Sunday 8 February 2009

Reduced Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies


2 oz peanut butter
2 oz light margarine
3 1/2 oz Splenda
1 beaten egg
4 oz self-raising flower

Cream peanut butter, light margarine and Splenda together. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour and knead well. Place small balls well apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes at 200C/395F.

Vegetable Pizza

Low Far Pizza

Vegetable Pizza

serves 6

1 x 145g packet pizza base mix
Fry Light (or other 1-cal spray)

397g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp chopped basil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tbsp artificial sweetener
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 courgette, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced

1. Prepare the pizza dough according to the packet instructions. Form into a ball and place in a bowl lightly sprayed with Fry Light. Cover with a clean towel and let stand for 10-15 minutes.

2. Place the tomatoes, basil, garlic and sweetener in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool and season well. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6 and line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment.

3. Knead the dough and roll out into a large disc (about 30cm/12 inch in diameter) and place on a baking sheet. Spread the tomato sauce over the base, leaving a border around the edges, and arrange the courgette, pepper and onion on top. Season well and bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Slimming World info: 4 1/2 syns on Green or Original

This recipe can be found in Slimming World's 100 Comfort Foods book.

Spinach, Onion & Herb Frittata

Spinich Fritatta

Spinach, Onion & Herb Frittata

serves 4

Fry Light (any 1 cal spray)
6 spring onions, sliced
255g/9oz spinach leaves, washed
3 tbsp freshly chopped basil
6 eggs, beaten
28g/1oz Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Spray a frying pan with Fry Light and cook the spring onions for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and fry for 2-3 minutes until it wilts.

2. Mix the basil with the beaten eggs and pour into the frying pan. Fry for 5-6 minutes or until the base is set.

3. Sprinkle the top with the cheese and place the pan under a hot grill for 3-5 minutes until the frittata is set. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Slimming World info: 1 1/2 syns per serving on Green

This recipe can be found in Slimming World's 100 Green Recipes book.

Pasta With Quorn Sausages


Two cups of whole wheat pasta
1 red onion (finely chopped)
2 Quorn sausages (grilled)(If you don't have the brand Quorn in your area, it is vegetarian versions of meats, so there was no actual meat in the sausages.)
2 medium eggs (boiled)
3 tbsp. extra light mayonnaise
100g low-fat cheese (grated) - optional
seasoning to taste

Boil the pasta until soft and then drain. Add three tablespoons of extra light mayonnaise (or make Slimming World's syn-free mayonnaise if you are following the plan) and mix in until all of the pasta is lightly coated. Add seasoning to taste. (I use Nature's Seasons seasoning blend, but it can only be found in the US. I get it shipped to me by friends and family.) Chop the sausages into small bits and mix in. Mix in the chopped red onion. Dice up the boiled eggs and mix into the pasta. Sprinkle the grated cheese over (while the pasta is still hot) and mix in.

Bean Soup

Pork & Beans

Beans are rich in fiber and this bean soup recipe that my mom always made for me is a really healthy, fiber-rich meal that is perfect for anyone trying to lose weight.

When I lived in the US, we always made this using pinto beans, but I was unable to find dry pinto beans where I live in the UK, so I made it with two bags of dry crab eye beans instead. If just using the basic ingredients (beans, ham, onion, seasoning, garlic powder), this is also a very inexpensive meal that will feed about five people for two nights.

2 bags of dry crab eye beans or pinto beans
2 thick slices of lean gammon/ham (optional but recommended)
2 large white onions
seasoning (I use Nature's Seasons from the US) - to taste
garlic powder - to taste

Tobasco sauce (optional)
low fat cheese (optional)
one baguette (optional)

First, soak the beans in water overnight.

In the morning, add the beans to a crockpot (called a "slow cooker" in the UK) and add water to cover them.

Chop the onions and add them to the crockpot. Chop up the gammon/ham and add it to the crockpot. Add seasoning and garlic powder to taste. (The ham/gammon is not necessary for bean soup, but it adds a nice flavor to the stock that the beans are cooked in.)

Let cook on high for 5 to 6 hours.

Serve up.

I sometimes add low fat cheese to my bowl of bean soup. It melts right away and tastes yummy, but I only add it if I have saved up enough extra calories for the day. I always add Tobasco sauce to my beans because I like my food spicy, but this is not for everyone.

I also like to have a baguette (the one pictured is an onion baton) with my beans to dip into them, but again, this makes the meal less healthy, so it all depends on how well I have been eating beforehand.

A large bowl of crab eye beans without gammon is about 468 calories, and very low in fat. (I do not know how pinto beans compare in calories to crab eye beans.) The gammon adds about 51 calories to the meal, and the low fat cheese adds another 67 calories (depending on the kind you use). The onion baton is about 200 calories. As you can see, if I plan on having all of the extras with my beans, I have to eat very light for the day prior to the meal.

But having the meal without the cheese or baguette makes for a very healthy meal that is not too high in calories, is very low in fat and is high in fiber too.

Also, for those following a Slimming World diet plan, beans are a "free" food on Slimming World's Green Days, and the meat can be used as a healthy extra.