A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had been invited to be one of the Weight Watchers Blogger Ambassadors for the coming year - an offer I of course jumped at! I blogged last month about how the event we had been invited to attend and the presentation about the New Approach had really opened my eyes to how we're constantly bombarded with 'food porn' and how we're living in a toxic food environment - a post you can read here. I'm planning to write a bit more about some other aspects of the New Approach over the next few weeks, including my new favourite words 'snackification' and 'city-besity', so keep your eyes peeled!
As part of the ambassador scheme I will be set a challenge to undertake every week for the next three months. This week my challenge was to sort out the fridge and to 'de-Christmasify' the contents. My family is probably the world's worst for having a fridge full of junk at the best of times, but after Christmas its particularly horrendous. My mum also does this thing where she doesn't actually check whats in there to start with and instead goes shopping and buys the same thing over and over again, so we end up with four lots of sausages, bacon, cheese, bread, yogurts and God knows what else. All the new stuff gets shoved in the front and the older stuff to the back and as a result doesn't get used in time and we end up throwing out a lot of food, which I hate. I've told my mum that her New Years Resolution is to be better at checking the fridge and only buying what we actually need!
That being said, clearing out the fridge after Christmas and New Year was no mean feat! The fridge was overflowing with Brie, Stilton and Cheddar, fifteen different types of chocolate, various different dips for breadsticks and crisps, and a million different types of leftover. It looked something like this:
When I was done, it looked more like this:
As I am a tragic loser and I still live in my mother's house, I am unable to take full control of the fridge and what goes in it. Burgers, sausages, cheese, cream cakes and crisps still reside in my kitchen, but I have hidden them from sight in the hope that it removes them from temptation. Healthy food like fruit, soup, veggies and yogurts are now front and center when you open the fridge, with the not-so-Weight-Watchers-friendly things hidden on lower shelves.
The second part of this weeks challenge was to use some of the Christmas leftovers to whip up something yummy and healthy. As there was an awful lot of veg languishing in the bottom drawer I decided to make up a big batch of vegetable curry.
3 peppers (I used two red and one green, but whatever you have will work)
About 1/3 of a pack of green beans, trimmed and chopped
A pack of mushrooms
A small head of cauliflower
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
About 6 'balls' of frozen spinach (fresh is fine of course!)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
About 3/4 of a jar (165g) of Patak's Balti Curry Paste
2 tbsp curry powder (I used medium but whatever you've got)
About 1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
I threw in a few dried chilli flakes too, because I'm hardcore.
Peel and chop all the veg. I chopped mine quite large so that it didn't disintegrate into the sauce as it cooked. In a large pot or saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the chopped garlic. Fry off the potatoes, onions and green beans, with the curry powder and plenty of salt and pepper to season. After about ten minutes add the curry paste, the tomatoes and about a pint and a half to two pints of water. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add the peppers and mushrooms and leave to simmer for about another 15 or so minutes before adding the cauliflower and cooking for a further 10 or 15 minutes. The spinach should be added around 5 or 10 minutes before you serve.
The ProPoints value for the entire recipe is 27 and it would make at least 6 medium sized portions, making it 4 ProPoints per serving. Its got a good kick to it but isn't so hot that it will blow your head off. If spice isn't your thing you could always substitute in a milder curry paste. You can also add whatever veggies you have lurking in your fridge or cupboards, just remember to point any starchy veg like potatoes or parsnips. Soups are another great way to use up your leftover veg - I have intentions towards a celeriac and a butternut squash that are currently hiding in the bottom drawer!
What do you do with your leftovers and unused food?