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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Melting Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Tomato, Bacon & Sweet Basil Sauce

I absolutely adore meatballs I definitely don’t think it’s the first time I’ve mentioned this nugget of information. Pasta is one of my all-time favourite foods to eat. I rarely make meatballs the same way twice, I always adapt them and adjust the ingredients to come up with different flavour combinations and variations. These are stuffed with gorgeous reduced fat mozzarella that melts in the centre and oozes out when you cut into each juicy meatball. This recipe serves 4 people at 12 Smartpoints a serving or Macros per serving 492Cal P46 C49 F11 Continue reading

Cheats Healthy Creamy Chicken & Bacon Carbonara

You might have noticed the recurring theme this week is quick, easy and healthy. It has been one of those weeks it really has! But don’t worry we all have those kinds of weeks & I’ve got you covered with quick & easy tasty meals to make your life a little simpler if you’re having a hectic week too. Tonight’s dinner honestly couldn’t be more easy to throw together in a hurry. This serves 1 person at 11 Smartpoints (2sp no count) or Macros 573cal, P79, C45, F8. Continue reading

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

Skinny Jeans and the Inbetweens


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 & a lovely helping of Parmesan to top it all off, 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…

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Homely Comforting Simple & Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese

  
Is there anything more comforting than Spag Bol? Homely & Humble, we all have a recipe for this family favourite. It’s just so Tasty, Cheap to make & the Epitome of Comfort Food, Simple & loved by all young & old it’s a real crowd pleaser. This is my low fat version. Spag bol doesn’t require much effort but it does require one important ingredient & that is time. It’s easy to throw together but it’s essential to allow it to reduce down into a flavoursome, glossy, thick ragu. I’m often asked how to stop spag bol from being watery & tasteless & the answer is time, time & patience. This needs simmering on a low heat for a minimum of at least an hour after preparing but I’ve been known to simmer this baby for up to 4 hours & it just gets better & better with age. This serves 4 at just 10pp without Cheese or free on thw filling & healthy plan if you use wholewheat spaghetti (add 3pp for 30g of reduced fat cheddar or only 1pp for 10g of Parmesan)   
500g 5% Fat Lean Minced Beef

1 Onion Finely Diced

2 Large Carrots Finely Diced

2 Sticks of Celery Finely Diced

1 Clove of Garlic Crushed

2 Tins of Plum Tomatoes

1 Tbsp Tomato Purée 

1 Beef Stock Cube

1&1/2 Tsps Dried Oregano

A Few Spigs Fresh Rosemary Finely Chopped 

A Handful of Fresh Basil 

Salt & Black Pepper 

880g Cooked White Spaghetti 

or 780g Cooked Wholewheat Spaghetti 

(Optional) 30g Reduced Fat Cheddar

or 10g Grated Parmesan 

 Heat a large pot over a medium heat & spray with sprayoil. Add the onion & fry for approximately 5 minutes. Add in the carrots & celery & fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the mince & cook until browned. 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, crumbled stock cube & the rest of the herbs & salt & pepper except the basil. Cook over a low heat uncovered for at least an hour stirring occasionally. Meanwhile prepare the spaghetti according to packet instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Just before serving tear the basil leaves into the bolognese & stir through. Serve on top of the cooked spaghetti with the grated cheese if desired & 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!  

Lavishly Creamy Garlic Chicken & Bacon Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes & Piccolo Basil

  Lavishly Creamy Garlic Chicken & Bacon Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes & Piccolo Basil for Dinner Tonight. I threw my back out earlier lifting the baby & fancied something very easy & quick to prepare with minimum effort but filling & satisfying too. Pasta is my ultimate comfort food when I’m feeling sorry for myself & this was so quick to throw together only 9pp or 1pp on F&H if you use fresh chicken 3pp if you use Precooked like I did here. I don’t usually use Precooked chicken for dinners, I normally use fresh but I accidentally defrosted a whole bag yesterday & it turned out for the best as it made this super easy & delicious when I needed something simple!  180g Cooked Wholewheat Spaghetti 

85g Precooked Chicken Pieces 

2 Bacon Medallions Chopped 

1 Shallot Diced

4/5 Cherry Tomatoes 

1 Garlic Clove

30g Lightest Philadelphia 

Salt & Pepper 

Fresh Piccolo Basil Leaves  Prepare the Spaghetti according to packet instructions. Meanwhile lightly fry the chopped bacon pieces in sprayoil & set aside. Soften the diced shallot in the same pan & add the chicken & bacon back in to heat through for a few minutes. Add the halved cherry tomatoes at the last minute. Crush in the garlic clove & fry for 30 seconds (garlic will burn & go bitter if cooked for too long) Add in the Philadelphia cream cheese & several tbsp of the pasta cooking water to soften it down to a sauce. Season well with black pepper & salt & toss through the piccolo basil leaves just before serving. Serve immediately & enjoy!