Saturday, March 26, 2016

Haddock and Broccoli Pie

This week we moved into the sweetest little cottage in Twyford, about 40 miles west of London. I have not had access to a decent kitchen for about 3.5 years, I was prepping food upstairs on my desk/dining table/dumping ground then either slow cooking it upstairs, microwaving it, or transporting it downstairs to the stove.

But amongst the boxes and detritus of a house move, I was determined to cook for Good Friday (aka Pants-Free Friday - but that is another story!)

One of publications from home that I still read religiously since leaving Australia is the Donna Hay magazine - I love her recipes, they are guaranteed to inspire and delight, and I have an electronic subscription that pings it to my iPad every two months like clockwork. I spotted her Caramelised Leek and Broccoli Fish Pie a few weeks ago and knew that I wanted it to be the first thing I cooked in the new house.

Since having the surgery, I am more conscious of what I eat. I have cut right back on carbs and fats, hardly ever touch alcohol and my portions are tiny. Yes, me hardly touch alcohol. Crazy talk but true.

So to the pie. And happy Eatser....sorry Easter!

Haddock and Broccoli Pie (inspired by Donna Hay)

150 grams fresh sourdough
75 grams flat leaf parsley
75 grams unsalted butter, melted
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup of chicken stock
2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Head of broccoli, florets separated
600 grams fresh haddock (or other firm-fleshed white fish), cut into 3cm pieces
1 tablespoon of cornflour
150 grams reduced fat sour cream
150 mls of water
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 200C degrees. While the oven heats, put the torn up sourdough, parsley, sea salt and pepper to taste into a food processor and blitz until you get a nice mix of crumbs and a few chunks of crust. Drizzle in the melted butter and blitz to mix. Spread the crumbs on a lined baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly I toasted a little long, and lost a quarter of the crumbs to a charcoal like state...but I just pushed those ones to the side. Less carbs is a good thing!

While the crumbs cook, heat a large ovenproof fry pan on the stove. Add the chicken stock, leek, garlic and broccoli and saute covered for about 10-15 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, toss the fish with the cornflour and season with salt and pepper.

When the vegetables have softened, add the sour cream, water and mustard and stir to mix well, add the fish and stir again, then place the whole thing in the oven for 10 minutes. Once cooked, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and enjoy!

Normal Serves = 6 (I eat about half a serve)
Calories: 470 | Protein: 35 grams | Fat: 14 grams | Carbs: 51 grams | Sugar: 4 grams | Iron: 26 grams (according to MyFitnessPal)

Things I will do differently next time: I have already halved the amount of butter by using stock instead of butter to soften the vegetables...I will next time use no butter on the crumbs, and instead spray them on the tray with 5 squirts Fry Light light olive oil spray (at 1 calorie per squirt). This would drop the calories to 377, and the fat to 4 grams - much better!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

It is the little things that mean a lot

The last few months have been kind of crazy. As well as stalling lots, I am helping my Mother In Law sell this house and buy a flat in the area, whilst also moving us into a rental property in two weeks outside of London. 

This week we found out we were gazzumped on the flat, have a confirmed offer on the house, signed the lease on our cottage and I was offered a 10-week contract up in Manchester...well with all the real estate stuff going on, Manchester is sadly not an option at the moment, as we (and by we, I mean I) now need to find a new flat, plus shop for furniture and deal with estate agents and solicitors on behalf of the MIL.

Last night we went to the house warming of some lovely friends, and saw others who I have not seen since before surgery. There is now 32kgs less of me, so seeing people who see me so rarely is great for the ego - lots of compliments and congratulations. It is nice, as whilst I see the difference in my clothes and on the scale, when I stand in front of the mirror (which I hate doing) I cannot see a difference anywhere except my face.

I have stopped keeping bread in the house, but am allowing myself one day a week where I can have a bit - be it a nice piece of ciabatta with potted fish, a cheese toasted sandwich, or a slice of vegemite toast - I get one of these once a week. No exceptions now. I will not have a loaf in the house, the carb fix will be out and about. 

The lovely Debzillah introduced me to Teisseire Gourmet Drops - no added sugar, 7 calories in 100mls of the Caramel (which tastes amazing in coffee or even squirted into a glass of milk), and 10 calories/100mls of the Vanilla (which I am using in tea) - and remember that is per 100mls - you probably have less than 5mls in your beverage!

I have not added sugar now to a hot beverage in over three weeks - highly recommend these little suckers!
Spending time with friends and family after surgery can be hard - especially if you are not out of the surgical closet like I am - but don't hide away, control the situation, like a house party, or a coffee date, or if it has to be a meal, pick somewhere that does small plates so you don't feel like you are missing out (Japanese and Tapas are both full of healthy options).

Learn to accept the compliments that come your way, they are meant with love and support and are not a judgement of what you looked like before surgery, they are a reflection of how they see you now.

Kisses peoples, have a good week.