Thursday, 22 February 2018

Thursday, 22-02-18

Good morning.

No photo today because I forgot to take one but dinner was jolly tasty.
I had 100g of cooked chicken from the day before.  I sizzled a bit of onion, red pepper and mushroom in a bit of spray oil, then added the chicken and about ten 'baby spinach' leaves and while that was all cooking, boiled some tagliatelle - too much, must've weighted wrong - and when that was all cooked I added some light soft cheese with garlic and herbs to the chicken and veg mixture plus a few tbsp of pasta water before adding half of the drained tagliatelle and a bit of Maldon salt.   It was so nice and made plenty!

I've had to change the weekend meal planning so I set to and planned from this Friday up to next Friday so no excuses.

And after feeling a bit 'bunged up' and, remembering that the instructions on the diet said constipation might be a problem, I bought some fibogel, as recommended, this morning whereupon, when I got home, things magically 'unbunged' themselves.  Oh, well, maybe it will come in useful at some point!
(apologies if it's TMI)

On to today - I have a portion of tagliatelle to use up (about two carb portions)!  So . . .

B:  porridge with natural yogurt and a bit of stevia
L:  lentil soup and two boiled eggs.
D:  was going to be a veggie burger but I think now I will make a sort of bolognaise with 100g mince and an assortment of veg plus the left over tagliatelle.  Then a fruit yogurt
Ss:  two apples

From the freezer
the mince for the bolognaise

The frugal factor
Now I'm not adding fruit to my porridge, it's more frugal than ever.
Lentils are great value and eggs is eggs (as the saying goes)
I'm using leftovers for dinner and the mince is strictly measured out.  Just a shame I can't add lentils and oats to the mix but there you go!

Weigh day tomorrow.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Wednesday, 21-02-18

Good morning.
Well, yesterday's lunch might have lacked 'coherence' but it was OK and jolly filling!  I do like a nice boiled egg!

 I did rice to go with the potato and chickpea curry.  I'm allowed such a small amount, I wouldn't have bothered, if Beth hadn't been round for dinner.  I cooked loads and now, as well as what we had for dinner, I now have six pots of double portion rice (I'm allowed two carb portions for dinner but yesterday there was one portion already in the curry), quickly cooled and straight in the freezer.  That will save me time and trouble another day.

The curry was OK.  I did add a bit more veg but it was spinach and I don't think that's going to sabotage anything much and I tossed in a small amount of lentils to make a flavoursome and thicker sauce.  It could have done with a good dollop of mango chutney, some coconut milk and more veg but there you go, it was OK so I'm more fortunate than nine tenths of the world's population (I think that's right) in having hot, nourishing food and enough of it so I won't whinge too much.

Today's plans are:
B:  30g muesli with milk and natural yogurt.  I like this and it is plenty
L:  I'm going round to a friends and she's doing tuna and salad.  That should work OK.
D:  I'm still doing pasta bake but instead of mince, I'm using chicken because I (deliberately) cooked more than was needed yesterday.  Instead of the grated cheese, I will use some soft cheese as the dairy portion. That's nice with pasta.  So the chicken is the one portion of protein, a bit of onion, pepper and mushroom is the veg portion, the cheese with a splash of the pasta water is the dairy portion and pasta is the double carb.  Again, I might also throw in just a few spinach leaves which should make no difference to the effects of this diet.
Ss:  apple and orange

From the freezer
Just the chicken - and I got that out yesterday.

The frugal factor
The muesli is a gift - my dad keeps me supplied as he gets a delicious (and expensive) kind online and orders more to keep the postage cost down - that's his excuse, bless him.
I'm not paying for lunch but, of course, I will take over some flowers and something nice as a thank you so no frugality there
The pasta bake will be reasonable.  If it was a chickpea bake it would be even better, but it isn't!  Pasta is cheap, there's precious little veg involved and the cheese will be Savers.

Getting there!!!

I have to have my gallbladder out and have been put on a short term 'liver shrinking diet' by Dr C.  So, for the next three or four weeks, my plans/food intake need to:
conform to the rules of the diet
be frugal
use up stuff from freezer and cupboard

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Recipe: 'Slimming World' chips

I call them 'SW chips' because I found the recipe on the SW site and it's a recipe they recommend their members use for chips.
Chipping a small to medium potato makes it seem to go a long way, I have found.

Basically it's . . .
chip the potatoes
smear oil over them
bake them at about 200C (fan) until done.

I do a bit more than that.  Apologies if it sounds fussy, it's not really, it's dead easy.  Best to make them when you have the oven on for something else as well or you could use a halogen oven if you wanted.  I don't know how it would work in one of those fryer machines as I don't have one.

spray oil
a suitable potato - I tend to use Maris Piper
(spicy seasoning, if you want.  I do for wedges but not for chips*)

What I do.
Well before I need them, I chip the potatoes and put them into cold water.  Sometimes I peel the potato, sometimes not, if depends on the skin and how I feel but, if you don't, give the skin a good scrub.  Cover the bowl and pop into the fridge until needed.
I do this because it is surprising how much starch comes out of the potato.  It's not essential, it's just what I do.

When I want to start cooking them, I turn the oven on to 200C, take them out of the cold water and pop them into a pan of boiling, salted water a few at a time so the water stays boiling, then let them boil for three minutes.  I drain them and let them steam dry which takes no time at all.

I use parchment on a baking tray as it saves on washing up.  Frugal with time or maybe just being lazy!  I use spray oil which is 1 cal a squirt.  I spray the parchment with five squirts and spread it over with my hands.  Then I put on the chips, spread apart, spray on some more oil and just smoothing it all over, again with your hands.
Pop the tray into the oven.

After about 20 mins, I check and turn them over.  By now they will have started browning and will be soft.  (If I'm baking fish in a foil parcel, this is when I pop it on the tray too).
I give them another ten minutes and they should be brown, crunchy and ready to enjoy with a little salt sprinkled over.  If you want them browner, give them another five minutes but watch them!

*If you want wedges, cut them accordingly and make up a spicy mix - something like garlic granules, cumin, coriander, cayenne, etc - there's loads of ideas on Google - and sprinkle it all over after spraying before popping the tray in the oven.

Tuesday, 20-02-18

Good morning.  Here we are at the start of another day.

Yesterday's dinner was delicious although I realised afterwards that I had planned broccoli and had salad.  However, that's the sort of thing that really doesn't matter.

I used a bit of the leftover salad dressing to bake the salmon in and it was super-delicious and I do love Slimming World chips - hardly any oil (I use spray oil) but they still come out all crisp and crunchy.

And I really didn't have room for the planned dessert so I will have the rhubarb with some porridge (instead of muesli) today.

On to today.
B:  porridge (30g) with natural yogurt (60g) and stewed rhubarb (about 70g), sweetened with a bit of stevia
L:  2 boiled eggs, 100g baked chicken, 90g carrot sticks - a bit of a mish mash really and some toasty soldiers would have been nice but never mind!  Usually I wouldn't have the chicken either, the eggs would be enough!  Fortunately, my freezer is reasonably loaded with chicken as it's a favourite.
D:  I had forgotten that Beth is coming round for dinner so I shall change my plans and make a chickpea and potato curry with basmati rice (Beth is vegetarian) with a yogurt for dessert.
Ss:  apple and orange

From the freezer
the rhubarb
the chicken
the chickpeas
the mirepoix for the curry

The frugal factor:
Better than the last couple of days as dinner will be much more frugal - the chickpeas were dried. soaked, cooked and frozen.
Porridge is always a frugal option and the rhubarb was from the allotment last summer.
Boiled eggs would be fine but the chicken knocks it off target a bit.  Never mind.  Carrots are always reasonably priced, whether in season or not.

So that's today - fingers crossed.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Monday, 19-02-18

Good morning.

Yesterday's lunch was delicious but not enough (for the diet - it was more than enough for me!) - it was two veg portions and one protein portions but it should have been two.  I think these lunches are going to be harder to get through than dinners because of all the protein!  I concocted a dressing and it was all delicious.

The dressing was:
Half tbsp dijon mustard (I might use half and half with grain mustard next time)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Half tbsp toasted sesame oil (I have small bottles of different kinds of oil on my shelf and hardly ever use them!)

1 pinch of salt
I just threw them all in a little pot, put on the lid and gave it a good shake.  The rest is in the fridge and I shall have to use it up, diet or not!  It's far too delicious to throw away.  
Just don't tell Dr C.

The plan for the week is complete but, of course, it will change, it's not tablets of stone.  However, I'm happy with it for now and I don't have to buy anything more in which is satisfying.

So today's plans are:
B:  porridge with natural yogurt and a bit of sweetener
L:  chicken and lentil soup - it will be like the chicken and chickpea soup but with lentils instead of chickpeas - and not nearly as many either!
D:  baked salmon, SW chips and broccoli, natural yogurt with rhubarb
S:  apple (I have used the other fruit portion as rhubarb for dessert)

From the freezer
chopped tomatoes
Quite good today!

The frugal fractor
I'm just finishing off the last of the bought yogurt today by making my own again.  The amount of dairy I am expected to have means I will get through quite a lot because I only have milk in the morning, usually, unless I have an afternoon cuppa which is hardly ever.
The chicken is leftovers from the last roast chicken I had, as is the stock.
The salmon is just the right amount thanks to the nice girl behind the fish counter.  It was also cheaper than the pre-packed salmon.
The rhubarb is from the allotment last year, prepped and frozen.

Fingers crossed!

I have to have my gallbladder out and have been put on a short term 'liver shrinking diet' by Dr C.  So, for the next three or four weeks, my plans/food intake need to:
conform to the rules of the diet
be frugal
use up stuff from freezer and cupboard

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Five Frugal Fings

It's a bit late this week because I was away between the last post and Thursday so haven't really been frugal.
Since then, the medical diet instructions have arrived, so I have been focusing on two things: preparing for it and dealing with fridge stuff that I can't have but which won't keep.

1.  I've grated a good half a block of Cathedral cheddar (my favourite).  I know this keeps a long time but I have had it a long time and when I looked this morning there was a little bit of mould starting.  I sorted that out, grated the rest and it is now in the freezer.  It's always a useful thing to have in there anyway and, when grated, you can just spoon out what you need each time without any of those little bits that fall off the block and which somehow find their way into your mouth!  In this case waste definitely equals waist!

2.  Ditto parsnips.  They are too starchy for the next three weeks so I've peeled the one I had left, cut it into smaller bits, blanched them, floured them and open frozen them before bagging them.  OK, so it's just eight bits but that's one of the vegetables for two meals so I'm not rejecting that!

3. I was very grateful on Satrurday morning to the nice young lady who was so patient with me at the fish counter while I asked her to weigh bits of fish so I could get as close as possible to the 100gs that I am allowed to have.  I really didn't want to cut bits off and now I don't have to!

4.  And I was also very pleased to see that today is 25% off Tu clothing.  As some of my clothes are now starting to fall off me (I put on a skirt the other day and it promptly fell down again!), I'm looking for a bit of cheap stuff to tide me over the next few months.  I got some pjs, a hoodie and a shirt and am really pleased.  Still clothes related, I had a session of trying on older clothes that had shrunk < cough > and I'll be in some of them in a couple of weeks, I think.  I'm so glad I didn't chuck them now.

5.  And finally, a letter arrived, telling me how much my pension has gone up by.  It's not huge but every little helps and the extra will go straight into the old savings every four weeks.  It mounts up over time and then, when something unexpected breaks or happens, it's not a crisis.

What are your frugals at the moment?

Sunday, 18-02-18

Good morning!

This was yesterday's dinner.  It's a 'lunch' on my diet - two protein portions and two veg portions, more or less.  Blimey!
I managed the veg but could only get down half the steak before feeling very full - so half went into the fridge and I shall have it today, sliced thin, maybe with a honey and grain mustard dressing (which is definitely NOT on the diet) and another salad.
It was a lovely steak though.  I could have had half with a smaller salad and a fair old number of slimming world fries, with a yogurt for dessert and that would have made a dinner - one protein, one veg, two carbs and one dairy.
Looks like I won't be starving, that's for sure.

Today's plans:
B:  porridge with natural yogurt
L:  something with that beef - I will thin slice it a la Jamie Oliver and knock together a simple salad.  If it was tomorrow I'd have to think of more protein but it isn't so I don't!  Might have a yogurt afterwards.
D:  I see I have some roast lamb in the freezer so I might have that with roasties and - let's be bad - TWO veg portions (sprouts and carrots).  Ooooh-er!

From the freezer
The steak was from the freezer yesterday
The lamb
The roasties (I had some prepped for Christmas and there's just a few left - must do some more as they are such useful things to have around)

The frugal factor
Good old porridge!
The steak is left over from yesterday
The lamb is hardly cheap but is what's left from a joint I had ages ago.

I think I'm reasonably well prepared for tomorrow now but wait until the 'why can't I have that' resistant feelings click in!  :-)

I have to have my gallbladder out and have been put on a short term 'liver shrinking diet' by Dr C.  So, for the next three or four weeks, my plans/food intake needs to:
conform to the rules of the diet
be frugal
use up stuff from freezer and cupboard