Tuesday 30 April 2019

Tuesday, 30-04-19

Good morning.

 I only took photos of one meal yesterday, the lemon and blueberry baked oats.  They were yummy.

So here's a couple of photos of it, to compensate.

The loaded sweet potato wedges for dinner were lovely - I must do sweet potato wedges more often - they are so tasty.  These were sprinkled with cumin and sweet smoked paprika before spraying with oil; and popping in the oven.
Sadly, I forgot to take a photo.

Yesterday wasn't the easiest day in my life but I am pleased that I stuck to my plans and didn't overdo the food at all.

Today's plans are:
B:  cooked breakfast
So that's bacon, egg, maybe the last potato waffle in the freezer, tomato and mushroom.  The potato waffle is home made (no nice and inexpensive - and SW free) and the bacon is some YS back bacon that I cut the fat off and froze.  That's the sort of YS thing I do go for when I can but so does everyone else so I don't often get lucky.
SW:  free

L:  Indian turkey balls with beetroot raita
This is from 'Free Food on the Go' p 34  I shall follow it exactly, including the serving suggestion of shredded carrot and thick cucumber slices.  I have turkey mince in the freezer so that's good and turkey mince is a pretty frugal option anyway.
SW:  free

D:  Girls' night out.
At our old favourite, The Hare.  The Hare has small plate options (which are more than enough) and I quite fancy a smaller plate superfood salad. 
Here's the description on the online menu
Giant couscous, broccoli, mixed beans, red onions, capers & halloumi cheese, all tossed in a citrus dressing, garnished with pomegranate seeds, coconut flakes & toasted cashew nuts.
I could have it with chicken (I'll see how hungry I am when it comes to ordering) and if I am very brave, I will ask for the dressing separately!
While the others have a dessert, I will have a nice black coffee.  I love black coffee but don't usually have one when eating out as they cost a ridiculous amount - but less than a dessert, both in £££ and in calories!
SW:  no idea, haven't the foggiest, but a good day for speed which can't be bad.

Ss:  trying for none.

Monday 29 April 2019

Monday, 29-04-19

Good morning!

Photo diary

Breakfast.  I'm really getting the hang of the waffle maker now - how much you need to put in and how long they take.
The orange and lemon essence smelled nice while they were cooking but I think next time I will also add some lemon zest as well for that extra ooomph.  I can call them 'St Clement's Waffles'!

Lunch:  basically a soy based marinade on chunks of chicken and it did go so well on a bed of fresh pineapple with a crunchy salad beside.  I made a nice-ish salad dressing of lime juice, soy sauce, stevia, garlic puree and seasoning.

I've decided to start weighing myself each morning, just for a short time, as a bit of added motivation.  I had an attack of the blues yesterday and in the evening the food intake wasn't great again.  I guess it takes a while to get back on track again and I think that an extra daily accountability will help in the short term.

Today's menu:
B:  lemon and blueberry baked oats
Taken from the Pinch of Nom book, p 41
SW:  one healthy extra B

L:  tuna and butterbean pate
From 'Free Food on the Go' p 22, except that it should be salmon, not tuna.  However, I have tuna in the cupboard and I don't have salmon so . . .
I'll have this with lettuce 'cups' and salad left over from yesterday - wste not, want not.
SW:  free

D:  loaded sweet potato wedges
This one is made up.   I will make the wedges the usual SW way and sprinkle over some spice (sweet paprika and cumin) to pep them up.  I have cooked spicy mince in the freezer and to that I will add some extra mushroom and pepper and finish the whole lot off with some grated cheese, the lot popped back in the oven to melt the cheese.
SW:  one healthy extra A (or maybe more, depending on how much grated cheese I fancy)

Ss:  raw veg/fruit

Sunday 28 April 2019

Sunday, 28-04-19

Good morning.
The photo diary.

Lunch:  I added some sliced chicken to the bacon for the BLT and it was gorgeous with some mayo and some finger veg.

The flour, egg and breadcrumb prep for the fish also worked out really well.  In fact, although I counted it as one healthy extra (1 small slice wholemeal and 20g oats, both zizzed), it was more like half of each that I actually used so next time I'll use less.
Also next time, I will make sure I divide the egg after whisking it and plan in something like scrambled egg or frittata to use the rest up the next day - I wasn't happy about wasting quite a lot of the egg.
This would also work to make chicken goujons or - oh, I've forgotten what it's called - when you hammer some chicken (or veal) really flat and then breadcrumb it.  What's the word?  Escalope, that's it!

For info, all I did was zizz the oats to flour and the bread to crumbs and I whisked up an egg.  I seasoned the oat flour with salt and pepper.  Then I coated the fish, first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs before spraying with oil and baking in the oven at about 180C for 20 mins.  Dead easy, even if it did add to the washing up a bit.

Today's plan:
B:  citrus waffles with blueberries, raspberries and yogurt
I need practise using my waffle maker, that's my excuse.  I have some orange and lemon essences and really ought to use them a bit more as they do impart great flavour and you need so little each time.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  sweet and sour chicken skewers with salad
This recipe is from a SW recipe book, 'Free Food on the Go'.  It looks pretty straightforward and I have lots of stuff for salad including some cauliflower.  I love crunchy, raw cauliflower in salad!
SW:  free

D:  sizzling beef fajitas with sweet potato wedges, salad
This one is from the Slimming World site and, although it gives a recipe for fajita spice, I already have some I can use which makes it a much simpler recipe.  I shall use yogurt to serve as I don't have any fromage frais.
Here's the link although I am not sure whether you can access it without logging in - have a go and see.
SW:  free

Ss:  fruit/raw veg

There's no allocated healthy extra As today but I do have yogurt planned in - not officially an A but . . .

Also, I know it's quite meat heavy but I'm making use of what I already have which is part of my 'ethos'.

Saturday 27 April 2019

Saturday, 27-04-19

Good morning.
Many thanks for yesterday's kind, encouraging and supportive comments which were very helpful.
I felt there was no point in trying to hide that the weigh in wasn't the most positive result!  If I can't be open and honest in here, what's the point, after all?  It happens in real life and I need to show myself (and maybe others) that it's a wee stumble, not a dive off the cliff.

Sandringham was lovely and, as we did a fair bit of walking (oh, OK, sauntering), I definitely got some body magic under my belt.  I couldn't help reflecting that this time eighteen months ago I would never have been able to be on my feet for so long without a lot of pain from back, feet and ankles.  As it is, the ankles felt a bit stiff on the way home but they are absolutely fine this morning.  I'm really pleased about that.

I have a nice week's food plans in front of me with very little interruption, just one meal out with friends, so I am hoping that some of the gain will have gone by the next weigh in which will be next Wednesday, not Thursday.

So here are today's plans:
B:  natural yogurt and fruit
A mixture of the usual berries (blue and rasp) plus some fresh pineapple as I bought one the last time I went to Aldi (so not too expensive) and I reckon it is now ready to eat.
SW:  free

L:  a BLT with a side salad
I'm using bacon medallions that I got on YS - they weren't medallions to start with but there was hardly any fat to cut off so my conscience was appeased with the fact that it wouldn't be good for me to use that bit of fat anyway.  The bread will be a 'promise' gluten free roll that I have in the freezer, I will use a bit of dairylea instead of any butter and one tsp mayo lightest.
SW:  the count is . . . five and a half syns for the roll and half for the mayo, six syns in total.  I'm synning the roll because I will use my healthy B for dinner.  Finally, there's half a healthy extra A for the dairylea.

D:  breaded fish, chips and some sort of speed veg
 - it might be a salad or it might be cooked veg, I have to decide.  Or I might just go for mushy peas and forget the speed for this meal!
I'm going to try flour, egg and breadcrumbing the fish as follows - 20g oats, zizzed into flour and seasoned, egg as usual and one small slice of wholemeal zizzed for the breadcrumbs, then spray and bake the fish while the chips are also cooking.
SW:  the oat flour and the breadcrumbs will total one healthy extra B.

Ss:  fruit and/or veg

Not a bad day, cost wise.  The bacon was on special and the main expense will be the fish.  I will see what Morrisons has on the fish counter when I pop in later on (any excuse for a wee walk), unless I find something in the freezer first - I have a feeling there might possibly be something lurking that I can use.

Friday 26 April 2019

Friday, 26-04-19

Good morning!

Do you like the name change?  The more I look at it, the better I like it so that's good.

What isn't so good is that weigh-in was more than a little bit ooops but I'm being brave and honest here so it was six pounds on (on top of the last gain).  Not great, is it, but it does help to know that life is steadying off now and, as long as I don't become discouraged and give up, I will get on top of it.
I have to really as I have handed on all my next size up jeans!
That's life for you.

Anyway . . . today's plans.
B:  a fruit platter
 . . . which is a posh way of saying a banana, an apple and maybe an easy peeler.
SW: free

L:  I'm out on a coach trip for the day (to Sandringham) so I am hoping they will have something like a home made soup which would be my lunch of choice anyway.  Actually, I wonder if there's a menu onling.  Hang on . . .

. . . nope, nothing relevant so it's a bit pot luck.  Maybe I will shove more fruit in my back pack, in case.

D:  I will likely be hungry when I get home sop I am planning a sort of roast dinner - a chicken breast with roast potatoes done the SW way and some fresh veg.  I have broccoli, carrots and leeks in the fridge so there's plenty of choice there.

Ss: fruit (in my back pack!)

So not really a normal SW day but I can make it work as a one off.  The frugality has flown out of the window because of the lunch but  I'll be back on it tomorrow.

Something sad - I'm having to change my SW group for ten weeks.
I do pottery classes and I wasn't able to book my usual group (Tuesday mornings) for the summer term so had to book the evening group which is Thursday evenings.  So I have to change to the Wednesday evening group (run by the same lovely lady).
Oh, well, ten weeks is no time at all, is it?  If I lose two pounds a week, I could get to target, more or less, in that time.  Wouldn't that be great!

Thursday 25 April 2019


Good morning.

As you can see, I've changed the name at last.  After a lot of pondering I've decided on 'Frugal Food on Slimming World' because it's the nearest I could get to what I want to express.  It's not 100% perfect though and I might change it if something better comes to mind.  I'm still very open to suggestions.

The SW bit is obvious but 'frugal' means something specific to me.
It doesn't mean setting a strict budget and going without if the month is longer than the money.
It doesn't mean buying filling myself with things that will sabotage my slimming pathway because they are on yellow sticker or very cheap (although some great food can be very inexpensive - pulses, for example - and you can get some great YS finds from time to time).

I appreciate that I am very fortunate to have that freedom and flexibility though and I will never, ever take it for granted.

So what does it mean to me?
It means making the very best of what I have with the occasional splurgy treat (such as a steak).
It means being flexible within a framework of careful planning and being prepared to change plans to accommodate leftovers, for example, or food that needs using up before it goes off in order to avoid waste.
It means cooking from scratch most of the time because it's much better value than ready meals (and better for my health too).
It means using a variety of thing - frozen, fresh, dried, canned - for a varied approach and an interesting diet.
It means researching recipes, ideas, strategies and skills in order to, as above, make the best of what I have and to keep the motivation up.
It means making it all work for me in my situation and circumstance.
And it means just being sensible.

And yes - I am fortunate.  Fortunate to be able to be flexible and fortunate that I enjoy cooking, planning, trying new recipes and am open to new ideas.  Also thgat I have the time.

I'm doing it via Slimming World - that's my choice - but the I think same approach will work for any sensible system.

So, on we go.  The title has changed but the content won't although we will draw a veil over yesterday's somewhat less than healthy eating (it WAS my birthday, after all) and remember that today is a new day, the first of the rest of my live

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Wednesday. 24-04-19

Good morning.

First of all, the photo diary.
This doesn't cover everything I ate - I tend not to take photos of apples, bananas, etc and some meals are just normal and too boring to record in that way.  Porridge, for example!

I've posted about breakfast separately as it was great.  Do check out the recipe.

I've also posted the recipe for the home made stir fry sauce as it was another yummy one.  I really wished I had cooked more of the stir fry veg.

Today's food.

B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
SW:  one healthy extra B

L:  no idea as it's my birthday and a friend and I are visiting Marks Hall Aboretum where they have an eatery.  I'm feeling strong and also I've had such fab home made stuff since I got home that I think I will be able to make sensible choices (and enjoy them)

D:  syn free savoury rice (from the freezer) with added shredded chicken (also from the freezer)
I will add some grated cheese (depending on what I have for lunch).
SW:  healthy extra A for the cheese.

Ss:  fruit

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Recipe: a stir fry sauce

It was an add, mix, taste effort but ended up really nice so here it is.

Ingredients:  enough for one
2 tbsp soy sauce (free) - I use a lower salt version
1 tsp sweet chilli dipping sauce (1/2 syn) - I used Tescos
1 tsp runny honey (1 syn)
1/2 tsp lower fat peanut butter powder (negligible syns so I'm not counting)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (free)
a little squidge each of garlic and ginger purees, about 1/8 tsp of each
1 tbsp lime juice from a bottle (free)

Stir fry the veg (I used spray oil and it was fine) on a hot ring, add the sauce and simmer and stir until it evaporates away, thickens and everything is coated.  It takes very little time.

Very, very tasty and I wish I'd used more of the stir fry veg (from a YS pack so nice and economical too).  The whole meal was just one and a half to two syns, that's all.

Recipe: the definitive waffle

(so far anyway)

It's a link.
because I do try to respect the creations of others.  This site/blog is one I use quite a lot - sensible, straightforward, SW friendly recipes that taste good.  Do take a look.
Warning:  There are lots of adverts.

So delicious, despite the raggedy outside.

I made a few changes - of course.

I used 0% Greek yogurt (Fage) which made a thick better so I added a bit milk (count it as a bit of a healthy extra) to slacken it into a batter.
I used 40g Ready Brek - the kind that is counted as a healthy extra.
I used vanilla essence.

I used a waffle maker, heated it on high for about ten minutes and they took about eight minutes to cook.  I expect they're all different and take different times so you just have to find your own timings.

The little bit of baking powder made all the difference - they were light and fluffy and totally delicious.

Without the sugar and vanilla and maybe with some herbs or some spice or even some nutritional yeast (which would need to be synned, I think), I reckon they'd make a nice savoury addition to a cooked breakfast too.

Yet another one to go on the 'make again soon' list.

Tuesday, 23-04-19

Good morning.

Photo diary . . .
Lunch yesterday was lovely.  I changed some bits of it so no healthy extra A cheese and I spent half a syn on a bbq sauce I found in Aldi (after all I said about making my own!).
I'm glad I got the M&S skinnyburgers, especially with the warmer weather coming.

I also changed dinner slightly because I found a portion of bean/veg/tomato mix in the freezer.  I put some of the grated cheese onto to wrap, added the warmed up beany mix and sort of wrapped it up, a bit like a pancake roll.  I popped it in an oiled dish and baked it for about ten minutes at 180C until the top was going a bit hard, then added the rest of the grated cheese and  popped it back for another five minutes.
Serrved with salad and the rest of the coleslaw, it was lovely!

The coleslaw was different too but only in that I added some apple rather than pineapple because I had one from goodness-knows-when that needed using or chucking (and I wasn't chucking!).  Frugality rules!

Today's plans:
B:  oat waffles with fruit and yogurt
This is the recipe I will try today - I'm on a search for the nicest SW friendly waffle recipe out there!
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  bean, veg and orzo soup.
While rootling in the freezer, I found a portion of this home made soup which I know is really tasty and I will top it with 30g grated cheddar.
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese

D:  salmon with stirfry veg
I found some yellow sticker stir fry veg in Morrions which really does need using up so I wll stir fry them and add a sauce I shall make from this and that.  Maybe soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, a bit of honey and perhaps a bit of peanut butter (sounds odd, I know, but it might work!)  I'll have to syn most of these but there won't be a lot of any of it.  I'll just bake the salmon in a bit of lemon or lime juice.
SW:  soy sauce is free, sweet chilli sauce is one and a half syns per tbsp, honey is one syn per tsp and peanut butter powder is one syn per tbsp - I have to work out how much of each to use but the whole lot won't come to more than four or five syns and I think it's worth giving it a go.

Ss:  just fruit and/or yogurt

Monday 22 April 2019

Monday, 22-04-29

Good morning!

Photo diary first.

The hot cross bun baked oats for breakfast was, I have to admit, absolutely gorgeous.  You need strong flavours with baked oats and this fitted that bill nicely.  I found some orange essence in the fridge and that made a big difference, I think.  It truly smelled of hot cross bun while cooking!

No photos for lunch or dinner - they were really just ordinary meals.  Very nice but not really photo-worthy!

I did a bit of Googling and found a recipe for a bbq sauce that doesn't require me to buy any special 'hot sauce' and for which I have everything available so later on in the week I'll give my own hunter's chicken a whirl - after all, it is only chicken, bacon, sauce and cheese!
The recipe is here and I will probably fancy it up with a few extras like lemon juice and garlic granules.

Today's menu plans
B:  yogurt and fresh/frozen fruit
I think I will have pineapple, strawberries and blueberries, all of which I have.
SW:  free

L:  Burger and salad
I bought some M&S skinnyburgers and will try one with SW fried onion and hm pineapple coleslaw and salad on the side.  No roll though as I need the healthy extra for dinner!.
SW:  the burgers are free (which is why I thought I'd try them) and I will have 30g cheddar for one of my healthy extra As plus some lightest mayo in the coleslaw (which will last be over dinner as well) for one syn.

D:  Pizza wrap and salad
I plan to spread pizza ingredients over a WW wrap, sprinkle with cheese, roll it up and spray with oil before crisping up on the outside in the oven.  Some more salad and coleslaw on the side will provide my speed plus whatever I decided to pop in the wrap.  Basically it's a sort of pizzaadilla cylinder and should be pretty tasty, fingers crossed.
SW:  the wrap will be my healthy extra B and another 30g of cheddar will be my other A

Ss:  just fruit or yogurt

Sunday 21 April 2019

Recipe: hot cross bun baked oats

Basically not my recipe but I think I've adapted it enough to be OK about reproducing my version, I hope.

Ingredients to serve 1
40g porridge oats (healthy extra B)
one Mullerlight Amore lemon yogurt (one syn)
grated zest from a small orange or easy peeler
scant tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp stevia (or other sweetener)
scant 1/4 tsp orange essence (optional)
1 egg, beaten
some blueberries
splash of milk (from your healthy extra A)
spray oil

Preheat the oven to 180C and spray an ovenproof dish with fry light.
Mix together the oats, yogurt, orange zest, vanilla essence, cinnamon, stevia and orange essence, if using.
Add the beaten egg and, if the mixture is very thick, add a splash of milk.  Mix in the blueberries.

Pour the batter into the oiled oven proof dish, push any surface blueberries under and bake for around 30 minutes until browned and cooked through.

I ate mine with the segments from the easy peeler I used for the orange zest.

Recipe: chicken fajita loaded chips

First, get the chips started the SW way - par boil, spray and bake, turning half way through.

While they are doing you need onion, pepper and mushroom, all prepped and sliced, some fajita spice (I had some from the spice stall on the High Street), some chicken or turkey cut into strips, a squidge of garlic, some tomato puree and some grated cheese plus a dollop of yogurt.  Oh, and the ubiquitous spray oil without which Slimming World would curl up and die!

Spray a pan with oil, add the onion, pepper and mushroom and sizzle gently until starting to soften before adding the chicken or turkey (I used turkey breast as that's what I laid my hands on in the freezer).  Then add some garlic puree and some fajita spice, mix well and sizzle for a bit longer.
Finally add some tomato puree and some water, mix it all well and turn the heat down, leaving it so very gently sizzle and stirring now and again and adding a splash of water if it seems to be drying out.

When the chips are done, bring the meat/veg mix back to a boil (the sauce should be thick and spicy by now), get a bowl or plate, spread the chips around the outside and sprinkle over a bit of salt and the cheese.  Tip the spicy mixture in the middle, top with a dollop of yogurt and enjoy.

Very tasty and very satisfying.

Sorry, no photo.  I was far to keen to get eating to remember!

Sunday, 21-04-19

Good morning.
Firstly, the pasta and sauce.  No, no, no!  Never again.  It was not nice and made me feel a bit sick.  It might have been a time saver but it was a calorie waster.  Urgh.

Right, having got that off my mind . . .

. . . and on the other hand, the chicken fajita loaded chips was absolutely gorgeous and I will post about it separately.  Tasty, satisfying and deliciously spicy.  The perfect antidote to a yucky lunch!  It's just a shame I forgot about taking a photo - I must get back into the habit.

Eileen, you were right.  Pinch of Nom does indeed have a Hunter's Chicken recipe which looks reasonably simple and for which I have just about all the necessary ingredients.  The only thing I don't have is the buffalo wings hot sauce (whatever that is - buffalos don't have wings, do they!) but I bet I can sub - maybe one of my readers has a suggestion?

Today's plans:  going a bit traditional in a SW way for Easter Sunday!

B:  Hot cross bun baked oats
There's a recipe on the SW site which won't be accessible if you're not a member and also another version appeared on out local group's closed Facebook page so I'm taking a sort of average and cutting out some synny stuff but basically it is baked oats with cinnamon and some Mullerlight lemon yogurt.  I will also add some blueberries for a bit of a fruity burst instead of sultanas and there won't be any 'icing sugar for dusting' which strikes me as a waste of syns!  The 'bun' bit is a bit misleading as it's won;t be bun-like at all but I am hoping it has that sweet-spice flavour.
SW:  one syn for the lemon yogurt and a healthy extra B

L:  Well, on the plan it says 'a brunchy sort of thing' so I guess that will be tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, egg and a SW sausage.  If I hadn't already used my B, I'd have piled it all into a roll or pitta but I have so I won't!
SW:  free

D:   lamb shank with veg and Jersey royals
The lamb is a frozen Aldi lamb shank in mint gravy  I've had it before and it is really very nice as well as being good and low in syns.  I was going to have it just with veg but yesterday, when I went shopping, Morrisons had some bags of Jersey royals.  Bloomin' expensive but you don't get them for long so I gulped and took the plunge.  In the week I've been away, the garden mint has just exploded and there's loads so - home made mint sauce!  Lovely and all traditional too!  I can't wait.
SW:  two syns for the lamb

Ss:  trying for none but if I do succumb it will have to be some cheese as I have no designated health extra As today  Probably some dairylea which, I am ashamed to say, I could eat by the spoonful!

Frugality has taken a bit of a back seat this Easter Sunday but given I haven't been providing my own food for much of this month and a fair bit of last month, I think a bit of a spashout is absorbable and it is very Back On Track.

Saturday 20 April 2019

Saturday, 20-04-19

Good morning.

It feels good to be back, planning and blogging about it.  This last week - last month, really - has been very difficult, the careful plans and healthy eating have taken a back seat and I know I have gained lbs and lbs.  It was all topped off yesterday evening with a delicious meal at the Millstream - hunter's chicken, chips and coleslaw.

However, there's no self recriminations and I'm working on booting any out that try to sneak in through the back door of my mind.
Stuff happens, life is not an easy level playing field all the time and the important thing is to roll with the blows and come back ready to push on through again afterwards.

So yesterday morning, when I woke too early, I planned a good week's eating.  Good in terms of health, SW plan and also, I sincerely hope, flavour.  I fully expect that next Thursday's weigh-in will show a gain (being realistic here, not negative) but the week after that will be much better and then I shall be on my way down again and heading for target.

So, today's plans are . . .
B:  natural yogurt and fruit
I will still be at Dad's for breakfast and this will work for me.
SW:  free

L:  pasta 'n' sauce
Yup - a convenience, processed, probably additive loaded thing but they are low in syns, very quick and easy and as I will be busy sorting out my washing, finding places for bits and bobs I have brought back, airing the house and generally getting back into home life again, this will suit me and just this once really won't hurt
SW:  can't remember how many syns but I know I looked it up and wrote it onn the packet so I will know once I get home.

D:  chicken fajita loaded chips
I'm using this recipe  (Pinch of Nom so, as always, ignore the ads and scroll down to the actual recipe), not having the wrap but instead making some SW chips (which tend to be a weekend treat), putting them round the edge of a bowl, piling the spicy chicken in the middle, sprinkling with grated cheese and enjoying.  I might have a simple side salad as well, once I see how much the chicken mix is.
SW:  one or maybe two healthy extra As, depending on how much cheese I have.

Ss:  I'm going to keep busy so maybe none, but I do have a B to use so maybe some dried fruit.  Not sure yet.

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Wednesday, 17-04-19

Good morning!
I'm taking a few days away from blogging this week.  It's Mum's funeral tomorrow and I'll be back and messaging again by Saturday or Sunday.

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Tuesday, 16-04-19

Good morning.

Here's today's plans:

B:  yogurt and fruit
Nice and light after another family meal (eating in, this time, home made but even so - phew)
SW:  free or one syn ndepending on whether I have natural yogurt or a Mullerlight.

L:  bean and veg soup (from Dad's freezer)
SW:  free

D:  sausages, bacon, hash browns, veg
This is where it all crashes down.  Dad thawed some sausages the other day and then didn't use them so they need using up today.  they are good quality, proper butcher's recipe sausages and absolutely delicious but impossible to syn so I'm not even going to try!
I'm happy to make this dinner as it's something Dad really loves and he hasn't had it for simply ages as it takes more cooking than he feels he can manage confidently.

Ss:  fruit, just fruit.

Monday 15 April 2019

Monday, 15-04-19

Good morning.

Today is the start of a very muddled week but I am going to take my new Cookery Book with me and hope for the best.

Today's plans.
Brunch:  bacon and egg roll with tomatoes on the side, fruit
Because of travelling time, I will delay breakfast and have it a bit before I leave.
SW:  the roll is my healthy extra B for the day

D:  cottage pie with peas and broad beans
I'm feeding the five thousand this evening so have made a nice, big cottage pie that I can just warm up in the oven.
SW:  two healthy extra As for the cheese in the mash topping but apart from that, free.

Ss:  fruit

Fingers crossed!

Sunday 14 April 2019

Sunday, 14-04-19

Good morning.
Well, I think we will draw a Slimming World veil over that shenanigans of yesterday evening.  Suffice it to say I had a wonderful meal, drank far too much and seem to have more or less got away with it with just a slightly muggy head, and will move on with some very happy memories.
Worth every calorie (and there were many!).

Back on plan today so here we go.
B:  just coffee and fruit - really don't want anything more
SW free as I always have my coffee black anyway

L:  a small jacket potato with cheese and bacon plus a nice crunchy salad.
I think I will need the carbs by then so this will do the trick nicely.
SW:  both healthy extra As for the cheese and one syn for some lightest mayo which I will mash into the potato.

D:  creamy garlic chicken (PoN p119) with rice and peas
Another meal that will be a bit carb heavy but it's a deliberate strategy, just to get me over any post alcohol hunger.  It's heavier in syns than usual because light cream cheese is no longer a healthy A but still well within my allowance so that's not a problem.
SW:  four syns for the Philadelphia lightest and little bit of Dijon mustard.

Ss:  trying for none but, realistically, I will stick with fruit as I do have some berries that could do with using up soon.

Saturday 13 April 2019

Saturday, 13-04-19

Good morning.

Today is one of those days where meal times are all disrupted and planning isn't really going to work.
I will have breakfast as usual - porridge and fruit as it's a cold, frosty morning.  Lunch will be on the go so fruit while dinner is a meal out so I have no idea as the menu changes and what's online is only a representation.

Back tomorrow!  :-)

Friday 12 April 2019

Friday, 12-04-19

Good morning
Yesterday's photo diary

A good start to the day with egg, tomato and a couple of tasty home made onion and chive potato waffles.  Very filling too.

This is what I took to Taster evening.  It seemed to go down well - there were none left by the end anyway.

I maintained this week.  I'm relieved about that; it could so easily have been a gain!  I can't go next week as it's Mum's funeral and I will be staying with Dad all week so I have a fortnight to reorganise my life and get things properly back on track again.  It's been very disrupted recently.

But first, I have three days of proper Slimming World.
Today's plans:
B:  yogurt and fruit
It'll probably be a Mullerlight and one of the last few apples I got from the market a few weeks ago (must get some more, they have been absolutely delicious)
SW  one syn

L:  beans on toast
. . . to use up the beans from a few days ago
SW:  one healthy extra B for the toast and half an A for the dairylea I use instead of butter.

D:  creamy garlic chicken (PoN p 119) and rice.
I haven't made anything from this book that I haven't really enjoyed yet.  It's quite a 'thing' on the Facebook PoN group so I'm looking forward to it.
SW:  up to four syns for the low fat cream cheese which used to count as a healthy extra A but no longer does so - shame!

Ss:  apple and easy peelers.

Thursday 11 April 2019

Thursday, 11-04-19

Good morning.
Yesterday's photo diary.
Breakfast was beans on toast so I didn't take a photo!

 Thye mushy pea soup for lunch turned out really well, especially with the cheese on top  (one syn's worth) which made a big difference to the overall flavour.
Dinner was tandoori chicken kebabs except that I didn't kebab the chicken, just baked it in a bit of spray oil on some parchment.  Quite spicy and very nice.

Today's menu plans:
B:  onion and chive waffle with fried egg and tomatoes
A bonus recipe from Pinch of Nom, the chives will be from the garden - lovely!
SW:  free

L:  natural yogurt and a selection of fruit
SW: free

D:  taster evening at group.  I'm doing some more of the tandoori chicken, I think, as it was rather tasty!

And fingers crossed for the weigh-in!

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Wednesday, 10-04-19

Good morning!
Yesterday's photos are all rather messy but I'll post them anyway!

 Breakfast:  the hash browns were home made and really rather nice.
 A wrap based pizza for lunch.  I had a fruit yogurt afterwards
Dinner:  apologies, I started eating before I remembered to take a photo.  It may look - er - not attractive but, believe me, it tasted great!
Dessert was natural yogurt and some fresh pineapple.

Today's plans:
B:  beans on toast
Simple, inexpensive and tasty.
SW:  the toast is one healthy extra B and I will use half of an A on the cheese spread I use instead of butter.

L:  mushy pea soup, fruit and natural yogurt
I shall cook onion, carrot, stock and a can of mushy peas for the soup.  I know it sounds a bit urgh but it is actually pretty tasty and dead easy.  Another inexpensive meal.
SW:  I will have 30g grated cheddar on top for a healthy extra A

G:  tandoori chicken kebab with yogurt mint sauce and salad
The kebab is from The Book, p48 and I searched online for a simple yogurt mint sauce.  It'd be nice inside a pitta but I've had my B for today so it will go nicely with a salad.
SW:  Looking at all the ingredients, it seems to be SW free - nice!

It's a taster evening tomorrow at group so I have to decide what to make.  Tonight's chicken is a contender, if it works out OK.  Fingers crossed.

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Tuesday, 09-04-19

Good morning.
Yesterday's photo diary:

Breakfast: maple and bacon French toast with fruit (PoN p 32)
 Dinner:  cheesy chicken pitta.
Just as nice as the steak one (PoN p 56) and just as filling.
Lunch was supposed to be a meal out but when we got there, the kitchen was closed because of staff absence so we walked home again and I cobbled together a quick lunch (ham salad for me).  I was disappointed but it was good for the Plan and we will go another time.

Today's plans:
B:  hash browns with bacon and egg (PoN p 36)
I've been wanting to trey their hash brown recipe for ages so I'm looking forward to it.  The recipe makes a lot so I will freeze some of them for re-heating at another point.  They're a useful thing to have around anyway.
SW:  free

L:  wrap pizza
An old favourite.  Make a sauce with tomato puree, a bit of ketchup, some seasonings and some fresh oregano (because it's growing nicely in the garden again now) and top it with onion, pepper, mushroom and some fresh pineapple (I know, purists shudder, but I like it!) before sprinkling over some grated cheese and baking in the oven.  The base is a wrap and I need to get some more wraps as I'm nearly out of them - ditto for pittas as well.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the wrap and both As for the cheese (don't like a pizza to be stingy on the cheese) while the ketchup is 1 syn per tbsp

D:  honey chilli chicken (PoN p70) with roasted med veg
This is just chicken baked in a sort of marinade of honey, chilli, stock cubes, soy sauce and garlic and I will roast some onion (wonky ones), red pepper (more wonky ones) and mushroom in garlic and spray oil to have with it.  The recipe says use boneless chicken thigh but I have breasts in the freezer so that's what I will use.  It looks as if it will be very flavoursome and tasty.
SW:  two and a half syns for the honey

I am so enjoying cooking from the Pinch of Nom book and haven't had a bad outcome yet.  The resulting dishes are all packed with flavour and really not complicated to make and, best of all, I already have pretty much all the ingredients in cupboard, fridge or freezer which makes them frugal in the sense that I'm not going out to buy extra things I may only ever use for that dish.
It's definitely worth the tenner I paid for it.

Monday 8 April 2019

Monday, 08-04-19

Good morning!
I'm home again after a rather gruelling (emotionally) weekend where food played all too great a part but, dear me, these things happen and now I am moving on again.  At the moment it's three steps forward and two back but life will even out again.  Just give it time and be understanding with myself so I'm not creating any unnecessary layers of guilt or self-recrimination.
That's how I feel right now, anyway.  I'll get there.

And, I have to say, last night's salmon, salad  and cheesy chips was just the ticket.

OK, so on to today's food and I can start playing with recipes again.  I have the new SW magazine and April's Easy Cook to use as well so, really, I'm spoilt for choice.

B:  Maple and bacon French toast with fruit (Pinch of Nom p 32)
This looks gorgeous but by using the bread as a healthy extra and measuring things carefully, it works really well with Slimming World.  Apart from the bacon, nothing is too expensive and even the bacon medallions are a YS item (I got lucky there)
SW:  2 syns for a tbsp of maple syrup and the healthy extra B

L:  chicken New Yorker with salad
I've promised to take Alex, my grandson who is now home from uni, to the Hungry Horse for lunch.  I looked up online and found a very complete nutrition chart that gives all the calories (yes, I'm reverting to calories for this) and my choice is around 450 calories - one just has to trust the data - which is OK for a lunch.  If it's nice, it will give me another idea for a home cooked meal. 
A diet coke will sort out the drinks.
I must be strong and not munch on Al's chips and onion rings!
And it is one of the less expensive choices too, not that anything is particularly shocking at the Hungry Horse, it's not that sort of place.
SW:  the salad and the tomato sauce will provide some speed and I won;t sorry about the rest, just remember that 450 calories is perfectly OK for a lunch.

D:  Soft cheese and chicken pitta, simple side salad
Remember last week I made the philly cheesesteak from the PoN book.  Well, I am making the same thing again but using shredded chicken from the freezer rather than steak, immediately making it more frugal
SW:  the pitta is 6 syns as I have already had my healthy B for the day, and the soft cheese will be a healthy extra A

Ss:  after all that, I think I had better aim for none and go for a walk this afternoon!

Sunday 7 April 2019

Sunday, 07-04-19

Good morning.
I'm happy to report that the M&S tinned steak and kidney was just as delicious as the chunky steak and Dad really enjoyed it, finishing off the gravy straight from the jug with a spoon!  I will get him some tins for his pantry.  We had it with mash, sprouts and broccoli and it was a lovely traditional meal.  And it was just one syn for me.

Today I go home this afternoon so the first two meals are away and the last at home.

B:  yogurt and fruit
It's very quick and easy and can be ready at a moment's notice so it works well.
SW:  if I have a Mullerlight, it will be one syn

L:  more of the bean and veg soup I made yesterday which has had the little bit of leftover veg from last night added to it.  It was delicious and Dad had seconds!
SW:  free

D:  salmon, SW chips, salad
The salmon will defrost quickly when I get home and the rest is easily made.  I haven't planned in any healthy extras so I think I will do cheesy chips for a treat.  Yum!
SW:  two healthy extra As for the cheese.

Ss:  I have remembered that you can have some dried fruit as a B and I do love nibbling at a few dried prunes.  I think the ones I have are OK for a healthy extra but will need to check when I get home!

Saturday 6 April 2019

Saturday, 06-04-19

Good morning!

In a comment yesterday, Jane commended the creamy pepper sauce recipe I said I was making for dinner and I have to agree with her.  It was really delicious and here's the recipe.  I'll definitely be making it again and Dad thoroughly enjoyed it too, finishing it off with the left over peas!
Jane, you mentioned a lemon and parsley sauce; could I trouble you for the recipe for that, please?

The lunchtime 'chickadillas' were also really tasty and extremely filling and satisfying.  Quite different to the steak ones but just as nice.  I must think of some other fillings that would work too.

I'm at Dad's now but, as I'm in charge of the cooking, this is what we're having.
B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
I used to struggle to think of different breakfasts but now, thanks to SW/Pinch of Nom, I have loads of different ideas, all on plan and all tasty.  Porridge remains a favourite though!
SW:  one healthy extra A (milk) and one B (40g oats)

L:  home made chunky bean and veg soup.
A favourite with us both, it's packed with speed veg but also has protein with the pulses and some carbs with the orzo so it's a very complete meal.  And it tastes so good!
SW:  free

D:  steak and kidney with mash, broccoli and sprouts
The steak and kidney is a can from M&S.  Their chunky steak was so good that I decided to try this one as well and see.  If it goes down well with Dad, I will get a few cans into his pantry!
SW:  one syn for half the can

Ss:  milk for my other healthy extra A, fruit

Friday 5 April 2019

Friday, 05-04-19

Good morning.

I have bad news and good news.  The bad news is two pounds on but I'm not in the least bit surprised.  The good news is that it is ONLY two pounds.  I was absolutely sure it was going to be an awful lot more after two weeks of stressed comfort eating.  So now I move on and, just maybe, that two pounds will be gone by next weigh-in.

So here are today's plans.
B:  Full English wrap (from the PoN book, p 24)
Basically, this is whatever you would cook for your breakfast wrapped inside a thin omelette made with one egg.  A simple idea but quite a clever one.  I shall have bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms.
SW:  half a healthy extra A for the 15g grated cheddar that is sprinkled over the filling before it's 'wrapped'.

L:  chicken quesadillas - or chickadillas!
I shall make these the same way as I did the steakadillas except that I will use some shredded chicken I have in the freezer and the sauce will be tomato based.
SW:  one healthy extra B and one and a half As.

D:  steak, chips, probably peas.
I will be back at Dad's and he loves a steak.  I've found a recipe for a creamy pepper sauce which I will try out.  You can see it here.  As always, scroll quickly down past the adverts to the recipe itself.
SW:  free

Ss:  fruit

Thursday 4 April 2019

Thursday, 04-04-19

Good morning.
Here's yesterday's photo diary.

A cooked breakfast (very filling indeed).

Philly cheesesteak (with Dairylea instead of Philly!!)  Bloomin' gorgeous!

And then for dinner I baked a potato, split it, added a couple of dollops of quark and 45g grated cheddar and had it with a veg and bean mixture from the freezer.  I scoffed the lot before I remembered I hadn't taken a photo.  Ooops.
And I finished dinner with a Mullerlight for one syn.
It was all very delicious!

Today's plans
B:  strawberry and vanilla waffles
That's one healthy extra B for the oats while the rest is free.

L:  yogurt and fruit
It's the usual weigh day one - nothing too heavy

D:  a couple of curries from the freezer with a bit of couscous soaked plain, I think.
SW: should be free.

Ss:  Must have some milk for a healthy extra A

And fingers crossed for the weigh in.  I know I have gained but it is all about how much really and I'm hoping that the last few days have reduced the deficit somewhat..

Wednesday 3 April 2019

Wednesday, 03-04-19

Good morning.
Yesterday really was a delicious day.

Breakfast pancakes.

Lunchtime frittata.

And a steak pasty with runner beans and sprouts in the evening

And a couple of easy peeler oranges!

It does feel good to be back on plan again.

Today's food plans:
B:  a cooked breakfast - bacon medallions. hm potato waffle (f), egg, mushrooms, tomatoes
SW - all free

L:  Philly cheesesteak (from the PoN book, p 56, watercress salad
I'm changing this a bit by using dairylea as half a healthy extra Ainstead of Philly light which is no longer a healthy extra and a wholemeal pitta (f) instead of a roll for the B because I have pitta and I don't have any rolls.

D:  Jacket potato with a beany mixture (f) and some grated cheddar, broccoli or salad (I'll see how I feel);  natural yogurt and berries
SW  The grated cheddar is the rest of my healthy extra As

Ss:  just fruit

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Tuesday, 02-04-19 and steakadillas

Good morning.

Well, the 'steakadillas' were absolutely delicious, really yum and this is what I did.

I sizzled some onion, red pepper and mushrool, all thinly sliced, in some spray oil until they were soft.  Then I added some garlic puree and some cajun seasoning and let it gently sizzle a bit more, stirring it well.
In the meanwhile, I opened a tin of M&S chunky steak (free on SW and actually very tasty indeed) and warmed it up so the gravy was more liquid before straining off half of the steak which I put in a bowl and mashed up a bit with a fork (the rest and the gravy will be for tomorrow).
On a WW wrap (healthy extra B) I covered half with 30g grated cheddar, then spread over the steak, then the spicy vegetables and then another 30g finely grated cheese (the cheese was both my healthy extra As) before folding the other half of the wrap over for a top.  I sprayed oil on the top, then turned it over and sprayed the other side, using a pastry brush to completely cover.
I then popped it in a heated frying pan until one side was browned before turning it over to brown the other side before removing it from the pan and cutting it into two 'quarters'.  Using a griddle pan would have given me those lovely 'char' lines, but I don't have one so I couldn't.
No photo - I forgot - but it was really lovely and very filling, eaten in my fingers like a toastie (which is what it is really).  I just had that, no extra veg, and it was plenty, filling me up all evening.

Now I'm home, I'm doing what I've wanted to do for a week or so and have planned some meals from the Pinch of Nom book.  I will give page numbers but won't be writing out the recipes.  If you like the sound of them, I'd encourage you to buy the book.  It is well worth it.

Today's menu is . . .
B:  apple and cinnamon pancakes (page 22)
SW:  this will be half of a healthy extra A and my B - well, actually, it is less than half an A but I'll call it that for convenience's sake.

L:  bacon, potato and spring onion frittata (page 26) with a salad
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese and if I have mayo, I will syn it.

D:  steak pasty, veg
I have to use up the rest of the steak left from yesterday so I'm synning a wrap.  The veg will be sprouts and another speed veg, maybe some roasted tomatoes.  The steak comes in a rather tasty gravy which is useful and I may freeze most of it for when a beefy gravy is called for.  It's not particularly frugal but it is lean and tender (and SW free) and great for when one just wants something meaty and easy.
SW:  six syns for the wrap

Ss:  trying for none - snacking has become a Very Bad Habit Indeed!

Monday 1 April 2019

Monday, 01-04-19

Good morning.

I had planned my food for the week (starting Sunday) but it won't now start until this evening as I go home after lunch.  The two days I haven't used can carry forward to the next plan.

So this is what I think I will have.
B:  yogurt and fruit
Quick, easy and tasty
SW:  one syn for the Mullerlight yogurt

L:  really now sure.  I have planned a salad for several days and then not had it so maybe today's the day!
SW:  free, I hope

D:  steak pasty with vegetables
A sort of pasty anyway.  I will use some M&S tinned chunky steak which is SW free and a wrap for the pastry.  In fact, thinking as I type, I might not make it a pasty, I might make a very quick, easy, UK type quesadilla thingy so I can get my healthy extra As in as well.  The veg will be whatever I have in that hasn't gone over or I know I have runner beans from last summer in the freezer.  I won't starve!
SW:  two healthy extra As, one B

Ss:  fruit