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Friday, 5 June 2020

Happy Friday Wishes ... enjoy a low carb/gluten free muffin cake

Happy Friday and weekend wishes to you
I hope you like these flowers ...

image from here

… as it's Friday
why not treat yourself to a
Low-carb, gluten free muffin cake which has a hint of cinnamon
and goes very well with a cup of tea or coffee



Ingredients:
Makes 10

4g carbs per muffin/cake
200 g almond flour or crushed almonds
¼ tsp salt
4 eggs
80 ml water
2 tsp baking powder
100 g butter
10 g Splenda (sugar substitute)
2 tsp cinnamon
Method:
1. Preheat the your oven to 350º F 180º C gas mark 4-moderate
2. Mix all the ingredients together either by hand or using a mixer.
3. Grease a muffin/cupcake pan and evenly divide the mixture.
4. Bake for about 25 Minutes
Notes:
These taste amazing, but you can also add sultanas, nuts or anything else to the mixture before baking if you so wish, although this will alter the carb count!

From an idea here 
If you should need help with measurement conversions please see here



A variety of recipe ideas are within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you.

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

All the best Jan

Thursday, 4 June 2020

This weeks Darwin Award winner.


What did this imbecile expect?

Eddie

Happy in the Kitchen !


Over recent weeks some of us have found living with the many changes to our life that Covid 19 has made, stressful. For some, finding things to do has not been easy, where others have been discovering the delights of art, craft and cooking. Reading around a lot of blogs it seems many have been experimenting more with recipes, sometimes from choice, sometimes by necessity when items have not been available in the shops. But did you know cooking can help make you happy and can help with mental well being … read on to find out more.

"Why Cooking Makes You Happy

Is cooking the recipe for mental wellbeing?
Take mindfulness, creativity and a dash of focus. Fold together gently, bake in a slow oven and watch your spirits rise. Yes, your time spent in the kitchen can enhance your mood and promote mental wellbeing. While cooking is clearly a means to satisfy the body’s need for food, it’s increasingly being recognised as a way of nurturing the mind. A study in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science looked at the therapeutic qualities of cooking as a hobby, including its reported ability to cause a dimmed sense of time and an altered sense of consciousness. The researchers found that the act of cooking improves a person’s wellbeing and is associated with life satisfaction. Additionally, they discovered that cooking was the best predictor of subjective happiness. For some, time spent in the kitchen engrossed in baking and cooking may be exactly the recipe needed for greater happiness and mental wellbeing.

Getting creative
The kitchen offers endless opportunities to express your creativity and find your flow. Ever noticed how two people can follow the same recipe and end up with different results? Part of why this happens can be attributed to the invisible element that is part of every recipe: creativity. If you suffer from anxiety or low moods, cooking could help increase your happiness. Spending time in the kitchen can ease stress and restlessness, and enhance mindfulness, the study concluded.

Make your cake (and eat it)
Not only does the process of cooking and baking improve moods, the feeling of satisfaction gained when seeing the end product naturally enhances happiness. You’ve created something tangible that can be enjoyed and shared, giving yourself a well-deserved sense of achievement. Psychological therapist Annie Gurton says the outcome of cooking goes further than a sense of accomplishment – it can satisfy the emotional need for purpose and meaning in our lives. “Cooking is a task that requires a combination of several skills – understanding and planning, attention to detail, using our memory and imagination, manual dexterity, creativity and style.”

3 steps to bliss in the kitchen

Find your confidence first: find something simple you enjoy making, and master it. Then move onto more difficult recipes. 
Grow your own ingredients: picking fresh herbs and vegetables and adding them to your dish gives an even greater sense of pride and achievement. 
Cultivate mindfulness: smell the ingredients, feel the texture, notice what happens when you mix different foods together. Take notice of all the senses."
The above from article here 

I couldn't resist sharing this photograph of two of our grandchildren. In the midst of home-schooling (due to schools being shut because of Covid 19) with school work done it was time for baking fun and some Little Mermaid Cup Cakes, a yummy treat. 

If you may be looking for a quick yummy treat why not try a low carb Chocolate Muffin - in a mug - you can microwave or oven-bake; more details here 


Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, 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, 3 June 2020

Cauliflower Rice Risotto with Mushrooms : Low Carb : Paleo : Vegan


This recipe suggestion from Lisa at Low Carb Yum is for a low carb and paleo friendly cauliflower rice risotto with mushrooms and makes a great low carb rice substitute. It’s a simple side dish for any low carb/keto meal and is easy to prepare. It goes well with any meat, chicken, a baked fish fillet or other vegetable(s) … so many possibilities.

It’s also a vegan friendly dish since there’s no animal based ingredients. So you may want to serve it with a plant based chicken or beef substitute low in carbs. Or, serve it with a side of asparagus or collard greens.You can also reheat any leftovers, and serve with a small side salad, it makes a tasty lunch.  

Ingredients
Serves Six
2 tablespoons butter flavoured coconut oil
2 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
1 head cauliflower, riced
4 ounces (100g) mushrooms chopped
1/2 cup (120g) coconut cream
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
fresh parsley for garnish

Method
1. Over medium high heat, melt coconut oil in a large skillet. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly golden.
2. Add mushrooms and sautée until tender and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Add in the riced cauliflower and stir until well blended with the mushrooms.
4. Stir in the coconut cream and nutritional yeast until heated. Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and serve.
Notes
Butter, ghee, or cooking oil can be used in place of the butter flavoured coconut oil.
Heavy cream can be used instead of the coconut cream and cheese can be used in place of the nutritional yeast if dairy-free and vegan is not needed.

This low carb side dish can easily be made into a meal by adding in meat like beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp. Vegan meat substitutes work well too.

See Lisa's original recipe with video and step by step guide here

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

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

You don't have to drink wine - things you can do with it other than drinking

As many of my blogging friends will know (or realise) I do enjoy a glass of wine with my meal. Not only is wine a popular alcoholic beverage made from fermented grape juice, but red and white wine are also popular cooking ingredients. Indeed some of the recipes featured within the blog have wine added to the gravy/sauce to enhance flavour and colour. Additionally, wine is often used in cooking to provide moisture, tenderize meat or to deglaze a pan. If you don’t have wine on hand, or if you choose not to consume alcohol, there are many non-alcoholic substitutes you can use in cooking that will make your food just as delicious, and you can read more about that here



... but to continue! Did you know there are "Five things you can do with wine other than drinking - from cooking to gardening and even cleaning" - read on and see what they are! 

"We've all been there, you open a bottle of wine and suddenly you're left with two options: either finish the bottle for the sake of it or keeping it "for tomorrow", a.k.a forgetting about it and ultimately pouring it down the sink. But wine is surprisingly versatile and can be used for many things. The experts at Cult Wines have shared with us their 5 top tips for using leftover wine, so you don't feel like you have to finish it there and then – nor do you have to resign yourself to empty it down the drain. 

Put wine in ice cubes to cook with at a later date
Pour leftovers into an ice cube tray and once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container – they'll be ready to go whenever needed. Add them to white wine for quick cooling without the dilution of regular ice, or save them for recipes that call for small volumes of wine. 

Make white wine vinegar
A great addition to the condiment cupboard of budding chefs and gastro fans, Williams Sonoma has a recipe that will take an afternoon to prepare and will yield delicious results in about three months. 

Make wine syrup
Who knew that you could make a sweet and tasty syrup from wine? You can even make it with individual flavourings, such as vanilla bean or fresh ginger. Cult Wines recommend using Kitchn site easy three-step recipe that takes less than half an hour to make. 

Transform wine into grease remover
If you've got a bottle of leftover white that's passed the point of consumption in any shape or form, it can still be put to use as a grease stain remover. Stir up a mixture of white wine and baking soda and apply to grubby patches on your garage floor, outdoor pathways, or patio. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe away. 

Use wine in the garden
Turns out, pouring red wine into your compost bin activates the good bacteria already present in the mixture, helping your plants and garden to grow. Just be sure to keep your compost bin's moisture under control once you add the wine."
The above from article here

Of these five suggestions, I have used the first tip - have you used any of them? Do you think you will? Please share your views in the comments. 

Related Posts that use wine in cooking
Beef Bourguignon - more details here
Lamb and Swede/Rutabaga Hotpot - more details here 
Pork Loin pot-roasted with pancetta, swede and celeriac - more details here
Cod Parcels, steamed with fennel and herbs - more details here
Mushroom Bourguignon with Celeriac Mash, vegetarian - 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, cartoons, 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

Monday, 1 June 2020

Chocolate : Vegan : Low Carb : Desserts

Chocolate Ganache Tart

Crispy chocolate tart shell is wrapped around a luscious chocolate filling. Decadent and delicious, this dairy-free dessert will be a winner for vegans and non-vegans alike.

Ingredients
Will make 16 slices/servings
3g net carbs per serving
Crust
1½ cups (175g) almond flour
½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
1⁄3 cup (50g) erythritol
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
Filling
8 oz. (225g) dark dairy-free sugar-free baking chocolate

6 oz. (175g) coconut cream
Tips
This tart is very rich, so only a small slice is sufficient.
Optional - decorate with fresh raspberries.

Instructions
can be seen here


Silky Chocolate Mousse

This tofu mousse is super creamy and nicely soft and firm at the same time. You won't taste the tofu at all. A serving has about 4 g of net carbs and 8 g protein. The portions may seem a bit small, but this is very filling … 


Ingredients
300 g silken tofu
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

concentrated liquid sweetener to taste 
Instructions
can be seen here

Some readers may also be interested in seeing these five LCHF summer dessert ideas here 


flowers just go with any dessert don't they!

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

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Scone Anyone : Low Carb : Suitable for Diabetics and Non-Diabetics

These two recipes, for low carb scones, are ideal for anyone generally trying to reduce the carbs and sugar in their life. They are suitable for both diabetics and non diabetics. Have a look at both recipes (and links) and see what you think.


LOW CARB CHEESE SCONES
a quick and simple recipe to make savoury scones
Ingredients
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
Instructions/more details
can be seen here


LOW CARB SCONES
this recipe is to make scones that go with (sugar free) jam and cream,
otherwise known as Devonshire tea.
Ingredients
250 grams almond meal/ flour
2 tablespoon coconut flour
½ cup Greek yoghurt or sour cream
1 large egg
50 grams melted butter cooled
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
Instructions/more details
can be seen here

If you have time, why not pull up a chair and tuck in,
would you prefer tea or coffee?

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, 29 May 2020

CHICKEN Dishes : Three Popular Low Carb and Keto Suggestions

Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it can be cooked - make it one of the most popular meats around. It has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium.
The pale flesh has a close texture and a mild flavour that pairs up well with many different ingredients. Never eat raw chicken, and always thoroughly wash your hands, utensils and cutting board as soon as you've cut or handled raw chicken. 
Here are three popular low carb/keto chicken dishes you may wish to try:-


Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

This creamy chicken casserole is a modern take on an old favourite.
Loaded with savoury mushrooms, chicken and cheese as well as cauliflower rice;
this meal will leave you feeling warm and satisfied.

Ingredients
Serves Six
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1½ lbs (650g) chicken breasts
2 tsp garlic powder, divided
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
5 oz. (150g) mushrooms, sliced
2 oz. (50g) fresh spinach
10 oz. (275g) fresh, cauliflower rice
9 oz. (250g) shredded mozzarella cheese
olive oil, for greasing
salt and pepper, for seasoning
½ oz. (15g) pea sprouts, for garnishing (optional)
Sauce
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1 cup (225ml) chicken broth
½ cup (125ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
¼ tsp salt
1⁄8 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme, lightly chopped
Instructions
can be seen here

Mustard and Sage Chicken with Celeriac Mash

Swapping potatoes for celeriac lowers the carbohydrates in this lovely mid-week dinner suggestion ... ready in under half an hour and tastes great!
Ingredients
Serves Three
1 celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
3 chicken breasts, skinless
1 tbsp. English mustard powder
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 sage leaves, chopped
100g low-fat crème fraîche, plus 2 tbsp. for the mash
1 chicken stock cube
2 tbsp. wholegrain mustard
To Serve
275g cooked green veg, such as thin-stemmed broccoli, peas or Savoy cabbage,
Instructions
and more, can be seen here 

Provençal Chicken

There are quite a few 'Provençal Chicken' recipe ideas around,
indeed, you may have your own particular favourite!
This one makes a tasty plate ... 
Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tbsp oil
100 g lean smoked bacon medallions, roughly chopped
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 courgette (zucchini), halved and cut into chunks
1 aubergine (eggplant), cut into small pieces
4 tomatoes, cut into large wedges
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
500 g carton passata
half a chicken stock cube, crumbled
460 g chicken thigh fillets
14g of fresh flat leaf parsley, washed and roughly chopped
2 tsp mixed herbs
Instructions
can be seen here

For our vegetarian and vegan readers, why not have a look at these recipe suggestions;
Vegetarian Choices, five recipe suggestions can be seen here 
Mushroom Bourguignon with Celeriac Mash, more details here
Vegan Choices, lower carb recipe suggestions can be seen here 
Lentil Shepherd's Pie, more details here 

Dear reader, 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, 28 May 2020

Matt Hancock UK Health Minister reveals success with low-carb eating





This article from Diet Doctor site
"UK Health Minister reveals success with low-carb eating

As part of his mission to combat Britain’s rising obesity and diabetes rates, UK Health Minister Matt Hancock is letting people in on a little secret: He supports eating low-carb in order to encourage weight loss and better health.

In 2012, Hancock lost “two stone” (28 pounds or about 13 kilos) by avoiding carbs in his diet. “I did it over three months by not eating bread, potatoes or pasta,” Hancock told The Telegraph in 2018. Then, during the 2019 election, Hancock lost around 10 pounds (4.5 kilos), again by cutting out sugar and starch, explains Dr. David Unwin, a low-carb general practitioner.

In addition to the weight-loss benefits Hancock experienced from eating low carb, medical professionals are now speculating about whether the health minister’s lower body weight may have helped him to recover from the coronavirus after he contracted it in March of 2020.

When Hancock first announced that he’d tested positive for coronavirus via Twitter, he reported only “mild” symptoms and was working from home in self-isolation. After just “a few days’” time, Hancock told BBC Radio Suffolk that he was “on the mend.”

According to Dr. Unwin, Hancock’s speedy recovery may have been a result of the weight he lost while eating low carb. Early research suggests that obesity is a risk factor for a more difficult recovery from Covid-19. That does not mean we know for sure that weight loss played a role in his speedy recovery, but it sure didn’t hurt.

Now more than ever, it’s important that we all begin to take our metabolic health more seriously — especially in the face of a pandemic." 

The above from Diet Doctor site here

Related Posts
How Low Carb Can Help, plus a favourite low carb recipe - here

Introduction to low-carb for beginners - here

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 a reliable meter.

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Health Benefits of Cinnamon ... and some low carb recipe suggestions




"Do you have a spice that you can’t get enough of? A pantry staple that you try to find a way to work into almost every meal? With many it's cinnamon - but did you know there are two types of cinnamon; cassia and Ceylon. They are both healthy, nutrient-dense, and aromatic, however, if you’re consuming large amounts you should be wary of the kind you’re eating. Cassia contains high amounts of the chemical coumarin, which research has shown when consumed in excess can lead to liver damage and possible development of cancer. Side by side the varieties are easy to differentiate; Ceylon is a tan brown whereas cassia is a dark reddish-brown. If the opportunity is there, stock up on Ceylon where you can for the most abundant health benefits. 

Powerful Anti-Inflammatory
Thanks to the antioxidants present in this spice, particularly polyphenols, cinnamon has been praised as a powerful anti-inflammatory. 

Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Many of us know that there are two types of cholesterol; the good ones and the bad ones. Cholesterol is actually used to build the structure of our cell membranes, so it is vital that we have it in a healthy balance. In studies, people who consumed a single teaspoon of cinnamon each day had lower LDL cholesterol (bad) but maintained HDL cholesterol (good) 

Useful for Diabetes, Insulin Sensitivity & Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
Cinnamon is well-known for blood sugar lowering properties, decreasing the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream after a meal by interfering with digestive enzymes, meaning carbohydrates take longer to break down. It also mimics insulin, improving glucose uptake. For those with struggling insulin resistance, cinnamon is particularly useful in promoting sensitivity. 

May Protect Against Cancer 
Due to regulations, evidence has only been presented in test tube and animal studies, but there has been significant evidence to suggest that cinnamon extracts may prevent cancer. This is through numerous pathways including reducing growth and formation, acting in a toxic manner, activating detoxifying enzymes, and antioxidant properties. 

Beneficial for Neurodegenerative Diseases 
Throughout our lives, our brains suffer from wear and tear. Whether by genetic or lifestyle factors, neurodegenerative disorders develop as we age and have a profound impact on our function. Due to the inherent progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells, diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s are weighing heavily on our aging population. In one recent study of mice with Parkinson’s, compounds found in cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalized neurotransmitter levels, and improved motor function. There is further evidence to suggest that compounds prevent the build up of tau in the brain - the protein which is a precursor for the development of Alzheimer’s."
Words above and more to read at Tess Patricks article here 

A related article, you may also wish to read 'Ceylon vs. Cassia — Not All Cinnamon Is Created Equal' can be found here

Some lower carb recipe suggestions that use cinnamon

Apples with Cinnamon in a Vanilla Sauce
11g carbs per serving - more details here


Cinnamon Coffee Cake
3.6g net carbs per slice - more details here


Low Carb 'Rice Pudding'
3g carbs per serving - more details here


Spiced Fruit Bread ... Low Carb and ready in 90 seconds !
9g carbs per serving - more details here


Moussaka-stuffed aubergines / eggplants
11g carbs per serving - more details here 


Beef Chili
8g carbs per serving - more details 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

Monday, 25 May 2020

Cauliflower Pizza Casserole ... it's so cheesy !


"Cauliflower Pizza Casserole is a cheesy, easy vegetarian dish for dinner that you can fill with all your favourite pizza toppings!

Being vegetarian doesn’t mean you don’t want something hearty to eat, and vegetables like cauliflower are perfect for that. It gets soft and creamy but maintains a texture that makes this casserole not only delicious, but very filling.

Even better, the addition of mushrooms takes it over the top leaving you with a casserole that could easily replace Friday night pizza once in a while... and do you know that while this tastes delicious fresh, reheated it seemed that the flavours melded together even better and tastes so great!

Ingredients
Serves One
1 large cauliflower cut into florets
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups marinara sauce
2 tomatoes 1 diced, 1 in sliced
1/2 medium onion sliced
1/2 bell pepper diced
1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1/4 cups mozzarella shredded

chopped parsley for topping (or herb of choice) (optional)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray or grease with oil.
2. Season cauliflower with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and roast for 20 minutes.
3. In a bowl, add the marinara sauce to the cauliflower and mix to coat. Add the rest of the ingredients, except parsley, sliced tomato and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and stir together with a wooden spoon until add combined.
4. In a greased 8x8 baking pan, add the cauliflower mix and cover with the rest of the cheese. Top with tomato slices. Lower oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 25 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown.

5. Remove from oven, top with chopped parsley and serve."

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

Some Other Posts You May Like
Eight Health Benefits of Cauliflower - more details here 
Mamma Mia it's Mozzarella, two lovely recipes - more details here
Quick and Easy Low Carb Pizza For One - more details here
Mozzarella, Peach and Tomato Salad - more details here




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, 24 May 2020

Meanwhile back in 2019 !

Like many families, due to the current Covid 19 restrictions, we are seeing our family courtesy of the internet, and are so thankful that we can. But looking back to last year, I can remember a lovely outing to Mudeford where these gulls were 'Diving for Dinner' - see here


four of our grandchildren hoping they will catch some crabs
I seem to remember they did


and youngest grandson being so patient feeding the ducks


Thank goodness for photographs and lovely memories

The best things in life
are the people we love,
the places we've been,
and the memories we've made 
along the way.

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing them all in the summer, if Covid 19 restrictions allow! I'm sure we will enjoy an ice lolly/popsicle, or two, together -  these white chocolate raspberry ones are nice, they are low carb and dairy free, recipe can be seen here

All the best Jan