Friday Fridge Raid

Tonight I got home from work a little earlier than usual and so fancied making something Fridayish. Which basically means something a) More time consuming and complicated than my mid week 30 minute meals and/or b) More indulgent than my usual repertoire.

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However, in our house, we usually do the food shopping on a Sunday, which means that come Friday the fridge is looking pretty bare. Anything that can be found in there, should be treated with suspicion.

From looking at this picture alone, you could be forgiven for thinking that I am an alcoholic who lives on yoghurt, jam and condiments alone. I assure you that is not true! I also have a fully stocked fruit bowl, honest.

 

After a little rummaging in the store cupboard, I discovered I had all the ingredients to make a Chicken Risotto. Perfect Friday night food!

Many years ago I learnt how to make Jamie Oliver’s Basic Risotto. Nowadays I pretty much know the recipe off by heart and simply adapt it to suit the contents of my fridge.

Tonight I made a garlic and rosemary risotto, with a dollop of half fat creme fraiche added at the end instead of the butter. Then I topped it with oven baked chicken breasts which had been seasoned with garlic, rosemary, the juice and zest of a lemon and black pepper. I served with a sprinkle more lemon zest, parmesan cheese, black pepper and an abundance of broccoli!

Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary Risotto with Oven Baked Chicken.

Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary Risotto with Oven Baked Chicken.

Served with broccoli!

Served with broccoli.

The Man gave up a takeaway with the boys for this, so I was nervous to hear his verdict…

His exact words were “A strong 8.5 out of 10.”

High praise indeed for a man who is more steak and chips than lemon zest and broccoli.

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WIAW #4

I’ve made a fantastic discovery. Meridian Natural Almond Butter. I’ve seen it cropping up in various food blogs for some time now, so I know it’s nothing new. I picked it up totally on a whim a few weeks ago. Now here’s the shocking part…there’s still about a quarter of a jar left in the cupboard! That has NEVER happened with peanut butter (you can read why here – I can’t bring myself to type that shameful confession again.)

I know what you’re thinking, that if there is still some left weeks later, then it must be because it tastes like crap. But no! It tastes good, great in fact, especially with porridge. It’s just that, the slightly grainy texture and less sweet taste is not quite addictive enough to make me want dive head first into the jar as soon as it is opened. This is amazing news for me!

So here it is, on top of my morning porridge, made with semi-skimmed milk and a big handful of raspberries. Again – no green at Breakfast time today.

Porridge with raspberries and almond butter.

Porridge with raspberries and almond butter.

On Monday night, I cooked Spaghetti Bolognese, making sure there was plenty left over for lunch the next day. Nothing beats left overs for lunch, especially things like Bolognese which are always even tastier the second day. A handful of rocket salad and I have my greens. There are also tomatoes, red peppers, onions and mushrooms in the sauce so I’d say I’ve hit my veggie quota here!

Spag Bol with Rocket Salad

Wholemeal Spag Bol with Rocket Salad

For dinner I made one of The Man’s favourites (and another super left-over lunch!) Chicken & Chorizo Paella. Aside from the obvious lump of green (Spinach and Rocket Salad) there are also green peppers and peas in the Paella, as well as yellow pepper and red onion.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Throughout the day I also munched my way through a banana, an apple and an orange and guzzled down 2 cups of coffee and 2 cups of tea. Don’t worry – I also drink looooooads of water. I’ll finish there, because all that water makes you need to go for a wee at least a hundred times a day…

Me Vs. Steak

As a belated birthday present for The Man, we had reservations at Hawksmoor this weekend.

If you live in or around London (or are visiting anytime soon!) and you like steak, then you need to know about this place.

I didn’t take any pictures at the time, but for those of you who are into a bit of food porn then you need only look at their facebook page. Vegetarians look away now!!!

What did we have you ask?

What didn’t we have?!

Starters

I had the half a native lobster with garlic butter, which was delicious, but, I got a massive case of food envy when The Man’s Tamworth Belly Ribs arrived. I’m not usually a fan of ribs, they can be a bit fatty and I don’t like eating off the bone (mostly because it slows me down!!) but these were superb!

Main Course

We shared a Chateaubriand (Rare of course!) as well as a portion of triple cooked chips, macaroni cheese and creamed spinach. And when you do something, you’ve got to do it right, so I had the Béarnaise  sauce whilst The Man enjoyed the Stilton Hollandaise. Mmmm buttery sauce all over my steak and chips.

Dessert

The Man wimped out and had a lemon sorbet!!! What the????

I on the other hand NEVER pass up a chance to have dessert. Alas, I couldn’t quite face the obvious choice of Peanut Butter Shortbread with Salted Caramel Ice-Cream (DAMN!!!!) and instead went for the Sticky Toffee Sundae. Thankfully it was mostly ice-cream otherwise I could have been in big trouble.

My only advice to you when visiting would be to wear your stretchiest garments. This is not the place for that lovely, but restrictive bodycon dress and skinny waist belt. You have been warned!

WIAW #3

It dawned on me last week when I was catching up with a variety of WIAW posts, that in actual fact, most people post up pictures of their food from Monday/Tuesday rather than scramble around on Wednesday trying to photograph everything and write the post!

Therefore, here is WIAY (What I Ate Yesterday) or I suppose WIAT (What I Ate Tuesday).

I started the day with an early morning workout  (posted here if you are interested!) then came home for my usual weekday breakfast of raw oats with plain natural yoghurt and frozen blueberries. I’m not much one for green things  at breakfast time (is anyone?!) so it’s pinky/purple instead!

Oats with yoghurt and frozen blueberries.

Oats with yoghurt and frozen blueberries.

We had some clients in for a meeting in the morning, so I managed to snag 2 M&S Extremely Chocolatey Biscuits with my mid morning coffee. They didn’t hang around anywhere near long enough for me to take a picture of them, so you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say they were scrummy!

At lunch, I made up for my lack of green things with a home made Tuna salad which contained 4 types of green (Rocket, Spinach, Cucumber & Avocado) as well as some cherry tomatoes. I rounded off with an orange. You know what an orange looks like, right?

Tuna Salad.

Tuna Salad.

For dinner I wanted something super quick and easy as The Man was out so I didn’t feel like cooking anything too involved. I went for chicken and noodles with loads of stir fried veg (onion, green peppers, beansprouts, spinach and mushrooms.) It might not look very ‘green’ but there are two green vegetables in there!!

Chicken & Noodles.

Chicken & Noodles.

In the evening, I had a cup of tea with a couple of squares of Green & Blacks dark chocolate whilst working  on my crochet project.

 

Me Vs. Chilli

Chilli con carne, basmati rice, guacamole, coriander and a wedge of lime.

Chilli con carne, basmati rice, guacamole, coriander and a wedge of lime.

I loooooove chilli. I add it to pretty much anything. In fact, when we were back packing a couple of years ago, I kept a pack of dried red chilli flakes in my bag so I could sprinkle away on every continent.

Last week, I wrote about my troubles with choosing recipes and making substitutions within recipes when baking (see here) When it comes cooking dinners however, it is a totally different story for me. Sure, I like to take inspiration from recipes, but generally I have a much more laid back approach. When cooking dinners that I regularly make (ie. Chilli Con Carne, Bolognese, Curries, Kedgeree etc.) I tend to use the same ingredients but I rarely measure them and instead I just keep tasting as I go. It usually works out!

Tonight I made Chilli Con Carne with home-made guacamole. I won’t bore you with the entire recipe, but I will tell you a few of my essential ingredients – ground cumin, chilli powder, coriander, paprika, cinnamon and cocoa powder. I also don’t mind telling you that it was delicious, even if I do say so myself. Winner!

On the exercise front, my gym buddy and I went for our first run together this morning in preparation for our upcoming 10k race on 14th April 2013. We completed 5.5 miles whilst nattering the entire time, which meant the miles flew by despite the miserable weather. If Spring ever arrives then I’m sure the morning runs will be even more enjoyable in the weeks to come!

It’s The Mans birthday this weekend, so what better excuse to try out all of the recipes I have been eyeing up for a while now. The plan is to make Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Icing from The Hummingbird Bakery and Melting Moments from the Great British Bake Off.

The tricky part though, is deciding on the  perfect Birthday Cake recipe.  I’m thinking something super chocolatey with salted caramel (drool!) would be right up my his street. So tonight I am going to gather my recipe books on the sofa for a couple of hours of food porn research…

What are your Chilli Con Carne essential ingredients? 

Have you found the perfect Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cake Recipe? 

How do you decide on the perfect recipe for a special occasion?

My First WIAW

Long before I even thought about plucking up the courage to start this blog, I regularly sought out WIAW posts to feed my inherent curiosity about other peoples eating habits as well as find some tasty recipes too.

For those of you that haven’t got a clue what I am talking about, WIAW is an acronym for ‘What I Ate Wednesday’. Every Wednesday, there is a sort of ‘Bloggers Party’ if you will, hosted by Peas and Crayons where people post photos of all of their eats for the day.

So here it is, my very first WIAW post…

On Wednesday’s, I typically do a double session in the gym. I start the day with an X-Biking class before work and then in the evening after work I return for Body Pump. That means I am  hungry hungry hungry!!!

Breakfast

Oats, yoghurt and frozen raspberries.

This is my breakfast of choice, a diet staple of mine for almost 6 months now. 40g of  Sainsburys Oats with Oatbran and Wheatbran, 150g of low fat natural yoghurt and frozen raspberries. DELICIOUS! I’ve even converted The Man over to yoghurt and oats, but he likes his with a spoonful of honey instead of berries for sweetness. I’ve been known to add a teaspoon of peanut or almond butter for extra deliciousness, which I would totally recommend….but since both The Man and I seem to have a rather insatiable liking for peanut butter spoonfuls  (oh alright, peanut butter fingers!)  we can’t always be trusted to keep a jar in the house *hangs head in shame*.

Lunch

Wholemeal roll filled with sweet chilli chicken, cherry tomatoes and a rocket and spinach salad.

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Mango, grapes and strawberries.

At lunch I had a wholemeal roll filled with sweet chilli chicken, cherry tomatoes and some rocket and spinach salad. Followed by a  fruit salad of mango, grapes and strawberries.

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Wholemeal spaghetti with tomato and smokey bacon sauce, spinach, rocket and parmesan cheese.

A pretty typical dinner for me on a Wednesday. I get in from work at around 6:00 PM and need to leave for body pump by 6:50 PM so I need to make something quick and easy. Pasta is my Go-To option and not that I would feel particularly guilty if it were regular white pasta but we do usually have wholemeal (does that go someway to making up for the peanut butter shame?!)  Since I am pushed for time, I open a jar of tomato based sauce (I will not apologise for that!) add fresh vegetables, parmesan cheese and a good sprinkle of black pepper – et voila!

Protein shake.

Protein shake.

When I arrive home from Body Pump, I usually have a protein shake, which I make by adding the powder to water and then whizzing it up  in the blender with frozen berries to make it colder and tastier.

Hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate.

After I’ve had a nice relaxing bath to soothe my stiff muscles, I like to snuggle up on the sofa in my dressing gown with a mug of hot chocolate – Green & Blacks Organic naturally…because it was on offer this week at Sainsburys!

So that, Ladies and Gentleman, was What I Ate [this] Wednesday.

What did you eat this Wednesday?