Temptation Resisted

I finally got together with all my sisters and their families today for our Christmas celebration.  Knowing I was out for the day and would be tempted multiple times, I had a substantial but very healthy breakfast.

A quick forage through the fridge provided pak choi, kale, spinach, 3 egg whites, a cup of cooked brown basmati rice and a Sea Bass fillet.  I also added an onion.  This quantity was for 2 of us.breakfast ing 4-1-14 I stir fried it all together in coconut oil and served it with some Soy sauce.  Very tasty.breakfast 4-1-14

We all contributed food for lunch and I was providing the starters.  I was given a wonderful cookery book for Christmas by Ottolenghi and Tamimi – ‘Jerusalem‘.  Thanks Anne!

I went for a mezze style starter and had a go at making hummus, following the recipe in Jerusalem.

chickpeas and bicarb Hummus (from ‘Jerusalem’)


  • 250g dried chickpeas
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 270g light tahini
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100ml ice cold water
  • salt


  1. Wash the chickpeas and place in a large bowl
  2. Cover with twice the volume of cold water and leave to soak overnight
  3. The next day, drain the chickpeas, place in a saucepan with the bicarbonate of soda
  4. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly
  5. Add 1.5 litres fresh water and bring to the boil
  6. Cook for 20 – 40 minutes, skimming off scum from the surface as it forms
  7. The chickpeas are cooked when they can be crushed easily
  8. Drain the chickpeas and place in a food processor
  9. Process until you have a stiff paste
  10. Add the tahini, lemon juice and garlic and 1.5 tsp salt
  11. Slowly add the cold water
  12. Mix until creamy (about 5 minutes)

The hummus was delicious and is definitely worth making.

To go with the hummus we had cruditees (celery and cucumber) and also Koftas which are little meatballs.  In ‘Jerusalem’ they serve these with a Tahini sauce but I served them with hummus.

kofte ingredients Kofta b’siniyah (from ‘Jerusalem’)


  • 400 g minced lamb (preferably shoulder)
  • 400g minced beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • 30g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Put all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix together well
  2. Shape in to long torpedo like fingers, roughly 8 cm long (60 g)
  3. Press the mix to compress it and help it maintain its shape during cooking
  4. Fry in oil in batches until golden brown on all sides (about 6 minutes)

Ottolenghi's kofta

cucumber, celery and humous I also stir fried chicken, peppers and cherry tomatoeschicken and veg 4-1-14and brought along some olives.olives in scratchy bowl Koftes I had a small plate (literally) and did not overload it, even though I easily could have done.  It was all quite delicious.StarterHolly made a lovely fish pie which was made with stock rather then the usual milk based sauce so it was lower fat but just as tasty.  Served with green beans, peas and broccoli.Holly's fish pie I managed to resist Christmas pudding with brandy butter and a splendid cheese board and instead just had some pineapple and blueberries.  Yes, you read that correctly, I, the cheese lover, sat round a table and even passed cheese round but did not eat any.  I also resisted the wine, despite it being one of my favourites, Chateauneuf du Pap.  It wasn’t easy but I did it.  I felt very pleased about that.  I did have 2 bowls of fruit so too much sugar but at least healthier than cheese and crackers and wine.pineapple and blueberries The only other thing I ate was a bit more hummus with celery and cucumber.cruditees and humous I didn’t eat all that hummus – Harvey loves it too.H with cruditees The women and children played games and chatted.  I was again strong willed and resisted chocolates and Christmas cake.  And Baileys.

playing games

We left the men to their beer and footie.Jim and Richard watching footie

I had a wonderful day with my family.  I ate a lot of good quality and nutritious food and managed to have absolutely NOTHING I shouldn’t have.  A very happy day indeed.

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 :-)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Temptation Resisted

  1. Holly says:

    And the lamb koftes were indeed delicious, thank you for prepping such a gorgeous starter. We certainly did have a feast of food and family – wonderful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s