Monday, 8 January 2018

Instant Pot Easy Chicken Casserole

Serves 4

Syns Per Serving : 2 Syns 

Low calorie spray oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
2 x 600gm packs Asda Casserole Vegetables 
2 x chicken stock pots, made up to 500ml
Dried mixed herbs
8tsp Bisto Best chicken gravy granules (8 Syns)

1. Press the Sauté button on the pressure cooker. Spray with low calorie spray oil and add the chicken. Cook for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until lightly browned all over.

2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the gravy granules. Cancel the Sauté function and put the lid on. Make sure that the release valve is set to Sealed, press the Manual (High) button and set the time to 20 minutes. Press Start. 

3. Once the cooking time has finished, allow natural release for 10 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure and remove the lid. 

4. Press the Sauté button again, sprinkle in the gravy granules and mix well. Allow to simmer for around 5 minutes until the gravy has thickened. Serve.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

Serves 4

Syns Per Serving : 1 Syn

Low calorie spray oil
1lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tsp freshly grated ginger
4tbsp passata
4tbsp light soy sauce
2tbsp cider vinegar
1tbsp runny honey (2.5 Syns)
Fresh pineapple, cut into small pieces
1tbsp cornflour (1 Syn)

1. Switch on Instant Pot and press Sauté button. Spray the cooking pot with low calorie spray oil and add the chicken. Fry until lightly browned on all sides.

2. Add all of the other ingredients except for the pineapple and cornflour. Mix to combine.

3. Put the lid on and ensure the release valve is set to Sealed. Cancel Sauté mode, press Manual on High Pressure and set the time to 7 minutes. Press Start.

4. Once finished, allow a Natural Pressure Release for 5 minutes before carefully opening the release valve & releasing any remaining pressure.

5. Press Sauté button once more. Mix the cornflour with a little bit of water and add to the cooking pot. Mix well. Sauté for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

6. Switch off the pot, stir in the pineapple and serve immediately.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4

Syns Per Serving : Syn Free

For the meatloaf:
500gm lean minced beef, less than 5% fat
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 medium egg, beaten

For the mashed potatoes:
3lb white potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
250ml vegetable stock

1. Place the potatoes in the bottom of the Instant Pot with the vegetable stock. Lay the rack that comes with your pot over the top of the potatoes so that it lays flat.

2. In a bowl mix together all of the meatloaf ingredients and squeeze together into a loaf shape. Place on a piece of tinfoil. Shape the tinfoil up and around the edges of the meatloaf, creating a dish for it. Place the meatloaf in the foil on top of the rack in the pressure cooker and secure the lid.

3. Ensure that the steam release is closed and set pressure cooker to Manual for 25 minutes. Once it has finished cooking, use the quick release method to let the steam escape. 

4. Carefully lift the meatloaf out of the pressure cooker and cut into slices. Drain the potatoes and then return them to the cooking pot to mash. Serve the mash with the meatloaf.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Instant Pot Bolognese Pasta

Serves 4

Syns Per Serving : Syn Free

Low calorie spray oil
400gm lean minced beef, less than 5% fat
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
Frozen chopped garlic to taste
400gm can chopped tomatoes
500gm carton passata
400ml beef stock
1tbsp dried Italian mixed herbs
500gm pack dried pasta shapes

1. Select Sauté or Browning on your pressure cooker and allow it to heat up.

2. Spray the Pressure Cooker cooking pot with low calorie spray oil and add the minced beef. Break into pieces with a wooden spoon as you brown the mince. After a couple of minutes, add the onion and garlic and sauté until the mince is browned all over.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Press down on any pasta sticking up out of the sauce with a wooden spoon, adding a little more water if necessary to ensure all the pasta is submerged.

4. Lock on the lid and close the Pressure Valve. 

5. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When the beep sounds, allow a 5 minute natural release, then very carefully do a quick release to release any remaining pressure. Stir well and serve. 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Rich Beef Casserole

Serves 4

Syns Per Serving : 2 Syns 

500gm lean diced beef
500gm bag carrots, peeled and sliced
2 x parsnips, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
1 small swede, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 x rich beef stock pots, dissolved in 1.2ltr boiling water
40gm Bisto gravy powder, mixed with a little cold water (5 Syns)
30gm Bisto Best beef gravy granules (5 Syns)

1. Brown off the diced beef and add it to the slow cooker pot.

2. Add all of the vegetables and the stock and cook on low for around 8 hours.

3. About an hour before serving, stir in the gravy powder and granules and turn the slow cooker to high to allow the gravy to thicken. Serve with your choice of Syn Free vegetables and potatoes.

You could leave out the gravy powder and granules to make this casserole Syn Free, but personally I don't like a watery casserole. I would rather use a couple of Syns and enjoy a rich, thick casserole instead.

Oxo Roasties

Serves 4

Syns Per Serving : Syn Free

8-10 white potatoes
1 Oxo stock cube, made up to 300ml with boiling water
Low calorie spray oil

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 7.

2. Peel the potatoes and cut each one into 2 or 3 pieces depending on their size.

3. Par boil the potatoes for 5 minutes. Drain and then shake the pan with a lid on to rough up the edges.

4. Tip the potatoes into a deep roasting tin. Pour the stock into the tin (it should come about half way up the potatoes). Spray the tops of the potatoes with low calorie spray oil.

5. Cook the potatoes for about 1hr until the stock has evaporated and the tops of the potatoes are crispy. Do not turn the potatoes whilst they are cooking or you will end up with soggy potatoes!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Malaysian Red Pepper and Chicken Curry

Serves 4

Syns per serving : Negligible

400ml chicken stock
2 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp cider vinegar
¼ tsp sweetener
2 tbsp medium curry powder
1 level tbsp cornflour (1 Syn)
Low calorie cooking spray
4 large skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 red peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
2.5cm piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 small red onions, peeled and quartered
2 tomatoes, quartered
6 spring onions, finely sliced

1. In a large bowl, whisk the stock, soy sauce, tomato purée, vinegar, sweetener, curry powder and cornflour. Set aside.

2. Spray a wok or large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

3. Wipe the pan with kitchen paper and re-spray with low calorie cooking spray. When hot, stir-fry the peppers for 2-3 minutes then stir in the ginger and stir-fry for a further 30-40 seconds.

4. Pour in the stock mixture, return the chicken to the pan and add the onions and tomatoes. Cook, stirring continuously, for 10-12 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is hot.

5. Scatter over the spring onions and serve immediately.