Saturday, 20 March 2010

Last night we were having steak fajitas so I got some rump steak, bashed the life out of it, cut it into strips and made the MOST amazing marinade. Seriously, you have to try it.

In a pestle and mortar I crushed a large clove of garlic with 2 cubes of brown sugar (perruche natch :wink: ) and a tablespoonful of cumin seeds, I then added a tablespoonful of smoked paprika, a teaspoonful of smoked chillies, a tablespoonful of dijon mustard, a couple of tblsps of dark soy and about 3 tblspns of really good Kentucky bourbon. And I lightened the whole thing up with the juice of half a seville orange.

OMG it tasted amazing and that was before it had worked its magic on the steak. It was really delicious and one of my internet friends sugessted using it on ribs and I agree that would be amazing.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Chickpeas are fabulous

I am getting married in July and needed to try out the vegetarian main course so I made it last night.

There will be about 10-15 vegetarians at the wedding so I wanted it to be lovely and not just goats cheese tart. So I made spiced chickpea cakes with roasted vegetables and a herbed yoghurt dressing. It was delicious and had the added benefit of being very low fat. This is what I did:

I drained and rinsed 3 cans of chickpeas.
I finely chopped two onions, 3 cloves of garlic, one red chilli and sauteed them in olive oil with about a tablespoon of cumin seeds, a table spoon of ground coriander, a tablespoon of smoked paprika and lots of salt and pepper.

I then took half of the chickpeas and pureed them with a stick blender until they were like a dry houmous consistency.

I then mixed the whole chickpeas in with the mashed chickpeas and the sauteed vegetables. I mixed in chopped fresh coriander, parsley and basil and thyme and a good squeeze of lemon juice. I then shaped the mixture into patty shapes about the size of the palm of my hand. I then put them in the fridge to rest for 20 mins.

Meanwhile I chopped leeks, red peppers and butternut squash into similar sized lumps and roasted them in olive oil.

And I made a dressing by mixing fat free yoghurt with lemon juice and salt and herbs.

I fried the chickpea cakes in a little olive oil on both sides and finished them in the oven.

I served them by placing a little watercress and spinach salad on the plate, three cakes on top and the veg piled on top of the cakes and then drizzled the dressing over the lot of it.

Do try it.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Tentitively back on track

So I had a bit of a relapse. Unfortunately we had a death in the family so Alanna and I went back to Dublin and there was quite a bit of superfluous wine drinking and then when we returned I had to organise Alannas sixth birthday party. This featured chocolate rice crispy cakes and, even if I say so myself, a rather spectacular white chocolate mud cake with white chocolate butter cream icing and edible pink glitter.

So when I returned to the WKSC I had gained a pound.

And so I have been running. TWICE this week. I do not look pretty afterwards.

Onwards and upwards.

Whilst in Ireland I did have a very lovely low fat pasta dish made by my brother who, if he was feeling benevolent, might upload the recipe here.....

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Those Pizza Express Legera Pizzas are pretty good actually

Ok so it is a bit odd ordering a pizza with the centre taken out but they do it well, it is presented nicely on a big black slate like thing and has a load of salad in the middle and you do not feel deprived or that you are eating something specifically weirdy for fatsos. 500 cals, can't remember how many WKSC points or grammes of sat fat but essentially it allows you to go out and eat something tasty without pigging out. Result.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Oh and by the way

I lost two pounds this week Yay! And my faithful friend who has valiantly agreed to endure the weekly risk of humiliation with me also dropped a considerable amount too!

Ok this is brilliant

So I saw a recipe today for celeriac rosti, mm I said to myself, I love rosti and it being celeriac, it would be (WKSC) point free. But then I remembered that Peter, my beloved, most hated thing is celeriac and so it was not a perfect option for dinner. But he loves butternut squash, and I do too so I thought I would try that instead. Reader it was FABULOUS and really, really easy.

Peel and grate half a medium sized butternut squash into a bowl, add three or four finely sliced spring onions, a finely diced red chili, lots of salt and pepper and two egg whites. I added half a packet of low fat feta cheese too but that is optional.

Then I sprayed a muffin tin with a little olive oil and put a large spoon of the mixture into each and pressed it down and baked them in the oven for about 25 minutes.

I served it with a piece of roasted cod and a mixed green salad so the whole point value was about 5 per portion.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Ugh, an uninspiring day

I did manage a long walk and even broke into a run occasionally so that was good and I didn't over eat at all which is good as I am to be weighed tomorrow.

Oh and top tip for a chocolate fix is that Options stuff with a spoon of Bournville cocoa stirred in. x

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Um, I will need to get off my backside and burn some calories due to excessive consumption in the past 24 hours

We had a lovely dinner with friends last night and tons to drink but I probably stayed within my WKSC points as I had saved up loads knowing that I was going to indulge. However my hangover was my achilles heel and the Valentines day chocolates didn't help.

I did have a brisk walk in the rain (to collect the car) but it will take more than that to undo the damage. So if I am to claw back any weight loss this week (before being weighed at the WKSC on Tuesday) I will need to venture into the unfamiliar and not very popular realm of exercise. Ho Hum.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The thing about dieting....

Is that you just have to accept that not everything you eat is going to be delicious.

Dinner last night was baked salmon with cauliflower puree and a small amount of braised lentils. And it was nice but not amazing. Basically the cauliflower puree would have been delicious if I had used loads of butter and cream but I just used a little quark (very low fat cheese) and a tiny bit of grated parmesan and loads of seasoning. And it was nice and very low in fat (and WKSC points) but......

However the point of the exercise was that I am going out to dinner in a friends house tonight and intend on being able to enjoy myself without worrying.

Friday, 12 February 2010

In quest of fabulous drinks

So I recently got to go to St Lucia for work purposes. And the experience was greatly enhanced by the discovery of a delicious drink, Chairmans rum and Ginger, served over ice with a wedge of lime. This did not enhance my waistline much however so it occurred to me that i could try to make an approximation at home with the fabulous 'no point' Agave Nectar.

Agave Nectar is a natural fructose based sweetener from the agave plant and it has a low GI which means it releases the sugars slowly and is helpful in weight loss as it cuts down on peaks and troughs which lead to hunger pangs and unnecessary troffing.

So I grated a load (a large root) of fresh ginger into a pot, I added about a 1/4 of a bottle of Agave Nectar, the zest and juice of a lime and about 2 cups of water. I brought it to the boil and simmered it for about 20 mins and left it to cool.

Then I filled a glass with ice, poured over a measure of vodka (Grey Goose), a large table spoon of the ginger syrup and topped up the glass with sparkling water. Reader it was delicious, really delicious. And just one WKSC point.

So last nights dinner was.....

Ratatouille with Pasta and Parmesan.

Ratatouille is essentially a Mediterranean vegetable stew and as a peasant food it means that there is no fixed recipe and you can adjust it to suit whatever ingredients you have hanging about. So I like to include the basic six ingredients:
Aubergine, Courgettes, Peppers, Onions, Garlic and tinned Tomatoes

Quantities don't really matter that much to be honest. Just make sure the veg is cut to fairly evenly matched sizes, sautee them in a large pan over a medium heat in a spray of olive oil.
(handy hint - don't buy the weirdo low fat spray oils, just buy a pump spray bottle and fill with regular olive oil).

Add a tin on tomatoes or two depending on the quantities, a large pinch of dried oregano, a good pinch of salt and pepper and let it simmer for at least 30-40 mins.

Now that is the basic recipe and works well but I tend to mess with it frequently for a number of reasons. Namely because this is a brilliant low point dinner and I eat it regularly and ergo get BORED. So for example last night I added celery for crunch, a finely diced chilli for spice, a large handful of queen olives (roughly chopped) for savouryness and a whole punnet of mushrooms because they needed to be used up.

I served this with a little bit of fusilli pasta and a handful of grated parmesan cheese.

It was lovely.

What I am about

I was a chef. But I am not working as a chef now and my enthusiasm for cooking (and wine) means that I have beefed up considerably and I need to get back to being lovely, not lardy.

So I am doing fine, I have lost 17lbs with the aid of a Well Known Slimming Club, so far so good.

But food is really important to me and I can't countenance the revolting ready meals the Well Known Slimming Club (known henceforth as WKSC) push on their members so I have been wracking my brain for ways of cooking delicious foods with low fat (and 'points' from the WKSC) and relatively low carb content.

I thought a blog would be a good way of keeping note of these recipes and ideas and might even prove helpful to others who also face the depressing prospect of tasteless diet food. And so I created Slendertome.

I also would really welcome ideas from like-minded circumferentially challenged enthusiastic cooks.