Festive Fruity Zesty Home-made Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is literally the easiest thing in the world to make, there is hardly any effort involved at all & it is so Gorgeous & Fresh it will impress any guest at your Festive Feast. There is also a certain satisfaction that comes with making your own & you can tart it up numerous ways to suit your taste with a huge variety of flavours: Lemon, Orange, Cloves, Allspice, Cinnamon, Pecans, Raisins any of the main Christmas Flavour Notes really. This will be pride of place in the centre of your table. Once you try making your own it will be a festive staple year after year. I like to make mine on Christmas Eve but this keeps very well for up to a week covered in the fridge. I hope you enjoy! Wishing you a very Happy Christmas!

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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!

Fabulous Grilled Thyme & Lemon Marinated Chicken & Halloumi Skewers with Harissa Spiced Cauliflower Couscous

  
Tonight’s Lower Carb Dinner. Fabulous Grilled Thyme & Lemon Marinated Chicken & Halloumi Skewers with Harissa Spiced Cauliflower Couscous. Oh My Gosh Just 5 Propoints for all of this! (3 on F&H!) This is the first time I’ve tried Cauliflower Rice or Couscous & I won’t lie I was very sceptical of trying it, I dislike substitute food in general I like real food but made healthy but I have to throw my hands up & admit I was very impressed, it’s a keeper and I imagine a lifesaver for those days when your propoints just won’t stretch. Now I did season the shish out of it with harissa & lemon but the texture was all there & it was filling, I can not give testimony on how it tastes plain (I’d imagine rank but I probably stand to be corrected again!). The halloumi really really makes this dish but if you’re even more desperate than me before trying to fit into a lovely dress to attend a family wedding then you can double the chicken & omit the halloumi to make it free free free on the filling & healthy plan. Don’t say I’m not good to you! Anyway I’m rambling slightly so here it is in all its glory:  
For the Harissa Spiced Cauliflower Couscous:

1 Cauliflower 

1 to 2 tsp Harissa Paste (depending on how spicy you like food)

1 Lemon

1 Handful Soft Herbs (I used Basil)

Black Pepper (add salt if you wish, I’m avoiding it this week)

For the Lemon & Thyme Marinade:

Juice 1 Lemon

Juice 1 Lime

Black Pepper 

1/4 Tsp Dijon Mustard 

Handful Fresh Thyme Leaves

  
For the Grilled Chicken Halloumi Skewers:

1 Medium Chicken Fillet 

80g Halloumi Cheese 

Red Pepper 

Yellow Pepper

Red Onion

Courgette

Cherry Tomatoes 
Mix all the marinade ingredients well in a bowl together. Dice the chicken into largish chunks & toss into the bowl coating well. Cover, refrigerate & allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or as long as you can spare on the day. Soak 4 wooden skewers in a large baking tray of water, this stops them from burning whilst cooking. Chop all the skewer vegetables except the courgette into equally sized medium chunks. Slice the courgette lengtwise with a vegetable peeler. Arrange the chicken, halloumi & veg chunks onto the soaked skewers & concertina the courgette into a fab shape before skewering onto 4 skewers. You should get approximately 3 medium chicken chunks & 2 medium halloumi chunks per skewer depending on the size you’ve cut them. Sprinkle over some more thyme & black pepper & set aside covered & refrigerated until ready to grill. Heat a large griddle pan & spray it with oil. Grill the skewers for 15 to 20 minutes turning occasionally or until the chicken is cooked & the halloumi is roasted (If you’re not familiar with halloumi you can grill this cheese it doesn’t melt & holds its shape) Meanwhile place the washed chopped cauliflower florets into a food processor (you may need to do this in batches) pulse until fine like couscous. Heat another pan & spray with oil. Gently fry the cauliflower cous cous for 5 to 8 minutes until heated through & add the harissa & the juice of a lemon (as much as desired to moisten & flavour the couscous, add half & if still a bit dry add more) Mix well over the heat for a few minutes & add the chopped basil just before serving. Plate up the couscous & top with two skewers per person, add a lemon quarter for garnish/squeezing over & Enjoy! 

Creamy Summer Roast Chicken & Asparagus Lemon Tagliatelle

  
A Beautiful & extremely easy Summer Pasta Lovely Soft Roast Chicken with a Delicate Zesty Lemon Creamy Sauce, Fresh Asparagus & Petit Pois. Seriously quick to make due to the ready roasted chicken. Serves one but quantities can be easily multiplied if feeding more. This is 10 propoints or can be made for free on the filling and healthy plan 👌💕  
75g Ready Cooked Roast Shredded Chicken Pieces (you can use up to 90g for the same 2 propoints this is what was left in the packet I used so add a bit more if you like or alternatively you can cook & point your chicken if following F&H)

220g (Cooked Weight) Tagliatelle (use wholewheat if following the F&H plan)

1 Large Heaped Tbsp of Quark Cheese

6/7 Fresh Asparagus Spears 

A Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice (about a Tbsp) & about 1/2 the Lemon Zest Grated Finely

A Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves 

1 Tbsp Frozen Petits Pois Peas
Salt & Black Pepper 
A Tiny Bit of Dijon Mustard (*Optional)

  

Prepare the Tagliatelle according to packet instructions in a large pot of already boiling salted water. When there is about 6/7 minutes left on the Pasta cooking time add the Asparagus Spears in to the same pot (Trim the hard stems off the bottoms of the spears first). Meanwhile heat another Saucepan over a medium heat, spray with oil & add the Cooked Chicken & Peas for about 4 minutes (add the Chicken for much longer about 12 minutes or until fully cooked through if you’re not using precooked Chicken). Add in the heaped tablespoon of Quark to the Chicken & Peas & a few Tbsps of the starchy cooking water from the pasta pot to thin out the quark & melt it into a creamy sauce. Add the squeeze of Lemon Juice & season with salt & black pepper (you can add the tiny bit of Dijon Mustard at this stage if using). Stir well thinning out the sauce with more pasta cooking water if needed. Drain the Pasta & Asparagus & add to the sauce. Add in the Basil Leaves & Lemon Zest & Stir well coating all the Pasta with the sauce. Serve immediately & Enjoy! 

Orange & Cumin Spiced Israeli Couscous with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables, Feta & Lemon & Herb Chicken 

  
It’s the Weekend Wahey! I fancied something a wee bit lighter tonight & thought Chicken would be a perfect accompaniment to this Fabulous Roast Vegetable Salad so here’s tonight’s offering.  Israeli Couscous also known as Pearl Couscous isn’t actually Couscous at all, it is in fact a small Israeli toasted pasta, it’s not even referred to as Israeli Couscous in Israel it is actually called Ptitim. Anyway this wonderful grain, whatever it is and whatever it’s called, is a fabulous base that absorbs flavours beautifully when cooked & can be eaten hot or cold. It reheats well without clumping & is very versatile & can be used in a variety of dishes including soups, casseroles, salads or served alone. I wanted something light for dinner. I only wanted half a Chicken Fillet & kept the other half for lunch so this cost me 8pp in total. If you serve it with a whole Chicken Fillet per person it would make it 10pp each. On Filling & Healthy it’s only 6pp no matter how much Chicken you have. I hope you have a fabulous Friday Night! Here’s the Skinny:

For the Mediterranean Vegetables:

1 Large Carrot 

3 Peppers Red, Orange & Yellow

¼ of an Aubergine

1 Small Red Onion

1 Tsp Dried Parsley

1 Tsp Dried Thyme

Salt & Pepper

Sprayoil  For The Orange & Cumin Spiced Israeli Couscous

100g Dried Israeli Couscous

800ml Chicken Stock

1 to 2 Oranges

½ Tsp Dried Cumin

Salt & Pepper

For the Chicken:

1 or 2 Medium Chicken Fillets

1 to 2 Tbsps of Lemon & Herb Seasoning Mix  To Serve:

40g Feta Cheese

Fresh Coriander Leaves

Orange quarters for squeezing over  Place the Chicken Fillet in an ovenproof dish & sprinkle with the Lemon & Herb Seasoning. Place in a preheated oven at 200c for approximately 25 minutes or until Chicken is fully cooked through. Allow to rest for a couple of minutes & slice. Meanwhile Peel the Carrot & Chop all the Vegetables into small bitesize pieces. Place in a baking tray sprayed with sprayoil. Sprinkle with the Parsley & Thyme & season with Salt & Pepper. Toss well & place in a preheated oven at 200c for approximately 20 minutes until nicely cooked through. Remove and set aside. To prepare the Israeli Couscous bring the Chicken Stock to the boil & add the Israeli Couscous, Juice of the Orange, Cumin & Season well with Salt & Pepper. Reduce to a simmer & cook for approximately 12 minutes or the time specified on the packet instructions. Remove & Drain the Couscous. Mix the Vegetables & Israeli Couscous together well & crumble in the Feta, tear in the fresh Coriander & adjust the seasoning if required. Squeeze over some more Orange Juice if required & serve with the Sliced Chicken Fillet & Enjoy!