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Tuesday 31 October 2017

Chicken Caprese Casserole : Low Carb / Keto

This is a great favourite with many ...
Take some soft mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and fresh basil. Add chicken and crème fraîche and you'll have a warm and delicious low carb / keto casserole in no-time.

Serves Four
6g carbs per serving
1 rotisserie chicken
7 oz. / 200 g cherry tomatoes
8 oz. / 225 g fresh mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons green pesto *
1 cup / 225 ml crème fraiche or mayonnaise
2 oz. 50 g parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Serving Suggestion:
7 oz. / 200 g leafy greens
4 tablespoons olive oil

* All out of pesto? You can substitute dried basil mixed with olive oil.

Cooking instructions may be seen on Diet Doctor Site here

... and you can read more about Mozzarella on this post called:
'Mamma Mia it's Mozzarella : Two Lovely Recipes' ... find it here

All the best Jan

Monday 30 October 2017

Halloween, A Bit About Britain & Low Carb Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Did you know that "Halloween is a mish-mash of myths and legends from all over, a cocktail of beliefs and rituals which have been exported to other lands, particularly the USA, and re-imported. US servicemen stationed in Europe during World War II brought their hybrid traditions with them, ideas spread further, and gradually evolved, via films and TV. Growing up in England – oh, a very long time ago – Halloween was a night for staying under the blankets; bonfires and masks were reserved for 5th November, Guy Fawkes’ Night. Nobody went trick or treating in any big way until the 1980s (but they did in Scotland, where it is still often called guising) and, for many, the more recent celebration of the failure to blow up Parliament in 1605 is still more popular than its creepier calendar competitor – though you wouldn’t think so judging by the amount of Halloween-related material on sale.

Anyway, when the kids come knocking on the door yelling, “Trick or treat?”, you could remind them that they are taking part in the latest manifestation of rituals that go back to a time out of mind. Or you could say that they are the victims of someone’s marketing plan and greet them, wearing a ghoulish mask. Of course, it’s just a bit of harmless fun…isn’t it?"

The above words are from Mike - who some readers may know! He has a blog/site called 'A Bit About Britain'. It is a personal, independent, project of his that seeks to inspire, inform and entertain. He has many and varied articles on the site and because of the time of year the one about Halloween caught my eye, just a snippet of which I copied above ... but Mike gives you much more information to read, just click on the link here

and at Halloween these are always popular 
Pumpkin Spice Muffins... made the low carb way
see more details here

All the best Jan

Sunday 29 October 2017

Broccoli, Pea and Cheddar Cheese Frittata

Bring on the Greens! On the table in just 20 minutes, this easy, cheesy frittata is packed full of green vegetables. Broccoli (Tenderstem) and peas pair perfectly with the tangy mature Cheddar filling. Serve with salad and a creamy smoked paprika dip to make a satisfying, and simple, lunch or supper.

Serves Four
1 tbsp. olive oil
220g broccoli (Tenderstem) - half finely chopped, half broken into florets
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g (8 3/4oz) fresh or frozen peas
8 eggs
50g (1 3/4oz) mature Cheddar, coarsely grated
50g (1 3/4oz) lighter crème fraîche, to serve
1/2 tsp paprika, to serve
70g salad leaves, to serve

1. Preheat the grill to high. Heat the 
oil in a 22cm diameter frying pan over a medium-high heat and stir-fry the broccoli for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and peas and cook for a further 2 minutes.
2. Whisk the eggs in a large jug, then add the cheese and whisk again. Season, then pour the mixture into the pan over the veg. Stir until well combined.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, without stirring, for 5 minutes, until it starts to brown on the bottom. Put under the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes, until cooked through.

4. In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche with the paprika. Slice the frittata into wedges and serve with the crème fraîche and salad leaves.

Each serving:
Carbohydrate 8.6g Protein 27.1g Fibre 6.6g Fat 23g
From an original idea here

doesn't this make a nice table or side piece, inspiration from here

Hope you may enjoy this Frittata dish soon

All the best Jan

Saturday 28 October 2017

Sia California Dreamin' Official Music Video From San Andres Motion Soundtrack

Finishing tonight with a version of the The Mamas & The Papas classic 60's hit

John Martyn - Small Hours

John Martyn in many peoples opinion including mine was a musical genius. Like so many of the great ones, drugs and industrial quantities of booze blighted his life. Check out this live performance, just him, a guitar, a rhythm box and an echo machine. Deeply moving and as always with John, totally original. That's my lot for tonight, have a great weekend folks. Eddie 

Peter Gabriel Mercy Street

Peter Gabriel never ceases to amaze. Check this stunning live performance out. Enjoy. Eddie

Fats Domino Blueberry Hill

Saturday night again and music night over here. Couldn't let this mans passing go unmentioned. Rest in peace Fats, a true one off. Eddie 

Bring on the Bacon : Bacon Burger Casserole : LCHF

Bring on the Bacon !!!

Serves Four
8g carbs per serving
1 tablespoon butter
7 oz. / 200 g bacon
1 lb / 450 g ground (minced) beef
2 dill pickle, finely chopped
2 tomatoes
1 garlic clove (optional)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup / 225 ml heavy (double) whipping cream
7 oz. / 200 g shredded (grated) cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
5 1⁄3 oz. / 150 g lettuce
4 tablespoons olive oil

For those who may like onions - how about a thin slice, raw, served as a garnish?
An 1/8″ thick slice of a medium onion adds about 1g net carbs.

Please see cooking instructions at Diet Doctor site here

All the best Jan

Meet Woody The Woodpecker !

From time to time we post something completely different!
Woody the Woodpecker is a cheeky fellow! He loves nothing more than looking at himself in the mirror!

 Woodpecker by K Dao

This photograph, and seventeen others, can be seen in 'Birds - Photographer of the Year',  please see them by using this link here

All the best Jan

Friday 27 October 2017

Simple Cod Gratin with Béarnaise Sauce Topping : Rick Stein

Do Friday's and fish go together for you? They certainly can for me ... especially when it's this delicious recipe! Below is a lovely dish from Rick Stein, pictured here, it featured in his wonderful BBC TV series 'Rick Stein's Long Weekends' in which he embarks on a series of culinary long weekends in search of food excellence.

Simple Cod Gratin with Béarnaise Sauce Topping

Serves Four
2 leeks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
40g/1½oz. butter, plus extra for greasing
600g/1lb 5oz cod loin, skinned and cut into 3cm/1in chunks
2 tbsp. plain flour
50ml/2fl oz. dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the béarnaise sauce:

70ml/2½fl oz. white wine vinegar
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus 1 tsp freshly chopped
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns
4 free-range egg yolks
300g/10½oz unsalted butter

1. Gently fry the leeks, carrots and onion in the butter until softened and starting to caramelise. Add the cod and flour and stir over the heat for a minute or two. Stir in the wine and cook for another minute to allow the sauce to thicken a little. Season with salt and pepper.
2. For the béarnaise sauce, gently heat the vinegar in a saucepan. Add the shallots, tarragon sprigs, bay leaf and peppercorns. Heat gently over a medium heat until the volume of liquid has reduced by at least half. Strain and set aside until cooled.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and butter a shallow ovenproof dish.
4. Beat the egg yolks with a teaspoon of water. Stir the mixture into the strained, cooled vinegar and pour into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sauce has increased in volume and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
5. Melt the unsalted butter in a saucepan. Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly pour in the melted butter in a steady stream, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened and is smooth. Fold in the chopped tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Spoon the cod and vegetable mixture into the ovenproof dish. Pour over the béarnaise sauce and bake for 15-20 minutes.

maybe a glass of white wine !

Please see original recipe here

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

All the best Jan

Thursday 26 October 2017

Parsnips : Perfect For Autumn and Winter Months !

The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise - it looks just like one, aside from its creamy white colour. It has an earthy but sweet flavour and is great used in hearty winter roasts, soups and stews.


Parsnips are in season between September and March making them the ideal winter vegetable.
Choose the best
Go for small to medium parsnips, as larger ones can be fibrous, and always choose firm, rather than limp or shrivelled examples. Avoid those with lots of whiskers or brown patches as this indicates that they may well be rotten.
Prepare it
Young, small parsnips don't really need peeling - just scrub clean and serve whole. Older parsnips should be peeled very thinly with a peeler or sharp knife, then chopped into evenly sized chunks. If the central core is very fibrous, this should be cut away.
Store it
In a perforated bag in the fridge - they'll last for around a week.
Cook it
Chop into chunks and roast (40-55 minutes). Cut into chunks and boil (15-20 minutes).
Try carrot or turnip.

The above words from an article here

Health benefits of parsnips
Generally, parsnip contains more sugar than carrots, radish, turnips. It has calories (100 g provide 75 calories) equal to that of some fruits like banana, and grapes. Nonetheless, its sweet, juicy root carries no cholesterol, is rich in several health-benefiting phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

It is one of the excellent sources of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. 100 g root provides 4.9 mg or 13% of fibre. Adequate fibre in the diet helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, obesity, and constipation conditions.

As in carrots and other members of Apiaceae family vegetables, parsnip too contains many poly-acetylene anti-oxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol, and methyl-falcarindiol.

Several research studies from scientists at the University of Newcastle, Tyne found that these compounds possess anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and anti-cancer function and offer protection from colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Fresh roots are also good in vitamin-C; provide about 17 mg or 28% of RDA. Vitamin-C is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant, readily available to us from natural sources. It helps the human body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gum. Its anti-oxidant property helps protect from diseases and cancers by scavenging harmful free radicals from the body.

Further, the root is rich in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamine, and pantothenic acid as well as vitamin-K and vitamin-E.

Further, it also has healthy levels of minerals like iron, calcium, copper, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium.

The details regarding the health benefits of parsnips taken from article here

You may also like to see this Parsnip & Cauliflower Soup, Recipe here

or this Spiced Parsnip Soup with Coriander and Chilli Pesto, Recipe 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 25 October 2017

Statins linked to heightened diabetes risk

Researchers found that taking the drugs was associated with a 36% heightened risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

A US study has linked the cholesterol-lowering drug statin to a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes among patients already deemed to be at high risk of the condition.

Published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, the study looked at data from 3,234 overweight or obese participants taking part in the US Diabetes Prevention Programme Outcomes Study.

After 10 years follow-up, a third of patients had started using statins. Researchers found that taking the drugs was associated with a 36% heightened risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, compared to those who had not been prescribed.

"This study indicates that statins can increase the onset of diabetes in some people,” said Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation.

"However, it does not mean that people should stop taking their statins as there is no doubt they save lives. Instead, the findings reinforce the need to regularly monitor the blood sugar levels of patients taking statins."

In a separate study, British researchers found a “significant” number of patients prescribed statins only had a small chance of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD)

The report, published in the British Journal of General Practice, found a "significant over-treatment" of statin therapy with patients who had less than 10% chance of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years.

Tracking statin prescribing between 2000 and 2015, researchers from the University of Birmingham looked at 1.4 million patients aged over 40 across 248 GP practices across England and Wales.

Some 217,860 patients started statin treatment during this time, with 151,788 recorded as having undergone the recommended risk assessment for CVD.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends anyone with a 10% chance of developing CVD should be offered statin. However, the study revealed many patients offered the treatment had a low risk of CVD.

Statin initiations increased from 2000 to 2006, after which the rate dropped to almost half by 2015. The CVD risk assessment was introduced in 2012. However, only 27.1% of patients have had their risk score recorded since then.

One in six patients who had the risk assessment and went on to start statin therapy were in the low-risk category, the researchers found.

However, the study notes that clinicians may have been "responding to individual patient preference when prescribing to low-risk patients." The researchers also found potential "under-treatment" among those deemed to be at high risk - to have a 20% or higher chance of CVD within a decade.

Among those that had a risk score recorded after it was introduced in 2012, just over a third (35%) of high-risk patients were prescribed statins.

"It is not possible to establish whether those patients who were above the threshold to be prescribed a statin did not receive treatment because they were not offered it or because they declined an offer," the authors said.

"This study confirms that there is potential under-treatment of patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and, although only a small proportion of low-risk patients are initiated on statins, low-risk patients represent a significant proportion of all statin initiations."

Commenting on the study, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Patients should be reassured that GPs are highly-trained to prescribe statins and base their decisions on the circumstances of the individual patient sitting in front of them, including physical, physiological and social factors that might be affecting their health.

"This study is interesting because it looks at possible overtreatment and undertreatment, but it simplifies the true situation because it does not include any information about individual patient preferences, other health conditions, or data that was not accurately coded in patient records.

"This study emphasises the importance of calculating an accurate risk score which can then help healthcare professionals have an honest discussion with their patients about the benefits and risks which are unique to them."

Link to study here:


Thought for the day.

“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited

Just about sums up the times we live in. The profoundly abnormal has become normal. Have a nice day.


Tomato Curry : It's a fresh and delicious Vegetarian / Vegan dish

Thought I'd share this fresh vegetarian/vegan tomato curry recipe with you, as I know many readers do like all things veggie! Even for meat eaters it does sometimes make a change to have a veggie night! This recipe could be perfect if you fancy a veggie curry in a hurry ...

Serves Four
900g large vine tomatoes
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
2 tbsp. grated ginger
1 thinly sliced onion
1 de-seeded and chopped red chilli
1 tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds
1⁄2 tsp paprika
1⁄2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tomato purée
12 curry leaves
100ml hot water

fresh coriander to serve

1. Cover 900g large vine tomatoes with boiling water in a bowl for 3 minutes. Drain, cover with cold water, then peel off the skins. Finely chop half the tomatoes and cut the remainder into wedges.
2. Heat 3 tbsp. vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves and 2 tbsp. grated ginger. Fry for a minute then add 1 thinly sliced onion and 1 deseeded and chopped red chilli. Fry gently for 6 minutes until soft but not browned. Stir in 1 tsp lightly crushed fennel seeds, 1⁄2 tsp paprika, 1⁄2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tsp ground coriander and fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, reserving the wedges, 1 tsp tomato purée, 12 curry leaves and 100ml hot water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat until thickened – add a little extra water if it’s too dry. Add the tomato wedges, season and simmer for 5 minutes until the wedges are soft but still holding their shape.
4. Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with Cauliflower rice.

Nutritional information / original Sainsbury's recipe is here

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

All the best Jan

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Chicken Club Casserole : Low Carb / Keto Style

How about this combination of chicken, cheese, and mayo, served up in a quick and creamy low carb / keto casserole, it works out at 4g carbs per serving!

Serves Four
1 rotisserie chicken
2 tomatoes
5 oz. / 150 g cooked bacon
1 dill pickle
½ cup / 125 ml mayonnaise
6 oz. / 175 g shredded (grated) cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
6 oz. / 175 g leafy greens - for example baby spinach
4 tablespoons of olive oil

Depending on your taste, some may like to add a little onion and/or spices to this recipe.
Please see the full cooking instructions at Diet Doctor site here

'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'... please read more facts about chicken here

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

All the best Jan

Monday 23 October 2017

Quote of the week.

"A great civilisation is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within"  Ariel Durant


Spiced Parsnip Soup with Coriander and Chilli Pesto

There aren't many things more comforting than a warming mug of creamy soup, and I'm sure this spiced parsnip and pesto one will not let you down. The time of year really lends itself to this recipe suggestion ... for Autumn, for Halloween, even for the 5th November Bonfire Night!

Serves Six
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1kg (2lb) parsnips, chopped
1.5ltr (2 1/2pt) hot chicken stock
3 tbsp. soured cream

For the pesto
1 red chilli or dried chipotle chilli
50g (2oz) fresh coriander, leaves picked
15g (1/2oz) Parmesan, grated
4 tbsp. pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery and a little seasoning, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and ground spices and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
2. Add the parsnips and stock, bring to the boil, and then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the parsnips are tender.
3. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Soak the chipotle chilli (if using) in a little just- boiled water for 15 minutes, or until softened, drain and then roughly chop. Put the chilli (or dried chipotle chilli) in a small blender with the coriander leaves, Parmesan and 2 tbsp. of the pumpkin seeds and pulse a few times to combine. 4. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, season, and whizz until coarsely mixed. Add a little more oil, if necessary, until the desired consistency is reached.
5. Remove the soup from the heat and whizz with a stick blender until smooth (if it’s too thick, add a little more stock). Stir in the soured cream. Divide the soup between 6 bowls and add a drizzle of the pesto.

Serve with the remaining pumpkin seeds and (optional) how about some warm low carb cheese scones, you can see recipe here 

Each serving of soup:
Carbohydrate 11.7g Protein 7.5g Fibre 9.8g Fat 18.7g
Soup recipe is from an original idea here

You will find a variety of 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

Sunday 22 October 2017

Tea Drinker Me : Herbal Teas, Low Carb Lemon Cake and More !

Well as regular readers of this blog know I just love my cup of tea, and my go to choice is always a cup of ordinary breakfast tea ... I can enjoy this anytime of the day - or night! I do have a favourite blend, but that would be telling! LOL! Many friends, and readers, keep a variety of herbal teas in their kitchen cupboards and there really is a wide array to choose from. If you'd like to know more about these, you may find the next few paragraphs of interest.

"Herbal teas have been around for centuries. Yet, despite their name, herbal teas are not true teas at all. True teas, including green tea, black tea and oolong tea, are brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. On the other hand, herbal teas are made from dried fruits, flowers, spices or herbs. This means herbal teas can come in a wide range of tastes and flavours and make a tempting alternative to sugary beverages or water. In addition to being delicious, some herbal teas have health-promoting properties. In fact, herbal teas have been used as natural remedies for a variety of ailments for hundreds of years. Interestingly, modern science has begun to find evidence supporting some of the traditional uses of herbal teas, as well as some new ones.

Here is a list of 10 healthy herbal teas you may want to try:

1. Chamomile Tea - is well known for its calming properties, and preliminary evidence supports this. It may also help relieve premenstrual symptoms and high blood lipid, blood sugar and insulin levels.

2. Peppermint Tea - is traditionally used to relieve discomfort of the digestive tract. Studies have found that peppermint oil can help relieve nausea, cramping, spasms and stomach pain.

3. Ginger Tea - is best known as a remedy for nausea, and studies have repeatedly found it to be effective for this use. However, several studies have also found that ginger can help relieve period pain, and it may offer benefits for people with diabetes.

4. Hibiscus Tea - may help lower high blood pressure and fight oxidative stress. However, it shouldn’t be taken with a certain diuretic medication or at the same time as aspirin.

5. Echinacea Tea - is commonly used to prevent or shorten the duration of the common cold. While several studies have found it to be effective for this use, the evidence on the matter is conflicting. However, at the very least, this warm herbal drink may help soothe your sore throat or clear up your stuffy nose if you do feel a cold coming!

6. Rooibos Tea - has just recently begun to be studied by scientists. Preliminary evidence suggests that rooibos tea may help improve bone health and reduce heart disease risk, but more studies are needed.

7. Sage Tea - is well known for its medicinal properties, and scientific research has begun to support several of its health benefits, especially for brain health. Several studies have found that sage improves cognitive function and memory. It may also benefit colon and heart health.

8. Lemon Balm Tea - has a light, lemony flavour and seems to have health-promoting properties. Preliminary studies have found that lemon balm tea may improve antioxidant levels, heart and skin health and even aid in relieving anxiety.

9. Rose Hip Tea - is made from the fruit of the rose plant. This tea is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Its anti-inflammatory properties may reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Studies have also found rose hips effective at fighting aging of the skin and reducing stomach fat.

10. Passionflower Tea - the leaves, stems and flowers of the passionflower plant are used to make passionflower tea. This tea is traditionally used to relieve anxiety and improve sleep, and studies have begun to support these uses.

Herbal teas come in a variety of delicious flavours and are naturally free of sugar and calories. Many herbal teas also offer health-promoting effects, and modern science has begun to validate some of their traditional uses. Whether you’re a tea lover or novice, don’t be afraid to give these 10 herbal teas a try."

These words taken from a recent article by Taylor Jones RD and her full article with all relevant research and other links can be seen here

and since tea-making is an art form, here's a guide to making the perfect cup

how about a slice of low carb lemon cake to go with it

 find the recipe details here

Make time today for a cup of tea (or coffee!)

All the best Jan

Saturday 21 October 2017

Skylar Grey - Moving Mountains

Time to wind down for the weekend with a song from Skylar Grey, enjoy !

Eva Cassidy - Time After Time

One of the best singers I ever heard, who sadly passed away far too young, enjoy. Eddie 

Peter Gabriel Passion

Saturday night again and music night. I try to bring something different in the way of music every now and again, not that many appreciate my efforts LOL. I have had this album for a long time, and it's certainly different. Peter Gabriel track 15 Passion, from the album "Passion: The Last Temptation of Christ" the soundtrack for the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1989). Eddie

Cauliflower Bake : Vegan Style Recipe

Rachel Morrow says ... 'Cauliflower has been one of her favourite vegetables to recreate into new dishes over and over again! It's amazing what you can do with this humble vegetable that too often gets neglected in the bottom of the vegetable drawer.' You may wish to try this vegan style cauliflower bake recipe ...

1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked overnight
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp turmeric (If you don't have any turmeric, a little Moroccan spice mix works well)
1 tbsp. coconut oil, plus a little extra
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
Pinch of Salt

1. Lightly steam your cauliflower and then place into a baking dish.
2. In a small pot on a medium heat, sauté the onion, and garlic in the coconut oil until golden brown.
3. Add the vegetable broth, turmeric and salt, allow to simmer on a low heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
4. In a blender, add the cashew nuts, nutritional yeast and vegetable broth mix.
5. Blend until smooth and creamy then pour this mixture over the top of your cauliflower in the baking dish, spreading evenly.
6. Grill for 5-8 minutes, or until golden brown.

Please see Rachel's original recipe here
For help with weight and measurement conversion see here

You may also like to see this LCHF Cauliflower Cheese recipe, it's made using double cream and cheese, and is delicious - recipe suggestion here

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

All the best Jan

Friday 20 October 2017

Ghoulish Goulash Stew : Perfect For Halloween

If you are looking for a perfect Halloween recipe to tuck into after a night of trick or treating, then look no further! This ghoulishly good stew, complete with creepy eyeballs made from stuffed olives, is packed with succulent lamb and flavoured with chilli and paprika for a warming, spicy kick... Yum!

Serves Four
2 tbsp. olive oil
600g (1lb) diced lamb leg
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 - 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (depending on taste)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
750ml (1 1/4pt) lamb or vegetable stock
2 medium beetroot, peeled
250g (8oz) butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
1 large red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
10 Pimento stuffed olives, halved
handful parsley or chives, finely chopped
soured cream, to serve
crusty bread, to serve - optional

1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. of the oil in a large shallow casserole dish, season the lamb and brown well on all sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Add the remaining oil and the onion to the pan and soften for 5 minutes. Stir through the garlic, chilli and spices, fry for a couple of minutes. Now pour over the tinned tomatoes and stock, season generously with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar and stir well.
3. Wrap the raw beetroot in a foil parcel and cook in the oven for 1hr 30mins. Bring the stew up to boil then cover with a lid and simmer over a gentle heat for 45 minutes (adding a splash more water if it needs it). Add the squash and pepper, cover and return to the heat for 45 minutes more, after which time the lamb should be really tender and the sauce thickened.
4. Remove the beetroot from the oven, chop and stir it through the stew. Taste and season as necessary. Scatter over the halved olives (as eyeballs) and fresh parsley. Serve with soured cream and (optional) crusty bread.

Nutritional Information:
Carbohydrate 19.3g Protein 32.6g Fibre 3.8g Fat 27.2g
From an original idea here

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

image from here
Enjoy the Autumn Season

All the best Jan

Ten Sources Of Low-Carb Protein For Vegetarians

Libby at 'Ditch the Carbs' site writes: "Quality low-carb protein for vegetarians can be hard to find. These are my top 10 sources and a handy infographic – scroll below to see the comprehensive guide of 33 protein sources for low-carb vegetarians and pescatarians.

Many vegetarians are unknowingly high carb, low protein, especially those who don’t have well formulated meals.

Traditional foods many vegetarians eat, such as grains, bread, pasta, rice, fruit and legumes, are high in carbs. Quinoa for example – 1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 8g protein but an astounding 35g carbs.

Click here  to see the full infographic - use the zoom!

Soy, another classic vegetarian protein source, is generally avoided by many due to the increasing research that is showing a link between their phytoestrogens disrupting both male and female hormones.

The debate over the health benefits/harm from soy and tofu can be a polarising argument due to the conflicting research (and who has paid for it to be published).

Soy, tofu and protein powders are highly processed, that is another factor to be taken into consideration.

So what are some healthy low carb protein options that vegetarians can enjoy? And how can you formulate a balanced low-carb vegetarian diet?

It can be done with a little planning and forethought. You may not be as low carb as some, but you can enjoy a balance of vegetarian ideals, with a lower carb goal.

10 sources of low-carb protein for vegetarians:
To become a low-carb vegetarian, begin by simply cutting back on the bread, pasta, rice, fruit, dried fruit that many vegetarians rely on, and all sweet dishes. No more juice, fruit based smoothies and bliss balls. No more tomato sauce and pasta. These are not well formulated meals.

Go for fully loaded salads with cheese, nuts, eggs and fish (if you are pescatarian and happy to consume this). Add some seeds, enjoy some natural yoghurt, sprinkle chia seeds or hemp seeds over the top.

Add plenty of healthy plant based fats on your meals" ...

Please continue reading all of Libby's article here

She also has a great recipe for a LCHF vegetarian Spinach and Feta Pie,
it's so incredibly colourful, delicious, healthy and nutritious.
What is even better, it is super easy to make - see here

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

All the best Jan

Thursday 19 October 2017

Courgette / Zucchini Crab Melts : Low Carb / Keto

If you are already living the LCHF lifestyle, you will know that courgettes / zucchini 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.

There are so many ways you can incorporate these vegetables into your recipes, for example take this suggestion ... 

Serves Four
7g carb per serving
2 courgettes / zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 oz. / 75 g celery stalks
1 red bell pepper
12 oz. / 350 g canned crab meat
¾ cup / 175 ml mayonnaise or crème fraiche
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
7 oz. / 200 g shredded (grated) cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
4 oz. / 110 g baby spinach
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

This delicious melt dish can also be made with canned tuna, lobster, or even chicken or ham... what a choice!

You can see the recipe instructions at Diet Doctor Site here

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

image of baby spinach from here

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

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

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

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

All the best Jan

Wednesday 18 October 2017

A Nine-Year Collaboration Has Just Shown How Sugar Influences Cancer Cell Growth

There's a long-known relationship between cancer and sugar, but figuring out exactly how it works has proven elusive. Now, thanks to a nine-year research project, scientists have made a breakthrough.

They've narrowed down the mechanism whereby cancer cells metabolise sugar.

The focus of the new research was on a metabolic effect that has been understood for over 90 years.

We know that almost all the cells in the human body require energy, and they derive this energy from the sugars in the food we eat. Cancer cells also require sugars to grow. But their glucose intake is a lot higher than that of healthy cells, as is the rate at which they ferment that glucose into lactic acid.

This is known as the Warburg effect, and it may, scientists have hypothesised, have something to do with cancer's rapid growth rate. But it's hard to determine whether the Warburg effect is a symptom or a cause of cancer.

It's been proposed that the growth of cancer cells may be stymied by starving them of sugar, but the problem with that is there's currently no method of cutting off the supply to cancer cells while keeping it open to normal cells.

This is why the biological mechanism behind the increased glucose metabolism is important. It may hold the key to starving cancer cells while keeping healthy cells functioning. We're not there yet, but this research brings us a critical step closer.

"Our research reveals how the hyperactive sugar consumption of cancerous cells leads to a vicious cycle of continued stimulation of cancer development and growth," said researcher Johan Thevelein from KU Leuven in Belgium.

"Thus, it is able to explain the correlation between the strength of the Warburg effect and tumour aggressiveness. This link between sugar and cancer has sweeping consequences. Our results provide a foundation for future research in this domain, which can now be performed with a much more precise and relevant focus."

The team used yeast cells for its research – specifically looking at the 'Ras' gene family, a family of genes that is present in all animal cells, including human cancer cells. This makes the study of Ras mutations in yeast an increasingly useful tool in cancer research.

Yeast also has highly active sugar metabolism, yet doesn't have the additional regulatory processes of mammalian cells that can conceal underlying processes.

"We observed in yeast that sugar degradation is linked via the intermediate fructose 1,6-biophosphate to the activation of Ras proteins, which stimulate the multiplication of both yeast and cancer cells. It is striking that this mechanism has been conserved throughout the long evolution of yeast cell to human," Thevelein said.

In lay terms, the researchers found that the yeast that had an overactive influx of glucose caused the Ras proteins to activate too much, which would then allow the cells to grow at an accelerated rate.

He was, however, careful to note that this research, while important, is one step in a much larger process - and that a breakthrough in research is not the same thing as a medical breakthrough.

"The findings are not sufficient to identify the primary cause of the Warburg effect," he added. "Further research is needed to find out whether this primary cause is also conserved in yeast cells."

The team's research has been published in the journal Nature Communications.


Welcome to my mid-week mix, and some low carb cookie biscuits!

I thought ... goodness it's Wednesday already!
So welcome to my mid-week mix

out locally on a grey day I spotted these slightly faded rose blooms

Yes our Autumn visitor is back - seen this week tucking into his/her favourite seeds

Winchester Cathedral looking good in the Autumn Light (image from the web)

now this looks a welcoming cup of tea ...

and one of these cookie biscuits will go well with it
only 2 net carbs per cookie biscuit for this low carb version of chocolate chip cookies,
you may like to give this recipe a try, more details here

All the best Jan