The Five and Two Diet – Day 2

I managed to survive my second day of the five and two diet. Although today was a lot harder than the last time. I started my morning with grated apple and strawberries topped with low fat homemade yogurt (recipe here) and 2 spoons of healthy nut muesli. This is what I would normally eat for breakfast although on a normal days I would eat a slightly bigger portion. This clocked in at about 250 calories.  I ate this around 1pm just before I set off for work. I got up at 11am so I made this meal my breakfast. I also had a black coffee which although it woke me up I felt light-headed later in the day.

At 4.30 I was given a Lotteria bulgogi burger as my work snack. I was already feeling pretty damn hungry at that point and usually would have devoured it. However I drew upon all my strength and will power and gave it to one of my students. The hunger soon passed and I continued the day drinking plenty of water and herbal teas.

By 7pm I was starting to suffer, I had a headache from the caffeine and was starting to feel weak, I  think the caffeine in the green teas had sped up my metabolism and I was feeling light-headed because my blood sugar level had got low. I was starting to regret giving away my burger at this point, but I had another class to do with no breaks so I had no choice but to suck it up and finish. I think doing the fasts on week days is definitely the way to go, as I’m busy and don’t have the time to eat even if I want to.

I got home at 8.15 and made a healthy omelette made from 2 eggs, a red pepper, a tomato, some spinach, some courgette, half an onion and some salt, pepper and herbs. If you want to know what 100 calories of vegetables looks like then here it is…..

Your really hitting a new low when your reduced to weighting your vegetables, although eating 8 mini cupcakes in row just because there was no one else to eat them also falls under the same category. My omelette racked up to 240 calories making it 490 for the day. Well done me.

Since starting the diet last Wednesday I have lost 6 pounds, taking me back down to my usual weight. I have to say that I had gained 6 pounds whilst on holiday which is quite normal for me and it generally comes off in a week or so anyway. So I think next week will be the tell to find out how well its working.

Peanut butter and Nutella Cupcakes

Yesterday I went out for a lovely brunch. After said brunch I was in the mood for something sweet and delicious, but nothing took my fancy on the way home. I decided I would whip a batch of cupcakes to satisfy my sweet tooth. However by the time I had finished raiding the Pinoy Mart I had racked up a bill of 40,000. Rather pricey for a bit of cake. Although I now have baking ingredients in abundance.

I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate so these little beauties really hit the spot, especially if you have a craving for Reeces peanut butter cups. You can make these as regular cupcakes or mini ones. I decided to go for minis as I think they look cuter but the larger ones I made had a  moister sponge. So just go for whatever you fancy.

This mixture will make at least 12 cupcakes or about 30 mini cupcakes. If you are not planning to use that many you can half the recipe or you can freeze the cakes once they are cooked and top them with the buttercream when you want to serve them.

Ingredients

Peanut butter Cupcakes

75g  of butter

8 tablespoons of  peanut butter

250g of brown sugar

1 egg

250g of all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 a tablespoon of baking soda

180ml of milk

Nutella frosting

250g of icing sugar (powder sugar)

3 tablespoons of butter

2-3 tablespoons of milk

4 tablespoons of Nutella

Directions

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the peanut butter and mix again until light and fluffy then mix in the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients and add a third of this to the butter sugar mixture. When you have stirred the flour in, add half the milk. Add another third of the flour mix and mix again. Add the second half of the milk and mix before adding the last third of the flour. Stir together until you have your cake mixture.

Put the mix into your cupcake cases and bake at around 200 degrees Celsius,  for around 10 minutes for mini cupcakes and 15-20 for regular sized cupcakes. Cooking times will vary so keep an eye on them. They are done when they are springy to the touch and a chopstick or tooth pick comes out clean. When they are ready leave them to cool and cook up the next batch until all of the cake batter has been used.

To make the frosting, cream together the butter and icing sugar. This may be a little tough to begin with so add in the milk to make the process a little easier. You may need more, but just add it in drop by drop. When the mixture has reached buttercream consistency add in the Nuttella and mix again.

When the cakes have cooled they are ready to decorate. If you don’t have a piping bag you can just spread the buttercream on with a knife. Decorate the tops however you like. I used Smarties, Haribo, grated chocolate and Minstrels, but feel free to use whatever you like. Voilà naughty nutty Nutella cupcakes.

BURGERMINE

Burgermine a cool new burger joint that opened up in Haebangchon several weeks a ago. Burgers are ten a penny in HBC, so to set its self apart the geniuses behind it came up with a gut busting concept – all you can eat burgers!!! To me there are no sweeter words in the english language than all you can eat. Forget I love you, these are the words I long to hear. In all my 28 years I can’t ever recall coming across an all you can east restaurant serving up burgers.

Here’s how it works. You pay 15,000 for the all you can eat set. This includes as many burgers as you can muster, although you must finish the previous ones before ordering the next, otherwise you will be charged 3000 won. All you can eat chips (fries to the Americans) and unlimited soft drinks. The beauty of this burger bar is you get to be creative. Whilst they are grilling up your meat, a choice of beef or chicken, you get to make your burger exactly how you like it. With a choice of over 50 toppings the world really is your oyster. You begin with a choice of bun, original, multi-grain or garlic, choose your cheese, cheddar, gouda, havarti, mozzarella, or pepper jack and then move on to toppings and sauces. There were too many to choose from to list them all here but my particular favorites were, guacamole, chili, bacon jam, bulgogi, salsa, pineapple, egg and thousand island dressing. All the usual suspects were also there in spades.

The Patties were pretty good. They had that great char-grilled taste that you look for in a burger, although I think they needed a bit more seasoning.  The chicken burger was well cooked but still juicy, its more of a fillet than a burger but we liked it. If you like your burgers meaty I would recommend you double up the patties, which is what I will be doing on the next visit. The chips were pretty good too, I enjoyed having the buffet of sauces to accessorize them with. They all also have a regular menu with burgers and salads etc if you’re not an all you can eat kinda girl.

I was full after 3 plates of chips and my two hearty burgers. I possibly could have forced down a third but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. It also led me to wonder who had eaten the most burgers here at Burgermine. The manager told us that the highest was 7 or 8 patties. He also said that a few guys regularly managed 6, although they doubled them up so they were only eating 3 double burgers, which I personally feel is cheating. I don’t think anyone could eat more than five whole burgers, which has led me to believe my capacity for burgers is poor at best! A measly 2, what is the world coming to? The world record for most burgers eaten was 108 in 8 minutes, I clearly have a long way to go.

On their website you can add you burger to the hall of fame. Users vote which burger they think is the best and if you come out top it gets added to the menu. Be sure to check out my burger The Fat Girl.

Burgermine is open 12pm-12am on week days and 12pm-2am on weekends. All you can eat burger hours run from 6-10pm everyday and 12pm-2pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Burgermine is located in HaebanCheon at 45-9 Yongsandong 2 -ga, Seoul, Korea. Take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6) . Walk straight out of exit 2 for about 200 meters and take the first left and walk straight along the road with all the kimchi pots. Burgermine is on your right opposite Phillies. Call on 070-8263-2034. Website – http://www.burgermine.com/index.php?lang=en

Fabulous Frozen Cocktail

I like to start my Saturday right, this usually includes a delicious breakfast cocktail. Since summer is almost over, I thought it was about high time I showed you my quick and easy recipe for a fabulous frozen cocktail. I’m very particular when it comes to cocktails so this is one of the easiest ways to make a quick frozen drink with little to no effort. It also contains at least one portion of healthy fruit goodness, making it a very suitable breakfast option for health conscious alcoholics such as myself . This little trick also come in to its own when your not near a bar but need a drink fast. They are also much cheaper.

Ingredients

1 Smoothie/Slushie (I personally favour Smoothie King’s Strawberry lemon twist or Dunkin Donuts Orange mango Coolata)

50ml of your preferred liquor (vodka/rum/tequila all work well)

Directions

Simply go to your nearest smoothie selling outlet (all the big coffee chains sell them). Purchase one drink in your favourite flavour, I recommend ones made from juice rather than those containing milk or yoghurt. Add the alcohol and stir. Voilà a fabulous frozen cocktail.

Panzanella

In Italy they have a truly wonderful thing called Aperitivo. To lure would be drinkers in their bars between 6-9pm they provide a free pre dinner buffet which they call aparitivo. The spread was amazing! All kinds of wonderful and delicious salads and things. It was more than enough to satisfy my raging appetite. You could make as many trips as you liked, and it saves you the price of dinner. One of the most divine things on that fair table was Panzanella. A delicious salad made from stale bread and tomatoes. Although stale bread is generally not one of the most appetizing foods in the world, when it has been combined with lots of fresh and tasty ingredients it is transformed into one of the most amazing things I have ever tried in my life. I would walk bare foot over hot coals to get to that buffet table again, if your in Florence be sure to stop at Rivalta. In the mean time I thought I could sate my obsession by having a go at making my own.

Ingredients 

1 loaf of stale bread (were talking real bread here, not white sliced, ciabatta, county, crusty etc)

5-6 large tomatoes

1/2 onion (preferably red)

1/2 cucumber

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

2-3 cloves of garlic

9 tablespoons of olive oil (3 for the crutons, 6 for the salad)

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (white wine vinegar if you have it)

1 tablespoon of capers (optional – sold at the foreign food mart and home-plus)

10-20 Basil leaves (use as many as your plant can muster)

A generous pinch of salt & pepper

Directions

Take your loaf of bread, preferably stale and break it into chunky bite sized pieces. Then drizzle with olive oil and garlic and fry in a pan or crunch them up in the oven until they are lightly browned. Meanwhile chop you tomatoes, cucumber,onion and peppers and put them in a bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, torn basil leaves and salt and pepper. Mix this thoroughly and add in the browned chucks of break, Stir the mixture and leave for an hour for all the flavors to seep into the bread. Serve when ready, ideally with wine. Voilà a deliciously different Italian salad.

The Five and Two Diet

My new life begins today as I have started the Five and two Diet. After returning to Korea after two weeks of pure unadulterated gluttony I was very dismayed to find out that I have put on 6 pounds. You would think it wouldn’t have come as a shock after eating Chinese for 3, a large pizza, nutella tiramisu, three wraps and a large variety of ethnic snacks, washed down with a family size bag of chocolate buttons. But I was disappointed none the less.

Fortunately for me I have a very healthy and wise Gay BFF who introduced me to the wonders of the 5 and 2 diet. I have attached the link to the video below that is on youtube, so you can get the full details. The basic gist is that 5 days a week you can eat normally and 2 days a week you fast. Before you get too worked up the fast days aren’t really that bad as you are able to eat one 500 calorie meal, consisting of anything you like. As well as helping you lose weight, it also does wonders for you health, stopping you getting cancer and helping you to live longer. So always being one to jump on the bandwagon of a new diet. I’m ready to give it a go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfna7nV7WaM

So I will now be posting all the lovely things I make for 500 calories or less, as well as all my full fat recipes and restaurant reviews (or at least until I lose my 6 pounds and say bollocks to it). I’m going to try and do it for a month and see how it pans out. It’s a pretty new diet but I’ve only heard rave reviews so far so I’m willing to give it a go.

Day 1 – Although I had it in my mind that I was going to start the diet this week I hadn’t actually planned on starting today. Its my first day on a new job and I felt like I could do without the extra pressure. However this morning I woke up with raging tooth ache, a quick trip to the dentist and a mere 458,000 won later. I was on my way to my new job when it dawned on me that it was 2′ o clock and I hadn’t eaten a thing. I decided to not look this gift horse in the mouth and started the diet today. I had my favorite mocha coffee this morning which is 112 calories. Plus a roll of kimbap which they gave me at work which is around 450 calories. So technically I am a bit over but I did move some furniture around this morning so I reckon I’m golden.

It’s now 7.30pm and I’m not hungry yet, although I know the hardest part is the evening ahead. Thankfully my jaw is still rather on the painful side but its going to still take a lot of will power to let a dodgy jaw put me off my food.

Cappuccino cake

I think we can all agree that baking in Korea can often be quite a challenge. So its been quite sometime since I last knocked up a cake. Seduced by my mums shiny new oven, I donned her Cath Kidston apron and whipped up this delicious baked treat.

This is actually the cake that turned me into a cakeaholic, it’s the perfect combination of chocolate and coffee and I think we all know how hard it is to say no to a bit of butter cream.

Ingredients

Cake

250g of butter

225g sugar

3 eggs

150g flour

3 table spoons of coco powder

1 shot of espresso (use a few teaspoons of instant if you don’t have as coffee maker)

Butter cream

250g of icing sugar

3 tablespoons of butter

100g white chocolate

2-3 tablespoons of milk

Directions

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and espresso and mix thoroughly. Sieve in the flour and coco powder and stir gently. When the mixture is ready pour it into a greased cake tin and put it into a preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade. Cook for 30-45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Turn the cake out on a rack to cool while you make the buttercream.

To make the buttercream mix the butter and icing sugar together until its mixed thoroughly. If it’s too dry that’s fine as you will add the milk at the end. Melt the white chocolate and stir into the mixture. Add the milk a spoonful at a time until you have a butter cream consistency. When the cake has cooled completely top the cake with the buttercream and add grated chocolate to decorate. Voilà a delicious chocolate coffee cakey treat.

Strawberry Basil Martini

Cocktail hour is all the rage at my folks pad these days. So to spice up the proceedings somewhat I decided to come up with a new concoction to tantalize their taste buds. My mums a big fan of Martini so I used it as the liquor of the day, but you can substitute for vodka if you wish.

Ingredients

50ml of Martini extra dry

250ml of lemonade

2 slices of lemon

2 strawberries

5 basil leaves

Directions

Slice the lemon and strawberries and put into a high ball glass. Add the basil leaves and ice then muddle with a spoon. Add a double shot of Martini extra dry and top with lemonade. Drink and enjoy. Repeat if necessary.

Pavlova

As a child pavlova was my absolute favorite dessert. My mum would always buy one if we had a guest for sunday lunch. My love of meringue has never wained as I have grown over the years. Meringue has always been famed as rather tricky to make (although I think it has a rather misguided reputation). As long as you follow the basic principles then they should turn out fine and dandy.

I’ve shied away from making a pavlova in Korea  for several reasons. The main ones being my lack of electric beater and my toaster oven being too small. However if your oven is of a decent size, I highly recommend you try making this delicious dessert.

Ingredients

120z of caster sugar

6 egg whites

1 table-spoon of cornflour

1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar

Topping

400ml of Whipped cream

A selection of fresh berries

Directions

Separate your eggs (whites only) and whisk them to stiff peaks in a clean mixing bowl. I would recommend an electric whisk unless you are very strong. Although my friend matt, seems to make them even better by hand than I can using the beater. So I guess it’s all in the wrist action (I assume he gets a lot of practice). You need the egg whites to be as stiff as possible as they will only get softer as you beat in the sugar. An old trick , is to beat them stiff enough so they are able to stay in the bowl when held upside down. Beat in the caster sugar a bit at time until it has been incorporated into the egg whites so the form soft peaks. Stir in the cornflour and vinegar to help them hold their shape and give them some extra gloss, although this step is not essential.

Line a baking tray with a piece of greaseproof paper. Draw a circle on the greaseproof paper and fill it in with a layer of the meringue. Then build up the edges by spooning or piping blobs around the outside until it forms the pavlova shape. Bake in an oven set to 150 degrees centigrade  for about an hour until the meringue has set. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside to dry out for a few hours, ideally overnight.

Pavlovas should be assembled at the last moment, so wait until you are ready to serve before adding the cream. Whisk the cream (add a little icing sugar and vanilla extract if you have a sweet tooth) and fill the pavlova then top with mixed berries. You can top your pavlova with anything you like, although I always think chocolate and nuts  goes down well.

If your pavlova cracks and breaks when your putting it on to your serving dish don’t worry, just cover it with cream and no one will be any wiser. .. If your meringue turns out too flat for a pavlova you can always break it into pieces and use it to make Eton mess, another british classic.

Pimm’s

There is nothing more delicious on a hot summer day than a glass of Pimms. The ultimate british summer cocktail (almost guaranteed to feature on ever cocktail menu in the country during the summer months). It’s the quintessential english drink. It’s also an absolute favorite of mine, it’s very easy to slip down a jug or two of these babies.

Sadly for those of us living in Korea, it’s not very easy to procure. In fact I have never successfully found a bottle myself, although I still belive they are out there somewhere. I find its easier to always come prepared and pick up a bottle or two at the airport every time I venture home. We also managed to find it in Langkawi when we went to Malaysia last year. If your lucky enough to have a british friend, then beg them to bring you a bottle so you too can revel in this summer delight.

Ingredients

200 ml Pimms

1 liter of lemonade (7up/Sprite USA/CiderKorea)

1/2 Lemon

1/2 Lime

1 Orange

1/2 a Cucumber

5 Strawberries

A handful of raspberries or blueberries (optional)

A bunch of mint

Directions

Chop all your fruit and put into your jug. It’s up to you if you like your fruit little or large. Add the Pimms and lemonade and a few ice cubes and stir. Serve in a highball glass and enjoy. Voilà a delicious jug sized drink.