Sorry this is a bit late going out, but (as you may know) it’s half term this week, meaning I don’t get my 2 hours in Dylan’s or Costa or wherever just to switch off and write. How other bloggers do it, writing solely in the evenings, I really don’t know. I’m usually so pooped by the time he’s in bed, all I want to do is eat dinner and veg out in front of the telly. Anyway, blogging gripes aside, half term has actually been pretty good. We’ve gone out every day and had play dates and made new friends and his language is having a mini explosion. Which, you know, I love. 🙂 This week he has told me he emphatically loves both pizza and carrots. And that he equally emphatically doesn’t like my ‘pumpkins’ (or orange peppers, but who’s counting). Yeah it’s been a good week!
It’s also been a good week for my social life (how come the kids have such better social calenders than us !) Social occasions can often come with their own issues. Do you plan and moderate or do you throw caution to the wind and limit damage around the event It’s a choice and both can work equally well in my experience and usually depends how much you drink ( you can plan all you like but after a couple of glasses of vino Good luck with that!) So this weekend I had Galentine’s Day lunch with the bestie and it was as awesome as I’d hoped. But I did plan ahead. Firstly I knew I wanted onion rings (have you tried the Onion Rings at the White Horse Amazing!) But for my main I checked the menu the night before, made my choice before I even got to the pub, all the things we talk about doing in group. I chose, what looked like the lowest synned option on the menu, a Bulgar Wheat and Quinoa Salad with beetroot, chicken, spinach and seeds. It was delicious, however it was covered, and I mean covered, in dressing. I couldn’t tell you what the dressing was and as it wasn’t mentioned on the menu I didn’t even think to ask them to leave it out, which was a bit of a shame. However it was so amazingly filling I could only manage half the dish! I had one drink, then moved back to diet coke as I knew I needed to keep my wits about me, if only because we had friends coming to dinner that night!
I like having people to dinner. It gives you so much more control over what you’re eating, without making a fuss. And I’ve yet to meet anyone who is served up a SW friendly dish and rejects it on account of the lack of lard! Saturday’s dinner was a tried and tested Savage household favourite, Pepperpot Stew. A warming spicy take on a winter classic, this Slimming World friendly syn free dish is served with rice and our guests loved it. So much I thought I’d detail it here.
- 800g lean stewing beef, all visible fat removed, cut into chunks
- 3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 300g green beans, trimmed and halved
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp jerk seasoning (I use Bart’s spice mix – it’s got a great kick to it!)
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 400g passata with onions and garlic
- 400ml beef stock
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Spray a large flame and ovenproof casserole (I use my Le Creuset) with Frylight and place over a high heat. Add the beef and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
- Add the peppers, sweet potato, beans, garlic, jerk seasoning, wine vinegar, passata, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Season and stir well.
- Cover and place in the oven on 180/gas mark 4 for 2 hours, or until the beef is meltingly tender.
Serve with rice. I cook my rice in vegetable stock and when it’s done I stir through fresh chopped coriander.
Syn Free and delicious! And so handy! I made this the day before and it heats up really well. It meant I could spend more time actually being with my guests and having a good old laugh!
So that was syn free and fine, but then there was wine. And a small amount of lemon tart (although it was served with berries so….). And we had a super night.
Sunday was Valentine’s Day and my lovely hubby eschewed the traditional chocolates and went with beautiful yellow lilies instead. I cooked us a lovely Valentine’s dinner, which included heart shaped Heck sausages. Sausages have always featured heavily in our relationship. Ben doesn’t have an emotional attachment to comfort food in the way I do, but when he’s had a bad day, a sausage sandwich can cheer him no end. In fact in our wedding vows I promised to make him sausage sandwiches, whenever he was “blue”. So to me, sausages always mean love and what better way to express that love than with heart shaped sausages. Heck very kindly sent us some of their limited edition Peck heart shape sausages to try and boy oh boy did they go down a treat! Ben had his in sandwiches, me with jacket potato and vegetables. At 5 syns a pop I used most of my days syns on them. But they were totally worth it! Delicious and juicy and just so cute!
Anyway, my point is that although the weekend was large, it was all about trying to find some balance. Finding the place that lets you be you and do the things you love, with the people you love and yet stay in some semblance of control. And do you know what I think I just about managed it.
Nope, I wasn’t expecting that AT ALL! Mega happy dances all round. That puts me at 12.5lb lost in 6 weeks. I’ll take that!
So obviously I am very keen to replicate this loss again this week, if only to reach my one stone. We are out for dinner this weekend (OK, look I don’t usually have this much of a life!) but my darling friend Jane has sourced some Thai themed Slimming World recipes for us all and I can’t wait. But I’m also realistic. Just because it worked last week, doesn’t mean it will work this week. So I’d just be happy not to gain. Anything else is a bonus!
Have a super week