Those of you who have read previous posts will know I am a huge fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Those of you who haven’t do now. I was very excited to receive my copy of his new book ‘Veg everyday!’ and even more excited to look through it and decide I like the look of nearly every recipe. I almost became over excited as I couldn’t decide what to cook first, so I have decided, slightly a la mode of Julie & Julia, to cook it all. But without the pressure of a deadline. So I am stating my intention to cook every single recipe in Hugh’s book, at some point. I also pledge to cook them as they are written, rather than reading a recipe and using it for inspiration because I think I can do better.
Breakfast was not the time to start a vegetable recipe though. This morning’s fare was a scrambled egg with baby plum tomatoes. Using a non stick saucepan, I melted 1 tsp of butter, cut the baby plum tomatoes in half and lightly warmed them through in the butter. I put the tomatoes on our plates and scrambled the eggs in the butter left in the pan. There was only enough egg to have one each but it was sufficient. Only 4 WW points.
Well, it was enough for a while anyway. I did need a small snack to keep me going until lunch time so I ate one of the blood oranges I had bought yesterday. It was sweet and juicy and really rather wonderful.
Lunch time heralded the first meal to be cooked from the book. Hushed tones, reverence and a drum roll are required please. THE book. For those of you whose lives have not yet been enhanced by the addition of the latest wonderful Hugh F-W tome on your bookshelves, this is what ‘Vegetables everyday!‘ looks like.
I had most of a large cauliflower in the fridge that needed using up. The boys dislike cauliflower but Lara and I both really enjoy it. Admittedly I like it best smothered in a very cheesy cheese sauce but that won’t help me lose weight. So on page 27 I found the recipe for a Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry. The recipe is based on one from Angela Hartnett who is a chef I very much admire. Partly, or even mainly, because she is a female. Being a top chef is not easy and her success as a female is rare so should be celebrated.
- 1 medium cauliflower, cut in to florets
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 3 onions chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp cumin
- Large pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 2 star anise
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 400 g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp garam masala
- Fresh coriander, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Put the cauliflower in to a large pan of water, cover with cold water and a pinch of salt, and bring to the boil.
- When the water has boiled, drain the cauliflower then return to the pan to keep warm.
- Fry the onions, garlic and ginger for 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the spices and seasoning and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, mix well and then add the cauliflower.
- Pour in enough cold water to nearly cover everything and simmer to 5-10 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked.
- Stir in the gram masala and coriander and season to taste.
It was very easy to make the curry and it seems very nutritious to me as it is a light and low fat dish, full of cauliflower and chickpeas, funnily enough. The spicing is well rounded and the flavour gradually builds as you eat it. We ate it as it was, without any rice or other accompaniments. Except I added 50g Greek natural yogurt (2 WW points) and 33 g mango chutney (2 WW points). I nearly always add natural yogurt to a tomato based curry as I like the sharp creaminess of the yogurt against the sweet acidity of the tomato. If I had eaten half the curry, which I was planning to do, it would have been 14 WW points for the whole meal (including yogurt and chutney points). I actually ate less but left that many points on the tracker anyway.
Confession time. For some reason, which I can not explain, I had a binge late last night. I was disappointed to have only lost 1 pound last week when I thought I deserved to have lost 2. After all, I had been swimming and had mainly eaten very well. Or so I thought. Looking back on my blog today I can see why I didn’t lose 2 pounds. I did way too much socialising, ate too much cheese and clearly drank too much Sloe gin. As I didn’t track points most days last week, I probably over ate most days.
That is how I can look at it today, when I feel calm and logical. But last night I was gripped by a momentary dip in good feelings and did what I often do when feeling down – comfort eat. I had 3 slices of Soreen malt loaf, thickly spread with butter cold from the fridge and then a giant iced chocolate cup cake. I haven’t had such naughty food in the house recently but we bought them yesterday and I turned to them in my momentary despair last night.
Today, I decided to not dwell on my stupidity but deal with it. I logged on to the Weight Watcher site and put in everything I ate yesterday and what I have eaten so far today. For those of you not familiar with Weight Watchers, you are given a daily “point” allowance which varies depending on your age and weight. People typically get around 30 points a day. In addition, you have an extra 49 points a week which you can either blow in one go on a large feast or use to top up each day. So my comfort eating last night used up a lot of my weekly points. But I have added them up as I am determined to lose more this week. You can also add points by doing exercise so I will do that too.
I love this view of the Cranbrook windmill and red rooves, taken this afternoon from the Tanyard car park. Lara and I had a lovely girly time in the hairdressers 🙂 .
Supper was based around the lovely salmon I bought yesterday.
Roasted Vegetables with salmon
- Red onion, chopped
- Yellow pepper, chopped
- Orange pepper, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
- 2 field mushrooms, chopped
- Pre heat oven to 180 °C
- Chop the onion and peppers and put in to a baking dish
- Pour over the oil and stir to mix
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes
- Add the tomatoes and mushrooms
- Season with salt and pepper
- Lay the salmon over the top of the vegetables and bake for 15 minutes
Easy to prepare, fairly quick to cook and delicious and nutritious. And only 10 WW points for the 135 g cooked salmon I had and 2 tsp olive oil on the roasted vegetables. I would ideally have added some green steamed veg too but we were kicking back and chilling and so enjoyed the easy supper option.