Leek, sweet potato and lemongrass soup

Now I’m not normally one for soup, unless its pumpkin soup full of cream and butter, but having visited my local fruit and veg shop and picking up some cheap leeks and sweet potato I decided to make up a recipe as I go, and it turned out really well. Even hubby liked it when he is more of a braised steak and onion soup fan.

So I’ll list my ingredients and the recipe but this is a full customisable recipe, add what vegetables you like. You don’t have to go out and buy everything I list just use what needed to be used up from your fridge.

This recipe only has 6 ingredients not including oil and water. But again add any vegetables you wish

Ingredients:

1 large leek, thinly sliced then chopped roughly.

2 small sweet potato (or one large one) diced to desired size

1 large carrot diced a bit smaller that the sweet potato

1/2 cup frozen spinach (1-1.5 cups if using fresh)

1 cube of salt reduced chicken stock cube

1-1/5 L of water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp of lemon grass paste

Optional: garlic and cheese bread to serve with

1-2 a loaf of Turkish bread sliced to desired thickness

1tbs olive oil

1/2 tbs garlic (more or less by preference)

1/4 cup of grated cheese of choice

Method:

1) heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Cook leeks for 3-5 mins until starting to go soft.

2) add diced sweet potato, lemon grass and carrot into saucepan and cook for another 5 mins

3) add water, stock cube and spinach. Bring up to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins with lid on.

4) serve as is, or make some cheesy garlic bread to serve with.

Method for cheese garlic bread:

1) line Turkish bread of foiled baking sheet.

2) mix olive oil and garlic and pour evenly over bread.

3) even sprinkle cheese over the bread and bake in preheated oven (180 celcius/ 360 f) for 10 mins or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Now this soup tasted amazing served warm, but it would also be really nice served cold as well. Even though I made a large pot full hubby had seconds and we didn’t have any left over to try it cold. Bit I do know the next time I buy leeks this recipe is is being made into a large batch and frozen for future meals.

Now if you have been following my blogs you know I am on a weight loss journey, and in my previous blog I discussed how I will be working towards completing a 25km trail run up a mountain. And I only have 10 months to train for this, going from an occasional workout to 25kms, but I need help to be able to reach this goal so I have set up a go fund me to make this dream and goal possible. So if you can I would really appreciate and cherish any help from you.

So read my previous blog explaining more in detail of my goal here: https://abcdreams7766.blogspot.com.au/2018/01/i-must-be-crazy-or-brilliant-you-decide.html

And here is the link to my go fund me if you are able to help in any way:  https://www.gofundme.com/go-from-overweight-to-25km-trailrun

Thank you all, don’t forget to follow me to keep updated and read my previous blogs. Hope you are all well and comment if you give this recipe a try.

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From having never run, to a 25km trail run in 10 months

So I’m back, after the Christmas and new years break and more eating than planned. I have realised I have completely fallen off the wagon. I am still trying to eat healthy and get my partner involved but find it hard to eat healthy the way I want, taking into consideration of his food preferences and apparent need for junk food. I have also found because he has been home from work for holidays I have not exercised once for fear of him seeing me. We also have a crawling teether who has decided to  sprout 4 teeth at once so moods are pretty gloomy. This is joined in by his terrible two’s highly independent, strong minded and determined to push buttons sister. So at current being done physically for exercise is next to nothing. I am finding myself so mentally and emotionally drained just from the kids and house wife duties I tend to every day.

Because I have not been eating as healthy as I was, and my 2-3L of water a day has dropped I feel quite down and unmotivated within myself. So what did I do to fix this?

I decided to to do a half Marathon. But not just half Marathon. A trail run. So up and down hills, through different terrain. You know, not the sort of thing a couch potato normally goes, I will do this and train for it and get to the point where I will be able to run the whole thing ( I’m not worried about time it takes. Just to be able to finish and finish well, feeling accomplished)

So I have figured I am either an idiot who thinks I can do this in 10 months, going from nothing to 25km trail run on a mountain.

Another reason why I feel like this is a bad decision is our financial status. We are flat broke. Hubby works full time but having two kids under 2 and renting in a pricey suburb make it difficult for both finding budget healthy meals and being able to afford to get the right training equipment to do this both injury free and well. My current running shoes are hand me downs from my cousin who is male. So I’m a using old worn out shoes for the wrong gender, and all the websites I have read about starting to run say going to a professional shoe store to match shoes to the way I run are essential.

So overall, my goal is to go from this

To being able to complete 25km (half Marathon) of this in 10 months

So what do you guys think? Is it possible for me, a mum of two young children, with absolutely no running experience and not as fit as I should be, to be able to train for a 25km trail run in 10 months?

If you want to help me reach my goal you can, I have set up a go fund me to make this actually possible but I need your help first.

https://www.gofundme.com/go-from-overweight-to-25km-trailrun

Crunchy ramen salad

Holy crap, the heatwave going through Queensland, Australia at the moment is ridiculous! I have never sweated so much doing so little. And of course we live in a old renovated house with no  air-conditioning. So the idea of standing in the kitchen cooking dinner tonight is more than undesirable. Instead I am trying out a new recipe that only takes 5 mins to prepare and means I don’t have to literally sweat over a hot stove to get a healthy filling meal on the table tonight.

So this is my crunchy ramen salad. With only 6 ingredients, 3 of which is in every kitchen at least.

Ingredient’s:

1 bag of coleslaw mix

2 packs ramen noodles ( any flavour as seasoning packet not used)

3-5 spring onions (scallions) sliced

3/4 cups vegetable oil

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Steps:

1) mix together the white vinegar, vegetable oil and sugar in a bowl.

2) crush up the packets of ramen noodles. Add to coleslaw mix in a large bowl.

3) slice up spring onions and add to coleslaw mix.

4) pour the oil, vinegar and sugar mix and toss well until everything is evenly coated.

5) chill in fridge for 1-2 hours minimum. Serve either cold or room temp.

Overall this recipe was very simple and quick, which tonight is all I wanted. This is also a very budget friendly meal as well. With most people already having half of the ingredients already in their pantry. This is also a perfect salad for a picnic or to take to a party/event as it can be served cold or room temp. To fancy up the salad you could try adding sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, dried cranberries or any other fruits and nuts of choice.

Let me know if you try this affordable, quick, simple and filling salad. And check out my previous blogs where I share other recipes and my weight loss journey.

Twice baked potato’s with spinach

So I’m sharing another new recipe I have tried, and although not the healthiest in terms of carbs it was a day where all I wanted was comfort food. So instead of my go to extra crispy wedges with melted cheese and gravy I decided to give this twice baked potato and spinach a try as a replacement.

All in all it turned out well and curbed my unhealthy comfort food cravings I was having.

This is my Hubby’s plate, I had 2 halves of a smaller potato.

Ingredients:

3-4 medium to large potato’s

1 cup of boiled/steamed broccoli

2 handfuls of spinach (I used frozen)

Dash of milk

Sprinkle of low fat cheese on top

Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

1) preheat oven to 230c or 450 f

2) wash potato’s removing dirt but leaving the skin on, pierce each potato deeply with a fork (be carefull,  my hand now has fork dents in it)

3) bake potato’s on a pan for 50-60 minutes. Once cooked remove from oven and slice then in half length ways.

4) while potato’s are baking, boil/steam broccoli until tender. Mash with a potato masher or fork and while still hot add the spinach until wilted/defrosted.

5) carve out a well into the potato’s, leaving a thick layer of skin & flesh to hold shape and mash inside.

6) mash the scooped out potato and add milk to form thick mash potato, add the broccoli and spinach and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste

7) scoop the mash Mixture back into the hollowed out potato’s and top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.

8) grill/ broil for 3-4 minutes till the cheese is golden brown.

Serve as a main dish with a salad or as a side to a main meal.

So my comments on this recipe is overall it was a tasty filling meal that curbed my cravings. Although it is not a super healthy meal it beats a lot of other choices I would have gone with. Only thing I suggest is making sure you make the mash on the thicker side. I made mine a bit thinner and when I cut into the potato’s is feels like I’m eating a chicken Kiev when the garlic sauce leaks every where but on the fork full of chicken I want to eat.

Hope you all enjoyed this recipe and check out my last blog where I share my recipe for meatless spaghetti bolognese.

Meatless Spaghetti Bolognese

So following along my healthy journey, I have another healthy recipe to share with you all. I haven’t done any updates lately because Christmas just came around and I’m to embarrassed to say how much food I consumed in the days leading up to and of Christmas.  So in my total lack of a strong mindset I have decided against measuring myself and being disappointed with the weight gain numbers. So instead I have focused on getting a meal plan together that the whole family can enjoy while I work my way towards being more healthy in my life choices. Once I am a few days into eating healthier and drinking my 2-3L a day as well as not feeling the Christmas food baby bloat. I will again pick up on my every 3 day measurement updates.

Now for the fun part. The recipe!!! So this is a meatless spaghetti bolognese, I got the main idea for the recipe from a YouTube channel “AnarhistKitchen” I will link the video below if you want to check it out. I did change the recipe slightly to add in more vegetables and also added cheese to stop the rest of my family complaining to much, so my version is not vegan but can easily be made so.

Ingredient’s:

700g diced mushrooms

1/2 a large carrot diced

1 large onion diced

1/2 zucchini diced

2 table spoons of diced garlic (we love garlic but adjust to taste)

1/4 diced red capsicum (bell pepper)

1 table spoon of tomato to paste

1 jar of pasta sauce (use your favorite)

500gms of your choice of spaghetti/pasta

A pinch of dried Italian herbs

A splash of water if needed

A sprinkle of cheese if desired

And salt and pepper to taste

Now apart from the main ingredients of mushroom, pasta sauce and pasta the other ingredients are up to you. Go by what you enjoy, what needs to be used in your fridge etc. This meal is completely customisable.

Steps:

1) cook onion till translucent in a large frypan (I used a wok) on medium high heat. Add in garlic and cook for another minute.

2) add in your diced mushrooms, carrot, zucchini and capsicum. Cook for a few minutes till the mushrooms start to wilt.

3) add in the tomato paste and stir until all veggies are covered and it becomes fragrant. Then add in the jar of pasta sauce and dried Italian herbs.

4) put you pasta into a saucepan and cook by the packet instructions

5) reduce the heat on your sauce to low-medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Check if your sauce needs splashes of water here and there so it doesn’t become to thick.

6) after simmering for 15 minutes, check that the carrots are tender (mine were still a little crunchy) and also check if you need salt and pepper (I didn’t add either for personal preference)

7) serve up your dish how ever you wish and sprinkle some cheese on top.

Now how did I like this meal? Honestly not to bad. There would be a couple changes next time I make it. The biggest thing would be not adding in capsicum. Even though I added a small amount I could taste it through the whole dish. And I hate capsicum. I thought if there was only a small amount and diced really small I wouldn’t notice/taste it but that wasn’t the case for me. Also as mentioned in the steps, I didn’t simmer the sauce long enough and the carrots were still a bit crunchy so just be mindful if you use carrots as well.

Overall I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms but cooked this way was not bad at all and I quite enjoyed it. And so did hubby and fussy 1 and 2 year olds who usually think veggies are poison.

So this recipe has been added to our regulars as it is a great way to use left over veggies in the fridge and very simple to make.

So the video I got my inspiration and main recipe from is-

So if you try this recipe let me know what you think, and if you made any adjustments with your version.

Mini chicken n veggie meatballs

So I have what I would consider a healthy option in my attempt to meal prep to ensure I eat regularly and healthier. These tasted so good and I have realised I can use them in so many ways that it keeps it interesting. 

So what I used for these mini veggie chicken meatballs was;

2 small grated carrots

1 medium grated potato

1/2 a small sweet potato grated

a handful of broccoli florets chopped finely

500g lean chicken mince

1 egg

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Now its pretty much mix roll and bake with these meatballs, you could cook them in a fry pan, cook them on a tray in the oven like I did or another method I use for family sized meal of meatballs is cook them in a casserole dish with 2 cans of tomato soup for about 45 mins at 200 Celsius, and serve over pasta of choice.

Because these were going to be used as finger foods and snacks I baked them on a tray in the oven instead of in a fry pan to not use any extra oil, and because my fry pan is small and I would of had to cook the meatballs in batches.

-So I pre heated my oven to 190 Celsius, Lined a baking tray with baking paper.

-In a bowl add your chicken mince and mix through all of your selected veggies until combined evenly. Add in one egg and the garlic powder and mix again.

-Then time to get your hands dirty and start rolling. choose a size and stick to it so they all cook evenly. some like bigger ball some like smaller. I’m more of an medium sided ball lover myself. Fill the tray with your rolled out meatballs ( you may need two trays for this) and space them all out evenly.

-Bake in the oven between 15-25 minutes depending on the size you choose to roll them. just keep a good eye on them and when golden brown take them out and let them cool down. 

These meatballs are great to serve warm but are also delicious cold. so you can keep them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, they are even freezer friendly. What I did for hubby was take some out of the freezer and microwaved them for about 2 minutes, then add some BBQ sauce on top. or I would add them onto a bread roll for a meatball sub for his work lunch.

These were an absolute hit with both kids and are defiantly in my book to make regularly, and with veggies taste so good I will even do big batches at a time and keep a stock pile in the freezer ready to go.

So let me know in the comments if you tried this recipe out.

What the heck is the other thing on the plate, they look weird!

Welcome back if you are following my weight loss and healthier/happier me journey. If this is the first blog you are reading check out my previous blogs where I share my starting measurements and my updates every three days.

But I did it! I managed to eat breakfast and for once it was more than a mouthful of my children’s leftover food. After a bad day of eating yesterday and already an inch back on my hips I am more determined to get that inch plus more off and starting today, food is going to be my main focus for a while over exercise. I will still do workouts but I’m finding because my eating is poor/irregular and not enough to fuel me I’m not putting in the effort I want to when it comes to my workouts.

So what did I have for breakfast? Well its not pretty, and rather very basic. But it was filling and actually tasted pretty good!

So the scrambled eggs are obvious, 4 eggs scrambled with a dash of milk and no salt or seasonings. And no I didn’t eat all the eggs myself, it was split between me and my two kids with some leftovers in the fridge for later.

Now your probably thinking “what the heck is the other things on the plate, they look weird” and it is pretty weird but tasty at the same time. I made mashed potato, carrot and sweet potato last night to go with dinner and to the left over mash I added 1 egg, whole wheat flour and a little bit of burrito seasoning from aldi. Mixed it all up to make a thick batter and cooked patties in a frypan with the smallest amount of coconut oil cooking spray so it didn’t stick.

Now I’m the type of person who does like to have meat and the idea of mash patties is gross to me, but with the burrito seasoning I added it tasted really good! So I recommend giving bit try if you have left over mash. So with these patties, there was no salt added to either the mash or when I made the batter, so apart from any salt in the burrito seasoning I kept away from sodium so I don’t bloat and hold onto fluid.

So here is my current photo of my progress so far. 8 inches lost over my body in 9 days.

 This is day 10 of my happier and healthier lifestyle journey and I would love for you to follow me in my new chapter in life.