A Message For My Subscribers

Hi all,

Firstly, I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has subscribed to my recipe blog over the last few months.  For a while now, I’ve been wanting to step up in the world and get my own pretty link that is easier to remember and have a bit more control over my page.

The time has now come and I’m excited to confirm my new WordPress link is now up and running, so here it is if you want to bookmark it: www.tastefullyvikkie.com.

Don’t worry, all the recipes will still be available on the new link above and any old recipe links you click will automatically redirect you to the new site.  I have tried my best to make the transition run as smooth as possible for everyone and being a bit of a technophobe when it comes to running websites, I’m still learning as I go along.

However, there’s one snag; all existing subscribers from tastefullyvikkie.wordpress.com will now need to resubmit your email address in the subscription box on www.tastefullyvikkie.com to keep receiving new blog post notifications;  hopefully this should only take a minute.

I hope everyone of you will come along with me on my new journey and hope this hasn’t caused too much inconvenience for anyone.  Everything else should run the same and if you have any questions or problems, please comment below and I’ll see what I can do.

Love,
Tastefully Vikkie x

 

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Soup Maker for £35 on Amazon!

Hi all,

I am struggling to get back to sleep and just noticed the original soup maker I use is currently on amazon for £35 which is typically a wholesaler’s price!

Here’s the Amazon link:
http://amzn.to/1Ej0p55

This is the cheapest I’ve ever seen it for sale and it was only a few hours ago it was for sale at £45.55 so don’t know how long it’ll stay at this price.  Amazon prices do seem to change daily.

So now is definitely the time to get one if you’ve been waiting for a cheaper price or pass the link on to someone who might be treating you know this Christmas 😉

I hope this helps!

http://amzn.to/1Ej0p55

Love,
Tastefully Vikkie

Co-op 2.5 & 3.5 Syns Per Serving Stir Fry Sauces

Stir frys are meant to be quick and easy and all too many times in quickness, I’ve picked any old jar in the shop for convenience.  Recipes are easy but tasty syn free sauces are extremely hard to come by.  In fact, I made a point of this in my 3 recipe video tutorial (the 2nd recipe is not syn free).

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But, as I have major renovations at the minute, I picked up two sachets in my local coop so I could use up this year’s cabbage harvest and thought I’d share them with you.

Note: I did not add any garlic, ginger or any other seasoning for a fair test, just added to simple green veg and spring onions cooked in low calorie cooking spray.

Please note I am not associated with Slimming World, so please ask your consultant if in doubt.  I am basing the syns on the Extra Easy plan.

The Sweet Chilli Sauce – 3.5 Syns Per Serving

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The first I tried was my favourite of the two; sweet chilli.  It was perfect for turning my fat free beef and all green veg in to a delightful one.  It serves two people and great with egg noodles, but if you’re a chilli lover, there may not be enough kick for you.  But in our house, I much prefer chilli compared to my other half, so in terms of pleasing crowds, it’s ideal as a safe option, but I’ll add a little more in mine next time.   Overall, this turned out to be a great meal at only 3.5 syns and will definitely pick this up again.

The Hoisin – 2.5 Syns per Serving

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Now moving on to the Hoisin at 2.5 syns per serving, this is not normally something I would pick up because I generally find them hit and miss.  It’s certainly not my favourite either but would be far superior adding to vegetables with some freshly grated ginger.  So on that basis, yes, I would buy it again.

Overall, I’m giving both a thumbs up. I’m happy to healthier options for quick fixes and must give credit to Co-op for clearly labelled colour coded fat content, who from memory, were one of the first ones to implement this around 13 years ago in my Uni days.

Love,
Tastefully Vikkie x

10 Uses You Might Not Have Thought With FryLight

If you’re not already converted to swapping your cooking oils for a bottle of frylight, (the 1 calorie cooking spray), then hopefully my top 10 uses may help sway you to make the change.  Or if you love the stuff like me, maybe you can take at least one new idea away with you from this list.

So here goes…

1.  Garlic Mash
The new garlic frylight has been a perfect gem for adding more depth to my mash.  Just a handful of sprays and not too much, with a pinch of salt, it takes me back to a Delia recipe from a vegetarian cookbook I love.

2.  Garlic Bread
This has been new to me this year, which was actually a serving suggestion from the back of the garlic frylight bottle itself.  Just spray your bread, toast in the oven and give it a final spray for extra taste.  This is perfect while using a healthy extra, complimenting any Italian dish.

3.  Olive Spray on Salad
Although quite a simple twist, the olive spray adds a little touch to a simple salad which can at times taste quite boring if you just want it as a side to fill up on.   I find it much more palatable than a wet salad which doesn’t taste “too healthy”.

4.  Chips/ Sweet Potato Wedges
Ok, so this is probably the most common of uses, but if you haven’t tried spraying it on your home cut chips then you should.  Place on a baking tray in the middle of the oven, or better still an airfryer and bake for around 20 minutes.  I find this method just as quick as going to the chippy and back and so much healthier.

5.  Buttery Cabbage
I discovered this tip of my mother in law a couple of Christmas dinners ago.  If you cook your cabbage as normal, transfer it to a frying pan with Butter Frylight and some salt it shrinks down in to a delicate buttery dream and takes the edge off a plain veg.

6.  Pancakes and Omelettes
When it comes to the frying pan, just make sure you spray liberally.  I know in my Uni days I thought I could get away with just 1 or 2 sprays and limit my calorie intake.  Don’t be afraid to spray away, they’re only 1 calorie per spray and then you can happily fry your eggs, pancakes or omelettes etc with ease.

7.  Popcorn
If I want something sweet on an evening while watching the TV, then I feel less guilty about a bowl of popcorn when seasoned with salt and sweetener or a small dash of syrup.  You can make frylight popcorn in a large pan with a lid, but the popcorn won’t pop as big if say using a tablespoon of sunflower oil.  Just spray your pan generously, place in your popcorn kernels (I tend to cook with smaller quantites with frylight, such as 30g), place on the lid and keep shaking your pan over the heat like a mad person until the popping stops.  It usually takes around 2-3 minutes to make.

8.  Garlic Mushrooms
Another lovely charmer is grilled garlic mushroom using the garlic frylight again.  In fact, the garlic and chilli spray is perfect for blander foods that work well with flavours.

9.  Peanut Satay Medjool Date Combo
One of my favourite uses with the chilli frylight this year has been my peanut satay medjool dates.  Although not strictly fat free, I have loved removing the date’s seed, adding a teaspoon of pure peanut butter, sometimes a sprinkle of cocoa or cacoa powder and a spray of chilli.  Hits… the… spot!

10.  Buttery New Potatoes
To really posh up your boiled potatoes, I find adding some fresh herbs like mint, seasoning and a spray of butter frylight really knocks it up a notch on the dinner plate.

Let me know below if you think you use your Fry Light in a unique way too;   I am always looking for new ideas!

Love, 
Tastefully Vikkie x

Slimming World 0.5 Syn Pistou Soup Maker Recipe (Vegetarian)

Michelin star chef, Raymond Blanc is such a delight.  He’s a charming,  jolly Frenchman, yet a a perfectionist with his food; well, that’s how he comes across at the very least.  And this week, after watching many of his YouTube recipes, I was inspired by his Pistou Soup.

He says there’s an ongoing 700-year old debate about where pistou actually originates from… is it French or is it Italian?  Well, he doesn’t care, he just loves it and so since I’m head-over-heels in love with my soup maker, then I’d be silly not to have a dabble with this one.

As usual I’ve checked out other people’s versions, many including cannelini or haricot beans, or even parsnips and admit, I have not stuck to Blanc’s recipe to the letter.  A soup maker recipe almost always needs adapting to work and like to swap the  so-called”bad” ingredients with the “good”.

Also, note the three key points of this soup is, as Raymond suggests is, firstly, it’s one of the best soups you can make at home as you can use any veg you have.  Secondly, you must sauté the veg, turning the starches in to sugar to get the best flavour instead as we’re don’t use any stock and thirdly, the soup needs the pistou  (a nut-free pesto) at the end for its depth of flavour.  Ok, so I have paraphrased here, but you get the gist I’m sure.

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Recipe – 0.5 Syns Per Serving.
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Frylight
550ml water
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
150g red onion, diced
50g or 1 small carrot, peeled & diced
100g green runner beans, chopped
200g courgettes, chopped in 2cm chunks
180g or 1 fennel bulb, diced
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
80g reduced fat cheese (20g per person which is half each person’s healthy extra or to be synned)

For the pistou:

1 whole bunch of basil leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
20 sprays of Tesco Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 calorie spray

Method

  1. Saute all the veg in a large frying until the onions are tender.
  2. Transfer veg to soup maker or large pan if using and add all the remaining ingredients except the cheese and pistou ingredients.
  3. Set soup maker to chunky or simmer in pan for 20-25 minutes until all the veg is tender.
  4. Once the soup is cooked, ladle out 100ml of soup in to a food processor or blender, avoiding any veg.
  5. Chuck in the rest of the pistou ingredients and blend.
  6. Serve the soup, pour over with the pistou and top with low fat grated cheese and eat.  *Side note: If you’re making this soup ahead and planning to freeze and warm up later, then don’t add the pistou until you’re ready to eat as the basil will overcook and lose its flavour.  If it does, then add a stock cube and heat it through.

Let me know what you think and if you want to get more interactive to find some fantastic soup recipes, then why not come and join my Facebook support group, I LOVE SW Soup.  Or, why not be a new subscriber on my YouTube Channel where I share weekly recipes every Friday at 6pm!

Bon Appetit!

L’amour De,
Tastefully Vikkie x

The DIY Kitchen Weekend Vlogs

So, to get you up to speed, the last two weekends have been pretty busy as we’ve started to rip out parts of our kitchen to maximise the cupboard  and worktop space.

We’ve been in our house for just over a year and every room needs renovating and since Rome wasn’t built in a day, it’s meant we’ve had to try and make savings on every job until we get to our final major project: the loft conversion.  This will be the money guzzler of our home and after being given a £9k quote from Wickes for just the kitchen, I turned to my Dad for his contacts in the DIY trade to get things at the right price (say £500) which hopefully I can share with you once it’s complete.

Here’s the last two DIY Vlogs which are uploaded every Friday at 6pm!

Read More »

Not-So-Healthy Microwave Treacle Sponge Oat Pudding

What do you do when a late night craving won’t go away?  This is a tricky one as the other night I spent ages mentally throwing back the pros and cons to a naughty desert.

Deep down I knew I wanted a treacle sponge pudding with custard and I’ve stopped buying anything more than a fat free muller light yoghurt as everything else offers only a short window of opportunity to be eaten in our house.

So I decided it was best to hit my sweet tooth notes and syn properly with this recipe and saw it as a time to clear the fridge & shelves before the kitchen remodeling began.  However, I took on more than I bargained for… weevils were crawling around in every one of my packets of flour, including unopened ones and had only one other option; oat pudding.  At least the clearing took a dent in my shelves but will have to consider air tight containers.

And this pudding became a very moist, oaty recipe, discovered by mistake, beautifully resembling the bottom of an eve’s pudding and truly naughty.  I don’t make things like this often at all and seldom buy butter and sugar, but if you bake cakes for people on occasion, you’re often left with things that need using up, so it’s definitely a one off treat.

Recipe – SERVES 4

1 egg
50g butter
50g caster sugar
50g porridge oats
2 tbsp milk
0.5 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp golden syrup

Method

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar and mix in the egg.
  2. Stir in the mix and stir slowly
  3. Now mix in the oats and baking powder and set aside.
  4. In a large microwavable bowl, pour in the golden syrup and pour over the oat mixture and microwave for 3 minutes.
  5. Serve with custard or eat alone as I did, alongside a cup of tea to wash it down.

I hope this recipe can fix your craving, but once in a while, of course?

Love,
Tastefully Vikkie x

Syn Free Slimming World KFC Style Baked Chicken Fakeaway

Diet?  What diet?”

That’s right folks, it’s about time I shared this KFC style easy recipe.  When I first made this a couple of years ago, it was a wakening on how easy this recipe really is with some old bread and to be honest, whatever herbs and spices you want to use.  Even their more recent launch of KFC rice boxes may make you put your purse back in your bag and make something similar at home (or at least the pulled chicken anyway).  But, alas, it’s nice to have the options while you’re on the road if you want to stick to plan.Read More »