What I Eat In A Week (1)

Good morning!  As a mum and ostomate I look for healthy meals for the family which are stoma friendly.  I am a keen cook and enjoy  sharing recipes as you will see under my RECIPE section.

I thought sharing my meal plans with you may help both ostomates and parents alike.  All the meals I plan and post will be kid tested and using a range of different methods, ingredients and inspiration for diversity.  I will also pop up tips for ostomates on making these meals stoma friendly and hopefully avoiding the dreaded blockage!  I may not post every week but aim to do at least one of these posts every month so you can see what we have been eating and enjoying.

Why I Meal Plan

I like to meal plan as I think it is most useful when it comes to shopping.  As I like to try out new recipes, knowing what I am cooking for the week means I can write a shopping list with all the ingredients I need.  Nothing gets forgotten and I also keep to a budget much easier as I am not picking up bits here and there.  I find I have less waste too which is always good.  I also freeze any extra portions, especially when I am cooking for just myself.  These can be really handy for when I am really busy or not feeling too great.  I still have a home cooked meal which only needs defrosting and heating up.

My Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday

Today I made Dublin Coddle for the first time.  I get a lot of cooking inspiration from Pinterest and then just fiddle with the recipes to suit me!

For this recipe you will need:

Packet of bacon lardons

8 sausages

2 bay leaves

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 onions, diced

4 tsps chopped parsley (use dried if you don’t have fresh)

Potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tbsp plain flour

Pepper

1 can Guiness

How To Make It
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp (about 5 minutes)
  2. Remove onto kitchen towel to absorb the moisture
  3. Leave the oil from the bacon in the pan and brown the sausages.  Remove onto a chopping board and cut into chunks
  4. Reduce the heat to low and whisk the flour into the meat juices
  5. Cook for about two minutes, whisking constantly and then remove from the heat
  6. Whisk in the Guinness
  7. Add in the potatoes, onions, sausage chunks, bacon, herbs and a dash of pepper
  8. Leave on a low heat on the hob with a lid on for around 1 hour
  9. Serve with bread and butter

Ostomates – onion can affect some people’s stomas.  I dice my onions really finely to help avoid issues

Note – I added a tbsp of gravy granules to help thicken it up and add some flavour.  Use if needed/wanted

Note – If you would rather not use alcohol, swap the Guinness for the equivalent amount of stock (vegetable or meat)

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Tuesday

This morning I got some amazing news – I passed my degree module this year and am working at a 2.1 level.  We decided that a special breakfast of French Toast was in order – here’s the recipe!

You will need

These can be adapted depending on how much you want to make

8 slices of bread

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

250ml milk (use whichever type you normally would)

Sugar

What To Do
  1. Whisk the eggs
  2. Stir in the milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract
  3. Dip a slice of bread in the eggy mixture (coating both sides) and place in a hot frying pan (I use coconut spray oil but you can also use butter) on a medium heat
  4. Cook on both sides until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes)
  5. Serve sprinkled with some sugar.  You can also use syrup or honey and I always add fruit too!

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For tea I made another of our favourites – macaroni cheese.  I use the Asda fresh cheese sauce and mix it with pasta and some cut up hotsog dausages (or the Mattesson’s sausage).  I will also often add some peas or some chopped broccoli.

Wednesday

Tonight was another one of the boys favourites.  I have previously shared these on my social media but will pop it here for anyone interested!

You will need

Baked potatoes

Tomato puree

Tomato ketchup

Mixed herbs

Grated cheese

Pepperoni slices

What To Do

  1. Place a wooden spoon handle either side of the potato
  2. Make slices up to 5mm apart along the potato, as far down as the spoons.  Do not cut all the way through the potato
  3. In a bowl mix 2 tbsps puree, 2 tbsps ketchup and a sprinkle of mixed herbs
  4. Spread this mixture over the potato.  Put a slice of pepperoni in each cut of the potato
  5. Sprinkle with cheese
  6. Pop in the oven for around 30-40 minutes (until potato is cooked through)

Ostomates – Be wary of potato skins, I can not eat them and have to remove!

Thursday

We started the day with a treat breakfast again today – I made pancakes!  As with the French Toast I served this with some fruit so the boys were getting a good part of their 5 a day first thing!  We also bought some toffee sauce which finished them off perfectly!  I mix 300ml milk with 100g plain flour and 2 eggs in a jug which makes it easy to pour into the frying pan.

I haven’t had a chilli in a long while and so thought I would give it a go tonight and make a homemade one.  I am not able to share this recipe as I forgot to note down which spices I used (doh!) but it was delicious and I will definitely make another.  Meanwhile, enjoy the pics!

Friday

We went out for lumnch woth my Mum today so I decided that for tea the boys could make their own pixzza.  This is one of their favourite things to do as pizza is one of their favourites too.  Pizza Friday also holds special memmories for me as it isa something my Mum would do with me and my berihter when we were luttle.  It is great for using up leftovers and you can make it exactly how you want it.

I bought two of the basic cheese and tomato pizzas from Aldi.  Both boys added pepperoni which they love!  Leo also added some pineapple and cut up cocktail sausages.  Riley also added some cut up saisages and extra cheese.  They both enjoyed getting to cut the sausage themselves, obviously under my supervision but with a great, kid friendly knife I got from Pampered Chef a few years ago!

Saturday

Today was a busy one so I used this Dolmio sauce I picked up a while ago to try.  I spread it over the chicken breasts and a selection of veggies and put it in the oven – really simple.  I also made some roast potatoes to go with it.

The sauce was delicious and we really enjoyed it!

Sunday

I cannot claim credit for this meal – Ste made it and we invited my Mum and Dad over to share it with us.

Ste marinated the chicken and lamb in homemade sauces before masking kebabs, adding mushrooms, peppers and onions.  He also made flat breads which were delicious.  As there was some left over we popped them in the freezer.

Ostomates – Mushrooms, onions – chew really well!

I hope you have enjoyed my first instalment about what I eat in a week.I would love to hear if you try any of the recipes, let me know in the comments below if you do!  Please do leave a comment and let me know if you enjoy these kinds of posts, and anything you would like me to include in the future,

nat

 

Kefir-Quark Recipe Challenge

Happy Friday one and all!  I was contacted by the lovely people at Palm PR again with a recipe challenge.  The ingredient they wanted me to use was a new combination by Bio-tiful containing kefir and quark.

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“Kefir-Quark, the is the world’s first combination of bio-live Kefir and high-protein Quark. Bio-tiful Kefir-Quark combines two of the best and most nutritious dairy products, resulting in an abundant list of health benefits and a thick, creamy texture and clean taste.”

I was immediately interested with the mention of Kefir as I have heard about it’s usefulness for gut health.  With having IBD, this could be very beneficial for people like me.   I have seen the odd ‘Kefir cures IBD’ posts touted around which is obviously a load of rubbish – there is no cure for IBD at the moment. I did a little research on one of my favourite, trusted blogs – A Balanced Belly -. and found that Kefir is a form of probiotic and although scientists are still  working to find out their effect on IBD patients, probiotics are generally good for gut health and so won’t hurt.  To see Jenna’s post which is more much scientific and informative than my description above, click here.

I have two great recipes to share with you using the Kefir-Quark which you can find in most supermarkets.

Bio-tiful Kefir-Quark Crustless Cheesecake

Berry and Kefir-Quark Mousse

I got some Kefir-Quark to try and decided to make the mousse recipe.  It was super simple to make with things I already had at home.  A quick tip – I have a bag of frozen berries in the freezer and used these for this.  Love these frozen bags of fruit!  Aldi has all different ones with single fruits or different mixtures in.  No going off really quickly and they are always to hand for times such as this.  They are also great for making smoothies.

My mousse turned out a little ore runny but I think that is because I used too much fruit to be honest.  However, the flavour was lovely and very natural yogurt like, which mixed with the flavour of the fresh berries was delicious.  Definitely something I could eat every day as a probiotic.  Once I have tried the cheesecake recipe I will fill you in over on my social media pages so make sure you are following those!

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Thanks for having a read.  If you try either of the recipes let me know in the comments below.  Are probiotics something you use?  After reading Jenna’s post I have discovered that the yogurt based ones I have been using are pretty useless so I am thinking of changing to something else.  Have a fantastic weekend everyone

nat

Thanks to Palm PR for sending these recipes for me to try and the Kefir-Quark.  I made the recipe myself and all opinions are my own

 

Ways To Make Your Favourite Naughty Food Healthy by Guest Blogger Brittnay Sharman

Today I have another guest post, this time written by the lovely Brittnay Sharman.  Brittnay is an Australian who lived in London for two years.  She managed to squeeze in 21 trips to Europe & Africa in that time . She is passionate about her health and her family.  You will find her healthy and delicious recipes on The Nut Butter Hub

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Ways to Make Your Favourite Naughty Food Healthy

Junk food is great right? It’s scrummy and tasty and moreish, but it’s not always so great for our health. The likes of cheesy pizza, crispy fries and ice cream make it difficult to avoid. Just need to arm yourself with a little bit of knowledge to understand how to tweak  your favourites so you can still enjoy them. Here are some healthier alternatives our favourite comfort food.

Don’t Step Away from The French Fries

The next time you want fries try baking them instead of deep frying them litres of oil. When at home try tossing your sweet potato wedges in a bag with olive oil and semolina. This coating with ensure you get a crispy oven chip every time. You can also try using a healthy oil like coconut to help reduce your cholesterol levels.

Healthy Fried Rice, That Still Tastes like Rice

Rice can be good in moderation however, if you find that when you cook it there is enough for the whole village (and you managed it eat it all) it might be time to find an alternative.

All you need to do is roughly chop your cauliflower and throw in a food processor for a minute.  You will find that the texture is very similar to rice. Use this ‘faux’ rice can be used in any dish where you would have normally used white rice and it tastes just the same. One of our favourites is cauliflower fried rice, the family didn’t even blink an eyelid when I served this one up!

Add Some Smoky Flavours

Smoking food is a simple way of packing loads of flavour into your food. It also adds a great depth to your dishes. You can hot or cold smoke your food to give different depth of flavour. Hot smoking both cooks and flavours your food whereas cold smoking only flavours it

I’m sure we’ve all heard of smoking meat and fish however, using your gas smoker you can also smoke fruit & vegetables. This can open up the world to a new level of tastes! What about smoked garlic or smoked aubergines? You can use different woods to give different smoke flavours or even soak the wood in your wine. You can also add spices and herbs to your smoker to infuse new flavours

Use Healthy Natural Sweeteners

One of the main culprits for making your food unhealthy is sugar. Well, there are lots of things which are naturally, which you can use to replace sugar.

You can use honey, dates, agave or coconut sugar as a replacement for sugar in recipes. Dried fruits like sultanas are a great way of making cereals a bit sweeter and palatable. Bananas are great for making pancakes with, they add a sweetness that is absolutely delicious

Make Your Own Chocolate Bars

If you find you a get a hankering for chocolate, try making it yourself. There is a huge difference between cocoa and cacao, so just by making the conscious decision to use better ingredients will improve your healthy. Cacao powder is packed with nutrients and taste just as good as cocoa. We love making our own truffles, it only takes a few simple ingredients such as coconut oil, cacao powder and sea salt.

Can’t Give Up Mac and Cheese?

Processed pasta is not a good thing to eat on a regular basis. Get rid of boxed mac and cheese and make some at home. You can make a velvety cheese-based sauce with added butternut squash. This sweet taste on mac and cheese is sure to be satisfying.

Take it a step further and replace your high carb noodles with a plant-based pasta made out of chickpeas or legumes. The texture may be a little grainier than regular pasta but it tastes almost the same.  

Educating yourself is crucial when it comes to eating well. Rather than denying yourself or overindulging, just a few tweaks here and there won’t have you missing out on anything. Turn these idea and behaviours in habits to ensure you lead the healthiest lifestyle possible (well still enjoying it)!

 

Baby Led Weaning VS Puree Weaning

Happy Wednesday!  It is the middle of the week and I thought I would do a bit of a parenting post for you.  This one is about my experience with weaning.  Please note, this post is written entirely based on my own experiences.  I am not an expert but after doing this a couple of times, I thought I would share what I found with the whole process.

Guidelines

The WHO guidelines suggest solely breast/bottle milk for the first 6 months of a baby’s life.  The weaning process can then begin.  Some common signs that your little one is ready for weaning can include

  • chewing their fists
  • being able to sit well unaided
  • waking in the night when previously sleeping through
  • drinking increased amounts of milk

These are not necessarily present in all babies and can also indicate other things, but will give you an idea of things to look out for.  Your health visitor will be able to advise you on your baby as they are all so different, especially if you think you may need to wean early.

Puree Weaning

I started weaning Leo at around 5.5 months and chose to use a mixture of purees and finger foods.  His first meal was a couple of teaspoons of baby rice which he loved!  I would make up my own fruit and vegetable purees and started off with simple, one item purees so he got used to different tastes.

I would generally cook a load of extra vegetables on a Sunday when I made the roast dinner, and then puree them all down in a bit of a marathon mash up!  I would then put them into large ice cube trays to freeze, which would then be popped out and placed in freezer bags to save space.  This made the whole process really easy as I had homemade purees, ready and to hand.  I could also choose a single puree, or as he got older choose two or three different fruits/veggies to mix together.

When I started to give him breakfast, Leo would generally have weetabix, baby rice or baby porridge and I would also sometimes mix in some fruit.

I would give finger foods as a type of pudding or for snacks.  These started off as very soft and mushy items, generally getting more complex as he got older.  I would always give Leo his own spoon and encourage him to dip it in and feed himself from an early age.  Around the age of 7 months, I started to introduce small bits of meat into his diet and by ten months he was eating our meals, well chopped.  His favourite at this age was my chicken enchiladas -although not super spicy, don’t be worrying about introducing a little spice to their palate.

This method of combining the two worked really well.  Leo was always content, he got a wide range of different fruits, veggies and flavours and as a result is a very good eater.  If I were to have another one this is definitely the approach I would take again.  I have tried to round up the weaning process in a timeline below but please comment or pop me a message with any questions.

6 months

Baby Led Weaning

This approach became more and more popular since I had Leo and with a recommendation from my health visitor, I decided to give it a go with Riley.  We started off with soft veg sticks when he had just turned 5 month old.  I think the fact he had to be weaned slightly early may have meant this was not the most suitable way to do it, but hindsight gives you all the information too late.

Riley was a hungry baby which was why he needed weaning a little early, and unfortunately, he could not feed himself fast enough so it just got terribly frustrating for us all.  Just before he turned one I had finally had enough and took a little step back and started mashing his food and feeding him with a spoon.  It felt like a from of regression but we had to almost begin again to get it right for him.  He was nowhere near as adept at feeding himself and using a spoon and fork, even though, like Leo, he had always been given them.

I am in no way ‘bashing’ baby-led weaning – I have friends who have done it very successfully – it just did not work for us!  I also think it depends on your child, and what works best for them.  This infographic shows you my top 5 purchases if you are going to attempt baby-led weaning to get you prepared!

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I hope you have enjoyed my little round up.  I can definitely go into more detail if anyone is interested, on either of the methods.  Feel free to comment below or message me with any questions.  I would also love to hear your success stories and how you coped with the weaning process?  Let me know below!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Recipe – Spaghetti Bolognaise (Hidden Veg)

Good morning everyone.  Just wanted to say a big thank you for everyone who was so understanding of me taking a time out while I had the boys for the Easter break.  We had a lot of fun and I am sure some of our adventures will find their way into posts.  Today I thought I would post a recipe as I haven’t in a while and this is one of the boys favourites – even though they don’t know there is a bunch of veggies in there they ‘don’t like’ apparently!

Spaghetti Bolognaise (Hidden Veg)

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You will need

One red pepper

One red onion (although a brown one is fine too)

Half an average sized pack of mushriooms

Two garlic cloves, crushed

500g lean beef mince

One carton of passata (or a tin of chopped tomatoes)

A beerf stock cube

Tomato puree

Oil

Tagliatelle (or your choice of pasta shapes to serve)

Grated cheese (optional)

How You Make It

  1. The key with the veggies is to chop them really small.  My boys do not like peppers, mushrooms or onions yet, when  they are served my spag bol cointaining all three, they wolf it down without a second thought!  In the past I have also cooked aubergine, carrots etc and blended them into the sauce to add even more goodness. This is also a great tip for ostomates.  The smaller the veg, the less risk of blockages and if you still can’t manage that, the pureed aubergine etc will give you a vitamin boost without the risk!
  2. I use spray oil so pop in a couple of squirts to my pan, then brown the mince
  3. Add the veggies and garlic cloves, cook for around 5 minutes till soft
  4. Tip in the passata and turn down to a simmer.  Add a small amount of boiling water to dissolve the stock cube and add to the pan.  Squirt in a decent amount of tomato puree (to taste) and a sprinkle of herbs (I often used mixed herbs or basil in this)
  5. Leave to simmer for around 15 minutes, stir occasionally
  6. Cook pasta separately to serve with the bolognaise.  We always like to add a sprinkle of cheese to the top and some garlic bread to eat with it

This is a really simple recipe but super tasty and the boys love it.  It will always go down a treat and I know they are getting a good amount of their 5 a day in it – and no moaning!  Please let me know if you try it and what you think!  Also, in the comments below, share your sneaky tips on how to get more fruit and veg in your children, I would love to hear more ideas.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy