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!

Recipe: Spicy rice

I like to use this vaguely Nando’s-esque recipe to jazz up our rice without adding any extra points.  Use as many onions/peppers/other 0 point veg as you like.  I personally serve this with simple meals such as marinated chicken or fish, to just add some colour and unexpected vegetables.

If you like, you can also add 100g of sweetcorn and 100g of petit pois for 7 points per serving (29 points total for the recipe).

Total propoints per recipe: 24
Propoints per serving: 6
Serves: 4

What you need:
240g dried white basmati rice
At least 1 onion, chopped
At least 1 pepper, chopped
2 stock cubes (ideally chicken)
Turmeric
Chilli powder
Paprika
2 Tbsps Barbecue or tabasco or smokey chilli sauce (whatever is already in the cupboard will do!)
Fry light
Salt & pepper

What to do:
1. Spray a saucepan with fry light, and fry the rice for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add water up to about 1 inch higher than the level of the rice.  Add a dash of turmeric – this will make your rice a lovely yellow colour.  Also crumble one chicken stock cube into the water and add chilli powder to desired heat.  Stir to thoroughly mix, place the lid on the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Fry the pepper with either a little water or frylight for 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften.  Add the onions, a chicken stock cube, some paprika, and the barbecue sauce.  Cook for a further two minutes or until all your veg is soft.

4. Once the rice has been boiling for five minutes, turn the heat off but leave the pan where it is, with the lid on, for a further five minutes.

5. When the rice is done, it should have absorbed all the water, and shouldn’t need draining.  Add the vegetables and stir thoroughly, seasoning with salt and pepper, and adding more chilli powder if desired.

 

Recipe: Sausages with cheesy champ mash & onion gravy

This is a nice classic recipe, with just a few quick changes to mix things up a little.  Serve with vegetables of your choice to make it a nice well-rounded meal – I personally tend to serve with broccoli (because I put broccoli with everything!) and carrots.

Based on this recipe, edited to reduce points.  If you can’t get weight watchers sausages, reduced fat pork sausages can be used instead for 12pp per portion.

Total propoints per recipe:40
Propoints per serving: 10
Serves: 4

What you need:
8 Weight Watchers pork sausages – cumberland or plain
4 spring onions
800g potatoes
40g flora light / 4PP worth of whatever butter or spread you have
100ml semi-skimmed milk
1 teaspoon of honey
Bisto gravy granules
70g half fat cheddar cheese / 5PP worth
1 onion

What to do:
1. Put a pan of water on to boil.   Boil for 20 minutes.

2. After 8 minutes, place sausages into the grill on required temperature.

3. Chop the spring onions and grate the cheese.  Add both to a bowl or plate ready to add to the mash later.  Slice an onion into long thin strips, fry over a low heat, cover in the honey and leave aside.

4. When the potatoes and sausages are cooked, drain the potatoes and turn the grill down to keep the sausages warm.  Once the potatoes are drained, mash with the butter and as much milk as required – you probably won’t need the full 100ml.  Season with salt and pepper.

5.  Add the cheese and spring onions to the mash, mix, and keep warm on a low heat.  Make the gravy according to the packet instructions – I personally use slightly under the recommended amount for a pint, and don’t quite make a pint.  Add the onions and stir.

6.  Serve each plate with a quarter of the mash – which should now be thoroughly hot and mixed.  Top with 2 sausages each and gravy.

 

Recipe: Quick & Easy Massaman curry

This is a really quick meal that looks impressive and smells amazing. The recipe calls for Thai Massaman paste, which I found in Asda for about £1. If you can’t find it/don’t like it/want to change it for whatever reason, you could easily substitute red, green or yellow pastes. The Massaman paste is only 3pp per 100g, so if you use something else, remember to check the points (though you may get away with less than 100g depending on personal taste). This was fairly hot, so if you’d rather it was a little cooler, just add less curry paste.

Total propoints per recipe:43
Propoints per serving: 11
Serves: 4

What you need:
400g of lean pork fillets
4 spring onions
1 bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic
3 nests of egg noodles
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
1/2 tin (200ml) of reduced fat coconut milk
100g thai massaman paste

What to do:
1. Put a pan of water on to boil for the noodles.

2. Slice the pork and pepper – long thin strips or small chunks are perfect. Add the pepper to a frying pan and fry on a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Increase the heat and add the pork. Slice the spring onions and garlic, and add to the pan after 5-6 minutes. Add the thai paste at the same time, and stir for a few minutes until everything is covered.

3. Make the stock cube up to 200ml, and add both the stock and coconut milk to the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 6 minutes while you cook the noodles.

4. Rinse the noodles with cold water and allow to drain. Turn the curry heat up to high for a few minutes to allow it to thicken a little.

5. Add the noodles to the curry once the sauce is as thick you’d like, stir through until the noodles are both covered in sauce and hot again, and divide between four bowls.

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