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[Recipe] 2.5 Syn General Tso’s Chicken

Ah, the great American Chinese staple. Full disclaimer – I can’t actually remember what General Tso’s Chicken is supposed to taste like, as it’s been almost 9 years since I had any, but I do remember the first time Tim and I ordered Chinese food here in the UK and I wanted to know where the General Tso’s chicken was on the menu! Chinese food in the UK and the US is very different. A friend of mine explained that a lot of British Chinese food recipes are from Hong Kong, whereas American Chinese food is…well, American. (kind of like how Italian food in the US is different from Italian food from Italy). So I swapped my General Tso for Sweet & Sour Chicken Cantonese style, but I always wanted to know how to make my own General Tso’s Chicken. And naturally, since I follow Slimming World, I also wanted to find something that was low in syns, especially since your average takeaway can be 10+ syns.

I originally found this recipe on a Beach Body blog, but modified it for Slimming world.

You will need:

450g diced chicken breast
2 TBS cornflour/cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
small piece of fresh ginger, about the size of your thumbnail finely chopped
2 spring onion sprigs, chopped
150ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 TBS passata (or for a thicker sauce, use tomato puree)
1 TBS Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Agave syrup (or use sweetener)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Coat the chicken in the cornflour and place on a lined baking tray and bake 15-20 minutes*
3. while the chicken is cooking, combine together all other ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes.
4. When the chicken is cooked, toss it with the sauce.

I served ours with broccoli, peas, and egg-fried cous cous. Divided into 2 portions, this comes out at 2.5 syns per person.

*for crispier but still low syns you could fry them in fry light!

***

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.]

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[Recipe] Cauliflower Cheese & Bacon

Do you ever watch those recipe videos on Facebook and get really hungry? Me too. Last night, one of my friends linked to a video for Loaded Cauliflower Casserole and it got me hungry and wanting to create this dish to be Slimming World friendly. So I went out shopping today and picked up a Cauliflower and we had this for Tea tonight.

You Will Need:

1 Head of Cauliflower (chopped into florets)
300g frozen mixed vegetables
200g bacon medallions
250g Quark
3 heaped spoonfuls Fromage Frais
1 TBS dried or fresh chives (or use spring onion if you have them. I forgot to buy some but had chives)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp mustard powder
45g reduced fat cheddar cheese

1. Boil or steam the cauliflower florets until tender and cook the frozen vegetables. Drain both.
2. Grill bacon. Chop bacon into bite sizes bits.
3. Combine quark, fromage frais, chives, pepper, and mustard.
4. Stir quark mixture into vegetables, add chopped bacon.
5. Spread into a casserole dish and top with 45g cheddar cheese
6. Bake at 200C 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is golden.

Syns per recipe: 6 (for the cheese).

This recipe is easy to adapt for vegetarians, just omit the bacon or use veggie bacon. If you are following a Low Carb High Fat diet, use full fat cream cheese and sour cream instead.

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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.

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] Easy Carbonara Slimming World Style

14054558_10154537219342160_5208478823754869133_o Breaking up the Austria posts to bring you a recipe, because I am trying to be back on the SW train. I actually managed to lose 3 pounds over the three weeks I was away, but then since being back I actually gained a half stone. Grrrr. But I’ve got my SW planning journal and a new countdown and I’m trying to be ON IT. FOCUS! I’ve regained so much weight after my great success and it really upsets me a lot. Anyway….

Tim asked me a while ago to come up with a carbonara, and it took me age, but I finally have come up with one that’s really tasty!

This recipe serves 2 (so double it for 4) and it is FREE on Slimming World (Extra Easy)

You will need:

6 bacon medallions, diced
3 spring onion sprigs, chopped
150g frozen sliced mushrooms
4-5 balls of frozen spinach
200g diced lean ham (or deli ham)
200g dried pasta
300g Quark
1 TBS Fromage Frais (could be omitted)
Salt
Pepper

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package and add the frozen spinach the last 5 minutes.
2. Spray a wok or large frying pan with fry light and fry the bacon, spring onions, and frozen mushroom for about 10 minutes
3. Add the ham and while the ham is heating up, drain the pasta and spinach and rinse in hot water.
4. Tip the pasta and spinach into the wok and stir in the quark and the fromage frais. Season with the salt & pepper
5. Divide between two plates and serve with a large salad.

We both loved this, but it did make a lot for even the two of us and I couldn’t eat all of it. I wouldn’t freeze this because I’m not sure how quark would freeze. If you wanted, you could use your HEA and use cream cheese instead of quark or even use some laughing cow wedges.

***

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.

Many of the Amazon UK links are affiliate links, so if you click on them and buy something, I do get a tiny percent.

This post has not been endorsed by Amazon or any of the products and websites mentioned in this post and I have not received compensation for writing this post or making any videos.

The contents of this post, including personal 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] Let’s go Camping!

This post is here because I posted this on my local Slimming World group, and one of the members asked if they could share it elsewhere. Since you can’t share posts made on closed groups, I’m sticking it here. So there aren’t any pics to go with it (yet), but I might edit it tomorrow when I get more time.

Tips for staying on Slimming World while camping!

Tip 1 – If you are going to be without electricity to keep food cold, a day or two before you go cook up a batch of something like pasta sauce and then freeze it in either a plastic container or in a zipper top bag (double bag it!) and use this as a cold pack in your cooler. After it thaws out, you can cook some pasta and heat up the sauce, but it will keep your food cool for a bit longer.
Tip 2 – UHT milk cartons. For Tim and I, we go through 1 500ml carton of semi-skim UHT milk per day of our camping trip, so it’s not left out for very long, but this way you can have milk for coffee, tea, and cereal. You also can freeze them and use them as ice packs in your cooler.

Breakfast:

1 – you can make up your own instant porridge packs in plastic baggies. 2 tsp of dried powdered skim milk is 1 Syn. Measure out 35g of porridge and 2tsp of dried skim milk into your bags and in the mornings pour into a bowl and add boiling water. You can add some frozen berries (use them as an ice pack as they thaw!) for some added S foods.

2 – Make hash browns/fried potatoes. Get a tin of new potatoes (it’s only around 20p!), slice them or cut them into chunks, and fry with some fry light. Super easy, and they go great with some fried eggs, tinned tomatoes, and baked beans.

3 – cold cereal with UHT milk in a pinch.4 – French toast. Dip wholemeal bread into a mixture of UHT milk and an egg and fry with fry light. You can make these sweet or savory by either sprinkling with cinnamon and sweetener and serving with thawing berries, or savory and serve it with fried eggs or scrambled eggs.

Main meals:

Tip 1 – Boil in bag rice is FREE and it’s easier to cook when camping as it won’t be as hard to clean and you can reuse the pot right away

Tip 2 – Find a metal colander that fits inside your large pot when you make pasta so you just have to lift out the colander when the pasta is done and dump the water instead of finding a place to pour the pasta pot into the colander.

Tip 3 – Another option for pasta is cooking it at home ahead of time and putting it into a zipper top bag and immersing the bag in boiling water to heat up the pasta

Meal 1 – Vegetable Soup: This is super easy. All you need is a tin of mixed vegetables, a tin of tomatoes, 2 vegetable stock pots, and a handful of pearl barley (optional, but bulks it up). Pour the tins into a pot, add the stock pots, add the barley, and top up with water. The barley takes about 20 minutes to cook (although the longer you leave it, the softer the barley). A larger family might need 2 tins of each and 4 stock pots. You also could open a bag of boil in bag rice and toss it in instead of pearl barley.

Meal 2 – Poor Man’s Ramen: 1 Egg noodle nest or block per person, soy sauce, an OXO veg cube per person, tinned peas, carrots, and tinned corn. Toss it all in a pot, crumble the OXO cube on top, and bring to a boil. Takes about 10 minutes. You can drain it OR have it soupy and use soy sauce to taste.

Meal 3 – Stir Fry: serve with either boil in bag rice or egg noodles.

Meal 4 – If you premade/froze pasta sauce, pop it in a pot and cook some pasta. If your sauce is in a plastic bag, you could even cook it in the pot with the pasta in the bag, or stir it into the pasta after you drain the pasta to heat it through. . (My recipe for camping is really simple – quorn quorn mince, passata, tinned tomatoes, italian spices, worcester sauce, and cinnamon)

Meal 5 – if you have leftover sauce, dump a tin of kidney beans and some chili powder to make chilli and serve over rice.

Meal 6 – Pasta N Sauce with some added tinned vegetables, or make poor man’s mac n cheese with pasta and tinned veg and while the pasta is still hot, stir in laughing cow wedges. Make it cajun style with some cajun or jamaican jerk seasonings and you could add quorn chicken pieces. We like this especially with the laughing cow blue cheese.

I also like to make up some SW barbecue sauce before we go and I use one of those lock n lock tube shaped containers for it. The balsamic vinegar preserves it (Tim just used some I had in the fridge for 2 months and it was fine). If you are taking a grill or can get one of those disposable grills, you could have a barbecue with quorn burgers, or you could even make the burgers on the camping stove in a frying pan. If I was doing a barbecue, I would cook corn on the cob (it’s probably very American! lol), heat up some beans (baked beans is also a big barbecue thing in the US), and fry some potatoes (or if you have a campfire or charcoal grill – stab potatoes and wrap them in foil, then bury them in the coals)

Another good grill option for camping is veggie skewers with rice.

That’s all I have for now, if I think of more I’ll add it!

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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.

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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How To Monthly and Weekly Meal Plan [Slimming Word]

This past week at Slimming World, our consultant talked about learning visually and it got me thinking about meal planning, so I thought I would do a video showing how I meal plan. It turned into two videos – one for monthly planning, and one for weekly planning.

At the end of the previous month, or within the first week of a month, I sit down with a blank monthly calendar (I print out the ones Philifaxy makes) and some of my cookbooks and I plan out 30 days of meals. This doesn’t mean that the meal I write down for the 15th is going to be made on the 15th, it just means I have 30 meals for the month I can pick through when I make our weekly plans. It takes me about 45-60 minutes to plan the month this way, but then it keeps planning the week down to 30-45 minutes.

I also said I would upload my weekly planning sheet to dropbox, so feel free to download this and use it:
Weekly Slimming World Meal Planning Sheet

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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.

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] Motivation

12789884_10154066861462160_2100876990_o Ok, so this is a Subway salad. You’ve seen them before, and if you follow Slimming World, you probably eat this a lot when you’re out and about. You know the deal. Lots of Speed, a little bit of P foods, and around 2 syns for some Ranch dressing. But. When I was in town today I very nearly strayed and went to Burger King.

So, let me back up bit. The other day, a friend messaged me to tell me she had joined Slimming World, and she wanted to know if I had any tips for her. I drew a blank. How can I offer tips to someone when I’ve spent a year mostly gaining weight instead of losing? So I gave her a generic “stick to the plans”…..and I thought oh, you dummy. How about YOU follow the plans?

So back to today. I’m in town. I need Lunch. Options are – fast food or a sit down restaurant. Out of the fast foods, we all know Subway is the best option…..but when you can smell the chips…….

In Lincoln, the BK is inside the shopping centre off the high street. To get to it, you have to either take the escalator down into New Look and walk out of New Look and over to it, or you have to walk the length of the upper level and then go down to the lower. So I walked into New Look and just looked at the first item in my path. It wasn’t anything in particular that I would wear, but I looked at the size on the shirt. 10. Could I some day fit into a 10 and take that shirt into the dressing room just to see what it looks like? Would eating at BK really help me on my way?

I turned around and walked to Subway.

….just don’t ask me about the rest of the day 😉 (I’m kidding. It wasn’t a bad day at all!)

***

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] Cheap and Easy Vegetable Soup

12349521_10153873133597160_1075690722_o When I was younger and home sick from school, my mom would always make me a bowl of Campbell’s vegetable soup with ABC pasta (I liked vegetable soup better than chicken noodle). When I became a vegetarian, I stopped eating it because it had meat based (beef or chicken) stock in it. And then I moved to the UK and stopped being vegetarian, but Campbell soup wasn’t sold here until recently. Two weeks ago when I was sick I happened to be looking at the tinned vegetables in Tesco and I spotted a tin of mixed veg – carrot, potato, parsnip, and peas. I thought it might be nice as a soup, so I picked some up and I’ve been making this soup every few days since. It’s quick, cheap, easy, and surprisingly tastes just like Campbell’s, so it’s also a nice bit of comfort food for this expat.

Vegetable Soup
Syns: 0

You will need:
1 tin mixed vegetables
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1L vegetable stock or broth (made from scratch, cubes, or stock pots*)
handful of pearl barley, small pasta, or rice (optional)

1. Check the cooking time on the barley, pasta, or rice as this will determine how long the soup will take. Pearl barley takes about 30 minutes, but small pasta only 10-15 minutes.
2. Combine everything in a large pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer per directions on the barley, pasta, or rice (I simmer mine for 30 minutes).

And you’re done. This made plenty for my husband and I to have for lunch over two days. I think the total cost for this is under £1, so it’s quite frugal too!

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*Double check to make sure your stock is still syn free, or calculate the syns. Oxo cubes are free.

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] Crustless Pumpkin Pie

12311373_10153850694002160_476025140_o Because everyone knows the filling is the best part! Special thanks go to Sue, who gave me the original recipe I modified after I lamented on Facebook about all the recipes I found on Pinteresst calling for either ingredients that aren’t sold in the UK or ingredients I didn’t have. You can use fresh or tinned pumpkin for this (you also could use a butternut squash or sweet potato), though the verdict is still out if tinned pumpkin is syn free. I say it is, because it’s a tinned vegetable (and contains 100% pumpkin), but a friend of mine says it isn’t. So, use fresh pureed pumpkin if you have it, syn the tinned or don’t syn, it’s your choice. This pie comes in at 2 syns per slice if you divide it into 8 and it tastes exactly the same a the filling in a regular pie does.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

You will need:

425g pureed pumpkin
250ml semi-skim milk
75g Truvia for Baking*
2 eggs
2TBS cornflour**
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 220C and spray your pie plate with fry light.
2. Combine all ingredients and use a hand mixer to mix until smooth
3. Pour into the sprayed pie plate and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Lower the oven to 180C and bake an additional 30-45 minutes, or until it is firm on the edges (a little wiggle is ok. In fact, I think I slightly overcooked mine since it cracked the whole way around!)

I served this after we had a mini Thanksgiving, or Fauxgiving as I called it.We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, so anyone who is celebrating it here today is probably an American or related to an American (or friends with, etc.). Basically, we had a roast dinner with turkey instead of chicken and I added a bit of stuffing and cranberry sauce. I served mashed potatoes instead of the usual roast only because my throat hurts right now and I thought the sharp corners on the potatoes would have hurt going down. I followed the cranberry sauce recipe in the Slimming World Christmas cookbook and made a double batch of it to store in a jar until Christmas (if you turn the jar upside down, it will seal itself).

12295739_10153850934622160_921517929_o

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*Truvia for baking is sold in a 500g bag and is amazing to bake with on Slimming World, as it only has 2.5 syns per 25g. You could use regular sweetener, but 75g would be A LOT of sweetener, or you could use sugar, but adjust the syns accordingly. 75g Truvia baking blend is 7 1/2 syns.

**If you’re in the US, this is cornstarch, not the stuff you make cornbread with!

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] Easy Chocolate Fudge

12265799_10153835253647160_5239096253652785517_o Yum! Who doesn’t love Fudge? Tim and I decided that we will no longer put anything in our mouths unless we know the syn values for it, and that includes tasty chocolate treats. I always like to make assorted treats at Christmas time, and last year I made Peanut Butter Fudge. This year, I want try a few other types of fudge including chocolate, and I decided it needed a trial run and I needed to work out the syns for this. If you follow my recipe exactly and use an 8″ square tin, depending on how small you cut the pieces they can be as little as 4 syns or as many as 9 syns per piece. You might need a ruler to work out the exact sizes!

You Will Need:

1 tin of Carnation Condensed Milk
300g Dr Oetker plain chocolate chips
Parchment paper
microwave safe bowl
8 inch square tin
Spatula

1. Line an 8 inch square tin with parchment paper.
2. Combine milk and chocolate in a microwave safe dish.
3. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and microwave in 30 second intervals stirring between until chocolate is melted and it is evenly combined with the milk.
4. Pour mixture into tin, and smooth out into the corners with the spatula and level off.
5. Refrigerate overnight.
6. When solid, cut into pieces. 36 pieces = 4 syns per piece, 25 pieces = 6 (5.76) syns each, 16 pieces = 9 syns each.

If you use a different sized container, what you need to know to calculate the syns is the total syn value of these exact ingredients are 144.

***

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 Taste of Austria – Pork Schnitzel

12279459_10153834140982160_976593785_o Austria has some amazing food. Some amazingly fattening food. Did you know that Austrians consume on average more calories per day than most other countries in the world? I didn’t either until my husband found an article about it. No wonder he and I both gained weight on our trip to Austria. We figure native Austrians probably need all those calories since everything is on top of a mountain! One of my huband’s favourite foods is Schnitzel, and they serve it pretty much everywhere. Large pieces of chicken, pork, or viel coated in batter and then deep fried. Wow. I can feel my arteries clogging just writing that. A few years back, the Slimming World magazine had some international foods, and incldued a recipe for Schnitzel, which I have used to base my recipe off of. The breadcrumbs are best if you are able to let them bake and stand for several hours, but you can crisp them up just before you make them or you can use them soft. But this is best with crispy crunchy breadcrumbs.

Pork Schnitzel
1 Syn per Schnitzel

You Will Need:
60g wholemeal bread (loaf or roll, but measure to make sure it’s 60!)
2 tsp Celery salt
2 tsp mixed herbs (I actually used Italian herbs as I was out of mixed and it was fine)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 egg
6 pork chops with the fat trimmed off (or pork steaks or pork medallions)
Frylight

For the Breadcrumbs:
1. Preheat oven to 150C.
2. Blitz the bread along with the spices in a blender or food processor until crumbs.
3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
4. Bake the crumbs for 15 minutes, stirring halfway.
5. Turn off the oven and and leave the crumbs in the oven for 4 hours.
6. Fold over the parchment paper and crush the now crispy crumbs with your hands, the back of a knife, or a rolling pin.

For the Schnitzel:
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Whisk the egg white, then add the yolk and whisk some more.
3. Spray a baking tray with frylight.
4. Dredge the pork first in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs and place on the tray.
5. Spray the tops of the pork with some frylight.
6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are starting to brown.

This goes great with some chips, peas, and sauerkraut! Don’t forget to measure out your ketchup too. 1 TBS of reduced sugar and salt ketchup is half a syn. I just dumped all my ketchup on my chips, so it looks like a lot, but I only used 2TBS, bringing the total syns to my dinner to 4.

***

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] Savory Cheese Cookies (Cheese Scones)

12255492_10153835571962160_951995685_o I know you’re probably thinking savory cookies? What? But see, I started out reworking a recipe for Victorian Cheese Scones, and they came out a bit flat – more like a cheese biscuit, but they’re soft like a cookie. Since they’re too flat to be scones, I’ve decided they must be savory cookies. Even better? They work out at 2.5 Syns each! Of course, you could make them bigger/thicker and have them at 5 syns each, too. As this was originally a recipe measured in ounces, the grams are a little funny looking.

Savory Cheese Cookies (Cheese Scones)

You will need:
170g self-rising flour
28g Flora light (blue container) (if you’re not following SW, use any butter or margarine)
84g grated reduced fat Cheddar cheese*
1 egg
2 TBS semi-skim milk
pinch of salt & pepper
1/4 tsp Coleman’s mustard powder
about 1/2 TBS water (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a tray with parchment paper OR spray with Frylight.
2. Whisk together egg and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Sift together flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder.
4. Rub in the Flora. I did his by kind of scrunching it, if that makes sense. You’ll wind up with the texture of breadcrumbs.
5. Stir in the cheese.
6. Mix in the milk and egg and combine until it forms a ball. If it’s not picking up all the flour and looks dry, add about 1/2TBS of water.
7. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to around 1/4″ to 1/2″.
8. Using a middle sized biscuit cutter, cut out 20 rounds and transfer them onto the baking sheet.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

If you divide this into 20, each cookie is 2.5 Syns each. If you roll out the dough thicker and only cut 10 out, each one is 5 syns. For a more rustic look, you could just shape them by hand.

Add-ins: Make Cheese & Onion scones by adding some chopped spring onions after adding the cheese. Make Cheese & Bacon by adding drained chopped bacon (use lardons for no added syns) to the dough. Try adding chilli powder for a kick. The possibilities are endless!

*You can use another type of cheese, but you will need to recalculate the 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] Stuffed French Toast

12250765_10153827925177160_1136318101_o Walk into an American diner, and one thing you’ll spot on the menu is French Toast, and about a half dozen (or more!)) ways to have it , including stuffed.

French toast is known as eggy bread in the UK, the only difference being that eggy bread is more of a savory dish, and French toast is usually a sweet. And to further confuse things, in the UK we also have something called fried bread, which you would think would be similar, but nope. Fried bread kind of grosses me out.

If you order Stuffed French Toast in a diner, you will usually get two really thick slices of white bread, dipped in a mixture of egg and milk, and fried. Between the two pieces of bread they lay on the sweet cream cheese and then it’s topped with fruit mixed in a sugary syrup. Sounds disgustingly delicious, doesn’t it?

Since Tim was swapping over to night shift on Saturday, I knew we would be up late on Friday night (to try to sleep in on Saturday to help him switch over) and Saturday by the time we got up we would be having Brunch instead of Breakfast, and I decided to make French Toast. Then, when I was getting the milk out for my coffee, I spotted the dish of thawed out frozen berries and a container of quark, so I decided to make mine stuffed!

Stuffed French Toast
Syns: 0, but this will count as your HEB. If you’re not having it as your HEB, you will need to syn the bread.

You will need:
2 slices of any Healthy Extra B bread option
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
100g frozen mixed berries, thawed (or fresh berries)
2 TBS quark
Fry Light

1. Spray a frying pan with Fry Light and pre-heat it on the hob (that’s stove for my American readers!).
2. Whisk the eggs with the cinnamon in a bowl or dish large enough to fit a slice of bread.
3. Soak one slice of bread in the mixture and fry until golden brown (3-4 minutes per side). Repeat with the second slice of bread (you might need to give the pan another spray of Fry Light too). If your frying pan is large enough, you could do both slices at once.
4. Spread one slice of French toast with quark, top with mixed berries, and place the second slice of French toast on top.
5. Optional: top the whole thing with some agave syrup, treacle, American pancake syrup, or golden syrup (and make sure you calculate the syns for your syrup!)

Not only is this a great Slimming World brunch choice, it’s great for a diabetic! If you wanted to make a “full fat” version, use cream cheese instead of quark and you could use tinned fruit in syrup.

***

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] 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] 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.

12189402_10153816157467160_8269485207765961146_o

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.

12211242_10153811858667160_1243320747_o

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.

12204079_10153811852747160_1066759153_o

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.

12203947_10153811857467160_1785693069_o

***

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.

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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.]

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

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