Friday, 30 November 2012

Thick minestrone soup (Slimming World friendly)

This thick soup is so good on a cold day (and it was -4 this morning!) to be honest  I made it today when I only had leftovers but wanted a filling soup to take to work for lunch .I looked to see what I had in and was thinking what could I make ? I had a play around with ingredients and the result was really tasty and very economical too.

Thick minestrone soup

2 large carrots (diced)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 sticks celery (chopped)
2 pints veg stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree 
4oz ham (chopped )
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic
spray oil
4oz dry spaghetti
1 can haricot or cannelinni beans (drained) 
salt and pepper

Spray a large saucepan with the oil and add the onion, celery, carrot and oregano and cook on a low heat until soft .

Add the ham, stock, tomatoes , tomato puree, garlic and bring to the boil once boiling reduce the heat a little and add the pasta .

Once pasta is cooked add the beans and then cook for a few minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Very filling and syn free on extra easy :  )

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Quickest pea soup ever !!! (Slimming world friendly )

This recipe makes the quickest easiest soup ever ! It's really delicious and filling and made up of store cupboard and freezer stuff you will probably have in anyway.

Pea and mint soup

1lb frozen peas (the cheapest ones will do as you blend it anyway)
2 pints veg stock
1 onion (chopped)
1 tsp dried mint (if liked)
spray oil
salt and pepper

Place the onion in a large saucepan with some spray oil and the dried mint.

Fry the onion gently until soft and just starting to colour, Add the stock and peas and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Blend using a hand blender or food processer and season to taste.

How quick was that???

Syn free on extra easy :  ) 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Moussaka (slimming world friendly ) ...

This dinner takes a little time to prepare and make but it's well worth it. I make no claims to its authenticity as a proper moussaka but it is a very tasty and filling dinner. This recipe makes 4 very generous portions,  I usually serve with a side salad or some broccoli as my superfree veg.


1 lb extra lean minced beef
1 aubergine (thinly sliced)
3 large potatoes (thinly sliced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 large onions (sliced)
2 tsp cumin
1 pint beef stock 
fry light 
1/2 pint semi skimmed milk
1 tbsp cornflour
grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
6oz low fat grated cheddar 

Pre heat the oven at 200/400/gas 6, Spray a baking tray with fry light and place the aubergine slices on it and spray again then bake for about 10 minutes until soft and then set aside. 

Place the sliced potatoes in a pan of salted water bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes then drain and set aside.

Spray a large saute pan or wok with frylight and add the minced beef, onions and garlic and fry until beef is cooked and onions are soft.

Add the cumin, stock, tomato puree and tinned tomatoes then bring to the boil, Then lower the heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced and thickened, Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place sauce in a large ovenproof casserole dish and lay the sliced potatoes on the top, Then layer the aubergine slices on top of that.

In a small saucepan place the milk and cornflour and whisk well continously over a medium heat until it comes to the boil and simmer until thick for a few minutes, Season to taste with salt and pepper and add a little grated nutmeg if liked. Pour the sauce over the top of the meat, potatoes and aubergine.

Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake at gas 5 /375/190 for about 45 minutes until top is browned and bubbly.

2  1/2 syns per portion if using the cheese as a healthy extra ( if not add another 6 syns)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Chili beef noodles (slimming world friendly)

I was on a late shift tonight after a busy evening  went to the supermarket and was going to grab a ready meal and sod the syns but then when I got there and looked at them they all looked sort of unappetising and had weird stuff in the ingredients even the 'fresh' ones.

I remembered I had made these chili noodles a while ago so just picked up some extra lean mince and came home as everything else was in my store cupboard/fridge.

Hand on heart these took me 20 minutes from start to finish quicker than picking up a takeaway or even going to the supermarket to pick up a ready meal. So keep the store cupboard/fridge/freezer  stocked up and you can have a delicious meal at your fingertips in less time than it takes to get a takeaway and the bonus is that its syn free and you know exactly what went in it!

Chili Beef Noodles

250g extra lean minced beef
250g dried egg noodles (about 3 slabs of dried egg noodles)
4 tbsps light soy sauce
2 tbsps dark soy sauce
1 tsp chili paste ( 2 tsp if you like it hot or fresh red chili if you like it )
1 red pepper (finely chopped)
ginger and garlic paste (I used frozen but you can use fresh if you like about 1 clove garlic  and a thumb sized piece of peeled fresh ginger grated)  )
1/2 pint veg stock
spray oil

Cook noodles according to instructions then drain and set aside.

Spray wok or large frying pan with spray oil and over a high heat add the minced beef , red pepper, chili paste and ginger and garlic and stir fry until beef is cooked through keep it moving so it doesnt stick.

Add the stock and soy sauces and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the cooked noodles and stir gently until the liquid has absorbed .

Syn free on extra easy, I usually either have a bowl of stir fried veg with this or a side salad for my superfree.

Serves 2 very generous portions or 4 with lots of stir fried veg 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Creamy tagliatelle (slimming world friendly)

This is a lovely dish super quick for an after work dinner. This recipe makes a lot,  feeds four very generously. I learnt from Nigella to keep a little of the pasta cooking water back and to add it at the end when mixing to make the sauce creamy so I do this now and you can see from the picture it makes the sauce very smooth and helps it coat the pasta. Of course as always use any shape pasta you like this is very good with spaghetti or linguine too.
I use garlic granules as the sauce isn't really 'cooked' so raw garlic wouldnt cook enough but leave it out if you don't want any garlic flavour, Although the sauce isn't cooked the heat of the pasta cooks the egg in the dish just enough don't worry it wont taste like you are eating raw egg.  This is also a good dish for vegetarians (obviously leave the ham out!!)

Creamy taglietelle

500g taglietelle
2 eggs (beaten)
300g fat free fromage frais
1/2 tsp garlic granules
salt and pepper
250g ham (diced up)

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, fromage frais and garlic granules and set aside.
Boil the pasta as per cooking instructions on pack then drain (keep about half a cup of the cooking water back)
Add the egg mixture right into the hot pasta along with the ham and mix very well , add the cooking water that you set aside and keep mixing for a few minutes until the sauce is creamy and coating the pasta.

Season well with a little salt and lots of black pepper.

Syn free on extra easy :  ) 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Jerk pork (slimming world friendly) ...

I love jerk pork or chicken but sometimes it's a bit too hot and not slimming world friendly this way it's not too spicy (but you can add more spice if you like ) and syn free too :  ) 

This recipe sounds complex but it's very easy as you throw all the marinade ingredients into a food processer and just blitz them and them leave the meat to marinate for 24 hours before you cook it.

I have a thing lately for black beans and rice with the pico de gallo (posted recipe previously) really easy and the pico de gallo very fresh tasting which I love but would be good with slimming world chips or wedges and salad too.

Jerk pork (or chicken)

6 chicken breast (meat slashed across a few times) or a pork tenderlion or lean loin chops treated the same way) 
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp chili powder (more if you like it hot)
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
thumb size piece of root ginger (peeled)  or use frozen
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 fresh chilis (seeds in or out depends how hot you like it)
1 onion (peeled and quartered)

Throw all the ingredients except the meat into a food processer and blitz for a few minutes, Place the meat into a large shallow dish and smother with the marinade and cover with cling film, leave in the fridge overnight , take it out in the morning and turn all the meat over so well covered with the marinade then re cover and leave the rest of the day.

Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking then remove from the marinade (but keep the excess marinade) and place in a large roasting tin prelined with foil to make cleaning easier and cook on gas 6/200/400 for 30 minutes then pour off any excess fat /liquid then turn over and baste with any leftover marinade and turn the heat up to full blast and cook until meat is well browned.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Leek and potato soup (slimming world friendly)

Another tasty warming soup recipe , I take soup for my lunch in work every day now in a food flask I'm saving money and getting a hot delicious lunch and sticking to the plan so all good : )

This couldnt be easier to make you can see only a few ingredients needed and you can add other veg if you like but I like the simplicity of this.

Leek and potato soup

5 or 6 large floury potatoes (like maris piper)
4 medium-large leeks (washed well)
vegetable stock (made with stock cubes or powder) 
salt and pepper

Chop the leeks into slices and cube the potatoes (I leave the skin on the potatoes but its up to you). Place in a large pan and cover with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down and simmer until the potatoes are soft , At this stage you can blend it if you like a smooth soup but I like some texture to it so what I do is get a potato masher and just mash into the soup so some of the potato mashes and thickens the soup and some stays chunky. Season to taste with salt and lots of black pepper.

Syn free on extra easy .....  stay warm and enjoy!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Rigatoni alla amatriciana (slimming world friendly)

I love this pasta dish it's really savoury and tasty and it's made from things you usually have in the cupboard and fridge.

It's also pretty quick to make so great for a after work dinner . If you don't like chili just leave it out it's also good as a vegetarian dish without the bacon but I'm sure it would have another name then ! Of course also feel free to use any shape pasta you like too I like the rigatoni shape as it holds the sauce well.

Rigatoni alla Amatriciana

1x 500g pack of rigatoni
8 rashers lean smoked back bacon
2x tins chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes (more if you like it)
1 tsp dried basil
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 large onion (chopped)
Spray oil
Salt and pepper

Spray a little oil in a large pan , Place in onion,bacon, garlic, chili and basil and cook over medium heat until the onion is soft.

Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until sauce has reduced and thickened . Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When sauce is almost ready cook the pasta according to packet directions. When cooked drain the pasta and stir it into the sauce and mix well.

Syn free on extra easy

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Creamy rice pudding ..slimming world friendly

How much do you love rice pudding ? So delicious and not slimming world friendly but I saw this recipe on a slimming world Facebook page and had to try it .You don't actually use any milk or cream but as weird as it sounds you cook the pudding rice in ....wait for cream soda!!!

Yep..sounds weird I know but it works... trust me :  )

Creamy rice pudding

6oz pudding rice (or use risotto rice like arborio if cant get pudding rice)
1 litre diet sugar free cream soda (got mine in ASDA)
2 vanilla flavour muller light yogurts
1 tsp vanilla extract (if liked)

Place rice in saucepan and add the diet cream soda and bring to the boil then simmer until almost all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked and soft.

Take off the heat and leave for a few minutes then add the yogurts and vanilla extract and mix very well. I prefer to serve it cold but you can warm it up but dont re boil it.

Syn free on green and extra easy ...