Chilli Con Carne

Haven’t shared a Slimming World friendly recipe for a while, so I thought I might as well post this one as I haven’t made this in such a long time and this is not in my recipe list!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I have been having some major house building work done since March this year and we have been without a kitchen all this time. Cooking has been extremely difficult! So this is how we have been coping. We have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. We turned the smallest bedroom (hubby’s office) into our kitchen with a table top electric hob, a small fridge (big enough just for the essentials like milk, cheese, butter), a microwave, slow cooker and my trusty Tefal Actifry. My youngest daughter’s bedroom has been turned into our living room. We moved her bed and most of her furniture away so we could put the sofas and TV there. Luckily we had our loft conversion done a couple of years ago so we gained two bedrooms and a bathroom there so all the kids (I have 3 daughters) share that space. Our main bedroom is also hubby’s office for the time being.

I have to admit the work has taken much longer than we anticipated, we did have a few problems along the way which delayed the work but it looks like it will be end of September/ early October before we can start using the downstairs space again and I cannot wait!

I can’t wait to share with you once it is complete, in the meantime, if you are on Instagram please follow me on there for my house renovation updates and other bits and bobs about me on @Rahema_m.

Anyway, back to the recipe! Hope you enjoy this simple chilli recipe. We had it served with boiled rice topped with cheese and jalapenos, but it is lovely on a jacket potato too. As always, if you make this or any other recipes featured on my blog, feel free to tag me in your creations. I love seeing your versions of them x

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 60 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Tin red kidney beans
  • Spray oil

Method

Spray a pan with spray oil of your choice and fry the onions until soft with the cumin seeds. Add hot water to the pan if needed to stop the onions from sticking to the pan.

Add the garlic, chilli flakes, paprika, ground cumin and mixed herbs. Stir well and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the mince and brown it off on a high heat. Crumble the stock cube over it and mix well. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and cook the mince on a low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain and rinse the red kidney beans and stir them into the mince and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add some water to the mince if it is too dry and season to taste.

Serve with plain boiled rice.

Bulgur Wheat Salad

I love bulgur wheat and this is a very easy to make recipe. It is perfect for a picnic, lunchboxes or a side dish. You can add any fillings of your choice and change the herbs if you prefer. 40g of feta cheese is a healthy extra A choice, so bear that in mind when adding your cheese. As always, feel free to tag me in your creations. I love seeing my recipes recreated.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE, when using cheese as part of your healthy extra A choice

Time Taken: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgur Wheat Salad

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1 oxo vegetable cube
  • Diced red onion
  • Diced cucumber
  • Diced pepper
  • Tin of chickpeas (drained)
  • Chilli flakes
  • Chopped fresh parsley and coriander
  • Feta cheese

Method

Put the bulgur wheat in a pan with the boiling water and crumble the oxo cube to it. Cook on a low heat, covered, until all the water has evaporated and the bulgur is cooked.

Whilst the bulgur wheat is cooking, prepare and your veg and herbs you want to add to it.

Once the bulgur is cooked, use a fork to fluff up the grains and let it cool completely before adding the veg and herbs.

Mix through some feta cheese and season to taste

Fish & Coconut Curry

A really simple and easy curry to make – I normally use frozen basa fillets (I let it defrost before using). The syns in this recipe come from the coconut milk, please check the syns if you use a different brand. I get the coconut milk tins from B&M Bargains (4 for £1 – a real bargain!) and it is just the right size. Each tin is only 7 syns, divided by 3 of us works out at less than 2.5 syns per serving. I used to buy the bigger tins of coconut milk and only use half a tin and throw the rest away, so I’ve stopped doing that. This curry is lovely served with coconut rice if you don’t mind using more syns.

Serves: 3

Syns: 2.5 syns per serving

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Fish & Coconut Curry

Fish & Coconut Curry

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g passata
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 1 veg oxo cube, crumbled
  • 165ml tin Full Moon coconut milk
  • Firm white fish fillets

Method

Spray a pan with plenty of syn free spray oil and cook the onion till lightly golden. Add hot water if the onion starts to stick to the pan.

Add the chopped garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the fenugreek leaves, curry powder, crumbled up oxo cube and passata and cook the spices down for about 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and the fish fillets and cook on a gentle heat. Try not to stir the fish too much or you’ll end up with broken pieces. Instead, gently shake the pan when you need to.

Served with boiled basmati rice and a speedy salad.

Banana & Date Smoothie

I know a lot of people usually struggle to eat Suhoor (pre dawn meal during Ramadan) so here is a recipe that although is quite high in syns. it is still within the recommended daily syns allowance. I like to use unsweetened almond milk for this recipe for a nutty flavour but you can use any other milk of your choice. Just remember to check what the health extra allowance is for the milk you’re using. Top tip: try to use the ripest banana you have as this will make the smoothie even sweeter without having to add any extra syns for sweetening the smoothie.

Banana & Date Smoothie

Banana & Date Smoothie

 

Serves: 1

Syns: 13 syns plus part of healthy extra A choice

Time Taken: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana, chopped
  • 3 Medjool dates
  • 200ml unsweetened almond milk
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

Remove the pit from the dates and mix all the ingredients together. Serve immediately.

Cajun Chicken & Orzo

A simple dish ready in minutes and it is great cold too. This is lovely topped with some feta cheese as part of your healthy extra A choice. I topped mine with green chillies and cherry tomatoes.

Cajun Chicken & Orzo

Cajun Chicken & Orzo

 

Serves: 2

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, diced in small pieces
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. tomato puree
  • Fresh parsley and coriander to taste, chopped
  • seasoning to taste
  • 250g orzo pasta

Method

Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water for around 9 minutes. Once cooked, drain the water (reserving some for later) and cool the pasta under cold water to stop it from sticking together whilst you cook the chicken.

Spray a pan with plenty of syn free spray oil of your choice and cook the onions for around 5 minutes till they start to golden. Add a little hot water if the onions start to stick to the pan. Add the garlic and the carrot and mix well. Cook until the carrot has softened slightly.

Add the diced chicken, Cajun seasoning, paprika, seasoning and chilli flakes (if using). Mix the chicken with the spices well.

Add the tomato puree, mix and let the chicken cook for around 15 minutes (cook for longer if your chicken pieces are bigger). Add some of the reserved water from the pasta to the chicken to stop it from drying out. Add the peppers in the last couple of minutes of cooking together with the parsley and coriander. Cook for another couple of minutes before adding the cooked pasta and mix it all well together.

Cinnamon French toast

Fancied something different for breakfast this morning so decided to make some French toast, all syn free when you use the bread as part of your healthy extra B choice and the milk as part of your healthy extra A choice. I topped it with fresh berries but you can use anything you like – jam, fromage frais, honey etc. just remember to keep track of the syns you add. Enjoy x

Serves: 1

Syns: FREE, using healthy extra choices

Time Taken: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Cinnamon French Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread (from a 400g loaf)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tbsp sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

French toast ingredients

Method

Beat the eggs with the milk, sweetener and ground cinnamon.

Place a slice of bread in a shallow plate and pour half the egg mixture to it. Let it soak for a minute and then turn it around to soak the other side. Repeat for the other slice.

Spray low cal cooking spray oil to a frying pan and cook each slice of bread at a time for around 2-3 minutes on each side.

Serve with fresh fruit or any other toppings of your choice.

Piri Piri Chicken

This piri piri marinade can be used with fish, meat or even cheeses such as haloumi or paneer. We like to serve this with chips and salad but if you prefer rice instead, have a look through my previous recipe here. I usually leave the chicken pieces to marinade for a few hours before cooking, but if you don’t have much time, leave it to marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Piri Piri Chicken Nibblets

Piri Piri Chicken Nibblets

 

Serves: 4

Time Taken: 25-40 minutes, plus marinade

Syns: FREE

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg chicken nibblets, skinless
  • 1tbsp Schwartz piri piri seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Season to taste

Method

Put all ingredients together in a bowl apart from the chicken, and mix well. Add the chicken to the marinade and ensure all the pieces are well coated. Place them in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

If you have an actifry, place the chicken pieces in the actifry (a few batches at a time) and cook for around 25 minutes. Alternatively, spray your chicken pieces with 1cal spray oil and place them in a pre heated oven, gas mark 6 for around 40 minutes, turning halfway.

Masala Chips

These have got to be the best masala chips I’ve made so far! Really simple to make and very low in syns too. I normally cook my Slimming World chips in the actifry but if you haven’t got one, you can make them in an oven too. Click here for the chips recipe.

Serves: 2

Syns: 1 syn per serving

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 3 baking potatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp water

Method

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients (apart from the potatoes) to make your masala sauce. Keep aside till needed.

Cook your chips. In the last 5 minutes of your chips cooking, take them out of the oven/actifry and mix into the masala. Pop the chips back into the oven/acyifry to finish cooking.

Running Alone

I did it! I went out to run on my own outside today. I received a few messages yesterday from people who suggested starting at a park to build my confidence up and that really helped. It didn’t seem so daunting running in the park. It was a cold morning and I set out later than I had hoped to be out by, but I didn’t back down! I set the timer for 30 minutes on my phone and launched the Strava app to record the length of the run. I must admit, even though I only did 30 minutes it felt a little boring running around the park. I just kept going round and round! I did 4.4km in that time which I was happy with.

First run statsI’ve signed up for Park Run (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/) this Saturday and hope I will get a good time for 5k. This will be my first ever proper timed run. I have done Race for Life (https://raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org/) in the past but I normally just walk, never attempted to run!

I really want to try and do a different route tomorrow even though I am really nervous to go out on the roads. I might have to go super early when there aren’t many people outside! It sounds pretty stupid right? Grown woman like me nervous to go outside to run. I don’t know what’s stopping me. Maybe I feel I will get judged for running because I wear a headscarf? I know it is silly, most people are probably too busy going about their day to notice but I think that is my main fear. Anyhow, I’ve got today to sort myself out and plan a route before I attempt going out tomorrow morning. Wish me luck guys! x

strava map

 

 

 

2019 Resolutions

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I don’t normally do Resolutions but with so much that has happened over the last year or so, I thought I’d make a bigger effort this year to smash the goals I’ve wanted to set out but have been too afraid/lazy/not bothered in the past.

Blog more – I have a few go to recipes that I have shared on here but I would love to include a lot more content on this website that is not all necessarily food related or Slimming World. Let me know what you would like to read more of.

Stop comparing myself to others – that is one main issue that I struggle with. Social media is great to interact with others and see what others are up to but I have on so many occasions felt I was not doing enough after seeing other’s posts, feeling like I’m falling behind. I must stop this as it really affects not only my mental health but it affects the loved ones near me. I have seriously doubted myself in the past because I felt I was not as good a mother as I could be, I felt I didn’t have the right clothes or went out enough when compared to others. It was pretty stupid to be fair thinking about it now. I intend on taking more breaks from social media.

Running – I fell in love with a new passion towards the end of 2018. Running! Who knew I could enjoy it as much as I did. I must admit I am not exactly a marathon runner but the little jogging that I do makes me feel so good at the end of it. This year I am going to work on building the courage to go outside to run on my own. I love to run when I am with the running group but the days I don’t meet up with them I try to fit a run at home on the treadmill and it is just not the same! I almost went outside this morning, I opened the front door and was all set up to leave the house and backed out 🙁 I turned around and used the treadmill instead. Maybe if you are a runner you could give me some tips on how I can build my confidence to go out on my own?

Healthy lifestyle approach – lately old habits started to creep up back up again and my approach to diet is all or nothing! I need to get back to the mind set that this is a healthy lifestyle change and if I have a bad meal or bad day/days it doesn’t mean I’ve given up or lost my way – the long term plan is always to eat healthy and be healthy.

I can think of a few other resolutions but for now these are the ones I am going to concentrate on. I will review this in a few months and update you guys on where I am! Do you keep new year resolutions? If so, what are your resolutions for 2019? x