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Monday, 21 January 2019

Golden Goat’s Cheese Tomatoes with Spinach


Such a lovely, easy dish ten minutes to prepare and fifteen minutes to cook - then sit down and enjoy.

Ingredients:
Serves Two
250g spinach
4 slices prosciutto
3 large tomatoes, halved
1 heaped tbsp. crème fraîche

50g goat's cheese (from a log with rind), chopped

Method:
1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the spinach in a colander, pour over a kettle of boiling water until the spinach wilts, then drain and squeeze out as much liquid as you can (you might need to do this in two batches). Put the spinach in the bottom of a gratin or baking dish, season, then sprinkle with nutmeg.
2. Drape the prosciutto over and around the spinach, then sit the tomato halves on top, cut-side up. Dot the crème fraîche over the whole dish, scatter with the goat’s cheese, then season with more pepper. Bake for 10-15 mins until the cheese is melting into the crème fraîche and the edges are starting to bubble. Scoop out of the dish and serve with low carb bread and a green salad.

Nutrition per serving:
Fat 17g Carbs 10g Fibre 5g Protein 16g

Tips:
Ricotta and / or Mozzarella cheese could also be used.
Herbs such as basil may also be added if wished.
Low carb bread suggestions, can be found  here, here and here

Recipe:
From an original idea here but easily amended to suit your dietary preference

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

All the best Jan

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Prosciutto (ham) ... some facts and low carb recipe suggestions


Prosciutto
Pronounce it: proh-shoo-toe 
Prosciutto is sweet, delicate ham intended to be eaten raw. The word 'prosciutto' is the Italian for ham, but is widely used to describe seasoned, cured, air-dried ham. True prosciutto comes from Italy, but versions are now produced elsewhere. 
'Prosciutto cotto' is cooked and 'prosciutto crudo' is raw (although safe and ready to eat thanks to the curing process). Italian prosciuttos are labelled according to their city or province of origin. The most famous is 'prosciutto di Parma' or Parma ham, which is salted and air-dried for 8 to 24 months. 
Choose the best 
In supermarkets prosciutto comes pre-prepared in thin, almost transparent, slices. However, delis will cut fresh slices from the leg at the desired thickness.
Prepare it 
Prosciutto is usually eaten raw, but can be added to pasta or risotto. Add it at the last minute as lengthy cooking will toughen it and destroy the delicate flavour. 
Store it 
Keep in the fridge and consume by the use by date. Once opened eat within two days. 
Cook it For a classic no-fuss Italian starter, drape slices of prosciutto over quarter of a juicy melon - and that's it. 
Alternatives 
Try pancetta or ham.

Recipe suggestions

Asparagus Wrapped With Prosciutto : Low Carb
more details here
 

Warm courgette and aubergine salad, with prosciutto : Low carb
more details here


Frittata with Butternut Squash, Spinach and Prosciutto
more 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 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, 19 January 2019

Coldplay - Adventure Of A Lifetime (Official Video)

Saturday Night comes around again, and that means it's music night on this blog - this week it's a song from Coldplay, a British rock band. The four members, lead singer and pianist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion were at University College London, and came together in the late 90's. Creative director and former manager Phil Harvey is often referred to as the fifth member by the band. This music video for "Adventure of a Lifetime" features the band performing as monkeys, (yes unusual) and was filmed at The Imaginarium, where the reboot series of Planet of the Apes and parts of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens were also filmed. It's certainly different … see what you think. All the best Jan


Six Points That May Convince You to Drink More Coffee !

Kris Gunnars BSc writes: 
"Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants. In fact, people in Western countries get more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables combined. Various studies show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of many serious — and even fatal — diseases. Though most of this research is observational and cannot prove that coffee caused these beneficial effects, the evidence nonetheless suggests that — at the very least — coffee isn’t something to be feared.


1. May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes 
Multiple studies have shown that coffee drinkers are at a much lower risk of type 2 diabetes, one of the biggest health problems in the world. 

2. May Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease 
Coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. 

3. May Lower Your Risk of Liver Cancer 
Coffee appears to have major benefits for liver health. Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of cirrhosis, as well as liver cancer — the second most common cause of cancer death worldwide. 

4. Significantly Reduces Your Risk of Parkinson's Disease 
Numerous studies show that people who drink caffeinated coffee — but not decaf — have a lower risk of Parkinson's disease. 

5. May Lower Your Risk of Depression and Suicide 
Studies show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of depression and up to a 55% lower risk of suicide. 

6. May Lower Your Risk of Early Death 
Drinking 4–5 cups of coffee per day has been linked to a reduced risk of early death, likely due to coffee’s antioxidant content and its ability to protect against serious health conditions. 

The Bottom Line 
Moderate coffee consumption may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and liver cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It may even help you live longer. If you want to reap these benefits, be sure to avoid unhealthy additives like sugar and don't drink coffee late in the day if it tends to disrupt your sleep. With its powerful antioxidants and beneficial effects on health, coffee may be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet."

The above words are just a snippet from Kris's post. Please use the link below to see the full article which includes research and related links plus graphs that may convince you that drinking coffee is a good idea - please read it in full here

All the best Jan

Friday, 18 January 2019

Parmesan Herb-Crusted Fish


This simple Parmesan herb-crusted fish recipe takes six ingredients and transforms it into a nutritious main dish. Serve this lean fish with some sautéed vegetables (e.g. pan seared Brussels sprouts) and you’ve got a healthy, evening meal. 

Ingredients:
Serves Two 
8 ounces white fish fillets
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary 

Method:
1. Lay fish skin side down on a baking sheet.
2. In a small bowl, toss together the Parmesan, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
3. In a second small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (about 10 seconds).
4. Brush butter on the upright side of the fish. Sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan and herb mixture. 
5. Turn your grill/broiler to high heat. Put fish on a grill/broiler rack about 4-5 inches under the flame. Let grill/broil for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and fish has reached an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, flake the fish with a fork to see if it is done. 

Nutritional Information:
Per serving: Total Fat 8g Carbohydrate 1g  Protein: 26g
Nutrition Bonus: Dish also provides Potassium, Iron, Vitamins A and C, Calcium
Original recipe idea here
For help with weight/measurement conversion see here 

Herbs ... can be so wonderful to use, these "fragrant plants whose leaves (and sometimes stalks) are used in cooking to add flavour to dishes. Different cuisines rely on different varieties of herb, depending on which plants grow native or are cultivated in that country:
For example, basil is synonymous with Italian food, while coriander is widely used in Indian and South-east Asian dishes. The leaves of many herbs can be dried and used as a substitute for fresh herbs, but the flavours will not usually be as pronounced. The seeds of some herbs, such as coriander, can be dried, ground and used as spices. The recipe above uses a mix of oregano, thyme and rosemary - a lovely mix.


A variety of recipe ideas/articles are found 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

DIABETES NEWS : Low Carb and Keto Diet Apps : Is Your Glucose Meter Accurate : A Favourite Low Carb Recipe


Sharing some recent news relating to Diabetes and losing weight! 
All words in the first article below taken from Diet Doctor site here

"Low-carb app for diabetes approved by NHS 

The UK National Health Service (NHS) has approved an app with a low-carb diet program for type 2 diabetes. This is one more validation of the safety and effectiveness of low-carb diets for treating type 2 diabetes! 

Diabetes.co.uk: Low Carb Program app approved by NHS Digital 

As we have written earlier, type 2 diabetes rates in the UK are escalating quickly, and the NHS is looking for ways to reverse this trend. According to Diabetes.co.uk, the NHS-approved Low Carb Program app will provide people with type 2 diabetes with necessary tools to track weight and blood glucose levels. But the real focus is food: 

It provides people with type 2 diabetes with the opportunity to make lifestyle changes, chiefly by eating a real-food diet, to help improve their health. 

Diet Doctor collaborator Dr. David Unwin who helped developed the Low Carb Program App adds: 

I reversed my diabetes on a low carb diet. I don’t get any money from inventing the app. I’m just happy to see patients stop their diabetes. 

If you are looking for help with a low-carb diet, we have our very own app, Diet Doctor Eat, that was just launched earlier this week! Our app contains the full arsenal of our 600+ delicious low-carb and keto recipes, all beautifully photographed and organized in a smart-phone friendly, easy-to-view format. This part of the app is free for everyone. It is a perfect additional resource for those using low-carb eating plans to reverse or improve type 2 diabetes." 

Also - 
Is Your Glucose Meter as Accurate as You Think?  
Dr. Steve Parker recently shared this article on his Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog



"DiaTribe has an article on glucose meter accuracy by Jeemin Kwon and Adam Brown. I quote: 

"Results from the Diabetes Technology Society’s Blood Glucose Meter Surveillance Program identifies only six out of 18 meters that passed. Did yours make the cut? 

The Diabetes Technology Society (DTS) recently revealed long-awaited results from its Blood Glucose Monitor System (BGMS) Surveillance Program. The rigorous study tested the accuracy of 18 popular blood glucose meters (BGM) used in the US. These FDA-cleared meters were purchased through retail outlets and tested rigorously at three study sites in over 1,000 people (including 840 people with diabetes). The results were troubling: only six out of the 18 devices met the DTS passing standard for meter accuracy – within 15% or 15 mg/dl of the laboratory value in over 95% of trials. 

The devices that passed were:
Contour Next from Ascensia (formerly Bayer) – 100%
Accu-Chek Aviva Plus from Roche – 98%
Walmart ReliOn Confirm (Micro) from Arkray – 97%
CVS Advanced from Agamatrix – 97%
FreeStyle Lite from Abbott – 96%

Accu-Chek SmartView from Roche – 95% 

The devices that failed were:
Walmart ReliOn Prime from Arkray – 92%
OneTouch Verio from LifeScan – 92%
Prodigy Auto Code from Prodigy – 90%
OneTouch Ultra 2 from LifeScan – 90%
Walmart ReliOn Ultima from Abbott – 89%
Contour Classic from Bayer – 89%
Embrace from Omnis Health – 88%
True Result from HDI/Nipro – 88%
True Track from HDI/Nipro – 81%
Solus V2 from BioSense Medical – 76%

Advocate Redi-Code+ from Diabetic Supply of Suncoast – 76% 
Gmate Smart from Philosys – 71% " 

Source/ Read more: 
Dr Steve Parker's Diabetic Mediterranean Diet Blog can be found here

Favourite Low Carb Recipe -
Low Carb Pork Casserole, Rustic Style - sharing a favourite recipe
please find details 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

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Chicken Korma : A Lower Carb Curry !


Do you enjoy a curry? We often do, but serve it with cauliflower rice (and not basmati) for a lower carb alternative. This recipe suggestion is for a creamy korma recipe made using tender chicken breast pieces in a mildly spiced curry sauce, but you could use chicken thigh fillets as an alternative if you prefer... 

Ingredients:
Serves Four

Each Serving:
Carbohydrate 10.9g Protein 38.7g Fibre 2.6g Fat 30g

4 (British) Chicken breast fillets (around 600g)
2 tbsp. oil
40g butter
2 brown onions, coarsely grated or very finely chopped
4 tsp ginger and garlic paste
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp mild chilli powder
2 tbsp. mango chutney (or 2 tsp caster sugar)
300ml hot chicken stock
100ml double (heavy) cream
1-2 tbsp. toasted flaked almonds, to garnish (optional)

fresh coriander leaves, to garnish (optional)

To Serve:
Cauliflower Rice, for details please see here

Method:
1. Cut each chicken breast into small chunks (roughly 2.5cm) and season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and fry the chicken over a medium-high heat for 5-6 mins, turning occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a plate using a slotted spoon or spatula and return the pan to the heat. Keep the chicken warm by covering in foil or placing in the oven on a low heat.
2. Add the remaining oil, butter and onions to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring often, for 10 mins, or until the onions are soft and lightly browned. Stir in the ginger and garlic paste and ground spices and cook, stirring continuously, for a further 1 min.
3. Add the mango chutney and stock to the spiced onions and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 mins or until the liquid has reduced by roughly half, stirring regularly. (For an extra smooth sauce, blitz the mixture with a blender.)
4. Return the chicken to the pan with the onions, add the cream and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 mins, until the chicken is piping hot and cooked through. Add a splash of water to loosen the sauce if necessary.

5. Garnish the curry with toasted flaked almonds and scatter with fresh coriander, if you like.
6. Serve with freshly cooked cauliflower rice.

Cook's Tips:

If you have an extensive spice cupboard, you could add 6-8 lightly crushed cardamom pods, ¼ tsp ground fenugreek, and a good pinch of ground cinnamon and ground cloves to the onions at the same time as the other spices. 

For a lighter flavour, swap half the cream for natural yogurt.

A sachet of creamed coconut may also be added (but this affects the nutrition details slightly)

For a vegetarian alternative:
Fry a mixture of small chestnut and thickly sliced Portobello mushrooms instead of the chicken – 400g should be enough to serve four. Chunks of cooked butternut squash can be used too; instead of frying, simply add to the sauce at the same time as the cream.

From an original idea here

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

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Day dreaming....

I am a fair weather fisherman, when not fishing because the weather is too cold or windy or raining, I read about fishing. When not reading about fishing I spend too much time watching fishing videos, and day dreaming, this bloke certainly has the fishing bug bad. Very short video and very funny. Eddie

Blueberry Coconut Cake : Low Carb / Keto


This low carb / keto blueberry coconut cake can be made in a cake pan, cast iron skillet-pan or as muffins, (which makes it easy to customize). It’s grain-free, nut-free, sugar-free, and did I mention low carb / keto! What’s more, it's light, airy, and moist. The blueberries and coconut flour pair perfectly in this recipe suggestion. 

Ingredients
Yield 12
Carbs per serving 4.9g
1 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup sugar substitute e.g. Swerve
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons of melted butter
3 eggs
1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup of toasted sugar-free coconut flakes
1 ½ tablespoons of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of sea salt

Instructions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Toast the sugar-free coconut flakes for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. (set aside)
3. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
4. Combine the sugar substitute, melted butter and the eggs.
5. Add the sour cream and combine well.
6. Next add all the dry ingredients, including the ¾ cup of the toasted coconut.
7. Stir until fully combined.
8. Lastly, stir in the blueberries
9. Pour batter (note that it will be thick) into fully greased 9-inch round cake pan or cast-iron skillet.
10. Top with the ¼ cup of toasted coconut you reserved.
11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Original recipe idea and more can be seen here
For help with weight / measurement / oven temperature conversion please see here

Coconut flour is a wonderful low-carb, keto, gluten-free flour. It is light, packed with fibre, easy to use, requires very little quantities and so ends up being a very affordable baking grain-free flour. if you would like to know more about cooking with low carb (alternative) flours please see 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 your meter.

 All the best Jan

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Ain't this a fact....


Eddie

How To Meal Prep In Less Than 2 Hours A Week : Some Helpful Tips !



Laurentine ten Bosch writes: 
"Take a moment to imagine this common scenario; you arrive home after a long day at work and you’re exhausted. You still have a mental to-do list inside your head that needs to get done before you retire to bed. You open the fridge door, feeling overwhelmed and uninspired, and you reach for the easiest option, or grab the phone and order delivery. 

Sound familiar?! Add children, pets, partners, second jobs, finances, piano lessons, tennis practice and a cacophony of other possible elements to the mix and the challenges to making yourself a nourishing homemade meal rapidly multiply! 

Luckily, with a little organization and preparation, you can change this scenario, saving yourself time, money and your long term health. Two hours a week is all that it takes to make a difference and set you up for a week ahead of healthy eating. Sound too good to be true?! Take a look through the tips below and dedicate some time each weekend to spend in the kitchen. Put some music on, grab an apron, and enjoy this time of self-care. 

1. Organization 
Keeping your kitchen organized, clean and uncluttered creates a positive space and makes food preparation and healthy food choices that much easier. Invest in some clear glass jars and containers to store your ingredients in so they are easy to see and you know when you need to res-stock. Keeping staples on hand such as grains, nuts, seeds, pulses, superfoods, basic condiments, herbs and spices ensure that even if you come home exhausted, there are always good food options on hand. Stock up on fresh produce every weekend, preferably from a local farmers' market if you can find one near you. A clean and well-stocked kitchen is a key factor to your weekly meal preparation. 

2. Soaking 
Nuts, grains and pulses often require soaking before cooking or eating. Each Sunday, soak a batch of almonds which you can use throughout the week to make a simple nut-milk or as a healthy snack. Quinoa only needs to soak for an hour or two, so try soaking and cooking up a batch to store in the fridge, ready for meals throughout the week. You can also soak a batch of chickpeas, lentils or kidney beans that can be cooked early in the week and added to stews, soups, salads or made into dips. 

3. Fruit and Vegetable Preparation 
Try roasting up a big tray of vegetables and storing them in a container in the fridge. Roast vegetables make a delicious addition to salads or on top of bread with avocado. Wash your leafy greens so they are ready to use for salads and smoothies. Try cutting up carrots, cucumbers or celery for easy snacks with fresh dip. Chop up fruit such as bananas, mango or berries and store them in the freezer for easy smoothies come breakfast time. 

4. Homemade Bread 
Having a healthy loaf of bread on hand during the week makes for easy breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Experiment with various topping options to keep things interesting such as avocado and lemon, almond butter and berries, or hummus and rocket (arugula). Homemade bread is simple to make and full of healthy fats and protein that will keep you satisfied and nourished. Homemade bread is far superior to anything purchased at the supermarket and making your own fresh batch is so rewarding. It is a routine you will come to love and appreciate. 

5. Dips and Dressings 
Having a couple of healthy dips and salad dressings in the fridge enable you to jazz up a simple weekday meal into something flavoursome and fun. Try making a batch of hummus or guacamole, an easy tahini lemon dressing, or even just an olive oil balsamic dressing you can keep on the countertop. Store-purchased condiments and dressings are often filled with preservatives, sugar and artificial ingredients, so homemade is always best. 

6. Get Creative 
When learning to cook healthy, nourishing meals for yourself and your family, good recipes are always helpful. Yet don’t be deterred if you don’t have every single ingredient on hand. Be creative, work with what you have, and use your intuition. The more experience you gain in the kitchen, the more confident you will feel in adapting recipes and ‘going with the flow.’ Being prepared and having good quality staples on hand offers you plenty of flexibility and freedom when it comes to creating healthy meals in a matter of minutes. 

Most of all - have fun! These two hours a week in the kitchen will fly by and you will be amazed at how these couple of hours offer you so much more freedom throughout the week and set you up for success. As you get familiar with the recipes, you may feel inspired to branch out and try new things such as making your own sauerkraut, nut cheese, granola or trail bars. Build your own recipe collection and enjoy the culinary journey! 

Do you have meal prep tips and suggestions to share with us?" 
Words and picture above from article here

All the best Jan

Monday, 14 January 2019

Paprika Pork with Red Peppers : Low Carb Dinner



Just lightly spiced and satisfyingly creamy, this pork recipe needs only a handful of ingredients, and the addition of sliced red peppers gives the dish more depth and texture.

INGREDIENTS:
Serves Four
4 pork chops or escalope's
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 red peppers
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp tomato puree
200ml chicken or vegetable stock
200ml crème fraiche
Chopped fresh parsley

METHOD:
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the pork chops or escalope's for two minutes on each side until lightly golden brown. Remove to a plate.

Finely slice the onion, peppers and garlic and add to the pan you had sealed the pork in. Cook over a moderate heat for about ten minutes until soft and translucent.

Stir in the tomato puree and then pour over the stock. Return the pork to the pan and simmer for five minutes until slightly syrupy. Add the crème fraiche and some seasoning and simmer for two more minutes before stirring in a handful of chopped fresh parsley.

Serve with mashed swede (rutabaga) or cauliflower rice, and perhaps some green beans.

Original recipe here

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


couldn't resist sharing this 'google' image
such lovely flowers 

All the best Jan

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Orange, Mozzarella and Rocket (Arugula) Salad ...easy and refreshing


No matter the season I do think a salad can be enjoyed at any time. As a side dish, light lunch or even main meal … and of course there are so many varieties and combinations of salad ingredients you can choose from.

This recipe suggestion uses oranges and cheese, and of course a little greenery. 

Oranges are bursting with vitamins and minerals. The taste can vary from juicy and sweet to bitter, depending on the variety – more common varieties include Valencia, Seville and Hamlin. Oranges are available all year round, except for some varieties such as blood oranges, which have a shorter season. Oranges are well known for their vitamin C content but they are also a good source of fibre, B vitamins, vitamin A, calcium and potassium.

The cheese used is mozzarella or burrata - if you can find it - and with the mix of other ingredients you have a fresh and citrussy salad with a mustard dressing.

Ingredients:
Serves Four 
3 normal or blood oranges
2 x 125g balls mozzarella, the best you can afford (or burrata, if you can get it), torn
2 big handfuls rocket (arugula)
½ red onion, thinly sliced
low carb bread, to serve (optional)
For the dressing
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp mustard seed (black or brown)

1 tsp poppy seed

Method:
1. Finely zest 1 of the oranges and mix with the dressing ingredients and some seasoning.
2. Cut the peel from the top and bottom of each orange, then sit each flat on a board. Using a small knife, cut away the peel and pith from each orange, working in downward strokes all the way around. Thinly slice the oranges and scatter over a platter with the mozzarella, rocket (arugula) and onion.

3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and eat with some low carb seedy bread, if you like.

Nutrition: per serving

fat 22g carbs 10g fibre 2g protein 14g

Original recipe idea here


We bring a variety of recipe ideas and articles to 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

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Simply Red - Holding Back The Years (Symphonica In Rosso)

Yes, it's Saturday Night, so it's Music Night on this blog! Last year 'Simply Red' played 'Symphonica In Rosso' which is the annual Dutch event which sees artists perform on three nights with a full orchestra, simply amazing. Of this video, one commenter said, "You know when you see a video of a singer doing a song they first recorded 35 years ago and they struggle to hit the high notes because their voice is worn with age? THIS AIN'T ONE OF THOSE! 33 years on and Mick hasn't lost even the slightest bit of vocal range. His voice is still as pure and unique as ever. Truly one of the greatest voices of our time," and someone else said, "no pre programmed drum beats, no flashy pyrotechnics … just a microphone & soul." I enjoyed this, I hope you do to. All the best Jan

Make Some Courgette / Zucchini Fritters ... and why this vegetable is on my shopping list


Fritters make a great meal any time of day! Make a big batch, freeze them, and reheat when needed for a quick and easy meal solution!

Why it’s so good for you! 
Courgettes/Zucchini and carrot both have a high water content. When paired with protein and fat from the eggs, these fritters make a filling, nourishing meal without that unwanted heavy feeling. 

What You Need: 
(use organic ingredients where possible)
2 cups grated vegetables (courgette/zucchini, carrot or sweet potato)
2 free range eggs
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped/ grated
Butter or coconut oil for frying
Sea salt and pepper to taste 

Utensils: 
Grater
Knife
Fry-pan
Spatula 

What To Do:
1. Grate the courgettes/zucchinis with the skin on and add some salt. Let the mixture stand for a while you chop the onion.
2. Squeeze the veg in order to get rid of excess water, and then mix with the onion, the salt and pepper and the eggs until you have a thick pancake like batter.
3. In a fry-pan heat the oil or butter and fry the batter in batches of 4 small pancake size fritters for about 2 minutes each side on medium heat, or until slightly brown.
4. Serve with a tossed green salad dressed with lemon and olive oil.

Courgettes / Zucchini ... they are on my shopping list! 
Courgettes / Zucchini are becoming ever more popular and with good reason, they have a deliciously sweet, nutty taste. They’re often used to bulk out sauces and dishes like a bolognaise or lasagne, but why not also enjoy courgettes in their own right.

Many of us enjoy growing our own Courgettes, but if left too long in the soil, they will grow huge and bloated with water. While these green monsters might look magnificent, the best tasting courgettes are the shorter, slim ones.

If you’re already living the LCHF lifestyle, you will know that courgettes are low in carbs, just 2g. carb per 100g, and they are probably high up on your must buy shopping (or growing) list. They may not pack the nutritional punch of other green vegetables (broccoli, kale etc.) but they do contain significant levels of potassium to control blood pressure and vitamin C to boost your immune system.

The courgette’s thin dark skin is high in soluble fibre, which slows digestion and stabilises blood sugar levels – potentially getting rid of those pesky mid-afternoon sweet cravings. Soluble fibre can also prevent constipation and help with those horrible IBS symptoms so many of us endure.

You can buy courgettes from most big supermarkets as well as small farmers markets (when in season). Many prefer to buy locally sourced courgettes as supermarkets can of course ship vegetables thousands of miles despite them being in season a few minutes down the road, but how and where you buy is always a personal choice.

Now – how to prepare courgettes? Try not to cook courgettes with too much water as they can go quite soggy. The best way to cook them is to get a good crunch. Slice them in thin chip shapes, place them on foil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, spices and herbs, then place under the grill until golden. You can eat these as a snack, or with a salad. Alternatively, you can roast courgettes up with a selection of other vegetables to enjoy with classic meat and buttery mashed swede. Or you can make Greek style fritters on the BBQ with lots of chopped dill.

Courgettes keep well in the fridge, but don’t leave them too long or they’ll develop a slightly bitter taste.

More information here, with a lovely Courgette / Zucchini Fries recipe here.
Some text taken from this resource here
For help with weight/measurement conversion see here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas and articles to 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

Friday, 11 January 2019

It's Friday ... some thoughts and a Provençal Chicken Recipe !

Yes, Friday comes around again … before we know it we'll be half way through the first month of 2019. The days seem to go by so quickly, and I still haven't decided is that a good thing or not? Good or bad I think the best thing is to enjoy each and every day. 

Do you buy flowers? Sometimes I do and sometimes they are bought for me … I have seen some early bunches of daffodils in our local shops and tulips too - perhaps a sign that Spring is just around the corner (but somehow I doubt that) we still have a few more months to go … 

Blog friends over in Australia have been feeling the heat in recent weeks with quite extraordinarily high temperatures, while other blog friends in Canada and parts of Europe have had a lot of snow. The weather here in the UK hasn't been too bad and has enabled many of us to get out for enjoyable walks, that's when we are fortunate enough not to have the inevitable winter coughs, colds and sneezes that do seem to be around. 

Anyway, back to Friday, we quite often enjoy a fish dish on a Friday but today I think will be different! Yes, I'm thinking it may well be Provençal Chicken, it really is a tasty dish … she says with a big smile!

Provençal Chicken - a favourite

There are quite a few 'Provençal Chicken' recipe ideas around and you may indeed have your own particular favourite. Recipes to me are to be shared, enjoyed, sometimes amended to suit your particular likes and needs.

We bring a variety of recipe ideas to 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.

Now, how about the aroma of some great ingredients wafting ... whilst this tasty dish is bubbling in the pan! Then you can enjoy the taste of France at your table!

Ingredients:
Serves Four

1 tbsp. oil
100 g lean smoked bacon medallions, roughly chopped
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 courgette, halved and cut into chunks
1 aubergine (eggplant), cut into small pieces
4 tomatoes, cut into large wedges
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
500 g carton passata
half a chicken stock cube, crumbled
460 g chicken thigh fillets
14g of fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and roughly chopped
2 tsp mixed herbs

Method: 
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C fan, gas 6. In a large oven proof pan, heat the oil and cook the bacon for 5 minutes until crispy. Remove and reserve for later.
2. Add the onion, courgette, and aubergine (eggplant) to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, garlic, chilli, passata, 50ml water and chicken stock cube. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken thigh fillets, half of the parsley, reserved bacon and mixed herbs. Stir to coat the chicken in sauce and cook for 30 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and serve straight away garnished with the remaining parsley and seasoned with freshly ground black pepper.

Make it veggie: Leave out the bacon and chicken, and replace the chicken stock cube with a vegetable stock cube. Cook the vegetables and serve with a nut roast.

Original recipe can be seen here

Bon Appetit.

All the best Jan

Ahh bless ...

This made me smile


Eddie

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Quesadillas - Go Mexican - Low Carb / Keto Version

A quesadilla is a heated tortilla with melted cheese inside. But in addition to cheese, you can put practically anything in a quesadilla. This Mexican-inspired dish is decadent, cheesy - and low carb/keto. You can serve them up as is, or decked-out with sour cream, guacamole and salsa. It's up to you ...
Happy eating!
Feliz comer!



Ingredients 
Three Servings 
5g net carbs 41g fat 21g protein 
Low-carb tortillas
2 eggs
2 egg whites
6 oz. cream cheese
1½ tsp ground psyllium husk powder
1 tbsp. coconut flour
½ tsp salt
Filling
5 oz. grated hard cheese of your liking
1 oz. arugula (rocket) lettuce

1 tbsp. olive oil, for frying

There is greenery in the above recipe provided by using rocket leaves which is sometimes known as Arugula. Now we all know that salad greens are healthy, and that most are very low in calories. However, did you know that not all give you a good dose of nutrients... well Arugula/ Rocket is one leafy green vegetable that stands out as a rich source of many vitamins and minerals.

Consider the difference between iceberg lettuce and arugula/rocket:
Arugula contains about eight times the calcium,
fives times the vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K,
four times the iron as the same amount of iceberg lettuce.

The choice is easy... start with arugula/rocket for a healthier salad! 

Tips 
Never underestimate the power of melted cheese — in other words, make extra if you’re expecting a crowd! And make some guacamole, too.
Depending on your taste, some may find, they are slightly eggy, however, when you add the fillings and flavourings the eggy taste is gone. 

Frying instead of baking 
If you don't want to bake the tortillas you can fry them in a pan instead. We recommend using a non-stick pan for this. Add a small amount of butter or oil to the pan and place it over medium heat. 
Add a dollop of the batter in the middle of the pan and swirl it around to cover. This will give you a thin tortilla, or crepe if you would rather use it as that. Cook until set on top and then flip carefully and let the other side cook for about a minute. 

Prepare ahead of time 
You can make the tortillas ahead of time. Allow them to cool completely before stacking them with parchment paper in-between. Wrap them with plastic and keep them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you are in the mood for fresh quesadillas - just add cheese and fry them according to the instructions. Once the quesadillas are assembled and cooked they are best to eat right away. 

Recipe instructions
Can be found here

A variety of recipe suggestions/ideas are found 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.



Talking about Mexico, did you know that 
Dahlia pinnata is the national flower of Mexico 

All the best Jan

Don’t toy with glycemic index !


Dr William Davis writes:
"Here is a discussion I first posted in my Wheat Belly Total Health book, chapter 7: Grainless Living Day-to-Day.

Glycemic index, or GI, describes how high blood sugar climbs over 90 minutes after consuming a food compared to glucose.

The GI of a chicken drumstick? Zero: No impact on blood sugar. How about three fried eggs? Zero, too. This is true for other meats, oils and fats, seeds, mushrooms, and non-starchy vegetables. You eat any of these foods and blood sugar doesn’t budge, no glycation phenomena follow, no glucotoxic or lipotoxic damage to such things as your pancreas.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the concept of GI nor of the related concept, glycemic load, GL, a measure that also factors in the quantity of food. The problem is how the values for GI and GL are interpreted. For instance, categories of GI are arbitrarily broken down into:

High glycemic index: 70 or greater
Moderate glycemic index: 56-69
Low glycemic index: 55 or less

This is like being a little bit more or less pregnant. By this scheme, cornflakes, puffed rice, and pretzels have “high“ GIs above 70, thereby sending your blood sugar through the roof, while whole grain bread, oatmeal, and rice have “low” GIs. A typical non-diabetic person consuming a typical serving of cornflakes, e.g., 1 cup cereal in ½ cup milk, will thereby experience a blood sugar in the neighbourhood of 180 mg/dl—very high and more than sufficient to set the process of glycation and glucotoxicity on fire, add to adrenal disruption, cataract formation, destruction of cartilage, hypertension, heart disease, and neurological deterioration or dementia. (Blood sugars will vary, of course, depending on body weight, degree of overweight, insulin sensitivity, time of day, and other factors, but this would be typical. Someone with pre-diabetes or diabetes will have a higher blood sugar.)

How about a low-glycemic index food, such as a bowl of oatmeal, 1 cup cooked, in ½ cup milk? A typical response: blood sugar 170 mg/dl—lower, yes, but still quite awful, triggering all the same undesirable phenomena triggered by the high-glycemic cornflakes. This is why I believe “low” GI is more accurately labelled “less-high” GI, not “low.” Alternatively, we could just recognize that any GI above single digits should be regarded as high because it’s not until you get to single digits or zero that blood sugars no longer range into destructive levels.

The concept of “glycemic load” tries to take this into account by factoring in portion size. Thus the GL of cornflakes is 23, while the GL of oatmeal is 13 and that of whole wheat bread is 10. GL is usually interpreted as:

High glycemic load: 20 or greater
Moderate glycemic load: 11-19
Low glycemic load: 10 or less

Once again, this lulls you into thinking that foods like oatmeal or whole wheat bread don’t raise blood sugar—but they do. They are not low glycemic load; they have less high glycemic loads.

The value that truly appears to count and predict whether or not we will have a blood sugar rise? Grams of carbohydrate. Specifically, “net” grams of carbohydrate calculated by subtracting fibre:

“Net” carbohydrates = total carbohydrates – fibre

Net carbohydrates is a concept popularized by the late Dr. Robert Atkins, who recognized that fibre has no impact on blood sugar despite being lumped together with other carbohydrates. (Fibre is technically a carbohydrate, or polysaccharide, but humans lack the enzymes to digest fibres into sugars.) In other words, there is really no need for manipulations such as glycemic index or glycemic load and their misleading classifications.

If you were to test blood sugars with a common fingerstick glucose meter (as many of us, diabetic and non-diabetic, often do to gauge the effect of different foods) 30-60 minutes after consuming a food, you would see that it takes most of us around 15 grams of net carbohydrates before we begin to see a rise above the starting value. We check blood sugars at 30-60 minutes after consuming a food. The peak can actually occur before or after 30-60 minutes, depending on the mix of protein, fat, fibre, the amount of water or other liquids, pH of the food, and other factors. This is just an approximation of peak blood sugar that allows you to perform a single fingerstick, rather than every few minutes. What we don’t do is check blood sugar two hours after consumption, as advised by most physicians interested in blood sugar control on insulin and other diabetes medications. This seems obvious, but is a common tripping point when discussed with doctors.

Ideally, allow little to no rise in blood sugar. In this way, you have turned off any excess levels of glycation and glucotoxicity, undo the effects of high insulin and insulin resistance, and allow fasting blood sugars to head downward over time, while also accelerating weight loss.

There is another common fiction—or perhaps half-truth might be a better term—prevailing in nutritional thinking offered by the dietary community that tells us that, if a high-glycemic index food is consumed along with proteins, fats, or fibre, i.e., foods with low- or zero- glycemic index, that the net glycemic effect will be much improved. For this reason, dietitians often advise people to consume, say, bread with peanut butter: the high blood sugar potential of the bread is blunted by the low-glycemic protein, fat, and fibre of the peanut butter. As often occurs in the flawed logic of nutrition, this is another example of something being less bad, not necessarily good. For instance, a typical blood sugar in a middle-aged mildly overweight male after consuming two slices of multigrain bread made with whole wheat flour, oats, and millet on an empty stomach might be 170 mg/dl—high enough to provoke insulin, cortisol, insulin resistance, visceral fat accumulation, inflammation, glycation and glucotoxicity, and add to dementia risk. In another session, again starting with an empty stomach, the same male consumes two slices of multigrain bread, but this time with several slices of turkey (mostly protein), mayonnaise (mostly fat), and lettuce (mostly fibre and water). Blood sugar: 160 mg/dl—better, yes, but still pretty awful and more than sufficient to generate all the phenomena generated at a blood sugar of 170 mg/dl, including brain atrophy.

Less bad is not necessarily good. Feel free to count your carbs, but ignore the misleading concepts of glycemic index and glycemic load. Use those tables of glycemic index you might have to line your box of cat litter, but don’t use them to construct a healthy diet."

All words and picture above from original article 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