Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May's C of cooking.........

Hmmm, now this is a really hard one, because I have not been doing much new recipe stuff this month. 

In an attempt to save some money after being away for Brendan's birthday earlier in May we have been eating a lot of leftovers, quiches and salads.  In addition as Thea and I have been watching our weight, there has been no baking either, apart from bread to go with the salads and soups.

In place of a recipe, here instead therefore are some low calorie snack ideas for breakfasts and light lunches for those who are also watching their weight.

Never having been much of a breakfast eater, making myself eat an additional meal in order to lose weight was a real mind bender, but this is where I have found myself -  a fruity, yoghurty muesli mix.

Start with whatever fruit you have in your garden or what is in season or what you fancy, for me that is a banana and either kiwi or strawberry, or more recently cherries too.

Pour over a small 100ml pot of natural yoghurt, and add a small handful - approx 20g of mixed nut muesli.

This makes a great breakfast for about 250 calories (if you are counting).

We have also been eating a lot of salads, with lettuce leaves, radishes and chives from the garden, shop bought tomatoes, canned sweetcorn and last years pickled beetroots. 

Alongside a loaf of home baked bread, this is a salad filling enough to be a meal in itself, but I usually add a smoked herring or some sardines to balance it out.

We have been cutting out quite a bit of bread too, usually if I bake a loaf it lasts the three of us a couple of days, then I'll leave it a couple of days before baking another.  The days that we don't have bread are the days that I'll add in some wheat via home made pasta.

Up front I have to say that I don't believe in low fat versions of things like yoghurt, cup a soups, spreads, milk, cheese, cream etc etc, especially if you are going to the trouble to make something from scratch you make it with the ingredients that make it taste at its best.  Just eat less of it!

Nor do I believe in doing without, if you want chocolate, then have 25g for about 100 calories for a snack, or a two finger KitKat rather than an enourmous bar, if you want crisps than have some, just not a family sized pack, and that goes for most things.  Thea and I may be watching our weight and calorie intake but we still have sweeties and pork scratchings and peanuts, just in moderation.

I certainly don't believe in diets that cut out fruit and veg, like Atkins or the current fad doing the rounds in France, the Dukan diet.  For my snacks during the day, I eat my five a day, apples, carrot sticks, tomatoes sliced with salt and pepper, grapefruit, bananas, and tinned fruit in juice, sunflower seeds and sultanas.

Here are another few 'lighter' meal ideas:

Breakfasts (approx 200-250 calories)

1 x wholemeal scone with 1 tablespoon of butter and a handful of berries
1 x toasted teacake topped with a sliced banana
2 x slices of wholemeal bread toasted with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 x Smoothie made from a 125ml pot of yoghurt, handful of strawberries, handful of blueberries and 100ml of apple juice
1 x toasted non-sweetened bagel with 2 tablespoons of apple cooked into a puree with a handful of sultanas
2 x slices wholemeal toast with a scrambled egg made with a splash of  milk, salt, pepper, paprika and parsley
2 x slices of wholemeal toast with grilled sliced tomato
Porridge made with 4 tablespoons of porridge oats, to 4 tablespoons of milk, topped off with water and a handful of sultanas for sweetness

Lighter Lunches  (approx 250-300 calories)

Grilled fillet of an oily fish (mackerel or herring) with a leafy green salad, balsamic vinegar and chives
Sliced tomatoes with pickled gerkhins, onions and a splash of chilli oil on 3 rice cakes
2 x handfuls of pasta cooked then tossed with chilli flakes,ground black pepper and cherry tomatoes
1 x can of drained crab meat with green salad leaves and sliced raddishes
2 x handul of prawns fried in a drop of chilli oil, served on 3 rice crackers
1 x cup of a thick soup, either a homemade one like my Thai pumpkin or a shop bought cup a soup and a thick slice of home made bread for dipping
1 x pitta bread stuffed with leafy salad and a boiled egg
2 x slices of home made bread spread with 2 tablespoons of brie and thinly cut apple slices


Damn The Broccoli said...

I have a nutritionist friend who swears by chocolate cake and 30 mins of vigorous bedtime activity twice a week as everything you need. Faddy diets are just a way to sell you something you don't need. Sensible eating, portion control and moderate exercise will do far more good and leave a more lasting effect.

Absinthe Fairy said...

I agree, that's why I cannot understand why people are fascinated by diets that restrict veggies, carbs and fruit. It cannot be good for your body to deny it a balanced diet. Everything in moderation and some exercise each day!