Creamy & Light Chicken, Bacon & Pea Orzo

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If you follow me on Instagram you will know this was in fact last night’s dinner, we’re having steak tonight, but this turned out so utterly delicious I decided to pop the recipe up for you all. My full intention was to make one of the many healthy risotto recipes I already have up on my blog but alas when I opened the press I had very little Arborio rice left but I did have a full packet of Orzo pasta so I had to think quick on my feet and with a few google searches later, an amalgamation of and tweak of several previous recipes and I had formulated my very own recipe using the ingredients I had available to me in the fridge. I cannot recommend this one highly enough, regardless of the fact it was thrown together rather haphazardly, it actually turned out to be the tastiest and best thing I have made in quite a little while (as is often the case) and that’s saying a lot because in my humble opinion my recipes are pretty darn tasty to begin with if I do say so myself. It isn’t unlike a risotto in texture and consistency so if you’re a huge risotto fan like me you will just adore this little spin on it. Continue reading

Melting Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato, Bacon & Sweet Basil Sauce

I absolutely adore meatballs I definitely don’t think it’s the first time I’ve mentioned this nugget of information. Pasta is one of my all-time favourite foods to eat. I rarely make meatballs the same way twice, I always adapt them and adjust the ingredients to come up with different flavour combinations and variations. These are stuffed with gorgeous reduced fat mozzarella that melts in the centre and oozes out when you cut into each juicy meatball. This recipe serves 4 people at 12 Smartpoints a serving or Macros per serving 492Cal P46 C49 F11 Continue reading

Creamy Chicken, Bacon & Pea Risotto

Me & Risotto are bessie mates, so much so that I can knock it out midweek with my eyes practically closed. It has a real reputation for being a tricky & difficult dish to make but it’s really, really not. It’s a little time consuming with all the stirring but that’s the only taxing part & it’s ready in just 20 minutes so really not that taxing after all! I get asked every time I post a recipe for risotto if you can use different rice or ordinary basmati rice and the answer is unfortunately no you definitely can’t, you need to buy the special risotto rice as the dish only works with a short grain rice, it’s all about the creaminess with risotto and other rices just don’t have the same starch content to create that effect. Arborrio rice is the most common risotto rice & it is widely available in all main supermarkets and it’s really not that difficult to source so good news there! This serves 2 at 9 Smartpoints or Macros 395Cal Protein 35 Carbs 54 Fat 4  Continue reading

Cheats Healthy Creamy Chicken & Bacon Carbonara

You might have noticed the recurring theme this week is quick, easy and healthy. It has been one of those weeks it really has! But don’t worry we all have those kinds of weeks & I’ve got you covered with quick & easy tasty meals to make your life a little simpler if you’re having a hectic week too. Tonight’s dinner honestly couldn’t be more easy to throw together in a hurry. This serves 1 person at 11 Smartpoints (2sp no count) or Macros 573cal, P79, C45, F8. Continue reading

Delicious Fluffy Scrambled Egg with Bacon and Spring Onion on Wholemeal Toast

  
Good Morning! Breakfast this morning was Delicious Fluffy Scrambled Egg with Bacon and Spring Onion on Wholemeal Toast. 5pp or free on F&H. I hope you have a great day x 
1 Egg

1 Egg White 

1 or 2 Lean Bacon Medallions Diced

2 or 3 Spring Onions Chopped

A Dash of Skimmed Milk

Salt & Black Pepper 

Fresh Parsley to Garnish

1 Slice Brennans Be Good Wholemeal Bread
Lightly spray a saucepan with spray oil. Add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes then add the spring onion and cook until softened. Whisk the egg and egg white in a bowl with a dash of milk seasoned with salt and pepper. Pour it into the saucepan over a low heat and gently fold the egg with a wooden spoon until they are cooked through. Toast the bread and serve the scrambled egg on top with a garnish of parsley if desired and enjoy!

Silky Smooth Baked Tomato Egg Cup with Grilled Bacon and Toasted Wheat Muffin Soldiers

  
I’m off work for the midterm hurray! So expect lots of lovely recipe ideas coming your way. Breakfast this morning was a silky smooth baked tomato egg cup with grilled bacon and toasted wheat muffin soldiers delicious! This little lot was only 6 pro points. I hope you’re having a fabulous Friday.   
One large tomato

One medium egg

Two bacon medallions

One wheat toasting muffin

Salt and pepper

Fresh chives  

Preheat your oven to 180c. Cut the top off the tomato and scoop out all the inside flesh and seeds. Place on a small baking tray you may need to cut a small bit off the bottom to make it stand upright. Carefully crack an egg into the tomato and season with salt and black pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes depending on how soft you like your egg keep an eye on it to make sure it’s cooked to your liking. Grill your bacon medallions on each side for 4 to 5 minutes and toast the muffin. Cut the muffin into soldiers and serve with the tomato garnished with some chopped fresh chives and bacon enjoy!  

Comforting Bacon Leek and Chicken Pie

  
Does comfort food get any better than pie! I fancied pie for Sunday dinner and that’s exactly what I had. Pie doesn’t have to be calorie laden, you can skinny it up and still enjoy it on plan. I didn’t even make the pastry I bought light ready rolled pastry. Who has time to make pastry, am I right? This fabulous version has a gorgeous home-made mustard and parsley sauce infused with onion, bay leaves & peppercorns. It can be yours for just 11 pro points (or 6 on filling and healthy) how good is that! I served mine with mashed carrots and steamed greens. This makes 4 very generous portions. I won’t lie there are a few steps to this one & it takes a little time but it is so totally worth it!  

400g Chicken fillet diced

4 Bacon Medallions chopped into small lardons

2 Medium Leeks Sliced (discard the very hard bit at the top of the leaves)

200g Jus Roll Ready Made Light Pastry

1 Egg Yolk

For the Sauce:

1 Pint of Skimmed Milk

½ an Onion

2/3 Bay Leaves

Black Peppercorns

½ Tsp Dijon Mustard

30g Flour

30g Low Fat Butter (I use Connacht Gold)

Fresh Parsley  

Place the milk in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add in the onion half sliced in two, some black peppercorns & the bay leaves and bring to a gentle simmer. Add in the diced chicken & poach the chicken gently in the milk for about 10 minutes until fully cooked through. Remove the chicken to a bowl with a slotted spoon & strain the milk into a jug through a sieve to remove the onion, peppercorns & bay leaves. Cover the milk with cling film so it doesn’t form a skin & set aside. Meanwhile fry the leeks in a large frying pan sprayed with oil for about 5 minutes until soft. Remove from the pan & fry the bacon pieces for about 5 minutes until cooked through & add the chicken & leeks back in, season with salt & black pepper & take off the heat. To make the sauce melt the butter over a low heat & add the flour, stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste, cook for 2 minutes to remove any floury taste & very gradually stir the milk in a little at a time whisking continually to avoid any lumps. Keep whisking until the sauce eventually thickens (this does take quite a while same as packet sauces so don’t lose heart it will thicken. Mix the mustard & chopped parsley into the sauce. Set the sauce aside to cool & cover with film so it doesn’t form a skin. When cool pour the sauce over the leek, chicken & bacon mixture. Turn out into an ovenproof dish. Whisk the egg yolk in a cup & brush onto the edge of the dish so the pastry sticks. Carefully roll the pastry out a tiny bit with a rolling pin so it’s just big enough to cover the pie dish with a small edge. Don’t roll it too hard or it will stick to your table! Carefully lift it up & cover the pie filling crimping the edges around the edge of the pie dish. Brush the remaining egg yolk evenly over the pastry so it goes beautifully brown when baked. Cut a small incision in the middle of the pie to allow steam to escape whilst it’s cooking & place in a preheated oven at 200c for 40 minutes. If your oven is a slight bit uneven as mine is turn the pie halfway through the cooking time to ensure it browns evenly. Slice into 4 large portions & serve with vegetables of your choice, I served mine with mashed carrots & tender stem broccoli & enjoy!  

Delectable Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Bacon & Cream Cheese accompanied by Sweet Pepper & Rocket Side Salad with Tangy Orange & Mustard Dressing

  

A light tea tonight! Delectable Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Bacon & Cream Cheese accompanied by Sweet Pepper & Rocket Side Salad with Tangy Orange & Mustard Dressing. If you’re a fan of Sweet Potatoes you will love this! You can of course substitute ordinary potato either it will work just as well. I love twice baked potatoes & have featured them several times on the blog. They are just so moreish! 8 propoints or 1pp on F&H I made this for myself so it serves 1 but you can easily multiply the recipe if serving more than 1 person. I Hope your Monday evening is great.   
For the Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Bacon & Cheese:

225g Sweet Potato (you can have a slightly larger normal potato if using for the same points 300g)

2 Bacon Medallions Diced Finely

2 Spring Onions Sliced Finely

20g Philadelphia Lightest Cream Cheese

18g Reduced Fat Grated Cheddar

Salt & Black Pepper

Fresh Chives to Garnish

  For the Side Salad:

A Mixture of Rocket Leaves & any other Salad Leaves you want

A Small amount Red Pepper Finely Diced

A Small amount Yellow Pepper Finely Diced

A Small amount Red Onion Finely Diced
For the Orange & Mustard Dressing:

Approximately 1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar

½ a small Orange (such as a Clementine)

A Tiny Tip of a Tsp of Dijon Mustard

Black Pepper  Preheat your oven to 200c and wash the sweet potato well. Place in the hot oven for an hour until soft. Set aside for about 10 minutes to cool while you prepare the filling. Fry the bacon pieces in a medium hot pan sprayed with oil for 3 to 5 minutes until fully cooked through & browning. Add the sliced spring onions to the pan stirring for about 30 seconds to a minute until just starting to soften. Carefully slice the sweet potato lengthwise in half with a sharp knife. Carefully scoop out the flesh from the sweet potato into a bowl leaving a small edge of sweet potato in the skin if possible to make it sturdier (don’t worry if it all comes away it will just be a bit extra delicate when lifting. Place the cream cheese into the bowl with the sweet potato & season with salt & black pepper. Mash well with a fork making sure the cream cheese is well combined with the sweet potato flesh. Add the bacon & spring onion mix (I like to reserve a few pieces for the tops of the finished potatoes to garnish) Mix this through gently with a spoon. Place the empty potato shells in an ovenproof dish or on a baking tray that you have sprayed with oil & spoon the sweet potato mix evenly & lightly back into each potato skin. Top with half the grated cheese per potato (add the reserved bacon & spring onion topping at this stage if you are following that step). Return the potatoes to the oven for about another 20 minutes until the cheddar has melted & is bubbling. Meanwhile prepare the dressing for the salad by mixing all the ingredients together very well in a small bowl or glass. Prepare the salad ingredients & lightly drizzle with the dressing. Very carefully lift the potatoes onto your plate with a spatula, top with chopped chives & enjoy!

  

Exquisite Bacon, Garden Pea & Baby Asparagus Risotto with Manchego Cheese

  

Me & Risotto have a love affair situation going on. It’s creamy & flavoursome, warm and comforting, it’s like a hug in a bowl really. It has long held a bad reputation for being difficult to master but that is far from the truth. It takes a little loving with the time to stir & tend to it, but difficult?… No. This version has beautiful vibrant green asparagus & peas & a note of sweet & nutty manchego cheese. You can have a nice comfy portion for 9 propoints (7 on F&H). Serves 4. Here’s the skinny:  
240g Arborio Risotto Rice

8 Lean Bacon Medallions Diced

2 Large Shallots Diced

80g Frozen Garden Peas

A Bunch of Baby Asparagus 

1 Clove Garlic

45g Manchego Cheese Grated

1 & 1/2 Litres Chicken Stock made with 1 Stock Cube

A Handful of Fresh Thyme Leaves

Salt & Black Pepper 

  
Place your stock into a saucepan over a low heat for the duration of cooking so it stays nice and hot. Heat a large based saucepan over a medium heat & spray it with oil. Cook the Bacon & Shallots for about 5 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the shallots are soft. Trim the ends off the asparagus & add it & the frozen peas to the pot cook for another 3 to 4 minutes stir it gently so you don’t break up the asparagus. Add the crushed garlic & stir for a further 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pot & cook for 2 minutes stirring regularly until the rice goes a bit translucent around the edge with a white centre. Start adding the stock 1 ladel at a time and gently stir the risotto regularly. Wait until the ladel of stock is absorbed before adding the next one. You probably won’t use all the stock just use as much as the risotto absorbs within the cooking time. It will take 20 minutes to fully cook the rice. 

 

About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time season with salt & pepper and the fresh thyme. When it’s cooked take the pot off the heat & stir in the grated manchego cheese. Put a lid on the pot and allow the risotto to rest for 3 to 5 minutes prior to serving. Serve & enjoy!  

Comforting Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms with Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash & Baby Asparagus

  
I know how you feel, it’s Monday, it’s dreary, the rain is pelting down the window & it feels more like Winter than Autumn. Well here’s some comfort food dinner inspiration for you. This cost me just 3 propoints – yes 3 for the entire plate! Now that’s good points value. The cream cheese & bacon stuffed mushrooms would make a delightful starter for a dinner party on their own but I decided to revisit cauliflower mash which I haven’t made in quite some time, it’s a great substitute for mash if you’re low on propoints or just watching your carb intake. I roasted some lovely garlic to infuse some more flavour into the mash & the addition of stock serves this purpose also making for a yummy tasty comforting warm mash. This is 3 pro points (& just 2pp on F&H) and serves one. Here’s the skinny: For the Cream Cheese & Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms:

2 Large Mushrooms (stalks removed, chopped & reserved for the filling)

½ an Onion Finely Diced

2 Lean Bacon Medallions

1 Clove Garlic

100g Philadelphia Lightest Cream Cheese

A Handful of Chopped Chives

Salt & Black Pepper  Heat a frying pan over a medium heat & spray with oil. Fry the diced onion, chopped mushroom stalks & bacon for 8 to 10 minutes turning the bacon halfway through to cook both sides. Crush in the clove of garlic a minute before end of cooking time & fry for the remaining minute. Place the onion & bacon & chopped mushroom mixture in a bowl & set aside to cool. When cool break apart the bacon into small pieces. Add the Philadelphia, chives & season with salt & black pepper & mix thoroughly. Place your mushrooms cap side down on a baking tray lined with foil & stuff half the mixture into each mushroom. Bake the mushrooms for 20 minutes or until cooked through & the cheese & bacon is starting to brown.  

For the Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash:

½ Head of Cauliflower

A Few Tbsps Chicken/Vegetable Stock

1 Clove Garlic

Salt & Black Pepper

Spring Onion to Garnish (optional)

To Serve:

Baby Asparagus  Place the clove of garlic (keep the skin on the garlic) on the baking tray the same time as your cooking the stuffed mushrooms & bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook the cauliflower in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes or until soft drain the water off & return the cauliflower to the empty pot, place the lid on & allow the cauliflower to steam dry for 2 or 3 minutes. Prepare a small mug of stock. Just before serving & while still hot, place the cauliflower in a food processor with a couple of tablespoons of stock, squeeze the now soft roasted garlic out of the skin into cauliflower & season with salt & black pepper. Blitz until smooth & the cauliflower takes on a smooth mash like consistency adding a tiny bit more stock to loosen if required. If the cauliflower doesn’t blend very well you may have overcrowded the food processor depending on the size of cauliflower used, simply remove some & blend in two batches mixing together well at the end. You can also use a hand blender to blitz the mash. Cook some baby asparagus in boiling water for about 5 minutes to accompany everything & serve the warm mash garnished with a few slices of sliced spring onion if desired, asparagus & stuffed mushrooms with some chives sprinkled over & enjoy!