Sunday, 28 July 2013

Creamy spinach pasta (slimming world friendly)



This is an adaptation of a recipe I used to make called spinach and ricotta pasta and you can use ricotta if you want to but to make it even more slimming world friendly I substituted sieved fat free cottage cheese or you could also use quark if you wanted to. You can have a generous 85g of ricotta as a healthy extra you could make it using that if you want to but by using the sieved cottage cheese it makes this dish syn free.

It looks like an enormous amount of spinach but it cooks right down to quite a small amount, I often use frozen leaf spinach (defrosted) to make this but don't use chopped leaf spinach as it goes to mush. It's very easy to sieve the cottage cheese or another way to make it smoother is to blend it just do whatever makes it easier for you.I know you only need 150ml of the stock and a cube makes a pint but even though its a bit of a waste of the rest you can keep it for a few days in the fridge if you were making something else later in the week for which you'd need some stock but what I tend to do is buy Marigold vegetable bouillon powder and that way you can just make as much as you need.

Creamy spinach pasta

200g  fresh spinach (or defrosted frozen leaf spinach)
250g sieved fat free cottage cheese
150ml vegetable or chicken stock (made from a cube is fine)
2 cloves garlic (crushed) 
salt and pepper
250g (dry weight) rigatoni or whatever pasta shape you like.


Boil the pasta according to pack instructions until cooked then drain and set to one side.

In a large pan spray with low cal spray oil and fry the garlic for a minute or two then add the spinach and cook for a few minutes for spinach to wilt. Add the stock and sieved cottage cheese and cook for a few minutes over a low heat. Taste before adding salt and pepper as the stock is quite salty and you might just need pepper.

Add the cooked pasta to the creamy mixture and mix together very well.

Syn free on extra easy plan









Friday, 19 July 2013

Iced tea (slimming world friendly)

This mega heatwave in the UK is too much for me so turned to my US friends for ideas to keep cool. I remember when I was in the US for a holiday last year at bars and restaurants I always chose the iced tea as a beverage it is so refreshing but had only seen pre prepared mixes which are packed with sugar around so asked for a recipe and this is the most basic one I found and its fab so delicious and cooling.

Iced tea

4 teabags (any ones just good old PG tips or any will do)
4 pints cold water
sweetener
lemon juice
ice

In a large jug place the 4 tea bags in the cold water and put in the fridge overnight,

In the morning stir well and remove the teabags and then serve the iced tea over ice cubes and add sweetener and lemon juice to taste and stir well,

I like 2 tsp stevia sweetener and 1 tbsp lemon juice per serving but you can adjust it to how you like it.  (My daughter likes it with more sweetener, )

So refreshing and delicious :  )



Saturday, 13 July 2013

Syn free BBQ sauce/marinade (slimming world friendly)

Its finally Summer!!! YAY!!!!!!! well its a bit too hot for me right now but that's me being a Brit complaining about the weather.

This recipe is for a fat free and slightly hot BBQ sauce I love this cold instead of ketchup (save your syns for something else!) or you can use it as a BBQ marinade for chicken or pork or anything really and then put it on the BBQ or in the oven.

It's very tasty and quick to make and if made like this will save in the fridge for a few weeks . I usually just keep it in a pyrex jug with some clingfilm over the top and as said saves you using your syns on ketchup but also means you can have lovely sticky BBQ chicken drumsticks or thighs (skin removed) also very good with lean pork chops or salmon fillets or quorn sausages well try anything you like its syn free!!

BBQ sauce

1 onion (peeled and chopped)
4 tsp mild chili powder
1 carton (500g) passata (sieved tomatoes)
4 tbsp splenda (or equivalent)
8 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard powder
spray oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spray a pan with the spray oil and add the chopped onion, Fry on a low heat until onion is soft.

Add the remaining ingredients apart from salt and pepper, Bring to the boil them simmer for 10 minutes until thickened, Taste to see how much salt and pepper is needed and season to taste. If you want a smooth sauce then blend or leave the onion in it so its a little chunky whatever you prefer.

Serve hot or cold 



Thursday, 11 July 2013

Amazing speedy one pot pasta dinner (slimming world friendly )

Always in the search for quick and easy recipes I came across this one on the blog 'Apron Strings' (http://www.apronstringsblog.com/one-pot-wonder-tomato-basil-pasta-recipe/)

I thought it would be brilliant to adapt to make it Slimming World friendly , I made it this morning and am very impressed its really tasty, only took 10 minutes to make and is syn free (whoop! whoop!)

I am looking forward to making variations of this too adding maybe ham or mushrooms or cooked chicken maybe. The fact you cook the pasta in vegetable stock and tomatoes in the pan makes the sauce really thick and tasty. I added some spare cherry tomatoes I had lying around but the recipe I've given is just the basic one.

The recipe makes a big pot of it so think it would easily serve four hungry people wish I'd known this when had three hungry teenagers to feed as its very economical too!

Amazing speedy one pot pasta

1 packet linguine (500g) break into half lengths
1 can chopped tomatoes
4 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 large onion (sliced)
1/2 tsp chili flakes (if liked)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 pints vegetable stock
salt and pepper

Take a LARGE saucepan (a pressure cooker base would be good). Place all the ingredients apart from the salt and pepper into the pot and stir very well together cover with a lid and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 10 minutes still covered but stir well every 2 minutes to stop the pasta sticking to the bottom of the pot.

After 10 minutes almost all the liquid will have evaporated and the pasta should be cooked, Take a bit to taste and if not cooked as you like it just simmer a little longer but keep stirring every few minutes. I didn't add any salt as the vegetable stock was salty enough just added some freshly ground black pepper.

Stir well and serve.

Syn free on extra easy and green




Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sticky chicken (slimming world friendly )

Another great chicken recipe. I found this on the slimming world website when I had defrosted some chicken breasts and was looking for something different to do with them. Its again a very simple recipe just three ingredient for the marinade which cooks down to a tasty sticky glaze and it used items I just had in the store cupboard which is always a bonus : )

Sticky Chicken

1 1/2 lb chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
3 tbsp clear honey
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well, Add the chicken then cover and leave in fridge for at least an hour but you can leave it longer if you want to.

Place a large pan on a medium heat and add all the chicken and marinade and cook for about 20-30 minutes over a medium heat until the chicken is cooked and the marinade has evaporated just leaving the chicken coated with a glaze. I served mine with some potato wedges and salad.

Delicious!!

Serve 4 and just 2 syns per serving



Monday, 1 July 2013

Baked bean lasange (slimming world friendly)

This dish doesn't sound that attractive I grant you but it is a really tasty recipe, very cheap and filling  too as well as being vegetarian. I made this for my slimming world class taster night last night (Hello to my Cwmbach classmates!) and it was very popular. I know it looks like a lot of cheese on top but it made four generous portions and so I counted a  healthy extra x 4. It would probably feed six really especially with a large side salad or some vegetables.

Baked bean lasange

9 dry lasange sheets
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tins baked beans
1 large onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 pint vegetable stock
200g mushrooms (sliced)
low cal spray oil
salt and pepper
160g low fat cheddar cheese

Spray a large pan with spray oil and add the chopped onion and herbs and fry on a medium heat until the onion is soft then add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to fry for a minute or two then add the stock and the tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes then add the baked beans and simmer for another 10 minutes or so until the sauce is thickened but keep stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Get a large rectangular baking dish or tin that you can lay three sheets of lasange in side by side but don't put them in yet. Put a few spoonfuls of the bean mixture in the base of the dish and then place three sheets of lasange on top side by side and repeat this process three times finishing with a layer of the bean mixture so all the lasange sheets are covered.

Sprinkle the grated cheese on top then bake 30-45 minutes at Gas 5 /375/190 until the top is browned and golden.

Syn free if counting the cheese and your healthy extra.