Friday, 29 June 2012

Miso Salmon with Orange and Fennel

Finely I have broken away from pasta, if only briefly! This is actually a recipe I made a while ago but the photos got lost in the depths of my computer. I love the first photo, I went away to collect something from another room and came back in and the samlon was sitting in a pool of sunlight. Very cool! This was also a delicious dish, simple and easy to make. I served it with celeriac mash, which I'm a bit obsessed with at the moment, and a stiry fry of yellow peppers and pak choi.

Miso Salmon with Orange and Fennel (from
(Serves 4)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

4 salmon fillets
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sake
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 orange
1 bulb fennel with fronds

Marinate the salmon with the salt, pepper, miso, honey, sake and ginger at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, Preheat oven to 190C. Thinly slice the orange and fennel bulb. Layer the orange slices and fennel slices on a baking sheet. Place the marinated salmon on top. Cover the salmon with several sprigs of the fennel fronds. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pasta

See, more pasta! This is not really a new recipe to me, I'm forever making pasta sauces with creme fraiche and lemon but I liked the addition of the asparagus which is something I've never tried before. I love asparagus and only buy it when it's in season, which is so short, so I'm making the most of it!  Delicious!

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pasta (adapted from WeightWatchers Cooking for One)
(Serves 1)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

75g asparagus spears
cooking spray
40g whole wheat fusilli
squeeze of lemon juice
25g frozen peas, defrosted
2 tbsp half fat crème fraiche
40g smoked salmon
2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
black pepper

Heat a griddle pan or preheat the grill to a medium high heat, Spray the asparagus with the cooking spray and chargrill or grill until tender, about 10 mins.

Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

Drain the pasta but reserve some of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the saucepan with about 1 tbsp of the cooking water. Add the peas, asparagus, lemon juice, crème fraiche and smoked salmon. Cook gently over a low heat for about 30-40 seconds.

Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the dill. Season with black pepper, then serve.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Vegetarian Courgette Carbonara

I love carbonara but I never seem to be able to make it right. I think its partly because it's tough making it for one, you either end up with too much eggy sauce or scrambled eggs and pasta, neither is a good look! This is a vegetarian slimmed down version and I ended up with a perfect amount of sauce for my pasta. I have made courgette carbonara before but with bacon, this is a lovely vegetarian version. There should be basil in this recipe but I forgot it, it would be a nice addition. I served it with a big side salad.

Courgette Carbonara (adapted from Waitrose Recipe Card)
(Serves 2)
(10 WW ProPoints per serving)

150g dried spaghetti
knob of butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 large courgette coarsely grated
2 free range eggs
100g half fat creme fraiche
25g parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the garlic, shallot and courgette for 6-8 mins until softened and slightly golden.

Beat the eggs, creme fraiche, parmesan and some black pepper.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan off the heat. Add the courgette and eggs mixtures to the pan and toss well together until the heat of the pasta has thickened the sauce. Divide between two plates, scatter with basil leaves and a little more parmesan to serve.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Orange Pork wth Chinese Greens

I don't seem to be in the mood much for Oriental food at the moment, pasta seems to be my thing, but occasionally I have a craving and this satisfied it wonderfully. I added a tin of bean sprouts to the recipe which worked fantastically and added some extra crunch! I would rather have had fresh but I can't eat them all quick enough before it goes off. I also added some broccoli that needed using up, can't go wrong with extra veggies!

Orange Pork with Chinese Greens (from WeightWatchers Cooking for One)
(Serves 1)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

150g lean pork fillet, sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp finely grated root ginger
2 spring onions, sliced thinly
cooking spray
125g green beans, trimmed
1 head pak choi, broken into separate leaves
1 tbsp fresh coriander

Put the pork in a bowl. Add the soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, orange zest, orange juice, ginger and spring onions. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, spray a frying pan with the cooking spray. Add the pork to the pan, reserving the marinade and cook for 5-6 mins a side. Add the marinade and simmer gently for 2-3 mins until slightly reduced.

Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil and steam the green beans for 4 mins and add the pak choi for the last two mins.

Serve the pork and vegetables, with the reduced marinade spooned over, sprinkled with coriander.

Serve with 40g dried noodles for an extra 4 ProPoints.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Cajun Combo

I was actually looking for a rice salad recipe when I came across this one. I love all things cajun and one of my favourite meals is cajun chicken with rice and a tomato salad, simple. This although a departure from that and more like paella but without the spanich rice is delicious. Still having rice eaten cold texture problems so I reheated this too.

Cajun Combo (from WeightWatchers Book of Recipes)
(Serves 1)
(9 WW ProPoints per serving)

50g dried long grain rice
low fat cooking spray
1 celery stick sliced
3 spring onions, chopped
1/2 small green pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
15g chorizo sausage
1 tomato, chopped
50g cooked skinless, boneless chicke breast, chopped
50g large peeled cooked prawns
salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the rice for 12 mins until tender.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan or wok and lightly spray it with the cooking spray. Add the celery, spring onions, green pepper and garlic. Saute them for about 3 mins until softened.

Add the cajun seasoning, thyme, chorizo sausage, tomato and chicken. Cook gently, stirring occasionally for a further 5 mins.

Drain the rice thoroughly and then add it to the frying pan, stirring well to combine everything. Add the prawns and cook for another 2-3 mins, until they are heated through. Season and then serve.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Thai Chicken Stir Fry

This is a delicious and very healthy stir fry. I'm not really sure that it's particularaly Thai but I guess the inclusion of fish sauce make WeightWatchers think it is. Nonetheless, its a very simple and delicious dish. I added 150g of striaght to wok noodles for an extra 7 ProPoints to the dish and I used sugar snap instead of beans.

Thai Chicken Stir Fry (from WeightWatchers Favourite Family Meals)
(Serves 4)
(3 WW ProPoints per serving)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
450g boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into pieces
1 spring onion, sliced
1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
220g green beans cut into half or three if large
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Asian hot sauce
15g fresh basil leaves

Place a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat; add oil and swirl to coat pan. When hot, add chicken; sauté for 3 mins.

Add spring onions and garlic; sauté until quite fragrant, about 2 mins. Add green beans, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and chili paste; sauté until green beans are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 mins. Add basil and cook for 1 min more.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Summery Chicken

This is possibly one of the easiest dinners ever but one of the tastiest. I love the combination of pesto, creme fraiche and chicken, it feel deliciously creamy yet you know that it's actually light. The whole recipe is only 5 points! I served it with celeriac mash, watercress and asparagus drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The best of summer flavours.

Summery Chicken (from WeightWatchers Cooking for One)
(Serves 1)
(5 WW ProPoints per serving)

cooking spray
150g skinless boneless chicken breast
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
25g half fat creme fraiche
10g low fat pesto
a lemon wedge
salt and pepper
a few basil leaves to serve

Spray a non stick frying pan with the cooking spray. Season the chicken breast and add to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for about 20-25 mins, turning often, until the chicken is cooked through and golden.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 mins. Add the creme fraiche and pesto, season, stir to combine, and squeeze over the lemon. Serve immediately garnished with the basil leaves.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Watercress, Spinach and Potato Soup

I am still eating soup a couple of days a week even in the warm weather. It's a really easy lunch and I often have it when I know I am going out for dinner so I can splurge more points in the evening. This is delicious, don't let the colour put you off, mine turned out a kind of khaki green, but it is so tasty and the soft cheese helps to make it creamy.

Watercress, Spinach and Potato Soup (from
(Serves 4)

cooking spray
50g watercress
100g spinach
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
1l vegetable stock
100g low fat soft cheese

Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray and add the onion, saute for a few mins until transparent. Add the garlic clove and cook for 1 min.

Add the potato, spinach, watercress and stock and simmer for about 20 mins or until the potato is soft.

Blend until smooth and then add the soft cheese and blend to incorporate. Reheat to serve.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Watercress and Blue Cheese Pasta

One of my friends and colleagues at work gave me some home grown watercress and I knew I had to try this recipe. Blue cheese and watercress! Two of my favourite things!! This was tasty and worked really well and I don't seem to be noticing that I'm having slightly less pasta than I was before, its still a filling portion and its amazing how a little blue cheese goes a long way.

Watercress and Blue Cheese Pasta (from WeightWatchers Weekdays)
(Serves 4)
(11 WW ProPoints per serving)

350g dried pasta
50g blue cheese
100g low fat soft cheese
4 tbsp skimmed milk
175g watercress, chopped roughly
salt and pepper

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions, drain.

Meanwhile, put the cheeses and milk in a large pan and heat, stirring gently, until they are melted and combined smoothly.

Toss the pasta with the sauce and watercress and season. Serve immediately.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Spinach and Red Onion Pilaf

This is such a simple dish to make and really tasty. I swapped out the spinach and put in Swiss chard but this was a bit bitter so I would stick to the spinach. I also ended up having to heat it up as the rice had gone all dry and horrible. I seem to get this a lot with rice salad, when I make them the evening before and take them to work in a box for lunch, I'm not really sure how to combat it, any ideas, let me know.

Spinach and Red Onion Pilaf (adapted from WeightWatchers Cooking for One)
(Serves 1)
(10 WW ProPoints per serving)

60g dried brown basmati rice
1 egg
cooking spray
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
25g raisins
100g spinach
pinch of paprika
handful of chopped coriander to garnish

Bring a saucepan of water to boil and cook the rice according to the packet instructions. At the same time bring another pan of water to boil and hard boil the egg for 12 mins.

Meanwhile heat a non stick frying pan or wok and spray with the cooking spray. Add the onion and stir fry for 2-3 mins, until softened. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin seeds and stir fry for a moment. Set aside until the rice is cooked.

Drain the rice thoroughly and add to the wok or frying pan. Stir in the raisins and spinach and cook over a low heat for 3-4 mins, until the leaves have wilted.

Shell the egg and cut it into quarters. Spoon the pilaf onto a warm plate, top with the egg and sprinkle with paprika. Sprinkle over the fresh coriander and serve.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sesame Soy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli and Edamame

I am always looking for new things to do with spaghetti squash, last year I had a massive crop of them and by the end of the season I had loads of small ones left over. I kept them in a cupboard over winter, most went mouldy but one didn't! So when I stumbled upon this recipe I knew I had to make it! I added in some french beans and mange tout to the dish and overall I loved it! Very tasty and a great vegetarian dish.

Soy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli and Edamame (from Once Upon a Cutting Board)
(Serves 2)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

For the Sesame Soy Tahini Sauce:
3 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp honey
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of cayenne pepper
1-2 tablespoons water

half of a spaghetti squash
half a head of broccoli, chopped into florets
110g frozen shelled edamame
Sesame seeds for topping
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp from the centre. Place the halves with the cut side facing down on a greased or lined baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until tender. When done, use a fork to scrape the flesh off the skin and into a bowl (it will scrape off in strands, like spaghetti).

Meanwhile whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Taste and adjust any seasonings to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water to thin it out.

Place chopped broccoli in a steamer and steam over boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until crisp-tender and bright green. Set aside. Cook edamame according to package directions.

When all components are ready, divide spaghetti squash into two bowls, top with broccoli and edamame, and drizzle sesame soy tahini sauce over the top. Top with sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Cannellini Bean Salad with Chorizo and Roast Tomatoes

So another thing I buy in bulk at the market is cherry tomatoes, you get a whole bowl full for £1, much better than the tiny packets in Sainsbury's for the same price. They are great for snacking on too and are 0 ProPoints, so I always have a bowl handy. This salad was delicious, roasting the tomatoes is a genius idea, it really brought a sweetness to this dish which complemented the spicy chorizo.

Canellini Bean Salad with Chorizo and Roast Tomatoes (from Olive Magazine May 2009)
(Serves 2)
(10 WW ProPoints per serving)

250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 400g tin cannellini beans
50g chorizo, sliced and quartered
1 small red onion, diced
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp honey
50g bag salad leaves

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with some of the oil. Season and roast for 20 minutes and then remove.

Drain and rinse the beans. Tip into a bowl.

Fry the chorizo in a non-stick pan until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Wipe the pan clean and add the olive oil, onion and seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the vinegar and reduce by half. Add the honey and whisk to emulsify.

Pour the warm dressing over the beans and mix. Add the chorizo, tomatoes and salad leaves and mix again. Divide between 2 plates.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Curried Carrot Soup

I keep buying large amounts of carrots from the market, mostly because they are so cheap, 50p for 2lbs carrots or £1 for 5lbs! Crazy! But then of course I have to turn them into something! Mostly this has been soup. I made a Carrot, Ginger and Cumin Soup a while back but it wasn't all that great, this however was better and had a bit of a kick to it.

Curried Carrot Soup (from
(Serves 4)
(1 WW ProPoint per serving)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp mild curry powder
750g carrots, peeled and chopped
1 litre veg stock

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onions for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the cumin and curry powder and cook for another minute. Add the carrots and the stock, turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then simmer with the lid half on for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and blend to a purée. Season to taste.

While the soup is cooking, make the snaps. Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. On one side of each tortilla, rub over the garlic and oil, then sprinkle over some cumin and a little salt. Put them directly on the oven shelf and bake for 15 minutes until crisp. Cool a little, then snap into large shards. Serve with the soup.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Salmon Salad Wrap

This is so simple I am not really sure why I am posting a recipe but it was a flash of inspiration so I thought I would! I am trying to diet without using prepacked diet foods, at least for my main meals. The treats, yes, I use them, I'm not sure how I'd get through the day without some form of chocolate or crisps and the WeightWatchers treats are not too bad, that I can have some form of treat is one of the things that really helps with the dieting process.

Having said that I came across some WeightWatchers cans of salmon in a lemon dressing and thought, I can jazz these up and have something a bit more decent. You could of course just use tinned salmon, mayonnaise and lemon mixed together if you aren't on a diet and the effect would be much the same I would think. All this reminds me that I have some dill in the freezer that needs chopping up and freezing!

Salmon Salad Wrap
(Serves 1)
(7 WW ProPoints per serving)

1 can WeightWatchers salmon in lemon mayonnaise style dressing
1 tbsp 0% fat greek yoghurt
4-5 slices of cucumber, diced
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tortilla
a few lettuce leaves

Put the can of salmon into a bowl and add the yoghurt, cucumber and dill, mix to combine.

Lay out the tortilla and put the lettuce leaves on half of the tortilla, add the salmon mixture on top, fold over the bottom end  of the tortilla and roll up.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Asian Trout En Papillote

I had a hankering for papillote. The first time I made anything en papillote was when I did my cookery course at Leiths all those years ago! And every so often I get a craving for fish cooked this way. The fish always comes out delicious and moist and if you put veggies in the parcel they come out lovely and soft and tasty as well. I didn't think I really liked trout, but this changed my mind. A very tasty dish. I served it with plained boiled rice.

Asian Trout En Papillote
(Serves 4)
(4 WW ProPoints Per Serving)

4 trout fillets, pinboned
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1 cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
55g coriander, chopped
1 courgette, sliced lengthways
1 carrot, sliced lengthways
1 small cabbage, sliced
2 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
2 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 200C. Fold a large sheet of greasproof paper in half and cut out 4 semi circles, large enough to hold the fish and veg. Open to form circles.

Mix all the ingredients, except for the fish, nam pla, soy sauce and rice wine. Lay the courgette, carrot and cabbage as a bed for the fish on half of the greaseproof paper. Lay the trout fillets on top of the veg and cover with the spring onion mixture.

Fold the free half of the paper over to make a parcel rather like an apple turnover. Fold the edges of the 2 layers of paper over twice together, twisting and pressing hard to seal, leaving a little bit undone, add the nam pla, rice wine and soy sauce and finish sealing the parcel.

Put the papillotes on a baking sheet, taking care that they do not touch each other. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 mins. Serve immediately with noodles or rice.