Wednesday, 26 August 2015 - , , , , , , , , , 0 comments

SMASH & GRAB : Fresh Salad Bruschetta

I'm on a 'back to basics' campaign at the moment! I could make a million excuses, but basically I've gained a few pounds recently by being a little slapdash with my weighing and tracking. For someone like me who has no natural stop button when it comes to food, this is why the WeightWatchers system works so well for me. If you follow it by the book and do 'what it says on the tin' it really is possible to lose or maintain your weight effectively. That's my preferred method-but if you find that counting calories or another system suits you better just decide which one you're going to use and stick with it.

The only stumbling block is mindset! Why our brains play these tricks on us I do not know....but for me, the turning point was putting on a brand new suit I bought a few months ago which fitted like a dream....and even with half a stone gain, it just didn't fit properly any more!
So after an honest chat with myself and asking a couple of WeightWatcher buddies of mine for some moral support, I'm back in the zone!

 It's so important to make new and refreshing dishes when we've been feeling a little stagnant- time to remind our bodies that food can be yummy and delicious but still help us to achieve our goals! I make a point of no negative words like 'guilt' or 'naughty' or 'bad' when I'm in one of these phases...maybe I went a little 'off-piste' for a while but I'm back on it now and raring to go! It's amazing how quickly you can see results once you're back on track...and that only helps to propel a positive mindset and the incentive to continue.


Fresh Salad Bruschetta 5pp/approx.200kcal

So...back to this gorgeous little bruschetta. I ate mine for breakfast, but its a lovely light lunch or starter too.

YOU WILL NEED : (per bruschetta)

1 flatbread
(like a folded pita bread but more squidgy. I buy mine in Sainburys-they're 3pp/98kcal each or two for 5pp)

3 tomatoes
1/4 of a cucumber

50g reduced fat salad cheese (feta style)
black pepper/herbs/nigella seeds

Simply toast the flatbread.
(leave it folded to toast)

Unfold, then pop the toasted side on the plate leaving the bready side upwards.

Dice the tomatoes and cucumber.
Heap onto the bread.

Crumble the cheese and sprinkle randomly on top.

Finally sprinkle with dried herbs/nigella seeds/black pepper-what ever you have.




Thursday, 23 July 2015 - , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Chocolate 'Truffles'

These delicious morsels are so easy to make, nutritious and very chocolate truffle-like even though they are basically made with dried fruits and nuts. A sweet 'fix' without the sugar or butter! Best of all there is NO cooking involved at all!


They work out to 1pp/approx 60kcal each or 3pp for two.


YOU WILL NEED: (Recipe makes approx.16)

50g cashew nuts
50g raisins
100g dried dates
1 tablespoon Choc Shot
(I used the Orange Spice flavour, you could try original chocolate or coconut)
Click HERE for Choc Shot review)

20g cocoa powder/pollenta/rice flour/fine biscuit crumbs for coating

dried rose petals to decorate


Simply combine the cashew nuts, raisins and dates in a food processor. Blitz until finely chopped.

The mixture will be quite grainy until you add the Choc Shot. This is the magic ingredient that will combine it into a paste-like consistency and give the 'truffles' a rich chocolate flavour.

Blitz for a few seconds to bring the mixture together.

Using a half-tablespoon, roll each measure into a ball. The mixture is quite sticky.

Roll in the coating of your choice. I tried pollenta but I prefer cocoa as they look like authentic truffles coated in this fine chocolatey dusting.
The mixture should make around 16 'truffles' if you measure accurately.

Pop onto a plate and chill if possible for a couple of hours to harden them up a little.

Pop into miniature petit four cases. You can decorate with a few dried rose petals, chopped nuts or just leave plain and simple.




Friday, 10 July 2015 - , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Teriyaki Mackerel Salad

If it's possible to have a crush on a salad this is my latest love!
Sometimes, I discover something I haven't tasted before and realise other ingredients I use all the time will fuse perfectly with it...and this is where magic happens in the Slice Of Slim kitchen!

I just happened to pick up this Mackerel in Teriyaki sauce in Tesco the other day. It's 66p a tin, so a very reasonable ingredient as a 125g tin is enough for two people. When I tasted it, I realised that these rich marinated morsels of meaty fish would combine perfectly with bitter rocket leaves, long strands of cucumber in sweet vinegar and a drizzle of nutty tahini on top-a fusion of Japanese and Greek-who'd have thought it?
If you can't find the mackerel in your local shop, I suppose you could marinade your own tinned mackerel in some teriyaki sauce for a few hours to recreate this ingredient.


This salad works out to 5pp/approx.230kcal per portion


YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 2)

rocket leaves

1 cucumber

juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
(the sweet sushi one -otherwise use a little artificial sweetener with any white wine vinegar)

125g tin mackerel in teriyaki sauce

2 teaspoons tahini

2 teaspoons nigella seeds

black pepper


Mix lime juice with the sweet vinegar in a large mixing bowl.

Make long strips of cucumber using a julienne peeler (or spiralizer if you're lucky enough to have one!). Mix well into the vinegar by hand to coat thoroughly.

Add large handfuls of rocket leaves to 2 serving bowls then share the marinated cucumber equally. Twist and pile the strands into generous mounds in the centre of the rocket. Pour over any remaining vinegar.

Using a fork, divide the mackerel evenly between the 2 portions. I like fairly chunky pieces of the fish...its surprisingly meaty-almost reminds me of Chinese duck! Dollop any remaining Teriyaki sauce over the salad.

Using a teaspoon for accuracy, drizzle tahini over the top in a swirling action.
Scatter with nigella seeds and a generous grind of black pepper to finish.




You could ring the changes with this sweet chilli variety for a more Chinese or Thai flavour.


Thursday, 25 June 2015 - , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Summer Berry Eton Mess

It's that balmy Summer evening, tennis-watching, soft fruit time of year! What better way to enjoy these events than with my wondrously decadent-tasting and deceptively low fat version of this sweet, tasty pretty pudding?


Eton Mess is traditionally made with thick cream, meringue and strawberries but for my Slice Of Slim version, I've mixed crushed meringues with creamy fat free Greek yoghurt and an abundance of fragrantly perfect Summer fruits which pop magnificently on your palate to produce a simple yet satisfying end to a meal.
You could even serve it mid-afternoon instead of a cream tea!
This literally takes a few minutes to concoct and is best made just before serving unless you don't mind the meringues turning soft.


This amazing dessert serves 4 and works out to 2pp/approx.150kcal per portion.


YOU WILL NEED : (serves 4)

4 individual meringue nests

2 small pots (170g each)
Fage 0% fat Total Greek yoghurt

100g punnet blueberries
225g punnet fresh raspberries
1 pomegranate


Empty the yoghurt into a large bowl.
Crush 3 of the meringue nests roughly and mix gently into the yoghurt.

Put a few berries and half the pomegranate to one side for later.

Gently mix the remaining blueberries, raspberries and half the pomegranate seeds into the yoghurt/meringue mixture.

The best way to loosen the pomegranate seeds is to halve the fruit then bash each half hard with a wooden spoon over the bowl.
If you want to avoid pink spray everywhere, pop it into a small freezer bag first-this will catch all the seeds and juice for you! Add the juice too-it will turn the Eton Mess a very pretty pale pink. Stir through gently to get a 'marbled' effect.

When you're ready to serve the pudding, crush the last meringue nest on top and scatter with the berries you put to one side earlier.

The final flourish is the addition of the jewel-like pomegranate seeds from the remaining half, decadently piled high like shimmering garnets!

If the weather allows, serve 'al-fresco' and enjoy every mouthful!


Eat & be messy!


Friday, 5 June 2015 - , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Bang Bang Chicken Lettuce Cups

Bang Bang Chicken is a spicy Chinese dish that gets its name from the "bang bang" of the wooden spoon traditionally used to flatten the chicken before shredding!


As usual, I've made up my own version of this tasty dish for you using slimmed-down ingredients. Its faff-free, simple and delicious-think of a cold chicken-satay type flavour and you're well on the way to imagining this scrumptious offering.
The thick peanutty sauce coating the chicken is balanced with fresh strips of cool cucumber and carrot and everything is then loaded into lettuce cups for a refreshing light meal.

It works out to 6pp/approx.300kcal per serving


YOU WILL NEED : (Per serving)

For the Bang Bang Chicken

20g reduced fat peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons hot, boiled water
1/4 of a medium-hot red chilli
2 tablespoons Total 0% fat Greek yoghurt
65g cooked chicken, finely shredded/sliced
ground black pepper
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

For the Lettuce Cups

1 gem lettuce
1 small carrot
1/3 of a cucumber


Measure the reduced fat peanut butter into a small mixing bowl.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water from the kettle to thin down the peanut butter and form a thick coating sauce.

Chop the fresh chilli finely and add to the peanut butter mixture. Make it as spicy as you like. Add more or less chilli according to your personal taste.

Add the Total yoghurt according to your personal taste-if you want the sauce less spicy and more creamy, add 2 tablespoons. If you prefer more peanut and chilli flavours, add less yoghurt. If it looks very thick, add a little cold water to thin it down. It needs to be a lovely smooth coating sauce for the chicken.

Cut the cooked chicken into very fine little strips and add it into the peanut sauce.

Cut the carrot into fine strips using a julienne peeler. Add to the chicken and peanut sauce. Mix well until everything is coated evenly. Add black pepper to taste. You could also add a little lime juice to give it a zing.

Cut the bottom off the gem lettuce. Separate the leaves and arrange on your serving plate.

Once you are happy with the flavours in the bang bang chicken mixture, dollop generously into the lettuce cups.

Finally, scatter the surface with julienned cucumber strips for a pretty and refreshing topping.

You can eat this in your fingers using the lettuce cups to act as little green crunchy wraps enclosing the creamy, spicy, peanut coated chicken.



Tuesday, 12 May 2015 - , , , , , 0 comments

SMASH & GRAB : 'Cream Tea'

There must have been something about the sunshine and the feel of Summer in the air this week because all of a sudden I had a craving for scones and jam and a cuppa tea in the garden!
I decided to recreate the textures and flavours of a traditional cream tea but in true Slice Of Slim style-and for 4pp/approx.180kcal per portion it hit the spot for me!
(This is around half the propoints/calories of an average fresh cream scone)

This is a no-faff 2 minute preparation time too! Simple and tasty.


YOU WILL NEED:(Per portion)

1 crumpet
1 teaspoon strawberry jam
4 teaspoons Total Greek yoghurt
(0% or 2% fat)
 5 fresh strawberries


Split then lightly toast the crumpet. 

Cut into four pieces and arrange on a serving plate.

Using a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon, dollop 1/4 teaspoon of strawberry jam on each piece of crumpet. (I promise it's all you need!)

Spread the jam roughly then dollop the yoghurt on top. Use a 1 teaspoon measure for each piece of crumpet.

Leave the yoghurt in generous piles so that it looks like cream. Total yoghurt is best for this as it is so thick and creamy so will hold its shape and isn't sour like so many natural yoghurts.

Cut the strawberries into wedges and arrange 3 slices on each piece of crumpet, nestled into the creamy yoghurt. Use the remaining strawberries to decorate the plate.

Make yourself a cup of tea then take 5 minutes to savour your amazing 'cream tea'. This really tricks the brain- the textures and flavours are just right and you will feel like you've had a decadent treat!

If you want to fill the plate and make this more substantial, cut a banana into wedges and add to the plate.


A taste of Summer
Thursday, 9 April 2015 - , , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Courgette, Mint & Feta salad in a Lime dressing

How I love a huge mound of salad!
This one was extra fun to make as I got to try out my new spiralizing gizmo! Don't worry if you don't have one of these-obviously the salad will be just as delicious if the courgette is julienned, grated or cut into thin strips.
The courgette is drenched in a beautiful limey dressing then sprinkled with crumbled feta, dried mint and some crushed pistachios to finish. It's refreshing, creamy and toasty all rolled into one!


This works out to 3pp/approx.150kcal per portion.


YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 4)

4 medium-large courgettes (zucchini)
1 freshly squeezed lime
1 teaspoon low salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
freshly ground black pepper
200g reduced fat Greek style cheese
(low fat feta)
1-2 teaspoons dried mint
8 pistachio nuts


4 teaspoons tahini paste
(Add 1pp/30kcal per portion)


In a large mixing bowl, combine the lime juice, soy sauce, water and pepper. Taste. I sometimes add a splosh of sweetened sushi vinegar or some rice vinegar and a little sweetener-adjust to your personal preference.

If you have a spiralizer, halve the courgettes and spiralize into long strands. Otherwise, keep them whole and cut or julienne into long strips.

The gadget takes a little mastering but once it's in action it's a courgetti spaghetti machine! I made some strips that were about 1.5 metres long! Honestly!

As you complete each courgette, toss the spirals into the dressing and turn by hand to coat evenly.

Heap the dressed courgette into high mounds in 4 individual serving bowls.

Weigh out 50g low fat feta per portion and crumble roughly into each bowl.

Sprinkle with the dried mint.

Chop the pistachios finely.

Then top each salad with a quarter of the crunchy toasty nuts.

If you like, you can drizzle each one with a teaspoon of tahini. Just remember to add the extra pp/kcal if you do so!