Monday, 23 August 2010

Apple Cake

This was another recipe we made to use up some of our lovely home-grown apples! It was perfectly moist and the apples became sort of caremelized. Thoroughly recommended! The serving size for 340 cals is pretty large; you could have half of it and easily still feel like you'd had a treat.


Apple Cake
Serves: 8 (fairly big slices)

Cake:
100 g margarine
170 g sugar
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
240 g flour
150 ml milk
Topping:
3 apples
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees. Grease and flour a ~20cm cake tin.
Mix together the margarine and sugar until smooth.
Add the egg and whisk well.
Add the baking powder and flower and mix together until integrated. Don't worry that it looks crumbly.
Add the milk and stir just until the mixture is smooth.
Prepare the apple, coring and peeling them and cutting them into thin slices.
Toss the slices in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Pour a small amount of micture into the bottom so that it covers the base and scatter a few of the slices over then pour on the rest of the cake mixture.
Arrange the remaining apple slices decoratively around the cake.
Bake in the bottom of the oven for approximately 45 minutes.

 340 calories per serving, 11.4g F, 2,1g SF, 56.4g C, 30.9g S, 2.3g Fb, 4.7g P

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Apple Muffins

We made these with some of the apples we have from M's grandma's trees. I don't think I will ever get sick of apples! These are great as a snack or for breakfast.
Apple Muffins
Serves: 12

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup margarine, melted
3 small apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and line or grease a muffin tray. I used a silicon muffin tin to avoid the need!
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk it together so that it is well mixed.
In a seperate bowl, whisk together the margarine egg and milk. When well integrated, add the apple pieces, then pour into the bowl with the dried ingredients.
Carefully stir them together until just combined, it is really important not to overmix them.
Fill the muffin cups, about 1/2 cm from the top of the case and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.

183 calories per serving, 6.1g F, 1.2g SF, 29.4g C, 12.2g S, 1.3g Fb, 3.4g P

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Fish Soup

I had this for lunch yesterday and it knocked my socks off! I had mine with some garlic bread and then whipped 50g of créme fraîche with some dill and garlic to make me feel "cheffy". It's a huge portion and pretty low calorie. With the addition of 2 servings of cheese topped garlic bread and some creme fraiche topping it was a little more calorie dense, but totally worth it for me! I also took the opportunity to take a picture of the garlic bread and added that to the blog.

Fish Soup
Serves: 2

1 onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 red pepper
1 carrot
1 tsp olive oil
1 g saffron
400 g tomatoes
200 ml water
1 cube chicken stock
1 g bay leaf
1 pinch salt
1 g cayenne pepper
200 g pollock

Finely chop the onion and press the garlic. Fry them off in the olive oil until softened.
Peel and grate the carrot and chop the paprika into small pieces. Add these to the pan with a small amount of the water.
Add the saffron and stock cube, slowly adding the water until the cube disolves.
Add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaf and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
Chop the pollock and add for 5 minutes.
Flavour with the cayenne pepper and salt and serve.

202 calories per serving, 4.3g F, 0.6g SF, 19.4g C, 10.4g S, 5.2g Fb, 22.7g P

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

PB and Apple Eggy Bread

Yes yes, I know eggy bread is really french toast, but when I was a kid it was eggy bread and eggy bread it shall remain! The apples are starting to be ready here in Sweden. We have a massive batch from M's grandma's summer house, and more coming from his parents. So, you can all expect some apple-based recipes! I ate 2 servings of this, because it was yummy! I also recommend a drizzle of honey on top, delicious!

PB and Apple Eggy Bread
Serves: 2
1 egg
50 ml milk
10 ml water
2 g sweetener
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 small apple
1 g sweetener
2 slices Wholewheat bread, ~100cals slice

Whisk the egg, milk, water, cinnamon and salt together well.
Put the bread slices into a container that they only just fit into, without too much space to the sides of them.
Pour the egg mixture over the slices and carefully turn the slices over in the mixture a few times.
Leave to soaking bread to refridgerate for 10 minutes if you have the time.
Dry fry the slices in a non-stick pan until golden brown on each side.
Transfer the slices onto a baking sheet and spread on one side with a tbsp each of peanut butter and arrange very thin slices of apple over the top.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and Sweetener and put them under the grill at 175 for 5-10 minutes

267 calories per serving, 11.9g F, 2.7g SF,32.6g C, 12.5g S, 5.4g Fb, 11.8g P

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Weight loss: A different perspective

As most of you know, under the last year I lost over 100lbs, great right? Well mostly. What you might not know is that I went from a BMI of 38.8 to 19.4. Yes I am aware that "safe" is technically between 18 and 25. However, for me, I think no lower than 21 is reasonable, as I am pretty well built, and I am actually ok with that. At my 21st birthday I was 147lbs, a BMI of 21.7, and I felt amazing. I slipped down to 132lbs at my lowest, and I was not happy; cold all the time, skeletal looking, and generally miserable and not the usual bubbly Rebecca I know myself to be. I am not anorexic. I do not have an eating disorder. What I do have is a whole load of control issues thanks to taking my weight loss journey a little bit too seriously.

What I hope the above demonstrates is that, whilst I did lose weight the healthy way, through an improved diet and increased exercise, I took the mentality too far. I write this in the hope that maybe somebody who is on the same journey I was will read this and think "hey, it's ok for me to have a muffin with my coffee today; it really doesn't make that much difference in the long run". I had a lot to lose, and I wanted the results. I lost 1% of my weight every week for the whole 9 months and whilst it was great to get it done as fast as possible, I restricted myself too much. I didn't enjoy some of the things I could have enjoyed whilst doing it. This led me to have unhealthy food associations and to restrict myself to things I considered healthy. I became so obsessed with what is "healthy" that I had a hard time eating anything that I didn't consider to fit into this category. I became obsessed with watching the scale number go down, which it always did, but this eventually made it hard to see the number stay still; and even harder to watch it go up.

After I started maintaining, or rather trying to, I would secretly restrict myself behind my loved ones back, lie about how much I'd eaten or pretend something was 800 calories when I really knew it was more like 300. I knew it was wrong but I couldn't get out of the diet mentality. I genuinely believe these disordered eating habits would have spiralled into an eating disorder if I didn't have the amazing support I have from M. I was even too ashamed to tell my own mum, who I'm extremely close to. I was ashamed of it, but she knew anyway - mothers always do. Ultimately I harmed myself and my body, despite the fact that my goal was to honour my body and get healthy. Many unhappy weeks later I'm finally on the right track thanks to my Mum, M and some amazing inspirational people on the Weight Gain forum on CC.

What I hope somebody learns from this is that:
  • Whilst permanent weight loss is a change in lifestyle, that lifestyle has to be one you intend to live for life, and you want to enjoy your life so you have to enjoy yourself during the process of changing your lifestyle.
  • Food is not the enemy. There is no evil food. Everything in moderation.
  • Treat yourself once in a while knowing that that extra 400 calorie muffin plays no role in the long run. It’s just not something you do everyday - because hey, let’s face it if you did it every day it wouldn't be a treat!
  • Take your time with a treat; don't scoff it all down at once. Make it special, appreciate it fully. You deserve it.
So, as for me, I'm back on the road to a healthy weight. I've found out I can maintain my weight on 2,500 because I'm pretty active. What the past month of discovery has taught me is that I can have a slice of cake at somebody's birthday, or a muffin with my coffee once in a while and I won't put on weight. Heck, if I don't do it for too long then I might lose weight. What this means for me is that when I put the weight back on and get my BMI back above 21, I can eat, within reason, whatever I want, when I am hungry and live like a normal person. Normal people have a full fat chocolate frapp and a muffin at starbucks every now and then; normal people make sauces with creme fraîche and oil. I don't want food to take over my life. I love cooking; I hope that shoes in this blog, I want to love eating what I make instead of letting calories rule my life.

Anyway sorry if this was a ramble to read. I just hope somebody reads this and doesn't have to make the same slightly painful journey of discovery that I have put myself, and my loved ones through.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

"Mjuk Lingonkaka" Lingonberry and Dark Chocolate Sponge Cake

This was a recipe adapted from the Swedish magazine "allers" for a soft cherry cake. neither myself nor M are big cherry fans; however we did go up to jämtland hunting and berry picking a few months back and have plenty of frozen lingonberries clogging up the freezer. So we decided to be a bit inventive and this recipe was born.
We think that any berries would work in place of lingon, it would be great with raspberries or blueberries. We had an eighth each, but it would easily do 12 slices!We ate ours with a side of low fat ice cream, which was delicious!


Mjuk Lingonkaka
Serves: 12
150 g margarine
170 g sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp sugar, vanilla flavoured
210 g flour
50 g chocolate, roughly chopped into small chunks
200 g lingonberries


Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees.
Grease and flour a 20-24cm baking form.
Melt the margarine in a large pan and remove from the heat.
When the margarine has cooled a little (not set) mix in the eggs and sugar and mix until smooth.
Siv in the vanilla sugar, baking powder and flour and carefuly stir the mixture until smooth.
Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared baking form and scatter the berries and chocolate evenly over the surface.
Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool in it's form.

254calories per serving, 12.2g F, 2.8g SF, 33.5g C, 19.3g S, 1.0g Fb, 3.3g P

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Pepparnötter

I'm not really sure how to translate this into english. The closest I can come is, it's like a ginger-nut/snap without the ginger! They are, regardless of translation, entirely yummy and pretty low calorie for a yummy treat! We got 52 out of our dough, you could make them bigger though :) It is pronounced Pep-pahrr-nuh-terr. This is another recipe taken from "i mormors berså" which, again, I really love as a bakers companion!


Pepparnötter
Serves: 52
115 g margarine
107 g sugar
1 tbsp syrup
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 egg
135 g flour

Beat together the margarine and sugar.
Add the other ingredients, with the flour being added last.
The dough may look a little crumbly, but don't worry.
Put the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes and preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Roll the dough into small balls, about 15mm-20mm diameter (or about the size of a 10 pence piece).
Line them up on baking paper on a tray with space in between and push them down slightly with a wet tea spoon.
Bake them for 9-12 minutes.

37 calories per serving, 1.9 F, 0.3g SF, 4.6g C, 2.4g S, 0.1g Fb, 0.4g P

Friday, 6 August 2010

Taco Pie

I made this for myself and M on Friday. I actually had 2 slices because it was that good! I'm not a big fan of beef but I loved this recipe. This could easily be made into a vegetarian recipe by replacing the beef with mixed beans, black beans and kidney beans would work espescially well.

Taco Pie
Serves: 8

Base:
240 g graham flour, wholemeal
1 pinch of salt
110 g margarine, cubed
90 ml water
Filling:
300 g beef, 85% lean
1 packet taco spice mix
1 tomato
1 small onion
1/2 yellow pepper
75 g sweetcorn
Topping:
50 g creme fraiche, 15% fat (approx 1/2 dl)
150 ml milk
40 g thai sweet chilli
2 tbsp mayo

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mix the flour and salt together. Add the margarine and use your fingers to press together the mixture until it forms crumbs.
Add the water a little at a time, stirring with a butter knife until the dough binds together. Take care not to make the dough too wet.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Fry the beef until browned, add taco mix and bit of water so that you get a bit of a thick sauce aswell as flavouring the beef. Remove from pan and add to a mixing bowl.
When the dough is chilled, roll it out and and press it into an pie form. Bake in the oven until hardened into form. This takes approximately 15-20 minutes.
In a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the topping and leave in the fridge until needed.
Slice the tomato thinly and finely chop the onion and yellow pepper.
Mix the onion, yellow pepper and sweet corn in with the beef.
When the pie base is done, remove from the form and place on a silicone mat or lined baking tray.
FIll the pie with the taco meat and flatten out.
Place the slices of tomato evenly over the pie.
Evenly distribute the sweet chilli topping over top and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

343 calories per serving, 20.9 F, 5.4g SF, 30.3g C, 4.5g S, 3.6g Fb, 11.7g P

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

"Russinkakor" Oaty Raisin Biscuits

These are from a book called "i mormors berså" available here. I believe it is also available in English. It is an awesome baking book, I thoroughly recommend it. We baked these the other day and they were delicious! We got 32 out of our batch, although the original recipe was meant to make 35, so we perhaps made them a little too big!

Russinkakor
Serves: 32

100 g margarine
65 g sugar
55 g raisins
3/5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
55 g oats
90 g flour

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees.
Mix together the margarine and sugar until it is fluffy.
Hack the raisins and mix them in a bowl with the bicarb and a drop of water. Mix them into the margarine and sugar.
Add the flour and oats and mix well.
Shape the dough into 32 x 2cm balls and place on a baking mat or some baking paper.
Put a fork in a glass of water and use it to flatten the balls in 2 mm high biscuits.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the biscuits. They will still be soft so dont attempt to remove them yet. Allow them to cool and then they should harden and you can easily remove them.

52 calories per serving, 2.7g F, 0.4g SF, 6.7g C, 3.1g S, 0.3g Fb, 0.6g P

Monday, 2 August 2010

Garlic Bread

M loves garlic bread; I think it's one of his all time favourites. We have so much delicious bread over here; I usually pick a rye bread with linfrö (lin seeds) or pumpafrö (pumpkin seeds) to make this on. The recipe is for 4 slices of generic rye bread at about 85 calories per slice, so if you now your bread is higher or lower, you can adjust appropriately. The bread we use isn't really slices, its more like a non too puffed up roll. Here is a link to my favourite bread to use.

Garlic Bread
Serves: 4

4 slices rye bread
4 tsp low fat margarine/spread (35 cals per 10g)
2 cloves garlic
2 g parsley
pinch salt
10 ml water

Press the garlic cloves, or crush and hack finely if you don't have a press or pestle and mortar.
Mix the pressed garlic, margarine, salt, water, and parsley in a microwave-proof glass. Microwave for 30 seconds on medium heat.
Stir the liquid margarine and drizzle it over the pieces of bread, trying to evenly distribute the garlic pieces.
If the bread does not seem entirely moist, drizzle over a few drops of water.
Put the bread on a grill tray and grill for 5-10 minutes.
You can also put a small amount of cheese on top for a yummy alternative.

104 calories per serving, 3.1 F, 0.5g SF, 16.2g C, 1.3g S, 1.9g Fb, 2.9g P