Saturday, 12 August 2017

Beetroot ketchup (Slimming World friendly)

I have seen a few recipes for this around so thought I'd give it a try, I adapted the recipe so it is now sugar free and Slimming World friendly.

 It couldn't be easier to make I used vacuum packed cooked beetroot but of course if you can access fresh beetroot you can cook them beforehand and then make the ketchup but don't use pickled. It's also very good for children who love the purple colour, I try to avoid aspartame as I don't think it's very good for you so I use stevia or splenda for cooking. The onion powder can be bought in most supermarkets it's with the spices.


Beetroot Ketchup

500g cooked beetroot (sliced)
250ml cider vinegar
2 tbsp sweetener (see above)
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper



Place everything in a saucepan and bring to the boil, Simmer for 30 minutes and leave to cool slightly. Simply blend in a food processor until smooth. If it's too thick just add a little water until it's the consistency you want.

Keeps for a few weeks in the fridge.

Syn free



Friday, 4 August 2017

Lamb souvlaki (Slimming World friendly)

Nothing beats a kebab and this easy recipe is really tasty and you won't miss the real thing, As long as you use lean lamb leg meat it cooks quickly over the BBQ or grill or even in the oven. Lamb shoulder takes longer so just make sure you buy the right cut of lamb.

This isn't too spicy so it's very family friendly too no one would guess it was Slimming World friendly. At the time of writing you can have a weight watchers white low fat wrap as a healthy extra to serve with this but things change so please check.

If you don't like lamb feel free to use chicken I find thigh meat works better but you can use breast if you prefer.

I served this with a traditional yogurt sauce called tzatziki (recipe below) and a simple cherry tomato and red onion salad.


Lamb Souvlaki

1lb lean diced lamb leg meat
Juice of 1 lemon (or a tbsp from a bottle)
2 cloves garlic (crushed or use garlic paste)
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper
low calorie spray oil


Simply place the lamb, lemon, garlic and oregano into a large bowl and mix together very well , Add a few sprays of oil and  the salt and pepper and mix again. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

It's best to cook these on metal or wooden skewers but if you don't have these you can grill them on a grill pan so just thread the lamb onto skewers (if using) spray with a little more oil and place on a grill pan and cook under a hot grill until cooked through and slightly charred on the outside. The timings will vary but takes about 15-25 minutes turning them every now and then. Of course the best place to cook these is over a BBQ but we don't always have the weather for that!!

It's ok if the meat is slightly underdone it is safe to eat lamb slightly pink but if you prefer well done just take a little piece off the end to check if cooked through.

This is the sauce I served with the kebabs.

Tzatziki

250g fat free natural greek yogurt
1 large cucumber (seeds removed and grated)
1-2 tsp salt

Simply mix together and taste if it needs anymore salt.


All syn free


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Cheesy bacon stuffed potato skins (Slimming World friendly)

These are a really delicious side dish, Makes a change from ordinary baked potatoes and are really easy to make.

I've had similar in restaurants but they are loaded with sour cream which makes them definitely NOT Slimming World friendly! This version gives you all the flavour but none of the fat. If you want them even more cheesy you could even melt your healthy extra cheese over the top.


Cheesy bacon stuffed potato skins

2 large baking potatoes
1/2  a 250g tub Arla garlic and herb quark (or use plain and add some garlic and herbs to it )
4 smoked bacon medallions (cooked and cut into small pieces)
chopped chives or green from spring onions.
low calorie spray oil.
salt and pepper


Wash the potato and while damp sprinkle with lots of salt to help it get a nice crispy skin then cut into it just a little way all around the outside (this helps it break evenly in half after cooking. )

Bake at gas 6/200/400 for about an hour until when lightly squeezed the potato is soft and the skin is crispy them remove from the oven but don't turn the oven off you will need it again in a minute.

Cut in half along where you cut into the potato and using a spoon scrape all the cooked potato into a shallow dish. Add the quark and mash very well with a fork it doesnt have to be smooth some lumps are ok and add texture. Add some salt and pepper and mix again then taste if it needs more seasoning. Mix in the bacon and half of the chives or spring onion greens then refill the potato skins.

Spray the tops with a little spray oil then place back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes until the tops are slightly browned.

Sprinkle with the rest of the chives or spring onions.

Serves 2-4 and are syn free





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.