Category Archives: Diet

Food on Friday ~ Main Courses

A sirloin, medium-rare, is not only an entrée, it is a philosophy.

I supposed I could have called this post Entrées, but for me that conjures up an image of something served in a high-end restaurant, preferably in Florence, or some other magical city.  In that kind of place, choosing the correct wine is just as important as making an inspired choice of food.

However, if you’re lucky enough to find a really good restaurant, them you can probably rely on the sommelier to give you some appropriate advice.  For wines to drink with a sirloin steak try a cabernet or merlot, unless you’re in Italy, in which case you want a really good Tuscan red or maybe a quality Barolo ~ the King of Wines.  (But beware, a great Barolo can be hideously expensive.)

If you want to know how to cook the perfect sirloin steak, look no further than this link.

Our first entrée this week is by Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb, and she has the BEST ultra tender instant pot pork tenderloin, with a balsamic glaze.  This cut of pork is an excellent source of Protien and lots of vitamins and minerals, and it isn’t at all fatty.  You know what?  I love a good pork tenderloin.

Instant Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Next, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, there’s this delicious looking honey butter blackened scallops with herby polenta.  I think scallops are fabulous, and I love the way Tieghan cooks them here ~ I’m still willing to be convinced as far as polenta is concerned.

Honey Butter Blackened Scallops with Herby Polenta

Another shellfish recipe, this time from Sheryl Julian via Simply Recipes ~ spring scampi with peas and mint, served on a bed of pasta.  Looks great for a midweek dinner, or if you have guests at a weekend.  This is a pretty easy dish, and would be fabulous if you have a lemon tree and mint in your own garden.

Spring Scampi with Peas and Mint

Broccoli is really good for you, if you want to be healthier, then eat more broccoli.  Chungah at Damn Delicious offers us this easy sheet pan recipe for beef and broccoli.  Allegedly this is the easiest beef and broccoli dish of your life; Chungah says it doesn’t get any easier or quicker than this.

Sheet Pan Beef and Broccoli

Your collection this week is from Great British Chefs, who offer us some great beef sirloin recipes; including this fantastic roast sirloin of beef with mushrooms, brandy, and roasted potatoes from Marcus Wareing.  Admittedly this dish takes two-and-a-half-hours, but doesn’t it looks fabulous.  Allegedly, it was King Henry VIII who named this cut of beef Sir Loin.

~

As an accompliment to your entrée Heather Christo has this utterly brilliant spring cobb salad, which looks absolutely fabulous.

Spring Cobb Salad

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Barolo, the Italian King of Wines

a guide to the wines of Barolo

Eating Bread is Killing You

The truth doesn’t change just because you don’t want to hear it.

Wheat is routinely sprayed with a chemical that will give you cancer.

Glyphosate is legally classified as a carcinogen, and glyphosate is the main active ingredient of a weedkiller called Roundup.  A federal jury in California found that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide was a substantial factor in causing Edwin Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Monsanto, which is owned by the German chemicals company Bayer, is facing more than 9,000 similar lawsuits.  We all know that German chemicals companies have a very dark history.  In recent times the evil corporation Monsanto / Bayer has bullied scientists, suppressed evidence, and hid the cancer risks arising from Roundup / Glyphosate.

Even the US Environmental Protection Agency is not immune to collusion with Monsanto ~ the EPA lied when they stated that glyphosate is probably not carcinogenic to humans.  Monsanto knowingly lies when they say that Glyphosate has excellent environmental features….. and extremely low toxicity to mammals, birds, and fish.  Roundup was introduced in 1974, is used in 130 countries, to control weeds and improve the yield of more than 100 crops.  Every damn year in the USA, over 300 million pounds, (150,000 tons), of Roundup are sprayed on the crops you eat, especially wheat corn, soya, and canola, (from which we get the shit called canola oil).

People will have Roundup ready soya whether they like it or not.  ~  Ann Foster, spokeswoman for Monsanto.

That means that a hell of a lot of the everyday products you eat and drink are contaminated with a deadly, carcinogenic poisonous chemical.  Eating bread, cakes, cookies, anything with flour in it, anything with high fructose corn syrup in it, drinking beer with grains in it, using canola oil, are all seriously damaging your health.  Eat bread, drink beer, and be ill before you die sooner than you should.

There are more damn good reason that you shouldn’t eat bread; gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and heart disease.  Bread is not the staff of life, bread is a killer food.

High fructose corn syrup will also kill you though; heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, fatty liver, bad teeth…..  And, the average American consumes more than 60 pounds of this shit every damn year.  High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Cane Sugar are not the same thing, and the body handles them differently ~ cane sugar is safer, but more expensive.

Some pray, and give us our daily bread.  And some say that Roundup is completely safe to fish, birds, animals, and humans.  All I know is that I won’t eat shit.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

there are a hundred reasons why Marmaduke shouldn’t eat canned crap

Food on Friday ~ Broccoli and Cauliflower

If you want to live a healthy life, eat more broccoli.

Both broccoli and cauliflower are very good for your health, being nutritious, full of fibre, low in calories, and packed with vitamins and minerals.  However, broccoli is better for you as it has much more vitamins B, K and C, as well as containing vitamin A which isn’t in cauliflower at all. Broccoli also contains a lot of sulforophane, which is said to have anti-cancer properties.

The main thing with cooking any vegetable is not to boil them to death, because boiling will leach out up to 90% of the good stuff you’re eating the vegetables for in the first place.  Anyhow, boiled broccoli and boiled cauliflower are tasteless, and more akin to bad prison / school food than anything you’d want to have at home.

There are some great recipes for these two cruciferous vegetables;

First for this week we have broccoli pesto pasta with whipped ricotta from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest.  This is a 30 minute dish that you can also take to work the following day ~ perfect for Meatless Mondays.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

From Joy Wilson at Joy the Baker, there’s a cool recipe for roasted cauliflower and plantain tacos.  I firmly believe that roasting cauliflower florets is the best way to cook this vegetable.  However, I’m not certain about making tortillas from scratch.

Roasted Cauliflower and Plantain Tacos

In Diane’s Kitchen there’s a recipe for chicken stir-fry and ramen noodles, which includes lots of nutritious broccoli.  This easy dish should only take you 30 minutes to prepare.

Chicken Stir-Fry and Ramen Noodles

From the Good Houskeeping test kitchen I found this kale and roasted cauliflower salad.  Now that the weather is warming up a little, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about salads again ~ and you don’t get much healthier than this.

Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Well now, this is different from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats broccoli cheddar tots ~ part of her Side Dish Sunday.  I guess you can call these very healthy nibbles / appetisers ~ and very interesting.

Broccoli Cheddar Tots

Your collection this week comes from Olive Magazine with their 32 best ever broccoli recipes, including this broccoli and crispy chilli beef stir fry.  I just love stir-fry it’s such a quick way to cook food, sealing in all the flavours and all of the goodness.

Broccoli and Crispy Chilli Beef Stir-Fry

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there are dozens of cool ways to cook a cauliflower

click the link to check some out

Food on Friday ~ Cooking in Foil

Cooking is fun, eating is fine, clearing up afterwards is a drag.

If, like me, you like cooking but don’t like clearing up afterwards, then cooking in foil packets is one way to cut down on the mess.  And, don’t believe the urban myth that aluminium foil is bad for your health ~ you can wrap food in it, and you can cook in it, and it won’t hurt you one little bit.

You can use foil packets to cook on the grill, in a fire-pit, in the oven, (and I’ve even baked potatoes wrapped in foil in the engine bay of a sports car).  Using a packet like this helps to seal in the flavours, and keeps your food moist and tender.

Add your herbs, spices, and other seasonings to the foil packet, but it’s also a good idea to use a flavouring that will add moisture to the meat, fish, or vegetables you’re cooking ~ for example; lemon, orange, honey, butter, olive oil…..

Chungah Rhee at Damn Delicious has a fantastic recipe for Asian salmon cooked in foil ~ and trust me, this is a brilliant way to cook salmon.  This dish uses fresh ginger and lots or garlic, as well as honey ~ all on the superfoods list.

Asian Salmon Cooked in Foil

Another salmon dish from from Chungah, and we have this seriously easy and seriously good recipe for lemon dill salmon in foil.  Really this great looking dish is a 30 minute effort, tops.  And, I’m pretty certain anyone can make a great job of cooking this damn delicious dish.

Lemon Dill Salmon in Foil

For a mid-week dinner or a weekend lunch here’s a recipe for a hearty potato dish you can prepare ahead ~ sausage, potato, and green bean foil packets.  If you have an oven in the lunch room you could cook these packets at work, or you could cook them ahead and eat them cold, or whatever…  And, you could swap bacon for the sausage…

Sausage Potato and Green Bean Foil Packets

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

I know how much you like recipe collections, so from Wide Open Eats here are 20 foil packet recipes making dinner a breeze ~ how cool is that?  Anything that makes mid-week dinners easier is a good idea.  Included in this collection is a great recipe for lemon chicken and asparagus from Creme de la Crumb.

Lemon Chicken and Asparagus

From Taste of Home we have a collection of 30 Wrap-and-Cook Foil Packet Recipes, including this delicious-looking crab and shrimp stuffed sole.  If you can get a decent Dover Sole this would make a fabulous dish ~ even for your high-end dinner party for two.

Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Sole

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Thai salmon in foil

Food on Friday ~ Spicy

food for the body is not enough ~ there should also be food for the soul

Everyone’s definition of what constitutes spicy food is different.  Some people think a dash of black pepper is sufficient, whereas others like the red hot chili peppers, (and that’s a very overrated band).

Personally I prefer a little subtlety in my spice palette.

First up this week we have a dish with good old-fashioned mustard from Diane’s Kitchen.  I think you should be able to make this Honey Mustard Chicken in about a half-hour, maybe serve it with a baked potato.

Honey Mustard Chicken

Next we have a vegan recipe from Cookie + kate, and this Spicy Black Bean Soup with a Cuban twist should be in your bowl in about 45 minutes.  Obviously this would be great to take to work the following day, and Kate says it freezes well in Mason jars ~ hmmmm, I’d never freeze a glass jar.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has this brilliant recipe for Ginger Scallion Noodle Bowls ~ ginger is the Queen of Spices, it’s good for just about whatever ails you, as well as providing a great pick-me-up.

Ginger Scallion Noodle Bowls

Half Baked Harvest is a site for some really pretty dishes, and this 30 Minute Vietnamese Beef and Crispy Rice Bowl is no exception.  I really like the look of this recipe and it’s on my list to try in the very near future ~ I like 30 minute recipes.

30 Minute Vietnamese Beef and Crispy Rice Bowl

Next to last for this week, from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français, there’s this Chilli and Ginger Glazed Salmon ~ what’s not to like about this dish?

Chilli and Ginger Glazed Salmon

This week’s collection is from Olive Magazine, with their 25 Best Ever Hot and Spicy Recipes.  I’ve chosen to feature this Sri Lankan Veggie Curry partly because it’s vegetarian, but mostly because I love Sri Lankan food ~ it’s far, far better than Thai.

Sri Lankan Veggie Curry

~

jack collier

jackcollier@talktalk.net

 

Chinese 5 Spice Beef and Ginger Stir Fry

from Vacation Food

Lost in my own mind

Act as if you’re a really very guy, living a great life.

~

Over the last week I’ve eaten nothing, had no sleep at all, and drank far too much booze.  Neither have I been out of the garret for any fresh air and exercise.

I haven’t written anything either, except for a couple of short emails, and I messed those too.

Today I’m starting to put my life back together  again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Menu Planning

For some people meal planning is like a chess puzzle.

~

Planning what we are going to eat for a whole week is a pretty easy thing to do, but it does mean sitting down and writing a list or two.  It might also mean looking at some recipes, and then checking what one has in the larder, refrigerator, freezer, and garden.  That leads to making a shopping list ~ (and one should never go into a supermarket without a shopping list) ~ and a menu list for the week.

Get one thing straight, a recipe, a menu list, and a shopping list aren’t rules ~ these things are just guidelines to help us get organised without wasting lots and lots of time.

So, before I post some recipe collections, let me feature something about menu planning.  From Hali Bey Ramdene at The Kitchn I can give you The Beginners Guide to Meal Planning: What to Know, How to Succeed, and What to Skip.  Remember, when you plan your meals to allow enough quantity so that you have leftovers for another day, or to take to work for lunch.  Also, when you plan your meals try to follow some healthy eating guidelines.

The Beginners Guide to Meal Planning

Some more on the basics of meal planning and we have Common Meal-Planning Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid from Greatist, and The Ultimate Guide to Meal Planning from the Wellness Mama.

Winter Meal Plan

My own preferred menus lean towards Mediterranean food, and Heidi at Foodie Crush has a great post of 50 Favorite Mediterranean Diet Recipes, which also includes a Mediterranean diet plan and this recipe for Mediterranean Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Olive Tapenade.  I love the fresh herbs in this dish.

Mediterranean Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Olive Tapenade

It’s the heart of the apple season here, and I really do prefer eating organic foods in season.  But what to do with apples?  Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest found this post by Katherine Power at Clique Brands ~ 4 apple recipes she’s looking forward to baking this month.  I particularly like the look to this Honeycrisp Apple Pandowdy, (what a great name).

Honeycrisp Apple Pandowdy

Last up this week, from Alanna Taylor Tobin at The Bojon Gourmet we have Savoring Winter with 40 Vibrant Citrus Recipes. This is all so colourful, but I especially like the look of these gluten-free black sesame kumquat financiers, (except I’d call them tea-cakes).

Savoring Winter with 40 Vibrant Citrus Recipes

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you can buy packet sauces, they make meal planning easy

you are your own enemy

We are each our own devil, and we make the world our hell.

You decide what to eat, how much alcohol you’re going to drink, how much rest and sleep you are going to get, whether you’re going to smoke cigarettes, how much fresh air and exercise you’re going to have, whether or not you’re going to take drugs (illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over the counter medication), and how much stress you’re going to put yourself under before you stop and maybe meditate for a while.

And, more likely than not, you know what you should be doing for a healthier and longer life, as opposed to what you are actually doing with your life every day.  The chances are that every day you’re putting your body, mind, and spirit under extreme stress by doing exactly the wrong things on purpose.

Our bodies are designed to self-heal, but if we keep putting our body, mind, and spirit under stress, then we are going to degenerate, get sick, get old, look old, become unfit and overweight, and die painfully long before we should.

Yet I know that everyone reading this wants to be fit, healthy, and happy ~ so why do so many people subject themselves to so much fucking crap, every single day?

  • Be your own best carer.  Too many of us spend too much time taking care of other people, when what they should be doing is practicing self-care and putting themselves first.  If you make yourself ill, unfit, mentally sick, stressed-out, then you’re not going to be of much use to anyone else.
  • Get back to nature.  Get outdoors, get some fresh air and sunshine, breathe deeply of clean air, drink at least 3 pints of fresh clean water a day, enjoy the far horizons.  If you spend a lot of time indoors, using a computer, drinking coffee, then the tiny electrical signals that actually operate your mind and body get screwed, so you’re tired and can’t think properly by the end of the day.
  • Get plenty of sleep.  Most people need 7 to 9 hours of good quality deep REM sleep.  Don’t fall asleep in a chair in front of the TV.  Make your bedroom a blackout zone.  Go to bed the day before you get up.  Don’t drink too much booze right before bedtime.
  • Eat the right amount of good quality, healthy, organic food.  Avoid processed foods.  Drink those 3 pints of good clean water every day.  Eat a high water content diet.
  • Stop sabotaging yourself.  Commit to self-care and practice it every single day.  If you are addicted to anything: cigarettes, booze, drugs, gambling, binge eating, self-harm, anger, stress then find a cure.  Be prepared to do whatever it takes to recover from your addiction.

Some say that they hate themselves.  And, some people act as though they really do hate themselves.  All I know is that these days I am a very cool guy, living a really great life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

recently I stayed at the best B & B in all America

Healthier Food and Drink

The more you eat, the less flavour.  The less you eat, the more flavour.

There are literally thousands of diets out there, from the 5:2 diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, the Sushi diet, and even the simple calorie controlled diet.  These diets can get quite complicated and the professional aficionados would love us to buy their books explaining the benefits of these diets and giving us lots of recipes that we’re probably never going to cook.  As it happens I try to follow the tenants of a Mediterranean diet, simply because I like Mediterranean food.  Conversely I would never follow a Sushi diet because I hate sushi and I firmly believe that raw fish is inherently unhealthy, to the point of being dangerous.

honey salmon in foil

There is one basic truth about losing weight ~ eat less.  The average female office worker only needs about 2,000 calories a day, and the average male about 2,500.  A weight loss diet probably means a woman eating 1,500 calories a day, and a man about 2,000.  There are a myriad of calorie calculators on the internet.

However, after some study of diets, nutrition, and health, I can give you some basic guidelines about what you should include and avoid in all those calories.

  • Drink 3 pints of fresh clean water every day.
  • Eating a little every couple of hours avoids and cures adrenal fatigue.
  • Wild foods are good ~ especially healthy grains such as wild rice.  Eat organic food whenever you can.
  • Try not to eat processed and canned foods.
  • Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is vital to our health.  Apples, Banana, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Celery, Grapes, Leeks, Pears, Potato (especially potato skins), Spinach, & etc..  Avoid too much citrus fruit, it messes with the acid balance of our gut.
  • Adding herbs and spices adds important phytochemicals to our food.  Fresh parsley, basil, and rosemary are especially good.
  • Eat grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, lamb, wild salmon, net caught ocean fish, shrimp, crab, and lobster.  Avoid too much pork, (and if you eat pork make damn certain it’s properly cooked).  Avoid farmed fish, (especially tilapia which is cheap whitefish), cheap chicken, bacon, and turkey.  Eat shellfish at your peril.
  • Don’t drink a lot of fresh milk, don’t put cream or half-and-half in your coffee, and don’t eat a lot of yogurt or cheese.
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements; B4, B12, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, (and if you are a menstruating woman take Iron supplements).
  • Do not ever eat anything made with modern wheat; bread, cake, cookies, pasta, tortillas…..
  • Avoid too much; complex carbohydrates, caffeine, sugar, and salt.
  • Don’t drink too much coffee or ordinary tea, try green tea instead.
  • Don’t drink diet sodas, or use artificial sweeteners.  In fact really cut down on drinking any soda at all.
  • Really, really avoid too much alcohol.  One bottle of red wine a week is a good limit, (or if you can’t live with that, two bottles a week).  Do not regularly get buzzed, and regularly would be once a month.

You may think that’s all too damn difficult, and probably expensive.  Well, it takes effort to follow any guidelines,  and good organic food carries a price premium, but really, how much is a healthier and longer life worth to you?

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

cauliflower is a surprisingly versatile vegetable

 

Food on Friday ~ Easy Lunches

Time is an illusion ~ lunchtime doubly so…..

So many people either grab something from the deli, or supermarket, or just eat out at lunchtime.  Actually, at weekends there’s no reason even a working person should do that.  It’s perfectly possible to prepare and cook a great lunch in about 30 minutes at home, and that way you know exactly what you’re eating without having to puzzle over just what’s in your lunch burrito.  And, if you make lunch, (or supper), at home, then you’re going to have some great leftovers to take to work the following day.

From Dianes Kitchen there’s this wonderful-looking crab meat Frittata.  Now, while I like both frittata and crab this is a combination I’ve never thought of.  I agree with Diane, this dish would be great at breakfast, lunch, or supper ~ or for something to take to work the following day.

Crab Meat Fritatta

Chungah at Damn Delicious has a recipe for creamy red pepper shells, I think this dish would make a wonderful lunch along with a glass of Italian or Californian red wine, and maybe a hunk of crusty bread.  I think I could whip this together in 30 minutes, and it’s another dish to take to work the following day.

Creamy Red Pepper Shells

Well then, Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb invites us to try this dish of Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers, which she assures us are the BEST healthy stuffed peppers you’ll ever eat.  If you don’t want your peppers too hot, then choose green and not red.  As well as ground beef and rice you could use a host of similar Southern and Californian ingredients to make you stuffed peppers luncheon.  I guess you could make this dish in 30 ~ 45 minutes.

Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Here’s an awesomely artistic dish from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing.  This is big, green, nutritious, filling, and healthy.  OK, so this may be a 40 minute recipe, but there are so many cheats and shortcuts into making this that I think preparing this dish just takes as long as you want to take.

Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing

I am very well aware that you American guys like your mac and cheese, so just for you here’s a recipe.  Found for us by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes this dish, by Aaron Hutcherson, combines two classic American comfort foods into Chili Mac and Cheese.

Chili Mac and Cheese

This week’s collection is brought to us by Good Housekeeping who have no less than 70 Healthy Lunch Ideas That Will Actually Keep You Full Until Dinner ~ wow!  From this collection I’ve chosen to feature a Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad ~ even I like to be healthy sometimes.  Anyhow you can make this dish in 25 minutes, and as well as being a good lunch or supper, it will make a good side for any of the other dishes featured in this weeks Food on Friday.

Kale and Roasted Cauliflower Salad

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke isn’t a big fan of Mac and Cheese

and then again, neither am I

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