Tuesday, 29 July 2014 - , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Tonia's Greek Yoghurt Layered Dessert


I've been lucky enough to attend two amazing masterclasses run by the lovely Tonia Buxton this year. Tonia is a Greek cook who has brought her inspired dishes to the UK.


She is a beautiful lady, full of fantastic, vibrant stories and is always keen to share her delicious recipes.
Tonia has worked very closely with the team at The Real Greek group of restaurants to bring authentic dishes and the best ingredients sourced from Greece to their tables.
(Click HERE to get to their website)
The food is delicious and presented in a modern meze style on fantastic tiered stands.


If you are lucky enough to live near London where there are 6 branches, or Windsor where one has recently opened, I can highly recommend it. The menu is fabulous and clearly shows the calorie content, so you can gauge the healthier dishes.
Alan, their chef has kindly given me the nutritional information for some of the lighter recipes so that I could calculate the propoints for you.
Stick to offerings such as Revithia, Tzatziki and Lamb Skewers at 4pp per portion, Chicken skewers at 3pp per portion or Gigandes Plaki or Prawns with Feta at 2pp per portion. There are also some lovely salads-just ask for feta on the side or a smaller portion.
The beauty is that these are sharing dishes so you can try a few different flavours.

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We made a fabulous layered dessert with Tonia, usually called Anarocrema as it traditionally has Anari, a by-product of halloumi cheese in it. However, as this is not easily obtainable everywhere and because I wanted to make this dessert as low fat as possible for you, I have slimmed down the recipe by using 0% fat Total Greek yoghurt to make it
4pp/approx.200kcal
per portion.
It's incredibly easy to make and you can ring the changes by adding the flavourings and fruits that you like best.

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YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 4)

Two 45g sheets of filo pastry
400g FAGE Total Greek Yoghurt 0% fat
rosewater to taste
20 pistachio nuts, chopped
4 teaspoons honey
170g punnet raspberries
8 fresh strawberries

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Spray the filo sheets with Frylight oil then bake for 10 minutes at 200C/400F/Gas6 until golden. Leave on one side to cool, then crush into crispy flakes.


Flavour the yoghurt with a few drops of rosewater to your desired strength. You can sweeten the yoghurt with artificial sweetener if you like, or use some orange water or any flavouring you choose.


Chop the pistachios and cut up the strawberries.


Take a tall glass and layer up the dessert as you wish-for example; some crushed filo followed by rose-scented yoghurt, raspberries and honey....more yoghurt, strawberries, then finish with crushed filo, pistachios and some remaining fruit with a drizzle of honey.


If you don't have a tall glass, any will do! Just make it as beautiful as you can.


If you like, you could put all the components on the table for people to make their own desserts-this is fun and vibrant- see who comes up with the best design.

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I'm running a competition until 12th August 2014 and I have 2 fabulous prizes.


THE RULES:

Simply subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE

Then make this dessert
(Change the ingredients if you like!)
and share your image on my

I have 2 amazing prizes of £50 vouchers each donated kindly by The Real Greek for the most artistic or delicious version of this recipe!

Can't wait to see your efforts!

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Friday, 25 July 2014 - , , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Chicory, Pear, Walnut, Pecan & Cheese Salad


This is a delicious salad, an unusual combination of slightly bitter chicory leaves, sweet pear, lightly toasted chopped nuts and my very own fake creamy low fat blue cheese!
(Click HERE for instructions on how to prepare the cheese)
This dish is very simple to make but looks and tastes really impressive. It makes a great starter or light meal.

It works out to 4pp/approx.220kcal per portion.

***

YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 2)

2 heads of chicory leaves

2 pears
(I prefer red skins for colour)

50g reduced fat feta

2 Laughing Cow light blue cheese triangles

20g mixed walnuts & pecan nuts

For the dressing;

2 teaspoons Total 0% or 2% fat yoghurt
2 teaspoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1-2 teaspoons water 
black pepper
chopped chives

***


Cut the end off each head of chicory then separate and arrange the leaves in a circle onto two serving plates.
Quarter and core the pears leaving the skin on and slice finely onto the leaves.


Mix the low fat feta with the Laughing Cow blue cheese. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the mixture for the dressing.


Divide the cheese into 2 weighed portions.
Using a teaspoon, distribute the mixture evenly between the 2 salads in small, crumbly dollops.


Lightly toast the nuts by dry-frying in a pan. This takes around 4-6 minutes. I always set my timer in 2 minute intervals as they can burn very easily if you get distracted!


Chop roughly then weigh into 2 portions.
Allow to cool slightly.


Scatter the chopped nuts over the top of the salad.


Mix the reserved 2 teaspoons of cheese mixture with the yoghurt, vinegar and water to your desired salad dressing consistency. Stir/blend well. I prefer it like a thin mayonnaise-but runny enough to drizzle. Add black pepper to taste.


Using a teaspoon, drizzle the dressing evenly between both portions of salad and into the chicory leaves.


Finally using scissors, snip tiny scatterings of fresh chives to add colour and fragrance.


I like to eat this salad with my fingers and a fork-loading the chicory leaves with a lovely mixture of all the ingredients for a delicious eating sensation!

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Chic Chicory.

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PRINT RECIPE HERE

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Have you visited my YouTube channel yet?

Click HERE for a link straight to it!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 - , , , , , , , 0 comments

Smash & Grab: Fake Blue Cheese!


My husband loves blue cheese and although I believe in everything in moderation, with his previous heart problems I do like to try to avoid serving him anything with such a high fat content.
So, I decided to invent my own fake blue cheese!

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This is great because you get the crumbliness and cheesy texture mixed with the lovely creamy smoothness of blue cheese with its distinctive tangy flavour.
As the weather has been so warm, we've been having some delicious salads recently. This little idea of mine works beautifully as a salad ingredient, or can be mixed with a little vinegar and water to make a fabulous blue cheese dressing.

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The amount in my recipe comes to 4pp/approx.150kcal for the whole lot or 2pp/approx.75kcal per portion if serving 2.

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YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 2)

50g reduced fat feta cheese
2 laughing cow (light) blue cheese triangles

If making into dressing

2 teaspoons Total 0% fat yoghurt
seasoned rice wine/white vinegar to taste
water to desired consistency

(Please note this does not affect the propoints)

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Dice the feta into small cubes.


Add the blue cheese triangles.


Mix together roughly using a fork and pop into the fridge until needed. 


Weigh into 2 portions then take small amounts on a teaspoon and dollop onto a salad. If making salad dressing, reserve 2 teaspoons of the mixture.

***

To make the salad dressing :


Simply blend the reserved cheese mixture with Total yoghurt, a little vinegar and water until you have your desired consistency, then drizzle over your salad.

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Bluemazing!

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PRINT RECIPE HERE


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Have you visited my YouTube channel yet?
Click HERE for a link straight to it!

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - , , , , , 4 comments

RECIPE : Taramasalata


This famous Greek dip has always been a favourite of mine but is usually packed full of propoints/calories.
I don't know why I hadn't thought to make a Slice-of-Slim version before...but here it is in all its glory!

Typically, a 50g shop-bought portion of taramasalata is around 7pp/approx.300kcal. In a restaurant it's usually much higher than that...but my version is a mere 2pp/approx.82kcal per portion!

It couldn't be more simple to make either.

If you can get hold of fresh cod roe, it is always preferable. However, it has a very short seasonal availability and is also quite hard to find if you don't live near to a great deli. I have found that the tinned version works extremely well in this recipe.

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YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 4)


200g tin pressed cod roe
(NOT soft cod roe)

150g Total yoghurt 2% fat

juice of 2 lemons

black pepper

paprika/sumac to garnish

***


Open the tin of cod roe using the key on the bottom of the tin.
(This is old-fashioned stuff you know!)


You'll see that pressed cod roe is very compact and solid.


Tip the roe into a mixing bowl and break it down slightly by mashing with a fork.


Add the yoghurt and mix together. I use the 2% fat Total yoghurt as it gives a creamier finish to this recipe.
You can use the 0% fat version if you prefer.


Squeeze 2 lemons and add the juice to taste. I love my taramasalata really citrusy as it compliments the strong fishy flavour of the cod roe, so I use it all.
Season generously with black pepper to taste.


Mix again with a fork. You could serve it at this stage...


...however, if you blend it using a hand stick blender, you will greatly improve the texture of the taramasalata.
Blending removes the slight grittiness of the roe and emulsifies the dip to produce a very creamy, aerated, authentic dish.


Pop into a serving dish or weigh into 4 separate portions which makes it much easier to track the propoints/calories.
Sprinkle with paprika or sumac, then chill for at least an hour before serving.
This helps the taramasalata to firm up.

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Pink perfection.

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SERVING SUGGESTION


You could serve like this, as part of a fabulous deli board. I weighed everything into individual bowls for easy portion control.
I served it with a tahini/yoghurt dip, 
some marinated prawns (shop-prepared), generous amounts of cucumber and carrot sticks, and warm mini bagels.

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SOMETHING FOR NOTHING : Fruit 'Cake'



It was my husband's birthday this week and we had eaten out a couple of times over the weekend, so I wanted to make him a healthy but beautiful birthday cake.
I had half a watermelon in the fridge and some berries that needed eating....so I invented a zero propoint fruit 'cake' for him. It was really terrific-it sliced up beautifully like a real cake too!

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On the WeightWatchers plan, we're so lucky as all the fruit we eat is zero propoints, so we don't have to count this at all!
This would be appreciated so much by a friend or relative following any healthy eating plan-you would be showing them that you care without sabotaging their weight loss efforts in any way.

If you are counting calories, you'll have to calculate according to the amount of fruit you use. I estimate that the one I made was approximately 750kcal but would serve 8-10 people easily as it was huge! So 75kcal for a slice of 'cake' is pretty good!
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YOU WILL NEED

1/2 a large watermelon
small punnet (around 200g) blueberries
small punnet (around 200g) raspberries
1 papaya
2 limes

Use the fruits you have or like the best-this is just a guide.

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Cut the thick skin off the watermelon. Make sure you remove all the white flesh. 


You'll be left with a very pleasing dome shape. Using a large knife, cut an even slice from the bottom about 1 cm thick.


Pop the first slice onto a large serving plate. Remove any obvious seeds, but don't worry about them too much.


Squeeze lime generously over the surface-this helps to bring out the flavour.


Cover the slice with your first choice of fruit. I chose blueberries as I wanted to shade my 'fillings' from dark to light...blue, red, then orange.


Cut a second 1 cm slice from the melon.
I found the best way to achieve a lovely, even slice was to insert the knife, then slowly turn the melon and board with my other hand, so the knife remains still.


Squeeze lime juice over the melon again, then arrange the raspberries in an even layer.


Repeat with another slice of melon, then arrange slices of papaya. This time, squeeze the lime over the papaya as it really enhances the flavour.


Add one final slice, then create a design on the top using any remaining fruits and some fresh mint leaves.


This keeps beautifully in the fridge for a couple of days and cuts into perfect 'cake' slices!


Serve on its own, with a
WeightWatchers fromage frais,
some sweetened/flavoured Total 0% yoghurt
or even some
zero propoint banana 'ice-cream'
(Click HERE for recipe)
for a spectacular Summer dessert!

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Watermelon Magic

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TIP

You could make an amazing savoury version of this using red onion, mint and reduced fat feta (my favourite salad!)
Click HERE for the recipe.

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PRINT RECIPE HERE