Surgery 2 (or 3..) in the bag..

GUESS WHO IS FOUR MONTHS POST OP?! Me.

AND GUESS WHO IS INSANE ENOUGH TO DO IT ALL AGAIN?! Also me.

Anyone who follows my Instagram knows I have upper back skin, giving the whole “back boob” illusion. IMG_4050Yikes.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks.

I’ve completed a 12,000 word thesis to complete my degree – and received a first class mark for it. I’ve booked my second (or third, if you count my hip re-operation) skin-removal surgery on June 5th, where I will be getting an upper back lift and breast augmentation. But, most importantly, I have reintroduced cheese into my diet. 

IMG_4206

I DO NOT TRUST MYSELF WITH CHEESE. It is the devil. You always want to pile it on, rather than having the recommended 30g, but MY WORD THERE IS A LOT OF SATURATED FAT IN THE STUFF.

Enter my new cheese favourite – eat lean protein cheese. This isn’t an ad, I genuinely just want to sing praises on the stuff. It is a super low fat cheese that is only 3% fat, and 1.7% saturated fat. But what does this mean? IT MEANS YOU CAN PILE ON THE CHEESE AGAIN, FOLKS!

Anyhow, clearly the small things in life make me far too excited, so back to reality.

(Oh my god wait, did you see the sparkly laptop case I hand-made!?)

IMG_4194

Super cute, right!?

AND OH MY, GUESS WHAT I FORGOT TO MENTION TO YOU ALL?!

I REVERSED MY TYPE TWO DIABETES!!

Anyhow..

I am four months post op, and I’m still having issues. 

Since my hips were re-operated on, new scar tissue has formed (and it is solid!!!) and it is preventing the normal fat and swelling to subside, so I have a very annoying half-sided swollen belly lump STILL. But my surgeon is going to fix it in my coming operation – given the skin has relaxed and theres another cm he can remove.

IMG_4225

How cute is my belly button though? Long were the days when I lived with a sagging mass and wrinkled load hanging off my stomach. 

And do you know what the best part is?! I’m at the lowest weight I remember being (other than when I was seven years old and weighed seven stone).. 63kg! Pre-surgery I weighed in at 71.7kg, so I’m super happy with that progress.

IMG_4163

Celebratory naked burrito, anyone?

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

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 

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

 

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 

Mamma Mia, it’s-a pizza! 

I know what you’re thinking. There is no way this girl is about to tell me I can eat pizza.

Well I was determined to find a way to eat a healthier pizza. When I have a craving nothing will stop me from eating it. 

Obviously a dominos couldn’t be had (even though I really miss their beautiful gooey cookies) but I did find a healthier version of a good old pizza. 

First of all, the pizza base. When I was younger I was bought up on pitta bread pizzas, and I really have no idea if they were common or not.. But I sure love them. 

I searched the shelves for wholemeal pitta bread (but white would still work as long as it’s still low fat). Wholemeal bread is lower GI so more diabetes friendly!

But what on earth would I do about the cheese? I’m sure every dieter out there is aware of the high fat content in cheese. Even reduced far cheese is still high in saturated fats. 

Enter Musclefood’s new virtually zero fat cheese. Now the link I’ve posted is for cheddar, but you can also find mozerella and sharp cheddar for all you mature cheddar fans.   

So the toppings were my next issue. I’m sorry everybody but pepperoni isn’t healthy. But you can easily find ham or roast beef in supermarkets with the nutritional information on the front showing how low in fat they are – especially compared to pepperoni. 

Now if you really need to treat yourself to pepperoni then so be it, just don’t tell anyone! 

Create your pizza with pitta bread, tomato Passata, 30g cheese and your toppings. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. 

And if you’re a vegetarian just don’t add any meat toppings! 

A perfect pizza every time! 

Happy cooking! 

Henrietta x