Banana Pancakes

Banana PancakesThese flour-free pancakes make a delicious weekend breakfast and are an excellent way to use up over-ripe bananas.

Servings:    1

Pro Points:    4

Simple Start/Filling & Healthy:    0

Preparation time:     2 mins

Cooking time:    15mins

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • Spray oil
  • Raspberries or strawberries to serve

Method

  1. Mash the banana in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add the eggs to the banana and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Heat a non-stick frying pan and spray with oil.
  4. Pour about 1/4 of the batter into the pan and cook over a very low heat for 2 minutes.
  5. Very carefully, turn the pancake over (the lack of flour means they will break up quite easily if you are heavy handed).  Cook for a further minute.
  6. Transfer the pancake to a warmed plate while you cook the remainder of the batter.
  7. Serve with the raspberries or strawberries.

Top tip:  Drizzle with 1tsp for 1pp or use a drizzle of honey as one of your daily treats if following Simple Start.

Onion Rice

A tasty twist on an otherwise plain side dish.

Servings:    1Onion Rice

Pro Points:    7pp

Simple Start

/Filling & Healthy:    0pp

Preparation time:     5mins

Cooking time:    20mins

Ingredients

  • 60g brown rice
  • 2 onions, 1 chopped roughly, the other sliced thinly
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Spray oil

Method

  1. Put the rice into a small saucepan and crumble in the stock cube.  Cover with boiling water so that the water level sits above the rice to a depth of about 1inch.  Add the chopped onion, stir once and bring back to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer until the water has been absorbed (approx.. 10mins).  Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and leave to stand for 10mins.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over a low and spray with oil.  Add the sliced onions and fry stirring frequently until golden brown (add a splash of water to prevent the onions from sticking if required).
  4. Serve the cooked rice topped with the fried onions as an accompaniment to your choice of meat and vegetables.

Top tip: Stir in frozen peas and sweetcorn at step one and add cooked pieces of chicken, pork, beef or fish before serving for a tasty main meal.

Tasty Egg Mayo Sandwich

I’m really not a fan of eggs which bugs me as they’re a great source of filling and healthy protein.  I think what I don’t like is the lack of flavour.  I’ve tried to combat this with my take on egg mayo and I think it works pretty well.  This could well be a new lunch staple for me!Tasty Egg Mayo Sandwich

Servings:    3

Pro Points:    5pp

Simple Start

/Filling & Healthy:    0pp

Preparation time:     10mins

Cooking time:    5mins + 10mins cooling time

Ingredients

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Small bunch fresh chives, snipped
  • 2tbsp 0% fat Greek Yogurt
  • 6 slices Weight Watchers Danish Brown Bread

 

Method

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil.  Add the eggs and boil for 5mins.
  2. Put the eggs into a bowl of cold water.  After 5mins change the water and leave for another 5 mins.
  3. Peel the eggs and place into a clean, dry bowl.  Chop the eggs into small pieces.
  4. Stir in the yogurt, tomatoes, spring onions and chives and season to taste.
  5. Sandwich the egg mixture and rocket between two slices of bread and enjoy.

 

 

Top tip: The bread could be substituted for pitta bread, bagel, crumpets or crispbreads (adjusting the points as necessary).

Chicken Tikka Masala

A tasty, points friendly version of a classic weekend takeaway dish.

Image courtesy of artur84/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of artur84/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Servings:    4/6

Pro Points:    9pp (at 4 servings)

                          6pp (at 6 servings)

                         + extra for rice

Filling & Healthy:    4pp (at 4 servings)

                                        3pp (at 6 servings)

Preparation time:     15mins

Cooking time:    50mins

Ingredients

  • Olive/vegetable oil or oil spray
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped into large chunks
  • 70g tikka masala curry paste
  • 4 medium, skinless chicken breasts (165g each), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 400ml reduced fat coconut milk
  • Brown rice to serve

 

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan.  Add the onions and fry very gently over a low heat for approximately 15-20mins until golden brown (add a splash of water to prevent them sticking if required).
  2. Add the peppers and the curry paste and fry for 5mins to cook the spices.
  3. Add the chicken and stir well to coat it in the spices. Increase the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is browned all over.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and 100ml water.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15mins until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk and heat through.
  6. Serve with boiled brown rice.

 

Top tip 1: For a spicier dish, add a tsp of medium curry powder with the tomatoes. 

Top tip 2: For a slightly thicker sauce, add 1tbsp corn flour mixed with a splash of water with the coconut milk.  This will add 1pp on Filling & Healthy at 4 servings.  The Pro Points values for all other serving sizes remain the same.

Fruity Lunch Crumpets

I needed something quick, easy and filling for lunch the other day but fancied something a bit different.  I already had the crumpets (stock-cupboard Filling and Healthy food item for me these days) and quark for another recipe.  I was going to use pineapple but forgot about that when I called into the shop and picked up mango instead.  I tried it anyway and it was so delicious I also had it the following day! Servings:    1Fruity Lunch Crumpets Pro Points:    7 Simple Start/F&H:    0 Preparation time:     1min Cooking time:    3mins Ingredients

  • 2 crumpets
  • 2tbsp quark
  • a few chunks of mango, sliced into thinner pieces (see photo)

Method

  1. Toast the crumpets.
  2. Top the toasted crumpets with the quark.
  3. Divide the mango pieces between the two crumpets and enjoy!

Top tip: Keep crumpets in the freezer as a useful fall-back food.  If you take them out in the morning they will; have defrosted by lunchtime, or use the defrost function on your toaster.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

I often develop my own recipes by altering other people’s.  I came across this recipe just before Christmas and it was so delicious I’ve made it twice since!  It didn’t need anything changing to make it more delicious and I can’t take the credit so click here to take you to the recipe itself.Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef

It fits with the Simple Start plan and if you’re counting points you just need to point the amount of beef you serve yourself (plus any sides of course).

Although slow cooker recipes tend to be easy anyway, this really is INCREDIBLY easy and gives you an amazing result.

If you have a slow cooker, if you cook nothing else this week, give this recipe a go.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, buy yourself one and then try this recipe!

Top Tip: I used the leftovers (although it was difficult to save any!) as a filling for a wrap to take to work for my lunch.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Put a twist on this classic by using pork, chicken or turkey mince.  I like to use a beef stock cube to add richness to the sauce but you could match the stock to your choice of mince if you prefer.

Servings:    4Spaghetti Bolognaise

Pro Points:    Chicken [3]

                        Beef [4]

                          Pork [5]

                          Turkey [3]

                         + extra for spaghetti

Simple Start:    0

Preparation time:     10mins

Cooking time:    40mins

Ingredients

  • Olive/vegetable oil or oil spray
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 500g of your choice of chicken mince, extra lean beef mince, extra lean pork mince, or turkey breast mince
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 400g passata
  • Beef stock cube, made up with 100ml of hot water
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 2tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • Spaghetti to serve

 

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan.  Add the onions and garlic and fry gently over a medium/low heat for approximately 5mins until softened.
  2. Add your choice of mince.  Increase the heat slightly and fry until browned.
  3. Add the tomatoes, passata, stock and mixed herbs and stir well.
  4. Bring up to the boil.  Stir in the mushrooms then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25min until the mushrooms are cooked through.
  5. Season to taste and serve with cooked pasta.

 

Top tip: Add some chopped mixed peppers and extra tinned tomatoes or passata to make this go even further (and reduce the points per serving if you are counting Pro Points).  E.g. If using chicken mince and adding 3 peppers, you are able to get 6 servings at 2pp each (excluding pasta).

 

Simple Salmon Stir-Fry

One of my favourite, quick and easy mid-week dinners is a salmon stir-fry.

Servings:    2Simple Salmon Stir-fry

Pro Points:    6 (+ extra for rice)

Simple Start:    0

Preparation time:     0mins

Cooking time:    25-30mins

Ingredients

  • 2 lightly smoked salmon fillets
  • A selection of prepared stir-fry vegetables
  • Brown rice to serve
  • Thai 7 Spice or Chinese 5 Spice
  • Soy sauce
  • Olive oil

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170˚c/160˚c fan/355˚f/Gas mark 3.  If using, cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Meanwhile, wrap the salmon fillets in foil and place on a baking tray in the oven.  Cook for 20mins.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.  Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 2-3mins.
  4. Sprinkle over 2/3tsps of the Thai or Chinese Spice and 1/2-1tsp Soy Sauce according to your taste.
  5. Serve the salmon on top of the rice surrounded by the vegetables.

 

Top tip: If you’re counting Pro Points, exchange the rice for boiled noodles and add them to the vegetables before adding the spices and soy sauce.

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

I adapted this from the recipe in the Simple Start material as I don’t like Quorn mince.

Servings:    4Cottage Pie

Pro Points:    8

Simple Start:    0

Preparation time:     15-20mins

Cooking time:    50mins

Ingredients

  • 900 g Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Spray oil
  • 350 g extra lean beef mince
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 medium leek chopped finely
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 225 g swede or turnip, chopped
  • Beef stock cube, made up with 500ml hot water
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Mixed Herbs
  • 3 tablespoons skimmed milk
  • Salt and Pepper, to season
  • Vegetables to serve

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚c/180˚c fan/375˚f/Gas mark 5.
  2. Put the potatoes into a large pan of water, bring to the boil and cook for 15-20mins until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, soften the onions in a large non-stick pan with the oil spray.
  4. When the onions have softened, add the mince and stir until browned.  Then add the leeks, carrot, swede or turnip cook gently for 5mins to soften the vegetables.  Stir frequently and add a splash of water if necessary to stop the mixture from sticking.
  5. Add the beef stock and the herbs.  Stir well and simmer for 10-15mins.  Season the meat mixture to taste.  While the mince is cooking, mash the potatoes with the skimmed milk.
  6. Spoon the cooked mince and vegetables into a large oven proof dish and top with the mashed potatoes.
  7. Cook in the oven for 25-30mins until piping hot throughout and browned on top.  Serve with cooked green vegetables.

Top tip: If you’re not a fan of peeling potatoes, use New Potatoes to create a ‘rustic mash’: cook and mash them with their skins on.

Slow-Cooked Beef Rogan Josh

Beef Rogan Josh

This is incredibly easy and makes a delicious alternative to a takeaway on a Saturday night.  The spice level is medium-hot but this can be altered by adding more/less chillies as desired.

Servings:    4

Pro Points:    3 (+ extra for rice)

Simple Start:    0

Preparation time:     10mins

Cooking time:    4-6 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 medium/3 small onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 each red & green pepper, cut into strips
  • 400g lean braising beef
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200g passata

Method

  1. Finely chop half of the onions and cut the other half into wedges.  Put into slow cooker with the sliced garlic.
  2. Crush the coriander seeds and break the cinnamon stick in half.  Add all the spices to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  3. Cut the beef into large chunks and add to the slow cooker along with the peppers, tomatoes and passata.  Stir well.
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 6 hours until the meat is cooked through.
  5. Season to taste and serve with brown rice.

Top tip: Make extra and freeze the left-over portions for a great homemade ready meal.