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Friday 30 November 2018

Goulash with butter-fried cabbage : Lower carb dish

Did you know - Goulash is a stew of meat, usually seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating from the medieval Hungary, goulash is a popular meal predominantly eaten in Central Europe but also in other parts of Europe. 

Its origin traces back to the 9th century to stews eaten by Hungarian shepherds. Back then, the cooked and flavoured meat was dried with the help of the sun and packed into bags produced from sheep's stomachs, needing only water to make it into a meal. Earlier versions of goulash did not include paprika, as it was not introduced to the Old World until the 16th century. It is one of the national dishes of Hungary and a symbol of the country. 

American goulash, ( sometimes called slumgullion ) has been mentioned in cookbooks since at least 1914, and exists in a number of variant recipes. American goulash is usually referred to in the midwestern and southern United States as simply "goulash". As a descendant, of sorts, of Hungarian goulash, the only real connection seems to be the name, and the inclusion of beef and paprika. 

This recipe below is for a moderate low carb dish and has some delicious flavours, just like a classical Hungarian stew! It is filled with the savoury flavours of pepper, tomato and caraway... and works well served with some delicious butter-fried cabbage. 

The ingredients shown here serves eight, so amend to suit.
Serves Eight

14g net carbs per serving 
120 g (4¼ oz.) butter
2 yellow onions
2 garlic cloves
2 red bell peppers
210 g (7½ oz.) celery root
900 g ( 30 oz.) chuck roast
400 g ( 14 oz.) crushed tomatoes
180 ml ( ¾ cup) water
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp. caraway seeds
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Butter-fried cabbage
900 g (30oz.) green cabbage
120 g ( 4¼ oz.) butter
salt and pepper
For serving
240 ml (1 cup) sour cream or mayonnaise
30 g ( 1⁄6 oz.) fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Recipe Instructions:

Can be found here

Dear reader - 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 29 November 2018

Carbohydrates not essential !

Over the years this post from August 2011, has had quite a number of reads, and interestingly still does 

So I thought it may be worth repeating!

Carbohydrates not essential. 

"There are three kinds of foods--fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. All of these provide calories. But the carbohydrates provide calories and nothing else. They have none of the essential elements to build up or to repair the tissues of the body. A man, given carbohydrates alone, however liberally, would starve to death on calories. The body must have proteins and animal fats. It has no need for carbohydrates, and, given the two essential foodstuffs, it can get all the calories it needs from them." 

Sir Heneage Ogilvie, former vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons, England. 

The earliest and primary proponent of an all animal-based diet was Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a Canadian explorer who lived with the Inuit for some time, and who witnessed their diet as essentially consisting of meat and fish, with very few carbohydrates - berries during the summer. Stefansson and a friend later volunteered for a one year experiment at Bellevue Hospital in New York to prove he could thrive on a diet of nothing but meat, meat fat and internal organs of animals. 

His progress was closely monitored and experiments were done on his health throughout the year. At the end of the year, he did not show any symptoms of ill health; he did not develop scurvy , which many scientists had expected to manifest itself only a few months into the diet due to the lack of vitamin C in muscle meat. However, Stefansson and his partner did not eat just muscle meat - they ate fat, raw brain, raw liver (a significant source of vitamin C and others), and other varieties of offal. The no-carbohydrate and low carb diet often reverses type two diabetes. 

We do not advocate a no carb diet, although this has been proved to be safe, it would be a very boring way to live. Some of us think of our way of life as being meat eating vegetarians. No, we are not trying to wind up vegetarians, but we base our food on fresh vegetables, then add high quality protein, then good fats. If you are consuming around 30-50 carbs per day, all from non starchy vegetables, you have a very large range to choose from. By eating the colours of the rainbow, and eating small portions, of many different types, you can get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy." 


N.B. Added comments on original post

1) Here is Stefansson's own story -- he died of a stroke, which vegitrollians love to point out... they forget to mention that he was aged nearly 83!

Born November 3, 1879 – died August 26, 1962


And here is a letter to the Editor of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition from Eric C Westman MD, MHS - "Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition?"

2) Eddie I think your description 'colour of the rainbow' just hits the spot. Since being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and finding your blog all of the family eat much healthier now and feel much better for it.

Thanks to you and fellow low carbers my numbers improved dramatically.


The above first posted in August 2011

Lifestyle, what we eat, how we exercise etc. is of course a personal choice … readers may also find our post 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners.' of interest. Find it here

Thanks for reading, and do please share any thoughts/comments you may have.

… dear reader, 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

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Great quote.


Creamy Cheese and Courgette / Zucchini Casserole : Low Carb

Using a mix of cheese and courgettes (zucchini) this recipe can make a meal or side dish … it's so creamy, I'm sure you will like it!

This could be a low-carb meal for four ...
6 Courgettes / Zucchini
1 Cup (240ml) of heavy (double) cream
6 oz. (180 g) cheese (e.g. cheddar)
2 Large (yellow) onions
1.5 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven at 200°C   400°F   Gas Mark 6-Moderately Hot
2. First of all, cut three courgettes/zucchinis into 1-cm wide slices and line the bottom of the baking dish with them.
3. Chop the onions into small pieces and grate the cheese, and put all the onion on top of the courgette/zucchini slices. Additionally, sprinkle half of the cheese around the baking dish. Following this, mix the double (heavy) cream with the salt and pepper, and pour half of the cream into the dish.
4. Next, cut the remaining three courgettes/zucchinis into 1-cm wide slices and fully cover the food inside the baking tray with them.

5. After this, pour the remaining half of double (heavy) cream over the top of everything. Most of it should go through the courgette/zucchini slices, but a little may be left on top. Cover the top of the baking dish with the rest of the grated cheese. 
6. Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes until the casserole has a firm texture, then slice and serve.
From an idea 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.

sharing beautiful food, and beautiful winter florals, image from here
Have a Happy Day

All the best Jan

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Quote of the week.

“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


Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Can Eat : Here Are Thirteen

Franziska Spritzler RD CDE writes:
"Inflammation can be both good and bad. On one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease. Stress, inflammatory foods and low activity levels can make this risk even greater. However, studies demonstrate that some foods can fight inflammation...
Here are 13 anti-inflammatory foods.

1. Berries

Berries are small fruits that are packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Although there are dozens of varieties, some of the most common are:

Summary Berries provide antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These compounds may reduce inflammation, boost immunity and reduce your risk of heart disease.

2. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are a great source of protein and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Although all types of fish contain some omega-3 fatty acids, these fatty fish are among the best sources:

Summary Fatty fish hold high amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have anti-inflammatory effects. 

3. Broccoli
Broccoli is extremely nutritious. It's a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale. Research has shown that eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer. This may be related to the anti-inflammatory effects of the antioxidants they contain.
Summary Broccoli is one of the best sources of sulforaphane, an antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

4. Avocados
Avocados may be one of the few supposed superfoods worthy of the title. They are packed with potassium, magnesium, fibre and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain carotenoids and tocopherols, which are linked to reduced cancer risk. In addition, one compound in avocados may reduce inflammation in young skin cells.
Summary Avocados offer various beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation and may reduce your cancer risk. 

5. Green Tea
You've probably already heard that green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. It reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, obesity and other conditions. 
Summary Green tea's high EGCG content reduces inflammation and safeguards cells from damage that can lead to disease.

6. Peppers
Bell peppers and chili peppers are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Summary Chili peppers and bell peppers are rich in quercetin, synaptic acid, ferulic acid and other antioxidants with strong anti-inflammatory effects. 

7. Mushrooms 
While thousands of varieties of mushrooms exist worldwide, only a few are edible and grown commercially. These include truffles, Portobello mushrooms and shiitake. Mushrooms are very low in calories and rich in selenium, copper and all of the B vitamins.
Summary Some edible mushrooms boast compounds that may decrease inflammation. Eating them raw or lightly cooked may help you reap their full anti-inflammatory potential. 

8. Grapes
Grapes contain anthocyanins, which reduce inflammation. In addition, they may decrease the risk of several diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's disease and eye disorders. Grapes are also one of the best sources of resveratrol, another compound that has many health benefits.
Summary Several plant compounds in grapes, including resveratrol, can reduce inflammation. They may also reduce your risk of several diseases.

9. Turmeric
Turmeric is a spice with a strong, earthy flavour that's often used in curries and other Indian dishes. It has received a lot of attention for its content of the powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient curcumin. Turmeric is effective at reducing the inflammation related to arthritis, diabetes and other diseases.

Summary Turmeric boasts a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin. Eating black pepper with turmeric can significantly enhance the absorption of curcumin. 

10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. It's rich in monounsaturated fats and a staple in the Mediterranean diet, which provides numerous health benefits. Studies link extra virgin olive oil to a reduced risk of heart disease, brain cancer and other serious health conditions.
Summary Extra virgin olive oil provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits, which may reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and other serious health conditions. 

11. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa 
Dark chocolate is delicious, rich and satisfying. It's also packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. These may reduce your risk of disease and lead to healthier aging. Flavanols are responsible for chocolate's anti-inflammatory effects and keep the endothelial cells that line your arteries healthy. However, make sure to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa — more is even better — in order to reap the anti-inflammatory benefits.
Summary Flavanols in dark chocolate and cocoa can reduce inflammation. They may also reduce your risk of several diseases. 

12. Tomatoes 
The tomato is a nutritional powerhouse. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, potassium and lycopene, an antioxidant with impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene may be particularly beneficial for reducing pro-inflammatory compounds related to several types of cancer. Note that cooking tomatoes in olive oil can maximize the amount of lycopene you absorb. 
Summary Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, which may reduce inflammation and protect against cancer. 

13. Cherries 
Cherries are delicious and rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and catechins, which fight inflammation. Although the health-promoting properties of tart cherries have been studied more than other varieties, sweet cherries also provide benefits. 
Summary Sweet and tart cherries contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation and your risk of disease. 

The Bottom Line 
Even low levels of inflammation on a chronic basis can lead to disease. Do your best to keep inflammation in check by choosing a wide variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods. Peppers, dark chocolate, fish and extra virgin olive oil are just a few foods that can help you combat inflammation and reduce your risk of illness."

The above is only a snippet of Franziska's article.
You can read it in full, with all related links, 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

Monday 26 November 2018

Pork chops with celeriac mash and apple and ale gravy

Fresh and creamy celeriac mash is the perfect partner to pork chops in this delicious recipe by Oliver Rowe. 

Serves Four
1 large celeriac
150g/5oz butter, plus extra for the sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Cox's apples, peeled
425ml/¾ pint London Pride ale (or similar)
4 pork chops
2 tsp vegetable oil
For the salad
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

250g/9oz rocket leaves


1. Peel the celeriac, chop into 2.5cm/1-inch chunks and place in a pan of cold water. Place on the hob, bring to the boil and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Mash the celeriac with 100g/3½oz of the butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep covered and warm.
2. Meanwhile, peel, halve and thinly slice the onion lengthways into semicircles. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and cook the onions on a medium high heat until soft and lightly coloured.
3. Cut the apples into quarters and cut out the cores out, then cut them again into eighths.
4. Remove the onions from the pan, add the remaining 50g/1½oz butter and place the apples in. Cook over a medium heat. When they are golden brown turn them over so that they are beautifully coloured on both sides.
5. Return the onions to the pan with the apples, raise the heat and add the ale to the pan. Adjust the seasoning and continue cooking until the apples begin to break down a little and the liquid has reduced by at least half and has thickened somewhat.
6. With a sharp knife score the skin of the chops and season them. This will help the chop to crisp when it is cooked.
7. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot. Rub the pork chops with some vegetable oil (this will help prevent sticking) and place the chops on the hot griddle. Cook, turning as necessary, until the meat is cooked through (cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chops; it will be cooked when the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife near the bone).
8. For the salad, make the vinaigrette. Place the mustard, vinegar and olive oil in a bowl and whisk. Season to taste.
9. When the chops are cooked, remove from the griddle, and put covered on a plate in a warm place for five minutes. Meanwhile, whisk a knob of butter into the sauce to thicken it slightly.
10. To serve, divide the mash among four plates, place a chop on each dollop of mash and pour the mustard and ale sauce over it. Dress the rocket with the vinaigrette and serve on the side.

From an original idea here 

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

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

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

Rocket is a very 'English' leaf, and has been used in salads since Elizabethan times. It has a strong, peppery flavour, and the leaves have a slight 'bite' to them. If you see 'rucola' or 'arugula' for sale or on a restaurant menu - it's the same thing. 
Available year-round in supermarkets. Rocket is incredibly easy to grow, in fact, it could take over your whole veg patch. 
Choose the best:
Look for perky dark-bright green leaves. Avoid those that look slimy, yellowed or browning, as they're past their best. 
Prepare it:
Just rinse and go. 
Store it:
Store in the bottom part of your fridge, in brown paper or a perforated bag. It will last for a maximum of 2 days. 
Cook it:
Mix with other salad leaves, if liked. 

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

All the best Jan

Saturday 24 November 2018

Sophie Zelmani - Stay with my heart

Weekend chill out time with a beautiful song just the thing to wind down and finish Saturday night off with, enjoy

Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

What can you say about Elton, outrageous, over the top, madman at times, one thing cannot be denied, he is a musical genius. Performing here live with his band, a large choir and a huge orchestra. Elton at his very best. Eddie

Loreena McKennitt - Caravanserai

Saturday night again and music night on this blog. We have been fans of this Woman for close on twenty years. We have most of her albums, a test for me is can an artist perform live, and be as good or better than in the studio. Check this amazing Woman out who always works with stunning musicians. Have a peaceful weekend. Eddie 

Friday 23 November 2018

Sausage, bacon and onion bake with sautéed spinach

Do you know - you really don't need to serve a 'mash' with sausages, why not try them with some sautéed spinach!

Serves Four
8 good-quality pork sausages
8 rashers streaky bacon
2 red onions cut into eighths
15 sage leaves
2 Tbsp. duck fat
1 cup Verjuice or white wine (optional)
2 Tbsp. butter
150g baby spinach

salt and black pepper 

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
2. Wrap a piece of bacon around each sausage. Place in a roasting tin with the onions and sage leaves; spoon over the duck fat, especially over the onions.
3. Roast for 30–40 minutes on the middle rack, turning once, until the sausages are browned and cooked through.
4. Deglaze the pan with the Verjuice or wine and reduce until thickened.
5. Heat the butter in a pan; add the spinach and sauté until just wilted; season well.

To serve: Serve sausages drizzled with gravy, and with sautéed spinach on the side. 

From a recipe seen here 

If you need help with measurement / conversion see here 

Did you know - Spinach is available all year round but is in season during the spring (March - June). It is well known for its nutritional qualities and has always been regarded as a plant with remarkable abilities to restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood. There are sound reasons why spinach would produce such results, primarily the fact that it is rich in iron.

Iron plays a central role in the function of red blood cells which help in transporting oxygen around the body, in energy production and DNA synthesis.

Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health and it is difficult to find vegetables richer in vitamin K than spinach. Others include kale, broccoli and green cabbage. 

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

All the best Jan

Quote of the week.

“The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.” Mikhail Gorbachev


Thursday 22 November 2018

Mediterranean vegetables with lamb ... a one pot meal

This one-pot dish is packed with vegetables and tender lamb and will keep the whole family satisfied … why not serve with low carb oven-baked swede (rutabaga) wedges.

Serves Four
1 tbsp. olive oil
250g lean lamb fillet, trimmed of any fat and thinly sliced
140g shallots, halved
2 large courgettes (zucchini) cut into chunks
½ tsp each ground cumin, paprika and ground coriander
1 red, 1 orange and 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
1 garlic clove, sliced
150ml vegetable stock
250g cherry tomatoes

handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Cook the lamb and shallots over a high heat for 2-3 mins until golden. Add the courgettes and stir-fry for 3-4 mins until beginning to soften.
2. Add the spices and toss well, then add the peppers and garlic. Reduce the heat and cook over a moderate heat for 4-5 mins until they start to soften.
3. Pour in the stock and stir to coat. Add the tomatoes, season, then cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally until the veg are tender. Stir through the coriander to serve.

Nutrition per serving:
Fat 9g Carbs 11g Fibre 4g Protein 17g

From an original idea here

Pepper's, as well as being so colourful, do have a lot going for them. They are full of good nutrition and all varieties are excellent sources of Vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fibre. My favourite is the red one! 

This recipe is so easy to tweak e.g. aubergines (eggplants) could be used, some may like to add some leeks or carrots … perhaps not quite so Mediterranean, but as always the choice is with you the reader...

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

All the best Jan

Wednesday 21 November 2018

New Major Study: A Calorie Is Not A Calorie

"Despite what the sugary beverage and processed snack food companies want us to believe, all calories are not created equal.

A new study from Harvard shows that individuals following a low-carbohydrate (20% of total calories) diet burn between 209 and 278 more calories at rest (each day) than those on a high-carbohydrate (60% of total calories) diet. So the type of calories we eat really does matter. 

The New York Times: How a low-carb diet might help you maintain a healthy weight 

This isn’t the first study to investigate this topic, but it is likely the best. 

The current study was a meticulously controlled, randomized trial, lasting 20 weeks. Even more impressive, the study group provided all the food for participants, over 100,000 meals and snacks costing $12 million for the entire study! This eliminated an important variable in nutrition studies — did the subjects actually comply with the diet — and shows the power of philanthropy and partnerships in supporting high-quality science. 

After a run-in period where all subjects lost the same amount of weight, participants were randomized to one of three diets: 20% carbs, 40% carb, or 60% carbs, with the protein remaining fixed at 20%. Importantly, calories were adjusted to stabilize weight and halt further weight loss, thus making it much more likely that any observed difference in calorie expenditure was not from weight loss, but rather from the types of food consumed. 

After five months, those on the low-carb diet increased their resting energy expenditure by over 200 calories per day, whereas the high-carb group initially decreased their resting energy expenditure, exposing a clear difference between the groups. In addition, those who had the highest baseline insulin levels saw an even more impressive 308-calorie increase on the low-carb diet, suggesting a subset that may benefit even more from carbohydrate restriction. 

Why is this important? It shows why the conventional wisdom to eat less, move more and count your calories is not the best path to weight loss. Numerous studies show better weight loss with low-carb diets compared to low-fat diets, and now studies like this one help us understand why. 

Our bodies are not simple calorimeters keeping track of how much we eat and how much we burn. Instead, we have intricate hormonal responses to the types of food we eat. It’s time to accept this and get rid of the outdated calories in-calories, calories-out model, thus allowing for more effective and sustainable long-term weight loss. 

Additional coverage of this dramatic new study: 

LA Times: The case against carbohydrates gets stronger (by study author Dr. David Ludwig) 

The Times: Low-carb dieters “shed more weight” 

MedPage Today: Low-carb diet wins for weight maintenance "

All words and picture above from Diet Doctor site here

All the best Jan

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake : Low Carb : Vegan

Time to say thank you - it's lovely to receive, read and share the many comments that we get on this blog. One came in recently from David Gascoigne, it was on the 'Low Carb Flours and Some Low Carb Cake Ideas' post here, this is what he said "My wife is the baker in the family and she makes a first rate lemon poppy seed cake, which goes well with mid morning coffee. I will pass these recipes on to her and see what she thinks." Well David, I do hope she liked them. However, I thought there must be a low carb version of lemon poppy seed cake - and there is - in fact this one is low carb and vegan! 
I share it here - just make sure the kettle is on - for coffee or tea! 

2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup stevia (sweetener)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. flaxseed meal
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
lemon zest, 1 1/2 lemons
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp. coconut oil
3/4 cup water

pinch salt 

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a loaf tin with cooking spray and line with baking paper. Set aside.
2. Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Add the lemon zest.
3. Add lemon juice and the rest of the wet ingredients a little at a time, stirring well between each addition.
4. Transfer batter to loaf tin.
5. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool in tin before inverting onto a place and cutting into slices.

This low carb vegan recipe makes 9 slices, each slice is 16.6g fat, 3.7g protein, and 4g net carbs.

If you need help with weight/measurement conversion, see here

Original recipe with instruction video can be seen here

Poppy seeds "are the tiny, edible blue-grey or ivory-coloured seeds of the poppy flower. The former are more common in European cookery; and the latter in Indian cuisine. Although the poppy is the source of opium, its seeds lose their narcotic characteristics as they ripen. 

Buyer's guide:
White poppy seeds are not widely available, but you will find them in Indian grocers. 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent them from becoming rancid. 

Because they’re so small and have a tendency to stick together, poppy seeds are often dry-roasted, or soaked and ground before use to make them easier to handle. In Central and Eastern Europe, they are sprinkled onto cakes, breads, biscuits and bagels, and added to potato, egg, pasta, cream and cheese dishes. In India, they are used as a spice or as a thickener in curries." 

There is also a nice Orange and Poppy Seeds Cupcakes low carb recipe here 

We bring a variety of 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

Monday 19 November 2018

Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds

Hi folks, this is a very nice short film, three people who have lived to a great age and reflect on their lives, it's ups and downs, the trials and tribulations. Above all, it's a very positive and heartwarming message, enjoy. Eddie.

Halloumi Shortage Alert : Here Are Four Other Cheeses To Try

Following the recent news that there may be a shortage of Halloumi Cheese I came across this article written by Sophie Gallagher

Halloumi Shortage Alert : Here Are Four Other Cheeses To Try

A nationwide halloumi crisis could be upon us as a growing taste for the cheese in China means Cypriot suppliers are now struggling to keep up with demand.

The quantities of halloumi (which is so popular in the UK because it can be grilled without melting) that Cyprus can turn out are increasingly squeezed as customers all over the world develop a taste for the salty cheese.

Producers were already were already finding it hard to meet summer requirements across northern Europe and had to do an emergency restock of British supermarkets. And now they have another market to think about too.

Cyprus has signed an agreement that paves the way for halloumi exports to the Chinese market of three million cheese-eating customers, a fact that is only going to further dwindle the existing stocks.

Exports of halloumi have increased from about 6,000 tonnes in 2013 to 26,000 tonnes this year. With Britain responsible for about 9,000 tonnes a year.

“I don’t know if this is a curse or blessing,” Yiannis Pittas, the founder and owner of Cyprus’ biggest halloumi producer, told The Times: “But we’re struggling to cope with the unprecedented global demand.” 

If the farmers and producers do not continue to meet demand this could potentially mean empty shelves. So what should you eat instead? Try these four cheeses as an alternative to your favourite.

Paneer with brussels sprouts and spinach.

Paneer - is a fresh cheese common in the Indian subcontinent. Made from curdling cow’s milk with a vegetable-derived acid (like lemon juice), it has the same solid consistency as halloumi (and looks the same to the naked eye). Although it has the desirable non-melting properties of halloumi, it isn’t as salty and flavoursome so it works better in curries or with sauces rather than dry.

Cutting paneer into pieces on wooden board

Kefalotyri - is a Greek cheese made from sheep or goat milk rather than cow. It also has a high melting point so you’re not going to turn your grill into a hot mess. Once cooked kefalotyri has a creamier texture than halloumi and packs a salty punch (but with a bit less tang). 

Queso Para Freir - which in Europe might be harder to come by, Queso Para Freir (roughly translated to ‘cheese for frying’) as it is a staple in Mexico and central America. Appreciated for the same qualities as halloumi (holding its shape when heated) it also forms that delicious golden brown crust while maintaining an unmelted interior. 

Manouri (or feta) - this Greek cheese is probably the least similar to halloumi in that it is more crumbly and semi-soft so probably wouldn’t fare too well on a hot grill (unless you love washing up afterwards). But it does work well when baked in the oven – pop it inside some tin foil. If you can’t find manouri then baked feta does the job.

Cheese Is Good For You ... Some Reasons Why 
"Despite almost universal popularity, cheese often has its nutritional value questioned. The reason for this is due to the high-fat content. However, recent research shows that dairy is an incredibly beneficial food group — especially the high-fat variety."

You may wish to read this article which presents nine science-backed reasons why cheese is good for you - more details 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. 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 18 November 2018

Roast Turkey and Low Carb Stuffing ... so delicious ... Thanksgiving or Christmas

This post brings you a choice of delicious Roast Turkey, a low carb and gluten free stuffing recipe, plus vegetarian and vegan options … such a choice … could be handy for Thanksgiving or Christmas. 

I have to say that on my plate will be some Turkey and low carb stuffing … oh yes, some lovely low carb vegetables too - how about Brussels Sprouts and green beans?

Low Carb and Gluten Free Stuffing
Serves Eight
8g carbs per serving
2 tbsp. butter
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
150 g bacon, diced
225 g celery root, diced
(or replace the celery root with half the amount of celery; 3–4 stalks replace about ½ pound of root)
1 apple, grated
60 g pecans, chopped
2 slices of low-carb bread
240 ml heavy (double) whipping cream
900 g ground pork
fresh sage 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp. butter, for greasing the baking dish
May be found here

Here's your Turkey:
cooked to perfection, see more details here

Alternative Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving / Christmas recipes:
have a look here but please note not all shown in the link are low carb

Now how's the Roast doing ... where are my oven gloves?

Bon Appetit

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

All the best Jan

Saturday 17 November 2018

Santana - Maria Maria ft. The Product G&B

Going back a few years for a song from one of the great guitarists Carlos Santana, enjoy

R.E.M. - Losing My Religion

Saturday night and music night again. After the last few weeks in the USA, and the UK regarding the political lunacy, I'm at a loss for what's going on, and where it's all going. This track seems appropriate. Have a great weekend folks. Eddie. 

Ya gotta larf!

After the Honeymoon

One evening, after the honeymoon, Tom was working on his motorcycle in the garage. His new wife was standing there by the bench watching him.

After a long period of silence she finally said, “Honey, I’ve just been thinking, now that we are married, maybe it’s time you quit spending so much of your time out here in your garage. You probably should also consider selling your Harley and all your welding equipment along with your gun collection, your fishing gear, the boat and all those stupid model aeroplanes, plus dump that vintage sports car and your home brewing equipment.”

Tom got a horrified look on his face.

She said, “Darling, what’s wrong?”

He replied, “For a minute there, you were starting to sound like my ex-wife!”

“Ex-wife!?” she screamed, “YOU NEVER TOLD ME YOU WERE MARRIED BEFORE!”

Tom replied, “I wasn’t.”


Foods to Increase Blood Flow and Circulation

Jillian Kubala MS RD writes:
"Poor circulation is a common problem caused by a number of conditions. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), diabetes, obesity, smoking and Raynaud’s disease are some of the many causes of poor circulation. Reduced blood flow can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as pain, muscle cramps, numbness, digestive issues and coldness in the hands or feet. In addition to those with poor circulation, athletes and active individuals may want to increase blood flow in order to improve exercise performance and recovery. Although circulatory issues are often treated with medications, eating certain foods can also improve blood flow. 

Here are the 14 best foods to optimize blood flow.
1. Cayenne Pepper
2. Pomegranate 
3. Onions
4. Cinnamon
5. Garlic
6. Fatty Fish
7. Beets
8. Turmeric
9. Leafy Greens
10. Citrus Fruits
11. Walnuts
12. Tomatoes
13. Berries

14. Ginger

Other Methods
While incorporating any of these foods into your diet may improve circulation, other lifestyle changes may have a larger impact. Here are some other lifestyle modifications that can optimize blood flow:
Quit smoking: Smoking is a risk factor for many chronic diseases — such as cancer — and can negatively impact circulation.
Increase physical activity: Exercise stimulates blood flow and helps improve vasodilation. Plus, regular exercise decreases your risk of heart disease.
Lose weight: Being overweight or obese negatively impacts blood flow and can lead to dangerous complications, such as plaque build up in your arteries.
Follow a healthy diet: Instead of simply stocking up on particular foods, try switching to a diet rich in healthy, whole foods — such as vegetables, healthy fats and fibre-rich foods — which can improve circulatory health.
Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is critical to all aspects of health, including circulation. Dehydration can damage endothelial cells and promote inflammation in your body, restricting blood flow.
Reduce stress: Research proves that stress levels can significantly impact blood pressure. Manage your stress through yoga, meditation, gardening or spending time in nature.
Summary: Following a healthy diet, exercising, losing weight, quitting smoking, staying hydrated and reducing stress are natural ways to improve circulation.

stay hydrated 

The Bottom Line 
There are many natural ways to improve circulation, including choosing foods that stimulate blood flow. The antioxidants, nitrates, vitamins and other substances contained in the foods above can have a positive impact on your circulation. What’s more, leading a healthy lifestyle, can boost blood flow and overall health.

The above is only a snippet of Jillian's article.
You can read it in full with all related links 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