Monday, 28 November 2016

Meal Planning Monday

Tonight I am posting the meal plan, in the vain hope mostly of sticking to it! I woke up Saturday full of cold and its now progressed to today where I've lost my voice and rather amusingly on a phone call at work, they commented that they felt like the should be paying for the call, which made my husky voice even worse by laughing so hard it left me a little speechless! Am soooo annoyed at yet another bug! In the space of two months I've already had a bout of Sinusitis and a cold, so frankly waking up with this has left me pondering what can I do to boost my immune system?!

Sometimes I can't help but wonder if its a result of when I was restricting my diet during the FODMAP trial a few months back, I did the first part quite a while due to holidays and things going on, plus I had a fair amount of stress going on - some good and some bad! Don't get me wrong it really did help when I stuck religiously to it but most re-introductions left me a bit confused even with the support of my lovely dietitian! Nowadays I have figured out a few of my triggers and either avoid them or try to avoid mixing too many FODMAP's together. Right now though my sore throat is craving Honey and nothing else will substitute!!

Meal planning has been a bit hit and miss the past few months. My job has been through a peak of the project and I've quite often been exhausted to even make what we had planned and we often had a takeaway! Also I am trying to run down the cupboards, which doesn't always mean much excitement! Sardine noodles anyone?! Though I do have a very good reason for running down the cupboards - as we are finally going to be getting a home all of our own in the New Year!! Its something I thought at one point would never happen but finally the stars have aligned and now we are just waiting for the date! I can't honestly wait to have my own kitchen again after 5 years of sharing!!

So this week, depending on germ status:

Smoked salmon fillets and orzo with sauteed green beans and courgettes 
Leftover ragu risotto 
Garlic sausage fusilli 
Smoked mackerel frittata, potato wedges 
Sweet chilli pork stir fry with noodles 

Have a great week!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Smoked Mackerel and veggie packed Buckwheat-otto

Soooo.. its been a while! I had completely lost my blogging mojo and over the past year I've really been questioning in general how much I share and how much time I spend online. Tweeting this, Instagramming that, posting various things on Facebook and updating on other groups meant there was not enough time leftover just for me and so I decided enough is enough, no more blogging and a real cut back of being online. So I did nothing. Absolutely nothing. And its lovely to do nothing. The last year or so has frankly been far too stressful (though there were some good things too) and it was taking a toll on my health and so I took a month off. My inbox is full but it doesn't bother me anymore. My blog has only ever meant to be a hobby and I had been thinking about giving up entirely but I will hang in a bit longer and see how I feel.. 9 years is a long time!!

These winter nights are not helping either with the blogging!! Everything I photograph looks odd and I've spent ages trying to adjust the colour balance!! Fingers crossed in the new year we may also be in pastures new...hopefully with much better lighting too!! Though the whole process is the part of my current stress levels, it will be worth it in the end! I've already decided summer cannot come around quick enough - our current kitchen is freezing and I am currently huddled under my snuggie blanket typing, thawing out from cooking our dinner tonight!!

Comfort food is definitely winning at the moment and this is one of those dishes! I am following my FODMAP about 80% of the time and whilst I think I've worked out both wheat and dairy are not my BFF's, we are alright mates if we don't hang out too frequently! I missed bread to much to carry on long term, also with it being the 'C' season I've been eating out a lot and doing FODMAP + restaurants is always a bad idea!! I have been avoiding garlic but a little in this would be probably rather lovely!!

A few months back when I started re-assessing my diet, I discovered Buckwheat, which isn't actually a type of wheat and is more grain like in texture. Its slightly nutty and its really versatile - it soaks up flavours brilliantly too and I've been making lots of risotto style dishes with it. This dish is also a one pan winner - less washing up is always good!! Its also fairly cheap to make, in a month full of annual type bills its very welcome! 

Serves 3

100g buckwheat
200g smoked peppered mackerel, skinned and shredded
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 courgette, cut into strips
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 small stick of celery, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
5 tbsp parmesan, grated
1/2 tbsp herbs de provence
2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
S&P to taste

Soak the buckwheat for about 10 minutes in cold water and rinse well. (This helps to remove any wheaty dust etc but isn't the end of the world if you forget!)

Heat a glug of olive oil in a saute pan till hot and fry the carrot and celery for 5 minutes, until starting to soften and then stir in the remaining veggies and fry until the courgette is starting to become lightly golden - about 5 minutes. 

Stir in the prepared buckwheat, herbs de provence and add the tomatoes. Fill the empty tin with water and pour over, cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed, stirring every 5-10 minutes.

Fold in the prepared mackerel and half the parmesan and heat through. Scatter over the basil and remaining parmesan and serve

Serve in big bowls and enjoy!

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