Cakes are usually full of flour and sugar and the healthy option is to avoid them. However, they have a significant place in our culture. Whenever we celebrate somebody’s birthday a cake is always a centrepiece of attention and it can be churlish to decline. This recipe is for an alternative type of cake which has no flour or sugar.
This is a chocolate cake with no flour and no sugar.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease your cake tin or springform pan
Dice the butter and break the chocolate into pieces. In a bowl, melt them together over a pan of simmering water. Stir constantly until fully melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
Separate the eggs and put the yolks and whites in separate bowls. Add salt to whites and whiff with a mixer until stiff.
Add vanilla extract to the yolks and whisk until smooth.
Pour the melted chocolate and butter mixture in the egg yolks and mix well. Fold the egg whites into this until no egg white is visible.
Pour this mixture in to the pan and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the diameter of your pan. Check to see if it is cooked by inserting a tooth pick into the middle of the cake. It should come out with moist crumbs and not runny batter. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
This is an alternative to traditional mashed potato. Cauliflower has less carbohydrate than potato and makes a better alternative for those trying to lose weight. It can be used as a substitute for a side dish or as a topping for Shepherd’s or Cottage Pie.
Steam or boil the cauliflower in a pan until soft
Drain any water away. Add a large knob of butter and mash to a smooth consistency.
Roasted, or baked, Mediterranean vegetables have become a popular dish. They are colourful, cheerful and delicious. They can be served as a side dish with almost anything and can also be used as ingredients for frittata or omelette. This is a typical recipe but you can add or take away ingredients as you like. Just using peppers and tomatoes works very well. You can also try using other flavours like rosemary, thyme or garlic. Experiment to find your favourite.
Preheat the oven to 220°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper
Put 4 knobs if butter on each side of the tray. Spread all the chopped vegetables onto the tray and season well with salt, pepper and turmeric. Put 2 more knobs of butter on top.
Roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes until golden and soft, turning them halfway through.
Serve as a side dish for almost any meal.
Frittata is a type of baked omelette. It is easy and extremely versatile. This recipe uses bacon and peppers but you can combine a wide variety of ingredients including cheeses, vegetables, meats and herbs. It is an excellent way to use up leftovers (if you ever have any.)
Preheat the oven to 180°C . In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the cream, and salt and pepper (and herbs).
Heat the oil in a non-stick omelette or frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Cook the bacon and add the peppers halfway through.
Pour in the egg mixture and shake the pan a little to spread the ingredients evenly.
If you have a pan with a detachable handle, place it directly in the oven and remove the handle. If not, transfer the mixture to a shallow oven-safe dish and bake for 20 minutes.
Liver is not a fashionable food at the moment. It becomes tough if it is overcooked and it has a flavour not everybody likes. However, liver is one of the most nutritious foods we can eat: it is an excellent source of protein and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. It is also cheap compared to other sources of equivalent nutrition. This recipe conceals the taste of liver among the flavours of bacon, onion and rosemary.
Put 2 teaspoons of the flour in a large bowl and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add the liver to the bowl and turn it in the flour until lightly coated. Tap off any excess.
Melt half the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the liver in the pan for about 2 minutes on each side. It should be lightly browned but do not overcook it. Put the liver on a plate for now..
Turn down the heat and melt the remaining butter in the same pan. Add the sliced onion and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the while. Next, add the bacon and rosemary and cook together for another 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and pale golden brown, stirring often.
Sprinkle the remaining flour over the onion and bacon and cook for a few seconds. Pour the hot stock slowly into the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook over a medium heat until the gravy is thickened.
Put the liver back in the pan and heat it through in the onion gravy for 2–3 minutes until hot, stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a cauliflower or carrot mash and freshly cooked greens.
A classic beef dish, originally from Russia but now with worldwide appeal and variations. It is rich and satisfying but fairly easy to prepare.
Cut the beef into slices ½–1 cm thick, then cut these into strips about 1cm wide. Season the meat with salt and pepper and set it aside for now.
Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and continue to cook until both are soft. Stir the mustard into the pan, coating the onion and mushrooms thoroughly. Pour the stock into the pan, then leave it to simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half. Stir in the soured cream and set the pan aside for a few minutes.
In another large frying pan, heat the lard or coconut oil. When it is hot, add the strips of beef. Fry, stirring continuously, until the meat is browned on all sides. This should only take a minute or so.
If you want to flambé the beef, put the brandy in a glass or cup and warm it in the oven or close to the frying pan. Pour it over the beef and gently tip the pan towards the flame (if you are cooking with gas) and it will ignite. Alternatively use a long match. Stand well back when doing this and be careful.
Reheat the onion and mushroom sauce, then add the beef. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. If you find the sauce too rich, add a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Quick and easy breakfast dish for young children.
Whisk the eggs and cream together in a bowl. Add a little salt if you like.
Heat the butter in a small frying pan.
Pour in the eggs and cream and mix them with a spoon as they begin to cook
When the eggs are nearly cooked, stir in the grated cheese. Let the eggs cool a little before serving
2 eggs might be too much for a small child, in which case just use one. Scale up all the ingredients for more children
Throughout the Covid crisis, Boris Johnson has always said that he is ‘following the science’. Our Prime Minister has no scientific background and relies entirely upon the advice he receives from members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage). In reality he is following the opinion of a small group of scientists while ignoring the opinion of all scientists with an alternative view. Therefore, the important question becomes: are members of Sage following the science? I intend to demonstrate that the answer to that question is no, they are not.
The advice of Chris Whitty, Patrick Vallance and their team has been consistent. They want to prevent or slow down the spread of the virus with social distancing, closures, restrictions and lockdowns. They originally said there was only very weak evidence for wearing masks but in June, when the virus was at its seasonal low point, face coverings became mandatory. We are now in January, and despite strict lockdowns or tiers since early November, Chris Whitty is telling us that hospitals are about to be overrun with surging Covid19 cases. He and other members of Sage are blaming the public for not being fully compliant with the restrictions. We are also told that a mutation of the virus is much more transmissible, and we need harder and longer lockdowns.
A world-wide search of relevant scientific literature paints a different picture. Dr Sheldon Cohen is a Professor of Psychology at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He has spent over three decades studying the connection between psychological stress and its impact on viral respiratory diseases. His research involves a thorough psychological assessment of his volunteers before they are placed in quarantine and exposed to viruses causing influenza or the common cold. The severity of the symptoms suffered by each individual are measured and compared with their pre-infection status. Professor Cohen consistently finds that people with the highest levels of long-term stress suffer more extreme symptoms than those with low levels of stress. He also finds that smoking and low vitamin levels are linked to poor outcomes. Factors associated with decreased risk included social integration, social support, physical activity, adequate and efficient sleep, and moderate alcohol intake. (Many may be relieved to know that teetotalism and excessive alcohol intake were both linked with worse outcomes. This may be because a drink or two tends to make us more relaxed and relieves stress for a time.)
Professor Cohen says, “Social integration refers to the degree to which an individual participates in a broad range of social relationships and is generally defined in terms of the number of social roles one plays (e.g. spouse, parent, friend, fellow employee, volunteer, church member). Social integration has been found to predict lesser mortality as well as lower risk for cardiovascular disease onset and disease progression. These associations are thought to occur because social integration tends to boost positive psychological states that have beneficial effects on a range of disease-relevant physiological pathways. In contrast, a particularly low level of integration is viewed as social isolation, which is experienced as a stressful event.”
Social support refers to the amount of help you receive from family and friends. It can range from practical help with basic chores, to a phone call to say ‘hello’, and all the way through to a shoulder to cry on when something sad has happened. Whatever form it takes, it improves our sense of self-worth by confirming that we are loved and other people care about us. Our social interactions are vital to our humanity and Professor Cohen’s research shows they are vital for our immunity to disease.
The use of draconian lockdowns and severe restrictions, which have been in place in one form or another for ten months, have utterly devastated our social integration and social support. The deliberate use of fear by the Sage committee and the daily reports on Covid-associated deaths by the media have put everybody under prolonged psychological stress. The ‘science’ clearly shows that this is the wrong approach. Chris Whitty is currently telling us that the new variant of the coronavirus is much more transmissible than the original. I propose that he may be mistaken and it only appears to be more transmissible because his stress-inducing, anti-social lockdowns have rendered every man, woman and child in the country considerably more susceptible to infection. In March and April 2020, when infections were peaking, healthy people under the age of 60 were minimally affected by the virus. This may no longer be true because of the wilful destruction of our social networks.
It would appear that Chris Whitty, our Chief Medical Officer, is unaware of Professor Cohen’s work. If that is true, he is negligent in his duty to the nation. However, it would not be the first time he has failed to take account of relevant information.
The only option he offers to tackle Covid19 is to repeat and intensify lockdowns. He does not seem to realise they do not work. We cannot expect Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock to ‘follow the science’ when their advisers refuse to follow it.
3 Admission hyperglycaemia as a predictor of mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 regardless of diabetes status: data from the Spanish SEMI-COVID-19 Registry — COVID-19 Research Collaborations (elsevierpure.com)
I sent this letter to all the major newspapers in the UK but none of them printed it.
We were told by Boris Johnson, in March, that we needed to have a national lockdown ‘to save the NHS from being overwhelmed’ and we received the same message in November. The Health Service is constantly under pressure because millions of people in the UK suffer from metabolic diseases caused largely by bad diets and lifestyles. Mr Johnson and his advisers never mention the fact that 95% of the people who have died with Covid19 had at least one pre-existing metabolic disorder.
The obesity epidemic and all its associated diseases is a far bigger health crisis than this particular, seasonal coronavirus and it is the people suffering from those morbidities who die from Covid19. Following advice from the Sage committee, the Government has spent hundreds of billions of pounds, caused considerable unemployment and bankruptcy in previously viable businesses along with untold misery and distress. If the Government had put the same time, money and effort into tackling the real health crisis in this country, the NHS would never be overrun, the nation would be far healthier and richer, and far fewer people would have died from this coronavirus.The truth is they never mention the risk factor of underlying ill-health and imply the virus is equally dangerous to everybody, which it is not. This was the perfect opportunity to tackle our biggest problem but Messrs Johnson, Hancock, Whitty and Vallance have failed to do so.