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

A boost in self confidence

So I stumbled across this photo on my phone from last summer.

Last summer, June, when I achieved my first milestone of weighing under 100kg. 

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I was ecstatic. I took a photo straight away to send to my dad. 

Now, I had already lost almost 21kg at this point, but even now I can see how far I’ve come since I took this photo.

Quite recently I have confirmed my date for my skin removal surgery – a full lower body lift (belt lipectomy) and arm lift surgery (brachioplasty) to begin. But in the months to follow, before my surgery in December, I have to learn to love my body for the time being. 

Its easier said than done when you have heavy amounts of skin hanging off your body, but I gave it a go. 

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I’m approaching my summer holiday and swim wear is essential. I’m not quite ready for a bikini yet, BUT I’ll use what I have and wear a one piece instead. 

Not to mention, despite my jiggling legs, I bought my first short shorts. 

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I’ve come a long way in the last year, and it was exactly one year ago today that I was diagnosed as type 2 diabetic. In the last year I’ve gone from weighing 119kg to 72kg, with a BMI of 24.5. 

That’s… A HEATHY WEIGHT?! 

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Its a rarity to find pictures of me in swimwear before I lost the weight, but I managed to find something to compare it to.

Today, I’m looking forward to my holiday with my new (almost) summer body.

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Roll on Hawaii!

Henrietta x

 

21 and counting..

It’s been a while world, and for that I can only apologise. The new year bought new challenges for me, and I had a ridiculous amount of work to do – finding internship opportunities and all sorts. 

I’ve made a few recipes along the way…

  

HOME BAKED ONION BHAJI = dream come true 😍

   TURKEY STACK OF DREAMS 😘

  

LOW FAT COTTAGE PIE?! 😧😍

Anyhow, the recipes will follow in the coming months – I have exams to study for!

But let’s not forget I turned 21 recently. 

  

And how did I celebrate? 

Well, with food. 

  

Loch fyne SEAFOOD GRILL

 
Loch fyne SQUID TEMPURA WITH CHILLI JAM

  

And, following loch fyne, a family wagamama. 

  

But let’s not forget Gordon Ramsey’s beef Wellington. 

Well wasn’t that the most delicious birthday I’ve ever had. 

  

And don’t forgot the cake! (Or soufflé in this case)! 

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 

Viva la lasagne 

I don’t know about you but I love lasagne.

Just like Garfield.
So how can I find a low fat lasagne recipe to die for? 

Well, I start with one thing. Google.

BBC good food recipes always have low fat options if you search for them, and this recipe didn’t disappoint. 

  
You just may want to use the right sized dish so you don’t get curling, overspill like I did. 

  

  
Look at that beautiful spilling lasagne sauce. 

So good. 

So here it it. Pork and rosemary lasagne for champions. 


Ingredients 

1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing400g lean minced pork (less than 5% fat)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

1 tsp dried rosemary

150ml white wine

425ml chicken stock

2 tbsp tomato purée

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 tsp cornflour

2 x 250g tubs Quark (easier to find than I though! So isle placement to Philadelphia and other cream cheeses in supermarkets.)

250ml skimmed milk

freshly grated nutmeg

10 dried lasagne sheets, about 175g/6oz in total

15g/½oz freshly grated parmesan (about 5 tbsp)

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5/fan oven 170C. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the pork and quickly fry until starting to become brown and crumbly. Add the onion, celery, rosemary and wine and bring to the boil. Cover and gently cook for 10 minutes, until softened.

Add the stock, tomato purée, canned tomatoes, and season. Stir well, then bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes by which time it will be nicely pulpy. Blend the cornflour to a paste with a few drops of water, then add to the pan and cook briefly until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.

Tip the Quark into a bowl. Give it a stir, then stir in the milk, nutmeg, seasoning.

Brush a 1.4 litre/2½ pint oblong dish with a little oil. Spoon a third of the meat over the base, then cover with 2 sheets of lasagne, breaking them to fit, if necessary. Try to avoid overlapping. Spread with a third of the sauce, a little parmesan, then 2 more sheets of lasagne. Repeat layers twice more, omitting the last layer of lasagne and finishing with the sauce.

Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and tender.


Super easy and super tasty. Now excuse me whilst I go eat some more.


Henrietta x