Google+ Forget dieting forever: October 2014

If you love cooking and experimenting with new recipes - you've come to the right place! Not only do we have delicious recipes - we also share our SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS story.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

QUICK ONION BHAJI RECIPE

Onion bhajis with raita
This onion bhaji recipe was an instant hit in our household despite having no gram flour. The spicy snack went well with refreshing raita and a small side salad. A squeeze of lemon was all that was needed for a delicious starter. 
Onion bhajis are usually made with gram and/or rice flour which we didn't have. But… the overriding spicy crunch more than compensated for the lack of authentic ingredients. Buying ingredients can soon become an expensive pastime, and we try to use what we have available. 
Take a look at how we made these tasty morsels:

Monday, 27 October 2014

Leftover chicken Thai style

Thai leftover chicken salad
Thai style chicken salad, using leftover chicken was the order of the day. What a tasty way to use leftover chicken (or stretching a pack of pre-cooked chicken) to make a wonderful meal.
We cooked dried noodles - following the instructions on the pack, and cooled them down with cold water. To this we added a selection of crunchy chopped salad vegetables - carrot, iceberg lettuce, red onion, red pepper and cucumber. There was also half a red chilli pepper lurking in the fridge, so we used that and added fresh coriander that we had planned for something else.
The salad was tossed in a lovely Thai dressing - you can buy one or make your own; here's our recipe which we love and keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Make twice as much of this salad/dressing and enjoy in your lunch box the next day - your friends will be jealous!
Thai dressing
1 tablespoon of oil (we used sesame but use whatever you have)
teaspoon of honey
juice of half a lime (you could add some zest too if you wish)
coriander - I used a good sprinkle of dried as I had no fresh
half a red chilli - deseeded and chopped
salt (or a drop of fish sauce)
Finishing touch
add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
***
Be who you want to be.
Do you know how many calories you can eat each day?
Our very first blog post about our weight loss journey - back in 2011.
You'll find our successful weight loss story here.
Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2014), all rights reserved.
Please do not copy any of this material without our express permission.


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Leek and potato soup recipe

Leek and potato soup
LEEK & POTATO soup is a classic recipe - add cream or use milk. But what type of milk should you use?  Full fat or semi-skimmed milk? The reason I prefer to use full fat milk is because it doesn't split when heated. There is the potential for semi-skimmed milk to split. So what happened when I used semi-skimmed milk today because I didn't have any full fat milk? I was surprised to find the milk didn't split, although the top of the soup looked very frothy and messy. I was being more careful and ensured the soup was cooked on a very low heat. Simmering rather than overheating. All this didn't matter at all, once it had gone through the blender. It tasted just as I would have expected.
Soups are generally quick and easy to make and very economical.  One of the local supermarkets was selling 500g packs of leeks for just 65p this week. The great thing is, leeks are now in season and taste so much sweeter. With very few calories, you could add a couple of spoonfuls of double cream to the finished soup. Who would think this creamy soup is low in calories too - at around 150 calories per portion.
Here's our recipe for a creamy leek and potato soup:

Friday, 24 October 2014

LOSE WEIGHT - EAT FROM A SMALLER PLATE?

Can you lose weight eating from a smaller plate? I tested this theory - unintentionally - and was surprised at the results.
I was preparing a couple of salads using two different plates, the one on the right being slightly smaller by 3cm.
Having dined on soups and stews for a few days, while studying, I was really looking forward to lots of crunchy vegetables. Before I realised there were two large salads staring at me, and they looked about equal in content. Then I thought, why not weigh them and of course deducting the weight of each plate. That's when I found the smaller plate weighed 50g more than the large plate on the left. Without thinking, I was actually adding more food to my (smaller) plate, almost as if I was trying to make up for the difference in size. I suppose it didn't really matter, as 50g more salad wouldn't really make a difference to the number of calories on the plate.
If you're thinking of using the smaller plate to help lose weight, then you may be eating more than you think! A good set of scales will set you on the right track.
Be who you want to be.
Do you know how many calories you can eat each day?
Our very first blog post about our weight loss journey - back in 2011.
You'll find our successful weight loss story here. Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2014), all rights reserved.
Please do not copy any of this material without our express permission.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

How to cook a tender steak


fillet steak and peppercorn sauce
How to cook steak? The secret to a good steak is more to do with the resting of the meat than cooking. Resting, will keep the juices inside the meat allowing it to relax and the steak will be more tender as a result. 
For this 170g piece of fillet steak, we cooked each side for about 2 minutes then placed in the oven for 4 minutes (medium rare). Then we let the meat rest for 5 minutes, covered with foil, briefly returning it to the frying pan and flash frying before serving. The juices were added to the sauce for more flavour.
Here's the recipe for the sauce. You can swap the peppercorns for sliced mushrooms if you prefer. If you do this, add them to the pan along with the shallots.
Peppercorn sauce
Ingredients


2 finely diced shallots

1 clove garlic (chopped)

2 teaspoons 
Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons of Brandy 

90ml of beef stock (or half a stock cube)

fresh double cream

1 teaspoon peppercorns 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

salt/pepper 
*

Lightly fry the shallots until soft and stir in the garlic.
 

Add the Worcestershire sauce, Brandy, stock and mustard.


Simmer for around 20 minutes - to reduce it to about a third.


Sieve out the onions and garlic.


Season with salt and pepper - taste the sauce first as the Worcestershire sauce/stock can be salty.

Add peppercorns.

Turn off the heat.

Stir in the cream - we used around 3 tablespoons. 
*
Be who you want to be.
Do you know how many calories you can eat each day?
Our very first blog post about our weight loss journey - back in 2011.
You'll find our successful weight loss story here. Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2014), all rights reserved.
Please do not copy any of this material without our express permission.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

What to do with CARROTS

HARISSA CARROTS WITH COUSCOUS
When carrots take centre stage, they just have to be good. These were no exception.
Roasted spicy carrots on a bed of cool yoghurt was a hit.
If you are stuck for a simple but very tasty vegetarian dish and love spice as we do, then why not give this recipe a try?
Not only is it satisfying, but it will suit all budgets and be ready in no time at all.
We served ours with home made couscous and a rocket salad. If you don't have time, why not buy a ready made pot of couscous for convenience.
This would make a great starter or light lunch.
Here's how we made this dish:

SPICY CARROTS
Ingredients - serves 2
400g carrots
half teaspoon of Harissa - dry spice mix (not the paste)
two teaspoons of oil 
a pot of plain yoghurt (we used full-fat Greek yoghurt)
half lemon, zested
handful of chopped flat leaf parsley and/or mint
optional: za'atar spice (see my note below) or paprika 
salt and black pepper
*
NOTE: We had the za'atar spice in the cupboard and used this to sprinkle over the yoghurt. If we hadn't had that spice, we would have sprinkled a few pinches of paprika instead. The flavour is essentially in the marinated carrots. 
*
Mix the Harissa spice with the oil and place into a plastic bag. 

Cut the carrots in half, lengthways. Place into the bag and distribute the spice mix. Leave for at least half an hour. 

Heat the oven to 180ÂșC. Place carrots onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Remove foil, turn carrots over and continue to cook for a further 10-20 minutes until soft.

Spread the yoghurt onto a plate and sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and a few pinches of either paprika or za'atar. 

Place carrots onto yoghurt. Sprinkle the lemon zest and scatter chopped herbs - we used parsley today, as that's all we had. You could use mint and/or coriander. Why not experiment. 

Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve with rocket salad. Add couscous if you like or perhaps crumble some salty feta cheese. 
*
Be who you want to be.
Do you know how many calories you can eat each day?
Our very first blog post about our weight loss journey - back in 2011.
You'll find our successful WEIGHT LOSS STORY here. Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2014), all rights reserved.
Please do not copy any of this material without our express permission.



Monday, 6 October 2014

What to do with MINCED LAMB?

Spicy lamb roll with coleslaw
This SPICY LAMB ROLL recipe is a take on a sausage roll, but it's much more than that. Turn a snack into a main meal without spending a fortune or investing a lot of time.
For a first attempt, the results were memorable and we couldn't get over just how soft and tender the lamb was.
We served with a quick and easy spicy coleslaw (recipe to follow).
Testing the spice level was most enjoyable: take a couple of spoonfuls of the mixture and lightly fry. Everyone's tastebuds differ, so adjust the spiciness to suit. Although we both agreed on the portion of spice (as per the recipe below), we could have been a little more adventurous and added more. Once the lamb roll had cooled down, the spiciness was less obvious.
The recipe can be adapted to make lots of small sausage rolls, and we're sure your guests will love them.
Making the pastry was easy enough using a small hand blender/chopper. It made light work of the old fashioned 'rubbing in' process; leaving behind sticky fingers with the finished breadcrumb texture visible in just seconds.
Here's the recipe:

Friday, 3 October 2014

Hot smoked salmon salad

HOT SMOKED SALMON AND POTATO SALAD
This hot smoked salmon salad is very quick and easy to assemble. 
So simple yet so tasty. 
The zesty yoghurt dressing is perhaps our favourite component. If you are looking for a simple, low calorie potato salad recipe, this dressing is a must. 
We bought chilli flavoured hot smoked salmon today. Alternatively you could use smoked trout, as we have done in the past. 
The potatoes work well warm or cold, so why not make a large batch of potato salad? A great lunchbox idea too. Here's the recipe:
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