Tidy Carbonara with Chicken Meatballs

About this time last year, I shared a recipe for Baked Meatballs with Penne in Arrabiata Sauce. It’s become one of my firm favourites, but when I was presented with some Chicken Meatballs in a recent Musclefood order, I wondered if I could do anything a bit differently.

I’d have to agree with any accusations that a lot of my recipes are on the spicy side, and I also have a tendency towards tomato-based sauces, so I thought that a  Carbonara would fit well, and might also make a nice change to the blog.

Lo and behold, Slimming World’s Little Book of Sauces contained a Carbonara sauce, so this week’s recipe is my (very similar) take on that.

Read on, for a healthy take on the Italian classic!

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Ifits Spicy Chicken & Chickpea Stew

Well, it’s been all change at Tidy Towers (or rather Tidy Towers has relocated three times) over the last year and half, and I’m kind of ashamed to discover that I only managed four recipes in 2016!

Now that I’m settled, let’s put that to rights with this proper winter warmer! It’s a true Ifits – I wanted to knock together something that was healthy, tasty, warming, and filling, so had a look in the cupboards and rustled up this beauty.
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Cheesy Chorizo Brunch

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I am a classic yo-yo dieter. I’m either flat-out dieting, or fat-out eating aaallllllll the food.

Like almost every other 18-40 year-old with an interest in living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a balanced diet, I bought Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15. There are lots of amazing recipes in there, but of course, I was drawn to the Chorizo ones!

Wicks uses chicken in his recipe, but I forgot to defrost some, so tweaked the recipe, slightly. I’ve also made another tweak which I’ll explain in Tidy Tweaks.

Either way, the end result is amazing…. and the bonus is, it’s quick and easy! So get stuck in!


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Black Pudding & Smoked Fish, with Hollandaise Sauce

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On 03 September, 2016, three very special things happened.

The first was that I met my sister again for the first time in almost fifteen years. The second was that this happened at her wedding. The third is that one of the options for the starter at the meal was Black Pudding, Smoked Fish, and Hollandaise Sauce. Oh sweet baby Jesus!

Well I won’t bore you with how we came to be estranged for so long, and it’s not my place to share the details of her special day…. but I’m damned well sure I’m gonna share this beauty of a recipe with you!

Make sure you get a bit of everything on each forkful! The slightly sweet Hollandaise is countered perfectly by the smoke and salt of the fish, and the earthiness of the Black Pudding.


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Chicken Stuffed with Blue Cheese & Mushrooms, wrapped in Parma Ham

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Hello, Munchkins!

I’m sorry I’ve neglected you! It’s been a busy start to 2016, and it doesn’t look like letting up any time soon, but I’ve still managed a little time in the kitchen!

This particular recipe is an old favourite from my pre-fatclub days, but I tweaked it a little to be healthier. It’s still not goody-two-shoes, but it certainly works within Slimming World limits! It tastes like it shouldn’t!

Anyway, it’s taken long enough to get this far, let’s not wait any longer. Get stuck in!


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Baked Meatballs with Penne in Arrabiata Sauce

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You know me: always on a diet, but a greedy boy with a big appetite! Well, no surprise that I’m always on a diet, then! The problem is, most people associate diets with rabbit food, and that’s really just not my scene. So when I heard all the gym-bod meat-heads of the interwebs buzzing about this new phenomenon called Muscle Food, I thought I’d give it a go. Basically, they sell high protein products (mostly very lean meat) mainly marketed at those who are trying to bulk up through excruciating gym routines, but also with an eye on those like me who just wanna watch what they eat.

So first order made, I got their New Year Hamper which included tonnes of chicken breasts, steak, and the like. I was also intrigued to see they’d included giant meatballs. I was a bit wary, but a quick check of my Slimming World app informed me the meatballs were only half a syn each. HALF a syn! I’m allowed 15 a day, and there were six of these beasts! For only 3 syns the lot, I was damn sure I was going to find a recipe to use them in.

Pasta seemed an obvious choice (and I always have some) so then I just wanted a sauce to go with it. I was thinking of something tomato based, as I always have tinned tomatoes and pasata in the house as well. My first thought was an Arrabiata, but I thought I’d have a look through my Slimming World Little Book of Sauces first, just in case…. and then it turned out that I already had all the ingredients I needed for an Arabiatta sauce anyway, so that won…. and am I glad it did!

I thought it was a bit of a boring fail-safe, but it turns out it packs quite a kick! I can’t rave enough about how good this meal was (only regret is eating it all in one sitting, so there was no more left for later!)

Don’t take my word for it though…. get your cook on!


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Beef & Peanut Kari Kari

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This Christmas, the mothership bought me loads of cook books (there were five, in total) including a one-pot & slow cooker one. I’m a big fan of one-pot cooking, because it means less washing-up! I’d never owned a slow cooker, though, but when Tesco are selling them for a tenner, it’s rude not to, right?

So when I ordered the slow cooker, I had a scan through the book to see what recipes to order food for, and the absolute winner was this beef & peanut stew recipe. Apparently, it’s an Estofado, which was taken by the Spanish to the Philippines, where they renamed it Kari Kari.

Although it’s not a fat club recipe, it’s actually pretty light on calories and fat (helped by using fry-light instead of oil) so if you’re looking for something healthy that still tastes indulgent, get stuck in!


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Plum Tarte Tartin with Mulled Wine Amaze-Glaze

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I’ve never been much of a baker (which you can probably tell by the disproportionate lack of sweet vs savoury recipes on tidymunch) and to be honest, I’d generally rather have a starter than a dessert. I do have a tiny bit of a sweet tooth now and again, though, and at Christmas I like to present a three course menu to you… so here you have this year’s dessert!

As usual, I wanted something a bit “different” but something that also references the traditions and themes of Christmas. Wracking my brains, I figured plum pudding would be a fairly traditional dessert, but with so much food to be consumed in the rest of the day, wouldn’t it be a bit on the heavy side? (One of the reasons I usually avoid Christmas Pudding!) So what about a tart? That could be nice and light, right? I scoured the interwebs, and tarte tartins came out tops…. I found a recipe that included spiced red wine, and that just screamed mulled wine to me (sue me if this isn’t quite accurate :p) and what’s more Christmassy than mulled wine?

Little did I realise that tarte tartins aren’t exactly easy! That’s the bad news… the good news is that even if you don’t get it quite right, this will taste amazing anyway! Go on, give it a whirl, I did, and even although I wasn’t 100% happy with the final outcome, it got rave reviews from six hungry co-workers!


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Apricot & Ginger Glazed Ham

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This one maybe isn’t quite as “alternative” as you’d expect from me, but no matter what’s on the Christmas Day menu, I always insist on having “nice ham” as well! I did want something slightly different from the joints you’d pick up easily in the supermarket, though, so I scoured the internet and found this (not-so) little beauty. It fed 5 people in work, me twice, and there’s still at least half sliced up in my freezer!


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Party (Chilli)Poppers

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So you know me by now. For my Christmas Menu I wanted something a little bit different that would still tie in with Christmas themes…. It also just so happens that the Jalapeño Chilli plants I grew from the seeds I was given last Christmas have only just borne fruit…. and so I give you my Christmassy take on jalapeño poppers – I’ve replaced the more traditional cream cheese filling with Wensleydale with Cranberry, and wrapped in Turkey rashers, just so you can be sure that they’re definitely 100% bonafide Christmas food! A dollop of Cranberry Jelly adds the perfect sweetening touch to lighten the fire of the chillies 😀

Feliz Navidad!


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