Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Poached Chicken and Soba Noodle Salad

Last night I made a Poached Chicken and Soba Noodle Salad.

It was...  okay...

It was easy to prepare, but I didn't really enjoy the flavours.  The recipe reckons that it was 361 calories a serve and I'm guessing the majority of the calories are in the noodles.  Soba noodles are Japanese buckwheat noodles.  It tasted more like a spaghetti/pasta than your typical noodle, but they were quite yummy.  I think the bit I didn't like the most was the dressing.  The sesame taste was a bit overpowering (maybe that was my fault - I may have added too much...).  I ended up adding a bit of extra soy sauce to break the sesame flavour up.

I'm not sure if I'll make it again...

Well, today all the schools were closed due to yesterday's cyclone warning.  The cyclone warning for the Darwin area was lifted at 5am, but thankfully the school's remained closed.  Unfortunately my sister who was told she too had the day off got a text at 8:30am telling her that she was expected at work since the cyclone warning had been lifted.

I spent the day listening to the rain and catching up on some marking.

Back to work tomorrow...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Potato, Pea and Cauliflower Curry

Last night I made a Potato, Pea and Cauliflower Curry.

It was a very mild curry, but still quite enjoyable.  I didn't like the taste of the low-fat natural yoghurt throughout it (the same yoghurt used to dollop my soup).  I'm not sure if it is the brand of yoghurt (Coles brand) or the actual type of yoghurt.  When I reheated it today though, the yoghurt flavour was nowhere near as strong.

The recipe claims that it is only 172 calories a serve, but I highly doubt that it includes the rice.  I'm guestimating that it would have come to just over 300 calories a serve.

All in all, it was a nice and easy meal to make and I will most probably be making it again.

In other news, we are on Cyclone Watch.  Schools are closed tomorrow so it will be nice to have a midweek break.  I have brought some marking home, so I can at least feel a little bit productive.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Moroccan sweet potato, carrot and chickpea soup

On Saturday night I made a Moroccan Sweet Potato, Carrot and Chickpea Soup.

It came very highly recommended on the Taste website and it did not disappoint.  It was quite sweet with a decent bite from the spices and was a lovely change from my usual favourite pumpkin soup.  The addition of the chickpeas gave it a creamy texture without using actual cream.  I think next time (yep, there will be a next time) I will add a little bit less of the spices and skip the low fat natural yoghurt dollop on top.  The recipe claims it is around 335 calories a serve, but that is with the Turkish bread croutons as well (which I did not make - I just used normal crusty bread rolls).  With or without the croutons, it is still a great dinner and lunch choice.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Simple Pleasures

Like most people, the idea of cooking a meal EVERY night is not comforting.

I love cooking, but sometimes I just wanna come home and flake out.

Thankfully, I'm single and usually only have myself to feed.  So I allocate at least two nights a week to eat a frozen meal (also known as a TV dinner).

There are good frozen meals out there, and there are bad frozen meals out there - last week I had a particularly bad one which I couldn't even finish...

Tonight I had a good one.

Tonight was the first time I had tried this particular frozen meal and I will definitely be buying it again.  It was a beautiful butter chicken with rice and I am very impressed that it came out of a box and only took me four and half minutes to prepare.

It wasn't overly spicy and it was nice and creamy - without being overly creamy.  Best of all it was only about 360 calories, which is fantastic for the usually calorie laden 'Butter Chicken'.

To wash it all down, I treated myself to a glass of white wine (left over from last night's risotto).

I thought it was pretty good for a white wine (not my wine colour of choice) that only cost me $6!

Who said you needed to spend hours in the kitchen a small fortune on ingredients to enjoy a good meal?!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Oven-Baked Mushroom Risotto

Tonight I made an Oven-Baked Mushroom Risotto.

I was quite impressed.  According to the recipe, it is only around 350 calories a serve, which I'm still a bit dubious about.  When I can be bothered, I'll enter the recipe into my Fitness app and see what calorie count it gives me.

In this recipe I got to use three different types of mushroom.  I'm not the biggest mushroom fan, much preferring to eat it IN food, not on its own..  I used button, Swiss brown and shitake - and I really liked the earthy flavour the mushrooms provided.  I was surprised at the amount of mushrooms the recipe required - I think I spent the most time in the kitchen slicing the mushrooms.  But as anticipated, once the mushrooms were added to the pot, they appeared to almost halve in quantity.  I guess the large amount of mushroom also allowed the recipe to use less rice, which we all know can be quite high in calories. Another interesting element to the recipe was the inclusion of rosemary.  Unfortunately, I did not measure the rosemary, and it the rosemary flavour was quite dominating in the dish.  This is not the recipes fault, and next time I will definitely add the amount stated in the recipe.

All in all it was a really easy and tasty dish and I look forward to making it again.

On Monday I had practically no choice but to go and buy some new pants.  I had already condemned a previous pair of pants to weekend wear only (which left me one pair of work pants short) and when I was getting dressed for work on Monday morning, I put another one of my work pants on and they practically slid right off...  I LOVE shopping, but I have been putting pant shopping off due to the fact that I have so many other financial obligations in the very near future.  Oh well.  Target had a great sale - 20% off Hot Options, so I scored three pairs of work pants for $90.  Plus it was nice to have my weight loss kind of confirmed with me buying my pants one size down to what I have been wearing for the last two years.

I still find it difficult to see in the mirror that I have lost weight.  Another nice confirmation of my weight loss was running into a lady today whom I hadn't seen since November and her mentioning and congratulating  my weight loss.  

Oh, for the record, I've lost between 7-8kg since the beginning of January.  I'm 2kg away from my first weight loss goal and 7kg away from my 12 month goal.  

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sweet Decadence

After mainly cooking my own meals, it's nice to sometimes have someone cook/make something for you.

Last night my sister treated me with a delicious crepe.

The crepe is from Woolies' new French Pastry range.  It is filled with Weight Watchers Vanilla Ice Cream (gotta try to save the calories where we can!) with chopped up dark Cherry Ripe and then drizzled with chocolate topping.  It was sweet-a-licious.

My parents stayed with me last week and on Thursday night Dad made one of my mum's favourite dishes (she has several food intolerances, so she is VERY limited in what she can eat).  He made Vegetable Soup.

It was stock full of vegetably goodness - carrots, zucchini, celery (which I picked out, but it's vital to the flavour in the soup), lentils and tomato.  Dad also made some crusty bread with cheese - one with gorgonzola and one with Jarlsberg/swiss cheese.  The gorgonzola cheese was waaaaaaay too strong for my liking, but the swiss cheese bread was pretty good (minus the burnt bits).

It's so nice when other people cook for you!

I've got some recipes I'm really looking forward to making over the next couple of weeks (I'm not sure if I've mentioned it in previous posts, but I do a menu plan - it helps me binging on random food, plus it also helps my groceries budget).  I'm making a Mushroom risotto (which claims to have only 350 calories a serve), a Moroccan Sweet Potato Soup, a Soba Noodle salad and a Vegetable curry.  So keep a look out for my blog posts on those.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Sticky Beef with Broccolini and Peanuts

On Monday night I made Sticky Beef with Broccolini and Peanuts.

It was pretty awesome.

It was 319 calories a serve, but to be honest, my serving size was probably a bit bigger than it was supposed to be, but I doubt it would have been more than 380 calories.

I got the recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly Mince It cookbook.

I loved the sweet flavour of the mince and the contrast of the mild chillies and crunchy peanuts.

It was even nice re-heated for lunch the next day.

I will definitely be making this again.