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Thursday, 17 March 2011

17th March 2011

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. Chinese proverb

I’m on a roll this week, I wasn't missing the alcohol at all which was really surprising me, until last night, but resisted.   I’m so busy, but still making sure I take two hours each day for myself, one at 6.30am when I walk Alfie and the other at lunchtime when I make sure I cook something delicious for my lunch and usually make my dinner at the same time. Yes it’s difficult when you're busy, but you can still stay on track.  From Monday through Thursday I’m up at 5am, and don’t sit down on the night to relax until after 8pm, I usually finish my paperwork on Friday about lunchtime, so organisation is key. And I’ve found that the more I plan, the easier it get week on week because its becoming a habit. I’m starting to learn what flavours go together so whereas I used to stick rigidly to a recipe now I can look in the fridge and grab a few ingredients and knock something up quickly. Yesterday it was creamy veg pies, they had cauliflower, courgette, red & orange peppers, carrots, mushrooms, I added a tub of Philadelphia light with black pepper and a tbsp of low fat crème fraîche, and I topped them with puff pastry, they were great for a mere 8pp each, using veggies as the main ingredient definitely reduces the ProPoints value of meals. I also made a cauliflower puree/mash thing which was really nice and a celeriac mash too. I was experimenting to see what I could do with these ingredients and can I say I did all that in under an hour!

The good thing about being super busy is I’ve got less time to think about eating or snacking so I’m saving my weekly 49 and activity ProProints for the weekend, so far I’ve earned 23pp on my pedometer, I’ve got a super scrumptious lunch out with the girls planned for Saturday and this means I’m going to be able to really enjoy it, not drinking really has its benefits.

Back to the making veggies tastier, here’s a couple of other things you could do to liven up your veggies;

Sticky orange glazes shallots

Serves 4, 1pp each prep 10m, total time 1hr 50m

12 small shallots, trimmed
1tbsp olive oil (4pp)
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1tsp light brown soft sugar or honey or maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200oC, fan 180oC, gas 6. (1pp)

Place shallots in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle with a tbsp oil oil or use ww oil spray and bake for one hour.

The shallots are ready when their skins start to loosen and they are tender when squeezed. Use two forks to carefully pull the shallots out of their skins.

Return the skinned shallots to the dish, add the remaining ingredients and season, then return to the oven for 30-40 minutes. If you're short on time, you can do this step in a frying pan; it will take about 15 minutes.

Or why not make balsamic cabbage – total 15pp

1 red cabbage
1tbsp olive oil (4pp)
125ml balsamic vinegar
100g caster sugar (11pp)

Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove and discard the core. Shred the cabbage and place in a heavy based pan or casserole over a low heat with the oil, vinegar, sugar and 125ml water. Bring to simmering point, then cover and cook over a low heat for about an hour, stirring now and then until the cabbage is tender. Season to taste.

Have a truly tasty Thursday xx

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