peanut broccoli salad

Here for the peanut broccoli salad? Scroll down to the picture and start running your fingers under the words on the screen. Today’s post isn’t going to be played for laughs because something is on my mind. The NHS. Yes, today we’re not going to so much as wander off the path as set camp in the forest. See, I was driving home listening to Professional Chode Jeremy Hunt gabbling away in that smug, shit-eating way of his about reaching a deal with the junior doctors. I can’t abide the man. You know when someone is described as making your skin crawl? He makes me turn inside out like a salt-covered slug with shyness issues. I’m unapologetic in my view. He represents the very worst – perhaps second only to George Osborne, a man so smug that he probably has a Fleshlight designed in the vision of his own face delivering bad news – of what is wrong with who is running the country. But that’s another rant for another time.

See, I love the NHS. I truly do. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had previous bouts of health anxiety and whilst that’s under control, it’s also meant I’ve had many trips to the doctors in my time. I’ve also got a dicky ticker to boot. Every single time I’ve been into hospital I’ve been treated with the utmost respect by all of the staff, who wear their smiles wide and work hard to bring reassurance and comfort to all. I was in there this morning for physiotherapy on my Klicker-Klacker neck. The doctor who I saw was wonderful, knew about my anxiety, took the time to explain what the problem was (and more importantly, what it wasn’t!) and even had the good grace not to recoil when I took my shirt off. I wasn’t rushed, I wasn’t made to feel like I was inconveniencing them, and I was told just to call up if things got worse. 

I hasten to clarify something – I’ve only been into hospital when I’ve actually had something wrong – I’m not a timewaster (though I’ll say this – don’t dismiss anyone with health anxiety as being a timewaster – take a moment to ponder what it must actually be like worrying and fretting that they’re dying). I’ve never had a single bad experience with the NHS, and it breaks my heart (just what I need) to see the systematic dismantling of it coming in via the back door.

And listen – I normally love things coming in via the back door. Of course there could be improvements, but what massive organisation can’t stand to lose a little fat? Plus if I have to sit through one more ‘GO YOU’ video in the waiting room where positive messages are beamed at me by someone more tooth than human I’ll cut myself. Least I’ll be in the right place. I’m going to hand over the typing to Paul, who can put our feelings in much better terms. Over to you, Fatty.

All we ever really hear about the NHS is that it’s awful, things are going wrong, mistakes are happening – I can only disagree with that entirely both with my own experiences and those I’ve seen of others (as a spectator and a cog in the machine itself). 

It’s pretty amazing to think of this giant institution being there in the background which we all take for granted. Can you imagine having to dole out some cash every time you wanted to see the doctor? I had a taste of it when we last went to Florida and suffered from a simple perforated eardrum. It cost nearly £500 for ten minutes with a mardy quack and a Tiny-Tears bottle of ear drops. £500! James started clutching his heart until I reminded him we’d need to mortgage the house to pay for the defibrillator. We paid it because I needed it – I was in agony and due to fly back, and fortunately had some travel insurance to cover it, but to imagine having that sort of thing drop into my lap on a normal day beggars belief and needless to say would mean I’d probably have to self-medicate with whinging and attention-seeking, and probably some Ben & Jerry’s too. 

This whole idea of the value of the NHS hit me today just as I was sorting out our diary – I’ve got a few medical appointments coming up with my GP and at the hospital (we’re at that age, you know) that are for things that are all down to my fatness, and James had a quick rub-down by the physio today for his wonky neck. I did a quick bit of googling about the subject and to have all of these things without the NHS (i.e. like in America) would have cost nearly £3,000. Isn’t that astonishing? I know there’s insurance and various schemes but overall, what a mess. 

Isn’t it great that all these services are offered for nowt, all because of our NHS. Now, I know – I annoy myself with these things – all this treatment is entirely my own fault and completely avoidable, and I am a little ashamed to have to be using up the resources of the NHS on me being too greedy, but on the other hand what a fantastic public service it is – to know that all of us, whoever we are, where we come from, what we do, can have the most fundamental thing – our continued survival – at our disposal. And, what a thing it is that we can be so lucky to have something so grand and wonderful that we take it for granted.

So I made myself a commitment today – to look-up to the NHS and champion it, and also defend it. James will be rolling his eyes at this (he hates it when I get political) (James edit: no I don’t, I just find it hard to get it up when you wear your Thatcher wig and flat shoes) so I’ll maybe soften it a bit – but we ALL need to defend it from those that want to take it away. It is OURS and we must keep it OURS and so we must all do what we can to cherish it, use it, and make sure it’s there for others in the future. So, from today, I’ll continue my weight loss journey so that I can get healthy but also reduce the strain on the NHS in the future – today it’s a fatty liver but if I keep on at the rate I am there will be all sorts of obesity-related conditions that come knocking at my creaky door (and knees – and I need them for….things…), and make sure I do all I can to protect and defend the NHS when I can. Not just in a rabble-rousing way but also to defend the very essence of the NHS and the culture that comes with it, because god knows we’ll miss it when it’s gone. 

Phew. All better. 

Let’s do the recipe, then. This salad more than filled us up as a main meal – we served two paprika chicken breasts with it, the recipe for which you can find here – but it would do as a side too. Plenty of speed and more importantly, plenty of taste. This makes enough for four people as a big side dish.

peanut broccoli salad

to make peanut broccoli salad, you’ll need:

  • 1 or 2 large broccoli, cut into florets (or use 600g tenderstem/purple sprouting broccoli like we did)
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter (8 syns)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey (2½ syns)
  • a drop of sesame oil (½ syn)

If you’re serving with chicken, use the Musclefood chicken. Not saying this to push the product because we get paid commission (although we do) – we forgot to defrost some chicken and had to buy a couple of breasts from the supermarket. They went in looking swell and tasty, they came out shrunken and dry as a dead dog’s dick. Musclefood’s chicken is tasty, doesn’t shrink and isn’t full of gristle that makes eating your dinner the equivalent of chewing on the ring of a condom. Click here to order our freezer filler which will get you loads of chicken!

And look – yes you use syns, but this dish works out as 11 syns for the lot. I’ve divided it into four at 3 syns each, so I’m actually being over-cautious there. Don’t sack it off because it uses syns, that’s what they are there for. 

Finally, the inspiration for this recipe came from gimmesomeoven – we’ve taken it and made it SW-friendly.

to make peanut broccoli salad, you should:

  • reheat the oven to 200°c
  • drain the chickpeas well and place on a single layer on a baking sheet and dribble Worcestershire sauce over them – give them a shake to get them coated
  • bake in the oven for about 30 minutes – you don’t want them at full teeth-shattering level but a bit of crunch is a good thing
  • meanwhile, in a bowl mix together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey and sesame oil, loosen with a tablespoon of hot water if it’s too thick, until you reach your desired consistency
  • bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the broccoli
  • cook for a minute or two, or longer if you like it softer (amateur)
  • drain and place in cold water
  • when ready to serve, drain the broccoli and in a large bowl mix together with the peanut sauce
  • serve and sprinkle over the roasted chickpeas

Enjoy!

J

savoury porridge with asparagus, sprouts and bacon

Oh I know, haven’t I gone all posh with the savoury porridge with asparagus, sprouts and bacon? We even chuck an egg on there. That’s a wee bit below.

Apologies that I forgot to post the last couple of days but well, I’ve been busy with work. For the first time in so long I’m actually learning something new and it’s great fun. If you knew what it was I was learning you’d probably think it was deathly dull but honestly, it’s nice to use my mind for something other than fart-gags and thinking about Paul’s willy what to cook for dinner (not Paul’s willy).

I’ve never been the best learner mind. I did very well at school despite my very best efforts not to and although I didn’t go to university (a decision I don’t regret), my grades have steered me where I want to go. I always wanted to be one of those people who could make snappy little flash cards and a schedule for revisions but my exam preparation happened to coincide with the arrival of broadband in our sleepy village, and let’s just say it wasn’t the books I was bashing. It’s lucky I only use my left hand for writing otherwise I’d have really been fucked in my English literature exam.

I’ve just asked Paul what his favourite lesson was and he replied ‘science’, which seems like a bit of a catch-all. Personally, I never had much truck with science – my physics teacher had a voice like a dying bee and made everything sound dull and our biology teacher made us watch a video of a baby being born which I think may have at least strengthened, if not concreted, my homosexuality. Chemistry was fun only because we had a teacher who looked like Professor Weetos and who you could genuinely imagine blowing a crater into the Earth. He once set the ceiling on fire during an experiment and given it was a) a bit of a run-down school and b) just before health and safety kicked in, the resulting toxic plastic smoke was rather spectacular. If I cough hard enough now I still get polystyrene flecks.

No, my favourite lesson was English (hence all the writing I do now, I suppose) but that’s mainly due to the succession of genuinely excellent teachers I had. My AS level teacher was also a friend of Dorothy and I used to try and shoehorn in as many references to me being gay in an unproductive attempt to be ‘asked to stay behind’. He was ever the professional. All those hormones. He could have split my complex sentence at any time. 

I’ve already talked about the time I ran out of the PE changing rooms shouting ‘I’VE GOT DIARRHOEA’ thinking it would get me out of cross-country only for the sadist midget (and mind, he was both) to order me back and tell me ‘IT’LL MAKE YOU RUN FASTER’. He wasn’t wrong. Nothing gets you around the back of Newcastle Airport like the threat of filling your Diadora Borgs with yesterday’s school dinner. He once threw a blackboard eraser at someone so hard that it cracked a chunk of plaster (probably asbestos, actually) out of the wall behind. How he kept his job I do not know, although I’m sure the same school’s headteacher got fired for putting the naughty children UNDER THE STAGE when Ofsted came around, so I’m sure there’s a reason there.

I, rather disappointedly, only remember getting four detentions. One was for carrying a knife around school, which of course makes me sound all hard and dangerous until you realise it wasn’t a knife, it was a tiny gouging tool used to make a pattern in cork tiles during art class, and I only had that with me because I snapped the blade and didn’t want to get wrong off the teacher because he used to whistle through his teeth when he talked and it made it difficult not to laugh in his face. Well fuck me, you’d think I was walking round the school like the Zodiac Killer the way I was yelled at and threatened with permanent expulsion. It’s a bit hard to shank someone with a tool you could barely use to clean behind your nails with. 

Another detention – very unjust – was for suggesting a condom was a sensible thing to take on a survival course. My reasoning (which I learned from my little SAS Survival Book) was that it can carry up to two litres of water. Why, incidentally? Unless you’re rolling it onto a bull, why does it need to hold that much? Anyway, the home economics teacher (who I might add was the wife of the PE teacher, and clearly used the same razor he did to shave her top lip) threw me out for being vulgar. It wasn’t like I offered to put one on to demonstrate.

Detention number three was another injustice – I dropped a three-tier, full size wooden xylophone down two flights of stairs in a genuine accident. Of course Mrs Jinks didn’t believe me, put me in detention and didn’t even get me a credit for the fabulous melody it made as it clattered down the stairs and turned to matchsticks. Of course nowaways I’d be given a badge for displaying artistic integrity, which is certainly more than the xylophone did.

Finally, detention number four was a doozy – we used to have big jugs of fresh water on the table during lunch see, to help take away the taste of the horse arseholes they put in the stew. Anyway, someone stole my Pogs and put them in the water jug. My measured reaction was to turn around and punch him on the jaw, shaking a tooth loose. I wouldn’t care, but they were my duplicate Pogs and a shit slammer to boot, so really I suppose that detention was fair enough. Still, never disturb a fat man when he’s eating, it’s like poking a sleeping dog. Funny what writing this blog does – for years I’ve been confidently saying I’ve only ever been in one fight (and even that was over nothing – someone stood deliberately on my ankle during rugby, so I stood deliberately on his head) but now I can add this one to the mix. What larks.

Here, how the hell did we get to 1000 words just writing about school? I can’t even remember how I got onto the subject. Shall we get to the recipe?

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to make savoury porridge with asparagus, sprouts and bacon, you’ll need:

to make savoury porridge with asparagus, sprouts and bacon, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 220 degrees
  • spray a large pan with a few squirts of spray olive oil, add the onions and cook until softened
  • add the porridge oats and stir
  • add the stock and bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about twenty minutes, adding salt and pepper to however you like it
  • while the porridge is cooking, spray another pan with a few squirts of oil and add the sliced brussels sprouts and cook for about five minutes over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly browned
  • add the garlic and stir through, then keep warm and set aside
  • in another pan, fry the bacon pieces over a high heat until crispy and yes, set aside
  • in a large, shallow bowl beat TWO of the eggs
  • dip the asparagus spears into the egg mixture and then roll in the panko – they just need a little bit – don’t go mad, you’re not covering up a murder
  • place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes
  • towards the end, cook an egg for each plate however you like it – we dry fry ours, but then we do have good pans
  • once everything is complete, serve and enjoy.

Of course, you can make this vegetarian friendly by omitting the bacon and replacing it with a giant mushroom and a faint smell of foist.

EASY. 

J

sweet and sour cucumber salad

Coming for the sweet and sour cucumber salad? Well, it’s not exciting, so calm down.

Now see, I wasn’t going to post tonight because I’ve come home to an empty house (Paul is out at a rally or on a Raleigh or is just rally, rally tired or something), the cat has left another half-rat on the kitchen floor and I want to do some baking. But, this is a recipe blog, is it not, and who am I to deny you such simple pleasures? We both always struggle with lunches and I see a lot of people asking for ideas, so here is a cheap and easy idea. I’m writing the New York entries up, by the way, and they’ll be online fairly soon, which has to be good news if you’re a fan of our holiday reports. Someone certainly is, we’ve sold an insane amount of our book lately – just saying, but feel free to join them by clicking here!

I’m not sure we’re going to have any more holidays this year because we’re saving up for a six week jaunt to America in 2017, travelling around in a decent car like the aching hipsters that we are. I know I know. We did watch a TV show about how to do Benidorm on the cheap the other night, which included such gems like get your water from a mountain spring and spend your day at a timeshare sales pitch in order to get a few packets of crisps, a cold meat platter and presumably, devastating dysentery. Benidorm, though. Listen, I’m not a snob, sometimes I’ll shop at Aldi and not take my Waitrose bags with me after all, but I just can’t imagine enjoying myself in Benidorm, and I’m of the mindset that you don’t get many holidays a year, you’re better off spending them somewhere where you’re not going to be looking at ‘ENGLUND 4EVUR’ tattooed in the crinkles of a fat chav’s neck.

Before you all start, I know there are decent places in Benidorm and of course there is, but in order to persuade me to go someone suggested looking up an act called Sticky Vicky. Let me state that, as a practicing homosexual (fuck that, actually, I’ve mastered in cockology), there couldn’t have been a less inviting prospect.  Sticky Vicky’s whole act seems to be that she puts things up her twaddle-dandy that REALLY shouldn’t be in there. You name it, she’s coated it in a dull patina and pulled it from her box – lightbulbs, streamers, razor blades. BLOODY RAZOR BLADES. Well not bloody in the sense that they’ve cut her, she’s clearly very talented, but for goodness sake. I’m quite possibly the polar opposite of a prude, but even I draw the line at watching a sexagenerian slopping the contents of a First Aid box out of her minnie whilst I sip warm Stella Artois and smile wanly. And hey, before you all start writing hate mail, I went to Ayia Napa once – even the flight there was so rough the oxygen masks came down.

Plus, by all accounts, the main ‘place to go’ is awash with ENGLAND bars and ENGLAND places to eat so well, what’s the point? Might as well nip to Blackpool so I can sit on a beach that is 37% cigarette ash. OOOH I got sidetracked. Let’s get back to the sweet and sour cucumber salad so I don’t lose track of time.

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Now, you can use a spiraliser like we did to get the pretty ribbons, or you can use a grater. Hell, you can go at your cucumber with a samurai sword for all the shits I give. It’s your life. If you want a spiraliser, I can recommend the one we use. At the time of writing, that’s £30 instead of £70. Is it worth it? Depends how cylindrical you like your dinners. This will make enough for four normal folk or two big bertha lunches.

to make sweet and sour cucumber salad, you’ll need:

  • for the salad:
  • one cucumber so big that when you scan it through the self-service checkout even the computer calls you a slut
  • or you know, two normal sized ones
  • or three tiny ones, but yeah, size doesn’t matter (cough: it does)
  • one chunky carrot
  • a few thinly sliced spring onions

 

  • for the dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (6 syns)
  • half a teaspoon of dill – dried is fine
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, or any fancy vinegar you have
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (2.5 syns, or put a bit of sweetener in and save the syns, but let’s be honest, a bit of honey is so much nicer than the scrapings off a scientist’s shoe)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced finely, and yes, I know a bloody good mincer right here
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • a good grind of salt and a good grind of pepper

and to make sweet and sour cucumber salad, you should:

  • run the carrot and the cucumber(s) through the spiraliser, grater or Ken Dodd’s teeth 
  • put in a bowl with the finely chopped onion
  • put the dressing contents in a bowl, whisk like mad, pour over the top, and give everything a nice coating
  • serve

Although I’ve pitched this at 2 syns, it’ll actually work out less if you’re dividing between four because a lot of the sauce sits at the bottom of the bowl once the cucumber noodles are dressed. Recipe adapted from a somewhat more sugary Simply So Healthy recipe. SEE, ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR YOU.

J

avocado devilled eggs – an excellent snack idea

NEW SNACK IDEA: avocado devilled eggs. In a rush today so only a little post, but after the success of those teeny tiny teriyaki tasters that we suggested for taster nights a few days ago, I’ve decided to make a new snack idea recipe. Gotta be worth a go! It vexes me that avocado is so ridiculously high in syns – I appreciate it is ‘fats’ but haway, it’s so much better for you than ten Muller Lights. That’s another Slimming World mystery I suppose. There’s quite a few of those around. My favourite is the speed food conundrum. People get themselves in such a froth in the race to tell people THEY MUST HAVE SPEED FOOD on their plate, and I can’t really understand why. It’s there as a suggestion, not a rule. We’ll always try and have speed food on the side but it isn’t because Mags is holding a gun to our heads, but rather, eating more vegetables can’t be a bad thing. I do wonder though why speed foods became such a necessity – I remember back in the hazy days of red and green days and speed food was never suggested. Suppose that’s because the diet was different, but hmm. Nevermind. I’m still sore about losing out on Man of the Year 2004 to some bugger with a black foot and a lot of wheezing.

For our recipes, we’ll more often than not incorporate speed food into the ‘main dish’ so although it may not look like we’ve hit our speed quota, we normally have. We’ll never lecture you on whether or not you need it. If you have any concerns, feel free to hoy some broccoli or a tin of carrots on the side. 

Anyway, the recipe:

avocado devilled eggs

to make avocado devilled eggs, you’ll need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 avocado – now, 100g of avocado flesh is a ridiculous 9.5 syns, and I used a 100g avocado, but minus the weight of the skin and the stone, I reckoned about 80g of flesh, so 8 syns
  • 4 rashers of bacon with the fat cut off, or some of our fabulous bacon from the twochubbycubs musclefood deal, cooked and cut into tiny chunks
  • rocket
  • one tomato, chopped finely
  • black pepper and a pinch of salt

to make avocado devilled eggs, you should:

  • boil your eggs – I always go for around fourteen minutes because you want everything to be nice and solid
  • plunge them straight into icy cold water and then peel the buggers, but don’t go all hamfisted with it, nice and gentle
  • cut your avocado open, get rid of the stone, and scoop that juicy flesh into a bowl
  • mix in the chopped bacon and chopped tomatoes, saving a little of each for the top
  • add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper
  • cut your eggs in half, drop the yolks into the avocado bow, and then mix the whole lot like buggery
  • using a teaspoon, put the mixture into the empty eggs where their yolks used to be
  • decorate with the leftover bacon and tomato and another twist of pepper

Enjoy! Note, if you’re making these for a taster session, the avocado will discolour a little if you leave it for too long. For the best taste, make them nice and fresh or add a bit of lemon juice into the mix!

J

veggie ploughman’s burgers plus mojito water

Super quick post tonight of two recipes – a veggie ploughman’s burger made from all sorts of speed food plus mojito water, which is rather a grand name for some fancy water with lime and mint added. No alcohol sadly, sorry, you’ll have to go back to that bottle of schnapps you keep hidden in your handbag. We all know.

Part of the reason for such a short post, aside from the fact that you’ve had rather a long run from us lately, is because I want to do some research into laser eye surgery. I hate wearing glasses, I truly do, and you know I went about four years thinking the world was going slightly quicker than I was due to all the blurring. I thought Paul was Puerto-Rican until that first fateful visit to Vision Express. It’s such an expensive habit, and don’t tell me I can buy glasses cheaply online – I did it once, and it went very wrong. See, I put in all the measurements that I had on my prescription, accounted for my weird astigmatism and chose a delicate black frame. The pair that turned up were exactly as I ordered, bar the fact they were about 50% too small for my elephantine head. It looked like I was wearing a pair of pince nez or fancy-dressing as Harry Potter looking into one of those concave mirrors that posh folk have at their end of their drives to check for tractors.

Of course, being a tight fucker, I wore those glasses for a good six months before Paul stopped going anywhere with me and made me change them, and the expense (and discomfort during eye-tests) has never stopped since. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t forever cleaning the fucking things – it seemed I just need to blink three times before the lenses look like someone has rubbed a block of Trex onto them and swept a chimney. I spend more time making sure I can see clearly than actually looking where I’m going. 

Laser eye surgery though…I’m on the fence, because although the benefits would be clear vision and no need to pay for glasses, I know for an absolute concrete fact that it’ll go wrong. I’m a catastrophic thinker – I can’t open a christmas gift from a beloved relative without worrying I’m going to papercut through my jugular with the gift-tag or have a massive cardiac arrest from the surprise of a Radox gift set. So yes, it’s bound to go wrong Final Destination style, with my eyeballs being turned into burnt cornflakes and me destined to spend my life alone in the blackness listening to All By Myself and wailing. Bah. Suppose I could get a nice dog out of it though…

Anyway, enough of me. Let’s start with the veggie ploughman’s burger. This recipe makes enough for four burgers, so where I’ve put HexA, that’s for one slice of reduced-fat cheese. Don’t be a piggy. I’m not normally a fan of vegetarian burgers but this not only held its shape but also tasted decent, unlike the usual farts and sadness.

veggie ploughman's burgers

to make veggie ploughman’s burgers, you’ll need:

  • 4 wholemeal rolls (1 HexB each)
  • 1 large tin of chickpeas, drained thoroughly
  • 150g broccoli florets
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium mushrooms
  • 25g panko (5 syns) (or use ordinary breadcrumbs, maybe blitz a small bun, but syn accordingly)
  • handful of chopped coriander (not a fan? You can’t taste it)
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • lettuce
  • 4 slices of reduced-fat cheese (HexA)
  • 2 tbsp pickle (Branston is 1 syn per tbsp) (so half a tablespoon per burger, or leave it out)

These actually come to 1.7 syns, but for goodness sake. 1.5 syn each.

to make veggie ploughman’s burgers, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200ºc
  • grate the broccoli and carrot together into a large bowl (this is a great gadget for the job)
  • making sure your chickpeas are thoroughly drained – and listen, I mean this, get them bloody dry), pour them into a food processor along with the mushrooms and pulse until you get a smooth paste
  • scrape the chickpea mixture into the bowl with the carrot and broccoli, add the coriander, panko and egg and stir well to mix until you can form a large ball
  • spray a baking sheet with a little frylight and divide the mixture into 4 and press into a burger shape
  • spray with a bit more frylight and bake for about 15-20 minutes each side
  • when cooked, serve in the bun with whatever other toppings you’d like – we used sliced apple, pickle, lettuce and cheese, hence the ploughman’s link, see. Just out of shot on that photo is some little pickles in a bowl which, just like rocket on any dinner ever, got put straight in the bin.

Tasty!

BONUS RECIPE IDEA 

It’s not a food recipe, no, but remember when we did those flavoured waters back in the summer? Well, I thought we could pick that up and based on the amount of Slimming World folk putting on facebook that they, er, how to put this delicately…are having trouble negotiating the release of the hostages (i.e. they can’t shit), I thought I’d find a natural remedy. Well, apparently fresh mint helps with the digestive transit so with this delicious water, you’ll be back to plopping in no time. 

mojito water

Pretty simple! Combine a load of ice, fresh chopped mint and fresh chopped limes in one of those fancy drink dispensers. Pick any one you like from this page, they’re all good, but mind the cheaper ones are prone to leaking. Want some more ideas for flavoured waters? Have a look back over the following links and laugh yourself silly – plus, lucky for you, you’ll find three SP week food recipes on each of these links too! WOW RIGHT OMG.

Enjoy!

J

butternut squash spaghetti sauce, plus weigh-in time!

Super quick post tonight because well, you’ve had plenty this week! I’M JUST ONE MAN 🙁 and Paul! Oops. First, let me get my cock out:

twochubbycubs

Ah, that’s better. We’ve lost 6.5lb of the 9lb we put on in New York, and the rest will be off next week. Our ankles thank us.

I also have a favour – a lot of you have bought our book, bless you. Could I trouble you for a moment more to leave a review for us? It’ll only help us and we ask for so little! You can find a link to the book right here – and for those who haven’t bought it yet, look at my sad face.

dawson-cryings

Pfft, I wish I had hair like that. I’ve currently got a haircut that looks like Myra Hindley fucked Donald Trump on the deck of a runaway hovercraft.

Anyway, tonight’s recipe, yeah? Dead simple. Makes enough for four greedy chunkers!

butternut squash spaghetti sauce

to make butternut squash spaghetti sauce you will need:

  • 600g of butternut squash, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 6 bacon medallions, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1½ tsp dried sage
  • 1½ tsp dried thyme
  • 200ml skimmed milk (use some of your HEA allowance, but remember this makes enough for four)
  • 500g spaghetti

to make butternut squash spaghetti sauce you should:

  • heat a little bit of oil in large saucepan over a medium-high heat
  • add the onion and cook for about 1-2 minutes
  • add the garlic and stir for about thirty seconds, then add the butternut squash, stock, sage and them
  • stir well and cover, and leave to cook for about 15 minutes 
  • meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti 
  • when the squash is softened (you should be able to poke a fork into it – oh you flirt – with a little resistance), pour the lot into a food processor, add the milk and 50ml of water and add a bit of salt or pepper and pulse until smooth
  • heat a small saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the chopped bacon – stir frequently until crispy
  • drain the pasta and pop it back into the large saucepan, add the butternut squash sauce and mix together
  • serve and top with the crispy bacon pieces

It’s plain and simple but bloody tasty and easy to customise – add in mushrooms, peppers or deep-fried Creme Eggs. You could leave out the bacon if you’re feeling all wan and disappointed with life.

J

lentil shepherd’s pie with cheesy mash

Looking for lentil shepherd’s pie? Scroll right down past all my guff if you don’t like chitter-chattter!


Just a boring bit of admin to get out of the way first before we get started. Apologies, I know some of you will have already seen this message, but just to make sure – we’re not an official Slimming World blog and we’re not consultants. We couldn’t be – I’d spend about five minutes asking people how much they’d lost and then fifty five minutes trying to crack jokes and farting. No, we’re just two members following the Slimming World plan the best we can – we work out the syns via the online calculator on Slimming World’s own website, but if you’re ever unsure, you should check them yourself.

Also, just a bit of clarification (partly because I got a snotty email yesterday from someone saying I didn’t need to write an essay before every recipe) – this is a personal blog, not a food recipe blog. I don’t itch during the day to rush home and type out a bloody roulade recipe, let me tell you. We’re just here as an excuse for me to write and to hopefully provide help for those who want it. Yes, we’re coarse and yes, we’re a bit blue and near-the-knuckle, but if you’re after a frilly fancypants fartyarse blog where someone spends two hours agonisingly describing every last boring step of their wonderful soup recipe, there’s plenty out there. We’re humans, not robots.

Remember, and this rather applies for all the Professionally Offended out there, you don’t need to read. That’s the joy of the internet!

So, that’s the admin out of the way. Being butch doesn’t really suit me, I’d look shit in a chest harness. Actually that’s a fib, I look great in leather. Like the last settee in the DFS sale.


twochubbycubs go to Iceland: part four

I wish I could tell you that we spent the day doing all sorts of thrilling things, but instead, we just mooched around the city, taking our time with food and nonsense. Listen, people who say they go on holiday and proceed to tell you they spent every waking moment doing activities, undertaking the local customs and enjoying the national food is an outright fibber. Sometimes you need to take it slowly, like a fibre-packed jobbie.

Having enjoyed ‘Escaping the Room’ once, we went back and tried the other two scenarios available – curing cancer and escaping a creepy haunted bedroom. I’ve never cured cancer, so of course we failed on that one, but we did manage to escape the bedroom, after somewhat embarrassing ourselves…

We walked from the hotel up to Reykjavik’s main shopping centre, Kringlan, partly because it was within stumbling distance and also because I needed to buy the most vile sweets I could find for the office. Not because I hate the people I work with, you understand, but simply because nothing says ‘GLAD TO BE BACK, LOL’ like salted liquorice balls that look, taste and smell like something you’d shovel out of a hamster cage.

Perhaps I’m spoiled by having the Metrocentre so near by (where retail goes to die), but it really wasn’t worth the trip. Perhaps due to the fact it’s an island, the ‘stock’ of stuff to buy seems to be very similar wherever you go. Once you’ve smiled politely at a stack of neon pigs or a collection of ashtrays, you’ve done your bit. We did find a shop called Minja which tickled us pink, though neither of us really fancied going in. We looked at it hard, but despite the many people entering it, we sloped off.

More interesting was the fact that Florence and Fred from Tesco seems to be rather big, where it is sold as a high-end range in a department store rather than the shameful secret in amongst the crisps and the beetroot faces as is the case over here. They even had shirts in our sizes, which was surprising given we normally have to buy our shirts from garden centres, but the fact they wanted the equivalent of £55 for a shirt I can buy (and hide under my groceries) for a tenner at home was too much to bear #tightarsegeordie (ah my former gaydar name).

After a bite to eat where they gave me a sandwich and took half of my salary as payment, we were on our way back to the hotel and onto grander things – a Northern Lights bus-tour. The sky didn’t look promising – thick cloud and low visibility. I was reminded of the air directly above Paul’s mother’s chair when she starts on her knockoff Rothmans. The bus driver said we should give a try anyway, so on we went to a very comfortable coach accompanied by around fifteen or so other folks.

We had chosen the deluxe tour, meaning we were to receive snacks, hot chocolate, a footrub and a personal apology from Jesus if the Northern Lights didn’t appear.  Sadly, we hit an immediate problem. See, on our tour a couple of days earlier, there had been a somewhat overbearing woman – the double of that wailing banshee from Everything But The Girl – who sat near us with her mother, and every time we stopped anywhere she’d drift over and attempt to make conversation.

Listen, I’ve got time for anyone, I really have, but deep down, I’m incredibly antisocial. My face screams talk to me, my mind is saying please die. Perhaps I exaggerate. Anyway, every single sentence she said was a really poor joke – it was like making polite conversation with a box of crackers – and then she did this really weird, far too familiar ‘lean’ into our personal space, perhaps to check the volume of our forced laughter.

And, of course, here she was again. Luckily, we had had the wherewithal to dump our bags on the seat in front of us, so she sat in front of those – champion, no talking needed. No, but every single quip, gag, remark or gasp that the chap commentating the tour made was met with her turning around and pushing her face inbetween the two seats to see if we were laughing. We started off with the polite smile and a ‘can he say that’ shake of the head, but we weren’t even out of Reykjavik before that had downgraded into a ‘stare straight ahead, don’t even acknowledge her’, the type of stance you might take if you’d stumbled across a man wanking in a phonebox.

Perhaps this comes across as mean, it really wasn’t meant to, but I stopped babysitting in my teens, I didn’t need it on my holiday.  She eventually got the message and stopped turning around, and we were able to concentrate on the fact the coach was busy barreling down a twisty, turny road in the snow and a very dramatic snow-storm. Excellent driving, absolutely, but I’m not going to claim my arse wasn’t busy unstitching the seat fabric through fear.

After an hour, we stopped off at this little restaurant in the middle of nowhere and were told that we’d be the first people to experience their new attraction, a quick movie about the aurora borealis. Bemused, we were shepherded into the arena where they usually put a live-action horse stunt show on and asked to take our seats – all twenty of us, in this little area that probably held 1,000.

The movie started, projected onto the back wall. And just didn’t finish. I love the Northern Lights as much as anyone, honestly, but it’s hard to maintain a rictus throughout half an hour of stolen footage from Youtube accompanied by Icelandic Enya caterwauling away in the background like she’s shitting out a pine-cone. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it was almost twenty minutes too long, and every time the screen went black and we thought it was finished, up it would start again, leading to a few more taxing minutes of footage of a wispy green cloud. It wouldn’t have been too bad if we had been sitting in proper seats instead of on long wooden boards, at least then we would have been comfortable, but no. It’s a bad job when someone has to turn you to prevent pressure sores halfway through.

We eventually stumbled back to the coach and were on our way into the night. The commentator mentioned that there had been a sighting of the lights on the other coastline, so we were to head there. Absolute fair play to the tour company, they weren’t going to give up – and I had free WiFi and a fully charged phone to keep me occupied. Paul had gone to sleep almost the second his seatbelt clicked on. There wasn’t much to see out of the window – a black cloudy sky above a bleak desolate landscape outside, much like driving through Southend during the day.

After another hour or two, the bus slid into a tiny village and attempted to reverse down a very steep, ice-covered gradient to our restaurant. That was soon stopped, and we were told we had to walk / slide down ourselves. We had been promised a meal to fill our bellies so naturally Paul and I were the first ones off the bus, sliding down the hill to certain satisfaction. Sadly, our weird friend was immediately behind us, and of course, naturally, without any doubt, sat at our table with her mother.

What followed was two things – almost an hour of unbearably awkward, strained conversation, and something that was definitely not a filling meal. The waiter came down to take our order, insofar as he drifted down, put some bread on our table and told us we were having soup. No choice. Meh, I don’t mind soup, and well, it was a restaurant, so how wrong could it go?

Very wrong. The vegetable soup looked like something our cat sicked up when we had her fanny butchered by the vet. It had the consistency (and taste) of one instant tomato soup sachet, divided between twenty. I poked around with a spoon to see if I could find anything to tax my teeth with and happened across one tiny cube of swede. Naturally, Bus-Friend piped up to express her jealousy that I’d at least found some vegetables HA-HA-HA and how I’d need ROLLING BACK UP THE HILL I’M THAT FULL HO-HO-HO. Being the gentleman, I resisted the urge to put her and her Connie Clickit haircut into her tomato water, and grimaced on. I expected dessert, a mint, hell, they could have spread some jam on the tablecloth and I would have gobbled it up, but no, that was it.

I will admit to something terrible, though. And this is terrible, mind, so please don’t think any worse of me after reading. Before we all decamped to the bus, we all got a chance to use the restaurant’s facilities. Naturally, there was only one tiny cubicle, and Paul and I were 9th and 10th in the queue respectively. There was an exceptionally posh lady behind me. Everyone went in and did their business and by the time I went in, there was piddle all over the seat and floor, and, putting paid to my plan for a quick poo, no loo roll to be seen.

Again, ever the gentleman, I didn’t want the lady behind me to think I’d pissed on the floor and seat, so I grabbed a little tiny grey towel that was sitting near the sink to mop it all up with. I hadn’t factored in that the water on the floor wasn’t piss but rather, piss mixed with the melted snow from so many shoes, and as soon as I used the cloth, it was covered in brown streaks and yellow stains on one side. Was there a bin? Of COURSE not. 

So, I did the only thing I could do, finished my piss and very gingerly folded the towel back up in such a way to hide the heavily streaked and piss-soaked side. And popped it back on the little radiator. There was literally nowhere else to put it other than down the toilet and well, I’m not a bastard, I didn’t want to block their toilet, not least because they’d have nothing to serve for dinner to the next unfortunate bastards who rocked up on the coach. I pity the poor madam who went to dab her lipstick or wash her face with that towel and got a load of pissy flannel in her face. I’m sorry, I really am. I’m not a monster.

I did cackle a tiny bit, I’m not going to lie.

With our hunger unsatisfied and our tummies rumbling, we headed back to the coach, drove on a bit and stopped in the middle of nowhere in a deserted carpark. Listen, I’ve been here enough times to know what was happening, but before I’d even had a chance to flash the reading light off and on and put my lip-balm on, we were off again, the driver sadly telling us there would be no chance of seeing the lights at this location. No, we needed to get higher.

I was all for that, though it’s been a while since I’ve skinned up anything more exciting than a social cigarette for a co-worker, but no, he meant going higher into the mountains. Bearing in mind it was pitch black, icy and knocking on past 10pm at this point, everyone reacted in quite a subdued manner. Bus-friend let out such a huge sigh that Paul and I deliberately voiced loudly our desire to go on. Hell, you’re only on holiday once. Or four times a year, in our case. On we went.

The next stop, knocking on at around midnight, was another carpark in the middle of nowhere. We got out, braced ourselves against the absolutely bitter and very strong wind, looked hopefully at the sky, but sadly, the clouds never quite parted. I did see a faint green ethereal glow in the distance, but it turned out to be the driver’s e-cigarette. The commentator opened up the side of the bus and, god bless him, pulled out the world’s flimsiest trestle table and a giant urn of hot water, announcing hot drinks were now available.

Crikey, what a comedy of errors. The wind was so strong that whatever he picked up, be it a paper cup, a sachet of whatever the Icelandic for Options is or the sugar, it either blew out of his hands or he spilt it. We watched from a distance before approaching. For giggles, I asked for a grande mocha frappucino with no cream, mint syrup and could he use soya, I’m lacto-tolerant. He looked like he was about to stick me in the tea-urn so I immediately gave him a gracious ‘BRITS ABROAD EH’ face and got back on the bus. Hmm. Paul eventually brought me a coffee and tutted at me.

Once everyone was on board and had been treated for their second-degree burns, it seemed inevitable that they’d call it a night…but no – one more roll of the dice. He knew a church with excellent viewing possibilities…on a clear night. I looked out of the window into the abyss and dozed for an hour, having drained my battery streaming fail videos on Youtube.

This is the bit where I tell you the bus pulled up, we got out and saw the best god-damn Northern Lights we’d ever seen.

Nope.

But we DID see them, for almost five minutes, albeit through the faint wisps of clouds barreling all over. It was like God, noticing our bus parked outside of the church (and er, if he existed), parted the clouds as best he could to make our almost seven hour journey worth it. It was. Not much can be said about the lights that you can’t imagine yourself, other than what will be obvious to you but didn’t occur to me until I saw them myself. They’re huge, and they’re silent. I was expecting a whoosh or a flutter, but nothing, although the wind would have covered anything. You can’t just look at them because they’re all around you, above you, and they’re magical. Worth seven hours on the bus with a cup of watery coffee and some instant soup? Yep. Worth dealing with a socially awkward lady? Yep. Recommended? Wholeheartedly. It’s something to tick off the list, for sure.

Once the clouds covered them up again, I went for a quick piss around the side of the bus. Sadly, thanks to the wind, it was like that moment in Apollo 13 where he vents his piss into outer space in a giant cloud. I’m a classy guy, what can I say.

The bus took us back to the hotel, with both Paul and I succumbing to the sweet caress of sleep on the journey home, which in turn meant no-one else would get a moment of rest thanks to the cacophonous snoring coming from the back. I’m surprised the driver didn’t pull over to see if he had a reindeer stuck under his tyres. We were back at the hotel for around 2.30am and straight to bed.

Listen – this might have come across as an awful experience, but it wasn’t, it was hilarious, and nothing but top marks to the tour company for so much effort in getting us to see the lights. Yes, the food was pap and the movie abysmal, but we’d do it all over again. There’s something genuinely romantic and exciting about chugging through the darkness in the hope of seeing something so wonderful!

Enjoy our travel stories? You don’t know how happy it would make me if you were to purchase our book, which contains our blog entries from Ireland, Corsica and Germany! Click here, it’ll open in a new window!

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That’s enough for tonight. That really was a long one, I’m sorry! If you’re here for the recipe, welcome back! We adapted and made SW friendly a recipe from an old cookbook for this – Rose Elliot. We noticed we don’t have many vegetarian recipes on here, so this is a nice easy one that actually tastes really bloody good. It’s heavy-going to eat, so you don’t need a great lot. The recipe serves four.

lentil shepherd's pie

to make lentil shepherd’s pie you will need: 

  • 1kg potatoes, cut into even sized chunks
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 410g tin of green lentils, drained
  • 50g moon-blush tomatoes (we’ve made them before on a previous recipe, or, just use some dried sundried tomatoes brought back to life in hot water)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 160g mature or smoked reduced fat cheese, grated (that’s four HEAs – these make enough for four, easily, so one HEA each)
  • salt and pepper
  • if you’re after the individual Pyrex dishes, we bought them from Amazon, right here

to make lentil shepherd’s pie you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  • cook the potato in a large pan of boiling water until tender, keep aside a mug of the water, drain and set aside
  • heat a large pan over a medium heat and add a little oil
  • add the onions to the pan, stir and cover – cook for fifteen minutes and then remove from the heat
  • add the garlic, tomatoes, lentils, moon-blush tomatoes, tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste and stir well
  • mash the potatoes to your preferred consistency, loosening with a little of the reserved water and add most of the grated cheese, saving enough to scatter on the top
  • pour the lentil mixture into a shallow casserole dish and spread the mashed potato on top 
  • scatter the remaining cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 40 minutes

We served it with kale, Satan’s bumhair.

J

sticky sausages with cheesy sweet potato kale mash

Did you miss us? I did mention we were going to take some time off, and well, listen, I’ve seen some of the things people search for to find this blog. I didn’t want them knowing the house was empty and we were out of the country. I just couldn’t bear it if someone had broken in and judged my skittered-toilet or the Lindt Chocolate Wrapper Mountain. So – we took some time off and here we are. We would have been back a bit sooner but our blog fell over from so many new people joining! OOPS.This post is going to be a bit of a house-keeping post just to get everyone up to speed, but, because we’re just THAT kind, we’ll chuck in a recipe for sticky sausages.

FIRST: my exciting news! We have a proper book out! Well, it’s a Kindle book, but it’s a colossal collection of all the articles and funny bits from our blog – a year’s worth coming in at over 100,000 words, condensed into neat little topics covering activities such as having a colonic irrigation to our various calamities in Corsica, Ireland and Germany. I’m told it’s a good read and if you’re a fan of our writing or if you want to support us, please give it a purchase! If you’re a long time reader and want to make my day, please do! It’s the same price as a SW class, only you’ll not get a sloshing bowl of fruit with each purchase.

You can buy it here – and I’d love you forever!

SECOND: I can’t believe how out of control this blog and our facebook group has become. We’ve gone from kicking over around 30,000 – 40,000 views a day to well over 140,000. Keep sharing! We have many social streams you can throw yourself into:

  • a Facebook group –  (for chat, odd postings from us, other nonsense – but mind, don’t join if you’re a Professionally Offended Person, because I can’t be fussed on with that – and it is NOT a HOW MANNY SINZ PLEAS group, so none of that muck or I’ll smack your arse
  • a Facebook page –  if you like this, whenever we post a recipe it’ll appear in your facebook feed – no spam
  • a Twitter account – same deal as before, but with less characters

I am flirting with Instagram but I’m just terrified of installing it on my phone and having forty shots of Paul’s bumhole uploaded into the cloud with the hashtag #darkmeat.

THIRD: we have renewed our deal with Musclefood for the two offers we have:

We do get a small amount for recommending Musclefood but honestly, if something was shite, I’d tell you. We find the meat tasty and affordable – other meat suppliers are available. If you’re a vegetarian, there are plenty of recipes to be found scattered on our blog. We’re very tasteful and inclusive, it comes from years of being confirmed manhole-inspectors.

FOURTH: we’ve got a massive queue of comments to filter through – we will get to them, I promise.

FIFTH: we are absolutely and utterly not an official Slimming World blog. We are unofficial – meaning we follow the diet and work the syns out ourselves, like every other blog, but we’re not employed by Slimming World. Listen, they wouldn’t have us. We swear like shipyard workers, we fart all the time and our classes would be 55 minutes of hilarity and 5 minutes of ‘HOW MUCH YOU LOST HUN’. We believe Slimming World works, we really do, but we just can’t bear to be another blog which is cloying and sweet. If you’re not a fan of swearing, rude comments and frank discussions, then please just enjoy the recipes or move on. We’ve received a few personal messages from people telling us how we should write our blog – that’s not how it works. You take us as you find us, great big hairy man-tits as well.

We’ve got some excellent stuff coming up – we’re back on it from the very second we get weighed on a Thursday night, and you’re going to see a slightly different, more determined attitude from us going forward. But listen, don’t worry, if you’re here purely to learn some new filthy euphemisms, there will be plenty of that too.

We’ve got Iceland to talk about for one thing – five days spent shuffling around in the cold, biting wilderness eating fermented shark, buying penises (yes) and even parting with money in a Minge. It’s been all go. There’s also been trips to the hairdresser, a Christmas party, a new wedding and a massage to talk about in excruciating detail.

Ah yes, with dear old Nana being turned into polyester and lavender ash and scattered to the wind this year, Christmas was a little different. Not least because I didn’t leave with my ears bleeding from having to yell THANKS FOR MY SLIPPERS eighty-seven times whilst she cricked her neck at me and smiled unknowingly like a bemused sparrow. We spent Christmas Day together, just Paul and I, and then Boxing Day with the family. Paul created a wonderful Christmas dinner – naturally I did my bit by lying prostrate on the couch wailing for more gin, more ice, more lemons, more attention. I’m a heartless bugger.

We are so ready to get back to eating properly, mind. We’ve had so much rich, dense food that I haven’t been on the usual Slimming World plan shitcycle of forty craps a day. Every fart I do sounds like the opening trumpet solo from Carnaval de Paris. I’m surprised we haven’t had officials from Northumbrian Water knocking on the door out of concern.

Right, so let’s get to it! Sticky sausages await!

sticky sausages

Just to explain that wee warning on the bottom of the photo. Please feel free to share our images and recipe, but do not remove our name from them. The photograph, text and recipe remain our work. 

to make sticky sausages in onion gravy you will need:

  • 6 syn-free sausages (or low syn, or 100 syns, listen, I’m not the boss here, you have whatever you want my love, I won’t tell a soul)
  • 3 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp honey (1 syn)
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh thyme (not essential, so don’t shit the bed if you haven’t got it)
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 400ml beef stock

to make sticky sausages in onion gravy you should: 

  • cook the sausages however you like (we use an Actifry because we’re decadent bitches) and keep aside – you’ll want to do the rest whilst they’re cooking
  • heat a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • add the onions and stir well, like it’s a juicy bit of gossip about someone you hate at work
  • cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until softened and mushy
  • remove the lid, add the honey and worcestershire sauce and stir well
  • cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions have softened and turned golden
  • increase the heat to medium-high and gradually add the stock, stirring frequently
  • add the thyme and stir
  • allow the gravy to thicken until it’s sticky and wonderful and pour over the sausages

Now just listen here, you’ve probably seen that great big orange and green mass on the side of the plate…well, that’s our attempt at getting some speed food on the plate in the form of cheesy sweet potato and kale mash. Don’t worry, we’re not going to become professional kale-botherers, but it’s actually quite a tasty addition.

to make kale and sweet potato cheesy mash you will need: 

  • 150g kale, chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 220g quark
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (and really, you could do worse than use one of these, our favourite gadget)
  • 1 tsp dried dill and 1 tsp of parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil and same again of thyme
  • 50ml milk taken from your milk allowance

If you don’t have the herbs, just make do with what you’ve got or leave them out – not a dealbreaker!

to make kale and sweet potato cheesy mash you should:

  • bring a large pan of water to the boil
  • add the potatoes and boil for about 10-15 minutes until soft to the touch, then drain
  • in the now empty pan, add the milk, quark, herbs, garlic and kale and stir over a medium heat until the kale has wilted and reduced
  • add the potatoes back to the pan and mash like buggery

ENJOY OUR STICKY SAUSAGES! We’re back!

J and P

slow cooker: colourful mash

Please stop prefixing all of your sentences with the word ‘well’, people. No, come on. It makes it sound like everyone has been holding their breath waiting for the revelation that you’ve put the cat out or spent the afternoon with your feet up having a cheeky glass of Bellabrusco. It’s not needed.

Only a quick post tonight because a) we have ironing to do and b) my ear hurts. Really hurts. Clearly this is my punishment for having a bag of Revels at the drive-in cinema yesterday, but it was either that or a hotdog served up with a side of phlegm from the hairy lass on the food-stall, so I think I made the right choice. The drive-in itself was really quite fun too – not least because I spend most of a cinema trip in some discomfort from holding in a fart, whereas in my own car I could trump to my heart’s content and the people either side of us could do nothing about it other than wind their windows up and gag into their airbag. Inside Out was a bit of a bust mind, but that could be more to do with the fact we were watching it from a distance through the pouring rain. I felt like a peeping tom. I’d still recommend the experience, though.

Tonight’s meal is mash done in a slow cooker. Whilst trying desperately to find a recipe that didn’t involve pulled this or shredded that, I discovered you could do mash in the slow cooker. Do you need to? I’m not sure. But it does look pretty.

colourful mash

Can I just say, you have no idea how much work goes into using mirrored bowls and not accidentally reflecting my knob into the pictures.

to make slow cooker colourful mash, you’ll need:

  • however many potatoes you normally use for your mash
  • one red pepper
  • one yellow pepper
  • bunch of spring onions
  • handful of jalapeños
  • 50ml of chicken stock – add more if you have ‘dry’ potatoes – just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t boil dry
  • 30g of hard goats cheese (optional) (HEA)
  • splash of milk
  • salt and pepper

to make slow cooker colourful mash, you should:

  • chop up your potatoes into manageable chunks and drop into the slow cooker
  • chop up the peppers, onion and jalapeno into nice square chunks and place on the top
  • pour on the stock
  • cook on low for three hours
  • mash up in the pan – don’t aim for super-smooth, you want it looking like a bowl of GINO O GINO GINELLI TUTTI FRUTTI ICE CREAM ABBONDANZA 
  • grate in the cheese and add enough milk to loosen it
  • dunno, serve this with sausages or something, at least the kids will eat it

In fact, let me just leave this here:

Actually, it’s genuinely really good – comfort food! You could add bacon too, if you were feeling like a proper decadent slut.

J

stir fried greens with plum sauce

Man, I feel rough as a badger’s arse this evening. So you’ll forgive me if I go and tip every potion and lotion into the bath and go baste for a good hour.  I have a lengthy Corsica entry typed up but it needs proofing and oh god, I am boring myself. So, here is a recipe to go with the delicious garlic beef we served yesterday. PRAY FOR MOJO. Can’t claim credit for this one – well, we can, we made it suitable for Slimming World, but it’s actually bastardised from a Wagamama recipe. Oh my.

stir fried greens with plum sauce

to make stir fried greens with plum sauce, you’ll need:

  • 200g dried noodles
  • 150g broccoli florets
  • 1 onion, sliced thickly
  • 3cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 pak choi (or 2 baby pak choi), chopped roughly
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp plum sauce (3 syns)
  • 1 red chilli, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp cornflour (1 syn), dissolved in 2 tbsp chicken stock

to make stir fried greens with plum sauce, you should:

  • prepare all of your ingredients beforehand- trust me, it makes things MUCH easier
  • cook the noodles according to the instructions – drain and set aside
  • heat a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • stir fry the broccoli and onion for about two minutes
  • add the ginger, garlic and pa choi and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes
  • add the plum sauce, soy sauce and chilli and cook for another two minutes
  • add the stock and the dissolved corn flour and stir for about half a minute until it all thickens up
  • add the noodles to the pan and stir to combine everything
  • serve!

Easy!

J