Saturday, 12 April 2014

Creamy Turkey and Mushroom Pasta - 14pp

You may have guessed from reading any of my recipes that I am a fan of turkey mince; not only is it usually cheaper but it has a lower fat content (and a lower pro point count) than beef or pork mince. Win win! The meal works out at 14pp per serving.

In this recipe I like the contrast of the creamy sauce against the sourness of the gherkins.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

250g turkey mince
1 large (or 2 small), roughly chopped
3 small boxes mushrooms, roughly chopped (I used a combination of closed cup, shitake and oyster)
1 clove of garlic, minced
120g wholewheat spaghetti
30g low fat spread
1 tablespoon plain flour
250ml skimmed milk
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
broccoli to serve
8 gherkins

Weight Watchers notes - pro points per serving are as follows: 125g turkey mince - 4pp, 60g wholewheat pasta - 5pp, 125ml skimmed milk - 1pp, half tblsp flour - 1pp, 15g low fat spread - 3pp (total 14pp).


1. Heat half of the spread in a large pan and add the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Cook until they are all softened, stirring often to prevent burning. (I used a lid to generate a little steam too). Add the turkey and cook the meat through; season with salt, pepper and oregano.

2. Make a white sauce with the remaining spread, flour and milk. Heat the spread and flour together to create a roux and gradually add the milk a little at a time, stirring continuously to cook out the flour and to allow it to thicken. If it doesn't get very thick don't worry - it's a pasta sauce.

3. Meanwhile, cook your pasta and your broccoli in boiling water.

4. Combine the turkey/mushroom with the white sauce and simmer until it's your desired consistency.

5. To serve, top the pasta and turkey mixture with chopped gherkins for a contrast in temperature, texture and flavour - they really do make this dish!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Beef Casserole with Garlic Bread - 19pp (Weight Watchers Friendly Recipe)

This is most definitely a weekend dish for me - not only is it higher in weight watchers pro points at 19pp per serving than I would normally splurge on an evening meal, but it takes a little while in the oven. It could be tweaked easily enough, by reducing the number of slices of garlic bread used to top it (the casserole underneath is actually only 7pp!). I tend to use a few weeklies on my meals at the weekend though, so the extra garlic bread was a special treat.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

300g lean stewing steak
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tin flageolet beans
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 small french stick (240g)
60g I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light (ICBINBL)
Calorie controlled cooking spray
Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 tespoon oregano
1 beef stock cube
100ml water

Preheat the oven to 180ºC

Weight Watchers Notes - pro points per serving - beef - 4pp, flageolet beans - 3pp, 120g french stick - 9pp, 30g ICBINBL - 3pp


1. Using a casserole dish that can be used on the hob and in the oven, soften the onion, carrot and celery with some calorie controlled cooking spray and, once softened, add half of the garlic to the pan. Stir fry for 1 minute. 

2. Add the beef and crumbled stock cube and brown/seal the meat. 

3. Add the water, drained flageolet beans, the tin of tomatoes, rosemary, chilli, half the oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the tomato puree. 

4. Cover and transfer the dish to the preheated oven. Give this at least 2 hours (3 if you can spare it) to get the meat nice and tender. Check occasionally and in order to keep a nice thick consistency either remove the lid to allow water to evaporate or add a little water if it starts to dry out, as necessary. 

5. Once the casserole is cooked, split it between two individual sized oven dishes (or you can leave it as it is and add the garlic bread but it will be difficult to serve). 

6. Add the remaining garlic to the ICBINBL and combine so that the garlic is well distributed. Add the remaining oregano and season to taste.  

7. Slice the french stick into an even number of slices and spread the slices with the garlic butter on one side. 

8. Lay the garlic bread over the top of the meat (as you would top a shepherds pie with mash) and return the dishes to the oven for 10 minutes or until the garlic butter has melted into the bread and started to crisp up.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Feta Spaghetti - 13pp - Weight Watchers Friendly Recipe

Another quick and simply evening meal for a busy weekday. It has a taste of the Mediterranean with lovely salty feta cheese and olives and the opportunity to get a fair few of your 5 a day in too :) Working out at 13pp it's an easy one to fit in to a daily plan.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

200g Low Fat Salad Cheese/Feta
120g dried wholewheat spaghetti
40g I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light (ICBINBL)
30 olives (stoned)
1 bag rocket, baby spinach and watercress
1 pack cherry tomatoes on the vine, sliced in half
Half an aubergine, diced very small

Weight Watchers Prop Points Per Serving - 13pp - 100g low fat salad cheese - 5pp, 60g dried weight wholewheat pasta - 5pp, 15 olives - 1pp, 20g ICBINBL - 2pp


1. Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions in salted boiling water.

2. Whilst the pasta is cooking, dice the feta and place into a large mixing bowl with the olives and half of the bag of salad.

3. In a frying pan melt half the ICBINBL and soften the cherry tomatoes and cubes of aubergine. Once they are softened, add the remaining half bag of spinach, rocket and watercress to wilt (I had to do this in 2 batches).

4. Once cooked, drain the pasta and melt the remaining ICBINBL over the hot pasta, stirring so it's all coated.

5. Combine the warm vegetables and pasta with the cold feta and olives and it's ready to serve. I found this didn't need any additional salt, although I did crack some fresh black pepper over it before serving.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Fish Pie - 15pp (Weight Watchers Friendly Recipe)

I quite often buy ready made fish pies - for 2 reasons; firstly, my husband doesn't like fish so I only eat one portion at a time and secondly, although I like the taste of fish, I'm not too keen on the smell when I cook it from scratch. Nonetheless, I thought I would give it a go. The fish pie I usually buy works out to 12pp, to make a slightly bigger one from scratch at 15pp per portion is not bad as far as I'm concerned! It was really creamy too which was a bonus.

The recipe makes two portions and will feed me for 2 days :)

Ingredients (Serves 2)
300g mixed fish pieces - cod, smoked haddock and salmon (I used a bag of frozen fish pie mix)
100g cooked king prawns
400g frozen carrot, swede and mashed potato (you could, of course, make your own mash and point accordingly)
500ml skimmed milk
180g Philadelphia Extra Light
30g Parmesan Cheese
Frozen Spinach (I used 4 blocks)
Salt, Pepper, Oregano
1 teaspoon cornflour

Preheat the oven to 180ºC

Weight Watchers Notes - points per serving are as follows: Fish - 4pp, prawns - 1pp, 200g carrot, swede and potato mash - 4pp, 90g Phili EL - 3pp, 100ml skimmed milk - 1pp (some of the milk in the recipe is discarded), 15g parmesan - 2pp, 1/2 tsp cornflour - 0pp. Total 15pp


1. Make up your mash according to the packet instructions. Once warmed, I added a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, though I'm not sure it's technically a good match for fish.. I just like it!

2. Gently heat 500ml skimmed milk in a pan and poach the fish and prawns until the fish is cooked though and flaking. Drain the fish but retain 200ml of the fish infused milk. Spread the fish evenly between two oven dishes.

3. Return 200ml of the fish infused milk to a pan and add the philadelphia; whisk. In a small bowl combine the cornflour with a tablespoon of the milk/cheese mixture. Once combined, add this to the pan to thicken the sauce. Add 20g parmesan, salt, pepper and some oregano to taste and combine.

4. Add a few blocks of frozen spinach to the fish and pour over the sauce, dividing equally between the two oven dishes. Top with the mashed potato and finish each dish off with an additional 5g parmesan cheese (1 tsp) sprinkled over the top.

5. Put the pies in the oven for around 15 minutes or until golden brown.

NB. I made two and kept one for the following day. I covered the dish and stored it in the fridge and then put it in the oven for around 30 minutes, just to make sure it was heated through the next day.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Easy Breakfast Omelette - 4pp (Weight Watchers Friendly Recipe)

This is nice for a change at breakfast whether you have a little more time, want to up your protein or just fancy something savoury. It's also low in pro point at only 4pp per serving so will use no more of your daily allowance than a bowl of cereal :)

Ingredients (Serves 1)

2 medium eggs
1 tomato
3 mushrooms
handful of parsley
salt and pepper


Chop the tomatoes, mushrooms and parsley and combine these with two beaten eggs in a bowl. Add your salt and pepper at this stage to season from the inside out.

In order to cook the omelette, I spritz a small frying pan with calorie controlled cooking spray, add the mixture and cover with a lid. Once it has started to firm up, I add a little water to edge of the pan and replace the lid - the steam created cooks the top of the omelette whilst the flame cooks from the bottom. It's hard to sitr/flip this one as it has so much additional filling within the egg so I have found this to be the best method.

The only pp are in the eggs - 4pp :)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Special K Cracker Crisps Review

The Special K Cracker Crisps caught my eye in the supermarket the other day as they were on offer - 2 for one, or half price or something. I bought a box of the Sweet Chilli flavour and a box of the Sour Cream and Onion flavour instead of my usual Quavers or French Fries (both of which are 2pp per bag on the weight watchers plan). I weighed out 20g which was an equivalent 2pp and you will see it filled a small dessert bowl - I thought the amount of crisps for 2pp was pleasing. 

I have to say, however, I was a little disappointed (and I think the name is somewhat misleading!)... they're neither crackers (which to my mind would mean of a biscuit like texture) nor 'crisps'. They are a little like Velvet Crunch in texture - a whole lot of air and 'softer' than something like a quaver (I presume because they are made with tapioca starch). I'm not a fan, although I know a lot of people like this texture, in which case I think they'd be a good buy - for me it just feels a bit too fake in my mouth...

In terms of flavour, the sweet chilli definitely wins over the sour cream. I think they also come in salt and balsamic vinegar or something - I find balsamic vinegar crisps are never quite as nice as I hope, so I tend to avoid them.

The sweet chilli was nicely spicy, leaving a warmth in your mouth without being too hot. The sour cream were nice enough, but I doubt I'll ever finish the box.

I won't be buying them again simply as there are plenty of normal crisps (as in, not marketed as 'diet' food) which are similar in calories and much more satisfying.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Creamy Garlic Prawns with Avocado - 7pp (Weight Watchers Friendly Recipe)

I still have some of the fiery warmth of the chilli on my tongue from this dish - a quick and easy lunch dish for 7pp.

80g Avocado, cut into pieces (4pp)
50g cooked King Prawns (1pp)
1 Tablespoon Philadelphia Extra Light (1pp)
10g I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light (1pp) (ICBINBL)
1 clove of garlic
1/4 tsp crushed chillies


Finely dice the garlic and add it to a frying pan on medium heat with the ICBINBL and the chilli. Fry softly and once starting to smell really good and garlicky add the prawns and stir fry. Add the Phili Extra Light (I also added a few drops of water, just to loosen the cream cheese) and stir to combine and coat the prawns in the spicy garlic sauce.

Combine the cooked prawns with the avocado and serve! Yum!