Category Archives: Carbon Footprint

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

My Weekly Roundup…Kiviak and Chrismas Jumpers…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Welcome, it’s that time of the week again and if you busy peeps have not had time to read my posts and there are a few…lol…They are all together here for your enjoyment. It is also a very busy time buying pressies, wrapping pressies and decking the house inside and out if you are one of those people who put up all those lovely lights…Then thank you as I used to enjoy getting in the car and driving around it is so lovely seeing some of the house so very festive and pretty…If you are one of those then please send in your pictures we would love to see them…

Time to sit down take a well-earned rest and enjoy!Carbon Footprints

Deforestation...Started as a plea to raise awareness of the plight of the Orangutan…But the picture which is evolving is showing that the problem is so much bigger than that… The response has been both enlightening and pleasing …

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/26/deforestation-and-our-carbon-footprint/

Eat Smart Eat Healthily is my last post on this subject this side of Christmas as many of you have done so well and eating is to be enjoyed so I left you with just a few hints and tips on how you can both enjoy guilt-free festivities and still enjoy that Christmas pudding x See you in the New Year.

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/27/eat-smart-eat-healthily-no-more-diets/

It was over to Sally’s for health tips and recipes …The Lovely Cranberry…

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cranberries-bittersweet/

Waste Not, Want Not! Is proving to be a popular topic and the response has been awesome…I am loving what I am learning and much more about what is going on in the world…

fresh compost green wastehttps://blondieaka.com/2018/11/29/waste-not-want-not-part-7/

Likewise with my monthly posts and my serial on the Culinary Alphabet over at Esme’s Salon…This month it was the letter K and I tried to find some festive dishes and failed but I hope I found some interesting little snippets for you.

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

Friday’s Christmas treats and traditions is proving to be popular and I wish to thank everyone for their contributions and there are more unknown facts coming up this week… They just keep coming xxx Isn’t he cute?

 

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/30/christmas-traditionstreats-and-festive-fun/

Lastly, with all that rich food… no one likes a dodgy tummy…Do we? So pop over to Sally’s and see how you can avoid it…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-dairy-leaky-gut/

Thank you so much for reading these posts I do hope you have enjoyed them…Until next time Take care, have fun and enjoy the festive season 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 week xx

 

Deforestation…and our Carbon Footprint.

Carbon Footprints

It was the plight of the Orangutan which first caught my eye and prompted me to write the first two posts…

Some schools of thought are that it is a massive marketing ploy by Iceland and maybe it was…It did, however, highlight the plight of the Orangutan.

It also highlighted once again the Palm Oil saga…

Sustainable Palm Oil is the best way to go as producing sustainable palm saves and or creates jobs for locals…

But and it is a big but…Deforestation is not only caused by the production of Palm oil it is a far bigger picture…Now I am not an expert I am learning more about the subject every day and from each article I research…There is so much more…

5 major causes of deforestation are:

Agricultural Expansion…The conversion of forests into agricultural plantations is a major cause of deforestation. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock.

control-burning-53614_640

Often, small farmers will clear a few acres by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as slash and burn agriculture. How could any animal survive that and more to the point where does it drive them to go?

Livestock Ranching …The increase in demand for meat is causing major problems in the Brazilian Amazon early 80 per cent of deforestation results from cattle ranching. Because cattle have heavy, flat hooves that flatten the soil and reduce its ability to absorb water and nutrients we get soil erosion. Drylands are especially at risk for overgrazing and reduction in the quality of the soil.

Logging…Logging operations, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, also cut countless trees each year. Loggers, some of them acting illegally, also build roads to access more and more remote forests—which leads to further deforestation.

deforestation-2833700_640

Paper can be made from products without using trees…

One acre of kenaf, a plant related to cotton, produces as much fibre in one year as an acre of yellow pine does in twenty years. Paper can also be made of a material such as hemp… The pulp made from non-resources is also less expensive than paper made from trees.

Some other sources of products which can be used to make paper are agricultural residues (e.g. sugarcane bagasse, husks and straw), fibre crops and wild plants, such as bamboo, kenaf, hemp, jute, and flax plus textiles and cordage wastes.

Making paper from non-tree sources is currently being done in at least 45 countries in more than 300 mills. Non-tree based papers require less bleaching and less energy to produce.

Infrastructure Expansion…Forests are also cut as a result of growing urban sprawl as land is developed for dwellings. Removing trees deprives the forest of portions of its canopy, which blocks the sun’s rays during the day, and holds in heat at night. This disruption leads to more extreme temperature swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.

Overpopulation… Ties in with Infrastructure expansion and more thought should be given when initial plans are made…Any cutting that does occur should be balanced by planting young trees to replace older trees felled. The number of new tree plantations is growing each year, but their total still equals a tiny fraction of the Earth’s forested land.

If deforestation carries on at its current rate The world’s rainforests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. It will have the most dramatic impact on millions of species who will lose their natural habitat.

There will then be the impact on climate change as those moist forest floors will dry out without the protection of the trees…Trees are also part of the water cycle as they return water vapour to the earth’s atmosphere we will be left with barren deserts.

Without the protection of the trees, extreme temperature swings will be harmful to plants and animals.

What can we do?

I think we really need to be more proactive in most aspects of our lives we should be buying local and growing what we can ourselves even if you only have a window box…Communal gardens in inner cities are on the rise or rooftop gardens and they have become very popular.

Have at least one meat-free day a week and yes I know you carnivores love your meat…I have two here and the look of shock and horror on their faces is priceless…But there are some very tasty meat-free options for meals now…A nice vegetarian chilli or spag bol, A vegetable curry or a frittata with a jacket potato and a salad. Once a week would that really hurt??

Some argue that veganism is the only sane way forward. A study last year showed, for example, that if all Americans substituted beans for beef, the country would be close to meeting the greenhouse gas goals agreed by Barack Obama.

But there are some alternatives.

Reducing the amount of meat you eat while improving its quality is advocated by many environmental groups. But where do you find this meat? The organic movement was founded on the pioneering work of Sir Alfred Howard. It is still relatively small – in Europe non-resources 5.7% of agricultural land is managed organically – but influential. There are other agricultural models, such as biodynamic farming and permaculture. More recently some innovators have been fusing technology with environmental principles in the form of agroforestry, silvopasture, conservation farming, or regenerative agriculture to create farming methods which all encompass carbon sequestration, high biodiversity and good animal welfare. A recent study showed that managed grazing (a technique which involves moving cows around to graze) is an effective way to sequester carbon. However, while organic and biodynamic meats have labels, regenerative farming, as yet, does not – so you need to investigate your farmer yourself.

If you want to know the true cost of eating meat …

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/may/07/true-cost-of-eating-meat-environment-health-animal-welfare

Shop locally ...Check where the foods you buy come from and see if you can source them locally so you can reduce your carbon footprint. Lentil, fruit, potatoes and rice are among the lowest in the carbon footprint table to see how your favourite food effects the   Carbon footprint then see attached link.

http://www.greeneatz.com/foods-carbon-footprint.html

Foot prints-990332_640

Don’t drive short distances...Walk…I do and I feel much better…

Line dry your clothes…Weather permitting…

Unplug any devices you are not using…all electronics suck energy when they’re plugged in, EVEN IF they’re powered down. In the U.S. alone, “vampire power” is responsible for draining up to $19 billion in energy every year. Anytime a cord is plugged into a socket, it’s drawing energy – so although your device isn’t charging, you’re still contributing to your carbon footprint. Simple solution? Leave your electronics unplugged at all times, unless you’re actually using them.

Don’t buy ” Fast Fashion”…Try alternatives like re-purposing old clothing, choosing locally handmade garments, buying vintage, or participating in clothing swaps with family and friends.

I do that here and it is a practice that is common here, Thais are very good at recycling clothes …I myself put out a call to friends and family who come on holiday and I get them to leave what they will not wear again as generally what happens is when next year arrives fashion has changed and they will probably just buy more. The only things I buy new is flip-flops and undercrackers…

Fast Fashion is cheap...How is it so cheap?… Cheap labour…Children should be at school and not working in a sweatshop…Often the cotton used is genetically modified cotton sprayed with lots of pesticides (including known carcinogens). This can be damaging to neighbouring non-GMO crops, cause water contamination, reduce biodiversity, and have negative impacts on human health.

Don’t forget that anything made overseas has a huge environmental impact – from the physical act of shipping a product across the ocean to the chemical runoff from garment factories (leather tanneries are particularly bad).

Which brings me back to the fact we should be buying locally it supports local businesses and if we all did so we would reduce our carbon footprint…

What do you do to reduce yours ??

Thank you so much for reading this xx

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 week xx