Saturday, 28 May 2016 - , , , , , , , , , , 2 comments

RECIPE : Grilled Halloumi & Pineapple Sticks with Mint, Garlic & Tangerine Dressing

Ok, I apologise.
I grew up in the 60's where cheese and pineapple served on cocktail sticks was the height of sophisticated snacking! (Especially if you covered half a grapefruit in tin foil and poked them into it to make a display).


Well...actually, there is something to be said for tangy cheese married with sweet pineapple, so I've created a dish to revive and modernise this partnership.
My grilled halloumi and pineapple sticks are tasty, rich and zingy. With the addition of a mouth-watering fresh mint, garlic and tangerine pesto-style dressing to compliment these two main ingredients, your tastebuds will be dancing the night away!


One of my favourite aspects of this recipe is that there are no added seasonings or flavourings-the taste comes from all the ingredients used; saltiness and creaminess from the cheese, sweetness from the pineapple, freshness from the mint, pungency from the garlic and tangy oils and refreshing juice from the tangerine.
They make a lovely accompaniment to any main dish such as grilled steak, chicken or fish and will grill on the hob or cook on the barbie very well too.


This serves 2 as a very generous portion, or 3-4 as a starter or small side dish. They also make great appetisers.

 The recipe makes 12 sticks.

They work to
per stick


You Will Need : (Makes 12 sticks)

A 225g block of reduced fat Halloumi cheese.
(Most supermarkets have their own brand which contains 30% less fat than regular Halloumi).

12 large chunks fresh pineapple

12 cocktail sticks

For the dressing:

Generous bunch of fresh mint
2 cloves garlic
Zest and juice of 2 tangerines


Start by dividing the Halloumi equally into 2 halves.

Cut each half into 6 even chunks. Cut the pineapple into the same size chunks. It's important to keep the pieces fairly large so that the cheese remains intact when you thread it onto the cocktail stick.

Thread the pineapple first, then the cheese onto the top. Repeat until you have 12 mini skewers. I'm not normally a perfectionist, but I trim any excess pineapple to make the kebabs really square and even in shape.

Mist a griddle pan with Frylight oil then place the kebabs gently into the hot pan.

Cook for 5 minutes on a medium-high heat until the cheese and pineapple are this beautiful golden colour. Turn gently then cook for 5 minutes on the other side.

While the kebabs are cooking, take your dressing ingredients.

Using a lemon zester, zest the peel from the tangerines into a bowl.
(Click HERE for info).
This releases beautiful, natural oils which make the base for the dressing.

Chop the garlic roughly and strip the leaves off the fresh mint. Pop into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add to the tangerine zest.

Squeeze the juice from the tangerines and add to the mint, garlic and zest mixture. Mix well. This is your simple dressing.

As soon as the kebabs are cooked on both sides, arrange onto your serving dish. They need to be eaten right away as halloumi has a tendency to go a little 'squeaky' in texture if cooked or left for too long.

Spoon the dressing generously over the hot kebabs, allowing the juice and oils to seep onto the plate.

Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

Serve as an accompaniment to your chosen dish. I served these with a Quorn peppered steak for 3pp/115kcal and some chargrilled whole mini peppers for a vibrant, tasty main course.


Nothing wrong with a little vintage inspiration! 


Friday, 20 May 2016 - , , , , , , , , 2 comments

RECIPE : Chicken Goujons

These chicken goujons make a wonderful light meal with a fresh salad. 
The chicken is succulent and soft whilst the crumpet breadcrumbs provide a rugged, super-crunchy texture to contrast.


This recipe uses NoCount/Filling & Healthy ingredients, and works out to 10sp/11pp/approx.450kcal per portion for a main meal or 4sp/5pp/225kcal for a light starter size portion.
It's a perfect meal for all ages, everyone loves these!


You Will Need : For 2 large
or 4 small servings

Two 165g Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 medium egg, seasoned and beaten
1 Batch Crumpet Breadcrumbs
seasoned however you like
(Click HERE for link to recipe)


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. 

Cut each chicken breast into chunky strips.

Dip each strip of chicken into seasoned egg.

Pop into the bowl of breadcrumbs.

Coat the chicken in breadcrumbs. Don't worry if you have a few gaps, they look more rustic and home made if they're not too perfect.

Place on a baking tray and repeat until you have coated all the chicken.

Bake for 15 minutes.
While the goujons are cooking, make a simple fresh salad to serve with them.

When the chicken is cooked and the breadcrumbs deliciously crisp and golden, serve and tuck in!


Deliciously Simple & Simply Delicious!





Make a batch of the crumpet breadcrumbs when you have a few spare minutes. They will keep in an airtight container for a few days, then are close to hand when you want to make this quick, nutritious meal.
Friday, 6 May 2016 - , , , , , , , 5 comments

RECIPE : Chickpeanuts

These wonderful, tasty, crunchy nibbles are delicious with a drink, as a little snack or yummy scattered onto salads.
The chickpeas are roasted in soy sauce which forms a 'marmitey'-flavoured coating and a crunchy texture.
My little chickpeanuts are low in fat and extremely high in protein so although they may seem high in smartpoints, they are a healthy little snack.

Of course, the best thing about these snacks is that if you are following the NoCount plan they are entirely free-otherwise they work out to 9sp/approx.550kcal for the whole amount, or 5sp/225kcal for half.


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6


400g(242g drained)can chickpeas in water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garlic puree
(swap for 1 clove crushed fresh garlic for NoCount)
3 teaspoons low salt soy sauce


Drain the chickpeas, rinse thoroughly under running water in a sieve to discard the 'soapy' liquid, then drain on some kitchen paper, blotting to remove excess water.

Pop the drained chickpeas into a mixing bowl, add the oil, garlic puree and 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce. Mix well to coat thoroughly.

Spread out the seasoned chickpeas on foil in an even layer on a baking sheet.
Roast for around 40-50 minutes checking and turning every 10-15 minutes. Add the remaining soy sauce towards the end of the cooking time, mix well and continue to roast until the chickpeas have a crispy coating.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.
They should have this gorgeous toasted appearance and will crisp up even more as they cool down.