Convenience Food

Everything I ate today took 20 minutes or less to prepare and cook.  Breakfast was an old favourite; banana porridge and almond nut butter with dried fruit.

I then had a very active morning.  Harvey was at a friends for the day and I had quite an ambitious schedule.  I played tennis for about an hour.  It was the last drills until January and it was lovely to play in the sunshine although the sun was so low, playing from one end was a real challenge.

From tennis I whizzed home to get the dogs and then went to the forest to meet Alison.  We used to walk a lot together but when I went back to work full-time we rarely saw each other.  We had a good catch up today during a 2 hour walk in the wintry sunshine and it was great to see her.

Lunch was a hurried affair.  Out came the jar of potted ham.

And I spread it on 2 slices of toast.  I was too hungry to add anything else but to be honest, apart from one of my health objectives being to eat fresh fruit and/or veg with every meal, this lunch required nothing else.  The ham was delicious, well seasoned and with junipers and parsley it was full of flavour and the texture was just right.  I am looking forward to more of the same.

I had to whizz to the shops this afternoon to get some Christmas presents and then collected Harvey, who as usual, was starving.  I bought a ‘Nectacot’ which is an apricot crossed with a nectarine so we tried those.  Not as sweet or as full flavoured as I expected but ok.

We had a very quick to cook supper of sweet and sour chicken, broccoli with oyster sauce and noodles.  No, I didn’t get it from a Chinese takeaway, I did make it myself but with the help of a couple of jars.  Sometimes supper has to be convenient and quick.  I like the Seeds of Change range as they contain real food ingredients and have no nasty additives and do not taste artificial.  The oyster sauce has little to commend it except I like the flavour, especially with broccoli.

Sweet and Sour Chicken, Broccoli with Oyster Sauce and Noodles

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • ½ a red pepper, chopped
  • 1 chicken breast
  • Seeds of Change Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • 1 pack of tender stem broccoli
  • 3 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • Quick cook noodles


  • Heat oil in a frying pan.
  • Put water for noodles on to boil.
  • Chop onion and red pepper and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Chop chicken and add to frying pan and fry until cooked through.

  • While that is frying, pour the sweet and sour sauce in to a saucepan and heat gently.
  • Put the noodles in to the boiling water, stir the noodles, cover and leave off the heat for 5 minutes (or as per packet instructions).
  • Put the fried onions, pepper and chicken in to the sweet and sour sauce and simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Chop the broccoli.

  • Using the same pan as was used for the chicken, add the broccoli, oyster sauce and approx 50 ml water so the broccoli steams.  Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve by putting the noodles in a large bowl and then top with the sweet and sour chicken and the broccoli.

Very satisfying and yummy.

Final task for the day was to start decorating the tree, which has stood in the hall now since Friday.  With no one home to argue with me (Harvey doesn’t care what colour the lights are), I put up all white lights.  Not one coloured light in sight.  And if it was up to me, I would leave the tree with just the white lights.  No other adornment required.

I like the simplicity of it, and when all around is dark, the white lights and mild pine scent are pretty and delightful to me.  I need nothing else.  But I can guarantee that by tomorrow the tree will be groaning under the weight of 20 years of accumulated ornaments.  And I will enjoy those too, as nearly every one tells a tale.

I miss Lara particularly today, as decorating the tree was always her particular pleasure and I wish she was here to help me.  I will save her the angel to put on the top, something she has done every year.

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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