Saturday, 31 August 2019

Giving myself a bit of a ticking off

. . . because I'm going nowhere.

What follows is very inward looking and probably boring so please feel free to scroll on by!  I really won't mind.  I'm talking to me and about me, not about anyone else.  We all walk our own journey on our individual road and I'm truly not pointing any fingers anywhere else but at me.

I think the trouble is yes, I have lost a lot of weight and yes, I am in the BMI healthy banding (just, mostly) and yes, I am OK with the way I look as I dress to hide certain bulges!
I do eat a healthy and fairly well balanced diet, as much as anyone who isn't a nutritional expert can tell.
And I have proved that I can keep this weight off and maintain.  That's actually quite a good thing and gives me confidence for the future.

So there's lots of reasons to be pleased - and I am, I really am.

However . . .
I've really gone nowhere since before Mum died.  I look at my weight then and my weight now and there's only a few pounds in it (down, thank goodness).  That's in five months.  Blimey!
I've gained and lost and lost and gained but the overall trend is pretty much horizontal.  Not good enough!

So - what to do?

Well, obviously, I could just accept the situation as it is now.  It's good.  It's pretty healthy.  People who know me from the olden days don't recognise me now which makes me laugh!  My weight no longer stops me from doing things I want to do.  I can walk, run upstairs, don't get breathless quickly and my blood pressure is a lot better.  I can hide the bulgy bits.

There's a saying that I've always rather liked.


It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with 'good'.  Good is a great place to be.  However, it's just too easy to accept good when it could be better - or best.
I think that's where I am right now.  In the good place but not in the best place.  I know this particular area of my life could be better and, maybe, I am letting myself down by accepting 'good' instead of 'best'.  There's this little niggle of I-don't-know-what nibbling around the edges that tells me so.

Putting it into real terms, there's podgy bits, wobbly bits (more than I want), bits that are just a bit too much.  I know I can't do anything about the stretched and now wrinkled bits (short of surgery) but I know it could be better and I want it to be better.  I want to be a bit stronger, a bit more toned, a bit less wobbly.

So - what to do.
First of all, I have to recommit to eating healthily.  Mostly I do, as you know, but I come to Dad's three days in each fourteen and have got into terrible habits here (as you know).  One day a fortnight would be OK, three is just too much.  I've already fought lots of temptation this morning, even though I know this evening's meal will be a bit 'naughty'. 
Every time it's the same but it doesn't have to be,  It's not Dad's 'fault' for having nibbly bits and bobs in, it is mine for going for them, for saying 'a little bit of what you fancy' far too much and far too often.
I've also got into a bad habit of letting go after SW group - and believe me, when I let go, I really do let go.  Such a silly thing to have started doing.
I'm hoping this ticking off will give me some control in these areas because it really is down to me.

The other area is exercise.  I'm very much more active than I was because I can be.  I'm now enjoying walks which I never did before.  My feet and ankles have stopped hurting, my hips and back no longer ache, that's all good.  However, I think I need something more structured.  I nearly typed 'want' there but that would be a fib; I've never been that keen on exercise, sadly.
I can swim more often.  What's put me off that is the time it takes to get my hair right afterwards and that's a bit pathetic really. 
And, before I even started thinking about all this, I booked up a series of five sessions one to one with a local trainer.  Coincidentally, they start next Thursday.  I can't say I'm looking forward to them all that much but - we will see.

I want to lose just under a stone.  It really should only take me a couple of months, despite having a holiday in the middle, especially as that holiday is an activity holiday at Center Parcs.  More than that, I want to lose certainly bulges and tone certain muscles.    So what I need to decide is that I want it enough to make the necessary effort and commitment.

Here's hoping!
(and I think I might put that poster as my banner for a couple of months, just to remind me)





Saturday, 31-08-19

Good morning!
Well, here I am staying the weekend with Dad and here are my plans for today.

B:  fruit and yogurt
SW free

L:  cold meat and salad
This should be lovely with tomatoes and cucumber from our combined gardens.
SW:  a couple of syns for some dressing

D:  Beth and Alex are coming up for dinner so I'm doing a pizza meal.  Alex has given his instructions - pizza, coleslaw, salad, onion rings and garlic bread.
You may be relieved to read that I will be having one slice of pizza with plenty of salad.  I don't know what the syns will be but I'm sure it will be evil!     ;-)

Body Magic:  a walk - I might take a stroll down to the garden centre - we will see.

Properly back on track tomorrow.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Friday, 30-08-19

Good morning.
A nice day's eating yesterday.
I missed breakfast, just wasn't hungry, so hyad the tomatoes on toast for lunch.  Beth joined me so no photos.  I did it sort of Med style, with sourdough (healthy extra B) brushed with olive oil (two syns per tsp) before toasting and a crumble of feta over the top for half a healthy extra A

Dinner was what I had planned for lunch and the horseradish dressing was so nice, I have posted it as a separate recipe.  I'm now thinking that the base (créme fraiche and yogurt) might be nice with mint, etc.  I shall give it a go at some point.









Today's plans.
B:  I still have tomatoes so will be having tomatoes on toast again.  It's just so good with home grown tomatoes and any recipe would start off  "First, catch your tomatoes"!!!
SW:  one small slice of wholemeal is half a healthy B and I will just brush half with oil, the half the tomatoes will go on.  It stops the toast going soggy, you see.  That will be one syn.

L:  It will probably be fruit and yogurt as I do have some fruit to use up before the weekend.
SW:  free

D:  Out with Dad so not sure.

Recipe: horseradish cream salad dressing

Every so nice with cold roast beef, drizzled over it and a side salad.


Ingredients (to own taste and need really so no specific amounts given)
equal portions of créme fraiche and natural yogurt
some creamed horseradish
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Beat the yogurt and créme fraiche together, stir in the other ingredients, taste and adjust as necessary.
Drizzle over meat and salad.


SW values
Half fat créme fraiche is one and a half syns per level tbsp
Yogurt is free
Creamed horseradish is two syns per level tbsp (values vary - I use Morrisons but if you use other brands, check)
Lemon juice/seasonings are all free


Thursday, 29 August 2019

Recipe: preserving chillies



Now that my fiery little Apache chillies are coming thick and fast, I though I might try preserving them in oil.

Like this.
https://www.worldofchillies.com/growing_chillies/preserving_chillies/chilliesoil/preserving_chillies_in_oil.html


(I wonder if one could do the same with tomatoes)

Thursday, 29-08-19

Good morning!

Yesterday's lunch for grandson went really well and, thank goodness, it was pretty SW friendly as well.
I had a nice piece of silverside that was under £9 in Morrisons.  I rubbed a very little bit of vegetable oil over it and then browned it off in a pan before popping it into my enamel roaster on a trivet thingy with carrot, onion and herbs (oragano, sage, thyme, rosemary and a couple of bay leaves (simply because that's what is in the garden), salt and pepper.  I added some water to the pan to deglaze it and added that, then popped on the lid and slow roasted it all morning at around 160C.  DEad easy and it came out as tender as anything and a great flavour.

I did the roasted veg the usual way, using spray oil to make them SW friendly.  I actually prefer them like that to swimming in oil or fat.  I cooked some runner beans and made some gravy with meat juices for Alex - in fact, a typical roast dinner.  And it was absolutely gorgeous.  I had a good helping of the beef as it was very lean, one piece of potato and the carrots, parsnips and runners and it was so, so filling.
As far as I can tell, it was just one and a half syns for 2 tsps of the creamed horseradish.  Perfick!  But no photos as I had a guest and I don't - not polite!

I had some of the leftover beef in salad for tea and found a lovely dressing to drizzle over it.  I shall do this again today and probably, feature the dressing in a separate post.

Today's plans:
B:  tomatoes on toast
I suddely have loads and loads of tomatoes with more ripening almost by the hour.  Lovely.  I'll cook the tomatoes in spray oul and will brush the bread with a bit of olice oil before toasting it under the grill
SW:  one healthy extra B and three syns

L:  roast beef salad.
As described above.  Loads of tomatoes on the side!
SW:  four syns for the dressing

D:  something from the freezer after SW group.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Wednesday, 28-08-19

Morning, everyone.
Yesterday's food photos.
Breakfast was a good old fashioned cooked one - cooked in a more healthy way.


















Lunch was just tuna mixed with mayo and chives plus salad veg.  It was good and filling.

















Two weeks ago I won the raffle at SW and the prize was an ice lolly maker and some fizzy drinks.
This lolly was made with Morrisons apple and pear barley no added sugar squash and it was lovely and refreshing in the heat.






I forgot to photo the chilli for dinner but it was good too.  The home made creme fraiche was so lovely and now I am wondering if one can make it with single cream.  I think I have to have a go, don't I?




Today's food plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt
SW free

L:  well, dinner really as grandson Alex is round and has asked for a roast dinner.
I have some silverside which I will roast long and slow and will do some roasted potatoes and veg the SW way plus some runner beans.  No Yorkshires though as they are just way too tempting and one can't make just a few.
SW:  I'm hoping it will be free apart from a few syns for some horseradish sauce.

D:  balsamic steak salad
I found this on the Internet and will give it a try.  I will use some (or all) of the leftover beef.
SW:  three syns for some salad dressing.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Tuesday, 27-08-19

Good morning!
Yesterday was definitely not Slimming World compliant, given the gorgeous afternoon tea my lovely friend, Julia, provided.  I did my best but it would have been extremely rude not to appreciate all the good things she had provided and, hopefully, by not having a large breakfast or lunch, I minimised any damage.
And it was most enjoyable!

So today it is straight back on the wagon with all my strength!

B:  bacon, egg and tomato, melon
A classic SW breakfast, hearty and filling.  I 'fry' the egg the SW way - here's a link to the method on the wonderful Slimming Eats site - and cook bacon medallions in a little oil, remove the bacon and then cook the tomatoes in the same pan.  It's lovely!
The bacon is part of a stack of medallions I got on YS, ages ago now, but that's the beauty of a freezer, isn't it?
SW:  two syns for one tsp olive oil

L:  tuna lettuce cups with salad
This is a small can of tuna, drained and mixed with some super-light mayo and maybe a very little chopped spring onion if I have any, then piled into lettuce leaves with more salad on the side.  I will also add some of my home made lemon dressing (must make some more!)
SW:  two tbsp of mayo is one syn and the dressing will be three syns

D:  chilli con carne with runner beans, and shredded cabbage, berries and natural yogurt
I have some savoury turkey mince in the freezer, to which I will add a chopped chilli (from the garden - they may be small but they pack a punch) and some kidney beans from the freezer.  I note that full fat creme fraiche is two and a half syns for a tbsp so I can easily 'afford' a spoonful on top.
I'm making some creme fraiche, you see.  It's just some double cream with some natural yogurt added and left out in the warmth to sour.  I have just a bit, an experiment's-worth, in a wee kilner type jar, this is the ideal opportunity to try it and it should be ready by this evening.  If not, then it will be yogurt instead!
The turkey mince is the last (I think) of a batch I made a while ago now, using some turkey mince found on special.  Not quite the same as beef mince but, if you use big tomatoey flavours and spices, it works jolly well and it is very tender, which I like.
SW:  two and a half syns for the creme fraiche, if I have it.

I haven't planned in any healthy extras today.  The main reason is that yesterday I had more than I should have and I'm just levelling it out a bit.  I know it isn't strictly SW but it suits me and I think I have a tasty and healthy day's eating without them so I am not worried.


Monday, 26 August 2019

Monday, 26-08-19

Good morning.
I'm working my way through all that YS food.  The two packs of mixed veg (carrot, cauliflower and broccoli) looked a bit careworn, not good enough to have fresh but perfectly OK for soup so, heatwave or not, that's what I made.  I threw both packs into Thermione, added an onion, some water and two chicken stock pots plus some old butterbeans from the freezer, boiled it all up, added some seasoning and zizzed it to smooth and lo and behold, four very tasty and good-sized portions of soup for the cooler months, under 20p a portion and completely SW free.  Yay!  I love my freezer.

Breakfast:  delicious.  One healthy extra's-worth of dairylea light (80g) was more than plenty for the sauce so next time I will try 40g and add the quark I didn't add this time, just to see..  And one tsp's-worth of olive oil is just enough to brush over the bread to make 'fried' bread - something worth the learning.
It was surprisingly filling too.

I didn't take a photo of lunch because a friend turned up unexpectedly so I shared ther pancakes, etc, with her and didn't photo.  I was really glad I had made a batch of them in the morning.



I followed the Pinch of Nom recipe for the spice mix to go on the salmon - p 94 of The Book.  The rest will be used because it was actually very nice indeed.











Today's plans:
B:  yogurt and fruit
. . . because I love it and I have a new batch of yogurt
SW: free

Then it gets complicated because I'm going to a friend's for afternoon tea to celebrate her birthday so I will have some fruit just before I leave in the hopes that I won't pig out on cucumber sandwiches and Victoria sponge.

At least it should be frugal!















Sunday, 25 August 2019

Sunday, 25-08-19

Morning, everyone.
To start with, just to say I have added a link to Fat Girl Skinny to my 'Recommended Sites' page (see tab at the top) and I am updating the recipe links page every time I post a recipe, to make it easier for people to find them.

Yesterday, I didn't have breakfast (confession).  I didn't fancy it before I left for town and by the time I got home, it was too close to lunch so I missed it out and paid for it later on when I was more peckish than I ought to have been.  I contained it but it wasn't easy!

Lunch was a chicken and feta salad and it was just perfect for a warm day.  I've not nearly finioshed my lemon salad dressing and must make some more - it's nice!

For dinner, I ended up having two curries and some fancy rice.

I used the edamame bean stir fry and a pot of SW jalfrezi sauce which I had in the freezer, adding the remains of the roasted chicken.  It was very tasty and, because the recipe is on the inside of the pot lid (thank you, SW), I shall make that sauce again at some point.

I rather fancied something else to go with it so made up some dahl, using a pot of dahl spice (I got from the matket and, adding to it, two chillies from the garden.  It had a very satisfying oomph to it.  That, with a bit of fancy rice (in a pouch) made for a filling and tasty dinner and now, in the freezer I have:
three portions of chicken and bean jalfrezi (free)
four portions of spicy dahl (one syn each, for the oil I softened the onion in)
two little pots of fancy rice . . .
. . . so that's a few more dinners sorted.


Today's plans:
B:  creamy mushrooms on fried bread
I will brush the bread with a bit of oil before popping it under the grill - it's like fried bread but without soaking up loads of fat.  The 'creamy' bit will be dairylea light and a dollop of quark, melted into the mushrooms that have been cooked in spray oil and any olive oil left from brushing over the bread.  I might pop a few raw tomatoes on the side too.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the bread, one healthy A for the dairylea and probably just two syns for the oil on the bread (one tsp), but I'll see how that works when I do it.

L:  Oat waffles with fruit and yogurt
I had two manky bananas so I'm half way through making a double batch of banana oat pancakes.  Half a portion of pancakes will be enough for lunch with a good dollop of yogurt and some fruit.
SW:  three syns for the oats because I've already had my healthy extra B for the day

D: salmon, runner beans, another veg
When I was in town yesterday, the fish stall had some sides of salmon for £15 so I invested in one.  Once home, it cut into 11 fillets which is under £1.40 a pop, very much better than at the supermarket.  So I'm well provided with salmon now. 
In the Pinch of Nom book, there's a recipe for Moroccan spiced salmon and, as I have all the ingredients for the spice mix, I might try that.
I'm not sure what the 'other veg' will be; maybe I'll see how many tomatoes ripen during the day.
SW:  counting up my syns, I can see that I can afford a tbsp of seafood sauce for two syns.

Lots of cooking today - I'm glad I enjoy that particular activity.


Saturday, 24 August 2019

Recipe: crispy coated chicken strips

(accompanied by roasted garden tomatoes and chips made the SW way)

I got this from the Fat Girl Skinny site and made it absolutely straight, no adaptations at all, which is unusual for me.  They were jolly good so I'm sharing it as a separate post.
Here's the link.
https://fatgirlskinny.net/crispy-coated-chicken-strips/


It would be great with different spice mixes too, so if you have a favourite one, it's a good way to use it.

Saturday, 24-08-19

Good morning!
Yesterday I forgot to say how luck I was on Thursday evening when I popped into Morrisons after Group.  They had reduced the already reduced fruit and veg and I got:
a pack of edamame bean stir fry (I've had that before and it is lovely)
two packs of mixed veg (carrot, cauli and broccoli)
a pack of four small corn on the cobs or, as it said on the pack, cobettes!  Honestly!
a pack of raspberries
six easy peelers
a pack of two red gem lettuces
and a loaf of wholemeal bread
and they were all either 5p or 6p.
I reckon I did OK there and now, combined with what I'm getting from my garden, there's no excuse for not eating my fruit and veg, is there?
(and I did leave plenty for others too)

Yesterday's food:
Breakfast was fruit.
This was lunch.  I forgot to add the pickled onion and cabbage to the bowl before taking a photo.

It was all very fresh and tasty, just right for a warm summer's day.

(apologies for the very odd light)
























The crunchy coated chicken strips were really lovely and definitely one to do again . . .













. . . while dessert was great with that 'not cake', some natural yogurt and raspberries from the garden.






The trouble with tasty food like this is you can start feeling it has to be more calories than it really is, it has to be fattening.
No complaints!







Today's food:
B:  oat waffles with fruit and natural yogurt
I so love these and haven't had any since before France so I reckon it is long overdue.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  chicken salad
I will be able to put together a lovely salad and I might have some corn on the cob as well, seeing as I have some to eat up.
SW:  3 syns for salad dressing, 1 syn for coleslaw

D:  chicken and bean curry; fruit yogurt
The last of the chicken (it was lovely and I'll do it again at some point) with the edamame stir fry mix and I have remembered that I have some SW sauces in the freezer from the time when I was trying them out so I will use one of them.  They are all curry sauces but that will be OK, they are just to add so I can still stirfry the bean thingy and then add the sauce.
SW:  half a syn for the yogurt

Ss:  I am having snacks again - tomatoes.  Ripening thick and fast now, nicer than sweets and much better for me!

Body Magic:  Walking around town.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Friday: 23-08-19

Morning, fellow frugal slimmers!
No photos yesterday.  I just forgot, sorry.
However, I did make that tomato and red onion relish and it was/is/will be delicious.  I've posted about it separately.

One pound off at weigh in.  I'll take that with gratitude.

Today's plans:
B:  Just fruit, I think.  That's what I fancy

L:  chicken salad wrap, lightly pickled cabbage; apple
The other day I started some raspberry vinegar by just steeping crushed raspberries with white wine vinegar for a couple of days.  The flavour and the colour are both lovely!  So I will thinly slice some white cabbage and some red onion and let it pickle for a few hours in some of the raspberry vinegar.
SW:  three syns for some home made salad dressing and a healthy extra B

D:  crispy coated chicken strips, SW chips, roasted tomatoes
I found this recipe on the Fat Girl Skinny site, here.  The rest in garden tomatoes and my favourite SW chips that I am being very good about and hardly ever having right now.
SW:  five and a half syns for the bag of crisps to make the crunchy topping - one portion only needs half the bag but I won't be throwing the rest away, will I now?  Also three syns for half tbsp of oil to roast the tomatoes in.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Recipe: tomato and red onion relish

I do love something spicy and flavoursome on my meat and cheese.  Also, mixed with baked beans or on scrambled egg or . . . oh, you get the idea.
I used to make my own chutneys and still have some, getting more and more mellow as the years pass, but they are sugar laden and I'm really trying to cut out as much of that kind of sugar as I can, just for now.

So when I saw this recipe, my eyes opened and my heart sang a bit.  Obviously, I had to give it a whirl.
I found it on the wonderful Slimming Eats site, here.  If you're doing Slimming World (or just trying to eat more healthily or cut down a bit) it is more than well worth a visit.


I hardly changed it except that I used one can of chopped tomatoes as I didn't have enough big tomatoes from the garden and I'm certainly not going to buy tomatoes at this time of year! 
Oh - and I used ginger puree.

Also, I did as it suggests and used a chilli, a little and hot one from the garden.  It's the first I've used and I wasn't sure exactly how hot so only used one, handling it very warily - and it was just right - for me, anyway.  The only mistake is that I ought to have softened the onion for a bit longer but maybe it will soften more in the jar.  Time will tell.


I have my spicy hit for the week now.  It's fresh tasting with a good hit from the spices. It doesn't make loads, which is good.  If I really like it (and I reckon I will), I will make it again and add some chopped apple to the mix as well.  Remember, I don't believe in tweaks.  :-)

SW info:  the whole lot is just two syns for the maple syrup, that's all.

Thursday, 22-08-19

Good morning.

Lunch was nice.
I microwaved a smoked salmon fillet for a few minutes and then flaked it.

I thinly sliced half a red onion and pickled it in white wine vinegar for a couple of hours.

I made a dressing with one tbsp yogurt, one of quark, some lemon juice, half a tsp of creamed horseradish and a bit of salt and pepper.

The base salad was leaves, cucumber, tomato and red pepper.  I mixed the salmon with the drained onion and thinly sliced wedges of a quarter orf an apple, then folded in the dressing and piled it into the leaves, etc.  It was very nice indeed.
And the rest of the apple was dessert!

I didn't take photos of breakfast and dinner as they were pretty ordinary but the fruit with my evening yogurt included three raspberries and seven pink blueberries from the garden and they were lovely and sweet.

Today's plans:
B:  boiled eggs and toasty soldiers!
SW that's my healthy extra B for the wholemeal toast.

L:  fruit, yogurt and a nibble of feta cheese
The usual light weighday lunch
SW:  the cheese will be a healthy extra A

D:  salmon salad, chocolate cake
Easily prepped before hand which should stop be scoffing after weigh-in.  The salmon is the other half of the fillet I had yesterday as they came in twos.  Sometimes Morrisons has smoked salmoin fillets on the fresh fish counter but this week they didn't so I had to get two.  Oh, the hardship!
SW:  two syns for some seafood sauce on the salmon, three syns for some hm salad dressing and one syn for the chocolate cake which I will have with a dollop of yogurt and some berries.

Fingers crossed for this evening.  I won't have lost, not after the weekend at Dad's, but I might not have gained.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Wednesday, 21-08-19

Good morning.
Yesterday's eating was absolutely delicious with one surprise and no blips whatsoever!

Breakfast was just some fruit
Lunch was the leftover frittata with some crunchy salad stuff














Dinner was some chicken with  runner beans from the garden and the ratatouille, made yesterday morning.  I ended up with five portions of ratatouille, each of which is three syns so that's OK.  It was very, very good.










And then an extra.  After reading about a chocolate 'cake' made with chickpeas, I decided to give it a go and wow!  I've posted about it separately and am very happy to have eleven more slices in the freezer.  Small slices, but a perfect portion for me.

I've only just realised - I discarded the water from the chickpeas and that was wasteful as it can be used for all sorts of things although maybe not all that SW friendly.
https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/blog/20-amazing-things-you-can-do-aquafaba


Today's plans:
B:  bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms
I just love this time of year when the tomatoes are ripening rapidly and there's enough to have some at every meal if you want.  They are so, so delicious and healthy as well.
SW:  free

L:  smoked salmon fillet with salad; orange
It should be a watercress salad but Morrison's seems to have stopped doing watercress which is right annoying!  The recipe is to be found in the Healthy Diet magazine, p 17.
SW:  half a syn for some horseradish for a dressing.  I will be using a yogurt/quark mixture rather than the creme fraiche the recipe asks for so fingers crossed that it works.

D:  chicken, runner beans, roasted tomatoes;  berries and natural yogurt
Lots of delicious speed veg from the garden!
SW:  hopefully, free

Body magic:  a walk.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Recipe: chocolate 'cake'


When I read this recipe I thought 'what a travesty' but a friend said it was delicious.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, thought I, so I had a go and what a surprise!

It is delicious!  Not too sweet, nice and chocolatey and a firm texture, nothing like cake, more like a firm brownie (but not too dry).

It seems to be pretty much 'out there' all over the place as I found when I Google searched for oven timing and temperature rather than microwaving, so I don't think I'm being too bad repeating it in here.

A word of caution though.  I've made it clear what I think of 'tweaks' (which this is) but if you do syn tweaks, take care!  The chickpeas are a tweak!
Also see my note about the sweetener in the Ingredients section.

Ingredients.
400g chickpeas, drained (if you're using home soaked and cooked ones, it's 240g)
3 eggs, whisked
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp golden syrup (2.5 syns) or maple syrup (2 syns) - I used golden syrup
30g cocoa (Morrison's cocoa, four level tbsp, 6 syns)
*1 cup sweetener (I used half a cup as I don't like things too sweet)
1 tsp baking powder (1/2 a syn)

*  Because I used half a cup - eight tbsp, each slice uses less that one tbsp so it doesn't need to be synned.  If you use the whole cup - too sweet for me - thn you'd have to allow one more syn per slice)

Method
If you're using the oven, preheat to 180C
Prepare a Victoria sponge sized tin (if using the oven) or an appropriate microwave proof flan dish by oiling the sides and lining the bottom with parchment.

When the oven is up to temperature, whisk the eggs in a bowl, then put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz together until the mixture is as smooth as possible.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin/dish.
Cook in the oven for 25 mins or in the microwave on high for about seven minutes(I am told - I didn't use the microwave so can't say for sure)

When cooked, leave for a short time, then run a knife around the sides and turn out onto a cooling rack.

I cut mine into twelve slices.  They're quite small and each slice is 3/4 of a syn.  I had one for dessert with some natural yogurt and strawberries and the other eleven are now wrapped and in the freezer!


As you do, I've already started thinking of variations.  Some chopped nuts, perhaps (remember to syn them) or, what would be nice if it works is some orange and lemon zest.
I shall just HAVE to make it again, won't I.  Such a shame!!!

Tuesday, 20-08-19

Good morning, everyone!

Lunch was lovely!
I made an oil and lemon dressing that was gorgeous and went just right with the feta, olives, apple and walnuts.  The 'backing' salad was enhanced by a few fresh peas from some plants in a pot (nearly over now).

I've posted about the dressing.   I know it's nothing different or in the least unusual but it was tasty, made from scratch and I didn't get it from a book!  I hope someone finds my rambly recipes helpful.  :-)






I changed the dinner planning.  Instead of doing two meals with salad, after realising how many garden runners and tomatoes I had, I had them instead with my chicken and veg frittata.  Very tasty too.

I didn't save on syns because I roasted the tomatoes in half a tbsp of olive oil.  It does make such a positive difference to the end result.











As planned, I cooked the chicken yesterday, partitioned it all off and pressure boiled the bones and bits.  Now I have loads of meat and a bowl of really good chicken stock.  The stock will go into smaller pots and I will use it for my soups once it gets chillier and I start making them for lunches again.  The meat will be the basis for my meals this week; indeed, I have already used all the 'bits' in the frittata,  although there is so much meat that some will go into the freezer, carefully wrapped.

Today's plans:
B:  something light, an apple and an orange
Just because . . .
SW:  free

L:  It was going to be a chicken salad wrap but I have half a frittata left so it will be that instead with a salad
SW:  three and a half syns for some dressing.  The healthy A was counted yesterday

D:  chicken and ratatouille
I came home with a large, round courgette from Dad's garden and I have plenty of tomatoes from mine plus red onions in the fridge so I bought an aubergine and today I shall make a pot of ratatouille, that wonderful French/Med vegetable stew to go with some of the chicken breast.
SW:  I will use olive oil in the ratatouille, probably two tbsps-worth, which is twelve syns.  However, this will make at least four portions so it's a maximum of three syns for each portion.  The reason is that the oil helps everything to caramelise and turn that sweet, sticky, tomatoey texture that is so gorgeous.  I don't think you can have oil free ratatouille that is worth the name, to be honest.

Ss:  none



Monday, 19 August 2019

Recipe: oil and lemon dressing


Ingredients to make about four tbsp's worth
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
some lemon zest (it was about half a lemon's worth), very finely grated
half a tsp grain mustard
a little bit of garlic puree
salt
pepper

Pop it all in a sealable jar and give it a good shake to emulsify the oil and lemon.  Adjust seasoning/add more lemon/etc, if desired.  If it's a bit too sharp, add a tiny pinch of sweetener until it's right for you.

Store in the fridge.


Not only did it taste lemon fresh, it also turned a sunshiny lemon colour as well.


SW:  around three to 3.5 syns per tbsp (which was enough for me).

Monday, 19-08-10

Good morning.
After a weekend with mixed SW success, I'm right back on track with planning done for the week.  It's going to feature chicken, lovely roast chicken.  I will buy the chicken on the way home from Dad's this morning, roast it this afternoon and then use every last little bit of it, one way or another.

I will try it more or less as Viviane cooked hers in France.  Well, apart from the butter!  And the lemon. 
Oh, OK, maybe not really like she cooked hers!
I will pop into the cavity of the bird one cut up lemon, some garlic and a chopped onion and plenty of herbs from the garden - probably bay, thyme, rosemary, oregano and sage.  I will rub a little bit of olive oil over the top.  Then what Viviane did was put it into a tight lidded roasting pot and into a cold oven which then heated up to around 170C and it was in for an hour a kilo.  I may give it a bit longer.
I will portion it out which shouldn't be a problem as I want the meat to be falling off the bones.
Then I can boil up the carcass in the Instant Pot to make a good stock for autumn or winter soups, ditto for any left over bits
I won't eat the skin but the birds will enjoy it, I am sure, or perhaps Beth's cats can have it.  They love a bit of chicken skin.

Today's food plans:
B:  fruit and a yogurt
The fruit will probably be easy peelers and an apple.
SW:  half a syn for the yogurt

L:  Feta, olive, apple and walnut salad
A bit high on syns, this one, bit I really fancy giving it a go.  I'll put leaves and other salad basics in a bowl, pile on the other stuff and drizzle it over with dressing
SW:  45g feta is one of my healthy extra As, five walnut halves is a healthy B, eight olives is one and a half syns and one tbsp of the home made salad dressing is three and a half syns (I might make something lemony).

D:  chicken frittata with salad.
Just what the label says.  As I portion out the chicken, bits will fall off and they can go in the frittata, along with onion, pepper and mushroom.
SW:  30g grated cheddar is my other healthy extra A and more salad dressing is another three and a half syns.

Ss:  none

Body Magic:  just the usual - keep moving and run up and down the stairs as much as possible.

It all looks a bit lavish but is, in fact, quite a healthy day.  I want to add a bit more of the healthy oils to my diet and it does that.  It's going to be tasty, there's lots of veg and some fruit, all my healthy extras are there, it's low in the simple 'white' carbs and it has nine syns, well within my limit of fifteen.  And I think it's a good way to use the syns.
As far as frugality is concerned, I have everything in apart from the chicken.  There will be piles of tomatoes and cucumber waiting for me when I get home so they will feature heavily in the salads.  It's not the cheapest day's planning, admittedly, but I'm not aiming for very cheap right now, I am aiming for making the best of what I have in order to lose more weight and eat a healthy and delicious range of food.


Sunday, 18 August 2019

Recipe: Suzanne's salad dressing

(slightly adapted by Joy)

Ingredients:
2 tbsp vinegar, red, balsamic or a mix of both (I used balsamic as I love the stuff)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch each of salt and pepper
a good tsp French mustard (Dijon, wholegrain or whatever)
and my additions - a squeeze each of garlic puree and chilli puree

Method:
Put everything in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake really well.
Keep in a cool place.

I've checked the half batch I made yesterday and it hasn't separated much at all.

SW info:
Well, oil is high syn.  One tbsp is six syns so what is used in this is 24 syns
The mustard is half a syn
The rest is SW free.
With all the additions, you end up with about seven tbsps of dressing so, if you measure one tbsp for your salad (which is quite enough), you use just over three syns which is reasonable, I think, and adds a lot to the salad.

You can buy balsamic dressing, I know, and I have to be fair and say that Tesco's balsamic dressing is one syn per tbsp, but home made is the real deal, so much nicer and you know what's gone into it.

I treated myself to a diddy little kilner-style jar which is perfect for this as it's easy to get everything in and easy to give it a good shake without worrying about the lid flying off.

It's easy to scale up or down to make different amounts - all you need is a set of measuring spoons.

And finally - I'll post a photo when I have one.

Sunday, 18-08-19

Morning!

I dodged the peppercorn sauce bullet yesterday.  Luckily, Dad had one portion of the Pinch of Nom sauce in his freezer so I had that, he had a sachet from Tesco and there was enough left to replace the little pot I had!  Now I need to remember that what is now in the freezer is around four syns!

Today's plans:
B:  banana oat pancakes, fruit and natural yogurt
I so love these and there will be enough to freeze some for next time I come.  I brought a banana with me but dad has some that are a fair bit riper so I might use one of those.  Depending on the yogurt and fruit, this is a nice, economical breakfast as I use home made yogurt and seasonal fruit - you don't need much extra fruit with banana already in the pancake.  Come September, I can use my autumn fruiting raspberries.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats - well, half really, given that I am going to save half for another time. If the pancake batter is a bit thick, each 20 mls of semi-skimmed is half a syn so I won't be fussing about it either way.

L:  scrambled egg on toast, maybe an apple
I bought half a dozen eggs in order to make the breakfast pancakes as Dad doesn't keep eggs in so scrambled eggs will work nicely to use some up, I think.  I might also have garden tomatoes on the side.
SW:  the other half heB for one small slice of wholemeal.

D:  cottage pie and runner beans, bananas and custard
I froze some portions of savoury mince last time I was here and will use one of the two portion packs.  It's loaded with lovely free veg with added lentils and a few oats to thicken (not enough per single portion to need to count it though).  I'll make a beany mixture for Beth, who is vegetarian, as she's stopping off for dinner on her way home after a weekend away.  Topped with cheesy mash, that will make tasty mains.  The runner beans are from the garden and are delicious as well as frugal.
Actually, I will have one egg to use up.  I wonder what egg beaten into the potato will be like - I'll look that one up and see if it's a thing (as they say).
Dessert is at Dad's request, to use up the bananas - a good, old fashioned school dinner dessert.
SW:  two healthy extra As for the grated cheddar I am going to stir into the mash topping.  I've looked up the syns for custard and it looks as if it will cost around five syns made up as long as I don't have loads.  I might make separate ramekin dishes to ensure I don't - it looks a bit more adult served that way too!  In fact, I could even have yogurt on mine instead, couldn't I?  (sorry, I'm thinking out loud here)


I need to start planning next week's meals.  I've brought some magazines with me so will look for ones I can adapt ('optimise' says SW) to meet SW expectations.  I'd like to make them more or less SP too, so need to get my thinking cap on.  Things go so much better when it's all been carefully planned out and, what with holidays, etc, I haven't done much planning for a couple of weeks so am raring to get back onto it again.

Have a healthy day with some great frugal food, everyone.


Saturday, 17 August 2019

Saturday, 17-08-19

Good morning, all.
After the 'essay' I've just posted, this will be short and sweet!

Today's plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt
Dad has strawberries that need using up so there you go.
SW:  free

L:  some sort of salad, apple
Dad has cold meat and plenty of salad veg in his fridge.
SW:  a few syns for some dressing which I might make myself.

D:  I need to run this past Dad but it will probably be steak with new potatoes and runner beans (from the garden)
Dad loves a sirloin steak and neither of us chose that when we ate out yesterday so there you go!  I will probably go shopping and buy some commercial peppercorn sauce as he likes that with his steak.
SW:  the peppercorn sauce will be around four syns.  I should have thought ahead and brought the ingredients with me to make the Pinch of Nom sauce but I didn't.  Never mind.

Ss:  none

Body Magic:  a walk

Have a lovely, healthy day!

An answer

I started an answer to tinasparklesandrainbows' comment to yesterday's post and it turned into such an essay I felt it would be better as another post.  I hope that's OK, Tina.


I do understand your feelings, I honestly do.  I think there's a lot of issues with slimming clubs in general and they are money making businesses at heart so something of a contradiction in terms there right away.  I get more cynical in my old age!

For me, last summer, there were two reasons for joining a weight loss club, something I had always said I wouldn't do.  The first was that the weight loss associated with the gallbladder problems was slowing down once the operation was done.  I had bought new clothes (had to) and was rather enjoying the bonuses of being less cumbersome and clumsy on my feet and the thought of putting it all back on was just not to be considered.  I was getting just a bit worried that things were going to go belly-up.  Well, more than a bit worried, in fact.  I needed a new focus.

At the same time, a 'parent', who I knew from my teaching days, lost weight and she looked amazing.  I asked her about it and she said she'd done it through Slimming World.  I went round hers for coffee and she took me through the whole system - syns, healthy extras, free food, and so on and I realised that, although it sounded complicated, at heart it was fairly simple with a focus on heathy choices. and I'm for ever grateful that she took the time and trouble that morning.

I already knew SW encouraged members to adapt recipes and that there was a body of recipe resources available.  Mel showed me her SW recipe books and I had already made some recipes up from the magazine and they were pretty tasty.  So, with Mel's support, I thought I'd give them a go and hope that I could be reasonably frugal at the same time, something I didn't want to lose.  I reckoned that anything that encouraged one to cook from scratch as much as SW does had to have potential for frugality.

I honestly think that different things work for different people.  I'm fairly 'moderate' in most things and by that I mean I tend not to wander too far from the middle line.  So anything that was too focused on one food type in either way (too much or cut it out) wasn't going to work for me.  Neither were meal replacement things although I knew someone who had lost substantial amounts of weight with one well known system (and gained most of it back later, sadly).  I had used Body Chef (not Diet Chef) in the past, had lost weight and enjoyed the food but it was so, so, so costly and anyway I enjoy cooking.  And finally, an awful lot of celebrity endorsed stuff is just plain weird and makes me laugh!

So, for me, looking at what was available locally, it had to be Slimming World if it was going to be anything at all and, as I needed to do something, that was what I did.

I realised straight away that reading all the bumph I was given was essential and now and again I read through it again, just to make sure.  So is using the resources on their site.  Most importantly, it's important to apply a modicum of intelligence and a great big dollop of common sense to it all.
No, I don't have to count calories although it is helpful to know that one syn (I still don't like that term) equals twenty calories.  In that sense, it doesn't help my detailed knowledge of calories but stick with lots of veg  as the main portion on my plate and keep the protein lean and I truly don't need to know.
No, I really can't eat freely from all the so-called free food, despite the hype, but the Protein and Speed foods are OK.  Load my plate with rice or pasta and I will have some problems.  In fact, I did have some problems with constipation at first, something that had never been an issue before.  It could have been linked with not having a gall bladder any more, I don't know, but I now stick with oats, wholegrain rice and those lovely rice mixes with seeds, quinoa and so on, plus wholewheat pasta and that does the trick.

I think there's some very silly things about Slimming World and I haven't been backward about saying so.
I wish it didn't wrap itself around with, and be so 'precious' about, specific terms and names that, frankly, can be a bit off-putting and make it all sounds more complicated than it really is.  Optimising, syns, 'free', As and Bs, speed - huh?
I wish it didn't proclaim about being able to eat as much free food as I want - because, really, I can't, and as soon as I started reading their bumph I realised that.  You can't have a third (or more) of a plate of 'speed' (i.e. veg to you and me) and load your plate with the pasta or rice (or even chips done the SW way) at the same time and nor can I.
I wish it didn't say silly things such as needing to syn cooked/pureed fruit.  As if a banana mashed to make a portion of oat pancakes (yum) is going to magically be more calories than having a banana whole.
And don't get me started on 'tweaks'.  Just . . . don't.  Tweaks.  Are.  Not.  Bad.
<  grin >

Having said all of the above, I honestly think it's great. It's far more flexible than one would believe at first, there's a world of brilliant recipes out there that can easily be adapted and, providing you have a good group leader (and Jen is fantastic), the meetings are really helpful, albeit a bit happy-clappy (but it makes for a happy atmosphere).  It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to follow the plan - the choices really are there.  Finally, it's all very suitable for family meals as well so you don't have to be cooking separate meals.

I'm really glad I started going, despite some big doubts in the early days.  When I get to target, I'm pretty sure I will keep going too because I don't fool myself that maintaining is going to be a doddle.



Tina, apologies for the essay above.  It has really helped me to write it all out and to clarify my thoughts.  I wish you all the good luck in the world and look forward very much to hearing how you are getting on with whatever you choose to do.  A warm welcome back to reading the blog!



Friday, 16 August 2019

Recipe: pancake treats

This is what I made for taster yesterday evening.  It's a screen shot and I hope you can read it - with all the Word red lines underneath certain bits!  The actual photo isn't great with all that cling film around but you can get the idea.




Recipe: curried chickpea cake with tomato sambal

Taken direct from the recipe in the current BBC Good Food Healthy magazine so a bit naughty really.  It's a really good magazine and if you are interested in that sort of thing, I can recommend it.


Ingredients to serve two  (I halved everything)
For the chickpea cake
400g can chickpeas, well drained
1 tbsp medium curry powder  (I used tikka)
1 tsp cumin seeds (I used ground cumin)
2 garlic cloves (I used garlic puree)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 eggs
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp fresh coriander (I used parsley as I dislike leaf coriander)
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (or you could use dried chilli flakes)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil (I used spray oil)

For the sambal
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
10cm length cucumber, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
3 tbsp chopped coriander (I used parsley)
juice of half a lemon (or from a bottle)

Method.
Into a blender, tip two thirds of the chickpeas, the curry powder, the cumin, garlic, lemon zest and juice, eggs and milk.  Blitz until smooth, then add the remaining chickpeas, coriander and chilli.  Blitz again very, very briefly.
Heat oil in a non stick pan.  Tip in the lix, stir it and leave to cook opver a fairly low heat until set.

Carefully turn it out onto a baking sheet and then slide back to cook the other side for around three minutes (or I stuck it under the grill to finish off the top!).

While that's cooking, mix together all the sambal ingredients.

Turn out the cake onto a plate and pile the sambal on top.

Very easy and very delicious.  I will try it with different spices - cajun, for example - and also with different toppings.  It looks very adaptable.

Apart from the oil, if you don't sub spray oil, everything is SW free and would also work on an SP day.
One tbsp oil would be six syns or three per portion which really isn't a disaster.



Friday, 16-08-19

Good morning, everyone.

First of all, thank you for yesterday's kind comments.  I still can't really believe it.

As I said, half a pound on at weigh in but I am not the least bit downcast over that given that I've had a week away on holiday.

Viviane (the lady with whom Suzanne and I stayed and Suzanne's cousin) loves cooking and entertaining and her meals were really great.
Breakfast was always the same:  freshly squeezed orange juice, sourdough bread, locally made butter, sheeps' yogurt and her own home made 'confiture' - there was blackcurrant, strawberry, apricot . . . and all were delicious - and very, very good coffee.
Lunches we tended to have out, Suzanne and I.  They were delicious and always with either a light beer or a small carafe of rose.  Plenty of water too.  I only had chips once!
Dinners always started with aperatif - wine and nibbles.  Nuts, olives, tapenade, little squares of fried sourdough, cheese (usually goats' cheese).  Then the main course which was meat and vegetables (she made a delicious ratatouille) and twice there was rice/pasta.  No potatoes.  sometimes there was then a 'salade', mostly leaves tossed in a dressing.  Desserts were varied and usually fruit based although there was one fantastic rice pudding made with cream, cinnamon and dried and candied fruit.  It was so good, hot and cold.
Loads of olive oil was involved and loads of herbs.  However, portions were pretty small all round, as were plates, bowls and cups.

Viviane said she knew I wouldn't put any weight on and she was right really, despite it going totally against SW wisdom!  However, my 'system' did take a while to adjust and I was pretty bunged up for several days until things sorted out again.
Unfortunately, maybe down to the excitement of last night or maybe reflecting the change back to UK food again, I had an upset tum overnight.  It will settle again today.

B:  Something eggy based, I think, as eggs tend to be 'binding'!!  Maybe simple scrambled eggs like yesterday.  No bread, I thing - I don't fancy it.
SW:  free

L:  probably a salad based on tomatoes and cucumber, of which I have loads.  I shall fix a dressing to go with it using syns for the olive oil and I've asked Suzanne for the recipe for hers as it was delicious.  Hopefully, by then, things will have settled.
SW:  three syns for half a tbsp oil

D:  Dad and I are eating out and I will go for the leanest, most speed packed choice I can find.  That's what I want to do, not what I have to do. 
SW;  no idea but I have healthy extras and syns so it should be OK

Ss:  none

Body Magic:  not sure, I will have to see what I can fit in.

Have a good SW day (if you're on the programme).

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Woo hoo!

An extra post.

Weigh in result - just half a pound on.   I am so very happy with that, given that I've been on holiday.

While on holiday, I got a message from Jennifer, the group leader, telling me that I'd been nominated for the 'Woman of the Year' award in both groups, the one I go to during the pottery terms and my 'real' one.  That was a surprise and very, very encouraging.  I had to decide which one to go for (couldn't do both) and went for my 'real' group, the Thursday evening one.

I was really chuffed tonight - I was voted the Women of the Year for my group.  Here's my certificate and banner thingy, now on my fridge door (and yes, that is an Adipose you can see).


I thought maybe it was time to show a few more photos to you.  The first is me two years ago, a couple of months before my gall bladder crash and the second is the photo Jennifer took of me this evening.  Bit of a difference, eh?




Very, very definitely worth it!  And if I can do it, anyone can!  xx

Thursday, 15-08-19

Good morning, everyone.

Yersterday's photo diary
Breakfast was muesli with fruit and yogurt.  I was still at my friend's home at that point.

Here's lunch.  It was tuna, tomato, cucumber and bean salad, it was delicious and I posted about it separately.  Half a tbsp of oil is three syns and I think I will use it more in salads - it does make a difference to have a bit of tasty oil based dressing and you need very little really.












Dinner was curried chicken cake with tomato sambal.  I've never had anything like the chickpea cake (not really a cake, it was savoury), it really was delicious and it was dead easy.  I will be making it again, for sure.  It was SW free and SP friendly too.

I'll post separately about it tomorrow as I reckon it's one of those very flexible things that can be used in different ways.



Today's plans:
B:  scrambled egg on a slice of toast
I haven't had this for ages and really fancy it.
SW:  half a healthy extra B for one small slice of toast

L:  fruit and yogurt
My usual weighday light lunch
SW:  free

D:  it's taster evening tonight so goodness knows what folk will bring which is why I am saving the rest of my healthy extras and all my syns.  I'm going to make some mini banana oat pancakes, make some sweet yogurt (I will strain some yogurt to make it thicker and add some vanilla and some stevia) and the idea is to take a mini pancake, top it with some yogurt, add a bit of fruit (like a raspberry or half a strawberry) and pop it in your mouth.  I might also take a bowl of tomatoes as I have so many!
This is what I picked when I got home yesterday.  And there were more tomatoes ready later in the day too.
Lovely, lovely fresh veg!

No snacks.  I have managed for over a week with hardly any snacks and it was OK so I shall go for it and 'feel the hunger', if there is any, knowing I will enjoy the next meal all the more for a bit of an appetite

Body Magic:  a walk, weather permitting.

Weigh in tonight.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Recipe: tuna, tomato, cucumber and bean salad



I found the basis for this recipe in the BBC Good Food Healthy magazine.  I adapted it just to match what I actually had.
This amount serves one good portion.

Ingredients:
half a can of cannelloni peans, drained and rinsed
some halved cherry tomatoes (I used around ten)
some cucumber, peeled and chopped
a small can of tuna, thoroughly drained
some oregano (dried or fresh and chopped) to own taste

for the dressing
half a tbsp each of red wine vinegar and toasted sesame oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
salt and pepper
a few garlis granules
a small pinch of chilli flakes (to own taste)

Method
Put the drerssing ingredients in a small container with a lid and give it a good shake.
Mix together all the other ingredients, add the dressing, mix it well and serve.

SW info.
Assuming the tuna was in brine or spring water, it is just three syns for the half tbsp of oil.  It's also SP friendly.



I think it would also be lovely with shreds of chicken or flaked salmon replacing the tuna

Wednesday, 14-08-19

Bonjour, tout le monde.  I've had a lovely holiday in France but all good things come to an end, as the saying goes, and I'm now back in England and will be driving back along the M25 (oh, joy) after breakfast.

I've eaten well but not wisely and it's all been delicious, the damage (whatever it is) has been done and it's back on the Slimming World road again now.
(and rather dreading tomorrow's weigh in but c'est la vie!)

Today's plans are:
B:  yogurt and fruit
SW:  all free

L:  tuna, cherry tomato and bean salad
I found this in in the August edition of Good Food Healthy.  It has a 'good drizzle of olive oil' and I will need to check the syns when I can access the info again.  The rest is all free.
Edit.  I don't have any olive oil so I used some toasted sesame oil instead and half a tbsp is three syns.  That's OK.

D:  curried chickpea cake with tomato sambal.
Sounds posh, doesn't it?  It's from the same magazine and I can sub the oil for spray oil as it's just for frying the chickpea cake in.
SW:  apart from the oil which I will sub, it's all SW free

As I have managed quite happily without snacks over the last week, I am going to try continuing to manage happily without them.

I'll let you know how the recipes go.

It's good to be back on the road again now.  Onward and downward.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Tuesday, 13-08-29

Good morning, everyone.

After a lovely week when I have been wined and dined and generally fed extremely well indeed, today is travel back to England day and tomorrow I will be home and raring to resume the old frugal and healthy eating again.

I know that breakfast today will be toast and confiture (oh, ok, jam then) and dinner will probably be quiche from the freezer with I'm not sure what.  Not perfect SW stuff but nice all the same, very nice.

While I was away, I took a magazine with me to read and have found a recipe for chickpea pancakes which looks really good so I might give that a go tomorrow evening.  I'll let you know.

And then on Thursday it's back to group to find out the bad news.  It is taster evening; I  wonder what I can take.  There might be enough tomatoes in the garden to take a bowl of them or perhaps some mini kebabs with chicken, tomato and cucumber on cocktail sticks.  Or I  could make some very mini banana oat pancakes and a fruity dip.  Decisions, decisions.  What do you think?

Monday, 5 August 2019

Monday, 05-08-19

Good morning.

When I got home yesterday I picked all these lovely, healthy, frugal things from the garden.  The orange tomatoes are sungolds but I can't remember offhand what the other two kinds are and it's too dark to go out and check the label.


I had the big tomatoes sliced, sprayed with oil, seasoned, slices of halloumi light laid on top and baked in the oven until the cheese was browned and the tomatoes soft.  Lovely with the runner beans and some rice and sauce left over from midday dinner.
The sauce was not SW friendly (but it was delicious), the rest was.

Today is going to be all hiddledy-piggledy as I have to use up available food from the fridge and don't want anything left over.  SW will disappear out the window but I'll try to make it healthy.

B:  natural yogurt and fruit

L:  salad and I will hard boil a couple of eggs to have with it.

D:  I have new potatoes to use up so I will boil them and cut them up. Then fry together some of the tomatoes, mushroom and onion, add the potato, pop in the oven sprayed over and bake until nice and brown.  That might be enough but if it isn't, I will add a small can of tuna to the mix.

Hopefully, that will do.

Reminding you that I won't be posting food plans while I'm away but will get right back on it again when I come home.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Sunday, 04-08-19

Good morning, everyone.

Today's plans:
B:  banana pancakes, fruit and yogurt
When I made the pancakes yesterday, the batter made enough for eight.  The ladle I used must be a bit smaller than my one at home.  I didn't want eight so I saved four and will have them today.
I didn't have any baking powder so made them without and it definitely makes a difference.
SW:  half a healthy extra B

L:  Sticky pork, rice and peas
I'm back home this afternoon so I am making the main meal midday.  I thought I'd use the sauce for sticky chicken with some additions to give a bit of ooomph and apply it to pork instead, that being what Dad thought he would like.

D:  Tea really.  I don't know - maybe something frittata-ish.  I'll see what needs using up/picking when I get home.

Ss:  hopefully, just water


Saturday, 3 August 2019

Just wondering . . .

. . . could I make banana oat pancakes with weetabix instead of oats?

Comments?

Saturday, 03-08-19

Good morning.
We will draw a veil over last night's little indulgence.  I enjoyed my fish and chips (ooooh, naughty) very much indeed.

Moving on . . . today's plans.
B:  I've brought a mushy old banana with me to Dad's, and some eggs, so will make the oat pancakes I love so much.  I'll offer some to Dad but I doubt he will take me up on the offer.  He likes his shredded wheat with fruit and nuts added!
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  cold meat and salad
between dad's tomatoes, my cucumber and all the bits and bobs Dad has in his fridge, I can knock up a nice, SW-friendly salad
SW:  one syn for some mayo

D:  Lamb leg steak, new potatoes, runner beans (first fruits from my garden - yay) and yellow courgette (first fruits from Dad's - lovely)  I don't know whether, in a blind test, I could tell the difference between a green and a yellow courgette but I always prefer the yellow ones.  That bright skin is so cheering.
SW:  pretty much free really, unless I have some gravy.

Ss:  water

Body Magic:  a walk.

Today's plans may be SW friendly but they are not frugal.  Well, they are for me because I'm not paying for much of it, just my breakfast, but it's what Dad would like so that's what we will have!



Friday, 2 August 2019

Friday, 02-08-19

Good morning!

Happy, happy, happy!  Six pounds off last night!  Three cheers and one more for luck!
Now, obviously, I haven't REALLY lost that much fat in one week; last week's reading was distorted by the heat and fluid retention but it is jolly nice to be well on track again and it's a huge relief all round.

Image result for Happy
(borrowed from Google - cute, isn't it?)

Next week's weigh in is on Monday at another group because I will be away on Thursday so if anything can keep me on track over the weekend, that can.

Today's plans:
Because Dad is taking me out to the Millstream this evening, I think I will have an apple or a banana first thing, then a brunch sort of thing at around eleven thirty-ish.
I thought I would try the recipe of the week on the SW site.  Herbed cheese and bacon souffle.  I think it sounds nice enough to try and special enough to keep me on track.  It's more a sort of quiche than a souffle with no flour but you separate the egg, cook bacon, chilli (I have some in the freezer) and spring onion, separate an egg, whisk up the white, add the mixture, herbs and grated Italian hard cheese, fold in the white and cook in a ramekin in a bain marie. I will have some salad with it - cucumber and tomatoes, of course, and some leaves.
SW:  one healthy extra A - which gives me more cheese than the recipe asks for.

As for dinner - goodness knows but I do know one meal doth not a disaster make.  I'll let you know what I had tomorrow.

Just to say that from next Wednesday for a week I won't be posting food plans.  I can't, as it won't be up to me, I'm pretty sure, but I will try to post about what I had during the day as much as possible.

For now it's fingers crossed for the weekend and for Monday evening.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Thursday, 01-08-19

Good morning and Happy New August to you.

Yesterday's meals:
I didn't take any photos of the pancakes but they were lovely.  I added blueberries to the mix and, as they cook a bit, they pop and you get a lovely burst of juice.  I think I'll do that again rather than having fruit on the side.

Lunch, egg wrap thingy (just a folded over egg wrap in the end, not a tubed affair, was very nice.  I'm not 100% keen on the lighter cheddar though.  It doesn't emlt well, it just goes into a rubbery, chewy sort of coating.  I got some because you get 40g to the healthy extra AS rather than 30, but it's not really worth it and when I've finished what I have, I will go back to the ordinary kind.

I always buy my cheddar in blocks when t's on special to grate and freeze, so I have more than a bit to use up first.

No photo of dinner but it was very tasty!



Today's plans:  a light day because it's group this evening and I desperately want to show a loss after last week's unexpected and disappointing gain.
B:  fresh fruit and yogurt

L:  cheg with salad and, maybe coleslaw
Cheg is just a sort of devilled eggs.  Hard boil the eggs, halve them and take out the yolks.  Mash the yolks with mayo, a bit of grated cheese and some spice - I like to use mustard powder but Lea and Parrins is nice too - before piling it all back into the egg whites.
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese and one syn for mayo in the eggs and another for mayo in the coleslaw.

D:  bean and veg curry with rice (made last week and frozen)
It's not particularly SW friendly but it's not too bad.
SW:  I am guessing about eight syns for the curry but it is just a guess.

Ss:  nothing

BM:  walking around town.