lamb doner kebab burger: a gorgeous syn-free fakeaway

A lamb doner kebab burger. At this point, we might as well serve you our recipes with a pint of WKD and a quick fingerblast behind the bins. But the theme has been ‘late night fakeaways’ and well, you don’t get any more ‘I’ll regret this in the morning’ than a kebab, improperly stuffed or no. Now, as a naan bread is well out of the question on Slimming World, we’ve stuck it in a burger bun. Definitely not because we had a spare bun to use, oh no. This is the last fakeaway recipe for a bit, so fans of vitamins, nourishment and not sending an aspirin after your dinner can rejoice.

But first, a plea. Those of you who actually read the bawdy filth that prefaces the recipes may remember a post I did a while back imploring you not to be frightened of exercising in case someone looks at you or judges you. That point still stands: go out there and don’t give anyone a second thought. But since the New Year, I have become aware of a special breed of knobhead that has arisen – the ‘I was here first and I’m better than anyone who has just joined’ shitgibbon. For example, at the gym I go along to to breathlessly pant on all manner of machines, there’s two guys who sit at the machines and only actually move whenever they see someone looking at them. Then it’s full grunt, full lift, full raaar, and then dismissive looks at anyone else who is trying to lift or move or exist. You know the type: veins on their forehead that looks like roots of an oak tree, arms like condoms full of walnuts, fake tan applied unevenly and streakily leaving them looking like a distressed armoire. They’re the type of bloke who is so roided up that when they go for a slash they still manage to piss on their hands despite only gripping their shrunken badonkadonk with one finger. I don’t understand it: the posturing and the peacocking and the ‘look at me lifting some arbitrary amount of weight in front of a mirror in my best Jacamo buy one get two free shorts that my wife bought me to encourage me to go to the gym so she can have my brother around for wild sex’ posing.

Honestly, it’s all I can do to focus on Air Crash Investigation and not die on the treadmill. Here’s the top tip: ignore them. It’s quite honestly the worst thing you can do to them – they crave the attention of being ogled, whether you’re doing it aggressively or surreptitiously. Let them get more and more wound up until they stomp out and hopefully wrap their finance-deal-beamer into a tree.

To get away from that today I thought I’d try swimming, but sadly, the pool was also infected with this rot. That and children, though you have to allow the children their noisiness and rambunctiousness as it is a Saturday, I suppose. With Paul advising me that he wouldn’t be joining me in the pool as quite honestly he’s got enough verrucas to keep him going and that he didn’t fancy the inevitable naegleria fowleri infection from the communal showers (well, it is Ashington, you know), I was left alone. Fair enough. Get in, paddle about it a bit and then move into the slow lane to try and do some lengths. I’m not a great swimmer – I look like Artax dying in the Swamp of Sadness from The Neverending Story but with a hairier back – but I can tick along as a reasonable speed and with minimal gasping. I do enjoy watching the lifeguards fretting about having to pull me out of the water if I start flailing, however. So, I’m merrily tootling along with a rudimentary breaststroke, with a couple of blokes in front of me keeping pace, and all is well with the world. As well as it can be when you’ve got someone’s arse pistoning away in front of you, that is, though the chlorine burning my eyes dulled that image a little. All of a sudden there’s a great wave and some absolute fucking bellend goes rocketing past, forcing everyone to swim out of the way. He hits the wall, does that ‘oh look at me’ spin in the water, and sets away back for another length, again causing a wave of water for us poor slowpokes. This continued for a good few minutes before the lifeguard blew her whistle – the power – and told him that he was in the slow lane and if he wanted to swim at such a lick, he would need to move into the fast lane immediately to the left. His reply?

“I AM SWIMMING SLOWLY, THIS IS MY SLOW STROKE”, spat out with such venom I’m surprised the water around him didn’t start to bubble. What a pompous, entitled arse – it was clear he was going as quick as he could but by god he wanted everyone to feel that he could go that much bit quicker. Also, he seemed oblivious to the fact that it’s tricky to look intimidating when you’re wearing a tight, bright pink swimming cap that is pulling your eyebrows up to a permanently surprised look and have combined it with a nose-clip to turn your voice into a high-pitched whinny. Everyone in the immediate vicinity looked at him and the lifeguard made him move over, where he huffed and puffed down the fast lane whilst shooting shitty looks at anyone who went past him. There was no way I could keep up, of course, but you better believe that every time we drew parallel in the lanes, I was shouting the word cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu*nt under the water at him. That made me feel better, as I like to think there was at least a slight revenge. If God existed, he would have been sure to suck the drawstring of his swimming shorts into the filter on the bottom of the pool and kill the bastard off.

Everywhere I go, murder follows. Still: I managed twenty lengths overall, and that’s not bad at all for a bloke who is losing more and more of his buoyancy as the year progresses. Swimming doesn’t feel the same when you don’t immediately follow it up with a Kitkat Chunky and a packet of crisps from the vending machine, however. Paul rejoined me at the car and opened with the line “you know, I wish I was a woman: I’d never stop putting things up my fanny to see if it would fit” – and that’s where we’ll leave it for now.

The recipe, then. Lamb doner kebab burger, if you please. We’ve actually done this recipe before way back when but it looks so awful in the photograph, and frankly, didn’t taste that exciting, we thought we’d do it again but better. Here’s the thing: unless you’re getting your butcher to mince the lamb for you, you’re not going to find 5% lamb mince in the supermarket. You’re just not, and anyone who tells you that you are is a filthy lying bastard. So: buy lamb chunks and food process the hell out of it to make a ‘mince’ instead. It’s that easy! To the lamb doner kebab burger, then…

lamb doner kebab burger

lamb doner kebab burger

to make the lamb doner kebab burger you will need:

  • 4x wholemeal rolls (4x HeB)
  • 200g lamb steaks (see top tips below)
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • sweet chilli sauce (0ptional) (remember to syn it, though)
  • any toppings you like (we used red cabbage, lettuce, rocket and onion)
  • 60g fat-free natural yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp mint sauce

top tips for lamb doner kebab burger:

  • you don’t have to use lamb steaks – diced lamb would do the trick just as well, or mince (just mix by hand instead of in the food processor)
  • if you’re really not a fan of lamb you could use beef mince
  • a good food processor will make easy work of this. If you don’t have one though you could use lamb mince, just mix it all by hand instead
  • you could use pitta breads instead of rolls if you wanted a proper kebab!
  • any loaf tin will do, but a silicon one makes it so much easier! 
  • mince your garlic in seconds with one of these bad boys – it’s our favourite kitchen gadget!

to make the lamb doner kebab burger you should:

  • in a small bowl mix together the yoghurt, garlic and mint sauce, and put in the fridge
  • preheat the oven to 180°c
  • chuck the lamb steaks, onion, coriander, garam masala, salt and pepper into the food processor and blitz until smooth
  • roll into a ball and tip into a medium-sized loaf tin, spreading it out so it’s nice and flat
  • cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes
  • remove from the oven, leave to cool for a bit, and then drain off any liquid
  • lift out onto a chopping board and slice thinly
  • assemble your burger to however you like it – don’t forget the yoghurt and mint sauce!

We love nothing more than a good fakeaway! Check out 10 of our most recent fakeaway recipes!

Enjoy!

J

warm and spicy shepherd’s pie – perfect warming food

Warm and spicy shepherd’s pie on the menu tonight. Two things: it really ought to be a cottage pie because we’re using beef mince and secondly, should it be shepherd’s or shepherds’ pie? Oh it confuses me, but at least you guys aren’t getting the blog delivered in text speak. So shush. For tonight’s story you’re coming back with us to Stockholm but listen, we’re not going to stay too long – it’s just I’ve had this ‘typed up’ in my head all day and I want to spurt it out. It’s only one memory – a two hour trip, in fact – but because it was great fun, here it is. As ever, if you’re here just for the food, click the button below to be whisked straight to it.

Do you know, even though I’ve included that button and made it super clear how to get to the recipe, I’ll still get emails from people saying luklushun were recipea plz. I think I could cheerfully nip over to their house, cook their meal and then press their faces into the gravy and they’d still look blank-eyed and slack-jawed, mouthing the words carent c it sorry over and over. But I digress. Enjoy my mini holiday entry, those of you with some dignity.

click here for part one

I’m actually going to cheat and jump forward to the next day – we spent most of the evening before just wandering around drinking before retiring for an early night, and as this isn’t an Ibsen play, I don’t think you need that level of blisteringly boring deal. So, power-mince through time with me ’til the next morning when, having applied for a small loan in order to buy a coffee and a pastry, we wandered out into the streets.

What joys awaited us then? Of course: a museum dedicated to what life is like if you’re a blind person. Admit it: that was your second guess. We had seen the Invisible Exhibition advertised in the inflight magazine on the flight over and despite the scant details, we knew we had to give it a go, and so it was that we were found heading towards the Osynlig Utställning at 10.30am in the morning.

Our journey on the bus was marred a little by having some chap stare at us the whole way – every time I looked up from cooing out the window at how pretty the city was I’d meet his fixed, cold gaze. This went on for a good twenty minutes and he didn’t return my smile or respond to my scowling. Even when I started doing that thing where you stick your middle finger up and slide it over your cheek in a subtle ‘fuck off’ fashion he didn’t stop staring. Very disconcerting, and, of course, when it came to our stop he jumped up and made his way smartly off the bus in front of us, though thankfully he disappeared in the opposite direction as went off to find a coffee that wouldn’t immediately bankrupt us.

That took altogether longer than expected: turns out there’s not a great amount of cafés open down at the docks on a Sunday morning, though we managed to finally locate a watery attempt at coffee by walking into a gym and standing looking at the receptionist for ten minutes whilst she dithered about with her paperclips as though we didn’t exist. Here, I know we’re fat and thus about as welcome in your fancy spa-gym as a verruca outbreak, but pay us some heed. Sulking but caffeinated, we made our way to the exhibition.

The premise then: experience life without sight. The first shock was the price of admission – they definitely saw us coming. Or rather, they didn’t. Actually the entrance fee was very reasonable – I just wanted to set up that laborious joke. We were the only ones there and had to stow our coats, watches and indeed, anything with a light, into a locker. I joked that ‘but I light up a room just by being there!’ but they must have been a deaf-mute because they didn’t immediately fall to the floor clutching their sides. The tour began with a kindly chap showing us how to use a Braille keyboard which, of course, I grasped straight away and typed out my name – it came out as Jimas, and rather than admit my error I just took that name and ran with it for the rest of the tour, feigning some vague Arabic origin story. Paul mastered it effortlessly, of course, but see he’s got a terribly boring first name which is hard to get wrong. If his name was a colour it would be the shade of piss-weak tea.

Our young host left us at this point and we sat at the table until a cry of ‘Jimas and Paul’ bellowed out from across the reception. Part two of our tour was ready: forty minutes being led around a pitch black room stumbling around various ‘scenarios’ to see how you would come without sight. Our guide arrived and OF COURSE it was the bloke from the bus who I thought had been staring wildly at me but had actually just been looking at me without seeing me. The relief I felt when he explained in his opening speech that he was totally blind was immense. He hadn’t seen me mouthing ‘fuck off’ to him for half the bus journey. Or had he? Was this a ruse? Was he going to trip me up in the darkness? Paranoid!

He led us in. What followed was a genuinely bizarre but, no pun intended, eye-opening experience – lots of different rooms to be led around in the blackness, guided only by his excellent instruction. Stuff like sniffing spice jars in the dark to season a meal (at first I thought he was giving me poppers – what can I say, when in a dark room…), operating the taps in a bathroom, putting on music. There was a room where we were encouraged to feel various statues to identify them – The Thinker by Rodin, Atlas holding up a globe and then, with much shrieking from Paul, he identified that he was in the throes of giving Michelangelo’s David a rusty trombone. Later rooms involved crossing a ‘busy street’, walking through a forest at night (♬ you gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith ♬) and sitting down in a café where you were able to order drinks and snacks from the guide. I was all for a glass of tap water and getting the hell out but, because Paul is hilariously obese, he ordered a tube of Pringles. He could not have ordered a noisier bloody snack if he tried. Have you ever had to sit in the pitch black, all senses bar your sight heightened, listening to your partner crunch his Pringles, smack his lips and make awkward small talk with a guide who was probably itching to get out? I have. I took to making ‘wanker’ signs at Paul and mouthing ‘c*nt’ at him whilst he chewed.

It occured to me as we left the ‘room’ that there’s bound to be an infra-red camera up in the eaves watching us in case of someone falling over or a fire breaking out, meaning that me being horrible to my other half in the dark will all be documented and put on the staff newsletter. However, as we left, Paul confessed that whenever the guide had been talking, Paul had been pulling faces and spreading his arse cheeks at me. Classic Jimas and Paul, right? Once we’d settled up the bill for the Pringles and said a thanks to the guide, we scuttled out.

Let me say this on a genuine note: it was great. No pun intended, it was eye-opening – so disorientating being in the dark but interesting in all of the different ways life can be made easier for blind folk. The guides were charming and the exhibition really well set out – if you’re ever in Stockholm, and in the mood for something entirely different, give it a go!

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Right, let’s do this recipe eh? We were looking for a more unusual, warming take on the shepherd’s pie and this recipe came through! You might be feeling a bit unsure about adding spice to such a classic but trust me when I tell you it’s bloody amazing. This makes enough for four massive portions – could very easily serve 6, but we’re fat and greedy. We didn’t get here by eating salad, after all!

shepherd's pie


shepherd's pie

to make a warm and spicy shepherd’s pie, you’ll need:

  • 800g potatoes, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 500g lean lamb mince (or beef)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 400ml lamb (or beef) stock
  • 1 tbsp gravy granules (2½ syns)
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • juice of half a lemon

top tips for making warm and spicy shepherd’s pie:

to make a warm and spicy shepherd’s pie, you should:

  • if you’re using an actifry, chuck the potatoes in with the turmeric and spray over a bit of oil and cook for about 10 minutes
  • if you’re using an oven, spray the potatoes with a bit of oil and toss in the turmeric
  • next, preheat the oven to 200°c
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and spray in a little oil
  • add the mince, onions and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently
  • add the garam masala, stock, peas and gravy granules and give a good stir
  • bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a simmer until the gravy has thickened (about 3-4 minutes)
  • tip the mixture into a large dish and top with the potatoes, then squeeze over the lemon juice
  • bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes
  • serve!

Tasty! Want more ideas for a good evening meal with mince? Then let the Mincing King sort you out!

Yum!

J

slimming world moussaka

Good evening. Hey, it’s been a while since we chatted, just you and me. Well, that’ll have to wait – The Returned is back on TV tonight and I can’t wait to get a glimpse of that Frenchman’s knob lose myself in the mysterious world of the returning dead and impossibly pretty girls saying ‘Poob’. Ah yes. Paul is making moussaka, so I’m simply going to write until either a) it’s 9pm or b) my shoulders hurt or c) Paul forgets to bring me my hourly coffee and I have to set about his face with a claw hammer. He’s in good spirits today because he’s left his job – don’t get me wrong, he loved it, but it’s a new adventure see? I’ll touch on that another time because tonight I want to chunter on about our holiday. Can I remember the details? Of CORSICAN. It’s exactly that level of shit-hot humour you bloody love.

The last time I wittered on about Corsica, I told you about how lovely the villa was, how appalling my French was and how I managed to make a complete tit of myself in the middle of a French supermarket only to be shouted at and admonished by a merrily-whiskered lady behind the till. I’m not going to write chronologically about what we did going forward because frankly, we spent an awful amount of time sitting around doing nothing other than eating bread and relaxing in the sun.

That was my first downfall. See, I managed to burn myself in the sun. I’m always so careful to protect myself against the sun (health anxiety, remember), and despite previous times when I’ve turned myself blue by applying too much sun-screen, I slicked it on with gay abandon. Listen, I’m a Geordie – we don’t do bronzed and golden, we do either Philip Schofield’s hair white or alarming-boil-red. There’s no middle ground. I’m a big guy and I take a lot of sunscreen to cover me (I did think it would be quicker to use one of those hoses so dramatically employed in decontamination chambers) but I thought I had it licked. Nope. After three hours of merrily splashing around in the pool and sizzling gently on the sun-lounger, I noticed that my right buttock was a trifle sore.

This isn’t uncommon – I use my bum-cheeks most of the day, so a little tenderness can be expected. Normally Paul just needs to tilt me to relieve the pressure. But no, this was a more serious pain – I had managed to half of my arse a charming post-box red. You genuinely don’t realise how much your arse touches something until it feels like it’s been pressed against the door of an industrial kiln for a few moments. Every sit was uncomfortable, every walk a mixture of chaffing and sadness. Plus, in my mind, my arse now resembled a block of Neapolitan ice-cream, only far less delicious. Paul had to spend five minutes gently kneading my buttocks with after-sun to bring comfort – it may have looked slightly erotic if it wasn’t for me yelling that he was catching my arse-hair in the metal clasps of his watch.

Now now, don’t get preachy, most men have a hairy button, it’s just a fact of life. Paul was once climbing naked into the shower when I ran into the bathroom and clipped a clothes peg to his bum-hair for a laugh. I managed to just nip his sphincter in the peg mechanism. Well, honestly. I’ve never heard him scream so loud – there would have been a less dramatic response had I shot his foot off with a sawn-off shotgun. He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day and it was only after I bought him a 1kg bar of Dairy Milk from Amazon and allowed him to delete all my favourite programmes from the Sky Planner that his frostiness melted. 

That was me injured. Paul’s turn now. Dotted around the pool were three metal ‘hammocks’ which were shaped like open metal balls suspended from a frame. You can see them here:

Casa_Julia_LowRes_Sept14_SH_02 (1)

Lovely yes? I declined to get into them as I was worried the chain would snap under my weight and well, I hate to hear metal scream, but Paul is lighter and more daring so flung himself into one with gay abandon. As if we could manage any other kind of abandon, dearie me. He swung around for a bit until he realised he was going to struggle to get out, given he’s only got little legs and the ball shape didn’t lend itself to an easy exit. I watched as he valiantly declared he’d found a way off only to swing the entire frame over and land, quite literally, flat on his face, with the frame of the hammock smacking his on the back of the head a moment later. I couldn’t tell if the loud ‘ooof’ came from me, his mouth or the air escaping from his fat, but it was hilarious. Me being a conscientious, kind-hearted husband couldn’t do a jot for laughing – indeed, I laughed so much from the deep-end of the pool that I almost drowned myself (that’ll teach me) and he lay for a good few seconds before laughing and moving. I’d be a shit paramedic – anything faintly slapstick and they’d be declaring death whilst I stood around slapping my knees with merriment. Perhaps it was karma from when something similar happened to me in Dobbies – we just don’t do well with hammocks.

Once we’d wiped the tears from our eyes (mine tears of laughter, his tears of blood and ocular fluid) we took a moment to decide what to do and decided on a spot of lunch. I was clearly so upset and fraught with the worry that Paul’s skull was filling with blood from his massive internal injury that it was really all I could do to take myself off for a long shower whilst Paul set about cutting up cheese and putting rocket in a bowl – well, it makes it easier to scrape into the bin later on. It was just as Paul was bending down (naked, remember) to get something from the crisper drawer when our rep appeared at the open living room door with a loud ‘HELLO’. Paul, mortified, spun around on his heel and clutched a tea-towel to his genitals (the same tea-towel I later saw him cleaning my wine glass with – which explains why I wondered if we were having Brie with our sauvignon blanc later on). Paul doesn’t do exhibitionism (even though he should, because he’s lovely), unlike me. I’m not fussed when I’m on holiday, I’ll cheerfully flop it out if it saves me carrying my swimming knickers to the beach.

I don’t swear ‘swimming knickers’ I hasten to add, I just like how that sounds in my head’.

What followed (I had taken a moment to stop murdering Cher’s greatest hits in the shower in order to gleefully listen) was a toe-curling exchange where Paul, frozen behind a breakfast bar with only a tea-towel and a packet of Pringles to hide his modesty, had to exchange polite conversation about how to turn off the pool alarm and where to leave the towels whilst the rep looked absolutely everywhere but his body. The rep was lovely mind, don’t get me wrong, and he had the good grace not to shout ‘YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO LET CATTLE IN’ to me as I came out of the shower towelled and pleasant. He then explained that as a gay nudist he had seen it all before, as though Paul was some spectacle designed to be peeped at through a hole in the door. In another world it may have been the beginning of a raunchy Xtube video but not ours – Paul was so shocked and frightened that he had to have half of my sandwich just to calm down. 

I appreciate that this reads like some campy seventies farce but, as Mags is my witness, it’s the truth. Worst part of it all? Paul was so distracted by not accidentally showing the rep his lid that he paid no attention as to how to turn off the pool alarm, and MAN was that alarm sensitive. Each morning we’d be woken by it screeching away if a leaf tumbled in or a water-molecule split. I swear I sighed once in bed at the other end of the villa and it was away, wailing and blaring like a rape alarm. Our poor neighbours. Whilst we couldn’t see anyone nearby – it was forest that surrounded us – we knew there were people close-by by the laughter and sound of cars crunching over gravel. Knowing us, we were probably perched at the end of a housing estate or a nursing home and several dozen Corsican families were being treated daily to the sight of our naked buttocks (mine a fetching red) as we climbed in the pool. Ah well. Not like we’ll ever see them again. 

Final tale before I sign off for the night. We did a very British thing indeed. Perhaps not British, actually, but rather the domain of the bone-idle. We decided halfway through the holiday to have a trip along the island to the port town of Bastia, a good three hour drive away (taking into account Paul’s need to stop every thirty minutes for a dump as we entered somewhere new). We planned the route the night before, made a couple of sandwiches for the car, set the alarm – all ready. We were in the car and making excellent time by around 8am. We’d researched local museums and excellent restaurants to try on our day out, oh what a lovely day. Hmm. The reality of it was that we drove for three hours and then couldn’t find a parking space. Not one. The French seem to park their cars like they’re dashing into maternity wards and haven’t a moment to lose. Every side street is an obstacle course of Corsican Corsas, with cars parked parallel, flush and across the road. I couldn’t understand it and the rage built up in me to such an extent that I yelled ‘WELL FUCK THIS’, did a 76 point turn in the middle of a one-way street and immediately revved the hell out of Bastia. Bastia? More like BASTARD. 

It might have been a lovely town full of curios and wonder, but all we saw of it was the back of a tour bus and the interior of a very large supermarket where we stopped for a calming round of bread and cheese. We’d managed the equivalent of driving to Durham from London, stopping at a Tesco Extra, buying a loaf of bread and driving home. The drive home was fairly silent – Paul slept, and I spent most of the time with my eye twitching and a renewed dislike of the world.  I did switch the radio on but frankly it sounded like I’d tuned into a cockfight so that was snapped off in anger too. 

I was at least reassured that when recounting this tale to a friend that she had done exactly the same, right down to the stopping at the supermarket on the way back. Phew.

We’ll leave it there. French Zombies are here. Before I go, tonight’s recipe is a Slimming World friendly moussaka. You’ll enjoy it! Bit of a clart on making it, no fib, but it’ll be tasty. Serves 4. You could make it with beef mince – lucky we chuck in three big bags of extra lean in our Musclefood deal, found RIGHT HERE (and don’t worry, it opens in a tidy new window so you won’t lose me forever).

slimming world moussaka

to make slimming world moussaka you’ll need:

  • 500g of extra lean minced lamb if you can find it – our butcher does lean lamb and we use that, but they also sell it in Tesco
  • 60g of extra mature cheddar, grated (2 x HEA)
  • 500g pasatta
  • 2 medium aubergines, cut into slices and dipped into lemon juice to stop them going brown
  • a couple of large potatoes
  • 1 bog standard carrot, diced finely
  • tin of tomatoes
  • 1 courgette, diced finely
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed and minced (yep: USE ONE OF THESE MAN, YOU’LL SAVE SO MUCH)
  • 1/2 tsp of ground chilli, 1/2 of cinnamon, 1/2 of rosemary if you can find it, 1 tsp of oregano and 1 tsp of thyme
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • beef stock made from a decent stock cube
  • half a tub of bloody Quark
  • 2 tbsp of fromage frais (make sure syn free else Maggie May will be livid)
  • bit more cheese, just to make it nice

and then to make slimming world moussaka you should (deep breath):

  • actually, look, it isn’t so bad, so get on with it
  • peel, slice and par-boil the potatoes until they are soft with a hint of rigidity, like a randy old bloke’s schlong;
  • take your slices of aubergine and stick them up yer arse and grill them in a fancy griddle pan or normal pan until they’re charred
  • hoy a bit of salt on them
  • cook your onions in another pan until soft, then add everything else in – mince, spices, garlic, courgette, stock etc – and cook for thirty minutes low and slow until it’s really thick;
  • whilst doing that, beat together the Quark, fromage frais, some cheese, salt and pepper and the yolk of an egg into a thick pale yellow sauce
  • assemble – mince mixture, then aubergine, potato, bit of white sauce (fnar fnar) rinse and repeat – you might not get many layers if you have a big dish, but so what? Just do what you can
  • throw cheese on the top and put in the oven for around half an hour, making sure it doesn’t burn
  • add more cheese at regular intervals until you’re satisfied and smiling
  • serve!

Coo, I’m knackered.

J

lamb kofta with creamy cucumbers

I’ve never felt older than I did this morning, when, standing at a bus-stop surrounded by screaming kids effing and jeffing, I tutted to myself and thought ‘kids these days’. Well actually, what I thought was ‘kids these days…if I kicked the littlest one under the wheels of a bus would I REALLY be in the wrong?’. Which is a trifle worrying but honestly, they were so loud. All the conversation was happening at twice the speed I’d expect, like someone leaning on the BPM slider on an old record-player. At one point I thought they were speaking Gujarati until I made the words ‘here-man-ye-FUCKING-DONKEY’ explode through all the vocal drawls and tics. Plus half of the little scrotes were smoking, albeit they were doing that affected ‘suck in a tiny bit and exhale like you’re trying to blow out a chip pan fire’ smoking. I mean if you’re GOING to smoke do it properly, I didn’t hear one lung-rattling cough amongst them. Amateurs. I was on half a tin of Peterson Old Dublin at their age.

You may wonder why someone as sociopathic as me was on a bus – well, I had to take my dear little car in for a service. It’s a brand new car so there should be no problems and it could have waited but see, my windscreen wipers were leaving an annoying smear on the window and rather than just clean them myself, I just took the car in for a full service and asked for a new set. We’re terrible with money, what can I say. But we’ve got no debt so we’re doing something right! I had to sit outside the dealership for twenty minutes waiting for someone to open up, and then I was immediately cut up in the queue by someone with a nicotine fringe and Build-a-Bear shoes. It’s OK, I’m British, I’ll queue politely and stare at the back of your greasy head with such unimaginable fury that I’m surprised the word KNOBJOCKEY didn’t burn across your ears.

He was booking in his bellendmobile for a service too and I almost ground my teeth into diamonds at his excruciating exchange with the receptionist. See, she asked him what time he wanted to pick up the car, he replied ‘Whatever time is good for you, I’m easy’. That made me vomit gently against the back of my teeth but I held it back. She then suggested 4pm – nope, no good, he was picking the kids up. 5pm? No, he was taking his mother to hospital. 3pm? He’d be at work. Tomorrow morning? He drives a lorry for a living, he’d be away. I mean HAWAY MAN, it’s not bloody hard to give HER a time instead of trying to be a smooth bastard with your plaitable earhair and chip-fat musk. After what felt like enough time to the rubber on my tyres to perish in the sun, he fucked off, it was my turn, I signed the car over and was away before she could click her pen.

The bus, then. Awful. For so many reasons. Firstly, I like my own personal space. I don’t like sharing that personal space with someone for whom deodorant and mouthwash are part of an “alternative lifestyle”. I immediately tune into their every defect – the way their nostrils whistle when they breathe out, the way they click their teeth over every speedbump, the way they lean against me as the bus turns a corner. I hate it. I’m not perfect by any stretch but see that’s why I contain myself in a car. People don’t respect personal space but I probably take it to the other extreme – I wince like a beaten dog if someone so much as gets in the lift with me.

Plus, the journey cost me £2.20. For a distance no greater than two miles, all downhill. Had I not been worried about my lovely shirt, I could have laid on my back and barrelled down the hill like a roll of carpet. I could even have walked (shock, I know, but even I’m not fat enough to decline a walk downhill) but I would have been late for my dentist and he’s the last guy I want to piss off. That’s extortionate, and it took almost half an hour because the bus stopped quite literally every 100 yards or so to let someone off and on, with all their bloody questions taking another five minutes. The driver had all the charisma of a roadside piss and snatched tickets and cash like he was on the Crystal Maze. I don’t doubt there are exceptions but do they make all bus drivers go to a training camp to thrash all the human decency out of them? Or is it dealing with rotten human beings all day that turn them into such miserable buggers? I saw someone stumble over the word Megarider and I honestly thought the driver was going to punch her on the tit. 

Ah well. The dentist went very well – I’m not even going to write a sarcastic recount of that, because I just can’t fault my dentist. He’s lovely. He takes the time to tell me what he’s going to do and I think he must minimise anything that ‘hurts’ because I rarely feel a thing. Apparently I have animal teeth AND naturally white. Not surprised, what with all the “whitening solution” I’ve had cascaded over them over the years, am I right? If I was richer, I’d have every last tooth torn out and replaced with big fake white teeth. I know it looks unnatural but it’s the one thing about me that I’m genuinely shy about – even though my teeth are pretty decent.  Paul hides his teeth all the time too, despite having a lovely smile – but in the nine years we’ve been together I’ve never been allowed to look at the back of his mouth. The guy is happy enough texting me a picture of his balloon knot with an ‘URGENT: OPEN THIS’ caption, but his teeth? No. Weird.

Anyway, as it happens, the car came back completely free of any worries and they replaced the blades for nowt because they should have lasted longer! RESULT.

Tonight’s recipe, then:

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to make lamb kofta, you’ll need:

ingredients for the kofta: 900g lean lamb mince, 1 large onion, 3cm piece of root ginger (peeled and chopped), 2 cloves of garlic, 1 chilli pepper (deseeded), 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, 2 tsp garam masala, 1tsp salt, 1 egg

to make lamb kofta, you should:

  • throw the onion, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, cumin, coriander, garam masala, salt and egg into a food processor and pulse until it makes a grainy paste
  • mix together the minced lamb and egg, and then combine with the paste mixture
  • leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour
  • divide the mixture into ten portions and roll out into a thick sausage shape – you want it to be about the size of a penis that, when presented, you wouldn’t get very excited about, and skewer
  • in a small bowl mix together a little fat free yoghurt with a drop or two of oil and add a pinch of black pepper
  • using a pastry brush, lightly coat the koftas with the yoghurt mixture
  • grill under a medium heat for around 5 minutes per side

We served this on a HEB WW tortilla bread from Tesco, plus some tomato and a giant lettuce leaf. 

ingredients for the creamy cool cucumbers: 1 cucumber (sliced thinly), 1 onion (sliced), 60g fat free natural yoghurt, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp sweetener, pinch of salt and pepper, 2 tsp dill

recipe: 

  • mix together the yoghurt, onion, white wine vinegar, sweetener, salt and pepper
  • pour over the cucumbers and toss well to mix
  • sprinkle the dill over the mix just before serving

Listen: I know I go on about this all the time. But if you haven’t got a mandolin slicer, bloody well get one. Fair enough you might circumcise the end of your fingers but it’ll be worth it – you can slice your onion and cucumber for this recipe in less time then it would take you to get a knife out of the block and crack a few jokes about the girth of the cucumber. The one we use is from Amazon and is brilliant – and only £12. Think of all the time you spend crying over your onion and irregular slices. Treat yourself. It’s this or chocolate.

Better to make this just before serving otherwise the cucumber leaks its water and the sauce looks like something you might get treatment at the clap clinic for.

End on a high!

J

spiced lamb mince and potato aloo kheema

Firstly, a massive and genuinely heartfelt thank you to everyone for the lovely comments yesterday in response to my article about my nana. I can’t reply to them all but please know that they were read and enjoyed greatly. She’d have hated (but secretly loved) all the fuss. She was one of those people who would say she didn’t want anything for Christmas and then sit there with a face like a slapped arse until you got her present out. I’ll miss her at Christmas – we used to joke on amongst ourselves that she was like Dr Who – always regenerating at Christmas despite us saying for a good ten years that ‘we’d better not go away this year, it’ll be her last’. Ah well. Your comments were delightful, inspired and so very kind, and it made me feel better that I was able to encapsulate even the smallest bit of what she meant to me. That said, if she wasn’t currently on ice down at the morgue, she’d be tunneling halfway to China now spinning in her grave at what I’m about to show you.

I have literally become the thing I hate most. Just look.

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I’m drinking a mixed drink from a fucking jamjar, like some pretentious rah-yah in one of those bars where they take a perfectly affable building, cover it in veneers and turn off all the lights so you have to read the menu by the cherry of a liquorice-papered, prison-thin American Spirit roll-up. You’ll note however that the jamjar is a proper Kilner licenced jar and I even doubled down and got the awful paper straws to go with it. Paper straws though, really – the liquid equivalent of trying to dry yourself with a cloud. Five minutes in and it’s already collapsed, so I end up sucking like I’m giving the world’s worst blowjob to both parties concerned. Don’t worry, it’ll be back to George pint glasses soon enough and we’ll only wheel out the posh stuff when it’s going on Twitter, like the Christmas china.

That’s the next point – we’re now on Twitter. The observant amongst you will doubtless have spotted the little widget there on the right displaying pictures and other such nonsense. The aim is to get you lot sharing these recipes wherever you can, plus, it gives me an outlet for my bile for when I can’t be bothered sitting at the computer trying to type with a particularly needy cat clawing away at my genitals. Follow us by adding @twochubbycubs and share share share share!

Along similar lines, I’ve just noticed that we’ve sailed clean past 2000 members, which when you think I was only bleating on about having 1000 members back in January (and take a look at that page, I shit you not when I say it’s one of our best recipes), is pretty incredible. Like we always say – Paul loves cooking (he’s learnt to, Little Mo has nothing on him) and I love writing, so this is the perfect outlet for us. The fact that so many of you like hearing our nonsense and swearing only gives us a reason to try harder! With that in mind, know that we are going to be back to full speed pretty soon – recent events have knocked us a little, but we’re still doing a new recipe a day, and you’ll get the benefit of that. We’ve got breakfast ideas, themed weeks and oops – we forgot about Europe. What are we like. So bear with us, and until then, enjoy this:

lamb kheema slimming world

Tasty. And check out the presentation, I felt like I was in a Newcastle Wetherspoons. I mean, I knew I wasn’t because I have a full set of teeth and a career, but still*.

to make the spiced lamb mince you will need:

500g of lean lamb or pork mince (or beef, for that matter – hey listen, I’m not judging you), 500g of potatoes (use new potatoes if you can get them) cut into thumb sized chunks, 1 red onion finely chopped, 2 big juicy red tomatoes (i.e. don’t be buying a pack of cheap tomatoes, God is watching and he despairs of your watery orange balls of nowt), and then the spices:

to make spiced lamb mince you should:

You’ll also need a drop of oil for the onions. If you prefer, use Frylight, but like I always say: don’t.

This recipe only took us about 30 minutes to make and most of that was the pot sitting on the hob. So what’s your excuse, eh?

ingredients for the sides: a pitta bread each (HEB if you use a wholemeal Weight Watchers pitta, which has all the taste and wonder of a side of Artex), an onion, tomato, cucumber and red chilli for the onion salad and fat free natural yoghurt, cucumber and fresh mint (or mint sauce if you’re common) for the raita. 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t know if this is extra-lean lamb mince. See, it was at the back of our freezer and we did buy a load of extra-lean mince from our butcher back in the day. I think it is. If it is, then the dish is syn free. If not, use extra lean beef or pork or even turkey. OH THE EXCITEMENT.

OK, so the recipe:

  • make up your side dishes
    • add yoghurt, mint and grated cucumber together and chill
    • toast pitta bread
    • chop up onion, tomato, cucumber and finely chop chilli – combine and add a pinch of salt
    • set aside
  • get your best pan out of the cupboard – heavy bottomed (that’s the pan, not you, cheeky)
  • add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cumin seeds and get it on a medium high heat until they sizzle
  • add the chopped onions, cook until golden, add the ginger and garlic paste
  • add the turmeric, chilli and coriander powder and let it sweat for a moment or two before chucking in the mince and potato
  • allow to brown for a few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes – two big tomatoes should produce more than enough water once you put the lid on and turn the heat down to a medium
  • cook until the meat is cooked and the potatoes tender – chuck in the garam masala and cook down for a moment or two more
  • serve.

Enjoy!

* I actually like Wetherspoons and don’t have a problem with them. Creative licence, alright?

J

doner kebab

Warning: this post is miserable as syn. Pun intended.

I woke up in a proper huff today. No particular reason, just I wanted everyone I saw outside of my immediate circle of friends to be immediately blinked out of all existence. Humanity seemed to be doing its bit to bring me to my knees – if I’d had a shotgun and could carry off a leather knee-length coat with any sort of panache then there could have been genuine trouble. Things got off to a sour note as soon as I checked my facebook over my morning banana – which isn’t as filthy as it sounds – and saw…

…people queueing up outside of Iceland to get a ready meal. I mean for heaven’s sake. You need to understand that I wouldn’t queue up outside of a shop if they were giving away free blowjobs and pug-faced kittens, but I can just about see the point of it if you’re desperate for a bargain. But for a fucking ready meal? I’ve seen trolleys awash with them like each one contains a mini Margaret who will come and jiggle your fat-shelf up and done to tone it whilst you watch Eastenders. I apologise profusely if there are any readers out there who queued and enjoyed themselves but I find it despairing – like Black Friday but sweatier. Plus the sausages look like an old poo in a condom, though admittedly I’m basing that on a photo that Ray Charles himself seemingly took using a potato. Nevertheless, each to their own and all that. So…

Every song on the radio into work was the wrong one. My iPod wouldn’t bluetooth up to the car music system meaning I couldn’t have my music on. Every person in every single other car on the road was driving like an arsehole – either too slow, reading their phones, or swerving all over the road trying to get their iPod to bluetooth up to their car music system. Well, honestly. I nearly ran someone over who thought stepping out in front of the bus was the best way to continue their life and then I got stuck behind a bin-lorry who had parked up in a single-lane street so the driver could have a cigarette. And you can’t remonstrate with a binman, everyone knows that. That was just the journey in.

Work was work.

Lunchtime came and by this point, all I wanted to do was eat my lunch and doze for half an hour in peace so I picked up my Thermos of bloody awful watery vegetable soup (I had nowt in last night to make something fancy) (Paul calls it care home broth) and made my way over my car in the multi-storey in Newcastle’s Chinatown. No sooner had I poured my soup when some piss-eyed old bugger tapped on my window and told me to move my car as they were doing electric works on the lamppost behind. I duly obliged, working my way through my entire bank of swearwords as I moved around to find a space whilst all the while holding a cup of soup in one hand. Having done so, I finished my ‘delicious’ dinner and was about to nod off for twenty minutes when what sounded like the entire country of China paraded through the street below, banging drums and making noise. They were practising the Chinese New Year march and it was like being under attack. I would have had a more restful half hour if I’d managed to set my face on fire with the car lighter. Dejected and tired, with a fetching orange stain on my shirt from where I’d jumped the first time around, I headed back in.

But no! The joy didn’t end there. Work continued being work. Over the rest of the day I managed to drop my pass into the toilet when I went for a piss and then drop it again down the stairs on the way out of the building. I also managed to leave my car parking ticket on my desk at work, meaning I had to go back for it, and then, the final insult, I got stuck behind the only AUDI driver in existence who DOESN’T think they need to go 150mph in their shite company car who was tootling merrily along the 60mph road at 30mph where the bends and hills precluded any overtaking. I like to think she at least heard the sound ‘UUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNT’ as I finally overtook. 

Anyway, I’m home now. Deep breath. I appreciate that this entry is one long moan but I needed it, and now I feel better. Here’s a recipe for doner kebab. Normally I’d shy away from a doner kebab, believing it’s only really suitable for soaking up bile and half-digested carrot before promptly being upchucked in a technicolour yawn by some drunken trollop in the Bigg Market before she settle downs in an alleyway for a foamy piss and regretful sex. A tortuous example. But you get my drift, it’s not exactly classy fare.

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to make doner kebab you will need:

500g of extra lean lamb mince, 1 tsp of oregano, 1/2tsp of thyme, onion powder, garlic powder respectively, 1/4tsp of cayenne pepper, 1tsp of salt and some black pepper. Listen, if you don’t have onion or garlic powder, no need to shit the bed, just use fresh onion and garlic chopped fine. You can use a tiny bit of flour to dry it out if your lamb is particularly wet. Syn that though – 25g is four and a half syns but a) you’ll not use that much and b) you’re not eating the whole lot, so don’t worry about it too much. Eat it in a pitta bread – weightwatchers wholemeal pitta (x1) is a HEB. You’ll need whatever salad you want in there.

to make doner kebab you should:

preheat the oven to 180degrees. Chuck absolutely everything into a big old bowl and mash mash mash with your fists. Imagine you’re punching the face of someone you hate, or you’re trying to birth a cow against the clock. You want that mixture smooth, not lumpy because you couldn’t be arsed. No excuses. Think of the body magic. If you sweat and it drops in, just reduce the amount of salt you add. When you’ve got it so smooth and well-mixed that you want to take a picture and show it to the neighbours, stick it in a parchment-lined loaf tin and cook in the oven for around 90 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn it over and skim off any shite that has oozed out. Once cooked, take it out, let it cool, slice it thin. 

Now, stuff it into your pitta with as much salad as you want. Because I’m not very exciting, I just went for spinach and tomato and onion with a raita made from fat free yoghurt, mint and a bit of garlic. Whoo, right? You could have an extra pitta for five syns more and who is going to know? I’m not telling anyone, I’m still in a bad mood!

Enjoy. Goodnight.

J

Oh: before I forget! Thank you all for your comments, we really do appreciate and love each one. Don’t be discouraged if we don’t reply (we always try to) – I sit in front of a computer all day and once I’ve typed this up, I normally turn off the computer and concentrate on relaxing or teasing the cat. But we thank you all 🙂