Friday 31 May 2019

Friday, 31-05-19

Good morning.  Sorry, I forgot to take any meal photos yesterday but the breakfast muffin was lovely!

A really positive weigh in last night.  Four pounds off!!  I'm only half a pound over what I was before it all went doolally when Mum died and I'm back into a healthy BMI.  To cap it all, I was slimmer of the week.  I'm so pleased and very relieved that the 'problem' earlier in the week seems to have resolved itself and I am more than glad it didn't derail me.

A lot of people were away last night, because it is half term, I guess, so the tasters were a bit thin on the ground.  What was there was very tasty though and I really appreciated the cherries and the easy peeler segments.

Today's plans:  definitely not on SP today
B:  bacon and egg muffin with baked beans
Yup, it was so tasty I am having it again with baked beans on the side as a treat.
SW:  six and a half syns for the muffin

L:  baked beans on toast
Because I have baked beans to use up!
SW:  one healthy extra A for grated cheese over the beans and one B for the wholemeal toast

D:  eating out
I'm taking my Dad out for dinner so goodness knows.  The Millstream does fairly typical pub meals so whatever I have will probably be off plan and the wine certainly will be.  However, it will be just one meal.

Ss:  I will try for just water but . . .

Body Magic:  I'm having an early morning swim and I promised Dad I would help him with some weeding so I might do some of that today.

Later edit:  I've decided I'm having a sirloin steak with vegetables and some sweet potato fries plus a glass of red.  We never have dessert or starter anyway.  It'll probably top the syns but not too badly and it's what I really fancy!

Thursday 30 May 2019

Thursday, 30-05-19

Good morning!

Breakfast was a big success and I posted separately about it yesterday.  Definitely one to go on the 'regular breakfast' list!

Lunch was heated up leftovers with a salad and I honestly think it was even tastier than the day before.  I've also done a separate post on the turkey tomato gratin

When it came to dinner time, I really didn't fancy what I'd planned or maybe I just didn't fancy making the effort.  Either way, danger alert!
So I went a bit more expensive and opened a can of M&S steak in gravy and had that.  Just that, nothing else.  Hardly balanced, I know, but it really satisfied and I wasn't in the least bit tempted to nibble later on in the evening. so worth it as a one off.  It's 'free' on Slimming World so must be low fat, high lean protein, etc.

Today . . .
B:  bacon and egg muffin
Sounds naughty but it really isn't.  I will use a toasted Morrisons wholemeal muffin which ought to be a healthy extra B but isn't (booooo) so I'm not going completely SP today plus a SW fried egg and a couple of bacon medallions, together with some of my home made, syn free bbq sauce.
SW:  six and a half syns for the muffin (more boos and a few hisses)  :-)

L:  fruit and yogurt
My usual weighday lunch.  Probably an apple and some easy peelers with natural yogurt sweetened with a bit of stevia.
SW:  free

D:  taster evening
It's a taster evening at group so goodness knows but it will all be free or almost free foods (because that's the rule) and I do enjoy trying a variety of foods.

I'm taking sausages and bbq dip.
The dip is the one I made the other day.  It lasts for ages and improves with keeping so should work very well.
As for the sausages, I bought a pack of Heck chicken chipolatas yesterday which are half a syn for two sausages.  What I intend to do is twist and cut each chipolata into three little ones before cooking them so you get twelve for one syn.  They're not wonderfully flavoursome but should be great dipped in the bbq sauce and I might dust them with some bbq spice mix before spraying and baking them.

I think I've lost a bit since the terrible weigh in on Monday so fingers crossed, please!

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Recipe: turkey tomato gratin SP

A great way of using up roast turkey - I will use this straight after Christmas
You will need a batch of this sauce - you don't use all of it and it keeps well in the fridge.
My changes - I used a carton of passata and I added soy sauce instead of the Buffalo hot sauce because I had one but not t'other.
You don't HAVE to add the quark but it makes it lovely and creamy.

Ingredients to make a huge portion for one or one mains portion and a smaller leftovers lunch portion.
some sliced turkey
fry light
some red, yellow or orange pepper
a mushroom or two
a portion of sauce as above mixed well with a dollop of quark
two small slices wholemeal bread (a healthy extra B), zizzed to make breadcrumbs
30g very finely grated fresh parmesan or non branded 'hard Italian cheese' (one healthy extra A)
some garlic granules
salt and pepper

Prehat oven to about 180C
Spray the bottom of an ovenproof dish.  Lay the turkey slices evenly on the bottom of the dish.
chop/slice the mushroom and pepper and sizzle them in some spray oil until starting to soften before laying them over the turkey slices.

Gently pour over the tomato sauce.  You only need enough to cover.

Mix the breadcrumbs, the grated Italian cheese, some garlic granules and a bit of seasoning.
Just before popping it into the oven, spoon the breadcrumb mixture over the sauce and carefully stpead out.  Spray with fry light or equivalent.

Pop it into the oven to bake until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbling at the edges (arounbd 20 mins or so)

Serve with cooked veg or a salad.

Recipe: beany bacon (and sausage) breakfast bake SP

The recipe comes from here, the wonderful Pinch of Nom.  Scroll quickly down to the recipe so dodge the adverts!
Their recipes are well worth investigating; they're fantastic and so varied.

Here's my version.

Ingredients to serve one:
one egg, beaten
*30g parmesan or non specific equivalent (Sainsbury's value one is good) - one healthy extra
a splash of milk (not enough to be worth counting)
**1/4 can baked beans (I know they are not SP friendly, see below)
1 large or 2 small mushrooms, sliced
one or two bacon medallions
2 Heck chicken chipolatas - half a syn
fry light

Turn the oven to 190C
Crack the egg into a bowl and beat well.  Add the finely grated cheese, a splash of milk, pepper and a titchy bit of salt as the cheese has some salt.

Spray a pan and heat.  Cut the bacon into bits.  Take the skin off the sausages and cut into mall lengths.  Fry the bacon and sausage in the pan and when they are pretty much done, add the mushroom slices.

Spray round an appropriately sized oven proof dish.
Spread the beans over the bottom, then the contents of the pan.  Then pout over the egg mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed.

Pop the dish on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 20 mins or so until it is lovely and brown.

Eat immediately.

*  You could use any one healthy extras worth of grated cheese.  In this, I like a parmesan type as you get so much more flavour for your healthy extra and Sailsbury's Savers hard Italian cheese works really well in cooked dishes.

**Now that baked beans are not allowed on SP days, you can work round it.  I made a batch of Pinch of Nom's bbq sauce (thoroughly recommend it) and mixed a bit of it with some haricot beans (I had some in the freezer but you can use some from a can) to make a delicious alternative.

Wednesday, 29-05-19

Good morning!
Yesterday's dinner was really nice and I will post about it separately but basically you layer cooked and sliced turkey, softened pepper and mushroom, a tomato sauce made creamy with quark and a topping of a mix of wholemeal breadcrumbs, finely grated parmesan (or equivalent), garlic granules and black pepper.  Spray the top and bake.

A not very pretty photo of what it looks like inside.

It was delicious and there was enough that I had a third left which will be today's lunch.

Today's plans:  I'm sticking to SP as much as I possibly can
B:  breakfast bakes
These are muffin-y type things - breakfast stuff in an omelette, baked in a dish or muffin tin.  They contain baked beans which are no longer OK for SP days so I am going to get some haricot beans out of the freezer, add to them some of the spicy sauce I made yesterday and Bob's your uncle - home made baked beans!  SP legal too.
I've just rootled in the freezer and found some bacon bits (great) and also a couple of heck sausages , two for half a syn, so I'll add that to the general mix - it's basically a cooked breakfast wrapped in egg.
The original is a Pinch of Nom recipe, here.
SW:  one healthy extra A for some cheese and half a syn for the sausages

L:  what's left of the turkey tomato gratin from yesterday with a simple salad, apple
I must remember to post this recipe because it really was surprisingly nice.
SW:  It's a bit complicated because I allowed for the healthy extras yesterday.  I think that, given it's a smaller portion and also that I'm eating it within a 24 hour window, I'm just not going to worry!  It may not be 'legal' but it is sensible.

D:  syn free smoked salmon and broccoli quiche, coleslaw
Another Pinch of Nom recipe, this, and I have some smoked salmon bits in the freezer so it works well.  I will have to get some broccoli as I'm out but it's something I do like to have around anyway.
SW:  one syn for superlight mayo to make the coleslaw and, if I add some cheese (the recipe uses quark), that's my other healthy extra A

Ss:  water

Body Magic:  A walk to Morrisons and back with some shopping.

It's a bit of an eggy day today but not to worry, eggs are good!

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Tuesday, 28-05-19

Good morning, everyone.
I feel like I'm wading through treacle at the moment.  Trying so hard but my home scales aren't showing any loss and even a bit of a gain - and this is over several days using the same scales.  How can that be?  Where's the motivation gone?  Actually, where's the weight loss gone???  Aaaarrrggghhh.

I think I will go SP for three days and see if that makes any difference

Oh, well, here's today's plans.
B:  fruit and vanilla yogurt
SW:  free

L:  turkey and veg soup, apple
I made enough for three portions yesterday so I had one, one for today and one in the freezer.
SW:  free

D:  turkey tomato gratin with a side salad
I got the recipe on the Love Food Hate Waste site and am adapting it only slightly to home make and jazz up the sauce.  I will leave off the cream/creme fraiche and use quark instead and hope it doesn't split too badly although, if it does, it will still taste fine.
Basically, you lay turkey slices in an ovenproof dish, then add sauteed peppers and mushrooms, then pour over the tomato sauce and finally to with a breadcrumb and cheese mix.  It says drizzle with oil but I will give the top a few sprays of frylight.
SW:  30g parmesan for one healthy extra A and one small slice of wholemeal bread for one B

Ss:  water - only water

Body magic:  an early morning swim

(Apologies for the whinge at the top.  Sometimes it helps!)

Monday 27 May 2019

Monday, 27-05-19

Good morning.
Some of yesterday's food.
Lovely fruit with vanilla flavoured yogurt the home made way.  Delicious.

And lunch.  Very filling and delicious.

I've posted both recipes as separate posts.

Today's food plans.
B:  bacon, egg, tomatoes and mushrooms
SW:  free

L:  turkey and veg soup
I was going to have a turkey salad wrap but rather fancy soup instead, especially as I have plenty of veg.
SW: it should be free 

D:  sliced cold turkey, cheesy chips, salad; Mullerlight.
Yes, it is turkey overload but I want to use up lots of the roast turkey from yesterday rather than freezing it.
SW:  one or maybe two healthy extra As for the cheese.

Ss:  water, apple, easy peeler

Sunday 26 May 2019

Recipe: spicy chicken rice one pot

Ingredients to make a large portion for one or a smaller portions for two
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
a couple of spring onions, prepped and cut into little bits
about two inches of carrot, peeled and chopped
a quarter of a red pepper, deseeded and chopped
4 or 5 button mushrooms, halved or quartered
one chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks
spray oil
garlic puree
a can of chopped tomatoes
a couple of bay leaves
couple of sprigs of thyme
some oregano, chopped
(or add dried herbs of your own choice)
white wine stock pot (or use a chicken one instead)
a pinch of red chilli flakes
black pepper
some peas, sweetcorn and edemame beans (all from freezer)
some tomato puree
a sprinkle of salt to taste

half a pack of microwaveable rice - I used wholegrain and freekeh

Heat some spray oil in a largish pot
Add the onion, spring onion and carrot, turn down the heat and let them gently fry intil starting to soften.
Add the peppers and continue for a few minutes.
Turn up the heat, add the chicken and a few more spray of oil and fry, stirring, until the chicken has changed colour.
Add a squidge of garlic puree, some pepper, the herbs, the chilli flakes, the chopped tomatoes, the stock pot and the peas, corn and edamame beans with about half a can of water, bring to a simmer, cover and let it gently bubble away for around 20 minutes, then turn up the heat, take the lid off and let it bubble more to evaporate some of the liquid. stirring now and again as needed.
Taste and add a bit of salt, if needed.  I find stock pots are salty enough.
Add the tomato puree to own taste, add the rice and stir well.  If there's still too much liquid, just let it continue to simmer until it's about right.

Serve piping hot with a dollop of yogurt if you want.  Delicious!

SW info.  Using 'ordinary' rice (white or wholegrain) this is free.  I have no idea about the wholegrain and freekeh mix as it's not on the SW datebase, unfortunately, but it can't be horrendous.

Recipe: custardy yogurt

Ingredients for one
100 g natural yogurt
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp stevia (or other sweetener)

Put the yogurt in a bowl.  Add the vanilla paste and the stevia and mix well.

Serve on fruit, porridge, waffles, etc.  The vanilla gives it a custardy flavour that's really tasty.

Sunday, 26-05-19

Good morning.

Yesterday turned out to be a funny old day.
I had a late breakfast after swim and some shopping.  Then I settled down to read and knit when Beth bounced in.  She had the opportunity to take a table at a craft fair at the last minute and would I like to go with her.  Obviously, yes, I would.  So I put the chicken in the fridge and grabbed some fruit for my linch.

When I got home afterwards, I was quite hungry so I got out one of those packs of microwave rice - wholegrain and freekeh, as it happened - added the veg to the keema and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It's the first time I've had freekeh in any shape or form and it's very tasty!
I still had the bread as well and a yogurt.
And that filled me up for the rest of the evening.
I'm pretty sure I stayed within plan, despite the disturbances

So, on to today . . .
B:  fruit and yogurt
SW: free

L:  chicken and rice
I have the chicken breast which I MUST have today and I have the other half of the rice and freekeh to use up as well so - chicken and rice.  I'll probably cook some veg, add some chopped tomatoes and the chicken, cut up, and let it simmer away with garden herbs before adding the rice at the last minute.  A very easy one pot sort of thingy.
SW:  should be free

D:  roast turkey, new potatoes and roasted vegetables, hm vanilla yogurt and strawberries
Before Beth came round, I had started thawing a YS turkey breast roast so I must have that today and I noticed that I have quite a lot of veg - carrot, onion, parsnip and sweet potato so a mixed roasted veg  traybake sounds about right and will be very easy to do.
The yogurt is just my natural yogurt with a bit of stevia and vanilla bean paste mixed in - I think it's delicious.
I will use up the rest of the turkey through the first part of next week - turkey pasta, turkey salad wrap, turkey frittata, turkey sarnie or toastie, turkey and veg rice . . . loads of ideas!
SW:  if I have some sauce, I will syn it but the rest should be free

Ss:  fizzy water, fruit

Body Magic:  some gardening

Ooops.  No healthy extras.  Well, the yogurt may not officially be a healthy extra but packs a calcium punch all the same and I'm sure the rice plus all those vegetables will provide a decent amount of fibre so I'm not too concerned.

Saturday 25 May 2019

Saturday, 25-05-19

Good morning!

Yesterday's breakfast
Very delicious, as always.  Good old waffle maker.

To go with the frittata at lunchytime yesterday, I made a tomato and onion salad.  Earlier, I thinly sliced a small onion and left it to gently pickle in two tbsp balsamic vinegar and about half a tsp of stevia.  Just before serving, I sliced two tomatoes onto the plate and spooned over the drained onion and it was surprisingly delicious.  I might try doing a bit of cabbage the same way.

One thing I really do like about Slimming World is the flexibility.
I had some McCain's gastro chips (don't ask - a moment of weakness a while ago) in the freezer.  I love them but they are rather naughty!  Looking them up, they are six syns per 100g so, as I can have up to 15 syns a day (but usually don't as you know) I decided to have some and syn them.  So twelve syns and 200g of chips later, plus salmon and peas, but no seafood sauce, I was smugly satisfied for the rest of the evening.  Yay me!

Today's food plans:
B: fruit (from freezer) and yogurt
SW:  free

L:  sweet and sour chicken skewers with a salad, apple
This is from one of the SW cookery books, Free Food on the Go, and, as it says, it's free.  The chicken is from the freezer.
SW:  if I have mayo, I will syn it

D:  turkey keema (from the freezer) with a pitta, fruit yogurt
I'm going to bulk out the keema with some chopped new potatoes and some extra veg and have it in a bowl with a dollop of natural yogurt and a wholemeal pitta to dunk - or I might make that a fresh baked 'flat roll' as I described some days ago.  It should be nice either way.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the pitta

Ss:  sparkling water, maybe another fruit yogurt for one syn

Body Magic:  definitely a swim, maybe a walk and/or some gardening.

Friday 24 May 2019

Recipe: frittata

Ingredients to make one frittata that does between two and four portions, depending on how greedy hungry you are
4 eggs
a dollop of quark
pinch of mustard
a squidge of garlic puree (or a shake of garlic granules)
60g finely grated cheese
salt and pepper
spray oil
a selection of vegetables which, I think, MUST include some potato (pre cooked or leftover).  For the one in the photo I used onion, pepper, mushroom and potato
Some bits of cooked meat, if you want - not essential.  I used some ham.

It also helps to have a small to medium sized frying pan that can go under the grill or in the oven

If you're using the oven, preheat to about 180C

Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the quark, mustard powder, garlic puree, a bit of salt and some pepper and about 20g of the cheese and whisk well, using a hand held electric whisk, if possible.  Cover and set aside.
Peel and slice a small onion, de-seed and chop half a red, yellow or orange pepper and slice three or four mushrooms.
Spray the pan with fry light or equivalent, heat, add the onion, stir and saute slowly until the onion is softening, stirring now and again.  Then add the pepper and mushroom and continue cooking for about five minutes.
Finally, add any meat and the cooked potato, sliced and let them all heat up.
Pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle over the rest of the grated cheese.
To cook, either . . .
pop the pan into the oven for about twenty minutes or so until cooked through
or . . .
keep the pan on the hob until the base is cooked and browning (carefully lift it up to take a peep now and again) and then, when it's almost done, pop the pan under the grill to cook on top and brown the cheese.

Serve either hot or cold, cut into wedge-slices.

Really, you can use whatever you have in this.  Peas, sweetcorn, asparagus, roasted veg, tomatoes, chickpeas - whatever you have.  Ditto with seasonings - some herbs would work nicely. 
Just make sure everything is cooked before you pour over the egg.

I suppose the quark isn't essential but I think it adds flavour and a certain 'creaminess' to the finished frittata.  It's SW free and adds a bit of protein.

SW info:  Just two healthy extra As for the cheese.  However, not suitable for an SP day due to the potato (which I do think is essential).

Friday, 24-05-19

Good morning.

Yesterday's frittata was really delicious and I am very glad I've got t'other half for today.
Instead of doing it on hob and under grill, I slammed it in the oven for twenty minutes or so and it was lovely and hassle free.

Today's plans:
B:  citrus waffles with fruit and yogurt
The fruit my possibly include the two strawberries that are ripe outside.  Yum
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  frittata with salad, apple
The frittata is leftovers from yesterday - planned leftovers, I mean.  Depending on how hot it is outside, I might have it with salad or I might 'fry' some tomatoes instead to up the speed content.  Not that it is low in speed anyway but you know what I mean.
SW:  one healthy extra A for cheese

D:  salmon, peas and SW chips, Mullerlight
. . . just because I fancy it and I have everything in already.  An easy peasy meal.
SW:  the main is free unless I have a tbsp of seafood sauce which would be two and a half syns and the dessert will be one syn.

Ss:  water

Body Magic:  I will be walking around town this morning and maybe doing a spot of gardening this afternoon.  Nice.

Thursday 23 May 2019

Thursday, 23-05-19

Good morning.

I was pleasantly shocked last night at Group to have half a pound loss.  Yes, I know it is 'only' half a pound, but after a bad weekend I was so sure I would have a big gain that I almost didn't go which is why I didn't mention it in yesterday's entry!  I feel very motivated now and I have a weekend at home and no stumbling blocks planned over the coming week (e.g. meals out), so fingers crossed.

Today's plans:
B:  fruit (from the freezer) with yogurt which I will have when I come home from swimming
SW: free

L:  ham and veg frittata with salad.
I have loads of eggs at the moment so frittata is just the ticket.  I'll have half today and the other half tomorrow.
SW:  one healthy extra A for cheese in and on it (actually two but half tomorrow)

D:  caribbean turkey and veg stew with couscous
The stew is from the freezer and I intend to heat it in a pan and add some couscous to the sauce as it gently bubbles.  For my healthy extra B I am either adding some dried apricots to the mix (if it seems to work) or I will have them as nibbles)
SW:  one heB for the dried apricots

Ss:  water, apple maybe.

Body magic:  swimming and then some gardening

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Wednesday, 22-05-19

Good morning.

Re the turkey koftas I had yesterday - very flavoursome but also very dry.  I don't think I will be having them again, not in that form, anyway.  Better to use the mince to make a keema curry or similar.
They looked nice though.

Today is about using up stuff in the freezer - my frugal strategy for today.  I've just braved a rather chilly morning to pop out the the shed and have brought in a bowl of fruit, a chicken curry and some savoury rice.

Today's plans are:
B:  fruit and natural yogurt
The fruit is raspberries, pineapple and cherries and it has to thaw first!  When it's thawed, there's always a nice fruity puddle that mingles really well with the yogurt.
Also, I have discovered that if I add some vanilla bean paste and some stevia to yogurt, you get an almost custard flavour that is really very nice.
SW:  free

L:  syn free savoury rice
. . . to which I might add some fresh cooked onion, pepper and mushroom to up the speed content
SW:  free

D:  chicken curry and runner beans
The runner beans (also from the freezer but cooked from frozen) are instead of rice and I might add some Jersey royals to the curry as I have some and don't want to waste them.
SW:  free

Ss:  water

Body magic:  probably more gardening.  I have to scrape weeds out from between the paving slabs and that will involve bending and stretching and squatting/standing, so I reckon it counts.

I'm aware that I haven't planned in any healthy extras today.  If needed, I will have a bit of snacky cheese, etc and it's nice to know that there's the space for this, if necessary.

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Tuesday, 21-05-19

Good morning!
Yesterday's lunch was very nice.  I made the wholemeal bread myself (using a bag of dough mix from Aldi so it was not as frugal as totally home made but it wasn't bad) and followed advice to weigh the dough out in 70g bits so that when baked it would be 60g (to make a healthy extra B) and that's pretty much what it was.  I rolled the dough out to very flat, pitta sort of shaped and when it baked I had a wider, flatter roll which was perfect for filling.  I baked a few (and froze them) and have frozen the others as dough so I can use them as a proper pizza base, if I want, or as a very flat roll.
I will definitely do this again but making my wholemeal dough from scratch - well worth the effort and extremely good value.

Looks nice, doesn't it?  It tasted great too.

Today's plans:
B:  cooked breakfast
bacon, egg, SW sausage, mushroom - yum.
SW:  free

L:  ham and cheese pizza, salad, coleslaw, apple
 - using one of the bread pizza bases as described above with a home made tomato sauce (the oregano is growing madly now), ham, onion, pepper and mushroom
SW:  one healthy extra B (the base), two healthy extra As (the cheese) and one syn for some mayo to make a bit of coleslaw

D:  turkey kofta kebabs, tzatziki, salad with syn free dressing. yogurt
A recipe from here.  I won't have the pitta, I'll just miss it out.  I probably won't faff around with kebab sticks either, I will just make patties because I'm lazy!
SW:  as far as I can tell, it's free apart from one syn for the yogurt.  Nice!

Ss:  water

Body Magic:  Just a walk.  It was going to be a swim but I have to be home around eight this morning and later on it will be more crowded and I will be busy.

Monday 20 May 2019

Monday, 20-05-19 (edited)

Good morning!
I've edited this because things changed!

B:  fruit
I had two easy peelers, an apple and a ferw grapes and very nice and refreshing it was too!
SW:  free

L:  ham salad pitta with extra salad, yogurt
Just what it says really.
SW:  one healthy extra B, two syns for some mayo and one syn for the yogurt

D:  frittata, baked beans
A meal of leftovers so nice and frugal!  Again, just what it says.  I'll warm up the frittata.
SW:  two healthy extra As for the cheese on and in the frittata.

Ss:  water

Body Magic:  A short walk.

I think this is now the definitive plan.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Sunday, 19-05-19

Good morning.
No plans today as I am off to Dad's for the day and overnight.  Back tomorrow!

Saturday 18 May 2019

Saturday, 18-05-19

Good morning.

No photos, sorry, but I did enjoy yesterday's pizza chicken.  What was different from the hunter's chicken (apart from the sauce itself) was that I hammered out the chicken and fried it (in spray oil with a bit of salt and pepper) before doing the layering and baking.  I added less sauce and just spread it over the chicken (like a pizza) before covering and baking, adding the cheese fifteen minutes in when I turned the chips.  It was really lovely.

Today's plans are a bit vague.
B: fruit and yogurt
Lunch will be earlier than usual so I'm having a lighter breakfast
SW:  free

L:  frittata and salad
I'm having two friends around for an early lunch before we set out into town to see a matinee performance of Oliver, given by a local society.  The frittata will contain new potato (Jersey royals - yum), onion, mushroom, baby corn, peas and red pepper as well as the eggs and a topping of grated cheese
SW:  should be one or maybe one and a half healthy extra As unless I have mayo whuch will be half a syn per tbsp

D:  this is where it all falls down because we might stay in town for an early dinner and I have no idea where we will end up or what I will have,  So it's all in the laps of the gods really.  I know there will be no alcohol as we have to bus home and then J has to drive home.

Hopefully, it won't be too bad!

Friday 17 May 2019

Friday, 17-05-19


I have some photos today.
I did a separate post about breakfast - souffle omelette.

Lunch was a ham salad roll with loads of extra speed.  It was good.

And I was so rushed at dinner time, I didn't take a photo.

Today's plans:
B:  strawberry and elderflower waffles (oooh, get me) with fruit and yogurt
I have strawberry and elderflower essences so thought I'd give it a whirl!  It could be nasty!!!
SW:  one healthy extra B

L:  beans, skinny burger (no bun), potato waffle (toasted), apple
Just what it says on the box,
SW:  two syns for the potato waffle

D:  pizza chicken, SW chips, salad; Mullerlight
The pizza chicken is basically hunter's chicken but with a pizza sauce rather than a barbecue sauce.
SW:  two healthy extra As for cheese and half a syn for the Mullerlight

Ss:  water, apple

Body Magic:  a swim

Thursday 16 May 2019

Recipe: souffle omelette

(with tomatoes and mushrooms for breakfast)
This is quite plain and very simple, healthy and economical and I thoroughly enjoyed eating it.

Ingredients for one.
two eggs
some mushrooms and some tomatoes
spray oil

Prep the tomatoes and mushrooms - I just halve the tomatoes and slice the mushrooms.
Spray a medium pan with fry light, pop in the tomatoes and mushrooms and let them sizzle, turning now and again, until done to your liking.  Keep them warm on a plate in the oven.

While they are cooking, prepare the souffle.  Separate two eggs, whites in one (absolutely clean) bowl and yolks in another.
Whisk the whites until they are firm and fluffy - I use a hand held electic whisk, dead easy.  Then whisk up the yolks until the are pale and bubbly looking.  Tip the yolks into the whites and very gently cut and fold until it's all combined.  It doesn't take very long.
When the vegetables are done and out of the pan, spray it again and tip in the souffle, spreading the top so that it is evenly distributed.  Grind over a bit of salt and pepper.  Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for about five minutes.  Then take off the lid and feel the top - when it's done, it will feel firm.   I popped mine under the grill for a few moments, just to be sure.
Gently fold it over and serve straight away.

You can, of course, add cheese to this but I needed my healthy extras for other things and anyway, just as it comes was lovely.  I reckon I could probably have piled the tomatoes and mushrooms on top before folding in half to make a sort of sandwich thing and I might try that another time.

Thursday, 16-05-19

Good morning.
It was a maintain this week - a bit surprising as I was sure I'd lost a bit but there you go! 

I didn't take any photos yesterday so it's straight on to today's plans.
B:  omelette with mushrooms and tomatoes
Jennifer suggested I vary the content of my breakfasts a bit more so I will.  I might make it a souffle omelette if I can be bothered (and can break the shell leaving the yolks intact)
SW:  free

L:  ham salad roll, carrot and celery batons; apple
Morrisons had some likely looking ham on special yesterday so I got some.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the roll (or pitta or wrap), 1/2 syn for some cheese spread instead of butter and 1 syn for some mayo

D:  gardeners pie, carrots; yogurt
What I made yesterday was enough for two so I will finish it off for dinner tonight rather than freeze it.  It was very nice so it's no hardship!
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese in and on the topping and one syn for the yogurt if I have a Mullerlight.

Ss:  water

Body Magic:  might be a swim or maybe a walk, I haven't decided yet.

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Wednesday, 15-05-19

Morning, everyone!
Yesterday's photos:

Breakfast pancakes and they were lovely.
The recipe as it stands is neutrally flavoured.  I decided to scrub the planned bacon and go sweet so, to the basic recipe, I added a gloop of vanilla bean paste and some stevia.

At some point, I will make one bigger, neutral or spiced pancake and top it with savouries, like those pancakes you can get in the pancake shop at Center Parcs.  It will make a lovely lunch or dinner with a salad.
Here's the recipe link if you're interested.

Lunch was turkey and veg soup from way back when and frozen.  It looked nothing special but tasted lovely (and cleared a bit more space in the freezer.  Woohoo!)

A simple dinner but very acceptable.  Steak, mushroom sauce and sweet potato chips.

Today's plans:
B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
I've said porridge but it might turn into waffles - all it takes is the addition of an egg and a bit of baking powder.
SW:  One healthy extra B for the oats

L:  fruit and yogurt
It's weigh day (eeeek) so this is the usual lunch.
SW:  free unless I have a mullerlight, in which case it will be one syn

D:  Gardener's pie
I have a tomato and vegetable mix in the freezer and, to that, I will add some pulses and top it with some potato and swede mash.  I can get it all prepped earlier so when I get home from group it can just go in the oven for half an hour and hey presto!  I'll probably have some peas with it.
SW:  one healthy extra A in the form of dairylea to mix with the mash topping

Ss:  Water

Body Magic:  A walk.

Weigh in this evening.  I truly have no idea although I do feel a bit lighter.  Mind over matter, maybe?  I'll know in just over twelve hours.

Monday 13 May 2019

Tuesday, 14-05-19

Good morning!

Yesterday's photos
(I ened up swapping lunch and diiner round)

I didn't take a photo of breakfast - there's only so many plates of waffles, fruit and yogurt one can post!

Although those little taco 'boats' are small, two of them, filled and with a salad were very filling and I thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

Dinner (hash brown pizza) surprised me.  I really wasn't sure about it but it was surprisingly tasty, the main 'problem' being I wanted more cheese so spend a few of my syn on some!
And I forgot to take a photo, sorry.  Maybe next time.

Here's the link to the recipe (on Pinch of Nom)

Today's plans:
B:  fluffy American style pancakes with 'maple syrup', bacon and blueberries
OK, that's the idea but I might cut the bacon and keep it just sweet.  The 'maple syrup' is a very low calories version that might be an abomination and, if it is, I have wasted my cash!
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats unless I go for proper maple syrup in which case it will also be two syns per tbsp.  Also half a syn for the baking powder that makes them 'fluffy'

L:  Home made soup (from the freezer) with a grated cheese topping, apple
I need to brave the freezer before I know what sort of soup but I iknow it will be SW free because they all are!
SW:  healthy extra A for the cheese

D:  steak, sweet potato chips, cheesy mushroom sauce
The YS steak which was lost and then found - maybe I should call it the prodigal steak!
SW:  the other A for 80h dairylea to make the sauce

Ss:  water

Body Magic:  a swim

Monday, 12-05-19

Good morning
Yesterday's meal photos.
Breakfast:  lemon and blueberry baked oats with fruit and natural yogurt.  It filled the gap left after a swim first thing.

and lunch:  I know it doesn't look much but it was surprisingly satisfying!

I forgot to photo dinner but it was also very nice although I won't bother doing the roasties that way again.

Today's plans:
B:  vanilla waffles with fruit and yogurt
This (or variations thereof) has become a firm favourite and I make no apologies for having it more than once a week.  It's pretty economical, filling, healthy, has plenty of speed and makes me feel I'm having something special.  Win win!
I have quite a lot of frozen fruit so I think I must start using that up rather than getting more fresh in.  In three or four weeks my strawberries will be starting to ripen and then I will be in frugal fruit heaven for a short while!
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  syn free hash brown pizza, salad
This is a Pinch of Nom recipe which I want to try.  As it says, the base is their version of hash browns which I know is really nice.  I will use what's left of my bbq sauce to spread over and have vegetable toppings of onion, pepper and mushroom.
SW:  one healthy extra A for some cheese over the top

D:  Chilli and cheese in taco boats
You know those tacos that are sort of boat shaped?  Well, them, filled with some spicy mince (from the freezer) and topped with cheese.  I might have cooked veg or I might have salad - I'll see how I feel nearer the time.
SW:  the other A for the cheese and four syns in total for two 'boats'.

Ss:  water

BM:  a walk to school and back this afternoon.  No swim today.

Sunday 12 May 2019

Sunday, 12-05-19

Good morning.

Yesterday's photos
Lovely egg, tomatoes and hash browns with a puddle of hm bbq sauce - washed down with proper cafetiere coffee, it was just the ticket after a swim at the gym,

Dinner:  Beefburger with chips and salad and very tasty it was too.

(apologies for the light - don't know what went wrong there)

Today's meal plans.
B:  lemon and blueberry baked oats
A favourite, quite inexpensive and the blueberries do seem very sweet and delicious at the moment.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  beans, SW sausage, potato waffle and grated cheese
All sorts of bits and bobs from the freezer - there's a little bit of space now in the freezer but a long way to go still.  I'm finding my food bills are lower, of course.
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese and two syns for a Morrisons potato waffle (toasted)

D:  roast pork, oxo roasties, vegetables; yogurt and fruit
I fancied a roast dinner today!  The pork is a mini joint I had in the freezer and the roasties are a recipe we were talking about at SW Group on Wednesday.  Basically, you do them the same as the usual roasties except that when you do the roasting part, you pour in some oxo in water.  I will be using either chicken stock powder or Marigold vegetable bouillon, not oxo, but the principle's the same.  You then spray the tops of the potatoes with oil and roast until all the liquid has evaporated and it's supposed to produce flavoursome, soft and fluffy roasties. 
I find that normal SW roasties can be a bit dry so maybe this will make a difference.  I'll let you know how they go.
There should be some pork left over for another day, I hope.
SW:  should be free unless I have some cranberry sauce with the pork in which case I will need to syn it.

Ss: water, easy peeler, apple (but mostly water)

Body Magic:  body magic is what SW calls exercise.  A bit fancy but it's meant to cover all forms of exercise, not just organised ones;  it covers things like taking the stairs instead of the lift and so on.  I've decided to start recording any planned body magic as it's just too easy to take the lazy option without some accountability.
Anyway -I hope to have another swim today.

As I mentioned above, there's a little bit of space in the freezer now.  Only a little bit, I have to admit, but better than no space at all.  Already things are easier to find - several months ago I saw a pack of two fillet steaks hugely reduced (and I mean hugely!) on YS so I bought it, rewrapped the steaks, froze them and promptly lost them in the depths of the freezer!  I found them again the other day and have planned one of them into the week's eating (Tuesday, I believe).

Saturday 11 May 2019

Saturday, 11-05-19

Good morning.
Yesterday's photos:

A jolly nice breakfast.  I added a spoonful of the barbecue sauce I made on Thursday as a sort of ketchup and it worked really, really well.  It was a sort of cross between ketchup and brown sauce and I will remember this for the future.
I wonder if my Dad would like it.  I must try him and see.

Lunch:  a simple BLT pitta, lined with light mayo.  Delicious!

Dinner:  fish pie.  It doesn't look great, does it.  In fact, it was delicious and so simple to make.

Today's menu plans:
B:  home made hash browns with egg and tomatoes and I might add some of that home made sauce as well.  It's so tasty!
The hash browns are a Pinch of Nom recipe; I made some a week or so ago and froze what I didn't need.
SW:  free

L:  a portion of syn free home made vegetable soup from the freezer, topped with 30g grated cheddar, apple
To avoid scoffing at a block of cheddar, I always fine grate the lot and freeze it.  It takes the temptation out of the kitchen.
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese

D:  a M&S skinny burger  with grated cheese and my syn free sauce in a roll, coleslaw, salad and home made spicy chips ( a mix of potato and sweet potato) done the Slimming World way.  I'll finish off the balsamic and soy sauce dressing I made the other day on the salad leaves.
SW:  my other A for the cheese and the B for the rollplus a couple of syns for the mayo I will use for the coleslaw with my syn free balsamic soy dressing on the salad

Ss:  water!

Friday 10 May 2019

Friday, 10-05-19

Good morning.
Yesterday's photos:
Lunch was a mushroom omelette with a salad.

. . . and dinner was hunter's chicken with mayo for chip dipping and a salad.  So, so good.

I was so full up, I passed on the frozen yogurt.  I'll make it another day.

Today's plans:
B:  a cooked breakfast
I shall have mushroom and tomato for my speed, bacon medallions and a 'fried' egg on a potato waffle (toasted)
SW:  two syns for a Morrisons potato waffle

L:  BLT pitta and a side salad, easy peeler
Just what it says.  Yes, more bacon, but I don't have bacon all that often usually.  This bacon is good quality back bacon that was on YS and I cut all the fat off before freezing.
SW:  a healthy extra B for the wholemeal pitta and a couple of syns for some mayo

D:  mixed fish pie with a swede and potato topping with cauliflower and broccoli; yogurt
When I looked in the freezer yesterday, I saw I had lots of bits and bobs of fishy stuff so I am combining smoked salmon, smoked basa, a few prawns and a bit of pollock with onion, mushroom and baby corn and the sauce will be milk and dairylea (nicer than it sounds, honestly).
SW:  the milk and the cheese spread will be my healthy extra As

Ss:  water

Thursday 9 May 2019

Recipe: Hunter's chicken

Ingredients for one

one chicken breast (no skin)
two bacon medallions, all fat removed and discarded (the birds like it)
salt and pepper
some sweet smoked paprika (optional)
a portion of barbecue sauce (this one is syn free and lovely)
grated cheddar (30g is one healthy extra - I used 60g because I am a piggy!)

Dust the chicken breast with the smoked paprika if wanted, place in a small, single portion, ovenproof dish that has been sprayed with fry light and mill over some black pepper.  Then lay over the two medallions.
Cover the dish with foil and place in a 180C oven until the chicken is cooked through - half an hour should do it.
Spoon over the barbecue sauce and sprinkle over the grated cheddar.  Pop back in the oven, uncovered, for about ten minutes by which time the sauce should be piping and the cheese melted.

I ate mine with SW chips, some light mayo (for chip dunking) and a simple side salad.  It was absolutely delicious!

Recipe: barbecue sauce

Here it is, from Pinch of Nom

To be honest, I might have been a bit random with the amount of tomato as I was using some left over chopped tomatoes and some bits of tomato passata from last year's crop that I found in the freezer but apart from that, I stuck to the ingredients apart from a couple of things.

The first was that I had no pepper sauce.  I thought I had some tabasco but no.  So I used some Lea and Perrins instead.   Tabasco is now on the shopping list!
The other was that I thought it could do with some soy sauce so I added some and it worked.

I zizzed the sauce and then pushed it through a sieve as I like that sort of thing really smooth.
And it's gorgeous!

Not only does it work with Hunter's Chicken as in the photo below, it would do as a dipping sauce or, obviously, as a barbecue sauce.  I have also discovered since that it's a great substitute for a cross between ketchup and brown sauce, delicious with a cooked breakfast or on a burger.   And it is syn free.  Can't ask for more than that.

Mini recipe: a salad dressing

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium because that's what I have)
1/4 tsp dijon mustard

Pop it all into a little lidded jar and give it a good shake.

It's as simple as that and I loved it.  The dijon mustard is 1/4 of a syn - so I'm forgetting it!  Life's too short to worry about five calories.

I'm sure it can be jazzed up.  A few herbs and a bit of garlic puree, for starters, or a bit of chilli, but today I had it basic.  As it has no oil, it doesn't really cling to the salad leaves but that's OK.

Thursday, 09-05-19

Good morning!

Only one photo for the diary today; breakfast was baked oats and it was delicious.

What a relief!  Four and a half pounds off at weigh in yesterday which deals with last week's gain and a bit of the previous gain too.  I feel encouraged and motivated - I'm on the way again.

Today's food plans:

B:  strawberry and vanilla waffles with strawberries, blueberries and yogurt
They had wonky strawberries in Morrisons plus a few packs of YS strawberries so I'm well off for them right now.  Add to that the fact that I bought a small bottle of 'strawberry flavouring' (zero calories so goodness knows what's in it, but I won't worry about that right now) and it is obvious that strawberries will be featuring in my food plans for a while, especially as we're entering the strawberry season soon and my plants are looking good - see below!
I thought I'd start with breakfast waffles.
SW:  one healthy extra B for 40g oats

L:  mushroom omelette with a watercress salad, easy peeler
Quick and simple.
SW:  free

D:  chicken and chips, strawberry 'icecream'*.
No, nothing as exotic as KFC or the like, but I might have a go at a sort of hunter's chicken with SW chips and a salad on the side.  I have chicken in the freezer and potatoes in the fridge
Then I thought I would try this.  Open freeze some of the strawberries.  When they are rock hard, zizz them with some natural yogurt, sweetener and some of the flavouring.  It will turn into a sort of simple yogurt icecream as the berries start to freeze the yogurt.  I've done it with cherries before now and it works a treat.
SW:  If I do hunter's chicken, I will spend my healthy extra As on a nice mass of cheese on top and I will need to syn some bbq sauce.  I have a feeling I made some nearly syn free bbq sauce ages ago and there's some in the freezer but whether I can find it or not is anyone's guess!  If I can't, I will make a tomato based sauce instead.

Ss:  loadsa water and, maybe, an apple

*I know the SW rule about synning fruit if you blend it but in this case it is a measured amount, I won't be overdoing the fruit and if I were to have whole strawberries and yogurt it would all be free so I'm ignoring that rule.  Personally, I think it's a bit silly but am happy to be proved wrong!

A very healthy looking strawberry plant, don't you think?

Wednesday 8 May 2019

Recipe: strawberry and vanilla baked oats

Absolutely delicious and dead easy.  The recipe is here.  Scroll down past all the bumph and the ads for a printable version.

I made it more or less as it says except for the milk (didn't use it), more vanilla bean paste than the recipe indicates and several sliced strawberries (as you can see in the picture).

I sprayed the dish before pouring in the batter and it came out easily with no sticking.

I am aware that SW says if strawberries (and other fruit) are cooked they need to be synned.  I'm not sure why as it's a measured amount, part of a filling dish and the calories (which is really the bottom line) aren't going to change so I don't bother.  If you're following SW, you need to be aware of this 'rule' though.

Wednesday, 08-05-19

Good morning.
Yesterday's photo diary:

Breakfast:  citrus waffles with fruit and yogurt.  So tasty I have posted the recipe.

Lunch:  beetroot hummus with crudites and a side salad.    I've posted the recipe for the hummus too - it was very nice.

Dinner might not look all that great but it didn't half taste good, especially the cheesy carrot and parsnip chips!

Today's meal plans:
B:  Baked oats of some kind - maybe strawberry and vanilla, that sounds quite nice.
SW:  40g oats is a healthy extra A and the rest is free - it says an optional splash of milk but that's not enough to count.

L:  fruit and yogurt
It's weigh day so this is what I always have
SW:  if I have a Mullerlight, it will be one syn, but I have some home made natural; yogurt to use up so I'll probably have that.

D:  syn free savoury rice with grated cheese
From the freezer to have after group - nice and easy
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese

Ss:  water, water, maybe an apple

Now that pottery has started and is on Thursday evenings, I am going to the Wednesday SW group for  some weeks so weigh day will now be Wednesday.  Fingers crossed I haven't gained AGAIN - I'm quite worried about this evening.

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Recipe: beetroot hummus

Ingredients to make enough for one or two (depending on how much you want)
100g drained chickpeas
40g dairylea light (half a healthy extra A)
50g quark
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1 baby beet (not titchy) from a jar
a splash of lemon juice to taste)
3 or 4 mint leaves
salt/pepper to taste

Throw the lot into a blender and zizz till it's the desired texture.
It won't go totally smooth unless you painstakingly remove the skin from each chickpea.  Life's too short . . .

Serve with crudites.

I think this would be nice with some added spice.  I'll give it a go next time.

Recipe: citrus waffles

This is the base recipe from the fantastic site 'Slimming Eats'.

What I changed . . .
I used only 1/2 tsp of baking powder
I used a Mullerlight orange yogurt (1/4 cup for the batter and the rest for a topping)
I used 1/2 tbsp of stevia
For flavouring, I used 1/4 tsp each of orange and lemon essences, grated zest from an easy peeler (which I then ate) and grated zest from a lime I will be using later in the day.

Apologies for the tatty photo.  Everything happened at once (phone went, plumber arrived . . .) and, to be honest, it was luck I remembered to grab the camera and click!)

The mullerlight is one syn, the rest is free.  Zizzing oats is not a tweak (says SW).

I heat the waffle maker on high for ten minutes. 
Right at the end, I mix up the batter - not before because of the baking powder.
Then I spray each compartment once and spread it with a silicon pastry brush.
Finally, I add the mix to the middle and spread it out evenly before closing and cooking for ten minutes.
The above works for me but I expect all brands of waffle makers are slightly different.

Tuesday, 07-05-19

Good morning.
Another good day yesterday, helped by the fact that it hurts to swallow so everything went down s-l-o-w-l-y.  I must try and develop that habit more!

Just one photo for the diary today - of dinner last night.  I dusted the chicken in cajun seasoning and added a few squirts of lemon juice to the bottom of foil before wrapping and baking and it was very tasty!
It looks loads but isn't really.  I'm trying to fit my food just onto the middle of the plate, not on the edge, as a form of portion control and, apart from the chicken and the dairylea in the swede, it's all speed veg.

The wrap chips I made for lunch yesterday were delicious.  I sprayed a wrap with oil, both sides, cut into 12ths, placed on parchment and baked at a lot heat until they were crunchy.  Then I sprinkled over some grated cheddar and gave it all a few minutes in a hotter oven.  Very nice dunked in the tomato soup. 

Today's menu:
B:  citrus waffles with berries and yogurt
I'm having a lot of this right now because it's so delicious.  It looks terribly naughty but isn't, not at all.
SW:  one healthy extra B for 40g oats and one syn for a pot of orange Mullerlight, 65g for the waffles and the rest on the berries.

L:  beetroot hummus, crudites, side salad
I have to make up (or find) a recipe for the hummus but it will involve beetroot (from a jar), chickpeas (from the freezer), garlic, lemon, quark and maybe a bit of dairylea light
SW:  if I use the cheese spread, it will be half a healthy extra A and if I have mayo with the salad, it will be one syn

D:  salmon, cheesy carrot and parsnip chips, broccoli and cauliflower
There's nothing unusual about this.  I will do the 'chips' the SW way and sprinkle over 45g grated cheese.  Nice
SW:  one and a half As for the cheese.

Ss:  mostly water, maybe an apple.