Tag Archives: Food

Egyptian Lamb Flatbreads

Lamb is very expensive here and a treat for us…Monday we had a lovely butterflied shoulder and had some leftovers ..cold lamb is not very nice so decided to make some flat bread..a first time for me and I was really pleased with how they came out..very quick and easy to make and use the leftover lamb. Hence my Egyptian Lamb flatbreads.

Ingredients:

Flat Bread:

1/4 cup milk.

1/2 cup water.

2 cups flour.

1 tbsp Baking Powder.

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp salt.

Filling Mix:

300 gm leftover cooked lamb…can use beef, pork or chicken.

1 lemon finely zested.

juice half lemon.

2 tsp black pepper.

1 tsp oregano or marjoram.

1 tsp dried thyme

I tsp Paprika.

1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted.

2 eggs beaten.

1 tsp sea salt….I always use Himalayan salt.

4 Spring onions finely sliced.

Method:

Make flatbreads.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.

Lamb Filling:

Chop lamb into rough little chunks and pieces. Put in large bowl with lemon zest and squeeze half of lemon juice into the mix. Add all your spices, the eggs, salt and pepper and most of the spring onions..retain some for garnish. Mix together thoroughly.

Lay out flatbreads and cover half with filling, then fold over and press together. You get half-moon shape.

Get 2 large baking trays rub one with Olive oil Lay flatbreads on an oiled tray, lightly rub other tray and pop this on top of flatbreads. Put trays into preheated hot oven and cook 6-8 minutes. This way the flatbread will get lovely and crispy on top. If you have small trays you may need to do in batches.

Depending on size of flatbreads cut in two …I left mine whole as I served individually( see picture) and not on large serving plate but for a party or just because you want to….. serve on one dish with Houmous… Just as a little note it was my young grandson(11) who arranged these on the plate for me…didn’t he do well?

.Recipe  for hummus can be found on a previous blog ..published June 18th ..titled ..If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you haven’t danced in the rain.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/if-you-think-sunshine-brings-you-happiness-then-you-havent-danced-in-the-rain/

The yoghurt dip was made with some chopped mint, good squeeze lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Scatter over reserved onions, sprinkle with little cumin. Serve with lemon/ lime wedges.

Voila ………… Eat and enjoy!

Natural Foods to treat pain and inflamation.

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I have this phobia I suppose one might call it…Even my family doctor used to smile and pat my hand and say “Carol, just take them” I am sure sometimes he even wondered why I paid him a visit …..Maybe I just wanted him to advise me on what he thought was wrong with me although I was one of these people who probably only saw my doctor every few years at most.

Now I don’t even go although if I felt really, really very unwell I would go. So I am not advocating never visit a doctor again I am just saying if you have a mild pain or some inflammation there are Natural Foods which can help and indeed many people and even some doctors are advising the use of Natural Foods and Herbs.

I have listed a few everyday foods and seeds with some recipes if you wish to incorporate some of these in your daily diet.

Ginger…..

I love Ginger and grow and use it in a lot of my food and pickled it is beautiful.

Ginger you can grate or dice finely, it is used in fish dishes here or with Scallops it is a lovely thing.

A member of the rhizome family as is Turmeric…Ginger is softly sweet and slightly spicy and medicinally it has many benefits.

Ginger tea can aid digestion and is a lovely drink.

It also is an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems.

In addition to drinking ginger tea, you can also use it to soak inflamed joints. Ginger is one of the best pain killers in the world having analgesic properties like the popular ibuprofen, only better.

It contains a quartet of active flavour constituents, gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone which are active ingredients to reduce pain. Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body.

All studies by researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced some improvement.

Turmeric……

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Millions of people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Many of these same people are now looking to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions naturally.

Awareness and knowledge is increasing and people are now aware of available natural remedies that are possibly safer, or at the very least as effective, easily accessible, and inexpensive.

Despite decades of research and thousands of preclinical studies indicating the therapeutic value of turmeric, many people are still not aware that the common kitchen spice can serve as a valuable alternative for a number of health conditions.

A human study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine clinically confirms the medicinal value of turmeric. Results show that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract can reduce inflammation in patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis.

Turmeric is a plant specifically from ginger family, used for flavouring and colouring in cooking.

The value of taking turmeric seems to be a valid one and yet many people are still not really aware of what a powerful substance it is.

It can be taken in Golden Milk, added to carrot soup, taken as a supplement or extract but as it is not readily absorbed and retained in the body it is advised to take it with black peppercorns which aid its absorption in the body.

Golden Milk Recipe using Turmeric and Virgin Coconut Oil.

Cayenne Pepper……

Cayenne pepper has many health benefits and anti-irritant properties. It can ease stomach upsets, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs, and diarrhoea.

Just a simple blend of:

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of hot red chilli powder and
8oz pulpy orange juice,

Taken with a straw, can provide almost instant relief from a sore throat.

Be sure not to use more than 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon for about every 8 ounces of orange juice, as Cayenne pepper is a highly concentrated spicy food powder, and when taken in higher amounts, can aggravate parts of your gastrointestinal tract.

 

A little word of warning although this is a very effective cure for sore throats be aware and careful that you do not use too much cayenne and to protect your stomach, a banana, some rice or potato before drinking will do that if you have a sensitive tummy.

 

Celery/ Celery Seeds……

 

As kids, we had celery with our tea on Sundays with crumpets and shellfish my mum always put it in her stews and now research backs all this up it has found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and its seeds and advises adding it to soups, stews or use as a salt substitute.

To me, it sounds like mum knows best….What do you think about age-old remedies which are making a comeback??

My mum probably didn’t give the benefits a thought, her only thought was that we should get good nourishing home cooked food..nothing was packets then..everything was made from scratch and that is what she taught me and I have taught my children and now my grandchildren…..

There is a lot to say about traditions and passing on knowledge and I think that all this is now making a comeback as people are questioning what is in their food and medicines.

That is good!

Oh! waffling again..sorreee we were on celery were we not?

 

I myself have used celery juice as a brine when making bacon as a substitute and natural brine if you don’t wish to use Salt-petre.

 

Celery juice is also a diuretic and can also help clear toxins that form those painful kidney stones.

 

Cherries…..

Cherries are one of nature’s best sources of health enhancing pigments called anthocyanins which provide powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect is the human body.

Anthocyanocides are particularly effective at keeping blood uric acid in check and a viable remedy for the painful condition of gout.

This lovely smoothie recipe incorporates cherries and leafy greens.

A cup of pitted cherries.

A young coconut..the meat and ½ cup of the coconut juice.

½ an apple or a pear

2 cups of fresh baby spinach (or other leafy greens)

Blitz together and enjoy!

 

Dark, green vegetables…….

Are good sources of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol thiocyanate which protects cells from inflammatory substances which can be produced in response to injury or infection in your body.

Bok Choy is one such green which is used widely in Asian countries. It can be eaten raw in salads, coleslaw or juiced. It can also be used when making fermented vegetables which are sold on every market here and very easy to do at home.

 

Walnuts…..

A valuable source of omega 3 oils walnuts are one little powerhouse.  Its anti-inflammatory properties help lower the risk of chronic inflammation. Just a handful a day or incorporate them in a lovely smoothie or shhh shh chocolate brownies..yum

Or if you want a bit of fit and healthy then look no further than this recipe for a luscious Banana Espresso Smoothie.

 

This is a recipe that my daughter gave me along with a packet of Chia seeds as I can’t always get them here. Bananas we have in spades as they grow in abundance here so my freezer always has frozen bananas ready to make a smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 frozen Banana

1 cup of coconut milk.

2 tbsp oats.

halved walnuts as in the picture or you can use 1 tbsp peanut butter

A shot of espresso.

1 cup of ice

1tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds and honey.

Put all ingredients in your blender and blitz away.

Pour into glass and enjoy!

 

I hope you are enjoying these posts and my dearest wish is that they prompt you…Yes, YOU!

To question and research what you are eating and how eating somethings can improve your health and that of your family.

Until next time….stay safe, laugh a lot and ASK a question x

 

 

Natural Foods instead of medicines?

This post sets the scene for some of my future posts where I will be telling you about natural foods which may help treat pain and inflammation, natural foods which can lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, which foods are antacid and much more.

I will give you the information, the recipes so you can make your own informed decisions..which is how it should be. You should be in charge of your life and what goes in your body.

lady holding veggies

It means cooking and preparing more but it also means that you will know without a doubt what you are eating. I cook normal food, not faddy, not with expensive ingredients just day-to-day normal food. If I can make it I do, but on occasions, if I either can’t get the ingredients or don’t want to I may buy a packet mix but it is the exception for me rather than the rule. I cook recipes from around the world because that’s what we like but we also like a tasty stew and vegetables.

Does that sound good?In this post, I will give you a little background to me, how my brain ticks, my logic…. I use common sense, I use proper food and grow it where I can.

In this post, I will give you a little background to me, how my brain ticks, my logic…. I use common sense, I use proper food and grow it where I can.

I am not vegetarian, vegan or anything else I just try to eat healthily…

I also on occasions eat you know who’s fillet of fish…and why not???

I love some veggie recipes and we eat everything in moderation…I just love a bit of meat and fish as well. But I  care how my meat gets to my table ….I grow my own fish..I started with 3 and I now have too many to count but as of yesterday someone came and took quite a few for their pond so the ones left have more room to grow and are happy little fishes.

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My Xmas turkey will be raised by us and I know where my beef and pork comes from. I also know that I am lucky to know this.

I haven’t always been that lucky but my mantra is you do what YOU can and what YOU are happy with and gradually it all falls into place. I am not fanatical I just do what I can and if we all did that we would all be happier, healthier and so would our families.

Baby steps are good.

More and more people are now turning to natural means of curing their ailments than ever before…Why? So many reasons, are they better? Do they work? I think in some instances they do but I also think that sometimes we need to heed our physician as tried and tested medicines also work.

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Can we find a happy medium? I think we can. Natural remedies do work but they don’t work the same on everybody. “one-size doesn’t fit all” as the saying goes.

Generic medicines have been tested, tested and tested again and work generally across the spectrum which is in some ways better as they work for the majority. Whereas natural remedies are more trial and error.  So I can see why medicines and tablets were invented as they were more stable.

It doesn’t stop me from preferring to take the natural route where I can.

I have always been a rebel on the QT… I have always questioned my doctor…I always look what is in the packet…I  question what I read on social media …I question everything…I always just do!

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I want to know what my family eat. I want to know what is in my food. Even before all of  what goes on now ….I questioned…Years ago ..many more than I am going to tell you…ha ha…

My kids would have loved a Mr Frosty….One mouthful and the tongue was bright blue…In my world that set off alarm bells…

Freds with blue tongue

If your tongue was blue what was it doing to your insides. They never got one!

My logic was basic… and I suppose to a point it still is…If it has really small print and the name is long and unrecognisable and the list is even longer…I don’t buy it!

Tell me in plain language what is in what I am buying….

 

If you don’t! I don’t!

 

 

If you liked this post then please consider following me and sharing or reblogging my posts. We are what we eat ….my first post on the subject. Please click the link to view  https://niume.com/post/316514   I hope you enjoy it!

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot 🙂 AND ask!

 

 

Amazing foods of Thailand.

 

 

 

Thai food is known and eaten all over the world and for good reason who doesn’t love Thailands unique cuisine with its sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty tastes which combined make a Thai meal so memorable.

Here are a few of my favourite Thai foods and ones which if you do come to Thailand and try that you will love as much as I do.

Some are almost iconic Thai dishes and well known around the world.

I have also added the links to some of them with recipes so if you want to try them at home …I hope I have made it easy for you.

Enjoy!

 

 

Red Duck Curry ( Kaeng Ped Pett Yang)

One of my favorite curries and one which I don’t have very often…why? Not sure really..I probably save it for special occasions.

Well, this is it..I am now on the letter D for my self-imposed walk through the alphabet. Not much beginning with D…A few fruits and duck…a lot of recipes which say dried this and dried that but only really pre fixing the recipe with dried to say it starts with D.

So I have certainly set myself a task….mmmmmm…i am beginning to ask myself why but not one to give up..

I had Duck curry for the first time on a little island just off Phuket, Thailand it is a fiery curry offset by pineapple and tomatoes. Some add lychee as well as pineapple but we found it a little sweet for us but experiment, everyone’s taste is different….I also add some vegetables, mange tout or sugar snap peas maybe a few florets of brocolli..really whatever I have in the fridge.

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Let’s Cook!

Firstly cook your duck breasts, we like ours medium rare.

Put the duck skin side down in a cold pan, turn the heat to medium and cook the duck breasts for 6-8 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy, turn the breasts over and just sear the other side for 1 minute. Turn over so they are breast side up and put in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing the breasts thinly.

Sauce:

400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp fish sauce

3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into bite sized pieces.

10 cherry tomatoes.

6-10 mange tout..or other vegetables of your choice.

100gm Thai egg plant cut into quarters.( Pictured below)

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100gm pea egg plants( Pictured below)

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If you can’t get these any small egg plant will be ok I sometimes use small purple ones if I can’t get the green.

1-2 tbsp red curry paste.

6 kaffir lime leaves torn

Bunch Thai basil washed and leaves picked..

2 tsp lime juice.

To make sauce put a very tiny drop of oil in the pan over a medium heat add your curry paste and stir to cook for 1 min, add fish sauce. Gradually add coconut milk whilst still stirring.

Bring to a slow boil and add torn lime leaves and egg plants cook for 5/6 mins and add tomatoes and pineapple, cook for a further 10 minutes then add mange tout and stir in some Thai basil leaves and lime juice.

Now taste and adjust curry paste if you want more heat. If other seasonings want adjusting you can also do that now. Thai flavours are very pronounced and if you get it balanced ..very nice if not..I have had some disasters and I don’t mind admitting that…which is why I always say TASTE and Taste again.

My very first duck curry I made was ok…so we left out the lychee next time and it was much better…also I know which curry paste to now use as they are all so different….Please don’t let this put you off making it as when you get it right it is a lovely thing.

When you are ready to serve then add sliced duck to the sauce and just warm through and serve with some Thai basil over the top and a sliced red chilli if you like.

Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!

Dock leaves and Dolmas.

dock leaves

Where do you get your  inspiration for posts from?  I read and always look for the unknown or little known when I am out and about on my travels …I love nothing more than a recipe which gives me more.

Information about one of the ingredients, its benefits and other uses. But that’s me I ramble…Yes I know I have to be prompted at times to cook or just get on with it…Ha ha

This post was born when I was reading about Stinging nettles and it very quickly bought back the vivid memory of how when we were kids we scrambled around to find a Dock leaf to soothe the itchy rash the nettles left us with. Giving instant relief they were great..

Now young Dock leaves are tender and delicious they do however get very bitter the older they get. But the root boiled and drank as a tea was said to be a cure for boils.

I have been doing a lot more research lately into the benefits of plants and fruits and am constantly amazed at what properties most of them have both medicinally and uses as dyes, glue and so much more.

The Broad-leaved Dock leaf was also known as Butter Dock as the leaves were used to preserve and wrap butter.

I know….

Now Let’s Cook!

dolmas

The leaves also make a great wrap for dolmas just a 30-second blanch in boiling water and drain on paper, pat lightly so as not to tear the leaves.

Secondly, sweat 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic and half an onion in some olive oil add 2 cups of cooked rice, stir gently to combine and remove from the heat.

Squeeze a large lemon or lime  you need about 1/4 cup into the mixture with a large handful of chopped mint and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate as these are generally eaten cold with a dash of lemon and olive oil. I prefer mine heated up and just very lightly sautéed in a little oil and serve with a mayo dip.

Enjoy!

Dock leaf crisps are also very tasty and if you boil the dock leaves down they make a sort of paste which has a lemony flavour and mixed with feta it is a lovely thing…or olive oil, chillies, garlic and black pepper…. and yes you just knew I would sneak in a chilli or two…ha ha

But remember you want the leaves from the centre of the plant the young leaves just unfurling are the best….older equals bitter.

It is also grown as a pot herb in Europe.

Traditional medics also used the leaves and roots to cure viral infections.

Found in Europe, Australia and the US where in the South western states it is cultivated because of its Tannin content where it is used by the Leather industry to tan leather.

The leaves and stem are also used to produce a mustard coloured dye.

So that broad-leafed dock plant which soothed my nettle stings and also was used by my mum in her kitchen when she caught her arm or hand on the oven or cooker ..its alkaline secretions being very good and immediately neutralising any acidic sting or burn is a little more than just a dock leaf isn’t it?

And just a piece of trivia for you..Did you know? If you slice the dock root vertically then you can age it as it has growth rings just like a tree.

Well that’s all for today I hope you enjoyed learning about the humble dock leaf until next time stay safe and laugh a lot.

All images are my own ( as you can sometimes see) lol…but with the occasional brilliant shot..ha ha or from Pixabay and require no attribution.

 

 

 

Beat the Blues with food.

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Is depression on the increase? Is medication the answer? Sometimes.

Depression is not caused by just one factor but can WE help ourselves by eating well?

Can we help control our depression by diet?

A new trial from Deakin University http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/world-first-trial-shows-improving-diet-can-treat-major-depression  has shown for the first time that improving diet quality can treat major depression.

Just cutting out sugar, caffeine and drinking more water can have a huge effect on our moods.

Well, I don’t know about you but I love good food…

I love proper food, meals the whole family can eat and not pick at, meals I can knock up quickly for one or for 6 people. Food which is not expensive and I can easily obtain or grow myself even if I only have a window box.

1.Dark, leafy greens:

The healthiest greens on the planet are Kale, high in Vitamins,  folate and potassium with Collard greens,Spinach Brocolli and sprouts following close behind they all promote good brain function.

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But I don’t like greens.

Well, mix lightly steamed, thinly sliced collard greens into your mashed potatoes. Layer your lasagne with spinach which is low in calories and high in vitamins. Better cooked than raw although great in salads. Forthe best sprout recipes ever sprouts with garlic, chilli..ha ha snuck that one in…lol

  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/20/our-10-best-brussels-sprouts-recipes  You will never notice you are eating greens.

2.Fish:

Salmon, trout, mackerel, snapper all high in omega 3 oils, they can be grilled, baked or steamed. Packed with protein, vitamins and potassium all healthy for your well-being.

Thai Salmon Trout.

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Ingredients:

180gm Trout or Salmon fillet.( per person)

For Topping:

1 spring Onion finely chopped.

2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely…I use the stem as well.

1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped help promote the release of pleasure-boosting endorphins in the brain.

1 tbsp Fish Sauce.

A cheek of lime.

Mix ingredients together.

Put fish on foil and spoon topping on reserve some topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in the oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.

Serve with steamed rice, boiled new potatoes or over noodles.

3.Walnuts: 7 a day may be all it takes to improve your health. The walnut is a little powerhouse packed with Vitamin E, folate, melatonin and omega 3 oils all of which support good brain health.

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4.Tomatoes: Packed with lycopene and antioxidants that reduce stress and repair damaged brain cells eating a tomato a day is said to reduce the blues by 52%.

My favorite recipe sun-dried and beautiful tomatoes and here is how https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/yesterday-i-was-clever-so-i-wanted-to-change-the-world-today-i-am-wise-so-i-am-changing-myself-rumi/

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Just words of caution tomatoes are acidic and as with anything moderation is advised because it may cause heartburn in some individuals.

5.Beans: Packed with nutrients copper, folate, magnesium, zinc and calcium.You can use beans in a lovely chilli, salads, add tinned beans to soups and stews. Make a chick pea hummus to dip your veggies in.

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6.Berries: Some of the healthiest food on the planet, juicy, brightly coloured, sweet or sour, fresh or frozen add them to smoothies, yoghurt, a compote on porridge, pancake batters or in salads.

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These foods are easily available everywhere and will help decrease depression and work alongside prescribed medication.

Does Junk food shrink your brain??  http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/does-junk-food-shrink-your-brain

This study thinks it just might!


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Salmon image is from my own personal photo collections.

All other images are Pixabay and no attribution is required.