Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Wednesday, 05-05-21

Good morning.

Despite all my good intentions, I have ordered another Hello Fresh box, due to arrive this Friday.  Bad me, eh?  That will be it then until June as any more won't fit in with what's in the diary.

The food has been so delicious and I've got lots of good ideas from the four meals I've had so far, I just though it was worth it to continue a bit more.  It's not cheap, very definitely un-frugal, so won't be a weekly thing.  It's easy to forget that one still has to find breakfast and lunch (or, in my case, use the second portion for a lunch) and I have the four day box (which is eight meals for me).

A few months ago I said that trying out some of these box meal companied was something I wanted to do and I've now made a start.  Later on, in a few months maybe, I will try Gousto and there's another I've seen called Mindful Chef - has anyone tried that?

What I ate yesterday.
(No photos, sorry)

Breakfast was fruit.  When I looked, I realised I had left my yogurts at home, annoyingly, so I had an apple, some pineapple and a satsuma.  Very nice.

Lunch was beans on toast.

Dinner was the last Hello Fresh meal, fillet steak with blue cheese sauce, rosemary fries and broccoli (subbed because we had green beans on Monday).  I have to say, it was beautiful.  Dad said the steak was arguably the nicest one he could remember having ever and the sauce was so simple but delish.  It was just creme fraiche, pepper and some blue cheese.  I warmed up the creme fraiche with some pepper added and then crumbled in the cheese, stirring it as it melted in.  That was it.  No salt because cheese is already salted.  I will definitely do that again, using half fat creme fraiche, perhaps half and half with quark.  The fries were the one slight let down - the potatoes were just 'whites' and they don't have the flavour or the 'chippiness' of Maris Piper or Kind Edwards.  They were nice but too soft.
I don't need a Hello Fresh box to reproduce this meal another time.

Today's plans:  back on Slimming World values now

B:  fruit platter
Probably the same as yesterday as that's what Dad has in.
Then, back home, I will have a yogurt before personal training for some energy.
SW:  half a syn for the yogurt.  The fruit is speed and free

L:  egg on toast; apple
This should fill me up nicely after personal training.  Two slices of toast and two eggs with some tomatoes on the side, I think.
SW:  one healthy extra B and I think I will use a healthy extra A for some cheese spread instead of the light butter I usually have.  Eggs are protein and tomatoes are speed

D:  Swedish meatballs in sauce, orzo, side salad; kvarg
I have two more portions of the meatballs in the freezer so I'll have one of those with 50g (dry weight) of orzo (177 calories/free) and I'll mix up a side salad.
SW:  one and a half syns for the meatballs and sauce, half a syn for some spray salad dressing and half a syn for the kvarg

Body Magic:  an hour of personal training with Lindsey today

one healthy extra A
one healthy extra B
three syns

When the new box arrives, I'm going to try to value it out using SW.  It'll be interesting.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Tuesday, 04-05-21 the last of the Hello Fresh meals

 Good morning.

What I ate yesterday:

No photos for a couple of days, sorry.

Breakfast was just an apple and a yogurt and it was delicious.

Lunch was another portion of the Singapore rice noodles and, after a day, it was nicer.  These spicy things really do improve over time.  A shame they can also go off if the time is too long!!

Dinner was the third out of four Hello Fresh meals, the cheesy caramelised chicken.  It was actually very simple and will be more than easy to reproduce.  You hammer out the chicken until it is flat, spray a pan with spray oil and fry the resulting steaks until they are just cooked through.  Spread over some caramelised onion chutney and then some cheese, put them on a tray and pop under the grill for the cheese to melt.  End result - delicious!

I just boiled the accompanying green beans and, instead of garlic mash which neither of us fancied, we had some Jersey royals, boiled with some mind from Dad's garden.
I was right - there was enough chicken left to freeze with a couple of jersey royals and some of the gravy I made from some chicken stock I had in my freezer.

I also had various bits and bobs that made it a not terribly healthy day but never mind!

My plans for today:

B:  an apple, some fresh pineapple and a Mullerlight
I don't do fancy stuff while at Dad's; simple and tasty suits me.
SW:  half a syn for the yogurt
179 calories

L:  baked beans on toast
Dad uses seeded bread, not wholemeal, but that's OK.
SW:  seeded bread doesn't officially count as a B choice but tough!
325 calories

D:  fillet steak and blue cheese sauce with rosemary fries and broccoli
The last of the Hello Fresh meals and I paid a bit to have fillet steak because it's lovely!  The veg should be green beans but, as we had that yesterday, I've brought some broccoli with me.  It's simple enough to make.  The sauce is just heating up some creme fraiche, adding blue cheese and seasoning it and, as I don't have the actifry here, the chips will be made in the oven.
SW:  a bit tricky to work out but I'm saying five syns for the creme fraiche, I'm calling the cheese an A choice and, as I'm using spray oil, the rest is free,  That's not bad really, is it?
554 calories

Body Magic:  It's chucking it down with most welcome rain at the moment and looks set to continue so, probably not a lot today.

one healthy extra A
one healthy extra B (sort of)
five and a half syns
1058 calories and Dad has a nice bramble gin that should make up the rest of the calories.  :-)

(apologies for the lack of photos - it's not polite to go snapping photos when one is a visitor, I feel)

Monday, 3 May 2021

Monday, 03-05-21 Hello Fresh

 Good morning.  
I'm continuing to enjoy Hello Fresh very much indeed and an really pleased to be able to take the last two meals over to Dad's to share with him tonight and tomorrow night.  With any luck, there will be a bit left over for his freezer too, you never know.
I should be able to keep posting this time, it being a pre-arranged and more organised visit.

I've read some shocking reviews on places like Facebook but they don't fit with my (limited, admittedly) experience or with what some of you have said in comments which have been most positive.  I guess people can be more willing to complain than to praise and, maybe, some are hard to satisfy.
At the moment, I'm very pleased, anyway.

I made the Singapore noodles, a vegan recipe to which I added some chicken and some mushrooms and just a warning.  If you make it, be aware that it makes absolutely LOADS.  I got four portions the same size as the one in  the photo.
So next time - and there will be because it was so delicious - I will cut the noodles significantly while keeping the other ingredients the same (maybe more chicken though).

I'd never have thought of using grated parsnip in something like this but it has definitely added to the overall scrumminess without being in the least way an intrusive flavour.  Something learned there.
If one keeps the base ingredients the same, it is also a very adaptable recipe.  Pork would be nice, adding beansprouts and other Chinese veg would work well too.  Or use leftover veg from the day before.  Plenty of choices there. 
And, really, it is very slimming world friendly if one uses a spray oil for the stir frying.

What I ate yesterday:

A delicious fruit platter for breakfast.  I dipped the pineapple and the strawberries in the yogurt for extra yum.

Lunch was the other portion of the Hello Fresh chicken stew which had definitely mellowed over night and was delicious.  Apologies for using the same photo as yesterday - I forgot to take another photo as Beth arrived just as I was serving up.
The Singapore noodles recipe was so delicious (see top for details) and nice and frugal too.  The only slightly unusual ingredient was the sesame oil.

Another time, I will make some at Dad's plus some sweet and sour chicken.  He loves Chinese food.
Today's plans:

B:  apple and yogurt
134 calories

L:  not-vegan Singapore noodles
Another portion of what I made yesterday.
228 calories - a lot less than I said yesterday because then I was allowing two portions and actually got four!

D:  Hello Fresh cheese and caramelised onion chicken with garlic mash and stir fried green beans
Some of the sides might change.  I think Dad might prefer ordinary mash, jersey royals or roasties to garlic mash and I may just boil the green beans.  He will probably want a gravy too; he loves gravy.  But essentially, this is what we're having.
527 calories

Body Magic:  some indoor cycling and some core exercise plus, maybe, an online walk.

889 calories

OK, this is way too low but I will snack a bit at Dad's when I arrive - a cuppa tea with him and a few biscuits and probably some fruit.  It'll go up to a reasonable amount.

Just to remind you that while I'm working through the Hello Fresh box, I've gone over to counting the calories although I am still aware of how the recipes are fitting in with Slimming World (or not).  I'll be back on Slimming World by Wednesday and when I get another box, now I know how it all works, I can count and adapt.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Sunday, 02-05-21 Hello Fresh

 Good morning.
I'm quite enjoying the Hello Fresh meals and have been onto the page to order another box for the beginning of June.  I'm not sure if I will have any more after then although the recipe cards are there to print out so if I see something I really fancy, I could always have a go myself.  That way I can adapt them to suit SW.

I've also found a useful section of the Good Food site, a collection of nutritious and delicious looking healthy recipes (link below under today's dinner plan) and one of a collection of Doctor Rupy's recipes
Recipes like smoky vegetable jambalaya, veg and haloumi traybake and chilli bean stir fry, not to mention ideas for quick pickles make this a very useful resource for a slimmer who loves her veg and her strong flavours.
I thought you might be interested in taking a look at both links.

What I ate yesterday:

I do enjoy a bacon butty - or should it be not-butty as it didn't have butter.  It was good and filling too.
The warm panzanella salad was nicer than Friday, partly because of the whole second-day-flavours thing but also because this time I didn't overcook the croutons.

One to make again sometime as all the ingredients are things I already have, assuming some subs such as a wholemeal roll.

The croutons were, properly cooked, lovely.  Tear up a bread roll (they used a ciabatta roll) into crouton sized pieces.  Spray with oil in a roasting dish, add some salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.  Roast are around 180C for about ten to fifteen minutes until nice and crunchy.  I reckon they would do just as well in the actifry too.
The sweet potato and ginger garlic chicken stew was absolutely gorgeous.  I made it quite spicy as I like spicy stuff so it really tickled the tastebuds  but the choice is yours - just add less of the red chilli if you want it milder.  I'm glad there's a second portion for today and I will certainly make it again.
It was more like a soup than a casserole and the sauce was so good.  Definitely a winner!

Today's plans:

B:  fruit platter and yogurt
I have two quite big meals today so I'm keeping breakfast light.  I have strawberries, pineapple and kiwi so nice and exotic.
I've worked out the calories based on having some strawberries, pineapple, a kiwi and a pear, plus a Mullerlight.
245 calories

L:  sweet potato and ginger garlic chicken stew
The other portion from yesterday.  I'm very much looking forward to it.
582 calories 

D:  not-vegan Singapore noodles; kvarg
The original recipe is vegan but I am adding some chicken to it (sorry).  The recipe is here and there are some more likely looking recipes on the same page.
To stick with the same pattern, I am making both portions (it's a recipe for two) and having half today and half tomorrow.  It'll safe some time.
Rather unusually nowadays, there's no calorie info so I've worked it out on Nutracheck; it wasn't hard as Nutracheck is very user friendly.
542 calories, including the kvarg

Body Magic:  allotment work, weather permitting.

around  1370 calories

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Saturday, 01-05-21 Hello Fresh - photo heavy alert

 Good morning!
Well, the Hello Fresh box arrived, the text said, left on my front door step and there was a photo - but it wasn't my front door!  Thankfully, it was only next door's front door so I nipped along to get it and will explain if their security camera flags me up as a naughty person!  So not a great start but not Hello Fresh's fault, I guess.

It arrived before I had to go out so that was very good.
Unlike Gousto, all the items were together in the box rather than being separated into meals, so the first thing I did was shove all the chilled stuff into the fridge before I went out, plus salad leaves, etc.
Then, when I got home, I sat down and sorted everything according to meal.  It didn't take all that long.

And I took photos (of course!)

The box . . . nice and sturdy.
Inside . . . no leakages, everything nicely arranged.
The recipe cards . . . they look nice and clear.
All the fresh stuff.
The sachets, ranging from soy sauce to chicken stock paste plus a random sachet of teriyaki sauce that belonged nowhere.  No problem, I will use it when I make something vaguely Chinese.
The insulated bag of meat, etc, . . . 

. . . and the contents.  The steaks look lovely.
Sweet potato and ginger garlic chicken stew with lime and spinach
Cheese and caramelised onion chicken with garlic mash and stir fried green beans
Fillet steak and blue cheese sauce with rosemary fried and green beans - I paid extra for fillet steak, it didn't come as standard freebie.  That was my choice.  Dad and I both dearly love fillet steak.
Warm panzanella salad with chilli and crumbed feta.

So, how to use this bounty, given that each one is two meals/portions.

Well, first of all, the fillet steak recipe and the cheese and onion chicken are what I will take to Dad's for Monday and Tuesday evenings.  The meat/chicken is quite short dated so they've gone into the freezer for a few days.

The chicken stew will serve me for today and tomorrow evenings (assuming I like it, that is, and I don't see why I shouldn't.

So that leaves the panzanella salad.  It's not the sort of salad that will keep overnight so what I did was divide everything in half and made half for dinner last night and having the other half for lunch today.  I was able to cook most of the recipe, just leaving the croutons to be made today.

So, moving on to what I ate yesterday:

Nothing for breakfast.  I didn't want anything; I wasn't being noble or angelic in any way.

Tiktok pasta and a simple salad for lunch.  It looks naughty but was, in fact, pretty healthy with loads of veg roasted in spray oil and the pasta was wholewheat for a bit of extra fibre.  The feta was about one and a half healthy extra As so I've overdone the As what with this and dinner too.

I forgot to take a photo before I started eating so apologies for that.  The bowl may very well have been licked clean afterwards, it was that good!

Dinner was warm panzanella salad.  A bit naughty with white bread croutons (although if I made it again, I could use a wholemeal roll for the croutons rather than a white ciabatta) and yet more feta (I dearly love feta).  It came with a green pepper so I swapped in some red and yellow peppers as I though that would go better.
OK, so I over cooked the croutons (family email stuff, ooops) but you know what?  It was absolutely delicious and very filling too.  Definitely one to make again.  I really enjoyed it and am looking forwards to lunch today.

My plans for today:

B:  bacon roll with mushrooms and tomatoes
I have a white roll that needs using up and, as I'm doing calories for a few days while enjoying the Hello Fresh meals, I may as well have it today.  I'll use spray oil to cook the tomatoes and mushrooms and have some brown sauce in the roll.
Around 365 calories

L:  warm panzanella salad with chilli and crumbled feta
In other words, the other half of the Hello Fresh meal.
It isn't really possible to reconcile this with SW values but the bumph on the recipe card says it is 399 calories per serving which sounds good to me

D:  sweet potato and ginger garlic chicken stew with lime and spinach
This has quite a lot of ingredients and if I read it in a magazine or cookery book, I might be put off by that, rightly or wrongly.  It's nice to have all the ingredients ready measured to hand, I have to say.  Basically, you roast sweet potato, cook the chicken, cook the onion, add spices, tomato puree, coconut milk, etc, let it all simmer, then wilt down some spinach, add more flavourings, stir in the cooked sweet potato and serve.
I don't think there's anything there that will spoil overnight so I'll make the lot and divide it into two portions.  Tomorrow might be nicer than today because of flavours developing, etc.
As far as slimming world values are concerned, there's not a lot there that carries syns.  Coconut milk does and oil would but I will use spray oil.  It says one portion is 582 calories although that can't be totally exact because veg comes in different sizes!

Body Magic:  I intend to spend a fair amount of time in the garden, weather permitting - working, not sun lounging!

 Around 1,350 calories plus whatever I have in fruit

Friday, 30 April 2021

Friday, 30-04--21

 Good morning.  

I've just opened an email that tells me my Hello Fresh box should arrive this morning.  I will be out but, fortunately, they very happy to leave it in a designated place and also it's a sunny morning but it's none too warm so it should be perfectly OK for an hour or so.  That's one advantage of living at the end of a cul-de-sac.  No random passers by!

Until I've opened it and assessed the contents, I don't really know what most of my plans are going to be so all I can say is that breakfast is fruit and yogurt.

More later (or tomorrow).  :-)

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Thursday, 29-04-21

 Good morning.  I'm back after a few days away and need to get straight back on it again!  Tomorrow I have a Hello Fresh box arriving, a freebie via the lovely Cherie whose blogs I follow and enjoy.  Four free dinners for two can't be a bad thing so I'm looking forward to incorporating them into my meal plans over the weekend and into next week.

Today's plans:

B:  fruit and yogurt
I'm not feeling all that hungry so this is night and light but keeps me going.
SW:  speed and half a syn for the yogurt

L:  egg on toast, fruit
I have a swim booked for twelve with a gym session beforehand so I'll be ready for my lunch afterwards!
SW:  one healthy extra B, two syns for spread and the rest is speed/protein/free

D:  tiktok pasta, salad; yogurt
I so loved the pasta dish that I'm having it again this evening.  More tomatoes this time though!
SW:  two healthy extra As (the feta) but I am pretty sure the rest is free/speed because I will use spray oil.  Half a syn for the yogurt

Body Magic:  gym and swim plus some watering down the allotment

two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
three syns