Friday, 17 November 2017

Friday, 17-11-17

First of all I need to apologise.  I have missed replying to some comments in October.  The reason is that Real Life got very complicated but that's no excuse and I do hope the sender isn't offended and will continue commenting.

Today's food plans:
B:  carrot cake baked oats (interesting name, I will let you know!  A slimming world recipe)
S:  apple or banana
L:  broccoli soup
S:  apple or banana
D:  savoury mince with boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage followed by fresh fruit salad with honeyed 0% fat natural yogurt.  And jolly nice it all was too!


From the freezer:
broccoli for soup


The frugal factor:
carrot and oats - can't get much more frugal than that!
the soup will be made from the stem and the bits that have dropped to the bottom of the bag and anyway, home made soup is great value
didn't pay for dinner.  The ultimate frugal!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Recipe: no fat hummus

(no added fat, anyway!)

I've just made this in preparation for and I'm very pleasantly surprised.  It is lacking the oil, of course, but it's delicious and I'm looking forward to lunch.

Ingredients
50g cooked chickpeas (take off the skins for a smoother texture)
30g quark (o% fat soft cheese)
a good splash of lemon juice to own taste (from a bottle is fine)
1/2 tsp garlic puree (I use it from a tube)
pinch of cumin
salt and pepper

Method.
Take the skins off the chickpeas.  Yes, it's a bit of a fiddle-faddle but I had read somewhere that you get a much smoother texture without the skins and you certainly do.  If you like a rougher texture, leave the skins on.

Place the chickpeas in a small blender (because it is only a small amount) or in a stick blender bowl.  Zizz them until they are like fine breadcrumbs.

Add the quark, the lemon juice, the cumin and the garlic puree and zizz until it is all smooth.  Then add a bit of salt/pepper, zizz and taste, adjusting, if necessary, to suit your taste.  You might also want to add some more lemon juice.  Then zizz again.

This makes enough for one good portion and I shall have it with carrot batons, maybe a slice of melba toast, and a side salad.

Now, I wonder what other flavours I could add next time.  Tomato puree?  Bit of curry powder?  Lime juice instead of lemon juice?
Ideas, please . . .

It helped to make a very nice lunch, packed with veg.

Thursday, 16-11-17

Today's plans

B:  beans on toast
S:  fruit
L:  home made hummus, melba toast (maybe), carrot batons, salad
S:  small portion of raw nuts (give them a go and see if they cause any problems)
D:  smoked salmon pasta


From the freezer
bread for toast and melba toast
chick peas for hummus
smoked salmon
peas
broccoli


The frugal factor
the bread, as always, is home made
ditto the hummus
the chick peas for the hummus were bought dried, soaked, cooked and open frozen before bagging so they are loose and I can take out just as much as I need.
the nuts were a gift from my dad
the broccoli was on special at Aldi but I didn't need much of it so I cut up and froze the rest, including the stem.  I've noticed that the florets have more or less gone now so I will use the remains to make a nice soup another time.  Broccoli soup is wonderful!





I have an overloaded freezer, hence 'the freezer challenge' which is to use up all the old stuff
I also have a tendency to frugality, recently diagnosed gallbladder issues (with an op at some time in the future), high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.  Oh, and more than a few lbs to lose.  I like flavour but have to go very low fat.  
Possible?  No idea - we will see.  It's a work in progress that I am sharing with you.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Recipe: a sort of lasagne

Not your authentic, cheesy, swimming in fat, totally, unctiously delicious thing but I gave this a go with a vague memory of reading somewhere that you could use cottage cheese.

Ingredients for one portion, made in a single portion dish
one portion of my savoury mince and veg, as described here (scroll down a bit)
two sheets of lasagne (I needed two sheets but didn't use all of it)
1 heaped tbsp no fat cottage cheese
1 heaped tbsp quark
about 1/8 of a tub of lower fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs (Morrisons does this)
seasonings
a titchy bit of oil for the bottom of your oven dish

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180C fan

Boil a kettle.  Place the lasagne sheets in an oven dish just bigger that they are and pour over the boiling water.  Swill them about a bit to make sure they are not sticking together.  Leave for five or ten minutes.  This softens the sheets enough to cut them to the size you want with a pair of scissors (thank you, Mary Berry, for this splendid tip).
Of course, if they are just the right size or fresh sheets, leave this out!

Mix the three cheeses together and either mash well or zizz a little bit.  It doesn't have to be totally smooth but just to get out most of the lumps.  Season if you wish.

Take out the softened lasagne sheets and pat them dry.  Then cut them to the size you need.

Oil the bottom of the lasagne dish.  Construct the lasagne like this, spreading each layer out evenly, if necessary.
Half the mince mixture, one sheet lasagne, half the cheese sauce.  Repeat, finishing off with the the cheeses - spread them carefully over so that everything is covered.

(At this point you could top it with a bit of finely grated parmesan or similar but not for me at the moment)

Place on a baking tray and into the oven for half an hour or so until the lasagne is properly cooked and everything is bubbling.  It will brown a bit on top.

Conclusion:  it was pretty good, I enjoyed it and ate it all.  However, I did miss the cheesy flavour and the sauce on top was a bit dry after baking.  It cried out for a sprinkling of strong cheddar which it wasn't going to get!

I remembered to take a photo.

Shame it was after I'd polished it off.






Wednesday, 15-11-17

Yesterday was the first day I felt my appetite was properly back.  I finished off the soup and thoroughly enjoyed dinner.  And no pain!  Not even discomfort from the gall bladder although things were a bit Purple Ronnie all morning!
Dinner was so nice that I have blogged the recipe in a separate post.


Here are today's plans:
B:  porridge with apple and yogurt
S:  melon
L:  beans on toast (no butter)
S:  orange or banana
D:  I'm going to try a lasagne with some zizzed cottage cheese and quark on top rather than a fat laden cheese sauce.  It might work, it might not, but I shall give it a go and see.


The freezer challenge:
bread for toast
cooked mince for dinner and I will probably add some chick peas to the mixture


The frugal factor
porridge - say no more
the apple is one that's a bit old and wizened and I wouldn't want to eat it raw but it should be fine cooked in porridge, much better than chucking it away
the beans are Savers, 1/3 of a can (so just 9p) and the bread is home made.  A lunch for 11p-ish has got to be good!



I have an overloaded freezer, hence 'the freezer challenge' which is to use up all the old stuff
I also have a tendency to frugality, recently diagnosed gallbladder issues (with an op at some time in the future), high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.  Oh, and more than a few lbs to lose.  I like flavour but have to go very low fat.  
Possible?  No idea - we will see.  It's a work in progress that I am sharing with you.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Recipe: minty lime chicken


I got this from a book called 'The Best Ever: Low Fat'.  It's been adapted a bit because I'm not going out to buy special ingredients!  The original serves six.  This is what I did.

Ingredients to serve 1
a bit of mint sauce -
10mls clear honey
10 mls lime juice (from a bottle)
salt and pepper
(just use what you think, taste and adjust)
chicken.  The recipe states boneless, skinless thighs; I had breast already cut into chunks before freezing so used that.


Sauce
25g low fat thick yogurt
bit more mint sauce
some grated citrus zest.  It says lime, I used orange zest as I used an orange in my fruit salad.  It was really nice


Mix the mint, honey and lime juice in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken to the marinade and mix well.
Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least half an hour.  I left it about four hours.

Heat up a non-stick pan and tip in the chicken and marinade.  Stir and turn it until the chicken is cooked through (takes very little time), then spoon out the chicken and as much of the marinade as you want.

Meanwhile, mix sauce ingredients in a bowl.  Serve the chicken with the sauce to dip and a side salad with a lime based dressing.

My side salad was simply grated carrot and watercress and I made a no fat dressing that was lime juice, mint sauce and honey and it was absolutely delicious.

Definitely one to make again.  It was so fresh and tangy and tasty.


Tuesday 14-11-17

Yesterday was another comfortable day with no reaction from my poor old gall bladder so I think I can safely assume that Eggs Are OK (hooray) and a little bit of low fat soft cheese is also friendly.

Here are today's plans:
B:  fruit salad, yogurt and maple syrup
S:  melon
L:  leek and potato soup - that soup just goes on and on!  I may just have to freeze one portion aftewr all
S:  more fruit salad (and yogurt)
D:  minty lime chicken with grated carrot and watercress salad (from a book - will let you know!


From the freezer
not so great today - just the chicken


The frugal factor
again, while not terribly expensive, frugality doesn't shine out today apart from the soup which I sort of started off making thinking it would do two days but because the portions are small, it's lasting a lot longer
I won't use loads of chicken for the dinner and the ingredients are all what I have in so no getting anything special.




I have an overloaded freezer, hence 'the freezer challenge' which is to use up all the old stuff

I also have a tendency to frugality, recently diagnosed gallbladder issues, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.  Oh, and more than a few lbs to lose.  I like flavour but have to go very low fat.  

Possible?  No idea - we will see.  It's a work in progress that I am sharing with you.