Chinese takeaway on Slimming world?!

I lost 1lb last night, which again is good but a little disappointing given how good I’ve been.  I know realistically I usually only lose 1-2lbs when I’m being good though, so I know I should be pleased with that!

This morning I felt really motivated, but I’ve just had one of those days where everything seems to get in the way! First of all the lunch options were awful at work, so we ended up with veg lasagne (counting the cheese as my Healthy Extra A which I always forget to eat!) and half a portion of sweet potato chips (counting 2 syns for oil).

So, so far so good, but then dinner was a disaster! First we were late home, and then the sausages I’d planned to use were out of date, and we had literally nothing else in.  We ended up having chinese, so off I went in search of slimming world friendly take out ideas.  So, in case you’re interested, here are some of the best choices we found for watching your syns.

  • Take out starters are unsurprisingly high.  Finding a reliable count for spring rolls or satay chicken is difficult, but prawn toast is 7 syns for 2 pieces.
    • A better choice would be prawn crackers (1.5 syns per 5) or BBQ ribs (8.5 syns per 4 ribs)
  • Rice is the best choice if you’re trying to save syns.  Boiled rice is free, egg fried rice is 4 syns and special fried rice is 9.5 syns.
    • Although noodles are theoretically free, they’re usually swamped in oil which makes them really hard to estimate.  A chicken chow mein is a whopping 16.5 syns!
  • In terms of main dishes, chicken in oyster sauce (4 syns), beef with mushrooms (4.5 syns) or chicken and black bean sauce (5 syns) are about the best bet.
    • For a noodle dish, chicken chop suey is only 5.5 syns.

 

What I had:
I went with boiled rice (free) and chicken with ginger and spring onions.  I couldn’t find a value for the chicken, but I’m hoping it’s similar to the chicken in mushrooms or black bean, and I estimated 5 syns.

I also had 5 prawn crackers (1.5 syns) and a third of a chow mein – which we asked for with as little oil as possible.  It was definitely much less oily than usual so I estimated 12 syns (to be on the safe side) and as we shared it I’ve estimated my portion at at 4 syns.

All of the portions were huge, so I only actually ate half of my chicken and rice, so I have plenty left for lunch at work tomorrow too.

All in all, a very filling, indulgent chinese takeaway for around 10.5 syns – not too bad!

7 days of Slimming World breakfast ideas

I lost 1.5lbs at Slimming World last night which isn’t bad! I’m a little disappointed because I’ve been really good, but I’m also not really surprised – I’ve never been one to lose huge amounts in a week, and if I could lose that weekly I’d be thrilled!

Anyways, I’m trying really hard to stay focused this week, and so I’ve been brainstorming meal ideas.  While it’s easy to find recipes for dinner, breakfasts are a something I struggle to keep interesting. It’s so easy to get into a rut of cereal or toast every day, but sometimes I want to mix things up, so that was the inspiration for today’s post!

(I’ll admit, I’m not the best at making sure I’ve got the 1/3 superfree at breakfast, but I generally just follow it up with some extra fruit throughout the morning)

7 days of breakfasts

  1. For when you want to be really good: Syn free yoghurt & fruit (0 syns)

    This is most usually any flavour mullerlight followed by a banana, but a toffee yoghurt with sliced banana is also meant to be a good combination.

  2. When you have a few syns to play with: Wholemeal toast & topping (HEB & 1.5-3 syns)

    Toast and some kind of topping is one of my go-to breakfasts, but changing around the toppings stops it feeling boring.  You can have 60g of wholemeal bread for your Healthy Extra B, and here are a few of my favourite toppings.Reduced fat pate, 1 tbsp: 1.5 syns
    Lurpak lightest, 2 tsp: 2 syns
    Lemon curd, 2 tsp: 2 syns
    Chocolate philadelphia, 2tsp & sliced banana: 3 syns

  3. When you want something really easy: Cereal and milk (HEB & HEA)
    This is my other go-to breakfasts, for when I can’t be bothered to think about syns etc.  Pick a Healthy Extra B cereal, add your Healthy Extra A of milk and go!  A few cereals I like (and yes I am a big kid!)

    35g coco shreddies,
    2 weetabix,
    30g honey nut shredded wheat,
    30g weetabix chocolate spoonsize

  4. If you want something filling: Boiled eggs (Free or HEB)

    Boiled eggs are really filling, and they’re nice and quick to cook too.  Cook yourself two boiled eggs (0 syns) and have with either two slices of wholemeal bread (Healthy Extra B), asparagus spears (0 syns), or hard boil them and eat them on the run if you’re in a hurry!

  5. For when nothing but a fry up will do: Slimming world big breakfast (variable)

    Lean bacon, eggs (boiled, scrambled, poached or fried in fry light), mushrooms, tomatoes and beans are all absolutely free on the Extra Easy plan, so help yourself!  You can also two small slices of wholemeal toast.

    If you have some syns to spare, use them for sausages (I personally like the Weight Watchers sausages because they’re only half a syn each) and sauces of your choice.

  6. For the morning after the night before: A breakfast sandwich (HEB & 1 syn)

    I’m not sure why, but for some reason a breakfast sandwich always feels more indulgent, so take your Healthy Extra B allowance of wholemeal bread, and load it up with bacon, sausages & a fried egg.  This is especially great for the morning after a night out.  On the morning of the night out, I can have a big fry up, cooking up extra bacon and sausages.  The next day, (when I might feel a little less awesome than usual) all I have to do is re-heat the bacon and sausages, and load up a sandwich.

  7. For when you want something different: Pancakes (o-4 syns)

    Baking Bad has a recipe for syn free pancakes!  I personally haven’t tried them yet, but I’m keeping them in mind for when I want to try something new.  I’d probably top them with mixed fruit, and a tablespoon of maple syrup (2 syns), though you could equally top it with banana and 1 tbsp of nutella (4 syns), or fruit and a mullerlight (0 syns).

So, there you have it – 7 days of Slimming World breakfast ideas!  What do you like for breakfast when you’re trying to watch what you eat?

Recipe: Gooey chocolate brownies (with a secret ingredient!)

For months now I’ve heard rumours of chocolate brownies made with a secret ingredient – mayonnaise! I used this recipe from The More Than Occasional Baker to finally give them a go, and they are definitely a success in our house.

They aren’t the lowest fat/sugar brownies I’ve seen, but they’re so rich and not at all ‘diet’ like – worth the 4PP when you can spare them! They’re surprisingly mess-free to make but deliciously gooey once cooked.

Goeey mayonnaise brownies
Propoints per serving: 4

Makes: 18 brownies

Nutritional estimates per brownie: 146 calories | 22 g carbohydrates | 5 g fat |
2 g saturated fat | 3 g protein | 1 g fibre | 21 mg cholesterol

What you need:
50g dark chocolate
50g milk chocolate
100g plain flour
110g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
6 tablespoons light mayonnaise
3 tablespoons skimmed milk
Dash of lemon juice
50g chocolate chips (I used a mixture of dark and white)
25g mini marshmallows

What to do:
1. First of all put the milk and lemon juice into a jug, stir and leave to rest for ten minutes. I used about a teaspoon of lemon juice.

2. Break the dark and milk chocolate into chunks, place into a bowl and melt. You could do this over boiling water, but to be honest I just did mine in the microwave! I put it in for a minute, stirred, put it back in for another minute and it was done. Leave to cool.

3. Add the flour, both types of sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda to a bowl and mix.

4. Add both eggs to the milk (it should have had long enough by now), and whisk. Add the mayonnaise and whisk again. Mine looked pretty awful at first but it does get smooth after a minute or so don’t worry!

5.  Add the milk mixture to your dry ingredients and mix briefly. Add the melted chocolate, marshmallows and chocolate chips, stir until everything is combined.

6. Pour mixture into a lined shallow cake tin (we used a 23cm tin). I baked our brownies in a fan oven at 170C for 30 minutes.  If using a normal oven, I’d stick to the Hellmann’s instructions of 160C for 35-40 minutes. They should have a crisp top layer and the fork should come out almost completely clean.

Recipe: Vegetable curry

This is a great meal for when you want to be careful with your points – I tend to have small portions of it for lunch if we’re going out for dinner or drinks.  This is a really really easy recipe, the only ‘difficult’ bit is chopping the veg, but it’s not hard work, just dull. If you can buy pre-chopped veg, by all means do!

Total propoints per recipe: 4
Propoints per serving: 1 if serving 4, 2 if serving 2.
Serves: 2-4 depending on portion size

What you need:
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 pepper
200g potatoes
1 leek
2 carrots
Half a swede (we usually just buy the mixed bag of diced carrot & swede sold for mashing)
2 tins of tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube made up to half a pint
Passata (optional)
Spices – I usually use at least 2 tbsp of medium curry powder (often a lot more, we like our food hot!), 1 tbsp of garam masala, 1 tbsp of turmeric.

What to do:
1. Chop the potatoes (peel if desired, I usually don’t), and boil for five minutes until just starting to soften.

2. Slice all your vegetables while the potatoes are cooking so you don’t have to worry about it later. I personally like trying to get a range of sizes and shapes in – chunky leeks and onions, finely chopped carrots and peppers, etc. But whatever works for you!

3. Sweat the onions on a low heat – you want to soften them without browning them. After 2 minutes or so, add the pepper and garlic.

4. Once the onion is soft and the peppers are starting to cook, add the spices, and after a minute or so, the rest of the vegetables. I find it helps to add a tiny bit of water in order to get the spices to ‘stick’ (my dad insists on using oil).

5.  Add the chopped tomatoes, passata if using and the stock – enough to make sure the vegetables are thoroughly covered in liquid. It will look watery – don’t panic! Now you’re just going to simmer it until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce is your desired consistency. I do ours for between 45 minutes and an hour.

To serve:
I usually serve ours with 60g of rice each (weighed when raw) or 50g of rice and a weight watchers naan each.

Variations:
 – Add any other vegetables that appeal to you – we sometimes add cauliflower, spinach, sweetcorn or green beans.
– If you prefer a creamier sauce, add 0% greek yoghurt (2 points per 150g). Wait until the curry is cooked, turn off the heat and then add the yoghurt – I’ve never had it curdle that way!
– Add a small amount of coconut milk (right at the end), dessicated coconut, toasted or crushed almonds to give a sweeter taste to your curry. Don’t forget to add the points though!

Recipe: Super simple chilli

I love spicy food, but I’m not generally a big chilli fan – because they so often contain kidney beans.  Lots of people either can’t or won’t eat kidney beans, and jarred chilli sauces without them are few and far between!  BUT, you don’t have to resign yourself to picking them out – here is a a ridiculously easy, basic chilli recipe from scratch.  Baked beans have been added in place of kidney, to provide extra texture and fibre, though you may leave them out if you prefer.  If you make the sauce without beans, it’s  4 points each (22points per recipe).

The recipe keeps well – if cooking in advance, simply stop after step 4, and store in the fridge.  Reheat gently over a stove and follow the rest of the instructions!

Total propoints per recipe: 31
Propoints per serving: 6
Serves: 5

What you need:
500g lean beef mince
1 large onion
Chilli powder to taste (approx 2 tbsps)
1 x 400g tin of baked beans
1 tin of tomatoes
500g passata
2 cloves of garlic

Optional
Extra vegetables (sliced peppers or carrots work well)
Jalapeno peppers

What to do:
1. First, chop the onion and leave aside.  Finely slice the garlic and chop any extra vegetables/jalapenos.  Add to a frying pan and cook until the onions have softened.

2.  Add the mince and fry over a high heat until browned.

3.  Once the mince is brown, add the tomatoes, passata and chilli powder – I use approximately 2 tablespoons, but add more or less to your taste.  Obviously if you’ve added jalapenos you’ll want less chilli powder!

4. Simmer over a medium heat until the desired thickeness is reached – I like a lot of sauce, so tend to just skip this step completely!

5.  Add the baked beans, salt & pepper to taste, and simmer over a low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the beans are soft.  Serve with rice, jacket potatoes or even wedges!