Wednesday 31 October 2018

Wednesday, 31-10-18

Good morning.
The bean and veg soup came out really well yesterday, as did the chicken fajita pasta.  Both made so much that I have a proper amount of leftovers for another time.  Got to love leftovers - in fact, sometimes they are deliberate (the soup was) so maybe they shouldn't be called leftovers.

I was also sorting out what I'm going to take to the meeting on Thursday which is a taster meeting - everyone brings something Slimming Worldy to share with everyone else.  I hope I've found something a bit different.  I think it tastes good anyway.   I'll tell you more later in the week.

Today's plans:
B:  french toast with fruit and yogurt
This is a new recipe, a sweet and cinnamonny one by the looks of things so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  As always, I'll let you know.
The fruit will be from the freezer - it's so very handy having some bags of fruit and it often comes out cheaper than fresh as well.  Win-win.
SW:  healthy extra B

L:  bean and veg soup
Made yesterday, enough for more than one day!  Kept overnight in the fridge and the flavours should have developed well.
SW:  I might add 20g of grated cheese for half a healthy extra A

D:  macaroni cheese bake
The base is some cooked savoury mince from the freezer.  The top is macaroni with dairylea light.    I'll add some veg on the side too
SW:  the dairylea will be the other half of my healthy extra A.  If I add cheese on top, I will syn it.

Ss:  fruit, maybe a fruit yogurt

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Tuesday, 30-10-18

Good morning.
Last night's dinner worked out really well so I've posted about it.  Yet another to go on the 'make it again' list.

Here's today's plans:
B:  overnight oats with yogurt and fruit
Super-healthy, pretty frugal, dead easy and uses my healthy extra B plus half of my healthy extra A.  Perfick!

L:  bean and vegetable soup
I have lots of veg and a selection of pulses in the freezer plus half a can of chopped tomatoes left over from yesterday.  Great value and healthy too
SW:  free

D:  chicken fajita pasta, salad
I've made this before and it was very tasty and filling.  Here's the link to the original on the advert laden Pinch of Nom site.
SW:  free.  Yay

Ss:  fruit, fruit yogurt
SW: the yogurt will be one syn.

I have, of course, gained weight after my exceedingly food-naughty weekend but I'm not fussed.  I'm back on plan now and over the longer term no damage will be done.  In the shorter term it is just a question of whether I gain or maintain in the weigh-in this week!  I'm aiming for the latter but expecting it will be the former, realistically.

Monday 29 October 2018

Recipe: Caribbean sausage bake

I found this idea in Woman magazine and adapted it to fit what I had in and to work with Slimming World.  This is what I did.

Ingredients to make a good portion for one
one smallish onion, sliced
four Heck zesty chicken chipolatas (one syn)
some frozen pineapple (it was supposed to be mango but I didn't have mango.  Fresh would be fine but not canned as that has syns)
about 3/4 of a red or yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
some spray oil
1/2 tsp jerk seasoning (I didn't have this so looked up how to make it - dead easy as long as you have all the separate items - I'm reckoning half a syn as you can't get less that that, I gather.)
half a 400g can chopped tomatoes
about half a stock cube
about 100 mls water

Heat oven to 200C

Put the onion, sausages, pineapple (or mango) and  pepper into a baking dish. Add some spray oil and mix well.  Roast for about 20 mins.

Pour the chopped tomato over the sausages along with the stock and water.  Mix well.
Bake for about 15 to 20 mins more.

Serve with rice and enjoy!

This will be really lovely with more added veg (sweet potato, squash, mushrooms, for example) and/or with chicken breast instead of sausage.  It's on the list!

Monday, 29-10-18

Good morning!

Yesterday was so, so 'bad'.  Totally off plan and very indulgent, so much so that I have a rebellious tum this morning but never mind, back on plan straight away is the way to go and that's what I am doing.

Here's my plans for today.

B:  nothing - but only because of the aforementioned tum and a two hour journey home!  No point taking risks.

L:  home made tomato and lentil soup (assuming things are settled); wholemeal roll
Nice and frugal, even when using canned chopped tomatoes, and very healthy.
SW:  the roll is my healthy extra B and the rest is all free.  I'll post the recipe later.

D:  Caribbean sausage bake, rice
I found this recipe in one of the weekly magazines and saw how it could easily be adapted to fit with the plan.  I'll let you know how it goes.
I should also be reasonably frugal as most home made stuff can be.
SW:  I'm using Heck zesty chicken chipolatas which are two for half a syn so I shall have four in the dish as they are not huge.  The rest should be SW free.

S:  fruit and maybe a nibble of cheese for my healthy extra A, seeing asthe healthy extras are not negotiable really.

Saturday 27 October 2018

Saturday, 27-10-18

Good morning.

The salt and pepper chips yesterday evening were absolutely amazing.  The recipe is here
so I won't reproduce it in here.  It's that advert laden site so just scroll down until you get past the ads to the actual recipe in the bottom quarter of the page.
I still have some of the spice mix left even though I made a third of the amount stated and I reckon it would be delicious with chicken too.  I think I need to change next week's planning!

Today's plans:
B:  bacon, egg and tomato (and maybe a potato waffle)
As always, not cheap, not costly and very satisfying.
SW:  free

L:  leek and potato soup
Made yesterday.
SW:  free

After that I have absolutely no idea except that I will be eating out somewhere.  I'll try to stay on plan as much as I can.
And I'll be back on Monday.  Have a fantastically frugal and healthy weekend and stay warm!

Friday 26 October 2018

Friday, 26-10-18

Good morning.

Really pleased with my pound and a half off this week, especially as the weekend was something of a disaster.  Very delicious, not SW compatible, but it does goes to show that one can let go from time to time.  Now I'm only one pound away from my club ten certificate (10% body weight lost) so that's my aim for next week.

I've just finished the week's planning (my 'weeks' go from Friday) and have planned in some new recipes to keep the interest up.  I now have a bulging folder of recipes to try so that should keep things ticking over nicely for some time to come.

Today's plans
B:  bacon, egg and tomato toastie
I picked another potful of tomatoes yesterday.  It could be the last picking as I expect we will get a frost over the weekend and I'm going to cut the remaining tomatoes and ripen them indoors, I think.
SW:  one healthy extra B (which is the reason it's a 'toastie' rather than just a cooked breakfast)

L:  leek and potato soup.
Soup is almost always frugal - this one certainly will be.  I find zizzing potato makes the soup gloopy so I cook the potato separately, mash it well and then mix it in.  It works a treat.
SW:  free unless I add some milk, which I might well so.  If so, the milk will replace the cheese snack.

D:  salmon (from the freezer), salt and pepper chips (a Pinch of Nom recipe which I've not made before) and a side salad; fruit yogurt
The salmon isn't cheap but the rest will be.  I have to make a spice mix for the salt and pepper chips but I have everything in so that's not a problem.
SW:  free apart from one syn for the yogurt

Snacks:  fruit, 40g cheddar (maybe)

I'm being very strict today as over the weekend I will be eating out at least twice so I'm saving in advance.  Saving syns is an accepted 'thing' but I'd rather not make a habit of it.

Advance 'warning' - I won't be posting on Sunday but will be back, guns blazing, on Monday.

Thursday 25 October 2018

Thursday, 25-10-18

Good morning.

Yesterday's food was really lovely and it all worked - the breaded fish, the toastie, all delicious.  I didn't waste most of the egg I was using for the egg-and-breadcrumbing and I used up all the breadcrumbs (it's amazing how much crumb you get from one small slice of bread!), not to mention the other half of the tin of tuna.

Today's food plans:
B:  cooked breakfast - bacon, sausage, beans, egg, tomatoes, mushroom
A bit lavish today perhaps but all SW free.  I want to stay within plan but have a substantial meal as it's weigh day and I shall have just a light lunch and not have dinner until after the meeting.  It's not as costly as it sounds because the beans are leftovers that I froze, the sausage is home made and the bacon was some on special offer while the tomatoes are from the garden

L:  apple and orange
The light lunch!  I have a bit of soup left over from Tuesday, not enough for a bowlful, so I might have that in a cup - home made cuppa-soup!
SW free

D:  cuban beef and cauliflower rice
I've never made cauliflower rice before but there's always a first time!  At least it should be quick while the beef is from the freezer so only needs reheating.
SW free

I know - where's the healthy extras?  I don't know right now.  I might have some milk before I go to bed - Decades ago, I rather liked warm milk before bedtime and, goodness knows, the evenings are getting chilly nowadays.

Wednesday 24 October 2018

Take one tin of tuna!

OK, bit complicated, but it started with a tin of tuna.

I used half of it mixed with 40g light cheddar and some softened onion, plus two small wholemeal sliced, some sprays of oil, a bit of Lea and Perrins and one wedge of Dairylea light to make a toastie for lunch and jolly nice it was too.

As you can tell from the photo!
SW:  healthy extras A and B and one and a half syns for the dairylea light that I spread on the bread for inside.

I pondered over the other half of the can of tuna and also remembered that I had made some breadcrumbs with another small slice of wholemeal because I want to egg and breadcrumb my fish tonight.
You get an awful lot of breadcrumbs from one small slice.  And you don't need a whole egg for one piece of cod.
I didn't want to waste anything

Then I remembered.  I often make simple salmon fishcakes for my mum because she will eat them happily.  It's just homemade mash, home cooked salmon and butter, mixed together, shaped, egged and breadcrumbed.  You cook them by spraying them in oil before either cooking them in a pan or baking them in the oven.
Swap salmon for tuna, butter for 40g Dairylea light plus some of the softened onion made for the toastie and lo and behold, four tuna fishcakes for the freezer, one syn each.

Today, the cod may be costly but it's been a frugal day as well - hardly any waste.  That's what it's all about!

Wednesday, 24-10-18

Good morning!
The macaroni cheese topped veg thing yesterday was absolutely scrummy.  Beth took some home and I have three pots of the vegetable and chickpea base in the freezer for other meals.  I just love macaroni with Dairylea and pasta water to make the cheese sauce.  So, so easy.  Even when I stop doing SW, I'll be making it like this.

Today's plans
B:  fried egg on potato waffle, mushrooms or tomatoes
Not all that expensive, especially if I have tomatoes from the garden
SW:  Morrisons potato waffles are two syns (others are more!)

L:  tuna cheese toastie, salad
Half a can of tuna (the other will go in the freezer for another time), mixed with grated cheese.  I might soften some onion as well, we will see.  The salad is simple - peppers, lettuce (gifted) and tomatoes (garden).
SW:  using my healthy extras for this plus one syn on some cheese spread.

D:  cod and chips with mushrooms and butternut squash; jelly
I'm using home made wholemeal breadcrumbs and 'wasting' a small egg so I can have the cod baked in breadcrumbs which I infinitely prefer to plain baking.  The chips will be made the SW way and I can bake the fish and roast some squash at the same time - better use of oven heat which I do tend to be a bit careless about.
SW:  three syns for the slice of bread to make breadcrumbs and one and a half syns for the sugar free jelly (might have all of it, some as a dessert and some as a snack)

Ss:  apple

Note to self - find other ways of cooking fish.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Tuesday, 23-10-18

Good morning.
I always like 23rds - it's the day my teacher's pension goes in each month.  I don't start using it until the new month but it provides a sort of financial overlap between the last week of one month and the start of the next.  It's reassuring.

Yesterday's dinner turned out to be a kidney bean and vegetable curry and some basmati rice, both dug out of the freezer.  To up the speed veg I roughly chopped some spinach I found on special earlier and wilted it in the curry before serving.  It was lovely.  Not authentic, admittedly, but I don't care.

Today's food plans:
B:  bacon, egg and tomatoes
The tomatoes are still from the garden - will they ever stop?
SW:  all free

L:  carrot and butternut squash soup, wholemeal roll
From the freezer, made a few weeks ago and I will be making it again as it's delish.  I didn't post the recipe earlier but it' the bog-standard method - onion, celery, carrot, the main ingredients (more carrot and butternut squash) and some stock and seasonings, all boiled up together and zizzed.
(I also have a recipe for roasted butternut squash and butterbean soup which I seem to remember was absolutely scrummy too - must do it again!)
I'm so glad the weather is right for soups again.
SW:  the soup is free and the roll is my healthy extra B

D:  vegetable stew with macaroni cheese topping
Beth is round for dinner so it's vegetarian this evening.  A nice mix of veg with pulses (probably chick peas) and I shall cook some macaroni, melt some cheese wedges into it, spoon it over the vegetables, top it with some grated cheese and bake it until the cheese is melting and browning.
Pretty frugal as much vegetarian food is.
SW:  The bottom is all free as is the macaroni, the Dairylea will be my healthy extra A and the grated cheddar on top will be three syns.

Snacks:  fruit - apple and orange as that's what I have.

Monday 22 October 2018

Monday, 22-10-18

Good morning!

After a weekend away, I'm home soon and will be getting organised again.  Right now, plans are a bit vague, but it's on the list of Things to Do today.  By this evening I will have the week's food worked out.

B:  yogurt and apple
Not all that frugal except that I'm not paying
SW: the apple is free and the yogurt is one syn

L:  soup from the freezer.
I can't remember what I have in there but it will be SW free and it will be frugal because all my soups are pretty good value!

D:  I honestly don't know yet.  I need to risk frostbite for a rummage through what I have got.  I'll try and make it free.

I'm not usually so disorganised - apologies!

Sunday 21 October 2018

Sunday, 21-10-18

Good morning.
Yesterday I put together a pork casserole which was so nice I've written it out and posted it separately.

Today's plans:
B:  apple, orange and yogurt
SW: just one syn for the yogurt

L:  home made vegetable soup with a smigeon of ham!
A throw it all in together effort which usually tastes great.   I shall use half a slice of ham for added flavour
SW free

D:  roast chicken dinner; apple
For three of us, I use one large chicken breast, cover it with bacon and wrap it in foil to 'roast' (i.e., bake).  I shall make a bit of stuffing with paxo and a few additions and some roasties done the SW way.
SW:  all free apart from the stuffing which I'm counting as three syns

Sn:  fruit

Recipe: pork casserole

A boring name for what turned out to be a far from boring throw together.  No photo, sorry - I just forgot.
I made this away from home so used what was available.  So delicious and I'm glad there was some to freeze so my parents can have a trouble free meal later on this week.

Ingredients to make four portions
spray oil
one onion, sliced
two carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
half a red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
two good sized mushrooms, roughly chopped (I also use the stalks)
two good sized pork steaks with all visible fat removed, sliced into bit sized bits
a good sloosh of white wine
a can of chopped tomatoes and half the can of water
a chicken stock cube
a squidge of garlic puree
lots of tomato puree
one tsp smoked paprika
half tsp dried mixed herbs
ten mls Lea and Perrins
one tbsp soy sauce
pepper to taste
salt to tast but be careful as the stock and the soy are both salty

Spray a large saucepan with oil and gently fry the onion and carrot until softening.  Then add the red pepper and finally the mushroom.  Remove from the pan.
Re-spray the pan and sizzle the pork intil it has changhed colour all over.  Add the vegetables back to the pan and throw in the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is lovely and bubbly-thick.
Check seasoning before serving.

This was lovely just as it was but next time I will also add some pulses (maybe haricot beans for both texture and flavour, plus some chilli powder and either some fresh/frozen pineapple or mango.
There's lots of things one can do with this recipe.

We had it with rice.

As I made it, everything is SW free apart from the wine which I estinmate as ten syns, equalling two and a half syns per portion.  You could miss out the wine but it wouldn't be the same.  To avoid having leftover wine calling to you, use one of those little bottles.

Saturday 20 October 2018

Saturday, 20-10-18

A quick one today as I overslept!

B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
One healthy extra B and half a healthy extra A

L:  chunky veg soup
Hopefully, SW free

D:  pork casserole (home made, no jars will be hurt in the making of this) and rice
Again, hopefully free

All frugal (for me) because I am elsewhere.  :-)

Friday 19 October 2018

Friday, 19-10-18

Good morning!

Four pounds off at SW last night.  That's the holiday gain and one more pound.  I'm happy with that, very happy.  The blip has been sorted and I'm on my way again.  Phew.

Today's plans:
B:  boiled eggs and toasty soldiers, apple
The eggs were gifted and the bread was YS so a very frugal meal!
SW:  The toast will be my healthy extra B

L:  jacket potato with tuna mayo and salad; mullerlight
I'll only want half the tuna and will have the other half another meal.  The lettuce was gifted and the tomatoes are still from the garden.
SW:  I shall have 2 tbsp of lighter than light mayo for 1 syn and the yogurt is also 1 syn but the rest is 'free'.

D:  salmon, new potatoes, peas or sweetcorn; fruit salad
Frugal because I won't be paying for it!  :-)
I wrap the salmon in foil and bake it - it comes out very tender and there's no need for any oil or butter.  The fruit salad is all fresh fruit and I'll have natural yogurt on it.  Interestingly, I am beginning to prefer natural yogurt to cream.
SW:  free

The SW Christmas recipe books I ordered have all come and there's some good ideas in them which I am looking forward to trying out, maybe as a sort of 'Advent' thing.  I'll have a think about it!

Thursday 18 October 2018

Thursday, 18-10-18

Good morning.

Yesterday's dinner worked out very well indeed.  Maybe the pork burger was a tiny bit too fennel-y but it was still really nice and the best thing is that from the mixture that was supposed to make four burgers, I got seven using my burger press so they were more frugal that it appeared at first.  The squash wedges weren't really wedges, obviously, but were delicious in their way with a spice mix sprinkle made of smoked paprika, cumin, coriander and garlic granules.
I used one tsp each of the paprika, cumin and coriander and half a tsp of the garlic granules.  There's some left and I might add a bit of curry powder to it and add it to cubed chicken before either grilling or spray frying it.
The burger recipe is totally not mine (except that I added some garlic puree) so here's a link to where you can find it.
Warning - this site is laden with adverts.  Scroll down to nearly the bottom to find the recipe.

Today's plans:
B:  cooked breakfast of beans, bacon, egg and potato waffle; tomatoes
I have beans left over from Tuesday that need using up and a shedload of eggs after being given some on Monday.
I fancy the tomatoes raw so will eat them like little sweets.  They're still garden grown!  Amazing.
Two syns for the waffle.

L:  apple and orange, maybe a yogurt as well
One syn for the yogurt

D:  cuban beef - a casserole with added veg.  I'm short on the healthy extra Bs today so might shred some of the beef and pop it into a wholemeal roll.  I'll see how it all goes.
SW free

Trying for no snacks today!  It's weigh in this evening and my fingers are crossed that I have lost that holiday gain.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Wednesday update

At the Blue Egg, the soup of the day was Tuscan bean soup.  It was perfect.  Laden with vegetable and butter beans, there wasn't a drop of oil in sight and it was so filling.  I was good and handed over the ciabatta chunks that came with it to my friend.

So still on track.  Cheers.

Wednesday, 17-10-18

Good morning!
Things seem to be going well although today is a bit more complicated.

B:  boiled eggs and toasty soldiers (that's what we call them in my family!)
The toast is one of my healthy extra Bs

L:  no idea.  I'm out with a friend.  I located their menu online but it doesn't look too helpful.  I will just have to be sensible - not always my strongest point.

D:  pork and apple burger with butternut squash wedges and a side salad
I've not made these before so fingers crossed and I'll let you know.
The roll will be my other healthy extra B, a couple of cheese slices will be my healthy extra A and the rest is speed or protein

I'm trying for no snacks tomorrow although an apple might creep in unobserved!

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Tuesday, 16-10-18

Good morning!

The toastie yesterday was most successful so I did a separate post about it.  What with one thing and another, I hadn't had a toastie for over a year and it went down very well indeed.  I think I shall try a cheese and tuna filling next time.

The five spice chicken was OK, very edible, but I'm not likely to do it regularly.

Today's SP plans
B:  a cooked breakfast with bacon, egg, tomato, mushroom and a potato waffle
The waffle is not a free food, it is synned so it should be OK to have it.  I could splash out on a couple of Heck chicken sausages for half a syn but that might be going a bit too far so I won't.

L:  broccoli soup
Before my holiday, I zizzed a broccoli stem into bits and froze them, ready for when I wanted some soup.  Today's the day!
The soup itself is all free food and I shall add some soft cheese for half a healthy extra A

D:  cheesy beans on toast
Not great for speed but the beans are free and the 20g of lighter cheddar is the other half of my healthy extra A while the wholemeal toast is a healthy extra B

Ss:  2xHi Fi bars (healthy extra B) and fruit,  Might have a Mullerlight too

Not a bad day, frugally speaking, and it all works well with SP.

I went shopping yesterday and topped up with stuff.  I'm a fan of the Heck chicken chipolatas - they're not like pork sausages (obviously) but they are tasty and the chicken ones are half a syn for two.  I now have, in the freezer, some ordinary flavoured ones, some 'Italia' ones that smell of herbs and garlic and some paprika ones that I could use if a spicy chorizo type flavour is needed.  They're all individually frozen now for flexibility.

I then wandered over to the fish counter and splashed out on some cod (ouch) and some smoked basa (way more reasonable).

They also had some very lean back bacon on special so I got some, cut off all the fat (there wasn't much) and then froze in twos

The only thing on my list that I couldn't find was a butternut squash.  I'm off to a farm shop with a friend tomorrow so will look there.

What with the chicken I bought over the weekend, I am well set up for SP eating for ages to come now.  No excuses.

Monday 15 October 2018

Recipe: cheese, bacon and onion toasties

Cheese, bacon and onion toasties

Ingredients for one:
spray oil (I used the butter variety)
small, thinly sliced onion
one bacon medallion (back bacon with all the fat cut off)
two Laughing Cow light triangles or the Dairylea equivalent (3 syns)
30 g very finely grated cheddar or 40g of the lighter version (healthy extra A)
two slices from a smaller wholemeal loaf (healthy extra B)

salad to serve (optional)

Spray fry the onion slices gently until they are softened and turning colour.  At the same time and in the same pan, cook the bacon (it doesn't take long).
Spread one cheese triangle on each slice, being careful to go up the the edge but not over!
On one slice, cheese side up, being careful not to go to the edge, sprinkle the grated cheddar.  Lay over the bacon and then spread the sliced onion.
Then top with the other slice of bread, cheese side in and press lightly round the edges to 'seal' it.  This sort of worked - I didn't get any drips.

Preheat the grill.  (I placed the sandwich on a piece of that black, not-stick, silicon stuff.)  Spray over the top with a bit more oil (it took about six sprays), pop the sandwich in the grill pan and grill until the bread is brown and toasty.  Carefully turn it over, spray and brown the other side too.   By the time the outsides are browned, the inside should be hot and melty.

Under the grill

Remove from the pan, cut it corner to corner and serve.  I had planned a salad but I had split tomatoes in the garden so I dry fried them instead.  They'd have been nice inside the toastie, had there been room!

It was scrumptious.  Poor photo (apologies but I almost forgot in my eagerness to taste!) but a deliciously satisfying lunch.  Definitely another keeper, especially as the weather gets more chilly, and I will investigate other fillings as time goes by.  Any suggestions warmly welcomed.

Monday, 15-10-18

Good morning!
 Today I'm starting four days of Extra Easy SP in response to last week's little slip ups and to get the weight loss back on track.

As with the main plan, SP sounds more complicated than it really is but once you've got the main ideas of the plan in your head it's not really complicated..

Most fruit and veg are labelled 'Speed' foods (that's the S bit).  Some are not - starchy veg, for example.
A lot of fish, meat, poultry, eggs, etc are high protein and low fat, they are labelled as P.

On the SP plan, you can have any 'free' food that is labelled as either S or P.  The non S/P free foods are out; neither should you have them and syn them, you just shouldn't have them.  So that means starchy fruit and veg, rice, pasta, potato, etc, shouldn't be eaten.
To compensate for this, you should have two healthy extra Bs (the fibre part of the plan) as well as the usual one healthy extra A (calcium).

Finally, you can have between five and fifteen syns, as usual, but they must not be from the 'free' list.

That's basically it; not lower carb really, just restricting 'simpler' carbs.  There are some inconsistencies but I will just shrug them aside for now and give it a go.  It is suggested that you do SP for a week but I have four days until next weigh in so I'll see how it goes for those four days.  If I get on with it, I might do something like three days (Fri, Sat, Sun) on the main plan and the other four days on the SP plan.

Interestingly, the manual doesn't ban anything outright, it just suggests, but if you have a sudden craving for a banana, have it!   Anything that doesn't totally ban has my vote -  outright bans always get my back up!

So I have planned four days and researched new recipes.  I have some cash left over from my holiday to cover anything I need to get in.
Here we go!

B:  overnight oats with 100 mls milk, yogurt, blueberries and raspberries
The 40g oats are my first healthy extra B, the milk is two and a half syns and the fruit yogurt is 1 syn

L:  cheese, bacon and onion toastie with a side salad.
This is an experiment.  Because of the two Bs, I can have two slices of wholemeal from a small loaf.  I shall spread Dairylea over each slice (3 syn), then add 30g finely grated cheddar (that's my healthy extra A), a cooked bacon medallion (P) and some softened and finely sliced onion (S).  Then I will spray the outsides with oil, press the edges together (the soft cheese should help them to stick together) and toast it under the grill.  By the time the outside is nicely toasted, the inside should be hot and the cheese melted.  The side salad will be all Speed.
Fingers crossed that it works OK.

D:  five spice chicken with stir fry vegetables.
This is a recipe I found so I'll let you know.  All free apart from some sweet chilli sauce which will be one and a half syns.
Fingers crossed again!

Ss:  speed fruit; sadly, grapes are out, so it will be apple and orange

Here's hoping.

Sunday 14 October 2018

Sunday, 14-10-18

Good morning!

Back on track today (and yesterday) and here's what I'm having:

B:  scrambled egg (there's some eggs that need using up) on one slice of wholemeal spread with some Laughing Cow/Dairylea
The bread will be my healthy extra B and the cheese will be half my healthy extra A

L:  probably ham salad again and maybe a Mullerlight to follow
That will be 1 syn for the yogurt

D:  lamb leg steak, boiled potatoes, veg of some kind.  Also a dessert but I may stick with fruit
Should be 'free'.

Ss:  fruit

All extremely frugal because I'm not providing the food, I'm just cooking it (and eating some of it)  :-)

Saturday 13 October 2018


Three pounds on.  I'm just surprised it isn't more after yesterday's shenanigans.  Salty, fatty, pastry, alcohol-y stuff, bound to cause fluid retention.  Do I regret it?  No, not really.  It was nice to have some of that stuff for once but enough is enough and I don't want any more today.

I'm glad I went to group.  It was a bit group, very friendly and I won the raffle so have come home with a new cookbook.

And I shall lose that weight gain by Thursday, you just see.  :-)

Saturday, 13-10-18

Good morning!

Until yesterday I did have a few hopes that I might have maintained this week, all the calories burned in exercise compensating for the few lapses but now - the question is 'how much on?'  I'd rather know than remain in doubt, that's just me, so I'm definitely off to a conveniently early Saturday morning SW club here where my parents live.

Not to worry, it happens, it was a great holiday, back on the wagon now and all my meals have been planned.  Dad doesn't seem to have salad veg in so I will stop off on the way home from the SW club here and get some.

So, today's plans are:
B:  fruit salad and yogurt; maybe some scrambled egg before or after

L:  ham and salad

D:  cottage pie (parental request) - I'll make mine separate so I don't have cheesy, buttery mash on top - and a couple of portions of veg; they would like stewed apple for dessert so I'll probably have a fresh apple instead.

Fortunately, my lovely parents don't mind me doing different things for myself and I do the cooking when I'm here so I'm making no extra work for anyone else.

Once I am home - proper home, I mean - I'm going to do three or for days doing what is called 'Extra-Easy SP'.  I'll explain what that is when the time comes.  :-)

Friday 12 October 2018

Friday, 12-10-18

Good mor . . . er, I mean afternoon.

Today has been baaaaaad, very bad indeed.  Back on the wagon tomorrow and we will forget today happened, OK?

Thursday 11 October 2018

Thursday, 11-10-18

Good morning.

Last full day!

Today's plans (mainly using up bits and bobs before leaving tomorrow)
B:  bacon and egg
. . . because that's what I have.
SW free

L:  tomato soup
I have veg and will buy a can of chopped tomatoes, half for the soup and  half for dinner. I will melt some soft cheese in the soup as I know it makes it lovely and creamy
SE:  half of my healthy extra A

D:  I have a chicken breast, bits and bobs of veg and some rice so that shouts 'chicken casserole' to me
It will also be SW free

Ss:  tomatoes, apple, Hi Fi bars (healthy extra B for 2) - as I said, bits and bobs!

It's nice how it has all worked out.  I don't have an awful lot left over.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Recipe: mushroom and blue cheese sauce (for steak . . .

. . . but it would also be nice on pork or chicken).

A cheat, of course, and there are probably much better saucerecipes but I had limited ingredients with me and was constrained by Slimming World expectations as well so I reckon I did OK.

spray oil
one small onion, finely sliced
three mushrooms (I used chestnut mushrooms), peeled and finely chopped (use the stems as well, no point wasting anything)
a splash of milk (not counted because it was such a small amount)
two triangles of Laughing Cow Light blue cheese
a little bit of light soft cheese (to make the cheese up to 3 syns or half a healthy extra A)
salt/pepper to taste - I only needed a smidgen!

Spray some oil into a small non stick saucepan.  Add the onion and gently fry, stirring occasionally, until it is really soft.
Add the mushrooms, stir again and continue frying until they are also softening (chestnut mushrooms hold their texture well and don't go all that soft).

I did the above earlier and let it cool.

As the steak is frying, turn the heat back up.  While the cooked steak is resting, add the cheese plus a splash of milk and stir while it all melts and goos into a sauce.  Add a bit more milk if it's too thick, taste and season to own taste.

Place the steak on your plate and spoon over the sauce.

It was a very nice dinner indeed.

Apologies for the (lack of) quality of the photos.

SW:  half a healthy extra A or 3 syns (for the whole meal)

Wednesday, 10-10-18

Good morning!

Today's meal plans with two days to go before the holiday is all over.

B:  overnight oats, flavoured yogurt, blueberries
Cooked breakfasts are very nice, but I do miss my breakfast oats!  More frugal than bacon and egg too.  However, I am down to my last egg which I want to save for Friday morning - no point buying another half dozen now
SW:  one syn for the yogurt, the milk will be half a healthy extra A and the oats will be my healthy extra B

L:  cheesy tuna jacket with salady bits
I'm looking to use things up now.  I shall bake a couple of smallish potatoes, mash the potato with two laughing cow triangles, spoon it back in and top with the other half of the can of tuna I used for the potato cakes.  The salady bits will be mostly pepper, lettuce and tomato, I expect. 
SW:  the cheese is the other half of my healthy extra A and if I have the mayo, a level tbsp will be 2 syns

D:  sirloin steak with a blue cheese and mushroom sauce, sweet potato chips, tomatoes
I will try making the sauce by softening finely chopped mushroom in some spray oil before melting in a couple of Laughing Cow blue cheese triangles.  It may work or it might be nasty.  Time will tell.
Not frugal in the slightest although the tomatoes are from garden and allotment and I'm so glad I brought them with me.  They are delicious!
SW:  The cheese is three syns, the rest is free.

Recipe: easy cheesy tuna potato cakes

I didn't weigh out amounts so it's a case of thinking 'one portion' (or however many you need)

some cooked and mashed potatoes - I made mine fresh but leftover mash would work too
half a tin of tuna, drained and broken into bits
two Laughing Cow Light triangles
a spring onion (the bulb and some of the green), very finely chopped
fresh herbs of choice would be lovely - I didn't have any.

Pop the mash into a bowl and squash in the soft cheese using a fork.
When that's more or less incorporated, stir in the spring onion, taste and season.
Lastly, gently stir in the tuna.

With your hands, shape into potato cakes (or whatever shape you want - cakes is easiest), spray a non stick pan with oil and fry on one side until golden brown.  Spray the top of the cakes and, very carefully, turn the cakes over to brown the other side.  By the time that's done, they will be hot all through.

Serve immediately.  I had a salad with it.  Some sauce or mild chutney might be nice too.  Basically, it's fried potato with things added and next time I probably won't faff around shaping it but just bung it into the pan.  A bit of spice would have added to the flavour.  So would a good dollop of butter but I'm not going there!!!

It was OK!  And I forgot to take a photo.

Tuesday 9 October 2018

Tuesday, 09-10-18

Good morning!

Confession time.
I rather lost the plot yesterday evening, am now quite cross with myself but there you go, it's holiday and all that stuff!  Keep calm and carry on!

Today's food plans
B: cooked breakfast - bacon, egg and tomatoes
SW free as the egg will be fried the SW way.

L:  the other half of yesterday's chunky chicken, ham and vegetable soup and I am so looking forward to it.
SW free

D:  as I had dinner all prepared and ready yesterday, I popped it in the fridge and will have it today instead.  Looking on the good side, a nice easy day, prep-wise.
So - cheesy tuna and potato cakes with a salad.
SW:  the cheese wedges are  half of my healthy extra A and the rest is free unless I have some mayo which will be two syns per level tbsp (Hellman's light mayo as they didn't have any lighter than light in the shop and I didn't bring any from home).

Ss:  fruit

You may say I am getting a bit obsessed here, but when I leave on Friday I am spending a few days with Mum and Dad and where they live there's a SW club that meets on a Saturday morning so I will go (you can do that).  I will want to know what damage has been done after a week's holiday, all the more so after yesterday evening's slip-up.  Ho hum!

Monday 8 October 2018

Recipe: chicken, ham and vegetable soup

This soup was flippin' awesome and I am thrilled to bits that I have made enough for tomorrow too.  (It's actually jolly hard to make just enough soup for one portion anyway!)
It is chunky, flavoursome, meaty, filling and just all round comforting.
(and it is SW free!)
I'd eaten about half before I remembered to take a photo.)

I just used what I had in the fridge/cupboard here at Center Parcs, mostly stuff that I brought from home.

What I did:
I had a bit of soup left over from yesterday's lunch and a bit of chicken stock from roasting the chicken breast yesterday evening,  That went into a saucepan.
Then I added some onion, a bit of carrot, a bit of sweet potato, a couple of small waxy potatoes (didn't want them disintegrating), some chicken breast (about 150g, I reckon), some lean ham (a small slice), some orzo, a couple of tsps of chicken stock powder, some garlic puree and some pepper.  No salt because the stock is salty.  It also needed some water.  All the meat and veg were chopped into dice before chucking in the pan.
I simply boiled the whole lot up together, stirring occasionally and adding water, if needed, until everything was nice and soft.  The starch from the potato and the orzo thickened the soup nicely with no need for anything else.

And it was, as I said, awesomely good.  Another to go on the 'do it again' list.

Recipe: breakfast souffle

This is from a Slimming World recipe book, Meals for One, and I can't find a link anywhere so here's a generic sort of thing.

Ingredients for one:
spray oil
breakfast stuff - you can use lean bacon, mushroom, sausage, tomato (or anything else, I guess)
two larger eggs, separated
garlic salt and pepper

You also need a suitable sized non stick pan, not too big.

Spray some oil into the pan and gently fry the 'stuff' until cooked.  If liquid comes out of the tomato, either strain or fry it off.

Remove from the pan and wipe the pan with kitchen paper, respraying if needed.

Whisk the egg whites to a firm peak.
Season the egg yolks and add the cooked ingredients.
Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture gently.
Pour this into the pan and cook over a medium heat until the base is cooked and browned (lift up gently with a spatula to check).
Then pop the pan under a hot grill to cook the top.  If you're careful to keep the handle out of the direct line of fire of the heat, it should be fine.

Eat straight away.

I used ham, mushroom and tomato but next time I will add a Heck cooked chicken sausage or two, sliced for half a syn.
I'm also wondering if you could beat a cheese wedge or two into the egg yolk before adding the extras.  I must give it a go sometime and see.  They would contribute to your healthy extra A

For me, this is a keeper and would work for other meals too.

Monday, 08-10-18

Good morning.

Yesterday's food was great.  The breakfast souffle was easy and definitely a keeper, the lunchtime soup was just the ticket after a good swim and dinner was also good.  I did have the prosecco after all and it didn't trigger anything but might have done, had I not been so tired.

Today's plans:
B:  overnight oats with blueberries and toffee yogurt
After several 'English' style breakfasts, I am craving the simplicity of oats again.  I've used toffee flavoured Mullerlight for flavour because I like it very much!
SW:  one syn for the yogurt, half my healthy extra A and all of my healthy extra B

L:  chunky chicken soup
I have a bit of soup left over from yesterday and a bit of stock from the roast chicken plus a bit of chopped chicken so I will add some diced veg (potato, carrot, onion, mushroom) to make a chunky soup.
SW:  should be free

D:  cheesy tuna and potato cakes with a salad
Bit of an unoriginal invention, this.  I shall boil and mash some potatoes, mix the mash with some flaked tuna (canned in brine) and a couple of Laughing Cow wedges plus seasonings to taste and then shape into potato cakes and fry in spray oil.  I suppose I could also add a bit of flaked ham too.
I only have very simple salad ingredients - lettuce, pepper, tomatoes and a bit of carrot (which I shall grate to go further) but that's what I like.
SW:  the cheese wedges are the other half of my healthy extra A and the rest is free unless I have some mayo which will be two syns per level tbsp (Hellman's light mayo as they didn't have any lighter than light in the shop and I didn't bring any from home).

Ss:  fruit
I have allotment apples which are really delicious now - I think we started picking them a bit too soon, something to remember for next year.  The redloves are so pretty, tinted a deep pink all the way through.

This apartment is lovely and, for a holiday thing, is really nicely appointed but I do miss having my little gadgets to hand when cooking.  I also miss not being able to buy one of this or two of that as all the veg comes in bags.  I like a little challenge though, so no problems.

I'm glad I cooked that ham just before I left home.  It's been jolly useful one way and another and cold meat at the ParcMarket is hardly cheap.  I know I said I wasn't going to focus particularly on frugality this holiday week but even so!  I was really naughty yesterday and treated myself to a sirloin steak, even though I nearly swooned at the price.  It did look nice and I remembered to pack a steak knife with that in mind so I have a bit of a treat in store.  I'll probably have it with a cheesy mushroom sauce on top - simple and tasty.

Sunday 7 October 2018

Sunday, 07-10-18

Good morning.

Day 3 (if you count arrival day as day 1) and things are going well.  Plenty of exercise and some good food.  I did have a bit of a crash with some Hi Fi bars but I've counted them in my planning and it could have been a lot worse.  Balanced against that are a good swim and two walks so maybe no damage done, eh?

Today's plans:
B:  all day breakfast souffle
Sounds posh. doesn't it.  It is out of a SW book entitled Meals for One and I am glad I brought my fancy stick blender with me because it whisks, emulsifies and zizzes very usefully.  The souffle has mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs (obviously) and lean ham and is SW free.  I'll give it a spin and see.

L:  either broccoli and potato soup or a chicken, ham and mixed veg soup.  I'm doing both this week but maybe not in that order.  We will see.

D:  I'm doing a roast dinner for one.  Mixed roasted vegetables, runner beans (maybe) and chicken wrapped in bacon.  No stuffing this time and no well wrapped up pigs.  For a treat and because I noticed they had them, I am treating myself to a mini bottle of prosecco for about ten syns so fingers crossed it doesn't trigger extra eating.  Or maybe not, I am still trying to decide.

Ss:  milk to drink and two of those Hi Fi bars - must get my healthy extras in somehow!

Saturday 6 October 2018

Saturday, 6-10-18

Good morning.

Well, I'm here and settled in a very pleasant apartment overlooking the lake.  I wouldn't say the little kitchen is extensively stocked with equipment but there's enough to manage.

Last evening's ham, tomatoes and chips went down a treat, chased by a fruit yogurt, although the oven took a very long time to do the chips.
Also I did what I said I wouldn't do when I joined SW and bought some SW Hi Fi bars to eat as treats at the meeting on Thursday - just for the holiday.  Two actually counts as a healthy extra B which is jolly useful but they can also be synned.  Most of all, they are quite nice in small doses.  Very sweet so I wouldn't want loads which is just as well really.

A warning.  This week's meals are not going to be particularly frugal.  I am on holiday, after all.

Today's food plan is:
B:  bacon, egg and tomatoes
Nice and filling and SW free as long as I cut all the fat off the bacon (which I will).  The tomatoes are from garden and allotment; I brought a big bag of them with me.

L:  very light - apples, grapes and orange with natural yogurt and I might finish off with a Hi Fi bar for half of my healthy extra B

D:  creamy chicken and rice; Mullerlight
It may be called 'creamy' but there's no cream!  I might have runner beans instead of rice too.  Tell you more if it works. OK?
The runner beans are from the allotment.
SW:  the soft cheese I will use for the sauce is my healthy extra A for today and the Mullerlight is one syn.

Ss: fruit and the other half of my healthy extra B, another Hi fi bar.

Yesterday morning, before I left, I went down to the allotment and came back with beans, tomatoes, fruit and baby corn, all of which I have brought with me.  I think I will eat well this week.

Friday 5 October 2018

Friday, 05-10-18

Good morning.

The good news is that at weigh in last night I was three pounds down.  That gave me my stone award (which is a certificate and a shiny sticker).  I was so pleased.  Two months ago I was worried that weight loss seemed to be stagnating but now it's well on the move again.

The not so good news is that today is quirky as far as food is concerned.  I shall be travelling over lunchtime and don't want to stop to eat.
So my plans are:
B/L - in other words, brunch:  bacon, sausage, egg, tomatoes, toast (or maybe eggy bread)
This should fill me up quite nicely and keep me going until dinner time.
SW free

D:  Not a clue.  I shall see what they have got in the shop when I get there (Center Parcs).  I will be taking the rest of that now cooked gammon ham with me so I could have that, maybe with a salad and some SW chips.  That would be nice and I haven't done chips for a while not so they're long overdue.
SW free

Ss:  fruit (when I arrive, to help to keep me going)

There might be a few extra bits and bobs but that is what I am aiming for.  Fingers crossed.

The bad news - well, maybe not bad but certainly sad - is that I won't be able to wear my two lovely, smart, lined, posh skirts for much longer.  I wore one of them today because I'm not taking them with me on holiday and it almost fell off.  I had a careful look and what with the lining and the style, it's not really going to be possible to take them in, it just won't work.   I shall take them to the local hospice charity shop because they are really good and should raise a bit of money.

You win some and you lose some!

Thursday 4 October 2018

Thursday, 04-10-18

Good morning!

Today's plans are . . .
B:  bacon, sausages and tomatoes
The bacon is a bit cut off the gammon joint I bought earlier in the week, the sausages are a couple of YS Heck sausages from the freezer and the tomatoes are from guess where.  :-)  All pretty frugal really for a cooked breakfast
The bacon and tomatoes are SW free while the sausages are half a syn for two so no complaints from me!

L:  pea soup
The frozen other half of the soup I made last week which was very delicious.
SW free

D:  I don't know yet; I need to check what needs eating up from the fridge.  It'll be frugal, for sure!

Ss:  fruit

And it's weigh day today!

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Recipe: tomato baked eggs

Dead simple.

spray oil

You also need a suitably sized ovenproof dish

Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters, depending on size.  Place in a pan, season, add a little bit of garlic, if you like, and spray with oil.  Let them simmer until they are all soft.

While they are softening, preheat the oven to 180C and oil the ovenproof dish.

Tim the tomatoes into the dish and make dips according to how many eggs you are using.
Carefully crack the eggs into the dips, season them and spray them with oil.
Bake in the oven until the eggs are set as you like them.
Eat straight away with toast fingers to dip in, if you like the yolk runny.

Very simple, very nice and open to all sorts of adaptation.

The white specks are Maldon salt!

Wednesday, 03-10-18


B:  tomato baked egg, toast
Home grown tomatoes and just ordinary eggs so this is lovely and frugal.  It helps that it is also SW free.  The toast is my healthy extra B

L:  soup, apple
When I added the half can of leftover chopped tomatoes to the thawed tomato soup yesterday, it made enough for two portions so guess what - more tomato soup for lunch today
SW free

D:  chicken and broccoli cheesy bake, roasted tomatoes; fruit
Just a simple idea that I am sure will taste good.  If it does, I'll post about it.
Some of the cheese will be my healthy extra A while the Dairylea light that will make the sauce will be 6 syns

I know there's a lot of tomatoes today but I have a lot to use and at least they are jolly good for you!

Ss:  fruit (probably melon)

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Tuesday, 02-10-18

Good morning.

The baked tomato and mozzarella orzo was absolutely delicious and I have posted about it separately.  I've found another orzo recipe I'd like to try at some point soon.  Maybe it could be a holiday recipe.

Today's plans
B:  bacon and tomato
I have bacon to use up and loads of garden tomatoes still so it makes frugal sense.
SW:  free

L:  soup from freezer
Another of the soups I froze last week, probably the tomato one because I have some chopped tomatoes to use up from yesterday which I can add to the mix..
SW free

D:  gammon, broccoli and runner beans (and maybe a fried egg on the gammon); melon
Gammon sounds costly but I bought a gammon joint (a 'proper' one, not a shaped one) that was pretty good value yesterday and am using some of it for bacon/gammon before I boil the rest for ham to take on holiday with me.  I came home from my parents' with the melon and need to use it up.
SW free

Ss:  cheese (healthy extra A), tomatoes, apple

I don't seem to have a healthy extra B today but never mind, missing it once in a while isn't going to hurt, is it?

Monday 1 October 2018

Recipe: baked tomato and mozzarella orzo

I found this in the BBC Good Food magazine and I made it straight (apart from halving the quantity and omitting the olive oil).

I can't find a link so I'll give it to you here.

Ingredients to serve 1
75g orzo
1 roasted red pepper from a jar, roughly chopped
eight olives, halved
pinch chilli powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
half a tin chopped tomato and 1/4 of the tin of water
a good squidge of garlic (to taste really.
50g mozzarella

Head oven to 180C fan

Tip the orzo into an oven proof dish, add the peppers, olives, chilli and oregano.  Tip in the chopped tomatoes and water, season and mix well.
Cover and bake for about 20 mins until the orzo is nearly cooked.  Then remove the foil, give it a good stir and bake for another five minutes.

Heat the grill to high, tear the mozzarella over the top and grill until the cheese is melted and bubbling.  Then eat straight away.

. . . which I did and it was gorgeous, despite the very simple range of ingredients.  It was filling, tasty, 'creamy', satisfying comfort food.

It's also open to being adapted.  It would be lovely with more veg, maybe sauted beforehand.  Onion, mushroom, baby corn . . .
It would also be delicious with a meat elemment added - cooked chicken, chorizo, ham . . .

I'm definitely having it again!
(and it was so tasty, I forgot to take a photo!)

(SW: I used the mozzarella as my healthy extra A; the rest was free)

Monday, 1-10-18

Good morning.

October is here and we're definitely into colder weather food.  Soups rool, OK!

Today's plans:
B:  porridge, fruit and natural yogurt
Same old but I do like it.  It helps that it's cheap too, especially when one uses frozen fruit
SW:  40g oats is a healthy extra B and the milk is half my healthy extra A

L:  soup!
Not sure which one, I have about four different portions in the freezer and the nice thing is they are all SW free.  No need to make lunch this week, it's all there and ready.

baked tomato and mozzarella orzo
Sounds posh, doesn't it.  It's actually a recipe from a magazine, not a slimming mag, but it looks very SW friendly apart from the mozzarella which I will need to syn - I reckon it will be about 7 syns plus the rest of my healthy extra A.  If I can find any cooked meat in the freezer, I might add some.
I'll let you know!

Ss:  tomatoes and fruit