sizzling rainbow salad, roasted garlic chickpeas and weigh in

Yes yes, the sizzling rainbow salad will follow.

Long title for what will be a very quick post because damnit, my tea is ready, I have two recipes to post and a weigh-in to report. So let’s wheel out the old knob and see how we’ve done this week…

twochubbycubs

Oh how cosmopolitan! Classy Paul sent me a text to say ‘Only lost half a pound, but got three pounds of last night’s tea pulling out of the depot as we speak’. It’s always a joy living in this house. We weighed in separately tonight as Paul had to dash home (as much as someone the approximate shape of Saturn can dash) and let the electrician in to fit an outside light in our back garden. See (barely), our local council has taken it upon themselves to tear down the old orange streetlights in our street and replace them with these AWFUL little white LED lamps, which, given how faint and pointless they are, must all be running off the same watch battery. It’s so dark I can look out of the window and see when next door’s TV goes off standby. Actually, that’s a fib, we don’t have immediate neighbours…

…which is lucky, because fuck me is the new light bright. He flicked it on and I half expected Paul to be standing at the fence shaking and bursting into flame like Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. Even the cat put a layer of Piz-Buin on before nipping out to shit in the flowerbed – that wasn’t steam coming off her turd, it was smoke. He advised me that we could adjust it if we wanted to but nah, I like to know that if I stumbled home in the dark and lost a contact lens amongst my tomatoes, I could find it in quite literally the blink of an eye. We’ve also had a couple of outdoor sockets fitted, which will just the thing for us to look at occasionally and think about pressure washing the paving stones. 

Anyway, the recipes. Let’s start with sizzling rainbow salad, which is really just a colourful salad but with all the goodness and virtue of eating greens taken out and replaced with juicy, delicious cow. If you want to keep it vegetarian that’s fine, but please ask someone to chop for you least your cockle-esque muscles give out. I’m kidding I’m kidding. Please don’t write to me, I won’t read it. I’ll be too busy wiping the cow juice off my chin and cackling wildly. Until I get CJD and Paul has to take me around the back of the house, my legs disco-dancing independently of each other, and push me into a burning pit with a tractor.

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to make sizzling rainbow salad, you’ll need:

  • any steak you like – fillet steak, frying steak, rib-eye steak, miss-steak, Mis-Teeq or Stakeford, I don’t care, as long as it mooed and had children (ouch)
  • any syn-free noodles
  • a cucumber, one that if it was a penis, you’d perhaps reach for a dab more Durex Play than you’re used to
  • a carrot, see above
  • a few radishes
  • if you can get them, a candy beetroot and a golden beetroot, if not, regular beetroot
  • two red chilli peppers
  • a lime
  • spring onions
  • crunchy lettuce of any sort you like
  • chickpeas from the below recipe

to make sizzling rainbow salad, you should:

  • cook your noodles
  • peel and slice the cucumber and carrots into thin ribbons using a potato peeler
  • very thinly slice the beetroot – I eat it raw, I like the crunch – and I use one of these mandolins for perfect uniform slices (plus it protects your fingers, you don’t want your piano career ruined by circumcised fingers)
  • do the same with the radishes
  • chop the spring onion and chillis
  • cook your steak however you like and slice it into thin strips – we just used bog-standard steak like this – remember you can add stuff like this on if you buy our freezer-filler-wonder-offer from Musclefood, just add whatever you want as extras into the basket – we cook our steak by getting a pan roaring hot, using worcestershire sauce and pepper instead of oil, quickly cooking it off and serving
  • assemble in a bowl – noodles, crunchy lettuce, sliced veg, steak, squirt a bit of lime juice over for taste
  • if you’re making the chickpeas below, scatter them on too for extra crunch
  • very healthy, I’m sure you will agree

OK, onwards. BEFORE WE START.

TWEAK

We explain what tweaking is right here. Our policy is that it’s better to eat something like this than it is to eat a tube of Pringles. Well no, it’s not better, but it’ll keep the scales happy. Hopefully. Up to you to decide what you want to do. To me, chickpeas are syn free, garlic is syn free, you don’t use enough sprays of the oil to be worth synning it, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to be told off for it. GO.

to make roasted garlic chickpeas, you’ll need:

  • a bulb of garlic
  • two big tins of chickpeas
  • a few squirts of olive oil (which might add up to a syn if you’re lucky, plus I’d hope you’re not going to eat them all)

 chickpeas 

to make roasted garlic chickpeas, you’ll need:

  • cut the garlic bulb right through the middle (horizontally left to right rather than straight down the middle) – don’t worry about peeling
  • sprinkle with a touch of salt
  • put in a low temperature oven for around half an hour, just to soften the garlic flesh, then scoop out (I just scrunch up the bulb with my hand)
  • rinse your chickpeas
  • put them into a bowl with a few squirts of oil, salt, pepper and the softened sticky flesh of the garlic
  • roll those chickpeas around each other – gently, you’re not panning for bloody gold – but enough to get them coated in some garlic, seasoning and oil
  • tip out onto a baking tray and bake in a medium oven for around 30-45 minutes, but do keep checking, they can catch quite quickly
  • eat as a snack or tumbled into salad. Tumbled?! Oh behave James.

Enjoy!

J

weigh in week three – the results are in!

Super quick post tonight because we are having a sofa night. Only two new recipes posted this week, yes, BUT look at the length of the entries! Speaking of a lengthy entry…

twochubbycubs

Not disappointed – I’ve lost a decent amount and got my stone award (hooray, though boo for having to stand up and get it, think of my fat knees) and Paul had a feeling he’d put on, because he’s had a few big lunches at work. Still, we’re on target for where we want to be – and we have four new recipes for you this week coming.

Hoping you’re all well!

J

weigh in week twelve!

VERY quick post tonight (genuinely!) because we’re running late with everything having just arrived home from class (we took the long way home because it was a lovely sunset, how fantastically homosexual is that). Weigh in this week:

After a week (well six days) of SP:

Paul – lost 3.5lb

James – lost 5.5lb

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 48lb.

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Happy with that mind! The last two days of our SP week will be online on Wednesday and Thursday – no post tomorrow as I’m off gallivanting! Behave yourselves!

J

weigh in time – bugger the WI – and SP week

Well blow me. Hasn’t it been a while? That’s the thing with us fickle gays, we’re here one minute and then ooh, something shiny. Well no not quite – last Friday was the day we put dear old Nana into the oven on gas mark infinity and sent her back to her husband, like some hard-of-hearing Emmett Brown. It was a lovely service, and I didn’t laugh once – which amazed me, as I have a nervous laugh. A teacher once told me her husband had hung himself over the summer and I had to excuse myself into the corridor to slap my knees and laugh into my blazer like she’d told me the filthiest knock knock joke ever. I have backwards emotions – it’s not that I’m not sympathetic, I’m just emotionally incapable. Isn’t that awful? 

Of course, the service wasn’t without humour – there I was at the front of the church, with the coffin in front of me like the world’s most macabre coffee table – and I swear when everyone shut their eyes to pray I could STILL hear her hearing aid whistling away like a 56k modem. Plus doesn’t All Things Bright and Beautiful have a lot of verses? Good heavens – even the charming lady playing the organ took a swig of Lucozade (think of the syns, woman!). Thank Christ she didn’t pull a Paula Radcliffe and piddle on the floor. Oh and I like to think my nana chose All Things Bright and Beautiful simply for the line ‘The purple headed mountain’, which I’m sure made everyone under seventy bite the inside of their cheek. It was a happy, cheerful affair and the vicar did her a great send-off, which is exactly what we (and she) wanted. The cremation was oddly impersonal though – I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had been asked to collect a ticket and await our turn, ala Cashier Number 7, please. Ashes Number 7, more like.

The wake was in the village where she grew up and grew old, and the lovely ladies of the WI catered the event, which meant cakes, biscuits, scones you could prop a barn door open with, clotted cream, sandwiches, meringue, tea and fine china. It was delicious and a wonderful gesture which again, my nana would have loved. Of course I was all gung-ho and ‘bugger the syns’ so that leads me to the inevitable weigh-in results…

james – 3lb on

paul – 0.5lb off

Now in my defence, I haven’t really been on the plan at all. Takeaway and sweets and wake buffets. Plus, I’m wearing jeans today. How on Earth Paul managed half off I don’t know, but he charmingly leaned over in the car and informed me that ‘he hasn’t had a solid poo for a good few days’. Charming. My bowels are like one of those car crushing machines that you see in gritty crime dramas – you can throw anything you like at it, but come 8.30am you’ll get a smart little parcel and that’s your lot. 

Anyway, time to buck up. We’ve been coasting a little and thanks to Nana finally singing with the choir invisible, we haven’t been 100% focused. This week, that changes. It’s our 7777 week. Now I know 777 week is a thing but frankly, we’re just that little bit more special, so it’s our first attempt at an SP week PLUS, this week only, you’ll be getting at least fourteen new recipes! Gosh. It’s taken us a while to get our heads round but thanks to Mags just being a phone-call away, we’ve got it sorted. So let’s break down our 7777.

7 EE:SP days

EE:SP still looks and sounds like someone has sneezed into a bag of scrabble tiles, but it’s really SW’s way of boosting your weight loss. My understanding of it is to ram the speed and protein foods home. So that’s what we’ll be doing. I’ll discuss more what you can and can’t have during the week.

7 Body Magic Bursts

Exactly what you’d expect. You don’t need to exercise to lose weight with SW and we’re very much a recipe blog, but we’re going to try and incorporate some exercise into our week that extends beyond shuffling to the kitchen for condiments and honey-I’m-too-tired sex. Remember this is OPTIONAL. Optional! So stop clutching your chest and getting a sweat on if the only time you move is if you drop your chips.

7 Detox Waters

Look, detoxing is a load of piss, it really is. Your body detoxes all the damn time. But we’re chucking in seven detox recipes for water for good measure, partly because we’ve got a fancy chilled water dispenser and partly because it seems to get a lot of gussets moist.

7 Speed Foods a Day

And that’s a bloody minimum, too. Again, I’ll post a list (hopefully tomorrow) of what you can have and can’t have. Each recipe will point out where the speed foods come from.

At the end of the seven days I’ll post a big full spreadsheet with links and photos (well, when I can be arsed) and you can take it from there, or, if you like, stay a day behind and follow us! 

Either way, we hope you enjoy!

J

weigh in, we’re back, and it’s time for classics week!

So, we’re back, having had a lovely ten days away filling our bodies full of Irish stout, rich food and service station Ginsters pasties. I’m going to be prattling on about Ireland for a couple of entries starting tomorrow (I’ve got handwritten notes – old school, me) but before that, let me introduce classics week, starting tomorrow.

The idea behind classics week is simple – we’re going to make seven recipes that are synonymous with Slimming World – the recipes you always hear new people asking for, or posted all over Instagram like some other nonsense. Tomorrow’s recipe, for instance, is mushy pea curry, or as I like to call it, the colon-cleanser. We’re also going to have a bash at making that bloody half-syn cake that I keep seeing bandied about all over Facebook like the second coming of Jesus.

Now, before we start all of that, let me say this – we’ve been for our weigh in! We were originally going to wait until Saturday to get weighed but frankly, we had to nip all of the over-eating and snacks in the bud before the axles on the car snapped. If we had left it until Saturday, we’d be at serious risk of derailing completely. How did we do…?

james – 8lb on

paul – 5lb on

Now I feel I should add caveats to this. So, put succinctly:

  • the last time we were weighed was a Saturday morning;
  • we’re both wearing jeans and a hoodie as opposed to the normal work trousers and light shirt;
  • normally we don’t eat on a weigh-day – today we’ve both had an all-you-can-eat breakfast and a pub lunch (my bad);
  • our cottage was a ten minute drive from an ice-cream factory;
  • oh, and a chocolate factory;
  • we’ve been on holiday;
  • neither of us had been for a poo and I had a pot of tea sloshing around;
  • this arrived when we were away and was waiting for our return:11108953_10153535552626509_4636721915659285734_n
  • like I said, we’ve been on holiday – we’ve eaten out every other night, plus driving 600 miles means that the car is knee-deep in travel sweets, opal fruit wrappers, coke bottles and sour pastilles; and
  • it was Ireland! How could we not drink? Honestly.

A little explanation on those sweets – Paul and I are part of the Reddit Gift Swap movement, where you select a ‘category’ (in our case this month it was sweets – it can be other things, like pens, buttons, gadgets…) and you’re randomly assigned both someone that you send a ‘package’ to and someone else who sends a parcel to you. It’s like a giant secret santa, only every month, and you invariably get something amazing – our package this month came with a wonderful handwritten note and loads of thought put into it – we were both chuffed to bits, not least because we had to eat everything quickly before class! Haha. Brilliant though!

So, now we are back, we’re back on it, and I want to lose seven pounds by next week. I reckon most of my ‘gain’ is poo, water and food from today so we’ll be OK. Off to sleep now, but tomorrow, a post about driving, service stations and our ferry trip, plus that mushy pea curry I’ve been threatening you with. I bet you can’t wait…

J

weigh in – week two – the results are in!

two weeks into our diet and we have our Monday results!

james: 5.5lb off
paul: 1.5lb off
total: 20.5lb off

Wahey! I got my stone award and Paul is but a whisker away from his half stone! Remember: we’re trying to lose this weight slowly and steadily, although I seem to be running away with it, but then I’m over half a foot taller than Paul and a lot heavier. Plus I could totally take him in a fight.

We’re celebrating with popcorn and Air Crash Investigation. Well no, we’ll watch the crash bit of Air Crash Investigation and then switch over to Celebrity Big Brother, for shame. It’s the same thing – one is the tragic end of so many promising lives, and the other is Air Crash Investigation. Paul pretends not to like it, but then moans when I flick the telly over, so that’s conflicting.

We truly have got some great recipes coming up this week – all new, all delicious. I’ll end the way I always do on a weigh-in night – you can see our recipes are working for us, so share share share! If you have a private slimming world facebook group, drop a link to the blog in there! We’re always delighted to read the comments because well, as I said last week, we’re hussies for attention.

Goodnight then – I’m off to find why a vessel full of men went down in the bush – but that’s Katie Price for you…

weigh in week nine – but that’s impossible! they’re on instruments!

Monday night! You know what that means! No, not THAT, no that’s for birthdays only or when I want to buy a new car – no, Monday night is weigh-in night! So without further delay:

weeknine

Now that’s an awful lot of penis colada, or as it is known in some circles, an Essex mouthwash. I jest, I’m from the town with the friggin’ Bigg Market – the street of broken dreams, broken windows and broken hymens. It’s getting difficult to come up with suitable weight comparisons!

CHUFFED with the weight-loss this week, because I really thought I was going to gain, not because we’ve been eating especially badly – we’ve been good, as you can see by the recipes, but I just felt…fat! Paul has had a lot on at work so has been snacking, but we’ve both decided to give an experiment a go – from tomorrow until next weigh in, we’re going to use exactly 0 syns (or at least try to). This actually goes against the Slimming World way a little, but I’m curious to see what the results are. Before we embark on this week, we’re going to make a MONSTER. More on that during the week!

We were chatting in the car that previously we would have been disappointed with the slow weight loss – we’re definitely chase-the-numbers type of people. But the key is – before we used to cut stuff out, and go without – nevermind making all sorts of new recipes. It was a deprivation diet, and as soon as you stop that, you go straight back onto the crappy foods and bad habits. By doing it slowly, spending our syns and making sure we cook something new at least five times a week, we’re keeping it interesting and neither of us is craving bad food (although Paul timed that impeccably – he brought me a cheese slice in from the kitchen as I typed ‘neither of us’, haha). I have been a proper yo-yo dieter in the past – here’s to hoping that a) this is going to stick and b) it keeps going!

Goodnight!

Oh, and:

weigh in week eight – Mr Sleek will see you now

Firstly, the results of week eight:

weekeight

Remember Sooty, because I’ll get to him in a second.

Only a quick post tonight as I’m about to have my tea (chicken burger – Heck variety from Tesco for 1 syn each) but just wanted to put it out there that between Paul and I, we’ve lost two stone in eight weeks. Now, the weightloss hasn’t been rocketing along, but that’s how we like it – slow and steady will always win the race. Slow, breathless and clutching my left arm will almost certainly win too. We’re going to have a strict week starting from tomorrow though and aim for at least 2.5 each next week. Go go go…

Also, I won Mr Sleek! I know it was a shoo-in as there are very few men who come to my group but it was still a lovely honour. Many words can be used to describe me: cheerful, effervescent, roly-poly, jolly, prepossessing, modest – but sleek? No. I’ve never been called that. I got a new fancy sticker on my book and a certificate to wave in Paul’s face whenever he wants me to rub his feet and/or move.

Finally, I mentioned above that we’ve lost the equivalent of a cat called Sooty. Well, here he is – this will help visualise what it is we have lost…

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A two stone cat! I want him.

J

weigh in – week six – a triumphant return!

Ladies and gents, your attention please. After a week of sticking to plan, ‘enjoying’ the super-speed soup for two lunches (and the subsequent chutney fountain that followed about three hours later), we have clawed our way back and…

weeksix

A wattle is those weird fleshy bits that some people get on their face instead of chins.

Hooray! In a weird bit of symmetry, we both lost 4.5lb – and I hadn’t had my usual pre-meeting Douglas, so there’s probably another one pound ready to be sent to sea. This brings us neatly back on track – and – I got my stone award! Nothing says I’M A WINNER like an A5 card with ‘YOU’RE A WINNER’ on it. Actually, I quite like getting the stickers and certificates, because I’m enchanted by the pretty sparkly colours. The plan for this week is 2lb off each, which will bring our weight loss to 28lb – and who knows what I’ll manage to dig up to compare THAT against.

I’ll leave you with a tale from yesterday. Paul has a friend who was celebrating his 90th birthday, so naturally he volunteered me a couple of hours before the party to make a cake to serve 20 or so people with a Russian theme. Well, I really pulled it out of the bag – as the icing was from Dr Oetker and the candles from Sainsburys. Hastily, we arranged the cake, and Paul thought it would be a great idea to put NINETY BLOODY CANDLES in a star shape on the top. I told him to exercise caution. Paul, being Paul, ignored me, and decided to take the cake to the pub and light the candles using my cooks blowtorch because ‘it would be quicker than using a match’. Indeed it would. But ninety candles pushed together and lit with a blowtorch produces a giant flame unlike no other – and god bless him, he put it down in front of the ninety old man and told him to blow it out. I’m nearly 30 and thanks to a few years of dedicated, blessful smoking (I’ve seen stopped) I’ve got crap lung capacity and can barely blow the froth off a cappucino. So this 90 year old chap had no chance, and the entire cake went up in flames.

Oops. Still, think of the syns he saved…

J