Substituting carbs 2.- Lettuce Tacos

Getting into the swing of no/low carbs for dinner my next magical creation was lettuce tacos with homemade guacamole and salsa. Now once again I have seen a couple of recipes online for this but in the spirit of mixing it up a bit we do like to put our own little stamp on it.

So for this recipe breakdown for each bit! – This comfortably serves 1 Mr Willetts size portion and 3 normal size portions.

Mince tacos & filling:

-2 Cos Lettuce hearts

-500g Lean 5% fat mince meat

-1 Tin of Chopped tomatoes

-2 red onions (chopped)

-1 red pepper (chopped)

-half a packet of mushrooms (sliced)

-1/2 red chilli (chopped)

-Small tin of refried beans

-1 sachet El Do Paso Smokey BBQ Fajita Mix

In a pan, place the chopped onions, mushrooms and mince meat and cook until brown. Then add the chopped red pepper and the tin of chopped tomatoes, then stir. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes and then add the refried beans and sprinkle the packet of El Do Paso Smokey BBQ Fajita Mix over the top and stir in. Sprinkle the 1/2 chopped chilli over the top and allow to simmer for around 20/25 minutes. Remember to keep checking and stirring.

While the taco filling cooks, break your leaves off the Cos lettuce individually and wash. You’ll find the first 6/8 leaves that come off and the rest are a little to small. Fear not you can pop these back into the fridge and use them for a side salad in another dinner!

I like to serve this meal family style as you can see from the picture above and we basically throw everything onto the table and let people fill them as they want! Serve these with some low fat feta cheese and sour cream as a topping and some corn on the cob. Accompany it with some of Mr and Mrs Willetts lovely Guacamole and Pico De Gallo which you can find the recipes for HERE and you’ve got the perfect carb free dinner!

Once again Mr Willetts is never really satisfied with a completely carb free dinner so you could serve it up with a free corn chips to fill him up a bit!

We love this dinner and we hope you do to!

Mrs Willetts x

 

Substituting carbs 1. – Pasta free lasagne

In order for me to complete or succeed at any sort of diet or exercise routine… I need an accomplice and as much as I love every single one of my friends… not one of them is great at keeping to a diet or going to the gym with me. We all work in the food and beverage industry which means one thing… you can be easily persuaded into a gin or two or frequently end up in a pub that hand makes warm, fresh sausage rolls (wheatsleaf in Borough Market) and as hard as we all try… we never succeed.

So this time around to help me drop some excess weight I seem to have picked up since getting married, Mr Willetts decided to help me out. So during the week we have been juicing during in the day and sticking to a low or no carb dinner. I have also been working out to Charlotte Crosby’s 3 minute Belly Blitz (which is amazing by the way) and also going to the gym when I can.

“you have let yourself go a little bit since the wedding but I’m still in great shape”- Mr Willetts

So I thought what a brilliant way to show you what I’ve been doing than to blog the meals we’ve (I’ve) been creating trying to substitute Carbs for something just as filling and nice to taste.

My first creation was pasta free lasagne. Now this has been done time and time again but 9/10 these recipes are vegetarian recipes. My one version combines meat and the idea of using courgettes and spinach as the layers. Now I’m no cooking expert and I’ve certainly NEVER made a cookery book or a recipe before, but in the name of blogging I’ll give it a try! I’m not using any technical measures because to be honest we normally guess anyway! and switch it up depending on whats in the fridge.

To serve 1 Mr Willetts and 3 normal size appetites. You will need:

-4 Courgettes – thinly sliced ( I try to use the big side of the cheese grater OR a potato peeler to get it nice and thin)

-half a bag of spinach

-2 tomatoes sliced

-3 dice size pieces of low fat feta

-Pesto

-1 500g packet of 5% fat minced beef

-1 beef stock cube

-2 red onions

-1/2 packet of mushrooms

-1 jar of Bolognese sauce… choose your own brand… we like Dolmio on our house

-1/2 tin on chopped tomatoes (or the small little carton you can get)

Firstly, Mr Willetts and I like to split the cooking dinner thing. We usually prep together and then I pull everything together to make it to the plate! (he’ll always claim he “MADE” dinner… even if he only chopped one onion).

Top tip- turn the oven on now to get it warmed up… Mr Willetts is rubbish at this and then wonders why he has to wait an extra 20 minutes for dinner. Place the oven on 180C. Now our oven doesn’t actually have the numbers on the dials anymore, the oven is so old that they have worn off so… we guess.

So start by chopping both onions and the half pack of mushrooms and we get those into the pan  with some fry light (maybe 5 sprays?). Add the full packet of mince and cook until browned. At this point Mr Willetts and I like to add a beef stock cube to create some extra flavour and then we pour away any excess water (That’s a Mr Willetts job as I would end up pouring the whole thing in the sink by accident). Then simply add 1/2 tin of tomatoes and the Dolmio sauce, stir and leave to simmer for about 15/20 minutes.

Take the Courgette slices and season with salt and pepper for extra flavour.

Once everything is nicely cooked off take a rectangular oven dish (preferably a glass one) and layer 1/3 of the meat on the bottom of the dish. Then add a layer of spinach (around half of what you have) on top and then add a layer of courgette, making sure to pack extra in on the layers as courgettes do shrink in the oven! Repeat this again for the next 2 layers. – Top tip that we’ve learnt after doing this a couple of times now… use the sliced tomato to top the Lasagne and this will stop the courgette layer from drying out when its in the oven.

Place the lasagne in the oven or around 20 minutes to bake. Once the tomatoes start to crips and the courgettes start to brown on the top layer take it out. Crumble the feta over the top and add some tea spoons of pesto to the top and spread around. Then pop it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

When it’s done (you’ll know because the feta will melt over the top of the lasagne, take it out and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes… this is probably the most important bit because it allows the juices inside to settle a little so that it firms up and doesn’t fall apart when you cut into it.

Now we usually like to serve this with a rocket salad or sometimes with sweet potatoes baked in the oven but the world is your oyster in terms of what to serve it with. As we’re trying to keep to low carbs I would say the salad is the best option!

Why not try it out! Remember to tag me in pictures of your creations… I’d love to see them!

“This dinner is lovely, my version is always better because it has more layers. It doesn’t fill you up because there’s no bread…” – Mr Willetts

Mrs Willetts x

 

Happy Birthday Mr Willetts

Happy Spring guys!

I’m reporting this to you live after making it all the way through Mr Willetts birthday. Now he’s not one for massive social occasions, in fact if you’ve ever met him you’ll know that he’s quite happy to sit on his own playing the latest iPhone game (Golf Clash is currently cool) quietly judging as we all chat around him. So when his birthday comes around every year the challenge is on.

Now there are a few rules for his birthday that MUST be followed or he’ll stomp his feet and probably refuse to leave the house (Yes, I am talking about my 20 something other half and not a child who doesn’t want to go to school).

Rule 1 – Any birthday celebrations MUST NOT clash with the PGA Masters.

This usually falls around his birthday EVERY year and he will make a public announcement over dinner every year that he is busy… from the Thursday evening until the Monday morning. Please ensure large supplies of junk food, beer and the local kebab is on speed dial for the occasion.

Rule 2 – No parties

The man hates chit chat and large crowds so this is a pretty obvious Birthday rule.

Rule 3 – Don’t waste money on cards or decorations.

If you have the burning urge to purchase any of these don’t. simply deposit the money you would have spent (yes we know its only £1/£2) into his bank account so he can spend it “wisely”… usually on a Greggs or some snacks for his big PGA weekender. His appreciation for this will be far greater than a card that sits on top of the fireplace collecting dust… This year we have just shy of £25 worth of pointless cards…

Rule 4 – If there is any sniff of a Fast and Furious spin off movie around his birthday… cancel all plans, were going to the movies.

It’ll probably be the most expensive cinema outing you’ve ever had because again as a child would he will ask for the biggest popcorn, freeze blast and nacho combination the cinema has to offer and he won’t even bother turning up if you haven’t booked the VIP seats on the day it opens.

it’s taken 8 years for me to master these simple rules and yet every year I still buy him a card… and I still get “thanks but I would have preferred the £2.00”. I would like to point out that Mrs Willetts Snr has this fantastic ability to ignore the rules and at times purposely breaks them for our enjoyment. Mr Willetts’ love for his mum means that he endures whatever silly thing it is she’s making him do and for that I love her. Above all else its extremely entertaining for the rest of us.

I’m hoping he enjoys!… Stay tuned to find out what went down…

Happy Birthday Mr Willetts you pain in the arse weirdo.

Mrs Willetts x

 

 

The tale of the lost Mac Face Wipes

Hi Bloggers!

They say in love you have good days and you have bad days but couples grow stronger because they survive through the bad and are grateful for the good. This is a tale of a bad day…

For Christmas this year my lovely mother-in-law treated me to some lovely Mac Face Wipes. You know the really expensive ones that you use sparingly. The nice ones that you would only use half the wipe for everyday make up and then consider folding it up and putting it back in the packet for the next day… yeah those ones.

Anyway I digress, I received them for Christmas and have been using them every now and again, usually when I’ve been out and my make up application is a lot heavier than usual. I love them because you can rub and rub but it doesn’t feel like hey are ripping your skin away or like your eyeballs have turned inside out.

Now since Christmas I haven’t been going out too much… in fact my Instagram and Facebook may suggest that I haven’t seen the inside of a London Night Club in a very long time (must do that soon…). So, you can understand my surprise when I notice half the packet missing. Now I know they are a little luxury but I also know the packet says “45 sheets”… and I definitely haven’t been out that many times since Christmas.

My first thoughts were I’d been sleep partying (obviously) – dreaming so hard of Rokaoke (if you know you know) that I sleep walk to Roadhouse every Wednesday evening for a dance and a Gin & Tonic then come home take of my glad rags and hop back into bed none the wiser. Now as much as I’d love to think my body and my subconscious could handle that level of partying we all know it not a reasonable explanation.

However…Mr Willett’s has an ever so slightly small obsession for trainers and is also a little OCD… and to my absolute shock and disgust I caught him using my lovely MAC face wipes to CLEAN HIS TRAINERS AFTER HE WEARS THEM. Thats right ladies an gentlemen I’ve married a man who buys £100’s of trainers wears them out in the rain and mud then comes home and uses my make up wipes to clean them down. Apparently he NEEDS to keep them “fresh”.

Needless to say I lost my cool at him for a good 20 minutes had a back and forth battle to make him understand that its NOT normal to clean your trainers after you wear them and that they will get dirty should you wear the outside where there is dirt but also that he’s using a 36p face wipe!!!! I’d call the argument a win for me… I’m sure he’d disagree.

In the end we compromised. We slept on it and the following day I popped into Boots and picked him up his very own packet of 99p 250 sheets Boots own baby wipes. I accepted the fact that he’s a little odd and cares more about his trainers than my face and in turn he stood and took a lesson on the difference between a MAC cosmetic wipe and your everyday cosmetic wipes. That ladies and gentleman is what marriage is all about… compromise and understanding.

He still owes me a packet of face wipes… and I still don’t understand why he cleans his trainers after every use, hey ho!

Have a great week!

Mrs Willetts x