Monday, February 12, 2018

Lime and Ginger Cod with Giant Couscous

Lime and Ginger Cod with Giant Couscous is a recipe that I have been fiddling with for a couple of weeks. The cous cous was delicious first time, but the marinade for the cod needed some work. It was just a touch too much on the citrus side and needed a wee bit of sweetness to balance it out.

I'm a huge fan of lime and ginger. It's one of my favourite flavour combinations. I have used it with turkey steaks for a long time so, one day when I was pondering how to jazz up cod fillets, I thought why not? The problem is that cod is such a delicately flavoured fish that the lime overwhelmed it a little. A teaspoon of honey did the trick and took the edge off the sharpness. Honey, lime, ginger and some chilli flakes worked really well as a marinade.

Having the cod with couscous is a welcome change from rice. I absolutely love giant couscous (sometimes called Israeli couscous). In this recipe, it's combined with tomato, peppers, onion and garlic. I like it served with this fish, but it would make a nice side-dish to a lot of different recipes.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

A white bowl of beef stroganoff with rice

Last week I made beef stroganoff, something I haven't eaten for years. I had mushrooms leftover in the fridge and was looking for inspiration on what to use them for, when I remembered stroganoff. The first time I ever had it was at a friend's house when I was a teenager and I remember being very worried when they told me that's what we were having. It sounded strange and unfamiliar! I needn't have worried- it was creamy and delicious. 

Beef Stroganoff is a rich, creamy stew, originally from Russia. The main thing that most people associate with stroganoff is mushrooms, but they weren't in the traditional Russian recipe. It was all about the beef! My slow cooker version of beef stroganoff uses beef stewing steak, onions and mushrooms with beef stock, paprika, thyme and sour cream. I also use a little onion powder but if you don't have it, don't worry, it's not essential.

It's a very simple recipe and perfect served with rice. It's apparently also quite popular to serve over jacket potatoes and, for some reason, in America they love it with egg noodles. My husband is keen to have it with mash, so it seems that it must go with almost anything!

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff can be syn-free on Slimming World if you switch the sour cream for Philadelphia Extra Light and use it for your Hex A.

Pinnable image- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Valentine's Treats

I have rounded up 10 delicious, Valentine's Day treat recipes from fellow food bloggers, that are perfect for finishing off your meal, sending into school or making with the kids. If you need a Valentine's Day treat or dessert idea, you're sure to find one is this list. Read on!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Quick and Easy Garlic Mushroom Linguine

Garlic Mushroom Linguine pinnable image

So here we are with another Meat free Monday recipe- Garlic Mushroom Linguine. If you're looking for vegetarian recipe inspiration, pasta is always a good place to start. Creamy, garlicky pasta is an even better place to start!

I'm quite a fan of mushrooms. They are so quick and easy to cook and there are so many tasty types to try- Button, Chestnut, Porcini, Shitake, Oyster, Portabello, even woodland varieties. The best thing about mushrooms for me though is how perfectly they are complemented by garlic. They just belong together! 

This recipe for Garlic Mushroom Linguine ticks so many boxes for me. It's quick and there's very little prep and absolutely no fancy cooking skills, so it's super easy as well. I prefer to make it with a few different varieties of mushroom for more flavour and texture, but if you've only got a few standard white mushrooms knocking around your fridge, you can still make a delicious meal. I used button, chestnut and woodland mushrooms this time. Combined with the onion, garlic (lots of garlic), thyme, veg stock and cream cheese, you get a delicious sauce to coat your linguine. If you're just not in the mood for pasta, you could make the exact same sauce and pour it over chicken breasts and serve with potatoes or rice. Also delicious!

This recipe is syn-free on Slimming World if you use reduced fat soft cheese and spray oil.

Garlic Mushroom Linguine pinnable image

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Vegan Chickpea Burgers

Pinnable image of two vegan chickpea burgers in buns

If you had told me a few months ago that I would be making chickpea burgers and putting them on the blog, I would have laughed! But here I am, sharing an easy recipe for chickpea burgers with you now.

In my effort to eat one vegetarian meal a week (Meat-Free Monday) I have been looking at ideas for protein-packed, filling meals. Chickpea burgers fit that bill perfectly. We weren't entirely sure whether we would love them, but they were absolutely delicious and we were definitely full afterwards. Once again, my Meat Free Monday recipe is not just vegetarian, it's accidentally vegan too!

The key thing to get right with chickpea burgers, is flavour. Don't get me wrong, I love chickpeas. I'd happily drown myself in a vat of houmous any day, but where they really work is when they are complemented by the right flavours. For these Vegan Chickpea Burgers, I use a combination of garlic, lemon, smoked paprika, cumin and chilli powder; Just enough chilli powder to make you notice but not so much as to make them truly spicy.  You could add a lot more spice if you want to go down that road.

You won't find that chickpea burgers hold together quite as well as meat ones. They just aren't as firm and will need more delicate handling. To help hold them together, make sure you drain the chickpeas and the sweetcorn really well and don't skip the step of putting them in the fridge to set!

Pinnable image- photo collage of vegan chickpea burgers

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chilli

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chilli pinnable image

We are still in New Year's Resolutions territory, as it's early January, and our household has decided to reduce our meat consumption a little and see if we can make Meat Free Mondays work for us. I'm happy to eat vegetarian food; there are lots of delicious options and once a week seems achievable, especially as I will need to come up with some new recipes.

My first Meat Free Monday vegetarian recipe is Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chilli. Mondays are often very full on, so quite a few of these recipes might end up being slow cooker ones!

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chilli is almost identical to a traditional chilli but with chickpeas to replace the beef mince. It's packed full of kidney beans, red pepper, onion and butternut squash, along with the chickpeas. It's also a vegan and gluten free recipe! I won't pretend that was intentional, more like pure accident!

I used smoked paprika to give the chilli some extra flavour along with the chilli powder. Veg does tend to take up the heat of spice quite strongly, but I like that, so I am happy to go with hot chilli. When you make it for yourself, choose the level of chilli that you're comfortable with and remember it will get hotter overnight, if you make it ahead of time.

It's an incredibly easy recipe. I simply prepared the veg and popped it all in the slow cooker the night before, put it on timer and came home to delicious smells! The ultimate in convenience.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chilli is syn-free on Slimming World and is around 315 calories plus rice. 60g of basmati rice will bring it to 535 calories.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chilli pinnable image collage

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Eight Syn-Free Slimming World Friendly Meals for Winter

We're several steps into the new year now (Hello 2018), the kids are back at school, and inevitably a lot of us are thinking about how to get back on track with a healthy diet. New year, new you and all that. The trouble that I have with this, is simple. It's winter and it's dark and it's cold! I want to eat warming, filling, comforting food. Luckily, there are loads of amazingly creative, healthy recipes out there which are exactly that. No need to be eating sad-looking out-of-season lettuce leaves- there's plenty of yummy to go around.

I have rounded up eight delicious, filling dinner recipes from fellow food bloggers that are perfect for anyone looking to balance out the Christmas indulgence with some healthy meals. All the meals in this healthy recipe round-up are syn-free on Slimming World, if that's the method you are using, but they are also calorie friendly- all the recipes are under 400 calories. So, if you use MyFitnessPal or a similar app, like I do, they'll work for you too.

Scoot through the list of syn-free and lower calorie recipes below and you are sure to find at least one that gets your taste buds going. There's syn-free, calorie-friendly fish, chicken, lamb, pasta, rice, curry, slow cooker, vegetarian, vegan recipes and more. See the guidance in italics for any adaptations that need to be made and to find the calories. Click on the recipe name to launch the full ingredients list and recipe. To find more recipes by any particular blogger, click on their name.

Give one of these delicious low-calories meals a try today!

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