Week 2: What we ate

My guide to messy eating

The first time I wrote this piece, years ago it was a guide on how to eat huge profiteroles without covering your face in cream.This weekend, past, it translated into ‘How to eat a hamburger with all the trimmings….and no burger buns’. Don’t get me wrong, I love bread but the soft, sesame-studded buns are not on the menu just yet. And though I could very well have left the burgers alone, I wasn’t going to let my first ever celebration of Canada’s Independence pass by unmarked.
Lime-pickled onions on my hamburger
So, loving success, celebrations and the perfunctory food that must follow, here is my advice on how to eat anything especially messy things, charmingly:
  • First arm yourself with some serviettes – tissues, cloth, anything that will be able to eliminate traces of the number of calories about to be ingested – up to and beyond the RDA. And then find yourself a good place to sit or stand – maybe in a corner where no jostling elbows and backs will get a piece of your stuff!
  • Second – ditch the cutlery. Maximum pleasure is directly proportional to the potential to look like a right ass – the more risks you take when you have little to lose, the more pleasure!
  • And finally, use only one hand, that’s the ultimate key to success! You must, absolutely must keep the other hand free – that’s your get out of jail card, your escape route – emergency exit, you forensics destroyer – wiping away all traces in a flash.
  • And then take the plunge, don’t be afraid to take a deep bite, making sure the tip of your nose shares in the joys of mayo and ketchup and even mustard too.
  • Eat with gusto, using your intelligent other hand to clean up as you go along.
There – success guaranteed!

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And this is the what we ate this week:

Week 1
Vegetable frittata, with courgettes, tomatoes, mozzarella
Lentil pancakes adapted from Passionate about Baking, patiala chicken, coconut sambal and coriander chutney
Blueberry and Cucumber smoothie, adapted from food52
Green Salad
Cottage pie with spiced Butternut squash topping, adapted from Fig Jam & Lime Cordial
Butternut squash coconut cake
Chicken & Butternut squash salad
Fennel soup with Tilapia
Coconut crepes, mixed berries and crumbled goat’s cheese
Lentils with turkey and leftover shephard’s pie
Roast chicken with roast BNS, kohlrabi, turnips, onions and paprika
Cherry Berry Crumble, adapted from Elana’s pantry
Roast chicken salad
Baked seabass with courgette ribbons
Almond cake with blueberries & kumquats, adapted from Elana’s pantry
Green bean & Feta salad, adapted from food52
Autumn Olive Medley, adapted from food52
Leftover cake from Friday
Hot Harissa soup with gluten-free bread, from Elana’s pantry
‘Bunless’ burgers

One of my concerns this last couple of weeks has been breakfast looking and eating like breakfast. The idea of soups and cakes for brekkie sounds weird but they actually worked pretty well, giving us the energy we needed to face the rest of the day. -‘?y key focus has been on exercising right – I start most days off with some time on the trampoline before I have breakfast and then some lunch times at work, I go walking. I’ve also taken to cycling in the evenings and the pain in the back is lessening….slowly but surely. I love my bike even if I look super silly in my red, white and black helmet. It is so obvious I’m a greenhorn as I cycle past real bikers (aka Dutch people), who sort of look me up and down, wonder why I need head protection and then quickly summarise that I am new to this world of two wheels. I smile, ready to use the excuse of not being born on a bike as my pass. Very often, I come across people cycling with one hand and sending text messages with the other, other times it’s boyfriend and girlfriend, cycling as one: each person holds their bike with their outer hands and then the inner ones are wrapped around waists in a lover’s embrace. In the meantime I need both hands 90% of the time I’m in motion! Oh well, who cares?

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By far my greatest discovery (and I made this in week 1) has been the addition of soft-boiled eggs to a salad. OMW. Oh My Word. In quarters, they transform a salad from good to great. In one mouthful. They lend a softness to each scoop of greens that is not moist or wet or unpleasant in any sense. Rather, you get a melt-in-your-mouth, soft caress from the combined white and orange of albumen and yolk. I am thinking of how turn soft-boiled eggs into a salad dressing. Any ideas?

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I have also learnt that were whole garlic bakes well and its cloves soften, ginger doesn’t do the same. Use it fresh and don’t experiment – you have me to do that for you! And my kumquats…..were an absolute delight in Friday’s breakfast. They lifted, sweetened and perfumed the cake plus gave it bite with citrus.

I also found Elana’s pantry and I love her recipes. She is gluten-free and uses a lot of Almond meal in her baking and cooking. My first ever experience with an almond meal cake was disaster DISASTER and ended up in the bin! Thanks to Elana this week I’ve baked with almond meal and I think the issue in my previous failure was the combination of yogurt and oil. Which means as soon as I get some lush plums, I’ll be giving it another go.

Limes for 1

Lime pickled onions

My recipe to share today is perfect for the months of grilling ahead. If you don’t like raw onions, here’s what you might enjoy – Citrus pickled onions

My Mexican friends always had delicious onions at their house every time we went over for a BBQ. One day my friend P, (who also gave me the idea of starting this blog) shared the secret with me: lime juice! In Mexico, they use a lot of limeon (lime) in their cooking.

To pickle the onions, slice them and squeeze the juice of a lime or two over them.

Sliced limes and onions

Then leave them to ‘macerate’ at room temperature or in the fridge.

Sliced onions in Lime juice

An hour later, they will be ready.

Sliced onions in Lime juice

They will taste wonderful, every single time – the lime juice dulls the strong, (over-powering) taste which puts some people off.

Pickled onions

It slightly softens them too, preparing them for the burgers or salads that must follow.

Lime-pickled onions on my hamburger


You can pickle the onions with lemon juice or vinegar (and a bit of oil and salt)

Maturing time is about 1-2 hours

The onion slices don’t have to be steeped in the juice but they should be tossed so all pieces are coated

If you don’t like onions, you could use thin slices of fennel

By the way, are these turnips?

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I think they are but I’m not sure. Please let me know if you know for sure what they are! Thanks.

As you do when you’re on a diet, sometimes you cheat or slip. I slipped this week – all the fault of Toy Story 3, the cinema and the pick and mix corner where we let the children buy more sweets than they could eat in a week. I soon found favourites….I however estimate that it came to no more than a very small handful the whole week. Plus a pinch of some chocolate orange truffle, a gift from Barcelona and only a very tiny bit of cream cake, and some Pide (Turkish bread). Overall, honestly not bad. I’m learning to pause and physically hold myself back before I stuff my face!!!!!!

Enjoy your week. ♥♥♥

[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Week 2: What we ate – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]


  1. I love your tips on eating messy foods :D… not that I need any help with that (I don’t let anything get in the way of my eating yummy stuff).
    Have a fantastic weekend!
    *kisses* HH

  2. Sounds like you’re trying and incredible variety of new and great recipes. I love the biking part. I grew up biking, but can I say I feel totally difference on the road bike my hubby got me when I have to clip in. Oy – I cannot even imagine holding my hubby by the waist as we ride along, I think I’d be screeching “keep your distance”

  3. I like a nice portion of protein in the morning such as eggs, cheese, peanut butter or nice bowl of steel cut oats. Processed carbs and bread just wont hold me very long in the morning.
    Sounds like your enjoying your lifestyle challenge and that is what will keep you going. When you get bored mix it up a bit by trying something new just like you do with food. Keep up the good work. You can do it Oz

    • Alysha dear, thanks for the advice on how to make exercise fun, by experimenting. Thank you……. I cycled to Voorschoten this evening and I was so proud of me!

  4. Ozoz, you packed a lot of informaton into this blog post. You are eating very healthy! One of the things that I noticed in my limited travels through Europe is that the Dutch do a very good job of having fresh vegetables available. I have often not found that in France or Germany.
    Soft boiled eggs are fabulous. I think a Caesar salad dressing would be wonderful with your eggs.

    the lime onion…deliicous too.

    As for bike riding, you keep it up! I am a green horn too and a slow poke to boot. Still,I managed to ride 310 km in France and only twice I thought death would be a good alternative than parking my butt yet one more day on that bike.
    The funny helmet? You can ride your bike here in the U.S.. everyone has a funny looking helmet.

    • I agree Velva, the range of fresh veggies and fruits is superb. I take it a lot for granted! Someday, my backside will agree with all the good things biking is supposed to do……..but that day is in the future, far in the future…..I love it though and well done on your ride!!!!!!! Superb

  5. You are so cute, Ozoz! “serviettes” “cutlery” what a true Canadian girl you are. 🙂 Love it!

  6. great weekly menu, so many great recipes, I heard eating soup for breakfast was super healthy for you and gave you so much more energy and kept your tummy perfectly fuel until lunch. I love the pickled onion, i make those all the time for tacos or salads. I love eating hamburgers wrapped in large romain lettuce leaves, less gulit but still ever so exciting.


    • Guess what we had for dinner, thanks to you? Flame grilled burgers wrapped in crisp iceberg lettuce. It was heavenly, so heavenly that daughter #1 had the same, and ditched the bread.

    • So……..why not make every week, week 1! I know the feeling, if my husband wasn’t doing it with me, I would have given up ages ago

    • Yes, soaked lentils pureed and flavoured with coriander and cumin seeds – a recipe adapted from Deeba@passionate about baking. They were nice.

  7. What a fabulous post. I also adore soft-boiled eggs, and I’m glad they are making your salads taste so yummy. And I loved seeing all of those onions…I love adding caramelized onions to my sandwiches…I will have to give your pickle variation a try!

  8. The food sounds very tasty indeed. And the fresh veg and citrus pictures are beautiful. There is something so exciting about piles of fresh produce. It makes me feel grateful to have tastebuds!

  9. You’re eating better and more varied food that most people I know – how wonderful that you’re losing weight at the same time! The soft-boiled eggs are just the best thing, aren’t they? You can see how Caesar salad dressing came about.

    Lastly, wasn’t Toy Story 3 just beautiful? I embarrassed both my boys by weeping at the end.. 🙂

    • I cried too…..when Andy gave the toys to Daisy and woody joined them too……..softies we are! And I’ll have to investigate the very best Caesar salad dressing,,,

  10. I need to eat more fresh seasonal veggies and fruit..just wish there were more choices here…
    I don’t see that round radish here in Germany, just the usual long white one. Love your red onion salad!

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