Monday, 1 November 2010

Food, simply glorious food

Folowing on from yesterdays post on keeping things simple, I thought I would tell you a little about my eating habits. As you know I do not like to spend too much time in the kitchen. I use the minimum amount of utensils, pots and pans etc, so I don't have mounds of washing up to do. I would not dream of having a dishwasher, for one person it would be totally unnecessary, a waste of water and heating it, and too expensive for the tablets or whatever you use to clean the dishes.

What do I eat? I steam a lot of veg, it all goes in one saucepan with the mesh basket in the bottom. I might grill a veggie burger or a piece of fish, and that will be it. No faffing around with sauces which mask the taste of the food, and make more dirty pots. My simple lunch for today was a bread roll out of the freezer, zapped in the microwave and sliced in half, and a tin of mackeral fillets spread over it. No need to butter the bread, the fish juices were enough to moisten it.

I occasionally buy scones or teacakes. These I eat straight out of the packet, or I might spread a bit of honey on it. I never eat jam by the way, too much sugar.

Last night I was visiting my friend, she was preparing a meal for herself and three others. Of course she was taking a bit of time preparing the dish, and as I was chatting I noticed that at the halfway point of preparation I would have stopped. The vegetables were steamed, the pasta was cooked, she then mixed it up and put it into two caserole dishes. Then she stired in some of that fancy fromage stuff, and some grated cheese. The topping was breadcrumbs mixed with cheese, and then it was put in the oven.

As far as I could see everything had already been cooked at the halfway stage, so why would it need further cooking in the oven? My version would be to put the veg and pasta on a plate and sprinkle grated cheese on it. Simple. I must say though it looked lovely when it came out of the oven, and I know you need to make a bit of an effort when you have visitors. I'm not knocking anyone who wants to go to a lot of trouble with their food preparation, some people enjoy their time in the kitchen, but for me it is not a hobby. Food is just the fuel to keep my body alive.

Tonight I have another plate of my home made veggie stew. I made it last night and there will be enough left for lunch tomorrow.

I like to eat food which is simple to prepare, the quickest and shortest way to make it palatable. I like to taste the food itself, and not smother it in sauces. My stews have a few herbs and spices thrown in, usually a veggie oxo cube and a shake of turmeric, perhaps a squirt of tomato puree. It's a bit hit and miss really, but this is my idea of simple cooking. I must be doing something right because my weight stays constantly at just over eight stone :o)


  1. A well made sauce IS a food AND a flavouring, just as is your oxo cube and tomato puree. People sometimes enjoy a little piquancy or richness to their meals rather than your own fairly Spartan preference for eating steamed vegetables au naturelle.
    It wouldn't do for us all to be the same, would it? :O)

  2. I agree with not spending much time on cooking. I also try to improvise simple but healthy meals. Steaming vegetables is a good method. If you add some grilled or boiled chicken meat it's OK. And fruits, of course.

  3. I like simple cookery, too. But, I also enjoy the process of preparing and sharing a meal with someone. Therefore I do spend quite some time in my kitchen. I also often invent a dish, habhazzardly. All of these methods have its place. If I`d live alone like you, I would eat just as simple as you do. But, being with someone to share your thoughts on the meal you`ve just prepared, does make a difference.
    We like to eat well, even on a small budget. And I love cooking.

  4. Ilona, well done for sticking to such a healthy diet and for maintaining a low weight (you didn't mention how tall you are) when over half the population of this country are overweight or obese, simply through eating too much of the wrong foods, and not exercising much. I would dearly like to discipline myself to eat like you do but struggle to give up or cut down on cream, butter, cheese and sugar although I am pleased to have cut down on crisps, cakes, chocolates and sweets in general. I recently made some Indian friends who invite me over for home-made curries. I love their food especially the creamy and buttery prawn and chicken kormas. Although they use a lot of cream and butter they also incorporate large amounts garlic (i.e: 8 large cloves for 4 people), onions (4 large onions for 4 people) and handfuls of herbs and spices which they say are excellent for keeping cholesterol levels down. Apparently turmeric, which you like to use is good for any inflammation in the body, relatively high in iron and protects against cancer. I will definitely try using more onions, garlic, herbs and spices in my own cooking as well as sea salt. They also cook using a lot of fruit: Last night chicken, banana and apricot curry was dished up, the week before chicken,tomato and prune curry! (prunes and apricots are high in iron which is good for us vegetarians). :}

  5. Lots of interesting stuff here
    5 ingredient cooking :)
    I guess you're either a eat to live or live to eat kind of person - viva la difference!

    Love your blog SO much :)

  6. Hi tralala. That is one interesting lady on that blog, I'm going to learn so much from her. Thanks for posting the link.

    Anna, I am 5ft 7ins, so I suppose my height/weight ratio is about right. I should also mention that I take after my fathers side of the family, and there was no over weight people there, so I suppose some of it is down to genetics. I have been as high as nearly eleven stone, that was when I was lorry driving and couldn't get decent food. Spending hours behind the wheel didn't help either.

    Dont worry about getting your diet right all the time, you've made good progress by cutting out some of the junk.

  7. You are nice and tall Ilona. I am 5ft 6ins, medium build, and weigh 10 st. 2lbs. thanks to the BUTTER AND CREAM! Thank you for your encouragement, I will try to improve my diet and cut down on the dairy fat and hopefully lose my belly! Thought of you today while shopping at Tesco. They are selling Oxo veggie cubes for 98p. Buy 1 get one free so I did!! :)