Tasty Egg Mayo Sandwich

I’m really not a fan of eggs which bugs me as they’re a great source of filling and healthy protein.  I think what I don’t like is the lack of flavour.  I’ve tried to combat this with my take on egg mayo and I think it works pretty well.  This could well be a new lunch staple for me!Tasty Egg Mayo Sandwich

Servings:    3

Pro Points:    5pp

Simple Start

/Filling & Healthy:    0pp

Preparation time:     10mins

Cooking time:    5mins + 10mins cooling time

Ingredients

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Small bunch fresh chives, snipped
  • 2tbsp 0% fat Greek Yogurt
  • 6 slices Weight Watchers Danish Brown Bread

 

Method

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil.  Add the eggs and boil for 5mins.
  2. Put the eggs into a bowl of cold water.  After 5mins change the water and leave for another 5 mins.
  3. Peel the eggs and place into a clean, dry bowl.  Chop the eggs into small pieces.
  4. Stir in the yogurt, tomatoes, spring onions and chives and season to taste.
  5. Sandwich the egg mixture and rocket between two slices of bread and enjoy.

 

 

Top tip: The bread could be substituted for pitta bread, bagel, crumpets or crispbreads (adjusting the points as necessary).

Fruity Lunch Crumpets

I needed something quick, easy and filling for lunch the other day but fancied something a bit different.  I already had the crumpets (stock-cupboard Filling and Healthy food item for me these days) and quark for another recipe.  I was going to use pineapple but forgot about that when I called into the shop and picked up mango instead.  I tried it anyway and it was so delicious I also had it the following day! Servings:    1Fruity Lunch Crumpets Pro Points:    7 Simple Start/F&H:    0 Preparation time:     1min Cooking time:    3mins Ingredients

  • 2 crumpets
  • 2tbsp quark
  • a few chunks of mango, sliced into thinner pieces (see photo)

Method

  1. Toast the crumpets.
  2. Top the toasted crumpets with the quark.
  3. Divide the mango pieces between the two crumpets and enjoy!

Top tip: Keep crumpets in the freezer as a useful fall-back food.  If you take them out in the morning they will; have defrosted by lunchtime, or use the defrost function on your toaster.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

I often develop my own recipes by altering other people’s.  I came across this recipe just before Christmas and it was so delicious I’ve made it twice since!  It didn’t need anything changing to make it more delicious and I can’t take the credit so click here to take you to the recipe itself.Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

It fits with the Simple Start plan and if you’re counting points you just need to point the amount of beef you serve yourself (plus any sides of course).

Although slow cooker recipes tend to be easy anyway, this really is INCREDIBLY easy and gives you an amazing result.

If you have a slow cooker, if you cook nothing else this week, give this recipe a go.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, buy yourself one and then try this recipe!

Top Tip: I used the leftovers (although it was difficult to save any!) as a filling for a wrap to take to work for my lunch.

The Results Are In – Week 2

Weight loss:    4lbs

Current weight:    12st 2lbs

Weight loss since start:    4.5lbs

Lbs to go to reach next target:    0!

Wow! I’m so pleased I stuck with the program this week and achieved a great loss!

What’s gone well?

As I said in last week’s results post, I was disappointed at my weight-loss last week but I still rewarded myself with my Lush bath and reminded myself that a) it was still a loss that brought me one step closer to my target and b) I’ve made healthier choices with my food and exercise that have made me feel better in myself.

Having leftover portions of plan-friendly meals in the freezer definitely helped me to stay on track this week.  Although I plan my meals a week in advance, for some reason I hadn’t included a meal for Friday night.  I realised this on Thursday but was able to fall back on some leftover Moussaka after I’d been to my spinning class.

I’m also delighted that I’ve been able to maintain my ‘No chocolate or alcohol in January’ goal, even though the past two weeks at work have been pretty horrendous.

I’ve also made what I think is a big step for me in addressing my habit of comfort eating: I work with children and we all sit down to eat breakfast at 11am.  The children have toast (white bread) with jam, marmalade or lemon curd.  I’d been eating this in Week 1 and using my daily treats for it.  However I replaced it with a banana this week to try to help increase my weight loss.  On Friday, I felt very stressed and tired and I was going to have a slice.  I was thinking ‘I’ve been good all week and it’s Friday.  So I can treat myself and use my daily treats’.  But then I recognised that this would not help me to break the comfort eating habit and that I need to stop seeing food as a reward.  I ate my banana and I felt very virtuous!

What’s been difficult?

I have been slightly tempted to miss a couple of exercise classes this week with no other reason than at the time, I felt like I couldn’t be bothered.  However, I reminded myself that sitting on the sofa won’t help to bring me closer to my goals and that once I’d completed the class I’d feel better.  I managed to keep the motivation going but I know I’ll need to keep an eye on this over the next couple of weeks.

The week ahead

It’s my dad’s birthday this weekend and he’s coming round for dinner.  I’m going to make some kind of beef casserole and I’ll have a look at my Filling & Healthy cookbook and recipe cards for a suitable desert.  I think the hardest bit will be not having a nice glass of wine with my meal but I am determined to complete Dry January.

 

Thanks for reading.

PS  How do you stay motivated to exercise?

 

 

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Put a twist on this classic by using pork, chicken or turkey mince.  I like to use a beef stock cube to add richness to the sauce but you could match the stock to your choice of mince if you prefer.

Servings:    4Spaghetti Bolognaise

Pro Points:    Chicken [3]

                        Beef [4]

                          Pork [5]

                          Turkey [3]

                         + extra for spaghetti

Simple Start:    0

Preparation time:     10mins

Cooking time:    40mins

Ingredients

  • Olive/vegetable oil or oil spray
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500g of your choice of chicken mince, extra lean beef mince, extra lean pork mince, or turkey breast mince
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 400g passata
  • Beef stock cube, made up with 100ml of hot water
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 2tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • Spaghetti to serve

 

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan.  Add the onions and garlic and fry gently over a medium/low heat for approximately 5mins until softened.
  2. Add your choice of mince.  Increase the heat slightly and fry until browned.
  3. Add the tomatoes, passata, stock and mixed herbs and stir well.
  4. Bring up to the boil.  Stir in the mushrooms then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25min until the mushrooms are cooked through.
  5. Season to taste and serve with cooked pasta.

 

Top tip: Add some chopped mixed peppers and extra tinned tomatoes or passata to make this go even further (and reduce the points per serving if you are counting Pro Points).  E.g. If using chicken mince and adding 3 peppers, you are able to get 6 servings at 2pp each (excluding pasta).

 

Simple Salmon Stir-Fry

One of my favourite, quick and easy mid-week dinners is a salmon stir-fry.

Servings:    2Simple Salmon Stir-fry

Pro Points:    6 (+ extra for rice)

Simple Start:    0

Preparation time:     0mins

Cooking time:    25-30mins

Ingredients

  • 2 lightly smoked salmon fillets
  • A selection of prepared stir-fry vegetables
  • Brown rice to serve
  • Thai 7 Spice or Chinese 5 Spice
  • Soy sauce
  • Olive oil

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170˚c/160˚c fan/355˚f/Gas mark 3.  If using, cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Meanwhile, wrap the salmon fillets in foil and place on a baking tray in the oven.  Cook for 20mins.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.  Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 2-3mins.
  4. Sprinkle over 2/3tsps of the Thai or Chinese Spice and 1/2-1tsp Soy Sauce according to your taste.
  5. Serve the salmon on top of the rice surrounded by the vegetables.

 

Top tip: If you’re counting Pro Points, exchange the rice for boiled noodles and add them to the vegetables before adding the spices and soy sauce.

The Results Are In – Week 1

Weight loss:    0.5lb

Current weight:    12st 6lb

Weight loss since start:    0.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:    3.5lb

 

I’ve got to admit that after a full week on Simple Start, with 3 gym sessions, no alcohol and no chocolate, I was hoping to lose about 2lb.  However, as I’m always reminding the other members in my meeting when they’re happy with a small loss – it’s a step in the right direction and it all adds up in the end.  Time to heed my own advice!

 

What’s gone well?

I’ve been really motivated this week and so I’ve found it pretty easy to stick to the plan.  Even when I visited my Nan at the weekend and was faced with a table full of chocolate, chocolate biscuits and mince pies, I didn’t cave.  This was helped by the fact that I’d planned ahead and taken some soup and an orange with me.

Panzanella with Bacon

Panzanella with Bacon

I’ve been loving cooking and eating fantastic, flavoursome food including several new recipes from the Simple Start and Your Week materials.  My favourite new recipe was the Panzanella which I added some bacon to for a protein boost after my box fit session on Sunday.  I made extra so that my lunch for work on Monday was taken care of and added chicken and extra mixed salad leaves.

I’ve also enjoyed sharing a couple of my own recipes for Beef Rogan Josh and Cottage Pie with my followers.

I was delighted to find that one of my old favourite recipes fits perfectly into the Simple Start programme: Baked Sweet Potato with Spicy Mince and Beans (The Smart Cook p.88).  I had some of this in the freezer and had it twice this week!

I’ve also managed to stick to my new fitness regime attending 3 classes over the course of the week : Body Pump, Spinning and Box Fit.

Baked Sweet Potato with Spicy Mince and Beans

Baked Sweet Potato with Spicy Mince and Beans

 

What’s been difficult?

My lunch break at work has been shortened from 30mins to 20mins.  I previously often relied on taking in and heating up leftover dinner for my lunches.  I won’t have time for that now so I’m going to have to think about some cold meals I can take instead and how to factor in the time to make them in my already busy week.

By the time I’d finished work, been to my Spinning class, come home and eaten dinner on Friday, I really didn’t feel like sitting down to plan my meals for the following week and do my online shopping.  I just wanted to flake out in front of the TV.  However, I reminded myself that for me, planning ahead is crucial to staying on track.  I did it and, though it wasn’t my favourite way of spending a Friday evening, at least it stopped me from having time to think about  wanting a glass of wine!

 

The week ahead

I have a meeting to go to straight from work on Wednesday and then the photography course I’m doing has been moved from Thursday to Wednesday as well this week so Wednesday is going to be a particularly busy day. To help me survive it and stay on track, I’m going to order a baked potato with beans for my lunch at work and take a sandwich with me to eat when I get to college.  I’ll also make sure I’ve got some extra fruit to snack on too.

I said last week that I thought it was important to reward myself for reaching my goals and that I was going to write a post about this.  While I didn’t get chance to write about this last week, due to getting back into the swing of balancing work with eating properly and exercising, I have been thinking about this and will post about it tomorrow so keep an eye out for that.

Thanks for reading.

PS If you’ve got any tasty, easy, cold lunch ideas for me, please share!