Category Archives: Cooking

Food on Friday~ Mediterranean

Good food begins and ends with good talk.

Some say that a Mediterranean diet is good for you.  And, that if you eat a mostly Mediterranean diet you’ll be healthier and live longer.  All I know is that you should always have a really good extra virgin olive oil.

From Greece, tzatziki is basically a mixture of yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, and mint, and you can buy it from your local store, or you can even make your own.  The Bojon Gourmet has this nice little farro and cucumber salad with feta, dill, and mint that not only would be nice with some tzatziki, but also combines its flavours.  Both would go nicely with some grilled goat.

Farro and Cucumber Salad with Feta, Dill, and Mint

And now, from Heidi at foodiecrush we have this outrageous herbacious Mediterranean chickpea salad.  (I had to include this just for the name of the dish.)

Outrageous Herbacious Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

From Heather Christo this week we have Mediterranean pasta with grilled swordfish, lemons and gremolata.  Gremolata is also dead easy to make for yourself. (I love grilled swordfish, but some say we shouldn’t buy swordfish ~ I will go on eating it, because whatever I do won’t affect how much fish the Japanese rape from the sea.)  This 25 minute dish is perfect for a barbecue with the kind of friend who doesn’t expect a burned burger in a cheap bun.

Mediterranean Pasta with Grilled Swordfish, Lemons, and Gremolata

Sardines are a quintessentially Mediterranean dish, and Petra from Food Eat Love has some super taste combinations in this dish of fresh sardines, roast baby beets with whipped avocado and feta.  As you’d expect it’s the beetroot that going to take the longest to cook here.

Fresh Sardines, Roast baby Beets with Whipped Avocado and Feta

This is another Mediterranean dish I love, grilled lamb kebabs, this time from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest.  (Do you want to know my own secret ingredient for grilling Mediterranean style?  7Up ~ when the charcoal gets too hot and the meat looks like it might burn, I sprinkle 7Up over the grill.)  Tieghan’s is a half-hour dish, but one should really marinade the lamb overnight.

Mediterranean Grilled Lamb Kebabs

Dana at The Minimalist Baker has the ultimate Mediterranean bowl, looks fabulous, and it’s easy, healthy, and gluten-free.  However, I would definitely add a little more extra virgin olive oil.

The Ultimate Mediterranean Bowl

For hose of us who like recipe collections, Olive magazine has 19 of the best Mediterranean recipes, including this cod, cherry tomato, and green olive tray roast.  Looks smashing doesn’t it.

Cod Cherry Tomato and Green Olive Tray Roast

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

get yourself a cookery book

A Mediterranean Diet is Good for You

Is there anything a Mediterranean Diet can’t cure?

Specifically, I wonder if a Mediterranean diet can help to cure this terrible head-cold I’ve suddenly contracted?  Or more likely stop me from catching a cold in the first place? Well yes it could ~ but only if I really upped the amount of raw garlic I eat.

A diet rich in oily fish, fresh vegetables, olive oil, garlic, and nuts protects our bodies and our brains, especially as we get older.  However, to get the most benefit from a Mediterranean diet we also need to cut down on alcohol ~ one drink a day for women, (try not to spill it, and drink red wine, not white), and one or two drinks a day for men.  Lucky for me I don’t drink at all these days.  But, a glass of red wine every day is actually very good for you.

It isn’t only the Mediterranean peoples who ate that type of diet, the Vikings did too, and nobody ever accused a viking of being a sickly wuss.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.  ~  Hippocrates

People from the Mediterranean region have longer life expectancies and are generally healthier than people from Northern Europe and the United States of America.  The United Kingdom ranks 19th and the USA 31st in terms of average life expectancy, (out of 183 counties listed).

People from around the sunny Mediterranean have lower risks of suffering; Alzheimer’s disease,  type 2 diabetes, cancers, colitis, depression, heart diseases, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, and strokes.  Trust me, you do not want to get type 2 diabetes, and you really, really, don’t want to have a stroke.

A proper Mediterranean diet isn’t all baguettes, pizza, pasta, and roasted lamb with lots of herbs.  A healthy Mediterranean diet consists of the region’s fruits, vegetables, (especially leafy greens like spinach), seafood, olive oil, cheese, and a couple of glasses of a robust red wine.  These are all anti-inflammatory foods.

But you also need to add a lot of fresh air, sunshine, and lots of physical activity to the mixture to obtain the most benefits.  If you are not already doing so, then you should walk 10,000 steps a day, both to improve your health and help prevent an early death.

Modern scientific evidence suggests that many, (some), of the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet accrue directly from all the good olive oil included in just about every recipe, dish, meal eaten around the Mare Nostrum.

Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fatty acids, (MUFAs), which are supposed to be good for you ~ at least the Mayo Clinic says that MUFAs are good for you.  In fact the well-respected Mayo Clinic says that olive oil is good for you ~ in moderation.

So; your Mediterranean diet should include;

  • The very best extra virgin olive oil you can get.  Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on Earth.  Only ever buy extra virgin olive oil.
  • Fresh fish.  The oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, pilchards, and sardines are full of vitamins D, B, omega 3 fatty acids, and selenium.  Eating oily fish a couple of times a week is said to help prevent; arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, prostate cancer, schizophrenia, and blindness / impaired vision.
  • Green fruits and vegetables.  It seems that eating green plant stuff can reduce the risk of cancer, helps maintain strong bones and good teeth, and promotes the health of your eyesight in your senior years.  Popeye was right all along, spinach is good for you ~ and so are kale and dandelion leaves.
  • Garlic.  Everyone knows that Mediterranean people eat a lot of garlic.  The Ancient Egyptians used garlic as a medicine.  Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed a hell of a lot of garlic.  The health benefits of garlic include; fighting off allergies, keeping bacterial and viral infections at bay, improving your skin, prevents colds and sore throats, reduces the risk of thrombosis, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps prevent type 2 diabetes, reduces cancer risks, helps beat anaemia, and improves your sex life, (if she can stand the smell).  If you can manage it, eat raw garlic, especially if you have dental problems.
  • Nuts and seeds.  Walnuts, almonds and other nuts are good for your heart.  It seems nuts and seeds contain lots of unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, fibre, vitamin E, and something called L-arginine.  Allegedly L-arginine does wonders for your sex life.
  • A glass of a robust red wine, (when I was drinking I would always choose an Italian red).  The health benefits of red wine were known as far back as the ancient Egyptians.  It seems a regular glass of red wine boosts heart health, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces the risk of degenerative diseases, helps reduce he risks of type 2 diabetes, stops you being so obese, and may prevent Alzheimer’s

However, some things about the Mediterranean lifestyle are very, very bad for you. Men from the Mediterranean coasts of; Spain, France, Corsica, Italy, Greece, (and less desirable places like Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and Albania), smoke far too much, drive like maniacs in unroadworthy heaps, drive when they’re drunk, and sleep in the afternoons when they’re drunk.  In medieval Hell-Holes like Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt you will just get ripped off and / or assaulted / shot / blown up.

And yet, parts of the Mediterranean are among the most beautiful, most magical, most spiritual places on this Mother Earth.  Guys, take your girl there, soon and often.

I’m glad I am a woman who once danced naked in the Mediterranean Sea at Midnight.  ~  Mercedes McCambridge

A Mediterranean Diet is not only good for you, it has some utterly fabulous, great tasting recipes.  Mix Mediterranean with Paleo and you may well have the perfect diet for your health, fitness, well-being, and gustatory satisfaction.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

get robust red wine delivered

Food on Friday ~ Strawberries

Summer, you just have to have strawberries and champagne.

We have just had the tennis circuit here for Wimbledon Fortnight.  The glitterati and beautiful people who are lucky enough to get into the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club eat strawberries by the ton and drink champagne by the boat load.

I don’t much like watching sports, but I do like strawberries and cream ~ actually my favourite is strawberries with chocolate ice cream.  Some new evidence says strawberries are good for you.  Strawberries may prevent age-related mental decline.

We should really only ever buy organic strawberries, as this lovely summer fruit often contains the residue of 20 or more synthetic chemicals, (probably because strawberries are mostly made of water they take up every pesticide that gets anywhere near to the strawberry beds).

Anyway, here are some cool strawberry recipes for a warm summer.  And, who knew that strawberries are an aphrodisiac?  After all, the pomegranate and strawberries are the fruits of Aphrodite.

First this week we have Petra at Food Eat Love who has some different dishes  with strawberries; strawberry bread and butter pudding with dulce de leche, and beef spring rolls with a strawberry and soy dip.  Petra says this is a true 10 minute dish which makes a great snack or starter.  Hey, you could take this to work with some salad for a midweek lunch.

Beef Spring Rolls with a Strawberry and Soy Dip

Here’s a fabulously beautiful dish from Heather Christo; saffron strawberry quinoa salad.  Great for a summer barbecue because it holds it’s flavour well in the sunshine, vegan and gluten free, and for you Californians, you can now buy saffron at Trader Joes.  This brilliant dish should take you about 40 minutes to prepare.

Saffron Strawberry Quinoa Salad

Dana, the Minimalist Baker has this strawberry arugula salad ~ and the sweet strawberries perfectly complement the peppery arugula and toasted pecans.  Wonderful on a hot day with a glass of fizz.  This is so easy and will take you about 30 minutes.  I’m pretty certain it’s vegan and gluten free.

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Toasted Pecans

A really cool recipe from Teighan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; lemon ricotta cheese stuffed french toast crepes with vanilla stewed strawberries.  What a great desert, breakfast, or evening-time snack.  OK, this is going to take you an hour to make, but what a great way to pass an hour.  Not to mention you can prepare a lot of this in advance.

Lemon Ricotta Cheese Stuffed French Toast Crepes with Vanilla Stewed Strawberries 

Now for something to go with just about anything, Cookie + kate have a good-looking strawberry salsa to tempt our palates.  You can make this in 10 minutes and it’s definitely vegan and gluten free, (leaving aside any chips or crackers to have with it).

Strawberry Salsa

Lemon Ricotta Cheese Stuffed French Toast Crepes with Vanilla Stewed Strawberries

From San Diego girl Averie Sunshine, something I think you’ll like; strawberry layer cake with strawberry frosting.  Averie cheats a little in that she starts with a 15 oz box of white cake mix, but after that this pretty easy recipe is all her own.

Strawberry Layer Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is has found this really fun and very adult recipe from Joy the Baker; strawberry raspberry rosé slushies.  This is definitely a n’awlins recipe because not only does it have a bottle of dry rosé wine, it also contains a good splash of Campari.  (You could go totally wild and add brandy too.)

Strawberry Raspberry Rosé Slushies

Finally for this week, from Absolut, makers of Swedish vodka, we have 75 drinks with strawberries including the famous strawberry kick.

Vodka and strawberries are a very dangerous mixture to give to your Lady Friend.  You have been warned.

Personally, I liked champagne with strawberries, for preference Lanson Black Label or Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label.  A good Prosecco is nice with strawberries too, and much cheaper than a good champagne.  Sometimes it’s a damn shame I don’t drink anymore.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

click to buy Prosscco

 

 

salmon strawberry & nectarines

Food on Friday ~ Gluten-Free

We may all be sensitive to gluten.

In yesterday’s post I wrote about how bad gluten can be for some people, and how bad modern American wheat is for everyone.  Ergo, today’s Food on Friday features gluten-free recipes for those of us who don’t want to consume wheat flour, and for those of us who may have some degree of non celiac gluten intolerance.

Heather Christo’s website holds all allergen free, and mostly gluten-free recipes.  Not only do they all sound delicious and nutritious, but all of Heather’s dishes look absolutely beautiful.  Recently, as well as featuring grilled nectarine balsamic chicken, blackberry coconut oatmeal muffins, (both vegan and gluten free), and telling us everything we need to know about gluten free beer, Heather has a great recipe for grilled salmon, strawberries, and nectarine kebabs.  Looks fantastic.

Grilled Salmon, Strawberries, and Nectarine Kebabs

San Diego cook Averie Sunshine has a great recipe for spicy baked eggs and hash brown casserole, a pumpkin and cheesy baked potato casserole, as well as this creamy and crispy hash browns frittata, and Averie says all of these are both vegetarian and gluten-free.

Creamy and Crispy Hash Browns Frittata

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has this really easy recipe for garlic shrimp spring rolls with tamarind vinaigrette, Vietnamese inspired and gluten-free.  This should be ready in 35 minutes and would make a fabulous midweek dinner.

Garlic Shrimp Spring Rolls with Tamarind Vinaigrette

Todd & Diane, the White on Rice Couple have a stack of vegetarian and gluten-free recipes. But being a meat-eater, I really like the look of this sriracha roast chicken with sriracha gravy.

Sriracha Roast Chicken with Sriracha Gravy

From Group SOI, purveyors of Italian Food Solutions, we have a quinoa salad with cardamom and coriander extra virgin olive oil.  Quinoa has become one of the most popular health foods, as it’s high in protein, has all nine essential amino acids, and is gluten-free.

Quinoa Salad with Cardamom and Coriander Extra Virgin Olive Oil

If you want to be gluten-free, but you must have noodles, then try Ramen Noodles.  Ramen Noodles should be gluten free, but it’s always worth checking the labels.  So, from Teighan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these 15 minute garlic butter Ramen noodles.  What could be easier for a midweek dinner?

15 Minute Garlic Butter Ramen Noodles

For those of us who like recipe collections, Woman’s Day has 40 delicious dinner recipes you won’t even realize are gluten-free, including this fantastic looking balsamic chicken with apple, lentil, and spinach salad.  This very easy dinner should be ready in just 25 minutes.

Balsamic Chicken with Apple, Lentil and Spinach Salad

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there are loads of gluten-free cookbooks

 

 

 

click on the book

Gluten Intolerance

A gluten-free diet is more than just a fad.

Some say that gluten is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease.  And, that non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a real medical condition.  All I know is that I’ve felt healthier, fitter, and more alert since I realised that wheat is bad for you.  Especially genetically enhanced, chemical laden, pesticide sprayed, modern American wheat is really, really bad for you.  If you have the sense your mother gave you, then you should stop eating anything made from wheat.

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are direct results of American agriculture policy and, specifically, the government’s wading into the food arena.  ~  Joel Salatin.

Gluten is what makes flour and water as sticky as glue.  Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like; wheat, spelt, rye, barley, bulgur, oats, and seitan.  There is no gluten in either quinoa or rice.  Nor is there any gluten in potato or beans.  However gluten is found in almost all processed and packaged foods, sauces, and canned food.

Non celiac gluten sensitivity is poorly understood, and there are no specific medical tests of your blood, stool, or urine that can reliably diagnose gluten intolerance.  You and your doctors can only reliably diagnose gluten intolerance by the symptoms and health problems you have.  On the other hand, there are reliable diagnostic tests for full-blown celiac disease.

Common digestive and health problems caused by gluten intolerance include;

  • Irritable bowl problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhoea.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Irritation of the mouth and throat.
  • Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, problematic memory.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability.
  • Low energy and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Muscle and joint pains.  Osteoporosis.
  • Peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs.
  • Skin problems, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, skin rashes.
  • Nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency, anemia.
  • Asthmatic attacks.
  • Higher risk of learning problems including autism and ADHD.
  • Sexual problems and in women missed periods.
  • Gut autoimmunity, damage to the gut biome

Gluten intolerance will affect every single part of the body as the bacteria in your gut help to control everything from nutrient absorption, to hormone production, to metabolic function, to the way your brain works.

The problem is that gluten from wheat is found in just as many products as that other evil and unnatural food; high fructose corn syrup.  One should read the labels before buying any food, and certainly avoid these foods

  • bread, crackers, pizza, burritos, tortilla, cakes, cookies and the like
  • beer, lager, stouts, ales
  • barley malt
  • packaged, store bought chicken broth
  • malt vinegar ~ buy natural organic apple cider vinegar instead
  • most salad dressings including mayonnaise
  • veggie burgers unless they are certified gluten-free
  • soy sauce
  • packets of seasonings and spice mixes
  • noodles unless they are rice noodles
  • all pasta, (unless it’s marked gluten-free)
  • most condiments
  • non dairy creamer
  • miso
  • bullion cubes and stock cubes
  • canned soups
  • cheese spreads and other processed cheeses
  • sausages and hot dogs
  • ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk unless it’s from grass-fed cows.
  • Sour cream, which may contain modified food starch.

If you are even mildly gluten intolerant you will need to be very careful when eating out.  Eating out is fun, however,when eating out becomes the norm, and you find yourself eating out two, three, or more times a week, then eating out is no longer a healthy treat and is instead a bad habit.  If you are gluten intolerant dining out is very bad for your health. The same goes for buying Chinese take-out which is likely to be stuffed with MSG, (Monosodium Glutamate).  When eating out avoid fried foods, thickened sauces, and obviously bread.  Only drink gluten-free booze such as cider, wine, spirits and liqueurs, (there are gluten-free beers).  And, if you’re drinking spirits don’t have diet soda as your mixer ~ diet soda is also bad for you.

Some say that gluten intolerance might really be glyphosate poisoning.  And that pre-harvest spraying of wheat and sugar cane with Roundup makes for an easier harvest.  All I know is that I don’t want to eat food contaminated with weed-killer.

Glyphosate is for sure, in every bite of food that contains wheat.  ~  Nancy S. Mure

As it goes, wheat flour and refined sugars are just so very bad for you that your best choice is to avoid them all together.  The list of health problems caused by these two staple foods is both long and nasty.

You may want to look for non-gluten alternative foods and products, and there are lots of these if you make the effort.  Personally I have merely given up anything made with wheat flour, including; bread, cakes, pizza, pasta, cookies, canned soups… ~ and I now also make an effort to read the labels on the stuff I buy at the supermarket.

For most of us, giving up bread and beer is a pretty easy and very beneficial thing to do.

If you want to be really fit and healthy, start by never again eating anything made with wheat flour, you know it makes sense.

If you want the full story then you have to click on the links.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there is plenty of reading

prebiotics for health

With good digestion all can be turned to health.

Most people know about probiotics ~ which are ‘good’ bacteria mostly found in dairy products such as live yogurt.  Many of us buy products containing probiotics in order to improve our health.  The snag is, which among all the myriads of bacteria in the probiotics we buy are actually ‘good’ for our own unique body and gastrointestinal tract?  When we take probiotics we are taking on trust that whatever is in the live yogurt we’ve just bought will benefit us ~ and it might not.  Most probiotics in products such as yogurt are proprietary strains of bacteria created in a laboratory, and yet they are not subject to regulation.

Putting probiotics into foods that don’t naturally have the beneficial bacteria might not make these products healthier, higher quality, or worthwhile additions to the diet.  ~  Dr. Patricia Hibberd

In any event, some of us can’t abide yogurt and most other dairy products that might contain probiotics.  Milk makes me feel sick.

So what’s the alternative?  Turns out it’s prebiotics which act as a fertiliser for the ‘good’ bacteria that’s already in our gastrointestinal tract.  Prebiotics help your own ‘good’ bacteria to grow and stay healthy.  Prebiotics have many benefits that makes them a better idea than probiotics.

Why should I care one iota about the bacteria I’m carrying around in my intestines?  It seems that the bacteria in our gut has a major influence on our health and general well-being.  Some of the smart people in white coats aver that the bacteria in our intestines are even more important than that ~ allegedly our bacteria even affects our moods and behaviours.  Some say that our gut bacteria is our body’s second brain.  And, that the way people think is linked to the bacteria in their gut.  All I know is that if I eat the wrong stuff I feel slow, lethargic, and miserable.

All disease begins in the gut.  ~  Hippocrates

It’s the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut that actually digests most of the food we eat, looks after our immune system, and protects us from seriously harmful bacteria.  Our ‘good’ bacteria are essential for our good health.  Without these ‘good’ bacteria we can become prone to nasty illnesses such as; acne, early aging, autism, asthma, allergies, cancers, cardiovascular problems, colitis, anxiety and depression, diabetes, obesity, stress, ulcers, vitamin deficiency…

I need to look after my ‘good’ bacteria, and one way to do this is to eat high-fibre foods rich in the prebiotics that act as a fertiliser for the ‘good’ bacteria already in my gut.  There’s a long list, but mostly these prebiotics are raw vegetables which are quite indigestible; raw Jerusalem artichoke, raw dandelion greens, raw leeks, under-ripe banana, raw garlic, raw asparagus, raw chicory root, raw wheat bran, and onions any way you like them.  (Thank the Gods for the onions and banana ~ the rest of that list looks yuck.)  Also honey is a very potent prebiotic, as is unpasteurised apple cider vinegar, (such as Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar).

Turns out that sushi containing cooked and cooled rice is a rich source of prebiotics.  I hate sushi.

Almost nothing influences our gut bacteria as much as the food we eat.  Prebiotics are the most powerful tool at our disposal if we want to support our good bacteria ~ that is, those that are already there and are there to stay.  ~  Giulia Enders.

Prebiotics have several well-documented health benefits;

  • Improved digestion.
  • Enhanced immune system.
  • Better uptake of dietary calcium and magnesium.
  • Stronger bones, increased bone density.
  • Cancer prevention.
  • Reduced risk of dementia and other neurological disorders.
  • Reduced risk of high blood pressure and strokes.
  • Reduced risk of diabetes.
  • Better controlled weight and appetite.
  • Improved bowel regularity.
  • Better balanced hormones.
  • Reduced propensity to anxiety and depression.
  • More energy and better concentration.

Your body is colonized by a vast array of microorganisms that modulate every aspect of your health and physiology, moment to moment, and you can optimize your health by nourishing and protecting these microbes.  ~  Dr. David Perlmutter and Dr. Mercola

If you want to make the most of an increased intake of prebiotics, then under no circumstances drink diet soda, eat anything made with wheat flour, have too much refined sugar, drink too much booze, eat pasteurised flavoured yogurt, buy cereal bars or breakfast cereals, eat chips, (crisps), of any kind, and especially never have anything with high fructose corn syrup in it.  High fructose corn syrup is highly addictive and extremely bad for you.

In fact, whether you’re eating more prebiotics or not, don’t have anything listed in the preceding paragraph ~ all of those things are very bad for you.

The conclusion is; taking probiotics is most likely a waste of time, and could possibly be doing you harm, especially if you take your probiotics as a yogurt drink.  Conversely, eating foods rich in prebiotics will most likely improve your health and help to stave off several nasty, or even life-threatening illnesses.  For fitness in body, mind, and spirit, as well as improved health overall, it’s worth fertilising the ‘good’ bacteria already in your gut with prebiotics.

Luckily for me a Paleo diet is supposed to good for giving you lots of prebiotics.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

click on the picture

to buy apple cider vinegar

Food on Friday ~ Tuna

Always choose fish from a sustainable source.

Perhaps for some good reasons Tuna is nowhere near as popular as salmon.  However tuna makes a very healthy meal, and perhaps should appear more often in our menu planners.   But, always choose sustainable tuna to eat.

Many people eat canned tuna, which is OK if there’s nothing better on offer.  However, if all you’ve ever had is tuna out of a tin, then you’re missing out on one of life’s great experiences ~ fresh tuna steaks grilled on the barbecue.

Tuna is also an essential ingredient if you’re thinking of home-made sushi.

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has a fabulous recipe for a spicy brown rice seared tuna roll bowl.  This is a complete sushi dinner in 30 minutes! Looks great doesn’t it?  Tieghan also has a recipe for Korean avocado tuna sushi roll.

Spicy Brown Rice Seared Tuna Roll Bowl

Some tuna canapés from Petra at Food Eat Love; sesame crusted tuna and watermelon soldiers, and you should be able to make these in 15 minutes.  Great to serve with drinks in your yard on a sunny day.

Tuna and Watermelon Soldiers

This is a brilliant idea from Chungah at Damn Delicious ~ healthy snack boxes for an entire week’s lunches.  Greek yogurt tuna salad, an entire week in one twenty-minute tuna salad meal prep.  Now there’s no excuse for not taking a healthy lunch to work every day.

Tuna Salad Meal Prep

From our BBC good food I can offer you this Moroccan-spiced tuna, ready in 10 minutes.  Now that’s a fast, easy, healthy, and tasty dish.

Moroccan-Spiced Tuna

For those of us who really like recipe collections Cooking Light offers up 38 of their favourite fresh tuna recipes; including this very easy sesame albacore tuna.

Sesame Albacore Tuna

And, another recipe collection from delish; recipes to make you rethink tuna.  This includes an incredibly easy dish from New Orleans; poached tuna with kumquats and jalapeno.

Poached Tuna with Kumquats and Jalapeno

Drinks.  For most of these dishes you may want to drink a Japanese beer like Asahi or Sapporo, or perhaps a really good traditional sake, (try buying at Tengu Sake online).  However, Fiona Beckett at Matching food & wine, has some great wine suggestions to go with tuna.

What’s the Best Wine Match for Tuna?

And if you want to grill your tuna on the barbecue, try grilling your fish on a cedar plank.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can click on the picture

Easy Weeknight Dinners

Nothing is better than going home to good food.

For some of us, midweek dinners can be a real chore, so we resort to take-out or pre-prepared meals bought from our local supermarket.  Yet we can do better than that.  These recipes are all delicious, easy, quick and healthy.  So why not try spending a half-hour cooking something, rather than buying an

The last thing you want to do after a long day at work is spend ages standing at the stove making dinner.  So, from Averie Cooks we have this baked ham and cheese omelette, and ham and cheese are such a great pairing.

Baked Ham and Cheese Omelette

A pasta bake is such an easy and versatile dish, and Amanda Wren-Grimwood, at Chez Le Rêve Français, has this great recipe for a chicken and broccoli pasta bake.  Most of us should be able to whip this up in a half-hour.  Looks delicious to me.

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake

If you are having friends over, or you just want something more exotic, Petra at Food Eat Love has this onglet steak with loaded fries.  This will take you 10 to 15 minutes to prepare, and you can make yourself a great salad while it’s all cooking.

Onglet Steak with Loaded Fries

Talking of great salads, Tieghan Gerad at Half Baked Harvest has just posted this utterly beautiful Tuscan summer stone fruit, tomato, and burrata panzanella salad.  I love Tuscan and this is one recipe I am certainly going to put on my own regular diet.

Tuscan Summer Stone Fruit, Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

If you are vegetarian, or vegan, then maybe try this fresh tomato spinach garlic pasta from San Francisco Lady Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower.  This dish has just a few ingredients and should be ready in 30 minutes.

Fresh Tomato Spinach Garlic Pasta 

Finally for this week, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have 10 weeknight chicken breast recipes ~ including this fabulous chicken lazone.  Always worth keeping some chicken breasts in your freezer, all you have to do is remember to take what you need out of the freezer in the morning and put it in the refrigerator.

Chicken Lazone

If you have a slow cooker, then try using that to make a weeknight dinner, which will last you a couple of days ~ and you can also take to work for lunch.  There are some slow cooker recipes on an earlier post of mine.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

click the link

Food on Friday ~ Barbecue

A barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.

It’s officially summer, (well according to most people), and that’s a time to cook food out of doors.  Barbecues, are more an excuse to have a social gathering than a way of cooking food, especially in America.  Menus and recipes should perhaps be chosen with that in mind.

You know what?  I’m terrible at barbecues.

Something traditionally American for an American barbecue; sticky bourbon ribs.  Except this time it’s from English girl Amanda Wren-Greenwood living in France, and her blog Chez la Rêve Français.  This is a 2 hour recipe, but I’m certain the results will be worth it.

Sticky Bourbon Ribs

Now, from another English girl Petra, and her blog Food Eat Love, we have; a perfect day for a smoking barbecue.  You know what?  All my attempts at a barbecue smoke too much….

A Perfect Day for a Smoking Barbecue

at Cooking Up The Pantry gives us a dish that will take some time, but it’s traditionally English and will wow! your guests; barbecued leg of lamb with lots of garlic and rosemary.  I love rosemary ~ the herb I mean.

Barbecued Leg of Lamb with Lots of Garlic and Rosemary

Here’s something we probably wouldn’t have at a barbecue in England; braised bbq beef sandwich.  This is from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes and it simply looks delicious.

Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich

I know that you like collections, so here’s a great collection from Country Living; 50+ grilling recipes for an epic summer cookout.  This collection includes this very interesting coffee and brown sugar coated skirt steak.  Hmmmmm.

Coffee and Brown Sugar Coated Skirt Steak

One of the ‘must haves’ at any barbecue is some great salads. Chungah at Damn Delicious has this light and delicious looking shrimp cobb salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette.  Shrimp, bacon bits, and avocado…  what’s not to like.

Shrimp Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Heather Christo always makes a great looking salads and appetisers.  For those of you who like collections she has 10 of the best amazing healthy huge salads, including this seared tuna with chilli and mango cilantro ginger vinaigrette.  Fabulous.

Seared Tuna with Chilli and Mango Cilantro Vinaigrette

And for something to drink at your BBQ, I give you the 10 best lip-smackingly food margarita recipes.  (Is lip-smakingly even a word?)

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there are also some great barbecue salads

in last week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Food on Friday ~ Salads

Early Summer Salad Days

The sky is bright blue, the breeze is warm, and the sea is as calm as it gets.  Even here in England it’s warm enough to be thinking salads for lunch and dinner, rather than something hot, filling, and comforting.

For the busy independent lady there are a lot of upsides to making a salad for dinner; it’s a healthy option, salads are usually quick and easy, and you can have some for dinner and take some to work for lunch the following day(s).  The major downside is that you may have to go to the store more often to stock up on really fresh ingredients ~ however, if you learn to shop fast and efficiently, (like a cool guy goes to the store), than that’s not such a big issue.

These dishes are mostly vegetarian, vegan, and maybe gluten-free.

Talking about sunshine; from Averie Cooks California girl Averie Sunshine has this pink and purple potato salad. This looks so ‘pretty’, and isn’t is so much nicer to have a visually attractive dish?  A really good potato salad is such a versatile dish, and this one looks so much better than an average, run-of-the-mill potato salad.

Pink and Purple Potato Salad

Averie also has a pina colada fruit salad for us for dessert.  Personally, if I was making this I’d eschew the idea on using n0n-alcoholic pina colada mix and splash in some booze.

Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Next, from Cookie and Kate, (Cookie is the dog), we have this quinoa broccoli slaw with honey-mustard dressing.  This is vegetarian, but I have no idea if quinoa or almonds are gluten-free.  I think this dish would be great alongside Averie Sunshine’s pink and purple potato salad.

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing

I know you guys love recipe collections, and this week we have a collection from Cookie and Kate, 20 epic salad recipes ~ including this cool Thai mango salad with peanut dressing.

Thai Mango Salad with Peanut Dressing

From English girl Petra at Food Eat Love we have this most excellent and truly amazing Tasmanian olive leaf tea jelly tricolore salad.  This recipe isn’t vegan because we use mozzarella cheese, but I guess you could substitute that for a vegan cheese.

Tasmanian Olive Leaf Tea Jelly Tricolore Salad

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has spring green tossed with beets, avocado, tomato, blood oranges to give us roasted beet salad with blood orange balsamic vinaigrette.

Roasted Beet Salad with Blood Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

From Jessica Merchant at how sweet it is, we have this dead easy and very tasty marinated mozzarella melon salad.  Remember, if you want to make a vegan dish there are plenty of vegan ‘cheeses’ to choose from.

Marinated Mozzarella melon Salad

Finally for this week, from Heather Christo, how about this gorgeous nectarine panzella salad.  You can make this in less than a half-hour, it’s vegan and gluten free.  What’s not to like.

Nectarine Panzella Salad

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Thank you to all the great cooks featured

in this week’s Food on Friday.

jack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

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