syn free cheesy garlic bread

I can’t begin to describe the absolute cuntnugget that I happened across yesterday. I was queued up in Subway awaiting my usual lunchtime trough of food (plain chicken, all the salad bar onion, double gherkin, double pickle, honey and mustard, no drink, cheers yes, haha) when in walks some twat wearing a top-hat. In Newcastle, in Subway, with a waxed pointy moustache to boot. It gets worse – when he got to the counter, he actually came out with ‘So how on Earth does this work, then’. I was filled with irrational hatred. All I could think about was dashing back to the counter, pushing his face through the glass sneeze-guard and holding his head down in the pickles container until he stopped struggling for life and the police arrived to take me away. He was singularly the most achingly try-hard hipster twat that I’ve ever had the absolute displeasure to orbit.

It is, without doubt, the worst ‘subculture’ that exists right now. Zip backwards fifteen years ago and it was easy (at our school at least) – you had normal kids, then on either side of those you had chavs or Goths. And mind, these Goths were the starter Goths – none of this professional goth/emo whatever you see around town. They all had knock-off coats like Neo from the Matrix and a Livejournal account for photos of their self-harming. I had long, black hair for a good portion of my later school years but I was never a goth, not least because I was too fat – there’s nowt worse than a tiny muffin-top popping out over a pair of New-Rock boots. One of my exes told me he was a goth before we met up but that only extended to have long hair – I’m not sure how gothic giving someone Enya’s A Box Of Dreams on a first date is.

Chavs on the other hand are less tolerable but I just put most of that down to being thick. It was the time of coke-can fringes and Kappa tracksuit and for the most part, given it was a fairly posh school I went to, we’d only really see them out and about in the wild, their tracksuits rustling in the breeze. As I get older I find myself growing more contemptuous of a subculture that seems to revel in stupidity and an ability not to throw a trampoline on any square of dog-shit littered grass bigger than a postage stamp, but that’s by the by – it’s hipster that draws my true ire.

It’s just so loathsome, so affected, so nonsensical. Every year – including going backwards and forward through time, no doubt – it’s the same. Newcastle becomes awash with students all trying to outdo each other on the poncy twat stage. Instead of the booming Geordie dialect ricocheting around the streets of the city centre, you’ll hear trust-fund rah-rah knobheads, whose idea of living dangerously is a quinoa salad on a terrace in Jesmond, stumbling around in their lollipop trousers and 1920s make-up. We have bars opening up all over the town catering to such predilections, all copying the ‘trends’ that London washed its hands off three years earlier – a drink served in a jam-jar? Oh outrageous. And I fucking hate it.

I don’t hate garlic bread, mind, but being a fat twat means I can’t have it. Sniff. But I can have this…

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This photo doesn’t really do it justice, I must say. I had to hurry through the kitchen like Electra from the Starlight Express whilst Paul juggled three separate courses at the same time. This tastes almost exactly like cheesy garlic breadsticks you get from the takeaway, with the exception that it’s healthy!

This will make about eight breadsticks – enough for two.

to make syn free cheesy garlic bread you’ll need:

one cauliflower (or 600g-ish defrosted cauliflower florets), one egg white, 2 cloves of garlic, 40g grated cheese (2x HexA), salt, pepper, oregano

to make syn free cheesy garlic bread you should:

preheat the oven to 190 degrees (gas mark 5). Cut the cauliflower into florets and bung into a large food processor. Blitz until it has a ‘rice’ texture with a few bigger chunks. Spread out onto a baking tray or Pyrex dish and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool for about five minutes. Tip the mixture into a dry, clean tea towel and pull the corners together. Squeeze the ball of mixture as much as you can (if it’s still too hot, let it cool down for a bit more). This will take about ten minutes of squeezing, until it has quite a dry, crumbly texture. In a bowl, add garlic and egg whites to the cauliflower with 10g of grated cheese and mix well. Tip onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and shape until it’s about half a centimetre thick. Top with the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for about twenty minutes, and grill for about three. Cut, and enjoy!

Don’t be put off by the cauliflower – yes, it does taste a little like cauliflower but if you’re not a fan of you really won’t mind – it gives a great ‘doughy’ texture. Make sure it’s nice and firm when it’s cooked so it’ll hold it’s shape for dipping. If it sags a little, bake for a few minutes more.

On a final note…

TWEAK

This uses half a cauliflower each as a base. Some might consider it a tweak and therefore requires synning, but given that half a cauliflower isn’t an extravagant amount of veg to have in one go and you haven’t magically deep-fried it in lard as you moved it from the oven to the tea-towel I haven’t bothered. You can if you wish.

Buon appetito or summat.

J

balsamic roasted sprouts

For week four, we’re going to…Belgium! Well, sort of. I’ll come to that later…

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Admit it, you’ve missed us. I’ve got visions of people wailing and rocking, waiting for the update that just didn’t appear. Well, to be frank, I’m disappointed that there were no Princess Diana-esque walls of flowers created, or that no-one doused themselves in petrol and set themselves on fire on our front lawn. Honestly, people. No, the unglamourous truth was that we’ve both been a little under the weather – and I was out on the piss on Friday night – and needed yesterday to recover.

Now see here, I’m not a big drinker – I tend to be an all or nothing sort of guy, so if I start drinking, I’m on it until I’m bundled into a taxi / arrested for lewd behaviour / do a Winehouse and choke on my vomit. It was supposed to be a civilised night, actually, and it certainly started off that way, with champagne in Hotel Indigo. That civilised chatter lasted about fifteen minutes before talk about bumhole waxing, black fluff and ‘dripping’ got underway and then the night never really got the glamour back. Brilliant night though, even if my mate did end up telling some poor, haggard looking woman with eighties hair and a very cats-arse-mouth (she was tutting at our conversation and rolling her eyes) that she looked like Enya. Taxi!

I like to think I’m a pleasant enough drunk – I’m certainly not an angry drunk or – worse – the moaning, miserable sort – if anything I just become way too affectionate towards Paul. In the interest of full disclosure and to try and prove a point, here’s a screenshot of my texts to Paul on Friday. Bearing in mind I’m the type of person who will chew through his trousers with his own bumhole if someone so much as uses a LOL in a text message to me, I certainly let my standards slip after four bottles of champagne.

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God he puts up with a lot, doesn’t he? Look at those times though, I was clearly hammered pretty quickly. In my defence, if there is one, my phone has a smashed glass screen so it’s hard to type properly. Yeah, that’ll be it. I can’t remember anything from after Paul bundled me into the Micra, though he tells me:

  • I kept falling asleep / passing out on the twenty minute drive home, intermittently burping and slouching over onto his shoulder, meaning he had to keep jerking the car to the left at high speed to tilt me the other way;
  • I spent a lot of time telling no-one in particular to fuck off; and
  • when I got home, he opened the car door and I went tearing out like my arse was on fire because I was about to have a technicolour yawn, went headfirst straight into the side of the shed – and then was sick all over our front lawn.

Tell you what mind, I felt right as bloody rain on Saturday after Paul cooked me a low-syn breakfast. Weigh in tomorrow and I think I’ll have put on, but hopefully Paul will have lost. But remember what I always say – we’re aiming to lose weight slowly, so if it goes up or down, it doesn’t matter. I’m certainly in credit. We spent today walking Lester from the cat and dog shelter, but he was clearly Hooch from Turner and Hooch!

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Aw. OK, finally, tonight’s recipe. I’ll make a confession – we totally forgot to think of a European recipe this week, so this is a little last minute. It’s a snack idea using brussel sprouts, which to be fair were cultivated in Belgium. We may revisit this one but actually, the sprouts are delicious hot or cold as a snack!

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to make balsamic roasted sprouts you will need:

a tablespoon of olive oil, a bag of brussel sprouts, balsamic vinegar, salt

 

to make balsamic roasted sprouts you should:

top and tail a bag of sprouts (take outer leaves off, cut the stem off the bottom). Get a tablespoon of decent olive oil (6 syns) and a good few glugs of balsamic vinegar. Mix them well and put onto a baking tray and sprinkle with some salt. Into the oven on 180degrees for twenty minutes, give them a shake and then cook for another twenty. Serve hot or cold and keep the windows open, because your bumhole is going to be backfiring like an old car. This easily served us twice over, so the two syns in the picture above could actually be lower (I decided that a serving was 1/3 of a bag of sprouts). Enjoy!

I’M BACK, BITCHES.

J