2 months and counting.. 

Today, on the 19th October, marks 2 months away from my surgery date. I have waited patiently. I have had this booked since February and it’s finally starting to feel real. 

So how am I going to celebrate? 

With a recipe post, of course! It’s been a while, so I’m making it a double to satisfy those of you who keep asking for recipes on my Instagram posts. 

Fakeaway chicken (or turkey) korma


Now I am not accompanying this recipe with my baked onion bhaji recipe, as I am yet to perfect the quantities and I would hate to disappoint with what is potentially such a crowd pleaser. 

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 chicken breasts – I sometimes substitute with turkey because it’s slightly leaner (but one turkey breast is plenty for two people!)

100ml chicken stock 

1 chopped onion, diced 

2 tsp korma curry paste (even better if you make your own!) 

200g 0% fat Greek yoghurt (or coconut alpro yoghurt)

1 tsp curry powder (optional)  

Designated coconut (optional) 

Thickening granules (optional)

Method 

1) dice the onion and fry in a little olive oil – I use a spray mechanism to prevent too much oil hitting the pan! 

2) add the chicken/ turkey (cut into chunks) and fry until browning. Once browned, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. 

3) separately, mix the yoghurt with the korma curry paste until you get a beautiful golden colour – you can adjust the amounts if you prefer! 

4) add the yoghurt mixture to the chicken and stock and mix thoroughly. Let the curry simmer for 10 minutes, adding the curry powder and designated coconut if you would like. 

5) if you prefer your curry sauce thicker, add some thickening granules. You can buy these from most supermarkets. Alternatively, add a little cornflour solution. 


Serve with some cauliflower rice, or basmati rice, and mango chutney! I make my own mango chutney and nothing beats it. 

That brings me on to my next recipe. 

Homemade mango chutney 


Makes 500 ml in total – I fill 4x 125ml jars. 

Ingredients 

  • 4 large mangoes, peeled, stoned and sliced
  • salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 200ml agave syrup
  • 2 baking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
  • 600ml/1 pint white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons cumin seeds 

Method

1) slice the mango and sprinkle with salt, put to one side.

2) Put the garlic, agave syrup, apples, mustard, ginger, vinegar and cayenne pepper in a pan and, over a low heat, combine. 

3) wash the mangos. 

4) Bring to the boil and add the mangoes. Simmer for 30 minutes until the chutney is thick and syrupy. Add the cumin seeds depending on your taste. Spoon into sterilised jars and seal.

These will last for months if your jars are sterilised! And they go down a treat! 

So to finish my catch-up post (and I know it’s been a while – the final year of university is taking its toll!) here is a progress photo to celebrate 2 months until my skin is removed

Happy eating!

Henrietta x 

Baked chicken nuggets for those Macdonalds moments.. 

Now I have to admit, I used to eat a hella amount of macdonalds. 

Macdonalds chicken select was my favourite. Mmmmmm yes. 

So how do I combat a macdonalds craving? 

Baked chicken nuggets. Good ones. 

  

All I have to say is: you’re welcome. 


Ingredients: serves four.

16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp olive oil

6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

2 tbsp panko

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

olive oil spray 
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

2. Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.

4. Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 – 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 – 5 minutes or until cooked though.

Recipe found from skinnytaste.com. 

Henrietta x

Who ate all the LOW FAT pies? 

Oh, those were the days when I would be walking down the road and the group of teenaged boys behind me would chant ‘who ate all the pies?’ when I slipped on the ice infront of me. 

Winter wasn’t my friend.

But why does pie have to be associated with fat people? 

Yeah, I know, buttery pastries and all that can be fattening. Apple pies can be fattening. But why are all pie associated with fat?

I like pie and it is my right to eat it when I want. So the challenge was finding a low-fat pie recipe so that I don’t have to be called a fatty for eating pie. 

  

Enter this beautiful recipe I found from BBC Good Food, a low-fat chicken pie which I substituted with turkey breast which is supposedly leaner.

  

Ingredients (serves four)

For the filling

450ml chicken stock, from a cube (I use Kallo, organic)

100ml white wine

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 thyme sprigs

1 tarragon sprig, plus 1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves

225g carrots, cut into batons

4 skinless chicken breasts, 500g/1lb 2oz total weight

225g leeks, sliced

2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp water

3 tbsp crème fraîche

1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

1 healed tbsp chopped parsley

For the topping

70g filo pastry (three 39 x 30 cm sheets ideal)

1 tbsp rapedeed oil 

Method

1. Pour the stock and wine into a large, wide frying pan. Add the garlic, thyme, tarragon sprig and carrots, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for 3 mins. Lay the chicken in the stock, grind over some pepper, cover and simmer for 5 mins. Scatter the leek slices over the chicken, cover again then gently simmer for 10 more mins, so the leeks can steam while the chicken cooks. Remove from the heat and let the chicken sit in the stock for about 15 mins, so it keeps moist while cooling slightly.

2. Strain the stock into a jug – you should have 500ml (if not, make up with water). Tip the chicken and veg into a 1.5 litre pie dish and discard the herb sprigs. Pour the stock back into the sauté pan, then slowly pour in the cornflour mix. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche, mustard, chopped tarragon and parsley. Season with pepper. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

3. Tear or cut the chicken into chunky shreds. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture, then stir everything together.

4. Cut each sheet of filo into 4 squares or rectangles. Layer them on top of the filling, brushing each sheet with some of the oil as you go. Lightly scrunch up the filo so it doesn’t lie completely flat and tuck the edges into the sides of the dish, or lay them on the edges if the dish has a rim. Grind over a little pepper, place the dish on a baking sheet, then bake for 20-25 mins until the pastry is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately.

  
I actually shoved in whatever vegetables I had in my fridge which worked quite nicely! 

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x 

Chicken salad for simples

I’ve been the fat kid for most of my life (certainly since I can remember) and I’ve gone through the full range of emotions that come with it. People are mean. 

You want to oink at me when I walk past? Cool story.

Go on then, give me a good wolf whistle and snigger when I turn around – that’s original. 

My favourite must have been when I was eleven years old and some eighteen year old told me my bum is so huge it’s blocks out the sun and causes a solar eclipse. Safe to say I’m thrilled that my bum is shrinking.

My point being I’ve been putting up with this rubbish for a long time and I did eventually learn to take it in my stride. I even went along with the nickname shrek. 

I mean, come on, I guess I did earn it.  

I’m ten years old in the above photo (and on a safari holiday so excuse my outfit) but I have always loved food. 

But why do you have to hate the relationship you have with food? I can’t count the number of times I would have a huge portion of food infront of the TV after getting in from the rain (typical English weather). It was always comforting. 

It’s less comforting when you check your weight on the scales afterwards. 

Can I really blame food for all of this though? I’m sure I could have learnt to move a bit more.  

I never really understood the problems that come with eating too much until something finally happened to me to prove I was damaging myself. 

“Yeah, sure, I might get heart disease and die ridiculously early.. But I won’t, right? I’ll just lose weight later.

Oh my god, how many times I told myself that I would lose weight later probably made it my catchphrase. But then I got diagnosed with type two diabetes and people told me I was just like grandma. 

Hang on a second.

Grandma is great and all but I don’t want to join the ‘diabetes club’ with her. Sorry grandma, I’ll leave diabetes with you.

And so it began: healthy eating, exercising and actually caring about what I put in my body. 

For anyone out there who has no idea where to start try what I did. Start by following balanced recipes from my trusted recipe book. Once I got the hang of it I could then balance my own meals. And just grit your teeth and do the exercise. 

Back to my main point though – check out my beautiful lunch. 

I’ve been doing this a lot lately – a mixed salad. It surprises me that I’ve become one of those people who eat plants. What has become of me? 😂

It’s a fairly easy recipe to make. You just basically wing it. 

Ingredients (serves one)

1 chicken breast

Handful of mixed salad leaves

100g parboiled potatoes (you can chop these into wedges and oven bake them for a crunch!) 

Cherry tomatoes (you can chop a normal tomato too!)

1 teaspoon pesto

Salt and pepper to season

Garlic salt

Mixed herbs (for if you oven baked the potatoes)

Vegetables of your choice

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Chop the parboiled potatoes into wedges, sprinkle with mixed herbs and season. Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Add the chicken breast to oven and bake for a further 20 minutes with the wedges. Why not add some lemon juice? That just popped into my mind.

4. Whilst the oven ingredients bake, put a handful of mixed salad on a plate and add the tomatoes and vegetables of your choice. Sprinkle over a little garlic salt (if you can find it).

5. Distribute the teaspoon of pesto on the salad – try to spread it evenly. 

6. Add the wedges and chopped chicken to the salad, add a dressing if you would like.

And I’m certainly no expert but its pretty low calories and low fat provided you have a normal-sized chicken breast. Around 100g is great but most chicken breasts weigh a little more. I aim for around 125g or I trim it.

Enjoy my simple cooking. It really is that easy.

Henrietta x

Occasional indulgence never hurt anyone

I love risotto.

But, really, risotto? For diabetics? I never thought I would find any recipe for starchy risotto designed to keep blood glucose levels at bay.

Well I found one! And, although my blood sugars 2 hours after my meal were slightly higher than usual (but still in range), why not every so often have some indulgent risotto? So here you have it, found on the diabetes UK website here.

Chicken risotto with spring vegetables (serves 3)

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped

225g risotto rice

1 litre hot chicken stock

100g asparagus spears, halved 

150g frozen peas

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken and continue to fry for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the rice and coat with the oil. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring continuously, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next.
  3. Stir in the asparagus and peas with the last addition of stock and continue to cook. The whole cooking process should take about 20 minutes and the rice should be ‘al dente’.
  4. Stir through the Parmesan cheese and parsley, season well and serve.

Per serving

472 calories; 72g carbohydrate; 28.8g protein; 7.9g fat; 2.4g saturated fat; 3.1g sugars; 1.8g salt

If you’re a vegetarian you can use vegetable stock rather than chicken stock and add mushrooms rather than chicken. It really is a lovely recipe, and I’m so happy I found a risotto recipe that didn’t involve adding heavy cream – and this recipe is certainly not lacking in tasting creamy and indulgent!

The carbohydrates in this dish are slightly higher than desired, hence my blood sugars being slightly raised after the meal, so if you are diabetic than try not to have this recipe regularly. If you’re not diabetic then go ahead and have it everyday! 

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x

Grain isn’t just for chickens

Today is a new day and I managed to do a bit of catching up yesterday, but still plenty more to come! Thank you to everyone who viewed and liked my posts, and all the internationals too! I’m so excited that my blog is being viewed across the world!

So here’s a slightly more, what I consider, exotic dish for you all today! I had never really been a fan of grains before my diet, couscous especially, but it is just so simple to cook and you can pack it full of flavour by using stock rather than plain hot water. So here is a recipe from the diabetes UK website that you can view here.

The recipe serves one, but I do find the amount of couscous given is substantial, so I tend to use 30g dried couscous and less stock, accordingly.

Baked pesto chicken with citrus couscous

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Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

100g couscous

250ml chicken stock

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 small red pepper, finely chopped

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

grated zest and juice 1 lemon

1 tablespoon pesto sauce

freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree celsius (gas mark 6.)
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the chicken and fry for 2 minutes on each side until browned.
  3. Place the couscous in an ovenproof dish. Mix together with the stock, red onion, red pepper, parsley, lemon zest and juice, pour over the couscous and stir.
  4. On top of this, place the chicken then spoon over the pesto and season to taste.
  5. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, fluff up the couscous with a fork. Serve hot or cold.

Per serving

622 calories; 60.3g carbohydrate; 59.4g protein; 17.3g fat; 1.4g saturated fat; 6.8g sugars; 1.4g salt

I actually added some chopped, fresh mint to my couscous to lift the refreshing taste that comes with the lemon zest and juice; some chopped tomatoes too because I wanted an alternative to red peppers. And, because I used a lot less couscous, the calorie count for this dish would have been significantly lower.

I do recommend using less pesto if you’re not one for the powerful taste that comes from using a tablespoon of the stuff, but I’ve been to places across the globe where ‘pesto pasta‘ really meant pesto smothered pasta so I suppose it may well be normal to use so much pesto rather than just adding a teaspoon to tomato sauce!

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x

Sometimes you have to hold back on the Nandos

As part of my diet I had to learn to stop eating out. I used to go to Nandos regularly (as well as wagamama) and its safe to say it didn’t do my purse any good! Having half a lemon and herb chicken with chips and garlic bread was far from good to me.

So, the Nandos had to go – for now, at least.

Of course giving up my lemon and herb chicken wasn’t what I wanted to do, but I can still make tasty alternative chicken dishes that are much better for my waist line and my blood sugars. So here it is – Greek homestyle chicken from the diabetes UK website available here.

Greek homestyle chicken (serves 4)

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Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

500g potatoes, cut into wedges

grated ring and juice of two lemons

1 tablespoon olive oil

200ml chicken stock

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (gas mark 6).
  2. Place the chicken in an ovenproof dish and arrange the potatoes around it.
  3. Mix together the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, and pour over the chicken and potatoes.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 15-20 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle over the parsley, season to taste and serve.

Per serving

357 calories; 23.8g carbohydrate; 51.8g protein; 6.7g fat; 1.3g saturated fat; 2.2g sugars; 1.5g salt.

If you’re feeling extra healthy, swap the potatoes for sweet potatoes which are low GI. Alternative lean meats can also be used with this dish too, whether you’re feeling up for pork fillet or stick to chicken if you’re missing your Nandos like me! As you can see from my picture, I have altered the recipe slightly to my taste. I used rosemary on my potatoes because I seem to adore the stuff, and my potatoes weren’t in wedge form simply because I’m used to cooking them chopped with the perfect amount of cooking time to have them done just the way I like them. I know some people are really anti-sweetcorn if you’re diabetic, but half a corn on the cob works for me and doesn’t give my blood glucose levels any issues!

Enjoy your dinner and..

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x