Roasted Fennel & Red Onion with tomatoes – 120 calories

Roasted Fennel and Red Onion with new potatoes and sea bass fillet (total 428 cals)

I am celebrating!  Weigh in this morning saw me back under 10 stone for the first time since November 2017.

A  fortnights holiday last December, Christmas and two weeks in Costa Rica saw me gain a few additional pounds each time.  I’ve successfully lost 11lb since the end of March – just 14 weeks.  Which is going some when you’re only little and don’t move much!

Lovely dinner tonight. We planned fennel to go with a sea bass fillet and some of our home grown new potatoes. Found and adapted a recipe for roasted fennel.

Roasted Fennel & Red Onion with tomatoes

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 35 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 119.7


Fennel Bulb – 200g

Red Onion – 80g

Garlic, Raw – 2 Cloves/6g

Cherry Tomatoes – 80g

Olive Oil – 20ml

Thyme, Fresh – 1 Tsp/1g

Preparation:  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Peel the onion and garlic cloves. Chop the onion into large chunks or thick slices. Halve the fennel bulb, remove the core and chop into thick slices. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Remove the leaves from the stalk of the thyme. Juice the half lemon.

Place the olive oil, fennel and red onion into a large roasting dish. Stir thoroughly so that the vegetables are coated in the oil. Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, thyme, garlic cloves (whole) and stir to combine.

Continue to cook for a further 15 – 25 minutes until the vegetables are softened and the edges are starting to brown or char.

Pour over the lemon juice just before serving.

Lovely with fish or with pork.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 119.7

Carbohydrate (g) 6.8

Fat (g) 9.5

Fibre (g) 3.4

Fruit & Veg 2.5

Protein (g) 2.0

Mushroom Stroganoff – 332 calories

IMG_1418Mushroom Stroganoff – 332 calories

It is absolutely possible to make this a lot lower in calories if you cut out certain ingredients (sherry!) or use low fat creme fraiche of soft cheese – BUT if you want a truly delicious tasting, rich mushroom stroganoff – this is your recipe!

We harvested one of our courgettes and I thinly sliced it and griddled it over a low heat with a little butter and olive oil for around 15 minutes.

Preparation Time:  15 mins

Cooking Time:  20

Serves:  2

Calories per serving: 332.2


Onions – 80g

Chestnut Mushrooms – 240g

Tomato Puree – 25g

Stock Cubes, Beef – ½ Cube/6g

Garlic, Raw – 2 Avg Cloves/6g

Sherry, Dry – 50ml

Parsley, Fresh – 2 Tbsps/7.6g

Paprika – 1 Tsp/2g

Worcestershire Sauce – 10g

Water – 250ml

Creme Fraiche, Full Fat – 50g

Soft Cream Cheese – 90g

Olive Oil – 15ml


Peel and finely dice the onion

Peel and finely dice the garlic

Wipe and cut the mushrooms into bite sized pieces.

Finely chop the parsley.

Boil the water and measure out 250ml of boiling water, add the half stock cube and stir until dissolved.


Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions & garlic and fry until soft (but not browned). If it starts to dry out you can add some of the stock.

Add the mushrooms to the pan with paprika, sherry, Worcestershire sauce and then the remaining stock. Add the tomato puree.

Allow to reduce and let the mushrooms cook down a bit.

Add the cheese and stir slowly until all mixed in.

Finally stir in the creme fraiche.

Serve with rice / potato or cauliflower rice! Just before serving, sprinkle with the fresh parsley.

Also delicious on a slice of toast!

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 332.2

Carbohydrate (g) 9.5

Fat (g) 26.4

Fibre (g) 2.4

Fruit & Veg 1.7

Protein (g) 7.2

Alcohol 3.9

Butternut Squash, Aubergine and Feta Bulgar Wheat Bake – 350 calories

IMG_1410I’m quite excited about this recipe, as I made it up completely from scratch! I usually take inspiration from recipes I find on the web, but this was all my own creation!

Butternut Squash, Aubergine and Feta Bulgar Wheat Bake – 450 calories

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins

Serves: 4

Calories per serving: 350


Red Onions – 75g

Olive Oil – 30ml

Raw Aubergine – 350g

Butternut Squash – 250g

Bulgur Wheat, Dry Weight – 100g

Feta Cheese – 200g

Tomatoes, Sundried, in Vegetable Oil – 30g

Juice & zest of 1 Lemon

Sumac Spice – 1 Serving/5g

Oregano, Dried – 3 Tsps


Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1cm cubes. Remove stalk and cut aubergine into 1.5cm cubes. Peel and dice the onion. Juice and zest the lemon. Remove tomatoes from oil and chop into small pieces. Cut the feta cheese into 1cm cubes.

Place the vegetables (butternut, aubergine, onions) into a large roasting dish or tray, add the olive oil and stir well until all the vegetables are coated.

Ensure the vegetables are evenly spread and place into the oven for 40 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until beginning to soften. At this point (after 40 minutes), add the lemon zest, sumac and oregano and continue to cook for a further 15-20 minutes until golden.

Cook the bulgar wheat according to the instructions on the packet. I cook mine in a microwave rice steamer for around 10 minutes stirring half way through.

Once the vegetables are cooked, add the bulgar wheat, chopped sun dried tomatoes and lemon juice to the dish and stir through, combining evenly.

Sprinkle the cubed Feta cheese over the top of the dish and return to the oven for 10 minutes until the Feta starts to melt.

A one pot meal, but could also be served cold with a salad.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 349.4

Carbohydrate (g) 29.6

Fat (g) 20.2

Fibre (g) 6.6

Fruit & Veg 2.4

Protein (g) 12.7

Spaghetti Puttanesca – 427.4 calories

IMG_1409I can’t believe I’ve never made this before! So easy, very tasty and uses store cupboard ingredients.

We used a pasta called Bucatini, as it appears my daughter has demolised all the wholewheat spaghetti whilst she was home from Uni at the weekend!

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Preparation Time: 45 mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 427.4


Red Onion, peeled and finely diced – 1 Onion/50g

Red Pepper, de-seeded and cut into chunks – 1 Med/119g

Capers, in Brine (drained and halved) – 7g

Anchovies, Fillets, In Olive Oil (drained and roughly chopped) – 15g

Olives, Black, Pitted, in Brine (halved) – 50g

Tomatoes, Chopped, in Tomato Juice – 1 Can/400g

Olive Oil – 1 Tbsp/15ml

Spaghetti, Whole Wheat, Dry – 140g

Garlic, peeled and finely diced – 2 Cloves/6g

Peppers, Chilli, Red (de-seeded, finely chopped) – 1 Pepper/13g

Tomato Puree – 1 Tbsp/20g

Oregano, Dried – 1 Tsp/1g


1. Saute chopped onion and red pepper in olive oil for 10 minutes.

2. Add garlic and chilli and fry for another couple of minutes.

3. Chop olives and anchovies and add all other ingredients (except spaghetti) to pan and simmer for 20 minutes until nicely reduced.

4. Cook spaghetti according to cooking instructions, drain. Add to sauce.


We will defintely be eating this again!

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 427.4

Carbohydrate (g) 61.6

Fat (g) 13.1

Fibre (g) 11.1

Fruit & Veg 4.4

Protein (g) 15.5

Chicken, Gong bao – 340 calories

IMG_1407Chicken, Gong bao – 340 calories

This delicious Chinese chicken dish is flavoured with fresh ginger, garlic, chilli and peanuts, and drizzled in a soy-infused sauce. A classic Chinese recipe that can be made in just 20 minutes and a great dinner for two idea.

Preparation Time:  10 mins

Cooking Time:  10 mins

Serves:  2

Calories per serving:  340.3


Olive Oil – 1 Tbsp/15ml

Spring Onions – 3 Med/45g

Red Chilli Peppers – 1 Pepper/13g

Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar – 2 Tsps/14g

Rice Wine Vinegar – 1 Tbsp/15ml

Soy Sauce, Dark – 2 Tbsps/30g

Cashew Nuts -30g

Root Ginger -20g

Cornflour – 1 Tbsp/15g

Garlic – 2 Cloves/6g

2 x Chicken, Breast Fillets, Skinless – 200g

Chicken Stock Cubes, Knorr – ½ Cube/5g

Water, Mineral Or Tap – 100ml

Preparation: Peel and finely chop the ginger and garlic. De-seed the chilli pepper and chop finely. Trim the spring onions cut into thin slices at an angle. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Chop the cashews.


For the sauce, put the stock, sugar, rice wine vinegar, soy and cornflour in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside until needed.

Heat the oil in a large wok set over a high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Remove and set aside.

In the same wok, stir-fry most of the spring onions, the ginger, garlic and chilli for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the chopped cashew nuts and continue cooking for 2 minutes, or until golden.

Return the chicken to the wok and pour over the sauce. Cook, stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes, until the sauce is glossy and thickened and the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat showing.

Divide the chicken between plates and scatter over the remaining spring onions and a little extra chilli.

Serve with rice or noodles. I had mine with peas (love my veggies – missed not having many in this dish), courgetti (julienned courgette stir fried in a little oil) and brown vermicelli. Whole meal was 641 calories.

I based this recipe on one I found on the Tesco website.…n.html#brek8tXy8hCBYMVO.99

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)  340.3

Carbohydrate (g)  25.4

Fat (g)  14.2

Fibre (g)  1.3

Fruit & Veg  0.5

Protein (g)  27.9

Life on a low calorie allowance (1100 calories a day)


Those of you who read my blog posts regularly will know I am a short (4ft 9″), sedentary (disabled) middle aged (55 years) woman, who has lost a considerable amount of weight (a third of my body weight, 4 stone) over the past 6 years to get to where I am now.

I weigh just above 10 stone; ideally I would like to get to around 9 stone and maintain there. That is still “overweight” for my height, but I am short on account of my disability – so I’ll never be “petite” and both my tall younger sisters (5ft 9″) are size 12/14. I’m presently a size 16, I’d be very happy to reach size 14. I’m in proportion.

I thought I would share a little of my life on a measly 1100 calories, whilst unable to earn many through exercise…

My enjoyment of life used to revolve around food (as part of the enjoyment) but this has kind of settled into what I feel will become “normal” for me…

Two meals most days (lunch and dinner), sweet treats and snacks limited to about 200 cals in total. Alcohol is a very rare treat (I don’t really miss it now), bread less than once a week (which I also don’t miss now). We rarely eat a meal out (we plan meals at home around a trip out of the house) and we eat takeaway food about only 2-3 times a year. This is my “new life”. It has to be.

BUT I have come to the realisation that I don’t feel as though I miss out at all – in fact when I think back to what I once used to eat, it was far less varied, less tasty and less colourful. I put far more planning and thought into my meals now to keep them within calories, I love finding new recipes to try out. We rarely eat the same thing twice in a month (excluding salads, which I am eating daily at the moment, accompanies by different fish/meats).

Those of you who see the recipes I share will (I think) agree that I eat very well! I even had takeaway fish and chips on Friday – which was a very, very rare treat and had been planned a week in advance. My husband and I shared a large portion of haddock and chips between us, so it worked out about 632 calories for me; I ate a salad for lunch and ended the day about 100 calories over… but that was fine in the grand scheme of things.

Exercise is likely only to be about 250 maximum earned once a week (at my 1 x a week 30 minute treadmill session), 50 – 100 additional exercise calories on about 2/3 other days. I wear a FitBit, 3000 steps is more of less what I can expect to do each day.

Exercise for me is a daily stretch session lasting 30 – 40 minutes, but not intended to burn calories, but to keep my poor old body moving and as pain free as possible. I am mostly seated on a gym ball, I put on some relaxing music and really enjoy these sessions.

On the plus side, I am never too adversely affected by life events – other than holidays, where my calorie allowance does increase substantially (to what is “normal” for me) and my exercise levels reduce, as I spend more time sitting about and reading and more time travelling in my wheelchair, plus a reduction in the things which I do on a daily basis which for me require quite a lot of physical effort such as housework, gardening, etc.

So the message is, it can be done. It’s probably taken me 3/4 years so settle into this way of eating and get used to the best way (for me) of making my 1100 calories work. Not everyone would be able to skip breakfast!

I’m confident now (having lost 9lbs in the past 13 weeks) that I will get to that goal and once there (when my calorie allowance for maintenance will rise to around 1300) I’ll be able to sustain the loss.

It’s easy to “resent” healthy eating and losing weight, viewing it as something that has been “imposed” on us.  It’s easy to feel as though we are somehow missing out.

When one comes to a point of “accepting” and “embracing” that this is a different way of living entirely, it certainly becomes a whole lot easier.

Chorizo & Prawn Stir Fried Rice – 450 calories

IMG_1404Who says they’ve not got time to cook? This recipe takes 5 minutes to prepare and just 20 minutes to cook and used just one pan.

You don’t need a take away when food is this easy and quick to prepare! This recipe slightly “cheats” by making use of a microwave rice pouch – so cuts back on cooking time and washing up. I took inspiration from the link shown, but added mushrooms, peas and a few green beans, as I do love my vegetables and the beans were harvested from the garden!

Chorizo & Prawn Stir Fried Rice – 450 calories

Preparation Time:  5 mins

Cooking Time:  20 mins

Serves:  2

Calories per serving:  450.3


Olive Oil –  1 Tbsp/15ml

Chorizo Sausage –  42g

Cherry Tomatoes –  150g

Spring Onions –  5 Med/75g

Parsley, Fresh –  1 Tbsp/3.8g

Chestnut Mushrooms –  4 Med/20g

Petit Pois, Frozen –  1 Serving/100g

Large Raw King Prawns – 170g

Fine Green Beans –  30g

Basmati Rice, Microwave Pouch –  1 Pack/250g


Fancy a flavour-packed yet quick-to-create midweek meal? Simply pull out your pan and whip up this delicious dinner for two, which combines more-ish chorizo and juicy prawns with rich tomatoes, spring onions and fluffy rice.

Preparation: Halve the tomatoes, trim and finely slice the spring onion. Wipe the mushrooms and cut into bite sized chunks. Top and tail the beans and cut into 1cm lengths. Remove the skin from the chorizo, discard skin and slice the sausage. Chop the parsley.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chorizo, mushrooms and spring onions cook for 5 minutes, or until golden.

Add the prawns and and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the prawns are just pink.

Stir in the rice and tomatoes. Leave to cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes, until a golden crust forms on the bottom of the pan and the tomatoes have softened a little.

Break up the rice with a fork and season to taste. Scatter over the parsley and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Read more at… wn-fried-rice.html#bZqiiYbaW9OtrVDb.99

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)  450.3

Carbohydrate (g)  45.1

Fat (g)  19.4

Fibre (g)  5.2

Fruit & Veg  2.5

Protein (g)  22.8