French Food Tips - How To Choose The Right Wine For Any Meal

When you think of French food, what drink to you tend to associate with it? It's a fair bet that you would think of wine, because French food and wine tend to go hand in hand, as though made for each other from the very start. The French love their wine of course, although here in the UK we like a fair tipple more than ever, with us British spending over £12 billion a year.

But if you're looking to serve a bottle of wine more by how it is able to complement the food than how much it cost or how pretty the bottle, then read on. In this article we're going to look at how to pair your traditional French food with a good bottle of wine that will see you pass favour as a culinary expert.

The thing to remember with wine drunk with a meal is that it should act as an integral part of the meal, complementing and balancing the flavours, and helping to cleanse the palate at the same time. Many people state that drinking wine with your meal aids digestion, although this may simply be an excuse of course! The one rule when it comes to choosing and serving wine with any meal is that red wine goes with red meats such as steaks, lamb and beef, and white wine goes with seafood, white meat such as pork, and poultry, such as chicken and turkey.

However, if this rule is the first and last one which you tend to follow, then here's a second rule to double up your understanding of how wine should be served with a meal: forget the first rule.

Although the first rule can be helpful, it can also be very limiting, and in many cases people may end up drinking white wine with a meal when really they much prefer red wines, or vice versa. Essentially you shouldn't just go by the colour of the liquid, because there are so many more factors which come into play. It may well be that when serving lamb a white wine goes down much better than a heavy red wine, and so it's best to look at how to pair French food and wine based on four basic factors. But don't worry, this doesn't mean you have to have an expert palate, as these factors can be detected by anyone.

The first factor is acidity, which affects how sharp a wine feels. Imagine having an apple, such as a Cox's. When you bite into this you get a tingle which you can tell on your tongue feels almost sharp. This is the acidity, and some wines will have a similar effect, whilst others will be less sharp, more like biting in to a Golden Delicious which is slightly more child friendly!

The second factor is the body, which you often hear wine connoisseurs talking about. This really means how thick the liquid is, comparing water to milk, and milk to cream. The heavier the wine the more body it has.

The third factor is the aroma, (or smell if you insist!) and this is best detected by swirling the wine in a glass and smelling it. You should be able to pick out elements such as earthiness, fruitiness, nuttiness and even floral elements.

The fourth and final factor to lookout for when choosing wines which match well with French food is the flavour of course, and this will be very much akin to the aroma. A nutty aroma will usually mean the wine will have a chocolaty, nutty flavour.

Once you have picked out these four elements, and don't worry - there's no wrong or right answer, as it's all entirely a matter of personal opinion, you can start to look at how to pair your wine with your French food. If you're serving a traditional French beef bourguignon then you may well find that a full bodied, heavier red wine with a strong flavour is best, whereas if you're serving Canard à l'Orange then you may find a lighter white wine with a light, slightly spicy or tangy flavour and a slight acidity to complement the orange sauce will work wonders.

Remember, when pairing French food with wine the only real rule is that there are no rules, so bear in mind the factors outlined above, and then rely on your gut instinct - literally!

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Healthy Dinner Ideas - 6 Amazhng Tips How Using Your Fondue Set Can Create the Healthiest Dinners

Having a fondue evening is not only a great possibility to spend a nice evening together. It can also create very healthy and light meals your whole family will benefit from. It takes some time to prepare, but most things can be done in advance, so when dinner time comes, all you need to do is prepare your stock, put everything on the table and light your fondue.

In case you don't know what a fondue is: It's a pot that is placed on a réchaud. Then everyone sits around it and cooks his or her own meat or vegetables in the stock (they are stuck on a fondue fork). There are usually salads, dips and bread served with it.

One of the big advantages of having a fondue is that you eat really slowly since your food first needs to cook. Also, you will be very busy talking in between. The result is that you are very unlikely to eat too much. You will actually be amazed how little food you really need.

As all meals, a fondue can be very healthy or very unhealthy or anything in between. To make sure you serve the healthiest fondue possible, follow these 6 amazing tips:

    * use a healthy cooking liquid
    * choose lean meat
    * serve healthy salads
    * serve vegetables or fruit
    * prepare low calorie salsas and dips
    * choose whole wheat bread or rolls

Use a healthy cooking liquid

Instead of frying your food in liters of oil, prepare a chicken, vegetable or beef stock. This contains way less calories, goes just as quick and tastes just as great. You can keep the stock afterward and use it to make a soup the next day.

Choose lean meat

This is very important to keep calories in form of fat low. Skinless chicken breast is a good option and any kind of filet too. Poultry and beef contain less fat than pork, so you should prefer these.

Serve healthy salads

A potato or pasta salad with heavy mayonnaise tastes certainly great but they are very high in calories. Use fat reduced mayonnaise or salad dressing instead which also tastes very nice. You can also use low fat yoghurt to make your dressing, or use an olive oil dressing for your green salad.

Make sure you use healthy ingredients: green salads, vegetables and fruit. If you have a meat fondue, don't still add meat to your salads. If you have a vegetable fondue, you can add some meat or boiled eggs.

Serve vegetables or fruit

Having a fondue is a lot like snacking. Make platters with cucumber slices or slices of red or yellow pepper. Have cherry tomatoes and radish. Even raw or blanched vegetables like carrot or celery sticks, or cauliflower or broccoli florets are great with a dip or salsa.

Serve fruit just as it is, or as a colorful mixed kebab on sticks. Grape-cheese sticks are also very popular (choose low fat cheese). Or make a fruit salad or dip.

Prepare low calorie salsas and dips

The products you buy are often high in calories. It's better to make your own. A salsa of canned tomato, onions and chopped green pepper is quickly prepared. Mix low fat cottage cheese with various spices to make a nice dip. You can also add some chopped onions and garlic. Or mix it with chopped canned peaches to get a sweet dip.

Choose whole wheat bread or rolls

These fill you quicker so you won't overeat easily. They also contain much more nutrients than white bread. You can serve rolls just as you bought them, or cut them in half. Toast is very nice if you cut it into triangles and roast it in the oven. If you want garlic bread, apply some olive oil with a brush, spread crushed garlic and chopped parsley over it and bake it in the oven. That will have much less calories than the bread you buy.

So, dig out this old fondue set you haven't used for ages, and enjoy a healthy dinner with your family!

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Healthy Food Reveals Healthy Skin

The skin of each person indicates inside health. Soft, healthy, beautiful and glowing skin depends on consuming the right foods, instead of putting lotions and creams or treatment on outside of the skin. It is said, "Beauty comes from within..." Everybody wants clear, smooth, wrinkle-free, perfect skin in all ages. Beautiful and youthful skin can reveal without the high price tag of expensive cosmetics. Beautiful skin does not depend on genetics; healthy food improves its health.

Dermatologist visits, doctors' treatment and beautician consults cannot as effective as proper and super food can. Scientific have reached that food have required vitamins, protection, antioxidants, polyphonic, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium's which give healthy looks from inside to outside.

For healthy and supple skin here is the required information on foods:-

Vitamin A, B complex, C, E, minerals, Copper, zinc and selenium are antioxidant for healthy skin. Zinc deficiency will result in poor skin health.

Water- Water should be drinking plenty of time. It will keep the skin smooth, younger and healthy. Clean and pure water must intake rather than caffeinated or sugary beverages. Water rejuvenates and hydrates skin cells. Toxins out and nutrients in according to nutrition's 8 to 10 glasses of water should drink in a day, which keep the skin clean, clear and soft.

Fruits- many experts considered that fresh fruits are the big source of vitamins. Many fruits like strawberries, papaya, barriers, black currents, blue barriers, pomegranates and acacia barriers are rich in antioxidants. Blue barriers are the highest food source of antioxidants. They play an important role in targeting free radicals which wreak havoc on skin cells.

Vegetables- Vegetables like curly kale, Brussels, tomatoes, potatoes and cauliflowers are highly rich in vitamins C. Carrots are the highly source of required nutrient for healthy skin containing vitamin A. They are active agents to prevent free radical damage of skin cells. Carrots also contain fiber, vitamin K, C and BE, thiamine, biotin and potassium. Carrots are essential for developing and maintaining skin cells because they contain high level of antioxidant.

Seafood- Seafood contains zinc which helps to maintain collagen and lasting fibers that give skin its firmness and helps preventing sagging and wrinkles. Oily fish such as sardine, tuna and salmon are good for preventing aging and wrinkles. Sea food is source of minerals, Vitamins and proteins which is good for healthy skin.

Nuts- Nuts and seeds such as pistachios, almonds, sunflower, and pecans are safe essential food supplements for healthy and glowing skin.

Green Tea- Green tea plays a very important role in antioxidant that reduces inflammation and protects cell membrane. Its saves the skin damage on sun burns and over exposure to ultra violet rays which prevent skin cancer.

Healthy Food For The Brain

Researchers have discovered that overweight people have 4% less brain tissue, while obese people have 8% less brain tissue as compared to normal people. (1) This tells us that if we want our brains to be healthy, we must shed our extra pounds and stay trim. So lay off fast food and sodas, don't snack when you're not hungry, and stay away from fried, fatty foods. Below is some healthy food for the brain.

1) Include almonds, walnuts and blueberries in your diet. Almonds are walnuts are packed with omega-3 acids which help in busting stress and enhancing the mood. Also walnuts and almonds help replace melatonin, which is required to maintain brain health. Blueberries have the highest levels of antioxidants of all fruit,help reduce belly fat, and helps maintain a healthy urinary tract. These food items help reduce blood sugar, and low blood sugar levels improve thought and reasoning.

2) Herbs are rich in antioxidants. Basil and Ginseng, in particular, help control production of cortisol, which is a hormone that causes stress. Stress can cause memory lapses, as well as headaches and depression so make sure you include these herbs into your daily diet.

3) Eat foods with a low glycemic index like Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. These foods prevent elevated blood sugar levels, which can impact the brain cells. These foods are very rich in fiber and antioxidants as well, and help produce more HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), and helps scrub off LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) from artery walls. HDL is considered good cholesterol and LDL is considered bad cholesterol.

4) Do you eat fish? If not, it's time you started because eating fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines is good for the brain. These fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids right up to their gills, and as you know, omega-3 fatty acids are great for the brain. They can fight depression and improve your memory.

However, do not fry your fish - have it grilled or baked. Frying counter acts the health benefits inherent in any food. If you buy fish do not buy farm raised fish. Instead buy fish that is wild caught. If you're concerned about mercury in your fish (as you should) then take krill oil supplements.

5) Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, which increases blood flow to the brain and the entire body. Avocados also lower blood pressure, which also benefits the brain.

6) Eggs are a great source of protein that make you feel alert and help neurotransmitters in the brain function better. Choline is a nutrient in eggs that our body doesn't make enough of naturally. Choline is essential in brain health and can improve memory and reduce inflammation.


N. Curtis has written dozens of health articles and is the author of the Amazingly Informative and Extremely Entertaining Free Special Health Report "It's Your Body, You Can Die If You Want To!" Check it out now at

Grocery Shopping - Tips For Buying Healthier Food

What foods do you buy a lot of? Does your basket or trolley look like you're about to open a greengrocers or does it look like you're planning to open a biscuit shop?

It's time to take a long hard look at your grocery shopping and work out how you can make it healthier.

Generally buying less processed foods means you're eating better. The obviously high calorie foods like cake and chocolate are the first things you should look at. Can you buy them in portion sized packs? This makes it easier to have just a slice if you have slices of cake in individual portions. If you have to buy a whole cake then you'll be tempted to have a bigger slice and then maybe a second slice. Much easier to resist temptation when you're buying ready packaged portions. Bear in mind that these are usually more expensive and the extra packaging isn't good for the environment. Some people buy frozen puddings and treats that can be rationed out easier as you have to wait for a defrost time before eating them.

Buying more fruit and vegetables doesn't mean you have to spend a huge amount. Some UK supermarkets discount vegetables and fruit every week. There should always be some basics available at low prices. Onions, potatoes and carrots are good to look at for starters. Add celery to onions and carrot as a base for most stews and sauces and you'll start to be eating healthier straight away. Slicing celery thinly means it'll dissolve into the sauce as its cooking and no one will know it's there! Sneaky cooks also grate carrot very finely and add it to mince dishes to stretch out the meat. It's also healthier as it's very low in calories and fat compared to mince.

Buying Quorn or other meat substitutes is a healthier option than buying meats. They even do some processed type foods in these ranges making healthy food easier than ever. Frozen pieces of chicken Quorn are great for using in any recipes you'd use chicken in.

Finding healthy snacks in the supermarket isn't such a huge chore. Look for packs of dried fruit and nut mixes. These can be calorific if you eat a lot of them, so find a way of restricting portion sizes by decanting it into small tubs for people to eat.

Buying seasonal vegetables and fruit is a way of varying what you eat and encouraging you to try new things. They're also cheaper when they're in season so if you decide you don't like them then you've not wasted as much money! Read up on cooking new things - sometimes we overcook vegetables and this means they lose some of the vitamins from them.

Look for low-fat products in the cheese and butter aisles too. Low-fat options are varied now and you'll find everything from zero fat cottage cheese to hard cheeses in low fat varieties.

Read calorie information on packets - don't rush the shopping. Make sure you compare low calorie versions with full fat options to ensure you know how many calories you're saving. Sometimes the difference is very low and you might decide it's healthier and cheaper to have a smaller portion of the higher calorie foodstuff. If you can manage the willpower aspect then you'll find you can eat healthier.

Plan meals too - so you have plenty of vegetables included in your diet. Create salads for lunches including a packed lunch for work! Get some nice containers for taking food to work in so you can take a dressing separately and pour it on when you're ready to eat.

Plan healthy snacks for*everyone in your family: Have a fruit bowl that looks tempting and you'll find people want to eat from it. Look at frozen fruit bags for making smoothies out of. These are a great way of encouraging people to eat more fruit. A delicious smoothie made from frozen bananas is a real treat! Buy bags of bananas and as they ripen if they don't get eaten, then chop them up and put them in bags in the freezer. This makes them easier to blend! Just add milk and whizz up!

Some people recommend not shopping on an empty stomach. Whether being hungry means you'll buy more food that's bad for you is not sure, but being hungry might make you grumpy, or tired, or just rush the shopping and it should be done carefully so you don't miss out anything on your healthy eating list!