Delicious Creole Jambalaya with Chicken & Sausage

  

Jambalaya the very word makes me want to just dance for some reason it’s one of those rhythmic words that rolls off the tongue happily & easily. Jambalaya originates in Louisiana home of cajun & creole food & apparently the main difference between a cajun & creole jambalaya is that a creole version uses tomatoes where a cajun one does not. It’s very similar to a Spanish Paella (I have a lovely Chicken & Chorizo Paella recipe already on the blog) and I always find these kind of rice dishes very comforting, filling & packed with flavour! I’ve made this using my very own easy homemade creole spice blend too. This serves 4 at a fabulous 9 propoints per person. You can use Wholegrain rice to make this 1 propoint on the filling & healthy plan, the main consideration regarding the rice is that it should long grain so Wholegrain basmati would work very well. Here’s the skinny:
  
240g Long Grain Rice

2 Chicken Fillets Diced 

5 Reduced Fat Sausages (1pp each)

1 Onion Finely Diced

2 Stalks of Celery Peeled & Chopped 

1 Red Bell Pepper Finely Sliced

1 Yellow Bell Pepper Finely Sliced

1 Clove Garlic

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning (Recipe below)

1 400g Tin Plum Tomatoes 

350ml Hot Chicken Stock

A Handful Fresh Parsley

Salt & Black Pepper 

For the Creole Seasoning:

(It’s very little work and hardly any effort to make your own creole seasoning & trust me it’s going to taste much better than any premade one. This yields a good supply considering you only need a Tablespoon for this recipe & will keep in an airtight jar or container for further uses, gorgeous even just sprinkled over a chicken fillet before baking in the oven.)

3Tbsp Paprika 

1 Tbsp Salt

1 Tbsp Garlic Granules

1/2 Tbsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper 

1/2 Tbsp Onion Powder

1/2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper 

1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano 

1/2 Tbsp Dried Thyme

1/2 Tbsp Dried Basil 

Mix well in a bowl – that’s it! You’ll need 1 Tablespoon for the recipe. 

 Heat a large lidded pan over a medium heat & spray it with oil. Dice the chicken into 1 inch bite sized pieces. Chop the sausages into 3 pieces each. Fry the chicken for about 5 minutes & add the sausage pieces & fry for a further 10 minutes or so until everything is cooked through & browning. Add 1 Tbsp of the creole seasoning & mix well. Add the onion, celery & bell peppers to the pan & continue to fry everything until the onion & pepper softens approximately 8 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic & fry for 30 seconds. Add the worcestershire sauce & stir through. Add the rice & stir through for a few seconds to start the rice cooking. Pour in the tomatoes breaking them up with your wooden spoon. Pour in the stock & season with salt & pepper if required. Put the lid on & simmer over a medium heat for about 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is cooked only lifting the lid about twice during cooking time to stir it well. If it starts to slightly stick to the pan scrape it all up with your wooden spoon & continue to cook this will just add extra flavour so don’t worry. Reduce the heat slightly for the last 10 minutes. Just before serving add a handful of chopped fresh parsley. Dish up & enjoy!  

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Delectable Creamy Cheesy Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Chonchiglioni with Tomato Sauce

  

I can’t say it, I can’t even try! Chonchiglioni or “shells” to you or me! These are little morsels of heaven, a little fiddly to stuff but worth the small effort that entails. These were supposed to be sausage, spinach & ricotta but my local store was fresh out of ricotta until Monday & considering I live in a small town & the nearest next store to buy ricotta is a 48km round trip I substituted quark instead. Feel free to use ricotta if such niceties are easily available to you (the points may change the quark was 1pp). Serves 4 at 8pp a portion nothing wrong with that! Here’s the skinny:
240g Dried Large Chonchiglioni (Pasta Shells)

6 Low Fat Sausages (1pp a piece my preference is Mallons low fat gluten free)

1/2 an Onion Finely Diced

1 Large Bag Fresh Baby Spinach

85g Quark

1 Clove Garlic Crushed

Fresh Basil Leaves

Salt & Black Pepper 

20g Grated Parmesan Cheese

500g Passata 

1 Tsp Dried Oregano  

Blanch the Conchiglioni (shells) for 7 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain, run under cold water & set aside. Fry the spinach for 2 to 3 minutes until wilted, drain & set aside. Fry your onion for 3 minutes until softened in sprayoil & remove the skin from the sausages & add to the pan. Break the sausages up into small pieces with a wooden spoon while frying for approximately 5 minutes until cooked. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic for 30 seconds. Place the sausage mix in a bowl. Squeeze any excess water out of the spinach & add to the bowl with the sausage, quark & fresh chopped basil leaves. Meanwhile heat the passata in a saucepan seasoning with the oregano, more basil & some salt & pepper. Pour half the tomato sauce into an ovenproof dish. Spoon 1/2 a teaspoon or so of the sausage & spinach mix into each shell & lay the pasta on top of the tomato sauce. Drizzle the remaining tomato sauce across the top & sprinkle with the parmesan & bake in a preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes until heated through & browning. Serve & Enjoy!  

Creamy, Sausage, Sage & Onion Stuffed Mushrooms Topped with Parmesan

  
A beautiful starter if you’re planning that special dinner or just a gorgeous low point tea with some salad. These tasty little numbers are low in Propoints & have a beautiful stuffing & cheese centre. This recipe makes 4 large stuffed mushrooms at 2pp a piece (1pp on F&H) or you can use the stuffing with a roast dinner without the cream cheese or parmesan & the whole thing is just 5pp easily serving 2/3 people. Here’s the recipe:   

4 Large Cap Mushrooms 

2 Slices Wholemeal Calorie Controlled Bread 

2 Low Fat Sausages 

3 Tbsps Lightest Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1 Medium Shallot 

2 or 3 Leaves of Fresh Sage 

Few Sprigs Fresh Thyme 

Handful of Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley 

20g Grated Parmesan Cheese 

Salt & Black Pepper   Preheat the oven to 180c. Finely chop the shallot & fry in a heated pan sprayed with oil for approximately 3 minutes until softened. Remove the skin from the sausages & add to the pan breaking them apart with a wooden spoon into small bits frying them for approximately 5 minutes stirring & breaking all the time until they are fully cooked. Blitz the bread, sage, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor or hand blender to make breadcrumbs. Add these to the sausage & onion mix for about 5 minutes stirring until the breadcrumbs are well toasted. (At this stage you can use this loose stuffing for a roast dinner or cool the mix & add 1 or 2tbsps of cream cheese to make stuffing balls that you can bake in the oven & use for a roast dinner too or continue with the recipe for the stuffed mushrooms). Transfer the breadcrumb sausage mixture to a bowl & put aside for about 10 minutes to cool & then mash in the Philadelphia cream cheese evenly mixing it through. Peel & destalk your mushrooms or prepare them as you usually do (I normally peel them as I’m slightly OCD like that! but just brush them off with a pastry brush or similar if not peeling them to remove loose dirt, you’re not supposed to ever wash mushrooms it water logs them & makes them incredibly soggy). Lay them on a baking tray lined with foil. I gave the foil a quick spray of oil too. Fill each mushroom with equal amounts of stuffing & top each with 5g of grated parmesan. Carefully place in the preheated oven & bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked & the cheese has melted on top. Serve the Mushrooms with a fresh salad as a starter or serve with the accompaniments of your choice for a nice low propoint tea & Enjoy! 

Mini Sausage Meatball & Bacon Breakfast Casserole

  I’m always on the hunt for weekend Breakfast ideas, I love to have a cooked Breakfast at the end of the week after a week of porridge made with water every day which, let’s face it, is practically like eating gruel! Don’t get me wrong, it fills me up till lunch & does it’s job well but it’s just doesn’t cut it for a Saturday or Sunday. I concocted this Breakfast Casserole in the quest for Weekend Yumminess and let me tell you it really hits the spot! This serves 4 at 5pp each or 2pp on F&H. I’ve eaten it & the leftovers are calling me from the fridge it was that delicious, I may have to reheat a portion for lunch too!  4 Reduced Fat Sausages at 1pp a piece

4 Bacon Medallions chopped into pieces 

2 Slices of Calorie Controlled Wholemeal Bread Cubed

4 Eggs

40g Reduced Fat Cheddar Grated

3 Tbsps Skimmed Milk 

3/4 Spring Onions Chopped 

Small Handful of Fresh Parsley 

Salt & Black Pepper    Spray a frying pan with sprayoil & squeeze the meat out of the sausages into small meatball shapes, you should get 4 meatballs per sausage. Fry these until brown & cooked & add in the bacon pieces about 5 minutes in until they’re cooked also. Add the spring onions to the pan for the last minute to soften. Remove from the pan into a bowl & allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Whisk the eggs & milk together & add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients mixing well. Spray a small casserole dish with sprayoil & add the mixture. Bake in a preheated oven at 180c for approximately 35 minutes or until cooked through & set. Enjoy! This would be fabulous with a side of fried mushrooms & cherry tomatoes & maybe a couple of tablespoons of baked beans.         

Velvety Sausage Ragu with Penne & Parmigiano Reggiano

  

(Pregnant Jool’s Pasta recipe by Jamie Oliver)

Beautifully Silky Smooth Sausage Ragu with Wonderfully Filling Wholewheat Penne & Creamy Grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Only 4pps on F&H or 10 Propoints if pointing. This is a fabulous Jamie Oliver recipe from 30 minute meals that has become a staple in my dinner repertoire over the last few years. This is amazingly tasty & easy too. Don’t be tempted to use low fat sausages get the good meaty butcher ones that are about 3pps each, the tastiness of this dish is all about the good quality of the sausages used, low fat ones just won’t give the same result & it’s a very low point dish even with the good sausages so it’s worth it! Serves 6. Hope you Enjoy!  Ingredients:

4 Spring Onions

1 Carrot

1 Stick of Celery

1-2 Fresh Chillies

1 x 6 pack of good quality Sausages (400g)

1 Heaped Tsp Fennel Seeds

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

360g Dried Wholewheat Penne

1 Clove of Garlic

4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 400g Tin of Plum Tomatoes

A Few Sprigs of Fresh Basil

60g Grated Parmigiano Reggiano  

Method:

Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Put the standard blade attachment into the food processor. Trim the spring onions, carrot and celery. Roughly chop all the vegetables, then blitz in the food processor with the chillies (stalks removed). Add the sausages, a heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds and one teaspoon of oregano. Keep pulsing until well mixed, then spoon this mixture into the hot frying pan with spray oil, breaking it up and stirring as you go. Keep checking on it and stirring while you get on with other jobs. Put a large deep saucepan on a low heat and fill with boiled water. Fill and re-boil the kettle. Top up the saucepan with more boiled water if needed. Season well with Salt, then add the penne and cook according to packet instructions, with the lid askew. Drain the pasta, reserving about a wine glass worth of the cooking water, Crush the cloves of garlic into the sausage mixture and stir in the balsamic vinegar and tinned tomatoes. Add a little of the starchy cooking water from the pasta to loosen if needed. Tip the pasta into the pan of sauce and give it a gentle stir, adding enough of the cooking water to bring it to a silky consistency. taste, correct the seasoning. then tip into a large serving bowl and take straight to the table with the rest of the Parmesan for grating Over. Scatter over the basil leaves. Enjoy!

Breakfast Pizza

  

 Forgive me for the lateness of Today’s Breakfast post but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s worth the wait. Mealtimes aren’t guaranteed when you have Smallies in the House! Breakfast Pizza! Oh yeah… I went there! All your Breakfast Assortments in Pizza form, how good is that! Only 8pp or a mere 2pp on F&H! This serves 1 cos I ain’t sharing!  

   
1 WW Wrap

1 Reduced Fat Sausage 

2 Bacon Medallions

30g Light Mozarella 

2 Mushrooms 

3/4 Cherry Tomatoes 

1/2 Shallot

1 Egg

Passatta 

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano 

Salt & Pepper 

Fresh Piccolo Basil  

I fried my wrap in the pan with sprayoil first so it wouldn’t be too soft, a minute each side. Mix the Passatta, Tomato Purée & Oregano together & Season with Salt and pepper. Spread over the wrap leaving a small border around the edge. Meanwhile fry your Bacon & Sausage in Sprayoil & cut into small bitesized pieces. Lay on the pizza with the chopped Mushrooms, Shallots & Cherry Tomatoes leaving a free space in the centre for the Egg. Tear over the Mozzarella & Basil Leaves & carefully break the Egg into the centre. Season with Salt and pepper & place in a preheated oven at 180c for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until it’s fully cooked & Enjoy!