Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas popcorn (slimming world friendly)

I love finding recipes that I can adapt to make them slimming world friendly. My niece told me about this she saw it on Kirstie Allsop crafty Christmas. (Thanks Naomi :) Popcorn popped with no oil is quite low in syns only 5 syns per 25g and it weighs very light.

I popped the popcorn in the microwave in a plain brown paper bag just put a couple of tablespoons of the corn kernels in the paper bag and roll the top down a little way then microwave for just one minute , You will hear it popping in there and then after a minute you can check the corn has popped. I weighed the popcorn as I went and for this recipe used 50 grams of popped corn which made 8 portions of this popcorn. be very careful not to overcook as burnt popcorn is horrible :(

Christmas Popcorn 

50g popped popcorn
4 tbsp mincemeat

Place the popcorn in a bowl and mix in the mincemeat . It's best to do this with your hands and mix it all really well so the popcorn is well coated.

Spread the popcorn on a large baking tray and bake it at gas 5/ 375/190 for 5 minutes then check it, If its very lightly brown it is done if not pop back in for another minute or two. Leave to cool then break up.

I bagged it up in measurements of one cup and this made it just over 2 syns per portion. I took it to my class tonight for taster night and it went down very well. I may make a bowl of this to put out as a snack on Christmas Day too.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Xxx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Nigellas pasta risotto with bacon and peas (slimming world friendly)

I love Nigella Lawson and her recipes,  She is an amazing woman who I was lucky enough to meet  at a book signing and she was so gracious and lovely and yes she is as beautiful if not more so in real life *sigh* and although a  lot of her recipes can be high in fat and syns but some like this one can also be adapted quite easily to make them more slimming world friendly.

Her original recipe called for pancetta and garlic oil both which are high in syns so I substituted lean back bacon and garlic and used a little spray oil and vegetable stock instead of water for more flavour. I had seen orzo used in some recipes but never tried it before and thought it would be a hard to find ingredient but I found it in my local ASDA. It is pasta but is shaped like a rice grain and cooks like pasta, Usually in a risotto you have to stand over it and stir for ages ladling stock and stirring each time but this one you add all the water at the same time and just need to stir it occasionally while it simmers.

This recipe serves two adults generously and is syn free : )

Nigellas pasta risotto with bacon and peas

250g orzo
150g frozen peas
150g lean bacon (chopped all fat removed)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
600ml vegetable stock (boiling hot made from a cube is fine, you might need a bit more. )
low calorie spray oil
freshly ground pepper

Spray a large saucepan with spray oil and add the bacon and garlic and fry over a moderate heat for a few minutes then add the peas and fry for a few more minutes. 

Add the orzo and the stock and stir well, Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Taste to see if pasta is cooked should still be a little firm most of the water should have been absorbed leaving the risotto quite creamy. If it is still not cooked add a little more water and cook for another couple of minutes.

Season with the pepper and serve immediately.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Mint marinaded lamb steaks (slimming world friendly)

I managed to get some beautiful lamb steaks from my local butchers and was thinking how to cook them, Mint and lamb are of course a classic combination and I have mint in the garden but was thinking how to marinade them so I would get the sort of mint sauce flavour . Most commercially bought mint sauces contain sugar and so are synned but this way the marinade was is syn free.

 I used the richess and sweetness of balsamic vinegar with the fresh mint and a little rosemary to give the steaks a delicious flavour. You could use dried herbs at a pinch but the fresh ones do make a tremendous difference to the flavour in my opinion.

Mint marinaded lamb steaks

4-6 lamb steaks (trimmed of all fat)
1 tbsp fresh mint (chopped) - or 1-2 tsp dried mint
2 tsps fresh rosemary (chopped) - or 1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
spray oil

Spray a casserole dish with a little oil then add the lamb steaks and mix well with all the ingredients . Cover and leave for a few hours for the flavours to develop.

Cover the dish with lid or foil and roast for 20 minutes on gas 6 /400/ 200 then remove lid and roast for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven recover and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Syn free