Saturday, 30 July 2011

My weight shoes!

As of this morning, I have actually lost 22lbs but the above photo is of 21lbs of my footwear (I have plenty more shoes!) - pretty cool eh? Imagine carrying all that lot around - yikes! But that's exactly what I have been doing....doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

TIP: Converting weights, measures and volume

Several of my international readers have told me that they don't use kitchen scales, and while it is tempting to say, "Seriously, get some digital scales - your culinary life will be so much easier!", the following might be more immediately useful (although I still say get some scales)!

From Sejny (in Podlasie Voivodeship), a former Dominican Monastery. Source: Ludwig Schneider.

Recipe/Ricetta - Walnut and Lentil Burgers

In response to a request by my friend, Sandyfeet10, on MFP, here is the recipe - adapted from one I found online - for my delicious lentil burgers.

They really are incredibly simple to make, and open to all kinds of adaptations to suit you. Why not substitute other nuts, or leave them out altogether? Instead of lentils, you could use beans. Add some Parmigiano for an extra zing! Whatever you decide, don't forget to adjust the calorie and nutritional amounts.

And don't forget to get your galley-slaves children involved too - they will love mixing this big, gooey mess!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Recipe/Ricetta - Risotto ai Frutti di Mare

How do you like your risotti? In Venexia, most people have it like a minestra (soup) - lots of liquid but very velvety, due to the milk which is often added to it. It is also cooked in stock from the start, which can make it a little lower in fat than in other northern regions. However, I actually prefer mine a little more solid, and creamy, like they make in Piedmont. I found that when they were young, my children liked Piedmontese-style risotto better than they liked Venexiana - I suppose it was easier for them to eat!

For me, risotto is almost comfort food, and like polenta, it is well worth standing at the stove for what can seem like an endless amount of time (in reality, 15-20 mins!). I find that listening to music helps a lot. By listening to music, I do in fact mean, singing along to it! It is possible to start the risotto off on the stove-top and then transfer it to the oven - certainly it makes a perfectly acceptable dish; however, I do feel I have more control over it on the top of the stove. Besides, it's not so easy to photograph the various stages of its making when it's in the oven! Also, by stirring the rice quite vigorously, you release the starch, which helps to give the risotto its creamy, velvety texture.

C25K Week 1 - Not Quite Ready To Engage Satisfied Mode...(but almost)!

So often I hear people saying they are too old to do things; too old to lose weight, too old to start an exercise programme, too old to be fit. Or they say they are too overweight, or too stiff....or any of a hundred other excuses. Yes excuses! This is not the 1950s! People - women especially - have moved on, and they are getting moving!

In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to be middle-aged any more! My friend's Aikido sensei is in his 70s; another friend marshalls at races where two of the runners are in their late 70s. Carole Rowland was 68 when she ran her first London Marathon in 2006, yet when she started running the year before, she was hard-pushed to manage a three-minute run! These are the kind of people who inspire me! As are the people I see posting on MFP that they are doing C25K with their children, or running and pushing their babies strollers/buggies, or at 400lbs+ are walking it...for now! These are the people who are getting out there and not making excuses. They have a goal, and they are going to achieve it. Just as I am! Just as you can!

Attic black-figured Panathenaic prize amphora. Source: Marie-Lan Nguyen

Monday, 11 July 2011

Recipe/Ricetta - Fortagia al Forno con Zucchini e Funghi (Oven-baked Omelette/Frittata with Courgettes and Mushrooms)

I seem to have great difficulty in cooking fortagia on the stove-top; it's a bit of a shameful thing to have to admit but there it is - no matter which pan I use, be it a skillet or a wok, my fortagii turn out like multicoloured scrambled eggs at best, and at worst, something one might see on the pavement outside a British pub on a  Saturday morning! Even trying to soufflé them under the grill proves hazardous....the last time I tried this, I set off every smoke alarm in my house, due to placing a wooden-handled wok under the grill for too long. It is now an ex-wooden-handled wok!

Then I realised I could just cook it in the oven! Why did I not do this before? Who knows? Anyway, the result is a beautiful and perfectly-formed fortagia every time, and being rectangular, it's really easy to divide up (I recommend a palette knife for this)!

This recipe only uses one whole egg, but has three egg whites. It is very flavoursome (no less-so than if it were made with whole eggs) but at a fraction of the calories and fat content of more traditional recipes. Since I really don't like the taste of eggs (but as a non-meat eater, I need all the protein I can get), I load up my fortaggii with vegetables and cheese (although not too much of course), but it really is up to you what you put in yours. Do feel free to experiment!

Be kind, then be kind, and be kind again....

I recently came across a post on My Fitness Pal, which was berating people for apparently not eating their vegetables.

Quite apart from it not being any business of the person by whom this rant was penned, it often takes a lot of courage for people to join sites such as MFP, to change their lives for the better, and even more courage to make their diaries open to the public, so I think it's wholly unfair of some people to go through said diaries, uninvited, and then have the temerity to criticise their owners in a public forum.

Hoppity & Huck - BFF, and childhood companions of amato mio and myself!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Recipe/Ricetta - Coconut & Lime Tofu Stir Fry with Noodles and Pak Choi

This is the result of the culinary experimentation I did a few weeks ago; stir fries and I have never been best friends, so I was determined once and for all, to get over my fear of them! I hope you like the result...amato mio was rendered speechless. With delight, I hasten to add!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Recipe/Ricetta - Involtini di Melanzana

Firstly,  I'd like to apologise for the less-than-top-quality culinary skills far outshine my photographic talents!

This delicious melanzana dish may be made without the sugo (drizzle a little oil over the top, then sprinkle with Pecorino) but it is much more filling with, plus it adds more to your five-a-day! Traditionally, the melanzane are coated with flour, then fried until just soft but my way is just as delicious, and far more healthy. See what you think!

As ever, feedback in the comments section is always appreciated! Grazie!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

15 Tips for Staying on Track: #15 - Count your blessings!

Don’t bemoan the fact that you haven’t lost anything this week, or that you've had a slight gain, or that you still can’t get into your skinny jeans, or that you had a bit of a slip-up at the weekend.

Be thankful that you have lost X amount thus far, that if you've maintained, that you haven’t gained, that you're getting fitter, that you're healthier. That while you may not be able to get into your skinny jeans, you do still have clothes on your back, and are not one of the 60% of the world’s population living below the poverty threshold.

So you had a slip-up - be thankful that you are not one of the 925 million people in this world who will go to bed hungry tonight.