Magnificent Meatballs in a Glossy Beef & Thyme Gravy with Creamy Buttery Mash

Autumn comfort food at its finest! Meatballs are delicious in any shape or form but I was looking for something a bit different than spaghetti & tomato sauce so I devised this delicious meatball & gravy recipe & let’s face it, the only thing to accompany gravy is buttery mash! All this can be yours for 10 propoints (1pp on F&H). Serves 4. Light the fire, throw a movie on & indulge in Autumn comfortness!   
For the Meatballs:

500g 5% Fat Lean Beef Mince

2 Slices Calorie Controlled Wholemeal Bread

1 Small Onion Finely Diced 

1 Tsp Dried Oregano 

1 Tsp Dried Parsley 

1/2 Tsp English Mustard

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

A Dash of Skimmed Milk

Salt & Black Pepper 

Fresh Parsley (optional)
For the Gravy:

500ml Stock made with 1 Beef Stock Cube

2 Tbsps Cornflour 

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce 

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

A Small Handful of Fresh Thyme

Black Pepper 
For the Buttery Mash:

800g Potatoes 

30g Reduced Fat Butter

Salt & Black Pepper

A Dash of Skimmed Milk

Break the Bread up into very small pieces & soak in a cup with a small amount of skimmed milk for a few minutes. Squeeze the excess milk gently out pf the bread with your hands & crumble it into a bowl with all the other meatball ingredients. Mix well (be careful to mix lightly but well if you mix too much the meatballs will be dense). Roll them into 20 meatball shapes & place in an ovenproof dish you have sprayed with oil. Bake them in a preheated oven at 200c for approximately 25 minutes or until cooked & browning. Meanwhile peel & cut the potatoes into medium sized cubes & cook in boiling salted water for about 18 to 20 minutes until soft & you can pierce with a fork. To make the gravy place the stock in a saucepan over a medium heat and add all the ingredients except the cornflour. Mix the cornflour with a small amount of cold water in a glass & pour slowly into the stock stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to avoid lumps. Keep stirring regularly until thickened into a gravy. (If it lumps a tiny bit at the beginning the stirring will take them out & if not whizz quickly with a hand blender.) Add the cooked meatballs to the gravy & coat them well. Mash the potatoes with a tiny dash of skimmed milk, the butter & season with salt & pepper. Divide the mash into 4 & plate with 5 meatballs each & some gravy on top. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired & 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!

Tender Griddled Fillet Steak with Creamy Sweet Potato Mash, Sautéed Asparagus & Balsamic & Dijon Reduction


I adore steak, I just absolutely love it & usually have it with homemade fries & peppercorn sauce but fancied a change. Try this creamy sweet potato mash for a different take if you’re tired of sweet potato fries and looking for something new. A lovely little easy & very quick dinner. The juicy steak & balsamic reduction is so flavoursome & asparagus & balsamic is a match made in heaven! Just 11 propoints or free on the filling & healthy plan.
180g Fillet Steak

187g Raw Sweet Potato 

2 Tsp Lightest Philadelphia 

Fresh Thyme 

Salt & Black Pepper 

Asparagus Spears

For the Balsamic & Dijon Reduction:

1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar 

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard 

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

A Few Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce 

2 Pinches of Allspice 

Salt & Black Pepper   

Take your Steak out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking & allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile peel & chop the sweet potato. Steam the sweet potato for approximately 12 minutes until soft (alternatively place in boiling water until soft) mash the sweet potato with the lightest Philadelphia cream cheese, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on some fresh thyme. Place a griddle pan over a high heat until hot & spray with oil. Rub black pepper into the steak, season the asparagus with salt and pepper & place the steak on the pan with the seasoned asparagus spears for approximately 2 to 3 minutes each side if you like your steak very rare like me, cook for a few minutes longer each side for medium rare (4 per side) medium (6 minutes each side). Remove the steak from the heat onto a plate, cover with tinfoil & allow to rest for at least 5 minutes (this ensures the meat relaxes & becomes tender & the juice goes back into the meat making it soft & juicy). Remove the asparagus once brown griddle marks appear & the asparagus has softened slightly & keep warm if not serving immediately. To make the balsamic & dijon reduction simmer the balsamic in a saucepan over a low to medium heat for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, stirring regularly until thickened (their will be a strong smell of vinegar at first but this burns off eventually you may need to open a window! But it’s worth it) add the remaining sauce ingredients & simmer for 5 minutes over a low heat stirring & making sure it doesn’t stick. Serve the reduction immediately over your steak with the sweet potato & asparagus spears. Enjoy!   

Magnificent Meatloaf with Creamy Spring Onion Mash & Tenderstem Broccoli

Comfort food at its finest. This wasn’t tonight’s intended dinner, I was planning a lovely Harissa Griddled Chicken but when I opened the Chicken there was a slight pong off it even though I’d just bought it & it was well in date but don’t take risks with Chicken, if in doubt throw it out. Don’t ever take a chance with white meat or fish. There’s a slight chance it might have been left to the side at the tills for a while in the heat & then popped back in the fridge – dangerous! Anywho this is a quick rescue dinner as I’d (thankfully) picked up a pack of mince (just in case) with no real intentions for it. Meatloaf is the ultimate in comfort & you can’t really serve it with anything other than gorgeous mashed potatoes. Serves 4 at 9pp for the lot or free on the Filling & Healthy plan. Friday Nights were made for this!   

For the Meatloaf: 

400g lean 5% fat beef mince

2 slices calorie controlled bread

1 onion finely diced 

1 egg

1 tbsp red ketchup

1 tbsp brown ketchup 

1 tsp dried oregano 

1 tsp dried parsley 

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 

1/2 tsp smoked paprika 

2 tbsp fat free fromage frais

Salt & black pepper 

4 bacon medallions 

For the Mash:

600g Milk

3 to 4 Spring Onions

A dash of Skimmed Milk 

Salt & Pepper   To Serve:

Tenderstem broccoli 

 Tear the bread into small chunks into the mince in a bowl. With a light hand mix the 2 together (if you smush it too much it will become dense) add the rest of the Meatloaf ingredients except the bacon & lightly mix. Place in a 1lb loaf tin (I use a silicon one, if it’s metal spray it with sprayoil first) lay your bacon medallions in the top & bake for 40 minutes in a preheated oven at 200c for 40 minutes. In the meantime peel & steam your potatoes until soft. Mash with the milk & salt & pepper & fold tbrough the spring onions. Lightly boil your Tenderstem broccoli for a few minutes. Slice the meatloaf, serve with the mash & meatloaf & enjoy!