The more you eat, the less flavour. The less you eat, the more flavour.
There are literally thousands of diets out there, from the 5:2 diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, the Sushi diet, and even the simple calorie controlled diet. These diets can get quite complicated and the professional aficionados would love us to buy their books explaining the benefits of these diets and giving us lots of recipes that we’re probably never going to cook. As it happens I try to follow the tenants of a Mediterranean diet, simply because I like Mediterranean food. Conversely I would never follow a Sushi diet because I hate sushi and I firmly believe that raw fish is inherently unhealthy, to the point of being dangerous.
There is one basic truth about losing weight ~ eat less. The average female office worker only needs about 2,000 calories a day, and the average male about 2,500. A weight loss diet probably means a woman eating 1,500 calories a day, and a man about 2,000. There are a myriad of calorie calculators on the internet.
However, after some study of diets, nutrition, and health, I can give you some basic guidelines about what you should include and avoid in all those calories.
- Drink 3 pints of fresh clean water every day.
- Eating a little every couple of hours avoids and cures adrenal fatigue.
- Wild foods are good ~ especially healthy grains such as wild rice. Eat organic food whenever you can.
- Try not to eat processed and canned foods.
- Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is vital to our health. Apples, Banana, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Celery, Grapes, Leeks, Pears, Potato (especially potato skins), Spinach, & etc.. Avoid too much citrus fruit, it messes with the acid balance of our gut.
- Adding herbs and spices adds important phytochemicals to our food. Fresh parsley, basil, and rosemary are especially good.
- Eat grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, lamb, wild salmon, net caught ocean fish, shrimp, crab, and lobster. Avoid too much pork, (and if you eat pork make damn certain it’s properly cooked). Avoid farmed fish, (especially tilapia which is cheap whitefish), cheap chicken, bacon, and turkey. Eat shellfish at your peril.
- Don’t drink a lot of fresh milk, don’t put cream or half-and-half in your coffee, and don’t eat a lot of yogurt or cheese.
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements; B4, B12, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, (and if you are a menstruating woman take Iron supplements).
- Do not ever eat anything made with modern wheat; bread, cake, cookies, pasta, tortillas…..
- Avoid too much; complex carbohydrates, caffeine, sugar, and salt.
- Don’t drink too much coffee or ordinary tea, try green tea instead.
- Don’t drink diet sodas, or use artificial sweeteners. In fact really cut down on drinking any soda at all.
- Really, really avoid too much alcohol. One bottle of red wine a week is a good limit, (or if you can’t live with that, two bottles a week). Do not regularly get buzzed, and regularly would be once a month.
You may think that’s all too damn difficult, and probably expensive. Well, it takes effort to follow any guidelines, and good organic food carries a price premium, but really, how much is a healthier and longer life worth to you?
Time is an illusion ~ lunchtime doubly so…..
So many people either grab something from the deli, or supermarket, or just eat out at lunchtime. Actually, at weekends there’s no reason even a working person should do that. It’s perfectly possible to prepare and cook a great lunch in about 30 minutes at home, and that way you know exactly what you’re eating without having to puzzle over just what’s in your lunch burrito. And, if you make lunch, (or supper), at home, then you’re going to have some great leftovers to take to work the following day.
From Dianes Kitchen there’s this wonderful-looking crab meat Frittata. Now, while I like both frittata and crab this is a combination I’ve never thought of. I agree with Diane, this dish would be great at breakfast, lunch, or supper ~ or for something to take to work the following day.
Crab Meat Fritatta
Chungah at Damn Delicious has a recipe for creamy red pepper shells, I think this dish would make a wonderful lunch along with a glass of Italian or Californian red wine, and maybe a hunk of crusty bread. I think I could whip this together in 30 minutes, and it’s another dish to take to work the following day.
Creamy Red Pepper Shells
Well then, Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb invites us to try this dish of Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers, which she assures us are the BEST healthy stuffed peppers you’ll ever eat. If you don’t want your peppers too hot, then choose green and not red. As well as ground beef and rice you could use a host of similar Southern and Californian ingredients to make you stuffed peppers luncheon. I guess you could make this dish in 30 ~ 45 minutes.
Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Here’s an awesomely artistic dish from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing. This is big, green, nutritious, filling, and healthy. OK, so this may be a 40 minute recipe, but there are so many cheats and shortcuts into making this that I think preparing this dish just takes as long as you want to take.
Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing
I am very well aware that you American guys like your mac and cheese, so just for you here’s a recipe. Found for us by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes this dish, by Aaron Hutcherson, combines two classic American comfort foods into Chili Mac and Cheese.
Chili Mac and Cheese
This week’s collection is brought to us by Good Housekeeping who have no less than 70 Healthy Lunch Ideas That Will Actually Keep You Full Until Dinner ~ wow! From this collection I’ve chosen to feature a Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad ~ even I like to be healthy sometimes. Anyhow you can make this dish in 25 minutes, and as well as being a good lunch or supper, it will make a good side for any of the other dishes featured in this weeks Food on Friday.
Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Marmaduke isn’t a big fan of Mac and Cheese
and then again, neither am I
What the New Year brings to our tables will depend on what we bring to the New Year.
Next Year I will have a new focus for each week’s food on Friday ~ concentrating on recipes, foods, and dishes to enhance our wellbeing, health, and happiness. I have no doubt whatsoever that the great cooks I have featured thus far in this series of blog posts will be more than up to the challenge of our creating a healthier lifestyle, while still retaining each of their unique signature styles.
But, for this last Food on Friday of 2018, I want to show you some recipes and dishes which will be great to offer your guests at whatever New Year’s get-together or wild party you are hosting.
No part would be complete without a great cheese board, so from San Diego cook Averie Sunshine we have ideas on just how to make the best cheese board. I really like that Averie uses prosciutto on her cheese boards! Me, I like to have a soft blue cheese, or maybe just a good old English Stilton. There are as many wines to drink with cheese as there are cheeses, but with Stilton it should be a good warm port.
The Very Best Cheese Board
Should you want to drink beer at New Year, then what about having these spinach and artichoke stuffed soft pretzels to go with your brew? From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. Of course, what we English call beer and the fizzy pop the rest of the world drinks are two very different ales.
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Soft Pretzels
So, if you live by the sea, then you should serve a dish that reflects that. I guess none of you live on the Chesapeake, but from Dianes Kitchen I offer you this Chesapeake Crab Strata. Serve it like slices of pizza. Here in the North East of England we get some really great crab from the cold North Sea. Some say you should drink a Pinot Grigo with crab, but I would always prefer a cold Verdicchio.
Chesapeake Crab Strata
After my recent trip to Albuquerque I said that I would never eat meatloaf again ~ but brought to us by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipies here’s an idea for bbq meatloaf bites. Now I know that the chef, Nick Evans, intended these to be part of a meal for kids ~ but after a few drinks all men are just kids anyhow. As far as I’m concerned you can drink whatever the
fuck hell you like with meatloaf….. personally I would choose a red Cotes du Rhone Villages.
BBQ Meatloaf Bites
From Chungah at Damn Delicious there’s this new recipe collection; 15 best quick and easy New Year’s Eve appetisers….. My favourite dish here is this really clean-looking dish of lemon garlic shrimp kabobs ~ try these with a really cold vodka martini.
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
And finanally for 2018, from Country Living Magazine, we have a collection of 40 unbelievably easy New Year’s Eve appetisers. From this collection I like the look of these smoked salmon and cream cheese cucumber bites. Just how easy is that? If you want to show some real class, then you drink single malt whisky with smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites
not many are man enough to drink Laphroaig
I’m inspired by collections of recipes from around the world…..
From time to time the cooks / chefs whose blogs I follow and feature in Food on Friday, post recipe collections, and I think that’s so cool. Usually these compendia of dishes have a theme, and that’s cool too.
Sometimes we get collections of other interesting cooking and kitchen related tips and ideas ~ and it’s worth remembering these when gift-giving time comes along. Dependiong upon when you read this ~ there are only 60 more days until Christmas.
From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a collection of her 15 best fall soups. Chungah says these warming, delicious, and easy soups can be made on the stove top or crockpot. They all look good to come home to on a old autumnal evening, but I especially like the look of this recipe for Greek lemon chicken soup ~ maybe because I’m not long returned from the Greek Island of Crete.
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
Some say avocados are very good for you. And that there are lots of delicious avocado recipes to choose from. All I know is that San Diego girl Averie Sunshine contributed to this Community Table collection; 6 creative, delicious ways to use avocados. One of my favourite of Averie’s avocado recipes is for chicken avocado lack bean salad. Doesn’t that look fabulous?
Chicken Avocado Black Bean Salad
With Thanksgiving coming up for all you Americans I make no apologies for including friendsgiving 2018 with anthropologie, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. This is packed with tips on how to lay a perfect Thangsgiving Table, including recipes and drinks. We don’t have Thanksgiving in England, whci is a bit of a shame….. (If you didn’t know, Anthropologie is a store.)
Friendsgiving 2018 with Anthropologie
From Expert Home Tips, these 24 cooking hacks you NEED to have in your life aren’t strictly recipe realated, but there are some damn cood idea’s here. And you know what? I really like #1 which is about juicing a lemon without a juicer.
Juice a Lemon Without Fancy Equipment
You can’t get to work on time, but you’re first in line for a pot luck
Usually I like to have some kind of a theme to the recipes I feature in Food on Friday, but today you’re going to get dishes just because I like the look of them. I hope that’s OK will all of you.
All of these recipes will be great for your office’s Halloween Pot Luck lunch.
First for this week, from San Diego girl Averie Sunshine we have this quick, easy, and delicious 15-minute spicy korean skillet chicken. Now, here in my part of England we get hardly any Korean food, but I do so like cooking with a good, heavy skillet. If you don’t have one, then get one.
15 Minute Spicy Korean Skillet Chicken
I promise you that there’s no overriding theme to this week’s Food on Friday, but our second dish is also Korean based. From Chungah at Demn Delicious there’s these delicious-looking Korean chicken kabobs. What a fabulous dish for parties or barbecues.
Korean Chicken Kabobs
Just to prove that I don’t have a Korean theme running this week, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have this great looking slow cooker herbed chicken and rice pilaf. This is just the right time of year for us all to pull the slow cooker out of the cupboard. Fabulous!
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Pilaf
Well then, perhaps there’s a chicken theme going this week, because next up, from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats I’m featuring this dish of yogurt and lemon marinated grilled chicken. Doesn’t it look fabulous?
Yogurt and Lemon Marinated Grilled Chicken
Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has another great looking dish for warming barbecues or parties on a cold autumn night, these bourbon maple glazed chicken wings. How classic!
Bourbon Maple Glazed Chicken Wings
Last for this week, and we’re back to an Asian themed dish from Heather Christo; asian chicken zoodle soup. How pretty! How healthy! How Delicious! How quick and easy! Zoodle? What a silly name for an ingredient! I love it!
Asian Chicken Zoodle Soup
It turns out that there was an accidental theme this week ~ great looking recipes for chicken.
There have been previous posts all about poultry, for example Healthy Chicken.
When you’re cooking a delicious meal, it’s easy to feel good about life.
Living alone in the garret, meals that I can make using just one pot / pan / baking sheet really appeal to me. I like cooking, but I don’t like washing-up afterwards, so the fewer pots and pans I use the better.
If you can make your whole meal in your slow cooker / crock pot, then that also counts as just one pot.
As for me, not only do I try to make all my meals in just one pot, I also try to use no more than 5 ingredients, (not including herbs and spices), and make meals that require no more than 20 minutes of prep time.
First this week we have a soup recipe from Dana at The Minimalist Baker; 1-pot golden curry lentil soup. I bet this would be fabulous after a long walk on a cold autumn’s day. This vegan dish takes about 90 minutes to make, but most of that is it just simmering away on its own.
1-Pot Golden Curry Lentil Soup
Now from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a cold fighting chicken noodle soup. You’ll only need one pot and about a half hour to make this wonderfully warming autumnal dish. And maybe it fights two kinds of cold…..
Cold Fighting Chicken Noodle Soup
Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has a collection of pumpkin recipes for this fall, and knowing how Americans like their pumpkins coming up to Halloween, I thought I would feature this creamy pumpkin soup with grilled cheese croutons. You are going to be able to make this in less than a half-hour
Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has posted this great looking recipe for one pan sesame chicken. admittedly you’d want to serve this with rice, but these days I make my rice by using a microwaveable packet, so that doesn’t really count as using a second pan. hahahahaha
One Pan Sesame Chicken
Moving on to a slow cooker recipe, there’s this gorgeous looking healthy slow cooker turkey an white bean chili, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. I like that Tieghan has served this dish with sliced avocado.
Healthy Slow Cooker Turkey and White Bean Chili
Found for us by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes there’s this great one skillet dish from Lisa Lin; pasta skillet with chicken sausage, cheese & spinach. Ready in just 30 minutes and so easy to make in just one skillet ~ and if you don’t have a skillet, get one.
Pasta Skillet with Chicken Sausage, Cheese & Spinach
Our collection this week is from Country Living magazine again; 33 quick and easy one dish-meals ~ I know a girl in California who might find this collection most helpful when it comes to meal planning. From these 33 recipes I particularly like the honey-soy glazed salmon with mushrooms and peppers, for a $12 spend and 35 minutes it doesn’t get any better and easier than this.
Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon with Mushrooms and Peppers
This is Marmaduke’s idea of what goes into a one-pot meal.
There is more to love and desire than just picking apples.
How boring one may think, a whole Food on Friday about apples! Well, leaving aside that apples are one of the most interesting, nourishing, tasty, and healthy ingredients you could add to a dish ~ an apple is the most mystical and spiritual of fruits.
Myths about the apple being the ultimate symbol of love, sex, and sin go much, much further back than the Bible’s Adam and Eve. The ancient Minoans had almost the same apple myth, and their civilisation goes back around 9,000 years. Most appropriately we are now in the star sign of Libra, and if you know your Myths of Libra you will also know that this is the time of Aphrodite, and her fruit is the apple ~ well it would be, wouldn’t it?
So to begin this week, from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower we have apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal. Now I’ve never liked oatmeal, mostly because I hate milk. But, this recipe appeals to me, and it uses almond milk ~ cool.
Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal
San Diego girl Averie Sunshine has this recipe for caramel apple sheet pan pancakes. Ready in 10 minutes for breakfast or brunch, or a dessert….. Oh Wow! (Perhaps I’d make the pancake mix from scratch.)
Caramel Apple Sheet Pan Pancakes
Some combinations are just meant to be, and this is one of the very best. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have apple butter and sage pork chops ~ perfect.
Apple Butter and Sage Pork Chops
Another main course, this time from Heather Christo, pasta with apples, bacon, sage, and chantrelle mushrooms ~ and this recipe is both gluten and dairy free. Never mind that so much, it both looks and sounds delicious. Apple and sage go so well together, and there is no truth in the rumour that apple is a female aphrodisiac….. sage is a different matter all together.
Pasta with Apples, Bacon, Sage, and Chantrelle Mushrooms
Lets move along to dessert, or something for afternoon tea and from Todd and Dianne, the White on Rice Couple there’s this spiced apple coffee cake. For me, this looks delicious. It’s a recipe I’d like to try, even though I can’t bake for love nor money…..
Spiced Apple Coffee Cake
And now a drink for those of us ho don’t want to get absolutely hammered on scrumpy, Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a cool post entitled; how to make an apple cider shandy. You know what? I don’t touch booze anymore , but if I did, I’d make a beeline for this at parties. Something else, you can cheat on this already alcoholic recipe and come up with something that’s almost as strong as scrumpy.
How To Make An Apple Cider Shandy
Finally for this week we have our recipe collection. From Country Living Magazine 60+ easy and delicious apple recipes to make this season ~ and amongst this cornucopia there’s this simple and easy garden tuna salad sandwich. You need not use white hot dog rolls if you want a healthier alternative such as a sprouted grain bread.
Garden Tuna Salad Sandwich
I have written a previous blog about apples.….
and one about the medicinal use of rosehips in apple cider vinegar
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst of all.
These days a lot of us don’t have a lot of time to cook, and we certainly don’t have much spare time for finding recipes, meal planning, shopping for ingredients, meal preparation ~ and a lot of us tend to eat on the run. Real life gets in the way of an idyll spent in the garden / yard and kitchen. For some of us work chews up 10 hours an day and then family commitments chew up whatever time is left.
Ergo, I’ll try to help with some recipe collections that are mostly easy recipes, with just a few ingredients that you can use for several meals during the week for dinner and a healthy lunch to take to work.
First up this week, from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have 21 best recipes with ripe summer tomatoes ~ what could be easier or healthier? From the collection I like this very simple dish, avocado heirloom tomato salad ~ you can serve this with any leftover chicken, steak, or cheese you may have in your refrigerator, or just drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and have a very healthy lunch.
Avocado Heirloom Tomato Salad
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a cool collection; 25 of my favorite easy dinners ~ (she says this is for back to school, but I don’t care much about that…..). What I do care about is the very first recipe in this collection; rosemary chicken, bacon, and avocado salad. Once you’ve made the rosemary chicken you have endless possibilities, but this salad looks fabulous.
Rosemary Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Salad
Chungah at Damn Delicious has posted 12 quick and easy summer recipes ~ I do love quick and easy. From Chungah’s collection I’ve chosen these garlic butter scallop bowls ~ scallops served with cilantro lime rice and pico de gallo, how fabulous is that? This will take you a little time to prepare, but doesn’t it look worth it?
Garlic Butter Scallop Bowls
Here’s a super-sized collection from Olive Magazine; 42 best ever quick and easy healthy recipes ready in under 30 minutes ~ wow! From this collection I have chosen to feature a chargrilled chicken chimichurri salad. This will be ready in just 15 minutes and it’s perfect for dinner ~ but make enough to that you have some to take to work for lunch.
Chargrilled Chicken Chimichurri Salad
This is a fair-sized collection of quick and easy recipes; from Country Living magazine we have 99 easy dinners that can be made in 30 minutes or less ~ come on, there’s 3 months worth of dinner recipes here. From their list I’ve decided to feature this grilled pesto chicken with summer squash, by Marian Cooper Cairns. This dish is so fast and so easy…..
Grilled Pesto Chicken with Summer Squash
I’ve never done this before, but this is a link to a whole sub-section from the website of San Diego girl Averie Sunshine; it’s her entire 30 minute meals archive. From Averie’s archive I have chosen this foil pack lime cilantro salmon. This is so easy to make, and it will be ready to eat in 10 minutes ~ you heard me right, just 10 minutes to produce this wonderful healthy dish.
Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon
Here’s something else I’ve never done before. Here in the garret I often use packet sauces to make my cooking tastier, quicker, and easier. I guess that in England we are spoiled for choice with this type of product. However, I know you can buy this kind stuff in the USA, for example I know that you can buy exactly the same kind of Schwartz packet sauces I use from Amazon.com. Or if you’re sick of Amazon you can buy Schwartz sachets from BritSuperstore,com; there is an almost endless choice of flavours and cooking methods, and all you need to know is written on the back of the packet.
Some of the Schwartz Range
honey salmon in foil
Life is better with fresh baked cookies in it.
In everything I’ve shared with you in Food on Friday, I haven’t posted much about baked stuff, mostly because I’m terrible at baking. I have no idea why that is ~ but there you go.
On the other hand, I do like cookies, (except we call them biscuits here in England), and if I ever called at a friend’s house and they’d made any of the cookies / biscuits featured in this week’s Food on Friday, I guess I’d have to force myself and eat some / a lot.
From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have some nice looking browned butter coconut chocolate chip cookies. Tieghan says these are both delicious and easy, and I have no doubt that she’s correct on both fronts. Anyhow I like both chocolate and coconut, and I like them better together.
Browned Butter Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Some more chocolate chip cookies, (why not?), this time Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a great recipe for soft and chewy cherry chocolate chip cookies. Andrea says these cookies are a perfect snack for road trips, and as you all should know, I love road trips.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
You know what? When it comes to cookies you almost can’t go wrong if you add chocolate, and Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français has one of my favourite combinations with her chunky chocolate and hazelnut cookies.
Chunky Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies
As you might expect Dana, the Minimalist Baker has some very good recipes for cookies, and this recent post caught my eye. So how about; vegan trail mix cookies (gluten-free + grain-free), would you like to try those? I had thought of featuring Dana’s recipe for 1-bowl ginger cookies (gluten free) but thought you may like the trail mix recipe better.
Vegan Trail Mix Cookies (Gluten-Free + Grain-Free)
A blog post about cookies would not be complete if it didn’t include a recipe for traditional Scottish shortbread. So here, from Scottish-at-Heart.com we have the best Scottish shortbread recipe. Although there are actually two recipes and a lot of other good information in this link. And, if you’ve never had proper Scottish shortbread ~ then try some, right away.
I am really not certain how his would work in the USA, but here in England we also have savoury ‘biscuits’, and across the pond you may even call these biscuits instead of cookies. Anyhow, from Petra at Food Eat Love I’m giving you a recipe for chilli cheese buttermilk biscuits.
Chilli Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits
And finally for this week, what would Food on Friday be without a recipe collection. So from Baking Mad we have a whole bunch of cookie recipes, (they don’t say how many and I haven’t counted them), ((actually there are 57 recipes on this page, and that’s so cool)). To go with a coffee I particularly like the look of the vanilla sugar cookies from Nielsen-Massey.
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
cookies are just so versatile and moreish
this is melt in your mouth toffee
from Averie Cooks