Author Archives: CarolCooks2

About CarolCooks2

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. This is now taking me into other areas like deforestation, chemicals and preservatives in the food chain. 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!

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters – The Sequel – Candida Albicans – Sally Cronin

If you are trying to lose some pounds and eat healthily and get those urges to just eat then Sally’s posts are great, informative, sensible advice …Not trying to sell you anything…Just factual common sense…Then you need to read this and her other posts 🙂 Thank you, Sally a great post 🙂

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

In last week’s post I explored the physical events in my life from childhood that might have resulted in the inability to sustain a healthy weight. Whilst I could pinpoint an hormonal imbalance from puberty, and a cycle of crash dieting as contributors to my eventual morbid obesity. It was the more important discovery of a series of extended courses of anti-biotics at age 10, that was to result in a breakthrough.

It is not just my health that was compromised, many millions of the population, particular in developed countries also have been put at risk, with an estimated 70% of us with a candidal albicans overgrowth, seriously undermining our health.

Just to recap….

What is Candida Albicans

Candida is a fungal infection of the intestine. There is a delicate balance of bacteria in our gut and it works very much like a waste-disposal unit. However, certain conditions can activate…

View original post 1,464 more words

Week 7…In my kitchen…My Sourdough is alive and kicking…

Welcome to week 7 in my kitchen…

I am now on Take 3 of the sourdough saga…I am not giving up…I went out bought wholemeal flour..ditched the expensive unbleached flour and started again, so far so good…We might get a sourdough loaf, fingers crossed…It has definitely been a learning curve but hey ho nothing in life is easy is it? Definitely not cooking.

You have probably noticed that my recipes are all cooked from scratch contain healthy ingredients which have proven health benefits…I am trying to break the mould or the myths that healthy food is bland and/or boring…There seems to be a barrier to me… we just need to know our food and what the benefits to our health is and cook accordingly.

I don’t spend hours in the kitchen and I don’t think that I buy special foods or expensive foods and I certainly don’t feel deprived in any way at all…It is also foods which we all eat ..grandkids included although we limit the heat for little Lily or take her portion out before we add all the chilli.

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Something I never thought I would try…Matcha Tea with Cheese… I first heard about this on John Reiber’s blog which I will say I love, John is always finding the quirky, the unusual and he loves bacon so that is a plus in my book…My comment was…

I am with Pete on this one…Cheese with Apple Pie( not melted) or cheese with Christmas cake as they do in the North of England I like …Cheese and tea does not appeal, although I will say I don’t drink many drinks at all my taste, is simple with regards to drinks water being my main tipple. Interesting to hear your view though John 🙂

Enter my grandson Aston with the said tea and cheese drink ” You must try this, Nannie it is so cool…I should have guessed that something like this would have found its way here…

matcha tea with cheese

I ummed and I ahhed and expressed my unwillingness to try it…Made with matcha green tea then cream cheese is frothed and added to the top…So I succumbed to Aston’s just try it, nan!

It wasn’t awful… It was ok…Would I buy one…No! But then I don’t buy drinks like that anyway but it really was ok and I can see it being a hit…

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This weeks curry… Red Duck Curry ( Kaeng Ped Pett Yang)

Thai Red Duck Curry Kaeng Ped Pett Yang

One of my favourite curries and one which I don’t have very often…why? Not sure really…I probably save it for special occasions.

I had Duck curry for the first time on a little island just off Phuket, Thailand it is a fiery curry offset by pineapple and tomatoes. Some add lychee as well as pineapple but we found it a little sweet for us but experiment, everyone’s taste is different….I also add some vegetables, mange tout or sugar snap peas, a few florets of brocolli..really whatever I have in the fridge.

Firstly cook your duck breasts, we like ours medium rare.

Put the duck skin side down in a cold pan, turn the heat to medium and cook the duck breasts for 6-8 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy, turn the breasts over and just sear the other side for 1 minute. Turn over so they are breast side up and put in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing the breasts thinly.

Sauce:

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 10 cherry tomatoes.
  • 6-10 mange tout..or other vegetables of your choice.
  • 100gm Thai eggplant cut into quarters. ( Pictured below)

SAM_7044

100gm pea eggplants( Pictured to the right above)

If you can’t get these any small eggplant will be ok I sometimes use small purple ones if I can’t get the green.

  • 1-2 tbsp red curry paste.
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves torn
  • Bunch Thai basil washed and leaves picked..
  • 2 tsp lime juice.

To make sauce put a very tiny drop of oil in the pan over medium heat add your curry paste and stir to cook for 1 min, add fish sauce. Gradually add coconut milk whilst still stirring.

Bring to a slow boil and add torn lime leaves and eggplants cook for 5/6 mins and add tomatoes and pineapple, cook for a further 10 minutes then add mange tout and stir in some Thai basil leaves and lime juice.

Now taste and adjust curry paste if you want more heat. If anything else needs adjusting you can also do that now. Thai flavours are very pronounced and if you get it balanced ..very nice if not…I have had some disasters and I don’t mind admitting that…which is why I always say TASTE and Taste again.

The very first duck curry I made was ok…so we left out the lychee the next time and it was much better…also, I know which curry paste to now use as they are all so different…Please don’t let this put you off making it as when you get it right it is a lovely thing.

When you are ready to serve then add sliced duck to the sauce and just warm through and serve with some Thai basil over the top and slice red chilli if you like.

Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!

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My finds this week…Were not ones I chanced upon but ones I was searching for…I love green tea and am discovering more about the types and how they are produced and what health benefits they have… I always use loose leaf tea and if the green tea has a lot of stalks then it is a low-grade one the one I bought the other day is completely different in appearance it is like little buds I can also see and taste the difference this one has slightly more colour and a refined taste. Although how you brew your green tea makes a lot of difference and I don’t get that bitter green tea taste anymore…

Jin Xuan Oolong No 12 tea

Jin Xian Oolong No 12 Tea also known as Golden Lily Oolong tea is 100% organic and contains no artificial additives.

Grown in the northern mountains of Thailand 1200-1800 metres above sea level it is untouched by pollution… a low oxidised tea of twisted little balls /snails… Called BiLuoCun which means the green shell which because the tea is hand rolled it looks like small snail shells..hence the name.

Dut to its high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals it is said to increase the metabolism thus breaking down fat, reduce cholesterol and improve skin condition.

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Because I am cutting down on certain foods and want to increase my fibre I am going to eat more brown/wild rice which I love …Thailand is the home of rice and there are so many choices of rice…Types and colours it is awesome … I have decided to start eating more wild rice…the one I bought this week from the Royal Project Shop was Kaipa Wild Rice …Like my tea grown in the mountains of Northern Thailand…I am also trying to reduce our carbon footprints…

Kaipa wild rice Northern Thailand

Kaipa Wild Rice...I know wild rice takes longer to cook however to cut down on the cooking time for brown or wild ricesoak it overnight. For brown rice, the water-to-rice ratio is 2 to 1. For wild rice, cover with a generous amount of water, several inches above the riceSoak the rice in a covered pot and keep in the refrigerator about six hours or overnight.

This Highland brown rice is grown by the Pakayor hill tribe …It is long grain rice similar to Mali rice. The rice contains gamma oryzanol which is an antioxidant that helps prevent free radicals.

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If you are a fan of smoothies like me…I had a lovely one the other day…Mixed coloured tomatoes, green, red, orange and a couple of passionfruit…Try one it is lovely…

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My experiment this week ( apart) from sourdough…was Pork and Blackbean Sauce.

pork black bean sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of pork fillet cut into 1/4 in strips
  • 1 tbsp of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rice wine
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp raw cane sugar
  • 3 tbsps oil
  • 2 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1/4 shredded white cabbage( optional)
  • 1 chilli which I snuck in…( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Put the pork fillet in a bowl with the first 7 ingredients. Now massage the pork with your hands to incorporate the marinade otherwise it will just sit in the ingredients and we want it to absorb the flavours anything we make here which has a marinade is massaged in with the hands. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Heat 2 tbsps of your oil then add your pork and stir fry for 2/3 minutes until it is almost cooked. Transfer to a plate.

Drain the oil from the pan and keep for stir-fries or something and add the other tbsp of oil and add your cabbage cook for 1 minute… I used cabbage as it added another texture/vegetable and next time I would add more cabbage.

Return the pork to the pan and add 2 tbsps of black bean sauce stir fry for 2 mins and taste add some salt if required.

Serve with rice or noodles and drizzle with sriracha or chilli oil.

Enjoy!

Our Verdict:

The pork was lovely and soft…I only used pork fillet as my little old pork man didn’t have the cut I normally buy and let me have it for the same price ..bless him…I am sure it would be equally as good with hip or with chicken…I thought it needed more chilli and cabbage…But I am a chilli fiend…Hubby loved it as it was. It is a nice quick meal to make and would make it again x

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Thank you very much for reading this post and if you have any tales from your kitchen you would love to share please do x

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.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

The Culinary Alphabet: The letter M

carolcooks 2 culinary alphabet M

Welcome to this month’s The Culinary Alphabet my monthly guest post over @ Esme’s Salon this month it is the letter M which means I am exactly halfway through the alphabet.

Starting with Mayonnaise which is so much better made from scratch and it is also easy to do…

Mayonnaise

There is nothing like homemade mayo once you have made it you will never buy a shop made one ever again.

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp of mustard
  • 240 ml of good olive oil
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of lemon or lime juice.

Put the egg whites in a bowl with the Cider vinegar and blend gently until they are well mixed. With the blender still going slowly start to add the olive oil starting with just a drop and increasing to a steady stream as the mayo starts to thicken. Blend well until the mayo is your desired thickness and season to your taste.

How easy is that?

Mascarpone

A silky and slightly sweet Italian cheese which is made using only two ingredients whole cream and citrus which is why it is easy to make at home. Because of its high butter content, it spoils quickly so once opened it should be used quickly. It is made using no rennet so is suitable for vegetarians. It is used to make that traditional Italian dessert of Tirasamu, to thicken soups, it can be added to mac and cheeses for a creamier sauce and makes a lovely dip when herbs are added.

Now you have had a little taster…something to tickle those taste buds you will have to pop over to Esme’s to see what else begins with the letter M…x

https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-the-letter-m/

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.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year.

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great Valentines Day xx

 

Waste Not! Want Not! Week 11…

Good Morning and my how the weeks fly…Week 11 and every week I come across new exciting projects and it is lovely it is restoring my faith in human nature so many people really do care about the legacy we leave our children and grandchildren.

Here in Asia, much plastic is used it is a hot topic with many initiatives springing up all over the place…A long, long way to go but the signs are good.

Many people holiday abroad and seek out the beaches… BUT and this is where you can help…Are you mindful of how you dispose of your rubbish?… I have witnessed many tourists just leaving the beach and their rubbish with no thought of the environment or who clears up behind them.

What would you rather see this?

 

Or this?

Please if you are on the beach or on a boat dispose of your rubbish correctly.

Would people do it at home? Many do but many don’t!

The tiny little cigarette butt...

cigarette butt

 

A tad larger than life here… I don’t smoke …my hubby does… Trust me he knows my feelings…haha…He used to when he was outside in the garden smoking stub them out in my plant pots! He no longer does that…Just in case you can’t tell this was typed through gritted teeth …The man learnt!

Cigarette butts…

The Ocean Conservancy has sponsored a beach cleanup every year since 1986. For 32 consecutive years, cigarette butts have been the single most collected item on the world’s beaches, with a total of more than 60 million collected over that time. That amounts to about one-third of all collected items and more than plastic wrappers, containers, bottle caps, eating utensils and bottles, combined.

People sometimes dump that trash directly on to beaches but, more often, it washes into the oceans from countless storm drains, streams and rivers around the world. The waste often disintegrates into microplastics easily consumed by wildlife. Researchers have found the detritus ( waste or debris) in some 70 % of seabirds and 30 % of sea turtles.

Those discarded filters usually contain synthetic fibres and hundreds of chemicals used to treat tobacco.

Please if you must smoke dispose of your butts responsibly…Not in the sand or flicked into the sea, not flicked as you walk along the street or out of your car window…Use an ashtray!

ash tray with smoking cigarette

Find a bin…Take it home stick in your cigarette packet…Just don’t flick it and forget…Just remember it has also only taken a cigarette butt carelessly flicked to start a fire…

If you thought they were biodegradable think again…

It may look like cotton, but 98 % of cigarette filters are made of plastic fibres (cellulose acetate) that are tightly packed together, which leads to an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of cigarette butts winding up as toxic trash each year.

Are they biodegradable…No! The plastic fibres in cigarettes are non-biodegradable which means they DO NOT break down organically.

They can gradually decompose depending on the environmental conditions like sun and rain but after 2 years research shows only 38% has decomposed…

 

I give you Better butts… 

 

There is nothing better that I love apart from writing is the comments from you… Last week I touched on recycling and Adele sent this link …I love it! So innovative …

Adele shared this great video on how to make tee-shirt yarn it is soooo cool and I will definitely be having a go with my granddaughter. Thank you so much Adele xxx

 

That’s all for this week I hope you have found something interesting and please carry on commenting and letting us all know what you do or any great incentives you have come across… I love to hear from you and if we share our good practices then the world benefits 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

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great Valentines Day and a brilliant weekend xx

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – St. Valentine’s Day – #Thai three course dinner

Valentines Day..Stuck for a menu? Well look no further Saly has put one together from my recipes and it is easy to do and yummy…Thank you,Sally xxxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

If you are looking for a special way to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day then perhaps a romantic dinner for two, created by Carol Taylor from some of her most popular recipes from the last couple of years, incorporating wonderfully warming and spicy Thai ingredients.

Tom Yum Soup with Prawns (Tom Yum Goong)

This is one of my favourite Thai soups and the first time I made it from scratch I questioned the colour as in many restaurants it is a bright orange colour. It is because a Tom Yum paste or stock cube is used…This one is made from scratch it also doesn’t have that sharp taste but is more mellow and I think more pleasant.

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1 inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500gm Prawns
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium…

View original post 1,257 more words

Healthy Eating… No More Diets!… Fibre are you getting enough?

Hello and thank you for joining me on my journey to fitness…The talk I gave myself last week worked…I cannot believe I have been so good and focused…

I have kept myself busy and had regular walks but is it getting hot so I go early or after the midday sun but as soon as I step foot indoors I start to leak…

Today is day 7 of no booze aka sundowners, No added sugar, lots of fruit, no bread. I will admit though WHEN I get my first sourdough loaf out of the oven…I will be sampling it with lashings of grass-fed butter. No, if’s…No But’s… I will ENJOY!

When being the operative word as I am struggling with this sourdough starter…In fact, it is becoming an obsession…I am now on Take 3.

The second one unlike the first one which was lively from the second day …was a very slow starter…Same flour, same water, same place…

It kept forming a skin and started to go mouldy…

Armed with my list I went shopping… whole wheat flour, wild rice and a very nice Golden Lily Oolong Green tea, kilos of mandarins and strawberries was my haul.

I am now on Day 3 which I started with wholemeal flour… it soon started getting lively and today I fed it with all-purpose flour…having ditched the expensive unbleached flour I started out with…Fingers crossed third time lucky …haha

Yesterday I ate my first wild rice ( I swapped) it for white rice and it was beautiful…Wild rice is one of my favourite kinds of rice and my aim is to increase my fibre as my research tells me that most of the population do not eat their recommended daily amount of fibre.

Let’s look at fibre in our diet…

Our diet should contain 30 gm of fibre a day the average daily intake is 18 gm…By my maths just over half…

It seems that the Western diet is the culprit…Heavily based on refined highly processed foods like white bread, pasta, rice, cakes,, biscuits and sweets…It seems to me that most TV adverts, Bill Boards, In-store advertising, placement of food and special offers like BOGOF are all promoting these foods…Think about it you go out shopping with your list and the healthy foods you want to buy…Are they on the Bill Boards, on special offer or being promoted???   I think that is a big resounding NO!

During the processing of these refined foods, most are stripped of their fibre and vitamins and minerals…Why? Well, it may make some easier to digest and save our gut from working too hard…But at what cost…They offer little in the way of nourishment for our bodies and certainly don’t help our gut to stay healthy.

There is nothing to say we cannot eat those foods but the healthier version…

The rice I opted for was Kaipa Wild Rice which is grown by the Royal Project Foundation in the North of Thailand…Many of the hill tribes here are growers which operate under the Royal Project which was started to help the hill tribes. The Royal Project was initially established in 1969 by His Majesty King Bhumibol to support farmers in rural areas to plant crops instead of planting opium. Initially, it was a voluntary project cooperated by many famous universities in Thailand such as Kasetsart University, Maejo University, and Chiang-Mai University. Nowadays, the Royal Project has travelled throughout the country covering Chiang-Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Phayao, and Mae Hong Son we also have a Royal Project shop here in Udon Thani where produce is sold from these farmers all fruit and vegetables are sold in season and it is lovely because I can find unusual fruits and vegetables which cannot be found in larger stores although sometimes I get something once and then not again for a while they only stock what comes in rather than having the same regular deliveries which is nice…

This is what I found out about the differences in rice… I know Asia is the centre of rice production which means there are many varieties available here…My favourite is wild rice, black rice also known as raspberry rice and brown rice…Just look at the health benefits…

Cooked wild rice has about 30 per cent fewer calories than brown rice as well as 40 per cent more protein. It also contains more fibre, potassium and zinc. … Both options are gluten-free and rich in antioxidants and both make nutritious and delicious alternatives to white rice.

Wild rice is a special type of grain that’s chewy and tasty. It’s higher in protein than regular rice, and it contains several important nutrients and an impressive amount of antioxidants. What’s more, eating wild rice regularly may improve heart health and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

While whole grain brown rice and red rice also contain beneficial antioxidants, only black rice contains anthocyanin. Additionally, black rice also contains important antioxidant Vitamin E, which is useful in maintaining eye, skin, and immune health in addition to other important functions.

How can we increase our fibre content…

How about doing a straight 50/50 swap? Half your meat in your shepherd’s pie, chilli, curry or spag bol and replace with lentils. this vegetarian chilli is a recipe my friend Richard shared with me…You could either half the lentils and add half meat or use all lentils for your meat-free day

Vegetarian chilli. ( or 50/50)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves

Put all your ingredients in a pot and cook as normal ensuring lentils are cooked through.

vegetarian chilli with lentils

 

I did add a couple more tomatoes and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe….I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…

Making burgers or meatballs replace some of the meat with rolled oats and just increase your herbs and spices to balance the flavours.

Sprinkle chopped nuts, chia seeds or flaxseed to your yoghurt or salads which will give you another texture to your food and up your fibre intake.

Bread, pasta, rice all come in whole grain versions (see my paragraph on rice above) Bread eat whole grain and try other kinds of rice I think they have more taste. When you are baking swap even half your flour and to be honest depending on what you are making no one will notice but you will be increasing your fibre.

Roasted vegetables and potatoes cooked with the skins on will all increase your fibre intake and your flavour intake as refined foods are pretty bland are they not?

Have a meat-free day and experiment with plant-based foods in fact if you have been either reading the news or my other posts the Canadian Government is really promoting pretty much the same as I am…They are obviously concerned about the health of the nation and doing something about it…Here is the link if you haven’t seen it already

There are so many ways you can increase your fibre but take it easy and do it gradually we don’t want any upset tummies, do we?

I have started increasing my fibre by changing the type of rice I  eat as I eat more rice than any other options like pasta, bread or potatoes. Veggies I always leave the skins on anyway but if you don’t like skins or the kids don’t throw them away make veggie chips most kids love the crispy skins or chop some skins and make Pakora which is what I am doing this week I will give you the recipe and our thoughts on Friday…

Have I noticed a difference cutting out the sundowners and changing my rice and increasing my fruit intake…Yes, I have more energy and I have dropped a couple of lbs my tummy is not bloated…

Personally, unless I was medically advised I would not follow any eating plan or eat anything I didn’t like …We should enjoy our food and also enjoy how it makes us feel and like a new dress or a new pair of those shoes we have wanted forever cutting out the crap makes you feel good and I have more money in my purse which means I will be able to get that new laptop I desperately need much quicker…

Thank you for reading this post I am happy that you joined me today for our little chat on how we can improve the health of both our body and our purse/wallet.

I hope you thought so  too 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.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

Be my Valentine…?13th February…

Valentines Day Roses, hearts and flowers and maybe a cuddly toy…

It hasn’t always been like that…There are lots of tales surrounding Valentines Day but no definite actual this is really what happened…

The ancient Romans shall we start there?… The Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia between the 13th and 15th of February…Those Romans and their orgies are legendary the men sacrificed a dog and a goat and then whipped their woman with the hides from those poor animals. It seems the woman themselves were up for a beating and actually stood in line as they believed it would make them fertile…

It didn’t stop there as Emperor Claudius executed two men called Valentine on the 14th February on different years in the 3rd century A.D. The church then made martyrs of the two men…and honoured then with Valentines Day…A day of fertility and love…

Valentine’s day today is not quite so bloody it is more hearts and flowers.

Who still gets taken out on Valentine’s Day??

I never have as my husband has always said you are not my Valentine you are my wife… Which again if you look at the original meanings he is right…

When the kids got older they used to nag him though until he bought me something…haha…My first gift …A red devil complete with horns…and me so quiet, shy and retiring…haha

cartoon red devil

 

 

So for everyone who is staying in either because of the weather or just because here are a few suggestions and recipes…

For starters, if it is chilly where you live or because you love soup then a lovely bowl of tomato soup with heart-shaped croutons is just the thing.

Or do a lovely heart-shaped swirl with some soured cream which would look very pretty.

If you are seafood lovers then a lovely seafood platter is easy to do and looks quite spectacular.

seafood platter

Some smoked salmon, a few plump mussels, lovely grilled prawns, soft squid there is so much lovely seafood to choose from just a little of each arranged on a platter with maybe a nice drizzle of seafood sauce or a chilli sauce.

This quick little soy sauce is a nice to drizzle …just finely cut a clove of garlic and a small piece of fresh ginger, fry in a small pan , stirring to release the flavours add scant tbsp soy sauce and half to one tbsp honey stirring and cook for 2 mins, sometimes I add a squeeze of lime..just taste and play with the flavours. Then drizzle as pictured…

Main course:

This chicken dish is one we make often and it is quick and easy and served with rice or potatoes and some lightly steamed vegetables it is very nice.

Lemon Chicken with caper sauce.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:

• 4 Chicken Breasts (skinless)
• 2/4 cloves garlic.
• 1 tbsp capers ( rinsed)
• 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
• Half lemon sliced.
• 1/4 cup lemon juice.
• 1/2 pint chicken stock.
• 5 tbsp Olive Oil.
• 2 tbsp Butter.
• Parsley for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess flour.

In a large skillet over medium high heat add 3 tbsp olive oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.

When the chicken is browned, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil starts to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate, set to one side.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers and garlic.

Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavour.

Check for seasoning and add lemon slices and parsley.

Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5/10 minutes depending on the size of breasts. Remove chicken to a platter.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Serve with boiled rice or potatoes of your choice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

Valentines Dessert

This is where I am normally too full for anything else but if you fancy a dessert…Then chocolate covered strawberries are very nice…Or just a bowl of fresh strawberries like these ones I picked up at my local market…

fresh strawberries

Simple and delicious as they are or if you have a fondue set then go for it and dip them in chocolate at the table…

Or a lovely strawberry mimosa…Just blend 2 cups of strawberries with half a cup of water and then strain through a sieve. Chill.

Pop a strawberry in the bottom of a champagne flute, half fill with the strained strawberries and carefully top up with your favourite champers…Garnish with a fresh strawberry and there you have it… Strawberry Mimosa…

Or using the same strawberry puree to make a lovely Daiquiri… I think will go down very nicely…My preference is a strawberry Mojito…

strawberry mojito

Happy Valentine’s Day…

What will you be making or does your other half cook???

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.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx