Sunday, 31 March 2013 - , , , 2 comments

RECIPE : Tasty Aromatic Seasoning Paste


One of my main motivators for starting
Slice-Of-Slim was to keep the joy of food alive for my husband. After a heart attack aged 50, he lost 4 1/2 stone (62lbs) on the WeightWatchers propoints plan.
He is a changed man and his heart is repaired.

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We are real food lovers, so I was determined that we wouldn't get bored of eating the same dishes all the time, hence Slice-of-Slim was born! (You can read more about how the blog began by clicking HERE). All my recipes are low fat, and because of our situation, I have drastically cut down on the amount of salt I use in my dishes. We love really tasty food so, although I still use low-salt soy and low-salt stock cubes, I try to use natural flavours as much as possible.

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There are some magic ingredients out there and by using natural flavourings you will achieve some wonderful results in your dishes. Obviously, flavours are very personal to your own preferences, so I'm showing you this paste but feel free to change proportions, add or subtract ingredients and see what you think.
Many soups, curries or casseroles start their lives with a tasty paste. The three ingredients I use most in my kitchen are garlic, ginger and fresh red chillies. Don't be scared of red chillies. The larger ones tend to be less 'hot' and if you deseed them, a small amount can just add a subtle pungency to a dish without blowing your mouth off. 

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You Will Need : (For 1 small batch)

2 cloves garlic
1/2 a mild red chilli, sliced
Small chunk ginger, sliced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Fresh herbs 
(I used mint and basil)

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 Pop the garlic, chilli and ginger into a bowl.


 I felt like being 'chefy' and using a pestle and mortar (It's a great workout!), but if you have a food processor or prefer to chop ingredients by hand, that's fine too.


Just crush and pound the ingredients until a paste starts to form.


Add the lemon juice and fresh herbs. The lemon will help to soften the other ingredients which makes it easier to pound them into a paste.


I used my paste to stir fry some vegetarian prawns (Click HERE for info).
It's a wonderful accompaniment to meat, fish, tofu and vegetables. You could even spread it onto a fillet of salmon before grilling.

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Tasty Paste.

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PRINT RECIPE HERE
Saturday, 30 March 2013 - 4 comments

EASTER : Recipe Collection


If you are needing some inspiration to help you resist some of the traditional Easter treats around, here is my collection of Easter recipe ideas for you.
All in one place for easy access!


Beautiful, rose-scented Easter 'Egg' meringues, flavoured and coloured with natural fruits.
(Click HERE for recipe)


Crispy, sweet Easter nests sprinkled with dried fruits and filled with white chocolate-dipped grape 'eggs'.
(Click HERE for recipe)


Easter Eggypops- Rice krispie and marshmallow eggs covered in chocolate and popped onto a stick with a chick!
(Click HERE for recipe)

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Just to remind all newcomers to Slice-of-Slim, there's a very active Facebook page too- with links to all my latest recipes and lots of daily extra chat...and Twitter too if you'd like to keep up that way.
Just click on the 'F' or the Twitter 'bird' at the top right of the blog .

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Wishing you all a lovely Easter weekend.
With love, Janey
x x x

Thursday, 28 March 2013 - , , , , , 2 comments

RECIPE : Moroccan Spiced Aubergine


These delicious, Moroccan-inspired stuffed aubergines are an extremely tasty, filling, low propoint/calorie meal.
The aubergines are slow-roasted with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic before being scooped out and mixed together with spices and fresh herbs. The pungency is then toned down with the addition of cooling cottage cheese before being baked again. You can make this as mild or spicy as you like.
I served mine with a simple salad, but they would be lovely with rice or pasta.

My recipe works out to 1pp/approx.200kcal per serving.
If you're following a Filling & Healthy day, this dish is perfect for you as all the ingredients are on the list.

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You Will Need : (Per Serving)

1 small-medium aubergine
4 mushrooms
 a handful of cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
Morrocan spices
(Buy a blend from any supermarket)
Fresh mint
Fresh basil
60g Cottage Cheese
(I used the reduced fat variety. If you like it creamier, use regular cottage cheese but adjust the propoints/calories accordingly).

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Cut the aubergine in half. Leave the stalk intact.


Spray with Frylight Oil and roast with the tomatoes, mushrooms and unpeeled garlic cloves for about 40 minutes-1 hour at 200 degrees C.
The aubergine flesh should be soft and turning golden.


Using a metal spoon, scoop the flesh out of the aubergine, leaving the skin intact.
Put it into a mixing bowl.


Chop the mushrooms roughly, then mix all the roasted vegetables together. The garlic will be soft and you can literally squeeze it out of its skin. Mash the aubergine and squash the tomatoes into the mixture using a fork.


Add the freshly chopped herbs along with seasonings and spices to your personal taste.
Add 2/3 of the cottage cheese, leaving some to drizzle over the finished dish.


Generously heap the mixture back into the aubergine skins.
Bake for a further 10-15 minutes.


Just before serving, top with the remaining cool cottage cheese. This gives a delicious. creamy topping to contrast with the hot, spicy filling.

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Awesome Aubergines.

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TIP

You could use Indian spices instead, and top with a yoghurt/mint raita dip.
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You could make the filling much more Italian-flavoured using basil and a little passata. This would also make a fantastic vegetarian Bolognaise sauce for spaghetti or lasagne.
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Don't be afraid to adapt and experiment with this recipe-there are so many variations you could make!

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013 - , , , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Easter Eggypops!


Some of you may remember my Popcorn Pops from a few months ago...well, with Easter coming up, I thought I'd do a rice krispie egg-shaped version!
Easter eggs are delicious but so high in propoints/calories and can be quite costly, especially if you have a few to buy.

My Eggypops still give you a great bite with a chocolate hit and come in 2 sizes -
A large, 5pp/approx.200kcal one
and a
small, 3pp/approx.120kcal one.

They are made of tightly compacted rice krispies, bound together with molten marshmallow and drizzled with chocolate and sprinkles before being adorned with a cute Easter chick!
They are really easy to make and low cost.
They make great gifts.

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You Will Need: (per Eggypop)

For the Large Eggypop

30g rice krispies
3 sugar free marshmallows
10g chocolate
1/2 teaspoon sugar sprinkles
1 decorative chick
1 decorative straw, lollipop stick or skewer
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For the Small Eggypop

15g rice krispies
2 sugar free marshmallows
8g chocolate
1/2 teaspoon sugar sprinkles
1 decorative chick
1 decorative straw, lollipop stick or skewer

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Weigh out the rice krispies.
(Make each eggypop individually).
I used this own brand range. This 440g bag (enough for 14 large eggs or 29 small ones!) cost 77p.


Add the marshmallows to the bowl and microwave for 20 seconds.


Work quickly but carefully as the marshmallows are molten hot at first. Bring the rice krispies together with the marshmallow, a bit like making pastry, scooping and squeezing the mixture together. Insert a lollipop stick and continue to squeeze the mixture tightly into a ball around it. Soon you will find that it comes together and you can form it into an egg shape. Make sure that the rice krispies are tightly compacted together so they won't fall apart when you bite into the eggypop.


Once you have a pleasing shape, weigh and melt the chocolate.


Using a spoon, drizzle the eggypop with the melted chocolate. You should be able to virtually coat the small version.


There's enough chocolate to generously drizzle over the top third of the larger version. While still wet, scatter with sugar sprinkles and press a decorative chick into the chocolate.


 You could add a decorative paper case. You just need to fold it in half and make a quick snip with some scissors so that you can thread it onto the stick.
Place carefully in the fridge to set thoroughly.


Once set, you can pop them into cellophane bags and tie with rustic string for a gorgeous, low fat alternative to a traditional chocolate Easter egg.

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Eggypoppiliscious!


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N.B.

If making these with young children please take extreme care initially as the marshmallows are very hot for a few seconds. Once the mixture has come together and started to cool, this is an ideal family activity!

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TIP




Using the same recipe, you could make cereal bars any time of the year. This one has some raisins inside and a tiny strip of chocolate to hold the freeze-dried fruit topping. You could add dried fruits and nuts to your personal preference. Just remember to adjust pp's/calories accordingly.

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Monday, 25 March 2013 - , , , 5 comments

SMASH & GRAB : Hot Choc Banana!


If you're anything like me, in this cold weather I'm looking for warming, comforting snacks. This one will only set you back 2pp/approx.186kcal.
Literally heat a 30g pot of chocolate Philadelphia for 20 seconds in the microwave. (Remove the metal lid first!)
It makes a molten hot dip, plenty for a whole banana and gives you the fix you're looking for... totally divine.

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Chocobananatastic!

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Friday, 22 March 2013 - , , , , , , 2 comments

RECIPE : Easter Nests


I wanted to come up with something cute but sophisticated this Easter....a little treat reminiscent of the egg-filled chocolate nests I loved as a child, but with a touch of Slice-of-Slim magic to keep the damage to a minimum.
My crispy, cocoa and icing sugar-dusted nests are sprinkled with tangy, freeze-dried fruits and filled with speckled 'eggs' which are actually made of white chocolate-dipped grapes!
So, you get your chocolate fix but it will only set you back 3pp/approx.130kcal.
(They are exactly 3pp so two are 6pp..etc)

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You Will Need: (For 4 Nests)

12 Grapes
40g White Chocolate
1 Warburtons Squareish Wrap
1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Icing Sugar
5g Freeze-Dried Mango
5g Freeze-Dried Strawberries



Start by melting the white chocolate in a small pot/ramekin. Leave the ramekin standing in a little hot water while you work to keep the chocolate at a good consistency.
Pop the grapes onto bamboo skewers.



Spoon the chocolate generously over each grape until totally covered.



Tap the skewer with your finger to allow any excess chocolate to fall back into the pot.



Pinch a tiny amount of cocoa with your fingers and sprinkle onto the wet chocolate for a speckled effect.



Repeat with all the grapes. Stand them in a tall glass to set. Don't allow them to touch. If possible, put them in the fridge to set thoroughly.



While the 'eggs' are setting, make the nests.
Take a Warburtons Squareish Wrap.



Roll up then slice finely into 2-3mm strips using a sharp knife.



Pop into a bowl and mist with a few sprays of Frylight oil. Mix it in with your hands, unravelling the strands and tangling them together.



Heap the strands into four equal mounds on baking parchment.



Shape each one into a pleasing nest shape because once baked, it will go rigid and stay in the shape you make.



Bake for about 10 minutes at 180 degrees C until golden, crisp and rigid.



Sift cocoa powder and icing sugar over the nests to sweeten, flavour and colour them.



Handle carefully. Place onto your chosen serving plate.



Weigh out the freeze-dried fruits. 
(Click HERE for post on them).
If you can't get any, use a few chopped dried cranberries, almonds or chocolate drops instead. Just add the propoints/calories if you do this.



Sprinkle the fruits equally between the four nests. Allow to settle into the natural cavities and folds of the nest. It makes such a pretty bejewelled effect.



Finally, very carefully pull the set 'eggs' off the bamboo skewers and arrange 3 on the top of each nest.



For a sophisticated treat, serve on a pale and pretty serving plate.



For a more funky Springtime look, I served mine on some plastic grass!

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Edible Easter Treateries!

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TIP


You can make these into a spectacular dessert by adding fresh fruit.

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PRINT RECIPE HERE 

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING : Celeriac or Swede 'Fake-Bakes'


I had one of my Slice-Of-Slim "Eureka!" moments the other day....I really fancied a jacket potato, but just didn't have the propoints left, so I decided to try an alternative...and came up with this celeriac 'fake-bake'.
It's a mind-trickery exercise, and you need your mind to be a little open, but I have to say I'm completely hooked! 
Celeriac is a strange vegetable. For a start I think it fell out of the ugly tree, poor thing. It does look like something from an alien planet. It seems to love mud too-so never looks very appetising when you buy it. However, with a little TLC, we can transform it into something great!
In terms of flavour and texture, the flavour is slightly sweeter and more earthy/root vegetable-tasting than a potato, but it's definitely bland enough to carry the flavours of your favourite fillings. I can detect a very slight artichoke-type flavour. The outside will not go crisp like a potato (believe me, I've tried!), but will darken and have a great flavour once baked.

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My 'Fake-bakes' are fantastic for WeightWatchers and calorie counters alike... A medium 213g potato is 5pp/164kcal, whereas the equivalent weight in celeriac is 0pp/50kcal

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Start by giving the celeriac a really good scrub using a vegetable brush, especially if you are going to leave the skin on. (I like the skin). Even if you are removing the skin, it's important to scrub the celeriac well as it holds onto soil and this could be passed onto the flesh via the knife.


Cut into quarters. Here I'm showing you a peeled version and where I've left the skin on. It's up to your personal preference.


If you peel it, you only need to take a fine shaving off the edges. You can do this with a sharp knife or a potato peeler.


If you have the time and you want to take the mind-trickery to its limit, you can shave off the sharp edges using a potato peeler, to make the celeriac look like a rounded potato. You can pop the peelings into a vegetable soup.


Mist with a few sprays of Frylight or olive oil and rub this well into the outside.


Bake in a hot oven 225 degrees C for 40-45 minutes. Turn a couple of times during cooking so that each 'face' of the celeriac gets a lovely charred appearance.


The only way you will achieve a thicker, more 'potatoey' skin, is to fry the baked celeriac in a little frylight oil for a few minutes, but it's not really necessary.


Finally, split open just like a regular jacket potato, and fill with your favourite toppings. 


I served this one with 10g low fat spread and 12g grated cheddar for 2pp/approx.80kcal.


I served this one with a 2pp/90kcal tin of Coronation Tuna (Sainsbury's Be Good to Yourself range), roasted butternut squash 'chips' and 1 tablespoon Lighter than Light Mayo 0pp/10kcal.

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Have fun experimenting, keep an open mind and enjoy! 

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TIP

Just like potatoes, you can give the celeriac a head-start in the microwave for about 5 minutes before baking. This should reduce baking time by about 20 minutes.

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You can also make these with swede-they're fantastic! Either buy small ones or cut in half. Leave the skin on, wash and scrub well. Microwave for 5-10 minutes before baking for 20-30 minutes. You end up with a dark, crisp skin (more like a jacket potato) and a beautiful apricot-coloured flesh inside.


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PRINT RECIPE HERE