Sumptuous Smoky Sloppy Joes

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Sumptuous Smoky Sloppy Joes, fun to say, fun to make, fun to eat.  I’m always on the hunt for new ways to use beef mince & this did not disappoint with a gorgeous smoky depth of flavour and crispy chunky homemade oven fries to accompany it for a huge satisfying but healthy meal. Continue reading

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Glorious Spicy Lean Taco Fries


Glorious Spicy Lean Taco Fries, all the flavour of this takeaway favourite without any need to wait until cheat day to indulge in this healthy version. I’ve made this recipe before (it’s here on the blog somewhere but this is an updated improved version) and had made the fries myself with potato rather than sweet potato and you can most certainly make the fries yourself using plain potato or sweet potato but these strong root frozen sweet potato fries are so so handy and I can never get my home-made sweet potato fries that divinely crispy. This recipe serves four and the taco mince mixture freezes well once cooled if you’re doing meal prep, just use 130 g of the frozen fries per serving as required. This is quite spicy well for my taste anyway, if you want it less spicy just dial down the amount of the spices you put in, if you like it hot hot hot use hot chilli powder instead of mild. The macros on this per serving are 479Cal P40 C37 F17 Smartpoints 13 Continue reading

Guiltless Smokey Steak Burger with a Velvety Soft Fried Egg & Peppery Rocket on a Wholemeal Burger Bun

The stuff Saturday Night dinner dreams are made of. Indulge in a gorgeous juicy burger made with healthy lean steak mince & a silky egg full of protein with some healthy wholemeal carbs to encase it all in, just superb.10 Smartpoints for this glorious burger how good is that! (5sp on No Count) I hope you’re having a Fabulous Saturday Night  Continue reading

Easy Cheesy Healthy Bolognese Pasta Bake

  I’m quite adept at coming up with ideas to use up leftovers & I had leftover mince, cheese & thyme from last night’s dinner so this is what was made. I always have a few staples & tinned plum tomatoes always inhabit my larder so this was a very easy healthy & quite a filling choice. Pasta is always my go to comfort food, it’s extremely versatile & incredibly satisfying to the tummy. Bolognese is always so packed with flavour & tasty be it served with spaghetti & cheese or baked in the oven in this gorgeous pasta bake. This serves 4 hungry people at 10pp a portion (1pp on F&H). Dinner is sorted! Here’s the Skinny:   400g Lean 5% Fat Beef Steak Mince

1 Onion Finely Diced

2 Large Carrots Finely Diced

2 Sticks of Celery Finely Diced

1 Red Pepper Diced

1 Clove of Garlic Crushed

2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

A Few Spigs Fresh Thyme Leaves 

A Handful of Fresh Basil 

Salt & Black Pepper 

240g Dried Pasta Shapes

30g Reduced Fat Grated Cheddar

30g Reduced Fat Grated Mozzarella  Start by making the Bolognese sauce, this is not difficult in the slightest but it does require time to simmer down & thicken into a glossy flavour filled sauce otherwise the sauce will be watery & not as flavoursome. Heat a large pot over a medium heat & spray with oil. Add the onion & fry for approximately 5 minutes until softening. Add in the carrots, pepper & celery & fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the mince & cook until browned through. Add the garlic & cook for a further minute. Add in the tomatoes chopping them with a sharp knife once in the pot. Add the purée, the rest of the herbs (except the basil) & salt & pepper. Cook over a medium low heat uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally until the Bolognese is thick & glossy. Meanwhile prepare the pasta according to packet instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water.   Just before adding to the bake tear the basil leaves into the bolognese & stir through. Place the cooked pasta shapes & Bolognese in an ovenproof dish & top with the grated cheese. Place in a preheated oven at 180c for about 30 minutes. Serve & enjoy!  

Lovely Spicy Red Pepper Mince Goulash with Humble Brown Rice

  

Late dinner tonight as it often is with a small baby to tend to! I was so demotivated to cook a dinner tonight! The baby is back up out of bed & should’ve been in bed an hour and a half ago, laughing away at Mickey Mouse & not a whit of tiredness on her but I persevered! I’m so over making the same old mince dishes over & over again (bolognese, shepards pie, meatballs etc) Whilst they are perfectly yummy I was looking for new ideas for mince dishes & decided to try hungarian goulash. Traditionally made with stewing steak but just as good with mince. Goulash is kind of a cross between a stew & a soup, I like mine a bit thicker so cook it for longer. People often ask me whats the secret to good bolognese or mince dishes, the secret is time! You can make them up pretty quickly & handily but you must allow them to simmer & reduce down sufficiently (I’ve been known to simmer bolognese for 4 hours sometimes & it gets better with every minute, at least an hour suffices otherwise it’s just a watery mess on a plate, if you let it reduce properly it becomes thick & glossy & so very tasty) It’s all about the paprika here & the red pepper compliments it well, I highly dislike green peppers & had no yellow or orange ones but feel free to use whatever ones you have available. This is tasty & filling & something a wee bit different! Serves 4 at just 10pp or free on the filling & healthy plan. Here’s the Skinny:   
450g 5% fat steak mince 

1 onion diced roughly

2 cloves garlic crushed

2 small red peppers 

2 tsps smoked paprika 

1 tsp tsp regular paprika 

1 tin plum tomatoes 

1 tbsp tomato purée 

Salt & black pepper 

1 tsp sweetener 

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

A few dashes Worcestershire sauce 

400ml boiling water 

1 beef stock cube

A small handful of fresh thyme 

2 bay leaves 

600g weight of cooked rice  

Lightly fry your onion for a few minutes & add the sliced red pepper. Continue to fry until soft (approximately 5 more minutes) add in the mince & fry until browned, add the crushed garlic for 30 seconds & then pop in the paprika, thyme, salt and pepper, sweetener, mustard, Worcestershire, bay leaves. Fry for a few minutes & add the tomato purée & tomatoes, stir well & add the stock made with the boiling water & stock cube. Simmer for approximately 40 minutes to an hour on a medium heat. Meanwhile make up the rice according to packet instructions. Fluff up the cooked rice & remove the bay leaves serve with the goulash and Enjoy! 

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!  

Big Mac in a Bowl

  
Boom! Big Mac in a Bowl! Love Maccy D’s? Feel like you’re missing out on the big mac taste while on plan? At a whopping 13pp without fries a Big Mac quickly eats into your daily propoints values while you quickly eat into a big mac! but this Slimming World recipe has been doing the rounds for donkeys yonks & is a very tasty alternative at only 4pp & free on F&H! You can add a slice of nuclear processed reduced fat cheese á la Maccy D’s for an extra point on both plans. I have to admit I found the original recipe a little bland & added some dried parsley & a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce to the mince to taste. Serves 4 and it’s 1 syn if following slimming world. Here it is in all its glory:

Sprayoil 

400g lean 5% steak mince

1 onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic crushed (2 if desired)

Couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp dried parsley 

Salt & freshly ground black pepper 

1/2 iceberg lettuce roughly shredded

8 gherkins sliced

1 small red onion diced

2 tomatoes roughly chopped 

For the SW Super Sauce:

3 level tbsp ligher than light mayo

5 tbsp fat free fromage frais

1 level tbsp American style mustard 

2 tbsp tomato purée 

2 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp onion granules

1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika 

(4 slices low fat cheese slices if desired)

Spray a large, heavy-based non-stick frying pan with Frylight and place over a high heat. Add the beef, onion and garlic and stir-fry for 6-7 minutes or until the beef is cooked through and the onions have softened. Season well.

Meanwhile, put all the SW super sauce ingredients in a bowl with 4 tablespoons of water and whisk until well combined.

Mix together the lettuce, gherkins, onions and tomatoes and divide between four wide bowls. Spoon the beef mixture on top, drizzle over the SW super sauce (add cheese if using) and serve hot enjoy!