Tag Archives: Olive Oil

Travel and Traditions…Down on the Farm…Sesame Plant(Ngaa) and Barking Deers Mango

Good morning and welcome…It was a lovely sunny one earlier and now it has clouded over…Are we in for some rain? It is rainy season but we have had a few days of sunny shine and no rain…My weather report tells me 50% chance of precipitation today with scattered thunderstorms…. the temp is hovering around 30C and set to rise a little today…No rain yet…

Today I am taking you on another trip down the farm…

The Sesame plant or Ngaa as it is known here is another plant which has popped up…I am loving it as I am constantly being surprised at what plants and fruits are appearing  Down on the  Farm...It makes it easier for the future I will know and can plan a little it will also help as I will know what and where so we can transplant and not build and destroy.

It is a beautiful and quite delicate looking plant with pretty white flowers.

Sesame seed plant

Of course, I now wanted to know what uses this plant had if any apart from producing seeds which are used mainly in desserts in Thailand. Here on the farm they are dried and used for just that really and to make the lovely sesame biscuits which we love…

The oil from the seeds is not really used in Thai cuisine like it is in Chinese cookery.

The sesame seed is one of the most ancient seeds on earth there have been remains of Sesame seeds found and dated as far back as 3500BC. It was also widely traded in parts of Mesopotamia and the Indian subcontinent around 2000BC.  Always highly valued in Eastern, African and Mediterranean culture it has been used for thousands of years in cooking to flavour foods. Sesame oil has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and a rich nutty flavour. Across the continent’s world-wide sesame oil, tahini and the seeds are widely used.

It is a good source of vitamins and minerals that boost nutrient absorption, it is beneficial to human metabolism and the bodies fat-burning ability.

Sesame oil is a strong antihypertensive and can also help normalize blood pressure levels.

Sesame butter or Tahini is a pretty calorific dense food with 89 calories plus 8 gm of fat per tablespoon BUT the majority of that fat comes from healthy unsaturated fat like Omega 3 oils which help lower inflammation thus lower the risk of heart attacks. However, as always I advise moderation.

How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter..it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini and no nasties…

Let’s Cook! 

Into the kitchen, for a quick toasting of the Sesame Seeds, then into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz, scrape down the sides, another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape, a  bit more oil and a quick whizz and viola your  Tahini Paste is now made.

How easy is that?

Tahini Paste I have been making tahini for a couple of years…I think I need an updated image as my first batch was back in 2015…

Sesame seeds come in white or black, the white seeds having the highest iron content thus are used in food or as oil.

Black seeds are stronger, more flavorful and have 60% more calcium than white seeds and are used in medicines.

There has been some exciting news on a breakthrough in the research conducted at the Thailand Excellence Center for Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells at the Chiang Mai University  where  it was discovered that “Sesamin” extracted from black sesame seeds contains properties that hinder cancer cell growth as well as stimulate antibodies in the human body to fight cancer.

Dr Prachya stated that patents for the medical breakthrough have been filed and received for the research both in Thailand and internationally.

This is great news.

As I have said before I am always being amazed by the extraordinary benefits that so many plants and seeds are being proved to provide… so much better in many cases than prescribed medicines and supplements although if you are already on prescribed medicines PLEASE speak to your doctor and discuss what alternatives you are looking at taking and remember with plants and seeds …No one size fits all…. All of our bodies are different and react differently…..But ask! Talk to your doctor, do your own research from reputable research bodies.

Called Man Saeng this potato-like root is only found in the jungle surrounding the farm and not sold commercially…..If someone has been foraging in the jungle you may find a few being sold very locally on a market.

Thai potatoes- man saeng- down- on- the-farm

Thai Potatoes called Man Saeng

Man Saeng is not only native to Thailand but neighbouring Burma, Cambodia and Laos.

Here in the North they are often found growing by the river and the vines often attach themselves to a tree and then what I call the runners have the tubers which are light brownish and slightly hairy.

It can be added to soup or fried like the fried bananas in a batter or breadcrumbed and my son who had them boiled for his supper last night said that they tasted a little like our new potatoes and he really liked them. They can also be steamed or ground into a flour to make desserts.

They are quite fibrous and if overcooked have a sticky texture… somewhat glutinous.

This video shows them being harvested from the jungle and also where a few are being grown for the farmer’s own consumption. To me, that soil looks pretty hard and for a few tubers that is hard work…

This week we also harvested a few nuts which are now ready to eat..my nutcrackers do not work as in cracking them..my son’s partners uses a knife..mmmm…I think I will leave that to her or I  will end up minus some digits…That’s for sure…

They taste a little like a cross between a brazil nut and macadamia nuts again I will shell them all and use them in my cooking..well I won’t..lol..That shell is impervious to my nutcrackers…

These nuts are from the Irvingia Malayana, which has the marvellously fanciful English title of the Barking Deer’s Mango. According to The University of Melbourne, it also has the much more prosaic Khmer name of Cham Mo. There’s a similar tree (Irvingia gabonensis) distributed about Western tropical Africa, whose nuts are used fairly extensively as a soup thickener and bread ingredient.

The name Barking deer’s mango is a strange name I can only surmise that it originated from the Indian Muntjac also named barking deer as it was often hunted around the outskirts of agricultural areas as they are considered a nuisance for damaging crops and ripping bark from trees.

indian-almond-289181_1920

This wild evergreen tree can grow as tall as 50 metres high the wood which is of low quality is used for general construction or fuel but is also very sought after and popular here for making charcoal.

The seeds of the tree are a source of a non-drying oil called cay-cay fat which is used in the manufacture of candles and soap making.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s little trip around the farm…there are always lots of surprises to be found and also things for me to learn..my knowledge has increased tenfold since I have lived always something to learn…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 are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…These honeybees dining on forget me knots say it all to me…

forget-me-not-257176_640

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch – Tomatoes for Breakfast Spanish Style

I love tomatoes any which way and tomatoes on toast for breakfast or brunch sounds good to me… Healthy doesn’t have to mean tasteless and boring it can be amazing and simple like this breakfast dish …Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Carol Taylor will be back in the New Year with the Food and Cookery Column after a well earned Christmas break.

In the meantime I will be sharing the Cook from Scratch series from two years ago which combined the health benefits of specific key ingredients followed by Carol’s recipes for cook from scratch dishes.

To kick that series off, I am sharing a breakfast that I was introduced to when we lived in Madrid. I love tomatoes and they were always readily available all year round. With some other simple ingredients, tomatoes provide a wonderful start to the day that keeps you going until lunchtime.

I would love to invite any of you who have favourite recipes that use fresh ingredients, to get in touch at the email at the bottom of the post. And of course another chance to promote your work.

Most of us associate a  breakfast…

View original post 1,417 more words

Christmas Recipes…Tahini Paste and Hummus recipes.

christmas-1695531_1920

It’s getting closer it will soon be Christmas and it looks like the Uk may have a white Christmas they have had a bit of snow and in some areas a good few inches…Snow looks so lovely when it is fresh and untrodden..Don’t you think???

My Recipe today is for hummus. and homemade Tahini paste… I had always bought my hummus it has only been since I have lived here and not being able to buy hummus that I investigated how to make it…The other factor was the extortionate cost of Tahini paste. To say I was amazed at how easy and quick it is to make is an understatement…this picture has the date and was my very first batch…I think I  need to update my photo next time I make it…

Tahini Paste

How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter..it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini and no nasties….

Let’s Cook! 

Into the kitchen, a quick toasting of the Sesame Seeds, then into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz, scrape down the sides, another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape, a  bit more oil and a quick whizz and viola your  Tahini Paste is made.

How easy is that?

Next step…Hummus

Hummus

Combine 3tbsp Tahini Paste with 2tbsp fresh Lemon Juice and blitz in food processor.

Add 2tbsp Olive Oil,1 clove Garlic, half tsp ground Cumin and a half to one tsp salt and blitz.

Add half of drained, rinsed can of chickpeas and again blitz 1-2 mins. Add the other half of Chick Peas and blitz again 1-2 mins.

Put in a suitable container or serving bowl drizzle with tbsp Olive Oil and sprinkle with  Paprika.

Voila, it’s now ready to eat with Sliced pitta bread or cut up vegetables of your choice.

This will keep up to 1 week in the fridge.

That’s it for today…I am going to take a break now as it has gone midnight here and I am still typing away…

Until tomorrow…Nite Nite xx

Still got shopping to do? Snowed under or in then pop over to my other blog Orienthailiving for some inspiration… and if you sign up for my newsletter then I will send you a FREE PDF on how to make your own Thai Curry pastes from scratch.

 

Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds who would have thought just what health benefits that little seed can provide for us…Well…Sally has and it is all here in one post with recipes … A one-stop post for healthy food and good health information….I hope you enjoy x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series where I provide the nutritional health benefits for a food and Carol Taylor works all week in the kitchen to provide delicious recipes to include in your regular diet. I hope you will go over to her new blog which she has just started: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/ and discover more about her beautiful home in Thailand.

This week we are going to be featuring pumpkin seeds which are not only delicious but contain some very important nutrients that make this a snack that every man should eat once or twice a day.

When I was researching my men’s health book I came across some interesting statistics with regard to the very common problem of an enlarged prostate. In fact if you live to the age of 90 – 9 out of 10 men will have the condition!  Any man over the age of 50 who has a reduction…

View original post 2,192 more words

Fish Friday…….British Fish and Chips.

What better dish for my Fish Friday dish……I miss Fish & Chips not that it was something we ate often when in the UK but as we haven’t had it for at least 7 years;……..Sometimes you just get that hankering for it…Don’t you?

So I give you Fish & Chips….UK style with mushy peas.

fish-and-chips-2753360_1920

For 4 servings.

800 gm potatoes scrubbed and cut into chips or peeled and cut into chips.

Olive oil to cook and to coat. I more often than not also add some fresh rosemary sprigs.

For the mushy peas:

300 gm frozen peas

1 tsp Olive oil.

2 tsp lemon juice

Fresh pepper to season.

For the Fish:

650 gm approx of your favourite fish. Cut into 4.

50 gm flour plus 1 tsp

50 gm cornflour

1 egg white

125 ml ice-cold sparkling water

600 ml oil for frying

Lemon wedges for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Cut your chips and parboil. Drain, shake lightly and I put a tea towel over the pan to absorb the steam.

Heat your oven to 220 fan/ 200, gas mark 7

Put baking tin with Olive oil in the oven and heat for 8-10 mins.

Meanwhile, put the chips into a bowl and coat with some more olive oil using your hands to turn and coat the potatoes. At this point add Rosemary or Sage if using.

When the oil is hot add the chips in a single layer. Bake 10 mins and turn, bake 5 mins and turn, repeat this process until the chips are nice and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.

Meanwhile, cook the peas for 4 mins. Drain and lightly crush with a fork. Mix in the oil and lemon juice. Some freshly grated pepper and set to one side.

Fish...Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel. Put 1 tsp flour on a plate and coat the fish with the flour.

Heat your oil to 200C.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, cornflour, salt and pepper. whisk the egg white. Pour the sparkling water into the flours whisking all the time. Lastly, add the egg white still whisking but being careful not to whisk out all the bubbles…Bubbles make nice light, crispy batter. A balloon whisk is good to use to keep the bubbles. You want a bubbly batter, not a smooth batter.

Dip your floured fillets into the batter. Dip and drain and with a slotted spoon and carefully put into the hot oil. Fry 2 fillets at a time making sure you get your oil back up to the required heat or you will have soggy batter.

The heat must stay a constant 200 C.

Fry for 5-6 minutes, turn fish and cook until the batter is crisp and golden, drain and repeat with your other 2 fillets.

Serve on plates with the chips and mushy peas.

Garnish with lemon wedges.

Serve with mayo or my favourite tartare( caper) sauce.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Down on the Farm…Sesame Plant(Ngaa)

 

The Sesame plant or Ngaa as it is known here is another plant which has popped up…I am loving this year as I am constantly being surprised at what plants and fruits are appearing  Down on the  Farm...next year I will know and can plan a little it will also help as I will know what and where so we can transplant and not build and destroy.

It is a beautiful and quite delicate looking plant with pretty white flowers.

Sesame seed plant

Of course, I now wanted to know what uses this plant had if any apart from producing seeds which are used mainly in desserts in Thailand. Here on the farm they are dried and used for just that really and to make that lovely sesame biscuit.

The oil from the seeds is not really used in Thai cuisine like it is in Chinese cookery.

The sesame seed is one of the most ancient seeds on earth there have been remains of Sesame seeds found and dated as far back as 3500BC. It was also widely traded in parts of Mesopotamia and the Indian sub continent around 2000BC.  Always highly valued in Eastern, African and Mediterranean culture it has been used for thousands of years in cooking to flavour foods. Sesame oil has one of the highest oil contents of any seed and a rich nutty flavour. Across the continent’s world-wide sesame oil, tahini and the seeds are widely used.

It is a good source of vitamins and minerals that boost nutrient absorption, it is beneficial to the human metabolism and the bodies fat burning ability.

Sesame oil is a strong antihypertensive and can also help normalize blood pressure levels.

Sesame butter or Tahini is a pretty calorific dense food with 89 calories plus 8 gm of fat per tablespoon BUT the majority of that fat comes from healthy unsaturated fat as Omega 3 oils which help lower inflammation thus lower the risk of heart attacks. However, as always I advise moderation.

How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter..it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini and no nasties…

Let’s Cook! 

Into the kitchen, a quick toasting of the Sesame Seeds, then into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz, scrape down the sides, another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape, a  bit more oil and a quick whizz and viola your  Tahini Paste is made.

How easy is that?

Tahini Paste

 

Sesame seeds come in white or black, the white seeds having the highest iron content thus are used in food or as oil.

Black seeds are stronger, more flavorful and have 60% more calcium than white seeds and are used in medicines.

There has been some exciting news on a breakthrough in the research conducted at the Thailand Excellence Center for Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells at the Chiang Mai University  where  it was discovered that “Sesamin” extracted from black sesame seeds contains properties that hinder cancer cell growth as well as stimulate antibodies in the human body to fight cancer.

Dr. Prachya stated that patents for the medical breakthrough have been filed and received for the research both in Thailand and internationally.

This is great news.

As I have said before I am always being amazed by the extraordinary benefits that so many plants and seeds are being proved to provide… so much better in many cases than prescribed medicines and supplements although if you are already on prescribed medicines PLEASE speak to your doctor and discuss what alternatives you are looking at taking and remember with plants and seeds …No one size fits all…. All of our bodies are different and react differently…..But ask! Talk to your doctor, do your own research from reputable research bodies.

More news from down on the farm..we have 3 more turkey babies ..2 female and one male and a baby chook who thinks it is a turkey…Yes, it does and any attempts to put it back with the chooks results in it crying and making turkey noises…So we have left it with the turkeys…

The bananas are ripe for picking very soon.

That’s all for now DOWN ON THE FARM…I hope you enjoy these posts of our life and adventures in rural Thailand if you do please share or reblog.

I have also left some links below for previous posts just in case you missed them.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/down-on-the-farm-introducing-our-new-turkey-babies/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/down-on-the-farm-making-charcoal/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/down-on-the-farm-thai-potatoes/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/down-on-the-farm-jambulan-plum/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/down-on-the-farm-snake-gourd-raita/

Until next time stay safe, have fun, laugh a lot as laughter as you should know by now is the best medicine known to man…..

 

 

Healthy Eating….Fresh Herbs

lady holding veggies

Fresh Herbs

Fresh Herbs are something that I always have in my fridge and my garden..Don’t you?

Also, I want to show you that it is not time-consuming to give your food that little extra pizzaz…Food should be tempting, it should be fun and enjoyable as well as being good for you…and the occasional treat…Have it! Enjoy it! Safe in the knowledge that most of the time what you and your family are eating is good, healthy food… but never boring!

Some herbs you can grow at home and pick them fresh knowing that they are pesticide free. How satisfying is that???

They are also something that I sometimes forget that I have or keep meaning to use and end up throwing them away. Does the same thing happen in your house?

It is always those tender herbs like coriander, basil, mint, parsley or chives…The hardy herbs are the ones I always keep in the freezer.

Well, no more will I be throwing away my herbs I decided that I would use my herbs more or less immediately or do something with them.

I think herbs always lift an ordinary dish and make it a little bit more special  for example, if you are having a salad just snip a few herbs and toss them in with your normal salad vegetables or if you fancy a salad and have no salad in the fridge then a salad made of freshly picked herbs from the garden or the hedgerow makes a refreshing change.

wild-herbs-salad-2267949_1920

Freeze some chopped herbs in ice-cube trays and then all have to do is drop one or two into your cooking when herbs are needed.

Or make some lovely herb butter ideal for melting over your fish or dropping in a sauce.

herb-butter-7244_1920

Add mint leaves to that bowl of ice cream see how much more refreshing it is.

chocolate-932324_1920

Or sprinkle some herbs into that omelette you are making and see what a difference it makes. It suddenly looks so much more appetising.

Herb Omellette

Mix chopped parsley with some chopped garlic and a little lemon juice and sprinkle it over your steak, chicken or your fish.

 

Now, who doesn’t like a dish of pasta with some lovely fresh pesto drizzled over it so it coats the pasta?

pasta-2358545_1920

 

Doesn’t that look enticing?

A quick herb pesto made by whizzing coriander, mint or parsley with olive oil, a handful of chopped walnuts and nice hard cheese like parmesan or pecorino takes 3/4 minutes to make.

Much more basil than you can use then make a lovely pesto it will keep in the fridge for at least a week.

 

Green Pesto:

basil-pesto-pinenuts

Homemade pesto

2 cups of fresh basil

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup of pine nuts…sometimes I toast mine for a slightly nuttier taste.

2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Wizz all the ingredients in your blender or food processor some people think that a blender makes smoother pesto. Except for a 1/3 cup of the olive oil and the cheese.

Then slowly add the remainder of the olive oil and then pour into a bowl and stir in the cheese and season.

If you are using a pestle then blanch the basil or coriander leaves in boiling water for 5-10 seconds until they are wilted and then put in ice-cold water.

If using coriander add a little lime juice to the pestle and use walnuts.

For Red Pesto add skinned tomatoes with the basil.

If you haven’t tried a beetroot pesto then it’s a must if you love beets. It is awesome on toast as a crostini it is to die for….

Roast two medium beetroots and then skin and chop them.

1/2 cup of roasted almonds

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil.

Blitz all the ingredients together.

If you don’t use all your pesto within the week then freeze in ice-cube trays. They can then be popped in a pasta sauce as required.

You should now never have to throw any of those tender herbs away ever again.

I hope this post has given you a few ideas of what to do with your tender herbs so have fun, experiment, use different nuts when you are making pesto, a squeeze of lime juice whatever takes your fancy.

I hope you are enjoying these healthy eating posts from this whimsical English lady who is living her dream in sunny Thailand…Note: I still have to cook and clean…. I love life and laughter and am slightly crazy or bonkers whatever you wish to call me …Oh, and my new handle from a cooking friend who shall be nameless is Wikipedia Carol… Like I know all….I wish…ha ha

If you have any thoughts on anything I would love to hear your comments and will answer you as soon as I can….I just love to talk and make new friends.

Thank you for reading my blog  I hope to see you here again please share or reblog if you think one of your friends would love it…Sharing is caring!

Have fun and laugh a lot …most importantly enjoy your food and have fun with it..experiment….If you love it will become a family favourite and if you don’t ..Well we all have made those dishes..lol so we won’t make that again will we????

—————————————————————————————————————————————–All my photos are taken by me ( Carol) or come from Pixabay and are free to use….