It’s Pancake Tuesday!

I remember when I was growing up, pancakes were a rare treat (turns out my mother detests them and hates making them!!)

Now though, I make pancakes about once a week because my boys will both eat them (fussy pair, it’s one of the few things they agree on!!)

Trying to cut down on gluten and flour etc, while also mostly sticking to the Slimming World plan meant I needed to find an alternative that we could all enjoy, without them being “different” or feel too healthy!

There are a few variations on these pat pancakes out there, often called “Magic Pancakes” but this is how I make them as I don’t like the overly yogurt flavour.

I grind the oats up a bit in the food processor but this is optional, they can be soaked overnight in a larger amount of yoghurt to make them swell and soften too.

Oat Pancakes

Serves 2 adults (and 2 small people)

Note: 35g oats = healthy Extra B

80g porridge oats, blitzed slightly in processor to break down a bit, not too fine, it’s just to trick the lads in case they saw an oat an might pass out.
(The alternative is to soak these overnight in yoghurt, just increase the amount of yoghurt)
I use gluten free oats they work perfectly
4 eggs
100g fat free fromage frais or fat free natural or greek yoghurt (or use Muller lights If you like them)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons sweetener

– mix it all together really well to give a thick batter
– fry in small amounts for thicker, American style pancakes
– add 2 more eggs If you want thinner, crepe or thin pancake style
– sprinkle with canderel and lemon juice or serve with some quark whipped up with vanilla and sweetener (this is lovely, like sweet cream cheese, goes really well with fruit!)

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Something new…

Sometimes, something triggers a change. I needed a change.

I started Crossfit. I’ve been going twice a week for 3 weeks now and loving it while hating how hard I find it!!!realising how very, very unfit I am and puffing my way through workouts has been a struggle but I’ve found something I know I will keep going to and can’t wait to see myself getting fitter and stronger!!!

Food:

So, for a few weeks now I’ve been trying a new lifestyle, experimenting with Paleo recipes, some lo-carb, some just made up and I like them recipes!!

But basically I’ve been trying to cut out processed food. No bread, no pasta, no rice, no sweets, crisps, chocolate, etc.

It’s rough, I won’t lie, I’ve slipped, about every 2nd day a rogue half slice of toast has found it’s way to me, or some cake, I can’t resist cake, but for the most part I’m embracing the new challenge, actually it’s no longer feeling like a challenge, it’s becoming more just what I do.

I feel better, I’m sleeping better, I’m not bloated all the time. I notice when I do eat processed food the instant and negative effect it has on my body.

The paleo theory tells me no cheese, no dairy, I’m not ready to abandon cheese in my life but now I only have a little, Maybe in a salad or grated over my beloved taco fries (which I now just have with homemade garlic mayo instead of the fat free yoghurt), or in a salad, but it’s max twice a week. I use lactose free milk in my tea and coffee now.

Little changes, adding up

I plan to get back to posting again and hope to share my new cooking style, and most of what I cook can still be adapted to the SW way if that’s what you like to do!!

breakfast today
Last night we had a meal out, with red wine, a temporary relaxing of eating habits, there was breadcrumbs on my starter, and rice in my main, but I am learning to enjoy my treats and leave the guilt go, that is the hardest step, letting the guilt over food go.

Today for breakfast, usually I would hit the toast after a night out, but today I chopped lettuce and spinach, made some scrambled eggs with a little butter, fried up some left over chilli until crisp and topped with some rough guacamole.

Amazing!

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A day in the diary of me: Monday

After about a month off plan, with a holiday, funeral and a wedding in the mix, I woke up yesterday feeling determined that this time in going to stick to being healthy and good, using sw principals but eating a little cleaner (who am I kidding??!!)

Apart from a minor slip yesterday involving a baby size 99 at the park and half a small popcorn bucket at the cinema, I stuck to plan. Day 1 done!

Today is going to be a repeat of yesterday as the curry made enough for 4 adult portions and 4 children’s portions.

Breakfast
2 eggs, boiled, chopped and mixed with 3 scallions finely sliced, 5 cherry tomatoes chopped and 1 tablespoon extra light mayo, salt and pepper
Served with a handful of shredded rocket salad and 60g wholemeal bread toasted and spread with ex light mayo (so much lower in syns than butter!)

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Lunch

Colourful salad of:
Mixed leaves, scallions, cherry tomatoes, grapes, steamed brocolli and green beans (very small amount), sweetcorn
30g light feta and a tin of tuna in spring water
Dressed with balsamic vinegar dressing (olive oil, vinegar, wholegrain mustard, garlic and salt and pepper)

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Dinner

Homemade chicken rogan josh (now I cheated here just a tad and used a pack of spices from Green Saffron which is just all the dry slices pre mixed for you, the flavour was incredible and I’d highly recommend them. However there is a good SW Rogan Josh recipe here.
I fried the spices with lo calorie spray (not butter as per instructions) then added 2 large brown onions sliced, ginger and garlic.
I fried these for a few mins then poured into the slow cooker
I delgalzed the pan with a carton of passatta and some chicken stock (about a cup of water and a stock pot) and that went into the slow cooker.
I then sliced 2 peppers and a small butternut squash and added that too.

I’ve just realised today that I was supposed to add yoghurt to it but I forgot to! The end result after 3 hours in the slow cooker was amazing and the children loved it (although their portions were cooled with a bit of fresh cream)

I served this with boiled rice and some “coleslaw”‘of grated carrot, chopped mint and coriander, scallion and fat free natural yoghurt.

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“Magic” Pancakes

I don’t know why they are called magic, but they are very tasty!

I make mine slightly differently from the original recipe I found online which uses muller light, soak overnight and 2 eggs, I’ve discovered adding 1/2 tsp bread soda makes them
Lovely and fluffy!

My Magic Pancakes

35g porridge oats (healthy B extra)
3 tablespoons fat free natural yoghurt or fat free fromage frais (or a muller light!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp break soda (baking soda)
1 egg

– mix the yoghurt, vanilla and oats together
– add the egg and mix well then add soda and leave for about 10-15 mins
– heat a pan and spray with fry light
– drop spoonfuls of the mix into the pan. Fry till set underneath and flip

– I serve with chopped fruit, fat free yoghurt and a sprinkle of sweetener to be fancy 🙂

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Happy New Year!!

Hope everyone had a lovely good filled Christmas! I threw diets and healthy eating to the wind and enjoyed every bit of it, the cooking and drinking and eating! I did the Christmas dinner myself this year for my little family – full Turkey and all and it went perfect and was a lovely day!
Today is New Year’s Day and personally I think Wednesday is a bad day to be thinking about a diet – especially when one has a head cold 🙂

My New Years resolution is to try to relax about dieting and just enjoy food, love myself, eat well and healthily and do some more exercise and the rest will follow!

I’l leave you with this final note – last night himself and myself went for a (gorgoeus as always) meal to The Lovely Food Co. and as we were leaving I asked Margaret for a little of their delish sourdough loaf to bring home, oh, and some butter as I had used the last of ours baking with no.1 yesterday and wasn’t sure if the shop would be open today!
I left armed with a full baguette and half a pound of “real” butter – and I was a happy bunny this morning for breakfast!!

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Smash Potato “Bread”

Hands up who likes potato bread? I do, I really do 🙂

Also known as Potato Farls, potato cakes, Tattie Scones if your Scottish, not as it is sold (according to Wikipedia) in America as actual bread with potato added, what I consider to be Potato Bread or Cakes is either homemade with leftover mashed potato and flour, shaped into small cakes and shallow fried to serve along with bacon and eggs!! Or the lazy version – get em in the shop they are thin and fluffy and highly processed but perfect with the Sunday fry-up!

As I’m (trying to) follow Slimming World, using leftover mash with flour was going to mean counting syns for the flour and so I came across a box of Smash Instant Potato Powder in the cupboard and thought – Experiment!!!

It couldn’t be simpler
– add 120g (ish) of instant potato powder to a bowl and pour in 300-350ml boiling water (again, approximate)
-Mix it up until the mix resembles a stiff potato “dough”
– turn the dough out onto a sheet of grease proof paper and using the back of a spoon (or your hands if cool enough to handle) flatten into a rough round about 1cm thick then cut into wedges.
– heat a pan with lo-cal spray oil and fry on both sides until crisp and golden (or use olive oil and butter if you are not counting calories!!
– serve with a tasty “fry”, today I had poached eggs, baked beans, grilled bacon and grilled tomatoes.

(Makes enough for 4 people)
Smash powder is “Free” on Extra Easy and when eaten as part of a meal, this is not considered a “tweak” according to my sw consultant.

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Weetabix Muffins

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Muffins…made from Weetabix?? I was dubious, I hate weetabix, except for the crispy mini ones with fruit and nut with cold milk and they don’t go soggy!!

I’m in a private group on Facebook with support for Slimming World members and a lady mentioned the weetabix muffins and I was intrigued!

So this morning, armed with a cuppa I got the oven on and got stuck in. They turned out Delish, I used a raspberry yoghurt, though next time will use less as the pot was quite big and I had to put the muffins back in the oven for an extra 10 mins as they were a little soggy. Junior 1 is going to love these! Junior 2 insisted on sharing and he approved!

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Weetabix Muffins

ingredients
2 weetabix, crushed
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 pot muller light fat free yoghurt, any flavour (I used Danone activia snackpot, half of it was a little too much!)
2 tablespoons sweetener
Vanilla extract (or any flavour you like)

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– preheat oven to 180
– mix everything together
– pour into 2 muffin cases or 4 cupcake cases (I was told silicone works best so I used silicone and the muffins removed with no problem!)
– bake for 25 mins and cool before eating

– these (the whole mix) are syn free if using the weetabix as a Healthy B option

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Bruschetta for Breakfast

I’m sick, hungry and tired this morning. I wanted something tasty but that incorporated my daily portion of “Scan Bran” (a high-fibre crisp bread, think ryvita but tougher, and dryer!!)

I’ve been experimenting with the scan bran, following recipes and ideas online. A popular method is to add water to broken up pieces, soak until moist enough to mash, drain off excess water, add sweetener, flavours and an egg and microwave for 5 minutes. I’ve tried chocolate cake (more on that next entry!!) and then thought, I want toast, I need to eat this stuff (as part of a “challenge” – eat 5 pieces every day for a week with 2 litres of water, said to help boost weight loss)
So I soaked the scan bran, added the egg and a pinch of salt and microwaved it for 5 minutes in a Chinese takeaway tub.

When it was done, I removed it, left it on a piece of kitchen paper upside down to allow steam to escape and dry bottom off, then when cool to touch, sliced through middle lengthways – 2 loaf shaped slices of “bread”

I then cut each in half and grilled on one side until crisp, meanwhile I chopped 2 fresh vine tomatoes and grated 30g o my favourite cheddar cheese – Cracker Barrell!

When the bread was grilled, I topped each slice with the tomatoes and some chopped basil, then sprinkled with the cheese and back under the grill until cheese was bubbling.

This was Delish, very filling and had some fresh black pepper over the brushetta and had a spoon of extra light mayo on the side!!

Scan bran can be purchased at your Slimmin World class or instore and online at Holland and Barrett

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Weigh In 15

Yesterday I had my first weigh in at class since rejoining, I was down 1lb!! Delighted as it sees me entering the “11 stone something” range! 11st 13 to be precise, bringing my total loss since joining Slimming World to 12lbs.

I felt I could have been better over the weekend, had a meal out on Sunday with a few too many drinks and I wasn’t as strict at keeping count of syns as I should have been!

Had friends over last night and made Taco Fries again and they loved them, this time I added a grated carrot to the mix and it was lovely again!! Really feels like a proper pig-out meal without the added fat!! We also had some wine and my friend made amazing brownies for dessert, I didn’t even try to count the syns in dessert!!

Day 1 today of a new week and feeling motivated – I had a lovely breakfast, a “BRT” – Bacon, Rocket and Tomato- grilled smoked bacon, fat removed of course, plum tomatoes sliced and fresh green rocket, with a tablespoon extra light mayo (1 syn) and 2 slices of whole meal bread.

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Scones and Sympathy

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I love scones, fluffy, soft, warm, buttery, topped with crunchy sugar and spread with real butter and jam (or even better, whipped cream and jam!)

A quick text to my buddy at Domestic Engineer for a recipe and I was away (I know I could have gotten my much use recipe book off the shelf….but that felt like effort!!
Another friend was calling around to chat (the sympathy) so I felt I could at least bake!)

I have, I think (or like to think), perfected my scone method now and it goes like this…

– sieve the flour and baking powder together
– cut the cold butter into cubes
– place the butter, sugar and half the flour into a food processor and pulse a few times until breadcrumb like
– remove to a large bowl then sieve in the rest of the flour
– beat the 2 eggs and add to the mix with Half the milk and mix well until it starts to form balls of dough
– add the rest of the milk gradually until you have a very soft dough that you can turn out but may look a little too “wet”
– quickly shape into scones using a cutter – straight down and pop the scone out, never twist it!!
– place onto a floured, warmed tray (at this point brush with milk and sprinkle with castor sugar) and into preheated oven (very important to preheat)

Remove when golden and try not to eat them too hot 🙂

Ingredients:

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