I am posting from a very beautiful and sunny Cape Town today! You Capetonians are just so very lucky as your evenings are lovely and cool offering one a welcome respite from hot days! So far, my days have been spent sorting out Daniele’s flat. My goodness, six black bags of old clothes and counting! We have been working out in the gym EVERY morning and feeling rather proud of ourselves. Meals have been light and lean and I have only exceeded my daily Calorie allowance once, by a tiny margin. Mexican food is lethal, and I paid for my indulgence with buckets of sweat ………..
Today’s post is a steak stack. It’s really important to vary your diet when trying to lose kilo’s as it prevents your body from getting into a routine. Our bodies are really clever; cut out carbs completely and eventually your body will munch away on your muscle in order to feed itself, so variety and a balanced diet, not excluding any food group (except chocolate) is vital.
I haven’t weighed myself in Cape Town and I don’t intend doing so! I can’t take the chance that the scale at Virgin Active here is not the same as my scale at home in Durban! What if it tells me I have put on weight! Na-ahhhhhh ………. Not taking any chances!
I am really beginning to enjoy going to the gym and have started to up the resistance levels on all three machines. I cycle, row and walk on the treadmill. I am currently doing 20 minutes on the treadmill and bicycle and 10 minutes on that infernal rowing machine. Apart from the obvious fitness that this is giving me, I get extra calories for each activity! There is method to my madness! I get 287 calories for the treadmill, 223 calories for the bicycle and 111 calories for the rowing; add this to my 1738 calories for the day and BINGO I have a total of 2259 calories a day. I am sticking to the 1738 so I hope to reach my target earlier!
We were invited to lunch last Sunday at the iconic Brass Bell in Vis Hoek! This gave me an opportunity to have a look around the book shops in Kalk Bay and I struck gold! As I entered the shop, ding a little bell on the door peeled a little happy ‘welcome jingle’ and my mind flushed with excitement and anticipation. The promise of all that information standing to attention in each and every book just waiting to be read never fails to quicken my pulse. A deep breath to drink in the smell of a thousand years and I was off.
The shop keeper or perhaps one should call him a ‘librarian’ could have jumped straight off the pages of a Dickensian novel. Kind eyes with gold frames, kind face sitting on a bow tie plinth; he led me to the cookery book section with an apology that most of their cookery books were at a market in Kirstenbosch that day. Such information never deters me as I always believe that fate will provide; and provide she did.
I will go for most antique cookery books if they pique my interest, but one that has a South African reference I simply cannot resist. To find two of Hildagonda Duckitt’s books in one fell swoop rivals Napoleon’s victory at Waterloo in my world. I am not going to expand on the life and times of one of South Africa’s first kitchen doyenne today. This lady is worthy of an entire week of blog posts if not more and at the very least a visit to Groote Poste, the beloved homestead where she spent her formative years in South Africa.
Ok – so I am not in Cape Town anymore so I am actually posting this from my study in Durban. I flew back to Durban early as I couldn’t get accommodation in any timeshare spots for the week during which our flat was to be decorated. So I ran back home to be with TrickyRicky on Valentines Day, who drove all the way home to Durban from a business trip to Mozambique, walked through the door and collapsed in an exhausted heap! Oh well! Poor Daniele will have to live in the flat during the renovations, moving into the lounge for a week while they sort his bedroom out and then moving into his bedroom while they sort the loung out!
C’est la vie!
BUT – drum roll please! I lost 2kg’s during my stay in Cape Town …. I think I left them at Virgin Active in Sea Point!
Light & Lean Steak Stacks
I found one of these stacks with a cup of steamed broccoli and butternut enough for me for a dinner. TrickyRicky had two and was happy.
1 x 150g fillet medallions (251 calories)
Large mushrooms approx. 60g each (15 calories)
Large red onions halved (50 calories per half)
Large beef tomatoes (17 calories per half)
30ml olive oil (240 calories)
2tsp finely chopped garlic (8 calories)
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
10ml dried oregano
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Preheat your oven to 180degrees.
Peel the onions and cut in half; wash the tomatoes and cut in half. Place the onion and tomato halves on a baking tray. Spray with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and top with garlic and a sprinkle of oregano on the tomatoes and a few leaves of rosemary on top of the onion. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes at 180d.
Dust off the mushrooms and remove the woody stalk from the centre of each mushroom, place on a baking tray and season well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each mushroom with some chopped garlic and a tiny little drizzle of olive oil or a spritz of olive oil. I have an olive oil in a spray bottle – which is totally fantastic as it allows you to just spritz the mushrooms with olive oil which saves on carbs!
Place into the oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes. Don’t cook the living bijeevers out of your mushrooms. Ten minutes is enough time to cook the garlic but still have juicy mushrooms. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Pat your pieces of beef fillet dry with some paper towel, rub or spray a little olive oil on both sides of each piece.
Heat your griller pan to smoking hot and place your steaks in the pan. Fillet should only be turned once in the pan, as soon as the meat lets go of the pan turn it over. I like my steak rare so once the other side has sealed and let go of the pan I remove it and let it rest, TrickyRicky likes his steak medium rare, so I let his cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. ALWAYS allow your meat to rest before eating it. Resting meat allows the juices to even out in the steak and the fibres relax resulting in a nice tender piece of meat.
I served these stacks with 150g of steamed broccoli dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice and seasoned with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. (44 calories)
My dinner – one mushroom & tomato Stack 325 calories + 1 cup brocolli 44 calories = 369 calories
TrickyRicky’s dinner – one mushroom & tomato stack 325 calories + one mushroom & onion stack 356 calories + 1 cup brocolli = 769 calories
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder Seeded Wraps … Light and Lean again!