Sunday 30 September 2018

Sunday, 30-09-18

Good morning.

Here's today's food plans:
B:  overnight oats, fruit, natural yogurt
40g oats is a healthy extra B and some milk is pert of a healthy extra A

L:  ham salad, apple
the salad will be a bit 'bitty' - lettuce, cucumber and carrot, probably.
SW free

D:  lamb leg steak, roasties, roast parsnip, runner beans, courgette; melon
All SW free as I will be roasting the potatoes and parsnips the SW way.

Ss:  fruit

I'm trying to make up for Friday evening when things went a bit pear shaped so minimal syns yesterday and today.
On the plus side, it couldn't be more frugal!

Saturday 29 September 2018

Saturday, 29-09-18

Good morning!
Whatever I have this weekend is going to be frugal which is nice for me!

Today's plans are:
B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
SW:  40g oats are my healthy extra B and whatever milk I use is my healthy extra A.  It should be 250mls of semi-skimmed and I almost never get through that much so I am glad cheese also counts as healthy extra As.
I usually make overnight oats over the weekend but I forgot to set them off yesterday.  Ooops!

L:  soup and fruit
I made some fridge rubble soup, aka Saturday Soup because when I was working I often made this on Saturday to clear the fridge for the new vegetables.  However, I wasn't hungry when I could have had it it and later on it seemed too much so I had a Mullerlight instead and counted one syn.  So I shall have the soup today.

D:  probably sausages, mash, runner beans; some sort of fruit for dessert
The sausages are good quality butcher's shop made sausages, not fatty at all.  I've looked them up and I reckon the nearest equivalent is 1 syn per sausage

Ss:  fruit

For a change I made some sweet potato 'chips' yesterday to have with the salmon and peas.  They're not really chips, of course, but they are very tasty and were much enjoyed.  I must have them more often - they're not 'speed' veg but they do count towards your five a day. 

Friday 28 September 2018

Friday, 28-09-18

Good morning!

At weigh in I found I'd lost another pound and a half which I am really pleased about.  Slow and steady is really my way and (it seems) one is more likely to keep it off this way.
I treated myself to one of the books on sale at Slimming World - a recipe book (of course) called Meals for One which looked quite good.  I'll go through it over the weekend and might take it with me when I go on holiday and make some of the recipes.

Today's plans:
B:  bacon, egg, potato waffle, tomatoes
A bit of a celebration but still only two syns for the waffle.  I'd have mushrooms too but I am out of them.  The bacon ups the price a bit but not badly so.

L:  soup
I have some bits and bobs of vegetables to use up so it will be an everything in together sort of soup and I'll probably toss in a few pulses from the freezer too for protein.
SW free

D:  salmon, potatoes, probably courgette and peas
Not cheap but although I am cooking it, I am not providing the food so, for me, it's very frugal.  In fact, it is only the salmon that is costly and now and again, that doesn't hurt.
Best of all, it is SW free

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes

Thursday 27 September 2018

Thursday, 27-09-18

Good morning.

Both yesterday's recipes were simple and delicious.  I have already posted about the leek and potato bake and will do a post about the pea soup later on.

Today's plans:
B:  overnight oats, fruit, natural yogurt
Yummily frugal!
SW:  half a healthy extra A and one healthy extra B

L:  soup
I have several portions of soup in the freezer.  The SW and PoN recipes make huge portions so I have half and freeze half.  I'm not sure which one I'll have yet but they're all SW free anyway plus being frugal too.

D:  cuban beef, rice.
Another freezer thing, made about three weeks ago.
SW free.

Ss:  tomatoes, fruit

I seem to be very low on syns today but never mind, I'll probably catch up over the weekend!

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Recipe: loaded leek and potato bake.

I found this recipe here
and I made it more or less as the recipe requires except that I reduced the amounts to make it for one and added some chopped mushrooms when I added the bacon.  Also, I didn't fry the bacon first - it just wasn't necessary.
I used a chicken stockpot for the stock and the stock I didn't need after the first boiling, I have kept for a soup as it was really delicious and it would have been a sin to chuck it down the sink.
I used frozen leeks because that's what I had and two bacon medallions, not one.

It's so simple I didn't expect it to be that great but it was.  Simple but delicious flavours, a very comforting texture and it filled me up.  It'll be great for cold winter evenings and I will definitely do it again.

(and I forgot to take a photo - ooops)

Wednesday, 26-09-18

Good morning!

Yesterday's mixed veg with macaroni cheese topping worked so well.  Really delicious.  The Dairylea made a most satisfying sauce and the whole thing was - mmmmmmm.
I can see Dairylea cheesy pasta is going to feature in my plans quite often from here on.

Today's plans
B:  fried egg on potato waffle, tomatoes
One of my favourite breakfasts and, as the tomatoes are garden grown, pretty frugal too!
SW:  2 syns for the toasted waffle

L:  pea and mint soup
This is a SW recipe so we will see how it works out.  It's supposed to be SW free.  It's basically frozen peas and stock with a bit of background veg and mint.I read a lot of recipes for these fresh pea soups but have never got round to making one although I have planned to occasionally.  Today I will.

D:  loaded leek and potato bake, runner beans or broccoli (or both!)
Another SW recipe which looks pretty tasty.  The veg depends on whether there are any runner beans to pick.  My fingers are crossed.
SW:  the cheese on the bake is my healthy extra A

Ss:  fruit, tomatoes

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Tuesday, 25-09-18

Good morning!
Yesterday's kedgeree was quite nice but not quite spicy enough.  You don't want so much curry that you can't taste other flavours but I could hardly taste it.  I shall make it again at some point and up the curry powder.
I had a small portion left so that will do for a lunch at some point.

Today's plans:
B:  overnight oats, fruit and natural yogurt
I will use cherries and pineapple from the freezer - I think pineapple goes particularly well with porridge-y type things.
SW:  I'm synning the milk today so that's 3 syns while the oats stay as my healthy extra B

L:  I'm out over lunchtime, not in an eat-y sort of way but because I am having sight and hearing tests, so I will take an apple with me which should do me fine, eaten s-l-o-w-l-y!
SW free

D:  Mixed veg with macaroni cheese topping
This is my favourite way of adding a cheese sauce to pasta.  I cook the macaroni and drain it (reserving a bit of the cooking water).  Then, while the macaroni is still hot, toss in some Dairylea cheese and mix it well until melted, adding a bit of the cooking water to get the right texture.  It makes a good, cheesy flavour and feels like a proper cheese sauce.  I will put the hot vegetable mixture into one of my oven proof dishes, pour over the macaroni cheese, sprinkle over a bit of cheddar and bake until golden brown.  It's really nice.
The vegetable mix is from the freezer, leftovers from a week or so ago.
SW:  four Dairylea wedges counts as one healthy extra A (which is why I synned the breakfast milk) and the cheddar (25g) is five syns.  The rest is free.

Sn:  tomatoes

Quite a nice day and not too expensive either.  Good-oh!

Monday 24 September 2018

Monday, 24-09-18

Good morning.

Regarding that recipe for pasta carbonara that I tried on Saturday, it was OK but not amazing and I want to adapt it a bit before writing about it.
However, the roast dinner yesterday evening was lovely and so was the tomato soup for lunch so no complaints whatsoever.

Today's plans:
B:  Overnight oats, etc
Same as usual but this time I think I will add half a toffee mullerlight and have the other half  later so that is now one syn*
SW  half a healthy extra A, one healthy extra B and half a syn

L:  carrot and butterbean soup
This is a new one on me but I love butterbeans in soup.  They make it go all creamy and 'unctious'.  Mine are from the freezer, home soaked and cooked.
SW free unless I add some grated cheese.

D:  kedgeree and roasted tomatoes
I will use smoked basa instead of smoked haddock because I have some and it's cheaper.  The tomatoes are still from the garden
As far as I know, the recipe is SW free unless I add anything more to the recipe (which is fairly likely, knowing me).

* Did you see the fuss last week?  Mullerlights are now one syn instead of being 'free'.  Apart from the fact that it is barely a drop in the ocean, anyone who eats five or six of them in a day and is now 'devastated' needs to take a good close look at their diet!
Apologies if I've trodden on any toes at all but really!!!

Sunday 23 September 2018

Sunday, 23-09-18

Good morning.

Yesterday I tackled my T shirts, sorted them all out, looked at sizes, tried some on and now I have a good pile of them to take to the Sally Army recycling point.
Then I went to the 'too small at the moment' wardrobe (in the guest room), took a lot at what was left and am really thrilled that my carefully and lovingly knitted Aran and Guernsey sweaters from an awful long time ago (but the style is timeless/classic) both now fit a treat.  Perfect timing as the weather gets colder - and I still have enough T shirt for now.
Win-win and up goes the motivation!  Now my fingers are twitching to start another hand knit.

Today's food plans
B:  overnight oats, fruit and yogurt
As yesterday.  :-)  And there go my healthy extras A and B

L:  home made tomato soup, apple
Made with the tomatoes that keep insisting on coming while the apple is allotment fruit
SW:  free

D:  a chicken roast dinner - chicken, roasties, parsnips, runner beans, broccoli
The chicken will be a breast, covered with a bacon medallion, wrapped in foil and baked.  I'll do the roasties and the parsnips the SW way with spray oil.  I have a titchy bit of cranberry sauce left from Tuesday, perfect for this, and I rarely have gravy anyway.  Should be tasty.
SW:  I'm counting 2 syns for the sauce while the rest is free

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes, as always

Saturday 22 September 2018

Saturday, 22-09-18

Good morning!

Today's plans:
B:  overnight oats with fruit
As always - healthy, frugal and delicious
SW:  half a healthy extra A for the milk and one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  roasted root veg soup, apple
The soup is from the freezer, made earlier on this week and the apple is from our allotment
SW free

D:  pasta carbonara, runner beans
I know - runner beans with carbonara, but so be it!  This is a recipe I found on the SW site (without the runners, they are my addition and will be separate, not mixed in) so I'm giving it a go.
It is SW free using the cheese as the other part of my healthy extra A

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes which are still ripening on the plants

I think today is going to be a tasty say!

Friday 21 September 2018

Friday, 21-09-18

Good morning!
One and a half pounds off this week so I'm cheering.  That's ten pounds in four weeks and it is starting to show, I think.  All very motivating and I am so glad I started with Slimming World.

Today's food plans
B:  a cooked breakfast
bacon, egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, potato waffle - delicious
SW free

L:  chicken baguette, chicken drum, fruit
I'm hopefully off on a ramble around Coggeshall so this is in the nature of a picnic.  The chicken is the very last of the roast chicken from Tuesday and the baguette (half of it anyway) is a wholemeal baguette I found for 5p on yellow sticker in Morrisons so that makes it a pretty frugal lunch.
SW:  the cheese spread on the baguette is my healthy extra A and the wholemeal baguette is my healthy extra B and four syns.

D:  Chicken fajita pasta, runner beans
This is SW free and the chicken fajita pasta is what I couldn't manage to eat about a fortnight ago and popped in the freezer.  The runner beans are from the garden.

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes

As mentioned above, I'm off for a day's ramble so I should get plenty of exercise and sleep very well tonight.

Thursday 20 September 2018

Thursday, 20-09-18

Good morning.

Am I the only one in the world to have not realised (until yesterday) that you can toast potato waffles (in a toaster)?  It suddenly hit me as I pondered on the extravagance of turning on the oven for one waffle (not that it would have stopped me), so I gave it a go and hey, it worked really well.  That will make quick meals even quicker.

Today's plans:
B:  bacon, egg and tomato
. . . just because I really fancy it!  The bacon is medallions and I usually have two while the tomatoes are garden grown.  The egg is just an egg fried the SW way.  :-)
SW free

L:  chicken mayo salad, just like yesterday, apple
It's weigh-in day so I don't want anything too heavy.  This will do fine and the mayo, being lighter than light, is only 1 syn (I still dislike that name).

D:  Cuban beef stew with rice
Something I made in the slow cooker a couple of weeks ago and, if it is worth it,I will share the recipe.
SW free and plenty of veg!

Ss:  I realise I haven't planned in my healthy extras so I may kill them both with one stone and have cheese on toast for supper.  On the other hand, maybe I will just skip them today.  :-)  It wouldn't be the end of the world, would it?  During the day, fruit and tomatoes which are still coming in fast!  It's been a great season.

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Wednesday, 19-09-18

Good morning.

The not-Christmas dinner was a great success yesterday and Al had seconds that finished everything off bar the chicken itself and a bit of cranberry sauce.
I've now stripped the carcass which has been simmering overnight, making a fantastic stock.  I shall let it cool and chill it in the fridge so that the fat solidifies and I can scrape it off, leaving SW free stock for gravy and soup.

Now I have to remember to eat up the chicken.

Today's food:
B:  muesli, fruit and yogurt
The muesli is my healthy extra B and the milk will be half my healthy extra A

L:  chicken and salad with mayo
All free apart from a bit of lighter than light mayo which is 1/2 syn per level tbsp.  The chicken is leftovers and the tomatoes on the salad will be garden grown.  I almost love using chicken leftovers more than the original meal.  I might add a bit of curry paste and make it a sort of coronation chicken thing.  That would be nice.

D:  jacket potato with chicken mayo , salad veg or cooked veg - I haven't decided yet.
More of the same in a way as the chicken needs eating up (no complaints).  The chicken may not have been cheap, being kind chicken, but making the very most of it by using every bit of leftovers and boiling the carcass for stock is really getting the very utmost from it and that is also frugality.  I can't bear to throw away an unused chicken carcass!
If I have cooked veg it will be runner beans and/or courgette and they are from the allotment. 

Ss:  apple, pear, tomatoes
All from garden or allotment

I shall have to start buying more veg and fruit soon as the autumn harvest stops but it's been really good this year and the nicest thing is I can look forward to it all over again next year!  More than worth all the effort and, let's face it, all that digging, weeding, etc, is great exercise!

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Tuesday, 18-09-18

Good morning!

Yesterday's dinner was surprisingly delicious so I've posted what I did separately. 

Today's plans
B:  bacon, egg, fried tomatoes
It was going to be a fuller cooked breakfast until I remembered that lunch is a big one today
The bacon is a medallion so I don't have to faff around cutting off all the fat and the tomatoes are still from the garden where they continue to come thick and fast.  I will really miss them when they finish.
SW: free

L:  I'm having roast chicken, a few roasties, parsnips, peas and carrots while extras for Alex are pigs in blankets, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy.  I might have a bit of cranberry sauce and syn it!
It won't be frugal but it's all home cooked, even the cranberry sauce which I made yesterday and the stuffing which I froze after last Christmas, so it's less than it could be and worth the cost as it is a goodbye for Alex as he goes back to university on Thursday.
SW:  mostly free and I shall call the sauce an arbitrary 2 syns at the moment because I haven't looked up the sugar yet.

D:  plain old beans on toast!
YS bread and own brand beans make this a frugal meal and it's SW free too.  I might add some grated cheese.
SW:  beans free, toast is my healthy extra b and the cheese will be my healthy extra A

Ss:  fruit from the allotment and tomatoes from the garden.
All free in both senses of the word.

Better go and put the chicken in the slow cooker and prep some veg then.

Monday 17 September 2018

Recipe: mince and broccoli macaroni bake

This was delicious.  It was NOT SW free.  I used syns to get a great cheesy flavour; in fact I seem to spend most of my syns on cheese and it's jolly nice to have cheese without the guilt!

a portion of cooked savoury mince - maybe a bit off a spag bol or similar.
some cooked broccoli (or any leftover veg, could be a mixture of speed veg)
40g (dry weight) macaroni
3 dairylea light triangles
45g finely grated cheddar (proper cheddar, not light - I have decided I prefer to use the real thing with the real flavour and pay the syns)

Mix the mince with the vegetables and spoon into the bottom of a small casserole dish.

Cook the macaroni.  Drain and while still hot, mix in the cheese triangles and half the grated cheddar and stir until melted.  Spoon it over the mince and spread out evenly.  Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and bake at 180 for about 25 mins until bubbling and cheesy golden on top.

Serve with more veg.

Some of the cheddar was a healthy extra A but the rest and the soft cheese were synned (3 and 4 1/2 respectively).  The rest was free.

And it was scrummy and lasagne-like!

Monday, 17-09-18

Good morning.
Well, the turkey hotpot soup was scrummy and I'm not allowed to bring the leftovers home as Dad wants it for lunch today.   Success!

Here's today's plans:
B:  overnight oats, fruit, natural yogurt
. . . because it's healthy, delicious and very frugal.  Oh - and it fills me up too!
SW:  milk is half a healthy extra A and the oats are my healthy extra B

L:  roasted root veg soup, apple
I have loads of root veg left after making the hotpot so soup it shall be.  I'll roast the chunks of veg in spray oil because it imparts such a fantastic flavour, use chicken stock as extra flavour and might spice it up with a bit of cumin and coriander.  Oh, and lentils for protein and yumminess.
I know we're having a warm spell but soup is the frugal way to go as the weather gets colder as well as being healthy, delicious and SW friendly. 
SW:  free

D:  mince and broccoli macaroni cheese bake, runner beans
I have to 'cost' this out when I get home and I know the cheese will take some syns as will the cornflour, if I make a traditional sauce, although I have a sauce I want to try.  The mince is already cooked and frozen so fits with freezer week.

Ss:  apple, banana, maybe a pear if any have ripened over the weekend.

(sorry for the shouting, but I really need to remember to do this!)

Sunday 16 September 2018

Sunday, 16-09-18

Good morning.

Thankfully, yesterday went well, there was no fall back from the Friday over-eat and the enormous pot of hotpot was absolutely delicious!
It was laden with veg:  onion, carrot, parsnip, butternut squash, potato, leek, courgette and sweet potato plus a few bits and bobs of leftovers from the freezer and fridge - peas, runners and a portion of orzo that it was obvious dad wasn't going to eat!  All of that, simmered in a good turkey stock with seasonings, red lentils and a good dollop of garlic puree with the chunks of turkey added at the last minute made not only a very scrummy and very healthy dinner, it has also provided portions for another day and some soup for lunch today.
That's why I get a bigger turkey than we need each Christmas!
Mind you, as the season approaches, shops are making their turkey crowns, etc, and there's plenty of legs and thighs available - the best tasting meat and very cheap too.

Today's plans:
B:  overnight oats (I remembered to set them soaking), fruit and natural yogurt
SW:  half a healthy extra A and one healthy extra B

L:  turkey hotpot soup, apple
I shall just add extra stock, remove some of the turkey and veg, zizz the rest smooth and then re-add the rest.  I may add a splash of milk too.  It should make a delicious semi-chunky and very filling soup.
SW:  free

D:   roast chicken, roasties, runner beans and carrots; apple crumble for mum and dad, an apple for me.
I usually wrap a good sized chicken breast in bacon and roast it - plenty for the three of us and no carcass for Dad to have to cope with after I've gone home.
SW:  free

Ss:  fruit

I've realised I am a bit low on the syns which is OK, I guess, but they do advise between five and fifteen of them each day.  Maybe I will have a slice of bread with my soup at lunchtime but it all looks pretty filling without anything else.  We will see.

Many thanks for your lovely soup ideas yesterday.  They all look delicious.

Saturday 15 September 2018

Saturday, 15-09-18

Good morning!
Yesterday evening turned out a bit of a disaster so I won't go into it but will just say it's straight back to my planning for today.  End of story!

Today's plans:
B:  porridge, fruit and natural yogurt
I forgot to set the oats to soak yesterday and also it's quite chilly this morning so porridge will fit the bill nicely.
SW:  125g milk for the healthy extra A and 40g yogurt for the healthy extra B

L:  not totally sure but it will be ham with some sort of speed veg - perhaps tomatoes and carrots (raw carrots); apple (because there's some to use up)
SW:  should be free

D:  turkey and root veg casserole (we call it turkey hotpot and it's a family favourite); fruit salad
Every year I freeze generous amounts of turkey after Christmas and make stock with the carcass and reduce it down before freezing.  This is so that during the year we can have turkey hotpot!  This time I shall use onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, sweet potato, butternut squash and potato.  Apart from that, all it will need is a bit of seasoning and my Dad will have some grated parmesan and croutons over his.
SW: should be free.  Not all the veg is speed but some is.  I use so little oil that it will hardly be there per portion

Ss:  fruit

I brought all the root veg with me and will have plenty to take home again so I need to adapt my planning to use them up.  I feel soup coming on and there's some delicious looking recipes on the Slimming World site.
Any suggestions?

Friday 14 September 2018

Friday, 14-09-18

Good morning!

Weigh in results:  two and a half pounds off this week which I am really pleased about.  Long may it continue!

Today's plans (which might change as I am eating dinner elsewhere)
B:  eggy bread with fried egg and tomatoes
I just really fancy this and as I'm using spray oil, it is just half of my healthy extra B

L:  leek and potato soup (from freezer), grated cheese
The grated cheese is my healthy extra A and, maybe, a few syns if I decide to have a little bit more.

D:  salmon, corn on the cob, runner beans, potatoes; fruit salad and yogurt
I'm not paying for this so it's the height of frugality but I know the corn and the runners will be garden grown.
SW:  free

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes
I had one of our allotment pears yesterday and it was luscious.  Pears ripen off the tree so I have a pile sitting in the kitchen, slowly ripening and when each one is ready, down the hatch it goes.

Thursday 13 September 2018

Thursday, 13-09-18

Good morning.

It's been a simpler week this week as I try to make some inroads into my copious freezer supplies but it's gone OK.  I certainly haven't gone hungry and having a guest hasn't sent me off track so I'm very pleased about that.

Today's plans:
B:  boiled eggs, toast, fruit
Nice and simple, frugal and healthy too
SW:  the toast will be my healthy extra B

Lunch:  really not sure as we will likely be out.  I might take some fruit with me - an apple and a banana, maybe.  Not totally helpful with no protein but at least the walking will be great exercise and I have to remain on track because see below!

D:  Spag bol with cheese on top
The mince will be from the freezer and the cheese is my healthy extra A - all 25g of it as it's not lighter cheddar!
SW:  healthy extra A and, if I fancy a bit more cheese, I will syn it.

Sn:  fruit from the allotment and tomatoes from the garden.  The good life!!!

Weigh in this evening.  Fingers crossed!

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Wednesday, 12-09-18

Good morning.

Today's plans:
B:  porridge, freezer fruit and natural yogurt
40g porridge and 125mls milk - such simple things to make a delicious meal (I think!)
SE:  half a healthy extra A and one healthy extra B

L:  Tuna jacket and salad.
A small jacket potato, mash some tuna with a bit of lighter than light mayo and serve with a salad.  a sort of bridge between a summer and a winter meal! And frugal as I don't use the whole tin of tuna just for me, obviously!
SW:  just one syn for the mayo

D:  salmon, potatoes, runner beans, maybe broccoli as well to ramp up the speed (SW term for most fruit and veg)
I'm not sure how I will do the potatoes; I might boil them or I might make mini roasties (with spray oil, of course).  The salmon is not frugal but I have a guest - that's my excuse this time.
The runner beans are from the allotment
SW:  all free

Ss:  fruit (apples from the allotment) or tomatoes (from the garden
Got to love freebies!

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Tuesday, 11-09-18

Good morning.

Yesterday, I decided I was probably eating a bit too much with all that 'free' food and the recipes also have larger quantities than I would usually use, so I am exercising a bit more restraint and being sensible.  Just because I can have it (according to SW), it doesn't mean I should have it, after all.

Life gets a bit complicated for a few days as I have a friend staying (arriving this evening) who has a number of food issues but I think we will manage and I have planned it all out carefully.  I'm going shopping today for a few bits and pieces and then things will be all OK.

Today's plans:

B:   oat pancakes, fruit, natural yogurt
I made the oat pancakes last week and froze some; the fruit is also from the freezer and goes very nicely with the natural yogurt (home made).  It's a pretty frugal breakfast really.
SW:  half a healthy extra B

L:  potato waffle, fried egg, fried tomato (the 'frying' is all with spray oil)
This is becoming a favourite.  Egg on a potato waffle is delicious.
SW:  2 syns for the waffle

D:  cheesy beans on toast, fruit
Beth and I both love this - pure comfort food and cheap too, especially with a long wholemeal loaf for 8p on yellow sticker; brilliant for toast which is how I almost always have my bread.
SW:  the cheese (25g of ordinary mature) is my healthy extra A and one of the slices of toast is the other half of my healthy extra B

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes

Fingers crossed that it will all go well today.

Sunday 9 September 2018

Monday, 10-09-18

Good morning.

Well, yesterday's roast dinner was simply delicious.  Better not do it too often though; there was rather a lot, especially meat!

Today's food plans.
B:  overnight oats, fruit and natural yogurt
The last of the batch of three.  Doing this works really well over the weekend.  The fruit will be from the freezer.
SW:  one healthy extra B and half a healthy extra A

L:  chicken fajita pasta.
What I couldn't manage of the recipe I posted about last week here so it went in the freezer  If it's not quite enough to satisfy, I can knock up some raw veg to have with it, but I think it will be fine!
SW free

D:  Savoury mince, runner beans
The mince is from the freezer so it is lucky I have always made my mince the low fat, full of veg way.  The beans will be from garden or allotment; I have plenty after yesterday's pick-a-thon!

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes

Sunday, 09-09-18

Good morning.

In the afternoon, to start off my renewed 'use what's in the freezer' thing, I braved the chill and did an inventory of the upright freezer so at least now I know what's in there and it is all listed in the front of my recipe file.  I wasn't brave enough for the chest freezer, that will have to wait for colder days to come or maybe I could tackle it just one section at a time.

Yesterday's home made hunter's chicken was very nice.  Such a shame I couldn't find the turkey though; I know I have got some.

Todays plans look like this:
B:  overnight oats, fruit, natural yogurt
As always, healthy and frugal.  And delicious!

L:  the leftovers of the mushroom risotto which went into the freezer.
It was overcooked but I really can't waste it. 
Mostle SW free apart from the extra cheese that I added - 4 syns

D:  I'm doing a roast dinner just for me by roasting a chicken breast and having it with roast potatoes, a pig in a blanket, stuffing and some vegetables, probably courgette and runner beans.
I found the stuffing in the freezer yesterday.  It's left over from last Christmas and I had forgotten I had it.  I have no idea how many syns to call it so will just look 'stuffing' up on the SW site and take a sort of average.
The potatoes are the first of the old potatoes from the allotment, the pig in the blanket is one of my home made sausages and the courgette and runners are from garden and allotment.  I'll do the roasties the SW way and will use spray oil to roast the courgette too.  It should be really healthy as well as relatively frugal, the most expensive part being the chicken.  Oh - and SW free.

Snacks:  as usual, fruit and tomatoes.

Saturday 8 September 2018

Saturday, 08-09-18

Good morning.

My plans for today.
B:  overnight oats, fruit, natural yogurt
Each week I prepare a jar with three portions of overnight oats which does me over the weekend.  As the weather gets chillier, I can always warm the oats in in the microwave, if necessary and it makes for an easy, tasty, comforting start to the day.
SW:  the oats are my healthy extra B, the milk is half a healthy extra A and the rest is free.

L:  tomato soup from the freezer)
Home made, delicious and free!  I might make a few baked croutons to go with it.

D:  hunter's turkey, new potatoes, vegetables (I have some broccoli so may use that)
You've heard of Hunter's chicken - well, this is more or less the same thing but using a turkey breast steak instead.  I made some SW bbq sauce and froze it in portions so I'll use one portion of that.  The potatoes are the last of the new potatoes from the allotment (sob, sob) so now we have to start the 'old' potatoes (cheering up again).  The broccoli needs using fairly soon and anyway I want to make soup from the stalk.
SW:  half of the cheese is the other half of today's healthy extra A and the other half is synned.  The rest of the recipe is free.

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes
The tomatoes keep giving and giving - those plants that are still flourishing, I mean.  The ones in pots have given up the ghost, more or less.

While delving in the freezer, I found some braising steak that has been there far too long so yesterday I dug out a recipe and cooked it in the slow cooker.  Now I have five beefy meals in the freezer and the new slow cooker has started earning its space.

Later edit:
Also while delving for the turkey steaks, I realise that the freezer is in a desperate state again.  There's too much there for me to see what I have.  I couldn't even find the turkey steaks so it's chicken thighs instead.
I've planned next week now but the following week is going to be freezer week - just about everything will be  from the freezer.   The most recent stuff is SW meal leftovers anyway!  I will start planning it now so I don't forget!

Friday 7 September 2018

Recipe: low syn spicy smoked salmon pasta

OK, so originally it was called 'creamy smoked salmon spaghetti but I used cracked black pepper lighter soft cheese (Morrisons) and tagliatelle instead of spaghetti but apart from that, much the same as this recipe, from the advert ridden but nevertheless very informative Pinch of Nom.  As always, scroll right down for the recipe.

A few amounts changes.  The savers pack of smoked salmon was 120g and the tagliatelle was more than the 100g that was needed to make one portion.
And it made loads.  I couldn't finish it, not with broccoli on the side so I have a pot of it to go in the freezer for another time.

Yet another one that I will definitely do it again.  Tasty and filling and the broccoli went perfectly with it.

Friday, 07-09-18

Good morning.
Good new.  2 lbs off this week.  Cheers!  I must be doing things right!

Today's plans:
B:  potato waffles, 'fried' eggs, tomatoes
A pretty frugal breakfast and I want to try a way I found via Google of 'frying' an egg in spray oil without having to turn it over of having an uncooked top.  I could poach them, of course, but I want to try this way.
SW info: The waffles are 4 syns and worth it, the rest is free

L:  cheesy beans on toast
Toast is wholemeal and is a YS loaf, the beans (2/3 of a tin that I froze a while ago) are Morrisons own and the cheese (40g)  is a lighter version*  I really fancy beans on toast today - something to do with the cooler weather perhaps?
SW free as I'm using my healthy extras for the bread and the cheese

D:  creamy smoked salmon pasta, side salad; jelly
OK, slight indulgence as regards the smoked salmon but the rest is OK.  Even the smoked salmon is from the savers range so not as bad as it could have been.  It's a simple enough recipe using soft cheese as the sauce; I've made something very similar before and it's delicious.
The jelly is a bit of a simple treat.  Sugar free so should do very little harm.
SW info - the soft cheese is 5 syns, the jelly is 1.5 syns, the rest is free.

Thursday 6 September 2018

Thursday, 06-09-18

Good morning!

Well, yesterday's meal out worked really well.  The waiter managed to wangle it so that I had griddled chicken (no skin and really tasty) with a salad instead of fat-packed veg and potato.  I really enjoyed it and felt satisfactorily full afterwards; not bloated, just full.  And happy!
Alec had burger and all the trimmings and  onion rings and I have no idea where he managed to put it all!

The cooked breakfast was great as well.  See . . .
Maybe not the healthiest thing in the world but low fat (honestly) and delicious.  I flattened the sausage so it cooked faster!

Today's plans:
B:  porridge, fruit and yogurt
It's getting chillier, I'm back to porridge, nice warm, comforting, extremely frugal porridge
And free on SW using both my healthy extras.

L:  home made tomato soup
I have a friend round for lunch so I've made my yummy tomato soup.  There's grated cheese to sprinkle over (counted) and I'll do some garlic bread for her as well.  It'll be nice.

D:  kedgeree
A SW recipe so I might let you know and I might not!  I'm using my last bit of smoked basa rather than haddock and will most likely add extra veg.
I think there's a few syns in the milk as I've had my healthy extra A

Ss:  apple, grapes, tomatoes
They had wonky grapes in Morrisons.  I'm not sure what's wonky about them, they taste great.  Maybe it's because they're smaller - if so, that's just plain daft.

SW this evening.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Wednesday, 05-09-18

Good morning!

Well, Beth and I went a-harvesting down the allotment and came home with loads.  Just look!

We've shared them out, of course but even so, I am now well set up with fruit and veg for a week or so.  Most of the runners will go in the freezer and some of the courgette too.  Frugality rules!

Yesterday's food all went extremely well.  The defrosted macaroni cheese thing that I wasn't sure about before I made it seemed even nicer than the first time so there's another recipe to make again.  It's given me an idea for a sort of lasagne type thing at some point too.  The oat pancakes were loads better with zizzed oats and thicker yogurt and the evening bake was scrummy.  I have a portion of that left for the freezer which just needs cheese adding.

Fingers crossed for today's plans which are . . .
B:  cooked breakfast (home made sausage, potato cake, bacon, maybe an egg, tomatoes and maybe mushrooms - that sounds an awful lot for a SW 'free' breakfast and I may reduce it down a bit.  On the other hand, it sounds nice, doesn't it?

L:  I'm taking grandson to the Harvester before he goes back to uni next week so I've looked up some info  No point consuming sixty million syns in one meal!  It looks as if grilled chicken and salad is the best way to go.   Not frugal but it's a sort of 'goodbye and good luck for your second year' type meal so worth every penny!

D:  Balti chicken and rice.  Frozen leftovers and, again, 'free'

Ss:  I now have loads of fruit and loads of lovely little tomatoes.  The good life!

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Recipe: syn free chicken fajita pasta

This is a recipe from the amazing Pinch of Nom site.  To find it, ignore the irritating adverts and scroll down to the bottom, just above the comments.  Honestly, they must make a fortune with all those ads.

Amazingly, I kept more or less to the recipe.
Using a pestle and mortar for already ground spices is just a vanity - pop them into a small bowl to mix them.
I made quarter amounts which gave a big, big portion, even though I reduced the pasta to 70g.
I used water from the cooking pasta.
At the last minute, I added some sliced mushrooms as I fancied them.  It upped the speed element and was tasty too.

I will definitely, certainly, without any doubt, do this again!

Tuesday, 04-09-18

Good morning!

The cheesy potato cakes were lovely so I've posted about them with a link to the original recipe.

It was a lucky day because the dinner, chicken fajita pasta, was also really delicious and, as I'm often finding now, made more than enough so I have just under half in the freezer for another meal, adding to the frugality.  I'll post about it later on.
Visually, pasta spirals (or almost any other pasta) would have been better than shells but shells is what I have so shells I used!
The topping is natural yogurt.
(not a great photo, sorry)

Today's food:
B:  oat pancakes with fruit and yogurt
This time I shall zizz the oats into a sort of flour and use less yogurt, just to see if I can get a thicker batter that doesn't spread so much in the pan..
SW:  the oats are a healthy extra B

L:  macaroni cheese bake, salad
I had this last week and one portion made so much I saved half in the freezer and am having it for lunch today.  It's SW free because it was all synned last week.  I'm not sure if it actually works like that but it does for me and freezing and using leftovers another day makes frugal sense too.

D:  kidney bean, veg and potato bake, runner beans, corn on the cob
This started with a recipe I found but I didn't have some of the ingredients and it had bacon in which is a no-no for the vegetarian I am also feeding tonight so I've adapted it. but I've made things like that before and I expect it will be very tasty as well as healthy. 
It will also be very frugal.  The beans and the corn are garden produce and the kidney beans were a gift.
SW:  the cheese in the bake is my healthy extra A.  The rest is free with plenty of speed food.

Monday 3 September 2018

Recipe: cheesy syn free potato cakes

I found this while searching blogs and here's the link.

I sort of quartered the amounts before noticing that it says 'serves three'.  Never mind, I ploughed on anyway and here's my comments

I used Maris Pipers.  King Edwards would also be good.  You need a potato with bags of flavour.  I wouldn't use whites.  They need to be good mashers.
Boiling the potatoes in stock was a great idea - they were lovely.
I used dried parsley.
I used just a bit of the egg and will use the rest in my breakfast on Wednesday so no waste.
I used 40g Cathedral lighter grated cheddar and counted it as my healthy extra A.

I got five potato cakes out of quarter amounts, one of which I have set aside, again for Wednesday.  It should last OK till then.  They were lovely.  Proper comfort food which I will make again for sure.  They would be lovely with egg or bacon (or both) or with fried tomatoes or baked beans.

Yes, basically it's fried potato but the additions definitely add another dimension. And filling!  I couldn't have managed the last one comfortably.

I had them with tomatoes from the garden and some (synned) salad cream.  I have always loved mash with salad cream, odd as it may sound.  I blame school dinners.

Monday, 03-09-18 and a think!

Good morning.

I was having a think yesterday (as you do from time to time when life is slack).
Most of this my regular readers already know but it has helped me to write it out and will explain the recent background for my new readers.  Please feel free to skip down to today's meal plans which are down at the bottom.

Last year I was getting more and more stressed about my food and my weight and so on and so forth.
Then, at the beginning of November I had an attack of the gallbladder and was in hospital for four days, initially because they thought it was cardiac trouble and then because they discovered I had an internal infection that needed sorting urgently.  At the same time they found I had very high blood pressure and 'thick' blood so I was on meds for both of those.
On the plus side, my heart was fine.

It was a real wake up call for me.  At first it was scary because cardiac - you know . . .
Once I knew it wasn't that, it became less scary but still worrying and I knew I only had myself to blame really.

On the list for surgery, I spent the next four months on a fairly restrictive low/no fat and few spices diet which was initially challenging but fun to work out and which kept me off naughty things like wine, crisps, biscuits, cheese, etc because when I did indulge it hurt, oh, how it hurt!

Then, prior to surgery I was put on the liver shrinking diet which did just what it says, making it easier for the surgeon to get round the liver to the gallbladder.  That was even more restrictive - I called it a low everything diet but my, how the weight dropped off.  It was fun to work out how to eat interesting meals under those conditions but rather repetitive and I got totally fed up of eggs.

Once I'd recovered from the op, everything was available again, nothing was banned and I found I had developed somewhat distorted views of what I could and couldn't eat.  I found it quite hard to stick to planning all the time, despite posting in this blog, and rather lost focus.  A bit of weight went back on and I missed having those discomfort boundaries (which sounds daft, I know).  I was still restricting unnecessarily and inconsistently, felt hungry in the evening and . . . well, you know!  It wasn't a disaster but slowly, softly, the weight started creeping back and I really, honestly, didn't want to go back to how I was.  Panic started setting in a bit.

That's why I decided to do something I have always resisted because, as a concept, I don't think slimming clubs work.  If they did, everyone would be slim.  At bottom, whatever they say, they are profit makers.

I joined Slimming World because two friends, one in real life and one online, said some very good things about the way this particular system works.  They said it was basically easy once you got the labels in your head and the boundaries really helped them.  The 'real life' friend had me round and went through all her stuff - books, leaflets, etc, explaining how it has worked for her, what she found difficult (not much) and what was easy and helpful and, best of all, how she has kept the weight off for a year now.  I owe her!

So I've done a week plus a few days and, so far, all's well.  The whole free, speed, healthy extras and syns outline is making it easier, especially as I get to grips with things.  I've always been a make-it-at-home person so there's no fuzzy 'convenience' foods to get my head round.  Their cookery books are actually really good and there's loads of recipes and info online too, through their web site and various easy to search for blogs.

I needed to change the way I plan the week's meals but the new way is no more difficult, it just ensures I have included all the elements I need to include each day.  Their own planning sheet didn't suit me at all so it's just as well I am au fait with Tables!

The one thing I am concerned about is that it could easily become expensive to do but again, cooking from scratch means that I can adapt and modify so that it doesn't become overly so.    I need to keep an eye on this though as I really want to remain as frugal as possible.

End of back story.

My food plans for today:
B:  overnight oats as yesterday
The last portion of a batch of three portions that I made to tide me over the weekend. 
SW:  the healthy extra A is the cheese for lunch so I have synned the milk

L:  cheese and potato cakes, salad
A new recipe so I'll let you know.  It looks fairly frugal, the most costly part being the cheese and that's not too bad
SW: the cheese is my healthy extra A and I have synned some salad cream.

D:  corn on the cob, chicken fajita pasta, maybe salad too
Another new recipe - I'm pushing the recipe boat out today.  Not really frugal but not expensive either, the dearest being the chicken as I buy kind chicken now.  My choice.
I prefer my corn just as it comes, no butter, which is just as well!
SW:  free unless I add something else that isn't a free food.

S:  tomatoes and fruit
The tomatoes are garden grown and the apples are from the allotment.

When Jackie came over last week she brought with her a bag of cooking apples from her garden and left with a bag of tomatoes from my garden!  Today I shall blanch and open freeze them - that is always useful to have come the winter.

Also, Dad gave me five cobs of corn from his garden.  Three will go in the freezer, I think, and I'll have one tonight and one later on in the week.  The bag of blackberries I have also been gifted will mostly turn into blackberry jam at some point, although I'll keep a few aside to go with the apples.

The freezer is rapidly filling again!

Sunday 2 September 2018

Sunday, 02-09-18

Good morning.
I'm really pleased to report that yesterday went extremely well, food wise.  I stuck to my plans looking neither to the wine to my left nor the crisps to my right (or even when they were stuck right under my nose on the lunch table)!
Yes, crisps, wine, etc are fine as long as you syn them but I know they are 'trigger' foods for me so it's best to avoid them at the moment.  I will have to deal with this at some point down the track but not right now!
So I was pleased.

Today's plans
B:  overnight oats, fruit and yogurt, as yesterday
SW  info:  the oats are my healthy extra B and the milk is my healthy extra A

L:  not sure as Dad usually makes lunches.  I might have the same as yesterday which was toast and marmite (no spread between) and then fruit.  That would make it a SW free lunch.
(Edit:  no it wouldn't, I'd have to syn the bread as I've already had my h.e.B  Anyway, I'm having lean ham with tomatoes and cucumber followed by fruit which IS SW free)

D:  lamb leg steak, roasties (SW style) or mash,  veg
It should be SW free.

Finger crossed I can stick to this again.

Saturday 1 September 2018

Saturday, 01-09-18

Good morning.
I know I said I wasn't posting over the weekend but I think I know what my food plans are for today so why not. 
It's not easy, when you're not at home, to follow any kind of eating system but maybe that's just an excuse.  But I am sort of 'in charge' of most of the meals and SW meals are 'proper' meals, not restrictive things, so really there's no excuse.
So - here we go, fingers crossed.

My plans.
B:  overnight oats, fruit, natural yogurt
As usual . . .
I have the kilner jar in which I make my o.o. and I remembered to get them in soak yesterday so that's the next three breakfasts sorted.  The fruit is left over fruit salad.
I brought the yogurt with me but the rest is the best kind of frugality.  Someone else pays!  :-)
SW info - the oats are my healthy extra B and the milk is my healthy extra A while the fruit and the yogurt are free

L:  not sure.  I might have to have a slice of toast with maybe marmite and then fill up with fruit.  I'll have to syn the toast.

D:  I'm doing roast chicken, pigs in blankets, stuffing, roasties, runner beans and gravy, followed by stewed apple and blackberry with natural yogurt (custard for the others).
I will have the chicken, a little bit of the stuffing (working out the syns will be hard as I am part making it myself so I shall have just a morsel and - er - conveniently forget about it), the roasties which I will make the SW way and the runner beans.  I won't make enough pigs in blankets for me and I don't usually have gravy anyway.
So - SW info - the chicken, veg and potatoes are free, I'll have to work out the stewed fruit and custard.  Stuffing?  What stuffing?

What a brain ache!  At least it's frugal (for me!).
(I wonder how I can work out tomorrow's meals now)