Tuesday, 21 October 2014 - , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Celeriac & Garlic Mash


I'm completely in love with this mash at the moment! Now the weather is changing, those cravings for comfort foods are setting in fast, so it's important to find ways to satisfy them without sabotaging our efforts.

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I find that this celeriac and garlic mash ticks all the boxes for me-it's bland, creamy and has the perfect thick, smooth texture for carrying sauces and gravies-almost turning silky when drenched in a broth-like liquid.
It's very easy to make and even better-it's 0pp/approx.95kcal per portion!
Very easy to covert to Filling&Healthy or SimpleStart too-simply swap the very low fat spread for olive oil from your daily allowance.

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YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 2 generous portions)

Half a medium celeriac
1 large clove garlic
2 teaspoons very low fat spread
(Substitute for 2 teasp. olive oil if doing F&H or SS)
1 tablespoon Total 0% yoghurt
Black pepper

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Wash the celeriac then peel using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Dice into large chunks then pop into a pan with boiling water.


Add the peeled garlic clove to the water. This adds a little sweetness and counteracts the slightly sour taste of the celeriac once cooked.


Cook for approx. 15 minutes until you can insert a knife easily into the celeriac. Drain well then pop back into the pan.


Measure the very low fat spread and add to the hot celeriac.


Measure the Total yoghurt and add to the pan.


Season well with lashings of coarsely ground black pepper.


Use a hand blender, masher or food processor to blend to a lovely smooth consistency. Unlike potato, the celeriac responds well to being blended-it won't go 'gluey'.


Heap onto your plate with your chosen main dish-sausages and gravy, stew etc.


My favourite way to serve this mash is with Chickpea and Butterbean stew- a fabulous Winter warmer!
(Click HERE for recipe)

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Mashyliscious.

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PRINT RECIPE HERE

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Click HERE to go straight to it and see some of my dishes being made in the
Slice of Slim kitchen!


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Thursday, 16 October 2014 - , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Aubergine Cannelloni


This is one of those amazing recipes that just looks fabulous, tastes amazing and is only 5pp/approx.350kcal for a really generous portion!
Griddled aubergine serves as the carrier for a garlicky, creamy sauce before being piled with fresh spinach and Bolognese sauce. It's then rolled up, topped with grated cheese and oven-baked to become a satisfying dish made to make your mouth water!
It's very easy to make-even better if you have some Bolognese sauce already made and chilled as that's one less job to do! (It's also a great one if you just have some leftover sauce and want to use it up).

Click HERE for a link to my Bolognese recipe-it's the easiest one you'll ever find.
This recipe works beautifully with meat or vegetarian mince so nobody feels left out!

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YOU WILL NEED : (serves 2 generous portions)

2 medium aubergines
60g Philadelphia lightest cream cheese
60g 2% or 0% fat Total yoghurt
1 large clove garlic
black pepper
2 handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
500g Bolognese sauce
(Propoints are calulated from my recipe at 2pp per portion-you may need to recalculate if you use a different recipe)
25g mature cheddar

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Start by slicing the aubergines into thin strips about half a centimetre thick. You need 4 slices per person from the middle part of the aubergine. Save all the excess aubergine for another time-you could roast it or add to a curry/stew.


Mist a griddle pan with Frylight oil then chargrill the aubergine slices in 2 batches on both sides until they are golden brown and cooked through. They should be very soft and pliable. Set on one side to cool slightly. 


In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, yoghurt, crushed garlic and black pepper.


Using a teaspoon, distribute the cream cheese mixture equally between all 8 slices of cooked aubergine.
Spread to cover each slice evenly.


Add a few uncooked spinach leaves to each slice of aubergine.


Drain off any runny liquid from the Bolognese sauce, then distribute equally between the aubergine slices. Spread evenly. It doesn't have to be too perfect-this is a rustic dish.


Carefully but confidently, roll up each slice from the narrow end to form a rolled up 'cannelloni'.


They're more robust than you would imagine and keep their shape well if you place them join-side-down once rolled.


Pack them tightly together into an oven-proof dish. This ensures that they hold their shape when baking. You could put all 8 together in one dish or into 2 separate individual portions if you prefer.


Using a very fine grater, grate the cheddar cheese over the top of the cannelloni rolls. This makes the cheese go much further and will appear to be a generous amount!


Bake for 25-30 minutes at 190C/375F/Gas5 until the cheese is really brown and crispy.


Allow 4 aubergine cannelloni per portion. Garnish with some fresh basil or herb of your choice.

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Auberliscious!

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PRINT RECIPE HERE


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Click HERE to go straight to it and see some of my dishes being made in the
Slice of Slim kitchen!


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Thursday, 9 October 2014 - , 0 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : WeightWatchers Hot Chocolate Flavours


These new hot choccies from WeightWatchers are just a little bit yummy!
They have managed to capture the flavours of



'Cappuccino Cream Cake'



 'Jaffa Cake'



and 'Chocolate Cherry Brownie'
really well in powder form.

Personally, I find the hot chocolate quite watery when made into a drink so I often add a tiny splosh of milk on the top to enhance the appearance and flavour.
You use 3 heaped teaspoons with a mug of boiled water for a lovely 1pp/38kcal chocolate fix. Each sachet contains 8 servings. They are £1.49 per bag and are often on a deal if you buy two at a time.

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Remember these flavoured powders make a great addition to low fat natural yoghurt or frozen banana 'icecream' for a fabulous low propointed dessert. Just add the powder dry and mix well.
Click HERE for a link to the banana 'icecream' recipe.

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Choccyliscious

Penny's Kitchen: Chickpea & Butter Bean Stew with Cauliflower 'Cous-Cous'


As many of you know, I have a dear friend Penny who lives in Cyprus and is a wonderful cook. We spent a week together recently, having a 'healthy cook-off'- sharing recipes and inspiring each other with new flavours and ideas.
This stew was one of the first dishes Penny made for me. Little did she know this would be such a great dish for us WeightWatchers as it works out to 5pp/approx.250kcal for a huge portion and is also Filling&Healthy/SimpleStart friendly!
This tasty dish is a real winner. It's aromatic and delicious, extremely simple to make, and went down very well with my family when I returned home.
This will be one of my staples from now on.

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YOU WILL NEED:(Serves 4 large portions)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
3 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 litre chicken/vegetable stock made with 2 stock cubes
(Penny uses Oxo cubes, I use the low salt variety)
5 large tomatoes
two 400g tins (235g drained) butter beans
1 400g tin (240g drained) chick peas 

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For the 'cous-cous'

1 medium cauliflower

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Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic. Fry gently for a few minutes until the onion is starting to go golden.


Add the cumin, cayenne pepper and dried chilli flakes. Fry the spices with the onion for a couple of minutes just to help develop the flavours.


Add half the stock and the tomatoes which should be roughly chopped, quite chunky.
Add the bay leaves. These are a magical herb. Not only do they give the authentic, tasty Mediterranean flavour, they also help to thicken the sauce somehow.


Simmer for a few minutes.


Add the chickpeas and butter beans.
Give everything a good stir.


Add the rest of the stock. Cover the pan and allow the stew to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
The sauce should be quite thin and soup-like, perfect for the cauliflower 'cous-cous' to absorb.


While the stew is simmering, simply pulse-chop the raw cauliflower in a food processor into chunky breadcrumb-like pieces. (You can grate it if you don't have a machine). Pop into a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Heat through for 2-3 minutes then drain thoroughly in a sieve. The cauliflower should still have a 'bite' to it.


To serve, put a generous amount of cauliflower 'cous-cous' at the base of each serving bowl.Remove the bay leaves then heap the stew on top with plenty of the runny stock.


Sprinkle the top with a little remaining cauliflower for a pretty finish.

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Beaniliscious!

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TIPS

This stew keeps beautifully in the fridge for a few days. It tastes even better the day after you've made it- it's even yummy cold!

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If you are reheating leftover stew and you find the stock has been absorbed, simply add a little more to the pan to 'loosen' the stew again.

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You could add quite a bit more stock and make it into more of a hearty soup for the Winter.

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For a really filling meal, you could griddle some sausages (vegetarian or meat) and either serve as an accompaniment or add into the stew for a really hearty dish.
(Remember to add the extra propoints/calories if you do this)

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PRINT RECIPE HERE

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Have you seen my YouTube channel yet?
Click HERE to go straight to it and see some of my dishes being made in the
Slice of Slim kitchen!


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Wednesday, 1 October 2014 - , 2 comments

Food for Thought : A Few Refreshing Changes


There's nothing as refreshing as a few days away. So when my good friend who lives in Cyprus asked me if I'd like to stay with her for a week, how could I possibly say no?
What I didn't realise was that I could learn so much in a few days..and these small changes will be put into practice now I'm home.

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Although I'm very well-versed on the subject of the WeightWatchers plan and my focus is on low-fat and low-salt recipes, I realise that I could still eat more nutritionally-balanced meals from time to time and perhaps snack a little less.

My friend Penny is very well read on the subject of food, nutrition and digestion. She loves to eat healthily and adores food-but doesn't have that obsession with it like I do. So it was really interesting for me to spend a few days with someone who knows when they are full up, doesn't crave food the whole time and naturally knows how to eat!

This may sound crazy to you but because my life has revolved around weight loss, maintenance and tracking everything I've eaten for the past 4 years, I found the whole experience pretty interesting. So, I decided to keep a photographic food journal of everything we cooked and ate during that week. I continued to track and Penny ate as she always does. At the end of the week, we both felt fantastic, had eaten like kings and each lost 3lbs!
(We had both intended to lose a couple of excess pounds).

We also had a few treats not shown here-chocolate, crisps or icecream most days!


So here's what we ate. The breakfasts look repetitive because I've used the same image-but we had a variety of fresh fruit/vegetable juices every morning on an empty stomach. This was followed by a Mediterranean style breakfast of hard boiled egg, tomatoes and cucumber, which I really enjoyed-but we could have varied it if we had chosen to.



The fresh juicing is the first change I've implemented since I got home. In the past, I resented having to use a couple of propoints for a fruit/vegetable juice, but the sense of well-being I felt after 2-3 days was immense and I realised how much good it was doing my digestive system. 


I'm not someone who believes in gadgets for the sake of gadgets, but a juicer is well worth the investment.


I won't go through every dish but we ate hearty meals, large portions of fresh produce each day.


If we ate a large lunch, we'd have a delicious salad for dinner and vice-versa. We never felt hungry.


The fresh food costs were slightly cheaper in Cyprus than in the UK, but we were not extravagant and if we had sea bass or salmon one day, we'd have a chickpea stew the next to balance out the costs. We wasted nothing.


The next lesson I learnt was to up my intake of water. Penny noticed that I always went to make a cup of coffee or tea if I was thirsty and drank very little pure water.
This is another habit I've put into practice since I got home. I try to drink about 5-6 glasses a day. We all know we should be doing this but it's worth actually noting our habits.


The most life-changing one for me though, is this one!
Because fruit is 0pp on the propoints plan, I  previously ate huge amounts of it especially as a dessert after meals and as a way to fill myself up in the evenings...

Penny's knowledge of digestion meant that she could advise me that eating fruit AFTER a meal is not a good idea as it digests faster than other foods-therefore sits on top of the meal you've just eaten causing flatulence! Enough said!!!
All I can say is that by eating fruit on an empty stomach mid-morning or afternoon and maybe in not such vast quantities, my body feels so much more comfortable. Not only my life but the lives of everyone in my family have been improved as my digestive system is calmer and happier!

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I'll be bringing you some of the delicious recipes we cooked over the next few weeks.

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Little changes can make a big difference!

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Have you seen my YouTube channel yet?
Click HERE to go straight to it and see some of my dishes being made in the
Slice of Slim kitchen!


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RECIPE : Mango, Lime & Mint Chutney


I love mango chutney but at 2pp/55kcal per tablespoon it kind of defeats the object of my magical 0pp curry!
(Click HERE for recipe)
So...I decided to invent a low fat, ZERO propoint version of my own chutney and the result is truly yummy. I've mixed lime juice and peel into mine to introduce some sour and bitter flavours as I love lime pickle, so this combines both ideas. However, if you prefer your mango chutney traditionally sweet, just leave out the lime altogether. 
Mangoes can be an expensive ingredient, so look out for over-ripe ones that may have been reduced in price.

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The WHOLE amount is 0pp/approx.250kcal and is also suitable for a F&H/SS day

YOU WILL NEED : (Makes approx.300g)

1 large ripe mango
1 tablespoon Nigella/black onion seeds
1 lime
1-2 cups water
1 sprig fresh mint
1 clove garlic
1 red onion
1 tablespoon artificial granular sweetener
1 tablespoon low salt soy sauce
1/2 a banana

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Dice the mango into small but chunky cubes. Pop into a heavy-based pan.
(I used a frying pan)


Sprinkle the Nigella seeds over the mango.


Squeeze the juice of one lime into the pan.


Cut the remaining peel very finely and add to the pan. It's the peel, not the juice, that gives the chutney a slight bitterness. You could try using orange or lemon instead.


Now add a cup of water and bring to the boil.


Chop the mint leaves finely.


Add the freshly chopped mint and a crushed clove of garlic to the pan.


Add finely chopped red onion, soy sauce and sweetener to taste.
(You may not need much sweetener if the mango is naturally very sweet).
Allow the chutney to bubble away on the hob for around 40-50 minutes. You may need to add another cup of water.


Finally, to round off the flavours and thicken the liquid, add half a chopped banana. Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring until the banana has completely broken down into the sauce. You won't really taste the banana-it just saves adding sugar or cornflour. Taste once more and 'tweak' the flavours to your personal preference-a little more soy sauce, mint, sweetener etc.


If you are going to preserve this for a while or to give as gifts, place into freshly sterilised jars while the chutney is still hot. Allow to cool down in the jar before storing then using.
(You can see how to do this in more detail in my Apple Chutney recipe. Click HERE)


Alternatively, allow to cool then serve with curries, cold meats or cheese. The chutney will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Sweet, aromatic mango chutney.

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PRINT RECIPE HERE

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Have you seen my YouTube channel yet?
Click HERE to go straight to it and see some of my dishes being made in the
Slice of Slim kitchen!
Don't forget to subscribe then you will be automatically updated every time I make a new film.