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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Who's up for a Tasty Tuesday?

21st November 2017
Become a priority in your life.

Half four start this morning, Alfie decided I needed to get up earlier than usual!  Gotta love a dog!  Had a good day yesterday, Monday’s is usually my day off but with the launch of Flex I’ve worked the last few Monday nights, that was the last for a while.  Enjoyed visiting Kate at her new Monday night meeting in Bradley (Bilston), if you’re looking for a Monday night meeting, I’d recommend it for sure.  There were some great results from Flex too, I can’t wait to see how my members have done this week.

Food, we always get back to food, I started my day quite randomly with that coconut chickpea curry, I blitzed it into a soup and it tasted nice so I had it for breakfast with a couple of these wraps that were out of date but when I opened them tasted fine. 

2 Smart Points each, £1.50 for a pack of 12.  You can taste the coconut in them, they are only the size of a side plate but I’d have them again for sure.

Then I made this lentil spread and it’s my new favourite thing and has made me realise there’s a lot of different ways I can do something similar.  I’m going to make a bigger batch up tomorrow, I dare say you could make it without the oil but I feel the oil adds some flavour and we all need a little healthy oil in our lives.  It made about 250g, that’s the equivalent of a pack of butter and there’s a whole lot more points in that. 

Lentil spread – 4sp total
70g raw red split lentils
1 small onion, about 100g
 2 cloves garlic
1tbsp olive oil (4sp)
1tsp curry powder
salt & black pepper
1tsp balsamic vinegar
25g 0% fat Greek style yogurt
Cook the lentils in boiling water according to packet until tender – about 20 minutes – then drain. 
Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and add to a small non-stick frying pan with the oil. Stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes until thoroughly soft, then stir in the curry powder for another minute.

Put the onion mix in a bowl with the cooked lentils and seasoning, and puree until smooth. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and yogurt. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Transfer to a serving bowl, either eat warm or cover and allow to cool, then put in the fridge to chill.

For lunch I made chicken meatballs in a tomato sauce with bare naked noodles and a bit of parmesan on top, so that only came to 3sp.

Then before I left for the meeting I plated me up some salad, boiled eggs, I added some olives to my lentil spread and had it on the wraps when I got back, really tasty and I actually enjoyed the carrot sticks, all of it took some eating which made it more filling.
Made my own tzatziki with natural yogurt, cucumber and lemon juice, I also added a few chives for good measure. 

Yeah good food can be tasty and low in Smart Points, I’m loving this Flex lark, I ended on 26SP so used a few of my weeklies, but it’s all good, I’ll pull them back before the weekend or maybe I won’t maybe instead of overindulging big style at the weekend, I’ll have a little bit of my weeklies every day, we shall see, good to have the choice.

Who’s up for a tasty Tuesday, I sure am, what shall I do with the cartons of butter beans I have in the cupboard.  I’m strugging with the texture of beans so I’ve got to disguise them in the meal.  Here’s one way of disguising them…

Spicy bean burgers, makes 4, 1sp each.

410g Cannellini Beans, cooked, drained and rinsed
410g Butter Beans, cooked, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon Curry Powder
3 Spring Onions, chopped finely
1 Red pepper(s), de-seeded and diced finely
50g dried breadcrumbs (5 SmartPoints)
1 egg, beaten lightly
Calorie controlled cooking spray
Salt & Black pepper

1. Preheat the grill to medium and line a grill tray with foil. In a food processor or with a hand-held blender, whizz together the cannellini beans, butter beans and curry powder.
2.  Transfer to a bowl, season and mix in the spring onions, red pepper, breadcrumbs and egg until combined. Divide the mixture into four equal portions and shape with wet hands into four large burgers.
3.   Transfer the burgers to the grill tray and spray with the cooking spray. Grill for 12-15 minutes until golden, turning halfway through. Serve immediately.

At the end of step 2, layer the burgers between baking paper in a freezerproof container.  Seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months.  To serve defrost and cook as per step 3 until golden and piping hot.

Right time to go get ready for work, here’s looking forward to some epic results at the scales, let’s end November on a high I say!

Monday, 20 November 2017

I lost 5 on it! #Flex #WWworks

20th November 2017
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, that’s why inventors put erasers on pencils!
Can I get a Whoop Whoop - it worked, I lost 5lb in my first week, finished on track, used all my daily and weekly SmartPoints and a few of my FitPoints.  Now I know as I start to experiment with some of the foods on the zero list, it will also get even easier to follow Flex.  I need to find things to do with the zero plant based proteins, not only because they are zero but also because they are really, really good for us. 
I’ve woke up with a bad throat so hopefully that won’t linger and mom gave me a bit of a fright last night when she had a bit of a fall going up the stairs to bed, thankfully she’s just a bit sore this morning it appears there’s nothing too serious.  

So food wise yesterday I blew my entire daily points on breakfast, it was immense, I had the whole avocado, ½ would’ve been plenty but no one else eats it and it doesn’t look good if left (I could’ve thrown it away I know!), had it on a olive ciabatta bread roll – delicious but for 8sp I’m not sure I’d buy again, again half would’ve been enough of that bread roll.  I’d bought a packet of smoked salmon for 4sp from the Coop reduced to 92p (bargain), the other packets gone in the freezer, oh ma’an why didn’t I think to do that with half the bread!  Anyway with my poached eggs and sweet chilli cherry tomatoes it was all super lush and I didn’t find myself wanting anything else till 5ish.  Oh and my poached eggs need to be left for less time or took of the heat as they were still a little overcooked after 4 minutes, but I'm getting there.

I also enjoyed a bowl of sugar free jelly, yogurt with mango puree.
I made some tandoori chicken pieces using my Skyr natural yogurt and tandoori rub that I found in the cupboard, then had them with squaffles, I do like these now roasted then I put a bit of salt & vinegar on them like I would my chips.
I still enjoyed my wine too. 

I spent the morning running errands and doing a bit of housework (boo) but I eventually got to have a little play in the kitchen and made a chick pea curry to eat today, I tweaked a recipe I’d found online, here it is;

Coconut Chickpea Curry (17sp total, serve 4 at 4sp each)
It looks better than this today! 
Spray light
3 red onions
14 ounces/400g fresh tomatoes, diced (if using canned, drain the tomatoes)
I used 3 cherry tomatoes I had left & a carton of chopped tomatoes, there was no juice)
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
16 ounces/454g can chickpeas, drained (I threw an extra carton of these in too to bulk it up)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tablespoons garam masala
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
13.5 ounces/383g can reduced coconut milk (16sp)
1 teaspoon cornflour (1sp)
1 small lime

·         In a deep pot over medium high heat, add the spray light
·         Add in the onions and tomatoes. Grind some sea salt and ground black pepper over the mixture and stir together. Lower heat to medium and allow to cook down until juices of the tomatoes are naturally released and onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
·         Add in the chickpeas, garlic, garam masala, curry powder and cumin. Stir to combine.
·         Add in the coconut milk and stir again. Add in the cornflour which helps to slightly thicken the curry. Bring the curry to a boil, and then reduce to medium-low so that the mixture continues to simmer for 10 to 12 more minutes.
·         Taste the curry and season with salt and pepper if you desire. Remove the curry from the heat and squeeze a lime lightly over the top of the curry, stirring to combine. Don't skip this step! Allow to cool slightly and then serve. Enjoy!

I want to make falafels next as I know I like chickpeas cooked that way, I’m still undecided about the chickpea if I’m completely honest, but I will persist and find ways to enjoy them, it’s all about the flavourings, it’s the texture I’m struggling with so mashing them up I reckon is the future for me!

Anyway, moving on we all love throwing it in the slow cooker and leaving it to it.  Here’s a recipe I’ve just had from the BBC website, worth a try I reckon.  Especially as the only points in it is the oil, so 2sp a serving!

Slow cooker dal
Serves 4

Tasty and filling, dal makes a cheap, healthy and satisfying meal.
Try freezing it in portion-sized containers - it will keep for up to 2 months.


300g/10½oz yellow split peas
1 onion, chopped
200g/7oz chopped tomatoes (from a tin or fresh)
thumb of fresh root ginger, finely grated
2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp crushed finely in a mortar
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 garlic cloves, one crushed, one thinly sliced
10 freeze-dried curry leaves
700ml/1¼ pts hot vegetable stock
1 hot green finger chilli, thinly sliced

2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil (9sp)
lemon wedges, to serve

1.    Place the split peas, onion, tomatoes, ginger, ground cumin, turmeric, crushed garlic, curry leaves and stock into a slow cooker. Add most of the chilli and stir to combine. Cook on high for four hours, until the split peas are tender.
2.    Season the dal generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Just before serving, heat the oil in a saucepan. When the oil is very hot, add the whole cumin seeds and the sliced garlic. Fry until the garlic is golden-brown and the cumin smells toasty and almost smoky. Spoon the hot spiced oil over the dhal, scatter with the remaining green chilli, then serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.

Let’s start another busy week, can’t wait to get in my meetings tomorrow and the rest of the week to see everyone’s results, excited for going to work this week for sure! 

Bring it on, here’s to my week two, losing weight in the run up to Christmas is the plan this week and very, very doable as I’ve seen members having a good time this weekend and staying on track.

WOO HOO BeYOUtiful, let’s make Monday mega, you could even make it a Meat Free Monday!   Get some of those protein based beans and pulses in ya belly ;)