Thursday, 21 May 2015

Are you feeling lucky?

In some ways I have always been pretty lucky, I once won £50 at bingo, and £100 playing poker - sadly no lottery win as yet!

If I enter a raffel I very often win a prize- although they may not always be the best (I once won a gardening apron?!)

Here's some interesting stats and info from the people at Paddy Power at how to maximise your chances of winning in a game of luck!

Card

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

I'm in an online cook book!


I am super excited to announce that I've have been published in this great online cookery book!  It features 24 healthy eating recipes, carefully selected from UK based food bloggers and has been created by Rangemaster, Britain's best loved range cooker brand

If you would like to have a read or download it for FREE follow this link.

L x

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Slimming World Recipe:- Mexican Turkey Steaks & Herby Garlic Wedges

The other day I decided to use up some of the ingredients in my cupboards to create something tasty.  I recently bought some turkey steaks and didn't really know what to do with them, so they just sat there. Turkey is really lean, so it is a great free meat and nice to have something other than chicken.  I wasn't planning on writing up my recipe, but after posting a photo on my Facebook page it was clear that you all wanted to see it!


You will need:- 

1 teaspoon chili powder (add more if you like)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder (or 2 teaspoons crushed dried fried onions)
1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 Chicken stock cube, crushed 
1 turkey steak per person serving
1 tin of Tesco Taco Mixed Beans, canned
1 lime
Low calorie cooking spray

For the wedges:- 

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed fine
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
200g potatoes, cut to wedges

Method:- 

Mix together the chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red flakes, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper together.  Add the juice of halt the lemon to create a paste.

Spray the turkey steaks with low calorie cooking spray and coat in the spice paste, leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 mins

Mix together all the seasoning for the wedges. Line a baking tray with foil and place the potato wedges, skin side down, on the foil. Be sure to space evenly, so they cook uniformly.   Spray with fry light and sprinkle the wedges seasoning over evenly. Bake for 35 minutes, or until well browned, crusty edged, and tender. 

Heat a griddle or frying pan over a medium heat, fry off the turkey steaks, ensuring that they are cooked al l the way through, truing regularly

Heat the tin of taco beans, and serve over a salad with a lime to squeeze over the turkey steaks

L x

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Slimming World Recipe:- BLT Pasta Salad With Mustard & Balsamic Vinaigrette

Once you try this pasta salad you will wonder why you've never eaten it before! Take the delicious combination of bacon, lettuce and tomato and instead of slapping it between 2 bits of white bread, mix with pasta and a delicious balsamic and wholegrain mustard Vinaigrette.  A light, yet filling, summer salad that's also Slimming World friendly.  This recipe serves 4 but I eat one serving and take the rest to to work for a few days!


Extra Easy syn value:- 1 syn per serving (serves 4)

Healthy extras:- None
You will need:- 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small clove of garlic, minced or very finely chopped
300g dried pasta shells or bows
10 slices bacon, all visible fat removed, and cooked
Large handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 iceberg lettuce, finely chopped

Method:- 

Cook the pasta according to the instructions

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, mustard, balsamic, salt, pepper and garlic until combined.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside to cool for 10 mins.  Once cooled, mix in with the vinaigrette.  If you are serving straight away mix the bacon, lettuce and tomato together with the pasta.

If, like me, you want to take this to work throughout the week, store the bacon, lettuce and tomato separately in a sealed container.  This keeps everything fresh, mix together with the pasta once you are ready to serve

L x

Monday, 4 May 2015

Slimming World Recipe:- Philly Cheesesteak Fries

"A cheesesteak, also known as a Philadelphia cheesesteak, Philly cheesesteak, cheesesteak sandwich, cheese steak, or steak and cheese, is a sandwich made from thinly-sliced pieces of steak and melted cheese in a long roll." - Not the healthiest of dishes, as you can imagine! With my Slimming World friendly recipe you get all the flavour of this incredible sandwich- but without the any of the syns (if you don't use the cheese as your healthy extra, add only 6 syns!)  Instead of bread I served on top of some tasty Slimming World chips, their full recipe here.

(this was shared between 2 people)

Extra Easy Syn Value:- Syn Free

Healthy Extras:- A

You will need:-

2-4 minute steaks, thinly sliced with all visible fat removed (1 for each person you are cooking for)
Low calorie cooking spray
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
large handful of mushrooms
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 large red onion
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
500g medium sized Maris Piper potatoes
Low calorie cooking spray
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
40g extra light cheddar
40g extra light red Leicester
Few sliced jalapenos to top

Method:- 

Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C Fan/Gas 9. Peel the potatoes. Slice lengthwise into approx 1cm thick rectangular chips.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the chips and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and leave aside for 10 minutes to dry.

Rough chips up by putting back in the sauce pan with the lid on and shaking it.

Spray a metal baking tray with low calorie cooking spray. Transfer the chips to the tray, spray lightly with low calorie cooking spray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides.

While the chips are in the oven , prepare the philly cheese steak topping.  Thinly slice the onions, peppers and mushrooms and fry off until cooked through.   Add the steak, salt & pepper, Worcester sauce, balsamic vinegar, pinch of cayenne pepper a tsp smoked paprika.  Fry off and mix everything together for 1 minute for rare steak or 2 mmins for well done.

Add chips in an oven proof bowl and top with the steak and veg mixture and then the cheese, remembering that you are allowed 40g per person as a healthy extra. Put in the oven for 3-4 mins until the cheese has melted

I served some Kraft extra light thousand island dressing for dipping, 1/2 a syn per tablespoon!

L x

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Slimming World Recipe:- Moroccan Turkey Kofta Pittas

This is a tasty, simple and perfect Spring/Summer meal.  It's light but full of flavour and is great to graze on with cous cous, salad and halloumi. You can adjust the amount of chillies to suit your personal taste, personally I think this dish is served best with a bit of spice, but if it gets to much this delicious syn free Tzatziki can cool you down!



Extra Easy syn value:- Syn free

Healthy Extras:- B (make sure it is a SW approved wholemeal pitta)

You will need:- 

For the kebabs:-
500g extra lean minced turkey 
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
the juice of ½ lemon
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
sea salt & black pepper
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
1 60g wholemeal pitta bread per person, toasted
50g rocket
tzatziki, to serve
1tbsp fat free natural yoghurt

For the Tzatziki:-
125g fat free yoghurt
1/4 cucumber finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, grated finely

Method:- 

In a bowl add the turkey mince, spring onions, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, ginger, seasoning and chilli in a bowl and mix well.  Add a tablespoon of fat free yoghurt, this keeps the kebabs juicy.

Mould the turkey into small pattis and then skewer on a wooden kebab stick

Heat some low calorie spray on a griddle pan (or frying pan if you don't have one!) and cook the kebabs, turning regularly to cook through on a medium heat

Meanwhile, to make the Tzatziki, combine the yoghurt, cucumber, lemon juice and garlic together

Serve the kebabs in toasted wholemeal pittas with cous cous. I also dry fried 45g of low fat halloumi as my healthy extra A.

L x


Eating Out

As you may have noticed, I really love food.  When I'm not cooking at home there is nothing better then going to one of my favourite restaurants with Nick and enjoying a cheeky evening of delicious food. If you've ever visited my dining out page, you'll know that I've had both good and bad experiences.  I have recently revamped my dining out page, to be in alphabetical order and to include an overall rating on the main page, accompanied by a large image.  I decided to look back and share some of my worst and best experiences.

One of my favourite dishes that I have eaten lately was this dish from Jamie's Italian (read full review here)

Italian Nachos- crispy fried ravioli stuffed with three cheeses, served with arrabbiata & Parmesan. SO delicious, and so naughty!  Totally worth every bite. 

Once of the WORST dishes I have eaten has to be this, from Byron Burger.  It was just after they opened, but the experience was so bad that we will never go back.


I went for a burger with blue cheese.  It really was what it said on the tin, a burger with a slab of blue cheese and some salad, with nothing else.   The flavour of the burger was just very plain.  I can't say that it was unpleasant, just a little boring and something you would expect of a Wetherspoons (although he Wetherspoons don't charge anywhere near the price of this burger on it's own!) Read my full review here.

I love to try out new restaurants, and recently discovered Quandoo, It is an online restaurant reservation service, where users can book tables, leave reviews,  and easily search for the type of cuisine and/or area that they wish to dine in.  This should help prevent any unwanted bad experiences as you can see reviews of  other dinners, just like you.  They also have a unique loyalty scheme where you collect Points each time you make a reservation, which you can collect and trade in for a restaurant voucher of up to £100.00!

Where do you like to eat out?  What are your favourite restaurants, and what bad experiences have you had? Please leave your comments below!

L x