Category Archives: Cooking

Keto Diet Myths

Jack Spratt could eat no fat
his wife could eat no lean

apple, butter, and sage pork chops

Some confuse the Keto diet with the Paleo diet, and while there are some similarities, in reality they are radically different, and you will be on one or the other for completely different reasons.  The Paleo diet is all about a healthy way of eating that should normalise your weight.  Other benefits of the Paleo diet are improved heart and circulatory health, less inflammation, and it also helps people with type 2 diabetes, and / or staves off diabetes.

The Ketogenic Diet is something else all together.  It’s also a low / zero carb way of eating, (less than 50 grams of carbs per day), but the key thing is that it’s a very, very high fat diet.  Among the principal benefits claimed for the Keto Diet are that it helps with diabetes, polycystic ovaries, and it also staves of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, drug-resistant epilepsy and acne.  But mainly, the Keto diet is about weight loss.

I have read that one should not begin a proper Ketogenic Diet unless you have proper medical supervision, because the whole point of the keto diet is to completely change the metabolism of your body, especially the way the liver works.  Instead of turning carbohydrates into glucose, your liver must turn fat into ketones.  Thereby your body will become incredibly efficient at burning fat.  You will see a massive reduction in blood sugar and insulin levels.  Once you start this diet it will take your body 3 to 5 days to reach the point where it switches from using sugar to using ketones.

One danger of the keto diet is ketoacidocis, where excessive ketone bodies accumulate and you will get a dangerously toxic level of acid in your blood.

On the keto diet you don’t eat carbohydrates, (less than 50g a day, say a bagel), and only 10% to 20% of your daily food intake should be protein.  The rest of what you consume is fat.

Eat; high fat meat like bacon and a good steak, cocoa butter, lard, goose fat, olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, almond oil, avocado, coconut meat, fat-rich nuts and seeds, green low-carb vegetables, butter, hard cheeses, wild caught oily fish, liver, eggs, dark chocolate, hard liquor without a sweetened mixer…..

Do not eat; any grains or anything made from flour, like bread, refined sugars, mayonnaise and the like, starchy root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes, corn, squash, fruits, fruit juices, peas, beans, peanuts, anything marked ‘low fat’, beer, wine, flavoured and sweet booze….

The keto diet can be dangerous causing; low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies, Beri Beri, heart and circulatory disease, dizziness, low energy, mood swings, upset stomach.  The keto diet is very antisocial.  The keto diet is utterly unsafe for anyone who has problems with their pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder.

Some say the keto diet is a great way to lose weight fast.  And that it helped with their diabetes.  All I know is I wouldn’t try this without consulting my doctor and a dietitian.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can drink this with a little spring water

 

 

 

Food on Friday ~ Muffins

I’ve been told some people are obsessed with bran muffins

Now I’m not certain what’s going on, but several of the cooks whose blogs I follow have posts about muffins this week.  I looked it up, thinking it was National Muffin Week or something, but no, it’s seems it’s just one of those spooky coincidences that keeps happening for me right now.

National Muffin Day in the USA is actually February 20th.

Two interesting things; #1 here in England we do not eat a lot of English muffins.  #2 I didn’t know there was a second meaning for the word muffin, or stud muffin at any rate.

However, be all that as it may, here are some cool muffin recipes, which I may have to reprise on February 20th, or not.

First up this week we have Heather Christo’s delicious looking almond poppyseed muffins, and being from Heather they are allergen free, vegan, and gluten free.  All I know is they look very yummy.

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a recipe for ube mochi muffins.  I have to admit the only bit of that I understand is muffins, but these little cakes look fantastic and I would be interested to try them.

Ube Mochi Muffins

And I thought I should include a recipe for ‘space muffins’ for those of you who would like to ingest their marijuana.  Personally, I cannot see the attraction, but then I have enough of a problem with booze.

Cannabis Muffins

Now for something else completely different we have these pizza muffins from In Dianes Kitchen.  Now that is a good idea for a pre-prepared snack or for something to take to work for lunch.

Pizza Muffins

Erin Clarke, at Well Plated by Erin has a cool collection of healthy muffin recipes.  I very much like the look of her unique muffin recipes, especially the gingerbread apple muffins.  How interesting.

Gingerbread Apple Muffins

Our last collection this week is from delish magazine; 52 muffins to make your morning a little more enjoyable.  From this great collection I’ve chosen to feature the chocolate lover’s chocolate chocolate-chip muffins by our friend Averie Sunshine.

Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Paleo Diet Myths

agriculture is all about profit, it’s never been about health

The first thing to know about the Paleo Diet is that it has bugger-all to do with the Paleolithic era of man, which actually lasted from about 3.3 million years BC until about 14,000 years ago when the Paleolithic era morphed into the Neolithic Era.  During most of the Paleolithic era people weren’t even what can be called human.  During all of that time ‘man’ used stone tools, ‘lithic’ means ‘of stone’, and the for all of that time ‘man’s’ diet was whatever he could kill or gather from the environment around him, wherever he happened to live.  Acorns don’t feature heavily in any popular diet I know of.

Since The Wolf Moon on January 10th this year my life keeps getting better and better ~ different and better.  I have made a conscious decision to turn back the clock on my lifestyle and live more like our Neolithic ancestors did ~ in terms of diet and exercise that is…..  And so help me, a proper Paleo Diet is a good starting point ~ there is a difference between some popular versions of the Paleo Diet and what is good for you.

First, what isn’t included in a Paleo Diet; refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, grains like wheat, barley, and rice…..  all of those will make you ill, maybe cause cancers, and eventually kill you.  Also avoid; Legumes like beans and peas, dairy like milk and cheese, (make your own mind up about eggs), most vegetable oils like corn oil and sunflower oil, trans fats like you find in margarine, look for the words ‘hydrogenated’ and avoid that like the plague.  Don’t consume anything with artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin, these are nasty and will hurt your body, cut down on salt.  Don’t eat processed foods, nothing from cans, no pre-prepared meals in an aluminium or plastic tray, nothing labeled ‘diet’ or ‘low-fat’.  If it looks like it was made in a factory don’t eat it.

Don’t buy take-out ~ you don’t know what’s in it, and have you ever seen around back of a take-out place?  Dirt, rats, cockroaches, dangerous filth…..  Don’t eat at restaurants too often.

What should we eat, what am I going to eat?

  • fruits and vegetables, but not legumes like beans and peas.
  • nuts and seeds, good luck on buying acorns.
  • lean meats, grass fed if possible.
  • Fish, especially those fish rich in omega-3, like salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna.  Cod and haddock are good too because you know they must be wild-caught.
  • Use good oil from fruits and nuts, extra virgin olive oil is my staple.
  • Potatoes.  Strictly speaking I shouldn’t eat high starch food, but I’m not giving up on a jacket potato with my steak.

Also I do not ever take medication, the side-effects aren’t trivial, they are effects, not innocent side-effects.  Most medication will make you very sick sooner or later, and all medication is addictive sooner or later.  Avoid alcohol and drugs, do not use pot, it will give you schizophrenia, do not ever ever even experiment with something like cocaine.  The effects on your brain never, ever go away.

Along with a good diet I will also exercise like our neolithic ancestors, and they walked.  Imagine walking down a herd of bison.  How far do you think you need to walk to exhaust a bison?

Some say that modern processed foods are a boon.  And that take-out pizza and beer makes for a healthy diet.  All I know is I want to be fit, healthy, and looking forward to a long life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you want to drink,

stick to a little red wine,

or a good British beer.

Food on Friday ~ Better than Take-Out

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well, if one has not dined well.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part in maintaining good health.  Along with plenty of fresh air and exercise it can help you look and feel your best.

This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the optimal amount of food and drink to maintain a healthy body weight.  You also need all of the essential vitamins and minerals, else you could get quite sick.

Maybe the hardest part of a healthy diet is the sheer quantity of water we should really drink, and for the average person this works out to 8 x 8 ounce glasses of water, (green tea, fruit tea, herbal tea, coffee without sugar), which is half a US gallon every day, more if you’ve been boozing.  In European terms this is 2 litres.

But today we are going to look at some great recipes for fabulous dishes ~ as a much healthier alternative than even the very best take-out.

First up this week we have hamburger steaks with a mushroom sauce from Holly at Spend With Pennies.  While there is no way on this God’s Earth that I would buy a hamburger at a fast-food outlet such as McDonalds, I think a home-made burger can be fabulous.

Hamburger Steaks with a Mushroom Sauce

Another home-made alternative to unhealthy take-out; egg roll in a bowl from Well Plated by Erin Clarke.  At one time I loved Chinese and Thai take out, but the muck is full of gluten and MSG, and I’ve seen out back of a takeout kitchen and hygiene is in a far country.

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Something that you certainly wouldn’t get from the average take-out; chinese mushroom dumplings with sweet chili ginger sesame sauce.  Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has very descriptive names for her recipes.  Good for her!

Chinese Mushroom Dumplings

Now Heather Christo always makes her food look fabulous, and this green thai currey with vegetables is no exception.  Get yourself some lemon rice and a bottle of Tiger beer to go with it.  Heather’s recipes are all allergy free, (for all I know they’re gluten free too).

Green Thai Curry with Vegetables

The Minimalist Baker’s recipes are definitely gluten free, and this easy 1 pot tikka masala looks far, far better than anything you’d get from any Indian take-out place.

Easy 1-Pot Tikka Masala

Our collection this week is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; 25 weeks of my favorite healthier weeknight dinners.  From this 175 recipe collection I’ve chosen to feature baked parmesan chicken with lemon arugula.  You can get Parmesan chicken as a take-out, but I wouldn’t.

Baked Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Arugula

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

egg-drop chicken soup

Food on Friday ~ Pot Luck Christmas

Good food is at the heart of a great Christmas and a Happy New Year

The theme for this Food on Friday was suggested to me by a friend in California ~ I would never have thought if it on my own.  Here in England the traditional Christmas Day fayre is exactly the same as a Thanksgiving Dinner ~ only better.  The idea of having a pot luck Christmas lunch / dinner is alien to an Englishman, but it does sound brilliant.  As a matter of fact, we don’t do pot luck at all in England.

Ergo these recipes should not only be fantastic in their own right, but should also be suitable to take along to a pot luck meal.

First up this week, here’s a simply delicious dish from Dianes Kitchen; baked chicken Parmesan meatballs.  Diane says these are great eaten right of the oven, or with your favorite sauce.  These look as though they would be very welcome at any pot luck.

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

If we’re looking for an appetiser to have with drinks then we could do worse than go for these fabulously festive brie bites from Erin Clarke at Well Plated by Erin.

Brie Bites with Puff Pastry

Here in England, just about the only time we eat brussel sprouts is at Christmas, so I felt I just had to include a sprouts recipe.  From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these roasted bacon brussels sprouts with salted honey.  A great side dish to take to a pot luck.

Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Salted Honey

In all my visits to the USA, I have never, ever had a decent baked potato.  That’s because you guys cook them in the microwave.  A proper jacket potato needs a very hot oven, and I’ve yet to see anyone in the USA actually use their oven,  So, since great baked potatoes would go down well at a pot luck here’s Ali from Gimmie some Oven to tell you how to do it.

The Best Baked Potatoes

So, you’re going to a pot luck and you want to really help the table along / show off how rich you are, then why not take along a whole maple glazed ham.  We have the perfect recipe from Chungah at Damn Delicious.

Maple Glazed Ham

Our collection this week comes from Taste of Home, 40 last minute Potluck ideas ready in 30 minutes or less.  From this collection I’ve chosen to feature herb-roasted olives & tomatoes, partly because the recipe is by Anndrea Bailey from Huntington Beach, California.  I like Huntington Beach.  Anyway this is a great vegan side.

Herb Roasted Olives and Tomatoes

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

30 minute Asian Chicken Soup

one of the best soup recipes ever.

I’ve made this.

Food on Friday ~ December 6th

It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.

Early December and it’s cold, dark, and drear in the run-up to Christmas.  Today there is not much cheer around here, and anyway most people are busy making their arrangements for a great Christmas holiday.

Well, I’ll be on my own in the garret again over the Christmas holidays, so one of the things I should do is cook myself some great food.  There are some very cool, very easy recipes in this post, and I hope that we can all enjoy them in the run-up to Christmas Day.  I’m wondering if there’s going to be any great Christmas time TV.

First up this week, from Barcelona we have Ali at Gimmie Some Oven who has a healthier broccoli chicken casserole, made with pasta, tender chicken, and broccoli in a cheddar mushroom sauce.  Despite everything this is a light and very healthy dish that’s really easy to prepare.

Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Now from Joy the Baker, something else with a broccoli theme; spicy broccoli pizza with homemade pizza crust.  This is far, far better than anything you could buy anywhere, and a great pre-Christmas treat for your casual guests.

Spicy Broccoli Pizza with a Homemade Pizza Crust

Dana Shultz, the Minimalist Baker has a cool recipe for one-pot chicken soup with white beans and kale.  This 30 minute recipe does look so easy to make, and it’s warming, healthy, and gluten free.  What more could you want on a cold December evening.

One-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans and Kale

Another great chicken dish, and this time the recipe is from the ever-delightful Heather Christo;  creamy tomato baked chicken and pasta.  I would use gluten free, or wholemeal pasta, but that’s your choice.  Whatever this is a great midweek dinner.

Creamy Tomato Baked Chicken and Pasta

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always gives us the longest titles for her recipes, this one is 30 minute Chinese egg drop chicken rice soup with garlicky chile oil. Say no more…..

Chinese Egg Drop Chicken Soup

The collection this week is from Country Living magazine; 85 easy Christmas appetizers that will delight all of your holiday guests.  From this huge list I’ve chosen these deviled eggs with old bay shrimp from Carrie Purcell.  But make your own choices fro your pre-Christmas drinks party and Boxing Day snacks.

Deviled Eggs with Old Bay Shrimp

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

some people are almost ready for Christmas

Eat and Drink Well

take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live

appetising, but not healthy at all

All is not well on the dietary front, all around us we see evidence of eating and drinking problems.  Until recently, I myself was suffering with a binge drinking problem.  In the West, alcoholism, eating disorders, obesity, and diabetes are all on the increase.  Cheap drink fills our supermarkets, and fast food outlets are on almost every street corner.  It’s disingenuous to say you’re living a great life when you’re ill with diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, or cancers.

There are always going to be people seeking the instant gratification to be gained from alcohol and the carefree consumption of fast food and takeout meals.  But usually, delayed gratification and the careful choice of what we eat and drink will lead to a longer and healthier life ~ and if you’re still young and beautiful, then does it matter?  Actually it does, and choose carefully because there are few second chances.

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.  ~  Mark Twain.

Assuming that eating and drinking only healthy and organic produce, and always staying totally sober is out of the question, then the secret is everything in moderation.  If possible, avoid food and drinks that are obviously unhealthy, stay away from alcohol, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and very fatty foods.  These things increase your risk of; fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes, cancers, harmful inflammations, and contain no essential nutrients whatsoever.

Try and develop some new healthy habits;

  • drink plenty of water, about 6 pints a day, (US).
  • Always eat something for breakfast.
  • Have your 5 portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Cut out wheat and dairy products, (no cheese and crackers, no milk, no bread).
  • Never, ever, buy a sandwich or a wrap.
  • Only eat good quality meats, and no processed meats at all.
  • Never, ever, have second helpings.
  • Never, ever, eat late at night.

Whatever you eat and drink, avoid too much of one thing, cut out fast foods, stay away from high fructose corn syrup, and don’t drink more than about a bottle of red wine a week.

Some say that we are what we eat.  And that a little booze never did anyone any harm at all.  All I know is that most people in the West treat their bodies like trash cans.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

simple tomato and avocado salad

 

 

Food on Friday ~ Thanksgiving

there is always something to be thankful for

Here in England the few American expats celebrate Thanksgiving, otherwise this holiday just passes us by.  Perhaps that’s why we English make such big things of Christmas and the New Year celebrations.  Anyway, with a few twists, your Thanksgiving menus are pretty much like our Christmas menus.

First, something we don’t ever have here, from the gorgeous Ali at Gimme Some Oven, this healthier Pecan Pie, (with no corn syrup).  You know something, I’ve never ever had pecan pie.

Pecan Pie

The ever-perfect Heather Christo has given us the ultimate vegan Thanksgiving, and from her list I’ve chosen this balsamic maple mustard whole roasted cauliflower ~ what a great side dish.

Balsamic Maple Mustard Whole Roasted Cauliflower

If you’re not going to roast a whole turkey then Heidi at Foodie Crush has a 30 minute recipe for a perfectly juicy roast turkey breast.  Looks like a brilliant idea to me.

Roasted Turkey Breast

Tiffany at Creme De La Crumb has offered us her reader-favorite Thanksgiving recipes; including these ‘life changing’ slow cooker mashed potatoes ~ I love a great dish of mashed spuds.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Here’s something fairly important and very useful from Diane at In Dianes Kitchen, turkey cooking facts and safety.  I well remember the first time I tried to cook a frozen turkey, what a disaster!

Turkey Cooking Facts & Safety

Finally, your collection this week is from Country Living Magazine; 56 Best Thanksgiving Recipes to Serve on Turkey Day.  I’ve chosen something different from this list; Scalloped Oysters by Nancy Fuller.

Scalloped Oysters

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

old fashioned sweet potato pie

Food on Friday ~ Sweet Potato

sweet potatoes are ideal for lazy days

I have a confession in that I’ve never really come to terms with the sweet potato.  It’s not something we ever had in England when I was in my formative years.  Also, I have no idea if what I’m looking at is a sweet potato, or a yam.  What’s the difference anyway?  I do know that a yam is not a sweet potato, the two root vegetables are completely different.

At least I can help with the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, courtesy of Holly at Spend with Pennies who has a post called sweet potato vs yam: what is the difference?

Holly also has some cool sweet potato recipes, including this very easy sweet potato casserole.  Seems it’s delicious and nutritious.  I’m guessing that Holly is very American as she has added pecan nuts to the dish.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Next, from Erin Clarke at Well Plated by Erin we have this old fashioned sweet potato pie.  Actually, this looks delicious.  Erin says this is much better than a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving ~ personally I can think of no good reason to eat pumpkin at all.

Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Pie

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a very cool recipe for twice baked sweet potatoes with pumpkin and sage.  I really want to try this ~ so perhaps there is a good reason to eat pumpkin after all.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pumpkin and Sage

Heidi at Foodie Crush also has a recipe for twice baked sweet potatoes, this time with maple syrup, white cheddar, and brown sugar bacon.  I think it would be very cool to serve both of these twice baked sweet potatoes at a party.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup, White Cheddar, and Bacon

This utterly brilliant vegan / vegetarian recipe collection is from Cookie + kate; what to cook this November.  The sweet potato recipe is sweet potato & black bean tacos with avocado-pepita dip.  These do look good.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos with Avocado- Pepita Dip

 

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ November

autumn ~ the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Here in the North of England the nights are really drawing in now ~ we will have about 8 hours of daylight today.  The weather is grey, wet, and windy.  As the tide rolls in it brings a clinging mist with it.  It’s time to think about recipes that are going to be nice and warming to come home to.  November is a darkling month for us.

Jessica at How Sweet Eats has this fabulous recipe for Tuscan tomato bean soup with kale, and if you know anything at all about Italy you’ll know that Italian winters can be even colder and wetter than our home-grown English version.  A healthy warming soup is just what you need for cold, wet weather.

Tuscan Tomato Bean Soup with Kale

From Erin Clarke at Well Plated by Erin we have this crockpot beef stew recipe.  The thing about slow cooked beef is that one can use cheaper cuts, and it’s still going to be deliciously fall-apart tender.  Here I would add carrots, swede, and potato for the vegetables.

Crockpot Beef Stew

Tieghan Gerard at How Sweet Eats has this fabulous-looking 30 minute coq au vin chicken meatballs with browned butter mashed potatoes.  I just have to try this recipe.

30 Minute Coq au Vin Chicken Meatballs

Our first collection this week is for 10 heart healthy fall dinners from Tamara Hoerner at Purple Almond Wellness.  I especially like the look of this roasted chicken and garlic potatoes with red pepper relish, originally from WomansDay.  Looks really warming, delcious, and healthy.

Roasted Chicken and Garlic Potatoes with Red Pepper Relish

Simply Recipes has a new feature and their first post in this category was called the most popular recipes in October.  From there I’ve found this feta-brined roast chicken by Irvin Lin.

Feta-Brined Roast Chicken

Last December Olive Magazine published their 30 best ever one-pot / slow-cooker recipes, and I very much like the look and sound of their brisket sandwiches with beer onions and blue cheese.  How nice with a glass of good English beer!

Brisket Sandwiches with Beer Onions and Blue Cheese

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

chicken and leek pie

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