How to make kale taste nice

hmmm kale… not something you hear often right?

I’ve been trying to make vegetables just as nice to me as carbs and sugar are. I’ve had varying levels of success, but I’m determined to make it all work for me. Not one to back down from a challenge, I decided to try and make kale a thing and I think it might have worked! (this time)

You don’t have to use the exact same seasoning ingredients, but what was key in helping to cut the bitterness of the kale in this dish was the addition of lemon juice, so I’d keep that in as a staple.

Be warned – I sometimes cook with a lot of pepper, and my version of this dish has three kinds in it so if you want something milder please adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Happy cooking!

What you need:

a bag of kale from the supermarket

two red onions, sliced

one shallot, sliced

a small handful seasoning peppers (a sort of mild chilli), chopped

three cloves of garlic, crushed/minced

a handful of fresh coriander, chopped

two teaspoons of turmeric powder

a strong pinch of cayenne pepper powder

a strong pinch of ground black pepper

a small teaspoon of scotch bonnet pepper sauce (or a hot chilli sauce) or alternatively a quarter of a scotch bonnet pepper finely chopped (use gloves)

a strong pinch of general all seasoning powder

a generous sprinkle of dried mixed herbs

lemon juice from half a lemon

Method:

Wash and drain the kale in a colander and set aside.

Pour roughly half a tablespoon of a cooking oil of your choice into a large pot and melt on a medium heat.

Add all the ingredients except for the kale and lemon juice. Stir until the onions and shallot have softened a bit.

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Add kale and cook until stalks have softened slightly – you want to retain some crunch. Drizzle lemon juice all over kale and continually stir around pot over a higher heat for a few minutes. Be sure to watch the colour of the kale. Once it turns bright green it doesn’t have long to go and you don’t want to overcook it so it turns kinda dark and mushy.

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Turn off heat and you’re ready to go.

Until next time,

V

 

 

 

 

I think chocolate sweetened with stevia tastes better… a review

With this bar, I was in dangerous territory…

The downside to stevia (and which is a common complaint about it) is that it can have a rather interesting aftertaste when added to certain foods. In my opinion, I think different sweeteners suit different foods and with stevia, I also think the amount used affects how much of an aftertaste it has as well. Stevia when used right – can be very good. Especially in chocolate. So far in my search for alternative chocolatey goodness, I haven’t found a stevia-sweetened chocolate bar I haven’t enjoyed yet.

I discovered this brand called erm, ‘Discover’ which offers a range of milk chocolate bars in different flavours that have been sweetened with stevia.

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I was intrigued by the cinnamon flavour (I don’t think I’ve tried cinnamon flavoured chocolate before), and yeah it’s a pretty tasty bar of chocolate. I’ve been trying to exercise restraint with this one because while there’s no added sugar it still has the same amount of fat and dairy in it (which for me isn’t ideal what with my weight loss goals ‘n’all…).

With this bar, I was in dangerous territory.

It was creamy, dissolving into a silky smooth chocolatey butter on my tongue. The flavour was perfectly balanced in the level of sweetness with that hint of peppery cinnamon cutting through it. The intoxicating scent of it filled my head and gave me that serotonin hit I didn’t even know I was looking for. Gorgeousness. Bwah.

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I’m not sure it’s wise for me to purchase this one again.

Until next time,

V

Plamil Expressions – a minty dark chocolate that’s sugar-free…

I had such high hopes for this…

Plamil exp sugar free mint dark choc vegan

I had such high hopes for this. The initial flavour is deep and dark, very chocolatey and delightfully minty. It melts nicely in the mouth and has a beautiful aroma. But the aftertaste 😦 The sweetener in this is xylitol, which I guess doesn’t work well with chocolate.

I’ve tried another chocolate by this brand. It was a ‘milk’ chocolate but made with soy instead of dairy milk as well as being sugar-free. It was horrid. I couldn’t finish it and ended up throwing it away. Which to me is sacrilege. You just don’t throw chocolate away. Perhaps I’ll steer clear of this brand in future.

Plamil choc opened

The search continues.

Until later,

V

de Bron lifestyle candy – a review of poker fruit

Consuming too many of these jellies could create a laxative effect. Lovely.

Being on a constant search for sugar free low carb treats I can enjoy involves an awful lot of Googling. Google is wonderful isn’t it? I mean it really is the fount of all knowledge, especially sellers and makers of sugar free sweets.

Introducing, de Bron lifestyle candy. This is a brand I don’t know too much about, but I discovered it on http://www.sweetswithout.com and more recently I’ve spotted some of their products in Holland & Barrett stores.

Generally speaking, I have a tentative sort of relationship with foods that contain alternative sweeteners to sugar. I try to pick things that contain more ‘natural’ sweeteners like stevia or xylitol and limit my intake of them because I’m not fully persuaded of how ‘good’ these things are for you. But I’ve gotta have my sweets… so I compromise on occasion.

Debron jellies packet

I saw a selection of de Bron candies on the sweetswithout site,  and I thought I’d give the jellies a try. They’re called Poker Fruit, and they’re jelly sweets shaped like playing card symbols like hearts, diamonds, clubs etc.

Sugar free debron jellies poker fruit edited

To begin with I was very sceptical of these. I’ve never tried sugar free jelly sweets before. I wasn’t sure how the texture would be, and I was concerned just how artificial they’d taste because of the sweeteners. The jellies are sweetened with malitol syrup and isomalt. These are actually rather nice! They are squidgy and soft and chewy, but they don’t get stuck in your teeth. The granules dusted on the outside makes a very convincing ‘sugary’ coating, and the flavour is reasonably fruity and not sickly sweet and there’s no unpleasant aftertaste. Result!

One thing to bear in mind, (and I imagine this is because of the sweeteners), the back of the packet warns that consuming too many of these jellies could create a laxative effect. Lovely.

Anyway, if you’re looking for something to satiate that craving for something sweet, but without the effects of real sugar – look no further. Try these.

Until next time…

V

 

 

Perfect World: A review of a dairy free, no sugar added ice cream

it’s definitely recognisable as carrot cake, but I would’ve liked a little more of a peppery oomph from the cinnamon and the nutmeg…

So given my dietary requirements, I’ve had to give up on a lot of sugar-laden and carb-heavy foods in order to get and keep my blood sugar levels under control . It’s a change to my lifestyle that will have to be permanent, which in the beginning made me sad because I love carbs and sugar! But then I thought surely there must be some sweet treats that are still relatively healthy/low in sugar and can be had on the odd occasion when that craving hits. I’ve tried out a number of different treats over the past few months, and I’ll be reviewing them from time to time for you.

In this post, we’ll be looking at ‘a taste of carrot cake’ by Perfect World. This is a dairy free ice-cream made with no added sugar.

Ice cream in tub

I saw it on the Ocado website while doing an online grocery shop and had to give it a try.

You can find more information including the ingredients and nutritional values here: http://www.perfectworldicecream.co.uk/delicious-desserts/carrot

This is a relatively soft ice cream. It takes a few minutes to soften but can be scooped right out of the freezer if you’re not able to wait .. haha

Ice cream in cup

The flavour definitely is reminiscent of a carrot cake. I will say that despite it containing three different sweeteners, this wasn’t an overly sweet/sickly tasting ice cream. The sweetness was quite subtle and not too fake tasting as sweeteners can be. As for the spiced carrot cakey-ness, like I said, it’s definitely recognisable as carrot cake, but I would’ve liked a little more of a peppery oomph from the cinnamon and the nutmeg. There were enough juicy sultanas and crunchy nuts that were well distributed and added a nice variety of textures with each mouthful.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and will definitely re-purchase when I want to have dessert after a meal. If you’ve tried the other flavours by this brand, or any other dairy free/sugar free/low sugar ice-creams and other desserts, please share in the comments.

Until next time 🙂