Category Archives: Diet

Food on Friday ~ Autumn

fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose

In a couple of days time we will have the Autumn Equinox, the harvests will be taken in, and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness will be upon us.  I expect that you’re like me and wondering where the year went to, and how come I don’t remember what happened.

I believe that this coming Tuesday September 22nd is a time for me to make a fresh start, throw off the constraints of a summer that didn’t have much good going for it, and begin again.

A good place to start our move into Autumn, or Fall if you will, is with some good food, great recipes, and hopefully some very good company.

First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious and her warming, nutritious, delicious One Pot Chicken and Mushroom Orzo.  We all like one pan dishes don’t we?

One Pot Chicken and Mushroom Orzo

Now, Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has The 35 Most Popular Fall Recipes.  From this collection I’ve chosen a Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf.

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken and Rice Pilaf

To go with your chicken, and for the warmer days still to come this year, from Dana at Minimalist Baker we have a Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing.  And, just how pretty is that?

Raw Rainbow Veggie Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

This is a super collection from Jessica Merchant’s How Sweet Eats; 45 Of My Favorite Fall Dinner Recipes.  With so much to choose from how about a Smoky Pumpkin Bisque with Grilled Cheese Croutons?  You need to keep this recipe by you for Halloween.

Smoky Pumpkin Bisque with Grilled Cheese Croutons

This might almost be the ultimate fall dinner recipe collection ever; from Delish Magazine 61 Unbelievably Easy Fall Dinner Recipes.  From this cornucopia I’ve chosen these Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops.  If you think that pork chops only come in the dry and overcooked variety, then you should try this recipe.

Garlic Rosemary Pork Chops

Or maybe this is the ultimate Fall Recipe Collection; 50 Apple Cider Recipes You Need in Your Life this Fall.  From this Country Living apple collection I’ve picked a Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you are lucky you still have rosehips in your garden, and they make up some great medicinal recipes

Random Jottings ~ Healthy Routines and Rituals

the secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine

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exercise hard and vigorously six days a week

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when you eat is as important as what you eat

breakfast around 07:30

lunch at one o’clock

and dinner at seven in the evening

don’t ever eat late at night

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try not to get into the routine of drinking every night

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rise and go to bed at the same time every night and morning

including at weekends and on vacation

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get into the habit of walking instead of driving everywhere

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

aim to walk 10,000 paces a day

every damn day

 

Food on Friday ~ Weeknights

after a long day at work cooking is probably the last thing on your mind

Even though I am a gentleman of leisure there are times when I’m rushed for time and don’t feel like cooking anything complicated nor time-consuming for dinner.  And for most people, I know there is much more pressure on your time.  So this Friday I’m concentrating on easy recipes that are perfect for weeknights.

Even tough you might be tired and under time pressure after a hard day at work, please take the time to enjoy cooking and eating your meals.  Be mindful of your food.

First up, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these weeknight style Crockpot BBQ  Beer Chicken Taquitos ~ with Street Corn Salas and Lime Crema.

Crockpot BBQ  Beer Chicken Taquitos

From Holly at Spend with Pennies, how about this Easy Tuna Casserole?

Easy Tuna Casserole

This is really easy from Ali at Gimmie Some Oven; Brown Butter Lemon Pasta.  And, I agree with Ali here, buy the very best ingredients you can afford, especially for  simple dishes such as this.

Brown Butter Lemon Pasta

For a side dish, or just something healthy on its own, from Cookie + kate we have this Easy Tomato Salad ~ how wonderful if you have tomatoes growing in your own garden.

Easy Tomato Salad

This is not the first time I’ve blogged about weeknight dinners.  Back in May 2018 there was another post entitled Weeknight Dinners.  Among the recipes I covered there is this Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread.  From Averie Cooks.  Looks delicious.

Prosciutto and Balsamic Greens Flatbread

Our collection this Friday is from Delish magazine; 80 Easiest Weeknight Meals Ever, and I’ve chosen to feature this fabulous looking Spinach Lasagna.

Spinach Lasagna

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the simplest meal ever

just add cheese

Food on Friday ~ Italian Style

Italian Style is all about a life of good taste

What cool and elegant person hasn’t admired Italian Style?  The homes, the clothes, the shoes, the furniture, the cars, the boats, the food, the wine…..  Ferrari, Lamborghini, Versace, Gucci, Giannini, Prada, Ferragamo, Valpolicella, Chianti, Barolo, Pinot Grigo…..  I hope that most of you will recognise most of those names and be able to add a few of your own to my list.

I like Italy, I like Italy a lot.  But one thing you have to know about Italy and the Italians is that their history was as volatile and complex as they are today, and it wasn’t even a completely unified country until 1918, after the Great War.

Maybe because of this Italian Style, Italian food and wine is very regional, and when we say Italian Food we really mean the Italian food we eat in England, America, Australia, and elsewhere outside of Italy.  If you want to know what really great, real Italian food is like then visit Italy.  And if you want to know I love Tuscany.

Enough background, first this week we have a Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese with Spicy Basil Breadcrumbs from Jessica at How Sweet Eats.

Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese with Spicy Basil Breadcrumbs

Another zucchini recipe, this one from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; Zucchini Parmesan Chicken Meatballs with Lemon Pasta Carbonara.

Zucchini Parmesan Chicken Meatballs with Lemon Pasta Carbonara

One of my favourite Italian Recipes, best eaten in Tuscany with fresh pasta of course, is Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken,  this from Alyssia Rivers at The Recipe Critic.

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

And now I have a collection for you; 65 Italian-American Dinner Ideas from Delish Magazine.  Of course I’ve chosen to feature their very easy Flatbread Pizza.

Flatbread Pizza

Another collection, from bon apetit; 48 Classic Italian Recipes That Make Us Want To Quit Our Jobs……  And from that I’ve chosen something easy that will use up some of those leftovers cluttering up your refrigerator, a Sausage and Broccolini Rabe Frittata.  Easy, tasty, great to take for your lunchroom break.

Sausage and Broccolini Rabe Frittata

Finally for this week, and entirely different kind of collection, from a website called Great Italian Chefs, which has a myriad of regional recipes, I’ve chosen this classic Rigatoni Imbottiti ~ Italian-American it isn’t.

Rigatoni Imbottiti

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Franciacorta Italian Wines

Food on Friday ~ Corn

sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn ~ Garrison Keillor

Corn is a quintessentially American staple.  Just like the potato and the tomato, corn or maize, was brought back to Europe from Central America by the Conquistadores.  In actuality corn is a Mexican grain, and can be found in many indigenous recipes. While here in England we really only roast, grill, or barbeque the whole cob and serve it with butter.  Canned corn is a second choice to canned peas for us.

Maize / Corn is the most grown cereal grain in the world, and the most sprayed with glyphosate, so always buy organic corn if it’s available.  Most corn isn’t eaten by humans anyway ~ it’s fed to animals, makes bio-diesel, and that wonderful stuff high-fructose corn syrup.

If you’re growing your own corn, plant it in a block not in rows, and grow it alongside kale, peas, or beans.

Our first corn recipe this week is from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower.  Her Small Batch Shrimp Boil is tossed with half-cobs and served in a buttery garlic sauce.

Small Batch Shrimp Boil

From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these great looking Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Corn Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers, looks tasty.

Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Corn Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Cookie + kate bring us these Sweet Corn Salad Wraps; simple, healthy, vegetarian, and tasty.  What a great lunch on a warm summer day.

Sweet Corn Salad Wraps

I was looking for a Mexican street recipe and I found Mexican Street Corn Bowls at Damn Delicious.  Chungah is good at street food.

Mexican Street Corn Bowls

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats can always be relied upon to produce something interestingly pretty.  This Coffee Crusted Strip Steak with Herbed Corn Salasa ticks all the boxes.

Coffee Crusted Strip Steak with Herbed Corn Salsa

Our collection this week is from epicurious; 79 Corn Recipes to Enjoy All Summer Long.  Featured is this utterly simple, no fuss, always welcome, Grilled Corn on the Cob with Salt-and-Pepper Butter.  Nothing easier or better.  Who says they can’t cook?  Anyone can make this.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Salt-and-Pepper Butter

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

growing corn is highly mechanised

including scary crop-dusters

 

Avoiding Dementia

first it takes your mind, then it takes your life

there are strong links between boozing and dementia

Dementia actually kills four times as many people as all the deaths attributed to COVID-19, even at the height of the supposed pandemic.  And, dementia kills people in a particularly horrible and distressing way.  I am not and have never been worried about the coronavirus, but becoming a shadow of myself through the hell of dementia frightens me, if I ever let myself think about it.

However, dementia is not inevitable, it’s not all down to random chance, it’s not all down to genetics, and it’s not a pestilence inflicted by a malicious God.  Your mind does not have to be blown to dust ~ there are things we can do right now to help ourselves avoid the unimaginable suffering of being locked inside a mind afflicted by Alzheimer’s, or a softening of the brain, or whatever else causes this insanity.

Dementia is not primarily a mental illness, it is physical degradation of the brain.

A hell of a lot of dementia is caused by the lifestyle choices we make.  To reduce your chances of becoming a shell of who you used to be then;

  • get plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise
  • keep mentally and socially active, do not sit in front of the TV or computer screen for hours at a time
  • keep regular hours and get enough good sleep ~ 6 to 8 hours a night
  • do not smoke ~ and if you do give it up, forever
  • do not drink to excess ~ avoid binge drinking
  • do not take drugs, and I mean strong medication as well as street drugs
  • have a good healthy diet; avoiding fat, sugar, wheat and other grains, dairy products, junk food and takeout, and especially high fructose corn syrup
  • do not get avoidable diabetes
  • do not get obese, regularly check your Body Mass Index
  • control your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • avoid hearing loss
  • focus on your general health and well-being; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ~ especially do all you can to avoid suffering from prolonged clinical depression
  • do not to get sick from social diseases, so avoid; casual sex, using dirty needles, socialising with the dregs of society, drinking in sleazy bars, and taking vacations in disease riddled hell-holes like India
  • do not get a head injury, so wear a helmet when cycling and avoid contact sports such as boxing.  Do not get into bar fights.
  • stay very clean; wash, shower, get in the tub, wear gloves for dirty jobs, wear clean clothes every day, change your bed-linen weekly
  • do not get sent to jail

As it goes, all of the above are things that right-minded, self-disciplined, ethical and sensible people will do as a matter of course.  There are two other things that will help you not to get dementia; be male and die young.

Some say that COVID-19 is the new plague sent by a vengeful deity.  And that dementia only affects the very old.  All I know is that all disease and infirmity is mostly preventable.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

probably heading for dementia

 

Food on Friday ~ Gluten Intolerance

a gluten-free diet is not just a fad ~ modern wheat is bad for everyone

Some say that wheat is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease.  And, that non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a real medical condition.  So why is wheat 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 turns a mixture of flower and water into 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.  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.  Try to 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.

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

Some say that if you want to be really fit and healthy, start by never again eating anything made with wheat flour.  And that you know it makes sense.   All I know is that I’ve felt healthier, fitter, and more alert since I realised that wheat is bad for you.

~

jack collier

 

sigh…. Guinness and brown bread with Irish Stew is so good…..

Food on Friday ~ Quick and Easy

my friend cooks with wine, sometimes she even adds it to the food

In an ideal world each of us would have a gorgeous kitchen, a larder full of exactly the right ingredients, and lots of time to create wonderfully, brilliant, healthy and tasty dishes.  Mostly the world isn’t like that, and for many of us there are so many other things we need and want to do rather than stand over a hot stove.  Particularly when the weather is wonderful ~ or we have to go to work.  Or have a long, hot, soak in the tub.

This week we’re concentrating on quicker and easier wonderful, brilliant, healthy, and tasty recipes.

First up this week, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; 15 Minute Garlic Butter Ramen Noodles.  Simple, easy, fast, and looking delicious.

15 Minute Garlic Butter Ramen Noodles

Another noodles dish, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious; Quick Chicken Ramen Noodle Stir Fry.  I like stir fry dishes, my perfect one pan meal every time.  This one should be ready in 30 minutes.

Quick Chicken Ramen Noodle Stir Fry

Something I must try, from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb is a Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet.  This is a one pan dish you should be ale to prepare and cook in just 30 minutes, less if your seasoning is ready mixed.

Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet

At this time of year some of you may have peppers growing in your yard.  From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have these Grilled Marinated Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs.  This dish may take a little longer than the others we’re looking at this week, but it’s a very relaxing kind of longer.

Grilled Marinated Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs

Our first collection this week is from Diane, The Minimalist Baker 26 Quick & Easy Recipes, all of which should be ready in 30 minutes or less.  As the weather is not only mostly sunny, it’s also probably hot where you are, I’ve chosen to feature this Greek Goddess Bowl ~ something an Aphrodite would enjoy.

Greek Goddess Bowl

Another collection, this time from Country Living; 77 Best Quick, Easy Dinner Recipes You Can Make In 30 Minutes or Less.  I’ve chosen to feature this dish of Grilled Pesto Chicken with Summer Squash ~ and talking of things you may have in your vegetable patch, how brilliant if you have squash growing in your yard.

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Summer Squash

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

we each have our own idea of an Aphrodite

Food on Friday ~ Arugula

arugula is an American made-up modern word

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs is an absolute mine of information when it comes to the annual weed we call by a variety of names, including roquette, rocket and arugula.  Mind you, anyone with an ambition to be an herbalist could do no better than to begin by following the brilliant website.  This cruciferous Mediterranean salad green has a stack of health benefits, and for most men is a much preferred alternative to kale.  (My straw poll tells me that Kale does seem to be much more liked by the distaff side of the table.)

Parmesan Chicken Arugula

Our first new recipe this week is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats and it’s especially for those who may have just stopped ‘working from home’ and gone back into the office.  So, for breakfast or lunch how about a Gruyere, Fig Jam and Arugula Sandwich?

Gruyere, Fig Jam, and Arugula Sandwich

This looks tasty from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, Sun-Dried Tomato Pistou Pasta with Arugula.  This seems to be really easy, using only a few ingredients you may already have in your larder.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pistou Pasta with Arugula

You can’t get anything much easier and tastier than this Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan from Heidi at Foodie Crush.  (Actually you get 3 recipes for the price of one here.)

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Our first collection this week is from delish; 15 Ways to Add Arugula to Everything.  I found this super looking recipe for Pork Chops with Arugula Pesto and Roasted Cauliflower.  (OK some don’t like pork chops, but some love them.  And there are another 14 recipes in this collection).

Pork Chops with Arugula Pesto and Roasted Cauliflower

The second collection this week is from Cookie + kate who offer us 29 Epic Salad Recipes. which includes an Arugula, Dried Cherry and Wild Rice Salad with a Zippy Lemon Dressing.  How pretty!

Arugula, Dried Cherry, and Wild Rice with a Zippy Lemon Dressing

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

for a change, some kale

blackened shrimp kale caesar salad

 

Food on Friday ~ Summer Salads

create healthy habits, not restrictions and rules

It’s hot, it’s sunny, it’s time for a cool drink and a fabulous salad.   After all this self-isolation, comfort eating, and processed food it’s time to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  And we all know that salads are brilliant at this time of year.  Preferably eaten in the sunshine and fresh air.

This quick, healthy arugula salad with lemon balsamic dressing is from Erin Clarke, at Well Plated by Erin.  It’s listed as a side dish, but I think many of us would be happy to have this for an al-fresco lunch, maybe with some salmon or chicken added.

Arugula Salad

This is fabulous from The Bojon Gourmet; vegan caprese salad with peaches and arugula.  Here a vegan mozzarella is used, but if you don’t want to be so strict you could choose an alternative.  BTW, I love heirloom tomatoes.

Vegan Caprese Salad with Peaches & Arugula

And now for something completely different from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; panzanella with marinated chickpeas and chimchurri.  Bread in a salad, now that is different!

Panzanella with Marinated Chickpeas and Chimchurri

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a recipe for heirloom tomato soba noodle salad, and as I already said I like heirloom tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Soba Noodle Salad

Trust Amanda at Chez le Reve Francais to come up with something decadent; an asparagus, broccoli, and endamame salad.  Looks deliciously different.

Asparagus Broccoli and Endamame Salad

Finally this week is from Chunghah at Damn Delicious, how about this grilled Greek chicken salad, served with tzatziki dressing?

Grilled Greek Chicken Salad

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

a Mediterranean Salad

from Heather Christo

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