Tuesday, 5 November 2013


Now Autumn has hit with a vengeance, it is time to roll out the soups!  Here is my take on the Tuscan favourite - Ribollita. It can be made with a wide range of veg and beans, whatever you have to hand, I don't think there is a hard and fast rule on this. Instead of pouring the soup over a hunk of stale bread to thicken the soup I have a couple of slices on the side with butter.

My Take on Ribollita
Serves two as a main or 4 as a starter
Approx WW Pro Points based on serving 2 = 6 points

1/2 Onion squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced
2 courgette, diced
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 can butter beans or cannelini
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped
750ml vegetable/chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 Savoy cabbage shredded
1tbs rapeseed oil 

Heat oil in pan. Add the onion and garlic, soften for a few minutes. Add the diced squash and courgette and cook out for several mins.
Add the chopped tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaves. Pour over the stock and butter beans season and cover. Simmer for 20 mins.
Use a potato masher and gently mash half the soup so the beans and squash thicken the soup. Add the cabbage and cook for a further 5-10 mins.

Serve with some grated Parmesan and bread and butter.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Pot Roast Partridge

Hubby went to visit our local game butcher and came home with a brace of dressed partridge.  He then set about changing a recipe found on the Good Food Website for pheasant accordingly:-

Pot Roast Partridge
Serves 2  Approx. WW Pro Points 15

2 partridge, plucked and dressed
1 tbsp. flour
2 tbs. veg oil
2 rashers smoked bacon, thinly sliced
 8 shallots peeled
2 carrots peeled and cut onto chunky batons
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunky batons
1 clove garlic,
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. marjoram
2 bay leaves
100ml marsala
50ml red wine
200ml chicken stock
1 tsp. sugar

Heat the oven to 160oc/fan.  Dust the partridge in flour, heat the oil and brown the partridge.  Remove them from the pan and set to one side.

The fry the bacon, chopped garlic, vegetables and herbs with a little flour for 5 mins until the veg takes on some colour.  Place the partridge back in to the dish and pour over the marsala, wine, stock and sugar.

Cover and cook for about 40 mins.  Serve.

I cannot tell you how delicious this was, lightly gamey in flavour, sweet with the marsala and wine with a lovely herby taste.  The partridge being so small do not take long to cook and they were tender and juicy.  Will definitely be requesting this again from hubby.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Butternut Squash Lasagne

Whilst having tried various recipes to get a good veggie only lasagne that was healthy and tasty I came across this recipe from Recipe Rifle who in turn, I think, took it from Pippa Middleton's Celebrate book, not that I have read that.

Whereas the recipe opts for more or a 'cake' style, I decided to play with it a bit and make a healthy, creamy lasagne style as follows.

Butternut Squash Lasagne
Serves 2 greedily
Approx WW Pro Points 12

1 Butternut squash
1 onion, sliced into rounds
1 tbp oil
250g fresh spinach, steamed
2 tsp dried sage - crumbed or several fresh leaves, chopped
300ml skimmed milk
1 1/2 tbs flour
1 tbs butter
100g strong cheddar, grated
1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Heat the oven to 180oc/fan.  Peel the BNS and slice into rounds with a thickness of a £ coin (2-3mm), place these rounds with the onion rounds onto a baking tray and drizzle with oil.  Bake for 30 mins

In the meantime make up a white sauce with the butter, flour and milk - add most of the grated cheese and season well, stir in the mustard towards the end, it will help thicken the sauce.

Squeeze the steamed spinach to remove all the moisture.

Take the BNS and onions and layer up with the spinach and a sprinkling of sage, pour over some sauce.  Repeat layers and season each layer well with S&P.

Final layer with sauce on top and the remainder of the cheese.

Back into the oven for 20 minutes, serve.

Utterly creamy and the sage adds a wonderful hit, so good you don't miss the fact that there is no meat or pasta in the dish, very very satisfying.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Chicken with Lentils & Baby Plum Tomatoes

Lentils - never had much luck with them before, the whole soaking then boiling mularky sometimes they ended up squishy or gritty so I pretty much gave up on them, until I found the wonderful invention of pre-cooked microwavable puy lentils!  I have to thank this recipe below from the October issue of Good Food magazine for bringing it to my attention, I would never have looked for them otherwise.  I have tweaked the recipe to suit two people.

Chicken with Lentils and Baby Plum Tomatoes
Serves 2  Approx 14 Weight Watchers Pro Points per serving.

300g Chicken thighs, boneless, skinless and cut into chunks
2 medium red onions, cut into wedges
2 tsp olive oil
150g Baby plum tomatoes, sliced in half
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 x 250g pouch microwave Puy lentils
1 tsbp red wine vinegar
Handful of fresh chopped coriander

Heat the oven to 180oc fan.  Toss the chicken and onion in the oil and roast in a baking tray for  10 mins.  Add the tomatoes and cumin seeds and cook for a further 10 mins.

Towards the end of cooking, microwave the lentils as per instructions and then tip them over the chicken mixture, pour over the red wine vinegar and toss together, sprinkle over the coriander and serve.

A really simple, tasty light evening meal.  Looks more impressive than the sub total of the ingredients make it.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Pan Fried Marinated Steak Salad

Yep, steak and salad in the same sentence, but really it is pretty healthy, veggie packed and fairly light on the old Pro Points.

Pan Fried Marinated Steak Salad
Serves 2  Approx 14 Pro Points per serving

400g thin sliced sirloin/frying steaks
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and lay the steaks in it for a couple of hours. 
Then take a scorching hot griddle pan and fry for a couple of mins each side, put to one side to rest.

300g potatoes, part boiled and then sliced 
1 bunch of asparagus, each spear cut into 3 pieces.
1 onion, thinly sliced 
2 tsp oil

In a non stick frying pan heat the oil.  Add the sliced potato and onions and fry until golden, add the asparagus, seasoning and continue cooking for a could of mins, you still want the asparagus to retain some bite.

2 tbsp 0% fat Greek yoghurt
1 tsp finely chopped red chilli
Zest and 1 tsp juice of lime
Pepper and a dash of sugar

Mix all together

To serve
Put some watercress on you plate, top with the potatoes and asparagus. Slice the beef into strips, lay on top then dollop the yogurt dressing on.

This really was a very delicious little salad the marinated beef was packed with flavour and juicy.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Lebanese Spiced Spatchcock Chicken

To make the most of the glorious weather we have been having recently, but without having to drag out the BBQ I took a leaf out of my parents menu and decided on spatcthcocking a chicken.

I cooks so much easier, quicker and more even than roasting a whole bird.  We had a small FR bird, approx. 1kg or just under.  Turned it face down then using poultry shears, cut out the back bone.  Flip him over again and press down until you hear the bones crack and he is flattened.

Lebanese Spiced Spatchcock Chicken

1 Chicken, spatchcocked
1-2 tbsp. Lebanese Spice rub, my new favourite, but there are loads of different types available.
1 lemon halved length ways
a drizzle of oil

Rub the spices all over the chicken and place him on a trivet in a roasting tin, with the lemon halves underneath.  Drizzle with a little oil and a grind of S&P.  Place into a hot oven 200oc for 45 mins. (based on our small bird).

I served the chicken on a bed of cous cous that I made up with more Lebanese spices in the water and mixed it with some chopped parsley and the seeds of half a pomegranate along with a simple Caprese salad and some finely sliced onion pickled in red wine vinegar.

The bird was tender and juicy, I took the cooked lemons and squeezed them over the chicken, they added a lovely sweet and sour flavour. 

We ate outside in the sun with a couple of white wine spritzers.  Utter heaven.

Yet More Turkey Meatballs

I swear I am addicted to making different variations of the little balls, they really are the most versatile and easy of dishes to prepare.

Here are a couple more options that I tried out recently.

Honey Chipotle Turkey Meatballs.
Makes approx. 16 4cm dia balls, serves two greedy
Approx WW Pro points per serving 10

This is a recipe I found on the Martha Stewart website HERE. A few tweaks of my own thrown in.

500g turkey mince
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp. runny honey
1 tbsp. Tesco's Chipotle sauce
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp oil

Pre heat oven to 200oc.  Mix together the turkey, onion, garlic, S&P.  Then form into the 16 balls.
Place these on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 mins turning them halfway.

Mix the honey, chipotle and vinegar in a bowl.  In a non-stick frying pan add the oil and gently heat, add the cooked meatballs and the honey chipotle mixture, swirl them around the pan until the sauce reduces and the meatball turn more golden brown.

I served on a bed of orzo and green beans and a mixed salad with the sauce drizzled over the top. Juicy, sweet and spicy. Yum.


Lebanese Spiced Turkey Meatballs with Yogurt Dressing
Makes Approx 16 meatballs.  Serves 2
Approx WW Pro Points per serving 10

500g turkey mince
1 tbsp Lebanese dry marinade spiced, I pick up some from Tesco, but really you can add any spiced you want.
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt & pepper

Mix all the above ingredients together and form into 16 balls.  as before place on a baking tray in the oven at 200oc for 20 mins.

2 tbsp. 0% fat Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp. the green tail ends off a bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
2 tsp finely chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed
Zest of one lime.

Mix the above together in a bowl.

I serves the meatballs and dressing over some griddled courgette and aubergine slices.  To cook them I sprayed with one cal spray, sprinkled with mixed herbs and S&P then placed on a ferocious hot griddle pan for a couple mins each side.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Skinny Roast Vegetable Quiche

A cheeky little cheat for all those that love quiche, but not the calories they contain.

I got this recipe from a Weight Watchers mini cookbook for meat free meals.  It really hits the vegetable quota and still give you a feeling of being slightly naughty.

Skinny Roast Vegetable Quiche
Serves 4
206 cals or approx 4 Pro Points per serving.

3 Capsicum peppers, 1 each red, yellow, green, de-seeded and sliced
1 red onion, cut into eighths
4 shallots cut into quarters
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
450g potatoes, cubed
1 tbs horseradish sauce
1 large egg
150ml skimmed milk
30g Manchego cheese, grated (recipe called for half fat cheddar, but life is too short for that stuff, besides I love the creamy,nutty, salty flavour of Manchego)
One cal spray

Preheat oven to 220oc.  Place all the veg on a baking tray and coat in one cal spray and a little S&P, roast for 20 minutes.

Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and then mash adding in the horseradish.  Then place the mash into a loose bottom baking tin 20cm dia (mine was 24cm so my potato base was not as deep as it could have been) and press down.  Put into the oven for 10 minutes until the potato has formed a crust.

Pile to roasted veg on top of the potato and in a jug mix together the milk and egg then pour over the veg.  Scatter the cheese on top and a final S&P and return to the oven for 10-15 mins until the top is set and golden.

A nice little dish, but a bit tricky to get the quiche off the base of the pan, could be that I did not cook my potato base long enough for it to firm up, but it was nice enough.  Served with rocket and a couple of slices of ham, the horseradish really perks up the flavours.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Chicken in Creamy Rosemary Sauce

This dish from last night was remarkably full of flavour and really light on the old WW Points.  Can definitely recommend and will be cooking again as it was quick and easy.

Chicken in Creamy Rosemary Sauce
Serves 2  Approx PP per serving 9

2 chicken breasts, no skin or bone about 165g each
50g low fat cream cheese with garlic and herbs
100ml chicken stock, from 1/2 a stock cube
1 onion chopped
one cal spray
250g new potatoes
Cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves pulled from stalks
1 measure white wine or vermouth

In the oven roast the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray with one cal spray and S&P, about 20 mins at 180oc. Boil the potatoes until tender and drain.  Leave to one side until ready to plate up.

Take the chicken breasts and season.  Heat up a frying pan and spray with one cal, add the chicken and cook over a moderate heat for 5 mins each side until golden.  Add a little more spray and toss in the onion and the rosemary cook until soft.

Add the white wine and cook down.  Take the stock and cream cheese, whisk together and add to the pan. Cover and simmer for 15mins until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve up and enjoy.  I served with green beans.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Sloe Gin & Ginger Beer Cocktail

A cheeky quick little post, mainly so I never forget this cocktail, missing out on this would be a tragedy! 

I tell you it is going to be favourite drink of summer.  An absolute glugger not too sweet, not to sour and so refreshing. The fruity sweetness of the sloe gin is counteracted by the lime perfectly

Sloe Gin & Ginger Beer Cocktail
Makes 1 Drink

2 Measures Sloe Gin
Juice of 1 Lime
Jamaican Ginger Beer

Take a tumbler of crushed ice pour over the sloe gin and lime juice, top up with ginger beer - not ginger ale, it needs the fiery punch of root ginger.  Enjoy.

I also have this little recipe from the time I was in Hong Kong.  It is a nice alcohol free drink, but makes you feel like you are actually having a tot.

Ginger Gunner
Makes 1 drink

Over crushed ice add ginger beer and ginger ale and finish with a few drops of Angostura Bitters

This one is best when you tinker around with the quantities to find what suits you best, I love lots of Angostura so I put in around 7 good drops.  If you don't like the snap of ginger beer add more ginger ale and vice versa.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Roasted Sea Bass with Chorizo, Red Onion & Cherry Tomatoes

Had a little trip to see Gordon the Fishmonger on Saturday morning and he tempted me with some glorious fresh sea bass, I chose two that were not too big, not too small just perfect for serving one each.  Once home I trawled my cook books for a suitable recipe, I vaguely remembered trying one years ago served with honey and onions, but could not find it.  Thinking it may be a James Martin recipe I hit up Google and came across THIS recipe which made me forget all about my original search. 

We had it last night (with a bottle of wine, so excuse the poor photo!) It was so very tasty, a recipe that really lets every single ingredient shine through.  Will definitely be cooking this one again.  I have tinkered with the quantities to suit myself.

Roasted Sea Bass with Chorizo, Red Onion and Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 2

2 tsp oil
1 large red onion, rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
100g cooking chorizo, chunky chopped
50g black olives, without stones
12 cherry tomatoes
bunch fresh thyme
2 medium sea bass, descaled and gutted.
glug of olive oil.

Heat the oven to 190oc

Heat the 2 tsp oil in a frying pan, and add the onion, garlic and chorizo.  Fry for 5 minutes until onions soft and the oil for the chorizo renders out.  Add 2-3 sprigs of thyme, roughly chopped, olives and tomatoes. cook for a couple of mins and then transfer into a ovenproof dish.

Take the sea bass and slash the skin in three places along the body of the fish on both sides, stuff with more sprigs of thyme, season well with S&P then lay the fish on top of the chorizo, tomato mixture and drizzle the fish with a glug of oil.

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until fish is tender and cooked through, flaking from the bone.

Roasted Aubergine Stuffed with Curried Turkey

This is a hearty veg packed dish that is low on points and so delicious I made it for myself two nights in a row!

Roasted Aubergine Stuffed with Curried Turkey
Serves 1  Approx 9 WW Pro Points

125g turkey mince
1 red onion sliced
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 red chilli, minced
1 red pepper chopped
handful of mushrooms, sliced
cherry tomatoes, however many you want
tenderstem broccoli, roughly chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp oil
1 medium aubergine
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cal spray.

Pre heat the oven to 180oc w/fan. Halve the aubergine length ways and score the flesh, sprinkle over the cumin seeds and spray liberally with 1 cal spray S&P.  Place in oven for 30 mins or until soft. Remove from oven and cool.  Then scoop out the flesh leaving a 'boat'.

Blanche the broccoli for a couple of minutes in a pan of boiling water, drain and keep to one side.  Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions garlic and turkey, cook for a few minutes then add the chilli, pepper curry powder, mushrooms and tomatoes.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the scooped out aubergine flesh and broccoli, heat though again, check seasoning and then, stuff the mixture back into the Aubergine boats.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Baked Lamb Shanks - Jamie Oliver

The finished product!

Easter saw us in Holland with my Brother and his family.  It fell to my Bro and I to make Easter Sunday lunch for 10.  This we did by using a lovely Jamie Oliver recipe to be found HERE.

Lamb, in Holland is not the popular meat that it is in the UK, so Dan had specially order these Lamb Shanks and it turned out that they were the perfect choice.  It was great fun to individually parcel up these joints with their own herby butter and vegetables and a glug of wine, then wallop them in the oven for 3 hrs on 160oc w/fan and pretty much forget about them.  Which allowed us time to start on the fizz and dance along to the Bee Gee's

It made for quite an entrance to the dining room, 10 silver parcels, each shank was then unpacked and served with masses of mashed potato, boiled cabbage and their own juicy sauce.  Extremely simple to make, utterly delicious and quite a showstopper.

Packaging up the shanks in foil, on a bed of carrots, leeks & onions with a glug of white wine and stuffed with herby butter

Parcels, ready for the oven.

The Easter merrymakers!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Chilli Black Bean Stew

Picked this recipe off the back of a packet of black beans.  They intrigued me as I was ambling through Tesco so thought I would give them a go.  OK, it does require a little forethought to get the beans soaked but hey, its easy enough.  Despite so few ingredients this recipe packed a huge flavour punch and it was only after hubby had eaten it did he realise I have fed him a meat free dish! Very, very satisfying.

Chilli Black Bean Stew
Serves 4 with rice or 2 by itself.
Approx 14 pro points based on serving 2 with Greek yogurt (no rice)

150g dried black turtle beans
1 1/2 tbsp oil
2 red onions, diced
2 green chillies, deseeded and diced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 red pepper deseeded and quartered
2 cloves garlic
100g dried apricots, diced
2 x 400g chopped plum tomatoes
2 tbsp 0% Greek yogurt

Soak the beans overnight in cold water.  Drain and put onto boil in a pan of fresh water.  Boil for 10 minutes then simmer for 40 minutes and drain again.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions and chillies, fry gently until the onions are translucent.  Add the ginger and cook for a further 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Puree the red pepper and garlic in a food processor and add to the onion in the saucepan, add the dried apricot, tomatoes and drained black beans, return to the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes or more until piping hot.

Serve over rice or cous cous with Greek yogurt and some chopped coriander.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Spanish Style Chicken Bake

I went back to the Hairy Bikers Diet Cook Book to get this little recipe.  I have modified it slightly to suit 2 people rather than 4 and our spicy palates.

It was so simple and utterly tasty, one of the best tray bakes I have ever made, moist and tender and packed full of flavour.

The Hairy Bikers' Spanish Style Chicken Bake
Serves 2 Approx 14 Pro Points each

1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges (1 white and 1 red medium onions)
250g new potatoes, sliced into quarters lengthwise
4 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 green pepper, cut into strips
50g chorizo, sliced 2mm thick
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, approx 85g each, slashed with a knife a couple of times
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
sea salt and pepper

Pre heat the oven to 200oc w/o fan 180oc w/fan.  Put onions, potatoes, garlic and tomatoes in a roasting tin and season.  Toss together and roast for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, take the tin from the oven and scatter over the chorizo and mix.  Place the chicken on top of the veg and chorizo and sprinkle over the paprika, oregano and season with a little more S&P.  Po back into the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the tin fro the oven again and tilt it so all the juices gather to one side and spoon them back over the chicken.  Tuck the pepper in and around the veg, then return to the oven and up the heat to 220oc w/o fan and 200oc w/fan and roast again for a further 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft and the chicken is golden and crispy.  Pile on a plate and serve, not forgetting to squeeze the garlic out of their papery skins, delish!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Huevos Rancheros

Fancy a bit of a different breakfast? Then try baked eggs in tomato or Huevos Rancheros. Well this is my take on a Mexican classic. It is warming and spicy and sets you up for the day with minimal points.

Huevos Rancheros
Serves 2. Approx 3 Pro Points each

1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
Handful mushrooms, thinly sliced
2tsp oil
1 tsp chipotle & paprika paste (or use chili flakes and paprika)
2 eggs
Chopped coriander

Pre heat the oven to 200oc. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, fry till soft. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and stir through the chipotle paste. Bubble together for a couple of mins.

Take an ovenproof dish or two small cocotte, tip the tomatoes into the dish and make a little well into which you crack the eggs. Grind a bit of pepper over the top and place in the oven for 15 mins.

Take out and serve with a little chopped coriander. Spicy, fresh and warming.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Suet Treacle Sponge

For Mothers Day hubster came up trumps with this glorious Merry Berry recipe to be found HERE It was so comforting, just like a huge, warm, cuddly hug.  Served with lashings of custard it was just perfect to sit in front of the fire watching the rugby, utter contentment.

Treacle Sponge Pudding
Serves 4-6

6 big tbsp golden syrup
125g SR flour
125g veg suet
125g fresh white breadcrumbs
60g caster sugar
125ml milk

900ml pudding bowl and butter to grease it with.

Butter the bowl and spoon the syrup into the bottom.

Put flour, suet, sugar and breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix, stir in milk to combine to a thick batter consistency, you may not need all the milk.  Spoon it on top of the syrup.

Cover the bowl with buttered foil, pleated in the middle and tie with string around the bowl, making a handle to help lift the bowl out with later.

Put into a  large saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water comes halfway up the side of the bowl.  Cover and steam (do not boil the water) - topping up the water if necessary for about 3 hours.

Carefully remove, turn out then serve with lots of custard.


Friday, 8 March 2013

Lunchtime Crab Salad

This is the best little salad for lunch, really filling and low on points, packed with fresh veg, delish.

Lunchtime Crab Salad
Serves 1 Approx 5 pro points

1/2 cucumber
6 cherry tomatoes
1/2 red pepper
50g new potatoes, cooked, (2 small)
1 tbs low fat plain yogurt
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 can (170g) crab meat in brine
Dash of balsamic vinegar

Chop the salad veg and potato. Mix in a bowl with yogurt, mustard, s&p. pop the crab on top and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Eat!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Cauliflower & Potato Curry

Trying to do at least one meat free evening meal a week is something that is pretty alien to me, but I am persevering and looking for good ideas.  In this months Good Food Magazine was a little pull out recipe booklet and in it this quick, easy and healthy recipe.  Packed with spice and a kick of heat, we certainly did not miss any meat.

Cauliflower & Potato Curry
Serves 2,  Approx 11 Pro Points per serving inc rice.

1 tbs oil
1 onion, chopped
large piece of ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
400g chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
200g potatoes, cut into chunks
1 red chili, sliced lengthwise

To serve
squeeze lemon juice
1 tbs low fat plain yogurt
chopped fresh coriander
120g brown rice, cooked

In a heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and add the onions, cook until softened.  Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin and curry powder and cook for 1 minute.  Add the chopped tomatoes and sugar.
Tip in the cauliflower, potatoes and chili, season, cover and cook for 30 mins or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Serve on a bed of rice, with a squeeze of lemon, a dollop of yogurt and sprinkles of chopped coriander.


Friday, 1 March 2013

Welsh Cakes

As it is St. David's day today I thought I would celebrate with a little batch of Welsh Cakes. Super quick and easy to rustle up and utterly moorish.

Welsh Cakes
Makes 20 approx 7 pro points per 2 cakes, because you can't have just one!

225g self raising flour
85g caster sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
100g butter
50g currants
1 egg, beaten
Splash of milk if needed

Mix in a bowl the flour, sugar, mixed spice, then rub in the butter till crumbly. Add the currents and beaten egg, mix together to form a consistency of pastry, adding a little milk if needed.

Roll out on a floured surface to about 5mm thick, then cut out using a 6cm cutter. Grease a frying pan and cook the cakes in batches for about 3 minutes each side.

Eat warm, eat cold, with butter and jam, dusted with sugar or by themselves, they are wonderful.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Chili Crab Pasta

Hubby called me at work yesterday and said he had a craving for something he must have seen on the TV or in a magazine.  Not something we had ever tried before, but it turned out I already had the ingredients in the cupboard so we thought we would give it a go.

Quick, easy and fresh with a nice little kick and pretty good on the pro point scale.

Chili Crab Pasta
Serves 2, 13 pro points each approx.

2 cans crab meat/chunks in brine
140g pasta, we had spaghetti to hand
1 tbsp oil
1 fresh red chili chopped - or more if you desire
1 small handful of parsley chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 spring onions, sliced on the slant
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Boil up the pasta and drain, In a frying pan heat up the oil and add the garlic and chili and spring onions, cook for a minute or two.  Add the crab and parsley and heat through, Add the pasta, zest the lemon over the top and mix well. Serve.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Coq au Vin

Another recipe gleaned from Weight Watcher website and another one that works so well you would not know it was reduced calorie,  Again I have tinkered with the quantities to suit.

Coq au Vin
Serves 2, 11 pro points per serving

1 cal spray
8 shallots, halved
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
300g chicken thigh, skinless
125ml white wine
150ml stock
100g closed cup mushrooms, halved
1 bay leaf
2 tsp cornflour

Heat a large pan and squirt with 1 cal spray.  Add the shallots and garlic, sauté for 5 mins until golden and caramelised on the edges.  Push them to one side.

Add the chicken and seal them quickly.  Pour in the wine and bubble it up, add the stock, mushrooms and bay.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Make up the cornflour with a little water and then add it to the pan, increase the heat and stir until thickened. Check the seasoning and serve.

So simple, but with great results, quantities can easily be scaled up.

Banana Pancakes

This is just such a simple recipe that packs in taste and is low on calories. Picked up from Pinterest it was one I had to try because I could not believe it would be any good, I was so wrong.

Banana Pancakes
Makes 12 small pancakes approx at 4 pro points total!

1 soft banana
2 eggs
1 cal spray

Mash the banana, beat in the eggs.
Heat a frying pan and squirt in the 1 cal spray.

Use a desert spoon full of batter and drop into the pan.
Fry for a minute each side and serve!

The little beauties are lovely, they have the texture of fluffy pancakes or drop scones without the flour and are sweet enough not to have any added sugar, which is just as well as they are addictive.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Brown Rice

Ok, this is not the prettiest dish in the world, but it packs a huge comfort hit in a stodge type way.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Brown Rice
Serves 2 very generously 17 Pro points per serving

140g brown rice, dry weight
300g chicken breast - 2 x medium
200ml chicken stock
375ml skimmed milk, split into 200/175
1 onion chopped
200g mushrooms, chopped
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp chilli flakes

Take the chicken stock and 200ml of milk, heat in a saucepan. In a separate bowl whisk the remainder of the milk and flour and gently pour into the heated milk and stock, keep whisking until thickened. Then remove from heat.

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with 1 cal spray. Add the chopped onion, mushrooms, rice and seasoning, lay on the chicken breasts and pour over the milk, stock, flour mix and stir. Cook on high for 4 hours (6 hours for medium).

This was a try it and see what happens dish and it turned out really well, next time I would definitely reduce the amount of rice used as it was just too much for two, it does need more salt seasoning after cooked, but it was easy and comforting dish. The chicken was very tender and the rice soft.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Spiced Turkey Meatballs

This is one of the most tasty and versatile turkey mince recipes I have been able to find so far.  We are having a variation on this pretty much every week at the moment.  The original recipe is from the Weight Watchers website and I have altered it a bit to suit.

Spiced Turkey Meatballs
Serves 4 at 4 PP each or serves 2 at 9 PP each, depending on how greedy you are feeling!

500g turkey mince
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Mix well all ingredients together and form into balls.

Lay them out on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 200oc for 15-20 minutes.

That's it!

Serving suggestions:

I have served these on a bed of brown rice with lightly pan fried slices of courgette with lemon juice over.
I have made a vegetable sauce of chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, red peppers and a drop of balsamic vinegar all bubbled together and served over the meatballs on a bed of pasta.
With cous-cous or bulgar wheat and stir fried veg the options are endless!

You really will not regret trying this little recipe.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Marmalade Mustard Chicken on Parsnip Mash

This quick and easy recipe is from Weight Watchers and was sweet, sticky and very tasty.

Marmalade & Mustard Chicken with Parsnip Mash
Serves 2 10 pro points each

2 x 150g chicken breast, no skin
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp reduced sugar marmalade
4 large parsnips, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 tbsp low fat fromage frais
Fresh parsley, chopped

Set the parsnips on to boil till soft.

Line a grill pan with foil and place the chicken breasts face down and grill for 10 minutes.

In the meantime mix the mustard and marmalade and at the end of 10 mins turn over the chicken breasts and cover with the mixture, pop back into the grill for a further 10 mins or until the chicken is cooked.

Drain the parsnips and mash, stir in the fromage frais and 1 tbsp of chopped parsley, S&P.

Serve the chicken on a bed of parsnip with a side salad of rocket leaves to take the edge off the sweetness if required.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Low Fat Baked Gnocchi

A quick post about tonight's dinner. Trying to lose the post festive fat but still wanting to feel a bit naughty I came up with this veg packed low fat dish.

Low Fat Baked Gnocchi
Serves 2 WW pro points per serving 14

400g pack gnocchi
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 red pepper chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 bag spinach
1 ball half fat mozzarella
Fresh basil

Heat a little oil on a pan and fry the onion and garlic, add the pepper and tomatoes, stir in so e ripped up basil leaves and bubble up for a few minutes. Add the gnocchi and continue cooking for a few mins.

In the meantime put the spinach in another pan, pour over boiling water and heat for a minute. Drain, pour over cold water and squeeze the remaining liquid out.

Line an ovenproof dish with the spinach, tip over the gnocchi tomato mix, rip up the mozzarella and place on top with some more basil leaves. Pop into an oven at 180oc for 15 mins.

A very satisfying, quick dish which you can pack full of even more veg should you want.