Google+ Forget dieting forever: August 2016

If you love cooking and experimenting with new recipes - you've come to the right place! Not only do we have delicious recipes - we also share our SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS story.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

EASY SUMMER SALAD

TOMATO, ONION AND FETA SALADIf you can chop vegetables you can make this EASY SUMMER SALAD in no time at all.  It's tasty, cheap and colourful…  as well as cheerful.
If you have time why not try this simple dressing, otherwise pick up a ready made dressing.
We love summer tomatoes as they are so juicy and flavoursome, plus they are quite cheap compared to the rest of the year when they are out of season.
The basic salad is tomato and red onion.  We chose to add FETA CHEESE which is also inexpensive, but use your own favourite cheese! Omit the cheese and you have a great side salad that will go with many dishes, especially spicy ones.
The onions took the longest - as we soaked them for 10 minutes while we prepared the rest of the ingredients.
Serve with some crusty bread and you have a very easy, simple summer salad.

TOMATO AND ONION SALAD
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 large tomato per person
Large red (or white) onion
For the dressing:
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
half teaspoon mustard
sugar or honey (add to your preferred taste)
chopped fresh herbs such as basil and oregano (or dried provencal herbs)
salt/pepper
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Slice the tomatoes and onion very thinly. We used a mandolin for our wafer thin onion slices.

Place the sliced onions into cold water for around 10 minutes, remove and pat dry.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together (double up on the quantity if you think you'll be using this again soon). Use whatever herbs you have - either dried or fresh. We used fresh basil and dried oregano today.  We love oregano for its sweetness, and if we usually have this dried herb to hand.

Arrange the tomatoes on a plate and top with the onions. Drizzle with the dressing and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes. 
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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

EASY PASTA DISH FOR ONE OR MORE

If you are looking for a quick and easy, colourful STUFFED PASTA dish for one - why not try this recipe.

Stuffed pasta shells
STUFFED PASTA SHELLSThe whole dish took around 15 minutes to make, and I thought the end result looked good enough to perhaps serve as a starter (2 or 3 conchiglie per person maybe with a bit of green salad on the side). I was very full after eating my way through 57 grams of dried pasta (around 8 pasta pieces).

The ingredients (serves 1):
35g grated cheese (I used Cheddar and Gruyere, but you could buy the ready grated mozzarella and Cheddar if you like
3 whole tomatoes chopped into dice
one whole garlic clove
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
small handful of spinach
1/4 bell pepper if you have one, finely chopped
spoonful of tomato puree
fresh basil
a good sprinkle of dried oregano if you have any (it's lovely and sweet)
salt & pepper
dried chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat as I do
and probably the most difficult item to source - large dried conchiglie pasta. I scoured the supermarkets nearby and eventually found mine in Waitrose.


Put the pasta into boiled water and while it's cooking, make the filling.
Begin by sautéing the chopped onion and pepper. Fry until soft then add the chilli flakes if using along with the minced garlic clove. Tip this mixture into a small saucepan with the chopped tomatoes, herbs, tomato puree, salt and pepper. If you want to you can deglaze the frying pan with a splash of red or white wine. If you don't do this then add a bit of water to the mixture. Simmer the filling for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Add the handful of spinach and let that wilt down for a minute or two.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly while you drain the cooked pasta. Season pasta with salt and pepper before adding the filling.  Put a little grated cheese in the bottom of each shell (helps the sauce stick), then spoon in the tomato and spinach filling. Finish with grated cheese and put under a grill until it melts.

You could add some chopped cooked chicken, ham, mushrooms etc to the filling as this is a very versatile recipe.


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