Monday, 21 March 2011

Kerala Prawns and the weekend in general.

So with this being my first weekend back on it, (back on weightwatchers and not back on it, as in booze), I've pointed everything. I feel like I've showed quite a lot of self restraint. 

Weekends are my achilles heel, I can do the week days where I have a structure, but given the opportunity to eat random hot cross buns and bowls of crunchy nut cornflakes( I swear they put crack in that cereal), I let myself down every time. But I feel I did good fat fighting, all will be revealed tomorrow at my first proper class weigh in though.

I made the kerala prawns from the recipe I posted here. I have never used Fenugreek or little curry leaves before in my curries, and I have to say, the curry was very satisfying, but there was something quite sour in it, and I'm not sure whether it was one of those two. Anyway, next time I make it, I'm going to add a bit of sugar, just to take the bitter edge off it a bit. 

Moroccan Style Chicken with lentils - Serves 2, 10pp per serving

This recipe is originally here but I have modified it just a little, mainly because I don't have apricots or mint at home. This recipe doesn't include the cous cous either. Oh and I am using chicken breast slices rather than thighs, just because they are in my fridge at the moment too. And I've halved the oil in it! So here goes:


1 tbsp olive oil
240g skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 large onion, finely sliced
50g split red lentils
400g can chopped tomato
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
700ml chicken stock (using 2 oxo cubes)
1 cinnamon stick (or tsp cinnamon powder)


1) Rub olive oil into the chicken strips. Mix the garlic, cumin, coriander and paprika together, then rub all over the chicken thighs on both sides.
2) Heat a large flameproof casserole, add the chicken strips and cook over a medium heat for 5 mins until golden. Set the chicken aside. Turn down the heat, add the remaining oil (or fry light) and fry the onion for 5 mins until softened.
3) Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil. Place the chicken strips on top and pour in any juices. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the sauce thickened.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Weekend Habits

If, by the end of the weekend, I haven't had something that resembles comfort food, i.e carb fest or curry or chinese or something that usually leaves me feeling bloated and horrible....I do feel like I've missed out.

I also feel like I've missed out if I haven't had a bottle of vino, or something sweet. So, in a bid to stay on track this weekend, I am a) going to bed without any wine on a FRIDAY!!! and b) I am choosing low pointy things for tomorrow so I can at least have a vino or a beer or two. I do like a curry and so I have chosen Kerala prawns for tomorrow. I will have it with rice or a pitta. I am determined to stay on track this weekend. It is my first weekend back in it so if I can do one weekend, I can do another. Here goes . . . .

Kerala Prawns - 2 servings - 7PP per person

2 red chillies, quartered lengthways, then sliced finely
1 small red onion, chopped
2.5cm root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
half a tsp fenugreek seeds
14 curry leaves, dried or fresh
black pepper
250g jumbo prawns
150ml reduced fat coconut milk
handful of fresh chopped coriander


  1. In a food processor, blitz the chillies, onion and ginger with 3 tbsp water into a smoothish paste - you may need to scrape it down the sides.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pan or wok. When hot, toss in the mustard and fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves - they'll crackle and pop - and fry for 10 seconds. Add the onion paste, turn the heat down a tad and cook without colouring for about 5 minutes. Splash in some water if it starts to catch.
  3. Add the turmeric and cracked peppercorns and stir the spices around for a few seconds before tipping in the prawns. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer, stirring all the time. The milk will take on a yellow colour from the turmeric. Cook for 1 minute until everything's heated through. Squeeze over some lime, sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve.

Courgette Fritters - Serves 2 - 6pp per serving

These would go very nicely with the houmous below I think. I must try them...


2 medium courgettes, grated
2 tbsp self-raising flour
30g parmesan, finely grated
1 tbsp olive oil


1) In a bowl, combine the grated courgette, flour and parmesan. 
   Shape into walnut-size balls, then flatten.
2) Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. 
   Fry the fritters for 2-3 mins on each side until golden brown. 

Harissa Spiked Houmous - serves 4 - 4pp per serving

400g cans chickpeas , rinsed and drained
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp harissa paste
1 tbsp tomato pure
lemon juice , to taste

1)  Put three-quarters of the chickpeas in a food processor with 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic and half a cupful of water. Blitz until smooth, adding a little more water if necessary to make a thick cream consistency. Add the rest of the chickpeas, then whizz again for a few secs until nobbly. Season with salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
2)  Mix together the harissa and tomato purée with the rest of the olive oil. Drizzle over the houmous to serve.

You can get weightwatchers hot chilli corn tortillas which are nice for an extra 2pp per bag.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Oven Baked Leek & Bacon Risotto- Serves 4, 11pp per person

This is so moreish be careful, but a perfect friday night dinner.
Oven baked risottos are the way forward in my kitchen. As Shakin' Stevens once said "Ain't got time to fix the shingles, Ain't got time to fix the floor' Well, I ain't got time to stand over a risotto. So here goes:


Olive oil, 1 tbsp
6 rashers smoked back bacon, roughly chopped
2 leeks, halved lengthways and finely sliced
250g risotto rice
700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
175g frozen peas
3tbsp low fat soft cheese
zest of 1 lemon


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Tip the oil into an ovenproof casserole dish. Add bacon and fry for 2 mins. Add the leeks and cook until soft, but not coloured, for about 4-5 mins. Tip in rice and cook for 1 min more. Pour over stock. Cover and place in the oven for 20 mins, stirring halfway.
  2. When rice is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, remove from oven and stir in peas. Place back in oven for 2 mins more. Remove and stir in cheese. Add zest and season.

Sicilian Fish Stew - Serves 2 - 8pp per serving


Olive oil- 1 tbsp
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 anchovy, rinsed (optional)
chili flakes, pinch,
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
125ml white wine
400ml vegetable stock
50g cous cous
250g haddock or any white fish fillet (skinless and boneless)
half a lemon, zested,
handful of parsley, chopped


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a wide, shallow pan. Add the onion, celery, garlic, anchovy (if using) and chilli flakes. Season and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes. Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes then add the couscous. Turn down to a simmer and add the fish. Cover with a lid and cook until the fish is done, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Divide between 2 dishes, breaking the fish into large pieces. Sprinkle over lemon zest and parsley to finish.

Thai Red Meatball Curry - Serves 3/4 - 14pp per serving

I've pointed this at 14pp, if you get 3 servings out of it. If you're not as much of a pig as me, you can get 4 servings out of it and then it works out as 10pp. Which isn't bad at all.

I have this with a side of veg like sugar snaps rather than rice.


500g pack lean beef mince (10% fat)
2 red chillies , 1 chopped, 1 sliced
thumb-size piece ginger , grated
1 egg
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1-1½ tbsp Thai red curry paste , depending on how spicy you like it
400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
225g can bamboo shoots , drained
140g fine green beans , trimmed
juice 1 lime , plus extra wedges to serve
20g pack basil


1)  Put the mince into a large bowl with the chopped chilli, ginger and egg, then season generously. Mix well with your hands, then shape into 20 meatballs. Can be made and chilled up to a day ahead.

2)  Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then brown the meatballs for 5 mins. Tip onto a plate. Add the curry paste, fry for 1 min, then pour in the coconut milk and half a can of water. Bring back to the boil and stir to make a smooth sauce.

3)  Return the meatballs to the pan with the bamboo shoots and beans. Simmer for 5 mins until the beans are just tender and meatballs cooked through. 

4)  To serve, season the sauce with salt, pepper and lime juice, then tear in the basil leaves. Scatter with sliced chilli and serve with rice or noodles and more lime wedges for squeezing over.

Very Quick Chicken Casserole serves 2 13PP per serving

This does exactly what it says on the tin. And, it is nommmm. 
And it is quick. If you want to see it in its entirety it is here but I shall put the instructions and ingredients in too so you can cook it off of here.


4 large or 6 small skinless chicken thigh fillets 
3 shallots, quartered
1 carrot, sliced
8 new potatoes skin left on, halved or quartered
500ml chicken stock from cube
Cup of peas 
small chopped bunch of tarragon.
1 tbsp half fat creme fraiche


1) put everything except the peas, tarragon and creme fraiche in a wide casserole pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

2) After it has simmered for 15 minutes, add the peas and tarragon. cook for 10 more minutes until the potatoes are done.

3) stir in the creme fraiche.

The creme fraiche really makes this casserole so please do add it, it only adds 3pp to the whole recipe and is so worth it.

Back to Fat.

Yep, so anyway I'm fat again. And so it had to be done. I've gone back to weightwatchers. All that sitting on my arse crocheting has taken its toll so I'm going to use my crafty blog as a recipe blog too, as I seem to be eating more than crafting at the moment.

Hopefully people will find this useful too. I find the weightwatchers recipes ok, but 'Devilled Eggs' really? I can eat 10 of those bad boys and not feel full up. And as for your 'Plum and Raspberry pancakes with hot chocolate sauce' sounds great but really, after a day at work and a gym session, I can't be doing with that, I need REAL food.

So these recipes are all about real food. Not 'half fat this, half fat that' but proper food using healthy options where possible but not to the detriment of taste.