Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Big Mac in a bowl (slimming world friendly)

Oh wow this is so delicious, If you are missing your takeaway foods this is the recipe for you, It's very simple and more assembling than cooking really.  I'm sorry I can't credit the original source for this recipe its all over slimming world sites and recipe groups and could not find the person who posted it originally. If you love a Big Mac this will certainly satisfy your craving. I used 2 of the dairylea light slices as my healthy extra and used my own syn free ketchup (see previous recipe) with extra light mayo to make the thousand island dressing so for me the whole thing was only 1 syn so yay!!!

EDIT: I've been told you can use Kraft light Thousand Island dressing for 1 syn a tablespoon if you dont want to make up your own sauce.

I served some oven baked potato wedges with this too makes it a very filling tasty meal : )

Big Mac in a bowl (serves 4)

500g extra lean minced beef
1 large onion (chopped)
4 tbsp extra light mayonnaise
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
8 gherkins (chopped)
iceberg lettuce (shredded)
8 slices dairylea light cheese slices
salt and pepper

Place the minced beef and onion in a large pan and fry over a medium heat until beef is browned and the onions are soft, Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix the ketchup with the mayonnaise to make a burger sauce.

Layer up the dish by placing a handful of shredded lettuce in the bottom of the bowl then top with some of the minced beef mixture, Drizzle on some of the sauce and sprinkle on the chopped gherkins and top with two slices of the cheese.

If using regular ketchup with the extra light mayonnaise and the cheese slices as a healthy extra the whole dish will be just  2 syns per portion. 


Monday, 26 August 2013

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.

Syn free on extra easy .

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Tasty sausage casserole (slimming world friendly)

I have a bit of a problem sometimes with the casserole packet mixes you can buy in supermarkets they are sometimes full of  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 Heck sausages but be careful some are high in syns but the ones which are my favourite are the smoky paprika ones which are only 1/2 syn for two they are delicious but of course use any low syn ones you like and the Iceland Slimming World ones are syn free.

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 1/2 tsp 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,

Sunday, 18 August 2013

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.

2 syns per portion : )

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Tomato ketchup (slimming world friendly)

I confess I love tomato ketchup but it can be loaded with sugar and if you are following the slimming world plan you have to count it as 'syns'. I had a good play around in the kitchen with ingredients until I finally came up with this one.

The problem I found with a lot of recipes is that they use tinned tomatoes and chopped onions which is fine but then you need to blend it and that can be a pain. This way you just add everything together and simmer.  I buy my white balsamic in Lidl it's less than a pound and by using the white one it keeps the lovely red colour. I also buy the garlic and onion granules at the supermarket (I got mine in ASDA) and it works out quite economical and as a bonus you know exactly what is in it couldn't be easier and you can save your 'syns' for something else yummy : )

Syn free on all plans 

Tomato Ketchup

2 tsp onion granules
1 tsp garlic granules
500g pack of passata
2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp english mustard powder
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp sweetener (like splenda)
150ml white wine vinegar
100ml white balsamic vinegar (see notes above)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

Just add everything together in a saucepan, Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer on a low heat for 20-30 minutes until sauce is thick and reduced.

Syn free and makes about 250ml of ketchup and will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

French potato salad (slimming world friendly)

  I have made this potato salad for many years I presume its known as French potato salad as you use french dressing instead of mayonnaise as the dressing. Its a lovely side dish for a BBQ or with a steak and salad. The dressing I used was the English Provender which when I checked my slimming world book it states that as long as salad dressings are 50cal or less per 100ml then they are free but any fat free french dressing will do. The recipe says to use 1/2 a bottle but you can use more if you prefer.

 You can peel the potatoes if you want to but I like the baby new potatoes with the skin on for more texture (and fibre!) It couldn't be easier to make the only tip I would say is combine the dressing with the potatoes while the potatoes are still warm it seems to help the potatoes to absorb the dressing instead of just coating the potatoes.

French potato salad

2lbs baby new potatoes (boiled in salted water until cooked and drained)
1 red onion (chopped finely)
2 tsp fresh chives (if liked)
1/2 bottle fat free french dressing 

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl


Syn free on extra easy and green : )

Thursday, 8 August 2013

One pot prawn spaghetti (slimming world friendly)

  I am in love with this method of these one pot pasta dishes. The original one I tried used linguine but thought would try using spaghetti and my family love spaghetti with prawns and now my vegetarian daughter is pescetarian makes it easier to feed us all.

 As previously it all goes in together so very very easy the whole thing from start to finish is about 10 minutes so is a perfect after work dinner and everything is store cupboard more or less,  the prawns are from the freezer and  I defrost them before using but confess have been known to defrost them in the microwave if I forgot to take them out!! This serves four very generously.

One pot prawn spaghetti

1 pack (500g) dry spaghetti
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 pints vegetable stock
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 large bag of cooked prawns (defrosted)
salt and pepper

Place everything apart from the prawns and salt and pepper  in a large pot and place it on a low heat on the stove. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes stirring very frequently when all the pasta should be cooked , Taste to make sure it is cooked if not simmer for a little longer. Add the prawns and season with salt and pepper to taste. (I didn't need salt as the stock and prawns made it salty enough)

Syn free on extra easy : )

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Curried rice (slimming world friendly)

  I always used to make a variation of this dish as a side dish for when we had a BBQ but used to use a bought curry paste which is quite high in syns so thought I needed to find how to make a syn free version of this. By using the tomato puree and stock it seems to make the curry powder more like a paste but with no oil :)

  I serve this dish cold but its nice warm too and although always used to serve it as a side dish I'm sure you could put some chicken in it and maybe a side salad or mix some cooked peas in it to make it a main meal.

Curried Rice

250g (dry weight) white rice
1 large onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
2 tbsp medium curry powder (more if you like it very hot less if you dont like it too spicy)
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/4 pt vegetable stock
spray oil 

Cook the rice according to packet instructions and set aside.

In a large frying pan sprayed with the spray oil fry the onion over a low heat for a few minutes until soft then add the garlic and fry for another minute. Add in the stock, tomato puree and curry powder and mix well and cook for another couple of  minutes.

Add the in the cooked rice and mix very well till all the rice is coated with the curry mixture.