Tag Archives: cooking

Fast food made slow

SAM_0944On Sunday afternoon I found myself inviting some friends for dinner and then realizing there was nothing in the house…Not a very clever move on a Sunday, but I got all excited about seeing them and hanging out on the terrace so I didn’t think straight. But even the emptiest cupboards (and freezer) can unearth the makings of a meal, all that is needed is some creativity 🙂 Ok, not much to be creative with, but pizza is always possible, everybody loves pizza so I made pizza.

Pizza dough; I have been experimenting with different variations and have found the ultimate one; Quick, easy, cheap and delicious. You really get that crispy crust feel. Earlier variations I tried always turned soggy and I hate that, besides they were much more time-consuming. This recipe is done in max 30 min from start to finish.

  • 2.5 dl liquid, I use milk – whole milk, hate that crappy manipulated low-fat stuff.
  • 5 dl flour, any flour. I used whole wheat because that’s what I had. + flour for working the dough.
  • 1 tbsp veg. oil (I use olive-oil because I love the taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • SAM_0926HOW TO: Mix all the ingredients together till you have a nice dough that doesn’t stick, Cut into 10 pieces and roll into balls. On a well-floured worktop, use a rolling-pin and make flat round breads, the thinner, the better. You need quite a bit of flour for this work. Pile the flat breads on a board and when all are done, fry them in dry frying pans (no fat needed here) for a couple of minutes on each side. You might have to experiment a bit with the heat, if it’s too high the flour will burn. Put them on a rack to cool. These flat breads are brilliant. They freeze well, thaw quickly and can be used for wraps, tortilla, sandwiches…whatever your creativity calls for.

Tomato sauce: I always have tomato sauce in the freezer, I make big batches, it freezes really well and can be used with most anything. If you don’t have home-made tomato sauce, don’t fret, you can get it out of a tin; either you get the smooth strained tomato puré or you start out with tomato-pieces and then whizz them with a machine (mixer) to a nice smooth sauce. Home made tomato sauce made simple:

  • 2-3 cans of good quality cherry tomatoes, peeled. (Or use fresh peeled tomatoes)
  • Stick celery about 15 cm in pieces.
  • Half an onion.
  • HOW TO: Fry onion and celery till soft-ish in olive-oil, add tomatoes and let simmer for about 2 hours. Blend it with a mixer, add salt, pepper and whatever other spices you might like.
  • For the pizza; mix in some olive oil and fresh (or dried) oregano into the cold tomato sauce, add salt, pepper (and spices) as needed or wanted.

Cheese: Very important  (for me), you need that melted tasty yummy feel to the pizza, you know when the cheese turns into long strands like spaghetti. Again, this is something I always have in the freezer; shredded cheese. It’s a great way to use up all those boring end-bits that nobody wants to eat. If you have kids, you’re going to end up with loads of them; shred ’em and freeze ’em.

SAM_0931Topping: You can use anything you like, except potatoes. I tried that once and it was awful. Just take whatever bits and pieces you have, cut it up and lay it on there; onions, veggies, meats, cheeses…whatever. It is like the great fridge-cleaning session made delicious 🙂 You know, the stuff that would never ever be enough for a meal, not even for somebody very small and not hungry.

For this event I had some good bacon, some nice italian salami, peas and onion, so that’s what I used. Bake in oven on 250-300 degrees Celsius or in a wood-stove or on the BBQ. Whatever takes your fancy. Before serving I topped off with freshly chopped parsley and oregano from the garden. This is fast food made slow. By having the stuff in the freezer it is even made fast. Vegetarian? cut the meat. Gluten free? no problem. No dairy? skip the dairy-bits. This is a very healthy meal.

BON APPETIT!

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FOODS and some basic truths

Truth number one: EAT CLEAN. This means:

  • foodCook from raw materials (saves you a ton of money 🙂 )
  • Don’t eat prefabricated stuff
  • Stay away from anything that is not natural; fake sugars, weird taste-enhancers, low-fat and/or manipulated dairy-products (milk that lasts forever…), margarine, manipulated vegetable oil (usually called cooking or frying oil).
  • Avoid sugary and fizzy drinks
  • Don’t eat anything that has a number or a coded name; if you can’t read it, don’t eat it.
  • Be careful with your intake of sugars and salt.
  • DO eat; protein, carbohydrates and fat…Real fat, like vegetable oils, butter and cream (if you do dairy).

I have found that when I eat the way my body dictates I am fine. I need to be careful with too much carbs such as flour, bread and pasta and I don’t handle sugar well. I can’t eat many little meals in a day and I need 1-2 days/week without food to stay in balance. For the rest, I’m good. Listening to your body is do-able if your basic diet is clean (see above). If not, you are a food-junkie and your body will be crying for sugars, carbs, manipulated fats and weird taste-enhancers. Then you can’t trust your body so start by cleaning up. An excellent (and easy) way to do that is with the new_elimination_diet_coverELIMINATION DIET from Dax Moy. It is free and you can find it HERE. (and you won’t have to be hungry or calory-count) Trust me, I did it. That’s how I found out that I can’t handle carbs. (While you’re at it, check out Dax Moy’s blog)

Now to the amazing research that has come up: If you fast 2 days/week you get healthier! You lose weight, your “bad” cholesterol goes down as does glucose. And here is the bonus: Your brain stays fitter and produces new brain cells continuously which lowers risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Your body actually stays “younger” and healthier, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Check out the research of Luigi Fontana, Valter Longo and Krista Varady Personally I don’t agree with Krista Varaday about eating any crap on “feed-days”, I think you do your body a dis-favour. The basic of all eating is keeping it clean and natural.

My conclusion?  Going back to the times of our origins: Food was not always easy to come by and I truly think we are biological creatures, little changed physically from those ancient times. We are not made to constantly eat, nor are we made to deal with refined sugars or to eat meat every day or even every 2nd or 3rd day, it is a “sometimes-boost”. Our bodies like carbs in the form of nuts and grains. I also believe that we all have different rhythms, needs and patterns. I am not saying that my way is the right way for everybody, just that it works for me. And that makes me believe that if you find what works for you, you will be healthier and stronger as well. And remember; whatever food habits you have are probably set already from childhood, so if you are a parent, pay attention to what you feed your kids.

COCONUT LOVE

We have all met this versatile and delicious nut (actually it’s called a drupe), I think every person has some kind of memory associated with the scent of coconut. Sorry to say, the scent is contained in the fruit and can’t be isolated. The coconut scent that you all know is made by manufacturing the 6-pentyloxan-2-one molecule, more commonly known as delta decalactone. In other words, totally synthetic 😦

In Latin coconut is called Cocos nucifera. The word is thought to originate from the Portuguese “coquo” which means skull. When you look at a coconut you can see a little face. It originates from islands in the Indian Ocean and is cultivated in Indonesia, Malaysia, South India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Since coconut will float on water, it has spread, via the ocean, to many other countries and continents. It will thrive wherever it’s sunny, hot and humid. It grows at low altitudes and along the sea; think beautiful beach pics with palm-trees…They are coconut trees. The tree is 20-30 meters tall with palmy serrated leaves that can grow up to 8 meters long and it carries tiny flowers that develop into the coconuts. The tree starts bearing fruit after 7 years and from 15-70 years of age it produces about 50-100 coconuts a year. The nuts mature gradually and are picked by youths who can easily climb the tree, due to “scar tissue” where old leaves have fallen off, creating hand- and footholds for them Coconut facenimble kids.

The fruit, or nut, is slightly elongated and somewhat smaller than a human head. It is covered by a thick, fibrous material which protects a 1-2 cm thick layer of white fruit and a hollow inside that contains the bacteria-free sterile juice, called coconut milk. The oil is derived from the white fruit. The whole fruit is used; roofs and mats are made from the leaves, the fibres from the shell are used to make ropes, hats, mats and mulching material.

After removing the fibrous layer, the nut is cracked and the pieces are dried until the fruity inside loosens from the shell (this dried fruit is called copra), which is then pressed to release its oil; 65-70% oil from 1 kg copra. Most of the fat is refined and used by industry for soaps, creams, emulsifiers, margarine, ice-cream, frying oil…

The oil is a saturated fat and has a consistency like a butter with a melting point of about 25 degrees Celsius and a long shelf-life. Thanks to high levels of lauric acid it is easily digested by the body, helping to lower cholesterol and boost metabolism and immunity. It converts easily to energy instead of being stored as fat in the body. Being a saturated oil means that it is very heat-stable, making it a good cooking oil. This is a great food-oil ❤

food-refreshment-coconut-fruit_36270HAIR: In the pacific it has traditionally been used as a hair-oil as it conditions, strengthens and gives shine to the hair. For long, curly, thick hair (as mine) it is the best product, making the hair lustrous and smooth. Definitely a must for dry hair, just rub some fat between your hands and smooth it into your hair. If you take just a little bit, it won’t leave a greasy film. For use as a deep conditioner, massage into hair and leave for 30 min- 1 hour before washing with a mild shampoo.

SKIN: Best ever! Use it as a cleanser; warm the oil in your hands and apply to your face, wipe off with tissue or cotton. It will even take away waterproof mascara…For real. Remove any residue with a toner or, preferably, a hydrolat. Then you can massage more coconut oil into your skin for moisturizer. When you use it in the morning, massage into your skin and wait 5-10 min for it to sink in before you do make-up. For longer and thicker eyelashes, use coconut oil. My daughter, who is a model, swears by it. All the make-up and loose eyelashes that are used in modeling is really destructive and her make-up artists always ask how she can have such thick and long eye-lashes 🙂 Use coconut oil as a moisturizer for your entire body (don’t forget the feet), it will keep your skin soft and supple. It is also excellent for massage.

coconut oilSince this oil is usually refined or fractionated, you have to pay attention to get the real thing. If the label says “fractionated” or “light”, don’t buy. Your best bet is to get coconut oil from a reputed seller of organic natural substances or a health food store. Since it is quite inexpensive, you can enjoy all the benefits even if you don’t have a thick wallet. What’s not to love about coconut!

Money; where does it come from? and where did it go?

Times are hard for many people as global economy topples and there is not so much we can do about it. People lose money, jobs and homes…All due to economy, and frugality becomes the name of the game. The same goes for when we want something that entails money; we need to get that money, or not spend it.

For the last 20 years it has seemed to me like people are under the impression that everyone can be a millionaire and that is how it should be…Seriously? Of course it all crashes. Problem is that along with this notion came extreme expenditures and nobody saved for a rainy day, now many don’t know how. And while weeping over a lost car, backs are turned on opportunities.

Cleaning up your food will save you loads of money; start cooking. Smaller car maybe? Smaller house? Only on these 3 points, you can save a fortune. Interestingly enough, when you start cutting your expenditure you also start living a healthier and more sustainable life.