Eating out.....Posted by Nicky Thu, February 01, 2018 03:22PM
Valentine misery for those couples that don’t eat carbs.
So what do you do on Valentines evening when all restaurants gear up for lovely rich indulgent dishes, for those that love their pasta, potatoes and sugar delights. Well, last year was my first year of having no carbs.
When you look at pubs and restaurants there are always the potatoes and no carb free alternatives. Yes, I guess you could say, “but could you swap this for extra greens, or could you swap that for a salad”.
Quite frankly it would be really nice to be able to walk into a restaurant and just order off the menu, but unfortunately we still live in a world where the masses believe that carbs are our friend. Well, not if you are a type two diabetic!
Last year, I tried to make our evening as special as I could do, thinking about the types of food my husband would order in a restaurant without compromising. It actually turned out easier then I thought.
My daughter and I set the mood. We designed a three course menu (she had eaten earlier), we set the lighting, very romantic. We set the stage ready for when my husband came home.
At 6:00pm sharp my husband arrived home from work to be greeted by our daughter at the door, ready to take his coat and escort him to the front room, where a pre dinner drink of Vodka had been prepared for him. Soft music playing in the background, she presented him with the menu for the evening and asked if there was anything else she could get for him while he perused the delights of the evening.
Meanwhile in the kitchen I was slaving over a hot stove, only joking, I had compiled a really easy meal that also allowed me to enjoy our evening.
My daughter returned to her daddy with a selection of sugar/carb free dips I had prepared earlier, along with some cucumber, carrot and apple slices for dipping.
By the time our starter was ready, my husband was suitably relaxed and happy to take his place at the table. Our daughter showed him to his seat and asked if he would like some water with dinner.
I then took my place, knowing our daughter could take over on the starter from there. We exchanged pleasantries and discussed how our day had gone and then our daughter presented us with our first course of beef consommé with added spring onions. It tasted heavenly and totally not low sugar, which it was.
We both throughly enjoyed our starter and I disappeared to powder my nose, in actual fact, I had to go and finish off the steak, as this was a pretend restaurant and our daughter was only 6!
When everything was ready I was back from my little table break and waited for our 6 year old waitress to present us with our main course, a delightful Fillet steak with a pepper sauce, steamed beans, asparagus and a side order of celeriac dauphinois. We were in food heaven and not a starchy carb in site.
We polished off the lot and were pretty full, but this was valentine, so there was still time for a bit of pud. Our daughter cleared away our plates and asked us if we were ready for dessert, which of course we were. She proceeded to bring out two fantastic looking bowls of fresh strawberries and rich double cream. We were in pudding heaven. Oh my, this was better than any restaurant on valentines, the price tag was even better, we had managed to have a great night out/in for less than £15.00 and not a baby sitter or carb in site.
Please enjoy your Valentine Evening this year. Sending love.
RecipesPosted by Nicky Wed, January 31, 2018 11:05AM
My taste of Italy. Yes, it’s Spaghetti Bolognese but not as you know it….
One of our families favourites has always been Spaghetti Bolognese, but when on a no carb diet, the Spaghetti bit is out. So we have tried the fake noodles which were actually ok, but on experimenting with other things, I decided to fry up some cabbage in olive oil and salt, keeping it crisp and fresh. This is now one of our favourites to have with anything like Bolognese or Chilli. The salt and olive oil add a lovely flavour and I would be quite happy just eating a plate of the cabbage. I tend to mix it up using both red and green cabbage, I love both, but red cabbage packs quite a punch in vitamin C, in fact there is more of the stuff in red cabbage than in an orange!
Anyway, back to the cooking bit, I slow cook mine so it can take on all the lovely flavours and develop a rich sauce over the course of the day. You could easily do this in the oven if you do not have a slow cooker, just adjust the temperature to allow the sauce to develop over a long period of time.
My slow cooker was set to low and cooked for 8 hours. The smell when you come home from work and open the door is wonderful.
This dish would easily feed a family of four.
400 - 500 grams of beef mince
1 large Carrot diced small
2 Celery sticks diced small
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Red Onion diced small
6 Chestnut Mushrooms
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
2 Beef stock Cubes
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
400 gram Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Bouquet Garni
2 Bay leaves
Salt and Pepper
200 - 250ml of water (dependant on how runny you like your sauce)
Start by dry frying your beef mince. What I mean by this is don’t add any more oil or fats to the pan as a lot will come out, you could buy leaner mince which tends to be more expensive but I on average buy whatever is on offer or reduced to save some money.
Once your meat is browned transfer to the slow cooker.
You can now see just how much fat comes out of the meat, but don’t waste it, this will be used for the veg.
Add the diced carrot, celery, garlic and onion to the fat and sweat down until just soft, then add to the slow cooker.
Then add the mushrooms and stock cubes.
Add everything else, the Italian seasoning, the tomato puree, the bouquet garni and the bay leaves.
To finish add the tin tomatoes, water and salt and pepper, stir gently to incorporate everything and cook all day.
This one was after 4 hours of cooking the rest is self explanatory.The Verdict
I think the bottom picture tells you the answer to that one. When you can get a 6 year old to eat veg she says she hates, then you are onto a winner.The Nerdy Bit
Onions are a good source for your dietary fiber and contain a high amount of vitamin c, along with calcium, iron and protein, they are also very low in sodium and of course contain no fat.
Celery, we all know it is good for us, but did you know that celery nourishes and moisturises our skin with the help of its anti ageing vitamins, like vitamin E, along with vitamins A and C, which act as anti-oxidants protecting our skin from signs of ageing, now tell me who doesn’t think that's a great reason to eat celery?
Tomato Puree is a great food, as it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, but it also helps with our daily intake of fiber.
Garlic for me is a wonder food, there is pretty much a trace of all nutrients in garlic which help combat so many illnesses. The common cold is one such sickness that garlic has proven to help. On another positive note, it can also help maintain good blood pressure, helping to reduce cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks or strokes.
RecipesPosted by Nicky Wed, January 24, 2018 12:23PM
Little cups of heaven
These egg cups are perfect for Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch, whichever you prefer. They are so quick to make and eat. Which is why these are one of the regulars on our weekly meal plans.
Pre heat the oven to 180 fan or gas mark 4
Makes 12 Egg Cups
Handful of rough chopped Spinach
Handful of chopped Ham
Handful of grated Cheese
Mix up the eggs in a measuring pouring jug and then place a small amount in each muffin case. Add in your ingredients excluding the cheese.
Then top up with the remaining egg.
Add the grated cheese and place in the oven.
Cook for 20 minutes.
So easy to make that a child could do this, they are great for changing the ingredients and also to eat on the go. Only problem is they go too quickly!The Nerdy Bit
Eggs are great for so many reasons, they give us a source of protein, iodine and essential vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin D, B6, Zinc, Copper and Iron.
Ham is also up there with the protein, along with added Iron. It is also low in fat.
Spinach, well where do you start, it is low in fat and can even lower cholesterol, it is also high in zinc as well as protein, fibre vitamins, calcium, iron the list just goes on.
Cheese, even though it is high in fats, they are good fats and therefor eaten in controlled amounts can help you stay fuller for longer and help you not to snack. It is also packed with protein and calcium. A winner all round in our house.
RecipesPosted by Nicky Wed, January 24, 2018 11:45AM
No sugar BBQ Chicken
We love BBQ’s even in the winter, when you crave something a bit more hands on. This is my really easy recipe for BBQ Chicken with no added sugar. If you don’t like too much heat, then just adjust the paprika to 1/2 tsp.
6 - 8 Chicken Drumsticks ( you decide on how many for your family )
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp Onion Granules
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Pre heat the oven to 180 fan or gas mark 4 ( once you are ready to cook chicken )
Mix all sauce ingredients together and then in a large bowl place the chicken and cover with the thick sauce. Leave to marinate for as long as you can, overnight is perfect but for at least 2-3 hours.
Place in a baking tray and cook for approx 40 minutes, or until all juices run clear from the chicken.
Serve with whatever side dishes you like, I chose a big hearty Salad which was great.
Really tasty BBQ Chicken, that honestly does not need any sugar, it really was great. The family asked when could we have them again, so for me a major result.
The Nerdy Bit
Cumin is more than just taste or flavour, it is known to help in losing weight, improving digestion and treating insomnia and respiratory disorders. There also seems to be some ongoing research, that cumin, along with a number of other spices, have a powerful effect in preventing diabetes by reducing the chances of hypoglycemia.
Paprika is rich in Antioxidants. Like so many nutrient rich foods and spices, paprika seems to have the potential to help in regulate your blood sugar levels and help diabetics in their fight against diabetes. It really does seem to be a power food.
Apple Cider Vinegar. It all seems to be about Diabetics on this meal. This vinegar as we all know is one of the most popular and we can see why with all the health benefits. It is claimed to help with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improve the symptoms of diabetes.
So BBQ Chicken is really good for you. Go on, get another on the Barbie!
RecipesPosted by Nicky Fri, January 19, 2018 11:26AM
This is one of my favourite quick and easy evening meals. There is a bit of a kick for those that like heat, but cool enough for the faint hearted.
This again is one of my just throw it all in and see what happens meals. Love it.
Dash of Rapeseed Oil.
2 Red Onions Chopped rough.
4 Good quality Sausages, 97% meat preferable. Chopped into chunks.
3 Garlic cloves, crushed or chopped to your liking.
1 Red and Orange Pepper, chopped in good sized chunks.
1 Courgette, Halved lengthways and then sliced in small chunks.
5 Chestnut Mushrooms, chopped in quarters.
1/2 tsp or to taste Chilli flakes. For those that like it hotter add in 1 fresh chilli.
1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning.
First get your Wok or Skillet pipping hot with the rapeseed oil, then add the onions and mushrooms.
Fry for a bit until the sausages start to turn brown.
Then add all other chopped ingredients, herbs and spices. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes until sausages are cooked through, serve and enjoy.
So filling, quick and easy to make. This is again one of our families favourites, Friday Fry up as we call it.
The Nerdy Bit
Well you do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that there will be a lot of good stuff in this one. You could also take out the sausages and make with Chicken or Turkey if you prefer an even healthier version.
Red Peppers :- The highest amount of Vitamin C in a bell pepper is concentrated in the red variety. In fact, they contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin c intake. They are also a great source of vitamin B6 and folate both of which help prevent anemia. Vitamin A, which help support healthy eyesight and as we all know by now they provide a great source of antioxidants.
Courgettes I think, are so under used, being very low in calories at only 17 calories per 100g they are a great filler for dinners. You can also do so much with them including courgetti style pasta and making courgette style lasagne sheets. They also contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. The skin on a courgette contains a great source of fibre, that could help reduce constipation.
Chestnut Mushrooms :- They contain vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in Copper and Vitamin B5. Low in Carbohydrates and Fat, but high in Protein.
RecipesPosted by Nicky Wed, January 17, 2018 11:12AMBaked Scotch Eggs
This recipe makes 4 large scotch eggs. These are great as part of a salad or as my husband will agree, make a great packed lunch when you are busy and are always on the go. They fill you up and keep you going until dinner time, so no mid afternoon snacks required.
1 Large pack of good quality sausage meat, 97% meat if you can.
2 tbsp of mixed herbs.
1 tsp of onion granules.
A good liberal sprinkling of ground almonds.
Pre heat the oven to 180 fan or gas mark 4
Start by boiling the eggs, I normally bring them up to boil, simmer for a couple of minutes then let them cool down in their water until they can be touched and peeled.
While you are waiting for the eggs to cool, place all other ingredients in a mixer until thoroughly mixed through.
A little trick I have learnt is make sure the meat is really cold, almost freezer point, as when handling to make the balls, it sticks together better and just makes it a lot easier to handle.
Lay out some cling film and take one ball of meat at a time, flatten it out into a round shape, take one of the eggs and bring the cling film up and peel off the meat and egg and form a nice round ball. Once you have all four place in a baking tray.
Bake in the pre heated oven for 35 minutes or until golden and either serve hot or store for packed lunches.
So delicious, one of my husbands favourite lunches, I personally have trouble eating a whole one, but the flavours are lovely. This is a family favourite so made at least once a week.
The Nerdy Bit
Yes these will be fairly high in fat, but as these get eaten on a couple of times a week and on a day when our dinner will be low in fats then this is ok.
These baked variety, with no breadcrumb or extra flour are so much more healthier for you, knocking out unwanted sugars and carbs.
Eggs :- Great for your daily intake of Protein and essential vitamins.
RecipesPosted by Nicky Tue, April 04, 2017 08:22PM
190g Bavette Steak sliced thinly
Cloves finely chopped
Chilli finely chopped
inch Ginger finely chopped
1 Red Onion Sliced
1 Bunch of Spring Onions Sliced
250g Mushrooms sliced
200g Cauliflower florets
1tsp Chinese 5 Spice
2tbsp Soy Sauce
could cook this in a frying pan, but I love my Wok and make sure that
it is very hot when I start.
the list of ingredients is written in the order that they go into the
dish to make this a really easy recipe to follow.
reason I use Rapeseed oil over others, is it can stand a higher heat
and is still really good for you.
the Rapeseed Oil in the Wok until it is nearly spitting. Add the
Bavette Steak and flash fry, stirring, flipping all the time, you do
not want to over cook this meat as it really only needs a couple of
minutes. Once sealed remove from the oil and keep to one side.
add the Garlic, Chilli and Ginger, Red Onion and Spring Onion and fry for about 2 minutes
add the Mushrooms, Cauliflower Florets and Red
for about 2 minutes and then sprinkle on the 5 Spice. Mix around
covering everything and add the chopped Pak Choi, cook for a minute
and add in your Soy Sauce.
back in the beef and the juices that have come from it.
off for about 1 more minute and serve.
filling I was unable to eat all of mine, so full. Would make this
again and again.
you do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that there will be a
lot of good stuff in this one.
Choi :- Has so many vitamins in it, naming Vitamin A, C, K and B6.
It is low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, plus has a great source
of minerals in it such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium.
Peppers :- Again the vitamins in here are amazing, A, C, K, B6,
(which is important for the formation of red blood cells)
are also low in Saturated Fats, Cholesterol and Sodium.
:- I use this a lot, so already covered this in my Cheeky Kicking
tomato soup. But be assured they are really good for you.
The Daily RantPosted by Nicky Tue, April 04, 2017 12:18PM
hate Cauliflower Rice.
as some foodies say Cauli Rice…… I will be honest it ain’t rice
and it ain’t never gonna taste like rice, so we go without.
do not see the point of having something just because you should have
rice with Chilli, or curry. Some of the food ideals we are taught
should be broken. For example I read
so much online about how great cloud bread is,
well my personal feeling behind this
subject is, IT AIN’T. OMG it is
mind blowingly disgusting. I have yet
to try other types of bread from other ways of eating, but one of the
bread tastes so nice is, IT HAS SUGAR IN IT.
So if you are going to
try and adopt a no sugar/ no carb way of eating you really have to
get behind the mind set of no sugars or carbs!