An overdue catch up… with SAUSAGE ROLLS.

I am going to desperately try to commit a little more to this page. As I have previously mentioned, I am far better at using my instagram, but for the last year I have been frantically working ridiculously hard to pass my PGCE (and I did!). It really didn’t leave me with a lot of time to post on here, or on my instagram. BUT, I am really going to try this time.

I love cooking. I love everything about it – not just eating the final product. 

And I miss this blog. I miss it. So I am coming back, and we will see how long it lasts.

The truth is, in the last few years I have become very independent when it comes to cooking. I don’t often follow recipes anymore. I throw together what I fancy and something new is born. BUT, as useful as that is for me, its really not that useful for those of you who message me and ask for the recipe. Truth is, I have no idea what the recipe is.

Alas, I’ll give this one a go.

Now this is a favourite of mine. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO LOVE A SAUSAGE ROLL then you need to listen up. 

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These babies are good – they are great. I saw the idea on an episode of “Eat Well for Less” and I never looked back.

First thing is first, get yourself to Marks and Spencers because they do the best skinny sausages I have ever had. (Added a link for you – because I’m good to you). These are GREAT and they have never not been on the 2 for £5 offer. If you fancy popping to Sainburys, they stock heck super lean sausages which are great too – I just prefer the juicier M&S ones. ** GIVE IT A GO WITH CHICKEN SAUSAGES TOO – THEY ARE STILL GREAT! **

However, if you really aren’t the bothered about the fat content of your sausages then just go ahead with your favourite bangers – BUT THE BETTER THE QUALITY, THE BETTER THE SAUSAGE ROLLS. Please get some bangers with a good amount of pork percentage. (Equally, if you are a veggie or vegan then given these a go! I made these at christmas with some chestnut and cranberry soy-sages from a great little vegan shop in Norwich called Tofurei – give them a visit if you are ever around because I just eat their soy-sage rolls because they’re great).

Enough with the chit-chat, right? You want the sausage rolls.

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Ingredients

  • 50g/1¾oz butter or vegetable oil
  • 6 pork sausages (or whatever else you fancy!)
  • 6 large sheets filo pastry, room temperature (ideally remove from the fridge 20 minutes before needed)
  • salt and pepper
  • OPTIONAL (but a must-have if you are me) – caramelised onion chutney. (Here’s a little idea that I like to use – whack in whatever you want! I’ve tried chilli jam, mustard, pesto when using chicken sausages.. whatever you fancy!)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 210C/190C Fan/Gas 7 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and season with salt and pepper. If using oil, just season the oil in a bowl with a pastry brush to hand. Meanwhile, make a slit along the side of the sausages, peel the skin off and discard.

  3. Lay a sheet of filo pastry on a clean work surface and brush with the melted butter/oil. Layer another sheet on top and brush with more butter. Lay two sausages along the shortest edge of the filo, then roll it up to form a long sausage. If you are using the caramelised onion chutney they layer a thin line on top of the sausage meat and roll with the sausages. Cut into four pieces and place onto the baking tray. Repeat this step another two times.

  4. Brush the tops of the rolls with any remaining butter/oil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until cooked through and golden-brown.

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I mean, they are beautiful right?

I’ve seen various slimming world videos circulating around facebook where they use wraps as the pastry too – worth a go if you are feeling inventive! 

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Lots and lots and lots of love,

Henrietta x

9 days post-op.. 

I finally had my surgery! 


So, on the 19th December, I had a belt lipectomy and brachioplasty to start my journey in removing my excess skin. 


It seems a lifetime ago that I was 119kg, morbidly obese, and somewhat unhappy. 

If you feel good about yourself being plus-sized then that’s great for you, but I never did. 

How could I? I was bullied, I was often breathless, and I didn’t even want to do anything.

My life has completely changed.


My belly button isn’t a sad face anymore, and my abdomen doesn’t resemble a ballsack! 


They took three kilograms of skin away from me.


Since then, I’ve been happy. No post-op blues, no severe pain, no inability to move – swollen, a little stiff perhaps, but happy. 

I am heavily bruised, especially around the groin. But I cannot wait for the swelling to subside and my body to reveal its true form! 

People say it’s a tough decision, having surgery, and I suppose it is – but the outcome is so much better than you could ever possibly imagine. 

If you’re in the same boat I was… do what’s best for you. There’s no time limit. 

All the best to everyone, whether happy or unhappy, small or large, healthy or not, it’s Christmas. So enjoy. 


Henrietta x 

Past the point of excited..

I literally have 8 days until my skin removal surgery. 

One week tomorrow and I will be leaving the effects of my old, binge-food life behind.

And how do I feel? Beyond excited.


Just like I was when I finally won the 2kg toblerone after three consecutive years of failing.

Obviously I’ve done my research, and I know how much pain I am likely going to be in after having a belt lipectomy and brachioplasty. It’s a difficult decision to make – having surgery. 

I know a lot of people just choose to keep the excess skin, but I’m a strong believer that you then fail to see what you’ve truly achieved when you look at your body. 

I’m 21 years old, I’m 5ft7, and I’m 72kg. My BMI is healthy, But my body looks far from it. I shouldn’t look like this at a healthy weight. My wrinkles shouldn’t have their own wrinkles, and my belly button certainly shouldn’t look this sad. 

Now I’m not very toned, that was never my aim. My excess skin isn’t as empty as some one hiding a six pack underneath theirs, but I’m happy with what I have achieved.



At my heaviest, I weight 119kg. When I started my weight loss journey, I weight 115.6kg. 

I have lost seven stone. I have pretty much reversed my diabetes (it’s not medically official yet, but I really have). 

I’m so unbelievably happy with how far I’ve come. I was embarrassed, upset, and appalled at the way I was. It was horrible worrying about how heavy I was breathing when walking up the road with a friend. I was exhausted at the simplest of tasks. 

Now, all I have to complain about is my arthritic joints and my constant lower back pain. 

I’ll take it. 

Again, super excited for 8 days time. 


There’s that excitement for the toblerone again! 

If you’re reading this, and you’re struggling at all, just know that you got this. It’s a slow process, but every week when you step on the scales and see even a tiny difference you’ve done something huge. You’ve achieved something great and you can keep going. 

Happy health everyone.

Henrietta x 

Is this even real? 

Every so often I bump into some one who I haven’t seen in ages and they mention my weight loss. It’s nice. It makes me feel like I’ve achieved something.  

  
I can’t help asking myself if this is real. Have I really done this? 

I’m half expecting to wake up from a dream I’ve had since I was 5 years old.  But here I am, weighing 74kg at a height of 173cm – making me a healthy weight. 

The other day I even managed to fit into a pair of jeans I bought about a year ago because they were the only size in stock. (Ridiculous, I know – but I wanted them and they gave me a goal.)  My point is: I’ve done it and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.. And I think that comes down to my frame of mind. 

I’ve had such difficulty losing weight in the past – so what made it easier this time? 

Shortly after I was diagnosed as type 2 diabetic I was watching an episode of Jeremy Kyle, in which a mother worried for the health of her son. He was 30 years old (10 years older than myself), weighed 30 stone (again, more than me at the time by 12 stone) and he was being urged to lose weight as he was…

At risk of developing diabetes.

At risk? 

AT RISK?!! 

I was sitting there feeling highly offended at the fact that he was at risk of developing type 2 diabetes yet I already had. 

Well I can’t lie – that hurt a little bit.

Sometimes I wonder.. If I hadn’t had watched that episode of Jeremy Kyle would I have changed? Honestly, I don’t think so. I would have shrugged off my diagnosis and continued consuming everything in my path. 

So thank you to the Jeremy Kyle show for somehow making my dream a reality.    Fat-free frozen yogurt to celebrate, anyone? 

Henrietta x 


Guilt-free pasta bake 

A pasta bake is a dish that uses minimum effort but gives a big reward.   

I mean, come on, look at that?! 

Often pasta bakes are largely smothered in cheese and not as healthy as we’d all like them to be. 

Well not today. 

No one will stop me from eating whatever I want, I will find a way of enjoying every fat-filled dish in a low fat form.    
So a good pasta bake sauce is obviously required for a pasta bake – if you feel confident making your own then go for it! But I have only recently become aqainted to the pasta bake, so I have used pre-made sauces. Low fat only though! These jars serve four, but I use them to serve six. As far as I’ve noticed, it doesn’t make the bake dry so it makes more sense than buying two jars and being tempted to use all of the contents. 

  
Smokey bacon and chicken pasta bake 

Serves 6.

Ingredients 

500g dried pasta of your choice – cooked

Pasta bake sauce (home pride or dolmio is good – I’ve used dolmio tomato and cheese) 

12 smokey bacon streaky rashers (the ones I used had 2.5g saturated fat per 2 rashers)

225g chicken breast fillet (it’s not a lot but there’s plenty of bacon to add meat)

100g bread crumbs 

Parmesan to finish 


Method 

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 

2. Ensure that the 500g of dried pasta is cooked. 

3. Chop chicken and bacon into small pieces, just under an inch long.

4. Fry the chicken in a pan with a little oil for 5-10 minutes, until browned. Add the bacon to the pan and fry until the bacon looks cooked (about 5 further minutes) with the chicken. 

5. Add the pasta and pasta bake sauce to the meat and stir until there is an even distribution of meat throughout the pasta. 

6. Pour contents into an oven proof dish. Flatten for an even surface and evenly spread the breadcrumbs on the surface. 

7. Cook in the oven for 25-35 minutes – until bread crumbs have gone golden.

8. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and enjoy! 

 

With 2.5g saturated fat from the bacon, less than a gram from the sauce, 0.7g (roughly) from the chicken, and a very small amount from the pasta and breadcrumbs – you’re looking at a total of around 5g saturated fat per serving in this dish. Much less than your typical pasta bake.

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x