Cooking and Gardening

Cooking and Gardening pretty much sums up my day today.  Oh and loads of boring paperwork but it had to be done and it does feel good to be more up to date.  Plus sewing (mainly repairs to the boy’s torn clothes), ironing and so many other chores that at 21:55 on a Sunday night I have not actually relaxed yet today 😦

Yesterday was very stressful due to a failure in the heating system and a flood in Ramsgate.  I have had a decorator there all week and went yesterday, anticipating a pleasant(ish) day, reviewing the paint work and some general tidying and cleaning.  Unfortunately I arrived to find water pouring through the ceiling in to a bedroom via the light fitting.  A local plumber came out to assess and do an emergency fix.   I currently have a house with a dripping ceiling (better then pouring but not resolved), no water (I know, how is it still dripping but it is), no heating and no electricity, a very sodden carpet and a room that needs decorating.  After all that I fell off the healthy eating cliff and ate cake, biscuits, bread and loathed myself some more.

So this morning I had a word with myself and kept busy to stop stressing about Ramsgate.

I made some Granola which had no added fat.  It was from the China Sudy Cookbook and tasted fabulous.

These are the raw ingredients

raw granola

and one and a half hours later, here is the finished product!  It was good on its own cooked granolabut even better eaten with some coconut yogurt and blueberries.Granila, Co Yo and blueberries I changed the recipe quite a bit as I didn’t have several of the ingredients so this is the recipe as I made it, rather then the recipe in the China Study Cookbook.

Granola (no added fat)


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 a cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 of a cup of maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 level tsp cinnamon
  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup rasins


  1. Preheat oven to 140 °C
  2. Place water, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved
  3. Mix the oats, almonds, pecans, raisins and coconut in a large bowl
  4. Add the wet mixture from the saucepan and mix well together
  5. Spread the mixture out on to 2 baking sheets, spreading as thin as possible
  6. Bake and stir every 15 minutes, until dry and crunchy which takes about 1 1/2 hours
  7. Let cool, try to not keep nibbling and store in an airtight container.  It should keep up to 3 weeks.

Having just read the recipe properly, you should not have added the raisins until cooking was finished!  Luckily mine didn’t burn and they taste good.

Granola fat free For lunch I made ‘Burrito bowls’ i.e. I made something similar to the Burrito Bowl I buy about once a week from Chipotle. 4 burrito bowl bowls I stir fried some brown Basmati rice with chopped kale because you can never eat too much kale, right?brown rice and kale Chopped some cherry tomatoes and spring onions and seasoned with freshly ground peppertoms and spring onions Guacamole made with lime juice and coriander on the sideguacamole and coriander Fried onions, red and yellow peppers.fried onions and peppers A tin of black beans, heated gently with some water added, 2 garlic cloves, paprika and chipotle, simmered until the water evaporated.Chipotle black beans YUM YUM YUMBurrito Bowl 2 I love this meal.  It is so easy to prepare and everyone always likes it.Burrito Bowl

It was a dull and overcast day which was actually helpful as I had quite a bit of gardening to do.  There’s the spinach, green and purple climbing beans and broad beans.

spinach and beans Mange Tout.mange totu broad beans Mizuna which has gone crazy and is dwarfing the neighbouring celery.Mizuna celery Sadly it’s been munched so it wont last long so I need to chmp my through as much as I can 😦Mizuna The courgettes are doing ok.courgettes The oregano had a good prune which created space to plant radishes in the same bed as the garlic and spring onions.oregano triffid radish seeds In the greenhouse the tomatoes are doing well and the cucumbers are beginning to get going.toms and cucs Little tomatoes are already growing 🙂  Well, they are on the yellow tomato plants my vegetable growing neighbours up the road gave me.toms 2015 I was late, as usual, so the 2 varieties I have sown and the peppers are behind but hopefully they will catch up.toms and peppers I was late with the lettuces so they are still very small and I had very poor germination rates from the sweetcorn which is disappointing but overall, given everything else that occupies my time, I am pleased with my Jne 2015The raspberries and blueberries in the fruit cage are looking very promising but not much action on the blackcurrants.
fruit cage 2015 I snapped piccies of some of the beautiful flowers in my garden and thought about how many beautiful things there are out 14 flowers 13 The scent from rose that clambers over the apple tree is quite 11 flowers 10 flowers 9 flowers 8 flowers 7 flower 6 flower 5 flower 4 flower 3 flower 2 flower 1

After taking the dogs for a walk we had hot dogs and ice cream for supper.  We really did.  Vegan tofu hot dogs in a wholemeal roll with mustard, ketchup and vegan cheese followed by raspberry and mango sorbet.  I was not really keen on the hot dogs but Harvey was.  I have no desire to eat meat free versions of meat and am very happy with plants but Harvey likes it and as he is being so supportive we had a supper for him.

I hope you all had a happy weekend and I really hope the plumber can get to the bottom of the problems that have caused me and my visitors so much aggravation over the past month or so in Ramsgate.



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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6 Responses to Cooking and Gardening

  1. laura1952 says:

    Thanks for the tour of the garden and flowers on a very soggy day. I am so sorry about Ramsgate. My BFF had her basement flood on Friday with our rain because something plugged the sump pump. The rain is causing chaos, but just remember, staying calmer is the win/win way, all the way around.

    • Far worse things happen in the world Laura so I shouldn’t complain but it is very annoying and always stressful as I am an hour away from the house and I have to make sure it is ready for our next visitors. I can tolerate certain things at home but a paying visitor expects and deserves a house with reliable hot water and no flooding 🙂

      • laura1952 says:

        That they do. I wish you nothing but patience dealing with the chaos.

        Jen has her business of her Spa in the basement so it has been a rough week for her too. The place has to be gutted that they finally finished not even 6 months ago because of the damage. Drywall dust everywhere and only mobile for now for her Spa. It is always a pain. Even we had a flooded basement from the rain on Friday, but our sump pump worked that God.

  2. Lucy Murphy says:

    How very tedious to have to deal with flooding on top of everything else. Water is a pain in the bum isn’t it – hope you get it resolved soon x

  3. aspoonfulofnature says:

    yumm everything looks delightful!!

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