Sunday, 30 January 2011

RECIPE: Oriental Baked Salmon

This is a recipe I've got planned for next week, but I thought I'd share it now. I think I've had it before - it sounds familiar, but I'm not sure. So it could be horrid! I have certainly planned to have it before, but we didn't have it when I had planned.

ORIENTAL BAKED FISH - the recipe is for cod, but I'm going to use salmon. I guess you could use whatever fish you wish. Serves 2

2 cod fillets (though I'm going to use salmon steaks)
1 tsp  grated fresh ginger
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
2 tsp honey

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F
  • Marinade fish for 30 mins in ginger, garlic, & lemon juice for 30 minutes
  • Put fish in foil package, sprinkle with chilli,, & mixed soy sauce and honey. Sprinkle on a little of the marinade.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir fry vegetables of choice, and add egg noodles if desired. Serve fish with the stirfry, pouring any juices over.

On SW the fish itself is 1/2 syn on the Original plan, but I make no promises about the other Syn values.
I've not put this on MFP so I don't know what the calorie count is.


Yesterday wasn't a great day, food wise, although I was pleased with the exercise that I did. I used the bike trainer for 20 minutes. While it wasn't on a particularly difficult level, it was still quite hard work - I'm still getting used to the saddle! Even though I wear cycling shorts, and have a gel saddle, it's still hard on the bottom. It is getting better, but oooh! At the beginning I could hardly take 5 minutes! But with some good music it is a bit easier. And, more scary (!) than that is the fact that at the end, I have a big grin on my face - and not just because it's over, but because I've actually enjoyed it. A bit, at least!

Food-wise I went a bit OTT - I had two glasses of wine, and nibbled on cheese and other bitty bits. It could have been much worse, I know - if I think back to before we started eating more healthily, we'd've had the burger in a bun, with more cheese, plus the chips. Yesterday we had 20g of cheese, no bun, and slightly fewer chips. And loads of salad. And I was perfectly satisfied.

Saturday, 29 January 2011


This was a pleasant dish. I had it with a couple of slices of roast pork and it made a very nice dish. I think it probably needs siomething to give it a bit more oomph - possibly more seasoning than I gave it, which is often a problem for me, or stronger cheese, or a bit of chilli. Try it and see what you think.

TIAN  For 2 people
1 large courgette, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 oz rice
250 ml chicken/vegetable stock
50g grated cheese
herbs to taste
2 beaten eggs.
1 slice wholemeal bread made into breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 180°C
Cook the onion, garlic and courgettes in the chicken stock for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook gently until all the stock has been absorbed.
Mix half the cheese, the tomatoes, herbs, seasoning and eggs into the courgette mix. 
Put the mixture into an ovenproof dish, greased with a few sprays of FryLight. Cover with the breadcrumbs, and remaining cheese. You might like to try adding a tsp of cayenne pepper to the breadcrumb mix.
Bake for 20 minutes until it is golden and crispy.

On MFP this works out as approx 296 calories a portion.
On SW, there are a few syns on the Green plan, with the bread & cheese, unless they're used as Healthy Extras.

This is not a photo of my tian, but of another; however it gives a good idea of how yummy it can be!  The recipe I've given is adapted from a Provençal dish, and "tian" is named after the gratin dish that it is cooked in.
I've had a good day today, with a good 25 minute workout which has given me "extra" calories. We're having burger (made with 5% fat mince) with a slice of cheese, Slimming World chips, salad and homemade coleslaw for dinner. I'm looking forward to it. And even with 2 chocolate fingers and a glass of wine I'm still under the calorie allowance. How good is that?!
Mr F-D can have bread as well, as he's just been out for a one-and-a-half hour bike ride with the Cycle Club. I'm probably joining them at the end of February, when I begin my Cycling challenge.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Weigh In

Not too bad - another 0.5 kg. Not a huge amount, but petit à petit. After all, I've lost nearly half a stone in three weeks. That's not bad going at all. Keep it up, Fat Dormouse!!!

102 kg
224.9 lbs
75 kg
165.3 lbs
27 kg
59.6 lbs
3 kg
6.6 lbs
24 kg
53.6 lbs
0.5 kg
1.1 lb

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


So here are this week's menus.
My breakfast, if I'm working, is porridge made with water and a splash of milk, plus 1/2 tbsp golden syrup. I have orange juice (one of my 5-a-day) plus a Danacol cholesterol reducing yoghurt.  If I'm not working I usually go for two slices of toast with 2 Laughing Cow triangles, plus juice & yoghurt.
My lunches usually consist of 2 small sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, soup (if I've made some), a "peach pot" (plastic pot of chopped peaches in juice), 4 mini jaffa cakes and an apple. (three of my 5-a-day) This comes out round about the 350 - 400 calorie mark, depending on the sandwich filling, and the soup.
 And then dinner... I try to keep this a good Slimming World recipe. If I've got spare calories I'll have a 0% fat yoghurt, and maybe a chocolate finger for pudding. At the weekends (and into the week, if we've not finished the bottle!) we'll have a small glass of wine or a small bottle of beer with our meals. 

Generally, I think the most important thing I can do is keep an eye on portion size (we used to eat HUGE amounts!) and think more carefully about the fats that are used. I've got an olive oil sprayer, which delivers a fine mist of oil, rather than a heavy-handed glug; I spread my grease thinly on bread (or not at all if I'm having something with mayo or soft cheese) instead of taking half-a-pound on my knife! And, of course, (whisper it gently) Exercise! 

Anyway: here they are:
WEDNESDAY: Chicken liver paté sandwich etc/ Spicy Indian Grilled chicken, naan bread (1 between us), cucumber raita and tomato-and-onion salad.
THURSDAY: Chicken liver paté sandwich etc. / Tian (a courgette & rice dish) plus cold roast pork.
FRIDAY: Laughing Cow & cucumber sandwich etc. / Salmon & brocolli bake, with salad
SATURDAY: Soup, french bread & 28g melted cheese / Burgers (no bun), SW chips and salad (including home made coleslaw)
SUNDAYSoup, french bread & ham / Beef casserole, veggies, and mashed potato
MONDAY: Laughing Cow & cucumber sandwich etc. / Jacket potato with Oriental Chicken topping, salad (or veggies)
TUESDAY: Egg mayo sandwich (Miam, Miam!) etc / Pasta with spinach & ham.

I'll continue to post recipes, but if there's any you particularly want then just let me know. Keep going, folks!

RECIPE: Chicken Saltimbocca

We had this on Sunday. It was delicious BUT I felt it needed some kind of sauce, or at least a "wet" vegetable. But I'll leave it up to you to try it with whatever you like: we had it with Slimming World chips and carrot & courgette strips.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 slices lean parma ham (or similar)
75g ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh mixed herbs, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried herbs)

  • Preheat oven to 220°C. 
  • Mix the ricotta, garlic, herbs & seasoning in a bowl.
  • Cut a deep slit in each chicken breast to make a pocket. Divide the ricotta mix in two, and stuff into the slit.
  • Wrap the parma ham around the chicken breast, folding the ends under. Secure with cocktail sticks, if necessary.
  • Place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment (or straight onto a non-stick baking sheet if you're like me.)
  • Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.

SW 2.5 Syns on Original. 15 on Green...though can the chicken be used as a Healthy Extra? I think so.
Calories on MFP: approximately 270 a portion, but I make no absolute promises on that. It's all a bit "guestimate"!!!

I hope you enjoy it!

RECIPE: Chicken liver, bacon & mushroom paté

Mr FD likes his paté, but of course it can be very fatty and calorific. This paté is much better for you: it's not a terrine-type paté, but rather a spread, but is very good despite that. Don't worry if you're not too keen on chicken livers: while it does have the livery taste it's not too strong.
It is a really easy recipe, which makes a lot . You can freeze it too, so don't worry if it looks a huge amount. I've made some today and I reckon there's about 8 - 10 servings: I'm freezing two small bowls of it, and have a larger bowl for eating!

8 oz chicken livers
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 oz bacon/lardons
2 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 small tub 0% fat fromage frais
Mixed herbs & seasoning to taste.

Fry the onions, mushrooms, garlic & lardons until soft. Pour off any excess fat.
Add the chicken livers and cook for about 7 minutes - be careful not to overcook the livers, or they'll go a bit grainy.
Put everything in a blender and zuzz until smooth. Add the fromage frais a spoonful at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.

On SW this is free of Syns on the Original plan.
On MFP the estimated calories are 99 calories a serving (if the whole lot serves 9 people)

I didn't read my own instructions and added the fromage frais all together. So my paté is a bit sloppy. Still I hope it will taste good.

I also made a vegetable soup for today's lunch. I guess you don't need a recipe for that! In France it's quite good, as you can find ready packed vegetables for Pot Au Feu - a type of stew.I used them for the soup: a quarter of cabbage, a turnip, some onions, some carrots, a couple of parsnips and some celeriac all went in, together with a can of chopped tomatoes, some turkey stock, and a couple of vegetable stock cubes. I've zuzzed it all up and it smells good. Hopefully, not too calorific!


I was interested to hear that Slimming World has evolved since I went - mind you, that was over 6 years ago...maybe more! I believe that there's now "Extra Easy" plans - although others found it complicated, I never found the Green/original plans particularly difficult. A little time consuming to work out, but if you planned your week's menus as I did (and still do!) it wasn't hard. I'm kind of following the old SW plans, as that's what I know : and if it worked then, well, I guess it's going to work now! Weigh-in tomorrow: the proof of the Pudding (that's me!) will be in the losing!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

RECIPE: Pasta Arrabiata ......... & Various Musings

This one is dead easy, but it was very tasty:
Fry a chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic and some chilli (to taste) in FryLight, or 1/2 tbsp of chilli oil, if you want an extra kick. Add a can of chopped tomatoes and 2 Tbsp green pesto. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Season to taste
Boil some pasta. Add sauce. Delicious! I added 1/2 a ball of mozzarella (about 150g between two of us) & 10 black olives each but that's not necessary

On SW, without the mozzarella and using FryLight, it's almost free on the Green plan. I'm not sure what the Syn value is for Green Pesto.
On MFP the calorie value (with mozzarella, olives & 75g of pasta) was around 518 calories. I upped it by having a slice of bread and a glass of wine...but never mind! The intentions were good!


I'm finding that I'm going over my calorie allowance if I don't exercise. But at the same time, my calorie allowance is quite low (1422) I could change it, but I'm keeping it deliberately low, so that I'm aware of when I have more calories! Also it encourages me to do a bit more exercise! I note that other of my Friends on MFP have higher allowances, but I've decided to stay quite low.
My back isn't very happy today, but I really must get on the bike today! It's over a week since I did any training here, although I did do 10 minutes easy cycling and 15 minutes hard StairMaster at my physiotherapists on Wednesday. Plus lots of balancing exercises, but I don't think they count - even though I was concentrating on pulling in my stomach muscles. I'm really bad at balancing!

Friday, 21 January 2011

RECIPE: Pork & Apple Burgers

This is tonight's dinner: the recipe suggests serving with a wilted spinach salad. I'm going to have paprika potato wedges and a spicy salsa. I'd make the salsa with big tomatoes if we had any, but we haven't, so it will be with cherry tomatoes. I hope it works OK. We've got the tail end of a bag of salad to eat as well.

1/2  large apple
1/2 bunch spring onions, trimmed & sliced
Tsp dried herbs
small bunch of parsley
300g pork mince (as lean as possible)

  • Peel & grate the apple, squeeze out the moisture and put in a bowl. Add the sliced onions, & herbs. Mix with the apple.
  • Then add the pork mince & seasoning. Mix well, using your hands. Divide into 4 burgery shapes.
  • Preheat the grill to high. Line the grill pan with foil & spray with FryLight. Arrange the burgers on the foil & grill for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  • Serve with whatever you're eating with it. 2 burgers each.
On SW this is 1 syn on the Original and 11.5 syns on the Green plans.
I'll put the recipe on MFP and then come back & tell you the calories!!! (Just put it on and found it's 405 calories. Which is quite a lot. However, made with low fat pork mince, which we can't get here in France, I guess it would be lower in calories and fat content. Still - I'm only over my calories by about 100 - and that includes a glass of wine!)

I've no spring onions so I'm using finely chopped ordinary onion.

Last night we ate quite late, as we went to see a friend. I had a glass of rosé as an apero, which wasn't good. But I refused snacks and flapjack, which was good. So I am quite pleased with myself. I didn't have the inclination whe we got back to start cooking a pasta bake, which is what I'd planned, so I threw together a pasta sauce, with a jar of lowish calorie veggie sauce, supplemented with courgete, pepper,mushrooms and lardons. Not very good for us, but better than many things I might have "thrown together".

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Menus this week

If anyone cares...! I forgot to put up this week's menus. Here are our dinners for this week. I won't post the recipes for all of them, but I will for those that are particularly nice!

WED: Turkey & Mushroom Ragout. I posted the recipe, but added some frozen spinach and a diced courgette for extra veggies. Quite nice. Very filling with rice - though I did use a lot for both of us.
THURSDAY: Courgette & Pasta Gratin (using half a mozzarella ball)
FRIDAY: Pork & apple burgers, salad and potato wedges.
SATURDAY: Penne Arrabiata with the other 1/2 mozzarella ball.
SUNDAY: Chicken Saltimbocca, courgettes and carrots, jacket potato (or maybe SW chips. I've not decided yet)
MONDAY: ratatouille, with spicy potato wedges, and 30g grated cheese.
TUESDAY: Steamed coconut salmon (ooh, I wonder if I've used up the coconut milk in the soup today?! I'll have to check!) and rice

Most of my lunches are 2 small sandwiches (Laughing Cow cheese spread, or ham, or chicken. Maybe an egg mayo) with cherry tomatoes, a Peach Pot, an apple and my regulation 4 mini Jaffa Cakes. If I suck them, rather than chew, they last a bit longer! If I've made a soup, I'll take a big thermos of that as well. I'm actually surprised how much this fills me up: I used to take 4 sandwiches, plus crisps, and I'd eat maybe half a pack of the Jaffa cakes.No wonder I'm the size I am!!!

Recipe: Autumn Thai Soup

This is an adaptation of a Slimming World recipe, changed to suit our tastes. I've not actually made it before, but it's similar to another soup I make (Mr FD's favourite) so hopefully it should be good.

                                          Autumn Thai Soup
                                (serves 6-8, depending on greed)
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped         
3 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped                                                  
5 celery stalks, chopped (inc. leaves)
1.5 litres of chicken/vegetable stock                                 
250 ml coconut milk (light, if you can get it)
1/2 tbsp green curry paste                                                
Seasoning, to taste

  • Put the vegetables in a pan. Add the stock, coconut milk & curry paste. Season
  • Bring to boil, & then simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  • Zuzz with blender. Serve, sprinkled with coriander if desired.
 SW syns - I'm not sure. Made with skimmed milk the recipe says it's 2 syns a serving, but I'm not sure with the coconut milk & curry paste. I'd guess 3/4 syns.
MFP tells me that (serving 8 people) this is 87 calories a serving.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Second Weigh-In + A recipe for Turkey & Mushroom Ragout

102 kg
224.9 lbs
75 kg
165.3 lbs
27 kg
59.6 lbs
2.5 kg
5.5 lbs

0.5 kg
1.1 lb

Last week I lost 2 kg - I was really chuffed with this - but this week was a little more realistic. I lost 0.5 kg which doesn't sound much, until I rationalise it to say, that's an average of 1.5kg per week, or 3 lbs! That sounds better! Especially as I was out on Friday night, with no thought of calories, and have been having a sneaky glass of wine or two at other times.

I've been keeping up with exercise too - since last Wednesday, I've cycled (stationary bike) twice, gone for a 4 km walk plus done 15 minutes Big Effort on a StairMaster. Actually, that sounds a bit pathetic written down! I'll have to do more.

Still: here's a recipe for tonight's dinner: TURKEY & MUSHROOM RAGOUT
250g turkey escalope/breast fillet                      75ml chicken stock
1 chopped garlic clove                                      2 tbsp red fat crème fraiche
1/2 tbsp mustard                                               1 onion, finely chopped
100g mushrooms, sliced                                     1/2 tsp cornflour mixed with 1/2 tbsp water

  • Cut the turkey into strips. Spray a pan with fry-light & cook the strips over a moderate heat for 4 - 5 minutes
  • Add the garlic, onions & mushrooms. Season & cook for a further 4-5 minutes
  • Pour in the stock & bring to boil. Then stir in the crème fraiche and mustard. Bring back to the boil, & stir in the cornflour mix. Simmer, stirring, for another 4-5 minutes until thickened and smooth.
  • Serve sprinkled with parsley. 
On SW this is 2 syns on the Red plan, and 9  on the green.
My Fitness Plan says this is (approx) 648 calories a portion when served with 75g of dry weight basmati rice.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Marrakesh Chicken

Just had this. Quite nice but probably needs a tomato based, spicy sauce to jazz it up a bit. I found it a little dry.
For 2 people:

Slash 2 chicken breasts and put in a baking dish. Slice 1 lemon into thick slices and put into the slashes. Mix together 100g natural yoghurt and a tbsp harissa paste. Slather onto the chicken. Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes.
Cut up a courgette, onion and red pepper. Spray with FryLight or similar. Bake in oven for 30 minutes also.

Make up 60g of raw weight cous-cous. Serve vegetables with cous cous, topped with chicken & any juices. Add parsley to cous cous, if you have any. I didn't.

Maybe I should have taken a photo, but I don't tend to take photos of my dinner!!

Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner - Get set, go!

OK, so I already have a blog over at "View From The Teapot" - that's my general, what's happening today kind of blog. But this is a bit different. This is my weightloss blog. I'm hoping that as I continue to lose weight, by diet and exercise I can record my successes here. And that I will be cheered on by whoever might read this.

I chose the name of the blog, Fat Dormouse getting thinner, because my "web name" is Dormouse. On various sites around the interweb there's me. There is a type of dormouse (glis glis is its botanical name) called a Fat Dormouse. It's a dinky wee thing, but it's fat. Like me. Here's a picture of the Fat Dormouse.

Hopefully as the days, weeks, months, and I guess years, go by, I will be a the Dormouse Formerly Known As Fat!

So, I started this Healthy Eating thing last week. I started at 102 kg - a frighteningly large amount. I'm 6 foot, but that really is too much. I lost 2 kg last week, through being careful what I ate, some exercise and, of course, the Big Shock to my body. I know this generally happens when you start a new diet, but it's still a nice thing. 4.4 lbs! Way to go, Dormouse!

Each week I'll say what my menus are for the week. And post the odd receipe or two as well. I hope it will encourage some of you lot as well. I'm using My Fitness Pal as an aid. There are lots of people on that, but in general I find the recipes and hints a bit too "American" for me. I don't mean any offence by that, but just that  recipes and comments refer to products that I can't get over here in France.

And then there is my bug bear EXERCISE! I am really lazy. I don't like putting myself out. But I've decided to set myself a challenge. Called 1,000 euros for 1,000 kilometres, I'll tell you more about that later. But for now, I'm trying to do a little more exercise than I used to. Mr FD has set up my bike on the trainer downstairs, so I'm building up on that (though our big downstairs room is so cold! I suppose it encourages me to work out when I'm there,but it's not very inviting!) Plus a little bit of walking. However I had an accident last September (You can read about it on View From The Teapot, should you wish to) which tore ligaments in my knee and ankle. I am less inclined to do the walking I did last year. Still, with Mr FD nagging me, and with My Fitness Pal giving me extra calories for my exercise, and with my doctor gently telling me that one of the reasons my knee hasn't healed is because it's carrying far too much weight, I maybe will be encouraged to get off my fat blogging arse and do something!!!

So. That's me. Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner...and I hope you'll join me on the journey!