LENTIL COTTAGE PIE | SLIMMING WORLD | VEGAN

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Nutritional Yeast… or nooch as we connoisseurs like to call it, is a savoury, cheesey flavoured seasoning, jam-packed with a load of essential nutrients that is a staple of most vegans’ food cupboard. If you haven’t tried it, you need to. This stuff is brilliant.

To me (and most other rational people) nooch is a seasoning, however the big bad guys over at Slimming World have added a syn value to it (a whopping 2.5 per ‘level’ tablespoon)… which in my opinion is just ridiculous. So I did a little research…

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Blogmas Day 22 | Slimming World Christmas Dinner

Hello my lovelies,

Welcome to Blogmas Day 22! Apologies for the long absence this month – in the run up to Christmas everything has just gone a bit manic! I did however manage to make a spectacular 9 syn Christmas Dinner last Sunday (as the hubs and I are going to my parents for Christmas Dinner this year we thought we would do a ‘test run’ at home). I know that Christmas is generally the time of excess, and trust me I’m pretty sure I will be consuming a fair bit of the Christmas Eve cheeseboard, but Christmas dinner itself doesn’t have to be jam packed with syns – in fact its one of the few things about Christmas that can be relatively healthy!

This Christmas dinner is 9 syns – the syns are for the cocktail sausages, gravy and stuffing, but you can easily make it syn free… or at least lower in syns, and I’ll explain how as we go along.

So here is my Slimming World Christmas Dinner! All the taste, little syns!

So first and foremost, the turkey – as I was doing this only for the two of us I used turkey breast fillets. I know a lot of people will want to do the full turkey and thats perfectly fine. I suggest you get your butcher to skin it for you, stuff it using one of the stuffing recipes in this post and cook it covered upside down on a really low heat (about 140oC) and half an hour before it’s finished (obviously I can’t give you a cooking time as it will be based on the weight of the turkey) turn it right side up and recover. You don’t need to take the foil off as there is no skin on a Slimming World turkey to crisp!

I also used pre-sliced ham off the bone and Tesco Finest Outdoor Bred Cocktail Sausages (3 for 5 syns) but if you have a butcher who does the syn free sausages use them – I usually would, but I couldn’t get them in time for doing this…

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When it comes to the veg I started with the free veg – potatoes and parsnips…

I’m all for saving time, so I choose the You Say Potato microwave in the bag potatoes to use as my roasties and the Tesco Fresh Peeled microwave in the bag potatoes for the mash. The parsnips were just the bog standard value range ones from Tesco.

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And now for the most important part of every Slimming World Christmas dinner, the Superfree! I went for carrots, brussels sprouts, mange tout and cranberries…

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I started by getting the superfree cranberry sauce on the hob… Put the cranberries in a pot along with enough boiling water to just about cover them. Bring to the boil and keep boiling until they open up. As soon as they open up reduce the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid. You can let this simmer away while you make the rest of the dinner and when the dinner is ready just take the cranberries off the hob and stir in some sweetener to taste…

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While the cranberry sauce was simmering away I got the veg ready. My potatoes and carrots were all microwavable in the bag so I simply pierced the bag and put them in the microwave one after the other. Then I put the parsnips and mange tout in two separate pots with boiling water and let them cook. Once they were cooked I drained them. I left the mange tout in the pot and put the parsnips in a roasting tray.

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Once I had all that on the go I started on the stuffing. I used this box stuffing from the Tesco value range. You get six portions from this box at 3 syns each. You can make this stretch by mixing the made up stuffing (follow the directions on the box – it’s real simple, just add water) with mashed potato. This is great for using to stuff a whole turkey. Also for a great free alternative to bread stuffing or box stuffing you could make Irish Stuffing.

Irish Stuffing is made using mashed potato, celery, apple, onions, sage, parsley, salt and pepper. Boil and mash the potatoes, cook the celery, onion and apple together in a pot until soft. Add to the mashed potato along with the sage, parsley, salt and pepper then either use to stuff the turkey or roll into balls and cook covered in the oven for 30 minutes.

Now for the turkey. I put each breast between two sheets of baking parchment and bashed it with a rolling pin until it was about 1cm thick. Then I put the stuffing in the centre of the flattened turkey and folded into parcels. I finished them off by wrapping them in slices of ham. I then cooked the turkey parcels covered in the oven for 30 minutes at 180oC and then uncovered for 15 minutes.

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Now everything is ready to go in the oven, so a quick spray of frylight over everything and then get it all in the oven…

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Once everything has been in the oven for around 30 minutes it’s time to get the brussels on the go. These are really simple to do, just slice them all up and put them in a pan with some fry light, pop the lid on and let them cook for about 20 minutes on a low heat…

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I mixed my mange tout with some frylight and garlic and put it on a low heat to brown a little…

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For the mash potato I put it in a pot and used a potato masher to mash it down, then I added some cheese (I used two HEa worth as my husband and I were sharing it). Using cheese is a great alternative to butter. You can also use milk, but I really like cheesey mash potatoes.

I used the Bisto Chip Shop Gravy for my gravy. You can use the Slimming World Onion Gravy if you want to have a syn free gravy, but I find it too thin, so I use the Bisto one. One 280ml portion is 6 syns and I used 2 syns for my serving.

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So all in all this Christmas Slimming World dinner was 9 syns – but you can use the alternatives I suggested throughout this post to make it lower in syns or completely syn free.

And here’s the finished product… minus the gravy…

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I made a bed of brussels sprouts for my turkey parcels to sit on which was roughly the same size as the turkey parcel so that I had a good amount of superfree to start with, then I added the potatoes and balanced that out with the superfree carrots and mange tout. Then we added the parsnips and the cocktail sausages. It’s a really good amount of food, cooked with no butter or oil and with plenty of superfree added in. I have to mention that we did not finish these plates, there was way too much food for one meal and when I was eating it I was conscious of getting a good balance of free and superfree on my fork.

Hope this helps any of you who are worrying about staying on plan at Christmas – and don’t worry too much about it, remember to enjoy it and spend plenty of quality time with friends and family.

Merry Christmas and big love,

Kiki x

Blogmas Day Ten, Eleven & Twelve | Slimming World Cheesy Pasta Bake

Hello my lovelies,

Today’s Blogmas post is a lovely Slimming World recipe for you all. I know its been a long while since I’ve posted any Slimming World recipes, but I find it really hard not to completely pig out over the festive period (especially as it’s so cold, and the takeaways are so near) so I’ve started operation damage limitation. This recipe is a really quick, simple comfort food that you can make the night before and just heat up when you come home form work. Knowing that I have some food already made and prepared at home takes a little bit of the stress from my day.

For this Pasta Bake all you will need is:

One jar of Homepride Cheese and Bacon Pasta Sauce

200g of a dried pasta of your choice

160g low fat cheddar cheese

This dish serves four people and I usually serve it with a rocket and cherry tomato salad as my superfree if I’m doing EE or peas and sweetcorn if I’m doing Green. It’s 4.5 syns per serving and 1 HEA, which for a comfort food, I think is pretty good – at least it’s much better than phoning for a takeaway!

So here goes…

Get all your ingredients together (you will also need a dish to cook it in) – I don’t have the cheese out here because you don’t add it until later and I find leaving it in the fridge until I need to use it stops it melting too fast and/or burning in the oven.

Pour the contents of the sauce jar into a bowl, then fill the empty jar up to the top of the label with cold water and add it to the sauce in the bowl. Mix well…

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Weigh out 200g of pasta of your choice and put it in your baking dish. Pour over the sauce mixture…

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Then pop this baby in the oven for 25 minutes…

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After 25 minutes, take the dish out of the oven and sprinkle the reduced fat cheddar cheese evenly on top. Pop it back in the oven for 20 minutes and make yourself a cup of tea… or a highlights hot chocolate…

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After 20 minutes your pasta bake will be done! What an easy Slimming World friendly winter dinner!

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I hope you all enjoyed this and that you give it a go – for 4.5 syns it is really worth it – super cheesy and absolutely delicious! If you do green days I really suggest roasting some baby potatoes for with this and adding in some pan fried chilli sweetcorn and peas – winter time carb overload!

If you are a fan of my Slimming World recipe posts then make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss my next post – Christmas Dinner with all the Trimming Slimming World Style – 9 syns total if you can’t get the syn-free sausages and 4 syns total if you can – not bad at all!

I also have a couple of syn-free stuffing recipes which incorporate lots of superfree, and I will be posting that next week. If you use the syn free stuffing recipe in your Christmas dinner instead of the traditional bread one you can have your Christmas dinner for only 1 syn!

And if you want to have a totally syn free Chritmas dinner, you can make the syn-free onion gravy that I think everyone knows about? Personally I don’t like it as it’s too runny and I can never make it thicken up enough for my tastes, which is why I make my own for 1 syn.

Anyways, I’ll go into way more detail about everything in the next couple of posts. In the meantime try and keep away from that extremely tempting shortbread… I’m sure I can’t be the only one struggling to do that?

Big love,

Kiki x

Slimming World Chinese Spring Rolls…

I work very close to Camseng, the Chinese superstore in Belfast, so it is really easy for me to get hold of lots of super low syn Chinese food. The wrappers I used for these Spring Rolls are 1.5 syns each, I would normally buy the Wonton Wrappers, which are slightly smaller, but only 1 syns each, but they didn’t have any left. They are very cheap, around £1.50 for a packet of approx. 50 wrappers. With the big ones, you can stuff these with any ingredient you want… they are also really handy to layer in a tart dish and make goats cheese and roast tomato tartlets, yum! I also like to cook up some apples with sweetener and some nutmeg then fill the pastry and bake… you can use any fruit though, sometimes I use pear and apricot, which is delicious! I also want to mention the Tesco Value Raspberry Ripple Mousse… this is only 4 syns and tastes great with the fruit puffs I mentioned above.

You find all the wrappers in the freezer section and need to leave them out to defrost before use. They don’t keep very well when they aren’t cooked as you need to keep them moist, so I would normally make up as many spring rolls (or whatever I’m making with them) as I can, then throw out the leftover wrappers. There usually isn’t many left.

So here is the recipe for the Spring Rolls, each one is 1.5 syns each. I was in a bit of a hurry making these as I was on my second glass of wine and was feeling the need to munch, so these are not the neatest ones I’ve made and look more like little parcels than rolls, but they taste great all the same.

Ingredients:

Chinese Wonton/Spring Roll Wrappers
Bag of Vale Mixed Stirfry Veg
Frylight
Soy Sauce
Lazy Garlic
Lazy Chilli
Curry Powder

First thing first… open your wrappers and separate them, they are quite thin, so be gentle or they will tear. Dampen a clean tea-towel and open it out flat. Layer the separated wrappers on the tea-towel and then fold the tea-towel in on itself to cover the wrappers. This will keep them moist while you use them.

For handiness, I always keep a bag of Tesco Value Stirfry Veg in the freezer as you can cook it straight from frozen. You can add many other things to these wrappers – shredded duck, chicken and beansprouts, minced prawns or pork etc…

Get your wok on and add the frylight, lazy chilli and lazy garlic… then empty in the whole bag of veg…

Once the veg has started to cook, add the curry powder (as much as you want) and a splash of soy sauce…

Once the veggies are cooked it’s time to wrap… lay out one wrapper….

Place a spoonful of veggies in the corner of the wrapper… I’ve used a bit too much here, about half of that would have been better…

Wrap the spring rolls like this…

Lay them on a baking tray sprayed with frylight and put in the oven for approx. 15 minutes or until crispy…

I used too much filling in each of these which is why they didn’t wrap properly, it’s much easier to roll them with less filling. It’s also a good idea to drain off any excess liquid from the wok as the dried the veggies, the crispier the wrapper! Tuck in!

If you do make the sweet filled ones, serve them with some of the Tesco Value Raspberry Ripple Mousse…. it’s only 4 syns per tub and very tasty – I usually put one filled sweet pastry wrapper in a bowl and top with half of a tub of mousse – it’s only 3.5 syns (if you use one of the big wrappers)! You could even have second helpings!

Slim Rice…

I had read about this no calorie, no carb Slim Rice in the Daily Mail a few days ago, but only got around to getting a bag yesterday. Last night I used up the last of my Oh So Lean sauces, so I can’t wait until next week when I can get another delivery! I still have three chicken breasts left though so I think I will make some low syn chicken and stuffing rolls tonight or tomorrow, we’ll see how pressed I am for time today as I have an appointment for wedding dress fittings tonight and may not have enough time to cook them when I get home from work. It may just be a case of eating a couple of bananas while I take Turf a walk… multitasking at it’s finest!

So last night I wanted to use the Oh So Lean speed curry pot. It was the last sauce pot I had left from the family deal and so decided to make a chicken and veg curry with it and include the slim rice as well to bulk it out without the carbs and cals.

I had frozen the speed curry and left it out overnight and all day while I was at work to defrost… now I really don’t think I should have frozen the speed curry as when I tried to take it from the tub last night it had the consistency of a sponge, and I don’t mean the cake-y kind, and I couldn’t use it. It was my own fault really, but I’ll know for next time not to freeze it.

The Slim Rice didn’t resemble rice at all, it was more like noodles that had been cut up into little squares, but it really did bulk out my dinner and fill me up.

So without any further preamble, here’s my recipe for Chicken and Veg Curry with Slim Rice… this makes a lovely big portion for one person.

Ingredients:

One Chicken Breast (chopped)
Two cups of Mixed Veg (I use Tesco Value)
Speed Curry Sauce (mine went funny when I froze it so I had to resort to my usual Goldfish Curry Concentrate)
1 large onion
1 packet of Slim Rice

First chop the chicken….

Spray a pan or wok with frylight and brown off the chicken….

Chop an onion (I used red as I had run out of white)…

Add it to the pan with the chicken and let it soften…

Measure out two cups of frozen mixed veg and place in a microwavable dish. Add boiling water and cook on high for 3-4 minutes…

Drain and add to the pan…

Open the packet of Slim Rice and tip it into a sieve… rinse it well under cold water until the smell has gone – it has a bit of a fishy smell, but this is just the smell of the water preserving it, it washes off really quick and it doesn’t smell strongly in the first place…

Add to the pan and cook on a medium heat until everything is cooked and the Slim Rice is heated through…

Add the speed curry sauce… I had to use the Goldfish Curry concentrate as my speed curry had gone a bit strange in the freezer… do not freeze your speed curry sauce, lol!

Cook until everything is heated through and the Slim Rice has gone a bit mushy – this means it’s absorbed the flavour!

Serve and enjoy!

This really was very tasty and filling. I would use the Slim Rice again in curries, but also maybe in soups instead of lentils and as a thickener in stews instead of potatoes. It would also be handy to add to a shepherds pie or a chilli as it really does fill you up! I don’t know whether it would count as a free food, but at 15 calories for the whole pack and 0g of everything else, I would count it as 1 syn. It’s a filling food with no carbs. A true little diet helper!

First Recipe using Oh So Lean…

So I picked up my very first order from the Oh So Lean delivery van last night. I ordered the family deal for £25 which includes –

1 pie – I chose the chicken ham and stuffing (15 syns for entire pie)
1 two pack of beef burgers (syn free)
1 two pack of chicken burgers (syn free)
2 packs  of sausages – I chose the chicken curry and the pork and leek (both syn free)
1 pack of 5 chicken fillets
1 pack of rindless bacon
3 pots – I chose 1 pepper (2.5 syns for pot), 1carbonara (syn free) and 1 speed curry (syn free)

I thought this was a brilliant price for all that! All I need to buy in in my normal shopping this week is some fruit, bread, diet coke and frozen veg, which I can get for under £10! A total of £35 for a weeks grocery shopping is really excellent!

The first thing I used out of the Oh So Lean order was the Pepper Sauce. I made a Shepherd’s Pie with it last night – it had a total of 2.5 syns for the whole thing (as long as you use the cheese as a HEa), or 684 calories. You could easily split this into four and serve it the sweet potato wedges or slimming world chips and a big heap of free salad. I had half of it with my HEb of nimble bread – yummy!

Ingredients –

150g Quorn Mince
2 cups Value Mixed Veg
4 Value Onions
1 small butternut squash
25g Light cheddar cheese
1 pot Oh So Lean Pepper sauce – only 52 cals / 2.5 syns for the entire pot!
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I was so hungry buy the time I got home last night that I whizzed round the kitchen and had most of this recipe done before I had thought to take a photo….

So first I measured out 2 cups value mixed veg into a microwavable bowl and added boiling water. Put in the microwave for 3 minutes.

While that is in the microwave, peel and chop the butternut squash and chop the four value onions.

Tip the onions into a large pot coated in frylight and cook for a few minuted until softened.

Put the butternut squash in a pot with boiling water and cook.

Tip the veg into a colander to drain when it’s finished in the microwave.

Add the quorn mince to the onions. I used frozen so I let this cook for a little longer than I would if it was chilled.

Add the drained veg to the pot, then add the pot of peppered sauce (this is where I started taking photos!)…

Mix everything together in the pot and let the sauce heat for a few minutes before tipping it into a casserole dish…

Check that the butternut squash is cooked before draining and mashing…

Gently spread the mashed butternut squash on top of the mince mix and sprinkle with the cheese…

Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the cheese melts…

 Serve, eat and enjoy!

It was really very tasty! I ate half of it as soon as it came out of the oven, and it was very peppery. I split the other half into half again for today’s lunches, and when I heated it up some of the peppery spice had gone out of it, still delicious though! So if you prefer less pepper spice, cook it the night before or in the morning to reheat later. I wish I had ordered more of the peppered sauce and frozen it as I would use it quite a lot, it’s so tasty!

You can of course top the pie with potato (or sweet potato) mashed with parsnips and some healthy living cottage cheese with chives, this would made it a proper comfort dish… I just didn’t happen to have any of those in the house, so used up the butternut squash I did have – a bonus being that butternut squash is a superfree food.

Slimming World Chicken Curry with Vegetable Rice…

I count this as six syns because a normal chip shop/chinese curry sauce is classed as six syns, although it could be less than this. To be on the safe side though, count it as six!

This makes three servings – dinner for me and J plus lunch for me the day after!

Ingredients:
2 chicken thighs (skin, fat and bones removed) – I buy these in Tesco for £3.50 for approx. 5/6
value mixed veg OR value stirfry veg
value broccoli (optional)
Goldfish Curry concentrate (check out my Chicken Veg Curry with Noodles for a photo of this)
value long grain rice – 40p in tesco
4 small onions
First get your wok out, your kettle boiled and your rice cooker on (If you don’t have a rice cooker read the rice to water ratio on the back of the pack and use a large pot)
Next put your veg in with your rice. I used the value stirfry mix, value mixed veg and value broccoli – put an handful of each (or the veg you are using) in the rice cooker/large pot –
I used about a cup of curry concentrate… put it in a pot with some water…
Simmer until dissolved… you can always add more water to dilute it if its too thick….
Chop your chicken and onion and simmer together in the wok on a low heat… once chicken is cooked add the curry sauce and leave to simmer until the rice is cooked… you can see in the picture below that J sneekily added some peas to the chicken and onion, naughty naughty!
When the rice and veg is cooked, use a spoons to mix it all together…
Dish up the rice and veg into a bowl and put a couple of big spoonfuls of the chicken curry on top…
I gave J most of the curry sauce to try and save on some syns.
I’m not too great at writing out recipes and stuff, so I hope this is not to much of a jumble to follow. I am not too sure what is on the menu tonight in Casa del Wilkie/Johnston, but I will post a recipe shortly of the Butter Fish and Rice dish when I next make it. I will also be trying out some Oh So Lean goodies next week when they are delivering around the Bangor area and will review them on here.
Before the week is out I will do a super quick review of Governor Rocks in Donaghadee – sister restaurant to Coco in Belfast. I went there last Friday night with a girlfriend and had a wonderful dinner… but more on that later! Unfortunately we were having such a good time I forgot to take any photos of the food, so a quick recommendation will have to do!
This is quite a busy week for us, with house viewings tonight, bridesmaid dress fittings in Dublin tomorrow, a special Valentine’s dinner in Pier 36 on Thursday night, cupcake baking on Friday/Saturday and a bridal fair in the Clandeboye Lodge on Sunday. I’ll try my very best to squeeze in a few quick slimming world recipes that I’ve been cooking up – you don’t have to be bad just because you’re busy – and to also do the restaurant review before the weekend, and also show you all my new shoes, lol!