Saturday, 8 July 2017

Slow cooker roast chicken (Slimming World friendly)

I know this is not an original idea and is scarcely a recipe but it is a great way to cook a chicken. My son Fred first showed me how to do this so thanks Fred!

By cooking the chicken in the slow cooker its stays really juicy and tender and as on Slimming World you wouldn't eat the skin it really doesnt matter that the skin isn't crispy. I also love the fact I can get in from work and it's all done.

I used a little spice mix I made up on this chicken but you can just use salt and pepper if you prefer,


Slow cooker roast chicken

1 large chicken (free range if possible )
salt and pepper
low calorie spray oil

Spice Mix (if liked)

1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix together well


Place some scrunched up foil in the bottom of the slow cooker so the chicken isn't sitting in all the fat and juices and place the chicken on top.

Spray lightly with oil and season well with salt and pepper and the spice mix (if used).

Cook on 'low' for 8 hours , If you want to make the skin crispy after cooking (for someone not on SW!) then just place it in a roasting tin and put in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes.

Syn free (if skin removed)


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Thai style stir fry (Slimming World friendly)

I make this recipe with lean turkey mince and it's so full of flavour and really quick and easy to cook. You could use lean minced beef or minced pork if you prefer and by using mince it makes this very economical too.

As usual when making anything like this the ginger and garlic base is very important to get the best flavours you can use fresh but I tend to buy it frozen I get it from larger supermarkets or ethnic stores. The fish sauce is available in most supermarkets too you only need a very small amount.

Using pre prepared bags of fresh stir fry vegetables means this meal can be ready in less than 30 minutes so it makes a great quick after work dinner. I served it with noodles but you can serve with rice if you prefer.


Thai style stir fry


500g lean turkey mince
1 bag fresh prepared stir fry vegetables
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp chili flakes
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
tbsp lime juice
low calorie spray oil


Spray a large frying pan or wok with the oil and add the turkey mince, Stir fry over a high heat fro about 5-10 minutes until the mince is browned and cooked through keep stirring it all the time to break up any lumps.

Add the garlic,ginger and chili and stir fry for a few more minutes. Add the stir fry vegetables and continue to stir fry until the vegetables just start to wilt a little. Add the soy sauce, lime juice and fish sauce and finally stir fry for a few more minutes.

Serves 4 and is syn free


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Moroccan lamb (Slimming World friendly)

I am so lucky to have a wonderful butchers near where I work and all their meat is from local farms. Find them here ... http://cigmynyddcymru.co.uk/ and so when I was asked to cook at a food festival I knew I wanted to make something using their local lamb.

 I love the Moroccan flavours in this dish and it's really easy to make, I served it with some couscous with pomegranate seeds and a tomato and red onion salad. It went down really well with my family and I'm hoping everyone at the food festival will love it too.

The harissa paste is easily available in most supermarkets I bought mine in ASDA it gives a little heat don't worry it's not very hot just a nice warmth. The apricot jam might sound like an odd ingredient but it's a personal thing I'm not keen on fruit in savoury meals so by using the jam it just adds the flavour without the pieces of fruit but feel free to add chopped apricots if you prefer.


The food festival is in Torfaen (Big Pit) in South Wales on Sunday 18th June the link is here  https://museum.wales/bigpit/whatson/9485/Fathers-Day-FEASTival-/
if you are local and free on Sunday pay me a visit !


Moroccan Lamb 

1 kg lean diced lamb
2 onions (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp ginger paste (grated fresh ginger or from a jar)
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
3/4 pint vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
1 can chickpeas (drained)
1 tbsp apricot jam
salt and pepper
low calorie spray oil (or use rapeseed oil and syn it if you prefer)


Place a large deep frying pan or large saucepan over a medium/high heat and spray with oil. Add the onions and fry for a few minutes until soft and slightly browned then add the lamb and the ginger and garlic. Cook until the lamb is coloured slightly and not pink anymore.

Add the harissa paste. stir well and cook for five minutes making sure everything is coated with the paste. Add the stock, tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced down and thicker, Add 2 tsp salt and a tsp of pepper, stir well and taste you might need a little more seasoning. Stir in the tbsp of apricot jam and add the drained chickpeas. Stir well again and just cook for another five minutes.


Serves 4 at 2 syns per portion.


Saturday, 10 June 2017

One pot cheesy sausage macaroni

This recipe is so easy and simple to make, I have made other one pot pasta dishes before and they have always turned out well but this is the winner. The secret to this one is the HECK smoky paprika sausages by using them you don't need to add any other seasonings not even salt and pepper unless you want to.

If you can't get the HECK sausages then you can use other sausages and just add 1 tsp smoked paprika and salt and pepper to taste.


One pot cheesy sausage macaroni 


1 pack HECK smoky paprika sausages (skins removed)
1 carton (400g) passata
1 pint beef stock (from a cube is fine )
250g dry macaroni
2 red peppers (diced)
200g half fat grated mature cheddar
low fat spray oil


Spray a large saucepan with spray oil and put the sausages in. Over a medium heat stir the sausages and break them up into small pieces and cook until browned you can add a little water if it starts to stick.

When the sausages are slightly browned add the peppers and fry for another two minutes. Next add the passata, beef stock and macaroni. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, Put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes. Taste to check if the pasta is cooked it will still be a little firm but thats ok. Remove from the heat, take off the lid and stir in the grated cheese. Mix very well and then replace the lid and leave to stand off the heat for five minutes.



Serves 4 using cheese as your healthy extra it's 1 syn per portion.



Sunday, 4 June 2017

Mediterranean roasted vegetables (Slimming World friendly)

I love roasted vegetables in the Summer they are perfect when you are fed up of salad and a great way to get more vegetables in your diet. You can use pretty much anything you fancy but I always make sure there are onions and tomatoes in there somewhere. It's especially good if you know anyone who grows their own vegetables as you can happily throw in any vegetables they have a glut of. You can vary the vegetables according to what you like.

It's also great for using up bits and pieces of vegetables you have left in the salad drawer tomatoes that have gone a bit soft, peppers that have started to go brown etc of course you cut off any manky bits but as they roast they go lovely and sweet.

I made these in the pictures when I was on holiday in Spain as I was lucky enough to buy loads of lovely vegetables in the local markets. I served them with a simply roast chicken and a jacket potato.


Mediterranean roasted vegetables


1 aubergine
1 courgette
1 red onion
4-6 tomatoes
2 peppers
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
low calorie spray oil


Pre heat your oven to Gas 6 /200/400

Spray a roasting tin or large shallow dish with the spray oil, Chop all the vegetables in evenly sized pieces and place in the dish.
Add the crushed garlic, salt, pepper and oregano. Mix everything together really well and spray again with the oil.

Place in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes stirring around halfway through until the vegetables are soft and browned.


Syn free





Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Patatas Bravas (Slimming World friendly)

Hola! Back from my lovely holiday in Spain so thought I'd try cooking some Spanish inspired recipes and make them Slimming World friendly.

I was lucky enough to be staying in a villa while we were away and so got to buy the most gorgeous fruit and veg from the local markets, This recipe although it uses tinned tomatoes tastes of sunshine  and Spain to me. I served it with a side salad and a grilled chicken breast but it would also be good as a side dish with a steak or even some sausages (the HECK smoky paprika ones would be tasty).

It's very easy to make, Hope you enjoy it.


Patatas Bravas


500g new potatoes (peeled and cut into small cubes)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small onion (chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes (depends how spicy you like it)
low calorie spray oil


Preheat the oven to Gas 7/ 220/425 then place the cubed potatoes on a roasting tin and spray with the oil and place in the oven for 45 minutes until roasted turning them over halfway through and spraying again if necessary.

While the potatoes are roasting take a frying pan and spray with oil and add the chopped onion, Cook gently over a lowish heat until the onion is soft. Add the tin of tomatoes, chili flakes, salt and paprika and stir well. Simmer over a low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced and is thick.

Take the potatoes out of the oven and sprinkle lightly with salt. Pour the sauce into a dish and place the potatoes on top.


Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 hungry people :)


Syn free


Saturday, 13 May 2017

Chip shop style curry sauce (Slimming World friendly)

I must admit to loving a bit of chip shop curry sauce not the most elegant of dinners but it hits the spot when you need a bit of comfort food. I have experimented to make this sauce and I think this is pretty close to the original. If you want the colour to be more yellow you can add a 1/2 tsp turmeric when you add the curry powder.


Chip shop style curry sauce


1 small onion (grated)
1 tbsp mild or medium curry powder
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 pint vegetable or chicken stock
 2 tbsp fat free greek yogurt
1 -2 tsp sweetener (I use stevia)
low calorie spray oil
salt


Spray a small saucepan with the spray oil and add the grated onion, Sprinkle over 1/2 tsp salt and fry over a low heat for a few minutes until the onion is soft but not brown (you might need to add a little water too).

Add the curry powder and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Place the cornflour in a small dish and add a little water and stir well then add to the saucepan and whisk in well. Simmer for five minutes whisking all the time until the sauce has thickened.

Add 1 tsp of sweetener and taste to see if you need more. Take off the heat and whisk in the yogurt then taste again it might need a little salt.


Makes about 1/2 pint and is 1 syn for the whole lot.