Make it FREE!

So this month Slimming World is celebrating Free Food February! For those not a member of Slimming World, sadly this doesn’t mean free in terms of money. No, sadly Slimming World are not filling my freezer for me, free of charge. (Although that would be lovely, thank you).

Free food is basically food which, if following the Slimming World ‘Extra Easy’ plan, you can eat unlimited quantities of. Yup. Unlimited – eat all day, every day if your heart desires. And no, it’s not just fruit and veg. (I make a point to state this because that was exactly my first thought when I joined).

Free food includes pasta. Yup. Pasta!! I LOVE pasta. Especially unlimited pasta.

The only caveat to mention here is that every meal must include at least one third ‘speed food’ – this is where the fruit and veg come in. Certain types of fruit and veg (not all – be warned) are ‘speed foods’. Making sure you eat at least one third speed foods with every meal is part of what guarantees your weight loss with Slimming World.

If you want to know more, well, you need to join Slimming World! (Have I mentioned how much I love Slimming World yet?)

Anyway, back to the point. So, in celebration of Free Food February we had a taster session at my local Crookes Slimming World Group tonight, which is basically a big ‘bring and share’ meal.

Tasters are great – I always come away with another recipe I want to try!

You can find some of my recipes from the last taster (at Christmas) in my earlier blog posts, including Flying Pigs and Chocolate Orange Trifles. And there’s probably some from the taster before that too – they generally happen every few months.

However, low Syn recipes are one thing, but Syn free is a bit harder. Not so much with savoury food, that’s fairly easy given the free pasta, rice, meat, veg etc. But puddings? Other than fruit, this was a bit harder.

But who am I to resist a challenge? Here are the recipes for tonight’s taster offerings:

Prawn and Pepper Rice

Serves 4 – Syn Free

Ingredients

  • 1 mug basmati rice
  • 2 mugs water
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Frylight
  • 6 x peppers (I used red and yellow)
  • 1 pack cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pack cooked king prawns
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  2. De-seed and chop the peppers into chunks (the chunks should be about the same size as half a cherry tomato)
  3. Spray a roasting tin with Frylight and chuck the peppers in. Spray the tops with Frylight again and then place them in the oven. Bake for approx 40 minutes or until soft and slightly charred at the edges
  4. Meanwhile, place the rice, water, stock cube, turmeric, chilli flakes, garlic granules and tomato puree in a large saucepan and give it all a quick stir
  5. Bring the pan to the boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer and place the lid on the pan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. (Top tip – don’t stir too often or the rice will go starchy and sticky)
  6. Halve your cherry tomatoes and then combine everything in one large dish – cooked rice, cooked peppers, prawns (which should be the pre-cooked kind) and tomatoes – season with salt and pepper and there you go!

Prawn and pepper rice

Syn Free (Orange) Meringues

Makes approx 24 meringues – Syn Free

(N.B. Make sure you have an electric whisk before attempting this recipe – trust me, my first attempt was a dreadful failure and my arm nearly dropped off…)

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 16 tbsp sweetener
  • 2 tsp orange essence (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 110 degrees
  2. Separate the egg whites into a large clean glass bowl
  3. Using the electric whisk, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks
  4. Then add the sweetener 1 tbsp at a time (don’t rush this step by dumping it all in at once – the meringues will fall flat), whisking after each addition
  5. By the time you’ve added all the sweetener and whisked after each tbsp, the egg whites should be looking stiff and glossy – you should be able to lift the whisk from the bowl and have some stuck to the whisk, with nice stiff peaks in the mixture (if it doesn’t look like this – whisk some more!)
  6. Add the orange essence (if using) and give the mixture one last whisk (but don’t over-whisk or it will start to separate again!)
  7. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper
  8. Spoon the mixture onto the parchment paper to make approx 24 freeform shapes (if you want to make prettier meringues you can use a large nozzle piping bag or two warm spoons to shape them – but as you can see, I went for the ‘officially homemade’ look)
  9. Bake for 90 minutes or until firm and dry
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to dry out thoroughly on a cooling rack

N.B. Best eaten straight away – although they do keep in a tupperware, they go soft and chewy and don’t keep that crisp outside like sugar-based meringues do.

Syn Free Caramel ‘Cream’

The perfect accompaniment to the meringues, served with lots of fresh berries 🙂

Serves 6+ – Syn Free

Ingredients

  • 1 tub Quark
  • 4 tbsp fat free fromage frais
  • 6 x 5ml shots Monin Sugar Free Caramel Syrup (the kind you find in Costa Coffee)

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl
  2. Stir
  3. Eat (preferably with meringues and berries)

That’s it folks! #FreeFoodFebruary kicked off in style – enjoy! 🙂

For those of you who are currently lamenting that the recipe for the Carrot Cake Bars is sadly missing from this list – well, you haven’t been paying attention! It was featured a few days ago in my ‘Snacks Ahoy!‘ post. You’ll find it about half way down the page 🙂

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