Sunday Brunch

I think that often when you are trying to lose weight you think you have to give up having traditional breakfasts but that isn’t the case.

Quite often on a Sunday, as I get up later, I have a Sunday Brunch and today this included a bowl of fresh fruit and natural yoghurt and some bacon and eggs

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If I hadn’t had the fruit I might have added some baked beans or another rasher of bacon but having scrambled or poached eggs with grilled bacon and adding tomatoes and mushrooms you can have a great breakfast.  As a tip, I poach my mushrooms with a beef Oxo cube as this adds no fat and keeps them really yummy and soft.

Mid afternoon I will have a small snack, maybe some crisp breads and low fat cheese and then I will be okay for my main meal of the day.

In this way I can vary my days but eat well and healthily. If you want advice on eating well and losing weight please feel free to contact me at enquiries@weight-away.org for a free chat on how I could help you.

Lovely light meal in minutes

I know that lots of people really struggle to find time to cook and often resort to take aways or ready meals.  The only problem with this is that often those take aways can be just overloaded with calories.

A  portion of Fish and Chips from a shop would be anything from 750 to 1000 calories (without peas or any sauces)

A 12 inch pizza around a 1000 calories

and a Chicken Tikka Marsala a staggering 1250 calories

Whereas in around 15 minutes you could cook this for less than 250 calories

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Just Poach a piece of smoked haddock in some skimmed milk ( I prefer this not coloured yellow but I have shown this for illustration) with a poached egg and a portion of steamed broccoli and it would be ready before you could order or collect a take away.

If you want to know more about eating healthy to enable you to get to the weight you want to be then I would love you to follow my blog for healthy hints and tips or contact me at enquiries@weight-away.org for more information.

Want to lose weight eating delicious food?

Then you might want to try this recipe.

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I know that when I started to lose weight I tended to rely on the same meals/recipes all the time until it dawned on me that I could still eat healthily and lose weight while cooking something different.

This recipe is a great family meal and if you haven’t got everything to hand then you can use dried thyme and omit the pomegranate.  Equally if you are vegetarian you can use Quorn and vegetable stock but this will reduce the calories by about 100 a portion.

LEMON BAKED CHICKEN AND SAFFRON RICE

Serves 4                                                         400 calories per serving

20 prep + 10 minutes resting               30 minutes cooking

Ingredients

4 x 150g chicken breasts

I onion chopped

2 cloves garlic sliced

100g mushrooms

75 ml dry white wine

650ml chicken stock

Zest & juice of a lemon

Pinch of saffron

Sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley

Seeds of a pomegranate

Salt and black pepper

240g dried basmati rice

Olive oil to spray pan

To Cook

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180º/160ºfan

Soak the pinch of saffron in 2 tablespoons of boiling water

Heat a large pan and spray with some olive oil and add the chicken breasts to brown I prefer to cut the breasts into pieces. Once brown which should only take a few minutes add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes keep stirring. Add the chopped mushrooms.

Add the wine, stock, lemon zest, juice, saffron and soaking water, thyme and bay leaf and bring to the boil.  Transfer to a casserole dish, cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the rice.  Replace the lid then return to the oven to bake for 10 minutes then take out of the oven and leaving the lid on stand for 10 minutes.

Stir and serve decorated with the parsley and pomegranate seeds (you can omit these but they give a great texture) Add a green salad and enjoy.

If you want a Pancake try this

As Shrove Tuesday is this week thoughts turn to pancakes which can be a bit of a challenge if you are trying to lose weight.  I have found that cooking the fluffy American style pancakes can be great and are lovely to eat as a family so why not try my recipe.

As you will see from the photo when I cook them they are sometimes different sizes but you don’t have to worry as they just taste as delicious and are filling so a serving like this at 190 calories is great as a treat on the day.

You can make them as a savoury alternative omitting the sugar and add peppers or mushrooms and of course either way they can make a great breakfast.

You can also perhaps think about giving up something for Lent maybe alcohol or chocolate, a short amount of time giving these things up can help to keep you on track in the future if you are trying to lose weight. I will be cutting out chocolate this year!

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Fluffy American Pancakes only 190 calories

RECIPE

BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Serves 2 (3 or 4 pancakes each)                190 cals per serving

Preparation 10 minutes cooking 10minutes

Ingredients

1 large egg (separated)

25g self raising flour

25g porridge oats

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

75mls skimmed milk

75g blueberries

To Prepare

In a clean bowl whisk the egg white until it is soft and holds peaks.  In another bowl beat the egg yolk, flour, oats, sugar and milk together.

Gently fold the egg white into the mixture with a metal spoon gently keeping the volume

Heat a non-stick small pan and spray with low fat oil. Place a tablespoon of the mixture into the pan to make a small pancake, depending on the size of the pan you can do a few at a time turning when they have puffed up.

Set aside and wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm while you gently warm the blueberries to serve with pancakes and a sprinkling of cinnamon if you want.

Will make 3-4 pancakes each

You can use other fruit or if you omit the sugar you could make these into savoury pancakes and perhaps add mushrooms or peppers.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be boring

One of the things that can make losing weight difficult is eating the same thing everyday.  That is why experimenting with different herbs and spices and cooking something different can be really helpful when you are trying to get into shape.

So if you find yourself eating the same thing every day; maybe weetabix for breakfast, a ham sandwich for lunch and a piece of chicken with veg or salad for your main meal STOP and build some variety into your day.

I try to have eggs at breakfast at least twice a week and mix up my lunches with wraps, soups and sometimes even pasta with something like tuna, but if you can cook yourself an interesting main meal you will feel all the better for it.

I cooked this recipe from my plans this weekend and it is really easy to do and very yummy so why not give it a go

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This is a lovely pork fillet dish which is only 450 calories a serving

PORK FILLET WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

Serves 4                                                                 450 calories per serving

20 minutes to prepare                                       45 minutes to cook

Ingredients

1tbsp fennel seeds

Salt & black pepper

Zest & Juice of 1 lemon

400g pork fillet

1 tsp olive oil

6 shallots

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 parsnips

300g potatoes

300g carrots

400ml vegetable stock

Steamed cabbage

To Cook

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180º/Gas Mark 6.

Crush the fennel seeds with the salt and pepper using a mortar and pestle. Mix in the lemon and maple syrup then rub into the pork.

Heat a large casserole and wipe with olive oil. Add the pork and sear over a medium heat for about 5 minutes turning until golden then set aside.

Cut the shallots, carrots, parsnips and potatoes into small chunks.

Add the shallots to the casserole with a splash of water and stir cooking for about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the parsnips, carrots and potatoes add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then carefully sit the seared pork on top and roast for about 20 minutes till the meat is cooked and the veg are tender.  Remove the pork to rest for 5-10 minutes while the veg are finishing roasting. Then slice to pork and divide with the roasted veg to serve with some steamed savoy cabbage.

I just used a bit of the cooking juice and added a few gravy granules to make a sauce but you can have without.

If you want to know about eating healthily to help you lose weight I would love to hear from you.

Omega 3 rich foods are great for you

Did you know that one key thing in having a healthy diet is OMEGA 3.  It supports your heart health and can also help with rheumatoid arthritis and possibly osteoporosis.

It is found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, but also in flaxseed, walnuts and pistachios and healthy green vegetables such as spinach.

If you eat a healthy well balanced diet you do not need to take supplements and I know that I eat fish at least twice a week and really love to add spinach to salads and to pasta dishes. A very simple salmon dish which I had yesterday but served with broccoli rather than spinach, as I had it to use.

This is just baked salmon and steamed vegetables with light sauce I rustled up with a vegetable stock and natural yoghurt.

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This would be under 450 calories if you want to know more about healthy eating and recipes just contact me

Great low calorie meals for the Chinese New Year

As the last weekend in January  will be the Chinese New Year, many of us will want to celebrate it with having a Chinese Meal. But not over-indulge!

There is nothing to stop us doing this, if we know how to cook healthy meals, and this is the whole basis of my Weight Away Plans. I help people to control portions sizes and cook fresh food to enable them to eat well and with friends and family but still lose weight.

I have attached photos for the two meals below which are both healthy alternatives to rushing to the take away for a Chinese meal.  They are both very easy to cook and absolutely delicious.  If you want to know about eating well and healthily but still be able to lose weight then I would love you to hear from you and I am happy to send you the recipe for the soup but the Chicken Pad Thai one is below

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Thai Prawn soup for around 250 calories

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Chicken Pad Thai for around 375 Calories

CHICKEN PAD THAI

Serves 4                                                                 350 calories per serving

35 -40 minutes to prepare and cook

Ingredients

125g rice noodles

A spray of olive oil

2 garlic cloves crushed

2cm of fresh ginger

1 egg beaten

300g chicken breast

3 spring onions

½ tsp chilli flakes

125g fresh bean sprouts

2 carrots grated

3 tbsp of soy sauce

50g dry roasted peanuts

To Cook

Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Leave to stand for 4 minutes then drain rinse in cold water and set aside

Spray a wok or large pan with olive oil and heat. When hot add the garlic, chopped ginger and egg. Move it around to scramble the eggs when cooked set aside

Spray the wok again with olive oil and add the chicken which should be cut into strips.  Stir fry for about 8-10 minutes then add the finely chopped spring onions and chilli flakes.  Stir for another couple of minutes.

Add the noodles, the grated carrots and the beansprouts but keep a few to top the dish.  Cook for another few minutes then add the soy and all but 2 tablespoons of the peanuts.

Stir fry again and incorporate the egg and ginger.  Serve sprinkling the remaining  beansprouts and nuts on the top.