Having laid the first egg of the season, at least one chook is doing her job – and doing it well. That egg was followed by a second one yesterday and a third today.  It looks as though omelette season is upon us! Omelettes make a good Fast Day meal… Today is a Fast Day …


Making do

Although my head was much improved this morning, I was still feeling sub-optimal. I was grateful for the fact that last night Mr L suggested cancelling my trip to Kirkwall. The weather is still pretty horrible and less than ideal for fighting against the wind with a shopping trolley. I took the car out and …


Seasonal Fast Day Meal

Having consulted with the boss, this is our Fast Day meal plan for Not-Christmas on the 25th Dec: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Sage I’m taking this recipe for roasted sprouts at 109 kcals/serving then adding to it 100g of chestnuts (plus 65 kcals) and adding a medium skinless chicken breast each for a …



The weather forecast looks to be reasonable for Tuesday, so I shall venture forth and buy some goodies for dinner on Wednesday night. Since the arrival of the Ottolenghi books, the menu has been re-jigged. Mr L has requested Bitter Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream for his dessert.  I need a couple of ingredients …



We have just dined on Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ultimate Winter Couscous (Plenty: page 262). Fair enough, it’s just a simple vegetable tagine when all is said and done but, my goodness, it was delicious! The subtle spicing and layers of flavour made this a treat from start to finish. Although lacking the preserved lemons, I improvised and …


Goth Weather

Lying in bed last night, awake for much of it again as the elements battered the windows, I suddenly had the notion that we are having Gothic Weather. Come film your horror movies here – we have it all, lashing rain, wind, sleet, hail, thunder and lightning, massive waves and, worst of all, a constant …


Feeling Greedy

I know that we do not participate in the annual greed and gluttony-fest that passes for Christmas in many households but if we did, I know what I would be asking for in my stocking: Plenty. I might even request Plenty More. Yotam Ottolenghi has existed as an interesting cook on the periphery of my …


Allez! (oops)

The treadmill spoke to me! It has never done that before. It was speaking en Français so I have very little idea what it was attempting to tell me. I recognized a few words and phrases, such as Allez! and vôtre corps and bouche but the mind really do boggle.

I had downloaded a programme of workouts and this was number 9. I did number 7 on Saturday and that was as quiet as a church mouse; had not one word to say for itself. Number 9 was decidedly Gallic and voluble. Numbers 1 to 6 and number 8? Sorry, I cannot tell.  For reasons beyond my comprehension, the iFit programmes wipe any unused workouts instead of queuing them to be done later.

No, I have not been avoiding my exercise (see above, 41 kilometres done to date) I have simply been going freeform, in the mistaken belief that I could pick up the programmed workouts whenever I felt like it.

Now, can anyone tell me why vôtre is now deemed to be archaic and votre is favoured instead? Surely it cannot be that long since I was at school *cough*

Moving swiftly on…

It was spaghetti (small portions) and meatballs today. I made a red wine sauce with mushrooms and served a side salad. I dressed the salad with the previously unopened Garlic balsamic drizzle from the Cochrane Cottage fat-free dressings that I bought. I was a little reticent – the chocolate and vanilla elements perplexed me. I can report that it was however delicious. The garlic did escape me (but that was almost certainly due to the disproportionate levels in the meatballs and the sauce) whereas the chocolate was gently evident and went spectacularly well on the courgette ribbons in particular.

We are starting to wind down for the holidays now – Mr L will be on leave from mid-month until after the New Year. Plans are in hand for birthday and wedding anniversary meals and shopping lists have been drawn up – the first of which we hope to tackle this Friday (weather and ferries permitting). The 5:2 regime will continue throughout.

I should probably comment on yesterday’s Fast meal. I cooked the Baked Pork Tenderloin with Fennel (220 kilocalories) from the Fast Diet Recipe Book. My oven may be broken or the recipe might be at fault but either way it took twice as long to cook as it should have. To be truthful it was still not really ready when I had to take it out of the oven and might have been more enjoyable after a further 10 minutes. 100g of steamed Mangetout added a mere 33 calories, so we topped up with some crushed cannellini beans – 150g  for ‘im and 100g for ‘er. I cooked the beans with a stock cube and added garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, seasoning and chopped herbs after crushing the beans – 268 calories for 150g.

I have a photo but it looks mighty insipid.

Monday's 500

Monday’s 500

Anyway, all that I really want to note is that this meal would not leave anyone feeling short-changed – it was a plateful: 150g pork, 1 bulb fennel, the beans and all the plain veg you could wish for – each serving.

We’re going for the Fire and Spice Veggie Casserole from Fast Cook on Thursday. Can’t quite decide yet whether to cook all 4 portions and double up with just the stew or to cook half and add a side of couscous. The recommended side is Tabbouleh but I have run out of flat leaf parsley and it’s not exactly Mint season, is it? Mmmm…. love Tabbouleh! We’ll keep that one in mind for when the garden springs back into life next year – one thing we can grow is mint!