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Thursday 31 May 2018

Italian Stuffed Roast Pork ... a special dish !

If you may have a family, or friends, gathering coming up soon, then this recipe suggestion by Lucy Jessop at Sainsbury's Magazine could be just what you need ...
It's Italian stuffed roast pork and I'm sure that your family/friends will love it!

Serves Six
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium leek, white part only, finely chopped
2 (Sicilian-inspired) pork sausages
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
20 g breadcrumbs
20 g blanched almonds, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1.5 kg boneless loin of pork, skin scored, at room temperature
2 tsp sea salt
3 fennel bulbs, quartered and sliced, fronds reserved
100 g cubetti di pancetta
200 g kale

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan; add the leeks and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft; transfer to a bowl. Squeeze the sausage-meat from their skins and add to the leeks. Add the sage, breadcrumbs, almonds, half the fennel seeds and the lemon zest. Season and mix well.
2. Remove any string from the pork and unroll, skin-side down, on a clean board. Using a sharp knife, cut into the meat horizontally about two-thirds of the way along (but not all the way through), keeping your knife parallel to the board, to make a pocket. Open the meat out like a book and spread the stuffing into the opened-out joint, leaving a 2cm border. Roll up tightly; tie with string.
3. Weigh to calculate the cooking time (see step 4); transfer to a roasting tin. Rub the skin with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Mix the remaining fennel seeds with the sea salt and spread over the scored skin. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the fennel with the remaining olive oil and the pancetta; season with black pepper. After 20 minutes, remove the pork from the oven and scatter the fennel mixture into the tin. Reduce the temperature to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3; return to the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes (or 25 minutes per 500g) until cooked through. Transfer the pork to a board, cover and leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, cook the kale in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until tender; drain and add to the tin with the fennel. Toss together, add the fennel fronds and lemon juice and season. Serve with the pork.

You can stuff the pork up to a few hours ahead; chill. Return to room temperature before roasting.

Hope you may enjoy this special dish soon ...
Happy cooking - Cottura felice !

If you are looking for a low carb dessert, how about this one.

Crunchy Berry Mousse 
this simple low carb dessert is just delightful.
It's one that the whole family (and friends) can sit down and enjoy.
The combination of berries, cream and pecan nuts with a touch of citrus ... delicious, more details here

A variety of recipe ideas are in 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

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Tom Watson MP : Deputy Labour Leader : Low Carbing !

You may have already read about Deputy Labour Leader Tom Watson and his weight loss...
With headlines such as:

Tom Watson: weight struggle made me realise scale of obesity crisis ... and 

Politician loses weight on low carb and realizes we can do more to combat obesity.

Yes, after reading about how other politicians died early from lifestyle-related diseases, British politician Tom Watson decided to take control of his weight and started low carbing

He is now 84 pounds (38 kg) lighter and his weight loss has made him realize that not enough is done to overcome the obesity epidemic.

He said, " I kept reading about Labour politicians that died early in their 50s and 60s and I want to get healthy, and actually for me the journey’s been very interesting because what I realise is there’s a lot more we can do in public health to deal with the obesity crisis, because you know we’ve got 10 million of these people heading to diabetes, another 15 million sitting behind them are overweight. "

The Guardian: Tom Watson: weight struggle made me realise scale of obesity crisis, see here

Article also seen on Diet Doctor site here

Read our 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' here 

All the best Jan

Olive Oil ... some facts and information

Olive oil is probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's mainly made in the Mediterranean, primarily in Italy, Spain and Greece (though countries such as America and Australia also produce it). Much like wine-making, climate, soil and the way the olives are harvested and pressed all have an impact on an oil's character.

Olive oil is assessed on three criteria - fruitiness, bitterness and pepperiness - the flavour, smell and colour can vary radically, both according to its origin, as well as whether it's extra virgin (the finest grade) or not.

Generally speaking, the hotter the country, the more robust the flavour of the oil. It is also possible to flavour olive oil with herbs and spices by steeping them in the oil for ten days or so (though chilli needs far less time).

All year round.

Choose the best:
Extra virgin oil is the most expensive type, and is made from the first cold pressing of the olives. It has a very low acidity rate (under 1%) and is best used for dipping or to dress salads - both because its superior flavour is impaired by heat and because it has a low smoking point.

Virgin olive oil is also a first pressing, but has a slightly higher acidity level (under 2%). It should be used in much the same way as extra virgin, and can also be used to cook Mediterranean dishes to create an authentic flavour (but should not be used for deep frying).

Refined to remove its impurities, and blended to improve flavour, pure olive oil is the cheapest olive oil there is. Its flavour is quite bland, so it's not worth using it on salads, but it's a good all-purpose cooking oil (again, don't deep fry with it).

Oils from Spain tend to be smooth, sweet and fruity, with hints of melon and nuts and very faint bitterness - they're quite versatile.

The flavour of Italian oils varies from region to region. The north produces oils that are mild, slightly nutty, and very good with fish. Oils from the centre of the country are stronger-tasting, with grassy notes. Southern Italy, including Sicily, produces oils that have a drier, more herbal flavour.

Greek olive oils are herby, fruity and sometimes peppery - good all-rounders.

Prepare it:
Olive oil is ready to cook with. If you have flavoured olive oil with any herbs and spices, these should be strained out - pour the strained olive oil into a clean bottle before you use it.

Store it:
Olive oil deteriorates when exposed to direct sunlight, so keep it in an airtight bottle a cool, dark place, like a kitchen cupboard, rather than sitting out on a worktop or window sill. Olive oil does not improve with age, and is best consumed within a year of bottling.

Above from article here

a couple of recipe suggestions using olive oil

Tomato and Mint Salad
A fruity Sicilian olive oil brings out the best in this refreshing salad
details here

Green Pepper Tortilla
great for lunch - details here

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

All the best Jan

Tuesday 29 May 2018

California Grilled Chicken

Chicken has so many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it can be cooked - make it one of the most popular meats around. It has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium.

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.

This recipe suggestion for California Grilled Chicken combines lovely flavours and tastes great!

Serves Four
3/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices mozzarella
4 slices avocado
4 slices tomato
2 tbsp. sliced basil
balsamic glaze, for drizzling

1. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, honey, oil, and Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Pour over chicken breasts and marinate 20 minutes.
2. Heat grill to medium high. Grill chicken until internal temperature reaches 170ºF on an instant-read thermometer
3. Top chicken with mozzarella, avocado, and tomato and cover grill to melt, 2 minutes.
4. Garnish with basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

From an original recipe (with video guide) here

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

Monday 28 May 2018

Feta Cheese Stuffed Bell Peppers : Vegetarian

A super tasty vegetarian dinner that you can prepare in no time. Green bell peppers stuffed with a creamy feta cheese filling, with a touch of mint, olives and smooth tanginess. Yum! Hearty and healthy comfort food at its best, baked to perfection...

Serves Two
(11g carbs per serving)
2 green bell peppers
11 oz. / 300g feta cheese
10 green olives pitted and chopped
2 eggs
½ tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 oz. / 30g leafy greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch sea salt
can be found here

Hot sauce, also known as chili sauce or pepper sauce, is any condiment, seasoning or salsa made from chili peppers and other ingredients... read more about it here

Feta is the most well-known cheese in Greece. It is a soft, white, brined cheese that is very nutritious and is an excellent source of calcium. As part of Mediterranean cuisine, this cheese is used in all sorts of dishes — from appetizers to desserts — because it can enhance the taste of foods... read more about feta cheese here

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

Sunday 27 May 2018

Why Australians are buying full-cream milk and veering away from low-fat alternatives

Australians are ditching skim milk and other low-fat dairy options and in favour of regular, full-cream milk as consumer appetites shift towards wholefood, ‘clean-eating’ diets.

Ian Halliday, Dairy Australia’s managing director, has revealed full-fat milk sales surged by almost 10 per cent over the past year alone, while consumption of low-fat and other modified milk varieties fell by about 6 per cent.

No-fat milk sales have dropped by almost 20 per cent since 2014/15.

“We are seeing, on a global basis, a move back towards full-fat dairy products,” Mr Halliday told a Senate Estimates hearing, pointing to recent research showing the health benefits of dairy.

Dietitian Lauren McGuckin, a spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia, said there were several health factors that could explain this shift in consumer behaviour.

“Wholefood diets are becoming more popular and people are steering clear of more processed foods, whereas full-fat products are not as processed,” she said.

“This is true because some nutritional benefits – like calcium and vitamins – are lost in the process of reducing the fat content, but quite often it’s added back in.

“The high-fat, low-carb diet trend could also quite possibly be having an impact.”

Ms McGuckin said there was also a common myth that lower-fat milks contain added sugar.

“People think that in order to replicate the flavour of regular milk, the fat content is replaced with sugar to make it taste better, and this is just not the case,” she said.

“When it comes to plain milk, none of these have added sugar – regardless of whether you’re talking about full-fat, low-fat or skim milk.”

But it’s no wonder consumers are confused, with all the mixed messages they have been presented with over the years as new research emerges.

Dr Suzie Ferrie, a dietitian at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, said the increase in full-cream milk sales is not limited to Australia, but part of a global shift.

“There is increasing suspicion of how our food is manipulated by producers,” she said.

“Most organic dairy producers don’t make reduced-fat products, so people who are choosing ‘organic’ or ‘clean eating’ or ‘environmental eating’ or ‘sustainable eating’ are mainly having full-cream milk.

“The big Paleo eating fad was also quite influential in putting the message out that fat is good, and animal fat is good.”

John Droppert, an industry analyst at Dairy Australia, described the change in consumer behaviour as a “significant shift”.

“And this is bigger than milk and it’s bigger than the dairy industry,” he said.

“People are after a more natural product.

“There has been a similar effect on the butter industry. Consumers are turning away from margarine alternatives in favour of butter.”

Mr Droppert said the change in consumer preference was likely to endure.

“This is a pretty sustained shift. It’s not a short-term change in behaviour,” he said.

“I think we’ll see the volume of consumers who have changed back to regular milk will largely stay with it.”

Health advice

Ms McGuckin advised that anyone concerned about their weight or at risk of heart disease should avoid full-fat milk.

“But a splash of milk on your cereal or in your coffee is nothing to worry about,” she said.

“If you’re drinking glasses of it a day, then it might be best to switch back to a lower-fat option.”

Blueberry Cheesecake : Low Carb and No Bake

The recipe suggestion I'm sharing here was one of Libby, at Ditch The Carbs site, very first low-carb desserts and is popular with beginners (and those more advanced) who want something quick and easy! Low-carb no bake blueberry cheesecake could be ready on your table by tonight!

Serves 12
55 g butter melted
2 tsp granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste
25 g desiccated/shredded coconut unsweetened
100 g almond meal/flour
Cheesecake Filling
12 g powdered gelatine (see recipe notes below)
500 ml boiling water
2 tbsp. granulated sweetener of choice or more to taste
2 tsp berry essence
500 g cream cheese full fat, not spreadable
100 g blueberries frozen or fresh
To Garnish
Fresh berries and melted chocolate (optional).

Recipe notes, an alternative version is to replace the gelatine, sweetener, flavouring and berries with 2 boxes of sugar free jelly/jello.
Recipe instructions, with cooking video, and more can be seen here

don't you just love low carb cheesecake and flowers, I do, image from here

All the best Jan

Saturday 26 May 2018

Mina - You Are My Love

Saturday night and it's music night on our blog, I like this song and though the video is a bit confusing it's still enjoyable

David Gilmour - Comfortably Numb Live in Pompeii 2016

Saturday night and music night again. I have had a very relaxing week, just had a wonderful low carb meal cooked by Jan. A couple of glasses of red wine and I am feeling comfortably numb. Enjoy this comparatively new version of this rock classic. Eddie 

Cajun Chicken Lettuce Tacos and Carrot Fries

This could be perfect for Saturday Night! Have a look and see what you think ... it's "Cajun chicken with oodles of spice, tahini dressed beetroot, oven crisp carrot fries and hardly any carbs? Beautiful.

Cajun chicken lettuce tacos and carrot fries

For a lighter taco, use crisp gem lettuce to wrap up the spiced chicken and sweet tahini dressed beetroot. The high water content in the gem lettuce helps to flush out toxins from the body.

100g beetroot
1 avocado
1 baby gem lettuce
1 lemon
1 tbsp. oil
2 tsp Cajun spice
2 tsp tahini
2 x 170g free range chicken breast
400g carrot

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Peel and cut the carrots into fries.

Place the carrots in a bowl, sprinkle over half of the Cajun spice and drizzle with ½ tbsp. oil, mix well. Place on a baking tray in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.

Slice the chicken into strips and place in a bowl with the remaining Cajun spice and ½ tbsp. oil and season with sea salt. Toss the chicken making sure it is well coated. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add the chicken, cook for 10 minutes turning often, until cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, peel and grate the raw beetroot. Mix the tahini in with the beetroot and half of the lemon juice.

Peel and de-stone the avocado and scoop into a bowl. Roughly mash with a fork and mix with the remaining lemon juice and season with sea salt and black pepper.

To prepare the lettuce taco, cut the base off the lettuce and carefully separate the leaves so they stay in one piece. Use 2-3 leaves per taco.

To assemble the tacos, place equal quantities of the grated beetroot in the lettuce leaves and top with the avocado and chicken strips. Serve alongside the carrot fries."

Recipe seen here but original recipe from MindfulChef 

Did you know that the base of a good Cajun seasoning is equal amounts of cumin, coriander and paprika! However many cooks/chefs also like to 'tweak it' a little and may add oregano, salt and cracked pepper ... the joy of any recipe can be making sure the taste suits your taste buds!

All the best Jan

Friday 25 May 2018

Cream Cheese with Herbs : Low Carb

So easy to make! Just mix a non-flavoured, full-fat cream cheese with fresh herbs and spices and voila - it sure tastes good!

Serves Four
5g carbs per serving

8 oz. cream cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 tablespoons fresh parsley or fresh basil, chopped
1 garlic clove
½ lemon, the zest
salt and pepper, to taste
4 celery stalks, or other fresh vegetables of your liking

Find instructions here

Fresh herbs, garlic and lemon are used in this recipe, but feel free to experiment with your favourite herbs/spices!

Flavoured cream cheese works well with cucumber, bell-pepper or carrot sticks, and with low-carb bread and sesame crisp-bread.

Basil ... is a versatile and widely used aromatic herb. Basil is an annual plant that is easy to grow from seed but is very sensitive to cold. The plant grows well in warm climates and is widely used throughout southern Europe, particularly the Mediterranean, and in many parts of Asia. There are numerous species of basil; some have scents reminiscent of pineapple, lemon, cinnamon or cloves; others have beautiful purple leaves. The variety called holy basil (tulsi) is an essential part of an authentic Thai curry. In Mediterranean regions, basil and tomato is a classic combination. Pesto, made from basil leaves and pine nuts, with parmesan or pecorino cheese and olive oil (traditionally pounded together in a mortar and pestle – the latter lends pesto its name) is another classic dish.

Parsley ... no kitchen should be without a good supply of this multi-purpose herb. It can be used as a garnish and flavouring and as a vegetable. There are two main varieties: curly leaf and flat-leaf. Both can be used for the same purposes although flat-leaf parsley has a stronger flavour and tends to be favoured in Mediterranean cooking.

Chives ... the smallest and most delicate member of the onion family, chives are a popular herb used in European cookery. They have long, thin green blades that are hollow inside. They have a mild, grassy flavour similar to baby spring onions or young leeks. There is also an Asian variety of chive called Chinese chives, garlic chives or kuchai.

Read more about 'Cooking with herbs the low carb way' here

All the best Jan

Thursday 24 May 2018

How to reverse the diabetes epidemic in 3 years

Taken from Prof. Grant Schofield's blog

How to reverse the diabetes epidemic in 3 years
"It’s out! I’m honoured to be part of an authorship team with Prof Robert Lustig and Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, two rock stars of nutritional science and public health. These two guys are driving change and challenging dogma.

The paper, just published here in the Journal of Insulin Resistance, is an up to date report on the science of sugar, and offers an eight-point plan to reverse the diabetes epidemic within three years.

From the press release….
“Three international obesity experts, NHS Consultant Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, Professor Robert Lustig of the University of California San Francisco and Professor Grant Schofield, Auckland University of Technology have authored the most comprehensive up to date report on the science of sugar with an eight-point plan that if implemented will result in a reversal in the epidemic of type 2 diabetes within 3 years.

We have particularly focused on the tactics of the food industry, acting in the same way as Big Tobacco does. We are calling out The US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, British Dietetic Association (BDA), and the Dietitians’ Association of Australia who all receive annual contributions from the food industry.

Here’s our eight-point plan, all of which are evidence based to reduce population sugar consumption, and all of which were successful in curbing tobacco use.

1. Education for the public should emphasise that there is no biological need or nutritional value of added sugar. Industry should be forced to label added and free sugars on food products in teaspoons rather than grams, which will make it easier to understand. GS comment: We need a better food labelling system and all free sugars should be included in this. It should be obvious to the consumer how much sugar there is in products.

2. There should be a complete ban of companies associated with sugary products from sponsoring sporting events. We encourage celebrities in the entertainment industry and sporting role models (as Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and American basketballer Stephan Curry have already done) to publicly dissociate themselves from sugary product endorsement. GS comment: Like alcohol and tobacco in sport, the tide has turned and the untrue associations between sporting success and sugar are no longer tolerable to society. The gig’s up Big Sugar!

3. We call for a ban on loss leading in supermarkets, and running end-of-aisle loss leading on sugary and junk foods and drinks. GS comment: Supermarkets in New Zealand can’t loss lead on tobacco and alcohol, just add sugary drinks and junk food as well.

4. Sugary drinks taxes should extend to sugary foods as well. GS comment: NZ needs to join the club on sugary drink taxes, but if we want to change the three As (affordability, accessibility, and accessibility) then this tax must also extend to other junk foods. We could use the money for public health. Of our billions spent on health, the fact is most of it goes on sickness.

5. We call for a complete ban of all sugary drink advertising (including fruit juice) on TV and internet demand services. GS comment: As above, like tobacco and alcohol the tide has turned. Big sugar should be on notice.

6. We recommend the discontinuing all governmental food subsidies, especially commodity crops such as sugar, which contribute to health detriments. These subsidies distort the market, and increase the costs of non-subsidised crops, making them unaffordable for many. No industry should be provided a subsidy for hurting people. GS comment: Why do some counties make sugar cheaper yet healthy real food is costly. Sugar=wrong thing to subsidise.

7. Policy should prevent all dietetic organisations from accepting money or endorsing companies that market processed foods. If they do, they cannot be allowed to claim their dietary advice is independent. GS comment: Let’s save these guys because they clearly can’t identify that taking food industry money is a serious conflict of interest and undermines their credibility.

8. We recommend splitting healthy eating and physical activity as separate and independent public health goals. We strongly recommend avoiding sedentary lifestyles through promotion of physical activity to prevent chronic disease for all ages and sizes, because “you can’t outrun a bad diet”. However, physical (in)activity is often conflated as an alternative solution to obesity on a simple energy in and out equation. The evidence for this approach is weak. This approach necessarily ignores the metabolic complexity and unnecessarily pitches two independently healthy behaviours against each other on just one poor health outcome (obesity). The issue of relieving the burden of nutrition-related disease needs to improve diet, not physical activity. GS comment: Being fit is really good for you, but unfortunately big food is using it to confuse us about the solution to nutritional-related disease. Let’s treat these two things as important and separate, not run them against one another.

The retrospective econometric analysis and prospective Markov modelling both predict that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes will start to reduce three years after implementing these measures. This calamity has been 40 years in the making — three years is not too long to wait!

Here’s some great expert reaction so far….
“The science against sugar, alone, is insufficient in tackling the obesity and type 2 diabetes crises — we must also overcome opposition from vested interests”

Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said, “We now know how Big Tobacco works, pushing products that kill millions. This paper makes a compelling case that Big Food is doing the same. Maybe these corporations don’t care how they are seen. But if they do care about their reputation, then this paper shows that they have a lot to do to clean up their act.”

Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University of London, Centre of Food Policy said, “This is an important paper with fair but firm recommendations. Slowly but surely, evidence and awareness are growing that a fundamental change is needed to national and international food policies. Food manufacturing has sweetened diets unnecessarily. Influence is bought by funding arms-length organisations who take the money and cloak themselves in spurious arguments on consumer freedom. Actually, the public worldwide is conned. The impression is given that a tweak here or there will sort out obesity and the runaway non-communicable disease toll. Media ought to realise they give airtime and space to what are effectively anti public health fronts. Declaration of funding should be made before airtime is given.”

Simon Capewell, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology
Department of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool said, “BigSugar, Big Tobacco and Big Food all use the same HARMS tactics to deny culpability: H Heaps money for politicians, journalists & scientists

H Heaps money for politicians, journalists & scientists
A Attack PH opponents & groups
R Recruit cronies
M Misinformation
S Substitute ineffective interventions.

Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor, Sydney School of Public Health University of Sydney, AUSTRALIA said, “The 2005 satirical movie Thank you for smoking featured a triumvirate of tobacco, alcohol and firearms lobbyists, sharing their strategies at weekly meetings they call The MOD Squad (Merchants of Death). If the movie was remade today, a fourth member from Big Sugar would be mandatory.

These modern chronic disease vectors all use the same playbook. If you want to control malaria, it’s essential you control mosquitos. If you want to control obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, you must control the mosquito’s equivalent – the food industry”

Patti Rundall OBE, Policy Director of Baby Milk Action said, “A key tactic used by the food industry and all industries whose harmful practices should be regulated, is to create ‘front groups’ that represent their interest while sponsoring individuals in positions of influence – especially health professionals or anyone holding a position of trust. This allows them to secretly hijack the political and legislative process; manipulate public opinion and appear respectable. Since 1996, eight world Health Assembly Resolutions have called for conflict of Interest safeguards for those working in infant and young child feeding. These safeguards need to be implemented and extended to all those providing nutrition advice – transparency is an essential first step.” "

Please see the article with full links on Prof. Grant Schofield's blog here

All the best Jan

A Cheezy Vegan Broccoli Soup

As regular readers know, this blog brings a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, music and recipes! It is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. Our main focus is about the Low Carb Higher (Healthy) Fat lifestyle, LCHF for short, and you can read/find out more about that here

In recent months we have seen that more and more we have regular readers, and followers, who choose to eat vegetarian or vegan. With that in mind I am passing on this recipe suggestion from Martine at Low Carb Vegan Blog. She says this vegan soup is really creamy, tasty and delicious. The cheesy flavour of this soup comes from a combination of miso, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and unroasted cashews (you could use soy cream or almond butter for even fewer carbs). You can get these ingredients from a health food store. This soup is quite quick to make, but make sure to soak or boil your cashews in advance if you do not have a high powered blender. Serve on its own or with some crackers or low carb bread.

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 pound broccoli, use both stem and florets
1 large carrot, in chunks
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
750 ml water
1 vegan bouillon cube
100 gram unroasted cashews, boiled for 10 minutes or soaked for 2-4 hours
250 ml water
2 tablespoons shiro miso
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Can be found here

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

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Salmon, Cucumber and Radish Salad : Perfect For Salad Days !

A lovely salad, and I enjoy the addition of radishes ... they add a slight crunch!

Serves Four
4 x 120g smoked salmon fillets
1 cucumber
200g radishes
120g bistro salad (e.g. a mix of lettuce, Beetroot, Red Chard) supermarkets often have pre-packed bags
2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
3 spring onions (scallions) sliced, to serve
For the dressing
100g (low-fat) Greek yogurt
½ lemon, juiced
2 tbsp. fresh dill

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Put the salmon fillets on a baking tray and cook for approx. fifteen minutes.
2. Meanwhile, peel the cucumber into long thin strips using a vegetable peeler, and discard the watery core. Slice the radishes into rounds.
3. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice and dill with a little seasoning. Toss together the salad leaves, cucumber, radishes and mint leaves with almost all the dressing. Transfer to a large serving platter. Flake the salmon on top and add the remaining dressing and spring onions.

Nutritional Details:
Per serving 6.5g Carbs 29.1g Protein 17.0g Fat

Original recipe idea here

Smoked mackerel or smoked river cobbler works well and can be substituted for salmon if preferred. 

Radishes are the root of a member of the mustard family, radishes have a peppery flavour and a crisp, crunchy texture. Among the most popular varieties are the small, cherry-sized common variety which has a red skin and white flesh. Radishes are rich in folic acid and potassium and are a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, riboflavin, and calcium.

Choose the best:
Go for firm-skinned radishes, with no blemishes. If they feel soft, they are likely to be spongy inside. Any greens still attached should look fresh and perky. The bigger the radish, the less crisp its texture, so avoid larger examples.

Prepare it:
To increase the crispness of radish, soak them in iced water for a couple of hours. Wash, then chop off the greens, if present, then slice off the root. Leave whole, slice or chop, as required.

Always prepare radishes just before using, as they loose their potency when cut. Mooli or daikon radishes can be sliced, diced or grated.

Store it:
In a perforated bag in the fridge for around 3-4 days. Always trim the leaves off before storing, as they'll draw moisture from the radish itself. You can keep the radish greens in the fridge, wrapped in moist kitchen paper then stowed in a perforated bag, for a couple of days.

More about radishes here

Regular readers will know that a variety of articles and recipe ideas, are 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

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Raspberry (Low Carb) Coconut Flour Cupcakes

Libby at Ditch The Carbs site has been talking about her lovely recipe for sugar-free, gluten-free, raspberry cupcakes that are made with coconut flour. Coconut flour is free from gluten and wheat, high in fibre, and lower in inflammatory omega 6. Since the texture of coconut flour is so light, you’ll be sure to make soft cupcakes with every batch. This easy coconut flour cupcakes recipe, can be adapted and made with any berry you choose ... but raspberries are good!

These are the ingredients you'll need:
(makes eight cupcakes - 4g net carbs per cake)
110 g butter melted
50 g coconut flour
4 tbsp. granulated sweetener of choice or more, to your taste
2 tsp vanilla or more, to your taste
1 tsp baking powder
8 eggs medium
120 g raspberries fresh or frozen

See how to make them, and more, at Libby's site here

be sure to put the kettle on

and get your cup and plate

then sit and enjoy

All the best Jan

Monday 21 May 2018

Parsley ... shouldn't be overlooked !

Parsley is one of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and Middle Eastern food. The traditional British choice is curly parsley, but flat leaved (Continental) parsley is also widely available. The flavour is fresh and grassy, and works well with most other ingredients.

Choose the best:
Go for fresh looking, bright green bunches, with no wilting or discolouration. Curly parsley is darker than the flat leaf variety, and has a milder taste. Flat leaf has a more robust (and, some say, better) flavour. They can be used interchangeably, but the fact that flat leaf is much easier to clean (the curly type can trap lots of dirt in its frilly leaves) swings it for some people. Dried parsley is also available but its flavour doesn't match up to the real thing.

Prepare it:
Wash, then chop the leaves either finely (for adding subtle flavour to cooked dishes) or coarsely, for dishes such as salads, for which you want more of a flavour impact. The stalks have a lot of flavour, too, so can be chopped finely and added as well - or use them for making stock.

Store it:
Fresh cut parsley should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper, placed in a perforated bag and stored in the fridge. It will last for up to 3 days. Alternatively, treat like a bunch of flowers and put in a glass of water in the fridge, covering the leaves with a plastic bag and changing the water every two days - it can last for up to a week this way. Dried parsley should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. It will keep its potency for up to 4 months.

Cook it:
In Middle Eastern salads; with basil, to make pesto; add to soups, stews, sauces, meatballs, fishcakes, burgers, salsas and marinades.

A little more about Parsley:
Parsley has far more virtues than a bit of green to dress up a dinner plate. Parsley is enormously rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and has natural anti-inflammatory properties, perhaps helps keep arthritis at bay. The wealth of vitamin C in parsley (seemingly with the highest concentration of the stuff in a green vegetable) makes it a great immune booster, and a healthy amount of vitamin A also helps your fight toward restoring, and maintaining, health.

I wonder do you like parsley? Do you use it in your recipes? If you may be looking for recipes that use/incorporate parsley, here are some.

Spicy mushrooms with peppers : Low carb starter or side dish
see details here

Sausage with Cauliflower and Parsley Rice
see details here 

Chicken with mushrooms and peas
see details here

Individual Fish Pies : Low Carb and Dairy Free
see details here

You will find a variety of articles and recipes 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 20 May 2018

A Wonderful Week ...

For those of you who saw my post here, you will know that Eddie and I have been away for a short break ... and what a wonderful time we had.

Our weather from start to finish was wonderful. It was so lovely to spend time with family, and so enjoyable meeting up with low carb team member and good friend Graham. Our final few days were spent in the wonderful Lake District.

We spent time walking, cruising (on Lake Windermere) a little shopping and some very relaxing moments enjoying a tea or coffee in outdoor cafes ... yes the word wonderful sums up our break so well.

So it's time to sort through some photographs - but in the meantime I'll leave you with these two.

All the best Jan

Saturday 19 May 2018

Kaz Hawkins and Her Band O' Men - Because You Love Me

Just came across this video last night, good song and this lady's got a powerful voice, enjoy

Listen to the Music Playing For Change

Saturday night again and music night. Yet another stunning rendition of an old classic by the mega talented Playing For Change crew, enjoy. Eddie

Cauliflower ‘toast’ avocado mash, smoked salmon and poached egg : Perfect for a Royal Lunch ?

Well, I'm sure that readers will know that here in the UK today, Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle. Of course there are many other couples who will also be getting married and I wish all couples every happiness. In celebration I thought I'd share a recipe suggestion that could perhaps be called 'A Royal Lunch' or just 'Cauliflower toast, topped with avocado mash, smoked salmon and poached egg'. Yes, throw away the bread and substitute it with cauliflower! It tastes so good and makes a wonderful LCHF weekend breakfast or lunch. Honestly, it really works well and is so much lower in carbs ... and if you are diabetic does not raise those blood sugar levels as much - just see what your meter tells you!

This recipe uses the humble cauliflower in replacement of toast and it works amazingly as a low carb replacement to bread. You finish feeling satisfied and you honestly don’t miss the bread at all. It’s seriously scrummy and can make a perfect lunch, or weeknight supper, or one super breakfast!

To feed two people you will need:
1/2 cauliflower,
4 slices smoked salmon
1 avocado, make sure it is good and ripe
2 eggs
salt, pepper
olive oil
sprinkle of turmeric, pinch of cumin

Start By:
Preheating your oven to 190C
Then take your cauliflower and pull off all his outer leaves."

Next you need to go over to Margie's site and read her instructions here
She has a great way of writing and a very clear step by step guide.

Now as it's the weekend, I wonder, will you be shopping, seeing family / friends, catching up with housework, doing some gardening, or just putting your feet up and chilling with a good book or listening to music. Of course you may also watch the wedding ...
Whatever your weekend plans, I wish you a good one.

All the best Jan

Friday 18 May 2018

Chicken with sweet wine and garlic : A little bit French and low carb !

The dish may not look colourful ... but this simple, delicious and very classically French, creamy casserole makes an impressive dinner party dish. Of course you could just spoil yourself ... why wait for a dinner party!!!

Serves Four
9g carbs per serving
2 tbsp. seasoned flour
1 free-range chicken, about 1½ kg/3lb 5oz, jointed into 8 pieces
4-5 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
200ml sweet wine, such as Sauternes
300ml chicken stock (see how to make your own below)
sprig each of parsley, thyme and bay tied with string
1 head garlic
50g butter
200g chestnut mushrooms
3 rounded tbsp. crème fraîche
a little lemon juice if needed

1. Tip the flour into a large food bag. Add the chicken pieces, two at a time, and shake well to coat evenly. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large pan, add a few pieces of chicken and fry on all sides until well browned. You’ll need to do this in batches and you may need a touch more oil or fat. Remove the pieces to a large saucepan or flameproof casserole.
2. Add 1 tbsp. oil to the pan, add the shallots and fry gently until softened, but not browned. Add the wine and allow to bubble until it is reduced a little. Add the stock, herb bundle and seasoning and bring to the boil. Pour over the chicken.
3. Cover the pan tightly and simmer for 45 minutes until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickened and reduced.
4. Meanwhile, separate the garlic head into individual cloves and put in a small pan with water to cover. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the garlic is tender. Drain and cool under running cold water. Peel the garlic.
5. Heat half the butter and a splash of oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and cook quickly over a moderate heat until just softened. Tip into a bowl. Wipe out the pan and add the remaining butter and a splash of oil. Add the garlic and fry gently, shaking the pan until lightly browned. Season lightly.
6. Stir the mushrooms and crème fraîche into the chicken and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then taste and add more seasoning and a little lemon juice if it needs it. Spoon the chicken and sauce onto a warm platter and scatter with garlic.

Recipe Tip:

Make a simple chicken stock
Once you have jointed the chicken, cut the backbone in half and put in a pan with the leg and wing tips, 1 roughly chopped carrot, 1 stick of celery and 1 shallot. Add 1 bay leaf and a thyme sprig, a few black peppercorns and some salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and use.

From an original idea here
To add some greenery to this dish why not consider serving with some fine French beans ...

... flowers always brighten up a table

You will find a variety of recipes 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

Thursday 17 May 2018

Featuring three low carb fruits ...

Three low carb fruits

strawberries 6gm blackberries 5.1 gm raspberries 4.6gm
of carbohydrate per 100gm weight.

Low Carb Strawberry Sponge Cake
made in the microwave ...

100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon of melted butter
2 tablespoons of double (heavy) cream

extra thick cream and strawberries for the filling

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Melt the butter I used a Pyrex jug, add the eggs, cream, then add the dry ingredients and mix. Pour into a 6" microwave proof dish. Microwave in a 700watt for 3 minutes. Allow to cool and cut in half.
Spread on extra thick cream and some sliced strawberries.
Serves 4-6. Less than five carbs per portion

Strawberries have grown wild for millennia in temperate regions throughout the world. While cultivation of strawberries doesn't date back this far, it still dates back hundreds and hundreds of years.

It was not until the 18th century, however, when cultivation of strawberries began to be pursued in earnest. In 1714, a French engineer sent to Chile and Peru to monitor Spanish activities in these countries "discovered" a strawberry native to this region that was much larger than those grown in Europe. He brought many samples back to France, which were subsequently planted. These plants did not originally flourish well until a natural crossbreeding occurred between this species and a neighbouring North American strawberry variety that was planted nearby in the field. The result was a hybrid strawberry that was large, juicy and sweet, and one that quickly grew in popularity in Europe.

More great strawberries information can be found at the
Worlds Healthiest Foods site here.
WHF is a not for profit goldmine of great food information.

All the best Jan

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Cauliflower low-carb risotto with spinach and goat's cheese

This low-carb cauliflower risotto with spinach and French goat's cheese is an excellent choice for a quick and easy lunch. In fact you may even enjoy it for dinner! You'll find that each spoonful is packed with flavour and comforting creaminess ... yum!

Serves Four
1 2⁄3 lbs (750g) cauliflower
1¾ cups (425ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
2 oz. (50g) butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon onion powder
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3 oz. (75g) parmesan cheese
3 oz. (75g) fresh spinach
5 oz. (150g) goat cheese
4 tablespoons pecans
2 tablespoons olive oil

Just like with rice, some prefer a softer texture and some like it al dente. Be sure to test the cauliflower mixture frequently and get it off the heat before it becomes too mushy.


Yes, for a vibrantly green dish, try broccoli instead of cauliflower. Pay extra attention to taking it off the heat before it turns into a mash.

Storing the dish

This dish keeps for 2-3 days in the refrigerator and reheats great in the microwave. Perfect for a lunchbox.

Please find recipe instructions here

All the best Jan