Friday, 13 November 2015

Quinoa Porridge - your new favourite

Cinnamon Quinoa Porridge with Fruit and Yogurt


Still don't know how to really say Quinoa out loud yet.

This will be truly your new go to breakfast. I have raved about this to other members of my slimming world group and they are wary, mostly because they don't know what to use Quinoa with or how they should go about it. I'm trying to figure out what Quinioa is good for as I've seen it become more popular (you may have seen me use it in another recipe)

This has the warm flavours and tastes of porridge that melts in your mouth without using your healthy B! I am a convert after hearing raving reviews across the web. I've adapted a few recipes across the web to make quinoa porridge slimming world friendly.

It does need about half hour to prepare and make it scrumptious. Then served with fruit and yogurt, this is a dream!

I encourage you to give it a go and let me know what your thoughts of quinoa porridge are


Ingredients:

  • 250ml almond milk
  • 50g quinoa 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional but will add to taste!)
  • 1 grated carrot (optional but will add to taste)
  • 1 tsp sweetener 
  • Any fruit
  • 1/2 fat free mullerlight yogurt





Method
1. Bring almond milk to boil


2. Add quinoa, carrot and cinnamon to milk and stir in. Reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes

I normally use cinnamon powder, however I had none left so cinnamon stick!

3. After 10 minutes, the mixture will reduce and add more liquid if it starts to stick. Add sweetener and add more if you like it sweet

4. Serve into a bowl and add fruit and yogurt.


Notes: My porridge doesn't have carrot in it as I did not have any left, however have included it in the recipe as would usually use carrots


Enjoy

Katie xx

Monday, 9 November 2015

Bacon Fries - Pinterest Review



Bacon Fries


I just wanted to start by saying sorry I've not posted over the weekend. I work during the weekend and my parents, love them dearly, cook nearly all my meals bar breakfast so I have nothing to post! Unless I show you what my parents are cooking!

Today was what you expect if you describe the UK, cold and miserable. It was raining cats and dogs! Apart from been stuck in awful traffic, I had hair that was greasy but no time to wash it and it was a Monday! Did I need any more excuses to have this stodgy lunch, I think not?

A big helping of Bacon fries was almost certainly in order to cheer me up. Especially since I was eating whilst watching the second to last ever episode of Downton Abbey, woe is me. Carlton will live on in our hearts I'm sure.

These are syn free and pure heaven on a plate.
Again, as long as you are not veggie.

Also, some clever clogs of you may notice that these were quite popular on Pinterest. I wanted to try them out as they seemed easy to make and needed few ingredients.


Ingredients:

  • 1 potato (peeled and chopped into fries)
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml skimmed milk

Method

1. Peel and chop your potato into the shape of fries. Place them in boiling water and boil for 5 minutes then drain.
My fries which look like pasta in the pan

2. Meanwhile, cook your bacon until crispy and add to blender if you have one if not don't worry!

If you want to be uber healthy, grill your bacon!!


3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

4. Mix egg and milk and place potato fries in mixture. Make sure fries have been evenly coated in mixture. Next drain liquid away.

This does not look appetizing, but scroll down to see what it turns into before you get put off


5. Either coat fries in already crumbled bacon or crumble bacon onto fries using hands. 

I had a first world problem: my blender broke so my bacon was crumbled by hands


6. Spray baking tray using frylight or baking paper and add fries.


7. Cook for 30 minutes and serve!





Rating: I think this is a new good idea that is relatively quick to make and serve. However, I followed the instructions as shown on the Pinterest Bacon Fries but mine don't look as amazing as their picture. As slimming world meals go, I think we do struggle for lunch ideas so I think this is a good one and mine were so tasty! Will be making this again


Note: Remember to cut your fat off your bacon!


Enjoy

Katie xx

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Family favourites

Steak Bake, Chips and Mushy Peas

A list of family favourites too!

I didn't have a lot of time to make tea tonight and after been at uni all day I wanted something that was relatively quick. Although, I love slimming world I know a lot of the meals do take a while which can put some people off especially if you have children or are in a hurry. 

Today's tea wasn't anything special and was something that is probably a classic in many slimming world households across the country. So I didn't want to leave you with a recipe that many people have made on a regular basis (especially when it's normally my mum who cooks this particular one) so I thought I would compile a list of my top 10 tasty and quick slimming world recipes. I think if anyone is new to slimming world this can definitely help or if you just fancy something tasty and a homemade meal.

I do have to say that even when I'm not following slimming world religiously, I still cook the slimming world recipes because they are nutritious and filling which is what you want from a meal. I don't do salads!!

At the bottom if you still want the recipe for my steak bake which was super yummy, though not appealing to the eye, I have included that at the bottom.



These are my top 10 essential recipes that if I don't have time to think or meal plan, these are my go to meals. I haven't included what vegetables I include with each meal as that depends on what are in season and what I fancy on the day.

1. Gammon, chips, eggs and beans

I boil my gammon so an hour max for the gammon and the rest takes less than half an hour! This always make a good Sunday meal if a roast is out of the question


2. BBQ pulled pork

I wrote about this recipe last week but I'm a firm believe in the power of the pig. You chuck your pork in the slow cooker and the BBQ sauce doesn't take long. 


3, Steak Bake, wedges, beans



Tonight's dish of choice. Whoever thought of thins instead of pastry genius! I also eat the steak on it's own and not to sound like a snob but before the steak bake trend, I would not have touched canned
steak with a pole. However, I'm a convert.
It has to be Asda's own stewing beef.

4. Spaghetti and Meatballs

Classic dish that I order in Italian restaurants so I'm glad I can recreate it on slimming world. I'm not a fan of pork meatballs as they can often be too dry.


5. Stir Fry

Lots of veg and just looks healthy. This dish can be packed full of flavour with the right noodle and right sauce. Avoid Aldi's stir fry sauces, they are high syns

6. Jacket potatoes with filling of choice

These are good for lunch and tea and for amateur cooks. You can make these as fancy or as simple as you want from the twice baked potato to the jacket and beans.

7. Spaghetti Bolognese

Something simple and tasty. The sauce takes a little while to cook but it can be bought from frozen from Iceland if you don't have time to cook the sauce. 



Spaghetti bolognese



8. Burgers and chips

Burgers can be made to look like Instagram food porn; add your bacon, cheese, gerkins, tomatoes whatever you want. Who can resist a burger? They take half an hour to cook in the oven. 


New York bacon burgers with Cajun wedges


9. Fish and chips

It's good to add fish every now to your diet. I only like a few types of fish, one been in batter. The slimming world version of a batter is a good substitute. 



Crispy cod and chips

10. Chicken Skewers and veg medley.
This can be made using wooden or metal skewers. It's a simple but effective meal that goes nice with cous cous. 


Chicken and lemongrass skewers with spiced rice


Steak Bake and Chips Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tin of Asda Stewed steak
  • 3-4 Kingsmill brown thins
  • 1 egg
  • Potatoes
  • Beans/mushy peas
  • Paprika

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2. Cut potatoes into wedges and parboil into boiling water for 5 minutes.



3. Meanwhile prepare steak bakes - spray baking tray with frylight and whisk an egg in small bowl

4. Coat half the thins with egg and split stewed steak between thins, place other half of thin on top. Press down to seal and coat with egg.














5. Spray baking tray with frylight and add wedges. Spray with frylight, salt, pepper and paprika

6. Cook wedges 25-30 minutes and steak bakes for 20-25 minutes



Notes: 
For some of my top 10, I have included pictures from slimming world website or no picture. This is because I haven't taken a picture since been on slimming world.

Please comment if you have any other family favourites

Monday, 2 November 2015

Zombie cheerleader - zombie's don't eat food!

"Oh I think I found myself a 'zombie' cheerleader"
I was so annoying on Halloween.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 

This post has nothing to do with food. I just thought it would make a nice change for me not to drone on about food or to show you that sometimes I do when I leave my kitchen. 


I love getting to dress up as it's so much fun and I can just act like a big kid on a night out rather than attempting to "sexy dance", something I have never been good at! This year I dressed up as a zombie cheerleader. I wanted something easy as I was at work until late. I tried covering myself in fake blood in the hurry of getting ready but it wouldn't come out the next day, it was rather a disaster!! I had a really good night which was the main thing.


I followed a few youtube tutorials to get my look. If you really really wanted to look like this on a regular basis, you could probably find it on youtube which I have posted below or just comment and I'll let you know how I did it.

It did not take long and I think it looks good! Very zombie like.

My Halloween costume throughout the last few years. 

Now my cheerleader costume.... It's not child friendly. It was extremely short but then I guess if a child did want to wear it, it would probably be knee length on them!. I got it from eBay and it was cheap so I cannot blame anyone but myself. However, it got the job done! Next year, I need to go for something that is not fake blood related...







My friends went as dark red riding hood and beetle juice and they both looked super amazing. 





5 things about me as a zombie cheerleader/night out
1. Time to get ready - 1 hour and a half on a night out
2. Drink of choice - vodka and diet coke or a cocktail
3. False eyelashes always on a night out - best thing I learnt how to do at uni
4. Chicken and chips at the end of the night
5. My humps - Black Eyed Peas is my song on a night out!




Note: Fake blood really really hard to get off skin! My face was just red all Sunday. 

who goes out on Halloween not dressed up? I have no time for these people.

Links to youtube tutorials:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8-h_rArfeU
I used this tutorial to learn how to make the zombie bites and cuts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgQevXR54pM
I used this tutorial to learn how to get the zombie eyes, base and lips

Hope you all enjoyed your Halloween

Katie
xx

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Spicy Quinoa with pulled pork, chorizo and a raita dip




Spicy Quinoa with pulled pork, chorizo and a raita dip
(1.5)



How do you say Quinoa, the new hyped up food? I used to pronouce it as Quin-o-ah until my dad corrected me and said "Katie, it's pronounced Qeen-wah". The debate is still ongoing. I think on most celeb's Instagram feeds we have seen a quinoa dish of some sort, so it must make you pretty and famous.


I'm using my leftover meat from previous meals in this recipe as I thought why not and before someone put's in a boring sandwich! This is packed with loads of protein to make me super strong
and it's very healthy. It's my second dish that I've made using Quinoa recently; my first being Quinoa porridge and this been my second.


I have used pulled pork and chorizo because it was in my fridge but I'm sure different meats will go lovely too. I would like to add that this Raita dip is super easy, quick to make and I think adds a cool complimentary tone to your meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 sweet pepper
  • 1/2 chilli (including seeds)
  • 100g quinoa
  • 250ml pork stock
  • Pulled pork
  • 13g chorizo


Raita dip:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cucumber
  • Mint


Method

1. Chop up your veg



2. Fry a small deep pan with frylight, add your veg on a low heat and stir occasionally for a few minutes until they are soft.

3. Pour in that Quinoa. It's similar to a cous cous texture.


4. Add your stock and stir it all together. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Giving it every so often a gentle stir if you have a rubbish pan like mine.



















5. Meanwhile make your dip. Cut a small piece of cucumber about 5cm long and chop into tiny tiny pieces. Add few spoonfuls of greek yogurt, cucumber and mint to a bowl and mix. Taste and if not minty enough add more!
- I haven't given measurements here as I don't measure out when making raita as it's just throwing the ingredients together





5. When nearly all the water has been absorbed, add your meat and S&P

6. Serve on a plate or bowl. You can either serve with the raita dip in the middle as shown in my picture or on the side.


A few notes:


I got this chopping board from Crofton and it's a nice pink colour. However I'm not a fan as it's an awkward thing to work with! The handle is good, if I could have the handle and my normal chopping board, it
would be win win!

Quinoa can be a bit plain in taste so adding a stock cube to the water brings out some flavour. However if you don't have any stock cubes, water will be fine and just add herbs to make more flavour filled :D 

Enjoy

Katie xx

Friday, 30 October 2015

BBQ pulled pork, phoar

BBQ pulled pork stuffed jacket potato


This meal is loved by everyone in my family and I think most people's mouth drool when they hear the words 'pulled pork' or see it on the menu. Despite this and how easy it is to make, we don't have it very often. I have to keep persuading my mum that we have had spag bol already 4 times this month when she says "what about spag bol for dinner?" 

Bonus to pulled pork is that you can put it in the slow cooker, go to work or do uni work like I did today and it's done when your finished. Ta da!

My favourite way to have pulled pork is in a barn cake with stuffing and apple sauce. However I didn't have any of this stuff to hand and wanted to be a little bit healthier.  If you are like me, you will just throw whatever in and hope no one notices that it's missing a few things.

Ingredients
  • 1.5-2kg pork shoulder (all visible fat removed)
  • 5 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 500g passata
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp sweetener
  • Salt and Pepper


BBQ sauce before cooking - see it looks fine!


I only had a little bit of Worcestershire sauce left and a little bit of garlic. Everyone raved about it later so we just won't tell them!

Method

1. Mix all your ingredients together except your pork!! I just mix them straight in the pan and simmer for 15 minutes and the sauce will thicken.


2. Whilst this is happening, get rid of the fat of that pork shoulder. This takes some elbow grease.
Goodbye crackling....fond memories. See you at Easter!!




Awful job on removing the fat in this picture 

3. I place it straight in the slow cooker as I'm obviously busy duh and coat with sauce. Cook for between 8-12 hours. 













4. The final hour and half!! Get your veg prepped and get those spuds in the oven. 

5. Final half an hour: Start cooking your veg for whatever time they need cooking

6. Slow cookers don't beep normally... However remove your pork. This could take a few trips as it will be a bit slippery and the sauce will have watered down.

I worked at carvery at Tatton flower show last year and was shown how to shred pork by a chef and it is one of my favourite things to do to meat.... that sounds odd. Well I just love how skilled I feel and ninja-like with the knives. 

7. Dish up your veg and spuds with your pork and dig in!
My sauce was a bit watery when it cooked, so if you know how to make it thicker let me know.


Notes:
I used my parents slow cooker which they have used forever!! We mostly use it as a rice cooker. I could not tell you if any other slow cookers are good or not as we have had this sturdy cooker for what seems a life time.

Here's the original recipe:

Enjoy 

Katie xx

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Oats in the oven

Mixed Fruit Baked Oats (1 + HB + HA)

Breakfast is very much my favourite meal of the day. I love watching TV (normally Eastenders or catching up on The Apprentice at the moment) with a big mug of tea and my breakfast. I just love sitting in my PJs, dressing gown and slippers and know I don't have to do anything for a few hours. Ahhh bliss.

I have done a post about breakfast recently... But I have just discovered Baked Oats. Porridge is something my parents used to make for me in Winter before school with a big helping of chocolate spread or syrup. I've never really made it for myself (Disclaimer: This is because I have attempted and it blows up in the microwave, parents know best).

So I got up this morning and thought I'm going to have baked oats! I had seen a few other people try it and I thought it looked good, didn't take long and was a little bit different.

For 2 people or 1 if you're hungry:

Ingredients:
  • 70g porridge oats (HB)
  • 100ml milk (I drink almond unsweetened milk so that what I used but I'm sure will taste good with any)
  • 1/2 beaten egg
  • Few drops of Vanilla essence 
  • 2 Tbsp Sweetener
  • 100g of fruit (blueberries and raspberries I used) 


Method
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees

2. I've seen people use small casserole dishes and I've seen ramekins. However I own neither so I used this dish I think we cook veg in at Christmas times when we run out of other dishes...
Anyway grease your dish with frylight



3. Mix oats, milk, vanilla essence, sweetener, egg and fruit. Give it a good old mix.

4. Pour into your dish and even it out with a spoon






5. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes. You can do some washing up, watch a quick friends episode, unload the dishwasher, feed the dog. The possibilities are endless. 

- if you want to get brownie points for yourself. Place some extra fruit on a plate with Greek yogurt to go with your baked oats


6. BEEP your baked oats are done. Dish it up and dig in (Mine did stick to the bottom of the mysterious dish)
For me, I appreciated how much this breakfast tasted like a fruit crumble! Will definitely make again in the near future.


If you have any variations of this baked oats recipe, please let me know so I can try it out.

Enjoy

Katie xx


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Risotto bro'


Bacon, Chorizo and Sweet Pepper Risotto
1.5

Risotto is not something to be feared anymore! Although fancy and delicious, it has us amateur cooks us in a fizz over nothing!
I too look in awe of people who can read a book, feed their dog and chat to their partners whilst they cook and present this beautiful meal that belongs in Jamie Oliver's restaurant. However, we too the underdog can achieve an above average risotto!

This recipe below is your bog standard risotto, it is easy but delicious. Present this to your future friend/fiance/wife/lover whoever and they will be amazed!! Ok... So I'm bigging it up a little bit too much. It is good for cooking a simple risotto when you want to impress and when you don't want to spend hours slaving away in front of the stove.

I had to tweak the recipe a little as I use what I have in the cupboards and I didn't have veg stock so I used chicken stock - no biggy! Just made my risotto a bit more brown! 


Ingredients:
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 5 bacon rashons (fat removed)
  • 25g chorizo
  • 1 onion
  • 2 asparagus sticks
  • 1/2 sweet pepper
  • A handful of frozen sweetcorn
  • A handful of frozen peas
  • 750ml of veg stock



Method:
1. Prepare your meat and veg. In my Paella post from a few days I used chorzio, so I had some left over chorizo and who doesn't love chorizo? 
Except vegetarians, vegans and pigs?

I had to pause for a few minutes whilst I held back my tears - this is not optional for some. Please tell me if there are ways you can stop onion tears.

2. Cook your meat and veg in frylight (of course) on a low heat in a wok/deep pan for 5 minutes.

Now this part requires multi tasking unless your prepared. 

Whilst you are cooking your M&V, weigh out your risotto rice and measure out your stock. I cannot multi-task so I had to turn off my pan whilst I did this, delaying food!

3. When you have your rice and stock ready to go, pour your risotto into the pan with your M&V - IMPORTANT: do not add stock at this point. Just stir everything together and continually stir for a minute or so

This above is meant to show you the continual progress of my risotto from the top left to the bottom right (excuse the awful photos)


4. Pour in a little bit of your stock, stir continuously until it is absorbed then add more stock. This should take 18 minutes in total. I like to set myself a timer to steady my stock pouring (I just start thinking, why is my risotto looking like a soup?!!?)


5. 18 minutes is done, add your frozen veg and just stir it all together for a minute.

6. Take off the heat and put a plate/lid over the top and leave for a few minutes. Get some plates out, shout dinner, take a selfie - whatever takes a few minutes!

7.Season and serve!



Top tips for risotto:



I am loving loving loving (3x) these bacon medallions from Aldi stores at the moment and not just in risottos. They have the fat removed already so you don't end up wasting half the bacon. My dog doesn't love them so much.... 
Also they are a good price! They do sell bacon medallions at other shops!

If you don't have knorr stock pots in your cupboards, because (a) you don't have time to go shopping (b) you shop at Aldi like me  - then use the cubes I think they do a good job too. You might need to use 2x stock cubes in a risotto

You need patience!


This is the website who I got the original recipe from: Bacon+mushroom risotto

Enjoy

Katie xx