Monday, August 9, 2010

It's That Time Again....

 All dishes still to be cooked this week and any in the near future will be with weight loss in mind.  I know that when it comes to this subject, many of us want to run screaming for the hills; fat content, weighing and calorie counting don't figure in my plan life is too short but lots of fresh vegetables, smaller portions and tasty little bites of treats do as does a wee bit of gin and tonic and wine...lets face it, you didn't expect any less. I don't intend to tell you my weight gawd help us all as I don't have scales but when I'm down a few dress sizes, I'll letya know!  

I'll work out the calorie and fat content of some meals for those that requested it last time.

I like something sweet in the mornings so that's when I'll be treating myself: digestive biscuits with margarine and jam, Welsh cake, croissant or cookie but just the one.   Lunches will be soups, light snacks, crackers like Ryvita with goats cheese, tomatoes and salads with light sprinkling of nuts and seeds.

The fridge and freezer heave with leftovers yet I have lots of fresh food; it's a battle over which to eat first.   Fresh veg should always be used so today I made chicken soup with chickpeas and grilled vegetables with halloumi cheese.   The kids had a separate meal of salmon pasta.

Pan-fried Salmon Pasta with Parmesan, Lemon and Peas

Cook pasta as per instructions.   Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil, a knob of butter, a large handful of grated Parmesan cheese, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a heaped teaspoon double cream.   Mix well and add in the cooked salmon, cooked peas and top with a good grinding of black pepper and some more grated Parmesan.

 Chicken Soup with Chickpeas
This recipe was taken from Sophie Dahl's 'Voluptuous Delights'.   I highly recommend it, I love this soup!   Mildly but expertly spiced, delicate yet full of flavour, I could live off this for a long time.   I intend to make it at some point with the addition of cubed potatoes, maybe some toasted cumin seeds and serve it with flatbread.   Delicious.
1 medium onion, chopped**
**white onion but I used red this time, worked well
2 tbs olive oil
Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon 
Half a teaspoon of ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
A pinch of ground cumin
1 swede or turnip, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, washed and sliced
2 litres/8 cups of chicken stock
750g/1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped **
**I used two free range chicken breasts this time around....approx 250g...I think the recipe suggestion is rather a lot of chicken but I think thigh meat would work better
400g/13oz can of chickpeas
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley or coriander/cilantro, to serve

Sweat the onion in the oil in a big, deep pan over a low heat.   Add all the spices, stir to coat and cook for several minutes.   Throw in veg and stir, cooking gently.   Add stock and chicken and cook for a further 15 minutes.   Add chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes.   I put lid on and simmered slowly.   Season to taste.   I added a squeeze of lemon juice too.   Serve with the chopped herb of choice and Sophie recommends a splash of olive oil but I didn't use this time.

Grilled Vegetables with Halloumi Cheese
Sophie Dahl again!   Tasty although I hate it when veg goes soggy so make sure the veg is thinly sliced so that it crisps up quickly. This was nice but I'm unsure if I'd make it again until my grill is fixed (I used the oven this time).   Thinly slice aubergine and courgette (eggplant/zucchini).   Salt the aubergine and leave for 30 minutes...this will draw out the moisture.   Rinse with cold water and pat dry.   Place with the courgette on a tray, sprinkle with ground cumin and then combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and drizzle over veg.   Grill for a few minutes (I actually used the oven as my grill isn't working...grilling would be MUCH better) and then turn over.   Add halloumi cheese and blast under the grill under golden. 
Artichoke Tart and Jersey Royal Potatoes with Pesto

Salmon coated in Panko Breadcrumbs with Baby New Buttered Potatoes

The kid's chocolate cupcakes with Nutella and Malteser Topping...well done kids, delicious!

Ryvita with Brie, Pesto, Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan Shavings and lightly grilled Parma Ham

 Day One: Today's breakfast was two digestive biscuits with margarine and jam, lunch was crunchy salad and dinner and supper was the chicken soup with a little of the grilled veg.   I ate two chocolates with coffee as I had visitors.   Lets call it dessert.....


mise said...

Good luck, m'dear! I'm a fan of the French approach of eating fine food, but only a small quantity of it. And gin and tonic has no calories, except the couple added by the lime.

Helen McGinn said...

mise, *L* I LOVE your thinking!

Mrs Gloves said...

That salmon pasta looks delish!

...stopping by from SITS...

Janice said...

ooh me too Helen. I am trying to use a smaller plate as I am sure it is all about portion size. I eat pretty healthily but I do tend to eat too much. Oh and then there is the wine - smaller glass. I'm going for total lifestyle change, but not going so far as to exercise lol!

Edie said...

I hope your eye is better. Your food always looks so good. I'm definitely making your Ryvita with brie, pesto, tomatoes, parm and ham idea - it looks so yummy. Oh and those malteser cupcakes...

Live Out Loud said...

Wow. This is reminding me how easy it is to just add those veggies to each meal. Those chooclate cupcakes look so good...

Helen McGinn said...

Hi Mrs Gloves, thanks for stopping by! :O)

Janice, it's the smaller glasses of wine that's the killer...*L*

Thanks Edie, it is much better now. The Ryvita were tasty!

Live Out Loud, oh, they were... :O)

Sumandebray said...

With so much of food tasty around I would have no doubt about the outcome but with tasty light food as an option.... Optimism is in the air!

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