Thursday, 4 July 2013

Roasted Bombay Potatoes

syn free, serves 4

- 1 bag baby potatoes
- 1 handful chopped coriander
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 tablepoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- fry light

- cut the potatoes into small chunks, leave the skin on, place in a mixing bowl
- spray the potatoes with frylight
- in a separate bowl mix the spices together
- add the spices and stir well until the potatoes are coated with the spices
- bake in the oven at 200°C/ gas mark 6 for 30- 40 minutes

Coriander Chicken

Syn free, serves 4

- 170g fat free Greek yoghurt

- Handful finely chopped fresh coriander

- 4 cloves garlic, crushed

- juice of 1 lemon

- 1 teaspoon aamchur (mango powder)

- 2 teaspoons curry powder

- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- packet of mini chicken fillets 

- in a bowl combine the yoghurt, lemon, coriander, garlic and spices
- add in the chicken and stir well making sure it is well coated
- leave for at least half an hour (preferably 4hrs) for the chicken to take on the flavour of the marinade
- place the chicken pieces on a baking tray, make sure they remain well coated
- cook in a preheated oven at 200°C / gas mark 6 for 30-40 minutes, this could also be grilled on a BBQ

Friday, 21 June 2013

Apple and Cinnamon Rice Pudding

- serves 3, ½ syn for the whole thing.

- 4 ounces of Pudding Rice

- 170ml water

- 330ml No Added Sugar Cream Soda

- 1 shape apple crumble flavour yogurt

- 100 ml apple squash concentrate

- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
-  ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

- Put the rice, water, apple squash and cream soda in a pan and bring to the boil.

- add the nutmeg and cinnamon
-  Simmer until liquid is absorbed.Stir every few minutes
- Remove from heat and leave to cool.
- Stir in yogurt and serve with fresh fruit

Crispy Paprika Potato and Courgette Fritters

- syn free if use HE A (3 fritters)
- serves 2 (makes 6)

- 3 medium sized potatoes
- 1 courgette
- 60g grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 garlic cloves
- fry light

- spray oven tray with frylight (I used a muffin tray in order to get a regular shape)
- peel and grate the potato, courgette and onion
- lay the grated vegetables on kitchen towel, cover the top with kitchen towel and apply pressure, repeat several times until the mix is dry
- grate the parmesan
- crush the garlic
- add the paprika and mix all the ingredients well
- make into six patties
- bake at 225°/ gas mark 7 for 30 minutes until crisp.
Bake in the oven 225°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes until crisp. - See more at:
Bake in the oven 225°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes until crisp. - See more at:
Bake in the oven 225°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes until crisp. - See more at:

Lime and Mango Sweetcorn Salsa

serves 2,  less than 1 syn each

-small tin sweetcorn
- 2 tomatoes
- 4 spring onions
- handful of coriander
- 1 tablespoon of mango chutney
- 1 diced red apple
- juice and zest of one lime
- 2  cloves minced garlic

- dice the tomatoes and spring onions, add to salad bowl with the sweetcorn
- finely chop the coriander, add to salad bowl
- in a separate bowl whisk the lime juice, zest, garlic and mango together
- pour the mango and lime over the vegetables and mix well

Honey Mustard Chicken and Parsnip Casserole

serves 4, 2 syns each

- 6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
- 6 parsnips peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 pack of mini chicken fillets
- 1 diced red onion
- 1diced white onion
- 1 pint boiling chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
- 3 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard
- 3 teaspoons of honey
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary  (or a tablespoon of dried rosemary)
- 1 tablespoon gravy granules

I cooked this in the slow cooker, on the high setting for two and a half hours

- put the potaotes, parsnips, chicken, rosemary and onion into the slow cooker
- whisk together the honey, mustard, garlic and chicken stock and add to slow cooker
- after two and a half hours turn off the slow cooker and stir in the gravy granules

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Lemon and Saffron Rice Pudding

- Serves 3, syn free

- 4 ounces of Pudding Rice

- 170ml water

- 330ml No Added Sugar Cream Soda

- 3 tablespoons Fat Free Fromage Frais

- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

- zest of 1 lemon

- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

- Pinch of saffron strands

- 1 cinnamon stick or  ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- punnet of blueberries

- Put the rice, water and cream soda in a pan and bring to the boil.

- add the saffron, lemon zest, and cinnamon in
-  Simmer until liquid is absorbed.Stir every few minutes
- Remove from heat, add nutmeg and leave to cool.
- Stir in fromage frais and vanilla extract and serve with fresh blueberries

- Slimming World friends make sure you are using pudding rice not pudding rice flakes ( the flakes are syns, the rice isn't)
- The recipe would also work without saffron if you don't have any.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Creamy Crushed Potato

- 3 tablespoons fat free fromage frais
- 1 tablepoon finely chopped chives
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into eighths
- fry light

- place the potatoes into boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes
- drain the potatoes, spray the empty pan with frylight and return the potatoes to the pan
- crush potatoes with the back of a fork
- stir in the chives and 2 tablespoons of the fromage frais
- fry the mixture for  five minutes
- stir in the remaining fromage frais, season with black pepper and serve

Garlic Parmesan Courgette

Serves 1, syn free if use HE A for the cheese

-1 courgette
- 30g Parmesan grated
- frylight
- garlic salt
- a hand full of chopped parsley
- black pepper

- cut the courgette in half and then cut each half into six long pieces
- spray both sides of the courgette with frylight
- spring with the parsley, garlic salt and black pepper on both sides
- sprinkle the grated Parmesan on top of the pieces
- grill until the courgette is soft and the cheese is melted, would be lovely grilled on a BBQ. 

Garlic, Bacon and Tomato Spaghetti

Serves 2, syn free if cheese is used as HE A

- 4 ounces of spaghetti
- 1 pack tomatoes
- 4 rashers of bacon diced, with all fat removed
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 yellow sweet pepper
- 3 spring onions
- handful chopped coriander
- 60g Parmesan cheese

- cook the spaghetti
- whilst the pasta is cooking dice the pepper, spring onions and garlic. finely chop the coriander
- Spray a frying pan with fry ligh, fry the pepper, spring onion, garlic, bacon and coriander.
- drain the spaghetti and mix with the fried veggies and bacon, stir in the tomatoes and half of the cheese.
- serves with the rest of the Parmesan and black pepper on top

Bolognese Pasta Bake

 Serves 4,  ½ syn each (if using HE A for the cheese)

- 500g extra lean mince
- 1 red pepper, chopped finely
- 6 spring onions
- handful of chopped coriander
- teaspoon chilli paste
- teaspoon ginger paste
- teaspoon garlic paste
- 2 rashers diced bacon
- splash of  Worcester sauce
- 60g parmesan cheese grated
- 1 small tin tomato purée
- 1 tin baked beans
- 1 vegetable oxo cube
- 8 ounces of pasta, I used Tricolore Trottole but any pasta shape would do

- cook the pasta,
- spray a frying pan with fry light and fry the red pepper, spring onion, coriander and bacon until the bacon is cooked

 - add the mince, Worcester sauce, garlic, chilli and ginger . Cook until the mince is browned.
- add the beans and tomato purée
- in a casserole dish mix the pasta and mince, sprinkle the parmesan and oxo cube over the top of the dish.
 - bake in the oven at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8 for half an hour

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Potato Boulangere

serves 2, syn free

- 4 medium potatoes, thin slices
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 500ml chicken or vegetable stock

- Heat the oven to 220°C/ Gas Mark 8.
- Peel and slice the potato and onion, finely chop the garlic.
-Place a layer of potato slices in the dish
- Scatter some of the onion slices over the potato, then add some of the garlic, salt and pepper
- Continue to layer and season the potato, onion and garlic until you've used all the ingredients
- Pour the stock over the potato so that it comes up to the top layer
- cook it for 1 -  1½ hours. Until almost all of the stock has been soaked up by the potatoes
- Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to rest and absorb the stock for at least 10 minutes

Lemon Herb Marinade for Pork

Serves 1, 1½ syns

- juice from half a lemon 
- half a teaspoon olive oil 
- 3 cloves garlic, minced 
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon thyme 
- 1 teaspoons Wholegrain mustard 
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pork steak 

- Combine all ingredients and whisk until blended
- leave pork steak to marinate for half an hour
- grill the pork steak 

Chilli-Roasted Carrots

- syn free
- 2 carrots per a person, cut into battons
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon chilli pepper
- 1teaspoon salt
- frylight
- juice of 1 lime
- handful of chopped coriander

 - preheat oven to220ºC/ Gas Mark 8
-Combine chilli powder, cumin and salt in a medium bowl. Add carrots, spray with frylight and toss well to coat.
- Spread out on a baking tray. Roast the carrots for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Toss the carrots with coriander and lime juice

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Fennel and Leek Mashed Potato

Serves 2, ½ syn each

- 4 medium sized potatoes peeled and quartered
- 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped into chunks
- 1 leek sliced
- 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoon 0% fat fromage frais (or for non SW friends a splash of milk and a generous spoon of butter)
- cracked black pepper

- boil a pan of water
- add in the potatoes, leek, fennel and thyme
- simmer for twenty minutes (or until the potatoes can easily be pricked with a knife)
- drain the vegetables and remove the thyme
- add the mustard and fromage frais and mash until smooth
- season with black pepper

Ginger and Thyme Marinated Steak

A nice quick marinade, this makes enough for 1 steak. 
Only ½ syn

- 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
- a pinch of salt 
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- the leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a teaspoon of dried thyme)
- 1 teaspoon english mustard
- juice from half a lemon

- Mix all the ingredients together. Pour over the steak, cover dish and leave in fridge for half an hour (minimum, the longer the better)
- take the steak out about an hour before you want to cook it to get to room temperature. If you cook it once its room temperature the outside of the steak cooks better more evenly.
 - Cook the steak to your preferred level of cookedness, the easiest way to test this is the pressure test. Press the middle of the steak, a rare steak should be soft, medium will feel firmer but still squish-able and a well done steak will feel firm.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Sweet Potato Rosti

- serves 2, syn free

- 1 sweet potato
- 1 potato
- 1 red onion
- black pepper
- 2 cloves crushed garlic

- peel the sweet potato, potato and onion, then grate, this is easiest to do using a food processor
- put the grated mix between several pieces of kitchen towel and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible
- transfer the grated mix into a large bowl and mix with the pepper and garlic, stir the mixture really well
- make into patties on a baking tray (on greaseproof paper or oil the tray) If you want the patties to look a uniform shape you can do this by pressing the mixture into a cookie cutter, then remove the cutter
- bake in the oven at gas mark 6/ 220°C for 30 minutes

Paxo Chicken Kiev

Serves 1, 2 syns

- 1 egg yolk beaten
- 25g paxo stuffing mix
- 1 tablespoon soft cheese ( can take from HE A)
- 1 chicken breast
-  black pepper
- garlic clove
- 1 slice brown bread,  as breadcrumbs (from HE B)

- make the breadcrumbs using a blender, mix the bread crumbs and the paxo well
- take the chicken breast and slice into the side of the breast to make a pocket
- mix the soft cheese with pepper and crushed garlic clove, spoon the mix into the  pocket on the chicken breast
- dip the chicken breast into the egg yolk and coat well
- dip the chicken into the stuffing and breadcrumb mix, coat it as thoroughly as possible.
- dip in the egg yolk a second time and then into the breadcrumb mix
- bake in the oven at gas mark 6/ 220°C for 30 minutes

Friday, 24 May 2013

Spicy Chicken Meatballs

makes 12 medium sized meatballs, 1 syn for six

- chicken mince
- 1 finely chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped corriander
- 1 teaspoon chilli paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon of low fat plain yoghurt

- mix the mince, onion, spices and yoghurt together
- divide the mixture into 12 meatballs
- cook under the grill for around 20 minutes, until the meatballs are evenly cooked on all sides

Chinese Style Chicken,Sweetcorn and Noodle Soup

Serves 4, 1 syn per a person

- packet of chicken breasts
- 2 pints of chicken stock
- 1 tin creamed corn
- three  gently beaten eggs
- 6 finely chopped spring onions
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 cup vermicelli broken into inch long pieces

- put the chicken stock and the chicken breasts in a saucepan, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for  20 minutes (until the chicken is cooked)
- skim off any scum from the top of the stock
- remove the chicken from the stock and shred into small pieces
- add the tin of creamed corn to the stock, stir well and allow to cook for a few minutes
- add the spring onion and chicken into the soup
- mix the cornflower with a few spoons of water to make a smooth paste, add this to the soup to thicken it.
- stir in the vermicelli (it will cook in the heat of the soup)
- remove the soup from the heat, slowly pour in the eggs stirring the soup continuously

Monday, 20 May 2013

Prawn Egg Fried Rice

A nice quick dinner that uses up left over rice. Often you will hear people saying not to reheat rice as it can be poisonous. Whilst it's true that reheated rice could give food poisoning it is not the reheating that causes the problem. In order to prevent dangerous levels of bacteria in the rice it is important to cool the rice in the fridge rather than leaving it at room temperature.

serves 2, ½ syn each

- 2 cups of cold cooked rice
- 2  beaten eggs
- 6  finely sliced spring onions
- 1 cup frozen prawns
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 diced orange pepper
- handful of chopped coriander
- frylight

-  spray wok with frylight,  heat until the pan is really hot
- add the cold rice, fry for two minutes
- add the frozen peas, prawns, spring onion, pepper and coriander, fry for about five minutes
- make a well in the middle of the rice and add the eggs, allow to cook for two minutes until it begins to look like very soft scrambled egg
- stir the ingredients breaking up and spreading out the egg
- add soy sauce, garlic and ginger, stir well and serve


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Home Baked Hashbrowns

Probably one of the nicest breakfast foods, super simple to make and taste as good as deep fried ones. These are well worth the wait while they cook. It is possible to freeze them to eat at a later date.

These work best cooked in a silicon mini muffin tray as this browns the sides and base.

makes 12 small hash browns, SW buddies 6 hash browns = your HE A and1 syn

- 2 medium sized potatoes
- 6 spring onions finely sliced
- 60g Parmesan Cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil

- peel and grate the potatoes. Put the grated potato in a sieve and press out as much as the starchy water, transfer the grated potato to some kitchen towel (or a tea-towel) place another piece over the potato. Use your hands (or rolling pin) to get rid of as much water as possible. You can repeat this process several times if needs be.
- finely grate the Parmesan Cheese
- finely slice the spring onions into small pieces, include most of the green part as well as the white.
- in a bowl combine the potato, cheese, spring onion, garlic salt, pepper and oil, mix well

-use a mini muffin tin to make 12 hash browns
- bake in oven at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8  for 40 minutes, pop the hash browns out of the tray and turn them over so that the top also browns nicely. Cook for a further 10 minutes. -Turn out on to a piece of kitchen towel and stand for five minutes so the kitchen towel can soak up any extra oil

Friday, 17 May 2013

Easy Cheesy Garlic Pasta

One of my favourite quick and lazy dinners.

serves 2, syn free (if using both persons HE A)

-  150g spaghetti
-  pack of  baby plum tomatoes
-  1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- handful of chopped chives
- 30g grated Parmesan
- 75g light soft cheese
- 4 rashers bacon grilled, fat removed and sliced into small pieces

- cook the pasta according to the instructions, I cook the peas in the same water
- meanwhile cook bacon and grate cheese
- drain pasta, stir in the soft cheese, garlic, Parmesan, tomatoes, bacon. Stir well and serve

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Oven baked Falafel

I love falafel and decided to make a healthier version as they are normally deep fried in order to make them crispy. These baked ones have a crispy outside with a soft middle. I served them with Vegetable Pilau Rice.

1 syn for six falafel, mix makes 12

- 1 can chickpeas beans
-1 small  red onion onion, finely chopped
- 2- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 small red pepper finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chilli paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste

- Preheat oven 220°C/ Gas Mark 8
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put in a large mixing bowl
- Add the rest of the ingredients and use a hand blender to make a paste
- I used a mini muffin tray to shape the mix into little patties
- Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned

Vegetable Pilau Rice

- ½ a cup of rice per a person
- 1 ½ cups of chicken stock per a person
- handful chopped coriander
-  handful of sliced mange-tout  
- handful of sliced baby sweetcorn
- ½ a teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ a teaspoon turmeric
- ½ a teaspoon garam masala

You could cook this is a saucepan but I used an electric steamer. You can easily vary the types of vegetables included for a bit of variety.

- place the rice in the electric steamers rice tray. add the spices and stir well.
- add the chicken stock
- add the vegetables and the coriander
- cook in steamer for 30 minutes, you should get nice fluffy rice in this time.  

If you don't have a steamer you could cook this is a saucepan but using a steamer is an effortless way of cooking really good rice. You can easily vary the types of vegetables included for a bit of variety.

Meat eaters could add diced chicken into the mix with the vegetables. 

Crunchy Garbanzo

After a discussion with some of my Slimming buddies about missing snacking on things, I decided to try and recreate a favourite childhood treat but without deep frying them in oil. This was very quick to prepare and has a nice crunch when cooked.

1 syn for the whole batch.

- 1 tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 14 squirts of Filippo Berio, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray
- paprika
- garlic salt

- place the chickpeas in a sieve and rinse the chickpeas under the tap
- on a baking tray place several sheets of kitchen roll,  spread out the chickpeas on top.  put another bit of kitchen towel on top. dry off the chickpeas
- remove any lose chickpea skins
- put the dry chickpeas in a bowl, add the oil. shake well to coat the chickpeas
- spread the chickpeas out on the baking tray and sprinkle with paprika and garlic salt
- bake in the oven at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8 for 40 minutes, till the chickpeas harden. They should be crunchy on the outside but still soft inside. Every ten minutes or so shake the baking tray to help ensure that the chickpeas are crunchy all over. 

You could also try flavouring with lemon juice and black pepper.

Monday, 13 May 2013

My top ten kitchen gadgets

I'm a sucker for a good kitchen gadget, some of you have asked me about what gadgets I use in my cooking so here are my top ten useful gadgets to own.

Easy Chicken Casserole

 Serves 4, less than ½ syn each (depends on your type of gravy granules so heck your syn bible)

An easy but really delicious casserole. If you don't have a slow cooker this could be cooked in the oven. Although my advice is if you don't have a slow cooker go out and get one! They are perfect for days when you know you'll be late home and want dinner to be ready when you get home.

- 2 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 leek
- 3 potatoes
- 2 chicken stock cubes (I use knorr stock pot  concentrated stock)
- 1 and a half pints water
- 1 pack of skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- tablespoon of vegetable gravy granules

- peel and chop into chunks the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, potatoes
- chop leek into small chunks
- put all the vegetable into the slow cooker
-  add the concentrated stock
- pour in the water
- layer the chicken on the top of the vegetables
- turn slow cooker on 8hrs on low or 4hrs on high
- when the food is cooked, stir in the gravy granules to thicken the stock. stir well,the chicken should easily break up as you stir.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Four Cheese Macaroni

Really cheesy syn free comfort food. Only syn free if you use healthy a and only have one portion as the recipe uses 4  healthy a portions. if you are concerned about portion control you could bake as individual dishes in ramekins

Serves 4

-300g macaroni
-  75g Philadelphia Light with Sweet Chilli or garlic and herb (HA portion 1)
- pack of plum tomatoes
- 2 boiled eggs
- 80g reduced fat cheddar (HA portion 2 and 3)
- 6 thinly chopped spring onion
- 200ml of vegetable stock
-  1 cup of Low Fat Cottage Cheese with Onion & Chives (Asda and Tesco both do syn free options)
- meat eaters can add a cup of chopped chicken. ham or bacon

To make the crunchy topping - blend the following in food processor
- 1 slice of wholemeal brown bread (part of healthy b)
-1 teaspoon of onion salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 30g grated Parmesan (HA portion 4)
- 1 vegetable oxo cube

- cook the pasta and drain, hard boil the eggs - this can be done in the same pan
- in a blender put the cottage cheese, Philadelphia, vegetable stock and cheddar, blend until smooth
- in a casserole dish add the pasta, cheese sauce, sliced egg, tomatoes, spring onion and meat,  mix well
- slice the boiled eggs and add to mix
-season with salt and pepper.

you can either eat as it is or spread the breadcrumb mix over the top, stick under the grill till the breadcrumbs are browned (10 -15 mins)

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Couscous Salad

serves 2, syn free on extra easy if you use your healthy A for the feta.

- Asda, Chosen by You Giant Couscous, Moroccan Style Sachet (free on extra easy)
- 100g Feta cheese cut into cubes
- chopped grilled chicken breast
- sliced cucumber
- handful of grapes
- handful of tomatoes
- chopped red pepper
- handful of chopped fresh coriander 

-Cook the couscous - follow pack instructions, whilst couscous is cooking cut the vegetables, feta and chicken into small chunks. When the couscous is cooked mix all the ingredients together.

For vegetarians this is equally nice without the chicken

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Bang Bang Chicken

Serves 4, 1 and a half syns each

- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon reduced fat peanut butter
- 200ml chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon  soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon chilli paste
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pack of cooked chicken fillets ( I grilled mine)
- 1 pack of mange-tout
- 1 pack baby sweetcorn
- 1 red pepper
-  handful of coriander
- 6 spring onions
- vermicelli 10 ounces

- soak the vermicelli in warm water for 20 minutes to soften it.
- finely slice the baby sweetcorn, mange-tout, red pepper and spring onions, fry in frylight for five minutes
- meanwhile mix the peanut butter, chicken stock, soy sauce, lemon juice and the spices until they make a smooth mixture
- add the cooked chicken in with the vegetables, then add the vermicelli, finally pour the sauce over the food, mix well
- serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander on top

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Three Cheese Pasta with Broccoli

Serves 4, syn free if you include cheese as part of your healthy A.

- 10 oz chilli flavoured pasta
- 1 head of broccoli
- 30g low fat cheddar
- 1 cup of low fat chive cottage cheese
- 30g grated parmesan
- 1 veggie oxo cube
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper

- cook the pasta according to the instructions
- cut the broccoli into small pieces
- in a bowl mix the cottage cheese, eggs, spices and cheddar
- drain the pasta and put it into an oven dish, add the pasta and mix in the cheese and egg mix
- bake in the oven at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8 for 25 minutes, remove from oven sprinkle on the parmesan and return to the oven for five minutes
- serve with spicy meatballs

Spicy Meatballs

The eagle eyed amongst you might recognise this as the same recipe as the cheese and bacon burgers, minus the cheese.  I made these with the left over mix from making the burgers.

About half a syn for six large meatballs

- 500g extra lean mince
- 1 red pepper, chopped finely
- 6 spring onions
- handful of chopped coriander
- teaspoon chilli paste
- teaspoon ginger paste
- teaspoon garlic paste
- 2 rashers diced bacon
- 1 egg
- splash of  Worcester sauce

- spray a frying pan with fry light and fry the red pepper, spring onion, coriander and bacon until the bacon is cooked, pour the cooked mixture into a large mixing bowl
- add the mince, Worcester sauce, garlic, chilli, ginger and egg. Mix the ingredients well.
- shape into balls
- bake in the oven at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8 for 20 minutes

Friday, 3 May 2013

Cheese and Bacon Burger

Makes approximately six burgers, less than half a syn each, use small bread roll as HE B, use cheese as part of HE A. I served this with Paprika Sweet Potato Chips.

- 500g extra lean mince
- 1 red pepper, chopped finely
- 6 spring onions
- handful of chopped corriander
- teaspoon chilli paste
- teaspoon ginger paste
- teaspoon garlic paste
- 2 rashers diced bacon
- 5g mozzarella per a burger
- 1 egg
- splash of  Worcester sauce

- spray a frying pan with fry light and fry the red pepper, spring onion, coriander and bacon until the bacon is cooked, pour the cooked mixture into a large mixing bowl
- add the mince, Worcester sauce, garlic, chilli, ginger and egg. Mix the ingredients well.
- shape into patties (I use a biscuit cutter to get the shape and size right so that it will fit in the bun)
- poke a shallow dent in the middle of the burger and fill with the Mozzarella, cover over the top of the cheese with more of the burger mix.
- bake in the oven at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8 for half an hour

Paprika Sweet Potato Chips

Syn Free

- 1 sweet potato per a person cut into thick chips
- paprika
- garlic salt
-fry light

- spray the chips with fry light, sprinkle with paprika and garlic salt
- bake in oven at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8 for half an hour

Rumble Dumble (Indian Scrambled Egg)

This is a really nostalgic food for me, it transports me back to breakfast times as a kid. It's quick, easy and best of all has a silly name. It's a recipe my Mum picked up when my parents lived in India, in my opinion it is far nicer than boring old scrambled egg. Nicest served with fresh naan bread but if, like me, you haven't got a tandoor oven to hand it goes really nicely with toast.

Serves 2, 1 syn

- 2 large eggs
-handful of chopped corriander
- six sliced spring onions or a diced small onion
- a cup full of chopped tomatoes, can be baby tomatoes or sliced tomato
- teaspoon ginger paste
- teaspoon garlic paste
- teaspoon chilli paste ( 1 teaspoon is fairly mild)

- fry the onion, coriander and tomato for a minute
- add the eggs, ginger, garlic and chilli
- keep stirring the mix until the eggs are cooked

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Spinach and Potato Ovenbaked Frittata

serves 2,  1 syn each if using cheese as a HE A

A nice quick dinner and a good way to use up any leftover veggies from other meals. It works well with pretty much any combination of veggies. Frittata is nice hot or cold.

- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of defrosted frozen spinach
- 1 cup of cooked potato (if you don't have left overs you can cook a small potato for five minutes in the microwave and then cut into small pieces)
- ½ a cup of sweetcorn
- 80g half fat cheddar cheese
- 1 diced red onion
- large handful of chopped corriander
- 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon of chilli paste

- mix the eggs, chilli and garlic together in a large bowl
- add in the rest of the ingredients, stir well
- pour into a cake tin (I use a silicone one as these are easiest to take the food out of when cooked)
- bake for 30-40 minutes at 200°C/ Gas Mark 6 (remove from oven when frittata is golden brown on top)
- leave to cool for five minutes before serving

Monday, 29 April 2013

Spicy Mango Marinade

This is the same marinade used in the Spicy Mango Chicken main dish. The marinade can also be used on chicken for the BBQ or for the grill

- 2 tablespoons mango chutney

- ½ teaspoon chilli paste
½ teaspoon garlic paste
½ teaspoon ginger paste
- juice  of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- a handful of finely chopped fresh coriander

Mix the ingredients well, coat the chicken and leave for two hours to take on the flavours before cooking under the grill or BBQ

Spicy Mango Chicken

 Possibly my favourite recipe creation so far, I made this for dinner tonight with the Paprika Crispy Crushed Potatoes and the Oven-roasted Garlic Cauliflower.

Serves 4, 2 syns each

- 8 boneless chicken thighs
- 1 small ripe mango, peeled and chopped into small pieces (optional)
- 2 tablespoons mango chutney
- ½ teaspoon chilli paste
½ teaspoon garlic paste
½ teaspoon ginger paste
- juice  of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
-1 finely sliced red pepper
- a handful of finely chopped fresh coriander 

 - In a casserole dish combine the mango chutney, chilli, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil and tomato purée. Mix until they are a smooth paste.
- add the chopped coriander and red pepper
- add the chicken thighs,coat the thighs well in the mixture
- set the dish aside for two hours so that the chicken can soak up the flavours
- place the casserole dish into the oven at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8 for an hour. Check on dish frequently making sure the chicken is well coated in the marinade. 
- after 50 minutes add the sliced fresh mango for the final ten minutes of cooking time.

Paprika Crispy Crushed Potatoes

A simple but really tasty side dish.

syn free

- new potatoes (how ever many you feel you need)
- paprika
- garlic salt
- black pepper

- Slice the potatoes into small pieces, boil the potatoes for twenty minutes from when the water comes to the boil
- drain the potatoes and place on a baking tray, crush the potatoes with a potato masher.
- cover the potatoes with paprika, garlic salt and black pepper

roast in the oven for ten minutes at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8

Oven Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Serves 6, 1 syn each (if Parmesan used as part of HE A)

- 1 large cauliflower , trimmed and cut into florets
- 5 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt
- pepper
- 30g grated Parmesan cheese

- Combine cauliflower and finely sliced garlic in a large bowl. 
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Shake well to coat the cauliflower evenly
- place on a baking tray
- bake for 25 minutes at 220°C/ Gas Mark 8
- removes from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese, return to the oven for ten minutes

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Hasselback Potatoes

 - new potatoes (however many you need to feed the troops)
- frylight
- juice from half a small lemon
- black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- optional 30g Parmesan Cheese (Use as HE A)

 - place a potato in the bowl of a wooden spoon (this stops you slicing all the way through) slice the potato finely
- place potatoes in a bowl, squeeze the lemon over the potatoes, add a sprinkling of pepper and the garlic salt. Shake the bowl vigorously, this will coat the potatoes and help the potato fan out letting the flavouring get inside the cuts.
- place the potatoes on a baking tray
 - cook at 220°C/ Gas Mark 7 for 50 minutes
- if you want to add Parmesan take the potatoes out at 40 minutes, sprinkle with Parmesan and return to the oven for ten minutes

Five Spice Sticky Root Vegetables

- Serves 2 (1 syn each)

-1 large carrot
- 1 large parsnip
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp chinese five spice
- frylight

-peel and cut the carrot and parsnip into batons
- spray with frylight and place on a baking tray
- bake in the oven at 200°C/ Gas Mark 6 for 30 mins
- put cooked veg into a large bowl, add the honey and five spice, mix well
- place the veggies back on the baking tray and return to the oven for ten minutes.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Chana, Sag Aloo Muffins

Have a similar texture to the inside of a bhaji, minus the grease. These are nice hot or cold, perfect for picnics or lunchboxes. You could bake the mix as a loaf, I chose to bake it in a muffin tin making it easier to share.

½ a syn each (makes 10)

- Uncle Ben's, Express Vegetable Pilau Rice, 250g pouch cooked according to packet.
- Can of Chickpea Dhal, (tesco, asda, aldi versions are syn free)
- 3 eggs
- Cup of chopped frozen spinach (defrosted 2 mins in microwave)
- One small potato cut into small pieces (microwave for 3 mins once cut)
- Ginger Paste,  1 level tsp 
- Garlic  Paste, 1 level tsp
- handful chopped coriander

- Add the three eggs, chopped coriander, ginger, garlic and Chickpea Dahl into a large mixing bowl, stir till well mixed.
- add the defrosted spinach, rice and cooked potato chunks, mix well
- grease the muffin tin with frylight oil spray
- spoon the mixture into a muffin tin, filling each section to the top. 
- bake in the oven for half an hour at 200°C/Gas Mark 6.
- leave to cool (makes them much easier to remove from pan)
- serve hot or cold

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Garlicky Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4, Syn free

- Bulb of garlic
- two baking potatoes
- two sweet potatoes
- two red onions.
- a pint and a half of vegetable stock
- handful of finely chopped  fresh coriander

- peel and dice the garlic and red onions
- peel and cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes into chunks
- add all the vegetables and the stock into a slow cooker, cook on high for three hours. Alternatively  place the ingredients into a large saucepan, bring to boil, then simmer for roughly 20 mins  until the potato and sweet potato are soft.
- blend the mixture till smooth, serve with a sprinkling of chopped coriander

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Broccoli Chilli Pasta Bake

Serves 4 (1syn each if using each persons HE A)

400g chilli penne pasta
large broccoli head
2 chicken breasts
one slice of wholemeal bread (30g)
150g light garlic and herb soft cheese
60g Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

-cut the broccoli into florets and cook in the same saucepan as the pasta
- meanwhile season and grill the chicken breasts, once cooked slice into bite size pieces.
- whilst the chicken and pasta are cooking blend the slice of bread until you have fine bread crumbs.
- mix the Parmesan with the bread crumbs and add salt and pepper
-drain the pasta and broccoli, stir in the soft cheese and chicken.
-put the pasta, broccoli, chicken mix into a casserole dish. Sprinkle the bread crumb mix on top
 - Stick under grill till topping is crispy and brown

Mexican Bean Loaf

Perfect picnic food or serve hot as part of a main meal.

½ syn for a slice
makes 6 slices

1 tin of refried beans
1 Uncle Ben's, Express Mexican Style Rice pouch
6 spring onions finely chopped
handful of coriander
1 red pepper chopped into small pieces
3 eggs
2 cloves of garlic crushed

-beat the three eggs in a large bowl
- add the refried beans into the eggs a spoon at a time, stir until well mixed
- cook the rice in the microwave according to the packet instructions
- add the vegetables and the rice into the mix, stir well
- pour the mixture into a loaf tin that has been sprayed with frylight
- bake for 40 minutes at 220°C/gas mark 7

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sticky Chili Chicken

serves 2, 1 syn per a serving

2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon coriander
1 small lemon juice and zest
2 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
fry light

- spray a frying pan with fry light
- season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, fry on both sides for a couple of minutes
- in a separate bowl mix the honey, chili, coriander and lemon together, pour the mix over the chicken
- keep spooning the sauce over the chicken
- the sauce will reduce, serve when the sauce has thickened until it sticks to the back of the spoon

Mango, Fig and Feta Couscous

- syn free on extra easy if you use your healthy A for the feta.

- ripe mango
-ripe fresh figs - 3 or 4 depending on size (ripe when soft to the touch)
- Asda, Chosen by You Giant Couscous, Moroccan Style Sachet (free on extra easy)
- 50g Feta cheese cut into cubes (free if use as Healthy A)
-(grilled chicken breast, nice cut into cubes and mixed in the food- optional for non veggies)

Cook the couscous - follow pack instructions
whilst couscous is cooking cut the mango into small chunks, cut the figs into quarters (you may need to remove the very top and bottom of figs if they feel too hard.

When cous cous is cooked mix in the figs,mango, feta (and chicken)

Red Pepper Hummus

red pepper
garlic cloves (at least two, depends how garlicky you like things)
drained tin of chickpeas
juice of one lemon
handful of fresh corriander
salt and pepper
(optional chili powder)

chop red pepper in half put on a baking tray with the garlic cloves
stick in the oven till the pepper is roasted and soft

put the red pepper,garlic ( should be easy to remove peel now roasted) and all the other ingredients into a blender and blend till a paste. if it is too thick you can add a few spoonfuls of water or oil.

Scrummy Chicken Pie

Serves 4, syn free if the soft cheese is part of healthy a

bunch of asparagus
1 leek
punnet of mushrooms
pack of diced chicken
2 tablespoons light soft cheese garlic and herbs
2 big sweet potatoes
2 large potatoes
half pint chicken stock
spoonful of bisto gravy granules

I used the steamer but could easily cook in saucepans

In one tier of steamer
- peeled and cut into chucks potato and sweet potato

In other tier
- sliced mushrooms
- finely chopped leek
- sliced asparagus
- broccoli cut into small chunks
- diced chicken

Cook in steamer for 40 mins, or in saucepans till cooked

transfer the chicken and vegetable mix into a casserole dish and add the half pint of stock thickened with the gravy granules.
- mash the sweet potato and potato with the Philadelphia, layer the mash on top of the vegetable and chicken filling
- stick in oven on gas mark 4 for around 20 mins so top of potato goes brown.

Cowboy Hotpot

 serves 4, on extra easy it s 4 syns per person veggie, or 5 syns with sausage

100g smoked Austrian cheese - (25g per person is 4 syns)
tin of sweetcorn
tin chopped tomato
tin mixed bean salad
tin baked beans
large potato diced
(meat eaters can add 2 weightwatchers sausages per person, cut into chunks - 1 syn for 2)
BBQ seasoning - I add couple table spoons
veggie oxo cube

dice large potato
slice cheese into little chunks

put everything in a casserole dish
stick the lid on
put in oven on gas mark 5 for an hour/ till potatoes cooked

loaded curried potato skins

Will add a photo next time I make these

- baking potato
-small sweet potato
- couple spoons of quark

- couple of slice spring onions
- handful of finely chopped mushrooms
- teaspoon of garam masala
-40g reduced fat cheddar
- half tin beans
- handful of sweetcorn
- handful of finely chopped coriander
(Meat eaters can add a couple of pieces sliced extra lean ham)

bake the potato and sweet potato till cooked through
whilst they're baking slice up all the other ingredients
combine all ingredients in bowl
hollow out baked potato and sweet potato - add into the bowl and mix well
stuff the baked potato skin piled high with your mix
stick it in the oven on medium heat for about half an hour

Lemon Yogurt Soufflé

Serves 4
1 and a half syns per a portion
2 muller light lemon greek yogurts
2 large egg yolks
2 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Dash of vanilla extract
Dash of lemon flavouring
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup half spoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, egg yolks, flour, lemon and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl make meringue, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Then gradually stir in sugar and continue beating until the egg whites have formed stiff peaks.
Add the yogurt mix a spoon at a time, gently fold into the meringue, do this gently so that you don’t lose the fluffy meringue texture. This can be done with a whisk or with a spatula.
Divide mixture evenly into four ramekins, bake for about 20 minutes, until evenly risen and lightly browned around the edges.
Serve immediately.