Burghal (or bulgar as it is known in the Western world) is a bit of a staple in a lot of Assyrian kitchens. Used in salads such as Tabbouleh, or in dishes like Khipti (meatball soup) or Kubbah (stuffed dumplings), … Continue reading
This light lunch is perfect for when you don’t want to use your HexB on bread or a wrap for a sandwich.
You’ll need a chicken breast sliced as thinly as you can, sliced onion, chopped chilli, garlic and coriander. Lemon juice, salt, pepper, two large lettuce leaves (I used romaine), and a tablespoon of extra light mayo for 1/2 syn (I used Aldi Bramwells).
Dry fry the chicken, onion, garlic and chilli until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Throw in most of the coriander, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a good grind of salt and pepper. Spoon into the lettuce leaves, drizzle with the mayo and scatter the rest of the coriander leaves over the top. Ready in 5 minutes although I bet I ate them in less! Delicious!
A few weeks ago my five year old saw ice cream cookie sandwiches being made on Food Network and nagged me to make them ever since. So, one rainy half term day last week we made some, and they looked … Continue reading
I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Well, actually that’s not strictly true…I’ve been struggling to get to sleep then struggling to get up again in the morning, subsequently drinking far too much black coffee to keep me functioning during the day. Anyway, this tiredness coupled with the start of a cold left me hankering for something sweet and stodgy for breakfast this morning. I really fancied proper pancakes with maple syrup and smoked bacon, but actually this is definitely more slimming world friendly.
I took three pieces of crustless wholemeal bread (60g) as my Healthy Extra B choice and brushed the edges with an eggy concoction made by beating an egg with a tsp vanilla extra and a tsp stevia. After brushing the edges, I measured out 1 tbsp Choc Shot (2 syns) and divided between the three pieces of bread dolloping it on one half of each slice. Taking a corner of a slice, I folded it over diagonally to make a samosa shape and used the back of a fork to crimp it down to seal. Once all three were folded and crimped I dripped them all in the remaining eggy mixture before dry frying on a medium heat for a few minutes until they were golden. I served these with some fat free yoghurt mixed with a little vanilla extract and fresh cherries and strawberries. It definitely hit the spot whilst staying on plan! Yum!
Want to see what else I’ve been eating? Check out my Instagram feed here.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that since the beginning of the year I have been following the Slimming World plan in a bid to shift a few pounds before my 35th birthday in June. I have been absolutely amazed at how much you can eat and still lose weight! It really isn’t a diet; I’m certainly not missing out on anything, in fact I’m eating more than I was before and getting better results!
At group on Tuesday we had a taster session where members brought in all kinds of delicious food to try and inspire the other members to try new things. The Assyrian in me has been delighted at how easily adaptable a lot of my native dishes are to the Slimming World plan, so I thought I’d rustle up some Dolma (stuffed vine leaves), with Iynee and Gneve (literally translated as eyes and eyelashes! – I know, I don’t get it either. Basically a spicy tomato salsa and greek yoghurt).
They were a hit, with every last one being devoured. They are fiddly to make, but well worth the time investment. Here’s the recipe, passed down from my Granny, to my mum, to me. Enjoy!
2 packets of preserved vine leaves
1lb minced beef or lamb (less than 5% fat). Alternatively you can make these vegetarian by leaving out the meat and adding in an extra half cup of rice.
1 mug basmati rice
1 large onion
5 spring onions
1 green pepper
large bunch of fresh dill
large bunch of fresh parsley
2 cloves crushed garlic
juice of half a lemon
salt & black pepper
1 dsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp tomato puree
Soak the preserved vine leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes. Chop the onion, spring onions, tomatoes, celery leaves, green pepper and herbs as finely as possible. Fry the onion and garlic before adding the meat, if using, spices, tomato puree and chopped tomatoes to the pan. and cook through. Allow the mixture to cool before adding in the rest of the ingredients.
While the mixture is cooling sort through the vines leaves, lining the bottom of a heavy casserole pan with any torn ones (this will prevent the dolma from sticking).
When the stuffing is cool, place a dessert spoon of it on the base of a vine leaf, fold the sides in and roll up tightly. Stack the dolmas in the casserole pan as you go. Place a ceramic saucer on top of the dolma once you’ve rolled and staked them all in the pan to prevent them moving around when cooking.
Mix together 1.5 cups of boiling water with 1 chicken stock cube, 1 tbsp tomato puree and the juice of half a lemon. Pour over the dolma and boil them for 15 minutes on a medium heat, before turning down to low and cooking slowly for around 45 minutes. Take care not to overcook – soggy rice is grim.
Serve with Greek yogurt and make a salsa by frying off 1 onion, 1 crushed clove of garlic, and then adding in 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, salt and block pepper.
A couple of weeks ago a friend shared a Slimming World recipe for sweet potato onion bhajis with me. Baked rather than fried, I thought they were worth having a bash at and I’m so glad I did! Delicious moist, and not dripping in grease, these bhajis will certainly have you coming back for seconds.
I’ve been craving Persian style kebabs; the long, spiced minced meat ones on sticks, but wondered whether the bhajis would make a good vegetarian alternative. They did. Here’s the recipe (I changed it slightly from the original and obviously don’t use the oil if you’re following the Slimming World plan)
Slice 3 large onions and fry until soft with 4 minced cloves of garlic. Once softened add in 1 tablespoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon curry powder (I used hot madras) and a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes. Keep on the heat for another couple of minutes to allow the spices to release their flavour.
Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Whilst it is cooling, peel and grate 2 sweet potatoes. Add them into the onion mixture, and once cooled mix in two beaten eggs, a generous pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, take a large handful of the bhaji mixture and shape into a rough sausage shape on the tray. The mixture will be fairly wet, but don’t worry, just form it as best you can on the sheet. This mixture made 6 decent size kebabs. Bake at 170 fan for 30 minutes until golden and crunchy around the edges.
I served these on chapattis spread with a dollop of mango chutney, shredded iceberg lettuce, cucumber batons, finely diced red onion and chilli, a generous sprinkle of chopped coriander and a cooling drizzle of minty raita. Delicious!
Before getting pregnant I’d had to lose 60 pounds in order to do IVF, and I was the fittest I’d ever been. All the hard work paid off and I was rewarded with a beautiful, health 10lb 4oz baby at the end of it. To my horror though, not only had I gained a baby, I’d also gained half the weight I’d lost back. Anyway, long story short, it’s now time to start shifting it.
As you may have already noticed, I’ve mentioned Slimming World in a few of my previous posts. After Christmas I bit the bullet and made a conscious decision to finally try to shift the baby weight, after all, the only thing wearing a bit thin was the excuse with the aforementioned baby actually being a feisty 22 month old toddler!
Needless to say IVF was a great incentive to stay focussed, but this time I’m struggling. Truth is I love food. I love cooking it, eating it, sharing it, experimenting. Food and entertaining is a huge part of our lives and it’s not unusual for us to have friends over for dinner a few times a week. Is this lifestyle conducive to weight loss? At first glance, no, not at all. However, I don’t think it needs to be that way. With a few swaps here and there good food and even desserts can be factored into a weight loss plan.
Here’s a recipe for a Slimming World Spiced Orange and Yoghurt Pudding which is 4 ½ syns per serving and serves 6.
This is what you’ll need:
3 Eggs separated
4oz Golden caster sugar
450g Fat free natural yoghurt
Zest of one unwaxed orange
3floz orange juice
1oz Plain flour
1oz Toasted almonds
Preheat the oven to 180oC. In a mixer whisk the egg whites and half the sugar until white and fluffy peaks, then spoon into a bowl and set aside.
Add the eggs yolks and remaining sugar into the mixer bowl and beat until pale and creamy, then add in the yoghurt, cinnamon, orange juice and flour and mix until well combined.
Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture until all combined and spoon into a lightly greased tin, or oven proof dish. Bake in a Bain-Marie making sure the water is no higher than halfway up the tin. Place in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes until golden on top.
Scatter over the almonds and serve with a dollop of reduced fat crème fraiche if desired. One thing I will warn you about is using a lose bottomed tin. I thought that if I wrapped it in tin foil before putting it in the bain-marie it would be fine, but some of the water did make it through making the bottom of the pudding a little wet. Next time I’ll stick to a fixed-bottom dish instead.