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Sunday, 22 September 2019

Pork and Squash Casserole ... low carb and so easy !


This is a quick to prepare autumn/winter warmer... although for those readers living in the southern hemisphere it could make a pleasing spring-time dish! 

Ingredients
Serves: 4 
2 tbsp. Oil
500g Pork Diced Shoulder
1 onion, chopped
200g butternut squash, diced
1 large carrot, sliced
500ml vegetable stock

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the pork, cutting any larger pieces in half to ensure even cooking. Fry the pork for 5 minutes to brown and seal. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside. 
2. Fry the onion, squash and carrot in the remaining tbsp. of oil in the pan for 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 2–3 minutes, uncovered. 
3. Remove the dish from the heat, return the pork and season to taste. Cover and place in the oven for 35 minutes or until tender.

Per serving, as recipe above:
9.5g Carbs 19.5g fat 27.7g protein
From an original recipe idea here 

Delicious served with low carb mashed swede, or celeriac … 

Did you know, butternut squash is one of the most nutritious and healthiest vegetables you can eat, with a rich array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as significant amounts of digestive fibre. It not only tastes great, it is also low in calories, yet surprisingly filling. Many people would do well to replace fattening potato products with the far healthier and nutritionally superior butternut squash ... find out more here


flowers with an Autumnal colour theme,
they look nice on the table ...

You will find a variety of articles/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

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Ennio Morricone - The Mission Main Theme

Saturday night and music night again. In my opinion Ennio Morricone is a musical genius. I hope future generations look back at his work and regard him as one of the greatest composers who has ever lived. Peace to all and have a great weekend. Eddie

Asparagus and Spinach Soup topped with chive crème fraîche ...


Everyone loves soup, and this Asparagus and spinach soup topped with chive crème fraîche is a gorgeous soup with a fantastic colour and very good for you! It’s also great to make in advance ...

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15-20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:
12 asparagus spears
1 tsp olive oil
50g unsalted butter
1 medium white onion diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
800ml vegetable stock
100g spinach

4 tbsp. crème fraîche
2 tbsp. freshly chopped chives

Method:
Prepare the asparagus by removing the hard stems (keep four of the asparagus heads for garnishing the soup), then finely chop the rest.

Place a saucepan on the heat, add a little olive oil and the butter, then add the diced onion and garlic sweat for 5 minutes on a low heat. 


Now add the chopped asparagus and continue to sweat for another couple of minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Add the spinach to the soup and simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and put into a blender and blitz in batches.

Once the soup is blended, strain through a sieve to remove any lumps. Mix the crème fraîche with the chopped chives and a touch of salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, pour the hot soup into a bowl, add a spoonful of the chive crème fraîche and top with a reserved asparagus head.

I hope you enjoy, this recipe idea, seen here



Asparagus is a nutritious and tasty addition to any diet. It’s low in calories and a great source of nutrients, including fibre, folate and vitamins A, C and K. Additionally, eating asparagus has a number of potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, healthy pregnancy outcomes and lower blood pressure. You can read more about asparagus, with lower carb recipe suggestions here 

Asparagus was first grown by the Egyptians in 4000BC, and now in 2019, the world of asparagus continues to change. You can now acquire a bundle of English spears for your beloved as early as St Valentine’s Day and, even more astonishingly, continue to woo him or her with bunches of home-grown asparagus all the way into the autumn! Read more here

Asparagus and Cheese Bake
A golden pine-nut topping adds crunch to this simple bake
which can be served warm, cold, as a starter or with a salad.
This versatile bake recipe can be found here
please note that this recipe uses self-raising flour so may not be suitable for all readers


You will find a variety of articles and 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

Friday, 20 September 2019

DIABETES NEWS : Small cuts to carbohydrate loads can improve blood sugar


Anne Mullens writes:

Study: Small cuts to carb loads can improve blood sugar.

When you are trying to cut carbohydrates to improve your health, even a little bit can count.

That’s what Japanese researchers demonstrated in a small experiment with a group of 41 patients with type 2 diabetes who wore continuous glucose monitors. All they changed in the participants’ diets was the carb count of the bread they consumed at each meal, swapping a low-carb version for the normal, high-carb bread.

The result? The participants’ blood sugars and lipid markers improved, as well as other markers of pancreatic function and metabolism. The researchers concluded: “These results indicate that changing only the carbohydrate content of the staple food has benefits on glucose and lipid metabolism.”

Pubmed: Low-carbohydrate diet by staple change attenuates postprandial GIP and CPR levels in type 2 diabetes patients

While the researchers did not divulge their recipe for low-carb bread, Diet Doctor, and many other sites/blogs, have a variety of tasty low-carb bread recipes that can help you swap out your high-carb versions and get your carb load down.

Diet Doctor, and many other blogs/sites, also have low-carb versions of favourite high-carb staples like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta.

Many people find that once they adapt to a low-carb way of eating — which satisfies hunger, keeps blood sugar stable and cravings under control — they lose their need and desire for those old, high-carb staples.


If you are looking for other ways to reduce your carbohydrate load, check out Diet Doctors popular guide, “Six steps down the carb mountain” which will show you other easy ways to get rid of extra sugar and starch in your diet. 

So remember, whether you go in big or go in small, it’s all good news: cutting carbs wherever you can makes a positive impact on your blood sugar. 

You may also be interested in reading:
Introduction to Low Carb for beginners, find it here
Just Swap - Doesn't It Make Sense ? - find it here 

Dear reader, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog 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, 19 September 2019

Chicken Pot Pies ... the low carb way




Meat and vegetables in a creamy sauce that’s topped with a low carb crunchy topping…what’s not to love? For those who may just prefer vegetables, this recipe can be amended to suit!

For the Filling, you will need

4 slices of bacon
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
7 ounces/200 grams pre-cooked chicken (meat from approximately 3-4 chicken thighs)
1 carrot cut into cubes
1/2 cup chopped turnip
2/3 cup frozen peas (optional)
2-3 cups chicken stock or bone broth
2 tbsp. arrowroot flour

For the Crust, you will need

1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
4 tbsp. ghee

Nutritional Information
Without Peas: Net Carbs: 14.75 g Fat: 39 g Protein: 29 g
With Peas: Net Carbs: 17.3 g Fat: 39 g Protein: 30 g 

Cooking instructions
Can be found here

Need help with weight/measurement conversion
Please see here

Low Carb Flours
The above recipe uses 'low carb flour' and if you are just starting a low carb diet/lifestyle you may feel confused with which low carb flours to use. You may never have used any of them before and how to use them properly can be daunting. Low carb flours do not behave like wheat flour, and how to use them in your old regular high carb recipes is a common question. Of course you may also be interested, or want to know more about them. If that is the case then Libby at 'Ditch The Carbs' site has a very good guide, and you can read 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 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, 18 September 2019

Tips To Improve Your Focus


Rachel Morrow writes:
"In a world of constant distractions, notifications, and shiny objects, it’s a no-brainer that we move through our days struggling to tick off the to-do list, leaving us to feel defeated at the end of a workday, only to have to turn around and do it all again tomorrow. 

Some of the most successful people in the world have mastered the art of focus and productivity, and you can too! Take charge of your mind and develop laser-like focus with these five suggestions.

1. Move Your Body in the AM 
One of the most important things we can do for our brain health is to move our bodies! Get the blood flowing first thing in the morning and feel the benefits throughout the day. Without getting too deep, one of the most important components in brain function and development is the protein Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Of all brain-building proteins, BDNF has been found to be the most susceptible to regulation by exercise and physical activity. Research indicates a consistent aerobic exercise routine supports a sufficient supply of BDNF.

2. Clear Your Workspace 
A clean desk at the start of your day is a clean slate. Find your notes scrambled across the desk by lunchtime? Take a break, then clear your space again for your afternoon ahead. An organized workspace will reduce the physical ‘noise’ around you. Turns out, science has backed this one with a study from 2017 showing that having more clutter around you results in more stress and depressive thought processes.

3. Brain-Friendly Work Habits 
Unlike the multiple brain-tabs we have open in our mind, we have the power to close too many browser-tabs on our computers. Think about how many times you’ve had multiple tasks open on your screen in the hopes that you will come back to that task to complete it before the days out, yet you find yourself clicking between multiple tasks and projects throughout the day.

Move around, hot desk, stand up, lay on the floor if you need to. Moving away from a space you’ve been in for consecutive hours can hinder your thought process. Without sounding too ‘whoo hoo’, moving your energy from a stagnant space can be a really positive and productive thing for your focus.

4. Feed Your Brain 




Did you know your brain is one of the fattiest organs in the body? And it needs plenty of good fats to help keep it running! Our brain cells are covered in a fatty layer of insulation called myelin, which helps them talk to one another through electrical signals. If your myelin is weak, communication between the cells slows down. Eating healthy fats like avocados, avocado oil, coconut meat, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, grass-fed ghee, olives, cold-water fatty fish, and grass-fed animal products will assist with myelin synthesis, repair, and maintenance!
Want to know more about brain boosting foods, this article here may interest you. 

5. Stop & Take a Deep Breath! 
It’s amazing how effective this quick and free tool is. Stop and try it right now. I mean it, stop reading this and take three deep breaths. Better? Deep breathing can help increase circulation, reduce stress, and improve your mood!" 

Rachels words above, with all relevant research links can be found here

Out of these five tips I do think number two works … a clear work space, whether it be an office desk, a home desk or even in the kitchen prior to cooking a delicious low carb meal does help.

Have you tried any of these tips? Perhaps you have your own favourite?

Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, 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, 17 September 2019

Autumn, the season for Celeriac Soup and Low Carb Foccacia Bread

One of my favourite seasons is Autumn. The past few days here in the UK the mornings have definitely had that ’Autumnal Nip in the Air’ the temperature has dropped, some of the leaves are beginning to change colours and all together you get a different feel about things. Weather permitting, it's a time for getting out and about and enjoying the season, and then returning home to a wonderful bowl of soup and bread ... low carb of course! You may like these two recipe suggestions.

Garlic and Rosemary Foccacia


Anne Aobadia at Diet Doctor site has come up with "a simple way to bake low-carb garlic bread," She says it's, "crispy and delicious as a snack or to go with a soup." With the cooler Autumn days she could be onto a winner - see what you think.

Ingredients
8 servings
2 carbs per serving
1½ cups shredded (grated) mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 egg
¾ cup almond flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Garlic and rosemary butter
2 oz. butter at room temperature
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon rosemary, chopped


You can find the cooking instructions here
If you should need help with weight/measurement conversion, see here

Here's a low carb tasty soup, perfect for Autumn/Winter Days
Cream of Celeriac Soup


Celeriac is a great autumn/winter vegetable, it is also a low carbers favourite. I saw this very nice recipe by James Martin, and thought it one to share. It does make a creamy soup, and for an added touch can be served with crispy pancetta and croûtons ... although it does have a nice taste without this ... so it's up to you dear reader whether or not to add the garnish! You can see the recipe here

You will find a variety of recipe ideas/suggestions 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

Monday, 16 September 2019

Harvest Festival ...some interesting facts


'We plough the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land;
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.
Chorus All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all His love.'

The months of September and October are wonderful harvest months with vegetables such as Aubergine (egg-plant), Cabbage and Celeriac ... each of which is a low carbers favourite ... to fruits like apples, plums and raspberries, with raspberries definitely on many a low carbers dish, to be enjoyed. 

During these months many local church services and schools harvest festivals celebrate and give thanks. It is perhaps a sign of our times that what we now give can and does very often go to food banks which an increasing number of both families and single people becoming reliant on them

As we look back, 'Harvest Festival' is one of the oldest and most traditional British festivals taking place at the time of the Harvest Moon, but other than gathering up tinned goods and taking them to church, as already mentioned, what is harvest festival all about? 

Celebrating the harvest was once a pagan affair. Today’s church celebrations only began in earnest in Victorian times, when the Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker invited his parishioners to a special harvest thanksgiving service at the church in Morwenstow, Cornwall in 1843. 

In centuries past, farmers would lay on a harvest feast and a corn dolly might be given place of honour and hung up in hope of a good harvest the following year. Long ago Anglo Saxon farmers believed the last sheaf of corn contained its spirit, and it would be sacrificed along with a hare usually found hiding in the field. A model of the hare was then made up using corn – and evolved to the dolly, said to represent the goddess or spirit of the grain. 

The old West Country tradition of “Crying the Neck” was revived in Cornwall in the early Twenties. Dating back from times when crops would be hand harvested, a reaper would hold the last bundle of corn – sometimes known as the “neck” – aloft and cry out to the other harvesters. The corn was tied and kept in the parish church until the following spring. 

Crying the neck, Cornish feasts & corn dolly’s - image from here

Some harvesters felt it was bad luck to cut the last corn standing and farms would race to finish first and shout when they’d done it. Sometimes reapers would throw their sickles at the last corn until it was cut. Or they’d take turns to be blindfolded and sweep a scythe to and fro to finish. 

Early English settlers took the idea of harvest thanksgiving to North America. “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the religious refugees from England known as the “Pilgrims” in 1621. They invited native Americans to a harvest feast at the Plymouth Plantation to celebrate a successful crop. Turkey wasn’t on the menu initially – instead the feast included goose, lobster, fish and deer. 

Britain also celebrates the bounty of the sea as well as the land. Whitstable holds ceremonies to bless the seas during the town’s annual July oyster festival. Dozens of fish festivals are held around the UK’s coastal towns and villages, from Anglesey to Dorset to Rye Bay in East Sussex, where local scallops are on offer. 

Hazelnut butter grilled scallops with salad, more details here

Michaelmas Day – also known as the feast of Saint Michael – celebrates the end of the harvest on 29 September. Historians say this originated in the fifth century when the cult of St Michael spread to Christianity in the West. During the Middle Ages Michaelmas became a religious feast, and people ate geese, which they believed would bring financial protection for the coming year. 

Harvest festivals are held around the world from Australia to Sweden to India. In China the mid autumn festival is also known as the Moon festival. This custom is thought to hark back to ancient times when Chinese offered a sacrifice to the moon, a symbol of harmony and abundance. Families gather to eat traditional moon cakes and many folk tales centre around a moon maiden.

Words above from article here

As regular readers know, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog 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, 15 September 2019

Kebab Wraps with Garlic Sauce : Vegan and Low-carb


"These colourful low-carb vegan kebab wraps are a healthy and delicious plant-based protein source. Perfect for lunch or dinner for the whole family, a low-carb twist on a Middle Eastern delicacy.

Ingredients
Serves Four
Vegan kebabs
½ cup almonds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
½ cup light olive oil, divided
¾ cup vegan unflavoured protein powder (preferably pea protein)
4 tbsp. chia seeds
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground coriander seed
¼ cup water
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Garlic sauce with mint
3 tbsp. aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup light olive oil
2 tsp dried mint
¼ tsp salt
Veggies
1 Romaine lettuce
1 small cucumber
2 tomatoes
1 small red onion

½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Instructions
Can be found here

Need help with weight, measurement conversion
please see here

Tips
Can I freeze the vegan kebabs?
Yes, the vegan kebabs freeze well, so why not make a double batch and put the leftovers in the freezer for another day.
Keto falafel
You could also turn the kebabs into falafels by rolling them into balls. After they have been baked, you can fry them in flavourless coconut oil or avocado oil for a crispier crust.
Serving suggestions

You could also serve this dish with some oven-roasted veggies, like aubergine/eggplant, courgette/zucchini and onion or top them with a generous dollop of guacamole."

Some readers may also be interested in seeing these nine low-carb (diabetes friendly) vegan recipes, find them here

You will find a variety of recipe ideas/suggestions 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, 14 September 2019

Ya gotta larf!

The scene: A calm country road, on a nice spring day.
An Amish carriage, slowly making its way along a westbound lane.
A county sheriff on patrol, notices a violation, and signals the carriage to stop.
A pretty young woman, wearing a bonnet, is the sole occupant and carriage operator.
“I’m not going to cite you,” said the officer. “I just wanted to warn you that the reflector on the back of your buggy is broken and it could be dangerous.”
“I thank thee,” replied the Amish lady. “I shall have my husband repair it as soon as I return home.”
“Also,” said the officer, “I noticed one of your reins to your horse is wrapped around his testicles. Some people might consider this cruelty to animals so you should have your husband do something about that, too.”
“Again I thank thee. I shall have my husband check this when I get home.”
True to her word, when the Amish lady got home, she told her husband about the incident, and the broken reflector.
Guntar tells her he will replace it, and put a new one on immediately.
“Wait. There’s more.” she says. “The policeman also thinks there is something wrong with the emergency brake.”

Eddie

Friday, 13 September 2019

Sea Bass and Samphire ... just sublime !



Sea bass with courgette/zucchini and samphire/sea beans. Worldwide the same vegetable can be known by different names … confusing! Well, yes, at times!

But this recipe suggestion isn't confusing! In fact it's a tasty dish which is sure to impress, but is quite easy to prepare... read on and see for yourself.

Ingredients
Serves Two
11g carbs per serving
15 oz. sea bass, skin-on fillets
1 bunch fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
2 zucchini/courgette
7 oz. sea beans/samphire
½ lime, the juice
1 bunch fresh basil

Instructions
See here
Sea beans or samphire
Samphire is a bright green sea vegetable with a salty taste. Samphire is often compared to baby asparagus, and its high salt content means that seasoning needn’t be added during the cooking process. Quite often, it is simply boiled or steamed with a little olive oil or butter to create a delicious accompaniment to a main meal. It has a strongly oceanic flavour and, therefore, goes wonderfully with seafood. If samphire is not available, you can use any kind of seaweed, which also has a salty taste.
Nutritional Information 
Samphire is packed with an impressive array of nutrients. It is almost free of fat and extremely low in calories. It is also a great digestive aid because it contains plenty of healthy dietary fibre. Samphire contains a good amount of vitamins A and C as well as some of the B vitamins like folate. Samphire also contains various essential minerals responsible for many of the body’s vital functions including calcium, magnesium and potassium.
As well as its minerals and vitamins, samphire contains certain unique compounds found in various sea vegetables known as fucoidans. These compounds are known to have antioxidant benefits as well as excellent anti-inflammatory effects on the human body.
You can read more about Samphire, the vegetable from the sea here and here

You will find a variety of recipe ideas, and articles, 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

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Some Foods In Season During September


What's in season in September

As summer turns into autumn, September marks the beginning of heartier seasonal fruit and veg. Cauliflower and swede can be added to salads on warmer days and casseroles as the weather cools. Earthy wild mushrooms and dark Savoy cabbage make delicious vegetarian cooking simple, whilst sticky figs and deep red grapes can be baked into pretty puddings.

Cauliflower
Like its cousin broccoli, cauliflower is made up of a close network of small edible flower heads which grow from a thick central stalk. White cauliflower is the most common variety – the creamy round head should be even in colour and surrounded by tight green leaves. While it’s pretty special, please note that if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, cauliflower may cause bloating and discomfort, read more here
Some recipes you may like to try:
Cauliflower Cheese and Cauliflower rice - more details here
Cauliflower rice with garlic and chilli prawns - more details here
Cauliflower, six low carb recipe choices - more details here 

Mushrooms
The wide range of mushroom varieties can be categorised into two distinct types; cultivated and wild. There’s plenty to experiment with in the kitchen – roughly 15,000 different varieties of wild mushroom alone can be found in the UK. Although they grow all year round, autumn is the peak of their season. To prepare, brush well to remove any dirt, wipe with a damp cloth and store in a paper bag in the fridge.
Some recipes you may like to try:
Lemon Garlic Pork Steaks with Mushrooms, low carb and gluten free - more details here
Greek Style Roasted Mushrooms with Red Pepper, Herbs and Feta, low carb dish - more details here
Mushroom Bourguignon with Celeriac Mash, Vegetarian - more details here

Swede / Rutabaga
This root veg is a turnip-cabbage hybrid and has a sweet, earthy flavour. Americans know it as "rutabaga". The Scottish call it "neeps" and serve it with haggis. I know it as swede, and it is a regular in our house especially as it's low in carbs! This root vegetable, is thought to have originated around the 17th century in Bohemia. In 1620 a Swiss botanist described the root vegetable, believed to be a hybrid of the cabbage and the turnip. By 1664 it was growing in England. It's a good source of vitamin C, fibre, folate and potassium.
Some recipes you may like to try:
Swede / Rutabaga, health and nutrition benefits, and seven recipe choices - more details here
Panhaggerty, it's a one-pot wonder, lower carb if you use swede - more details here
Fisherman’s Pie, topped with buttery mashed swede - more details here

Figs
Fragrant figs have a rich jammy taste and a soft, chewy texture that works in sweet or savoury recipes. Turkish figs are distinctive in appearance, with a dusky purple-brown skin, and vibrant red flesh inside. Figs don’t ripen after picking, so select plump fruits with unbroken skins.
Some recipes you may like to try:
Baked figs and goat's cheese with radicchio - more details here
Roasted figs (or tomato) with Parma ham and goat's cheese - more details here
Baked fig and custard tart, note this is not a low carb recipe - more details here


Red grapes
Sweet red grapes are grown in fertile regions across the Mediterranean and beyond and can be used for more than just lunchbox snacks. Try threading the grapes onto skewers and then dipping in melted dark chocolate for an easy dessert. Juicy grapes complement salty flavours – they are a great match for creamy Brie.
Some recipes you may like to try:
Chicken Caesar salad with red grapes - more details here
Waldorf Salad Recipe, using red grapes - more details here
Red Grape and brie flatbreads, note this is not a low carb recipe - more details here

Onions and shallots
A household staple, versatile onions are the first ingredient in a whole host of dishes. Choose onions that feel firm, with papery skins and store in a cool, dry place. To avoid watery eyes when chopping onions, freeze for 10 mins beforehand and avoid cutting through the root. As well as providing the base for sauces and stews, onions can shine on their own. You can get to know your onions, including some health benefits, by reading this post here
Some recipes you may like to try:
Coq Au Vin, low carb recipe, which uses onions (and other vegetables) - more details here
Cheese and Onion Pork Chops - more details here
Caramelised onion, cheese and hazelnut salad - more details here


Savoy cabbage
This dark green, crinkly cabbage has a sweet, earthy flavour and is great eaten cooked or raw. Savoy has slightly looser leaves than other cabbage varieties, but its head should still be compact and weighty, with crisp leaves. This dark green brassica has a distinctive, sweet and slightly earthy taste that stands up well against rich, bold or meaty flavours.
Some recipes you may like to try:
Pork and Apple Meatballs, served with savoy cabbage and a lower carb mash - more details here
Braised Savoy cabbage with bacon - more details here
Hungarian Style Savoury Minced Beef, with savoy cabbage and carrots - more details here 

I wonder what would be your favourite from the above?
Mine would be swede, closely followed by cauliflower ...

Dear reader, 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

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Chaffle ...have you tried one yet, they are keto / low carb !

The other week I spotted a post on Dr Steve Parker's 'Diabetic Mediterranean Blog' saying that he had Just Learned About Chaffles.

Have you heard of them?
Have you tried one?
Will you be trying one?

Well, I haven't … yet … but they do sound rather good and would certainly fit with my LCHF menu plans.

"If you haven’t heard of the term “chaffle” yet, are you really living?
The latest craze has taken the diabetes online community (DOC) by storm. One moment I was inquiring about what exactly a chaffle was, and the next, I found myself a golden ticket to an underground world with over 100,000 keto-crazed chaffle fanatics! 

What is a chaffle you ask?
A chaffle is basically a cheese and egg alternative to bread, cooked in a mini (or regular, just adjust recipes accordingly) waffle maker that can be used for anything from breakfast foods straight through your after-dinner treat. It basically acts as a base to any creative concoction you can conjure up.

Why are people with diabetes so excited about chaffles?
Well for one, those of us who love to experiment with new low-carb options now have this new blank canvas to create from. But more importantly, this latest invention can also help keep your blood sugars in check straight from morning till night!" 

Words above and some recipe ideas can be seen by clicking on the link below
5 Chaffle Ideas to Get You from Breakfast to Dessert – Diabetes Daily 

You may also like to read more about Chaffles and see another recipe idea by using this further link

Keto Pizza Chaffle - it does look yummy!
see recipe and more details here

Dear reader, we bring a variety of articles (and recipe ideas) to this blog, but 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, 10 September 2019

Sweeteners : A Helpful Low Carb / Keto Guide


Guide to low carb sweeteners:
"It can be incredibly confusing when you are just starting to live sugar free. Part of the ethos of living sugar free and low carb is to give up the sweet treats on a regular basis and to reset our taste buds. But being able to make a sweet treat occasionally is a deal breaker for many of you contemplating even starting. If you do want a cake, a dessert or a sweet treat, it is better to have a few good sugar free recipes on hand than to reach for a high carb snack.

With so many sweeteners now on the market, which one do you choose? 
Of course there are also other questions … for instance

How much sweetener to use?
Which sweeteners taste best?
Why is it hard to give up sugar?
Which are the best sweeteners to buy?
Is sugar better because it’s natural?
Sweeteners to enjoy;
Sweeteners to avoid; 

The myths behind "natural sugars" ! 

If you'd like to find out the answers, and learn a little more about what to look for when you buy them - (because not all low carb sweeteners are created equally)" - please read here 

Do you use a low-carb sweetener? 
You may have a favourite!
Perhaps you prefer one to use in drinks, but another for baking! 

We bring a variety of articles (and recipe ideas) to this blog, but 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, 9 September 2019

Rick Stein's : Lamb Casserole with Aubergine / Eggplant


You can give your lamb casserole a Greek twist with aubergines (eggplants), peppers and parsley with this Rick Stein recipe 

Aubergines (eggplants) are an excellent source of dietary fibre. They are also a good source of Vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium. In addition it is high in the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese. A 100g serving of raw aubergine (eggplant) provides 1g protein 0.2g fat 6g carbohydrate 3.4g fibre 25kcal

Here is the recipe ...
Ingredients
Serves 4 - 6
2kg/4lb 8oz aubergines (eggplants), cut into 5mm/¼in thick slices
1 tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling
150ml/5fl oz. olive oil
2 red peppers, seeds removed and sliced
1.5kg/3lb 5oz lamb shoulder, bone removed, fat trimmed and cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 large handful roughly chopped parsley

10 turns black peppermill

Method
1. Sprinkle the aubergine (eggplant) with salt and leave to drain in a colander for an hour. Remove and dry with a tea towel.
2. Heat the oil in a large lidded casserole over medium heat. Add the aubergines and peppers and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Add the lamb to the casserole and fry over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly coloured, about 8 minutes.
4. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened. 
5. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
6. Return the aubergines and red peppers to the pan, folding them through the stew a little. Bake for 20 minutes then serve.

The recipe suggestion above is from Rick Stein, one of my favourite TV chefs.
I always enjoy his excellent cookery series and in fact this Autumn the BBC are showing a new one, 'Secret France', where Rick gets off the beaten track and takes to the backroads of France – a less discovered France that still cherishes the best of its past and is creating modern exciting dishes that are still unmistakably French. I'm looking forward to it. Cheers Rick - here's to good food and wine!


You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas 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

Statins: Do they really work? Who benefits? Who has the power to cover up the side effects?




Mention the word statins and you will find there are some who applaud them, while others demonise them. On this blog if you put the word statins into the word search you will find a plethora of posts about them ... plenty of reading to digest and act upon or re-act to.

Each of us, as an individual, may find this interesting and informative reading, and at times some readers, in consultation with their medical team, could find it very helpful. 

Back in 2013 "Statins, the popular cholesterol-lowering class of drugs, were found to have a number of known side effects, including the potential for muscle pain, liver damage, digestive problems and, most recently discovered, memory loss"

In 2014 the UK's NHS were warning of the side effects of statins. 

In 2016 'Many women needlessly take cholesterol-lowering drugs' 

In 2017 when the question Should you take statins? was asked ...two guidelines offered different answers... the word confusing comes to mind! 

Now in 2019, Dr Aseem Malhotra a renowned cardiologist, believes, "It’s now time for a full public parliamentary inquiry into the controversial drug and fully expose the great cholesterol and statin con". 

Dr Malhotra works in the NHS and leads the campaign against excess sugar consumption in the UK. He speaks regularly at national and international events on matters of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. As a strong believer in evidence-based medicine, he urges the healthcare community to be more open and knowledgeable about scientific data. 

You may have already seen his recent article which appeared in European Scientist and why Dr Malhotra believes, " It’s now time for a full public parliamentary inquiry into the controversial drug and fully expose the great cholesterol and statin con"

Lots more to read here 

Also a related post, written by Dr Malcolm Kendrick
Review of statins needed : see it here

Have you had any experience of statins, do please share them in the comments.

All the best Jan