No pain no gain … and no coffee!

Oh my goodness. I am sore in places I didn’t know I had! But I’m not whining about it – it’s good! It means the garden work I did yesterday does count as proper exercise :).


I pulled, dug, planted, painted (sheds), tidied but it wasn’t enough. I have more to do tomorrow. It’s definitely a good way to lose track of time too. I went in to make a cup of coffee for myself, thinking it was about 11am but it was 1.30pm!!  Not a dish was washed, nor a bed made, never mind my leisurely menu planning. I made a quick sandwich, guzzled a pint of water and opened How to Love Food and Lose Weight (aka “the first book”) at the pasta section and realised I’d never made the Chilli Lemon Tuna and Broccoli Spaghetti! It looked easy, quick and delicious and therefore ticked all the boxes for shopping and cooking as I didn’t have the time or energy left to luxuriate in choices and creating.

My version
As presented by me last night in Mullan Towers
The photo in the book
As presented by the professionals in How to Love Food and Lose Weight

I substituted the tuna with 2 large flat chestnut mushrooms and prepared them in the same way I did David’s tuna steak, except I cooked them longer.  I was delighted with my dish looking almost exactly like the recipe book photograph :D.  Better than that – it was delicious! Maybe I wouldn’t bother with the mushrooms next time, they didn’t add anything to the meal – the spaghetti with the crunchy broccoli and cherry tomatoes with parsely, lemon and chilli oil was enough and satisfied me after a day’s hard graft. David loved his tuna version.

lemon spag mush
And my mushroom version

I’ve just flicked through the whole book again and my mouth is watering. I can’t decide about tonight. Love the idea of the Fennel and Orange Salad with Harissa Dressing but I’d need to serve it with something substantial like a jacket potato. It would also mean making two completely different meals – the kids and David wouldn’t entertain the fennel and orange combo. I think fajitas will go down well with all of us. But I will definitely make the salad for my lunch soon as a treat.

Almost forgot the numbers …


I got through just under 1400 calories yesterday, despite my best efforts at eating toast with a cup of green tea before bed! I thought it would be a lot more as I did seem to be eating lots.


Chilli Lemon Tuna and Broccoli Spaghetti – sort of

David didn’t fancy porridge this morning – could he finally be getting fed up with it? It’s only once a day I’m feeding it to the family – it’s not like it’s every meal :D.

So he had a rindless bacon sarnie and I had a couple of slices of toast with a poached egg. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it. The egg was lovely but the toast annoyed me, every mouthful was a chore. (It didn’t occur to me to stop eating it though!) Maybe my body was trying to tell my brain that we don’t do toast anymore, it’s not that nutritious and full of empty calories? Or, more likely, 50/50 bread isn’t nice!

It wasn’t as cold outside as I thought it was going to be today, there was no drastic drop in temperature (according to my meteorological bones), but I still didn’t take any chances and I ignored the garden, which is in desperate need of a tidy up before the predicted high winds arrive. So I stayed indoors and put off house tasks too. I probably spent too much time online today! Loved seeing all the lovely flags from the countries of readers of my blog today. To all the new people, “welcome”! It made me very 😀 😀 😀

So, for lunch I did my Wednesday thing and cleared out the salad drawer in preparation for my organic veg box arriving. I had a rainbow salad – that’s what I decided to call it, I wasn’t following a specific recipe. There was spinach (left from the yummy curry last night), pomegranate, tomatoes, olives, celery and I added a small handful of mixed nuts. I never dress salads, I find it distracts from those lovely textures and flavours, but it wasn’t dry at all. I felt a bit smug afterwards – how pure and healthy am I? LOL!

Cathy's rainbow salad
Cathy’s rainbow salad

That didn’t last, just before it was time to pick the kids up (they wanted me to do it today instead of getting the bus) I sat down with a coffee and scoffed one of Corrado’s new favourite chocolate biscuits – Club Fruit. (If you want a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our Club) A wee trip down memory lane, they were very popular biscuits in the 1970s and 1980s but seem to be making a comeback! Club Milk was my favourite, but Tesco doesn’t do them. I only had a salad for lunch, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it – I didn’t check the calorie count, I hid the wrapper from myself too quickly to check that. But I’m sure it’s not that bad?

Anyway, the obligatory visit to the bakery on the way back from school didn’t tempt me as much this week, maybe the Club did me a favour!

Dinner tonight was pasta. Chilli Lemon Tuna and Broccoli Spaghetti, to be precise. OK, maybe not tuna – I defrosted salmon by mistake. And maybe not spaghetti – I used bucatini. And, I’ll admit I had to use regular round broccoli – there was none of the fancy tenderstem (which is actually nicer because it doesn’t turn to mush if you slightly overcook it). But it was almost the same! Chilli Lemon Salmon and Broccoli Bucatini. Sounds good.

With ...
With …
... without
… without

I had been avoiding cooking pasta – I had no idea how calorific it was until I started reading the labels in early November. But I missed it and this recipe looked fresh and tasty – and spicy. What’s not to like?

For my meat-free version I just had the pasta with chilli oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

It was delicious. I loved the spicy kick from the chilli oil and the crunch of the broccoli along with the softness of the tomatoes and the tang from the lemon. It was superfast to make too – everything was prepped and ready by the time the pasta was cooked.

David loved the salmon. I know that salmon is slightly heavier in calories than tuna but the bucatini is slightly lighter than spaghetti so in my confused head we’re even stevens!

One word of warning – if you haven’t tried bucatini before and your favourite part of a spaghetti meal is to suck it off the plate until the sauce splashes all over your face, this is not the pasta for you. It’s hollow, so not as much fun!