Tag Archives: Walnuts

Saturday Snippets…

Here we are again…I hope you all have had a productive week and are still safe and well…Time to tell you what has made me laugh, cry or cringe this week…time to tell you what I have been cooking…of course…

Everyone loves a wedding don’t they and this wedding was absolutely delightful what the groom did to make his brides day really special was awesome…

What a kind, considerate man…with his heart in the right place…

Since the lockdowns, I have spent even more time in the kitchen ..much of it making cakes now that I have mastered the temperature on my oven never easy but if I double tin and heat it for a while with the tin in the oven the temperature settles and stays stable providing I do not keep the oven door open too long…Thai ovens don’t have a thermostat just low/middle and high plus only room for one shelf…All mod cons here…

I have also been experimenting with different flours and different ways of making cakes an example was the Chocolate cake I made using vinegar instead of eggs…This week I am going to be experimenting with a recipe my daughter recommended which uses 2 oranges which you cook for 2 hours and then blitz skin and all… mix with the other ingredients and you have a lovely gluten free orange cake…she has also made it using lemons…

While searching for different cake recipes I chanced upon this…Raindrop Cake…made of water and agar that resembles a raindrop. It first became popular in Japan in 2014, and later gained international attention.

raindrop cake

Photo credit: Ty Nigh on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Not something I will be attempting but isn’t it beautiful? Although maybe if it came in kit form I would make it just because…Have you made or eaten this???

The dish is made from mineral water and agar; thus, it has virtually no calories…

The dessert is also sold in kits to be made at home. It has been showcased by the mainstream media on The Today Show, BuzzFeed and ABC News…

Next we have my wellness corner which features Sally’s new series Project 101…

Wellness Corner:

project-101-2 Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/project-101-resilience-acidity-alkalinity-ph-balance-for-health-part-two-and-music-therapy-sally-cronin/

Now I know many of my readers are vegetarian or vegan…although I could happily eat vegetables for at least 5 days a week I believe in a balanced diet and not excluding food groups nless medically advised and I love fish and meat although I eat very little portions of meat all of our food is from sutainable sources…

rice june 2020

Our rice has benefited from the recent rains…It is low season now but it is looking good thanks to Tik who tends the rice well…

Today as I love cheese although I don’t get to eat it often often as cheddar is not readily available here however I also don’t know enough about alternatives for cheese…The lovely Tori who is vegan has written a great explanation for me and I am sharing it in case it helps any of you if you are looking for alternatives to cheese…Over to Tori...Tori has some lovely fur babies and has also written some delightful childrens books…

Vegan Cheese:

It depends on the brand and type you get. Some are so far away in taste and texture from dairy cheese that they wouldn’t fool anyone in to thinking they’re eating cheese, some taste like cheese but have an unpleasant aftertaste, and others are so close you’d need to be really good at identifying different cheeses to tell they’re vegan alternatives.

I get one called “VioLife” that’s got several different varieties. I get the original block, and sometimes also the feta style and the cream cheese, but they do others too. Their original block is pretty close in texture to cheddar, and tastes kind of like a very mild cheddar (you can get a stronger one, but I prefer mild, so stick to the original) though it takes a little longer to properly melt than cheddar, and even longer to brown slightly when grilled or placed in the oven so it’s difficult to get that crispy brown coating to sheperd’s pie you can get by pudding grated cheese on top, if you know what I mean. Their feta style one is incredibly close in both taste and texture to dairy feta (though melts exceptionally quickly, so if you’re melting it you want to do it for a very short amount of time, unless you want it to become extremely runny) and the cream cheese they do sort of reminds me of the Laughing Cow cheese spread. If you know your cheeses well, you’ll notice a difference in the taste and texture, plus there are differences when you’re melting them, like I said. But they’re close enough that they hit the spot with cheese cravings, so I haven’t missed the dairy cheese at all since becoming vegan.

Thank you, Tori that was really helpful…xxx

While I was checking out some recipes today I came across a recipe which grated walnuts over the top of the dish instead of cheese…

Walnut-shell

Walnut showing kernal

Has anyone tried grating walnuts instead of cheese?

0ppps nearly forgot…Chocolate Fudge recipe…In now have vanilla fudge/tablet/coconut Ice and Chocolate fudge in my repertoire…for someone who prefers savoury this lockdown has opened a few more recipe doors…

chocolate fudge with walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 300 gm sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • can condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1/2-1 cup walnuts chopped( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Add the sugar, salt and cocoa powder to a heavy bottomed pan and stir in the can of condensed milk…Over a medium heat bring to a roling boil and stir for 5 mins until the sugar has dissolved.

Remove the pan from the heat and take a brush and water and clean the inside of the pan of any mixture it stop it crystalising. then add the vanillea extract and the butter and beat the mixture foir 5  minutes until it starts to thicken then stir in the chopped walnuts and gentle comine then pour into a prepared dish to set. Once set cut into squares.

Enjoy!

Foraging is done by almost all Thais here it seems to be a national pastime…There are allsorts of mushrooms to be found here…We haven’t come across any of these though and I am sure if I did I would run…

A fungus named Xylaria polymorpha, commonly known as dead man’s finger,

Although I have researched this mushroom and some people eat these mushrooms I for one would not…

That’s all for Saturday Snippets this week…Stay safe and be well…Wash your hands and please wear a mask when out in public and practise social distancing.

About Carol Taylor: 

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times xx

Walnuts…one of my favourite nuts and as Sally tells us very good for our health…

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – Walnuts – Not just any nut… by Sally Cronin

As a follow on from the recent series on the Weekly Grocery Shopping List of foods that contain the nutrients the body needs I am going to repeat my series from 2017 on the health benefits of some of our most common foods.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practising preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens but also works to prevent rogue cells in the body from developing into serious disease.

NOTE – If you are on any prescribed medication do not take yourself off it without consultation with your doctor. If you follow a healthy eating programme and lose weight and are exercising you may not need the same dose and with your doctor’s agreement, you may be able to reduce or come off the medication altogether.

Walnuts are all they are cracked up to be!

Please click the link below to have a read about all the health benefits that little nut can provide there are also some lovely recipes using Walnuts of course…Enjoy!

via Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – Walnuts – Not just any nut… by Sally Cronin

Fruity Friday…Dates

 

Fruity Friday Dates (1)

Welcome to Fruity Fridays and this week it is a date…No, not that kind the sweet delicious dates that pair wonderfully with bacon or blue cheese or add that touch of sweetness to a Moroccan Tagine.

I do have as pictured above a date palm in my garden but dates don’t fare well here they like hot, dry temperatures not hot and humid.

The dates that are on my tree are picked while young and unripe and we take them to Lily’s other grandmother who loves them…so they don’t go to waste as the village ladies like them unripe but unripe the texture in your mouth is like when you eat banana peel but a lot drier and sour and not something that I like to eat but each to their own it wouldn’t do for us all to be alike, however, she also loves it when we take her fully ripe dates  as a treat.

Dates are probably one of the only naturally dehydrated fruits they are also fat-free, saturated fat-free, cholesterol free, sodium free and a great source of fibre.

Dates have been a staple food in the Middle East for thousands of years and many people still offer dates at each meal as a sign of hospitality or as an accompaniment to unsweetened tea or coffee.

When I was a child the only time we had dates were at Christmas they were a treat but dates now are used as appetisers wrapped in bacon the saltiness of the bacon is a good foil for the sweetness of the dates also stuffed with blue cheese they are a lovely thing and very moreish and are seen on many a buffet table.

dates rolled in bacon-2327534_1280

Date and walnut loaf or bread is also quite nice a little sweet for me and I remember my dad loving a sticky date pudding with custard.

Sticky Date and Walnut Pudding.

  • 1 cup dried pitted dates chopped
  • 4 tbsp low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup  margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2  eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger if using fresh ginger chop/grate finely.
  • 1/2 cup walnuts toasted and roughly chopped.

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 1 litre (1 quart) pudding basin lined with a disc of parchment paper.

Place the dates in a bowl and pour over 2 tablespoons milk. Stir to coat, then leave to soak.

Place the margarine, sugar, eggs and remaining milk in a bowl. Sift over the flour, cinnamon and ginger, and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until smooth. Fold in the soaked dates and walnuts.

Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin. Set the basin in a baking pan and pour in boiling water to come 1 cm up the sides of the basin. Cover the pan and basin with a tent of foil.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the pudding has lightly risen and a skewer comes out clean. If not, bake a further 10 minutes.

Turn the sticky date and walnut pudding onto a serving plate.

Serve with custard which is how my mum always served it although now many make sauces with fruit like an orange sauce  I think with this custard is all you need.

ENJOY!

Dates in Morocco, for example, are added to savoury dishes like a tagine …I just love how ornate some of these tagines are and the food which cooks in one of those is always just amazing.

Lamb Tagine with Dates.

morocco- date tagine 2290936_1280

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • half sm cauliflower cut into florets.
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2kg boneless lamb  shoulder, cut into 5cm chunks
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp each paprika  and ground coriander
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 850ml passata
  • 700g sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 350g pitted date
  • Some slivered almonds and some coriander for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan. Add the onions, then gently fry until softened, about 5 mins.

Stir in the ginger, add the meat in batches, then fry on all sides until lightly coloured. Return all the meat to the pan, stir in the spices and cinnamon sticks, then cook for 1 min.

Add the passata and 800ml water, then bring to the boil, stirring. Season well, then cover and simmer for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is tender.

Add the sweet potatoes and vegetables, stir well, cover again, then cook for 20 mins or until the potatoes are just tender.

Stir in the dates and heat through for 5 mins. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

To serve, spoon the tagine into a serving dish and scatter with the almonds and coriander.

N.B. As with all tagines or stews, you can add any vegetables i.e carrots, sweet corn, courgettes whatever you have that needs using.

Lastly, this little stuffing is a match made in heaven…

stuffed pork loin-386802_640

Date and bacon stuffing.

  • slices bacon, chopped
  • stalks celery, finely chopped
  • medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4cup snipped pitted whole dates
  • tbsp snipped fresh thyme
  • clove garlic, minced
  • cups dry cubes sourdough bread
  • 1 – 1 1/3cups vegetable or chicken broth

Let’s Cook!

In a large pan, cook bacon until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of drippings. Add celery and onion to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in dates, thyme, and garlic.

In a large bowl combine bread cubes, date mixture, and bacon. Drizzle with enough broth to moisten, stirring to combine.

You can then cook the stuffing and serve as an accompaniment or use to stuff a piece of loin as I have done we love pork loin with stuffing.

To stuff, the pork loin either cut a pocket and stuff or cut the loin but not right through put the stuffing down the middle and roll and tie with string.

This recipe is for stuffed pork loin but with a different stuffing but more detailed on how to stuff a pork loin if you are a beginner.

You can then wrap the loin in bacon if desired.

I hope you have enjoyed this post on the Date …Have you a favourite recipe which you make using dates? If so please share it with us.

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you so much for reading this I hope you have a lovely weekend …xxx

 

 

Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Cook From Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Brussel Sprouts.

Sprouts! You know you love them! Or do you????
I hope that after you have read the health benefits that Sally has presented for you and perused the recipes that you will be tempted to try them…They are coming into their season now and are at their best, so easy to prepare and cook…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to our weekly post where I look at the health benefits of my favourite foods and Carol Taylor provides delicious recipes so that you can include these foods in your diet. Brussel sprouts are not necessarily the most asked for vegetable by children as they do have a slightly bitter taste (actually the healthy element of the Brussels), but if you prepare them following Carol’s guidance, they should be a hit with all the family.

Variety is the spice of life….and our bodies need a wide variety of foods to extract all the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

We are just coming into the Brussel sprout season and I shall be taking full advantage. I eat cabbage all year round, but Brussels are so much easier to prepare and are a powerhouse of benefits all on their own.

The Brussel sprout is a miniature cabbage and is usually…

View original post 2,532 more words

Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required

Well, here it guys and gals …Nicely packaged into one all the information that you require about the healthy banana and with recipes…How good is that? I love this collaboration and hope you do to…Please let us know in comments and if you have a favourite banana recipe please share it with us and reblog this post if you loved it….We hope you enjoy! Love and hugs xxxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I am delighted to welcome Carol Taylor as my co-conspirator on this project. Most of you are familiar with my Medicine Woman’s larder and Carol and I have teamed up to provide you with recipes to make the most of these amazing foods.

I am providing the ingredients and sharing their nutritional and medicinal properties and Carol is taking them to a whole new level with her delicious recipes. You can find out more about Carol at the end of the post.

Today we are looking at the health benefits of one of the most versatile fruits, the banana. Carol has then put together some very tasty way to incorporate bananas into your life.

You can find the previous posts in the directory:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

The Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required

The banana is not only a superfood packed with nutrients but it is also a definite winner in…

View original post 2,056 more words

Foods which can help reduce your cholesterol levels naturally.

lady holding veggies

Cholesterol.… there has been so much bad publicity about taking statins, however, if you are taking prescribed medication for your cholesterol please speak to your doctor before you stop taking any prescribed medication.

If your doctor is suggesting that you take medication then now is maybe the time to look at natural ways of reducing your cholesterol before you start medication and it does work as my mum did just that and she got her cholesterol level down and didn’t need medication so diet does work for a lot of people.

Nuts…

If you’re looking for a snack food that lowers your cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! Ha Ha… In a study published by The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that people who munched their way through 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. Almonds and Hazelnuts are other great options.

The picture above shows the little cob nuts we used to pick and enjoy at Christmas also known as Hazelnuts they are sweet and incredibly nutritious edible kernels from the “birch” or Betulaceae family of trees.

They are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic as well as essential fatty acid, linoleic acid that helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol and raises HDL or good cholesterol.

Spinach…

This popular green food contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls “shrug off” cholesterol invaders that cause clogging.

Just take…

25g butter 

100g fresh breadcrumb

zest of a lemon

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red chilli, finely chopped

500g spinach…. then melt the butter in a large frying pan add everything except for the spinach. Cook until golden and crunchy. Remove from the pan and put to one side. Add the spinach to the pan and wilt, Stir and season then put in a serving dish and top with the crispy crumbs and serve as a lovely side dish with a pasta or ????? You choose!

You choose!

Fruit……..

Fruits such as apples, citrus fruit, berries, apricots, cherries are high in soluble fibre and pectin both shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol. A bowl of beautiful fruit in season is just wonderful or make it into a smoothie….I use fresh and frozen fruit for my smoothies, if you have some bananas that are getting too ripe and they do ripen so quickly don’t they?..then pop in a bag ..remove the skin of course and chop into pieces and when you do a smoothie just pop in frozen.

My smoothie recipe....  a couple of strawberries, a banana, a few frozen raspberries and 3 cheeks of lime and about half small glass of coconut milk. I like my drinks a bit tart and I don’t do sweet drinks so if you like yours sweeter you may want to cut the lime a little and add some honey to sweeten but the beauty of the smoothies is anything goes ….you can make them to order.

I also sometimes add a slice of tomato, beetroot( not in vinegar), and carrot…Play with your flavours you will be surprised and you are getting your 5 a day beautifully served in a glass of deliciousness.

If I want it colder and more frozen then I use frozen bananas.

Fatty Fish….

Omega 3 fats found in fish are one of the natural health wonders of the world these fatty acids can lower cholesterol replacing saturated fats with omega-3 like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%.

Do you think that fish looks appetising? It is one of my favourite dinners and so quick and easy to do click here for the recipe     I hope you love it as much as I do. For ease, I buy a piece of fish and portion and freeze it so if you are busy or working you can just take it from the freezer before you leave the house and it is nice and thawed ready to cook when you get home.

Garlic…

Aside from adding zing to almost any dish, garlic makes the list of foods that lower cholesterol; Research also finds that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.

Oats….

If you are looking to lower your cholesterol then get out the Scotts Porridge Oats.  I grew up on those… a lovely warming bowl before I went out into the cold to walk to school. Yes…shock horror..walk to school…

Now that is another post as I still walk …my longest walk….26.2 miles which is the official length of a marathon and I did it!

Back to that bowl of oats…Eating two servings of oats for breakfast can lower LDL (Bad) cholesterol by 5.3% in only 6 weeks.

The key to this cholesterol buster is beta-glucans, a substance in oats that absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes.

Don’t like porridge then what about some lovely oat biscuits?

Coconut Biscuits

I don’t make biscuits very often..almost never but I food because of the humidity doesn’t last long here it either goes off or the ants take residence. I was guided by the desiccated coconut and the golden syrup which was a gift from afar aka visitors and the rolled oats which I mistakenly bought instead of the porridge oats.

These cookies are my basic recipe and next time will be my experimental recipe I am already planning what I can add to them.

Ingredients:

  • 150gm rolled oats
  • 100gm plain flour
  • 100gm light brown sugar( I used raw sugar)
  • 100gm desiccated coconut
  • 100gm butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp of boiling water.

Let’s Cook!

Set oven to heat at 175C, gas mark 4.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, flour, coconut and oats mix to combine well.

In a small pan add the butter and golden syrup and melt the butter. meanwhile, bring the kettle to the boil and add two tbsps of boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda in a small cup. Add this to the melted butter/syrup mix. It will foam a little.

Make a well in the centre of your dry mix and pour in the melted butter/syrup mix. Stir to thoroughly combine and it will form a slightly sticky dough.

Roll out balls and put on a baking tray leaving a space as they will spread on cooking ( the mix made 15 balls) Slightly flatten with your hand.

Put in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

THE BISCUITS WILL BE SOFT TO THE TOUCH BUT WILL HARDEN ON COOLING.

Don’t make the mistake I made when I first made them and thought they weren’t cooked and gave them another 10 minutes. They were a tad harder than required when they cooled down…haha…I could have built a wall with them…Opppps

Olive Oil…

Good news: This common cooking ingredient can help your health. Olive Oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which lower LDL cholesterol—and have the welcome side effect of trimming belly fat. Use it to make your own salad dressings, marinate chicken and fish, or roast vegetables.

Isn’t healthy eating delicious???

Red Wine….

I love science especially when it tells me that a glass of what I love is healthy for me….It doesn’t get better than that…Does it???

Now, who doesn’t love a good Rioja? Well, those lovely high fibre Tempranillo grapes may well significantly lower our cholesterol levels.

A study by the Department of metabolism and nutrition at University Health News 

Confirmed this …That’s good news a glass of Red wine is beneficial to our health, isn’t it…..Cheers!

 

I hope you enjoy these posts ..my aim is to encourage healthy eating but also to help you realise that most of us only need to tweak our diets a little as much of what we eat is good for us as long as we buy fresh produce or grow our own… don’t buy processed foods but hey I don’t buy processed foods and we eat well…I also have a budget and buy foods in season, on special offer, if it is something I use, we swap vegetables and fruit here so if I have too much of something I share it with my family or neighbours and they do likewise.

Just a few little adjustments sometimes make so much difference.

I could tell you about so much more…name everything which helps lower your cholesterol…It would be akin to War and Peace BUT I want you to use google, ask and decide for yourself what you want to cook and what you want to buy……If only 1 person does this then I will be a happy bunny.

 

And if you think I am being too frivolous as health is a serious subject……..Laughter is also good for your health.

Until next time…Stay safe, laugh a lot, have a glass of red wine and  ASK a question.