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Cheats Biryani – Keema Pilau with Mint Yogurt – only 9pp!

We often stock up on mince as it’s cheap, cheerful and easy to cook up. Tonight however I didn’t fancy a lasagne/bolognaise/chilli so I thought I would give something new a whirl. Loving Indian takeaways I’ve wanted to try a biryani for a while so I thought this was the perfect chance.

This recipe is a combination of a few I researched and the results were delicious! The method might seem a bit fiddly but if you have time it’s worth it for the incredible taste. If you are running a bit short of time you could use microwavable basmati rice or precooked normal basmati rice and add it to the frying pan instead of the dry, soaked rice. If you are doing this you can just pop it on top of the mince meat mixture, let it steam for five minutes and then mix in.

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Ingredients

Serves 4 = 9pp each

160g basmati rice

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, very finely chopped

1 box of chestnut mushrooms, sliced

2 peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated

2 thumb sized pieces of ginger, peeled and grated

2 tsp , garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander

1 tsp tumeric

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

400g extra lean beef mince

80g frozen peas

2 green chillies, 1 halved lengthways and 1 finely chopped (and deseeded if you don’t like it too spicy)

*

1 cinnamon stick

1 black cardamom pod

2 bay leaves

4 whole cloves

1.2 litres boiling water

Large handful of chopped fresh coriander

*

200ml fat free natural yoghurt mixed with 1/4 tsp mint sauce

2 lemons, 1 halved and 1 quartered (for serving)

Method

Place the basmati rice in a large bowl and cover with a few inches of cold water. Leave to stand for 30 minutes while you carry on with the rest of the dish.

Heat half of the olive oil in a large non stick pan and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onions are nice and soft (it should take around 8-10 minutes). Then add the mushrooms and peppers and fry for a few more minutes. Next add the turmeric, garam masala, cumin and ground coriander into the mixture, stir and fry for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Then crumble the mince into the tomato mixture, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Cook until the beef is brown and there’s no pink left (this should take around 10-12 minutes). Then mix the frozen peas and the green chillies into the beef.

Drain the rice. Heat the rest of the oil a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the cinnamon stick, cardamom pod, bay leaves and cloves until a lovely smell comes from it (around 1 minute). Add the drained rice to the spice mixture and fry until the rice smells nutty (1 to 2 minutes). Spread the rice (including the spices) over the beef mixture, but don’t stir. Then gently pour the water over the rice, season with salt and bring the mixture to the boil for 2 minutes.

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Then cover the pan with a lid (or tin foil), reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until the rice is tender (it took me around 15 minutes). Remove from heat completely and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes.  Then give a good stir, mix through the coriander and top with a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Serve in a big bowl with the mint yogurt and a slice of lemon.

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Enjoy!

Tuna and Chorizo Pasta Bake – 14pp!

When I started Weight Watchers I would have never thought I could have had something like this on the plan, especially for only 14pp. I found that cooking each portion in separate dishes (like lasagne or small pie dishes) was a great way of making sure you had the correct portion size as often my boyfriend requests a lot more than a weight watchers portion would allow!

This is a quick, easy and filling meal which is perfect when your cupboards are a bit bare, the majority of the ingredients I have in my cupboards all the time! Omit the chorizo for a lower pro point option .

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Chorizo and Red Lentil Soup – just 4pp!

Now the weather has got a bit colder and I’m starting to think about investing in my yearly pair of ear muffs (I somehow manage to snap them at the end of every winter) I thought it was about time I whipped up my first soup of the autumn. This is a gorgeous soup recipe which tastes like a real treat but at only 4pp per portion its a bargain pp wise, especially considering the gorgeous smells and taste that ooze out of it!

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Ingredients

Serves 4 = 4pp each

50g chorizo, roughly chopped (I used Aldi’s spicy chorizo)

1 large onion, roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

Pinch of cumin seeds or ¼ tsp cumin powder

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of sugar (golden caster sugar if you have it)

Small dash of red wine vinegar

125g dried red lentils

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

600ml chicken stock (made from one chicken stock cube)

Method

Pop your chorizo in a large heavy based pan, spray with 1kal and fry until the oils start to release. Then throw in the onion, carrot and cumin and fry for around 10 minutes until the onions are nice and soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute and then add the paprika, sugar and vinegar. Simmer for a few seconds and then add the lentils, tomatoes and chicken stock. Season well with salt and pepper, give a good stir and simmer for 30 minutes. Add a little water if necessary and then, after half an hour, take off the heat and blend with a stick blender. Serve with a drizzle of fat free natural yoghurt and a sprinkling of smoked paprika!

Enjoy!

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Sticky Five Spice Pork Stir Fry – Only 10pp!

Me and the OH were planning on having a lovely pork stew the other night but, as they do, plans change and I ended up having to cook something up fairly quickly so we could head out earlier than anticipated!

I’ve been wanting to try out this quick stir fry for a while so took the opportunity that night and my oh my was it a treat!! The addition of the five spice made for a nice change and I loved it as it took no times at all and as it was all in the one pan, it means less dishes!! You can pop any stir fry vegetables with it that you like and even add some bean sprouts to bulk it out if you fancy but I got a fairly hefty bowlful for only 10pp!

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Ingredients

Serves 2 = 10pp each

200g pork lion, cut into bite size chunks

2tsp grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon clear honey

1 – 1 ½ teaspoons Chinese five spice

4 spring onions, sliced

2 peppers, thinly sliced

Handful of mange tout, halved

Pak choi, torn up (or spinach)

1 or 2 red chillies, sliced

200g fresh egg noodles

1 lime

Method

Pop your ginger, soy, honey and Chinese five spice into a bowl and give it a good mix. Throw in your pork and then leave to marinade while you chop up your other veggies (or for a couple of hours for extra flavour!).

Heat your frying pan and once very hot, spray with one kal, lift your pork out of the marinade with a fork or slotted spoon and cook with a drop of water until cooked through. Remove from pan and pop into a bowl to one side.

Slosh in a little water into the pan, whack your stir fry veggies in and fry until cooked to your liking (I cook for around 7 minutes until the peppers start to soften). Once your veggies are cooked, add your pork back into the pan and then pop your noodles in with the stir fry mix. Pour the remaining marinade from the bowl over the noodles with another dash of water, squirt in a good squeeze of fresh lime and stir fry until the noodles are warmed through.

Serve with a slice of lime!

Enjoy!

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Aubergine Bake – only 6pp!

I love lasagne but there are times when I’ve had a particularly carby few days when I just can’t hack more pasta/carbs. This recipe is therefore a perfect way of having a gorgeous, filling meal with no carbs and for hardly any points. The aubergines add such a nice flavour to the dish and make a really nice change to pasta.

When I made this I made a (very!!) big batch of bolognaise sauce (enough to serve 8). I only use 500g of extra lean mincemeat but I pad it out with lots of veg (onion, mushrooms, peppers, courgette see my recipe for Bolognaise sauce here, this serve 4 as a bolognaise but padded out serves 8 in a lasagne or aubergine bake). This gave me enough bolognaise sauce to make a lasagne to serve 6 and two separate Aubergine bakes. If you are going to give this a whirl, your points may change if you use more or less of the sauce so point accordingly.

I make this in individual lasagne dishes as I think they keep everything nice and combined and it means you have just enough Aubergine. If making for more than 2 people you could use a large lasagne dish but if so I would say use at least 1 aubergine per person and they are deeper and take more filling.

The recipe below is therefore written for making in individual lasagne dishes. I served mine with a big green side salad.

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Lamb, Butternut Squash and Apricot Tagine – only 8pp!!

Since my friend brought me back some amazing ras-el-hanout from Morocco I have been looking at different ways to incorporate it into my meals. It has the most gorgeous flavour and so I started doing a bit of digging to see what else I could get it into. I came across a few recipes on the Good Food website so the below recipes is a combination of them all! Best of all it includes one of my favourites at the moment, CHICKPEAS. It also has some gorgeous apricots in which add a nice subtle sweetness to the dish. It’s so filling and really quite cheap to make as you don’t need too much meat. I served mine with some Ainsley Harriot Cous Cous and topped with yoghurt and coriander. Amazing!!

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Sausage Gnocchi – just 10pp!!

I watched a rerun of Jaime’s 15 minute meals the other night and saw the end of him making this dish. It looked delicious and so I thought I would give it a go but when I got a hold of the recipe it was rather plain and boring. Keen to try gnocchi anyway I added a few bits and pieces and changed a few bits round and came up with the below recipe! It was delicious and although you don’t get much gnocchi for your points, it’s a nice change from pasta and adding lots of free veg bulks your bowl out a treat! It’s a perfect dish to make if you are in a rush as the gnocchi itself takes only 3 minutes!

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