Saturday, 30 December 2017

Turkey curry (Slimming World friendly)

I love turkey curry made with the leftovers of the Christmas turkey, I know it always makes me think of Bridget Jones Mum turkey curry buffet but for me it's a great way of using leftover turkey. I'm not keen on turkey sandwiches and this recipe means if you really want to get right back on it then this is syn free. 

It's a really simple recipe I love it as it is but if you prefer a creamier style curry you can add some fat free Greek style natural yogurt at the end but make sure you take it off the heat first or it might curdle. 

Turkey Curry

1-2lbs leftover turkey (skin removed cut into chunks) 
2 large onions (peeled and cut into chunks) 
1 tin chopped tomatoes 
2-3 tbsp curry powder ( mild or hot depending how you like it) 
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or use frozen or from a jar)
1 pint chicken stock (from a cube or stockpot is fine) 
2 tsp salt 
low calorie spray oil

Spray a large pan or a wok with some of the spray oil and add the onions, Fry over a lowish heat until they start to soften, Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a few more minutes. Next add the curry powder and keep frying if it starts to stick add a little of the chicken stock. 

Add the chicken stock, tinned tomatoes and the turkey, Stir well and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and become thicker. Add the salt and stir well then taste in case you might need a little more. 

Syn free 

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Bubble and squeak (Slimming World friendly)

This is a Boxing Day tradition in my house it's a fab tasty way to use up your leftover veg and potatoes from Christmas Day but it's very good any time of the year. A friend of mine said it was always their Monday night dinner to use up the leftovers after a Sunday roast.

I have been known to cook extra veg and potatoes just to be able to make this the next day. I'm sorry quantities aren't exact but it depends what you have left over. You need more or less equal veg to potatoes and you need mainly green veg such as cabbage, peas, sprouts but I also put in some leftover roasted carrots and parsnips as well.

It's hardly a recipe but my method is here ...

Bubble & Squeak

Leftover vegetables
Leftover potatoes
salt and pepper
low calorie spray oil

I find the easiest way to mash them is to put them in a roasting pan so you have plenty of space, Mash the veg and potatoes together well I use a potato masher but you can use a fork too just make sure everything is well mashed and mixed. Season with some salt and pepper while mashing.

Spray a small frying pan with the spray oil and place a few spoonfuls of the mixture in so when pushed down to fill the pan you have a layer about 5cm thick. Fry over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes then try and peek underneath hopefully there will be a nice brown crust developed.

Tip out onto a plate then respray the pan and slide it back into the frying pan to make a crust on the other side.

I like to serve topped with fried or poached eggs.

Syn free as long as your veg and potatoes weren't roasted in oil xx

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmas popcorn (Slimming World friendly)

Christmas popcorn (slimming world friendly)

I love finding recipes that I can adapt to make them slimming world friendly. My niece told me about this she saw it on Kirstie Allsop crafty Christmas. (Thanks Naomi :) Popcorn popped with no oil is quite low in syns only 5 syns per 25g and it weighs very light.

I popped the popcorn in the microwave in a plain brown paper bag just put a couple of tablespoons of the corn kernels in the paper bag and roll the top down a little way then microwave for just one minute , You will hear it popping in there and then after a minute you can check the corn has popped. I weighed the popcorn as I went and for this recipe used 50 grams of popped corn which made 8 portions of this popcorn. be very careful not to overcook as burnt popcorn is horrible :(

Christmas Popcorn 

50g popped popcorn
4 tbsp mincemeat

Place the popcorn in a bowl and mix in the mincemeat . It's best to do this with your hands and mix it all really well so the popcorn is well coated.

Spread the popcorn on a large baking tray and bake it at gas 5/ 375/190 for 5 minutes then check it, If its very lightly brown it is done if not pop back in for another minute or two. Leave to cool then break up.

I bagged it up in measurements of one cup and this made it just over 2 syns per portion. I took it to my class tonight for taster night and it went down very well. I may make a bowl of this to put out as a snack on Christmas Day too.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Xxx

Monday, 18 December 2017

Chicken liver pate (Slimming World friendly)

I made this pate for taster night in class last night and its was really popular, I've looked for a low syn or syn free pate recipe for a while so thought I would try making my own and was really pleased with it, Has all the flavour and richness without all the fat and syns. 

I buy chicken livers frozen in ASDA and they are available in most supermarkets they are really cheap too only about 70p a tub, I used smoked bacon medallions as they have no fat at all but lots of flavour. Have a go at making this its really easy and much cheaper than buying pate too. 

Chicken Liver Pate 

1 tub chicken livers (defrosted and trimmed of any sinews) 
2 oz mushrooms (chopped)
1/2 large onion or 1 small onion (chopped)
4 smoked bacon medallions (chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed) 
2 tbsp quark  
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp black pepper
low calorie spray oil

Spray a large frying pan or wok with the spray oil and fry the onion over a lowish heat until soft, Add the mushrooms, bacon, garlic and sage and fry until bacon is cooked and mushrooms are soft. If it starts to stick just add a little splash of water then remove this mixture from the pan and set aside. 

Spray the pan again and gently fry the chicken livers over a medium heat until cooked though (just cut one open to check it has cooked through).

Place onion, bacon mixture, the chicken livers and the pepper into a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes, Add the quark (this helps make it smooth) and blitz again until smooth. 

Place in pots or jar and chill in the fridge. 

Keeps in the fridge for 3-5 days 

Syn free 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Vimto braised red cabbage

This red cabbage recipe has recently become  favourite of mine for a Sunday dinner, I took the idea from the Manchester restaurant 'The Refuge' where I went with my family for Sunday lunch when visiting my daughter. It was delicious and I thought I could replicate the recipe at home so had a try and it was very popular.

It's really easy and just looks after itself in the oven and I have also made it in my pressure king pro and I might see how it does in a slow cooker too. I think I'll definitely be making it for Christmas dinner. It is also a great dish to make ahead of time as it reheats really well and you can freeze it too which I certainly be doing on Christmas Day!

Vimto braised red cabbage

1 red cabbage (core removed and sliced thinly)
1 large onion (chopped)
50ml sugar free vimto (not diluted )
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Place everything in an ovenproof casserole mix well and cover with lid. ( If you don't have a lid a piece of foil tightly placed over the dish will be ok) then place in the oven at Gas 2/150/300 for 2 hours stirring every now and then.

Remove from the oven and taste it might need a little more balsamic and salt and pepper.

Syn free

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Celery soup (Slimming World friendly)

It's definitely soup weather and this time of year I tend to take soup for my lunch every day for work. I bought one of those plastic soup bowls with the vented lids it makes it really easy to reheat in the microwave at work.

When I make this soup I keep it in a big plastic jug with a lid on in the fridge it keeps for about 5-7 days in the fridge. I often have some when I get in from work too while waiting for dinner to stop me picking. It freezes well too I freeze in those 'pour & store' bags pick them up from ASDA or home bargains.

Celery Soup

1 bunch celery (with leaves if possible just chopped roughly)
3-4 spring onions (chopped or a ordinary onion chopped)
2 large potatoes (diced no need to peel)
3 pints vegetable stock (from a cube or stockpot is fine)
2 tsp sage
low calorie spray oil
salt and pepper

Spray a large saucepan with the spray oil and add the celery, spring onions and potatoes, Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and fry gently over a low heat for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften lightly but not brown. Just add a splash or two of water if they start to stick.

Add the sage and stock and bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Blend the soup either with a hand blender in the pan (the easiest way) or transfer to a food processor or liquidiser and blend in batches.

Add salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper in this soup)

You can also make this in the slow cooker by putting it all in together and cooking on low for 6-8 hours or in a pressure cooker using the manufacturers instructions.

Syn free and serves 4-6

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Slow cooker old fashioned beef stew (Slimming World friendly)

Winter is here and I love making soups and stews and this one is so easy to make in the slow cooker. It's old fashioned in that it's just the meat and vegetables with some thyme and salt and pepper nothing fancy needed here.

I think it is important to brown the meat and soften the vegetables slightly before they go in the slow cooker as I think it improves the flavour but if you are in a hurry you can just throw it all in and it will still be good.

Slow cooker old fashioned beef stew

800g lean diced beef
4 large carrots (peeled and cut into chunks or slices)
1 large onion (peeled and diced)
2 sticks celery (chopped)
2 large potatoes (peeled if you want to and diced)
2 beef stockpots or stock cubes
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp cornflour
salt and pepper
low calorie spray oil

Spray a large frying pan with the low calorie spray oil and over a medium heat gently fry the onions, carrots and celery for a few minutes until they begin to soften slightly but not brown (I usually sprinkle with a little salt to help them soften) if they begin to stick just add a little water. Place them into your slow cooker.

Pat the beef dry with kitchen roll then spray the frying pan again and add the beef in batches and fry till slightly brown then add to the slow cooker or casserole dish.

Add the potatoes, thyme, stockpots and a tsp each of salt and pepper. Add water to just cover the meat and vegetables stir well and then cook on low in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours.

At the end of the cooking remove the lid , stir well and turn the heat up to high in the slow cooker, In a small cup add a little cold water to the cornflour mix until smooth then stir this into the stew and stir well. Cook on high for another 15-20 minutes till it bubbles and gets a little thicker. Taste now as it will probably need some more salt and pepper.

Serves 4-6  and is less than 1 syn per portion.