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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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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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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Home-made Hunter’s Chicken

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Hunter’s Chicken is one of those pub favourites that I know I can always rely on. Almost every menu carries it by one name or another, and if there’s nothing else I fancy then I’m pretty sure it will be there for me!

It’s has a really decadent feel to it, so it must be really unhealthy, right? Obviously. I mean… barbecue sauce, with all that sugary goodness/badness?! Well you know I love a challenge, so I’ve fat-clubbed it! My first attempt used a Slimming World BBQ sauce recipe that I’d found on their website, but all I could taste was red wine vinegar. So I decided just to try chucking some things together, based on what I remembered from the very naughty OMG BBQ Pulled Pork recipe, and came up with this. I’m not gonna lie, I think I’ve outdone myself.

So here you have it. A Healthy version of Hunter’s Chicken! Dig in!


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Ifits Spicy Baked Rice

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Well it may be a little soon for another fits, but the truth of the matter is I had a week away, and when I came back I couldn’t be bothered shopping! And isn’t that the whole point of Ifits recipes?

This one is a bit on the spicy side, and may not exactly contain ingredients that everybody has lying around… but you know, when you write a food blog, you tend to pick up a few interesting bits and pieces….


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Ifits Stuffed Peppers

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I love couscous. I literally can’t get enough of it. It’s not always easy to find interesting ways to serve it, though, so I tend to serve it as an accompaniment to interesting dishes. When I decided it was time for another Ifits recipe, though, things quickly pointed towards the two peppers I had in the fridge, and rice seemed like too obvious a choice – so it had to be couscous!

I found this both tasty and filling, despite it’s healthy appearance! Go on, give it a try. I dare you!


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Sticky-Fingers BBQ Chicken Wings

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Today, we have our first ever mystery bag challenge! Based on my friend Wayne’s suggestion, I challenged the TidyMunch Facebook community to come up with a list of ingredients, from which I would concoct a recipe; the random-number generator chose Mike with his suggestion of: Chicken wings. BBQ sauce. Honey. Soy sauce. Sweet potato. Corn on the cob. Blue cheese. Mayo (light if desired). Red cabbage. Carrot. Onion. Garlic.

So here you have: Sticky-Fingers BBQ Chicken, with Honey-glazed Corn on the Cob, Sweet Potato Fries, Blue Cheese Dip, and Home-Made Coleslaw!


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Simple Chicken Kiev

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I’ve always loved Chicken Kiev. I think I’m of a generation that does; we all have fond childhood memories of those supermarket bought oven meals.  But my first memory of Chicken Kiev is different from the pre-packaged staple that saw me through many subsequent years.

My mum and her sisters are pretty close, but for several years (the youngest ones of my life) her older sister was absent. I’m not sure if they’d grown estranged as such, but they’d certainly not been in touch for years. Then one day, my mum announced that she was taking me on a trip to London (I don’t remember the announcement, just the subsequent trip).

I’m not sure how old I was – somewhere between 5 & 7, I’d say. So let’s call it 6. I also have no idea how they got in touch with each other again, but I’m glad they did. There aren’t many details I remember clearly; I’ve no idea about the getting there or the getting back, though I’m pretty sure it would’ve involved very long train trips. I do remember meeting a friendly, loving (cleanliness-obsessed) Auntie & Uncle, and a platoon of new cousins. I remember Raymond (he wasn’t Ray, back then) was about 16, and the coolest person on this planet. Or so he seemed, to a 6 year-old. He let me play on his computer, which was a big deal for the earlier half of the 80’s. I want to say the game was “Wimpy” but who knows.

The other very clear memory I have is going out for food. I have recollections of it being a very posh affair, but I could have that completely wrong. I had Chicken Kiev. I don’t know if I’d ever had the ready-meal kind before, but in any event I suspect that my mum expected something like that to arrive. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. An actual chicken arrived (or so it seemed). I don’t think I’d ever tasted anything like that succulent chicken, and the potent garlic butter before, but it was delicious.

And so, my gift to you, fellow foodies, is Lisa Faulkner’s take on Chicken Kiev (with a few of my own tweaks, of course). It’s somewhere in between the store-bought stuff, and that extravagant memory. Simple, but oh, so very tidy!


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Tidy Big T Tapas

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So the last time I went home to the Big T (otherwise known as Tranent) I spent a lot of time cooking. It’s traditional that whenever I’m home (or whenever we’re together anywhere, actually) that the mothership and I go for tapas. Since the good ship TidyMunch set sail somewhere between that visit and the one before it, I decided that instead of going out for tapas, I’d just make my own.

And so I present to you: Croquetas de jamón with alioli, Chorizo al jerez, and Patatas Bravas.

There’s quite a bit to do in these recipes, so unless you fancy spending an entire day in the kitchen (if you’re as slow as me) I’d recommend making the Croquetas and the alioli a day ahead!

Of course, there’s no need to serve them all together, you can pick and choose as you please. It’s quite the feast if you do make the effort, though!


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