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Home-Made Pizza

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I made my own pizza-dough as usual, and fitted it into a copper pan, decorated with sauce, cheese, parsley and pepperoni, then popped it into a 400-degree oven. This is the gorgeous pie that slipped right out of my pan onto a trivet.

©M-J de Mesterton, March 2017

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Deep-Fried Gyoza

gyoza_deep-fried_copyright_m-jeanne_de_mesterton_elegant_cookGyoza skins were filled with health-promoting ingredients: purple cabbage, cooked adzuki beans, celery, carrot, red onion, cooked brown rice, chopped umeboshi plums and miso; I sealed them with an egg-wash and then the gyoza dumplings were deep-fried in peanut oil and drained on paper towels. I served half of these and froze the rest (it’s the only way to keep them; storing these deep-fried pockets of finely minced vegetables, legumes and rice in the fridge will make them too soft). The frozen “gyozas” will be spread in a single layer and reheated in a hot oven. @M-J de Mesterton 2017

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Eggs Help Prevent Stroke and Heart Disease

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One large egg typically contains six grams of high-quality protein, the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin (a substance in egg yolks), as well as significant amounts of the important vitamins E, D, and A.

Vitamin E has been proven to reduce the risk of coronary attacks in people with heart disease, while lutein helps to protect against clogging of the arteries.

A study concluded at EpidStat Institute in November, 2016 found that consuming just one egg a day reduces risk of stroke by 12 percent. The study’s principal investigator, Epidemiologist Dr. Dominik Alexander, said: “Eggs do have many positive nutritional attributes, including antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. They are also an excellent source of protein, which has been related to lower blood pressure.”

U.S. scientists have found that, contrary to traditional perceptions acquired from decades of less rigorous research, consuming eggs had no association with coronary heart disease, which is on record as the leading cause of death worldwide.

©M-J de Mesterton 2017

M-J’s Article about Eggs, Published in 2010

Eggs don’t cause heart disease, as the medical industry previously believed. And here is more good news: a research team at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge determined that women on a weight-loss regimen who ate an egg with toast and jelly each morning lost twice as many pounds as those who had a bagel breakfast with the same number of calories without the accompanying egg.

Huevos (Eggs), by Spanish Court Painter Diego Velasquez

Eggs are nutritious, convenient, useful in thousands of recipes, and are a relatively inexpensive source of high-quality protein.

One large egg, which represents less than 4 percent of the total daily calorie intake of a person who consumes 2000 calories per day, provides 10 percent of the Daily Value for protein, 15 percent of the Daily Value for riboflavin, and 4 percent or more of the Daily Value for several other nutrients, including vitamins A, B6 and B12; folate; iron; phosphorus; and zinc. Eggs also provide choline, which is  essential in the human diet, and is credited for helping to create healthy babies during pregnancy. Because the percentage of the  recommended  daily amount for many nutrients provided by an egg is greater than the proportion of total calorie intake that the egg represents, the egg more than pulls its weight nutritionally. Most of the vitamins and minerals in eggs are found in the yolk; protein, however, is found in both the yolk and the white.

Recent research indicates that egg eaters are more likely than non-egg eaters to have diets that provide adequate amounts of essential nutrients. This seems to be partly due to the nutritional contribution of the eggs themselves and partly due to the fact that the inclusion of eggs in the diet is an indicator of a desirable eating pattern that includes breakfast.

Eggs can be prepared easily, in a variety of ways. They keep well  in the refrigerator for about three weeks, and therefore an individual can easily use up the dozen eggs in a carton before they spoil. Because most egg recipes involve short cooking times, eggs are convenient for the person with little time to prepare meals.

Eggs have several important physical and chemical properties that help make recipes work. They thicken custards, puddings and sauces; emulsify and stabilize mixtures such as mayonnaise and salad dressings; coat or glaze breads and cookies; bind ingredients together in dishes such as meat loaf and lasagne; eggs are used to clarify coffee and soups; retard crystallization in boiled candies and frostings; and leaven some types of baked goods such as cakes, cookies, soufflés, buns and sponge cakes.

Eggs are economical, especially when compared to other high-protein foods. For people who are trying to balance their budgets as well as their diets, serving eggs occasionally instead of meat, poultry, or fish is very economical.

One other  benefit of eggs is that they are a functional food—that is, a food which provides health benefits that go beyond basic nutrition. Eggs contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, two components which are believed to have health benefits.

Stocking up on dehydrated eggs would be a wise move right now.  There are many sources of dried or powdered eggs on ebay and the internet. I prefer to dessicate and process them at home. Here is my procedure:

Emergency Powdered Eggs

Cook the desired amount of eggs in a non-stick pan until they are scrambled dry. On a a large baking-sheet, place your scrambled eggs in a thin layer. Use a French chef’s knife or a pastry cutter to break them into smaller pieces. In a low oven around 130 degrees Fahrenheit, bake this tray of eggs for eight hours or until it is devoid of moisture. Using a hand-mill, meat-grinder, food-mill or a blender, process the eggs until they turn to powder. Store the dried egg powder in an air-tight, food-grade container.

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Reversal of Long-Held Beliefs on Dietary Fats

Additional Information on Foods Containing Cholesterol

A heart specialist from the University of Ireland, Professor Sherif Sultan, notes:

  • Current dietary guidelines are outmoded and desperately need to be revised.
  • Despite decades-old recommendations, high carbohydrate diets should be avoided.
  • Diets consisting largely of foods high in good-quality fats are the healthiest.
  • This essential changeover will stem the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and weight-related heart problems.
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Making Croutons

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A half-loaf of home-made sourdough bread was a couple days old, and tired of being stored in the fridge. I decided to make croutons with it for the week’s luncheon salads. I poured olive oil, spices, parsley and fresh rosemary into a Pop-It storage box (made with safe materials in Italy), then tossed the bread squares in and shook the thing with all my might to coat them well. With ambient heat from the oven while baking the croutons, a new loaf of bread was rising nearby. Sliced thinly, the croutons were ready after ten minutes in a 350° oven. Cooled croutons were poured into elegant jars to be used at table. And they won’t need to be stored for long; these croutons will quickly be poured out onto salads. @M-J de Mesterton

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Home-Grown Radishes

The Elegant Radish, Edible in its Entirety
The Elegant, Entirely Edible Radish, an Easy-to-Grow Vegetable

I grew these radishes using only home-made, all-vegetal compost for fertiliser.

https://elegantsurvival.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/elegantsaladradishgreenscopyrightm-jdemesterton.jpg?w=300

Salad with Radish Greens, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton

Three ounces of radish greens contain on average 200mg (20% RDA) of calcium. They also provide 13% of the human RDA (recommended daily allotment) of iron, and  vitamins A (280% RDA) and C (173% RDA). All vegetable-greens are high in vitamin K. magnesium and other beneficial minerals.

This elegant salad is composed of radish greens, cucumbers, and home-roasted almonds. My dressing is a vinaigrette made with white wine vinegar, olive oil, dry mustard, salt, and a few drops of honey.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Radishes with Soft Butter, a Traditional Component of Breakfast in France: the Elegant Radish is a Liver-Tonic

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The Beautiful, Beneficial Beet

This home-garden-grown baby beetroot was washed, steamed for five minutes, then dressed with olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. The root, bulb and leaves were consumed by your faithful editor. Grown in soil with only kitchen compost as a fertiliser, and no pesticides, this exquisite, nutritious beet was part of a health-promoting luncheon. Here is an article in the Wellness Times about the many health-benefits of beets, by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO. Dr Schor recommends drinking beet juice as well as eating the richly-coloured, elegant vegetables.

©M-J de Mesterton

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Making Sausage at Home

Merguez avec Brioche
M-J's Home-Made Brioche with Sausage

Why bother making your own sausage? Because you can choose the sort of casings and ingredients, ensuring that you won’t be ingesting something that makes you cringe. For example, I think the beef-collagen casings sound more appetising (if there is such a thing where sausage casings are concerned) than “natural” ones. Here is a SAUSAGE-LINK. The SausageMaker.com has everything one needs to make sausage at home, except the meat.

I received an email notice from Chefs.com this morning, which contained a plug for the Kitchenaid Mixer’s Breakfast Kit. It includes a sausage-making attachment, a juicing tool, and something to help one make salsa. I am intrigued by this, and it is now on my wish-list. If I ever acquire the breakfast tool kit, I shall review it here at Elegant Survival News.

©M-J de Mesterton

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Elegant Pantry

Elegant Pantry

Arrange pantry items in groups of similar containers for a well-organised appearance.

VISIT M-J de Mesterton’s ELEGANT PANTRY

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Broccoli with M-J’s Swiss Cheese Sauce

Elegant, Nutritious Broccoli Covered with Swiss Raclet-Style Cheese Sauce
Broccoli with M-J's Swiss Cheese Sauce, Ready to Bake until Golden Brown

Make a roux with flour and butter, Brown it slightly, then add milk or cream very swiftly while whisking it in the saucepan. Add Swiss cheese, and a little water to help blend the mixture. Incorporate Dijon mustard to taste. Salt and white or green pepper may be added if you need more flavour. Drizzle this cheese sauce over par-boiled broccoli which has been placed in a buttered baking dish. Bake in a medium-hot oven until the sauce is lightly golden.

©M-J de Mesterton

M-J's Swiss Cheese Sauce on Par-Boiled Broccoli
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Elegant Health Salad

Elegant Vegetable Salad for Good Health

Cucumbers, celery and red onions all chopped finely and dressed with vinegar and olive oil comprise a health-promoting salad. This elegant vegetable dish is refreshing in summer, and can help to prevent colds in winter. Vinegar helps to adjust your body’s alkalinity to the desired level, and olive oil is beneficial to the heart, reduces corporeal inflammation, and is now commonly known as an anti-cancer food.

©M-J de Mesterton

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Walnuts: the Health-Nuts

Photo ©M-J de Mesterton 2011

The following information was captured from California Walnut Growers, circa 2007:

Walnuts and other tree nuts and peanuts were recently ranked using the Index of Nutritional Quality (INQ) nutrient testing system at the Food Consulting Company of Del Mar, California [i]. According to Karen Duester, MS, RD who conducted the test, “Not surprisingly, walnuts ranked highest among the nuts in INQ. Because INQ relates to nutrient density, we looked at specific nutrients known to be abundant in nuts and peanuts: protein, fiber, omega-3, omega-6, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.”

On another independent scale, the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI)[ii] ranking system to be used by the Raley’s grocery chain, walnuts received 82 points on a 100 point scale, an excellent score among foods and nuts [iii]. According to David Katz, MD, MPH a nationally renowned authority on nutrition and the principal inventor for the ONQI system, “When overall nutritional quality is assessed, the verdict is clear: walnuts are a great food — they pack a lot of nutrient benefits in a nutshell!”

 

Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University and a member of the Hannaford Scientific Advisory Panel explains, “Walnuts are a whole food rich in antioxidants, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid, protein, fiber, and more. Whole walnuts receive the ‘best nutritional value’ three star ranking (the highest) due to their nutrient profile.”

 

Walnuts have nutritional qualities that are very important. One of the richest sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), the plant form of Omega-3, walnuts are unique among nuts and popular whole foods [v]. A one ounce serving of walnuts provides 2.57 grams of ALA, the plant form omega-3s, which is above the dietary reference intake (DRI) set by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine. Walnuts are also one of the highest natural sources of antioxidants, according to Halvorsen’s study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006 [vi].

 

15 years of clinical research on walnuts have shown benefits for the heart, and we’re not just talking about cholesterol reduction — improved vascular function and a reduction in inflammation have also been documented [vii-xii]. Looking to the future and expanding on this base of knowledge, research is underway at a variety of prestigious universities looking into cancer, diabetes and issues of ageing.
[vi] Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):95-135
“Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
[viii] Circulation. 2002 Nov 19;106(21):2747-57
[ix] Hypertension. 2007 Aug;50(2):313-9
[x] J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71
[xi] Arch Intern Med. 2007 Jun 11;167(11):1195-203.

 

[xii] Ann Intern Med. 2006 Jul 4;145(1):1-11

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Walnuts

How do Omega-3s work?
Inside your favorite kinds of nuts — walnuts, almonds, pecans and others — you’ll find many vitamins, minerals and other compounds your body needs for good health. There are the antioxidants found in vitamin E; several essential minerals such as magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese; and even fiber for more effective digestion. Thiamin, niacin, folate, phosphorus and zinc are all found in nuts.
Researchers believe that omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of heart disease by making the blood less sticky and less likely to form dangerous intravenous or arterial clots. Studies have also shown that omega-3s may lower the risk of stroke and prevent arthritis. In addition, there’s good evidence that omega-3s can increase HDL (good cholesterol), further reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The omega-3s found in fish oil are thought to be responsible for the significantly lower incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women as compared to women in the United States. This may be because omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the tumor growth that is promoted by the acids found in other fats, such as corn and safflower oils.
Finally, the brain itself is composed of a whopping 60 percent fat. It too needs omega-3s to help build and maintain tissue. Brain function itself may be at stake: in treating major depression, for example, omega-3s seem to work by making it easier for brain cell receptors to process mood-related signals from neighboring neurons.
What are good sources of omega-3s?
Omega-3 fatty acids are plentiful in cold-water fish such as mackerel and salmon. They’re also found in walnuts, canola oil, soybean oil, tofu and leafy green vegetables. Which would you rather sprinkle on your morning cereal or grab for a nutritious snack?
Walnuts are a delectable, convenient alternative to fish, tofu and leafy greens. In fact, just a handful of walnuts provides as much omega-3 fatty acid as a comparable serving of salmon.
Walnuts are unusual among commonly eaten nuts,  in that they taste better raw than toasted.
Courtesy of M-J de Mesterton