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Thursday, 30 November 2017

A morning to myself

30th November 2017
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

Yesterday was the first weekday I’ve had for a long time with a morning to spare and I took full advantage of it, it was lovely.  I enjoyed a mooch round TK Maxx then Sainsbury’s spent too much money and it was great, then I had a couple of hours in the kitchen and wow was I glad.  I said I’d learn to enjoy beans and lentils if it killed me and I am.  Using kidney beans yesterday I made spicy bean burgers, they worked out at 2sp each, they’d have been lovely on a burger bun with lettuce and mint yogurt - recipe at end of blog.  The real tasty was the curried lentil bake, which was really good.  It is delicious straight out of the oven, but also tasty cold, cut into pieces you could pop it in your lunch box and take it to work, ideal for when you don’t want sandwiches ‘again’, plus it’s helping massively towards getting your 5 a day.  I have to say the sweet potato when cubed and fried was delicious on its own and worth the 4sp, I’d definitely cook them on their own to have with a dinner and I’m not a sweet potato fan!  The whole thing was 12sp and the baking tray I used was a 10" x 7.5", so roughly 1sp per 2.5” square piece – bargain points!  Recipe also at the end of blog. 
I do love spending time in the kitchen especially when the food ends up tasting good, I know I won’t have to today though because my lovely sister has made me a turkey breast mince cottage pie – result!  I’ll be glad of that with how busy Thursday’s are.  My next day off is Sunday now as I’m working all day Saturday after my meeting I’ve got the area meeting.
Oh I almost forgot, my breakfast was delicious yesterday too, had those courgette and egg roll ups (1sp) from yesterday’s blog, mmm.   Lunch was the bean burger (2sp)with butternut squash roasted wedges and my tea was a good old fashioned egg and chip butty for 9sp, using McCains microwave chips.  I had some of the bake too, probably about 4sp worth maximum as I kept picking at it.

The only down side to yesterday was mom wasn’t very well when I got home, hoping she’s feeling better this morning, it’s not easy talking the stubborn one into going to the doctors if she isn’t well!

Flex continues to be liked in my meetings, members are saying they prefer it for so many reasons, it’s great to hear, what’s also good to hear is members saying they’re not giving up because ‘it’s Christmas’, we all know what damage can be done in December if we completely think ‘oh I’ll start again in January’!  Healthy and happy is for life not just for Christmas, it’s okay to have some treats just don’t go ridiculous, it isn’t what you do in the few days over Christmas that causes the weight problems, it’s what you do from New year’s day to Christmas eve!

It’s the 1st of December tomorrow, you know what that means – advent calendars, Christmas is in sight!  If you have one and want to Smart Point it, just look for the weight on the back, work out the total of the chocolate in the box and split it 25 way.

Enjoy your day, make wise food choices, don’t forget to drink your liquids, I know it’s colder and easier to drink less water but make an effort like I’m about too as we still need to be hydrated. 

Happy Thursday BeYOUtiful.

Curried Lentil Bake – 12sp total, roughly 2.5” square pieces = 1sp
Lentils cooked with vegetables, egg and sweet potato to make a perfect baby and kid friendly bake. Cut into finger size pieces and pack any left overs into a lunch box.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

1 tbsp oil (4sp)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic (you could use jar garlic puree for quickness)
1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
2 medium carrots (finely chopped)
1 tbsp curry powder
175g red split lentils
580ml (580ml) vegetable stock
240g sweet potato (cut into approx. 1 cm cubes) (8sp)
70g frozen peas
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
1.    Pre heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas4
2.    Heat a pan over a medium heat, using spray light add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots then reduce the heat to low and cook for roughly 10 minutes (until softened.)
3.    Add the curry powder and cook for a further minute
4.    Add the lentils & stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer until cooked, soft and stock absorbed (approx. 20 mins)
5.    Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry the sweet potato cubes, on a low heat, for about 10min.
6.    Once lentils are cooked, allow to cool slightly and then add the potato, egg and peas. Stir until combined.
7.    Place the mixture in a greased, ovenproof dish and bake in the oven until set and golden (about 30-40 minutes).
8.    Slice and serve.

Spicy bean burgers
This meal is cheap as chips, you can buy a tin of kidney beans for 30p in Asda

1 tbsp vegetable oil (4sp)
Spray light
1 small onion (80g), chopped
1 tsp (2g) ground cumin
1 tsp (2g) paprika
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 400g tin kidney beans
Breadcrumbs made from 1 slice of white bread (40g = 3sp)
Pinch of salt (1g)
Grind of pepper (1g)
1 tomato, sliced

Heat   frying pan, using spray light gently fry the onion until soft and golden, use a little water if needed. Add the cumin, paprika and garlic and fry for a couple more minutes but don’t let the garlic brown.

Remove from the heat and leave the onion, garlic and spices to cool a little before you add them to a food processor. Next add the drained kidney beans, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Blitz but not for too long – you want a fairly chunky texture. Shape by hand into four patties.

Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan and fry the burgers over a medium heat until cooked through and crispy on the outside. Turn them over gently to prevent crumbling.

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