Celebrations & staying on track

IMG_2249I’m being strict with myself over the next 5 weeks as I have a window of opportunity to shift some excess poundage ahead of a trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar in September where I most definitely will want to try the local cuisine.

It’s our sixth wedding anniversary today  so we are out tonight to the Indian restaurant around the corner where I plan to be sensible. I had a cute cared from Andy and I have a feeling some flowers are being delivered at some point. I bought him some lovely scented candles in pots (set fo 4), some Mindfulness cards – designed to be used over a month and a beer bottle opener in the shape of a bears head with mouth opened that he can fix onto a wall outside. It’s the Iron anniversary so the cast iron bear was chosen with that in mind.

I’ve mowed the grass and watered for a couple of hours so earned myself 350 exercise calories and have already done over double my target steps – nearly 6,000! Sad to see so many brown oak leaves, but I think they’ve been blown out from various nooks and crannies by recent strong winds.

Food:

Lunch: 0.75 of an avocado, homemade creamy Greek yogurt coleslaw, salad with beetroot and olives (loving our home grown tomatoes!), tzatziki and a sprinkling of toasted seeds.

Planned Dinner: 1 x Poppadum for starter, Chicken Shashlik, cucumber and onion raita. Strawberries, raspberries and creme fraiche when back at home.

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The photo was my beautiful rainbow lunch, lettuce and tomatoes from the garden – 439 calories.

Planned dinner tonight, including my dessert should be around 630 calories.

Prawn and Butternut Squash Jalfrezi – 149 calories

IMG_2245Bulking out a curry with lots of vegetables means that you can still enjoy a filling portion for relatively few calories.

Served here with 100g of cauliflower “rice” (just 34 calories!) and half a portion of stir-fried leek and savoy cabbage (I cook it in butter and olive oil) – 37 calories.

Whole meal (including 30g of full fat Greek yogurt – 40 cals) = 260 calories!!!

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 1 hr

Serves: 4

Calories per serving: 149.0

Ingredients

Butternut Squash, Raw – 270g

King Prawns, Peeled, Raw – 200g

Onions, Red – 117g

Oil, Sunflower – 7ml

Peppers, Red, Raw – 134g

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

Curry Paste, Jalfrezi, Patak’s – 30g

Mushrooms, Chestnut – 120g

Garlic, Raw – 1 Clove/3g

Coriander, Leaves, Fresh, Average – 1 Bunch/20g

Peppers, Chilli, Red, Raw – 2 Med/90g

Ground pepper (to taste)

(PS, I forgot to add the fresh coriander! Disaster – love the flavour…)

Preparation:

Peel and chop the butternut squash into 2cm chunks. Peel and chop the onion, de-seed and chop the pepper into large chunks, peel and finely chop the garlic. De-seed and finely chop the chilli peppers.

Method:

Put the oil into a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for about 10 – 15 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, red pepper and chilli and continue to fry for about 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir to release the flavours.

Add the tinned tomatoes, cubed butternut squash and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then add the ground pepper and mushrooms.

Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and continue to cook for a further 45 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.

Add the prawns and stir through for 5 – 10 minutes until the prawns are cooked.

Chop the coriander finely onto curry and stir through just before serving.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 149.0

Protein (g) 10.9

Carbohydrate (g) 15.8

Fat (g) 4.8

Fruit & Veg 3.5

Fibre (g) 4.1

Creamy Greek Yogurt Coleslaw (Serves 12) – 45 calories per portion

IMG_2238

I’ve been enjoying some own brand “Healthy Reduced Fat Yogurt Coleslaw” sold by one of the large chain supermarkets, which offered great value and taste for not many calories (64 cals for 50g). But as if often the way with these things… they’ve stopped making it!

So I thought I’d have a bash at creating my own. Here is the recipe. Be warned, just a quarter of a small white and red cabbage makes a lot of coleslaw – so reduce quantities if you are not planning to eat loads of it! We have a salad every day, so this should be eaten fairly soon.

Creamy Greek Coleslaw, Serves 12 – 45 calories per portion

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: N/A

Serves: 12

Calories per serving: 44.6

Ingredients

Cabbage, White, Raw – 222g

Cabbage, Red, Raw – 145g

Carrots, Raw, Coarsely Grated – 165g

Juice, Lemon, Fresh – 1 Lemon/36ml

Honey, Clear, Squeezy – 25g

Onions, Spring, Raw – 50g

Yoghurt, Greek, Full Fat – 200g

Mustard, Dijon – 12g

Vinegar, Apple Cider – 15ml

Method

Finely slice the red and white cabbage. Trim the spring onions and finely slice. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot. Pour the honey into a cup and warm slightly in the microwave. Juice a lemon.

Mix all of the shredded vegetables together in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey with freshly ground pepper.

Pour the yogurt mixture over the shredded vegetables and throughly combine.

Can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 44.6

Protein (g) 1.7

Carbohydrate (g) 5.1

Fat (g) 1.9

Fruit & Veg 0.7

Fibre (g) 1.0

Green spaghetti sauce – 400 calories

IMG_1605Green spaghetti sauce – 400 calories

This fresh and flavoursome sauce has a real zing – with the addition of the mint, chilli and lemon. Quick and easy to prepare and a really stunning bright green colour!

Preparation Time: 10

Cooking Time: 20

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 400

Ingredients

Peas, Garden, Frozen – 125g

Broad Beans, Baby, Frozen – 50g

Oil, Olive, Average – 10ml

Leeks, Raw, Trimmed – 100g

Dried Chilli Peppers, Flakes – 1 Tsp/3g

Ricotta Cheese – 75g

Parmesan Cheese – 30g

Juice & zest of lemon – ½ lemon

Spaghetti, Whole Wheat, Dry – 100g

Mint, Fresh (finely chopped) – 2 Tbsp/3.2g

Method

STEP 1

Put the peas and broad beans into a bowl and pour over a kettle of boiling water. Leave for 1 minute, drain, and pod the broad beans.  This may seem a bit laborious, but the inside of the beans should pop out easily with a squeeze!

Take about half of the peas and blend in a food processor or with a hand blender with 1 tbsp of water until smooth.

IMG_1600STEP 2

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the leek with some seasoning for 8-10 minutes until soft. Stir in the chilli flakes, broad beans and remaining peas, and fry for 2 minutes. Cool slightly and put into a bowl with the pea puree, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest and juice and some seasoning, and mix well.

IMG_1602STEP 3

Cook the pasta following pack instructions, reserving some cooking water.

STEP 4

Tip the pasta back into the pan and add the pea and leek mix, and a splash of the cooking water. Mix well and serve with the mint and more parmesan, if you like.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 400

Protein (g) 22.9

Carbohydrate (g) 42.9

Fat (g) 14.8

Fruit & Veg 2.0

Fibre (g) 10.0

 

Sticky Miso Aubergines – 125 calories

IMG_1588You may spot from the pictures that I forgot to add the sliced spring onions!

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 50 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 124.8

Ingredients

1 x Aubergine, Raw – 300g

Toasted Sesame Oil – 1 Tbsp/15g

Soup, Miso, Paste, Sachets – 1 Sachet/18g

Spring Onions – 4 Servings/16g

Honey, Clear – 15g

Method

Heat the oven to 180ºC/356ºF.

Put the sachet of miso paste, 1 tablespoon of honey and table spoon of sesame oil into a bowl. Add a small cup of warm water so the mixture is loose, and mix together.

Halve the aubergine length wise. Score the aubergine flesh, so you end up with diamond cuts across it.

Place aubergines into the dish, cut side up. Pour marinade over aubergines, leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

Turn aubergines over (cut-side flat onto dish).  Cover baking tray with tin foil, and place into the oven for 45 minutes.

N.B. If the aubergines aren’t sticky at the end of the stated cooking time (different ovens cook at different speeds), just pour out any excess liquid in the tray and place back into the oven, without foil, for 5-10 minutes. The marinade will then go sticky on the underside of the aubergines.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 124.8

Protein (g) 2.1

Carbohydrate (g) 11.0

Fat (g) 8.5

Fruit & Veg 2.0

Fibre (g) 3.0

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Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry – 476 calories

IMG_1568Saturday Night Fakeaway :-) Didn’t even need to wait for the delivery man!

Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry – 476 calories

Preparation Time: 10

Cooking Time: 10

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 476.7

Ingredients

Beef, Rump – 2 Servings/200g

Red Chilli Peppers – ½ Med/22.5g

Sesame Oil – 2 Tsps/10ml

Soy Sauce – 2 Tbsps/30g

Spices, Ginger, & Garlic, Cubes – 1 Serving/20g

Cornflour – 1½ Tbsps/22.5g

Sunflower Oil – 2 Tbsps/30ml

Red Peppers – 1 Med/119g

Green Peppers – 1 Med/160g

Clear Runny Honey – 1 Serving/15g

Cornflour – 1 Tsp/5g

Method

Cut the beef into strips and place in a bowl. Add 1.5 teaspoons of sesame oil and one tablespoon of soy sauce. Mix together and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

Add 1.5 tablespoons of cornflour to the beef. Mix it in until each strip is coated.

Add the sunflower oil to a wok. Heat over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, throw in your beef. Do this in batches if you have a small wok – you want each strip to be in full contact with the oil to ensure extra crispiness.

Once your beef is brown and crispy, remove from the heat and set aside on some kitchen paper.

Remove any remaining sunflower oil from the wok and place the wok back on the heat. Add half a tablespoon of sesame oil. Throw in your sliced peppers. Allow to soften for 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic paste, a tablespoon of soy sauce and the sliced red chilli. Cook for 3 more minutes.

Add the crispy beef to the wok and a heaped tablespoon of runny honey. Mix everything together. Add a tablespoon more soy sauce and a small glass of cornflour slurry. (To make the slurry, mix a heaped teaspoon of cornflour in a small glass of water until it resembles a slurry like liquid.)

Mix everything together, cook for 1 more minute and remove from the heat.

Serve the beef on top of some jasmine or basmati rice. Enjoy!

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 476.7

Protein (g) 23.1

Carbohydrate (g) 29.4

Fat (g) 30.2

Fruit & Veg 1.8

Fibre (g) 2.7