Monday, August 16

Plum Kitchen gets lean(ish).......

There is only one thing worse than listening to someone tell you about their diet (sorry "healthy eating plan"...) and that's listening to a description of their latest dream. On reflection the two probably have a lot in common. Often neither have any relationship with reality, but are none the less related with zealous enthusiasm, usually oblivious to glazed expressions, stifled yawns, or outright scepticism.
So in the spirit of diet bores everywhere, secure in the knowledge I can neither hear your yawns nor see your eyes clouding over, I will quietly stage whisper.............12 week challenge. No, I couldn't hear that groan either thanks.
Winter has taken its toll (how many winters I wont divulge, suffice to say my all over duvet is rather thicker than it should be, and my fav trousers no longer do up, not if I simultaneously want like to breath anyway...)  I am concerned come Spring I will either have to seriously embrace the kaftan or never take my PJ's off. Sorry, lounge wear. Neither of these options appeal, so with visions of skinny jeans and floaty tops I am committed to a loss of 12kg. Its a nice round figure to achieve a slightly less round figure, one which will slap me squarely in the size 12-14 category. Yes Mrs Average, I hear your name and it sounds good.

So how does a confirmed glutton, exercise dodger and all round lard lover achieve this? Firstly I have signed up my best pal and one of my sisters. Misery loves company, and we have also introduced an element of competition, 5 kg must be lost by Sept 13 or a pair of shoes is forfeited. There is no way I am losing my shoes! This is the pair I have selected Leopard-Pumps

Next, I am introducing some exercise, nothing silly (I mean, if I actually liked exercise I probably wouldn't be in this predicament would I?) , just walking 4 times a week, sit ups (that's Pru in the picture doing her sit ups with me....) and arm exercises with some weights I found in the packing...........goodbye bingo wings, hello Michelle Obama arms. OK, Michelle arms may be a bit much, but a little less wobble would be good.

Then of course there is the food. And before you say "hey chubby, didn't you just post about Mac n Cheese? And LARDY cake"? yes I know. I know. I know.
Its my long standing love affair with cream, cheese, bacon, butter, fat in general and lets not forget potatoes..........I should have been born about 100 years ago, I would no doubt have been very working class, and a day heaving huge loads of washing about, scrubbing floors, lighting fires and chasing after multiple children would at least have meant I might have worked off my consumption. The irony being of course I probably would not have had anything like that much to eat. I am a classic example of far to much food, choice and time to sit on my backside.
So instead of looking on this as an exercise in deprivation I am trying to see it as a challenge (sorry, I know how hideous that sounds), cooking the best tasting dishes I can, while keeping a reasonable though not ridiculous eye on fat content. Weirdly, not only is it working (1kg down this week) but I am rather enjoying it. Like many things a blanket approach to weight loss is a bit counter productive, my friend is using the Weight Watchers point system, and having great results. I cant even think about pointing everything I eat, but having three sensible (yet delicious!) meals a day, plus a bit of fruit and maybe a couple of crackers at morning tea seems to work for me. A glass of wine with dinner is a lovely treat for me, for her it is a sweet biscuit or bit of chocolate (I have no sweet tooth so can easily give the chocolate a miss, still struggling with cheese...)
So anyway, we shall see how it goes, but here are a few of the yummy things I have been making. I cant vouch for any calorie or nutritional content, but they tasted good.

Supper the other night was steaks, marinated in loads of black pepper, a smidge of oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon. I cooked it on my griddle pan, then topped with a lovely zingy salsa, tasty but simple, using herbs I managed to find alive in the garden.

Handful of coriander
Handful of mint
Handful of parsley
One garlic clove, chopped
One red chili, chopped
Two Spring Onions, chopped
A small splash of olive oil

It was delish, served with potato wedges made with agria potatoes sprinkled with paprika, pepper, chili powder and salt, then baked and topped with low-fat sour cream (which tastes a lot like full fat sour cream), and some frozen corn. Like peas, corn, while being a shadow of the fresh version, is still handy to have, for days when I cant face another root vege, and the rain is pouring, making a salad feel just odd.

Another fav was lean pork steaks (no crackle, alas) briefly marinated in lemon thyme and lemon juice, grilled and served with a very simple salad made of steamed salad potatoes, crunchy Braeburn apple and celery and spring onions straight from the garden, bound with a tiny bit of mayo I loosened with extra lime juice, and a green salad with sweet little cherry tomatoes. Ok, not the most exciting dinners, but I am easing into it...

Tonight I am making a roasted vege salad sprinkled with feta cheese, which will be perfect for lunch tomorrow also. It is inspired by  Sophie Dahl's book, which I really rather like. Simple recipes, lovely styling, and plenty of chat, which I for one like in a cookbook. Her TV show started last week on Food TV, it was slated quite badly in the UK, but I thought she was rather lovely, and that kitchen, to die for!

Planning on making this coconut-beef-noodles from over at Pod & Three Peas this week, I have never used lite coconut milk, but I love curry, and cant possible contemplate giving it up for twelve weeks. I will give the fried noodles a miss, although they look tempting, but egg noodles will be fine. Actually I lost half a stone when I spent a month in India, not Delhi belly, just lovely fresh vege at every meal, and not to many snacks, go figure?
Book update, Brewed, Crude & Tattooed from my last post was actually quite good. Light but funny, I enjoyed the heroine Maggy and the description of a snow bound mall with a killer at large....very excited waiting for my next Amazon purchase to arrive, the delightful Thomasina Miers, UK Masterchef winner back in 2005, and owner of several Mexican restaurants in London has written a Mexican cookbook, cant wait to get cooking. Mexican food is much lighter than you would imagine, I think  alot of what is served here as Mexican is in fact Tex Mex, heavy on the cheese and meat. Mexican cooking is lighter and more exciting that that, watch this space for a bit of Mexico here in my kitchen.
Off for dinner, the fabulous Wallander series two starts tonight on UKTV, this show is really worth watching if you get the chance , Kenneth Branagh is the best. My Mum has read these books, and commented how amazingly similar to the character in the books he is, really bringing him to life. Hopefully I will get the remote back, the Premiership started at the weekend, it isn't enough to watch the games, one must watch all the highlight/preview/review shows also...and you thought diets were tedious......


  1. Veggies are so good this time of year that it almost makes you not feel deprived when they take over the majority of your plate (I said almost!). I tend to eat a lot of seafood when I'm trying to drop a few pounds, which is pretty frequently lately. Roasted veggies are great, too! I add a little splash of balsamic, which goes great with the roasted garlic.

  2. For amazing veg check out They pick & they courier them same day form the Hawkes Bay- so fresh - I got the premium box & it was amazing certainly lots of inspiration for healthy, yet delcious food. Cavalo nero, swiss chard, carrots, swede,baby white turnips, amazing baby leeks, leeks, 2 kinds of potaotes, onions, salad greens, pea shoots - just a box of deliciousness!

  3. Ohh I'm a sucker for anything with olives. Eating healthfully is so easy with so many great fruits & veggies in season! My best advice is to eat on smaller plates. I definitely eat less when it looks like my tiny plate is teeming with food!

  4. Thanks for your lovely comments:)
    Yep Laura, def trying to eat more seafood, we get such good stuff here I need to cook it MUCH more often!
    Am going to check that website Mairi, would be good to get a delivery like that which sort of forces me to use it, I often come up with my yummiest things that way!Thanks for the tip:)
    Adore olives Samantha, but alas Mr PK does not,they give such a great zing to dishes I sometimes sneak them in anyway....the plate trick is a goodie, the "bread&butter" plates in my dinner set are massive, so I often eat off those, your right, it feels so bountiful to have an overflowing plate!

  5. yup its that time of year, you know that summer is sneaking up and you are going to have to get the togs out .... eek !! guess i'll be cutting back on the slowcooked wintery dishes served with mash too ...

  6. Lovely recipe and I love miss Dahl:)


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