Friday, 28 June 2013 - , , , , , , , , 0 comments

SLICECREAM PARLOUR : #9 Strawberry & Pimm's Granita

Every week throughout the Summer, I will be revealing a new and exciting flavour of delicious low-fat 'icecream'. 

This week, I've decided to ring the changes so I'm not using the traditional banana 'ice cream' base as I have in previous recipes.
Instead, I'm introducing a fabulous granita concept to the Slicecream Parlour. Granita is a semi-frozen sorbet type dessert, but with an ice-crystal texture rather than a smooth one. It's very light and refreshing-great for hot sunny days.


As it's Wimbledon week in the U.K, I've decided to base my idea on Pimm's. This is an alcoholic mixer, traditionally blended with lemonade, fresh mint, strawberries and this is the basis for my sophisticated little dessert. The combination of zingy pink, crushed frozen strawberries and a 'tennis-ball-green' cucumber, mint, Pimms and lemonade granita is totally delicious and so pretty too.


The best part is that it's only 1pp/approx.60kcal per portion!

(It's actually 1pp for the whole amount, but you still need to charge 1pp for half. Calorie counters still have to charge 60kcal per portion.)


 There's just a little pre-preparation required as some of the ingredients will need to be frozen prior to assembling the dessert.

You Will Need: (For 2 portions) 

A 25ml measure of Pimm's
75ml Diet lemonade
A few small fresh mint leaves

1/4 of a cucumber

200g frozen strawberries
2 teaspoons artificial granular sweetener

To Finish:

4 fresh strawberries
2 sprigs mint



Start by making up the Pimm's and lemonade mixture. Pour into an ice-cube tray with a small fresh mint leaf in each compartment. Freeze until solid.

At the same time, dice the cucumber up into small pieces and place in the freezer in a plastic bag until frozen solid. 


When you are ready to serve

Start by preparing your serving dishes. For a fun idea I recycled a cardboard crate used for strawberries, as my tray. I lined it with a stripy napkin and some funky fake grass to add to the Wimbledon Tennis theme! I also used these kitsch pink glass sundae dishes as I thought they had a great Summery feel to them.


Blitz the frozen Pimm's mixture until it resembles crushed ice.

This is the granita texture.
Pop it into a separate dish while you blitz the frozen cucumber. (You may need to bash the bag of cucumber to separate the frozen pieces before blending).
Then, mix the Pimm's granita and the crushed cucumber together in the food processor to combine.

It will become the most amazing green colour. (Exactly the colour of a tennis ball!).
If it appears too wet in texture, pop it back in the freezer while you prepare the strawberries.

Blend the frozen strawberries with the sweetener until they are at the 'crumble' or 'cous cous' stage - basically small, granular pieces but not smooth.
Slice the fresh strawberries thinly.

Distribute the crushed, frozen strawberries evenly between the two serving dishes. Make a well in the centre of each and fill with the vibrant Pimm's and cucumber granita.

Decorate with slices of fresh strawberry and a small sprig of fresh mint.

Place in the strawberry crate tray to carry ouside and enjoy alfresco (if sunny!), or in front of the TV watching the tennis in true British style, even if it's raining!

Game, set and match to the granita!


Thursday, 27 June 2013 - , , 0 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : Laughing Cow Light with Emmental

I'm loving these Emmental Laughing Cow cheeses at the moment. 

They're fairly new to hit the shelves and as they are a 'light' variation, they work out to 1pp for 2 triangles which is great news!
(They are 25kcal per triangle).


The Emmental is really creamy with a slight sweetness to it, so it has a delicious flavour and smooth texture.
This gives you lots of scope for toppings for melba toast, crumpets or even to use when cooking.

They would be lovely in my Cheesy Parma ham-Wrapped Mushroom recipe instead of the blue cheese I suggest.
(Click HERE for recipe)


Sunday, 23 June 2013 - , , , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Pear, Fennel & Pomegranate salad with Feta

I went out for lunch the other day and ate this salad as a starter...I was so blown away by the flavour combinations, I had to come home and recreate it immediately!
It's a clever blend of peppery salad leaves, fragrant 'aniseedy' fennel, sweet pear and salty, creamy feta - brought together with some mouth-poppingly juicy pomegranate.
A genius marriage of ingredients.


This salad is 2pp/approx.300kcal per portion.


You Will Need : (Serves 2)

100g salad leaves of your choice
(rocket or watercress work beautifully as they are 'peppery')
2 pears
1/2 fennel bulb
1 pomegranate
100g reduced fat feta-style cheese
(Most supermarkets do a reduced fat Greek salad cheese)

For the dressing;

2 teaspoons Lighter than light mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
(Or standard vinegar seasoned with a little artificial sweetener)
white pepper


Share the salad leaves between two serving bowls.

Cut or 'shave' the fennel as finely as you can. I used a mandolin to make mine paper thin, but if you don't have one, use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.

The slices are almost translucent and 'whispy'.

Scatter the fennel over the salad leaves.

Leaving the skin on the pear, quarter, core and slice into thin chunks.

Add to the salad leaves and fennel.

Now make the dressing by blending the mayonnaise with the vinegar. Add white pepper to taste. Mix well.

Add the dressing to the salad and mix well. I like to use my hands as the salad gets a gentle but even coating of flavours.

Now, weigh the reduced fat Greek salad cheese into portions, then cut into small cubes.

Arrange the cheese evenly over each serving of salad.

Finally, cut the pomegranate in half. Turn each half into the palm of your hand and tap with a spoon to release the beautiful ripe seeds. By catching them in your hand first, you can easily take out any inedible parts before scattering the fruit over the finished salad. Use half a pomegranate for each serving.

This makes a delicious starter, side dish or light main meal.


Simple and stunning.


Friday, 21 June 2013 - 0 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : WeightWatchers Select Luxury Hot Chocolate

This luxury hot chocolate from WeightWatchers is fairly new to hit the shelves. It's displayed with the more upmarket brands of hot chocolate.
It costs around £2.49 and is available in Tescos.


It's not an instant hot chocolate like Highlights or other WeightWatchers versions as it doesn't contain dried milk powder, so you can add the milk of your choice which is lovely for people like me who prefer soya milk. You obviously have to add the propoints or calories for the milk you do add though.


The packaging recommends 6g for a cup of hot chocolate which is 1pp, but you can actually have up to 12g for 1pp/approx.40kcal.
So, if you like it a little richer there's some flexibility there.
I really like it because it has the depth of chocolate flavour you get from cocoa but because it is sweetened, you don't need to add sugar or sweetener as you would with cocoa. 


It's also great for recipes and home baking. So far, I've tried it in one of my Slicecream recipes for a basic chocolate icecream. I added 12g of the hot chocolate powder to the basic banana base.
(Click HERE for recipe) 
It was absolutely delicious!
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 - , , , , , 2 comments

SLICECREAM PARLOUR : #8 Cherry-Chocolate 'Slimmerbocker Glory'

Every week throughout the Summer, I will be revealing a new flavour of delicious 'icecream', using a frozen banana base to create an array of delicious, low-fat and exciting recipes.


I've now developed the idea even further by introducing a range of
'Slimmerbocker Glories'.
These are large, layered desserts served in tall glasses and are mouth-wateringly fabulous.


 This week, my chosen flavour is a
Cherry-Chocolate Slimmerbocker Glory.
If you like Black Forest Gateau, you'll love this...
It's made up of layers of Chocolate mini roll, rich, dark chocolate 'ice cream', blitzed frozen cherries, sweet cherry yoghurt, fresh chopped cherries and topped with grated chocolate. The final flourish is a big juicy cherry on top!

It is completely huge, delicious, very filling...and...
This dessert will only set you back 5pp/approx.350kcal per portion!


You Will Need:(Serves 2)

1 batch of frozen banana 'ice cream' base using 2 medium or large frozen bananas.
(Click HERE for recipe)

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

2 WeightWatchers Chocolate mini rolls

160g frozen cherries

1 Fruyo 0% fat cherry yoghurt
(This whole pot is 4pp so could substitute with an alternative if you prefer, however this one tastes magnificent!)

7g plain chocolate

10-12 fresh cherries


Make a batch of banana 'ice cream' base. 

Add the cocoa to the banana base. Mix well in the blender. (Make sure the stopper is in the lid to prevent a chocolate cloud!) This is your rich, chocolate 'ice cream'.
Pop it into a mixing bowl and store in the freezer while you prepare the other elements of the dessert. 

Rinse out the bowl and blade from the food processor, then blitz the frozen cherries to the 'cous-cous'or granular stage.

The trick now is to be really organised, and prepare all the elements of the Slimmerbocker Glory ready for assembly...

Slice up each mini roll. Stone the fresh cherries and chop them into chunky pieces. Reserve 2 big fat juicy cherries on their stalks for the final garnish.

Grate the chocolate.


Prepare 2 glasses.
(I don't have any sundae-style dishes, so I just use tall drinking glasses).

Take the chocolate 'ice cream' mixture out of the freezer.
Assemble the dessert in this order...

 Pop the mini roll slices in the
base of the glass.
Dollop half a portion of the frozen
cherry granules on top.

Distribute half a portion of the
chocolate 'ice cream' next.
Share the whole cherry yoghurt evenly
between the 2 portions and top with some fresh, chopped cherries..

Add the remaining frozen cherry granules, and  the chocolate 'ice cream'.

Finally, sprinkle with grated chocolate and a big juicy cherry for a spectacular finish.

All that's left to do is to choose a funky spoon and dig in.
(Click HERE for link)


Serve immediately and enjoy all the various flavours, textures and sensations for a Cherrychoccaliscious experience!




You could make 4 mini Slimmerbocker Glories for 3pp/approx.175kcal each from this recipe.

RECIPE : Cumin Rice in a Papaya Bowl

This delicious little side dish is the perfect accompaniment to a curry, such as my zero propoint vegetable curry.
(Click HERE for recipe).
 Plain, boiled rice is fried with some cumin seeds until crunchy in places. Grated cauliflower can be added to pad out the portion if you wish. Served in an edible papaya bowl, this cleanses the palate and makes a refreshing and tasty little side dish.


You Will Need (Serves 2)

This is 3pp/approx.200kcal per portion
(If you use wholegrain rice, this is great for  Filling and Healthy or Simple Start).

1 papaya (room temperature)
62g Long grain rice
(I used 1 bag Uncle Ben's boil in the bag)
4 florets grated cauliflower (optional)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Frylight oil


While the rice is boiling, prepare the papaya. Cut in half and scoop out the dark seeds with a teaspoon. Run a knife all around the edge to loosen the flesh from the skin, but leave in place.

Cut a small slice off the curved side of the papaya so that it sits beautifully on the plate.

Once the rice is cooked, pop into a frying pan with the cumin seeds and grated cauliflower. (If using). Fry in a little Frylight oil until toasted and crunchy in places.

Arrange carefully into the papaya 'bowls'.

I served mine with curry and half a WeightWatchers nan bread (4pp) for a delicious, filling and interesting experience.


Little papaya bowls.