I love watching Nigella, Jamie and co on the TV but it's normally just 'food porn' for me - all those olive oil, butter, sugar, bread and cheese-filled recipes don't quite fit with my eating plan! Some can be adapted easily (thanks, Fry Light and fat free fromage frais) but I'm mostly left wondering how they can eat that stuff and still look the way they do.
So I was really excited when I heard about the Hairy Bikers' latest project - 'The Hairy Dieters - How to Love Food and Lose Weight' - finally, a food programme for people like me! I tuned into the first episode with great anticipation, pen and paper at the ready.
I was a little disappointed that, an hour later, they had only cooked three recipes, two of which were 'pre-diet blow-out' dishes! The back stories were interesting but there was far too much of them - where was the food!
Finally, we had a recipe for their version of a slim lasagne where they used strips of blanched leek in place of the pasta. They had a nice idea for a white sauce by infusing milk with onion, nutmeg and bay and then thickening it with just cornflour and they concentrated the 'cheesiness' by using extra mature cheddar and parmesan only on the top. Unfortunately, it seems that the main reason this recipe is so low in calories is down to the portion size - 500g of mince for 6 people! Still, it looked tasty and so I set about synning up the recipe:
- Leeks, onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, garlic, beef stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, bay, nutmeg, tomatoes, seasoning - all syn free
- 500g lean minced beef - 10 syns (only extra-lean mince is syn free)
- 2 tablespoons plain flour - 7 syns
- 150ml red wine - approx 5 syns
- 500ml semi-skimmed milk - 12.5 syns
- 3 tablespoons cornflour - 10.5 syns
- 50g extra mature cheddar - 10 syns
- 25g parmesan - 5 syns
Oh dear Si & Dave, that works out at 60 syns for the recipe, or 10 syns per small portion. I'd much rather have it the Slimming World way which allows you to keep the pasta and is much more generous in terms of portion size and appetite satisfaction. (Now that I've said this I guess I'll have to post a recipe - watch this space!)
I commend you both on your weight losses, and anything that helps people to see that losing weight and eating healthy food doesn't mean deprivation is always a good thing, but I don't think I'll be rushing to buy the book, sorry guys!