Yesterday I made these really simple Tomato, Feta and Olive Tarts with added pesto. They were really easy to make and tasted delicious. I found the recipe over at the Good Food website.
I LOVE olives, but I’ve never really thought about different varieties, ripeness and colour in any way, apart from knowing that green olives often taste more sharp, and black olives seem to have a ‘deeper’ flavour. So, what is the difference between black and green olives?
- The colour of an olive depends on how ripe the fruit (yes; an olive is a fruit) is when it’s picked. Green olives are picked before they’re ripe and black olives are picked whilst ripe.
- Most olives are not edible raw, so both green and black olives need to go through a curing process (such as being pickled or soaked in oil or salt water) before we eat them.
- Green olives are typically more dense and bitter than their black cousins; however, the taste is mainly dependant on how the olive was cured.
- From my research, there seems to be no nutritional difference between green and black olives.
What’s your favourite type of olive? Green? Black? Stuffed…?
Photo courtesy of kelliesfoodtoglow.com
This month’s Blog Of The Month goes to Food to Glow, written by Kellie – a Floridian living in Edinburgh.
“Who am I ? (semi-short version): I’m Kellie, a food-obsessed Floridian living in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, Scotland for more years than I care to admit. I am blessed with a gorgeous family who willingly eat almost everything that I make, although they aren’t too keen on starving as I faff with my camera and moan about the lighting (our northerly latitude is a new pet hate). Growing up I loved eating Cuban and Florida-style foods – plenty of grouper sandwiches, hushpuppies and my mother’s piccadillo.”
Kellie posts amazing recipes, gorgeous photos and all alongside witty, intelligent writing.
I particularly like the look of her Cauliflower and Green Olive Tapenade Gratin. Mmmm!
Thanks to all of you who applied to be guest blogger on We Eat Things for the 5:2 diet. I am happy to announce that Shiv has been chosen to record his ‘diet’ journey for the foreseeable future.
Shiv says: “I’ve been on this programme since last August, and stumbled on it quite by accident after watching the Horizon programme on iplayer! It really spoke to me, and after doing a little more reading on Intermittent Fasting (IF), decided to have a go. Well, that was 6 months ago, and in that time I have lost over 30 lbs, discovered the importance what I eat, and most importantly have started exercising as often as four times a week.I don’t want to bandy words like “life-changing”, etc, but this experience has really changed a lot of things for me – not least of all the need for a new wardrobe!”
Blog of the month is back! And this month I’ve gone for what I always love: simplicity, good photography and great recipes.
The winner this month is a blog called Simple Food, written by Margaret who lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia.
Margaret says, “Ever since I was a young girl I have loved cooking and making up recipes. I started cooking in the 1970s, when complexity was king – think prawn cocktails, chocolate orange mousse cups, beef Wellington etc. etc. As an adult I have traversed pretty much all the cooking trends – nouvelle cuisine, Asian fusion, weird things on pizza, and more – but all the while, what I cooked day to day at home was a much pared back, simpler style that better suited me and my family – food that concentrated on flavour, local ingredients in season, and was easy to prepare and cook. This is the type of food that is most like me, and what I want to share.”
One of my favourite posts on the site is this Zucchini and Mint Salad which looks utterly delicious, healthy and so SIMPLE!
Go take a look at her other stuff – it’s worth a look!
I’ve had a lot of requests recently from women going through the menopause who are constantly aggravated by hot flushes (called hot flashes in America). This sudden feeling of almost unbearable heat (usually followed by feeling cold) happens when blood vessels close to the surface of your skin dilate to cool themselves. Lots of women also sweat to cool down and then get chills. Night sweats which can be awful if you’d like a good night’s sleep are also common.
There are some natural ways that may help you reduce chances of being terrorised by these sweats:
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, smoking and spicy foods. These can all raise the temperature of your body and make those vessels dilate.
- Exercise every day if you can. A 15 minute walk every lunch time could do wonders. Or even get up 20 minutes earlier for a stroll around the block.
- Vitamin E and Vitamin B Complex are also known to help.
- Deep breathe morning and night. Just take 5 minutes to focus purely on breathing. It’s surprising how shallow most people breathe. You can also do this when you feel a hot flush creeping up on you.
- Author, Alice Feinstein has written, “If you’re fed up with menopause, move to Japan [where] hot flashes and night sweats are virtually unheard of. Researchers believe that it has more to do with their traditional diet. Besides providing more vegetable protein and less animal protein than a Western diet, it’s also low in fat and high in soy products such as tofu. These foods are rich in plant compounds known as phytoestrogens, which seem to mimic some of the biological activities of female hormones.”
- Choosing fresh vegetable juices over coffee or tea can help alkalise your system.
- Most beans – especially soy beans – are beneficial. As long as your soy choices aren’t too fatty, eat as much soy as possible! Soy milk and tofu are two nice examples.
- 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil taken every day has also been known to reduce flushes. Flaxseed is estrogenic, just like soy.
- Miso soup, which also contains soy.
- Dairy products should be avoided due to their high fat content.
- Sunflower seeds, walnuts, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, oats and barely can also help to combat menopausal symptoms.
What works (or not) will differ between women. Keep a diary if you have time. Write down what you eat and when you have a hot flush. This might signal foods or beverages that aren’t helping you.
Good luck! And remember, if you find any amazing natural solutions, please come back and share your thoughts with others.
You’ll be ecstatic to know that I am now back in the game as a writer after a short time away from words. During my time working in advertising (6 months ago) I seemed to have plenty of time to write. I then moved on and worked in Recruitment until December. This, as you would expect, left me with around 0 days spare time per week and approximately 0g of energy to type. After getting screwed over by what/who can only be described as a ‘con-man’, I was jobless. A couple of days later I bounced back and got a job as a Barista in a lovely coffee shop. This all ended last week when I was thrown across the kitchen of said coffee shop via electric shock. Needless to say I am not returning to an environment that poses such lovely surprises. So it’s back to writing!
You may be less ecstatic to learn my return post is about peas. I’d say 60% of people I know would happily pick peas out of a pea dish – despite it being a tedious activity.
There are, however, some exceptional benefits of eating peas:
- They are high in most things EXCEPT for fat. They contain micronutrients, fibre and protein but contain very few calories.
- They contain lots of something called coumestrol which is said to help prevent stomach cancer.
- The antioxidants in them give you energy, can boost your immune system and make you look younger.
- Peas contain phytonutrients that are anti-inflammatory (preventing wrinkles, arthritis and bronchitis). Their anti-inflammatory properties also help maintain healthy blood vessels.
If you’d like some delicious recipes for peas, visit this interesting site.