July 17, 2015
When I am not spending eight hours writing or performing and 6 hours sleeping, I head to the office to do “the day job”. It keeps me out of mischief and off the streets and it is also where a fellow WLR member earns an honest crust. We talk about the site and about our respective weight loss journeys. We swap top tips and share recipes. “Recipes” was the main topic of conversation today… mainly because my colleague has just acquired a copy of the “Faff Free” WLR Recipe book and absolutely loves it.
I have had my own copy of the recipe book for quite some time and have written here about how great it is.
I have tried many of the recipes and have been positively evangelical about the fact that it is a great “one-stop shop” for quick tasty meals that you wouldn't believe would help towards whittling the waist.
I did wonder if perhaps I was a little too over-enthusiastic… but it seems I am not alone. Discussing it today we both agreed that it absolutely does do what it set out to.
Unlike a certain “celebrity chef” who claimed that his meals could be made in fifteen minutes (which they could if you had a fully staffed kitchen, including Sous Chef; several Commis Chefs and a Kitchen Porter to deal with the mountains of washing up) – the Faff Free offerings really can be made in the time that the recipe says. There are loads of quick nutritional ideas that are simple to prepare after a busy day. The other thing we agreed on was the fact that the “faff free” also applies to the ingredients used in most of the recipes. As my colleague pointed out… it's all very well needing lemon grass; ginger; two types of noodles; three types of mushrooms and a vast array of herbs and spices… but if the physical process of actually tracking them down and buying them is anything but “faff-free”, then what is the point. And again, it's all very well having them in the store cupboard but if you feel that you have to have the same meal four times in one week just to make sure you “use up” the ingredients before they have to be discarded… Then in terms of variety… things could get a bit dull for your palate.
When the recipe book first came out I admit I was sceptical. Being of “Northern DNA” it is my default setting to dislike “faff” intensely. I do not want things to be more protracted, complicated or bothersome than they absolutely have to be. This is the reason why so many beautiful recipe books sit on my bookcase as purely decorative items. I have a busy life. Twenty-Four hours in each day really isn't adequate but I manage (just about).
I do not often have the luxury (or, if I'm being honest) the inclination) of being able to spend half a day slaving over a hot stove preparing some gastronomic delight.
Yes I want my food to be tasty. Yes I want it to help me on my quest for a flatter tummy, and yes, I want it to be something that I can make for family and friends without it being “obviously diet food”. But I also want quality and convenience and speed. And the “Fad and Faff Free” promise on the cover of the book delivers. Every recipe is under 500 calories a serving. I don't need to check and recheck when I'm logging what I've eaten. None of the recipes require anything that I haven't heard of before or that requires a shopping expedition (with Sherpas) to be able to gather the ingredients together.
The titles of the recipes are also completely transparent.
“Warming Sausage Casserole” is exactly that. And, yes, it does say that it takes three hours – but that is one-and-half hours of preparation (which is a very generous allowance meaning that you can take your time, do things at a steady pace with time factored in to clear up as you go along) and means that when you do come to put it into the oven for its one-and-half hours of cooking, you are serene and unflustered and standing in a clean uncluttered kitchen… not (as has often been the case with me in the past) red faced, uttering endless expletives having run out of pans, bowls and with no remaining workspace whilst the rest of the household have all taken refuge behind the sofa (or left the building) to escape the line of fire.
“Tiramisu” (Lovely Husband's most favourite dessert in the whole world). Twenty minutes to prepare, and hour to chill and you have a stunning dessert that really and truly is under 300 calories (which you, like me might find difficult to believe as you have your first spoonful – but it is absolutely true!)
The “introductions” to each recipe are equally straightforward. A few words about what it is and why it has a place in the recipe book. I admit that the reason I tried the Chicken and Garlic Mushrooms (page 23 if you want to give it a go) was because the introduction said “A really quick dish for those nights when you just want to get something on a plate but don't want to compromise on enjoyment”… that was all I needed to know.
Straightforward ingredients, a preparation time of five minutes (I kid you not!); cooking time of fifteen minutes and twenty minutes later we were sitting down to a decent sized plateful of “yum” with a calorie count of 400
(far less than many of the “healthy option” ready meals that are available, a considerably larger portion than the “convenient counterparts” and we have fine tuned it so that it exactly suits our taste buds. It is now also the recipe I choose to cook if we have dinner guests… (although the Beef Goulash is a close second.. twenty minutes of preparation and then two hours of leaving it to cook whilst I go and get ready or do something else… and, again, the “blurb” is absolutely spot on when it says “strong smooth flavours make a great meal from the cheaper cut of beef”).
If you haven't checked out any of the recipes in the book – why not give them a go. I was very sceptical at first. It really did seem too good to be true .. but it isn't. It really does achieve what it sets out to do… and is perfect for ensuring that the weight-loss journey is as “faff-free” as possible. Which has to be a recipe for success!
Here's to a wonderfully Faff-Free weekend for you all.
With a Hug