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

5 weeks post op.. 

So, on Monday, I’ll be 5 weeks post op. It was only 3 days ago that I was re-operated on after both my hips had horrendous open wounds. 



After all the progress I made recovering, I am back at square one. Unable to travel, move, and unable to wear my compression garments. The swelling has come back to unmeasurable levels. I’m in discomfort but I am confident I’ll be okay. 

On the brightside, check out these arms! 



It was never going to be easy, but I’m determined to recover enough to work on some recipes and go for walks at least. 


I can’t wait to see my new body when it eventually reveals itself to me. 

It’s a huge step in my weight loss journey, and it’s a decision I made because I could not have kept the sagging skin hanging off my torso.

Wish me a speedy (-er) recovery! 

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 

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

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

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