Thursday, April 26, 2012

White Chocolate Florentine Heaven

So my making one sweet treat every week has turned into one sweet treat every month for my book club. And this month my trusty weight watchers calendar gave me my inspiration this month and I made some White Chocolate Florentines. They are AMAZING. I'm serious when I say you need to make these biscuits. So far the best of the sweet treats I have made. And they are so easy, anyone could make them.
Here goes:

Makes 12
3pp per Florentine

50g low fat spread
50g caster sugar
2 tsp runny honey
30g flaked almonds
20g chopped hazelnuts
50g plain flour
75g white chocolate

Preheat oven to Gas4/180C/fan 160C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Melt the low fat spread with the honey and sugar in a saucepan. Mix together the nuts and flour in a seperate bowl and gradually stir in the honey mixture. It should look like this.

Spoon the mixture onto  the baking tray and be sure to leave plenty of room, you may need to do this in batches. And bake in the over for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
When they come out of the over transfer to a wire rack for cooling. 

While they cool, melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Dip half the cooled Florentines into the choloate to coat and leave to set. By the last couple of Florentines it is easier to use a spatula to spread the chocolate as there is very little left in the bowl for dipping. 

Here is the finished product. Will take a better photo tomorrow when they have set properly and update this. 

Honestly, give these little guys a go. If you don't like white chocolate, you can use dark or milk and it wont affect the propoints. They keep for a few days in an airtight container, and they are good for bringing to friends houses for tea, or to have when you are having people over. These do not taste low fat at all, so good for all those who frown when they know its a low fat recipe. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weigh In 16

And I'm down another 2lbs. That brings me to a grand total of 25lbs in 16 weeks which I have to say is pretty alright.

The change that this 25lbs has made is immense, I mean I still have a good way to go, but I am starting to feel more comfortable in my skin again. I'm not automatically covering my stomach with my arms, or hiding away when talking to people. I feel like I am now more worthy of their attention now that I am slimmer. I know these things were issues that were in my head before, but that is what being overweight does to some people. It can become a vicious circle of emotional eating when you just get bigger and bigger, or you can channel all the negative feeling into changing your predicament. I'm starting to become aware that the better I am feeling the risk of becoming complacent in my journey becomes bigger. I need to keep reminding myself of my reasons for doing this and that I can finally once and for all get to goal. I just need to take one small goal at a time. So here it is, my list of mini goals to come. I have already hit 5%, 10%, fist half stone, first stone and getting into the 12 stone bracket. Going forward here are my goals and my targets for the first 4.

  • 2nd stone - 3lbs away. Target: June Bank Holiday
  • 15% body weight loss- 5lbs away. Target: Mid June
  • 11stone bracket - 7lbs away. Target: July
  • 5th silver 7 - 10lbs away. Target: August.
  • 20% body weight loss - 15lbs away
  • 3rd stone - 17lbs away
  • 7th silver 7 - 24lbs away
  • 4th stone - 31lbs away
  • GOAL - 34.5 lbs away

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fish Cakes!!

I made the most delicious fish cakes last night. From the complete kitchen cookbook and they were so easy. My dad who is absolutely anti low fat cooking even thought they were delicious. There is actually no 'lowfat' ingredients in them. Just good natural healthy things which is great. My dad and my sister were having spring lamb so me and mum served these with the veg they made, but I think they would go very nicely with a leafy green salad. They are a good size and because I had some extra propoints left on sunday I was planning on eating 3, but the recommend serving size of 2 is actually very filling. They also freeze uncooked which is handy if you cook for one. You can make a batch of 8 and then freeze them in portions. So anyway here goes with the recipe.

Spicy Fishcakes with Chermoula Sauce

Serves 4
8pp per serving

450g sweet potato, peeled and chopped roughly
450g haddock fillet
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and diced (I used a whole one, I like spicy)
Grated zest & Juice of 1/2 a lemon
6tbsps chopped fresh coriander
1tbsp plain flour
100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp paprika
3 tomatoes diced

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the sweet potato. Return to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. (Should be soft enough to mash). When cooked drain and leave sit for a few minutes to steam off any excess moisture.
Place the haddock in a deep frying pan, cover with boiling water and cook gently for 5 mins. (Should flake easily). Remove from the water, and break it into large flakes removing any skin or bones.
Mash the sweet potato until smooth and stir in half the cumin, half the chilli, 1tsp of lemon zest and half the chopped coriander. When combined, add the fish and stir gently. At this point I would add a little salt and pepper, it didnt say to in the recipe but I felt after tasting it needed a small bit. Should look like the below:

Shape this into 8 fishcakes. Then turn each fishcake in the flour, then the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a non stick baking tray, cover with cling film and leave sit in the fridge for 30 mins. (I didn't leave mine for quite that long, and they did hold together except for one).
Bake the fishcakes in a preheated oven (Gas 6/200C/fan180C) for 20 mins, turning halfway.

For the chermoula sauce, toast the rest of the cumin and the paprika in a dry nonstick pan for 30-40 seconds. Add this to a bowl with the rest of the chilli, lemon zest and juice and garlic and stir to make a paste. Stir in the tomatoes, the rest of the coriander and 2tbsps of cold water. and its ready to serve. Next time I would chop my tomatoes a little smaller as I felt it was a small bit chunky, but its not really important!

The recipe also says you can swap the fresh haddock for smoked, the sweet potato for normal potato and the chilli, cumin and coriander for 2tbsp chopped parsley and 1tbsp of horseradish and cook the same way. Propoints stay the same. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weigh In 15

And its another loss on the scales :-) Half a pound down. It may not seem like much but I am taking every single loss where I can. Also I was a bit bold on the weekend. I was meant to have a great Saturday night, use my weeklies and then be right back to normal the next day. I just kept on eating. I tried to pull it back a bit on Monday and obviously something is sticking with me.

Back on tracking this week like a mad thing. Don't think I'm going to drink a huge amount this week, maybe a glass or 2 of wine on Saturday night and see how I get on. I am also going to give the couch to 5k challenge a go to start my training for the mini marathon. It seems doable so I just gotta stick with it and see how I go.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Night away!

Tomorrow night I am heading on a romantic night away so I have been planning all week for it. Originally I was hoping to get to the gym twice before and once after but with the problems I have been having with my back that has just gone out the window. I have done more walking this week which is one positive. I have also been extremely good with my pp so far, have not had to touch a single weekly, and since it has been passover until tonight I have been having a wheat/grain free week which has to be good (more about that later). So the plan is to have some eggs for a late breakfast to keep me going and then just snack on fruit and veg and maybe a cereal bar until the dinner out. I will probably have a whole bottle of wine (we get one free with the room and we will probably get one with dinner). But I am going to make the best food choices possible for dinner. I'll check in when I come back to see if I stayed on track.

Anyway, just regarding the wheat/grain free passover period. While I found it harder that usual in some ways this year, I also found it easier in others. Breakfast was very difficult - found myself not really having a breakfast, just grazing on fruit and coffee until lunch time. But other meals were great, I ate more protein and was really full and satisfied. However I missed my chocolate treats - I appreciate the ww mini roll so much more now. And tonight I made the Fragrant Chicken and Tomato Pasta Bake from the Complete Kitchen cook book (I definitely wanted my pasta fix) and I was soo stuffed after it, and I am pretty bloated after it. It has made me realise that I do need to cut back on my carbs a little. Lunch without a slice of bread/wrap is fine - and I don't need the popcorn in the afternoon, I was just having it for the sake of it. So hoping these lessons will stick with me.

Now I was going to post the recipe for the Bake but someone on youtube has posted a video with step by step instructions which I thought were great. I made it with chicken breast for 8pp and I aslo added 2 peppers with the onions and chicken, and 2 cloves of garlic, crushed into the tomatoes and stock.
So here it is:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weigh In 14

So as you can tell from the picture I got my third silver 7 this week! Am down 2 more pounds which brings the grand total up to 22.5lbs. Every single week I am surprised by my losses, I keep expecting the bubble to burst or something. But I am sticking to my propoints, tracking everything that goes into my mouth and drinking lots of water. So I guess if I keep to it as rigorously as I have been then hopefully it will keep working. 

This week is going to be fun, am heading for a night away on saturday night which means a dinner out and lots of drinking. I want to enjoy it but I also want a loss next tuesday. The plan is to be extra vigilant every other day and not have a single weekly propoint so I have them all for saturday night. I was also planning on doing some extra exercise for the week but I have done my back in which means I can't make the gym. It does seem to be getting better, and I have decided to ditch the car in favour of walking to and from the dart station every morning. That means I am doing roughly an hour walking every week day (slowly today because of the back so a little longer) which hopefully will help too. My mini marathon training is non existent so as soon as my back is better I might give the couch to 5k ago - if I can even run 5k of it I will be happy!

Only 5.5 more pounds to go for my next stone! Onwards and downwards :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter/Passover

As we all know long weekends always pose the biggest challenges and this weekend is the worst as a 4 day weekend with easter so lots of temptations on offer.

I guess I am slightly lucky in that I am Jewish and this year passover starts today. For Passover, starting sundown this evening, I can't have any grains for the next 7 days. So no bread, wraps, pasta, crackers, flour - and pretty much most processed foods tend to have some sort grain in them as an added ingredients. So usually when I manage to stick to that 100% its an easier week for weight loss. However tonight there is a big Seder dinner where there will be lots of food, so I have to reign myself in a bit and make sure that I eat really slowly so I don't over eat. However I think the dinner will be easier than the usual Good Friday parties that are on, where there is lots of junk food and alcohol.

There will still be temptation. I've always celebrated easter with my non jewish family too though I stopped getting easter eggs when I was about 12. But there is always chocolate EVERYWHERE! I think the key to this is to allow yourself some, don't deprive yourself completely otherwise you will just crave it more. And know the propoints in what you are eating before you eat it. Its never a good idea to eat and then point - recipe for disaster right there.

Also going to avoid drinking for the weekend, trying to cut back in general to save both money and propoints. And I need to get back into the routine of exercise again. Once this post is done I'm going to go to the gym for the first time in about a month. I have been sticking so rigidly to my propoints that I have still had losses everyweek. But the mini marathon is sneaking up on me so need to get training again! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Weigh In 13

Weigh In last night saw me down another half pound!! TOTM was due (and arrived today) and so I was expecting a STS or even a gain. I would have loved to have got that pound and got my third silver seven but am going to seriously work hard to get it next week.

When I told my friend that I had lost 20lbs - she told me that was just about how much her 10 month old daughter weighs. That shocked me, because while I knew 20lbs was quite an achievement, equating it to the size of a 10month old baby really put it in real terms for me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Risotto time

I have to say I LOVE risotto. It has always been one of my favourite dishes. For today here is one of most recent ones I have made.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Serves 4
Total - 31pp
8pp per serving

250g arborio rice - 25pp
1 small butternut squash peeled and cubed- 0pp
1 small onion chopped finely - 0pp
2 cloves of garlic crushed - 0pp
1tsp chopped thyme
Salt and pepper
1 chicken or veg stock cube made up with boiling water.
25g parmesan cheese - 5pp

Steam the Butternut squash until it is about halfway cooked and set aside. (you can do this over a pan of water or in the microwave)