sticky peanut butter pork skewers: BBQ time

Just here for the peanut butter pork skewers? Don’t blame you, and the good news is that we’re going to go straight to the recipe! I, unsurprisingly, love a bit of pork: whether it’s bacon, ham or a good love-length, I’m all about it. Remember folks, buy the best meat you can afford in a dish like this, because it’ll make all the difference to your dinner!

Oh, before we do get to the recipe actually, I learned three animal facts today which I need to share:

  • queen bees carry the sperm of their suitors around inside them for months before fertilisation takes place: pfft, amateur. It only takes me about an hour before I’ve turned it into more moustache;
  • the baby of a horse is a foal – up until today, I would have told you entirely seriously that a baby horse is a pony. Apparently not, and every single person I’ve asked about this have looked at me as though I’m touched in the head and said ‘foal’ really, really slowly. Harumph; and
  • if a cow comes running towards you, the best line of attack that you have is to punch it square in the face as hard as you can – now I know this because I’m terrified of the cows on the town moor and they’re back for a fifth year. I can tolerate them if they stay at the other end of the town moor crapping all over the cycle path but recently they’ve become bold and started staying on the path. You better believe that if they come charging towards me with swishy tails and shitty arses, they’re going to get a left hook

Fucin sick of dis fat cow showin off her titz at ma man fukn foamin

A post shared by twochubbycubs (@twochubbycubs) on

Actually no, let’s be honest, there’s going to be about twenty seconds of screaming and flailing and power-mincing on my behalf, then they’ll bugger off to literal pastures new. I’m thinking I might use the punch defence when Paul gives me his come to bed eyes when I’m not in the mood, although, with his home and away eyes, it’s hard to tell whether he’s coming onto me or having a seizure.

Let’s do the recipe for the peanut butter pork skewers, what what.

sticky peanut butter pork skewers

sticky peanut butter pork skewers

sticky peanut butter pork skewers

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 10 skewers

We all love satay recipes - people LOVE our chicken and beef satay recipes so we thought we'd do a pork one too - and this recipe for sticky peanut butter pork skewers is PERFECT for the barbecue! 

Looking for a side to go with this? Make a big batch of our lemon, garlic and oregano potatoes!

We know the syn value might shock you a bit but trust us - this one is definitely worth it! And, it's only 4 syns a skewer (less if you reduce it a bit) - have one of these with loads of other BBQ stuff and you'll still have plenty of syns left. They're there to be used!

Ingredients

  • 750g pork fillet, cut into chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 red chilli
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 60ml lime juice
  • 200g crunchy reduced fat peanut butter (40 syns)
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated

Instructions

  • cut the pork into skewer-size chunks
  • next, chuck everything else into a food processor and blend until nearly smooth (a few small chunks is fine) - be prepared to add a little water to thin it out if it's too thick
  • slop the mixture into a bowl and add the pork chunks, and give a really good mix
  • cover with clingfilm and leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes
  • skewer the pork chunks - we reckon you should get about 10, especially if you chuck some peppers on the skewers too
  • cook over the barbecue for a few minutes each side, or under a hot grill

Notes

  • look - we know that 40 syns is a lot BUT remember that this makes LOADS - and it's totally worth it! It's a PROPER satay that's sticky AND crunchy! 
  • you can reduce the syns if you like by adding some veg and making it go further, or use less peanut butter (it won't be as nice though) 
  • we cooked these on the barbecue but you can do them under a hot grill too
  • if you're using wooden skewers remember to soak them first to stop them burning. We always prefer metal skewers as they help to cook the meat better - we used these ones from Amazon
  • make easy work of the garlic with one of these Microplane graters!

Courses BBQ

Cuisine BBQ

Seriously, it’s worth spending the syns on. It’s gorgeous. If you want more satay or BBQ recipes, then of course we can help!

Seriously, if there’s not something in there to satisfy you, you’re beyond saving!

J

creamy Thai red chicken curry packed with veg

Creamy thai red chicken curry – look, it’s a bit of a ‘cheat’ meal in that it uses curry paste but so what, it’s better than a slap in the face with a wet willy, no? And look – no preamble this time, we’re going to go straight in. Unlubed. Pucker up.

Actually, before we get to the recipe – just a quick reminder (and you’ll see these for the next few weeks!):

If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or nonsense and only if you can afford to donate a couple of quid, please do! The response has been absolutely phenomenal and honestly, nothing but a massive thank you for both me and Paul to all those who have chipped in. Every last penny goes to Bryson’s Animal Shelter. Please do forgive us our advertising – but it’s for a good cause!

Right! Recipe. Let’s do this. This makes enough for four, serve with rice.


to make creamy Thai red chicken curry you will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips (get some hefty ones from our Musclefood pack!) 
  • 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste (4.5 syns)
  • 2 small courgettes, halved lengthways and then sliced
  • 2 red peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 red onion, quartered and then sliced
  • 400g tin light coconut milk (14 syns)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander (optional)

to make creamy Thai red chicken curry you should:

  • heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat
  • add the chicken and cook for about three minutes, stirring frequently
  • add the curry paste, courgette, pepper, carrot and onion to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes
  • whisk together the coconut milk and cornflour until dissloved, then add to the pan
  • bring the mix to the boil then reduce to a simmer over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened
  • if using (we didn’t, because it’s rank), stir in the chopped coriander at the end
  • eat!

Still hungry? Just click one of the buttons below to get more recipes!

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J

thai chicken dipping balls – excellent taster night idea

Thai chicken dipping balls. Every time I say the title, it sounds filthier than the last. Don’t care. Listen, we weren’t going to post tonight as dearest Paul decided to crash his car (he’s fine, my wallet isn’t) but Musclefood called us to give us another discount – but only for 24 hours. So for crying out loud, if you want some cheap meat, get it now. Hopefully you dear readers will forgive us an advert right off the bat but it’s rare we do it and it’s only because it’s a flash sale that we’re sticking it in. If you don’t want to even look, click here and it’ll go straight to the recipe! See? Considerate!


Right, details are as below – Musclefood are giving us a 15/20% discount on our three main packages – you can see below the various offers and the links are here – they’ll open in a new window:

We’ve got syn values and more details on our Musclefood page but remember, this is a flash sale that’ll end tomorrow night – so get it whilst its hot!

Right, shall we get straight to my balls? We’ve made these because they’re an easy alternative to the usual stuff trotted out at taster nights, but actually, they make for a bloody good snack too as they keep in the fridge! We’re the gift that keeps on giving, no?

chicken dipping balls

chicken dipping balls

to make Thai chicken dipping balls you will need:

to make Thai chicken dipping balls you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200°c
  • put the chicken breasts into a food processor and blitz until they have a mince-like consistency (you can actually just use 500g chicken mince if you prefer, but doing it this way with breasts makes for a nicer taste and texture)
  • next, combine all of the ingredients together in a big bowl
  • spray a large baking sheet with a little oil (don’t strip away the coating by using Frylight, use this instead and get the job done properly)
  • scoop out a tablespoon-sized ball of mixture and roll into a ball and place on the baking sheet, and then repeat
  • bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes
  • serve with whatever dipping sauce you like, we used sweet chilli!

Don’t dip your balls enough? Try your luck with us – and get making anything in the recipe lists below!

poultrysmallfakeawayssmall    snackssmall tastersmall

J

caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice

I bet you’ve stumbled here expecting caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice? Makes sense, given the title, and look, you’ve only have to scroll through a few paragraphs to get there. Can I share something that I’ve learned over the weekend? There’s nothing quite as stressful as trying to give a cat medicine that he doesn’t want to take. I’d sooner run into a burning building and have a boxing match with a drunk Hartlepudlian woman than go through this again. He needs to take it because he’s had an allergic reaction to something and is pulling out his fur, the poor bugger. Naturally, because we’re caring sorts, we rushed him to the vets, handed over a billion pounds to the absolutely dishy trainee vet behind the counter (oh! to be a cow in difficult labour!) and were given a course of tiny pills to give to the cat, who would ‘eat them with no fuss, all cats do’.

Like hell they do. I’d have more luck getting Bowser to learn to tap-dance. This is a cat who shat in his own cat-box to stop us taking him to the vets to stop his own sickness. He was foolish, we just bundled him in with his sister and they spent twenty minutes tumbling around in the back of the Smart car until we arrived at the vets and had to pull them apart like old Velcro. Sola is fine, she just spends her day showing off her fanny in the window or sleeping anywhere where we’ve put down clean clothes. I don’t know what it is to own a shirt that doesn’t look 80% mohair.

First we tried the obvious route – slid out a packet of finest Whiskas Bumholes-‘n’Ash and hid the tiny pill inside. He ate every last bit, bar the atom-sized piece of cat-food with this pill on it. There was a haughty arrogance to his walk as he strutted off, dropping hair everywhere he went. Next we tried luring him in with good ham – Sainsbury’s Extra Special Ham, no less – and despite him usually wolfing this down so fast he manages to take your fingernails with him at the same time, he completely ignored it. I gave it to Paul instead, telling him to man-up and spit out the cat-hair afterwards.

Next came the nuclear option – Dreamies. Have you ever seen a cat around Dreamies? I can only assume they contain whatever the cat equivalent is of crack-cocaine because I swear, my cats would be out turning tricks in the street if they knew there was a packet of Dreamies to be had. They’ve been known to get inside our kitchen cupboards just to push the little pot onto the floor before. This time we used our brains, secured the tablet to a Dreamie with a bit of spit, and hid it in amongst a pile of other Dreamies.

Yep, he ate all but one, then went back to furiously licking his willy. He did the same with tuna fish, he did the same with cream and he’ll do the same with whatever suggestion you lot have for me. In the end we had to find a video on Youtube on how to pill your cat and I swear, our relationship will never be the same. He looks absolutely fucking furious – and this is what he usually looks like:

Paul had to hold him and I had the unfortunate job of prising his mouth open to drop the pill in – then he spat it out – so rinse and repeat. Ah well. Only thirteen more to go. I would have genuinely preferred the vet had given us suppositories at this point.

So, aside from pushing pills on the cat all weekend, what else have we done? Finally organised our bloody spice cupboard, that’s what! Anyone else on Slimming World knows the pain of their spice cupboard – a mysterious Null full of eight jars of ground ginger and dried sage that was last wheeled out for the ‘GOODBYE DIANA 4EVA IN OUR HARTS’ vol-au-vents. The amount of times we’ve bought stuff in Tesco only to find we actually had several bottles of it already cluttering up our kitchen, man, it beggars belief. So we emptied it out, like so:

Then, with a quick trip to IKEA and the purchase of all these pretty magnetic jars for the side of the fridge, we now have this:

Pretty right? They’re nice and sturdy so they’ll stay on there until the cleaner knocks the turmeric to the floor with her Henry Hoover and ruins our carpet. But that’s OK, we’ll cross that P45 when we get to it. I posted this online last night and people went wet with delight, which I wasn’t expecting given it’s just jars, but if you’re wondering:

You have no idea how long it takes to scrutinise our highly-reflective gloss surfaces for stray knob-shots, you know. Let’s get to the food, eh?

caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice

caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice

to make caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice you will need:

  • 500g minced pork
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger (save your fingers and invest in one of these – great for garlic too!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bird eye chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (4 syns)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • rice or noodles (whichever you prefer)

to make caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice you should:

  • cook the rice or noodles to however you like it – the main bit doesn’t take long so you can probably cook both at the same time
  • meanwhile, heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat
  • add the onion, garlic, ginger and chili to the pan and cook for 2 minutes
  • add the mince and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until it’s cooked through
  • add the maple syrup and the fish sauce and stir it in only once
  • leave it to cook, untouched, for about 2 minutes – this helps it to caramelise
  • stir, then cook again for another thirty seconds – and then do two more times
  • remove form the pan and serve over the rice or noodles
  • sprinkle over the spring onions and eat

Want some more ideas? Just click one of the buttons below!

fakeawayssmallporksmall pastasmall    slowcookersmall

J

super side: spicy salty sweet potato fries

Here for the spicy salty sweet potato fries – oh, you dirty girl. Of course you are.

Now, before we get to another travel tale (possibly tomorrow, if I can be chewed on) but as we’ve recently had a bit of a spike in traffic, I thought it’s important to do a bit of administration for the blog for the new readers! I do this monthly, long-time readers, scroll away! Actually it’s a decent read, so have a gab. Leave us a comment. Most links will open in new windows.

Remember: you can always scroll down to the recipe if the chat is too long

I think, if you take anything away tonight, it’s this. We’ve had a few people moaning at us lately because there’s too much chat for a food blog. Here’s the thing: we’re not a food blog. We’re not. It’s why you don’t get 500 words of us going ‘and then I went to the market and bought an organic pepper and then I went to the supermarket and bought a carrot made of mist and I remember when my cousin Clitoris-Marie went to Tuscany for the summer’ and all that shite. We’re a personal blog first with recipes tagged on because we like cooking. Don’t like it? Scroll down to the recipe or go to the other billion food blogs out there that’ll give you recipes and nowt else. They’re ten-a-penny, we’re not. You can find out more about the two mincers who run this blog by clicking here.

We’re not Slimming World consultants

But we’re their biggest fans. Possibly literally. Yes, there’s flaws with the plan, they’re a bit slow when it comes to embracing technology (but don’t worry, Doyenne Bramwell has just bought Windows 98 at a car-boot sale and she’s itching to get started) and I’ve never been to a class that didn’t leave my arse aching (and not in a good way), but you’ll not find a better plan out there. I’m yet to meet a consultant who hasn’t been an absolute treasure with their heart in the right place and I always recommend you go along to class, if only to practice your clapping. We’re both paying members, though, and have been for nearly ten years and whilst we might not take it as seriously as some would like, we’re pretty good with the syns values and checking things. That said, if you have SW questions, speak to your consultant first and if you’re unsure about syns, use the online syns checker. Prepare to swear, mind.

Want to find your nearest group? Click here.

I don’t like the coarse language, the smutty references or the gay agenda – what can I do?

Ah, we have you covered there…

Seriously, life is too short for complaints. Don’t like it? Move on!

Where can we find the recipes and more information?

Easy!

All of our (450+) recipes are on one page: right here
All our vegetarian recipes are under one section: click here
We even have a page collecting together all of our overnight oats recipes: see?
Want 150 syn free recipes together with free weight loss trackers? That’s fine. Click here.

Need more information about the Slimming World plan? We designed a very tongue-in-cheek FAQ: have a look!

What’s your views on advertising?

Can’t bear it, but it’s a necessary evil. Contrary to what other blogs say, it doesn’t take hundreds a month to run a blog, but at the same time, servers, bandwidth, new cooking stuff and recipe research does cost. So, our blog-income comes from:

  • Amazon referrals – if we use a product – and only if we actually own it, mind you – we’ll recommend it – if you click the link and buy it, we get a tiny bit of commission
  • small blog adverts – each recipe page will never have more than two adverts on it. We use the internet, we know how annoying it is to try and navigate a site when it’s full of adverts and ‘click here to read more’ and other tat. Balls to that: this is a happy balance
  • Musclefood – we get a commission if we sell you Musclefood – all of our meat comes from Musclefood and we genuinely love it – chicken that doesn’t turn to nowt in the pan, proper meat, tasty food – we have all the syns values on one page together with details of the various hampers and deals we’ve got with them
  • sponsored posts – a rarity, because we turn a lot down, but occasionally you’ll see a review of a product that we’ve been given or paid to review – we will be absolutely honest, won’t shill something we don’t like, and will always make it clear

Why don’t you do cooking videos?

Time – we both have full-time jobs and this blog was always meant to be a sideline – it’s become something much more, but sadly we don’t have more time. But there’s plenty of excellent video bloggers out there: Fopperholic, Slimming World’s own website and The Slimming Foodie.

Extending on that point, there’s also some amazing food blogs out there: Basement Bakehouse for good, decent food, Fat Girl Skinny which is an amazing resource for syn values and ideas, Macheesmo for amazing bloody food that isn’t exactly SW friendly but hell he has a good beard and the food is wonderful and Slimming World Survival for food and syns.

What’s your view on…

  • syns: use them! You’ve got one body – why make it a race to the bottom by trying to scrimp on your syns – better to spend a few syns and eat decent food than to cut back on ingredients just to get that zero on your chart
  • portion size: most of our recipes serve four unless otherwise indicated – though there’s nothing stopping you eating two portions…
  • sweetener: your choice to make, but we avoid it – not because we have concerns about the health aspects, but simply because it’s unnecessary. Most of our recipes use honey if they need to be sweetened, but you can always swap out
  • Frankenfood: that’s the name we give recipes that use bollocks ingredients for the sake of it – our motto is simple enough, if you can’t buy it easily in a supermarket or a market, then it doesn’t need to go in the recipe. Our recipes are thickened through heat, our flavour comes from spices. Tying into what we said above, we won’t push ingredients on you simply to get some commission from Amazon
  • desserts: hard to do them properly. Desserts are usually amazing because they’re full of sugar, fat or flour, that’s what makes them rich and tasty. You can’t replicate that with sweetener and oats. In our view, better to have a little bit of what you fancy and syn it, that’s what the plan is all about! Ask yourself a simple question: do you reckon those who aren’t struggling with their weight are slim because they’re blending oats into dust or mainlining Canderel? Nope…
  • dieting: just have fun. Life is too short to go around with a face like a smacked arse because you’ve had a Kitkat and a punch-up. Pull up those giant knickers and get on with things. That’s why we like to have a laugh on here.

Can we follow you on social media?

Yep. We have a facebook group (where you’re not allowed to post syns, and we only let people in every now and then), a Facebook page where we post ten recipes a day but no spam, a Twitter account and an Instagram…thing. Whichever way you take us, we’ll leave you satisfied and smiling.

We also have three published books: Saturated Fats, The Second Coming and The Big Fat Gay Honeymoon. In paperback too, so we can get you wet out and about too!

Right, that’ll do, won’t it? Let’s get to the spicy salty sweet potato fries – these are an amazing side, trust me. Spend the syns – totally worth it.

to make spicy salty sweet potato fries you will need:

  • 1kg sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp satay sauce (2 syns)
  • 2 tbsp sriracha (1 syn)
  • 2 tbsp hoisin dipping sauce (3 syns)
  • 15g dry roasted peanuts (about 4 syns)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

Now just you listen here. Before you leave comment after comment asking me what Sriracha is, let me tell you to save those nicotine-stained fingers from dancing over the keys: it’s hot sauce. You can buy it in the supermarket in the sauce aisle, funnily enough! Who knew?

to make spicy salty sweet potato fries you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200°C
  • peel the sweet potatoes and chop into thin chips (save your wrists for something more important and invest in one of these)
  • add the chips to a large bowl and drizzle with a bit of oil or a few sprays (0.5 syns for five sprays, up to you if you syn that) then put a plate over the bowl
  • toss well so that the chips are well coated and roughed up a bit
  • line a large baking tray with baking paper and spread the chips out into a single layer and bake for 40 minutes
  • meanwhile, use a pestle and mortar or a mini chopper to lightly chop up the peanuts – you want a mixture of big chunky nuts and dusty bits (don’t we all, love)
  • when the chips are cooked, remove from the oven
  • drizzle over the satay sauce, sriracha and hoisin sauce, and sprinkle over the peanuts and spring onions
  • enjoy!

Still not satisfied? Just click one of the buttons below to find even more scran to smash into your mush:

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Cheers!

J

taster night ideas for Slimming World

Looking for taster night ideas? There’s SEVEN recipes down below. I’m not surprised you want inspiration, nothing seems to strike fear into slimmers at Slimming World more than ‘we’re having a party next week, bring something along‘. Well, perhaps the words ‘let’s split the room in half, someone keep points, we’re going to do group activities‘. God I hate that. I’m too antisocial at the best of times but being forced to come up with a witty team name and shout out speed foods makes my throat hitch. For those not in the Cult of Mags, a taster night is where everyone is expected to bring along some food to share with the rest of the class and usually results in about twenty quiches and a box of grapes bought from the Co-op over the road by the lady who forgot it was on.

I struggle with taster nights because, as previously mentioned, I don’t like eating food when I don’t know how clean the kitchen it’s coming from is. Luckily I’m in a class now with people who do look familiar with a bottle of Ajax, but Christ, some of the sights I’ve seen in other classes, well I wouldn’t eat what came out of their kitchens even if it contained the antidote to a life-threatening poison I’d accidentally ingested. I don’t mind a slice of Slimming World quiche, I just don’t like to be twanging cat hair out of my teeth for the following week. Anyway, as ‘what can I make for taster night’ and ‘slimming world snacks’ appear quite regularly on the little index of what people search for to find this blog. Well, it can’t all be ‘chubby cub cum explosion’ (can’t remember that recipe?) and ‘fat men fuking’ (masturbation is no excuse for poor spelling, chaps).

Oh! A quick word. When a buffet is served up in class, try and allow the meek amongst us access to the food. A couple of years ago, in a class in Wakefield no less, Paul and I didn’t get any food because half the class – not the better half – dashed forward as soon as the ‘party’ began and formed one giant body of impassable bulk. It was like the Berlin Wall, only smelling faintly of chips. I’ve never seen food shovelled and devoured with such ferocity and I’ve seen Sicilian wild boars being fed. All I wanted was a (nothing-like-a) Ferrero Rocher and a few ‘JUST LIKE DORITOS’ crisps that I could have planed a door with. I had my revenge anyway – the wasabi peas that I put on the table thinking they were syn-free were actually about eight syns a handful. What can I say? My knowledge of the Mandarin language is a little rusty.

So, with all the above in mind, we decided to do a post on snacks, also fuelled by the fact it was Eurovision last night and we like to have a trough of food to work through whilst we watch our entry get annihilated. Before anyone says the UK will never win because ‘it’s too political’ and ‘no-one votes for us because of the war’, that was relevant maybe ten years ago and certainly isn’t now. Russia almost won it and well, that Putin’s been a bit of a tinker this year, has he not? We don’t win because we send absolute shite – po-faced, dreary, period-pain music with insipid staging and crap tunes. No doubt that Aldi Jedward can sing a tune and strum a guitar but they lost a singing competition where literally tens of people voted for someone else to be a winner. Why would that translate to success in the Eurovision Song Contest? EH? We need to send something amazing, with a massive chorus and an uplifting melody, not a song that would barely make its way onto the second CD in the Now That’s What I Call White Noise 87 compilation.

I was just sore because I had Poland and Italy in the sweepstakes, and did you catch them? Poland came dancing out like a crystal-meth Cheryl Cole and Italy’s act was so boring that I forgot about it whilst she was singing the words, which is quite something. I wanted Russia to win. That stage, that song (You Are The Obi Wan, You’re My Obi Wan…) and gasp, when that screen spun around…well, I loved it. Plus one of my work colleagues had Russia in the sweepstakes and I just know he’s going to be spend his winnings on delicious things for the entire floor. That’s right, isn’t it Alan? SHOUT-OUT FOR ALAN. Mahaha. Paul threw his weight behind Sweden, who I can’t really be mean about because the singer was only 8 and he has the angst of puberty to get through. He’s no Eric Saade (2011) with his exploding glass cages though.

As it happens, one of the worst songs managed to win – Kate Bush’s stunt double caterwauling about politics – and Ukraine took the prize, meaning Russia will be hosting the Eurovision next year. Boom boom. We’ve said it every year – we should go to the next Eurovision – and the fact that it is being held in Ukraine only sweetens the deal. If it had been Russia we’d have been conflicted – on one hand, we love the idea of a night of catchy tunes surrounded by every other gay man in existence, but on the other hand I prefer not to have my teeth kicked down my throat because I’m a rampant bummer. Ah yes.

Anyway come on now, let’s get to the recipes, shall we? This is the spread.

taster night ideas

Fancy, right? On view then:

  • Bánh Mì balls with a spicy dip
  • our teeny tiny teriyaki tasters
  • sandwiches filled with syn-free egg mayonnaise and tuna and cucumber
  • sweet potato crisps with four different types of houmous
  • baked new potatoes with cheese and bacon topping

Out of sight:

  • spicy couscous balls
  • gin and tonic lollies

Three caveats that I’m going to throw in before we begin:

TWEAK

  • some of these recipes are ‘tweaks’ in the truest sense of the word – especially the crisps – and it’s up to you whether you follow the rule of synning them or not – tweaks being when you use an ingredient in a way it isn’t intended to be used, such as slicing a sweet potato to make crisps. I will mention it where appropriate. My own view (which you can find here) is that it’s better to be eating something made from a healthy ingredient than a processed packet of crisps. It boils down to this – 100g of sweet potato is around 85 calories, 100g of Walkers crisps kicks in over 550 calories. I’ll be fucked if I’m synning sweet potato crisps at the same rate as normal crisps. If you feel the need to be all frothy and leave a comment castigating me for my temerity, please save yourself the finger strain, wipe the spittle from your lips and simply don’t bother – personal choice;
  • a couple of these recipes you’ll have seen before if you’re a long-time follower, but I thought it would be handy to put them all in one place; and
  • as usual, I’ve given syn values for a normal portion and I’ll mention when it uses up a HEA/HEB. If you’re eating the entire buffet, you’ll need to think about how many HEB/HEA’s you’re using! It’ll make sense as we go along. Basically, each recipe stands on its own. Right? Right.

taster night ideas #1: sweet potato crisps with four different types of houmous:

taster night ideas

to make the sweet potato crisps, you’ll need:

  • a couple of big sweet potatoes
  • spray oil – a few squirts of Filippo Berio’s olive oil is only half a syn, and that’s all you need
  • chinese five spice

to make the sweet potato crisps, you should:

  • to make the crisps, use a microwave, it’s much easier
  • get a big old sweet potato and cut it to uniform thin slices – this is where having a mandolin slicer comes in very handy, because it’ll take no time at all to do the slices – buy one here and never look back, not least because it makes your food look great when it’s all uniform
  • arrange the slices on a plate, squirt with some spray oil, dust with chinese five spice (or indeed, any flavouring you want) and rub it in
  • microwave on full power – it usually takes about six minutes, but keep checking every couple of minutes, and once they start to look dry, turn them over
  • keep a proper eye on them mind, because they can burn easily once they dry out
  • once done, take them off the plate, set aside, and do the next batch

to make the four way houmous, you’ll need:

  • a few small tins of chickpeas
  • garlic cloves
  • fat free cottage cheese
  • a lemon or two
  • sea salt

to make the four way houmous, you should:

  • the basic houmous recipe is simple enough – for enough to fill one of those little square bowls above, you’ll want to use one small tin of cooked chick peas (syn free), a nice round tablespoon of fat free cottage cheese, a garlic clove, pinch of sea salt and some lemon juice. Blend it together, adding a little more lemon juice if you like it runny or keeping some back if you prefer it chunky. It’s up to you. You will save yourself so much time if you get yourself one of these little express choppers that Delia Smith was always going on about between tumblers of Scotch – you can find one here – it’ll make houmous in no time
  • to make the different variations, you just add a few ingredients:
    • lemon and garlic (add an extra couple of garlic gloves, a squidge more lemon juice and decorate with finely grated lemon peel) (don’t take the pith, literally, as that is very bitter – just the top layer, please)
    • basil and parmesan (10 torn basil leaves, 10g of shaved parmesan, bit of salt) – up to you if you want to syn such a tiny portion of parmesan but bearing in mind you’ll be getting what, 2.5g of it, I wouldn’t bother
    • pickled red cabbage (just a few chunks of pickled red cabbage and some of the pickling vinegar added to give it colour
    • paprika and sun-dried tomato – I chucked in 1tbsp of sundried tomato paste (1.5 syns, but again, through the laws of dilution, it’s up to you if you syn it)

Easy! Of course, if you don’t want to fart on making the crisps, just chop up some peppers, carrots and cucumber and use them instead to dip into your houmous. If you want our little serving dish, you guessed it, it’s on Amazon!

taster night ideas #2: teeny tiny teriyaki tasters:

teeny tiny teriyaki tasters

This makes enough for 36 sticky teeny tiny teriyaki tasters (fnar fnar), if you make them bigger, adjust the syns per ball. There’s 12 syns in the overall recipe.

to make teeny tiny teriyaki tasters, you’ll need:

to make teeny tiny teriyaki tasters, you should:

  • in a large bowl mix together the pork and the beef mince with the egg yolk
  • using a tablespoon, scoop out a spoon-size ball and roll into meatballs – do this for all of the mixture (you’ll need about 36 – if you want, you could weigh out each ball at around 27g each…but life’s too short)
  • heat a large pan over a medium high heat and add a couple of squirts of spray oil or, urgh, Frylight, bleurgh
  • cook the meatballs until browned all over and cooked right through – you WILL need to do them in batches
  • place cooked meatballs onto a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm whilst you cook the rest
  • when done, mix together the soy sauce, white wine, sherry, honey and ginger in a small jug and pour into the same pan you used to cook the meatballs and reduce the heat to medium
  • cook for a few minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened
  • add the meatballs back into the pan and stir carefully to coat – I find it easier to tumble the meatballs in and then pick up the pan and gently slosh them around rather than trying to stir with a spoon
  • serve on cocktail sticks and sprinkle over the seeds – don’t sweat it if you can’t find these, you could easily leave them off and that brings the syn count to 1 syn for six – even better – but they look so pretty with the seeds on

taster night ideas #3: Bánh Mì balls with a spicy dip:

taster night ideas

to make Bánh Mì balls with a spicy dip, you’ll need:

  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 onion (grate half of it, chop the other half)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of sriracha, (1 syn) (you can use any old hot sauce)
  • 1 egg
  • 25g panko (4.5 syns) (or use breadcrumbs from your HEB allowance)
  • ½ cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 100g quark

to make Bánh Mì balls with a spicy dip, you should:

Full disclosure: we got this recipe from the fabulous cookingforkeeps.com – her recipe can be found here and looks equally as delicious – we’ve tweaked ours for Slimming World!

  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  • in a bowl, mix together the turkey mince, onion (grated and chopped), carrot, spring opnions, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, 1 tsp of sriracha, egg and the panko until combined
  • roll into 1″ size balls and place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper
  • cook in the oven for twenty minutes
  • meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together 1 tsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp sriracha and the quark to make a dipping sauce
  • slice the radishes and cucumbers as thinly as you can and skewer one of each onto a cocktail stick with the meatball

taster night ideas #4: little sandwiches:

to make little sandwiches, you’ll need:

taster night ideas

No need for a full recipe here, really. Take whatever bread you want from your HEB – we use Kingsmill Crustless Wholemeal bread, which you can have three slices of. Cut nice circles out of them, remember you eat with your eyes.

  • for the egg salad, boil up four eggs, break them up with a fork, add a tablespoon of quark, lots of black pepper, a chopped tomato and some spring onions
  • for the tuna – well, we’re old school, we just like tuna mixed with vinegar and served with cucumber. You could splash out and add a bit of Quark to bind it, I suppose…

taster night ideas #5: baked new potatoes with a cheese and bacon topping:

taster night ideas

to make baked new potatoes, you’ll need:

  • 1.5kg small salad-type potatoes
  • 100g fat-free fromage frais
  • 30g parmesan (1x HEA)
  • 4 rashers of bacon, all visible fat removed
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • chives

to make baked new potatoes, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees (or an actifry with the paddle removed is just as good – Amazon are selling them for £125 at the moment too!)
  • prick the potatoes with a fork, spray with a little frylight and bake in the oven (or actifry) for about 45 minutes
  • grill or dry-fry the bacon until crispy and chop into small pieces
  • mix together the fromage frais, parmesan and spring onions and set aside
  • when the potatoes are cooked, leave to cool for about ten minutes
  • make a cross in the top of each potato and squeeze the bottoms to open them up
  • spoon in a little of the fromage frais mixture and top with bacon pieces and chives

taster night ideas #6: spicy couscous balls:

couscousballs

Please note: that’s an old photo, it’s actually now 4 syns for all the balls, but you’re not going to eat them all yourself anyway, surely? I’ll nip back in time and change the photo later.

Not worth making a full recipe breakdown for this, because it’s so, so easy. I use two packets of Ainsley Harriott’s spicy sensations couscous, which come in at 2 syns per pack made up with water (so don’t be adding butter, you cheeky buggers). Add the appropriate level of water (whatever it says on the pack) and leave to absorb. Fluff with a fork. Beat an egg and mix it into the couscous, then squeeze as many balls as you can out of the mixture. Pop onto a tray and stick it in the oven on 150 degrees for an hour or so – you want to ‘dry’ them out. Cooked low and slow, you’ll be laughing. For a dip, make tzatziki – greek yoghurt (I use Tesco Finest 0% fat – no syns) mixed with cucumber cut into tiny cubes and mint. Stir, chill, eat.

taster night ideas #7: gin and tonic ice lollies

taster night ideas

Again, no need for a full recipe. We mixed 25ml of gin with a glass of diet tonic, poured it into a cheapy ice-lolly mould like this £3 from Amazon and added a slice of cucumber. Between six, it’s half a syn each. Of course, it’s easy to customise this, put your pint of whisky in, add lime, add fruit, don’t add alcohol, do what you like!

OK, I hope that’s given you some inspiration. It’s certainly made my fingers ache!

Do me a favour though – share this page in as many facebook pages as you can, because taster recipes is one of the main things people need. Spread the love! Leave me your comments below!

Oh it’s worth noting, we did have a couple of drinks to get us through Eurovision, see…

taster night ideas

J

beef satay with peanut dipping sauce

Beef satay with peanut dipping sauce? On Slimming World? Surely not! But YES. Let me tell you, it actually tasted like something you’d get in a Chinese restaurant too, as opposed to the usual Slimming World slop-swap, where the end result isn’t so much divorced from the original as moved to a new city and never seeing the children. You know when people theatrically slap their hand to their open mouth in shock? Well, I didn’t have time to do that as I was too busy making sure Paul didn’t eat my share. Recipe below.

Can I just take a moment to say I thoroughly enjoyed Batman v Superman? I just like to think that Ben Affleck is probably reading this blog, dying to know how to turn ASDA beef chunks into something palatable, and after all of the criticism he’s faced over his boring film, this might cheer him up. Plus, Paul and I both agree that you have quite an impressive knob in Gone Girl, and I’m not talking about Rosamund Pike. I went to see Batman vs Superman with an old friend (literally, she’s well old) and it was all very enjoyable, even in blurry 3D-vision. I’m a fan of 3D if done well (Saw 3D, of all things, was fun) but not if it’s just to make the odd leaf or snowflake look like it’s coming towards you. No amount of blistering 3D detail is going to make me think I’m right there in Gothametroplis (right?) – my arse-cheeks turning to concrete on the rock-hard cinema seats keep me grounded.

Oh, that and the little shits along the row who, along with their father, spent every other minute looking at their phones and being unnecessarily rambunctious. Naturally, as a Brit, I tutted and sighed for two hours until I was on the verge of hyperventilating and had to blow into my pic-and-mix bag for comfort. The father took a bloody phone call at one point! Unless it’s a doctor ringing up to tell you that “yes, Mr Smith, we’ve found you a brain, you’ll need to come in for fitting immediately” you don’t take a bloody phone call in the cinema. If I had my way, everyone would have their hands stapled to the arm-rest and if your phone rang or you needed a poo, well tough titty. The cherry on the cake was towards the end I went to get the last sour apple snake from my bag (not a euphemism) (also, yes, hypocritical) when one of the children sighed like he was blowing out the candles on a birthday cake and said ‘I CAN’T WATCH THE FILM IF PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO RUIN IT‘. I’ve never felt so chagrined. 

Anyway, today we’ve said at least two things that hammer home how old we’re getting – first, Paul suggested we go out “for a drive in the car“. I don’t know why we do it, we invariably get stuck behind someone for whom the fourth gear is uncharted territory and I end up going apocalyptic behind them trying to overtake. I have to come home and punch a brick wall to calm down. The second line that tumbled from my ageing lips was the clincher though – when Paul mentioned that our home town could do with some decent flowers being planted (in itself a very Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells thing to say), I replied by saying ‘yes, but the young’uns would just pull them up and cause a mess‘.

May I remind you I’m 31.

Goodness me. I almost stopped at the Lloyds Pharmacy on my left there and then for a hearing test and a fitting for Tena for Men but well, it would take a while to get parked and with my aching hips, getting out of the car is too much of a chore. So instead we drove to the beach and ate sandwiches in the car whilst listening to Gardeners’ Question Time and nodding at nothing in particular.

Ah well, to the satay! It’s something I always order whenever we get a takeaway, though sadly our favourite local takeaway seems to have closed down. I like to think they couldn’t keep up with our demands. I’ve definitely had more than eight ‘it’s my birthday, can we have a free giant spring rolls please thanks‘ events this year. I certainly hope it hasn’t been closed down by the council because that would bring our total of ‘favourite then condemned’ eateries to three. We used to have a Chinese takeaway literally across the street from us when we lived in Gosforth (more Kenton actually, but Gosforth sounds posher and well, we didn’t have a trampoline or discarded mattress in our front garden, so we didn’t belong in Kenton*) which was fantastic.

Paul was confused when he first went to order because the tiny, very Chinese looking lady behind the counter spoke with a Geordie accent that sounded like she was possessed by Tim Healy. And he’s not even dead. It really didn’t gel with her beautiful cheongsam dress and I-kid-you-not chopsticks in her hair bun.

Still, the food was delicious and tasty up until the point the ‘Scores on the Doors’ folk came around and rated them zero out of five for cleanliness, food safety and hygiene. Nothing says did you enjoy your chow-mein like seeing it again two minutes after eating from one end or twenty minutes from the other. I must have a stomach of asbestos though as so few things ever upset my natural balance.

We now get our Chinese food from a car-park in Morpeth. So far, so good – they certainly don’t seem to be using the same microfibre cloth to wipe their work-surfaces and their bumholes, so they’re already up on the Gosforth Chinese.

* Kenton is lovely really. Please don’t firebomb my house or spray me with Greggs crumbs as you refute my jokey aspersions.

beef satay with peanut dipping sauce

to make beef satay with peanut dipping sauce you will need:

  • 700g beef, cubed (why not use the beef you’ve got from our wonderful Musclefood Freezer Filler? You get a couple of packs with your mince, chicken and bacon, and it has the added benefit of not feeling like you’re chewing on a bike tyre like so much of the beef in your average cheap supermarket beef does – click here to order. Oh, and we’re running a competition to win one of our £50 hampers – click here and enter!)
  • 8 shallots or two large white onions (shallots are far nicer though, much sweeter)
  • a little knob of ginger, peeled
  • haha, I said little knob
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, sliced (can’t get lemongrass? Use a teaspoon of lemon rind)
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground fennel (or crushed fennel seeds)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a few squirts of olive oil spray

for the peanut sauce:

  • 4 tbsp reduced-fat peanut butter (18 syns) (be sensible here, a tablespoon is a tablespoon, but don’t go scooping it out like it’s mortar and you’re building a brick wall at gunpoint)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sweetener
  • 2 drops of sriracha (or any hot sauce)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

to make beef satay with peanut dipping sauce you should:

  • place all of the ingredients together (except the beef) in a food processor (aside from the stuff for the peanut sauce, obviously) and blitz until you get a thick paste – loosen it off with water if it’s too thick but you do want a paste, not a slop
  • in a large bowl mix together the beef and the marinade until it’s well coated, and leave for at least six hours (or overnight)
  • push the cubes of beef onto skewers and grill under a high heat for about 15 minutes, turning regularly

Feel free to ramp up the speed factor by adding peppers and mushrooms onto your skewers. Also, if you’ve got wooden skewers, remember to soak them for as long as you can – basically, if you’ve got wood, get it wet. Lesson to live your life by.

To make the dipping sauce, mix together all of the ingredients with 4 tbsp of water – to make a really thick paste. keep mixing in 1 tbsp water at a time to the required consistency.

Enjoy!

 

slow cooker: chicken coconut curry

I can’t begin to tell you how sick I am of slow cooker week. Everything tastes the bloody same! I appreciate it’s convenient, I appreciate that it probably saves money, I understand that it saves time…but for goodness sake, I feel like I’m in a Wiltshire Farm Foods advert. And let me tell you, if that was the case, I’d give Ronnie bloody Corbett a smack on the chops because I find his hamster-like face upsetting and the fact that he’s hawking mush to old ladies for a vastly-overinflated price to be quite infuriating. Plus he’s got eyebrows like a seventies porn vagina. No, I like my food to have texture – most of the meals to come out of the slow cooker have less structural integrity than a passing fancy. I’ll rattle one more recipe for you tonight and then it’s back to business – proper bloody food that requires a working set of teeth to get through. As a rule, the only meals you’ll need a straw for going forward are the vodka-and-lemonades that Paul and I sometimes swap our dinner for.

Where have I been anyway? Who are you, my mother? I can tell you’re not because you’re not asking me to fix your iPad. No, the ear pain I mentioned last week became a cheery infection and knocked me for six. For four days it felt like I had been kicked in the head by a pissed off horse. It was all I could do to stay in bed demanding ice-cream and comfort from poor Paul, who had to take over all the duties within the house. Actually, he does them anyway, just this time with me being ill he wasn’t allowed to complain about it. The poor bugger. He’s a trooper though and I don’t give him his dues often enough. LOVE YOU DEAR.

So what’s been happening this week? I managed to get into a proper argument with some pallid-faced swamp donkey on facebook who tried to peddle her Juice Plus shite in my group. She private messaged me to tell me that the fact I’d deleted her snake-oil post told her that I hate women and people who try to make a go of themselves. Honestly – I could eat a tin of alphabet spaghetti and shit out a better argument than that. I don’t hate women (except Mylenne Klass…and I don’t hate her, she just makes my skin shiver) and I’m all for entrepreneurship, but as well you all know, I can’t bear the idea of vulnerable folk being duped into buying worthless, untested medicines on the scientific advice of a hairdresser from Worksop. What I can’t get my head around is the fact PEOPLE FALL FOR IT. Why?! I can understand folks who are seriously ill buying a pill in the vain hope of it helping, but spending hundreds of pounds just to shift a bit of weight? Bah! Are these the same people who buy laptops from a car boot sale and get them home to unwrap a cardboard box full of bricks? Or the people who get an unsolicited phone-call from Microsoft telling them they need to buy antivirus software at a cost of two bajillion pounds? Honestly. How do these people sleep at night? Penniless, I presume. Anyway, the argument rumbled on for ages, with Juice Plus curing her of depression, suicidal thoughts, liver disease, tennis elbow, easy living and fast cars (apparently it didn’t cure her of her verbal diarrhoea or dirty mouth), until I copied our chat in with the Juice Plus representatives and left it at that. I know nothing will come of it because Juice Plus is a dishonest pyramid scheme sold by numpties and dolts, but meh, made me feel better.

Now, my next piece is going to feel like an advert for Amazon Prime, and well, although I’m going to stick a link on the bottom, this isn’t really an advert at all. Just an observation. Paul and I are members of Amazon Prime, and have been for a very long while. I can’t remember the last time I paid for it because every time something is late, they stick an extra month on the membership. We’ve become accustomed to ordering something on a whim and having it turn up the next day, which is handy as it gives us no time for buyer’s remorse. Hence the cat tower. Hence the all-in-one breakfast sandwich maker. Hence the shit-you-not Teasmade. A bloody Teasmade, I ask you – I don’t even drink tea in the morning. I don’t get out of bed unless I’m having a palpitation just from smelling my morning coffee. Anyway, we got a little email the other day with the news that Amazon Prime Now has launched in Newcastle. What is it? You order something on Amazon, and it’s delivered within two hours for free.

Well fuck me. The only thing from turning Paul and I into perfect spheres with weak ankles is our inability to muster up the energy to drive to ASDA of an evening to buy ice-cream. Now it’s delivered by Amazon within enough time for Paul and I to have quick marriage-friendly nookie, make tea and watch Emmerdale. It’s too convenient. It’s not without flaws, though. You can only select from a range of groceries and flimflam via their App, which is proper hokey. I put ‘dip’ into the search box and it suggested some taramasalata, tzatziki and er, industrial strength cat-nip. One whole kilogram of the stuff. A kilo of cat-nip delivered within two hours! Unless you’re fighting a fucking tiger in your box-room, who the hell needs that? Nevertheless, we persevered and placed an order full of Slimming World friendly things – the usual Haagen Daaz, Goodfellas pizza and bags of Skittles. Look, we had to spend thirty quid, and I wasn’t going to spend it on bloody quinoa. I bet Mags is sucking on a Bensons and Hedges quite furiously with the thought but you know, I’ve got to let my (apparently Geography-teacher-esque) hair down.

What followed was a tense 80 minutes where we watched, in real-time, our order being picked from somewhere on an industrial estate in Gateshead (hey, we didn’t order a bag of ket and mild domestic battery, did we?) – all terribly exciting. When the screen updated to show ‘MARK’ had picked up our order and was beetling up the A1 to our house, well, we were agog. It’s a bloody miracle, technology. We had it on the big TV in our living room like the shittest, cheapest version of 24 you can imagine. The whole process fell down at the end though, because the driver turned onto our street and spent five minutes trying to find our house. I’ll give you a clue, mate – it’s the only one that’s not attached to any others, plus we were flashing the lights from green to red whenever he backed his van out of sight. The groceries were all nicely chilled and the ice-cream was spot-on. It took eighty eight minutes from beginning to end, and that includes 5 minutes of the driver being unable to find the only house in the street to be named after a sexual consequence.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Amazon Prime is amazing, anyway, if you’re a big Amazon shopper. Yes it costs £79 a year but you get plenty of perks with it. Plus, you can always sign up for a trial and then cancel. But don’t forget to actually cancel. Otherwise you’ll be one of those turds who complain about getting money taken out of your bank account for something you’ve asked for. This two hour thing is dangerous for Paul and I though – we already dish out way too much of our monthly pink-pound disposable income to Amazon – I can’t help feeling that eventually I’m going to be paying them my wages direct and they’ll be sending a box van of goodies every month, probably branded Amazon Instant, with a picture of a smiling man sucking the pound coins from my pocket on the side. Ah well. If you did want to try it, you can do so here.

 

 

I still can’t believe it. I’m easily impressed, but jesus, Amazon stuff delivered within two hours for nowt. I remember ordering pornography online back when we first got the internet and actually taking time off from school just to sit by the letterbox for about two weeks in case my father accidentally opened my post and wondered who the hell had sent him RUGBY CUM BATH 2: SCRUM, BUM AND ORAL FUN on DVD. I might have made that title up but you get the drift. I feel I should hasten to say that my parents weren’t lax when it came to supervising my internet security…I was just better at it. Honestly, you parents out there who think the kids can’t access what they want on the internet, you’re so wrong.

Finally, Paul, being a sod and knowing I didn’t have the iPad with me on my commute into work on Friday, started streaming Enya’s new album through the car speakers. Yes, I could have turned it off, but then I have to listen to myself swearing at people and I shame myself, so I left it on. Jesus, how does she do it? It’s like she records one song and then changes the key, layers it on top of another song, and plays it backwards. She’s the aural equivalent of a malfunctioning self-checkout. An ex of mine used to be absolutely obsessed with her, almost to the point of being unable to come without me whispering LET THE ORINOCO FLOW in his ear as we made love. I say made love, he was a means to an end, so let’s not romanticise it too much. Anyway, I spent most evenings at the age of seventeen being forced to smile politely as he showed me the Irish tinker caterwauling her way through videos that looked like something even a gap-yah student would deem too pretentious. Christ it’s no wonder I’m so mentally fragile.

Let’s do the chicken coconut curry. I actually typed cocknut curry there. I can’t decide whether that actually might look better.

low syn chicken coconut curry

to make chicken coconut curry, you’ll need:

and to make chicken coconut curry, you should:

  • well, hazard a bloody guess
  • no? chuck it all in the slow cooker, cook for six to seven hours, serve with rice

Serves four. Looks worse than it tastes. I hate slow cookers!

J

thai basil turkey mince with glass noodles

Apologies for the lack of entries, but I did warn you all that the next few weeks are going to be a bit light on content as I have various men coming up my back passage to wield their tools and suck air through their teeth. Pfft, I wish it was that exciting, it really isn’t. I had a thirty minute conversation with a locksmith earlier in the week where I swear he said the same sentence eighty-seven times over. There’s only so much enthusiastic nodding and ‘oh never’ one can muster before giving up. The bones in my neck sound like a cement mixer turning over.

You’ll be glad and delighted to know that we did indeed return to Sofa Hell on Sunday and managed to haggle a cool £700 off the price of our sofa. Paul refuses to haggle – he always pays the first price they say, regardless of how obviously overpriced their initial offer is, and even then I always have to stop him handing over an extra ten percent as a tip or a ‘bit extra for their trouble’. I have no problem tipping but he’d put £2 into a £1 parking meter if you’d let him. I, on the other hand, am entirely unabashed when it comes to haggling and I have no shame in trying my luck.

That said, I actually didn’t think we were going to succeed on the old haggling front as the lady serving us seemed exceptionally strict – she had the air of someone who’d cackle maniacally if she hit a child with her car – but shy bairns get nowt, and after an hour of ‘I’ll go upstairs and talk to my manager’ (and then glowering at us over the railings) we got her down by £700. I tried to crack a joke when she mentioned ‘male and female connections’ (regarding the way our modular sofa fits together) – I said ‘OOOH THERE’S NONE OF THAT IN OUR HOUSE’ but she just nodded primly and disappeared in a cloud of Elnett. Just before I signed the contract I asked if she could throw in one of the show-cushions and her lips went so thin her entire mouth disappeared. Ah well.

Of course, being Britain, my sofa is due to arrive in November 2027, so that’s something to look forward to. The cats are already sharpening their claws in anticipation. I also haggled £150 off the cost of our new carpet which is so thick and luxurious that we’ll probably lose a cat or two. That haggling was so much easier – he gave a price, I gave a price, he accepted. No fuss, and I didn’t even need to chuck in a ‘persuading’ handjob. Everyone’s a winner!

One thing I wanted to touch on before I post the recipe – this blog isn’t meant to be a cutesy-poo diet blog full of hearts and flowers and false, insincere guff and inspirational quotes. That isn’t our style and it never will be – one thing I’ve found whilst dieting is that there is an absolute rash of these type of blogs out there – some very successful, and all the very best of luck to people who go down that route. I’m not sincere enough for it. No, twochubbycubs is meant to be an honest look at dieting, with decent food made with good ingredients. We started out just posting recipes but as our readership has grown, most of you tell us you like all the piss and vinegar that comes before the recipe, hence that side of things has extended. Plus I’m a vainglorious bastard who likes writing about himself. This ethos extends to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We welcome all, but please, if you’re sensitive to a bit of ribald humour or tasteless comments, then exercise caution, because that’s all our group is full of – we have a laugh and don’t things too seriously. Laugh yourself slim, that’s our motto.

Right, that’s better. As we’re having to cook quickly at the moment, you’ll notice a slight increase of ‘quick dinners’, and it doesn’t get any quicker than this basil and turkey mince, which I hastily cribbed from a Nigella Lawson recipe. Oddly, it didn’t contain the usual eight kilos of butter that most of her recipes require, though I did have to keep deliberately pushing my tits into shot as I cooked. Oh Nigella.

thai basi

to make thai basil turkey mince

  • three cloves of garlic
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 500g of turkey mince (we buy ours from Tesco)
  • 60g of basil leaves
  • one red chilli
  • one decent sized onion
  • two tablespoons of fish sauce
  • chinese vermicelli noodles (also known as glass noodles, but you can use any dried noodles)

then you should:

  • finely chop the onion and fry it off in a little oil or some Frylight
  • get your little mincer ready – he’ll need to get you a microplane grater out of the dishwasher so you can mince your garlic cloves and ginger into a nice paste
  • yep – it’s time for my usual BUY A BLOODY MICROPLANE GRATER moment – look, seriously, chopping up garlic and ginger is a faff and fart on. Buy one of these bad-boys and you’ll be done in no time at all, plus they’re dirt cheap and you can grate lemon rind and parmesan cheese on it and make things go that bit further. It’s probably the tool we use the most in the kitchen. You can pick one up on sale for less than £9 here!
  • cut your chilli up very finely and wash your hands – don’t do what I did and absent-mindedly scratch your balls (or, ladies, if I may put this delicately, your grot-slot), because it’ll hurt like buggery;
  • chuck the chilli, garlic and chilli in with the onions and cook for a couple of minutes
  • boil a pan of water and cook off your noodles and set aside whilst everything is cooking – our glass noodles only take four minutes to soften
  • pop the turkey mince in and whack the heat up a bit to fry it off, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go, and drop in a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce whilst it cooks
  • finally, finely chop up your basil and once the turkey is cooked, stir it through
  • serve hot on a bed of noodles and enjoy!

So there you go – it’s a quick, tasty, flavourful dinner which is syn free!

Yum.

J

pork pad thai

pad thai to say goodbye (and I choke)

try to walk away (apple crumble)

Sorry, but I thought of the title for this pork pad thai in the car and started chuckling merrily away at my own joke to the point that the chav in the car next to me thought I was laughing at his crapmobile and revved his engine. haha! hey, speaking of driving, I had to be a hero today and parallel park someone’s car. Space near our offices is a premium and there was this poor lass getting more and more frantic trying to park in the one available space. Because I stopped nearby to ‘check my phone’ (watch her judgmentally) she stopped her car, got out and asked me to park. I need to mention something though – there was almost space for two cars and she was driving a Mini (although you’d think it was a 70 seater coach the way she was going back and forth) – easiest parking ever! I feel those karma points will be banked for something nice at the end of the week.

I feel quite dreadful this week, because of working late and being under the kosh at work. I’ve eaten like an absolute pig, not stayed to plan and taken in all sorts of tasty, tasty shite. Really not good – and there’s no real excuse for it, because if you plan with SW, then you don’t need to eat crap. In my defense though, I’m not knowing day to day how long I’m going to be at work, or when my lunch break will be, if any, so it makes it a bit harder. Plus, I’ve been away from Paul since Monday morning  (when I get in, he’s asleep, and I only get a reassuring fart out of him as I climb into bed – it’s either that or air escaping from a fat-roll when I shift him), so maybe I’m just comfort eating.

ANYWAY look, never mind. I’m going to write the last few days off and get back on it. No more excuses! And lo, the Lord doth provide a recipe card:

Pad Thai

to make pork pad thai you will need: 

two pak choi, two carrots, packet of low fat pork mince, garlic, ginger, veg stock (not vag stock as I originally typed in the recipe card, leading to a last-minute switcheroo), beansprouts, onion, one egg, fish sauce and dried noodles. One red chilli and one lime to serve. Don’t bother with coriander, that’s Satan’s pubic hair.

to make pork pad thai you should: 

getting everything prepared before cooking is what takes up the most time with this one, but it’s worth it. chop up the pak choi, carrots, chilli, spring onions and grate the garlic and ginger (or do what we do and buy the stuff in a paste). Start by frying your mince in a mixture of soy, fish sauce and stock, quantities above. Put the chopped up spring onion whilst you do this – keeping it on a medium heat. Then add the carrots, beansprouts and pak choi and cook on a highish heat, giving it a good stir every now and then. Pak choi is a bit like spinach and will wilt down, but not to the same extent. After five or ten minutes, chuck in your egg, stir it through, and serve it hot by splashing a bit of lime and chucking on the chilli.

extra-easy: yes – syn free, though be careful with the noodles. Fresh noodles are synned, but dry noodles (unflavoured) are generally free – we’ve actually cheated in the above recipe and used fresh noodles (and built them into our food diary) but that’s something to keep an eye on. Otherwise, this is a genuinely lovely recipe and so easy to make – a great mixture of crunchy and soft, different flavours such as sour (lime) and sweet (the sauce) and unami (the soy). I’m a firm believer that if your food tastes good, you’ll not want to eat crap – as proven by my bingeing on shite this week.

top tips: making carrots and other veg into matchsticks is a pain in the arse with a knife, because it takes ages and I’ve got the dexterity of a ninety year old. We bought a julienne peeler which does the job for us. Only £4 or so, and you can find them in ASDA or order from Amazon if you can’t be bothered with fannying about by clicking here. Enjoy!

invest in fish sauce, even if you’re unsure. I don’t do seafood, not one bit, but fish sauce doesn’t taste fishy and it adds an extra base note to the flavours. This isn’t a stir-fry so don’t cook it like one, but it does come together quite quickly once you get going. If you matchstick a tonne of carrots, freeze a portion for next time. This recipe won’t freeze when cooked, mind. Oh no.

Right – enjoy! I’m off to make up for lost time with Paul’s high fat pork mince. Yup.

J