This week I needed comfort food because I've had a cold and have been feeling very sorry for myself. On Tuesday I made the sausage hot pot thing that my sister made for me a few weeks ago. It's basically sausages (Waitrose does some surprisingly good extra lean ones), onions, carrots, savoy cabbage and potatoes and chicken stock cooked for an hour before dotting the top with a little (reduced fat) butter and leaving to crisp up. It looked revolting when I served it up so here's a picture of it when it was still a work in progress:
On Wednesday I made Fuchsia Dunlop's pock-marked old woman's tofu, aka mapo tofu. I was feeling very full of cold and very pathetic and very much like I couldn't be bothered to cook, but the beauty of so many of the recipes in her book, Every Grain of Rice, is that they are incredibly quick and easy to make. Most of the ingredients are store-cupboard things and tofu seems to last forever in the fridge. Now, I know that tofu is a bit of a love/hate thing - I really don't like the stuff that is fried and spongey and has the thick brown skin thing going on - but I used firm silken style (i.e. soft and mushy but doesn't break apart if you're fairly careful with it) and it was really delicious and very satisfying:
On Thursday I was feeling lazy so I had scrambled eggs and prosciutto in a pitta bread.
On Friday I found myself in a tricky situation - the previous night's laziness meant I had no lunch with me and I had to go hunting. My colleagues have been raving about Pilpel for ages so I decided to try it. It was amazing. Falafel, salad, proper houmous, aubergines...the only problem was that it was far too big and I gave up about two thirds of the way through (NB: this is progress; before I would have powered on through.)
It was a bit of a rookie mistake because it meant that I wasn't properly hungry that evening when I went over to @ShedLikesFood's place where we were having Steak Night. How she managed to perfectly cook four types of steak (rump, onglet, fillet, prime rib) for 13 hungry men and women, I have no idea, but it was fabulous. Look at this mound of meat!
I left Shed's house feeling very full but, amazingly, sober. I spent the weekend either in bed or under the duvet on the sofa watching TV. Did I mention that I'm ill? I made Fuchsia Dunlop's gong bao chicken with peanuts on Saturday evening which was a hit except for the fact that I discovered after a couple of mouthfuls that the peanuts had turned a bit rancid so I had to pick them all out, happily saving a load of points in the process.
On Sunday I made pork and fennel meatballs from the Polpo cookbook, except with veal mince.
Delicious but I couldn't finish them because I had naughtily made some feeling-sorry-for-myself scones in the afternoon which I had with some amazing strawberry and vanilla jam made by the lovely @ginandting. Actually, scones really aren't that bad - each scone had 1 ounce of flour, 1/4 ounce of reduced fat butter, 15 mls of skimmed milk and 1/8 ounce of sugar making them 4 points each. Let's not think about what the toppings added...
On Monday night I had my first pilates session with my neighbour. She's a personal trainer and is doing some sort of pilates qualification and is using me as her case study. I feel truly sorry for her as she has to put up with my wingeing and moaning for 12 hours. We're aiming to do two sessions a week, if possible, and I'm hoping that it will be habit forming so that I get off my arse and DO SOME EXERCISE. I'm not expecting miracles here - I'm hardly about to start running or turning into Forrest Gump, but maybe doing the Zumba for the Wii a couple of times a week would be a start. I need to do something, I feel so unhealthy. Anyway, after pilates I reheated leftovers of the meatballs and had with some rice as I'd had pasta at lunchtime. They were even better the following day.
So another fairly crappy week. I'm just not bothering to count my points at all. I'm sort of being more careful than if I was Not On A Diet as I'm eating a little less and I'm not eating a ton of fried crap, but it's still not really good enough. What I haven't mentioned is that I also had toast and nutella at least 3 times this week, which is why I patently don't deserve this week's weight loss of 1.4lbs. I'll take it though.