Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

This brightly coloured dish of golden-orange butternut squash, red onion and white rice makes a substantial supper for four or a classic Italian starter for six. Serves: 4

Risotto

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 50 minutes
Slimming World Syns per serving: Extra Easy: FREE, Green: FREE

Ingredients

454g/1lb butternut squash
1 large red onion
1 tbsp lemon juice
852ml/1½pt vegetable stock
1 garlic clove
340g/12oz dry risotto rice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp freshly chopped Sage

Method

1. Slice the skin from the squash and discard the seeds. Cut into 2cm/¾in chunks. Peel and finely slice the onion and toss in the lemon juice. Transfer both vegetables to a saucepan and pour over 284ml/½pt stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until just tender. Turn off the heat and keep covered.

2. Peel and finely chop the garlic and place in a saucepan with the rice and 284ml/½pt stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the stock has evaporated.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining stock until just about to boil, and reduce the heat to maintain the temperature. Add the chopped sage and seasoning to the rice mixture and add a ladleful of stock; cook gently, stirring until absorbed.

4. Continue ladling in the stock until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is thick, creamy and tender. Keep the heat moderate. This will take 20-25 minutes.

5. Drain the pumpkin and red onion and stir gently into the rice. Heat through for 2 minutes.

6. Ladle into warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle with black pepper to serve.

Tip: If you like blue cheese, a little Stilton crumbled on top just before serving tastes wonderful!

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Recipe for Moroccan Meatballs

This is a really delicious recipe (courtesy of Slimming World) using extra lean beef mince for a really healthy version of this timeless North African version of meatballs.  I tried this last night and served it with Penne Pasta, or try it served with rice or couscous.  Enjoy!  Serves 4

ingredients

  • 450g/1lb extra lean minced beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Low calorie cooking spray

method

meatballs

Place the mince beef in a bowl and combine with parsley and half the cumin and paprika, and season well. Using your hands, shape into 16 or so small meatballs.
Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and brown the meatballs. Set aside.
In the same pan gently sweat the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes before adding the remaining cumin, paprika and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes.
Return the meatballs to the sauce and heat through. Stir in the coriander and serve with pasta, rice or couscous.

New Year, New You – 5 easy steps

It’s always a daunting prospect to committing to making changes to our lifestyle.  How many times have we made New Year’s resolutions only to break them within 48 hours – sometimes we put far too much pressure on ourselves to achieve the impossible!

By making some simple changes can really help to make a difference to our lives over the long term.  Taking small steps to make those changes is key.  All too often we set ourselves impossible goals which are either too ambitious or too hard to stick to.  We end up feeling guilty and deprived and give up at the first hurdle.

There are many small simple, achievable shifts we can adopt which will make a big difference to how we look and feel over a longer period.  Research suggests it take 16 to 21 repetitions before an action becomes a habit so, stay strong and by the end of January, many of these small changes will have become a fixed part of your health & fitness regime

Resolve to:

1. Eat a low-fat, low energy diet – make healthy choices by swapping high fat foods for lower fat/fat free options

2. Make small steps to increase activity – nothing drastic to start – get off the bus one stop early/leave the car when the journey can be walked/take the dog for a walk (the long way round)!

3. Have mainly healthy foods in the fridge at home – don’t deny yourself some treats, but be in control

4. EaBrighton Slimming World Cooked Breakfastt Breakfast! Whilst having breakfast isn’t essential for weight loss, research shows that eating breakfast is linked to making healthier food choices throughout the day resulting in less snacking between meals.

5. Follow a consistent eating pattern – research shows that people who continue to eat a fairly consistent and healthy diet throughout the week are more likely to keep weight off in the long term than those who follow a strict ‘diet’ on weekdays and let themselves go at weekends.

Slimming World 7 Days of Healthy Eating

Food Optimizing includes hundreds of delicious Free Foods which provide satisfying meals and snacks to ensure you’ll lose weight beautifully without ever having to go hungry. And together with Healthy Extras – portions of food including wholemeal bread, cereals and milk for extra fibre and calcium – they ensure you have a healthy, balanced diet you can enjoy for life.

Sample our typical menus over the next 7 days for a taste of how you can eat yourself slim!  Just click on the image below for your FREE 7 day menu.

Brighton Slimming World

Super-boost your health this Winter

Following a healthy eating plan and changing your eating habits to include everyday inexpensive basic foods, including vegetables, fruit, lean meat and complex carbohydrates, can give your health a super-boost!

These everyday foods are great-tasting, appetite-satisfying and health-giving.

  • Steak – as well as being a good protein-provider, beef contains most of the nutrients our body needs and is a particularly good source of iron and zinc. It helps increase dopamine levels and mental alertness.
  • Oily fish – just 4 canned sardines provide more than 50% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for calcium, a third of the RDA for iron (which prevents anaemia), and 20% of the RDA for zinc (essential for healthy skin, the immune system and the reproductive system). Oily fish are also a great source of omega three fatty acids important for a healthy heart and circulation.
  • Green leafy vegetables – such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts – are a good source of vitamin C and beta carotene, which is vital for a healthy immune system. And they contain folic acid and iron, important for healthy blood.
  • Baked beans – providing lots of filling fibre and B vitamins important for energy release, baked beans help to keep hunger pangs away for longer because they release energy slowly.
  • Cantaloupe melon – one of the few really good fruit sources of the antioxidant beta carotene and the most nutritious melon having three times more vitamin C than watermelon or honeydew melon.

Weekends; Slimming and Shopping

Weekends are for relaxing and celebrating after a long and hard week at work and being a slimmer shouldn’t spoil that!  If it’s a big old shopping spree with mates that you’re up to this weekend, these tips will help you shed your worries and still achieve a fabulous weight loss.

Spending Saturday in town can be a real minefield for us slimmers. Beleagured by fast food outlets we’re tempted to grab something quick and hassle free which ends up scuppering our slimming campaign and healthy eating lifestyle faster than a shopaholic in a shoe sale! If shopping is one of your danger areas, here’s some tips to take along with you on your next trip.

  • Baked potatoDon’t walk past the jacket potato van, pause to have a look at the menu. On an Extra Easy or Green day choose a huge jacket with baked beans. Ask for your spud without butter and the whole thing is completely Free!
  • For a ready-made snack on the go, Marks & Spencer or Boots often have healthier options. Go for salad pots (without dressing or croutons to make it low-Syn), sushi packs, or sandwiches made from wholemeal bread. (Deduct 6 Syns from the sandwich by taking the bread as your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice). Free fillings like ham, chicken or tuna without the mayonnaise will keep the Syns low. Planning ahead is key, and SW members can take advantage of Syns Online to be prepared for the healthiest snack options when hunger strikes!
  • Fast Food doesn’t have to be high in Syns. If you’re dragged into a burger bar (kicking and screaming – we know!) relinquish your Burger King Whopper (30½ Syns) for Chicken fillet strips (3 pieces are 6 Syns on Original/Extra Easy) and a Garden Salad with no dressing (Free). Swap your McDonald’s Big Mac (25 Syns) for a grilled chicken salad without Caesar dressing and croutons (2 Syns on Original/Extra Easy, 8 Syns on Green).
  • And. . . . just think of all the Body Magic you’ll be indulging in walking around all those shops. . . .

Easy when you plan ahead. . . .  Christmas Shopping doesn’t have to be a chore when it comes to slimming!

A hearty Lamb Hotpot for a Winter’s Night Supper

Slimming World Brighton Hotpot

Just right for celebrating Bonfire Night, this warming classic hotpot is tasty, filling and delicious on a cold winter’s night! Lamb is a tender meat and it’s gorgeous in this hearty hotpot. It’s a perfect Free ingredient that will warm the cockles!

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Syns per serving:

  • Green: 11.5*
  • Original: 7.5
  • Extra Easy: 1

(*Add 6 Syns if not using lamb as a Healthy Extra)

ingredients

794g/28oz medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm/¼in thick slices
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
908g/32oz lean fillet of lamb, cut into bite-size pieces
2 large onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
568ml/1 pt lamb or beef stock
1 level tbsp lamb or beef gravy granules
steamed greens or cabbage to serve

method

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Line four individual casserole dishes with a layer of the potatoes. Season well with salt, pepper and half of the chopped thyme.

2. Layer the lamb, onions and carrots on top of the potatoes, seasoning well with salt, pepper and the remaining thyme. Finish with a neat layer of potatoes overlapping each other.

3. Mix the stock together with the gravy granules, if using, and pour into the casserole to come to the bottom of the layer of potatoes. Season well.

4. Cover the casserole dishes with foil and bake in the oven for 1½ hours, then uncover and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are browned and crisp and the meat is tender. Serve immediately with steamed greens or cabbage.