Friday, 27 March 2015 - , , , 4 comments

Hot Off The Press NEWS : Blogging for Gemini Fashion and a few thoughts on body image!


In the world of blogging, you never quite know where you might be going next.
So, I was thrilled when Georgia-part of the vibrant young social media team at
Gemini Fashion,   got in touch with me to see if I'd like to be a regular contributor of my low fat Slice Of Slim recipes on the blog section of their brand new website.
(All my recipes have approximate calories and WeightWatchers Propoints calculated for you)


Gemini is a fabulous triple bay-fronted shop right in the heart of Stratford-Upon-Avon. They house an array of inspirational brands with offerings from companies such as Great Plains, Sandwich and Avoca to name but a few. They carry a large variety of styles to suit all tastes, shapes and sizes and helpful, knowledgable staff to advise you if you wish.
They have just launched their new website which is fresh, inspirational and informative. It's packed full of details of current trends, offers, lifestyle tips and of course an online shop so you can purchase their gorgeous stock wherever you live!

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They invited me to a styled photoshoot so that they could show me their Spring/Summer 2015 ranges and introduce me as their new blogger on their website. Of course, I couldn't arrive empty-handed, so I made the team some of my famous chocolate-dipped grape fruitypops!
(See above)


Before I arrived, I had sent them my sizes, height, colouring etc., so that their stylist (the lovely Elizabeth) could pick out some suggested outfits for me.
The equally fab Hannah, their photographer, really put me at ease once I got there.

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 This experience alone made me realise that losing my weight four years ago had not really made me ever reflect on how I could change my style or colour palettes to suit the new me.
I think it's quite common when you lose a few stone that although it's fun to fit into smaller jeans or more fitted clothes, it takes a while for our brains to catch up with the new person we represent from the outside. Many of my personal body hang-ups haven't really gone away. Infact sometimes I still feel like my large old self, 4 1/2 stone (62lbs) heavier than I weigh in today. I've even walked towards myself more than once in shop mirrors because I don't recognise myself!



So, Gemini did me a huge favour as they gave me a couple of hours to really try new styles and colours and experiment with what suited me. It was refreshing to have had outfits picked out for me because I probably wouldn't have considered many of the colours, patterns or styles-discarding them before I had even tried them! I can highly recommend this process-especially if you have reached your goal weight and need to find your new personal style. What an incentive to keep the weight off too if you treat yourself to a few key pieces!

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Here's a link to the feature they wrote about me and it lists all the brands I was wearing in the images with links to the items on their website.

(Click HERE)

You can also sign up to their free newsletter where you will receive a weekly email sharing information and, from April, recipes from little old me!

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Inspirational gems from Gemini

RECIPE : Coleslaw


I have always loved coleslaw, but not the shop-bought kind, only homemade. I find the commercial stuff very sickly, artificial and acidic to taste. Another reason is probably because my Mum makes the best coleslaw ever-so I learnt how to make it from her.
I've stuck to her technique and some of her ingredients, however in true Slice Of Slim style, I've swapped the mayo for Total 0% Greek yoghurt. This means you can still have lashings of dressing which is the trick to a great coleslaw.

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This WHOLE bowl is 1pp/approx.180kcal and is enough for 4 generous portions, so each portion is 0pp/approx.45kcal!
(When you compare this to a shop-bought coleslaw which is around 3pp/140kcal PER TABLESPOON I think you'll agree I'm onto a winner here!)

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YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 4)

2 medium carrots
1/4 white cabbage
2 Spring onions

For the dressing;

80g Total 0% or 2% fat Greek yoghurt

juice of 1 lemon 
OR
juice of 1 lime
OR
1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or seasoned rice wine vinegar

1-2 teaspoons granular artificial sweetener

lashings of freshly ground black pepper

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In a large mixing bowl, weigh out the yoghurt. Add the lemon/lime juice or vinegar depending on your preference.


Mix really well until smooth and creamy, then add the sweetener and black pepper. Sweetening the dressing is so important as it balances out the acidity. Keep tasting until it's just how you like it- more tangy, extra creamy, a pepper kick etc.


Once you're happy with the flavour, slice the Spring onions and add to the dressing.


Depending on the gadgets you have, either pop the cabbage and carrots into a food processor on a course grater mode....or grate coarsely by hand...or if you have the patience, grate the carrot but slice the cabbage really finely with a sharp knife for a great texture.
I bung all mine in the food processor as it literally takes 30 seconds!


Now add the shredded veggies a handful at a time to the dressing and coat well with the dressing each time using a metal spoon. You just seem to get the best coverage with this technique and everything ends up with an even coating. (Thanks Mum!)


Taste again, adjust any flavours then transfer to your serving bowl. It's just so fresh, clean and delicious!
This will keep for a couple of days in the fridge but is at its best when freshly made.


I served mine with a baked sweet potato for 6pp/approx.250kcal and a tablespoon of yoghurt-the colours are just amazing together!


I love it with some chicken, tuna or a piece of griddled salmon. Just remember to calculate any propoints/calories for anything you add to the dish.

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Coleslaw Heaven!

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To Ring The Changes...

Try using red cabbage instead of white for a dramatic colour combo.

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Add caraway seeds for an aniseed tang.

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Add dill or chopped chives to the dressing.

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Thursday, 5 March 2015 - , , , , , 0 comments

SMASH & GRAB : Greek Yoghurt with Banana, Tahini & Chocolate


This delicious pudding is the simplest little dish to make yet has fast become my favourite sweet fix.
The combo of creamy Greek yoghurt, sweet banana, rich sesame tahini and silken chocolate drizzle is just a joy to behold! You might think tahini is a strange ingredient to add-but think along the lines of salted caramel-it's that savoury-sweetness that adds a new dimension to these ingredients.
It literally takes a couple of minutes to prepare too-another winner in my book.

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This works out to 4pp/approx.236kcal per portion

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YOU WILL NEED:(Per portion)

100g Total 0% fat Greek Yoghurt
1 tablespoon cold water
1 medium banana


1 teaspoon tahini


3 teaspoons/15g Choc Shot
(Either the original or Orange Spice variety)

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Weigh the yoghurt into your serving bowl and add 1 tablespoon cold water.


Mix well to thin down the yoghurt slightly. I've recently discovered that by adding a little water to the 0% fat Greek yoghurt, it improves the texture immensely, otherwise it is very thick.
This gives it a silken creaminess reminiscent of the full fat version.


Slice the banana on top of the yoghurt.


Measure 1 teaspoon tahini.


 Drizzle on top of the banana.


Pop the bowl onto kitchen scales and drizzle 15g of Choc Shot straight from the packaging.


You will have this delightfully rustic, messy pudding.


Mix and swirl the flavours together gently before savouring this sweet, filling, yummy bowl of low fat decadence!

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Chocasesameliscious

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Thursday, 26 February 2015 - , , , , 1 comments

RECIPE : Vegetarian 'Meatball' Lasagne


This is a delicious alternative to a regular lasagne and is simple to make.
The veggie 'meatballs' ensure that the recipe stays low fat. 

My  Vegetarian 'Meatball' Lasagne makes 8 portions at 7pp/approx.340kcal per portion or 6 portions at 10pp/approx.450kcal 

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YOU WILL NEED: (Serves 6 or 8)

A large oblong oven-proof dish

9 dried lasagne sheets
(no need to pre-cook)

Vegetarian 'Meatball' sauce
(see below)

Bechamel sauce
(see below)


25g grated cheddar


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Prepare both sauces and pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6




Vegetarian 'meatball' tomato sauce

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves crushed garlic
300g pack of Quorn Swedish Style balls (You'll find these in the frozen section in the supermarket)
1 jar (700g) thick passata
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
A few leaves fresh basil
Black pepper


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Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the Quorn 'meatballs' and fry until lightly browned.
Add the passata, water, bay leaf and seasoning. Cook for around 10 minutes.
Place to one side until needed.


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Bechamel sauce

1 litre unsweetened soya/skimmed milk
8 tablespoons cornflour
200g lightest philadelphia
white pepper/black pepper to taste
garlic granules to taste

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Measure out the milk. While cold, add the cornflour. Stir well.


Cook on high in the microwave in 2-3 minute bursts, stirring in between until the mixture has come to the boil and thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon.
If you prefer, you can cook in a pan on the hob, stirring occasionally until thick.



Add the philadelphia and beat until it is thoroughly mixed in with no lumps. This is your beautiful, thick, glossy sauce. Season quite generously with pepper and garlic granules to give it a subtle flavour. Don't worry if it is a little bland.
Use straight away or cool and refrigerate until you need it.

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To assemble the lasagne;



Pop a little bechamel sauce just to cover the base of an oven-proof dish.
Place 3 sheets of dried lasagne in the dish then put 3 'meatballs' on each.



Add half the tomato sauce and then generously drizzle with bechamel saving plenty for the next layers.

 There are approximately 18-20 'meatballs in the 300g packet, so this allows for a minimum of 9 per layer. If you have any extras, simply dot them in. This won't affect the overall propoint value.

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Next, add 3 more sheets of lasagne.


Then make another identical layer of 'meatballs' and bechamel sauce. Use up all of the tomato sauce, but save a generous amount of bechamel for the top layer.
Make sure you remove the bay leaf!

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Now add the last 3 sheets of lasagne.


Pour on the remaining bechamel to form a generous, thick layer to cover everything well.
It's important when using dried lasagne sheets to have plenty of sauce and therefore moisture so that the finished lasagne is beautifully cooked and not dried out.

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Grate the cheddar on top.


Cover with foil then bake for 30 minutes at 200C/400F/Gas6.
Uncover and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until brown, bubbly and crispy on top.

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Cut into 6-8 equal servings.

Serve simply with a fresh, green salad.


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Fake Meatball heaven!

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PRINT RECIPE HERE

Friday, 20 February 2015 - , 0 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : Tahini


I've known about tahini all my life, but only recently started using it virtually on a daily basis as an ingredient for salad dressings and dips- I'm a little bit addicted!

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. 
Its relatively high levels of calcium and protein make it a useful addition to vegetarian and vegan diets.
Compared to peanut butter, tahini has higher levels of fibre and calcium and lower levels of sugar and saturated fats. Its flavour is slightly more bitter than peanut butter but when added as an ingredient to recipes it gives a unique and delicious flavour and texture.

Even though it's rich and quite calorific,it's really nutritious and one teaspoonful at 1pp/33kcal is all you need!

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When you first open the jar, you have to give it a really thorough stir as it's very oily on the top.

So, how do I use tahini?


Mixed simply with lemon juice, Greek yoghurt and black pepper with a little water, I make a delicious dipping sauce for falafel, an accompaniment to fish or grilled meats etc.

Click HERE for the recipe.

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Mixed with Yoghurt, capers and vinegar it makes a fabulous salad dressing.

Click HERE for the recipe.

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Once you are used to the flavour, you may like it simply drizzled straight from the jar over certain foods;


I like it with ham and avocado..


Or feta and cucumber with some simple salad leaves.

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A little added to houmous gives a slightly more nutty flavour and richer texture.

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You can even mix it with chocolate to make a sweet/salted kind of flavour- you could mix a teaspoon of tahini with some Chocshot or drinking chocolate into my frozen banana icecream base for an intensely interesting dessert!

Click HERE for the basic banana icecream base recipe.

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Tahinitastic!
Thursday, 12 February 2015 - , , , , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Box of Choccy Fruits


A few weeks ago, just after Christmas, you may recall that I suggested saving empty plastic chocolate boxes for this years Valentine's Day idea!
This makes a gorgeous little gift for any occasion or is fabulous to serve with coffee after dinner with friends too. 
We had a Ferrero Rocher box hanging around and these are just perfect for my choccy fruit idea.

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Here's a great comparison for you...one Ferrero Rocher chocolate is 2pp/73kcal...the whole box of 15 comes to 31pp/1095kcal. 
My whole box of choccy fruits is 5pp/approx. 220kcal!

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YOU WILL NEED

1 empty Ferrero Rocher box
(15 choccy size)

15 petit four cases
5 strawberries
5 pieces chewy dried banana
5 soft dried apricots
22g chocolate
(plain, milk or white)

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Fill the spaces in the chocolate box with petit four cases. Select even-sized fruits.


Melt the chocolate over hot water or in the microwave until a runny consistency.


Half-dip all the fruits and leave to set on greaseproof parchment.


Any remaining chocolate can be flicked over the fruits in a random style using a teaspoon. It looks messy at this stage, but really professional once set!


Once thoroughly set
(around 45 minutes to an hour),
arrange the fruit in lines in the box.


The finished fruits look so appealing and professional!


This is one box of chocolates you don't have to feel guilty about devouring...and if you're feeling generous, there's plenty to share too!


Choccyfruitiliscious!

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