Wednesday, 26 February 2014 - , , , , , , 0 comments

SMASH & GRAB : 2 minute 'Naan' Bread

I invented this the other day when my son fancied something to eat with his curry and we didn't have any naan bread-it's amazing!
It works out to 5pp/179kcal 

I always keep my Warburtons Squareish Wraps in the freezer and this little idea definitely works best with a frozen one if possible as the steam keeps it 'bready' when cooked.

All you need per portion is a frozen white wrap spread with 2 teaspoons extra light spread and a sprinkle of nigella/black onion seeds. (You'll find these with herbs and spices in the supermarket-they look like black sesame seeds).

Pop straight under a piping hot grill and cook for about 2 minutes until the top is slightly toasted but the underneath remains soft. Because the wrap is frozen it kind of steams as well as toasts. If your wrap isn't frozen, cook more gently as you don't want it to burn.



Serve with my 0pp veggie curry and cauliflower rice-a whole meal for 5pp!
(Click HERE for recipe)

If you use a wholemeal version, these wraps are 5pp each so add an extra pp.



RECIPE : Vegetable Soup seasoned with Turmeric & Tangerine with a Divine Onion Topping

I've been hearing and reading a great deal about the wonders of turmeric recently and I've decided it should be renamed the 'February spice,' because it's supposed to be fantastic for treating or preventing symptoms of colds, flu, aches, pains and inflammation. Who hasn't suffered with at least one of these ailments recently?


Turmeric is one of the spices that makes up curry powder and its amazing bright yellow tinge, but it's not spicy-more pungent.
I decided to add it to my usual vegetable soup but with the addition of some other fabulous ingredients to further enhance the flavour.
I hope you'll agree this is a rather special soup…designed to bring some golden sunshine into your life..just don't spill any on your clothes as it stains!


This soup works out to 5pp/approx.600kcal for the WHOLE amount or 1pp/approx.150kcal per portion. It's also Filling & Healthy and Simple Start friendly.


YOU WILL NEED : (Serves 4)

1/4 butternut squash
2 onions
1 clove garlic
4 carrots
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 low salt vegetable stock cube 
2 tablespoons low salt soy sauce
black pepper to taste
1 litre water

After blending;

Juice and zest of 2 tangerines/clementines
1/2 pint skimmed/unsweetened soya milk

For the topping:

2 sweet/mild onions
2 teaspoons nigella/black onion seeds
1 tablespoon low salt soy sauce 


Simply place all the main soup ingredients into a pan or soup maker. Cook for around 30-40 minutes until all the vegetables are soft enough to blend.

While the soup is cooking, chop the sweet onions very finely and fry in frylight oil on a low to medium heat until starting to soften.

Add the nigella seeds and the soy sauce, stirring occasionally until they are really golden and caramelised.

Once the soup is cooked, blend until smooth then add the zest and juice of the tangerines and the milk. The milk just softens all the flavours and takes the pungency out of the turmeric, enhancing the flavours.
Heat through gently then pop into serving dishes with generous amounts of the fried onion. You could drizzle with some natural yoghurt too if you like.


Bibs at the ready!


Monday, 17 February 2014 - 1 comments

USEFUL STUFF : How to Deseed a Pomegranate

I absolutely love pomegranates.
I use the seeds in many of my savoury and sweet dishes to add vibrant colour, a popping juicy texture and a sense of exotic luxury.

I've used various methods of extracting the seeds but I've finally invented THE method I would highly recommend.

Simply halve the fruit horizontally and place one half, seed-side-down into a freezer bag.
Holding the bag firmly in one hand, hit the fruit quite hard with a wooden or plastic spoon.
Do this all the way around. Check and repeat until all the seeds are released.
(You may be left with a few stubborn ones which you can pull out by hand).

This works even better if the bag is suspended slightly in the air so that the seeds are 'knocked out' of the shell on impact.
The bag will contain all the seeds and prevents a light covering of pink spots all over your clothing!

Very quickly, you will have a bag full of seeds and an empty shell to discard. You may have a few large sections of inedible white pith which can also be thrown away.

Hey presto!
A convenient little bag of juicy wonder.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 - 0 comments

USEFUL STUFF : Rotary Grater

I haven't written a gadget review for a while and when I found this rotary grater a few weeks ago I remembered what great little tools they are-especially in a low fat kitchen!
I had one of these years ago and I loved it. They are also known as mouli graters.
If you are anything like me and a bit of a klutz in the kitchen, then this is the grater for you! I often find if I'm using small amounts of cheese for example, every gramme counts…and with a regular grater there is always the dilemma -stop grating and waste a little amount of the ingredient, or carry on and risk grating a little bit of finger!

If you are short of space, this tiny little gadget is perfect as it will happily fit in a kitchen drawer. It consists of the main housing 'clamp' and three interchangeable stainless steel drums. One for coarse grating or shredding, one for fine grating and one for slicing. It's also dishwasher safe-always a winner in my book.

I often use these little pre-wrapped portions of cheese (Cathedral City) especially if I'm short of time or just making something for myself.
They are 1pp/50kcal for 12g cheese.
The grater will grate every single gramme of cheese with no waste at all.

Here's how…

Flip the top over…

Rest your chosen drum on the frame…
(I always use the fine one for cheese as it looks like a large amount when finely grated!)

Flip the top over the drum and add the cheese…

then fold the handle to clamp it firmly.

Holding the grater firmly in one hand, turn the handle on the drum with the other.

I turn the device sideways so that the grated cheese falls straight into the bowl.

This grater magically turns a very small amount of cheese into a decent portion to sprinkle onto a salad or a jacket potato with nothing left to waste and all fingers intact!

The slicer attachment is designed for carrot, cucumber, mushrooms etc…

Obviously, you have to chop the food quite small for it to fit into the housing, but then you end up with these pleasing little slivers of sliced veg-great for a salad or sandwich.

For more traditional grated carrot, or as a perfect solution for fiddly hard-boiled eggs, I would use the coarse grater/shredder.
It would also be fantastic for cauliflower 'rice' as grating raw cauliflower can be tricky.

These seem to range in price from around £9.99 to £12. I bought mine in Hobbycraft and it's made by Kitchen Craft. They are available online or from many other shops.


Sunday, 9 February 2014 - , , 0 comments

CUPBOARD LOVE : Muller Light Yoghurts

I'm sure many of you will already know and love these yoghurts. They are only 2pp/99kcal for a generous individual pot and come in some delicious flavours. I picked my favourites to show you-Banana & Custard, Orange sprinkled with chocolate and…

my total favourite-Turkish Delight sprinkled with chocolate! 


The flavour is great if, like me, you have a sweet tooth. I find the consistency quite runny but this is then fabulous poured over fruit salad or drizzled into porridge for breakfast. The pots contain a large amount so you can split the contents throughout the day over a couple of meals.


This year, my Valentines recipe will include the Turkish Delight variety so if this sounds like your cup of tea, get some in! 


Friday, 7 February 2014 - , , , 0 comments


I find when I'm following Simple Start, it's great to have some tasty toppings in the fridge for spreading on toast, crumpets or as sandwich fillings.

This simple tuna pate is so quick and easy to make and totally delicious!

In a bowl in any proportions you like, mix tinned tuna (the one in brine or spring water, drained), low fat cottage cheese, 0% fat Greek yoghurt or Quark (which ever you have),zest and juice of a lemon or lime, some chopped spring onions and lashings of black pepper.
Mix well with a fork.

Serve with any calorie-controlled brown bread, toasted Warburtons brown sandwich thins or crumpets for a delicious lunch or snack.


Easy peasy lemon (or lime) squeezy.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014 - , , , , , , , , 0 comments

RECIPE : Tasty Wholewheat Giant Couscous

I love couscous, but this large, toasted version is really yummy! This delicious little side dish is fantastic with grilled meat or fish, or as part of a vegetarian meal. It's very quick and easy to make and you can eat it on a Filling & Healthy or Simple Start day!
If you are counting, this recipe works out to 6pp/approx.200kcal per portion.
(Reduce by 1pp if you don't use olive oil)


You Will Need: (Serves 2)

1 onion
1 clove garlic
100g dry wholewheat giant couscous

1 chicken/vegetable stock cube dissolved in 300ml boiled water

Fresh herbs such as coriander or parsley
Black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil/Frylight oil


Simply fry the onion and garlic until soft. You could use olive oil from your daily allowance or Frylight oil. Add the wholewheat couscous. Fry with the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes to soak in the flavours.
Gradually add the stock, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has been absorbed and the couscous is soft but a little chewy. This takes around 15-20 minutes.

Add chopped, fresh herbs, season with black pepper and serve with your chosen accompaniment.



This is delicious served cold too. You can add salad ingredients to it such as tomatoes, low fat feta, rocket etc. Dress with some lemon or lime juice or a little balsamic vinegar.


Try serving with my delicious Italian peppers and capers. 
Click HERE for link
(If making this on Simple Start, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe and use as an Extra Treat. Replace the rest with artificial sweetener)


Comforting and delicious