A working lunch

potWho said making your own lunches is easy and is also cheaper than buying the ready-made stuff?  Yes I agree, it may be cheaper , and you know exactly what lurks among your salad leaves if you make it yourself. But how do we keep the lunch ideas going?

Nine months into my office job and I am out. Completely out of ideas. I have done the sandwiches, the salads, the soups and now what? As the picture above will tell you, I have resorted to the ready-made stuff. In this case it was an Innocent Veggie pot, which is one of the better choices out there with only 239 calories for the Thai Tom Yum. Stick a yogurt on the end of that lunch and you’re looking at about 350 calories for a very filling lunch, fantastic. But not everyone, and me especially can afford to buy these babies every day.

What’s your secret weapon for when you’re out of lunch ideas? Innocent is my saviour, but I need to get out of the habit of buying them so often. Time to stop being lazy!

Love, S

Advertisements

Turning over a new leaf is tough

Yes that is the truth, and you know it. Sticking to your word, especially in a diet sense, is like torture. You may say you will never eat a Cadbury’s Crème Egg ever again, till you see someone demolishing one on the train, and simply can’t resist the next time you hit the supermarket.

The beginning of this year was a real struggle. Post-Xmas leftovers, cakes sales & office treats make it excruciatingly difficult to stick to your promise of ‘no more luxuries this week’. Do you get the feeling that when you say no to chocolate when offered, you are judged? “What is wrong with you! Who says no to free chocolate”. You know the look I am talking about. If you are strong enough to say “no”, well done. I, on the other hand can’t say no to myself. If I want chocolate, I WANT chocolate. If I am alone, it just gets worse. I am much more likely to scavenge for something sweet to sooth my grizzly bear craving.
Like always, planning helps. In recent weeks I have planned my evening snack for when I get these sweet tooth needs. I chose ‘healthier’ options which are below 150 calories, such as a chocolate flavoured mousse or cheese dunkers. They do the trick.
What is your remedy to chocolate huger? I hope you find my suggestions useful and please share your own experiences, I love to hear about how everyone else is doing.

Love, S

Revamping

I must admit (although admitting is not necessary, the evidence is below), it has been too long since I last posted.

Taking a pause and coming back to this just made me realise how much of a struggle it is to 1. Get healthy, and 2. Stay healthy.

My blog so far has been about losing weight – and yes if you do not like to exercise and have the ability to control your food, my diet is perfect for you. But the more I speak to the people around me, I realise that even small changes such as not using sugar in tea and coffee can make a real difference to your health.

So, with a new post comes a new angle – how to move off the diet and continue living a healthy lifestyle. You cannot be counting calories forever, eventually you will reach your goal weight but the hard part will be to not yo-yo back to old habits.

I will revamp my blog a little:

  • Summaries how I managed to get into shape with tips for anyone who wants to give it a go
  • Start focusing on ‘what is a healthy lifestyle’, do we actually know how big our portion sizes should be?
  • Life beyond the diet – You no longer need to be eating rice-cakes and celery, so what do you eat?

What was your biggest struggle after losing weight? Share with me and lets start putting together some useful tips.

Love S

Back on Track Aubergine

Lomogram_2013-06-13_09-47-47-PM

Getting back to your usual healthy habits is tough, we all know that …

After 4 weeks of snacking, drinking fizzy, and stuffing my face with delicious Spanish food while away on holiday, coming back to my diet was hard.

The actual healthy eating is not what I am talking about. I mean the decision which you make when you decide to go back to being healthy, and sticking to it is the problem. This is because when you are out of your usual routine, it is almost too easy to snack on something which will automatically make you feel like the day’s good work is ruined anyway, so you might as well carry on munching. I managed by cooking up something special to remind myself just how tasty healthy food is, and how good it makes me feel.

I came up with these ‘pizza-like’ aubergine slices :)

  • 1 Small Aubergine, or Half of a Regular One
  • 100g of Cooked Rice
  • 100g of Pasta Sauce
  • 6 Black Olives
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 30g of Cheddar Cheese

WP_000160

Begin with cutting the aubergine into 3 thick slices, it can be difficult to find a small aubergine so in that case use half, aim for about 1cm thickness. Fry the aubergine on a frying pan on heated oil, and once slightly browned transfer onto a baking tray, unless you have an oven suited frying pan. Spoon an equal amount of cooked rice on top of each of the aubergine slices. Evenly spread the pasta sauce on top of the rice and place the olives on top, finishing with a sprinkle of cheddar.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes on 220 degrees, once the cheese is melted it is ready!

Calories – the prepared potion all together adds up to 600kcal which is good for something which tasted very much like pizza. I served mine up with some simple salad leaves, cucumber, tomato and onion.

Enjoy!

Love, S

Cauliflower and Pineapple Curry

cvcxvxvcxvcxvcx

Exams are over, and I am going crazy with food!

Being on a ‘eat whatever is around as cooking wastes precious revision time’ diet for over a month, i’ts time to start to going back to my normal life and start cooking!

Celebrating with flavoured beer and lots of olives followed by chocolate, it came to a point where I needed vegetables. Desperately. So a veggie curry was needed, and it was YUM!!!!!

  • 1 Medium Cauliflower
  • 1 Medium Aubergine
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Small Chillies
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Tins of Tomatoes
  • Half a Tin of Pineapple chunks
  • 3 Heaped tbsp of Jalfrezi Curry Paste
  • 1 Chicken Stock cube
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 2 Curry Leaves
  • 2 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • Rice – Half a lemon, starenise, 2 cloves

Start by boiling the cauliflower till soft. Brown off some the diced onion and aubergine in the olive oil, add some water to the frying pan to help the aubergine cook. After five minutes or so add the cauliflower, crush in garlic, and add chillies and pineapple. Add the cardamom pods and curry leaves and follow with 2 tins of tomatoes and 3 tbs of jalfrezi paste. Don’t worry if you have not got the spices, just use more of the paste :D Add the chicken stock (1 stock cube mixed in with half a cup of hot water) and allow the curry to simmer in all the juices for about 10 minutes. Serve with rice, I prepared my rice by adding half a lemon, 2 cloves and a starenise for flavour.

Calories – 1019 kcal for the curry, which makes 5 servings. Remember to add the calories of the rice you are using as it will vary!

Enjoy! Hope this curry warms up these not so sunny summer days.

Love, S

It’s so fresh, it makes noises

WP_000062

I finally got the courage to cook fresh mussels…

Yes, it is pretty weird when you are scrubbing away the shells and you can see the remaining ones opening and closing as they wait for their turn, but all that squeamishness is worth it.

The difference between already prepared and frozen mussels and fresh ones is insane!

The recipe is simple…

  • 1 kg of Scottish Live Mussels
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 100 ml of double cream
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 1 tbsp. of butter

Fry the diced onion and garlic on a little butter, and once browned add the wine. Bring to the boil and add mussels and cream, pop a lid on and allow to steam away for around 5 minutes. Any shells which do not open need to be thrown away!

Season the sauce to taste :)

Calories, this is a difficult one to calculate, but this portion is for two therefore it is around 300 kcal per portion.

Love, S

Cheat Vegetarian Curry

Lomogram_2013-04-30_10-13-59-PM

Me recent posts prove how lazy I am getting as a result of excessive exam revision :P

At this stage in the year I need recipes which won’t waste my precious revision time and ones which will keep my tummy full and happy. So here it is, my cheat vegetarian curry, if it takes you longer than 20 minutes to make, I will just assume you were trying to prove me wrong :P

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 a courgette
  • 1/2 tinned tomatoes
  • 6 mushrooms
  • 1 cup full of spinach leaves
  • 1tbs of Jalfrezi Curry Paste
  • Salt, pepper, chilli for seasoning
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Start by chopping up the onion, mushrooms and courgette into whatever pieces you like, I don’t make mine neat or uniform. Fry in a little bit of olive oil until slightly browned and softened. Add tinned tomatoes and curry paste and allow to cook on a small heat for 5 minutes. Just before taking off the heat add the chopped spinach leaves and mix in until wilted, it should not take any longer than 30 seconds. Season to taste, I think the spicier, the more authentic it seems :P

That is it! Serve with some rice and tuck in! :D

Lomogram_2013-04-30_10-16-48-PM

Calories – 280 for the whole dish. Remember to add the calories of the rice or whatever you are enjoying my cheat curry with.

By the way, writing all the halve quantities in the ingredients list made me realise that I never mentioned that I usually make my recipes on a 1 person serving basis. If I am making a bigger portion I will point out how many servings it contains. Sorry, my OCD made me point that out :P

Love, hellotummys xx