Happy Easter to you all and I hope you haven’t eaten too much chocolate. Unlike me that ate a whole dark chocolate Easter egg in one day along with the three bars that went with it. Safe to say I wasn’t feeling too good from this and struggled to sleep that evening.
I don’t know about you but I have the tendency to treat myself very little but when I do I cannot help myself and eat the whole thing. Like on Christmas I received a box of Hotel Chocolate and once I had one, the rest were gone pretty soon after. See, I can resist not buying these things but if I am offered them as a gift, I feel like I should enjoy the treat but need to exercise some restraint and not feel I need to eat the whole thing in one go!!
How many of you feel the same? Would love to know your thoughts.
Anyway, as I had my chocolate a little earlier than most (Thursday), this gave me time to enjoy a weekend ride with friends on the Saturday to burn off the calories. A lovely morning bike ride in the South Hams (South West of England) that clocked up 40 miles and 1200 k cal in the bank. Thoroughly enjoyable ride but was very hungry all day. Since the egg issue I have been really focused on eating a sugar free diet. What I mean by this a diet free from any added sugar or sweetener. So the port of call has been reaching for as much fruit as I can to satisfy my cravings for anything more.
I have also been more conscious of what sweeteners are added to my food that I buy and if so I was going to attempt to make the myself and healthier!! My first go at this was an Innocent veg pot that my girlfriend got me for lunch the next day. It was reduced to £1.69 from £3.30. This was a veg pot with pearl barley. Surprisingly enough when reading through the ingredients list, I can across sugar (demerara sugar) that had been added. This was equal to roughly 3 teaspoons of sugar in the pot (13.3 grams). With the rest of the ingredients being vegetables I am surprised they would feel the need to add such amounts to what many believe and it would be a healthy meal if this was removed.
So, instead of worrying about this I decided I would recreate this meal myself. Making it healthier and cheaper.Note: I also removed the dairy making my meal vegan!
Homemade Innocent Veg Pot.
Ingredients (feeds 3-4 people)
- 6 Potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 80 grams of pearl barley
- Handful of frozen peas
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 onion
- Half a leek
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 6 frozen spinach blocks
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- 1 veg stock cube
- Boiled water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp of cornflour
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp of sea salt and 1 tsp of pepper
- In a large pan add the oil. Then finely chop the onion and leek. Add to the pan.
- Leave to soften for 5 minutes.
- Wash and peel the potatoes (Normal and sweet) and chop into small squares. Add to the pan.
- Finely grate the garlic and add to the pan.
- Add the boiled water, enough to just cover the mixture.
- Add the vegetable stock cube.
- Add the pearl barley.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer until the potatoes and barley are cooked and soft. 15-20 minutes
- After 10 minutes add the frozen spinach and peas. Leave to simmer.
- Once the mixture is nearly cooked, add the spices and the then the cornflour until the mixture gets thicker to the consistency you want. Shouldn’t be too thick and have some moisture left to the dish.
- Remove from the heat and serve.
In total this provided 4 meals at the cost of roughly £1 a portion. I still need to crunch the numbers but compared to £3.30 a portion this is a great lunch you can make ahead of time and enjoy throughout the week!!
Hope you all enjoyed this post, please like and share to anyone else you think would benefit. If you would like any of your favorite ready meals recreated then let me know and I will do my best to make them cheaper and healthier for you!!