It's been three weeks since I posted about my weight loss journey so I thought I better start sharing some meal ideas as I said I would! I'm going to start with main meal ideas as I have the most time to put into cooking evening meals so I tend to have more ideas in this category. I also plan to write posts on low syn snacks and packed lunch ideas though so stay tuned for those.
Usually, eating healthily means having a portion of meat or fish with a plate of veg and to be honest, I couldn't have stayed on plan for so long if that's what I was having to eat. That would bore me silly. I like to have sauce based meals like bolognese, curry etc with lots of wholemeal carbs! They fill me up and make me feel satisfied so I'm often reaching for those foods. The good thing is you can add lots of veg to those meals too. They are also the kind of meals you can make in batch so that you have enough for other nights or what I like to do is take them into work to heat up in the microwave for lunch.
My favourite meal has to be pasta bolognese as it's super easy to make and tastes delicious. It's syn-free too! I couldn't find a photo of it on a plate so this is my bolognese on day 2 where I've taken it into work for lunch.
- 400g pack of extra lean mince
- 400ml carton of passata
- Half a pack of button mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon of Worcester sauce
- 1 teaspoon of Oregano
- A squeeze of tomato puree
- 1 beef Oxo cube.
- Frylight (1 cal) spray
- Salt and black pepper.
- Spray a frying pan with a few squirts of Frylight and heat the pan up.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and slightly brown off
- Add the mushrooms to the pan for a few mintues
- Add all of the mince to the pan and break up into small pieces. Fry until cooked. I like to brown it off.
- Meanwhile boil the kettle to add around 280ml of boiling water to the crumbled Oxo cube.
- Transfer the frying pan contents to a large saucepan.
- Pour into the saucepan the Oxo stock and the passata and give it a good stir.
- Start heating the saucepan on a low heat.
- Add the tomato puree, oregano, Worcester sauce, salt and pepper (to taste) and stir again.
- Once all of the ingredients are in the pan, I let it simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.
- I like to serve this with wholemeal pasta and I sprinkle grated grand padano cheese on top using my dairy allowance for the day.
- When I'm feeling like my meals are getting too same-y I take a look on Pinterest for ideas and found it to be really helpful. Just search for 'Slimming World', or click here ;)
- A website I've found through looking at images on Pinterest is Slimming Eats. They gave me the ideas for the Tuna Pasta Bake and Sweet Chilli Chicken (below).
- I've been loving a book I bought from my Slimming World group for £4.95 called Slimming World's Little Book of Sauces as I love the Rogan Josh recipe. I've been adding prawns to mine and it's the best curry I've ever had! It's got a good range of English, Indian, Eastern and Mediterranean recipes that go great with meat, pasta, rice etc.
- The Slimming World website also has a lot of recipes that you can access even if you're not a member. I think you may get access to more if you're logged in though so if you are a member don't forget to do that in case you are missing out. The recipes accessible to all can be found here.
More Meal Ideas
Tuna Pasta Bake - this is an adapted version of the one from Slimming Eats (link). I don't add the cherry tomatoes, parsley or sugar and I don't necessarily use a yellow pepper. I tend to use green but that doesn't really matter! I also add sweetcorn and sliced button mushrooms to mine as well as using a reduced fat mature cheddar rather than mozzarella. It's really tasty and syn-free since I don't use the sugar and the cheese is within my dairy allowance.
Sweet Chilli Chicken - I follow the recipe from Slimming Eats (link) but I use chicken breast fillets rather than drumsticks. This is sooo nice! I tend to serve it with wholemeal rice and some veg like those microwaveable carrot and broccoli bags. It's good because you can pour some of the leftover sauce over the veg to make it extra tasty. This one contains a few syns per portion but I don't mind doing that a few times a week. I do generally like to have syn-free meals where I can though to allow myself more treats after mealtimes!
Prawn Rogan Josh - I make my Rogan Josh based on the recipe from the book above. I'm not sure I'm allowed to post the recipe so unfortunately you will need to look at the book if you want to make it but I actually think paying the £4.95 just for this recipe was worth it! I have used it for other things though and plan to use it a lot more but you know what I mean :)
Bacon cheeseburger with Slimming World chips and salad - yes, you can even have burger and chips on this plan. That's what makes it so amazing! I've only had the burger once since I've been on Slimming World but I would like it again sometime soon as it was delicious. There are various burger recipes here and the chips recipe is here. The only syn on the plate above was 1 syn for the ketchup so I still had syns left for chocolate! You wouldn't think I was on a 'diet'!
Mushy Pea Curry - sounds disgusting but actually tastes delicious. This is a really simple one to make too. I just used a tin of baked beans, a tin of mushy peas and a tin of chopped tomatoes. You then add curry powder to taste (I used around 2 dessert spoons of hot curry powder) and you can add any veg you want. I went with green beans but you could add loads of different things to this. You could also add meat/quorn if you fancied. I served mine with chips but I've had it with rice too.
Chinese Curry Sauce, Egg Fried Rice, 'Spring Rolls' and Chips - Before Slimming World, I had a chinese EVERY Saturday so I decided to try and make a Slimming World version. Yeah I haven't made any fancy dishes but that can be done if that's something you want. The chips are made using the recipe I linked above, the curry sauce was made using Maykway Curry Sauce (hot version) so I had to use a few syns for this, the rice was just boiled wholemeal rice that I popped into the frying pan with frylight and whisked eggs. The 'spring rolls' were made using dried canneloni tubes available from the pasta section of the supermarket which were boiled until soft then I stuffed them with a pack of pre packed stir fry ingredients (beansprouts, cabbage, carrot etc). You then spray them with frylight and pop in the oven until golden brown and crispy. They are pretty nice when you cover them in the curry sauce.
Quick Meal Ideas
One of the quickest meals I make is a jacket potato done in the microwave with baked beans. I think I've sickened myself on those for a little while so I've tried to find alternatives but they are definitely a very filling option that can be made quickly. Other fillings could be tuna and sweetcorn, prawns, leftover bolognese, chilli con carne etc.
Linda McCartney Red Onion and Rosemary Sausages - these are available in the freezer section of the supermarket and they taste really nice. They are great for when you need something fast. I tend to have these after my Slimming World class when I get in at 9pm and can't be bothered to cook anything from scratch. They are syn-free too.
Subway salads - This is probably the only low-syn / syn-free food I can have from outside! These are a bit of a lifesaver when you want something fast and can't be bothered to cook. It's stopped me from having a takeaway a few times. Obviously it doesn't compare in the slightest but if you're willing to use a few syns, getting the sauce added makes it a little treat. The syn-free meat options tend to be the low fat sub ones like chicken breast, turkey and ham, etc but definitely check this before ordering. Also, the more creamy the sauce, the more syns it is likely to have!
Slimming World Update
I thought I'd add a quick update at the end of this post so you know how I'm getting on. I'm in my 11th week now so I've had 10 weigh ins. I've had 'Slimmer of the Week' 3 times so far. I've had my 'half stone' and 'stone awards' as well as my 'club 10' (10% of my original body weight lost). My total weight loss is at 20 lbs so I'm hoping to lose at least 1 lb this week so I can get my '1 and a half stone' award!
Hope this post has been useful. I'd love to hear what healthy (or low syn) meals you like to eat, whether you're on Slimming World or not.