Shakshuka

I can’t believe I haven’t posted on the blog for such a long time! Well here I am now with a Slimming World friendly recipe which I hope you will enjoy recreating, perfect for breakfast or any time of the day really. If you’d like to, you can have one wholemeal pitta bread as part of your healthy extra B choice with this meal or have it on its own making this a syn free recipe which is also perfect if you are doing an Extra Easy SP day! Hope everyone is keeping safe during these unprecedented times x

 

Shakshuka

Shakshuka

Serves: 2

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1cal spray oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pepper (red or yellow), chopped
  • a few chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2tsp paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • Seasoning to taste
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Method

Spray a frying pan with spray oil and fry your onion, garlic, pepper and mushrooms until soft and the onions start to turn brown (add water if needed to stop it sticking to the pan).

Add the tomatoes and all the spices bringing the pan to the boil, stir and simmer for around 5 minutes.

Make wells in the tomatoes with the back of a large spoon to make space for the eggs.

Crack the eggs in, cover and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

Season to taste and garnish with fresh coriander before eating.

Chickpea Pilau

An easy pilau recipe that is syn free if you are following Slimming World.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 30-45 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 black cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 green chilli, whole
  • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained

Method

Spray a pan with plenty of spray oil. Add onions, salt and cumin seeds. Cook until onions are browned (this may take a while, be patient), add hot water as needed to the pan to stop onions from sticking to the pan. Add the ginger/garlic paste.

Add the chilli, cardamoms and cloves, followed by the garam masala and black pepper. Cook the spices for a few minutes before adding the stock.

Remove the whole spices (cardamoms and cloves) and add the chickpeas. Let most of the water evaporate before closing the lid and cook on a low heat for around 15 minutes.

Quorn Chilli

A vegetarian alternative to making chilli, using Quorn mince.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 40 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

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
  • Passata
  • Tin red kidney beans, drained
  • Spray oil
Quorn Chilli Ingredients

Quorn Chilli Ingredients

Method

Spray a pan with spray oil 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 Quorn mince. Crumble the stock cube over it and mix well. Add passata 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 in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Add some water to the mince if it is too dry and season to taste.

Serve with plain boiled rice, fat free yogurt and cheese.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

I haven’t posted a SW friendly recipe in what seems like a very long time, but I do have plenty of recipes on the blog. I have been exploring baking a lot more lately, as we are all at home due to the current situation, but I still cook mostly SW friendly meals for us. This is just one of our favourite meals we enjoy eating so I thought I’d record it for my YouTube channel and post it on here too as I don’t have this one on here yet. There are lots of other pasta dishes you can find on my blog but not this one.

Hope you enjoy it, remember to tag me or share with me any of the creations you make from the blog. I love seeing them all and like to share your creations on my social media too.

Serves: 5

Syns: FREE (count cheese as healthy extra A choice)

Time Taken: 45 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise

 

Ingredients

  • 500 chicken mince
  • 2 small red onions, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 1tbsp Italian herbs or mixed herbs
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cal spray oil
  • Spaghetti
  • Cheese to serve (40g light cheddar cheese is a healthy extra A choice)

Method

Spray a pan with plenty of 1 cal spray oil. Add chopped onions and fry till lightly golden. Add some boiling water if the onions start to stick to the pan.

Add crushed garlic, followed by the carrot and stock cube. Mix well.

Add the herbs, chilli flakes and seasoning.

Add mince and brown it all over before adding the passata.

Lower the heat, pop the lid on the pan and cook the mince for 30 minutes. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions towards the end of the cooking of the mince.

Once pasta is cooked, drain and mix with the cooked mince. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with a side salad.

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.

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.

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.

Hummus

A super easy and syn free hummus recipe without all the oil and tahini paste. You can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Enjoy the hummus with some crudités or flatbreads like I did. I had mine with Ryvita flatbreads (1.5 syns each). If you don’t want to use any syns, you can opt for crispbread that can be counted as part of your healthy extra B choice. Have a look here for all the options available from Ryvita.

Hummus

Hummus

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • lemon juice to taste
  • 2 tbsp. 0% Greek yoghurt
  • Cayenne chilli to taste

Method

Blitz all ingredients together till it is smooth. If you find the hummus too thick for you, you can thin it down with a little water or more yogurt.

Slimming World – The Basics

Please note: This post has been edited to reflect the changes SW has announced this week.

One of the questions I get asked often is how does Slimming World (SW) work? So I’m going to give you an overview of the plan. It is a very easy and simple plan to follow. If you’ve ever tried any diets in an effort to lose weight before and maybe were not as successful as you’d hoped or just want to give SW a go, please be open minded! You may be surprised at how generous the eating plan is, but it all works perfectly well together when you follow the simple 3 steps bellows.

Step 1 Free Foods

Most of the food you will be eating from will come from a list of foods called Free Foods. These are called Free Foods because they are unlimited – you can have as much or as little of these foods as you like without weighing or measuring a single thing! Sounds great, right? So what exactly are these Free Foods you may be wondering? These are foods that are naturally lower in calories and high in satiety (that means appetite satisfaction). You can fill up on these foods whenever you like as long as they’ve been cooked without any fat or oil. You will be able to find the full list of the hundreds of Free Foods available to choose from in the Food Optimising book you receive when you join a SW group. The following is just a summary of what is included:

  • Fruit – only when fresh or frozen whole (cooked, canned, dried & pureed fruits are NOT free foods)
  • Vegetables
  • Fish
  • Meat & Poultry (including some vegetable proteins)
  • Dairy products – fat free natural yogurts, low fat plain cottage cheese, quark
  • Eggs
  • Rice, pasta & grains
  • Beans, peas & lentils

Enjoy filling up on these foods any time, day or night, without any limits! Free Foods will keep you feeling fuller longer than other foods – especially protein rich foods such as lentils, eggs, meat and poultry.

To ensure a healthy balance of food, SW recommend you fill at least 1/3 of your plate with Speed Free Foods where you can and make them your first choice between meals. Speed Free Foods are even lower in calories which means it will help you lose even more weight. In your food optimising book, these food will be marked with an S. These will include fresh or frozen fruit and fresh, frozen, canned or pickled vegetables.

One main point to remember with fruit is that fruit is only a Free Food when it is fresh or frozen and whole. That means cooked, canned, dried or pureed fruit will not be a Free Food when consumed in those forms.

On top of all these Free Foods, you will also be able to use some store cupboard staples freely to add flavour and variety to your meals. Things such as herbs and spices, stock pots and cubes, soy sauce, tomato purees, fat free dressings (vinaigrette, Italian or French style dressings, must be 50kcals or less per 100ml to be Free), low calorie cooking spray (must be 1 calorie or less per spray to be Free), Marmite, Tabasco & Worcestershire sauce.

Drinks that are included in the Free Foods list include:

  • Water – still or sparkling!
  • Coffee
  • Tea (including herbal teas)
  • Sugar free/ diet fizzy drinks
  • No added sugar cordial

Swap sugar for sweetener tablets in your drinks! Any milk used in your hot drinks is not a Free Food but comes under Step 2 Healthy Extra s below.

Step 2 Healthy Extras

In addition to all the Free Foods, you can choose 2 options from the Healthy Extra choices to ensure you are getting enough calcium and fibre in your diet. You can make two choices a day from the Healthy Extras A choice and one choice a day from the Healthy Extra B choice. Again, you will find a full list of these choices in your food optimising book or the SW app.

Healthy Extra A choices are dairy foods that are a good source of calcium. These include the following:

  • 350ml skimmed milk
  • 250ml semi skimmed milk
  • 400ml unsweetened calcium-enriched plain soya drink
  • 40g reduced fat Cheddar/Emmental
  • 30g Cheddar/Double Gloucester/Red Leicester/Gouda/Emmental
  • 50g Mozzarella
  • 35g Halloumi
  • 3 Mini Babybel Light cheeses
  • 2 Laughing Cow Original Triangles

Healthy Extra B choices are foods that contain a good source of fibre. These will include many high fibre wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, crispbreads, cereal bars, nuts & seeds, dried, canned & cooked fruit. Below are some options you can chose from:

  • 40g unflavoured porridge oats
  • 45b Bran Flakes
  • 40g Weetabix Crispy Minis (Banana/Chocolate Chip/Fruit & Nut
  • 2 Weetabix (including flavoured varieties)
  • 2 SW Hifi Bars/Alpen Light bars
  • 4 Ryvita Dark Rye/Original
  • 60g any wholemeal bread
  • 16 almonds
  • 35 pistachio nuts
  • 2 level tbsp. sunflower seeds

You must ensure that your healthy extra choices are weighed and measured accurately. Please do not guess or estimate!

Step 3 Syns

On top of all the Free Foods and the Healthy Extra choices, you can choose ‘Syns‘ – these allow you to enjoy the foods that many diets ban! All food that isn’t Free has a Syn Value. You can enjoy between 5-15 Syns a day (your consultant will be able to help you decide the number of Syns to aim for each day). You will find Syn Values at the back of your food optimising book or on the SW app (a fab tool available for all SW members).

So now you’ve got an overview of the SW food optimising plan you can see that it is not that difficult! It is a simple, easy to follow plan that is suitable for everyone. You will get a lot more in depth information when you join a group and receive support from a knowledgeable and supportive consultant and of course great motivation and ideas from fellow slimmer’s. Remember, this additional support occurs during Image Therapy, so always aim to stay in group until the end of the session.

Hope you find this useful, if you have questions or need me to clarify anything, please comment below.