have you come to sing pumpkin carols?
Here in ye Merrie Olde England we eschew Halloween as the pagan / catholic / foreign festival it is. Instead we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night on November 5th. However, these recipes are great for any cooler night when you’re having guests around, and you’re looking for something that evokes a darkly festive air. Something healthy, tasty, and easy to prepare?
All of the dishes I’m featuring this week are healthy as well as tasty and great looking, and if you want to make the most of a healthy eating recipe then try to buy the freshest organic ingredients that you can find.
And OK, this is a shorter post because I’m not at all happy with some Halloween excesses,
First up this week, and the first time I’ve featured this site; from poach me quick we have sticky and smokey chipotle and maple-baked chicken on the bone. Try not to get any of the messy stuff on your fingers onto your Halloween Costume.
Sticky and Smokey Chipotle Maple-Baked Chicken on the Bone
If you’re looking for something sweeter to have with tea, coffee, or a harder drink, then there’s this seasonally perfect pumpkin white chocolate bundt cake from Heather Christo. I bet Charlie Brown would love this at Halloween. Heather’s recipes are very healthy indeed.
Pumpkin White Chocolate Bundt Cake
And, from Ali Gimmie some Oven there’s candied walnuts, which I like the look of and she says are so irresistibly delicious. OK walnuts are one of those things we should eat to stave off the horrible ageing problems ~ so make these.
Now for something very American, from Good Housekeeping; acorn squash with brown rice and turkey sausage. Allegedly acorn squash is one of those superfoods, and makes the serving dish for this great-looking recipe.
Acorn Squash with Brown Rice and Turkey Sausage
Turns out that one can treat acorn squash in pretty much the same way as one would treat a potato, although I suspect that the squash is better for a bloke than a spud would be. So, as an opposite to the good old jacket potato, how about this baked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar, from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes. God! That would be so good with ice cream ~ or am I being silly?
Baked Acorn Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar
I’m enthused about acorn squash, especially as it seems you can use the gourd as a serving vessel ~ what a brilliant way to save on the washing-up. It looks like a pretty good thing for vegetarians and vegans too. So for our collection this week, from Country Living we have 30 best acorn squash recipes for a healthy addition to you fall dinners. One of the great looking recipes is the acorn squash soup with turmeric from Seasonal Cravings. Who doesn’t like a warming soup on a cold night?
Acorn Squash Soup with Turmeric
perfect for a Halloween cocktail
ginger is a ‘new’ superfood
Autumn carries gold in its breath
Call it Autumn, or call it the Fall, now is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. The days are shortening, the wind is a little colder, and the trees are covered in beaten gold, copper, and brown.
Perhaps this is also a time to change our recipes as the fresh, local ingredients drift from summer fruits to the richer fare of Autumn. This is no longer the time to try and keep that svelte bikini figure, perhaps now we can allow for that extra pound or two that will make our fall wardrobe fit a little better. So, here is a selection of recipes which may tempt you as this season for reflection begins.
First up this week is Tifanny from Creme de la Crumb who offers us something very warming for when the autumn nights draw in; instant pot roast and potatoes. I really like the instant part.
Instant Pot Roast and Potatoes
From Heather Christo we have this beautiful roasted butternut squash soup, which is vegan, and these days that’s a good thing. This recipe is also a good thing for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving.
Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Minimalist Baker has a perfect recipe for the fall; 1 hour fall pot pies. This is a 10 ingredient dish that we really can make in just an hour,and these are vegan too.
Vegan 1 Hour Fall Pot Pies
We seem to be hitting a vegan / vegetarian theme this week, because Half Baked Harvest’s September 23rd post, (the date of the equinox), was herby buttered mushroom stroganoff. I’m guessing that it would be pretty easy to turn this 30 minute recipe into a vegan dish.
Herby Buttered Mushroom Stoganoff
Back to our soup menu, (and who doesn’t like a warming soup on a chilly autumn evening), and Claudia Cash at Simply Recipes offers her 11 best soups to make in the Fall. I am especially intrigued by this recipe for baked potato soup ~ just how fabulous does that sound! I’m especially glad that bacon features in this dish.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
We have gone really crazy with our final collection for this week, from Country Living magazine; 70 Fall recipes you’ll want to make all season long. Totally ignoring the shaved Brussels sprouts salad, (yuck), I’ve picked out this easy sheet pan chicken with sweet potatoes apples and Brussels sprouts, from Erin Clarke at Well Plated by Erin.
Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes Apples and Brussels Sprouts
perfect for fall
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
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 is always a great recipe for tonight’s dinner.
This week’s recipes are all about making a good midweek dinner, but just as importantly every dish described here is also going to be great to take to work the following day. And, you know that it’s always better to take your lunch into work, rather than buy something at a deli or pay a small fortune to eat out at a restaurant.
So, try some of these and enjoy.
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest gives us something interesting and colourful with her weeknight saucy pineapple bbq chicken bowls. As well as being perfect for any night of the week, this recipe is also perfect to take to work for lunch.
Weeknight Saucy Pineapple BBQ Chicken Bowls
Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has this really cool recipe for spinach bacon quiche ~ and this is a hell of a lot easier to make than you might think. This delicious looking quiche would be great for a midweek dinner with some salad, or to take to work for brunch / lunch.
Spinach Bacon Quiche
Another quiche, (they are so great to take to work for lunch), this time an easy quiche Lorraine from Heidi at Foodie Crush. This recipe will be great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even a midweek dinner. Also from Heidi 14 days of healthy breakfast recipe ideas.
Easy Quiche Lorraine
Believe it or not, this grilled Thai pork tenderloin with soba noodle salad, is also an easy midweek meal. At least Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats says it is. The leftovers would be utterly brilliant to take to work for lunch, eaten cold, (or reserve the tenderloin and heat that in the microwave).
Grilled Thai Pork Tenderloin with Soba Noodle Salad
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. Tiffany calls one of her ingredients coriander, which you may know better as cilantro.
One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice
Our collection this week is from Carrie Havranek at Simply recipes who has 6 easy Vietnamese recipes you can totally make at home. My favourite for a midweek dinner and something great to take to work for lunch is this Char Siu Chicken, which would be perfect with rice and /or salad.
Char Siu Chicken
a post from Foodie Crush
It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine, it’s summertime.
Now that the weather is much better for most of you guys ~ warmer, sunnier, bluer skies ~ it’s perhaps time to think of lighter and healthier summertime dishes, rather than all of those warming soups you were cooking just a few weeks ago.
This week’s dishes all have a seafood angle to them.
First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious with these very clean and healthy looking garlic butter shrimp zucchini noodles. I have to admit that I don’t actually make zucchini noodles, but looking at this recipe I’m beginning to think that I should.
Garlic Butter Shrimp Zucchini Noodles
Now, from Heidi at Foodie Crush we have this very useful post entitled how to make the best grilled salmon. This isn’t so much a recipe as a method, but I think it’s damn good.
How to Make the Best Grilled Salmon
Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has a great summertime dish; spicy garlic shrimp with coconut rice. And, Elise is right, any shrimp dish is best eaten fresh.
Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Rice
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has an absolutely delicious-looking crab avocado salad on buttered garlic toast. So mouth-watering. So great to serve with drinks.
Crab Avocado Salad on Buttered Garlic Toast
This is interesting from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb; garlic lime shrimp marinade. And this is a fast marinade that will be ready for the grill in just 15 minutes. Lots of cilantro.
Garlic Lime Shrimp Marinade
and to drink, not wine
Heather Christo gives us a
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
Barolo, the Italian King of Wines
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
Marmaduke isn’t a big fan of Mac and Cheese
and then again, neither am I
What the New Year brings to our tables will depend on what we bring to the New Year.
Next Year I will have a new focus for each week’s food on Friday ~ concentrating on recipes, foods, and dishes to enhance our wellbeing, health, and happiness. I have no doubt whatsoever that the great cooks I have featured thus far in this series of blog posts will be more than up to the challenge of our creating a healthier lifestyle, while still retaining each of their unique signature styles.
But, for this last Food on Friday of 2018, I want to show you some recipes and dishes which will be great to offer your guests at whatever New Year’s get-together or wild party you are hosting.
No part would be complete without a great cheese board, so from San Diego cook Averie Sunshine we have ideas on just how to make the best cheese board. I really like that Averie uses prosciutto on her cheese boards! Me, I like to have a soft blue cheese, or maybe just a good old English Stilton. There are as many wines to drink with cheese as there are cheeses, but with Stilton it should be a good warm port.
The Very Best Cheese Board
Should you want to drink beer at New Year, then what about having these spinach and artichoke stuffed soft pretzels to go with your brew? From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest. Of course, what we English call beer and the fizzy pop the rest of the world drinks are two very different ales.
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Soft Pretzels
So, if you live by the sea, then you should serve a dish that reflects that. I guess none of you live on the Chesapeake, but from Dianes Kitchen I offer you this Chesapeake Crab Strata. Serve it like slices of pizza. Here in the North East of England we get some really great crab from the cold North Sea. Some say you should drink a Pinot Grigo with crab, but I would always prefer a cold Verdicchio.
Chesapeake Crab Strata
After my recent trip to Albuquerque I said that I would never eat meatloaf again ~ but brought to us by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipies here’s an idea for bbq meatloaf bites. Now I know that the chef, Nick Evans, intended these to be part of a meal for kids ~ but after a few drinks all men are just kids anyhow. As far as I’m concerned you can drink whatever the
fuck hell you like with meatloaf….. personally I would choose a red Cotes du Rhone Villages.
BBQ Meatloaf Bites
From Chungah at Damn Delicious there’s this new recipe collection; 15 best quick and easy New Year’s Eve appetisers….. My favourite dish here is this really clean-looking dish of lemon garlic shrimp kabobs ~ try these with a really cold vodka martini.
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
And finanally for 2018, from Country Living Magazine, we have a collection of 40 unbelievably easy New Year’s Eve appetisers. From this collection I like the look of these smoked salmon and cream cheese cucumber bites. Just how easy is that? If you want to show some real class, then you drink single malt whisky with smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites
not many are man enough to drink Laphroaig