Friday, 9 June 2017

Rach Eats Lunch: Reset Buttons and Rubber Bands


Eeek, there wasn't a post last week! Oops! I'd just like to reassure everyone that I was still eating healthily - just cheesy jacket potatoes. I made one healthy recipe last week that I had every intention of sharing with you, but I think I'll make it again another time and show it off then. I dunno about you, but this last fortnight has been a bit... different, and I'd like to blame the hot weather we had for that. Not the sunshine - I love a good sunny day - but the humidity has been absolutely horrendous! My room actually felt all warm and damp, a bit like a swimming pool changing room, and at one point it was twenty seven degrees in there. Which did not help my sleep, at all. You desperately want to kick the duvet off and put a fan on, and that you do, but a few hours later you wake up freezing and worrying about wasting electricity, so you switch it off. And then you get hot again. And then you wake up once more. And then the fan goes back on. And then you freeze again. You totally cannot win. I think this has had a knock-on effect on my chronic fatigue, because I feel zombiefied! It's been great having a little break though, I spent much of it pottering about the house and I sat out in the garden one morning and ended up with a ridiculously small patch of sunburn on my chest. As you do.

In other news, I've been having a spot of physio lately after a very, very silly injury involving trying to bend my arm up my back and scratching it. Lesson to learn here, people: Don't do it. Or at least get someone else to scratch it for you, or use a wall, or a door frame or something. I did it a few months ago, which has basically involved my neck and shoulder being in unbearable pain ever since. I've had such a fantastic service from the physio team at our local hospital - the biggest breakthrough came last week when I had a painful massage on my neck which made me cry as, in the moment, most of the muscles became unknotted. It was magic. It was a bit uncomfortable that night, but I woke up the next morning pain free. It's not perfect, granted - but it's a whole lot better than it was. I now have a fabulous rubber band to perfect a few more physio exercises with, and I love it.

Crikey - what a catch up! Let's get on with this week's recipes. Again, I'm going to push myself with a recipe completely new to me, as well as a proper guilty pleasure meal. On with it, then.


Pea and Ham Frittata and salad

Healthy SW slimming world inspired pea ham and pesto cheese frittata

Going to be honest, a lot of my recipes are formed by browsing the internet. I then think about what I've got in the cupboard, what I actually want to add to the recipe, how to make it, and then I just go for it. Today's recipe is a mash-up. I'm down with the kids, me. The irony of this recipe, which is adapted from this one at BBC Good Food (click here for the original) is that it's actually aimed at children. I had to stifle my giggles when I read the opening line, "Ask a grown up to preheat the oven..." The other recipe suggested adding pesto. I've got some to use up, so there's that sorted. This is kind of similar to the crustless quiche I made last time, but it's been switched around and has become even more flavourful. Honestly - eating this, I swore blind there were angels playing harps around me. It is delicious. Everything just works together so well. I'm happy to make this again for my family to try, or for a picnic out. (It can obviously be eaten cold as well, but I fancied something hot today.)

Grease and line a round cake tin with paper. Measure out four teaspoons of frozen peas and allow to come to room temperature before using. Beat together three eggs and stir in two heaped tablespoons of green pesto and 50g grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mixture to the cake tin. Rip up a piece of ham into tiny pieces. Add the ham and frozen peas to the cake tin and give it a really good stir. Bake it for thirty minutes at 180℃ until the whole thing is set and doesn't wobble. While you wait for it to bake, make yourself a salad of lettuce, cucumber and tomato on a plate. Serve it immediately, and enjoy hot. Listen out for the harp-playing angels.


Just Peachy Chicken Salad

SW Slimming World friendly recipe grilled chicken peach and mandarin salad

We bought a punnet of donut peaches this week and I thought about eating warm chicken in a salad, oh, and... warm peaches? I know right?! I’ve heard of griddled peaches as a pudding, but as a main course? Yeah, go on then, but I'm not adding a dollop of cream to this bad boy. Because I also wanted to be a real smartypants and add yet more fruit to the salad, I have added mandarin slices too. And yes, there's cherry tomatoes too. You know that old phrase about knowing that tomato is a fruit and wisdom is not putting said tomatoes in a fruit salad? Oh. Ohhhhhh. Well, I thought it tasted incredible - the donut peaches and mandarins were so warm and juicy I could have died and gone to heaven! Take that, obscure quote I found on the internet that one time. Fruit's always best eaten warm, unless it's watermelon of course. (You should also try baking a donut peach as a pudding and eat it with low fat soya yoghurt on the side... uh huh, honey.)

Put a piece of frozen chicken breast on a baking tray and start cooking it as per the packet instructions. Then arrange a cored and sliced donut peach, four chopped up cherry tomatoes and a big tablespoon of tinned mandarin slices on a separate baking tray and pop it in the oven. Turn the fruit constantly so that all sides are toasted. Make up your salad in a bowl – a big leafy dose of lettuce and cucumber. We’ll skip the olives for today, guys. Once the chicken is boiling hot (and it's over 75℃), remove the chicken and fruits (yes, even you, tomatoes) and add to the salad. Then slice up the chicken into bite-sized pieces, arrange it on the plate and eat it straight away.


Pesto, Cheese and Tomato Flatbread

Slimming World inspired pesto flatbread

I'm writing this as someone who had a massive, massive recipe fail today. Yep, I tried making sweet potato gnocchi, and the whole thing went horribly wrong. I didn't eat it, I tried valiantly to make it work, but it all ended up on the bird table outside. I actually had to Google two things: One, do birds eat sweet potato? (Yes, they do.) Secondly, do they see the colour orange? Because the way the pigeons and starlings have been waddling across the fence and staring at the bird table, you'd think they either couldn't see their dinner or they thought I'd put out a packet of Wotsits, or something. As if I'd ever give up Wotsits for anyone! You've got to go back on your failsafes in this situation. I actually made this one last week and photographed it, but it reflects the easier lunch I had today. I just want to say to everyone who's tried and failed to make something: Don't panic too much, it happens to us all! The main thing is, you've tried. Right, on with this recipe - it's an alternative to the tomatoey pizza bases you're used to seeing, and it tastes really delicious. The cheese needs a little extra melting than normal because of the pesto base, but oof, it's good.

Take one wholemeal pitta bread and grill on one side until warm. Turn it over and spread liberally with green pesto. Add grated cheddar cheese and several chopped cherry tomatoes. Pop it under the grill until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbling. Serve alongside a salad and shrug off your regrets while you eat.


Marmite, Cheese and Beans Pasta Pot

SW Slimming World inspired cheese marmite and bean pasta

There is a very funny-slash-embarrassing story about me that involves a microwave, a soup mug, pasta, hot water and Marmite. Yes, one day I once tried making pasta in the microwave, with Marmite in the water, and it all leaked over the top of the soup mug, into the base of the microwave, and the whole lot leaked out of the bottom. How the microwave didn't catch fire, I'll never know. But me and my brother had to carry the microwave out into the garden to drain the liquid. Yeah. Lesson learned, there. If you ever want to make pasta in the microwave, put a bowl under the container you're using. Personally, making pasta on the hob is so much easier and a whole lot quicker and less laborious - you're also less likely to burn yourself too!

Marmite pasta is absolutely delicious though - it's bitter but has a meaty taste to it, if you know what I mean. (Apologies to my followers who don't eat meat!) It makes me drool just thinking about it! It works really well with pasta, and the cheese and beans combo is certainly different. In all honesty, I think it should have been counterbalanced with ham, which is what I plan on doing next time. You can eat this one hot or cold, but it's better hot in my opinion!

Take 100g dry pasta per person. Boil it in hot water until the pasta is double the size and very soft. Drain the water away, pour the pasta into a bowl and stir in a large tablespoon of Marmite. Measure out 30g of grated cheese add to the pasta, along with 50g cooked baked beans. Stir it up until the cheese melts a bit. Eat straight away.


Naked Baked Sweet Potato

SW friendly Slimming World inspired baked sweet potato

Back once again with the sweet potato action. This was more of a success than my attempt at gnocchi. Apparently, there are absolutely tons of health benefits associated with eating sweet potatoes - I can't remember all of them so you'll need to look them up! Just know you're eating a superfood, okay? This took about an hour to bake, so my advice is to bake it the night before and then reheat in the microwave the next day. Looking at my plate now, I realise that I've just consumed a meal that consists entirely of vegetables and a bit of cheese. Go me! (There was a bag of Wotsits afterwards though, but shh!) You can put whatever topping you like on your baked sweet potato, but I think it doesn't need overloading with too many strong flavours. I also decided to peel the skin off before baking which means you can eat the whole lot and the skin isn't tough in the slightest. Win win.

Peel a medium sweet potato, wash thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel. Add loads of fork marks to allow the potato to breathe (om...) and turn the oven onto 180℃. Pop the potato on a baking tray and bake for one hour. The potato should be completely soft all the way inside, if not, split it open and bake for another ten to fifteen minutes until it is. On a plate, make a salad of cucumber batons and sliced cherry tomatoes. When you're satisfied, leave the potato in the oven while cooking a bag of microwave mixed veggies (I recommend the Co-op ones) Take the potato out, slice open and add 30g grated cheese. Add the microwave veggies to the plate and eat immediately. Yummy.

Cor blimey, another week over. I hope you've had a great week - if you try any of my recipes, please, please leave a comment, or share a photo online on the hashtag #RachEatsLunch. I'd love to see it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey you, I'm not at home
Please leave a comment on my comment box... er, phone?