Veggie Sausages

Today I decided to try the Glamorgan Sausages which are featured in the new Slimming World Book “Food Glorious Food”

Click on the link above for original recipe, I added a pepper and used butter beans as had no cannelloni.
Next time I won’t ignore the step to chill for a few hours as they were very soft when cooking and I needed to put them into the oven to firm up a bit more.

Ingredients

2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 small carrots, peeled and grated
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
Good splash of Tabasco sauce
Low calorie cooking spray

For the ketchup

250g passata
1 tsp herbs de Provence (or used mixed herbs)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sweetener
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

– For the sauce.Put the passata in a small saucepan with the balsamic vinegar, herbs and sweetener and season well. Bring to the boil then turn the heat to low, cover and simmer very gently for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Set aside to cool.

– Meanwhile, pop the beans into a food processor with the onion, parsley, carrots, mixed herbs and Tabasco sauce. Season to taste and pulse to combine.

-Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and chill for 3-4 hours (this will help the sausages hold their shape when you cook them).

– Divide the bean mixture into 12 equal portions and form each one into a sausage.

-Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat.

-Cook the sausages for 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp, turning occasionally. (You might need to do this in batches.)

– Serve the sausages hot with the tomato sauce, mashed potatoes (on an extra easy day) and your favourite vegetables.

Tip: This recipe is suitable for freezing

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My Tomato Soup

Ready in 20 minutes and totally delicious to boot – with a tin of baked beans to make it a bit more filling (use butter beans or any tinned beans If you want to avoid the sugar in baked beans!)

My Tomato Soup

(Finely chop all the veg for quick cooking(
1 large onion
2 sticks of celery
2 cloves garlic
2 small carrots (grate these)
200g passatta plus 6 fresh tomatoes (skinned If you feel like it) or 300g passatta
200g baked beans
Salt and pepper
Handful fresh basil or 2tsp dried
2 chicken or veg stock cubes
2 pints water

– sauté all the veg except the tomatoes until softened
– add seasoning, basil, tomatoes, stock cubes and water and bring to the boil
– reduce heat, add the beans and simmer for 10-15 mins
– blend

Serve

Enjoy

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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.

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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

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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

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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

Ingredients

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)

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– sauté 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

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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

Chips:
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

Chicken:
– 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 purée, 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

Note:
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 🙂

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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!

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Lentils??? Yes!!

IMG_8753I was lounging about feeling miserable yesterday, sore throat, sore head, sore everywhere. And I flicked onto Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals on the GoodFood channel.

He was making Spiced Chicken, Bacon, Asparagus and Spinach Lentils. Himself (husbag) was beside me, he said “That looks lovely, will you make that” so I said, ok, I’l try!

Now, i’ve never been a big fan of lentils, but i’m being converted, i’ve even started sneaking them into curries, bolonaise and (shock!!) my famous Taco Fries!! Half the calories of meat and just as filling – yes please!

I’ve changed a few little bits from the original recipe in Jamie’s Book, and I used dried red lentils as Tesco across the road had no tinned puy, but I would like to try it again with the correct lentils!

As usual with a meal with so many flavours, it reheats beautifully and leftovers today were so good!!

I used streaky Bacon, but you could substitute with trimmed lean bacon to keep it free on SW plan, apart from that it’s Syn free.

Husband strongly approved of this meal, said he would keep me a bit longer, I think he wants the same again tonight but beans on toast is my limit today 🙂

ps. This took me slightly longer than 15 minutes to prepare and cook!!

 

Spicy Chicken with Bacon, Asparagus and Spinach Lentils 

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

Lentils: 

1 onion

2 carrots (original recipe uses 1)

2 sprigs fresh rosemary (leaves removed)

120g dried red lentils (or as per original recipe, 2 x 400g tins puy lentils)

2 ripe tomatoes

150g baby spinach

1 tsp red wine vinegar (I used white)

4 heaped tbsp fat free natural yoghurt (optional)

Chicken:

4 skinless, chicken breasts

1 tsp cayenne pepper

4 cloves garlic

1 handful fresh thyme, rosemary and/or bay leaf (I used 1 tsp dried thyme, fresh rosemary and 2 dried crumbled bay leaves)

6 rashers of streaky bacon  (jamie’s original recipe calls for 4 rashers of smoked pancetta)

1 bunch of asparagus  (I used 2 packs of asparagus spears, I love asparagus)

 

Method:

– If you are using dried lentils, bring them to the boil  and simmer for 10 mins until just softened, then drain and remove from the heat. If you are using tinned, just open the tins!

– Peel and quarter the onion and carrot and blitz in processor with the rosemary leaves until fine.

– put in the pan with (spray oil) olive oil and toss regularly

– on a sheet of clingfilm or greaseproof, sprinkle the chicken with the cayenne, salt and pepper, then fold over the clingfilm and take out some aggression on it, very satisfying, until 1.5 cm (ish) thick

– put this into a warmed frying pan with (spray) olive oil,  the unpeeled garlic cloves and the handfuls of herbs, and turn every 3-4 mins until cooked through and gold in colour. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm

– add the lentils to the onion and carrot along with the tomatoes (chopped roughly) and put the lid on. Finely chop the spinach and add to the mix, along with the vinegar, stir and heat through until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste.

– add the asparagus and bacon to the frying pan and fry until crispy and golden (the 2 extra slices of streaky bacon are to test, to make sure it’s ok and crispy enough).

– Roughly stir the yoghurt through the lentils (or serve on the side if you prefer), top the lentils with the asparagus sliced chicken, 1 fillet per person and a slice of bacon, cut in half. (Jamie serves all of this on a platter)

– It is suggested to serve this with crusty bread, warmed through in the oven.

 

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Chicken Casserole Soup

You know when you need something comforting for lunch…this hits the spot

I made this “Soup” yesterday, it was delicious. And leftovers heated up today even nicer: and it came about from a gathering of of last bits of vegetables in the fridge and leftover roast chicken!

Of course, you can just leave everything in bigger pieces and add a few potatoes and have a proper stew!

Chicken Casserole Soup

ingredients

(All ingredients are finely diced)
2 medium carrots
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 courgette
1 red or yellow pepper
2 onions
1 tin sweetcorn (small tin)
2 litres chicken stock
350g diced roast chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tsp dried thyme

method

– sauté all the vegetables (use your preference, oil or low calorie spray) for 10 minutes
– add the thyme and stock
– simmer for 10 minutes then add the chopped chicken and sweetcorn
– simmer for another 15 minutes
– using a stick blender, blend about half of the soup

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Two diets, One meal

So, myself and himself follow 2 different diet plans. I stick (sort of!!) to Slimming World and he a slow carb/low carb sort of paleo plan type of thing involving yuck like butter in coffee and way too many egg whites for my liking!

I digress. As a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids) I don’t want to have to cook different meals for us all so unless I know the kids really won’t eat what we are having and they have a fish finger meal, I try to adapt what we have for us all.

Yesterday I took left over turkey breast and fried it up in nandos hot sauce for himself and made a salad dressing for myself (recipe below)

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For dinner last night we had leftover chicken rogan josh. I had “normal” rice and made him cauliflower “rice” stir fried with mushrooms, coriander and garlic. My husband has the best wife ever 🙂

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Peri Peri Salad Dressing

(I used Nando’s sauce but you could google a recipe to make your own sauce)

1 tablespoon Nandos Medium Peri Peri Sauce
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon

Mix it all up and pour a few spoons over your salad. It’s got quite a kick 🙂

Mushroom & Garlic Cauliflower Rice

A small head of cauliflower, broken into florets
2 cloves garlic chopped
7/8 mushrooms, sliced
Fresh coriander
Coconut oil or oil of your choice

Steam the florets until just about cooked
Meanwhile fry the mushrooms and garlic in hot oil
Roughly mash the cauliflower and tip into the pan, mix well and add fresh chopped coriander

A day in the diary of me: Monday

After about a month off plan, with a holiday, funeral and a wedding in the mix, I woke up yesterday feeling determined that this time in going to stick to being healthy and good, using sw principals but eating a little cleaner (who am I kidding??!!)

Apart from a minor slip yesterday involving a baby size 99 at the park and half a small popcorn bucket at the cinema, I stuck to plan. Day 1 done!

Today is going to be a repeat of yesterday as the curry made enough for 4 adult portions and 4 children’s portions.

Breakfast
2 eggs, boiled, chopped and mixed with 3 scallions finely sliced, 5 cherry tomatoes chopped and 1 tablespoon extra light mayo, salt and pepper
Served with a handful of shredded rocket salad and 60g wholemeal bread toasted and spread with ex light mayo (so much lower in syns than butter!)

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Lunch

Colourful salad of:
Mixed leaves, scallions, cherry tomatoes, grapes, steamed brocolli and green beans (very small amount), sweetcorn
30g light feta and a tin of tuna in spring water
Dressed with balsamic vinegar dressing (olive oil, vinegar, wholegrain mustard, garlic and salt and pepper)

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Dinner

Homemade chicken rogan josh (now I cheated here just a tad and used a pack of spices from Green Saffron which is just all the dry slices pre mixed for you, the flavour was incredible and I’d highly recommend them. However there is a good SW Rogan Josh recipe here.
I fried the spices with lo calorie spray (not butter as per instructions) then added 2 large brown onions sliced, ginger and garlic.
I fried these for a few mins then poured into the slow cooker
I delgalzed the pan with a carton of passatta and some chicken stock (about a cup of water and a stock pot) and that went into the slow cooker.
I then sliced 2 peppers and a small butternut squash and added that too.

I’ve just realised today that I was supposed to add yoghurt to it but I forgot to! The end result after 3 hours in the slow cooker was amazing and the children loved it (although their portions were cooled with a bit of fresh cream)

I served this with boiled rice and some “coleslaw”‘of grated carrot, chopped mint and coriander, scallion and fat free natural yoghurt.

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