Summer is looming and your consultants will be frothing away with stuff like ‘if it swims, it slims’ (and yet they still refuse to put semen into the syns directory, I could be ingesting at least 20 syns a day!) – so in honour of that, here’s a nice fresh tuna niçoise salad. Nice and easy to make and you can take the extra in for lunch the next day. But first.
We’re in the slightest of pickles.
I’ve mentioned before that we have some excellent neighbours and a couple of well…how to say it, less pleasant ones. Nothing too offensive you understand, no-one’s smearing dog shit under my door handles or playing Now That’s What I Call Profound Hearing Loss at all hours of the day, thank God, although we do have one distant neighbour who seems to have been building a tiny brick wall for at least a year. A year! I’m so shite with DIY that I call our handyman over to change the lightbulbs in our bathroom but I reckon even I could get the hang of bricklaying if I had a bloody year to go at it.
Anyway, aside from one odd soul bellowing at us because we had the temerity of allowing dandelions to grow on our pristine lawn, they’ve all been very quiet recently, which is lovely. Until the sign arrived. Yes see, Paul thought it would be a gas to have a giant ‘VOTE LABOUR’ sign delivered for the front garden – a proper yellow and red affair, nice and prominent – in the vain hope that anyone driving onto our street at 2mph might be suddenly swayed by this spontaneous piece of politicking. It’s about as subtle as a kick in the fanny with a steel-capped shoe.
I agree with the sentiment – I’m Labour through and through – and so it was hastily erected. Well. We’ve had looks. We’ve had shaking heads. We’ve had so much tutting that I thought the cat was eating chewing gum. Nets have been twitching as we walk past and there’s been so many pained expressions it’s like living on Hernia Avenue. However, it stays – it’s important to make a stand on these things before it is too late, after all.
Things came to a head the other day, though. I spotted two of our neighbours standing in our garden peering over the fence. Confused as to what they might be doing in our garden (picking dandelions) I trotted out and enquired as to how I could help. Turns out they were speaking to our neighbours on the left and didn’t need my intervention. I resisted the urge to point out it was slightly presumptuous to let yourselves into someone’s garden to have a chat – clearly they thought I was at work. I was so frustrated I let myself into their house and helped myself to their pension books.
I was letting myself back into the house when the old chap caught up with me and plucked fitfully at my sleeve – you could tell he wanted to get something off his chest. I gave him a beatific smile and asked how I could help. He wants me to take down the sign. It blocks his view. Now, the ‘view’ that he is talking of is the side of my house, but nevertheless, I’m always one to show willing. He explained that he could see it every time he looked out of the window and it was causing him distress. I, politely as I could, suggested it ought to stay because it was our garden and really, from his angle, all he’d see is the edge of the sign 50m away from him – I haven’t exactly put a wind-farm up. We did the dance of being super polite with each other but then he played his trump card – he was having heart issues and could barely walk.
I resisted the urge to reassure him that Jeremy Corbyn would make sure that the NHS was well-funded and send him on his way, and instead, being a kind neighbour, I’ve relocated the sign into our back garden where at least he can’t see it. I feel like I’ve been played, though. I keep switching between being a good neighbour and leaving it where it is and being a bad neighbour and having something like this installed in the garden:
I don’t know why they don’t ask me to design the manifesto cover.
Anyway, I’ll let you know of any further developments. Let’s do the tuna niçoise salad, shall we? Before we do I should point out that this is a recipe straight from Joe Wicks’ Lean In 15. We’re not following his diet, but his book is absolutely full of easily adapted slimming recipes and we’re adapting a few for the blog. To think I only bought the book because I was so taken by the sight of him on TV. I’m not saying he’s good-looking, but I’d crawl on my belly through a mile of broken glass just to listen to him fart through a walkie-talkie. You can buy his book here and it is one I genuinely recommend.
This makes enough for two big bowls – scale up or down as appropriate.
to make a fresh tuna niçoise salad, you’ll need:
- two eggs
- 150g of trimmed green beans
- 2 x 300g tuna fillet steaks (or, if you want to save money, a tin of tuna each)
- 60g of cooked puy lentils (we buy Merchant Gourmet ones from the shop – 2 syns for 250g) (half a syn – and then it’s between two, so really quarter of a syn per serving)
- two big handfuls of spinach leaves
- 25g of sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped up (1.5 syns, then divided up by two)
- a little balsamic vinegar
By my reckoning, it’s a syn per serving. Easy. You may spot that rather than using balsamic vinegar in its usual form we’ve used balsamic vinegar pearls. Exactly the same only they burst on your tongue and are delicious. Naturally, Slimming World’s syns database doesn’t have them. They’ve on Amazon though, not too bad, and they add a nice dimension to dinner!
to make a fresh tuna niçoise salad, you should:
- boil your eggs for about eight minutes then drop the green beans in with them and boil for another minute or so – you want the beans to have a bit of crunch and the eggs to be slightly softer boiled than pictured (I was distracted making this by our fit postman)
- to cook the tuna, squirt a good non-stick frying pan or griddle with a few sprays of oil (coconut oil if you have it) and get it nice and hot and carefully place the tuna steaks to cook
- if you like your tuna raw in the middle like I do (but again, I was distracted) then cook only for a minute each side – or cook it through for a couple of minutes if you prefer
- take the tuna out, season with black pepper and a bit of salt
- assemble your salad by mixing the green beans, tomatoes, spinach and balsamic in a bowl, stirring it all together, then plate up with the tuna – sliced thinly if you like – and the egg cut in half
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Have a great bank holiday all!
Personally, I support The Official Monster Raving Loony Party, purely as a protest against the fact that if you cracked open one of the many hills in my little rural town of Wales, it would have probably have ‘Plaid Cymru’ (aka ‘Welsh Nazis’, as they’re only half-jokingly known) written through the bedrock.
Also, the late and great Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow had a cracking set of pipes, I can always be swayed by a catchy beat.
Ugh, Tories are so passive aggressive, when they’re not being downright brutish thugs stealing from the most vulnerable and putting the boot in. They’re the same when they’re called “Liberals” (choke yourself laughing at that) in Aus or Rethuglicans in Murica. There was a time they could pretend not to know they were brutal, thieving, vulnerability assaulting lying, psychopathic beasts masquerading as people, but no more.
Yeah, go right ahead and reply to that with your feeble, hysterical lunacy and see what happens. I don’t do tone policing and I don’t do tolerating sociopathic fuckwits, so please do feel free to snivel and whine at me, let’s see where that goes.
I am betting you get a few unfollows because of this post, and possibly this comment (do feel free of course to delete it or not post it, your house your rules). Sorry about that, but then again, who needs fucking fascists following you?
Moving swiftly on…stop nagging for gawd’s sake I finally tried one of your recipes! After following you solely for the articles (slow wink, doubly creepy as I am a middle aged woman) for nearly a year I spotted something easy enough for an indolent old tart like me on your FB feed, the one pot lazy bastard lasagne here: https://twochubbycubs.com/2016/09/09/one-pot-super-quick-cheats-lasagne/ – and it was AWESOME. My teenagers belched their approval.
I did some horrible things to that recipe and it still turned out well. Had no chicken stock, used oxo cubes. Was unsure what pasatta was (I was half convinced it was one of those “other continent” linguistic issues, like eggplant being called aubergine and cilantro being called ugh that disgusting filth nobody in their right mind uses in their food, but no, upon googling it I found it two aisles up from where I was standing). Used the El Cheapo LipsHoovesNArseholes mince. Had no idea what the measurements meant and I only own about four measuring instruments anyway so I just GUESSED. Used a jar of minced garlic that’s been sitting in the fridge growing feet for a year.
And it was still totally yum. Definitely making it again soon, and I am trying your Mongolian Beef recipe next week once the guy from Coles drops off the necessaries.
So, it just goes to show, if you write funny and clever they will come for the funny and clever and occasionally stay for the recipes.
I thank you.
Bit gutted…….thought you were going to tell us …..how….to make the balsamic pearls…..sob sob.
None the less thanks x
Just when I thought I couldn’t love you guys more you come up with this …… got my vote Labour sign up ….JC4PM XXXX