For a rolled omelette with fillings, spread a thin layer of beaten egg onto a greased, hot skillet. Place cheese or chopped vegetables on the egg layer, then push it into a roll with a spatula, then keep it on the side of your pan. Pour egg mixture into the pan to create another thin layer, top it or leave it plain, then roll the first egg-roll into it with your spatula. After two-to-four layers have been rolled together, tip the omelette onto a plate. If desired, place a paper towel on a sushi-mat and lay your rolled omelette on top of it, then do the traditional sushi-rolling procedure to form a tighter roll than the one pictured here. My fillings for this rolled omelette are crumbled feta cheese, finely-chopped red onion, and dried parsley.
©M-J de Mesterton 2018
Grapefruit is part of a healthy, elegant breakfast. Peeled and cut into sections, then drizzled with a bit of honey and a few grains of sugar, this exquisite pink grapefruit is ready to eat in an antique Japanese export bowl (which I acquired in 2004, and has disappeared–that’s all right; my main collection is Baron Morimura’s Noritake).
Grapefruit has a reputation of breaking-down fats, so it is advisable to eat it in conjunction with your favourite bacon-rich breakfast. By the way, in our house, Real Men do eat quiche, an entrée that would be beautifully complemented by grapefruit. ©M-J de Mesterton
M-J’S LOW-CARB, HIGH PROTEIN LUNCHEON SALAD
Bacon bits, 1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, an avocado cut into pieces, Romaine lettuce and almond-coated white-meat chicken combine to make an elegant, high-protein luncheon dish.
I top this low-carb salad with home-made ranch dressing, which I create from mayonnaise, buttermilk, and/or sour cream, mixed with onion and garlic powders and dried parsley. When I don’t have the powdered onion and garlic, I will dice bits of fresh ones very fine and sauté them before mixing with the other ingredients. Add salt and green or white pepper to taste, then blend with a wire whisk.
©M-J de Mesterton, April 2010
Day-old bread is sliced and moistened in milk and/or cream, then sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon before being slowly baked in a low-temperature oven. This is the simple formula; every Scandinavian who makes this traditional toast or “cinnamon rusks” has his or her own technique. Cinnamon toast is a popular accompaniment to coffee. Scandinavian coffee is typically brewed “strong” using light-to-medium roasted beans. My Swedish grandparents had this traditional combination of cinnamon toast (kanelskorpor) and coffee every morning, though they did not make it themselves as I do. I sometimes use home-made brioche loaf for this purpose, as it produces a very light cinnamon toast or kanelskorpor.
©M-J de Mesterton
2016: I hadn’t gone shopping in a while, so when I came upon these grapes and jalapeño peppers at Albertson’s a month ago, they seemed normal at first. At home, they looked larger than life all of a sudden, like the Grapes that Took Over the World, and Jalapeños as Big as Texas. They may be genetically-modified (in fact, I’d put money on it). Yeah, them grapes were slightly smaller than golf-balls, and twenty years ago women would have been runnin’ scared at the sight of ’em. Those peppers ain’t just big, they are hotter than Hades. Talk about getting more bang for your buck–for all I know, the whole lot is deadly poison. Sure as shootin’, I am not going back to that store for more. The chicken breasts we bought there were just enormous, probably from a fowl critter named Dolly (in honor of the lamb created in a lab, not the huge-breasted singer, Ms Parton).
After poaching and frying those pieces of chicken, having spent more than an hour in the process, we were stunned at the foam-rubber texture of the alien meat. The animals had to have been pumped full of SOMETHING unnatural to make their breasts as large as those of turkeys and render their flesh absolutely inedible. My husband, who had innocently ordered the stuff at Albertson’s butcher counter, brought all the chicken back for a full refund. Don’t let grocery stores ruin your meals–make sure the chicken you purchase is of normal size. Good thing we did not unwittingly serve this faux fowl to guests. That would have been ruinous!~~M-J
And now, the eternal question: which came first, the funky chicken enhanced by hormones, or the FREAK EGG?
UPDATE: IT’S NOW 2017, and menswear has become steadily worse in the past seven years. Here’s a video that makes me nostalgic for the kooky clothing of 1966, when I was eleven–people then looked better than they do today–but, it also demonstrates that following fashion blindly is utter folly:
I’m calling these two eggs “freestyle” because they were lightly fried to so-called “over-easy” level, but very uncooperative when I attempted to flip them with my spatula. The eggs are accompanied on this plate by purple (“red”) onions sautéed in butter with serrano chile peppers, and a bit of labneh (strained yoghurt) which is sprinkled with cayenne pepper. Adding a freestyle shake of Himalayan salt, I consider it a low-carb, highly-nutritious breakfast. ©M-J de Mesterton
While antioxidant nutrients are found in most WHFoods, it’s the diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds that makes them unique in their antioxidant support. Pumpkin seeds contain conventional antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E. However, not only do they contain vitamin E, but they contain it in a wide variety of forms. Alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol and gamma-tocomonoenol are all forms of vitamin E found in pumpkin seeds. These last two forms have only recently been discovered, and they are a topic of special interest in vitamin E research, since their bioavailability might be greater than some of the other vitamin E forms. Pumpkin seeds also contain conventional mineral antioxidants like zinc and manganese. Phenolic antioxidants are found in pumpkin seeds in a wide variety of forms, including the phenolic acids hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, coumaric, ferulic, sinapic, protocatechuic, vanillic, and syringic acid. Antioxidant phytonutrients like lignans are also found in pumpkin seeds, including the lignans pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol.Interestingly, this diverse mixture of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds may provide them with antioxidant-related properties that are not widely found in food. For example, the pro-oxidant enzyme lipoxygenase (LOX) is known to be inhibited by pumpkin seed extracts, but not due to the presence of any single family of antioxidant nutrients (for example, the phenolic acids described earlier). Instead, the unique diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds is most likely responsible for this effect.
Romaine lettuce, crumbled feta cheese, tiny tomatoes and vinaigrette combine to make a simple Greek salad. Other ingredients, if I had them in the house, would have been sliced cucumbers, chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) and Kalamata olives.
My husband Jacques likens this dish to blini with caviar and sour cream. To some, that’s quite an endorsement (I’ve resisted caviar all my life, with every fiber of my being).
M-J’s HIGH-PROTEIN MUNG BEAN PANCAKES
To my pot of cooked mung beans (one cup dry beans, three cups water) I add chia seeds (while beans are still hot, to make them soft), yogurt whey*, whole oat flour (I grind my own), ground flax, hemp protein powder, a couple of raw eggs, and a little self-rising flour. I keep the batter pretty thin, adding more liquid whey or water when required. Ingredients are pictured below, but I don’t use measurements. ~M-J
Read Dr. Axe’s information on the Mung Bean Nutritional Powerhouse.
I save liquid whey from the yogurt-straining process, and mix a little nonfat dry milk with it in a blender-bottle. I refrigerate the stuff to use in smoothies or pancake batter~M-J
Make yogurt whey* to use as liquid for pancake batter by straining your yogurt to make it thicker. Pour the liquid (whey) that has been removed from your yogurt into a jar for use in smoothies and pancake batter. Then use the resultant “Greek yogurt” to spread onto the pancakes. After spreading this on my mung bean pancakes, I roll them to create a delicious, health-promoting luncheon dish.
*See my jar of whey in the following picture:
Groups of identical or similar containers make this busy cook’s pantry/kitchen cupboard look less cluttered.~©M-J de Mesterton
Straining your own yoghurt makes a delightful Mediterranean or Middle Eastern spread for bread or pita. Put a round coffee-filter into a bowl-sized strainer or sieve, empty a container of plain whole-milk or full-fat yoghurt into it, cover with another round coffee-filter, and place over a bowl that allows some space between the bottom of the strainer and the base of the bowl, so that when your yoghurt is draining, it will not soak itself. Keep the assembly covered with plastic or Saran-type wrap, because fruit-flies love this stuff. I initiate this process before going to bed at night; in the morning I have wonderful, thick spread for my preferred bread or pita, and this yogurt-cheese is also excellent with a fried egg.
©M-J de Mesterton
See The Elegant Cook Bread Page for M-J’s Pita Recipe
©Copyright M-J de Mesterton, August 25 2018
Tasty Tofu with Mild Green Shishito Peppers
As a nutritious austerity dish, there are scads of ways to prepare tofu. Three ounces of firm tofu, with only seventy calories, contain eight grams of protein and two grams of carbohydrate. This morning, I sautéed in coconut oil some cubed tofu that I had marinated in soy sauce, cider vinegar and miso, then added some roasted Japanese shishito peppers. I then sprinkled the dish with black-and-white sesame seeds.
NUTRITION FACTS on Shishito Peppers, from Trader Joe’s: Serving size about 7 peppers (45g) | Amount per serving: Calories 15
Total Fat 0g (0% DV), Saturated Fat 0g (0% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 0mg (0% DV), Total Carbohydrate 3g (1% DV), Dietary Fiber 2g (8% DV), Total Sugars 2g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A (8% DV), Calcium 0mg (% DV), Iron (2% DV), Vitamin C (35% DV).
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Re-purposing another commercial container: a tiny jam jar was converted into a mini-salt shaker and filled with Himalayan salt. I used a sharp-pointed pair of scissors and lightly pounded it with a meat mallet to poke holes in the lid. I also put three little holes in the screw-top of a nicely-shaped Herdez green salsa jar, then filled it with my seasoning blend for use while cooking. ©M-J de Mesterton 2018
Summer Clothing Survival
Washing and Drying Your Shirts
A well-made shirt can cost $100.00 or more. That is an investment to protect. Your shirts will last much longer if they are washed by hand and hung to dry. Don’t use so much detergent that it takes a rinsing marathon to remove it. “A little dab’ll do ya”, as the old Brylcreem jingle said. Ideally, one would hang shirts on a clothesline, upside down, with clothes-pins or pegs. This keeps pinch-marks off the important areas of your shirts. The sun will dry them in no time. Alternatively, one could hang them indoors, perhaps out-of-sight behind the the shower curtain, on hangers. A sturdy spring-rod, placed inside the shower area for the purpose of hanging clothes to dry will not interfere with your existing shower-rod. If you don’t want to get hanger-marks on the shoulders, just put wash-cloths under them, over the ends of your hanger. The worst thing to do, even if you wash your shirts in cold water in the gentle cycle, is to dry them in a machine–doing so will quickly degrade your shirt, which will die an angry death before its time. My husband and I have shirts from France and England that are more than twenty years old, and in perfect condition.
An electric, energy-consuming dryer is an enemy to high-quality clothing. In fact, dryers shrink clothes and wear them out quickly; lint is composed of fibres that a machine robs from your clothes. You’d be surprised at how swiftly shirts dry naturally, and when they are just a wee bit damp, they’re easy to iron. In cases of stubborn collar and cuff soil, when hand-scrubbing fails, you can still wash your white shirts in hot water, soap, and a little bleach, as long as they are rinsed well, and then hung to dry. (Bleach alternative may be a better choice, if you can get it to work on stubborn stains. I sometimes use hydrogen peroxide and/or vinegar.) The sun will do some natural bleaching of white cotton. Save costly energy and your shirts by hand-washing and sun-drying them.
Giving your precious shirts to a dry-cleaner or other laundry service is wasteful. They crush buttons and machine-dry the poor things. Do clothes hanging on a line outdoors conjure up bad images for you? Too bad, because it is one of life’s simple luxuries to be able to dry a beautiful, well-made shirt in the sun–some of the best people do it. Believe me, it’s not remotely infradig to care for your own shirts. After all, who cares for them more than you do?
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, May 2008-2012
The Clothes Line, an Elegant Survival Original, Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006
Clothes dryers are energy-wasters, and will ruin your clothes as well, through fibre-loss and shrinkage. Some electric dryers even tear holes in clothes. Hand-washing and line-drying your shirts and other washable garments will extend their lives. I use Zote soap and a microfibre cloth to rub dirt out of cuffs and collars. Underarms need special attention, too. I use a microfibre cloth instead of a brush because it is more gentle on the fabric, while strong enough to grab what I like to call “café crud” from cuffs.
You don’t need a fancy contraption for natural clothes-drying; a five-dollar investment in a clothesline from a supermarket, and a packet of wooden clothespins for about three dollars will do, and you can be line-drying in a jiffy. Having a couple of trees to hold your clothesline at each…
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