Saturday, 1 November 2014

Huevos Rancheros meets Ham, Egg and Chips

I really fancied huevos rancheros today, but as I'd already used my Hex B for my bacon butty at breakfast, I decided to substitute a thick slice of ham for the tortilla.

The advantage of serving it with a cooked salsa rather than raw, is that I could add plenty of onion to really up that superfree.

Husband requested chips, so I made him some black pepper jacket wedges. They're almost chips, and I can't be too compliant now can I?

So, this is what I did:

Serves 2
Syn free on Extra Easy

2 thick slices of ham, all visible fat removed
4 potatoes, skin left on, cut into wedges
salt and coarsely ground pepper
8 tomatoes, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

To flavour the salsa, I used the leftover spicy sauce from last night's tiger prawns, which consisted of:

a small knob of ginger, minced
a couple of cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp tomato purée
1-2 tsp paprika

Par boil the potatoes, shake well in a sieve or colander to rough them up a bit, place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper. Cook in the oven on a high temperature until nicely brown.

Meanwhile, make the salsa. Sauté the chopped onion, garlic and ginger in Fry Light until soft, then add the tomatoes. Continue cooking for a minute or two, then add the tomato purée and paprika. You may need to add some water if the mixture is too stiff.

Serve with the ham and a fried egg.

Butternut Squash and Leek Risotto with Garlic-Ginger Tiger Prawns

Serves 2
2 syns on Extra Easy*

* providing you use the cheese as your Hex A

6 large raw tiger prawns
knob of ginger
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp paprika

150g arborio rice
bouillon powder
125ml dry white wine
60g grated Parmesan cheese
1 large leek, sliced
a small butternut squash, quartered

Bake the butternut squash at 210°C until al dente (or as soft as you would like it). When cooked, scoop out the flesh using criss cross cuts which don't go right the way through the skin (much as you would with a mango).

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the prawns. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the turn pink. Do not overcook or they will be tough. Drain, retaining the liquid, and plunge immediately into a bowl of iced water to arrest the cooking process. When cool enough to handle, peel the prawns.

Sautée the garlic and ginger in a little Fry Light until it is just beginning to go brown, then add the tomato purée and paprika plus a little of the cooking water from the prawns. Just before the risotto is ready, add the prawns to the sauce – either whole or sliced – to reheat.

Place the rice in a saucepan with some of the cooking liquid from the prawns, bring to the boil and stir continuously while the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue adding about a ladle-ful of water each time, adding the wine and bouillon powder at some stage. About half way through (the whole process usually takes 20-30 minutes), add the leeks. When the rice is cooked to your liking, add the butternut squash and stir until the squash it heated through. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the cheese. Serve with the prawns on top.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Cheat's Chicken Fajita

Fajitas are a favourite in this house when we want something quick and easy for lunch or dinner, so when I discovered that I could have the BFree wraps as my Healthy Extra A, I was very excited. I would normally have (at least) a couple of fajitas, but thinking about it, the filling is what really matters. So I made one HUGE wrap today, full of flavoursome chicken and superfree veggies, with just 1 syn! Result!

I call this a “cheat's chicken fajita” because I used cooked deli chicken instead of chopping and frying my own.Tut tut tut.


Serves 2
1 syn on Extra Easy*

* providing you use the wrap as your Healthy Extra B

BFree Wheat and Gluten Free Wholegrain Wraps
ca 1/3 green pepper, thinly sliced
ca 1/3 red pepper, thinly sliced
ca 1/3 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
250g cooked chicken, torn into small pieces
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp sweetener
4-6 tomatoes, depending on size, deseeded and finely chopped
½ onion, peeled and finely chopped
a few coriander leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp lazy chilli (or to taste)
salt and black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp fat free fromage frais
4 tbsp Discovery Guacamole Style Topping (½ syn per tbsp)
salad leaves to serve

Sauté the peppers and onions in Fry Light until soft. Add the chicken and stir well. Mix the paprika, celery salt, salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and sweetener and add 2-3 tbsp water to mix. Pour into the chicken and vegetable pan and stir well to coat. Continue stirring, adding more water if necessary, until everything is heated through.

While the vegetables are cooking, make the tomato salsa. Mix together the chopped tomatoes, onion and coriander, and add the lemon juice, lazy chilli and salt and pepper to taste.

Place one wrap on each plate and top with the salad leaves, followed by the chicken and vegetable mix. Divide the tomato salsa between the two plates and top with fromage frais and guacamole style topping. Roll up – if you can, mine was so fat it was almost impossible – and enjoy. 


Monday, 2 June 2014

Cinnamon Crisps with Mixed Fruit Dip

I love surfing the net for ideas of what to make. I mostly just type in just one or two keywords and press “Images”; and take a look at the pictures that come up. Usually I can find a recipe I can adapt or I get an idea for a completely new one. This is something that I would never even have considered, but it was certainly worth the effort. It's very different and the texture of the crisps goes well with the softness of the fruit. Remember to syn the fruit if you cook or purée your fruit or berries.

** I used frozen mixed fruit (apples, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries and raspberries) from Farrington Gurney Farm Shop. It is available loose, has a lovely fresh taste and saves a lot of chopping. 


Serves 2
Syn free*

* providing you use the wraps as your Healthy Extra B

2 BFree Wheat and Gluten Free Wholegrain Wraps
2 tbsp sweetner
1 tsp cinnamon
finely chopped fruit or soft berries to serve**

Cut each tortilla in 12 pieces and place on a pizza cooking plate. 

 Spray with Fry Light. Mix together the sweetener and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the tortillas. Spray with Fry Light again over the top and bake in the oven at 200-210°C for around 5 minutes. 

You need to keep an eye on it as they can easily burn. They are done when slightly puffed out and have turned crispy. 

Leave to cool on a tray until cold. 

 Serve with the fruit for dipping. 

Leftover Meatloaf Hash

Mondays are nearly always leftover days, and today I managed to empty no less than eight containers when cooking our lunch – not bad going eh? 


This is not a recipe as such, more of an idea of what to do with leftovers. Using the remains of the meatloaf as a base, I added nearly all the leftovers I had in the fridge. The list looks like this:

cooked Jersey Royal potatoes
cooked carrots
cooked baby sweetcorn
cooked tenderstem broccoli
cooked sugarsnap peas
grilled cherry tomatoes

I also had containers with Oriental coleslaw and Vietnamese pickled vegetables which I mixed together, and half a box of salad leaves which I served alongside the hash. 


I started off by crushing the potatoes between two palms, then tearing them roughly with my hands. In a large pan sprayed with some Fry Light, I sautéed the potatoes for a few minutes before adding everything else. I found it to be a little dry, so I added some water to make it a smoother consistency and some chilli flakes to zest it up a little. 

I do love leftovers, and the challenge of creating something that tastes good.

Turkey and mushroom stroganoff

This dish is nowhere near as difficult as it looks and is sure to impress your guests. It has plenty of superfree, especially as I served it with carrots, sugar snap peas and baby sweetcorn. 

 Lots of superfree

Serves 4
Syn free on extra easy

500g turkey breast, cubed
200g mushrooms, sliced
3 leeks, sliced
200g fat free fromage frais
1-2 tbsp bouillon powder
½ tsp mustard
1-2 tbsp sweetener
dash of Worcestershire sauce
500g wholewheat tagliatelli

Sauté the turkey, mushrooms and leeks in Fry Light until the vegetables are soft and the turkey cooked through. Turn the heat right down and add fromage frais, bouillon powder, mustard, sweetener and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Stir until heated through, but make sure it doesn't boil at it will curdle. You may want to add some water to get the right consistency.

Meanwhile, cook the tagliatelli as per packet instructions, and drain. Grease a doughnut-shaped baking tin and stuff the pasta in the ring. Place a flat serving dish over the top and put the whole thing in an oven on very low for a few minutes to firm it up a bit. It is best to have a dish that is quite a bit larger than the size of the ring as the content will spill over the edge when you cut into it if the plate is too small (as I found out). When you are ready to serve, turn the plate upside down and ease the tagliatelli out of the ring. Spoon the stroganoff into the centre and serve with vegetables or a salad. 

Kiwi and Blueberry Cheesecake Cups

I love cheesecakes but they are so not diet foods, but this gives me a little bit of relief from my cravings without breaking the syn bank. This is a nice and easy recipe which is assembled in minutes. 


Serves 2
Syn free on Extra Easy*

* providing you use the cream cheese as your Healthy Extra A

2 kiwis
a handful blueberries
150g Philadelphia Light
200g fat free fromage frais
sweetener to taste
a few drops rum essence
2-3 tbsp caramelised buckwheat

In tall wine glasses, place the finely chopped kiwi flesh and blueberries. Mix together the cream cheese, fromage frais, sweetener and rum essence and spoon over the fruit. Just as you are about to serve, sprinkle the buckwheat over.