Cherry Sundae

Cherry Sundae

This week has been a good week.  Despite all the rain and wind and generally terrible weather I’ve seen a lot of the positive in most things (not all, the middle of the week was a bit pants, but you can’t win them all).

Cherry Sundae

1) Gammon, mushroom and pea pie, with onion sauce.  Best use of gammon leftovers ever.  I blogged it, and you can find the recipe here.  The sauce was perfectly seasoned and the consistency was spot on.  There was enough gammon left over from our Sunday lunch that the pie was substantial.  The puff pastry was crispy and crumbly and golden and yummy.  All in all a perfect pie, and let me tell you, Internets, it was not just me who had a smile on their face on Monday night. 

2) I’ve started reading Ruby and Elliot Karlson on the Roof.  A book from the 1950’s, there are translations used that might not be used if it was translated today.  The paragraph above had me laughing hard like the juvenile I really am.  The world’s best cock painter eh?! très amusant!  If you haven’t read Karlson on the Roof, then you really ought to.  The whole book is funny and a lovely lovely piece of children’s literature. 

3) I have also written about this earlier in the week.  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my trips to the gym of late.  I thought I’d hate it, I begged for a gym buddy on facebook, but really, as it turns out, all I need is a pair of headphones and some banging tunes and I can run like Mo Farah. 

Well, not quite, but 5.6km is nothing to be sniffed at, and I think Mo would agree.  My total last week was over 12km, which I am mighty pleased with.  I am looking forward to more runs to nowhere this week like you wouldn’t believe. 

4) Finally, a trip to 7 Bone with one of my oldest and dearest friends.  I’ve known Katherine since we were 10, and we’ve had some badass times over the last 20 years.  You know you have a great friend when you don’t see each other for months (or in our case, sometimes over a year) and when you do finally hang out, it’s just like you saw each other yesterday.  Friendship like that is rare and something to be cherished.  We had an afternoon game of Monopoly with Ross and the kids at the pub, then scooted on down to our local Dirty Burger Bar, 7 Bone, for a nosh up.  7Bone was featured on BBC2 the other week and now it’s nigh on impossible to get a table without a wait at the pub over the road unless you go at lunchtime on a Wednesday.  But we got a table and had an epic dinner.  Chicken burgers and dirty fries, incase you were interested. 

Lovely lovely! 

 

The Big Easy BBQ and Crabshack

big easy burger slaw 1

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve only gone and done it. 

I have found the perfect cheeseburger, in fact, possibly even the perfect lunch.  A bold claim, I know, but my GOD, was it ever delicious?

My husband has the fortune of employment just off the Kings Road, and today I met him for lunch – a rare occurrence at best as we don’t actually live in London anymore.  I donned my trilby and wayfarers and strutted down the King’s Road to The Big Easy.  By the time I was halfway down, I had lost count of the number of red trousers I spotted, and the number of places I’d seen on Made in Chelsea.  

big easy bbq

I was running a little late due to the unfortunate discovery, whilst getting on the bus, that my oyster card was devoid of funds, and by the time I arrived at the restaurant, Ross and a frozen margarita were waiting for me at our table.  We ordered the lunchtime special of a portion of voodoo wings, followed by a burger, fries and coleslaw.  The waiter was friendly and cheery (always nice to be cheery) and asked us how we wanted our burgers cooked (medium, obvs), whether we wanted any cheese (yes please, my good sir) and if the wings were to come as a starter, or alongside the main (as a starter).

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Holy Guacamole

guacamole

guacamoleI like guacamole.  In fact, I love guacamole.  Anything made with an avocado is good in my book.  But especially guacamole.

So I am sure it’s no surprise that I have perfected my own way of making it.  And as long as there are ripe avocados in my kitchen, I will never ever buy pre-made guacamole again.  And after trying this out, neither will you.  A bold claim, I know, but really, this is supreme. 

This guacamole goes well with anything and everything.  Try it smeared on oatcakes, or in a cheese sandwich, in tacos or fajitas, or in the bowl you made it in, surrounded by salty tortilla chips, icy cold beers and a film.  I’ve even been known to make up a batch and eat it straight out of the bowl.  And that is okay; avocados are really good for you. 

So, to make this mole of magnificence that will happily serve two, or one if you’re super greedy, like me, you’ll need:

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Recipe: Tuna and Cannellini Bean Burgers

5:2 diet recipe tuna cannellini bean burgers

tuna beanburgers 8Today, I was chatting to my friend Priya about some bean burgers she made with her toddler yesterday.  Priya is a dietitian, and everything I’ve tasted that she’d made has been delicious, and healthy (well, would you expect anything less from a dietitian?).  She mentioned that they were really easy to whip up, and that left me feeling a bit inspired.  So, this afternoon, after the school run, I had a rootle around in my kitchen cupboards and came up with my own version, using cannellini beans and tuna – well, it is Friday, afterall.

Ladies and Gents, open your mind to tuna and cannellini bean burgers.  Just like my fishcakes, but using beans instead of mash – these cut out at least half the prep time, a lot of the washing up, and are just as scrummy.  Win win all round, I’d say.

Here is how to make these beany delights:

Tuna and Cannellini Bean Burgers
Serves 6
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
55 min
188 calories
23 g
43 g
5 g
14 g
1 g
150 g
117 g
1 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
150g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 188
Calories from Fat 42
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 43mg
14%
Sodium 117mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 4g
17%
Sugars 1g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
7%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the burgers
  1. 1 400g tin of cannellini beans in water
  2. 1 200g tin of tuna.
  3. 1 tbs sunflower oil (or any flavourless oil)
  4. 1 courgette (zucchini), grated
  5. 1 spring onion (scallion), chopped.
  6. 1 egg, beaten.
  7. half a teaspoon of paprika
  8. a good pinch of salt and pepper
For the coating
  1. 50g breadcrumbs
  2. 1 tbs polenta (optional, but it adds a lovely crunch to the coating)
Instructions
  1. Firstly, drain your cannellini beans and pour into a large bowl. Take a potato masher and roughly mash the beans until you get a rough paste. It doesn't have to be smooth, in fact, the more rustic, the better. Open your tin of tuna, drain, but reserve a little of the oil, and add to the bean mash. If your tuna did not come in oil, add a little oil now - about a tablespoon should do it. Mix around.
  2. At this point, add the grated courgette, the chopped spring onion and the egg. Give it another mix. The egg will bind the mixture together a little, making it easier to shape into a patty shape.
  3. The last things to add are the half teaspoon of paprika, and the salt and pepper. Mix one last time, nice and thoroughly and put to one side.
  4. Next, you need to make your coating. Don't bother buying breadcrumbs, it's a waste of money. Instead, blitz a few slices of bread (day old bread makes the best crumbs) in a food processor or a blender, and tip into a shallow bowl. If you are using dried polenta or semolina, add a tablespoon to the breadcrumbs.
  5. Carefully, take a handful of the tuna bean mix and mould it into a ball, then pat gently to flatten it into a patty shape. Pop it in the breadcrumbs and gently give it all a little shake from side to side. Using a fork, flip the half-coated tuna patty over to cover the other side, remove from the breadcrumbs and place on a foil-covered baking tray, ready for the oven.
  6. Cook the tuna and bean burgers in the oven at 180°C for approximately 20 minutes, or until the coating is golden, flipping over halfway through cooking.
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calories
188
fat
5g
protein
14g
carbs
23g
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I served these for my kids with boiled new potatoes, green beans, and a wedge of lemon for squeezing, and they both hoovered them up in next to no time.  If that isn’t a compliment, then I don’t know what is.

tuna bean burgers 7

My Food Week

fruit salad h&m catalogue

Last week I started eating better as part of the changes I am making in 2013.  Before Christmas there was a point where I was living on peanut butter toast, gallons of Diet Coke and coffee, and far too many takeaways, which is crap whichever way you look at it.  Then, out of curiosity, I stepped on my scales and almost fell right off them again.  Despite the fact that, in my head, I hadn’t been eating that much, I’d managed to gain over a stone.

Time to deal with that.

For a bit of fun, I’ve been taking photos of my healthy meals and posting them on Instagram.  Here is a run down of some of my favourite meals I’ve munched on over the last week.  Since we currently have no internet, I’m at my friend’s house, borrowing her Wifi, and feeling sorry for myself.

Saturday morning: Pancakes with strawberries and blueberries.

american pancakes

Pancakes on a Saturday is one of my husbands favourite things.  I made these with self raising flour, and added a punch of baking powder so they were more like American style pancakes.  I macerated the fruit in water and a tablespoon of sugar, which I then simmered on the hob until it became syrupy.

Saturday evening

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Home Made Pesto

pesto recipe

Saturday Night in our household is usually Home Made Pizza Night – especially now we have our breadmaker, and whipping up a batch of pizza dough takes next to no time.  Today, I had a hankering for some pesto drizzled on my pizza, but instead of buying a pot, I thought it might be fun to make it.

homemade pesto

And it turns out that making pesto is ridiculously easy.  And the results are utterly delicious.  So delicious, in fact, that I have spoilt myself and don’t think I can ever go back to the jarred kind.

So, to make a batch of pesto you’ll need:

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