Saturday, 20 December 2014

Mustard glazed ham in cola (slimming world friendly)

I make this ham every Christmas and its always a hit, I had the original recipe from Nigella but I know cooking ham in coke has been popular in the USA for many years. I used to use ordinary coke but found it still works well with diet coke.

 The only syns are for the mustard glaze and if you want to be really good you can leave it but it is very tasty and only works out a syn or two per portion.

I made this one for my friend (Hi Joy!) and so used unsmoked gammon which she prefers but I usually make it with a smoked gammon joint. It keeps well in the fridge for about seven days.

Mustard Glazed Ham

Gammon joint, smoked or unsmoked (all fat removed) approx 1.5kg

2 litre bottle diet coke

2 onions (skin on cut in half)

2 tsp grain mustard

1 tbsp brown sugar

Place the gammon in a large saucepan and add the onions and pour over the diet coke. Bring to a boil and simmer for about three hours.

Take out of the coke and place on a foil covered dish (the glaze can smoke a bit and this makes it easier to clean up)

Mix the mustard and the sugar together and spread over the top of the ham and place in the oven at the hottest setting for 10 minutes until the glaze bubbles.

4 syns for the whole ham or syn free if you don't use the glaze. 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Mini potato cakes (slimming world friendly)

Christmas is coming and I was trying to think of something to serve Slimming World pate and my Slimming World friendly smoked salmon pate (recipes coming soon) on as crackers are high in syns.

I came up with these and they worked well, you don't get a crunch like with a cracker obviously but  they are handy to have around, keep well in the fridge for a few days too so you could make them ahead of time.

You could make them with smash but this time I used mashed potato I had left over. the use of the egg yolks make the potato cakes taste really rich and creamy. You don't have to make them mini if you want to make them to serve as a side dish oh and they are really good with a full English (or Welsh) breakfast too.

Mini potato cakes.

Approximately 6 potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed (or use smash)

2 egg yolks

salt and pepper

Simply mix everything well together and fry teaspoons of the mixture in a non stick frying pan with a little spray oil. Flatten them down slightly and fry until both sides are browned.

Syn free on extra easy and green

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Curried beef pilaff (slimming world friendly)

This is a great quick after work dinner, It's all cooked in one pan so not much washing up and only need a side salad to serve with it to get all your superfree vegetables. I used yellow and red peppers but feel free to use whatever you like, I also used mild curry powder as I'm a bit of a wuss with heat but you can use hot if you want or add a bit of tabasco afterwards (That's what my husband does he likes it hot!!)

Curried beef pilaff

1lb extra lean minced beef
1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
1 pint beef stock (from a cube is fine)
2 peppers (sliced)
2 tbsp curry powder (mild or hot)
8oz basmati rice

Fry the onion and minced beef together in a large deep frying pan for about 5-10 minutes until mince is brown and the onion is soft.

Add the curry powder and cook for another minute then add the rice and peppers and mix everything together very well.

Put a lid on the pan (if you don't have a lid cover tightly with foil) and place on a low heat for 15 minutes then remove lid and check. The rice should be cooked and the liquid absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper if you need to.

Serves 4 and free on extra easy 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Spaghetti sauce -like Dolmio (slimming world friendly)

I love pasta and the sauces that go with it but traditional jars of pasta sauce can be quite high in syns . I have tried making different versions of pasta sauce and this is the best one I have come up with. It has a smooth texture due to using granulated garlic so no bits of crushed garlic in it. I use basil and oregano in my version but you can add less or more as you like it which of course is the benefit of making it yourself. You might think it seems a bit odd to add sweetener to it but but it helps to bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes.

Even though it is quite thick when you first put everything in the pan it is important to simmer it for at least 10 minutes to allow the herbs to soften and the flavours to develop.  If it gets too thick just add a little water. I served it over Slimming World meatballs with spaghetti.

Spaghetti sauce

500g passata
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp granulated sweetener (I used splenda)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer for at least 10 minutes. If it gets too thick add a little water. Taste for seasoning you might need a little more salt.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mexican chicken (slimming world friendly)

This is a lovely quick and very tasty dinner. I love the 'throw it all in' dishes and this is one of those. The simple spice mix makes it deliciously smoky and spicy and uses basic store cupboard ingredients. I used black eyed beans as I really like them but you can use any canned beans red kidney beans would be good too.

  I'm not much of a one for very spicy dishes so didn't use a lot of chili but of course as always if you like it hotter adjust the amount of chili you use and if you are a complete wuss about heat leave it out altogether but please use the smoked paprika it makes all the difference.

Mexican Chicken

4 chicken breasts (trimmed of all fat)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 large onion (sliced)
2 cans of black eye beans (drained)

Spice Mix

1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder (mild or hot)
1 tsp garlic granules

Mix the spices together in a small bowl to make the spice mix and set aside.

Place the onion, beans and tomatoes in a casserole dish and sprinkle on half of the spice mix and mix together well.

Place the chicken breasts on top of the onion, beans and tomatoes and sprinkle over the rest of the spice mix.

Bake in the oven on Gas 5/ 190/375 for 30 minutes .I served it with rice and broccoli.

Syn free on extra easy.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Slow cooker chili ( slimming world friendly)

It's getting colder and so I tend to use the slow cooker more and more this weather. This recipe is an easy throw it all (almost all) in and come in from work to a tasty dinner. You can vary the chili to how you like it . I'm a bit of a wuss with chili so don't use that much but you can always add some tabasco at the end if you want it hotter.

I also like to vary the beans I use in chili this time I used black eyed beans and pinto beans (nothing fancy all available in ASDA) but of course use whatever you like. It is important to put the beans in near the end if you put them in with everything else at the beginning they will be mushy by the end.

Slow cooker chili

500g extra lean minced beef
1 large onion (chopped)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 beef stock pots (or stock cubes like oxos)
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/2 tsp chili flakes (or more if you prefer)
1/2 pint water
salt and pepper

Put everything apart from the salt, pepper and beans into a slow cooker and mix together very well so there are no lumps of mince stuck together. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours depending how hot your slow cooker runs.

After this time check and if the sauce is too thin take the lid off the slow cooker and turn it up to high for half an hour or so. Add the beans and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Syn free on extra easy 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Quiche (slimming world friendly)

Slimming world quiche is a long standing favourite of everyone I know at Slimming World, It is so versatile you can put any leftover vegetables, lean meats or anything you fancy really.

My version is slightly different because I prefer to blend the cottage cheese to make it smoother but you don't have to do this. The other tip is to use a silicon pan to cook the quiche so you don't need to bother with lining or greasing the tin.

I only had one smallish tub of cottage cheese to make this today but you can use the bigger tubs as long as you make sure it is a fat free version. I like to use the onion and chive variety to give it more flavour. This quiche is great to take to work to eat and you can serve it  hot or cold I always have one in the fridge.


6 large eggs
large tub of fat free cottage cheese
cooked lean back bacon or whatever fillings you choose to add enough to cover the base of the dish.
chopped spring onions
salt and pepper.

Break all the eggs into a blender or food processor and add the cottage cheese with a tsp of pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt and blitz till smooth. (Skip the blending if you don't mind the cottage cheese bits in the quiche. )

Place the silicon dish onto a baking tray to support it then place cooked bacon and spring onions in the base of the silicon dish and pour over the egg mixture. 

Bake at gas 6 / 200/ 400 for approximately 20-30 minutes until golden brown serve hot or cold.

Syn free on extra easy.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Crash hot potatoes (slimming world friendly)

Here is another great potato side dish to go with meals. It gets boring with mash and wedges so these are just something a little bit different. I found the recipe ages ago on the 'Pioneer woman' website and just used low calorie spray oil instead of the olive oil she uses. It's incredibly simple and very tasty.

The other thing that's good with these is you can make them in advance and cook them and leave them to one side and just reheat quickly in a hot oven to crisp them up again so can make dinner really quickly (always a bonus).

Crash Hot Potatoes

8 or more new potatoes
salt and pepper
low cal spray oil

Boil the potatoes whole in lots of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes until they are cooked. Spray a large flat baking tray with oil and place the potatoes on the tray making sure they are separate and not touching.

Get a potato masher or a fork and press down firmly on the top of each potato so the skin spilts and is crushed slightly. Spray the potatoes with oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Cook in a hot oven gas 7/ 220/ 425 for 25 minutes or more until browned and crispy.

Syn free on extra easy

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Oat Cookies (slimming world friendly)

I found  few different cookie and biscuit recipes that could be slimming world friendly so sorry cant credit everyone but have tweaked the method and cooking a bit and was very pleased with the results.

I was thinking these would be especially good for anyone who doesn't like to eat breakfast and great to anyone who has to eat on the run or as an evening or mid morning snack.

This recipe makes about 10 cookies (depending how big you make them) and if you use the 35g of oats as your healthy extra they are syn free! If you are counting the oats as syns then the cookies work out at about 1/2 syn each.

Oat Cookies 

35g porridge oats
1 egg
4 tbsp granulated sweetener
1 tsp vanilla essence 

Mix everything together well then leave to stand for about 15 minutes. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place small teaspoonsful of the mixture on the tray. Flatten them down a little if you want the cookies flatter.

Bake at gas 5 / 190/ 350 for 8 minutes then take them out turn them over and bake for another 2 minutes. 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Steak and eggs hash (slimming world friendly)

I made this dish when I had to feed two people and only had one steak : ) I have made hash like this before but used leftovers but this made a tasty meal which is pretty economical too. The seasonings are simple just salt and pepper but you could add some garlic or some smoked paprika would be lovely as well. This recipe serves two but of course it could be increased or bulked up with some vegetables such as mushrooms or peppers to serve more. 

Serve with a side salad for your slimming world super free .

Steak and eggs hash

2 large baking potatoes (diced)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 lean rump steak (all fat removed and chopped)
salt and pepper
low cal spray oil

Boil the diced potato cubes in salted water until just cooked (about 5-10 minutes) then drain and set aside. Spray a large non stick frying pan with a little oil and over a medium heat gently fry the onion until soft then add the steak and cook until browned . Add the cooked  potatoes and season well with salt and pepper.

In a separate frying pan spray with the oil and fry the eggs and serve each portion topped with the fried egg.

Serves two , Syn free on extra easy

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Sizzling steak fajitas (slimming world friendly)

I love fajitas but the wraps are high in syns and the spice mixes can contain sugar and oil which aren't exactly slimming world friendly. This way you make your own spice mix which is not complicated and serve the spicy steak fajitas over rice instead of usng the wraps and this makes it all syn free and healthy but keeps all the flavour . I used lean steak but you can use chicken or just vegetables if you want to make it vegetarian. 

The spice mix is very easy just mix all the ingredients together and keep it in a clean container in the cupboard this amount makes enough for about 4 meals so although you need to buy the spices to start with it works out much cheaper than buying the spice mix sachets.You also can customize it as to how hot you like it. I use mild chili powder as I don't like it too hot but you can up the spice as you like it.

Spice Mix

2 tsp garlic granules
2 tsp onion granules
6 tsp mild chili powder
4 tsp smoked paprika
4 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
4tsp chicken bouillon powder (or 4 chicken oxos crumbled into powder or if keeping it veggie use vegetable bouillon powder)

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a container in the cupboard, Makes enough for about 4 meals . 

Sizzling steak fajitas

1lb thin beef steaks (trimmed of all fat) cut into strips
1 red pepper (sliced)
1 green pepper (sliced)
1 yellow pepper (sliced)
1 large onion (sliced)
spray oil

Spray a large frying pan or wok with oil and add the steaks and stir fry until starting to brown, Add 3 tsp of the spice mix and stir fry for another minute or two then add the vegetables and keep stir frying until the vegetables are softened. Serve over boiled rice

Syn free on extra easy

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Nigellas eggs in purgatory (slimming world friendly)

 I Love Nigella Lawson she can do no wrong in my eyes her recipes are practically fool proof and almost always turn out beautifully. I was lucky to meet her at a book signing once and she was so gracious and friendly I was star struck : )

This recipe is so delicious and so simple , Nigella says it's perfect for hangovers but I love it as a Sunday morning breakfast but always have to have my Healthy A choice bread to dip in it.

I know it sounds weird having garlic and chili for breakfast time but it really does work. This recipe serves one person with using one egg but you can make it in a bigger pan and add more eggs if you like.

Eggs in purgatory

1 can chopped tomatoes
1 large egg
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1/2 tsp salt
low calorie spray oil.

Spray a small frying pan with spray oil and over a medium heat add the garlic and chili and fry gently for one minute.

Add the can of tomatoes and the salt and bring to the boil then reduce heat and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Break the egg into the middle of the pan, cover and leave to simmer for five minutes.

Serve hot

I confess to have eaten it straight from the pan before *blush*

syn free on all plans

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Spicy chicken thighs (slimming world friendly)

I found this recipe in Bill Grangers book and just adapted it slightly to make it slimming world friendly. I know it sounds odd using thai fish sauce on chicken but it gives it a savoury deep flavour  I have experimented and use less than the original recipe as it can make it quite salty.You can get thai fish sauce in most supermarkets usually found near the soy sauce.

I cooked these on the BBQ but you can easily pan fry them with some low calorie spray oil too. The amount of chili flakes I used make them slightly spicy but if you love your chili feel free to increase it. Its a really quick marinade just 30 minutes so makes a quick after work dinner too.

Spicy chicken thighs

4-6 chicken thighs (skin and fat removed)
2 tbsp thai fish sauce
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp sweetener (I use stevia)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 cloves crushed garlic

Place everything in a food safe plastic bag and marinate for about 30 minutes.

Cook on BBQ or pan fry.

Syn free on red or extra easy

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Braised potatoes with peas (slimming world friendly)

This is a really quick and easy side dish. I found the recipe in one of Bill Grangers books and adapted it to make it slimming world friendly. I boiled the potatoes to make this but would be a great way to use up leftover cooked potatoes or even tinned potatoes if you were desperate and pushed for time.

Cooking the vegetables in stock and adding the onion gives it a really savoury flavour . It's interesting that when I made this was thinking sometimes you just fancy a different side dish from the usual rice, potatoes, pasta and hopefully this fits the bill.

Braised potatoes and peas

8 cooked new potatoes (cut into thick slices)
1/2 pint chicken or vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
4oz frozen peas
1 onion (sliced)
salt and pepper
low calorie spray oil

Spray a large frying pan with spray oil and fry the onion until softened , Add the stock and the frozen peas and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the sliced potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Try not to move the potatoes around too much or they will break up.

If there is still a lot of liquid left simmer for a bit longer until almost all the liquid has absorbed, Season with pepper you probably don't need salt as you have the stock which is usually well seasoned.

Syn free on extra easy and green

Sunday, 22 June 2014

BBQ sauce (slimming world friendly)

It's BBQ weather at last (hooray!!) but I hate using my syns on sauces so make this syn free BBQ sauce. This is the sauce that's used in the BBQ pulled pork recipe so just thought why not make it to serve separately?

I have had comments that balsamic vinegar is expensive to use for sauces but I pick mine up from Lidl for £1. The garlic I use is crushed so does leave little bits in the sauce but if you want it completely smooth you can use garlic granules. If you like your BBQ sauce a bit more spicy feel free to add some chili powder.

Once the sauce is made and completely cold I store it in the fridge in a washed out old ketchup bottle. It keeps for ages.

BBQ sauce

5 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic (crushed) or 1 teaspoon garlic granules
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
500ml passata
4 tablespoons granulated  sweetener

Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil, Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened.

syn free

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Spicy sweet potato fries (slimming world friendly)

I love making these they are really quick and delicious as a side dish or as a snack, I dip them in my syn free ketchup, the recipe for that is here .  They are very simple to make you don't even need to peel them which is always a bonus : ) I used the hot paprika but you can use the mild or smoked or any spices you like even a little curry powder is good.

Spicy sweet potato fries

2 large sweet potatoes
low cal spray oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp (or more) of hot paprika.

Slice the potatoes lengthways and then cut each half into chips you can do them skinny or chunky whichever you prefer.

Place in a roasting tin and spray with the oil, season well with salt and pepper then add the paprika and mix together very well. Spread them out in an even layer then cook in a very hot oven Gas 8 / 450/ 230 for about 20 minutes (give them a stir around about halfway through)

Syn free :)

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Hoisin chicken noodles (slimming world friendly)

I know I know yet another chicken dish but this one is really tasty and quick. I love Chinese food but of course its usually high in syns this dish works out at just 1 syn per portion.

You need to buy hoisin sauce for this recipe not the jarred or sachet stir fry sauces but the real hoisin sauce the reason for this is it is only 1 syn per tablespoon and really concentrated and full of flavour. I bought mine at the Chinese supermarket I visit but some supermarkets sell it too I know Sainsburys and Waitrose definitely sell it .

I used fine dried egg noodles but you can use medium if you prefer just don't use fresh or those 'straight to wok' noodles as they have syns.Also as usual I used chicken thighs as I prefer them but you can use chicken breast if you'd rather.

I tend to pop all the marinade ingredients with the meat into a plastic food bag or  bowl with clingfilm over the top in the morning before I make it before I go to work but you can do it the night before too as long as you leave it in the fridge.

Hoisin Chicken Noodles

8 chicken thigh fillets (all fat and skin removed chopped into bite sized pieces)
2 garlic cloves (chopped or use frozen)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or I use frozen)
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 pack fresh stir fry vegetables
4 sheets of fine dried egg noodles
4 tablespoons soy sauce
low cal spray oil

In a bowl or in a plastic food bag place the chicken, garlic, ginger and  hoisin sauce, mix well and leave to marinate either overnight or in the morning before you cook it in the evening.

When ready to cook, Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the pack and then drain well and rinse in cold water and set aside.

Spray a wok with spray oil and cook the marinaded chicken including the marinade for about five minutes until the chicken is browned.

Add the vegetables and cook for another few minutes then add the noodles and mix well cook for a few more minutes until everything is cooked through and hot then add soy sauce and mix well again add more soy sauce if needed.

Serves 4,  1 syn per portion

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Sparkling Summer berry jelly (slimming world friendly)

It's a beautiful sunny day here today (not for long rain due again tomorrow!) so thought would make a Summery recipe. This sparkling jelly is easy to make, looks stunning and is completely syn free too.

Don't be worried about using the leaf gelatine it really is easy to use and is readily available to buy in most supermarkets. I love Nigellas description of the sheets of gelatine as looking like 'fairytale castle windows' which I think they do too.

I used a can of sprite zero for the sparkle but you can use any sugar free pop and fruit variation like oranges and orange fanta maybe but beware if using fresh pineapple or kiwi they can stop a jelly from setting.

 The glasses I used were quite big and I made 3 jellies from this.

Sparkling Summer berry jelly 

6oz  mixed berries (I used defrosted frozen ones)
1 x 330ml can sprite zero
3 leaves of gelatine

Place the berries into glasses and set aside, Put the gelatine leaves in a shallow dish cover with cold water and leave for 5 minutes for the gelatine to soften.

When the gelatine has softened remove the softened sheets  from the water and place them in a microwavable jug (throw away the leftover cold water).

Microwave the gelatine in a microwave for just 10 seconds until it is liquid then take out of the microwave and GENTLY add the can of pop to the jug and stir slowly to try to stop it fizzing up too much. It will fizz up a bit but just leave it for a few minutes to settle down then pour the mixture over the berries.

Place in the fridge to set .

Syn free on extra easy

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Chicken cacciatore (slimming world friendly)

Here we go another chicken dish but we eat a lot of chicken in my family so its always good to find new recipes. I'm with Nigella that I prefer chicken thighs to chicken breast for both flavour and texture but if you prefer to use chicken breasts thats fine.

This recipe is really easy and quick makes a great after work dinner, The use of celery salt is a bit different and you can just use ordinary salt if you like but its a good thing to have in your store cupboard and it lasts for ages, isnt expensive and adds a really good flavour to a lot of dishes.

I make no claims to the authenticity of the recipe I adapted a few different ones I found to make it slimming world friendly. 

Chicken Cacciatore

8 chicken thighs (all skin and fat removed) cut into chunks
4oz lean back bacon (chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 large onion (chopped)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 can chopped tomatoes
6 fl oz chicken stock (from a cube is ok)
1 tsp celery salt

In a large wok or pan put the chicken , bacon and onions and cook for five minutes until the chicken is browned slightly and the onions are softer.

Add the garlic, rosemary,celery salt, stock and tomatoes and stir well put in the bay leaves and bring to a simmer, Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced then remove the bay leaves and serve.

Syn free on extra easy

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Baked egg custard (slimming world friendly)

This is the ultimate comfort food and is one of those dishes that when I get the idea to make it (it suggested by a friend,  thanks Julie!!) I think 'why dont I make this more often? '

It is very easy to make and the only thing to remember is to cook it in a bain marie also known as a water bath this just means you put the dish the mixture is in a baking tin half full of hot water before you put it in the oven. This helps the custard to cook slower and stops the mixture curdling. (see 2nd pic)

Baked egg custard

4 large eggs
400ml skimmed or 1% milk
4 tbsp sweetener
grated nutmeg (if liked)

Simply mix the eggs, milk and sweetener in a large jug and beat well.  Pour the mixture in a ovenproof dish and grate over the nutmeg (if liked)

Place the dish into a baking tin half full of hot water and bake on Gas 4 /180/ 350 and bake for 30 minutes

Note for Slimming World members

serves 4 at 2 syns per portion but if you take the 100ml of milk from your portion from your healthy extra choice then its syn free : )

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Chicken chasseur (slimming world friendly)

Jars and packets of sauces can be so high in syns I am always trying to find ways of making meals that have a sauce but are low in syns or syn free. I have made this for years and I cant even remember where I found the original recipe but it works very well and is really tasty and it all takes only about half an hour from start to finish its nothing complicated.

I like to use chicken thighs as I feel they have more flavour but you can use chicken breast if you like or turkey would work well too and of course if you wanted to make a veggie option then quorn would be good.

Chicken Chasseur

8 chicken thighs (bone, skin and fat removed)
2 onions (chopped)
2 fresh tomatoes (chopped)
4oz mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 pint chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
salt and pepper
low calorie spray oil

Spray a large frying pan or wok with spray oil and add the chicken and onions, Cook the chicken for 5 minutes until browned then add the stock, garlic, tomato puree, dried tarragon and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil then simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes then add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Simmer for another 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and the mushrooms and tomatoes are soft and cooked through. Taste to see if it needs anymore salt and pepper and season to taste.

Serves 4

Syn free on extra easy :)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Crispy topped cod (slimming world friendly)

I was looking in the supermarket at the frozen fish products with toppings and I thought I can make something like that for much less less syns just needed to find something low syn to use as a topping.

 I love the new pop crisps from Walkers and at only 4syns per bag they make a great low syn snack and I thought they would also make a tasty crumb topping .

I thought the sour cream and chive flavour would be a good choice but think any of the flavours would be really nice and its a very simple recipe. I used cod as I had some in the freezer but any firm white fish would work as well.

Crispy topped cod

4 cod fillets
1 packet Walkers 'pops'
2 tablespoons lighter than light mayonnaise
salt and pepper
spray oil

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lay the cod fillets on it and season with salt and pepper .
Put the pop crisps into a plastic bag and crush until they are crumbs

Spread the mayonnaise evenly over the cod fillets and then sprinkle the crisp crumbs over the top of the fish and very lightly spray with oil.

Bake in the oven at gas 6/200/400 for 15-20 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the crumbs are browned.

1  1/2 syns per portion on extra easy.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Simple salmon fish cakes (slimming world friendly)

These simple quick fishcakes can be a lifesaver, They are made of store cupboard ingredients (apart from the chives) and are great to have in as a snack or as part of a main meal and just take minutes to make.

I used pink salmon for economy but you can splash out and use red or use tuna to make them even more economical. I used chives for a slight oniony taste but you can use spring onions if you prefer or use parsley . It's a very forgiving recipe : )

 You can shape them into fishcakes with your hands but a quicker way (and lazier!) way that I do is just to drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture on the lined tray.

Simple salmon fishcakes 

2 x cans of pink salmon (bones and skin removed )
1 packet instant mashed potato
1 tbsp chopped chives (if liked)
1 beaten egg
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
low cal spray oil

Make up the mashed potato according to instruction but use 100ml less water than the instructions say so you have a thicker mash.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix together really well. You can then either shape them into fishcakes with your hands or just drop spoonfuls onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Lightly spray with oil and bake at gas 6/200/400 for 15 minutes then take them out and turn them over and put back in for another 5 minutes.

Syn free on extra easy.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Bacon and mushroom baked risotto (slimming world friendly)

I make quite a lot of oven baked risottos as they are a brilliant quick after work dinner. This is my favourite as I am a big fan of bacon and mushrooms. It's important to use a rice good for risottos like arborio it's easily available in supermarkets these days.

I love a dish you can assemble then just leave alone for 25 minutes so you can shower, change and make a cuppa (or pour a glass of wine :)

I usually serve this with a simply steamed veg like broccoli or  a side salad.

Bacon and mushroom baked risotto

250g arborio rice
250g chopped lean bacon
200g sliced mushrooms
750ml chicken or veg stock (from a cube is fine)
2 cloves garlic (crushed or use frozen)
1 large onion (chopped)
 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
spray oil

Preheat your oven to gas 6 / 400/ 200

Spray a large ovenproof (and hob safe) casserole dish with the oil and fry the onion, mushrooms, bacon and garlic on a medium/low heat until the onion is soft.

N.B. If you don't have a casserole safe for using on top of the stove you can do this step in a frying pan and add everything into the casserole dish afterwards.

Add the rice and fry for another minute or so then add the stock and pepper, stir well and cover with a lid (if you dont have a lid cover the casserole dish with foil ).

Place in the oven for 25 minutes then take out and leave to stand for five minutes. The rice should still be a little firm.

Taste in case needs more pepper (shouldn't need salt due to the bacon and stock) .

Syn free on extra easy

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bulgogi Korean steak (slimming world friendly)

I found this recipe online when looking for something more interesting to do with steak and as usual tweaked it a little to make it slimming world friendly. I used dark soy sauce as the original recipe suggested but it makes it a tiny bit too strong in my opinion so next time will make it with light soy sauce. I make no claims to the authenticity of the recipe but it is very tasty.

I served it over a bed of baby spinach, cucumber strips and spring onions and it was really lovely tasted fresh and light but really savoury,  of course using loads of garlic and ginger always helps :)

To be honest I found this quite spicy might tone down the chili next time too as for making it it's so easy throw the steak in the marinade  in the morning, leave it all day and cook it in the evening. ...

Bulgogi korean steak 

4 x rump steaks (trimmed of all fat)


4 cloves garlic (crushed)
4 tsp grated ginger (I use frozen)
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried chili flakes (will reduce this to half next time)
100ml soy sauce (dark or light will use light next time)
4 tbsp tomato puree

fresh coriander and salad (for serving) 

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and place the steaks in a shallow dish and smother with the marinade. Leave (covered) for 8 hours or overnight in the fridge but remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

Heat a griddle or a heavy frying pan until very hot and place the steaks in it (keep the marinade) and cook for only about 2-3 minutes each side.  Take the steaks out and leave them to rest in a warm place for five minutes they should then be pink but not bloody and not too well done, Of course if you like it rarer or more well done cook it to your taste.

Heat the leftover marinade in a small saucepan and then slice the steaks and serve over the salad and drizzle the leftover marinade over the top. Scatter with the fresh coriander and serve.

Serves 4 and syn free on extra easy

Saturday, 1 March 2014

White chili (slimming world friendly)

This is an interesting one, I had only recently heard of white chili all it means really is that there is no tomatoes in it. I adapted the recipe slightly to make it slimming world friendly and it was really tasty. This is very quick to make a great after work dinner and uses mainly store cupboard ingredients . The spices sound like a lot but they don't make it hot just fragrant. .

Actually looking at the picture its not the prettiest of dishes but it tasted fab : )

White Chili

500g minced turkey breast
1 large onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (crushed or use frozen)
1 tin cannellini beans (drained)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 pint chicken stock
low calorie spray oil
salt and pepper

Spray a large pan or wok with spray oil and add the turkey mince and fry until the mince is cooked through, Add the onion and garlic and keep cooking until the onion is soft . Add the oregano and spices and cook for a few more minutes then add the stock and cook on a lowish heat until stock has reduced a bit then add the beans and cook for another five minutes.

The stock should be almost gone by now if not just increase the heat for another minute or so , Season to taste with salt and pepper .

Syn free on extra easy x

Monday, 17 February 2014

Kheema curry (slimming world friendly)

This is a fab really quick and easy curry, It's economical too using extra lean minced beef, It's a great one to make after work as it's all made within 30 minutes. (A real 30 minutes not a Jamie Oliver 30 minutes!!)

If you want to you can leave out the cumin and coriander and just use curry powder but I love these  extra spices they don't make it hotter but more fragrant.

Kheema Curry

1lb extra lean minced beef
1 large onion (sliced)
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp curry powder (less if you don't like it too spicy)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 pint beef stock
2 cloves garlic (crushed) 
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (I use frozen)
6oz frozen peas
1/2 tsp salt
spray oil

In a large pan or wok spray with the oil and add the minced beef, onion, garlic, ginger and chili. Fry over a medium/high heat until beef cooked through and the onion is soft.

Add the curry powder, cumin, salt  and coriander  and fry for another few minutes then add the tomato puree, tomatoes and beef stock. Stir well and then add the frozen peas and bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the sauce is thicker and reduced.

Syn free on extra easy :)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Beef and peppers in black bean sauce (slimming world friendly)

I LOVE Chinese food and this recipe gives you all the taste of it with hardly any syns, You do need one ingredient not easily available which are fermented black beans. I managed to get some from a local Cardiff Chinese supermarket but they can be bought online too  I also sometimes buy mine from Wai Yee Hong when am in Bristol but their online service is brilliant too and these are mega cheap you only use a tablespoon per recipe and while you are online shopping check out the other bargains HUGE bottles of soy sauce etc really cheap. If you are ever in Bristol it's well worth a wander around for all the fantastic ingredients they have there or have a browse online :).

That said this isn't a completely authentic recipe I added loads more peppers and I use frozen garlic and ginger which personally I just find easier and quicker to use  as a working Mum but please feel free to use fresh if you would rather.

Beef and peppers in black bean sauce (slimming world friendly)

8oz beef sliced thinly (all fat removed = I use frying steak it's cheap and it works really well)
3 peppers (whatever colour you like) sliced 
2 onions (sliced) 
spray oil
1 tbsp fermented black beans
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (crushed or use frozen) 
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or use frozen) 
1/4 pint water
1 tbsp cornflour 
Add 2 tbsp hot water to the black beans and leave to stand for 10 minutes then drain, Spray a wok with spray oil and add the onions and pepper and fry for a minute until softened, Add the steak , garlic, ginger and the black beans and stir fry until steak is cooked and vegetables are soft. 
Add the soy sauce and water and cook for another five minutes. Mix 2 tbsp of cold water into the cornflour and then add to the wok and stir well and cook for another few minutes to thicken the sauce. 

serves 4 

 1 syn on extra easy per portion

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Tarka lentil dhal (slimming world friendly)

This recipe is really simple to make and although you need a few spices and bits and pieces you can pick them up at any supermarket. If you haven't tried lentils before give this ago it's really tasty and makes a load, It's really good with a curry as a side dish or just serve on it's own.

The other bonus of this is it is very cheap and filling to make, It reheats well so nice to take to work as well, This amount of chili doesn't make it too hot so you can amp up the chili if you like it hotter.

Tarka Dhal

12 oz red split lentils (washed and drained)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp peeled and grated ginger (I used frozen)
spray oil
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
2 cloves crushed garlic (I used frozen)
1 tsp salt

Place the lentils in a large saucepan with the turmeric , ginger, garlic and chili flakes and add 2 pints of water. Bring to a simmer (dont let it boil) and simmer for 35-40 minutes stirring every now and then. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small frying pan spray with spray oil and place on a medium heat, Add the cumin and mustard seeds and wait for them to start to 'pop' stir and cook for another minute or so then stir into the lentil mixture along with the salt.

Return to the heat and bring back to the boil ,taste in case you need more salt and serve.

Syn free on extra easy and green 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Pasta fagioli (slimming world friendly)

You know that Dean Martin song 'That's Amore'? If you don't have a quick look on youtube anyway there is a line in the song that says "When the stars make you drool just like pasta fazool...that's amore".

I wondered for ages about what it was then came across a recipe for 'pasta fagioli' and this is it !! It is just pronounced pasta fazool. I make no claims on its exact authenticity as there were quite a few different recipes around. It was just by looking at the recipe realised it could easily be slimming world friendly plus it's really filling and also quick and cheap to make ...hooray!!

Pasta Fagioli (or fazool) 

 1 can chopped tomatoes
2 pints chicken stock
3 rashers lean bacon (all fat removed and chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 stick of celery (chopped)
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
8oz dried spaghetti (broken into 2 inch pieces)
2 cans or 1 large can of beans (I used borlotti but you can use cannellini or even red kidney beans if you like..drained and rinsed)
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
spray oil
salt and pepper

Spray a large pan with the spray oil and add the bacon, celery, chili flakes, garlic and onion and over a medium heat fry until the vegetables are soft .

Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato puree and the spaghetti and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked, Add the beans, stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Syn free on extra easy