Google+ Forget dieting forever: January 2015

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.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Weight loss with pasta and breadcrumbs

Pasta, prawns, breadcrumbs
A CRUNCHY BREADCRUMB topping adds a lovely texture to any pasta dish, and it's a great way to use up stale bread.
It is also a very quick and easy recipe to make - taking us around 15 minutes from start to finish. It's a fabulous way to use store cupboard (and frozen) ingredients: dried pasta, tinned tomatoes, stale bread, garlic and frozen prawns. Swap prawns with chicken, cheese or spinach.
A single portion (75g) of dried spaghetti works out at 270 calories with the whole dish, as you see here, working out at around 400 calories.
Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions, and while this is cooking you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.
The ingredients below will serve two:
For the sauce we used half a tin of chopped tomatoes, one clove of crushed garlic, a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes, salt/pepper and warmed this through in a dry frying pan. I added half a small teaspoon of sugar to take the bitterness out of the sauce.
For the breadcrumbs weigh out 50g of stale bread (crust removed) and either roughly chop or put into a blender. Add a clove of crushed garlic, a twist of salt and pepper and a teaspoon of oil. If you have any lemons, you can add lemon zest if you like. Put this mixture into a small, lightly oiled frying pan and fry until browned (around 5 minutes).
We used 100g of raw prawns between the two of us. The prawns take just a few minutes to go pink, and you can add these to the sauce mixture towards the end of cooking.
****
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 method and a few tips and tricks here: WEIGHT LOSS STORY.
Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2015), all rights reserved.

Friday, 23 January 2015

QUICK SPICY RISOTTO

CHICKEN & CHORIZO RISOTTO
SPICY CHICKEN & CHORIZO RISOTTO is a quick and easy recipe under 500 calories per portion.
Faddy diets may work in the very short term, but weight management doesn't stop when the diet ends. Keeping track of calories - quite often guessing, estimating and roughly counting - is one of our secrets to losing weight and weight management. You don't want it taking up too much of your time. Take a look at our weight loss story to learn more. We know counting calories is not an exact science, but we use it as a rough guide. Weight fluctuates for many reasons.
Our philosophy is to eat food you enjoy while losing weight and keeping the weight off. You CAN lose weight eating your favourite foods. We've posted our meals to show others what we've been eating, the blog is like a food diary, as well as a recipe bank. We do not eat any 'special' foods, and have kept the weight off for four years eating a varied diet.
We love the versatility of this dish - which was created on what we had available at the time. You can adjust the ingredients to suit: swap chicken with prawns, add different vegetables, increase the spice level.  Here's our spicy risotto recipe:

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

TEMPURA ONION RINGS

These TEMPURA BATTERED ONION RINGS were so crunchy and light; the perfect accompaniment to any meal. They add texture and crunch when needed, for example, with sausage and mash.
In keeping with our weight loss philosophy - paying attention to what we eat, being honest about how much - we get to explore some fabulous recipes without any guilt. This weight loss method is the only one we and others have found fits into our daily (real) life, is easy to follow and most importantly, helps keep the weight off. Eating food like this!!
We were looking for lots of 'crunch' to go with this steak, because we ditched chips in preference to gnocchi. You can buy gnocchi ready made, and as we did with this meal, it can be boiled then lightly fried. It's a good alternative to chips, especially if you are indulging with these amazing onion rings.
We served ours with cavolo nero - an deliciously interesting vegetable to be recommended. This link will show you how we cooked it.
The batter was lighter than a standard batter and therefore saves on calories.
We didn't use bicarbonate soda either, as some recipes do, and they still turned out perfectly light and crunchy.
For the tempura batter (serves 4): 60g plain flour, 40g cornflour, salt and pepper, cold fizzy water. Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add enough water to a thin consistency that will stay on the back of a spoon. Dip raw onion rings into the batter and then into hot oil. You could use a small saucepan with enough oil to submerge the onion rings. Heat to around 170ºC - drop a little batter into the oil and if it rises to the surface and bubbles, that's about the right temperature.
****
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 method and a few tips and tricks here: WEIGHT LOSS STORY.
Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2014), all rights reserved.

Monday, 12 January 2015

SPICY BEAN BURRITO

LEFTOVER roast pork or chicken? Here's a great budget recipe for using leftover meat which you'll enjoy. 
This spicy burrito is easy to make and the results are spectacular. If you are a vegetarian, omit meat, and this can be made in no time. 
You can buy a ready made chilli spice mix to make things easier. Here's what the burrito looked like inside. 
Spicy burrito with mango salsaWe wanted to use up some leftover pork and the burrito was a great way to do this in a different way, giving it a new lease of life. 
If you don't have any leftover meat, you could fry off some chicken fillets or pork tenderloin as these cook quickly and mix this into the fried vegetables and spice mix before adding the chopped tomatoes and beans.
Here's our recipe:
SPICY BURRITO
Ingredients
Leftover pork or chicken
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
1 large tin of (drained) black turtle beans (or mixed beans)
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red/green peppers
150g field mushrooms
tortilla wraps
cheddar cheese
chopped spring onions
SPICE MIX
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chilli flakes (use chipotle chillies if you have them)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp paprika (use smoked paprika if you have any)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
TO FINISH
salt to taste
cornflour to thicken
*
Brown the onion in the frying pan then add the sliced pepper. Cook until soft then add the garlic and stir for a minute or two. Add the spice mix and fry gently for a minute or two. Place this mixture into a saucepan.

Fry the sliced mushrooms, adding a little salt and pepper as you do before adding to the saucepan.

If you are using chicken or pork fillets, sprinkle with salt and pepper and brown these for a couple of minutes before adding to the saucepan. If you are using leftover chicken or pork, shred or slice then add to the saucepan.

Add the beans and tomatoes to the saucepan and top with enough water to cover everything. Bring to the boil and heat gently for 5 minutes.

Thicken the sauce with a little cornflour then remove some of the sauce from the vegetables/meat for pouring around the burritos.

Place a couple of spoonfuls of sauce into the bottom of an ovenproof dish.

Divide mixture between tortillas and roll up. We found two burritos fitted perfectly into a small oblong dish measuring 24 x 16cm.

Place a little more sauce on top of the burrito and top with grated cheddar cheese (or a mix of cheese such as cheddar and gruyere).

Cover the dish completely with kitchen foil and cook for half an hour at 180ºC. Remove the foil and continue cooking until browned - approx 10 minutes. 
***
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 method and a few tips and tricks here: WEIGHT LOSS STORY.
Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2014), all rights reserved.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

400 CALORIE BUTTERNUT QUESADILLA

vegetarian quesadilla
What a lovely way to eat butternut squash! This quesadilla recipe is full of satisfying textures and very, very filling.
We made ours nice and spicy, using a whole red chilli, but you can leave this out if you wish. I like to use what I have available and you can add other vegetables and herbs if you wish.
This quesadilla serves two and I would estimate one serving - that is - half (or three slices) is around 400 calories.
Begin by roasting 200g of butternut squash (or squash and carrot mix) together with some chopped red onion and one sliced red pepper. We used a pointed red pepper which is slightly sweeter.  Add a few whole garlic cloves to the roasting tin if you love the flavour.
If you are busy and don't want to fiddle with a whole squash, you can buy packs of ready chopped vegetables.
To make the quesadilla, place one of the tortillas into a pre-heated frying pan. Keep the heat low, and top the tortilla with: 25g grated strong cheddar, the roasted butternut squash, pepper and red onion, one finely diced red chilli (or some chilli flakes), and two or three chopped spring onions.
At this stage, add seasoning such as salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley if you have any.
Finally, top with more grated cheese, we used another 25g of grated strong cheddar. If you prefer you could use goat's cheese which works really well with butternut squash. Place the second tortilla on top and push down with a spatula.
Turning the quesadilla takes precision - we had to use a combined effort with this method: place a plate on top of the quesadilla, turn everything over so the quesadilla is on the plate, then slide it back into the frying pan. Phew! Heat gently for a few minutes while pressing down with a spatula. Slide back onto the plate, allow to cool slightly (while the cheese cools), slice and serve. I think I would eat this cold in a lunch box too, although it didn't last long enough!
***
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 method and a few tips and tricks here: WEIGHT LOSS STORY.
Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2014), all rights reserved.


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Smoked cod and poached eggs

smoked cod, eggs, spinach, bacon
Have you ever eaten smoked cod with poached eggs? We've occasionally eaten smoked haddock and poached eggs, but never cod. The supermarket was selling smoked cod loin at a very reasonable price.
If you're not a fan of smoked fish, you might find this cut of fish interesting. Compared to smoked haddock the cod was less smoky and more delicate, and went perfectly with spinach and poached egg. All very moreish.
The fish was very easy to cook. Place the cod into a small saucepan and cover with milk. Turn up the heat and simmer for around 4-5 minutes (we had two 150g fillets). Turn off the heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. We used frozen spinach, as it is economical and there is no waste. The bacon added a lovely crunch to the meal.
This meal with a slice of toast was around 450 calories.
Just like everyone else, we have indulged over Christmas and the New Year. Our weight has fluctuated over the festive season by a couple of pounds here and there. We've addressed this by thinking about what we are eating and in the last few days we've returned to our pre-Christmas weight.
It's around this time of year when we notice the bits and pieces of 'leftover' nuts, biscuits and chocolates lurking around the house. Noticing what's around us was how we originally came up with the weight loss idea.
Four years ago I noticed my other half would pick up a mince pie (or two) and munch on them as he wandered around the kitchen. These mindless snacks can have a big impact on weight. Just two mince pies amounted to 500 calories - enough calories for a whole meal. He wasn't necessarily 'enjoying' them either, but eating them so they wouldn't go to waste. We now choose to eat whatever we want to eat, but (roughly) within our daily calorie allowance.
****
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 method and a few tips and tricks here: WEIGHT LOSS STORY.
Tweak what you eat and lose weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2014), all rights reserved.

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year's pepperoni pizza

A homemade spicy pepperoni pizza is becoming a bit of a tradition for us on New Year's day. Perhaps after all the rich fare over the festive season, we just want something simple. I've missed crunchy salad vegetables too, and we made a large salad to serve with the pizza. What a great budget meal this is too - one large pizza costs around £2! Each pizza works out at around 750 calories - great for sharing.
As we return to our normal eating habits we will continue to eat whatever we choose to eat. Most diet constraints revolve around limiting or avoiding certain types of food. By not limiting the types of food we can eat, we've found this aspect of our weight loss method helps make it so much easier to lose weight and keep the weight off. We recognised eating is a habit, and drastic changes can be difficult to sustain so why not start with the idea you can eat whatever you want and watch the quantity instead.

PEPPERONI PIZZA
Ingredients (makes two 12" pizzas)
Base:
300g strong bread flour
175ml luke warm water
1 tsp sugar
5g dried yeast
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Topping:
Passata
Garlic clove - crushed
Large red chilli (with seeds if you like heat)
Pepperoni slices (we used Sainsbury's Try Me £1 pack - 12 slices 42g)
125g mozzarella (or use your favourite cheese)
other vegetables e.g. sliced red onion, red & green pepper, mushrooms
***
Mix the pizza base ingredients together: water, sugar and yeast. Leave to activate (5-10 mins). Follow the directions on the pack.

Put the salt and flour into a bowl with the olive oil. Add the pizza base mix and stir thoroughly. Knead for up to 10 minutes. This is the difficult bit if you do not have a food mixer with a dough hook. But, it's a great workout that burns a few calories....

Leave the dough to rise for around an hour, or until double the original size. Knock the air out of it - ie knead it again until it returns to its original size. This will take a minute or so. 

Divide into two equal amounts and form into whatever shape you would like your pizza to be. 

Heat the oven to 200ºC.  Put your pizza tray in the oven to heat up too. TIP: We use an upside down (pre-heated) baking tray, lightly dusted with semolina to stop it sticking. 

If you want a thinner crust (as in our photo), then prick the base all over with a fork. 

Add the crushed garlic to the passata (plus any other flavourings you like). Spread the base with this passata mix.

Place all the other toppings onto the base - everything EXCEPT the mozzarella. 

Cook in the hot oven for 5 minutes.

Remove then add the mozzarella.

Cook for a further 5 minutes or so until the crust is nice and brown.
***
Each pizza works out roughly at 750 calories each. 
****
REMEMBER:  - Do you know how many calories you are allowed each day?
Here's a link to our very first blog post in 2011 about our weight loss journey. We started this blog as a way of recording what we ate while losing weight. The blog is a food diary, and contains lots of recipes, tips and ideas about losing weight.
Copyright © forget dieting forever, all rights reserved.

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