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(c) My OH :-)

This is a really easy and delicious dessert, and it’s SW-friendly. :-)

Take two nectarines per person. The riper they are, the easier they are to de-stone, but make sure they’re not too ripe, or they’ll just collapse. I find the easiest way to remove the stone is to run my knife from the stalk all the way round, then twist gently to separate the two halves. Take out the stone, and use a teaspoon to scrape away any remaining fibrous bits.

Bring a griddle or frying pan to a medium heat on the hob, and spray with Frylight. Place the nectarine halves cut side down in the pan, and leave to soften and caramelise. This takes about ten minutes or so. Keep moving them every so often to make sure they don’t stick.

I serve these with yoghurt. My OH likes the full fat Greek yoghurt with honey, which does work very well with the fruit, but I go for Total 0% and add some sweetener. You can sprinkle over some cinnamon, which is lovely, but I’m going through a phase of having them with crushed green cardamom seeds.Yummy! :-)

This is equally good made with peaches or plums, and I guess you could use apricots, although I’ve not tried those.




Serves 2, ½ syn per person on Red/Extra Easy




400g extra lean pork mince
25g sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil) (1 syn)
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
3 peppers, mixed colours
200g cherry tomatoes
Handful of torn basil leaves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Fry Light

1. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and one of the cloves of garlic, put in a mixing bowl and add the lean pork mince. Season and mix well, until all the ingredients are combined. Divide the mix into 16 parts, and roll each into a ball. Cover and put in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.

2. Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

3. Chop the peppers into cubes about 2cm square. Slice the second clove of garlic thinly.

4. Spray an ovenproof dish with Fry Light and heat in the oven for a few minutes. Add the pork balls, peppers and sliced garlic and bake uncovered for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven, and stir. Add the cherry tomatoes and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. If the pork balls start to brown too much, cover with foil.

5. Remove the dish from the oven, add the balsamic vinegar, stir well, and serve with veg of your choice or a side salad.

the bittenword at Flickr




Serves 2, 2¼  syns per serving on Red/Extra Easy





2 chicken breasts, all skin and fat removed
4 slices of Parma ham (½ syn per slice)
A tbsp of chopped fresh sage or a tsp of dried
Black pepper
225g mushrooms
300ml chicken stock
2 tbsp Marsala
4 tbsp fat-free fromage frais


1. Flatten the chicken breasts to about 1cm thick – to do this, wrap them loosely in cling film first then beat with a rolling pin.
2. Lay two slices of Parma ham on a board, place a chicken breast on each, and sprinkle over the sage. Add a grinding of black pepper, but no salt, as the ham is salty enough. Wrap the ham round, then take the other two slices of Parma ham and wrap one round each of the fillets.
3. Spray a large frying pan with Fry Light and place over a medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add the chicken fillets and brown on both sides. In the meantime, thinly slice the mushrooms, and take the fromage frais out of the fridge so that it comes to room temperature.
4. When the chicken is browned, add the mushrooms, stock and Marsala, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning the fillets once, until the chicken is cooked.
5. When the chicken is cooked, take the pan off the heat. Remove the chicken and keep warm. Allow the sauce to cool for two or three minutes, then stir in the fromage frais. Do not return to heat or the fromage frais may split. This will affect the look of the dish, but not the taste.
6. Serve with plenty of green veg, and mashed celeriac (or potato if you’re on Extra Easy).

Alternative suggestion: use 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraiche instead of the fromage frais for a creamier taste. This adds 3 syns to the dish, 1½ per serving.

P.S. When I was looking for images, I came across this one, from ChrissyMorin on Flickr – what a great idea for party nibbles. :-)

ChrissyMorin at Flickr

jules:stonesoup at Flickr

You can tell I’m new to this blogging lark. I don’t think to take photos of anything until too late, then scurry off to Flickr to find someone else’s for illustrative purposes. Sigh. Still, there are so many great photographers out there.

I made salmon mousse this afternoon. I am not sure at what point it moves from being a pâté to a mousse, but I think today’s was definitely moussey. It’s lighter than usual, and I think that’s the distinguishing feature, howsoever the lightness is created. In my case, it was fat-free fromage frais, but you could use egg white, whipped to soft peaks, if you prefer. I have also used quark, which keeps the texture quite thick.

This is ridiculously easy to make, and yummy for lunch with some salad or crispbreads. I like Ryvita Minis (a 30g bag is a Healthy Extra B). It makes enough for two lunches, or would be a good starter for two.

2 salmon fillets (I prefer the lightly smoked for this recipe)
Chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
A squeeze of lemon juice
Fat free fromage frais, about a heaped tablespoon for a thick pâté, or three or four heaped tbsp for a mousse (or a beaten egg white, folded in).

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the salmon fillets on a piece of tin foil, season, and sprinkle over some chilli flakes (to your taste). Wrap the foil around the fish, sealing tightly, and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes, then remove and allow to cool in the foil parcel.
Once cooled, put the salmon in a bowl, add the juices from the parcel, and a squeeze of lemon juice, and mash it all together. Add fromage frais to make it the consistency you wish, then check the seasoning again. I often find I need to add more chilli flakes at this point, but that may just be because the ones I bought are rather low down on the heat scale. Which, by the way, is called the Scoville Scale. The flakes I have are probably sitting around the same level as a pimento. Weedy. :-)

I find that sticking to the Slimming World plan is easier when I follow some basic steps: thinking about the week ahead, planning menus, and getting in the right ingredients. I like to make sure I have some snacks that fit in with the plan, and also some really yummy things on which I can use my daily syn allowance (up to 15).

I tend to eat syn-free food for most of the day, and use some or all of my syns for treats when I hit that ‘need something sweet’ craving between dinner and bedtime. One of my favourite treats is Dolfin’s Earl Grey chocolate. It’s dark chocolate, made with Earl Grey tea, and has little crunchy bits in it. Not overly sweet, it comes in bars of 6 strips, each of which is 3 syns. Any diet that lets you have nearly a full bar of chocolate a day is okay in my book! Dolfin have other unusual flavours; I’m not a big fan of the pink peppercorn or hot masala, but the almond, ginger and plain dark chocolate are all really good.

Having a syn range really focuses your mind on the things that you think are worth using up some of your allowance for, and which are not. I suspect everyone works out their own syn-pleasure equation. Biscuits are pretty much not worth it, in my mind, and most crisps and nuts are too costly for the enjoyment I get from them. Cheese features pretty often, especially Parmesan and Feta, and I also like Mikado sticks (1/2 syn each) and Minstrels (7 for 5 syns).

One of the other things that works for me is switching around the menu plans. We tend to get a bit lazy, and stick to recipes we know, but that can lead us to fall out of love with them. My OH is a whizz at a yummy Italian risotto from one of the SW cookbooks, but he’s bored with doing it now, so we need to find him a new signature dish. I like to try new recipes as often as I can, to add some variety to the week’s menus. So far this week, I’ve made two soups from SW’s Little Book of Soups, the Mediterranean roasted vegetable soup and the Italian chicken soup. Tonight we had the sticky sweet and sour chicken from this month’s SW magazine. It was delicious, and I’d love to share it here, but it’s copyright protected. I have, though, found a sweet and sour chicken recipe online that looks fairly similar. You could serve it with noodles, either stirred through or on the side, or rice, if you prefer. The photo comes from the same site – doesn’t it look fresh and delicious?

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2012 by Eau de Nil. Please do not use my original text, recipes or photos without obtaining my permission in advance. Many thanks.

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