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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Ifits Christmas Dinner Pie

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This is without a doubt the ultimate Ifits recipe! For those who aren’t aware of the term, an Ifits recipe is one made from left-overs – Ifit’s in the fridge/cupboard, we’re having it! And so I present to you a genius recipe for left-over Christmas food!

I do have a confession to make – I had the idea for this recipe long before I had the opportunity to have left-over Christmas dinner, and just had to try it! I bought all the ingredients in (in small quantities) and went for it. The result was so good, that I had a missive from mother insisting that we actually make this for Christmas Dinner proper, instead of the traditional roast! As it turns out, we were subsequently invited to a family affair elsewhere… but I wasn’t off the hook… we had this on Christmas Eve!

The original idea came to me while I was flicking through Lisa Faulkner’s The Way I Cook. She has a Chicken Pie recipe that includes a layer of stuffing in the pastry crust, so that got my mind going. I only really have stuffing with Christmas Dinner (well, unless I visit a Carvery and it’s just there) so my mind instantly turned towards festive food!

The base for the sauce, as well as the idea of the stuffing-in-the-pastry, is adapted from her recipe… the rest is all me.

And remember, it’s an Ifits, so use this only as a template, and chuck in whatever you’ve got!


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Crispy Fried Ricotta Gnocchi with Garlic & Chilli

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Today’s recipe is a modern twist on an Italian classic.

I first tried something similar to this as a starter at The Crown in Chertsey, Surrey. If you’re ever in the area (maybe visiting Thorpe Park) it’s definitely worth stopping off here for food. It was so good that I couldn’t wait to try it when I got home. I tried it with some packet potato gnocchi (as the original recipe was also potato) and was very pleased with the results, but didn’t feel that was worthy of being included in my shiny new blog. I did some research into basic potato gnocchi recipes, but me being me decided I wanted to tweak it a bit.

My first attempt at this recipe wasn’t perfect, only alright, but it’s worth sticking with as my second attempt was nothing short of amazing, if I do say so myself! I’ll try to point out some potential pit-falls along the way, and highlight what worked better the second time around.

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Chicken, Chorizo & Black Pudding Paella

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Today’s recipe was chosen by our Social  Media Munchkins, who voted at either facebook or twitter.

Some people will try to convince you that this is not an authentic recipe, due to its use of Chorizo, but Paella varies so widely across the regions of Spain that I don’t think the concept of authenticity even exists in that sense.

Some balk at the thought of Black Pudding, but the beauty of Paella is that you can (and should) substitute any ingredients in or out as you please.

This may look like quite a strict and rigid list of steps, but it’s really not. Every time I make this, it’s different… largely because I do things differently without paying a great deal of attention. That’s the beauty of Paella. It’s supposed to be wild, an adventure of flavour and colour, taste and texture!

So what are you waiting for? Jump in!

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