Delicious Moroccan Spiced Beef Stew Jewelled with Plump Apricots & Sweet Butternut Squash Served with Fluffy Lemon & Saffron Cous cous

  

Warming Comfort Food for a Rainy Dreary Night. Extremely Filling & Just what’s needed on a night with weather more suited to Winter. A Hug in a Bowl! This is 5pp on the Filling & Healthy plan & 13pp if Propointing.

  • 500g lean steak pieces
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small 225g can chickpeas 
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 96g dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cous cous
  • 2 Vegetable stock cubes
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest

  

Mix together the spices; ras el hanout, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, allspice, paprika, salt & pepper. Toss the beef in the spicemix, cover & refrigerate until needed. Lightly fry the red onion & diced peeled butternut squash in sprayoil for about 5 mins until starting to brown, remove & place in a bowl. Fry the beef pieces for about 5 mins until sealed. Add back in the red onion & squash & add the tomatoes, chickpeas and 400ml of veg stock made with 1 of the stock cubes. Bring to the boil & reduce the heat to a simmer & continue to cook for 1 & 1/2 hours with a lid on. Add the halved apricots 1/2 hour before serving, check the consistency at this point if it’s too dry leave the lid off for the last 1/2 hour. Prepare enough Couscous for 4 x 200g cooked servings according to packet instructions using veg stock made with the 2nd stock cube & a pinch of saffron instead of water. Fluff up your cous cous with a fork & season with salt & pepper & the juice & zest of the lemon. Serve the stew with the cous cous & enjoy! 

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Amazing Spiced Beef & Coriander Koftas with Wholewheat Lemon & Cherry Tomato Cous cous served with Minted Yoghurt

I love changing things up & coming up with new & interesting recipes to keep me on my toes & keep my weight loss journey from getting old & predictable. I’m always looking for new ways to cook mince rather than the usual spag bol & burgers & this recipe is perfect. Gorgeous Grilled, Lightly Fried with Sprayoil on a Griddle pan or absolutely perfect for BBQing with Summer just around the corner!

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Motivation is an elusive mistress for sure. Regain your mojo with these tips

Motivation can be an elusive thing. One week I seem to have it in abundance & that’s it, I tell myself  I’m definitely going to reach my goals & everything seems infinitely easier, I’m organised, prepared, plan my meals & I’m raring to go & everything just clicks into place. Then Bam! A few days later all the will to go on & motivation has up & left me.  My mojo has deserted me & is nowhere to be found, its gone awol! But I was so determined, I was so positive, my goals didn’t seem that far away just a few days ago & now it feels like I can’t go on, I want to quit & I’m never going to get there at all, it’s just too hard and the end is nowhere in sight,  it’d be easier to just give up. What happens to us? Where does the Motivation disappear to? Nobody knows it’s one of life’s little mysteries, destined to elude us forever! But all is not lost. You can actively work on regaining that Mojo & get yourself back in the game & losing weight before you know it. Here’s some things I find help me along when I just want to curl up on the couch with a large Mars Bar & wish I could magically & without any effort become a size 8 overnight;  Continue reading

Creamy Chicken & Chorizo Risotto

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I love Risotto, there’s something very comforting about a warm creamy bowl of rice bursting with masses of flavour. It has a bad rap for being tricky to make but it’s really not all that hard just a little bit time consuming with all the stirring but so worth the effort. Chicken & Chorizo are a flavour combination made in heaven & the basil & parmesan lift this dish to another level! You would never guess this is a skinny version coming in at just 12 Smartpoints ( 11 Smartpoints on No Count or 11 Propoints or 9 Propoints on the Filling & Healthy plan) Enjoy!

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Serves 4

  • 240g Arborio Rice
  • 2 Chicken Fillets diced into small chunks
  • 120g Chorizo Sausage, skin removed & finely sliced
  • 1/2 Large Onion diced
  • About 1 & 1/2 litres Chicken Stock made with 1 Stock cube
  • 40g Grated Parmesan
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Handful of Piccolini Basil (or normal Basil will do)
  • Salt & Pepper

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Put a medium pot of boiling water onto the heat and add your Chicken Stock cube. Keep the stock simmering on a low heat the entire time. In a large pot, gently dry fry the Chorizo over a medium heat for around 5 mins until the natural oil is released. Remove from pan & place in a bowl, set aside. Gently fry the Chicken Pieces in the Chorizo Oil for 5/8 mins until cooked through. Place in the bowl with the cooked Chorizo & set aside.

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Fry your onion for 5 mins in the same pan until soft & add the rice, fry for approx 4mins until rice grains go slightly translucent with a white centre. Crush your garlic into the pot & fry for 30 secs. Add a ladel of stock & you can add the cooked Chicken & Chorizo back into the pot at this stage. Season with Salt & Pepper. Keep stirring regularly as this massages the starch from the rice & continue adding the stock a ladle at a time making sure that all the previous stock is absorbed before adding the next ladle (when you drag the wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot the Risotto should stay parted for a few secs, this is how you know the previous stock has been absorbed.)

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The Rice will take approx 20mins to cook through. You don’t need to add all the stock just as much as it absorbs in the cooking time. Take off the heat. Add your grated Parmesan & Basil, stir and cover with a lid and allow to rest for 5 minutes & Enjoy!

Cheeky Cheaty Strawberry & Malteser Cheesecakes

  

So it’s post weigh in & sweetie time! I don’t want to undo any of my hard work so how about this Sumptuously Cheeky Cheaty Strawberry & Malteser Cheesecake! I made this for 2 people and it comes in at approx 6pps per serving. A lovely decadent well deserved treat. I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 Fun Size Bags of Maltesers
  • 100g Extra Light Cream Cheese
  • 100g 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt
  • 2 Tbsps Sweetener
  • Few drops Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp good quality Strawberry Jam/Conserve
  • Strawberries

 

Chop Maltesers & layer into 2 glasses. Mix Cream Cheese, Yoghurt, Sweetener and Vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth & spoon evenly over each of the Malteser bases. Refrigerate for at least an hour until chilled. Chop Strawberries. Stir the Jam around in a bowl until it loosens & toss Strawberries in until coated. Spoon on top of cheesecakes and chill until ready to eat. 

The Most Splendiferously Aromatic Red Thai Chicken Curry

This is an amazing recipe, the smell in your kitchen while cooking it is just heavenly! This is adapted from Jamies 30 Minute Meals, he makes this with Prawn but I much prefer Chicken so here it is:

  • 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A bunch of fresh coriander
  • 2 jarred red peppers in brine
  • 1 heaped tsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2cm (¾in) piece of fresh ginger
  • 2cm (¾in) piece of fresh galangal (optional)
  • 1 x 400g tin of reduced fat coconut milk
  • 2 shallots sliced
  • 2 limes, to serve
  • 4 chicken fillets diced
  • wholegrain basmati rice   

Put everything except the shallots, lime, chicken & rice into a food processor & blitz until smooth, your kitchen is going to smell absolutely divine! Put your rice on to cook as per packet instructions. Meanwhile lightly fry the shallot (or onion will do either) in sprayoil until soft approx 4mins. Add all the thai curry paste you whizzed up into the pot & lightly fry for a few mins. Add low fat coconut milk & raw diced chicken straight to the pot (this keeps it much softer than browning it first) Simmer over medium heat until chicken is fully cooked (approx 15 to 20mins) Serve over the cooked rice with lime wedges to squeeze over & enjoy! Serves 4 at 2pps on F&H or approx 12pps

Madagascan Vanilla Strawberry French Toast with Thick & Creamy 0% Greek Yogurt Sweetened & Sprinkled with Vanilla

Trying to fill up the new blog today with some of my backdated popular recipes from my original facebook blog so there’s more content for you guys to browse through and your favourite recipes are here for you to find easily. Fond memories looking back over the recipes & some I had even forgotten about! I hope this blog is going to be much easier for you all to browse & search for recipes in categories rather than scrolling back through masses of facebook feed! Anyway here’s my vanilla strawberry french toast from the week I re done simple start & blogged the entire week on Instagram – Ah, fun times! This is free on filling & healthy & simple start it is approx 9pps but is a huge portion!

2 eggs, dash of skimmed milk, vanilla pod seeds (I used a grinder you can use vanilla extract either) tsp sweetener mix well, soak brown calorie controlled bread in the mix till it soaks up, fry in sprayoil few mins each side, mix greek yogurt, sweetener more vanilla together & serve on top with Fresh Strawberries.