Last Week’s Food Prep 3rd-9th July 2017

Hi guys,

So I am writing this a little late – mainly because I was mainly eating on my own (as OH didn’t fancy ANY of the food I had planned!) and I got treated to a couple of meals for doing some extra bits and pieces for people. My £25 food budget ended up lasting me two weeks and I topped up during this week (10-16 July) with some impromptu snack foods as I was working super late one night and had run out of food and a trip to McDonalds >.< so I've probably spent around £50 over the two weeks.

I did the majority of my food prep in one day whilst I was doing some paperwork at home. I did have a couple of cravings for certain foods which I made using stuff I already had so I didn't buy any additional ingredients (10/10 for sticking to the budget for me!).

So first off I cooked my gammon joint from Aldi. I used this recipe from Feisty Tapas and then made a delicious gammon and vegetable soup based on Feisty Tapas’ recipe here. I added a few more veggies to clear out what I had left in the fridge and to bulk it out a little more as well as adding a cinnamon stick, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns for extra flavour. I really do recommend this recipe – it’s so delicious and I love using my new Instant Pot.

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I used about a third of the gammon joint to slice back up and put in the soup and I sliced the rest to use for another meal.

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The night before I marinated my chicken drumsticks. I marinated half in a BBQ sauce I had lying around and the other half I did my own marinade of soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, pepper, chilli, garlic powder and some smoked paprika. I then roasted these and took the meat off the bone for meals, sandwiches or salads in the week.

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At the same time I roasted some new potatoes and carrots to go alongside some meals.

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Whilst the oven was still on, I also roasted my lamb leg with some courgette slices. I put garlic pieces in little slits all over the lamb leg and then covered with salt, pepper and mint sauce.

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Midway through the week I had a craving for a creamy pasta bake. I made a cheese sauce from scratch using a bechamel base (flour, butter, milk). I used some water in place of some of the milk to reduce the calories a little bit. I threw in some of the chicken, a slice of gammon as well as broccoli and cauliflower and some pasta we had in the cupboard. Placed it in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until golden brown and served it with homemade garlic bread. I had made a homemade loaf but forgot to take a photo! To make the garlic bread, I toasted it before putting a mix of butter, garlic powder and chopped garlic and placing it in the oven for the last 5 minutes.

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I also had a super craving for congee late one night after work which I also forgot to take a photo of as it was so late and I was a little hangry. I based my recipe on this one from Pressure Cook Recipes. As I used the chicken I cooked earlier, I reduced the cooking time a little to just cook the rice through. I added preserved Tianjin vegetables and some pieces of spam I had sliced in the freezer from the last time we had hotpot. Really delicious.

As of today, I still have some leftover pieces of lamb and gammon and some frozen veggies and potatoes. My next post will be on some of the meals I’ve eaten over the last couple of weeks.

Until next time.. x

Meal Plan – Sunday – Saturday (11th – 17th Jan)

Hi guys,

Meal plan for this week. I know I’m a bit behind on the food round ups – I confused myself as the last post was on different days! I will get this up ASAP. Shopping blog to follow tomorrow. In the middle of a flexible syns week. It will start with 75 syns left as of end of Friday.

Sunday – EE
Breakfast: chicken (p) congee with preserved cabbage (s) and chinese mushroom (s)
Lunch: poached chicken (p) with spring onion/ginger/soy dip (s) with garlic fried lettuce (s) with chicken mince (p) and tofu (p) stir fry with mushrooms (s) and rice
Dinner: steak and kidney pudding (I took the highest syn value – 22) with roast potatoes, carrots (s), mushrooms (s) and peas (p)
Snacks: clementines (s), strawberries (s), banana and seafood sticks
Total syns: 22, Remaining: 53

Monday – SP
Breakfast: spinach (s) and mushroom (s) omelet (p)
Lunch: soy salmon (p) with roast carrots (s), peas (p) and garlic fried lettuce (s)
Dinner: SW lamb kebab (2 syns) with lettuce (s), tomato (s), onions (s) and garlic sauce (2 syns) with a wholemeal bap (HEB)
Snacks: celery (s) and houmous (5 syns), ham (p) and cucumber (s), ryvita (HEB) and laughing cow (HEA), clementines
Total syns: 9, Remaining: 44

Tuesday – EE
Breakfast: chicken (p) congee with preserved cabbage (s) and chinese mushroom (s)
Lunch: SW lamb kebab (2 syns) with lettuce (s), tomato (s), onions (s) and garlic sauce (2 syns) with a wholemeal bap (HEB)
College: jacket potato with cheese (HEA) and beans (p)
Dinner: poached chicken (p) with spring onion/ginger/soy dip (s) with garlic fried lettuce (s) with chicken mince (p) and tofu (p) stir fry with mushrooms (s), salmon (p) steamed in preserved black beans (p?) and rice
Snacks: tomato cup-a-soup (4.5 syns), pear (s), clementines (s), boiled eggs (p), seafood sticks
Total syns: 8.5, Remaining: 35.5

Wednesday – SP
Breakfast: slow cooker breakfast casserole with bacon (p), mushrooms (s), spinach (s), beans (p) and eggs (p) and wholemeal toast (HEB)
Lunch: poached chicken (p) with spring onion/ginger/soy dip (s) with garlic fried lettuce (s) and salmon (p) steamed in preserved black beans (p?)
Dinner: SW lamb kebab (2 syns) with lettuce (s), tomato (s), onions (s) and garlic sauce (2 syns) with a wholemeal bap (HEB)
Snacks: celery (s) and houmous (5 syns), pear (s), clementines (s), boiled eggs (p), ham (p)
Total syns: 9, Remaining: 26.5. Used this week = 78.5

Thursday – EE
Breakfast: slow cooker breakfast casserole with bacon (p), mushrooms (s), spinach (s), beans (p) and eggs (p) and wholemeal toast (HEB)
Lunch: chicken (p) congee with preserved cabbage (s) and chinese mushroom (s)
College: jacket potato with cheese (HEA) and beans (p)
Dinner: pan fried scallops (p) with mussels (p) and vermicelli with spring onion (s), broccoli (s) and peas (p)
Snacks: tomato cup-a-soup (4.5 syns), seafood sticks, banana, pear (s), strawberries (s)
Total syns: 4.5, Remaining: 100.5 (New Flexible Syn Week)

Friday – SP
Breakfast: slow cooker breakfast casserole with bacon (p), mushrooms (s), spinach (s), beans (p) and eggs (p)
Lunch: SW lamb kebab (2 syns) with lettuce (s), tomato (s), onions (s) and garlic sauce (2 syns) with a wholemeal bap (HEB)
Dinner: Roast chicken (p) with roast carrots (s), cabbage (s), broccoli (s) and peas (p)
Snacks: clementines (s), pear (s), boiled eggs (p), celery (s) and houmous (5 syns), ryvita (HEB) and laughing cow (HEA)
Total syns: 9, Remaining: 91.5

Saturday – EE
Breakfast: slow cooker breakfast casserole with bacon (p), mushrooms (s), spinach (s), beans (p) and eggs (p)
Lunch: ryvita (HEB) with laughing cow (HEA) with ham (p) and cherry tomatoes (s)
Dinner: chicken and leek pie (1.5 syns) with roast potatoes and carrots (s)
Snacks: seafood sticks, banana, mullerlight, boiled eggs (p), clementines (s)
Total syns: 1.5, Remaining: 90

I will more than likely add a few more syns here and there – final totals will be in my Round Up posts. I decided to revamp some of the dishes I grew up with and made them more SW-friendly as I was feeling a bit nostalgic. It might seem a lot of food but it’s usually eaten “family style” so there’s a small portion of each dish with rice. I may make some soup as well to really make it feel like one of our family dinners but I’ll have to see if I have any time during the week!

Until next time.. x

Meal Plan – Sunday – Saturday (14th – 20th Dec)

Hi guys,

So meal plan for next week. It’s getting closer to Christmas and I’m kinda hoping to get through Christmas and New Year relatively unscathed. I’m willing myself to stick to plan this week so it will give me some wiggle room over the holidays.

Sunday
Breakfast: syn-free sausages, eggs, 400g wholemeal toast (HEB) and baked beans (ss)
Lunch: Christmas lunch with Mum and sisters
Dinner: Friend’s Christmas Do at Nando’s

Monday
Breakfast: bacon, spinach (s) and mushroom (s) omelet with 40g reduced fat cheese (HEA)
Lunch: SW crunchy Thai beef salad (0.5 syn) with chinese cabbage (s), radishes (s), spring onions (s), carrots (s)
Dinner: SW rich beef stew with carrots (s), sprouts, onions (s) and mushrooms (s)
Superspeed – 0, speed – 9
Total syns: 0.5

Tuesday
Breakfast: congee with beef slices, tomato (s), Chinese mushrooms (s), preserved cabbage (s) and spring onions (s)
Lunch: SW rich beef stew with carrots (s), sprouts, onions (s) and mushrooms (s)
College snack: jacket potato with cheese (HEA) and baked beans (ss)
Dinner: SW crunchy Thai beef salad (0.5 syn) with chinese cabbage (s), radishes (s), spring onions (s), carrots (s)
Superspeed – 1, speed – 11
Total syns: 0.5

Wednesday
Breakfast: congee with beef slices, tomato (s), Chinese mushrooms (s), preserved cabbage (s) and spring onions (s)
Lunch: SW crunchy Thai beef salad (0.5 syn) with chinese cabbage (s), radishes (s), spring onions (s), carrots (s)
Dinner: SW rich beef stew with carrots (s), sprouts, onions (s) and mushrooms (s)
Superspeed – 1, speed – 11
Total syns: 0.5

Thursday
Breakfast: congee with beef slices, tomato (s), Chinese mushrooms (s), preserved cabbage (s) and spring onions (s)
Lunch: SW lamb hotpot with carrots (s), potatoes, sprouts, onions (s) (1 syn)
College: jacket potato with tuna (s) in light yoghurt and coleslaw (10 syns)
Dinner: SW chicken (s) and leek (s) pie with carrots (s), peas (ss) and mushrooms (s)
Superspeed – 1, speed – 11
Total syns: 11

Friday
Breakfast: bacon, eggs, mushrooms (s) and baked beans (ss)
Lunch: SW chicken (s) and leek (s) pie with carrots (s), peas (ss) and mushrooms (s)
Dinner: SW chilli con carne with rice (carrots (s), celery (s), peppers (s), onions (s)
Superspeed – 2, speed – 9
Total syns: 0

Saturday
Breakfast: spinach (s) and mushroom (s) omelet with reduced fat cheese (HEA)
Lunch: SW chilli con carne with rice (carrots (s), celery (s), peppers (s), onions (s)
Dinner: out for Christmas do

Hopefully I can stick to plan to give me a good little push with Christmas only a few days away 🙂

Until next time.. x

Sunday – Wednesday Round Up (7th – 10th Dec)

Hi guys,

Sorry this is a tad bit late. As you know from previous posts, I’ve had a bit of a rubbish week so getting myself to post this was quite hard! I guess this is how I’m changing my life around though as it’s making me more accountable 🙂 I’ve had an OK day today (Thurs). I’ve had massive stomach cramps all last night and today (probably from all the junk I’ve been eating!) so I’ve not eaten as much as I would normally and it’s given me a chance to get back to basics.

Sunday

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Breakfast: congee with beef slices, ginger and preserved cabbage (s)

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Lunch snack: soy salmon pieces

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Dinner: pork bone soup with green radish (s), Chinese mushroom (s), carrots (s), tomatoes (s) and celery (s).

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Dessert: 3 clementines (s) and an amaretto coffee

Monday

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Breakfast: congee with beef slices, preserved cabbage (s) and spring onions (s)

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Lunch: pork bone soup with Chinese mushroom (s), carrots (s), celery (s), tomato (s) (3 syns with pork ribs) and a banana

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Snack: clementine (s) and a banana

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Dinner: we headed to Red’s in Leeds with a friend which was hastily rearranged as we were supposed to go next week. I had a few sips of the bourbon bacon milkshake, the starter mixed ribs, the juicy lucifer burger with fries (which my OH had and I had some of his pit beans), frickles (really disappointing so I only had a couple) and slaw. As you can see I left a lot – I had about 3/4 of the burger and half the slaw. Somehow I lost myself and ordered dessert (pecan and salted caramel peach cobbler with ice cream) and it was so sickly sweet I only ate about half (of the cobbler part).

Tuesday

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Breakfast: I ate a pandan swiss roll slice (cringe!) and some congee with beef slices, preserved cabbage (s) and spring onions (s).

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College snack: cottage pie and spiral fries with a pepsi max

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Dinner: a mix of congee and soup – beef slices, tomato (s), celery (s), spring onions (s), Chinese mushroom (s) green radish (s), carrots (s)

Wednesday

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Breakfast: cup of tea (HEA) with o% natural yoghurt with strawberries (ss), banana and cherries (s)

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Lunch: yakisoba teriyaki noodles

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Dinner: soft shell crab with wasabi mayo (the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten and much of it was left on the plate!) and a beef massaman curry with garlic rice, jasmine tea and a diet coke.

Yeah, so this week has been one hell of a write off. I feel really rubbish for it too. What I’m dreading is that next week we’re out again (for Christmas lunch with my Mum and sisters and to a friend’s work do at Nando’s) which isn’t too bad I suppose but I think I just want to curl up in a ball at home and not eat until next week (which is obviously unsafe and not actually happening!). As I said, Thursday hasn’t been too bad – I haven’t been to college tonight so no rubbish to choose from. Tomorrow I think I’m trying to make Big Mac in a bowl so that will be interesting. I feel I’ve gone majorly off the food plan for this week and my fridge just seems ridiculously full!

Until next time.. x

 

 

Congee Recipe

Hi guys,

I thought that after my food plan of the week, I would post my recipe on congee. It’s not one that has a lot of ingredients or in any way complicated so you can always give it a go 🙂

As I mentioned in a previous post, this dish is popular throughout the Asian continent and is known by many different names. It is essentially, depending on your personal tastes, a thick rice porridge or quite a thin rice soup. I prefer mine a little wetter and I usually pair this with thin beef slices (no visible fat) or with turkey mince stuffed bitter melon and my homemade black bean sauce (another recipe perhaps?). Another popular variant of this is “Eight Treasure Congee” which is full of different beans and grains and known for cooling the body in hot Summer months.

This dish is perfect if you need a bit of a winter warmer or you’ve had some stomach upset and not feeling up to a heavy meal.

Ingredients:

  • a cup of jasmine rice (you could use brown as a healthier alternative or mixed grains such as quinoa, barley, red/green/black beans)
  • around a litre of chicken or veg stock (or 2 oxo cubes and around  a litre of water)
  • 3 tbsp of preserved cabbage. I used a Chinese Tianjin preserved cabbage which can be found at any Chinese supermarket
  • a couple of slices of peeled ginger
  • some spring onions sliced to garnish
  • salt, to taste
  • sliced beef, pork, lamb (optional)
  • (Optional: vegetables, other grains, beans, pulses, tofu, beancurd sticks/sheets, preserved century egg – if you’re feeling brave!)

Method:

  1. First boil some water and mix with your stock cube/jelly (or if you have chicken stock ready made up, add it later)
  2. Put in the cup of rice in a sauce pan, preferably with a lid.
  3. Add the ginger and stock to the rice and put on a high heat, stirring regularly so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom

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4. In a small bowl, put your preserved cabbage in and use some boiling water to rinse the cabbage so it isn’t too salty

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5. Add the drained preserved cabbage to the mix (and any other optional ingredients that take a long time to cook such as grains and pulses) and simmer on a gentle heat for around 30 minutes with the lid on.

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6. Add more water if necessary and some salt to taste.

7. Add any optional ingredients such as meat slices and tofu and let simmer for a further fifteen minutes (with the lid off if the mix is too liquid for your liking).

8. At this point the rice grains should have broken down and you have a consistency of thick gruel or watery porridge (depending on your preference). If you are using beans/pulses you may need a further 15-30 minutes. Traditionally, this can be cooked on a low heat for a few hours. Stir in the spring onions and allow to warm for a minute or so and your congee is ready.

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This is the preserved cabbage that I picked up from my local Chinese supermarket.

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How it looks inside:

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After rinsing:

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I really do love this dish, especially when I’m ill or I need a dish to warm my soul. If you do try this dish, please leave a comment below and let me know how you found it. I’m pretty sure this is free on Slimming World if you are on the extra easy plan as it doesn’t contain any synned ingredients but I’m not 100% sure. I am not synning this dish on my own food plan.

Until next time.. x

Food Plan – 7th – 13th December

Hi guys,

So this is my food plan for the coming week (though by the time this is posted, I think we’ll be a couple of days in but that’s ok – right?). Here goes..

Sunday
Breakfast: congee with sliced beef and preserved cabbage (s)
Lunch: soy salmon with broccoli (s), green beans (s), peas (ss), sweetcorn
Dinner: chicken (s) stew with sprouts, carrots (s), potatoes, mushrooms (s), broccoli (s), tomatoes (s) and pickled beetroot (s)
Superspeed – 1, speed – 9
Syns: 0

Monday
Breakfast: congee with sliced beef and preserved cabbage (s)
Lunch: chicken (s) stew with sprouts, carrots (s), potatoes, mushrooms (s), broccoli (s), tomatoes (s) and pickled beetroot (s)
Dinner: Pork soup with carrots (s) and green radish (s)
Superspeed – 0, speed – 9
Syns: 0

Tuesday
Breakfast: congee with sliced beef and preserved cabbage (s)
Lunch: Pork soup with carrots (s) and green radish (s)
College: jacket potato with cheese (HEA) and baked beans (ss) and a tomato cup-a-soup (4.5 syns)
Dinner: soy salmon with broccoli (s), green beans (s), peas (ss) and corn on the cob
Superspeed – 2, speed – 5
Syns: 4.5

Wednesday
Breakfast: congee with sliced beef and preserved cabbage (s)
Lunch: tomato speed soup (ss) with a grilled cheese sandwich (HEA & HEB)
Dinner: out with friends to a Thai restaurant
Superspeed – 1, speed – 1
Syns: 30?

Thursday
Breakfast: bacon, egg, beans (ss) and mushrooms (s)
Lunch: bacon hamburger with carrot fries (s)
College: jacket potato with cheese (HEA) and baked beans (ss)
Dinner: chicken (s) stew with sprouts, carrots (s), potatoes, mushrooms (s), broccoli (s), tomatoes (s) and pickled beetroot (s)
Superspeed – 2, speed – 8
Syns: 0

Friday
Breakfast: syn free sausage, eggs, beans (ss) and mushrooms (s)
Lunch: chilli con carne with rice (carrots (s), celery (s), peppers (s), onions (s))
Dinner: Burger in a bowl – cucumber (s), carrots (s), lettuce (s), pickled cucumber (s), tomato (s) (4 syns) with 2 slices light Dairylea (HEA)
Superspeed – 1, speed – 10
Syns: 4

Saturday
Breakfast: mushrooms (s) on toast (6 syns)
Lunch: chilli con carne with rice (carrots (s), celery (s), peppers (s), onions (s))
Dinner: chilli dog using chilli con carne and syn free sausage with a wholemeal bread roll (HEB) and 2 slices light Dairylea (HEA) with carrot fries (s)
Superspeed – 0, speed – 5
Syns: 6

What is congee?
Congee is an Eastern dish which is essentially rice porridge or a rice soup. A cup of rice is boiled over a long period with lots of water or stock which is easy to digest. Different ingredients can be added but I make mine with preserved cabbage and stock with some sliced beef topside. I usually have it whilst I’m ill but I’ve been craving something warm and savoury and think this will do the trick now it’s dipping below 0 degrees.

Until next time guys.. x