Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Steak and Potatoes

BDH here. I decided the other day that I wanted a steak sandwich for dinner. But, I didn;t just want a steak on bread. I needed something a bit more. I hit the grocey store and bought a couple round steaks, some baby white potatoes, french bread, double smoked bacon and some button mushrooms. Keeping with Ramsays 'Keep it Simple' I wasn't going to do anything really 'over the top'.

I covered the steaks in fresh cracked pepper and then wrapped them in the double smoked bacon (I assumed the salt from the bacon would be more than enough). I added some fresh chopped garlic and olive oil and threw the steaks in the oven on a grill pan (this would have been so much better on the BBQ, but we have been hit with the never ending winter so the BBQ will hae to wait).

I tossed the baby white potatoes into a pot to boil and then started a pan for the mushrooms and onions.

After the potatoes were almost cooked through, I took them out, cut them in half, hit them with some dried herb & salt and pepper and threw them in the oven with the steaks. (to be honest, I'm not sure how long I cooked the steak...I was looking for medium rare, but I ended up with medium so they were in a little longer than I wanted...I am still learning about this cooking thing >wink<).

When the steak was ready, I placed it on a a piece of French Bread and put the mushrooms on top.
A very filling sandwich

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Broccoli - yum

Keeping on with the 'foods with benefits' kick, Broccoli is a vegtable that is loaded with good stuff:

Taken from CliniCard:

A chemical that naturally occurs in broccoli may help protect the lungs against the damage that leads to lung disease, according to a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The researchers studied the lung cells of 39 humans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition in which the airways narrow and it becomes chronically difficult to breathe. They compared these to tissue samples from patients without COPD, which is particularly common among tobacco smokers.
The cells of lungs suffering from COPD were found to be deficient in a protein produced by a gene called NFR2, which regulates a variety of processes that clear out toxins and pollutants from the lungs. Perhaps for this reason, the lungs also had significantly lower levels of antioxidants and the proteins that prevent antioxidants from degrading. The more severe the COPD, the lower the levels of antioxidants and all these proteins.
Previous research in mice has shown that shutting off the NFR2 gene in mice leads to the development of early onset severe emphysema, a common symptom of COPD. In the current study, however, the researchers found that the NFR2 gene in the COPD-afflicted lungs was working fine, suggesting that the NFR2 protein was simply being degraded rapidly after production.
When they added the broccoli compound sulforapane to these cells, they found that all NFR2-mediated antioxidant lung defenses were returned to normal. This suggests that sulforapane and other strategies for restoring NFR2 activity may eventually be used as COPD treatments.
“Controlled restoration of NRF2 antioxidant defenses together with existing therapies, such as smoking cessation and use of anti-inflammatory agents, may greatly help in attenuating COPD progression as well as in preventing disease exacerbations,” the researchers wrote.
Other studies have suggested that sulforapane can help protect blood vessels from the damage caused by diabetes, and that a diet high in vegetables from the same family as broccoli (brassica, or cruciferous) can protect against cardiovascular disease and David Gutierrez, staff writer

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Magic of Red Wine

Not only is it tastey and good for your also keeps you thin....awesome !!

FROM THE TIMES OF INDIA -A glass of red wine a day not only helps keep the heart healthy, but as it turns out, it can also help battle obesity. And if you are a teetotaller who would rather stay away from spirits, don’t fret because just eating grapes will also have the same effect. As it turns out, the thing responsible for this fat fighting phenomenon is resveratrol, a compound present in grapes and red wine, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Ulm in Germany carried out a study to see whether past research of resveratrol protecting laboratory mice from the health problems of obesity, also applied to humans by changing the size or function of fat cells. The German team used a strain of human fat cell precursors, called preadipocytes, which develop into mature fat cells. They found that resveratrol not only inhibited the pre-fat cells from increasing and prevented them from converting into mature fat cells, but that it also hindered fat storage. What especially interested the boffins was that resveratrol reduced production of certain cytokines (interleukins 6 and 8), substances that may be linked to the development of obesity-related disorders, such as diabetes and clogged coronary arteries. "Resveratrol has anti-obesity properties by exerting its effects directly on the fat cells. Thus, resveratrol might help to prevent development of obesity or might be suited to treating obesity," said the study's lead author, Pamela Fischer-Posovszky, PhD, a pediatric endocrinology research fellow in the university's Diabetes and Obesity Unit.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tapas In Fulham - El Metro

Big Daddy H here. I just returned from a weekend in London (Fulham area), and despite what some might think, I was able to tear myself away from the English Pubs, Pints and Fish and Chip shops to enjoy some other flavours.

We swung by a place 1 block off Fulham Broadway and Hardwood Rd (right by the Fulham Broadway Station...ok, granted, we thought it was a traditional English pub at first....). El Metro, is a quaint little spot that kind of has the look of an old pub that's been refurbished to be Spanish Bar/Eatery. Initially we were going to eat on the patio, but changed our minds and sat inside. We were quickly greeted by all the staff (the service was fantastic) The inside was clean and compact and every so often vibrated to the rumble of the train directly underneath.

I had at first, before entering the place, thought I wanted a proper English fry up, but once I saw the Tapas menu, I immediately changed my mind. They had a special of 4 - Tapas, glass of wine, and desert for 7.95 (UK). I was sold.

I chose the Crispy Calamari, Mushroom, Onion & Pepper Salad (awesome...the light salt and olive oil was perfect), Mussels & Eggplant and cheese (this was almost like scallop potatoes except with eggplant)

The mussels were a bit small and the sauce could have used a bit more salt, but overall, everything was excellent.
I had a glass of the house red (not bad) and finished it all off with creme caramel (very good).
I would highly recommend this gem if you are ever in the area.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Eating and drinking through Vancouver Island

Where else would you like to be in April in Canada? Victoria of course! We flew out for a family get together and travelled around the Island a bit. We ate well.

Halibut and Chips in Victoria in the harbour

We went to Merridale Estate Cidery for a walk around and to eat at the restaurant. It didn't dissapoint. I only wish we had been there a little later in the season to see the orchard in bloom. It was still a lovely way to spend the morning.

Make a reservation for lunch if you ever go!
H had the Roast Chicken Pot Pie. So so good and paired it with the cider they reccomended.
I had the roast pork sandwich with brie and their home made apple relish. I am salivating remembering this 0ne. I had a glass of the MerriBerri cider and it was a perfect pairing.

To be honest I wanted to eat everything on their menu it all looked so good. Well except the curried egg salad sandwich that was the special, I didn't need to try that.

Up the Island we go...

In a little seaside place in Qualicum Beach I had an Oyster Burger and H had the fish and chips...again. I wasn't sure I'd like an Oyster Burger as I hadn't had oysters cooked before. But I did. Maybe it was the generous amounts of tarter sauce, I don't know.
We also hit up a few vineyards while in the Cowichan Bay area. Check out this place if you are ever in the area. Their bistro opens after Easter so we missed out but the grounds were gorgeous and the staff helpfula and knowledgeable.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Weeee! New purchase!

After coveting a food processor for, like ever I treated myself to an early birthday present. Played with it yesterday a bit and it was such fun making sweet potatoes for the baby! :) I should have bought this a long time ago. Next up is slicing potatoes for scalloped potatoes for Easter Dinner.

New post coming anytime now covering our extra long weekend out to Vancouver Island which was full of local beers, wines and cider and more fish and chips than is good for a person. yummmm halibut...