Monday, 2 July 2018

Too hot to cook, almost too hot to eat...

Blimey, that was a hot June!

I'm a wimp when it comes to hot weather, I stay inside in the cool, only going into the garden in the early morning and the evening. I follow the European fashion of keeping the curtains drawn and the blinds down during the day, to keep the heat outside where it belongs. So, come the evening, it's still relatively cool in the house, and I can open all the windows and enjoy the summer in my own way.

I do cook during the summer, of course, but nothing complicated. Lots of salads, mostly green leaves, and my favourite coleslaw.

I tend towards a coleslaw without mayonnaise most of the time, finely shredded red and white cabbages, a smidgeon of julienned carrot and some sliced spring onions. Tossed in a lemony vinaigrette, this goes with most meats and fish.

So here are some of the plates I set before myself in the cool of a June evening.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

It was only a little scallop...

A totally unexpected treat: Bob nipped over to Sainsbury's to get a loaf of bread and some milk, and came back with smoked cod for breakfast tomorrow, and a pack of eight fat, fresh, scallops from the cheaps counter—reduced to £1.70 from £7. Bargainous!

So, instead of cold meat and salad, we had scallops and salad. Look at the caramelisation on these little beauties!

Sad to say, from a keto point of view, scallops DO contain carbs. Not a huge number, but more certainly than crab, prawns or most fish. I was equally shocked to find that octopus and squid also have a higher carb count. Who would have guessed?  But at 1.5g of carb per scallop, there was still only 6 carbs on the plate, and scallops (and all seafood for that matter) is a little bomb of nutrition and minerals so I'm happy to add them into my diet.

All Day Long, mate.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Sausages and a nice pork chop...

Back in the day, you couldn't get a low carb sausage for love nor money. If you found one, it was dry, tasteless, lacking in everything sausagey.

But the new wave of high meat sausages are delicious, and very low in carbs. I found these sausages in Sainsbury's new Taste the Difference selection. These are called The Meaty Ones and are 97% pork, with just one gram of carbohydrate for two sausages. I'd recommend them to anyone wanting to keep gluten out of their diet too, and, actually, for anyone else! Delicious.

It has turned colder the last couple of days, and merits warmer food. This pork chop hit the spot the other day. I allowed myself a spoonful of apple sauce...

Salads galore...

I find I am eating a lot of salads.

By which I suppose I mean the easiest option, when faced with a limited selection of green vegetables to pick from, is to put together a green salad, and maybe add in one or two higher carb bits and pieces for variety. It looks fresh, and it fills the plate.

So far, I am keeping to my stated aim of eating less than 30grams of carb a day, and eating within an 8 hour window, fasting for the remaining 18 hours. I'd like to say the weight is falling off, but it isn't at the moment. I've lost around 12lb in a month, which is good by anyone's standards, but 10 of that was in the first 10 days, and I've stayed roughly the same since then. But I will Hold The Faith, and keep going.

Even if the weight isn't falling away, I feel much more lively, much less achey. I'm sleeping better. My husband says his arms fit round me more easily, so we are using how far up his arm he can grab when he hugs me as my optimal point of reference for whether I am losing girth or not...

So, without further ado, here is a batch of salads for you,

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Poussin with mushroom tarragon cream sauce and spring greens

Delicious little poussin, such a tender wee baby. I roasted him in butter and tarragon, cut him in half (one for me, one for him) and doused him in mushrooms sauteed in butter with chopped tarragon and a fat dollop of extra thick cream, plus a bit of the chicken cooking juices.

Plus some spring greens for vitamins and fibre. 10 carbs for the meal.


Saturday, 19 May 2018

Lamb Kebabs - Friday 18th May

Yummy lamb kebabs. My favourite for a sunny day!

I usually interleave the cubes of lamb with onions and red and yellow peppers, but I've found onions to be really bad for my digestion since I had my gall bladder out. The flavour of them is fine if I don't eat the actual onion and some types are better than others, spring onions for example. But the normal yellow onions... oh dear.

So Bob got the onions, I got some of the flavour from the marinade. I chop everything up and marinate for a few hours in lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, seasoned just with salt. You could add cumin in there too, if you like, but I find it masks the flavour of the lamb a bit.

Onto skewers, alternating all the different bits, and slammed under the grill for 15 mins or so, turning from time to time, until cooked through and nicely singed on all the edges.

p.s. isn't singed a strange word when it's written down? I always envisage slightly charred food singing away at the top of its voice. But then I'm known to be a bit odd...

Friday, 18 May 2018

Sea Bass and Samphire - Thursday 17th May

I love samphire for it's bright, salty flavour, perfect for bringout out the flavour of a delicious fish like sea bass.

This meal, took me a solid 5 minutes to cook. How quick is that! The purple sprouting broccoli (yes, it goes green when it's cooked...) takes around 2 mins to steam, the samphire less than a minute in a pan with butter and a little water, and the sea bass fillet in a frying pan with butter and oil for 5 minutes to make sure the skin is lovely and crisp.

I don't count calories btw, although this is very low in calories, I am counting carbs. I have a daily allowance of 20-30 carbs (the lower amount for preference, the upper if I feel like stretching it a bit...) and this meal came in at 3 carbs.

Giving me room for strawberries and cream for pudding. Mmmmm

I'm back.... and oh, what a difference a couple of years makes!

Well, hello! 

I've decided to start posting my dinners again, as I have just started on a new eating regime.

I am Intermittent Fasting each day, fasting for 16 hours and eating in the 8 hour window left. And in that 8 hour window—from 12 to 8 in my case, though any window is fine, you can adjust it to your normal schedule, just make sure you don't eat for at least 16 hours.

Because I decided to eat ketogenically at the same time, I have found the fasting a doddle. After a few days, I simply wasn't (and still aren't) hungry during the fast, and a first meal at 12 is something to look forward to, but not crave. Likewise, no sugar or starch is gradually stopping any craving for bread and cakes and chocolate.

I should have remembered from my Atkins days in the 90s how well I felt, too. I have so much more energy, I don't need a nap in the afternoon anymore, my mood is better, and I think my brain is sharper.  I stopped Atkins after a couple of years because of fruit, and I hope to goodness that this isn't going to throw me off my horse again this time. But I am including a small amount of fruit from the off this time, so it's got to be worth a go, don't you think?


Well, I was forced into having a blood test to carry on with my current medication, and that showed that not only was my cholesterol high, but my liver serum levels were high as well. That is a marker for Fatty Liver Disease, not something I want.  The doctor advised the only way known to get that down was to lose weight. So here I am. Dieting for my health.

Internet research time. I had watched, and tried out, Intermittent Fasting before, the 5:2 system, but found the 500 cal days impossible to keep going. I was hangry all the time. But I still kept an eye on the research, and recently Michael Mosely has been talking about the benefits of 16:8 everyday fasting instead of two days a week. It has been found to clear out your liver—the best of news—lower your cholesterol, and reverse any tendency towards Type 2 diabetes. All what I need to do.

Is it a fad? I don't think so, though many will say it is. But is that because it has been adopted by a swathe of Instagram influencers and A list celebrities?

Well, only time will tell. In the meantime, here I am. I've kept to the regime rigorously for the last 3 weeks—not long, I accept, but long enough to know if I can keep it going—and I've lost 12lb, and feel good.

So I'm off again, with my dinner pics, to remind myself of what I am eating and what I should be eating if ever I slip.

Let me know what you think, I love to hear from you all.

Friday, 11 September 2015

A Chicken and Avocado warm salad - A Bird in the Hand

I love, love, love chicken and avocado. Creamy smooth avos and deliciously juicy chicken thighs.

I am perhaps not as enamoured of quinoa, but in this recipe from Diana Henry's ace book, A Bird in the Hand, it works very well indeed, lifted as it is by the zingy lime and chili dressing.   I have the book, but you can find the recipe here, on Delicious magazine's website:

(edit Feb 2019: sorry, my picture seems to have disappeared from the blog post, (and it was on an old phone so I don't know where it is now...) I'll just have to make this again and take another one!) 
It is rather a shame that I can't get the same lighting and brightness to my picture of my dinner.. but then, as I've said before, it is just dinner, the photo taken on my table before I eat it, so I shouldn't whine too much. Oh, and it was taken on my phone, so I could instagram it... perhaps not the best thing as the light gets darker with autumn arriving. Back to double photoing with camera and phone, and a colder dinner, I guess.

Result was less faff than it looks on paper, very delicious, and to be made again. Time taken (if you ignore the time for the tomatoes, though they probably needed less in my oven, they came out slightly singed rather than just caramelised. I am still soaking the burnt bits off the roasting pan...) about half an hour including prep, so not bad at all.