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[Recipe] Vegan Reduced Sugar Brownies

11242166_10153368646662160_951110048_o Mmm. Brownies. Though, I must admit, these are more cakey than a usual brownie, but still. Yummm.

Last Thursday, we had our steam-up and we had a few friends present. I like to bake things when we play trains in the garden, but last time I made 24 cupcakes, we only had about 8 people show up and Tim wound up taking the cupcakes into work, so this time, I waited to see what the numbers were and needed something that would be quick to make. I immediately remembered a recipe for Vegan Brownies I made years and years ago (at least 10!) when I was vegetarian. I decided to change it a bit to make it more diabetic and diet-friendly. I did NOT calculate the syns for this recipe, because the original is in US measurements and all of my syns are calculated based on metric measurements, but I might go back and try to convert everything. Oh, and the best part is you only need an 8″ pan to mix AND bake them in!

You will need:

1 1/4 Cup flour (you can use plain or wholegrain. For denser brownies, I would only use 1 Cup)
1/2 C Truvia baking blend (or Splenda for Baking or Half Spoon…or regular sugar)
1/3 C cocoa (I used my good ol tin of Hershey, but I can’t wait to try this with Green & Black’s Organic)
1 tsp baking soda (if using bicarbonate, use 1 1/2 tsp. I happened to have a box of Arm & Hammer)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 Cup vegetable oil (You could probably sub in apple sauce. The next time I make this, I’m going to use applesauce)

And the magic ingredient:
1 tsp Red Wine vinegar (or other vinegar, but not balsamic)

Optional: I also added in a bag of dark chocolate chips (not Vegan) and white chocolate chunks (also not Vegan)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F)
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in an 8 inch square baking pan.
3. Create holes in each corner of the dry mix and pour a wet ingredient into each corner.
4. Stir to combine. This is where you can stir in any add-ins such as chocolate chips, m&ms, 2 TBS of PB2, etc.)
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes or you will have a crumbly mess.

Enjoy!!

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Easter Traditions [Slimming World]

Once again, on my phone. Usual disclaimers apply….double check your syns and I’m not affiliated with Slimming World.

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For some reason, Easter makes me homesick more than Christmas.  This year, I decided to replicate some of my family’s favourite Easter staples, and managed to make it fit in with Slimming World!

First up, Heavenly Spuds.

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The original calls for lots of cheddar cheese, butter, a creamy based soup, and butter. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?  I don’t even want to think about the syns.

Here’s my version that comes in at 10.5 syns for the whole dish!

You will need:

3 large tins of potatoes(you could use raw potatoes, but you would want to boil them first)
1 tin of mushrooms (I used my chopper)
1 tub quark
1/2 tub fromage frais
50g mozzarella, shredded
35g Kellog’s corn flakes, crushed
Pepper
Fry light

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C. (200 if not fan assisted)
2. Drain and chop the potatoes  (I used my chopper attachment on the stick blender).
3. Drain and chop mushrooms  (ditto).
4. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, mushrooms, quark, fromage frais, and cheese.
5. Spray a casserole dish with frylight.
6. Spread potato mixture evenly in dish and top with crushed cornflakes.
7. Spray the top with butter flavoured fry light (if you have some, or use regular).
8. Bake 30-45 minutes or until bubbling.

The second food I missed was red beet eggs. This one is really easy.

You will need:
2 eggs per person
1 jar of sliced beets
Vinegar

1. Hard boil and peel eggs.
2. Place eggs in a large bowl.
3. Pour beets and juice over eggs.
4. Top with vinegar until eggs and beets are covered.
5. Cover bowl and refrigerate. The more time you have, the better tasting the eggs!

Happy Easter!

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[Recipe] One Syn Yorkshire Puds [Slimming World]

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One thing my husband has missed with his Sunday dinners since I started on Slimming World has been Yorkshire Puddings. Especially after I got good at making them. Today, someone shared a one syn Yorkshire Pud recipe on one of the Slimming World Facebook groups and I decided to try it. The result was light and airy Yorkies with no guilt!

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

You will need:

50g flour
120ml semi-skim milk
40ml water
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
Frylight

– Pre-heat the oven to 200C. While the oven is pre-heating, put in a 12-cup yorkie tin (I used a cupcake tin) so it can get nice and hot.
– Whisk (or use a hand blender) together all ingredients, until foamy.
– Carefully remove tin from the oven and spray each cup with Frylight.
– Evenly distribute mix between the cups. I found measuring spoons helped.
– Bake for 18-20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

Serve with your favourite roast dinner for only one syn each!

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***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Rat-onna-Stick (aka Chicken Satay) [Slimming World]

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Terry Pratchett’s death has hit both my husband and I hard, perhaps him more than me. While discussing dinner tonight, Tim jokingly suggested Sausage-inna-bun and Rat-onna-stick ala CMOT Dibbler. So, I decided to make Chicken Satay.

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

If you make 7 sticks, each stick is only half a syn.

You will need:

2 TBS PB2*
1 TBS water
6 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS sweet chili sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
7 wooden skewers

*PB2 is a powdered peanut butter available on Amazon that has only 1 syn per Tablespoon. You will need to recalculate the syns and omit the water if you use a different brand.

1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Slice chicken breasts into strips
3. Combine PB2, water, soy sauce, and sweet chili sauce and whisk until smooth.
4. Add chicken to bowl and leave to marinade at least 20 minutes (if you have time, I bet this would taste better marinaded overnight!)
5. Soak skewers in water and thread chicken on in a zig zag pattern
6. Place skewers in an oven proof dish, pour remaining marinade over chicken and bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Slimming World Friendly Chocolate Cupcakes

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I really wanted cupcakes today. It’s a Sunday, so I either had to bake with what I had or what I could buy at the local co-op. I searched on the Slimming World website and found the recipe for the chocolate log….but I didn’t have the ingredients for the filling. I  also prefer to reduce sugar where possible, so this is my cupcake recipe loosely based off the chocolate log. This should make 10 cupcakes for a total of 15 syns or 1.5 each.

Posting this from my phone, so I don’t have my usual disclaimers. But please double check your syn values if you use different ingredients.

Recipe:

50g self-rising flour
50g Truvia  baking blend
15g cocoa powder  (my American self used Hershey cocoa)
4 eggs

Preheat fan assisted oven to 180 (think that’s 200 on a regular oven)
Combine dry  ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Whisk eggs until foamy (I used an electric whisk)
Spoon dry mix into eggs and gently stir.
Spray 10 silicone cupcake cases with frylight and evenly spoon in mix (about 3 dessert spoonfuls per case).
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges come away from the case.

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Adventures in Cooking: I Made Risotto!

1511637_10152925359442160_3608120173924848687_n At our recent Slimming World taster evening, one of the ladies made the risotto out of the August Slimming World magazine. It was delicious, and it was the first time I had ever had risotto. I just don’t like rice a whole lot so I don’t eat it often and I rarely make it. Even when we have a Chinese or Indian takeaway, it’s a struggle to eat the rice (even though it’s a fabulous free food!). When I got home, I mentioned this recipe to Tim and he asked if I would try it……ah, the things we do for love.

The original recipe was called (I think) Butternut Squash Risotto. Naturally, it called for a butternut squash. Which I didn’t have. But I did have something called an “onion squash” (called that, I’m guessing because it looked like a giant orange onion) I bought at Waitrose a few weeks ago, so I decided to use that. Cutting into it was tough…so tough my big knife slipped and took a slice out of my knuckle. Ow. Disaster #1. I decided to pull out some pumpkin puree from the freezer instead. I also decided to add some chicken to the recipe, as that’s how we had it at group and it was really good. The recipe also called for onion and garlic (which I omit always due to allergies) and a red chili…which I didn’t have, but I had some dried red chili flakes, so those would have to do.

After cooking the chicken and the veg, the next step is adding the risotto rice and BOILING HOT STOCK one ladleful at a time. The dish has to be kept constantly stirred and the idea is you add a ladle of stock, stir, let it absorb, and repeat until you have one last ladleful of stock to put in. So, ladle in one hand and wooden spoon in the other I began. After 2-3 ladlefuls, my wooden spoon slipped and >SPLAT< a spoonful of boiling hot stock and rice landed on my hand. Ow. I dropped the spoon into the dish and ran my hand under cold water. Disaster #2. I carried on, though I only used 700ml of stock when the recipe called for a full Litre. I can only assume this is because I used pureed pumpkin instead of chunks of squash. Since it looked awfully goey, I took it off the heat, didn't bother adding the last of the stock and stuck a lid on it for 3 minutes.

As I was dishing it out I discovered that when I stopped stirring it to tend to my burnt hand it caused some of the rice to stick to the bottom of my cast iron dutch oven. Disaster #3.

But the risotto was yummy, and Tim even went back for seconds!

I decided the best way to try to clean this would be to add some water to the pot, squirt in some Fairy Platinum, and boil it for 20 minutes to hopefully loosen the stuck on rice. After 20 minutes I took the pot off the heat, grabbed a scrubber and started scraping....and splashed my other hand with boiling hot water. Disaster #4. Fortunately, I was able to shift all the cooked on rice and have rescued my pot. Would I make this again? Sure! But I think I'll be more careful....maybe wear some gloves.

Would you like the recipe?

You will need:

Diced chicken breast (I used one, but you could buy a pack of pre-diced)
250g pumpkin puree
275g risotto rice
700ml boiling hot vegetable stock
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Fry light
Salt & pepper

heavy pot with lid

1. Spray the bottom of a heavy pot with fry light and add the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides.
2. Add pumpkin puree and the pinch of red pepper flakes.
3. Add risotto rice and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add a ladle of stock, and cook for 2 minutes (or until stock is absorbed), stirring constantly.
5. continue to add stock in two minute intervals and continually stir.
6. About 15 minutes later, you should be on the last ladleful. Remove pot from heat, stir in the last ladle of stock, season with salt and pepper, and cover for 3 minutes.

Enjoy!

(and if you're on Slimming World, this Risotto is free on EE!)

***

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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My Visa Journey Part 3: Citizenship

invitation I became eligible for my UK citizenship in January 2013 after three years of residency, but we did not submit my application until September 2014. At the time I submitted my application, I was quoted as it taking 3-6 months to process, but closer to six….so imagine my surprise on Saturday when I got my acceptance letter! Total time from application being submitted to letter arriving on my doorstep was 6 weeks and 6 days!

The application itself is pretty straight forward. You download it off the gov.uk website. Don’t forget to download the guide and booklet to filling out the application as well as the payment form*! The current fee is £906, but this usually increases every 6-12 months, so it’s a good idea for you to double check with the website. I think the most frustrating part for me was finding the application online as UKBA used to have it’s own separate website and sometime between getting my ILR in 2012 and now, they moved all their files over to gov.uk. Google to the rescue!

You can either send your application in on your own (and send all your original documents) or you can pay £50 to your local council for a Nationality Checking Service. At this appointment, they will photocopy all of your documents and send those so you will not need to send in your originals.

Before you start to fill out the application, you need to get your photograph taken. I went to Snappy Snaps and had 4 photos done for £10. I’ve since used one for my provisional driver’s license and will use the remaining two when I apply for my British passport. You also could use one of those £5 machines in Tesco, Asda, etc. but every time we tried to get mine done the machine seemed to be down. I also preferred having mine done by a person and not a machine, because this ensured my photograph met the exact standards. Photos in hand, I was ready for the second important part of my application: your references.

You need to have two references. Both references need to have known you for at least three years. One needs to fit some very specific criteria** such as being a business owner, and the other reference needs to hold a valid British passport. Your first reference does not necessarily need to be British, by the way and neither referee can be related to you, even by marriage. Fortunately for me, I have been friends with the owner of MediVisas (BTW, an excellent source of advice!) for well over three years and I used one of our local 16mm members who I have known since I was first a visitor in 2008.

application

Before you sit down to fill out your application, you should first make sure you fit the residency criteria. As the spouse of a British citizen, I was eligible after three years of residency. Even though I waited longer, they are only interested in the past three years. You must have been in the country (not travelling) on the date exactly three years before the date of your application, and in the past three years you must not have been out of the UK for more than a total of 270 days and no more than 90 in the past 12 months. You also will need to know the exact dates you were out of the country (if you didn’t keep track, just go back through your passport stamps). Days spent partially in the UK (date you left and date you returned) do not count. You will need to enter the dates (for the past three years only if applying as a spouse) on page 7. If you run out of space, you can add additional details on page 13.

In addition to needing to know when you were out of the country, you need to list all of your UK addresses for the past 5 (three as a spouse) years. This can prove difficult for people who have moved multiple times. If you are reading this now with an eye to gaining citizenship, start keeping track of your addresses!

If you didn’t need to take the Life in the UK test for your ILR, you will need to take this test before you can apply for citizenship. If you are not from an English speaking country, you also will need to take an English language tests. Details for both of these can be found on the website. Hopefully, you kept hold of your LitUK test result paper, because you will need to send it with your application. If you don’t have it, you will need to take the test again, as they do not re-issue pass certificates.

You also will need to know your parents full names (including maiden for mother), birth date, nationality, and birth place, as well as all of this information for your spouse.

If you book a Nationality Checking Service appointment, you will need to bring:

-Your current passport and your passport with your current visa (if it’s in an expired passport)
-Your expired passport if it shows dates you were out of the country in the past 3 years***
-Your birth certificate
-Spouse’s current passport
-Spouse’s birth certificate
-Marriage certificate (the certified one, not the pretty one)
-Life in the UK Test pass certificate
-English language test results (if applicable)
-Proof of current address+
-Any other documents showing a change in identity (examples: adoption certificates for you or your spouse, divorce papers if either of you were previously married)
-Any other travel documents as issued by the Home Office. If you have a biometric card, bring it (I don’t have one).
-£50 to pay for the Nationality Checking Service (My council only accepted cash)
-Completed Application
-Payment slip for citizenship plus payment (No cash accepted. Card or Cheque only)

Please note that if any of your documents are in a language other than English, you will need to get them translated.

My Nationality Checking Service appointment was on a Wednesday morning. I did not need to bring my spouse along with me, but I did need to bring his documents. My appointment took about 15 minutes because I had organized everything ahead of time in a document folio in the exact order it would be needed. The woman who did my review praised my organisation….I couldn’t imagine doing these things without keeping my paperwork organised! As we went through my application, she had a checklist of documents and after we made the stack, she left the room to photocopy everything and returned all of my original documents to me. If you do not use the checking service, you cannot send copies and would need to send your originals.

fee

At the appointment, I was told I would hear from them in about 2 weeks letting me know the payment had been taken, and then I wouldn’t hear again for 6 months as that was how long it was taking to process applications. Well, I must be lucky as my letter arrived this weekend — what a perfect fifth anniversary present for us!

First thing Monday morning (today!) is ringing up the county council office to schedule my citizenship ceremony! Unfortunately, I can’t apply for my British passport right away as I am travelling to the US in January and I do not think I would have my passport back in time, but at least I will have my new passport before my trip to the US in May! (and yes, I will keep my blue US one too! I get to be a dual citizen!)

***

*When I went to my appointment, they had copies of the payment form, but to be on the safe side I would print one out.
**The guide claims there is a “list on our website”, but I could never find it. However, the full list if acceptable referees can be found here.
***If you have travelled to a country that is part of the CTA (such as Ireland) it’s a good idea if you have copies of your boarding cards if you flew or took a ferry to show the dates you entered and left. I’m not sure if this was a requirement, but I submitted the information as I listed Ireland on my dates out of the UK.
+This is not listed as a requirement, however I was asked for this at my appointment. Fortunately, I had with me the letter I recieved with my ILR that listed my current address, although she did tell me it would have been okay if I didn’t.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Pumpkin Pie Tarts [Slimming World Friendly]

pies My Slimming World group had a taster evening right before Halloween and I decided to bring an American-style treat. I knew I wanted to make something with pumpkin, since it’s the season for pumpkin everything in the US, and so I came up with these tarts based on my mince pie tarts from Christmas. Because pumpkin is a vegetable, it’s free no matter what you do to it so you only need to syn the pastry, in this case two of these little tarts come in at 1.5 Syns. The filling and pastry are egg-free, and I’m sure you could substitute in gluten free flour (but please recalculate your syns!) to make a gluten free treat.

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

This will make 38 tarts. If you follow this recipe exactly, your Syn value is .75 per tart, or two tarts for 1.5 Syns.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

You will need:

For the pastry:
225g wholemeal flour (I used Alinson’s)
100g Flora light (blue container)
pinch of salt
water
(if you prefer a sweeter base, add some sugar substitute)

For the filling:
400-500g pureed pumpkin (you also can use tinned pumpkin)
1/4C sugar substitute (I used Truvia)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice

tart pans
biscuit cutter
fry light

1. Combine flour and salt and rub Flora until crumbs are formed.
2. Add a little water until dough sticks together and form into a ball.
3. Refrigerate pastry for 30 minutes.
4. While the pastry chills, combine all filling ingredients and set aside and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
5. Roll out your pastry as thinly as possible and use the middle-sided biscuit cutter to cut out 38 rounds.
6. Spray a tart pan and gently press the rounds of pastry into the cups, shaping it up the sides. Fill with approximately 1TBS pumpkin filling. (I eyeballed it)
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until tart bases are firm and slightly browning. Filling will not be solid.
8. Turn out onto a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

I can’t wait to make these for Ex-pat Thanksgiving!

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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Recipe: Squash Stoup [Slimming World Friendly]

stew
[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

Last week I was on the Slimming World website, when I spotted a recipe for Squash, Potato, and Bacon stew. It looked like a great idea, but I wasn’t a fan of several of the ingredients. So, like I tend to — I changed up the recipe to fit my own likes/needs and what I had in the kitchen. It turned out more like a cross between a stew and a soup – a stoup, really. It was really good, but I think next time I might chop up the squash a little bit smaller so it’s easier to eat with a spoon. This recipe is Syn free on the Extra Easy (Orange) plan. You could omit the bacon to make it free on Green. If you follow Red, you will need to work out your Syn values.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

This recipe will take about an hour and half from prep to finish, though steps one and two can be prepared ahead of time and the squash and potato stored in the fridge for up to a day.

You Will Need:

2 small squash, or 1 butternut squash. I took advantage of the season (and the fact that I love squash!) and picked up two random looking squashes – one orange (looked like a mini pumpkin) and one with yellow stripes. Both were about the size of a softball.
1 sweet potato (mine was huge, so I actually only used half)
1 pack of bacon medallions (There are either 8 or 10 in the pack, depending on the brand or just use regular bacon with the fat trimmed off. My husband wondered if we could use chicken or pork instead next time and I don’t see why not)
1 pint of vegetable broth (made with bouillon, could probably use chicken if that’s all you have)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
200g frozen peas
6 Tablespoons tomato passata
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 Tablespoon each of Sage and Thyme
Fry Light

1 – Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2 – First, you will need to roast your squash and potato. Cut your squash in half lengthways and scoop out all the seeds, then lay cut side up on a baking tray sprayed with frylight. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthways and add it to the tray cut side up. Spray the tops with Fry Light and roast for 45 minutes. If your squash was large, it might take longer. Poke your squash with a fork and if it feels tender, it’s done. Take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly. (optional: peel the skin off while it’s still hot if you don’t want or like the skin. I left mine on). Once you are able to handle the squash and potato, cut them into chunks (size is up to you).
3 – Chop up the bacon and spray the bottom of a deep stove-top safe casserole dish with fry light (I used my Le Cruset dutch oven for this, but a large saucepan will do). Add the bacon to the pan and lightly fry. You don’t need the bacon to go crispy (unless you like it that way!).
4 – Once the bacon is cooked, add the tinned tomato, vegetable broth, passata, and herbs and bring to a boil. Add in your chopped squash and sweet potato and simmer for about 20 minutes.
5 – Add the frozen peas and cook until the peas are done (about 10 minutes).

I might try this in my crock pot sometime. If I do that, I won’t pre-roast the squash or potato, but I will still pre-fry the bacon.

Enjoy!

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Tuna Casserole [Slimming World Friendly]

tuna

Firstly, please excuse any typos I don’t catch. I’m on our wireless keyboard, and it has problems with the letters h, j, and k.

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

For reasons unknown, today I really wanted my mom’s Tuna Noodle Casserole. It was a staple of growing up and probably my second favourite tuna based casserole (the first one is Captain’s Casserole, a recipe I’m sure I’ll Slimming World-ize at some point). So I asked my mom to send it to me and I took a look at it. Butter, flour, and milk were going to shoot the Syn value pretty high, but then I remembered a recipe for a white sauce in the little book of sauces, so out it came for research purposes.

Now, I didn’t ave any noodles, so I used whole grain pasta. You can use noodles or pasta, whatever you happen to have on hand. We also never measure out the noodles, just cooked a few handfuls!

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You Will Need:
Noodles (or pasta)
2 tins of tuna fish in brine/water
125ml skim milk
100g fat free fromage frais (US friends: I recently discovered you can substitute greek yogurt as fromage frais is hard to find!)
1 tsp cornflour
1/4 tsp mustard powder (I used Coleman’s)
1 slice of whole grain bread from a 400g loaf
100g peas (optional)
salt & pepper

1. cook pasta according to directions on package and pre-heat the oven to 175C.
2. While the pasta is cooking, make your sauce by gently heating the milk and cornflour, removing it from the heat just before it starts to boil, and whisking in the fromage frais, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Add both tins of drained tuna to the sauce mixture.
3. Spray a casserole dish with frylight and begin layering your casserole with a layer of pasta, some peas, then the tuna mixture. Repeat layers, making sure the tuna is the final layer.
4. You have two options with your bread. You can either cut it into cubes and put the cubes on top, or blitz it in a blender to top with breadcrumbs.
5. Give the layer of bread a squirt of frylight and bake for 25-30 minutes until thoroughly heated and the breadcrumbs/cubes are golden.

Total Syns in this recipe: 6 Syns for the whole thing. It makes plenty for 2 or 3, and probably enough for 4 if you have lots of sides with it.

This version wasn’t as saucy as what my mom would make, but you could always make more sauce (but remember to recalculate your Syns if you add extra milk or cornflour).

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Black & Blue Pasta [Slimming World Friendly]

blackandblue [DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

A few years ago, Tim and I were planning on celebrating our birthdays (they’re only three days apart) at our favourite Italian American restaurant here in the UK. Due to Tim’s work schedule, we went out for Lunch instead of Dinner, and got the chance to order off the Lunch menu. Tim ordered something called “black and blue pasta”. He loved it and has been disappointed that it’s not a Dinner option at the restaurant. I kept saying I would try to re-create it at home, but I’m really picky about my blue cheeses and I worried it wouldn’t melt very well and it would be swimming in fat. A few weeks ago, we were talking at my local Slimming World group (Consultant Rebecca Stones!) about melting Laughing Cow wedges. Now, I had melted the regular ones to make a poor woman’s mac n cheese, but hadn’t tried it with the flavoured ones, so an experiment was conducted, and Tim tells me it tastes just as good (better!) than what we could get at Frankie and Benny’s!

I’m posting this recipe because two of my friends saw my Instagram picture on Facebook and couldn’t believe this was “diet food”!!

Black and Blue pasta (serves one)

Syn Values: FREE if counting the cheese as your HEA, otherwise one serving is 6 Syns (each triangle is 1.5 Syns)

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

You Will Need:

1 Chicken breast, cut up into bite sized pieces
1 TBS Cajun or Jerk spice (optional. Add more for extra spice!)
4 Laughing Cow Light Cheese Triangles with Blue Cheese
1 TBS Fat Free Fromage Frais
Pasta (As much as you want)
Frylight

1. Pre-heat a griddle pan (or frying pan) over high heat, sprayed with Frylight. While the pan is pre-heating, start cooking your pasta according to the package directions in a separate pot (I always pre-boil the water in the kettle to give it a head start to cut down on cooking time).
2. Toss the chicken with the spices and add to the griddle pan. Cook on high for about 5 minutes, then turn over and cook for an additional 5. continue to turn the bites of chicken until they are cooked through and browned (starting to char a little!).
3. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Add the 4 blue cheese triangles and the fromage frais and mix over low heat and keep stirring until the cheese is melted and smooth.
4. Serve with a salad or vegetables of your choosing (I made a dressing with Fromage Frais and herbs).

This is so good, I want to make it again tonight…..

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Chocolate Flapjack

flapjack When I first moved to the UK and I would hear the word “flapjack”, I would automatically think of a pancake and I kept being confused as to why bakeries, tea shops, and coffee shops would offer a pancake with your cuppa. Well, I finally found out that a flapjack in the UK is a sweet oaty bar….kind of like a granola bar, but not quite so wholesome. The primary ingredients are oats, butter, and sugar. I did enjoy the few times I tried flapjack, but I had never tackled baking my own, until today.

And since I’m on Slimming World, I of course had to create my own version of a flapjack that come in at 4.5 Syns per square (if it’s divided into 18).

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You Will Need:

225g Quaker Rolled Oats
100g Flora Lightest (purple container)
40g Splenda
4 tsp The Groovy Food Company agave
100g Dr Öatker plain chocolate chips

Pre-heat your oven to 180C. I mixed these up in the same tray I baked them in, which was a small glass roasting tray. All you need to do is smoosh all the ingredients together in your dish (the girl who hates getting her hands dirty sprayed her hands with Frylight and squished it together by hand!) and bake for 25 minutes! You can score them before they go in to make it easier to cut apart, or cut them once they are cool. I made two horizontal cuts (to make three long strips of flapjack) and then cut each strip into 6 squares.

Not only is this Slimming World friendly, but it’s also safer for diabetics!

***

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

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What Fast Forward Has Taught Me

1610111_10152489688127160_3799572187157379018_n
My two weeks on Fast Forward are done! This week, I lost 2 pounds on it, bringing my Fast Forward two week total to 7 pounds. I now have to go off Fast Forward and forget about it for a few weeks before I am allowed to go on it again (if I need/want). I’m also incredibly closer to a personal goal I had set and am now only 3 1/2 pounds away from it, 4 pounds away from my three stone award, and 8 and a half pounds away from the first target I set for Slimming World! I am prepared that this week I might have a little gain as my body comes off the restricted diet and back onto regular eating, but that’s okay. I really think that doing Fast Forward has given me the kick in the pants I needed!

I’ve learned a few things while doing Fast Forward, and I thought I would share those things with you:

  • I learned that measuring is KEY. Looking back on my eating habits for the past 8 weeks, I can see where I might not have actually measured out my HEA. I would use milk in my tea/coffee and then at the end of the day say that the milk was my HEA even though I didn’t measure it out at the beginning to find out if I used all of it or more than it.
  • I learned how important Super Free food really is. Fast Forward has you eating one salad every day, and I really started looking forward to my salads. And now that I’m off Fast Forward, I can start to put other veggies like radishes and peppers into my salad that weren’t on my list. I think one of my goals coming off of Fast Forward is going to be to still have at least one salad each day.
  • I learned drinking plenty of water is really important! 1.5L each day (or 500ml morning, afternoon, and evening) should be the bare minimum. And if you don’t like plain water, you can add a drop of squash or add a slice of lemon. I find a slice of lemon, a slice of cucumber, and a few springs of mint is quite refreshing.
  • I learned to listen to my body. I actually felt better and fuller longer when I was eating 5-6 small meals each day instead of three “big” meals. Having a light breakfast when I woke up, and then a breakfast-y type snack a few hours later, followed by a sandwich or salad for Lunch and then a few hours later I’d have the other half (salad or sandwich)…I’d have a filling dinner, but then have a snack about an hour or two before bed. This might be hard to keep up with depending on my schedule, but it seemed to work better for me.
  • I learned how to get creative. No, really. Plain cottage cheese with a cut up apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch of splenda. YUM. Plain yogurt topped with sliced strawberries and plums. Adding strawberries to a salad. Making a herby mayonnaise to go on a chicken sandwich. So many creative things that I never really would have thought about before if I hadn’t been on such a restricted diet.
  • I really like Greek salad!
  • Never give up

I’m sure there are more, but that’s all I can remember since WordPress ate my post!

***
[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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Slimming World Fast Forward Weekly Diary

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

Wow, so here we go. This is a transcript of my paper journal I kept these past 7 days….

Day One

Trips to the Loo: 20
Drinks: 2L Water, 1.5L still lemonade, 2 cups coffee, 2 cups green tea

0930: Coooofffeeeeeeeee! Skim milk is gross. Sweetener. Lots of sweetener.
Hmm, I do like crumpets. Time to get out my cool drinking cup. It holds 710ML, so if I fill it at lest 2 and a bit times I’ll drink the required amount. Hmm. Gotta pee. Again. And again. and again. OMG when will I stop needing the loo?!
1145: Hungry. but it’s too early for Lunch. More water! (and peeing!)
1250: greeksalad
Lunch, finally.
1405: You know, a digestive biscuit never tasted so good!
1420: All that rain is making me need the loo again…..
1450: Can I start planning dinner yet? I planned on Salmon, but I’m not sure I want that. Anyway, time to do some work….
1835: OK, time for dinner. Skipping the salad and saving it for a later snack sounds like a good idea to me.
2020: strawberrysalad
Mmmm. Adding strawberries to salad? Brilliant.
2200: Bedtime.

Day 2
I stopped tracking my trips to the loo. I only did it yesterday for giggles.
0730: Awake. Ugh. Water & an apple to keep me going for now….
0920: Gave in and made coffee. Still don’t like skim milk.
1100: Visit to the in-laws for a cuppa….black tea. Bletch.
1230: Greek salad again. I’m supposed to have variety on this plan, but the greek salad option is just so good! This eating plan isn’t so bad….yet. Although I feel like I’m eating a lot of carbs. Wholegrain bread, pita bread, crumpets….that’s a lot of carbs. But, I’m still feeling positive!
1800: Dinnertime.
1900: I still have room for some snacks. Really want some biscuits, so going to have to go shopping for some Rich Tea or Morning Coffee biscuits. I’ve never had either, but I’m willing to try them.
2020: Having a diet Root Beer for a treat. I wonder if I could freeze some natural yoghurt and make a root beer float?
2215: I wonder how a hilight mixed into a cup of coffee would taste? The answer is JUST LIKE A MOCHA. Yummmmm
Midnight: Crap. Hungry. Hmmm. Maybe some Ryvita with cream cheese will satisfy me?

Day 3
0130: It’s 1:30 in the morning, so let’s replan my week’s menu….
1030: Wow, woke up later than I had expected. Oh well, time for breakfast. Wow, that’s a lot of strawberries:
yogurtberries
1300: Need some more food. Time for a trip to Waitrose.
1500: Why does Waitrose have to smell like bacon? :( Hungry! Having a peppermint tea in the cafe before I head home. Bought some Rich Tea fingers. I wonder if anyone would notice if I sneak into my bag to open them? Nope! Hey, these are pretty good. Taste like animal crackers from when I was a kid.
1800: Dinnertime
2100: Hmm. Someone online has told me I’m not following the plan right. Well, I hate to say it, but they don’t control me. If I’m doing this wrong, Rebecca will tell me. She saw my week’s plan and didn’t say anything about it. Besides, isn’t it all about what works for you? I’m actually discovering (yes, only three days in) that I actually prefer having lots of little meals throughout the day instead of three main ones. The proof will be in my weigh-in…..
2130: Cinnamon is a spice, right? Cottage cheese, apples, and cinnamon sound like a nice bedtime snack.

Day 4
0745: Up early. Breakfast. Hope I don’t get too hungry later.
1500: Ok, today is HARD! I’m just so hungry :( And tomorrow is going to be a challenge since we are spending the day out at the Butterley Garden Railway.FORWARD PLANNING….right? I’m hungry. I ate Lunch at 1400 but I’m still hungry. Wishing for some diet soda….

Day 5
We spent the day out. I had a sensible Breakfast and packed a sensible Lunch, but we wound up out much later than we had hoped and needed to stop for Dinner. I made the best of it with a jacket spud, omelette, and salad….hope that will be good enough! Tonight would have been weigh-in day, but since we were out so late, I’m going to go to a different group tomorrow.

Day 6
I had a sneaky peek on the Wii to see where I was at and it’s said I’ve lost weight — yay!
I decided to have a jacket potato with tuna for Lunch. I hated opening a whole tin of corn just for a few Tablespoons, so I hope I can use it up before it goes bad. I also added some olives for flavour.

Day 7
Well….I did it. I lost FIVE POUNDS. AAAND, I got a shiny 2.5 Stone certificate too:
1610111_10152489688127160_3799572187157379018_n

I also had a look on my Wii Fit history, and from back in 2011 when we first got our Wii until now, I have lost 4 Stone. That makes me feel incredible.

Bring on Week 2 of Fast Forward…..5.5 pounds to go until I hit my interim target…..can I do it by next week?

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

3 comments

Slimming World Fast Forward

10176138_10152476891312160_2430514579182104496_n [DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

Last week at Slimming World, I gained a half pound. This might not sound like much to anyone, but the week before I had lost 4 pounds, but the week before that I had GAINED 4….and going back in my weight loss chart, last Wednesday I weighed the same that I had at the beginning of March. My log looked like this:

+1
0
-2.5
-.5
+1.5
-2.5
+1.5
-.5
+4
-4
+.5

Now, in there somewhere I did have knee surgery and a very stressful few weeks of not only surgery recovery but also taking over my role as Company Secretary for the Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers (more on that in another post!) a few weeks earlier than planned. But to have not gotten anywhere after all those weeks? Gut-wrenching. I broke down in tears during Image Therapy, got a few hugs from my friends, and talked with my consultant, Rebecca Stones. Rebecca suggested that I give Fast Forward a go.

You hear horror stories about Fast Forward. A lot of people say not to do it, and it really does look scary when you first think about the fact that it’s a very restrictive eating plan, whereas the usual Slimming World plans (Extra Easy, Green, and Original/Red) are all based on eating anything you want with moderation (with loads of Free and Super Free foods you can eat unlimited quantities of depending on which plan you follow, plenty of Healthy As and Bs to choose from, and up to 15 Syns per day to spend on whatever you want). But Fast Forward has been an effective tool for people who are having a hard time keeping themselves on track, or they are really close to their goal and need an extra boost. Me, I’m in both boats. I have 10lbs to go until I hit a crucial interim goal of mine as well as flip flopping all over the place weight-wise recently. So I told Rebecca I would take a look at the packet and give it some thought, but if I really thought it wasn’t for me I wouldn’t force myself to do it. She didn’t have the packet on her as another member had it, so I had to wait for it to be sent to me (the fast forward packet is on loan from your consultant while you’re on it).

Because the fast forward plan is so restrictive, you are only allowed to be on it for a maximum of two weeks at a time (though I’m not sure how many weeks in between going on it you are allowed) and you must give the packet back to your consultant when you are done. This plan is not publicized on their website, and we are asked not to share it. So this blog post will not discuss the details on how to follow Fast Forward, just my experience on it. Consultants have a booklet that helps them calculate how many “units” you are allowed to eat per day based on your weight. I was given 21 units. The booklet has a page full of meals that are worth 5 units, a page of meals that are 8, a page of 1 unit snacks, and a page of 2 unit snacks. That’s it. You also have to drink at least 500ml of water three times per day (1.5L total), eat at least 1 salad (or other listed veggie) each day in addition to your units, and you can have unlimited black tea & coffee, sugar free squash, low-calorie soda, and certain condiments. You also have to pre-plan your week’s menu (though mine changed several times!) and send it off to your consultant so they can make sure you understand the plan. I spent all day Thursday working on my menu plan trying to get it just right, and then out shopping on Friday. I had a LOOOONG shopping list, so I went to Lidl, where I managed to get nearly everything I needed for under £35. (I still needed to top up with Tesco (and my husband needed food!), but we only spent £30. If I had ordered everything from Tesco, the bill would have been over £80. I checked. Every little helps!)

While I was figuring out my meals for the week, some of the items really struck me as funny. Crumpets? Olives? Biscuits? Ice Lollies? These are only a few of the choices you can make while on Fast Forward. As I said, some of them do feel a little weird, since crumpets are 4 Syns, Olives have Syns, Biscuits have Syns, Ice Lollies have Syns….but then it eliminates unlimited pasta, potatoes, rice, meat, veggies, and fruits. Some days I think I might have gone over 15 Syns if I was following Extra Easy, but because this is Fast Forward, it was okay. I had to tell myself to forget about thinking about the Syn values of items and just eat to my plan. Stick to my plan was my mantra.

I kept a paper day-by-day journal, which I will share with you all tomorrow.

Until then….

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Slimming World Fakeaway Fried Chicken

2014-05-06 20.30.13 When the Fakeaway book came out I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to get it. It seemed silly, when there are loads of changes you can make to existing recipes to make them Slimming World friendly, but at the same time I thought it might be useful for some new ideas. Last week, I bought it, and the first thing I did was tab off all the recipes I wanted to try….and I tabbed 24 of them!

So this week, I plan on trying FIVE new recipes out of the Fakeaway book. Of course, I always have to add my own flair to the recipes and I never use things as written in the books, so if I modify a recipe enough that it is different from the recipe in the cookbook, I will share them with you all.

Flipping through the book, one of the first things that caught my eye was the fake KFC. My husband likes KFC, but it’s so greasy I swear it leaves a lump in your stomach. Fortunately, the crew at Slimming World have developed a non-greasy, SW friendly version, so here is my version of KFC style chicken fingers. If you make the full dozen, each finger is 1/2 Syn.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You will need:

150ml Passata
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp celery salt
1 TBS mixed herbs
pepper grinder (I used rainbow pepper)
1 egg, separated and yolk discarded (save it for an omelette!)
60g wholegrain bread (2-3 slices. It’s best to measure this out to make sure you don’t go over or under 60g), blitzed into breadcrumbs
12 chicken breast mini fillets
Fry Light

1 – Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment (or just spray with Fry Light)
2 – beat the egg white separately until it forms stiff peaks
3 – in a separate bowl (big enough to dip your chicken in) combine passata, chilli powder, celery salt, herbs, and a few grinds of the pepper mill. Fold in the egg white.
4 – Dip chicken fillets in tomato/egg mixture and then dredge in breadcrumbs. Spray tops with Fry Light
5 – bake 30-35 minutes.

If you start preparing your potato wedges/chips while the oven is pre-heating, you should be able to put both chips and chicken in at the same time and if you’ve pre-boiled the potatoes, they will take about the same amount of time as the chicken. I took the chicken out and raised the temperature on the chips for 5-10 minutes to crisp them up.

UK KFC is different from the KFC in the USA. There are no biscuits or mashed potatoes and gravy. Instead, you can get your chicken served with baked beans, chips (fries), and corn on the cob. Beans, potatoes, and corn are all FREE on Extra Easy (and on Green too, I think). For a dipping sauce, I took some Fromage Frais (also FREE) and added some dried chives (FREE) to make a mock sour cream & chives, or you could make Slimming World BBQ sauce.

My dinner tonight cost me 3 Syns, and that was including the ketchup for my chips! Quite tasty, and my husband said it did taste similar to KFC.

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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Slimming World: A Week in the Life

1911353_10152275381477160_591973515_o Last night I got my 2 Stone Award!!

A few of my friends have asked me what I eat since I tend to have consistent weight loss, and when I do have a wobble, I usually know what the cause was. I lose on average 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 pounds per week, which for me isn’t bad! So since I decided to start tracking my food again this week, I thought I would post a typical week. I’ll add recipes at the bottom.

For those of you not on Slimming World, Slimming World has 5 categories for food. Free and Super Free (mostly fruit, vegetables, and other food that fill you up – things like pasta, rice, lean meats, etc.), Syns, Healthy Extra As (something with calcium), and Healthy Extra Bs (something with Fiber). Additional As and Bs can be had, but you count them as Syns. The booklet you get when you join has hundreds of Syn values, and you can find the values for everything else online (or with the ap). If the Syns aren’t listed, you can use the Syn calculator. If an item has Syns, the number is indicated in parenthesis. Slimming World has three eating plans, Original, Green, and Extra Easy. I tend to follow Extra Easy. Unless otherwise stated, the coffee I drink is fresh brewed, sweetened with saccharine tablets and my tea is Tetley “best of both” blend. Mayonnaise used is Hellman’s Lightest, Ketchup is always Heinz Reduced Sugar and Salt, Bread is usually from a 400g loaf of Warburton’s, Squash is no added sugar Robinsons.

Day 1
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk measured out and used in tea/coffee
Breakfast – BLTEP(*) wrap in a Weight Watcher’s Tortilla (5 Syns) with Mayonnaise (.5 Syns), banana, coffee with milk.
Morning Snack – grapes, a pear, 500ml squash, and a cup of tea with milk
Lunch – Leftover Stew(**), 60g sliced wholemeal bread (HEB) with Flora spread (.5 Syns), 500ml no added sugar lemon squash, cup of tea with milk
Afternoon Snack – WW mini cake (3 Syns), apple, cup of tea with milk
Dinner/Tea – Vegetarian Chilli(***), 500ml diet iced tea
Evening Snack – RitterSport chocolate (6 Syns), cup of tea with milk
Total Syns: 15

Day 2
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk measured out and used in tea/coffee
Breakfast – 3 egg omelette with 10g Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese (1.5 Syns), tomatoes, mushrooms, and 1 TBS Reduced Sugar and Salt Heinz Ketchup (.5 Syn), banana, coffee with milk, tea with milk
Morning Snack – Grapes and a plum, tea with milk, 500ml squash
Lunch – 3 Chicken Fingers(^) (3 Syns), seasoned potato wedges, cucumber salad(^^), Ranch dressing dip (made with powder and Greek yogurt) (.5 Syn), 1 TBS Reduced Sugar and Salt Heinz Ketchup (.5 Syn), 500ml diet iced tea
Afternoon Snack – apple and a pear with a cup of tea with milk
Dinner/Tea – I tried making mushy pea curry, but I didn’t like it, so I wound up with beans on toast (HEB), salad, and 500ml squash
Evening Snack – WW cake (3 Syns), tea with milk
Total Syns: 9

Day 3
Breakfast – BLTEP sandwich on wholegrain bread (HEB) with 1 TBS Lightest Mayo (.5 Syn), banana, Coffee with milk (.5 Syn)
Morning Snack – 500ml squash, tea with milk (.5 Syn), beans on toast (5 Syn)
Lunch – Pasta with Lightest Philadelphia Cream Cheese (HEA) stirred in and one Chicken finger(^) cut up (1 Syn), Cucumber salad(^^), apple, 500ml squash, tea with milk (.5)
Afternoon Snack – Pink N White (2.5 Syns), pear, tea with milk (.5)
Dinner/Tea – Pork steaks with mustard and agave(^^^) (1 Syn), sauteed potatoes, sprouts, salad, muller light yogurt, 500ml diet iced tea
Evening Snack – Options hot chocolate (2.5 Syns)
Total Syns: 14.5

Day 4
Breakfast – BLTEP* on wholegrain toast (HEB) with mayo (.5 Syn), coffee with milk (.5 syn), tea with milk (.5 syn), plum
Morning Snack – ASDA Vitality cereal bar (3.5 Syns), apple, coffee with milk (.5 Syn)
Lunch – Jacket Potato with reduced fat Cheddar cheese (HEA), Tuna mayo (1 Syn), and ketchup (.5 Syn), salad, pear, green tea, 500ml squash
Afternoon Snack – Pink N White (2.5 Syns), tea with milk (.5 syn), 500ml squash
Dinner/Tea – Fish and Chips(+) (2.5 Syns), mushy peas, salad, ketchup (.5 Syn), 500ml squash
Evening Snack – green tea
Total Syns: 13

Day 5
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk used in coffee and tea
Breakfast – BLETP on toast (HEB) with mayo (.5 Syn), coffee with milk, tea with milk
Morning Snack – 500ml diet iced tea (++) (.5 Syn), plum
Lunch – (I wasn’t feeling well) Scrambled eggs, 10g cheddar (1.5 Syns), wholegrain toast (rest of HEB), green tea
Afternoon Snack – Atkins Endulge Chocolate Coconut bar (6.5 Syns), 500ml diet iced tea (.5 Syn)
Dinner/Tea – Roast chicken, roast potatoes, mushy peas, sprouts, ketchup (.5 Syn), tea with milk
Evening Snack – Options Hot Chocolate (2.5 Syn) made up with water and the rest of my HEA milk
Total Syns: 12.5

Day 6
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk used in coffee and tea
Breakfast – Eggs over easy, Toast (HEB), lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise (.5 Syn), Apple, coffee with milk
Morning Snack – ASDA Vitality cereal bar (3.5 Syn), Pear, coffee with milk, 500ml squash
Lunch – Salad – lettuce, tomato, cucumber, chicken, corn, pasta, and dressing(^^), mullerlight yogurt, banana, 500ml squash
Afternoon Snack – 2 cups of tea with milk, no food as we were going out to dinner….
Dinner/Tea – Dinner out at the Fox and Hounds pub — baked sea bass with parsley, boiled new potatoes, salad, and cole slaw (counting 1 Syn for the mayo in the slaw), and then because I had some Syns left and I looked up on the Slimming World App that a basic Lemon Meringue was 8.5, I had that for desert, and 500ml sparkling water
Evening Snack – cup of green tea
Total Syns: I counted today at 15 since we went out to dinner. If the desert was 8.5, I had 14 Syns, but I am counting it as 15 to be safe, though I might have gone over 15 for the day, depending on how “naughty” the desert was!

Day 7 – Weigh In Day!
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk used in coffee and tea+++
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, baked beans, grilled tomato, apple, coffee with milk
Morning Snack – pear, mullerlight, coffee with milk
Lunch – We went to Morrison’s Cafe since we had a meeting in town. I had a Jacket potato with beans and a salad (no dressing), a mullerlight, and 2 cups of peppermint tea (all free!)
Afternoon Snack – apple, 500ml squash and a cup of peppermint green tea
Dinner/Tea – Eggs over easy, Toast (HEB), lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise (.5 Syn), RitterSport (5 Syn), tea with milk
Evening Snack – 2 Pink N Whites (5 Syn), tea with milk
Total Syns: 10.5

And this week I lost 2.5lbs to finally get my 2 stone award!

Some days I ate lots of food, some days I didn’t eat as much, but the idea is to eat if you are hungry — ie, don’t starve yourself and always eat until you are full. Some days all I really needed to feel full was some eggs and toast. Some days I needed more. Most days I ate salad at least once, maybe twice. I know it’s not the season for it, but a small pile of leaves and tomato with cucumber on the side is manageable.

1889655_10152267807482160_614012872_o1780589_10152266179582160_467023877_o1794883_10152265816302160_1318356368_ochilli

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* – BLTEP wrap or sandwich is a lean bacon, lettuce, tomato, egg, and pickle (gherkin) wrap/sandwich. I usually use 1TBS of Lightest mayonaise for 1/2 Syn, and either my HEB bread choice or I Syn a wrap. This became my go-to breakfast all week!

** – I made this in the crock pot on Wednesday and had the leftovers for lunch the following day. Combine diced chicken breasts, mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, peas, and tinned tomato in your crock pot with 2 Knorr stock pots, mixed herbs, and 3 bay leaves. If you are using frozen chicken and vegetables, you don’t need to add any water. If using fresh, add a mugful of water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. To thicken the stew, take a ladleful of the vegetables and blitz with a stick blender, then stir back in.

*** – See Slimming World Friendly Chilli

^ – I used a bag of 10 frozen chicken fillets from iceland and coated them with a beaten egg and then crumbs made from 2 slices of Hovis bread (10 syns for the bread), so I calculated these at 1 Syn per strip)

^^ – Super easy and free dressing made from 2TBS greek yogurt, 1TBS apple cider vinegar, and 1tsp dill, added to diced cucumbers and tomatoes on a bed of lettuce

^^^ – I coated pork steaks with 1TBS Tesco Whole Grain Mustard (1/2 Syn) and 1TBS Agave syrup (1/2 Syn) in a hot oven for 10 minutes on each side.

+ – I coated the fish with an egg wash and crumbs made from 1 slice of wholegrain bread

++ – Some of the iced tea I was drinking has 0 calories, so it is free, but another brand has 5 calories per serving, so 1L is 20 calories or 1 Syn.

+++ – I always measure out 250ml of milk in the morning and then keep track of my cups of tea/coffee. If I decide to have cheese later in the day, I change the tea/coffee to 1/2 Syn per splash of milk. If I have any milk leftover at the end of the day, I will either drink it straight or have an Options hot chocolate made up with water and topped up with the last bit of milk.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Slimming World Friendly Chilli

chilli I made this for dinner tonight and put this photo on Facebook. My friend Jess asked for the recipe, so I thought I would share it here too.

This makes a mild, sweet vegetarian* chilli and it’s FREE.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You Will Need:

300g Quorn Mince
500g/ml (one carton) Passata
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans
dash of Worcester sauce
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of Splenda or other sweetener

To serve:
fat free Fromage Frais or fat free Greek yoghurt
grated reduced fat cheddar cheese**

Simply combine all ingredients in a heavy pot with a lid (I used my Le Creuset) and heat on high until it boils, then put the lid on and simmer it for 30-45 minutes. OR, you could put all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low. The longer this cooks, the better the flavours get.

Then just dish it up and add a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of fromage frais or Greek yoghurt. Yum.

~~*~~
*You could use Turkey mince or lean beef mince instead of Quorn, just remember it has to have less than 5% fat to be considered free.
**If you do not use the cheese as your HEA, you will need to look up the Syn value for your cheese.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Slimming World Syn Free Barbecue

January 2014 003 Barbecue sauce is a fantastic condiment/sauce that you don’t really think much of when you use it. You just grab a bottle and squirt, or grab a bottle and dump the whole thing in your crock pot with some meat. But bottled barbecue sauce is full of sugar and it can be a detriment to your weight loss. Fortunately, someone has come up with a Syn Free version of barbecue sauce! Below you will find the recipe for the barbecue sauce as well as a few recipe ideas for using it.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You will need:

500g Passata (one carton)
4 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp powdered mustard (Colmans)
3 TBS Splenda
1+ tsp mild chili powder
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

All you need to do is combine the ingredients in a pan over a medium heat and cook until it thickens. You can use as much mild chili powder as you want until you get it as hot as you prefer, and you can even add some dried flakes or use hot powder. If you’re balking at the price of Balsamic Vinegar, I found a large bottle for 99p at Lidl.

When it’s cooked, it’s ready to be stored it in the fridge for about a week.

Alternately, if you are going to use in in a recipe, you can put all the ingredients into a bottle and give it a shake.

Total Syns = 0

It goes fantastic with my family’s Kitchen Barbecue recipe, modified for Slimming World!

You will need:
500g lean turkey mince (or Quorn mince)
2 packs Quorn hot dogs, sliced into small rounds*
2 bags Uncle Ben’s boil in bag rice
200g frozen peas (or mixed veg)
1 Knorr Stock pot or stock cube (either chicken or vegetarian)
250ml hot water
one batch of Slimming World barbecue sauce

1. Cook Uncle Ben’s rice for half the time listed on the package (I think it says boil for 10 minutes, so only boil for 5)
2. Spray a wok or large frying pan with fry light and brown turkey mince.
3. Mix stock pot/cube with 250ml hot water and add to the mince along with the half-cooked rice.
4. Stir in the frozen peas or mixed vegetables. Cover, and let cook 5-10 minutes.
5. Stir in the barbecue sauce
6. Add the hot dog pieces, cover, and cook for 10 minutes or until hot dogs are warmed through, the vegetables are cooked, and sauce is bubbling.

Total Syns = 0

Or, you could use the barbecue sauce to make a SW friendly Hunter’s Chicken with chicken breasts, bacon medalions (with the fat cut off), and your HEA cheese option (or Syn the cheese).

Another idea might be to toss the sauce into a crock pot with a piece of pork for shredded pork.

The possibilities are endless as you can use this sauce exactly like you would barbecue sauce from a bottle!

~~*~~

*If you’re not following Slimming World, you can use regular deli hot dogs (not the tinned ones) or you can Syn the hot dogs.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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