Smorgasbord Health – Christmas Cook From Scratch – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cranberries #bittersweet


Here is another of our posts where I share the nutritional benefits of an ingredient and Carol Taylor incorporates it in a delicious recipe. Next week Carol will be back to share some of her creations from her Thai kitchen offering you some alternative delicacies to eat over the festive season.

This week… ..Cranberries – a bitter berry which has a long history in medicinal terms and is still used today in certain over the counter preparations.

Cranberries have a documented medicinal history and were used by the Native American Indians as a nutritious addition to their diet normally sweetened with honey as of course the berries are very tart. The Indians also used the berries in poultices for wounds as they recognised the antibacterial and antibiotic effect of the fruit even if they could not scientifically prove these properties. Colonists, who had been introduced to the berry, exported it home to England at the beginning of the 18th century.

Modern research into the therapeutic properties of the cranberry is not one sided and there is usually a commercial reason behind all the debate! However, I have used cranberries for over 20 years personally, with family and clients, and certainly have found that there is  some truth to its health properties. Cranberries act like your own defence team to repel opportunistic invaders who are intent on stealing your health.

Most of us, before the 80’s, restricted cranberries in our diet to Christmas and the odd time we had turkey at other times in the year. Then came the very welcome news that for those of us, who suffered from attacks of bacterial cystitis, drinking the juice of these tart little red berries could bring relief. In fact drinking cranberry (although disputed in some scientific areas) can help prevent attacks of this painful condition. Cranberries contain a unique component in which is technically termed High molecular weight non-dialysable material or NDM for short. NDM prevents bacteria from clumping and damaging soft tissue in various parts of the body including the urinary tract. It is common for many over the counter cystitis treatments to contain cranberry combined with alkaline elements to reduce the build-up of acid.

Emerging evidence shows that this fruit is a lot more versatile than we thought and there are now several very good reasons to include cranberries on a daily basis in your diet.

Cranberry the antioxidant

A free radical is a molecule. A normal molecule has an even number of electrons and is considered stable. Free radicals on the other hand have an uneven number of electrons and are unstable. They are desperate to be like the normal molecules so they have to steal from them to get another electron. This of course means that they have created another free radical. More and more cells become damaged and leave the body open to many diseases – from cardiovascular to cancer.

The free-radicals cause cells to oxidise and die. The major damage is done to our DNA, which results in mutations and death of the cells. Our body does produce anti-oxidants and enzymes that can repair this damage if we eat healthily. However, as we get older so do our cells and it becomes harder to repair them and they die. This is ageing! In our brains when cells are damaged beyond repair you are susceptible to loss of co-ordination and memory and in extreme cases dementia.

To prevent this we need a diet that is very high in anti-oxidants, which work through the body immobilising free radicals and preventing damage. Cranberries contain one of the highest levels of anti-oxidants of most fruit and vegetables and that is why drinking at least one glass per day can provide you with enough of these defensive players to protect your brain.

Artery health

In the same way, flavonoids in Cranberries function as very potent antioxidants and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is when the arteries become clogged and narrowed restricting blood flow to the heart. The most common cause is a build-up of LDL (Low-Density lipoproteins or lousy cholesterol) oxidising and causing plaque to cling to the walls of the arteries narrowing and hardening them. This can lead to angina, blood clots and heart attacks.

Cranberries contain the flavonoids and also polyphenol compounds that have been shown to help prevent the LDL from oxidising and therefore forming the dangerous plaque that leads to arterial disease.

Dental health – another good reason to drink cranberry juice.

One would think that drinking cranberry juice with its natural sugars would have a harmful effect on the teeth but in fact the reverse is true. Cranberries actually help prevent dental problems.

A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that the unique component in cranberry juice that I mentioned earlier, NDM not only prevents bacteria attaching itself to soft tissue but to the harder substances such as enamel too.

Hundreds of different types of bacteria in the mouth clump together and attach themselves to the teeth and gums and over time harden causing cavities and gum disease. This film on the teeth becomes resistant to saliva, which would normally remove bacteria from the mouth and also our normal oral hygiene routines such as brushing. One of the most resistant bacteria in the mouth is Streptococcus and in tests indications showed that Cranberry mouthwash reduced the presence of this in the mouth significantly.

Cranberry juice and peptic ulcers

Helicobacter Pylori (H.Pylori) bacteria can have a painful and devastating impact on the health of your stomach and also its ability to process the food that you eat.

A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of the stomach or duodenum, which is the beginning of the small intestine. They are quite common and one of the main causes is bacterial infection and the chief culprit is H.Pylori. It is not certain how people contract H.Pylori but it is believed that 20% of people under 40 and half of the population over 60 are infected with it.

H.Pylori weakens the protective mucous coating of the stomach and duodenum, which allows acid to get through to the sensitive lining beneath. Both the acid and the bacteria irritate the lining causing a sore or ulcer. H.Pylori is able to survive in stomach acid because it secretes enzymes that neutralise the acid. Once in the safety of the mucous lining the bacteria’s spiral shape allows it to burrow into the lining.

H.Pylori has also been associated with stomach cancer, acid reflux and gastritis. Finding a natural way to prevent H.Pylori from completing its mission is therefore a very prime research topic. As in dental health and in the urinary tract, the NDM prevents the H.Pylori from attaching itself to the lining of the stomach therefore preventing an ulcer developing.

Other benefits of cranberries

Emerging research is indicating that the benefits of cranberries are even more far reaching with research into its anti-viral properties in the treatment of infections such as herpes and the prevention of kidney infections and kidney stones. What is extremely interesting is the cranberries ability to inhibit the growth of common food related pathogens including Listeria and E.Coli 0157:H7. This antibiotic effect of cranberries was recognised centuries ago by the American Indians and it is a pity that we are only just catching up with these enlightened people.

By far the best way to get your daily fix of cranberries is fresh, mixed with other fruit or juiced. You can also include in many savoury dishes and to give you some idea of how versatile this fruit is, I am going to hand you over to  Carol Taylor who is going to share some of her recipes from her series Fruity Friday

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us for another festive post, and next week I will be back with some alternative recipes for you to try for Christmas…

First some versatile Cranberry Sauce for not just turkey but some richer meats too.

Ingredients

• 3 cups or 12 oz 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 the 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.

Store in a sealed container.

Camembert Puffs:

These little puffs don’t take long to make so if I need a quick snack if visitors pop in around sundowner time then these don’t take long. I always keep a little box of already cut puff pastry squares which I can just pop in the oven and I always have a container of cranberry as we like it in a sandwich if we have cold chicken or pork and it is lovely with hot meat or pork schnitzels which I just top with some cream cheese and a spoonful of cranberry sauce.

Ingredients:

• I pack of frozen Puff Pastry, thawed.
• 125 gm(4 oz) of Camembert Cheese.
• 100gm Cranberry Sauce.
• 1 sprig of thyme…leaves picked.
• 1 large egg, beaten.

To Make:

Line 2 baking tins with baking parchment.

Roll out puff pastry and cut into bite-sized squares ( 3cm)

Put onto baking trays making sure you space well apart. Brush top with beaten egg. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins.

Put into pre-heated oven 180 or gas mark 6. Cook for approx 10 minutes or until golden brown. Slice Camembert into equal sized pieces and put one in the centre of each pastry square. Top with a tsp of cranberry sauce. Put back into the oven until cheese has melted.

Garnish with Thyme.

Enjoy!

This next recipe is one I use if I am rolling and stuffing a piece of Pork and I have stuffed chicken breasts as well using the same stuffing.

Apple and Cranberry Pork.

Rub for the Pork Loin ingredients

• 4 lbs Pork Loin,
• Bacon ( enough to cover Pork Loin)
• Salt & Pepper to taste,
• 1 tablespoon Olive Oil,
• 2 finely chopped Garlic Cloves,
• 1 tablespoon chopped Thyme,
• 1 tablespoon chopped Rosemary…

Stuffing for Pork Loin:

• Half cup Vinegar,
• 1/4 teaspoon salt,
• 2 small diced red onions,
• Olive oil as required,
• 1/2 bottle Lager Beer,
• 3/4 cup Brown sugar,
• 1 teaspoon Cinnamon,
• 1 tbsp chopped ginger,
• 2/3 cup dried cranberries,
• 1 teaspoon Mustard Seed,
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves,
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper,
• 4 peeled and chopped Granny Smith Apples.

Let’s Cook!

Cut a pocket through one end of the tenderloin. Don’t slice through the other end. Season in and out properly with salt and pepper.

Mix together the ingredients for the rub and when mixed rub into the pork loin , cover and put in the fridge for an hour.

While the Pork is absorbing all those lovely flavours prepare the stuffing mix.

Finely chop the Red Onions and cook in Olive oil until soft. Add Apples and ginger, stir and cook for 5 mins.Add remainder of ingredients stir to combine and simmer gently until mixture thickens and reduces. Cool slightly before stuffing the loin.

Stuffing the Loin was quite messy the first time I made this. I tried a plastic sauce bottle which was ok..but now I use an icing bag which is much easier and quicker.

Stuff loin and then cover with bacon slices.Put tin foil on top as bacon cooks very quickly and remove foil about ten mins from end cooking to brown bacon. Rest loin for 10 mins before carving.

Once rested, carve and serve we made the gravy from the meat juices and pork stock and it was lovely. Served with vegetables and crispy roast potatoes..mmmm.

My thanks to Carol for donating her cranberry recipes for us today and to finish off… a holiday cranberry cocktail…courtesy of An Appetizing Life Lisa Marie Todd who I think might have tested a couple of glasses during the process..love it..

Now you are all set… thanks for dropping and please feel free to share.

©Sally Cronin- Carol Taylor 2017

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!

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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

Next week Carol will be back to share some of her creations from her Thai kitchen offering you some alternative delicacies to eat over the festive season.

Smorgasbord Health – Christmas Cook From Scratch – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Perfect and Healthy Brussel Sprouts


It is that time of year when we bring out the decorations and over here – The Cook from Scratch Christmas recipes... I look at the health benefits of the food.. and my friend Carol Taylor turns them into something delicious the whole family will love.

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.

At this time of year they are readily available in the stores and are a wonderful side dish for Turkey on Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

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 in season from the early autumn to early spring, but today you can find them all year round in most supermarkets. They are, like most fruit and vegetables, at their best in the actual growing season. We eat most of our fruit and vegetables seasonally, and apart from anything else it does encourage you to widen the spectrum of types of foods that you eat and therefore gives you access to a much broader selection of nutrients.

One of the things that I encouraged my clients to do before coming for their first consultation, was to complete a very extensive questionnaire with two week food diary. A food diary is not about calories and fats consumed but does identify either food groups that are being excluded and also any important nutrients.

It is easy to slip into a routine with food. You are busy; a family to feed and it is more convenient to eat the same meals in rotation. Monday pasta dish, Tuesday shepherd’s pie, Friday fish and chips, Sunday roast chicken, potatoes, carrots, peas etc. It is not so much what you are eating but what you are not eating by adopting this regular pattern.

Brussels are related to both the cabbage and the broccoli families but have some very distinctive properties that make them an essential ingredient of any healthy eating plan.

Onto the main business of the day!

indexThe Brussel sprouts are related to both the cabbage and the broccoli families but have some very distinctive properties that make them an essential ingredient of any healthy eating plan.

Our immune system is very efficient but life takes its toll. It is important that in our diet we include foods that enhance and boost our immune system and the Brussel sprout does just that.

Brussel sprouts contain a phytochemical, which helps our own defence system to protect against disease in general but in particular cancer. Sulforaphane is a phytonutrient found in this group of plant families, and it helps boost the body’s detoxification enzymes, which help clear carcinogenic substances from the body quickly and efficiently. Brussel sprouts have also been shown to decrease the level of DNA damage in cells, which prevents mutations in the cells, which allows cancer to develop.

To get the benefit of this phytochemical the food needs to be chopped or chewed so that the liver is stimulated into producing the specific detoxification enzymes and research has shown that breast cancer cells particularly are prevented from reproducing even in later stages of the disease.

Apart from cancer, the Brussel sprout and other members of the Brassica family such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli contain large amounts of vitamin C. This supports our immune function and has been shown to help prevent heart disease, strokes and cancer but also promotes the manufacture of collagen, a protein that forms the body structure including the skin, connective tissues and cartilage.

A serving of Brussel sprouts also contains very healthy quantities of Vitamin A and beta-carotene, both vital in defending the body and promoting healthy and young looking skin.

Birth Defects

Folic acid has long been recognised for its ability to help protect the foetus against birth defects. Folic acid is a B vitamin that promotes healthy cell division. Without it nervous system cells do not divide properly which has linked to a number of birth defects such as Spina bifida. The main source of folic acid is green leafy vegetables such as the Brussel sprout and spinach but as our reliance on processed foods rather than fresh fruit and vegetables grows, the deficiency of this vitamin is becoming the most common in the western world.

Other Benefits

Apart from being rich in fibre, which helps protect us against colon disease this vegetable, because of its high content of antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, is a great preventative for degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the subject of our disease report this month.

I have posted in the past about Chicken Pox and Shingles and the importance of the amino acid L-Lysine to assist in recovery from an attack of the latter. Brussel Sprouts are one of the leafy green vegetables which contain this amino acid and another good reason to include in our diets.

I am now going to hand you over to the ever resourceful Carol Taylor to share some delicious ways to prepare and eat this very versatile vegetable.

Brussels sprouts or little cabbages fall in two camps love them or hate them a bit like Marmite. I wonder how many parents have cajoled, bribed or just said eat it or you get it for breakfast??

How many people who hated them as a child now love them?

As Sally has rightly stated in her part of the post they are packed with good things…Like a phytochemical, which helps our own defence system to protect against disease in general but in particular cancer. Vitamins A and C and so much more.

Eaten as part of a varied diet and now they are not boiled to death like my Nan used to do with anything green they are roasted, Sautéed, fried, shaved as well as steamed or boiled in lightly salted water.

In my quest for some different recipes I did come across Brussel sprout ice cream…I love the little sprout but for me that is a step too far…Some veggies don’t lend themselves to ice cream or smoothies.

I love just plain little brussels lightly steamed or boiled with my Christmas dinner…the little small ones which have had had a frost on them are so sweet and lovely.
Sautéed with bacon they are to die for…

My spicy pan fried Brussels come very close or top depending on whether you are a bacon or a chilli fan…

This recipe serves 4 people.

  • 1lb of Brussel sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 6 shallots peeled and quartered
  • Chilli flakes and chopped fresh chives to garnish.

Let’s cook!

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and shallots and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the shallots just start to turn golden.
  2. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and add the sprouts. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat then reduce the heat and cover the pan, cook for a further 4-5 minutes or until the sprouts are almost tender.
  3. Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar and let it cook just for a few seconds. Season the sprouts to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.
  4. Garnish with chilli flakes and chopped chives.

A beautiful side dish with your Sunday roast or Christmas dinner.

This next dish is a recipe I have had for a long time…

These little cakes are very tasty and lovely with some steamed vegetables or a salad. This mix makes 6 rice cakes. If you haven’t made a risotto before please don’t let it put you off.

As long as your liquid is hot and you let each addition of stock become absorbed into the rice before adding more stock it is a doddle. So much easier than most people think it is. Who hasn’t seen the disasters on the TV cooking shows?

Risotto Cakes with Brussel Sprouts.

These lovely risotto cakes also are vegetarian and the first time I made them was at Christmas for a veggie friend and they loved them.

I also think meat free dishes have come a very long way…Don’t you? There is so much more on restaurant menus and I also think home cooks are more adventurous with flavours.

These risotto cakes certainly fit the bill even if you are a die hard meat eater.

Ingredients:

  • 8oz risotto rice
  • 8oz brussel sprouts finely shredded
  • 6 shallots finely chopped
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz cooked, shelled chestnuts, chopped finely
  • 1 3/4-2pints of hot vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 8 oz fresh breadcrumbs.

15-20 Sage leaves for garnish, a little flour for dusting and a pinch of paprika.

Oil of your choice for deep frying.

Line 6 x 4 inch cooking rings with cling film.

Lets Cook!

  1. Cook the shredded Brussel sprouts in lightly salted water for 1 minute. Drain set to one side.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan and cook the shallots for 2 mins until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir until the rice is evenly coated with the melted butter.
  3. Stir in 1-2 ladles of the hot vegetable stock at a time and stirring until the rice has absorbed the stock before adding your next ladles of stock. Do this until the rice is just tender but with a little bite. This will take about 25 minutes as does any risotto.
  4. Add the cheese and season being careful of the salt as both the cheese and the stock contain salt. Gently stir in the chestnuts and the sprouts. If the mixture seems too thick then you may want to add a little more stock.
  5. Divide your mixture between the cooking rings. Leave to cool and then chill until set and firm.
  6. When the rice cakes are nicely chilled remove the rings and the clingfilm.
  7. Double dip the lightly floured rice cakes in egg and then breadcrumbs…repeat. You may need to reshape the cakes.
  8. Heat the oil until a small crouton of bread turns golden within a minute and dust the sage leaves with the flour and paprika and fry for 1-2 minutes…set aside on kitchen paper.
  9. Deep fry the cakes for 5-7 minutes until they are golden and crisp. It is probably best to do these 2 at a time while keeping the cooked ones warm in the oven.
  10. To serve, add some deep fried sage leaves to the top of the cake and serve with steamed vegetables or salad.

Brussels also lend themselves very nicely to salads I think we are all getting so much more adventurous with food…Don’t you??

Brussel Sprout Salad with Cranberries:

This salad has all of my favourite things in one beautiful bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs brussel sprouts washed, with the tough outer leaves pulled away
  • 2/3 cup fresh or dried cranberries…I prefer fresh just for that little zing…No cranberries try blueberries.
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 large apple chopped
  • 3 or 4 slices bacon cooked and chopped
  • 2 green onion sprigs thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbled

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2  tbsp maple syrup not pancake syrup as it will not taste the same you can’t beat proper maple syrup.
  • 2  tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

  1. Hold the core end of a brussel sprout and, starting at the top, slice it into very thin slices.
  2. Discard the core and chop remaining brussel sprouts until they are all are thinly sliced.
  3. Place chopped brussel sprouts, cranberries, pecans, apples, bacon, onion and feta in a large bowl.

For the dressing

Put all of the dressing ingredients in a lidded container. Place a lid on the container and shake well. Pour desired amount over the salad, a little at a time, until the salad is coated. Store any leftover dressing in the fridge where it will keep for a few days. It can also be made in advance.

I don’t like to dress my salads but put dressing on the table as I think everyone’s taste varies.

This Brussel Sprout au gratin recipe is quick to do and very nice as a side dish.

Preheat your oven 400F and grease a 2 quart oven dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of Brussel sprouts
  • 8oz of bacon..streaky
  • Half cup of heavy cream or half and half
  • Half cup of mature cheddar grated
  • Half cup of fresh breadcrumbs
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to season.

Lets Cook!

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add brussel sprouts, cook for 6-8 minutes, drain and coarsely chop.
  2. While the sprouts are cooking put the bacon in a cold pan(no fat), heat and cook for a few minutes, take out and drain on kitchen paper. The bacon will carry on cooking and you will have nice crispy bacon.
  3. I learnt this on master chef and it works..bacon needs no fat as it makes it own and if you cook it until it is crispy in the pan as it carries on cooking you will then have very dry crispy bacon…I know because I always did that to mine until I saw it on master chef and it works a treat.
  4. Put the sprouts and half the bacon into your prepared dish and sprinkle with red pepper flakes..Spread the mixture over the dish and pour your cream over the top. Sprinkle the top with your breadcrumbs, cheese and the remainder of the bacon.
    Bake for 15 minutes until it is bubbly and golden.

I hope you have enjoyed our collaboration and even if you don’t like sprouts I hope these recipes tempt you to try them.

I think they really are an underrated little vegetable which maybe as a child we didn’t like and have never tried since…You may be pleasantly surprised.

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot ..Because it is proven to be the best medicine and it is FREE!

My thanks to Carol for elevating this small vegetable to its rightful place on all our plates..

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!

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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 11th – 17th November -Mexico, Music, Magnificent Recipes and Christmas Book Promotions.


I cannot believe that we have been home for over a week.. and a lot of catching up to do but I must thank D.G. Kaye, ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog for her care-taking of the blog in my absence…. wonderful friend, to us all.

We have a big job starting tomorrow with a replacement fence being installed between us and our neighbour.. It will change the whole kerb appeal of the house and is the last major work of the renovations. A couple of rooms need a touch up and then come the spring it should be ready to be put on the market.

We have started looking, but as usual with us it is the house in the least expected location and not to the specifications that we planned!  But that is what makes it so exciting.

It was our 39th anniversary on Friday and we indulged in our favourite food…stir fried prawns on avocado, steak and chips with mushrooms and bacon, followed by caramel ice cream. Oh and a couple of margaritas.

Here we are 39 years ago with the registrar who married us – at what was locally known as Bridge End Cathedral in Dolgellau, Mid-Wales. Many of you already know of our impulsive dive into matrimony after only knowing each other for six weeks and getting engaged on our first date. Here we are tying the knot.. photo courtesy of my father-in-law Geoff.

I still have my outfit although it is a while since I have been able to get into it… but getting there in time for our 40th next year… David on the other hand would still be able to get into his suit.

Anyway… on with the next year and last week’s posts.

As always I am very grateful for the wonderful contributions from regular guests and also to you for dropping in and sharing…

This week William Price King shares the life and music of jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

William Price King with Ornette Coleman Saxaphonist

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Travel Column at the Smorgasbord. D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) has chosen a not-so-well known little gem of a place, Puerto Peñasco, for a tropical escape in Mexico that she discovered while watching a destination show on TV.

D.G. Kaye takes us to #Mexico – Puerto Penasco

Carol Taylor and I team up to share how you can become deficient in certain nutrients and how to prepare food to ensure you get sufficient.. this week a very important mineral that is often sidelined…Manganese.

Cook from Scratch to prevent deficiency – Manganese

With Thanksgiving at the end of the month, Silvia Todesco who is Italian, but now lives in America, shares a wonderful dessert that I am sure will be loved by all the family and guests..Ricotta, Almonds and Amaretti tart

Silvia Todesco and a wonderful dessert for Thanksgiving

Mike Biles shares the story of England’s first known poet Caedmon…with an example of his work.

Caedmon's Cross, Whitby, North Yorkshire

England’s first known poet Caedmon by Mile Biles

The first of the guest posts for the Christmas Book Fair and D.G. Kaye shares how to write in memoir.

Writing in Memoir by D.G. Kaye

For the final Sunday Interview of the series, Allan Hudson joins me and shares an excerpt for his latest release, Shattered Figurines.

Allan Hudson with an excerpt from his latest book Shattered Figurines

My review for Skating on Thin Ice (The Men of Warhawks #1) by USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar.

My review for Skating on Thin Ice

My review for Mistaken Identity by James J. Cudney

My tribute to my mother, The Duchess and her fashion flair in response to this week’s challenge from Colleen Chesebro..

Double Etheree – The Duchess

I am back to participating in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge and this week the prompt was ‘Storm Windows’

Flash Fiction – Storm Windows by Sally Cronin

New Book on the Shelves

Lorinda Taylor – New Book on the Shelves

The latest book from Jemima Pett

Coming of Age Adventure from C.S. Boyack

Author updates

Recent reviews for Mary Adler, Andrew Joyce and Mary Crowley

Books for Christmas from John. W. Howell, Hugh W. Roberts, Linda G. Hill and Ritu Bhathal

Sarah Brentyn, Jaye Marie, Mae Clair and Eloise de Sousa

Terrific posts from Robbie Cheadle, Pat Furstenberg and Richard Dee

More great posts from Pete Springer, Olga Nunez Miret and Anne Stormont

Tips and advice and inspiration from James J. Cudney, Anne Copeland and D.G. Kaye

Book review from N.A Granger, The Dawn from Sue Vincent and this week’s Tarot card from Jan Sikes

Carol Taylor, Jennie Fitzkee,Colleen Chesebro with Darlene Foster,

Laugh your socks off with more jokes from Debby and Sally

More funnies from Debby and Sally

Thank you for visiting and I hope you will join me again next week. 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – #Minerals – Manganese


In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few weeks we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Manganese is a macro mineral or trace element that is essential for the normal formation of bone and cartilage. It is also necessary for efficient metabolism of glucose and forms part of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase.

Unfortunately only about 5% of dietary manganese is absorbed which means that adequate amounts need to be taken in on a daily basis in our food.

Thyroid function

It is involved in a number of production processes including energy production, healthy joints, immune system function, sex hormones and thyroxine one of the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Without thyroxine our metabolism would be inefficient and there would be an effect on every aspect of our health.

There are certain diseases where tests have shown the patients have been deficient in manganese and these include:

  • diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • heart disease
  • atherosclerosis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • mental conditions such as schizophrenia.

What is the role of manganese in bone health?

normal-bone-micrographWe tend to think of calcium and magnesium being the major bone minerals but in fact manganese and one of the main nutrients in Spinach, Vitamin K are also absolutely essential to ensure healthy bones.

Bone is not a solid substance. It is a living and changing tissue that not only provides the structural framework for our bodies but also is used to protect major organs such as the brain, spinal cord and the nursery for blood vessels.

We have all made plaster or papier-mâché; sculptures at school and would have begun with a framework and some form of mesh, usually made from chicken wire. In the body this mesh is called the osteoid and is made up of protein, collagen, elastin and Glucosamine polymers.

New bone is being produced all the time, particularly if there are breaks or wear and tear, so this mesh requires certain nutrients in our diet all the time including Vitamin C for collagen and B6, copper and zinc.

The Glucosamine polymers also contain manganese and to effectively combine all these components you need Vitamin K.

Once the network is in place calcium and magnesium have a framework that they can attach themselves to and bone is formed.

What other roles does manganese play in the body?

The body’s operating systems have a workforce made up of enzymes. Enzymes are protein based molecules that speed up all the chemical processes in the body or act as a catalyst for a particular function. For example without enzymes, digestion of food would not happen and we would be starved of the nutrients we need to survive. Without enzymes we could not live.

Manganese plays a role in most major enzyme activities in the body by activating certain nutrients necessary to the process such as biotin (manufacture of glycogen and prostaglandins in the immune system), thiamin, Vitamin C (immune system) and Choline (essential neurotransmitter in the brain). It is also involved in the synthesis or fatty acids and cholesterol, is involved in the processing of protein and carbohydrates and also in the manufacture of some hormones.

Therefore manganese helps maintain normal blood sugar levels, thyroid function, cholesterol levels, a healthy nervous system and acts as an antioxidant.

What are the symptoms of a manganese deficiency?

If someone is suffering from pre-diabetes and has elevated blood sugar levels they are likely to be deficient in manganese in their diet. In extreme cases they may suffer from nausea and vomiting, skin rashes, dizziness and hearing loss. It is internally however that the real damage may be occurring and that is in extensive bone loss that might only be identified in late middle age.

Despite manganese not often appearing in a starring role in nutritional information; it is involved in the treatment or prevention of a number of conditions including asthma.

Food sources for manganese

cannelinni beansThankfully there are plenty of delicious food sources for this mineral and they should all be included regularly in the healthy eating plan. A really good source for nutrients and protein are beans and I will also feature a post on those later in the week including how to prepare ‘wind free’ recipes!

Other foods that contain good amounts of manganese include spinach, brown rice, tomatoes and walnuts.

wholegrainsIt is important to include asparagus, pineapples, wholegrains, porridge oats, dark green leafy vegetables, raspberries and strawberries regularly. If you cook with herbs and spices basil, cloves, cinnamon, thyme, black pepper and oregano; they too will add manganese to your diet.

Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are great sources manganese.

How to include Manganese in your diet.

To find recipes which include the ingredients I want to use to make a dish I just enter the main ingredients in the search bar and it brings up recipes. It is as easy as that…

This dish includes a lot of tomatoes but when they cook down they are the best tasting tomatoes ever a little like a sun dried tomato taste..rich and flavoursome.

Chicken, Tomatoes and Basil.

Ingredients:

• 4 chicken breasts with or without skin.
• 4 large cloves of garlic flattened with the blade of the knife…I leave the skin on.
• 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
• A large handful of basil leaves half to add to the dish for cooking and the remainder to garnish the finished dish with.
• Good quality olive Oil
• Black Pepper and salt to season

Let’s Cook!

This is so easy to prepare put your seasoned chicken breasts skin side up into an ovenproof dish then add the tomatoes and garlic over the chicken. Drizzle with a good quality olive oil and scatter the basil leaves ovet the top keeping some aside to garnish the dish when serving. The basil leaves will burn or char but it adds flavour.

When I was assembling the dish it did look like a tomato overload but as it cooked the tomatoes took on an almost sun dried taste and the dish got the thumbs up from everyone.
Served with brown rice and steamed vegetables it was a lovely dish and I would definitely make again.

Tip: If you love your chicken skin crispy then make sure the skin is not covered by the tomatoes…

My aim is to try and I am not a dessert person is to give you a savoury dish and a dessert in this series.

Apples are plentiful this time of year and if you are trying to cut down on pastries then these apples fit the bill nicely…The apple without the pie…

Baked Apples…

Ingredients:

• 4 large apples cored – any type except Granny smith which do not bake well
• 4 teaspoons unsalted butter cut in tiny cubes
• 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger or you could use fresh ginger very finely chopped or grated.
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• brown sugar to taste
• ½ cup apple cider ( I used ACV as I couldn’t get apple cider)

Let’s Cook!

  1. Place your cored apples in an oven proof dish. Mix the butter, walnuts and spices together and add to the centre of the apples.
  2. Pour your apple cider into the dish to stop the apples catching the bottom of the dish.
  3. Bake on 350F/177C or gas mark 4 for 45 to 60 minutes depending on your apples…Baste the apples every 15 minutes.

To Serve: These can be served with custard, ice cream or a dairy free coconut cream whip.

This was a lovely dessert and I think using Apple cider vinegar instead of cider took away the sweetness of the apple it was really nice.

I hope you enjoy these recipes which have been cooked and tested in my own kitchen

My thanks to Carol for these two delicious sounding dishes that will be tried in tested in my kitchen too…

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!

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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

My thanks to Carol for all her efforts to bring great cookery and healthy options into our diets and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – AWOL – Benny Goodman – Magnesium – The Magic Carpet – Television Interviews and all that Jazz…


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

On the news front I will be offline from this Thursday to Monday 28th October and for a few days in the first week in November. I have however left some posts for you… the regular book promotions and also some surprises.

Delighted to share the news of the start of a series by guest writer Mike Biles, author of A Bit About Britain’s History who will be joining us every Saturday until Christmas. His first post next Saturday is about the visit he made to author Rudyard Kipling’s home.

As Just an Odd Job Girl has now finished, I am starting a new serialisation, this time of my first short story collection from 2009, which has just received a lovely review. The first two stories from Flights of Fancy air next weekend.

And I would be grateful if you could pop in on Sunday when Eloise De Sousa will be my guest on the Sunday author Interview

I will be online again by Monday and will respond to any comments then… I will also catch up with any retweets etc on social media.

On with this week’s posts.

As always my thanks to the contributors and guest writers for the time and work that goes into preparing the posts for the blog and to you for keep coming back to read them.

William Price King shared the life and music of the renowned King of Swing, Benny Goodman.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-the-king-of-swing-benny-goodman/

Magnesium – Calcium’s BFF and a deficiency alert One of the minerals that most people focus on is calcium (the last column) but it is in fact magnesium or the lack of this mineral in our diet that may be the contributory factor in many of the diseases that we suffer from, particularly as we get older.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-minerals-magnesium/

If you are a regular visitor to the blog you will be familiar with Jessica Norrie and her Literary Column which ran in 2018 and has enjoyed a revival this year too. We also get to enjoy an extract from Jessica’s latest release – The Magic Carpet

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-sunday-interview-jessica-norrie-with-an-extract-from-the-magic-carpet/

 Last week I covered the basics of the preparation needed before a radio and podcast interview  This week preparing for an interview on camera.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-book-marketing-for-authors-preparing-for-an-interview-on-camera-sally-cronin/

This week in the Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 145 we are being asked to write in response to the photo prompt selected by last month’s winner of the challenge, Diana Wallace Peach.. I have composed a double Etheree – The Moonlight Concerto

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-tanka-challenge-photoprompt-the-moonlight-concerto-by-sally-cronin/

This weekend the last two chapters of my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. A surprise visitor changes Imogen’s future.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-chapter-nineteen-full-circle-by-sally-cronin/

The final chapter…a new life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-final-chapter-a-new-life-by-sally-cronin/

In the UK according to overall cancer statistics from Cancer Research UK there were 363,484 new cases in 2016, and 164,900 deaths in 2017. There is now a 50% survival rate over 10 years but, 38% of cancers are preventable.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-female-reproductive-system-breast-cancer-by-sally-cronin/

This week I am share the the impact on a child’s body of a high sugar diet and lack of nutrition in relation to their brain development and hormone production as they head into puberty.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/smorgasbord-health-column-the-obesity-epidemic-part-four-finding-a-point-to-intervene-in-the-life-cycle-7-14-healthy-diet-for-brain-function-and-hormon/

In her final post Linda Thompson shares the sadness of loss. In this case when a relationship dies and we have to leave elements of our previous life behind. Thankfully most of us find another safe haven.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-bloggers-on-the-scene-dreamcatcher-on-loss-divorce-by-linda-thompson/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-non-fiction-creative-solutions-for-the-modern-writer-by-harmony-kent/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-non-fiction-writing-on-water-self-awareness-by-jane-sturgeon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-the-last-will-of-sven-anderson-the-harry-spittle-saga-book-2-by-geoff-le-pard-and-free-book-offer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-children-molly-finds-her-purr-by-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ya-fantasy-through-the-nethergate-by-roberta-eaton-cheadle/

Author Update #reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-teagan-riordain-geneviene-balroop-singh-bette-a-stevens-and-julia-benally/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jacqui-murray-vandana-bhasin-and-smitha-vishwanath-anne-goodwin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-14th-october-nicholas-rossis-bookblurb-charles-f-french-with-robbie-cheadle-1984-and-susannah-leonard-hill-halloween-childrens-story-competition/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-october-15th-d-g-kaye-astralplaning-alex-forshaw-click-training-babies-andrew-petcher-instagram-and-tourist-attractions/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-october-16th-beetley-pete-bookreview-mary-smith-afghanistan-janet-gogerty-essentials/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-17th-october-c-s-boyack-with-roberta-eaton-cheadle-carol-taylor-pumpkins-and-jack-eason-politicians/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-18th-october-annika-perry-bookreview-bienvenue-press-flash-with-sharon-marchisello-and-joelle-legendre-insomnia-humour/

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-13/

 

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-sally/

 

Thank you very much for dropping in and all your support this week. I hope you will pop in next week thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – #Minerals – Magnesium


In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few weeks we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Magnesium – Calcium’s BFF and a deficiency alert

One of the minerals that most people focus on is calcium (the last column) but it is in fact magnesium or the lack of this mineral in our diet that may be the contributory factor in many of the diseases that we suffer from, particularly as we get older.

Deficiency alert

It is believed that the availability of magnesium in drinking water and in our soil is now greatly decreased.

Not only is the soil depleted but the plants that we eat are also becoming more and more magnesium deficient for two reasons. There is less magnesium in the soil that nourishes them, and the use of potassium and phosphorus-laden fertilisers, alter the ability of the plant to absorb the mineral.

When we cook food we lose magnesium and if we restrict our calories during a diet and remove specific food groups such as whole grains; it can create an imbalance.

pH balance – Acidity and Alkalinity

It is important that our bodies have a pH level that maintains the correct balance being too much acid or too alkaline. Major organs and our blood have their own healthy pH level and this also applies to our intestines. Our modern diet of high sugars and processed foods compromises the pH balance in our gut creating a high acidity environment, leading to malabsorption of not just magnesium, but of all the nutrients the body needs to maintain health.

It is staggering how many diseases are linked to a deficiency of this mineral including:

• Alzheimer’s disease
• Angina
• Asthma
• Autism
• Auto immune disorders
• Congestive heart failure
• Depression
• Diabetes
• Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Insomnia
• Kidney stones
• Headaches
• Multiple sclerosis
• Muscle weakness
• Parkinson’s disease
• Osteoporosis.

How Magnesium works with Calcium (the most abundant mineral in the body)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-that-need-others-to-be-evitamin-c-d-k-calcium-and-magnesiumfficiently-absorbed-by-the-body/

Magnesium works with calcium in a number of ways but fundamentally the absorption of calcium is severely compromised if there is not sufficient magnesium.

Calcium is stored in the body including in our bones and teeth. Magnesium however is not stored and we therefore need to include in our diet daily.

Humans now consume more dairy than they have in the past and although magnesium is present in dairy in small amounts the amount of calcium is ten times more.  If there is not sufficient magnesium, calcium is not absorbed into the bones as it should be and instead it collects in soft tissue, including around our joints leading to inflammation and arthritis.

Because it is not being absorbed into the bones, that leads to loss of bone density over time leading to osteoporosis.

Muscle contraction is made possible by calcium but muscles also need to relax and that requires magnesium.

Magnesium has a critical role in the health of our major organs and systems including:

  • Brain health- Magnesium lowers the risk of heavy metal poisoning and deposits in the brain leading to dementia. This is turn will corrupt nerve transmission and the secretion of hormones such as insulin.
  • Reproductive health. As magnesium is essential for the transmission of oestrogen a deficiency in young women’s diets can result in irregular periods and other PMS symptoms. This is particularly relevant to cramps due to a calcium (contract muscle) magnesium (relax muscle) imbalance.
  • Apart from our bones magnesium is needed in the formation of protein and fatty acids, new cells throughout the body, activating the B vitamins, clotting blood and helping form the ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) fuel that we run on.The good news is that by consuming magnesium in high quality fresh products (not necessarily organic but not the cheapest) daily is usually effective provided you are not over consuming calcium rich foods every day in excess.

The best food sources for magnesium are to be found in dark green vegetables such as spinach also in fish, meat, seafood, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grain cereals such as brown rice, beans and nuts.

Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are great sources magnesium

Welcome to this week’s food column where I am looking at incorporating magnesium in the diet.

As Sally has stated as the quality of much of our soil is depleted it means plants are becoming more and more deficient in Magnesium…

Magnesium is also lost during cooking processes…There is much debate about cooking processes and although I eat a fair amount of raw vegetables and herbs purely for the taste some foods need cooking and in some cases heating can enhance some vitamins…

I eat a varied diet and don’t exclude any food group and believe that is the best way to get the nutrients my body needs.

Personally I don’t use a microwave and although I steam some vegetables it does leave them bland tasting and that’s when we pile on the butter or dressing…

I tend to favour stir frying most of my vegetables as I can add chilli, garlic, herbs and other aromatics.

Today…I am giving you a lovely slaw recipe which is loaded with lots of vitamins as well as its share of Magnesium…

Ingredients

• 12oz broccoli, cabbage, salad mix, shredded carrots are a nice addition..one of my favourites it always brings back memories of the very odd occasion when I was allowed as a child to have a school lunch and the grated carrots were a big favourite of mine…But really just use your favourite veggies…Shredded finely…Sometimes I even add an apple.
• 1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled (vegans can omit or use coconut bacon)See below.
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries or craisins
• 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (roasted)
• 2 tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup plain kefir yogurt (can use plain yogurt too)
• 1 tsp smoked paprika or chilli flakes
• 1/4 cup chopped nuts .again pick your favourite…I love walnuts and almonds.
• 1/2 tsp mustard powder (optional)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil

Preparation

  • Place your vegetables in mixing bowl.
  • Add in your kefir/ yogurt and vinegar. Mix well.
  • Then add seasonings. Mix again.
  • Finally, add the remaining ingredients, berries, seeds, bacon, onion, etc. Mix and chill in fridge until ready to serve.
  • This is also great to mix into wraps, as a topping for your jacket potato or as a side dish
  • Makes 3-4 servings.

N.B…Coconut Bacon…

Did you know?

1 ounce of pumpkin seeds will give you 37% of your daily value of magnesium. However if you have heard that dark chocolate will provided 100% of your daily magnesium…Yes it does contain magnesium …There is always a but isn’t there? You would need to eat at least 2/3 of a big bar…Not your best source of Magnesium if you are watching the weight.

A take on Tom Yum Soup… This is one of my favourite Thai soups and so easy to make from scratch. Adding a portion of salmon and you are on your way to topping up your magnesium.

Ingredients

• 2 litres of water
• 4 stalks of lemon grass
• 1-inch chunk of galangal
• 10 kaffir lime leaves
• 10 Thai chillies
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 85 gm salmon per person
• 100 gm noodles of your choice per person
• 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
• 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
• 5-6 shallots halved if really small if a little bigger quartered
• 1 and a half tsp of sugar
• 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
• Juice of 5 -8 limes.
• A handful of cilantro ( Coriander)
• Half hardboiled egg per person…optional

N.B I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

  • The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.
  • Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.
  • Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.
  • Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.
  • Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.
  • Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.
  • I used about 10 Thai birds eye chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.

  • Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.
    You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.
  • Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.
  • Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre-rinse beforehand.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes. .Add the tomatoes and onions.
  • Cook for further 6-8 minutes.
  • Now add your noodles and after 2 mins add your salmon and cook for a further 5 mins until salmon is just poached…
  • Remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.
  • Taste and adjust if necessary.

This delicious soup is now ready to serve. Garnish with half a boiled egg and some coriander…

Enjoy!

Another source of Magnesium are dark greens simply just stirfried…If you want you could add a few almonds…

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.

This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.

Ingredients:

• 1 bunch of Morning Glory
• 4-6 cloves of garlic
• 3 or more Thai Chillies
• 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
• 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
• 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans ( optional)
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
• 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock

Let’s Cook!

  • Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
  • Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
  • Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
  • Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry (stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.

  • Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
  • Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
  • Serve with steamed rice or as a side dish.

Enjoy!

This is a lovely vegetable dish and you could use any dark greens and cook the same way I sometimes shred kale and the stems or broccoli and again I take of the outside and used the stem either cut in slices or julienne depends on what I am cooking but any dark greens are lovely cooked this way it is quick way to cook and retain as many of the vitamins as possible.

Until next time…xx Thank you for reading xx

My thanks to Carol for these recipes that will bring magnesium into your diet deliciously… and that coconut bacon looks interesting..

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!

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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

My thanks to Carol for all her efforts to bring great cookery and healthy options into our diets and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – First Class Jazz, Guests, Food,Books with a dash of Humour thrown in..


Welcome to the weekly round up with some of the posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord..

This week has been interesting with the tail end of Lorenzo and with two more storm fronts rolling in behind it. I almost got my wish for my own swimming pool right outside the front door but thankfully we had one sunny day in the week and another today to evaporate some of the moisture. I have decided that my arthritis in my knee is actually rust and am going to see if the DIY hack of using WD40 might help.

But I cannot complain as the tiny pansies that I planted along with the mini cyclamens are thriving despite wind and rain and they are clearly Irish born and bred.

The week’s continue to fly by and hard to believe it is October, until you go into the supermarket and see that Quality Street is back in tins, two for a tenner and frozen turkey’s are on special! They do draw the line at mentioning the ‘C’ word but any week now..

Anyway… here are the posts from the week and thanks to the contributors who give up their time and offer their expertise to us all.. and to you for your continued support.

This week William Price King shares the life and music of Bill Evans, American Jazz pianist and composer (1929 – 1980).

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-bill-evans-jazz-pianist-and-composer/

Author Robbie Cheadle has been sharing  The York Chocolate story with us, following her recent trip to the UK. The York Chocolate Series Part Four – Chocolate in wartime First World War 1914 – 1918

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-robbie-cheadle-the-york-chocolate-series-part-four-chocolate-in-wartime-first-world-war-1914-1918/

Annette Rochelle Aben takes us through the Universal Energy of October… what does it hold in store for you?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-your-universal-energy-for-october-with-annette-rochelle-aben/

The series continues after the summer break with a look at the minerals we can become deficient in… this week we feature Calcium and Carol Taylor whips up a couple of great recipes to make sure you and your family are getting sufficient.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-minerals-calcium/

Silvia Todesco shares the recipe for a wonderfully warming autumn soup..Orange Creamy Butternut..

img_2415

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco-orange-creamy-butternut-squash-soup-energize-your-mood-and-satisfy-your-palate/

Today my guest is Marian Longenecker Beaman talking about her recently released memoir Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-sunday-author-interview-marian-longenecker-beaman-and-an-excerpt-from-mennonite-daughter-the-story-of-a-plain-girl/

It is my mother’s birthday today and she would have been 102. Goodness knows what mischief she would have been up to if still with us, but I have a feeling that she is probably with my father and has got him suited and booted and going to a dinner dance tonight. Happy Birthday Mollie Eileen (The Duchess) 1917 – 2012

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-happy-birthday-mollie-eileen-the-duchess-1917-2012/

Imogen heads off to the wilds of Cornwall to start working at Killbilly Hotel… with a very spooky welcome..Chapter Fifteen – Killbilly Hotel, Cornwall and a Gothic Welcome.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/05/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-chapter-fifteen-killbilly-hotel-in-cornwall-and-a-gothic-welcome/

The new job begins training up the staff for the opening weekend party. Chapter Sixteen.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/06/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-chapter-sixteen-the-new-job-begins-at-the-killbilly-hotel-sally-cronin/

This week it is poet’s choice for Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 147 and since time is whizzing faster than I can keep up with… I thought I would remind you just what October is really all about…time to get prepared for the night of reckoning….The Spell by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-tanka-challenge-poets-choice-double-etheree-the-spell-by-sally-cronin/

Delighted to share my review for the latest children’s book by Eloise de Sousa.. Space Dust which is available in print.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/05/smorgasbord-book-reviews-by-sally-cronin-childrens-space-dust-by-eloise-de-sousa/

Getting yourself noticed locally – Media

Despite the fact that it is very difficult to get the attention of the mainstream media, I still believe that you should make every effort to get your book noticed.  If you have done everything right – well written, edited, formatted and produced either in print, E-book or both, then it deserves your best shot.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-book-marketing-getting-yourself-noticed-locally-media-and-bookshops-sally-cronin/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-viral-blues-the-hat-book-2-by-c-s-boyack/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-poetry-the-new-asylum-by-frank-prem/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sci-fi-preorder-andorra-pett-and-her-sister-by-richard-dee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-irishfiction-under-a-dark-cloud-by-mary-crawley/

Author Update #Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-miriam-hurdle-jessica-norrie-cynthia-reyes-and-gwendolyn-plano/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-colleen-m-chesebro-sally-harris-and-sandra-j-jackson/

In her second post, Linda Thompson shares her encounter with Donna C… who matured faster than her fellow schoolmates and had two elder sisters to give her a head start. Linda also has some wisdom to share on body image.. Thank you, Donna C., Wherever You Are

Hippy girl clip art

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-bloggers-on-the-scene-thank-you-donna-c-wherever-you-are-humour-on-body-image-adolescence-by-linda-thompson/

This is the third post of Melanie Stewart who blogs at Leaving the Door Open: A Daughter’s stories about an aging parent.  In this post, Melanie’s mother faces the loss of a friend who had become like a sister to her. Saying Goodbye, a Story of a Friendship

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-bloggers-on-the-scene-melanie-m-stewart-saying-goodbye-a-story-of-a-friendship/

This is the third  post from Peter Mohan who blogs at Cheers, Govanhill In this post witty observations on the absurdity of modern life. I’m not going to Polmadie at this time of night

A statue of Oor Wullie dressed as Jimi Hendrix, one of many across Glasgow

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newbloggers-im-not-going-to-polmadie-at-this-time-of-night-cheers-govanhill/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-october-1st-2019-challenge-special-colleen-chesebro-d-wallace-peachcharli-mills-and-carol-j-foster/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-october-3rd-2019-amy-m-reade-jennie-fitzkee-and-mary-smith/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/04/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-october-4th-2019-pete-springer-beth-i-didnt-have-my-glasses-on-janet-gogerty-and-jim-borden/

The Female Reproductive System – The fertile years 10 – 50 years old. In this third part of the series on the female reproductive system a look at some of the health issues that might occur in the 40 years that it is active.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/smorgasbord-health-column-the-female-reproductive-system-an-overview-of-health-issues-sally-cronin/

In  part two of this series I looked at diet from two to seven years old with the emphasis on  developing a healthy immune system in a relatively short window of time. This week I look at declining activity levels for this age group.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/smorgasbord-health-column-the-obesity-epidemic-part-three-finding-a-point-to-intervene-in-the-life-cycle-2-to-7-years-old-activity-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-8/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-9/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have a fantastic week ahead… Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – #Minerals – Calcium


In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We now pick up the series after the summer with the minerals that are essential to our health.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few weeks we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body

Calcium is the most abundant and essential mineral in the body. There are about two or three pounds of calcium, which is mainly found in the teeth and the bones. Apart from the more obvious role in their formation it is also essential for the efficient functioning of many essential systems in the body.

There is also some evidence to suggest that women cannot absorb calcium prior to menstruating and that there may be an accumulative deficiency that contributes to PMS and menopause symptoms and also degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis. Certainly women who take in additional calcium have reported a reduction in those symptoms.

Our bones are not static and are constantly being broken down and formed. They are a living tissue made primarily from collagen which forms the framework whilst the calcium hardens the structure. After 40 years old more of the bone is broken down and less is manufactured; which is why it is important to make sure that you are consuming the right balance of dietary calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Other vitamins such as D and K and minerals are involved in the structure of bone and those have been covered in other posts

There are a surprising number of symptoms associated with a deficiency in calcium and here are the key ones to look out for:

  • Frequent feeling of dizziness leading to fainting
  • Chest pains (can lead to heart failure)
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
  • Frequent muscle cramps in legs particularly.
  • Difficulty swallowing,
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Very dry skin
  • Consistent tooth decay
  • Eye problems leading to cataracts
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced bone density (osteoporosis)

Word of warning about supplementation

If you are at risk from kidney stones you need to be careful about taking in calcium supplements and this also applies when taking in additional dietary calcium in the form of dairy products if you are suffering from prostate cancer. One of the reasons for this is that excess calcium depletes the body of Vitamin D, which is essential for our immune systems and may also protect against prostate cancer.

If you are supplementing choose a formula that includes Calcium and Vitamin D to aid absorption. As it is rare for a complete deficiency of calcium in our western culture it is important to ask the advice of a qualified sales person in the health store or the pharmacist. Keep a food diary for a week and take with you so that they can see what you are currently consuming.

Calcium is one of the nutrients that works more efficiently in conjunction with others including Magnesium for better absorption.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-that-need-others-to-be-evitamin-c-d-k-calcium-and-magnesiumfficiently-absorbed-by-the-body/

The best dietary sources of calcium are through eating moderate amounts of dairy products such as milk, cheese and butter. If you find that cow’s milk does not agree with you then try goat’s milk products from time to time as the different antibody does not usually cause an intolerance.

Eat fish such as sardines and canned salmon with the bones, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, watercress (more calcium than milk) and soy products such as tofu.You will also find good amounts in dried apricots, figs, kiwi fruit and oranges.

 

Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are great sources of Calcium.

Today marks the start of the next Cook from scratch to avoid deficiency of minerals in the body we begin with – Calcium…the most abundant and essential mineral in the body.

I am happy to be working with Sally on this…she is the expert on everything to do with Calcium… I have great fun researching and trying out the recipes on my ever happy band of guinea pigs…haha…They are my harshest critics trust me…They do not consider my feelings what so ever if it is not good I get told… I also get suggestions on how I can improve the said recipe…But that is good…I like that as that is the only way to get a better dish…I trust their judgement as they know food and always…well, nearly… offer what I consider good alternatives or additions to a dish…My role was to teach them and I consider it a job well done…

This first dish is a pasta one as although pasta is not a particular favourite with me… I prefer rice…My taste testers love pasta dishes and I know many of you do…

Pasta with spinach pesto and sardines…

Ingredients:

• ½ lb spaghetti…I used bows
• 15 cherry tomatoes
• 2 tbsp capers
• ½ cup pesto (see below)
• 1 can pacific caught wild sardines in olive oil…
• Fresh ground black pepper to taste
• Parmesan or crumbled feta for topping.
• Pesto
• 4 cloves garlic
• Zest and juice from 1 lemon
• 4 cups greens (I used 3 cups spinach and 1 cup basil)
• ½ cup walnuts or almonds
• 1 cup grated parmesan
• 1 tsp salt
• ¾ cup olive oil

Let’s Cook

  1. Using the back of your knife crush the garlic…The peel should come right off.
  2. Add all ingredients except olive oil and cheese in your food processor. Puree while drizzling olive oil in. The consistency should be slightly chunky, but the garlic shouldn’t be in large pieces.
  3. Once you get that right consistency, add the Parmesan and pulse until combined.
  4. Reserve ½ cup pesto for the pasta and freeze remaining or store in the fridge if you plan on using it within a week on say eggs, pizza or salmon…Salmon and pesto is one of my favourites and so quick to do…
  5. The next step is to cook the Pasta, bring large pot of water to boil with about 1 tsp of salt.
  6. While waiting for the water to come to the boil…slice tomatoes in half lengthwise. Slice extra if you ate some like I did….Cooks perks…haha…either that or my smallest tester is pinching one or two as I slice…
  7. Add pasta to boiling water and stir so it doesn’t stick. Cover pot and bring water back to a boil then remove the lid.
  8. Cook pasta until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. It should still have a little bite to it since it will cook more with the pesto. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. The starchy pasta water along with the pesto will create a nice saucy coating on the spaghetti.
  9. Drain pasta, but do not rinse. Rinsing cools the pasta and prevents it from absorbing the sauce.
  10. Return the pot to a medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil.
  11. Add sardines and break up with spoon or tongs.
  12. Add about half of the pesto and then add the pasta. Stir until coated and drizzle in ¼ cup of the cooking water.
  13. Add the remaining pesto and drizzle in ¼ cup more water. Toss until well coated and pesto and water have created a sauce. If needed, add more pasta water.
  14. Toss in tomatoes and capers right before serving. Serve with parmesan cheese or crumbled feta which I did…

Enjoy!

My second dish is a dish which I have been craving for a long time and just never got around to making it…When I got to thinking about foods which contain Calcium like milk, cheese and butter…I got to thinking about rice pudding again…I love a baked rice budding with nutmeg which is how my mum always made it…The skin we would fight over as we all wanted the lions share…haha…

I am also very lucky to be able to get fresh goats milk so Rice Pudding it is with just a few tweaks…

Baked Rice Pudding…

Ingredients:

• 750 ml of goats milk
• 100 gm pudding rice
• 75 gm sugar
• 25 gm grass fed butter
• Grated Orange zest..reserve some for decoration
• Grated nutmeg

Let’s Bake…

First wash and drain the rice then grease a 1.5 litre oven proof dish with all the butter.

Stir together the rice, milk, sugar and orange zest leaving some for decoration when serving.

Pour the mixture into your greased oven proof dish and sprinkle the top with the grated nutmeg and just smell that aroma it is one of the best smells I adore nutmeg…

Bake the pudding at 150C/ Gas mk 2 for approx 2 hrs depending on your oven. Stir the pudding gently after about 20 minutes then cook until the rice is thick and creamy and the top golden brown.

My thanks to Carol for these two recipes that will bring calcium into your diet and for reminding me about homemade rice pudding… on the list.

 

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!

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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

My thanks to Carol for all her efforts to bring great cookery and healthy options into our diets and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Music, Numerology, Vitamin C, Guest Posts and funnies.


Welcome to this week’s round up of post you might have missed on Smorgasbord.

It has been a good week for works in the garden with two days in a row of dry weather to do the final cement pour. This coincided with a visit from an old friend from Hampshire for a couple of nights, ending with a lovely dinner out last night.

There is still work to be done over the next few weeks but we will see about getting the house on the market earlier than anticipated whilst the paint is still fresh.

Today is the first of the Human in every Sense of the Word and my first guest is author Paulette Mahurin who shares a poignant and thought provoking memory that involved the senses…I hope you will join us.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-with-paulette-mahurin/

William Price King is taking his usual summer break and will be spending time with his grandchildren in the mountains, hopefully a bit cooler than the rest of France and Europe is at the moment. Since this is the season of music festivals, I will be taking the opportunity to share some of the music William has posted over the last four years in a summer music festival.. In William’s last post before his break he shares the music of Arturo O’Farrill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-arturo-ofarrill-jazz-musician-pianist-and-composer/

Thank you for all the support this week and you lovely comments. Always love waking up in the morning and logging in to read and respond to them. Summer tends to be a little quieter as children go on holiday and vacations are taken, but always grateful to see you when you drop in.

Better get on with more posts from the week…..

Vitamin C is necessary for so many functions of the body that it is one of the key nutrients, along with Vitamin D that should be made a priority in food and sometimes in supplemental form. Vitamin C is not stored in the body, so if you do not eat regularly in your diet you can become deficient. Carol Taylor and I share the benefits, key food sources and recipes to ensure you are getting sufficient.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid-and-l-ascorbic-acid/

This week, not only do we find out what our universal energy is going to be gifting us in July, but also I am showcasing Annette Rochelle Aben’s latest poetry collection, hot off the press this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-your-universal-energy-for-july-by-annette-rochelle-aben/

Two more chapters from Tales from the Irish Garden.. the first Spring: Chapter Eight. The royal banquet with a magnificent menu created by Chef Marcel and wine and champagne contributed by the Storyteller.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chapter-eight-the-royal-banquet-by-sally-cronin/

In Chapter Nine – Prince Ronan gives Queen Filigree a wonderful betrothal gift that all of us girls would love to have in our gardens!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chaper-nine-the-betrothal-gift-by-sally-cronin/

 

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 133 and this week the prompt words were ‘Plan and Spend’ and I have chosen ‘Intent and Squander’ as my synonyms. The Magpie’s Prize.. a double Etheree.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tanka-poetry-challenge-133-double-etheree-a-magpies-prize-by-sally-cronin/

My response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills This week, Charli has asked us for 99 words, no more no less… on the subject of painting

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-white-washing-by-sally-cronin/

In this week’s letter to my parents in July 1986, I share our weekend away with our friends from the complex to San Antonio, river rafting and battling Mariachi bands..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-july-1986-rafting-on-the-guadaloupe-and-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-by-sally-cronin/

Author Linda Bradley takes us to Montana and share the research for her series Montana bound..saddle up… and there is also a FREE book offer for Maggie’s Way until July 2nd on Bookbub..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-m-bradley-bookpromotion-montana-bound/

Authors Helen and Lorri Carpenter explore the ability of the birds in their garden to predict weather.. we have sparrows who will feed differently when bad weather is coming in.. as if they know to stock up before the storm hits.. have you noticed this in your garden?

Image Source: HL Carpenter

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-essay-summer-weather-forecasting-is-for-the-birds-by-hl-carpenter/

John Rieber loves books and this is one of his very first blog posts from 2011… I am sure having looked as his recommendations that these are as valid now as they were then.. 7 Great Books For Gifts!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookrecommendations-7-great-books-for-gifts-by-john-rieber/

This is the final post from the archives of Frank Prem for this series. In this poem he lays bare the wonderful wood that lies beneath layers of paint..

Clean Board

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-stripping-by-frank-prem/

A lovely tribute to motherhood.. from Marian Wood..

Our roots are deep just like my thoughts

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-love-of-a-mother-by-marian-wood/

Lorinda J. Taylor shares a recipe for a deliciously moist fruit cake.. for Christmas or any time of year.. Bishop’s Cake.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-recipe-bishops-cake-lorinda-j-taylor/

Tasker Dunham with his last post in this series. I have selected a post about an eccentric but forgiving neighbour (when there are three young boys either side of your garden) who became an adopted grandmother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-mrs-quackworth-by-tasker-dunham/

Dorinda Duclos with a poem about camping that has got everyone chiming in with their camping stories.. no wonder hotels do such good business!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-camping-by-dorinda-duclos/

This is the first post from author Christa Polkinhorn and she shares her thoughts on book reviews.. great for novice reviewers and those of us who may need a refresher..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-some-thoughts-on-book-reviews-by-christa-polkinhorn/

The first of the posts from fantasy author Marjorie Mallon who shares her experience of her gallbladder operation, which I am sure will be very reassuring to anyone facing this procedure.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-health-my-gallbladder-operation-by-m-j-mallon-2014/

The first post from the extensive archives of Sue Vincent....a lovely trip to the west… Wild Things from 2016.

Wales 297

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-going-west-wild-things-2016-by-sue-vincent/

A new contributor to the series with his first post, Bill Hayes.. I know the Wembury and Plymouth area reasonably well and this post caught my attention.

mewstone1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mewstone-and-starfish-2013-bill-hayes/

The first of the posts from the archives of Donna W. Hill…her review of a wonderful book for dog lovers..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookreview-the-big-new-yorker-book-of-dogs-by-the-new-yorker-by-donna-w-hill/

New to the series, artist and writer Amanda Reilly Sayer, with her submission for Diana Wallace Peach’s speculative fiction a couple of months ago…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shortstory-empty-promises-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-book-reviews-psychological-thriller-hope-by-terry-tyler/

 

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-pre-order-for-august-7th-racked-grafton-county-series-4-by-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-j-p-mclean-sally-harris-marcia-meara-and-barbara-ann-mojica/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-james-j-cudney-james-j-cudney-teagan-riordain-geneviene-jane-risdon-lynda-mckinney-lambert/

The second part of the heart health series… and some of the more common symptoms to keep a look out for.

Plaque build up in arteries

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-heart-part-two-angina-arrythmia-and-valve-disorders-by-sally-cronin/

Toxoplasma Gondii – Pets are a joy but they also harbour unwanted visitors

Handling food safely is of vital importance to our health. As children it is instilled in us that we must wash our hands after going to the toilet, and also before eating, but it is one of those rules that every generation learns, but is seldom explained in detail.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-food-safety-toxoplasma-gondii-pets-are-a-joy-but-they-also-harbour-unwanted-visitors-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-life-lessons-from-the-archives-and-a-joke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives/

Thank you very much for dropping in this week and for your ongoing support.. It is much appreciated.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Vitamin C (ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid)


In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

After the summer we will pick up the series with Vitamin D and minerals that are essential to our health.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid) is probably one of the best known of our nutrients. It is rightly so as it has so many important functions within the body including keeping our immune system fighting fit. The best way to take in Vitamin C is through our diet, in a form that our body recognises and can process to extract what it needs. For example a large orange a day will provide you with a wonderfully sweet way to obtain a good amount of vitamin C, but to your body that orange represents an essential element of over 3000 biological processes in the body!
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Vitamin C is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body. It therefore needs to be taken in through our food on a daily basis. It is in fact the body’s most powerful water-soluble antioxidant and plays a vital role in protecting the body against oxidative damage from free radicals. It works by neutralising potentially harmful reactions in the water- based parts of our body such as the blood and within the fluids surrounding every cell. It helps prevent harmful cholesterol (LDL) from free radical damage, which can lead to plaque forming on the inside of arteries, blocking them. The antioxidant action protects the health or the heart, the brain and many other bodily tissues.

Vitamin C is an effective agent when it comes to boosting our immune systems. It works by increasing the production of our white blood cells that make up our defence system, in particular B and T cells. It also increases levels of interferon and antibody responses improving antibacterial and antiviral effects. The overall effect is improved resistance to infection and it may also reduce the duration of the symptoms of colds for example. It may do this by decreasing the blood levels of histamine, which has triggered the tissue inflammation and caused a runny nose. It has not been proven but certainly taking vitamin C in the form of fruit and vegetable juices is not going to be harmful. Another affect may be protective as it prevents oxidative damage to the cells and tissues that occur when cells are fighting off infection.

This vitamin plays a role along with the B vitamins we have already covered in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps determine our emotional well being.

Other areas that Vitamin C is vital to our health.

Collagen is the protein that forms the basis of our connective tissue that is the most abundant tissue in the body. It glues cells together, supports and protects our organs, blood vessels, joints and muscles and also

Our hormones require Vitamin C for the synthesis of hormones by the adrenal glands.
The cardiovascular system relies on Vitamin C that plays a role in cholesterol production in the liver and in the conversion of cholesterol into bile acids for excretion from the body. The vitamin also promotes normal total blood cholesterol and LDL (lousy cholesterol levels) and raises the levels of the more beneficial HDL (Healthy cholesterol) It supports healthy circulation and blood pressure, which in turn supports the heart.

The other areas that Vitamin C has shown it might be helpful to the body is in the lungs reducing breathing difficulties and improving lung and white blood cell function. It is recommended that smokers take Vitamin C not just in their diet but also as

Many studies are showing that Vitamin C can protect the health of the eye by possibly reducing ultra violet damage. .

Research is ongoing with Vitamin C and certainly in the fight against cancer there are some interesting developments.

Vitamin C works as part of a team helping in various metabolic processes such as the absorption of iron, converting folic acid to an active state, protecting against the effects of toxic effects of cadmium, copper, cobalt and mercury (brain health).

One word of warning if you are on the contraceptive pill. Vitamin C in large supplemental doses can interfere with the absorption of the pill and reduce its effectiveness.

What are the symptoms of a deficiency of Vitamin C?

A total deficiency is extremely rare in the western World. A total lack of the vitamin leads to scurvy, which was responsible for thousands of deaths at sea from the middle ages well into the 19th century. Some voyages to the pacific resulted in a loss of as much as 75% of the crew.

The symptoms were due to the degeneration of collagen that lead to broken blood vessels, bleeding gums, loose teeth, joint pains and dry scaly skin.

Other symptoms were weakness, fluid retention, depression and anaemia.

You can link these symptoms back up to the benefits of vitamin C and understand how many parts and processes of the body this vitamin is involved in.

In a milder form a deficiency has also been linked to:

  • increased infections
  • male infertility
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • and gastrointestinal disorders.

Best Food Sources.

The best food source of vitamin C is all fresh, raw fruit and vegetables. Avoid buying prepared peeled and cut vegetables and fruit, as they will have lost the majority of their vitamin C. If you prepare juices at home, always drink within a few hours preferably immediately. Do not boil fruit and vegetables, it is better to eat raw whenever possible preserving all their nutrient content, but at the very least only steam lightly.

Researchers believe that taking in adequate amounts of Vitamin C is the best private health insurance that you can take out.

The best food sources is of course fresh fruit and vegetables but the highest concentrations are in:

Blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cherries, grapefruit, guavas, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges parsley, peppers, rosehip, potatoes, tomatoes and watercress.

Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are great sources of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C…To me it is the sunshine vitamin as all the fruit and vegetables which are high in this vitamin are the most glorious colours.

Eaten raw or cooked although lightly steam or roasted as this retains most of the vitamins… Of course depending on where you live there will be other fruits/veggies which are high in Vitamin C…For me here that includes Pineapple, Mango, Papaya and even my favourite, the chilli.

The easiest ways to get your vitamin C is of course to eat the fruit raw, you could also add some spinach to your cooked rice and just let the heat of the rice wilt the spinach, Raw peppers sliced and eating with hummus or which we love here just chop some peppers all three colours, shallot stir into some cooked rice add some sweet corn if liked and I just make this little Italian dressing.

Ingredients

• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
• ½ tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
• 1 clove garlic finely chopped
• 1 tbsp dried basil crumbled
• Pinch oregano

Whisk together and chill until required and then add to rice and stir through this recipe is also easy to double up.

This rice salad is easy to make with leftover cooked rice and eaten with some grilled fish or meat. It is also lovely with all the colours of the peppers and if like me you want to up the garlic just chop some extra cloves of garlic and add…

Grapefruit is also high in vitamin C…Here the Pomelo is more common it is just like a bigger grapefruit…

Pomelo Salad or as it is known here Yum Som O is a wonderful light refreshing salad made with Thai Grapefruit( Pink Grapefruit) can be substituted and there is very little difference in flavour.

Ingredients:

• 2 Pink Grapefruit or 1 Pomelo.
• 12-16 peeled shrimps.
• A sm cucumber diced.
• 1/4 cup finely sliced shallots.
• 1/4 cup fresh Thai Basil or Mint.
• 1/4 cup Fresh coriander.
• 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts/cashews.
• 2 tbsp shredded coconut.
• 1 Red Chilli finely sliced.

Dressing:

• Half to 1 lime.
• 3 tbsp Fish Sauce.
• 1-2 tbsp palm sugar.
• 1 -2 red chillies finely sliced.
• Kaffir Lime leaf very finely sliced for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Set a pot of water to boil on the stove. Add shrimp and boil for just a few minutes, until the shrimp turn pink and are plump and firm to the touch. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Place shredded coconut in a dry frying pan or wok over medium-high heat and stir until coconut turns light golden brown and fragrant. Tip coconut into a small bowl to cool and set aside. Repeat with shallots frying in a little oil until golden and crispy tip into small bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Prepare your grapefruit or pomelo, removing as much of the white peel as possible from the fruit. Break into bite-size pieces – 3 to 4 cups is a good amount. Set prepared fruit in a salad bowl.
  4. Add to the bowl: cucumber, basil/mint, coriander, and fresh chilli.
  5. Combine all dressing ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

To put the salad together: Add shrimp to the salad bowl, and then pour over the dressing. Toss well to combine. Add most of the toasted coconut, shallots and nuts, reserving a little for garnishing, then toss again. Taste-test the salad for a balance of sweet/sour/spicy/salty. Adjust to your liking, adding more sugar if too sour. For more depth of flavour, add a little Fish Sauce. Your salad is now ready to serve. Top with reserved coconut, nuts and shredded lime leaf.

Enjoy!

Tip: Like most Thai salad dressings, this is an oil-free dressing, so it doesn’t appear to ‘cling’ as well as oil-based dressings, naturally collecting at the bottom of your salad bowl. This isn’t a problem – just be sure to toss a little more than you would for a regular salad in order to saturate ingredients with the dressing.

This salad is better served and eaten immediately, the fresher the better. If preparing for a party, keep the dressing apart from the salad until you’re ready to eat, and then toss them together just before serving.

I do hope you enjoy as this is one of my favourite salads, I do shred my Pomelo much finer though rather than having too chunky. But as with anything it is personal preference.

Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables it can be lightly steamed and if you make a cheese sauce then it makes a lovely side dish sometimes I also mix the florets with broccoli florets and make a broccoli and cauliflower cheese…

You can turn the cauliflower into rice which is very popular now…

And all you need is a Cauliflower and an Onion. A little Coconut oil to cook or other oil of your choice. Sea Salt and a squeeze Lemon Juice.

Let’s Cook

  1. Either grate or blitz in a food processor (but not too fine) you want some texture.
  2. Heat pan and keep pan HOT as you don’t want Cauliflower to steam and go soggy.
  3. Use a tbsp of Coconut Oil and put in the desired amount of Cauliflower and onion mix.
  4. Cook quickly and then season and add lemon juice.

All in all, it only takes a few minutes to cook….. a bit longer if more than one portion but keep pan hot.

If you wish to vary the taste you can add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds to oil before adding Cauliflower if you are eating Indian Food.

If you require colour if eating Mexican……. then add 1/2 tsp turmeric to oil and tsp tomato puree.

This is very versatile and just use your imagination and add any herbs and spices that you like.

To store...I make a batch and keep in the fridge for during the week but keep in a glass jar or zip lock bag…I think plastic containers may make it sweat too much…..Enjoy…. and if you are cutting the carbs it is an ideal and yummy substitute for rice and I love rice…… eat it all the time but happily substitute this as I am also a cauliflower lover.

The cauliflower is truly versatile… I love it! X

How about making a cauliflower Pizza base?

I love this more than my family do but then I am not a huge pizza fan I don’t really like pizza bases so tend to just pick of the topping so this cauliflower base suits my taste and I can crisp it up a bit..and viola something I really like…

Ingredients:

• 1 medium head cauliflower.
• 1 egg, large.
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dried oregano or basil)
• 1/8 tsp salt.
• 1/4 tsp ground black pepper.
• 1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded.
• Cooking spray, I make my own spray I don’t do bought oil in spray cans…I have a little stainless steel one for oil.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 C and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces.
  3. Process the cauliflower in a food processor in 2 batches, until a “rice” texture forms.
  4. Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 mins this just removes some of the moisture.
  5. Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 4 degrees F/200 C. Then in a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper for 10 seconds.
  8. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower mix very well with a spatula until combined.
  9. Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  10. Transfer cauliflower dough to the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flip with a spatula and bake for a few more minutes. Top with your favourite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown.

Slice and enjoy!

This recipe was one that intrigued me because individually I loved the ingredients except for the egg plant and even though I eat egg plant it is not my favourite.

It is an Indian spiced egg plant salad with mango, tomatoes and lentils … It turned out to be one of the nicest salads ever and had a few ingredients which my hubby doesn’t eat ever like egg plant, tomatoes and lentils and he liked it…

Spiced Egg Plant Salad with tomatoes, mango and lentils.

• 4 tablespoons peanut oil or olive oil, divided
• 2½ teaspoons chilli powder, divided
• 2½ teaspoons curry powder, divided
• 2 medium eggplants ( ¾ pound each), trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
• ⅓ cup lemon or lime juice, plus more if desired
• ¼ cup prepared salsa
• ¼ cup honey
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
• 1½ cups cooked lentils or one 15-ounce can, rinsed
• 2 bunches spring (green) onions, coarsely chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)
• 4 cups torn romaine lettuce or white cabbage
• 2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
• ¼ cup coarsely chopped roasted walnuts or cashews
• ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

Let’s Cook!

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Combine 1 tbsp oil with 2 tsp each chilli powder and curry powder in a large bowl. Add eggplant and toss well. Spread the eggplant on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring halfway through, until tender, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Thoroughly combine the remaining 3 tbsp oil, remaining ½ tsp each chilli powder and curry powder, ⅓ cup lemon (or lime) juice, salsa, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Add the roasted eggplant, lentils and spring onions; gently toss to combine. Taste and season with more pepper and/or lemon (or lime) juice, as required.
  5. Serve the salad on a bed of romaine, topped with mango, nuts, cilantro and the reserved 2 tbsp of spring onions.
  6. I used white cabbage and we ate by adding some salad to the cabbage and eating them both together…
  7. To cook the lentils: Put ½ cup red or brown lentils in a medium saucepan add 1 ½ cups water then bring to the boil over a medium heat, reduce the heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender…12-20 minutes( red lentils ) cook quicker. This makes 1 ½ cups lentils.

I actually think this would go equally as well with pineapple or even orange…It is a lovely recipe with your vitamin C coming from your fruit and tomatoes even egg plant contains some Vitamin C as do chillies and of course you are getting fibre from the egg plant and the lentils so overall a very healthy dish to which you could add some chicken or fish…

Our verdict… I made half the recipe which is what I always do when I am testing a recipe. I just made a small amount of fresh salsa but all together the flavours complemented each other nicely much better than I originally thought and the honey just brought it all together. I used japans egg plants the long purple variety as I don’t think they are so bitter as the Thai green egg plants.

I hope you have enjoyed these recipes showing how you can include fruit and vegetables into your diet to ensure you get adequate Vitamin C.

My thanks to Carol for preparing these delicious dishes to ensure you and your family are obtaining adequate amounts of vitamin C..

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have any questions for either of us then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. Your feedback is always welcome.