Saturday 8 March 2014

Foodie Friday On A Saturday - What I Ate In February And A Quick Update

Hey lovely people x I hope your all well x I haven't been hence the numerous disappearing acts. Hormones CFS / Fibro Stuff and a horrid gastric flu bug given to me by my lovely mummy have all meant that blogging and in fact life has taken a back seat. I'm still not feeling amazing but I'm going to try and regain some of my blogging mojo and get some long overdue posts up.

My end of the month posts bar my weight loss one, fell by wayside in February so that's where I'm going to start. There won't be a haul post till the end of March though, I haven't felt well enough to do the accompanying video so I'll save my goodies till I do x In the meantime I'm going to start with something that hasn't been at the top of my agenda over the last week - food x

If you saw my most recent post (it's here if you didn't) you'll know that in February I managed to lose another 6lbs :). I haven't starved myself by any means and if I've wanted treats I've had them - Malteaster Bunnies, and Kinder Mini Eggs yum, yum bring it on! That said I've still been good if I've ate too much one day I've made up for it the next. Most of us have a misconception that diet food and healthier food is boring well not for me it's not. Trying to eat better has given me the perfect opportunity to experiment with food and whilst I've eaten a lot of old favourites in February I've also tried quite a few new recipes.

First up a couple of things that I've made before on numerous occasions - my veggie chilli served with a Mexican style rice (this rice was bought but I definitely think I can replicate the style and flavourings myself ), and a veggie cottage pie topped with just a tiny bit of grated cheese - guess which is mine based on the amount of grated cheese lol

Yup mine is the one with the least cheese - hard for a cheese fiend but sacrifices need to be made in the name of weight loss lol. This recipe always ends up being made with leftovers really. My mum is a big stew / casserole maker - she makes some for her with either chunks of beef or mince, and she makes mine with either soya chunks or soya mince. Never knowingly under catered we always have left overs and we usually have left over mash, so I make ickle cottage pies in individual dishes which I then cook in the oven  - yummy and super filling! I also sometimes do this with leftover chilli and sweet potato mash - mmmm

Something else which I make a lot now and I've become quite fond of overnight oats -basically porridge oats layered with yogurt, and fruit, and left overnight in the fridge. I've had a few early starts lately and I find this really filling and great for setting you up for the rest of the day. I also like the fact that it isn't a boring breakfast, you can very the yogurt flavourings, and the fruits to suit. I've used everything from from frozen berries and bananas with a Easi Yo boysenberry yogurt, to peaches, and bananas, with apricot yogurt. You can also add a bit of milk for extra liquid, or nuts and seeds for extra nourishment.

During February I also ate a couple of things that I'd been experimenting with for some time. I'm still not 100% happy with my Vegetarian French Onion Soup recipe but it was filling and warming and it's definitely worth making x I still need to savoury it up a bit more to suit my tastes though.

Something I was happier with though was my Veggie Bean And Nut Burgers (see the recipe here x). Although again the recipe can be played with a bit I think that this recipe is really good as it is. The first lot I had with salad

and the second lot I had with Slimming World salad, low fat coleslaw and Slimming World Chips

Slimming World Chips have been one of three fabulous discoveries that I made in February. I remember my mum making something similar when I was younger but basically what they are potatoes cut into chip shapes, parboiled for about 5 minutes then drained and towel dried before being sprayed with low fat cooking spray and then popped into a hot oven for 20-35 minutes till they crisp up. You can also sprinkle them with spices, herbs and salt for more flavour.

Okay they aren't exactly like proper fried chips but there really tasty and much lower in fat. Obviously they aren't as crispy but there fluffy inside and have an almost roast / baked potato taste. My mum recently picked me up a chip mesh so I'm hoping that that will make them even crispier - I'll keep you posted x

Yes you could make them with a sprinkling of oil but using a cooking spray saves so many calories as well as a non stick pan they are invaluable if your trying to lose weight I love Fry Light all you need is a few sprays into a pan or onto a baking sheet and most varieties are only around 1 calorie per spray. I love the butter one for pasta, sweet things, and as an air popper popcorn flavouring but the garlic one is my true love. It smells ridiculously garlicky but unlike me if your not a huge garlic lover the taste and smell does wear off slightly. I love the garlic one for chillis, frying mushrooms and for flavouring my chips - yum!

Although I'm not following Slimming World I know people who have and I've been stalking the Slimming World Instagram feed looking for recipe inspiration. In February I made two recipes that have are popular with people on the Slimming World plan. The first one was Curry Loaf or Chickpea Dahl Loaf.

This rather weird sounding recipe is basically a cooked sachet of curry flavoured rice mixed with eggs, and a can of lentil or chick pea curry dahl and baked in the oven. Weird sounding but ohhhh so good - a weird combo of curry, quiche and rice that just works. The dahl is quite hard to find and the one I got in Morrisons was a little bit salty so next time I think I'll have a go at making my own but I will definitely make this recipe again - in fact I've craved it ever since lol The thing I like about this recipe is that it can be served both hot or cold. It made four servings so me and Mummy Lou had one hot and one cold. First of all we had it hot with Slimming World Chips and vegetables

and then we had it cold with salad.

Another weird sounding Slimming World recipe is Diet Coke Chicken. My first thought when I heard about this recipe was yuck but think about it. All barbecue and a lot of oriental recipes are famous for that sweet savoury flavour so why shouldn't it work?

Well I thought I'd try it - obviously I replaced the chicken with Quorn pieces, I fried them off in Fry Light with onion, garlic, peppers, mushroom, finely chopped carrots and celery, then I added a carton of tomato passata, some soy sauce and some Chinese five spice powder and then a can of Diet Coke (well Pepsi Max - same difference ;). Then I cooked it down until the sauce had thickened. I was cynical, Mummy Lou was even more cynical but in fact it was amazing - it doesn't taste of coke, it has that sort of sweet, spicy flavour with an Asian twist from the anise flavour of the five spice. It made four servings the first two we had with boiled rice

and the second we had with homemade egg fried rice. Although I make my Indonesian Rice With Tofu on a regular basis which is basically a version of egg fried rice I'd never made it as a standalone before, so I gave that a go too. All I did was fry off some peppers, peas, spring onion and garlic in Fry Light, before adding some boiled rice, then adding an egg and some soy sauce. Amazing and I'll definitely be making that again too. Both of these Slimming World recipes sound a little bit weird but they are definitely worth trying. I'll post some more detailed recipes if you'd like but just do an online search for either Slimming World Diet Coke Chicken or Curry Loaf and you'll find lots of recipes and reviews.

Main meals are fine but where I'd normally fall down is snacking. I'm a comfort eater, fridge grazer personified but now I'm trying to make better choices (well most of the time) when it comes to snacking. As well as drinking much more water to try and curb my appetite I'm trying to eat more fruit. My mum has always been a big fruit fan, me not so much. I really am trying though I've had 4 lots today alone, raspberries, a kiwi, a clementine and a pear. A sweet hit without the fat or the calories :)

I've also being relying a lot on treats from Metcalfe's. Alas I wasn't one of the lucky bloggers to be sent boxes of yummy popcorn based treats but I having been stocking up in my local Poundland. There snack sized packets all come in at less than a hundred calories each, and their chocolate and yogurt rice cakes taste much more indulgent than they actually are and also come in at less than 100 calories each.

My final diet saviours and foodie favourites from February are Pom Bear snacks - I love Pom Bears, okay they probably are geared towards children but there gluten free and again less than 100 calories a bag.

So they were my February foodie favourites. I think February was very much about thinking about what I was eating and subsequently experimenting with food and new recipes, and that something that I want to keep doing throughout March. I already have a few recipes that I want to try so I'll keep you posted. Next weeks Foodie Friday post which will hopefully be on a Friday for a change ;) will be a recipe but rather than an experiment it's a Mummy Lou classic x Thanks for reading and I'll see you tomorrow with my February empties post and a chance to get your hands on a free skincare product xx

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