Grilled Turkey Burger with Marabel and Sweet Potato Fries

Monday, June 25, 2012

Do you remember about 10 years ago when everybody seemed to have been bitten by the low-carb bug?

Fast food joints all over America were turning out big honkin' all beef patties glistening with fat, smothered in cheese, mustard and ketchup coddled in lettuce boats.

Well, that was the inspiration behind this turkey burger. Not that much inspiration is needed to leave the bun behind and just have the meat, but still.

I follow Slimming World's Extra Easy plan and had started my morning with two pieces of wholemeal toast and melted cheese. Both my A and B Healthy Extras were spoken for for the day, but I still wanted a burger without any syns. The ultra lean turkey burger with grilled bacon and grilled onions was born. Served with a syn-free portion of Marabel and sweet potato oven fries and one of those cute little throwback lettuce boats.
groceries...

For the turkey burgers:
500g turkey mince (ground turkey)
4 rashers smoked lean bacon
1/2 onion
iceberg lettuce
1/4tsp garlic granules
1/4tsp oregano
1/4tsp parsley
1/4tsp mustard powder
1/4tsp Worcestershire sauce
drizzle of low-fat vinaigrette dressing
pinch salt and pepper

For the Marabel and sweet potato fries:
6 small Marabel potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes
low-calorie cooking spray
salt



alright, let's cook:

For the burgers, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the mince with the garlic granules, oregano, parsley, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning. Form into patties and set aside while the grill warms and prepare the onion by slicing it. When the grill is warm enough cook each patty until cooked through. Set aside and cover with foil and simultaneously grill the bacon and the onions.

For the fries, peel and cut the sweet potatoes and the Marabel potatoes. Arrange on one or two paper-lined cookie sheets. Spray with low-calorie cooking spray and bake at 200C/400F for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove and salt liberally and return to the oven. There's no need to turn them over, but you can if you want to. Continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through.

To serve, lay a bed of lettuce on the plate and place a turkey patty on top followed by one rasher of bacon and the grilled onions. Repeat if necessary for double or triple burgers. Drizzle liberally with low-fat vinaigrette and serve the well-seasoned fries on the side.

Note: of course, you can serve the burgers traditionally with buns and condiments if you want to.  

Five Minute Raspberry & Rosemary Sorbet

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tangy raspberries sing summertime. They're quintessential summer fruits: plump and bursting with juice and a slight sourness. I love them when they've made into a sauce, when they've been dried and stuck a top chunks of smooth white chocolate and especially when they've been incorporated into a heat-quenching cool sorbet or ice cream.

This is a  perfect summery recipe--versatile, a crowd pleaser and super fast! This sorbet is a healthy alternative to ice cream and is kind to your waistline. What's more, it's completely free on Slimming World's Extra Easy plan and it's ready for the freezer in less than five minutes!

groceries...

For the raspberry and rosemary sorbet:
1/4tsp rosemary, dried or fresh
1tbsp Truvia, no calorie sugar substitute
350g frozen raspberrie
450g Activia 0% Fat Free raspberry yogurt

alright, let's cook:


For the sorbet, put the frozen raspberries, yogurt, sugar substitute and rosemary into a food process.

Pulse for a few minutes until just incorporated and smooth. Decant into shallow, freezer-friendly container. Freeze for at least an hour and serve when it is semi-soft. 

nutrition...

Servings: 4
Amount Per Serving 
Calories:                  102.1
Total Fat:                 0.6g
Cholesterol:            0
Sodium:                  100mg
Total Carbs:           19.5g
Dietary Fiber:       9.1g
Protein:                 6.6g
Vitamin B-12:        63%

Oriental Chicken & Wild Rice Summer Salad

Thursday, June 14, 2012

This salad is surprisingly layered with flavors. When I first came across the recipe in this month's Slimming World magazine, I felt skeptical, but decided to give it a go anyway, with a few minor adjustments.

The best thing about this in terms of flavor is the sharp, soy-sauce based dressing. The best thing about it in terms of my waist is that it is free on Slimming World's Extra Easy plan.

The whole meal (rice & dressing) takes about half an hour to prepare, if you use pre-cooked chicken. Perfect as a light summer dinner or leftovers for a speedy lunch!


Strawberries Three Ways: Crumble, Pavlova, Souffle

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

'Tis the season to eat berries, yum yum yum yum yum, yum yum yum yum... I've always been a lover of strawberries, in fact, unlike most kids, my parents never had to beg me to eat my fruit (and veggies, too). I have fond memories of engorging on big helpings of fruit salad from the buffets of many American family restaurants growing up.

But it wasn't until I moved to England and experienced a proper English summer, buckets of rain and all, that I truly fell head over heels in love with strawberries. I've developed a taste for strawberries in things, baked until warm and soft, doused with sweet golden bits of crumble or foamy in a souffle or decadent as they come, fresh from the bush lain on top of a crisp meringue.

Since it's the season for these amazing little fruits and since I have a backlog of posts, I've decided to give you a three-for-one: a trifecta of treats for the next time you have a punnet of strawberries in your fruit basket. We'll look at an easy low-syn or syn free pavlova topped with strawberries and honeydew melon for my Slimming World buddies, a rich strawberry and rhubarb souffle for date night and a comforting and moreish strawberry and cherry crumble.
groceries...

For the syn-free strawberry and honeydew melon pavlova:
3 egg whites
3 tbsp Truvia, no calorie sugar substitute (syn free), plus extra for macerating fruit
1 small tub Weight Watcher's West Country cream (optional; 1 syn per serving)
2 punnets of fresh strawberries, quartered and macerated in Truvia
1 small honeydew melon, balled and macerated in Truvia

For the strawberry and cherry crumble:
1 punnet strawberries, halved
1 punnet cherries, pitted
2 tbsp Truvia or 4tbsp granulated sugar
2tbp water
2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
dash Vanilla
crumble topping either pre-packaged or homemade
 if homemade:
 1/2 cup plain/all-purpose flour
2 1/2 oz brown sugar
2 1/2 oz softened butter

For the strawberry and rhubarb souffle:
500g rhubarb, roughly chopped
2tbsp Chambord raspberry liqueur
1/2 punnet of fresh strawberries, quartered
1 oz unsalted butter, melted
5 1/2 oz caster sugar
3 egg whites




 
alright, let's cook:

For the strawberry and honeydew melon pavlova, wash and quarter 2 punnets worth of strawberries and allow to macerate in Truvia (or granulated sugar) in the fridge. Using a melon baller, scoop out the contents of one small honeydew melon and allow to macerate in Truvia or granulated sugar as well. Macerate the fruit in separate bowls. Macerate overnight or for at least two hours.

For the meringue, whisk three egg whites until soft peaks form, taking care not to get any yolk in the whites. Once you have soft peaks, slowly whisk in the Truvia or sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking all the while. Continue to do this, tablespoon by tablespoon until stiff peaks form.

Shape the egg whites onto a parchment-lined, heavy-bottomed cookie sheet and bake at 140C for 90 minutes. Once 90 minutes has elapsed, turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside, allowing the oven to cool completely before opening.

Once cooled, pour over the cream or spray with squirty cream (if using) and arrange the fruit on top. Cut into triangular slices and serve.

For the strawberry and cherry crumble, simmer the cherries and strawberries over a medium heat in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, in a separate container, combine the water and the flour together using a whisk.  Set aside. Pour Truvia or sugar over the fruit in the pan along with the vanilla essence and continue to cook for about a minute or two. Add the flour and water paste and allow to thicken slightly before tipping out into a lightly greased baking dish.

If using pre-made crumble, just tip the contents of the packet onto the fruit. If not, rub in butter with the remaining flour and brown sugar until a crumble-like consistency forms. Then pour over the fruit and bake at 200C for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

For the strawberry and rhubarb souffle, combine the strawberries and the Chambord in a bowl and allow to macerate for an hour. Place the rhubarb and strawberries in a saucepan with 3 oz of the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered until soft and sticky. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar bit by bit and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.

Place the fruit mixture into a large bowl and gently whisk 1/3 of the egg whites in by hand. Incorporate the rest of the egg whites into the fruit with a metal spoon. Half fill each rammekin with the mixture then place four slices of strawberries in the rammekin before filling to the top. Smooth the mixture with a palette knife and bake in a bain marie at 180C for 10 minutes. Dust with icing/confectioner's sugar and serve.