Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Tuesday, 31-03-20

Good morning
Food photos from yesterday.
Breakfast - good, old fashioned scrambled eggs on toast and very tasty it was too.
Lunch was a bean burger with home made spicy beans.  I was going to open a tin of baked beans but found these when I got the breakfast bread out of the freezer.




Dinner was most satisfying.  I'm glad I saved some of the beans to have at dinner.

Today's plans are:
B:  overnight oats, fruit and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
I might add the yogurt drink to the overnight oats instead of so much natural yogurt
SW:  half a heA, one heB, two syns

L:  smoked salmon pate, carrot batons, salad leaves, tomatoes; apple
The pate is from the freezer, made two to three weeks ago, I can't exactly remember when.
SW:  I vaguely remember adding a bit of mayo to the mix so half a syn

D:  toad in the hole, lamb gravy, runner beans, roasted sweet potato (or maybe sweet potato fries); stewed apple and blackberry with a bit of * real * sugar <gasp >
The toad in the hole is the other half of what I made a couple of weeks ago and the gravy was saved from yesterday's dinner.  One of the advantages of planning ahead is that one can do that sort of thing!
SW:  firstly, I am NOT synning the stewed fruit, so there!  :-)  Three syns max for one level tbsp sugar
for the toad in the hole:  one heB and a quarter of a heA, two syns for the oil and one for two sausages - I synned the gravy yesterday

S:  plums, easy peelers, pears

Body Magic:  PE with Joe and Lindsey's PT programme

Summary:
three quarters of a heA, two heBs - not the right way round but never mind
eight and a half syns
using up stuff from the freezer

Monday, 30 March 2020

Monday, 30-03-20

Good morning:

More delicious meals yesterday:
This was breakfast except that I was full before the apple so I had it late afternoon instead.  The drink is sparkling water (made in my soda stream) with a slice of lemon.  It's a great way of making sure I get enough water through the day.


Leftovers of the steak and kidney pot pie with root veg topping.  It was still lovely.


Dinner was brilliant - a proper roast dinner.  I'm glad I have more beef in the freezer as well as some portions of roasted root veg and two more Yorkshires to freeze.



Today's plans:
B:  scrambled egg on toast; mini yogurt drink
I haven't had this for ages and, thanks to the generosity of a friend, I have eggs I can use.
SW:  one heB and two syns

L:  Jackburger and baked beans, apple
The burger is the famous Jack Monroe cumin, carrot and kidney bean burger recipe and I have one left in the freezer.  I think they're delicious, I really do.  I'll cook it in spray oil and, looking at the rest of the day, I can afford to sprinkle some cheese over the beans.  Mmmmmm.
SW:  One syn for oil in the burger (I will spray fry it).  Also one heA and maybe two syns for some onion chutney as I have just a tbsp left in the jar

D:  Aldi minted lamb shank, runner beans, roasted root veg; fruit salad or yogurt
All stuff I already have.  Yum.
SW:  two and a half syns for the lamb shank, two syns for the roasted veg

S:  fruit

BM:  PE with Joe

Summary:
one heA and one B
seven and a half syns
the lamb shank is the most costly item, although really good for what you get, and I'm not sure it will do more than one portion

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Sunday, 29-03-20

Good morning.
A couple of yesterday's really not very good photos - but the food was OK!

The breakfast waffles were nice and the mixture made six.  I was gong to save three for another breakfast but later on I got the nibblies so decided it was better to nibble something like that than to dive into the bread and cheese!

A lot nicer than it looks.  Skinny burger with onion chutney on top, coleslaw and a simple salad.

I didn't take a photo of the non-photogenic dinner but it was lovely.  The root veg mash topping was the nicest I've ever had.  It was equal amounts of potato, swede and celeriac, finely diced, boiled, seasoned and roughly mashed, grated cheese mixed in and a bit more on the top.  Over the steak and kidney and baked for 30 mins at 180C.  And there's leftovers for today too as half was more than enough with cabbage and sprouts!

Today's plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
Lunch and dinner are quite beefy meals so I fancy something simple for breakfast.
SW:  two syns for the yogurt drink
(which, for new readers, I have as my cholesterol levels were higher than they should be and I'm trying to get it down in a non-meds way)

L:  steak and kidney pot pie with cheesy potato, swede and celeriac topping, tomatoes on the side.
Leftovers from last night.  I will probably have the tomatoes raw rather than cooked as they look more that way!
SW:  I'll be good and count the one heA for the cheese and one syn for the steak and kidney, even though I also counted it yesterday.

D:  roast beef, Yorkshire pud, roasted veg, sprouts, all the trimmings.
Goodness, doesn't that sound posh!
A while ago, I slow roasted a beef joint that I found on YS (or in some other way cheap, I forget the details) , sliced into fairly chunky slices, wrapped and froze most of it.  That's what I'm using - one or two of those slices anyway.
I will make a batch of Yorkshires and freeze the ones I don't use.  I have enough root veg to do some in the actifry and, again, freeze what's left or maybe make a roasted veg soup for tomorrow or something.  I have roasties in the freezer but I know I will have enough without potato as well.
The gravy is what I spooned off from the canned steak and kidney yesterday and I will syn some creamed horseradish.
So not really posh at all but how nice to be having a good old Sunday roast dinner and it goes to show you don't have to cut these things out to eat healthily.
SW:  The beef and the veg are free, as is the gravy as I synned the whole can yesterday and at lunchtime but I will spend four syns on two tsps of oil, counting two today and the other two for the leftovers.
Half a heB for the Yorkshires (if I have two out of the four) plus one syn each for oil.
And the horseradish is one syn for a level tbsp for the hot horseradish while the creamed horseradish is two syns for the same.  I'll decide which to use at the point of serving.  :-)
(sorry, I seem to have gone on rather!)

S:  fruit

BM:  Lindsey's PT programme (which I can do while watching telly!) and I have a good collection of her shorter clips saved on Facebook too.  Looking forward to Joe Wicks again tomorrow. 

Summary:
one heA and half a B
around eight syns
fairly thrifty (although beef is never cheap) what with using what I already have, making batches and using leftovers



Saturday, 28 March 2020

Saturday, 28-03-20

Good morning.

I didn't take a photo of breakfast but sometimes the simplest things are the best - plums, pear, easy peeler and a Mullerlight.

Lovely spag bol with grated cheese on top.  Filling too, although it wasn't a large portion.




Dinner was really delicious; I enjoyed it very much.  Dessert was some strawberries and natural yogurt.


B:    waffles with fruit and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
Thankfully, there seems to be no shortage of natural yogurt in the shops which is just as well because I do get through quite a lot one way and another
SW:  one heB and two syns

L:  M&S skinny burger with salad and coleslaw; apple
Just what it says!
SW:  the burger is free, the balsamic onion chutney I fancy having on top will be two syns for a level tbsp and the coleslaw will take one syn's worth of super light mayo!

D:  steak and kidney pot pie (with root veg topping), sprouts, cabbage; fruit or yogurt
For this, I will spray roast some root veg in advance and then mash it all together with 30g grated cheese.  This will be the topping.
Underneath will be a can of steak and kidney with some of the gravy spooned off for something I have in mind for tomorrow.  I may very well add some frozen mixed veg to bulk it out and perhaps it will make two portions.
SW:  two syns for the steak and kidney and one heA (or maybe more seeing as I can) for the cheese - or possible half of all that, if it makes two persons

S:  plum, pear, easy peeler

Body Magic:  No Joe today so I'll stick to Lindsey's programme (which incorporates some balance work) and, maybe, do some salsacise

Summary
up to two heAs and one heB
five syns
Still using what I have although I will stock up on fresh fruit and veg soon and I like to keep my natural yogurt supply up to date.  Neither are in short supply in the shops!

I had stopped doing a whole week's planning at once, preferring to work more or less a day ahead - for example yesterday I had today's and tomorrow's plans roughed out.  I then put in the detail when I write the daily blog entry.
However, now that I have a much clearer idea of what I have available and want to use only what I have in as much as ever I can, I've planned a whole week's meals, starting on Monday, using my lists made when sorting out freezer and kitchen cupboards.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Friday, 27-03-20

Good morning!

This was breakfast.  Half a batch of sweet pancakes.  I spread yogurt over them, lay on some slices of plum and folded them over.  The rest of the plums went round the outside and the sludge on top is a little bit of yogurt left in the pot with a tbsp agave nectar mixed in to make a sort of drizzle (except that it didn't actually drizzle!).

The other half batch of pancakes is now in the freezer for another meal sometime.

Lunch:  butterbean and vegetable soup.  Butterbeans add a very 'creamy' texture to a blended soup and this was really nice, even though it doesn't look particularly exciting.



Chilli con carne: nice and frugal because the single portion from the freezer became two generous portions with added veg (more onion, mushroom, pepper, peas and sweetcorn) and then the kidney beans added to one half too.

Tasty and filling.

B:  yogurt and some fresh fruit; mini yogurt drink
SW:  two syns for the drink, half a syn if I have a fruit yogurt

L:  Spag bol; apple
As mentioned above, with extra veg I managed to turn the portion of cooked mince into two portions yesterday.  One I had as a chilli last night with added kidney beans and I'm having the rest with spaghetti for lunch.  Nice and filling - warming too.
SW:  half a syn for the mince and one heA for some cheese on top

D:  fish and chips, mushy peas; piece of fruit
Yes, I am being naughty - really naughty, I mean.  In the freezer I have a couple of lumps of battered haddock (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) and I am going to have one!  I'm not sure I even want to look at the syns but I will!
To balance that, the chips are the halo-topped slimming world approved ones and mushy peas are also approved.
I'm going to enjoy this.
SW:  well - er - two syns for one tsp oil and one syn for some super light mayo.  Can't have chips without mayo to dunk them in.  The fish is eight and a half syns - that's fine!

S:  easy peelers and plums (I know the same thing keeps coming up but I often don't have snacks, it's just planned in case and therefore I have plenty).

Body Magic:  PE with Joe, Lindsey's PT programme

Summary:
just one heA - that sort of calorie-balances the batter round the fish
eleven and a half syns
and still using what I have have in - have had for ages in some cases and which really ought to be used up


Thursday, 26 March 2020

Thursday, 26-03-20

Good morning.
Yesterday went much better.  No crashes, no binges, hardly any snacking even.  I'm very relieved.

Breakfast was a sort of hash affair - sausage, cooked potato, red pepper, mushroom and chopped tomatoes, all fried together using spray oil, a few garlic granules and a smattering of cajun spice.  Very tasty.

Lunch was the left over sort of lasagne, still very tasty after freezing and thawing, even though it was not a pretty sight!.

The celeriac chips were really rather nice.  Not crisp at all, I didn't expect that as there's precious little starch in celeriac, but they had a good flavour.  The burger was really very good indeed.  A satisfying munch!



Today's meal plans:
B:  pancakes with fruit and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
SW:  one heB and a bit of a heA, let's call it half, plus two syns for the yogurt drink

L:  vegetable and butterbean soup; apple
The soup is from the freezer and, miracle of miracles, I now know which shelf to find it as well.
SW:  free

D:  chilli con carne, rice; yogurt
What I had planned for yesterday but didn't have because I needed to use the stuff I'd got out for Tuesday but didn't have . . .
I will make the chilli from a portion of cooked mince in the freezer and some (rather overcooked) kidney beans, also in the freezer, plus a chilli from the garden.  The rice is also in the freezer, a portion of basmati.  I can top it with grated cheddar (45g) and some natural yogurt
I'm expecting that when I add the beans and perhaps a few more vegetables, the mince will make two portions instead of one - I'm hoping so, anyway.
SW:  The mince is one syn (oil used in the cooking) and the cheese will be one and a half heAs

S:  plums and easy peelers

BM:  PE with Joe and after the success of the online personal training with Lindsey yesterday, she has provided me with a programme to follow so I can do some of that too.  No excuses for being idle now!

Summary:
two healthy extra As and one B - perfect!
three syns
nice and frugal, making good use of what I already have in fridge, cupboard and freezer - not that there's any other option right now!

(I post this now and again to explain)

Healthy extras are measured amounts of certain foods.  SW doesn't do a lot of measuring but it's essential for these.  You don't HAVE to have them but they promote a balanced diet.

Healthy extra As (heA) are calcium based so things like milk, cheese and non dairy alternatives.

Healthy extra Bs (heB) are fibre based and there's a much wider range.  Wholemeal products such as bread, pitta, muffins (the English kind), nuts, dried fruits, etc.

Syns are certain, usually higher calorie non-essentials like oil based dressings, oils, chocolate, crisps, alcohol, etc.  If you want extra of a healthy extra, you have to syn it.  Basically a syn is the equivalent of around 20 calories.

It all sounds very complicated but it really isn't.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Wednesday, 25-03-20

Good morning.

I've started sorting through my veg and seeing what could go into the freezer to avoid any waste.  Yesterday, I chopped up the bottom of some celery that was just starting to go so now there's enough for several recipes.  I'm going to do the same today with some red and green peppers as I more often use these in cooked dishes than in salads.

Yesterday's food:
Lovely breakfast - stewed apple and blackberries.  I added one tbsp demerara sugar (real sugar, shock, horror!) and a couple of strawberries and it was really gorgeous.

Lunch - bright, colourful and tasty.  The dip is a small can of tuna blended with mayo, nutmeg, seasoning and lemon juice.












It wasn't a nice day yesterday (see my other blog for the reason); late afternoon there was a sudden release of tension as I heard all was OK and I just lost it so I'm afraid I'm going to draw a veil over the rest of the day's happenings.  Suffice it to say the chunky wholemeal bread, cheese and mayo sandwich was lovely!!!
Today is a new day and I'm proper back on track straight away.  That's what matters.

Today's plans:  I'm taking a good hard look at what I have in the freezer each morning before whiting the plans for the day
B:  bacon, bean, sausage and tomato hash; mini yogurt drink
This just sort of came to me.  Nothing original but I just fancy it really. I have a selection of half syn sausages to choose from, I will use some home soaked and cooked pinto beans (from the freezer) and peeled and chopped tomatoes from last year's garden.
SW:  two syns for the mini yogurt drink

L:  'sort of lasagne', salad, coleslaw
This is left over from last week when I made one for dinner and only ate half of it.
SW:  one heA and one syn for super light coleslaw

D:  Same as yesterday.  Cheese burger with spicy celeriac chips and a salad
While sorting out part of the freezer, I found some syn free skinny burgers from M&S so it's about time I used them.  I will have it on a wholemeal roll with lettuce, balsamic onion chutney and some cheese so it should be extremely tasty.  The celeriac chips are because I want to give them a go and have the necessary to do so.
SW:  one heA for cheese and one B for the wholemeal roll, the chutney (the kind I have) is one and a half syns for one level tbsp and oil for the chips will be two syns for a tsp.  An actifry doesn't need any more to make great chips!

S:  I will try for none!

Body Magic:  PE with Joe and at midday Lindsey and I will try for a personal training session online

Summary:
two heAs and one B
six and a half syns
a bit more expensive today as it's more meat loaded but all stuff I already have.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Tuesday, 24-03-20

Good morning!

Would you believe I totally forgot to have any breakfast until about half twelve yesterday.  There's definitely something to be said for staying busy!
As a result, lunch was a bit later too and ditto for dinner.  I was well within the eating window, all the same.

Lunch and dinner.  Tasted a lot less beige than it looks!


Today's plans are:
B:  stewed apple and blackberry with yogurt, mini yogurt drink
I found a bag of frozen apple  and some foraged blackberries from last year in the freezer so I will stew them with some stevia.  No, I won't count any syns for stewing the apple.  I have always thought that just plain silly and somewhat controlling for no reason that I can see.
SW:  two syns

L:  tuna dip with carrot batons, salad leaves; apple
I will mix tuna with some mayo and seasonings to make a nice dippy thing
SW:  one syns for mayo

D:  cheese burger with spicy celeriac chips and a salad
While sorting out part of the freezer, I found some syn free skinny burgers from M&S so it's about time I used them.  I will have it on a wholemeal roll with lettuce, balsamic onion chutney and some cheese so it should be extremely tasty.  The celeriac chips are because I want to give them a go and have the necessary to do so.
SW:  one heA for cheese and one B for the wholemeal roll, the chutney (the kind I have) is one and a half syns for one level tbsp and oil for the chips will be two syns for a tsp.  An actifry doesn't need any more to make great chips!

S:  fruit

Body Magic:  Joe Wicks PE, balance exercises

Summary:
One heA (I might have more cheese) and one B
six and a half syns


Hopefully, today the SW group I attend has its first online meeting.  It won't be the same, of course, but better than nowt.  Last Tuesday Jennifer said to use our own scales, weigh ourselves using them and use that as the starting point for the next few weeks (or months) so I will do that.  I think generally people have found it hard not to binge as they are gripped by the worry that so much change brings in its wake.  I though I'd be the same but quite the opposite, it's something that is still within my control and that's very helpful at this time.
How are you retaining control?

Monday, 23 March 2020

Monday, 22-03-20

Good morning!

Yesterday's meals all went well.



Those tomatoes may look like nothing on earth but they were from the garden, peeled and frozen.  I popped them in a pan with the juice that had come out and boiled them down so the flavour remained without the liquid and they were sublime.  It's too easy to forget how good they taste in comparison.


Here we are - a nice, healthy lunch with one of the pots of smoked salmon pate that I used.
















 

Dinner may look beige and overloaded but, my word, it was good.  The gravy was some I saved from the tin of steak and kidney so in no way should go with turkey in but it did, it was all delicious.
For the record, the Yorkshires were the two I froze.  I just popped them in the oven beside the stuffing with fifteen minutes to go and they came out light and crunchy.  I really rather fancy making a batch of them for future meals.
Today's plans are . . .
B:  fruit salad and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
SW:  two syns for the mini drink

L:  left over soup mix soup with a sprinkle of cheese (30g) on top; apple
Made last week and very satisfying and filling.  I will add some milk as it is pretty thick.  Not a lot of soup mix made loads of soup so there's two portions in the freezer (all written down!) as well.
SW:  half heA for added milk and one for the cheese

D:  chicken and veg jalfrezi curry, basmati rice; fruit
Another from the freezer, this was, I think, half a Iceland/SW ready meal or maybe it used a SW ready sauce.  Anyway, it made loads and was nice enough to want to keep.
When I defrost it, if it doesn't look enough, I can put together a quick lentil dahl to accompany it.
The rice is another from the freezer.  Not wholegrain but I have it so I'm using it.
SW:  this should be free

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic.  I might go on a walk - it should be safe enough as long as I keep distance (which I will).  Otherwise, the days are lively at the moment as I'm tidying and sorting, in and out, up and down!

Summary
one and a half heAs and maybe I will have a roll or a couple of slices of my bread with the soup for a heB.  I'll see how I feel nearer the time
two syns
the Iceland/SW meals/sauces are not cheap but when they are enough for two portions that makes them more reasonable; otherwise it's a frugal day

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Sunday, 22-03-20

Good morning!

A very nice breakfast.  I warmed up the left over waffle quarters in the oven and then cut each quarter into two.  The yogurt is orange with chocolate sprinkles and I had just a few raspberries that were just on the turn so I mashed them and had them as well.  Really fresh and tasty.


Lunch was the soup mix soup as described yesterday and it looked boring but tasted warming and satisfying.  Given that it's free, I might have some as a snack today.
The dinner 'sort of lasagne' was really nice and, again, made way more than I had room for - I could only manage half of what's in the photo.
Like Friday, there's now a neat, wrapped pack of 'sort of lasagne' in the freezer.




And the stewed rhubarb and custard yogurt was lovely!

Today's SW menu plans:
B:  mushroom omelette, tomatoes on the side (from the garden, frozen last year); mini yogurt drink
SW:  should be free except for two syns for the yogurt drink

L:  smoked salmon pate with carrot goujons and pitta bread slices; apple
The pate is just smoked salmon, zizzed well with cottage cheese, some mayo, some dill, pepper and lemon juice.
SW:  one heB, one syn for the mayo

D:  a good old roast dinner; fruit salad and yogurt
This will consist of roast turkey (leftovers from Christmas), one Yorkshire pudding (home made and from the freezer), stuffing (from a packet mix combined with the contents of one skinny sausage and some sage from the garden), roasties and veg.  I also have some gravy saved from the steak and kidney the other day.  OK, it won't match the meat but who cares?  Not me!
I reckon this will be a real treat and very little trouble as the meat and the Yorkshire are both already cooked.
SW:  complicated!  one and a half syns for the Yorkshire (rather than a quarter healthy extra B), half a syn for the sausage, one syn for the stuffing mix, and I'm calling the gravy free as I counted it all the other day.  I know you're not supposed to do that but I can't be bothered to work it out!  If I use oil for the roasties, that will be two syns; it's enough for more than one portion of roasties so I might possibly do a bit extra and keep half for another day.

S:  fruit, soup mix soup

BM:  I'm doing a lot of moving around right now, as I sort and tidy.  Apart from that, some balance exercises and one of Lindsey's recordings.

Summary:
one heB but I don't seem to have any As (yet)
eight syns
a lot of dinner is leftovers which is good

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Saturday, 21-03-20

Good morning.

The biggie yesterday was a new recipe and a new (to me) ingredient - celeriac.  I found the recipe on Lifeline Online which is the SW site so not accessible to non-members, sorry!

I can't say I was overwhelmed as I prepared the dish.  It didn't look great and I had this feeling that it was going to be either boring or just not very nice.

I couldn't have been more wrong.  OK, I added a LOT more cheese than the recipe said, because I could, I think that might have made all the difference and altogether it was delicious.
It was a recipe for four and I quartered it but it still made enough for two meals so I have carefully wrapped the other half, labelled it and frozen it for another time.  You could use other veg - a layer of mushrooms would be really nice, for example.


Today's menu plans;  a few experiments too but nothing too risky!

B:  leftover waffles (from Thursday) with a fruit yogurt; mini yogurt drink
Rather than add fruit to the mix, I thought I'd cut along the waffles and dip them in a Mullerlight.
SW:  half a heB (the leftover waffles), two syns for the yogurt drink and half a syn for the Mullerlight.

L:  soup mix soup; apple
This is from something someone was talking about in a Facebook group.  I have a bag and a half of soup mix (the full one was in the S of the W basket this week) and well as another kind of soup mix I found at the back of the cupboard yesterday.  Soup mix does take ages to cook and has to be soaked beforehand but I thought that if I zizz some to powder in Thermione, then add any veg/stock/etc, it will cook a lot quicker with all the goodness still there.  Worth giving it a go anyway, I think.  Of course, it will make a smooth soup rather than having all the bits.
SW:  should be free

D:  lasagne, coleslaw; rhubarb and custardy yogurt
It's not a real lasagne, it's a sort of lasagne.  I will use one portion of my savoury mince.  I will cook a sheet of lasagne until it's soft, cut it in half and then layer mince, grated cheese, pasta, finishing off with grated cheese before popping it in the oven until it's bubbly and brown.  It should be nice.  I just love coleslaw with lasagne.
The custardy yogurt is just normal natural yogurt with vanilla and stevia added.  It tastes very like custard.  And I will sweeten the rhubarb with stevia too
SW:  up to two heAs for the cheese and probably one syn for the stevia as I will go over the one tbsp.  Also one syn for some mayo in the coleslaw and one for the cooked mince.

S:  fruit

BM:  not sure.  I have ironing and I might do a bit of gardening.  I'm missing my 'taking the long way' walks out

Summary:
two heAs and half a B
five and a half syns
pretty frugal today which is nice
I'm not going to plan for the eating window every time any more as it's now an established thing and I don't need to focus on it.  Suffice it to say, the usual window will be 8:16 or 9:15 on those very hungry mornings.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Friday, 20-03-20

Good morning!

Now, here's a funny (as in 'odd') thing.

I made my breakfast waffles but decided to cut down on the flour a bit - 30g instead of 40 - and to use my yogurt drink with the egg instead of natural yogurt.
I beat it all up and the mixture, despite using less, made more.  Six 'quarters' instead of the four I expected, having cut down the flour.
So not only were they jolly nice and light, I have three for another day, that I can either warm and crisp up in the oven or under the grill - or even in the toasty, of course.

And I had half a heB to spend on a hi-fi bar!  Win-win

I changed lunch as I remembered that when I dropped the portion of chicken and veg last night, some had stayed in the pot and I had saved that.
So I made up some couscous, adding some chicken stock powder (and now I know that a quarter cup of dry couscous makes just a bit too much so I have more to use up).
The two together made a very delicious lunch.


  Dinner was nice but not very photogenic.  I didn't eat much either, so that's lunch sorted out!


Today's food plans.
B:  bacon and egg roll, mini yogurt drink
I found a pack of three Promise rolls in the freezer so will use one as my breakfast roll.
SW:  one heB for the bread and two syns for the yogurt.  I'll syn any brown sauce I have.

L:  steak and kidney, runner beans, 'saute' potatoes
I put the last in inverted commas because they won't be really sauted, I'll cube them, spray them and brown them in a non stick pan.
SW:  one syn for the steak and kidney

D:  sweet potato and celeriac gratin, salad or veg; rhubarb yogurt
Last week I bought something I've never knowingly had before.  Some celeriac.  I looked on Lifeline Online (the SW site for members and so useful) and found a recipe which looks easy enough, simple to reduce to a smaller amount and low syn.  In face, if you use the cheese as a bit of a healthy extra A, it's syn free.  I might add a bit of bacon or ham or something to it although it does have protein, with egg and cheese
Another thing that's worth a go, I reckon.
SW:  As I shall use stevia to sweeten the rhubarb, this should be syn free and there's one heA for some cheese (I might make it two!)

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  balance activities, a few of Lindsey's clips

Summary
two heAs and one B
three syns
the usual eating window of 8:16

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Recipe: a very rambly casserole.

This is what I posted in our local closed SW FaceBook page.  I thought I may as well share it here; it's nothing special but it is tasty.
This is how I had half a portion for lunch, with couscous.  Really tasty.


This is a really useful (and pretty casual) batch recipe that I made yesterday. The amount you make depends on how much you put into it.

I used oil.  One (level!) tbsp is six syns, which is fine when you make a big batch. You can use spray oil.
Saute your veg. I used onion, carrot, red and green pepper, baby corn, mange tout, and mushrooms.

Add chopped chicken (or any meat, really) and fry, stirring, until the meat is coloured. Add lentils for extra (and cheap) protein, if you want. 
(I added some turkey bits from Christmas too plus a bit of chorizo)

Add herbs and seasonings. If using spices, add them at the end of the saute veg stage. I used a Spanish chicken herb mix that I had and I also added garlic granules, salt and pepper.

Add chopped tomatoes and water, some stock powder or stock pot and some tomato puree.
Bung it all in a slow cooker (if you have one) and leave till it's all done and thickened. Or it can go in a low oven or on a low ring.

I've listed the veg I used but really you can use anything you have/fancy - a great way to up your speed veg. It's nice with stalks that you might otherwise throw away, like broccoli or cauliflower stalks - just dice them and chuck them in.

You can use this mix on pasta, rice, couscous, etc; as a topping for a jacket potato; under a mashy topping, in a pie, as a filling for a sort of cannelloni, wrapped in those thin omelettes; even as a filling and chunky soup (add a bit more water for more liquid; or just on its own with more veg (spiralised or not). If you have a heA to use up, sprinkle over grated cheese. If you want a 'thicker' meal, just sieve off some of the liquid and use it as a gravy for another meal.

Apart from any oil you might use, this should be a SW free meal. Choose your veg carefully and it could be SP friendly as well.

And, to finish, portion it out and freeze - it freezes really well.

Thursday, 19-03-20

Good morning.
With things in their current state, it becomes more important to use what I have rather then buying new stuff all the time (assuming one can find what one needs) so,  for a while, sometimes it might look as if I'm being very unfrugal.  However, it will be what I already have and am determined to use up, rather than new stuff (usually).  I won't change the name of the blog but it might not always sounds terribly frugal.

Our closed SW facebook group livened up considerably today with lots of to and fro between people.  I think there will be plenty of group support, just not face to face stuff.  Jennifer plans to do some real time stuff when the meetings should be and the general feeling was one of 'we can do this'.

Dave didn't come round after all yesterday.  He did give me plenty of notice but I'd already started thawing the chicken so I went ahead with making the meal anyway.  I sauted onion, carrot, red and green pepper, baby corn and mange tout, added a herb mix called Spanish chicken and garlic granules, salt and pepper, chucked in the chopped chicken, a bit of chorizo finely chopped and two cans of chopped tomatoes plus chicken stock powder and some tomato puree.  The chicken looked lost among all those vegetables so I rummaged in the freezer and got out two pots of turkey 'bits' (from the carcass at Christmas) and added them too before bunging it all in the instant pot and leaving it.
Not only was it very nice, the portion I had, mixed with some wholegrain pasta and sprinkled with cheese, the whole lot made eight portions altogether, one for yesterday, one that I dropped on the way from kitchen to freezer (I was so cross with myself) and six that are now snuggled in the freezer for other meals.
It's like my savoury mince mixture - it can be used for all sorts of different meals with various additions so a very useful thing to have.  Counting the oil I used and the chorizo, one and a half syns per portion.  Can't be bad, can it?


Today's plans:
B: waffles, fruit and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
SW:  one heB for the wholewheat flour, one and a half syns for some agave nectar and two syns for the mini yogurt drink

L:  cheesy tomato soup; apple
SW:  I have to check the container (I always write the syns, etc, on the lid before freezing) but I think the tomato soup is free while the cheese will be one heA

D:  steak and kidney, jacket potato and veg; fruit
The steak and kidney will be a M&S can, one of those that needs using up.  One of the veg might very well be frozen runner beans
SW:  two syns for the steak and kidney

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  inside exercise; maybe a walking YouTube thing or maybe some salsacise (or even both)

Summary:
one healthy extra A and one B
five and a half syns
the usual eating window of between eleven and seven


Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Wednesday, 18-03-20

Good morning.

I'm glad I went to Slimming World Group yesterday.  I was the slimmer of the week (yay!) so won a basket of goodies to swell the store cupboard and also I won the raffle which was, this week, something for longer term.
This.

Out in the fresh air and open space of the allotment will be as safe a place as any over the next weeks/months, not to mention healthy exercise.  I'll get those seeds sown some time this week and even if only a few come up, It will be a gain!  At worst, I can put them in pots in the garden; at best, they can take up some allotment space.  What a good raffle prize.

While we were having the meeting, a message came through from SW that they are cancelling all meetings for three weeks (and it will probably be longer than that, I reckon) so we were lucky to get ours in.  I'm glad we've got a fairly lively Facebook group; we can continue supporting, etc, in there.  Not the same but much better than nothing at all.
Also, I have just seen that SW will be providing an online support structure while the groups are closed.  No complaints there!

I remembered to take a few photos.
This was lunch -  reheated sort of pancake cannelloni with leftover coleslaw, much more filling than it looked (which is rather messy!)

and . . .


. . . a very tasty dinner with lots of speed veg.

Today's plans are . . .
B:   overnight oats with fruit; mini yogurt drink
SW:  one heB for oats, half a syn for a Mullerlight and two syns for the drink

L:  bacon and spicy baked beans; apple
The spicy beans are a home made thing which I portioned and froze.  They have a fair amount of speed veg in which is good.
SW:  free

D:  chicken and tomato pasta bake; yogurt
I'll concoct the pasta bake with some chicken breast, plenty of veg including tomatoes plus some kind of wholewheat pasta with grated cheese on top.  Son Dave is coming round and will share it with me, which is really nice.
SW:  one or maybe two heAs for grated cheese and maybe three syns for half a tbsp oil

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  it's personal training today

Summary
two heAs and one B
five and a half syns
nothing particularly expensive except the happy chicken and that will be well bulked out with veg
an eating window of between eleven and seven

And finally, while down the allotment, I pulled some early rhubarb.  I gather you can sweeten it with agave nectar which has more sweetening power than sugar.  I will give it a go and see if it is nice - just stewed rhubarb, of which I am rather fond.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Tuesday, 17-03-20

Good morning, everyone.
Yesterday's food went down and stayed down so I feel a lot brighter now.
The dinner (the pancake wrapped savoury mince with cheese thingy) actually turned out rather like a kind of cannelloni (which is what it was really) and, with the salad, made loads, so I have half left for lunch today.  Waste not, want not.
I forgot to take any photos though, sorry.


Today's food plans:
B:  waffles with fruit and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
SW:  one heB and half a syn for the waffles plus two syns for the yogurt drink

L:  leftover pancake lasagne with coleslaw and salad; apple
 . . . as mentioned above
SW:  one syn for the mayo in the coleslaw but I'm not counting the bit of whatever in the 'cannelloni' as I counted it yesterday

D:  salmon, broccoli, sprouts, carrot and parsnip chips; yogurt
I'll probably add a bit of spice to the chips for extra flavour
SW:  two syns for one tsp oil

S:  fruit

BM:  a walk and inside exercise

Summary
one heB and a bit of heA plus the cheese on the cannelloni, but that's already cooked so I can't measure it.  It won't be more than about half an A anyway
five and a half syns
pretty frugal, all home made, the most expensive is the salmon
an eating window of between eleven thirty and seven:  7.5:16.5

Monday, 16 March 2020

Monday, 16-03-20

Morning!

As planned, I stayed off food yesterday.  It wasn't any sort of hardship and, fingers crossed, things will be OK today.
Today's plans:
B:  an omelette with tomatoes on the side, mini yogurt drink
SW:  two syns for the yogurt drink

L:  beans on toast (one slice toast), apple
SW:  half a heB for the toast

D:  savoury mince pancakes, salad
I have a half portion of savoury pancakes from last week and also I made a batch of savoury mince that portioned into eight at one syn a portion.  I will roll the reheated mince in the pancakes, sprinkle over some grated cheese and bake.  Nice and simple!
SW:  half a heB, one and a half heA and maybe a couple of syns for salad dressing.

S:  fruit

Body Magic:  I ought to do something after an inactive weekend but I'll see how I feel.

Summary:
one heA and one B
about four syns
fairly frugal and all home made, even the bread!
the eating window will go to pot again as I really ought to have a little something before I drive home - never mind, back to it tomorrow.