vendredi 4 mars 2016

Creamy bacon and mushroom spaghetti carbonara ( Slimming World friendly )

Credit :

This recipe is super quick and delicious, You only need a few ingredients to make this but just need to remember one important point ... keep a cup of pasta water!

Sounds odd I know but it is what makes the sauce so creamy and smooth. I now keep a empty cup in the colander so I remember before I drain the pasta to keep a cup of the pasta water.

This takes only a few minutes but gives you a creamy luscious sauce with no syns :)


  • 1 pack (200g) smoked bacon medallions (cut into strips)
  • 100g mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 tub quark
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pack dried spaghetti
  • low calorie spray oil
  • salt and pepper


Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water as instructions on pack and while this is cooking take a  frying pan sprayed with oil and fry the bacon and mushrooms together until cooked through.

Place the quark and eggs into a large jug and whisk together thoroughly (takes a little time but it does become smooth after a few minutes). Add 1 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt and whisk again.

Once cooked , Drain the spaghetti in a colander  ( PLEASE  remember to keep back a cup of the water the pasta was cooked in). Place the drained spaghetti back in the saucepan and add everything else in, The egg mixture, the cupful of pasta water and the bacon and mushrooms and mix everything together really well for a few minutes.

Serves 4 and is syn free :)

Creamy pepper sauce

Credit :

I LOVE pepper sauce with steak but its usually made with double cream and so definitely a no no but this recipe which I've made for years is really quick and easy and tastes delicious (if I say so myself!)

It's really good with chicken too and the best bit is you can control how peppery you like it. I start with half a teaspoon but you can always add more the same with the garlic you can use more or leave it out completely its the best part of home cooking is making it how you like it.

Creamy pepper sauce

250ml beef stock (from a cube is ok)
35g light philadelphia or low fat cream cheese  (plain or with garlic and herbs)
1 shallot or small onion (finely chopped)
low calorie spray oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper,
1 clove garlic (crushed - leave out if you don't want it too garlicky)


Take a small frying pan and spray with the spray oil, Add the chopped shallot or onion and fry over a low heat until it's softened.

Add the stock and garlic and pepper (if used) and bring to the boil then turn the heat down so its just simmering then slowly stir in the philadelphia and keep stirring until melted into the sauce.

Taste to see if need salt then season ,stir and let it simmer gently until thickened.

Serve immediately

Serves 2 generously at 1.5 syns per person.

Moroccan Chicken (Slimming World friendly)

Credit :

This is a super easy tasty dinner, It's a great one to make after work as it's so quick to make. I served it with rice but it would be good with cous cous too. Harissa paste is easily available in most supermarkets usually by the herbs and spices. I only used one tablespoon as I like it spicy but not too spicy but add more if you like it hotter also I used chicken thighs as I prefer them for flavour but feel free to use chicken breasts if you prefer.

Moroccan Chicken

  • 8 chicken thighs (cut into chunks all fat and skin removed)
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 2 peppers (sliced)
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained)

  • low calorie spray oil

Spray a large frying pan or wok with spray oil and add the chicken. Cook for a few minutes over medium/high heat until starting to brown then add the peppers and onions and keep cooking for another few minutes until the onion starts to soften.

Add the harissa paste and stir well then add the chicken stock, tomatoes and tomato puree. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Add the chickpeas and cook for a few more minutes until heated through.

Serves 4 at 1/2 syn per portion

Crispy potato roses (Slimming World friendly)

I'm always looking for ways to jazz up plain meals and these potato roses are so simple to make but look and taste fab. I was making a potato boulangere and thought I could make little individual ones but then thought probably could make them without the stock just the potatoes and seasoning so I tried it and here they are.

I think they make a lovely change from jacket potatoes with a steak or chicken dinner. The important thing is to make the potato slices as thin as possible I use a mandoline for this you can pick them up pretty cheaply and they make it a lot less work. Sorry can't say exactly how many potatoes to use as it depends how big they are.
I called them potato roses as I thought they looked a bit like roses on the plate.
Try them they are easy!

Ingredients : 
Crispy potato roses
4-6 potatoes (peeled and sliced very thinly)low calorie spray oil1/2 tsp salt1/4 tsp pepper


Put the oven on gas 6 /200/400 , Place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and spray well with the spray oil then get your hands in and mix everything together very well.
Get a muffin tin and pack the potatoes into each 'well' pressing down lightly, You don't have to carefully layer them just put them in.
Spray the tops with spray oil and bake in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes until the tops are brown and crispy.

Syn free

SW Massaman beef and potato curry

credit :

This is a really hearty warming dish, I make no claims for it's complete authenticity as had to change the recipe slightly to make it Slimming World friendly but it's meat and potatoes in a spicy sauce and very easy to make. You can get Massaman curry paste in some supermarkets I got mine from Sainsburys and have seen it in other places the syn value varies so check with Slimming World website syn values if you aren't sure the Sainsburys one is only 1/2 syn per tablespoon.

Coconut milk is high in syns too but 100ml is 4 1/2 syns and it freezes well so I get a 400ml can of light coconut milk and freeze it in 100ml portions in small plastic tubs so it's economical as well. The fish sauce used is a Thai ingredient you only need a small amount and again it's available in many supermarkets but if you can't get it you can leave it out.

Massaman beef and potato curry
  • 700g-1kg lean diced beef
  • 2 large onions (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp Massaman curry paste 
  • 100ml light coconut milk (see in notes above)
  • 4 large potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 bag baby spinach (washed)
  • 1 tbsp thai fish sauce
  • low calorie spray oil

Take a large ovenproof and hob safe casserole dish with a lid and place on the hob over a medium heat. Spray lightly with the oil and add the beef and onions and fry until the beef has slightly browned and the onions are soft. 
Add the Massaman curry paste and fry for a few moments then add the beef stock and coconut milk  stir well and bring to a boil. Put on the lid and place in the oven at Gas 5 /190/375 and cook for one hour.
Take out of the oven and place back on the hob over a medium heat (be very careful the dish is HOT !!)
Remove the lid and add the diced potatoes, stir well leave to simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft then stir in the bag of spinach which looks like a lot but it wilts down quite quickly.
Add the fish sauce and taste in case needs a little more or if not using the fish sauce taste as you may need a little salt.

Serves 4 generously at 1.5 syns per person.

750ml beef stock

vendredi 29 janvier 2016

The singing swede !!




When I heard of people cooking a swede this way it sounded so bizarre I didnt think it would work but hey for 80p for a swede if it didnt work not got much to lose.

The simple answer is it works and works very well, The nickname 'the singing swede' apparently comes from the noise it makes in the microwave when cooking the swede its sort of whistles...very weird I know...and this is the easiest most basic thing I have ever posted I dont think it could even be called a recipe! You dont need to prick the swede or even wash it as you discard the skin.

Singing Swede

1 swede

Place swede in microwave for 15 minutes turning it over halfway through.


When cooked cut off the top and scrape out all the cooked swede and its done. (see picture for details)

I love that this is a super easy way to cook a vegetable no peeling, chopping, mashing its all done and I love plain swede with loads of black pepper as a side dish so enjoy and I know this is a bit of a daft post but was so pleased it worked thought worth sharing with everyone.

EDIT:  For my US friends a swede is known over with you as a rutabaga I believe xx

Nigellas Chicken Cosima

Credit :
This is another recipe taken from Nigella Lawsons new book 'Simply Nigella' I have adjusted it slightly to make it Slimming World friendly.

It's a really easy, quick and tasty dinner all in one pot and although there are some spices in this it's not spicy hot at all if you aren't keen on anything like that. I served it over some couscous to make it an even heartier meal.

You will need an ovenproof dish with a lid that you can use on the hob as well but if you only have an ovenproof dish you can start it in a large saucepan and then transfer it to the ovenproof dish for finishing in the oven.

It's called Chicken Cosima as it's named after her daughter who she invented the recipe for on the occasion of her daughters 21st birthday which I think is lovely.

Chicken Cosima

  • 6 chicken thighs (trimmed of fat and cut into chunks)
  • 500g sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into bite size chunks)
  • 2 cans chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 bag fresh baby spinach (washed)
  • 1 pint hot chicken stock (from a cube or stockpot is fine)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • low calorie spray oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Spray a large ovenproof dish or saucepan (see note above) with some spray oil and place on a medium heat. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with the salt and fry gently until soft but not browned.

Add the chicken thighs and fry for a few more minutes and then add the cumin, coriander, paprika and turmeric. Stir well and add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas and the hot stock and bring to a boil.

Put on the lid and place in a medium oven for 25 minutes. (If you started it in a saucepan this is where you transfer it to a ovenproof dish)

Remove from the oven, Take off the lid and put in the spinach, stir well and put the lid back on and leave to stand for five minutes then add the pepper and stir gently.

I served this over some couscous as its got a lot of tasty broth with it.
Syn free on extra easy.