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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Chicken & avocado pasta with a mint and lemon dressing

Wondering what to have for a solo lunch and needing a little inspiration? Why not take a look around the kitchen and see what you have. Here's what I found around the kitchen/garden!
We like to grow vegetables in pots, and the peas were just shooting so I picked a few pods. There was a pot of mint. Some leftover chicken breast and a couple of asparagus spears.
Here's what I made - which will also make a great lunchbox alternative.
For my recipe below I've estimated the calories in this dish, which are incredibly low.
Our long term strategy for maintaining weight loss is to keep applying the knowledge we have built up while following our simple METHOD. Especially about CALORIES (see below), and what they mean to us. This has worked remarkably well, and we continue to eat whatever we want yet keep the weight off.
I am aiming to lose a little bit more because (annoyingly) I seem to be
between clothes sizes. I'll be losing this gradually because I love my food too much.  Besides, we feel losing weight slowly has given us more confidence and we are able to listen to our body. We know when it's holding water - dehydrated - etc. It's surprising how the weight does disappear though.
Only this morning I was looking in the mirror as I tried on a new dress, and noticed my back and shoulders were a lot slimmer. It's something you wouldn't really think about - as it's behind you, but I twisted around to find the zip. My waist is becoming more shapely too. Every little pound in weight counts - especially when you have lost a lot of weight already, believe me.
The freedom I have gained from applying our ON/OFF method of weight loss has also helped make me less bothered about food. No longer am I sat thinking about food 24/7, and I'm less likely to crave anything. So keep going at your own pace and when the scales don't show you instant results, keep the faith. If one day you seem a pound heavier, just ask yourself if you've consumed 3,500 calories extra overnight - if not, then it's probably water which fluctuates. You may find one week you manage four careful days, and another week, just one day. But... as we have both experienced - these days ALL COUNT towards a long term goal. Why follow a rigid plan?
Ingredients (serves one)
50g pasta (I used Sainsbury's fusillini)
50g cooked chicken breast
1 small avocado
handful of green vegetables - eg peas, asparagus, green beans etc
bunch of watercress (or your preferred salad leaves)
a little parmesan or pecorino cheese (optional)
few sprigs of mint
1/2 lemon - zest only
1 - 2 tsp lemon juice
40g full fat greek yoghurt (nice and creamy)
a little oil 
Cook pasta according to instructions.

Drain pasta and while still warm, add the yoghurt, chopped mint, lemon zest and loosen texture with the lemon juice. Add a little oil too - half a teaspoon should loosen the dressing nicely. Stir and season with salt/pepper.

Taste the pasta mix, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. The salt/pepper can make all the difference to a bland tasting dish. 

Allow to cool.

Lightly cook the green vegetables and add to the pasta.

Arrange the watercress on a plate.

Pour over the pasta mixture.

Arrange the avocado and chicken pieces and decorate with a few shavings of cheese and a drizzle of your favourite oil.

Today I used Borderfields cold pressed British rapeseed oil - it's colour is quite startlingly golden and I love the flavour. It makes a nice change from olive oil.
I've estimated this dish at around 400 calories. Despite aiming for a little more weight loss, I prefer to aim for a 450-500 calorie lunch. This helps me to feel much fuller and I'll be less likely to pick on something later. So add something extra!

REMEMBER: We all have a calorie allowance - do you know yours?
We began our weight loss journey in January 2011 - and began our blog in June 2011. Here's a link to the first post. (here's the link).
We like to post our main meals to show you what CAN be eaten. You won’t find us posting every last morsel though – but we hope this gives you an idea of how far calories can go! I'm currently going through the photographs and replacing them with more website friendly versions which will allow the blog to load quickly. 
Read about our UNIQUE METHOD of weight loss and find out how you can lose weight eating the food you love.
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