Friday, 26 April 2013

Friday Fish

Friday is usually beans on toast night but tonight we will be having something a little different.  Larry and I have a friend, Jackie, who will be 90 this September.  He is a wonderful man and treats Larry like a son.  The other day he came up to me and asked if I had anything planned for tea tonight (Friday) because if not, the fish man will be stopping so he is going to get some golden cutlets for us.  Golden cutlets are fillets of smoked haddock and they are Larry's absolute favourite fish.  Jackie knows this and every so often surprises him with some.  Usually I just put it under the grill and we have it on buttered toast but tonight I have decided to try something different.  I found this recipe and photo at Delia Online.  It looks quick, easy, yummy and not too unhealthy.  The only change I will make is to substitute finely chopped spring/green onion tops for the chives as that is what I have in the fridge today.  We will have it with a nice Greek Salad and some fresh bread.

 Smoked Haddock with Creme Fraiche, Chive and Butter Sauce
Smoked Haddock with Creme Fraiche, Chive and Butter Sauce

For the salad, we will use mixed greens (from a bag), black olives, pickled yellow peppers, red onion and feta cheese.  I make my own salad dressing which we absolutely love on pretty much anything and everything!  You can easily switch out ingredients to change the flavour or to use what you have on hand.  If you want a nice emulsified dressing you need to use a blender, food processor or stick blender, if  you don't care if you have to shake the dressing before using you can just finely mince the garlic and shallot and then mix it up in a cruet.  Make this up at least a few hours before serving to allow the dried herbs to soften and the fresh garlic to mellow.  You could use all fresh garlic instead of half powder but you might find you need to add a bit of sugar if you do, to cut the sharpness of the garlic.

Greek Salad Dressing

In a blender combine until smooth(ish):

1 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Teaspoon sea salt (adjust to taste)
Juice of one lemon plus enough balsamic vinegar to make 3 ounces
3 ounces red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 shallot, peeled and cut in half
1 Teaspoon onion powder
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard

With the blender still running, slowly add 6 ounces of olive oil so the mixture emulsifies.  Turn the blender off and add 2 Teaspoons each of dried basil and oregano and just pulse to combine, you don't want to make them invisible.  Pour into your cruet or bottle and store in the fridge.  This dressing tastes best served at room temperature so remove from the fridge about an hour before you want to eat. This is also delicious used to marinate meat for grilling.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Thursday, Fast 10

Today is fast day 10 which should go by pretty quickly as I have a busy day planned.  Tonight we are just having a chicken stir fry for tea, with the non-dieters having Chinese noodles and me having extra veg instead. 

Yesterday's tea was a great recipe I got from my Mom.  We had chilli on Monday and the usual "planned-overs" are chilli dogs but this time I made Chilli Dog Casserole.  The recipe is here on my Mom's blog.  The recipe calls for 30 ounces of canned chilli but, like my Mom, we don't eat a lot of processed food.  So, I took the leftover chilli from Monday and, because I make it really thick, added water and tomato paste (double concentrated puree) to make it up to the right amount and to make it saucier.  My hot dogs come in a pack of ten but the wraps I used (I used a package of Indian Chapatis because they are much less expensive than tortillas here in Scotland) come in a pack of eight so I just threw the extra two hot dogs in the dish as is and then sent them with Larry for his lunch today.  I have to say this was a fabulous meal!  All four of us loved it and the boys wanted to know why I hadn't made this heaven in a dish for them before yesterday.  All I can say in my defence is, I forgot about the recipe and just recently remembered it.

Chilli Dog Casserole (photo courtesy of WeFarm)

A bit of advice for my friends who are struggling to convert recipes from Imperial to Metric or vice versa . . . invest in a good kitchen scale.  They really aren't expensive and make all the difference.  Make sure it can be switched from one form of measurement to the other and then you won't have to try and convert a recipe.  I also use this On line Conversion site.  It is difficult to work out the difference/equivalences between US and UK cups/pints/etcetera when you are as maths impaired as me so this page takes the stress off.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Walking in Sunshine

It was a beautiful day today so not only did I hang out two loads of washing but I went for a walk on the Perth Road.  It was wonderful to be out in the sun, although the wind made it a little less nice than it would have been without it.  I got some nice pictures of the River Tay. 

The Tay Rail Bridge.

If you would like to read about the Tay Bridge Disaster of 1879, go here where you can read the famous poem by William McGonagall.

The view of Fife across the river.

Tonight's tea was Salmon and Spinach Rosti from Delicious magazine with fresh French bread  Layered with spinach, onions, salmon, cream, lemon, dill and shredded potatoes, it was really nice but very rich.  

Salmon and spinach rösti bake
Salmon and Spinach Rosti Bake

Monday, 22 April 2013

Fast day nine

Today is fast day nine and weigh in number five.  I'm down another pound so can't complain.  I've got chilli in the crock pot for dinner tonight and I'm making corn bread to go with it.  Corn bread is one of those comfort foods that brings back  fond childhood memories of family dinner.  This week's dessert is Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Bars.  I won't have any today but am looking forward to having one tomorrow!  

Yesterday I made Chocolate Muffins, using all the ingredients this time, and the boys had them this morning for breakfast.  They were declared a success.  The photo and recipe are from Channel 4 Food.  Just FYI, the recipe says it makes 10 but I got 12 muffins and I had to fill the cups to the top.

Choc muffins
Chocolate Chunk Muffins
I also made a loaf of Cinnamon bread for the boys to have for breakfast this week.  I used this recipe from a Whisk and a Prayer.  They will have it tomorrow so I'll let you know what they think.

Photo from A Whisk and A Prayer

Corn Bread  (Makes 8 pieces at 180 calories per piece)

Preheat oven to 400F/200C

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn meal
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup semi-skimmed milk
2 Tablespoons oil or melted butter

2 Tablespoons softened butter
2 Tablespoons honey

In a medium bowl combine first five ingredients and set aside.  In a small bowl combine the egg, milk and 2 Tablespoons of oil or melted butter.  Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined, batter will be very thick, do not over mix!  Spread into a lightly greased 8x8 baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  While the corn bread is baking, combine the remaining 2 Tablespoons butter with the honey. After you take the pan out of the oven, use your toothpick to poke holes all over the cornbread.  Spread the combined honey and butter mixture evenly over the top of the corn bread and let it soak in.  Cut into 8 pieces and serve.

Corn bread with honey butter glaze

Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Bars

Preheat oven to 350F/170C  
Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish

Crust Ingredients:
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Filling Ingredients:
14 ounce (standard size) can of sweetened condensed milk
5 ounces milk chocolate
5 ounces dark (plain) chocolate
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla

Combine first four ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl cream butter and brown sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until totally combined.  Mix in the dry ingredients.  Press 2/3 of this into the baking dish.  In a small saucepan, combine the milk, the chocolate, peanut butter and the vanilla over medium heat.  Stir until the smooth.  Pour over the oatmeal layer.  Dot the chocolate layer with the remaining oatmeal mixture.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Bars

An addendum to the Peanut Butter Fudge Oatmeal Bar recipe, Connor has suggested it needs more peanut butter so next time I will use 1/2 cup and see how he likes that.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Fast day 8 and catch up from yesterday

Sunday was, by special request, meat loaf night.  So that made yesterday spaghetti bolognese night.  My sister is married to an Italian and that is a tradition she  has given to me, making spaghetti bolognese with chopped up leftover meat loaf.  I make my sauce in the crock pot/slow cooker and I let it go all day so the flat smelled delicious!  I also made some meat balls to go in the sauce and some French bread that I turned into garlic bread.  Of course, since life is never easy I had to make a white Alfredo type sauce for the boy who eats nothing that looks like it grew from the ground.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to put up, sorry about that.

Italian Style Meat Loaf

500 grams of bulk Italian sausage, hot or sweet, your choice, we use hot
500 grams lean ground beef mince
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon basil
1 Tablespoon oregano
2 Tablespoons dried minced onion or 1 small chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and press into loaf pan.  Bake at 350/170 until internal temperature reaches 165f.  I almost always use a digital meat thermometer rather than time when cooking meat, but you can expect it to take about an hour.  I usually bake potatoes at the same time to go with this and we had corn, which is one of the few "vegetables" picky boy will eat.  I made peach cobbler for dessert and that made enough for the boys to have dessert every night they eat with us this week.

I can't find Italian sausage here so I make my own.  We really like it and I use it to make patties for sandwiches as well.

500 grams or 1 pound ground/minced pork
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seed
1 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
14 - 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

I put all the seasoning ingredients in a resealable plastic bag and mix them together well.  Then I put the pork in and seal it up and squeeze the bag around until the seasonings are evenly distributed through the meat.  I usually make this up a couple of days before needing it to make sure the flavours are well blended.  If pork is on sale you can make this in any quantity you want and freeze it in appropriate sized portions. 

I don't know if any one actually needs a recipe for meat balls but just in case . . . here is a basic recipe you can tweak to suit your family.

Italian style Meat Balls (six large meatballs at 184 calories each)

1.5 pounds/750 grams extra lean minced beef
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Mix gently, not too much, and then form into six large meatballs, fry in a little bit of olive oil to brown and finish cooking them off in your sauce.  I put them in the crock pot/slow cooker with my meat loaf bolognese sauce to cook all day.  

"Alfredo Sauce"  is in quotes because it tastes like Alfredo but uses much less butter and has a lot less calories.  We really like it and you can use low fat/calorie ingredients to suit your taste/diet.  Since serving size is so individual, I just use a couple of tablespoons but my son probably uses 1/2 cup I have figured the calorie count for the whole recipe.

Alfredo style sauce (1031 calories for the recipe)

3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons plain flour
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) semi skimmed (2%) milk, more as needed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup (50 grams) grated parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
100 grams Philadelphia cream cheese (about 3.5 ounces or so)
freshly grated black pepper to taste
a pinch of nutmeg

In a sauce pan, melt butter and add flour to make a roux.   Slowly add the milk, whisking the entire time, stir until thick.  Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.  Add more milk if you decide it is too thick for your tastes.

The French Bread recipe, and the photo, came from here.  I haven't had time to search this blog properly but it looks like there are lots of great recipes.  The bread turned out wonderful and, after I cut the end off so I could make sure it wasn't poisonous  I made it into garlic bread to go with the spaghetti last night.  Every one loved it.

This post is already full of recipes so I won't post my bolognese sauce recipe.  I figure every body probably already has one they love to make or buy.  If you do want a recipe that is full of fresh veg and made in the slow cooker, let me know in the comments and I will do a later post on it.

Today is fasting day eight, and I am making a classic British dish called Toad in the Hole.  Don't ask me why it's called that, I have absolutely no idea, maybe one of my readers can enlighten us.  My recipe makes six servings, one each for Larry and I and two for each of the boys.  I will serve it up with green beans for all and left over peach cobbler for the boys.

Toad in the Hole  (six servings at 283 calories per serving)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 sausages, I used Morrison's Best Pork, Smoked Bacon and Cheddar
170 grams/6 ounces plain flour
3 eggs
185 ml/6 ounces semi-skimmed (2%) milk

Brown sausages under the grill or on top of the stove.  Place oil in a (9x13) baking dish and put into a cold oven.  Turn oven on to 400f/200c.  While the oven and dish is pre-heating, make the batter.  Either use a blender or a stick blender to mix flour, milk and egg until smooth.  Remove the hot pan from the oven, put the sausages in the bottom and pour the batter over them.  Bake about 35 minutes or until the centre is puffy and browned.  Don't be worried if the batter falls a bit after you take it out of the oven, it is supposed to do that.

Toad in the Hole

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Smoked Haddock Wellington

My original plan for dinner was to make a recipe for Hot Smoked Salmon Wellington but smoked haddock was on sale so I decided to use that and make my own recipe.  I've used frozen spinach, leeks, garlic and onions for the filling and I found some light puff pastry at Tesco.  I'm, going to come right out and admit this is not a very low calorie meal.  However, served with a fresh salad it is a nice treat.  We really did enjoy it.  Next time, however, I will make the salads smaller because we were both uncomfortably full after eating.  It never looks like much until you start eating!

Smoked Haddock Wellington  makes 2 servings at 475 calories per serving

200 grams frozen chopped spinach leaves, thawed, squeeze as much water out as possible
1 small white onion diced
1 small leek, cleaned and chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste, we don't use salt and I also added some chilli pepper flakes, about 1/8 teaspoon, which gave it a nice kick.

2 pieces of smoked haddock, my package equalled 222 grams

1/3 package light, ready rolled puff pastry, cut into two.  You can package and freeze the rest for later use.

1 egg, lightly beaten (the calorie count includes half the egg as it is only used as a wash)

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan, sauté the onion and leek until soft, add the spinach and garlic and continue cooking until the spinach is dry, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and let cool. Use parchment/greaseproof paper to line a baking tray, spray or brush with a little oil to prevent sticking. Put the two pieces of puff pastry on the prepared paper.  Using a sharp knife slice the fish pieces in two as in the picture below. Place the fish on the pastry, as shown.   Put the spinach on the bottom piece of fish and place the top back on.  Bring the puff pastry up around it to make a nice case.  I left a vent in the middle but you could could cut a design into it or lattice it, whatever you prefer.  You can make prettier parcels by using bigger pieces of puff pastry but as there are millions of calories in puff pastry I used the smallest amount that would cover the fish.  At this point I put the parcels into a plastic bag and then into the fridge because we don't eat until 8:00.  
Slice the fish in half like bread.
Divide the spinach mix evenly between the two pieces of fish, put the tops back on.

Bring the pastry up around the fish to make parcels.  Leave or cut vents to let the steam escape.

Brush with the beaten egg before placing into a preheated (200/400/gas mark 7) oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until nicely browned and fish is done.  

Served with a tomato and fresh mozzarella salad.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Fast Day and Weigh In

My weekly weigh in today puts me down another pound for a total loss of 4.6.  No complaints here!  It is an interesting mind set, fasting on a Monday.  After a week end of indulging it is almost a relief.  This weekend was less indulgent than most because I am still getting over a cold and didn't feel like going out as much as we usually do.  I stayed in Friday night.  Saturday night, Larry and I went to a birthday party for a friend and, in case you have been anxiously waiting to find out, I did manage to pick up a nice outfit for myself. There was a buffet of sandwiches and nibbles and I did have a few bites but saved myself for a small piece of the toffee flavoured birthday cake . . . yummy!  Sunday morning Larry and I went out for breakfast and then I spent the afternoon doing some baking for the boys for the week.  Their Easter holidays ended this morning so I made some chocolate muffins and some Nutella bread for their breakfasts and  I made a peach cobbler for dessert after their dinners this week.  I guess I am getting old because I had a baking brain freeze yesterday.  I was making the muffins, which called for the butter to be melted, so I put it in the microwave to do just that while I mixed up the rest of the ingredients.  And then, of course, forgot to add the butter.  It wasn't until I opened the microwave to put something else in that I realized.  Oh well, the boys ate them this morning, Cam loved them and Connor said the texture was weird but they tasted fine.  

Except for Oxo and coffee, I am saving all my calories for dinner and tonight I am making a recipe courtesy of Karen S Burns-Booth at Lavender and Lovage.  She takes beautiful photos of her recipes and this one is Cajun Chicken Kebabs.  If you have never been to her blog before, get thee there now.  It is very well done and full of great recipes.

Cajun Chicken Kebabs at 209 calories/serving without pita bread, according to My Fitness Pal.  My pita bread is 130 calories per piece which puts the total for this meal at 339 calories/serving.  Other than doubling the recipe, the only thing I did differently was to add 1/4 teaspoon each onion and garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon each of fresh lemon juice and zest, and 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander to the yoghurt sauce.

5:2 Diet 215 Calorie Kebabs! Cajun Chicken Kebab and Spiced Yoghurt Dip Recipe

Well, I can tell you we enjoyed these very much!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Friday Blues

Well, yesterday was a bust.  I woke up with a scratchy throat that, by 10:00, had manifested into full blown fever, sore throat and cough.  I had to cancel my much anticipated girl's day out.  Boo hoo!!  

I was pretty hungry after fasting on Wednesday so I had eggs and toast for breakfast.  Lunch was a half portion of leftover Somerset Stew from Monday night and tea was some leftover ham and potato soup I had pulled out of the freezer along with warm bread.  Add a few biscuits for a snack and I stayed well under my calorie limit for the day. Isn't it amazing what not feeling well does for the appetite?

Today I am still a bit under the weather so had to cancel my plans to have coffee with Larry's mum.  Not only am I not sure I have the energy to get down town and back but I wouldn't want to expose her to illness. Too bad, really, I was looking forward to it.  This woman is an absolute treasure, very active, feisty, and  still completely independent at 85.

Another easy day food wise, just porridge for breakfast, cup soup, crackers, and two Laughing Cow Light cheese triangles for lunch.  I have to say Morrison's Nu Me Tomato, Red Pepper and Chilli cup soup is really good.  Very thick with a lot of flavour.  I can highly recommend it.  

My boys go to their Dad's for Friday night tea so Larry and I are just having more soup from the freezer.  It can't be helped, I'm not up for cooking.  To be fair, I don't really cook on Friday night anyway.  Friday night is usually Beans on Toast night.  The boys don't care for it but we absolutely love it, so I make it when they aren't home.  I can hear you muttering, "Beans on Toast? What kind of dinner is that for a self-proclaimed foodie?"  Well, I can tell you it isn't just opening a tin of beans, heating it up, and pouring it over toast!  I'll give you my recipe today but can't put up a picture until next week when I actually make it again.  If you make them, let me know what you think.

"Gourmet" Beans on Toast (2 servings of baked beans at 189 calories per serving. I left off the calorie count for the toast because that varies so much depending upon what bread you buy. If you use "diet bread" you can easily fit this meal into your fast day.)

2 Teaspoons butter (you can use less or use a spray if you use non-stick cookware and that would reduce the calorie count)
1 medium onion, diced
1 can baked beans in tomato sauce (any value brand is fine because you are adding stuff to it)
1/4 cup (60 grams) HP Sauce with Guinness
2 Teaspoons demerera or light brown sugar
1/8 -1/4 Teaspoon of chili flakes, depending on your tolerance for spicy
1/8-1/4 Teaspoon of black pepper, 
4 slices of toasted bread

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then sauté the onions until they are cooked to your preference.  For this, we still like a bit of crunch left in the onions so I just cook them for a few minutes.  When the onions are ready, add the rest of the ingredients, except for the toast, and heat through.  Serve over the toast.  

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Fast day six

I'm fasting again today.  It's not my usual fast day, that's tomorrow, but I've got a day out tomorrow with some friends so had to switch it to today.  I've planned grilled chicken with spinach salad and a balsamic vinaigrette.  It's a recipe I got from  There are a ton of fabulous recipes on this site and they are all labelled with nutrition, calorie and WW points information.  I'm going to make spaghetti with pesto sauce for the non-dieters in the family to have with this.  The only change I made to the original recipe was to use regular balsamic vinegar, instead of the white balsamic that was called for, and only because that is what I had on hand and I didn't want to buy something else.  

On a random note, I need a new outfit for Saturday.  It's a friend's 50th birthday party and I have nothing to wear.  Not literally but I would really like something new.  After my less than productive shopping trip yesterday, during which I bought a very nice shirt for Larry to wear and nothing for myself, Larry is taking me to go look for something tomorrow night after he gets home from work.  I hate shopping for myself and, as anyone who is overweight can attest, nothing ever looks nice on me. I figure if Larry goes with me he can give me an honest opinion and maybe I will be able to find something.  

Grilled Chicken with Spinach Salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Recipe and photo owned by Gina at  (serves 4 at 183.1 calories per serving)

Under construction

As you may have noticed, if you have been here from the beginning (two days ago) I have changed a few things.  Come on, I'm female and I have a large dose of the rearranging gene, it refuses to stay dormant for long.  I think I have things the way I want them but don't fuss too  much if you see regular changes for a few more days. It's hard work, this, trying to get the page design, layout, title, etcetera, just right.  Hopefully I've managed it. Thanks for being patient!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Salmon Burgers

Today is a fixed day so my calorie limit is between 1500-1600.  To maintain my weight I need about 1850 calories.  According to the 5:2 plan, fast days should be limited to 25% of your maintenance caloric need.  This is why I try to limit my calories to 450 on a fast day.  You can find your maintenance rate here.  This site will also tell you what your caloric intake should be for weight loss, which is what I use as my fixed rate.  Because this is meant to be a way of life, not a temporary fix, it needs to be as easy as possible.  So far, so good!

Yesterday was my third weigh in day, with the first being the day I started.  I am down 2.6 pounds, which is great!  I am quite happy with that.  I want to lose another 10 pounds before July when I am Matron of Honour in my daughter's wedding.  After that, my goal will be to lose another 20 pounds.  That will not put me at my so called ideal weight but it will put me at a healthy weight which will work for me.  I can't realistically expect to weight at 50 what I weighed at 18.  

Breakfast today was 1/2 cup of porridge oats cooked with 1 1/2 cups of water and served with one tablespoon of demerara sugar, four tablespoons of whole milk and 20 grams of dried cranberries.  This meal totals 304 calories and is one of my favourites.  I eat it a lot.  I had cereal and milk for lunch. Boring I know, but I was going to go shopping and just wanted something quick.  I am terrible when it comes to making myself lunch.  I don't mind making my breakfast but lunch is usually just something quick like cup soup with crackers or cereal and milk. 

After I got back from shopping, where I bought nothing for myself but stuff for everybody else (it's a mom thing), I was starving and we don't eat tea until 8:00 or 8:30.  I snacked on some Laughing Cow Light Blue flavoured cheese on toast for snack and then couldn't resist some crisps.  I mean, really, what evil person bought those?  I ended up going over my calorie goal but still kept it well under the maintenance level.

Tonight's tea, the high point of the day, was Salmon Burgers and 7 Layer Salad.  The recipe for the burgers calls for a lime and red onion mayo but I don't care for mayo like that, it has to be mixed in something.  So, I made a coleslaw with lime and red onion dressing to put on top.  Just fyi, the burgers require chilling for at least half an hour before cooking so this is a plan ahead meal.  Larry and I both ate our salmon without a roll and we really didn't miss it.  In fact, Larry has decided this is his new favourite meal.

Salmon Burgers Photo and recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens  (4 servings at 339 calories per serving, not including roll, and when made without the lime mayonnaise.)

Salmon Burgers with Lime Mayonnaise

Coleslaw with Lime and Red Onion Dressing  (4 servings at 62 calories each)

1/2 cup finely diced red onion (more or less to taste, we like a lot of onion)
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream (4 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (4 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
1 Teaspoon lime zest
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt (just a pinch)
fresh ground pepper to taste
3 cups shredded white cabbage

In a medium size bowl, make a dressing with all ingredients except the cabbage.  Stir in the cabbage until evenly coated.  Chill about 30 minutes for flavours to meld.

Seven Layer Salad (6 servings at 155 calories per serving)

This beautiful Trifle bowl was a gift to me from Larry's mother.  She received it as a wedding gift over 60 years ago.

1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, cored, torn into bite sized pieces
2 green onions, chopped fine
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
2 stalks of celery, chopped fine
240 grams of frozen petite pois, thawed but not cooked, pat dry with paper towels
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise mixed with 1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 cup shredded mature/sharp cheddar cheese
3 extra lean rashers of smoked bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces

In a serving dish, layer the first four ingredients in the order given then spread the mayo/sugar mixture evenly over the peas.  Top with the cheddar cheese and bacon.  You can reduce the calories even  more by using reduced fat cheese but I am of the mind that I would rather use less of the good stuff.  The original recipe calls for double the dressing recipe, which you could do but that would raise the calorie count significantly.  As already mentioned, I am not a mayo fan so I use the least amount possible to still make a nice dressing.   This is a very versatile salad and you can make it with any vegetables you have on hand.  


Monday, 8 April 2013

Week three, fast day five.

Today was a fast day so I was limited to 450-500 calories.  I had black coffee first thing this morning, as I always do, and then didn't have anything to eat until about 12:30 when I had a pot of low fat yoghurt for 100 calories.  In the mid afternoon I had a "tea" made with hot water, ginger, cinnamon and lemon juice.  I've been told that the ginger and cinnamon help to speed up your metabolism and there are only  about 20 calories so I figure it can't hurt and it doesn't taste terrible. For dinner I made a bastardised version of Somerset Stew served over steamed shredded cabbage.  Throughout the day I had coffee with a splash of whole milk, to total four tablespoons and 36 calories.  I measure it first thing in the morning and then use it as needed.  

The original recipe, and photo, for Somerset Stew came from the BBC.  

Somerset stew with cheddar & parsley mash

Here is my version of Somerset Stew.  This makes four very large servings at 219 calories per serving.

1 medium carrot, diced fine
1 medium onion, diced fine
2 stalks of celery, diced fine
420 gram can of Butter Beans, drained and rinsed
400 gram can of Mixed Indian Bean Salad in water, drained and rinsed (I bought it in Morrison's)
400 gram can of diced tomatoes
200 ml dry cider
250 ml water
2 Knorr Chicken Stock cubes
1/4 teaspoon of dried Thyme
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Steamed Cabbage to serve (1 cup is 33 calories)  

For those not fasting: Sausages, I used Morrison's Smoky Chipotle Chilli Sausages, and mashed potatoes.

Directions: In a large, non-stick, somewhat deep frying pan, brown the sausages.  Put them in a microwave safe dish and finish cooking that way.  Remove all but  tablespoon of the drippings and sauté' the carrot, onion and celery until lightly browned and softened.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  If desired, thicken the stew with 1 Tablespoon corn starch/flour mixed in 3 Tablespoons of cold water.   

We really enjoyed this, it had great flavour and was very filling.  Even with eating 1/3 of a sausage, because I just couldn't resist, my calorie count for the day totalled 452.  

Begin at the Beginning

Today is the first day of my third week of this new eating style.  I refuse to call it a diet since I have always felt diet to be a dirty four letter word.  I hate diets!  Healthy eating?  That I can do.  This is a way of eating that should be sustainable over time.

I do not want to argue over the benefits/dangers of "fasting" two days a week.  It is my choice and I am going to do it.  Am I hungry on my fast days? Yes!  Will I die of starvation on my fast days?  Definitely not.  I can go one day without eating three squares and two snacks.  In a typical week my fast days, which will average around 450 calories, are going to be Mondays and Thursdays.  This week, because of making plans with a friend who is off work on Thursday, my second fast day will be Wednesday.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday will (normally) be set days, meaning I will try my darnedest to not go over 1500-1600 calories.  Saturday and Sunday . . . all bets are off and I can eat and drink what I like without worrying.  

I use My Fitness Pal to track my calories Monday through Friday.  It has a marvellous data base and you can input your own recipes so there is no excuse for not keeping on top of my calorie count for the day.  I have also joined a forum for the 5:2 eating plan just for the extra support.  You can find it here: 5:2 Fast Diet Forum.  They have a great FAQ section.

I have started this blog as another way of being accountable.  I plan to post recipes and links to blogs/websites that I find helpful. I love to cook and this is just another challenge to creating healthy meals for my partner and my two boys.  I hope to inspire you and be inspired by you in this journey to better health.  Thanks for coming along!