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CarolCooks2…Christmas Recipes…Prepare now…Freeze for later…

The time is just flying by now it’s 3rd December already…

Have you finished shopping? Have you wrapped your presents yet? preparation done? Don’t know what to make? Well never fear Carol is here???

Today I am going to give you a few recipes and tips about what you can cook in advance to make life just that bit easier on the day…

Sausage rolls and mince pies

We have made our sweet mincemeat...haven’t we??? and just in case the Christmas recipes are on the same post…

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is from my mum she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are ūüôā

I use half fat to the flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on the flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust. But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and a fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, and draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten the pastry and roll it gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting, I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to the breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze them uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK…I can’t get it here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3¬† cups or 12oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A¬†cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan, bring to a boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Allow the mixture to cool and put it in an airtight container and refrigerate.

 Stuffing Mix:

Now stuffing mix is hard to get here and because it is imported also expensive. I have tried various stuffings in the past with limited success…we didn’t like them!

I found this recipe on a blog the other week and it sounded great…It had bacon in it…

Picture this…. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!….no bacon and the nearest shop was a way away so I put my thinking cap on and tweaked the recipe and it turned out brilliant…..Replaced the bacon with Minced Pork, The stuffing mix( which) I had not heard of became just breadcrumbs. Chestnuts I didn’t have but they were optional.

The celery became Thai celery which is much smaller more the size of coriander…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz¬†¬†of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts( optional)
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of Thai celery chopped finely. Which when chopped did take on more of a celery smell.
  • Freshly made chicken stock.
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper.
  • Tbsp dried Sage
  • Fresh rosemary.
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme.

Heat pan with a glug of olive oil and 1oz butter. Add shallots and garlic cook 2/3 mins until soft but not coloured add mince and celery and chestnuts if using cook for a further 4/5 mins. Add breadcrumbs gradually moistening the mix with spoonfuls of stock as required.

The mix should be fairly thick but soft so you are able to form balls…Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool slightly and then form into balls.

If you want to freeze them then do it at this stage. Pack into a freezer box and all ready for Christmas day.

If not then cook in the oven until lightly browned and crispy approx 20/30 mins on 180 degrees. I didn’t need to add any additional fat as the oil and butter already incorporated in the stuffing mix kept them moist and not too dry but if required add more oil.

I generally don’t like meat in stuffing mixes but the amount I added was small and gave a nice texture and flavour but wasn’t the overriding taste.

This is now going to be my Christmas stuffing.

Pigs in Blankets:

  • 8 thin slices of smoked bacon
  • 16 chipolata sausages
  • I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey.

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle long ways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with a piece of greaseproof then remove  from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook at 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and the bacon is crispy.

Bread Sauce.

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas¬†we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half a loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half pint of milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to a boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove the Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

What to make in advance???

Yesterday I pickled some more onions and just hope I don’t have to pickle more before Christmas I made 4 jars so even the one who shall be nameless doesn’t eat a jar full a week.

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

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

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!

That’s all for today…..Take care and have fun as always thank you for joining me it is much appreciated plus I always look forward to your comments x

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…Banana Espresso Smoothie.

This is a recipe that my daughter gave me along with a packet of Chia seeds as I can’t always get them here. Bananas we have in spades as they grow in abundance here so my freezer always have frozen bananas ready to make a smoothie. foodiesfeed-com_oatmeal-chia-banana-walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen Banana plus a few slices to garnish
  • 1 cup of coconut milk.
  • 2 tbsp oats.
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter or you can use halved walnuts as in the picture saving a few for decoration.
  • A shot of espresso.
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds and honey.

Put all ingredients in your blender and blitz away.

Pour into glass and enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments x

Saturday Morning Market…Day Lily, Water Chestnuts, Bamboo and Lotus Seeds…

I love Saturdays as the small traders come with their produce from their little bit of land this is where I find the unusual fruits or vegetables which are not raised commercially but just local grown like they have been for centuries‚ĶI am also pleased to see how many of the stalls now are ditching the plastic and using banana leaves to wrap foods like the lovely flower pods pictured..as the preparations are in swing for the annual fair and big market it means that the smaller market on the left-hand side is no longer there they have taken residence along one of side soi’s(streets),,,

Saturday Morning Market 7th March

Lively and bustling the markets here sell everything from meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, curry pastes, rice, clothing, garden pots and knives you name it it is sold here…

Do you ever have a hankering for certain food and then it is right in front of you sometimes in the most unexpected places? Strange world… When your thoughts take you unexpectedly to what you were looking for.

Usually available in speciality groceries or supermarkets, freshwater chestnuts should be washed thoroughly and peeled with a sharp knife, especially if to be eaten raw. At this point, adding a few drops of lime juice keeps them from turning brown when steamed or sautéed.

The water chestnut is however not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes, underwater, and in the mud. I have always connected water chestnuts to Chinese cookery however here in Thailand they are more often used in desserts using coconut milk and often dyed a pretty pink…

Water chestnuts are an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants, making them a good addition to a healthful diet.

Some evidence suggests that consuming water chestnuts could help reduce free radicals in the body and lower blood pressure, among other benefits.

Water chestnuts are quite versatile ‚ÄĒ¬† use them in many types of cooking or eat them raw.

Once peeled, they’ll only remain fresh in water that’s changed daily for two to three days.

Chinese Chicken with Water Chestnuts.

Water chestnuts

Ingredients

  • ¬Ĺ lb of chicken breasts or pork finely sliced.
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of cornflour or arrowroot
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2/3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp of spring onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated or julienned
  • 2 cups of water chestnuts peeled and sliced ( tinned are fine) and can be found in most¬†Asian sections of supermarkets.
  • 1 cup of bamboo sliced (optional) or bean sprouts.

N.B.…I have started using arrowroot instead of cornflour it is tasteless and gives a glossy sauce and where corn flour has a slight taste and cloudy appearance arrowroot is glossy and clear. It is a great thickener and can easily replace cornflour.

Arrowroot powder is fast gaining in popularity in the western world as people are looking for substitutes and alternatives to cornstarch either because they have corn allergies/sensitivities or they want to avoid anything GMO and laden with pesticides.

Let’s Cook!

Mix the sherry, soy sauce and arrowroot together, and set to one side.

Heat the oil in a pan and add chicken /pork and stir fry for 2 minutes add garlic, spring onions, ginger and bamboo and stir fry for a further 3 minutes or until meat is cooked.

Add water chestnuts and stir fry I minute then add the arrowroot mix and stir fry for another minute or two until the juice thickens slightly add beans sprouts if using.

I always add my bean sprouts if used at the very end as I like mine crisp and just cooked.

Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles…

 

Enjoy!

I love snake beans and eat them regularly I particularly love the red variety…Thais eat many types of flower buds and this red-coloured spinach is lovely in a stir fry,,,

The cream-coloured flower buds are called Daylily ŗłĒŗł≠ŗłĀŗĻĄŗł°ŗĻČŗłąŗłĶŗłô usually used in soups and very popular with Thais and often used in herbal medicine and healing but also used in stir-fries we stir-fried ours with the Ceylon Spinach and it was very nice. The Ceylon spinach had a sort of beetroot taste. It is also used in natural medicine here and is believed to have many healing properties‚Ķ

Lotus Seeds are a popular snack here...our first introduction was when we visited local wetlands here and the man who was steering the boat picked some for us to try…They are a pretty regular sight on the street markets here…

 

The picture shows Aston holding one… to eat you just hook the seeds out with your fingers and munch away…Sometimes you will find the seeds sold in bags for convenience…The seeds are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Manganese.

This is what I love here there are so many lovely little snacks which are healthy natural nibbles.

Bamboo…(Mai Pai)…is grown everywhere here and is one of the most versatile plants I know…We have all seen those pictures of a cute Panda eating bamboo, haven’t we…?…

There are nearly forty different species of bamboo growing in Thailand and with its wide variety of use, this plant could be considered the most important Thai plant. With bamboo being so common that we can see it everywhere, we take it for granted and tend to forget how much we rely on it daily, not only in the villages but in the cities as well.

bamboo-1028699_640

Bamboo is one of the most iconic plants, with some species growing over thirty metres in height, while other species have culms(The stalk or stem of grain and grasses including the bamboo, jointed and usually hollow). that can hold more weight than steel! That is why you can see bamboo stems used in construction work all over the country. Thai workers rely on its strength to build houses, apartment buildings, hotels, shopping malls and more.

Bamboo shoots are also very nice to eat…Bamboo shoots (no mai) are used as the main ingredient in a variety of traditional Thai dishes, they can be cooked, pickled, and eaten raw. Bamboo shoots have a high amount of vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.

See the little shoot peeking its head above the ground this is what we look for and when peeled they look like the second image…Always available year-round on the markets, it is a very healthy vegetable which is a staple of the Thai diet…Lovely in a red curry…

Bamboo is also the fastest-growing plant in the world, the record holder is a bamboo that was measured to grow 121 cm in 24 hours! …It really is an all-around wonder plant…

Although many of the plants look like a tree it actually belongs to the group of woody perennial evergreen plants in the true grass family Poaceae. Who would have thunk…xxx

That’s all for this week’s Saturday Market…

Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed this post and  have a fabulous weekend xx

Saturday Morning Market‚ĶMandarin Oranges and Rosella…Jam and Relish…

I love Saturdays as the small traders come with their produce from their little bit of land this is where I find the unusual the fruits or vegetables which are not raised commercially but just local grown like they have been for centuries…I am also pleased to see how many of the stalls now are ditching the plastic and using banana leaves to wrap foods…

Lively and bustling the markets here sell everything from meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, curry pastes, rice, clothing, garden pots and knives you name it it is sold here…On a Saturday I will share with you what I have found…

This week there were lots of mandarins in all shapes and sizes but the kids love the small juicy ones, dragon fruit is plentiful as were the mushrooms today some of which have already found their way into a carbonara for the kiddies…I have noticed that certain veggies were a lot smaller I think the lack of rain is hindering their normally prolific growth. Tomatoes are all lovely red just right for a base for chilli, curry or spag bol…There are also still lots of Dragon fruit a very pretty fruit which is not a favourite of mine but lovely in a smoothie…I think I have so many choices that I am getting picky…

Often though the fresh fruit and vegetable sections are bargains especially when there is a glut of produce or it’s the end of the season…The best time to buy as many veggies and fruits can be pickled, frozen, or made into pesto…You could double quantities and freeze a portion or two…vegetable stir-fries are lovely and a good way to use ods of veggies or just as a lovely side dish…

Fruit is plentiful here I would say all year round…Fruit and vegetables can be used in smoothies it will all help to boost your vitamin intake …, especially with all the bugs around due to a drop in temperatures.

Here are some ideas about what you can add to a smoothie…

tropical sunshine in a glass header

https://carolcooks2.com/2017/03/20/tropical-sunshine-in-a-glass-take-5/

Rosella Fruit.

When I first saw this beautiful fruit I had only ever seen them dried before not fresh…it was something new to try… I just love it when I come across something I have not used or seen before…I get so excited.

Rosella grows easily here as it loves a tropical climate it is also a very pretty plant the species grown here in Thailand have broader leaves and pink rather than cream flowers and the leaves are used more than the fruits.

In Australia, it is still thought by many to be an exotic plant but has been mentioned in early Australian history and known by many as ‚ÄúBush Tucker‚ÄĚ

Also known by the more recognisable name of Hibiscus it is rich in Vitamin C and when made into a tea plus it is promoted as a cure for colds if taken regularly.

Very nice sugar syrup can also be made for use in cocktails…Just saying!

The first time I made this jam …I only made a small amount as I was not familiar with the fresh fruit or the taste…but what a revelation it was beautiful…
Ingredients:

rosella flowers

  • 500 gm Rosella fruit, seedpod separated from the Calyx and Bracts ( cut into small pieces)
  • Approx 2 cups Sugar depending on the exact weight of the fruit.
  • Approx 2-3 cups Water

Firstly I soaked the fruits in cold water for about 20 minutes so as to not only clean them but remove any insects as these flowers can be susceptible to little bugs.

It was then a case of removing the seed pod from the inside of the fruit…Covering the seed pods with water and cooking them for about 20 minutes.
The seed pods contain naturally produced pectin…I simmered these for about 20 minutes and then removed the pods and disposed of them aka compost binned them. Remember to keep the cooking water.

I weighed the flowers before cooking them and then I measured exactly half their weight of sugar.

rosella fruit in pan
The Rosella flowers were then added to the cooking water in which the seed pods were cooked and the fruits cooked until they were softened and the liquid starts to turn syrupy which took about 10 minutes I then added the sugar and cooked the fruit until it softened and turned jam-like…

Remove from the heat and put in sterilised jars…

The key to this recipe is to weigh the fruit and do the exact amount of sugar and water.
This makes a very nice fruit preserve and one which I make again and again every year.

N.B. I  now cut the fruit into smaller pieces rather than leave them whole.

Now you all know me well and know I can’t resist thinking would it be like if I added some ginger and chilli…very nice as it happens…

Rosella Relish

rosella-fruit-relish

Ingredients.

  • 250 gm Rosella fruit
  • 60 ml of sugar
  • 2cm piece fresh¬†ginger grated finely
  • 2 red shallots chopped finely
  • 5 ml red chilli powder/flakes
  • 10 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 375 ml of water
  • A pinch of salt

Let’s Cook!

Remove the red portions/calyces & discard the seed pods
Wash & place in a pan along with water, shallots, ginger, sugar, salt and chilli flakes
Bring to a soft rolling boil and cook until the liquid is greatly reduced. This takes approx 25-30 mins.
When the chutney is almost done, add the vinegar and stir well.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly and put in a sterilised glass container.

Lovely as a relish with cold/ hot meats or in a burger… with brie and freshly made bread, it is very nice.

That‚Äôs all for this week’s Saturday Market‚Ķ

Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed it and the recipes enjoy your weekend  xxx

Saturday morning at Talad Tessaban,Udon Thani, Thailand

 

Up bright and early time for my daily morning walk to Talad Tessaban this is my favourite time of the day when the world is just waking up…its about 6km there and back but a lovely walk and it clears away the cobwebs…smile…

The sun was taking its time this morning and then it was there so over the road I crossed to walk in the shade…What did I get today? Some lovely fresh coconut and other vegetables my favourite snake beans, fresh mint and coriander and of course peppercorns …I just love fresh peppercorns they make a lovely sauce.

fresh-vegetables-thai- market

I love the early morning market it is so vibrant and busy there are lots of lovely fresh produce…Today I bought some lovely fresh prawns some hand-picked crab ( so much easier than picking out the crab claws) and an Issan dish called Mok pla siw which means various small fish. they are cooked on a BBQ wrapped in a banana leaf with chilli, Thai basil and spring onion…Then eaten with sticky rice either on its own or as an accompaniment to other dishes…

fish-chilli-pla-basil-banana-leaf

What other goodies did I buy? A whole coconut for hubby as he likes to munch on fresh coconut… a whole one lasts him about 5/6 days…and some beautiful freshly made coconut milk for a curry…freshly made curry paste and even the prawns the lady cleans for me, crab freshly picked …my kind of market…

The betel leaves and the fruit are for Tik’s mum …This is an age-old tradition that old people do here..although it is actually against the law…A blind eye is turned so if you are visiting here and see someone with very red lips and teeth it is the betel leaves and nuts which they chew/smoke …It is illegal as it makes you a tad high so they will also probably have a calm faraway look…But it is big business here…

I just love the choice and the different foods I see every time I go…Lots of fish…Thais love fish of all sorts steamed, BBQ, smoked or as pla… and many smiling faces all trying to sell me their wares one-stop shopping at its best you can buy almost anything here… if you love browsing you would love it anyway back to food shopping and not forgetting the rice and man farang ( potatoes) which I needed…

That’s all for my trip down the market today… lots of fresh food for a few days…

I hope you enjoyed my local shopping trip today and you will most probably recognise a few of the vegetables some of which are eaten all over the world others which are not an Aladins cave full of fresh goodies.

Enjoy your weekend, be happy and mindful and laugh a lot xx

Healthy Eating…Obesity around the World…

 

 

Worldwide obesity figures are rising… with the rising of obesity then lifestyle diseases are on the increase and putting a strain on already stretched health services around the world which means longer waiting times to be seen plus as we/I get older I want to preserve my body as well as I possibly can which means I watch what I eat and I am walking more which is my preferred exercise…Sally over at Smorgasbord has been posting an excellent series on Morbid Obesity…Sally is a trained Nutritionist and her posts are very informative and helpful …Please head over by clicking the highlighted link above…I will leave all the important stuff we should know and the many tips to help us be in our best health to Sally as she is an expert…

My aim is to highlight the scale of the problem and to know that we are all part of the solution and are not alone in this…

This series is one I posted a couple years ago when I looked at worldwide figures and how it looks depending on where you live…I am a self-confessed nerd sometimes…smile…therefore I am repeating and updating this series…

But I also believe life is for living…Food is for enjoying… So what I have decided to do is some comparisons …Which wasn’t my plan initially for these posts… I was just reading and researching and saw a link which I clicked and three hours later and many links later this idea was born…

It started with a headline about obesity ...Country by country and percentages and then I got to thinking about the difference in lifestyles and options or just what we have always eaten…But then those stats began to make sense to me…

My diet has changed drastically since I have lived here and it is not just me who has lost weight we all have … Now I know that when it is hot, you sweat more and your appetite diminishes somewhat…You eat less!

But the food is also different and not just Chillies … I have added some pictures to the header picture of food which is on every menu and commonly eaten at home…

Firstly I will just pick out a random mix for the list below….countries where many of my readers come from or live I have also included the top and the bottom country… Just because I can but over the next couple of weeks I will look at what is commonly eaten to see if a pattern emerges.

There are 192 countries in this and I have also added the link just in case you want to see where you fit…

  • 192¬† is Timor-Leste with a percentage of 2.2% ( of their population are obese.)
  • 147 is Thailand with a percentage of¬† 8.5%
  • 95 is Germany with a percentage of 20.10%
  • 66 is France with a percentage of 23.9%
  • 35 is Canada with a percentage¬†of 28.0%
  • 33 is the Uk with a percentage of 28.10%
  • 31 is Australia with a percentage of 28.60%
  • 19 is the US with a percentage of 33.7%
  • 1 is the Cook Islands with a percentage of 50.80%

If you wish to check your country out here is the link https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

At the end of this little experiment, I will do a post o the 1st and last and see what the differences in diet and lifestyles are.

Eating habits here in Thailand… Meals are eaten together as a family and the meal could last a few hours as Thais enjoy their food but it is a social gathering… Whether it is at home or eating out you will see family and friends all together eating and sharing.

Much of the fruit and vegetables are eaten raw or very lightly steamed and everywhere you go to eat you will get your food plus a dish of fresh herbs and vegetables. The variety is awesome Thais forage a lot and I have given up being surprised at what is eaten.

Lily flowers ..you know the pretty white ones that generally drop overnight and are collected early morning they are a delicacy here to eat they are lightly steamed then the stamens are removed and the rest are eaten with a spicy fish sort of pate… Just fish pounded in a pestle and mortar with chillies, fish sauce, lime juice, and maybe dried shrimp or shrimp paste it depends.

The banana flower is a delicacy steamed and eaten with a spicy dip. The lotus flower the seed pods which are left when the flower has finished blooming are eaten.

banana flower 1

A Sticky rice pot filled with fresh rice is a staple here and everywhere you will see a pot..the tuk-tuk drivers have their little pots lovingly made by their spouses and the food stalls have some really massive ones absolutely enormous you could feed an army.

Food and time to eat food are very important here… We learnt very early on that you didn’t ask staff to leave their lunch and serve a customer… A definite no-no it could cause a mass walkout and if a Thai is hungry…Look out! You do not want to cross a hungry Thai…

The world stops here for food be it a bus or any form of transport… The foot is to the floor and every shortcut is taken …

If you break down what Thais eat there are few carbs, lots of raw fresh herbs and vegetables, Lots of eggs in various forms, lots of BBQ meats chicken, fish in salt, kidneys, sun-dried beef, pork and fish eaten with Som Tam( Papaya Salad) which again comes in many variations but with lots of tomatoes, beans, dried shrimp, chillies, peanuts, maybe some crab…

Thai Platter

A typical Thai meal of Som Tam, Mushroom soup, mushrooms just sliced and steamed with a very hot spicy dip some fresh vegetables, crispy pork scratching and sticky rice. Sometimes this will be served with steamed fish or just as it is…

This platter is slightly more substantial with the fish.

Mixed Thai Food

Out for the evening and a little more…

Thai platter in Phuket Town

This plate has rice noodles and some thick rice noodles, a little chicken, Som Tam, vegetables and herbs, bitter gourd and crispy garlic but if you look at all three they are very similar…A large percentage of the food is fresh raw vegetables or plain steamed noodles… Not too much fried or high in carbs quite natural …Not high on processed foods either…

I do think over the next few weeks when I explore other diets we will see where and how much the diets vary from country to country…most of this diet I did eat in the UK as we had a large Thai community near where we lived plus my daughter in law taught me how to cook Thai food and also to enjoy my food in its raw state rather than processed and cooked to death… Not too many nasties on those platters of food.

In Thailand food is to be enjoyed, It is fun and food is savoured, enjoyed and time is taken ..No rushing and bolting down of food but pure enjoyment and if full they talk and laugh and then eat some more… a meal can and does last for a few hours and then in no time at all the next meal is being planned…

I do hope you have enjoyed reading about the food I eat and how much my diet has changed but also how much my health has improved and I no longer eat food just because it is good for me …I eat because I love what I eat.

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments which I will respond to when I return from Bangkok we are having a few days away x