Exquisitely Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash & Cumin Soup


The evenings are getting dark, the leaves are turning beautiful bronze , russet & golden shades & autumn has definitely made its presence known. I have a beautiful warming autumnal soup for you to try to warm up the colder days, gorgeous roasted butternut squash. Butternut Squash is notoriously difficult to peel & guess what, you don’t even have to peel it for this recipe – excellent news! This is simple & filling & fantastically low at 0 smartpoints for the whole recipe. This will make a good batch of 5 to 6 servings & can be frozen if you wish.  Continue reading

Advertisements

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! 

Delicate Thai Spiced Turkey Patties with Toasted Sesame Carrot Fries & Mango Chutney Mayonnaise

 Continuing on from my last post the low carb week continues… this is just fabulously tasty & so flavoursome! 2, yes there’s 2! Beautifully Spiced Turkey Burgers & Toasted Sesame Flavoured Carrot Fries for just 6 propoints per serving  (Just 1 propoint on filling & healthy) serves 2.   
For the Sesame Carrot Fries:

6 Carrots peeled & cut into fries

1 Tsp Sesame Oil
For the Thai Spiced Turkey Patties:

400g Turkey Mince

2 Spring Onions finely chopped 

A Small Handful of Fresh Coriander 

1/2 Tsp Grated Ginger 

1/2 Red Chilli finely diced 

1 Tsp Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

A Small Dash Fish Sauce

Juice of 1/2 a Lime

1 Garlic Clove Crushed
For the Mango Mayonnaise:

1 Tbsp Mango Chutney 

1 Tbsp Lighter than Light Mayonnaise 
To Garnish:

Baby Gem Lettuce 

Cucumber

Carrot  

Peel & chop the carrots into chip shapes & place in a bowl with the sesame oil. Shake them around to evenly coat them in the oil & place them into a preheated oven at 220c for 35 to 45 minutes until cooked through. Meanwhile add all the patty ingredients to a large bowl & mix gently bit well being careful not to compact the meat too much to keep the patties light and not dense. Shape into 4 equal sized burger/patty shapes & fry in a preheated griddle pan sprayed with oil over a medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes each side or until completely cooked through. For the Mango Chutney Mayonnaise simply mix the Mayo & chutney well together in a small bowl. Arrande some baby gem lettuce leaves in a circle on your plate & add slices of cucumber & carrot shaved with a vegetable peeler. Lay the thai patties on top & spoon over a tablespoon of the mayonnaise. Serve with the hot sesame carrot fries & 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!