On the subject of cooking…

If you didn’t know, my wife, Sandra, is away on holiday for a month in the UK and Ireland.

So I’m home alone and although I wouldn’t say I’m bored, as there’s still plenty to do, it always seems that when she’s away – even if it’s for a few days – the place feels empty and out of sorts. I can’t explain it really, as many people would relish the idea of being away from their partners for a break. Don’t get me wrong, I have a holiday in September coming up which I am looking forward to as I shall be visiting my mum and elder sister in France, cousins and friends in Malta, and my younger sister and friends in London.

Fortunately I have a day job to go to Monday to Friday, and thanks to a busy work-load the company I have been contracting at for the past year has extended my contract until the end of June. May the work continue to pile up!

It is always in the evenings and weekends that are the trying times and looking for things to do. There is always “writing”, but even this pleasure can be “too much” and you need a break from it.

Saturdays are normally put aside for domestics, and yesterday was no different. One falls into a set routine and it is always best to continue following the path just to maintain any semblance to normality. So after waking up early getting through three loads of washing, dusting, vacuuming, making the bed and getting myself ready to face the rest of the day [not to mention somewhere amongst that lot I had a bit of breakfast] I was then ready to do the weekly shopping.

With Sandra away I wrongly assumed I wouldn’t have such a high expense – but then again… I do have a tendency to impulse buy and yesterday didn’t prove me wrong. Apart from the usual frozen meals, bread rolls [for my weekly lunches], meats and veggies, without Sandra I was able to stop at the ice cream freezers! Have you tried the Magnum Kisses? They are to die for… especially the apple flavoured ones. So in they went into the trolley as well as a box of the red fruits & meringue.

On the subject of cooking… as much as I had every intention of cooking myself a proper meal last evening I got side-tracked and ended up with a frozen meal instead. The latter are usually saved for during the week when there isn’t too much time to be had by the time one gets back from work. But yesterday afternoon I started to watch the movie “Ben-Hur” which was interrupted by a phone call from my mum. By the time I finished the movie the thought of cooking a chicken curry was not on the agenda. I’ll have that pleasure this evening instead.

Some time ago, Sandra suggested we try out “Lite-n-Easy” meals in a bid to lose some weight. When we costed it up it did seem to us a lot of money to spend on meals. We decided instead to purchase the frozen meals from the supermarket for week days and prepare proper food at weekends. That is what we have been doing for the best part of this year, and although I’m not certain we have lost much weight, it definitely has helped us cut down on our portions. In the long run this surely is a plus.

For nutritional value I had no idea if this was of any benefit to us or not. Sandra is of the belief that if any food has the “Heart Tick” on the packaging then it must be good for you. She could have a point. The frozen foods we have been buying have varied from “Lean Cuisine”, “Healthy Choice”, “Weight Watchers”, and recently ALDI’s “International Cuisine” range.

As I was browsing the freezer in Coles yesterday a new product caught my eye. The box showed a variety of nutritional grains and vegetables making up a mouth-watering risotto. The product, Australian Made, labelled “Super Nature” didn’t have the heart tick and was a trifle more expensive than the other foods at $6.30, but I thought I would give it a try; and I did last night.

It was very tasty and quite filling. Today however I decided to take a look at its nutritional value. In fact I went one step further and compared it with all the meals in the freezer. The results were an eye-opener:

Per Serve Intl. Cuisine [Aldi] Lean Cuisine Healthy Choice Super Nature When in Rome Weight Watchers
Energy 1020kj 1245kj 1580kj 1800kj 600kj 365kj
Protein 15.4g 15.0g 14.3g 20.3g 5.74g 1.1g
Fat Total 3.2g 6.0g 6.7g 14.0g 4.48g 3.6g
Fat – Saturated 1.8g 2.4g 1.3g 5.6g 1.91g 2.0g
Cholesterol <3mg 15mg 25mg
Carbohydrate 34.0g 42.3g 62.2g 49.0g 19.6g 11.4g
Sugar <1g 8.1g 21.0g 8.4g 4.23g 9.2g
Dietary Fibre 7.4g 4.2g 2.9g
Sodium 683mg 705mg 672mg 1330mg 271mg 27mg
Heart Tick Yes Yes Yes No No No
Type of Food FROZEN MEALS FROZEN PIZZA FROZEN ECLAIRS

 

Last time I attended a dietician I was told to watch out for three things in particular:

  • Saturated Fat
  • Sugar
  • Sodium

Looking at the above chart from now on I think I’ll stick to Aldi’s frozen meals, Pizza and éclairs – Happy Days!!

RLB – Tomewriter

 

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