Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Eat Smart! Eat Healthily!… Recipes, wacky diet corner …The K.E.Diet…

Green tea, Greek Yoghurt and passionfruit was what I started my day with today…I have also mislaid another lb this week only 6 kg to go until I reach my goal…

Last week I talked about Clean eating and guilty pleasures and how advertising is all geared to make us feel guilty…I have lost my weight just by eating pleasurable, eating what I fancy, no gimmicks, nothing, of course, I have upped my exercise which for me is walking and doing some arm exercise just to firm them up…

Pool flowers-1058876_640

This week I will be adding some swimming to my exercise as the hotel where we are staying has a lovely pool so I would be silly not to wouldn’t I? …I also want to show off my nice new swimsuit…I bought it off the peg… not from a website so no one would know what size I was…I looked at the rack in the shop and saw this pretty blue costume with a lace up front and it fits a treat just a normal-sized costume…A first for very many years…I am so chuffed…

It just so happened that also last week one of the blogs I follow wrote about the same subject …Guilt titled…Decadence/Tuesdays with Laurie she told about how she has completed her 10,000 steps and some and then chanced upon a cafe…I will let you pop over to Laurie’s and read the rest…

I will just say who in their right mind would resist Fine handcrafted chocolate???

Wacky Diet Corner…Feeding Tube Diet(KE Diet)

The KE Diet stands for Ketogenic-enteral nutrition and has attracted a lot of publicity for its novelty… it has been pitched at brides trying to lose weight for their wedding. It involves inserting a plastic or rubber tube through the nose and down into the oesophagus into the stomach.

Founder of this diet Dr Oliver di Pietro said it is a medically controlled jump start to rapid weight loss using No Drugs, No Surgery and no hunger pangs…

Why would you? By eating sensibly and exercising I have lost mine yes it has taken longer than 7 days but please …What is wrong with having a bit of will power and learning how to say No!. What comes off slowly stays off..Most quick fixes might take the weight off quickly but it generally goes back on just as quickly once you start eating normally.

Recipe Corner…

Today I am giving you one of my favourite dishes  Prawns and Asparagus…

prawns asparagus Thai stir fry

Asparagus is very plentiful here and one of my favourite stir-fries are with prawns, lemongrass and lime leaves.

Very quick and easy to do once you get your ingredients together.

Ingredients:

  • 250 gm asparagus cut in half…asparagus is very thin here but if you are using thicker asparagus then either shave the asparagus or cut into 3-inch pieces.
  • A small piece of ginger peeled and grated.
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass bashed and very finely chopped.
  • 4 lime leaves very thinly sliced
  • 3-4 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 10 raw king prawns either peeled or leave the tails on.
  • 1 shallot thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Thai birds eye chillies finely sliced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions cut into 2-inch pieces

Lets Cook!

Mix together the ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar and put to one side.

Meanwhile, heat the wok on high and when it’s really hot add the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add in the king prawns and stir-fry for one to two minutes, until the prawns have gone pink with slightly golden edges. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Add the onion to the wok and stir-fry for two minutes. Add the chilli, garlic and spring onion and stir-fry for a further four minutes until the onions have softened. Add the asparagus and stir-fry for a further minute.

Finally, add the prawns, pour over the sauce which was prepared earlier, and cook until the sauce becomes sticky (around three minutes).

Serve immediately with Thai steamed rice and enjoy!

Now no one said losing weight is easy and it is alright for me or anyone to spout out advice but sometimes we just have to have that something that we crave…

Cravings are real but sometimes they can be due to a deficiency in our bodies…Sally’s series on Cravings is very useful and worth a read it has helped me enormously… cravings can be down to a number of reasons and whether it is a need for an essential nutrient or is down to a habit that has formed or just because we are stressed.  …This week  Sally discusses Salt and trace minerals…

Tomatoes are one of my favourites… I love them in a smoothie…I also like them if I am having them as veg…Eaten just like this little hint below, it perks them up a little…

tomatoes

Cheesy Breaded Tomatoes

2 roasted plum tomatoes sliced and topped with 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese….Lovely xxx

Pickled red and yellow cherry tomatoes…

Ingredients:

  • 30 cherry tomatoes I mixed different colours.
  • 1-2 green Thai chillies finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar.

 

red-yellow-thai style-pickled-tomatoes

Red and yellow pickled tomatoes

Let’s get pickled!

Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Take a cocktail stick and prick the tomatoes a few times this allows the brine to infuse nicely.

Put the tomatoes in a sterilised jar or a Tupperware container and cover with the marinade mix.

Put in the refrigerator …these can be eaten after one day and within 4 days. The juice can then be used as a marinade for fish or added to salads.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and that it proves helpful to you in your healthy eating journey 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.

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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 creative week ahead xx

This week in my kitchen…Sea Caviar, Steak & Kidney Pie, Batu and more…

It’s Friday…Let the weekend begin and why not the sun is shining and all is quiet..I had a lovely head massage this morning and then my monthly trim…A lovely massage booked I think I am going to try the rice milk oil one when I come back from my jolly to sunny Phuket…I am so excited I will be seeing my daughter who is popping over from Australia it has been a couple of years so I am sure there will be a few tears…Happy tears…x

What has been cooking this week? Fahija filled tortilla wrap…Which got me thinking … Similar to a sandwich or burrito, a wrap uses a pliable flatbread or tortilla to roll ingredients into a portable, handheld meal.

wraps...the thai way

If I am making a sandwich for hubby then butter is the first thing on the bread and then the filling…Tortilla wraps are slightly fewer calories about 30 calories, lower just a smidgen on the fibre, half the protein and fewer carbs than bread plus we have the butter which ups the anti…Which means a tortilla wrap eases slightly ahead and it does seem that we put more salad and veggies in our wraps than in a sandwich…I always tuck my ends in and the daughter in law ties a strip of the banana leaf around hers…

Fillings:

  • Chicken Caesar Wrap: One half cup cold cooked chicken breast meat, lots of Romaine lettuce, a tablespoon or two of Caesar salad dressing, and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese.
  • Garden Veggie Wrap: Your favourite garden salad blend, like sliced tomato, onions, shredded carrots, and cucumbers, mixed with raw spinach and a little Italian dressing.
  • Scrambled Eggs and Feta Wrap: Two eggs, scrambled with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and a light sprinkle of feta cheese. ( mine)

I couldn’t believe how popular beetroot is...Which is good and it is one of my favourites …Today I had a beetroot and orange juice…I don’t have it every day but probably 4 out of 7 days…I also picked up a lovely big bag of passionfruit which is my big favourite and some fried bananas as I was waiting for the bus…The lady was frying them and I just couldn’t resist however I did only have two very small pieces and handed them over to the menfolk…

Speaking of which however hot it gets and it is currently 44C…Hubby will still eat meat pie…I make individual ones and then he can have pie and I have my Thai food…

two meat pies

For fillings, I either make mince and onions, Steak and Mushroom or hubby’s favourite steak and kidney…

For the pastry

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 140g cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
  • 1 large egg  yolk
  • 1 small egg  whisked with 1 tbsp milk, for the egg wash

For the filling…Steak & Kidney

  • 1 ox kidney, about 400g/14oz, get it fresh from your butcher. Pig’s and lamb’s kidneys only need short cooking time so if used add 15 mins before the end of cooking.
  • 1 kg trimmed braising or stewing beef
  • 250g flat mushrooms, unpeeled but wiped with a damp cloth
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion,  peeled and thickly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 50-85g plain flour, depending on how thick you like your gravy
  • 600ml fresh stock or  water and 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Let’s Cook!

It’s important to cook the meat a day ahead so that you can discard any fat that has risen to the top, and so that the pastry doesn’t slump in the face of a too-warm filling, so up to 48 hours ahead -make the pastry. Whizz the flour and a pinch of fine sea salt together for a few seconds in a food processor, then add the butter and whizz until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg yolk and 3 tbsp water and whizz with the pastry until it collects in a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour…

TO COOK THE MEAT.

Cut out the white central core of the kidney and  (discard). Cut the kidney into bite-sized pieces. Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and cut the mushrooms into chunks.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the kidney and fry until lightly coloured. Tip into a colander to drain.

Wipe out the frying pan and return it to low-medium heat, adding 25g/1oz of the butter and 1 tbsp oil. Tip in the onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly golden add the garlic for the final 2/3 minutes.

Transfer to a large casserole, using a slotted spoon.

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3/fan 140C. Tip the 85g/3oz flour into a large plastic bag, and season it generously. Throw in the beef and shake until lightly floured. Return the frying pan to medium high heat, adding a little more oil and butter if needed. Shake off any excess flour (reserving it) then fry the beef in batches until golden-brown. As each batch is done, transfer it to the casserole.

Adding more oil and butter to the frying pan if necessary, fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes until starting to wilt, then add them to the casserole with the drained kidneys, stock or hot water, bouillon powder and bay leaf, plus the excess flour in the bag if you like a thick gravy.

Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 75-90 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Cool thoroughly, then put in the fridge (preferably overnight) so any fat will solidify – it can then be skimmed off and discarded.

In the morning – return the pastry to cool room temperature, then roll it out thinly on a well-floured surface. Invert a 28-30x23cm, 6.5cm deep pie dish on to the pastry. Mentally add an extra 1cm all round, then use the dish as a guide to cut out the pastry lid. From the remnants, cut out enough 6cm-wide strips of pastry to go round the dish – they should cover the flat rim and about halfway down the insides.

Lightly butter the rim of the dish and line it with the strip(s) of pastry, sealing any joins with a little dab of water. Butter the shoulders of a pie raiser or an upturned egg cup and stand it in the middle. Spoon in the meat mixture to come level with the top of the dish.

Don’t overfill: reserve any excess gravy to serve hot with the pie.

Brush the pastry rim with a little water, then drape the pastry lid over it, pinching the edges to seal. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge if not baking immediately.

Finally, an hour before serving – preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Make four slashes in the lid of the pie, then brush with the egg wash. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, turning the heat down 10-20º after about 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes before cutting into it.

These instructions are if you are making one large pie…If I am making individual pies I just cut a strip of pastry to go around the top of the dish fill the dish with the meat mixture and add a pastry top…This cuts the calories…But if like a large pie and want to cut nice slices then a pie bottom can be added.

Of course, the cooking time will also need to be adjusted…For an individual pie depending on your oven, it takes approx 25 mins.

Enjoy!

One of our favourite Thai meals is some grilled or BBQ fish ( Batu)…Lily loves this..With a spicy dip and fresh raw and/or steamed vegetables with sticky rice…As you can see we eat a lot of vegetables …This dip is made with roasted eggplant and pounded in the pestle and mortar with garlic and chillies…

Batu and vegetables

Kombucha Update…

My scoby is growing nicely I reckon maybe a week to 10 days and I can start my Kombucha….I will then give you the recipe…

I need another fridge all these pickles I need a pickle fridge…All of my family love pickles they only walk paste the fridge and in they go and grab some pickles…The jalapenos are lovely a really nice bite to them…But I needed to pickle garlic again…

Pickled Garlic…

  • 8-10 garlic bulbs
  • 500 ml white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 90 gm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.
  • 1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)

2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Let’s get pickled!

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

two jars of pickled garlic

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time. If you like pickled cucumber or jalapenos I add added the link here

New for me…Seaweed Caviar or as it is called here grape bunch seaweed…

sea caviar with chilli dip

Also, known as sea caviar it is quite rare and harvested by hand diving …It gives a lovely pop in your mouth and with the chilli sauce, it is nice…I actually only got 1 small piece as Lily and Aston both love it and disappeared with the pot of chilli and the dish and it was soon gone xxx Has anyone else tried this…I know my friend Thelma has she eats it with salt, vinegar, ginger root and chilli which sounds rather nice…Have you tried it???

I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen if you have any recipe requests please let me know and I will be happy to find them and try them…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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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 had a creative week and enjoy the weekend xx

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Whimsical Wednesday is going well it seems that most of you are enjoying my ramblings…It is good fun to write…It was so hot yesterday and reached 42 degrees(107.6) …So a very pertinent point regarding our health which is also the topic of one of Sally’s posts…Water and how we need it to stay hydrated and it also helps with our weight control…

Something I am guessing we all use on or in our social media /blog posts are EMOJI..well TODAY is WorldEmojiDay… 🙂 ❤

Predominantly displayed on the Calendar Emoji…A celebration of all Emoji…Join in the celebrations on Twitter, Instagram and FB #WorldEmojiDay 

It is also the premiere of the remake of The Lion King…Tickets brought and we are all going…Should be great I do love a good Disney film…

Time for some Music…music notes

On the 17th of July 1717…George Frederic Handel’s Water Music premiered on The River Thames…It consists of a beautiful collection of orchestral movements it was also the only music which lulled our youngest daughter to sleep so was frequently heard (daily) in our house and car much to the disgust of our Oasis loving son…The beautiful music of Handel is forever etched in both their memories…

Why the Thames it was in response to King George I’s request for a concert on the River Thames.

It was also on this day 17/7/1917 when Britains King George V changed the name for all male heirs to the throne to Winsor…This came about because of King Georges German connections and when in WW1 Germany unleashed its bombs on London…The public anger prompted this action.

Story Time…By Carol Taylor…

An Early Morning Stroll.

two monks walking

Without a care in the world, two monks strolled along the dusty road. The orange of their traditional robes bright, I marvelled at how their bare feet seemed not to flinch on contact with a stone or sharp object. A young girl in jeans and a skimpy top and the same bare feet came out of a bar and reverently dropped to her knees, hands clasped together in prayer. Arising, she gave both monks an offering of food and money, again dropping to her knees at their feet. The monks chanted above her in perfect unison. The sound magnified as it echoed all around in the stillness.  A humbling moment for me, knowing people still laid bare their faith for all to see. Continuing on my morning walk I savoured the calmness in the air on this warm but not yet sunny morn. The sun trying to spread its tentacles, soon it would be hot, unrelenting, no respite until sundown. Some say this is the best time of the day when the world is awakening from its nighttime slumbers.

Young men, hair tousled from sleep climbing into the back of the waiting pickups, a sight we are all getting used to seeing. Birds sound magnified or maybe they just trilled a little louder to celebrate another new day.

Kids off to school, some chattering, some still sleepy, boarding houses and hotels just waking, steps being washed, paths swept. The sound of pots and plates clattering, cutlery clanking, I pictured tables being laid in readiness for breakfast. Smells starting to emerge, lingering on the light breeze tempting all who passed by.

The last breakfast for our merry little band of scribes.

Slowly everyone appeared, some fresh from the shower, some straight from their morning yoga lesson, ordering our favourites for the last time we chattered, we exchanged contact details,  promised to keep in touch, to see each other next year.

Good intentions……..

17th July 1955 Disneyland is dedicated by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California and so the fun and wonder begins…

At the 21st modern Olympics in 1976, 25 African teams boycotted the games…This figure soon grew to 33 teams due to the fact that NZ played in Apartheid South Africa…

Recipe Corner…

Egyptian Lamb Flatbreads

These beautiful lamb flatbreads are lovely and whenever we have lamb which isn’t very often it is not readily available here…They are on the menu…Easy to make and always a crowd pleaser…I have also included a recipe to make the flatbread and a lovely treacle tart with custard.

Wimbledon is now over for another year and as always there are surprises…One of the Williams sisters, Venus was an early casualty beaten by young Cori Gauff… A great performance by a 15-year-old who went through as far as the fourth round.

wimbledon logo in flowersRoger Federer after an epic match between two Wimbledon greats was beaten when the match went to a tie break by Novak Djokovic…

In the mixed doubles, the pairing of Williams and Murray lost their final match…For all the fun that Andy Murray had on the doubles court at this year’s Championships – and especially in the mixed doubles alongside Serena Williams – he will be hoping to be back in the singles draw next summer.

But if the 2013 and 2016 champion were to come back as a singles player, will he still want to play mixed doubles with Williams? Or was this year’s appearance just a one-off, a summer fling?

Simona Halep’s win over Serena Williams was not the expected outcome before the match…But the Romanian was a fighter and win she did…

That’s it for this week …Did you enjoy Wimbledon all you tennis fans  …Thank you for reading my whimsical ramblings I do hope you enjoyed and it bought back some memories 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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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 creative week ahead xx

Eat Smart! Eat Healthily!… Recipes, wacky diet corner and some common sense is thrown in for good measure…

As always I start my day with a pot of Green Oolong Tea and I have mislaid another lb this week…I have also upped my exercise as I need to firm those triceps or bingo wings call them what you may but they exist…

Many of you like me were amazed at last weeks wacky diet… the tongue patch…I mean who are these people who think these up?… It is so just about making money out of someone who is so desperate to lose weight without as my good friend Sally said rather than learning to say No! I think if many more people learnt that word the world would be a better place…

Let’s start with this die(t) today shall we and get it over with and then we can talk common sense…

Wacky Diet Corner…The Master Cleanse Diet… 

First created in 1941 by Stanley Burroughs he promoted it as a  liquid cleanse a healthy and natural way to flush the body of deadly toxins, pesticides, and other impurities. It was originally intended to treat ulcers and act as a detox.

Some 63 years later…  The cleanse became popular again after Peter Glickman’s book “Lose Weight, Have More Energy, and Be Happier in 10 Days” was published.

Fast forward to the present time and celebrities like Beyonce, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow are spouting the merits of this diet…This diet which has NO supporting scientific evidence that it clears toxins from the body…For those who did not know our bodies are designed to eliminate toxins through our kidneys, liver and lungs…

Why would you exist on lemon, maple syrup, cayenne pepper plus a nighly laxative like Senna and /or a morning salt water flush when it is likely you would also have headaches, nausea, diarrhoea and feel dizzy …Just to lose a few pounds which in all honesty as soon as you eat properly is likely to go straight back on…Could someone explain that to me??? If you still feel the need then please watch the video …I have…Nice lady…But by the time I was halfway through I felt the need to scream…

My thoughts on this… I think that all these words and phrases which are suddenly in words or fashionable whatever handle you wish to apply are all ways of body shaming…all words which people automatically in their minds make a connection…For example, the opposite of clean is dirty….The opposite of good is bad…

Currently, the buzz word is Clean Eating…which has replaced the good/bad food complex…

The phrase Clean food makes one think of food which is as natural and as close to the natural product as possible with minimal processing…But words like that do have the effect of shaming people…They feel inferior if they cannot afford organic produce or buy food at a farmers market …

So what?… you can buy fresh food from stores just make sure it is well washed…Many stores now are selling misshapen fruit and vegetables…So what?… It is fresh and good to eat…You may not have a big garden or any garden…So what? Try container growing this new soil free concept some of which you can grow indoors…Find out if there are any communal gardens in your area…There is no shame in any of this …It teaches your children to be self-sufficient to eat healthily from the best you can find which is available to you…Learn to cook from scratch…No shame in that… See what your local school is doing is it teaching children to grow food…Can you help..Can you get involved? It all widens your contacts …It all shows your children what can be done with very little…

Low carb/Cutting carbs…

Some fruit is high in carbs as are some vegetables it doesn’t mean that they are not good for you…Again it comes back to that good/bad concept…

On this blog…and in my healthy eating…Nothing is banned…You are in charge…You should be enjoying every mouthful of what you eat…End of…

I just keep away as much as I can from highly processed foods …If I can make a healthier alternative…I do…If I can’t …If I really feel the need to use it or eat it…I do…I just use moderation…

Guilty Pleasure(s ) 

Another phrase which is bandied about which screams at you for a TV advert…Why? Mind games played by advertisers…We should feel no guilt over what we eat…Just pleasure and enjoyment…

Confession Time…

Pieces of Yorkshire fudge

 

Before I start I will tell you that I mislaid another lb this week…applause…

I also ate nearly the whole bag of Tesco’s fudge…Did it taste good? I kept telling myself it did as I ate another piece…I do much prefer a more solid butter fudge…

Yes, it was probably pure sugar …No probably about it although I opted NOT to read the label…It was! But that is fudge for you…

I just opened the packet…Ate the contents…

Did I feel guilty...NOPE!…Will I repeat the exercise? Probably not…Well if it happened to be a proper butter fudge…I cannot lie…I would… The one thing I would not do is feel guilty…

Tomorrow is another day…

However if unlike me you really want to avoid giving in to temptation…I will be kind and give you this link to Sally’s Blog where she knows everything about cravings…It could be something as simple as being dehydrated…

Did you know? 

Air popped popcorn is good for your waistline? 1 cup equals 31 calories and 1 gm of fibre. You can save calories by making it at home substituting Virgin olive oil for grass-fed butter and add your favourite herbs or spices i.e cinnamon, Paprika or thyme for example…

Time for a recipe…

Paella…I love a good Paella and always add a mixture of chicken and seafood…

Mixed paella

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Aribo Rice
  • 1 Litre of chicken stock with a few strands of saffron added.
  • 2 Chicken Breasts cubed.
  • A piece of Chorizo about 150 gm sliced and quartered.
  • I onion.
  • 3 cloves garlic.
  • 1 chilli.
  • I red Pepper.
  • Half Kilo of Prawns.
  • 1 kilo of Mussels.
  • 5 baby squid.
  • Half Lemon.

Let’s Cook!

Cook Chorizo in tbsp Olive Oil until lightly browned add chopped onion and cook for 2 mins. Put in a dish and leave on one side.

Lightly Brown Chicken in remaining oil and put on one side.

Cook cubed red pepper, chilli, garlic until softened. and put in a dish on one side.

Add rice to the pan and stir to cover with remaining oil( can add peas at this point) and add stock cook on rolling simmer 5-10mins or until the rice has nearly absorbed all liquid. Add chicken and either continue to cook on the hob or put in the oven on 180 degrees. Check and top up with water or stock if required if rice is too dry for 20 mins.

Add Chorizo and Pepper mix cook for further 10 mins checking or topping up stock if required. Add Prawns and Mussels and cook another 8-10 mins until open. Add squid for the last 3 mins of cooking.

Squeeze over lemon and garnish with lemon slices or quarters and if you have parsley in the fridge add some chopped as a garnish. If the rice still has not absorbed all the stock I cook-off on top of stove until absorbed.

Then serve…….. this is very much a recipe where the amount of stock depends on rice absorption and also what meat or fish you have. If I have some to use or in the freezer then I might add or use chicken thighs instead of breast. The mussels we got yesterday were quite big so we steamed before adding to Paella or if I have just shelled Mussels I stir through.

So really anything goes just you and your imagination, as you make more you will learn how to adjust to your own taste and once the initial prep is done it is quite easy to make…enjoy experimenting. It can also be cooked on a BBQ and then you get that lovely crust the Spanish call socarrat, on the bottom of the pan…lovely.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and that it proves helpful to you in your healthy eating journey 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.

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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 creative week ahead xx

Eat Smart! Eat Healthily!… Recipes, Wacky Diet Corner and some Commonsense…

Ahhhh…First drink of the day…Oolong green tea…It is quiet and peaceful…Aston has been packed off to school, time to check my e-mail and stuff…and then I write…

I write these posts as a way of focusing my mind on my diet although I have been helped by my smartwatch it focuses me by keeping a track of my steps, heart rate and sleep patterns for me I like it apart from my laptop it is the first personal piece of technology that I own and a good buy…

What helps focus your mind...Do you find it easy sticking to healthy eating? If not …Why not? What drives you is it your health and your families health.?.. Is it because you want to wear the latest clothes and look good?. Is it to attract that special someone? Is it so you can play ball without wheezing with your kids?

I have used those reasons over the years plus some…Have I tried quick fixes…Yes, I have…Have I failed miserably after starting off so well… Oh…Indeed I have…I have brought books ( South Beach Diet), subscribed to Weighwatchers, Slimming World,…None of those bad…Like my wacky diet corner and I would never do those..But all restricted or didn’t allow certain foods in some way or another…I don’t follow rules very well either…Well, I don’t…

Low fat…Well, I was reading a study just the other day and like all studies, they need to be long term…Low fat and telling us meat was really bad for us…All debunked…It didn’t work and the latest news is …Forget all that…Low fat generally means higher sugar…

The latest news is...don’t eat low fat, cut out or down the processed foods…Eat organic where possible or wash your food thoroughly…Grow your own…Shop local…Don’t cut out food groups unless you are medically advised…EAT MODERATELY…

I know many of you are probably sick of hearing that word…What would you rather I use? within reason, reasonably, temperately, conservatively, sparingly, economically, somewhat, slightly???

Or just say…Forget…Eat your heart out…..

heart-care-1040248_640

Our heart…One of our major organs…If it didn’t keep to the beat we would have a problem…It needs to be kept as healthy as we can keep it…How we do that? Read Sally’s post on Healthy Eating for a Healthy Heart…

It is a good, commonsense post and for me. a good read…Don’t tell anyone but as I have got older I have found commonsense…He has always been one step in front or behind of me and now we are synchronised and in harmony…But I still have a piece of chocolate or a doughnt..sometimes…A little of what you fancy does you good …Remember that…

Wacky Diet Corner…The Tongue Patch Diet…

 

It’s like a horror movie …Some people are eating clay…A tsp a day in water…I think they all need to read Sally’s post on cravings…

A new series on a sensation that has been blamed for our consumption or over-consumption of certain foods since we were old enough to make excuses! How often do we tell ourselves or others that ‘we crave’ chocolate, crisps, cheese, soda, fried food or even something non-food related… such as dirt or coal? AND CLAY!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/smorgasbord-health-column-what-causes-your-cravings-part-two-need-chocolate-by-sally-cronin/

I think that it is good that we can attribute certain factors which cause our cravings and much of that is down to restrictive diets and it certainly makes me feel better that it is not just my lack of will power but a valid reason…

Recipe Corner...The cauliflower…

Cauliflower with leaves

Image by 1195798 from Pixabay

One of my favourite vegetables I love the white cauliflower and also the vivid green romesco cauliflower it is lovely just lightly steamed as a vegetable, roasted with some Indian spices or au gratin with a cheese sauce…I can now add cauliflower rice to that list and a cauliflower pizza base…Today I also saw a recipe using the cauliflower as a burger bun I haven’t tried and tested that yet…But I will…Below I have given the cauliflower rice recipe which is well tried and tested…

And all you need is a Cauliflower and an Onion.

A little Coconut oil to cook or other oil of your choice.

Sea Salt and a squeeze Lemon Juice.

Either grate or blitz in a food processor ( but not too fine) you want some texture.

Heat pan and keep pan HOT as you don’t want Cauliflower to steam and go soggy.

Use Tablespoon Coconut Oil and put in the desired amount of Cauliflower and onion mix.

Cook quickly and then season and add lemon juice.

All in all, it only takes a few minutes to cook….. a bit longer if more than one portion but keep pan hot.

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

If you wish to vary the taste you can add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds to the oil before adding Cauliflower if you are eating Indian Food.

If you require colour if eating Mexican……. then add 1/2 tsp turmeric to oil and tsp tomato puree.

This is very versatile and just use your imagination and add any herbs and spices that you like.

To store...I make a batch and keep in the fridge for during the week but keep in a glass jar or zip lock bag…I think plastic containers may make it sweat too much…..Enjoy…. and if you are cutting the carbs it is an ideal and yummy substitute for rice and I love rice…… eat it all the time but happily substitute this as I am also a cauliflower lover.

Cauliflower Pizza Base…

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower.
  • 1 egg, large.
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dried oregano or basil)
  • 1/8 tsp salt.
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded.
  • Cooking spray, I make my own spray I don’t do bought oil in spray cans…I have a little stainless steel one for oil.

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 C and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces. Process in a food processor in 2 batches, until “rice” texture forms.

Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 mins this just removes some of the moisture.

Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes.

Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out.

Increase oven temperature to 4 degrees F/200 C. Then in a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper for 10 seconds. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower mix very well with a spatula until combined.

Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer cauliflower dough to the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.

Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flip with a spatula and bake for a few more minutes. Top with your favourite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown.

Slice and enjoy!

Let the kids help you can never second guess a child and what they will like.  Encourage them to help prepare their food…They are more likely to eat what they help prepare.

THE VERSATILE CAULIFLOWER… I love it! x

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and that it proves helpful to you in your healthy eating journey 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.

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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 creative week ahead xx

 

 

 

 

 

Eat Smart! Eat Healthily! Recipes, Wacky Diets, Kids diet around the world…

Welcome to this week’s Eat Smart…How is your healthy eating going? Mine is going well(ish) a few blips this week namely cookies…I very nicely complained about some cookies I bought for Aston as a treat…The company responded immediately and were very concerned…Yes, they were and sent a sample of their cookies to reassure us that nothing had changed and they hoped we enjoyed the said cookies…They were also very sorry we had been dissatisfied…A definite 5 stars for customer service to Sarah at Merba Cookies.

Merba Cookies

I will say for a kiddie he has been very restrained and only eaten the packet in the right-hand corner, he opened another packet ate one and they are still sitting in the fridge. He is obviously listening to nannies advice on moderation although he does prefer a proper meal and fruit…

This brings me nicely onto this post I came across about a photographer who has taken a snapshot of children around the world and what they eat in a week…Two things surprised me…The first was the amount of bread one of the kids ate in a week and the second made me sad a comment made by a child…

That she wished her mother would love her the way she loved her baby brother…That really did sadden me and brought back a memory of what my sister relayed to us after returning from a visit to her husbands family in Iraq…How his sister and her daughter had to clean before they went to work/school and if it didn’t please the grandmother how the granddaughter was pulled around the floor by her hair and beaten by contrast the boys were allowed to kick, spit do anything to the females without being chastised or stopped.

It saddens me because in many cultures woman are still not equal or treated as such…

Anyway, this link shows children’s diet and I think is very revealing…A good read…

https://mymodernmet.com/daily-bread-gregg-segal-interview/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_term=2019-06-30

Wacky Diet Corner…Week 3…The Vision Diet…

I can always find a wacky diet…This one doesn’t line anyone’s pockets like last weeks…It just shows what some people will do to lose weight instead of just following a healthy diet…Although this one would probably cause little or no harm apart from maybe making you look a little weird…

Image by ktphotography from Pixabay

Photo credit: The Urban Scot on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

Quite simple rules you eat everything wearing your blue tinted glasses…No not rose-tinted…haha…The theory is it will make the food look less palatable thus you eat less…

Now back to sanity and reality…Despite the fact that I ate a few of the aforementioned cookies…The weight stayed the same…Phew!

Readers Corner…

Pete told me how well he has done by just eating moderately…Well done Pete…Pete can be found over on his site so check him out…If you are a new teacher, college student, or parent who wants to better understand what being an elementary teacher is all about, you have come to the right place. I am sure his book is not only factual but has some funny tales to tell…

Pete said:

It’s funny how cutting out a couple of things makes a big difference. I gave up soda three years ago (a bad habit of mine) and I don’t miss it at all. I rarely have ice cream in the house because I can’t say no to that. I exercise a lot because I like to eat too much, but I am eating a lot healthier. Anyway, it’s worked for me in the last three years. I’ve gone from 285 to 210, Trying to get to 200 but those last ten pounds are tough.

Now the lovely Dolly from Koolkosherkitchen reckons she has one of the wackiest diets but she is not telling …Yet! I can’t wait for the reveal…

Now for some recipes…

I have mainly been pickling this last week so have opted for quick easy meals and family favourites…This Beef salad was one of the first Thai salads I was taught to make and this recipe has gone around the world whenever I go to pot luck it is requested and loved by everyone…Kids and adults alike…We don’t eat beef often and nearly always as a beef salad…

Our favourite Thai salad… Thai Beef Salad ( Nam Doc Nua)

Thai beef salad nam doc nua

Thai Beef Salad

Serves 2. Ingredients:

  • 300gm Tenderloin Beef.
  • 1 sm red Onion or 2/3 shallots.
  • 2/3 Spring Onions. ( Green Onions)
  • 2 medium tomatoes or 8/10 cherry toms.
  • 1 sm cucumber.
  • 2 sprigs mint.
  • A big handful of Coriander.
  • 2/3 birds eye chillies chopped.
  • 1 lime.
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce.

Let’s Cook!

Grill the tenderloin medium rare or however you prefer your steak.
While steak is cooking chop salad into small pieces and chop coriander including the stalks.

To prepare the Mint take leaves off stems.

When steak cooked to your liking slice into thin strips.

Mix gently into chopped salad then add the coriander, mint leaves and chillies.

Stir in fish sauce and squeeze in lime juice. Taste.

Taste as personally I like more fish sauce and chillies but as the taste of chillies can vary then it is better to add less, taste and adjust seasoning if required.

This can also be made with chicken or pork although beef is the preferred meat in our house and more so now I have discovered the Thai/French beef which has a far superior flavour.

Traditionally this salad is served with Thai sticky rice. Enjoy!

Wimbledon has arrived and strawberries and cream…I have found a lovely alternative to fresh cream ….Fresh cream is not readily available here and tends to be treated so this little discovery was and is a godsend even hubby who loves cream liked it …

If you are 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…

Strawberries and non dairy coconut cream

 

Coconut milk is in the fridge as is the stainless steel pot and the whisk blades…Everything must be cold…It is quick and easy it whipped up in about 2 minutes if that I added nothing and as I said 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.

You can now enjoy Wimbledon and your guilt-free Strawberries and cream and no one will know if you don’t tell them…If you want to change it up a  bit add some fresh lime, orange or lemon zest…

This cream keeps well in the fridge and would also be a lovely filling for a sponge or cream slices anything that you would use dairy cream for…

As you know I love all things Coconut and have been having my daily morning drink of fresh juice straight from the drupe I love that my little man who does it for me scrapes out the soft coconut as well it really is a lovely drink…and so healthy…

fresh coconut juice with flesh from the drupe

High in potassium and has no added sugar all natural sugar..this juice comes from the young green coconut where the flesh is still soft and can be scooped out with a spoon. A 1-cup serving of raw coconut has over 7 grams of dietary fibre per serving.

Young coconut meat is rich in medium-chain fatty acids. Although these are saturated fats, your body processes them differently from other saturated fats, such as animal fats. An article published in the “Ceylon Medical Journal” in 2006 stated that medium-chain fatty acids, such as those found in coconuts, are used directly by the body as fuel, not broken down and absorbed like other saturated fats. The scientists concluded that coconut fats are widely misunderstood in the scientific community, and further research into potential benefits is called for. I eat this young coconut meat regularly and continue to lose weight and feel healthier than I have for years. Young babies here are often fed on this from very young coconuts which are really soft and easily digestible and it was our Lily’s first taste of solid food and she is really healthy.

Just be aware if you are buying this bottled or canned to check the labels that it is 100% as many have added sugar and the like.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and that it proves helpful to you in your healthy eating journey 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.

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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 creative week ahead xx

This week in my Kitchen…Pickles…Thai Duck Larb…

I am so pleased you have joined me once again for a peek into my kitchen…Welcome…I pickle almost everything as we all love pickles and everything seems to have run out at once I had to eat my curry last week with no mango chutney now that to me is a crime…I was brought up in a household where every meal had its accompaniment…With lamb it was a mint sauce, with ham it was mustard, with Pork it is Apple sauce you get my meaning so you understand that curry without mango chutney is just wrong on so many levels…

Of course, I make my own pickles...Two reasons...They are imported here so expensive or I just can’t buy them here…Well, three reasons really but knowing me you know the third…Don’t you????

They are being eaten much faster lately as after living here for seven years I have finally found a source of cheese which doesn’t break the bank…As a cheese platter or cold meat, mashed potato and pickles are among hubbies favourite foods…The pickle mill is working at top speed…

Mango Chutney… Mangoes of all varieties are so plentiful here it would really be remiss of me to not make my own and it tastes so much better than some of the sweet sugary varieties which are in the supermarkets…

Ingredients:

  • 4 under-ripe Mangoes.
  • 3cm Fresh ginger finely diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic finely diced.
  • 500 gm sugar.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried chilli.
  • 1tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 cardamom plus 4 cardamom seeds.
  • 7cm cinnamon stick.
  • 5 whole cloves.
  • 250 ml vinegar I use Apple cider but have used white vinegar and malt vinegar.
  • 5 black peppercorns crushed.

Let’s Cook!

Peel mangoes and cut in small strips.

Place mangoes in large pot Crush diced ginger and garlic in pestle and mortar and stir into mangoes.

Stir in sugar,salt,chilli,cumin,cardamom,cinnamon and cloves.Stir to blend. Cover and leave overnight at room temp. N.B. We are prone to ants here so put water into a shallow tray and put the bowl in the centre and cover  the ants won’t swim the moat..ha ha

Mango cooking in pan

Mango chutney

Next day place mangoes in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally until the mix starts to thicken about 30-45 mins. Stir in vinegar and crushed peppercorns and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Put into warm sterilised jars. Once cooled I keep in the fridge where if you live in cooler climes a cool larder will be fine. This makes 3 medium-sized jars.

Watermelon is well in season now and freshly picked from the farm they are beautiful ..not so red as the ones you purchase in the stores but they are treated to enhance the red colour down on the farm we do not use any chemical treatments…

 

READY TO PICK WATERMELON

How often have you bought a watermelon and thrown away the rind?? Hands up! I have or I did until I discovered a lovely recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rind.

Now I make a lot of pickles and this one thing I hadn’t thought of pickling… you live and learn, don’t you?

Ingredients:

  • 4lb of Watermelon
  • 1 chilli thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger finely sliced or diced
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp salt I use fresh mineral salt dried here
  • 1 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Using a vegetable peeler remove the outer green rind and slice the watermelon into I inch slices. Cut away all but 1/4 inch of the flesh (it is) the white part we are pickling. The red flesh I keep for smoothies or ice cream or a nice salad with feta cheese.

Then cut the rind into 1-inch pieces.

pickled watermelon rind

Add the chilli, ginger, star anise, salt, pepper, rice vinegar and sugar plus a ½ cup of water together in a pan, bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the watermelon rind and bring back to a rolling boil and then again reducing the heat to a simmer for 5 mins or until the rinds are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the liquid to cool down. You may need to weigh the watermelon down with a plate or lid, as it needs to stay submerged in the liquid until cool.

Once cooled then transfer to a container with a well fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before you eat…This will keep refrigerated for about 2/3 weeks if it lasts that long…lol

My daughter in law took some of this to her village and they loved it …I thought maybe it would be too vinegary for them but no although they did suggest that next time I made it add some tamarind which I think( as) I love Tamarind is a great idea.

Another great idea which I only saw today on Masterchef when the challenge was to cook and not waste anything…Larissa made a beautiful Tiramisu French toast with a passion fruit compote…That ticked all my boxes and something I will be making…She used the whole of the passionfruit just cut it in half and blitzed it…Just like this…It was a beautiful red colour it looked glorious…topping that French toast…The only thing missing was some crispy bacon…

  • For the Passionfruit Compote, cut the passionfruit in half place the whole halves with 70ml water into a high-speed blender and process on high speed until smooth.
  • Pour into a small saucepan, add the sugar and place over low heat. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, to taste and set aside.

 

Lastly, Pickled onions …

Ingredients…

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Method2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in a cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Home made pickled onions

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

Recycling Corner… Crayola Crayons/Markers/Felt tips

coloured markers

Dead markers NEED NOT end up in landfills or our oceans. Did you know that Crayola has a program called ColorCycle? Crayola ColorCycle will accept all brands of plastic markers, not just Crayola markers.

That includes dry erase markers & highlighters. If you collect the dead markers, they’ll send you a free shipping label & you can ship them back to Crayola to be recycled!

Great idea whether you have kids or not or you could start a communal box among you closest neighbours or friends and ship them for free…

My last recipe is a version of Thai Larb made with duck…

Thai Duck Larb

Ingredients…Serves 1-2 people.

  • 200 gm Duck (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 the 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)
  • 1-2tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A small amount of palm sugar….I use it sparingly.
  • Mint, whole dried chillies and sliced cucumber to garnish

Let’s 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 Mint leaves, dried chillies and cucumber slices as pictured here we would also add any other raw herbs that we had available or picked.

Traditionally here in the North of Thailand the duck livers will be fried and thinly sliced and added to the larb, As duck has a gamey taste then I think the livers are a nice addition.

NB: To make the dried rice mix, take a thick bottomed pan put it on a medium to low heat, cover bottom with uncooked sticky rice( if you don’t have) 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…

Kitchen Disasters…

If anyone was under any illusions that everything I cook comes out perfect then you are sadly wrong…I have kitchen disasters and generally, they are the worst kind like this one when I took my eyes of the mango chutney…I was writing and got carried away until I heard hubby…I mean he is downstairs so why he doesn’t smell it until it gets to that stage I haven’t a clue…

Burnt mango chutney

This batch was well and truly burnt as was the bottom of my saucepan…

I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen if you have any recipe requests please let me know and I will be happy to find them and try them…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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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 had a creative week and enjoy the weekend xx