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Monday, 21 March 2016

The haze has lifted, here's to a bit of brightness!

21st March 2016
It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters most in the end. E Hemingway

My mood matches the weather this morning, woke up a little hazy but the brightness is coming through already, got a few things to get done this morning then who knows, might even convince mom to make Monday 'Momday' and go get cake somewhere with our National Trust passes, bit of fresh air would do us both good!  Me more so as I've been a lazy bird this weekend, not left the house since my meeting Saturday.
I did enjoy a bit of time in the kitchen yesterday though before sitting, knitting and watching tv.  I experimented with green lentils, I look 100g (7sp) as instructed on the packet.  Then in a pan I fried together 30g chorizo (3sp), 2 bacon medallions (1sp), and diced onions.  When both were cooked I strained the remaining water off the lentils and mixed the two pans together.  There's plenty for 2 at 6sp per portion. I only had a taste as we were having a roast dinner, noticed the flavour had got better as the day went on, think it'll be really tasty today, I'm having it for breakfast, no different to baked beans and bacon, they're both pulses.  Both a great source of protein and a healthy choice, also a good source of iron.  They also count as one of your five a day did you know that, so if I have that, an orange and a banana, I'll have had 3 of my 5 and I'll be full, so if we do go out for a drive later, I won't be so tempted by moms cake ;)

I also made garlic, cheese potato things to have with my Sunday roast, 

Put the slicing blade on first and did this to a potato.
I then sprayed the with cooking spray, sprinkled with some thyme and garlic salt, and put them in a muffin tin, sprinkled with a bit of Parmesan cheese and baked in the oven on Gas mark 4/5 for about 20 minutes.
They came out looking like this, they were quite tasty.
Another recipe idea for the lentils was given to me by my member Ellie on Saturday and it was where I started with my concoction.  
Ellies Lentils recipe:

Soak them for half a day then boil.

Fry some onions and add it to the water, put some vermicelli in towards the end and a chicken stock and maybe a little tomato purée for thickness.

It can be really bland hence the Greek yoghurt, Ellie spoons on the top, mmm.

She says it's an acquired taste but you can add whatever you want to it to make it your own.

You've got to love a family recipe, you can tell she's obviously made that a trillion times over the years.

I had me a lovely hour yesterday just sitting at the kitchen table reading a couple of magazines I'd bought, one article was called 'help a stranger', the author was inviting you to stop operating on autopilot and start living a life full of joy and curiosity.  He went on to say how the worlds become a more isolated place, we live in our own bubbles created by distractions of mobile devices and headphones that cut us off from the rest of the world.   He talked about how meaningful social interaction is vital to our happiness and to noticing what matters in a world that moves at an ever increasing speed.  So he was suggesting we help a stranger in any way, by doing this we get to notice that we have the power to contribute when we spot the opportunities around us, if we simply stand up and make them happen.  Something as simple as holding a door open and sharing a smile, helping a parent with a pushchair, or buying a coffee for a homeless person.

I like this idea, this week, realise there's more to life than eating and losing weight and take the time to help a stranger.  The other good thing about doing it is you're not expecting anything in return, it's good to realise we shouldn't do good things to get something back!  We should do good things because they're the right thing to do, the kind thing to do and yes because they make us feel good - that's okay of course, it's okay to feel good because you did good, but not so good to expect something in return, not even gratitude from the other person.  That's my belief anyways.

On that note, the air has cleared outside and the sun is bright, I feel the same so I'm off to get things done, here's today's Smart Point recipe, you can find them all on www.happyowls.co.uk at a later date. 

Have a great day, remember you're BeYOUtiful and go help a stranger when the opportunity arises.

Chicken & Cashew Nuts

Serves 4  Prep time 5 mins ~ Cook time 15 mins
5 Smart Points per serving

Calorie controlled
cooking spray
40g cashew nuts
350g skinless, boneless
chicken breast, diced
2 tsp sesame oil
150g baby corn, sliced
1 pak choi, leaves separated
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dry sherry
300ml chicken stock, made with 1 stock cube
1 tbsp cornflour
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Mist a frying pan with cooking spray. Brown the nuts, remove and set aside.

Coat the chicken in the oil and cook for 3 mins, until brown. Add the veg and
garlic and stir-fry for 2 mins, then add the soy sauce and sherry and cook for 1 min.
Stir in the toasted cashews and chicken stock, cover and simmer for 5 mins.

Blend the cornflour with 1 tbsp water, then stir into the sauce until thickened. Serve garnished with the coriander.

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