beef goulash recipe

When I linked up to #MealPlanningMonday last week, there was some interest in the beef goulash I’d picked as one of our dishes. I thought I would share the recipe here, as it was really delicious and very simple.  Maybe it’s because I have a smidgen of Hungarian blood in me, or maybe it’s just because Hubs and I had a great holiday in Budapest many moons ago, but I do love this dish!

The original recipe is a Hairy Bikers one, taken from their Hairy Dieters Eat For Life book.  This is one of my most used cook books, and definitely my favourite of all the Hairy Bikers books I own.  I would recommend you add it to your collection, and it’s equally a good book to start with if you’re new to cooking.

This is great on the day of making, but it also freezes well.  It has a long cooking time though so it’s not ideal if you’re starving and need something now, but it would work well in a slow cooker.

This recipe requires a casserole dish, but if like me you don’t have one you can either use any pan that can be put in the oven, or use a pan on the hob and then transfer to an oven dish when the time comes.  I just use a ceramic pan I can use on the hob and in the oven and cover it with a foil lid.

So, on with the recipe…

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meal planning monday 27-03-2017

Last week’s meal plan – 20th March – went well.  I made every meal I planned to (although we did have a Chinese on Thursday night after weigh-in.  I still made the planned meal but took it for lunch on Friday), and even the new dishes went well.


L-R top-bottom :: tuna with ratatouille, chicken biryani, pork chop with roasted butternut squash, beef goulash, Moroccan chicken, fruit trifle

The beef stroganoff got some interest in the comments, and it was delicious so I’ll be posting the recipe for that later in the week.  Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter or Instagram to know when that post goes live.

So what are we eating this week…?  Click the button below to find out!

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crap mum, ok mum

I’ve been a mother for nearly 15 years now.

Jeez…that’s nearly half my life! And although I know these big commercial days aren’t for everyone, I do still like mother’s day.  Not that it’s vastly different to most days – the kids have either been too young to think of treating me themselves or (now that I have a teen) too lazy, and hubby just goes through the motions (as do I on father’s day).  But for me, I like to take the day to appreciate my boys and to cut myself some slack and see that sometimes I get the motherhood thing right.

I don’t know about you, but I often feel like a properly shit mother.

About 90% of the time I fill one of the more negative mummy stereotypes – I am shouty mum, I am stressed mum, I am strict mum, I am sweary mum, I am forgetful mum, I am busy mum…often taking on more than one role at a time.  I’ve been a single mum, a step mum, a teen mum and a working mum, and carried them all out to varying degrees of just-scraping-by success.

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can we just stop commenting on pregnant women’s bodies?

 

As someone who battles with my weight and self image, I’ve spent my life trying to hide my body.  It dictates what I wear, what I do and even how I sit – these are all done in a way which minimises the amount of flaws on display.  So the visibility of my body during pregnancy is something I struggle with.

Suddenly it’s ok for people to comment and discuss my shape, often without invitation.  Don’t get me wrong, most comments are well meaning and complimentary…but even they couldn’t take the sting out of being told I was basically a fat freak by someone I’d barely even met before.  On more than one occasion this charmer has reacted with shock when overhearing how far along I was, gasping that I was huge.  In one instance she even combined the classic I thought you were nearly due with the equally tactful is it twins?!  I was 24 weeks at the time.

The rational side of me knows not to take to heart the words of an airhead (common office perception, not just me being a bitch) who thinks it’s ok to dress head-to-toe in gradients of Barbie-pink in her late 40’s (ok, that was me just being a bitch).  But when has body hatred ever been rational?  Instead of writing those comments off as just moronic standard phrases tossed out by conversationally challenged people to anyone expecting, I have internalised them.

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meal planning monday 20-03-17


I am a huge advocate of meal planning, not just from a weight loss perspective but also from a sanity and budget one. I literally couldn’t go into a week blind to what I’m going to be eating.  So when I found out there was a link-up about exactly that, I couldn’t not get involved!

I’m also big on keeping things simple.  So I have the same breakfast each day (oats, fromage frais and chopped banana, either microwaved or as overnight oats), my lunches throughout the week are leftovers from the night before, and weekend lunches are usually either soup of lentils, tomatoes and leftover veg, fry-ups tweaked to be healthy, or jacket potatoes with healthy toppings and lots of salad.  I cook a meal each night though, and that is what my meal plan focuses on.

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searching for maternity gym wear

As part of my efforts to keep on top of any pregnancy weight gain, I’ve been trying to keep active.

I still go to my Clubbercise class each week, though particularly in the past few sessions I’ve noticed a need to really reduce the intensity I work at.  I dug out a boxset of pregnancy fitness and yoga DVDs I used in my last pregnancy so I do two or three of those a week, and last week I found a bump-friendly weight circuit to throw into the mix.  I initially thought I’d keep up the lunch time walks I’d started too (around 1.5-2k), but walking is a real issue for me as I’m plagued with painful stitch-like pains which force me down to a snail’s pace.  I’m motivated to keep this up – the will is there and amazingly so is the energy.

What I hadn’t considered would be a real barrier to keeping fit is my wardrobe…

I actually laugh at my naivety as I write that, as clothing my growing body has been nothing but a headache so far.  But for some reason I thought subbing my gym clothes would be a piece of cake – the gods of leggings and sports bras obviously thought they’d prove me wrong.

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weight loss pitfalls

Weight loss pitfalls, boy have I got a few.

You know the things – you’re coasting along quite well, making good choices, staying within your limits, aiming for a weight loss this week…and then *boom* you fall down a massive hole that opened up beneath your feet.  It could be that blind spot after weigh-in, or a meal in a restaurant, or meeting a friend for coffee.  Maybe you see it coming or maybe you don’t, but it has the power to sink your efforts for the day, the week or even longer.

For me, the main pitfall is those two days at the end of the week.  Those two days at the end of every week.  That’s a pretty big and pretty regular weight loss pitfall.

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25 weeks pregnant + having an affair

Ok, so I have to throw out a confession to the universe.

I am 25 weeks pregnant and I’m cheating…on my weight loss programme.

And when I say cheating, I don’t mean like scoffing chocolate cake in that blindspot straight after weigh-in, or “forgetting” to write down the gruesome truth of what I actually ate over the weekend.  I don’t even mean hiding behind that old “eating for two” excuse I could so easily fall back on in my knocked-up state.  Because anyone who has ever tried to lose weight will know that the only person you’re cheating on with those sorts of indiscretions is yourself.

When I say cheating, I mean I’ve switched to a major competitor of the programme that I was once loyal to.

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