Saturday, May 19, 2007

Eating for a weigh-in

One of the down sides of loving food, cocktails and ummm well everything really is the propensity to overdo it a bit and gain weight. Factor in a general unwillingness to get out bed early for exercise recently I'm sure you can understand why I've re-joined Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers recipes have come a long way from the 70's and the points system they use allows me to balance my food so that I can drink cocktails on a Friday night and still lose a little weight.

One recipe that I come back to time and time again - even when I'm not counting points is this salad. It's good at a barbecue with grilled meat, it keeps well so it's really good for work lunches and people it has fried cheese in it - what other reason do you need?

Cous cous salad with haloumi

I have adapted this recipe slightly from the original by adding chick peas - it does bump up the points slightly but I think they're worth it.

1 cup cous cous prepared according to directions (I make my mine with stock to add a little more flavour)
1 can chick peas
100g haloumi cheese sliced
Rocket or baby spinach leaves
Capsicum (or any other salad vegetables you like)
Lemon juice

Combine the cooked cous cous with the drained chick peas and dress with lemon juice to taste.
Add the sliced vegatable and rocket and toss. Taste and season if needed.

Heat a frying pan and use spray oil to grease. Fry the slices of haloumi until they are heated through and just starting to brown. Place on salad and serve.

This makes 4 generous portions and I have calculated it to be about 5 points per serve. You can decrease the points by adding more vegetables or salad leaves and decreasing the amount of cous cous you use.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Easter Feasting

**I'm sorry it's been so long, things have been busy but I'm back with a guest post from my lovely husband Geoff**

Lamb in the Ashes

For the H and the M Clans camping at Easter is a given. Every year the pilgrimage begins with a 4 hour drive North West of Sydney to a friends property in the Upper Hunter. The camp site has changed a couple of times in the last 30 odd years but the tradition of 'Lamb in the Ashes' on Saturday night has remained the same.

When we were kids it was always the oldies that cooked lamb in the ashes, this all changed a couple of years ago when the old folk started a revolution....... apparently when a child reaches the age of 30 they have to feed themselves....... so the tradition has now moved from the oldies to the kids. It was the first year the M kids had cooked lamb in the ashes and you could feel the tension around the campfire.

Cooking lamb in the ashes is not an overly complicated processes however if it goes wrong you could end up with a blackened Easter meal.

The M's first took time to prepare the campfire by building it up a healthy pile of hot coals through out the afternoon burning big hard wood logs. While the fire was settling down 4 whole legs of lamb were seasoned and marinated with olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs, black pepper and salt. Once the lamb is seasoned the legs are covered thoroughly in foil. This is crucial process as if the legs aren't completely wrapped and sealed they will dry out. The next step is to wrap the legs in a second layer of damp newspaper.

Now the fun part, All the hot coals from fire are dragged to one side and a hole is dug in the base of the fire twice the depth of the lamb. Quickly the wrapped lamb legs are placed in the pit and covered immediately with the hot coals. If you faff about too much your lamb will just go up in smoke. Once the legs are buried leave the lamb to cook for 2 hours. Its always a bit of guess work as to when the lamb is cooked, over the years 2 hours has been found to be about perfect.

And that's it, the M's made a awesome sauce of olives, fetta, garlic and lemon rind to go with the lamb and accompanied by baked veggies and corn. It was an awesome meal one of the all time Lamb in the Ashes. There is something special about a roast dinner cooked without any of the usual creature comforts, served on the finest of plastic plates without a matching piece of cutlery as far as the eye can see......... pure camping bliss.