part of family life. I think that with modern day living the time that the family (or friends) sit down and enjoy a meal together is diminishing as life seems to get for ever busier and busier!
So why not slow down for a moment and make time to enjoy this flavour packed stew with family soon. It can also make a tasty alternative to a Sunday roast!

Ingredients
Serves Six
2 tbsp. olive oil
600g diced beef
1 large onion, sliced
1½ tbsp. chopped rosemary (or ½ tbsp. dried)
5 garlic cloves, sliced
150ml red wine (or extra stock)
400ml beef stock - use gluten free stock if required
1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes
3 mixed peppers, de-seeded and thickly sliced
2 x 400g tin butterbeans, rinsed and drained
70g pitted Kalamata olives

2 tbsp. cornflour
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 140°C, fan 120°C, gas 1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a casserole, season the beef and brown in 2 batches over a high heat, adding a little more oil if needed with the second batch. Remove the beef to a plate.
2. Add the rest of the oil to the casserole and cook the onion, rosemary and garlic for about 6 minutes on a medium heat until starting to soften, adding a pinch of salt.
3. Pour in the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the beef stock, tomatoes and peppers. Return the browned beef to the casserole, bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven to cook for 2 hours.

4. Mix in the butterbeans and olives and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water, then stir in some of the sauce; pour it all back into the casserole and simmer until thickened.
Serve with celeriac mash
Peel one large celeriac, chop into 2.5cm/1-inch chunks and place in a pan of cold water. Place on the hob, bring to the boil and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Mash the celeriac with approx. 100g/3½oz of butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep covered and warm.
Tip
Keeps for up to three days in the fridge, or freezes well.
Nutritional information
(per serving)
Fat 10gr Carbs 24gr Fibre 9gr Protein 31gr 
From an original idea here
Vegetarian Option
Mushroom Bourguignon with Celeriac Mash, see details
here

glass of red wine (optional

A variety of recipe ideas and articles 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

Friday, 26 April 2019

Chicken Drumsticks Simply Baked : A Delicious Low Carb Recipe


Recipes do not have to be complicated to taste good. Take this one for example. Chicken drumsticks simply baked … always a winner in my house!

Ingredients
Serves 2/3
5 - 6 chicken drumsticks
garlic powder
pepper
salt

olive oil 
Directions
1. Put some olive oil in the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan (just enough to put the drumsticks on).
2. Add drumsticks (space enough apart so they aren't touching each other).
Sprinkle generously with pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
3. Bake at 375º F 190º C gas mark 5 for half an hour. Turn drumsticks over and add more garlic powder, pepper and salt (same as before).
4. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes … or until cooked.

Serve
With vegetables of your choice...
Some may like parsnips, others may prefer buttery mashed swede, or how about small chunky pieces of roasted celeriac bites.
Then there is green beans or Brussels sprouts or steamed broccoli - choices, choices!
... now what will you choose? It may be a vegetable I've not mentioned!

Such a great and simple way to enjoy chicken drumsticks.



A variety of recipe ideas and articles 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

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Tulips : How To Make Them Last Longer


As regular readers know, this blog brings a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! It is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. Our main focus is about the Low Carb Higher (Healthy) Fat lifestyle, LCHF for short, and you can read/find out more about that here  
But for something different, today's post is about:-

"Tulips, they are synonymous with spring. The famed Dutch flower, and one of the easiest to care for, tulips come in pretty much every colour imaginable and they look fabulous in every space whether it's in the garden or in a vase. 


Cut flower tulips 
Have you currently got some tulips in a vase? When it comes to cut flower tulips, it's easier than you think to keep yours looking lovely and perked up. Bloom & Wild's lead florist, Caroline, outlines exactly how you can make your tulips last longer in some simple steps below, plus provides more flower care solutions for common dilemmas. 

How to avoid drooping tulips
1. Trim your tulips: Trimming tulips by 3-5cm allows water inside to hydrate them. Always cut at an angle to give as much surface area to drink from. 
2. Pop them in water ASAP: Tulips, like all flowers, use water to prop-up their stems. Pop them in water as soon as you can to help them rehydrate and bloom. 
3. Find their dream home: Keep your tulips away from direct sunlight and radiators (they’ll dehydrate your stems) and fruit (it releases gases that’ll make them fade). 
4. Change their water: Tulips don’t like drinking dirty water, so refresh your vase every few days and re-trim your stems 1cm each time. 

Why are my tulips are floppy? 
Don’t worry, they aren’t dead. Tulips use water to prop up their stems so they’re just thirsty after their journey to you. Help yours perk up by trimming them, popping them in water and then leaving them overnight. By morning they won’t look droopy. 

Why are my tulips so much shorter than my other stems? 
They’re naturally much shorter than other stems but they’ll keep growing in your vase. Data Scientist Dave carried out a tulip experiment to prove it. He measured some tulips on the day they arrived and they were 31cm on average. Then he popped them in fresh water with flower food and waited a few days. On day five, he took them out of the water and measured them all, one by one. On average they’d grown by a huge 17cm! 

Why do tulips keep growing in water? 
Tulips are really responsive to sunlight and that’s why they move. They’re turning themselves towards the light sources around them, hoping to be seen by pollinators. You might also spot them opening up on sunny days and closing up at night time. 

Why don’t my tulips stay straight?  
Because they keep growing in their vase, you’ll find they playfully move around in the water. It’s part of their charm and nothing to worry about! 

But I want my tulip to be straight – what can I do? 
If you want your tulips to stand-up straight for a dinner party or special occasion, we recommend taking them out their vase, tightly wrapping them with newspaper into a cone shape, popping back in water, and keeping them in a dark room overnight. When you unwrap them in the morning, they’ll be perfect! Then remember to rotate your vase throughout to prevent them growing one way towards the light.

Picture and words above taken from an article here

Having sorted out your lovely tulips,
why not sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee,
with a nice low carb chocolate muffin, more details/recipe here





You will find a variety of articles and 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

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Coconut and Chocolate Cake : Low in Carbs

Ewelina of Diabetic Good Baking blog loves cakes... but she says when she was diagnosed with diabetes she was terrified/worried that she wouldn't be able to enjoy her Sunday cake treat with a cup of coffee. Luckily reality is not that bad! There are many cakes that are suitable for diabetics and thanks to sweeteners you can reduce carbohydrates content a lot. A piece of cake with 5g of carbs sounds great and tastes delicious too. It’s easy to make and if you are a fan of coconut you will love this cake!


Ingredients (make 12 slices/pieces):
For coconut base:
6 egg whites
150g desiccated coconut
Equivalent of 200g sugar (e.g. Splenda)
2 tbsp. potato starch
1 tsp. baking powder
For chocolate cream:
250g mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp. cocoa
Equivalent of 3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. Greek yogurt or cream

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 170C and line springform tin with baking paper.
2. Whisk the egg whites to form soft peaks. Add the sugar (spoonful at a time) and continue whisking until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
3. In a medium bowl mix coconut, potato starch and baking powder and fold it in gently.
4. Pour the batter into baking tin and bake for about 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cake there for about an hour.
5. For the chocolate topping mix mascarpone cheese with sweetener, cocoa and yogurt. If it’s too thick add a bit more of yogurt or cream.
6. Spread the chocolate cream on top of cooled cake and decorate with coconut.

Carbohydrates (using Splenda and Greek style yogurt):

Whole cake 67.5g Carbohydrates 
One portion/slice 5.6g Carbohydrates
Recipe, and more, can be seen here
Need help with weight/measurement conversion see here


Dear reader, this blog brings a variety of recipe ideas and articles. It is important to note, that 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 a reliable meter.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

DIABETES NEWS : How Low Carb Can Help : Plus a Favourite Recipe

Sharing some recent news relating to Diabetes and Eating Low Carb !
(please use links provided to read further details)

Landmark diabetes report says low-carb is a top option: 


A recent Western Australia government inquiry may result in a huge public health breakthrough for treatment of type 2 diabetes. The result of the inquiry, a report titled, “The Food Fix: The role of diet in type 2 diabetes prevention and management,” calls for low-carbohydrate diets to be one of three options formally offered to patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 

The report, submitted by the Education and Health Standing Committee of Western Australia’s parliament, also says that remission, not just management, should be the goal of type 2 diabetes interventions. 

As part of the inquiry, a team of policymakers from Western Australia travelled to the UK to meet Dr. David Unwin, tour his clinic, meet a number of his patients, and enjoy a low-carbohydrate dinner. 

The report notes that Dr. Unwin learned about the value of a low-carbohydrate diet for treating type 2 diabetes by working with patients in his clinic. He found that his patients did not understand that starchy foods, such as potatoes and rice, end up breaking down into sugar in the body. He created a graphic showing that eating a five-ounce serving of rice has a similar effect on blood glucose as consuming 10 teaspoons of sugar.
please read more here

Flash back to 2016: 
UK doctor (Dr. Unwin)saves government £45K by using low carb diet to treat type 2 diabetes:
Dr Unwin more to read here



New study: A low-carb breakfast could be ideal for diabetes control:


What should you eat for breakfast if you have diabetes? We’ve always recommended that you skip the carbs and fuel up with fat and protein instead — and a new study confirms that this is excellent advice.

The study, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has shown that eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat breakfast can help prevent blood sugar spikes in people with type 2 diabetes:
more to read here

Word is spreading about how low-carb eating can reverse type 2 diabetes: 




Ask the general public about type 2 diabetes and the vast majority won’t know yet that the increasingly-diagnosed disorder can often be put into remission with low-carb, keto eating. 
However, word is starting to trickle out now via mainstream media …
more to read here

Favourite Low Carb Recipe -
Chicken Thighs Pan Roasted with a Chive Cream Sauce
please find details here
how about some leafy green vegetables - see here



Read more about this blogs 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' here 

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 a reliable meter. 

All the best Jan

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken - Saturday Night Music

Yes, another week passes and it's Saturday Night so music night on this blog. It is of course Easter weekend (for those who celebrate) but for Christians it is the most important weekend of the year. This song (hymn) takes me back to my childhood days. Mornings both at Sunday School, Primary School ... and beyond! 

"Morning Has Broken" is a popular and well-known Christian hymn first published in 1931. It has words by English author Eleanor Farjeon and is often sung in children's services. English pop musician and folk singer Cat Stevens included a version on his 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat." This video has some beautiful images and I hope you enjoy this gentle sound. To all the peoples in the world and all religions may peace be upon you. All the best Jan

Cheese-Crusted Omelette : Keto / Low Carb




Once you've tried this recipe suggestion from Jill Wallentin, I'm sure you will want to regularly include it with your LCHF recipe plans. Jill says, with its irresistible crust and sumptuously rich filling, this cheese-crusted miracle puts traditional omelettes to shame. Works perfectly as a hearty breakfast but also an impressive option for a quick keto/low carb lunch or dinner.


Ingredients
Serves One
Omelette
2 eggs
2 tbsp. heavy (double) whipping cream
1 tbsp. butter or coconut oil
salt and ground black pepper
75 g (150 ml) mature shredded/grated cheese or sliced
Filling
2 mushrooms, sliced
2 cherry tomatoes, sliced
2 tbsp. cream cheese
15 g baby spinach
30 g deli turkey

1 tsp dried oregano
Recipe Instructions
Can be seen here
Tips
There are an infinite number of ways to vary the filling, here are a few suggestions:
mozzarella and pesto
taco mince and avocado
smoked salmon, cream cheese and baby spinach

tuna, mayonnaise and scallions (spring onions)

Did you know that "Baby spinach" is a term typically used to describe spinach that has been harvested during a fairly early stage of plant growth, usually between 15-35 days after planting. We're usually familiar with baby spinach in the grocery store because of its small leaves, tender texture, and sweet taste in comparison with mature, fully formed spinach leaves. (For these mature spinach leaves, the harvest dates are usually between 40-65 days.)




Research has shown that the concentration of nutrients in spinach may vary. Some studies show that baby spinach to be more concentrated than mature spinach in nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids while others show the opposite. What seems to impact this variation is the soil, the season, and the climate in which the spinach grows. So, we can't say that either baby spinach or mature spinach is categorically richer in nutrients than the other.

There had been research showing that baby spinach had lower levels of oxalic acid. Yet, other studies have shown the opposite, that in fact some samples have higher levels. Therefore, like with the nutrients, we can't categorically say that baby spinach is higher or lower in oxalates. The levels of oxalates formed depend upon a variety of factors.

While the research currently doesn't allow for conclusions, here's what we know. We see all types of spinach as nutrient-rich additions to your Healthiest Way of Eating. We also prefer to use the delicate leaves of baby spinach in salads while using mature spinach when we quick cook this delightful vegetable. We feel that this is the best way to enjoy the unique tastes and features of these different variations of spinach.

A variety of recipe ideas and articles 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

Friday, 19 April 2019

The World It's Full Of Rubbish !

Well here in the UK, we have recently enjoyed some Spring-like weather, and yes, the weather can still be mixed but with the Easter weekend here many have more free time and perhaps have plans to share special time with family and friends. This could be a visit to someone's home or maybe a walk ... for others it may mean some retail therapy, and a trip to the shops has been planned. Whatever you plan to do - enjoy your time.
I do however have a small request, as a public awareness slogan says 'please take your rubbish home with you' and leave the place you may have visited a cleaner environment for us all to enjoy, thanks.


Valerie Dohren has written about rubbish, she has some valid points I think !

The world is full of rubbish
I see it all around
Strewn along the pavements
And scattered ‘cross the ground

It hangs on outstretched branches
Like washing on a line
Dumped into the river
Oh, aint it such a crime

You'll find it in the gutter
Amassed around the trees
Tangled in the hedges
And carried by the breeze

Blown around like tumbleweed
You'll find it everywhere
It wraps around my feet
Then flies into my hair

So if you are responsible
For putting it about
Shame on you because its clear

You're just a litter-lout! 

And hence, my friend, I ask you
What should we do with it -
Put it in the dustbin
But make sure it will fit

There's also verbal rubbish
That rolls right off the tongue
The stuff that's made of words
That rattle all day long

You'll hear it on the telly
Which isn't very good
I'm sure you will agree
It's just a heap of crud

Some politicians spout it
And those who have no brains
Writers even write it
When nothing else remains

So, all my fellow poets,
If what you have to say
Amounts to simply rubbish
Then put your pen away

Methinks the time is coming
To take my final bow
Terminate this nonsense
And end it, stop it now

I know what you are thinking
(Some words I can't repeat)
This rhyme's a load of rubbish

Which PH should delete 

Enjoy your Easter weekend, and if you are planning a walk hope you enjoy it. 

If you think ... that's unusual Jan hasn't posted a recipe, why not have a look at these recipes:
Roast Lamb with a pea and mint pesto sauce - find it here
Rolled Pork Fillet with healthy herbs and mustard - find it here
Parmesan Herb-Crusted Fish - find it here
Fish pie with a celeriac crust - find it here 
Vegetarian bean and artichoke crown - find it here
Posh Roasted Vegetables, the Mary Berry way - find it here
Lemon Yoghurt Cheesecake, the low carb way - find it here
Orange Mousse, low carb - find it here

Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Ginger Salmon with Bok Choy : Low Carb


My blogging friend Christine made a wonderful low carb dinner recently. It was for salmon with zucchini (courgettes) tomatoes and peppers, and you can see it here
Seeing it gave me an idea to share this low carb recipe suggestion. It's for Pan-seared salmon, coated with sesame and ginger, served with braised Bok choy … you may like to give it a try.

Ingredients 
Serves Four 
1 1/2 lb fresh Bok choy
4 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Minced Garlic
3/4 cup (Low Sodium) Chicken Broth
1 1/2 lb salmon fillet in four portions
4 tsp sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 pinch salt

1 pinch Black Pepper

Method
1. Wash and dry Bok choy. Remove and discard rough stems and discoloured parts.
2. Chop leafy part crosswise into 2” pieces. Slice stems crosswise into 1” strips.
3. In large frying pan/skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Sauté garlic 1 minute.
4. Add Bok choy and broth, cover, and cook 5-6 minutes until stems are crisp-tender. Set aside in warm place.
5. In small bowl, combine sesame seeds and ginger. Massage spices onto surface of fish.
6. In large frying pan/skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over high. Place salmon, skin side down, in pan and cook 4 minutes; turn salmon and cook 4 additional minutes until internal temperature reaches 145°F.

7. Divide Bok choy between individual serving bowls. Add broth. Top each bowl with one serving of salmon. Season with salt and pepper.

From an idea seen here

Did you know that Bok Choy, otherwise known as ‘Chinese cabbage,’ is a nutritious vegetable that is high in calcium.
Aside from calcium, Bok choy is also full of vitamins, minerals, and health-supportive phytonutrients.
The vegetable is particularly high in vitamins A, C, and K.
As one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium, Bok choy offers 11% of the RDA per 100g.


You may also like to read about the health benefits of salmon, see here 

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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, 17 April 2019

It's a Beautiful World !

Like many children here in the UK our grand-children are on Easter Holiday Break from school, and they are certainly filling their days with lots of fun activities. A phone call the other day "Oh Grandma we had a great walk today, we went over the cliff tops, it was fun!" It certainly does look fun and so beautiful as can be seen from the photographs their Dad sent us.

  


"Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,
With the wonderful water round you curled,
And the wonderful grass upon your breast,
World, you are beautifully dressed."
read more here

I meant to ask them if they tucked into a sausage casserole when they got back home? After a walk on the cliff tops I think it would have gone down a treat, after all sausage casserole's can be so tasty!
This one is, minus the wine for the little-ones, you can see the recipe here

Are you planning on going for a walk soon? It doesn't have to be a cliff top one, around your local park can be nice! Take a little time to enjoy our beautiful world.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Some Foods In Season During April


What's in season in April 


April brings gradually warmer weather, lighter evenings and plenty of new seasonal produce. Make the most the short Jersey Royal season with creamy potato salads, and bring colour to your plate with vibrant rainbow chard. Colourful stems of bright pink rhubarb brighten up sweet and savoury dishes – try using it to add tartness to salads or pair with custard in desserts for a classic combination that always works. 

Rhubarb 
Elegant stalks of bright pink rhubarb are a true symbol of spring. Rhubarb grows from a root that can live for up to 20 years, with some varieties growing stems up to 1.5m long. Choose firm, straight stalks that have a bright red colour. Avoid those that are limp or discoloured, or stalks that are very thick. Older stalks may be a bit stringy, like celery, but spring rhubarb will be tender, so there's no need to peel it. 
How about trying:
Roast chicken with rhubarb - see details here
Rhubarb fool, a delicious dessert - see details here 

Blueberries 
Aromatic blueberries are plump and super sweet, releasing lots of flavour when cooked. Look out for deep blue, firm fruit with a silvery bloom on the skin.
Contact with water can cause blueberries (and other soft fruit) to spoil or turn mushy, so avoid washing until you are ready to use them.
How about trying:
Cheesecake with Blueberries, a low carb summer delight - see details here 
Blueberry and Cinnamon Omelette - see details here 

Fennel 
Fennel has a white bulb with edible, feathery green fronds and a distinctive aniseed taste. If you find the flavour of raw fennel a little intense, try cooking it – heat mellows the taste and it becomes soft and caramelised.
How about trying:
Cod Parcels Steamed, with fennel and herbs - see details here
Pork Shoulder Pot Roast, with fennel, parsnips and carrots - see details here 

Rainbow chard 
Rainbow chard is easily identified by its beautiful, multicoloured stems. This leafy green has a sweet, nutty flavour similar to spinach, and holds its shape and colour during cooking. Cook the leaves and stalks separately, as the stalks take longer.
How about trying:
Pork medallions on a bed of chard with bacon and cider sauce - details are here
Sautéed chard with garlic - details are here 

Jersey Royals 
These regally named potatoes can only be called Jersey Royals if they are grown on the island itself, where they have been cultivated for 140 years. One of the real treasures of spring, these nutty, delicious spuds will only be around until July. The potatoes were first grown by accident when some Jersey farmers each planted a piece taken from one huge potato, and one (a ‘fluke’) produced kidney-shaped tubers. *Jersey Royals don’t need to be peeled. They make the ultimate potato salads. 
How about trying:
Slow roasted lamb with minted Jersey Royals and mint sauce - details are here
Super spring salad - details are
here 

Please remember if you are living a Keto or LCHF lifestyle it is best to avoid starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice, *potatoes, chips, crisps, porridge, muesli, foods containing processed flour and so on. 'Wholegrain products' are just less bad. Moderate amounts of root vegetables (carrots, parsnips) may be ok (unless you’re eating extremely low carb/keto). Please read our 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' post for more information, it can be found here 

You will find a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas within this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy ... but 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