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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fancy a takeaway, save money & make your own!

20th January 2013

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.  Jon Kabat-Zinn

The snow has kept most people close to home this weekend, playing in it will of course earn activity ProPoints as will clearing it off the drive, I did my pathways yesterday morning and I took Alfie for a walk in it too so I managed minimal movement yesterday.

As it was my birthday I ended up eating a jam doughnut for breakfast and the most amazing home made chocolate brownies you ever will taste (thanks Romano) for an afternoon treat.  I made beef burgers for lunch with Actifry chips they were delicious, I used Asda’s less than 5% beef mince which when weighed using the nutritional information came up as 16pp – bargain, especially as it made 5 big burgers, all I added was a tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 egg, 5 spring onions and some herbs.

(this is why I alway use the nutritional information label to ProPoint food)
We did end up ordering a Chinese takeaway on the night but to be honest most of it is still on the table in the living room waiting to be cleared away because in true old lady style, I fell asleep before 9pm lol!  Twas my birthday and I’ll sleep if I want to ;-)
Of course there was wine partaken of too, in my new birthday wine glasses which are just brilliant, no stems very nice, felt all cosy and snug drinking from them.
So obviously all weeklies and activities are now gone but my explanation (no excuse) was it was my birthday and at 43, I’m likely to be halfway through my birthday allocation by the universe so I will take any weight gain on the chin each year on my birthday!  And I hereby solemnly swear that as soon as I’ve eaten the leftover Chinese and the brownies I will get straight back on track, those brownies need a few seconds in the microwave and fresh cream on them first though I’m afraid!  Just need to walk to the fresh cream shop today ;0)
If I’ve made you fancy Chinese why not have a go at making your own because trust me from memory of last night, it wasn’t all that and it cost a lot more than it was worth!  Following are a couple of simple F&H recipes which you could easily have on a ProPoint day too.  There’s also a chow mein recipe at the end which took a lot of attempts to get it just right, trust me, it’s worth the effort and the ProPoints!  It also gives you an idea of how many ProPoints are really in your Chinese takeaway on a weekend! 
However you’re spending today, be safe, healthy and happy xx I might spend mine crafting and reading, rather than eating and drinking as I did yesterday!  All about balance ;)
Beef Chow Mein, Serves 1 – 14pp
60g medium egg noodles (7pp) (If you get wholewheat noodles then it’s F&H)
Low fat cooking spray (1pp)
125g lean stir fry beef (5pp)
4 chopped spring onions
60g mange tout
80g chopped mushrooms
80 beansprouts
3tbsp oyster sauce (1pp)
Cook noodles in boiling water for 3 mins until tender. Drain & rinse in cold water.
Lightly coat a non-stick frying pan or wok with low fat cooking spray. Stir-fry the beef and spring onions for 1½ mins, then add the mange tout and mushrooms and cook for a further 1½ mins.   
Mix in the beansprouts, noodles, oyster sauce and 1tbsp water, and heat through for 1-1½ mins, stirring continuously. Serve immediately.
Chicken (or prawn) Egg Fried Rice
Low fat cooking spray, 1 clove garlic, 120g cooked brown rice (5pp), portion spring onions, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 120g prawns (2pp) or cooked chicken pieces (4pp), 1 large egg (3pp), 1 medium portion mange tout.
Coat non-stick frying pan and warm over medium high heat, add garlic, rice, spring onion, soy sauce, and egg.  Stir until egg is cooked through, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Mix in prawns or chicken and mange tout and warm through.

Chow mein (total points 16½) Serves: 2 – 17pp each

Makes big portions, so would stretch to 3 or 4 depending on your appetite!

175g dried egg noodles (19pp)
2tsp Sesame oil (3pp)

For the marinated chicken

100g Chicken breast, skinned & sliced into fine shreds 5cm long (or quorn pieces) (2pp)
2 tsp light Soy sauce
2 tsp dry Sherry, or Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp Sesame oil (1pp)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper,
For the stir-fry
50g Parma ham (3pp), or cooked ham, finely shredded (2pp)
1tbsp groundnut oil (4pp)
1 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped                                            50g mangetout, trimmed
2 tsp light Soy sauce                                                         2 tsp dark Soy sauce
1 tbsp dry Sherry, or Chinese cooking wine                 1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper,                                            1/2 tsp Sugar
3 tbsp finely chopped Spring onions
Why not add more vegetables, use diced red pepper, mushrooms, peas, baby corns.
Combine the chicken shreds with the light soy, rice wine, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well and leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.   Meanwhile, cook the noodles by boiling them for 3-5 minutes in a pan of boiling water (this is a good time to prepare & chop the ingredients for your stir fry – saves prep time). Drain noodles and plunge them into cold water. Drain thoroughly and toss in the sesame oil.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until it is very hot. Add 2 teaspoons of the groundnut oil and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the chicken shreds. Stir-fry the mixture for about 2 minutes and then transfer to a plate. Wipe the pan clean.

Reheat the pan until it is very hot then add the remaining oil. When it is slightly smoking add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the mangetout and ham and stir-fry for another minute. 
Add the noodles, soy sauces, rice wine, salt, pepper, sugar & spring onions & continue to stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Return the chicken & any juices to the noodle mixture.  Continue to stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve on warmed plates.

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