Sunday, 28 August 2016

Slimming World Friendly Recipe- Creamy Chicken & Chorizo Pasta

I posted an image of this meal on my Instagram & Facebook pages and asked if you wanted the was a resounding yes!!

This is a deliciously creamy sauce that is really simple to make.  The chorizo provides a lot of flavour without having to do much yourself! This recipe made 4 potions, so we had an evening meal and enough for lunch the next day between the two of us. If you don't want to use a few syns on chorizo you could swap for a low fat, flavoursome sausage.

Serves 4

Extra Easy Syn Value- 4 Per serving

Healthy Extras- None

You will need-

120g of not-too-fatty chorizo
1 level tbsp chicken gravy granules
4 Skinless chicken breasts, sliced
Handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 Yellow pepper, sliced
1 onion
1 tub quark
Enough pasta for 4 people


Fry off the mushrooms, peppers and onion in a large frying pan on a medium heat.  While that's frying bring the pasta to the boil in slightly salted water.

Add the chicken and chorizo to the frying pan and fry until chicken cooked through.

Add the quark and gravy granules with 4 tablespoons of the pasta water. Reduce the heat to low and mix until a smooth sauce is formed.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the frying pan and mix together.  Serve with salad!

L x

My Week In Pictures

Monday I cooked a yummy creamy chicken & chorizo pasta! Recipe available here.

Wednesday I made pizza topped fries! Recipe here.

I received an amazing package from Muscle Food with special slimming lean meats.  Full review coming soon!

On Tuesday the new Turtle Bay restaurant opened, so we returned with some friends on Friday night.  See how we got on at their VIP preview event here

I also received some exciting products to review, including a selection of fish from The Saucy Fish Co. and some new Sharwoods sauces!

L x

Slimming World Friendly Recipe:- Pizza Topped Fries

I have seen loads of viral images of pizza topped fries all over the internet and I just had to recreate my own, Slimming World friendly, version!  Mine has a syn value due to using proper pepperoni, but you could customise your toppings to make it syn free, such as chicken and vegetables.   Don't be shy about adding toppings... the more speed food on top the better!

Extra Easy Syn Value:- 2 per person
Healthy Extras:- A
Serves 2

You will need:-

4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 bunch fresh basil , leaves picked and torn
3 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
freshly ground black pepper
Mozzarella (45g per person means 1 HEa)
6 slices of pepperoni (or other toppings of choice)
900g medium sized Maris Piper potatoes
Low calorie cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C Fan/Gas 9. Peel the potatoes using a potato peeler and remove any blemishes or 'eyes'. 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. Return the chips to the dry saucepan, cover with a lid and shake to "rough up" the edges of the chips

Place in an oven proof dish and spray with fry light, salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

While the chips are cooking, prepare the sauce. To make the pizza sauce add the garlic to a frying pan and colour slightly, add the basil and the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through, discard any left over garlic

Top the chips with pizza sauce and top with cheese and any other toppings

Place in the oven and bake until cheese is melted and golden

Serve with your choice of sides.

L x

Monday, 22 August 2016

Chococo Exeter

Set up by husband and wife team, Chococo are proud to have been making fine fresh handmade chocolates since December 2002 on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast using locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

They recently opened a branch in Exeter offering their full range of fresh chocolates plus all other handmade chocolate gifts, origin bars and sweet treats. You can also enjoy their unique origin hot chocolates, locally roasted Crankhouse coffee, Dorset teas, Purbeck ice cream or cakes handmade either by Chococo or by local artisan Emma’s Bakery. All of which are available to enjoy either downstairs or upstairs at big tables or comfy armchairs.

Their freshly made chocolates look and taste amazing! You can pick your own selection to make a totally bespoke box of chocolates, knowing every single one can be your favourite!

I had a delicious hot chocolate and cake, both very rich and chocolatey!  Nick bought a chocolate slab which he soon devoured.

Check out the new store in Gandy Street Exeter, or their website for more info.

L x

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Our Evening At Turtle Bay Exeter

Exeter is currently undergoing an exciting transformation, and the Guildhall Shopping Centre is in the final stages of its £12 million transformation into a brand new dining quarter.  There are loads of new restaurants set to open, offering cuisine from all around the world! After months in the making one of the first restaurants is set to open on 23rd August!  Turtle Bay are opening their first restaurant in Devon and promise to bring a brand new, blissful Caribbean dining and drinking experience to the people of Exeter!  We were invited for a special preview evening ahead of it's opening, for a night of rum and delicious food.

Turtle Bay have 28 restaurants around the country and each is individually designed.  Their newest restaurant is bright and colourful with an instantly relaxing vibe from the moment you walk in. One of the first things we commented on as the fabulous round bar set in the middle of the restaurant.  Not only does it make a great centre piece, but it's surrounded with stools to make a really nice area to sit and enjoy some of their fabulous cocktails.

Cocktails were a very common theme for the evening...and I feel that I had waaay too any for a Thursday night! Turtle Bay offers over 40 rums sourced from across the Caribbean and has created some amazing cocktails utilising their wide range of rum.

After we sunk a few cocktails we were given a demo of some of the fabulous rums available. Adam,  Turtle Bays bar trainer was knowledgeable, fun and really passionate about his rum!

The sweet potato fries were AMAZING!
The good news is that they offer 2-4-1 cocktails during their 3 hour happy hour from 7-10 every day!

We then had the privilege of tasting some of the delicious Caribbean food from the menu.  As this was a taster session, it's worth noting that this may not be how the food is actually served when ordering from the menu.

First up was a selection of starters  There was onion, coriander, scotch bonnet & sweet corn mixed together with a dash of West Indian hot sauce to make delicious sweet corn frittas.  They were just the right balance of spice and flavour. We also had some spicy jerk chicken wings and garlic and herb flatbreads (even those had a nice kick!). My favourite part of the starter selection was the hot pepper roti- Trini-style oven baked roti stuffed with shredded cheese, carrots, potatoes & onion served with scotch bonnet & herb mayo.

From the mains we had some traditional jerk chicken and rice, which Nick loved. We also had marinated goat cooked in curry spices, scotch bonnet, sweet potatoes, citrus juice & ginger, served with sweet onion chutney & Caribbean dumplings.  The flavours were amazing with a warming spice, not for the faint hearted, 

The pudding selection was a zesty lemon and lime tart, dark chocolate brownies, banana and toffee cheesecake and BBQ'd pineapple drizzled in a delicious rum caramel sauce. The cheesecake was so rich and creamy, one of the nicest I have ever had (and I've had a lot of cheesecake in my life!)

At the tine of writing this there are only a few days to go until the opening, and I know that we will definitely be making a return! With such a naturally relaxing atmosphere, friendly staff and delicious food and cocktails I can see it being a firm favourite with us and Exeter residents!

L x

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016


Primula is a firm favourite among Slimming World members with their light cheese options.  One of the favourite recipes is Nacho Style Feast.  Half a tube of the light cheese is a Healthy Extra A.

Creamy Piri Piri Chicken

You will need:- 

2 tubes Primula light

Piri Piri Sauce-
2 cloves garlic crushed
Juice & zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 birds-eye red chillies (adjust according to personal taste, the more chillies the hotter it is!)
1 red pepper
1 red onion
juice of one lemon
juice of half a lime
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 chilli powder
5 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp malt vinegar
4 cherry tomatoes
50ml water
Salt & pepper

4 chicken breasts or thighs off the bone
1 ½ tablespoons Cajun spice
Fresh coriander


Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes & set aside

In a bowl mix up the Primula light tubes together with the crushed garlic, lime juice & zest.  Add the rest of the peri peri sauce ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it becomes a smooth paste. 

Add in the chicken & cheese, coating the pieces all over. Cover with cling film & chill for at least ½ hour but the longer the better

After the marinating time pre-heat the oven to 200ÂșC/400F/Gas mark 6. Carefully push the cubes of chicken onto skewers & place them on a foiled baking tray.

Place both the chicken in the oven & cook for 25-30 minutes until thoroughly cooked & the chicken juices run clear

Sprinkle with chopped coriander  & serve with a super free salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

You will need:- 

4 chicken breast (all skin or visible fat removed)
2 x 150g tubes Primula Light
20g fresh basil finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil
Aluminium foil
300g dried pasta – any shape
2 tsp mixed herbs
Low fat cooking spray
Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
Freshly ground sea salt – to taste 
1 bag salad


Place the chicken breasts into an ovenproof dish. In a bowl squeeze out the 2 tubes of Primula Light, add in the fresh & dried basil & mix well. With a spoon dollop the cheesy mixture over the chicken breasts & smooth over with the back of the spoon. Cover with foil. Place into the oven for 40 minutes, carefully remove the foil 10 minutes from the end to lightly brown.

Cook the pasta according to pack instructions then drain & set aside

Place a breast on top of the pasta & spoon over the creamy pesto sauce. Serve with a mixed salad

L x

Monday, 15 August 2016

Review & Recipes:- Garofalo Organic Whole Wheat Pasta range

Garofalo is an Italian pasta manufacturer that have been making  high quality pasta in Gragnano, near Naples for over 200 years. Made from only high quality organic whole wheat semolina, Garofalo’s Whole Wheat pasta is rich in aroma and unique in its taste and texture. Using a traditional bronze dye to form the pasta shapes, the pasta achieves a slightly rough and porous surface, allowing any sauce to cling to and be absorbed by the pasta for a great eating experience.

Along with their traditional range they also have  4 other ranges, which include Organic pasta, Children’s and Baby Organic Pasta, Gluten Free pasta and Organic Whole Wheat Pasta.

Healthy Mac & Cheese

Serves 4

Extra Easy Syn Value:- Syn Free

Healthy Extras:- A

You will need:-

300g of Garofalo Organic Whole Wheat macaroni
½ onion, finely chopped
2 clove of garlic, crushed
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tbsp mustard powder
400ml of chicken or vegetable stock (can be made up with cube)
half a butternut squash, seeds removed (cut a whole butternut squash in half, lengthways)
90g of good quality strong cheddar
30g of parmesan
salt and black pepper
Low Calorie cooking spray


Preheat oven to 200c, 400f (gas mark 4)

Season the butternut with salt, pepper and spray with low calorie cooking spray. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven and bake for approx. 45 mins or until softened

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan add the onion and fry off for a few mins until softened. Add the garlic and fry for another few mins.

Once butternut squash is cooked, scoop insides out of the skin and add to the saucepan with the garlic and onions. Add pinch of cayenne and the mustard powder and break up with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Add mix to a blender and blend till as smooth as possible, then add back to the saucepan over a low heat and stir in the cheese.

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, add in the pasta and cook till al dente. Drain the pasta and stir this into the sauce.

I made a delicious creamy chicken pasta bake with the most amazing shaped pasta I have ever cooked with!

The pasta is really tasty and I love the shapes!

L x