Monday, 24 October 2016

Slimming World Friendly Recipe: Autumn Chicken One Tray Bake

If you liked my  Easy Peasy Chicken Bake you'll love this Autumn Chicken Bake. This recipe has the same USP: minimal effort, maximum flavour and very little washing up.  I made a big tray between 2 and there was plenty left over for lunch. 

Extra Easy Syn Value- Syn free

Healthy Extras- None

You will need-

2 large or 4 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 red onions, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 leek, sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Low Calorie cooking spray
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Salt & pepper
1 large saleable freezer bag 
1 tbsp Italian Herbs


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Add the chicken breasts,herbs, garlic, cider vinegar and a few squirts of low calorie cooking spray into the freezer bag.  

Seal the bag and coat the chicken breasts with all the flavours.  Set aside.

Add all the veg to a large roasting tin, spray with fry light and a pinch of salt and pepper.   Mix all the veg to ensure it all gets a coating, then spread out on the tin.

Add the chicken breasts on top of the veg and drizzle any leftover juice from the bag over the veg. 

Place in the oven and cook for 45 mins, or until the chicken and veg is cooked through.  Always check the chicken breasts are fully cooked before serving!

L x

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Slimming World Friendly Recipe: KFC Famous Bowl Recipe

Although I have never been to America, I feel as though I have learnt a lot about American culture from all the reality TV shows I watch! I was watching something the other day, I can't even remember what, and they were eating something off the KFC menu, 'Famous Bowls-  Creamy mashed potatoes, sweet corn and bite-sized chunks of crispy chicken are layered together then drizzled with home-style gravy and topped with a perfect blend of three shredded cheeses'.

This is not something I have ever seen on a UK KFC menu, nor is it remotely Slimming World friendly, so I set to work.

Extra Easy Syn Value- Free

Healthy Extras- A & B 

You will need-

200g Mashed potato per person
40g shredded light cheddar per person
1 tin sweetcorn, drained

For the chicken
2 large chicken breasts (or cuts of chicken of your choice)
4 slices of 400g wholemeal bread 
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon basil
1 teasppon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 eggs

For the gravy
1 large red onion, halved and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon Italian herbs
720ml of beef stock
splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
spray oil
black pepper


Spray a large saucepan over a medium heat with some spray oil.

Add the onion and garlic and cook until caramelised, add some stock to prevent the onions from sticking to the pan.

Add the herbs, remaining stock, tomato paste and a splash of balsamic vinegar, bring to the boil and reduce heat.

Allow to simmer covered for approx 45 mins to bring out the flavour.

Meanwhile, slice the chicken breasts into small, bite size pieces.

Blitz the bread until fine breadcrumbs in a blender.  Put into a bowl and add all of the seasonings and mix until everything is blended together to create your coating.

Crack the eggs and mix together.  The chicken needs to be dipped in the egg and then to the breadcrumb mixture and repeated to get an even coating.

Bake the chicken in the oven for 20-25 mins on a medium heat, until cooked through.

When the gravy has cooked for the required time, add to a blender and blitz until smooth.

For the bowl to be like the KFC version, it needs to be layered as 1. mashed potato, 2. gravy, 3. sweetcorn, 4. chicken, 5. cheese, 6, gravy.

L x

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Ultimate 'Death By Chocolate' Challenge with Thomas J. Fudge’s

It's chocolate week (10th-16th October) and to celebrate Thomas J. Fudge’s sent me everything I need to make the ultimate chocolate dipping sauce to accompany the Dorset-based bakery’s chocolate Florentines!  While this is totally not Slimming World friendly, it's always good to have a treat from time to time! I saved up some syns for the occasion...

Thomas J. Fudge’s Florentines are already pretty perfect, so I needed a perfect sauce to enhance the awesome! I toyed with a few ideas and settled on a simple, rich chocolate and salted caramel dipping sauce, ultimate luxury.

You will need- 

Chocolate sauce
200g good-quality dark chocolate 
50g butter
200ml double cream
2 tbsp golden syrup 

Salted caramel sauce- 
80ml water
25g unsalted butter
Pinch good-quality sea salt
250g golden caster sugar
120ml double cream


To make the salted caramel, put a medium pan over a high heat and pour in the water. Add the sugar and bring to the boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the sugar starts to turn golden brown.

Once the sugar has melted, take the pan away from the heat. Pour the double cream into the pan. Whisk in the butter and add a pinch of sea salt.  Do not try and substitute sea salt with table salt, it really doesn't give the same effect.

To make the chocolate sauce, put all the sauce ingredients into a pan and gently melt together, stirring occasionally until you have a smooth shiny sauce. Keep warm on a low heat.

Pour the chocolate sauce into a large bowl and drizzle with the salted caramel.

L x

Pink Toffe Apples & 5 Syn Pink Lady Apple Pops

Autumn is coming and Halloween is just around the corner. Pink Lady apples sent me a kit to make their special Toffee Apple Recipe.  Pink Lady are one of my favourite varieties of apples, so I couldn't wait to give it a go!  I also made my own, slightly more Slimming World friendly, apple pops. 

The toffee apples came out great!  The toffee was not too hard and was perfectly coated. 

I even made a toffee pop with the leftovers!

5 Syn Apple Pops

You will need-

To make 8 pops
100g milk chocolate 
1 tbsp. coconut oil
2 large apples
Pop sticks 
You can add other toppings of your choice.


Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.

Slice the apples into 3cm thick circular disks.

Add the coconut oil to the melted chocolate, this helps it coat the apples.

Piece each apple with the stick and dip into the chocolate. Repeat until all apples are coated.

Sprinkle with sprinkles and leave to set

L x

Friday, 14 October 2016

Sliming World Friendly Recipe: Shredded BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls

At the weekend I cooked a batch of shredded chicken to help make weekday meals easier.  I used my BBQ chicken for this dish and it came out amazing!

Extra Easy Syn Value- Syn Free 

Healthy Extras- A

You will need-

1 onion, diced
1 cup of uncooked extra-long grain rice
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 can of tacco beans
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
600ml chicken stock
80 g low fat cheddar cheese (or 40g per potion)
salt and pepper
freshly diced tomatoes
Low calorie cooking spray
1 red Chilli, chopped


Fry off the onions and chilli in a large frying pan. Spray with low calorie cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Once the onions have fried off, add the uncooked rice and mix for about 2 minutes or until some grains start to turn brown.

Stir in the tacco beans, shredded chicken, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika and cumin.

Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce to a low heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Sprinkle with cheese and chopped tomatoes, cover and set aside to allow the cheese to melt.

L x

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Review: Absurd Bird, Exeter

A few weeks back we visited Exeter Cookery School for an evening with Absurd Bird. We had a great time sampling some of the deep south soul food dishes off the menu, and even having a go at making some ourselves.

Absurd Bird has been open for just over a week, at the time of writing this, and has been massively popular, earning great reviews from the public. We were really excited to go back and try the full restaurant experience for ourselves.

We visited on a Thursday evening and the place was packed! The easiest way to describe the interior is that of a deep south American porch, with big rocking chairs and swinging seats hanging from the ceiling. It was a really relaxing atmosphere, even though they were clearly very busy.

We started our evening off with some moonshine cocktails. I had a hillbilly iced tea, Absurd's Moonshine with ice tea, refreshing and light.

We shared some of the starers between us. My favourite was 'Jalapeno Cheese Biscuits with apple butter'.  Similar to a savoury scone, a deep south classic, delicious with the apple butter. A great mix of sweet and savoury, a real treat for the taste buds. 

One of the dishes we got to try at the blogger event was the Spinach and Artichoke dip with fried tortilla chips, a super cheesy dip that's rich with super gooey goodness! It tasted even better being served in the restaurant with the buzzing atmosphere.

Nick went for the dirty burger he fell in love with at the event. Bao Buns stuffed with fried chicken, spicy mayo and pickle. The words 'probably the best chicken burger I've ever had' came out of his mouth!  Bold statement, but after trying some myself I would have to agree!

I went for an American classic that I've never see on a menu in the UK before...chicken and waffles.  I absolutely love the flavour combination of sweet and savoury and this really didn't disappoint.  Succulent fried chicken on top of waffles with smoked sweet gravy and maple syrup, a calorific treat but oh so worth it!

We were so full that we had no room for dessert...but we will be going back to try some of the crack pie...

Food ***** Service ***** Atmosphere *****
L x

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Recipe: Batch Cook Shredded Chicken

Cooking on weekday evenings can be tough after a long day at work.  I am always trying to think of ways to make life easier for myself and this weekend did some preparation for the week. I slow cooked some of my LiveLean chicken breasts to make a big batch of shredded chicken. This can be used in my meals for the week ahead, saving on cooking time and effort.   I made some plain and some smoky BBQ chicken.

You will need-

4 large chicken breasts
1/2 litre of chicken stock
Salt & Pepper

BBQ Sauce
5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp mustard powder
500g passata
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tbsp sweetener
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika 


Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker with the stock.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Fry off the garlic then add the rest of the BBQ sauce ingredients. Leave to simmer and reduce down.

Once cooked, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place on a chopping board. Shred the chicken with 2 forks.

Split the chicken in half and mix one half with the BBQ sauce.

Allow to cool then refrigerate as soon as possible, limiting the amount of time it is exposed to room temperatures. Never leave the chicken at room temperature for more than two hours. Cooked chicken can be store for up to three or four days in a refrigerator in a sealed container.

L x