Saturday, 30 June 2012 - 2 comments

UPDATE! : Weight Watchers Magazine

I hope it doesn't feel like I've been neglecting you all this week...
The reason I haven't been able to blog much is because it has been a very exciting week for Slice-of-Slim!


The picture above shows my car stuffed full of gorgeous home-made goodies in preparation for a photo-shoot in London for Weight Watchers (UK) Magazine which took place on Thursday.
The October issue (out in September), will feature my weight loss story and introduce me to the readers before I become a regular collaborator!


I have a yummy little SMASH & GRAB coming up for you tomorrow!

RECIPE : Fresh Summer Pizza

When I wrote my first post, You Really Can Have Pizza! (Click HERE for recipe) I talked about a lovely, fresh Summer pizza that I make. Well, as the sun is shining at last, I thought it was time to share this delightful adaptation with you.


This has exactly the same ingredients as the cooked pizza, with the addition of fresh rocket and cherry tomatoes so it's only 7sp/7pp/approx.350kcal per portionIt is a gorgeous, light and simple lunch or supper dish, or makes a lovely starter-enough for 2-4 people. The trick is to be organized, so as your base is cooking, prepare all the fresh ingredients so that you can assemble the finished dish quickly and efficiently when it comes out of the oven. That way the base remains hot and crispy.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.

You will need (per portion):

1 Warburtons white square wrap
(available in most supermarkets)
Frylight sunflower oil
2 tablespoons passata
62g low fat mozzarella (half a 125g ball)
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh rocket leaves
Cherry tomatoes, halved horizontally
Ground black pepper


 Take a Warburtons square wrap.
Spray one side of the wrap with Frylight Sunflower oil. About 8 sprays should be enough. Place the wrap sprayed-side-down on some baking parchment on a baking tray. Spread about 2 tablespoons of passata onto the base. I use the back of a spoon to spread it quite roughly, not too thick- and leave a little border around the edge. 
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees centigrade until the base is lovely and crispy.

While the base is cooking, prepare all the fresh ingredients and have them to hand. Weigh the mozzarella and have each allocation separate if you are making more than one fresh pizza. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half horizontally-they look much more attractive!

As soon as it's baked, place the base onto your serving dish.

Working quickly, pile loads of fresh rocket leaves on the top.

Tear, rather than cut the mozzarella into small pieces as it looks more rustic and authentically Italian.
Scatter the cheese over the rocket along with the halved cherry tomatoes.

Finally, tear and scatter fresh basil leaves over the top of the finished pizza.


 Sometimes it's great to let your ingredients do all the work for you - no fancy flavourings or processes - just pure, fresh food at its best. The simplicity of the fresh salad components - each one so flavoursome and delicious, and the creamy, uncooked mozzarella combined with a simple toasted tomato base is completely divine.
You won't need any other flavourings or herbs, perhaps a grind of black pepper just before you tuck in....I can almost guarantee this will become a Summer favourite - it certainly is in our house!


Summer pizza perfection.


Saturday, 23 June 2012 - , , , 0 comments


I've decided to introduce a new category to the blog called SOMETHING FOR NOTHING, where all my zero-propointed recipes will be listed.
So, even on the days where you have 'blown the budget' but still need to eat something, or want to eat sensibly because you are trying to save some propoints for a social occasion, you won't need to go hungry!


All you need to do is search under the Categories heading on the top right of the blog page, click on Something For Nothing, and all my ideas will come up for you.


Food really can be magic!
Thursday, 21 June 2012 - , , , , , 0 comments

SMASH & GRAB : Houmous-Filled Mushroom Dipping Cups

I take real pleasure in utilising the natural shapes of some ingredients in order to use them as a carrying device for other foods. Mushrooms are such perfect little cup-shapes, they are just asking to be filled with something delicious!
This may sound like a strange combo to you, but this is one of my super-snack inventions, and I would say...
"Don't knock it 'till you've tried it!"


It's one of those 5 0'clock pick-me-ups that is nutritious, filling and a great stop-gap between meals. The raw mushrooms have an earthy 'meatiness', a soft, snappy texture and act as a bland carrier for the delicious low-fat houmous.
At 3pp/approx 150kcal you can't really go wrong!


Pick 5 really perfect, very fresh mushrooms. I like the large ones - about 5cms across. Wash and dry them thoroughly, then 'snap' the stalks off. I find a gentle but assertive push from the side takes them off right from the inside. Keep the stalks.

Use 60g low-fat houmous (or one of these little pre-measured pots...don't be deceived, the packaging gives you nutritional content for 30g, but they are 60g pots).

Fill each mushroom with a generous dollop of houmous.

Decorate with a garnish of your choice. I used a small basil leaf tucked into each mushroom cup and a generous sprinkling of sumac.
(See post; CUPBOARD LOVE:Sumac)

Finally, pop the stalks back into their
original place. They are fun to dip into the houmous before devouring the rest of the mushroom.


Happy Dipping!
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 - , , , , , , 4 comments

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING : Roasted Vegetables and Butternut Squash 'Chips'

This is one of those 'magic' dishes where it is hard to believe that something so delicious can possibly be ZERO propoints!


Roasted vegetables are a robust, filling and tasty accompaniment to any grilled meat or fish. They are also a great base ingredient for recipes such as an open vegetarian lasagne, or as a salad mixed with cous-cous and a little balsamic vinegar. (I'll feature these recipes at a later date).
Because they are roasted like this, the natural flavours of the ingredients become intensified and concentrated, so you need very little seasoning - certainly no salt. They look absolutely stunning and vibrant on the plate. 


Even though I am at my goal weight and maintaining successfully, I still have those inherent traits I used to have when I was overweight - namely a lust for food and a natural greediness. I like to feel really full up after I've eaten, so these are the perfect zero propoint comfort food for me. I can have a large portion of roasted vegetables without worrying about having to 'charge' for them. This, combined with the rich, caramelised flavours, gives my brain the signal that I have eaten something so special and delicious, that it is finally satisfied. Then my brain can let my stomach know too!


These veggies are really easy to make, just a little time-consuming on preparation - lots of chopping up....but well worth the effort. Remember to prepare more than you think you will need, as they shrink down quite a bit when you cook them.

Obviously, you can use the vegetables you like best - I'm suggesting my favourites, so substitute where you wish and experiment for yourselves....As long as you use zero-pointed vegetables, they will be 0pp per portion. For calorie counters, you will have to calculate according to type and quantity. My recipe works out to approx.250kcal per portion.

You will need:(For 2 servings)

1 aubergine
2 red onions
20 cherry tomatoes
6 mini red, orange and yellow peppers
6 peeled cloves garlic
Half a butternut squash
Frylight sunflower oil
Dried mixed Italian herbs
Black pepper
2 tablespoons low salt soy sauce or Teriyaki marinade
A large mixing bowl
1 large heavy baking tray
(Or preferably, the oven shelf if suitable)


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Chop the aubergines into chunky pieces. Pop into the mixing bowl and spray with Frylight oil. Sprinkle the soy sauce or teriyaki marinade over the aubergine. This helps to stop it drying out when cooking, and gives it tremendous flavour. Peel and chop the onions into quarters. It is really important to leave the vegetables in chunky pieces, because we don't have the luxury of lashings of olive oil. This stops them from shrivelling up to nothing and burning when roasted. Add the onion and tomatoes to the mixing bowl and a few more sprays of Frylight oil, herbs and black pepper.

I'm in love with these baby peppers at the moment. If you use regular peppers, cut them into quarters leaving them chunky. The reason I love these little ones so much is because when you cut the top off and remove the seeds, they become the perfect vessel for a whole, peeled clove of garlic.

Spray the outside of the peppers and one spray of Frylight oil inside each garlic-clove-stuffed pepper. When they roast, the garlic infuses and flavours the pepper, becoming a soft and creamy filling....sublime!

Peel the butternut squash then chop into chunky 'chips'. You can add them to the bowl with the other prepared vegetables and spray with Frylight oil, but I like to keep and cook them separately so that they become another side dish. Just spray and season them exactly like the other vegetables.
The finished result is not like a conventional crispy potato chip, but makes a delicious alternative... Soft, earthy-centred with a hardened, toasted shell.

Mix all the vegetables well so that they are evenly coated with Frylight oil and seasoning.
Spread them evenly in one layer on the hot baking tray or oven shelf. If you are doing the butternut squash 'chips' separately, spread them out on another baking tray. You can spray a little Frylight oil on the baking tray first, but if you have evenly coated the veggies with Frylight oil, they should be fine. The beauty of pre-spraying and seasoning the vegetables in a bowl is that they should not need turning at all during the cooking keep an eye on them, though.

Pop into the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes, until soft, sticky and turning brown in areas. The tomatoes shrink down, almost making a caramelised relish.

Serve with a few freshly torn basil leaves and your chosen grilled meat or fish.


It's another mind game but it works for me! I see grilled meat, 'chips' and a heap of roasted veggies on my plate, and I am one happy bunny!


Monday, 18 June 2012 - , , 0 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : Nando's Marinade/Sauce

Since I started the Weight Watchers plan, Nando's has become one of my favourite places to eat out. The restaurants are Portuguese and specialize in flame-grilled chicken. The food is really fresh and simple but very tasty and low-fat if you make wise choices.
It's one of my 'safe' restaurants as it features in the Weight Watchers EAT OUT Guide, so there is absolutely no guesswork involved. This reduces the stress of socialising so much!


They make a range of sauces and marinades which are available to buy in the restaurants or in most supermarkets. They are a great product to keep in the larder when you want to recreate the Nando's experience at home.
One tablespoon is 0pp/15kcal and that is all you need for one chicken breast.
You can marinade in advance if you have the time, or slosh it on the chicken just before you sling it in the griddle pan.


The sauces/marinades are Peri-Peri based. You can buy them in varying strengths according to personal preference from mild to HOT!! They are absolutely delicious and have no artificial preservatives, colours, flavours or any added MSG.
That makes them a CUPBOARD-LOVE must-have in my book!


I'll be featuring my 'Home-made Nando's' on the blog in the next few weeks.

HOT OFF THE PRESS! : Printable recipes!

I have had many requests for a way of printing my recipes straight from the blog.


All my RECIPES and some of my SMASH & GRAB ideas now have a link at the end which says;



When you click on this link, it will take you to a shortened version of the recipe with no images and less 'blurb' - just the facts you need, which you can then print off.


Remember that you can search for any recipe in the search bar at the very top right of the blog page.
Alternatively, you can click on 'Recipes' or 'Smash & Grab' under 'Categories' in the first column on the right of the page, and have a browse.


Print, cook, eat!

Thursday, 14 June 2012 - 0 comments


I've been watching Gok Wan's new cookery programme with delight. I love some of his recipes and may invent some Gok-inspired dishes of my own at some stage. It's so refreshing to see someone using healthy cooking techniques such as stir-frying, steaming and braising.


One of the kitchen tools Gok swears by is the cleaver. I have to say that, until I saw him use one, I had a bad association with horror films and assumed that an efficient cleaver would be really expensive and difficult to handle.

I've been proved wrong on all counts! This cleaver was £7 from Morrissons. It has become my favourite kitchen cutting implement. Tonight alone I have used it to finely peel a butternut squash, chop it into 'chips', tenderize some beef and crush garlic (using the side of the blade), scoop up diced vegetables into a pan and prepare a delicate fruit salad...Peeling and chopping a pineapple has never been so easy!
It is truely amazing and not at all scary!


If you do buy one, it's a good idea to keep the packaging as it is a useful protecting sleeve to slip the cleaver into for storing,
keeping it hygienic and you safe.


Food prep has never been this much fun!
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - , , , , , , 3 comments

RECIPE : Vegetable or Fruit 'Frillies'

I'm always experimenting with new ideas so that food doesn't become boring...and here's a joyous idea, very low fat and extremely pretty.


 Slice-of-Slim is all about retaining the excitement of food, even if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight. The vast majority of my recipes are quick and easy...but sometimes we might just want to put in a little extra creativity for a special occasion. These 'frillies' are simple to make, but take time as they have to be made in batches. I think they are well worth the effort. 


  I've made a variety of vegetable 'frillies' out of potato, sweet potato, turnip and beetroot, all of which were really successful.
The apple and pear fruit 'frillies' make an exquisite something from a French patisserie without the pastry!


They all use the same technique which uses a mandolin slicer (see post; USEFUL STUFF:Mandolin Slicer), but vary slightly in propoints and calories, depending on the vegetables or fruits used, so I'll talk you through each variety.


Potato 'Frilly'

You will need:(For 4'Frillies')

100g Potato slices 
100g Sweet potato slices
Frylight Sunflower oil
2 mini pot (35g) Extra Light Philadelphia
Black Pepper
Garlic Salt
Frylight Sunflower oil
Greaseproof paper
This amount works out to 7pp/approx.200kcal for the WHOLE lot.

1 potato frilly=1pp/50kcal
2 potato frillies=3pp/100kcal
3 potato frillies=5pp/150kcal
4 potato frillies=7pp/200kcal


Leave the potatoes unpeeled. This adds to the finished effect. Start by slicing the potato and sweet potato on the mandolin. Weigh the slices until you have 100g of each of the varieties. (100g is about half an average medium potato).

Heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Place some greaseproof paper on a baking tray and spray with Frylight oil. Arrange the slices of potato evenly across the paper and spray the slices with more Frylight oil. Although I don't use salt in my recipes as a rule, these benefit from a tiny amount of garlic salt sprinkled on just before baking.
This just enhances the flavour. 

Bake for about 10 minutes until golden and crisp on the edges and slightly soft in the middle. Keep an eye on them as they can burn very easily. The edges will curl up - this adds to the finished 'frilliness'. You can serve them immediately by layering them with extra light Philadelphia as shown below, or allow to cool before layering them up if you want to prepare them in advance. You can pop them back in the fridge to store, then into a hot oven for 2-3 minutes just before serving. This makes sure that the cream cheese stays solid, acts like a bonding material and won't melt everywhere when you reheat them quickly.

To build the 'frilly', simply put a small blob of extra light Philadelphia on each slice as you build. Layer them up alternately-sweet potato followed by potato until you have 4 separate stacks. Use half a mini pot of philadelphia per stack. 

 The potato 'frillies' make a beautiful accompaniment to roast beef, chicken or grilled fish. They are a great alternative to roast potatoes as they have the crunch and softness but much less fat. Serve with some simple vegetables.


Turnip and Beetroot 'Frillies'

Sometimes, something as simple as a decorative plate can provide inspiration for a dish. 

I absolutely adore this plate and decided to 'bring it to life' with my
beetroot and turnip 'frillies'.

With the 3-D food and leaves on it, it reminds me of an Old Masters painting, or botanical illustration.


These follow exactly the same instructions as the potato version.

The only thing I did differently was that I stained the edges of some of the turnip slices by rubbing cut beetroot on them. This made an 'ombre' effect and the finished result looked like a blooming flower. (Above, right). Look how beautiful and ribbon-like the purple skin of the turnip looks on the finished 'frilly'.(Above, left).


The picture above shows the ombre effect, before baking.
These vegetables are all 0pp so you only need to charge for the extra light Philadelphia.
One mini pot is 1pp/38 kcal.
(For calorie counters; 100g turnip is 28kcal and 100g beetroot is 43kcal)


Apple and Pear Dessert 'Frillies'

The fruit 'frillies' are absolutely exquisite. As I said before, they look like something you would see in the window of a Parisian patisserie!

Try and use apples with a red/pink tinge to the peel. Leave the peel on. Use a corer to remove all the pips and core easily before slicing on the mandolin. (See post;USEFUL STUFF:Apple Corer)

Make in exactly the same way as the
vegetable 'frillies'.
 Before baking, sprinkle with some artificial granular sweetener and cinnamon.

Place a few whole basil leaves on the baking tray with the apple or pear.
Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Layer up the slices with chocolate Philadelphia. Half a mini pot is enough, so this whole apple is only 1pp/approx.100kcal! Finally, top with a baked basil leaf and sift a tiny amount of icing sugar on the top.
This is beautiful served with warm black cherries and frozen vanilla yoghurt.

Use exactly the same technique for the pear. Try to leave the top of the pear and the stalk intact when baking as it looks really effective when 'rebuilt' to serve.
The pear is also only 1pp/approx.110kcal.
If you don't like chocolate Philadelphia, add some cinnamon and a little sweetener to the normal extra light Philadelphia. This works equally well and is even less propoints/calories.


Just like the vegetable 'frillies', these can be made in advance, refrigerated and popped into a hot oven for 2-3 minutes just before serving, to warm through.


Beautiful, balletic and almost too good to eat!