Shaking Things Up

One thing I’ve found from my numerous previous Slimming World attempts is that it’s really important not to get stuck in a rut. The way my daily routine works out is not the best for allowing me time to cook- my day mostly revolves around getting enough sleep and spending quality time with my parrot (who is sitting on my shoulder as I write this!) By the time I start cooking it’s also the time I get really sleepy and I’m ready for my pre-work evening nap. So having variety is important but so is having meal options that only take 20 minutes to cook. That’s why I’m always looking out for new yet tasty time-saving ideas.

I do like the flavoured packet couscous you can get but I’m really stingy and don’t want to spend even a couple of syns on them. I noticed that Batchelor’s have a new range of couscous out and all those pictured below are either free or half a syn, plus they’re ready in less than five minutes. I’ve tried the mushroom one, which tasted a little weird if I’m honest. It was nice at first but had a very strange aftertaste. The lemon one is nice, and mild enough to be inoffensive if you’re not too keen on coriander. I’ve had this a few times with roasted Mediterranean vegetables for a quick, free lunch.

img_1753The quinoa snack pot pictured there was pretty bland and stupidly expensive for what it is at £2 per (very small pot). But… you can eat it cold if you want, and if not it’s ready in 1.5 minutes. So if you’re out and about and struggling to find something quick for a snack then this would do the trick. They’re syn free too, and I picked this one up from Asda.

Finally the Oatly was actually a Christmas present from my brother, which I did ask for. I saw a lot of Slimming Worlder’s on Instagram raving about the stuff so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s lovely and chocolaty and nice to have on your cereal. I was never allowed the chocolaty cereals as a kid so I feel like I’m being really naughty when I have it! Another thing you can do (again stolen from Instagram) is heat it up and have it as a hot chocolate. 225 ml is an A choice and OK, you could have an Options for just a couple of syns, but Oatly blows Options out of the water! I’ve also seen it used to make porridge but I haven’t tried that yet. My brother got this multi pack from Amazon and they have a really long shelf-life if you’re thinking of getting some yourself.

img_1754Last night I had a little experiment with a pasta bake and it was hugely successful. My parrot decided to take herself off for an afternoon nap yesterday so while she was sleeping I went downstairs to prep dinner. I cooked some macaroni, boiled some broccoli and cauliflower until it was quite soft, and stirred them all together with a pot of garlic and herb cooking Quark. The tomato and basil would have worked better but I couldn’t get hold of any. That stuff is like gold dust! I popped some absolutely delicious vine-ripened tomatoes on top (I always get the best tomatoes I can which makes all the difference) and baked in the oven for about 30 minutes. When it came out it was good enough to eat there and then, but since I’ve been having pizza cravings I decided to put 60g of cheddar on top (A choice plus 6 syns), about 1 syn of Quorn Pepperoni, and some sliced jalapenos from a jar. And wow, it was so delicious! I had planned to serve half of it with even more speed vegetables but it was so nice I ate the whole thing, just with a little rocket on the side. It certainly satisfied my pizza craving anyway, and now I’m back to feeling unstoppable. Plus I have another easy dinner to add to my repertoire.

At work everyone has been asking what I’m doing for new year. This year I’m pretending that the weekend is the same as any other and I’ll be taking myself off to bed early to catch up on some much needed sleep. The people I have been talking to were horrified, but I can’t wait! I’ve been so busy lately that taking care of myself and doing something purely for my health and wellbeing seems like a wonderful idea. Just two more shifts to get through…

In the new year work is always very quiet, but the plan is to not take any early finishes, if I can help it. They’re unpaid and it’s easy for them to add up without you realising, and I need to get saving for my new summer wardrobe. The only problem is it’s so tempting when you have the option to just go home! I just need to remember the bigger picture. She says…

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