Friday 5 September 2014

Foodie Friday - What I Ate In August

As you may have gathered from Tuesday's weight loss summary, food's being a bit of an issue for me over the last month. Try as I might, I'd have real problems sticking to any sort of healthy eating regime. This mini review of the things that I ate probably doesn't look too bad in isolation but yet again it was the picking and grazing that caused the problem, not to mention a change in the weather which lead to me craving naughty things.

Main meal wise one of my aims was to be a little bit more experimental with my eating, by and large I think that was a bit of a fail but I did make some old favourites including a huge batch of Diet Coke Quorn.

I served one lot with gluten free pasta, and the other portion with my homemade egg fried. I didn't have any frozen peas though so instead I used some frozen mixed vegetables which made a nice change. I've had a few requests for the Diet Coke Quorn recipe, and whilst there are lots of different variations on the internet, I will stick my version up in a week or so for anyone who is interested x

Whilst Diet Coke Quorn is rapidly becoming one of my mum's all time favourite dishes, in August I also made two more of her favourite meals, starting with my Hot Potato And Quorn Saute.

I try not to make this too often because of the calorie content but it's such a tasty dish, that really fills the salty, savoury cravings that being a vegetarian, I often get. It also contains sweet corn which I absolutely adore, in any format or any dish so it's always a winner with me :)

Something else that I try not to make too often because of the calorie content, is my Broccoli, Stilton And Walnut Pasta. The reduced section in Tesco came up trumps again though, with a huge head of Broccoli and a bargain piece of Stilton. I tried to reign in the recipe a little bit by using Garlic Fry Light instead of olive oil though, and I replaced the walnuts with pecans because that's all I had. It really doesn't matter I always try to make do with what I have before going out to buy specific ingredients.

One habit which I seem to have got into over the last few months is making mounds of cheesy nachos. The homemade salsa is healthy enough but combine it with a pile of corn tortilla chips, and a mound of grated red Leicester and you're asking for trouble. I did make smaller portions than normal, using individual baking dishes so maybe I deserve a bit of credit.

August was very much about the homemade and the homegrown. I'm luck enough to have two lovely uncles who both have enough land to keep chickens and grow all sorts of yummy fruit and vegetables. Last month one of my uncles came over with bags, and bags of yummy homegrown fruit and veg - green beans, onions, parsnips, apples, turnips, cucumbers, tomatoes, beetroot and rhubarb you name we've had it and with another batch this week, we're well sorted for the winter. My mum started off by blanching the veg for the freezer and by pickling the beetroot. After hating it throughout my primary school years I'm now a bit in love with beetroot and a jar of home pickled beetroot can not be bettered. I love it in sandwiches and in salads and straight out of pan when it's still a bit warm.

My mums big love is rhubarb, and whilst some of it was stewed and popped in the freezer, and it went without saying that she whipped a lovely gluten free rhubarb crumble - yummy!

I mentioned in my last foodie roundup that my mum had made a mountain of homemade strawberry jam, well in August me and Mummy Lou made a slightly healthier version of a cream tea.

The gluten free sultana scones didn't quite rise as planned but they still tasted delish when we served them with some strained low fat Greek yogurt, and spoonfuls of the sweetest, most summery tasting jam you've ever tasted. It's probably more like a preserve, than a jam but I guarantee it's was nicer than anything you can buy in the supermarket.

Fruit was a bit of a theme in August and as well as consuming plums, peaches, nectarines, grapes and pineapples, I also ate more than my fair share of bananas, and in August I made my super easy Banana Nut Bread, which is a great way of using over ripe, soft, brown, bananas.

This is a really versatile recipe where again you can add what you have or what you like and leave out what you don't.

I also used a couple of overripe bananas up in one of my favourite ways - I made a smoothie / milkshake. I just put 1 past it's best banana, into a blender with a glass of semi skimmed milk and some frozen fruit and gave it a zap till it was smooth. It tastes so fresh and it's really filling for not a lot of calories. Obviously you could add yogurt or ice cream to thicken it up but it's fine as it is.

Despite the fact that the weathers cooling down a bit I've still been all over cool and icy drinks. I made a few trips to both Starbucks and Costa and I tried my best to try something different from my usual Mocha Cookie Crumbles and Raspberry And White Chocolate Creamy Coolers.

First up is Costa's Strawberry And Lime Cooler - I have to say I was a touch disappointed by this. It was very, very refreshing but the lime totally dominated it was very tangy and very zesty, and you could barely taste the strawberry :(.Great on a hot day but not something I would necessarily order again - hence I had another Raspberry And White Chocolate Creamy Cooler last week hmmm, you win some you lose some I guess

My Starbucks experience was a better one, and to be honest I knew if would be. Having already enjoyed a Banana Yogurt Frappuccino I knew that I would love the Red Berry version and I did. You get the hint of the berries, and the freshness of the yogurt and unlike a lot of frappuccinos and coolers it wasn't too sweet. I'm not sure how long these ones are going to be around for but I do know that for September only you can get limited edition orange, and strawberry yogurt frappuccinos, so I'll definitely be making a Starbucks trip this month for at least one of those, and for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, would you believe I've never had one before? 2014 is definitely going to be the year that I lose my PSL virginity :)

Although I now live quite close to a Starbucks, I still can't justify jumping in the car every time I get a coffee urge and recently I discovered a little gem in Poundland of all places.

Mokate Ice Frappes are perfect ice coffees with out the faff. Each pack comes with between 10 and 12 sachets of iced coffee mix, all you do is mix it with some milk and some ice. You can do it by hand but I put mine in the blender or use the Bamix to get rid of the lumps. It's actually really good, and you don't need to add any sugar or anything else if you don't want to but I've been adding the occasional dash or Monin caramel or hazelnut syrups to give it a more coffee shop feel. For a £1 I think there a great buy for that coffee hit when it's too hot for coffee.

The rest of the items in August's foodie review are all what you would class as naughty. Being a vegetarian for more than 18 years now one of thing that I've missed the most are jellies. So many still contain animal ingredients and pork or beef gelatine. Things are getting better though and recently both M&S and Tesco have introduced their own vegetarian jelly sweets but up until recently the jelly sweet of the masses was completely alien to me. What am I talking about? Haribo of course! I have never, ever eaten any form of Haribo. On a recent trip to a larger Tesco and to Poundland though I found some vegetarian Haribo - hurray! Jelly sweets are back on the menu - The sour fizzy laces are amazing but the jelly beans have stolen my heart -mmmm sugar rush!

Speaking of jelly, the last thing I want to show you is a something that I discovered recently - Weight Watchers Sugar Free Jelly - amazing, vegetarian jelly that's less than 30 calories for the entire packet. The only thing is though it seems to have disappeared almost as quickly as I found. None of my local supermarkets have it any more, and my local Tesco was selling it off for just 9p a sachet, needless to say I bought the full display box full :( Grr it's always the way isn't it - can anyone tell me if it has been discontinued or if not where I can find some, I'd be really grateful x Also if their are any other vegetarians out there what jelly do you out? I know some of the trifle mixes contains veggie jelly but it's so hard to find a good one nowadays, I really thought I was onto something with these Weight Watchers ones, never mind :(

My final foodie highlight of August was a real blast from the past Funny Feet - The strawberry ice cream shaped feet were one of my first ever childhood, food memories. I distinctly remember eating them in my grandmas kitchen when I was teeny tiny. They seem a bit smaller now,  they're not quite as soft as they were and they don't feature a joke on the stick anymore but the taste really took me back nearly 30 years - how scary is that!

So they were my August eats, lots of good things, lots of not so good things, and some okay in small doses things. I already have quite a few things that I'm planning to eat and cook in September so hopefully I'll have lots of new things to show you next month x Happy Eating and Happy Drinking xx


  1. OMG pumpkin spice lattes are amazing! They're back now :D Not had one yet though x

  2. Broccoli, Stilton And Walnut Pasta looks amazing!)

  3. Yummy, I love that kind of posts. :P
    First dish looks super yummy. :))

  4. Hot potato and quorn sauté look so delicious I'll definitely try it soon :)))

  5. All the meals look so good! Definitely inspired me a little :) great post lovely!

  6. oh myy,,all the food looks very yummy!! please post more about food recipe :-)

  7. ohh so yummy post! I'm hungry right now:)
    please visit me in free time:)


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