Sunday 31 March 2019

Sunday 31-03-19

This is just to let my Bloggy friends know that my lovely Mum passed away at around 03:30 this morning, peacefully and, we think, without pain.

Saturday 30 March 2019

Saturday, 30-03-19

Good morning.
Yesterday went fine until the evening.  Ah, well, it's a fresh day today but it's all a bit of a struggle at times, isn't it?  :-)

I changed my mind about lunch and had beans on toast instead so I got my healthy extra B after all.

The chilli was lovely.  It was basically just a spice savoury mince, cooked long and low in the oven (because my parents don't have a slow cooker) and I had included onion, carrot, red and yellow pepper, mushroom, peas and mixed beans rather than just kidney beans plus a red wine stock pot, chopped tomatoes and various herbs/seasonings with garlic and chilli purees.  Oh, and I added a few oats to add thickness.  I suppose I ought to have synned the oats really!
It was a great way to make a lot from 250g mince - three good portions, seconds for one of us and enough left to freeze two smaller portions for Dad during the week.

Today's plans:
B:  fruit and natural yogurt or, depending on time/what's going on, I might make oat waffles instead.
SW free.

L:  cold meat salad
If there's no ham left I will pop round to Tesco to get some.
SW:  free

D:  roast chicken, stuffing, roasties and veg.
The chicken will be a skinless supreme which I will wrap in a bit of back bacon with all the fat trimmed off and then wrap it in foil and roast it before slicing.  I know from experience that it will be plenty for two when sliced.   The stuffing is some I made a few weeks ago and popped into Dad's freezer.  The roasties will be done the SW way and I'll do plenty of veg, something I've been a bit short of this week.  Probably sprouts and carrots.  I'll do a gravy for Dad but I'm just as happy without any.
SW:  totting it up. there will be a couple of syns for the stuffing and up to 3 syns for some cranberry sauce.  The rest should be free

And fingers crossed I will stick to it today!

Friday 29 March 2019

Friday, 29-03-19

Good morning.

Must get back on track, I really must, so here's today's plans.

B:  mixed berries with natural yogurt
I've had this a lot this week - it's quick and easy and SW free

L:  ham salad, apple
Just what it says on the label.  Simple and easy to make.
SW:  free

D:  beef chilli, rice, side veg
I will make the chilli with lots of added veg - onion, of course, red pepper, mushroom, peas maybe, as well as mixed beans and I have got a red wine stock pot which is conveniently SW free.  I'm going hassle free with the rice which is in a microwaveable pouch.  I'll probably have some grated cheese on top which will be my healthy extra A

Ss:  just fruit and oodles of will power!

Fingers crossed.  I hate to think of the damage all the comfort eating has cost me and MUST get it under control, I really must.  It's all rather depressing and I truly don't need anything else to worry over!  Frugality hasn't been an issue, of course, not being aty home anyway.

Thursday 28 March 2019

Thursday, 28-03-19

Good morning.
I'm still away, things are still difficult and the Plan has fallen out of the window.  I'll get back to it but things are getting in the way right now.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Tuesday, 26-03-19

Good morning.
No plans today and things are not great but I will try to be sensible.

Monday 25 March 2019

Monday, 25-03-19

Good morning - thank you for the comments yesterday.

Yesterday was a struggle that I lost.  I do wish I wasn't such a comfort eater.

Today's plans:
B:  mixed fruit and a toffee Mullerlight
One syn for the mullerlight

L:  scrambled egg on toast
Healthy extra B for the toast and a bit of an A for the cheese spread I use instead of butter

D:  something from the freezer, probably chicken curry.   Fruit and yogurt
At times like these I am very glad I have a well stocked freezer!
Hopefully SW free.

Ss:  just fruit.  All the yogurt will have to be my As today.

Frugality doesn't come into it as I'm away, but today isn't so bad really.

Sunday 24 March 2019

Sunday, 24-03-19

There won't be any entries for a few days as my Mum is in hospital.

I'll be back as soon as I can.

Saturday 23 March 2019

Saturday, 23-03-19

Good morning!

It's a bit vague today but here's the bones of what I will probably have here at my parents'.

B:  yogurt and fruit
L:  beans on toast
D:  steak, mash and veg

I'll work out the SW details as I go.

Back properly tomorrow!

Friday 22 March 2019

Friday, 22-03-19

Good morning!

First the good news - I lost a pound and a half yesterday, got my two and a half stone certificate and shiny sticker and am back in the healthy BMI range again.  I'm very happy with that!
Twelve pounds to go to target.  That's all!  Less than a stone.  I could stop now but I'm not going to.

The not so good news is that my Mum is quite poorly so I'm whizzing up there again today.  Usually, I plan meals when I'm at Mum and Dad's but I thought I was going to be home this weekend so what I've planned isn't now going to work.

So - replanning . . .
B:  Waffles with atrawberries and yogurt
I was going to have this on Sunday at a treat but not now so I'm darn well having it today instead!
Someone suggested that one could use ready brek (the original kind, not the flavoured sachet kind) instead of zizzing the oats so I decided to give it a go and bought a box.  It won't be wasted, whether or not it works with waffles and the original kind is counted as a healthy extra B so it will all work with SW
SW:  one healthy extra B

L:  not really sure but I do have one beanburger left that Beth was going to have but she didn't come over so I might take it with me and have it with some baked beans
SW:  should be free

D:  salmon and peas, maybe a bit of mash too, fruit
The usual Friday meal with my parents.  Actually, I will have mash  as I have both As to have so I can have cheesy mash!
SW:  two healthy extra As for the mash and a couple of syns for the seafood sauce I like to have with the salmon

Ss:  fruit.  Just fruit.  It's a resounding NO to everything else!

Wish me luck.  I really don't want to pick and nibble, I want to keep on losing this weight.  Apart from anything else, after picking at processed food, I feel pretty yuck and I need to be on top of things.
Please, everyone, fingers crossed for me.  :-)

Thursday 21 March 2019

Thursday, 21-03-19

Good morning

Yesterday's breakfast was lovely!  I do like my waffle mould.

Yesterday's lunch worked really well.  The spicy beanburgers were really delicious and made loads so there's a spare for Beth to have for lunch today, maybe with some baked beans.  I'll see what she fancies.

Today's food plans:
B:  porridge with yogurt
No explanation needed really - just tasty and frugal
SW:  one healthy extra A and one B

Lunch:  fruit and natural yogurt
The usual weigh day lunch.  My home made yogurt really is very acceptable as well as being as frugal as you can get.
SW:  free

D:  chicken balti - SW/Iceland frozen ready meal, fruit
Just the ticket after a weigh in when I'm tired, hungry and want something fast.  I might have some rice with it, I'll see how I feel.  I have ricein the freezer so it won't take five minutes to get it and add it to the curry as it's heating up.
SW:  free.

Ss:  trying for none

Fingers crossed for the weigh in - I don't want last week's disappointment again this week.

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Recipe: spicy beanburgers

Heavily edited as the recipe isn't accessible.

The ingredients I used to make six good sized, almost syn free burgers:

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
around 200g potato, peeled and chopped
2 smallish  red onion, finely chopped
a squeeze of both garlic and chilli purees
200g mixed beans (from the freezer - kidney, chickpeas, butterbeans, haricot), defrosted
120g cooked green lentils - I cooked them myself but you could use drained canned ones instead
1 egg
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
some coriander leaves that I had in the freezer so as not to waste most of the bunch I bought
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Low calorie cooking spray
(I also added a heaped tbsp plain flour which is why there's a bit of syn in these burgers - see below)

It says to zizz everything (except the spray oil) together, pour into a bowl for at least 3-4 hours or overnight, shape into burgers, place them on parchment on a baking tray, spray with oil and bake for about 15 to 20 mins at 180C

It was not without a few huccups along the way.  The blended mixture was very sloppy, even after chilling.  I added some flour and it helped a bit but no way would it shape into burgers that would hold their shape.

So I got my crumpet rings out, placed some parchment on a baking sheet and stood the rings on that, lining each ring with a strip of parchment.
I sprayed the bottom with oil, then spooned in the mixture and got six burgers out of it.  I then sprayed the top and popped the sheet into a 180C oven.
I gave them half an hour, then took them out, lifted off the crumpet rings (it was fairly easy to do), peeled off the parchment from round the sides, gently turned them over, sprayed the other side and popped them back in the oven for about ten minutes and you know what?  They were absolutely gorgeous.

I had one which was more than enough with a salad and coleslaw which was about a third of a portion so my SW conscience is easy on the added flour.  Both my guests had two and there's one left for tomorrow

Definitely one to do again.  For guests as well as just for me.  I wonder if the mixture could go into my waffle moulds and they would certainly work in muffin tins.

(photo - er -  borrowed from the SW site with thanks because I forgot!)

Wednesday, 20-03-19

Good morning.

I have a friend round for lunch - two, actually, one is my daughter - and that other friend is watching what she eats too, so I thought I would try a new recipe.  I searched the Slimming World recipe bank for something vegetarian (daughter is vegetarian) and found a likely looking spicy beanburger recipe which I intend to have with coleslaw and a salad.

To make the beanburgers, I need green lentils, so I decided to give my instant pot an airing and it was a doddle.  One cup of green lentils and one and three quarter cups of water with a bit of salt.  Ten minutes at pressure and ten minutes depressurising afterwards (plus the time beforehand to get up to pressure) may sound a long time but once you have it set you can go away and do something else, you don't need to hang around in the kitchen watching the pressure or wondering when to stop it.
And the lentils turned out beautifully.

Dried lentils are infinitely more frugal than buying a can of ready cooked lentils too.

So - today's plans are
B:  vanilla waffles with fruit and natural yogurt
. . . as I made and posted about last week, recipe from Pinch of Nom (did you see them on telly yesterday evening on Save Money: Lose Weight?) and nothing from the freezer because I have fresh fruit to use up.
SW:  One healthy extra B (plus the yogurt which ought to be an A, I reckon)

L:  spicy beanburgers, coleslaw, salad; fresh fruit
I'll let you know about the beanburgers but with things like potato, onion, chilli, mixed beans (f), lentils, cumin and cinnamon, I'm hopeful that they will be very tasty.
I'll probably pop some mango chutney on the table but won't have any myself.
SW:  maximum one syn for the mayo in the coleslaw

D:  minute steaks, selection of veg, butternut waffles (f)
I got the chap in Morrisons to cut some filet steak really, really thin so it will be a case of waving them over the pan and they will be done.  OK, not cheap, but nowhere near as expensive as a steak of the usual thickness.
I had the waffles (OK, lattuces really) last night too and they were very good indeed.

Ss:  fresh pineapple, apple, milk (healthy extra A)

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Tuesday, 19-03-19

Good morning.

Back home, back on track, back on the freezer challenge (that's what the 'f' means), fingers crossed and 'no' on autorun!.

Today's plans:
B:  cooked breakfast
That is . . . bacon, egg, home made potato waffle (f), baked beans (f), mushrooms, tomatoes.  I decided to have a filler with plenty of protein because lunch will be pretty late and I am usually too busy at pottery to have time out for a snack.
SW:  free - which doesn't mean calorie free, of course!  However, using a few sprays of oil keeps them down to a minimum.

L:  cauliflower and broccoli soup.
Made yesterday from two broccoli stems and one cauliflower stem, this was surprisingly nice with the milk and dairylea added.  Good and frugal too as it used items that people normally throw out or compost.  Having it again today means that I won't need to put so much of it in the freezer.
SW:  the milk and the cheese will provide both my healthy extras today.

D:  salmon (f), salad, butternut waffles (f), coleslaw; natural yogurt
I will bake the salmon with a splash of lemon or lime juice, wrapped in parchment.  The butternut waffles aren't really waffles, they are pre-cut lattices of butternut squash and are from a bag of them that I got on yellow sticker for 7p and chucked in the freezer.  I'd never pay £1 for pre-cut veg, however fancy!  The coleslaw will be carrot and cabbage with extra low mayo.  Plenty of speed in this meal.  I'll add some Squash'd to the natural yogurt for some sweetness.
SW:  one syn for the extra light mayo

Ss:  one apple and one orange, if needed.  I don't have any healthy extra B planned  but I reckon all that veg will more than compensate and if I get peckish in the evening, I have some hi fi bars and can have one or even two for my B

Monday 18 March 2019

Monday, 18-03-19

Good morning!

Final score for the weekend:
Joy  2 :  Nibbles: 1
It could have been a whole lot worse!  I was very tempted yesterday, expecially late afternoon which is my 'danger time', but I just kept saying 'no' each time I went into the kitchen and it worked.  The best food weekend at my parents' for quite a long time and a great relief.

Today's plans:
B:  some fruit
It's the easiest thing to have when I'm setting out straight afterwards - settles well but fills me up.
SW:  free

L:  broccoli and cauliflower soup
I have cauliflower and broccoli stems which I am certainly not going to waste.  I shall make a nice, creamy soup the usual way (boil onion, carrot, the stems and herbs/seasonings in stock, then zizz it all down and add milk ) and I will probably melt in some dairylea as cheese goes so well with cauli and broccoli.  It's an invention, sort of, but I know it will work.  It will make more than one portion but will do for tomorrow (busy morning tomorrow) as well
SW:  both my healthy extra As on the milk and the cheese spread

D:  two curries and a pitta
Last week I made a chicken balti (with lots of added veg) and a cauliflower, peas and potato curry, each using  one of the spice packs I have.  The balti was from JD seasonings and the other from Spice Queen on Chelmsford High Street
I froze them together to make five portions, each with two curries.  I know - putting things into the freezer rather than taking them out isn't quite the Freezer Challenge, but it made the food only one step away from being eaten instead of still in its raw state.
SW:  the pitta is my healthy extra B while the curries are free - and laden with speed.

Ss:  one apple, one orange

I've discovered Squash'd'.  You know - those little round containers of concentrated fruit drink that fit in your handbag and flavour your bottle of water - we've seen the ads!   They are sugar free and so low they count as 'free' on the SW plan.
I have discovered that a little squeeze flavours natural yogurt beautifully and makes a great drizzle for a waffle.
A very useful discovery!

Sunday 17 March 2019

Sunday, 17-03-19

Good morning and happy St Patrick's Day to you!

The score this weekend is - Joy 1: nibbles 1.  Ooops.
Please send good vibes for today!

Today's plans are:
B:  porridge with yogurt
nice and frugal and filling too.
SW:  one healthy extra A and one B

L:  bean and veg soup
Made with whatever I can find really - definitely onion, carrot, celery, leftover cabbage and sprouts, mixed beans, tomatoes and I will toss in some orzo as well.
SW:  free

D:  lamb leg steak with broccoli and carrots, a piece of fruit. 
I'll do a few roasties for Mum and Dad but will keep off them myself.
SW  the gravy and the mint sauce will cost a few syns:  I'm not sure how many wut it won't go over my limit.

Ss:  trying for none after yesterday.  I need to keep busy.

Home again tomorrow where it is so much easier!

Saturday 16 March 2019

Saturday, 16-03-19

Good morning!

I'm at my parents' and very pleased at how yesterday's eating went as I usually find it very, very tricky with all the biscuits, crisps, etc, for the taking.  One day at a time so I am mustering common sense strength for today's temptations now.  :-)

Today's not-freezer-challenge plans are . . .

B:  yogurt and fruit
Dad keeps plenty of fruit in the house so that's very helpful.  I always take my own yogurt over with me as that's something neither of them have in.
SW:  free

L:  probably beans on toast, apple
Simple and filling
SW:  one healthy extra B for the wholemeal toast

D:  savoury mince with a macaroni cheese topping, vegetables
I'm cooking the mince today.  It is 5% mince and I will load it up with vegetables and also add lentils and oats for extra goodness.  I ought to syn the oats but, in reality, I don't add much and as the mince will bulk out to about eight portions, I'm just going to ignore it.
The topping is just some macaroni with some melted Dairylea.  It makes a delicious thing.
I'm not sure which veg yet - Dad doesn't have much in so I will pop round to the little Tesco after breakfast and see what they have.  I'm aiming for speed veg so it's likely to be sprouts, maybe cabbage - that sort of thing.
SW:  ignoring the little bit of oats, I will use both my healthy extra As on the cheese for the sauce, I expect.

Ss:  fruit

Friday 15 March 2019

Friday, 15-03-19

Good morning!
It was half a pound ON last night which was a bit sad but onward and downward!

Today's plans
B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
SW:  one healthy extra A and one B

L:  tomato soup
That SW tomato soup recipe really is nice (and it's from the freezer)
SW:  free

D:  salmon and assorted veg
SW:  free

Ss:  30g cheese (healthy extra A)

Thursday 14 March 2019

Recipe: syn free potato waffles

I do like potato waffles but the lowest syn ones you can buy are from Morrisons and are two syns each.  Having recently treated myself to a couple of silicon waffle moulds (a round one that turns out heart shaped waffles and a rectangular one that turns out - er - rectangular shapes waffles!), I though it can't be too difficult to make my own syn free potato waffles with the plus point of knowing what went into them.

And they only went and worked!  Woo hoo.
This is what I did.

Ingredients to make four waffles
300g mash (approx)
40g quark
1 egg
1/8 tsp mustard powder and the same of garlic puree
salt, white pepper, chopped chives (first picking from the garden)

Spray oil

Preheat the oven to 180C

In a bowl, tip in all the ingredients apart from the oil and mix it up well.  It makes a smooth paste, not a batter.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Placing it on an oven tray, lightly spray the inside of the waffle mould and brush the spray oil into all the corners and around the 'bumps'.
Share the mash mixture between the four waffle sections and spread it out evenly with a knife, making sure you get into the corners.
Like this.

Spray the top with a little oil and pop it in the oven for around half an hour, taking it out when the potato is nicely golden brown.

Flip the mould over so that the waffles come out, right way up, on the baking sheet and, if needed, pop them back in the oven for another five minutes or so.  I turned the oven off and just popped them into the residual heat for five minutes.

And here they are, done.  Lousy photo but tasty waffles.

That's one for breakfast with an egg on top . . .

. . . and three to wrap and freeze for other meals.  To reheat, I will just pop them into the toaster on the frozen bread setting.

So now I can have syn free potato waffles.  Next time, I will try adding some onion granules as well.  They'd be nice with some grated cheese added to the mix, either synned or as a healthy extra, or you could add some spice to pep them up.
Or, for me, I like a potato waffle with baked beans.
The only slight negative is that, on its own, the waffle is a tiny bit dry but the flavour and freshness more than balance that and it's nothing that a bit of sauce or an egg yolk wouldn't solve.  Or baked beans, of course!

I'm going to experiment!

Thursday, 14-03-19

Good morning.
I only have one photo for the diary today as the other meals were too 'scrappy' and snatched really.

Very nice it was too

Today's plans:
B:  oat waffles with fruit and natural yogurt
Just to check they are as delicious as I think they are, of course!!!
SW:  healthy extra B for the oats

L:  yogurt and fruit
. . . bacause it is weigh day
SW:  free

D:  chicken curry with fancy rice
The rice is from the freezer, the only thing that is today, while I am making the curry because I have chicken breasts that need using up.  I'll add other veg too - onion, pepper, baby corn, cauliflower, mushroom so it will be high in speed
SW:  hopefully free

Ss:  milk and cheese for my healthy extra As

I also want to try the cauliflower, peas and potato curry mix I bought from the market last week as I have a more or less free day today amidst a rather heavy week.  Unfortunately, that means stuff will go into the freezer but at least is is healthy, SW friendly stuff.
Or I might take some to Mum and Dads this weekend - yes, I think I will do that.

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Wednesday, 13-03-19

Good morning!

Yesterday's photo diary . . .

Breakfast: the waffles!

Lunch:  salmon salad

I forgot the dinner photo which was a chicken tikka masala SW ready meal and it was nice!

Today is a funny old day with precious little time for either lunch or for dinner so I'm having to work around.

So . . .

Breakfast will be when I get home from swimming and will be a bit more substantial:
Bacon, SW sausage, egg, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms
All SW free!

Lunch will be in a brief window of time mid afternoon between a friend going and the next thing starting and will be 60g cheddar with an apple.  I'll probably also chuck in some mini tomatoes and a few slices of cucumber as well, if time permits.
The cheese will be both my healthy extra As

Dinner will be late, after governors' meeting.  Bacon and bean soup (from freezer so I'm managing one freezer thing today anyway) with wholemeal bread to dunk (my healthy extra B)

I doubt there will be time for snacks but, if there is, it will be fruit.

I'm glad I plan.  If I didn't, today would be chaos!

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Seven Slimming World friendly breakfasts

I'm funny with breakfasts.  Sometimes I can have the same thing for days on end, sometimes I want to ring the changes and sometimes I just forget (but I don't recommend that one).

I've sorted out seven that I have made and liked so that, if you want, you could have a different breakfast every day of the week.  Sadly, I don't have photos for them all.

1:  Fresh fruit and natural yogurt
I love this one.  The yogurt is my own home made but you could use any SW friendly yogurt; just remember to syn it, if necessary
I just bung a mixture of 'free' (mostly speed) fruit in a bowl, spoon over a few dollops of natural yogurt and a sprinkle of stevia.  Couldn't be simpler.  Couldn't be more naturally delicious

2:  Porridge, fresh fruit and yogurt.
As above but make porridge with 40g oats (healthy extra B), 125mls semi skimmed (half a healthy extra A) topped up with water, if you want, plus a pinch of sald.  Bring to a simmer, stirring.  It thickens straight away and bob's your uncle!  Add the fruit (warm it up first, if you like) and some natural yogurt with a sprinkle of stevia.  Filling and delicious.

(ignore the pot to the left!)
3.  Beans on toast
Dead easy.  I use a third to a half of a can plus two small wholemeal slices for a healthy extra B.  I find that the bean sauce straight on toast makes the toast go very soggy so I use light cheese spread for a bit of healthy extra A - it also tastes delicious!
To give the beans a bit more ooomph, add tomato puree, cajun spice, brown sauce, ketchup, etc.  The latter two will need to be synned.

4.  Overnight oats.
Easy as long as you remember to get it ready the night before!  Pop 40g oats in a bowl or jar (kilners look trendy but are not essential!), then add some yogurt and maybe some fruit.  I also add some milk and a pinch of salt and give it all a good mix up.  Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.  In the morning you have a delicious, creamy, oaty mixture that is gorgeous with some added fruit.
It's flexible, this one.  You can use flavoured yogurts (remember to syn them), spices (cinnamon is nice), add the fruit (could be from the freezer) before it all soaks . . . it's all lovely.
The oats are a healthy extra B and 125 mls semi skimmed is half an A

5.  Waffles with fruit and yogurt
The basic recipe is here.
The recipe (for one)  made five little waffles in my press (three for the breakfast and two for later to stave off the bad munchies).
The syrup is a drizzle of Squash'd' which is SW free.
The oats are one healthy extra B
And this recipe is absolutely delicious!

6:  Cooked breakfast
(aka 'full English')
choose from sausages (SW free ones), bacon medallions (all fat trimmed off), egg (cooked without fat or with fry light), baked beans, tomatoes and mushrooms (both cooked with Fry light).
Add a potato waffle. toasted (Morrisons are two syns each) or some fried bread made by spraying a small slice of wholemeal for fry light and then popping in a hottish frying pan until browned and crisp.
(apologies for the dreadful photo)
Pop some of it into a wholemeal pitta or a wholemeal roll (one healthy extra B) for a different way of serving.
Syn any sauces you use.

7:  Boiled eggs and toasty soldiers
(the name has stuck since childhood)
What it says on the tin!  Have the toast neat (two small slices of wholemeal is one healthy extra B) or add some Dairylea (or equivalent) cheese spread and syn what you use.
Or you could use a wholemeal pitta cut into strips instead.

So there you go.  Seven SW friendly and very tasty breakfasts.

Tuesday, 12-03-19

Good morning.
Yesterday's photo diary:

Breakfast:  with a good dollop of natural yogurt and a bit of stevia added

Lunch:  smoked salmon pate cups, coleslaw and salad.

Today's freezer challenge meals:
B:  strawberry and vanilla waffles
This is a new recipe, nothing to do with the freezer!  I ordered a couple of silicon waffle moulds and they arrived yesterday so I HAVE to try them out, of course.  I'm using an oat based mixture and will let you know!
Nothing from the freezer
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  salmon salad
. . . because I fancy it!  The piece of salmon is from the freezer.
SW:  one syn for some light mayo

D:  SW chicken tikka masala, maybe a salad
This is another of the SW/Iceland ready meals .  It doesn't come with rice, which is fine as it looks as if there will be loads without anything extra so maybe just a salad on the side for more speed. It may very well be enough on its own though.
SW: free

Ss:  milk and 30g cheese for my healthy extra As, fruit (apple/orange)

Monday 11 March 2019

Recipe link: twenty ways with quark

I thought this was worth sharing so here it is.

Monday, 11-03-19

Yesterday's photo diary.


And dinner - as often, nice that it looks and enough speed to break the 100m world record!

I forgot to take a photo of lunch!

Today's food.
B:  yogurt with fruit, milk
Having too much fruit in the fridge is pretty much a first world problem but it does need using up!  Also, it's a favourite breakfast!  SW free except for the milk which is a healthy extra A

L:  smoked salmon pate in lettuce cups, salad
I'll try lettuce instead of bread today and I will make some coleslaw, probably adapting the sauce recipe I tried the other day (which definitely improves with a little keeping!)
SW:  if I use light mayo, it will be half a syn for the meal

D:  coronation turkey, salad
The turkey is from the freezer and I can safely say it is low fat because high fat meals do not sully the inside of my freezer!   However, I can't remember the exact recipe, only that it isn't a cold dish, it is meant to be served hot.  As I'm trying to be a bit more SP this week, I won't have rice with it, I shall serve it with a side salad which is a great way to pack in more speed.
SW:  as I don't know, I am guesstimating four syns for the curry because it will have some mango chutney in it and maybe a bit of curry paste too.  I wish I could remember - I'm usually more careful at labelling with syns, etc, now.

Ss:  two hi-fi bars for my healthy extra B, 30g cheese for the other healthy extra A

(SP is basically only having food designated as Speed or Protein in the SW handbook, plus the healthy extras and up to ten syns - but you can't syn anything that would normally be a 'free' food but is neither S or P)

Sunday 10 March 2019

Guest post: almost syn free raspberry or strawberry roulade

I'm moving into the sphere of 'real blogs' today with a guest post from my blogger friend, Eloise at This Is Sixty, a lovely general blog that I always look forward to reading.  Do take a look
I shall be making this roulade myself as soon as I get the opportunity as it looks simply wonderful - thanks.
Like me, Eloise does Slimming World and here's her recipe.

"Raspberry or strawberry Roulade: fat free, sugar free and flour free
2 Slimming World syns for the entire roulade!
Cuts into 5 decent size slices or 4 generous ones
4 large eggs
3 teaspoons of baking powder
4 tablespoons of sweetener (I use Nativia, a 100% natural plant based sweetener which has a better taste than any containing artificial ingredients such as aspartame). Don't be tempted to cut the quantity or your roulade will taste omelette-like.
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
I small tub of Total 0% fat Greek yogurt (I find this tasted better than other brands)
Raspberries (ideally fresh. You can used drained, defrosted ones but will need to eat the roulade soon after making as it goes a bit soggy, whereas fresh ones will last until the following day) or strawberries.

Separate the eggs and beat whites until stiff. Beat yolks with baking powder and sweetener mixing together really well.Add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Fold the yolk mixture gently into egg white. Spread over a parchment lined Swiss roll tin. Bake at 160-170 for approx 15 mins. It will puff up massively but deflates greatly once out of the oven. Test with skewer. Cool, remove from tin (I invert it onto a tray) and gently peel off paper. Spread with a small tub of 0% Total Greek yogurt and cover with fresh strawberries or raspberries, crushing them slightly to release a bit of juice. Carefully roll it up. Sometimes it cracks, sometimes not. If you want it to look a bit more posh sprinkle over some icing sugar before serving and place a line of fruit along the top. You can even melt a Freddo bar and drizzle the chocolate over it (add 5 syns to total). "

Sunday, 10-03-19

Good morning!
First of all, my photo diary.
I just had an apple for breakfast in the end - I didn't fancy anything more.

Lunch was mushroom risotto with coleslaw and a salad.

Dinner was chicken and bacon pasta bake.  I had no room for the planned salad as well.

Snacks were an apple, an orange and a couple of hifi bars (healthy extra B), plus two Becks blues (four syns)

I had an NSV yesterday!  I wanted to wear a skirt which is something I havent done for a good many months, not one that needs tights anyway.  So I rootled in my tights drawer and not a pair fitted.  They were all way, way too large, hardly surprising as they were all XXXX/Infinity/Beyond sizing.  So I bought some in Sainsburies and had to make a choice - small/medium or medium/large.  Because the thought of anything 'small' is totally outside my experience, I went for the M/L so fingers crossed I have made the right choice.
I've now binned all the worn tights and the unworn ones will probably go to the Sally Army recycling point.

Today's freezer challenge meals are:
B:  natural yogurt and fruit
I have plenty of fruit at the moment so mustn't waste it.  It will probably be raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
SW:  free

L:  spiced lentil soup, smoked salmon pate with toast or pitta batons, apple
The soup is from the freezer, I have smoked salmon to use up (to prevent it having to go into the freezer) and I got a lovely bag of apples from the market on Friday so I need to make inroads into them.  Such hardship!
SW:  all nice and free except for the toast or pitta which is my healthy extra B.  The lentil soup and the apple will give me some speed food.

D:  caribbean turkey stew (freezer), a medley of free veg (probably broccoli, sprouts and cauliflower)
I'm trying to build in more speed and this meal should do the trick nicely as the stew already contains  veg.
SW:  free

Ss:  fruit, milk (healthy extra A), yogurt

P.S.  I've just made the smoked salmon pate (smoked salmon, quark, lemon juice, dill, garlic puree, pepper and a bit of salt all zizzed together) and it's given me two portions so that's something sorted out for tomorrow.

Saturday 9 March 2019

Recipe: syn free coleslaw

As I have now found a quark that I don't actively dislike, I decidsed to chase up the syn free coleslaw from the wonderful (apart from all the ads - you have been warned) Pinch of Nom web site.
. . . and scroll down to the printable recipe 'card'.

I changed it a bit - wouldn't be me if I didn't, would it.
So the sauce was:
3 tbsp fat free natural yogurt
1 tbsp plain quark
1/4 tsp nustard powder
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and black pepper

and my additions were
a squidge of garlic puree
1/8 tsp stevia

Pile it all into a bowl and whisk to get rid of any lumps.  In a few weeks time I will cut the onion and pick some chives instead but they're not quite ready yet

Then it was the usual way - grate carrot, shred cabbage, thinly slice onion and mix it all together.  .

OK, it's nothing like the good old home stuff made with home made, drowning in oil mayo but it is tasty, light, fresh and I found it very acceptable in its own way.  It would also do as a salad dressing.
And syn free.

Saturday, 09-03-19

Good morning
It's proper back on the wagon now after the euphoria of Thursday evening and here's yesterday's photo diary



Dinner - much, much tastier than the poor photo would suggest!

And today's plans

B:  porridge with mixed fresh fruit and natural yogurt
The fruit will be berries and orange, plenty of speed there.  The oats will give me my healthy extra B and the milk in the porridge will be one of my As.

L:  Mushroom risotto, side salad
This was the first thing I made in the Instant Pot; I ate half and froze half and I know it's nice.  It's SW free and has loads of mushroom (and I might add a bit more) plus the salad so it's well up on speed.  I posted the recipe earlier

D:  Chicken, bacon and vegetable pasta bake
This is a leftover from taster evening on Thursday and I will turn it into a bake by sprinkling 30g of cheese (from the freezer) over the warmed up dish and popping it under the grill for five minutes or so.  I might cook some veg to go with it to up the speed content.
The pasta dish is free and the cheese will be my other A

Ss:  some Beck's blues (two syns each) and some fruit

However, sadly, I won't be making any sourdough bread today.  The starter smells unpleasant and I don't want to risk it.  I'll feed it for a few more days and if things don't improve, I'll start again.  I know sourdough does have a smell, but not like that, surely.  No sign of mould though.

Edit:  it was starting to stink out the house so it's gone down the drain and I've started another one!  I've never had a sourdough started smelling like that before!  :-)

Friday 8 March 2019

Friday, 08-03-19

Good morning!

I'm so happy.  At group I had lost 2.5lbs which was great,  BUT, better than that, I am now into the healthy BMI banding.  I'm no longer morbidly obese, obese or even just overweight!  I haven't been here for decades and decades but I am now.
Of course, I'm just at the top, I need to lose more, but - but - I have a BMI of under 25.
I came home and cried, I was that happy!  Isn't that silly?
Oh - and I won the raffle!  It was a nice one this week - a box of the new SW millionaire shortbread (which isn't shortbread at all but it is nice), a magnetic board for planning, a SW notepad and a bunch of daffs!

Taster evening was good.  My tum had settled and I was able to enjoy what people brought in.  I have posted the recipe of the pasta dish I took and, as before, I made way too much and now have three portions of the complete pasta dish, one portion of plain pasta and some pasta sauce, all destined for the freezer.  I'm not quite ending the week with more frozen things than I started it with but it's a close thing.
However, now I am back on the freezer challenge again so that will change.

B:  yogurt, banana and other fruit
Morrisons has fruit on sort of special (by that I mean not super-frugal but OK) so I got some.  I dearly love fruit and yogurt, especially my home made variety!
SW:  free

L:  small bean and veg soup, toast and cheese spread
The soup is from the freezer and is free while the toast will be my healthy extra B and the cheese spread one of my As

D:  curry meal
This is from the freezer and is the leftovers of the curry meal I made when I had friends round a fortnight ago and it's chicken korma, chickpea dahl, bombay potato and basmati and wild rice
I estimate three syns for the coconut milk powder in the korma.

Ss:  hopefully none, especially after a big dinner.
I'm short of an A but I'm having yogurt so that can count unofficially as an A today.

Last of all, the sourdough starter is bubbling away furiously.  I reckon I shall be able to give a loaf a go on Saturday.

Thursday 7 March 2019

Recipe: chicken, bacon and veg pasta

This is what I made for the taster evening yesterday.  Bog standard really but I thought it was very tasty.

If I'd been at home, I'd have topped a portion with some grated cheese (30g/one healthy extra A) and popped it under the grill.

Chicken, bacon and vegetable pasta

Ingredients (amounts to own taste)
fry light spray
onion, peeled and chopped
pepper, deseeded and chopped
baby corn, chunked
mushrooms, quartered
frozen peas
chicken breast chunked
bacon medallions, sliced
garlic puree
chopped tomato or passata (or both)
tomato puree
chicken stock or stock powder
seasonings, herbs and spices to own taste.  I used a bit of chilli puree, some bay leaves, some thyme, some salt and black pepper

pasta, cooked

Sauté the onion, pepper, baby corn and mushroom in fry light.  Add the bacon and chicken and continue sautéing until coloured.
Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute.
Add the peas, tomato, tomato puree, stock powder and water and various seasonings, bring to a gently simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring now and again.

If there’s too much liquid, either boil it away or spoon it off and use it in another recipe at some point.

Just before serving, bring back to a simmer, add the pasta, stir well and reheat until piping hot.

SW free

Recipe: fresh fruit 'not-crumble'

I suppose I am breaking all sorts of SW rules what with substituting ('tweaks', which I have never understood so just ignore), zizzing oats (should be synned - not a chance) and cooking fruit (should be synned - ditto), but I don't care!

This started as a little germ of an idea when I found a quark I don't actively dislike - from Aldi, of all places, so it works with the frugality theme, always a good thing.  It's not crumble.  Crumble has butter and sugar and is utterly melt in the mouth but this works as a nice breakfast or dessert.

Ingredients to make two portions

40g oats, half of them zizzed into flour
20g quark
1 level tsp stevia
a pinch of cinnamon

a selection of fresh fruit- I used apple, strawberries and raspberries because that's what I had.

Frylight butter spray

Preheat the oven to 180C.

In a bowl, rub the quark into the oats.  It won't go breadcrumbly but it will sort of 'crumble'.  Add the stevia and the cinnamon and mix in.

Divide the fruit between two ramekins and sort of press down a bit.
spread the topping over and lightly spray the top with the drylight.

Pop in the oven for 20 to 25 mins, checking towards the end - don't want the oats to catch.

Serve hot or cold with natural yogurt.

Slimming world info.
If you ignore all the stuff at the top, this is mostly free and contains speed in the form of the fruit.  It has protein (the quark and yogurt, if used) and one portion provides you with half a healthy extra B.
And, as it is actually surprisingly nice, I could cheerfully wolf down the lot and still be on plan!.

Thursday, 07-03-19

Good morning.

The sourdough starter has bubbles and it's trying to escape this morning.  I take that as a very good sign!  I thought wholemeal would be slower but no, not at all.

I may try a loaf over the weekend.

There were no more tummy repercussions yesterday but I am going to be very careful today.
Today's very careful and off the freezer challenge food plans, therefore, are . . .

B:  porridge with stevia and natural yogurt
SW:  half a healthy extra A and one B

L yogurt and fruit
SW free

D:  taster evening at group so goodness knows!  I'll be careful, I promise.
I'm taking a chicken and bacon pasta dish that has loads of veg added.  I'll heat it up to piping before I go to group and take it in a flask so it should stay good and hot.

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Wednesday, 06-03-19

Good morning!
Yesterday's photo diary

Lunch:  fishcakes with a salad - and very nice it was too.

That's it - I forgot to take any others!

The starter has started to bubble.  Yay!

Today's freezer challenge food plans have been shelved as I still have a bit of an upset tum and have had a bit of a disturbed night with it.
B:  nothing - see if my tum will settle.

L:  plain toast . . .
. . . if I feel like it.

D:  I had savoury rice on the plan and rice is OK for upset tums so we will see how it feels.

Also, plenty of water.

So SW eating has gone by the board today.  Back to normal tomorrow, I hope.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Tuesday, 05-03-19

Good morning.

I began the sourdough yesterday and fed it when I woke up this morning - I find that's the best time to do all those routine things as I remember them then!  I like this way - no discarding.  That always irritated me although there are some good recipes out there for crumpets, pancakes and the like.  As they wouldn't work with Slimming World, they're not an option right now though.

After trying the SW peppercorn sauce over the weekend, I did a brief review as a separate post.  Not one I will be buying again, I'm afraid.

Second day of the freezer challenge and already a few gaps are showing in the monsters - great!  I'm pleased that every meal today has something frozen.

Today's plans are:
B:  porridge with yogurt and fruit
It seems to have turned a bit colder again so this will go down a treat!  Also, the fruit will be from the freezer
SW:  half a healthy extra A for the milk and a B for the oats
Speed:  pineapple, blueberry

L:  feelgood fishcakes with a salad and a garlic mayo dressing
The fishcakes are from the freezer and I will get them out to thaw through the morning as I'm not sure how well they will cook from frozen.  The dressing is just very light mayo with some garlic puree and maybe a wee bit of seasoning.
SW:  one syn for some mayo and 1/2 syn for some grated cheese in the fishcakes
Speed:  letture, tomato, grated carrot

D:  lentil and vegetable ragu
I made this a while ago and didn't have it then so in the freezer it went.  I hope it's nice and should certainly be 'healthy'.
SW free
Speed:  not sure specifically because I made this a while ago but I remember it has plenty of speed in it.

Ss:  fruit

Speed food
I think I might be getting a bit lazy with my speed food.  Speed is those fruits and vegetables which are 'very low energy dense foods' (that was a quote) and one is encouraged to have at least a third of your meal as 'speed', either as an integral part of the dish or added - and the idea is not to have, for example, a bowlful of your favourite chicken and pasta and then a salad on top of that but to reduce the amount of pasta and replace it with speed.  It's a good way to make sure you get your fruit and veg and the handbook is very explicit about which are counted as speed and which are not so there's no potential for confusion there.
It's not always possible but it's an aim.
So, for a while, I'm going to list my speeds for each meal, just to highlight it to myself.  Speed can be frozen so it works with the freezer challenge

Monday 4 March 2019

Personal review: SW at iceland peppercorn sauce

Disclaimer:  I'm not being paid or rewarded in anyway for reviewing food products such as this.  I bought it myself with my own money and there's no pressure from anyone or anywhere to be overly positive (or negative).

Er - no!

To amplify, I'd never have known it was a peppercorn sauce so that's the first issue.
As well as that, it was an odd texture and not terribly flavoursome so I added a slug of cream and plenty of ground black pepper which turned it into an acceptable sauce but adding cream does rather defeat the purpose if buying a Slimming World product, doesn't it?

To be fair, my dad liked it more than I did.
However, it's one I really won't be getting again.

Monday, 04-03-19

Good morning!

First of all, many thanks to everyone who made suggestions for a new, more applicable name for this blog; I'm grateful for such good ideas.  I shall have a ponder over it all now.

I will be back home this morning and the freezer challenge begins!  However, I HAVE to have something kitchen based to engage me so I'm gong to have another go ay sourdough, following the fantastic instructions posted by Sooze in her blog.
Here's a link to the third of three - just track back for the other two.

I'll start by getting the starter started (!!!) today and nurse it oh, so carefully, using Sooze's guidance.  I want my bread to be wholemeal because that's the Slimming World way so that's the flourI will use.  Watch this space and thanks, Sooze.

Today's freezer challenge plans:
B:  yogurt and fruit
SW:  free

L:  tomato and orzo soup with bread to dunk (perhaps)
From the freezer.  This was a magazine recipe so, in a way, that is continuing into this challenge.
SW:   if I have some dunking bread, that will be my B

D:  beef casserole, cheesy mash, sprouts, runner beans and broccoli
The casserole and the runner beans are from the freezer.  The beans are from the garden last year so it's about time they were used up.  I haven't had cheesy mash for ages and am looking forward to it.  I cook and mash some potatoes, then gently mix in some finely grated cheese so it doesn't go gloopy (and maybe some herbs or a pinch of mustard powder as well) and then pop it under a medium grill to brown off and reheat.
SW:  the cheese in the mash will be my As and I might thicken the casserole gravy with some thickening granules at one syn for a level tsp.  I always use thickening granules - much easier than a roux or a beurre marnier and much, much more SW friendly.

Ss:  some fruit if needed.

Sunday 3 March 2019

Sunday, 03-03-19

Good morning!

I'm thinking of renaming this blog.  I need something to reflect what it is right now.  It's had several names in its reasonably short life, starting with the one I am lumbered with in the URL.  Now, it is still an attempt at reasonable, sensible frugality but with an ongoing focus of healthy eating the Slimming World way to lose weight and then to maintain it (which, I think, will be just as challenging in its way).
I still want 'frugal' in the title but going with something more explanatory.

Any ideas?

Today's meal plans are:
B:  yogurt and fruit
Home made yogurt - delicious!
SW free

L:  toast with cheese spread and marmite; orange
I use cheese spread instead of butter as, without something, toast tends to be rather dry and low cal spreads make it soggy.
SW:  the healthy extra B for the bread and an A for the cheese spread

D:  steak with peppercorn sauce, veg (or salad), SW chips.
I'm doing the steak for Dad who loves it, so now and again I fit it in while I'm visiting.  Personally, I'd like salad with it and I might just do that today instead of hot veg.  The chips are a treat for me - I love SW chips and I know Mum and Dad enjoy a few chips too.
The peppercorn sauce is a SW from Iceland frozen sauce and I have no idea what it's like.  I guess we will find out soon.  If it's nicer, I'll get some more as it seems a jolly useful thing to have in, although under the lid might be a recipe to make it - I'll find that out when I open it!
SW:  free

Saturday 2 March 2019

Saturday, 02-03-19

Good morning.

Weekends are difficult for me when I'm up here with Mum and Dad.  My ability to say 'no' is not great.  So I was pleased that, although I did succumb, I kept off the always available wine (no, Dad doesn't now, Mum never has, so why it's there I don't know and I must have a word with Dad about it) and that's all to the good.

I also had a pleasant little walk to a local shop and back as 'my' bread had disappeared from their freezer.  SW insistes that healthy extra B bread MUST be wholemeal (it's for the fibre content) so Dad's usual seeded loaf won't do!  It turned out he'd mistaken it for his bread and wondered why there were no seeds in it!  Anyway, there's now another loaf of wholemeal in the freezer, in a bag, with 'Joy's bread - keep orf' sharpied over the outside!  It was a good excuse for a walk and I got some nice leeks for a soup today as well.  No complaints!

Today's plans:
B:  porridge with fruit and natural yogurt
It feels right, seeing as the weather seems to be taking a turn for the worse!  Wind and rain!
SW:  half a healthy extra A for the milk and one B for the oats

L:  leek and potato soup
I haven't made this for a while but I do love it.  I find that a potato based soup tends to go 'gloopy' when zizzed so I cook the potatoes separately from the rest, zizz the rest, mash the potato and then mix the two together.  It works really well - yes, it uses another pot, but only for boiling so it's easily cleaned.
SW:  half a healthy extra A for the milk

D:  roast chicken, roasties, sprouts, broad beans and maybe carrots.  I shall also syn some stuffing.
Dad has lovely large supreme fillets and one does for the three of us.  I just wrap it in foil and let it roast/bake until done and then slice it.
SW:  no idea about the stuffing yet but it certainly won't use up all my syns.  It's a bit of an obscure stuffing I got for Christmas and then never used so I'll have to look it up on the SW site.  The rest ought to be free.

Ss:  milk (the other A) and fruit

Friday 1 March 2019

Friday, 01-03-19

Good morning!
One and a half pounds off - woo hoo!  After last week's little gain, I'm really happy with that.  Slow and steady wins the race!

I'm off any sort of challenge over the weekend, starting the freezer challenge on Monday.
Today's plans are:
B:  yogurt and fruit, milk
I don't fancy anything too heavy this morning!
SW:  the milk will be a healthy extra A

L:  toast with cheese spread and maybe some marmite too; apple or orange
I won't have time to make a soup when I get to Mum and Dad's before lunch time so that will do nicely!
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese spread and the B for the toast.  Who needs butter?

D:  salmon, peas and potato waffle; melon
The usual Friday with my parents dinner - we all love it.  I will also have some light seafood sauce on the salmon.  Hardly gourmet but we like it!
SW:  two and a half syns for the waffle and the same for the seafood sauce.

Ss:  I shall try to stay off the snacks today to start the weekend off with a bang!

We have another Taster Evening next Thursday so I have to decided what to take.  I'm undecided as to whether to take a main of some kind or something dippy or even something sweet.  I might take a nice mixed fresh fruit salad and make some yogurt and strain it more than usual so it ends up really thick to have with the fruit.  The chicken curry I made yesterday was quite delicious and would be nice with some mini pittas that are only a third of a syn each!  I love the sloppy Joe pasta bake too.  And then there's those egg custards I made in the Instant Pot.
Decisions, decisions!