Category Archives: Cook from scratch

Healthy Eating…No more Diets…But a way of life…

Good morning…We have had some much-needed rain my curry plant which I moved is now sprouting  I have stopped watering that as ( hubby) was overzealous and it didn’t like it. My sourdough is looking good…Fingers crossed dogged persistence seems to be paying off…I am nothing if not stubborn…haha…I give myself the same talk every day…

No-diets-No-excuses

Who do you cheat??? Yourself!

The fibre in our diets was the topic last week and it raised some interesting questions…

Robertawrites said

I am sure you are right about our fibre intake being too low, Carol. Wild rice is nice but it takes a long time to cook.

Yes, it does …However…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. It works a treat and even hubby ate some yesterday and that was a first he is getting quite adventurous in his old age…

Tidalscribe said…

I always use wholemeal flour for baking and brown basmati rice – I love the smell when it’s cooking. But I encounter great opposition when I try to sneak in wholemeal pasta! However, Cyberspouse does make a great vegetarian bolognaise with mushrooms, a can of five beans, peppers, courgettes and of course tomato, onion and garlic.

Janet has the same problem I have always encountered and we have to be sneaky…haha…Isn’t it funny how families can be opposed to some changes try making your own using half and half whole wheat flour to start and colouring with a vegetable colour…My grandkids love the coloured pasta. Cyberspouse’s spag bol sounds nice I love mixed beans.

But if they are getting adequate fibre from your baking and rice depending on how much pasta they are consuming in a week does it matter?… I would do sneaky, sneaky, slowly, slowly…haha Or get them to help make pasta it is known fact that what you help cook you are more likely to eat/try…Good Luck 🙂 x

There were also comments about how increasing fibre in the diet had helped with medical conditions and how doctors are recommending that we increase our fibre which is lovely to hear please keep those comments and experiences coming everyone loves to hear what works and if something doesn’t for you …Did you try an alternative that did? no one size fits all we need to experiment and find what we like to eat and what improves our health.

My alcohol-free February is going well day 14 TODAY and I feel great…Tummy is a little flatter I have increased my fibre and am cutting out those added sugar items eating lots of lovely fruit…my new favourite smoothie is tomatoes and passionfruit just whizz them together with some crushed ice ..very nice …I love passionfruit and there are lots at the moment so a lovely way to use them…

I know sometimes if you are trying to lose some pounds, eat healthily and we get those urges to just eat. It does seem that sometimes we try so very hard and are met with problems around every corner sometimes it is not us…There is a real reason and there may be something we can do … Sally’s posts are great, informative, sensible advice …Factual and common sense… Sally said…

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 a 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 antibiotics at age 10, that was to result in a breakthrough.

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

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…

.Read more by clicking the link below…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-candida-albicans-sally-cronin/

Of course, I cannot go without leaving you with an easy and healthy recipe…

Thai food is a great choice for gluten-free and dairy-free eaters because it is rice-based and uses a lot of coconut milk. … Traditional Thai soy sauce is gluten-free, but just be careful when eating out as restaurants may use wheat-based Chinese soy sauce.

Thai food is low on carbs,  includes lots of fresh vegetables and herbs and most dishes are cooked very quickly so everything retains its colour and flavour, in fact, preparation most times takes longer than the actual cooking.

This Larb recipe can be made using chicken or Pork. I have used Pork Mince for this.

Larb Moo.

larb Moo

Ingredients: Serves 1-2 people.

  • 200 gm Pork or chicken mince.
  • 3 shallots finely sliced.
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced green tops as well.
  • A handful of fresh Mint, pick the leaves from stem and tear the leaves into large pieces( mine is a big handful)  I love mint.
  • A handful of fresh coriander chopped.
  • A few Thai Basil leaves for the decoration.
  • I Lime use half to a whole lime juice depending on personal taste.
  • Dried chillies..dry roasted in a pan and grind in pestle and mortar.
  • 1 large tbsp toasted rice. ( recipe below)
  • 1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A small amount of palm sugar….I use it sparingly or not at all.

Lets Cook!

Using a small saucepan dry cook the mince, I add a small amount of water to stop it from sticking.

Stir until cooked, remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in toasted rice, sm amount palm sugar, chilli( as desired) start with 1 tsp and once all ingredients added ..taste and add more if required.

Stir in the mint and coriander, shallots and spring onions, stir well but carefully.

Add fish sauce and half of the lime juice.

Taste! if required add more chilli, fish sauce and or lime juice and Taste again as lime and chilli. Put in a serving dish.

Garnish with Thai Basil leaves.

Serve with steamed organic brown or wild rice /Thai sticky rice or if you don’t want to eat rice it is lovely served in lettuce cups.

As an accompaniment serve with sliced cucumber, sliced white cabbage, green beans and Thai basil leaves.

Thai’s eat a lot of raw vegetables with Larb which is why it’s a fairly healthy meal and if a chicken is used it has even fewer calories.

It is an ideal dish if you are watching the calories as are many Thai dishes.

NB: To make the dried rice mix, Take a thick bottomed pan and put it on a medium to low heat, cover bottom with uncooked sticky rice( if you don’t have any) normal rice will do. Stir until rice turns a golden brown colour, tip into pestle and pound until powdery but slightly coarse.

N.B. Glutinous rice is gluten-free. The misleading name simply comes from the fact that glutinous rice gets glue-like and sticky when cooked. … It all comes down to starch content.

You can store the rice in a small container and it will keep for 6-8 weeks…

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do…I love this salad.

Having lived here 7 years and just discovering that this salad mix can also be shaped into little patties fried in a little oil and you have those lovely little Thai cakes they serve as a snack… Wrapped in a cabbage leaf and a squeeze of lime juice they are very tasty… You live and learn ..Don’t you?

prawn cakes

 

That’s all from me for this week I hope you have enjoyed this post…How is your healthy eating going ???

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

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!

♦♦♦♦♦

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.

♦♦♦♦♦

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.

♦♦♦♦♦

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…

♦♦♦♦♦

 

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

♦♦♦♦♦

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

Week 6…In my kitchen…Sourdough…Take 2 is still alive…

Welcome to week 6 in my kitchen, The good news is my sourdough starter…Take 2…Still lives…

Chinese New Year celebrations have been in full swing …Lots of lights, Lion dances, loud music and firecrackers…Not forgetting yummy food…All will be revealed soon when I collate all my pictures.

My new favourite Coconut cream just gets better… it keeps wonderfully in the fridge for a week which is the longest and it stiffened up nicely so I am thinking it would make a nice filling for cream slices, a swiss roll or gateaux…Another project and it is healthy…Who said healthy food was boring and bland???

Papaya Salsa was my new experiment…Papaya is classed as one of the worlds healthiest foods and Christopher Columbus likened it to a fruit of the angels…In a salsa?? I made a small bowl to start and was pleasantly surprised.

I used 1 ripe tomato, a cup of papaya, 1 spring onion, a small shallot, a handful of chopped coriander and a cheek of fresh lime. Cut everything up small and mixed together…It was very nice…I would make it again but will add just a little chilli…It has to be done…haha

Papaya tomato onion salsa

Eaten with my flatbreads ( last weeks post) it made a lovely little snack.

This weeks curry is for those hot curry lovers...I find seafood enhances the heat of the chillies…

This lovely spicy squid curry is not for the faint-hearted even I found it a tad hot.

But if you like a bit of heat, then this is just the curry for you.

Spicy Red Curried Squid.

This recipe is for two people but it is quite easy to double up the ingredients, it is also very quick to cook so prepare all your ingredients first and then in as much time as it takes to cook your rice you will have a beautiful curry.

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm squid cleaned and cut into rectangles I normally score mine with a sharp knife( it just makes them look prettier).
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tomato cut into 8
  • A handful of pea eggplants( optional)
  • Sm piece of fresh ginger finely cut into slivers or cubes
  • Black pepper
  • Half tbsp of coconut oil
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp fish sauce.
  • Sm bunch of Thai basil

Ok…Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a wok until it is very hot and add garlic, shallots and curry paste, stir fry for 30 seconds.

Note: The Thai red curry paste I get is a very hot one which I get freshly made from my local market.

Add tomatoes, ginger and pea eggplants if used and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add squid and pepper and stir-fry for a further 1 minute.

Add coconut milk and fish sauce stir well and cook on low heat for 2 minutes, stir in Thai basil.

Thai spicy red curry squid

Serve with steamed rice and……. Enjoy!

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.

My newly discovered fruit this week was the young Tamarind I have seen it for the last few weeks at the market and my daughter-in-law was up last weekend and bought some.

fresh young tamarind fruit

The fruit inside starts off white and tastes nutty and as it ripens it goes pink and you can slightly taste a sourness, the last stage when it is dried and you get the dark sticky tamarind is maybe the tamarind you see for sale in bright red boxes in your supermarket.

Tamarind like many fruits and vegetables has a long history of healing and aiding stomach disorders and is used as a laxative.

Tamarind Preparations are used for fevers, sore throats, inflammation of joints and sunstroke. The leaves dried or boiled are made into poultices to help reduce swollen joints, sprains, boils, haemorrhoids and conjunctivitis.

 Dried this rather plain brown pod has the capacity to elevate your food to something else.

The family favourite this week was Pork filled rice flour skin wrappers…Our new favourite take away street food snack…

pork filled rice flour skins with peanut dip

It was worth the queue the young man was giving out numbers and I have never seen anyone work that fast…The whole family loved them…Translucent rice flour skins with a ground/minced pork filling made from scratch right in front of me with…. a new herb for me… Pandan, or screw pine, also called pandanus, daun pandan, and screw palm is a shrub with strap-shaped leaves reminiscent of palm leaves. The leaves are long, thin, and narrow with a deep green colour, and are sold fresh, frozen, or dried.

I have used pandan to wrap and cook chicken in and as a colouring for a dessert but never sliced and used in a savoury dish much like I would use other herbs.

Some species of this plant have highly aromatic leaves that are prized in cooking. The flowers are also aromatic, and an extract called kewra(or keora) is made from them and used in Indian milk-based sweets. They are widely used throughout Southeast Asia and other tropical regions.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day 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 weekend xx

Week 5…In my kitchen…I killed my sourdough starter…

Welcome to my kitchen already one month has gone and we are in February…I still haven’t tackled that cupboard as I have been sorting out bookshelves and moving them.

My sourdough starter which was on day 7 has died I think because it was lively and I put it in the fridge overnight it was not strong enough ( Celia did warn me)…I killed it!

Today I started again…Take 2…Day 1… Still, it gives my proving basket time to arrive my bargain of the week at half the price Amazon charged and the same make…

Our chicken dish this week was another Thai curry this time a Massaman Curry…

Thai massaman is a rich, creamy fairly mild Thai curry sometimes tomatoes are added and traditionally cashews but can be optional. Vegetables are also varied depending on what is available or in season… play with the flavours. some variations add fruit like pineapple or oranges. The curry paste also has a distinctive orange colour and is in oil so immediately recognisable from other Thai red curry pastes. Some of the ingredients used in the making of massaman paste are not traditionally used in other Thai curries for example star anise, cloves and cardamom but are believed to have been introduced to Thai Muslims by Persian traders. The name massaman is believed to have evolved from the word Mussulman which is another word for Muslim.

chicken massaman gai Thai curry

  • 500 gm chicken breasts/ thighs
  • 2 med potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp of massaman curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Bunch coriander chopped
  • 6 baby corns halved
  • Handful sugar snap peas halved
  • Few mushrooms quartered
  • Med tomato sliced ( optional)
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews( optional)
  • 400 ml Coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

Add oil to a pan and stir in 1 tbsp massaman curry paste add tbsp fish sauce and cook for a minute to release flavours.
Add chicken and stir to combine with curry mix add coconut cream and potatoes. Bring to a soft simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. And potatoes are soft.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or curry paste.
Add corn, peas, mushrooms and tomato if used and cook for a further 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Stir in coriander reserving some for garnish.
Add cashews and cook for 2 mins.
Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander and chopped cashews.

Enjoy!

My new dish this week is a vegetarian one the recipe given to me by Darlene author of the Amanda books… A lentil stew from Syria.

lentilmstewwithbread

Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fine noodles
  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil

Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.

lentilstewwithbasil
Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

Enjoy! Nice with pitta bread.

Note: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot.
*Did you know that lentils are good for anaemia, low blood pressure and ulcers.
From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.

Thank you, Darlene it was delicious I used really fine vermicelli noodles, fresh ginger as I grow my own and don’t use dried and Thai basil…It definitely makes a lot though I am pleased I halved the recipe on your advice xxx

My go-to flatbread recipe…

  • 1/2 cup water.
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 cups flour.
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder.
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt.

Let’s Cook!

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.

Lastly, I am trying to cut down not only on added sugars but fat and I have seen many recipes for making a non-dairy cream with coconut cream/milk that I thought it was time I tried it as this is the home of coconuts…haha…

Coconut milk is in the fridge as is the stainless steel pot and the whisk blades…Christmas Pudding on to steam …Yep you heard it correctly my Thai daughter in law loves Christmas Pudding and we have some left so our treat after dinner is a bit of Christmas pudding with this coconut non-dairy cream…

 

Wow..that was easy it whipped up in about 2 minutes if that I added nothing and it was very nice even hubby who loves fresh cream and lots of it had to admit it tasted good…I think it is easier here as our coconut milk is 100% no additives at all…I will be making this in future and it is so much healthier. A non-dairy cream which would go with any dessert.

I would also like to thank everyone who follows my blog…If I don’t message you a thank you it is because I can’t as your Gravatar doesn’t link to your blog or there is no outside link to your self hosted blog …Not having that could potentially lose you, readers, it does seem to be a common mistake when setting up a blog and indeed one I made until someone kindly pointed it out to me…Pete has outlined everything in this blog post which for me was most opportune I hope it helps you…How to link your Gravatar to your blog.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day 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 weekend xx

 

 

Week 5…In my Kitchen…

Welcome to my kitchen already one month has gone and we are in February…I still haven’t tackled that cupboard as I have been sorting out bookshelves and moving them.

My sourdough starter which was on day 7 has died I think because it was lively and I put it in the fridge overnight it was not strong enough ( Celia did warn me)…I killed it!

Today I started again…Day 1… Still, it gives my proving basket time to arrive and I found a bargain half the price of Amazon and the same make…

Our chicken dish this week was another Thai curry this time a Massaman Curry…

Thai massaman is a rich, creamy fairly mild Thai curry sometimes tomatoes are added and traditionally cashews but can be optional. Vegetables are also varied depending on what is available or in season… play with the flavours. some variations add fruit like pineapple or oranges. The curry paste also has a distinctive orange colour and is in oil so immediately recognisable from other Thai red curry pastes. Some of the ingredients used in the making of massaman paste are not traditionally used in other Thai curries for example star anise, cloves and cardamom but are believed to have been introduced to Thai Muslims by Persian traders. The name massaman is believed to have evolved from the word Mussulman which is another word for Muslim.

chicken massaman gai Thai curry

  • 500 gm chicken breasts/ thighs
  • 2 med potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp of massaman curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Bunch coriander chopped
  • 6 baby corns halved
  • Handful sugar snap peas halved
  • Few mushrooms quartered
  • Med tomato sliced ( optional)
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews( optional)
  • 400 ml Coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

Add oil to a pan and stir in 1 tbsp massaman curry paste add tbsp fish sauce and cook for a minute to release flavours.
Add chicken and stir to combine with curry mix add coconut cream and potatoes. Bring to a soft simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. And potatoes are soft.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or curry paste.
Add corn, peas, mushrooms and tomato if used and cook for a further 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Stir in coriander reserving some for garnish.
Add cashews and cook for 2 mins.
Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander and chopped cashews.

Enjoy!

My new dish this week is a vegetarian one the recipe given to me by Darlene author of the Amanda books… A lentil stew from Syria.

Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fine noodles
  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil

Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Enjoy! Nice with pita bread.

Note: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot.
*Did you know that lentils are good for anaemia, low blood pressure and ulcers.
From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.

Thank you, Darlene it was delicious I used really fine vermicelli noodles, fresh ginger as I grow my own and don’t use dried and Thai basil…It definitely makes a lot though I am pleased I halved the recipe on your advice xxx

Lastly, I am trying to cut down not only on added sugars but fat and I have seen many recipes for making a non-dairy cream with coconut cream/milk that I thought it was time I tried it as this is the home of coconuts…haha…

Coconut milk is in the fridge as is the stainless steel pot and the whisk blades…Christmas Pudding on to steam …Yep you heard it correctly my Thai daughter in law loves Christmas Pudding and we have some left so our treat after dinner is a bit of Christmas pudding with this coconut non-dairy cream…

Wow..that was easy it whipped up in about 2 minutes if that I added nothing and it was very nice even hubby who loves fresh cream and lots of it had to admit it tasted good…I think it is easier here as our coconut milk is 100% no additives at all…I will be making this in future and it is so much healthier. A non-dairy cream which would go with any dessert.

I would also like to thank everyone who follows my blog…If I don’t message you a thank you it is because I can’t as your Gravatar doesn’t link to your blog or there is no outside link to your self hosted blog …Not having that could potentially lose you, readers, it does seem to be a common mistake when setting up a blog and indeed one I made until someone kindly pointed it out to me…Pete has outlined everything in this blog post which for me was most opportune I hope it helps you…How to link your Gravatar to your blog.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day 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 weekend xx

 

Waste Not! Want Not! Week 9…

Good morning and it is certainly a lovely sunny one here although earlier on it was a tad chilly…

Foot prints-990332_640

 

It has certainly been a week of discoveries this week and good ones sometimes due to where they are published you chance upon things unexpectedly and that was the case in this instance when Alethea from not tomatoes was browsing her local newspaper she came across this article called ” The Milkman ” model…

https://nottomatoes.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/watwb-big-brands-going-green/

I remember the milkman and that lovely gold top milk which was a treat for us the empties went outside to be replaced by full bottles…

TerraCycle, a company that has long been devoted to repurposing packaging and reducing waste, is behind the initiative. Coming this spring to major cities such as New York and Paris, customers will be ordering from a website called Loop, and receive popular products such as ice cream and shampoo in reusable containers delivered to their doors.

There are also plans to roll out to The Uk next year…One of the comments about the big names involved some of whom don’t have a good record as regards waste and ethics …Nestle being one of them… for a few years now I have not bought any products associated with them…Let’s hope it is not just for publicity and they really have changed for the good…I certainly hope so…

Next to come up on my radar is this cute idea for collecting rubbish on beaches…

goby fish

http://yupthatexists.com/goby-plastic-beach-fish/?utm_campaign=meetedgar&utm_medium=social&utm_source=meetedgar.com&fbclid=IwAR3QkyKayfMjikAL8D4Qcwz8dsOCYmMat06BBbg5nEkqOGKT6a80g9E5O64

Australia has found a very simple way to stop waste going into the ocean…

australia-found-a-way-to-save-water-from-plastic-pollution-and-we-can-start-doing-the-same-650x341

https://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/australia-found-a-way-to-save-water-from-plastic-pollution-and-we-can-start-doing-the-same/?utm_source=Grid&utm_medium=Grid&utm_campaign=Grid&fbclid=IwAR36mnd8qLQLkAu0BoDdzgk8tyBB98RQQggmVC92h4S8fZ5ZrRUsYdWiccg

Lots of local efforts to stop this avalanche of plastic waste going into the sea…What is happening in your area to stop plastic waste ???

If all the different grades of plastic have your head spinning then this post on plastic will help you make sense of symbols on bottles…

 

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/02/15/plastic-are-you-confused/

Although there are lots of great incentives going on only 8.21% of the 195 countries in the world have banned single-use plastics. When you look at it that way it is excuse the pun nothing but “a drop in the ocean” …We all need to be doing so much more…Joining organisations and talking to your local politicians about what their parties plans are …Not just thinking but doing…

There are so many ways we can reduce our carbon footprints and reduce our waste…

Did you know what impact textile waste has on the environment?  

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 84 per cent of unwanted clothes in the United States in 2012 went into either a landfill or an incinerator.

When natural fibres, like cotton, linen and silk, or semi-synthetic fibres created from plant-based cellulose, like rayon, Tencel and modal, are buried in a landfill, in one sense they act like food waste, producing the potent greenhouse gas methane as they degrade. But unlike banana peels, you can’t compost old clothes, even if they’re made of natural materials. “Natural fibres go through a lot of unnatural processes on their way to becoming clothing,” says Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. “They’ve been bleached, dyed, printed on, and scoured in chemical baths.” Those chemicals can leach from the textiles and—in improperly sealed landfills—into groundwater. Burning the items in incinerators can release those toxins into the air.

Meanwhile, synthetic fibres, like polyester, nylon and acrylic, have the same environmental drawbacks, and because they are essentially a type of plastic made from petroleum, they will take hundreds of years, if not a thousand, to biodegrade.

It was thanks to Anne Copeland who blogs at All in a day’s breath she opened my eyes to this she also told me how she rarely buys new clothes but recycles and re-styles second-hand clothes that is something which goes on a lot here every market will have at least one stall of second-hand clothes here in Udon Thani we have a huge section and my daughter in law spends hours there we always know where she is going when she says in the afternoon I am just going to the market …Sometimes she comes back with nothing and other times she comes back with some lovely things sometimes still with the labels on…It seems to be a pastime of many Thais they spend hours sorting and chatting it is like social event…

Here are some really cool ways to recycle your unwanted clothes…

 

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 weekend xx