Hash Browns

This is a recipe one of my lovely members shared with the group and I the other day. I always pick up so many new ideas from my members, they are all amazing! The hash browns are so easy to make and were a huge hit even with my fussy eater middle child too!

You can adapt the recipe and add an onion to it as well but I kept it simple.

If you do anything differently please do share!

Makes: 8

Syns: Free

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 tin potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Seasoning
Hash browns ingredients

Hash browns ingredients


Drain the water off the potatoes and coarsely grate them.

Squeeze out any moisture from the potatoes before adding the egg and season.

Place a large spoonful of the potato mix on a frying pan with lots of fry light and gently fry on each side. Be patient and try not to flip the hash browns too early or you’ll end up with a mess.

Once they are cooked on each side, place the hash browns under the grill for a few minutes till golden brown if you wish.

Serve with a cooked breakfast!


Cooked breakfast

Cooked breakfast

Lamb Chops

Tonight’s dinner was simply delicious! I cooked lamb chops in JD Seasonings Steak Rub (buy them here) in my Tefal actifry for 20 minutes and they turned out amazing!

I marinated the chops for about 3-4 hours before cooking them. I cooked them in batches of two.

Lamb Chops with JD Seasoning

Lamb Chops with JD Seasoning

They were so juicy and super easy too! I could have easily eaten the lot

Lamb Chops, Bulgar Wheat and Salad

Lamb Chops, Bulgar Wheat and Salad

I had mine with bulgur wheat and a speedy salad drizzled with the new Crucials Hot Pepper Sauce (0.5 syn for 3tbsp) I picked up from FarmFoods today.

Crucials Hot Pepper Sauce

Crucials Hot Pepper Sauce

Making Bulgur Wheat

Makes enough for 2/3 people. Finely chop 2 small onions and then fry till golden brown. Add:

  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1 tsp of ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 crumble of chicken stock cube
  • chilli flakes to taste (more = spicier)

Fry all together for 3/4 minutes. Add 1 cup of Bulgur wheat, add 1.5 cups of boiling water and simmer for about 10 minutes or until ready.

That’s it. Done.

Snacks & Nibbles

I absolutely love this feature on the SW website, which I’ve included below, that is all about snacks & nibbles! This is perfect whether you’re in need of a tasty lifesaver to keep you going, a mid-morning munch or simply a healthier alternative to a high-Syn snack, for when a ‘nibbly’ moment comes. Some need no cooking at all and some are simple to cook in advance and keep in the fridge ready for those times. Please do share using the comments box below what your favourite snacks & nibbles are.

Speed Free Food snacks
Snack on these for the BEST weight loss results. The more Speed you choose the more weight you’ll lose!


  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Veg crudités – carrot, peppers, celery, sugar snap peas, and dips like homemade houmous
  • Sweet baby cucumbers
  • Roasted butternut squash chips (cooked in low calorie cooking spray)
  • Pickled beetroot, gherkins, cabbage and onions
  • Slimming World quiche muffins packed with your favourite Speed Free Foods


  • Fruit bowl favourites – apples, satsumas, pears, peaches
  • Melon chunks – pop in the freezer for a cool nibble
  • Fat free Greek-style yogurt mixed with 1 tsp sweetener and top with strawberries and raspberries
  • Apple wedges dunked in your favourite syn free yogurt
Other Free nibbles include:


  • Boil or bake a fresh corn on the cob, season well – I like to add chilli powder to it too
  • Hardboiled eggs

    Boiled Eggs, Clementines & Activia 0%

    Boiled Eggs, Clementines & Activia 0%

  • Seafood sticks dipped in soy sauce
  • Lean turkey, chicken,  chicken drumsticks (skin removed)
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Drain a can of tuna in spring water and blend with lemon juice and quark to make a pâté. Mix in chopped chives and spring onions, and serve with veg sticks
  • Asda Chosen by You Vegetable Chilli, from a 400g can, topped with a dollop of fat-free natural yogurt
  • Whizz roasted red peppers in brine from a jar with fat-free natural fromage frais and paprika, then use as a dip for cooked and peeled prawns.
  • Mugshots – my favourite one has to be the Cajun pasta flavour. Be aware that if you buy this flavour in a sachet it is 0.5 syn! The pot is FREE.

    Cajun Pasta Mugshot

    Cajun Pasta Mugshot


  • Fat-free yogurt. Not all fat-free yogurts are Free eg. Onken Fat Free Yogurt Vanilla is 5 Syns per 450g pot  (double check your favourite flavour in Syns Online to protect your weight loss)
  • Freeze an Activia 0% strawberry yogurt in an ice-cube tray and enjoy like frozen sweets
  • Ice cream: Chop a handful of cherries and stir into two pots of Activia 0% (or similar) cherry yogurts and a large tub of fat free fromage frais. Pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally
  • Fresh pineapple chunks
Healthy Extra bites – If you’ve got your Healthy Extras left, tuck into one of these super snacks!
Hifi Light Bars

Hifi Light Bars

  • Cereal bars – 2 Hi-fi Light or Alpen Light bars (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice)
  • 4 Ryvita Original/Dark Rye (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice) topped with 4 Laughing Cow Light Triangles (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and mixed pickles like gherkins and onions
  • 60g of any wholemeal bread, toasted (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice), topped with 40g reduced fat Cheddar (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and halved cherry tomatoes
  • 30g bag Ryvita Minis, all varieties (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice)
  • 500g cooked rhubarb (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice) topped with fat free Greek-style yogurt mixed with 1 tsp sweetener
  • 35 pistachio nuts (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice)

Asda Shopping Haul

I don’t tend to stick to one supermarket when shopping but one of my favourite has to be Asda. I am more likely to pick up what I use most in an Asda rather than any other supermarket, so it is always my first choice followed by Aldi then Tesco!

I went to Asda this morning to pick up my essentials and this is what it looks like!

Asda Shopping Haul

Asda Shopping Haul

My favourite fruit includes raspberries, banana and pear. I am obsessed with clementines at the moment though, I’ve lost count on how many I have in a day! I picked up a melon and some strawberries and apples to vary my fruit a bit.

We eat a lot of pasta in our house. We go through a lot in a week and I tend to buy a big bag. We never run out of pasta in our house!

Passata is an absolutely essential store cupboard item for us slimmers. I use it to make pasta sauces and curries.

Eggs is another food item that I buy often! I usually make 5 or 6 boiled eggs in the morning so I can snack on them whenever I am hungry throughout the day. That amount usually lasts me a couple of days unless my youngest daughter and hubby decide to have some too! I’ve seen Asda and other supermarkets sell a couple of boiled eggs with some spinach leaves for £1 or so, I wouldn’t pay that much for it. You can get a box of 6 free range eggs for less than £1 and make your own in minutes!

I always buy packet salads for convenience as I am the only one that eats them at home and add cherry tomatoes, jalapeños and any other pickles I have in my fridge to it.

I bought leeks and celery today as I intend on making a soup with it in the next couple of days, or I might make a Homity Pie with the leeks! I am not too sure yet.

Kia Ora is our family favourite sugar free cordial, we don’t like any other brand.

It is the first time I bought best of both milk, it was on offer for £1 instead of £1.50 so why not? You can have 300ml as a healthy extra A choice. It is supposed to taste like semi skimmed milk but has a lot less fat in it. I also bought the Low Low cheese for the first time. Not sure if it a healthy extra choice but it is handy for my girls to sprinkle on their pasta!

I bought the teas for my members at groups. I am not a fan of tea, I prefer coffee. I like to offer my members a variety of drinks to choose from to enjoy in group.

We love baked beans in our house and it has to be Branston. I only buy Heinz baked beans if it’s the chilli ones.

Lastly on my shopping is the halal turkey slices. Perfect protein rich snack to enjoy anytime or as part of a meal.

What are your essentials? Comment below with your favourite items x

Piri Piri Seasoning

You can buy ready made piri piri spices or make your own. I love making my own when I have the time but if I am pressed for time my go-to piri piri spice is the Schwartz Perfect Shake one below.

Piri Piri Blend

Making your own doesn’t take much time to be honest but I sometimes get a little lazy!

If you want to give it a go making your own, all you need to do is mix together the following:

  • 2 tsp paprika (regular, never smoked)
  • 2tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp garlic salt
  • 3 tsp onion granules
  • 2 Maggi seasoning cubes, crumbled (optional)

Maggi Seasoning

For more (or less) heat, you can adjust the amount of chilli and paprika. And that’s all there is to it! I buy the Maggi seasoning from my local Asian greengrocers but I have seen it in Asda on their ‘World Foods’ aisle.

When I want to marinade chicken (or fish etc) in piri piri seasoning, I will use the above spices and add a couple of tablespoons lemon juice to it and keep it marinating for as long as I can before cooking it.

Chicken & Noodle Soup

I love making this soup when I have leftover chicken to use up from a roast dinner. It is so easy to make and super delicious. If you can’t find celery salt you can use chopped celery (2 or 3 sticks are enough) but I didn’t have any celery today! I haven’t specified the amount of chicken and noodles used as it varies. If I have a lot of leftover chicken, I use half a pack of the noodles pictured (Blue Dragon noodles from Asda). If I don’t have much chicken then I will use a whole pack of the dried noodles.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy


  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • Cooked chicken, shredded
  • Dried noodles
  • Low calorie cooking spray

Chicken & Noodle Soup


In a large pan, spray low calorie spray and add the carrots, onions, parsley, chilli flakes and celery salt. Cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes till the veg are soft. If you find the veggies are sticking to the pan, you can add boiling water to stop that.

Add the chicken, chicken stock cubes and enough water to cover the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the dried noodles and more water if you need it (depends on how you like your soup, I usually start off by adding 1 litre and add more if needed). Cook for a further 5 minutes till the noodles are done.


Easy Stir Fry

This is one of the easiest stir fries ever! You can add any meat/fish to it for a more filling meal. We usually have this with chicken mince.

Serves: 4
Syns: FREE
Time Taken: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Easy Stir Fry


  • Bag of stir fry vegetables
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • 1 red chilli (optional), chopped
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 2 cubes of Maggie seasoning, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5 Spice
  • Low calorie cooking spray
  • Egg Noodles


In a wok sprayed with low calorie cooking spray, add 3 chopped spring onions, the ginger/garlic paste and the red chilli (if using). Fry for about 3-5 minutes.

Add the stir fry vegetables, soy sauces, Chinese 5 spice and the crumbled seasonings and stir fry for another 3 minutes.

Add any meat or fish at this stage and cook accordingly before adding the cooked noodles and giving everything a good stir. Adjust the spices if you need more.

Yummy Stir Fry

Mince Tarts

I have to admit I have never been a fan of mince pies until I made these little tarts – they are so delicious! A lot of my members love these whenever I make them for group tasters. I like to use Asda’s own make of mincemeat!

Makes: 45

Syns: 2 syns each

Time Taken: 25 minutes, plus chilling and baking

Difficulty: Moderate

Mince Tarts

For the pastry:

  • 225g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 110g margarine or butter
  • Cold water, for mixing

For the filling:

  • 16 level tbsp mincemeat
  • level tbsp icing sugar for dusting (optional, I usually skip it)


Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas Mark 5. Lightly spray some bun trays with low calorie cooking spray.

Make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the fat, cut up into little pieces. Gently rub it in with your fingertips. Add sufficient cold water to mix to a ball that leaves the sides of the bowl clean. Rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 32 rounds with a 7½cm fluted cutter. Use to line the prepared bun tins.

Divide the mincemeat between the pastry cases. Roll out the remaining pastry trimmings and make some little stars with a small star cutter. Use to decorate the tops of the tarts.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and lightly coloured. Cool on a wire rack and dust lightly with sifted icing sugar if using.