Saturday, 7 October 2017

Liver and bacon (Slimming World friendly)

I LOVE liver and bacon but I know its not everyones cup of tea (I made it for myself cos hubby was out at the football) . Its so savoury, rich and tasty it really is one of my very favourite comfort foods but a lot of recipes use quite a lot of oil for frying and with the flour for coating the liver the syns could really add up. This way you can make it with all the flavour and a tasty gravy too but low in syns.

Liver and bacon

1lb lambs liver (washed, trimmed and dried on kitchen paper)
2 large onions (sliced)
1/2 lb lean smoked bacon (all fat removed cut into strips)
1 tbsp plain flour
1/2 pint beef stock (from a cube is fine)
low calorie spray oil
salt and pepper

(You will need a plastic food bag for this too)

Turn the oven on to 180/350/gas4.

Spray a large  frying pan lightly with spray oil and cook the onions over a low heat until soft then add the bacon and cook for a few more minutes until bacon is cooked then place it all  into an oven proof casserole dish .

In the plastic food bag add the flour and a good grinding of black pepper and a 1/2 tsp salt and mix well, Add the slices of liver , secure the top of the bag (IMPORTANT if you dont want to redecorate your kitchen!!) and then shake the bag lightly until all the liver is coated with flour.

Spray the frying pan with more spray oil and heat and then shake off any excess flour and lay the slices of liver into the frying pan. Give the liver a couple of minutes over a medium heat until a crust has formed underneath the liver then flip the pieces over and cook for another minute on the other side and then place this into the casserole dish .

Add the beef stock to the frying pan and stir well to scrape up all the savoury bits from the bottom of the pan then pour over the liver, bacon and onions  in the casserole dish.

Stir everything well, cover the dish with a lid or a double layer of foil and then place in the oven for 30 minutes, Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes

Serve with lots of veg and some potatoes,

1 syn per portion and this recipe serves 4...

Enjoy xx

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Easy syn free chicken chow mein

Here is another super quick after work dinner, I really think the secret to making good tasty chinese food at home is to use the ginger and garlic base which is a pain to chop and crush/peel ginger and garlic but I love to use frozen ginger and frozen garlic. The jarred stuff is not so nice but frozen is so easy to use no mess or anything and makes a massive difference to the flavour and always on hand it's usually available at larger supermarkets. 

Bags of stir fry vegetables again save time and also when making a chicken chow mein  I buy chicken thighs and  and cut them into strips with scissors rather than buying packs of chicken stir fry strips which can be expensive.

Chinese takeaways are expensive and this can be made at home really quickly in fact by the time you could have phoned to order it you could be eating it : ) 

Chicken chow mein

500g chicken thighs all fat removed and cut into strips
1 pack stir fry mixed vegetables
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
(or use frozen like I do no need to defrost previously)
3 tbsp soy sauce
200g dried medium egg noodles.

Cook the noodles according to pack instructions, Drain well and then rinse in cold water, drain again and set to one side.

Heat a wok or large frying pan with a little low calorie spray oil until hot then add the chicken and stir fry for about 5 -10 minutes until cooked , Add the garlic and ginger and keep stir frying for another minute or two,

Add the stir fry vegetables and the soy sauce and stir fry for another  3-4 minutes then add the cooked noodles and stir fry everything mixed well together .

Serves 4 and is  Syn free on extra easy : ) 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Old fashioned faggots (Slimming World friendly)

This is proper comfort food, They are easy to make and taste so good, Nothing better now the evenings are drawing in than a warming plate of faggots, peas and mash.

I know they aren't traditional in the sense that they don't have the fat layer on the top but even though lost the fat they have kept all the flavour. I used minced beef but you can use lean pork mince if you prefer.

Old fashioned faggots

500g extra lean minced beef
100g lambs liver
100g lean smoked bacon medallions
2 slices wholemeal bread (from a small loaf)
1 onion
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp each salt and pepper
low calorie spray oil

Place the bread in a food processor blitz to crumbs then take them out and set aside. Place the onion in the food processor and blitz until finely chopped then add the liver, bacon, herbs, salt and pepper and blitz and then add the breadcrumbs back in and blitz briefly to mix all together.

Place the minced beef in a bowl and then add the mixture from the food processor and mix very well. I do this by hand so you keep the texture of the minced beef.

Place large spoonfuls of the mixture into rough ball shapes so to make 12 faggots. (If you have one use an ice cream scoop that's what I use makes it a bit easier to shape)

Spray a rectangular baking dish or small roasting tin with the spray oil then place the faggots in the dish.

Bake on gas 4/ 180/350 for 1 hour until browned.

Faggots are 1/2 syn each on Slimming World


Friday, 8 September 2017

Kedgeree (Slimming World friendly)

Another quick family friendly dinner, Its a great one to prepare the night before and then assemble on the day. I often use frozen or boil in the bag rice . This recipe serves 4 people very generously.


1lb smoked haddock (poached in water, drained and skin removed and flaked)
1lb cooked rice
1 chopped onion
spray oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
8oz frozen peas
1/4 pint vegetable stock 
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
 4 hardboiled eggs cut into quarters 

Spray wok or a large deep frying pan with the spray oil and add the onion and fry on a medium heat until soft but not coloured.

Add the rice, peas and stock and stir well for a few more minutes.

Now add the turmeric, caynenne and pepper and fish and stir gently until heated through.Taste for seasoning you probably won't need salt as the smoked fish is salty but taste to check. 

Place quarters of hardboiled eggs on top to serve.

(syn free on extra easy)

Friday, 25 August 2017

BBQ monkfish skewers (Slimming World friendly)

Anyone who knows me well knows I am a bit of a BBQ fanatic and even though I made these on the BBQ they do very well in the oven or under the grill. When I BBQ or even simply grilling at home one product I often use to add lots of flavour to my meals are BBQ rubs. They add tons of flavour to any simple meat or fish without loads of syns.

 You can make your own and there are lots of recipes online or there are loads on the market ready made my favourites are Quiet Waters Farm rubs  and also Angus & Oink   (Just click on the words to take you to their websites) Some do contain sugar as well as the spices so need to be counted as syns but as you use only a spoonful for a meal to serve four I usually just count 1 or 2 syns per portion. For this recipe I used the Quiet Waters Farms 'El Jefe' which is a Mexican style rub that I trialled for them and it was delicious on this recipe. It also means you don't have to worry about seasoning the skewers as it does it all for you.

I use metal skewers which are easy to buy in any supermarket you can use wooden if you like but soak them in water before hand so they don't burn. I love using monkfish on skewers as it's such a firm meaty fish but it is expensive, This recipe means a little goes a long way but you could of course use any firm fleshed fish like cod or even salmon if you prefer.

Skewers are also a great way of getting loads of speed vegetables in your meals. I used peppers and onion here but you can use courgette, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes or any vegetable that doesn't take long to cook. Fish cooks quickly on the BBQ and in the oven so it doesn't take long to make these I often prepare the veg in the morning to make later then you just put it on the skewers.

BBQ Monkfish skewers

500g monkfish (skinless and boneless cut into chunks)
2 peppers (any colour cut into chunks)
1-2  red onions (peeled and cut into quarters and separated into pieces)
1 tbsp BBQ rub (whichever you prefer)
Low calorie spray oil

Place the fish chunks into a large bowl and mix in the BBQ rub then thread the skewers starting with a piece of onion then just add the onions, fish and peppers until the skewer is full finish with a piece of onion. Spray the skewer with a little oil and then BBQ until the fish is cooked and brown vegetables are done this will only take about 10  minutes make sure you turn them halfway through and keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

They also cook just as well under the grill or if using the oven it would be a hot oven Gas 7/ 220/425.

Serve with rice and salad.

Makes 4-6 skewers and count 1 syn per portion.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Beetroot ketchup (Slimming World friendly)

I have seen a few recipes for this around so thought I'd give it a try, I adapted the recipe so it is now sugar free and Slimming World friendly.

 It couldn't be easier to make I used vacuum packed cooked beetroot but of course if you can access fresh beetroot you can cook them beforehand and then make the ketchup but don't use pickled. It's also very good for children who love the purple colour, I try to avoid aspartame as I don't think it's very good for you so I use stevia or splenda for cooking. The onion powder can be bought in most supermarkets it's with the spices.

Beetroot Ketchup

500g cooked beetroot (sliced)
250ml cider vinegar
2 tbsp sweetener (see above)
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Place everything in a saucepan and bring to the boil, Simmer for 30 minutes and leave to cool slightly. Simply blend in a food processor until smooth. If it's too thick just add a little water until it's the consistency you want.

Keeps for a few weeks in the fridge.

Syn free

Friday, 4 August 2017

Lamb souvlaki (Slimming World friendly)

Nothing beats a kebab and this easy recipe is really tasty and you won't miss the real thing, As long as you use lean lamb leg meat it cooks quickly over the BBQ or grill or even in the oven. Lamb shoulder takes longer so just make sure you buy the right cut of lamb.

This isn't too spicy so it's very family friendly too no one would guess it was Slimming World friendly. At the time of writing you can have a weight watchers white low fat wrap as a healthy extra to serve with this but things change so please check.

If you don't like lamb feel free to use chicken I find thigh meat works better but you can use breast if you prefer.

I served this with a traditional yogurt sauce called tzatziki (recipe below) and a simple cherry tomato and red onion salad.

Lamb Souvlaki

1lb lean diced lamb leg meat
Juice of 1 lemon (or a tbsp from a bottle)
2 cloves garlic (crushed or use garlic paste)
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper
low calorie spray oil

Simply place the lamb, lemon, garlic and oregano into a large bowl and mix together very well , Add a few sprays of oil and  the salt and pepper and mix again. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

It's best to cook these on metal or wooden skewers but if you don't have these you can grill them on a grill pan so just thread the lamb onto skewers (if using) spray with a little more oil and place on a grill pan and cook under a hot grill until cooked through and slightly charred on the outside. The timings will vary but takes about 15-25 minutes turning them every now and then. Of course the best place to cook these is over a BBQ but we don't always have the weather for that!!

It's ok if the meat is slightly underdone it is safe to eat lamb slightly pink but if you prefer well done just take a little piece off the end to check if cooked through.

This is the sauce I served with the kebabs.


250g fat free natural greek yogurt
1 large cucumber (seeds removed and grated)
1-2 tsp salt

Simply mix together and taste if it needs anymore salt.

All syn free