Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween meringue ghosts (Slimming World friendly)

I just made these for my Halloween party in my Slimming World class tonight, I have tried to make meringues with sweetener before and it just doesn't work well so I did use sugar but less than usual to make these (hence 1 syn each) but it's not too bad as a sweet treat just try not to eat them all!


Halloween Meringue Ghosts

4 large free range egg whites
8 tbsp caster sugar
pinch salt
tsp lemon juice


When making meringues you have to ensure everything is spotlessly clean as any speck of grease will stop the egg whites from whisking firmly. Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt  in a large bowl and whisk until the are forming stiff peaks, Gradually add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time and keep whisking until all the sugar is added then add the lemon juice and whisk for a couple more minutes.

I used a plastic bag with the corner cut off as a piping bag, Just fill the bag with the meringue and just pipe little swirls of meringue onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Bake in a very low oven gas 1/2/100/200 for about an hour then turn the oven off and leave them to cool completely in the oven.

I had some black icing so just put two little dots as the ghosts eyes once the meringues were cooled.

Makes about 28 and work out 1 syn each.


Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Thai green chicken curry (Slimming World friendly)

I LOVE Thai green curry (or is it green thai curry? I can never remember) but the usual recipes are not slimming world friendly the coconut milk and curry paste make it too high in syns usually but this version gives you all the delicious flavours but is much lower in fat and syns.

The coconut milk I use is a lower fat version and as the recipe only call for 100ml and the can is 400ml I freeze the rest in 100ml portions in small plastic containers so its pretty economical too.

Unfortunately you can't make this veggie as there is fish sauce in the curry paste but I always add loads of veg to this recipe this version uses green beans, spinach, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots  but you can add any other veg you fancy (and leave out any you don't!)  beansprouts, mushrooms whatever you like.

The sauce is supposed to be like a broth so don't panic if you think its supposed to be thick the lightness of the sauce makes it even more tasty to serve over rice as its absorbs all the flavours.


Thai Green Curry


8 chicken thighs (skinned, boned and trimmed of fat) cut into small pieces
100ml low fat coconut milk
2 tbsp thai green  curry paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
400ml chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
pack of fine green beans (trimmed and cut into pieces) 
can of beansprouts (drained)
can of water chestnuts (sliced and drained)
1/2 bag of washed spinach.
fresh coriander leaves (chopped)




Place chicken in a wok or large deep frying pan and stir fry over a medium heat until browned then add the curry paste and stir fry for a few more minutes.


Add the stock, coconut milk, soy sauce and green beans and simmer for 20 minutes and then add the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots and simmer for another five minutes, Finally add the spinach and stir in until wilted.


Sprinkle the chopped coriander on each bowl before serving.


Serves 4 at 2 syns per portion



Sunday, 16 October 2016

Boulangere potatoes (Slimming World friendly)

   This is a really easy recipe but looks impressive when dishing it up for dinner. It makes a nice change on a Sunday instead of roast potatoes and even though it takes a while to cook it is easy to prepare you just leave it in the oven to do it's own thing. If you aren't keen on garlic you can leave it out it still tastes good. I like thyme as a herb in this but you can vary the herbs as you like rosemary is nice with lamb or even a few dried mixed herbs. Best of all it's syn free :)


Boulangere Potatoes


4 large potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced)
1 large onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
1 pint vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
1 tsp thyme
2 cloves crushed garlic
pepper
low calorie spray oil


Spray a frying pan with spray oil and fry the onions until soft, Spray a large casserole dish or roasting tin with spray oil and layer the onion and potatoes with a little thyme, garlic and pepper between each layer finishing with a layer of potato.

Pour in enough stock until the potatoes are scarcely covered, you might not need it all, Then spray the top with oil and bake for 2 hours on gas 4 / 180/350 until brown and crispy,

Serve 4-6

syn free



Saturday, 8 October 2016

Easy slow cooker beef curry (Slimming World friendly)

This is an amazingly easy dinner you just throw in all in the slow cooker and when you come home from work ta-dah!! It's all ready for you : )

Slow cooker beef curry

2 lb lean diced beef
2 large onions (sliced)
1/2  tsp chili flakes (or fresh chopped chili if you prefer)
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric 
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger (grated )
(or I use frozen garlic and ginger paste )
1/2 pt beef stock (from a cube is fine) 
salt to taste 

Put everything in the slow cooker stir well and cook on low for 6-8 hours . When you get home take off the lid and turn it up to high for the last hour so the sauce can thicken and reduce . Taste for seasoning in case it needs a little salt. 

syn free 



Lamb biryani (Slimming World friendly)

I love this biriyani it's so easy and means you don't have to cook rice separately for dinner. It doesn't take long to make either and also when it's cooked it sits quite happily in the pan with the lid on for a while without overcooking.

You can also make it as hot or mild as you like I tend to use a medium curry powder it's not too hot but has flavour. I have sometimes made a curry sauce to go with this but now Slimming World do the frozen chip shop curry sauce that would be lovely with this.


Lamb Biriyani

500g lean lamb (diced)
1 large onion (thickly sliced)
2 large carrots (peeled and diced)
1 pack green beans (trimmed and cut into pieces)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
thumb size piece of root ginger (grated, or use from frozen or a jar)
2 tbsp mild or medium curry powder
250g basmati rice
500ml beef or lamb stock (from a cube is fine)
salt
low calorie spray oil


Spray a large frying pan or wok with spray oil and fry the onion until slightly soft and add the lamb, garlic and ginger and keep frying over a medium heat until the lamb has started to brown and the onions are soft.

Add the carrots and beans and sprinkle over the curry powder and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat so it's just simmering. Put a lid on or cover with foil and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and check the rice is cooked it's ok if its a little firm as it will carry on cooking for a while when it's standing.  Add salt if needed (might not need it ) then cover and leave to stand for five minutes.

Serves 4-6 generously

Syn free


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Galinhada (Slimming World friendly)

I saw this recipe in the Slimming World magazine and thought would give it a go and I was really pleased with the results. It's a Brazilian dish I'd never heard of before but have made it a few times now, The only thing I did differently was not to use the saffron that's listed in the original recipe as I didn't have any in and it's really expensive so didn't want to buy it just for one recipe.

It's really tasty sort of like a paella (you use paella rice) I also changed the method slightly just to make it a bit easier and anyway the family loved it and it makes loads! I froze some and it was fine just the rice went a little soft on reheating.


Galinhada 


8 chicken thighs (skinless and boneless cut into chunks)
2 large onions (sliced)
4 garlic cloves (crushed)
2 red pepper (deseeded and sliced)
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
250g paella rice
1 tin chopped tomatoes
650ml hot chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
150g frozen peas
low calorie spray oil

Spray a large pan with the spray oil and add the chicken, Fry over a medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until chicken is browned then add the onions and garlic and fry until the onions are soft.

Stir in the peppers, paprika and rice and cook for another 3-4 minutes then add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes and then add the peas, Stir well and cover either with pan lid or some foil and leave on the heat for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4 generously and is syn free :)


Butter........

  I know I never really use much butter in my slimming world recipes but I've been thinking about that. I recently stopped buying low fat spreads as I have recently discovered in reality they are really not THAT different in syns to butter and the taste difference is incredible.

Most low fat spreads are 1- 1 1/2 syns a teaspoon

Butter is 2 syns a teaspoon

 Hardly any difference!!

I have noticed some of these spreads also have all sorts of oils and additives and was considering that when I'm cooking from scratch I should try and use good products as much as possible. So not a very long blog post but just wanted to put it out there. If a recipe calls for even a tablespoon of butter which may well be a what seems high 5 1/2 syns if that recipe serves 4 people then it's only just over one syn per person and the flavour will be so much better.
 

I also bake for friends and family luckily enough I don't have  sweet tooth and I always use butter for baking as it does give a superior bake in taste and in results. I was lucky enough to be given a new butter to try lately called Softer Butter and it's amazing. The butter is 100% butter no added oils which is what is usually added to make butters spreadable and I have no idea why it's softer it just is,


I was baking for Macmillan coffee morning for work and was making Creamy lemon oat bars (NOT Slimming World friendly!!) for a good cause and I forgot to take the butter out of the fridge to cream it with the sugar, flour and oats to make the bars base. In the past I would have microwaved it for a few  seconds but you run the risk of melting it too much. So, A good chance to try the SofterButter and it really worked! I put it in the KitchenAid straight from the fridge and it mixed beautifully I really didn't expect it to but I was impressed.