Slimming down doesn’t have to mean bland food or feeling hungry, as these delicious recipes from Pinch of Nom bloggers and chefs, Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone, prove
Occasionally, the craving for a good Indian dish is overwhelming. We would all love to have the opportunity to create curry pastes and spice mixes from scratch. At times though, we just need a quick, easy, go-to curry recipe that can be created in minutes. This is one such recipe. Wonderfully tasty, but so quick to put together, it’ll become a regular evening meal in no time.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
• Low-calorie cooking spray
• 1 large onion, sliced
• 450g chicken breast (skin and visible fat removed), diced
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• 400ml water
• 3 tbsp curry powder
• 1 tbsp ground turmeric
• 1 tbsp tomato purée
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Cooked rice
1. Spray a large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes until softened slightly, then add the diced chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until browned.
2. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute, then add all the other ingredients. The water should just about cover the chicken – you may need a little more or less depending on the size of your pan.
3. Leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes.
4. Turn the heat up and boil the curry for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan – this will reduce and thicken the sauce slightly.
5. Serve the curry with your choice of accompaniment
Tip: This curry recipe works well with lean, diced lamb, too
You can’t beat a good veggie burger. The very best of them are substantial and tasty and, if you’re a meat-eater, you won’t even miss the meat. This is one of those great burgers. The addition of a small amount of Parmesan gives it a fantastic sharp, rich taste. Serve with a large salad and enjoy!
Prep time: 15 minutes,
Cook time: 10 minutes
• 220g medium potatoes, peeled and diced
• Low-calorie cooking spray
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 medium carrot, grated
• 50g green beans, trimmed and finely chopped
• 50g cauliflower florets, finely chopped
• 50g broccoli florets, finely chopped
• 50g frozen peas
• 50g sweetcorn kernels (tinned and drained, or frozen)
• Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
• 30g Parmesan (or vegetarian hard cheese)
To serve (optional):
• 4 wholemeal burger buns
• Lettuce leaves
1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water until soft, then drain well and mash with a hand-held masher or fork.
2. Spray a large frying pan with some low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the garlic and all the vegetables (except the peas and sweetcorn) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring so they don’t start to colour. Add the peas and sweetcorn and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Mix the mashed potato and vegetables together in a bowl, then stir in the chopped parsley and Parmesan.
4. Divide the mixture into four equal pieces, and form each piece into a burger shape. (You can freeze the burgers at this point for cooking on another day. Thoroughly defrost the burgers before cooking.)
5. Spray a frying pan with some lowcalorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the burgers and cook for 5 minutes or until they are golden brown on the bottom, then turn them carefully and cook for another few minutes. When the other side is golden brown, remove from the heat and serve the burgers on their own, in a wholemeal roll packed with salad.
Gluten-free (use glutenfree buns) and just 118 cal per serving
Many people would immediately dismiss choux pastry as too much of an indulgence. However, using reduced-fat spread and sweetener makes a huge dent in calories. With just a hint of chocolate and squirty cream, these are the ultimate in sweet treats.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
• 2 tbsp granulated sweetener
• ½ tsp salt
• 100g reduced-fat spread
• 150ml cold water
• 100g self-raising flour
• 2 large eggs
• 25g dark chocolate chip
• 10 tbsp reduced-fat aerosol cream
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan 170°C/gas mark 5) and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
2. Put the granulated sweetener, salt, reducedfat spread and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the mixture reaches the boil, take the pan off the heat and gradually beat in the flour. The mixture will look lumpy at first, but persevere. Continue to beat until the mixture forms a ball of dough and comes away from the sides of the saucepan.
3. Add the eggs to the mixture and beat well to incorporate. It will look like the mixture has split at first, but continue to beat until it becomes glossy.
4. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle. Pipe 10 éclairs onto the lined baking tray (they’ll be around 12cm long each). Dab any ̒tails’ down with a wet finger and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Do not open the oven! Not even for a sneaky peek – they’ll likely collapse and you’ll end up with pancakes!
5. Once the time is up, remove the éclairs from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Only fill them when you are ready to serve – aerosol cream doesn’t keep its shape very long once squirted! (You can freeze them at this point, prior to filling.)
6. Once completely cool, cut lengthways through threequarters of each éclair. Melt the chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave.
7. Squirt 1 tablespoon of reduced-fat aerosol cream into each split éclair and drizzle the melted chocolate over the tops. Serve immediately.
Tip: You could bake the pastry buns in advance and freeze them. Simply defrost, fill and serve.
Recipes extracted from Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming, Home-Style Recipes by Kate Allinson & Kay Featherstone (hardback £20, Bluebird; eBook £16.99). Photography by Mike English.