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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Ginger Lime Chicken : Full of Flavour : Low Carb Dish


If you are a regular reader here, you will know we do enjoy chicken in our house. It has so many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it can be cooked - make it one of the most popular meats around. It has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium.

Today, I share this quick and easy low-carb Asian inspired chicken recipe. It is full of flavour, and also very versatile. You could double the recipe and have it for dinner one night, and then use the leftover chicken for salads throughout the week... Yum!

Ingredients
Serves Four
2g carbs per serving
1½ lbs (650g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup (60ml) tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 pinch chili flakes, extra for garnish
1 tsp (3g) sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish (optional)

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
for this dish can be seen here
Serving Suggestion
Low Carb Asian Cauliflower Rice, see here

Did you know that, sesame seeds, are considered one of the world’s oldest foods, they provide an abundance of nutrients for such a small shell. Bear with me while I go scientific on you; the densely packed seed is a fantastic source of protein, lignans, dietary fibre, monounsaturated fats, Vitamins B1 and B2, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phytic acid. Incredibly, they are also low in carbohydrates and cholesterol-free. The fatty make-up of a sesame seed is an incredible 82% unsaturated fatty acids, with the average oil content of the seed being 50%. Sesame is rich and varied in amino acids – making it an ideal source of plant-based protein – and is noted for antioxidant and digestive properties. 


image from here


You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, 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

Monday, 17 February 2020

Ten of the Best Seeds to Eat and Why They Are Healthy !


"Seeds are one of life’s greatest treasures. They’re bite-sized treats full of protein, essential fatty acids, and other vital micronutrients. We can sprout them, toast them or enjoy them fresh, sprinkled on a salad, smoothie bowl, or a snack on the go. Here’s a handful you may want to throw on your next meal.

1. Hemp Seeds
Harvested from one of the world’s most sustainable plants with widespread uses, hemp seeds are an incredible way to up the nutritional value of almost any dish. The seeds are known for essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3, a quarter of their make-up is a plant-based protein, they’re a good source of dietary fibre and are rich in Vitamin E. Hemp seed oil is becoming increasingly popular in skin care – for everything from acne to hydration concerns.

2. Chia Seeds
For one of the smallest seeds in our package-less pantry, chia comes with an impressive nutritional profile. Aztecs and Mayans praised the seed for its strengthening abilities, which comes as no surprise. The antioxidant-laden chia is a great source of dietary fibre and protein, they contain 5gm of omega-3s in a 28gm serving and contribute to our recommended daily intake of calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. Research also suggests consumption may aid in weight loss – due to the soluble fibre expanding in the stomach, filling our bellies.

3. Pumpkin Seeds
A crowd favourite toasted on a salad, sprinkled on kitchari or folded into granola; pumpkin seeds are more than just a nice crunch to enjoy. Pumpkin seeds or pepitas – the hulled alternative – are rich in minerals the body craves for functioning; phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper. The seeds are also a source of Vitamin A, Vitamins B1, B2 and B3, plant-based proteins, monounsaturated fats and phytosterols – a star-studded line up for an unassuming seed. Naturopathic doctors have also considered research that suggests the benefits of pumpkin seeds can treat prostate conditions.

4. Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds, also known as Linseeds, have been used in the human diet for over 5000 years. They are fantastic sources of dietary fibre, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, but they’re most famous for their high levels of the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid and phytoestrogens, known as lignans. Flaxseeds contain almost twice the level of omega-3 as fish oil, which research has shown can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, alongside optimal brain function. Lignans also assist in regulating oestrogen levels. While flaxseeds have a delightful crunch, they are best-eaten ground for ultimate nutrient absorption.

5. Sesame Seeds
Often considered one of the world’s oldest foods, sesame seeds provide an abundance of nutrients for such a small shell. Bear with me while I go scientific on you; the densely packed seed is a fantastic source of protein, lignans, dietary fibre, monounsaturated fats, Vitamins B1 and B2, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phytic acid. Incredibly, they are also low in carbohydrates and cholesterol-free. The fatty make-up of a sesame seed is an incredible 82% unsaturated fatty acids, with the average oil content of the seed being 50%. Sesame is rich and varied in amino acids – making it an ideal source of plant-based protein – and is noted for antioxidant and digestive properties. And they’re tasty! Sesame can be enjoyed sprinkled in rice paper rolls, smothering bliss balls or in their tasty purified form, tahini.

6. Cumin Seeds
If you experiment with cuisines in the kitchen, you’ll be familiar with the humble cumin seed. The spice is used in everything from Mexican to Indian and Middle Eastern cooking but provides the body with more than a punchy flavour. Cumin seeds are noted for their powerful digestive abilities, as the oils present in the seed can stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes –crucial for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Additionally, research is currently underway to consider cumin’s anticancer properties – due to the seed’s free-radical scavenging tendencies. The health benefits of cumin have been noted for centuries, where Ancient Greek and Roman kitchens began by using the spice as a cheaper alternative to black pepper. 

7. Pomegranate Seeds
It’s hard to get your hands on fresh pomegranate seeds, but when the seasons allow we should devour as much as possible! The perfect addition to any salad or smoothie bowl, these tart-tasting toppers are laden with beneficial antioxidants to protect our bodies against inflammation and free radical damage. Pomegranate seeds are low calorie and rich in Vitamin C – a single-serve can contain 48% of our recommended daily intake.

8. Grape Seeds
Opting for grapes with seeds inside will always enhance our nutritional profile. In fact, much of the grape’s dietary value comes from the tiny crunch inside the fleshy fruit. Grape seed extracts, rich in flavonoids known as procyanidolic oligomers, are commonly used in treating varicose veins. These same flavonoids are powerful antioxidants believed to reverse atherosclerosis and increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood. Current research is also considering how phytophenols present could halt Alzheimer’s Disease. Natural and easy, there’s no denying that grape seeds are great for you.

9. Sunflower Seeds
Another delightful salad-crunch packing a punch is the sunflower seed. The beautiful flower’s seeds are an abundant source of vital nutrients; protein, Vitamin E, Vitamins B1, B5 and B6, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, copper, iron, folic acid, and dietary fibre. The nutrient-rich seeds actually hold many similarities to nuts – providing a high content of monounsaturated fat and arginine. Research has shown that the readily available nutrients in sunflower seeds are often in insufficient supply in the diet – good thing they taste delicious on almost anything!

10. Quinoa
You read that right – commonly thought of as a grain, everyone’s favourite pantry staple is actually the seed of a plant called goosefoot. Quinoa is an amino-acid stuffed seed, used in everything from salads and granolas to a rice substitute in curries and stir-fries. Unlike most plant-based proteins, quinoa is a complete protein – providing us with all the essential amino acids our bodies need to survive and thrive."
The above from an article by Tess Patrick here

Do you use any of these seeds?
What are your favourite seeds to use? 


This Low Carb Seedy Bread which contains sunflower seeds, and others, is popular
please see more details 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

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Pavlova with Fresh Berries : Low Carb / Keto


This famous dessert, featuring an extraordinary taste combination of meringue, whipped cream and fresh berries, was originally created in the 1920s in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Back then, it was full of sugar. But here's a sugar-free low-carb version, a guaranteed hit at any table! 

Ingredients
Serves Six
3g carbs per serving
3 egg whites
½ cup (125ml) erythritol
1 cup (225ml) heavy (double) whipping cream

51⁄3 oz. (150g) fresh raspberries 

Tip
You can also prepare these pavlovas with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries 

Instructions
Can be seen here 

Raspberries
Raspberries are a member of the rose family (along with apples, cherries and blackberries) and are made up of small juicy rounds called drupelets. Due to their delicate nature, it’s vital to store raspberries correctly. Keep in the fridge, arranged in a single layer on a sheet of kitchen paper.



You may also like to try
Raspberry Cream Cheese Mug Cupcake,
it's low carb and delicious - more details 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

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Capricho Arabe (F. Tárrega) - Alexandra Whittingham

Saturday Night is Music Night on this blog, and tonight's choice is Alexandra Whittingham. Enjoy. Good health to all. Eddie.


Frittata : Baked Avocado, Sweetcorn and Feta : Low Carb


This Frittata with wedges of avocado baked in adds extra creaminess and goodness! Could make a lovely weekend brunch! What do you think?

Ingredients
Serves Eight
2½ tbsp. oil, plus extra for greasing
2 large red onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2½ tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
12 large eggs
2 tsp fine sea salt
150ml soured cream
30g coriander
50g Parmesan, finely grated - use vegetarian cheese, if required
1x198g tin sweetcorn, drained
3 tbsp. lime juice
200g feta, crumbled - use vegetarian cheese, if required
2 ripe avocados

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm x 5cm deep ovenproof dish or roasting tin.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the red onions with a pinch of salt for 12-15 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring. Spread out on a plate to cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt and soured cream. Chop most of the coriander, reserving a few leaves for garnish, then stir through the eggs along with the cooled onions, Parmesan, sweetcorn, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, half the feta and some freshly ground black pepper.
4. Pour this mixture into the prepared dish. Slice the avocado, brush the tops of the slices with the remaining lime juice and gently arrange over the top, taking care not to let them sink too much. Nestle the halved tomatoes in between and scatter over the remaining feta.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and set. Leave to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares and garnishing with a few coriander leaves. Best enjoyed warm or at room temperature, not fridge cold.

Tip
The cooked and cooled frittata will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving.
Nutritional Information
Per Serving Fat 29g Carbs 9g Protein 21g
Need help with weight measurement conversion
see here
Recipe
from an original idea here

You may also like to try this 'Easy Peasy Cheesy Frittata', it's great for a light lunch, details here 


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

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Valentine's Gin Fizz !

Valentine's Day is almost here, and if you are having a Valentine's night in, you may like to start the evening with this Valentine's gin cocktail recipe. It's mixed with sweet raspberry and rose lemonade and a scattering of frozen fruit for an easy tipple for two, it's 5g carbs per serving.


Ingredients
Serves Two 
ice cubes
160g frozen summer fruit mix
50ml gin
300ml raspberry and rose lemonade, chilled

½ lemon, juiced, plus extra slices to garnish

Method

1. Divide ice cubes and frozen fruit between 2 tall glasses.
2. Pour 25ml of gin into each glass and top up with the raspberry and rose lemonade (approximately 150ml each). Squeeze over the lemon juice and use a long spoon or skewer to swirl the cocktail.

3. Garnish with a slice of lemon and serve immediately. 
See original recipe here 

Cheers ! 

For those who may not want an alcoholic drink, why not consider water and spruce it up with herbs like rosemary, basil and mint. You could add healthy squeezes of lime or lemon juice, fiery ginger or something cooler like some slices of cool, refreshing cucumber. So many choices...



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

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Carbonnade Flamande : Belgian Casserole : Moderate Low Carb


"Carbonnade Flamande is a delicious, rich, Belgian casserole flavoured with beer, bacon, onions and tasty herbs. If you're a fan of rich, deep, meaty beef stews and casseroles then you're going to love this recipe for Carbonnade Flamande ...

Here's why it's so good: it's packed with meat from the beef and bacon, it's got a delicious sweet and sour edge to it because of the strong beer, the herb combo from the bouquet garni works extremely well and the slow cooking process means it just melts in your mouth." 

When you get this dish in Belgium it often comes with a plate of frites, read more about these here but I would serve this with some swede/rutabaga mash, a lower carb alternative, more details here

Ingredients
Serves Six
1 kg lean diced steak
400 ml dark beer like a Leffe
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
200 g onions, chopped
250 g bacon, fat removed, chopped
40 g corn flour
2 carrots, chopped
350 ml stock
20 g tomato puree
2 bay leaves
20 g wholegrain mustard
20 g honey

1 bouquet garni
Method
1. Marinade the beef in the beer and garlic for at least two hours, the longer the better.
2. Preheat your oven to 165 C / 325 F / Gas Mark 3
3. Heat the butter in a large, oven proof dish and fry the bacon, onions and carrots for around 5 minutes or until cooked.
4. Add the beef and the liquid from the marinade along with all of the other ingredients.
5. Mix through, cover and place into the oven for around 3 hours.

Nutrition Per Serving
Fat 10g Carbohydrate 16g Protein 46g
Need help with weight/measurement conversion
see here
Recipe
from original idea here
Vegetarian/Vegan Options
Spiced squash, butter bean and purple sprouting broccoli stew, see here
Mushroom Bourguignon with Celeriac Mash, see here
Oven-Baked Mexican Quinoa Casserole, see here




A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs that is added to casseroles, stocks, sauces and soups. It traditionally comprises parsley (or parsley stalks, which have lots of flavour), a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. These herbs may be bundled into a strip of leek or a piece of celery stalk, or tied in a muslin bag or with string, to keep them together during cooking and allow easy removal before serving.

Regular readers will know there is a large variety of recipe ideas and articles within 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, 10 February 2020

Crème Fraîche, a little about it and some recipes that use it !


Crème Fraîche
(Pronounce it: krem-fraysh)

In France, crème fraîche is known as a liquid cream, which has an added starter culture to slightly thicken and acidify it. But it can also be an even thicker, spoon-able product, closer to what the UK calls sour or soured cream.

Crème fraîche is usually made with cream that has at least a 30% fat content. This creates a product that is naturally thicker and creamier in flavour, with a lower level of acidity than sour cream.
Crème fraîche is available in low-fat and no-fat versions.

Availability

Crème fraîche is available commercially all year round.

Choose the best

Ideally, crème fraîche should have a relatively high fat content. Any product with a low fat content will likely contain additives to achieve the same creamy flavour and texture of the original. Check the label and make your choice accordingly.

Store it

Traditionally, the acidic element of crème fraîche would keep it fresh and palatable for longer than fresh cream. It should keep for some time in a refrigerator, but always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Cook it

Crème fraîche is often dolloped onto baked potatoes, tossed with spinach, carrots and celeriac, or eaten with puddings and fruit. Other soured products can be too harsh for delicately flavoured dishes, so crème fraîche will work well due to its subtle acidity.

It is also used to add sweetness, richness and slight acidity to hot sauces, and is particularly suited to white meats, such as chicken and guinea fowl. You can use it to enrich seafood sauces and salad dressings, and whisked into a hot sauce at the last moment, traditional crème fraiche won't curdle the way sour cream would.

With so many variations on the traditional crème fraîche, it’s impossible to give guidance on how to use all of them, especially the low-fat and no-fat versions. It’s a journey you’ll have to take yourself."

Above words and picture from article here
More about crème fraîche here

Searching for some recipe suggestions that use crème fraîche



Here are a few suggestions:-
Asparagus and Spinach Soup topped with chive crème fraîche - details here
Scallops, pan-fried with crisp pancetta, watercress & lemon crème fraîche - details here
Mustard and Sage Chicken with Celeriac Mash - details here
Golden Goat’s Cheese Tomatoes with Spinach - details here
Broccoli, Pea and Cheddar Cheese Frittata - details here
Lemon-Lime Poppy Seed Cheesecakes - details here

I wonder do you like crème fraîche? Do you use it in a favourite recipe?

As regular readers know:
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

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Coconut Porridge : Low Carb : Keto


If you feel like hot cereal in the morning which is low carb/keto how about this recipe suggestion! It's satisfying, warm-in-the-belly comfort food … some may say, pure happiness in a bowl!

Ingredients
Serves One
4g carbs per serving
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. coconut flour
1 pinch ground psyllium husk powder
1 pinch salt
1 oz. butter or coconut oil

4 tbsp. coconut cream

Tip
A few blueberries goes well with this.

Instructions
can be found here

Low Carb Flours
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


A variety of articles and 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

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Tina Turner - The Best

Saturday Night is Music Night on this blog, and tonight's choice is Tina Turner. What a concert this was. Enjoy. Good health to all. Eddie.

Italian Beef Stew : Low Carb


"This is a simple recipe for a tasty beef stew using Italian herbs and seasoning. Like many stews, this dish is really versatile and you could easily make it with lamb or pork instead (remember that this would change the nutrition values) and you can throw in lots of different vegetables if you choose too.
This is a quick stew that cooks in around 90 minutes but if you want a richer flavour and more tender meat then you could cook this in the oven in a casserole dish for 2-3 hours. Either way, it's really yummy regardless of how you cook it!

Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tsp olive oil
2 red onions, quartered
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
500 g stewing steak
2 g Italian seasoning
2 g rosemary
800 ml beef stock

15 g tomato purée
Method
1. Heat a large pot on a medium heat and add the olive oil and gently fry the onions for a few minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.
2. Throw in the carrots, peppers, tomato puree, stock, seasoning and beef to the pan and mix through.

3. Cover with a lid and simmer for around 90 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. If the sauce isn't as thick as you would like, simmer with the lid off until it reaches your desired consistency. 
Nutrition Per Serving
Fat 11g Protein 27g Carbohydrate 9g"
Need help with weight/measurement conversion
see here
Recipe
from original idea here

If you may want to serve this with some Low-carb Dinner Rolls, (but this will alter the nutrition amounts above) have a look at this recipe here

A variety of recipe ideas are found 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, 7 February 2020

And here's another thing -Trump is a crap golfer!


Ya gotta larf.

Eddie

Valentines Day 2020 ... and low carb walnut and brandy truffles

It's just one week until Valentines Day, and out shopping recently there were so many around the special 'Valentines' aisle in the supermarket. You could see them wondering what may be the best gift to buy. Shall I buy this ... err no - perhaps this one would be better. Call me an incurable romantic but shouldn't every day be Valentines Day?

Yes, "February 14th has become one of the key dates on the commercial calendar, with romantic Brits spending an estimated £1.5 billion on cards and gifts (and Americans as much as $19.6 billion). But behind the commercialisation of Valentine's Day lies a fascinating history that can be traced back to ancient Rome.


image from google

When was Valentine’s Day first celebrated?
From 13 to 15 February, ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. Many believe that the origins of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to this ancient fertility festival. To mark the occasion Roman men sacrificed goats before using their skins to whip women in the belief that this would make them fertile. Some historians have argued that at the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I declared 14 February to be Valentine’s Day in an attempt to reclaim this festival from the Romans and Christianise it.
It’s not clear which St Valentine this day was initially dedicated to, as two saints with this name share the feast day of 14 February. Both of these saints were martyred in Rome; Valentine of Terni in around AD 197 and Valentine of Rome in around AD 496.

The next milestone in the history of Valentine’s Day came in 1382, when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his poem Parlement of Foules. This poem contains what is widely reported to be the first recorded instance of St Valentine’s Day being linked to romantic love.

The first Valentine’s greetings
In 15th-century France, 14 February became an annual feast day celebrating romantic love. Lavish banquets with singing and dancing were held to mark the occasion.

It was also a 15th-century Frenchman who committed the earliest surviving Valentine’s greeting to paper. While imprisoned in the Tower of London following the 1415 battle of Agincourt, the Duke of Orleans wrote to his wife, which translates roughly as, “I am already sick of love, my very gentle Valentine”. This remarkable letter survives in the manuscript collections of the British Library, which also holds the oldest surviving Valentine’s letter in the English language. This dates from 1477 and was sent by one Margery Brews to her fiancé John Paston. In this letter Margery describes John as her “right well-beloved Valentine”. 

By the 17th century Valentine’s Day gets a mention in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 

However, it was in the 18th century that the most familiar Valentine’s poem made its first appearance. These lines, found in a collection of nursery rhymes printed in 1784, read: 


The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.


While this was the first appearance of the poem in this form, its origins reach back to Sir Edmund Spenser’s 1590s epic, The Faerie Queene.

The first Valentine’s cards
The first Valentine’s cards were sent in the 18th century. Initially these were handmade efforts, as pre-made cards were not yet available. Lovers would decorate paper with romantic symbols including flowers and love knots, often including puzzles and lines of poetry. Those who were less inspired could buy volumes that offered guidance on selecting the appropriate words and images to woo their lover. These cards were then slipped secretly under a door, or tied to a door-knocker.

It was in Georgian Britain that pre-printed cards first began to appear, though these were not yet as popular as they were eventually to become. Perhaps the oldest surviving example dates from 1797: this card, held at York Castle Museum, was sent by one Catherine Mossday to a Mr Brown of London. It is decorated with flowers and images of Cupid.

Victorian valentines
The industrialisation of Britain in the early 19th-century brought with it rapid advances in printing and manufacturing technologies. It became easier than ever to mass-produce Valentine’s cards, which soon became immensely popular. 

It is estimated that by the mid 1820s, some 200,000 Valentines were circulated in London alone. The introduction of the Uniform Penny Post in 1840 bolstered the popularity of Valentine’s cards yet further: reports suggest that by the late 1840s the amount of cards being circulated doubled, doubling once again in the next two decades.

Many Victorian Valentine’s cards survive, but most intriguing is a collection of more than 1,700 examples that is held at the Museum of London. Typical imagery included flowers, love knots and Cupid. Though hearts were sometimes used, Victorian cards did not feature the ubiquitous red hearts that are so typical of Valentine’s cards today.

The commercialisation of Valentine’s Day
In the mid-19th century the Valentine’s card travelled across the Atlantic. Cards rapidly gained popularity in America, where they were initially advertised as a British fashion. Advanced American technologies meant that more elaborate cards were produced cheaply, encouraging their popularity yet further.

In 1913 Hallmark Cards produced their first Valentine’s card, representing a key development in the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day.

Thanks in large part to marketing campaigns, Valentine’s Day has today become a time not only for sending cards, but for buying flowers, jewellery, perfume and chocolates. And now you know this annual celebration of love is anything but modern."

The above words are from an article by Dr Anna Maria Barry, a cultural historian, you can see her original article with more details and research links here 

For those readers who may like to find out even more interesting details about Valentine's Day (and there is quite a lot) why not go across to Mike's, 'A Bit About Britain,' blog. He has a post called 'Be my Valentine' and you can find it here.

How about making these low carb walnut and brandy truffles for your Valentine ... they are simply delicious, more details 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

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Salmon, oven-baked with root vegetables, green beans and hollandaise - quite delicious!


Salmon is quite regularly on my LCHF menu plans, I have lost count of the number of favourite recipes I have when it comes to salmon … and now here I am adding another!

Delicious flaky, baked salmon meets tender, roasted root vegetables and green beans - with 21 grams of carbs per serving - it fits well with me! Beautifully topped with an easy and flavourful quick hollandaise sauce, the salmon and veggies combo could become a favourite family meal - how about you?

Ingredients
Serves Four
1½ lbs (650g) salmon, filets
12 oz. (350g) carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8" slices
12 oz. (350g) parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/8" slices
10 oz. (275g) fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Five minute hollandaise
1 egg
10 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. lemon juice
salt to taste
Serving

1 lemon, sliced
Instructions
can be found here

Related Posts
The Health Benefits of Salmon - more to read here
Root Vegetable Chips : Lower Carb Eating - more to read here 
Root Vegetables : So Healthy - more to read here
Introduction to low-carb for beginners - more to read 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

Ya gotta larf.


Eddie

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Ricotta, Tomato and Spinach Frittata : Low Carb : Keto



Many friends seem to like a Frittata at the weekend, but they really can be enjoyed any day of the week. They are so versatile with many different recipes and variety options.

I think this makes a great mid-week meal, it's quick, easy and healthy, and just 7g carbs per serving … Read on and see what you think! 

Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
300g cherry tomatoes
100g spinach leaves
small handful basil leaves
100g ricotta (also works well with Feta)

6 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to season 
salad, to serve

Method
1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the onion for 5-6 mins until softened and lightly golden. Add the tomatoes and toss for 1 min to soften.
2. Remove from the heat, add the spinach leaves and basil, and toss together to wilt a little. Transfer all the ingredients to a greased 30cm x 20cm rectangular baking tin. Take small scoops of the ricotta and dot over the vegetables.

3. Season the eggs and beat well, then pour over the vegetables and cheese. Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until pale golden and set.
4. Serve with salad.

From an idea here



Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe suggestions 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

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Nightmare in Paradise.

An emigre from Kansas has a nightmare about the rules and regulations in his adopted state. Eddie

Cappuccino Cake : Low Carb Recipe




I must admit ... I do enjoy taking 'time-out' of a busy day to sit down, relax and enjoy a small slice of low carb cake with a cup of coffee or tea. I don't have cake every day, but there are some days when an extra treat with a small slice of low carb cake is just wonderful, and so enjoyable!

Fellow diabetic blogger Ewelina says "If you like coffee and chocolate you will love this beautiful, layered cake that imitates cappuccino. Chocolate cake combines nicely with coffee flavoured cream and a layer of whipped cream. The cake is very moist and rich. Tastes delicious with a cup of hot and strong coffee"

Ingredients:
Chocolate Cake:
90g ground almond
30g soya flour

5 big eggs 
125g unsalted butter (softened)
150g xylitol (powdered)
100g dark chocolate (Ewelina used Mernier dark chocolate)
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. bicarbonate soda

Coffee cream:
250g mascarpone cheese
200g whipping cream
4 tsp. instant coffee
3 tsp. powdered gelatine
4 tbsp. xylitol

Top layer:
250g whipping cream
1 tbsp. xylitol (or more if you wish)

Preparation:
Chocolate cake:
1. Preheat oven to 170 C and line spring form tin with baking paper.
2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and set aside to cool down a bit. 
3. Using electric hand mixer beat the butter. Add Xylitol and melted chocolate.
4. Separate egg yolks from whites. Add yolks to the chocolate mixture, one at the time mixing continuously.
5. Sift the ground almond, soy flour, baking powder and soda and add to the mixture.
6. Beat the egg whites and mix very gently with the chocolate mixture.
7. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Check with a skewer if the cake is baked (the skewer should come out clean). Let it cool down and cut in half lengthwise.

Coffee cream:
1. Dissolve gelatine in ¼ cup of hot water. Let it cool down slightly.
2. Dissolve coffee in one tablespoon of hot water and mix with mascarpone cheese.
3. Whip the cream and add Splenda together with dissolved gelatine mixing continuously.
4. Add the cream mixture to the mascarpone cream.

Top layer:
Whip the cream and add Splenda.

Assembly of the cake:
Spread the coffee cream on a layer of the chocolate cake. Cover with the second layer. Spread the whipped cream on top and sprinkle with cocoa powder or coffee.

Enjoy !

The whole cake has 114g carb divided into 14 slices it is 8.1g carb

See more at Ewelina's blog here
Need help with weight/measurement conversion, see here

Low Carb Flours
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


A variety of articles and 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

American Diabetes Association CEO manages her diabetes with a low-carb diet !



This from Diet Doctor site:
"Here’s some highly encouraging news: the influential CEO of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is on the record as a low-carb eater.

In a recent podcast interview that is setting the low-carb world abuzz, ADA CEO Tracy Brown said she successfully manages her own type 2 diabetes, and has come off all her insulin and three other medications, by avoiding sugar and carbs.

Commentators are calling it a pivotal “tipping point” and hugely significant milestone in the acceptance for low-carb eating for diabetes. It marks the first time a high-placed ADA official has described personal success with a low-carb diet.

Brown, who took over the helm of the organization in 2018, is the first head of the ADA in its 80-year history to actually have diabetes, which was diagnosed 16 years ago. She says she is on track now to remove the final, fourth medication, by the summer because her blood sugar control is so good.

The 60-minute, two-part interview with journalist Stephanie Gaines-Bryant, of the Sisters4Fitness podcast, ran January 28th. It is being widely shared on Facebook and Twitter.

The conversation occurred at the 22:06 minute mark of the interview. Here is an edited version of what Brown said:

"Here is what I do. And it is pretty simple. Elevated blood sugars happen when you have sugars in your body and you don’t have insulin to manage the sugars in your body.

Carbohydrates turn into sugar. So I just try to get people to be aware of how many carbohydrates you are actually putting in your body.

Carbohydrates come in many shapes and forms. Bread is a carbohydrate. Pasta is a carbohydrate. Actually fruits …. some people go, “fruits?”…. but some fruit are high in carbohydrates.

So as someone living with diabetes, you have to be mindful [of sugars and carbohydrates]..

Even with fast food….. If I am in a pinch, running through an airport and I have to get something. And the only thing I see is a fast food … I can still go in there. Usually they will have a salad option. And if they don’t have a salad, they will usually have a sandwich, a burger, chicken something. I take that and I toss the bun.

So there is always a way for you to work around it. But my advice to people is start paying attention to sugars and carbohydrates. And those are listed on nearly every package. And, with cell phones today, you can look up on the internet how many carbohydrates are in x,y, or z and it will tell you."


In the first part of the two-part interview, Brown talks about her journey from a chemical engineer working for Procter and Gamble, to earning her MBA and then holding a number of leader positions in top companies like American Express and Exxon, before running “Sam’s Club,” a members-only part of the vast Walmart empire. She was asked to lead the ADA, she said, after she became very involved as a volunteer to raise money and awareness about diabetes in her local chapter in Arkansas.

She told Gaines-Bryant that she began to take her own diabetes seriously when her daughter, then five, asked her if she was going to die from the disease. “I made a commitment to be the poster child for how you thrive with diabetes — not just live or exist, but thrive.”
The entire podcast (both parts one and two) provide a fascinating and inspiring glimpse into a dynamic and powerful woman who could be highly influential in changing diabetes management around the world."


Read more on this story here

All the best Jan