This dish tastes more induglent than the Smart Points value would suggest and is a great wholesome option when you fancy some comfort food.
Smart Points: 9 per serving
Time: 20-25 minutes
What you need:
1 tsp oil
100g pasta – twists or congliche would be my choice
2 salmon fillets
small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
125ml dry white wine
150g low fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
4 handfuls of baby spinach
What to do:
Heat the oven to 150C. Put a large sheet of tinfoil onto a bakingctray. Place the salmon skin side down onto the foil. Scatter over the mixed herbs and squeeze over the juice of 1/2 the lemon.
Wrap the foil around the salmon to make a parcel. Put the baking tray into the oven and bake for 20mins.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water for around 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Gently fry the onions until softened – about 5 mins. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the wine and increase the temperature slightly until the strong alcohol smell burns off.
Add the spinach to the onions a handful at a time and stir until wilted.
When the past is cooked, turn off the and drain, reserving some of the water.
Add the soft cheese to the onions and spinach over a low heat, stirring until the cheese has melted. Add some of the pasta water to slacken the sauce to the desired consistency and season to taste.
Stir the drained pasta into the sauce. Divide the pasta between two bowls and top each with a salmon fillet.
Squeeze a bit of lemon over each dish and add some freshly cracked black pepper.
A tasty, versatile sauce that makes and excellent accompaniment to pasta, rice or potatoes.
I served mine with 60g wholewheat pasta twists for an extra 6 Pro Points.
Pro Points: 2
Filling & Healthy: 0 (if using oil from your daily allowance)
Cooking time: 40 minutes
4tsp healthy oil
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 aubergine, cut into large chunks
1 large courgette, cut into thick semi-circles
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, cut into large chunks
large handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1tsp chilli flakes
1tbsp mixed herbs
5 cloves garlic, 3 unpeeled, 2 peeled and finely chopped
2 medium (165g each) chicken breasts
2x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2ooml chicken stock made with 1 stock cube
2 tbsp tomato puree
large bunch fresh basil, torn roughly
Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180/Gas Mark 6.
Put all of the chopped vegetables into a large roasting tin. Lightly crush the 3 unpeeled cloves of garlic under a large flat knife or using the heel of your hand and add to the tin.
Drizzle 4tsp of the oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with the mixed herbs, chilli flakes and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables well until they are all coated with the oil and seasoning.
Lie the chicken breasts on top of the vegtables and put the tin into the oven to roast for 30mins (after 15mins, toss the vegetables again).
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan over a med/low heat. Add the chopped garlic and gently stir fry to 1min.
Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and stock to the garlic and bring to rapid simmer for 3mins before adding the chopped basil.
When the vegtables are soft and the chicken is cooked through, chop the chicken into bitesize pieces before adding the whole lot, including any roasting juices, to the tomatoe sauce.
Bring the sauce to a rapid simmer for a few minutes. Check the seasoning and serve.
Top Tip: Leave out the chicken and use vegetable stock to make this a 0 Pro Points, vegan/vegetarian dish.
I made this Asian Quinoa Stir-Fry tonight for dinner for myself and my sister from the January 2015 edition of the BBC Good Food magazine.
It’s a vegan-friendly, wheat-free recipe and came in at 7pp on the Weight Watchers Plan.
It was simple to prepare, really tasty and felt incredibly healthy to eat. The only change I’d make if cooking it again would be that I’d use less liquid than it states in the recipe as mine turned out quite soupy.
The recipe I used as the basis for this dish was from a soup cookery book. Although it is cooked in a broth, by the end of the cooking process there wasn’t much liquid left and it was more like a wet pilaf. Most importantly, it was really tasty and filling!
Pro Points: 6
Simple Start: Yes
Filling & Healthy: 0
Cooking time: 1hr 10min (+1hr soaking time)
2 beef stock cubes
225g extra lean steak mince
1 large onion, sliced
75g yellow split peas (soaked for 1 hour in plenty of water)
1tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground allspice
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground black pepper
225g brown rice
350g spinach, chopped
25g dill, chopped
75g spring onions, chopped
150g 0% fat natural yogurt
For the garnish
1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
1tbsp chopped fresh mint
1tsp healthy oil
Pour the water into a large saucepan, add the stock cubes and bring to the boil.
Add the beef, onion, soaked yellow split peas, spice and salt. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Add the rice and simmer for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the spinach, dill and spring onions then simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the garnish: fry the onion in the oil over a moderate heat until golden brown. Add the mint then cook for a further 5 minutes until crisp. Set aside.
Stir the yogurt into the rice mixture and heat through.