Comfort food heaven

Isn’t it lovely that it’s the weekend? First ‘proper’ week done and dusted, Christmas just a blissful memory now. One of my highlights of this week? My dad falling asleep in a meeting at work [I work at the same company as him – though we rarely work together]. And my dad snores so loudly like you wouldn’t believe so it was pretty noticeable. It was quite funny. In his defence, the room was quite warm and the meeting wasn’t exactly what you’d call scintillating. As my dad is part of the top management team he sort of gets away with it, but it didn’t stop people giggling haha (me including).

Speaking of my dad actually, he is trying to get healthy this year. He’s got some weight to lose and is doing something about it! We have a teeny tiny gym at work:

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Basically two bikes, one treadmill, one elliptical machine, and one rower. But he went and did 20 minutes on the treadmill at lunch! I was so proud. And he’s being more mindful about what he’s eating. I just hope he keeps it up!

So the weekend started with my new favourite meal on Friday night. I based it on THIS recipe.

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Easy Chicken Paprika (serves 1)

  • 1 medium sweet potato (really depends on how hungry you are – I was very hungry)
  • Chicken breast, cubed
  • Small onion, diced
  • Approx. 1 cup vegetable/chicken stock
  • 1 tbs. cream cheese (I used light)
  • 2 tbs. paprika

[I didn’t have any cayenne pepper so I used a few herbs (thyme & rosemary) just to add some depth.]

Grate the sweet potato (I didn’t bother peeling).

– Sauté the onion in a bit of oil until soft, then add the sweet potato. Let the potato soften for a bit.

– Add the chicken and paprika.

– After about 5 mins, add the stock and turn down the heat a bit.

– When the liquid has been absorbed, add the cream cheese and stir it all up until nice and creamy and hot.

– Add herbs then serve!

It was really filling and deliciously comforting. The original recipe calls for sour cream but I only had Philadelphia cream cheese so I thought it wouldn’t matter too much. It was so good. Definitely a keeper.

Saturday morning I got up, walked Alfie, then went for a 6 mile run.

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I’m gradually increasing the length of these longer runs each weekend and it’s going well. I quite enjoy them because the ones in the week are tempos, or intervals, or speed runs. So there’s a lot of focus on actual running while you’re running that’s needed and they’re quite intense and tiring runs. But even though the weekend run is longer, it’s a lot more relaxed. I can let my mind drift and just run. I do look at my Garmin to make sure I’m not slacking of completely though and try and maintain an 8min/mile speed as it’s a comfortable but still hard pace. I’m just scared about getting to the 8 mile plus runs as there the runs I haven’t done much of at all…

Then I showered, ate breakfast (standard oatmeal) and hopped off to Pilates. It’s starting to get tougher now that we know the basics. Lots of repetitions and harder movements that really give a burn to my muscles. And this morning (Sunday) I woke up feeling very sore.

Ben and me then took Alfie for a lovely walk enjoying the fabulous January weather.

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Absolutely tipping it down. It was cold, wet and miserable.

But lunch was warming and comforting! Butternut squash soup with chickpeas.

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I also added some coconut milk to it to add some pa-zazz. I had cunningly frozen some coconut milk as I didn’t get through the tin last week. I used an ice cube tray which was great as it meant just popping a load of these bad boys out and dropping them into my sizzling soup.

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However, just ‘popping’ them out proved to be a bit of an issue as they seriously weren’t happy about coming out. In the end I used a knife to ping each cube out. And there ensued cubes of coconut milk being pinged straight up to the ceiling and flying back down. Hilarious.

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Anyway I dropped the cubes into the soup and they melted away. I then blended it all up and put half a can of chickpeas in and heated it through. Perfect!

After lunch we went to town to buy a few bits and bobs and enjoyed a lovely Costa as well. Heaven knows why I chose an iced cappuccino…

IMG_3446 And we bumped into my parents and my niece, Ellie, which was lovely. So we joined them for a shoe shopping session for Ellie.

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Though to be honest, shoes were the last thing on her mind. Everything else on every single shelf in the universe was where her attention was.

For our last purchase, I realised I needed a potato for dinner so we popped into M&S.

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Felt a bit silly just buying a potato but what can you do!

Then Ben and me went home. We were shattered by this point and just wanted to be warm and snug inside. And I wanted to wear my new PJ bottoms!

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Oh so comfy and soft!

Then I chilled out on the sofa while Ben played on his XBox and I did some reading.

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Bliss.

Then it was dinner! I decided to make cottage pie. A two-toned cottage pie! I vaguely followed THIS recipe (but didn’t use ramekins). I used beef mince (this is a shocker as I rarely ever eat beef – I’m just not a fan, it’s a bit tough and dense for me if that makes sense?). I also didn’t have mushrooms and used regular flour instead of potato starch (I’m not even sure what that is). But basically I followed the recipe.

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After browning the mince, onion etc. and getting things lovely and tasty I threw it all into a casserole dish. Now, at this point I veered off the beaten path of the recipe. There’s no way in hell I can get Ben to eat cauliflower mash. I mean seriously he won’t. So I peeled, chopped and boiled the above M&S potato while also making my usual cauliflower mash with a goat’s cheese Babybel mixed in as I’d run out of proper goat’s cheese. Then I mashed both sets of, er, mash and covered one half with potato and one half with cauliflower. Then put it in the oven for about 15mins.

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Ben’s half was on the left, mine the right. Looks quite funky.

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Then proceeded to eat a MAMMONTH portion. But with cauliflower rather than potato I wasn’t over-stuffed by the end but comfortable full (remember, I’m a greedy girl!).

Then the evening was spent chilling with blog reading and internet surfing while Ben played a crazy game…Geometry Wars? Anyone heard of it? It’s quite stressful to watch. Lots of shapes flying about the place and colours exploding. It’s so fast paced, I found it quite gripping to watch haha.

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See, even Alfie was mesmerised by the craziness.

And that was our evening! Oh there might have been some chocolates…obviously Winking smile

What have you been up to this weekend?

What’s your favourite comfort food?

12 thoughts on “Comfort food heaven

  1. I love your new PJ bottoms! Like you, I’m always excited to sport a new pair, even if I’m the only one who sees them. 🙂

    It sounds like you had a whirlwind Saturday! I don’t blame you for being exhausted! A 6 mile run + pilates + a walk is a lot of physical exertion! Huge props. 🙂 Your cottage pie looks delicious, and I love that you made half with cauliflower (my favorite, too).

    Hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend, Anna! <3

    • I definitely slept well Saturday evening hehe and woke up a bit sore the next day.
      I can’t get enough of cauliflower mash at the moment, especially with goat’s cheese! Much prefer it to normal mash which I find a bit heavy and boring.

  2. Bless your dad, that’s hilarious! My dad’s back on his “diet” now and I’m really hoping he keeps it up…
    I bet long runs like that on a weekend morning are really relaxing, as you can just let your mind wander, sounds a great way to start the weekend.
    The chicken and cottage pie both look so good 🙂

    • Well I’m just going to try and keep motivating him and supporting him and hopefully he’ll keep focused!
      It’s just great running at the weekend as you don’t have to get up stupidly early so it’s not really dark and then you don’t have a time limit of when you need to be finished by. And once it’s done you do feel quite chuffed for the rest of the weekened 🙂

    • After enjoying my coconut flour porridge the other week I think I will definitely have to give this a try, especially as my oats are always so piping hot in the morning, it might help cool them down!

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