Saturday 31 December 2022

Saturday, 31-12-22: New Year's Eve

 Good morning!
Yesterday's weigh in - ouch and triple ouch but there you go.  Line drawn, moving on to fresh fields and pastures new!  I know exactly what I need to do - I just need to do it.

Most of the Christmas leftovers have now either been eaten or otherwise sorted.  The freezer is laden and, after tonight, things move on into another New Year.

I'm not a great one for 'resolutions'.  However, Jan 1st is a useful cut off/start up point, isn't it?
For me, given how many supplies I have in and how much things are going up, January is going to be a low spend/no spend month.
I know that's a bit contradictory but the idea is this.

All I will buy through January is essentials - and by that I mean food such as fresh fruit, veg and dairy/eggs.  All other foods will come out of my existing supplies and, to be honest, that may not be much of a challenge.  Also included in any low spend essentials are cleaning products and toiletries although I think I am fine for the latter.  
And anything else essential that I won't think of until it lands!
That is the low spend part.

Everything else, unless it is either a regular bill/payment/commitment, will not happen.  No sneaky little Amazon purchases, no 'bargains' from the supermarket, certainly no clothes . . .
That's the no spend part.

Given that the food side of it won't be much of a challenge for a while, I think it will likely continue into February - but we will see about that when the time comes.

Yesterday's meals:

Sometimes I wonder why I bother with fancy stuff when simple beans on toast tastes so very good.
Instead of spray toasting the bread, I carefully measured half a tsp turkey dripping (one syn) which, being quite soft, spread right over the whole slice and imparted a lovely, subtle flavour to the whole meal.

Definitely not a traditional lasagne, but it was actually quite tasty.  The underneath was onion, pepper, mushroom, turkey, chicken stock powder and chopped tomatoes, the lasagne was the reused bits from making the ravioli and the topping was a beaten egg with 30g hard Italian cheese, grated with 30g double Gloucester grated cheese over the top.
Not a proper lasagne top but it did work.

I also had three small easy peelers.
A very easy turkey curry using a Spice Queen mix and it was delicious!
So were the several easy peelers I had afterwards.  They're starting to go off and need using up quickly.  That's my excuse anyway!

Good start though - nothing off plan, nothing after seven pm, despite being sorely tempted.

Today's meal plans:

B:  oat pancakes with fruit
I plan to use 40g oats, zizzed to a powder, with an egg, some almond milk, sweetener and some baking powder.
The almond milk is a new venture - friends say it's really nice and it counts as part of a healthy extra A (100mls is one syn so 300 mls is pretty much half an A).
Now, milk is the thing I waste the most so I have indulged in some 250ml bottles and I will freeze it is 250mls.  I gather it freezes very well.  Fingers crossed.
SW:  half a healthy extra A and one B

L:  Spanish tortilla and salad; fruit
I thought, in order to have something with a bit of goodness in it for this evening, I would make a Spanish tortilla which I could slice, have one slice for dinner and serve the rest this evening.  Any leftovers will do for tomorrow.
I think I will use this recipe as a base.
To it, I can add some jarred roasted red peppers that need using up and some sliced mushrooms and, as I don't have any waxy potatoes, I will use some canned potatoes that I won in a SW raffle ages ago and haven't used yet.  No meat because if I do Beth can't have it, but with the eggs and any cheese I add, there's enough protein.  I might sprinkle some cheese over in the last few minutes and I might pop it under the grill rather than flip it - I'll see how I feel.
SW:  Hard to say as I'm making more than one portion but I guess the cheese will be a healthy extra A and I will use spray oil - I doubt any purists, sheffy people are reading this but, if you are, apologies!!

D:  New Year's Eve buffet
As it is New Year's Eve, Beth and Alex are round and we are having a buffet with all the bits and pieces that didn't get use over the Christmas weekend.  There's the tortilla, cheese and crackers, mozzarella sticks, veggie sausage rolls, some sort of mini tarts, a Christmas cake entirely untouched, some pigs in blankets and loads of easy peelers.
Oh, and gin, wine, beer - ooops!
No, not SW friendly, but it's the one meal of this week that will be off plan.
SW:  unknown

E:  a walk

Unknown.  I was tempted to add ' but it will be last blow out this year' but I won't because how corny is that!!

Friday 30 December 2022

Friday, 30-12-22: Christmas leftovers challenge

Morning, everyone.

So far, I have made (or will make):
bubble and squeak
chunky soup

In the freezer I have put:
two real American pancakes
mini slices of stollen (gift)
four pots of turkey slices in stock
two pots of turkey chunks in stock (for casseroles, curries, etc)
three little pots of white wise (for cooking with)
one pot of very much reduced turkey stock

I also have some very tasty turkey dripping but . . . 

Yesterday's meals:
Sadly, I only had one of the planned meals.  I had toast for breakfast (white bread, now used up) and 'dinner' was a disater of all sort of unhealthy bits and bobs.

Today's weigh in will be terrible, a huge gain, but it is sure to get me back on track.

This was the first time I made arancini (basically rice balls with stuff mixed in) but it won't be the last although making the balls was a fiddly process and I might just pack the mixture into appropriately sized oven dish and bake it as a sort of slab.

Today's plans:

B:  fruit, beans on toast
The beans are leftovers and the toast will (WILL) be wholemeal as the white I made last week has all gone now.
SW:  one healthy extra B

L:  turkey curry and rice; fruit
Has to be used up today so I'm having it for lunch.  The flavours should be good anyway!
SW:  half a syn if I add yogurt to the curry

D:  hm turkey and veg lasagne; fruit
I have just a bit of turkey, a bit of chopped tomato and various veg so I will make a chunky sauce with that.  I have what's left from the wholewheat pasta I made t'other day and I will make that carbonara sauce I use with a beaten egg and grated parmesan mixed into it.
A sort of lasagne!
SW:  up to two healthy extra As but the rest is speed/free on SW.

two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
half a syn

Thursday 29 December 2022

Thursday, 29-12-22: Christmas leftovers challenge


Well, making the wholewheat pasta was interesting.  As you use 100g flour per one egg, I went for 50g wholewheat plain flour.  As it was the first time I'd tried wholewheat, I decided to use half a tsp olive oil (one syn) and, as I needed beaten egg to construct the ravioli, I used half of it in the dough.
It did work although it was quite 'short' but also a bit sticky so extra flour was used (let's call it another syn).  I think I should have left it to rest for longer than fifteen minutes and will remember that next time.
With the amount I made, I had enough to make six ravioli (I am assuming that's the plural version) and I re-rolled the rest, wrapped the sheet carefully and am going to use it to make a leftovers lasagne for tomorrow.
I'm really trying not to waste anything!  When you think how expensive fresh pasta is, it really is economical to make it yourself, if it is really nice, and I am going to be investigating possibilities!
Yesterday's meals:

Beans on toast.  Plain and simple and very tasty!  Also very SW friendly.

Lunch was absolutely gorgeous and almost all leftovers.  I have now used up all my cooked vegetables and can start using up the fresh stuff.

I added some fajita spice to the mix and it worked so well.

It didn't need any salad, there was enough.

Dinner was the experimental ravioli and I am going to call it a success.
I didn't cook the made ravioli for quite long enough; it was just a bit too al dente for wholewheat.  The filling was gorgeous. as was the sauce.  I added some grated not-Parmesan for my other healthy extra A.

Maybe, next time, try a half and half?

Today's plans:

B:  bacon, egg and beans
The beans are leftovers from yesterday as half a can is usually more than enough!
SW:  should be syn free

L:  festive arancini, salad; fruit
I've never made arancini but know of it and have wanted to try it.  It's usually in order to use up leftover rice but this time it's pretty much everything else that will be leftovers, not the rice!
The recipe I am basing it on is below, copied from the Guardian site (which is still free but you do have to register) and, obviously, I am adapting it and hoping!
For a start, I will be air frying, not deep frying, the good glug of oil will probably translate into one tsp for two syns as I think it will need a bit of oil, I won't be using mozzarella as I don't have any, cheddar will have to do, and the breadcrumbs will be part of a healthy extra. 
As I'm having curry for dinner, I will cook the rice early, use some for this and reheat the rest for dinner.
To the rice I will add cheese, onion, stuffing, turkey and a few dried cranberries, chopped.  I'm wondering about a bit of balsamic vinegar too . . .
SW:  up to two healthy extra and a few syns for stuffing, cranberries, etc, let's call it four to be on the safe side.

D:  turkey and veg curry; yogurt
I made the curry yesterday and am hoping the flavours will have developed and matured.
I used a Spice Queen spice mix and they are always SW free.  The only synny thing I might add is a bit of 2% yogurt (if it hasn't gone off over Christmas)
SW:  half a syn for yogurt


up to two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
four and a half syns

This is the recipe I am basing my arancini on - obviously, very much adapted.  Fingers crossed, please.

1 good glug virgin or light olive oil
½ onion, finely diced
½ stick celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Salt and black pepper
250g cooked rice or leftover risotto, refrigerated
30g parmesan, grated
60g mozzarella, cut into six pieces
30g flour
1 egg, beaten
50g breadcrumbs or crushed stale potato crisps
Oil, for deep-frying

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium flame. Add the onion, celery, garlic and a pinch of salt, and fry, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl with the cold rice and parmesan, mix everything well until it sticks together and season to taste. Divide the mixture into six portions, and form each one into a firm ball around a 2cm piece of mozzarella. Roll the balls in the flour, shake off any excess, roll in the egg, shake off any excess, then roll in the crushed potato crisps or breadcrumbs, to coat.

On a medium heat, bring a small saucepan one-third full of frying oil to 170C (test the temperature by dropping a small piece of rice or a crumb into the oil – if it bubbles to the surface, the oil is ready). Carefully lower the arancini into the hot oil, fry for two to three minutes, or until golden-brown, and enjoy. If you have any leftover egg, flour and crisps, mix them all together and fry as a small omelette snack to have alongside the arancini.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Wednesday - Christmas leftovers challenge

 Morning, everyone.
Yesterday was a day of two halves.  I think everything caught up on me.  I've not been sleeping all that well over last week and the weekend and yesterday I just couldn't stay awake.  I've learned my lesson (again) though.  If I plan even a remotely fancy dinner, I must prep as much as I possibly can in the morning.

After a great night's sleep, I do feel much more with it today, thankfully, and ready to rock!

Yesterday's meals:

I did manage a photo of breakfast and it was delicious.
I added a bit of stuffing to the bubble and squeak and used a bit of flour for dusting - I reckon it was no more than two syns, probably less.

Lunch, the leftovers soup, was scrummy but I forgot to photo - out of routine after the festive days.

Dinner just didn't happen so it's going to carry over to today - I don't want to waste a good idea!

Today's plans:

B:  beans on toast; fruit
It's raining cats and dogs out there and beans on toast feels just the thing!
SWL  one healthy extra B for the bread

L:  leftovers hash, picky salad; fruit
This should be very simple - I will just spray and air fry the last of the roastie leftovers, gently crushed, with stuffing, turkey and tomatoes (which should just moisten the mix) and some seasonings, maybe with a bit of spice, adding the last of the cooked broccoli right at the last minute.
SW:  hard to work out but I reckon it should be around two syns maximum so that's what I'm counting

D:  festive ravioli, tomato and veg sauce, fresh veg; yogurt (copied from yesterday and I'm going to put the ravioli together shortly); yogurt
The idea of this is to make some wholewheat pasta and, instead of turning it into spaghetti or tagliatelle type stuff, to make some filled ravioli with finely chopped turkey, cranberry and stilton.
I will use an oil and egg free pasta recipe so it should equate to dried pasta which is a free food on SW - so I will count it as free food too.
Fingers crossed it works, please.
SW:  stilton doesn't count as a healthy extra A but I am going to count it as such.  A slight cheat, I know.  The yogurt is half a syn, the cranberry sauce will be one and a half syns

E:  As you've probably guessed, yesterday's plans just didn't happen so fingers crossed for today and Lindsey's YouTube exercises.

one healthy extra A (sort of)
one healthy extra B
four syns - ish

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Tuesday, 27-12-22 and . . .

 . . . back to what passes for normal in this household.

Good morning, everyone.
Things wouldn't be right without a challenge so here's one for me (and you, if you like).

The Leftovers Challenge:
This is simply to deal with all the leftovers (of which there are far too many and excepting the alcohol which keeps fine) in a healthy, slimming world friendly manner.

This will segue into the next challenge which will be to live off what I already have for a month - apart from fresh f&v and dairy.  But more about that once the festive leftovers have been sorted.

There's loads and loads of turkey so I am going to have to be pretty inventive, I think.  I will also have lots of turkey stock to flavour things nicely.
Ditto cheese, unfortunately, although some will freeze OK.

Yesterday's meals:

I have to say, proper American pancakes, the full fat version, are very nice indeed.  I have two left that will go into the freezer for another time.
The second Christmas dinner.  This time it was turkey, a vegetarian savoury crumble, red cabbage, cauliflower cheese, roasties, carrot and swede mash, gravy and cranberry sauce.  No-one wanted pudding, etc.

Tea was not a meal, more a series of nibbles.  My tum is now rebelling and I am very glad to be getting back to much cleaner food again.

Today's plans:

B: bubble and squeak, bacon, egg
There's plenty of leftover veg and I read that half potato, half other veg is the way to go - so go I will!  There may be some patties for the freezer too - we will see.
SW:  I think this should be syn free, as long as I use spray oil.  If I dust the patties with flour, I will syn what I use.

L:  chunky turkey soup, bread for dunking; fruit
This is just chunks of turkey, both white and brown meat, and some veg, simmered in turkey stock.  My dear Mum made this every year the day after Boxing Day and Dad absolutely loved it so when I took over doing Christmas, I always made some to take over for New Year - we called it turkey hotpot rather than turkey soup.
SW:  again, this should be syn free apart from the bread which is a healthy extra B

D:  festive ravioli, tomato and veg sauce, fresh veg; yogurt
The idea of this is to make some wholewheat pasta and, instead of turning it into spaghetti or tagliatelle type stuff, to make some filled ravioli with finely chopped turkey, cranberry and stilton.
I will use an oil and egg free pasta recipe so it should equate to dried pasta which is a free food on SW - so I will count it as free food too.
Fingers crossed it works, please.
SW:  stilton doesn't count as a healthy extra A but I am going to count it as such.  A slight cheat, I know.  The yogurt is half a syn, the cranberry sauce will be one and a half syns

E:  Lindsey has a well deserved week off so there are no classes until next Tuesday.  I will do one or two online classes - good old YouTube!

one healthy extra A
one healthy extra B
two syns plus whatever the flour dusting comes to

Not a bad start top the leftovers challenge, I think.

Monday 26 December 2022

Monday, 26-12-22: Boxing Day

 Morning, one and all.  It's Boxing Day and the festive madness is nearly over.  How has it all gone for you?  Did you manage to stick to pretty healthy food?  I didn't - what a surprise (not).

I have a few photos so, in an effort to get back to some sort of normality, here we go:

Yesterday's food:

Breakfast and, simple as it was, I really enjoyed it.  Just to say the holly isn't real - in case anyone was wondering about toxicity, etc.
Just a roast dinner, a little bit more elaborate than usual but even so . . .

No body had any room left for dessert . . .
. . . or tea, really, although we tried.  This was good and simple, just crackers and cheese followed by a mince pie.  Not a healthy mouthful in sight.

Somehow, during the day, we managed to polish off a small box of posh chocolates too.  And the bottle of Bucks Fizz.  Not the champagne though - I am the only one who likes it  so it is still intact and I'll open it when Dave and Anna next come round.
Today's meal plans:

B:  American pancakes, fruit and squirty cream
I've been looking forward to real American pancakes for ages so that's what I'm having.

L:  I have two friends of Beth round for lunch as well as Beth and Alex but Beth's doing a lot of this meal.  My share is turkey (plenty left over, three cheers) and a vegetarian savoury crumble.
This could be remotely healthy, to be fair.

D:  turkey sandwich, salady bits; fruit
I think I will be on my own, in peace and quiet, so I can keep it simple.  I will use cheese spread instead of butter and, probably, a bit of cranberry sauce, if there's any left.

I am so looking forward to getting back to normal again tomorrow.

(in case anyone notices, yes, I am writing this very early - I couldn't sleep )

Sunday 25 December 2022

Sunday, 25-12-22: Christmas Day - Christmas food

 Good morning, everyone.  Today is not a day for careful eating, healthy planning, syns, points, calories, etc.

So here's today's festive randomness

My plans:

Breakfast:  I am torn between proper pancakes (the full fat version) with bacon and maple syrup or a good old doorstep bacon sandwich with some of the white bread I made earlier and - gasp - butter!
Hmmm - decisions, decisions.  Maybe one today and the other tomorrow which means sandwich today while the bread is still super fresh.
And Bucks Fizz - that's a non negotiable and so low in alcohol it won't stop me doing the . . . . 

Christmas Dinner:  it's conventional, traditional stuff.  A KellyBronze turkey with roasted potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes and shallots, carrots, broccoli and sprouts, piggies (meat and vegetarian), cranberry sauce and gravy.  Pudding is grapes, Christmas pud and/or mince pie.  If (a big i8f) anyone wants more, there's cheese and crackers.
Plus sparkly stuff, of course.

Christmas tea:  I've given up on a big buffet.  Cheese and crackers, a few nibbles and Christmas cake with copious cups of tea are all we have room for!

I made a fresh load of white bread yesterday.  Between the smell of that and the stock being made, the house smelled fabulous all day.
Recipe is for my Thermomix so I can't take credit for any hard work.  It stays in the bowl to rise and then is knocked back down before I get it out for the load tin.  I love making bread.

I've brought the turkey in to get up to room temperature; it goes in at ten thirty to come out and twelve thirty and rest for an hour.
I have some of the veg to prepare - I decided to leave them until this morning as I have plenty of time and enjoy a gentle kitchen potter.  The roasted veg will do in Nellie - a lot less bother than in the oven and frees up space to warm the plates and serving dishes.
The stock is ready for the bisto (sorry!).
The piggies are still in the freezer - they can cook from frozen, if needs be.
The pud and the pies just need reheating as needed!  Ditto the custard.
It's just a posh roast dinner, after all.

It just remains for me to say a very happy Christmas to you and yours, no matter how you spend it.  Thank you for reading my ramblings this year.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Saturday, 24-12-22: Christmas food

 Morning, everyone.  This isn't going to be the usual format.  Instead, I will just waffle on about my preparations and a few meals I make over the Christmas period in a very random fashion.  I will be back to Slimming World based stuff on Tuesday with a leftovers challenge to take us into the New Year and beyond!

Recipe:  turkey, cranberry and chestnut meatballs in a creamy sauce:

For the meatballs I used 100g turkey mince, some dried cranberries, two crumbled chestnuts, some fresh breadcrumbs (I always have some in the freezer), salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice.  Mix well together and shape into meatballs using floured or damp hands - it made five domed tbsp sized meatballs.
Lay them on a small baking tray on parchment, cover and chill.  Spray them before cooking
I baked them in the Ninja, 170C, air fry, 15 to 20 mins

For the sauce, I softened onion, red pepper and mushroom in spray oil, added seasoning, garlic granules, a glug of sherry (wine would be better but I didn't want to open a bottle) and a glug of cream.

For the pasta, I made half amounts  100g flour (just ordinary plain flour as the pasta flour was up high and I was too lazy to get the step ladder!), one egg and half a tbsp olive oil.   This made two of my portions.

It was so good and today I am using up the other half of the pasta, mopre turkey mince, etc, but into a savoury mince sort of thing.
The turkey
I always splash out on a KellyBronze and I follow the instructions.  I don't stuff the cavity, I pop in onion, some orange and lemon and some fresh herbs - sage, thyme and bay from the garden.  Dead easy and always works.
Cheffy I am not!  No way.  I am sure Jamie et al are right and all that roasting chicken wings and veg, mashing it down, using flour and butter, etc, must make a wonderful thing but I can't be bothered.
I have saved turkey stock in the freezer.  I get that out, add some water and boil up the turkey giblets which always come in a separate bag with the turkey.  It makes a great stock and bisto and marmite does the rest
(although a roux might make and nice change.  I have to think about it!)

In the past, I have always made a stuffing using Paxo, chopped pork and ham, melted butter and a bit of extra sage because that is how Mum and Dad liked their stuffing.  Nowadays, I buy one of the fancy stuffings that abound at this time of year and make it up Christmas eve.  This year it is cranberry, orange and roasted chestnut stuffing from Sainsbury's.  I've just made it up and added some more dried cranberries because there's never enough.  I have to say, it smells delicious!

Cranberry sauce
I use frozen cranberries because you can be pretty sure of getting them all year round and it's useful to have some in the freezer.
I just boil together frozen cranberries, demerara sugar, splash of water, orange zest and orange juice.  Sometimes I add cinnamon but this year I am just adding a good glug of port.
Making it the day before means that the flavours mellow overnight - it is definitely better second day.

Today's plans:
I think it will be just two meals today.

Brunch:  I have a square of puff pastry left over from making sausage rolls for the family think last Thursday so I am being naughty and making a cheesy bacon slice.  Just so as not to waste it, you understand!  And as eny fule kno, if you add healthy stuff like tomatoes and mushrooms to the plate, the calories don't count!
(I wish)

D:  As mentioned above, as sort of festive bolognaisy type thing using turkey mince, then yogurt.

Have a very happy Christmas Eve.

Friday 23 December 2022

Friday, 23-12-22; Christmas challenge day 23

 Good morning!

I think the time has come to stop posting plans for a few days.  I'm really not sticking to them and not taking photos particularly often.  I'll post today's plans in hopes that I will follow them and the plans will be properly back on Tuesday, 27th when I will start a short 'using up the leftovers' series - because there really will be leftovers.

Today's plans:

B:  toast, marmite; fruit

L:  leftover pizza from last night's family party, salad; fruit

D:  chicken, chestnut and cranberry meatballs in a creamy sauce, spaghetti, veg; yogurt
The meatballs are pretty much a recipe and, as I have a bit more time today, I'm going to make my own pasta.  I have one of those rolling machine thingies and I have the right flour for pasta so why not.  Good fun!
The sauce will probably be tomato based with a bit of cream added but it might be a cheesy based sauce.  I'll see how I feel when I get going.

Have a great Festive Food day.  xx

Thursday 22 December 2022

Thursday, 22-12-22; Christmas challenge day 22

 Good morning!

I remembered to take photos today, three cheers!

This evening is our family party as we won't be together on Christmas Day.  It won't be SW friendly in shape or form but I will be straight back on it tomorrow!

Yesterday's meals:

Breakfast porridge, and very nice it was too.  I had it after going to Beth's for a hair cut and I had some easy peelers before.
The cheesy parsnip gratin was delicious.  Here's the link to the recipe.
Just a few things:
When it says season with salt and pepper - be careful of the salt because, between to stock and the cheese, I thought it was salty enough.
More parsnips and less sauce would work fine.
I cooked the parsnips for longer than it says before they went soft.
It finished off fine in Nellie the Ninja rather than the oven - a saving on fuel!

It would be lovely with some bits of turkey between the two layers and with stilton cheese, both of which I will be trying with leftovers next week.  Also, half and half with some potatoes would be lovely too - or with shredded cooked veg in the middle . . . or stuffing . . . in other words, a very adaptable recipe indeed.

No veg- couldn't be bothered and it was a biggish steak so there was loads.  I didn't have the chutney or the yogurt either - didn't need them.

Today's plans:

B:  cooked breakfast - bacon, egg, mushrooms and tomatoes

L:  tuna jacket potato, salad; fruit

D:  family feast
. . . which will involve pizza.  Yummy!

E:  A Lindsey work out although I noticed yesterday that Rick has a new Christmas themed one (both on YouTube) which I might try.

No SW summary until the day after Boxing Day.

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Wednesday, 21-12-22: Christmas challenge day 20

Good morning, everyone!
It's getting so close now, isn't it?  I think I'm pretty much ready really with just a few things left.  The turkey is due to arrive on Friday and after that what I don't have, we won't have!

I don' have any photos from yesterday.  The morning was so busy and I just forgot in the evening.  I will try harder today!

Today's meals work with Slimming World so I am working out the values.
Today's meal plans:

B:  Christmas spice porridge with easy peelers
SW:  one healthy extra B and half a healthy extra A

L:  cheesy parsnip gratin with tomatoes and mushrooms
The gratin recipe popped into my mailbox yesterday from the wonderful Pinch of Nom so I'm giving it a go.  I will add more cheese than they say - I love a cheesy gratin.
The other synnable ingredient - horseradish - is too little to need synning or I might sub mustard powder which goes so well with cheese.
SW:  I'm counting the soft cheese as part of a healthy extra A (it's one syn) and making up to one and a half As with grated cheddar

D:  steak, chips and veg; yogurt
Something nice and simple tonight.  I'll have some onion chutney with the steak.
SW:  half a syn for the chutney and half for yogurt

E:  personal training

two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Tuesday, 20-12-22: Christmas challenge day 20

 Good morning!
So close, isn't it?  It's the last day of term round here and I am glad I've got the greater bulk of my shopping done.  Now that all the ice has gone, I can walk round to Morrisons if I need anything else - or want anything else!

Today's plans seem to work pretty well with SW so I'll give the values.

Yesterday's meals:

Breakfast was fruit.

For lunch, I pondered and then use two slices from a bought loaf (I have some to use up in the freezer) with chicken, ham and my green tomato chutney - and it was nice.

I forgot to photo dinner but it was very similar to the other day so here's that photo instead.

Today's plans:

B:  fruit and yogurt
It's another busy morning with little time for breakfast at the time I like to have it so it's simple and sweet.
SW:  syn free

L:  open toastie, salad; fruit
The idea of this is to use one of the slices of my home made bread.  I weighed and caloried it out and one slice is a healthy extra B, not two.  In future I must try slicing more thinly or using two smaller loaf tins instead of one bigger one - I think the latter is the better option.
I think I will soften my favourites, onion, red pepper and mushroom, spray fry the bread to make it crunchy, then pile over the softened veg and top with some grated cheddar before popping it under the grill.
SW:  up to two healthy extra As and one healthy extra B

D: ham and chicken, bubble and squeak, veg, gravy, cranberry sauce; yogurt
The ham and chicken is what I got for the taster party that I couldn't get to while the bubble and squeak is leftover veg from Saturday.  All of it really needs to be used up.
I will need to cook a bit more potato as I read that you need approximately half potato, half other veg.
SW:    One and a half syns for some cranberry sauce, two for a bit of gravy and half for the yogurt.

E:  Groove aerobics

up to two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
four syns

Monday 19 December 2022

Monday, 19-12-22: Christmas challenge day 10

 Good morning!

 I am not stopping the Christmas challenge, but it's getting increasingly hard to make things fit into the SW plan so, just for this week, I won't be linking all my plans to SW although, probably, mostly they will work well with SW.
That doesn't mean I am going bonkers because I'm not but there are times when I want to break out.

Yesterday's meals:
I didn't photo breakfast.

This was more or less what I had prepped for Saturday lunch.  Half the pizza was 220 calories (and too many syns) - one example of when SW and calories give entirely different pictures and I can see why one can get a bit frustrated with SW.  Eleven syns paints an entirely different pictures to 220 calories plus whatever the salad was.

Rather than have a repeat Christmas dinner and, as I had made a rather delicious looking wholemeal loaf through the day, I decided to have a Christmas sarnie instead.  Cheese spread instead of butter, stuffing, turkey and cranberry sauce.  It was delicious!

Today's plans:

B:  fruit
I have a very busy morning so I suspect breakfast will be eaten on the run; fruit is much the easiest thing.

L:  the rest of the pizza and the rest of the salad; fruit
The pizza was nice yesterday and it was filling so I'm looking forward to having it again.

D:  Christmas risotto; yogurt
I have cooked ham and cooked chicken to use up (the turkey has all gone)so I thought I'd use it in a sort of risotto or savoury rice with a couple of crumbled chestnuts and some cranberry sauce.  If I use onion, red pepper and mushrooms, that will make a very substantial meal.

Later in the evening I will be having an online Christmas chat with some very dear friends and there will be a bit of alcohol involved.  Not a lot, just a bit!

E:  circuits

(no summary this week)

Sunday 18 December 2022

Sunday, 18-12-22: Christmas challenge day 18

Morning, everyone.  Not a great start to the day, posting the content of my other, 'Day in my Life' type blog in here my mistake.  Sorry, folks!!

Starting again!

I only have one photo from yesterday, the Christmas dinner I made for me and my friend.  I expect my proper Christmas Dinner will be much the same, mostly pretty healthy, loads of veg with just a few other bits and bobs.  We enjoyed it very much.

Today's plans:
B:  hot buttered toast.
I know, naughty.  It was white bread too.
Because I had a guest, I made some bread (which was delicious) and it does need to be used.  The butter was leftovers from some baking I did.

L:  pizza, salad, coleslaw; fruit
Leftovers from yesterday

D:  leftovers of Christmas dinner
This, at least, should be on plan!

E:  a Lindsey YouTube routine or two

I can't do a SW summary today because of all the leftover bits and bobs.  Back on it tomorrow!

Saturday 17 December 2022

Saturday, 17-12-22: Christmas challenge day 17

   Good morning to you!

All's well again this morning.  No photos from yesterday but the rest is fine.
Today is a bit off plan because I am cooking a Christmas dinner for a friend who comes this morning and leaves tomorrow morning.  A long planned much anticipated event as I haven't seen my friend for many years.

Today's plans:

B:  Just fruit.  

L:  pizza, salad; fruit
The pizza is half of a M&S lighter one so might look horrendous regarding syns but isn't much in terms of calories

D:  Christmas dinner . . .
so . .  turkey, pigs, stuffing, roasties, various veg, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, gravy (I won't necessarily have all of it, this is what I am prepping) followed by pud or mince pie and custard and then, if we have any more space inside (bet I won't), cheese and crackers.
Most of the above is very SW friendly

E:  none, unless you count all the rushing around associated with a roast dinner.

Nice, a bit naughty and back on the SW plan tomorrow with leftovers.

Friday 16 December 2022

Friday, 16-12-22: Christmas challenge day 16

   Good morning to you!

Not feeling 100% today and have no idea how the food is going to pan out, sorry.
Back tomorrow, I am absolutely sure.  xx

Thursday 15 December 2022

Thursday, 15-12-22: Christmas challenge day 15

   Good morning to you!

More healthy habits for Christmas
Don't expect too much of yourself.
There's no point running yourself into the ground to achieve 'The Perfect Christmas'.  Those sharing it with you won't care one way or another - or, if they do, let them do it instead.  Be sensible and pace things -  do the absolute essentials, sure, but the rest - do them if you want, don't if you don't.  Focus on yourself and what you need to keep yourself healthy and rested.  You will enjoy it all so much more.

Yesterday's meals:

A very acceptable breakfast on such a cold winter morning.  Porridge is such a comfort food, isn't it?
This is a naughty extra.  Well, actually, no it isn't really.
I ordered a milk frother thingy which came yesterday.  The first thing I tried was this - an options hot chocolate (two syns) plus some milk from my healthy extra A allowance and half a little square of grated chocolate (grate chocolate and, visually, it goes a long way, like cheese) and some grated nutmeg.

It was nice.  Not terribly warm though so next time I will try just frothing the minimum amount, making up the drink with boiling water as directed and adding the froth to the top.  It has to be a lot more healthy than squirty cream, for sure and really does work with SW

And now I need to try an espresso, latte macchiato or latte - and I'm reading from the book here because I'm not one for coffee shops and fancy coffees much.

Do you have something like this?  What do you make with it?
This is always nice - a Simply Cook pasta alla rustica.  I enjoyed it very much, even though the pasta was overcooked (my fault entirely).
In the end, I decided on chips to go with my curry and it was really good.

Today's plans:

B:  fruit

L:  chicken, brie and cranberry toasties with salad; mince pie.
I have a friend to lunch and this is what we are having.  I might give the mince pie a miss and have easy peelers instead.

D:  really not sure because I will be out from six to seven.  Perhaps something from the freezer - maybe a SW meal.

E:  rest day today

Unsure as I won't really be on plan today.