Restaurant review

So you all know I love food! Well good food. Indian is one of my favourites. We’ve recently moved to a small village, its in the same town I’m from, but just a bit further out. There’s 2 pubs, a little supermarket, 1 Chinese take away, 1 fish & chip shop, then an Indian restaurant. It looks a bit like someone’s house from the outside! We’ve driven passed a few times, but never eaten there.

We don’t eat out a lot, mainly because I love to cook and I begrudge the syns when I can make it just as good and syn free. My husband however loves eating out, so I suggested trying it out tonight and he jumped at the chance!! I can cook a mean curry, but my favourite restaurant curry, I’ve yet to master to the same standard.

We hadn’t booked, we naively assumed it wouldn’t be very busy, being a village and early evening. How wrong were we, it seems everyone else already knew what we were about to discover.

Despite not booking, they fitted us in. The friendly waiters took us to our table and took our drinks order. They gave us enough time to peruse the menu. Even though I always have the same thing, I still like to read the entire menu! I try and predict what my hubster will order and sometimes I’ll try and influence him so I can try it 😉 Come on, you do the same don’t you girls. I also just like reading menus! Foodies do.

I always have either chicken rogan josh or dansak. These are both 10.5 syns for an average portion, which is 550g. I have boiled rice if doing ee, as this is a free food on Slimming World and then a side salad for my speed free foods. I’m a massive Dansak fan, I know exactly how I like it. This didn’t disappoint. I asked the waiter if I could have either zero oil, or a minimum amount. He said they would use as little as possible and the chef understands that some people want a healthier curry. We had a laugh about it, in other restaurants they’ve not been as accommodating. It either seems to offend them, or they simply refuse saying the chicken has already been soaked in oil!?! Or they’ll say ok, then it comes out swimming in it anyway! They were true to their word here. My husband ordered the desi chicken curry, rice and a chapati.

The curry came out in cute mini pans, the portion was deceptively generous!! The rice was as good as rice can be and the salad was amazing! It even had peas in it, which I loved!! The dansak was incredible. If you’ve never had a dansak, it’s a tomato based curry, with lentils and it has quite a kick. It should be fairly dry and quite thick. Some have pineapple in too, this one did. I’ve got high standards with my dansak and this one exceeded my expectations. It was thick, tasty, packed with really tender chucks of chicken breast and just the right amount of spice. I didn’t want it to end! I said to Chris, if I was at home I would’ve licked the bowl!!!! He was equally pleased with his curry, there was loads of chicken and it was the perfect level of chilli for him. He likes it really hot. Obviously I had to try his too, wow gorgeous!!!img_2601img_2600img_2602img_2603

 

You do feel a bit like your eating in someone’s living room, but it’s bigger inside than you think, I really liked it. It’s a really chilled atmosphere and the staff were so friendly, efficient and attentive. I had a small house red and Chris, a beer. He had poppadoms to start, with tons of beautiful sauces and pickles, plus my fav, the onion salad. I don’t have these, as a poppadom is 4 syns each, that’s without the sauces.

The bill came to £34, which was really good I thought. They do take aways too, there’s a 10% discount on these. We do t have dessert, but if you did want it they do all different flavours of gelato! Much better than some dessert menus in Indian restaurants.

So what’s it called!?! Shah’s. Their Facebook page is here. https://www.facebook.com/ShahsIndianRestaurantTakeAway/
Ignore any negative reviews, we loved it!!!!!!! It does have a good score, but I gave it 5/5 on my review. We did go early, so it wasn’t as busy as it would be at peak times, but from what we experienced, we’d both go back in a flash!!!

When I find somewhere I can eat out, I get so excited!! I normally leave feeling a bit underwhelmed, not tonight!!! They’ll be seeing a lot more of us now!! I can’t shut about it!!

Thanks for reading and if you go, I hope you enjoy.
For more info on eating out in Indian restaurants on Slimming World, read below. Happy Fopping xx

Creamy curries, rich rice dishes and non-stop poppadoms – a night in an Indian restaurant can amount to staggeringly high Syns (and that’s not including the lager to help it down!). But it’s not all bad news for your baltis; there are loads of tikka-tastic ways to enjoy a Food Optimising feast, Indian-style.

The basis for most curries is ghee (clarified butter); the addition of oil and cream is why the Syns start soaring. Indian dining doesn’t have to be a Syn slip-up however. Great options include dishes that come minus the creamy sauce, eg tandoori chicken (marinated in spices and yogurt) and rice dishes such as biryani (meat/vegetables mixed with rice).

Tandoori tips
Starters/side orders – curry accompaniments such as naan bread are a whopping 20 Syns each on average – popping a poppadom saves 16 Syns at just 4 Syns each. Low Syn dips include onion sambal (1 level tbsp is ½ Syn), cucumber raita (1 Syn for a level tbsp), lime pickle (1 level tbsp 1½ Syns) and mango chutney (1 level tbsp 2 Syns).
Chicken dishes – fab for a filling main, Chicken dhansak is 10½ Syns* on Extra Easy. Chicken jalfrezi is 13 Syns*, chicken vindaloo is 12 Syns* and chicken tandoori is 9½ Syns*.
Vegetable dishes – vegetable jalfrezi is 10½ Syns*, vegetable curry is 12½ Syns*, Gobi Aloo Saag is 12 Syns*and vegetable biryani 15 Syns*.
*For an average serving

Member Brian Semple has a top tip for eating out, Indian style.

Whenever I go for an Indian I ask for my meal to be ghee-free. No-one has ever said it can’t be done and it tastes just as good!
While these are some of the lower Syn Indian options, to enjoy a real slap-up Food Optimising feast, fill up on heaps of salad as an accompaniment to your dishes. An average portion of pilau rice is 2½ Syns, you can enjoy piles of boiled basmati rice for Free!

Watch out for… high-Syn starters such as meat samosas (2 small ones are 12½ Syns) and onion bhajis (8½ Syns each).

See the sw website for tons of syn free curry recipes.

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Creamy garlic and mushroom mustard sauce

Hi all this is the quick and simple recipe for my amazing creamy garlic mushroom sauce. It’s stunning with steak, chicken or beef.

Pan fry onions, leeks and mushrooms in garlic fry light, or regular fry light and garlic.  I prefer the fry light as it’s super quick!!! Mix together chicken stock, a tsp of mustard powder and a dollop of quark. Add to the onions, leeks and mushrooms and gently heat through on a low heat. Take about a minute! Add lots of pepper and spoon over your steak or chicken. Amaze and syn free!!!

This is steak was from  www.livelean.co.uk. Their chicken and steak is just fantastic quality and 100% British!!

Happy fopping and remember to tag me on social media if you re create it xx

Salted dark chocolate orange cake. Syn free

This cake was amazing!!! I’ve posted a similar recipe before with chocolate in. I wanted to keep this one syn free. Feel free to add choc shot or cocoa powder if you want a chocolatey cake. Pic of that cake is below.image

Read on for this one x

So you’ll need

4 x oat bran or scan bran. (Purchase in group, amazing for weight loss as packed with fibre and mega fillng) HEB, you’ll have one left to snack on as you get 5 as a b choice

3 tbs of stevia or sweetener

A capful or Valencia orange essence from tesco

A sprinkle of cinnamon (optional, mixed slice is nice or ginger too)

An egg

2 capfuls of trkg salted chocolate skinny syrup. Buy here
http://www.trkg.co.uk

You can use any flavouring you like.

1/2 cooked and mashed butternut squash &

Some boiling water

All you do is microwave half a bns, de seed, peel and mash. Will take about 15 minutes. Longer if needed.

Blitz up the 4 scan/oat bran and add boiling water. Just enough to cover it and soak it. It’ll all break down, tip out any excess water.

Add to a blender the bns, bran and all the other ingredients. Blend and pour in to a microwaveable tub. Microwave for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. You can oven bake too, which might be nicer, but I’m impatient!! I do a similar cake with oats too. Perfect after a work out with some fruit and fat free yogurt. You can also add grated carrot or courgette for speed food.

Enjoy and don’t forget to tag me if you re create it.

Happy Fopping xxx

 

 

Bean and roasted veg chilli

Bean and roasted veg chilli

A rich vegetable chilli packed with three types of beans, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes and delicious Tex-Mex flavours.

Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 Ready in: 30-60 mins
Syns per serving:FREE
sp Perfect for Extra Easy SP
Ingredients

Low calorie cooking spray
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 medium courgettes, roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 large bottled roasted red pepper in brine, drained and roughly chopped
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
1 heaped tsp ground coriander
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g cans mixed beans in water, drained
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 vegetable stock cube
75g cherry tomatoes
Large handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Valentines menu!

Valentines menu.

Hey all. So how amazing did my husband do this year!!! I was so impressed. It’s all sw friendly and tasted stunning!!! I’m such a lucky girl!!!

   
    
    
 If you want to recreate any of it, here you go!! There was loads left of the main and dessert, so had it for lunch today!

Starter:-

Salmon parcels.

This is simply prawns, dill, lemon juice, crab meat and either quark or low fat creme fraiche mixed together, the just wrap the smoked salmon around it to form a parcel. Serve with salad and lemon wedges. You’d need to syn creme fraiche where as quark is free.

The main:-

Ballotine of turkey with spinach & mushrooms with potato rosti and thyme jus.

Turkey Ballotine

4 turkey breasts, weighing about 200g each
8 slices of Parma ham (or any lean ham)
100g of spinach and mushrooms
salt

Rosti

4 large floury potatoes
2 egg yolks
1 sprig of fresh thyme
salt

Thyme jus

3 sprigs of fresh thyme
50ml of red wine vinegar
100ml of red wine
100ml of port
100ml of Madeira
650ml of beef stock

Whatever veg you like, we had green beans, baby carrots and cauliflower.

You’d need to syn the alcohol or find a syn free alternative. My hubby didn’t want to deviate from this recipe so does have a few syns.

1
Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Roll out a large piece of cling film on the work surface and place 2 pieces of Parma ham (more regular free ham) next to each other, slightly overlapping by about 1 cm

2
Butterfly 4 turkey breasts. Season with salt and beat it with a mallet until it reaches a thickness of 1cm. Lay out on top of the ham

3
Spray a hot pan with fry light add the spinach to wilt. Season well with salt. Remove the spinach and drain on kitchen paper. Divide the spinach into four portions, take one portion and arrange it in the centre of the turkey, running the length or the breast. He added mushrooms too and a I think garlic would be nice.

4
Roll the turkey up in the cling film to make a tight cylinder shape. Twist the ends tightly and, using two strips of cling film, tie off the ends. When all is secure and firm wrap in tin foil. Repeat 3 more times so you end up with 4 ballotines

5
Place the ballotine in a deep oven tray with enough water to be half way up the turkey. Cover with tin foil, place in the oven and cook till core temperature is 75˚C for about 30-45 minutes. Remove and allow to rest to re-heat before serving

6
To make the rostis, peel and coarsely grate the potatoes. Season with salt and leave for 5 minutes in a colander. Place the grated potato in a cloth and ring out the excess moisture. Place into a bowl with the egg yolks and thyme mixing together with your fingers until combined.

7
Place a frying pan on a medium heat. With the 8cm metal rings on a chopping board, press the rosti mix into the ring to come up 1cm in height. Add fry light and once hot, use a spatula to lift the rings of potato into the pan. Cook until the base is golden brown

8
Once coloured on the bottom, push the mix out of the ring. If it sticks, run a knife around the edges to loosen. Colour the other side of the rosti and put in a pre-heated oven at 180˚C/gas mark 4 for 8-10 minutes

9
Place a saucepan onto a medium heat and add the red wine vinegar. Reduce until they is very littel left in the pan. Repeat with the port and madeira before adding the beef stock and thyme. Reduce by 1/4 to a 1/3 or until you have the consistency of a jus. Pass through fine strainer and season to taste.

10
While the jus is reducing, bring a pan of water to the boil and blach the veggies until tender.

12
To serve, place the rosti on the plate first. Slice the turkey ballotine in half and present over the rosti. Add the veggies and finish with the hot jus.

Banoffee cheesecake

Serves: 10
Cook time: Ready in 30 minutes, plus colling and setting
Ready in: Over 60 Minutes
Syns per serving: 4

ingredients

60g low fat spread
10 reduced fat digestive biscuits
2 x 12g sachets powdered gelatine
250g quark
3 x 175g pots Muller Light Toffee yogurt (or any Free toffee yogurt)
1 tbsp sweetener
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites*
2 bananas
2 level tsp cocoa powder, to decorate
method

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5 and line a 20cm springform tin with non-stick baking parchment.
Melt the spread in a pan over a low heat
Meanwhile, put the biscuits in a sealable food bag, bash into fine crumbs with a rolling pin and tip into a bowl. Pour in the melted spread, stir well and spoon the mixture into the prepared tin to cover the base, pressing down evenly. Bake for 12-15 minutes then set aside to cool.
While the base is in the oven, dissolve the gelatine in 5 tablespoons of boiling water.
Put the quark in a bowl and whisk until smooth, then whisk in the yogurt, sweetener, vanilla and gelatine liquid.
Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the quark mixture.
Spoon the quark mixture over the biscuit base and smooth the surface with a palette knife. Chill for 4 hours or until set.
Release the pie from the tin and put the pie, still on its base if necessary, on a serving plate. Thinly slice the bananas and arrange neatly on top, then sprinkle with cocoa powder and slice to serve.
Tip: *Pregnant women, the elderly and babies are advised not to eat raw or partially cooked eggs.

Enjoy!!! Happy Fopping xxx