Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Corned beef stew (slimming world friendly)

Now I know corned beef anything doesnt sound very slimming world or healthy friendly but this recipe uses loads of vegetables to make up the bulk of it and with the beef stock and the corned beef these both go a long way to flavour the stew.

I had never heard of Corned beef stew until I moved to Wales almost 25 years ago but once had tried it became a family favourite. You can add other vegetables if you like them root vegetables are especially good. It can also be easily made in a slow cooker / crock pot too. For this recipe I use two cans of the Princes reduced fat corned beef.

I have lately been making vast pans of this and keeping it in the fridge to take to work in portions and reheating it but you could also freeze in portions if you like. I also love adding tons of black pepper after reheating it but thats just one of my preferences.

Oh and to my US friends this recipe uses canned corned beef which I don't know if it is available there but search it out if you can it makes a very good stew . 

Corned beef stew

2 x 200g cans Princes reduced fat corned beef
4 large carrots (peeled and diced)
1  1/2 lbs peeled potatoes (diced) 
1 or 2 large swede aka rutabaga ( peeled and diced)
2 large onions (chopped)
2 1/2 pints beef stock (from a cube is fine)
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper

In a large saucepan place the onions, carrots and  swede , beef stock and herbs and bring to the boil, Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are softened.

Add the potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes then add the corned beef cut into cubes and simmer for another 30 minutes . Add more beef stock if too thick and keep stirring now and again ,  season with salt and pepper to taste.

Keep cooking until stew is thick and vegetables and potatoes are soft.

Serves 6 easily at just 1 syn per portion

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Lentil and bacon soup (slimming world friendly)

This cold weather I am taking my lunch to work every day its more economical and I know exactly whats in it so know its healthy. It's far too cold for salads! I love this soup its really filling and although it would of course be nice to have a big bread roll with it because its really thick you don't miss it so much : )

It's a quick and easy recipe and feel free to add more or less tomato or any extra vegetables you fancy like leeks or celery if you like it. You can also blitz it in a food processor if you prefer your soups smooth.

Lentil and bacon soup

1/2 lb chopped smoked back bacon (all fat removed )
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 mugs red lentils
2 onions (chopped)
2-4 carrots (chopped)
2 tsp dried thyme
2  1/2 pints vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
salt and pepper
spray oil

Spray a large saucepan with the oil and then add the onion and carrots along with the thyme and fry over a low heat until the vegetables are soft. Add the bacon and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the lentils and stir well then add all the other ingredients apart from the salt and pepper, Bring to the boil then simmer for about 30 minutes maybe longer until the lentils are soft and the soup is thick, Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Syn free on extra easy

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Chili beef bake (slimming world friendly)

This was another one of those recipes that came out of having some minced beef and trying to think of something different to make with it. This is a really tasty and warming dinner and although I used mushrooms was thinking peppers would be really good in this too.

If you don't like spice just leave the chili out of it and I'm sure it would still be tasty, I think this would be a great dish to make for a family and once its prepared it can just go in the oven while you get on with other stuff you don't have to stand over it stirring or anything like that. It's a pretty good one to make from store cupboard ingredients and is quite economical and makes quite a lot! I took some to work for lunch the next day : )

( For slimming world you'd need to count the cheese as your healthy extra.)

Chili beef bake 

500g  extra lean minced beef (less than 5% fat)
1 chopped onion
100g sliced mushrooms
1 can chopped tomatoes
500ml beef stock (from a cube is fine)
1 mug of long grain rice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
160g low fat cheddar cheese (grated)

Place the minced beef and chopped onion in a large non stick pan and fry over  a medium heat until the minced beef is browned and the onion is soft.

Add all the other ingredients apart from the cheese , mix well, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the rice is cooked and the liquid has absorbed (only stir very occasionally so the rice doesn't break up.) Once this stage is reached taste to see if needs more salt or pepper.

Put the mixture into a large ovenproof casserole dish and sprinkle over the grated cheese  and bake at gas 6 / 200/400 until cheese has melted and the top is browned.

Serves 4 very generously syn free if using your cheese as a healthy extra