Thursday, 25 April 2013

Macaroni cheese (slimming world friendly)

I have made this recipe a few times now and it's really tasty and although you don't get a gooey macaroni cheese you get a cheesy, tomatoey macaroni dish. The additions of spring onions, garlic and tomatoes give it a good flavour and always great to add extra vegetables.

It was a big hit in my household and the recipe says serves four but I served it as a side dish with some lean gammon, broccoli and peas and it was a very filling and made a change from potatoes or rice and  I think could easily serve six generously as a side dish and a very generous portion for four served as a main course with salad.

Macaroni Cheese

500g dried macaroni
6 spring onions (sliced, I do this with scissors)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
200g cherry tomatoes (halved)
400ml vegetable stock
4 tbsp tomato puree
250g fromage frais (fat free)
2 eggs (beaten)
120g red leicester cheese (grated)
low cal spray oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to gas 6 / 200c/ 400f , Cook the macaroni in lots of salted, boiling water until just cooked then drain and set aside.

Place a frying pan over a medium heat and spray with oil and gently fry spring onions , garlic and cherry tomatoes for five minutes until soft.

Place cooked macaroni with the tomatoes and spring onions in a large mixing bowl.

In a large jug mix together the stock, tomato puree, fromage frais and eggs and whisk till smooth , Pour over the macaroni mixture and add 100g of the cheese , mix very well and season well with salt and pepper.

Place in a large ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the rest of the red leicester cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes then leave to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4 generously and is Syn free but add 6 syns per portion  if not counting cheese as a healthy extra.

Enjoy xx 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Supersized Spring rolls (slimming world friendly)

I have made slimming world friendly spring rolls before but the recipe I found got quite complicated and so when I saw this recipe I had to try it.

The beauty of the slimming world plan is that nothing is denied but just need to find healthier versions of foods you love one of my favourite phrases is when someone has made a 'fakeaway' instead of a takeaway which just means they made a healthy version of their favourite takeaway and as an example this recipe shows they don't have to be complicatedand can be easy and delcious.

They make very large Spring rolls and one eaten as a lunch with some salad maybe as your superfree would be a really filling meal. Of course you could just have them for snacking but they are quite big!  

Supersized spring rolls

8 lasange sheets
1 pack stir fry vegetables
2 tbsp soy sauce
low cal spray oil

Stir fry the vegetables with a little spray oil until soft and add the soy sauce and stir fry until all liquid is absorbed then set aside.

Get a large frying pan fill with water, add some salt and bring to the boil then add dry lasange sheets just 2 at a time and boil them for about 5 minutes just to soften .

Place the sheet flat on a baking tray lined with baking parchment (non stick) and spoon some of the stir fried veg on the sheets. Top with another sheet of softened lasange and then spray with a little oil and repeat .

Bake at gas 7/ 220/425 for about 15-20 minutes until browned and crispy.

Syn free on extra easy x

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Cowboy hotpot (slimming world friendly)

  I found this recipe in this months slimming world magazine and while it looked lovely I thought of a few other ways to make it even more tasty. This is something I really like to do , find a recipe and then adapt it. I know a lot of people are worried to change recipes but dont be scared if there is something in there you really dont like leave it out of course it will alter the finished dish and I dont mean change the main ingredients but just some of the spices can be lessened or left out if you dont like for example chili or garlic. In this recipe I left out the green beans which were in the original recipe (some in my family arent keen on them) but I added celery and a can of tomatoes for extra flavour. It could also easily be made vegetarian using quorn mince and vegetable stock.

I thought the hotpot was lovely and it was all made in one pan but be warned you need a BIG pan and the recipe states serves four but I think with extra vegetables served with it could easily feed six. I also froze some of the leftovers in 'pour and store' bags.

Cowboy Hotpot

700g extra lean minced beef

2 onions (chopped)

2 sticks celery (chopped) 

4 large carrots (chopped)

700g-1kg new potatoes thickly sliced

1 litre beef stock

4 tbsp tomato puree

1 can chopped tomatoes

1-2 tsp chili powder

2 x cans baked beans

salt and pepper

Place a very large pan over a medium heat and add the minced beef and fry for a few minutes breaking it up then add the carrots, celery and onion and fry for a few minutes until vegetables are soft.

Add the potatoes, stock, tomato puree and the can of tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Stir in the baked beans and heat through and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Syn free on extra easy x

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Syn Free Fish fingers (slimming world friendly)

 I had a request from one of my friends at my local slimming world class to make a syn free fish finger (Hi Joy!) Well after a failed attempt at using cous cous as a crust came to the comclusion you DO need a crumb crust .

These fish fingers are syn free as you use your healthy extra 'B' choice for the coating but if you want a fish finger sandwich you will need to either syn the bread used to make the crumb or the bread used for the sandwich.

This piece of cod loin (pictured) was £5 from my ASDA fish counter and weighed just under 1lb I used half of it to make the fish fingers and it made 8 good sized fish fingers.

Syn Free fish fingers

8oz cod loin (cut into chunky slices)
1 egg (beaten)
2 x small wholemeal bread slices toasted then left to cool and blitzed into crumbs in a food processor and seasoned with salt and pepper.
spray oil

Dip the slices of fish into the beaten egg and then into  the breadcrumbs , Spray with the spray oil

Place on a baking tray which has been lined with some baking paper.

Bake at gas 6 /400/200 for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy xx

Luxury fish pie (slimming world friendly)

  Fish pie can be a boring dish at times but this version has a bit more to it with the addition of salmon and prawns and smoked fish. Its quite quick and easy to make . I often buy fish that is on special offer and keep it in the freezer so can make it a standby dinner if I want to. The white sauce and the mash are made the slimming world friendly way so per portion it works out quite low in syns.

Luxury Fish Pie

1- 1 1/2lb mixed fish (I use a mixture of salmon, white fish and smoked fish)
4oz prawns
4 hardboiled eggs (cut in quarters)
1 pint skimmed milk
2 tbsps cornflour
salt and pepper

4-6 large potatoes (peeled and cut into pieces) 
1/2 tub quark
1 egg yolk
 spray oil.

Place the fish, prawns and hardboiled eggs in a large ovenproof dish, Place the skimmed milk and cornflour in a saucepan and bring to a boil (whisking all the time) and simmer for about 4 minutes until sauce is thick and shiny , keep whisking all the time . Add salt and pepper to taste and then pour over the fish mixture.

In a large saucepan put the potatoes in salted water and bring to the boil and boil until potatoes are tender. Drain, then mash with the quark and egg yolk until smooth then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the mash over the fish and sauce to make the mashed potato topping . Spray the top with a little spray oil and bake at gas 6/ 200/400 until top of the pie is browned.

Serve with loads of superfree veg . This is a large dish and serves 6 and  the syns are 3 per portion on extra easy .

Friday, 5 April 2013

Cheesy twice baked potatoes (slimming world friendly)

  Potatoes are so versatile but can get quite boring boiled, mashed, baked.... This way of making them gives them loads of flavour and doesnt take too much effort, Makes them extra tasty as a side dish but if you wanted to you could add some ham or tuna to the mix and serve with a salad for an interesting lunch. I served them with a steak and salad made a change from ordinary baked potatoes.

Cheesy twice baked potatoes

serves 1 

1 baking potato (use a floury type like maris piper or king edward)
1 laughing cow extra light triangle (or could use the blue cheese light ones if you prefer)
spring onion (chopped)
salt and pepper

Wash the potato and while still damp sprinkle with salt and bake in a moderate oven for about an hour until skin is crispy.

Cut the potato in two halves lengthways and scoop out all the potato flesh and place in a bowl, Add the spring onions, cheese triangle and some salt and pepper and mash together really well. Put the mixture back into the potato shells and then place on a baking tray.

Bake for another 20-30 minutes until top is crispy and brown.

1 syn on extra easy but if you use the laughing cow as part of your 'B' choice then it could be free :  ) 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Almond milk rice pudding (slimming world friendly)

I had this recipe from one of the girls in my slimming world group (Hi Liz!) and its really good. Makes a baked style rice pudding really warming and creamy.

I avoid sweeteners that contain aspartame and prefer a natural sweetener like stevia, Splenda or any more from sucralose I think are better for you.

Almond milk rice pudding

200g pudding rice
850ml water
400ml Blue diamond almond breeze unsweetened milk
4-6 tbsps sweetener (see above) )
freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Put in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the top with nutmeg.
Bake at 180/350/gas4 for 20 minutes or until top slightly browned .

EDIT: sweetener is now synned at 1/2 syn per tbsp after one tbsp  so syns for the whole dish are now approx 7 syns.

Recipe serves 4-6 so each serving is just under 2 syns.

Enjoy x