only the pure in heart can make a good soup
In many parts of England and the USA it’s cold, dark, and miserable. At times like these I believe that we all need comfort food, and what better than a nourishing, warming, interesting soup?
And, if you are pure in heart, then you can make a decent soup over an open fire, if you have to. Better still would be an unfashionable wood burning stove. The people of Texas will tell you that relying on electricity is not always a good idea, nor mains gas either. BTW, never, ever use petrol, (gasoline) to start a fire ~ not if you want to go on living.
First up this week, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have this Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup. You know what? If you don’t have a slow cooker, then get one. At this time of year it will be a brilliant investment.
Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has a recipe for Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup. Tuscany is one of my favourite places in the entire world.
Easy Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup
Holly at Spend with Pennies has a wonderful looking recipe for Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon; how very American! This really is a meal in a bowl.
Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon
Dana the Minimalist Baker has a collection; Healthy Winter Recipes for Cold People, and from that I’ve chosen to feature her very easy, very healthy, gluten free, one pot, Curried Potato and Lentil Soup, (with kale).
Curried Potato and Lentil Soup
Meanwhile, Jessica at How Sweet Eats offers us 20 of Her Favorite Soup Recipes for Winter; from which I give you this Easy Lemon Chicken Soup. OK it’s the second lemon chicken recipe this week but they are very different.
Easy Lemon Chicken Soup
Finally for this week Country Living has a collection of 55+ Extra Comforting Soups and Stews to Warm You Up on Chilly Winter Nights. How about this Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup for something very different?
Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup
they even get snow in Arizona
I know, I was there
one should not merely eat to live
Life should be fun, filled with enjoyment, good friends, good times, and great memories. Too much of our mealtimes today are snatched, eaten on the run, filled with convenience food, fast food, and takeouts. And, in all honesty, too many of my meals are from a can or the freezer, and eaten alone. I guess that’s a lockdown thing.
Let’s see if we can change that lonely, bland, and unhealthy life for the better. Let’s taste our food again.
Despite having spent quite a lot of time in Southern California I’ve never had anything like these Queso Fundido Taquitos ~ from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest. Served with avocado lime crema.
Queso Fundido Taquitos
I’ve never had a Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadilla either. This from Ali at Gimme Some Oven. Easy, delicious, perfect to share with friends.
Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadilla
Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has this very nice-looking recipe for Sweet and Spicy Thai Chicken. It’s a 45 minute dish, but I think most people I know could spend a very relaxing hour making this yummy concoction.
Sweet and Spicy Thai Chicken
Joy the Baker says these Mediterranean Salmon Parcels are a weeknight dinner. I think you could serve this recipe to your friends any time. I really like cooking in foil.
Mediterranean Salmon Parcels
Another seafood dish, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious; Brown Butter Scallops. Quick, easy, and very healthy. You could serve this with rice, salad, or just some crusty bread.
Brown Butter Scallops
It turns out that over in the USA it’s about to be Super Bowl Sunday. Ergo our collection this week is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; 21 Favourite Recipes for Superbowl Sunday. From her collection I’ve chosen to feature a Caesar Salad with Pizza Croutons ~ very pretty.
Caesar Salad with Pizza Croutons
healthy eating is a way of life
Most Americans are unhealthy. The USA spends twice as much on heathcare as the average OECD country, yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rate among the 11 OECD countries. Almost half of adult Americans are obese, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA, and almost 35 million Americans have been diagnosed to have diabetes. Most of these illnesses can be put down to unhealthy lifestyles ~ about one third of Americans are classified as ‘physically inactive’, and the US Department of Health says 80% do not take enough exercise to be even moderately fit and healthy. Things are not much better here in England.
To eat a healthy diet, to live with a healthy lifestyle, isn’t difficult. It does mean giving up a couple of things; drinking and smoking chief among them. There are also some things we should consume a lot less of; refined sugar, caffeine, stuff made with white flour, dairy, canned food, fast food, processed food, take out meals, sugary carbonated drinks, and anything and everything with high fructose corn syrup in it, (HFCS).
Now that I have to control my recently diagnosed high blood pressure, the kinds of dishes I’ll be eating are shown here.
Petra at Food Eat Love has a great recipe for Beef with Ginger and Grapefruit. Beef is more than just OK, and both ginger and grapefruit are great for keeping one’s blood pressure under control.
Beef with Ginger and Grapefruit
Oily fish is very good for our health and so are cilantro and citrus. Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb combines these ingredients in her Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in Foil. An easy and healthy 30 minute dish. Supposedly, honey has some surprising health benefits.
Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in Foil
A good breakfast is important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Jessica Merchant has a collection of her 10 Favorite Weekday Breakfasts. From that I’m featuring these Pumpkin Protein Pancakes, so easy and so healthy.
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
A healthy hearty diet need not be lots and lots of salads, we can also eat comfort food and Holly at Spend With Pennies has a great side dish of Colcannon ~ mashed potatoes and cabbage, fabulous served with corned beef. Potato and cruciferous vegetables are good for helping to control one’s blood pressure. (there is the obvious farting issue when it comes to eating lots of cruciferous vegetables)
Joy the baker has this very interesting dish; Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash. Brussel Sprouts are cruciferous vegetables and really good for us, and mushrooms have lots of potential benefits when it comes to preventing cardio vascular diseases.
Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has this very attractive recipe for Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken. I have just got to try this easy, healthy dish ~ using brown / wild rice.
Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken
but a glass of good red wine is probably beneficial most evenings of the week
save power and protect the planet
eat raw meat
There is solid evidence that that ‘people’ were using and controlling fire at least a million years ago, so Paleolithic man undoubtedly knew how to cook, even if it was only toasting a haunch of bison over an open fire. Unless you’re very keen on sushi and carpaccio you won’t be eating a lot of raw meat on a Paleo Diet, and because of the possibility of parasites there is no way I would eat raw fish.
The Paleolithic Era lasted from about 2.5 million years ago until 10,000 years ago, just after the last ice age. (lithic means stone, so our ancestors were using flint tools) Theoretically the Paleo Diet is based upon what our stone age ancestors were eating.
So, going forward my diet will be: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, lean meat, (especially good quality from grass-fed animals or wild game), fresh fish, (especially salmon, mackeral, pilchards, and tuna). For cooking we should use oil from fruits and nuts like olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. Having said that, as our paleolithic ancestors were cooking and eating lots of meat I see nothing wrong with using lard and dripping.
The foods to avoid are things that our ancestors would never have had access to; grains like wheat, oats, barley, rice, (anyway grains are all drenched in poisonous Roundup / Glyphosate), legumes like beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas, any and all dairy products like butter, cheese, yogurt, cream, milk. On a Paleo diet there is no refined sugar, (which lets out cakes, candy, chocolate, and sweetened drinks), root vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, turnips, and not too much salt, (right up until the middle ages salt was a very precious commodity). Neither would Paleolithic man have access to processed food, canned food, breakfast cereals, chips, crisps, pies, microwave meals, and ready meals ~ all of which are full of crap.
Booze is mostly out too ~ the earliest known beer dates from about 5,000 years ago ~ but perhaps hard liquor sneaks in as evidence for that dates back at least 9,000 years.
The main reason I’m going onto the pretty strict paleo diet are that all through lockdown I’ve been putting on weight, and now I want to get my trim body back. Other benefits of a Paleo Diet are; better resistance to diabetes, improved cardio vascular health, more energy, and better resistance to all the diseases linked to inflammation.
Some say that modern life is injurious to our health. And that wheat is so unhealthy we should probably stop eating it. All I know is that lockdown is the unhealthiest way of living I know.
from Creme de la Crumb
for most of human prehistory
carbohydrates were extremely scarce
The real birth of farming, and therefore an abundance of carbohydrates, was probably after the last ice age some 10,000 years ago. Before that, and before mankind learned how to store grains and nuts, carbohydrates would only be readily available in the harvest season. More than that, most carbohydrates would come from nuts rather than grains and seeds, and most nuts contain far more fat and protein than they do carbohydrates.
Some would say that eating carbohydrates is unnatural, and the number of wheat / gluten related illnesses would seem to prove that; celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, dermatitis, bloating, and wheat allergies. Anyhow, modern wheat is so drenched in Roundup / Glyphosate that it’s poisonous over time.
A paleo diet is based on the food eaten by early humans; meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts ~ completely eschewing dairy products, cereals, and of course no processed foods at all. And, that’s what I’m now following ~ So Help Me God.
First up this Friday, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have Easy Chimichurri Shrimp. One benefit of a Paleo diet is that most dishes are quick, easy, and clean. Chimichurri is a tangy quite hot dressing.
Easy Chimichurri Shrimp
Not everyone likes pork chops, but from Holly at Spend with Pennies I like the look of her recipe for Juicy Baked Pork Chops. So many people cook pork chops until they’re dry and tasteless.
Juicy Baked Pork Chops
The usual extremely pretty dish from Jessica at How Sweet Eats; Garlic Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Chimichurri. One of the good things about a paleo diet is that I can eat just as much steak as I want. This is a super cilantro heavy chimichurri dressing, and another 30 minute recipe. Fabulous!
Garlic Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Chimichurri
From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest, how about this Pan Roasted Pomegranate Glazed Salmon. Not your same old dull salmon dinner at all. Simple, quick, and very tasty in a different way.
Pan Roasted Pomegranate Glazed Salmon
Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb also has a super 30 minute salmon recipe; Best Easy Healthy Baked Salmon. Cooked just with lemon and garlic, what could be easier or better?
Best Easy Healthy Baked Salmon
The collection this week is from Delish magazine; 40 Paleo Recipes That Will Make You Forget You’re On A Diet. Well a Paleo meal shouldn’t make you feel as though you’re on a diet, protein is very filling. The dish I’ve chosen to feature is another fish recipe; Baked Swordfish Steak ~ and swordfish is fabulous served any way.
Baked Swordfish Steak
a true Paleo Diet should include game
autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower
It’s the middle of fall, Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks, we’d like to make a start on Christmas shopping, and most of us are trapped in one sort of a lockdown or other. But there is nothing to stop you going grocery shopping, and then honing your chef skills.
These recipes have a kind of mid-autumn, pre Thanksgiving flavour. In one case I would strongly recommend serving a decent sherry or Madeira to go along with the cake. In fact, why not treat yourself to a decent glass of something any way. You deserve it, and you probably won’t be driving to work today.
(BTW for new readers, and if you just don’t know, if you click on the highlighted recipe name you will go right to that dish on the chef’s own website.)
First up this week, from Half Baked harvest we have this delicious looking 4 Cheese Sage Pesto Florentine Lasagna. How great would this be to make ahead for your Thanksgiving parties? (NB. Women should be very careful of too much sage.)
4 Cheese Sage Pesto Florentine Lasagna
Another pasta dish from Diane at In Dianes Kitchen; a very warming Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole. (Noodles are pasta too.) This is a very easy dish, even most of my fellow single men could make, (and most single men cannot cook).
Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole
Now a really pretty midweek dinner from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower; Honey Garlic Shrimp Farro Bowl with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette. And how fabulous to serve this if you have friends over for a pre or post Thanksgiving lunch.
Honey Garlic Shrimp Farro Bowl with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Tiffany from Creme de la Crumb has a very seasonal dish in this Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole, (with marshmallows). Being English I’m not quite certain if this is an entree or a dessert. No doubt someone will enlighten me.
Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Joy Wilson at Joy the Baker has come up with what has to be the longest recipe name ever, (and that’s saying something here), Dad’s Perfect Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Pie. You have got to make this just so you can tell your guests what it’s called.
Dad’s Perfect Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Pie
And finally for this week. As you would expect from Heather Christo we have an extremely pretty dish, this time a Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake, which is both vegan and gluten free. How brilliant for afternoon tea around thanksgiving, although I’d serve this with sherry and not tea.
Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake
if you have never tried a good Maderia wine, then you have no idea the heaven you’re missing out on
autumn, a time for rich hearty meals
What with everything that’s happening in the world, and now that fall is upon us, perhaps the time has come to ditch our lighter diets, and instead fill our plates with rich and hearty foods. And, let’s be honest, we could all do with some comfort food right now.
And, of course, autumn does mean apples. And, piles of leaves. And, Rose Hips. And Pumpkins.
Although, please wear a warm scarf.
With all that in mind, first for this Friday we have Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats, and her Cider Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions and Cauliflower Rice. I don’t yet know what this tastes like, but it looks and sounds fabulous.
Cider Braised Pot Roast with Caramelized Onions and Cauliflower Rice
From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have a Healthy Slow Cooker Chipotle Bean Chili. This is a healthy, hearty, vegetarian, comfort food meal. Switch the cheese and you can have it vegan, or add chicken for those who like that.
Healthy Slow Cooker Chipotle Bean Chili
Another chili recipe, this time from Country Living; Pumpkin Beef and Black Bean Chili. This is one of Country Living’s 60+ Best Pumpkin Recipes to Delight Your Family All Fall Long ~ a very good collection. Look no further for your pumpkin recipe ideas.
Pumpkin Beef and Black Bean Chili
Autumn is a time for soups and stews, and Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has a copycat recipe for Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup. I don’t know what this is like at an Olive Garden, but it looks great here.
Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Corn and Potato Chowder
For Dessert, Diane offers us this Apple Pan Pie, which here we would call an apple crumble. Fabulous served with cream or even ice cream.
Apple Pan Pie
kids and dogs love fallen leaves
so do we young at heart
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
we each have our own idea of an Aphrodite
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
Grilled Leek Potato Salad
And, these charred shrimp, leek, and asparagus skewers. I happen to like leeks.
Charred Shrimp, Leek, and Asparagus Skewers
I wonder if anything will be open this July 4th