Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Sweet potato, spinach and bean pot (Slimming World friendly)

This is a lovely warming easy dish. It's great to make to take to work for lunch as it's so filling and reheats really well in the microwave. Although it's vegetarian (can be vegan if you use vegan vegetable stock) it has loads of flavour but if you really don't want to go meat free add some lean chopped bacon in at the beginning when frying off the onion or add some cooked chicken near the end.

Sweet potato, spinach and bean pot

3 large sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
2 red onions (peeled and diced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 pints vegetable stock (from a powder or cube is ok)
1 bag washed baby spinach
1 can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can butter beans (drained and rinsed)
low calorie spray oil
salt and pepper

Take a large saucepan and spray with the low calorie spray oil and place on the hob over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for a few minutes until the onions start to soften (add a little water if it starts to stick).

Add the ground cumin and cook for another minute or so then add the stock and sweet potatoes and mix well. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes until the sweet potato has started to soften, Add the beans and the spinach and stir gently for a few minutes till the spinach wilts into the pan and the beans are heated through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 4 and is syn free

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Tomato and prawn orzotto (Slimming World friendly)

This is a fab easy and very tasty recipe, It's the flavours of Spain with the pasta of Italy. If you have never used orzo before please try it. It is pasta shaped like rice which means you can make a dish similar to risotto but quicker. It;s easy to get now most major supermarkets stock it (I bought mine in ASDA) . Feel free to play around with this recipe if you want it vegetarian simply leave the prawns out it is still very tasty. If you like it spicy add a little chili .

Tomato and prawn orzotto

250g orzo
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
500ml hot vegetable stock (from a cube or powder is fine)
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp paprika
150g prawns (cooked, if using frozen defrost first)
salt and pepper
low calorie spray oil

Spray a large frying pan or saucepan with the oil and add the onions and garlic and over a low heat let the onions soften for a few minutes. Add the orzo and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes and paprika and bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and see if it's cooked the pasta should be soft but not mushy. If pasta still a bit firm add a little water and let it bubble for another minute or two. Stir in the prawns and then taste might need a little pepper. The orzo should have absorbed most of the liquid but it should still have a little sauce to it.

Syn free and serves 2-4 depends how hungry you are serve with extra salad or vegetables

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Homemade Chinese chicken and mushroom pot noodle (Slimming World friendly)

I have seen similar things like this all over the internet so thought would have a go and see if I could make one Slimming World friendly. You can vary the vegetables and meat (or no meat at all) in these but it's important to remember that the contents are only in the jar for about five minutes so they barely cook so no big pieces of vegetables or they will just stay raw. I used spring onions and mushrooms as they take very little cooking and of course any meat you use does have to be precooked.

These are great to take to work and you know exactly whats in it no additional E numbers and all you need is a kettle for boiling water. I made these in a glass jar but it might be easier if taking it out and about to make it in a screw top plastic tub or even one of those soup cups you can buy to use in a microwave.

Homemade Chinese chicken and mushroom pot noodle (Slimming World friendly)

100g fine egg noodles
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 spring onion (sliced)
3 white button mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 chicken oxo (crumbled) or 1/2 tsp stock powder
2oz chopped cooked chicken
soy sauce to taste

Take a heatproof glass jar I used one that previously had some pickles in you need a jar slightly larger than a jam jar but a jam jar would be ok too it will just need a little less ingredients.

Place the crumbled oxo and oyster sauce in the bottom of the jar and then layer the dry noodles (probably need to break them up a bit). Add the spring onion, mushroom and lastly the chicken.

When ready to make this simply add boiling water to the jar about 3/4 of the way up then replace the lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Stir very well for a couple of minutes you need to make sure you get your fork right to the bottom of the jar so the sauce is incorporated then taste. I like to add a little soy sauce then but some prefer it as it is.

Syn free and serves 1

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Fish Tacos (Slimming World friendly)

This recipe is so easy to make and really tasty. Now the WW wraps can be used as a healthy extra the only part of it you need to syn is the mayonnaise sauce. Fish can sometimes be expensive but I used frozen hake fillets for this which were £3.70 and this recipe serves four so it's good value for money. I based this recipe on one I found from Nigella lawson just had to change a few things to make it Slimming World friendly.

 I also think this is family friendly and a great way to get children to eat fish and this makes it fun assembling the different parts of the taco and also means if they don't like one part of it like the red onion they can just leave that out.

Fish tacos

4 hake or cod fillets (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic granules
low calorie spray oil

2 red onions (thinly sliced)
juice of a lime

1 can sweetcorn (drained )

4 tbsp extra light mayonnaise
1 tbsp sriracha chili sauce (if liked)

shredded lettuce

4 WW wraps

wedges of lime to serve

Preheat your oven at gas 6 /200/400 then line a roasting tray with foil (makes cleaning up easier afterwards). Place the fish fillets on there. In a small bowl combine the salt, cumin, paprika and garlic powder and mix well. Spray the fish fillets with the spray oil then sprinkle on the spice mixture. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes for fresh fish and 20-25 minutes for frozen fish.

While the fish is cooking make up the sauce by combining the sriracha with the mayonnaise and mix well. If you don't like spice you can just use the mayonnaise as it is.

Mix the red onions with the lime juice and set aside. The lime juice takes some of the harsh edge off the raw onion.

When the fish is cooked remove from the oven and then get ready to assemble your taco.

Take the wrap and place the fish fillet on it, drizzle with the mayonnaise sauce, Put on some of the  red onions, a spoonful of sweetcorn and some shredded lettuce then fold over.

Just add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and enjoy!!

Serves 4 at 1 syn each if using the wrap as your healthy extra.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Hot dog and baked bean pasta bake (Slimming World friendly)

I used to make a version of this for my children for years but ordinary hot dog sausages are pretty high in syns so not made it for a long time but now Slimming World have brought out frozen hot dog sausages in Iceland I had the idea I could make it again. It's really quick and easy to make and very economical too. I think it's perfect for the school holidays as kids love it.

Hot dog and baked bean pasta bake

1 pack Slimming World hot dog sausages (cooked and sliced)
1 can baked beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
250g pasta (I use penne but any shape will do)
160g half fat grated cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook the pasta as the packet instructions , drain and put into a large oven safe casserole dish. Mix in the sausages, tomatoes, baked beans and seasoning and stir very well.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top evenly then bake in a hot oven (Gas 6/200/400) for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is browned.

Serves 4-6 and is syn free if you count the cheese as your healthy extra.

Friday, 13 July 2018

King prawn curry (Slimming World friendly)

This is a special treat, King prawns are expensive but I make this when I find them on special offer anywhere. I have also made this using salmon instead of the prawns as this sauce lends itself to fish beautifully as it's not too rich but is packed with flavour.

My tip regarding using light coconut milk is to take the 400ml can and freeze it in portions of 100ml in small plastic tubs and so that way when you want to make this you have the coconut milk to hand and there is no waste.

I used yellow and orange peppers but you can use any colour you like, As always I use frozen garlic and ginger but you can use fresh or from a tube but check the tube ones they can contain syns, Also feel free to adjust the chili to make it as mild or hot as you like.

King Prawn curry

500g raw king prawns (cleaned and shelled)
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 large onion
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp tomato puree
100ml light coconut milk (see notes above)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
low calorie spray oil

Cut the onions and peppers into chunks then spray a wok or large pan with the spray oil and over a high heat stir fry the vegetables until starting to soften and change colour then remove and set aside.

Place the chili powder, turmeric, paprika, ginger, garlic, cumin, tomato puree in the pan with half a pint of water mix well then bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for ten minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and bring back to a simmer then add the prawns and vegetables and cook for 5-10 minutes until the prawns are pink and cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice and salt.

Serves 4 and is 1 syn per portion

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Naked burrito bowl (Slimming World friendly)

When we were on holiday in Las Vegas for a couple of days we had lunch in Chipotle which for my UK friends is a Mexican style food takeaway . 

It's really good and I had this Burrito bowl both days it was really filling and fresh tasting it's basically a burrito without the tortilla wrap and thought when I was there Im sure I can make this slimming world friendly.

Sooo it might sound like a bit of work but it's really not just some prep and assembling and it's well worth it . The meal is made up of a few components pulled pork, pico de gallo, lime and coriander rice, black eyed beans, shredded lettuce and fat free greek yogurt (instead of the sour cream) you can also add avocado and grated cheese if not planning on it being so slimming world friendly. I love avocado but at 9  1/2 syns per 100g couldn't really have it in this.The idea being you can help yourself and choose what you want in your burrito bowl.

Mexican style pulled pork

2lb lean pork shoulder or fillet (all fat removed) 
1 lime
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)  
spray oil
1 green chili (chopped)

Mix the cumin , oregano, salt and pepper together. Spray the pork with a little oil and then rub the cumin/oregano mix all over the pork and place in a slow cooker. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the pork and throw in the slow cooker with the chili, onion and garlic. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Drain of excess liquid then pull the meat apart with two forks  until all meat is shredded. 

Pico de gallo

3 large ripe vine tomatoes (chopped or a tin of good quality chopped tomatoes) 
1 red onion (finely chopped)
1/2 bunch coriander leaves (chopped) 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
juice of 1 lime
1 green chili (chopped..take seeds out if you don't want it too hot)

Just combine everything in a bowl and leave for 30 minutes before serving for the flavours to combine. Taste for seasoning before serving.

Lime and coriander rice

400g cooked rice (I use boil in the bag rice I find it easier)
juice of 1 lime
1/2 bunch coriander leaves (chopped)

Just combine the hot cooked rice with the lime and chopped coriander.

Black eyed beans

Open can and reheat in a saucepan and drain  (lol) some things are that easy, 

All you need to add then is some simply shredded iceberg lettuce , some fat free greek yogurt and some fresh chopped coriander to sprinkle on top. 

You can see from the pictures just lay out the individual components and everyone can help themselves. If you want to make a burrito you can now use WW wraps as a healthy extra (at time of writing but please check for syns) so you can take the  individual components and wrap them up in the tortilla.  

syn free and serves 4-6