Friday, 20 April 2018

Chicken and spinach balti (Slimming World friendly)

I make no claims for the authenticity of this recipe but I believe that the name balti just means pan so it is a one pan dish. The beauty of making your own curries is to make them as mild or hot as you like. I don't mind a bit of spice but don't like it too hot so choose whatever curry powder you like most are syn free but check.

The spinach I use is fresh baby spinach but you can use frozen leaf spinach no need to defrost just add it near the end of cooking until it's defrosted in the sauce you might need to simmer a little longer to make sure the sauce is thicker. I use chicken thighs as I prefer the flavour for curries but if you prefer chicken breast then it's no problem to use that.

Chicken and spinach balti

800g chicken thighs or chicken breast (trimmed of fat and cut into bite size pieces)
1 large onion (sliced)
1 bag washed baby spinach
2 cloves garlic (crushed or use frozen)
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger (grated or use frozen)
1 can chopped tomatoes
500ml  chicken stock (from a stockpot or cube)
2 tbsp curry powder (mild, medium or hot)
low calorie spray oil

Spray a wok or large pan with the spray oil and add the onion sprinkle with a little salt and fry gently for a few minutes until starting to soften then add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry for a few minutes. Add the chicken and turn the heat up and keep moving the chicken around the pan to stop it sticking. When the chicken has started to brown after 10-15 minutes add the curry powder and fry for another minute or two (add a splash of water if it starts to stick.)

Add the tomatoes and stock bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and is thicker. Add the bag of spinach and keep stirring it will wilt into the sauce. Taste for seasoning it might need more salt.

Serves 4 and is syn free

Monday, 26 March 2018

Cheesy bacon and leek potato bake (Slimming World friendly)

I made this when I had some leeks and potatoes to use up I was going to make soup then saw I had some bacon medallions and so made up this dish. It's great to serve on it's own with extra vegetables for speed or you could leave out the bacon so it would be suitable for vegetarians or serve it as a side dish to  simply grilled piece of fish or meat.

Cheesy bacon and leek potato bake

4-6 baking potatoes (peeled and cut into slices)
2 large leeks (washed and sliced)
1 pack smoked bacon medallions (sliced into strips)
160g grated cheese (50% less fat variety)
350ml skimmed milk
1 tbsp cornflour
low calorie spray oil
salt and pepper

Spray a large frying pan with the spray oil and add the leeks, Fry gently on a low heat until the leeks start to soften, Add the bacon  and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the bacon is cooked then set aside.

Place the potato slices in a large saucepan of salted water and boil for 5 minutes then drain.

Put the milk in a saucepan and whisk in the cornflour and bring to the boil whisking all the time until thickened, Cook for a few more minutes then remove from the heat and stir in half the cheese (80g) stir well until the cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spray a casserole dish with the spray oil and place a layer of the leek and bacon mixture on the base of the dish, Cover with a layer of the potatoes and repeat.

Pour over the cheese sauce and sprinkle on the rest of the grated cheese.

Bake in an oven set to Gas 6, 200/400 for 20-30 minutes until browned.

Serves 4 generously 2 syns per portion if you use the cheese as your healthy extra.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Marmite roast potatoes love them or hate them (Slimming World friendly)

Whether you love or hate marmite give these a try they are so savoury and tasty, They are really easy to make too. I always love to find a new way to make potatoes to go with my traditional Sunday roast and these are delicious.

Marmite roast potatoes 

2 kg potatoes (peeled and cut into even sized pieces)
1 tbsp marmite
low calorie spray oil

Place the potatoes in a pan of cold water with a couple of tsp salt and bring to the boil. Boil for about 10 minutes then drain into a colander and immediately put them back in the pan.

Add the tbsp marmite and using a large spoon turn the potatoes gently around in the pan as the marmite melts and sticks to the potatoes (helps to shake the pan a few times too).

Put the potatoes in a large roasting pan and spread them out so they are a single layer, Spray well with the spray oil and put in a hot oven Gas 8/ 230/450 for 15 minutes then take out and turn them over and give them another good spray and put them back in.

Roast for another 30-45 minutes until crispy and dark brown.

Serves 4 (with a few leftovers) and are syn free

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Don buri beef bowl (Slimming World friendly)

I love this recipe it makes a really delicious dish which is really tasty but low in syns, tastes naughty but is really good for you.

I had the inspiration for this from seeing this dish at Wagamamas and when I checked it was 17 1/2 syns!!! I  knew I could make something similar myself and make it Slimming World friendly. I make no claims to the authenticity of this dish but it's my version and was really popular with my family. I used boil in the bag rice as its quick and portions are measured but you can use ordinary white rice if you like or even cauliflower or broccoli rice is you prefer.

Don Buri beef bowl 

4 thin beef steaks (all fat removed)

2 sachets boil in the bag white rice

150ml light soy sauce
100ml water
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp crushed ginger (or 1/2tsp ground ginger) 
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cornflour

shredded carrot
peashoots and lambs lettuce leaves (bought in a bag)

1 tsp sesame seeds

Cook the rice according to the instructions and set aside, Lightly season the steaks with salt and pepper and pan fry or grill until cooked then set to one side to rest.

Place the soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger and honey in a small saucepan. Whisk together and bring to the boil then simmer for a few minutes, Mix the cornflour well with a little cold water then add to the pan and keep whisking while it's simmering until it's slightly thickened.

Divide the rice between four bowls, Slice the steaks into thin strips and lay on top of the rice. Place the shredded carrot and salad leave around the edges of the bowl then drizzle the sauce evenly over the beef and rice in the middle.

Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and serve.

Serves 4 generously and is only 1 syn per portion.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Sweet chili sauce (Slimming World friendly)

I love sweet chili sauce and although shop bought is not very high in syns this sauce makes it very low in fact it's practically negligible per portion. The beauty of making it yourself is you can also control the heat if you love chilis then put more in if you aren't too keen on lots of heat just use one or two and if you like it very mild then use just one or two but take the seeds out as well as that makes it milder. I don't like to use aspartame based sweeteners as I don't feel they are very good for you so use stevia or splenda but use what you like.

Sweet chili sauce

2-6 fresh red chilis (trim end off and remove seeds if liked)
2 cloves garlic
250ml cider vinegar
100ml water
2 tsp cornflour
4 tbsp powdered sweetener
1 tsp salt

Place the garlic and chilis in a food processor and blitz just for a couple of seconds you don't want a puree just for the chilis and garlic to be finely chopped. Add to a saucepan along with the cider vinegar and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and simmer for about five minutes. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water in a small dish and whisk well until smooth then add to the saucepan whisking well and continue to cook for a few more minutes until slightly thickened. Add the salt and sweetner and cook for another minute or two. Have a taste and see if you need more sweetener or salt.

Makes approximately 250ml keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks and is 3 syns for the total amount so is approximately 1/4 syn per tablespoon  serving. 

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Beef Strogonoff (Slimming World friendly)

I love strogonoff but it is usually high in syns and fat but this version is Slimming World friendly. It is based on the one in Tom Kerridges new book 'Lose weight for good' but I thought I could make his recipe lower in syns but keeping all the flavour. I made this with beef but you can use pork and for my taster in class the other night I made a mushroom version which is vegetarian but if you wanted to make it vegan just use a thick soy yogurt in place of the greek yogurt at the end and of course ensure your stock is vegan friendly. 

Beef Strogonoff 

1 large onion (finely sliced) 
3 cloves garlic (crushed ) 
1 beef stock cube or stockpot
400ml beef stock (made from a cube or stockpot)  
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika 
1 tbsp tomato puree 
250g chestnut mushrooms (sliced) 
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3 thin cut frying steaks (all visible fat removed) 
2 tbsp fat free greek yogurt
low calorie spray oil 
salt and pepper 

Spray a large deep frying pan or wok with the spray oil and add the onion, Fry gently over a low heat until soft, Stir in the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the stock cube or stockpot, paprika and tomato puree and cook for a few more minutes stirring well add a splash of water if it starts to stick. Add the beef stock, mushrooms and mustard. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. 

Meanwhile spray the thin steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper and fry in a separate pan for a few minutes each side then put to one side to rest while you finish the sauce.  

Take the sauce off the heat (this is important or it will curdle) and gently stir in the yogurt until well mixed, Cut the steaks into strips and add to the pan. Taste to see if you need anymore seasoning. 

Serves 4 and is Syn free 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Easy salmon fishcakes (Slimming World friendly)

This is such a simple recipe takes just minutes to make, I was given the recipe from a patient of mines relative who said she heard it's the recipe they use for the fishcakes in the London restaurant The Ivy I can't confirm or deny this but all I know is they are really tasty,

You use small amount of tomato ketchup in this but split into portions it is negligible for syns but I do have a syn free ketchup recipe on the blog too just look for it in the search box on the right hand side about half way down.

 I made a Slimming World friendly sweet chili sauce to serve with these and I'll post that soon.

Easy salmon fishcakes

350g cooked salmon
350g cold mashed potato
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp chopped parsley (if liked)
low calorie spray oil

Put the potato, mustard, ketchup and parsley into a bowl and then break up the salmon and mix everything well together. You don't want it too smooth it's good to have some texture to the mixture.

The easiest way I found to shape the fishcakes was to line an empty (clean!) tuna can with clingfilm then place the mixture into this then you can just tip it out onto a baking tray lined with a piece of baking parchment (greaseproof) and repeat until all the mixture is used up. You can of course just shape them by hand if you prefer. 

Spray the fishcakes with the spray oil and bake in the oven Gas 6/200/400 for 20-30 minutes

Makes 6-8 depending on how you shape them and are syn free