January 2017 round up

I only made one resolution for 2017.  To clock up 3,650,000 steps by the end of the year.

Neither 2015 and 2016 were particularly good to me, therefore towards the end of last year, I decided to treat the transition to January 2017 not as a brand new year, rather a typical month which followed the end of a previous month.  If that makes sense.

I felt very strongly about using up our pantry staples in January without having to do big weekly Ocado shops.  We managed rather well, I must say.  There were some takeaway meals and we did eat out at the weekends, but by mid last week, our cupboards were almost bare.  I promptly organised an Ocado delivery which drew big cheers from the Bear.

Speaking of whom, we have all been sleep deprived as the Bear struggles with night terrors.  This has given me the added excuse to indulge in coffee.  Far too much, unfortunately.  That, plus I’m an early starter at work.  The coffee band-aid saga continues. I was doing well with packed lunches until last week.  I fell ill and it proved too much of an effort.

A few photos of what we had to eat in the last few days.

Clockwise:  (1) Lamb burgers, mushroom and red onion relish, sweet potato fries, salad (2) The Bear’s bowl of homemade meatballs, cheesy pasta (not pictured – a bowl of salad) (3) Kale, peppers, mushroom stir-fry topped with fried egg and sweet chilli sauce.

Here’s a quick meal plan for the week ahead:

Monday 30/1 – Udon noodle, prawn and veg stir-fry for hubby, egg and prawn fried brown rice for me

Tuesday 31/1 – Salmon, brown rice, veg stir-fry

Wednesday 1/2 – jacket potatoes, beans, salad

Thursday – 2/2 dhall, omelette, fishcakes

Friday – 3/3 leftovers

Did anyone watch Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Show last week? Jamie recreated a River Cafe dish for Michael McIntyre.  Scallops, borlotti beans and tenderstem broccoli.  It looked fab and I’ve been dreaming about it since.  Might be a project for the coming weekend.

The food plan for February is to gradually decrease my sugar intake in preparation for Lent which is only a few weeks away.  The Hubby and I recently discussed reducing our intake of red meat – we have been eating chili con carne and lamb curries recently!  I’m feeling better now and have my work lunches for the next three days prepped (quinoa, bulghur wheat + kale + grated carrots + boiled egg).

Hope everyone has had a decent enough start to the new year.  If anyone is still reading this, do drop me a line to share any food related resolutions you’ve made for the month/year/.



Weekend round-up

I can’t believe we’ve come to the end of the weekend.  We stocked up on food on Friday evening after a meal out.  I recharged out batteries on Saturday doing very little around the house.  I made a strawberry pavlova for our weekend sweet treat, which was my first successful attempt in the last 2 years.

While I made the pav, I talked Hubby into cooking lunch for us – Bill Granger’s lemon chicken.  Hubby did a fantastic job, and we stretched the dish to last for dinner.

We had bircher muesli for breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday and is fast becoming a favourite in our household. Must have toppings include grated apples, blueberries, chopped dried apricots, strawberries and toasted almonds.

For Sunday lunch, I cooked braised lamb shanks and served it with squash and potato mash, puy lentils and broccoli in beurre blanc. 

I think staying in this weekend did us good – tasty home-cooked meals, batteries are now recharged and we’re ready to face another busy week at work.

Kai Lan (chinese broccoli) in garlic and oyster sauce

We tend to order Kai Lan (chinese broccoli) in garlic and oyster sauce in our favourite chinese restaurants.  I went to Chinatown last night after work to stock up on various pastes and sauces from the oriental supermarket, and couldn’t pass up on kai lan. 

For dinner tonight, I cooked tofu in tom yum soup, omelette and kai lan in garlic and oyster sauce.  It was a very light meal, which was much needed after a week of indulgence.


  • 150g kai lan, washed and trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 – 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp chinese rice wine
  • a pinch of brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • a few drops of sesame oil


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a dry wok
  2. Fry the garlic for 10 seconds and toss in the kai lan
  3. Give the kai lan a stir for 10 seconds and add the oyster sauce.  Mix well and stir for 15 seconds
  4. Add the rice wine and leave to cook for a minute
  5. Season with sugar, salt and a few drops of sesame oil.  Leave to cook for another minute, remove from the heat and serve