Friday, 14 July 2017

Rach Eats Lunch: The Salad Incident



I had seriously good intentions last week: I was hoping to get out and walk more than I did (once - one night of walking - just the one, argh!), eat as healthily as possible (well, that actually did go okay, all things considered - just look at all that lunch I ate), and to avoid eating too much junk food (Can we call Oreo ice cream sandwiches health food? Can we?) - the truth is, life did get in the way a little. Things didn't go to plan, I got a bit stressed out, might have even cried a bit. Setbacks suck, quite frankly; so does being told no. Pardon me while I get my Self-Help head on (again!) but surely this means I'm destined for even better things? If you'd like to support me in my quest of Even Better Things, I'm all ears. This is the internet after all, and you can make a right proper career out of it if you play your cards right. And trust me, I'm trying. I mean, I'm putting pictures of my lunch online! That surely has to count for something...

I also had the fright of my life on Thursday night. Not only had I cracked how to do wall press-ups at physio (life changer), but I also put together a big salad to go with my lime and chilli chicken for tea. (Lime and chilli chicken is the greatest, by the way. I do like (mildly) spicy food.) As I was eating my salad  - the leaves which had come from a prepacked, prewashed salad bag - I spotted something ugly. It was round, almost flat, and crumbly. Yes, I had a big piece of dirt in my salad. To say it put me off was an understatement, my salad ended up in the bin (after I inhaled the chicken, obviously!), and I had to eat another icecream to calm myself down. After doing a bit of research it turns out that you need to wash prewashed salad before eating it. It kind of negates the actual point of prewashed salad though. I only buy it because the task of peeling lettuce off before washing and drying it is beyond boring. It takes up time that could be spent on better things, like, you know... eating it.

Right now, I don't think I can eat another prepackaged salad unless I've washed it, dried it and checked it over... which means there are pretty much no salad leaves in any of these recipes this week. But don't fear! (If you are, screenshot the photos and draw some lettuce leaves on in Microsoft Paint... that might make you feel better.) This week's recipes are light, cheesy, and breakfast-y. Yep, I've created a few meals suitable for lunches, brunches and breaking the fast. (Breaking the fast = break. fast. Yes, really!) There's even a tasty pair of sandwiches, too. Grab a fork guys, and dig in.


Monday

Chicken Cous Cous Salad



Easy SW Slimming World friendly budget recipe cous cous chicken salad


I like protein - it's supposed to keep you filled up for longer, and I guess after beginning my healthy eating journey my body is starting to get used to the changes being made. Even if the numbers aren't dropping off the scales yet. The excessive hunger thing still lurks about in the background, but now it's kind of being replaced with a little nausea? That also ties into being a bit hungry too, doesn't it? My body is a total mystery sometimes. So, yes - today we have chicken with a side of cous cous salad. Cous cous is actually made of durum wheat, which is the same base ingredient as spaghetti strands. Think of it as dried pasta, broken and feeling sorry for itself, but still having a place in society. God, that was deep. It serves two so you might want to double up on the chicken breasts. I'm adding a few basic salad bits to it to completely bulk it out and make it super tasty. This week, I'm also using up the feta cheese. You're gonna see a lot of it, so buckle up!

Arrange a piece of chicken breast on a baking tray, along with a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes and a tablespoon of drained tinned pineapple chunks. Put it in the oven at 180℃ for thirty minutes until it's piping hot. In the last five minutes of cooking time, slice up a two inch chunk of cucumber into tiny bitesized pieces along with a tablespoon of black olives. Boil the kettle and make up a packet of cous cous according to packet instructions. Throw in the cucumber and olives and give it a quick stir. Keep the cous cous warm by wrapping the top of the jug in cling film until it's needed. Take the chicken out of the oven, pop it on a plate and add the cous cous. Finally, pop the tomatoes and pineapple on top and finish it off with a crumble (30g) of feta cheese.


Tuesday

Ham and Egg Club Sandwich



SW Slimming World treat meal recipe for ham and egg club sandwich


I hinted at this being one of my favourite ever sandwiches last week. The one in Boots. If you ever have a sandwich from there, make it that one. It never fails to one, fill you up, and two, make you smile. This is my slightly healthy rendition. I say slightly. I think this is more of a treat meal if we're being completely honest. There's the salt of the ham and the almost-creamy, plain-yet-chalky balance from the egg, teamed with juicy tomatoes and mild cucumber. There's a bit of forward planning involved (boiling the eggs), and if you're still on speaking terms with salad leaves, you can add them too. If you really want to push the boat out, you could even add pickle and mayo and do that fancy toasting thing with the bread so that it looks chargrilled. (I did mine on the panini press, loving called Gino because it's got Gino written on the top of it) I don't recommend griddling all three pieces of bread as it gets really hard at the edges and you'll worry about losing teeth. Whatever you do, don't forget the barbeque skewers to hold it all together.

Start off by hard boiling an egg. Allow it to cool, and then deshell. Next, chop up one salad tomato and an inch-long piece of cucumber into thick slices. Slice the eggs in half lengthways. Lightly toast one piece of wholemeal or white bread in the toaster or panini press for your top slice. On a plate, spread two pieces of wholemeal or white bread plus the toasted bread with soya margerine on one side. Now it's time to put your sandwich together! I actually had to draw a picture of how I wanted to arrange this sandwich... sad, I know. My brain isn't the most logical when it comes to explaining stuff, hence why I spend so much time thinking! Start from bottom to top...

Layer one: Bread first, spread side up, then put a slice of ham down, next a crumble of feta cheese. Add a layer of sliced eggs and a layer of tomato and put the bread on top.
Layer two: Add a layer of cucumber, next the sliced eggs, then a layer of tomato. Add a crumble of feta cheese, and finally a slice of ham. Pop the last piece of bread on top, spread side down.

Slice the bread into triangles, spear each half with a skewer, arrange onto a plate and eat immediately.

SW Slimming World treat meal recipe for ham and egg club sandwich


Wednesday

Rach's Fully Protein-Packed English Breakfast



SW Slimming World budget friendly UK recipe - protein full english breakfast including feta scrambled eggs


I keep getting full up so quickly nowadays - I've just eaten Monday's lunch (yes, I'm writing this on a Monday) and it looked incredible and tasted fiiiiine. I ate a bit too much though, because now my tummy's letting me know about it. There's nothing too hard or groundbreaking about cooked breakfasts, really - it's a big plate filled with sausages, eggs, bacon, tomato and baked beans. And it's so flipping delicious. Today, I've gone for all the protein because I want to feel full throughout the afternoon. Yep, I have skipped the bacon and baked beans in favour of eggs, sausages and grilled tomato. Here's another funny fact about me, I don't like too much sauce with my baked beans, or indeed too many baked beans. I wish I knew why. Maybe it's because it makes everything soggy, or maybe I don't want too much wind. Beans, beans, the magical fruit... I insist on doing everything in the oven because it makes the whole thing so much quicker, besides, you don't have to cook with fat. That's another thing not to worry about. #betterfortheoldwaistline It takes about thirty minutes to create, and all you need is an oven. Oh, and another thing? I know my scrambled eggs look a bit like cottage cheese, but it's got a hidden ingredient that made the whole thing beyond tasty. Read on for more...

Start off by putting two vegetarian sausages on a baking tray, along with two sliced salad tomatoes to the tray and bake the whole lot for about thirty minutes at 180℃. While you're waiting... how do you eat your eggs? I love them all, especially poached, but I'm having mine scrambled so, with that... crack two eggs into a bowl and beat them up until they're completely combined. Add the tiniest splash of soya milk and mix it in, before seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover them with a lid and then microwave the eggs for about two minutes or until the eggs are no longer wet. (Thirty second bursts should do it.) Stick the sausages on a plate, add the tomato and squish the eggs with a fork until scrambled. Crumble in 30g of feta cheese while scrambling the eggs to make it even tastier! Add the eggs to the plate and eat immediately.


Thursday

Feta Baked Beans On Toast



SW Slimming World friendly budget recipe feta baked beans on toast


Oh dear oh dear oh dear, is all I'm going to say about my original lunch plans. I planned to make sticky baked eggs, and it all went absolutely horrendously wrong. Well, the actual mixed bean stew thing underneath didn't - in fact, I think I'll be making it again next week, sans egg, because I felt that went swimmingly. No - one thing that nobody ever tells you about baked eggs is that the white never sets. Honestly. And I did my best - to the point that the yolk actually set hard - but I had to admit defeat and leave it. So yes - don't believe everything you read online. It's a shame, because the mixed bean element of the dish really tasted good, and I had to eat around the runny egg whites. I'm also now panicking that I'm going to get ill despite hopefully not consuming any egg whites, but never mind. And that I spent 80p roughly on something that didn't quite go to plan. But it will, next time.

I mean, look at it: it looked great, didn't it? Although the yolk looks like it's seen rather a lot in its lifetime:


SW Slimming World recipe baked egg fail


Anyway - you have to have a backup dish on hand in case your experiments go totally wrong. Here it is - it's not hard to come up with, and it tastes lush. Ever had feta with baked beans before? You have now. Nom. This is totally a great Sunday tea or a late breakfast.

Put two pieces of wholemeal bread in the toaster. While it's toasting, put 100g of baked beans in the microwave for about two and a half minutes. Once toast and beans are done, arrange the toast on a plate and add the beans. Finally, crumble over 30g of feta cheese. Demolish immediately. If you really want to make it look fancy, you could add chopped parsley on top!

Friday

Rabbit Sandwich



SW Slimming World friendly Rabbit Sandwich - feta carrot cucumber and hummus sandwich recipe


Did this title get your attention? I'll bet it did! But there is no rabbit in here at all - honestly, there isn't. I can't do that to a poor bunny! They're friends, not food! And they're adorable. No, think about what rabbits eat... they love their greens, they like carrots... I also assume they like cheese and hummus... basically this sandwich has all the good stuff in, the stuff that doesn't feel like it should work in a sandwich, but does. It really, really does. It is filling and tasty, and I can only imagine this is what rabbits would eat if they liked sandwiches... hence the name. Funnily enough, if you've got kids and a cookie cutter, you could shape the sarnies to look like rabbits. That would be pretty cool, actually! Again, we're making the hummus from scratch, so it's time to fire up the blender.

Take one tin of chickpeas and drain with a sieve, rinsing the chickpeas under the tap. Put it into a blender, along with a tablespoon of lemon juice, paprika, olive oil, and a good sprinkle of salt. Pop the lid on and blend it all up until it's smooth and easy to spread. Spread the hummus thickly on two slices of wholemeal bread. Grate a medium sliced carrot into strips and slice up some cucumber. Crumble over 30g of feta cheese onto the bread and add the carrot and cucumber on top. Stick the second piece of bread on top, slice the sandwich in half and nibble immediately. Rabbit ears optional.


Whee, it's Friday! We made it, people! Did you like this week's recipes? Have you made any yet? Leave me a comment below and I'd love to see it!

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