RECIPE : Beetroot & Spinach Falafel with Tahini Dipping Sauce

I bought some spinach falafel last week and delicious as they were, they were quite high in propoints/calories.
So, I decided to set myself the challenge of coming up with something equally delicious but with much lower calculations....and here's the result. In true Slice-of-Slim style, I've taken them a step further buy combining two delicious varieties of falafel together into one vibrant bite. 
These spinach, garlic and lemon falafel contain an unexpected surprise in the middle. When you cut or bite into the green outer shell, you're met with a bright pink beetroot and mint falafel inside!
These are surprisingly simple to make and very impressive both visually and on the palate.


They're also incredibly low fat, working out to 5pp/approx.240kcal for the WHOLE lot. This recipe makes approximately 12 falafel, so you can afford to serve them with this beautiful tahini dipping sauce at 1pp/approx.40kcal per portion.

Please note the tahini sauce is not SimpleStart/Filling & Healthy.
You would need to charge 1pp per portion for the tahini, or alternatively substitute with some grated cucumber to keep it SS/F&H friendly.

 Individually, they work out to;

1=0pp/20kcal, 2=1pp/40kcal, 3=1pp/60kcal, 
4=2pp/80kcal, 5=2pp/100kcal, 6=3pp/120kcal, 7=3pp/140kcal, 8=4pp/160kcal, 9=4pp/180kcal, 10=5pp/200kcal, 11=5pp/220kcal, 12=5pp/240kcal


YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 2)

For the Spinach, Garlic & Lemon Falafel;

100g tinned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
200g bag fresh spinach
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon, ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Beetroot & Mint Falafel;

100g tinned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
60g cooked beetroot
(approx. 2 small beetroot-I buy mine ready cooked)
1 sprig fresh mint
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Ground black pepper to taste

For the Tahini Dipping Sauce;

2 teaspoons tahini
2 tablespoons 0% fat Total Greek yoghurt
Lemon juice to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Water to slacken (approx. 1 tablespoon)


 Spinach, Garlic & Lemon Falafel

 Start by making the spinach falafel. Steam or microwave the spinach until wilted right down (approx. 3 minutes). Rinse under cold water then squeeze out as much water as you can. This handful is the whole bag of spinach once cooked! Leave to drain for as long as possible.

While the spinach is draining, weigh out the chickpeas and blitz in a food processor until paste-like. You can do this in one 200g batch, then divide into two, or in two separate 100g batches.

To 100g blitzed chickpeas, add the well-drained spinach, the crushed garlic, lemon juice and seasonings to the food processor. Blitz well, taste and season to your personal taste if necessary.

Once you're happy with the flavour, set to one side and make the beetroot falafel.


 Beetroot Falafel

To 100g blitzed chickpeas, add the beetroot, fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and seasoning. Blitz together until you have a vibrant paste, Season to your personal taste, adding black pepper, more or less lemon, mint etc. I like the beetroot falafel quite peppery.

Place the two mixtures in separate bowls. Cover a baking tray with baking parchment and mist with Frylight oil.

Using a 1/2 tablespoon measure and with clean hands, roll 12 balls of mixture. If you have spare mixture left, just make some extra balls-these can be baked on their own.

Wash and dry your hands before handling the spinach mixture so the colours stay as clean as possible. Take a 1 tablespoon measure for the spinach mixture.

Pop a tablespoonful of spinach mixture into the palm of your hand and flatten in the centre.

Place a ball of beetroot mixture in the centre of the spinach.

Very carefully, shape the spinach to enclose the beetroot. You'll find that the beetroot mixture is quite firm and the spinach quite soft and easy to manipulate.

Once formed, roll to make a perfect sphere shape.

Repeat the process until you have used up all the mixture. This recipe should make 12 falafel.

Any spare mixture can be used to make little individual ones!

Mist with Frylight oil then bake at 200C/400F/Gas6 for 25 minutes until the outside forms a slightly crisp brown shell.

While the falafel are cooking, make the tahini dipping sauce by combining the tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice and water to your desired consistency. Season with black pepper.

To serve, cut in half to reveal the vibrant contrasting centre.

Serve with the tahini dipping sauce for a fabulous starter or nibble with drinks.



Try the falafel in a wrap. Spread a warm wrap with the tahini sauce before loading with salad, shredded carrot and falafel.

Roll up tightly then slice diagonally to reveal a sumptuous feast!
(Remember to add the propoints/calories
for the wrap)




Sunday, 25 May 2014 - , , , 0 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich

I'm not generally a big fan of Oreo biscuits-there are other chocolatey treats that would take preference in my pecking order, but these ice cream sandwiches are the biz!

For 3pp/110kcal per sandwich, the 2 oversized oreo biscuits give you a fabulous rich chocolate fix with a creamy vanilla ice cream filling. The ice cream also contains oreo biscuit pieces.
They come in individually wrapped portions so great for storing and portion control.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014 - , , , , , 0 comments

SIMPLESTART : Frozen Fruity 'Sweeties'

These frozen vanilla yoghurt-coated fruits are a fab little sweet treat on a SimpleStart or Filling & Healthy day.
Just make a batch, pop in the freezer and nibble on them at those tricky times of day. They're lovely and refreshing now the weather is heating up a little too.


As with all my SimpleStart recipes, I don't measure the quantities as these days are all about the freedom from propoints. If you are tracking, simply weigh out your yoghurt and calculate the propoints accordingly.

Simply flavour some 0% Total yoghurt with artificial sweetener and vanilla essence to your personal taste. It's best to use this brand of yoghurt as it's really thick.
Drop your favourite fresh fruits into the yoghurt. I used blueberries and sliced banana. Raspberries, strawberries, grapes, cherries, mango cubes etc. would work equally well.

Coat each piece of fruit generously then lift it out of the yoghurt. Place onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray or plate.

Repeat until you have a batch.

Freeze for at least a couple of hours until the yoghurt has hardened. 
Pop into a dish and nibble to your heart's content!


Sweetie treaties.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014 - , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Tonia's Greek Lamb Pattie Tray Bake

Here's the second of Tonia Buxton's wonderful recipes that I learned to make at her inspirational masterclass with
FAGE Total Yoghurt a few weeks ago.
This is an easy, delicious and filling dish-great served with a simple Greek salad
(salad leaves, tomato, cucumber, red onion and feta).
Lamb is quite high in fat so traditionally, lamb recipes can result in rather steep propoint/calorie calculations.
If you make sure that you buy lean lamb mince and stick to a couple of the adaptations I've made to this recipe, you can keep this dish pretty low in fat but with no compromise on flavour!


This recipe works out to:

7pp/approx.350kcal per portion for the lamb patties and veggies

Add an extra:

2pp/80kcal per portion if you include the low fat feta

Add an extra:

1pp/approx.50kcal per portion if you add Tahini Sauce (highly recommended!)


YOU WILL NEED : (Serves: 4)

300g lean lamb mince
3 slices WeightWatchers thick sliced wholemeal bread  
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp ground cumin

4 red onions
(2 finely chopped for the patties,
2 cut into wedges to roast alongside)

Large handful mint, chopped

4 waxy new potatoes (40g each)
(ie charlottes cut into wedges)

4 courgettes, halved & quartered lengthways 

250g pack midi tomatoes on the vine 

2 unwaxed lemons cut into 6 wedges each

1 teaspoon olive oil
Frylight oil

100g low fat feta cheese, crumbled 

For the Tahini Yoghurt Sauce

50g 0% fat Total Greek Yoghurt
1 tablespoon Tahini (sesame) paste,
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pinch sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
Cold water to slacken, if needed


Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6.

Put the breadcrumbs, the lamb mince, egg, plenty of seasoning and cumin in a bowl.

 Add the chopped onion and sprinkle in half the chopped mint.

Give everything a good mix and shape into 8 equal sized patties allowing 2 per portion.

Mist a large, shallow roasting tray with Frylight oil and add the patties.

Chop all the vegetables into chunky wedges and place in a bowl. Don't do as we did and take the tomatoes off the vine-leave them on for roasting...(Tonia gave us a good telling off for this-we were just too keen!)
Add the olive oil and mist with frylight to coat evenly. Season to your liking.

 Arrange the veggies and the lemons cut into wedges around the patties in a flat, even layer.

 Bake for around 40 minutes, turning and basting everything once halfway, until the lamb is cooked though and the vegetables are tender.

While the patties are baking, make the tahini sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. 
Keep tasting until it matches your personal preference- more lemon, less garlic etc. Add water in tiny amounts until it's a smooth, creamy consistency that you can easily 'dollop'.
Tonia calls this her 'ketchup'-she eats it with everything and I can understand why!

 Once cooked, remove the patties from the oven and sprinkle with the feta (if using). Pop back into the oven for a few minutes to melt the feta slightly if you wish. (Tonia recommends)
If not using feta, simply sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint before serving.

Serve with a Greek Salad and the tahini sauce.
If you don't use the low fat feta on your patties, you could add into the salad instead.

A completely luscious, tasty, wonderful dish-perfect for a simple family gathering and tastes like it was prepared by the Greek gods (or Goddesses in our case) themselves! The roast lemon adds yet another Heavenly dimension.





N.B. All photos not taken by me are courtesy of Satureyes Photography-many thanks!

RECIPE : 2 in 1 Mustard Condiment & Salad Dressing

This fab little recipe is very easy, very tasty and extremely versatile!
If you like lashings of mayo in your sarnies or a salad drenched with dressing, this one's for you!
Using two simple ingredients as your base-Dijon mustard and Total 0% fat yoghurt, you can speedily transform this mixture from a condiment into a salad dressing.


This recipe is 0pp/approx.25kcal per portion, SimpleStart and Filling & Healthy friendly. Even if you ate the whole lot it would only be 1pp/approx.50kcal


For the Basic Condiment

YOU WILL NEED : Serves 2

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons 0% Fat Total yoghurt

Simply combine the two ingredients together to make a delicious, creamy, mayo-like condiment to spread in a ham sandwich or serve with cold meats.



You could add some capers or fresh herbs such as dill, basil or chopped chives to this mixture to ring the changes.

It's fantastic spread generously in a toasted ham and cucumber sandwich!


You could serve a dill and caper version with smoked salmon.


You could spread it onto a salmon fillet and make a herb crust before baking or grilling.


For the salad dressing

To the basic condiment (above), add;

1 teaspoon artificial granular sweetener

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon cold water
black pepper
sprig of fresh dill


1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon capers
lime juice/zest
lemon juice/zest
fresh basil/chives/parsley


Simply add the ingredients above to the basic condiment mixture, to thin down into a salad dressing. Play around with the flavours-if you love garlic, lime or lemon, just add them in until you reach your desired flavours.
Mix well.

Keep it quite thick, not too runny as it will coat your salad leaves beautifully. There's no need to be sparce with this salad dressing. Use liberally and enjoy its rich creaminess.

Any excess can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge and will keep beautifully for a few days. You could make a double or triple batch to store in this way.




Sunday, 4 May 2014 - , 5 comments

SIMPLESTART : Sweet Banana Oaty Bites

Whenever I'm following a Simple Start or Filling and Healthy day, I tend to struggle a little to satisfy my sweet I came up with these delicious little snacks.


I've made a version of these banana bites before, but this time I coated the slices of banana in sweetened vanilla yoghurt before rolling in cinnamon-tossed oats. Then I slow-baked them for a long time to achieve a crunchy, almost nutty coating.
They certainly hit the spot!


Simply pour some jumbo porridge oats into a bowl and flavour with cinnamon, nutmeg and artificial sweetener to your personal taste.

In a second bowl, dollop some Total 0% fat Greek yoghurt, Flavour with vanilla essence and artificial sweetener to your liking.

These are very easy to make, but don't attempt to use your hands as you will get very messy!
Slice the banana and drop a piece into the yoghurt. Coat generously using 2 spoons.

Using a spoon, pick up the yoghurt-coated banana and drop into the oats.

Use your fingers to sprinkle oats over the banana until coated. Turn gently using a fork or spoon until totally covered.

Scoop the yoghurt-coated banana out of the oats using a flat knife and deliver gently onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.

Repeat the process until you have your desired amount. Mist with a little Frylight oil.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 170C/325F/Gas3, turning half way and misting with Frylight again.

I cook them very slowly because this way, the oats become almost nutty, the yoghurt becomes chewy and the banana caramelises so you have these wonderful areas of toffee-like goo in places.

Leave to cool for snacking, or serve warm with a little more yoghurt like miniature crumble desserts.


Sweet craving sorted!