Romantic weight loss for two!

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Looking for inspiration for date night foods you can cook yourself? Will that meal make much difference? The choice of course is yours but I wanted to do a blog post of some ideas for a Slimming World friendly meal. Of course there are so many meals you can eat on Slimming World, things like steak, Slimming World chips, and salad that you could have on plan quite easily but I wanted to put together a few ideas that are a little different and may feel a little more special if you don't have them regularly!

I have tried to make it so the meals are low syn so you have syns left for a different dessert if you prefer or maybe a bit of wine! For quite low syns also you could have hot chocolate with marshmallows for that romantic night in! There are lots of yummy things within your syns just keep a count if you want that weight loss!

Love doesn't have to be money spent its time together

So, here are my meal ideas, obviously they could be changed, swapped around or even just have one of the elements but I hope it helps some of you to stay on track. Recipes can be found below the menu ideas.

A Three Course Meal for those on a budget!
Garlic Mushrooms
Butternut Squash Risotto with Grilled peppers
Carrot Cake

A Three Course Meal for those who want to be prepared!
Double Soup of red and yellow peppers
Caribbean Rice, Jerk Chicken (Or Quorn) and Vegetables of your choice. (The chicken can be marinated and can cook whilst eating the starter)
White Chocolate Mousse

An Indian Style Three Course Meal
Onion Bhaji
Vegetable Biryani with Garlic Mushrooms
Chocolate and Orange cheesecake style dessert

A Chinese Style Three Course Meal
Chilli Crispy Kale
Beef (Or Quorn Steak strips) in black bean sauce serve with noodles and Stir fried vegetables of your choice
Lime Cheesecake tartlets

A Vegetarian different Three Course meal

Courgette bakes (lovely served on a bed of rocket as its a bit like a mini quiche)
Stuffed Peppers with Hassleback potatoes with a tomato and herb sauce
Strawberries and "cream"


Double Soup of red and yellow peppers

STARTERS:

Courgette bakes
Syn free, serves 2
20 minutes Preparation, 30 minutes cooking time 

Low calorie cooking spray
225g courgettes (grated)
1 sprig of fresh rosemary leaves (chopped)
1 egg
100g Quark
1tsp garlic granules
1tsp dried mixed herbs
Freshly ground black pepper

Fry the courgettes and rosemary until beginning to brown and all liquid has evaporated. set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile mix the eggs, quark, garlic granules and herbs in a bowl with a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the courgette mixture and pour into two ramekins (sprayed with low calorie cooking spray). Place the ramekins in a roasting tin and pour boiling water in the roasting tin until it is around two thirds up the side of the ramekins. Bake on 160c for around 20-30 minutes until set and the top is golden brown.

Onion Bhaji
Syn free, serves 2 (though easily adjusted).

1 Potato and 1 sweet potato (similar sizes to the onion)
1 large red onion
1 tsp Ground Coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 egg (beaten)

Grate the potatoes and finely chop the onion then combine with remaining ingredients. Spoon into silicone bun cases or a bun tin that has been well sprayed with low calorie cooking spray. Bake on 200c for around 30 minutes or until golden brown. Makes around 8 onion bhajis depending on size, can be served with a dip such as fat free natural yoghurt and cucumber which would be syn free.

Garlic Mushrooms
Syn Free, Serves as many as you like as easy to make any quantity.
2 minutes preparation, 5 minutes cooking time.

Stir fry some mushrooms of your choice with some crushed garlic. If you wish to make them creamy stir a spoonful of quark into them after removing from the heat.

Chilli Crispy Kale
Syn Free, serves as many as you like
2 minutes preparation, 5-10 minutes cooking time.

Spread thinly over a baking sheet a bag of Curly Kale, spray well with chilli low calorie cooking spray, or normal cooking spray and sprinkle with a little chilli powder, season well and then bake for approximately 5-10 minutes at around 200c until crispy.

Double Soup of red and Yellow Peppers
Syn free, serves 2.
5 minutes preparation, 25 minutes cooking

3 Red Peppers (deseeded and roughly chopped)
3 Yellow Peppers (deseeded and roughly chopped)
1 large onion (roughly chopped)
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
1 celery stick (chopped)
2 Pints vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme

Using two pans with lids, place the yellow peppers in one pan and the red in the other. Split the remaining ingredients evenly between the two pans. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf from each pan and then blend each until smooth, be careful to wash the blender between so the colours remain separate! Reheat before serving, to serve put the coups in separate jugs then holding a jug in each hand at either side of a soup bowl pour the soups simultaneously and they will stay separate making the double soup of red and yellow peppers which looks so impressive.

Jerk Chicken, Caribbean Rice and vegetables
MAIN COURSES:

Jerk Chicken (works well with Quorn too)
Syn free, serves 4.
5 minutes preparation time, 12-15 minutes cooking time
Taken from Slimming World's Extra Easy Express book

4 skinless and boneless Chicken breasts or quorn fillets
1tsp dried thyme
1tsp ground ginger
1tbsp cider vinegar
1 garlic clove (crushed)
1tbsp light soy sauce
1tsp jerk seasoning

Make 3/4 slashes in the chicken breasts (not needed for Quorn) and place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, toss well so well coated. Sometimes I have left these to marinate for 10-15 minutes which works well though isn't necessary. Grill the chicken or Quorn  for around 6 minutes on each side until fully cooked. The cooking time may be a little less for Quorn so be careful!

Caribbean Rice
Syn free, serves 4. It does make quite a lot so you are likely to have leftovers!
30 minutes cooking and preparation combined as most preparation is done while rice is cooking!
Taken from Slimming World's Extra Easy Express book

350g dried long grain rice
1tsp Jerk seasoning
2 bottled roasted red peppers in brine, drained and chopped (make sure they are in brine or they will be synned!)
1 large carrot coarsely grated
1 large red onion finely chopped
200g fresh mango diced
200g fresh pineapple diced
Juice and zest of one lime

Cook the rice according to packet instructions then drain and set aside to cool. Mix the remaining ingredients and then stir into the rice until well mixed. I have made this earlier in the day before as it keeps well in the fridge.

Stuffed Peppers
Syn Free, serves 2
45 minutes including preparation time.

2 Red or yellow peppers
one large red onion (finely chopped)
150g Mushrooms (finely chopped)
2 tsp Pilau rice seasoning
half a head of cauliflower

Cut the top of the peppers off and keep for later and deseed. Place in the oven for 10 minutes on 180c. Meanwhile, grate the cauliflower onto a microwavable plate or container and microwave on high for 6 minutes.

Stir fry the mushrooms and onion until starting to soften then add the pilau rice seasoning and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and fry for another 2-3 minutes mixing well.

Put the cauliflower mix into the peppers and place the tops back on the peppers and bake on 180c for around 20-30 minutes until the peppers are cooked. You could add a little grated cheese on top of the peppers but this would obviously need weighing and synning appropriately.

Tomato and herb sauce
Syn free, Serves 2 but depends how much you want.
15 minutes including preparation

1 carton passata
2 Vegetable stock cubes
1 large red onion (Finely chopped)
2 tbsp. dried mixed herbs or fresh herbs of your choice

Fry the onion until starting to soften then add the passata, herbs and crumble in the oxo cube and bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Can be made in advance then reheated easily.

Hassleback Potatoes
Syn Free, serves as many as you like
5 minutes preparation, 30-40 minutes cooking time

Baby new potatoes
low calorie cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 200c. To cut the potatoes place each potato alongside a knife (the normal kind you eat your tea with!) then cut through each potato until your knife hits the knife next to the potato, thus cutting it almost through. Make 5-6 cuts in each potato to give it the hassleback potato appearance. Spray the potatoes well with low calorie cooking spray and place with the cuts facing up on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes. These can also be done in an Actifry or air fryer with the paddle removed.

Beef (or Quorn steak strips) in black bean sauce
1 Syn each, serves 2.
35 Minutes preparation and cooking time
Taken from Slimming World's A Taste of Asia Book but adapted slightly.

1.5 tbsp. fermented Black beans (washed and dried)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1cm root ginger (peeled and finely grated)
0.5 tsp sweetener
1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
0.5 tbsp. cornflour
low calorie cooking spray
350g lean beef fillet cut into strips (all fat removed, or Quorn steak strips
1 small onion peeled, halved and sliced.
100ml stock (beef or vegetable if using Quorn!)
0.5 tbsp. black bean sauce
half each of red, green and yellow peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced.

Place the black beans in a bowl and squash them into a paste with the back of a spoon and then add the garlic and ginger and mix well.

In another bowl place the soy sauce, vinegar, and cornflour and mix well then add the black bean mixture from above.

Fry the beef or Quorn in low calorie cooking spray until just cooked through. Add the black bean mixture and stir to ensure all the meat or Quorn is well coated. Add the onion, peppers and stock and stir thoroughly. Cook over a high heat for 4-5 minutes until bubbling. When the sauce has thickened remove from the heat and stir in the black bean sauce.

I have made this without cornflour previously which hasn't made any difference, I still counted the syns as the same but felt it unnecessary but the choice is yours.


Vegetable Biryani
Syn free, serves 4
35 minutes including preparation.

low calorie cooking spray
1 onion finely chopped
1tsp finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed (or 1tsp lazy garlic!)
1/2tsp turmeric
1tsp mild chilli powder
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp crushed cardamom seeds
1tsp ground cinnamon
2 cloves
1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
110g fine green beans trimmed and chopped
1 potato peeled and finely chopped
4tbsp fat free natural yoghurt
110g basmati rice
Spray a pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and stir fry for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned and softened. Add the ginger, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, cardamom seeds, cinnamon and cloves and stir fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetables and yoghurt and cook gently for another 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and atir fry for 2-3 minutes seasoning if you wish. Pour on 200ml boiling water and bring to the boil, cover tightly and reduce heat to very low and cook undisturbed for 12-15 minutes then remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes, still leaving undisturbed. To serve uncover and fluff the tice up with a fork


Butternut Squash Risotto
Serves 2, syn free
40-50 minutes including preparation

Low calorie cooking spray
1 large red onion finely chopped
1 tsp lazy garlic or 2 cloves of garlic crushed
150g Arborio rice
1 average size butternut squash peeled and cubed into bite size pieces
600ml litres vegetable stock
1 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaves
1 tsp paprika
Toss the butternut squash in the paprika, spray with low calorie cooking spray and roast in the oven or I use the Actifry until soft but still has a bite to it rather than mushy, approx. 30-40 minutes depending on size of Actifry and how deep they are in oven dish etc.
Spray a large frying pay with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and stir fry for approximately 5 minutes until onion is soft and starting to brown. Add the rice and stir fry for another 3-4 minutes. Then add two bay leaves to your jug of boiling stock and then put two ladles of the stock into the frying pan and stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed. Then add the stock one ladle at a time continually stirring and only adding the next ladle when the previous has been fully absorbed.
When you are down to the last approximately two ladles of stock remove the bay leaves and add the remaining stock, with the roasted butternut squash and the dried parsley (you could use fresh but I find dry as good and cheaper!). When all liquid is absorbed serve immediately.

Carrot cake


DESSERTS:

White Chocolate Mousse
2.5 Syns per person, serves 2
5 minutes preparation then chilling in fridge as long as required or can eat immediately.

250g Quark
250g Fat Free Fromage Frais
2 Sachets of White Chocolate options
2 tbsp. Granulated sweetener

Beat all the ingredients together and then put in ramekins or small bowls in the fridge until ready to eat.

Strawberries and "Cream"
Syn Free, serves as many as you like

Quark
Fat free Fromage Frais
granulated sweetener

Mix the quark and fromage frais with equal amounts of each and sweeten to taste.

Lime Cheesecake Tartlets
Serves 2, 2 syns per tartlet
5-10 minutes preparation, 10 minutes cooking,

Low calorie cooking spray
1 Filo pastry sheet (48x25cm approx) cut into 12 squares
125g quark
Zest and juice of half a lime
Zest of the other half lime to decorate
2 tbsp. Granulated Sweetener

Spray a bun tin with low calorie cooking spray and using 4 of the moulds layer 3 squares of filo pastry in each one, spraying between each sheet with cooking spray and laying then on diagonally so when cooked the points are all spread around making a nice nest. Bake the 4 nests for around 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 180c, until golden and crisp. Set aside and allow to cool.

Beat together the sweetener, quark, lime juice and lime zest (finely grated) and then split between the nests. Grate the remaining zest to decorate the tops of the tartlets. Best served immediately.

Please note the syns of this are based on using one sheet of "jus-rol filo sheets" 45g (6 syns) to make 4 tartlets. If using a different brand or size sheet the syns may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Carrot Cake
9 syns for whole cake
10 minutes preparation, 10 minutes cooking time.

5 Slices of Scan Bran (Available at Slimming World Groups)
2 large carrots (Finely grated)
4 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp Ground ginger
8 tbsp. granulated sweetener
2 eggs
250g Quark
Orange essence
Satsumas or similar
100ml boiling water.

Break the scan bran into small pieces and pour on boiling water and leave to soak. While it is soaking grate the carrots and beat the eggs then mix all together with the ginger, mixed spice, 5 tbsp. granulated sweetener and around 1tsp orange essence. Place in a silicone loaf tin or similar sized microwavable container and microwave on high for around 8-10 minutes depending on microwave power. When it is done it will be firm and easily come away from the sides. Meanwhile mix the quark, some more orange essence (around another teaspoon but all brands are different) and 3 tbsp. granulated sweetener. When cake is cooked and cooled cut it open and fill and top with the quark mixture and decorate with Satsuma segments. Cut into 5 and serve.

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Style dessert
6 Syns each or healthy extra b, Serves 2

4 Alpen Light Jaffa Cake flavour bars or Hifi Chocolate Orange Bars
250g Quark
6tsp Granulated sweetener
Orange essence
Satsuma, clementine or similar.
Place the Alpen lights broken into the bottom of two sundae dishes or similar (Microwaveable) and warm in the microwave until soft and can be pushed into the base. This will not take long so keep checking after 10 seconds etc so as not to burn it. Mix quark, sweetener and a couple of drops of orange essence together (taste and see how it is to get it how you like it!) and pour over the top of the base. Place some segments of the fruit on top and serve. For extra yumminess (but unfortunately using more syns) you could add something like choc shot which is low in syns, grated chocolate or even something like a matchmaker! Check out the syns of anything else you add though!
Remember love yourself as much as each other


Please remember if you intend to follow the Slimming World plan it is your responsibility to check the syns as these may change and also to ensure the proportions of different foods on your plate are right.


  
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