Freezy and Easy

September 28, 2010

Dinner: Malay Beef Curry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — fionagold @ 8:33 pm

Today’s dinner was a last minute “I WANT FOOD”. It only took 6.5 min to cook, which made me happy.

As I cooked it I could smell rice. YUMMY.

Ok, so it looks a little like… bad stuff… But there was a great variety of vegetables, with big chunks of spices in there. I have had some lean cuisine meals in my time, but this stuff is more gourmet, and a better size (then again it does cost a bit more!)

The meal was filling, beef tender enough, and the curry had a slight kick. Kept me full. I would have this again, although I do question its authenticity.

7/10

September 27, 2010

Dinner: McCain Healthy Choice Plus; Creamy Chicken Pasta

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — fionagold @ 8:06 pm

After having such huge meals with Lite N Easy, I decided to pick a few bigger frozos. This cost me about $5.50 on special.

As you can see it came in a special steam heating container, to “lock in the flavours.” That implies there is flavour… ok, being a bit harsh. The chicken pieces did taste like real chicken and there was a decent amount of it (but looked like that 91% chicken 9% filler/stabiliser/sawdust stuff) I do love penne, and the veg didn’t taste like normal soggy frozo veg. Its just the sauce. I know it says creamy, I just expected a bit more flavour, cheesy even.  See the box is yellow, not pasty. And more mushrooms.

All over I ate all my dinner and felt satisfied.  But really I could have made the same meal last night (a few times and frozen it) pretty easily, but boosted its health profile with wholemeal pasta. So I think I might just do that next time and pick frozos that I couldnt make easily (Coles Risotto is really good, I forgot to take photos, so a review is still coming!) 6/10. Good but not a fav.

There may also be some old LnE reviews I never got to publish before I went on my crazy baking/eating spree. I dont blame LnE for that. I blame me making 3 different decadent baked goods in a night.

September 21, 2010

Day 3: Dinner – Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — fionagold @ 8:42 pm

I am not very nice to LnE.
I can barely find a restaurant around me that does good Pad Thai, and I am trying to get it from a box. The night after a delicious mac cheese dinner? I am picky with my Pad Thai, and its something I order EVERYTIME I got to a Thai place that I know has good Pad Thai cos its so rare to find. But its a calorie BOMB – peanuts, oils, noodles, very little veg….

The meal was done in 7 mins as I cleaned my house (I only got in 20 min of a fitness video today because I had to pick up groceries for work coffee etc)

As it cooked I smelt… food? But not the lovely smell of Pad Thai…

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It certainly didn’t look like pad thai, containing spinach and no egg or peanut I could see.  I poured it into a bowl so I could stir the sauce – weird globs of herbs but it didn’t help.

And the taste? Sad to say, did not taste like pad thai. Not bad, but I would prefer to call this dish "Asian Coriander Noodles".

I splashed on a bit of fish sauce and ketchup to try and make it taste something like pad thai, but that didn’t do anything.

There was a LOT of noodles – opposite of yesterday’s dinner. Which is great if you are craving noodle box, minus the abundance of calories. A fair bit of prawn, not much chicken (or was that the saucey blobs?)

I tried to eat slowly by using chopsticks, but I ate so fast I got "pad thai" in my eye…

I think LnE is being unfair on itself. I dont think ANYONE could freeze Pad Thai and have it taste ok – its full of bean sprouts!  And try and make a super healthy version… good luck. I take my chances healthyfying Thai Green Curry and that has coconut milk in it!

Pad Thai – 310. Does not help the Thai craving at all
Coriander Noodles – 7/10 – Yummy, filling, tho I usually add more veggies, less noodles, and would consider this again.

September 20, 2010

Day 2: Dinner – Homestyle Macaroni Bake

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — fionagold @ 10:11 pm

Some people say I should have been born American, or at least my tastebuds are from the US. I scoff because I LOVE vegemite and meat pies, lamb etc etc, but I guess its because I am OBSESSED with a few key parts of modern “American” cuisine. That is Peanut butter + chocolate, cookies (but seriously who doesn’t love those, I just call them cooies) and Mac n Cheese. I loved the Kraft Mac and cheese, I love American luminous orange Mac and Cheese, I love enricos Mac and Cheese, and Hard Rock cafe side dish Mac and Cheese. Other than Mac and Cheese, I dont like creamy pasta, and I dont like fancy cheese like brie. I just like plain tasty, cheddar and maybe gouda.

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8.5 minutes of shower later, it smelt good and at the end the cheese started to burn brown. Love-love-love!! But no real crumbly bits like on the photo. Maybe this is an oven meal? Or at least on micro/grill.

Plus its uber carby. I am not afraid of carbs (I know, my faux-sotto says otherwise, but honestly) I love me some brown rice, and turkish bread, wraps, seedy bread etc, but for me its about balance. I can no longer happily sit down and eat half a fresh loaf of bread with butter. My body actually doesn’t like it. When I eat like that travelling, the lack of veggies kills me (try a 20 hour road trip, Mm McDonalds to KFC to Oporto)

I like to pimp my mac cheese, with peas, corn, tuna, whatevs. I had leftover salmon and I am trying to eat fish three times a week, so I cut out the same amount of calories earlier in the day to add this yummy fishy.

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Added some chopped chives and pepper too, and plopped it in a bowl – just wanted to curl up on the couch with my din-dins!

It was fantastic and yummy comfort food. But remember I love Mac Cheese, so maybe I am biased. It was runnier, saucier than other mac cheeses, but I still  like it. Anyway, that meal is going to be repeated and I will try to mimic it – gourmet Mac Cheese, with cauliflower (to pad out instead of pasta) salmon, and a crunchy panko bread crumb topping.

I ate it so fast I had to wait to get full 😦 But I stayed full until bedtime.

An easy 8/10, maybe more, but will be getting it again (if I keep all this up)

Night!

September 19, 2010

Sunday, yummy Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — fionagold @ 9:49 pm

Another non LnE day. Once I get my other blog going I will probably post these over there.

I tried to stick to the same sort of calories as the program – don’t want to just give up on weekends.

Breakfast illustrated that I am not a volume eater in the morning. LnE is pretty good, in that you get two courses with breakfast and lunch, and a big meal at dinner.

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I had Burgen Pumpkin seed toast with about 1/6 an avocado, a piece of short cut rindless bacon and half a glass of milk. That’s 330 cal and kept me full until lunch at 12 (I did eat that at 830 though!)

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Lunch was an Ali Baba Morrocan Lamb “Rapp”. (Phone photo, sorry. Thats a small coke, but you can see the rapp goes off the page!) It was HUGE – stick to a k’baby next time I think. They have a whole new range of foods, and I think is much better than the average kebab place. The plates for $10 look good (to share, or save some for later) and the meat was quite lean. The website says 375 cal but I reckon with sauces it was more. I didn’t finish it all, just pulled out the lamb at the end.

I wasn’t hungry at 3pm but I thought frequent meals are part of LnE, so I got a King William chocolate kids size from boost. WOW, 250 cal?!?! The lite ones are much better. As is making your own. Mine wasn’t that great anyway.boost

Dinner was a lot lower cal than usual, but not intentionally. I bought a huge head of cauli last week before the delivery, and had no idea what to do with it. Usually I make mashed fauxtatos (pureed cauli tastes v similar to mashed potatos) but there was just too much, so I kept looking. Until I found a recipe for faux-sotto!! The cauli-head was broken up into lumps then blended quickly until grainy. I used up some freezer chicken, bacon, peas, lite cheese, and some leftover fresh shallots and mushrooms, and added some low sodium chicken stock, and right at the end some parmesan, lemon juice and rind.

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Will put the recipe up on my other blog later, but if you are curious, you can google low carb cauliflower risotto. I didn’t use butter or cream, and added 1/4 c parmesan. It was a pretty huge serve for about estimated 300 calories, and took a lot less time (and stirring) than real rissotto.

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I ate half and saved half.The bowl doesn’t really look full here, but it was over the top of the lip in the middle there. Yum.

Tastes similar to risotto – I was tricked at the start. By the end I felt like I ate a bowl of fibry cauliflower, I missed the lovely bite to real risotto, and didn’t keep me full as long. Did not miss the huge calories though. You could easily cut the bacon – it didn’t add THAT much. This is good comfort food, keepers for next winter.

So today was good. I even stayed on track. CRAZY for me. Usually shopping is an all you can eat affair for me, or I at least press my face against the glass of Mrs fields cookie store, so hard I can practically absorb the calories of the peanut butter brownie (OMG so good). Or at least get ice-cream. Regretting boost as 1. wasn’t hungry and 2. wasn’t that great but what is done is done. And I even bought tim tams today for a friend and did not eat them!

September 18, 2010

Weekends

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — fionagold @ 7:26 pm

I think I mentioned before, I am only doing a breakfast-lunch-dinner 5 day plan. Gives me more flexibility to have work lunches now and then, and still keep up my cooking skills!

I didn’t take photos because I was in a rush, but breakfast and lunch and snacks have already run past for me today. Dinner is pan-fried crispy skin atlantic salmon, with a fresh salsa, and garlic stir-fried snow peas and carrots. Stupid shops sell salmon in huge portions, but not huge enough for two pieces. 230g of salmon is about 500 cal! $6. Do I halve it, two thirds it? Do I cook it all and save the rest frozen?

So just cut off the end, so the photo is not as gorgeous as Linda’s Citrus-Glazed Salmon With Avocado Salsa at Eating Well Living Thin (suggest if you like the idea of my meal, use her recipe!) I love crispy skin salmon (hidden by the veg)

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I usually eat off side plates, not big dinner plates. I will try and keep a fork in the photo for perspective’s sake.

The salsa looked quite dull but tasted good. I made it with fresh tomato, cucumber, avocado and spring onion, canned mango (what I had on hand), splash of balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, a sprinkle of cumin and chilli pepper, all mixed up. Sometimes I add corn or capsicum (peppers)  to the mix, but I do it all by judgement – no real recipe. I like to make a big mix, and use it on salads, grilled fish or chicken, or in wraps or sandwiches throughout the week.

September 17, 2010

Dinner: Fish, wedges and veg!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — fionagold @ 8:52 am
 

LnE says -  Lightly crumbed fish fillet served with seasoned potato wedges and new season vegetables

Should keep my hopes low, in case I am disappointed ? Its a Friday which means FISH N CHIPPPPPIES for dinner. So I chose the fish fillet with …. WEDGES. Omigosh, I love potato wedges so much.

I want a quick meal, not oven baking, so I can relax into the weekend!

Smelt good, like real fish n’ chips. I decided to plate serve. There was a lot of veg.

The fish was crunchy around the outside and soggy in the middle. There was a high coating to fish ratio, but the fish did taste really good. I found it too chewy though. I wanted to tomato sauce it, but trying to stay on track. I think this is an oven meal

The wedges were also soggy BUT nice, probably because I like soggy chips. They were very full of flavour (as in potato flavour, not batter) As you can see they are less battery than the picture. They tasted healthy in a good way – not greasy or gross.

I do think "New season vegetables" is a silly way to say frozen 3 veg mix"…  There was a lot, A LOT of veg.

The meal was balanced, maybe too heavy on the veg (I would prefer salad, but you cant freeze salad) I would buy it again because it tastes similar to fish and chips from the shops, but healthier. After LnE I could recreate it pretty easily but right now I am enjoying the easy of a quick meal. 6/10

September 16, 2010

Dinner: Lamb Shanks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — fionagold @ 10:18 am

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This is what LnE had to say: Tender lamb shank meat with a chunky tomato and red wine sauce served with creamy mashed potato and garden vegetables

I have heard you should take it out of the paper for presentation, but in real life, it looked fine. Plus minimised my dishes. I wasn’t too keen as I am not a huge mash fan but I do love lamb

My routine: Shower on -throw meal into microwave – program 9 min – jump into shower and wash – dry –  get into PJs – set up Ugly Betty and my laptop- get a drink (diet lemon  fizzy I decided) and quickly tidy up before it beeped – done. The smell was fantastic. I was impressed. Suddenly I was looking forward to this!

I sat down and tried a little bit of everything

Sauce – wow, salty. Makes sense, at 810mg of sodium… but delicious. Not bland at all

Lamb – Omigosh! SOOO tender I couldnt believe it. It was mostly top quality, with only a small amount of goo (fat) but very tasty, and just enough I thought.

Veg – a bit sad there wasn’t more pumpkin, but it was probably enough with the other veg. Mashed potato good – salty enough

I was very VERY happy with the whole meal. Halfway through I was feeling very full. Perhaps its because I had a soft drink, or because I’d just been doing exercise. Either way, feeling good about it all! I think the fact that it wasnt really old (like frozos can get) helped as there was no freezer burn

I give it an easy 8/10!

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