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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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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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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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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Super-Cheesy Durty Eggy Bread

IMGP3128Yes! Dirty with a “u” because these are sooooo bad they’re good. There’s nothing refined or elegant about this week’s recipe. It’s an oldie I’ve been holding on to for quite some time… before I rejoined fat club!

It’s not pretty to look at, but it sure tastes good! It reminds me of being a kid, when the mothership once amazed me by putting cheese (yes, cheese!) inside eggy bread. Or French Toast as we called it.

I remember her telling me that her dad had used to make it for (maybe with) her, and so it seemed somewhat fitting for Father’s Day.

No matter what day it is, this is quick, tasty, and deeeeelicious!


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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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Tidy Toffee Pudding

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Happy Birthday, TidyMunch!

Yay, we’re a year old! And what birthday would be complete without cake?! Well, technically, it’s a pudding, not a cake. And I’ve taken liberties with the title. It’s a Scrumptious Sticky Toffee Pudding, and the recipe is courtesy of Jamie Oliver in his Comfort Food book (with a small tweak from Nell).

It was my birthday a few weeks ago, so we made this for the occasion – but I decided to hold back blogging it until TidyMunch’s birthday!

I’ve never baked anything that was so easy, yet so rewarding… you owe it to yourself, your friends, family, and various other loved ones, to make this immediately. Go!


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Lamb Steaks in Masala Sauce

IMGP3328It’s a bit of a collaboration today, from Mama’s kitchen, as I’m visiting Scotland again this week!

I never really cook with Lamb, but I’ve been determined to give it a go lately because I love it! Today’s recipe comes from Weight Watchers, and no matter how I tried I couldn’t get the sauce to look anything like the one in their picture… it still tasted pretty good though!

This one’s really quick and straightforward, as well as being super-satisfying. Get going!


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