03 March 2014

This Week's Meals #9

I'm not having much time to post other than the weekly meal plan. Our little person has gone from just sitting up to crawling all over the place and attempting to climb on top of anything he can get his hands on. I know everyone says they grow up so quickly but the speed at which he is learning, developing his skills and growing is scary. He'll be a little toddler soon!

This week's meal plan is based on using up what we have in the freezer and fridge, although I will need to stock up on fresh vegetables. Since moving to LCHF we don't tend to eat from the 'store cupboard', so most of our food is whatever needs the fridge or freezer. This point makes me feel good for some reason, I think its because if it can go off it is good for you and hasn't been fiddled with!

On the subject of LCHF and my diet, after 4 weeks of struggling to stick to calories and no weight loss the scales are now moving again and I have lost another 2lbs this week! The thing is, in that 4 week period I didn't gain any weight either, at all. If I was eating like I was before and not decreased my carb intake I'm positive I would have gained weight by not sticking to a calorie allowance in that 4 week period (I ate more calories I need to maintain to my weight too). So, this week I've concentrated a little more on the calories and its started coming off again.

The other thing that has helped is that I have made more of an effort to walk everywhere with little person in his pram. He loves being outside so its good for him too. We did 15 miles last week, which is not bad for someone who hasn't exercised in years. I don't believe exercise is strictly necessary for weight loss but it does earn you extra calories if you are trying to lose weight. It also makes you feel good, plain and simple! I've loved being out in the chilly sunshine, its interesting the things you notice when you are walking that you would never notice driving. So I've set myself a target of 100 miles in 8 weeks to keep me motivated to carry on! Mapmywalk is my new favourite website!

Here is this week's plan;

Monday - Steak Salad, straight forward steak fried over a nice big salad 

Tuesday  - Jamaican Beef Curry (in slow cooker) with cauliflower rice. The recipe is for goat but I don't have goat in the freezer! I've made this with lamb and it's oh so good!

Wednesday - Courgette Lasagne (this is what was missed off of last week's menu as I had 8 meals planned)

Thursday - Sausages, broccoli, carrots and gravy

Friday - Eating out with the big man

Saturday - Fish Pie with cauliflower mash topping  I love the recipe on the blog (see link) because it has a few options for the topping to choose from.

Sunday - Poussin and roasted vegetables (likely to be peppers and red onions). Don't normally have poussin lying around in the freezer but it was reduced because of its sell by date, so had to try it.

Have a good week everyone!

Meal Planning Monday
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24 February 2014

This Week's Meals #8

I have 8 meals on my plan this week because I couldn't decide between them. So it will be a matter of cooking whatever we fancy on the day and carrying one over to next week.

Last week's meals were all really good, the Pakistani Beef Curry was amazing. Would highly recommend them all. 

Asian Seabass and pak choi 
Beef Bourguignon and celeriac mash
Taco Lettuce Wraps (without the beans)

Chicken Vindaye (a Pondicherrian curry, the link is a YouTube clip from a Rick Stein programme. In it he says this curry is in his top 10 favourite things eat. You can't get better endorsement than that!)
Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup - I love this soup!!
Salmon Tikka with cucumber raita and coriander salad (without the wraps)

Meal Planning Monday
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20 February 2014

Turkish Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

This is good old Turkish comfort food. I make this with lamb or chicken but vegetarians can easily substitute meat with potatoes and carrots. If I wasn't low carbing I would have made it with potatoes and meat.


Serves 4 with rice / bread or 2/3 on its own

1kg frozen sliced green beans
2 chicken breasts or 500g lamb chops or diced lamb
1 large potato cubed
1 large carrot sliced
1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
1 chicken stock cube

Brown your meat or chicken in the olive oil, remove then *add the onions to the pot and cook until onions are soft. Add potatoes and carrot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste, green beans, cooked meat / chicken and (crumbled) stock cubes. Add enough hot water to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer, partially covered for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir regularly and add more water if needed. Turkish stews like this one are tastiest the longer they are allowed to cook slowly. You'll know it's done when the beans, carrots and potatoes are soft.

*Start here if you're not using meat or chicken.

Serve with rice, bread to dip in the juices and plain yoghurt. Or if you're low carbing like me, just on its own is perfect.

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19 February 2014

No Carb Almond Flour Bread

I was never really big on eating bread, even before low carbing. But now I'm low carbing guess what, I fancy bread! I miss the convenience of toasties and sandwiches. So I was a happy bunny last night when I came across this recipe for no carb bread (and loads of other amazing recipes, I went a bit Pinterest crazy too). What makes it even better is that it's cooked by microwave, my baking abilities only stretch so far.

Recipe from Made By Margie

Makes about 4 slices

150g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 eggs 

Mix ingredients in a square (or whatever shape) Tupperware box, microwave for 2 minutes and voila! You have bread! 

It is really calorific per slice so probably not something I'll have while I'm dieting but it's also really filling, I only had half a sandwich and that was just right. 
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17 February 2014

This Week's Meals #7

Back to meal planning. It is so much easier to eat well and save money when you meal plan. And it doesn't have to be time consuming, I save recipes using Pinterest so I always have lots to choose from. There's no harm in rotating recipes each week if that's your thing. Here's our plan for this week in no particular order

Mozzarella Stuffed, bacon Wrapped Chicken Thigh Caesar Salad with home made dressing

'Taze Fasulye' or Turkish Green Beans in tomato sauce with lamb (will add recipe in the week) 

Slow Cooker Pakistani Beef Curry and Cauliflower Rice

Chilli Paneer and Cauliflower Rice 

Peppered Grill steaks and Salad 

Meal Planning Monday
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13 February 2014

I'm back!!

I'm back! After almost a year I've decided it’s time to come back. I've been busy having a baby so I'm not sure where I'm going to find the time to blog again but I've been itching to write. I'll need to find the time somewhere!

Our gorgeous baby boy is 6 months old and he is my little ray of sunshine. He's so funny and curious and easy to be a mum to, I'm very lucky.

So, it may be that my future posts are about more than just food, since I can't not write about this amazing little creature but we'll see how it goes. Since having baby boy, I had almost 2 stone to lose. I've been 'dieting' since September, not even 3 months since I had him and it made me pretty miserable to be honest. I was calorie counting and although it worked when I stuck to it I was always hungry and felt deprived which meant it was pretty hard to stick to.

I've recently come across the low carb/high fat (LCHF) way of eating. The idea is that the fat fills you up and you can't overeat. I was really reluctant at first, I've been reading about it since November and I've only just seriously started giving it a go. For me, its working so far. 

What is LCHF?
"An LCHF diet means you eat less carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. Most importantly you minimize your intake of sugar and starches" (Diet Doctor). There is huge debate right now about sugar vs fat and whether carbs are really bad for you. There are also lots of different views on what LCHF means. For some it’s eating pounds and pounds of butter with minimal carbs for others it’s a bit more moderate. For me it’s no sugar and no grains. I get my carbs (because this is ‘low’ not ‘no’ carb) from lots of vegetables and some dairy. Alongside this a large part of my diet consists of good fats especially eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocado, meat and chicken with skin! Generally, 65% of my calories come from fat, 25% from protein and 10% from carbs. A typical week could look like this;

-          Slow cooked beef stew with broccoli / savoy cabbage
-          Crustless Quiche with salad
-          Burgers with cheese and red onions, gherkins and salad (no bun!)
-          Curry and cauliflower rice
-          Grilled chicken thighs with salad
-          Steak salad
-          Bolognese with ‘courgetti’ or cabbage

This way of eating works for me because I no longer have cravings and I only eat when I'm hungry. This is a huge shift for me, before LCHF I was either severely restricting calories to lose weight or I was existing on junk food (takeaways, chocolates, sweets etc.). I just couldn't do ‘moderation’, it was all or nothing, one extreme or the other. Now although it's still not easy, I have a much healthier attitude towards food, I eat when I'm hungry and I eat until I'm full. Calories still count but I eat enough to sustain me and to lose weight. I've only got about 6-8lbs to lose now and I know that not only will I achieve that but more importantly I'll be able to maintain it without developing an unhealthy attitude towards food. I can still enjoy all of my favourite foods without binging.

A little part of me is sad that I've restricted / cut out whole food groups but I haven’t been able to find an alternative. When I reach goal I will increase my carb intake so I've got to find a way of doing this without ending up where I started. 

So my food posts will look a bit different and I hope they're still interesting enough for you to stick around! 
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08 April 2013

This Week's Meals #6

Just a quick one this week as we're at Mr A's parents for the weekend so will be eating there.

Monday - Turkish Leek Stew with garlic bread

Tuesday - Dinner at Mum's

Wednesday - Delia's Cauliflower Cheese and Broccoli Soup 

Thursday - Beetroot Risotto from Good Food. 

Meal Planning Monday

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24 March 2013

This Week's Meals #5

Monday: Nigel Slater's Hot Chicken Cakes. On their own these are not substantial enough for Mr A, so I'm going to shape them like little patties and have them in whole wheat burger buns.

Tuesday: Dinner at Mum's

Wednesday: Prawn and Chorizo Gumbo

Thursday: Sausages and Cauliflower Mash 

Friday: Nigella's Spaghetti Puttanesca

Saturday: Middle Eastern Lamb Koftes with yoghurt, salad and pittas (or may even make my own hummus!)

Sunday: Turkey Roulade - I'm going to make this up as I go along but it will be turkey breasts stuffed with sage and onion stuffing, wrapped in bacon

We probably won't get through all 6 meals, as its Easter weekend I'm hoping we'll be out and about. If that happens the meals will just roll over to next week, because I'm good at that!

With baby on the way I've been thinking about how much we currently spend on food and what we can save. We try to be 'careful' but don't really budget. I'll always make sure I plan meals ahead, cook from what we already have and only shop for what we need but I still think we spend too much for just 2 people. What would you say is a reasonable budget for 2 people for a week?

Meal Planning Monday
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