Simple, Filling Potato & Leek Soup

 
Soup is my ultimate go to lunch, it is the best filling meal by miles for very little points indeed. Variety is key when it comes to soups as if you eat the same one constantly you are going to get very bored of it very quickly. This particular soup is especially filling due to the potatoes. A perfect lunchtime stop gap to erase the hunger pangs and it’s lunch sorted for several days in one go! Happy days! This makes 4 to 5 servings at 2 propoints (it’s free on filling & healthy). Here’s the skinny.  
400 g potatoes peeled and cubed

2 leeks sliced and washed

1 onion finely diced 

1 clove garlic

1 chicken stock cube

1 1/2 pints of boiling water

142mls skimmed milk

2 bay leaves

Fresh thyme 

Salt and pepper  Fry the onion & leeks in a saucepan sprayed with oil over a medium heat for approximately five minutes until softening. Add the crushed garlic and continue to fry for 30 seconds. Add everything else except the milk to the pot, season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Blend with a hand blender and pour in the milk stirring well. Return to the heat, if serving immediately, for a couple of seconds to gently heat through the milk. This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3/4 days, it is also suitable for freezing. Enjoy!  

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It’s a Spice Bag Hun!

  
It’s a Spice Bag Hun! Lush! This was just voted Ireland’s favourite takeout dish and it’s easy to see why with spicy crispy fried chicken, golden chips and colourful veggies, my kitchen smells divine! yummy. The real version comes in at a whopping 1,200+ calories. But with this healthy version you don’t have to worry about it damaging your waistline. This rolls in at an amazing 9 Smartpoints or 2 Smartpoints on No Count (9 proproints or 2pp on filling and healthy) and serves 4 hungry people. The perfect weekend comfort dinner. It really is a delicious replica takeaway recipe that is well worth making. I know some people refer to them as a ‘fake away’ but I just can’t do it! the word alone makes my skin crawl! – that and the word ‘scrumptious’ or ‘zero heroes’ when referring to fruit & veg *shudder* Anyway, I digress call it what you will, I thoroughly enjoyed it and my kitchen smells gorgeous whilst cooking it and I hope you enjoy it too. Here’s the skinny:  
500g chicken fillet

800g peeled potatoes

1 red, yellow and green pepper finely sliced

1 red onion finely sliced

60g dried semolina

15g cornflour

1 egg

2 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp chinese five spice

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Black pepper  

Pre-heat the oven to 200c. Dice the chicken into nugget sized pieces. Cut the peeled potatoes into chip shapes. Place the chips on a plate and microwave for three minutes. Spray the chips well with spray oil and place in the oven on a mesh chip tray or on a baking sheet sprayed with oil and bake for 30 minutes. Place a baking tin in the oven for the last five minutes of the chip cooking time to heat through. Meanwhile mix all the spices together in a small bowl. Mix the semolina and corn flour together in a separate bowl. Whisk the egg in another bowl. Place three quarters of the spices into the semolina mix and mix well. Pre-heat a large nonstick frying pan sprayed with oil. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg and lightly coat in the semolina mixture. Place in the frying pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes each side until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Re-spray the pan with sprayoil and fry the peppers and onions until soft approximately 5 minutes. Remove the preheated baking tin from the oven and combine the chips breaded chicken and vegetables and sprinkle over the reserved remaining spices mix gently and well. Return to the oven for an extra five minutes of cooking time. If you like it hotter feel free to add extra chilli flakes, cayenne or slice a fresh red chilli & fry with the veggies. Serve immediately whilst hot and enjoy!  

Spicy Mexican Chicken & Tomato Soup

  
Tired of the same old homemade vegetable soup? Kick it up a notch with this spicy Mexican number! With chunky vegetables & shredded chicken this is more like a stew than a soup, a really substantial meal in itself it won’t need bread or any other accompaniments to fill you up. I’ve been having an issue on plan lately as we sometimes do & mine happens to be lunch. I usually end up over at the deli getting a wrap or something. It’s becoming detrimental not only to my food tracking due to guesstimating points but also to my pocket as it’s flippin expensive. So I’ve made a vow this week to give up this bad habit & bring my own lunches to work. Getting myself & the baby ready & out the door in the mornings is challenge enough without throwing preparing lunch into the mix so I’m being prepared & whipping up this tasty number today that’ll see me right for a few days at least. This is totally free on the filling & healthy plan & will cost 2 propoints a serving otherwise. It yields about 4 very generous servings.  
2 Chicken Fillets

1 Large Spanish Onion Diced

2 Large Carrots Peeled & Diced

2 Stalks of Celery Peeled & Diced

1/2 a Red, Yellow & Orange Pepper Diced

2 Cloves of Crushed Garlic

1 Tsp Dried Oregano 

1 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes

1 Tsp Ground Cumin 

1 Tsp Ground Coriander 

Salt & Black Pepper 

500ml Chicken Stock

2 Tins Plum Tomatoes Chopped

A Handful of Fresh Coriander 

  
Preheat your oven to 200c & roast the chicken for 25 minutes or until fully cooked through. Leave aside to cool slightly. In a large preheated pot sprayed with oil add the onion & fry for about 5 minutes. Add the carrot, celery & peppers & cook stirring occasionally until softened approximately 10 minutes or so. Crush the garlic into the pan & cook for a further minute. Add the oregano, chilli flakes, cumin, ground coriander and season with salt and pepper. Stir well & add the tomatoes (chop them through with a sharp knife while still in the can first). Pour in the stock & bring the soup to the boil. Reduce the heat & simmer for 25 minutes with a lid on. Shred the chicken using 2 forks & add to the soup 10 minutes before the end of cooking time. Just before serving add the chopped fresh coriander. Serve & enjoy!  

Luscious Chicken & Mushrooms in a Creamy Tarragon Sauce with Delicate, Fluffy Lemon & Parsley Cauliflower Rice

 
I used to make a Beautiful Chicken & Tarragon Creamy Casserole when I was off plan but it had mountains of white wine & roasted chicken thighs with the skin left on, I shudder to even imagine how many pro points were in it! I was looking to replicate the creamy chicken & tarragon flavour without compromising on points & this does a perfect job of that if I do say so myself! Chicken & tarragon are a match made in heaven & mushrooms and cream go hand in hand so this was like writing a love story! Delicious, creamy & flavoursome, this certainly doesn’t feel like you’re eating diet food in any sense of the form & if you are following my blog long you will know that is always my aim with my recipes, big generous portions & real, tasty, home cooked food, no rabbit food here! This is also economical due to only using 3 Chicken Fillets to Serve 4 & the mushrooms really bulk it out nicely so everyone still gets a nice generous portion.   The cauliflower rice is a recent entry to my culinary repertoire & I always like to flavour it well, it suits for a day when you are short on points but hungry as all hell (like me yesterday) but most certainly serve it with some basmati or jasmine rice or even pasta or potatoes if you prefer you will just have to add the extra pro points for it. This Serves 4 and is 5 pro points a serving (2pp on F&H) Here’s the Skinny:  500g (about 3 Medium Fillets) Chicken Fillet Diced

2 Shallots Finely Diced

430g Mushrooms (approximately 10) Peeled & Quartered

1 Clove of Garlic Crushed

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce 

125 mls Chicken Stock

120 grams Half Fat Crème Fraiche

1 ½ Tbsps Fresh Tarragon Leaves Chopped Finely

Salt & Black Pepper

For The Cauliflower Rice:

½ a Cauliflower Chopped into Florets

Juice & Zest of Half a Lemon

A Handful of Fresh Parsley Chopped Finely

Salt  

Preheat a large pan & fry off the chicken pieces in spray oil over a medium high heat until cooked through & brown on all sides (approximately 12 to 15 minutes). Remove from the heat & set aside. Add the chopped shallots & quartered mushrooms to the same pan & fry until the mushrooms are browning & softening (approximately 8 minutes). Add the crushed garlic & continue to fry for a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Re add the chicken pieces to the pan, season with salt & pepper, add the Worcestershire sauce, pour in the stock, sprinkle in the tarragon & bring the stock to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly & simmer for a further few minutes until the stock reduces slightly & the mixture is bubbling slightly. Add in the crème fraiche & stir to combine for a few seconds. This should be served immediately. Meanwhile for the cauliflower rice, blitz the cauliflower florets in your food processor until it resembles couscous. Spray a pan with oil & heat over a medium heat. Add the blitzed cauliflower & fry whilst stirring through for approximately 8 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice a sprinkle of zest (don’t be too heavy handed with the juice or zest or it might end up too lemony), add the parsley & season with salt, stir through to mix well with the cauliflower rice & serve with the chicken, mushroom & tarragon creamy sauce on top & enjoy! Easy peasy!