Sunday, 27 September 2015

Slow cooker chunky chili (Slimming World friendly)

Autumns here and the slow cooker is coming out more and more. I am a big fan of slow cooker dishes I like to prepare everything the night before then just throw it all in the morning before I go to work and then its just cooking the rice and finishing the dish when I get in.

Traditionally chili is made with minced beef but for this one I used lean diced braising steak I sometimes find when you cook a chili all day the mince almost disappears this way the meat is very tender and stays more in pieces.

I try and add plenty of vegetables to my chilis too as its a great way to get more superfree vegetables in your meal and also for this one I add some fresh tomatoes an hour before the end of cooking to freshen the dish up.  I like a little bit of spice not too hot but of course up the chili if you like it hotter.

Slow cooker chunky chili

700g diced lean braising beef or lean stewing steak
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 pint beef stock (from a cube is fine)
1 large onion (diced)
2 large carrots (grated)
2 sticks celery (diced)
1-2 peppers (diced) any colour you like
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
2 cans black eyed beans or red kidney beans (drained)
salt and pepper

Put everything EXCEPT the cherry tomatoes,beans and salt and pepper into the slow cooker and cook on low for approximately 8 hours.

An hour before serving remove the lid of the slow cooker to let the liquid evaporate a bit and add the cherry tomatoes and the beans and mix well.

After an hour taste to see how much salt and pepper to add, I served it over rice with my healthy extra of low fat grated cheese on top.

Syn free and serves 4 people generously.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Slow cooked Italian pork (slimming world friendly)

It's getting colder now and out comes the slow cooker, This is a easy after work dinner as you just pop on the slow cooker before you go to work then come in and its almost done.

I have even been known to prep it the night before and put everything apart from the meat in there then just turn it on as I go out the door in the morning.

Slow cooked Italian pork

1lb - 1 1/2 lb diced lean pork (depends how hungry your family are :)
2 onions (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 pint vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp cornflour (mixed with tbsp cold water)
salt and pepper

Place everything apart from the salt, pepper and cornflour into the slow cooker and cook all day on low (about 8 hours).

When you get home take off the lid and mix in the cornflour that's been mixed with the water and stir well. Leave to bubble for another half hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I served this with rice , broccoli and peas.

Serves 4 at just less than 1/2 syn per serving

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Easy spinach and tomato pasta (slimming world friendly)

Another really simple after work dinner, Adding spinach is a great way to get more of your superfree vegetables and even people who say they don't like spinach seem to like it this way.

Although this recipe is great for vegetarians and even vegans you can always throw in some cooked chicken or prawns if you like.

The best tip I can give you for making pasta is to keep back a cup (about half a mug) of the water you cooked the  pasta in and add it at the very end and mix well into the cooked pasta this makes the sauce a little thicker and smoother.

Easy spinach and tomato pasta

250g pasta (any shape you like I used penne)

1 carton passata

1 bag of baby spinach (washed)

2 tsp garlic granules (or use fresh if you prefer)

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper

Place the passata in a large saucepan (make sure its large as you will be mixing the pasta in this later) then add the basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Simmer over a medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until thickened slightly.

Cook the pasta according to the packet then drain but remember to save a cup of the pasta water! (I put a cup in the colander to remind me.)

Mix the cooked pasta in with the sauce and the reserved cup of water and add the whole pack of spinach and keep stirring gently for a few minutes so the spinach wilts and the sauce coats all the pasta. Taste to see if you need any more salt or pepper.

Free on extra easy

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