Fab festive finger-food idea for a Christmas party buffet – quick to make, eye-catching, super sweet and Free! Courtesy of Slimming World member Claire from Tyne & Wear.
Syns per serving:
- Green: FREE
- Original: FREE
- Extra Easy: FREE
½ tub Quark
2-3 tbsp sweetener
24 chocolate balls (cake decorations)
1. In a bowl, mix together the Quark and sweetener.
2. Cut the bottom off the strawberries (pointed bit) to create Santa’s hat. Spoon or pipe the Quark mixture on top of each strawberry and down the front (to create his head and beard) and place the hat back on.
3. Add two little chocolate balls to make his eyes and serve as soon as possible.
Posted in Christmas Recipes, Food Optimizing, Healthy Eating, Quark, Recipes, Slimming World
- Tagged Christmas Recipes, Desserts, Food Optimizing, Free & Superfree food, Fresh Fruit, Healthy Food, Recipes, Slimming World Brighton
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.
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 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.
- Don’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!
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!
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)
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
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.
This week in group, we’ll be celebrating Halloween with a taster of this warming, lightly spiced soup which marries the flavours of pumpkin with cumin to produce a soup that is deliciously comforting.
Did you know that the custom of making ‘jack-o-lanterns’ for Halloween is thought to have originated from the Gaelic festival of Samhain (31Oct-1Nov) in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands, where turnips, mangelwurzel or beets were used?
I’ll be carefully scooping out the flesh of an orange pumpkin and making this delicious soup, then carving my traditional lantern to ward off evil spirits at Halloween – what will you be doing with yours?
Spicy Pumpkin & Cumin Soup
- Serves: 4
- Prep. time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 35 minutes
- Total time: 30-60 Minutes
- Syns per serving:
- Green: FREE
- Original: FREE
- Extra Easy: FREE
- Fry Light
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1.2kg/2lb 11oz pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 750ml/26fl oz vegetable stock made with Vecon
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
- 4 tbsp fat-free natural yogurt
- roasted cumin seeds
- Spray non-stick saucepan with Fry Light and place over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion to the pan and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add the pumpkin and ground cumin and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Season well, add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
- Allow the soup to cool slightly, place in a food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in the coriander and ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish each bowl with a spoonful of yogurt and a sprinkle of roasted cumin seeds and paprika.
Every week in group I put together a raffle prize to encourage members to Food Optimize by preparing fabulous filling meals. Some weeks it might be a fruit basket, other weeks I might concentrate on a mixture of seasonal veg, but most weeks I try and inspire my members to try some of the fabulous recipes from the amazing books, magazines and ideas posted every week online.
This week’s raffle had the ingredients for a classic Ratatouille Recipe, which I had adapted from a favourite recipe courtesy of Nigel Slater I’ve been cooking for years, food optimized to make it healthy, filling and delicious! Try it for yourself and see!
Classic ratatouille recipe
Conjure up Provence with this lush mixture of tender vegetables…
Syns per serving: FREE on Extra Easy & Green
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 aubergine, thickly sliced
2 courgettes, thickly sliced
1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, seeded and quartered
1 Can Plum Tomatoes
Fresh or Dried Thyme
Fresh Basil leaves (to serve)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Sweat 2 sliced onions in Fry Light until they are soft, add 2 sliced garlic cloves and cook until soft.
2. Remove to a deep roasting tin or baking dish. Fry each of the other vegetables separately, until each is pale gold.
3. Remove as each one is ready and add to the tin or dish
4. Add the plum tomatoes, seasoning with salt, black pepper and herbs.
5. Bake at 180C/gas mark 4 for about 40 minutes until soft and tender.
6. Stir gently with a handful of torn basil leaves and serve.
(Image from Nigel Slater @ Observer)
Posted in Food Optimizing, Healthy Eating, Recipes
- Tagged classic ratatouille, Everyday food, food, Food Optimizing, Free & Superfree food, Healthy Food, Recipes, Slimming World Brighton, vegetarian