Monday 31 December 2018

Monday, 31-12-18 and that 'just like Heinz' soup

Good morning.
Well, it's the last day of 2018, a year that has changed my life considerably.  I started the year in pain/discomfort, facing an operation and starting to lose weight but with a long way to go.
I finish it still losing weight but within sight of my target, almost within a healthy BMI, gallbladder free and a lot fitter and healthier.
 I'm certainly ending the year in a much better place.

This blog is still about being a bit frugal, making the most of what you have got and enjoying your food, albeit with a leaning towards the Slimming World way most of the time now - it's the same and also different.

I'm not into resolutions really but I want to keep on what I'm doing - healthy eating, a bit of exercise and minimising waste to increase basic frugality.  And while on the subject pf waste, I think the size of my portions is creeping up a bit so I shall watch that one carefully.
Accountability in here will remain an important part of it all and I'd like to thank my followers and readers for - well - following, reading, commenting and keeping me accountable!!

So here's today's plans, the last of 2018:
B:  beans on toast, apple or orange
That's about a third of a can of beans (I'll freeze the rest in two portions) and one small slice of toast.  I might spread the toast with a little bit of dairylea light as it stops the toast getting soggy as well as going well with the beans.
SW:  half my healthy extra B for the bread and a little bit of healthy extra A for the cheese spread.

L:  turkey and veg soup with 25g grated cheddar sprinkled over, slice of toast for dunking
This is from the freezer, made last week, and if I say 25g, that compensates for the bit of dairylea as a healthy extra A is 30g cheese
SW:  almost one healthy extra A and the other half healthy extra B

D:  baked salmon, sprouts, carrot and parsnip chips, yogurt and fruit
OK, so they're not chips at all, just frylight roasted veg, but it's psychological, innit?  No?  Oh, OK, it isn't!  :-)
Anyway, whatever I call it, they will be delicious!  It's still Christmas veg - I really did get way too much!
SW:  I'll have some Tesco light seafood sauce on the salmon which will be two and a half syns.

Ss:  30g cheddar to nibble (the other healthy extra A), fruit/veg

I've finally got round to making the legendary SW 'just like Heinz' tomato soup.  It looks weird, all made from cans, but people say it is lovely so I popped off to Morrisons to get . . .
2 tins of tomatoes
1 tin baked beans
1 tin of carrots
a jar of pickled onions (yes, really - you use three or four)
All of the above were in the Savers' range and came to £1.29
To that I added some stock, some water, plus a few extras - a bit of garlic puree and a squidge of tomato puree.
All you do is boil them all up together and zizz them down and I then pushed the lot through a sieve because that's what I usually do.
It was surprisingly nice and, yes, quite Heinz-y in flavour if not totally in texture.  It made six good portions which will freeze OK because there's nothing in it that doesn't and cost under 25p per portion.  When I reheat a portion, I will add a splash of milk for more 'creaminess'.

If you're partying tonight, have a great time!

Sunday 30 December 2018

Sunday, 30-12-18

Good morning.
Definitely back into the swing of things now which is a great relief.  I changed things a bit yesterday as I found a frozen meal which ought to be used up which messed up the balance a bit but no real problem.

The lunchtime toastie was particularly tasty.

So - on to today's plans . . .
B:  bacon and tomato, fruit
A nice, lazy Sunday breakfast.  I might add an egg to that too, or maybe a couple of heck chicken sausages - or both, even!  I've had the sausages in the freezer for a while so it's about time they got used.  I'm hoping to resume my early morning swims this morning so it will be a nice thing to come back to afterwards.
SW: Heck sausages - the ones I have got - are half a syn for two

L:  ham paste and salad sandwich, fruit
 - using the ham paste I made on Friday
SW:  the bread (or maybe a wholemeal pitta instead) is my healthy extra B amnd the ham paste is one syn

D:  Christmas leftovers pasta bake, natural yogurt and pineapple
This is me adapting a SW recipe called bacon and spinach fusilli.  I'm using sprouts instead of spinach and Christmas pasta shapes instead of fusilli and I shall add extra veg such as mushrooms and peppers to bulk it out.  Also, as I haven't used any healthy extra As, I shall sprinkle over some grated cheese.  It should be tasty.
SW:  if I have cheese, 30g is one healthy extra (I might have more).  The rest of the ingredients are free.

Ss:  Just raw veg and fruit

Saturday 29 December 2018

Saturday, 29-12-18

Good morning.

The meal round a friend's last night was absolutely delicious, really scrummy.  A bit naughty, sure, but I had a great time and my feet are back on the road again this morning.

The plans today are . . .
B:  poached egg on potato waffle with fried tomatoes
This should fill me up nicely and the tomatoes, which are getting squishy, do need using up quickly.
A quick and frugal way to cook frozen potato waffles - don't use oven heat, just use your toaster.  It takes a bit longer than toast but is much better than using your whole oven to bake just one waffle.
SW: two syns for the potato waffle (Morrisons)

L:  cheese, onion and cranberry toastie, side salad
I was going to have turkey with this but it's all been dealt with and in the freezer.  I've been craving a toastie so it's nice to be able to plan one in with extra cheese now that we can have two healthy extra As.  The side salad is a very simple one using salad veg bought for Christmas.
SW:  one and a half syns for a tbsp cranberry sauce, one and a half healthy extra As for 45g grated cheddar and a healthy extra B for the bread

D:  vegetable curry,
This will be a lovely big mixed one including potato, so no rice as well.  Still using the Christmas veg plus what's in the freezer and some pulses
SW:  If I use dried coconut milk powder, I will have to add syns - two tsp is three syns

Ss:  raw carrots, 125mls milk (the rest of the healthy extra A)

The above might all go to pot because I had the flu and pneumococcal jabs yesterday and have a bit of a reaction.  At worst, I'll eat less, but I bet the meds will sort me out!

Friday 28 December 2018

Recipe (but far from original): potted ham

Great for using up ham leftovers.  I've done it before and Sooze has mentioned it on her blog, but thought I'd share.

Ingredients to make around nine portions (smallish portions, just right for a couple of slices of toast or a sandwich)
100g soft, light garlic and herb cheese (eight syns)
some slices of good, thick ham, all visible fat removed (I forgot to weigh, sorry)
2 tevel tbsp lighter than light mayo (one syn)
a good pinch of mustard powder
a good splash of lime juice (mine was from a bottle)
salt and pepper (go easy with the salt)
. . ;. or you can use your own seasonings of choice.

Bung it all in a zizzer and zizz round until it's the texture you want.  Adjust seasoning if needed.

I have some titchy little pots with lids, the kind you get single portions of dressing in and I got just exactly nine pots-full so that's one syn a pot now that soft cheese has to be synned.
If you're following the old way, it's as free as makes no difference.

Friday, 28-12-18

Good morning.

Sadly, three pounds on this week, like more or less everybody at group last night.  Oh, well, time to get going again.

On the plus side, I went shopping for new clothes yesterday, all in 'normal' sizes.  Being able to do that was great!

Today's plans
B:  yogurt, apple, orange
Apart from being a light breakfast, I have plenty of fruit to use up so it's nice and frugal in the no-waste sense.
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

L:  the other half of the Christmas-sagne
More leftovers.
This was so nice, I've posted about it separately although the photos are awful and don't make it look nearly as tasty as it actually was, unfortunately.
SW:  two and a half syns for half of the two Dairylea wedges and half a healthy extra A for grated cheese

D:  Out to a friend's for dinner.  I know it won't be SW friendly but I will do my best to be 'sensible', choose carefully and enjoy it all, knowing that I'll be back on track tomorrow.

The new handbook was given out at group yesterday.  There are a number of changes to reflect up-to-date nutritional thinking, a few of which affect me positively.
Beans and peas are no longer counted as 'protein' so are out on SP days.
Soft cheese is no longer an healthy extra A but - big but - dairylea and laughing cow still is - thank goodness.
All wholemeal pittas, not just certain named brands, are now healthy extra Bs
Still on healthy extras, now we are expected to have two As (not one) and one B each day.  More cheese - yay!
Best of all, natural Greek yogurt is now classified as P (protein) so I can do SP days 'properly'.

Yes, it's all playing with figures really but it's nice to be on plan properly.  Now I can genuinely and without fiddling do a mix of extra easy and SP days during the week.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday can be extra easy (the main plan) and Monday to Thursday can be SP, applied flexibly.

Recipe: Christmas-sagna

A leftovers recipe that is scrummy!  It doesn'#t have to be Christmas leftovers, of course, but the one I made was, hence the name.

Ingredients:  I made a portion for one but the ingredients are very flexible.
one sheet of lasagne
spray oil
chopped spring onions - just cut off the worst bit of the green at the top and the roots
chopped pepper - I used a bit of red and a bit of yellow
one mushroom, thinly sliced
a squidge of garlic puree
a pinch of mixed herbs
a tsp chicken stock powder
some tomato puree
a can of chopped tomato
salt and pepper to taste
some leftover bits of cooked turkey and ham, shredded or chopped

five or six sprouts, shredded into thin slices

two triangles of Dairylea Light, each triangle cut into three wedges (you could use more, of course)

30g finely grated very strong cheddar (or 40g of a lighter cheddar but I prefer the stronger kind)

You also need a suitably sized high sided oven dish

In a saucepan or frying pan, pour in some boiling water and some salt and boil the lasagne sheet until it is almost done.  Remove from the water and put it on something it won't stick to - easy leave or parchment - and cover.

Discard the water and in the same pan, spray some oil and add the onion and the pepper, stir well, reduce the heat, cover and let is gently sweat untiul softening, stirring occasionally.  Then add the mushroom slices, spray them, cover and continue cooking.

To the mixture, add some garlic puree, a pinch of dried mixed herbs and the chicken stock powder and mix well.  Then pour in the chopped tomatoes, the tomato puree and a bit of salt and pepper, mix well and allow to simmer away, uncovered, until the mixture has thickened. Add the meat and mix in well.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Preheat the oven to around 180C
Cut the sheet of lasagne in half.

In the oven dish, layer up the ingredients in this way.  First of all, about a third of the tomato and meat mix, then half of the stredded sprouts, then three little bits of Dairylea light - so it looks like this.

Then add the half lasagne sheet (it just fits right in my dish) and repeat the layering with another thiord of the sauce, the rest of the sprouts, the other cheese triangle and the rest of the lasange.  Finish with the rest of the tomato sauce.

Sprinkle over the grated cheddar and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or so.

OR - of you want to eat it later, for example, after group when you want something quick but filling, don't add the cheese, cover it with foil and bake it.

Then, twenty minutes before you want to eat, add the cheese, pop it back in the oven and let it reheat until piping hot all through with melted cheese.

Messy photo, I know, but it was really nice.  I only had half, that was more than enough, so that's lunch for today sorted out.

Thursday 27 December 2018

Thursday, 27-12-18

Good morning!

Well, the turkey is now no more and my freezer is fuller than it was.  It took a while to strip the carcass and boil it up but was well worth the time and I can honestly say there has been very little waste this Christmas.  All the sweet things have gone to Beth and Alex and I am left with lots of healthy stuff.  It's nice to get back to normal again apart from finishing off the leftovers - makes me feel frugal, even if it isn't really!

Today, being Thursday, is SW group/weigh day and I'm a bit apprehensive but I don't think I've done too much damage in the longer term, even though I know there will be a gain this evening.  Also tonight we're getting the new handbooks that reflect all the recent changes so I'm looking forward to that very much. 

And here's today's plans.
B:  ham and eggs
The Christmas ham - I'm not wasting that either!
SW:  free

L:  yogurt, apple and orange
SW:  one syn

D:  after group, turkey-sagne, hi-fi bars
A bit sort of made up so I'll let you know how it goes.
SW:  the dairylea is my healthy extra A, there might be a few syns from sprinkled cheese and the hi-fi bars are my healthy extra B

Ss:  fruit, raw veg

Yesterday's dinner was absolutely delicious.  The bubble and squeak cakes, sprouts, turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce.  Half a healthy extra A for the cakes (some dairylea light) and two and a half syns for the gravy/cranberry sauce.

For the cakes I used some mashed potato, a bit of mashed sweet potato, some cooked and shredded sprouts and 40g dairylea light with a bit of salt and pepper. I made the cakes, sprayed them with frylight and baked them in the oven.  Dead easy!  I shall do them again in various forms.

Wednesday 26 December 2018

Wednesday, 26-12-18

Good morning and happy Boxing Day.

Yesterday didn't work out quite as expected - poor Beth has what she thought might be flu but now says it's just a very nasty cold virus, poor lass, so didn't come over and, of course, I won't be going over there today now to be 'spoilt'.  She's not well enough to cope with anything and I don't want to risk getting what she has.  Alex is doing a good job of caring for his lovely mum, bless him.

There's lots of turkey leftovers but between us Alex, Dave and I managed to plough our way through all the veg that I had prepped for four, leaving three little bits of sweet potato and very little else.  All the pigs went, all the sprouts (we all love sprouts in my family), all the carrots, all the roasties and parsnips, all the stuffing . . . and all the turkey I had sliced plus a second carving for Alex!.  Three cheers.
There's plenty of pudding and mince pies left over but Alex will deal with those - he's a bottomless pit!

And I'm back on plan again now, thank goodness!

So, today's plans are . . .
B:  bacon and egg
I want something protein-y to fill me up and get me going.
SW:  free

L:  turkey and veg soup, bread to dunk
An old favourite and I have lots of lovely jellied stock to use.
SW:  The bread will be my heB

D:  turkey, bubble and squeak cakes, sprouts and carrots, gravy and cranberry sauce
Lots of speed today and, yes, it is sort of another Christmas dinner really but so delicious.
SW:  the gravy is just some of that lovely stock with thickening granules, estimated at two syns, the cranberry sauce is one and a half syns and the rest is free

Ss:  raw carrot, fruit, milk (for my heA)

I hope your Christmas was happy and joyous and that you feel well today!  :-)

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Ho ho ho

I wasn't going to post today but someone posted this on a Facebook group and it made me laugh.


Monday 24 December 2018

Happy Christmas

Please click on the link for a card from me to you.  xx

Monday, 24-12-18

Good morning and Happy Christmas Eve to you all!

My first Christmas Day is over and the second one is coming up tomorrow.  In between is a day of calm and peace and I'm applying that to my food as well as whatever else I get up to!

I have to say, the turkey is delicious.  I say 'is' because there's an awful lot left over.  On Wednesday, I will be extremely busy dealing with it all.  Apart from that and the deliberate over-provision of stuffing (no point making it twice), I got the veg and roasties just about right.

And an expensive turkey turns out much better value (for me) once you take family donations into account - not requested but very welcome, nonetheless, as well as the many meals I'm going to get out of it.

Here's today's simple, SW-happy plans.  I'm not fussing too much about healthy extras for a few days, if I have them, I have them, but will be back on a proper plan on Thursday.

B:  yogurt, fresh fruit
The last meal at my parents' home before setting off home.
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

L:  probably turkey and veg soup - a favourite of mine
SW:  free

D:  cheesy turkey pasta; side salad; fruit
I shall do my usual trick of melting dairylea light into cooked pasta and then mixing it with some veg and turkey.
SW:  the cheese will be my healthy extra A

Ss:  NONE!!!  Definitely none.  Well, maybe a few baby oranges but nothing else.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Sunday, 23-12-18

Good morning.

Many thanks for the advice in the comments yesterday, they are much appreciated.  It's interesting that, since the whole gallbladder episode, I really can't stuff myself as I used to as well as not tolerating fatty foods.  It's a sort of built in brake and quite a useful one too.  I'm not sorry!

Today is Christmas Day!  Yes, it is here!  We're having Christmas Day here today and the gang in my home town are having it on Tuesday and I get two Christmas Days as a reward for doing two Christmas dinners!

So here's today's plans.  No SW counting today, I really can't work it all out!
B:  yogurt, apple and orange.
Start the day off right with a nice, light meal.

L:  a sort of buffet thing - ham, Delia's vegetarian sausage rolls (a family traditional favourite), salad, cheese, crisps - all of which I will enjoy a little but only a little.

D:  a pretty traditional dinner - turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing, troasties, sprouts, sweet potato and roasted parsnips with the usual cranberry sauce and gravy, followed by mince pies, pudding, cheese and crackers.  Oh - and alcohol!  :-)
No, I won't have all of that, I shall pick and choose and generally enjoy it very much indeed.

Ss:  sticking to easy peelers as there's plenty and I so love them.  I never know if they are satsumas or clementines nowadays!

And I'm already planning SW friendly meals from the turkey leftovers!  Curry, hotpot, with pasta, on a jacket potato - oh, yum!

Saturday 22 December 2018

Saturday, 22-12-18

Good morning.
Today isn't going to be easy - or maybe I mean it will be too easy.  I'm doing what Mum and Dad ask for and it's not, definitely not, Slimming World friendly.  I guess maybe it's damage control today which is the opposite of what SW is all about. 
At least, for me, it will be frugal!

B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt.  I guess that's OK!
SW:  half a healthy extra A for the milk and one B for the oats

L:  cheese, ham, pickles and crackers; fruit or mince pie
< sigh >  OK; so, obviously, fruit rather than the mince pie - no hardship.  Dad's got a nice piece of stilton so I'll have a bit of that and will keep the crackers to a minimum.  No butter for me - not hard, because too much fat does tend to cause a few problems.  The cheese will be enough.
SW:  haven't a clue.  I will look up the syn counts as it might stiffen my backbone but I intend to enjoy what I do have.

D:  pizza and salad; mince pies on offer, yogurt for me!
As above really.  A small slice of the pizza and a nice load of salad.
SW:  eeeekkkkk!  The pizza will be one syn though!  :-)

Dinner is a sort of family tradition - we always have pizza on Christmas Eve and, for us, Christmas is tomorrow so today is Christmas Eve.  My brother will be arriving at some point late afternoon so it should be lovely but I will work on portion control and making the best choices.

Friday 21 December 2018

Recipe: ham pate

Not really a proper pate, more a paste/dippy sort of thing but this is very tasty, very simple and great  for Slimming World.

I was carving slices off the Christmas ham just now to take to my parents and you know how it is with a home cooked ham - little bits kept falling off.  I gathered up the bits and some not-so-beautiful tiny slices from the other end of the ham, taking off any fat, and popped it in my mini-zizzer.  Then I added about 120g of low fat soft cheese, a little squidge of garlic puree and maybe a quarter tsp of mustard powder.  No salt and no pepper.

Then I zizzed it all up until it was the texture I wanted.
That's it.

The soft cheese is about one and a half healthy extra As or nine syns and it made enough for three greedy people or four if one was being moderate.  I will take it to my parents' because I think my Dad will really love it.
You could do the same with smoked salmon bits, adding some lemon juice as well.

No photo, sorry!

Friday, 21-12-18

Good morning!

Well, what a relief.  After maintaining last week, this week I lost three and a half pounds, I got my two stone certificate and sticker, I reached my Christmas challenge (and went beyond) AND I was Slimmer of the Week.
Phew.  So very happy about all that.

My BMI has gone down quite a lot too.  It's now 26.1 and it used to be over 42 before the gallbladder crisis.   Just seven more pounds down to get into the 'normal' banding.  Maybe by the end of January?

It means I have lost, on average, half a stone per month which suits me just fine.  Good old Slimming World.

And to cap it all, all my 'taster chicken' got eaten with some very appreciative comments.  I've posted the recipes as a separate thread.

I'm afraid I might have celebrated a bit afterwards.  Oooops!

Today's food:
B:  yogurt and fruit
Something easy as I will be rushing around all morning.
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

L:  really not sure, it all depends on how things go and how quickly I can get away.  If I'm here, I will defrost a home made soup.
SW:  free

D:  salmon with seafood sauce, vegetables
The salmon will be free to me!
SW:  2 syns for the sauce.

It's going to get increasingly erratic for a few days.  I will keep posting but don't expect anything too frugal or particularly Slimming World friendly, although I will look out for opportunities.  I expect a bit of a gain but don't want anything too terrible.

p.s. On reading back, this post sounds a bit of a show-off.  I don't mean it to be, it's just that I am so pleased and very relieved.  Until a year ago, I had given up on anything but staying super-large for the rest of my life - maybe I needed to hit rock bottom before climbing back up again.

Thursday 20 December 2018

Recipe: Chicken round the world

That's what I called what I did.  No photos, I'm afraid.  The photo taken at group didn't come out.
It went down a treat and I came home from taster evening with empty bowls.

Chicken Round The World

You need:
chunks of chicken breast
flavourings/spices of choice

Mix the chicken well with your spice/flavouring in a class or plastic bowl, cover and marinate in a cool place for several hours or overnight.
Heat the oven to around 170C
Line a baking tray with parchment and spray it with oil.
Spread over the flavoured chicken and spray it.
Bake for about 15 mins, then turn chicken over and spray again.
Bake for another 10 to 15 mins until cooked through and just starting to char at the edges.
Garnish as you fancy.
Eat hot or cold.

Indian:  1 tsp tikka spice and 1 tbsp mango chutney (finely chop any lumps of mango).  About 2 syns for the mango chutney

Chinese:  1 tsp five spice powder, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp soy sauce.  1 syn for the maple syrup.

Mexican:  1 tsp cajun spice and 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce.  About 1 tbsp for the sweet chilli sauce.

The possibilities are endless - just use flavours typical to a country.

Thursday, 20-12-18

Good morning.
A quick one today as I'm going shopping early!

B:  bacon and egg
I find this pretty filling, even though it doesn't look much on the plate.
SW: free

L:  fruit yogurt, apple, orange
A very light lunch as a) it is weigh day and b) it's taster evening so goodness knows how much I will have!
SW  one syn for the yogurtr

D:  no idea.  I'm taking 'Chicken round the world' - tell you about it tomorrow!

Fingers crossed that I have achieved my Christmas target which is to get into the next stone down.  My own scales say I have but there's now always an exact correlation and generally I'm a bit heavier on the SW scales.
Here's hoping!

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Wednesday, 19-12-18

Good morning.
I'm continuing with my 'theme' of being pretty strict with myself this week.  That doesn't mean I'm not having much, goodness no!  I'm doing rather well, in fact, but I'm just being careful with what I have and it seems to be working.

Here's today's plans:
B:  poached egg on toast; orange
Nothing particularly special but I do like poached egg and it's filling as well as frugal.
SW:  half healthy extra B for the toast

L:  leek and potato soup, slice of bread, maybe a Mullerlight yogurt
Leftovers from yesterday's soup which was really delicious.  I have discovered that leek and potato soup is even nicer made with spring onion than ordinary onion.  I had some to use up yesterday so popped them into the soup and the difference was surprising.
SW:  free soup, the other half healthy extra B for the bread and one syn for the yogurt

D:  battered fish, mushy peas; maybe some fruit
Another from the Fakeaways recipe book so I'm hoping it's nice.  The mushy peas are from a tin, nothing special.
SW:  free although if I indulge in a bit of mayo on the fish, that's one syn per level tablespoon.

Ss:  milk (healthy extra A), fruit

Have a good day!

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Tuesday - 18-12-18

Good morning. 
Yet another day that went well yesterday plus some encouraging words from friends at school at the Christmas Coffee and Cakes that might have included 'didn't recognise you', 'vanishing' and 'tiny'!  Now, I know quite a lot of that is contrast as the scales do not lie and nor does a BMI that is still in the overweight banding, but how nice to hear people's kind compliments.  It made refusing the slice of cake a pleasure rather than a punishment!

Today's plans:
B:  bacon, egg and tomatoes
Back on the cooked brekky for a few days because of finding some bacon that really does need to be used up.
SW:  free

L:  leek and potato soup
 . . . because of a leek that needs to be used up - being away for a day longer than usual has its effect!
SW:  The milk I add will be some of my healthy extra A and if I make croutons, that will be my healthy extra B

D:  chicken from other lands with sprouts and maybe peas
I'm trying the chicken marinades I want to use on Thursday - five spice with soy sauce (Chinese), tandoori (or is it tikka, I forget) with soy sauce (Indian) and cajun with sweet chilli sauce (Mexican).   I'll do just a little bit of each and see if it's fit to take out.
The veg are distinctly British but I don't care - I like them!
SW:  free apart from a bit of a syn for the sweet chilli sauce, of which I will use just a tiny amount

S:  fruit, the rest of my heA milk

Monday 17 December 2018

Monday, 17-12-18

Good morning!

Today's plans
B:  fruit yogurt, apple
I need to use up the yogurt!
SW:  one syn

L:  spicy lentil and tomato soup
- yesterday's leftovers and very nice too
SW:  free

D:  spicy mexical bean burger, nice big salad, fruit
The burger recipe is from the Fakeaways book and I will use what I have for the salad - off the top of my head that will be lettuce, tomato, carrot, cucumber and pepper and I might have a bit of cauliflower to break up and toss in too.
SW:  one and a half syns for the burger which I will top with 30g grated cheese for my healthy extra A

S:  fruit, hi-fi bar (healthy extra B)

Sunday 16 December 2018

Sunday, 16-12-18

Good morning.
Another good day yesterday - and by that I mean tasty food, no picking, not expensive!

Today's plans:
B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
It's the weather for porridge at the moment, isn't it?
SW:  healthy extra B for the oats and half a healthy extra A for the milk

L:  spicy lentil and tomato soup.
Not that spicy really as I'm hoping Mum will have some, just a chilli tickle on the tongue, but tasty all the same.  And frugal, depending on what sort of chopped tomatoes you use.  It's incredible to think that you can pay over a pound for a can of chopped tomatoes!
SW:  free

D:  slow roast pork steak, roasties, parsnips and peas; yogurt
SW:  as the steaks are very lean, this is all free apart from the yogurt which will be one syn.

I must plan meals for the rest of the week.  At group last week I treated myself to the SW Fakeaway recipe book and I might try a few of them.  The spicy Mexican bean burgers look good, as do the zesty turkey kebabs and the tandoori chicken.  Spoilt for choice really!                                   

On Thursday it is a taster evening so I need to think what I will take.  Something chicken-y and spicy, maybe.  What do you think?

Saturday 15 December 2018

Saturday. 15-12-18

Good morning!

Another great day yesterday, totally sticking to plan despire all the goodies on offer.  If I don't lose next week, it won't be my fault, that's all I can say!

Today's plans:
B:  Yogurt and fruit again.  It suits me!
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

L:  There's some of the soup left over from yesterday so I will probably have that.
Leftovers - always a Good Idea!
SW: free

D:  cottage pie with cheesy mash topping, carrots, sweetcorn.  Probably no dessert
SW:  the cheese in the mash will be my healthy extra A and the bisto in the gravy will be around two syns

Ss:  Minimal, I hope.

All frugal 'cos my parents have paid!   :-)
(If that sounds awful, I hasten to add I come up to help them out with stff and they are not at all badly off - I'm not sponging)

Friday 14 December 2018

Friday, 14-12-18

Good morning.
Yesterday went really well.  It was bliss to get back to 'normal' eating again, clear conscience eating, and the sprouts and broccoli were delicious!  :-)
Despite this week's 'maintain', I'm still on track to meet my Christmas target which is to get into the next stone down, providing I can lose two pounds this week.  I'm going to give it a go; after all, even if I fail, I'll still have done some good.  It will keep me off all the nibbly stuff that's all about at this time and it will keep me frugal.

Today's plans:
B:  yogurt and fruit
Lots of fresh stuff is what I crave so this should work well.
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

L:  chicken, bean and veg soup; wholemeal bread
Home made with stock from boiling up a chicken carcass and onion, carrot, sweet potato, squash, peas, sweetcorn, pulses and chicken.  Should be lovely
SW:  the bread is my healthy extra B

D:  salmon, peas, corn, seafood sauce; apple
SW:  two and a half syns for the seafood sauce

Ss:  30g cheese to nibble (healthy extra A), fruit

Frugal doesn't come into it as I'm not paying for the food, but it's not a particularly expensive day. The worst bit is the salmon and I always make an exception for salmon as it's so good for one!

Thursday 13 December 2018

Thursday, 13-12-18

Good morning!

First of all, after popping along to SW at Writtle yesterday (because I can't make it to mine this evening), I find I have maintained this week which is both a relief and mildly disappointing.  Not making excuses but I think it is because usually I eat very light on weighday and I couldn't yesterday, having a friend around.  Also, I'm a bit 'bunged up'!
Well - maybe I am making excuses but I think it is also a reason.
If I make a huge effort, maybe I can lose more than usual by next week.  That will be hard because I'm at mum and dad's but I may as well give it a go and see.

Actually, it is a relief to get back to normal eating again and here's today's plans.
B:  egg on toast, easy peeler orange
I'm not sure if I will poach or fry in the Slimming World way - I don't have to decide until I actually have it anyway.  It's a pretty frugal meal too.
SW:  the toast is my healthy extra B

L:  yogurt, apple and orange
It's what I usually have on a Thursday so I may as well stick to the same as it suits me and I'm used to it.  The yogurt was reduced so that's good.
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

D:  I gather mum and dad have some chicken left over from yesterday so I will concoct a mixture with that and top it with some macaroni with melted cheese triangles as we all love it.  Some green veg (sprouts and broccoli, maybe) will go nicely.  I also gather there's some leftover fruit salad so that will work really well.
SW:  the cheese will be my healthy extra A

Ss:  fruit

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Wednesday, 12-12-18

Good morning.

Stupid o'clock and my over-active brain is not letting me got back to sleep which is a pain!  So I'm downstairs, playing on social media and waiting for sleep to return which in it invariably does, sooner or later.

I'm less rushed this morning but yesterday, once all the chores were done, was lovely.

Here's what the table looked like.

And here's some of the Slimming World friendly things I made.

J. brought mince pies and a fruit salad for dessert - guess what I had.  No - not the mince pie!  My halo is shining brightly.

I have to go to a different SW club this week as I can't make Thursday evening and, fortunately, Jennifer runs some in a local village so I can go today at seven o'clock.  So today is weigh day, not tomorrow.

Today's plans
B:  scrambled egg with smoked salmon
SW: free

L:  I have a friend round for lunch and, fortunately, there's enough leftovers that I don't need to produce any more.  I will stick to the SW friendly stuff and have fruit for dessert.
SW:  Not sure.  There will be some syns or healthy extras bit it's a bit too complicated to work out, like yesterday.

D:  Like lunch to finish off the leftovers of the leftovers.  I know it sounds muddled but they are not the sort of thing one can keep and I don't want to waste anything.

Ss:  none if I can possibly help it!

A really muddled couple of days but I have tried to stay in touch with the healthy eating.  Whether that reflects on the scales tonight, I have no idea so fingers crossed.  Wish me luck (again).

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Tuesday, 11-12-18

Good morning.

Today's plans
B:  apple and orange

L:  buffet lunch here - I'll try to be good

D:  It depends on lunch! 

Very brief today as there's lots to do!
Back properly tomorrow

Monday 10 December 2018

Monday, 10-12-18

Good morning.

Yesterday's food was great.  I made a nice big pot of the soup so have plenty for the rest of the week now.

When in Morrisons, I saw that they are doing smoked salmon bits again so I bought a couple of packs - and now have to use them up!  Oh, the hardship

Today's plans
B:  Bacon and scrambled egg with smoked salmon
Not as expensive as it sounds - could be a lot worse!
SW:  free

L:  spicy lentil soup
Very frugal and delicious too
SW:  free

D:  syn free dirty fries, roasted tomatoes
Also pretty frugal.  Breakfast is a bit more costly but the other two meals make up for that.
SW:  the cheese is my healthy extra A

Ss:  2xhi fi bars (healthy extra B), yogurt (one syn), fruit

The challenge today is that I am prepping for a buffet lunch tomorrow so might end up picking bits.  Summoning a bit of extra December determination.

Sunday 9 December 2018

Sunday, 09-12-18

Good morning.  :-)
Well, I survived the mince pie!  I had just the one, counted the syns, thoroughly enjoyed it and now there are four safely tucked away in the freezer for Christmas Day.  A major achievement for me.  Last year I had to keep off the mince pies (for gallbladder related reasons) but before then I'd have scoffed the lot and bought some more.

Today's plans
B:  porridge with yogurt and fruit
Frugal, as always, and most satisfying with the fruit (from the freezer)
SW:  the oats will be my healthy extra B and I will syn the milk at two syns for 80 mls

L:  spicy tomato and lentil soup
Delicious and frugal.  Now I make soup so much, I find that commercial soups taste artificial, overly sweet and rather tasteless.  Not to mention flippin' expensive!
SW: free unless I make some croutons.  If I do, I will syn them.

D:  loaded leek and potato bake, sprouts
A bit like last night's dinner but with leeks and I'm adding a few more veg as well - mushrooms, for a start.  I will enjoy it, I am sure.
SW:  the cheese will be my healthy extra A

S:  fruit, yogurt (one syn), hi-fi bar (three syns)

Having two healthy extra As won't be a problem in the New Year as there are some changes afoot with the SW programme.  Well, it's not a 'problem' now, of course, but you know what I mean.  That's because one will be able to have two As each day so I can have my milk and some cheese without needing to look them up!  You'd think I'd remember by now but I always feel I have to check.

Saturday 8 December 2018

Saturday, 08-12-18

Good morning.

The December Determination lives on.  I went to the school fair yesterday and managed to resist all the cakes, ice cream, sweets and other stuff I would once have gone for 110%.  It helped that I had dinner prepared at home but, in fact, I didn't really fancy any of it very much at all.  Another step along the road.
And dinner was worth the waiting.  It was lovely.

Now for today's food:
B:  overnight oats with yogurt and cinnamon and some fruit from the freezer
I know I sing the praises of frozen fruit from time to time but it really is a great help.  I'm not sure how it compares with fresh, price wise, but the fact is that you can have just a portion without then having the rest of the fruit to use up - and with larger fruits like pineapple, that makes a difference and makes it much more frugal.
SW:  the oats are my healthy extra B

L:  more of that lovely bacon and bean soup
I did make a lot - very economical, healthy and satisfying.
SW: free

D:  cheesy bacon, onion and potato bake, sprouts, tomatoes
This recipe looks scrummy and isn't shockingly expensive either.  I'll let you know but it's nothing unusual.  I'm sure many of you will have made something similar.
SW:  the cheese will be my healthy extra A

Ss:  Sadly - no, not sadly, but you know what I mean - a friend is coming round and I have promised her a mince pie.  Can I resist?  No probably not.  Thousands of syns!  I've tried to look it up but the SW site seems strangely silent.  If you just go with calories, I reckon it is eleven syns so manageable but only if I stop at one.  I can see I will need to freeze the rest pretty pronto!

Friday 7 December 2018

Friday, 07-12-18

Good morning.
Woo hoo!  I'm really pleased and not a little surprised.  Two pounds off this week.  How that has happened after an 'interesting' weekend, I have no idea but no complaints from this corner.
Just to cap it, I won the raffle too and came home with some of that spiced ribena, some Christmas spice mix, an orange, a lemon and a glass mug for mulled whatever.  I treated myself to some just diluted with water and it's very nice.  It'd be nice diluted with lemonade or tonic or < cough > sparkling wine (but I didn't say that, OK?).
So I'm happy!

Today's plans:
B:  poached or fried egg on a potato waffle, mushrooms
The waffles are from the freezer and Dad sent me home with some mushrooms on Monday so they're free (for me).  Eggs are great value too.
SW:  two syns for the potato waffle

L:  a cheese and onion toastie, tomatoes; apple
I've fancied one of these all week and am really looking forward to it.  It doesn't require a lot of cheese so it's a fairly frugal lunch.
SW:  the cheese is my healthy extra A and the bread is my healthy extra B

D:  salmon, peas, salt and pepper chips.
I've had a lot of salmon recently which is a bit extravagant, I suppose, but it's lovely, it's healthy and it keeps me on track.  I shall have to make up some more salt and pepper spice as I've used up the last lot but that's not a problem.
SW:  free unless I have some mayo with the fries.  I might but if I do I will syn it, of course

Ss:  fruit, yogurt (one syn), hi-fi bar (three syns)

A nice day's food to start the new week off and I feel very motivated.  Here's hoping it lasts!

Thursday 6 December 2018

Thursday, 06-12-18

Good morning.
All seems to be going well at the moment, thankfully.  I have no idea if any weight has gone but I am hopeful that I won't have gained at weigh in this evening.

Today's plans:
B:  bacon, egg and tomato
A fairly standard SP breakfast on Slimming World, not terribly expensive but not all that cheap either.   Sorty of middle of the road really.
SW:  free

L:  apple, orange, mullerlight yogurt
This is becoming my light lunch on weigh day.  It seems to fill me up which surprosed me at first but now I'm grateful that it does.
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

D:  bacon, bean and vegetable soup (or casserole - it's thick and chunky enough!)
I made a pot of this yesterday and there will be leftovers to have over the weekend as well - nice
SW:  free

Ss:  milk (healthy extra A), hi fi bars (healthy extra B), fruit

Wednesday 5 December 2018

Wednesday, 05-12-18

Good morning.
Another good day yesterday - I really only have difficulties when I am up at my parents' so I'm pleased I can stay on track most of the time.
Today, I'm keeping it simple as there's quite a lot on.  I've learnt that the worst thing for me is to leave things until the last moment as that's when I just go a bit bonkers with anything that comes to hand really.

So today's simple plans are:
B:  boiled eggs and toast
A favourite breakfast, not expensive at all and very satisfying.
SW:  the toast is my healthy extra B

L:  bean and veg soup
I always love this one.  I boil up a selection of veg in stock and seasonings until they are all soft, scoop some of the veg out, zizz the rest, pop the rest of the veg back in and add some cooked pulses.  It's ever so easy and tasty too.  And filling!  I will make a big potful and it will do me tomorrow for my main meal after Slimming World group with a bit of added bacon, maybe.
And some of the veg and all the pulses will be from the freezer!
SW:  free

D:  salmon, sprouts, peas; banana and custard
I just really fancy salmon this evening and have some in the freezer.  I simply wrap it in foil and bake it for fifteen to twenty minutes, that's all.  Dead easy.
I said I was keeping it simple today!
SW:  one and a half syns and my healthy extra A for the custard

Ss:  fruit, Mullerlight (one syn)

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Tuesday, 04-12-18

Good morning.
It's nice to be back on track again and yesterday went really well!

Here's today's plans.
B:  bacon and scrambled eggs - and if I can be bothered to go to the freezer in the shed, there might be a bit of smoked salmon there too, as I have some that needs using up.  Mind you, there's a bit of a frost this morning so maybe I won't.
SW free

L:  beans on toast
Has to be frugal to compensate for the smoked salmon!
SW:  the toast will be my healthy extra B

D:  Cuban beef stew.
From the freezer, made ages ago but I do remember it is syn free.  Might also have some sprouts with it for a real flavour clash!
SW:  free

Ss:  milk (healthy extra A), fruit, maybe a mullerlight (1 syn)

Very simple today and using some freezer stuff too.  Can't be bad.

Monday 3 December 2018

Monday, 03-12-18

Good morning.
Sorry I'm a bit late with this.  I decided to wait until I got home before writing.

Today's plans:
B:  baked beans - just baked beans, half a can left over from lunch yesterday
More filling than you would think!
SW: free

L:  lentil and root veg soup, toast to dunk
This is from the freezer and while it won't exactly to conform to my SP with yogurt thing, it's still healthy and tasty.
SW:  healthy extra B for the bread

D:  beef casserole, runner beans, maybe some peas too as I have just a few left in the freezer.  I rather fancy using my healthy extra A milk to make custard for afters.
The beef, the peas and the runners are all from the freezer - the freezer challenge is back on again, after I couldn't find that steak last week.  It'll turn up!
SW:  two and a half syns for the custard powder and I will use stevia for sweetener (less than a tbsp so no need to count it)

Back on the wagon again after a couple of 'interesting' days over the weekend!  I'm holding on to my December Determination!

Sunday 2 December 2018

Sunday, 02-12-18

Good morning!

Well, yesterday went well - the December Determination lasted one day at least which is better than it could have been with a larder full of goodies!
The tomato and lentil soup went down well with everyone.  I'd expected to have a portion left for today but by the time seconds had been ladled out, there was none left.  The lentils make it very substantial too;  I was stuffed!

Today's plans:
fresh fruit with natural yogurt
My parents always have a nice selection of fresh fruit on offer and I brought my own yogurt with me as I always do.
SW:  free

L:  beans on toast
Because . . . no soup left over.  :-)
SW:  the bread will be my healthy extra B

D:  slow cooked lamb*, roasties, parsnips, broad beans; fruit salad
SW:  free, amazing as it sounds!

Ss:  fruit, maybe a fruit yogurt (one syn), milk (healthy extra A)

*Purists will shudder but we love this and Dad asks for it regularly.
I use two lamb leg steaks for three of us and the ones from their local butcher are large.  Sometimes they are in a minty dressing and sometimes not.
I put a some splashes of water and a lamb stock cube in a roasting dish and add the steaks.  I cover the dish with foil and place in a low-ish oven (gas 4, 170C) and cook it for at least an hour, usually longer.
The result is melt in the mouth lamb steaks and a stock that makes a great gravy.

Saturday 1 December 2018

Saturday, 01-12-18

Good morning!

After yesterday evening's little over-nosh, I'm right back on track today!  A new month and a bit of new determination!

Today's plans:
B:  porridge, fruit and natural yogurt
SW:  half my healthy extra A and one healthy extra B

L:  tomato and lentil soup, fruit
It's the sort of day for a smooth, satisfying soup and tomato and lentil should fit the bill as well as being nice and frugal!
SW:  free

D:  macaroni cheese mince bake, veg; fruit salad and a dollop of yogurt
A mince based bottom, loaded with lentils and chopped veg and a top of macaroni with soft cheese melted in, a sprinkling of grated cheddar on top and baked in the oven for about twenty minutes.
SW:  the cheese will be 6 syns more or less

Ss:  fruit, milk (the other half of the healthy extra A)

It's all frugal this weekend because I'm not paying for it all - nice one!

Friday 30 November 2018

Friday, 30-11-18

Good morning!

Today's happy is that I've lost another pound and a half as shown at yesterday's weigh-in which means that this month's loss is six pounds with a stead pound and a half off each week.  While my target was eight pounds, I'm very happy with six.
Now for the challenges and traps of the Christmas period.

Today's plans
B:  bacon and baked beans
More bacon because it needs eating up and I like it.
SW: free

L:  some sort of home made soup, probably veg to use up bits and bobs, stewed apple and yogurt
I may very well add some milk to the soup to make it 'creamy'.  None of the lunch will be too expensive and it will use up bits and bobs.
SW:  the stewed apple will be my healthy extra B and the milk will be taken from my healthy extra A

D:  salmon, peas and potato waffle
SW:  two and a half syns for the potato waffle.  If I have sauce with the salmon, it's about two and a half syns per tablespoon but I will check this later on.

Ss:  apple, orange, milk (healthy extra A)

Thursday 29 November 2018

Thursday, 29-11-18

Good morning!
Sometimes it's nice to have something simple amidst all there new SW friendly recipes I keep trying with varying degrees of liking.  Yesterday I simply wrapped up some salmon in foil and baked it while boiling up some sprouts and spray toasting some tomatoes and the results were delicious!

Today, I am having . . .
B:  bacon and tomato
As always, it's bacon medallions which is back bacon with all the fat cut off.  Not cheap but I only have two at a time.  The tomato will be canned chopped tomatoes (better flavour now) and I like to bubble them until they are thoick and gooey.  Yum!
SW:  free

L:  apple, orange and Mullerlight
A light lunch on weighday!
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

D:  spiced orange chicken, pepper tomato and mushroom stir fry; stewed apple and natural yogurt
The chicken should really be turkey steak but I just have chicken.
SW:  the stewed apple is my heB

Ss:  fruit, hot milk (heA)

Weigh-in tonight.  As far as I can tell, it will be small but steady.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Wednesday, 28-11-18

Good morning.

I was sorely tempted yesterday.  I set to and made our traditional vegetarian sausage rolls; they're really delicious and a family tradition.  You can take or leave your normal ones but we MUST have the vegetarian ones.

The amount in the recipe plus one pack of puff pastry (not pre-rolled, that's way too expensive) made thirty two rolls.  Beth had two - acting as quality control, you see - and the remaining thirty went straight in the freezer to open freeze before they went into a box for protection.  The house smelled wonderful and I was, as I said, greatly tempted but no, I remained firm.
It helped that I need some for our girls' lunch, some for Mum and Dad's Christmas lunch, some for me and mine on Christmas day and a few leftover so I have just about enough really!

They're not that expensive either, compared with similar quality bought ones, if indeed you can find good vegetarian sausage rolls - I haven't yet.
The recipe is here:
I didn't make the pastry (I'm not that daft), I used dried herbs, more grated cheese than it says and philly light and a splash of milk instead of the cream (no way am I buying a carton of double cream for just three tbsps).
Dead easy!  Good old Delia!

I feel the Christmas season has started now I've made these.

Today's plans are as follows:
B:  fresh fruit and natural yogurt
Oddly enough, right at the moment I'm disinclined to eat much breakfast so I may as well go with the flow and eat light.
SW:  free

L:  the spicy lentil and tomato soup I made yesterday was really scrummy and I have a portion left for a trouble-free lunch today.
SW:  free unless I have some dunking bread and if I do, that will be my healthy extra B

D:  baked salmon, mushroom sauce, sprouts and runner beans
I will make the sauce as I did the other day - bit of onion, sliced mushroom and soft cheese.  Apart from the salmon, it's all pretty good value and the runners were frozen in summer from the garden.
SW:  the cheese will be half my heA and the rest is free

Ss:  milk (the other half on my healthy extra A, fruit, maybe a Mullerlight as I stocked up again yesterday.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Recipe: spicy red lentil soup

Filling, warming and a very festive colour.  What's not to like, eh?
I have a feeling the original recipe comes from a book but I have no idea which book, sorry.

Ingredients to make a good portion for three
one medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
garlic (I used granules)
half tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
50g red lentils
850mls stock (I used water and added Marigold powder and then added some more near the end after tasting)
2 tbsp tomato puree
can chopped tomatoes
some dried mixed herbs

Put the whole lot in a pan, boil and simmer until everything is soft.  Zizz well, then push through a sieve to get rid or any woody bits.
Taste, adjust seasoning if needed and reheat.

The chilli was just enought to tickle my tongue but add to your own taste.

Tuesday, 27-11-18

Good morning!

Yesterday's curried chicken and cauliflower bake turned out very nice although a little bit dry.  I think more tomatoes would have helped with that and have made a note on the recipe.
It's on the slimming world site, if you have access.
If not, basically, you make a mix of tikka spice and water, coat the chicken and the par cooked cauliflower (and I added sprouts too), spray with oil,  bake for ten minutes, then add the tomatoes and spray again, mix and continue baking for 20 minutes or so, adding some thawed and heated frozen spinach before serving.
The cauliflower was still a bit firm and it was very tasty indeed.
If I wasn't doing SW, I'd use a curry paste.

Today's plans:
B:  bacon and tomatoes
Probably chopped tomatoes rather than fresh as they are starting to be a little less flavoursome now - and much more expensive too.
SW:  free

L:  Spicy red lentil soup; croutons
This recipe was posted on our local SW Facebook group.  It's basically the one I usually make but with added spice so I'll give it a go.  The main ingredients are chopped tomatoes and lentils so it's got to be frugal!
SW:  the croutons will be my healthy extra B

D:  Caribbean turkey and veg bake, shredded cabbage
Made last week and frozen.  I have some extra cooked turkey to add and the cabbage is to help up my veg intake.
SW:  free

S:  fruit, milk (healthy extra A), Mullerlight (1 syn)
I don't always have some or all of the snacks, it just depends how the day goes.  It helps to have a few extras planned in.  The only one today I must have is the milk.

Monday 26 November 2018

Monday, 26-11-18

Good morning!
I was quite disappointed yesterday - I couldn't find the YS fillet steak in the freezer.  Time for another tidy up at some point, I think, because I know it is there, somewhere.
Fortunately, I found some flat iron steak so I had that instead and, smothered with my mushroom sauce, it was very good indeed, much nicer than it looks in the photo.

Today's plans:
B:  bacon, egg, tomatoes and mushroom
Not particularly frugal, not expensive, just middle of the road
SW: free

L:  I made lots of bean and veg soup yesterday so it's more of that with some bread to dunk.  Really great value and big flavour, even better second day.
SW:  healthy extra B for the bread

D:  curried chicken and cauliflower bake
Postponed from last week.  I think I shall add some sprouts to the mix too as they are supposed to be delicious roasted.
SW:  free

Ss:  fruit, hot milk
SW:  the milk will be my healthy extra A

Sunday 25 November 2018

Sunday, 25-1-18

Good morning.
Just a month to go now until the Big Day - the first of the Big Days anyway as I am cooking two Christmas dinners, one at my parents four weeks today  and one at home on the 25th.  In that time, all being well, I could lose another six pounds, realistically, as I seem to have settled to a pound and a half each week.  That would be great!

Dinner was really nice but I couldn't finish the macaroni bake because I had loaded my dish with sprouts and cabbage as well.  So breakfast will be pretty unusual!

Today's plans are:
B:  the rest of the macaroni cheese bake; apple and/or orange
It's leftovers mostly so no waste.
SW:  free because I counted the cheese yesterday

L:  bean and veg soup
Using pulses from the freezer, this is frugal, filling and delicious!
SW:  free

D:  steak, chips, tomatoes, mushroom sauce
Obviously not frugal but not as bad as you would think as I was lucky enough to get the steak on YS.  The rest is fine, especially as I was given the Philly light.
SW:  the philly light for the cheese sauce will be my healthy extra A

S:  fruit, mullerlight (1 syn)

Typing this up, I realise I have no healthy extra B because I've changed breakfast.  Oh, well, tough!

I shall have to have pasta in December because look what I got in Lakeland.  Christmas pasta.  It's cute!

Saturday 24 November 2018

Saturday, 24-11-18

Good morning!
First of all, the dirty fries were delicious yesterday so here's the recipe.  As always with this site, scroll down past the adverts.

I made the cajun seasoning from this recipe.

I've taken to making my own spice mix as I have such a range of single spices that just don't get used.  There's loads of recipes out there and it is so very easy to do.

The other day I bought a turkey leg/thigh joint for just £3 and I need to cook it today.  I can see that turkey will be featuring in my recipes over the next days.  Lean and tasty, it's a good SW choice, I think, as well as being great value.  And all that good stock too!

It's great to have a weekend at home, knowing that I will be able to stay on plan more easily.
B:  porridge with cinnamon, blueberries and apple
The blueberries are from a bag of frozen ones from Aldi - better value by far than fresh ones.  I'll probably grate half the apple and have the other half as apple wedges.  Nice!
SW: the oats will be my healthy extra B and 100mls of milk will be two and a half syns

L:  turkey and veg soup
I've got into a pattern with these chunky soups.  I use a bit of onion, carrot, celery, potato, sweet potato and squash (the last two from bags in the freezer) plus some stock and some protein (beans or meat) and seasonings.  If I want a thicker base, I either zizz some of the veg or add a bit of orzo - the starch thickens it all up nicely.
It's very tasty and both warming and filling and it's a darn sight cheaper than those chunky soups you can buy in cans.
SW:  free

D:  I'm making a sort of macaroni cheese topping with turkey and veg (onion, pepper and muchroom) underneath and having that with sprouts and cabbage.  I might finish the meal with a yogurt
SW:  the dairylea for the sauce will be my healthy extra A and the yogurt 1 syn

I'm looking forward to today's food!

Friday 23 November 2018

Friday, 23-11-18

Good morning.
I was very pleased to be told I'd lost another pound and a half yesterday at group and I was given my stone and a half off award.  A great relief after such a naughty weekend.  Also, my BMI is closer to the healthy bvanding than it is to the obese one now.  All of that, plus having to buy smaller clothes this week, has made me very happy!

Today's plans:
B:  overnight oats with vanilla, cinnamon, pineapple and mango
Should taste lovely as well as being filling.  The fruit is - I mean was - frozen so quite economical as you don't need much and nothing is wasted.  It's also a lot easier with less mess!
SW:  half a healthy extra A

L:  the rest of the chicken and veg soup/casserole thingy I had after group yesterday.  It was really tasty for all it was so simple to make
Not all that expensive either, the chicken being the dearest part.
SW:  free

D:  Syn free dirty fries (a new one to try)
Sounds good, doesn't it.  It's SW chips with bacon, seasonings, onion, Lea and Perrins, peppers and cheese.  I think I will enjoy it.
SW:  There are some syns for the cheese and I will have to look it up as I can't remember.

Ss:  Mullerlight (one syn); fruit

This last week I was trying a mixed approach - Friday to Sunday on the normal programme and Monday to Thursday on the SP plan, slightly modified by yogurt (so I can't officially call it SP but never mind) and it's suited me very well so I will stick to it for a while.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Thursday, 22-11-18

Good morning.
Yesterday was a bonkers day.  First of all I totally forgot to have breakfast.  Then I forgot that I wouldn't have time to prepare dinner before a meeting.  By the time I got home, it was too late to cook so I had milk, apple and yogurt.

Now I have a defrosted chicken breast to use up today but am out midday and again in the evening (weigh-in - fingers crossed).
Oh, well, I got my healthy extras anyway - I had the bread as toast with the beans at lunchtime.  I'm glad I had time to make the beans anyway.

And I will shelve what I had planned for dinner until next week.

Today's plans (fingers crossed)
B:  bacon, beans, egg, tomatoes
The beans are left over from yesterday.
SW:  free

L:  apple, orange and yogurt.
I always have a light lunch on weighday (fngers crossed) anyway but I'm out so will take fruit with me and just buy a coffee!
SW:  one syn for the yogurt which I will have when I get home.

D:  chunky chicken and vegetable casserole - like a soup but more so and I can make it earlier!  Bread for dunking.
That will use up the chicken I didn't use yesterday.
SW:  the bread will be my healthy extra B

Ss:  hot milk before bedtime (it's very warming and my healthy extra A); fruit

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Recipe: SP friendly baked beans

At the moment, baked beans are allowed on SP days.  However, after Christmas their P(rotein) tag is going so, while they are still 'free', they won't be part of the SP range any more.

So I thought 'go on, have a go'.

I made these today and they are really tasty.  No, they don't have the convenience of opening a can and just heating them up but, personally, I think they taste nicer (but then maybe I would).

I thought I would make just one portion but actually it's enough for two (for me) so I'll have the rest with bacon and egg for breakfast.

a small onion and half a pepper (red, yellow or orange), both prepped and finely chopped
2 bacon medallions (the lean part of back bacon), finely chopped
1/16tsp  (in other words, a goodly pinch) each of ground ginger, tikka spice, cinnamon and garlic salt
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp vegetarian stock powder (Marigold, for me, is the best but you could use a crumbled cube)
100g cooked haricot beans
half a can of chopped tomatoes and 1/4 cans-worth of water
a good splash (to taste) of Lea and Parrins and soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree

(If using the oven, preheat to 180C)
In a small saucepan that can go in the oven, spray some oil, add the onion, pepper and bacon, stir well, cover and let it gently soften, stirring occasionally.

Turn up the heat a bit, add the spices and stir well while it sizzles.

Add the beans, the chopped tomatoes, the water, the stock powder, the Lea and Perrins, the soy sauce and the tomato puree.  Mix well and bring to a simmer.

Now you can either cover and keep it gently simmering for around 20 mins, stirring now and again and addind a bit more water if it seems to be drying out).
pop on a lid (foil will do), bung it in the oven and let it bake for 20 mins.

Taste and season, if needed.  I found it wasn't but I don't like a lot of salt.


Wednesday, 21-11-18

Good morning.
Yesterday was a very satisfying food day and the curry in a hurry was so delicious I've posted about it separately.  I will definitely make it again!  The tikka powder and ground ginger together were delicious.

Here's today's plans
B:  boiled eggs and toast
A childhood favourite.  Great value and very satisfying.
SW:  the toast is my healthy extra B

L:  home made baked beans with bacon
Having a go, using some chopped tomatoes left over from yesterday, other bits and bobs and some of the haricot beans I cooked last week.  Also I have a little bit of the tikka and ground ginger seasoning so I may as well bung that in too.
SW:  should be free

D:  curried chicken and cauliflower bake
Another new recipe from the SW site which looks really good.  I was able to open it without needing to log on so, hopefully, everyone can.
SW: free

Ss:  fruit, hot milk just before bedtime
SW:  the milk will be my healthy extra A

As always, fingers crossed.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Recipe: salmon curry in a hurry

I really wasn't sure about this one but, with the changes I had to make, it was absolutely scrumptious and I will definitely make it again, next time I want a treat meal
I can't give you the link to the original recipe - well, I can but unless you can log on, you won't get the recipe.  However, I think I changed it enough to be able to give what I did.

Ingredients for a really good portion for one - no need for rice.
fry light or similar
1 smallish onion, peeled, halved and sliced
some red and/or yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
a good sized mushroom, sliced
a squidge of garlic puree
half tsp tikka seasoning
a grinding of black pepper
quarter tsp ground ginger
200g chopped tomatoes
a heaped tsp vegetable stock powder (I use Marigold)
250g piece of salmon fillet, skinned and cut into chunks

Spray a wok with fry light - I used the butter version - and gently fry the onion until starting to soften.  Add the pepper and mushroom and continue to fry gently.
Increase the heat, add the spices and the garlic and mix well.
Add the chopped tomatoes and the stock powder with a splash of boiling water.  When it is simmering, add the chunks of salmon and gently simmer until the salmon is cooked and tender, adding a bit more water if it seems to be drying up.

Serve immediately.

If you had rice, it would serve two.  Without rice, it's a very filling single portion.

Not cheap though!

Tuesday, 20-11-18

Good morning.

Yesterday was a good day, food-wise.  The speedy tomato soup was scrummy with some home made croutons (see separate post) and the turkey stew, cooked in the slow cooker, was filling and yummy.  I made the full amount so now have pots of portions for other SP days in the freezer.
Here's a link (below) to the recipe which I more or less followed except for using a crock pot instead of the oven.  I wanted to add some pineapple to yesterday's portion because it felt Caribbean-ish but I checked and pineapple is not a speed food, sadly.  Another time . . .
I wouldn't recommend doing what I did, which was leave it in the slow cooker for too long, as the turkey disintegrated.  Mind you, it made a lovely, meaty, spicy sauce that I used a spoon to enjoy.  Also, if you do use a slow cooker, add less liquid than it says.
I hope you can access this link which is on the Slimming World site.

Today's SP plans:
B:  cooked breakfast - bacon, egg, fried bread, tomatoes and mushrooms
Not as frugal as porridge but just as filling and very satisfying.
SW:  the bread will be half a healthy extra B

L:  baked beans on toast, apple
I'm making the most of baked beans still being allowed on SP days today, but, for the future, I'm planning to make my own baked beans which will be 'allowed' although they'll nothing like the 'real' version from a tin!
Using Morrison's beans and some YS bread, this is a very frugal lunch.
SW:  the bread is one healthy extra B

D:  salmon curry in a hurry; fruit yogurt
Another new recipe and I'll let you know because I'm not really that sure and might change my mind at the last moment and have baked salmon with loads of nice veg instead.
SW:  one syn for the yogurt

Ss:  warm milk before bedtime, mullerlight
SW:  the milk is my healthy extra A while the yogurt is one syn

It's nice to be on track again.

Monday 19 November 2018

Crispy, crunchy croutons

I fancied some and had a spare healthy extra so . . .
Dead easy.

Preheat the oven to about 100/150.  Low enough that the croutons will dry out without burning.  A real range would be perfect.

LIne a baking sheet/tray with parchment and spray it with fry light or similar.
Cut sliced bread into squares (I keep the crust on)
Tip them onto the sheet and spray again.
Pop them in the oven and leave them.
After a while, turn them over and maybe re-spray.
When they are lovely and crunchy, take them out, sprinkle them with a little salt and try not to eat them before adding them to your soup or whatever.

Monday, 19-11-18

Good morning!
The weekend is over, the damage has been done but is not irredeemable and I'm moving on!

Today's plans:
B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
Tasty and frugal.  How would I manage without my porridge!
SW: half my healthy extra A and one healthy extra B.  I'm doing four days of SP modified by yogurt!

L:  tomato and lentil soup with home made croutons
Alas, the tomatoes are now out of a can again but the soup is still delicious, still pretty frugal and I do love a few croutons.  One of these days I will weigh out my soup ingredients and produce some definitive recipes because they are tasty and work well with SW.
SW:  half a healthy extra B for the croutons.

D:  Caribbean turkey and veg stew
A new one but not too costly as turkey is good value.  I'll let you know.
SW:  one syn for some gravy granules (I may use thickening granules instead, depending on what it turns out like)

Ss:  the rest of the milk (healthy extra A) and a Mullerlight (one syn), maybe an apple

On SP days, you can have any of the 'free ' foods that are labelled as S (speed fruit and veg) or P (protein), plus one healthy extra A and two healthy extra Bs.  Also up to fifteen syns.  What you can't do is syn normally free foods that don't have S or P labels.
I'm adding yogurt to this too because I NEED my yogurt.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday 18 November 2018

Sunday, 18-11-18

Good morning.
I'm afraid I lost it again yesterday evenings.  Snacks/nibblies really are my downfall here at my parents' and it's all a little bit discouraging but there you go!

Today (well, tomorrow really but we're celebrating it today) is my Dad's 90th birthday.  He's asked for sirloin steak, so that's what he will have!

Today's plans, therefore, are -
B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
SW:  healthy extra B and half a healthy extra A

L:  butternut squash and lentil soup
Very easy to make and quite delicious.  Butternut squash isn't cheap, of course, but neither is it shockingly expensive.
SW free

D:  sirloin steak, as above, with veg.  I have to ask Dad how he'd like his potatoes done. 
Frugal it ain't!!!
SW:  should be free as long as I pass on the sauce!

Ss:  trying for none as it seems that as soon as I start, I just keep going - it's all too available here!

Please, send me strengthening vibes for today!  I need them.

Saturday 17 November 2018

Saturday, 17-11-18

Good morning.

I've posted the recipe of the soup I made yesterday because it really was delicious.  No fancy seasoning, very simple and very good.
Hope you enjoy it if you have a go.

Today's plans:
B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
The usual.  I love it!
SW:  using my healthy extra B and half my healthy extra A

L: bean and veg soup. 
Should be SW free and have plenty of speed veg

D:  roast chicken, roasties, cabbage and sprouts.  I'll have yogurt for dessert.
SW: just 1 syn for the yogurt

Ss:  apple, orange.

I have to be strict today as yesterday evening was bad, bad, bad (and nice too!).  No problems with frugality as I'm not paying.

Recipe: roasted butternut squash and red lentil soup

Yesterday's soup was lovely.

I roasted some butternut squash (from a bag of frozen squash so dead easy) with a bit of frylight for about 30 to 40 mins until it developed that lovely 'roasty' aroma and then just boiled it up with a handful of red lentils, a bit of carrot and onion, a squidge of garlic, some veg stock and some black pepper (no salt because the stock is salty). Once it was all soft, I zizzed it to smooth, added a splash of milk from the day's heA, reheated it and it was gorgeous.

SW free apart from the milk, plenty of speed, very filling and it would fit into an SP day.  Also dead easy!

No photo, I'm afraid - Beth and I scoffed the lot before I remembered.

Friday 16 November 2018

Recipe: syn free dirty rice

Here's the link to this one.
Ignore the ads and scroll down!

I won't reproduce the recipe but I will tell you what I changed as it was fairly significant and must have made a big difference in flavour.
It was still syn free though.

1.  I used 500g lean beef mince as I didn't have any pork mince in the freezer.

2.  I used frozen mixed peppers and also added good scoops of frozen peas and sweetcorn to up the veg content.

3,  I didn't have any cajun seasoning but I did have some leftover home made jerk seasoning so used that instead - about two teaspoons of it

4.  I added a can of chopped tomatoes and some tomato puree . . .

5.  And another bay leaf that I added to the mince mixture as well as the one in the rice, both picked from the garden . . .

5.  And I simmered it all for ages.  I prefer my mince cooked long and slow.  It would work well in a slow cooker.

So not all that different really, no??????

I'll make the proper version one of these days as I am sure pork mince would be lovely!

It was very, very nice and I have three substantial portions now shivering in the freezer for those days when quick and easy is needed.