Monday, 6 February 2017

Meal Planning Monday: 6th - 10th Feb 2017

Home made vegan 'Twix' bars, recipe by Livia's Kitchen

I skipped meal planning last week and it was RUBBISH! The good thing is it's helped me to see how much better I feel when I eat well through the week. Also, cooking new things from proper recipes gives us a little bit of joy each evening. Nick and I spend more time together this way too (mainly because I make him stand and talk to me when I am cooking, haha!) It gives us a little bit of a 'we did that' moment. Sad, dear reader, but true.

The best meal of last week was an amazing Pad Thai Nick made us. The recipe is by one of our favourite chefs +KingCookDaily whom we discovered on Instagram a couple of years ago. Nick took me for noodles at his place in Box Park Shoreditch for my birthday and it was so delicious. It was really exciting to be there after watching it all unfold on his IG account, I even felt a bit nervous because I had wanted to go for so long!

Anyway, he made one of those 1 minute cookery videos for Sainsbury's which was shared on their IG account a couple of weeks ago. We tried it the week before last but I totally ballsed it up by putting the WHOLE measure of vegan fish sauce in (made with 300ml of tamari - serious shit) instead of just a teaspoon. Safe to say the dish was rendered inedible and I kicked myself quite hard. This week though I kept my nose out and Nick smashed it. Definitely one we'll make again! Scuse the picture, noodle dishes never fare that well when faced with my poor photography...

This week's meal plan is simple and safe, bar the lentil and rosti dish it's all stuff we've had before and we know we'll like. I'm going to attempt my own marinara sauce which I am sure will be good because everything I've tried from Appetite for Reduction so far has  been awesome.

In no particular order:

  • Pasta with cabbage and chilli, p261 of 'Veg Everyday' by Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstall
  • Roasted veg with veggie sausages 
  • Dressed puy lentils with potato rosti, p237 and p391 of 'Veg Everyday' by HFW
  • Spaghetti with veggie meatballs and spicy marinara, p193 'Appetite for Reduction' by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
I'm going to join in with the #mealplanlikeaboss linky over on Nelly's Cupcakes, come and join me!

And if you'd like to see how mediocre a menu like that can look, then give me a like on Instagram @crapdieter 

In the mean time, let's take a moment to appreciate the vegan hot dogs and freak shakes we enjoyed on Nick's birthday on Friday from the Seaside Cake Parlour, Margate... mmm... hot dogs... 

Ciao for now!

Amy x

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Meal Planning Monday: 23rd - 27th Jan 2017

I don't know about you but it's been a bloody busy week around here! We still managed to stick to our meal plan though - woohoo!


I made my debut with baked tofu last week. I have kept away from tofu for ages because I seemed to turn it into a scrambled mess whenever I cooked it, but the recipe I used from 'Appetite for Reduction' by Isa Chandra was really easy to follow and the tofu was firm and crispy. I still can't get to grips with marinating it (it never seems as flavoursome as I'd like) but I guess that's why tofu is notorious for being bland!

I also went for a run for the first time since October on Tuesday evening with my work friend Angelo. We used the Couch to 10k app which is available for free on the Google Play store. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy I found it after so many months off, and we have decided to skip ahead a few weeks next week as we both felt we could run for longer than 60 seconds at a time. Bring it on! I've bought myself one of those arm straps to keep my phone in so we can both hear it. No doubt I'll feel like a bit of a wanker wearing it but if it does the job I'm prepared to feel a bit silly!

We've definitely found our meal planning stride and the food we're eating is healthy and exciting. Ok maybe not the fishless fingers... (alright, they were exciting!) but the majority of the time we are eating loads of veg and it feels good to have switched to brown pasta and rice. I am still feeling quite dehydrated so this week I am going to make it my mission to drink much more water.

So, on with next week's plan...
  • Coconut Thai curry with brown rice, recipe from Deliciously Ella, p120
  • Pasta with green beans, from So What Do you Eat, p22 (probably looking forward to this the least)
  • Roasted chickpea and broccoli burritos with fire-roasted salsa, from Thug Kitchen, p164 & p124.
  • Cauliflower pakoras and naan bread (p318 and 172 of Veg Everyday) with potato and spinach curry from Appetite for Reduction, p232
  • Jacket potatoes with beans and salad (our Friday tradition)
  • Vegan pad thai - this recipe is on the Sainsbury's Instagram page and was created by our favourite chef Cook Daily (@kingcookdaily)

I have also made some quinoa for lunch, using up some pak choy, celery and cabbage we had in the fridge. I will probably also make some kind of energy balls this week but haven't decided which yet (gotta use up that 10kg of dates somehow!)

And look at these awesome banana raspberry blackcurrant muffins I made yesterday... *Homer style gargle*

It's hard to choose my favourite dish from last week, they were all delicious (if I do say so myself) but the carrots with gremolata I made from 'Veg Everyday' on Thursday were very tasty. Gremolata (I learned) is fresh lemon zest, garlic and parsley all chopped up together and served as a condiment. For this side dish, I roasted the carrots and then tossed them in the gremolata immediately before serving. They were sweet and tangy and gorgeous!

If you'd like to see more of my cookery (don't get your hopes up, it's basic) give me a follow on Instagram @crapdieter . You can also join me in meal planning each week over on Nelly's Cupcakes who has started an awesome new linky for us #mealplanlikeaboss

Chick'n, dumplings and carrots with gremolata

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Meal Planning Monday: 16th - 20th Jan 2017

Blueberry porridge squares perfecto for breakfast...-o?

It's that time of the week again folks, Meal Planning Monday *air hoooorn*

The best meal last week was (rather surprisingly) the pasta dish with greens, garlic and chilli. With so few ingredients I thought it would be bland but it was SO tasty! And it was super quick to make, so just the kind of meal you need mid-week. I wasn't so keen on the Classic Burgers we made from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah, but that's probably because I'm not that in to burgers. The coleslaw we made was delicious though!

This week I have been on top of my game and have made some carrot oat balls and some blueberry porridge squares from my Livia's Kitchen cook book. Still not too sure what we'll have for lunch, but I am thinking of knocking up a vat of Spanish rice from a couple of weeks ago to have with salad. 

For dinners we're going to have a couple of old and new favourites, and will be trying some baked tofu for the first time - it looks so delicious!

  • Basic baked tofu from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra, p 144 with roasted sprouts and shallots from Veg Everyday, p 352
  • Oven roasted ratatouille from Veg Everyday, p362 with brown pasta
  • Chick'n and dumplings from Hot Damn and Hell Yeah, p84 and caramelised carrots with gremolata from Veg Everyday, p 355
  • Fishless fingers (new Quorn vegan range), home made chips and mushy peas
  • Jacket potatoes with beanz and salad

If you fancy seeing what my meals end up looking like this week, follow me on Instagram @crapdieter

See you next Monday for another meal plan!

Pasta with greens (cabbage in our case), chilli and garlic

Monday, 9 January 2017

Meal Planning Monday: 9th-13th Jan 2017

Sometimes the best dinners are the simple ones
I am pleased to report that last week's meal plan was very successful! I made sure I cooked everything we set out to, and I loved everything we made. It feels like a great start to this new habit I am trying to get in to. I have two favourite meals of last week (couldn't choose one) and they are jacket potato with beans, mixed salad (Nick made it delicious with diced avocado and fresh lemon juice) and some nutritional yeast for B12. I think it was so good because Nick baked the potatoes for almost 2 hours... yuuuum.

Joint favourite was the oven-roasted ratatouille I made from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's 'Veg Everyday'. I added some cooked brown pasta to make it a more filling evening meal. The veg was roasted with some olive oil and seasoning for about an hour whilst the tomato sauce simmered away on the cooker. It was just so gorgeous,filling and flavoursome. It's definitely been added to the regulars list.

This week then I'd like to continue our winning streak and have planned five meals I think will fill us up with goodness as well as satisfy our taste buds. I took delivery of not one, but 10 kilos of dates this week (yes TEN, do not adjust your sets) so I have added a few sweet recipes to this too as I have still been hoovering up leftover Christmas goodies and I would like a healthier alternative now. I think overall last week I did reduce my sugar intake though, and I feel much better for having less processed food.

If you'd like to see what my meals end up looking like, I am on Instagram @crapdieter 

In no particular order...

  •  Broccoli salad with Asian dressing and winter stir fry, both from Veg Everyday by Hugh F.W. (pages 316 and 288)
  •  Curry laksa, p186 of Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra
  •  Pasta with greens, garlic and chilli, another from Veg Everyday p261
  •  Jacket potatoes with beans and salad
  •  Veggie sausages, mash, peas and gravy

Oven roasted ratatouille with brown pasta from Veg Everyday - pic does not do it justice!

Monday, 2 January 2017

Meal Planning Monday - 2nd-6th Jan 2017

Cranberry, coconut and almond granola

Ok ok ok, it's the 2nd of January and I love a new year resolution (or three). Mine are:
  • Take part in 20 Parkruns
  • Reduce my refined sugar intake
  • Lose 2 stone
I also have a few others which sort of relate to health in that they will be good for my well-being. One is to build up my cloth pad stash so I can have a disposable-free period. I switched to cloth pads in November and was so impressed by how well they work. They're better for the environment and I like the idea of using less chemicals / artificial stuff too. It takes me a whole weekend to make about 8 though, so I need to dedicate another weekend to making a few more soon. 

I'd also like to radically de-clutter our house. I have made a start already, but I love the principles of minimalism (less stuff more freedom). I am going to make a conscious effort to throw and give away lots of the things I no longer use. A friend of mine is also going to de-clutter her house too, so we are encouraging each other to do a little each week. 

Aaanyway to help me along I am jumping back on the meal planning train! I hope to cook more from scratch and cut down on processed foods, so I can keep an eye on the refined sugar I am consuming.

Some pretty strong resolutions I think you'll agree - I know they sound a bit 'big' but if I learned anything in 2016 it was to go at my own pace and celebrate the small (and non-scale) victories. 

So here we have this week's meal plan, in no particular order:

  • Roasted squash with shallots and chickpeas (p365 of Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall)
  • Ratatouille w/ pasta and salad (p362 of Veg Everyday)
  • Classic burger w/ coleslaw and salad (pages 72 and 53 of Hot Damn and Hell Yeah by Ryan Splint)
  • Jacket potato with beans and salad 
  • Fajitas w/ Spanish rice (p49 of Hot Damn and Hell Yeah)
I have also made some apple and cinnamon oat balls and a batch of granola for the week which I LOVE! Granola is my favourite.  Both recipes are from Livia's Kitchen - I imagine her recipes will feature quite often as I search for new ways to eat sweet things!

I post daily on Instagram @crapdieter

Hope you all have a smashing week - happy new year!

Amy x

Apple, cinnamon and oat balls by Livia's Kitchen