Carribean PepperPot Stew

Hi all

Ive been on a roll of trying new Slimming World recipes with all the inspiration on the website, in the magazines and the calender at christmas there is just so much to choose from!

I had tried a pepperpot stew before and it didn’t go well. At all. So when I spotted the Jamaican Jerk seasoning in Supervalu recently knew exactly what I wanted to make with it – Carribean Pepperpot Stew

I used half round roast joint of beef cut into pieces as it was really lean and easy to trim – and it was on special! The other half is in the freezer ready to make this again!

The recipe on the site states that it serves 2 but Ive changed it up a little bit so it was quite a lot, 4 generous helpings of it. And it’s even better heated up the following day!


Serves 4 – syn free

400g stewing beef, all visible fat removed, cut into bite-size pieces
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
1 large or 2 small white onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
200g green beans, halved
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp jerk seasoning (quite spicy!)
1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 tsp sweetener
200g passata
200ml beef stock
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

– fry the beef on a high heat in small batches until browned (remove each batch to a bowl
While frying next batch then put it all back in the pot
– Add the peppers, onions,carrot beans, garlic, jerk seasoning, wine vinegar, sweetener, passata, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Season and stir well.
– Cover and cook for 2 hours until the beef is very tender and the carrots are well cooked.
– serve with basmati rice

I intend to try this in the slow cooker next time, I think it will be best without the 200ml stock, just add a crushed cube to the mix instead of the liquid.


Zoodles – a how to my way!

Here’s how I make “Zoodles” also know as courgette pasta or courgette noodles.
Handy to have on an SP day if you are following Slimming World or as a low-carb option.

To make Zoodles!

I have a spiralizer, they are easy to purchase on Amazon but if you don’t have one, just use a vegetable peeler and make ribbons of courgette and chop the centres left over finely to add to the sauce.

For 2 people, peel (if you prefer) 3 courgettes, Spiralize on your preferred setting, or peel into ribbons. (To make thinner pasta strips from the ribbons, stack them and slice lengthways)

Place the cut courgette noodles into a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt. Mix well with your hands then transfer all to a colander, placing the colander over the bowl.

Leave for an hour for the excess water to drain off.


Press the noodles down (but not too hard!) to squeeze out even more excess liquid and then toss them up to separate again.

To cook:

Spray a pan with lo cal oil or use oil of your choosing.

Add the noodles and stir around on medium heat until softened. Add a dash of water Id needed to prevent sticking


If you are pressed for time skip the draining of liquid step and just add straight to the pan, you won’t need to add any water while cooking but they may be a little bit mushy when cooked!

For a recipe suggestion click HERE


Smoked salmon, leek and courgette “pasta”

This is a gorgeous lunch or dinner using “Zoodles” or Courgette “Noodles” or pasta!! (You can just half the courgette and add regular spaghetti for an extra easy day!)

Great if you need “SP” day inspiration. I will make again using smokey bacon and eggs for “carbonara” on an SP day.

I have a spiralizer, they are easy to purchase on Amazon but if you don’t have one, use a vegetable peeler to peel ribbon-like strips.

Click HEREfor my instructions on how to make Courgette Pasta


Serves 2

3 medium courgettes, made into noodles, finely chop tops left over
1 medium leek, finely sliced
100g petit pois
100g smoked salmon
2 tsp wholegrain mustard (1/2 syn each)
50g plain or garlic and herb Philadelphia (2 syns each, or use healthy A allowance) or quark
Freshly ground black pepper
(add Half clove garlic minced and 1/2 tsp mixed herbs if using plain Philli or quark)


– sautĂ© the chopped courgette tops and leek in low calorie spray oil (and garlic if using) for 2-3 minutes
– add the peas and courgette noodles and stir over medium heat until softened, add a splash of water if needed
– slice the salmon and stir in
– add the soft cheese, black pepper and stir until cheese is melted and creamy


Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Mash Topping

Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Mash Topping

So, 2 weeks into the new year and lots of cooking to catch up reporting on! First up, cottage pie (although I grew up calling it shepherds pie even though my mum always used beef mince!) With the updated Slimming … Continue reading

Smoked Salmon with Pasta and Garlic Cream Sauce

Happy new year readers!!!

Time to get back to cooking properly and not using the entire month of December as an excuse to eat everything that isn’t nailed down!!!

I weighed in at SW on Tuesday and was astonished to find I was down 1.5lb. A stone since September!! Half way there!!

Last night was New Years Eve. An day I find emotionally tough, losses seem harder as another year passes. Coupled with a headcold, I decided to ignore all invites to socialise and to hibernate, with some nice food 🙂

I still haven’t got my head around the new plan with Slimming World, but this meal is 2 syns each as I used 125mls wine between us, you could use less, or none at all.
This would also be even better with proper cream, use about 2/3 tablespoons per person and add before the salmon and spinach, reduce slightly.

<strong></strong><em></em>Smoked Salmon pasta with garlic cream sauce

<em></em>Serves 2

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 yellow or red pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Pinch dried oregano
125ml White wine (4.5 syns)
100ml water
6 tablespoons fat free fromage frais or quark
(Or fresh cream, add 1.5 syns per tablespoon)
200g smoked salmon (this is quite a generous amount)
130g dried pasta of choice (I used buckwheat as trying to cut back on wheat/gluten)
2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves

– put the pasta on to boil in salted water
– sautĂ© the onion, garlic and pepper until softened.
– increase the heat and add the White wine, boil for 1/2 mins then add the water and boil rapidly for 2 mins to reduce, add the pepper and oregano
– reduce the heat, add the spinach and stir until slightly wilted, then stir in the salmon.
– turn off the heat and stir in the fat free fromage frais
– drain the pasta and mix well with the cream sauce

– add 1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan for 1 Syn extra per person


Turkey, Butternut Squash and a Lentil Curry

Monday rolls around again! The weekend wasn’t too bad, not as good as it should have been but with a special meal and gathering in my house for a celebration to honour the memory of my sister on what would have been her 30th birthday. And a trip to the emergency room for me yestersay, I did better than it could have been under the circumstances!!

Today my meal inspiration came from this recipe on the Slimming World website. I made a few changes (what’s new!!) and the result was a very tasty, filling curry that is going to be made again!!

Turkey, Butternut Squash and Lentil Curry

Serves 4

Free on extra easy

450g turkey breast fillet, skin off and sliced into bite size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into small chunks (not tiny!!)
2cm piece fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp hot curry powder
2 tsp nigella seeds (these are not essential but they do really add to the flavour)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tin chopped tomatoes
600mls veg stock (I had no stock cubes at all so I just used water)

To serve: fat free yoghurt or fromage frais and fresh coriander

– in a large pot with spray oil, sautĂ© the onion, pepper and squash for about 5 mins
– add the curry powders, ginger and garlic, stir well and fry for 2-3 mins
– add the tomatoes, turkey, nigella seeds, lentils and stock
– bring to the boil and then reduce and simmer, lid on for 35-40 mins or until lentils and squash are fully cooked
– serve with a spoonful of yoghurt on top and chopped fresh coriander

*I personally think that rice is not needed with this curry as it is so filling with the lentils, but if you are feeling extra hungry, basmati rice is free on extra easy!


Tikka Tikka Tuesday

I’m working my way through the Slimming World “FakeAway” Book

I tried the Lamb Dhansak recently and I don’t know what I did to it, but it wasn’t nice! I plan to try the Beef version Click Here next week

So, on Tuesday I wanted something yummy but curry like (the boys will eat curry and rice and not much else!)
I had chicken. I had no tomatoes, chopped or fresh or even passatta and I had no coconut milk. How was I going to make something that resembled a curry!

Fakeaway book to the rescue! Chicken Tikka Masala all I needed was fat free natural yoghurt and I had fat free Greek yoghurt so we were good to go! I also read the recipe at 2pm so had a good 3.5 hours marinade time!

I had no tikka powder I just used the hot madras curry powder I have so I did not add any extra chilli that is In the original recipe.

I served with onion and coriander cauliflower “rice” for us and basmati for the kids

This recipe is Syn Free on Extra Easy

Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves 4

Juice of 1 lime (I cheated and used 3 tbsp bottled lime juice)
150g fat free Greek yoghurt
4 tbsp hot madras curry powder (or 5tbsp tikka powder)
Salt and pepper
4 skinless chicken breasts chopped into chunks
1 onion finely chopped (recipe says grated, how exactly one is meant to grate an onion I do not know!)
4 garlic cloves crushed
2cm piece of ginger peels and grated
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
6 tbsp tomato purée
5 tablespoons fat free Greek yoghurt (original recipe says fat free fromage frais)
Fresh coriander to garnish

Cauliflower rice:
1 head cauliflower
Fresh coriander bunch
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed

– in a large dish mix the lime juice, 5tbsp yoghurt, 2 tbsp of the curry powder (or 3 of tikka). Season well with salt and pepper then add the chicken and mix well. Marinade in fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
I like to attack the chicken pieces in the marinade with 2 forks to poke lots of little holes in the chicken and really get that marinade in. You can skip this part but it’s quite fun.

– when ready to go, heat up the grill and spray a pan with lo cal spray. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin and the rest of the curry powder and fry for 2-3 mins.

– stir in the tomato purĂ©e and 300ml of water. Bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 15 mins, stirring often

– meanwhile, thread the marinaded chicken onto skewers (use metal if you have them, if you are using wooden skewers, cover the ends with tinfoil because even though I soaked mine one of them still went on fire under the grill, oops)

– spray with lo cal spray and grill for 15 mins turning now and then until nice and deep golden coloured

– remove the chicken from skewers and stir into the sauce. Take off the heat then stir in the rest of the yogurt and scatter fresh coriander leaves (optional)

Coriander and onion cauliflower “rice”
– break the cauliflower into florets and blitz in processor until it resembles rice. Do in batches otherwise tends to get too mushy and over crowded, you need to just pulse it a few times to get a good consistency of not too small and mushy
– finely chop the onion and add to a frying pan with spray oil and the garlic and fry until golden in colour.
– finely chop the stalks of a good bunch of coriander and add them in along with the cauliflower. Stir well and add 5 tablespoons water and put a lid on to let it steam and cook the cauliflower through, about 10 mins
– season when cooked and scatter fresh coriander leaves over when serving



Friday “Fried” Chicken

This is from the Slimming World “Fakeaway” book, which has so far been one of my favourite go to recipe books.
I highly recommend picking it up at your group or online.

Friday night and the desire to order a chicken fillet burger and bag of chips from the local Italian takeaway is strong!!

I’ve hurt my back and even walking around is painful but after having cake for lunch (how bold, but when a friend visits me with cake, how could it resist!!) I knew I needed a lo-Syn dinner!

This is the way I cooked it, I made slight changes but it’s almost the same. Eg the recipe states chicken thighs, I used chicken breasts.
It’s also supposed to serve 4 people, but himself and my friend fought over the extra portion that was supposed to be for sandwiches for lunch today!!

Also, I still can’t work out, is cayenne pepper the same as cayenne chilli powder??? I used cayenne chilli powder and there was quite the kick so if you like less spicy just use 1 tsp.

Recipe serves
Spicy Southern “Fried” Chicken

Serves 4

1.5 syns per person

100g passata
50g tomato purée
2 tsp cayenne pepper (makes it spicy!!)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs (I used Italian herbs)
2 tsp garlic salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 egg white
60g wholemeal bread
4 chicken breasts

For the garlic sauce:
8 tablespoons fat free fromage frais
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp mixed herbs

Potatoes (I prefer marks piper)

– cut the potatoes into chips, I like mine not too chunky, and I never bother to peel them!! I use an airfryer so I soak them in water for about 10 minutes then dry and spray with lo-cal spray and put on at 200 for 35 mins
– If you are using an oven, microwave them on a plate with a few tsp of water to create steam for 5 minutes then place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and spray, bake at 200 for 30-40 mins
For both methods, shake half way and re spray

– first blitz the bread in a processor to fine crumbs, it’s best if the bread is a bit stale or dry
– in a bowl mix the tomato purĂ©e, passata, garlic salt, herbs and black pepper
– whisk the egg white in another bowl until stiff peaks form then fold into the tomato mix
– put the breadcrumbs on a plate
– cut the chicken fillets in half lengthways and I like to butterfly the thicker pieces as well
– dip the chicken pieces into the tomato mix holding the very tip with one hand then use the other hand to sprinkle bread crumbs on, If you place the tomato covered fillet onto the plate of crumbs then sprinkle and pat down crumbs onto the side facing you, it’s a lot less messy
(I got fed up being tidy half way through and just put all the chicken into the tomato sauce and mixed it up then dunked them in breadcrumbs, the first half were a lot neater to be honest)
– place these on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, spray with lo cal and bake at 200 for 25-30 mins, turn half way and re spray

– garlic sauce
– grate the garlic into the fromage frais and stir in the herbs

In the book this is served with coleslaw which would give you the superfree portion and the recipe is in the book but I just ate a bowl of grapes while cooking 🙂


New Start – again!

So I bit the bullet and went back to my slimming world class (St Marys In Templeogue).
I was dreading the weigh in but I decided to start over, no history. New card.
I was 1lbs lighter than when I last weighed in at end of May so that was a happy start.

Welcome back hugs and such warmth from the members I knew reassured me I had made the right decision.

So, I am keeping food diaries for the first 4 weeks to hand into my leader Noeleen and so far so good.

Although, I baked this cake for a client yesterday, imagine the temptation, the day after signing up again to Slimming World

So I admit I made a test layer as it was gluten free and I needed to be sure it was ok (although recipe came from my friend Anna and can be viewed HEREe

I may have eaten my days syns allowance testing tiny slices. Every time I passed it.

Here’s the cake – chocolate gluten free sponge with chocolate ganache for a student in Maynooth College who’s daddy wanted to send her a birthday surprise!


Cauliflower – don’t knock it!

The humble cauliflower. Until recently the only way I would eat cauliflower is baked with cream and cheese!! Still my favourite dish but having tried a few different eating styles over the years, one of the tricks I’ve kept with me is using cauliflower instead of rice or mashed potato!

One of my favourite recipes is Cauliflower Pilaff from a great paleo site Clothes make the Girl
I leave out the raisins as I don’t like them and depending on how I feel that day, will half the oil used, or use low calorie spray oil.

Here are 3 recent meals I’ve made using cauliflower. I tend to make up a big batch and use it for the next couple of days.

No.1 Baked Salmon with Chilli and Lime Butter (courtesy of Supervalu! But easy to recreate!)
Served on a base of click here for recipe cauliflower pilaff that I tossed through with fresh coriander and some grilled asparagus


No.2 Fried Striploin Steak served with Garlic Butter and Cauliflower Pilaff and asparagus (again)
(The garlic butter melted into the cauliflower taking it to a whole new taste level – mmmmm)
I simply brought the steak to room temp, seasoned with salt and lots of black pepper, rubbed with some olive oil and fried 4 mins each side.
For the butter – 30g butter, grate in a clove of garlic and a sprinkle of dried mixed herbs, roll into a sausage in some greaseproof and freeze for half an hour to allow to cut into nice slices – or don’t bother and just spoon it on 🙂


No.3 Spiced Pan Fried Chicken With Garlic rice mash
For this I seasoned chicken fillets with cayenne chilli powder, salt and pepper and bashed writhing cling film to flatten slightly. Pan fried until golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile process the cauliflower until fine crumbs texture. Sauté a finely chopped onion and clove of minced garlic in a frying pan until soft and add the cauliflower. Cook until soft.
Served with some fried (in the chicken pan deglazed with some water) asparagus (notice a trend) and some garlic butter to melt into the chicken