Holiday Health: Stay Svelte with Celery Soup

In a hot Dutch oven or stock-pot that contains two tablespoons of olive or coconut oil, sauté a head of sliced celery that has been thoroughly cleaned and an onion that has been chopped. Stir these vegetables often, cooking them until they are slightly brown at the edges. Add two tablespoons of flour and coat the vegetables with it. Gradually add five cups of water, a teaspoon of  salt, pepper to-taste, and two tablespoons of sour cream. Cook this mixture until it thickens. If you prefer creamed celery soup, pour it into a blender and process to the desired consistency. ©M-J de Mesterton, November 2017

Here is my 2006 version of celery soup:

 
My Original Recipe: Low-Carbohydrate Celery Soup
Potage de Céleri
Wash a whole head of celery, by cutting the bottom off and bathing the stalks in a sink-full of water. With French chef’s knife, chop finely. Include the celery leaves, which are packed with flavour. In a large pot, melt two tablespoons of butter. Put the chopped celery in, and add a teaspoon of salt, one half-teaspoon of cumin, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sauté until bright green and almost soft. Stir in a tablespoon of cornstarch (cornflour), which has seven grams of carbs. Saute for two more minutes, and then add one cup of cream and two cups of water. Simmer for ten minutes. Serves six. This soup is a good accompaniment to croques monsieurs for luncheon.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, February 2007
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M-J’s Easy-to-Make Thin-Crust, Yeast-Free Pizza

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Yeast-Free Pizza, Ready to Broil

Place a flour tortilla in an oven-proof or copper pan in which olive oil or coconut oil has been heated. On your stove-top cooker, brown the tortilla in the oil, and flip it to brown the other side as well. Remove the tortilla to a plate, and with an offset spatula or other flat implement, spread a layer of pure tomato paste over it, to the edges. Sprinkle this surface with a little bit of finely-crumbled, dry oregano. Grate your choice of cheese (mozzarella or my fave, Cabot white cheddar–this semi-soft cheese must be cold to grate it properly) and place evenly onto the pizza. Salt is not necessary, but you may wish to add red pepper flakes to-taste, or serve them in a condiment bowl at table. Add finely-sliced pepperoni if desired (I keep a pack of this in the freezer, which doesn’t require defrosting to use this way). Slide this raw pizza back into its oven-proof pan and place under the broiler in your oven, watching it closely as it cooks to your desired degree.  Remove pan from oven, and if the crust is a bit too soft, just set it back onto the burner for a minute or so on medium-high heat. Slide finished pizza onto a cooling-rack for a few minutes. Cooling it a bit will firm up the crust to a crispy stage, and stabilize the pizza’s toppings. Cut your thin-crust, yeast-free pizza into wedges with a pair of kitchen-shears.

Recipe & Photos Copyright ©M-J de Mesterton November 2017Home-Made_Thin-Crust_Pizza_Elegant_Cook_M-J_de_Mesterton

Above: Finished Thin-Crust Pizza, Top & Bottom

Making Pound Cake

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M-J’s Pound Cake Recipe

2 Sticks of Room-Temperature Butter, OR One Stick of Butter and 1/2 Cup of Coconut Oil

2 Cups of Sugar

3 Cups of White or Unbleached White Flour

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Tablespoon of Vanilla, OR Two Teaspoons of Vanilla and One Teaspoon of Almond Extract

4 Eggs

3/4 Cup of Buttermilk, OR Milk plus One Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream the butter and sugar, add vanilla and almond extracts, then beat until fluffy.  Blend in half of the eggs. Gradually add flour and other dry ingredients (I usually combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large measuring cup, & mix it with a fork so it’s ready to be incorporated into the batter); add the other two eggs, beating, then gradually add the milk. Beat for three minutes. Pour into a 13″ Pullman loaf pan, or two regular meatloaf-pans, and bake for 1.5 hours OR until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean.

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 I use a 13″ Pullman pan for this recipe.

 

M-J’s Sweet or Savoury Coconut Flour Pancakes

My recipe for coconut flour pancakes can be adjusted to your taste. I sometimes add a few drops of Mapleine, which is in the spice section of the market, together with vanilla extract. For fewer carbohydrates per pancake, unsweetened almond milk is ideal to use rather than buttermilk. When making a savoury version, I usually serve sour cream on the side, perfect for a low-carb regimen.

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Gelatine Dessert-Moulds

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You can use nearly any wide-mouthed container in the kitchen for moulding gelatine, even milk-cartons. It’s fun getting creative with colourful stuff, even it’s going to disappear soon. Look at the trouble that goes into elaborate ice-sculptures. And hey, you can immortalise  your creations using a camera.

~~M-J

My Favourite Measuring Spoons

Best_Measuring-Spoons_Elegant_Cook_M-J_de_MestertonI like to keep my measuring spoons separate instead of on a ring, for ease of use. Aedilys_Measuring_Spoon_Set_Elegant_Cook_M-J

They’ve finally designed a set of measuring spoons that are engraved with both U.S. and metric capacities, shaped to fit into small containers, have four-inch handles, and are made of 18/8 stainless steel. Please visit M-J’s Traditional Household.

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.

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Here is another home-made pizza, fashioned with dough from my versatile pain de mie recipe. The soft stuff was stretched onto a 14″ round Granite-Wear pizza pan that gives the bottom of the light dough a crispy finish.Home-Made_Pizza_Elegant_Cook_M-J_de_Mesterton

©M-J de Mesterton, March 2017

 

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

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.

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.

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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

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

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

Elegant Pantry

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

VISIT M-J de Mesterton’s ELEGANT PANTRY

RSS The Elegant Cook, M-J de Mesterton

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

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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