Having had a wonderful mini break in Wales and Warwickshire, I was excited about getting up this morning to check out the garden, until I heard the deafening roar of a torrential downpour of rain. Oh gloom! A day indoors.
I had eaten really well but very badly while I was away. If I was to carry a board showing which of the 7 sins I had most indulged in, it would be gluttony. So I need to be perfect this week so I can have a good result at the scales next Monday. This means I need to track points diligently all week.
Porridge for breakfast. I used a banana for sweetness plus some strawberries and cherries which had been left in the fridge while we were away. They had gone too soft for eating but they were perfect for blitzing to a puree and stirring in to my oats. So breakfast today was 50g oats, 100ml unsweetened soya milk, 100 ml water, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 banana, cherries and strawberries. 7 WW points.
I have been putting off tackling my mountain of paperwork for months, so I decided to get started today. First task is to tidy the study! No mean feat I can assure you. What a BORING job. I hate it. But having got stuck in, I didn’t want to stop long for lunch.
We had been given 15 fresh eggs by our friends – I have never seen a box of 15 eggs before! I decided to make an omelette.
A forage round the garden produced one tomato, loads of spinach and some rainbow chard. I had some mixed sprouted seeds to use up and I had some onions in the cupboard.
I wilted the spinach in a small pan with a lid on. I fried a small onion in 1 tbsp Rapeseed oil then added the chopped up chard stalks. After a couple of minutes I added the tomato and the chard leaves. Finally I added 2 beaten eggs and let everything cook slowly. When the omelette was nearly cooked, I put the cooked spinach and 1 tbsp organic mixed sprouts on one half of the omelette. I folded the other half over the top and left it to cook through, so avoiding the dreaded slimy white bits. And I ate it unadorned and unaccompanied. It was lovely. And only 9 WW points.
Nut and seed butters are nutritious and help sustain you between meals. They reduce the Glycemic Index (GI) of a food which lessens the rise in blood sugar after eating. Nuts and seeds are a good source of proteins, antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Most people only eat peanut butter but there are so many good nut butters out there, it seems a shame that people are not aware of them.
You can find almond, brazil nut, cashew nut, hazelnut, hemp seed, macadamia, pecan, pumpkin seed and walnut butter. The following brands make them: Biona, Meridian, Carley’s and Omega Nutrition.
A cheaper alternative is to make your own. Edible Perspectives has some fabulous recipes for nut butters. I had made their pumpkin spiced almond butter which was amazing. Today I tried the almond and cinnamon butter. Edible Perspectives use American cup measures but I have converted it and I am using a double quantity from the original recipe.
Almond Butter with Cinnamon and Coconut
- 250g raw almonds
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp coconut oil ( this is not in the original recipe but I could not get the nut mix to go buttery so you need to add oil and I chose coconut).
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper (not foil or waxed paper).
- Mix the almonds and maple syrup together. Bake at 160 for 15 minutes, stiring every 5 minutes.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
- Use a food processor and blitz. Initially the nuts turn to crumbs. At this point add the salt and cinnamon.
- Continue to blitz until the mix clumps together and then goes buttery.
- After 15 minutes, mine was still crumbly so I added the coconut oil. It then went all soft and runnier.
And oh my, it tastes amazing. I must have eaten a good 2 tbsp which I have put down as 6 WW points i.e. 3 points per tbsp. I calculated this using the on-line recipe builder and then sanity checked it against some peanut butters. 3 points per tbsp seems a good estimate. I can’t wait for breakfast so I can stir some in to my oats 🙂 .
While the nut butter was in the food processor, I started making the bolognese sauce. The kids wanted a plain one, rather than one where I chuck in anything in the fridge that needs using up. This is my most basic and simple bolognese recipe.
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- 1 large or 2 small onions
- 2 garlic cloves (it can’t be too plain!)
- 500 g lean beef mince
- 150 ml white wine (yes, white, not red. Seems to keep it a bit lighter)
- 2 tins tomatoes
- 1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
- Finely chop and fry the onions. Add minced garlic. Fry until softened.
- Add beef and fry until browned. Add wine and reduce slightly.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
We ate this with spaghetti, 100 g per person. We had 1/8 th of the amount of bolognese each, which leaves half in the fridge for another day.
And I have no points left so nothing else for me today, except maybe an apple.
Is it breakfast time yet?