Healthy & Light Chicken Tikka Masala

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I heard a few weeks ago that Chicken Tikka Masala topped the poll this year for Irelands favourite take out dish overtaking the legendary Spice bag (There’s a healthy spice bag recipe already available on the blog) and it’s been on my mind ever since to give it my light and healthy twist whilst keeping all the richness and depth of flavour which I think I have achieved here. Continue reading

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

Deliciously Spicy & Tender Szechaun Beef Served With Fluffy Wholegrain Basmati Rice


A gorgeous healthy Friday night dinner treat to rival your local take out with beautiful tender spicy beef, spicy sticky szechaun sauce & heaps of comforting steamy rice to accompany it. This is super quick & so easy to make it will be on your table feeding your family & friends in no time flat, guaranteeing happy bellies all around! This serves 4 people and comes in at 10 Smartpoints per serving (1 Smartpoint on the No Count Plan). Continue reading

Creamy Spicy Cajun Chicken Tagliatelle

  

You know one of those days when you open the fridge stare blankly inside, close it & repeat the process about 3 more times? Well that was me today. I had a small bit of chicken left over from the chicken coconut curry I made last night 
& was wondering what the heck I was going to make with it. Well this is what the heck I made with it! How would you like to try this gorgeous mountain of food for just 10 propoints? (1 on F&H if you use brown pasta) Yummy! Serves 1. I hope your Sunday is great x 100g Diced Chicken Fillet

60g Dried Weight Tagliatelle 

1 Small Red Onion Diced

1 Small Red & Yellow Pepper Diced

1 Clove of Garlic

65g Philadelphia Lightest Cream Cheese

2 Tsps Cajun Seasoning (I used my own blend you can find it under my Jambalaya recipe or use shop bought)

Fresh Basil

Salt & Black Pepper   Prepare the pasta as per packet instructions. Place the diced chicken in a bowl & coat well with the Cajun seasoning. Heat a medium saucepan and spray with oil. Sauté the onion and peppers for approximately five minutes until soft. Add the chicken and cook for a further 5 to 8 minutes until fully cooked. Crush in a clove of garlic and cook for a further minute. Season with salt and black pepper. Add in the Philadelphia and a small amount of pasta cooking water and stir well until the Philadelphia is melted into a sauce. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce stirring well until fully coated. Tear in some fresh basil leaves and serve immediately. Enjoy!  

Spicy Mexican Chicken & Tomato Soup

  
Tired of the same old homemade vegetable soup? Kick it up a notch with this spicy Mexican number! With chunky vegetables & shredded chicken this is more like a stew than a soup, a really substantial meal in itself it won’t need bread or any other accompaniments to fill you up. I’ve been having an issue on plan lately as we sometimes do & mine happens to be lunch. I usually end up over at the deli getting a wrap or something. It’s becoming detrimental not only to my food tracking due to guesstimating points but also to my pocket as it’s flippin expensive. So I’ve made a vow this week to give up this bad habit & bring my own lunches to work. Getting myself & the baby ready & out the door in the mornings is challenge enough without throwing preparing lunch into the mix so I’m being prepared & whipping up this tasty number today that’ll see me right for a few days at least. This is totally free on the filling & healthy plan & will cost 2 propoints a serving otherwise. It yields about 4 very generous servings.  
2 Chicken Fillets

1 Large Spanish Onion Diced

2 Large Carrots Peeled & Diced

2 Stalks of Celery Peeled & Diced

1/2 a Red, Yellow & Orange Pepper Diced

2 Cloves of Crushed Garlic

1 Tsp Dried Oregano 

1 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes

1 Tsp Ground Cumin 

1 Tsp Ground Coriander 

Salt & Black Pepper 

500ml Chicken Stock

2 Tins Plum Tomatoes Chopped

A Handful of Fresh Coriander 

  
Preheat your oven to 200c & roast the chicken for 25 minutes or until fully cooked through. Leave aside to cool slightly. In a large preheated pot sprayed with oil add the onion & fry for about 5 minutes. Add the carrot, celery & peppers & cook stirring occasionally until softened approximately 10 minutes or so. Crush the garlic into the pan & cook for a further minute. Add the oregano, chilli flakes, cumin, ground coriander and season with salt and pepper. Stir well & add the tomatoes (chop them through with a sharp knife while still in the can first). Pour in the stock & bring the soup to the boil. Reduce the heat & simmer for 25 minutes with a lid on. Shred the chicken using 2 forks & add to the soup 10 minutes before the end of cooking time. Just before serving add the chopped fresh coriander. Serve & enjoy!  

Juicy Double Bacon Cheese Burger on a Brioche Bun with Spicy Taco Sauce & Roasted Rosemary Butternut Squash Fries accompanied by Creamy Homemade Crème Fraiche Coleslaw

  
All of this can be yours for just 11 propoints (6pp F&H) who said Healthy Eating can’t be fun! 

For the Burgers:

500g Lean Steak Mince (5% Fat)

1 Onion Very Finely Diced

½ Tsp Mustard Powder

A Couple of Splashes of Worcestershire Sauce

¼ Tsp Spicy Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dried Parsley

½ Tsp Dried Oregano

½ Tsp Garlic Granules  

For the Taco Sauce:

4 Tbsps Lighter than Light Mayonnaise

2 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup

A Pinch of Spicy Smoked Paprika

A Splash of Tabasco

To Serve:

1 Aldi Brioche Burger Bun

A Couple of Leaves of Baby Gem Lettuce

Red Onion Sliced into Rounds

Sliced Tomato

8 Bacon Medallions

4 Reduced Fat Cheese Slices

For the Butternut Squash Fries:

2 Large Butternut Squash Peeled & Diced into Chip Shapes

A Handful of Fresh Rosemary Leaves Chopped  

For the Coleslaw:

Grated Carrot (1 medium)

Grated White Cabbage (about ¼ or so)

49g Half Fat Crème Fraiche

Salt & Black Pepper  

Grate the Carrot & White Cabbage in a food processer using the grating attachment. Place in a bowl with the crème fraiche & season with salt & black pepper. Cover with cling film & refrigerate until needed. Mix all the Taco Sauce ingredients well in a bowl until fully combined, cover with cling film & refrigerate until needed. Meanwhile combine all the burger ingredients together well in a bowl, try not to compact the meat too much with your hands, lightly mix it to avoid dense burgers. Divide the mixture into 8 meatballs & flatten them down to form 8 thin burger patties (these are thinner than my usual burgers but you get 2 so it’s essentially the same amount of meat in the end). Some of the diced onion might not make it into the patties & get left in the bowl this is fine the onion is for flavour & also to bulk the burgers out so don’t worry too much about leftovers as long as all the meat is used. These can be made in advance & covered & refrigerated until needed if necessary. Preheat your oven to 200c. Blot the Butternut Squash Fries with Kitchen roll to remove any additional moisture & Place them in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper & sprayed with oil. Spray the chips with oil & season with salt & black pepper & scatter with the chopped Rosemary Leaves. Bake for 15 minutes, take out of the oven for 15 minutes & place back into the preheated oven for a further 15 to 20 minutes. Fry the red onion rounds & bacon in a hot pan sprayed with oil for approximately 5 or 6 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the pan & keep warm. Fry the Burgers in the hot pan sprayed with oil for approximately 3 minutes each side or until fully cooked through & browning. Assemble the 4 burgers by laying the lettuce, tomato & red onion on your bun, lay a burger on top & a cheese slice & bacon medallion on top of each burger. Repeat this layer topping with the taco sauce instead of a second cheese slice. Top with the bun lids & serve with the butternut squash fries & the coleslaw & 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! 

Poptastically Savoury Spiced Popcorn 

  
Calling all savoury snack lovers & spice fiends! If you’re like me & prefer your Savoury Snacks to your Chocolate or Sweets you’ll love this spice blend to brighten up your popcorn snack! Delicious & Spicy this will hit the spot on the Snack Attack front. Comes in at 5pp but totally free if you’re on an F&H day. Serves 2 with extra spice mix left over for the next round, the spice mix will keep well in an airtight container. Hope you enjoy!   1 Tbsp Sweetener of your choice 

1/4 tsp Mustard Powder 

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper 

1/2 tsp Cumin Powder 

1/2 tsp Sea Salt ground

1/2 tsp Black Pepper ground

1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic Powder

1 tsp Smoked Paprika 

50g Popcorn Kernels 

1 tsp oil 

Mix all the spices together in a bowl & heat your oil in a medium saucepan over a highish heat. When the oil is hot add your popcorn kernels & place the lid on the pot, reduce the heat to medium & pop the kernels shaking the pot every so often until the kernels stop popping. Place in a bowl & sprinkle a small amount of the spice mix over (as much as desired but a quick warning do not add all the spice mix unless your made of a very hardy constitution! The rest of the spice can be stored for again) Enjoy the hot spicy morsels of delight!   

Spiced Chilli Meatballs with Homemade Balsamic Tomato Sauce & Tagliatelle

  
I cannot tell you how much I love tucking into a big bowl of pasta, it’s so comforting & filling & it really is such a substantial meal. Meatballs are like little bites of heaven, so flavourful & satisfying and really easy to throw together, I oven bake mine for the added healthy factor, there’s not much fat in 5% mince but any that there might be drains out & is left in the baking tray & not in your tummy! I gave these Meatballs a spicy little twist to give them a kick, I hope you enjoy! This is 11pp or 1pp on F&H if you use wholewheat pasta & it serves 4.   

For the Meatballs:

454g Lean 5% Steak Mince

1 Red Onion Finely Diced

1 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes

½ Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

Small Handful of Fresh Parsley Chopped

1/8th Tsp Mustard (the tip of a teaspoon)

1 Tsp Tomato Puree

½ Tsp Garlic Granules (or 1 clove fresh garlic crushed)

1 Slice of Calorie Controlled Wholemeal Bread torn into very small pieces
Salt & Black Pepper to season

For the Homemade Balsamic Tomato Sauce:

500g Passata (Use more if you like lots of sauce)

2 Shallots finely diced (Use ½ a white onion if desired I happened to have shallots)

1 Clove of Garlic Crushed

½ Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Sweetener or 1 Tsp of Sweetener

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

Small Handful of Fresh Parsley Chopped

To Serve:

240g Dried Tagliatelle or Wholewheat pasta if following F&H (220g Cooked portion of white pasta per person or 195g cooked portion of Wholewheat per person)

40g Freshly Grated Parmesan (10g per person)   

Mix all the ingredients for the Meatballs together in a large bowl, lightly & form into 16 medium sized Meatballs (try not to compact the meat too much when mixing or forming the balls or the meat will be dense). Place in an oven proof dish or on a baking tray sprayed with spray oil & bake in a preheated oven at 200c for approximately 25 minutes or until cooked through. Meanwhile prepare your pasta according to packet instructions (make this just before serving try not to make it in advance & leave it draining or it will go stodgy on you). Make the sauce by lightly frying the shallots in spray oil over a medium heat in a medium sized pot for approximately 3 to 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic & fry for a further 30 seconds to a minute. Add in the rest of the sauce ingredients (except the fresh parsley) & season with Salt & Pepper. Simmer the sauce over a low heat for 20 to 25 minutes while the Meatballs are cooking. Remove the Meatballs from the oven when cooked & pop them into the sauce now add your fresh parsley. Quickly drain your pasta & portion it out. Serve with the sauce & 4 Meatballs per person sprinkled with the Parmesan. Enjoy!   

Smokey BBQ Cheese & Bacon Burger with Spicy Mayo & Caramelised Balsamic Onions Served on a Lightly Toasted Brioche Bun with Pickles & Homemade Fries

  Phew! Get your mouth around that! The name & the burger! There are days when I seem to use my points quickly & they’re nearly all gone by lunch, then there are other days when I’ve barely used any points come dinnertime, well today was one of those days and I haven’t really felt like eating that much the last few days after being in pain with my back but following a visit to the chiropractor earlier today I’m feeling a good bit better & I’m making up for it with Dinner. This makes 4 Burgers & it’s 14pp including the fries. I hope you enjoy!   For the Caramelised Balsamic Onions:

3 Onions Sliced

A Splash of Balsamic Vinegar

Start making the onions first thing as they take a while to cook, the longer the better. Place the sliced onions in a pan sprayed with sprayoil over a very low heat & cook slowly for at least 25 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally until the onion has gone very soft & is browning. Add in a splash of Balsamic Vinegar for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.  For the Homemade Fries:

600g (150g per person) potatoes cut into chips.

Sprayoil

Place the chipped Potatoes on a plate & microwave for 3 minutes. Spray well with sprayoil & place in a preheated oven at 200c for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned & cooked through.  For the Smokey BBQ Burgers:

450g Steak Mince (5% Fat)

1 Red Onion Finely Diced 

1/8th of a tsp of Mustard

1 tsp Dried Oregano 

1 tsp BBQ Seasoning 

A Sprinkle of Garlic Granules

A Sprinkle of Smoked Paprika 

A Splash of Worcestershire Sauce

Small Handful of Fresh Parsley 

Salt & Pepper

Mix all the Ingredients well but lightly in a large bowl & shape them, lightly pressing the mixture into 4 equal size burger patties. Cook on a preheated griddle pan sprayed with sprayoil for approximately 8 to 10 minutes a side until fully cooked through. 

For the Spicy Mayonnaise:

3 Tbsp lighter than light mayo

1 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup 

1/4 of a tsp of Smoked Paprika 

Mix well in a small bowl until smooth & refrigerate until needed.

To Serve:

4 Brioche Burger Buns 

4 Light Cheese Slices

8 Fat Free Bacon Medallions Fried

Pickles Sliced

Place the Brioche Buns in the Oven for a minute or so with a cheese slice on each lid. Place pickles on the bun base, layer burger on top with bacon, caramelised onions, spicy mayo & top with the cheesy bun lid. Secure with a bamboo skewer to hold it in place. Serve with the hot Homemade Fries with Salt & Vinegar & Enjoy!