Tag Archives: recipe

Celebrating National Garlic Day

It’s national garlic day in the US, but I think it’s worth all of us celebrating the culinary, nutritional and medicinal uses of this pungent bulb!

Adding flavour to so many recipes, many of which I think would just not be the same without a little garlic. My hot broccoli dip recipe,  lemon & garlic chicken, hummus, and curries are a good examples.

If you want a vegetarian recipe, you can watch a film of me preparing one, and download my sweet potato curry recipe

When folk I am coaching say they don’t like the taste of garlic, I often suggest they try cooking with just one clove, and see what they think. Often it is the very strong garlic taste they find offensive and they will often like foods I demonstrate.
Sometimes folk report misinterpreting a recipe and using the whole bulb, or head of garlic rather than just one clove, or segment, taken from the split bulb!

The good: nutritional benefits of garlic

Garlic is low in calories and very rich in Vitamin C, Selinium, Vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin E. It also contains trace amounts of other nutrients.

It has also been reported to reduce fat stores. Garlic stimulates the satiety hormone which reduces binge eating and sugar cravings and it releases the norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter which boosts metabolism.

 

The good: health benefits of garlic

Garlic contains antioxidants, notably allicin, helps to prevent and reduce the severity of common illnesses like the flu and common cold. An ingredient in Dale Pinnock’s flu fighter soup, which also containts lot of other health giving ingredients and is also a great base for curries.

Garlic is claimed to help prevent heart disease. High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure of those with known high blood pressure (hypertension). Garlic supplementation also seems to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol.

Antioxidants  protect against cell damage and ageing. It may reduce the risk of cancer and dementia.

It is most therapeutic when crushed and then diced. You should not heat it for too long or important nutrients are damaged. Consider how you can addapt your cooking, adding garlic towards the end . It’s most potent when eaten raw, such as in guacamole, hummus or salad dressings. Some recommend chewing garlic raw!

If you don’t like the taste or the after whif, then it is worth taking odorless garlic supplements. However, do not take garlic supplements if you take blood-thinning medication,  have stomach ulcers or a thyroid condition. It may interact with some prescription medicines, including insulin, anti-viral drugs, anti-inflammatory medicines and certain contraceptives so discuss garlic supplementations with your doctor.

The good: beauty benefits of garlic

Rub a sliced clove of garlic on acne and cold sores for an effective topical treatment.

Infuse oil with garlic and massage it into your scalp to help combat hair loss, or onto skin to help with psoriasis.

Soak feet in a bowl of warm water and crushed garlic to relieve athlete’s foot.

Place a slice of garlic over a splinter of wood in your skin and covering it with a dressing.

Mosquitoes can be kept at bay by garlic

I have found garlic to be an easy garden crop. Several of the photos are from a visit to the garlic farm who supply smoked, black and even Elephant garlic for cooking as well as garlic to sow.

The bad: garlicky smell

Garlic is known for causing bad breath (halitosis), and causing sweat to have a pungent “garlicky” smell. The sulfurous compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream, and exit the body through the lungs and skin.

So, if like me you like what garlic brings to food as well as the likely health benefits, what can we do to cut down on the garlic breath phenomena?

If you want to be intimate with someone, then make sure they consume garlic too. The only time garlic breath bothers my husband or I is if one of us has consumed garlic and the other one hasn’t!

There is the mechanical removal of the garlic particles from our mouth by brushing and flossing teeth, as well as tongue scraping. Here are numerous suggestions to cover up or neutralize the garlic compounds.

  • My favourite is Parsley – using recipes that also use parsley and chew on parsley after eating garlic, if I am concerned about my breath.
  • Cardamom, mint, fennel, cloves, anise seeds
  • Studies conducted at Ohio State University have shown that drinking milk, especially higher fat milk can reduce garlic breath.
  • Lemon – Lemon is very effective in neutralizing the garlic odor. Some suggest sucking on a lemon wedge after eating garlic, but I prefer a slice of lemon in hot water to drink! Also washing your hands with lemon juice helps to remove the odor from your hands.
  •  Tea, especially green and peppermint, contain polyphenols that reduce the volatile sulfur compounds that the garlic produces.

 

The bad: possible bloating

Garlic contains fructo-oligosaccharides, short chain carbohydrates, commonly referred to as fructans. Humans do not have enzymes to break down oligosaccharides which mean gut bacteria ferment them, possibly leading to irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

Are you on a FODMAP diet and avoid garlic? Since fructans are not oil soluble,  you can buy garlic infused oil, or make your own at the start of cooking. Using whole garlic cloves, sautee the garlic with coconut oil in a pan for 20 minutes at medium  temperature. Remove the garlic and then cook the rest of your meal with the infused oil. The oil  infused with garlic should be use immediately. Throw away any leftovers – something you rarely hear me say – to avoid the slight risk of a bacterium called Clostridium Botulinum.

Not all IBS sufferers, or indeed fructan sensitive people, are sensitive to garlic, so test  in the  reintroduction phase of the FODMAP diet to see if you can add small amounts back in.

 

I would love to hear about how you celebrate national garlic day – please leave a comment below

 

Apple Recipe for Autumn

What a large apple crop this year! But what to do with them – here is a wonderful apple recipe.

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I have made some crumbles, but this weekend I was invited to a pudding and wine evening with some women from church. I love puddings, wine and these church events, but remain largely unconvinced about combining  sweet pudding with non desert wine!

So I wanted to make a light-on-sugar but luxury feeling desert, and considered what ingredients I had. Although gooseberry fool is more usual, I made an apple version.

Light, fluffy apple stirred through  sweet vanilla flavoured custard and whipped cream – a deliciously comforting autumnal pudding recipe, which proved popular.

This so fits with the cosy concept of hygge, simple food using garden ingredients to share with friends.

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You only need one or two egg yolks for this recipe. Store the egg white in the fridge for up to two weeks for making meringues.

If you have a glut of apples, you can cook up more and freeze the puree for another time.

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 Recipe:

Serves approx. 10

INGREDIENTS

  • 800g apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 450ml milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 45g plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • the rind and juice of a lemon
  • 250ml double or whipping cream, lightly whipped

METHOD

Chop the apples into 2-3cm chunks and place in a small saucepan with 150ml tablespoons of water or apple juice.

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Put the saucepan on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Then cover with a lid, turn the heat down to low and cook the apples for about 15 minutes until completely softened. Set aside to cool.

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While the apples are cooling, set up a double saucepan (If you don’t have a double pan, use a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of boiling water). Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then take off the heat. Place the egg yolk(s) in a heatproof bowl with the sugar, flour and vanilla extract, and whisk together. Pour the warm milk into the bowl while whisking, then pour this mixture back into the top of the double saucepan on a medium heat and whisk the mixture as it comes to the boil. Watch out –as soon as it boils it will go lumpy, so keep whisking.

home-coaching-apple-fool-vanilla-custardOnce it is thick, take it off the heat, strain into a bowl and allow to cool.

Mash or process the cooked apple, add the lemon juice and fold together with the cooled custard and softly whipped cream.

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Pour into one large, or individual dishes. Chill for a couple of hours (or overnight if you want to prepare ahead).

Garnish with the lemon rind.

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Hard Decisions

Home Coaching Healthier Cakes Judging1

I am very rarely overwhelmed by food to taste, but came near during  judging the Cookery Section at the recent Bamford Annual Show. The above picture is just one of the many categories, the healthier cake section, where I had asked participants to make a healthier cake, for example, by adding vegetablesand reducing the sugar.

Thanks to my assistant, Sue Mitchell all were sampled and scored. Some lovely bread, biscuits, scones, preserves …and the winner is the Lime & Courgette Cake! Lovely, looks, texture and taste and easy to cut and eat.

Home Coaching Healthier Cakes Judging2

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • For the Cake
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250g courgette, finely grated
  • For the icing
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 40g pistachio nuts (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / 160 C fan / Gas 4. Grease and line two 21cm sandwich tins.
  2. Beat together the eggs, oil and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate soda and baking powder and beat well. Stir in the grated courgettes until well combined. Divide the mixture into the cake tins.
  3. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the cakes from the oven and carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Carefully peel off the paper lining and leave to cool.
  5. For the icing, beat the cream cheese in a bowl until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and stir in the lime juice.
  6. Use a bread knife to level one of the cakes if necessary. Use 2/3 of the icing to sandwich the 2 cakes together, the levelled one on the bottom, and use the remaining icing to cover the top of the cake. Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts and lime zest.

I was then asked to judge the much smaller textile craft category and choose this lovely felted cushion cover.

Home Coaching Bamford Show Judging

So just when I thought my judging role was completed, I was asked to choose best in show! This set me thinking about all the many decisions we face each day, and how we can become overwhelmed. If we don’t get enough rest and know our own worth, making decisions can become really hard.

I was ill this last week and appreciated Nick looking after me, easpecially making me lots of drinks. There were times though, because I felt so rough, that the choice of what to drink seemed hard!

One of the most important choices we constantly have to make is how we spend our time, all 1440 minutes of each day. A new academic or calender year can be excellent times to consider our time management.

Home Coaching Brand New Day

Like so many things, there is a need for balance, to make sure we are looking after ourselves with enough rest, time to reflect, exercise, healthful food, time with loved ones … as well as choosing our goals and how best to reach them, challenging ourselves to step out of our comfort zone and grow.

Home Coaching Your CallToo often we think it is one or the other, but there really is the need for work (aka personal development), rest and play. If the balance is not right for us we can burn out or stand still!

step forward

If you think your tendency is to stand still, make sure you schedule some time to consider goals and steps to achieving them. If you think your tendency is to go too fast, make sure you schedule time to play and rest. What recharges your batteries?

And if you are thinking but where on earth do I find the time, spend 30 minutes considering what is steeling your time and how you can better manage this.

Home Coaching Disappearing TimeIt may be  habits, struggling to say no, or be down to procrastination, three age old time stealers!
Sometimes we can move forward with these ourselves, sometimes it helps to talk to a coach. Please get in touch if you would like chat about how we can help.

We would love to hear what you do that recharges your batteries, please comment below.

healthy eating at work

What is the most unhealthy food you eat? That was a question I asked at a recent Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop.

Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop5

For me the answer would be a Mars bar. However, one standard Mars bar contains around 280 kcalories, 43g of sugar and 6.4g of saturated fat. Does that matter? Well if I only occasionally have one as a treat, then not at all, I am a great advocate of the fact that there is no such thing as an unhealthy food, but unhealthy diets. It is not an occassional treat that matters but our more regular dietary habbits.

Home Coaching MarsBar

Maybe for me one of the reasons a Mars bar is my treat, is because when I was ill as a child, my grandmother would wrap me up in her comfy chair, let me watch TV and give me a drink and a pate with a mars bar cut up into slices. I enjoyed the slices during the day, and perhaps there is great wisdom in cutting up a treat to make it last.

It is not that we want to see some  foods as “bad” or not be enjoyed occasionally, after all, as soon as we tell ourselves we can never eat something, we usually start craving it! Increasingly though, it is sugar that we are seeing as being a real health issue, and it is recommended that we should have no more than 30g of sugar ( 7 cubes) a day.(World health Organisation) Sugar can harm us even if we don’t put on weight – lowering of beneficial gut bacteria– fluctuating blood sugar levels wreaks hormone production, contributing to excess fat around our middle, inflammation, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, auto immune conditions, the list goes on…

Home Coaching Sugar Kills

Sugar fulfils four of the five criteria for an addictive substance, so my advice is to go easy and wean your self off sugar. I have found this really works, and now find some of the sweet things I once enjoyed, just too sweet now!

Home Coaching Cut back on sugarAnd I would recommend this taste change rather than consuming food and drinks with artificial sweeteners.

Home Coaching Eat less sugar

And i’t not just what we eat, drinks can contain a really high level of sugar. Just one 500 ml bottle of Coca Cola contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than an adult woman’s maximum recommended intake of added sugar for the whole day. So have a check on the label of drinks and remember we should have no more than 30g of sugar a day.

Home Coaching How much sugar drink

Public Health England has released a new phone app which can count the amount of sugar in a product.The app comes as Public Health England has warned that many British children are consuming their own body weight in sugar each year. The Sugar Smart app can be downloaded in the App Store or Google Play and ITV News has put together a guide on how to use this app.

Home Coaching Sugar App

 One way I find to combat both the urge for sweetness and the grabbing of food on the go, is to plan ahead. If I have my breakfast smoothie, (banana, oats, nut butter & milk) I have both quick release and slower release carbs to give me energy, with protein which will slow down that blood sugar rush even more. I can blend it and go even if I’ve no time to stop, and will be less likely to be thinking of cake mid-morning.

Taking nutritious food to have at work, or when out and about saves us time and stress as well as money (what home coaching is all about in fact). We have it with us when neaded and we know we won’t be tempted in shops by the less healthy options.

Here are some of my favourite /easy to prepare at work recipes, which I shared at the recent Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop at A Tarmac cement works, health week.

Tuna Pasta Salad

Home Coaching healthy Food tuna pasta salad1

440g leftover cooked pasta (about 200g dried)

100g can tuna in oil

400g can cannellini beans, (borlotti or butterbeans are also good)

1⁄2 red onion, or bunch spring onions, finely chopped

zest and juice 1 lemon

large handful parsley

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Tip into a bowl. Mix through the remaining ingredients (the warm pasta will really soak up the flavours). If using chilled leftover pasta, simply mix everything together – it will still taste great. You can also add some mayonnaise. Can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.On the day, add chopped cucumber, tomatoes, tinned sweetcorn etc.

Hummus

Home Coaching Healthy Food Hummus

200g/7oz canned chickpeas

2 tbsp lemon juice or more

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

100ml/3½fl oz tahini (sesame seed paste) optional

4 tbsp water

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp paprika

Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Reserve a few whole chick peas for serving.

Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, tahini, and water in a food processor, or with stick blender, and blend to a creamy purée.

Add more lemon juice, garlic, cumin or salt to taste. Turn out into a dinner plate, and make smooth with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and scatter with the reserved chickpeas.

Sprinkle with paprika and serve with pita bread, bread sticks, vegetable sticks, in a wrap with salad.

Home Coaching Healthy Food Hummus & Spinach Wrap

Porridge in the microwave

For each person use ½ cup rolled oats, 1 cup water, and ½ cup low-fat milk.

  • Mix rolled oats, water, and milk in a bowl (use a large bowl to prevent spilling over when cooking).

  • Cook uncovered in the microwave on high power for 1 ½ minutes. Stir.

  • Cook for another minute. Repeat if necessary until it boils and thickens, and becomes smooth and creamy.

Tip:Add your favourite toppings such as sliced banana, sultanas, canned or fresh fruit, chopped dates, or yoghurt.

Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop Microwave Porridge

Sweet Potato Curry

1 onion chopped

1″ piece of ginger, peeled & finely chopped

2 green chillies, finely chopped

2 crushed or chopped cloves of garlic

1 teasp garam masala

1 teasp ground turmeric

1 teasp ground cumin

1 teasp ground coriander seeds

1 or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

chopped vegetables of choice eg. Cauliflower, green beans, red pepper

1 banana (optional)

  • Dry fry onion, ginger, chillies & garlic.

  • Add spices and some water with seasoning or stock

  • Add chopped vegetables and cook for 10 minutes

  • Add chopped banana

  • Serve with yoghurt mixed with cucumber and mint.

Sweet Potato Curry

Home Coaching Healthy Food Chicken Noodle Soup

900ml chicken or vegetable stock (or Miso soup mix)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 175g/6oz (or any cooked chicken)

1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

50g rice or wheat noodles

Bag of stir fry vegetables

2 tsp soy sauce, plus extra for serving

mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli (optional), to serve

  • Gently fry the vegetables(and cut up raw chicken if using raw chicken) in some oil (toasted sesame seed oil or coconut oil)

  • Add stock and noodles. Season with soy sauce and herbs, to taste.

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Egg in a Nest

Egg in Nest

Egg in Nest

Potato (approx. 150g)

Small onion

1 rasher bacon

half a red pepper

1 spoon red kidney beans

1 egg

pinch of chilli powder (optional)

half teasp. paprika

  • peel & dice potato, microwave cook with a little water for 2 minutes on full power

  • heat a little oil in a pan and fry chopped bacon and onion, add paprika and chilliesadd potato, pepper and beans, mix well

  • spoon mixture into a bowl, leaving a hollow in the centre

    At this point you can cover the owl and take it to work sith you to add the egg and cook for 2 minutes!

  • break egg into the hollow, pierce skin of yolk with a cocktail stick/folk

  • cover dish with a plate and microwave cook for approx. 2 minutes until egg white has set

  • sprinkle with extra paprika

    Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop9I had a great day at this work place, with groups of workers choosing which recipes they wanted to have a go at, and then trying the different foods.  If you would like me to come to your workplace (if in Yorkshire or Derbyshire,  UK) please contact me. I would love to hear what healthy food you take to or make at work, and also your experiences of cutting down on sugar. Please comment below.