Home > Archive: March, 2011

Archive for March, 2011

Two trips to the city

March 31st, 2011 at 09:58 am

I had to go to the Eye specialist one day for tests to make sure that my eyes werenít affected from the diabetic so far. My cataracts are stable for now and no problems from the diabetic so $190 later I am all clear for next two years so long I see my optician annually which I do as I am allowed one almost free pair glasses annually and I have 4 pair in use. While out I found another GI Diet Handbook that I didnít have so I bought it for $22.95 and I seen it else where for $38.99 and they had the one I was looking for $38.99 also but didnít buy it.

Second day was my lunch date with ex-co-workers. I had to pay a few bills and get a refund on that Eye Specialist Bill so Medicare paid $70.00 so out of pocket was $120.00 as I knew I would be it was expensive last time I went. Paid my credit bill in full $50.00 and my power bill $74.00 and bought the book on GI Diet on Diabetes that I was looking at the day before for $35.00 and the latest version 2011 too! Online ones were published 2007 for $35.00 + postage. So I am ahead on that one.

Lunch menu this time was expensive as the casino had put there prices up by $10.00 and no member discount but did get a senior card discount 10% so $27.00 for lunch just to expensive for my liking and the food menu has changed to a more Asian foods and it wasnít hot for that matter. So we said at that price and menu change we move on to a different restaurant next time. Some of them donít like the other restaurant but we will go there until we find somewhere else to go. I canít afford to pay that price every month it was bad enough at $20.00 but now that I have to be real picky about the food I eat with my diabetes.

Saving on books RRP $38.99 each
$38.99 -$ 22.95 = $16.04
$38.99 -$35.00 = $3.99 or online $ 6.50 p&p
Saving $20.03 on books that I needed by shopping around.

Walking for my health & little spending

March 28th, 2011 at 05:52 am

I am trying to do two 20 minutes walks a day now, as part of my exercise as I canít do to much as it makes me lightheaded and very tried. But I am still giving it ago.

This morning I did walk to the shops for my neighbour MF-M to get her some fresh milk, and I bought some ground cumin as I was out of this when I went to cook the other day. I stopped by the second hand book shop and got 2 cookbooks and 4 magazines about greening world, they have some articles that I wish to read at some time and at 50c each itís now or never buying.

Spent $4.00 on books and $1.30 on spice
Tonight I am having dinner with the family so donít know what I will be eating yet!

No spending days and Earth Hour

March 26th, 2011 at 06:36 am

At least two days are no spending day here and other was hairdresser appointment for hair cut that I need. About every 8 weeks or so I get my hair cut then I will dye it myself after the cutting. As I have a number appointments this coming week, it was best did it now. While out I buy two more cookbooks for $2.00 to read. One was on vegetarian cooking and the other one on Jewish cooking.
I do have number of these cookbooks so I like to crosscheck some of the recipes in them.

I doing a lot of reading on diabetic at the moment so learning about it. I did sign up for the free classes in April so that is all organized. As for my GI Diet I am still learning about what I can and canít eat and what best for me. I did start a food diary but keep forgetting to write the food down. Two days out of seven is not good in my books. One thing still I need to do is drink more fluid as I need cut back on my coffee as I have hypotension along with the diabetics. I got appointment to see an eye specialist next week that was quick. That means I will get eye drops and I will have blurred vision for a few hours as I had these test before I do know the drill. NO driving the car for 24 hours and sunshades.

As for some of the meals that I have been making her, it was hot last week 33C so I a cold salad of boiled egg, Cos lettuce, 1 Roma tomato, chunky cut, 1tbsp charred pepper strips , a few bread & butter cucumbers, 3 black olives with Italian low fat dressing. On the side I had one slice pear (skin still on), two tbsp cottage cheese with 1tsp pepitas (pumpkin seed) on top plus water as it was to hot to cook here.

Tonight I have spiced chickpeas and spinach with 2 sausages and some grapes. Cold Peach Tea

I am having only porridge and sultanas with LSA as a cereal now as this is one thing that keeps my level down.

Itís Earth Hour tonight here so at 8.30pm I will be turning off my lights for one hour. I will be sitting on the front porch watching the stars and may be having a pot of green tea.

Saving Advice Lentils Recipes - part four

March 25th, 2011 at 08:18 am

I had a quick search and found these recipes on some other links in Saving Advice that I have not posted in this series. I hope you have enjoyed some other flavours & ways to cook lentils.

Some Recipes found in other blogs & forum

Text is Afghani Lentil Casserole and Link is
Afghani Lentil Casserole

Text is Indian Lentil Pilaf and Link is
Indian Lentil Pilaf

Text is lentil-okra stew and Link is
lentil-okra stew

Text is Pumpkin & Lentil Stew and Link is
Pumpkin & Lentil Stew

Text is Lentil Dal and Link is
Lentil Dal

Text is Orange Soup and Link is
Orange Soup

Text is Lentil and Noodle soup and Link is
Lentil and Noodle soup

Text is Home-made Vegetable Soup and Link is
Home-made Vegetable Soup

Text is Meat & Vegetable Broth and Link is
Meat & Vegetable Broth

Text is Red Lentils and Barley Soup - low GI and Link is
Red Lentils and Barley Soup - low GI

This the final post in this series on lentils.

More Lentils Recipes - part three

March 24th, 2011 at 09:35 am

Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 cups water
2- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon French mustard to taste
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon or more chili powder to taste

Place lentils in a medium saucepan with water.
Bring to the boil, reduce heat slightly.
Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring every 5 minutes.
Drain off water and save. Add to mixture if to dry add more lemon juice.
Beat mixture thoroughly till smooth and creamy.
Add tomato paste, mustard, lemon or lime juice and chili powder.
Stir until well combined and smooth or blend.
Place in a suitable shallow dish. Chill in refrigerator.
Serve accompanied by crudit's and pita bread or as a spread.
Freezes well.
Divide into 3 portions and freeze if using as a spread. Last more than week in fridge.
Whole recipe = Cal.475

Makes 8

375g short crust pastry
egg to glaze
2/3 cup red lentil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 grated zucchini
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Pepper and salt

Place lentils in a pan of water to cover, simmer 10 minutes until tender, drain and cool.
Cook onion in oil until softened, add curry powder and coriander and cook 2 minutes. Fold into lentils with remaining ingredients.
Roll pastry and cut 8 rounds about 15cm in diameter. Place a spoonful of filling in the centre of each; dampen edges and fold over. Press edges together with the tines of fork to seal. Brush with egg glazing; cut 2 small slits in 3each and place on lightly greased tray.
Bake at 190 C for about 30 minutes until golden.
Serve hot with vegetables


2 cups red lentils
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder or less
1 tablespoon ground rice

Carefully wash lentils and put in pot with 3 cups cold water.
Cook until mushy - use a potato masher.
Add all other ingredients and mix very well.
Let it get cold, then form into patties
Heat oil in a thick pan until fairly hot.
Add the patties and cook on each side until brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
Serve with Cucumber and yoghurt salad, tomato sliced with little onion and chopped mint with lemon juice.
If eaten hot, serve fluffy basmati rice, if cold, grainy bread or chapatis.

Final part four on lentils to come

Lentils Recipes - part two

March 23rd, 2011 at 08:38 am

Serve 4-6

1 cup green lentils
4 cups finely chopped pumpkin
1 potato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 button mushrooms, chopped
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
6 cups water or stock
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce (optional)

Place all the ingredients except for the soy sauce in a large saucepan.
Gently simmer uncovered for about 1 hour or until the lentils are soft.
Add the soy sauce and simmer for a further 5 minutes before serving.

Serve 4-6

1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. freshly grated root ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. each, chili powder, cumin and coriander
2 tbsp. Oil
250g cauliflower pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 small parsnip, chopped
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup brown lentils, soaked as directed on packet
1 x 425g can Tomatoes, low salt
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, fry curry powder, ginger, garlic and spices with oil for 2 minutes.
Add vegetables and toss through. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until sauce has reduced to desired consistency and vegetables are tender.
Serve with steamed basmati rice, yogurt and selection of sambals eg. Fruit chutney or pickles, sliced banana, sultanas, shredded coconut.

Serves 4

1 cup lentils (green or brown)
1/2 cup rice
2 cups carrots -- sliced (see note below)
3 cups hot water
2 tsp. vegetable stock powder (blended into hot water)
1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tbsp. olive oil or Canola oil

Wash and pick over lentils.
Place in large pot with rice and carrots.
Add all remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and cook until rice is done, 20 to 30 minutes.

Note: You could add other vegetables to this recipe or a 2 cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables

More Lentils Recipes - Part three to come.

Lentils - part one

March 22nd, 2011 at 10:09 am

I have found a lot of information on lentils over the years. For the past 10 years I have been researching different foods then collecting as many recipes that I can on that one ingredient. Lentils was one ingredient that I covered more than once in 2000, 2005 and now in 2011 with this collection of links.

I will posts few recipes from the old collection notes in another post. When you look into some old cookbooks you usually only find about 2 or 3 recipes in about every third cookbook that you look at, so to find over a 100 recipes each time without the internet for the first year and now I can do it without typing up one recipes. I haven't tried everyone but the ones that I liked I make all the time.

What we call red lentils here are called in on one of these links Orange Lentils (Hulled & Split) and I have seen whole red lentils with brown skin here called brown lentils so it can be confusing. I buy most of my lentils in Indian grocery shops.

As for low GI /GL (Glycemic Index /Glycemic load) latest in 2011 on lentils.
Note: Grams (g) is the serving size.

Red dried, boiled - 125g - 26 GI- 5 GL- 18 carbs
Red dried, split, boiled 25 mins- 125g - 21 GI- 3 GL- 15 carbs
Green dried, boiled -125g - 30 GI- 5 GL- 17 carbs
Brown canned, 80g - 42 GI- 5 GL- 13 carbs
Green canned, 135g - 48 GI- 8 GL- 17 carbs

From 'Low GI Diet Shopper's Guide 2011'

Text is glycemic index and Link is
glycemic index

So lentils are helpful in lowing glucose levels for diabetes. For me it's Learn to love Lentils.

These are all new links on lentils.
Text is Lentils information and Link is
Lentils information

Text is all about lentils and Link is
all about lentils

Text is Nutrition Facts - lentils and Link is
Nutrition Facts - lentils

Text is 226 lentils recipes and Link is
226 lentils recipes

These two recipes look interesting.
Text is Cumin Pears, Carrot, Tofu & Lentil Strudel and Link is
Cumin Pears, Carrot, Tofu & Lentil Strudel
Text is Chickpea & Lentil Tabouhli Salad with Poached Chicken and Link is
Chickpea & Lentil Tabouhli Salad with Poached Chicken

Red Lentils and Barley Soup - low GI

March 21st, 2011 at 07:25 am

This is the recipe that I made today; it tasted quite nice so I will make it again.

A very tasty winter soup and warming makes a meal in itself.

1 tbsp oil
1 large onion 150g, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or 2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced chilli
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups (375ml) prepared chicken stock
1 cup (200g) red lentils
1/2 cup (100g) pearl barley
425g can whole tomatoes, undrained and mashed
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley or coriander to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
Add the onion, cover cook gently for about 10 minutes or until beginning to brown stirring frequently.

Add the garlic, turmeric, curry powder, cumin and chilli and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Stir the in the water, lentils, barley, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer about 45 minutes or until the lentils and barley is tender.

Serve sprinkled with parsley or coriander.

Serves 4- 6
Notes: I add an extra can of tomatoes in the soup as I still quite a lot of them on hand. I counted the soup scoops that I got 16 soup scoops out of it. It tasted quite nice so will make it again.

Per serve (6)
Low GI
Cal 180/kJ 760
Carb 25g
Fat 5g
Fibre 5g
The New Glucose Revolution by Prof Jennie Brand- Miller p47

Bad news last week

March 20th, 2011 at 01:03 am

What you may ask? I went to the doctorís one day last week to get the results of Glucose test that I had done. It came back that I was now Diabetic type 2 this may explain my chronic fatigue that I have been having over the past few years where I didnít feel like doing any housework but for things that had to be done. Then only in short tasks time periods if it took more than 2 hours it never got started or it never ever got finished period. After two hours I had it for the day and had to sit or lie down for an hour or so just I could finish off if I had too! If had to do something for other people then that was it for the day. Just getting the basics done some days was a chore, that was only cleaning up after the cats, empty the rubbish, wash the a few dishes and make my bed.

My glucose levels at fasting have been border line for the past 20 years or so but never going into diabetic levels. So it has been coming on for years but I am still in a fasting 5.5 range but with a 12.9 after 2 hours. So now I am a diabetic type 2 and on diet control. Until told other wise I will be trying low GI diet control along a higher protein intake using more legumes in my diet to keep my budget in control. I will be having more expenses but that canít be help.

Now I have to do a lot of reading on diabetes and what I can and canít eat extra. I have join our local Diabetic group and downloaded some of their recipes and found out about free classes that they have and what I can get by signing with my health card. Yet itís very earlier days.

I will have to make up a balance menu plans and look at what not wanted in my pantry anymore.

I have a lot of books on GI Diet so I donít have go out a buy them.

I have been only buy things that I need in the way of food and will need to change my shopping a little to take into the need for my fresh vegetables and only buy enough for the next few days not enough to last until the next shopping trip. Less is more will be the way to go. I will need to exercise more about 30 minutes per day. But I donít wish to walk to the shops each day exercise either. I may do this in the early morning and again in the late afternoon for about 20 minuteís time each. Plus any extra exercise that I get when I go to the shops but when I go to a shopping centres or city I donít need to exercise at all as I will walk long distances when I am in these areas for hours.

On the Free food front. Yesterday DF-M was looking for me while I was out to give me my share of black grapes and Roma tomatoes about two kilograms of each from the family farm. These will be the last lot of grapes that I will eat for a long while. Now the persimmon tree is fruiting and I been give one each day so will need to check out this fruit as they are so big 350g each on my new diet. Cash Value of all this free fruits is quite high much of these lines were hit by the rains if not flooding. Tomatoes $6.98kg, black grapes $3.98 kg and persimmons are $1.50 each here.

I found a easy soup recipe that I will today. I will post it later if itís any good.

My style of shopping

March 13th, 2011 at 09:23 am

Going to the supermarket for pet food is when I shop most times now. I always buy cat food when on special and this week it was at its lowest price for months. So I set out to stock up on it by 40 cans and some dry cat food that cats have run out of. While there I planned to check out some of the special in the meat and seafood lines. So I bought some seafood and sausages on special to give some variety to my diet. These will give me about 24 extra single meals over the coming months. Along with what already in the freezer this should do for a while. I do still have a lot of can tuna in the pantry. Thinking of making some fish cakes as I have still got some potatoes that need to be used soon!

I get more serving buy making fish cakes /patties than making a Tuna Mornay or tuna bake. There are plenty of recipes around for canned tuna. Mostly I buy in bulk when it comes to fruit by buying the cheapest fruit in season and then buying it by the bucket, this can last up the 3 weeks in the fridge. As for vegetables when they are expensive I stop buying and then buy just frozen vegetables and buy a few items that are cheap at the time of buying my fruit.

Seafood and sausages $18.76
Potatoes $1.00
Pet food $24.48

Ok my pet food cost more than my own food is always been the case when I shop for the cats. Itís not called the cat shop for nothing.

Japan 8.9 earthquake and tsunamis

March 11th, 2011 at 09:50 am

A devastating 7m tsunami sweeping through Japan tonight after 8.9 - magnitude quake in Northern Japan.

Tsunami warning for Hawaii, Mexico, Peru and Chile coast line and many other pacific ocean islands.

Text is
Death toll rising after major Japan tsunamis and Link is

Death toll rising after major Japan tsunamis

Text is pictures and Link is

My thoughts and prayers to all effected by this earthquake and tsunamis.

2nd monthly financial summery for 2011

March 6th, 2011 at 09:13 pm

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.

Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.
Items === Approx Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$46.75
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $73.59
Clothes ====$35.00
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$27.12
HH items===$42.50
Fares== ====$9.00 =====$20.00
Entrainments= $12.00
Garden =====$10.00
Gifts & Donations =$35.00
Medical =====$15.00=====$116.35
Misc ======$9.00=======$1.50
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ==$30.54

Note only one amount is no spend

Budgeted for this period $530 spent $349.27
No Spending days over the 28 days =14 days in total.

Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.

Eating out including meals out with family, we all go Dutch.

As for medical this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up this month this I had a visit to a podiatrist, phsyo and bought a large wheat bag.
My credit cards are still paid in full each month.

I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were over $1200. These funds do cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. This budget will be tight but just doable. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year.

If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now. Still need to work on a few categories as you can see but over all I had a good month. Saving for this month $180.73 on budget for amount.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

My 700th post milestone

Another Ham Hock Soup Recipe

March 3rd, 2011 at 07:31 pm

Looking for recipes using ham bones without any dried beans or peas in them, I found another one.

Corn Soup with Potatoes and Smoked Ham
Serving 6 -8

1/4 cup lard or another fat
1-1/2 cups diced smoked ham steak
1 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups frozen corn kernels or 2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 4 ears of corn)
1 285g (10oz) smoked ham hock
1 medium potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 cups water

Melt lard in heavy large pot over high heat.
Add ham steak, onion, both bell peppers, and garlic.
Saute until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add corn and stir 5 minutes.
Add ham hock and potato, then 5 cups water; bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer partially covered 1 hour.
Remove ham hock.
Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

5 No Spend Days and Day with Friends

March 2nd, 2011 at 10:03 am

I have spent the last few days around home in a heat wave. So had 5 no spend days and one day other where I just bought Gas.

So today I went out and I finally I did spend some money today, I went to the city to have lunch with my ex work friends, this is our 13th year of having lunch once per month together. We still are going to the same place the casino; we each pay $20 for all you can eat meals. As king prawns are quite plentiful so prices are down that they are on the menu so long you peel them yourself.

I did spend some on pokies but end up winning more than I put in so came out square.

I also bought my next top up on GO CARD which is the way pay travelling on public transport here, if you didnít have a Go Card then you will pay more for the same trip. The way I see it on Fares is buy in advance for next few months, as I only travel in about 3 round trips per month. I like it when I donít have to worry about if I have enough money on the Go Card so when I am down to the last 4 trips value on my regular trips then will top up when I am in the city next . One thing you have to remember is to reregister your GO card if you donít have a senior card version which I do as you can lose the credits on your card if you donít. Ö.. $20 on Go Card.

This afternoon I walked up the street to the shops to buy a newspaper but it with sold out but in the end I bought some candy, yoghurt and grapes spending $7.57.

I also bought some second books as I felt like buying a book or two, I did go to two books stores in the city but the end I didnít buy anything from them, so Looked at the op shops locally and end up buying 4 books not that I need any books just something different to look at and at $3.00 for the lot I came out better than buying some the new books that I was thinking of buying earlier in the day.

So all up I spent around $50.00 for the day.
One social outing, Fares, grocery, books