French Food

This undoubtedly stems from our love of celebrity chefs; Raymond Blanc and Michel Roux Jr have both given us insights into the food they grew up on; it is inexpensive and simple, and not at all what we would expect Michelin star chefs to cook. However, there is something endearing about watching these men who are so famous and so acclaimed for their cooking go back to their roots and cook simple French dishes that they ate when they were growing up, and that inspired them to become world-class chefs in the first place.

What strikes me as unusual is that we do not seem to embrace rural, rustic food in the same way as the French. I watched The Great British Food Revival a couple of weeks ago and was amazed to see how many people were turning up their noses at the thought of eating rabbit, an ingredient that is rife in the British countryside and an animal that farmers are keen to get rid of due to the fact that they are, essentially, pests. We have got to break away from the idea that rabbits are only meant as pets, and that they are far too cute to be put in a pie. I am not saying that we should all go feral and start acting the way our pre-historic ancestors did in order to get food, but I do feel it is so important to embrace rural dishes in the same way as the French. We have our Lancashire hot pot and the French have their Coq au Vin from Burgundy, we have Chicken Parmesans in the North East, and the French have Cassoulet from Languedoc. We have the regional dishes that we love in Britain but rabbit and even pheasant are two ingredients that seem to be disappearing from our menu, and if you go to a local butcher for them, they will not be expensive at all. You can pick up a rabbit for between £2 and £4 depending on where you go for it.

We need to start having more respect for rural dishes and ingredients, because if we don’t they may disappear into obscurity before we even notice.

Simple Food With Superpowers

Mushroom:

They are kind of rubber, they grow in creepy places and yet it has some redeeming qualities. They are low in calories and are a top plant source of B complex vitamins which helps to keep skin healthy and eyesight sharp. All mushrooms offer benefits, but the big winner is the meaty Portobello. Mushrooms contain beta-glucan and chitin, two types of fiber that reduces your cholesterol.

Onions:

Onions love your heart it has a blood thinning property similar to that of aspirin.They are also a top source of quercetin. We absorb about 70 % more quercetin from onions than from apples, another food high in the nutrient. They may also protect your tummy by fighting bacteria that can cause stomach cancer. Raw onions are best because cooking can kill the blood thinning compounds, try slices in salads. If you can’t take the strong taste then marinate them in vinegar with some water, sugar and fresh herbs.

Sunflower Seeds:

With 25 % more vitamin E, than almonds, sunflower seeds are one of those reducing the risk for heart disease and stroke only 2 ounces ( or 4 tbsp.) of dried seeds provide 12 milligrams of vitamin E- that’s 80 percent of your daily needs, they are also full of fiber, healthy fats, protein and iron. Shelled seeds are well tossed into salads, baked goods like muffins or spice cake, meat loaf or any recipe that calls for nuts.

Cherries:

It has been analyzed that they have more antioxidants than almost any other food. Cherries both sweet and tart are particularly rich in anthocyanin’s, micronutrients that may jump start the immune system and mop up free radicals that cause disease. This may give cherries the potential to help ward off cancer. Other research suggests they may also reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and gout. Fresh cherries are in season from may through August.

Making Healthy Meatloaf

What you need for a scrumptious meal:

  • Lean pulverized turkey/beef meat (90% if turkey and 95% if beef). Reducing the percentage in lean turkey is done due to the slightly higher number in calories, fats, and saturated fats it contains.

This is simply for three little serving. Compared to crushed beef, the quality of ground turkey will be thicker. Therefore, addition of veggies to it will help in making it softer.

  • A binding ingredient gives the serving a signature feels. You can opt for either combining breadcrumbs together with egg whites (which contain less fats compared to a whole egg).

You do not want your meatloaf to come out dense so you will opt for the veggies after all. Onions and pepper are delicious when put in crushed beef. Omission of oil and dairy products will be good because the content of fat must be as low as it can be.

  • When it comes to seasoning, you could opt for garlic powder, lemon/white pepper or smoked paprika instead of salt. This leaves you licking your fingers. In case you prefer spicy, then opt for ground red pepper.

What to use:

Use either a loaf pan or a lined muffin pan. This depends on how you want the meat loaf to come out. If using a loaf pan, make sure you form it with a sheet of flour, which necessitates the mixture to fall apart. Lining the pan with a parchment paper avoids sticking. It also makes the lifting easier.

This said and done, you could opt for muffins which a best done in the lined muffin pan. The process of lifting in this case is easier and does not involve any mess. However, the muffins are best when it comes to selected occasions. Examples of these are child serving and/or wispy lunches.

That said and done, it is good to note that for you to have the best result of that meatloaf, pressing it when cooking helps in making the mixture compressed!

Cooling Meals

A salad is the perfect cool, healthy and light meal for any hot day of the year. Not only does it take little energy to make, but it is also very light on your stomach. Your body will thank you for eating a salad in more ways than one. You will be loading up on your vitamins and minerals from all of the fresh veggies you add.

Instead of waiting until Winter to have a bowl of soup, have you considered making cold soups? A Spanish gazpacho is a perfect example of a cold, raw soup with raw tomatoes and other vegetables.This cold soup will cool you down, hydrate you and nourish your body, which makes it perfect for a hot day.

Fruit salad doesn’t always go as a full meal, but it’s ideal for a snack, dessert or side dish. Fruit salads taste delicious, are cold, raw, and they are healthy for you. You could include fruits like pineapple, grapes, banana, or apple. A true summer fruit that you must add to your fruit salad is watermelon. This fruit screams summer, and it’s one of the most hydrating fruits as well. Hydration is
crucial for hot summer days.

Veggie Tortillas. Fill your tortillas (or lettuce leaves) with raw or chilled veggies and herbs for a cooling summer version of tacos. Simple and quick, this makes a great lunch for your summer lunch breaks at work. Cucumber strips, spiralized carrots and zucchini make this meal idea delicious.

These foods are perfect for all the hot days that are yet to come, and all of them are simple and quick to make. On these warm summer days, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. So, with these meals you can enjoy your summer while making it a little easier for yourself, and you can still have delicious food on the table each day.

Weight Loss Recipe Guide

Weight loss recipes are abundant from all over the world and can help to spice up any dish. Here is a great, healthy weight loss recipe that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Whole Wheat Penne with Shrimp and Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Minced Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Medium to Large Eggplant (cut into half inch cubes)
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 Half Pound Medium Shrimp (cleaned)
  • 1 Quarter Cup Chopped Basil

Cooking:

Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package. While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil to medium high heat in a large skillet and sauté the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the eggplant to the garlic and olive oil and continue to sauté for about another 5 minutes until the eggplant color turns golden brown. Next, add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes and finally add the shrimp. Cook an additional 2 or 3 minutes until the shrimp turns pink.

Drain the pasta but save ½ cup of the water the pasta was cooked in and add both the pasta and the liquid to the skillet. Toss all ingredients together in skillet. Top it off with chopped basil.

Cacao Powder

Perhaps you have heard you can buy cacao powder that makes chocolate good for you! Who doesn’t love chocolate or like the idea of being able to consume it guilt free? While there is some truth to the statement, it is too generalised and you need to be informed about the facts. When it is offered in a raw, organic form, it can be considered a superfood.

You can buy cacao powder that is raw and organic and use it to replace chocolate in just about any recipe. It will taste delicious and no one is going to know you make that exchange unless you decide to disclose it to them. Your favourite chocolate treats can then offer some value for the body rather than being extra calories you should have avoided.

Nutritional Value

As you read the labels before you buy cacao powder, you can rule out those that aren’t going to offer the highest nutritional value. Look for a product that is full of calcium, magnesium, calcium, and high in antioxidants. The product is going to give your body a great boost and also help to flush out harmful toxins.

Taste

This product does have a bitter taste, similar to dark chocolate. However, the overall taste it will offer depends on what you mix it with. When you replace regular chocolate in a recipe for example, it will have a stronger taste but not overpowering. You have nothing to lose by giving it a try and see for yourself what you think about it.

Some people think it is an acquired taste, and it does take a bit of time to adjust to the change. However, they are content to do it based on the dietary value it offers and it helps them avoid feeling deprived. This type of lifestyle change can be one worth doing in order to lose weight and keep it off. For those that like chocolate and consume it often, it can really make a difference.

Recipes

There is no end to how you can use it in recipes either. You can add it to fruit for a sweeter taste, to smoothies, or drizzle it over cake instead of frosting. It can be mixed with sweeteners and cacao butter to make chocolate. It won’t be as healthy that way, but it may be a great option you offer your family now and then.

As you discover more recipes, you will find you buy cacao powder regularly. It is a great way to curb that sweet tooth without all the added calories. You can also create your own fun recipes with it to create items you love to make on a regular basis.