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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Having a great week, scales might not agree!

31st March 2016
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

I woke up this morning thinking I really am blessed to have the most wonderful helpers in my meetings, and last night they put their all into making my meeting work - I love them for that.  My members too, so patient, all having a laugh supporting each other and true, 'let's do this' style, not to mention the delicious lemon drizzle cake cooked by the one and only Julie Buckard, mmm, seriously, an amazing baker.

When I get the recipe of the lemon drizzle cake, I'll blog it, because everyone needs a slice of that in their life at some point, I can't promise it'll be as good as Julie's but it'll be good.

The cooking demo's are going great too, I'm already thinking about the next one, but not for a week or two of course, but it definitely won't be as long as the last time, it's too enjoyable and there's food at the end - win/win.

Oh I almost forgot, I used my first simply cook kit yesterday, so easy to use, and came out looking all professional look;

 I'm looking forward to the next one now too, and I've been in touch with the company and they've sent me a nutritional sheet for their meals so I can smart point the kits over the weekend when I have a spare half hour.  It really is a good way of trying new foods and recipes without having to buy a load of spices and still not getting the mix correct.  If you do fancy trying a pack for a £1, use this link.

So using their nutritional information, my Chinese Duck Salad worked out at 10sp a portion. I used pheasant as I already had it, but had I used chicken instead of the duck, it would only have been 7sp a portion and delicious!  The avocado is optional so if you have that, you add another 4sp.

Right I need to get a wriggle on, got to get my onions chopped for my cooking demo's today (4 of them to do).  That's the one reason I could never have been a chef you know, I hate chopping onions!

Here's to making Thursday tremendous, I hope those with kids off school aren't being sent round the bend by them, I know my meeting will be full of them this morning but the moms still make more noise!  Have a great day BeYOUtiful, I know I will.

Here's today's Smart Point recipe;

Chicken Bang Bang

serves 4, 5sp per serving


2 x 165g Chicken Breast Fillets = (3sp)  

500ml chicken stock
2.5cm fresh ginger, peeled and sliced                          
1 tablespoon peanut butter  (6sp)
1 heaped tablespoon honey (4sp)                                 
1 tablespoon sesame oil (5sp)
1 teaspoon chilli oil (1 sp)                                                
half a chunk cucumber, cut into matchsticks               
one or two carrots, cut into matchsticks
four spring onions, cut into matchsticks                       
half an iceberg lettuce, shredded
fresh coriander to garnish

Pour stock into the saucepan, add the ginger and bring it to the boil.  Add the chicken breasts to the stock and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until they are tender and cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the stock, reserving the stock for the dressing.  Place the peanut butter, clear honey, sesame oil and chilli oil in a mini processor or a screw topped jar with six tablespoons of the reserved stock and shake well to mix together.

Mix the vegetable sticks with the shredded lettuce and transfer to a serving plate or bowl.   To serve, shred the chicken over the salad and drizzle with the sauce.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Today I'm going to Simply Cook!

30th March 2016
So far you've survived 100% of your worst days.  You're doing great.
I love that the clocks have gone forward, I really struggle when they go back but this morning I woke up a few minutes before my alarm and I feel ready to start my day, and what a busy one it's going to be!  I'm cooking in my meetings this week, that's going well, and I plan to cook at home today too.
I've had some Simply Cook cooking kits, the box contains four kits to help me cook four delicious meals, I just need to buy the fresh ingredients. Each kits has 3 pots to help cook the meal, these contain unique flavour blends that contain as many as 18 different ingredients! The perfectly measured kits may include culinary pastes, infused oils, garnishes, rubs, specialist stocks and herb/spice blends.  Yes I had that spiel from their website, but I have to say they look great and my mates been using them for a few weeks now.  Plus using this link you can get the first kit for £1 - bargain!  Even if you cancel the subscription and never have anymore.  I've left mine to recieve one pack a month, as it's a great way for me to try new foods.

The meal I've chosen to cook today is Chinese spiced duck salad, now it tells me theres 500 calories in the meal when cooked according to the instructions, I've worked out that two duck breasts with skin are 19sp, I happened to have two pheasant breasts in freezer that I bought for some reason, so I'm going to use them, they're skinless so only 5sp each, with all the spices in the kit, it'll be 8sp at most for the meal.  If I wanted to make it even lower, I could use chicken.  Tomorrow I'm doing BBQ Tandoori chicken with sweet potato wedges, that works out at about 16sp because it uses thighs with skin, again if I wanted lower points I could remove the skin or use breasts.  Can't wait to try them all, I've also got kits for Chicken tinga, Goan fish curry , Char Sui BBQ pork, Dukkah spiced salmon, west African peanut stew and lebanese lamb with aubergine pilaf.  I love that they come with a shopping list of the few ingredients you have to get and you can rip it off and pop it in your purse.  So clever!  All they need to do to improve it, is tell us the nutritional information or Smart Point the kits.  I think I might be emailing them today to make the suggestion!

Anyway, I'm getting over excited about food again, so back to reality, it's only 5.30am, too early to cook dinner ;)

And has I've already mentioned sweet potatoes above, here's a Smart Pointed recipe to enjoy something different, they're a good source of vitamin C you know and with so many colds around at the moment, you can all do with some of that.  They also have over 400% of your daily needs for vitamin A in just one spud, as well as being loaded with fiber and potassium, so they're great as a change from the good old ordinary spud.

Cheesy bacon stuffed sweet potato
Serves 1, 7sp

1 medium sweet potato (5sp)
25g low fat cheese (1sp)
1 rasher back bacon, grilled and chopped (1sp)
2 cherry tomatoes, quartered
freshly ground black pepper
salad leaves

Preheat over to 200oC, gas mark 6, prick potato and microwave on high for 5m, transfer to oven for a further 20m until cooked.  Scoop out potato and mash with the soft cheese, stir in bacon and tomato and season with pepper.  Return mash to the potato shell.  Heat the grill to medium, & grill potato until top in browned, serve with salad leaves.

Right I'm off to get ready for another great day, already drunk my pint of water, ready for the next and tomatoes on toast for brekkie I reckon with an egg on the top, mmm, love a bit of simple food.

Focus on the healthy and the happy BeYOUtiful.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Getting my Delia on!

29th March 2016
The best way to predict your future is to create it.
I'm blaming my brother!  He bought mom a big chocolate egg which she then left half eaten on the table in-between us!  He bought me a litre bottle of Baileys which may have been opened and a glass drank!  Hey ho, could've been worse, I only had a bit of the chocolate and just the one (largish) glass of Baileys.  All back to normal today, busy week ahead of me and I've decided to make it busier by cooking in all my meetings - as you do!

I cooked a delicious meal for us yesterday, it was the one I blogged on Sunday, the chorizo stuffed chicken, very tasty indeed and took minutes to get in the oven.

The rest of my day was pretty lazy once I'd been shopping for supplies for my cooking demo's and done a bit of paperwork at my desk. I resisted all temptation in Sainsbury's from the half price Llindt bunny's to the 25% off clothes, I was completely in control. 

Now to get that control working throughout the rest of the week, I'd really like a stayed same Friday or a little loss, so no more Baileys!  I bought a tin of mushroom soup, so I could have a go at that tuna curry from yesterdays blog.  I didn't buy any more food as I wanted to use the stuff we already have in. 

Keeping it brief this morning as I have so much to get ready, must make sure I remember everything, there's a lot to take with me! 

Happy Days ;) Make yours a great one, can you believe we're almost a third of the way through the year!  Hope you're making it a good one BeYOUtiful. Focus on the healthy & happy.

Here's your Smart Point recipe for today, real simple one.

Chicken and mushroom pasta

serves 2, 9sp per serving


2 medium carrots

2 medium onions
400 g mushrooms
200 g Chicken Fillets (2sp
120g dried pasta, (12sp)
1 serving Bachelors' Condensed Low Fat Mushroom Soup (4sp)

Chop onions and carrots finely, start frying with a spray from oil spray. Add chicken fillets & mushrooms and then add soup when chicken sealed. Boil pasta separately then stir into chicken when cooked and serve.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Yay rainy Bank Holiday Monday!

28th March 2016
Don't stress the could haves, if it should have, it would have.

Raining a little bit out there!  True Bank Holiday Monday style, glad I've nothing planned, just a day of whatever the mood takes me, my office is screaming tidy me up, but I've got my fingers in my ears and I'm singing "la, la, la, I can't hear you!"  Childish I know but the ironing is giving me daggers too!  Mmm, whatever, I've done more than my fair share of work this week, I can't see much happening today, got me a super busy week ahead as one of my awesome helpers is on holiday and I'm also hoping to go successfully go live in my meeting with automation on Wednesday.  So today, well I think it might involve chilling, tv, knitting, a bit of cooking, nothing taxing at all.

But first I do need to do some work as I have to get ready for my meetings this week, not sure what we'll be chatting about yet, I'm guessing everyone is all chocolated out!  I had half a packet of white chocolate buttons (4sp), I did indulge in a hot cross bun with coffee curd for breakfast, then we had fish in breadcrumbs, egg, chips and peas for Dinner, mmm.

I'm staying away from the supermarkets today, trying to use up some of the food in the freezer and cupboard and also aware that there will be lots of reduced chocolate stuff floating about on the shelves of the shops, I don't need that kind of temptation in my life!  If anyone does have chocolate they want rid of, bring it to the meeting and I'll take to the local food bank / soup kitchen.

Yeah here's to a lazy day or chilling, you never know there might be something worth watching on the tv!  I won't hold my breath.  I'm going so I can get the work done that needs doing, then by the time mom wakes up, I'll be free of my office.  Happy Monday everyone, make it a good one.

I found this on my computer this morning in a very old file, so I've Smart Pointed it and think it would be an interesting dish, a mild creamy curry for 3sp, not a bad idea.

Tuna Curry

Serves 4, 3sp per serving

3 cans of tuna in spring water or brine (drained weight 390g total)  (3sp)
1 onion
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (Heinz = 7sp)
2tsp curry powder (1sp)

Fry onions in a little water until soft.  Add curry powder and stir.  Add soup mix and tuna and stir thoroughly and simmer until 5 minutes.  Serve warm.

For extra points serve with rice, 60g dried = 6sp (weighs 160g cooked)