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[Recipe] Queen Cakes from Beamish

12244841_10153828556132160_1633251543351578338_o Last year, my husband gave me an experience day at Beamish for our 5th anniversary. I went on the baking course, and it was loads of fun! Not only did we get to use recipes from the Victorian era, we also baked on a coal stove, similar to the Esse stove I have in my kitchen (which I still haven’t used…..). We got to take home everything we baked and we were given a packet with the recipes to use at home. The goodies were enjoyed by my husband and I over our weekend break up North, and also given to my in-laws. We enjoyed everything we made, with the exception of the bread as it had too much yeast in it for our tastes. I held on to the recipe packet, and today when my pictures from the baking day popped up on my Timehop, I asked Tim what from that day I should make again. He suggested queencakes.

If the measurements look a little odd, its because the recipe from Beamish was in ounces. Fortunately, my digital scale can be switched from grams to ounces, so I swapped it over and then swapped it back to see what it was in grams so I could share this in an easier to measure measurement. I also worked out the sys for this since I wanted to know if I could have any and if you make 12, they come out at 3.5 Syns each. The batter filled up the tins, so I debated making 24 with the mixture, which would make them 1.7 syns each (round up to 2), but I think they would wind up being too small.

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Queen Cakes
Makes 12, 3.5 Syns each

You will need:
114g self-rising flour
56g caster sugar
56g Flora light
1 egg
2 TBS semi-skim milk
31g currants

1. Preheat oven to 180C and spray a 12-hole bun tin with fry light.
2. beat the egg and milk together and set aside.
3. Cream together Flora and sugar.
4. Alternate adding egg mixture and flour to the mix.
5. Stir in currants.
6. Divide evenly into the bun tin and bake for 15 minutes.
7. allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack.

***

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] A Trio of Cheap and Easy Crock Pot Soups

12214067_10153817709282160_257290123_o I regularly make Slimming World speed soup because it’s super easy, and the ingredients are almost always in my cupboard and if they’re not, the local co-op stocks everything I need. I’ve been on a Crock Pot (Slow Cooker) kick lately, especially with it becoming colder outside and Tim wanting to take food in a hot food flask for his pack-up. Last year, Tim wound up with microwave curries most days (at a hefty cost of £6 for 2!) or a Bachelor’s Pasta N Sauce. But I decided to try to not only save us some money, but to also give him some healthier meals, as the only way his curry was Slimming World friendly was if I went to Iceland and bought the SW frozen curries, but more often I wound up popping down to the co-op at the last minute! Using the crock pot to make soup means I can make it in bulk to last the whole week. A few weeks ago, I made Parsnip and apple soup, last week was butternut squash soup, and this week is Tomato Speed soup. The best part about the tomato soup is it’s less than £3 for all the ingredients as this works great with the value ranges! And if you’re on an early shift, you can put this in the crock pot the night before!

Parsnip and Apple Soup

You will need:
6 Parsnips, chopped
1 large cooking apple
2 Celery ribs, diced
1 Vegetable stock cube, made up with water to make 500ml vegetable stock
2 tsp Nutmeg

Dump everything into a 3L crock pot and turn on low for 8-10 hours. In the morning, use a stick blender or transfer into a blender to blend until smooth. You will need to weigh your apples before putting them in the crock pot to determine the total number of syns for this soup, then divide it by the number of portions. This should make at least 4 servings and each serving should be 1-2 syns. I did not peel the parsnips or apples as I relied on the stick blender to smooth everything, but you could take an extra step and peel them first. If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable stock to thin it out.

Butternut Squash Soup

You will need:
1 Butternut (or other squash) squash, quartered and de-seeded
1 Sweet potato, roughly chopped
2 Celery ribs, diced
3 Spring onion sprigs, chopped
2 Vegetable stock cubes, made up with water to make 1L vegetable stock

Put all ingredients in a 6L crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. In the morning, use a stick blender or transfer into a blender to blend until smooth. I did not peel the squash or potato as I relied on the stick blender to smooth everything, but you could take an extra step and peel them first. If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable stock to thin it out, but we liked it as a thick soup. I also added leftover mashed potatoes and leftover carrot and swede mash to it this time, and it gave it some extra flavour and helped to stretch the servings. This soup has no syns!

Tomato Speed Soup

You will need:
6 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tins of carrots (or 6 carrots diced)
2 tins of baked beans (for this, I bought the cheapest beans Tesco sell)
2 Celery ribs, diced
3 Spring onion sprigs, chopped
4 TBS Italian herbs
2 tsp chili powder (optional, to give it a kick)
3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 vegetable stock cubes, crumbled

Dump everything into a 6L crock pot and turn on low for 8-10 hours. In the morning, use a stick blender or transfer into a blender to blend until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable stock to thin it out. Makes 8 400ml portions. This soup has no syns!

***

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Battenberg Cake

12218288_10153817965167160_2079031149_o I had never heard of Battenberg Cake until I moved here and I think it took several years before I even had a piece, as it’s not something I would usually pick. But Tim and I were at a cafe once and he bought one, which had me curious. Recently, Tim told me Battenberg was one of his favourite treats when he was a kid. I became inspired to try to make one myself, and today I finally did.

I will admit I did not make my own marzipan, but that’s something for me to think about trying in the future. I also did not calculate syns for this cake or use anything low fat/ low sugar as I knew I wouldn’t be keeping the cake for myself. I made today’s as a trail run for Christmas.

Battenberg Cake

You will need:

175g butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
175g self-raising flour
65g ground almond
3/4 tsp baking powder
Pink (or red) food colouring
150g apricot jam
250g ready-made marzipan (half a pack)

You also will need:

Square baking tin (20x20cm/8″x8″)
Parchment paper
Aluminium foil
Non-stick cooking spray
Small strainer (I used a tea strainer)

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1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
2. Divide your cake tin in half. Fold a piece of foil over and over itself several times to make a thick divider the same length as your tin. Line the tin with parchment paper and then cover the foil divider with parchment paper. I used cooking spray to stick the parchment divider to the parchment liner.
3. Cream together eggs, butter, and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
4. Combine dry ingredients and slowly add dry to wet.
5. Put HALF the batter in one side of the cake tin.
6. Add pink food colouring to the remaining batter until the batter is the shade of pink you like and pour it into the other half of the in
7. Bake 30 minutes. I rotated it after 15, but if your oven doesn’t need things to be rotated, you can skip that.
8. While the cake is baking, bring the jam to a boil and then strain it over a small bowl. Discard the apricot bits left in the strainer. Allow the jam to cool completely.
9. Remove cake from oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool for about an hour.

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10. Cut each cake in half lengthwise, making 4 cake strips. Trim each strip so they are all the same size.
11. Stack the cakes. Bottom layer – one pink, one yellow. Top layer – yellow on top of pink, pink on top of yellow.
12. Use some of the apricot jam to stick the strips of cake together. Sit to one side.
13. Knead the marzipan slightly and roll out onto a floured surface (you can use icing sugar or more ground almond for this, too) until it is a rectangle large enough to cover all four sides of the cake.
14. Spread apricot jam onto the marzipan and lay the cake down onto the jam. Wrap the jam covered marzipan around the cake.
15. Trim off the excess marzipan on each edge of the cake and slightly trim the cake so you can see the checkerboard pattern.

Now what can I do with all these cake ends?!?!

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(Answer: Cake Pops!)

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Weetabix Tea Cake

12227914_10153816110347160_259533549_o When a new Slimming World recipe book comes out, I always flip through it with a set of tabs and tab off the recipes I’d like to try. One of the recipes I marked in Best Loved Extra Easy Recipes was Weetabix Cake (p156). I finally decided to make it today, but unfortunately I didn’t have the Skim Milk or the mixed spice it calls for, so I needed to get a little creative. I thought about the recipe for my Lincolnshire Plum Bread and how you soak the sultanas in tea, so I decided to try it with the Weetabix Cake, and for the spices, I used the mixture I use for Plum Bread (which is actually Pumpkin Pie spice). So really, alternate names for this could be Weetabix Plum Bread or even Pumpkin Spice Weetabix Cake. But I called it a tea cake on my Instagram pictures, so Tea Cake it is. This cake is not only suitable for someone following Slimming World, but it is suitable for a diabetic as well.

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Weetabix Tea Cake
2 Syns per slice if divided into 15 slices / 30 Syns for the whole cake (for you to divide by number of slices) [PLEASE NOTE: You cannot use the Weetabix as your Healthy Extra B choice as it is considered a tweak and the 6 syns for the Weetabix have been calculated into the Syn value.]

You will need:
2 Weetabix
200ml very strong tea (I used a chai spiced, but any black tea will work)
100g sultanas
100g self-rising flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice OR 1/4 tsp each of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, All Spice, and Ginger
2 TBS sweetener (I used Splenda)
2 eggs

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with some parchment paper or spray with fry light
2. Place Weetabix and sultanas in a large bowl and pour over the tea. Leave to soak for 5 minutes.
3. Whisk two eggs in a separate bowl, set aside.
4. Add all dry ingredients to Weetabix and sultana mix and beat in the eggs.
5. Pour mixture into prepared tin and spread out evenly
6. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean
7. Cut into 15 equal pieces.

***

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Self Saucing Chocolate Cake

12190796_10153811213152160_4155680206197715560_n Today is our 6th wedding anniversary! Since we’ve had a pretty amazing year already between 3 weeks in the US in May and a spur of the moment 10 days in Austria, we decided to keep our anniversary low-key. When I asked Tim what he wanted, he asked for pulled pork and a gooey dessert, the kind like you can get a Frankie and Benny’s. A dish my Aunt Barb made came to mind, which was like a brownie baked in a pie pan that made it’s own sauce and I remembered it was out of the Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s on Page 200 of the spiral bound (US) version and is called a Hot Fudge Sundae Cake. I’ve made it once before, but this time I wanted to scale it down to 2 servings, convert it to UK measurements, and work out the syns for Slimming World. As listed in the cookbook, the original serves 9 and has 10 Syns per serving (basing it on calories only as I don’t have the size of a serving to plug it into the calculator). I wanted to scale this down to serve 2 (no leftovers means no temptation!) and I also wanted to make it diabetic friendly and use some sugar substitutes. It still comes out to 10 syns, so changing the sugar didn’t matter and I will list the recipe using both regular sugar and sweeteners.

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I baked this in a small Corningware dish my mom gave me when I moved. It’s an individual casserole size, so an individual pie dish would work for this or possibly dividing it in half into two ramekins (but then you would need to adjust cooking time). There also is a recipe for a Melting Chocolate Pudding on the Slimming World website which has 9 syns per serving, but I didn’t have individual microwaveable pudding containers and I wanted to be a bit more creative.

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Self Saucing Chocolate Cake
Serves: 2
Syns: 10 per serving (it’s 9.25 if you use sweetener products)

You Will Need:
Cake –
50g self-rising flour
15g Truvia baking blend OR 30g caster sugar
1/2 TBS cocoa (I used Green & Black’s Organic)
25ml semi-skim milk
1-2 TBS water
1/2 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Topping –
25g Splenda for baking Brown (or 50g brown sugar)
1 TBS cocoa
100ml very hot water (from the kettle)

1) Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
2) Combine flour, Truvia, and 1/2 TBS cocoa in the ungreased small casserole dish.
3) Mix in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and 1TBS of water. If mixture is still dry, add an additional Tablespoon water.
4) Spread mix evenly in dish.
5) Sprinkle batter with 1 TBS cocoa and brown sugar.
6) Pour hot water evenly over the top.
7) Bake 25-30 minutes until cake is cooked (Will be gooey on top. Stick a spoon in to check the cake)

Serve hot with custard or ice cream!

For the pulled pork, all you need is a piece of pork butt or shoulder (cut off all visible fat) and a batch of Slimming World Barbecue Sauce. Just toss it all in a crock pot and let it cook on low for 8-10 hours. I put ours in the crock pot last night before we went to bed and it was ready by the time we woke up and then I left it on warm until Lunch. We served it on top of wholemeal rolls (my HEB for the day) with smash, corn on the cob, and mixed vegetables.

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***

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

Photo of Tim and I taken by Eric Stocklin

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Slimming World] Always double check your Syn Values!

chocolate-cake-cup-by-roreMy slimming world mojo has been at an all-time low lately, and I took to Pinterest to look for some ideas and inspiration. Searching just “slimming world” gives you hundreds of results – links to recipes off the official website, charts showing syn values for snacks most often eaten, inspirational quotes, and recipes that other people have come up with. In fact, many of my own recipes I blog wind up on Pinterest, repinned by many. One thing I always leave in my disclaimer is that my Syn values are accurate at the time of posting, based on my exact ingredients and using the online Syn calculator, and I always encourage my readers to double check the syn values for themselves.

While scrolling through the results on Pinterest, I came across a link to 5 under 5 Syns Chocolate Treats. Now, I’m not a huge chocolate eater, but I do like the occasional chocolate treat, so I decided to check out the suggestions/recipes on that page. To my surprise, the last recipe was for a one syn chocolate cake in a mug.

The Slimming World website has a feature on meals in a mug, and one of theirs is a low-syn chocolate mug cake using an Options hot chocolate. I assumed this would be the same recipe, but to my surprise, it wasn’t. Her recipe uses a chopped apple and 2 TBS raw cacao powder (I won’t retype her entire recipe, as it’s hers. You can find it on her site I linked to above). I was interested, but curious as to the syn value as I know you need to syn cooked apple and I had never heard of raw cacao powder. I did some digging, and it turns out her 1 syn desert is actually a whopping NINE syns. 3.5 of them come from the hidden syns in the cooked apple and 5.5 come from the 2 TBS of raw cacao. I left her the following comment:

Hello, I always double check the syns when I find an online recipe (and encourage people who view my recipes to check for themselves, too) and I have a question for you……How is the chocolage mug cake only one syn? I can’t find raw cacao powder in the online syn database, but I found raw cacao nibs, which come in at 4.5 for 25g. I looked up nutritional information for The Raw Chocolate Co. Cacao Powder and ran it through the online Syn calculator, and it gives me 5.5 syns for 30g (2 TBS). You also would need to syn the apple, as it’s being cooked. 100g of an eating apple is 2.5 syns and 100g of a cooking apple is 1.5 syn. I just weighed a braeburn apple out of out a bag from Tesco, and it came in at 134g, so it would be slightly more than 2.5 syns (3.3 to be exact, I’d round it to 3.5, whicn nicely covers the dash of almond milk). Unsweetened almond milk is .5 syn for 100ml, although a dash is probably only around 50ml. So….. 5.5 + 3.5 = 9 Syns for your chocolate mug cup, not counting the chocolate yogurt on top. It’s a bit misleading to people to show this as only being 1 Syn.

I am sincerely hoping this was just a mistake on her part or a miscalculation online. But it just highlights the importance of double checking the syn value for recipes that other people are blogging. Obviously, the recipes that are on the Slimming World website, Slimming World cookbooks, and the Slimming World magazine will be accurate….but take anything else posted with a grain of salt. Including my own recipes, because I make mistakes, too.

[update 14/03/17]
Since I’m still getting comments on this both on my blog and on the original post, I thought I would add in a screenshot of Cacao powder from the Slimming World online syns database. You can clearly see that the lowest syn values found for cacao powder is 2.5 syns per TBS if you buy that specific brand. Other brands are listed as 1 syn per teaspoon, and there are 3 teaspoons in the UK Tablespoon (4 in a US one). The recipe calls for 2 TABLESPOONS of Cacao powder, so you’re still looking at 5-6 Syns for the Cacao, plus syns for the cooked apple (again, 3.5 for your average apple based on weight). Even if we overlook the almond milk or the dash comes from your HEA allowance, we’re still looking at almost 10 syns for this “low syn” dessert option.

***

Chocolate cake in a mug picture from http://food.thefuntimesguide.com/2009/11/microwave_cake_cup.php

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Orange Chicken [Slimming World]

11414983_10153468711902160_2078282423_o I love Chinese food. But Chinese food isn’t very Slimming World friendly unless you make it yourself…and the biggest hurdle for me has always been making a tasty sauce. My husband and I like gooey Chinese food, and lots of the recipes I’ve found online just aren’t gooey enough. I have tried using orange Fanta, and while that was good, it still wasn’t satisfying. The other day I was looking at a recipe for orange chicken and suddenly it dawned on me to use orange squash (which is free on Slimming World).

If you follow my exact recipe, this is a syn free meal that serves two comfortably, three if you bulk it out further. The nice thing about a stir fry is you can make it as big as you need it to be. Because all the ingredients are free on Slimming World, you also can play around with the taste of the sauce to get it to fit your specifications. I’ve made this three times, and the first time I didn’t do any measuring other than the squash, the second time I did measurements so I could blog the recipe accurately, and the third time I did a combination of measuring and estimating. All three times it turned out quite tasty!

You will need:

400G diced chicken (or there about. I sometimes cut up two breast portions, and I also used a packet of stir fry turkey last time)
6 TBS double concentrate orange squash (I used Robinson)
4 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS tomato puree (called paste in the US)
2 TBS red wine vinegar (I’m sure other vinegars could be used)
1 TBS Chinese five spice
2 Oranges, broken into segments (I used satsumas)
(optional 1 TBS sweetener)
Stir-fry vegetables of your choice
Dried Chinese noodles or rice (whichever you prefer. I prefer noodles)
Fry light

1. Spray a wok with fry light and pre-heat on the hob
2. Toss diced chicken with Chinese five spice to coat, then stir-fry chicken for 5-10 minutes.
3. Add squash, soy sauce, puree, and vinegar. Give it a stir and let it come to a boil.
4. Add vegetables and stir-fry an addtional 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are to your liking.
5. Cook noodles or rice according to package instructions.
6. Give your sauce a quick taste test. Too sweet? Add a splash more vinegar. Too sour? Add the sweetener. Not enough orange flavor? add another splash of squash. Not spicy enough? Add more five spice.
7. Divide noodles or rice between bowls and top with stir-fry. Garnish with fresh orange segments.

***

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Four Syn Cupcakes [Slimming World]

11400971_10153490155457160_3990479385781041299_n Recently, at my Slimming World Group, we had a taster night in honour of one of our member’s birthdays. It wound up being a double…no, triple celebration as my friend was celebrating her 40th birthday, reaching target, AND losing five stone! So proud of her! Anyway. Since it was her birthday, I really wanted to make some kind of low syn cake treat. The Internet is full of suggestions for low syn cakes. Most of them are flourless and use beaten egg whites to make the cake part, or use crushed Scan Bran or Weetabix or Ryvita. But I wanted proper cake. Enter, this Weight Watcher’s recipe! The original recipe states that you can use ANY diet soda with ANY box cake mix. But since Slimming World and Weight Watchers use different criteria for determining points and syns, I needed to use the online calculator to work out the exact syns for my cupcakes. So if you use the exact ingredients I’ve used and make 24 cupcakes, each cupcake will be 4 syns. Any other brand or type and you will need to use the syn calculator.

You will Need:

For the cake –
1 box Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 330ml can (12 oz) Doctor Pepper Zero
24 cupcake papers

For the icing –
500g Quark
1 mug Truvia or other sweetener
(optional) food colouring

1. Preheat oven to 180C and put the liners in the cupcake tins
2. combine dry cake mix and Dr Pepper Zero. No other ingredients are needed.
3. Evenly divide between the cupcake papers. I discovered 2 Tablespoons per cup will evenly divide it.
4. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
6. Pour Quark into a bowl and slowly mix in the sweetener. I used about a mugful, but you might need more or less depending on your sweet tooth. I also added some red food colouring (but I wasn’t satisfied with the result, so I added blue to make violet). If you don’t add colouring, your icing will be white.
7. Pipe or spoon the icing onto the cupcakes.

You will need to store these cupcakes in the fridge because of the Quark icing.

About a week later, I made a Carrot Cake mix with Fanta Zero, and I would be willing to try a yellow cake with Sprite Zero. I bet a chocolate cake made with Cherry Coke Zero or Cherry Pepsi Max would be good, too.

***

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Vegan Reduced Sugar Brownies

11242166_10153368646662160_951110048_o Mmm. Brownies. Though, I must admit, these are more cakey than a usual brownie, but still. Yummm.

Last Thursday, we had our steam-up and we had a few friends present. I like to bake things when we play trains in the garden, but last time I made 24 cupcakes, we only had about 8 people show up and Tim wound up taking the cupcakes into work, so this time, I waited to see what the numbers were and needed something that would be quick to make. I immediately remembered a recipe for Vegan Brownies I made years and years ago (at least 10!) when I was vegetarian. I decided to change it a bit to make it more diabetic and diet-friendly. I did NOT calculate the syns for this recipe, because the original is in US measurements and all of my syns are calculated based on metric measurements, but I might go back and try to convert everything. Oh, and the best part is you only need an 8″ pan to mix AND bake them in!

You will need:

1 1/4 Cup flour (you can use plain or wholegrain. For denser brownies, I would only use 1 Cup)
1/2 C Truvia baking blend (or Splenda for Baking or Half Spoon…or regular sugar)
1/3 C cocoa (I used my good ol tin of Hershey, but I can’t wait to try this with Green & Black’s Organic)
1 tsp baking soda (if using bicarbonate, use 1 1/2 tsp. I happened to have a box of Arm & Hammer)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup warm water
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 Cup vegetable oil (You could probably sub in apple sauce. The next time I make this, I’m going to use applesauce)

And the magic ingredient:
1 tsp Red Wine vinegar (or other vinegar, but not balsamic)

Optional: I also added in a bag of dark chocolate chips (not Vegan) and white chocolate chunks (also not Vegan)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F)
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in an 8 inch square baking pan.
3. Create holes in each corner of the dry mix and pour a wet ingredient into each corner.
4. Stir to combine. This is where you can stir in any add-ins such as chocolate chips, m&ms, 2 TBS of PB2, etc.)
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes or you will have a crumbly mess.

Edited to add on 14 April 2015: If you use regular Truvia instead of the sugar blend and you do not add any additional chocolate chips, this recipe comes to 56.9 syns total. Cut into 16 it is 3.5 syns per brownie!

Enjoy!!

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Easter Traditions [Slimming World]

Once again, on my phone. Usual disclaimers apply….double check your syns and I’m not affiliated with Slimming World.

wpid-img_20150405_195739.jpg

For some reason, Easter makes me homesick more than Christmas.  This year, I decided to replicate some of my family’s favourite Easter staples, and managed to make it fit in with Slimming World!

First up, Heavenly Spuds.

wpid-20150405_193131.jpg

The original calls for lots of cheddar cheese, butter, a creamy based soup, and butter. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?  I don’t even want to think about the syns.

Here’s my version that comes in at 10.5 syns for the whole dish!

You will need:

3 large tins of potatoes(you could use raw potatoes, but you would want to boil them first)
1 tin of mushrooms (I used my chopper)
1 tub quark
1/2 tub fromage frais
50g mozzarella, shredded
35g Kellog’s corn flakes, crushed
Pepper
Fry light

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C. (200 if not fan assisted)
2. Drain and chop the potatoes  (I used my chopper attachment on the stick blender).
3. Drain and chop mushrooms  (ditto).
4. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, mushrooms, quark, fromage frais, and cheese.
5. Spray a casserole dish with frylight.
6. Spread potato mixture evenly in dish and top with crushed cornflakes.
7. Spray the top with butter flavoured fry light (if you have some, or use regular).
8. Bake 30-45 minutes or until bubbling.

The second food I missed was red beet eggs. This one is really easy.

You will need:
2 eggs per person
1 jar of sliced beets
Vinegar

1. Hard boil and peel eggs.
2. Place eggs in a large bowl.
3. Pour beets and juice over eggs.
4. Top with vinegar until eggs and beets are covered.
5. Cover bowl and refrigerate. The more time you have, the better tasting the eggs!

Happy Easter!

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[Recipe] One Syn Yorkshire Puds [Slimming World]

wpid-img_20150322_185734.jpg

One thing my husband has missed with his Sunday dinners since I started on Slimming World has been Yorkshire Puddings. Especially after I got good at making them. Today, someone shared a one syn Yorkshire Pud recipe on one of the Slimming World Facebook groups and I decided to try it. The result was light and airy Yorkies with no guilt!

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

You will need:

50g flour
120ml semi-skim milk
40ml water
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
Frylight

– Pre-heat the oven to 200C. While the oven is pre-heating, put in a 12-cup yorkie tin (I used a cupcake tin) so it can get nice and hot.
– Whisk (or use a hand blender) together all ingredients, until foamy.
– Carefully remove tin from the oven and spray each cup with Frylight.
– Evenly distribute mix between the cups. I found measuring spoons helped.
– Bake for 18-20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

Serve with your favourite roast dinner for only one syn each!

wpid-img_20150322_192637.jpg

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Rat-onna-Stick (aka Chicken Satay) [Slimming World]

wpid-img_20150313_211549.jpg

Terry Pratchett’s death has hit both my husband and I hard, perhaps him more than me. While discussing dinner tonight, Tim jokingly suggested Sausage-inna-bun and Rat-onna-stick ala CMOT Dibbler. So, I decided to make Chicken Satay.

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

If you make 7 sticks, each stick is only half a syn.

You will need:

2 TBS PB2*
1 TBS water
6 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS sweet chili sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
7 wooden skewers

*PB2 is a powdered peanut butter available on Amazon that has only 1 syn per Tablespoon. You will need to recalculate the syns and omit the water if you use a different brand.

1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Slice chicken breasts into strips
3. Combine PB2, water, soy sauce, and sweet chili sauce and whisk until smooth.
4. Add chicken to bowl and leave to marinade at least 20 minutes (if you have time, I bet this would taste better marinaded overnight!)
5. Soak skewers in water and thread chicken on in a zig zag pattern
6. Place skewers in an oven proof dish, pour remaining marinade over chicken and bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Slimming World Friendly Chocolate Cupcakes

wpid-img_20150301_195055.jpg

I really wanted cupcakes today. It’s a Sunday, so I either had to bake with what I had or what I could buy at the local co-op. I searched on the Slimming World website and found the recipe for the chocolate log….but I didn’t have the ingredients for the filling. I  also prefer to reduce sugar where possible, so this is my cupcake recipe loosely based off the chocolate log. This should make 10 cupcakes for a total of 15 syns or 1.5 each.

Posting this from my phone, so I don’t have my usual disclaimers. But please double check your syn values if you use different ingredients.

Recipe:

50g self-rising flour
50g Truvia  baking blend
15g cocoa powder  (my American self used Hershey cocoa)
4 eggs

Preheat fan assisted oven to 180 (think that’s 200 on a regular oven)
Combine dry  ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Whisk eggs until foamy (I used an electric whisk)
Spoon dry mix into eggs and gently stir.
Spray 10 silicone cupcake cases with frylight and evenly spoon in mix (about 3 dessert spoonfuls per case).
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges come away from the case.

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Adventures in Cooking: I Made Risotto!

1511637_10152925359442160_3608120173924848687_n At our recent Slimming World taster evening, one of the ladies made the risotto out of the August Slimming World magazine. It was delicious, and it was the first time I had ever had risotto. I just don’t like rice a whole lot so I don’t eat it often and I rarely make it. Even when we have a Chinese or Indian takeaway, it’s a struggle to eat the rice (even though it’s a fabulous free food!). When I got home, I mentioned this recipe to Tim and he asked if I would try it……ah, the things we do for love.

The original recipe was called (I think) Butternut Squash Risotto. Naturally, it called for a butternut squash. Which I didn’t have. But I did have something called an “onion squash” (called that, I’m guessing because it looked like a giant orange onion) I bought at Waitrose a few weeks ago, so I decided to use that. Cutting into it was tough…so tough my big knife slipped and took a slice out of my knuckle. Ow. Disaster #1. I decided to pull out some pumpkin puree from the freezer instead. I also decided to add some chicken to the recipe, as that’s how we had it at group and it was really good. The recipe also called for onion and garlic (which I omit always due to allergies) and a red chili…which I didn’t have, but I had some dried red chili flakes, so those would have to do.

After cooking the chicken and the veg, the next step is adding the risotto rice and BOILING HOT STOCK one ladleful at a time. The dish has to be kept constantly stirred and the idea is you add a ladle of stock, stir, let it absorb, and repeat until you have one last ladleful of stock to put in. So, ladle in one hand and wooden spoon in the other I began. After 2-3 ladlefuls, my wooden spoon slipped and >SPLAT< a spoonful of boiling hot stock and rice landed on my hand. Ow. I dropped the spoon into the dish and ran my hand under cold water. Disaster #2. I carried on, though I only used 700ml of stock when the recipe called for a full Litre. I can only assume this is because I used pureed pumpkin instead of chunks of squash. Since it looked awfully goey, I took it off the heat, didn't bother adding the last of the stock and stuck a lid on it for 3 minutes.

As I was dishing it out I discovered that when I stopped stirring it to tend to my burnt hand it caused some of the rice to stick to the bottom of my cast iron dutch oven. Disaster #3.

But the risotto was yummy, and Tim even went back for seconds!

I decided the best way to try to clean this would be to add some water to the pot, squirt in some Fairy Platinum, and boil it for 20 minutes to hopefully loosen the stuck on rice. After 20 minutes I took the pot off the heat, grabbed a scrubber and started scraping....and splashed my other hand with boiling hot water. Disaster #4. Fortunately, I was able to shift all the cooked on rice and have rescued my pot. Would I make this again? Sure! But I think I'll be more careful....maybe wear some gloves.

Would you like the recipe?

You will need:

Diced chicken breast (I used one, but you could buy a pack of pre-diced)
250g pumpkin puree
275g risotto rice
700ml boiling hot vegetable stock
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Fry light
Salt & pepper

heavy pot with lid

1. Spray the bottom of a heavy pot with fry light and add the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides.
2. Add pumpkin puree and the pinch of red pepper flakes.
3. Add risotto rice and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add a ladle of stock, and cook for 2 minutes (or until stock is absorbed), stirring constantly.
5. continue to add stock in two minute intervals and continually stir.
6. About 15 minutes later, you should be on the last ladleful. Remove pot from heat, stir in the last ladle of stock, season with salt and pepper, and cover for 3 minutes.

Enjoy!

(and if you're on Slimming World, this Risotto is free on EE!)

***

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Pumpkin Pie Tarts [Slimming World Friendly]

pies My Slimming World group had a taster evening right before Halloween and I decided to bring an American-style treat. I knew I wanted to make something with pumpkin, since it’s the season for pumpkin everything in the US, and so I came up with these tarts based on my mince pie tarts from Christmas. Because pumpkin is a vegetable, it’s free no matter what you do to it so you only need to syn the pastry, in this case two of these little tarts come in at 1.5 Syns. The filling and pastry are egg-free, and I’m sure you could substitute in gluten free flour (but please recalculate your syns!) to make a gluten free treat.

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

This will make 38 tarts. If you follow this recipe exactly, your Syn value is .75 per tart, or two tarts for 1.5 Syns.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

You will need:

For the pastry:
225g wholemeal flour (I used Alinson’s)
100g Flora light (blue container)
pinch of salt
water
(if you prefer a sweeter base, add some sugar substitute)

For the filling:
400-500g pureed pumpkin (you also can use tinned pumpkin)
1/4C sugar substitute (I used Truvia)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice

tart pans
biscuit cutter
fry light

1. Combine flour and salt and rub Flora until crumbs are formed.
2. Add a little water until dough sticks together and form into a ball.
3. Refrigerate pastry for 30 minutes.
4. While the pastry chills, combine all filling ingredients and set aside and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
5. Roll out your pastry as thinly as possible and use the middle-sided biscuit cutter to cut out 38 rounds.
6. Spray a tart pan and gently press the rounds of pastry into the cups, shaping it up the sides. Fill with approximately 1TBS pumpkin filling. (I eyeballed it)
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until tart bases are firm and slightly browning. Filling will not be solid.
8. Turn out onto a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

I can’t wait to make these for Ex-pat Thanksgiving!

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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Recipe: Squash Stoup [Slimming World Friendly]

stew
[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

Last week I was on the Slimming World website, when I spotted a recipe for Squash, Potato, and Bacon stew. It looked like a great idea, but I wasn’t a fan of several of the ingredients. So, like I tend to — I changed up the recipe to fit my own likes/needs and what I had in the kitchen. It turned out more like a cross between a stew and a soup – a stoup, really. It was really good, but I think next time I might chop up the squash a little bit smaller so it’s easier to eat with a spoon. This recipe is Syn free on the Extra Easy (Orange) plan. You could omit the bacon to make it free on Green. If you follow Red, you will need to work out your Syn values.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

This recipe will take about an hour and half from prep to finish, though steps one and two can be prepared ahead of time and the squash and potato stored in the fridge for up to a day.

You Will Need:

2 small squash, or 1 butternut squash. I took advantage of the season (and the fact that I love squash!) and picked up two random looking squashes – one orange (looked like a mini pumpkin) and one with yellow stripes. Both were about the size of a softball.
1 sweet potato (mine was huge, so I actually only used half)
1 pack of bacon medallions (There are either 8 or 10 in the pack, depending on the brand or just use regular bacon with the fat trimmed off. My husband wondered if we could use chicken or pork instead next time and I don’t see why not)
1 pint of vegetable broth (made with bouillon, could probably use chicken if that’s all you have)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
200g frozen peas
6 Tablespoons tomato passata
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 Tablespoon each of Sage and Thyme
Fry Light

1 – Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2 – First, you will need to roast your squash and potato. Cut your squash in half lengthways and scoop out all the seeds, then lay cut side up on a baking tray sprayed with frylight. Cut the sweet potato in half lengthways and add it to the tray cut side up. Spray the tops with Fry Light and roast for 45 minutes. If your squash was large, it might take longer. Poke your squash with a fork and if it feels tender, it’s done. Take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly. (optional: peel the skin off while it’s still hot if you don’t want or like the skin. I left mine on). Once you are able to handle the squash and potato, cut them into chunks (size is up to you).
3 – Chop up the bacon and spray the bottom of a deep stove-top safe casserole dish with fry light (I used my Le Cruset dutch oven for this, but a large saucepan will do). Add the bacon to the pan and lightly fry. You don’t need the bacon to go crispy (unless you like it that way!).
4 – Once the bacon is cooked, add the tinned tomato, vegetable broth, passata, and herbs and bring to a boil. Add in your chopped squash and sweet potato and simmer for about 20 minutes.
5 – Add the frozen peas and cook until the peas are done (about 10 minutes).

I might try this in my crock pot sometime. If I do that, I won’t pre-roast the squash or potato, but I will still pre-fry the bacon.

Enjoy!

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Tuna Casserole [Slimming World Friendly]

tuna

Firstly, please excuse any typos I don’t catch. I’m on our wireless keyboard, and it has problems with the letters h, j, and k.

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

For reasons unknown, today I really wanted my mom’s Tuna Noodle Casserole. It was a staple of growing up and probably my second favourite tuna based casserole (the first one is Captain’s Casserole, a recipe I’m sure I’ll Slimming World-ize at some point). So I asked my mom to send it to me and I took a look at it. Butter, flour, and milk were going to shoot the Syn value pretty high, but then I remembered a recipe for a white sauce in the little book of sauces, so out it came for research purposes.

Now, I didn’t ave any noodles, so I used whole grain pasta. You can use noodles or pasta, whatever you happen to have on hand. We also never measure out the noodles, just cooked a few handfuls!

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You Will Need:
Noodles (or pasta)
2 tins of tuna fish in brine/water
125ml skim milk
100g fat free fromage frais (US friends: I recently discovered you can substitute greek yogurt as fromage frais is hard to find!)
1 tsp cornflour
1/4 tsp mustard powder (I used Coleman’s)
1 slice of whole grain bread from a 400g loaf
100g peas (optional)
salt & pepper

1. cook pasta according to directions on package and pre-heat the oven to 175C.
2. While the pasta is cooking, make your sauce by gently heating the milk and cornflour, removing it from the heat just before it starts to boil, and whisking in the fromage frais, mustard powder, salt, and pepper. Add both tins of drained tuna to the sauce mixture.
3. Spray a casserole dish with frylight and begin layering your casserole with a layer of pasta, some peas, then the tuna mixture. Repeat layers, making sure the tuna is the final layer.
4. You have two options with your bread. You can either cut it into cubes and put the cubes on top, or blitz it in a blender to top with breadcrumbs.
5. Give the layer of bread a squirt of frylight and bake for 25-30 minutes until thoroughly heated and the breadcrumbs/cubes are golden.

Total Syns in this recipe: 6 Syns for the whole thing. It makes plenty for 2 or 3, and probably enough for 4 if you have lots of sides with it.

This version wasn’t as saucy as what my mom would make, but you could always make more sauce (but remember to recalculate your Syns if you add extra milk or cornflour).

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Black & Blue Pasta [Slimming World Friendly]

blackandblue [DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

A few years ago, Tim and I were planning on celebrating our birthdays (they’re only three days apart) at our favourite Italian American restaurant here in the UK. Due to Tim’s work schedule, we went out for Lunch instead of Dinner, and got the chance to order off the Lunch menu. Tim ordered something called “black and blue pasta”. He loved it and has been disappointed that it’s not a Dinner option at the restaurant. I kept saying I would try to re-create it at home, but I’m really picky about my blue cheeses and I worried it wouldn’t melt very well and it would be swimming in fat. A few weeks ago, we were talking at my local Slimming World group (Consultant Rebecca Stones!) about melting Laughing Cow wedges. Now, I had melted the regular ones to make a poor woman’s mac n cheese, but hadn’t tried it with the flavoured ones, so an experiment was conducted, and Tim tells me it tastes just as good (better!) than what we could get at Frankie and Benny’s!

I’m posting this recipe because two of my friends saw my Instagram picture on Facebook and couldn’t believe this was “diet food”!!

Black and Blue pasta (serves one)

Syn Values: FREE if counting the cheese as your HEA, otherwise one serving is 6 Syns (each triangle is 1.5 Syns)

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.]

You Will Need:

1 Chicken breast, cut up into bite sized pieces
1 TBS Cajun or Jerk spice (optional. Add more for extra spice!)
4 Laughing Cow Light Cheese Triangles with Blue Cheese
1 TBS Fat Free Fromage Frais
Pasta (As much as you want)
Frylight

1. Pre-heat a griddle pan (or frying pan) over high heat, sprayed with Frylight. While the pan is pre-heating, start cooking your pasta according to the package directions in a separate pot (I always pre-boil the water in the kettle to give it a head start to cut down on cooking time).
2. Toss the chicken with the spices and add to the griddle pan. Cook on high for about 5 minutes, then turn over and cook for an additional 5. continue to turn the bites of chicken until they are cooked through and browned (starting to char a little!).
3. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Add the 4 blue cheese triangles and the fromage frais and mix over low heat and keep stirring until the cheese is melted and smooth.
4. Serve with a salad or vegetables of your choosing (I made a dressing with Fromage Frais and herbs).

This is so good, I want to make it again tonight…..

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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[Recipe] Chocolate Flapjack

flapjack When I first moved to the UK and I would hear the word “flapjack”, I would automatically think of a pancake and I kept being confused as to why bakeries, tea shops, and coffee shops would offer a pancake with your cuppa. Well, I finally found out that a flapjack in the UK is a sweet oaty bar….kind of like a granola bar, but not quite so wholesome. The primary ingredients are oats, butter, and sugar. I did enjoy the few times I tried flapjack, but I had never tackled baking my own, until today.

And since I’m on Slimming World, I of course had to create my own version of a flapjack that come in at 4.5 Syns per square (if it’s divided into 18).

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You Will Need:

225g Quaker Rolled Oats
100g Flora Lightest (purple container)
40g Splenda
4 tsp The Groovy Food Company agave
100g Dr Öatker plain chocolate chips

Pre-heat your oven to 180C. I mixed these up in the same tray I baked them in, which was a small glass roasting tray. All you need to do is smoosh all the ingredients together in your dish (the girl who hates getting her hands dirty sprayed her hands with Frylight and squished it together by hand!) and bake for 25 minutes! You can score them before they go in to make it easier to cut apart, or cut them once they are cool. I made two horizontal cuts (to make three long strips of flapjack) and then cut each strip into 6 squares.

Not only is this Slimming World friendly, but it’s also safer for diabetics!

***

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

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Slimming World Fast Forward Weekly Diary

[DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.]

Wow, so here we go. This is a transcript of my paper journal I kept these past 7 days….

Day One

Trips to the Loo: 20
Drinks: 2L Water, 1.5L still lemonade, 2 cups coffee, 2 cups green tea

0930: Coooofffeeeeeeeee! Skim milk is gross. Sweetener. Lots of sweetener.
Hmm, I do like crumpets. Time to get out my cool drinking cup. It holds 710ML, so if I fill it at lest 2 and a bit times I’ll drink the required amount. Hmm. Gotta pee. Again. And again. and again. OMG when will I stop needing the loo?!
1145: Hungry. but it’s too early for Lunch. More water! (and peeing!)
1250: greeksalad
Lunch, finally.
1405: You know, a digestive biscuit never tasted so good!
1420: All that rain is making me need the loo again…..
1450: Can I start planning dinner yet? I planned on Salmon, but I’m not sure I want that. Anyway, time to do some work….
1835: OK, time for dinner. Skipping the salad and saving it for a later snack sounds like a good idea to me.
2020: strawberrysalad
Mmmm. Adding strawberries to salad? Brilliant.
2200: Bedtime.

Day 2
I stopped tracking my trips to the loo. I only did it yesterday for giggles.
0730: Awake. Ugh. Water & an apple to keep me going for now….
0920: Gave in and made coffee. Still don’t like skim milk.
1100: Visit to the in-laws for a cuppa….black tea. Bletch.
1230: Greek salad again. I’m supposed to have variety on this plan, but the greek salad option is just so good! This eating plan isn’t so bad….yet. Although I feel like I’m eating a lot of carbs. Wholegrain bread, pita bread, crumpets….that’s a lot of carbs. But, I’m still feeling positive!
1800: Dinnertime.
1900: I still have room for some snacks. Really want some biscuits, so going to have to go shopping for some Rich Tea or Morning Coffee biscuits. I’ve never had either, but I’m willing to try them.
2020: Having a diet Root Beer for a treat. I wonder if I could freeze some natural yoghurt and make a root beer float?
2215: I wonder how a hilight mixed into a cup of coffee would taste? The answer is JUST LIKE A MOCHA. Yummmmm
Midnight: Crap. Hungry. Hmmm. Maybe some Ryvita with cream cheese will satisfy me?

Day 3
0130: It’s 1:30 in the morning, so let’s replan my week’s menu….
1030: Wow, woke up later than I had expected. Oh well, time for breakfast. Wow, that’s a lot of strawberries:
yogurtberries
1300: Need some more food. Time for a trip to Waitrose.
1500: Why does Waitrose have to smell like bacon? 🙁 Hungry! Having a peppermint tea in the cafe before I head home. Bought some Rich Tea fingers. I wonder if anyone would notice if I sneak into my bag to open them? Nope! Hey, these are pretty good. Taste like animal crackers from when I was a kid.
1800: Dinnertime
2100: Hmm. Someone online has told me I’m not following the plan right. Well, I hate to say it, but they don’t control me. If I’m doing this wrong, Rebecca will tell me. She saw my week’s plan and didn’t say anything about it. Besides, isn’t it all about what works for you? I’m actually discovering (yes, only three days in) that I actually prefer having lots of little meals throughout the day instead of three main ones. The proof will be in my weigh-in…..
2130: Cinnamon is a spice, right? Cottage cheese, apples, and cinnamon sound like a nice bedtime snack.

Day 4
0745: Up early. Breakfast. Hope I don’t get too hungry later.
1500: Ok, today is HARD! I’m just so hungry 🙁 And tomorrow is going to be a challenge since we are spending the day out at the Butterley Garden Railway.FORWARD PLANNING….right? I’m hungry. I ate Lunch at 1400 but I’m still hungry. Wishing for some diet soda….

Day 5
We spent the day out. I had a sensible Breakfast and packed a sensible Lunch, but we wound up out much later than we had hoped and needed to stop for Dinner. I made the best of it with a jacket spud, omelette, and salad….hope that will be good enough! Tonight would have been weigh-in day, but since we were out so late, I’m going to go to a different group tomorrow.

Day 6
I had a sneaky peek on the Wii to see where I was at and it’s said I’ve lost weight — yay!
I decided to have a jacket potato with tuna for Lunch. I hated opening a whole tin of corn just for a few Tablespoons, so I hope I can use it up before it goes bad. I also added some olives for flavour.

Day 7
Well….I did it. I lost FIVE POUNDS. AAAND, I got a shiny 2.5 Stone certificate too:
1610111_10152489688127160_3799572187157379018_n

I also had a look on my Wii Fit history, and from back in 2011 when we first got our Wii until now, I have lost 4 Stone. That makes me feel incredible.

Bring on Week 2 of Fast Forward…..5.5 pounds to go until I hit my interim target…..can I do it by next week?

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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