Tag Archives: Zucchini

The Culinary Alphabet XYZ…

Finally after two years …I have reached the end of this series we are on  XYZ…No zebras in sight…haha…I have enjoyed writing this series and my thanks go to Esme for indulging my passion… I love researching and finding out new methods of cooking and foods…

Here we go then…The Culinary Alphabet The Letter XYZ (1)

 

Xawaash Spice Mix…

Xawaash (pronounced Hawash) comes from the Arabic word Hawa’ij (حوائج). Hawa’ij can be translated as ‘requirements’ or ‘essentials’. For example, there are the essentials accompaniments for Arabic coffee, Hawa’ij al-Qahwa (حوائج القهوة). The Hawa’ij spice mix is believed to have originated in Yemen.

In the southern regions of Somalia, Xawaash refers to the spice mix that is added to savoury dishes: meats, stews, soups, etc. However, in the northern parts of Somalia, Xawaash is used in a broader sense and it refers to any spice mix, even the spices that are added to tea and coffee.

Keep in mind that the types of spices used and their proportions are not cast in stone. There are regional variations dictated by personal taste as well as the availability of certain spices.

The use of the aromatic Xawaash is what gives Somali food its unique character and flavour.

Xoconostle…

Or cactus fruit a cousin of the prickly pear…The bright red centre of the Xoconostle cactus fruit has a few dozen, small edible seeds that have an appearance similar to the seeds of passion fruit. The flavour is described as complex with a sour tang and an acidic finish.

Ximenia…

A small fruit, only about 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) long. It will ripen to orange, or red with white spots, or yellow, depending on the diversity. The Ethiopian variety goes yellow. There will be 1 seed in every fruit. The pulp is sour and tart. Birds also love this fruit. Known as a powerful healthy fruit it is packed with Vitamin C as well as Vitamin E, phosphorus, fibre, carbs, starches, magnesium, calcium, and lots of protein too… The stems, bark, and leaves of the tree also contain lots of natural steroids that may be used in the future for treating diseases such as cardiovascular disease and strokes… New studies are underway…

ximenia

Photo credit: berniedup on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

In traditional medicine, the bark is used to treat oral infections and toothache… It is also commonly known as tallowwood, hog plum, yellow plum, sea lemon, or pi’ut (Chamorro), it is a small sprawling tree native to the tropics, a sour plum found in South-East Africa also a related species grow in the Western United States.

Xiaolongbao…long bun…

Quite simply are the popular bao buns which.is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. They are made from either leavened or unleaved dough with minced pork or another meat filling. Many of these buns are eaten here they come in different shapes and colours and look very pretty…

bao bun pork filled

 

Photo credit: wallyg on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Yams

Yams are a relatively low-protein food, yam is not a good source of essential amino acids. Experts emphasize the need to supplement a yam-dominant diet with more protein-rich foods to support healthy growth in children. Although often in the poorer countries this does not happen. This is the purple yam there is also white yam and some are quite hairy they are a common sight on the markets here.

Yam is an important dietary element for Nigerian and West African people. It contributes more than 200 calories per person per day for more than 150 million people in West Africa and is an important source of income. Yam is an attractive crop in poor farms with limited resources. It is rich in starch and can be prepared in many ways. It is available all year round, unlike other, unreliable, seasonal crops. These characteristics make yam a preferred food and a culturally important food security crop in some sub-Saharan African countries.

Yokan

matcha-cream-green-tea-yokan

Photo credit: Kirinohana on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Is a Japanese sweet similar to Turkish Delight…which is a favourite of mine and generally a treat at Christmas… The above yokan is made with matcha green tea, chestnuts are also used and other colourings mainly natural colours…Like pandan leaves…

Yeast

The first known yeast was some hundreds of millions of years ago…There are some 1,500 different species which are currently recognised. Most of us know yeast is used in baking, winemaking and brewing…Yeast is a single-celled microorganism that is classified, along with moulds and mushrooms, as members of the Kingdom Fungi. It is also the subject of much research.

Yellowtail Fish…

The Yellow Tail fish or Amber Jack is native to the North East Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. It is also not related to the Yellowtail Tuna.

Sesame crusted Yellowtail fish

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri…For further info and the recipe for the fish …

We thoroughly enjoyed this recipe which was tried and tested in my kitchen and are looking forward to this fish coming into season again although the recipe could be used with any fish steaks.

Yerba buena

Yerba buena or Hierba Buena is the Spanish name for a number of aromatic plants, most of which belong to the mint family.

Za’atar

A Middle Eastern spice blend …this aromatic spice blend has been around for ages, but the recent surge in popularity of Mediterranean foods and flavours has sent the demand for this bold blend through the roof. And as the spice grows in popularity in mainstream culture, it’s gearing up to become the next everything bagel seasoning: sprinkled on just about everything by just about everyone to make dishes instantly ten-times tastier.

Zest

zest-4180654_640 (1)

Doesn’t the zest of citrus fruits just liven up your cooking? As a garnish, in baking, it just adds that extra zing. I am a big fan of adding lemon, orange or lime zest to my cooking…Both sweet and savoury dishes…

Zingara

Popular in French cuisine it is a sauce made from chopped ham, tongue, mushrooms and truffles combined with tomato sauce, tarragon and sometimes Madeira wine. Additional ingredients may include white wine, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and orange rind. It is also known by the name of gypsy sauce…

Zucchini

smart

I have always called it courgette which is the British/ English name whereas Zucchini is the American/English name…Classes as a summer squash it is harvested when the skins are soft and immature as the skins harden and it grows in size I know it as the Marrow…Very popular now and cooked in many ways …It can be baked, stuffed made into zoodles and used as a healthier answer to pasta…It can be used in baking bread, cookies, shaved in salads or rolled with veggies or prawns so many recipes.

That’s it…Finito, finished, the end…

If you have stayed with me throughout this series then thank you and thank you, Esme…I hope you have enjoyed this series if you are new and have missed it then pop over to Sally’s as she has very kindly offered to repost this series instead of my normal posts on my cookery column over at Smorgasbordto allow me the time to finish my cookbook and novel…It will be the same just with a few tweaks from moi…  Thank you 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!

 

Healthy Eating…Ditch the Purine Rich Foods and say goodbye to your painful gout.

Healthy - Vegetables- Fruit- Lady

 

Gout is a very painful condition and it blights many people’s lives…A type of arthritis which attacks the joints…Gouty arthritis is caused by the deposition of crystals of uric acid in a joint …       Years ago it was classed as a rich mans disease… and put down to over consumption of  rich foods… it is recorded as far back as Egyptian times and also refered to as the ” disease of kings” incorrectly linked to overindulgence in food and wine…

My mother suffered from gout on occasions and took a lot of ribbing and leg pulling from my father and my sons on her consumption of alcohol and as she was tee total she used to get a little irked with them at times.

It is now proved to be connected with diet and sufferers are recommended by the medical profession to avoid certain foods which are known to aggravate gout.

A diet high in fat can interfere with your kidneys’ ability to rid your blood and body of uric acid therefore avoid full-fat dairy products like whole milk or regular ice cream, baked goods such as muffins or cakes that may incorporate a high amount of fat or oil and salad dressings. Do not eat fried foods or foods served with rich gravy or cream or cheese-based sauces. Aim to limit your total fat intake to no more than 30 percent of your daily calories.

High Purine Foods include:-

  • Beer
  • Some fish, seafood and shellfish, including anchovies, sardines, herring, mussels, codfish, scallops, trout and haddock.
  • Some meats, such as bacon, turkey, veal, venison and organ meats like liver.

To avoid a build up of purines which cause painful crystals to form between the joints then it is best to follow  a low purine diet by cutting down on excess fat as fat can inhibit the body’s ability to process and eliminate uric acid.

Drink plenty of fluids 8-12 servings of liquid as it serves to dilute uric acid but do avoid soda pops and another with high fructose levels.

Tofu is also a good addition to a menu but as with all things…What do I say?? Moderation and limit  servings of tofu to 2-4 servings per  week.

It really is as with all good eating plans…Moderation…

Most vegetables are low in purines, BUT several contain a moderately high concentration ranging from 50 to 150 milligrams of purines in every 100 grams of the food AND these should be limited and eaten in moderation. These vegetables include all dried beans and legumes, mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower and asparagus which is why it is best to limit your consumption of these to no more than two servings per week. A guideline is 1 cup of the vegetables raw or 1/2 cup cooked is equivalent to a serving.

Food which can be freely eaten as they are low in purine are Potatoes, bread, rice, wine( moderation), fruit and juices.

If losing weight is your goal then take it slow weight loss helps increase the levels of uric acid in the body.

If you’re concerned about your uric acid level, eat only a moderate amount of animal-based protein daily — a maximum of 6 ounces per day with a limit of 3 ounces per meal. Meat, poultry and seafood with a high purine content of over 150 milligrams in every 100 grams should be strictly avoided. Organ meats like liver or kidneys, game meats, goose, partridge and shellfish such as mussels, scallops, anchovies, shrimp and herring fall into this category.

If you are now feeling well..What can I eat then to help this painful gout…There is still much you can eat and control your gout at the same time.

If you look at the foods you can eat then lovely home-made soups can be on your men just make sure that you make your own homemade stocks and don’t use concentrated stock cubes  with a little thought and careful menu planning there really are many, many choices and dishes that you can make and enjoy while reducing your purine intake.

I have include a couple of links with examples to get you started on your new eating plan please don’t look on it as a bore and a chore embrace it and that painful gout will soon be under control.

The squash I always make into a vegetable soup and freeze in portions. When I reheat, I then add chilli (of course) and a little coconut milk and gently warm through.

butternut squash soup

 

Soup ingredients:

  •  1 small squash, peeled and deseeded. Cut into pieces.
  •  1 brown onion, peeled and cut up
  •  1 carrot washed and cut
  •  4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  •  Piece fresh ginger finely chopped
  •  3 Broccoli stalks, peeled and cubed (I always save the broccoli stalks) for when I make soup. Waste not, want not and I think ideal for soups for flavour.
  •  1-1½ litres fresh home-made vegetable stock

Let’s Cook!
Heat a glug of olive oil and gently cook garlic ginger and onion to just soften and not colour.
Add other vegetables gradually and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, then add stock and seasoning.
Simmer gently for about an hour or until vegetables are lovely and soft and remove from heat. I let it cool down before I blend.
This makes a lovely vegetable soup but I also use it as a base and freeze in portions.
When I reheat I add little-dried chilli flakes and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk.
It just gives it a creamy flavour.
Sometimes I add crushed lemongrass stalk and a little fish sauce, it depends on how I feel, it is a versatile soup base so play with it, have fun.
Add some curry powder, a squeeze or 2 of lime juice or coriander, whatever you fancy. Enjoy!

Secondly I have a lovely quick, tasty pasta dish for you to rustle up.

Spaghetti and zucchini pasta.

  • 8 oz of uncooked spaghetti
  • 2 cups of shredded zucchini
  • 2/3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 chilli finely sliced…I don’t remove the seeds but if you don’t like it too hot then remove the seeds.
  • 1 tbsp of fresh tomatoes…I always do my own tomatoes and freeze in portions ready for sauces etc
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to  taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh parmesan grated
  • a few torn basil leaves optional.

Let’s Cook!

Cook your pasta in boiling water..No salt or oil. While the pasta is cooking heat your tsp oil in  pan and add the garlic cook for a minute and add the chilli and the tomato pulp. Cook stirring until heated through and add the zucchini and cook for 3-4 minutes.

One the pasta is cooked, strain and toss with the zucchini mix. then sprinkle with salt and black pepper and grate some parmesan over the top scatter with torn basil leaves if using and there you have a nice tasty pasta dish.

Thank you for reading this post and if it has helped then please share on your favorite social media …Thankyou in advance xxx

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