Get trim during lockdown with these yummy winter recipes

Get trim during lockdown with these yummy winter recipes

11/13/2020

The comfort food that WON’T pile on the pounds: Fish ‘n’ chip pie, smoked haddock kedgeree and classic chicken soup… get trim during lockdown with these yummy winter recipes

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Has there ever been a winter when we’ve felt more in need of comfort food?

‘All that 2020 has thrown at us has left a lot of people feeling anxious, stressed and generally fed up and longing for something warm, filling and delicious to cheer them up,’ says dietitian Carolyn Pallister, nutrition and health policy manager at Slimming World.

But many of us are also concerned about our weight — perhaps you haven’t managed to lose the excess pounds you gained earlier in the year or maybe you’re keen to stay in shape during the current lockdown.

Or maybe you simply want to ensure you’re eating as healthily as you can so that you can be in top form physically, and mentally, to deal with whatever challenges the winter may bring.

Whatever your goals, you might assume starting a healthy eating programme will mean waving goodbye to carbohydrates and comforting, filling meals.

But not with Slimming World — no food groups are forbidden or excluded, and carbs, such as rice, pasta and potatoes are very firmly on the menu. ‘Members are often surprised and delighted to learn that they can lose weight and still enjoy starchy carbs when they join Slimming World,’ says Carolyn.

As we continue our exclusive Slimming World series to help you to get into great shape both physically and mentally to meet the challenges of a new lockdown, we’re sharing more suggestions of delicious meals to bring cheer to your table (stock photo)

‘Often they’ve tried a weight-loss plan that only offered them a tiny portion of food or which suggested they stick to shakes and this didn’t work long-term because they ended up feeling hungry and deprived.

‘At Slimming World, carbs such as pasta, rice and potatoes are all classed as Free Food, meaning you can eat them freely without counting.

‘We encourage members to fill up on low energy density foods (which have fewest calories per gram) — including starchy and fibre-rich carbohydrates such as rice and pasta, plus plenty of fruit and veg — because you can eat large amounts of these foods for few calories and feel fuller and more satisfied while losing weight.’

What’s more, research shows that eating carbohydrates as part of a balanced, nutritious diet can actually help you lose weight.

‘Despite consistent evidence and health advice about the importance of carbohydrates in a healthy balanced diet, carbs continue to be demonised when it comes to weight loss,’ says Carolyn.

In 2019 Slimming World and YouGov conducted a survey which showed more than a third of people who have tried to lose weight have attempted a low-carbohydrate diet in the past. However, the survey also showed almost half of those who tried this approach found it hard to follow because they felt hungry and deprived or found the diet boring.

‘Comfort foods tend to be high in fat and calories but this doesn’t have to be the case,’ adds Carolyn. ‘These recipes deliver healthy family meals to give comfort on a cold night.’

That’s why, as we continue our exclusive Slimming World series to help you to get into great shape both physically and mentally to meet the challenges of a new lockdown, we’re sharing more suggestions of delicious meals to bring cheer to your table.

We’ve selected some of the most enticing comfort recipes to share with you today — ranging from spicy peppered lamb with saffron potatoes to a skyscraper burger with onion rings.

There’s plenty of choice for carb-lovers to enjoy — while still losing weight.

Healthy eating habits for life

Slimming World’s weight-loss eating plan — Food Optimising — is designed to help you embrace new healthy eating habits for life, to improve physical and mental health and help you lose weight.

You’ll enjoy a wide range of foods freely — with the emphasis on healthy foods that satisfy your appetite without being high in calories.

‘Free Food’ includes poultry, lean meat, fish, plain tofu and Quorn, eggs, pasta, fat-free dairy, potatoes, grains and most fruit and vegetables. Base meals and snacks around Free Food.

You can also enjoy measured amounts of ‘Healthy Extras’ that have nutrients, fibre and minerals essential for a nutritious, balanced diet, such as milk and cheese, cereals and wholemeal bread.

You can also enjoy one or two treats a day — such as crisps, biscuits, chocolate and wine or beer.

Stock up with fat-free dressings, herbs, low-calorie cooking spray, oil-free tomato puree, seasoning, soy sauce, spices and stock cubes, to use freely to flavour meals.

For best results join a Slimming World group for support and practical advice. Visit slimming world.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000 for more details. 

Peppered lamb and saffron potatoes

Ready in 2 hours

Serves 6-8

  • 2.2kg leg of lamb, bone in, all visible fat removed
  • Leaves of 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus a large sprig to garnish
  • 6 garlic cloves, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground mixed peppercorns
  • Large pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp ras-el-hanout spice mix
  • 500ml boiling vegetable stock
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 2kg floury potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • Broccoli, steamed, to serve

Peppered lamb and saffron potatoes

Preheat the oven to 230c/fan 210c/gas 8. Using a sharp knife, make about 20 deep cuts in the lamb and poke in half the rosemary and all the garlic.

Season with the peppercorns and put the lamb in a non-stick roasting tin.

Mix together the saffron, ras-el-hanout, stock, lemon zest and juice in a heatproof jug and set aside.

Spray another large non-stick roasting tin with a little low-calorie cooking spray and layer the potatoes, red onions and remaining rosemary in it, seasoning to taste as you go.

Pour over the saffron stock.

Roast the lamb and potatoes for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4 and roast for a further hour and 25 minutes, checking the potatoes from time to time.

Drain any fat from the lamb and rest for a few minutes, then transfer to a serving dish with the potatoes and a rosemary garnish.

Carve and serve hot with the broccoli.

Classic chicken soup

Ready in 1 ½ hours

Serves 4

  • 6 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, all visible fat removed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock
  • 1 small egg white
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 60g dried vermicelli noodles, broken into bits
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Classic chicken soup

Put 3 chicken thighs in a saucepan and add the bay leaf, thyme, garlic and stock.

Bring to the boil over a high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for 1 hour. Meanwhile, put the remaining chicken thighs in a food processor with the egg white and spring onions and whizz until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and shape it into 20 balls.

Lift the whole chicken thighs from the soup and transfer to a plate.

Strain the soup into a clean saucepan, discarding the bits in the sieve, add the chicken thighs and return to the heat.

Add the chicken balls to the soup along with the onion, celery and carrots and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove the whole chicken thighs from the soup, roughly shred them using 2 forks and return to the soup.

Add the vermicelli noodles and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken balls are cooked through.

Stir in the herbs and serve hot.

Chicken Kievs

Ready in 50 minutes

Serves 4

  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 20g low-fat spread
  • 1 tbsp plain quark
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, all visible fat removed
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread (from a small 400g loaf) crumbed
  • Sugar snap peas, to serve
  • Shredded carrots, to serve

Chicken Kievs

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6 and spray a non-stick baking tray with low-calorie cooking spray.

Mix the low-fat spread, quark, chives and garlic in a bowl and season to taste. Carefully cut a pocket into one side of each chicken breast and divide the garlic mixture between each pocket. Press the chicken breasts back together and sprinkle with 2 tsp Italian seasoning.

Beat the egg in a shallow bowl and mix together the breadcrumbs and remaining Italian seasoning in another shallow bowl. Dip each chicken breast first in the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs, then arrange on the baking tray.

Spray with a little more low-calorie cooking spray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden and the chicken is cooked. Serve hot with the peas and carrots.

Fish ’n’ chip pie

Ready in 40 minutes 

Serves 4

  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into thick chips
  • 450ml boiling vegetable or fish stock
  • 250ml skimmed milk
  • 450g skinless and boneless cod fillet, cut into large chunks
  • 450g skinless and boneless salmon fillet, cut into large chunks
  • 2 level tbsp cornflour
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 150g peeled and cooked king or tiger prawns
  • Mixed leaf salad, to serve

Fish ’n’ chip pie

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6 and spray a non-stick baking tray with low-calorie cooking spray.

Put the chips in a pan of lightly salted boiling water over a high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Drain well, return to the pan and cover. Leave to cool slightly then shake the pan to roughen the chips’ edges a little. Spread the chips out on the baking tray, spray with a little more low-calorie cooking spray and cook at the top of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden, turning occasionally. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, pour the stock and milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the cod and salmon, cover and reduce the heat to very low. Poach for 10-12 minutes then remove the fish with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.

Add a little cold water to the cornflour to make a smooth, thick paste and stir into the milk with the spring onions, lemon zest and juice and dill.

Simmer for a few minutes or until thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. Season to taste and stir in the poached fish and prawns. Simmer for 3-4 minutes to heat through.

Transfer the fish to a serving dish, level the surface and cover evenly with the chips. Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over, and the salad.

Lamb biryani

Ready in 40 minutes, plus soaking and 7 hours in slow cooker

Serves 4

  • 300g dried basmati rice
  • 400ml boiling lamb stock
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 600g lean lamb leg steaks, all visible fat removed, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 250g fat-free natural yogurt, plus extra sprinkled with paprika to serve
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Large pinch of saffron threads, chopped
  • Fresh coriander, to serve

Lamb biryani

Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes, then tip into a sieve and rinse under cold running water.

Pour 300ml stock into a large lidded non-stick frying pan over a low heat and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high, remove the lid and cook until the stock has evaporated. Tip the onions into the slow cooker pot.

Wipe the pan with kitchen paper, spray with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the lamb and fry until browned on all sides. Stir in the spices plus a pinch of salt and ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper. Pour in the remaining stock, bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Cool slightly then stir in the yogurt and pour into the slow cooker pot. Add the bay leaves.

Meanwhile, cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling water over a high heat for 5 minutes. While the rice is cooking, mix the saffron with 2 tbsp hot water and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Drain the rice well and spoon it over the lamb mixture to cover. Using a teaspoon, drizzle evenly spaced lines of the saffron water over the rice. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until the rice is tender.

Fluff up the rice with a fork, scatter over the coriander and serve with the paprika-sprinkled yogurt and a salsa made up of diced cucumber and tomatoes on the side on the side.

Smoked haddock kedgeree

Ready in 30 minutes 

Serves 4

  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 300g dried basmati rice
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 400g can green lentils, drained
  • 450g skinless and boneless smoked haddock fillet
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds, to serve
  • Fresh coriander, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Smoked haddock kedgeree

Spray a heavy-based lidded saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and fennel seeds and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and curry powder and stir well to coat the rice.

Season to taste, then pour in 900ml cold water, increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Stir in the lentils and arrange the fish on top, then cover, reduce the heat to very low and cook for 12 minutes.

Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes, still covered.

Meanwhile, cook the eggs to your liking in a pan of lightly salted boiling water over a high heat. Drain and cool under cold running water before shelling and halving the eggs.

Fluff up the rice with a fork and gently flake the fish. Divide between plates and top each plate with 2 egg halves. Scatter over the nigella seeds and coriander and serve hot with lime wedges. 

Black bean and Quorn chilli

Ready in 30 minutes, plus 4 hours in slow cooker

Serves 4

  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 heaped tsp chilli powder
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml boiling vegetable stock
  • 500g Quorn Mince, thawed if frozen
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and cut into small chunks
  • 1 orange pepper, de-seeded and cut into small chunks
  • 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200g can sweetcorn, drained
  • Chopped fresh coriander, to serve
  • Boiled rice, to serve
  • Fat-free natural yogurt sprinkled with cayenne pepper, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve 

Black bean and Quorn chilli 

Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat.

Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then sprinkle over the cumin, coriander and chilli powder and cook for another minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, Quorn, red and orange peppers, black beans and sweetcorn. Stir well and bring to the boil over a high heat.

Pour it all into the slow cooker pot, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Season to taste, scatter over the coriander and serve with rice, the spiced yoghurt and lime wedges to squeeze over.

Don’t have a slow cooker? Simmer over a low heat for about 35 minutes. 

Skyscraper burgers with onion rings

Ready in 40 minutes

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 level tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 egg white
  • 50g dried wholemeal bread, crumbed
  • 750g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 8 large portobello mushrooms
  • 8 back bacon rashers, all visible fat removed
  • Lettuce leaves, to serve
  • Tomato slices, to serve

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp fat-free natural fromage frais
  • 2 small gherkins, finely chopped
  • 2 radishes, shredded
  • Basil leaves, shredded

Skyscraper burgers with onion rings

Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6 and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Mix the paprika, garlic salt and chilli powder in a small bowl. To make the onion rings, put half of your paprika mixture in a shallow bowl and mix in the cornflour and mixed herbs.

Spray the onion rings with low-calorie cooking spray and toss in the cornflour mixture to coat evenly. Lightly whisk the egg white in another shallow bowl and put the breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.

Dip the onion rings first into the egg and then the breadcrumbs to coat sparingly. Arrange the rings on the prepared baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Meanwhile, mix the beef with the remaining paprika mixture, divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape into burgers using wet hands.

Put the mushrooms on a baking tray sprayed with low-calorie cooking spray and put in the oven when the rings have 10 minutes to go.

Preheat the grill to high.

Place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and fry the burgers for 2-3 minutes on each side. While the burgers are frying, grill the bacon for 3-4 minutes or until crispy and browned. Turn and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and spread a little over each cooked burger. To serve, fill each mushroom ‘roll’ with lettuce, tomatoes, a burger, 2 bacon rashers and another burger. Pin each burger tower together with a wooden skewer if necessary and ‘hoopla’ the onion rings over the top.

All recipes are taken from Slimming World’s Take 5, Second Helpings recipe book.

© Slimming World 2020. Slimming World recipe books are available to buy in Slimming World groups or online.

You can find your nearest group at www.slimmingworld.co.uk or by calling 0344 897 8000. 

Please contact your local Consultant to book in before your first Slimming World group and to find out how your local group is running safely in line with national and regional guidance.

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