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


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

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Recipe:- Special Slow Cooked Pulled BBQ Beef Brisket

Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef.  It can sometimes be quite tough but when cooked properly it is absolutely beautiful and just melts in the mouth! I wanted to create a delicious meal with plenty of leftovers for take to work lunches, this is absolutely luxurious as well as simple and easy to make.   By creating a rub for the meat and marinating overnight, there is plenty of flavour and a rich smoky BBQ taste.

With my adaptations and popular BBQ sauce recipe, you can enjoy this without any of the guilt; it's totally syn free! I recommend serving it with some syn free coleslaw in a wholemeal bun and some Slimming World friendly chips.

Extra Easy Syn Value:- Syn free

Healthy Extras:- None (unless serving with a wholemeal bun)

You will need:-

For the beef:- 

1½ tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 Sweetner
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2kg/4lb 4oz whole piece of brisket beef
400ml/14fl oz beef stock

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
1/4 pint coke zero
Beef juices


For the brisket, put the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a frying pan and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes, taking care not to burn them. Allow to cool.

Once cooled, add the spices to a pestle and mortar and crush to a powder. Add the sugar, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and mix together.

Score the inside of the beef with a sharp knife and rub the spice mix all over the joint, inside and out. Roll the joint up and tie securely in several places using kitchen string. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Place the brisket on a wire rack inside a roasting tray and pour the beef stock around the outside. Cover the whole tray with aluminium foil to prevent any moisture escaping. Place in the oven to cook slowly for 4-6 hours, occasionally checking that the liquid hasn't evaporated. Add some water if it looks low.

After 4-6 hours the beef should be soft and tender. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in the aluminium foil for 25 minutes. Reserve any cooking juices.

In a saucepan and the balsamic vinegar, coke zero and Worcester sauce. Bring to the boil and then leave to reduce. Mix in passata, mustard powder, garlic, smoked paprika, sweetener, and seasoning.   Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 10-15 mins until it has thickened and reduced.

Meanwhile, remove the brisket from the rack and pull the meat apart using a fork. Add the shredded brisket to the simmering sauce along with any juices left in the roasting tray. Bring back to a very low simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Turn the heat off and put the pan to one side.

L x

This recipe has been adapted, see original recipe here

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Recipe:- Mexican Lime Chicken Breasts

For me, lunchtime at work is my biggest downfall.  I went a long period of time eating jacket potatoes with beans, but I got bored and found I felt ready for a nap after eating it. There's a Subway and a Dominos just around the corner from the office, and even a pasty van that comes and delivers delicious Cornish Pastys- temptation everywhere. I find that if I can have an entire week of lunches sorted by Monday, I can stay on track. I have some great ideas in this post, but after getting some Sunshine at the weekend I fancied a change.  I cooked up a batch of garlic and lime chicken, which I can serve in multiple different ways throughout the week, meaning plenty of variety! This can be cooked in a griddle pan, or you can use a slow cooker for extra succulent chicken.

Why not use 2 of the breasts and serve with vegetables and rice for an evening meal, and use the leftover chicken breast for lunches

Extra Easy syn value:- Syn free

Healthy extras:- None

You will need:- 

1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp coriander
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp fat free fromage frais


Using a large freezer zip bag, add all the ingredients together and mix well, making sure each chicken breast is coated. Zip up the bag and leave to marinate for at least 30 mins in the fridge. 

If you are cooking the chicken in the slow cooker, add the breasts and cook on low for 6 hours.   Pull apart with 2 forks for pulled chicken 

Alternatively, place a griddle over a high heat and cook the chicken  for 4 mins each side until cooked through and the grill lines are golden.

I served mine with cous cous, salad and mixed bean salad
L x

Friday, 3 April 2015

Slimming World Recipe:- Savoury Potato Pancakes

I have definitely had a few days off track...I want to start the bank holiday weekend as I plan to go on - on plan.  I really fancied a nice cooked breakfast, pancakes in particular.  I got my food thinking cap on and creating this easy savoury potato pancake recipe and topped it with a runny poached egg.  You could serve this with anything, especially with bacon medallions and tomatoes.

Extra Easy Syn Value:- Syn Free

Healthy Extras:- None

You will need:-

250g cooked, and cooled mash potato (you could even use smash)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic purée or 1 small clove, finely chopped
Low calorie cooking spray
1 small egg
salt & pepper


Mix all the ingredients together and form a dough, strong enough to be formed into a ball.

Using your hands, roll 2 tablespoons of mixture into a ball, then flatten to make a pancake.

Spray a frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and fry each pancake for about 3 mins on each side, until golden.

Serve with your choice of toppings!

L x

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Slimming World Reicipe:- Gooey & Cheesy Warm Bacon Dip with Garlic Flatbreds

This Saturday I really fancied something that I could graze on while watching Saturday Night TV. I particularly fancied crisps and dips, but as I want to hit my target weight this year I decided against it. I scoured the web for inspiration and came across this post by Kitchen Meets Girl- I had to try and recreate this AND make it Slimming World Friendly! I've also been eyeing up Jamie Oliver's easy flat bread recipe, and a few simple recipe tweaks make each flatbread is 4 syns each.

Gooey and Cheesy Warm Bacon Dip

Extra Easy Syn Value:- Syn Free

Healthy Extras:- 1/2 of dip is your A

You will need:-

113g quark cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp fat free fromage frais
80g extra light cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, all fat removed
1/4 of finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp of smokey paprika
Dash of Worcester sauce
Cayenne pepper


Finely chop the bacon to small squares and fry in a pan with low calorie spray until crispy, then fry off the onion.

In a sauce pan mix together the quark, fat free fromage frais, cheese, 3/4 of the cooked bacon (save some for scattering over the top) and cook on a really low heat for 2-3 mins until the cheese I cooked, don't let it boil!

Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and the rest of the bacon bits

I served it with flatbreads, carrot & cucumber sticks- delicious!

Flat Breads

(Makes 6)

Extra Easy Syn Value:- 4 syns per flatbead

Healthy Extras:- 1/2 of dip is your A
You will need:- 

125 g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
125 g natural yoghurt
Pinch of crushed garlic 


Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix with a spoon, then use your hands to bring everything together.  

Dust a clean work surface with flour, then tip out the dough.

Knead for a minute or so to bring it all together (this isn't a traditional bread recipe, so you don't need to knead it for long – just enough time to bring everything together)

With your hands, pat and flatten the dough, then use a rolling pin to roll each piece into 12cm rounds, roughly 2mm to 3mm thick. 

Spray a griddle pan with low calorie cooking spray and on cook each one on a high heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until bar-marked and puffed up, turning with tongs.

L x

Friday, 13 March 2015

Recipe:- Slimming World Friendly Easy Peasy Chicken Bake

This is, as the title suggests, a very easy recipe.  With minimal effort, maximum flavour and very little washing up, it is the perfect week night meal.  It is packed with veg and goes perfectly with a fresh salad, and it's all syn free!

Extra Easy Syn Value:- Syn free

Healthy Extras;- None

You will need:- 

6 skinless, boneless free-range chicken breasts
2 red onions, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
4 large tomatoes, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Low Calorie cooking spray
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
large handful of new potatoes, quartered
Salt & pepper


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

Put everything, apart from the frylight, in a large baking tray.

Mix all then ingredients together and coat in the vinigar and seasonings.

Spray with fry light and bake in the oven on a medium heat heat for 1 hour, or until the chicken and veg is cooked through

Serve with a crisp fresh salad

L x