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In true spectacular fashion Dani found a product she loved and then the manufacturer changed it and it just isn’t as good anymore. That’s right. The Thai Green Curry I recently reviewed on my blog here has now had its recipe ‘improved’ only in my opinion the improvements suck!

Most noticeable changes are there is less spinach than in the original, it’s now a paltry amount and in the meal I tried was very bitty rather than being rich and vivid green like fresh spinach should be. They’ve also taken out the red pepper’s which were a gorgeous addition and added a little sweetness and swapped them for chunks of butternut squash, admittedly a vegetable I have never tried before and after trying it in this meal I am not sure I want to again. Thirdly and finally they seem to have changed the sauce and amount of chicken meaning your curry is slightly drier, slightly spicier and in my opinion slightly less enjoyable. 

As well as these changes the nutritional values have changed which in turn means the syn values have changed Sad smile The syn values are as follows:

7½ Syns per package/portion on Extra Easy

7½ Syns per package/portion on Green

13 Syns per package/portion on Original

 

The original was 6 syns and in my opinion was well worth it as an occasional treat, this new improved recipe won’t even get a look in now, especially not for 7.5 syns. Sorry Sainsbury’s but you’ve robbed me of my favourite meal and I really ain’t happy.

Ready meals are bad! They are evil! When your on a diet you shouldn’t be eating them! That seems to be the general consensus between people when they know your on a diet but they are wrong as I have shown before by blog posts about meals from Iceland not all convenience food is evil or bad for you. I have a new favourite Sainsbury’s Thai Green Chicken Curry which comes in a 400g pack and costs between £3 and £3.85 depending on the store (it’s regularly on promotion) and takes just 5.5 minutes in the microwave.

It’s described as Coriander chicken in a green Thai sauce with jasmine rice, baby leaf spinach, red peppers and sliced baby sweetcorn. Perfect for those of us on Extra Easy as it gives just the right proportions of Super free foods and free foods.

Due to the fact its quick, easy and affordable this quickly became a favourite in our house. I love the fact that it’s all cooked at the same time. I love spinach and there’s plenty in these meals. The rice is delicately flavoured and the baby corn and red peppers compliment the meal really well. The Thai green sauce is really tasty and you get just enough sauce in this meal too. Not too dry not too saucy, absolutely yummy.

Syns wise are as follows:

6 Syns per package/portion on Extra Easy

6 Syns per package/portion on Green

9 Syns per package/portion on Original

 

 

Picture courtesy of Sainsbury’s.

I could make excuses for this week, like the fact it’s been highly emotional and volatile and that I just turned to food for comfort but the truth is that yeah I had a rubbish week, yeah it wasn’t the best in any sense of the word apart from the fact it was. I went away for a few days and had a really nice time, I didn’t stick to plan and that showed when I gained 3.5lb at weigh in. Now had I stuck on plan and not eaten foods such as pizza, sweets, chocolate and burger and chips then I would be understandably upset but that isn’t the case. I took a week off, I ate bad food, I gained weight and I’m ok with it because I enjoyed my time off. That’s the great thing about Slimming World, it fits in with you. You can have days off or weeks off and then get straight back on it just like I have.

Red Pepper Houmous

I am a huge lover of houmous, I absolutely love it. A few crudités or a cheeky packet of crisps and I am in heaven. My favourites are red pepper or jalapeno. However, on Slimming World the syns are just so high!

Co-op Roasted Red Pepper Houmous, 1 level tbsp. – 2 syns on all plans

Waitrose Roasted Red Pepper Houmous, 1 level tbsp. – 2 syns on all plans

Sainsbury’s Roasted Red Pepper Houmous, chilled, 1 level tbsp. – 2 syns on all plans

 

So… I came up with a plan…. I would make my own houmous, then I would know exactly what went into it and would be able to make sure it wasn’t so high in syns! My first attempt ended up in the bin as I used raw garlic cloves and the taste was just too strong and bitter and left a horrible after taste but with a little bit of trial and error I came up with this beauty:

houmous

Ingredients:

1 Large can of chickpeas (in water/brine)

2 sweet red peppers, cut in half and deseeded

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

salt, pepper, paprika

1 tsp. Quark

1 tsp. Lemon juice

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C, spray a baking tray with Fry Light, place the sweet red peppers and garlic cloves on the baking tray and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until soft.

Drain the chickpeas and place in a bowl with the quark, lemon juice and seasoning. Add the now slightly roasted garlic and peppers and then using a hand mixer blitz into a smooth paste. Taste and then if necessary add a little more seasoning to personal taste.

Really simple, really easy and even better it’s syn free on Green and Extra Easy! Kept in a sealed container it should last at least a week in the fridge although in reality it will probably only last me a day or two!

Weigh In: Week Two

I wasn’t particularly hopeful for this week, it’s been tough. I’ve not felt completely happy with what I have eaten and I probably haven’t been 100% on plan either. However I must have kept myself in check and kept a control of what I have eaten somehow as I managed to lose 3.5lb! Taking my loss for the last 2 weeks to 10.5lb. I am hoping if I stick to plan I will get my stone award next week Smile Fingers crossed.

On the Slimming World plan you get something called ‘Healthy Extra’s’ these are a mix of calcium and fibre’s to ensure that you get enough of your recommended daily amounts each day. In your Slimming World book it lists a fair few of the healthy extra’s available and there’s also a full and extensive list on the Slimmingworld.com website.

 

However, if your like me; a faddy eater who has problems digesting dairy and some carbs such as bread then your Healthy Extra’s can be a real hassle to choose. Slimming World makes it really easy though as there is something in there for everyone.

My favourites at the minute are:

Healthy Extra A’s:

  • 42g Mozzarella
  • 3 Mini Babybel Light Cheeses
  • 250ml Alpro Soya Light Dairy Free Milk, sweetened

Healthy Extra B’s:

  • 57g Wholemeal Roll
  • Hifi Bars – the whole lot except the ones with pecans in lol!
  • 3 Pagan wholegrain rolls
  • 6 Ryvita Wholegrain crackerbread

You are allowed one of each A and B Choice when doing Extra Easy, the ones listed above are just my favourites and what I have to help me through. What are your favourites?

Week 1: The Results

After 1 week back on Slimming World I went for my first weigh in and was delighted with the results. From 20st 0.5lb to 19st 7.5lb in the space of a week meaning a loss of 7lb, half a stone! is fantastic and I am soooo chuffed Smile here is to next week Smile x

Heinz Mini Meals

minimeals

Whilst out shopping in Morrison’s on Friday I noticed a special offer on these little beauties. 4 tins for £2. Thinking they sounded quite nice I popped a couple in my trolley and away I went.

In the Mini Meals range there is:

  • BBQ Beans & Mini Sausages (not pictured)
  • Chicken & Sweetcorn Pasta Spirals
  • Tomato & Veggie Pasta Shells
  • Creamy Spaghetti Carbonara.

The tins are 200g in size. Have a handy ring pull lid and take just 2 minutes in the microwave so are fantastic for a quick lunch and are handy to take to work without having to worry about it spilling in your bag or if there is a tin opener at work!

I have tried the Chicken & Sweetcorn Pasta Spirals and have to say I was really surprised. Despite looking like a small tin I found there to be plenty of pasta inside, which was coated in a lovely creamy chicken soup with small pieces of chicken and some sweetcorn too. It was just enough for a lunch and I really enjoyed the meal, it was tasty and filling.

Syn’s wise for those of us on slimming world are as follows:

Mini Meals BBQ Beanz/Beans & Mini Sausages, canned, 200g can
2½ on Extra Easy, 9½ on Original and 2½ on Green.

Mini Meals Chicken & Sweetcorn Pasta Spirals, canned, 200g can
2 on Extra Easy, 8 on Original and 2 on Green

Mini Meals Tomato & Veggie Pasta Shells, canned, 200g can
Free on Extra Easy, 6½ on Original and Free on Green

Mini Meals Creamy Spaghetti Carbonara, canned, 200g can 
2 on Extra Easy, 6½ on Original and 2 on Green

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This dish is perfect for those of you on Original or Extra Easy days, but the creamy tagliatelle would be perfect for those of you on a Green day too. Not only is it easy to make, but it tastes bloody gorgeous too!

I marinated some chicken thighs in my tasty marinade which was made from a teaspoon of chicken Bovril, a pinch of mixed herbs, 10 drops of Worcestershire sauce, 3 drops of tobasco, a sprinkle of garlic granules, chilli powder and turmeric. Add some soy sauce (approx. 50ml) and mix into a paste. Skin the chicken portions and coat in the paste, then place on a baking tray and bake on a high heat until cooked through. (I used 200 degree Celsius for around 25 minutes)

Now I am a little naughty when it came to making my tagliatelle. I used syns! *shock horror* I took 4 large spring onions and sliced them thinly then gently fried them in 10g of Lurpak’s New Garlic Butter which is 3.5 syns per the 10g. (You could just fry them in FryLight and add your own garlic to save on the syns but I wanted to try the butter) Whilst gently frying the spring onions I boiled one nest of tagliatelle in some boiling water for approx. 8 minutes until cooked. (Cooking times may vary depending on brand, make sure you buy dried tagliatelle, fresh pasta is not syn free!) When the spring onions were cooked through I added a large handful of fresh spinach to the pan, allowing it to wilt whilst i drained the pasta. I returned the drained pasta to it’s pan, tipped in the spinach and spring onion mixture, half a tin of sweetcorn and then 40g of Philadelphia Light Sweet Chilli flavour (3 syns) mixing thoroughly until the cream cheese had coated all the pasta, and the sweetcorn, spinach and spring onions were evenly distributed.

This was a simple and easy, perfect meal for one. The syns on EE are 6.5 but you could lower these by using Frylight if you wish. I really enjoyed this meal it was filling and tasty and spinach is definitely a food for this summer and it’s a speed food too!

Step One

Today I took a big step, without telling anybody what I was planning, I got up and set off for town to my old Slimming World group. I hadn’t really been since October, other than the odd 2 or 3 visits and I was letting myself go. I kept telling myself, I will start again next week, I will do it from home. Truth is I just kept putting it off and I couldn’t do it alone, but I was too ashamed to admit I’d let myself beat me. Sad smile 

 

Well today I re-joined. I stood on the scales and watched as it flashed up “20 stone 0.5lb” I’ve gained 1stone 6lb in total. My clothes still fit the same but I could tell in myself that I had put weight on. Not only was my fitness suffering but my mood was too and I have spent many a day in the last few weeks tearful and on edge.

 

So that is it. I am back on track, back on slimming world. I am hoping to lose 4lb next week. That will take me back to having lost 6 stone exactly.

 

The group I attend is fantastic and I need them for more than just the weight loss support. So many of them have become friends. Friends that I have missed.

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