Wagamama regular.. 

Anyone who know me, or even follows my Instagram, will know the endless love I have for wagamama. 


I mean, come on, just look at it. 

Besides tasting great, my Wagamama favourite dish is actually surprisingly healthy too. 

None of that Katsu curry rubbish, just chilli beef ramen for the soul. 

Well, I have the Wagamama cookbook and I do often make my own ramen, and a few of you have commented asking for the recipe. It is easy to find online but I’ll post it here too. 


I’m a true Wagamama fan, and a few years ago they used to sell their ramen bowls and spoons online. I don’t know why they don’t anymore, but I gathered a collection luckily! If you don’t have the ramen spoon then it might be slightly difficult to slurp the amazing broth, but you can always use a straw! 


Now the chilli sauce that you add to the broth is open to interpretation. I’ve followed the recipe for the chilli sauce before and it wasn’t the same, but I asked someone who worked for Wagamama (dream – free food on your lunch break!!!) and they suggested using sriracha because that’s what Wagamama used to print on their recipe table place-Matt. 

So that’s what I do, and it is so close to the real thing that it’s insane. My only suggestion is that you make your own stock if you can – because using a stock cube or stock from the supermarket makes it taste less authentic. The stock is the only difference I notice when I make my own ramen vs when I eat at Wagamama. It’s such a shame I’m so close to perfection with this dish. 

Anyway, I’m sure the suspense is killing you, so here is the recipe. 


Now if you would like to try and make this chilli ramen sauce then I will post the recipe for that too, but I really do recommend sriracha. 

And if you’re not into steak, you can make the same ramen with a chicken breast. 


The secret to wagamama’s stock is that they use a mixture of chicken and pork bones – so definitely try making their stock if you can. If not, it doesn’t matter too much – but you can taste a slight difference when using supermarket stock. 




Happy cooking! 

Henrietta x

4 stone down! 

So yesterday my weigh in revealed I’ve hit the four stone mark! 

Four stone down, another four and a half to go? 

Yes, I know. It does seem somewhat daunting; I have to keep going though. 

I’m taking it in steps, currently I’m about 4 kilograms away from being considered overweight rather than obese. That is my next target – to be overweight! 

I started this journey in the morbidly obese category, not even realising so! From a BMI of 41 I’ve managed to bring it down to a BMI of 31 – still obese but getting somewhere. 

But, typically, when a dieting fatty like myself manages to shed some extra pounds it involves a celebratory meal. 

Hello beautiful. 😍😍😍

 I don’t want to gain anything back though and ruin what I’ve achieved so low fat is still the way forward! 

I tend to eat fillet steak as it has a lower fat content compared to other cuts, but it can be pricey so I tend to overspend in order to become healthy. Muscle food is literally where I buy all my meat and even though buying a whole fillet of beef is around £35, I got a good 14 steaks out of it. 

Obviously if you want to be even more well behaved than me you would use sweet potato rather than new potatoes, but I just ran out. 😢

Good luck on your own journeys everyone and thanks for checking in on mine! Be sure to keep checking my blog! 

Henrietta x


Celebratory meals 

The other day was an anniversary for myself and my other half, and as such we went out for dinner. 

Oh lord, not these struggles again. For some of you who may have read my earlier post, ‘the horror of eating out’, you might understand the levels of anxiety I was then feeling. 

But why should I feel like that when I’m celebrating something?  Surely you can still indulge in a celebratory meal that is healthy? 

Well, you can. Just do it. My secret is to find the menu online of wherever you’re planning on eating and choose your dish in advance after looking up the nutritional information of the dish. You can find the nutritional information for a restaurant’s dishes online easily. So now I didn’t have to feel guilty indulging in anything. I had a steak and rocket salad, with a side of baby potatoes because I will never live carb-free.

I even had a cheeky sharer starter with my other half. 

(And that was smothered in cheese!)

It just goes to show you don’t have to struggle with the menu there and then, with a bit of preparation you can feel good about what you’re eating.

Henrietta x

Italian never tasted so good

I am a huge fan of proper spaghetti bolognese. The kind where you simmer it for hours with all its baconybeefy goodness. 

I used to use 8 rashers of bacon, a 500g pack of mince, veg and homemade sauce – but eat it all to myself with 4 portions worth of spaghetti. 

Now I’ve worked out a healthier way of making my amazing slow cooked bolognese and I cannot wait to eat some more soon. The trick is to portionise it and freeze batches. When you want a portion, just put it in a saucepan on a low heat. 

Oh my goodness, it’s heavenly.

  

I get a bit cautious when it comes to pasta and bolognese – how much pasta should I have? 

Most packets recommend 100g dried pasta, cooked. But then that amounts to 350 calories and suddenly I’m not so happy. 

My secret is to use 50g dried pasta, cooked – it may seem like a small amount but once you add the bolognese and a cheeky bit of Parmesan and you have a good 500 calorie meal. I always use wholewheat pasta, and now I no longer like white pasta.

As for my bolognese – has anyone ever heard of muscle food? I rarely buy my meat from anywhere else. It offers the leanest meat I’ve been able to find and I pride myself on low fat meat. It’s all delivered in a cooked box and, as long and you put the meat in the fridge once delivered, it’s a really amazing service. It’s also where I buy my venison from my earlier post!

Their extra lean beef mince (4% fat) is the leanest I’ve been able to find anywhere, with most supermarkets only offering 5% fat. They often do bulk offers where you can buy a hamper of different meats for bargain prices. It’s all good quality and lean.

There is no such thing as a proper bolognese without bacon. Muscle food offer the leanest bacon I’ve found with all the fatty parts trimmed from the leanest cuts of pork. I use a rash of bacon per person so cooking bolognese for four will involve 400g beef mince and four bacon rashes. 

I’m sure you all have your own recipes for bolognese and I’m sure you’ll all pass them down generations in your family, but mine is the best. 

But really it depends if you want to try a new bolognese recipe. I’ll gladly post mine – one day. But, for now, it’s my family secret! 

Henrietta x

The alternative to steak and chips

Well, it was one of those no expense spared nights last night at a lovely little restaurant on tresco (the scilly isles). After carefully considering my options from the menu provided I asked my mother about the sweet potato wedges. 

“Are they deep fried or oven baked?

To which my response was along the lines of “they’re much too crispy to be oven baked”. It seemed, however, my question spoilt everyone’s fun as my mum then decided that the six of us could only share the single portion of sweet potato wedges given my concerns on how they were cooked. 

Oops. 

Anyhow, that somewhat spoilt my choice to have a healthier version of steak and chips, though I did manage to work my way around the menu. 

First of all, when it comes to ordering steak, you want to choose the least fatty cut you can. Fillet is by far the healthiest option you can go for – but it is also the priciest. I didn’t have beef fillet available on the menu last night so my second best choice is sirloin. I tend to avoid rump at all costs after learning it has a higher fat content than I expected. 

If you prefer your steak rare then you are in for a treat. You actually burn more calories digesting a steak the rarer you have it – and, luckily, that’s just how I like it.

Once my steak was chosen I was back to my dilemma of what to substitute in the place of chips. I had already discovered the sweet potato wedges weren’t my best option, despite their low GI rating, so I reverted back to my safest bet – boiled potatoes please.

Obviously they aren’t quite the same as having steak and chips, but I have to say the health benefits make you feel a lot less guilty upon finishing the meal. 

So there it is: my posh steak and chips. A rare sirloin steak with chickpea purée, boiled new potatoes, roasted tomatoes and steamed beans and broccoli, marinated in aged balsamic. 

Now, come on, were you really expecting me to tell you to still eat chips

Henrietta x

Really? A cheeseburger?

I don’t know about the rest of you but I really miss a good cheeseburger. I’m not even talking about those rubbish burgers you get from greasy fast food chains, I’m talking about a really juicy burger. The kind you get from that annual family barbecue or, dare I say it, Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

But how on earth can you eat a juicy burger on a diet, especially a cheeseburger?!

I would love to say I created the perfect cheeseburger recipe, but unfortunately diabetes.co.uk are always one step ahead of me and have created a recipe available here. One day I’ll be creating my own recipes for everyone but, for now, have one from the professionals.

The recipe does involve grilling the burger, but why not try it barbecued?

Brie and caramelised onion burgers (serves 6)

FullSizeRender

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

226g mushrooms, sliced

900g ground beef

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

125g brie cheese, sliced into small pieces

Method

  1. Pre-heat the grill to a medium heat.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions with pinch of salt for 5 minutes until they are both soft, and caramel brown in colour. Don’t let them get crispy!
  3. Place the onions on a plate for later and keep the pan handy for cooking mushrooms.
  4. For the burgers, put the beef, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  5. Mix by hand to combine well and then divide into 6 even portions.
  6. Take half of each portion and form into a thin patty.
  7. Top each thin patty with some of the brie and onions, then top with the other half, placing the second patty on top of the cheese and onions, to form your burger!
  8. Place the burgers under a preheated grill and cook each side for 4-5 minutes.
  9. While the burgers are grilling, cook the mushrooms in a little butter which takes 2-3 minutes.
  10. Once the burgers are cooked remove them from grill.
  11. Layer mushrooms and onions over the cooked burgers and serve with a side salad.

Per serving

432 calories; 29.5g fat; 6g saturated fat; 5.5g carbohydrate; 42g protein

I used extra lean mince beef in the burgers to reduce the fat content – the recipe doesn’t specify whether you should do this or not but I assumed it best to. Of course (I assume) the nutritional information is for the burgers and mushrooms and don’t include whether you serve it in a bun, but serving it with a bit of salad certainly does no harm! (Unless, like me, you choose to add balsamic glaze to the salad and then you know you are a naughty diabetic).

If you don’t like brie then swap this with a different kind of cheese – cheddar (find the lowest fat content you can) works really well too.

I highly recommend making batches of homemade tomato ketchup too, with no sugar, so that you can indulge in a bit on the side! Simply onions, chopped tomatoes (if in season – if not then use tinned) and a little garlic in a pan and leave on a low heat. Such a good alternative to shop bought ketchups which are ridiculously high in sugar.

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x