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
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
believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see
Halloween is a little ways off yet, but I know that many of you will already have pulled your decorations out of the garage and started to put them about the place. Anyway, if you’re going to be ready for the fright fest night, you may as well start early.
When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers; ’tis near Halloween…..
From Joy the Baker here’s a dish that you can take to the couch while you watch your favourite scary movie and wait for scary kids to come to the door. Homemade Chili Cheese Fry Bake, sounds deliciously easy to make.
Homemade Chili Cheese Fry Bake
Quick and easy sandwiches are a good idea at All Hallows Eve, and from Damn Delicious we have these Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork buns. Actually, these would be fabulous any time you are out of doors.
Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
Something seasonal from Ali at Gimmie Somme Oven; Healthy Pumpkin Muffins, sweetened with maple syrup, vegan, and gluten free, great with spiced rum.
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
To drink at Halloween, what could be better than Hot Pomegranate Cider, following this recipe from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; (How Scary Eats?). If you really want to blow your mind, then get a bottle of Calvados and add a slug of that to each cup.
Hot Pomegranate Cider
A fabulous looking and powerful sounding drink from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; Voldemort’s Dark Serum. There are two quite dangerous ingredients in this concoction; tequila, and sage ~ and if you don’t think sage has an incredibly powerful effect on women, then you ain’t no herbalist.
Voldemort’s Dark Serum
Here’s a collection and a half for you, from Delish Magazine Scary-Good Halloween, which has more than 100 differently scary recipes. (Actually it’s 3 different collections including 45 Spooky Eats for a Grown-Up Halloween Party.) From there I’ve chosen this Black Bean Pumpkin Soup from A Foodcentric Life.
Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
darkness falls across the land
the midnight hour is close at hand
the basis of all happiness is good health
It’s all very well my trying to eat a very healthy Paleo diet, but face it, if the recipes are too difficult or too time consuming I’m just not going to make them. There is a limit to how much time a chap living alone is prepared to spend in the kitchen.
All of these recipes are healthy and easy, so enjoy.
First up this week, from Ali at Gimme Some Oven we have chicken and wild rice soup. May as well face it, it this viral epidemic gets worse we may all be glad of some chicken soup. This is real comfort food.
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.
Next, from Joy The Baker we have a roasted lemon chicken soup. This looks and sounds fabulous. I’ll bet this is a great pick-me-up too,
Roasted Lemon Chicken Soup
From Well Plated by Erin there this great looking but deceptively easy salmon wellington, (although I would have called it salmon en croute). I’d serve this with roasted asparagus. What a fabulous and fabulously easy meal to serve for dinner, or for a dinner party
Another salmon dish, sheet pan chipotle salmon with cilantro lime special sauce, this one from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; . I like sheet pan cooking, a lot.
Sheet Pan Chipolte Salmon with Cilantro Lime Special Sauce
With St. Patricks day coming up what about trying this Irish Stout beef stew with herbed dumplings? This recipe is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats. (To be honest, St. Patricks day is a non-event in most of English England. And right now the last place I want to spend any time is in a crowded bar.)
Irish Stout Beef Stew
And finally for this week, from In Dianes Kitchen we have a really simple recipe idea for sugar snap peas and bacon. What a smashing side dish, or with rice it would make a good light lunch to take to work, perhaps.
Sugar Snap Peas and Bacon
even on his little boat, Marmaduke is quite the chef
money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy crawfish
An étouffée is a spicy Cajun stew made with vegetables and seafood. It seems that étouffée is a French word meaning ‘smother’ or ‘suffocate’, which maybe explains why this dish is found in Creole and Cajun cuisines.
It seems that Creole is New Orleans city food, created by people who wanted to stay in the swamp and not go back to Spain or France.
Last week from Joy the Baker, I featured a fabulous recipe for shrimp étouffée risotto. Joy suggests that you cook this dish together ~ whatever floats your boat.
Shrimp Étouffée Risotto
From Imma at Immaculate Bites there is this very fine recipe for a classic shrimp étouffée. It is a pretty quick and easy dish for any dinner-time of the week. Imma also has a recipe for Creole Cajun seasoning that will go well with your étouffée.
This from Taste of Home, a crawfish étouffée. We don’t even have the word ‘crawfish’ in English English. It all sounds so Southern. The dish is featured in 30 Southern Skillet Recipes.
A recipe for Louisiana Crawfish Étouffée from Ashley Kirkland at All Recipes. Just what is a crawfish anyway?
Louisiana Crawfish Étouffée
From that interesting part of the deep south we also get Shrimp Gumbo. This dish from Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer.
And finally for this week a Classic Creole Sauce from The Spruce Eats, written by Diana Rattray.
Classic Creole Sauce
Loretta Lynn was from Louisianna
if music be the food of love, play on…..
At St. Valentine’s Day a young man’s mind turns to love and romance, and having been a young man once I can vouch for that. For all I know a woman’s mind turns to love and romance, and probably food too.
But what to do? Perhaps the young man want’s to take his best girl out for a special meal, in which case find the best restaurant within a reasonable distance of her place, even if you can’t quite afford it….. If the restaurant is in or near a good hotel, and if you think she would like it, then book a room, have champagne sent up.
Or, you could cook something special for the object of your affections. Here are some recipes that might go down well on this Valentine’s weekend.
First for this Valentine’s Day we have a steak. Cooking a great steak is fairly easy if you know how, and Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has a fabulous recipe for smoked ancho chile salted steaks with drunken burst sweet cherries + burrata. If your paramour likes a big red with their steak, then maybe find a bottle of Barolo.
Smoked Ancho Chile Salted Steak
From Joy the Baker there’s a fabulous recipe for shrimp étouffée risotto. Joy suggests that you cook this dish together ~ whatever floats your boat. (An étouffée is a spicy Cajun stew made with vegetables and seafood.)
Shrimp Étouffée Risotto
If you want to risk pasta, what with your date dressed up to the nines and all, then we have 15 romantically simple pasta dinners that scream ‘That’s Amore!’ This from Brit+Cco. This is a very risky dish of linguini with clams, but it’s so easy and so impressive.
Linguini with Clams
Should your love be vegetarian, vegan, of just into eating a lot of plant-based food right now, then Heather Christo has a collection of 100 plant-based recipes. To save you the bother of looking through this list I’ve found you this beet quinoa salad with pomegranate, mint, and pistachio. This dish can serve as a starter, entree or a side, and you can make it ahead of the evening and keep it in the refrigerator.
Beet Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate, Mint, and Pistachio
Our idea for a romantic dessert comes from In Diane’s Kitchen; this delicious looking strawberry pie. Diane says this is the easiest strawberry pie she has ever made, and face it, you don’t want to be spending all evening in the kitchen.
Our final collection for this Valentine’s day comes from Country Living; 65 Best Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas for the Most Romantic Date Night. I particularly like this Engagement Chicken Pasta, but maybe don’t tell her what it’s called unless you have the ring.
Engagement Chicken Pasta
if you are eating Italian, ask if the restaurant has a demi-frizzanti Franciacorta. That will impress.
It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.
Early December and it’s cold, dark, and drear in the run-up to Christmas. Today there is not much cheer around here, and anyway most people are busy making their arrangements for a great Christmas holiday.
Well, I’ll be on my own in the garret again over the Christmas holidays, so one of the things I should do is cook myself some great food. There are some very cool, very easy recipes in this post, and I hope that we can all enjoy them in the run-up to Christmas Day. I’m wondering if there’s going to be any great Christmas time TV.
First up this week, from Barcelona we have Ali at Gimmie Some Oven who has a healthier broccoli chicken casserole, made with pasta, tender chicken, and broccoli in a cheddar mushroom sauce. Despite everything this is a light and very healthy dish that’s really easy to prepare.
Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole
Now from Joy the Baker, something else with a broccoli theme; spicy broccoli pizza with homemade pizza crust. This is far, far better than anything you could buy anywhere, and a great pre-Christmas treat for your casual guests.
Spicy Broccoli Pizza with a Homemade Pizza Crust
Dana Shultz, the Minimalist Baker has a cool recipe for one-pot chicken soup with white beans and kale. This 30 minute recipe does look so easy to make, and it’s warming, healthy, and gluten free. What more could you want on a cold December evening.
One-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans and Kale
Another great chicken dish, and this time the recipe is from the ever-delightful Heather Christo; creamy tomato baked chicken and pasta. I would use gluten free, or wholemeal pasta, but that’s your choice. Whatever this is a great midweek dinner.
Creamy Tomato Baked Chicken and Pasta
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always gives us the longest titles for her recipes, this one is 30 minute Chinese egg drop chicken rice soup with garlicky chile oil. Say no more…..
Chinese Egg Drop Chicken Soup
The collection this week is from Country Living magazine; 85 easy Christmas appetizers that will delight all of your holiday guests. From this huge list I’ve chosen these deviled eggs with old bay shrimp from Carrie Purcell. But make your own choices fro your pre-Christmas drinks party and Boxing Day snacks.
Deviled Eggs with Old Bay Shrimp
some people are almost ready for Christmas
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
click the link to check some out