if you want something beautiful on the table, pick up some salmon
If you’re trying to eat a very healthy diet, then salmon should be on your shopping list. This attractive fish has a stack of health benefits, not just that it’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, eating salmon is supposed to reduce the risk factors for several nasty diseases. Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and fresh line-caught salmon should be clean ~ not full of all the crap that is in some of the food we eat.
Buying the right piece of salmon is important, starting with the basic rule ~ never buy anything that looks manky. Anything that says wild is probably better than farmed, and some farmed salmon is better than others. Usually the rule is the more you pay the better it will be, but not always, but don’t sweat it. Go to a good grocery store or fishmonger, and you’ll be fine.
First this week we have one of my favourite salmon dishes; Thai salmon in foil,from Chungah at Damn Delicious. I think cooking in foil is a brilliant technique, and it reduces the amount of washing-up no end.
Thai Salmon in Foil
Another recipe for cooking in foil, and following on from last week’s post which was all about cilantro; from Averie Sunshine’s archive I have chosen this foil pack lime cilantro salmon. This is so easy to make, and it will be ready to eat in 10 minutes ~ you heard me right, just 10 minutes to produce this wonderful healthy dish.
Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon
Now we have a fabulous 30 minute recipe from Sabrina Modelle; grilled salmon with peach salsa. This dish has so much going for it; you can cook the salmon on the BBQ, which means you can make the whole recipe in your yard. Anything with grilled salmon looks really special, so this is something you can serve to guests. And, best of all, it’s a 30 minute recipe that will make a great lunch, dinner, or something to take to work the following day. (This recipe was found for us by Elise at Simply Recipes).
Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa
Until I saw this from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest I had never heard of cooking on a BBQ grill by placing the food on a cedar plank. But, now I’ve seen this cedar plank salmon with watermelon feta salsa from Teighan this is something I must try the next time I’m somewhere warm and sunny ~ that’s if anyone friend will let me. I’m an Englishman, and as everyone knows we are terrible at cooking on a BBQ.
Cedar Plank Salmon with watermelon Feta Salsa
This brilliant sweet and smokey cedar planked salmon is from Kate Merker at Country Living magazine. Apart from soaking the plank for a couple of hours to stop it from catching fire, this is a very easy BBQ recipe!
Sweet and Smokey Cedar Plank Salmon
With healthy eating in mind I so like the look of this dish of braised salmon from Heather Christo; Paleo red curry braised salmon with sweet potatoes Fabulous!. Paleo is good, I think. This 45 minute recipe not only uses coconut oil and coconut milk, it also has more than enough garlic. Nice.
Paleo Red Curry Braised Salmon with Sweet Potatoes
Our collection this week is from Olive Magazine, their 40 best ever easy salmon recipes. And I’ve chosen to feature the very first recipe from this great collection Thai salmon parcels with jasmine rice.
Thai Salmon Parcels with Jasmine Rice
Lots of beer, now there’s a temporary solution.
English Pubs Exist to Sell Beer
Despite what some would like to believe, beer is just as bad for you as any other alcohol, and depending how much of the brown falling-down-water you drink, beer is possibly worse that your other regular tipples. All booze has some very deleterious effects on your health, and the more your regularly drink the faster these bad things will happen to you.
Alcohol causes accidents in the home, on the road, and everywhere else you might find yourself after one too many drinks. Most people who commit suicide have been drinking heavily. Booze is also the direct cause of heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases, liver failure, fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis, sundry gastrointestinal disorders, pneumonia and other respiratory tract diseases, various cancers, pancreatitis, and diseases of malnutrition such as Wernicke’s encephalopathy, Korsakoff’s psychosis, amblyopia, and polyneuropathy. Without treatment you could die from all of these alcohol related dangers. Even with treatment some of the above will still kill you. If you don’t stop drinking, then you will die, horribly and before your time, from one or more of the nasty alcohol related killer diseases.
But, isn’t drinking beer safer? Isn’t it OK to have a few beers, every now and again.
Mostly, the answer to those questions is no. In a healthy adult, moderate drinking doesn’t cause too much damage, and by moderate I mean 1 pint of beer a day, or one standard size glass of wine a day ~ any more than that is quite damaging to your health. And you can’t save up your weekly quota and safely drink it all at the weekend either. Nor can you stay sober for a month and then get good and drunk to make up for all that boring sobriety ~ try that and you’ll most likely end up in vomiting your guts up, or in hospital, or dead.
So what about only ever drinking beer? Beer is made from water, a grain such as wheat or barley, and is usually flavoured with hops. Beer is usually between 4% and 12% alcohol by volume, (ABV). Your liver will take 1 hour to process a bottle of a weaker beer, and maybe 3 hours to process a pint of strong beer. While your liver is processing alcohol it isn’t doing anything else.
In comparison, wine usually has an ABV of 10% to 18%. Drinking an average size glass of wine is the equivalent of drinking a pint of strong beer. The ABV of spirits varies from between 35% to 60%, (sometimes more). A standard measure of spirits, (one shot), is about equivalent to drinking a bottle of strong beer.
The reasons beer is so bad for you is that there’s a lot of it by sheer quantity, which puts strain on your kidneys dealing with all that urine. Beer is full of grains which are packed with gluten and generally very bad for your digestion, there’s lots of calories in beer, and it’s got hops in it which is a soporific and also promotes the creation of estrogen in the body. Why do you think most beer drinkers are fat, have overhanging bellies, and guys who drink a lot of beer get man-boobs? Beer will kill you just as fast as any other alcohol, and it will make you very unattractive in the process.
Some say that beer is good for you. And that real men always have a few beers when they meet with the guys, or have a BBQ, or watch sports TV….. All I know is that people who drink beer become fat and unattractive, and then they die, before their time.
if the bottom falls out of your world,
drink Guinness and have the world fall out of your bottom.
Cilantro ~ the Devil Herb.
In England ‘Cilantro’ is called ‘Coriander’, which is the word Americans use for just the dried seeds of the plant. Funny, in England we say ‘Coriander Seeds’. The difference arises because ‘Cilantro’ is a Spanish word, and there a big Hispanic influence in the USA. Here, just about the only Spanish influences are that we beat the Spanish Armada in May 1588, and some of us go there on vacation.
Coriander is also known as Chinese parsley, and can be used both in salads and as a herb in cooking.
Some really great dishes use this adaptable plant, which goes really well with lime.
First today we have this cilantro lime chicken dish from Chungah at Damn Delicious. The other fabulous seasonings used in this recipe are brown sugar, oregano, and basil.
Cilantro Lime Chicken
A similar dish from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb. Except now 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
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. Strangely, Tiffany calls one of her ingredients coriander, which we now know better as cilantro.
One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice
Also from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb, this is interesting; garlic lime shrimp marinade. And this is a fast marinade that will be ready for the grill in just 15 minutes. Lots of cilantro. Tiffany seems to like Cilantro.
Garlic Lime Shrimp Marinade
From San Diego’s Averie Sunshine archive I have chosen this foil pack lime cilantro salmon. This is so easy to make, and it will be ready to eat in 10 minutes ~ you heard me right, just 10 minutes to produce this wonderful tasty, and very healthy dish.
Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon
Heather Christo has a different kind of cilantro recipe for a warm summer afternoon, this tomato peach and avocado salad with cilantro vinaigrette. Heather says that this is a beautifully simple 30 minute salad that will totally blow your socks off. I tend to agree. Nice to take to work for lunch too.
Tomato Peach and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
I will respect this liver. After all it’s not mine. ~ George Best
So, I’m working on this healthier eating plan, with the avowed aim of being fitter, healthier, and detoxing my body ~ especially detoxing my liver, which is the body’s chemical factory.
The most important thing for most of us to do if we want to be fitter, healthier, and have a cleaner liver is to give up booze. If you take a drink the liver will stop whatever it’s doing and start to process alcohol, and your liver will do bugger-all else until all the booze has been flushed from your system. George Best, was one of the greatest soccer players of all time, he died in 2005 of alcoholism after having a liver transplant.
As well as giving up booze I’m also not going to eat dairy, including eggs, and I won’t touch anything at all containing wheat flour, or high-fructose corn syrup. I don’t want to consume the weedkiller that’s routinely sprayed on those crops and persists right up to the point we take the glyphosate into our bodies.
First this week we have a very healthy looking dish from Simply Recipes; green bean salad with lemon and dill by Summer Miller. I guess for most of us this would be a side-dish, but I’d be pleased to have just this for lunch, (maybe with some cherry tomatoes).
Green Bean Salad with Lemon and Dill
From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats how about this cool looking crispy baked Parmesan chicken with lemon arugula. I know I said I wasn’t eating dairy, but a little Parmesan is more than just OK, it makes this dish. Chicken is a very low-fat meat, and I’m trying for a low-fat diet.
Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Arugula
Another brilliant chicken dish, this time from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb. This one pan garlic herb chicken and asparagus looks brilliant, and if I’m so minded I guess I would use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. I love one pan meals, so easy to clean up afterwards.
One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus
Heidi at Foodie Crush has posted this Thai basil chicken, (Pad Krapow Gai). I must try this, Heidi says it’s easy and I really like all the ingredients she’s listed. Especially I want to try cooking with coconut milk. I think I’d serve this with wild rice and quinoa, which I can get at my favourite supermarket.
Thai Basil Chicken
Dana Shultz, the Minimalist Baker, has these ultra-healthy sounding crispy miso chickpea bowls with garlic sesame dressing. It seems this is a 10 ingredient bowl ~ I can cope with that.
Crispy Miso Chickpea Bowls with Garlic Sesame Dressing
And, finally for this week, Teigan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest offers us these weeknight 30 minute coconut curry chicken meatballs. Never mind weeknight, these would be great to serve when you have friends around.
Coconut Curry Chicken Meatballs
healthy eating needs oily fish
It’s not a short term diet ~ it’s a long term lifestyle change
I’ve been spending a little time thinking about leading a healthier life ~ well you do when you get to a certain age. Fresh air, sunshine, exercise, meditation, reading self-improvement books, listening to inspirational podcasts, and eating the ‘right’ foods. The snag is there are as many ideas about what constitutes a healthy diet as there are diets.
However, for me eating better means cutting out a lot of fat, being as gluten-free as I can manage, and not eating dairy ~ I’m slightly lactose intolerant anyway. Instead of those things I’m not going to eat I’m planning on a lot more organic fruits and vegetables. Ergo, today’s recipes are kind of leaning towards the long term lifestyle change I’m working on.
One benefit of the healthy eating plan I’m working towards is that, in general, the recipes are very easy.
First up this week, from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have this easy cucumber salad, and you can’t get a simpler recipe than this one.
Easy Cucumber Salad
Next, from Heidi at Foodie Crush we have this great recipe for the best BBQ chicken ~ chicken is firmly part of my healthier lifestyle.
The Best BBQ Chicken
There’s gluten-free, and there’s not eating anything made from wheat, and then there’s the fact that sometimes you’ve just got to have pasta. This slow roasted tomato basil pasta is as healthy as pasta can get ~ from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats. Personally, I will be using gluten-free pasta ~ gluten is nasty stuff.
Slow Roasted Tomato Basil Pasta
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has this cool recipe for a corn, tomato, and avocado pasta salad ~ this is such a quick recipe, and as I said sometimes one just has to have pasta.
Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Pasta Salad
This is a fabulous dish from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb; one pan garlic herb chicken and asparagus ~ and it doesn’t get any better than that.
One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken and Asparagus
Oily fish is an important part of a healthy eating lifestyle, and from Delish we have 45 healthy salmon recipes, including this brilliant foil pack grilled salmon with lemony asparagus ~ it seems that lemon is good for you.
Foil Pack Grilled Salmon with Lemony Asparagus
canned and processed food is not part of a healthier lifestyle
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
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
and to drink with your delicious desserts,
how about champagne mojitos?
(or a nice cup of tea)
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
clean, healthy, great with tequila
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.
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
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.
onglet steak, a butcher’s best kept secret.