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Thursday, 22 October 2020

Mushroom and parsnip rösti pie : Vegetarian dish

How about this, a nice warming vegetarian mushroom pie, perfect for cooler Spring or Autumn days, depending on which part of the world hemisphere you live!

Ingredients
Serves Six
olive oil
750g/1lb 10oz mixed mushrooms (preferably Portobello, chestnut and wild mushrooms), roughly chopped into chunks
3 garlic cloves, sliced
small bunch thyme, leaves picked
2 red onions, sliced
2 carrots, finely chopped
250g/9oz swede, finely chopped
200ml/7fl oz white wine or vegetable stock
1 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
2-4 tbsp crème fraîche (optional)
3 small parsnips, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
1. Place a large ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and add a good glug of oil. Add enough mushrooms to cover the base of the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until nicely brown and beginning to crisp at the edges. Transfer to a bowl and fry the remaining mushrooms in batches.
2. Put the pan back on the heat and add another glug of oil. Add the garlic, thyme, onions, carrots and swede, season with a good pinch of salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
4. Add the mushrooms and the wine or stock, and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustards, parsley and crème fraîche, if using, and cook gently for a few more minutes, until you have a rich gravy. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
5. Season the parsnips with salt and pepper and pile on top of the mushroom mixture, leaving a little gap around the edge. Drizzle generously with oil and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
6. Serve with some greens.

Recipe Tips
If you don't have an ovenproof frying pan, use a regular pan and transfer the mushroom mixture to a wide oven dish before topping with the parsnip.

Frying the mushrooms separately makes sure they stay crisp, woody and golden as the pie cooks.

The parsnip topping is a little lighter, with more crunch and texture than a traditional mash topping, but you could top it off with a 50/50 parsnip/potato and olive oil mash – a really filling dinner that will serve nearer eight. You can make this without the crème fraiche – you’ll need to simmer for a couple of minutes extra to thicken.
From an original idea here

Parsley, shouldn't be overlooked
read more here

We bring a variety of articles and recipe ideas to 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

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

The Health Benefits of Oranges

Oranges are bursting with vitamins and minerals, but can they really ward off colds? Take a closer look at how these citrus fruits can aid your wellbeing.

Oranges are a round, segmented citrus fruit with a pitted peel. The taste can vary from juicy and sweet to bitter, depending on the variety – more common ones include Valencia, Seville and Hamlin. Most oranges are available year-round, except for varieties such as blood oranges, which have a shorter season.


Nutritional benefits of oranges
Oranges are known for their vitamin C content, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. One medium orange will provide the NRV (nutrient reference value) of vitamin C for adults.

They also contain health-promoting compounds known as flavanones. Research suggests that these citrus phytochemicals help support the body and protect us from conditions such as heart disease and cancer – they’re also thought to have some anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial benefits.

Oranges are also a good source of fibre, B vitamins, vitamin A, calcium and potassium.

Orange peel actually contains higher amounts of certain nutrients than the flesh, so using recipes that incorporate the zest of an orange will give your diet an extra boost.

Can oranges help reduce symptoms of a cold?
There has been an ongoing debate since the 70s as to whether oranges and the vitamin C they contain can help prevent a cold or reduce the symptoms and duration. A recent review of a number of studies found that taking a vitamin C supplement has no effect on colds if you’re already suffering with one.

Can oranges help to reduce blood pressure?
Research suggests that an antioxidant compound found in oranges called hesperidin may help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. This research also suggests that consuming citrus fruits as part of a healthy diet may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Words above taken from an article, which you can read in full here
You may also like to read this related post 'O is for Orange', find it here

you may like to try this recipe
Halloumi, Carrot and Orange Salad
see it here

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

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Time For Thai Choices : Fish, Pumpkin, Vegetables, Chicken, Tofu !

Thai Fish Parcels

These Thai fish parcels are the perfect stress-free dinner. Simply wrap cod, spinach and peppers in baking paper with a drizzle of fragrant ginger and lime dressing and bake in the oven. Unwrap and serve with your choice of side dish.

Ingredients
Serves Four
360g frozen cod fillets
400g frozen leaf spinach
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
To serve, some suggestions
Low Carb Cauliflower rice - see here
Low Carb Cauliflower rice with turmeric, perfect for Asian style low carb dishes - see here
240g long-grain rice (higher carb)
15g fresh coriander, leaves and stems separated and chopped for garnish

Method
1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Place each of the cod fillets on a large piece of baking paper and divide the spinach and yellow pepper between them.
2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, lime juice and olive oil and season well. Spoon the dressing over each piece of fish. Fold up each baking paper parcel tightly, place on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 mins, until the fish is cooked through and the spinach has wilted.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your choice of side dish and serve with the fish parcels, garnished with the coriander and lime wedges.
From original idea here


looking for other Thai recipe choices/suggestions
Thai Pumpkin Soup, it's LCHF and Dairy Free - more details here
Aubergine / Eggplant and Tomato (low carb vegetable) Thai Curry - more details here
Thai Chicken with basil sizzle, a low carb dish - more details here
Thai Curry Soup With Tofu, it's Vegan, Lower Carb, Gluten Free - more details here

Dear reader, this blog offers a wide variety of recipes/food ideas, and not all may be suitable for you. If you have any food likes / dislikes, 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, 19 October 2020

Best Foods and Drinks Before Bed !

Brianna Elliott RD writes:

"Getting good sleep is incredibly important for your overall health. It may reduce your risk of developing certain chronic illnesses, keep your brain healthy, and boost your immune system. It’s generally recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, though many people struggle to get enough. There are many strategies you can use to promote good sleep, including making changes to your diet, as some foods and drinks have sleep-promoting properties.

Here are the nine best foods and drinks you can have before bed to enhance your quality of sleep.


Almonds
Almonds are a source of melatonin and the sleep-enhancing mineral magnesium, two properties that may make them a great food to eat before bed.

Turkey
Turkey may be a great food to eat before bed due to its high amounts of protein and tryptophan, both of which may induce tiredness.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea contains antioxidants that may promote sleepiness, and drinking it has been shown to improve overall sleep quality.


Kiwi
Kiwis are rich in serotonin and antioxidants, both of which may improve sleep quality when eaten before bed.

Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice contains the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin and may help induce a good night’s sleep.

Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are a great source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have properties that may improve the quality of your sleep.


Walnuts
Walnuts have a few properties that may promote better sleep. For instance, they’re a great source of melatonin and healthy fats.

Passionflower Tea
Passionflower tea contains apigenin and has the ability to increase gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) production. This may influence sleep.

White Rice
White rice may be beneficial to eat before bed due to its high glycemic index (GI). A high GI may promote better sleep.

Several other foods and drinks have sleep-promoting properties.
Dairy products: Dairy products, such as a glass of milk, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt, are known sources of tryptophan. Milk has been shown to improve sleep in older adults, especially when paired with light exercise.
Bananas: Banana peels contain tryptophan and the fruit itself is a modest source of magnesium. Both of these properties may help you get a good night’s sleep.
Oatmeal: Similar to rice, oatmeal is high in carbs with a bit more fibre and has been reported to induce drowsiness when consumed before bed. Additionally, oats are a known source of melatonin.

The bottom line
Getting enough sleep is very important for your health.
Several foods and drinks may help. This is because they contain sleep-regulating hormones and brain chemicals, such as melatonin and serotonin.
Some foods and drinks contain high amounts of specific antioxidants and nutrients, such as magnesium and melatonin, that are known to enhance sleep by helping you fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer.
To reap the benefits of sleep-enhancing foods and drinks, it may be best to consume them 2–3 hours before bed. Eating immediately before going to sleep may cause digestive issues, such as acid reflux.
Overall, more research is necessary to conclude the specific role that foods and drinks have in promoting sleep, but their known effects are very promising."

The above words are just a snippet from Brianna's original article, which can be seen in full with all information and research links here

Related Posts
Bedtime Teas That May Help You Sleep - see here
Drinks That May Help You Sleep Better - see here

Dear reader, this blog offers a wide variety of articles/recipes/food ideas, and not all may be suitable for you. If you have any food likes / dislikes, allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account.

For instance if you are a diabetic it may not be wise to eat white rice, bananas or oatmeal as these foods can raise blood sugar levels. If you are 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, 18 October 2020

Soup : Three Choices - Vegan : Vegetarian : Meat

Autumn brings cooler days and there is nothing like a delicious bowl of soup!
On this post you will find three recipe suggestions,
the first is vegan, the second vegetarian and the third meat.
I wonder which one will be your favourite?

A Cheezy Vegan Broccoli Soup
please see more details here

Soup au pistou with walnut pesto
A bowl of vegetarian deliciousness - a low carb suggestion
please see more details here

Goulash Soup
Perfect for a winter's day and it's lower carb.
This soup is best with lamb, which has more flavour than beef,
but you can use any ground (minced) meat you like.
Why not try ground chicken or turkey for a milder taste. 
please see more details here

Have you a favourite here?
I have featured them before so perhaps you've tried one (or more) already!

enjoy your Autumn days

Readers please remember, 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, 17 October 2020

Will it be a White or Orange Pumpkin this year ?

Will it be white or orange this year? It could be a mixture of both. It could even be green, yellow, red, blue, or even tan! Yes, I'm talking about pumpkins.

You may be like me, when someone mentions the word pumpkin you automatically think orange! But apparently "Orange is so yesterday," Even family members are on the look out for white pumpkins this year.


Yes, "white pumpkins, once a novelty, are becoming increasingly common in pumpkin patches, and these intriguing white orbs are all the rage when it comes to chic autumn decorating. Maybe it's the ghostly way they stand out on a dark night, or perhaps it's the clean smoothness of their appearance, which sparks creativity. Whatever the draw is, white pumpkins are ideal for growing, displaying, carving, and eating.

What is a White Pumpkin?
A white pumpkin is a pumpkin variety that has been selectively bred to feature white or ivory skin. The varieties widely range in size and shape. White pumpkins are also known as an albino pumpkin, ghost pumpkin, Snowball, Casper, Lumina, Baby Boo, and Cotton Candy Pumpkin.

Uses for a White Pumpkin
White pumpkins are awesome for carving because the skin is not quite as thick as an orange pumpkin's. They are even better for painting, whether you stencil a design or transform them to match your décor by painting them any solid colour of your choice.

White pumpkins provide great contrast in fall gourd and pumpkin displays. However, don't be afraid to think outside the Halloween box. A white pumpkin tied with a red velvet ribbon and positioned atop evergreen boughs would make a lovely holiday season decoration. Like many gourds, white pumpkins stored properly can last through the winter months.

Cooking and Eating White Pumpkin
The flesh inside a white pumpkin is edible, and it can be substituted for orange pumpkin in many recipes, whether you're baking white pumpkin pie or concocting a pumpkin soup. The satiny texture and sweet pumpkin taste of the Lumina variety is excellent for baking. Try using a hollowed-out white pumpkin as an attractive serving tureen.

A white pumpkin's seeds can also be eaten after toasting them in the oven or in a skillet/pan. Additionally, just like typical orange pumpkin, you can bake, scoop, puree, and then freeze white pumpkin."
The above from here

Related Pumpkin Posts
Health Benefits and uses of white pumpkins here
Health Benefits of Orange Pumpkins here
Pumpkin Colours here

However, a word of caution … Pumpkin is mildly diuretic and could be a problem for people who take certain medications, especially lithium.

you may like to try this recipe
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, it's low carb
see here

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

Friday, 16 October 2020

Sea Bass with a Tarragon Crust : A Mary Berry Tasty Dish

This lovely recipe idea comes from Mary Berry. She has been teaching the nation (UK) to cook for over four decades and is the author of over 75 books.

Mary is Cordon-Bleu trained and an experienced magazine cookery editor as well as a seasoned television presenter. In 2009 she was awarded the highly coveted Guild of Food Writers Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2012 she was made a CBE for her services to culinary arts. Mary was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to broadcasting, the culinary arts and charity, she lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband, Paul, and their dog, Millie, and continues to inspire thousands of people across the country to enjoy home cooking.


This recipe from Mary is a tasty fish supper which packs a crunch with a tarragon and Parmesan crust. It uses Sea Bass but works equally well with trout fillets or lemon sole. 

Ingredients
Serves Four
4 sea bass fillets, skin on
40g/1½oz butter
60g/2¼oz breadcrumbs
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
40g/1½oz Parmesan, coarsely grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
200g/7oz crème fraîche
dash caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Method
1. Preheat the oven 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. Season the sea bass fillets well on both sides with salt and pepper.
3. Melt the butter in a shallow frying pan. Remove from the heat, add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and half the tarragon. Toss and set aside.
4. Place half the breadcrumb mixture in four rows on the prepared tray. Place the fillets on top, skin side down and press firmly into the crumbs. Top each fillet with the remaining crumbs and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 12–15 minutes until cooked through. Cut the lemon into wedges.
5. To make the sauce, mix the crème fraiche, remaining tarragon, sugar, and lemon juice together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Serve the fish with a dollop of sauce and lemon wedges.
Recipe Tip
The fish can be kept in the fridge, covered on the tray, for up to 8 hours.
From original idea here

You may want to try 'Posh Roasted Vegetables - The Mary Berry Way' see here


A variety of recipe ideas are 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

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Ya gotta larf.



Eddie

It's Mushroom Day !


Did you know that "The National Mushroom Day is celebrated on October 15. Mushrooms are fleshy fruiting bodies of several species of fungi. Some mushrooms are edible and are used extensively in cooking. They are particularly valued by vegetarians due to their high nutritional value.

There are different kinds of edible mushrooms that are either cultivated of harvested wild. Mushroom hunting is popular in some countries, but it might not be completely safe. First of all, some edible mushrooms can be confused with toxic ones. Secondly, mushrooms are like a sponge, they easily absorb harmful substances from soil and air.

That is why most people prefer to buy commercially cultivated mushrooms in supermarkets. The most common cultivated edible mushroom is Agaricus bisporus also known as common mushroom, white mushroom, button mushroom, table mushroom, and champignon mushroom.

Mushrooms are notable for their high nutritional value. Mushrooms are sometimes considered the “meat” of vegetable world due to high protein content, although they are not vegetables. They also contain B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, and zinc. Mushrooms are able to produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

To celebrate the National Mushroom Day, learn a new mushroom recipe and surprise your family with a tasty meal."
Read more here, here and here

Here's a few recipe suggestions

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, a vegetarian choice
more details here

I wonder which recipe suggestion you may try?
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

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Prosciutto/Parma Ham Mediterranean Plate : Let The Sunshine In !


Who said salad needs to be boring? Not me! This low-carb Prosciutto/Parma ham plate takes some of the best ingredients from the Mediterranean and combines them into a creamy, rich salad plate that will keep you full for hours. Let the sunshine in!

Ingredients
Serves One
(7g net carbs per serving)
3 oz. (75g) Prosciutto/Parma ham
½ oz. (15g) mixed leafy greens
1 large egg, boiled
2 oz. (50g) large avocados, sliced
1½ cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 oz. (30g) feta cheese, crumbled
½ oz. (15g) scallions (spring onions), thinly sliced
1½ tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh lemons juice
salt or and pepper to taste
Instructions
can be seen here
Related Recipe Suggestion
Egg and Smoked Salmon Salad, sunshine on a plate, see here


Avocados are full of healthy fats
Over 75% of the fat content in an avocado is great for your heart! In fact, having more of these healthy unsaturated fats is better for your heart than eating low fat!

They're nutrient dense
Avocados are packed with beneficial nutrients to enhance the nutrient quality of your meals.

Avocado boosts your eye health
Avocados contain 81mg of lutein & zeaxanthin, antioxidants known to support eye health as we age.

They have more potassium than a banana!
Bananas are known for their potassium content, but per 100g, the avocado fruit contains 485mg of potassium, that's 127mg more than bananas!

They're super versatile
Known for guacamole, dips, and other savoury dishes, yet avocados are appearing more and more in sweet dishes too. Think chocolate mousse, ganache, smoothies and ice cream!
Read more about Avocados 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, 12 October 2020

O is for Orange


Orange, is "One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren’t necessarily orange – some varieties are yellow or dotted with red. Types fall into one of two categories – sweet or bitter.

Sweet varieties of orange include the Navel orange, which is named after the navel-like bulge at one end, which contains a tiny, baby fruit. They are seedless, easy to peel, and have a juicy, sweet flesh. Valencia have smooth, thin skins, with very few pips, and are particularly juicy. The skins of blood oranges are tinged with red, and the flesh ranges from golden to a deep ruby – they are juicy and aromatic.

The most well-known bitter orange is the Seville, only around for a few weeks in January. They are too sour to eat raw, but are great for marmalades or cooking with, and have a rough skin.

Availability
Various types ripen at different times, so there’s year-round availability imported from outside the UK.

Choose the best
Look for unblemished, firm oranges that feel heavy for their size, as they’re likely to be juiciest. The rind should look thin and fit tightly – if it doesn’t it indicates that it might have a more than usually high level of pith.

Avoid those with any mould or soft spots. Rough, brownish patches (known as russeting) on the skin don’t necessarily affect quality.

Prepare it
To juice oranges, halve and use a lemon squeezer. For zesting, the best oranges to use are unwaxed or organic. If you can’t find either, scrub the skin well, then use a grater or zester, being careful not to grate down to the pith, which is bitter.

To pare and cut into segments, cut a little from the top and bottom of the orange and then, using a small, sharp knife, cut off the peel in a circular motion (as you would peel an apple), avoiding the flesh.

Alternatively, sit it on a board and cut in downward strokes, following the curve of the orange, working your way round until all the peel is removed. Then, holding the orange over a bowl to catch the juice, cut free each segment by slicing between the membranes to release it from the central core of pith.

Store it
Oranges keep for two weeks maximum, either at room temperature or in the fridge.

Cook it
Add segments to salads or a jug of Pimm's or sangria. Use the zest and juice for baking, sauces or marinades. Use when cooking game, chicken or fish. Squeeze the juice for breakfast.

Alternatives
Try clementine, tangerine or lemon."
Words and picture from article here

Have you a favourite recipe that uses an orange?

Here are some orange recipe suggestions you may like to try
Low Carb Orange Mousse - see here
California Walnut Cake, with orange segments - see here
Orange and Poppy Seeds Low Carb Cupcakes - see here
Carrot, Orange and Ginger Soup - see here
Orange, Mozzarella and Rocket (Arugula) Salad - see here

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

All the best Jan

Sunday, 11 October 2020

A Beautiful Autumn Day

 
image from the web

It's been a beautiful Autumn Day, and the trees are beginning to turn to their Autumn Sunday Best Colours. To see and enjoy scenes like this lift the spirit don't they, especially in these present uncertain times of Covid 19. The UK is waiting for our Prime Ministers announcement tomorrow and I think it will bring more restrictions to the Covid 19 'hot spot' areas ... we wait to find out.

In the meantime after a lovely day it was time to enjoy a favourite meal. Would it be a Roast Pork dinner or a Pork Casserole Rustic Style, both are tasty! We chose the casserole, always so delicious.


This recipe/meal is in my top five favourite pork casserole recipes.

Ingredients
Serves two
2/3 pork chops (optional remove fat) and cut into small pieces
2 large leeks chopped
a hand-full of button mushrooms
1 large sliced carrot
1 table spoon of dried mixed herbs
Approx. 1 pint of gravy stock
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method
Clean, cut and place all ingredients in a casserole dish or earthenware oven proof pot with lid.

Pour over the stock and cook at 190º C /375º F / Gas Mark 5 for 90 minutes

( I usually stir the casserole every 30 minutes or so ... )

Check food is cooked through, then serve and enjoy

What could be easier, very low-carb, real food and tastes great.

Some readers may also like this Lentil and Vegetable Minestrone Stew / Casserole, more details here

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.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 10 October 2020

October can bring a wonderful mix

It is the month;
When the smallest breeze
Give us a shower 
Of autumn leaves.
Bonfires and pumpkins,
Leaves sailing down - 
October is red
And golden and brown.

- author unknown
verse seen here


One of our sons is getting organised for Autumn and Halloween
with a mixture of colourful pumpkins that he had fun picking at a local pick your own farm.


Meanwhile Grandson is hoping he can get a pumpkin or two soon!
I can never resist this photograph taken back in 2014 ... wonderful memories
I tell him be patient, it will soon be time for the 2020 pumpkin.


Youngest grand-daughter loves Winnie the Pooh, and this Autumn themed giphy
... and so do I


If you are looking for a tasty soup this is perfect for October/Autumn Days
Brussels Sprout and Cheddar Cheese Soup - see recipe here

We bring a variety of articles/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.

All the best Jan

Friday, 9 October 2020

Chicken Escallops with Thyme : Low Carb : Keto

 

Today's recipe suggestion uses chicken, a great favourite in our house. Chicken has 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. The pale flesh has a close texture and a mild flavour that pairs up well with many different ingredients. Never eat raw chicken, and always thoroughly wash your hands, utensils and cutting board as soon as you've cut or handled raw chicken.

Did you know that the term escalope originated in France. It first appeared in cookery terminology in the late 17th century in the northeast of rural France. An escalope is a piece of boneless meat that has been thinned out using a mallet, rolling pin or beaten with the handle of a knife, or merely butterflied. The mallet breaks down the fibres in the meat, making it more tender.

So with chicken mentioned in my first paragraph and escalope in my second there are no surprises for guessing the title of the recipe! Yes, it's Chicken Escallops with Thyme.

Ingredients
Serves Four
4 x 150g skinless chicken breast fillets
2 large cloves garlic
6 sprigs fresh thyme
large handful fresh flat-leaved parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of a lemon
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Method
1. Put the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of heavy duty cling film and bash them with a rolling pin until they are about 1cm thick, then place in a large shallow non-metallic dish.
2. Peel the garlic and thoroughly crush it using the flat blade of a meat cleaver, or a pestle and mortar. Take the little thyme leaves off the stalks and roughly chop the parsley, then in a small bowl, mix garlic, thyme leaves and most of the parsley with the olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Spoon the mixture over the chicken to thoroughly coat (rubbing it in with clean hands), cover and leave for 30 minutes.
3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan or ridged griddle pan and cook the escalopes (with any juices left in the marinating dish) for 3-4 mins each side over medium-hot heat or until cooked through and golden - there should be no pinkness in the centre of the escalopes when cooked. Serve with any pan juices, garnished with remaining parsley. 
Nutrition Per Serving
Carbohydrate 0.6g Protein 36.3g Fat 7g Fibre 0.3g
From recipe idea here

I wonder what vegetable accompaniment you may choose? Fine green beans are nice, perhaps with a few roast celeriac chunks/bites.

If you would like a few more chicken recipes ideas, see here

We bring a variety of articles and 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.

All the best Jan 

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Gingerbread Crème Brûlée : Autumn / Fall Dessert : Low Carb : Keto


For me by putting this creamy custard, and gingerbread flavour together, makes a nice Autumnal (Fall) low carb/keto dessert that brings a well-spiced finish to your evening meal. For those in the Southern Hemisphere I'm sure it could be enjoyed in the Spring season too! 

Ingredients
Serves Six
3g net carbs per serving
425 ml (1¾ cups) heavy (double) whipping cream
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp (25 g) erythritol
¼ tsp vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
½ clementine (optional)

Tip
This recipe uses pumpkin pie spice. If you can't find it, you can make your own by using this recipe or by mixing equal amounts of ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves.

Recipe Instructions
can be seen here



Clementines
Small and sweet, clementines are a hybrid of tangerines and oranges. Easy to peel and exceptionally sweet, there are over 20 varieties of clementine. The fruit will keep in the fridge for up to one week.

Some recipes you may like to try:
Clementine Almond Cake, it's low carb and flourless - more details here
Christmas Salad, it's so colourful and low in carbs too - more details here
Clementine Prosecco Cocktail, it's nice but 13.5g carbs per serving - more details here

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

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Statins : The effect of statins on average survival in randomised trials, an analysis of end point postponement

"Statins result in a “surprisingly small average gain in overall survival” and may not be worth it for people who experience side effects."

Cardiovascular medicine
Research

The effect of statins on average survival in randomised trials, an analysis of end point postponement

Abstract

Objective To estimate the average postponement of death in statin trials.

Setting A systematic literature review of all statin trials that presented all-cause survival curves for treated and untreated.

Intervention Statin treatment compared to placebo.

Primary outcome measures The average postponement of death as represented by the area between the survival curves.

Results 6 studies for primary prevention and 5 for secondary prevention with a follow-up between 2.0 and 6.1 years were identified. Death was postponed between −5 and 19 days in primary prevention trials and between −10 and 27 days in secondary prevention trials. The median postponement of death for primary and secondary prevention trials were 3.2 and 4.1 days, respectively.

Conclusions Statin treatment results in a surprisingly small average gain in overall survival within the trials’ running time. For patients whose life expectancy is limited or who have adverse effects of treatment, withholding statin therapy should be considered.

The above and more to read here
h/t Marks Daily Apple here

also some flowers for you to enjoy,
I thought the colours were quite cheerful

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, cartoons, 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

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Have Some Apple Crumble - It's Low Carb !


Autumn is definitely the right season for delicious apple crumble, and I can remember my dear Mum making a wonderful variety of crumbles using fruits appropriate to the season. She made it 'the traditional' way with flour, sugar etc. which if you have a look around the many recipes available on the 'net' you will see the carbohydrate content could be anything from 65g to 90g per serving! Now, if you are diabetic this would have your blood sugars rising, (best avoided!) and if like me you choose to eat the LCHF way and restrict your carb intake a 'traditional' crumble is best avoided!

However, fear not, Apple Crumble - which really is a symbol of great family meals and togetherness - has a lower carb version! Yes fellow low carb blogger Julia McPhee has a 'low carb' version of this family favourite and she says ' No McPhee family gathering is complete (without her version) of Apple Crumble'.

Ingredients:
6 (Granny smith) apples, peeled and sliced
50g Butter
1 cup Almond meal
1 tbsp. Natvia
Optional
½ cup chopped nuts or Crunchy Grain Free Granola

Instructions:
1. Boil apples until soft in a small amount of water. Place in a baking dish.
2. Place softened butter, almond meal, Natvia, and nuts in bowl and mix together (real crumble requires mixing by hand), until well combined but still crumbly.
3. Spread over cooked apples and bake at 180 for 30 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.
4. Serve warmed with fresh cream or yoghurt.

Note that nutritional information is calculated for 1 serve of crumble and does not include cream or yoghurt.

Serves: 8
Serving size: 1
Fat: 27.3g
Carbohydrates: 14.9g
Protein: 7.1g

Recipe suggestion from Julia McPhee's blog here
If you need help with measurement and conversion please see here

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.

For example, Ground Almonds/Almond Meal... it is made slightly different than almond flour. Instead of blanching the almonds to remove the skins, the skins on the almonds are kept on. It’s a little bit coarser than almond flour and still bakes the same. For baked goods, perhaps use a super fine ground almond flour but equally almond meal can perform just as well in most recipes, at a reduced cost.

Almond meal may also be known as ground almonds. You can grind almonds using a blender to make your own almond meal, the power of your blender will dictate how fine your almond meal will become.

A serving (1/4 cup or 28 grams) of the almond meal has the same nutrition of almond flour of nearly 160 calories, 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fibre. Only 6 total carbs or 3 net carbs per serving.

You can learn more about low carb flours from Libby at 'Ditch The Carbs' site, she has a very good guide, which you can read here

Happy Autumn/Fall

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.

All the best Jan

Monday, 5 October 2020

Tabbouleh : Moderate Low Carb Version : With Cauliflower

A Little About Tabbouleh
"Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة‎ tabūla; also tabouleh, tabbouli, tabouli, or taboulah) is a Levantine vegetarian salad made mostly of finely chopped parsley, with tomatoes, mint, onion, bulgur (soaked, not cooked), and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and sweet pepper. Some variations add lettuce, or use semolina instead of bulgur.

Tabbouleh is traditionally served as part of a mezze in the Arab world. Its popularity has grown in Western cultures.

Edible herbs known as qaḍb formed an essential part of the Arab diet in the Middle Ages. Dishes like tabbouleh attest to their continued popularity in Middle Eastern cuisine today. Originally from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria, tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East. The wheat variety salamouni cultivated in the Beqaa Valley region in Lebanon, was considered (in the mid-19th century) as particularly well-suited for making bulgur, a basic ingredient of tabbouleh. In Lebanon, the Lebanese National Tabbouleh Day is a yearly festivity day dedicated to Tabbouleh. Since 2001, it is celebrated the first Saturday of the month of July."
Words above and more to read from article here

For those readers who may prefer a lower carb version to traditional Tabbouleh, how about making it with cauliflower, it's many a low carber's favourite vegetable.

Parma Cauli Tabbouleh Plate With Feta


This no-cook low-carb version of tabbouleh alongside Prosciutto/Parma ham and creamy feta makes for a refreshing and zesty no-cook plate. The perfect plate to enjoy on a warm day, but I know many who enjoy it on cooler days too!

Ingredients
Serves One
28g Protein 50g Fat 12g Net Carbs - Fibre 6g
Parma plate
75 g (3oz) prosciutto
75 g (2½ oz
) feta cheese
Tabbouleh
110 g (4oz) cauliflower , cut into small florets
½ large tomato, diced 1/2 inch cubes
15 g (½ oz)
 scallions (spring onions), finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
60 ml (¼ cup
) fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste
Tips
The tabbouleh keeps well in the fridge for 5-6 days.
Make the tabbouleh in greater quantity and then use it in multiple meals through the week to reduce meal prep times.
Instructions
can be seen here
For more low carb Cauliflower recipes
see here


We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Avoid 'Laptop Syndrome' : Some Helpful Tips


How to avoid 'laptop syndrome' while you're working from home 
Government advice to continue working from home means that many of us have now spent half the year hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table.

This has given rise to the aches and pains of so-called ‘laptop syndrome’; a condition which occurs when we spend hour upon hour in unsuitable positions.

Physiotherapist Sammy Margo warned that our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is having a serious impact on our health.

She said, "Laptops are not really designed to do an 8-10 hour working day,".

"[Since lockdown] everyone’s scared of losing their job. They’re sitting for longer periods, they’re not taking regular breaks ... they’re barely getting out of their pyjamas."

For many, the daily commute has been reduced to a short journey from the bedroom to the kitchen.

"They’re literally going from their bed to a C-shaped posture for somewhere in the region of 8-10 hours a day," said Sammy.

She explained that her profession is seeing an upsurge in headaches and migraine, as well as neck, shoulder, arm and lower back pain from the "day in day out grind of sitting in this position".

Are you sitting comfortably?
Occupational therapist, Sally Payne, offered advice for everyone working from home.

“Think about posture,” she advised. “What people should be looking for is a position where they can sit with their shoulders relaxed, their hips, their knees and their ankles all at 90 degrees. If you can get your feet flat on the floor that’s absolutely brilliant."

Sally also suggests pushing the laptop a little away from the edge of the table to allow space for wrists to rest.

Some may find their kitchen set-up works well for them but Sally sounded a note of warning:

"The worst possible position would be to sit on a barstool at a kitchen work surface because you’ll be hovering with your legs dangling and your arms are not resting comfortably."

It's easy to dismiss the first grumblings of aches and pains but Sally advised that we pay heed to them.

She said, "If you’re getting pain in your body then that’s going to affect not only your work but the other daily activities that you do, and your mental health and well-being as well,"

Preventative measures
Even those lucky enough to have a perfect home work space can benefit from exercising to prevent aches and strains. Sammy suggested trying regular gentle stretches.

"Ensure you’ve got your B.B.C. – bum into the back of the chair," she said. "And while you’re doing that turn your head from left to right, look up and down at the ceiling, then [lean your] ear to shoulder followed by [the other] ear to shoulder. Shoulder rolling is another great exercise you can do."

And, Sammy advised that even though we're working we don't have to do it all sitting down.

"Sitting to standing is one of my favourite exercises because it helps to keep your legs strong. If you’re on the phone to one of your work colleagues or you need to have a break [changing from] sitting to standing is a great way to keep yourself mobile."
The above from article here

I think some of these tips could be helpful for bloggers too!
What do you think?

Related Posts
Is Sitting Too Much Bad for Your Health? - read it here
How to Break Up Your Sitting Time with Movement : Good advice for all - 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 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