Mummy's Got A Muffin Top!

Slimming World from a sarcastic stressed-out Mummy's point of view!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Recipe - Syn Free Chinese Chicken Curry

There has been a bit of a hoo-haa in the Slimming Community lately. Iceland stock a range of Slimming World meals, meats, sauces and soups and they released a new, chip-shop curry style sauce. Queue people loading their trolleys with tubs and tubs of the stuff, and emptying the freezers literally the minute the stores opened. I wouldn't even be surprised if there was fisticuffs. Us slimmers are a greedy bunch. Anyway, most normal people (I.e. those not willing to loose a tooth in a fight for it) couldn't get any for love nor money, but Slimming World, either being naive or extremely clever, print the recipes for the meals on the boxes with the idea being you buy it once and then make it yourself the next time. So, I got hold of a pic of the recipe from a lovely lady in my group and had a go at making it myself. I adjusted the recipe slightly, added chicken and peas, and while it was runnier than I would have liked, it was good! This recipe easily serves two greedy adults, and let's face it, if we weren't greedy we wouldn't be here, would we...

To make Syn Free Chinese Chicken Curry for two people you will need:

  • one large onion or two small ones
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 or 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp chinese five spice
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 250ml water
  • 3 tbsp fat free natural Greek yogurt
Dice the chicken and brown in a pan. Roughly chop half the onion and blend in a food processor with the garlic and a couple of tablespoons of water until you get a smooth paste. Chop the other half of the onion and add to the chicken with the peas and onion paste. Cook for a few minutes then add the spices. Stir it all together and chuck in the soy, seasoning and water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Take off the heat for a few minutes before stirring in the yogurt and serve straight away.

I served mine with half rice and half cauliflower rice to get my speed in, and it was really tasty. I'm going to make it again, and try to get it thicker next time so I will update this post if I manage it. But it was tasty as it was, and mixed with the rice and cauliflower the sauce was absorbed. The original recipe suggest sweetener, but I left that out as we're now supposed to syn it, and it really didn't need it at all. You could SP it up by substituting yogurt for quark, and serving with just the cauli rice.

Any ideas for thickening it up? I'm not keen on adding smash as I don't feel like it does anything for the flavour. I could always syn a bit of cornflour I suppose!


Monday, 17 October 2016

Recipe - Syn Free One Pot Chilli Beef Bake

This recipe was a revelation to me. Who doesn't love a one pot recipe, yummy comforting food with only one pan to wash up after? Call me lazy but why use two pots when one will do? And I am seriously crappy at cooking rice, so bunging it all in the pot to cook together is a perfect option for me. If you don't have a pan that will go from hob to oven, get one. It's worth it, think of all the fairy liquid you'll save only washing one pot! This is the one I have, and it's big enough for stews and casseroles, boiling a chicken carcass to make stock and batch cooking huge vats of soup and bolognese for freezing.

To make Syn Free One Pot Chilli Beef Bake for 4 people you will need:

  • 400g lean beef mince
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 80g reduced fat cheddar (1/2 HEA per portion)
  • frylight
Frylight your pan and brown the mince and onion. Add all of the other ingredients apart from the cheese and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the rice is tender. Don't be tempted to stir too much as the rice will go stodgy but do check the liquid - it should all absorb but if it goes before the rice is cooked add a splash more water from a recently boiled kettle. Sprinkle the cheese on top and pop into the oven at 200/gas mark 6 until the cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Warning, this was volcanically hot so you might wish to let it cool for a few before serving. It made a huge pot and was really comforting. I mixed some yogurt in to cool it down for the kids, but it really wasn't overly spicy either. It was a bit of an experiment, but sometimes the chuck it all in and see what happens method pays off. Who says being lazy is bad for you?


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Recipe - Syn Free Chicken Supreme

Quark is a funny old thing, really. It's cheese, but not really cheesy. It's spreadable, but you wouldn't really want to spread it on your ryvita like you would with philly. It's not very tasty, to be honest, unless you tart it up wit a bit of garlic or some chilli like I have here. If you don't like it, or can't find it in the shops (most supermarkets now do their own version, even Aldi and Lidl have jumped on the Quark bandwagon) then when it's used to make a sauce like I have here it's perfectly interchangable with fromage frais or natural yogurt, just add it at the end so it doesn't split. If you want to stuff a chicken breast, or mix in some chocolate powder and pretend it's a mousse, only Quark will do. And you can eat it to your hearts content on an SP day, if that's the way you swing. Technically the mustard in this recipe is 1 syn, but since it's split between 4 it's negligible. If you want to be holier-than-thou, use mustard powder instead, which is free.

To make Syn Free Chicken Supreme for 4 people you will need:

  • 2 large or 4 small chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • tsp garlic powder
  • 4 lean bacon medallions, chopped
  • 300g mushrooms, halved
  • 100g Quark
  • 100ml chicken stock (I used half a cube)
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • frylight
In a large frylighted pan, soften your sliced onion with the garlic powder for about 5 minutes, before adding the chicken and bacon. Once the chicken is sealed, add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more. In a bowl, mix the quark, stock, mustard, parsley and salt and pepper and whisk with a fork to combine (if using fromage frais or yogurt, leave this out and mix in at the end). Add the sauce mixture and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice (or cauli rice for sadists SP followers) and speed veg of your choice.

I'm not a great lover of creamy sauces, I prefer tomato but, you guessed it, Mr MGAMT disagrees. But the mustard in this adds just enough of an edge for me. And of course, quark is a lot lighter than cream. If you use yogurt or fromage frais and it splits, don't worry, it will look like vomit but it's perfectly edible if you shut your eyes. If you want to make this veggie, I see no reason why quorn wouldn't work, just skip the sealing part and throw the sauce in with the quorn and leave out the bacon. Quark and quorn. Quackers.


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Recipe - Apple Pie Baked Oats

Ah, baked oats. My Non-cake, cakey friend. Really, baked oats are the closest I've come to an edible Slimming World "cake". Let's call a spade a spade because SW cakes are basically just sweet omelettes, aka eggy abominations. I'm not a fan. These baked oats are still oats and egg but seem less horrendous in terms of taste, maybe the texture of the oats adds something, I don't know. If you're a Slimming World purist, you should syn the apple as it's cooked, but Slimming World make it so blimming difficult to work out the syns for cooked fruit. The syn values on the website (as far as I can tell) are for the fruit once it's been cooked, so 100g or cooked eating apple is 2 1/2 syns. But for this recipe I used I small eating apple raw, then baked it with my oat mixture. So how the eff am I meant to work out the syns for that? It was definitely less than 100g, probably about 70g raw by the time I'd peeled and cored it, but then how much would that weigh once cooked? More, less, the same? Whoooo knows, who cares? If you're a Slimming World saddo purist, allow a couple of syns. If you, like me, couldn't give a rat's backside, enjoy your cooked apple!

To make one portion of Apple Pie Baked Oats you will need:

  • 35g oats (HEB)
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • cinnamon
  • 1 toffee mullerlight, or 125g fat free yogurt of your choice
  • 1 egg
  • sweetener to taste
Put your apple chunks into the bottom of a small oven proof dish and sprinkle with some cinnamon (just a sprinkle will do, or it's like eating christmassy sawdust). In a bowl mix the oats, egg, sweetener (about a tablespoon), a pinch more cinnamon and 90g of the yogurt. Pour on top of your apples and bake at 200/gas 6 for around 20-30 minutes, until golden on top. Serve with the rest of your yog and pretend you're eating cake.

I weighed in this morning, and over the last two weeks (with a very wobbly week thanks to illness and birthdays, and my new strategy of eating more for lunch) I lost 4lbs. Pretty pleased with that, hoping for 2 next week for my next award and shiny sticker to go on my book. I'd prefer an all you can eat chinese buffet as a reward but hey ho. It's the little things.


Monday, 10 October 2016

Recipe - King Prawn Carbonara

You know the saying, if it swims it slims (just don't tell Mr MGAMT or he'll get ideas) so I like to have fish a couple of times a week. Prawns are a great source of protein, very low fat and so handy to have in the freezer, and I was planning to have these with a ratatouille type sauce and pasta, until I dropped the passata and the carton exploded all over me, the kitchen and the baby. That was fun to clean up. So I had to think quick and came up with this instead, creamy yummy spaghetti and prawns all for 1 syn per serving.

 To make King Prawn Carbonara for 2 people you will need:

  • 200g raw king prawns, defrosted if frozen
  • 1 big clove garlic, crushed
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan (2 syns)
  • 2 tbsp fat free fromage frais or quark
  • black pepper
Cook the spaghetti for 10 minutes in boiling salted water. When the pasta's about halfway done, fry the prawns with the garlic until they're pink. Mix together the eggs, fromage frais or quark and parmesan until smooth and season with plenty of pepper. Drain the spaghetti, reserving a little of the cooking water and return to the pan but make sure the heat is off. Add the prawns to the spaghetti and then the egg mixture, stirring until cooked. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg and you'll be left with a smooth silky sauce - don't be tempted to turn the heat back on or you'll get scrambled egg. If you like the sauce a little looser add a splash of the pasta water. Serve with extra parmesan to sprinkle on top - 1 syn per 1/2 tablespoon.

Although I'm still finding orange splashes of passata in unusual places, I'm calling it a fortuitous accident because discovering this sauce works with prawns has been a revelation. You could also add peppers, courgette, onion or mushrooms when cooking the prawns to get your speed food in. I was too fed up by then thanks to the explosion!


Saturday, 8 October 2016

Recipe - Tandoori Chicken Kebabs with red onion pickle and yogurt mint sauce

I'm going to say this straight up and get it out of the way - this recipe contains a little cheat. I say that, it might not, but I'm not sure of the reasoning behind why pitta bread is not allowed as a Healthy B choice. If it's just because pittas are generally too big to be counted as a HEB, then as long as you syn the extra (as I did), it's fine. If it's because wholemeal pittas don't contain enough fibre, then you probably shouldn't do it, at least not too regularly. So, Slimming World Purists look away now, and please don't call the tweak police on me...

So, I have to say this dinner was bloody lovely. I'm not really one for a fakeaway as such, but I really enjoyed this, and even Mr MGAMT only said one negative thing about it, which makes a change. It uses your Healthy B choice, although technically it doesn't. Let me explain. I used a large wholemeal pitta to stuff my meat into, which isn't counted as a HEB. BUT my Slimming World bible says you can have 60g of any bread as your Healthy Extra B, which equates to 6 syns. So, as my Tesco Large Wholemeal Pitta comes in at 9 syns, I took off 6 and had a Tandoori kebab for 3 syns and a Healthy B. I hope that makes sense. If you want to make it simpler, use a B-Free wrap, Kingsmill sandwich thin or normal bread instead of the pitta, or save your HEB and just have chicken and salad, and maybe some Slimming World chips or summat. It's still just as good.

To make Tandoori Chicken Kebabs for two people you will need:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thigh filets
  • 4 tbsp fat free greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala powder
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • zest and juice of one lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • 2 wholemeal pittas (check syns and take off 6 to use as your Healthy B)
  • iceberg lettuce
  • cucumber
  • 1/2 red onion
  • salt
For the yogurt mint sauce
  • 2 tbsp fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp syn free mint sauce (I used Colemans Garden Mint Sauce, check syns on others)
  • salt
In a bowl mix the yogurt, tandoori masala, garlic, lemon zest and 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Remove all visible fat from the chicken and add to the bowl with the spice mix, and marinade for as long as you can. I left it for the afternoon, but half an hour is good if that's all you've got. Preheat your grill as igh as it will go, and lay the chicken out as flat as it will go. grill on high for 5-7 minutes each side - don't be scared to let the edges catch a little and go all charred and yummy. Meanwhile, slice your onion as thinly as you can (use a mandolin if you have one - carefully!) and put in a bowl with the rest of the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. This will create a sort of pickle and it absolutely delicious! Shred the lettuce and thinly slice the cucumber. Mix the ingredients for the yogurt mint sauce in a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Pop your pittas in the toaster for a minute or two, before slicing open and stuffing with salad, and the chunked up chicken once it's cooked. Serve with the yogurt sauce and lemon wedges. You could even wrap it all in a plastic bag for a few minutes before serving, if you like that sweaty kebab shop authenticity!

Seriously, so so good. I don't actually like the chicken kebabs from my local late night kebab empire, give me a dirty donner any day, but this I could eat over and over again. It will definitely be a regular in my meal plans. In fact, if I don't post anything for a while it's just because I'm eating this over and over again.

Slimming World Purists, you can syn the whole thing if you don't want to "cheat" with your HEB. But surely a little cheat is better than reaching for takeaway menu...


Thursday, 6 October 2016

Recipe - Syn Free Bacon, Onion and Potato Hash

I have been making an effort this week to eat more at lunchtime in a vague attempt to stave off the 4pm munchies. Lunch is difficult for me because I often don't eat breakfast until around 10am after school run and general headless chickening in the morning, and the baby has her breakfast at around noon so I'm not always terribly hungry by then. So I have something light (generally avoiding the potato/rice/pasta free foods) and then once I've picked the boys up from school I'm starving. This is when the picking starts. I'll start off with an apple, which is fine. But that's not enough so I'll grab one of the boiled eggs in the fridge, then half a pack of crab sticks, then syn a couple of ryvita with some cottage cheese, then have a mugshot and the other half of the crab sticks before diving headfirst into the biscuit tin. You get the picture. Anyway, this week I've been having a bigger lunch and it's not been quite so bad. This was one of the things I came up with and it was lovely and filling, and I didn't feel like I was looking for something else to have straight after.

To make Bacon, Onion and Potato Hash for one person you will need:

  • 1 baking potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 rashers lean bacon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • frylight
  • speed veg of your choice, to serve
Cube your potato into rough 1-2cm cubes (no need to peel). Pop them on a plate and microwave for about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, slice your onion and chop the bacon. Spray a frying pan with frylight and get it nice and hot. Chuck the potato in, season well and stir fry until they start to brown. Add the onion and then the bacon and continue to stir fry until cooked. You may need to add more frylight if things start sticking. Just before the hash is done, cook an egg to your liking (poached or fried with a runny yolk is my favourite), and serve the hash with your speed veg and the egg on top.

This was a great quick lunch, hot and filling and the baby had some too (without the salt) so it meant I didn't have to make two different meals. I might add peppers and mushrooms next time too. You could use chicken instead of bacon, or find a low syn sausage that doesn't taste like cardboard and disappointment. Hopefully my strategy of eating a bigger lunch will pa off at the scales next week, we shall see!

What are your lunchtime favourites?