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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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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BBQ Chicken Skewers

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Back to healthy recipes this week, with one that’s originally intended for the BBQ, but I’ve adapted for the oven (because living in the UK, the opportunities for BBQs are slim!)

Despite the relatively lengthy ingredients list, this is actually super-easy to make, but do prep in advance!

Although the barbecuing concept has a summery feel, the flavours themselves are also satisfyingly robust for the cooler, darker, autumn evenings.

But don’t take my word for it, get stuck in!


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Brisket Bunny Chow

IMGP3705No bunnies were harmed in the production of this blog! (Although I do plan to do a rabbit recipe in the near(ish) future!)

I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer on where the name comes from, but one plausible explanation is that the “bunny” part is an adaptation of “bun”…. now, given that this curried meat is served inside a hollowed-out loaf of bread, that’s not such a far-fetched idea, is it?

I fancied a break from the recent fat club posts (although bread aside, this is fat club friendly) and when I saw this online (courtesy of Christie) I had to give it a try. It’s quirkiness spoke to me, as she knew it would!

This originates from the Indian regions of Durban, South Africa, and its history is as disputed as its etymology. Some say that it originated as a way for Indian slaves to carry their meals out into the fields, others link it to the Apartheid era when Indian golf caddies weren’t allowed to carry cutlery, or in the same era when Indian people weren’t allowed in certain restaurants, so the bread bowls were used to serve them takeaway on the sly, from a back window.

We may never know the definitive history, but we do know it tastes delicious!


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Beef Goulash for the Soul

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Well, the nights have started drawing in, and isn’t it that little bit colder most days? I keep hearing rumours of an Indian summer, but every hint of it seems just to be a tease before the chill sets in again. I’m sat on the couch today, under a blanket, because I refuse to believe it’s time to put the heating on!

In any event, it’s definitely time to switch to your autumn wardrobe (which to me means cracking out the Autumn/Winter/Spring jumpers) and trade the light summer salads for those good old-fashioned hearty stews. Something a bit more comforting, and well… soul-warming!

I promised back in January that not every recipe would be a fat club one, but it turns out that most of them have. I can only apologise for that, whilst hoping that you haven’t found them to be lacking. You’ll be glad to know that this one isn’t from Fat Club…. but I’m still fat fighting, and it just turns out that this particular recipe is still pretty healthy, and would be considered “free” at Slimming World… just a coincidence, though!

I loved this recipe – not only was it super tasty, but it definitely warmed me up. It doesn’t have the spice you might expect from me, just a nice warmth and depth that left me feeling comfy-cosy!


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Mushroom Tidy Fried Rice

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Whenever I order Chinese Takeaway, I almost always have Special Fried Rice. I love all the tasty little morsels of meat that they probably just couldn’t sell in dishes of their own…. so I was a little nervous to try this vegetarian version. I mean…. what would be the point? Well it turns out, the point is just wow. Nothing else. Just wow!

The mushrooms add a little bit of a meaty texture to this fat club recipe, from Slimming World‘s Veggie Deluxe book. Suspend your disbelief, and give it a whirl!


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Fantabulous Feta Pasta Lunch

IMGP3588Good day, Munchkins!

Today’s recipe is a an attempt to reverse engineer a Feta & Semi-Dried Tomato Pasta that I found myself purchasing almost daily from Tesco. At £2 a pop, it’s not exactly a bank-breaker, but I was sure I could make a saving by recreating it myself! Especially as I was actually adding it as a part of their £3 meal deal.

The fact that I was eating it almost every day should be testament to the quality of the original version, but I’m pleased to say I mastered it on my second attempt! (Although the third wasn’t as good muahahahaha!)


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Chips, Cheese, & Curry Sauce

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Time for a Tidy Flashback Fakeaway!

Everybody has a guilty pleasure: your go-to snack on the way home from a ridiculously messy night out. For some it’s a Kebab, others crave a slice or two of pizza. Chips are pretty universal, and I was always a fan of Chips & Cheese.

Then, when I moved to Dundee for Uni, some friends had a thing for Chips & Curry Sauce. One drunken night after the Student Union (More than likely a  Mono night) the two were somehow combined, and most nights thereafter it became Chips, Cheese, & Curry Sauce!

Well… the other night, I was craving Chinese, and got myself in a bit of a spiral about wanting to continue with my weight loss but also really really wanting a good Chinese curry! So I googled a recipe for Chinese style curry sauce, and had it with some rice. It was pretty good, but as I was eating it I had a flashback to those chips, cheese, and curry sauce nights. The sauce would’ve been too hot to be authentic, so I made some tweaks and came up with this! The colour’s a little on the dark side, but I’ve made it mild enough to taste pretty close to the mark!

So, if you were ever in that queue at Istanbul on the Nethergate, waiting for your post-Mono munch…. this one’s for you!


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