Gluten free pizza

Hello Dear Reader,

Supper tonight was always going to be a whatever I could find in the fridge night but on the way home we almost succumbed to pizza takeaway. Our local chippy is now a Domino’s pizza. Whilst I drove, DB rang them to find out how much a gluten free pizza would cost. £9 For tomato and cheese plus £1.50 for each topping and it was only a 9″ pizza. We thanked them for the information. £9! Who on earth pays £9 for pizza? 

I used gluten free wraps, half a jar of basics pasta sauce, two tomatoes, budget wafer thin ham, some mushrooms, a tin of sweet corn and three slices of low fat Cheddar. 

The wraps were expensive but I wanted something pizza-ish and this is pretty close and was assembled in a couple of minutes and cooked in a hot oven in ten.

We kept it cheap and low calorie as we had very little cheese.

With the exception of the wraps, the topping for three pizzas cost the under £1.50 and £3 for a pack of wraps. A bit of a budget blowout for us but a lot less than £9 for one little pizza.

A perfect Friday fakeaway. We might have a Domino’s pizza takeaway in Liskeard but at those prizes, we won’t be going there.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

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Stretching leftovers in every direction

Hello Dear Reader,

My soup mug contains just one portion of homemade ragu sauce and I needed to feed us both. I added a jar of cheapo tomato sauce, it’s gluten free and 80 calories for half a jar (4 slimming world syns). It had less fat and less calories than the low fat versions in the supermarket. Ironically, it costs the same as a tin of tomatoes so it was cheaper than making it myself.

As usual, we ate it with a massive pile of steamed greens instead of pasta to keep our carbs low and to get more nutrients into ourselves. Seasonal veggies like this are really cheap too.

I added a tin of sweet corn too. More cheap veggies.

We had one slice of cheese each. It might seem a bit expensive to buy sliced cheese but it’s portion control for us. You can see, one slice goes a long way. (4 syns) 

As if spring greens, carrots and celery in the ragu sweet corn wasn’t enough, I chopped up some gerkins and the crunchy spicy sourness really added punch to an already flavour filled bowlful. 

So today we’ve eaten: frozen leftovers, jarred, tinned and pickled and fresh…..all on one plate. Healthy, cheap and used up everything we had at home.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx

Chicken, bacon and bean casserole 


Hello Dear Reader,

We have the first autumn storm bashing Cornwall and the rain is coming in sideways. That says one thing, it’s time for a casserole. This didn’t take long in my slow cooker and I made an entire batch and we’ve eaten half today and we’ll eat the rest tomorrow. 

I used

1 kilo of frozen chicken breasts and I added them frozen and cut them up once they cooked 

Half a head of finely sliced celery

1 small things onion – finely diced 

6 large carrots, peeled and chunked

1 tin of haricot beans

2 tins of tomatoes 

Half a pack of cooking bacon – cut into cubes

I popped the lot in the slow cooker and set it on low for 6 hours. That meant it was warm when I got home but had to take out what we needed and microwave it after I’d cooked some cabbage and rice to have with our supper. 

It’s cheap, simple and the addition of beans meant we didn’t need so much meat. Another supper with a combination of tinned and frozen along with some fresh veggies and rice from the larder.

I’m off to get in my pyjamas, get under a quilt and keep warm for the evening.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Slimming world pasties

Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve seen these all over the internet and I thought I’d have a go. Here’s what I put inside:

2 leek, sliced.

One large  courgette, cut into small chunks

1 large red pepper, diced.

Spray of frylight and cook for ten fifteen minutes.

8 rasher of lean bacon, remove any fat and diced

100g of tomato paste

Plenty of black pepper.

One laughing cow light triangle per pasty 

1 beaten large egg – use this to seal the pasty and glaze it

I cooked it until everything as well cooked.

I used gluten free wraps bit expensive at 50p each!

Eight slices of lean bacon at £2.

Asda free range eggs at £1.50


I covered the wrap with beaten egg, added the filling and popped a cheese triangle inside.

Sealing it was a nightmare, DB suggested I sewed it together with spaghetti ! I kept pressing the edges with a fork. Preheat the oven to 180.

I brushed them generously with beaten egg and baked them for twenty minutes.

It was totally delicious! I calorie counted and each pasty was under 250 calories! 


Our neighbours gave us the runner beans and the corn was in the reduced section at Asda.

If you don’t need to eat gluten free, then you can buy 6 wraps for 75p! It’s a quick low calorie supper and twice as delicious when you get to the cheese in the middle. To make this veggies, you could grill some quorn sausages and dice them and add them.

There’ll be more slimming world recipes as we get back into healthy eating after an indulgent summer.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Feed me I’m tired! 


Hello Dear Reader,

We’ve pushed ourselves hard today and set a deadline for getting this round of renovations complete. We had some pine trees down when we bought the house and the logs have sat in the garden for 18 months. I don’t want to burn them as the resin can damage a flue liner. However, stored for three years in the dry, they are fine and won’t damage a chimney. We offered the ‘green wood’ on Facebook and today, the loveliest couple came with a big van and took it all away. We helped them load their van and found out that they have lots of land where they season wood until they need it. They left us a nice bottle of wine, they have plenty of wood for a few years in the future and our garden is much tidier. It’s always great to meet new people.

As soon as they’d gone, we went back to painting. New plasterboard soaks up paint and it took for coats of paint to get an even finish. We bought Dulux over with us from the UK as French paint is so much more expensive. Tomorrow, I’ll buy some stain to paint the stairs to match the other woodwork in the house. 

We do bits and bobs then get out and about. I’ll do out and about tomorrow and I’m excited about going to Emmaus.

After loads of work, I needed good old fashioned comfort food and made Corned beef hash

To make this:

6 medium potatoes- chopped and boiled until just soft.

3 onions sliced and fried in two tbsp of oil until soft.

1 tin of corned beef, cut into cubes.

Add the cooked potatoes to the pan of fried onions.

Resist the urge to turn, allow it to catch and crash slightly.

Add the chopped corned beef and mix, pat down and continue to cook.

Don’t stir and allow it to crisp.

Cook the top half by placing the pan under a hot grill.

Serve with steamed veggies. Eat, put your feet us and have an early night before all the hard work starts again tomorrow.

We are getting there but soon we’ll have two fully renovated bedrooms, stairs and third floor hallway.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

Renovating in France


Hello Dear Reader,

After a week of on and off rain, it’s been great to throw open every door and window and enjoy the sunshine. Above is the view of our open plan living area. My thrifted sofa is covered in blankets as the dogs have commandeered it for themselves. The board is across the bottom of the Stairs to stop the dogs going up.

In between the showers yesterday, I laundered and dried all the towels and bedding and today did the same with our clothes.

Whilst I’ve got on with fussing the dogs, cooking and laundry, Dearly Beloved has made a start on the dividing wall. 

He’d done a lot more by the end of the day but here’s the start. The top floor use to be a self contained studio apartment but it’ll be two separate bedrooms when he’s finished. He does the building and I do the insulation and painting. The garden fence has served as balustrade around the stairs so we didn’t fall down them. They will of course be replaced!

I added the photo below, later in the day.


I made homity pie for supper and tomorrow’s lunch. We’ll eat it with salad. We are still eating at home, I really enjoy having time to cook and amble to the local shop just for a bunch of parsley if I didn’t have any.

To make it, I rolled out gluten free pastry (supermarket ready made!) 

Inside.

1 large tin a new potatoes – roughly chopped – 800g of cooked potatoes 

2 onions and 8 cloves of garlic – chopped and gently sautéed in some olive oil until soft. Don’t cook garlic on a high heat, it’ll burn.

6 florets of broccoli, gently steamed – you could use leeks or spinach, I had half a head of broccoli left.

200g of grated emmental or mature cheddar

Salt and pepper

Handful of chopped parsley

200ml of double cream (or the nearest I could get here in France – crème de Normandie- Entière )

Toss the lot together and pour into the pastry case. 

Bake at 180/200 for 40 minutes. It’s creamy, cheesy and loaded with garlic. O

I use a heavy metal deep quiche dish so I don’t blind bake.

Another day in thrifty homemade France.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Gluten Free Pancakes



Hello Dear Reader,

There are some recipes that I just know by heart and cook frequently. We love pancakes and have them for a the occasional weekend breakfast. 

150g of gluten free flour
350ml of milk
1 egg
tiniest pinch of salt

Combine in a blender or food processor and make sure it is lump free. Pour into a jug or bowl. You’ll need a ladle to add to pour out the right amount.


Melt 30g of unsalted butter – plus a little more for brushing the pan or griddle. I always use a crepe pan and mine is well worn and bought in France a few years ago but they can be easily bought here.

Heat the pan, when hot brush with oil.

At the last minute, add the melted butter to the batter mix and whisk.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the pan with butter.

Use a ladle to pour one ladle full onto the crepe pan, immediately move the crepe pan around to cover the pan with the batter mix. 

When the pancake has crisped at the edges and I like mine to be wafer thin and as much like a French crepe as I can get it, then use a pallet knife to flip it over. 

Serve with what every you like, we usually eat ours with a smear of jam and a big mug of coffee for breakfast.

How do you like yours? Any one else love those thin French crepes? I’m always envious of people eating them when I’m there as I have to stick to buckwheat pancakes which are gluten free so has anyone. I  must remember to bring some ‘farrine de sarrasin’ home with me.

Until tomorrow, 

Love Froogs xxxxx

Feed me quickly, without fuss!


                        

Hello Dear Reader,

Quick recipe for stuffed mushrooms. More assembly than cooking. Perfect for when you can be bothered to cook and I can’t be bothered this weekend.

5 portobello mushrooms 
300g pack of feta 
1 chopped onion
1 beaten egg
1 pack ready cooked quinoa and brown rice
1 pack of chopped kale, steamed to your liking.
1 sliced of cheese for each mushroom – i used the sliced sandwich cheese
serve with salad

Combine the ingredients, top with cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with salad. Put your feet up, it’s been a long week and eat healthy yummy nosh that’ll nurture your soul too. I’m eating lots of easy assembly food at the moment as I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. We all get like this once in a while but hey, it’s cheaper than the takeaway!


                        

I’m brain drained. I’m trawling eBay, free ads, freecycle and local auctions to furnish the French house. So far, I’ve gleaned…….small undercounter freezer, click clack sofa bed, double bed frame and so on. Everything will be wedged in the corner of my dining room, stacked up ready to take with us in December. We’ve hired the UK version of a U haul trailer which worked out cheaper than hiring a van. We’re buying here as we’ll take everything we can second hand and we’ll look out for second hand items when we’re out there too. 

We’ll be back there next Saturday staying in a bargain gite on the moors and we’re really looking forward to lots of walking, outdoors, vide grenier on Sunday in Morlaix and a womble around the local depot ventes in the local towns searching our necessities at bargain prices. I don’t pay much here and get everything second hand and I’m going to do the same here too, especially for kitchen items, small pieces of furniture and decorative items. 

I’m so distracted that this week will mainly be ‘on toast’, out of a tin or the freezer and will involve list making, packing and bidding on ebay.

Over to you Dear Reader, who else gets moments where you’d rather sit in a ditch than cook? We can pat ourselves on the back if we manage egg and chips as it’s cheaper than the chippy!

Until tomorrow,

Froogs xxxx

All hail the Hake

                       
Hello Dear Reader,
I paid a very high price for not following a healthy eating plan for a week. For a week, I thought sod it, ate any old thing, potatoes, carbs and so on. I put on 5lbs in one week. I swear I can put on weight driving past the supermarket. I wouldn’t have minded if I’d gone on a crazy binge but I just eat a few slices of bread and spuds. I’m really sensitive to how my body breaks down starches of any kind. I’ve gone gone back to carefully keeping my carbs under control and I’ve lost 2lbs since Monday. I’m also being careful with calories and getting myself out for a brisk walk every day. 
I’m trying to eat more fish. Tonight we had Hake that we bought from Lidl with garlic butter, roasted veggies and a scant 60g of cooked wild rice. It was stunning. 350 calories for the whole meal and under 40g of carbs. The only down side is that two fillets are £2.50! It was extremely tasty but fresh fish is so expensive. 
                       
I’m going to add more fish in our meals by using more tinned fish too, salmon, tuna and mackerel are fine in a tin and easy to pop in our lunch boxes with salads. What about you? Anyone else trying to add some fish to their meals?
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxx

Chicken, Leek and Chorizo Risotto


Hello Dear Reader,

We’ve had rain, wind and storms and every time I open the front door bits of garden and shrubbery get swept into the house! It’s just the weather for a chicken pie! In the absence of pastry, although I will get round to gluten free pastry, I decided that the contents of the pie could go into a risotto.

You will need

2 chicken breast or thigh in cubes
500ml of vegetable or chicken stock
2 leeks – chopped
1 cup of mixed frozen veg
2″ of chorizo – also chopped
200g of arborio rice
10ml of oil
10g of butter
3 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 heaped tablespoon of parmesan – I found a dried similar cheese for a lot less.


 Add the oil and butter to the pan
Add all the other ingredients except the rice and stock and stir well

Stir through until the chicken and leek are cooked.

Add all the stock at once, no faffing around here!

Stir over a gentle heat until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked just as you like it. This can take around 15 – 20 minutes. Stirring constantly.

Serve with a sprinkle of the cheese on top of each on. I know!!! It’s not a chicken pie but it doesn’t have any gluten and it does have that comfort that only a risotto can bring on a cold night.


I like to simplify my cooking and make it simple for everyone else. If I make this again, I would use more leeks as they lost their flavour with the stock and the cheese. 

Over to you Dear Reader. Who else is being battered by terrible weather? Who else is traveling to work in driving rain and coming home to a garden full of branches?

As an aside, there are plenty of gluten free products on Approved Food at the moment. I’ve just taken delivery of lots of very much reduced items to keep me going to a while, including gluten free stuffing mix so I can make faggots.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxxxxx