Tuesday, 18 October 2016 - , , , , , , , , 0 comments

SMASH & GRAB : Griddled Halloumi & Apple Chutney Crostini

This is one of those simple no-performance dishes you can literally throw together in a few minutes.
It's a substantial light snack or makes a great starter too.
The flavours are quite wonderful...crusty toast acts as a bland carrier, laden with my homemade apple chutneythen topped with slices of griddled light Halloumi. A handful of rocket leaves and a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce brings everything together in a mouth-watering ensemble.

At 6sp/5pp/approx.250kcal per portion, it's almost too good to be true!


YOU WILL NEED : (Per portion)

Two 20g slices crusty bread
(I used a white poppy-seed crusted bread 
which worked out to 3sp/2pp)

Two 20g slices halloumi light cheese
This has 30% less fat than regular halloumi
(It works out to 3sp/3pp)

4 tablespoons apple & onion chutney
(Click HERE for link)
My recipe has 0sp/0pp. If you use an alternative or shop-bought chutney, remember to calculate propoints/calories

Handful of fresh rocket leaves

1 teaspoon Thai sweet chilli sauce


Slice the bread into very thin, 20g slices.

Mist the bread with a little Frylight oil and pop into a griddle pan with the halloumi.

Griddle over a medium heat.
When the bread is lightly toasted (about 2 minutes), spray the exposed side with a little more Frylight oil and flip it over to cook on the second side.

Load the toast generously with chutney to heat through gently. Flip the halloumi over to cook on its second side.

Using a spatula, gently place the toast onto your serving plate.

Top each piece with a slice of griddled halloumi.

Scatter with fresh rocket leaves.

Finally, drizzle lightly with Thai sweet chilli sauce.





Mango chutney would work beautifully with this dish. Adjust propoints accordingly.

If you don't like halloumi, you could top with slices of low fat cheddar and heat under the grill. Again, adjust propoints if necessary.


Sunday, 9 October 2016 - , , , , , , , , , , 2 comments

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING : Apple Harvest Chutney

There's nothing more grounding than picking apples straight from the tree to put you back in touch with nature. That simple twist that tells you they're ripe as they happily fall into the palm of your hand.
Each one is a gift.

I spent a lovely afternoon picking apples in my parents' garden last weekend. The mellow Autumn sunshine kept us warm while we chatted away collecting our harvest.
Before long, I had a carrier bag full of apples. Some were riper and sweeter than others, so I decided to make a delicious chutney with the more tangy ones.


My Apple Harvest Chutney couldn't be easier to make. It's one of my "chuck-it-all-in" kind of recipes. You need an hour or so to make the chutney and a few hours for it to cool thoroughly before devouring.
Its sweet, savoury, spicy flavours make it the perfect accompaniment to cheese and biscuits or cold meats.
I have a lovely toasted open sandwich idea using it, so I'll write a post about that shortly.


For us lucky WeighWatchers,
my chutney is 0sp.
(The WHOLE jar works out to 1sp)

For calorie counters, this amount is approx.700kcal...but that's a generous jar with at least 50 portions at 14kcal each!



4 large eating apples
(if you use cooking apples, you will need to add substantially more sweetener)
4 red onions
2 white onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tangerine
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons low salt soy sauce
200ml water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
large sprig fresh basil
2 tablespoons artificial granular sweetener
black pepper


Dice all the onions quite chunky and pop into a large, deep pan (I used a wok) with a little Frylight oil.
Add the chopped garlic.

Fry for a few minutes to bring some colour and flavour to the onions before adding the torn basil leaves. Squeeze the juice from the tangerine and add to the pan. Save the tangerine carcass.

Chop the remaining pulp and peel from the squeezed tangerine and add to the pan. This gives a marmalade-like quality to the finished chutney and adds another dimension of fruitiness without smartpoint-laden raisins or sultanas.

Keeping the peel on the apples, core and chop them into medium chunks. Don't chop them too small as they will break down and turn into a pulp, losing their texture. I just love the vibrant colours at this stage.

Cook for a few minutes, then add the Balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener, water and seasonings. Play around with the flavours using your own herbs and spices.

Stir well then cover the pan with a lid or some tin foil. Allow to simmer gently for around 50 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent any of the mixture sticking to the pan.

The chutney will have thickened naturally as the fruit absorbs the water as it cooks. If you feel it's too thick, add a little more water.

If you are just making a batch to enjoy right now, allow to cool and pop into a jar.
It will keep in the fridge for a week or so.

If you want to make a large batch of chutney to last a few months, it must be stored in sterilised jars. As this was my first attempt, I had to google the most effective way of doing this!
It seems that if you have a dishwasher, this is a perfectly acceptable way to sterilise a jar as long as you fill it while still hot, straight from the hot cycle.
The other more traditional way is to remove the rubber seal and pop it in a bowl. Pour boiling water onto it and leave for a few minutes. Wash the jar and pop into an oven at 150C/300F/Gas 2 for 15 minutes.

Only ever fill a hot sterilised jar with hot mixture, otherwise the jar may crack. Take extreme care at this stage.

Add the rubber seal and carefully close the lid and metal clip using oven gloves.
As the chutney cools in the jar, this will form a vacuum seal ensuring that your chutney should last a few months unopened. This means you could make batches now to sell at Christmas Fairs etc. and they will survive happily.
Once opened, the chutney will keep in the fridge for a few days.


Dollop onto cheese and biscuits for a lovely tangy flavour, adding no extra propoints!
This snack is 5sp for 6 melba toast and two slices of low fat cheese.



Make your own changes to my recipe by adding ingredients such as ginger, chilli, pineapple or mango to your chutneys. Experiment and have fun concocting your own combinations using 0pp fruits and vegetables.


Small jars make wonderful gifts too!


Wednesday, 7 September 2016 - , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE: Wrap-Free Fajita

This is one of those wonderful dishes that just came together from ingredients I happened to have in the fridge!
I love fajitas but it can be quite a performance to make all the different elements, and once thrown into a wrap the Smartpoints and calories can add up pretty fast!
So I decided to make a wrap-free version; same flavours and textures but a little lighter than usual! I love the hot spicy veggies contrasting with the cooling cottage cheese and soothing creamy avocado with a squeeze of zesty lemon.

This is so easy-it can be thrown together within minutes of stepping into the kitchen.

This serves 2 people at 8sp/approx.265kcal  per portion


YOU WILL NEED : (serves 2)

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
pinch dried chilli flakes
substitute dried spices with 1-2 teaspoons pre-mixed fajita spices- you can buy from any supermarket
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 large fresh tomatoes
2 Spring onions

6 tablespoons reduced fat cottage cheese
1 medium avocado
juice of 1 lemon
paprika or sumac to finish


Heat the oil in a pan then add sliced onion and chopped garlic. Fry with the spices until softened then add the sliced pepper. Fry for around 5 minutes until soft. Slice the tomatoes into wedges and add to the pan with the sliced Spring onions.
Cook to heat through for a couple of minutes.

Share the hot spicy veggies into 2 portions in serving bowls.

Dot with the cottage cheese
(3 tablespoons per portion)

Then scatter with half an avocado per portion-diced straight from the shell with a generous squeeze of lemon (or lime) to stop it from discolouring.
Sprinkle with a splash of colour-either paprika or sumac, whatever you have.


That's it! Fajitatastic!


Tuesday, 30 August 2016 - , , , , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Heritage Tomato Salad with Avocado

There's an abundance of tomatoes at the moment so whether you have grown your own or bought them cheaply from a supermarket, this simple salad is a delicious, nutritious and refreshing way to serve them.

If you're prepared to spend a few extra pennies and go for some Heritage tomatoes....they will turn this salad from something delicious into something sublime! I just adore all the different shapes and colourways that appear in these boxes of produce. They really do make a difference to this salad as visually they are so exciting not to mention the flavour! This box was around £4 but it made two enormous salads, each enough for 3-4 people as a side dish.


YOU WILL NEED: (serves 4 as a side salad)

The whole salad comes to 7sp/approx 330kcal so 2sp/approx.83kcal per person


4-5 large tomatoes
(Or a selection of Heritage tomatoes)
handful of fresh basil leaves
2 Spring onions
1/2 medium avocado
juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
black pepper
tiny pinch salt


Select a good variety of shapes, colours and textures of tomato.

 Start by slicing the largest, most open structured tomato and layer at the bottom of a large serving bowl.

Slice the remaining tomatoes and layer on top.

Scatter with basil leaves and a tiny pinch of salt. I very rarely use salt but this just enhances the flavours of the tomatoes.

Chop the Spring onions finely at an angle then sprinkle over the tomatoes.

Halve the avocado. Peel one half and slice as finely as possible into ribbon-like pieces. Toss in lemon juice then scatter over the salad. Wrap the remaining half including the stone in clingfilm to stop it going brown, then refrigerate.

Finally, splash one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and one teaspoon of olive oil over the salad to gently bring out the natural flavours in these gorgeous, simple ingredients. Add a generous grind of black pepper. Mix gently on serving.

This makes a lovely accompaniment to any grilled meat or fish, or a delicious light starter.




Tuesday, 23 August 2016 - , , , , , , 2 comments

RECIPE : Chicken, Pear & Feta Toasted Stack with Wasabi Total Greek Yoghurt

Sandwiches don't need to be boring!
 I've mixed wasabi paste and Nigella seeds into Total yoghurt to make a hot, fragrant condiment. Then, I've layered up a toasted wrap with chicken, pear and Greek light salad cheese (based on low fat Feta)to make an enormous stacked sarnie! It will feed one very hungry person or two as a light snack.


YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 1-2 people)

7sp/9pp/approx.398kcal for 1 portion
or 3sp/5pp/199kcal per portion
if shared between 2


1 Square white wrap
(I use the Warburtons one at 4sp/4pp/159kcal)

100g Total 0% Greek Yoghurt
 wasabi paste (to your personal taste)
2 teaspoons Nigella seeds

50g cooked chicken, sliced
1 red pear, cored and sliced (skin on)
30g Greek light salad cheese

rocket leaves


Cut the wrap into 4 pieces and toast. Don't worry if it curls slightly as this adds to the presentation!

Add the wasabi paste and 1 teaspoon Nigella seeds into the Total Greek Yoghurt. I put around 2-3cms of wasabi from the tube but add to your personal preference. Mix well.

Place the first piece of toasted wrap onto your serving plate and dollop with 1/4 of the yoghurt mixture.

Add some rocket or salad leaves of your choice before placing the second piece of toasted wrap on top.

Spread with another quarter of the Total Greek Yoghurt mixture.

Add half the chicken and pear with crumbled cheese to this layer, saving half the ingredients for the next layer.

Repeat so that you have another layer of toasted wrap, chicken, pear and cheese. Save a slice of chicken and pear for the top. Allow some of the crumbled cheese to fall onto the plate in random scatters.

Top the final piece of toasted wrap with the remaining Total Greek Yoghurt mixture, a couple of rocket leaves and a little chicken and pear. Finally scatter the stack with some Nigella seeds allowing some to fall onto the plate.

This is one monumental sandwich but is easier to eat than you might imagine...

...as the layers can easily be separated again to be enjoyed.


Totally Wasabiliscious!



Please note; All my opinions are my own however this blog post has been sponsored as it was part of a promotional campaign with TOTAL yoghurt