Burgers, salsas and fourteen stone

I’ve spent another day hacking away at my undergrowth and as of this afternoon (I’m writing the start of this post on Friday evening) I’ve practically finished the right hand side of my garden. After a few hours in the morning, a visit to the tip with another nine bags of clippings and a half a green bin filled shortly after I came back I’m well on the way to starting on to the other side.

It’s hard to believe the difference since last Sunday – or that I’ve managed to keep at it for 4-5 hours a day. Sadly what’s even harder to ignore is that it’s barely 40% done.

The left side is going to be a big task.

At the moment I have other things on my mind though. It’s food tasting day tomorrow at Slimming World – and these are occasions I genuinely enjoy.

The point of them is discovering something new – I try and make a different dish for each one (If you want to see what else I’ve made follow the recipes category on my archive page).

This is mostly because I tend to cook the same meals a lot of the time without a huge amount of variety. When I’m forced to experiment it pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me switch up my habits.

Tomorrow (as it’s summer) I thought I’d do something with a barbecue theme. I’m making some chimichurri beef burgers, a few salsas and some sweet potato paprika and garlic seasoned wedges.

All of the dishes I’m cooking are free on Slimming World’s plan.

The beef burgers would probably be a bit of a faff to do in the morning – so I’ve made the patties up tonight from the following ingredients (I doubled the amounts to make some for myself too – so the pictures aren’t showing the same quantities as the recipe):

  • half a small onion finely chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic finely chopped
  • half a tsp of salt
  • half a tsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of freshly chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • 500g of 5% fat beef mince

Instructions – fry the onion on a low heat for 5 minutes until soft and then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Let this cool while you chop the herbs, and add the other seasoning to the mixing bowl. Then add the mince and the cooled onions and garlic and knead it for a while until all the ingredients have a good consistency and are well mixed together.

Once this is done make them into patties. I made 10 of them rather than the suggested 8 in the recipe so that they cook quicker and all the way through. I don’t plan to poison my fellow slimmers in the morning!

(author puts the patties in the fridge under some tinfoil and retires to bed via the shower. It’s flipping warm tonight!)

Well – I didn’t sleep so well. The heat didn’t help although it was mostly due to the usual musings about weight loss – so at 5.30 I decided to stop staring at the ceiling and make some salsa instead.

The first of the three was a ginger, coriander and tomato one. The ingredients (finely chopped in all three) are:

  • 2-3 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2cm piece of peeled root ginger
  • handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sweetener (I used stevia)
  • seasoning to taste

The second (and probably the tastiest) is the pineapple and red chilli one:

  • 250g fresh pineapple (I used slightly less)
  • 1 deseeded red chilli
  • small bunch of fresh mint
  • the zest and juice of a lime

Finally – the third is a summer watermelon salsa:

  • 1/4 large watermelon (remove any seeds)
  • 1 deseeded green chilli
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small bunch of fresh mint
  • seasoning to taste

Once these are complete they needed to be chilled so I spooned them into the tupperware I’ll be transporting them in and popped them in the fridge alongside the burger patties.


It’s raining outside now (it’s 8.45) which is quite nice. The thunder that came with it has broken the heat and it’s now a tiny bit cooler.

In keeping with the (loose) theme of a summer barbecue that originally inspired me I’m going to cook the burgers on my George Foreman grill, which will hopefully give the burgers a ‘griddled’ look. It’s been languishing at the back of my kitchen cupboard due to restricted space for ages (my slow cooker won the toss) and I think it’s about time it came out to play.

I’ve also prepared the garlic and paprika sweet potato wedges and they’re ready to go in the oven. I’m going to have a shower and get cooking shortly after.

(author heads off to shower before preparing yummy treats and heading off to weigh in.)

Well – the burgers and the wedges turned out pretty nice and it was all I could do not to tuck in before heading off!

There was lots and lots of delicious food at the group – and no-one brought the same things along! There were some really cool fruit kebabs, canapés made with wholemeal bread, crustless quiches, chicken nuggets, marshmallow and cheerio cakes, rice dishes (I’m definitely going to make Angie’s egg fried rice myself!) and a really scrumptious lime flavoured dessert.

All in all everyone seemed to really enjoy the wedges and burgers. I’m glad I made a variety of salsas as most people only seemed to try two of the three. It seemed quite naturally that most ended up disliking a random one because of a particular ingredient, which I fully expected and was why I’d made more than one in the first place.

I’d kept the burgers and wedges warm in tinfoil – although the former had dried out a little in my opinion. However, regardless they still tasted really nice and I’m now very glad I still have a few in the fridge for tomorrow!

Sadly, despite the fringe benefits of all the food tasting today the group was surprisingly small.

As always however there was plenty to talk about – and the weather seemed a constant topic. Most people had struggled with the heat it seems and it was pretty clear that everyone I spoke to felt a bit more sluggish – and suspected they were holding onto water. I definitely feel like this too – and have noticed that my shoes in particular have been tighter around the ankles over the last few days as the heat has increased.

However – I still managed to do enough to finally frikkin get my



Given all my hard work in the garden and walking this week I really wanted to lose a bit more – but you know what – it’s not a race to the finish line. The weight’s going to come off bit by bit and hopefully next week will an even better one if the temperature drops. I’m confident it will all be gone eventually!

Quite unexpectedly (while I was munching away on all the virtuous food) Angie also presented me with the Man of the Year Award for my group and a cool little coffee mug!

So – that’s it for my day’s update. I’m dog tired and honestly I don’t plan on doing a great deal for the rest of the day.

If anyone needs me internet I’ll be munching on the leftover salsa, producing chilli flavoured bottom burps and drinking coffee from my new mug (parp).



  1. That’s awesome Davey! 😀 And I am sure your losses will be even bigger when it cools down a bit again, because you won’t be retaining water any more :). Also kudo’s for being so active in this heat. That man of the year award is definitely well deserved!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! Both awards are very well deserved.

    I’m definitely going to try that pineapple salsa, it looks so summery! And the watermelon too. I love fruits in savoury things!

    Liked by 1 person

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