We are having unusually warm and glorious weather at the moment....so here is a little bonus post for you this week as I had a moment of serendipity I had to share with you!
I was driving home today, planning some boring chores for the afternoon, when my son called me. "Why don't you pick up a disposable barbecue on your way?" he suggested. Within 30 minutes of my return, we had prepared the most delicious, low-fat, low point/calorie feast and ate lunch in the sunshine together.
Just because you want to shift some excess pounds, or maintain a healthy weight, please don't feel like you have to miss out on fabulous food, or spontaneous moments. It is so easy to eat beautiful, tasty meals within your allocated points or calories- especially if you see it as a challenge rather than a chore!
I'll show you what we had, but use your imagination and create your own feasts.
Vegetable and pineapple kebabs; (2 each) red onion, white onion, red pepper and pineapple threaded onto bamboo skewers.
0 propoints/approx 30kcal each
Giant Portobello mushrooms, seasoned with crushed garlic, chilli flakes and black pepper (rubbed into the underside of the mushroom with a teaspoon).
0 propoints/ approx 20kcal each.
Half fat Halloumi cheese cut into chunky slices for barbecueing.
The whole 125g pack was 14 propoints or approx 600 kcal. It cut into 12 slices. So it's roughly 1 propoint( approx. 50kcal) per slice. If you have more than 4 slices, then it goes up to 6pp for 5 slices. Four slices should be ample per person, it's creamy, rich and salty. Think of it as an accompaniment to the other dishes. It works incredibly well with the soft, earthy, peppery, garlic mushrooms.
We also had vegetarian sausages which worked out to 2 propoints (70kcal) each. We had 2 each which was 4 propoints. After that, the propoints don't multiply logically, so please work out points carefully if you have more than 2. Do your own careful calculations for meat sausages, chicken, or whatever else you may wish to eat from your barbecue.
So....that whole main course was 8 propoints (aprox. 450 kcal) each.
The Cooking Bit.....
The trick with barbecues is patience. Do not start cooking your food until the flames have died down completely, and all you are left with is smoke and white coals.
We lightly sprayed all the food with Frylight sunflower oil. We cooked half the food to start with as it was a small barbie. Then, we cooked the second round whilst we were eating. All the foods we cooked needed roughly the same cooking time, so we just fitted everything on together.
The smoke just lapped and curled its way around the food, cooking it to absolute perfection.
The halloumi won't let you flip it over until its ready. You think it is going to stick, then all of a sudden, it forms a chargrilled crust and hey presto-a little easing with a metal fish slice and over it goes!
At one point, we were a little short of space, so we put the mushrooms garlic-side down on top of the kebabs. The mushrooms then 'steamed' and their garlic favours infused with the kebabs- a happy little genius moment! (We still chargrilled the base of the mushrooms).
There is something about eating 'alfresco' that seems to increase the appetite, but that's fine!
Here is a 1 propoint dessert...
(Approx. 130 kcal)
We slit the skin of two bananas. (Allowing 1 banana per person). We wrapped them individually in foil and put them on the barbie as we ate our main course. We flipped them over once so both sides cooked. Then we placed them on plates in the foil.
Using the very last of the heat from the coals, we threaded sugar-free marshmallows onto bamboo skewers and held them carefully over the heat until the edges browned. These are 5 kcal each. You can have up to 6 sugar-free marshmallows for 1 propoint.
We opened up the foil, revealing a warm, creamy banana and ate it with the toasted marshmallows....heaven!
That whole 2 course meal was 9 propoints (under 600kcal) per person. We felt happy, full up and more than satisfied with our delicious feast.
Let's hope this weather continues long enough for you to enjoy your own barbie-liscious moments!