Thursday, 18 December 2014 - 1 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : Frozen Mashed Potato


Confession time! Although I'm a confident home cook, I still struggle with decent poached eggs and mashed potatoes as part of my repertoire!
Seriously though, as you know, I'm always looking for simple methods for portion control so even if you're a mashed potato maestro this could come in useful for you from time to time-especially if you're short of time or making individual portions.

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I happened to buy this in the frozen section in Waitrose, however my sources tell me that you can buy these little frozen tubes of mash in Sainsbury's, Tesco, Iceland, Morrissons and the Co-Op.

These potato tubes work out to 0pp/12kcal each.
You can have 3 for 1pp,
up to 7 for 2pp
and up to 10 for 3pp

(My calculations are based on each tube weighing 15g so please check according to the brand you use).

NB You can't use this as a Filling & Healthy ingredient as it contains butter.

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Simply count out the amount of tubes you require. I find that 7 tubes works well for a small portion because I 'pad' it out with natural yoghurt.


Cover with clingfilm and microwave for 1-2 minutes.


Mash gently using a fork to break up the tubes.


As an option, you could add 50g Total Greek yoghurt (0% or 2% fat) for an extra 1pp/28kcal/34kcal. Season well with black pepper.


Serve as an accompaniment to your main meal.

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Lazy mash!
Friday, 12 December 2014 - , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Tiramislim


Tiramisu is a classic favourite, however
traditionally it's very rich, creamy and crammed with high fat ingredients.
I've come up with a slimmed-down version for you which I've called Tiramislim!
It's extremely simple to make and sticks very closely to its original roots; coffee-soaked sponge fingers, layers of creamy vanilla and grated chocolate.


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I decided to serve mine in decorative coffee cups as, not only does the dessert lend itself to this presentation, it's also a great way to monitor the serving size.
As this is so rich, you actually don't need a huge amount but this recipe gives you all the right hits in all the right places! 
If you don't have any coffee cups, then large ramekins work equally well.

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My research shows me that an average portion of tiramisu in a restaurant is anything from 12pp-17pp/approximately 500-700kcal.

My tasty Tiramislim works out to 4pp/approx.160kcal per portion

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YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 4)

8 sponge finger biscuits

a mug of medium/strong black coffee

140g lightest Philadelphia cream cheese

270g Total Greek yoghurt
(I used the 2% fat version
but you can use 0%)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 teaspoons artificial granular sweetener

40g dark chocolate

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Make a mug of black coffee
(fresh or instant coffee both work well)
and pop into a shallow bowl to cool off.


Mix the cream cheese with the sweetener and blend well.


Add the vanilla extract then gradually beat in the yoghurt, mixing thoroughly to form a lovely smooth mixture.


Set yourself up with a little work station so that all the components are at an arm's reach.


It's a good idea to cut the chocolate into 4 equal servings so that each portion has the correct amount.


Organise your serving dishes and have them to hand.


Cut each sponge finger in half.


Dunk two halves of sponge finger per portion into the coffee. Allow to soak through but don't allow them to be too soggy.


Pop two halves of soaked biscuits into the base of each coffee cup or ramekin dish.


Using a measuring spoon to allocate even portion sizes, add enough yoghurt/cream cheese mixture to each serving to cover the biscuits. Leave plenty of mixture for a second layer.


Grate or chop the chocolate finely then add half to this layer, saving half for the top.


Repeat the process all over again; coffee soaked sponge fingers...


...followed by creamy vanilla...


...finishing with grated or chopped chocolate.


I used a combination of coffee cups and ramekins-I quite like the mismatched look!
Once completed, cover and pop into the fridge.
This is a great little dessert that can be made up to two days in advance until you are ready to devour it.

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Dessertiliscious!

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To ring the changes...

Try adding a layer of drained, tinned black cherries (in juice) to give a hint of black forest gateau.

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Try adding some clementine or tangerine zest between the layers to give a fragrant punch.

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Try adding some cointreau
(2pp/80kcal per 25ml measure)
or your favourite tipple to the sponge finger layer...
Baileys (2pp/81kcal per 25ml measure)
would be good!
Remember to adjust the propoints/calories accordingly.

You could use 1-2 shots between all 4 portions.

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Thursday, 4 December 2014 - , , , , , , , 3 comments

RECIPE : Parsnip & Lemon Soup with Apple Vermicelli


This time of year we're all looking for interesting new flavours for our staple soups. My parsnip and lemon combo is completely delicious - thick, warming and refreshing all at the same time! The apple vermicelli adds a sweet crunch which really compliments the thick richness of the parsnip. The lemon adds a gentle tang.

It's perfect for a Filling & Healthy day and also only 2pp/approx 130kcal per serving.


You could turn this into a really show-stopping dish by topping the soup with a Roast Parsnip & Apple Skewer
(Click HERE for recipe)
This would make a really fabulous starter for Christmas day and adds another 2pp/approx.110kcal per portion or is suitable for a Filling & Healthy day.

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YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 4)

400g parsnips
2 medium onions
1 clove garlic
3 low salt Oxo cubes
(chicken or vegetable)
1.5 litres water
juice of 1 lemon
black pepper to taste

To serve:

30g Total 0% fat Greek yoghurt thinned with
2 teaspoons water
2 eating apples
sumac

optional; Roast Parsnip & Apple skewers

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Chop the onion, garlic and parsnip. Add the water to the pan and bring to the boil.
Add the Oxo cubes and cook for around 30-40 minutes until the parsnip is very soft.
Blitz using a hand blender until you have a beautiful silky-smooth soup.


Add black pepper and the juice of up to one lemon according to your personal taste.


When ready to serve, peel the apples and cut into thin strips of 'vermicelli' using a julienne peeler. Make the strips as long as possible.


Mix the yoghurt with the water to thin until it is the consistency of single cream.


Pour the soup into serving bowls.
Gently spoon 5 or 6 blobs of the yoghurt onto the surface of the soup.


Using a bamboo skewer or cocktail stick, 'drag' the yoghurt mixture around in a circular motion to make an appealing design.


I trace it around three or four times to produce this pretty whispy effect.


Put a generous handful of the apple vermicelli in the centre then sprinkle with sumac for a spectacular finish.


If using the roasted parnip and apple skewers, lay the stick suspended over the soup as the crowning glory to this presentation.


Each recipient then pulls the contents of their skewer off their own stick and drops it into the hot soup to warm and soften, soaking up the delicious flavours.

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Specsoupular!

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Monday, 1 December 2014 - , 0 comments

Hot Off The Press NEWS! : Cotton Traders Advent Calendar


Well it's the first day of Advent today-time to break into the Advent Calendar!
If you don't want the temptation of daily chocolate, try this fabulous online Advent Calendar which has been produced by

Click HERE to go straight to it.

I was thrilled to be asked to be a contributor to this calendar. Cotton Traders approached all sorts of arty/crafty/recipe bloggers and you'll see that each day contains a great idea, project or tip for the build up to Christmas providing festive inspiration for you.
When you get to day 15 you'll see one of my lovely recipes straight from the
Slice of Slim kitchen!

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Saturday, 22 November 2014 - , , , 0 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : Burts Lentil Waves


I've recently discovered these delicious Lentil Waves made by Burts.
Very light, crisp and tasty, (but plenty of them in a bag!), these delicate little morsels really hit the spot on the nibble front.

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At 2pp/99kcal per bag (5pp for two bags), they won't sabotage our weight loss efforts either.
They contain 40% less fat than regular potato crisps as the quick cooking process means that they absorb much less oil.

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I've found them in two flavours; Lightly Salted which are delicately bland but with a delicious flavour to hold their own or can be used as a perfect carrier for dipping...


...and Thai Sweet Chilli which have a distinctive spicy tang without monopolising your tastebuds.
They also make a Sour Cream & Chive flavour but I have't been lucky enough to find them yet.


As always, I prefer to buy my snacks in individual bags as a large, open packet of crisps spells t-e-m-p-t-a-t-i-o-n to me!
So these 6 packs are just perfect.
They sell at around £1.99 and at the moment are exclusive to Waitrose. However, my research tells me that Burt's are in talks with leading food retailers so watch this space.

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Lentil Love.
Thursday, 20 November 2014 - , , , , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Roast Parsnip & Apple Skewers


These tasty parsnip and apple skewers are quick and simple to make. The sweetness of the roasted apple compliments the earthy parsnip perfectly, resulting in a delicious little side dish. They're an attractive addition to any roast meal or maybe something a little different for Christmas dinner!
The other great thing about these is that they can be made in advance and popped into the oven to heat up for 1-2 minutes before serving.

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These are Filling & Healthy and Simple Start friendly or only 2pp/approx.110kcal each.
(You can have two skewers for 3pp)
 They're a great way to enjoy low fat roast veggies too.

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YOU WILL NEED : (per 4 skewers)

300g parsnips
(roughly 3 small-medium sized)
2 medium apples
(Braeburn or Cox's work best)
1 teaspoon olive oil
black pepper
 4 bamboo skewers

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Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6


Scrub the parsnips well and leave the peel on. Chop into discs approx. 3-4mm thick.


Slice the apples into discs about 3-4mm thick. Leave the skin on and discard any pips.


Mix together in a bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil. (I use a spray bottle to coat evenly)


Spread the slices out in an even layer on a baking tray. Roast in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Check occasionally as they can burn quite easily.


Once out of the oven, sprinkle with some ground black pepper.


Thread the apple and parsnip slices alternately onto the bamboo skewers.
I love the slightly frilly appearance and all the colours and tones that appear.


Serve immediately or allow to cool to reheat at a later time. They only need 1-2 minutes in a hot oven before serving.


If you are making these for a special occasion such as Christmas, a fun way to serve them is to cut an apple in half...


...and pop the skewers into the apple so that your guests can easily help themselves.


They're almost like little Christmas trees served in this way. I can imagine two or three of these displays dotted down a long table to make a fabulous impact!
If you were feeling really flamboyant, you could even spray them with a very light dusting of edible gold colouring-wow!

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Roastiliscious.

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TIPS

Try making these with additional or alternative vegetables such as beetroot, potato, sweet potato etc. 

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For a spectacular flourish on a bowl of soup, suspend the skewer across the top of the bowl on serving.
Completely delicious with my
Parsnip & Lemon soup.


Simply pop the contents of the skewer into the soup before eating.

Click HERE for link to the recipe.

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