Well christ almighty, we’ve made it to two hundred posts. 200! To put that into perspective, each post on average is around 1500 words, so that 300,000 words, or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix combined with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. AND, unlike JK Rowling, I can still crack a smile or two! Actually, that’s unfair, she seems like a lovely person – she’s just always looks as though she’s seen her arse and doesn’t care for the colour. I bet the words of a fat diet blogger really stings – she’ll be sobbing into her solid-gold handkerchief and dabbing her tears with £50 notes.
But honestly, it’s just incredible to me that we’ve racked up so many recipes, posts, slang words for willies, nonsense and flimflam in just under eight months, and that’s excluding the various interludes where we
stuffed ourselves with pizza fixed up the house or the website. Normally we take up a hobby and give it up fairly quickly, but it’s become a proper routine in Cubs Towers – plan the recipes, buy the ingredients, type the blog.
Occasionally it can feel like a slog typing it all out, but listen – we know what it’s like to be on SW and seeing the same old recipes bandied around. There’s lots of nice foods but people limit themselves to the same watery stews, anaemic veg and nonsense chemical concoctions, and it’s just not sustainable. The best ‘recipe’ I’ve seen recently is a ‘jam doughnut’, which was a bloody brown breadbun injected with a bit of jam and rolled in sweetener. That’s no more a jam doughnut than I am a black lesbian. Why do that to yourself? Why not have a jam doughnut and syn it? Or, make a decent attempt at a low-syn pudding and take the edge off? Eh, I don’t know.
Certainly, our weight loss has been slow – but it’s been steady. I haven’t updated that banner in a few weeks but we’re nearly up to 60lb weight loss between us, and cumulatively, we’ve actually lost more than that – but gained a few pounds back on holiday. Our aim has always been 2lb a week for me and 1lb a week for Paul. I’ve seen grown women throwing tantrums because they’ve “only lost 2lb this week” (although actually, it’s usually “OMG onli lst 2lb dis wk :'(“, like there’s some kind of fucking tax on vowel usage) and I just despair – it’s so much better to lose slowly and not feel like you’re on a diet than it is to starve yourself, eat beans all day and shit your way to weight loss which you’ll immediately put on the second you slip into size-16 knickers. We’ve all been there too, losing a stone and then zipping around Tesco like we’re on the final round of Supermarket Sweep, running our arm along the biscuit aisle and emptying the shelves into our trolley. It’s pointless and doesn’t work.
Look through our recipes and you’ll see many, many different styles of cooking and flavours. We consciously avoid repeating recipes too much, and we’ll normally try and sneak in an unusual flavour or arrangement at least once a week. We’ve learnt so much and, for once, we’re enjoying being on a diet. This blog gives me (James) a mouthpiece for rambling and nonsense but it’s actually kept us on track – having to think up new foods means we’re focused on our diet and the ‘can’t be arsed’ element disappears.
But – and christ, prepare for your teeth to start rotting – the best part about all of this is you. Seriously. Seeing people trying our recipes, sharing links, joining our group (4,000+ members) or facebook page (almost 14,000 likes in two weeks), passing around that FAQ or even stopping us to let us know how much you enjoy it – well it genuinely, whole-heartedly makes our day. I’m actually quite a quiet person at times, and it’s such a lovely feeling to know people are enjoying what I have to say. Please continue to comment, to share, to take part, we love it all, and we promise that in return we’ll keep going. Not least because I want to get to 365 posts…!
Right, you can come back now. I know, feelings much. To celebrate, I’m going to post a recipe that we’ve been keeping back for a special occasion because it was so, so nice. It’s a long one, but you can take it. Just push out and think of England.
How best to do this…let’s go for constituent parts. So…
to make the sauce, you’ll need:
- one very large white onion, or two smaller ones, I’m not a size queen (that’s a lie, I totally am)
- 500ml of passata
- 2 gloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp of honey (5 syns – but this makes – easily – eight servings, so I’m going to say one syn for the dish)
- 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
- pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper
- some chilli flakes if you want to punish your nipsy
This recipe is wonderfully easy. You’ll need a receptacle for your sauce – this makes enough to fill two medium sized ketchup bottles. Ours are Kilner and like everything else, we bought it from Amazon. You can get six for a tenner here. You’ll use about a bottle’s worth in this recipe, so the other bottle you can keep sealed in the fridge. It really does make a wonderful sauce which would be amazing on pulled pork or burgers.
The other thing I’m going to push here is our Kenwood Mini Chopper. Normally we chop our onions by hand but because the recipe calls for it to be very finely chopped, we used this. It makes very quick work of cutting up onions and various other things and is excellent for making breadcrumbs too. It’s £14 on Amazon. Not essential but I will say this – as people who use a lot of gadgets, this is probably one of our favourites. Right, so…
you’ll need to do this:
- if you’re using a chopper, finely pulse the onion and garlic until you get a finely chopped paste – don’t make it too mushy mind
- if you’re using a knife, you want it cut very fine
- tip into a pan with a drop of oil and the salt and, on a medium heat, allow to soften
- add everything else into the pan after five minutes or so (make sure the onion doesn’t catch, although, a bit of smokiness is no bad thing)
- simmer gently for five minutes or so
- allow to cool, and then blend it – again, we just tipped it into the Mini Chopper, whizzed it up and then poured it into the ketchup bottles – no need for extra dishes or gadgets
Keep those bottles to one side. Don’t put the lids on until they’re nice and cool mind. On we go…
to make the spinach, you’ll need:
- a big family bag of spinach – not a pissy little few leaves, because it’s a scientific fact that spinach reduces in volume by 10,000% if someone so much as breathes near it
- two garlic cloves – cut into the finest of slivers
- a couple of squirts of oil or Frylight
and then you:
- squirt the bottom of the pan with a drop of oil or frylight
- add in the garlic
- apply a gentle heat and allow the garlic to take on a bit of colour and flavour the oil
- add spinach, lower the heat, cover and allow to wilt right down
- serve (note: this spinach takes about five minutes, so make it at the end of your meal)
to make the meatballs, you’ll need:
- 500g of turkey mince – a lot of people ask me where they can find this – Tesco is my answer, and here’s another tip, it’s forever being reduced. If you spot it in the reduced meats bit, check to see whether it has a £3 for £10 sticker on it still – if it has, SCORE. Buy three packs and although it’s reduced in price, it still discounts the lot as though they were full price, which means you end up paying about £4 for three packets of mince. Damn, I shouldn’t give that away…
- 6 bacon medallions, or normal bacon with the
best bitcut off
- 4 spring onions, chopped fine, white and green bits used please
- one small breadbun made into breadcrumbs (HEB) – you’ll may not need them all
- 1 small egg
- 2 tsp of ground pepper
- 2 tbsp of dried parsley or even better, fresh parsley, but double up if it’s fresh
you’ll then need to:
- put the oven up to 200ºC or 180ºC fan – do you know, I really loathe how Mary Berry says ‘fan’, fact-fans
- cook your bacon – nice and crispy mind, then allow it to cool and cut it up (or use your chopper) into nice small bits
- put your turkey mince into a bowl, add everything else, and mash it all together. Really take out your frustrations here. Lady in Primark gave you a shitty look? Someone cut you up in a company-lease BMW? Sat behind someone with dickies on the bus? Imagine that’s their face and PUMMEL
- once you’ve got all that anger out and your tears have dried on your cheeks, you want to set to work dividing up the meatballs – keep them small – perhaps the size of a child’s bouncy ball* – and place onto a baking tray sprayed with one spurt of oil or Frylight
- at this point, you might find you’ve got too many to eat in one go – that’s fine – set aside any leftover balls on a plate and put into the freezer, and once they’re frozen, take them off the plate and put into a bag (that way they don’t stick together whilst they freeze, genius right?)
- brown your balls in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes until they’ve firmed up and taken on a bit of colour
- finish them off in a frying pan – get it fairly hot, drop in your balls and then tip in maybe a quarter or half of your sauce, and cook them through, letting the sauce glaze your balls
- serve on top of your noodles and spinach with carrots on the side if you want them
* know this. I spent about fifteen minutes, I shit you not, trying to think of something comparable in size to a meatball, and all I could think about was testicles. It’s hard being me.
to make the carrots, you’ll need:
- six or seven carrots, spiralised
- 1 tbsp of honey (2.5 syns)
- a squirt or two of oil
- caraway seeds
Just a note about the spiraliser – you don’t need one. Look you really don’t. But they’re good fun and a piece of piss to use. We’ve only just got one and if you’re interested, you can buy one for £27 here. They make courgettes into spaghetti and various other things, but you can do the same thing with a knife, so don’t get your bajingo frothing if you can’t find one.
and then you’ll need to do this:
- spiralise or cut up your carrots
- put into a bowl and add the oil and honey
- chuck in the caraway seeds and a pinch of salt
- mix, mix, mix, mix – get everything nicely coated (it helps to use runny honey)
- chuck in the oven until they’re soft – or crunchy, if you prefer it, up to you!
We cooked up some syn-free noodles and layered our plate with noodles, spinach and meatballs, with extra BBQ sauce on the top and those carrots on the side. You don’t need the carrots, but they’re a nice addition – we just had a surplus rattling around in the bottom of the fridge, so why not?