Monday, 10 November 2014

Some freezer cooking - and Poppies!

So the other day I needed to replenish my freezer stocks.  I'd had my eye on this recipe for a while having seen it on - which is a fantastic blog.  i am not vegan but have an interest in vegetarian and vegan food and Pixie's blog is a great one to follow.  Link is opposite.

So here is Vegetable, Coconut and Mango curry from Plant based Pixie

Please visit her website for this and other great recipes (I don't want to plagiarise her recipes)

Also made a traditional chilli - any veg goes through the liquidiser so J doesn't realise it's in there - in this case it was onion, garlic and peppers, there may have been courgette also.  Shhh don't tell.

And finally some spicy butternut squash, carrot and coriander soup.

I used a tablespoon of coconut oil which i melted, then added a chopped up onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed.  Fried that gently for about 10 minutes.

I then added some cumin and turmeric and fried that off for a minute (a rounded tablespoon of each I would guess)
Add a small butternut squash - peeled, seeded and diced
and around 4 large carrots - diced
sauted it all gently for around 5 mins
I then made up about 1 1/2 litres of vegetable bouillon (but stock is fine) which I added and simmered the whole lot for around 20 mins until veg was softened.
I then added a bunch of coriander roughly chopped and blitzed with my stick blender.
It made four portions which I have frozen individually to take to work for lunch.

On a different note, I made a visit to the Poppies at the Tower - such a stunning sight.

I am no photographer, but i hope it gives an idea.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Ooh dear - it's been a while.

So, despite my vows to the contrary, it has been nearly a month since my last post.  And what a month!

V has left home and gone to Uni.  We miss her of course, but she is so well and happy and thrilled to finally be doing something that she has wanted to do for so long, that it is hard to be too sad.  it was difficult to leave her but we are slowly gettting used to it.  Some things are better - the mess she leaves behind her and accommodating her faddy eating.

Lectures started again for me - hence the absence, but I am slowly getting on top of it all.  And then, finally, a dose of the trots has put me all behind again - pardon the pun :) .

The upset stomach saw me lose 3lb in one day - so I have finally broken the 10st 7lb barrier I was rather stuck at and I hope not to see that again.  Today has been my first day back on 5:2 and it has been easier than i thought it would be.  i am so determined not to put the weight back on that I will continue this way of eating - it does seem to suit.

So I have been looking around the various "nutrition" based blogs and done some baking.  I really must put up some links to favourite blogs.  Anyhow, here are a couple of things i have baked recently that have worked well.

Easy chewy biscuits

2 bananas
cup of oats
1/4 cup of chocolate chips or raisins

Mash bananas using a potato masher, until smooth
mix in the cup of oats the choc chips / raisins

put some dollops on a greased / lined baking sheet and squish flat (remember these won't grow any more than you squash them).  i got 16 biscuits out of them.  The instructions say to bake for 10 mins or so in a moderately high oven - I think mine was at about 170 degrees c.

Lovely and chewy.

And then another I got from here - Flourless chocolate brownies, made with Kidney beans!

Very Yum

Thursday, 25 September 2014

5:2 recipe Prawn Stir Fry

Today is a 5:2 day.

Breakfast was 3oz melon and a spoonful of greek yogurt - around 100 calories
Lunch was homemade carrot and butternut squash soup - around 100 calories
Milk for drinks = 100 calories
Tea was prawn stir fry

So i looked through the veg box and the fridge and found

1 onion

i chopped and shredded as appropriate

sprayed some 1 calorie spray olive oil into a wok and fried off the veg
then I added 150g large prawns and fried them off
a glug of rice wine followed and another of soy sauce

it makes a plate full of food for under 200 calories.

(photos to follow)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Busy, Busy

Such a busy time.  We are in the throes of getting V off to University, well drama school really - the conservatory and the spare room look like a bomb has gone off!  I am desperately trying to keep up with all the laundry so she can start off with clean, pressed clothes.

How we are going to get everything into the car I don't know.

I think she is mentally ready to go.  i was afraid that she wouldn't be, she has had a long summer off and was happy in her routine.  But this is what she has wanted since she was 10 years old so we can't be sorry that she is finally doing it.

We have been so busy trying to get everything organised that I haven't had too much time to dwell on the reality of her going.  I have focussed on the positives

1. she is doing something she desperately wants to do
2. I don't have to think about what to feed her - she can be quite fussy
3. i can get my hands on her bedroom!  With her permission, of course.  There are corners of that room that haven't seen the light of day for years - literally.
4. it is time for her to go.  She has been relatively sheltered, it is time to grow up.

So she is off on Sunday - I hope the world is ready

Friday, 19 September 2014

Mock Ice Cream- from a banana

I must confess this isn't my idea, but it is a great treat.

Take one banana and freeze it.  I had Just shoved a whole banana in its skin in the freezer - but it might be better to skin the banana and freeze in chunks in a plastic bag.

 Remove from the freezer and leave a few moments to defrost

Then place in a bowl and, with a stick blender, blend until you get the consistency of ice cream.  You can see it starting to form above.

When it's completely blended you can add some flavour if you like.  I added a tablespoon of nut butter.  I have used Nutella, or just vanilla essence.  But I like nut butter.

It's lovely as a treat 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


Whilst I am no / low wheat, I am not really low carb.  However one or two days per week I follow the "fast diet" which is also known as the 5:2.  This means that for two days a week I eat 500 calories or less, so not very much.  So lots of veggies, a little protein.  Mango and a couple of spoonfuls of Greek yogurt for breakfast; homemade vegetable soup for lunch.

Fish for tea with broccoli and cauliflower mash.

Hang on, what mash??

Cauliflower is great for a low carb day / diet.  It is so versatile.  I sometimes have a veg curry with cauliflower rice (half a head of cauliflower each, grated or blitzed to a fine crumb state in the food processor.  Either put in the micro for a few minutes or spread on a baking sheet and put in the oven for about 10 - 15 mins); apparently you can make a cauliflower crust pizza, though I haven't tried.  Today I cooked several florets (about a third of a large cauli) and a clove of garlic in a pan of boiling water.  When cooked I put it in the food processor and blended till smooth.  You could mash it.

It looked like this

Pretty convincing, huh?  And tastes good too.  Because the garlic is cooked it isn't very strong.  You can use on its own like this or as topping for a fish lie, or shepherds pie.  If I'd had some spinach I would have steamed it lightly and stirred it through.

So dinner looked like this

So a normal looking dinner for under 200 calories.  I know it could have looked a bit more enticing, maybe some carrot instead of the very few peas, or a tomato sauce for the fish but I didn't have time to prepare.  That's how it goes sometimes.

Am I hungry? Well yes, as bit, but I always sleep well and I don't wake up hungry.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Date and banana sugar free flapjacks

Warning!! These are lush!

I like a flapjack, theory are quick and easy to make, perfect for lunch boxes, freeze really well and absolutely, totally packed full of sugar !  I would usually include sugar, golden syrup and condensed milk into mine.

So a quick Internet search for sugar free ones led me to mums net - not a site I usually frequent, even though I am a mum.  As you see from the photo, it doesn't make loads so I will double it all next time, and I do the banana and dates in the food processor so they are a lot finer.

Hope I am ok to post the link

And the recipe


  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 180g oats
  • 175g dates, chopped
  • 2 bananas, sliced


  1. Mash the bananas in a large bowl.
  2. Add the dates and oil to the bananas and mix together.
  3. Stir in the oats and the vanilla essence and 
    leave for 5 mins, so the oats absorb the oil.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a well greased baking tray and bake at 175C/Gas Mark 5 for about 25 minutes.
  5. Serve.

Handy Hint

Cut into squares while still warm.