Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas pudding (Slimming World friendly)

This is a lovely light Christmas pudding recipe, I took the original Slimming World recipe from online but altered it very slightly as I'm not keen on brandy or stout but the syns remain the same. The genius of this is that you can steam it in the slow cooker! My sister always does this with her Christmas puddings (Thanks Sue!) which gave me the idea to cook this one that way too.

I'm not a fan of the traditional very heavy Christmas pudding and this one is really light and fruity but couldn't be easier to make you literally just soak the fruit overnight then mix it all together.

Christmas Pudding

225g dried mixed fruit
3 tbsp cream sherry
50g white self raising flour
85g white breadcrumbs
50g dark brown sugar
2 carrots (peeled and grated)
1 apple (peeled and grated)
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
3 large eggs (beaten)

Soak the dried fruit in the sherry overnight and the next day just mix everything together really well until everything is combined. Place the mixture into a pudding basin or pyrex bowl and cover the top with baking parchment and foil keeping it quite loose and tie with string to secure.

Half fill your slow cooker with boiling water and put it on high, Carefully place the pudding into the slow cooker and put on the lid and cook for five hours.

Thats it!! Just replace the top with fresh parchment and foil and keep in the fridge till ready to serve, to reheat just put back in the slow cooker the same way for 3 hours or easier still microwave in portions.

Serve 10 at 7 syns a portion

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Nigellas chicken shawarma (Slimming World friendly)

This is another recipe I adapted from Nigella Lawson new book "Simply Nigella" and its absolutely  delicious. It's a really easy recipe just throw a few spices with the meat into a bag, leave to marinade all day or overnight and then oven cook. It's spicy but not 'blow your head off' spicy just nice heat but reduce the chili if you don't want it too hot the other spices just add flavour not heat.

 I know it seems like a lot of spices but if you make any of my recipes I do use a lot of spices and once you have paid for them you only use a tsp or so of most of them so they aren't that expensive most are less than a pound for a jar.

I served it with wholemeal pitta bread, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and a garlic yogurt sauce. My family really enjoyed it and I think it's going to be a regular dinner from now on. I have made it a few times now and often put everything in to marinade in the morning before work and then its ready to cook when I get in which makes it a quick, tasty after work dinner too.

Nigellas Chicken Shawarma

12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (trimmed of fat)
2 lemons
4 cloves crushed garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tsps paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried chili flakes (less if you don't like it too spicy)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
2 tsp sea salt

Get a large plastic freezer bag and place the chicken thighs in it. Grate the zest of the lemons into the bag and then squeeze the lemons and put the juice in the bag. Now add all the other ingredients and mix and squish everything really well till you can see through the bag all the chicken is coated with the marinade.

Place the bag in a dish in the fridge and leave to marinade all day or overnight.

Heat the oven to Gas 7/ 220/ 425 and take the chicken out of the fridge, Tip it all into a large roasting tin (I line with foil to save messy washing up) and make sure they are spread out lying flat.

Roast for 30 minutes and just check the chicken is cooked through and golden brown.

Serve in wholemeal pitta bread ( at the time of writing there are some which count as a healthy extra but check) with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and the garlic yogurt sauce.

Garlic Yogurt sauce

1/2 large tub fat free greek yogurt
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tsp salt

Mix everything together and taste in case needs more salt.

Serves 4-6 people and is Syn free on extra easy

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Nigellas spicy Korean beef bowl (Slimming World friendly)

I know I'm a bit obsessed with Nigella Lawson new book 'Simply Nigella' and I'm making loads of the recipes but Slimming World friendly so look out in future weeks, This recipe was not only really easy to make but it was really tasty too my family really enjoyed it.

The chili sauce used is Sriracha and I found it in the ethnic foods aisle in ASDA but saw they had it yesterday in Marks & Spencer and its fabulous because its so tasty with chili and garlic you don't need to add any other spices or seasonings apart from the soy sauce which means you don't need to add any salt. The original recipe asks for short grain brown rice to be used but couldn't find any so used long grain brown rice and it was fine.

The measurements are in cups and I picked up measuring cups really cheaply in the supermarket but you can use a mug as a measure if you prefer.

Nigellas spicy Korean beef bowl

500g minced beef (less than 5% fat)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1  1/4 cups brown rice
1/4 cup (4 tbsps) sriracha sauce
1/4 cup (4 tbsps) soy sauce
1 bag beansprouts

Place the beef, rice, sriracha sauce, soy sauce and tomatoes in a slow cooker and rinse out the can with cold water and add that too. Mix everything together really well and then cook on low for 4 hours.

Put the beansprouts in a large bowl and pour a kettle of boiling water over them and leave for 1 minute then drain and add to the slow cooker and mix everything together very well, Put the lid back on and leave for 5 minutes then serve.

Serve 4 at 1/2 syn per portion

NOTE:  I made it in the slow cooker but Nigella says you can make it in a oven in a heavy based cast iron dish with a lid on and cook on Gas 4/180/350 for 2 - 2/12 hours and add the beansprouts the same way at the end.