Category Archives: Diet

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

Looking Better after Lockdown

it could have been worse, the liquor stores might have been closed

Now that I’m regularly out and about again after a period of government imposed solitary confinement at home, I’ve noticed just how manky some people are looking.  It’s not their fault, being subject to lockdown and being made to work from home does bad things to your health, your looks, and your well-being.  It’s a lack of sunshine, fresh air, exercise ~ and too much junk food, processed food, comfort eating, too much booze, too many cigarettes, and for some too much reliance on drugs.  Add to that the lack of proper sleep, irregular hours, lazing around most of the day in sweats or night-attire, not being able to get to a hairdresser…..

Face it after a period of lockdown, and while we are working at home, it’s possible that we don’t feel or look at our very best.  I know I didn’t, and I know just how much weight I put on.

It’s pretty simple to get back to looking and feeling great;

  • Get out in the sunshine and fresh air as much as you can.
  • Get some exercise.  Walk the 10,000 steps a day.  Learn some yoga.  Use free exercises such as squats, push ups.  Look here’s a link to a 20 minute home workout video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKfNUOWuZV8
  • Stop drinking so much every day and every night.  Have two or three totally booze-free days every week.
  • Stop smoking all together, forever.  Smoking makes you look old, you stink, it ruins your health.  Smoking will kill you.
  • Stop comfort eating.  Don’t eat just because you’re bored, stressed, lonely, or sad.
  • Stop eating processed food, or eat much less processed food if you can’t get to a good store as often as you’d like.
  • Stop shoveling your food in with both hands, eat mindfully and slowly, chew your food properly.
  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  Salads are brilliant at this time of year.
  • Drink more cool, clear, cleansing water.  (Fruit juice counts too.)

I am back on a health and fitness programme again, after letting myself go during lockdown.  It’s so depressing being in solitary confinement that I found it hard to keep up good habits.  But you know what?  It doesn’t take more than a week or so to turn things around to a better life.

Some say that just one bottle of wine won’t hurt.  And, that potato chips go so well with wine.  All I know is that the dictum of a healthy mind in a healthy body is the real truth.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

yoga is bloody good for you

Food on Friday ~ 4th of July

I like to see a man proud of the place he lives

It’s July this this weekend, an important holiday in the USA.  I have no idea what traditional Independence Day food is in the USA, because, obviously we do not celebrate that here in England,  So, I’ve chosen some nice healthy dishes for this weekend.

From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have this melon basil burrata salad with crispy prosciutto.  I really like the look of this dish

Melon Basil Burrata Salad with Crispy Prosciutto

Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has this super recipe for cilantro lime marinated steak with corn salsa.  Can’t get much more American than this.

Cilantro Lime Marinated Steak with Corn Salsa

From In Diane’s Kitchen we have this easy ginger soy glazed chicken.  Ginger goes really well with chicken, and it’s so very good for you.

Ginger Soy Glazed Chicken

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has this fabulous looking collection of 25 recipes for July 4th.  I have chosen to feature these smokey blood orange BBQ ribs with avocado butter greens.  Enjoy

Smokey Blood Orange BBQ Ribs with Avocado Butter Greens

Finally for this week we have 59 easy 4th of July recipes from Good Housekeeping.  I’ve chosen to feature something different, a grilled leek potato salad.

Grilled Leek Potato Salad

And, these charred shrimp, leek, and asparagus skewers.  I happen to like leeks.

Charred Shrimp, Leek, and Asparagus Skewers

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Balboa Island

I wonder if anything will be open this July 4th

Food on Friday ~ Lazy Summer

roll out those lazy hazy crazy days of summer

So, what is it?  Spend the days isolated in lockdown?  Or do we get out into the yard, have family over, have friends round, or just enjoy ourselves in the warm summer sunshine?

I guess you all know which end of the spectrum I’d prefer.  But then, at my age I’m not so risk-averse.

Should you wish to try some alfresco dining then I heartily commend these recipes to you.

Since we can’t go travelling the world, there’s a cosmopolitan flavour to the dishes this week.

First up, from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français, we have this Tuscan roast pork with apples.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Tuscany; Florence, Sienna, Pisa…..  but the food there is fabulous.  Amanda captures the atmosphere perfectly with this dish that would be great on any alfresco dining table.

T

Tuscan Roast Pork with Apples

Since you probably don’t want to go trogging off to stand in line at IKEA, I offer you this Swedish meatball pasta, from Chungah at Damn Delicious.

Swedish Meatball Pasta

From semi-professional taco eater Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb here’s a dish of Cajun shrimp and rice, cooked in a skillet, so easy and so delicious.  Great with a salad.  I’ve had a very similar dish in the West Indies, on a beach of silver sand.

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

To go along with any of the dishes this week, or as a fabulous, healthy meal in its own right we have this beautiful Mediterranean Salad from Heather Christo.  She does make good looking dishes.

Mediterranean Salad

Our collection this week comes from Good Housekeeping Magazine their 75 quick summer dinner ideas for easier weeknights ~ weeknights? Hell!  These dishes are great at any time.  From this collection I’ve chosen to feature this grilled Moroccan steak and carrots.  It’s worth getting the spices and doing this properly, you’ll love it!

Grilled Moroccan Steak and Carrots

And for desert, or as an alfresco brunch, we have this blueberry Dutch baby panckake from Andrea at Cooking with a Walflower.  Fantastic with vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

blackened shrimp kale Caesar salad

an odd fact,

women like kale much better than guys do

Food on Friday ~ Music

all we ever get is gruel

As it goes, lots of Americans eat gruel all the time ~ it’s merely another name for oatmeal.  Mixed thin mind you, but oatmeal nontheless.  This from the musical Oliver, based on Charles Dickens seminal work; Oliver Twist.

Some things mentioned in that song you may not have heard of; pease pudding and savaloy.  You’re not missing much if you’ve never tried either.

Please listen with a proper appetite.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

no doubt Oliver, the Artful Dodger, et al

would enjoy this strawberry and rhubarb pie

Food on Friday ~ Strawberries

a time for healing and letting go of your burden

Tonight’s full moon is often known as the Strawberry Moon, not because it’s strawberry coloured, but because in England and North America this is likely to be when the first fruits of the year are ready to harvest.  So this Friday I’ve decided to feature some recipes which include this sweet, red, heart-shaped fruit.

If you can find them, and if you can afford it, then buy organic strawberries, it’s well worth it.  Organic strawberries will not only taste better, they will also not be full of chemical pesticide and fertiliser.  The humble strawberry is the world’s best at absorbing whatever is in the soil and whatever it may have been sprayed with.

First up this week is this pretty looking dish of strawberry salsa from Cookie + kate.  If strawberries seem strange in a salsa to you, then live dangerously……

Strawberry Salsa

This is a really fresh and tasty strawberry arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette, this dish from Cookie + kate again.  That girl must love her strawberries, unless it’s the dog cookie…..

Strawberry Arugula Salad

As we all know, strawberries are a great accompaniment when it comes to the traditional English scone, so from Heather Christo, what about this strawberry rhubarb scone.  Looks delicious, and come on, scones are easy to bake.

Strawberry Rhubarb Scones

Another very traditional dish, from In Dianes Kitchen, why not try this rhubarb and strawberry pie.  Perfect for a traditional English afternoon tea.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie

Our Collection this week is from Good Housekeeping Magazine and their 40+ delicious strawberry recipes.  From there, and just to be non-traditional, I’ve chosen to feature this strawberry and almond galette.  Now all you need is some champagne to go with it.

Strawberry and Almond Galette

As a drink to celebrate this full moon what about a rose and ginger paloma?  This is from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest.  You know that ginger is extremely good for you ~ this paloma should boost your libido no end.

Rose and Ginger Paloma

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

tonight’s full moon is also known as the Rose Moon, because the dog rose is in bloom

Take Good Care of Yourself

courage is about doing what needs to be done, when it needs doing

It turns out that COVID-19 is a very selective killer virus.  It’s racist, ageist, fattist, and discriminates against those who have cancer, diabetes, or a heart problem.  Doesn’t much like men either.  You are also far more likely to get seriously ill or die if you live in a big city and don’t get much exercise, fresh air, and sunshine.  If you want to sail through a pandemic then you should be younger, fitter, and free from underlying health conditions and addictions.

There is a little evidence that smokers are less affected by the coronavirus than people who do not and have never smoked.  If you’re a smoker don’t congratulate yourself because smoking will kill you faster and more certainly then COVID-19 ever would.  Also, smokers tend to be unfit and have a host of chronic illnesses ~ like heart diseases.  In fact, anyone with any addiction; booze, drugs of any kind, gambling, junk food, casual sex….. is far more likely to die from that addiction than from COVID-19, but this virus could well just push you over the edge.

As an example; working age men are twice as likely to die of COVID-19 than a similar woman.  And, the 70 to 79 age group are 50 times more likely to die from catching the coronavirus than the under 40s.  It’s complicated.

We do not know yet how to account for this.  Socio-economic factors may be an influence…..  There could be hidden genetic factors we do not yet understand.  ~  Professor Karol Sikora.

We can’t alter our age or ethnicity, and it’s hard to change our socio-economic status, or where we live.  But, how long is a piece of string?  There is usually a big difference between someone’s chronological age than their physical age.    Most chronic illnesses are caused by what we do and how we live; alcoholics will routinely suffer from liver and kidney diseases, heart diseases, cancers, and dementia ~ as well as having a strong chance of dying in an accident or committing suicide.  Type 2 diabetes is all about lifestyle…..

So, to have a longer, healthier, and more rewarding life we need to be brave enough to change, have some self-discipline, stop being self-destructive, and just take good care of ourselves; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

For a start, no matter what else you believe or have been told, get out there and get some fresh air and exercise.  Stop drinking, smoking, hanging around in bars, and eating junk food.

Some say you are just as old as you feel.  And that they’re not really an addict, they just smoke the occasional joint, and like a beer or two.  All I know is that most of us were on the Road to Hell but we can get off any time we like.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a glass of red a few times a week might be good for you

Food on Friday ~ Scallops

you can keep your oysters, but give me Scottish Scallops

Just around the corner from the garret is a fantastic old-fashioned fishmonger ~ well this is an old-fashioned fishing harbour, although because of the European Union we don’t do that much fishing from here at present.  But, this fishmonger is the real deal, they have fresh fish and shellfish you just wouldn’t get at the fish counter in your local supermarket.  They may be slightly pricier, but you get what you pay for, and do these guys know their fish…..

So, this weekend I have a fancy for scallops, and I know the fishmongers usually has great Scottish King Scallops, (a.k.a. great scallop, clam, Couquille St. Jaques).

Now all I need is a great recipe.

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a really nice recipe for pan seared scallops pasta carbonara.  I know this recipe is very fast and very easy, as well as being something you could serve at a posh dinner party.  I love this.

Pan Seared Scallops Pasta Carbonara

Now, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest I can offer you these honey butter blackened scallops with herby polenta.  I love that these scallops are just seared in a hot pan with spices, honey, and butter.  Perfect if you just happen to have a skillet in you pan drawer.  Simple, easy, perfect.

Honey Butter Blackened Scallops with Herby Polenta

Next up is Chungah from Damn Delicious with her garlic butter scallop bowls ~ I love the cilantro lime rice and pico de gallo too.  Now that summer is with us, (even here in England), this is a perfect dish for an alfresco luncheon.

Garlic Butter Scallop Bowls

Another dish from Chungah at Damn Delicious; bacon scallops with garlic butter sauce.  I just had to include this recipe because of it’s 3 great components; scallops, bacon, and garlic butter.  What’s not to like?

Bacon Scallops with Garlic Butter Sauce

From Petra at Food Eat Love we have this delicate dish of scallops with mango and spring onion salsa.  Perfect to serve with drinks, and so very, very easy.

Scallops with Mango and Spring Onion Salsa

Last for this week is a collection of 18 scallop recipes from Delicious Magazine.  I’ve chosen to feature this warm salad of pear, scallop, and chorizo.  I think the disparate flavours in this dish will go well together, and you should be able to have it ready in under half-an-hour.

Warm Salad of Pear, Scallop, and Chorizo

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I don’t think they’re after scallops

I am not a number…..

I am a free man

Yesterday I tried to come up with a bucket and to-do list that had 7 important things on it, and I got stuck after 6, which you will see if you look back at that post.  I shouldn’t have been surprised, the number six is in my destiny right now.

~

Kipling thought that six was important too;

I keep six honest serving men, (They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why, and When

And How and Where and Who

If you can remember those, then you will never go far wrong when it comes to making any decision, writing anything, or making a success of anything you wish to do.

~

There are also 6 healing powers.  The six best doctors are;

Sun, Rest, Exercise, Good Food, Self-Respect, and Friends

But, when it comes to good food, don’t eat too much of it.  Keep well hydrated, and stay away from the booze.

~

In fact there are 6 things one should really stay away from;

Alcohol, Casual Sex, Drugs, Over-Eating, Smoking, and Refined Sugar

All of those will kill you eventually, some will just kill you faster than others.

~

The number 6 is also a perfect number, congruent number, harmonic divisor number, and has lots to do with weird stuff like Zsigmondy’s Theorem, sphere packing, the kissing number problem, and Graeco-Latin squares.

~

Some say we should not worry about material items, including money.  And that worry lowers the effectiveness of your thoughts, dreams, wishes, and prayers.  All I know is that the Angel Number 6 means that our prayers will be answered, although the answer might be ‘no’.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

we each have our own Angel and Goddess

Food on Good Friday ~ 2020

this Good Friday share all the bread, wine, and love you have

Back when I was a boy, Good Friday always meant eating fish ~ and for many in England it would mean going down to the local ‘chip shop’ for cod, chips, and mushy peas.  And if you’ve no idea what I’m talking about then you’ve missed out on one of the great meals.

In reality, if you’re a Christian, then Good Friday means not eating meat.  After all we are still in Lent.  So, this week I’ll be concentrating on fish and vegetarian dishes.

If you are a Christian, you will not be able to go to church today, and whatever your religion you will most likely be banned from attending your place of worship.  Personally, I will be going down to the sea to pray for all of us.

First up this week, from the Minimalist Baker, how about this 1-pot curried chickpea soup.  You can’t get much easier than this, and if you’ve been feeling unwell the garlic and ginger in this dish should do you the world of good.  This is both vegetarian and gluten-free.  Gluten is bad for us.

One Pot Curried Chickpea Soup

To go along with that curried chickpea soup, what about the rosemary focaccia bread from Ali at Gimme Some Oven?  I love the flavour of fresh rosemary.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

From one of my favourite cooks; Chungah at Damn Delicious let me show you this sheet pan Easter dinner.  Now you probably wouldn’t eat this today, but I know a lot of people will be having family over for Easter Sunday lunch / dinner.  If you don’t like the pineapple ham, then try garlic butter chicken instead.  I love sheet pan cooking, it’s so damn easy.

Sheet Pan Easter Dinner

If you are having people over for lunch or Easter drinks, then what about these Easter deviled eggs as an appetiser.  This very easy and colourful recipe is from In Dianes Kitchen.

Easter Deviled Eggs

Heather Christo has a fabulous little collection called Easter brunch decadence.  I really like the look of her strawberry rhubarb scones.

Strawberry Rhubarb Scones

Our final collection today is from Cookie + kate; 50+ spring brunch recipes.  All of these are vegetarian.  I have chosen to feature the roasted cauliflower and faro salad with feta and avocado from this great collection of easy Easter recipes.

Roasted Cauliflower and Faro Salad with Feta and Avocado

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

unlike most of us Marmaduke can get away for the Easter holiday break

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