Category Archives: Diet

Food on Friday ~ Desserts

There’s mo metaphysics on Earth like a chocolate dessert. ~ Pessoa

Now that summer is here, and some of us may be thinking of entertaining and garden parties, it might also be the right time to think of indulgent desserts.  After all, one may have the greatest grill in the district, but that means little if you can’t follow up the steak, oysters, and king crab with a really great dessert.

Some of you may also have some annual holiday celebrations coming up, I know my cousins across the pond celebrate their independence soon…..  And talking of dessert in the USA, pie and cheesecake isn’t what a great summer desert is all about.

So, first up this week, from Heather Christo, we have this vegan triple coconut sorbet.  I love sorbet, so light and refreshing on a hot summer afternoon.  This sorbet is dairy-free, nut-free, and free from soy products.

Vegan Triple Coconut Sorbet

Now, from Chungah at Damn Delicious, I offer you this substantial slow cooker apple pear crisp.  Apples and pears are such a fabulous combination ~ I used to know a great London pub called The Apples and Pears.  (In Cockney rhyming slang that doesn’t mean what you think.)

Slow Cooker Apple Pear Crisp

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a very cool  looking dessert which appeals both to the sophisticated English Gentleman and the northern street kid in me; black raspberry lavender cobbler.

Black Raspberry Lavender Cobbler

I suppose I have to include one cheesecake recipe, but to give it an English flavour I offer you this no-bake Eton mess berry cheesecake from Half Baked Harvest.  (Eton is a town near Windsor, where the Queen lives.)

No-bake Eton Mess Berry Cheescake

To bring chocolate to the table, how about a chocolate cake, or 25?  From Olive Magazine we have the best chocolate cake recipes; including this ultimate chocolate fudge cake.

Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake

Your collection this week is from Delish Magazine; 79 delish summer desert recipes you’ll be making again and again.  I confess that this collection had me at the best ever rhubarb pie.  Being a proper Northern Englishman I love rhubarb pie ~ serve it with custard or vanilla ice cream.

Best Ever Rhubarb Pie

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

and to drink with your delicious desserts,

how about champagne mojitos?

(or a nice cup of tea)

Food on Friday ~ Summer BBQ

Friends, fun, beer, and BBQ ~ it’s what summer’s all about.

When you read this I’ll probably be in the air, somewhere over the Atlantic ocean, but I’m looking forward to sampling food like this when I eventually arrive at my various destinations in the USA; Orange County, Phoenix, Sedona, Flagstaff in AZ, and probably LA and San Diego Counties too.

From my Californian friends I know that it’s already BBQ season over there, so here’s an essential accompaniment to any grill, a potato salad.  Except from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, here we have a wonderful looking pesto potato salad.

Pesto Potato Salad

Another potato side, this time from Diane’s Kitchen; simple twice baked potatoes, and the good thing about this dish is that, (if you need to), you can mostly prepare it the day before and finish it off in the oven or microwave.

Simple Twice Baked Potatoes

From Creme de la Crumb this is a fast, easy, and flavourful recipe you can just stick in the oven or broiler; sheet pan salmon, asparagus, and potatoes.  Or you could just do the salmon and asparagus and have it with a dill salad.

Sheet Pan Salmon, Asparagus, Potatoes

Talking of a dill salad, from Julia Moskin at the New York Times, we have this soft herb salad, which just cries out for whatever fresh greens you have growing in your garden.  This will go great with any BBQ’d salmon dish.

Soft Herb Salad

Your collection this week is from Olive Magazine which has 62 of the best BBQ recipes, and I especially like this very easy Miami-style blackened fish sandwich with smoked paprika mayo.  Cooking fish on the grill is so easy and deliciously cool.

Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo

And to drink with your early summer BBQ garden party; Beer.  Vine Pair has a list of the 50 best bottled beers of 2018, and at #1 the Sierra Nevada Brewing hazy little thing IPA.  If I was still a drinking man I’d quaff a few tinnies of this stuff.  IPA stands for India Pale Ale ~ Asian Indians, not the American kind.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Hazy Little Thing IPA

~

jack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

 

BBQ chicken lettuce wraps

clean, healthy, great with tequila

Food Glorious Food

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

After my depressing piece about how practicing veganism is most likely very bad for you, something more upbeat about food.

I’m more the Artful Dodger type than any wimpy snowflake like Oliver.

Note the use of the English word ‘cadge‘ at the beginning of the song.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

slow cooked Scottish beef stew

Veganism and Health

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.  ~  Albert Einstein

modern wheat is as bad for you as any slow poison.

A vegan diet is one that excludes any food that comes from an animal, fish, or whatever.  This includes eggs, dairy, meat, fish, fowl, and even things like snails and honey.  A vegan diet is exclusively plant-based; vegetables, fruit, grains, soy, legumes, nuts, and seeds.  Vegan diets usually usually exclude any canned or processed foods.  Vegan diets are extreme.

There are far more vegan women than men.  In the UK 63% of people who say they are vegan are women.  Anyhow, in the UK veganism is not exactly part of the mainstream dietary culture, there are only some 542,000 self-identified vegans here, which is 1% of the population ~ and I don’t necessarily believe there’s a half-million vegans in Great Britain.  I once dated a vegan, and she cheated all the time.

Dr. Richard Twine, a senior lecturer in social sciences, interviewed a shed-load of vegans and found that 73% were women and only 27% were male.

In America, that world epicentre for weird cults, fads, and fringe movements, only 3% of the population identify as vegan.  Amazing, as more than half of Americans believe that alien abduction, alien visitation, and UFOs are real.  Aliens probably exist.

Proper scientific studies show that true veganism can be very bad for your health, especially if you consume unhealthy plant-based food such as fruit juices, refined grains, wheat, fries, and a lot of fatty, high-calorie stuff like avocado.  The recommended daily serving is just 1/3 of a medium sized avocado.

My vegan diet brought on early menopause.  ~  Virpi Mikkonen

A vegan or vegetarian who consumes no animal products can be just as unhealthy as a slob who dines on nothing but burgers and beer.

Some health problems caused by a vegan diet include; leaky gut, hormone disruption, (including oestrogen and thyroid hormones), anemia, low omega-3 leading to anxiety and depression, lack of vitamin B12, (which can lead to irreversable memory loss and impaired cognitive function), lack of zinc, (which is especially vital for pregnant women), too much carbohydrate, (which leads to fatty liver, diabetes, and obesity), and eating disorders.

Personally, I don’t care so much if someone wants to be vegan or vegetarian, but I do object when they preach to me about my own omnivorous diet.

Some say they don’t eat meat because eating animal products is unethical.  And that being vegan reduces their carbon footprint.  All I know is that I really like a good steak.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

onglet steak, a butcher’s best kept secret.

Food on Friday ~ Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Friday, let the long weekend begin.

This Monday is Memorial Day in the USA, and late Spring Bank Holiday in the UK, which means we all get a long weekend.  The weather should be good, so it’s a perfect time for some al-fresco dining.

Enjoy these cool recipes.

From Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb we have a recipe for one pan creamy cilantro lime chicken and rice.  I really like one pan dishes, but it’s coriander here, not cilantro.  Nice by any name.

One pan Creamy Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice

This is interesting from The Flourishing Foodie, pasta with a tomato vodka cream sauce.  I’ve heard of vodka pasta sauces before, but I’ve never tried one ~ maybe it’s time that I did.

Pasta with a Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce

If you like salmon, then try this recipe for honey mustard grilled salmon with avocado basil sauce posted by Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest.  Perfect for Memorial Day.  Here in England we have a public hiliday on May 27th too, but it’s called Spring Bank Holiday ~ how boring.

Honey Mustard Grilled Salmon with Avocado Basil Sauce

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has this wonderful dish; pan seared scallops pasta carbonara.  This would be great to serve to a few friends on any holiday.

Pan Seared Scallops Pasta Carbonara

I like recipe collections, and I’m pretty certain that you do too.  Ergo from Delish we have 40 recipes for the perfect Memorial Day BBQ ~ including this fabulous recipe for grilled ranch potatoes.

Grilled Ranch Potatoes

And finally for this week 65 Memorial Day recipes for your holiday weekend barbecue, from Country Living.  I especially like this sweet-and-smoky cedar-planked salmon ~ and if you shop now you can probably get a suitable plank for Monday.

Sweet and Smoky Cedar Planked Salmon

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can buy grilling planks from Amazon

Reinvent Yourself

It’s never to late to be what you might have been.

~

Most people would like to change some things about themselves.  They may want to be fitter, to lose weight, to be more successful at work, to be more successful with the opposite sex, or maybe just to lose the terrible feeling of dissatisfaction they constantly suffer from.  Or it might be worse, some people want to lose their Borderline Personality Disorder, or paranoia or schizophrenia…..

One thing is certain, we can never get what we want by trying to change other people, nor by attempting to alter the way the world works.  The only thing we can ever change is ourselves.  But, look at the upside, when we change ourselves the whole world and everyone in it changes around us.

Reinventing ourselves into a better looking, cooler, fitter, more effective, more successful, less disturbed person is an essential process if we want to grow and flourish.

Here’s the hard thing.  To reinvent yourself into the person you really want to be requires some hard choices.  You need to be ready to walk away from aspects of your life in which you may have invested much time, effort, and money; the way you look, the personality you project, your existing career, unsuitable friendships, toxic relationships with the opposite sex, a dead-end marriage, the pub where you get drunk and try to get casual sex with anyone you may meet at the bar…..

Worse than that, you may have to forget and hide some of your past; the alcoholism, drug taking, criminal record, gambling, over-eating, casual sex, heavy smoking…..

Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself….. and reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.  ~  Charles Bukowski.

To reinvent yourself and have a truly successful life, ask yourself these questions;

  • What should I stop doing and thinking?
  • What should I start doing, thinking, and being?
  • What could and should I do less of?
  • What could and should I do more of?
  • What could I do, think, and be differently from who I used to be.

Reinventing yourself can be a difficult and lonely path, and it is not a one-shot deal.  Truly reinventing yourself is an on-going process you will have to work at, every single day.

Some say they already have everything their heart desires.  And there is nothing really wrong with them that a few days sober and clean wouldn’t put right.  All I know is that denial is the greatest block to becoming a better person.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Somebody here is going to get into trouble

or maybe they both will.

The Benefits of Exercise

Walking is the best possible exercise.
Habituate yourself to walk very far. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Climbing stairs is even better for you than walking.

Regular exercise is good for your body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  Exercise not only tires you out, which helps you to sleep, it also increases your energy levels during your waking hours.  This increased energy helps your body to fight off illness and chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.  Getting a good night’s sleep is also vital to the health of your body, mind, and spirit.

Physically, frequent exercise helps to regularise your weight ~ inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity.  Your body uses energy in 3 ways; #1 digesting the food you eat; #2 maintaining bodily functions like heartbeat, breathing, and staying upright.  #3 Physical activity, like your exercise of choice, or digging ditches, or chopping firewood.  Dieting is very bad at helping you to lose weight, a reduced calorie intake lowers your metabolic rate, which delays weight loss.  On the other hand, exercise raises your metabolic rate so you use up more calories.

Exercise also helps to build and maintain muscles and bone, because strenuous exercise releases hormones that help your body to absorb amino acids, which will delay muscle wastage in older people.  In older women, regular exercise helps prevent the bone wasting disease osteoporosis.

It has been shown to improve your mood and decrease negative feelings of depression, anxiety and stress, as regular exercise increases the productions of the good hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.  Exercise also promotes the production of endorphins which help to produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of physical and mental pain.

Exercise also helps to maintain and improve brain function; for a start your hippocampus, the bit of the brain that’s vital to memory, will stop shrinking and begin to grow, which increases mental function in older adults.  Regular physical activity also helps to stave off Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

Regular exercise means you will look much better, for a start you will begin to lose all that unattractive bloating and belly fat.  Your skin will look better because your body will be producing more antioxidants, and you will have better blood flow which delays skin aging.  Looking better means that you’re more attractive to the opposite sex.  Not only that but being fitter means that your sexual performance will be better, (women will have more and better orgasms if they take a reasonable amount of exercise).

I was in a bureau de change today, talking with the young lady cashier, (teller), about my walking at least 10,000 steps a day.  And she said; ‘is all that walking why you look so young?’

HA!

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

yoga is damn good exercise too

and, I can hold the tree position

HA!

Negative Emotions

Cultivate love within you and negative emotions will disappear.

Negative emotions are so all-pervasive that doctors will now prescribe drugs like Prozac and Valium to patients who are merely feeling mild anxiety.  Really negative emotions, such as; anger, boredom, confusion, despair, disappointment, fear, grief, jealousy, resentment….. are extremely powerful and painful.  Medication, and self-medication such as booze, are no solution whatsoever.  Go down that road and you will become hypersensitive to your feelings, and take more and more of the drugs of your choice in an attempt to medicate them away.

This is just treating the symptoms, and it doesn’t work.  I should know, for many years I had a pot-mess of those negative feelings running through my psyche.  And none of those negative emotions did me any good at all.

So, what takes people back to the doctor, the pharmacy, the drug dealer, and the bar?  Not to mention the casino, the refrigerator, unsuitable relationships, and casual sex.  Escaping painful thoughts and negative emotions drive people to do stupid things, all in an effort to find a pleasure rush that will ameliorate those bad thoughts and terrible feelings.

There is also the thought that just one drink, or one piece of cake, or one small wager wouldn’t hurt at all.  Besides, you’ve been pretty good all week, so one little slip is OK.  Forget that, escaping really negative emotions takes a lot more than just one drink, or one night fucking a stranger.  And the guilt you will feel, (even if you don’t acknowledge that guilt), will make your bad feelings worse.

Your mind will tell you that you might as well give up on losing weight, staying sober, being good, because it’s pointless.  You will never get better, just take another pill and have another drink.

To truly escape those negative emotions and bad feelings you have to find another way.  This might involve a 12-step group, talking therapy, or completely changing your lifestyle ~ more exercise is good.  Try walking 10,000 steps a day.  Mostly, stay away from those people, places and situations that encourage you to do bad things that will only feed your negative emotions.

Some say the way to escape negative emotions is to turn to drink.  And that moving home and finding new friends is the solution.  All I know is that running away never solves anything.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

get out the back Jack

make a new plan Stan

no need to be coy Roy

Stress and Being Overweight.

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.

Stress can kill you, but in an older women stress is far more likely to drive her to comfort eating and hence pile on the pounds.  For most women less stress, or better stress management, is the key to sustainable weight loss.  Of course, for older women the menopause doesn’t help with controlling your weight at all.  There is evidence that there are changes in the brain chemistry of a menopausal woman that triggers a shift in her metabolism, causing her to overeat.

Looking for comfort food; cakes, chocolate, pizza, bread, burritos, donuts, (or drinking too much), is a common occurrence among woman of a certain age ~ of any age when stressed if it comes right down to it.  These high calorie foods and booze do pile on the pounds ~ particularly unsightly belly fat.  It’s all to do with insulin, and this energy dense stuff spikes your insulin levels, which only makes you want to eat more.

The environment doesn’t help much, there are countless fast food outlets, supermarkets promote more expensive energy dense foods, and there’s a bar on just about every street corner.  Rule #1 is stay away from fast food places, and rule #2 is that a woman on her own should never, ever go into a bar.

Associating unhealthy food and booze with good times is something your brain will program into itself, and rule #3 is that you must work hard to break that programming.  Eating unhealthy food and drinking too much booze doesn’t mean you are cool, in fact quite the opposite ~ you are perhaps pushing being an unattractive lazy person.

The really important thing for women to learn, accept, and practice is how to manage stress.  And usually it comes down to:

  • Delegate More.  Stop letting your family and friends push you into doing everything for everyone.
  • Be Creative.  People with a creative interest are much less stressed that those who don’t have that worry-free time.  Why do you think art therapy is such a big thing in rehab?
  • Take a Walk.  Walking is bloody good for you; physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Aim for 10,000 steps a day.
  • Talk to People.   And don’t go into a bar to find someone to talk with.

Some say that the change made them overeat.  And, that their happy place is the refrigerator.  All I know is that fat people often get very sick.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

regularly eat healthy and nutritious food

honey salmon in foil

 

Food on Friday ~ Midweek Dinners and Workday Lunches

There is always a great recipe for tonight’s dinner.

This week’s recipes are all about making a good midweek dinner, but just as importantly every dish described here is also going to be great to take to work the following day.  And, you know that it’s always better to take your lunch into work, rather than buy something at a deli or pay a small fortune to eat out at a restaurant.

So, try some of these and enjoy.

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest gives us something interesting and colourful with her weeknight saucy pineapple bbq chicken bowls.  As well as being perfect for any night of the week, this recipe is also perfect to take to work for lunch.

Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has this really cool recipe for spinach bacon quiche  ~  and this is a hell of a lot easier to make than you might think.  This delicious looking quiche would be great for a midweek dinner with some salad, or to take to work for brunch / lunch.

Spinach Bacon Quiche

Another quiche, (they are so great to take to work for lunch), this time an easy quiche Lorraine from Heidi at Foodie Crush.  This recipe will be great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even a midweek dinner.  Also from Heidi 14 days of healthy breakfast recipe ideas.

Easy Quiche Lorraine

Believe it or not, this grilled Thai pork tenderloin with soba noodle salad, is also an easy midweek meal.  At least Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats says it is.  The leftovers would be utterly brilliant to take to work for lunch, eaten cold, (or reserve the tenderloin and heat that in the microwave).

Grilled Thai Pork Tenderloin with Soba Noodle Salad

Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has this super recipe for one pan Spanish chicken and rice, a bold and zesty dish you can make in a half-an-hour.  Tiffany calls one of her ingredients coriander, which you may know better as cilantro.

One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice

Our collection this week is from Carrie Havranek at Simply recipes who has 6 easy Vietnamese recipes you can totally make at home.  My favourite for a midweek dinner and something great to take to work for lunch is this Char Siu Chicken, which would be perfect with rice and /or salad.

Char Siu Chicken

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

how to make the best grilled salmon

a post from Foodie Crush

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