Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Spicy Pork Pasta

This dish is great hot or cold. I had some leftover Spicy African Pork Tenderloin and decided to make a pasta dish out of it, as per usual i cooked far too much pasta, so ended up with two meals one hot and one cold for the next day, and it was so good, i didn't mind having it again!

Syn free on extra easy.


Leftover pork
As much cooked dried pasta as you like
1 tsp of the leftover marinade from the pork dish
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
dash of water
½ bag of rocket leaves


Mix together the marinade, balsamic vinegar and water, stir it into the cooked pasta. Finely slice the pork and mix into the pasta, stir through the rocket leaves and serve, it's that simple!

Spicy African Pork Tenderloin

This is another versatile recipe. You can have the pork in a meal with sides of your choice. I like it with coriander rice and Spiced Butternut Squash and Mint Yogurt Sauce. Or when it's cold you can slice it thinly and have it in a sandwich with lots of salad. It's great in a salad and i also put it in a pasta dish which i will post later.

It is syn free on extra easy.

Preheat oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 5


1 jarred red pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 red chillies
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
2 garlic cloves
1 pork tenderloin


In a blender blitz the first 6 ingredients until smooth.
Put the pork into a plastic bag cover with the marinade and rub it in, leave to marinade for at least 2 hours.

Put the pork onto a rack on a baking sheet covered with foil and roast in the oven for 20/25 minutes, until it is cooked to your liking.

Reserve the marinade and put it into a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, you may need to add a couple of tsps of water if too thick.
You can use this as a sauce, but be warned it is hot, i used it the next day in my pasta dish.
It will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Mix it with mayonnaise for a sandwich with the pork.
Thin it down and make a salad dressing.
Rub it into any other meats of fish you are going to cook.
As i said it is very versatile!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Steak, Kidney and Mushroom Pie

I found a recipe for a steak and mushroom pie and really started craving one, i looked up the syns for pastry and almost had heart failure!!!
So i decided to to replace the pastry with a crispy potato topping instead, which is syn free.
The whole pot of pie filling which made 3 big pies came to 3 syns on extra easy.
It was rich, tender and very very tasty!!!

Preheat oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 5


1 kg beef steak cubes
500g kidney diced
500g mushrooms quartered
3 carrots diced
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 large onion chopped
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp each of dried thyme and oregano
1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 litre rich beef stock
1 tbsp plain flour 3 syns
Salt and pepper
2 potatoes thinly sliced


In a large pan sprayed with frylight, brown the beef then remove, then brown the kidney and remove.
Spray the pan again then fry the onions for 1 minute, add the carrots and mushrooms and fry for 3 minutes until golden, add the garlic and all the herbs, cook for 1 minute, add the paprika and stir in the flour, return the beef and kidney to the pan and stir in the beef stock and season, bring it to a boil and then simmer over a low heat for 2 hours or until the beef is tender, stirring it often, if it starts to over thicken, just add some water.

Divide the mixture between the pie dishes and top in a single layer with the potato slices, spray with butter frylight and bake in the oven for 30/35 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and golden.

Blue Cheese Dip

This is a lovely creamy dip that goes great with Buffalo Chicken. It also makes a great salad dressing, or a snack with lots of veggies to dip!!

Unfortunately its not syn free, as it is cheese, but it does go along way. This dish is 10 syns in total on extra easy.
You can't have blue cheese on extra easy as a healthy A, but you can on Green.


1 tub quark
4 tbsp lighter than light mayonnaise 2 syns
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp worcester sauce
50g blue cheese 8 syns you can put in as much as you like.


Couldn't be easier, just mix all the ingredients together.

Garlic, Rosemary and Orange Slow Cooked Turkey Breast

I had a large turkey breast in the freezer that needed using up, so i decided to slow cook it to use for snacks. It was great in sandwiches, on a baked spud, with a salad or just to pick at!


1 large turkey breast roast
2 garlic cloves sliced
¼ cup light soy sauce
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp honey 3 syns
50ml freshly squeezed orange juice 0.5 syn
1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
salt and pepper


Make small holes all over the turkey breast and push in the slices of garlic. Mix together the rest of the ingredients. Place the turkey into a slow cooker, pour over the marinade and cook on low for 8 hours, you may want to baste every now and then.
When the turkey is cooked, remove and let it rest for 10 minutes, keep the sauce in the slow cooker you will need it. Using two forks shred the turkey, return it to the slow cooker and toss it into the remaining sauce. 
You can serve it hot or cold, the flavour improves if you leave it in the fridge until the next day.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Scotch Eggs

Perfect for breakfast, lunch, a picnic or snacks, low syns, but that all depends on the sausages you use.
I used Tesco's cumberland low fat sausages for these, it took 1.5 sausages to wrap the egg, so it worked out at 1.5 syns each.
I like to soft boil the eggs, so they are still soft and creamy when completely cooked.

Preheat oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 5


4 large eggs
6 low fat sausages
salt and pepper
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp italian seasoning


Put the eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to a boil then time 3 minutes, for soft boiled eggs.
Rinse in cold water immediately.
When cold peel and rinse off any shell, dry in paper towel.
Peel the skin off the sausages and mix together with the rest of the ingredients, divide into four equal portions. Lay out some clingfilm and place one of the portions in the middle cover with another piece and flatten the meat until it's big enough to cover the eggs, fold around the egg and roll into a ball using the cling film. It stops the meat from sticking to your hands.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, lay on a baking tray sprayed with frylight and spray again, bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.


As a special treat on Valentine's Day i decided to make a creamy and delicious dessert. I was amazed at how good it was, for being fat free, it was really creamy and rich, with just enough coffee flavour and a touch of almond from the Amaretti biscuits.

3 syns each.

Make 2 desserts


1 tub of fat free quark
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 double shot espresso
3 tsp sweetener
6 amaretti biscuits 1 syn each


Whip the quark, vanilla extract, sweetener and half the espresso together.
In nice glasses, place an amaretti biscuit in the bottom of each and pour over ¼ of the remaining espresso, layer over some of the quark then crumble over another biscuit, pour over another ¼ of the remaining espresso, layer some more quark. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, Overnight is even better. Crumble over the 3rd biscuit and serve.

Buffalo Chicken

When we lived in America, They had a lot of buffalo chicken, with many flavours, but i always loved the hot and spicy ones.
So be warned this dish is spicy!!!
The whole dish is 4.5 syns on extra easy. I serve it with a blue cheese dip and lots of super free salad. I make wraps out of romaine leaves.

Preheat oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 5


3 garlic cloves grated
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp worcester sauce
2 tsp celery salt
3 tbsp hot chilli sauce 1.5 syns
1 tbsp honey 3 syns
1 tbsp tomato puree
4 chicken breasts cut into wing size pieces


Mix together the first 8 ingredients, put them into a freezer bag and add the chicken, massage the marinade into the chicken, then refrigerate overnight.

Line a baking tray with foil and spray with frylight. Lay the chicken onto the tray spray again and bake for 12 minutes.
Put the reserved marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes, stir the chicken into the sauce and serve.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Homemade Crispy Potato Skins

BEWARE!! these are probably considered a tweak!!

I was making a chicken hash and decided to roast the peelings off the potatoes to make some crisps.
As you could eat a lot of them before they fill you up it may be a tweak, in which case they will be synful, but i don't know how you would syn them.
I figure as i was already eating the potatoes and i could have cooked them with the skins on and they would have been free, then to me these crisps are free, as it is only the amount from the potatoes i cooked. But the choice is yours!

Needless to say they were so good!!

Preheat oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 5


Potato peelings
garlic frylight
1 tsp paprika


Spray a baking tray with the frylight, lay the peeling in a single layer, spray with more frylight, sprinkle over the salt and paprika then roast for about 20 minutes or until they are crisp and golden.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Steamed Thai Salmon

This is a beautiful light Thai dish, full of flavour!!
The original recipe called for the salmon to be grilled but i decided to steam the salmon instead as it remains nice and moist and enhances the flavours, plus it is healthier.
I served it with stir fried vegetables and noodles. I used the marinade from steaming it as a sauce for the vegetables and noodles, so the flavour ran through the whole of the dish.

I used a wok and a bamboo steamer. I put a plate in the steamer with the salmon and marinade on top. A trick to getting the plate back out the steamer is to put a clean new j cloth under the plate with the edges hanging over the side of the steamer, then you can take the plate out with the cloth, and that way you won't spill anything, as you are left with lots of lovely juices that you don't want to waste!

This dish serves two and is 1 syn each on extra easy.


1lb salmon fillet
1 inch ginger
2 red chillies
3 garlic cloves
¼ cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil 2 syns
handful thai basil leaves torn

A selection of vegetables of your choice, enough for two. I used broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, chilli, spring onions and thai basil.

Dried egg noodles, cooked as per packet instructions.


In a blender blitz the chilli, ginger and garlic, divide it into two portions.
In a bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients apart from the salmon. Add one portion of the chilli mixture to the sauce.
Place the salmon on a plate and put into the steamer on top of a j cloth, pour half the marinade over the salmon, leave for 10 minutes.
Fill the wok with water, up to the where the bottom of the steamer will sit, bring to a boil, place the steamer in the wok, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked to your liking.
Take the steamer out the wok and with the j cloth lift out the plate, be careful it will be very hot.
Empty the water out the wok and spray with frylight, add the broccoli and mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables  and the second portion of the chilli mix, stir fry for 1 minutes, then pour in the remaining sauce and any juices from the salmon, stir fry for 1 minute, add the cooked noodles to the wok, warm through then serve with the salmon.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Seafood Salad

I didn't want to use my HE A&B on my lunch as i like to save them for using in my main meal or, as a nighttime snack of cheese and biscuits.
I found a baking potato in the potato bag so decided to have a baked spud. But what to put on it????
I fancied tuna, but i want to take it up a notch, so i defrosted some prawns and chopped up some veggies. 
It was delicious and only 1 syn on extra easy for the mayonnaise.

Preheat the oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 5


1 baking potato, baked in the oven for about an hour until the skin is golden and crispy.
1 tin of tuna in brine or spring water
A dozen cooked prawns
2 inches cucumber diced
half a red pepper diced
2 spring onions sliced
1 tbsp capers
1 tomato, deseeded and chopped
2 tbsp light than light mayonnaise 1syn
a good shaking of tabasco sauce


It couldn't be simpler, just mix everything but the potato together, then put on top of the potato.

The Seafood salad is also very nice with a bowl of mixed lettuce leaves, or you could make wraps out of it using romaine leaves. You can also mix it with cold pasta to make a delicious pasta salad. You can use any seafood you like and any vegetables.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Kitchen Sink Cottage Pie

I'm not a cottage/shepherd/fish pie fan, i think it's the mashed potato on the top, because unless the mash is really creamy and cheesy i don't really want to know...
My family however love it so i decided to make them one.
I call this my Kitchen Sink Cottage pie because there is everything in it apart from the kitchen sink! I basically raid my fridge and use up all my vegetables.
You can put whatever vegetables you like in it, but the more there is the more super free you are getting!!

I served mine with cabbage, and with any leftover mash potato and cabbage i made Bubble and Squeak

This dish is syn free on extra easy.
The big pot of mince made enough for 8 servings.

Preheat the oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 5


1 kg extra lean mince beef 5% or less
1 large onion chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
8 oz mushrooms chopped
2 carrots diced
2 courgettes diced
1 red pepper diced
1 leek sliced
2 tins tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
500 ml beef stock
1 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp of rosemary and thyme finely chopped
salt and pepper

1lb Maris piper potatoes, peeled and cooked until tender then mashed thoroughly.


In a large pan, sprayed with frylight, fry the onions until soft, add the garlic and mushrooms and fry until golden, spray more frylight if needed, add the next four ingredients and fry for 4 minutes, add the herbs are fry for 1 minute to bring out the flavours, turn the heat up and add the minced beef and fry until browned, stirring constantly.
Pour in the tomatoes and stock and stir in the Worcester sauce and tomato puree, add the celery salt and season. bring to a boil then simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, if it starts to dry out, add water.

Put some of the mince into a oven proof dish and top with mashed potato, use a fork to ruffle it up, so it goes crispy. bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Gorgonzola Pilaf

This is a warming, earthy dish, full of herby woodland flavours. You have the woodiness of the mushrooms, sweetness from the squash and a creamy sharp bite from the cheese. It is all brought together by the wild and basmati rice.

The cheese is optional, if you do use it, it is 4.5 syns for 25g on extra easy, unfortunately you can't use it as your healthy extra A.

preheat oven 200c, 400f, gas mark 5


½ a butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 large onion chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 punnet of button mushrooms halved
1 cup basmati and wild rice rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
15g dried wild mushrooms rehydrated and finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped sage
1 tsp italian seasoning or mixed herbs
handful of chopped coriander leaves
50g gorgonzola optional
salt and pepper


Lay the squash out of a tray sprayed with frylight, spray the squash and season, roast in the oven for 25/30 minutes.

In a large pan with a lid, fry the onions in frylight until soft, add the garlic fry for 1 minute then add the mushrooms and fry until golden, stir in the rice and toast for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and add the herbs, season and cover, simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and all the stock has dissolved.
Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander, squash and cheese, then serve.

Fruit Sundae

I had some quark in the fridge that needed to be used up so decided to make a dessert out of it. I was very pleasantly surprised at how lovely it was.
It was creamy and sweet with a sharp note from the raspberries, but you can use any fruit you like.
As i crumbled ½ a rocky road Hi Fi bar on top and ½ a piece of dark chocolate, it was only 2 syns on extra easy for the whole dessert.

Makes 2 desserts at 2 syns each.


1 tube of quark
1 punnet of raspberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sweetener
1 hi fi bar
1 piece 5g dark chocolate


Mix the quark with the vanilla extract and sweetener, layer the quark and raspberries in a glass, crumb ½ a hi fi bar on top of each then grate over the chocolate, chilli then serve.