half a syn american meatloaf

You know what I miss most from the last two decades or so? My hair. I used to have amazing hair. My friends, family and everyone in existence would doubtless think otherwise, but I don’t care. I grew my hair for a good three years or so, dyed it a myriad of different colours, and always had something fun to play with during those tricky times when having a wank just wasn’t appropriate behaviour, such as sitting on a bus or the funeral of a loved one. It was thick, luxurious, well-maintained – I loved being able to lie in the bath and swish it around in the water, I loved being able to tie knots in it, hell, I even straightened it once with a pair of straighteners and it was like the second coming. I do want to say though – at no point did I ever have one of those awful fringes which covered the eyes and necessitated that awful neck-throwing action that seems to be everywhere. I was never an Emo McGee. Too fat for it, for one thing, and I didn’t have the wherewithal to start putting shit poetry on Livejournal.

Of course, wistful recollection is a wonderful thing, but in reality, I probably looked like the abandoned child of Snape from Harry Potter and old ‘why use one voice when nineteen layered over the top of each other will do’ Enya. When I was thin, it fair suited me, but when I was a porky fella, I just looked like a hairy Christmas bauble. I remember going to France with a mate when I was eighteen, and during a daring bit of drunkenness, having all my hair removed – and we’re talking hair down to the middle of my back shaved off and my head left as smooth as a bowling ball. My mum walked straight past me at the airport and then spent the next twenty minutes shrieking and telling me I looked normal again. Cheers mum. For the first time in years, I felt a draft around my ears that even now makes me wince and long for the comfort of my Fructis-scented wonderhair. Ah well. Those days are definitely behind me, given that I’ve got hair like Steve McDonald now, and it’s easier just to cut it myself than see myself reflected in a barber’s mirror, light bouncing off the smooth, hairless front where so many beautiful hairs once lay. Sigh. The reason for this hair chatter by the way was the simple, indubitable truth that if I was to grow my hair again, I’d look like the time Heather from Eastenders dresSed up as Meat Loaf (hence the meat loaf recipe). See?


Anyway, come on, enough about times past. I went to see Interstellar last night, hence no post – apologies. However, I’ve got a corking recipe below for meatloaf which is perfect homely food for these cold nights. Interstellar, by the way, is absolute bobbins. It starts off promising enough, but then descends into look-at-me schtick and aren’t-I-clever writing. Plus, every time Anne Fucking Hathaway opened her mouth I started having internal flashbacks to her caterwauling through Les Misérables a couple of years ago and had to stop the shakes with my salted popcorn. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like her – and I think my friend summed it up best when she said that ‘the biggest black hole in the entire movie is when Anne opens her letterbox mouth’. Haha!

SO shush man, meatloaf.

to make half a syn american meatloaf:


ingredients: two stalks of celery, 1 medium carrot, an onion, small pepper, 3 mushrooms (I used shiitake because…well because they were all I had in the fridge, but I reckon they add a good strong taste, so roll with it), 500g of beef mince (remember, 5% fat or under), 500g of pork mince, three slices of breadcrumbs (though we only ended up using two slices worth – just gauge how wet your meat is before you pound it, haha), 2 large eggs, 1 tomato, seasonings. Ketchup or passata.

recipe: get that oven up to 190 degrees and lightly frylight a loaf tin. Actually, you know what, fair enough if you want to stay away from syns, but I can’t recommend frylight anymore. Do as I do and use a drop of olive oil and spread it around. It’ll be enough and you’re not having that mess of chemical water you get in frylight.

Use the food processor to blitz the bread into crumbs. Empty out. Cut the celery, carrot and onion up in the food processor. Add a clove of garlic if you like. Cook the chopped-up pepper and mushrooms until soft. Chuck everything into a bowl – all the meat, the two eggs, crumbs (don’t use all of them, keep some aside in case you need to add more if your mixture is too wet – it’s a lot easier to add something than try to balance it!), the cooked mushroom and peppers, the veg paste from the food processor and the chopped tomato. Add in a proper good glug of worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Season as much as you think, and then add a bit more. Really pound your meat and get everything mixed together, and then shape it so it looks like a loaf. Drop it into your tin and smear tomato ketchup on the top. If you want to save syns, use some passata, but the sugars from the ketchup finish the dish off.

You’ll need to cook this for a good while – we went for 90 minutes, but start using your common sense from about 75m in. LEAVE to cool and serve with your sides. We went for sweet potato and peas.

Now listen – this will easily make eight servings. It’s up to you how much you want to eat, but this can very easily be turned into leftovers the next day with some pasta, or even in a sandwich as long as you use your healthy extra for the bread.

extra-easy: yes, but make sure you make the sides of the meal nice and high in superfree food. You could do a salad, or cabbage, or anything – but the meatloaf itself won’t make up your 1/3 rule. Syn wise is negligible, to be fair. Tomato ketchup is 1 syn per level tablespoon – so two tablespoons of that to cover the top and then split into eight is quarter of a syn. If you’re going to be fussy, use passata, but haway, Two slices of wholemeal bread is a healthy extra (small loaf mind) and although I blended up three, I only needed two – and again, you’re splitting this into eight servings. So…up to you, but I didn’t syn the bread as I used it as a healthy extra!

top tips: this looks like quite an expensive meal to make, given the amount of meat, but you can nearly always buy the mince on a deal. I don’t recommend making it all from beef because it doesn’t have quite the same texture, but you could try it. You can freeze it too. Plus, this makes a BIG loaf. YOU’LL be making a big loaf afterwards, I can assure you. Enjoy!


pork pad thai

pad thai to say goodbye (and I choke)

try to walk away (apple crumble)

Sorry, but I thought of the title for this pork pad thai in the car and started chuckling merrily away at my own joke to the point that the chav in the car next to me thought I was laughing at his crapmobile and revved his engine. haha! hey, speaking of driving, I had to be a hero today and parallel park someone’s car. Space near our offices is a premium and there was this poor lass getting more and more frantic trying to park in the one available space. Because I stopped nearby to ‘check my phone’ (watch her judgmentally) she stopped her car, got out and asked me to park. I need to mention something though – there was almost space for two cars and she was driving a Mini (although you’d think it was a 70 seater coach the way she was going back and forth) – easiest parking ever! I feel those karma points will be banked for something nice at the end of the week.

I feel quite dreadful this week, because of working late and being under the kosh at work. I’ve eaten like an absolute pig, not stayed to plan and taken in all sorts of tasty, tasty shite. Really not good – and there’s no real excuse for it, because if you plan with SW, then you don’t need to eat crap. In my defense though, I’m not knowing day to day how long I’m going to be at work, or when my lunch break will be, if any, so it makes it a bit harder. Plus, I’ve been away from Paul since Monday morning  (when I get in, he’s asleep, and I only get a reassuring fart out of him as I climb into bed – it’s either that or air escaping from a fat-roll when I shift him), so maybe I’m just comfort eating.

ANYWAY look, never mind. I’m going to write the last few days off and get back on it. No more excuses! And lo, the Lord doth provide a recipe card:

Pad Thai

to make pork pad thai you will need: 

two pak choi, two carrots, packet of low fat pork mince, garlic, ginger, veg stock (not vag stock as I originally typed in the recipe card, leading to a last-minute switcheroo), beansprouts, onion, one egg, fish sauce and dried noodles. One red chilli and one lime to serve. Don’t bother with coriander, that’s Satan’s pubic hair.

to make pork pad thai you should: 

getting everything prepared before cooking is what takes up the most time with this one, but it’s worth it. chop up the pak choi, carrots, chilli, spring onions and grate the garlic and ginger (or do what we do and buy the stuff in a paste). Start by frying your mince in a mixture of soy, fish sauce and stock, quantities above. Put the chopped up spring onion whilst you do this – keeping it on a medium heat. Then add the carrots, beansprouts and pak choi and cook on a highish heat, giving it a good stir every now and then. Pak choi is a bit like spinach and will wilt down, but not to the same extent. After five or ten minutes, chuck in your egg, stir it through, and serve it hot by splashing a bit of lime and chucking on the chilli.

extra-easy: yes – syn free, though be careful with the noodles. Fresh noodles are synned, but dry noodles (unflavoured) are generally free – we’ve actually cheated in the above recipe and used fresh noodles (and built them into our food diary) but that’s something to keep an eye on. Otherwise, this is a genuinely lovely recipe and so easy to make – a great mixture of crunchy and soft, different flavours such as sour (lime) and sweet (the sauce) and unami (the soy). I’m a firm believer that if your food tastes good, you’ll not want to eat crap – as proven by my bingeing on shite this week.

top tips: making carrots and other veg into matchsticks is a pain in the arse with a knife, because it takes ages and I’ve got the dexterity of a ninety year old. We bought a julienne peeler which does the job for us. Only £4 or so, and you can find them in ASDA or order from Amazon if you can’t be bothered with fannying about by clicking here. Enjoy!

invest in fish sauce, even if you’re unsure. I don’t do seafood, not one bit, but fish sauce doesn’t taste fishy and it adds an extra base note to the flavours. This isn’t a stir-fry so don’t cook it like one, but it does come together quite quickly once you get going. If you matchstick a tonne of carrots, freeze a portion for next time. This recipe won’t freeze when cooked, mind. Oh no.

Right – enjoy! I’m off to make up for lost time with Paul’s high fat pork mince. Yup.