• 300g wholewheat pasta
  • 330g cauliflower (1 small head), chopped into small 4cm ish florets)
  • 250g broccoli (1 regular head), chopped into small 4cm ish florets)
  • 1 tsp groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 320g strong cheddar, grated
  • 200g reduced fat crème fraiche
  • Black pepper

So although I am now less than 6 weeks from my due date the main thing that’s clouding my mind isn’t packing my hospital bag, nor is it making sure we buy some blackout blinds for our summer baby’s room. The name thing still isn’t completely decided upon and yet it’s not pressing heavily. You know what is? My weight.

Oh I am so embarrassed to admit it. That I am so superficial as to be worrying about how large I am and more to the point, how I might not be this large in future. I have never lost baby weight ‘naturally’ and have to admit to finding the prospect of not being able to hide my large hips behind a bump rather scary. I don’t like being really big. Controversial? Maybe. I just feel happier in general when my clothes fit well and I don’t feel a shockwave when I catch sight of myself in a shop window.

I’ve mainly gone for low carb diets in the past to lose baby weight but the thought makes me sigh and want to immediately bake up a storm of biscuits coated in sugary icing. I feel less energy for it this time. Maybe that will change. I’ve thought about the 5:2 diet – could I handle that? Not sure I could with 3 kids. Being hungry isn’t something I relish. Years ago after a final year at university indulging a *little* too much I loosely followed slimming world and found that worked well. But I was 22, not 34. Would it work again? Help!

Here’s a pasta dish that is a real favourite in our house. I am not sure it will help me lose baby weight (well not in the portions I serve it) but for me it really is the taste of comfort and home.

One year ago: Simple chocolate ganache tart and Meringue roses and Flat vanilla cupcakes

Two years ago: Razzamatazz ribs and Banana and custard cupcakes and After Eight cupcakes

Three years ago: Banana and custard melts

Serves 4 adults

Ingredients:

  • 300g wholewheat pasta
  • 330g cauliflower (1 small head), chopped into small 4cm ish florets)
  • 250g broccoli (1 regular head), chopped into small 4cm ish florets)
  • 1 tsp groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 320g strong cheddar, grated
  • 200g reduced fat crème fraiche
  • Black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, but 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time add the cauliflower, then 3 minutes before the end add the broccoli.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large pan and fry the onion over a low heat, until just softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Once the pasta, cauliflower and broccoli are cooked through, drain and pour into a large ovenproof dish. Add the cheese and crème fraiche to the pan of onions. Without turning the heat up, stir until all the cheese has melted. Pour over the pasta mixture evenly then sprinkle with black pepper. At this point I admit to adding some ham but feel free to leave this out. Either serve immediately or crisp in the oven for 10 minutes at 190C/gas mark 5.

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