Tub on the Run


Slimming World Friendly Lasagne

When Matt and I used to do Slimming World, one of our favourite meals was Slimming World friendly lasagne. While I am not eating pasta or dairy right now, Matt is, and he asked if I could make a lasagne for him. I had written up the recipe on my old blog, so I thought it would be a good chance to refresh it (and put some pictures with it! The last post had a picture of the cat in it… As you do).

We always used the parmesan as our Healthy Extra A (30g is your HEA), but other than that, I am pretty sure this is a syn free recipe (I only say “pretty sure” as it has been a while since I did Slimming World).

Slimming World Lasagne - Beyond the Sofa


  • 500g extra lean mince beef
  • 1 onion, diced (red or white – doesn’t matter)
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 4 grated carrots (squeeze the extra juice out)
  • 1 carton of passata (390g)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 gloves of garlic, minced
  • Splash of Worcester sauce
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • Lasagne sheets
  • 500g tub of fat free cottage cheese
  • 3 or 4 tbsp fat free natural yogurt
  • 120g parmesan cheese (grated)

Lasagne Ingredients


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c, then get chopping/grating.
  2. In a large saucepan, fry off the mince beef (you don’t need to add any oil) and add the onions in (I love that smell!).
  3. Once browned, add in the veg. You can add whatever you like to get your superfree in, but I would suggest grating it so you don’t end up munching through whole pieces of carrot. Cook the veggies until they’ve softened a little.
  4. Add the passata and chopped tomatoes.  Mix well, and add any seasonings (paprika, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce). Taste for seasoning, and adjust to suit your tastes.
  5. Depending on how many layers you like, spoon some mixture into the lasagne dish, and layer the lasagne sheets.
  6. Add roughly half the pot of cottage cheese (sounds weird I know, but it works!), then layer up with the lasagne then mince again.
  7. When you’ve added the last layer of lasagne sheet, spread the rest of the cottage cheese over the top. Pad out the cottage cheese on top with a couple of dollops of yogurt, before sprinking the parmesan over.
  8. Pop the lasagne on the middle shelf in the oven, and about half an hour later, hey presto, there’s your lasagne!

This makes 4 very generous portions if you’re super hungry. For this one, I’ve actually cut it in half again so it’s a better sized portion. The leftover portions have now been popped into the freezer – instant ready meals!

Bon appetit!


Butternut Squash and Smoked Garlic Risotto

I don’t often post a recipe, but this one is worth it!  I was kindly sent a smoked garlic bulb as part of my Foodie Penpals package last month, so I went on an internet surf for a recipe.  I came across a butternut squash and smoked garlic risotto.  I included it on the meal plan for the week, and I looked forward to it all day today!

Get ready for Hurricane Tub to hit the kitchen!  Honestly, it looks like a whirlwind passed through when I cook (it’s worse when I bake though).

Without further ado…

Butternut Squash and Roast Garlic Risotto

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of smoked garlic (or 3 teaspoons Very Lazy Smoked Garlic)
½ medium sized butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm cubes (about 375g)
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
325g risotto rice
150ml dry white wine (1 of the small bottles)
100g rounds goats’ cheese (original recipe called for 200g, but we found 100g was enough)
125g baby leaf spinach (we used two balls of frozen chopped spinach)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large saucepan (or a wok), heat the oil, then stir in the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onion has softened.
  2. Stir in the butternut squash and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until starting to brown. Add 4 tablespoons of the stock, cover the pan for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the wine and cook for 2-3 minutes until absorbed. Stir in the stock, a reasonable splash at a time, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed (be prepared for this to get quite heavy!)
  4. Roughly chop the cheese and stir in to the rice.  Season well. If more liquid is required stir in hot water. The risotto is ready, when the butternut squash and rice grains are tender.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach. Serve immediately.  If you opened for the extra cheese, top the risotto with cheese slices and freshly ground black pepper.


et voilà!

Butternut Squash and Roast Garlic Risotto

According to My Fitness Pal, per portion it is 512 kcal, 86g carbs, 10g fat, 14g protein and 11g sugar.  In Slimming World syns, I have calculated it to be 7 syns per portion  (4 syns for 25g soft goat’s cheese, 1.5 syns for the olive oil, 1.5 syns for the white wine – dry).

It makes up 4 generous (and incredibly tasty) portions.  We have it again for lunch tomorrow!

Meanwhile… I have a pretend cassoulet in the oven for tomorrow’s tea.  How organised am I!



Spring has sprung!

I don’t want to speak too soon, but it really does feel (and look) like spring has sprung!  We have been blessed with a couple of truly gorgeous weeks, and while it isn’t quite t-shirt weather, I am living in hope of a decent summer.

Today after lunch, Matt and I went for an amble down the beach.  It has been a beautiful day, and there were plenty of people on the beach who had a similar idea to us.

Exmouth Beach

To mark the occasion, we stopped for an ice cream and soaked up some much needed vitamin D while we ate.  It was great to get out of the house, blow away some cobwebs and appreciate where we live.  It’s very easy to forget to appreciate what is around you, and we are truly lucky to be a 5 minute walk from the beach and a 10 minute drive away from the countryside.

Sping has sprung in Exmouth

Over the last week or so, the blossom has really started to come out.  Long may it continue too!  When we got home, some more chores followed, and we’re both currently parked on the sofa watching the closing ceremony of the winter paralympics.

What else has been going on this week?  Well, there wasn’t a return to running, but there was some more mindful eating, and an attempt at one of the (many) recipes on my Pinterest boards.  A while back, my sister posted a recipe to my facebook page.  It looked interesting, but I hadn’t got round to trying it.  As some of my bananas became too ripe, I thought I’d give the recipe a go.

Oaty Banana Bites

They aren’t much to look at, admittedly, but they were tasty in a kind of cakey way (I was expecting more of a flapjack kind of texture).  I may not have followed the recipe to the letter, as I don’t have any apple sauce or raisins in the house at the moment.  Regardless, they were good and I will be making them again.


  • 3 mashed, ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup of apple sauce
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Basically, you mix all of the ingredients together, plop into a tray and spread out the mixture.  Pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes on 180c (350f or gas mark 4), and then leave on a wire rack to cool.

I feel like I have had a bit of a better work/life balance this week.  Despite having an incredibly heavy workload at the moment, I didn’t bring work home and I relaxed a bit easier in the evenings.  I am definitely counting that as progress!  I’ve even managed to get myself organised with some of my marshalling bits and bobs.  I have taken on social media responsibility for my marshalling club’s region, and as the motorsport season is now upon us, it was time for me to invest a bit more time and thought into it.  I’ve had a good response and reception so far, and I am hoping that the use of a couple of different tools will help me out with that.

All in all, it’s been a good week and I am looking forward to seeing what next week brings.


Slimming World Friendly Lasagne

I am rubbish, and completely forgot to take a picture of my attempt, but figured I’d post this anyway.

Recently, I have been feeling a bit “meh” and “blah” (yes, mehblah) about the eating side of my diet.  I feel like I have got the exercise pegged at the moment, but I have let my eye stray from the path of healthy eating goodness (read: Extra Easy on Slimming World’s plan).  I sat in group with my friends, and one lady and I have challenged each other to a “no gain” challenge.  That means for 10 weeks, we cannot put weight on, but maintenance is ok.  Helpfully, we’re both around the same height and weight.  Since our catch up on Tuesday, I’ve been feeling pretty good about the whole eating thing.  Ergo, I have been eating properly since.  Last night’s tea (and today’s lunch) was lasagne.

M is, as I have mentioned, the King of Lasagne.  However, owing to us not having all the ingredients last night, we varied the contents a bit.  I prep, he cooks, we both avoid the washing up – we’re a good team.

Into the lasagne went:

  • 1 500g packet of extra lean mince beef
  • 1 red onion (finely sliced/diced/whatever you want)
  • a couple of stick of celery (finely sliced)
  • grated carrots (we used 4)
  • grated butternut squash (roughly half a squash)
  • handful of baby tomatoes
  • 1 500g tub of the free cottage cheese
  • couple of table spoons of fat free natural yogurt
  • 120g grated parmesan
  • lasagne sheets
  • splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 carton of passata
  • 1 carton of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1tbsp paprika

I preheated the oven to 200 degrees C, then got chopping/grating.

  1. Fry off the mince beef (you don’t need to add any oil) and add the onions in (who doesn’t love that smell!)
  2. Once browned, add in the veg (you can add whatever you have, but I recommend grating some of it if you don’t want to munch through whole bits of carrot).  Cook it off for a few minutes.
  3. Add the passata and chopped tomatoes.  Mix well, and add any seasonings (paprika, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce).  Get the dish ready.
  4. Spoon half the mix into the dish, and layer with lasagne sheets.
  5. Add roughly half the pot of cottage cheese (sounds weird I know, but I think it works!), then layer up again.
  6. Add the remaining tomato/meat mix, layer, then add the rest of the cottage cheese.
  7. Pad out the cottage cheese on top with a couple of dollops of yogurt, before sprinking the parmesan over (try not to accidentally get sprinkle happy and get parmesan on your black cat like I did though, it looks like super bad dandruff).
  8. Bung it in the oven, top shelf, for about half an hour, and hey presto, there’s your lasagne.

We find that makes 4 very large portions – great if you’re ravenous.  Add in any veg that you want – that just happened to be what we had in the fridge and needed using.

Hmm.. Tanks don't like parmesan

Hmm.. Tanks don’t like parmesan

On extra easy, the whole thing is free if you’re using the parmesan as your HE A (we did).

So the 10 week challenge is on, and I am feeling pretty good about it.  I’d desperately like to see my weight get under 16 stone (224lbs) for the first weigh in in April, and be hitting low 15 stone (210lbs) by the end of our 10 week challenge.  Therefore Tub, that means you have to eat properly and exercise well (including behaving on rest days) over the coming days, weeks, months…

We’re off spinning tonight.  Happy days!


Mood Swing Saturday

I have been all over the place today.  Mentally that is, not physically.  I have spent a large proportion of the day feeling low and sorry for myself.  Annoyed at my complete lack of willpower exercised over my diet (far too much junk and/or chocolate), frustration and a little bit of despair at the wedding (from bridesmaid dress issues to wondering how the hell it’s all going to go together), to just feeling sorry for myself.  I suspect it is close to that time of the month.

I didn’t go out for a run last night, instead, going to one of my bridesmaid’s house for a chin wag and dress hunt on the internet (I have already bought my sister’s dress, but didn’t have the foresight to buy two dresses).  After half a bottle of wine and about 6 Maltesers, I left feeling quite deflated (not at all my friend’s fault, just my silly self-imposed expectations – I haven’t much been enjoying wedding planning.  A lot of things I thought I wanted to start off with, I now don’t, and it’s frustrating).   I thought I’d get out for my run this morning instead, but didn’t.  Even breakfast failed to rouse me from my self-pitying state.

I’d said I’d dog sit for my mum this afternoon.  In preparation, I nipped to Tesco to get some raspberries and grapes to munch on instead of chocolate.  As soon as I exited Tesco, the heavens opened and I got soaked on the walk to my car.  Grr.  As I hurrumphed down into the sofa at mum’s house, I gave thought to what might cheer me up.  I decided that there is nothing like Spartacus to lift the spirits, and opted for Gods of the Arena.  It worked for a bit.  Dog was no trouble, and I left shortly after mum came home.

What’s not to love?! Source – spartacus.wikia.com

Tea was pretty tasty – we attempted a Lancashire hotpot (bung some cubed lamb with a whole packet of root veg and baby potatoes in with a stock cube, passata, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and a little bit of water into a slow cooker and cook for 8 hours).  When I’d let my tea go down, I got ready to head out.

I started my Week 7 of couch to 5k, a 25 minute run.  I’d somehow managed to lace my right shoe too tight, and had to stop to loosen it.  I paused my Garmin while I retied my shoe, then set off again.  25 minutes later, I looked down at my wrist and confused myself – I’d run 0km in 5:49mins.  D’oh!  I forgot to press start again.  Humph.  Anyway, according to Mapometer, I ran for just over 3k, which gives me a rough 5k time of 41 minutes (according to my sketchy maths).  I felt pretty good when I got back, and was looking forward to my porridge, following the recipe (kind of) from Peanut Butter Fingers.

Tasty porridge, peanut butter and raspberries

Tasty porridge, peanut butter and raspberries

How could peanut butter taste right in porridge?  They don’t naturally go hand in hand.  Well, I can confirm that it works!  The texture is a little strange, but not bad strange, just unusual (but then putting peanut butter in porridge and eating it cold is a bit strange n’est pas?).  Anyway, I’m sold on it so I shall be adding that in to my food repetoire going forward.  I probably won’t make so much though, as it was very filling.

Finally, to bring my mood back down, one of my stupid cats started playing up, which involved some regurgitation (him, not me) – his alleycat winnings from our bin.  I may change his name to Stig (of the Dump).

Here’s hoping for an improvement tomorrow.