Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Update - Ending 2014 Happy!

Sweets!!

Ta daa - I made my first batch of slimming world sweets.  1 syn for 15 sweets and this recipe made 25.  They are kind of harribo-ish but but not quite as you know they are jelly.

I bought myself some silicone sweet moulds from ebay which were pennies.

Add a sachet of sugarfree jelly and a sachet of gelatine to 1/4 pint of boiling water and mix thoroughly until disolved.  Cover the bases of the moulds with the jelly (about half way up the mould) you should be left with half of your jelly mixture.

Put the moulds in the fridge to set for 10 mins.

Whilst they are in the fridge, add half of a mullerlight yogurt to the jelly mixture and mix.  

Once the moulds come out of the fridge, top each one with the yogurt/jelly mixture, then place in fridge for 30-40 minutes to set.

You can use any combination of flavours you like.  I ate all 25 sweets one after the other which was a bit sickly but I think if I popped 15 in a tub and took to my work to nibble on throughout the day that would be just fine!

Enjoy X


Monday, 29 December 2014

Chicken Curry (syn free)

Quick chicken curry made with last night's left over chicken!

Fried off some onion, garlic, chilli and added a carton of Asda chopped tomatoes with chilli and pepper, 150ml chicken stock, tablespoon of curry powder (I used mild and found that hot enough as the chopped tomatoes have kick in them, but depends on your taste).  Simmered away and then mixed though a couple of tablespoons of fat free fromage frais at the end - was really tasty!

Prawn Fried Rice

Just as per the CHICKEN FRIED RICE recipe...but add tiger prawns! I also added some chilli flakes for an extra kick. Delicious!

Body Magic

Out for a lovely walk up the woods with my buddy Karen and our doggies.

Red Lentil, chickpea & chilli soup

Another lovely soup and another recipe from my mum. It's a nice thick soup with a pit of a punch,

2tsp cumin seeds
large pinch chilli flakes
1 onion, chopped
140g red lentils
850ml veg stock
200g canned chickpeas (drained)
400g chopped tomatoes
fat free fromage frais or fat free natural yogurt
frylight
salt/pepper to season

Blitz the chickpeas in a food processor until it's like a rough puree
In a large saucepan, dryfry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan.
Spray pan with frylight and add onion and cook for 5 mins
Add stock, tomatoes and lentils and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have softened.

Add the chickpeas and heat through for 5 minutes.

Whizz the soup with a hand blender until it is soup and season with salt and pepper.  I add Shwartz black & red pepper for an extra kick.

Serve with a dollop of fat free fromage frais or natural yogurt.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Cock-a-leekie Soup (syn free)

Love soup at this time of the year. Especially love this one. My Mum's recipe.
Pint veg or chicken stock
Couple of handfuls of rice
1 chicken breast diced
1 leek sliced
1 carrot sliced
Salt/pepper
Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to the boil and then let simmer for 30 mins.
I like too add Swartz red & black pepper for an extra kick.
Enjoy x

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Spaghetti Carbonara

Nice and quick...and easy! This serves 4 and works out at 4.5 syns per portion but would be free if using parmesan as HExA.

12 oz spaghetti (3oz per person)
3/4 cup of grated parmesan ( 12 tablespoons)
2 large eggs
4 rashers of bacon diced
1 clove crushed garlic
Frylight


Cook your spaghetti.  While it is cooking, dice up the bacon and fry until it is crispy.  Add a clove of crushed garlic. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the parmesan and set aside.  Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain and then mix through the bacon and egg mixture.  Season with salt/pepper and sprinkle some grated parmeson on top.


Prawn & Red Pepper Curry

My picture doesn't really do this much justice but this was really tasty. 

Serves 4 (1 syn per portion)

Sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch (3.5 syns)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
400ml chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon sweetener
2 tablespoons medium curry powder
2cm piece of ginger grated


1 large onion sliced
2 red peppers sliced

Prawns or meat of choice

Stir fry the peppers and onion in some frylight until soft.  Add the sauce and mix through for a few minutes.  Then add prawns and cook for about 5-10 minutes until warmed and cooked through.

Serve on rice - enjoy :)


Chinese Stir Fry Sauce

I've started making my own Chinese stirfry sauce just by adding different things I've noticed a lot of the recipes use.  This is so delicious and every bit as good as the kind of thing I would order from my chinese.

Serves 4 (2 syns per portion)

1 tablespoon cornstarch (3.5 sys)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon oyster sauce (2 syn)
2 tablespoon chinese shoaxing wine (2 syns) (or you can use dry sherry as apparently it's very similar!)
2 cloves crushed garlic
2cm piece of ginger grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of gound white pepper

Mix all those ingredients in a bowl and then add your meat - I used chicken - then leave to marinade for about 20 mins to 1/2 hour.

Stir fry whatever veg you would like - I just had some sliced peppers and onions.  Remove from pan. Stir fry your meat until cooked through and then re-add the vegetables and mix through.

Serve with rice and enjoy :)

Spaghetti &Turkey Meatballs

Another totes delish recipe which is becoming a firm favourite!  The meatballs are so soft because they are cooked in the sauce, but you could brown them first if you preferred. This recipe serves 4 and makes 8 large meatballs and works out at 2.5 syns per portion ( or 2 syns if you don't sprinkle some parmesan on top at the end)

To make the sauce
2 x 400g cartons of chopped tomatoes
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of sweetener
Freshly grounded pepper
Frylight
Fresh chopped basil (optional)


To make the meatballs
About 3/4 cup of fresh breadcrumbs (about 2 slices of bread) (6 syns)
1/3 cup (50ml) skimmed milk (1 syn)
1 egg
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese (1.5 syns)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove crushed garlic
freshly grounded pepper
350g lean turkey mince or lean beef mince


First make the sauce, I used cartons of chopped tomatoes with garlic and red pepper from Asda. Then I blitzed them as my two don't like lumps!  Grown lads and wont eat lumpy veg things!  Brown the crushed garlic in some frylight then add the chopped tomatoes.  Add the Italian seasoning, salt, sweetener and grounded pepper.

To make the meatballs:
Make fresh breadcrumbs made with 2 slices of bread - I blitzed my bread in the food processor to make my breadcrumbs.  In a large bowl add your breadcrumbs, then add milk (you might not need all the milk, you don't want the bread to be too wet), Mix that through the bread and leave to soak for a few minutes till it's all absorbed. Then add egg, fresh parsley, parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, crushed garlic, grounded black pepper.  Mix all the ingredients together first before you add the meat. Then add mince and mix through till all the ingredients are combined.  Split the mixture into 4 - each quarter is going to make 2 large meatballs.  Divide each quarter mixture into 2 and roll into a ball.  Mixture should make 8 meatballs.

Gently add to sauce and leave to cook for about 20 minutes.  Once cooked you can add some chopped basil if you like before you serve it.

Add to a bed of cooked spaghetti and sprinkle some parmesan on top.

Enjoy

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Banana Split

My attempt at a 'slimming world friendly' banana split.....banana (split in 2), chopped strawberries, fat free fromage free and some grated chocolate - so basically just banana & strawberries but somehow this tasted better - yum :)

Me

No weigh-in for me this week as I was away getting this done!  The blonde is gone!! I'm sure I must be lighter though with all that heavy hair chopped off!  

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Week 16

Well I ticked off another lb this week - so all is good.  I'd be quite happy to carry on losing 1 lb a week.  There was a lady in class who was so gutted as she thought she would get another stone award and was only lb away last week, but she maintained this week so was a bit peeved off.  People say 'oh I've only lost a pound' but sometimes losing a pound is so hard so I take nothing for granted now.  I was 1 lb away from my stone award a few weeks back and was sure I was going to get it the following week, well the following week I only lost 1/2 lb.  I was sure I was guaranteed it the next week - well I maintained!!  Then I wasn't at class the next week and finally the week after I got it - 4 weeks after assuming it was in the bag!  So it just goes to show that 'just a pound' isn't always that easy, so if I lost 'just a pound' every week I'll be more than happy! :)

It's getting colder now and the hall was quite chilly, I've been wearing the same clothes more or less each week so my weight doesn't fluctuate because of what I'm wearing.  I need to start wearing warmer clothes but they are too heavy! I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and just take the hit because it's getting too cold now lol

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Sticky Honey & Garlic Glazed Turkey Meatballs

Meatballs are not my favourite thing in the world but oh my goodness - such yumminess in a meatball!!

These are quite high in syns - the recipe makes 12 meatballs (but they are biggish meatballs about 1-1.5 inch in size) and by my working out, they work out about 1.5 syns each.  I had 4 and was stuffed!  You could reduce the syns by making slimming world tomato ketchup (I don't have a recipe for that, but I know there is one out there somewhere!).  Also if you were to use the milk and breadcrumbs from your healthy extra allowances this would also reduce the syn value.

For the meatballs....
500g lean ground turkey mince
1 x 25g slice of wholemeal bread made into breadcrumbs (2.5 syns)
1 egg
100 ml skimmed milk (2 syns)
1/2 onion finely grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
frylight

For the sauce
Frylight butter spray
4 cloves garlic crushed
8 tablespoons tomato ketchup (8 syns)
4 tablespoons clear honey (4 syns)
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (I couldn't find a syn value - so free?)
dash of tabasco sauce


Preheat your oven to 200 deg C.

To make the meatballs, add your milk and egg in a bowl and mix.  Add the onions, salt and breadcrumbs and mix.  Add the turkey and mix with your fingers until all mixed through.

Line a baking tray with foil and spray it with frylight.  Spoon the meatballs onto the tray.  I used an icecream scoop then rounded them.  Mixture should make 12 big meatballs.

Pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until browned and cooked through.  

To make the sauce:
Spray a pan with frylight butter spray and fry the chopped garlic for a few mins then add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 5 or so minutes to let it reduce.

Once the meatballs are cooked, spoon them into the mixture and roll them about to coat.  I coated half the meatballs at a time.  

Ready - yummy, yummy, yummy :) 


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheesy Bake

Cook the cauliflower & broccoli and drain.  Mix some fat free fromage free with some grated cheese and stir through the vegetables.  Sprinkle some grated cheese on top and season with salt & pepper then grill until browned and cheese melted. 

I used my HExA so worked out syn free :)

I had this with last night's leftover chilli chicken  and homemade wedges...yum!

Hash Brown

One great big massive hash brown...all for me! 
I potatoes and I Slimming World!

This takes 15 mins either side on medium-low setting on your hob - if you aint got 30 minutes to let it cook - don't make it.

Grate 1 large potato, squeeze out all the water and season well with salt/pepper - you could add a little grated onion if you like.  Then cook in a frying pan sprayed with frylight.  Spread it all out and flatten it all down and push in the edges to form it all together - and then leave it! 15 minutes - then after 15 minutes, spray the top with frylight again and then flip it over - then leave it for 15 minutes. Turns out nice and crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside.  

I had mine with some scrambled egg and beans - but there was no room to add it on the plate! :)

All syn free :)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Chilli chicken

Think I've just had one of my favourite SW meals ever....everything together was just so yummy and my kind of food!

Chilli chicken - easy peasy!

I used chicken breast fillets enough for 4 people

Marinade the chicken for a few hours or overnight in 6 tablespoons light soya sauce and 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce and some garlic and I also added some chilli flakes for a bit of a kick - then grill.

1syn per serving

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Week 15

Yay!  Happy, happy, happy!  FINALLY!!!  Oh my - how difficult it has been to get this, every week just a fraction closer, was beginning to think I was never going to reach it cause something always seemed to scupper my good intentions!  September was a particularly bad month for me as I had a lot on and beginning of October as I had a birthday and you've just got to enjoy haven't you!  Plus hubby was home - which I think hampered things for me. Don't get me wrong, he is very supportive and is behind me all the way, but he goes away for 5 weeks at a time so when he comes home, it's nice to do nice things and that normally means eating and drinking nice things!!  So he has gone back to work and I am off for 2 weeks holidays and I just seem to get on so much better, I can cook meals more suited to me and I am off out most days taking the dogs for nice big long walks in the woods so getting plenty body magic in, which definitely helps.  

The weight has came off quite slowly really as that's me been doing Slimming World for 15 weeks now and it's taken that long to get to this point, so on average you could say that I have only lost 1lb a week.  But to put a positive spin on it, I'd rather be the weight I am now 15 weeks on than be the weight I was 15 weeks ago.  So I now only have another 6 lbs to reach my 1.5 stone award - bring it on I say and let the battle commence!! lol

week 1  4 lb off
week 2  on holiday
week 3  on holiday
week 4  2.5 lb on
week 5  3.5lb off
week 6  3lb off (got my 1/2 stone award)
week 7  1.5lb off
week 8  2lb off
week 9  maintained
week 10 1.2lb off
week 11 ?
week 12 1lb off
week 13  maintained
week 14 ?
week 15 2lb off (1 stone award)

Friday, 17 October 2014

Twice Baked Potatoes

Love potatoes :)

Bake your tattie, cut in half, scoop out the flesh and mash it with some fat free fromage free, spring onion and some grated cheese.  Season with salt/pepper and spoon back into the potato skin.  Spinkle a teeny bit of cheese on top and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy.

Chicken & sweetcorn soup

Another quick and simple dish!  It's only 1 syn per portion and that's because cornstarch is added to thicken it.

Pint of chicken stock, 2-3 chicken breasts, spring onions, egg, garlic powder, salt/pepper

Cook the chicken in the stock, then shred the chicken.  Add creamed sweetcorn, spring onions and shredded chicken. Mix in the cornflour.  Drizzle in a beaten egg and mix.  I also mixed in about 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and some salt and pepper to season.

I drizzled some dark soy sauce on top and it was as simple as that! A really tasty bowl of soup!!


Potato Rosti

I love all things potato and especially love hash browns.  Proper american hash browns not the frozen creations you get here.  These are basically based on hash browns but instead of cooked in the frying pan they are cooked in muffin cases instead.  The ingredients are just grated potato (squeezed in a cloth to get rid of the water) mixed with grated onion.  Zapped in the micro for 2 minutes then mixed with salt and pepper and added to some silicon muffin cases, sprayed with frylight and cooked in the oven for 20-25 minutes - and they taste lovely - oh and they are syn free:)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Lemon Mousse (Syn Free)

I'm not really a dessert person but this was rather nice!  Kids liked it too.

Serves 4

Juice and grated rind of 3 lemons (I did cheat as I didn't have real lemons and just used 6 tablespoons of lemon juice)
6 tablespoons sweetener
4 eggs
1 tub quark

In a heatproof bowl mix your lemon juice, rind and sweetener.  Beat in the eggs.  Boil a small pan of water and sit your bowl on top.  Heat and mix until it thickens (custard like consistency) - this took me about 30 minutes.  Then add quark tablespoon at a time and mix.  Divide between ramekins and chill.  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Chicken Fajita Cous Cous

I made this with last night's fajita leftovers - but you could add anything you like to it.

It makes a quick and easy lunch!  I based this recipe on one from youtube by a great girl called swjunky - she has a great channel and lots of recipe ideas. Go check her out :)

Add your cous cous to a bowl and sprinkle in half oxo cube (I used chicken).  Add boiling water (just enough to cover it), mix through and cover for 5 mins.

Once all the water has been absorbed, fluff up your cous cous and mix in a bowl with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, crushed garlic or garlic powder, black pepper and some dried chilli flakes.

Voila :)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Prawn Curry

Super quick and super easy!  Totally syn free!  My kinda meal!

Serves 4

can of chopped tomatoes
4 cloves crushed garlic
2cm piece of ginger peeled and grated
2 tablespoons of curry powder (I used mild)
1/2 teaspoon of sweetener
500g prawns

Add all the ingredients except the prawns to pan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add the prawns and warm through for 5 minutes.

Voila!




Saturday, 4 October 2014

Week 13

Well, well, well - my stone award appears to be so hard to achieve at the moment!  I maintained this week!  Which is a positive thing I suppose as it means I didn't put on!  I was actually quite good for most of this week but I did go out for a meal for my birthday and had tapas, which although was small, a lot was cooked heavily in oil etc which wouldn't have been good.  Also dessert!!!  I'm not mad on desserts, I much prefer savoury food - but I couldn't resist when I saw it on the menu - Turkish Delight Cheesecake - oh it was yummy and the topping was so thick and chewy just like a bar of turkish delight.  So I did over indulge - but it was my birthday I suppose!! Surely I will get this stone award next week!!!

So - my progress so far....

week 1  4 lb off
week 2  on holiday
week 3  on holiday
week 4  2.5 lb on
week 5  3.5lb off
week 6  3lb off (got my 1/2 stone award)
week 7  1.5lb off
week 8  2lb off
week 9  maintained
week 10 1.2lb off
week 11 ?
week 12 1lb off
week 13  maintained

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Salsa

I'm not sure if it's a good thing when I make this as it just makes me want to grab the crisps to eat with it - but my hubby loves it :)

I just make enough for one ramekin type dish as I'm not sure how long a big quantity would keep for - but this is just enough for crisps and dip for me and hubby when we settle down to watch something on a Saturday night :)

2 tomatoes
1/2 red onion
Jalapeno pepper - I buy the jar of pre-chopped jalapenos and I only use 2 pieces and that is hot enough for us - but if you like em spicy - add more.
Salt to taste
Lime juice to taste
Cumin to taste
Tiny amount of sweetener

Blitz the tomatoes, onions and jalapenos in a food processor, then empty into a bowl.  It does go a bit frothy which I don't mind, but if you don't like your salsa like that just remove the insides from your tomato before you add it to the food processor.  Add some salt, sweetener, lime juice and cumin to taste - I find that I don't need much of it at all - so use sparingly and taste as you go along.

Garlic & Ginger Prawns

Yumsters!  I've made this with chicken too and it works just as nice, although I leave the chicken to marinade for longer.  It's so simple to make and most of the work is just in the preparation.  It works out at only 1 syn per serving.

Serves 4

600g Prawns
large onion sliced
200g broccoli florets thinly cut
1 carrot thinly sliced
8 spring onions sliced
2cm piece of ginger grated
handful of bamboo shoots
100ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

Marinade
6 tablespoons of light soy sauce
4 garlic gloves crushed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of cornflour

First marinade the prawns for 15 minutes.

Add frylight and stir fry the onions, then add the vegetables and ginger and stir fry for another couple of minutes.  Add the stock and cook for a few minutes - add the prawns and oyster sauce and cook for 5 minutes.  

Week 12

Well......after having 2 busy weekends lately I was not looking forward to stepping on those scales, but miraculously I lost 1 lb!!  I didn't have almighty blowouts but I was most certainly over my syns allowance and eating and drinking things that I really shouldn't have - so to actually lose something and not gain anything has made me very happy.  I did try hard since Monday to get back on plan and rein it in a bit which obviously helped.  So I am now just a pound away from reaching my first stone. This stone award seems to be taking forever to achieve!  I've been doing this for 12 weeks now and I suppose almost reaching a stone isn't very much to show for it - but I would rather be the weight I am now than still be at the weight I was 12 weeks ago...and I'm just going to keep going however long it takes.  Hubby goes away again this week for 4 weeks so I think I will probably do better whilst he is gone because although he fully supports me in my diet....it's hard not to over indulge and do nice things when he is home - which normally involve food and alcohol!

So - my progress so far....

week 1  4 lb off
week 2  on holiday
week 3  on holiday
week 4  2.5 lb on
week 5  3.5lb off
week 6  3lb off (got my 1/2 stone award)
week 7  1.5lb off
week 8  2lb off
week 9  maintained
week 10 1.2lb off
week 11 ?
week 12 1lb off

Friday, 26 September 2014

Vegetable Noodles

This is a very slurpy meal so next time I'm just going to bung everything in the one pot and just make it a soup - and add grated carrot rather than sliced - mainly cause it's easier for me to grate than to try and slice them up!

Serves 4 (syn free)

250g dried noodles
750ml chicken stock
3 garlic cloves crushed
2cm piece ginger grated
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon mild chilli powder
1 carrot cut thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper thinly sliced
2 spring onions finely chopped
handful bamboo shoots
1/2 onion sliced


Pour stock into pot and add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, five spice powder, chill powder - stir well and bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes.

Add all vegetables except spring onions and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Make noodles as per packet instructions and drain.  Divide into bowls then add stock & vegetables.

Then get stuck in!!

As I said it was a bit of a watery, slurpy meal - but next time I'm just going to bung everything in the one pot and just make it a soup!!  

Monday, 22 September 2014

Week 11

Oh, oh, oh, I've been a naughty girl and have had major blowouts and 2 weekends away - one being a hen weekend!! (say no more!!).  So I couldn't make class on Saturday but oh lordy I am dreading the next weigh in!  I know I'm going to be so disappointed when I stand on those scales!!  I did enjoy myself though and I can't let myself be guilty as this journey is a 'life long' one and not just a quick fix - there are going to be times when you just have to go with the flow and not get too hung up about it. I will try hard this week to getting back to focusing on the plan again...

So - my progress so far....

week 1  4 lb off
week 2  on holiday
week 3  on holiday
week 4  2.5 lb on
week 5  3.5lb off
week 6  3lb off (got my 1/2 stone award)
week 7  1.5lb off
week 8  2lb off
week 9  maintained
week 10 1.2lb off
week 11 ?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Week 10

Arrrrgh I seem to have hit a bit of a blip at the moment - this week I only lost 1/2lb.  I had been good all week then on the Friday night (night before weigh in I might add) I had one almighty blow out!! Why???  However, I'm not going to beat myself up about it - this month has been really busy with things on and next weekend is going to be even worse - I have a hen weekend!!  Life goes on and sometimes you just have to go with the flow and just try and cope the best you can!  So still 2lb to go until I reach my first stone - I'm not sure about hitting it next week but hopefully I'll get something towards it though.  I'll just keep chipping away - I'll get there when I get there! :)

So - my progress so far....

week 1  4 lb off
week 2  on holiday
week 3  on holiday
week 4  2.5 lb on
week 5  3.5lb off
week 6  3lb off (got my 1/2 stone award)
week 7  1.5lb off
week 8  2lb off
week 9  maintained
week 10 1.2lb off

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Roast Potatoes (Syn Free)

I saw this recipe on one of the slimming blogs I follow Vicki-Kitchen.  I love potatoes and miss having traditional roasters so was very intrigued when I saw how these were made.  They take a wee while but worth the wait :)

Oven needs to hot - gas mark 8 or 230 deg

Peel and chop your potatoes and par boil them in some salted water for 5 minutes, then drain.

Add potatoes to a roasting dish.

Make up some stock using an oxo cube. (I used chicken)

Pour in stock so that it's halfway up the potato.

Spray the tops of the potatoes with frylight.

Cook for 45-60mins until all the stock has been absorbed.  You might want to baste the potatoes half way through.

Enjoy X


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Week 9

Not much to report this week - I had a pretty bad week!!  It was 'that time' and I felt I was cramming junk down my throat like nobody's business - especially chocolate!!  I'm not a big chocaholic - except for when it's 'that time'.  What is it that makes us crave it so badly at certain times - I'm blaming hormones!!  So I am actually quite pleased to report that I maintained from last week which I am very happy with as I really was expecting a gain and would have had nobody to blame but myself!

Unfortunately I couldn't stay to class as my hubby came home after 5 weeks away and I had heaps to do before I went to pick him up.  Even better though - as soon as he gave me a big hug he noticed right away that there was less of me - so I'm very happy with that :)   He can't believe how well I've done so that's given me a right wee boost, not that I was struggling with the plan or anything, but it's just given me the determination for the week ahead.

So - my progress so far....

week 1  4 lb off
week 2  on holiday
week 3  on holiday
week 4  2.5 lb on
week 5  3.5lb off
week 6  3lb off (got my 1/2 stone award)
week 7  1.5lb off
week 8  2lb off
week 9  maintained

Friday, 5 September 2014

Chicken Fajitas (Syn Free)

Chicken Fajitas is one of my husband's faves and I used to groan whenever he wanted it as it was never one of mine and I used to just buy a jar or fajita sauce or the fajita seasoning and I could take it or leave it to be honest as a lot of them tasted quite 'smoky' or bbq-ish which I'm not that keen on.

So I had a bash at making my own seasoning and I am now a convert!  This works out totally syn free as I had mine with some rice cooked with a chicken oxo cube for flavour.  If you want to use a wrap then you will have to syn it but seeing as I'm trying to banish all bread type things from my diet I went for the rice and it was every bit as nice.  I topped it with fat free natural fromage frais with 2 nacho crisps/doritos but I didn't syn the crisps - as there were only 2!

This recipe serves 3-4
3 chicken breasts thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon cumin
1.5 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder/granules
0.5 teaspoon chilli powder (I used mild)
0.5 teaspoon paprika
0.5 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 half red pepper cut into thin slices
1 half green pepper cut into thin slices
1 half red onion cut into thin slices
fat free natural fromage frais (optional)


Mix the lemon juice and spices in a large bowl and add the chicken (I also sprayed the chicken with some frylight) and mix through until coated and leave to marinade.  I only left mine to marinade for 10 mins as I was super rushed and it still tasted really flavoursome after only just 10 mins.

Spray a frying pan with frylight and stir fry the chicken for 5-10 mins until browned and cooked through.  Set aside.  Add some more frylight to the pan and stir fry the onions and peppers for about 5 mins then add the chicken again and cook for a few mins.

I served mine with rice and a dollop of fat free natural fromage frais (oh and 2 doritos lol)

So delicious :)


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Instant Potato Pancakes (Syn Free)

Okay this is my second recipe involving instant mash (makes me shudder) - so now I'm getting worried as yet again - I enjoyed it!!

These were very simple to make and a nice change from having just potatoes or chips.

The recipe made 4 decent size patties - and I ate all 4!  

1 cup cold water
3/4 cup instant potato
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic granules/powder
1/2 tsp onion granules/powder
Frylight

Whisk together water, egg and all the seasoning in a large bowl.  Add the instant powder and mix until coated and the consistency of the mixture should be slightly thick (not thick like you could stand a spoon up in, but not a runny slop either).

Divide the mixture into 4 and make balls with each portion and then flatten out to make a pattie.

Spray a frying pan with frylight and add the patties.  Fry for about 10 minutes turning once or twice until brown and crispy.

These were about 1cm thick and were slightly crispy on the outside and soft inside, but if you wanted a more crispier pancake you could make them smaller and thinner.

Next time I might add a bit of spring onion to the mixture or some dried chilli flakes - you could add whatever seasoning takes your fancy!


Sunday, 31 August 2014

Chicken Chow Mein

This was a hot favourite at our taster day and I think it is every bit as nice as the real thing and what's even better is that it's all fresh ingredients and probably about 100% healthier than a takeaway version.

Serves 4
1/2 syn on Extra Easy

4 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp hot chilli sauce
2 tsp chinese rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
4 crushed garlic cloves
2cm piece ginger grated
1tsp chinese five-spice powder
3 chicken breasts diced/sliced
200g dried egg noodles 
frylight
bag of stir fry veg
spring onions
1 level tbsp sweet chilli sauce
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
chilli flakes


Mix together light soy sauce, hot chilli sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and five-spice powder.  Add the chicken and marinate for 10 minutes.

Cook the noodles as per the packet instructions and drain.

Spray a large wok or frying pan with frylight and add the chicken and stir fry for 5 minutes until lightly browned.  Add all the vegetables and stir fry for 5 minutes.

Add the noodles, sweet chilli sauce and dark soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes.  


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Garlic Dip (Syn Free)

No more Saturday night blues as I now have a recipe for garlic dip - and it's syn free!! Saturday night crisp and dip nights are back on!!

Kim our group leader brought it to the taster day today and I can't believe it's so easy and simple and really tasty!!  

Fat Free Natural Fromage Frais
Garlic Powder/Granules
Chopped Spring Onion

I just had a couple of tablespoons of fromage frais, shaked in some garlic granules to the required taste and added some chopped spring onions - simples!!

Week 8

Happy - 2lb off!!!  Which means I am only 2.5 lbs from reaching my first stone!  I really, really, REALLY want to try and get the 2.5 lb next week as my hubby comes home next weekend after being away for 5 weeks and has no idea of the weight I've lost.  He occasionally asks how it's going but I just play it down and thought I would leave it and see if he notices when he comes home - hope he does!!! lol.  Would love to have my 1 stone award to show him!!  So I'll be pulling out all the stops for next week.  Don't know if I can do it - but I'll certainly be trying hard!!

Today's class was fab!  It was 'taster day' and there were lots of yummy things on the table for us to all try.  I took along my syn free onion bhajis - I kind of hate taking things myself because 'what if nobody likes what you've made?' That would just be the worst!!  Luckily though they seemed to go down well!  Phew! I took a few recipes home with me and have a few ideas too to try out.  When I was in class I bought the new mag and also the Asian recipe book and the Curry recipe book - so I've got lots of goodies to try out but have no clue what to make first!!!

So - my progress so far....

week 1  4 lb off
week 2  on holiday
week 3  on holiday
week 4  2.5 lb on
week 5  3.5lb off
week 6  3lb off (got my 1/2 stone award)
week 7  1.5lb off
week 8  2lb off

I love this sign - I've actually never noticed it before, but I took the time to read things around me today while I was waiting and this is so true!! It's the sign at the 'weigh in' desk.  "Remove excess baggage" - that's totally me....off comes the ring, the shoes, the cardi - I even saw one woman a few weeks ago taking off her socks!! lol - it might come to that next week! haha

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Smash Pizza

Pizza!  Made with instant mash base!  Now I didn't think I was going to like this as anything with the words 'instant mash' just makes me shudder - but give this a go as I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

120g bag of Asda Instant Mash
250ml hot water
Garlic granules/powder
Dried mixed herbs
3 tablespoons passata
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tsp salt
black pepper
Frylight
Topping of your choice
25g grated cheese (5 syns or HeA - although it you are using your HeA allowance you are actually allowed 30g)



Add the instant mash to a large bowl and add in about a 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and dried herbs.  Add water and mix till becomes dough mixture.  Kneed a few times to mix it all in.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and spray paper with frylight.  Add the dough mixture and begin to flatten it out with your fingers then with a rolling pin until it's about dinner plate size.  It won't stay round by the way and will be very uneven around the edges!

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes (at around 200 deg C), then turn over and cook the other side. (Turning over was a bit of a scutter but I placed another sheet of baking paper (sprayed with frylight) on top and then flipped it over and then peeled the paper off it rather than trying to peel the pizza base off the paper).

Whilst the other side is cooking, make your pizza sauce.

In a bowl mix the passata, tomato puree, salt, pepper, garlic powder and mixed herbs.

Once the other side of your pizza is cooked, add the sauce and toppings of your choice and cook for roughly 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.


It turned out quite tasty and I will def make this again!  I don't think I will add as much cheese next time as I'm not really a 'cheesy' person and to be honest it didn't really need it, the base itself has enough flavour in it. I made it for myself but the whole thing was far too big for me to eat on my own - half the size would have been more than enough!  Maybe my stomach is shrinking!! haha (I wish!!)

Syns?  I don't really know.  Some say if you are having it as your main meal then it's fine (obviously allowing for the cheese) but if not it's classed as a 'tweak' and the instant mash has to be synned.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Macaroni Salad

This is delicious - I'm not a fan of mustard so didn't think I would like it but how wrong was I??!!  The recipe is from 'Eat Yourself Skinny' and I have adapted it only very slightly and really only slightly in that I only substituted the chopped peppers and celery for some cucumber and tomatoes. 

I really had to try and figure out the syn value per serving - but roughly speaking the entire weight of everything combined was just over 900g - so for a 100g serving it worked out at about 2.5syns if using light mayonnaise and 1.5syns if using extra light mayonnaise and that was me over estimating.

250g dried macaroni
10 tablespoons of light mayonnaise 20 syns or extra light mayonnaise (10 syns)
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (1 syn)
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
2 tablespoons of artificial sweetener
1 teaspoon salt
ground pepper
1 red onion chopped
1/2 large cucumber chopped
3 tomatoes chopped

Cook the macaroni, add the mayo, vinegar, dijon mustard and mix.  Add the sweetener, salt and pepper and stir through - add chopped ingredients and mix.

Refrigerate for about 4 hours before serving - or overnight.

Sticky Chicken

I've seen this on quite a lot of different Slimming World forums.  It's very quick and easy - which I love!

Serves 4 (2 syns per person)

3-4 chicken breasts diced
3 level tablespoons honey (7.5 syns)
3 level tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
3 level tablespoons light soy sauce

Stir fry the chicken with frylight until browned.

Mix the sauces together in a bowl and add to the chicken and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens.

Tasty enough but I think next time I might add some chopped garlic and some dried chilli flakes to give it a bit of a kick.

Done!!

Onion Bhaji (Syn Free)

I saw this recipe online.

These were a triumph and will definitely be making them again!

1 packet of Bachelors curry rice (cooked)
1 can of Asda Chickpea Dahl
2 eggs (beaten)
2 onions (finely chopped)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp mild chilli powder 

Preheat your oven to 200 deg C.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and divide into muffin cases - mixture should make 12. 

Cook for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.  The recipe said to cook for 15 minutes but mine weren't cooked and took about 60 minutes - so I cooked until browned and cooked through. 

Also lovely cold served with a salad :)

Crisps!

I am in crisp heaven!!  Crisps are my favourite thing to nibble on and low and behold I've found a Slimming World friendly recipe!!

Peel a potato then cut in half - then very thinly cut into slices.  I have a peeler that allows you to 'shave' the slices.  Spray some baking paper with frylight (or a microwavable plate) and arrange your slices being careful not to overlap.  Spray the slices with frylight and pop into the microwave for 2-3 minutes.  I cooked mine for 2 minutes then in 10 second intervals after that as even 10 seconds too long burned them to a crisp (pardon the pun!).  Then when they turn golden brown and crispy lift them off the paper onto a plate and allow to cool. If they are still a bit soggy to the touch then try another 10 seconds. Season with salt or seasoning of your choice!

I have read various posts online as to whether these are syn free or not.  Potatoes are free on Extra Easy BUT seemingly because you are having them as a snack and not a bulky 'potato dish' they need to be synned!


SYN ALERT Update!! Yes they do need to by synned - classed as a 'tweak'.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Week 7

Lost another 1.5 lbs this week - delighted as this now takes me down to a new 'stone' number!!  My weight loss so far is 9.5lb and I only have to lose another 4.5 lbs to reach my first stone.  I say 'only' but as we all know sometimes even losing a lb is so hard to do.  I'm not in any real rush though, I'm happy with whatever I lose each week as it's still a step in the right direction and I'll get there when I get there....

I'm really enjoying Slimming World and really enjoying the food and finding it such an easy plan to follow.  I'm keen to try and find new recipes so I don't get in a rut and become bored as a lot of the foods I have are quite 'samey' so I've been browsing online and on youtube and have a few that I'm going to try out.  It's taster week next week in class so hopefully I'll have discovered something nice this week that I can make and take along and hopefully I'll see something nice next week at class which will be nice and tasty to make.

So - my progress so far....

week 1  4 lb off
week 2  on holiday
week 3  on holiday
week 4  2.5 lb on
week 5  3.5lb off
week 6  3lb off (got my 1/2 stone award)
week 7  1.5lb off


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Chilli con Carne

Love this.  I make a batch of it and then divide it up and freeze for using during the week.

This is a Slimming World recipe but I altered mine slightly - I added a carton of chopped tomatoes instead of actually chopping up tomatoes, added a tablespoon of tomato puree and instead of kidney beans I added a can of Asda Chilli beans (syn free) which gives it a bit more of a kick - oh and I didn't bother to add the peppers.
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 fresh chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 green pepper and 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 300ml beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400g tin of red kidney beans

Spray a pan with frylight and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft.

Add mince and cook until browned.

Add chillies and spices and fry for a few minutes

Add peppers, tomatoes and stock, stirring well and bring to the boil.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes then add the kidney beans and cook for 5 mins.

Serve with rice.


Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

This is lovely and I had this for my lunch almost every day this week!  I had to add rice to mine as I had no noodles, but was equally as nice. Really easy to make too which is always a big thumbs up in my book!

Ingredients:

1 pint chicken stock using 2 chicken stock cubes
2 sticks celery finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove crushed garlic
1 carrot finely chopped
1 chicken breast diced up into small pieces
1 teaspoon turmeric
60g dry noodles chopped 
salt and pepper to season


Throw everything in a pot and bring to the boil.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the noodles at the end.

This is also nice with a squeeze of honey added in at the end (but remember to syn it!)