Tag Archives: yoghurt

Scrumptious = health for breakfast

10 Jun
fruit with yoghurt

fruit with yoghurt (Photo credit: Peet Sneekes)

Today, at last, summer is here. Over 30C but fresh, with a light breeze. Sunday, so extra quiet – no work today with everyone at church (except heathens like me). Time for breakfast outside under the mirabel tree. Feed cats, next door’s dog, horse and chickens first, or you’ll have no peace.

What: yoghurt (preferably home-made from organic full cream raw milk but Greek style is the next best); whatever fruit is in season or in the fridge (today I had a banana and an apricot), seeds and nuts to hand (I had toasted sesame, organic coconut flakes, almond flakes, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds (linseed); black pepper, cinnamon and if you like, a bit of cayenne.

How: chop the fruit into a bowl, shake and scatter the seeds, nuts and spices, dollop the yoghurt on top and mix. Eat slowly, relishing every texture and taste. Seriously good start to the day – and never boring because of the almost limitless variations, even in winter.

When it’s cold, I sometimes toast a bit of muesli or just oats, gently, in a frying pan (no oil) and tip on top of the fruit/yoghurt as an extra bit of warmth and crunch.


Tuna and cauliflower barley pilaf

3 Jun
English: Cauliflower Ελληνικά: Κουνουπίδι

English: Cauliflower Ελληνικά: Κουνουπίδι (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love risotto and pilaf dishes, which are endlessly versatile, easy to cook and easy to eat, gentle on the pocket and as healthy as you like.

Last night I was running out of fridge potential. A shopping trip is looming, today or tomorrow, but there’s still plenty to work with, despite the almost-empty fridge. One of my perennial store cupboard ingredients is pearl barley (barley – arpacas – in Romania, pearl barley in UK). Cauliflowers are cheap at the moment, and high on the simple-to-prepare-and-cook chart. Tinned tuna is always on standby.

What: barley/pearl barley, cauliflower, tin of tuna, fresh herbs, black pepper and tiny bit of salt

How: Boil the barley. This can take about 40 mins or a bit longer, depending on the eficiency of your stove, so put the barley on and go and do something else, because everything else takes 10 mins. When the barley’s done, drain and put the lid back on the pan to keep the barley warm.

Put a little oil in a pan (or drain the oil from the tuna, if canned in oil. If canned in brine, add that to the oil in the pan). Wash and chop the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and lob into pan. Sizzle gently for 5 minutes, then add the tuna, seasoning and most of the herbs (eg basil, thyme, chives) and sizzle for another 5 mins till cauli is done to your preferred balance of crunch/tender. Stir in the barley and serve, topping with the rest of the chopped herbs. If you like a bit of yoghurt on top, a spoonful or two is good, but naked is also good.

Healthy stuff: cauliflower, esp if not overcooked; tuna, herbs. I have no idea of the health value of barley, but it’s a whole grain without the gluten of wheat.



White heaven

24 May

Yoghurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1979 I went to work in Athens for a year; on the first Friday I was presented with a white lunch. Turned out Fridays were fast days in the household, which meant a plate of plain boiled rice and plain yoghurt. White food, white plate. What the hell is this? I thought, not thrilled at the sight.

But when I took a mouthful, I discovered that white was wonderful. The saltiness, heat and texture of the rice with the smooth, cold, tangy, fresh, creamy yoghurt (this is the full fat miracle that is proper Greek yoghurt), was heavenly. I promise you, it’s utterly delicious.

How simple do you want? Boil long-grain (preferably basmati) rice in salted water until done (grains separate with a tiny bit of bite in the centre, not soft or mushy). Drain, serve on plate or in bowl with a large dollop of Greek yoghurt (not the strained stuff, the fresh lemony-tasting creamy stuff) on top. Eat. 

Tell me how you find it. I’ve eaten it ever since 1979, and never get tired of it. You could try it with brown basmati rice for a change – you’d lose the white factor, but the taste would be even better. You could chop some fresh chives, parsley, coriander or basil on top, if you like, or a sprinkle of paprika or cayenne; some toasted sesame seeds or flaked almonds.

But the whole point of this is the apparent blandness which disguises a taste sensation.

What’s your favourite fasting dish?