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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Almond and Olive Oil Cake : Low Carb


This low carb almond and olive oil cake is pretty to look at and will be a hit on any tea tray. You may not be too sure about baking with olive oil, but don't be concerned... you will find it adds a wonderful depth of flavour. I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients 
3 large eggs
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
80 g xylitol
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 orange
2 tsp baking powder
200 g almond flour
50 g slivered almonds

xylitol icing mix, for dusting 

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Grease and line the base of a deep springform cake tin, 20cm in diameter.
2. Place the eggs, olive oil, xylitol, juice and zest in a bowl and whisk until light and foamy, about 3–4 minutes.
3. Sift in the baking powder and almond flour and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and scatter the slivered almonds over the top.
4. Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until firm. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a rack and allowing to cool completely.
5. To serve: Serve sliced, dusted with xylitol icing mix


Need help with weight/measurement conversion, see here
From an original recipe idea here

Related Recipe Suggestion
Italian Lemon Cake, it's low carb, find it here 

If you'd like more guidance about low carb flours (which the recipe above uses) then Libby, at 'Ditch The Carbs' site has a very good article called, 'The Ultimate Guide To Low Carb Flours', find it 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

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Healthy Hair - What To Eat



Jo Lewin - Registered Nutritionist writes:
"Just like skin, the condition of your hair is an outward sign of inside health. The cells that make up each strand of hair require a regular supply of key nutrients.
Eat the correct balance of the following nutrients including protein, vitamins and minerals to supply hair with all that it needs to remain shiny, lustrous and strong.

Protein
As hair is made of protein, ensuring you have enough protein in your diet is crucial for making hair strong and healthy. If you are not consuming enough protein in your diet, your hair is likely to become dry, brittle and weak. Extremely low protein diets may result in restricted hair growth and even hair loss. Choose chicken, turkey, fish, dairy products and eggs as excellent sources of protein along with vegetarian sources such as legumes and nuts.


Iron
Iron is an especially important mineral for hair and too little iron is a major cause of hair loss. The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient rich blood supply. When iron levels (serum ferritin) fall below a certain point, you may experience anaemia. This disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle, affecting the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding. Animal products such as red meat, chicken and fish provide iron with a high bioavailability, meaning the iron is readily available to the body. Vegetarians can raise their iron stores by including lentils, spinach and other leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and salad greens.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron so foods high in vitamin C are good to eat in conjunction with iron-rich foods. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant so is used readily by the body. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen which strengthens the capillaries that supply the hair shafts.


Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are important fats our body cannot make itself, and therefore must be obtained through our diet. Omega-3s are found in the cells that line the scalp and also provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Include oily fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, trout and mackerel and plant sources like avocado, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A is needed by the body to make sebum. Sebum is an oily substance created by our hairs sebaceous glands and provides a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. Without sebum we may experience an itchy scalp and dry hair. Include animal products and orange/yellow coloured vegetables which are high in beta-carotene (which makes vitamin A) such as carrots, pumpkins and sweet potatoes.

Zinc and selenium
Scalp protection involves other important minerals, notably zinc and selenium. A lack of zinc can lead to hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp. Fortified cereals and wholegrains are a good source of zinc along with oysters, beef and eggs.

Vitamin E
The sun can damage our hair just like it can damage our skin so ensure you eat foods rich in vitamin E to provide protection for your hair. Nuts are nutritional powerhouses, providing zinc and selenium as well as vitamin E so try to include them as part of a balanced diet.


Biotin
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin. Too little biotin can cause brittle hair and may lead to hair loss. Include biotin rich foods such as wholegrains, liver, egg yolk, soy flour and yeast.

Natural treatments
Make your own hair mask for a deep, nourishing treatment every two weeks. Whisk an egg yolk and mix with half a mashed avocado and a spoonful of honey. Massage onto damp, clean hair and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly."

The above (plus more to read) taken from article here




Dear reader, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! 

However, not all the recipes and food suggestions 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

Monday, 24 February 2020

Grilled Halloumi and Roasted Pepper Salad


Ingredients
Serves Four
1 red pepper, halved and de-seeded
1 orange pepper, halved and de-seeded
1 yellow pepper, halved and de-seeded
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp paprika
250g pack of halloumi, drained and cut into 8-10 slices
juice of ½ lemon
70g wild rocket (Arugula)

2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted 

Instructions
1. Grill the peppers, skin-side up, under a pre-heated moderate grill, until blackened. Place in a freezer bag and allow to cool slightly, then peel off the skins and chop the peppers into small pieces.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar, season to taste, then stir into the peppers.
3. Sprinkle the paprika on both sides of the halloumi slices. Lightly brush a griddle pan with oil and heat over a high heat. Add the cheese and griddle for 1-2 minutes each side, until lightly charred and starting to melt. Remove from the heat and squeeze over the lemon juice.

4. Divide the rocket leaves between four plates, arrange the peppers on top, followed by the halloumi, and sprinkle with the pine nuts.
5. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

You may like to serve this with some low carb Pita/Pitta Bread, see recipe here

Nutrition Per Serving
Fat 23g Carbohydrate 8.9g Protein 16.4g Fibre 2.8g
From original recipe here 


Halloumi is a firm, slightly springy white cheese from Cyprus, traditionally made with sheeps’ milk, although these days mass-produced varieties often use cows’ milk.

In texture, halloumi is similar to a firm mozzarella, making it a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Unlike mozzarella, however, it has a strong salty flavour, particularly when preserved in brine. 

Buyer's guide:
The best halloumi is made from sheeps’ milk, and will come from Cyprus, although these days you can even find varieties made in Britain.

Storage:
Halloumi will keep in the fridge for many months if left in its original packaging, complete with brine or whey. Once opened, submerge in salt water and refrigerate.

Preparation:
In the Middle East, halloumi is usually fried or grilled to take advantage of its high melting point. Although halloumi can be eaten straight from the packet, some chefs recommend soaking it in buttermilk for a day or two before preparing, to give it a richer, less salty flavour.

Dear reader, a variety of recipe ideas and articles are found 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

Sunday, 23 February 2020

It's Sunday !

I wonder how do you spend your Sunday? Do you consider this day just another typical day, or a special day for relaxation and spending time with your friends, your family, or yourself? 

Although some people may be working on Sundays, this day is usually the time for most of us to rest from work. What makes Sundays great is that you can actually do a lot of things like going to church, strolling with the family, day out with friends, or perhaps go shopping.

Of course you may not want to go outside! You may choose to stay in - do some yoga, or meditation, even watch a movie, or just sit down and enjoy reading the papers, magazine or good book! I have known some friends catch up with their housework!!!

However, you choose to spend your Sunday, I wish you a great day and a good start to the new week.

can I offer you a cup of tea or coffee?

and a low carb Almond and Orange Biscuit
you can find the recipe here 

All the best Jan

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Asturias (Isaac Albéniz) - Alexandra Whittingham

Saturday night is music night over here. Last week I posted up a video of this young woman and people liked it, so here is another video of this naturally beautiful woman and so talented. Her parents must be so proud. Enjoy. Good health and peace to all. Eddie

Ya gotta larf!


Eddie

Friday, 21 February 2020

Parsnip and Ginger Soup with Spiced Roast Chickpeas


Parsnips are a type of root vegetable, closely related to carrots and parsley root. They are rich in several important nutrients and antioxidants that may improve immunity, enhance digestive health, and aid weight loss. Best of all, they’re easy to prepare and have a sweet, earthy taste that works well in a variety of recipes, making them a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet...

Yes, Parsnips have a deliciously sweet and earthy flavour, making them a great pairing for warming ginger and cumin-spiced chickpeas in this comforting soup recipe. Wonderfully fragrant and super easy to make, this bowl of goodness will definitely satisfy on a cool, or wet evening... as here in the UK it looks like we may have another storm approaching! This time it's Storm Ellen

Ingredients
Serves Four 
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
1¼ tsp ground cumin
500g parsnips, peeled and diced into 1-2cm pieces
1 vegetable stock cube, made up to 1ltr
400g tin chickpeas, drained and patted dry with kitchen paper
½ tsp ground coriander
lemon juice, to taste

10g fresh coriander, finely chopped

Method
1. Pre-heat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C, and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 mins to soften. Stir through the garlic, ginger and 1 tsp cumin and cook for 1 min.
2. Add the parsnips, season and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 mins until the parsnips are very tender.
3. Meanwhile, toss the chickpeas with 1 tbsp. oil, the ground coriander and remaining cumin. Arrange in a single layer on the lined tray and roast for 20-25 mins until golden and crisp.

4. Use a food processor or hand blender to blend the soup until smooth. Reheat if necessary, then season to taste with black pepper and lemon juice and divide between 4 bowls. Toss the roasted chickpeas with the fresh coriander and scatter over the soup to serve. 

Easy swap
To make this recipe vegan and gluten-free, use a vegetable stock pot instead of a cube.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Freeze without chickpeas. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date.

Nutrition Per Serving
Fat 10g Protein 8g Carbs 31.1g Fibre 10.2g
Idea from recipe here


Talking of parsnips, have you tried this Mushroom and Parsnip Rösti pie,
find recipe here


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

All the best Jan

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Daffodils - Caring For Cut Daffodils

As regular readers know, this blog brings a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, 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 in this post here

But for something different, today's post is about:-
Daffodils, for many they are the first sign that spring is on its way. Even on a grey day, daffodils make you feel like everything is right with the world.

Narcissus, the botanical name for daffodils, can be a little tricky to care for.



Here's What You Need to Know About Caring for Cut Daffodils:

1) Buy your daffodils when they're still a bit closed. They will begin to open after being in the water for a while. 

2) Daffodils give off a sap that can be deadly to other flowers. So it's best to arrange them with other daffodils only. Feeling adventurous? Want to include them in a mixed flower arrangement anyway? Then let the daffodils stems soak overnight in cool water to release some of that sap. 

3) Partially fill a clean vase with room temperature water. Half way should be good. Daffodils prefer shallow water. 

4) Add some of the floral preservative from the little packet. A few shakes, not the whole thing. 

5) Stand the daffodils next to the vase to see how long or short you want them to be. 

6) Cut each daffodil stem on an angle with a sharp knife or flower shears. When in doubt, cut them longer than you think you actually want them. You can always re-cut them later. If you cut them too short the first time though... 

7) Gently remove the protective husks or you can leave them on. 

8) Repeat steps 3 - 6 every other day to help the daffodils last longer. 

Do you like daffodils?
Words above from original post here

Similar Post
Tulips : How To Make Them Last Longer - see here 

... and with yellow/lemon being the theme! How about these?

Lemon 'Sponge' Cake Bars : Low Carb and Sugar Free
more details here


Thanks for reading
Enjoy your day

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Ginger Lime Chicken : Full of Flavour : Low Carb Dish


If you are a regular reader here, you will know we do enjoy chicken in our house. It 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.

Today, I share this quick and easy low-carb Asian inspired chicken recipe. It is full of flavour, and also very versatile. You could double the recipe and have it for dinner one night, and then use the leftover chicken for salads throughout the week... Yum!

Ingredients
Serves Four
2g carbs per serving
1½ lbs (650g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup (60ml) tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 pinch chili flakes, extra for garnish
1 tsp (3g) sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish (optional)

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
for this dish can be seen here
Serving Suggestion
Low Carb Asian Cauliflower Rice, see here

Did you know that, sesame seeds, are considered one of the world’s oldest foods, they provide an abundance of nutrients for such a small shell. Bear with me while I go scientific on you; the densely packed seed is a fantastic source of protein, lignans, dietary fibre, monounsaturated fats, Vitamins B1 and B2, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phytic acid. Incredibly, they are also low in carbohydrates and cholesterol-free. The fatty make-up of a sesame seed is an incredible 82% unsaturated fatty acids, with the average oil content of the seed being 50%. Sesame is rich and varied in amino acids – making it an ideal source of plant-based protein – and is noted for antioxidant and digestive properties. 


image from here


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

All the best Jan

Monday, 17 February 2020

Ten of the Best Seeds to Eat and Why They Are Healthy !


"Seeds are one of life’s greatest treasures. They’re bite-sized treats full of protein, essential fatty acids, and other vital micronutrients. We can sprout them, toast them or enjoy them fresh, sprinkled on a salad, smoothie bowl, or a snack on the go. Here’s a handful you may want to throw on your next meal.

1. Hemp Seeds
Harvested from one of the world’s most sustainable plants with widespread uses, hemp seeds are an incredible way to up the nutritional value of almost any dish. The seeds are known for essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3, a quarter of their make-up is a plant-based protein, they’re a good source of dietary fibre and are rich in Vitamin E. Hemp seed oil is becoming increasingly popular in skin care – for everything from acne to hydration concerns.

2. Chia Seeds
For one of the smallest seeds in our package-less pantry, chia comes with an impressive nutritional profile. Aztecs and Mayans praised the seed for its strengthening abilities, which comes as no surprise. The antioxidant-laden chia is a great source of dietary fibre and protein, they contain 5gm of omega-3s in a 28gm serving and contribute to our recommended daily intake of calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. Research also suggests consumption may aid in weight loss – due to the soluble fibre expanding in the stomach, filling our bellies.

3. Pumpkin Seeds
A crowd favourite toasted on a salad, sprinkled on kitchari or folded into granola; pumpkin seeds are more than just a nice crunch to enjoy. Pumpkin seeds or pepitas – the hulled alternative – are rich in minerals the body craves for functioning; phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper. The seeds are also a source of Vitamin A, Vitamins B1, B2 and B3, plant-based proteins, monounsaturated fats and phytosterols – a star-studded line up for an unassuming seed. Naturopathic doctors have also considered research that suggests the benefits of pumpkin seeds can treat prostate conditions.

4. Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds, also known as Linseeds, have been used in the human diet for over 5000 years. They are fantastic sources of dietary fibre, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, but they’re most famous for their high levels of the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid and phytoestrogens, known as lignans. Flaxseeds contain almost twice the level of omega-3 as fish oil, which research has shown can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, alongside optimal brain function. Lignans also assist in regulating oestrogen levels. While flaxseeds have a delightful crunch, they are best-eaten ground for ultimate nutrient absorption.

5. Sesame Seeds
Often considered one of the world’s oldest foods, sesame seeds provide an abundance of nutrients for such a small shell. Bear with me while I go scientific on you; the densely packed seed is a fantastic source of protein, lignans, dietary fibre, monounsaturated fats, Vitamins B1 and B2, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium and phytic acid. Incredibly, they are also low in carbohydrates and cholesterol-free. The fatty make-up of a sesame seed is an incredible 82% unsaturated fatty acids, with the average oil content of the seed being 50%. Sesame is rich and varied in amino acids – making it an ideal source of plant-based protein – and is noted for antioxidant and digestive properties. And they’re tasty! Sesame can be enjoyed sprinkled in rice paper rolls, smothering bliss balls or in their tasty purified form, tahini.

6. Cumin Seeds
If you experiment with cuisines in the kitchen, you’ll be familiar with the humble cumin seed. The spice is used in everything from Mexican to Indian and Middle Eastern cooking but provides the body with more than a punchy flavour. Cumin seeds are noted for their powerful digestive abilities, as the oils present in the seed can stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes –crucial for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Additionally, research is currently underway to consider cumin’s anticancer properties – due to the seed’s free-radical scavenging tendencies. The health benefits of cumin have been noted for centuries, where Ancient Greek and Roman kitchens began by using the spice as a cheaper alternative to black pepper. 

7. Pomegranate Seeds
It’s hard to get your hands on fresh pomegranate seeds, but when the seasons allow we should devour as much as possible! The perfect addition to any salad or smoothie bowl, these tart-tasting toppers are laden with beneficial antioxidants to protect our bodies against inflammation and free radical damage. Pomegranate seeds are low calorie and rich in Vitamin C – a single-serve can contain 48% of our recommended daily intake.

8. Grape Seeds
Opting for grapes with seeds inside will always enhance our nutritional profile. In fact, much of the grape’s dietary value comes from the tiny crunch inside the fleshy fruit. Grape seed extracts, rich in flavonoids known as procyanidolic oligomers, are commonly used in treating varicose veins. These same flavonoids are powerful antioxidants believed to reverse atherosclerosis and increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood. Current research is also considering how phytophenols present could halt Alzheimer’s Disease. Natural and easy, there’s no denying that grape seeds are great for you.

9. Sunflower Seeds
Another delightful salad-crunch packing a punch is the sunflower seed. The beautiful flower’s seeds are an abundant source of vital nutrients; protein, Vitamin E, Vitamins B1, B5 and B6, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, copper, iron, folic acid, and dietary fibre. The nutrient-rich seeds actually hold many similarities to nuts – providing a high content of monounsaturated fat and arginine. Research has shown that the readily available nutrients in sunflower seeds are often in insufficient supply in the diet – good thing they taste delicious on almost anything!

10. Quinoa
You read that right – commonly thought of as a grain, everyone’s favourite pantry staple is actually the seed of a plant called goosefoot. Quinoa is an amino-acid stuffed seed, used in everything from salads and granolas to a rice substitute in curries and stir-fries. Unlike most plant-based proteins, quinoa is a complete protein – providing us with all the essential amino acids our bodies need to survive and thrive."
The above from an article by Tess Patrick here

Do you use any of these seeds?
What are your favourite seeds to use? 


This Low Carb Seedy Bread which contains sunflower seeds, and others, is popular
please see more details here

Dear reader, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes!

However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Pavlova with Fresh Berries : Low Carb / Keto


This famous dessert, featuring an extraordinary taste combination of meringue, whipped cream and fresh berries, was originally created in the 1920s in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Back then, it was full of sugar. But here's a sugar-free low-carb version, a guaranteed hit at any table! 

Ingredients
Serves Six
3g carbs per serving
3 egg whites
½ cup (125ml) erythritol
1 cup (225ml) heavy (double) whipping cream

51⁄3 oz. (150g) fresh raspberries 

Tip
You can also prepare these pavlovas with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries 

Instructions
Can be seen here 

Raspberries
Raspberries are a member of the rose family (along with apples, cherries and blackberries) and are made up of small juicy rounds called drupelets. Due to their delicate nature, it’s vital to store raspberries correctly. Keep in the fridge, arranged in a single layer on a sheet of kitchen paper.



You may also like to try
Raspberry Cream Cheese Mug Cupcake,
it's low carb and delicious - more details here


As regular readers know, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! 

However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Capricho Arabe (F. Tárrega) - Alexandra Whittingham

Saturday Night is Music Night on this blog, and tonight's choice is Alexandra Whittingham. Enjoy. Good health to all. Eddie.


Frittata : Baked Avocado, Sweetcorn and Feta : Low Carb


This Frittata with wedges of avocado baked in adds extra creaminess and goodness! Could make a lovely weekend brunch! What do you think?

Ingredients
Serves Eight
2½ tbsp. oil, plus extra for greasing
2 large red onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2½ tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
12 large eggs
2 tsp fine sea salt
150ml soured cream
30g coriander
50g Parmesan, finely grated - use vegetarian cheese, if required
1x198g tin sweetcorn, drained
3 tbsp. lime juice
200g feta, crumbled - use vegetarian cheese, if required
2 ripe avocados

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm x 5cm deep ovenproof dish or roasting tin.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the red onions with a pinch of salt for 12-15 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring. Spread out on a plate to cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt and soured cream. Chop most of the coriander, reserving a few leaves for garnish, then stir through the eggs along with the cooled onions, Parmesan, sweetcorn, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, half the feta and some freshly ground black pepper.
4. Pour this mixture into the prepared dish. Slice the avocado, brush the tops of the slices with the remaining lime juice and gently arrange over the top, taking care not to let them sink too much. Nestle the halved tomatoes in between and scatter over the remaining feta.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and set. Leave to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares and garnishing with a few coriander leaves. Best enjoyed warm or at room temperature, not fridge cold.

Tip
The cooked and cooled frittata will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving.
Nutritional Information
Per Serving Fat 29g Carbs 9g Protein 21g
Need help with weight measurement conversion
see here
Recipe
from an original idea here

You may also like to try this 'Easy Peasy Cheesy Frittata', it's great for a light lunch, 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

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Valentine's Gin Fizz !

Valentine's Day is almost here, and if you are having a Valentine's night in, you may like to start the evening with this Valentine's gin cocktail recipe. It's mixed with sweet raspberry and rose lemonade and a scattering of frozen fruit for an easy tipple for two, it's 5g carbs per serving.


Ingredients
Serves Two 
ice cubes
160g frozen summer fruit mix
50ml gin
300ml raspberry and rose lemonade, chilled

½ lemon, juiced, plus extra slices to garnish

Method

1. Divide ice cubes and frozen fruit between 2 tall glasses.
2. Pour 25ml of gin into each glass and top up with the raspberry and rose lemonade (approximately 150ml each). Squeeze over the lemon juice and use a long spoon or skewer to swirl the cocktail.

3. Garnish with a slice of lemon and serve immediately. 
See original recipe here 

Cheers ! 

For those who may not want an alcoholic drink, why not consider water and spruce it up with herbs like rosemary, basil and mint. You could add healthy squeezes of lime or lemon juice, fiery ginger or something cooler like some slices of cool, refreshing cucumber. So many choices...



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

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Carbonnade Flamande : Belgian Casserole : Moderate Low Carb


"Carbonnade Flamande is a delicious, rich, Belgian casserole flavoured with beer, bacon, onions and tasty herbs. If you're a fan of rich, deep, meaty beef stews and casseroles then you're going to love this recipe for Carbonnade Flamande ...

Here's why it's so good: it's packed with meat from the beef and bacon, it's got a delicious sweet and sour edge to it because of the strong beer, the herb combo from the bouquet garni works extremely well and the slow cooking process means it just melts in your mouth." 

When you get this dish in Belgium it often comes with a plate of frites, read more about these here but I would serve this with some swede/rutabaga mash, a lower carb alternative, more details here

Ingredients
Serves Six
1 kg lean diced steak
400 ml dark beer like a Leffe
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
200 g onions, chopped
250 g bacon, fat removed, chopped
40 g corn flour
2 carrots, chopped
350 ml stock
20 g tomato puree
2 bay leaves
20 g wholegrain mustard
20 g honey

1 bouquet garni
Method
1. Marinade the beef in the beer and garlic for at least two hours, the longer the better.
2. Preheat your oven to 165 C / 325 F / Gas Mark 3
3. Heat the butter in a large, oven proof dish and fry the bacon, onions and carrots for around 5 minutes or until cooked.
4. Add the beef and the liquid from the marinade along with all of the other ingredients.
5. Mix through, cover and place into the oven for around 3 hours.

Nutrition Per Serving
Fat 10g Carbohydrate 16g Protein 46g
Need help with weight/measurement conversion
see here
Recipe
from original idea here
Vegetarian/Vegan Options
Spiced squash, butter bean and purple sprouting broccoli stew, see here
Mushroom Bourguignon with Celeriac Mash, see here
Oven-Baked Mexican Quinoa Casserole, see here




A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs that is added to casseroles, stocks, sauces and soups. It traditionally comprises parsley (or parsley stalks, which have lots of flavour), a few sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. These herbs may be bundled into a strip of leek or a piece of celery stalk, or tied in a muslin bag or with string, to keep them together during cooking and allow easy removal before serving.

Regular readers will know there is a large variety of recipe ideas and articles within this blog, but 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, 10 February 2020

Crème Fraîche, a little about it and some recipes that use it !


Crème Fraîche
(Pronounce it: krem-fraysh)

In France, crème fraîche is known as a liquid cream, which has an added starter culture to slightly thicken and acidify it. But it can also be an even thicker, spoon-able product, closer to what the UK calls sour or soured cream.

Crème fraîche is usually made with cream that has at least a 30% fat content. This creates a product that is naturally thicker and creamier in flavour, with a lower level of acidity than sour cream.
Crème fraîche is available in low-fat and no-fat versions.

Availability

Crème fraîche is available commercially all year round.

Choose the best

Ideally, crème fraîche should have a relatively high fat content. Any product with a low fat content will likely contain additives to achieve the same creamy flavour and texture of the original. Check the label and make your choice accordingly.

Store it

Traditionally, the acidic element of crème fraîche would keep it fresh and palatable for longer than fresh cream. It should keep for some time in a refrigerator, but always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Cook it

Crème fraîche is often dolloped onto baked potatoes, tossed with spinach, carrots and celeriac, or eaten with puddings and fruit. Other soured products can be too harsh for delicately flavoured dishes, so crème fraîche will work well due to its subtle acidity.

It is also used to add sweetness, richness and slight acidity to hot sauces, and is particularly suited to white meats, such as chicken and guinea fowl. You can use it to enrich seafood sauces and salad dressings, and whisked into a hot sauce at the last moment, traditional crème fraiche won't curdle the way sour cream would.

With so many variations on the traditional crème fraîche, it’s impossible to give guidance on how to use all of them, especially the low-fat and no-fat versions. It’s a journey you’ll have to take yourself."

Above words and picture from article here
More about crème fraîche here

Searching for some recipe suggestions that use crème fraîche



Here are a few suggestions:-
Asparagus and Spinach Soup topped with chive crème fraîche - details here
Scallops, pan-fried with crisp pancetta, watercress & lemon crème fraîche - details here
Mustard and Sage Chicken with Celeriac Mash - details here
Golden Goat’s Cheese Tomatoes with Spinach - details here
Broccoli, Pea and Cheddar Cheese Frittata - details here
Lemon-Lime Poppy Seed Cheesecakes - details here

I wonder do you like crème fraîche? Do you use it in a favourite recipe?

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

Please note, not all may be suitable for you.

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

All the best Jan

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Coconut Porridge : Low Carb : Keto


If you feel like hot cereal in the morning which is low carb/keto how about this recipe suggestion! It's satisfying, warm-in-the-belly comfort food … some may say, pure happiness in a bowl!

Ingredients
Serves One
4g carbs per serving
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. coconut flour
1 pinch ground psyllium husk powder
1 pinch salt
1 oz. butter or coconut oil

4 tbsp. coconut cream

Tip
A few blueberries goes well with this.

Instructions
can be found here

Low Carb Flours
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, and how to use them in your old regular high carb recipes is a common question. Of course you may also be interested, or want to know more about them. If that is the case then Libby at 'Ditch The Carbs' site has a very good guide, and you can read it here


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

All the best Jan

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Tina Turner - The Best

Saturday Night is Music Night on this blog, and tonight's choice is Tina Turner. What a concert this was. Enjoy. Good health to all. Eddie.

Italian Beef Stew : Low Carb


"This is a simple recipe for a tasty beef stew using Italian herbs and seasoning. Like many stews, this dish is really versatile and you could easily make it with lamb or pork instead (remember that this would change the nutrition values) and you can throw in lots of different vegetables if you choose too.
This is a quick stew that cooks in around 90 minutes but if you want a richer flavour and more tender meat then you could cook this in the oven in a casserole dish for 2-3 hours. Either way, it's really yummy regardless of how you cook it!

Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tsp olive oil
2 red onions, quartered
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
500 g stewing steak
2 g Italian seasoning
2 g rosemary
800 ml beef stock

15 g tomato purée
Method
1. Heat a large pot on a medium heat and add the olive oil and gently fry the onions for a few minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.
2. Throw in the carrots, peppers, tomato puree, stock, seasoning and beef to the pan and mix through.

3. Cover with a lid and simmer for around 90 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. If the sauce isn't as thick as you would like, simmer with the lid off until it reaches your desired consistency. 
Nutrition Per Serving
Fat 11g Protein 27g Carbohydrate 9g"
Need help with weight/measurement conversion
see here
Recipe
from original idea here

If you may want to serve this with some Low-carb Dinner Rolls, (but this will alter the nutrition amounts above) have a look at this recipe here

A variety of 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