Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Live Below the Line Day 1

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I had thought I could wing my way through this week Masterchef invention test- style,  but as Sunday was awesomely hot and as I noticed the use by dates of some of the food I had bought were a bit close,  I rethought what I had planned to do when,  and how I was going to store stuff.

The liver went in the freezer for defrosting Wednesday night for Thursday's tea. Half the milk went in the freezer too. Taking a tip from Kath Kelly,  I also froze the bread. There's only just enough for 2 slices each per day,  and I knew I would be heartbroken if I came to use it and found it was mouldy. Separate slices can be prised off the loaf, and sandwiches made by spreading the frozen bread (if you're using any, mine have to be dry this week). In weather like this they are defrosted by the time you've finished making the sandwich. By lunchtime, that's a certainty.

Day 1 menu was:

Breakfast: 40g porridge cooked in water and whole milk. I took this to work a) so I could use my work benefit sugar  allocation,  and so that there would be less of the day to feel hungry.  This involved military tactics of careful transportation and judiciously careful microwaving. I'm well-renowned for explodey porridge at work...

Lunch: ham sandwich. 2 slices of bread,  1 of ham. Plus lettuce and cucumber sticks.  I also took a pear but managed not to need to eat it so that's a treat for today.  The air conditioning was broken at work,  so a very hot office probably helped to kill my appetite.

Dinner: spicy salmon fishcakes with salad, potato crisps and mixed veg.

I cooked the potatoes (175g per portion) in their skins so as not to waste any through peeling.  I'd not done that before,  and when I was peeling off the skins it occurred to me that I could use those too. I put them on a tray and popped in a 175 degree oven for half an hour or thereabouts while I got on with the rest of the dish.

1 and a half onions were fried and mixed with the potatoes, salmon (a pack of trimmings), 2 teaspoons of cumin and these shaped into patties and returned to the pan. I used a nonstick pan, no oil, so ended up with something akin to fishy bubble and squeak.

Some lettuce leaves and the rest of the second onion sliced made up the salad.

This was served with 80g frozen mixed veg per portion cooked in a little boiling water.

 I must admit, it doesn't look much, but it was tasty, and very filling. OH declared me a genius for using the potato skins as I did. It added a nice bit of crunch and flavour to the salad. I'll do that again!

Let's see how that stacked up as nutrition for the day. I built these charts using Weight Watchers and My Fitness Pal, before I decided not to eat the pear. My Fitness Pal tends to be a bit anti-sugar, so I don't let the red alarm me too much (important to watch if you need a low sugar diet). I can see it's broadly nutritional, but lacking in healthy oils - and, crucially, calories. There's not enough of anything there. Not even for a diet! I'm sure that will be rectified on day 2. Bigger helping of porridge for a start...

And yes, OH had his cakes yesterday too.

Doing this has made me mindful of my garden's potential to feed me and how I should be making the most of it. Unfortunately, the sage and parsley I planted out on Sunday in our very heavy Belfast sink planter looked cat-attacked today. I tried to save them as best I could, but I think only the chives, mint and possibly thyme stand a chance. The sink is now covered with the grill from our old broken barbecue to keep the cats off. I used the rest of the brick barbecue to make a Jenga-style cold frame and planted out some more basil, lambs lettuce and oak leaf salad. Tonight I want to weed and net the strawberry patch, to give some of the very tiny strawberry flowers a chance to grow into fruit. Life's good.

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