Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy Onions and Garlics – Delicious ways to include in your regular diet – Recipes from Carol Taylor

Here are some delicious ways to include onions and garlic in your regular diet to accompany the Food Therapy Series 2020 courtesy of Carol Taylor.

Onions and garlic…Not as easy as it first seems as I use onions and or garlic in practically every dish I make on a daily basis….

But making the Onion or the garlic the hero of the dish as all these cookery programmes like to say…Is much harder than first thought…

Cooking head on and into the kitchen…first job though is to get my ham on…There is nothing like Home cured ham but after teasing you with the thought that recipe unless you trawl through my archives is for another day….lol.

Onions…. Do you know your onions???? Sally has given us the low down at the beginning of this post and the health benefits of the onion…I would say most people use the onion every day as part of their cooking whether it is shallots, red onion, brown onions, spring onions( green onions) so many varieties.

They can be eaten cooked, raw or pickled.

Lovely with some fresh bread, cheese and either pickled or raw they make a lovely Ploughman’s lunch.

Raw in a cheese and onion sandwich….

Spring onions are lovely in an omelette or quiche… A cheese and onion turnover which is a pastry eaten as a snack.

Who hasn’t has Onion Bhaji with your Indian meal?

Popped into cold water they curl up and look so pretty decorating a green salad.

This stuffed Onion is one I have made many times and it is lovely for a vegetarian and quite special so looks like you have made an effort to cook something nice and tasty. But equally as nice for a light meal with a glass of vino…

Stuffed Onion with goat’s cheese and sun dried tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large onions.
  • 150 gm goats cheese
  • 50 gm fresh breadcrumbs ( I use olive oil breadcrumbs)
  • 8 sun dried tomatoes in oil chopped and drained. I am lucky that I live somewhere nice and sunny so I can sundry my own tomatoes please click  HERE to see how.
  • 2 tbsp oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Just reading that list of ingredients makes my mouth water….I am salivating.

Let’s cook

  • Add the onions in their skins to lightly salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the boiling water, drain and cool. When they are cool enough to handle cut in half and remove skin.
  • Using a small dessert spoon scoop out the centre leaving a thick outer layer… 3 layers are sufficient.
  • Reserve the flesh for later.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 190C/375F
  • Place the onion shells in an oiled oven proof dish.
  • Add all the other ingredients except for the tomato oil and pine nuts to the scooped out onion flesh and season well. Stir in the pine nuts.
  • Divide the mix between the 4 scooped out onion shells and cover the dish with foil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and drizzle with the sun-dried tomato oil cook uncovered for a further 25-35 minutes until bubbling and cooked.
  • Baste occasionally during cooking.
  • And smell…. your kitchen will be filled with such a lovely aroma and even those who are not onion lovers will be salivating…I have had many a convert to this dish.
  • It is lovely just served with warm bread or as a side to some lovely grilled sardines.

Now all of those ingredients have amazing health benefits.

Some lovely variations to this recipe include using Feta cheese instead of goat’s cheese and substitute mint and pitted green/black olives instead of the other ingredients for a real Mediterranean taste. Just stir into the scooped onion mix; you could also add some currants or sultanas.

If you don’t want sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts use 75 gm chopped walnuts add them to the scooped out onion mix add 115 gm chopped celery and cook in a tbsp oil until the celery is soft and put in the onion shell.

Experiment by substituting your own favourite ingredients that is what cooking is all about.
Onions and garlic are also lovely pickled.

Pickled Garlic

Ingredients

  • 8-10 garlic bulbs
  • 500 mls white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 90 gm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.
  • 1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Let’s Cook!

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

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

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.
The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.

Pickled onions I have tried many ways and this way seems to produce the crispiest onions and we love a crispy pickled onion…Don’t you?

Pickled Onions. There is nothing like your own crispy pickled onions… I use shallots…But pickling onions are fine.

Ingredients:

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

Method…2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep 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 over vinegar making sure onions 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!

Pork Belly in Onion Sauce.

This recipe has been handed down through the generations.

I just roast belly pork until it is nearly cooked, then scatter with 2 onions sliced then pour over some white sauce and then pour over some gravy.

I then cook for a further ¾ of an hour until the onions and the white sauce are all bubbling with the gravy. This is very tasty and again my 20% comes into play…lol

Fried Onions.

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions , sliced
  • Milk to soak
  • Flour to dredge onions
  • Oil to fry.

There is nothing like lovely, crispy fried onion with a hot dog or a steak sandwich… Top a lovely Biryani or Indian curry and it is then to die for…That’s healthy gone right out of the window but hey ho….That’s why I follow a 80%/20% diet (not every day)

Just slice those onions and soak them in milk for 5 mins them lightly take them through the flour with a fork and pop into a pan of hot oil…Stirring to brown evenly….

Enjoy!

Baked garlic and shallots with sherry.

This to me is perfection…. Lovely young garlic cloves and beautiful banana shallots… Serve on grilled bread, with a spoonful or two of goat’s curd, or as an accompaniment to a simple roast chicken. Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic bulbs
  • 8 banana shallots
  • 5 lemon thyme sprigs (or ordinary thyme)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 600 ml fresh chicken stock
  • 180 ml sherry
  • 50g unsalted butter, in pieces
  • 50g parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt and black pepper

Let’s Cook

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
  • Slice the garlic bulbs in half horizontally and place in a roasting tray. Halve the shallots, slip off their outer skins and add to the garlic. Season, with salt and pepper, and then scatter the lemon thyme and bay leaves over the garlic and shallots…
  • Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a small pan; pour over the garlic and shallots. Drizzle over the sherry.
  • Cover the tray tightly with foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, until the shallots and garlic are golden brown and the stock has reduced down and thickened. Add the butter and parmesan and stir to combine. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and then serve.

Garlic is also a lovely thing infused in Olive oil and is a base for many dishes, a lovely garlic aioli or roasted garlic puree alleviates a dish to new heights. It is such a versatile little bulb as well as being packed with health benefits.

That’s all for now on Onions and garlic…I could go on and on….but I won’t… I hope you have enjoyed reading about the health benefits of these bulbs of goodness and if you have any favourite recipes for onions or garlic then please share with us….

My thanks to Carol for all the amazing ideas on how to bring these two powerful immune boosting foods into our daily diet.

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 vegetables 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 have 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!

Connect to Carol

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Please feel free to share thanks Sally and don’t to pop back later today for the Halloween Party and a chance to leave your links to blog and books…

50 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy Onions and Garlics – Delicious ways to include in your regular diet – Recipes from Carol Taylor

      • You’re welcome, Carol. This post is very helpful because the immune system is the core of health. I don’t cook Chinese dishes too much during my 40+ years in the US. Especially after my husband retired, he does all the cooking. Onion and garlic are the major ingredients in Asian cuisine, at least some regions in China and Korea.
        My cancer treatment lower my immune system and I’m still trying to build it up by taking herbs regularly.
        I haven’t gone to the Chinatown since I read your last post yet. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • They are here, Miriam..All onions,shallots/green onions…I cook a lot of stir fries they are so quick and many Thai dishes are essentially stir fried quicky and easy to do … With lots of herbs and then raw herbs and veg as a side to eat with them…I eat far more veg/herbs raw or cooked than I ever have and I have always loved veg….It sounds like you are doing the right things it just takes time doesn’t it? Take care 🙂 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good to hear that you use lots of herbs. Yes, I love Thai food. Whenever I visit my daughter and her family in Portland, Oregon, we’ll have at least one dinner at the Thai restaurant. During my 6 months cancer treatment and the recuperation time, my husband made Shepard’s pie every week, he was working, and tried different kinds of onions. 🙂 xox

        Liked by 2 people

      • He is great in taking care of me. I’m okay except still have lymph-edema on my left leg from lack of fluid circulation due to removal of lymph nodes. When I’m on my feet for too long, my leg gets puffy. I’m in remission for 10 years but still wear compression stocking every day. I have no complaint, am grateful to be alive. Good to hear that your daughter is doing well and in good health. God is good! 🙂 xox

        Liked by 2 people

      • Donna had a special massage which trained her lymph nodes to drain the other way so she luckily hasn’t got Edema…I don’t know exactly what it was called but it did the trick 🙂 But as you say Miriam it is good to be alive xxxx

        Liked by 2 people

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  3. I pickle lots of garlic with everything I pickle, and I pickle everything that’s in season and offered during my weekly raids on a farmer market. I usually boast that Dracula will never visit my house, but I think he also stays away from yours, Carol!
    Love the stuffed onions recipe – that should be a treat!

    Liked by 1 person

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