Monday, September 24, 2012
I think I have just invented a new recipe!
You see, one of the things I have to avoid with the diverticular disease is seeds.
So no more tinned tomatoes in my pasta sauces, and when I have cheese and tomato on toast I have to dig out all the seeds from each tomato slice before spreading them over my toast, slapping some slices of cheese on top and bubbling it to a golden colour under the grill.
Today I wanted to try and make my own salsa - in order to avoid seeds. The first attempt a few weeks back was somewhat problematic. I followed an Italian recipe and got tomato salad instead. Mental note: remember vinaigrette makes tomato SALAD, not tomato SALSA!
So I bought a beefsteak tomato, and when I got home I de-skinned it by cutting a cross in its base with a knife, putting it into a pint jug and pouring in boiling water, then waiting for a minute until the skin started to peel off.
Carefully, I poured the water down the sink without sending the tomato after it, tipped the tomato into a bowl, and pulled the skin off. Then I chopped the tomato into quarters and spent a pleasant couple of minutes separating it from its seeds using the knife and my fingers - some of them can be quite stubborn! :-) Ugh! Icky stickies! *shudder*
I then popped the flesh into my blender, along with about a dozen fresh basil leaves (I love the flavour, but you may use less), a tablespoon of olive oil, and a diddy bit of sea salt and ground black pepper. Then I whizzed it for one second at a time, testing the consistency after each whizz, until I was happy with the result.
I poured the salsa (can I call it salsa without chilli in it?) into a pot, and popped it into the fridge.
Then I had a thought...
Would the salsa be ok with cheese on toast?
Out came the wholewheat bread slice and the Double Gloucester cheese. Out came the pot of salsa! I toasted the bread lightly, spread half the salsa over the slice, topped it with slices of cheese and grilled it until golden and bubbly.
I grabbed a knife and fork, slipped the slice onto a plate and tucked in. Wow! What a taste sensation! I doubt I'll ever eat a plain tomato with cheese on toast again!
For those who like to live dangerously, make it in your toaster. You lie the toaster on its side to grill the cheese. Just remember to have a catcher's mitt handy when it flies out at the end of the cooking time!
Oooh, and another thing I discovered that is nommy with salsa - grilled fish!
I use a white fish fillet such as coley or hake, but any firm fish would probably be fine. Make sure the fillet isn't more than about 1/2 inch thick because you want to make sure it cooks through without going dry.
Grill the fish on one side for about 5 minutes, until you can see it is properly cooked on that half, then turn it over and give it just about 2 mins on the second side. The spread a generous portion of salsa (with or without the chilli works beautifully for this recipe) over the top of the fish - I use about 2 tablespoons - and sprinkle a little grated cheese on top of the salsa. Grill for a few minutes until the salsa is hot, the cheese is bubbly and a knife inserted into the centre of the fish for a second is terrifically hot when pulled out. That's how I check the fish is cooked through. :-)
I love this with a couple of plain boiled new potatoes for soaking up the salsa sauce, and some green veggies of some kind.
Have a great day! Sorry all of you suffering in the UK like me - from rain, wind and grey skies. Not the best start to Autumn! Let's hope it picks up and gives us some beautiful crisp sunny autumn days really soon. Make up for the summer we largely missed. last year it didn't get really cold until well into November, so it could still happen. :-)
Sunday, September 23, 2012
"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." --Elizabeth Lawrence
As the Autumn Equinox has just passed, I thought some inspiration from Autumn would be nice today. This is one of the most colourful and beautiful times of the year, and it makes sense to pause from our busy lives to take a walk to a local park, or out into the countryside, find a suitable bench or rock to sit on, and just breathe in nature with all its seasonal beauty and feel the serenity and peace for a brief time.
Here is a selection of beautiful autumnal photographs accompanied by inspiring quotes if you have a few minutes:
May the blessings and bounty of this autumn season shower you with peace and beauty.
Of course, it goes without saying that a good laugh does wonders for your mood too...
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Sorry my blog has been somewhat silent recently. Been a rough few weeks. :-( Been very tired and very sore. But what can you do? It comes and goes and I just have to go with the flow ... so to speak. Have discovered high levels of stress don't help! Good to know. *sheesh* :-)
So... A few LOLs to bring a smile on this awesome Autumn day!
I've been testing out Sparkpeople Exercise videos and testing my Abba game for ST-worthiness this week. My muscles have certainly made their presence felt as a result. LOL Made me feel the need of some exercise-related light relief. :-)
Having trouble with push-ups? Think of this poor guy next time you are on that floor with your nose almost touching the carpet! :-)
I have never been able to touch my toes without bending my knees. However, there is still hope that I will get to touch my toes one day...
Fell off my exercise ball some time ago, as you may recall. This cartoon convinced me never to use one again. There are easier ways to lose weight, you know!
Cravings can aid you in getting exercise, no matter what they tell you...
If you live in the USA, there is some very useful motivation available. Sadly, not in the UK though, unless the zoo decides to hold classes...
I took stock of my body the other day, and realised that one part of my body gets more exercise than all the others put together...
Even on my worst days pain-wise, there is always something I can do to get my body moving...
And I will manage to do push-ups one of these days...
And I know not to get disheartened when I can't see any obvious results at first, after exercising...
And I am making sure that no matter how little exercise I get, I add it to my fitness tracker. It all counts, you know...
Fitting exercise into a busy work schedule is possible...
If you are finding a particular exercise tricky, revisit it at intervals to see if it is any easier for you. It is a useful measure of progress...
And finally, the secret to success is very simple, and if you have joined Sparkpeople you are well on your way to achieving it. Always remember this on the difficult days...
Have a fantabulous weekend!
Sunday, August 26, 2012
To be sung to the tune of Happy Days are Here Again. :-)
Autumn noms are here again,
The fruit and veg all near again,
And the supermarket's cheer again!
Autumn noms are here again!
Time to check my recipes
For casseroles and stews to eat,
All those tasty squash are such a treat
Autumn noms are here again,
The rice and root veg is yum
And my Slow Cooker is on
The parsnip, leek, the swede, so cheap
The onion red, the marrows heap
Gonna cook the veg, then bash the neep
Autumn noms are here again!
Written in about ten minutes by ME! Can't you tell? LOL
Inspired by walking into Waitrose yesterday, and seeing the autumn harvest on display - marrows, squash, parsnips, swede. All looking so fresh and new and ready to eat. My mouth fair watered and I had to buy a selection there and then, and rush home to throw them in the slow cooker with some brown rice, water and a stock cube. I defrosted a cooked chicken thigh, heated it in the microwave, popped a good couple of dollops of the rice 'n' veg mix beside it, and had myself a tasty feast. :-)
Oh, it was so good! And the whole meal was only 316 calories! :-)
The weather fitted the bill too - a drop in temperature and thunderstorms rolling through - classic August bank holiday weather in England. :-)
I'm nursing a boo boo in the inside of my right elbow. Muscle ache from playing Wii baseball and golf yesterday. I swing that remote as if I was really pitching and hitting, and swinging that golf club, and the muscle didn't approve, I guess. So no Wii today. Just some aerobics with Kendall Hogan and some walking with Leslie Sansone.
Weighed 12 stone 7 this morning. That is 2 1/2 lbs down this week.
I wouldn't say no to dropping another stone or so, but I'm pretty comfy at this weight, so no biggie one way of the other. It would just be nice if I could get to a size 16 trouser, instead of being permanently between sizes. 16 tight and 18 loose! *sigh*
Maybe the new diet will help with that. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months.
How does one get rid of the extra inches one is pinching? The two stone may be gone, but the roll is still there. Is core exercise supposed to fix that over time?
Enjoy your Sunday.
Friday, August 24, 2012
So, we are watching a karaoke countdown and Karma Chameleon comes on. And I notice something on the video I haven't seen before - two kids apparently pushing someone into a large basket, and all you can see is their legs with the kids trying to push them out of sight. I turned to Tara and told her what I spotted. "Who could it be, I wonder." I said. "Hopefully, it was Justin Beiber!" she replied! My daughter, the comedian! LOL
And no prizes for guessing which song - from 1975 - sung by a sometimes mustachiod demi-rock-god and his three sidekicks - a song that featured in Wayne's World - was the number one selling karaoke Song.
Of course it was that song! :-) And who better to create a tribute to this amazing song and its outstanding video, than the Muppets!
I know, I know! We've all seen it a million times! But class like this deserves many many reruns. LOL funny every time I watch it. :-)
In other news...
Tara and I went to the Opticians on Wednesday for eye tests. Tara has perfect vision still, lucky duck! Me? Mostly the same as last time, aside from them needing to up my prescription for reading a notch. I knew it was coming. Lately, I've been having to ask Tara to read out the nutrition information on a lot of food containers. The writing is so tiny, and often on really difficult background colours. *pout* :-)
Money being as tight as a snare drum, I have had to go for free frames courtesy of the NHS on this occasion. However, both the lady who measured me up, and her boss who checked her work (she is still in training) thought they looked really good on me. In fact he said the glasses balanced my face out beautifully! Nothing like a lovely compliment to brighten ones day. :-)
They will be ready in about a week. :-)
The fibre thing is going fairly well. I am noticing that on my highest fibre days, I am at my lowest fat-wise. This is an unexpected bonus I wasn't expecting. :-) I still need more work to get consistent, but so far, so good.
Hooray! The weekend is here!
Have a good one!
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