Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fitness, Cooking.

I just received a nice compliment from Marilyn (French Marilyn's blog) such things are always appreciated. I wished her a happier/better decade than the last one and I do hope everyone will have a great new decade and be able to put the problems of the past behind them. Karen Miller (Karen's Musings) was talking about getting fitter, I certainly need to become less of a blimp. My biggest problem is my inability to walk very far these days. Once upon a time I walked 4 miles a day when I was in NC, the nice weather helped of course. I can walk quite well on a treadmill, and what I would really like to do is buy one of my own so I could use it when I liked and as often. Unfortunately, this apartment building does not have any gym facilities at all. The only thing they do have is a sauna and that has been closed down for years. I don't think I have a hope in hell of persuading the realty company which handles this building to put in a couple of treadmills. Pity.
Yesterday, we went to a friend's house for pizza. She had been telling us about a new pizzaria and so we tried two of their pizzas last night. They were delicious. I forgot to ask the name of the place, I know roughly where it is. You can go there and eat a slice of pizza or two on the premises or get what you want 'to go'. They only charged our friend $2 for delivery which is very reasonable. We had one pizza which was predominantly bacon and mushrooms and the second was cheesy with ground beef and lots of tomatoes, I liked both, but I think I liked the tomatoe one best. They were thin crust and our friend said she had never specified the crust so maybe that's the only crust they do, fine by me, I prefer thin crust anyway and on the few occasions we eat pizza, thats what we ask for. They also sent along a garlic cream sauce which was different. Its for dipping your pizza. I may have mentioned, the first time I ever ate pizza was in paris, France when I was in my teens. I didn't much care for it at the time. Tastes do change don't they? Of course I was enamoured with my French boyfriend at the time and maybe not as appreciative as I might have been *g*. I remember I preferred his mother's cooking which was fantastic. I don't know what its like in France these days, but in those days you never came across a Frenchwoman who couldn't cook well. I don't know either if France has the obesity problem which is so prevalent both here and in England.
Talking of the ability to cook, I have been pretty horrified by Jamie Oliver's programmes about England (he is doing another on the States I think) showing the lack of cooking ability in the UK. I knew, when we emigrated 35 years ago, that the level of cooking was pretty abyssmal, but I had been told it had improved thanks to chefs like Delia Smith who became very popular and taught a lot of people to cook as did Jamie himself. But his series on school lunches and later on teaching people to cook simple meals, was pretty revealing. Many women just don't cook at all any more and feed their kids on take away, many of such foods are by no means healthy. It staggered me when the kids on the programme couldn't identify various common vegetables when displayed by Jamie. I belong to an internet cookery group and one member had assured me British cooking had improved, not according to Jamie it hasn't. My English friends in this group are obviously exceptions and know about cooking - otherwise I guess they wouldn't be members of such a group. In North America we are inundated with cookery programmes and there is no real excuse for anyone not to be able to produce a decent meal for their family, but I guess it doesn't happen here either. People are just too busy which I believe is a mistake. Taking time for a good meal with the whole family seated at the dinner table in the evening is a very important tool in creating a good family life and that's not just my opinion. 'Kissing don't last cookery do'. Not sure who said that, but its very true.
Here is another healthy low cal recipe from Eating Well. I love soups so shall certainly be giving this one a go.
Sweet and Sour Beef-Cabbage Soup From EatingWell: September/October 2009
This wholesome sweet-and-sour soup combines beef, caraway seeds, sweet paprika and cabbage—ingredients that star in a number of German dishes. It is particularly nice served with crusty rye bread. For an even heartier soup, add diced cooked potatoes along with the cabbage. 6 servingsIngredients
•1 tablespoon canola oil •1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef •1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds •1 teaspoon dried thyme •2 1/2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion mix, thawed, chopped •1 medium Golden Delicious or other sweet-tart cooking apple, unpeeled, diced •6 cups reduced-sodium beef broth •1 15-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes •1 1/2 tablespoons honey •1 tablespoon paprika, preferably Hungarian sweet •3 cups coarsely chopped Savoy, or green cabbage •1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar •1/4 teaspoon salt •Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preparation 1.Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef, caraway seeds and thyme and cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a spoon, until it is mostly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in pepper-onion mix and apple; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes more. 2.Stir in broth, tomatoes, honey and paprika and adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in cabbage and cook just until barely tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Season with vinegar to taste, salt and pepper.
Nutrition Per serving : 250 Calories; 10 g Fat; 3 g Sat; 5 g Mono; 54 mg Cholesterol; 20 g Carbohydrates; 20 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 705 mg Sodium; 717 mg Potassium 1 Carbohydrate Serving Exchanges: 2 1/2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1/2 fat
Have a great day


  1. The French Ministry of Health is always going on about the French being fat. Must say,I see no evidence of this.

  2. I would have thought that the French were much healthier eaters than over on this side of the pond. Gourmets not gourmands