Cauliflower Rice Pilaf 

I love this recipe so much, whether you are lo-carbing, paleo-ing, slimming worlding, it’s just delicious. I eat it on its own never mind as a side dish! 

Obviously for Slimming world purposes I’ve changed the coconut oil in the Original recipe for lo cal spray oil, but if you can get your hands on the coconut spray oil, use that! 

I will edit this post when I work out exactly how to syn this recipe but for now here is how I make it: 

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Serves 4 

1 large head of cauliflower 

8 dried apricot halves

2 tablespoons pine nuts 

1/2 onion chopped 

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground cumin 

– in a non stick pan, spray with local and sauté the onion, garlic, apricots and pine nuts over a low heat until the onions are soft.

– in small batches, blitz the cauliflower florets in a food processor 

– add the spices to the pan, adding a little more oil needed.

– stir for 30 seconds then toss in the cauliflower 

– stir well for about 5-10 mins, add a few spoons of water to help it steam cook 

– serve with some fresh chopped coriander 

Layered Beef and Bacon Pie

I came across this recipe from a wonderful Paleo site called Paleomg and this recipe is from a book called “The Paleo Kitchen”

I tried this for the first time last year and the original recipe is here and it is so good it’s become a favourite.

With the release of “SP” days I decided to change up the topping and make it suitable for an SP day, while still keeping it super tasty. It is a bit of work to make this, but serves 8 portions (ahem, most of the
Time, we both had seconds tonight) but it is worth the work. This is my SW variation on the original Paleo recipe.

I may or may not have eaten this meal heated up for breakfast the next day. Every time I make it, possibly.

If you are not following an SP day – this is divine with sweet potato topping.

The entire recipe has 4 syns (always double
Check yourself!)

Layered Beef and Bacon Pie

200g smoked bacon (visible fat removed)

Ingredients: top layer

2 small carrots, 1/2 butternut squash, half swede, to total Of 650g (or use whatever combo you like)cut into small cubes
OR 650g chopped sweet potato
¼ cup (60 mL) coconut milk light
½ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon salt

Ingredients: Cauliflower Mash

1 head cauliflower 750g grams chopped into florets
¼ cup (60 mL) coconut milk light
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Ingredients (Beef Mixture)

2 pounds ex lean beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium onion, diced
225 grams mushrooms, diced
1 stick celery finely diced
6 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
1 tin chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 190
Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Grill the bacon until Cooked through.Chop into small pieces and set aside.

Steam the top layer ingredients until soft and cooked through.
Blend until smooth then add the coconut milk, sage and salt and pepper. Remove from the blender and set aside.

steam the cauliflower. Once cauliflower is fork tender, place it in a food processor or blender and puree until cauliflower becomes soft and resembles mashed potatoes. Then add the coconut milk and salt and pepper and continue to blend until you have a smooth consistency. Remove from the blender and set aside.

place a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef.Once the meat begins to brown, add the garlic, onion, celery and button mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the worchestershire sauce, tinned tomatoes, salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 15 mins or until the sauce has reduced. Turn off the heat.

Create the layers: Use a slotted spoon to remove half of the meat mixture from the excess liquid in the pan and place in the prepared baking dish in one layer.

Then pour the cauliflower mash mixture on top of the meat and spread out.

Then, using the slotted spoon, add the other half of the meat on top of the cauliflower mash.

Lastly, pour the mixed veg/sweet potato on top and spread it out on top of the meat. Sprinkle with the chopped bacon (or do this at the end)

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the casserole begins to bubble.




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.


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


Checking in!!

Hey everyone!

Been a few weeks since I’ve updated on my weightloss journey!
I’ve managed to stick to my weighing in once a week and since 1st September I’ve lost 7lbs.

It feels frustrating to loose 1lb a week each week, but looking back and it’s now 7lbs I’m delighted and I saw a weight today (11st 11lbs) that I haven’t seen in over 6 months. My goal is to keep on the same level of loss until Christmas, which will bring me to 11 stone.

I gained 1lb last week after a tough emotional weekend, my sisters 4th anniversary came around and I went out with my parents for a very indulgent meal with too much wine, hard to believe it’s 4 years since she passed away, time is going so fast!!

This morning I was down 2.5lbs. I think the fact I’m back walking after the recent foot injury has helped, I’m getting on average 2.5-3 miles each day and feeling the benefit mentally too!!

Off now to search for inspiration for pork mince for dinner but here’s a photo of me at my friends wedding 2 weeks ago, in a dress I didn’t think would ever fit me again!


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



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)


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)



– 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.




Chicken Biriyani

While I was in an Indian restaurant recently, I tried a chicken biriyani for the first time and fell in love! Tender spicy chicken surrounded by flavoured rice, what’s not to love!

So I decided to give it a go myself. I cheated slightly and used a pataks paste (1.5 syns per tablespoon) but I’m going to research a spice mix to try myself next time.

Any vegetables will work here I’ve listed out what I used! Hope you like it!

Chicken Biriyani

Serves 4
(2.5 syns per serving, excluding almonds)

175g basmati rice
1 brown onion chopped
1 carrot finely diced
100g green beans, halved (I used frozen)
100g petit pois
3 chicken fillets sliced in approx 6 pieces
6 tablespoons pataks biriyani paste
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt (I used fat free liberte Greek yoghurt)
1 tin tomatoes

To serve:
25g sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Fresh chopped mint

– mix 2 tablespoons yoghurt with 2 tablespoons of the paste
– marinade the chicken in this mix for 2-3 hours at least
– cook the rice in salted water until just underdone, then drain and remove from the heat
– meanwhile, seal the chicken pieces until nicely coloured, remove to a plate
– sauté the onions and carrots until softened then add the paste, mix well, then add green beans, peas and tinned tomatoes and stir
– mix the rice into the veg and add 1 cup of water
– in an oven proof dish – place half the rice and veg mix on the bottom
– place the chicken along the top of this
– then top with the remaining rice, ensuring the chicken is totally covered
– wrap carefully with tinfoil then make at 180 degrees for half an hour
– serve topped with a spoon of yoghurt and sprinkled with almonds and mint


New Slimming World Fakeaway Book

So a new recipe book has been launched “Fakeaways”

I love it, lots of new recipes to try based on favourite Takeaway or fast food meals.


I tried the “Burger in a Bowl” the other day and it was nicer than I expected! I served it with mixed raw stir fry veggies but I think they over powered the flavours and next time I would use iceberg as recommended

The super sauce that goes with it it to die for and next time I will make double!

If you see this book at your meetings or online on Slimming World official website, pick up a copy, I don’t think you will be disappointed 🙂


Chicken – 3 Ways

Not cooking 3 meals at mealtimes is being stretched a little bit lately!

Cue Sunday dinner, himself had requested chicken with black pudding stuffing on “cheat day” the previous day but we ended up out instead!
So on Sunday I had to come up with something else, using chicken and black pudding!

Since he is following The Pain in my backside diet I came up with black pudding fried up with mushrooms, onion and garlic for him and stuffed flattened chicken fillets – verdict – more of the same please!!


For myself: a recreation of a meal I had in a carvery recently, but Slimming World altered.
Flattened chicken fillet, stuffed with fried onion and bacon pieces, and low low mature chedder with black pepper spread.
I had no breadcrumbs or smash powder so I improvises with couscous, and then realised when I was eating it that I should have soaked it before using it as a coating!

Verdict- delish, will make again, the filling was so good and would work with plain low fat cheese spread too


And for the little people? Chicken nuggets of course – no.1 told me that “these crunchy nuggets are just the best” oops, poor child, raw roast couscous, lesson learned!


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)



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 🙂


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