Sugar and spice all things nice???

Sugar sugar sugar….

I am not highly scientific in my eating but I try not to eat refined sugar, lots of empty carbs such as pasta and white bread – therefore also no gluten. I do fail relatively frequently but I think the 80:20 rule is a good one!

I do eat fruit albeit not in bulk and natural sugar… my favourites are:

  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Dates and dried fruit as a sweetener

I have tried coconut sugar and birch sugar too, but never really gotten hooked – it also feels like there is more manual intervention to get certain plants into a sugar like format… Birch sugar is a slow releasing natural sweetener which is good if you want that crunch that refined sugar has… I realise the crunch is an important part of Swedish chocolate balls. But my main issue with the like of Stevia etc is that it has a funny after taste and not in the ha ha way more as in a yuk way… please see facial expression…IMG_0537

I also use dark chocolate with a minimum 70% cocoa content in a lot of my cakes, bars etc as the sugar content then is at least low. I tend to eat the 85% or even the 90% chocolate when I need a fix and after a year+ of very low sugar consumption I think it is very tasty. I must admit I didn’t before!

Now I am off to pick up my children and celebrate Valborg – Swedish bonfire night, it is very windy however hence I am tempted to stay in and count my toes…

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Courgette/Zucchini patties (or mush)

I love falafels and all these vegetarian patties you can make. However I can NEVER make them look nice, they may taste great but they are not exactly show food…  Today I wanted something quick and tasty for lunch so I made Courgette Patties.  Very easy and very few ingredients. Also very tasty albeit not very attractive….

Courgette Patties – Serves 2 for a light lunchIMG_0522

  • Grate 1 courgette (zucchini) and place in colander with a little salt to get rid of any excess water (5min) then give it a squeeze to get rid of a little more liquid and then add to the below
  • In a bowl grate 2-3 tbs of parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix in the courgette and then fry in 2 tbs of olive oil – if you can make them look like a nice round patty I will be very impressed!

I add some maldon sea salt before eating them all up!

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Pancakes… to poo or not to poo

In Sweden pancakes is a staple child lunch/dinner in almost all restaurants.  I still find it very difficult to accept that pancakes with cream and jam counts as a meal.  The British piece of me feels it is missinIMG_0421g a vegetable portion at least!  Also as my youngest has a bit of a problem with either not doing a poo or if she is lucky something rock solid…  I have finally created a totally wheat and gluten free pancake the kids love. In this case I used normal milk however.  The problem if you also use a dairy free alternative is that they are then very hard to turn, but excess buttering of the pan does make this possible but patience is not always a virtue that I have in excess.

Gluten free pancakes

2 egg

2 tbs Psyllium Husk (Fiber Husk)

5 dl milk

1 dl buckwheat flour

1 dl coconut flour

pinch of salt

50 gram of melted butter (cooled)

Mix all the dry ingredients then add eggs and milk and mix to a smooth mixture.  Let it stand for 10 minutes and add more milk if needed the mixture should be runny like loose sirup.

Add a little butter and then cook like normal pancakes.IMG_0422

Starters and Pudding – easy but good for show too

This weekend we have family staying which means the girls are happy as pigs in poo and I can chop grass, plant things and come up with some good (and some bad) ideas….  I made some very easy starter and pudding.

IMG_0467Smoked Salmon and Avocado (per person so scale up)

Mix smoked salmon chopped into bits

Avocado

Mayonnaise (and some greek yogurt if you wish) 1tbs of each (or two of mayonnaise) per person

Grated horserdish to taste – I like it quite spicy i.e. close to a tsp a head

Lime juice

Salt and pepper

Mix it all up and serve


I then served a not so fabulous asian style pulled pork it was fine but a little dry hence may have to work on that a little…


Pudding on the other hand was well received – obviously after a dry piece of pork for main it may have left everyone hungrier… but I won’t dwell on that!

Fruit with Chocolate sauce (4 people)

Chop fruit of choice of:

pineapple, banana, pear, apples (approximately half a piece of fruit per person… obviously more like a quarter of a small pineapple).IMG_0483

Fry in  2tbs of butter to soften

Chocolate Sauce

25 grams butter

1/2 dl agave syrup

2 tbs cacao

1/2 tsp maldon sea salt or similar – salt is so important in chocolate

2-3 dl of water (add 2 dl and cook so it thickens and add a little more for a sirupy consistency)

Service with Banana Ice cream, whipped cream or just fruit and chocolate sauce.


Another week ahead and then the first celebration of Valborg in Sweden, basically a bonfire … I actually know nothing else, I think it may be welcoming spring? If so I am very happy to welcome spring – welcome!!

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Worms, bugs and eggs and soup!

Today I have been tending to my garden – I am ridiculously excited about my tulips and daffodils!  But today we found lots of animals worms in bulk, bugs and duck eggs… I am a little worried I will have to become the mother of 9 ducklings too as mummy duck seems to have gone walkabout.  Sometimes I feel I would make such a good housewife, flowers to pick and look at, and then the fruit trees.  I get more than a little obsessed about picking all the apples in the garden and using each and every one (there are 4 apple trees). I believe (I have – just trying to smooth over my obsessiveness with sounding like I am not sure) I still have applesauce (äppelmos) in the freezer from 2013…IMG_0473

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For lunch I made the easiest 5 minute lunch – I had cooked the chicken carcass from the roast chicken we had earlier in the week and made some chicken stock.

1 liter stock

1 liter water

1tsp vegetable buillion powder

left over roast vegetables

left over roast chicken

Blitz after adding vegetables, add chicken and just heat through.

If you don’t have leftovers, just cook onion and and whatever veg you like and cook these in some oil to get some flavour (and salt and pepper) and then add two liters of water and a stock cube or buillion  Simmer until vegetables soft and blitz with hand blender.  Soup is so easy and so tasty and you feel very virtuous making it and eating it.

Now I am about ot have my 8th cup of coffee, my mother and aunt are visiting. I think they think I am cranky and jittery… but really it is just that I am not used to quite the coffee volumes that Swedes drink.  I am not entirely sure training to enable me to bring numerous pints of strong coffee every day is where I should spend my time or energy either…

Banana Ice Cream

I read somewhere that if you freeze very ripe bananas in chunks and then take out a few until they are a tiny bit less frozen and blitz them you will get delicious banana ice cream and it will actually taste like ice cream.  I DID NOT BELIEVE THEM!  But they weren’t lying, I actually put 1/2 dl of cream in (dairy free alternative is fine) and my eldest daughter loved it! My youngest only really does chocolate… EVER!

I had to try some with some gooey chocolate cake (like grown up kladdkaka for the Swedes out there) I had left over from the weekend.

Now I am off to play tennis… need to learn to win, I don’t by any means believe I am the nicest person in the world but on the tennis court I am far TOO nice.  So the inner bitch in me will have to be unleashed. Over and out!

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Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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Hungry and have no time or energy? This is a good one especially when your neighbour orders food online and instead of orders 6 portobello mushrooms they order 6 boxes!  I used to hate mushrooms with a vengeance and even found it difficult to touch them for a long time. It may have something to do with my grandmother forcing me to eat a raw mushroom (champinjon) when I was little and in defiance I vomited it straight back up.  As I was always a little scared of her I remember feeling a little triumphant….

Now I like mushrooms and to make these for a quick light dinner or lunch (or serve individual ones with some rocket as a starter). Serves 2.

Chop:

  • one garlic clove
  • 2 challots or a small onion
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt and pepper – quite a few turns of both
  • 100 grams strong cheese (I used mature cheddar but a goat or sheep cheese fine for non dairy eaters)

Place all the ingredients mixed into mushrooms (around 250-300 grams).

Place in oven at 200 degrees C and if you like add some grated parmesan after 5 minutes,  they are ready when they are golden and bubbling.

EAT and ENJOY!

Smoothie for Breakfast – Happier!

God Morning all!

Feeling much better today as decided last night to have a good day.  So got up and got dressed (not just jogging bottoms) even put some mascara on and had a good breakfast smoothie. I always have these ingredients at home:

A large handful of spinachIMG_0453

One small avocado (I buy the nets of avocado) IMG_0451

Small cup of frozen raspberries

One small to medium sized bananas

Squeeze of lemon

Spoon of ready chopped ginger

1 tsp of Spirulina if you wish

1 dl water and more to make it a good consistency

Blitz and drink!  Delicious and you feel very goos having had both an avocado and spinach for breakfast!

Even got my sunglasses out and my daughter said I looked very sweet… I think maybe more gangster in the picture she wanted to take. But thought I would add it and of course all photo rights go to little Miss M!

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Help!!!!

Today I am in a dipp, a little sad.  No idea why!  What to do with my life. When I am in a dip I used to eat Cheese Doodles / Wotsits.  These days I eat a vast amount of crisp bread/knäckebröd (which is Rye so a little better). But 10 slices with lots of butter and salt… It doesn’t make me feel better. I would like to work with food and FUN.  I have done about 15 stand up gigs and now need to get into action again… But how can I turn this into something where I can actually make enough money to live on? Any ideas?

If you met me today you probably thought I was on great form – and I wasn’t faking it!  But if I then get a few minutes to think I think not so happy thoughts… I think I will go to bed another day tomorrow – a good one where I am unlikely to remember why I felt down today.

On a good note I had the leftover Deluxe Taco’s for dinner, it was very tasty!  And it was the first dinner this year outside. Bring on the summer!

JM

Taco Deluxe – Slow cooked beef

To make my slow cooked beef for my deluxe taco’s I use one portion of the Taco seasoning and add:

collage taco

one small onion – chopped

2 garlic cloves  (in addition to the one in the seasoning) – chopped

2 tbs of oil for frying

Cook all the seasoning and the above for a few minutes and them brown the beef.

1 kg of Chuck Steak (Högrev)

Then add:

One small chopped chilli

1 tin of tomatoes

1/2 dl of red wine

Place in the oven in a pot with a lid for a minimum of 6 hours at 100 degrees C – but another 2 hours is no problem.  I would either do it over night and just reheat it when you are eating it or if you can all day!

Serve with your usual Taco condiments.  I always have Salsa, Guacamole, Turkish Yogurt/Sour Cream and grated cheese (I love cheddar). This time I also made a coleslaw which I can add recipe for later.

I would say I loved the food but when our guests arrived the red wine started to flow hence I chatted and laughed way to much!  A great Friday evening dinner – quick to prepare (say around 15 min) and very tasty – I had the leftovers with half an avocado and some scrambled eggs. Delicious!!

The rest of the weekend we ave pottered in the garden, drunk coffee had Saturday sweets (in Sweden this is a very common tradition and one we have not let go despite eating very healthily at other times). Mr M. and I don’t tend to have any… albeit last night the kids had not finished theirs hence I went to bed sugared up feeling way to full! Sunday morning football for eldest and run for me! Ready for the week ahead!

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