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Saturday 31 August 2019

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra

Saturday night and music night again. Most people I reckon have seen the film, but check out how much talent and work goes into the sound track.  Composed by Ennio Morricone a musical genius in my humble opinion.  Peace to all and have a great weekend. Eddie 

Weekend Breakfast ( or Lunch ) Fry Up with Halloumi : LCHF

This is a great weekend breakfast or lunch and it fits right in with my LCHF menu plans … but have you heard of Halloumi? ( pronounced ha-loo-mee).

It's a semi-hard chewy, white cheese originating from Cyprus and made from cow's, goat's or sheep's milk, or a combination. It has a mild salty flavour and lends itself beautifully to cooking due to its firm texture which is retained even when cooked and exposed to high temperatures.
In good supermarkets and speciality stores.
Choose the best:
Cut into slices - the halloumi should 'squeak' as it is cut into.
Store it:
An unopened packet of halloumi will keep in the fridge for up to a year. Once opened store in salt water in the fridge.
Cook it:
Fantastic fried, grilled or barbecued. Added to salads or served with vegetables. Halloumi is often served with chopped mint to add flavour. Also goes well with finely chopped chilli.
Try mozzarella.
The above facts from here

Now onto this wonderful breakfast or lunch fry-up, surely one of life's simple pleasures! You can take a 'normal' fry up to the next level by adding some halloumi - after all everything's better with cheese - wouldn't you agree!

Serves Four
2 tsp light olive oil
4 large flat mushrooms
4 tomatoes
250g halloumi
4 medium eggs
260g spinach
1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Brush away any dirt on the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and place them, stalk-side down, in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, turn, then cook for a further 5 minutes. Place on a tray and transfer to a warm oven.
2. Halve the tomatoes and remove the green 'eye' with a small, sharp knife. Season with salt and pepper, then place them cut-side down in the pan and cook without moving for 3 minutes. Gently turn over and season again. Cook for a further 2 minutes until tender, but still holding their shape. Transfer to the tray in the oven.
3. Slice the halloumi into 8 pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the halloumi and cook for 2 minutes without stirring, until the bottoms are well-browned. Turn the slices over and brown for a further 2 minutes. Transfer to the tray in the oven. 
4. Lastly, crack the eggs straight into the pan. If it starts to spit, turn down the heat slightly. Cook to your preferred stage, season and gently remove. While the eggs cook, pierce the bag of spinach several times and place on a non metallic plate. Cook in the microwave according to packet instructions and allow to stand for 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl and squeeze out any excess liquid.
5. Once all the ingredients are cooked, serve on warm plates and enjoy with your choice of condiments.
Nutrition Details:
Each serving provides - 4.5g carbohydrate 3.3g fibre 27.1g protein 26.8g fat
Original recipe idea from here

You may also want to enjoy a tasty Halloumi, courgette (zucchini), green bean and tomato salad - you can see the recipe idea here
However you choose to use Halloumi, I hope you enjoy it...

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

Friday 30 August 2019

SPIDERS, do you find them spooky? Do you want to know about some natural ways to keep spiders out of your house? How about a low carb Spider Web Cake! It's all in this post!

Some do not mind spiders, (the one here looks quite friendly) but many of us do not like spiders in the house! If you would like to find out how to get rid of spiders in the house and how to prevent spiders from coming in, keep on reading!

The below are all natural ways to get rid of spiders that won't cause them, or you, any harm. 

Most species of spider are harmless to humans but if you're one of the many people who doesn't like to share their home with any eight-legged friends – but don't want to resort to causing spiders any harm – follow these top tips for keeping arachnids at bay.

As days get shorter, leaves change colour we may begin to dream of heart-warming soups... there's little doubt that autumn is upon us. However, with this change of season comes an element that many of us find less desirable – the annual migration of spiders from our gardens to our homes.

As the spiders flee dropping temperatures and travel further afield in search of a mate, autumn represents the time of year you're most likely to encounter an eight-legged visitor scuttling around your home. 

Spider Catcher
The spider catcher is a battery-operated vacuum which gently picks up the spider and allows you to take it outside without hurting it.

Essential oils
Spiders are repelled by strong scents that, happily, many of us already use as home fragrances. Peppermint oil is a particularly popular remedy, just add 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spritz around the house. Other good options for this include tea-tree, lavender, rose and cinnamon. Changing the oil that you use regularly can help to ensure that the remedy continues to be effective.

Should the essential oils not work, this is another version of the same remedy. Fill a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water and spray in corners, cracks and crevices to ward off spiders. Be careful to avoid varnished surfaces as vinegar can be somewhat harsh on their appearance.

Get cleaning

Spiders like to have places to hide and one of the best ways to prevent this is by keeping your house neat and tidy through regular tidying, cleansing and de-cluttering. Opt for plastic storage containers rather than cardboard boxes as these are harder for spiders to crawl into. Also dust and vacuum regularly to rid your house of unwanted webs.

Protect the exterior of your house
Make sure spiders don't get into your house in the first place by moving anything that they would be likely to hide in away from any exterior walls. This could include leaves, grass clippings, vegetation, compost or woodpiles. Check door openings and window sills for any cracks that spiders could crawl through and seal these with caulk. Also fix torn window screens and cover vents and chimneys with fine mesh.

Plant a eucalyptus tree in the garden
As well as being low maintenance and smelling wonderful, the strong medicinal scent will repel spiders. If you don't have room for a eucalyptus tree, you could plant mint or lavender underneath or near windows, as again the strong smell will drive spiders away.

Spiders supposedly hate all citrus scents, so rub citrus peel along skirting boards, window sills and bookshelves. Use lemon-scented cleaners and furniture polish, and burn citronella candles both inside and outside of your home ( be safe, always take care with candles, especially if there are young children around)

Turn off your lights
While light itself doesn't attract spiders, it does attract the insects that spiders feast on so turn off the outside lights to prevent spiders coming near the house. Stop indoor lights from shining through outdoors by using opaque blinds and shades. If you do need to keep the lights on, use yellow sodium vapour lights as these are less likely to attract insects.

Old wives' tales have it that spiders are repelled by chestnuts. While not scientifically proven to work – like a peppermint spray is – scattering a few conkers on windowsills and in the corners of rooms certainly won't do any harm and many people swear by it as a spider deterrent.
Warning! Conkers can be poisonous so please consult your vet before putting these in your home if you have pets.

Another scent that spiders are said to detest is cedar. Hauling a cedar plant into your home isn't exactly practical, however, there are many products on offer to give this one a try. Many stores offer a range of (cedar) options to hang in wardrobes or put in drawers or corners. Sand them down every now and then to refresh the scent, what's more the woody aroma is said to repel clothes moths too.


Known for its vampire-repelling properties, turns out spiders don't like the smell of this pungent bulb either. Depending on how strong a scent you yourself can cope with, either put whole cloves or crushed cloves into a spray bottle filled with water and use to scent the corners, floors and skirting boards of any room prone to receiving unwanted guests.

These words above from article here 

… and I just couldn't resist sharing this Spider Web Cake! It's a low carb, sugar free cake and could be perfect for Halloween ...

more details here

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 and here

I do hope that within this post above you may find some helpful tips, and also be encouraged to get your cooking apron on and try the recipe … but please note, not all recipes 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 August 2019

Courgette (Zucchini) Gratin ... a reduced carb dish

Courgette / zucchini  is such a versatile vegetable. Courgettes can make a decent meal of any store cupboard ingredient. They can be dressed up in a creamy lemon sauce and served with pasta (or low carb pasta swap), grated and added to a quiche, or served as crisp fritters. In fact, recipes for courgettes come in as many shapes and sizes as the squash itself; varieties of this summer vegetable can range from small and flying-saucer shaped, to dark-green and tennis ball-sized, to long and yellow. Give courgettes a go, but remember, the smaller they are, the more flavour and if you don't pick them early enough they grow into marrows.

This simple gratin makes a great side dish as it’s creamy and flavoursome without being too rich - why not serve with a salad for a light supper! 

Serves Four
2 tbsp. olive oil
800g/1lb 12oz courgettes, sliced into 5mm/¼in rounds
few sprigs thyme
few basil leaves
100ml/3½fl oz. crème fraîche
50ml/2fl oz. milk
1 tsp plain flour
75g/2½oz gruyère or similar cheese, grated

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6
2. Put the olive oil in a large, lidded frying pan. Add the courgettes and herbs and season with salt and pepper.
3. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring every so often, until the courgettes have softened slightly but are still al dente. The oil should have taken on a deep, rich green colour from the courgettes.
4. Transfer to an oven dish. Whisk the crème fraîche, milk and flour together in a bowl and season with salt. Pour this mixture over the courgettes – it will not be enough to completely cover the courgettes, but this is fine – it will bubble up when cooking.

5. Sprinkle over the cheese. Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, or until brown and bubbling. 
Recipe from here

If you’re 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. 

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

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

Courgettes / Zucchini ... they are on my shopping list! 

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

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Ya gotta larf, again!


Simple Ways to Drink More Water

SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD writes: "Your body is about 70% water, and drinking enough of it is vital for optimal health. Water plays many roles in your body, including maintaining electrolyte balance and blood pressure, lubricating joints, regulating body temperature, and promoting cell health. While everyone knows that it’s important to stay hydrated, doing so can be difficult at times.

Here are 12 simple ways to drink more water:
1. Understand your fluid needs

Before you decide to drink more water, you have to understand your body’s fluid needs. A common recommendation for daily water intake is 64 ounces (1,920 ml), or 8 cups, but this is not based on science. The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) recommends that men consume 125 ounces (3,700 ml) and women about 90 ounces (2,700 ml) of fluid per day, including the fluid from water, other drinks, and foods. However, NAM acknowledges that it isn't ideal to make broad recommendations about fluid needs, as they depend on your activity level, location, health status, and more. For most, simply drinking to quench your thirst will ensure you meet your fluid needs. Yet, you may need more fluid if you exercise regularly, work outside, or live in a hot climate.

2. Set a daily goal
Setting a daily water intake goal can help you drink more water. Simply the act of setting a goal can be motivating and make you more likely to make positive changes that last. To be effective, goals should be SMART, which is an acronym for the following criteria:

For example, one SMART water-consumption goal might be to drink 32 ounces (960 ml) of water per day. It can also help to record your progress, which can keep you motivated to achieve your goal — and make it a habit.

3. Keep a reusable water bottle with you
Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day can help you drink more water. When you have a reusable water bottle, you can easily drink water in any setting, whether you’re running errands, traveling, or at home, work, or school. Keeping a water bottle handy can also serve as a visual reminder to drink more water. If you see the bottle on your desk or table, you will constantly be reminded to drink more. Plus, it’s better for the environment than relying on single-use plastic water bottles.

4. Set reminders
You can also set reminders to drink more water using an app or the alarm on your smartphone or smartwatch. For example, try setting a reminder to take a few sips of water every 30 minutes, or set a reminder to finish drinking your current glass of water and refill it every hour. These reminders can help you increase your water intake, especially if you struggle with being forgetful or too busy to drink.

5. Replace other drinks with water
One way to drink more water — and boost your health and reduce your calorie intake — is to replace other drinks, such as soda and sports drinks, with water. These drinks are often full of added sugars, which can be extremely detrimental to your health. For optimal health, limit your added sugar intake to less than 5% of your calorie intake. Just one 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of soda per day can exceed this limit. Diets high in added sugars have been linked to obesity and other conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, replacing these sugary drinks with water is an easy and cheap way to cut calories, potentially helping you lose weight.

6. Drink one glass of water before each meal
Another simple way to increase your water intake is to make a habit of drinking one glass of water before each meal. If you eat 3 meals per day, this adds an extra 3 cups (720 ml) to your daily water intake. Moreover, sometimes your body may mistake feelings of thirst for hunger. Drinking a glass of water before eating can help you discern whether you are feeling true hunger. What’s more, if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking a glass of water may help you eat fewer calories at the following meal.

7. Get a water filter
In America, and the UK, most tap water is safe to drink. However, if you have concerns about the quality or safety of your tap water, consider purchasing a water filter. There is a filter for almost every budget, from costly whole-home water filtration systems to inexpensive water-filtering pitchers. In addition, filtering your water could improve the taste. Point-of-use water filters, such as water-filtering pitchers or filters that attach directly to a faucet, can reduce levels of waterborne bacteria, lead, and arsenic in contaminated tap water to safe levels. Using a water filter is also less expensive and more eco-friendly than purchasing bottled water, which is oftentimes no different than tap water.

8. Flavour your water
If you dislike the flavour of water, or just need a bit of flavour to help you drink more, you have many choices. Using an inexpensive fruit-infuser water bottle is one healthy option. Popular fruit combinations to use in an infuser bottle are cucumber-lime, lemon, and strawberry-kiwi. Although, you can use any combination of fruits that suits your taste. You can also purchase water enhancers in powder or liquid form to add to your water, but be aware that many of these products contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other additives that may harm your health.

9. Drink one glass of water per hour at work
If you work a standard 8-hour workday, drinking a glass of water each hour you’re at work adds up to 8 cups (1,920 ml) to your daily water intake. Fill up your cup as soon as you get to work, and at the top of every hour, simply drink the remaining water and refill. This method will keep your water intake consistent throughout your workday.

10. Sip throughout the day
Sipping on water consistently throughout the day is another easy way to help you meet your fluid goals. Reaching for a sip of water consistently during your day will keep your mouth from getting dry and may even help keep your breath fresher. Keep a glass of water or a reusable bottle nearby and within your line of sight for a constant visual reminder to take a sip.

11. Eat more foods high in water
One simple way to get more water is to eat more foods that are high in water. Fruits and vegetables that are particularly high in water include:
Lettuce: 96% water
Celery: 95% water
Zucchini*: 95% water
Cabbage: 92% water
Watermelon: 91% water
Cantaloupe: 90% water
Honeydew melon: 90% water
*also known as courgette

In addition to their high fluid content, these fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote your overall health.

12. Drink one glass of water when you wake up and before bed
An easy way to boost your water intake is to simply drink one glass when you wake up and another before you go to bed. A glass of cold water in the morning may help wake you up and boost your alertness. Plus, drinking water before bed can keep you from waking up with a dry mouth and bad breath.

The bottom line

Adequate water intake is essential to good health. The National Academy of Medicine estimates that most people need 90–125 ounces (2,700–3,700 ml) of fluid per day, including fluid from water, other beverages, and food. However, it can be difficult to drink water habitually, especially if you are busy, regularly forget to drink, or dislike the taste of water. Choosing from these twelve simple tips can help you boost your daily water intake."
SaVanna's full article with all information / research links is here

Related Post
It's Hot : Stay Hydrated : These Foods May Help You - read it here
Readers, 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

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Smoked Haddock and Celeriac Layer Bake ... reduced / lower carb dish

Back in 2011 Eddie wrote about 'Great Grub Celeriac' and still to this day it is one of our favourite lower carb vegetables. This recipe, for a delicious bake, brings together the rich and earthy tastes of smoked haddock, onion and celeriac to create a warm, hearty dish that is layered with different flavours.

Serves Two
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked and chopped
2 smoked haddock fillets
200ml (1/3pt) milk
1 dried bay leaf
pinch nutmeg
1 garlic clove, halved
250g (8oz) celeriac finely sliced
75ml (3fl oz.) double (heavy) cream
20g (3/4oz) Gruyère cheese, grated
salad, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. Heat the oil in a large pan, then cook the onion and rosemary with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes, or until softened. 
2. Put the fish, skin-side down, in a pan with the milk, bay leaf and nutmeg. Gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.
3. Transfer the fish to a plate with a slotted spoon, reserving 75ml (3fl oz) poaching liquid. Flake the fish and discard the skin.
4. Rub a small baking dish with the garlic. Add a layer of celeriac, followed by a layer of fish and the onion mixture; season with black pepper. Repeat until the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of celeriac.
5. In a jug, combine the reserved poaching liquid and the cream. Pour it over the celeriac and scatter with the cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

6. Remove the foil and increase the heat to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Bake for 25 minutes more, or until golden. Depending on your oven it may need longer - check before serving... with salad.

Nutrition each serving:
Carbohydrate 11.1g Protein 31.7g Fat 32g Fibre 1g
From an original idea here

There is also a nice recipe for a Pork, celeriac and apple bake here

Dear reader, there is 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

Monday 26 August 2019

Cauliflower : Low Carb Recipe Choices

The cauliflower is one of the most versatile foods in the low carbers recipe book. From cauliflower cheese to finely grated as a rice substitute or mash with butter and use as a topping for shepherds and fish pies etc. With minimal carb content and over three times the vitamin C as potatoes, a truly great food. There are many different recipes where cauliflower can be used, below you will find six recipe suggestions, if you should try them I hope you enjoy them. 

Garlic and herb cauliflower mac and cheese with bacon

more details/recipe here

Cauliflower rice with turmeric, perfect for Asian style low carb dishes

more details/recipe here

Creamy Cauliflower Soup, it's low in carbs

 more details/recipe here

Cauliflower Low Carb Mash - four ways

more details/recipe here

Sausage with Cauliflower and Parsley Rice

 more details/recipe here

Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower

more details/recipe here

I wonder which of these above you may try, of course you may have your own favourite ... do please share in the comments below.

For readers who may not like cauliflower, perhaps try these low carb recipes which feature broccoli:
Summer Style All Green Salad, with broccoli, asparagus and more, details here
Turkey Bake, with Broccoli and Mushrooms in a creamy sauce, details here

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you 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 August 2019

I've Got You Under my Skin : Chris Botti (feat. Katharine McPhee) in Boston : Saturday Night Music

Saturday Night, and yes, it's Music Night On This Blog. This video from 2010 (don't the years fly by) is Chris Botti and features Katharine McPhee. It's a 'Sinatra' Classic of I've Got You Under My Skin - I hope you like it. Chris Botti was born in Portland, Oregon, US in October 1962, he started playing the trumpet at nine years old. I think he is a great trumpet player and his smooth jazz style is one I've always liked. All the best Jan

August Bank Holiday Weekend 2019

Did you know that here in the UK many of us are enjoying a three day August Bank Holiday weekend. The August Bank Holiday was instituted by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 to give bank clerks and shop people a day of relaxation not connected to holy days such as Christmas. Today, this holiday gives many workers a three-day weekend before the traditional time for summer holidays end and employees must return to the workplace and students to their schools.

I think for many here in the UK when you mention events connected to the August Bank Holiday they think of The Notting Hill Carnival, London, or perhaps the August Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Eddie and I are not planning on going far, in fact family are visiting us … and we are looking forward to that. We may also venture out to the New Forest

Places like
Highland Water which is near Bolderwood,
where we may also be lucky to spot some deer.

or to The Beaulieu River at Longwater Lawn,
always plenty of New Forest Ponies to see

and wherever you are ponies on the road are a common sight,
drivers need to take care

the New Forest heathlands in late-summer glow pink and purple,
brought to life by the flowering of the heathers
it's a wonderful place ...

However you plan to spend your Bank Holiday weekend (or ordinary weekend) do have a good one

All the best Jan

Friday 23 August 2019

Tofu, some like to eat it crispy and marinated !

"Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food prepared by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into solid white blocks of varying softness; it can be silken, soft, firm, or extra firm. Beyond these broad categories, there are many varieties of tofu. It has a subtle flavour, so it can be used in savoury and sweet dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish and its flavours, and absorbs flavours well. It is sometimes treated as a meat substitute. As a traditional component of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines, it has been consumed in China for over 2,000 years.

Nutritionally, tofu is low in calories, while containing a relatively large amount of protein. It is high in iron, and can have a high calcium or magnesium content depending on the coagulants used in manufacturing."

Crispy marinated tofu
Serves Two
2g net carbs per serving
1½ tsp sesame oil
1½ tsp tamari soy sauce
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp cayenne pepper
14 oz. firm tofu, cut into 1-inch (2,5 cm) cubes
can be found here


"Products made from soy, like tofu, can provide a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans who follow a low-carb diet. However, concerns have been raised about the health effects of soy isoflavones based on animal and test-tube studies. By contrast, the research on soy in humans is mainly positive regarding safety and disease risk.

Although soy doesn’t seem to cause problems for people with normal thyroid function, there’s been conflicting evidence in those with subclinical hypothyroidism (also known as mild thyroid failure). 

Soy isoflavones may interfere with thyroid hormone absorption when iodine intake isn’t sufficient. Therefore, it may be important to get enough iodine when consuming soy regularly, especially for those with hypothyroidism. Good sources of iodine include iodized salt, seaweed, seafood, and yogurt.

At this time, some concerns remain about soy consumption in people with thyroid problems, as well as the long-term health effects of consuming ultra-processed products like soy protein powders and supplements. Choosing whole and/or fermented soy (tempeh, natto) might be a better option than other soy products. 

Some people have raised concerns that many soy products in the US may contain residues of glyphosate (Roundup), a controversial herbicide used on soy and other crops that requires further study. Fortunately, organic and non-GMO soy products contain no glyphosate. If you want to eat soy while avoiding glyphosate, choose tofu, tempeh, and natto labeled “non-GMO.” 

For people who want to avoid animal products, the benefits of soy seem to greatly outweigh the risks. Although the potential risk to thyroid function appears very small, those who consume soy on a regular basis may want to consider having their thyroid function monitored periodically and including iodine food sources in their diet."
Words above and all relevant research links can be seen here

Soy is a versatile and widely available source of plant protein that appears in many vegetarian and vegan recipes, however, it is not an ingredient I use. Having said that I know many of our readers do ... and as regular readers to this blog know, we bring a variety of recipe ideas and articles to this blog. However, it is important to note that 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 22 August 2019

Bagels ... these are Keto / Low Carb ... their History is interesting too

These Keto / low carb Bagels are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Easy and delicious seedy bagels, just waiting for you to add your favourite fillings.
Four servings
4g net carbs per serving
7 oz. mozzarella cheese
1 oz. cream cheese
1½ cups almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 tsp flaxseed
1 tsp sesame seeds
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp poppy seeds
1 egg

Need help with weight/measurement conversion
see here
can be found here
These bagels can be frozen and reheated.
They can be served in so many delicious ways:
Smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers or dill.
Avocado, lime juice and Dukkah
Bacon and grilled cheese.

The History of Bagels
"Linguist Leo Rosten wrote in The Joys of Yiddish about the first known mention of the Polish word bajgiel derived from the Yiddish word bagel in the "Community Regulations" of the city of Krakow, Poland, in 1610, which stated that the food was given as a gift to women in childbirth.

In the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, the bajgiel became a staple of Polish cuisine and a staple of the Slavic diet generally. Its name derives from the Yiddish word beygal from the German dialect word beugel, meaning "ring" or "bracelet".

In the Brick Lane district and surrounding area of London, England, bagels (locally spelled "beigels") have been sold since the middle of the 19th century. They were often displayed in the windows of bakeries on vertical wooden dowels, up to a metre in length, on racks.

Bagels were brought to the United States by immigrant Polish Jews, with a thriving business developing in New York City that was controlled for decades by Bagel Bakers Local 338. They had contracts with nearly all bagel bakeries in and around the city for its workers, who prepared all their bagels by hand.

The bagel came into more general use throughout North America in the last quarter of the 20th century with automation. Around 1900, the "bagel brunch" became popular in New York City. The bagel brunch consists of a bagel topped with lox, cream cheese, capers, tomato, and red onion. This and similar combinations of toppings have remained associated with bagels into the 21st century in the US.
The above History and more to read here

You will find a variety of recipe ideas and articles 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

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Cheese Scones ...Low Carb

Amanda writes … "looking for something low carb, tasty and quick and simple to make? I’ve been experimenting for a while with ground almonds, eggs and cheese and these are my favourite low carb cheese scones so far. We had them this morning for breakfast, spread with butter and topped with crispy bacon and yes it’s healthy too! Eating like this will reduce your cholesterol, lower your blood sugar and help you lose weight. They are nice to dunk in (low carb) soup, can be enjoyed as a snack on their own, or add some ham or bacon.

3 cups of ground almonds
1 cup sharp (mature) cheddar cheese finely grated
1 tbsp. baking powder
a dash of cayenne
4 eggs whisked
4 tbsp. butter melted
ground sea salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
2. In a bowl mix together all the dry ingredients ground almonds, cheese and baking powder, add as much cayenne as you like, and a little ground salt.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and the melted butter together, making sure you don’t scramble the eggs.
4. Then mix the egg mixture into the ground almond mixture.
5. Now form the mixture into loose balls and place on the baking parchment.

6. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 140C but bake for a further 5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Recipe Notes 
These are great as they are, sliced in half with a little butter on or topped with bacon" … from recipe seen here, if you need help with weight or measurement conversion please see here

If you are just starting a low carb diet/lifestyle you may feel confused with which low carb flours to use. You may never have used any of them before and how to use them properly can be daunting. Low carb flours do not behave like wheat flour.

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

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

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

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

Related Post:
Low Carb Scones: Devonshire Tea : Devon a Beautiful UK County see it here

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

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Simple and Healthy Salad Dressings

Rachael Link MS RD writes:
"There’s no doubt that salad can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet. Unfortunately, most store-bought dressings are brimming with added sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavourings that can diminish the potential health benefits of your salad. Making your own salad dressing at home is an easy and cost-effective alternative to store-bought varieties. Furthermore, it can give you better control of what you’re putting on your plate.

Here are eight simple and healthy salad dressings that you can make at home. The nutritional breakdown is included to help you decide which ones will better suit you ...

1. Sesame ginger

This simple salad dressing doubles as an easy marinade for meat, poultry, or roasted veggies. It’s also easy to make using ingredients you likely already have on hand.
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon (2 grams) freshly minced ginger
Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, and rice vinegar.
Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir together until combined.
Nutrition facts
A 2-tablespoon (30-ml) serving contains:
Protein: 0.2 grams Carbs: 3.5 grams Fat: 4.5 grams

2. Balsamic vinaigrette
With just five basic ingredients, balsamic vinaigrette is one of the easiest homemade salad dressings to prepare in a pinch. It has a sweet yet savoury flavour that works well in just about any salad, making it one of the most versatile options available.
3 tablespoons (45 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup (118 ml) olive oil
salt and pepper
Combine the balsamic vinegar with the Dijon mustard and minced garlic.
Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to stir the mixture.
Season with a bit of salt and pepper prior to serving to give the flavour a quick boost.
Nutrition facts
A 2-tablespoon (30-ml) serving contains:

Protein: 0 grams Carbs: 1 gram Fat: 18 grams

3. Avocado lime
Creamy, cool, and refreshing, this avocado lime dressing works great on salads or served as a tasty dip for fresh veggies. Avocado is a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and may help boost your HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup (113 grams) plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup (5 grams) cilantro
1/4 cup (60 ml) lime juice
4 tablespoons (60 ml) olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper
Add the avocado chunks to a food processor along with the Greek yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and minced garlic.

Top with a bit of salt and pepper and then pulse until the mixture reaches a smooth, thick consistency. 
Nutrition facts
A 2-tablespoon (30-ml) serving contains the following nutrients:
Protein: 1 gram Carbs: 2.5 grams Fat: 7 grams

4. Lemon vinaigrette
This tart, tasty salad dressing is a great choice to help brighten up your favourite salads and vegetable dishes. It works especially well for simple salads that need a bit of extra zing, thanks to its zesty citrus flavour.
1/4 cup (59 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (7 grams) honey or maple syrup
salt and pepper
Whisk the olive oil and fresh lemon juice together.
Mix in honey or maple syrup for a bit of sweetness.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition facts
A 2-tablespoon (30-ml) serving contains the following nutrients:
Protein: 0 grams Carbs: 3 grams Fat: 13.5 grams

5. Honey mustard
This creamy homemade dressing has a slightly sweet flavour that’s ideal for adding a bit of depth and rounding out your favourite savoury salads. It also works well as a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries, appetisers, and fresh veggies.
1/3 cup (83 grams) Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (59 ml) apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup (102 grams) honey
1/3 cup (78 ml) olive oil
salt and pepper
Whisk the Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and honey together.
Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to stir.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition facts
A 2-tablespoon (30-ml) serving contains the following nutrients:

Protein: 0 grams Carbs: 13.5 grams Fat: 9 grams

6. Greek yogurt ranch
Versatile, creamy, and delicious, ranch dressing is one of the most popular salad dressings available. In this homemade alternative, Greek yogurt gives a healthy twist to this tasty condiment. This version works well as a dipping sauce or dressing.
1 cup (285 grams) plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon (1.2 grams) onion powder
1/2 teaspoon (0.5 grams) dried dill
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of salt
fresh chives, chopped (optional)
Stir together the Greek yogurt, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried dill.
Add a dash of cayenne pepper and salt.
Garnish with fresh chives before serving (optional).
Nutrition facts
A 2-tablespoon (30-ml) serving contains the following nutrients:
Protein: 1 gram Carbs: 2 grams Fat: 2 grams

7. Apple cider vinaigrette
Apple cider vinaigrette is a light and tangy dressing that can help balance the bitterness of leafy greens like kale or arugula. Plus, drizzling this apple cider vinaigrette over your favourite salads is an easy way to squeeze in a serving of apple cider vinegar, a powerful ingredient loaded with health benefits. In particular, some studies have shown that apple cider vinegar may reduce blood sugar levels and lower triglyceride levels.
1/3 cup (78 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (59 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon (7 grams) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
salt and pepper
Combine the olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
Add the Dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition facts
A 2-tablespoon (30-ml) serving contains the following nutrients:
Protein: 0 grams Carbs: 1 gram Fat: 12 grams

8. Ginger turmeric
This ginger turmeric dressing can help add a pop of colour to your plate. It has a zesty flavour that can complement bean salads, mixed greens, or veggie bowls. It also features both ginger and turmeric, two ingredients that have been associated with several health benefits. For example, ginger may help reduce nausea, relieve muscle pain, and decrease your blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, turmeric contains curcumin, a compound well studied for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon (2 grams) turmeric
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger
1 teaspoon (7 grams) honey (optional)
Mix the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, and ground ginger.
To enhance the flavour, you can (optional) add a bit of honey for sweetness.
Nutrition facts
A 2-tablespoon (30-ml) serving contains the following nutrients:
Protein: 0 grams Carbs: 2.5 grams Fat: 18 grams

The bottom line
Many healthy and nutritious salad dressings can easily be made at home. The dressings above are packed with flavour and made from simple ingredients that you probably already have sitting on your shelves. Try experimenting with these dressings and swapping them in for store-bought varieties in your favourite salads, side dishes, and appetizers." 
Above words and picture taken from Rachael's article which can be seen in full with all relevant research links here 

I do like the vinaigrette suggestions, have you a favourite you might try? 

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 19 August 2019

Top ten low-carb vegetables

"Here are ten great low-carb vegetables, tasty and rich in nutrients but with very few carbs. Sorted by how popular and useful they are in low-carb cooking.

All numbers are net carbs per 100 grams (3½ ounces).

Cauliflower – 3 g.
Perhaps the most classic and iconic of all low-carb vegetables. The base of cauliflower rice and cauliflower mash. 

Cabbage – 3 g.
Another great low-carb vegetable. Who doesn’t love butter-fried green cabbage or the simply amazing Asian cabbage stir-fry?

Avocado – 2 g.
Not just low carb, but also full of nutritious fat. Technically a fruit, but most people likely think of it as a vegetable. Avocado can be eaten in all kinds of ways, including on its own, in salads, or it can be used to make guacamole. 

Broccoli – 4 g
As well as low carb, it's brimming with good nutrients. Just fry it in butter or add some cheese for great-tasting side dishes. 

Zucchini/Courgette – 3 g. 
Try zucchini (courgette) fries or chips. Zucchini/Courgette can also be used to make low-carb pasta...yummy! 

Spinach – 1 g.
An extremely low-carb vegetable, spinach is full of vitamins and minerals and can be used many ways. It pairs beautifully with eggs, such as in a frittata.

Asparagus – 2 g.
Revered as both a food and medicine – and aphrodisiac – by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans up to medieval times, asparagus is one of the world’s oldest cultivated vegetables. Nutritious and delicious!  Try it wrapped with prosciutto and grilled.

Kale – 3 g. 
Hardier than spinach, less watery, but just as nutrient-rich, kale can stand up to mincing, sautéing, baking, and much more.

Green beans – 4 g. 
Frenched, diced and tossed in a salad, fricasseed and more, green beans taste great especially with added fats like butter, an olive-oil vinaigrette, or bacon.

Brussels sprouts – 5 g.
Nutty, filling and nutritious, they are especially good roasted with olive oil and garlic, or with bacon... or steam and serve with a cheese cream sauce." 

Low-carb vegetables – read more about the best and the worst here
Eddie and I enjoy all of these, do you like all of them, have you a favourite?

All the best Jan