Gorgeously Hearty and Healthy, Chunky Minestrone Soup

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The russet colours of autumnal leaves are in their full array, there is a distinct chilly bite to the air, warm fluffy fleece blankets and soft woollen socks are back in action and it’s most definitely soup season again. Is there anything more comforting on a cold autumn evening than a big steaming hot bowl of filling and delicious soup, nope there is nothing I know that can fill that heart-warming role to the same perfection. I have a beautiful chunky minestrone soup recipe for you that won’t even require any bread or other accompaniments as the addition of whole wheat pasta and cannellini beans make it a filling meal all in itself. Continue reading

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How to make Hot Golden Crispy Chunky Oven Baked Chips with Malt Vinegar, Sea Salt & Cheat’s Garlic Mayo – An Easy Step by Step Guide


Mmmmmm Chips….. Drool! Steaming hot & fresh from the oven sprinkled with salt & a dash of sharp malty vinegar to add to the heavenly combination & a cheat’s easy garlic mayo for dunking, my idea of a heavenly Saturday Night Tea! Who says you can’t enjoy the finer things in life when sticking to a healthy eating plan! These are perfect & so easy on your Smartpoints you could even add a small wholewheat roll to make a chip butty, have them with a healthy fried egg done in sprayoil, splash out & enjoy them with a beautiful fillet steak, or just enjoy them as they are, on their own in all their glory, the options are bountiful. This is the best method I have found to make them. The Smartpoints value will depend on the raw weight of potato & mayo used & size of portion you desire & they are listed below.  Continue reading

Fabulously Chunky Pesto Meatballs in a Homemade Tomato & Basil Sauce with Spaghetti


Spaghetti & Meatballs the food of Champions! What’s better than leisurely twirling your fork round and round in mounds of golden spaghetti that is glossy with tomato sauce & a big chunky meatball to go alongside, Bliss! These Meatballs have real Italian flavour with the Sundried Tomato Pesto & Basil giving fabulous flavour & the Milk Soaked Bread keeps the Meatballs lovely and Juicy & Moist all accompanied by Succulent Juicy Plum Tomato Sauce & you could add a lovely helping of Parmesan to top it all off for an extra Smartpoints, Yummy. This serves 4 people at 10 Smartpoints (1 Smartpoint on No Count or 11 propoints or 1 if you’re following the Filling & Healthy plan if you use Whole wheat spaghetti & bread from the filling & healthy list).  

For the Meatballs:

454g Lean 5% Fat Steak Mince

1 Slice of Calorie Controlled Wholemeal Bread

A Small splash of Skimmed Milk

½ an Onion Finely Diced

1 Level Tbsp of Sundried Tomato Pesto

¼ Tsp Dijon Mustard

Salt & Black Pepper

1 Tsp Dried Oregano 

For the Tomato & Basil Sauce:

½ an Onion Finely Diced

1 Clove of Garlic

2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

Salt & Pepper

1 Tsp Sweetener

A Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves

To Serve:

240g Dried Weight Wholewheat spaghetti (60g dried per person)


Break the Slice of bread up into small pieces & soak in a mug with the milk for 5 minutes, this will ensure the meatballs stay moist & juicy while cooking. Squeeze the milk gently out of the bread and add the breadcrumbs to a bowl with the rest of the Meatball ingredients. Mix well but lightly, try to keep the meatball mix as light as you can, if you squash it about too much your meatballs will turn out dense & heavy. Gently shape into 16 evenly sized Meatball shapes & place into an ovenproof dish or baking tray that you have sprayed with spray oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 200c for approximately 25 minutes or until fully cooked through (different ovens vary, mine takes 25 minutes it’s a fan assisted electric oven but check to see & give them a bit longer if needs be). Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions in boiling salted water (always salt your pasta cooking water & it helps to add the salt after the water has already boiled or it will slow the boiling process down, also make sure your water is boiling well before you add the pasta) To make the sauce, lightly fry the diced onion in a pot sprayed with spray oil for approximately 5 minutes until the onion is softening. Add the crushed garlic & cook for a further 30 seconds or so. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients except for the fresh basil & simmer for 15 to 25 minutes over a low heat. When the Meatballs are ready to serve pop them into the tomato sauce & tear the fresh basil leaves into the sauce & gently stir through. Drain your pasta & Serve topped with the Meatballs & Sauce (and parmesan if using) and Enjoy!