vendredi 31 juillet 2015

Bubble and squeak (slimming world friendly)

I love bubble and squeak not sure where it gets its name from have always been told its the noise it makes in the frying pan but not sure how true that is! Its a brilliant way to use up leftover green veg you can throw any veg you have leftover in but today I used some leftover steamed cabbage from yesterdays Sunday dinner. It's always a family favourite on Boxing Day too when everything gets put in it. It's a delicious side dish and also a really good breakfast/brunch dish. 

Traditionally it is fried but I bake these individual 'cakes' and they still go lovely and crispy but don't have the fat or syns. I do three things slightly differently from the traditional method . I don't fry I bake it, I use a beaten egg to give extra creaminess to the potato and I add in chopped fried onions (fried in low cal oil spray). I find these differences make it taste like its made with butter in the potato and the onions adds extra flavour.

You can of course use leftover 'real' mashed potato I just happened to have some instant potato powder in the cupboard.

Bubble and squeak 

  • 1 packet instant potato powder
  • 1/2 large onion (chopped)
  • 8oz cooked cabbage (of whatever leftover veg you have) chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 beaten egg
  • spray oil

Place the onion in a frying pan and spray with the oil and fry gently until the onion is soft and slightly browned.

Make up the mashed potato according to instructions but use 100ml less water than it says. In a large bowl mix the leftover vegetables and the onion into the mash with the seasoning and mix well then add the beaten egg and mix again.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and drop spoonfuls of the mixture on to it. Spray lightly with the spray oil and bake at gas 6 /200/ 400 for 20 minutes until browned and crispy.

Syn free on green and extra easy. 

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Tarka lentil dhal (slimming world friendly)

This recipe is really simple to make and although you need a few spices and bits and pieces you can pick them up at any supermarket. If you haven't tried lentils before give this ago it's really tasty and makes a load, It's really good with a curry as a side dish or just serve on it's own.

The other bonus of this is it is very cheap and filling to make, It reheats well so nice to take to work as well, This amount of chili doesn't make it too hot so you can amp up the chili if you like it hotter.

Tarka Dhal

  • 12 oz red split lentils (washed and drained)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp peeled and grated ginger (I used frozen)
  • spray oil
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic (I used frozen)
  • 1 tsp salt

Place the lentils in a large saucepan with the turmeric , ginger, garlic and chili flakes and add 2 pints of water. Bring to a simmer (dont let it boil) and simmer for 35-40 minutes stirring every now and then. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small frying pan spray with spray oil and place on a medium heat, Add the cumin and mustard seeds and wait for them to start to 'pop' stir and cook for another minute or so then stir into the lentil mixture along with the salt.

Return to the heat and bring back to the boil ,taste in case you need more salt and serve.

Syn free on extra easy and green  
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Beef and peppers in black bean sauce (slimming world friendly)

I LOVE Chinese food and this recipe gives you all the taste of it with hardly any syns, You do need one ingredient not easily available which are fermented black beans. I managed to get some from a local Cardiff Chinese supermarket but they can be bought online too  I also sometimes buy mine from Wai Yee Hong when am in Bristol but their online service is brilliant too and these are mega cheap you only use a tablespoon per recipe and while you are online shopping check out the other bargains HUGE bottles of soy sauce etc really cheap. If you are ever in Bristol it's well worth a wander around for all the fantastic ingredients they have there or have a browse online :).

That said this isn't a completely authentic recipe I added loads more peppers and I use frozen garlic and ginger which personally I just find easier and quicker to use  as a working Mum but please feel free to use fresh if you would rather.

Beef and peppers in black bean sauce (slimming world friendly)

8oz beef sliced thinly (all fat removed = I use frying steak it's cheap and it works really well)
3 peppers (whatever colour you like) sliced 
2 onions (sliced) 
spray oil
1 tbsp fermented black beans
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (crushed or use frozen) 
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or use frozen) 
1/4 pint water
1 tbsp cornflour 
Add 2 tbsp hot water to the black beans and leave to stand for 10 minutes then drain, Spray a wok with spray oil and add the onions and pepper and fry for a minute until softened, Add the steak , garlic, ginger and the black beans and stir fry until steak is cooked and vegetables are soft. 
Add the soy sauce and water and cook for another five minutes. Mix 2 tbsp of cold water into the cornflour and then add to the wok and stir well and cook for another few minutes to thicken the sauce. 

serves 4 

 1 syn on extra easy per portion
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Kheema curry (slimming world friendly)

This is a fab really quick and easy curry, It's economical too using extra lean minced beef, It's a great one to make after work as it's all made within 30 minutes. (A real 30 minutes not a Jamie Oliver 30 minutes!!)

If you want to you can leave out the cumin and coriander and just use curry powder but I love these  extra spices they don't make it hotter but more fragrant.

Kheema Curry

1lb extra lean minced beef
1 large onion (sliced)
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree 
2 tbsp curry powder (less if you don't like it too spicy)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 pint beef stock
2 cloves garlic (crushed)  
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (I use frozen)
6oz frozen peas 
1/2 tsp salt
spray oil

In a large pan or wok spray with the oil and add the minced beef, onion, garlic, ginger and chili. Fry over a medium/high heat until beef cooked through and the onion is soft.

Add the curry powder, cumin, salt  and coriander  and fry for another few minutes then add the tomato puree, tomatoes and beef stock. Stir well and then add the frozen peas and bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the sauce is thicker and reduced.
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Syn free on extra easy :)
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Roasted cauliflower (slimming world friendly)

It's that time of year again back on it like sonic as some say!   Sometimes its hard to think of new ways to make vegetables more interesting and here is a really simple way to make cauliflower really tasty. 

I like to serve this either as a side dish with something plain like steaks or a chicken breast but its really good as a syn free snack too. This time I just used salt and pepper to season but you can use a bit of paprika or curry powder if you like it or try different syn free seasonings like cajun spice mix.The roasting gives it a sort of slightly smoky flavour which is delicious.

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 cauliflower cut into florets (see picture)
  • low cal spray oil
  • salt and pepper

Mix the cauli with some of the spray oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl until the cauli is well coated.

Spread out on a baking sheet (cover with foil first to save on washing up if you like) and bake at gas 7 /225/425 for about twenty minutes until golden and started to go brown. Leave a little longer if you want it darker.
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Syn free :)
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Making syn free soft cheese.... (slimming world friendly)

I had surgery recently on my arm and so am staying at my sisters for a few days for a bit of a rest and so we did a little experimenting in the kitchen. (Hi Sue!!)  I love philadelphia cheese and even though the light and lightest versions are quite good for 'syns' this method of making a philadelphia type cheese is completely syn free as you use fat free greek yogurt to make it which I buy in my local ASDA.

You don't need a lot of gadgets just some kitchen roll, a sieve and a jug (use a plastic sieve as metal can react with the yogurt ). This time I flavoured it with chopped spring onions and salt and pepper but you could use any herbs, chopped chives would be lovely or some chili or just use a little salt and or pepper. It takes a day or so to make but its not a lot of work .

I used the cheese to fill some vegetables this time just right for your 8pm snack time if you are anything like me that's when you start fancying something to eat when watching TV!

Syn free soft cheese

1 large pot fat free greek yogurt
salt and pepper
herbs or seasonings as you prefer
kitchen roll
plastic sieve

Line the sieve with four layers of kitchen roll and put the yogurt in this and place over the jug. Stand this on a plate in your fridge in case it drips.

Leave overnight and the next day change to some fresh kitchen roll and repeat the process leave until it stops dripping the clear whey into the jug usually this takes another 24 hours.

Finally tip the drained yogurt into a bowl and mix in the seasonings just add a little at a time and keep tasting you can always add more but you cant take it out if you add too much.

Enjoy xx 
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Seasoned chicken in a bag (slimming world friendly)

We were talking in our slimming world group on Monday and one of our group (Hi Bisha)  was saying she uses roasting bags to cook chicken, I have used these bags for many years, I see all the adverts for the 'cook in a bag ' products to use for chicken and beef etc and just think they seem expensive when you can do it yourself much cheaper and also know exactly whats going into your food and make it syn free : )

I bought these roasting bags in ASDA yesterday for £1.28 for 10 which is the price for just one of those other seasoning bags.  It is easy to use these just add whatever spices and seasonings you like tie up the bag (there are ties provided) and pop in the oven for 30 minutes.

For this recipe I used red onion, salt, pepper, thyme and a little clementine zest but you can use anything you like paprika, oregano, curry powder anything! I would say add plenty of seasoning more than you might think you'd need as it makes juices which can dilute the flavours.  The bag seals in all the juices so you dont need any oil the only thing is that it does look a bit anaemic as it doesn't really roast but the chicken is so moist and juicy I can live with that ..

Seasoned chicken in a bag

Chicken thighs (fat removed) or chicken breasts
salt and pepper
dried thyme
1 large red onion (sliced)
zest of  2 clemetines

Just place everything in the bag and move the bag around so you make sure the meat is covered well with the seasoning. Place on a baking tray or dish (in case of leaks) and roast at gas 5 / 190/375 for 30 minutes.

Syn free
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Pasta fagioli (slimming world friendly)

You know that Dean Martin song 'That's Amore'? If you don't have a quick look on youtube anyway there is a line in the song that says "When the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool...that's amore". 

I wondered for ages about what it was then came across a recipe for 'pasta fagioli' and this is it !! It is just pronounced pasta fazool. I make no claims on its exact authenticity as there were quite a few different recipes around. It was just by looking at the recipe realised it could easily be slimming world friendly plus it's really filling and also quick and cheap to make ...hooray!!

Pasta Fagioli (or fazool) 

 1 can chopped tomatoes
2 pints chicken stock
3 rashers lean bacon (all fat removed and chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 stick of celery (chopped)
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic (chopped) 
8oz dried spaghetti (broken into 2 inch pieces) 
2 cans or 1 large can of beans (I used borlotti but you can use cannellini or even red kidney beans if you like..drained and rinsed)

1/2 tsp dried chili flakes 

spray oil
salt and pepper

Spray a large pan with the spray oil and add the bacon, celery, chili flakes, garlic and onion and over a medium heat fry until the vegetables are soft .

Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato puree and the spaghetti and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked, Add the beans, stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Syn free on extra easy
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mercredi 29 juillet 2015

Pork in cider and sage (slimming world friendly)

I love this recipe its so tasty and easy to make, One of those throw in the oven and forget it until just before you are serving then you just need to thicken the sauce, Its very tasty and although a couple of syns think they are well worth it.

I use shoulder steaks as I think they have more flavour than just loin steaks and they are very lean if there is any fat I just trim it off before cooking.

I am pretty thrilled with this post as well  as it also has my first carrots and potatoes from the garden this year.

Pork in cider and sage

  • 8 lean pork steaks (to serve 4 )
  • 1 large onion (sliced)  
  • 250ml dry cider
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water  
  • salt and pepper

Place the onions and pork steaks in an ovenproof and hob proof dish (can use a roasting tin instead if you like). 

Sprinkle with the sage and season with salt and pepper, Pour over the stock and cider and place in a moderate oven Gas 5 / 375/190 for about an hour to gently cook the steaks.

Remove the steaks and onions and set to one side, Put the pan onto the hob of the oven over a medium heat and then whisk in the cornflour and water mix and keep whisking as it comes to the boil.

Simmer the sauce for a few minutes and keep whisking and then simmer and whisk for a few more minutes to ensure sauce is thick,  then add the pork and onions back into the sauce.

I served with potatoes (from my garden : ) roasted in my actifry, Steamed carrots (from my garden!) and broccoli and peas.

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2 syns per portion : )
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Tasty sausage casserole (slimming world friendly)

I have a bit of a problem with the casserole packet mixes you can buy in supermarkets they are often full of weird E numbers and ingredients you cant pronounce and you can make tasty sauces without the syns and without spending ££ on packets . This recipe makes another family friendly dinner which is both economical and filling too. 

 Sausages are usually really high in syns but there are some low syn options out there. I'm a big fan of Joes sausages (bought online) which are syn free but for this recipe I used some low syn sausages from a local butchers but there are some good lower syn supermarket ones as well.  

Little bit of peeling and chopping to do and then it really looks after itself. I make my sausage casseroles a little differently as I don't brown the sausages first I think they sort of 'poach' in the stock and tomatoes and I think this helps to keep the sausages succulent but if you want to brown yours first please do. I love adding a can of baked beans to this too sometimes and it makes the sauce richer if you want to do this just add near the end of cooking so they don't go too mushy. 

Tasty sausage casserole

  • 8 low syn sausages
  • 1/2 pint beef stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 4oz mushrooms (sliced)
  • salt and pepper
  • spray oil

Spray a large saucepan with the spray oil and place over a low heat and add the carrots and onion, Sprinkle with salt and cook for about 5 minutes until onion is soft. (The salt helps to soften the vegetables without browning them).  Add the sage, sausages, stock, mushrooms and tomatoes.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until sauce is reduced and thickened might take a little longer you just want the sauce to be reduced, Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Syns according to the sausages used the rest of the ingredients are syn free, 

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Chicken noodle soup (slimming world friendly)

I love chicken noodle soup and wanted to find a way to make it easy, This recipe is simple and very tasty. It is quite economical too and is a good one to use up vegetables left in the veg drawer of the fridge like droopy celery, carrots that are a bit soft and the odd leek or onion. I used chicken thighs for this but if you want you could use chicken breasts or even leftover cooked chicken then you wouldn't need to cook it for so long.   

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 4 chicken thighs (skinned and boned and all fat removed) OR 2 chicken breasts.
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 leeks (washed and chopped)
  • 2 stick celery (chopped)
  • 2 pints of chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 4oz dry spaghetti  (broken into pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • spray oil

Spray a large saucepan with the spray oil and add the chopped vegetables and dried thyme, Sprinkle with some salt and place over a low to medium heat and fry the vegetables until they have softened.

Add the chicken and the chicken stock and bring to the boil then reduce the heat so its just simmering and simmer gently for  20-30 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked.

Remove the chicken and chop then return to the pan. Bring back to the boil and add the broken spaghetti then simmer until the spaghetti is soft and cooked.

Season to taste with salt and pepper if the soup seems a bit too thick just add some more chicken stock. 
credit :
Syn free on extra easy .
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Prawn cocktail (slimming world friendly)

I know prawn cocktails are a bit unfashionable right now but I love a retro dish and I love prawn cocktails. The bought ones are usually mega high in syns and even the 'healthy' versions are very high. I used the syn free ketchup I'd made previously for this 'recipe'. Click on the wording and the link will take you to the recipe.

Well not really a recipe more an assembling of some ingredients! Always good to make an old favourite slimming world friendly....

Prawn Cocktail (serves 1)

4oz prawns
1 tbsp extra light mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp syn free ketchup
shredded lettuce
sprinkle of paprika (if liked)

Place the lettuce in a your serving dish then top with the prawns. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise and ketchup together and spoon on top of the prawns. (If you like you can mix the prawns into the sauce) then sprinkle with the paprika if liked.
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1 syn on extra easy : )

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Smoky chipotle pork (slimming world friendly)

This recipe came from me having some diced pork defrosted in the fridge from the freezer and wondering what to do with it, I was on a late shift today so wanted something I could marinade and cook quickly when I got home. I love Mexican food but sometimes it's too hot and spicy at least when cooking it at home you can control the heat and Jamie Oliver with your 30 minute meals  I gave you a run for your money I promise you hand on heart I walked in the door at 8.30pm and dished up dinner at 9pm : )

I bought the chipotle paste in my local Sainsburys I think it is available in most supermarkets now. The only thing I had to do before work was marinate pork did everything else when I got in and it was super quick and easy and really tasty.  Hope you try it and I will post the salsa recipe another time soon.

Smoky Chipotle pork (serves 4)
  • 1lb diced lean pork
  • 2 tsp chipotle paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Mix everything very well together and leave to marinade all day in a covered dish (or the night before if easier) in the fridge  . Line a baking tray with baking parchment or foil (makes it easier to clean) and just spread the pieces of pork across the tray, Place in the oven at Gas 6 / 400/200 for 20-25 minutes until browned and cooked through.

I served this with some wholegrain boiled rice, black eye beans (reheated from a can) and a quick tomato salsa.
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1/4 syn per serving : ) 
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Quick tasty storecupboard salsa (slimming world friendly)

This is the salsa I made to go with the previous recipe (Chipotle pork) Its all store cupboard ingredients but just realised I did add a bit of the fresh coriander I'd bought for the following days curry in it but didn't include it in the original photo but it is still really tasty without that if you don't have any. 

I made it just before serving s I was rushing but it is better if you can make it a few hours before so the flavours can develop. I love having recipes I can make from store cupboard ingredients and don't have to remember to shop for something especially.

There was no chili in this recipe as I wanted it to cool down the spicy pork but please add it if you want to : )

Storecupboard salsa

1 can chopped tomatoes
1 red onion (chopped)
1 tbsp bottled lime juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine the tomatoes, red onion, garlic powder and lime juice and mix well, Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and keep tasting you may want to add more garlic or lime if you prefer.
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Syn free : ) 
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