Friday, April 12, 2013

Weighing In

Cover of "Soul of a Chef"
Cover of Soul of a Chef
Three weeks of WeightWatchers and 11 lbs lost, I am hoping to have dropped a stone before I 'compete' in the Over The Odda at the end of nest week.

The system seems to be working for me so far.  I have been doing plenty of exercise in addition to following the food plan so that has undoubtedly been helping.  I like the fact that the plan has a pool of weekly bonus points so that every so often you can spend them on a Chinese takeaway for example, or perhaps having numerous pints of bitter before bouncing around in the crowd at a rock gig.

There are two things that I could do on the plan to really cut down on ProPoints, if I was a vegetarian teetotaller then I'd find it hard to eat my daily points allowance.  Red wine and red meat though are two of the finer things in life so I am highly unlikely ever to give them up.

I sometimes think that my WeightWatchers leader looks at the points tally from the wrong perspective, only last week she said that is we tallied our points carefully we might have enough left over for a glass of wine.  Have enough left over ? I have the wine and then see if I can afford to eat.

This week I have eaten a lot of beef, which is expensive in ProPoints.  Beef though is fantastic, and I am still using up stock from the catering business so on Sunday we had a roast beef dinner (14 points including roast spuds and gravy) and for half the week I have been using up trimmings from the rib of beef in other dishes.

I made two recipes from Michael Ruhlman's The Soul Of A Chef, pepper and corn pancakes and a chilli BBQ sauce.  It is an American book so the recipes are in cup sizes.

Pepper and Corn Crepes, makes 8-10 medium sized crepes.

1/2 cup sweetcorn
1 cup chopped red and green pepper
1/4 cup chopped spring onion
1/2 cup plain flour
2 eggs
4 fl. oz. milk
salt and pepper
oil to fry

Pop everything in the blender and process until you have a smooth batter.  I dry fried my crepes in a non-stick pan to avoid the extra oil coast, we had two each filled with shredded beef.

BBQ Sauce

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp chopped jalapeno
1/2 cup crushed coffee beans
4 fl. oz Worcestershire Sauce
4 oz tomato puree
1 fl. oz sherry vinegar
1 fl. oz balsamic vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 fl. oz cider
4 fl. oz veal stock
1 tsp flaked chilli
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander

Sweat the chopped onion, jalepeno and garlic, when soft add the dried cumin, coriander and chilli and sweat for 2-3 mins, then add everything else and simmer for about an hour.  The original recipe said to strain through a chinois, but I just blended it.

I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, so I substituted white wine for the cider, and chicken stock paste (Knorr) for the fresh veal stock and the recipe worked just fine.  It is quite spicy so you don't need a lot.

The finished dinner, two pancakes stuffed with dry fried shredded beef, BBQ sauce and some green beans and broccoli I reckoned to be 14 ProPoints.  I think you could also try converting the crepes into omelettes, more egg but no flour would result in dropping a point, you could also be less generous with the beef and replace some of it with onions or peppers, I had allowed 105g of beef each for 8 ProPoints - this would be the easiest part of the meal to swap out for the best effect.

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