Good morning from sunny Thailand I am sure by now that for most of you your celebrations are in full swing… Now I am not a party pooper and I wish you all a joyous time and I will be leaving you with a few tips to help over the Christmas period and then I will leave to enjoy it and come back just after the New Year…
Christmas is more low key here…Thais don’t celebrate Christmas but the New Year… So not so many temptations for me…I do however remember the rounds of Christmas get-togethers all the goodies everyone used to bring into work…It played havoc with the diet and the waistline.
Chocolate… So many different ones, fudge, Turkish delight, marzipan fruits, after eight mints, quality street, pick and mix, sugared oranges and lemons, sugared almonds and so many more…We all know that Dark chocolate is good for you this link gives you some tasty options my favourites are anything with mint, orange or chilli…Now you just knew I was going to get that one in didn’t you?
The sausage rolls and mince pies we used to have so many of them when I was at work…Homemade ones, Marks & Spencers Finest and they were not bad…I am salivating here…The good news is Marks & Spencer is so far away from me that is all I can do…
What can you do?
Keep a little pot of these spiced mixed nuts/ Thai nuts with you at all times.
- 2 cups of raw nuts I used walnuts, cashews, almonds
- 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. red chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder ( I chop fresh garlic very finely) and stir in at the end of the cooking time.
- 1/4 tsp. rounded cayenne pepper (or more/less to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 325 degrees and line a small cookie sheet with parchment.
Combine all the spices in a medium bowl; add oil and mix until smooth.
Add the nuts into the bowl and stir until they are evenly coated.
Spread evenly on the prepared pan in a single layer.
Bake nuts for 12-15 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.
Remove from oven and stir once more before letting sit on the pan to cool for about an hour.
Store in an airtight container.
Hubby loved the nuts I liked them..Next time I will double up on the spices xx
My second recipe is a Thai one and most bars serve these with the drinks I love the addition of basil and ginger…I have also done this one with walnuts as they are my favourite nut…
- 2 cups unsalted peanuts
- 2 heaped tsp chilli oil (with the flakes and oil)
- 20 dried lime leaves, crushed (hard stems removed)
- 20-25 leaves Thai basil, chopped (reserve a couple tbsp for garnish)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, grated or very finely chopped
- small piece ginger, grated
- salt to taste
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Toss all the ingredients together on a baking sheet, and bake the nuts for 10-15 minutes, tossing halfway through so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven, toss with the reserved basil, and a little more salt if you like, and serve or when cold store in an airtight container.
Some Tasty Snacks.
- 4 slices turkey breast.
- 4 teaspoons cream cheese.
- 4 pickles or cucumber strips.
Place turkey breast slices on a large plate. Spread 1 tsp of cream cheese on each slice. Place a pickle or strip of cucumber on each turkey slice and roll up.
Olives are one of the nutritious staples of the Mediterranean diet. They are very high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and contain powerful antioxidants like oleuropein.
Depending on their size, 25 green or black olives contain about 100–175 calories.
Tomatoes and mozzarella sliced is a lovely thing..
Sun-dried tomatoes contain more lycopene than regular tomatoes.
What’s more, they are usually packed in olive oil, which helps your body absorb more of the lycopene.
A 3.5 oz (100 grams) serving of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil provides 170% of the RDI for vitamin C and contains a little more than 200 calories.
Marinated Artichoke Hearts.
Marinated artichoke hearts are delicious and nutrient-dense.
Artichoke hearts contain fibre and are a good source of vitamin K and folate.
Studies have shown that artichokes help protect the cells lining your arteries and contain prebiotic fibres that nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
A 3.5 oz (100 grams) serving of artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil contains about 190 calories.
Homemade Beef Jerky…The Thai Way…
- 1 lb top round steak, cut into strips measuring approximately 4 inches long, ½ inch wide, and ¼ inch thick
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp dark or light soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground white (or black) pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
Heat the oven to 120°F and set a rack in the middle of it. Spread out the beef strips on a large cookie sheet and let them dry out in the oven for one hour. Turn the beef strips over and let them dry for another hour.
You know the beef strips are ready when their surface is dry to the touch while the texture is still somewhat soft and elastic. When that happens, remove the beef strips from the oven or the drying basket and place them in a mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, heat up some vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or an 8- to a 12-inch frying pan with a raised edge on medium heat. You only need just enough vegetable oil to come up to about 2 inches from the bottom of the pan. Line a platter with a piece of paper towel and keep it nearby.
Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper, and sugar to the beef strip bowl and toss; make sure that all of the beef strips are evenly coated with the seasoning sauce.
Test the oil by sticking a wooden skewer or chopstick into the oil, making sure the tip of the wooden skewer touches the bottom of the pan. If you see tiny bubbles rising from the point where the wooden skewer touches the pan, the oil is ready.
Shake excess seasoning off of the beef strips and fry them in two batches. Be sure to stir the beef strips around to ensure even cooking. On medium heat, the beef only needs to be in the oil for less than a minute. You’ll see that the beef will brown up and develop a nice, glossy coating. When that happens, transfer them to the paper towel-lined platter.
Serve the fried sun-dried beef with spicy Thai dipping sauce and sticky rice.
Going out for drinks or a pre- Christmas dinner?
I will say just plan for that make a pot of soup so you always have soup to heat up either at home or take some to work… If you have breakfast and then a cup of soup as you need it through the day then you can go out and enjoy your festivities…Eat, drink and be Merry! A nice bowl of porridge which will/should stop you snacking until lunchtime… Or a nice protein drink or smoothie…These smoothies always keep me going and with the beetroot which helps give it that lovely colour it is one of my favourites.
Raspberry Protein Drink
3/4 cup of coconut water
1/3 cup of greek yoghurt
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
1/2 medium beetroot(raw) peeled and diced.
1 tbsp honey ( optional)
1 tbsp chia seeds ( optional)
Measure all the ingredients into your blender and blitz away… The colour was amazing a beautiful colour and it tasted very nice not too sweet and I did add honey.
Lastly go for your evening jolly and…Enjoy!
Until January I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year xxx
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS
Connect to Carol
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx