I’ve been trying to think of new ideas for pasta lunches that I can make and keep in the fridge, and thought sausage, Wholegrain mustard and basil would be a nice mix – so I experimented a little this evening. Tonight we are having bangers and mash using Syn free pork and Apple sausages from Joe’s butchers (online), I pinched the two spare ones before they were cooked to use them in my pasta dish. I didn’t have Wholegrain mustard or basil so used Dijon mustard and parsley instead – the result was very pleasing but will try it with the other ingredients next time.
Here’s what I did ……. I’ll omit the amounts of the ingredients, just adjust accordingly to how ever much you want to make and your own taste.
penne pasta, or other pasta shapes
2 (or as many as you like) Syn free sausages
A red onion, sliced
Dijon or Wholegrain mustard (as much or as little as you like, it’s half a Syn per teaspoon, I used about a tablespoon)
Fat free natural yoghurt (you could use fat free fromage Frais)
fresh basil or parsley
a little salt
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, rinse, drain and allow to cool. Meanwhile spray a pan or wok with frylight and cook the sliced onion over a med-low heat until softened. Take the skin off the sausages and break into little chunks and toss or gently stir into the onions until cooked, remove the pan from the heat and sir in the mustard, then the yoghurt and add the herbs and season to taste.
Experiment with other veg, i.e. Diced red pepper, sweetcorn etc.
I’m not gonna lie ….. I didn’t like this dish…. The potential was there but it really tasted quite fishy, and I don’t do fish ! …. Prawn cocktail crisps and fish finger sandwiches are my limit !. It’s from the July 2016 mag. I had aspirations of this being a nice dish to use cold for the lunchbox, but it’s really not to my taste. If you do give it a try, let us know what you think or how you would improve or change the recipe.
syns per serving 1½
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
2tsp dried chilli flakes
2 x tins of chopped tomatoes
1 small pack of fresh basil
300g dried penne pasta
3 x cans of tuna in spring water, drained
1 yellow pepper, de seeded and diced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
50g baby spinach roughly chopped
75g reduced-fat mozzerella, torn
wild rocket to serve
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°c/gas 6. Spray a wok or large saucepan with frylight and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and 1 tsp of the chilli flakes and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Increase the heat to high and pour in the canned tomatoes. Tear the basil leaves from the stalks. Reserve a few leaves to serve, then srir the rest in the sauce. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions, draining just before it’s done (it will finish cooking in the oven).
3. Stir the tuna through the sauce, without breaking it up too much, then stir in the pepper, cherry tomatoes and spinach and season to taste. Gently toss the pasta through the sauce, then transfer to a medium ovenproof dish.
4. Dot the cheese evenly over the top and sprinkle over the remaining chilli flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling, scatter over the reserved basil leaves, divide between four plates and serve with the rocket.
The humble potato makes an inexpensive, versatile, filling and Syn free meal, full of vitamin C, fibre and potassium, they make a great standalone meal with a variety of toppings to choose from or as an ideal partner to grilled steaks, chicken etc and a nice side salad.
Whether you prefer plain or sweet potato, the baking instructions are much the same.
- To oven bake, prick a large washed potato with a fork and place directly on the oven rack at 200°C for around 1 to 1½ hours or until the skin is nice and crispy and the potato is soft, use a sharp knife to check that the centre of your potato is cooked through – if baking sweet potatoes I would recommend placing them on a sheet of foil first as they tend to ooze juices.
Tip: spray the potato with a little fry light and sprinkle all over with salt to to make the skin crispy.
Some ideas for toppings –
Tuna and sweetcorn– Mix tuna (canned in brine or water, drained) and sweetcorn with fat-free natural yogurt or cottage cheese and/or extra light mayo (1 Syn per level tablespoon) and pile high!
Prawns with Marie Rose sauce– Mix a few tablespoons of fat-free natural yogurt with some ketchup (1 Syn per level tablespoon), a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add as many cooked prawns as you like and stir well.
Baked beans– top your spud with lots of baked beans … add some grated reduced fat cheddar from your hexA allowance (or Syn it) If you are feeling adventurous !
Chilli– If you have some extra chilli or Bolognese left from a previous meal it will transform your spud into a delicious and filling meal.
These are a few of our faves .. If you have any yummy ideas, let me know in a comment !
One of my favourites .. Giant shells stuffed with flavour – this is pasta bake as you’ve never known it! – this would make a fantastic dinner party dish.
Syns per serving: 2½ Serves:4 Prep time:15 minutes Ready-in:45 minutes
220g dried conchiglioni rigati pasta
Low calorie cooking spray
350g <5% Mince (or Quorn mince)p
1 small onion, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
100g baby spinach, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g half-fat crème fraîche
A large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
500g passata with basil
1 level tbsp grated fresh parmesan
1 level tbsp pine nuts
Serve with a large mixed-leaf salad
(about seven shells per person is a good serving)
Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions or until al dente, then drain well and set aside.
Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium-high heat. Fry the mince, onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes, then add the spinach. Season and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until wilted. Remove from the heat and stir in the quark, crème fraîche, nutmeg and lemon zest.
Spread the passata over the base of a large ovenproof dish. Using a teaspoon, fill the shells with the mince mixture and arrange on top of the passata in a single layer to fit snugly. Scatter over the parmesan and pine nuts and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Divide between 4 dishes and serve with the salad.
for a veggie option, substitute the Beef Mince for Quorn.
Free on EE, Freezer Friendly
1 Cinnamon stick (or half tsp cinnamon)
3cm piece root ginger peeled and cut into shreds (I use the ginger already shredded in the jar !)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp medium curry powder
1 large potato peeled and cubed (I like to par boil these)
400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
A squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp of chopped corriander (you can add mint too)
Spray a large frying pan/wok with fry light and place over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, ginger, garlic and most of the green chilli and stir fry for 1 min (if using cinnamon powder, add a drop of water to stop it burning).
Add the onion and cook for 6-7 minutes or until softened.
Add the curry powder and stir-fry for one minute then add the passata, the potatoes and 150ml of hot water. Stir and bring to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to low, cook gently for 10-12 minutes and then add the chick peas and cook for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle over the lemon juice and garam masala, season and stir in the chopped herbs. Serve garnished with the remaining chopped chilli and sprinkling of chopped corriander.
A lovely slow cooker recipe packed with lots of veg …
500g (1 1/4 lb) extra lean minced beef (I used about 900g)
1 onion, diced (I used two)
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced (I added a red one too !)
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (600g) jar passata (I also added a tin of chopped tomatoes)
2 (400g) tins kidney beans, (or mixed beans), liquid reserved from one tin
1 (400g) tin cannellini beans, liquid reserved
1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
I also added Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, sherry vinegar, chopped fresh coriander, garlic salt and cinnamon (all to taste)
Prep:15min › Cook:8hr › Ready in:8hr15min
Place the mince in a frying pan over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain fat.
Place the mince in a slow cooker, and mix in remaining ingredients.
Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low.
…. This recipe made enough to fill 4 takeaway tubs (each a generous two portions) to freeze.
Delicious warm or cold, this dish makes an excellent lunchbox/lunchtime meal
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
300ml boiling water
1 clove unpeeled garlic
1 (400g) tin black beans, rinsed and drained
165g tinned sweetcorn, drained
85g finely chopped red onion
4 tablespoons chopped FRESH coriander
1 Scotch bonnet chilli or to taste, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice or to taste
(I used chick peas in place of the black beans and drizzled in some balsamic vinegar, try adding sherry vinegar, diced peppers etc too)
Prep:15min › Cook:10min › Extra time:25min › Ready in:50min
Combine the couscous, cumin and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the boiling water and seal with cling film. Set aside for 10 minutes.
While waiting for the couscous, cook the unpeeled garlic clove in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until toasted and the skin has turned golden-brown. Peel the garlic and finely chop. Stir the garlic into the couscous along with the black beans, sweetcorn, onion, coriander, chilli, olive oil and lime juice. Serve warm or allow to cool.
Free on EE
(Photo to follow)
This delicious syn free ketchup is great for barbecues and an ideal accompaniment to SW chips !
Finely chop1 onion and two garlic cloves and put in a pan with 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes and two teaspoons each of ground cinnamon, celery salt, mustard powder and ground white pepper. Add 4 tbsp sweetener, 250ml of red wine vinegar and 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and bring to the boil.
Turndown the heat to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes, then set aside to cool. Blend in a food processor until smooth and pour through a sieve into a bowl. It will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks in a sterilised, airtight jar.
TURKEY SHAMI KEBABS
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus chilling
Cook time: 20 minutes
Syns per serving:
Extra Easy: FREE
800g lean minced turkey
1 small red onion, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp peeled and finely grated root ginger
1 level tbsp medium curry powder
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp fat free natural yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Low calorie cooking spray
Red onion sliced into rings and lime wedges, to serve
1. Place the minced turkey in a mixing bowl with the onion, ginger, curry powder, lime zest, red chilli, chopped coriander and mint, and yogurt. Season well and, using your hands, mix until well combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for 6–8 hours (or overnight, if time permits) to allow the flavours to develop.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. Divide the turkey mixture into 12 portions and shape each portion into a flat, oval kebab shape. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spray with low calorie cooking spray. Bake for 15–20 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.
3. Remove from the oven and serve with red onion ring slices and lime wedges to squeeze over.
I served these with a salad and Mexican savoury rice
Tip: Suitable for home freezing.
4 tsp mustard powder
4 fillet steaks
Low calorie cooking spray
For the sauce
2 garlic cloves
300g chicken stock
1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
200g fat-free natural fromage frais
Make sure your steaks are at room temperature, pat them dry with kitchen towel. Sprinkle the mustard powder over the steaks and rub onto the surface. Spray with low calorie cooking spray, cover and set aside.
To make the sauce: chop the onion and crush the garlic; place in a pan with the stock and bring to the boil. reduce the heat, add the peppercorns and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the fromage frais. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve (do not boil at any point or the sauce will curdle). (The sauce is Free on all plans).
Meanwhile, place the steaks on a really hot griddle pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or to your liking.
Serve the steak with the peppercorn sauce and lots of steamed vegetables, or Slimming World chips.
Tip: To make this look really professional, cut the fillet steak on the diagonal and arrange on the plate before pouring on the sauce.
Throwing a party? Why not serve the steak cut into bite-sized pieces on skewers, with the sauce in a bowl for your guests to dip into?