Saturday, 27 February 2016

Massaman beef and potato curry (Slimming World friendly)

This is a really hearty warming dish, I make no claims for it's complete authenticity as had to change the recipe slightly to make it Slimming World friendly but it's meat and potatoes in a spicy sauce and very easy to make. You can get Massaman curry paste in some supermarkets I got mine from Sainsburys and have seen it in other places the syn value varies so check with Slimming World website syn values if you aren't sure the Sainsburys one is now 1 syn per tablespoon.

Coconut milk is high in syns too but 100ml is 4 1/2 syns and it freezes well so I get a 400ml can of light coconut milk and freeze it in 100ml portions in small plastic tubs so it's economical as well. The fish sauce used is a Thai ingredient you only need a small amount and again it's available in many supermarkets but if you can't get it you can leave it out.

Massaman beef and potato curry

700g-1kg lean diced beef
2 large onions (sliced)
2 tbsp Massaman curry paste 
750ml beef stock
100ml light coconut milk (see in notes above)
4 large potatoes (peeled and diced)
1 bag baby spinach (washed)
1 tbsp thai fish sauce
low calorie spray oil

Take a large ovenproof and hob safe casserole dish with a lid and place on the hob over a medium heat. Spray lightly with the oil and add the beef and onions and fry until the beef has slightly browned and the onions are soft.

Add the Massaman curry paste and fry for a few moments then add the beef stock and coconut milk  stir well and bring to a boil. Put on the lid and place in the oven at Gas 5 /190/375 and cook for one hour.

Take out of the oven and place back on the hob over a medium heat (be very careful the dish is HOT !!)

Remove the lid and add the diced potatoes, stir well leave to simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft then stir in the bag of spinach which looks like a lot but it wilts down quite quickly.

Add the fish sauce and taste in case needs a little more or if not using the fish sauce taste as you may need a little salt.

Serves 4 generously at 1.5 syns per person.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Crispy potato roses (Slimming World friendly)

I'm always looking for ways to jazz up plain meals and these potato roses are so simple to make but look and taste fab. I was making a potato boulangere and thought I could make little individual ones but then thought probably could make them without the stock just the potatoes and seasoning so I tried it and here they are.

I think they make a lovely change from jacket potatoes with a steak or chicken dinner. The important thing is to make the potato slices as thin as possible I use a mandoline for this you can pick them up pretty cheaply and they make it a lot less work. Sorry can't say exactly how many potatoes to use as it depends how big they are.

I called them potato roses as I thought they looked a bit like roses on the plate.

Try them they are easy!

Crispy potato roses

4-6 potatoes (peeled and sliced very thinly)
low calorie spray oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Put the oven on gas 6 /200/400 , Place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and spray well with the spray oil then get your hands in and mix everything together very well.

Get a muffin tin and pack the potatoes into each 'well' pressing down lightly, You don't have to carefully layer them just put them in.

Spray the tops with spray oil and bake in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes until the tops are brown and crispy.

Syn free

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Moroccan Chicken (Slimming World friendly)

This is a super easy tasty dinner, It's a great one to make after work as it's so quick to make. I served it with rice but it would be good with cous cous too. Harissa paste is easily available in most supermarkets usually by the herbs and spices. I only used one tablespoon as I like it spicy but not too spicy but add more if you like it hotter also I used chicken thighs as I prefer them for flavour but feel free to use chicken breasts if you prefer.

Moroccan Chicken

8 chicken thighs (cut into chunks all fat and skin removed)
1 large onion (sliced)
2 peppers (sliced)
250ml chicken stock
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 can chickpeas (drained)
low calorie spray oil

Spray a large frying pan or wok with spray oil and add the chicken. Cook for a few minutes over medium/high heat until starting to brown then add the peppers and onions and keep cooking for another few minutes until the onion starts to soften.

Add the harissa paste and stir well then add the chicken stock, tomatoes and tomato puree. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Add the chickpeas and cook for a few more minutes until heated through.

Serves 4 at 1/2 syn per portion

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Creamy pepper sauce (Slimming World friendly)

I LOVE pepper sauce with steak but its usually made with double cream and so definitely a no no but this recipe which I've made for years is really quick and easy and tastes delicious (if I say so myself!)

It's really good with chicken too and the best bit is you can control how peppery you like it. I start with half a teaspoon but you can always add more the same with the garlic you can use more or leave it out completely its the best part of home cooking is making it how you like it.

Creamy pepper sauce

250ml beef stock (from a cube is ok)
35g light philadelphia or low fat cream cheese  (plain or with garlic and herbs)
1 shallot or small onion (finely chopped)
low calorie spray oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper,
1 clove garlic (crushed - leave out if you don't want it too garlicky)

Take a small frying pan and spray with the spray oil, Add the chopped shallot or onion and fry over a low heat until it's softened.

Add the stock and garlic and pepper (if used) and bring to the boil then turn the heat down so its just simmering then slowly stir in the philadelphia and keep stirring until melted into the sauce.

Taste to see if need salt then season ,stir and let it simmer gently until thickened.

Serve immediately

Serves 2 generously at 1.5 syns per person.