Tag Archives: fruit and vegetables

Does Marzipan Count Towards Your Five a Day?

20130107 Marzipan Fruit Face 150x150 Does Marzipan Count Towards Your Five a Day?Hello!  Happy new year to you!  Is it too late to wish you a happy new year?  It’s certainly too late to ask you if it’s too late to do so, as I’ve already done it.  Confused?  Yeah, me too.  My little plastic brain hurts.

So, this website’s best friend Jen sent in another picture. It’s a box of fruity marzipan she got from her sister Sal.  Whilst it looks delicious, it certainly doesn’t count towards your five a day… in terms of fruit and vegetables at least.  On my planet the Vaxian government’s advice is to suck up 5 portions of sugar a day.  At least that’s what it was when I left my home planet and before I crash landed on your blue sphere.  I bet it’s all changed now…  Remember to brush your teeth, kids.  I’m lucky I don’t have teeth.  They got knocked out of my mouth when I crashed…  Right, I’m going to go back to doing nothing now.  Byeee!

 

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Lord of the Pies

20110427 Demonic Cornish Pasty 150x150 Lord of the Pies

Bought sandwiches are full of fat and are expensive.  But is there a convenient way to eat healthy food?

A couple of days ago I wrote about the Royal Wedding (Kate someone and Bill something or other… 😉 ) and mentioned the variety of memorabilia that are on sale, which included sick bags and pies.  A close cousin of the pie is the pasty.  They are both pastry-based foodstuffs, yet they look different.  And I have just caught myself unnecessarily increasing the word count of this article by stating the bleeding obvious.  I call it nihilwafflication.

There is a nice pasty shop on the high street in the town in Wiltshire where I work. Their pasties are delicious, albeit a bit expensive.  I had a sudden craving for them recently, possibly to do with the sudden change in temperature.

Weather

Have you ever noticed how your appetite for certain foods varies with the seasons and the weather?  Maybe not, but I for one don’t find fresh fruit and vegetables particularly appealing in the winter or when it is cold.  Perhaps this is because vegetables, like cucumbers and tomatoes (technically not a vegetable but a fruit), are kept in the fridge and make you feel cold.

People often speak of good and bad foods, but surely no food is that bad if eaten in moderation.  Pies and pasties are definitely not foods I would eat every day, as they are not just bad for you but actually evil.  More on this later…

Packed lunch

I have recently taken to making my own lunch again after a prolonged period of buying ready made sandwiches, sushi, pasta, pasties and other such expensive junk.  This is mostly in a drive to eat more healthily and as an added bonus, it is cheaper.  Most bought sandwiches contain shocking amounts of fat, usually in the form of mayonnaise and some actually contain more calories than a Big Mac (although interestingly the calorific value of the latter varies by country).  I recently read McDonald’s were paying rappers for dropping the word “Big Mac” into their “songs”.  So, Mr Kroc (he’s dead, I know), that’ll be £100 please.  Paypal preferred! 😉

Yesterday I was talking to my colleague about the nuisance of making packed lunches and he told me his secret.  He usually buys bread, cheese and peanut butter (I did question the combination, but apparently it is delicious) and makes one humongous batch of sandwiches out of the entire loaf, putting them all back in the original bag and freezing the lot.  Apparently if you take out your day’s lunch in the morning it will be defrosted by lunchtime.  The only drawback is that you can’t have cucumber or any other vegetables whose cell membranes are ruptured in the freezer.  But there’s nothing stopping you slicing fresh cucumber and adding it on the day.  This has the added benefit that your bread doesn’t go soggy.

So there you have it, free culinary tips dispensed by John (not his real name) to Vic, to you.  Who’d have thunk it!  Is there nothing Vic Suckerbag won’t do? 

Lord of the Pies

This bad boy in the photograph is a delicious Cornish Pasty – or it might even have been a steak and stilton pasty.  Whatever it was, it is now a part of me.  Reiterating what I said above, it is not a bad food – nay, it is pure evil: it is one bad-ass mo fo!  Forget the Lord of the Flies, this is the evil Lord of the Pies.  Eat too many and they will haunt you and cling onto you, only to let go after vigorous exercise. 

Anyone for a frozen cheese and peanut butter sandwich?

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Five a day

20110326 Building eating greens 150x150 Five a day

I have had a block of garlic butter in my fridge for a month or so, which I originally bought to go with a nice steak.  I think it might have been a rib eye steak, but it could equally well have been anything else.  You see, I don’t know much about steak except that I like it rare and that it can be quite expensive.  It’s one of those things I want to learn more about but never seem to get round to.  Cooking is something I don’t have much time for but when I do I find it relaxing.  The only problem is it always seems to take four times as long to cook something as it does to eat.  Perhaps the solution is to cook larger portions and freeze some as a healthier alternative to ready meals.  Well, healthier or not, that depends on what you’re cooking! 🙂

Last week I made myself the promise of cooking more from scratch and I am currently on a chips ban.  Not that I ate chips every day or anything, but it is definitely something to limit to once a week, or less in my case – even those famous McCain’s Oven Chips that I tend to buy, that boast as little as “5% fat, 5% fat, 5% faaaaaaaat…”

Spring has come around and it is time to lose some of the winter pounds, ready for the summer and this time, hopefully beyond.  It is like a new year’s resolution, except it started at an arbitrary date of my choosing, loosely coinciding with the start of spring.  I am by no means fat, but I there is definitely some winter excess, which I seem to hide quite well.

Fruit and veg is the way to go and I have been eating a fair amount of it in the last two weeks.  The thing is, my appetite for fruit and veg seems to decline in the winter months – maybe because fruit is cold or because of its naturally lower calorific content it is less appealing to a body trying to keep warm – I’m not a biologist or dietician.  Despite this, they recommend 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.  Who are they?  Are they the same they that said it was going to rain?  Or are they a different they?  That’s one for another article!

In order to use up the garlic butter I decided to try to make some home-made garlic bread.  What to buy?  Obviously I wasn’t intent on eating it all in a single meal, as that would be an artery-clogging quantity of garlic butter and a half for a single meal.  So I bought a six-pack of mini baguettes and some parsley, which I chopped up with a new carving knife I purchase a couple of weeks ago, mixed with the garlic butter and wedged into grooves cut into the baguettes.  They now live a quiet life in the freezer waiting to be shoved in the oven and tasted.  I have no idea whether they are any good but they certainly look the part and what’s more, as they are mini baguettes they are perfectly sized for individual portions as a side, unlike the ready made ones you get in the supermarket.  Mine use less butter as well, and as they are home made, I can be fairly certain that there is no junk in them – except what was in the garlic butter (though according to the packaging only butter and crushed garlic) and the mini baguettes… Hmmm…

Problem: After I had made the garlic bread I was left with an over-abundance of parsley in the fridge.  So I made egg-fried rice and managed to freeze some for later.  But there is still a lorry load of parley left in the fridge to use by the end of today.

The above scenario reminds me of croissant syndrome – a phrase coined by a friend of the family several years ago (circa 1998 – yikes!).  Basically it is derived from the condition of having a croissant with jam, finishing said croissant but having a significant amount of jam left on your plate and being forced to eat another croissant to finish the jam, only to finish all the jam but now having excess croissant…  The remedy?  More jam!  And so the process repeats itself until either food source runs out or your stomach explodes.  I have to say I prefer croissants with cheese and ham.

My parsley conundrum combined with a drive to cook more, has inspired me to do some food association.  It is like word association but with food and it should result in a food chain or sorts, but not in the conventional sense.  Basically, I am going to try to cook something else with parsley today, which will inevitably lead to an excess of another ingredient.  My challenge will be to use up the excess of that ingredient in another dish.  Hopefully I will learn some new (hopefully quick) recipes in the process and will waste less food and eat healthier.  Those of you who have read other posts will know I hate waste.

By the way, the picture is a building on the harbourside in Bristol, England.  It is a walkthrough to a courtyard, I think, and it has a plant pot in front of it.  To me it looked like a face about to devour its greens – plate and all.  That’s got to be at least two of its five a day!  One disturbing thought is that it also eats people…

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