Tag Archives: self respect

What have we done?

1 Apr

It seem to me that the baby boomers have bred imbeciles. Gen X & Y seem to need the minutia of everyday explained to them every day. And if it is not then they will sue someone.

They seem incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions, expect instant gratification and an entitlement to money that they show no interest in earning.

Well the news is that what goes around comes around and they will reap what they sow. Yes, a couple of old adages but they are still in use for a reason.

Compassion, consideration and respect for others is not on their radar because they think I and me and they have none of the above for themselves.

Until the general populace takes responsibility for their actions, big brother will be involved in their every day. If you want big brother to mind his own business then start minding yours!

Cooking and a busy life

7 Aug

I have been thinking about all those who have the busy lifestyle of today and how to fit in cooking with the demands of work and school. Many people find it easier to have fast food meals these days and as we know these are not the best for a healthy diet.

The simple recipes I include here don’t necessarily solve those problems so I have had an idea on how that can be done.

In order to attack childhood obesity children need to be involved in cooking and learning how it can be fun to experiment with flavour without necessarily complicating the process.

My thought is that the cooking probably does not want to be done on a weekday night. So let’s do it on the weekend when there are actually three night to choose from, Friday being one.

It doesn’t require cooking three nights. Even if you choose one and cook two or three dishes. Get the children to help, preparing vegetables, trimming meat, choosing flavourings, collecting fresh herbs etc, even choosing recipes.

Getting the children involved also allows for educating them in money and budget issues.

With everyone pitching in it is an opportunity for a family chat to catch up on the week and prepare for the one coming. These times are important and you may not be having it at present. This is a way to introduce it without pressure.

To decide how much to cook you just take the number of people in the family and multiply by 7, being the number of evenings per week. This is how many serves you need, so given that each of my recipes will give 5 serves, you can choose either two or three dishes, using different cuts of meat and you will have 10-15 serves for the week. With one serve each out for cooking night and  the rest in the freezer, you are ready for the week.

It doesn’t matter if there are more than you need for the week, having extras can be a bonus if something unexpected comes up.

When you are putting these meals in the freezer, there are two options; put all single serves in or in larger containers put daily serves. Tupperware heat n eat come in larger sizes too. The thing to be careful with in the second option is that someone may not turn up for that meal and once defrosted it cannot be frozen again and I would also be cautious about keeping it for the next day.

I hope this idea has some appeal for you.

Stir Fry

26 Jul

For lunch today I had a vege stir fry. It is easy to do. I was feeling guilty because the last couple of evening meals have been pasta, so I was short on my  vegetable intake.

Someone once showed me fool-proof stir fry which I would like to share with you.

The cooking utensil is a non stick pan or wok with a lid.

First cut up your vegetables. I like onion, garlic, cabbage, capsicum and zucchini. You might like to add things like carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, Bok choy. Cut them all into thin strips or slices.

Heat the pan to high with a tabs of your preferred oil, coconut or olive for preference. Add the onion, then garlic, cook for a minute then add the cabbage. When that starts to soften, add the remaining vegetables.

Once all is hot add 60-80 ml water and cover. Leave until steam starts to escape. Remove lid and allow all water to evaporate.

At this point there are several options. If you choose to have meat, then now is the time to add cooked meat, chopped, to warm through. Then it is time for the flavouring. Choose from soy sauce, satay, sweet n sour, or maybe a beaten egg or cheese. Add it to the pan, stir through and serve.

This is a meal chock full of goodness and flavour. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Mood and Food

8 Jul

It is interesting how we respond to moods. I have been feeling a little blue today and as the day progressed I found myself looking for comfort which I usually seek in food. I thought about what I wanted and decided I didn’t have it so would bake it. I pulled out Mum’s recipe book because those foods ensure comfort, don’t they?

I whipped up one of Mum’s cakes, not knowing what it would look like but as I took it out of the oven I thought “I remember that!” It wasn’t the cake that Mum makes, it flopped in fact and I will have to talk to her about why but I could still eat it and proceeded to do so.

Now, this was supposed to make me feel better and it did to a point. The problem with doing this of course is that if you have regular blue periods and eat to cheer yourself up then weight problems will follow.

So, what do we do after we have had a bit of a binge? Just get back to your regular diet. There is no need to starve yourself or detox or cleanse, none of those will help and do your body more harm. I have found that by losing the guilt over a binge and going back to eating normally that I have less frequent binges and my weight is actually fairly stable. Give it a try.

Casserole

5 Jul

This is a great time of year for stews and casseroles. It is the middle of winter and they are great warming foods that make us feel cosy. The only difference between them is that stews are cooked on the stove while casseroles are cooked in the oven. I prefer casseroles as the longer, slower cooking seems to deepen the flavour.

Casserole is one of the easiest dishes possible. Pick your ingredients, cut them into cubes, throw them into the pot, add some bits for flavour and cook for an hour or two.

Choose your meat or chicken, even chops, roughly cut into 1″ cubes; small chops are fine and chicken pieces with bones too. Chop up an onion, potato, carrot etc. Put it all in an oven proof dish, add liquid; stock, water and stock cubes, some wine if you like.

Then some herbs, fresh is better, parsley, thyme, sage. Also tomato paste & garlic. Stir through 2-3 tabs flour to thicken the gravy, some like to coat the meat but it is not necessary.

For a different flavour add apple or pineapple and use fruit juice instead of water. Some apricot syrup with chicken is an easy way to make apricot chicken and you will seem like an expert.

Put the lid on and place in moderate oven, 180C. Cook for 1-11/2 hours. For a crispy finish add grated cheese for last 15 minutes with lid off.

It is a meal on its own or add greens like broccoli, beans or brussel sprouts.

I feel warmer just thinking about it. I hope it warms you too.

obesity

2 Jul

Again obesity is in the headlines, an epidemic. I blame the multi million dollar industries of diet and junk food.

It is not necessary to be on a strict diet to have a healthy weight. “Junk” food is not your enemy. Most of us enjoy a potato chip or a cream cake and there is nothing wrong with that unless…..you eat it all the time.

In this day of instant gratification we all believe we can have what we want when we want it. Well, that doesn’t work. If you want to have your cake and eat it too then you are not going to look like a movie star.

I blame the baby boomers again, the belief that indulgence is good. This era is coming to an end and we are swinging back to a time of frugality. We can no longer afford to indulge ourselves every day. Cut back to once a week and it is ok for now. It will save you money and help control weight at the same time.

If you cut back on what you eat then you can fit into last years wardrobe.

Now I am not in the position of being able to preach on this. I have always been a bit pudgy, been on many diets, had my weight see-saw. I still struggle to keep it down but I know how to do it now and if I decide to lose some weight then I know what to do and it is easy to do.

To start take 1/2 of what is on your plate and put it aside for tomorrow and finish with an apple. Then alcohol is a big one. For effective weight loss this is gone for the duration. Try soda water or mineral water with some lemon juice. It is all about fresh. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables. NO processed foods, this includes hamburgers, chips, cakes and biscuits. The easy one for me is soft drink or soda. I don’t drink it at any time, I don’t like it so don’t miss it. I would like to be able to tell you how to achieve this but don’t recall other than two things, it is full of petroleum and expensive, both of which I avoid.

You don’t need to look like a movie star but you don’t want to look like a sumo wrestler either. Good health means a healthy weight, healthy heart and a longer life.

Now, go back and look at my recipe tips and start enjoying your food, it is your friend now so you don’t want to abuse it.

cooking secrets

29 Jun

This is a misnomer. There is no such thing. Anyone can cook if they want to. You can boil water so you can cook. It is not even confidence that gets you there. Just find a recipe and follow it. The only secret is in understanding the terms used and if you find a good basic cookbook it will explain them. My reference is my school cookbook and it should be yours too.

It is not necessary to produce what you find in a flash restaurant, in fact if you are cooking for me I would rather you didn’t as there is little nourishment in such meals and less satisfaction. I am all about meat and 3 veg. There are many things that can be done with them for variety and it will always be filling and nourishing. If I eat out it is a place where I recognise what the menu says and the waiter will look at me.

You can dress them up with sauces, gravy, jus (whatever you like to call it) and cover you mistakes, most of which will not affect the taste. You can add luxury ingredients like nuts, cheese or cream for variety and flash at a dinner party, garnish will do this too ie. parsley, curled carrot strips, grated anything sprinkled (carrot, zucchini, cheese etc), add a side of pasta.

Leftovers are great as bubble and squeak (shredded vegetables in the frypan and bound together with some beaten egg), actually this in not dissimilar to hash browns which are great with a variety of grated veggies, or mystery parcels (toasted sandwich filled with leftovers, baked beans, tomato and ham etc)

As you see it is only your imagination that limits what you cook. Just give it a go and you will immediately start saving money.