A Visitor From New Zealand

When I woke up today I was very happy to remember Sam was coming for lunch with Julia, Phil and Mirella.  Sam used to live down the road but moved to New Zealand a few years ago and I hadn’t seen her since.   So I was really looking forward to seeing her and my other guests today.

We were going to dine New Zealand pot luck style i.e. everyone brings something so the host does not have too much to do.  I cooked more than we needed for today though as I wanted to prepare for the week ahead to help me with giving up sugar.

I roasted a huge tray full of veggies (red onion, red, green and yellow pepper and aubergine) which I chopped up and added salt and olive oil to, before placing in the oven for about 30 – 40 minutes.  I added this lot to some Bulgur wheat which is a quick and easy dish to prepare and is as good at room temperature as it is warm from the oven.  Roasted veggies with Bulgar wheat (or couscous or quinoa) is good with Feta cheese, olives and sun-dried tomatoes added but we had so many other bits to eat I kept it quite simple today.

tray of roasted veggies I also put a chicken in to roast which I prepared with thyme, lemon and olive oil.  roast chicken with thyme I made this last month but didn’t provide the recipe so here we go.  This is from Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar book which is the 8 week plan I am following.  It is delicious, incredibly simple to make and very quick.

Coco Nutty Granola


  • 3 cups (175g) of Coconut flakes
  • 2 cups (250 g) cups of mixed nuts and pumpkin seeds ( I chop them all up, quite coarsely)
  • 2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 100 g Oats (optional but I like them)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 120 g Coconut oil, melted (you could use butter)
  • 3 tbsp Rice syrup


Grease and line a baking tray and turn the oven on to 120º C
Combine all the ingredients and stir well to mix
Tip the mixture in to the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it – the darker it is the crispier
Allow to cool and then store in a large container.

coc nutty granola ingredients This is the mixture ready to go in the oven.  It already tastes really good.coco nutty granola When it comes out of the oven I tip it on to a large plate so it cools quickly.  It tasted so good I found it hard to resist.coco nutty granola on plate In fact I nibbled so much while it cooled I didn’t need to make anything else for breakfast.Coco nutty granola in large bowl I already have some in a little pot ready to take to work tomorrow.Breakfast ready for next dayI really enjoyed my lunch.  I had bulgar wheat with roasted veggies, roast chicken, green salad, tzatziki and humous.
lunch 27-4-14 I managed to resist the ice cream, brownies and cake and just had watermelon and green grapes.  Quite a lot of watermelon admittedly.  Plus 2 glasses of wine.watermelon and grapes It was lovely to see you all, please come again soon.  Apologies to Mirella for not getting the camera out until you had gone.Sam, Phol and Julia After a happy day I enjoyed some early evening sunshine while I pottered about the garden, tidying a few things here and there.  With plenty of time I enjoyed looking at some of the flowers.  I am sad to see these lovely tulips falling apart as I have enjoyed them so much.yellow tulip One of my favourite spring flowers are the forget-me-nots.

blue and white forget-me-nots

I have several large clumps, mainly blue but some white and some pink.forget me not 3 I like the blue ones best though.forget-me-not 2 Forget-me-notI have a spectacular display of rhododendrons and they are just beginning.  I will share more pictures of the garden flowers in the blogs I post this week.
White Rhodedendron In the evening I snacked on some of the Wensleydale with blueberries that Sam brought.Wensleydale with blueberries And some Dr Karg’s crispbread.  I have to give up “bready things” and white carbs this week but I think these are allowed.Dr Karg's I had mine spread with avocado and topped with juicy tomato.  A delicious supper.tomato on Dr Karg

I did enjoy today.  I hope you did too.

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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