the perfect Slimming World Big Mac

Big Mac in a bowl? Big Mac tater tots? What happened to a plain old Big Mac stuffed firmly into your mush until the grayus runs down yer chin? Well, on Slimming World, that dirty Big Mac will cost you 25.5 syns and a threatening midnight call from Commandant Bramwell. Something needs to pay for her timeshare in Magaluf and the second-hand, nicotine-tainted Subaru Impreza (private reg: MMB 4EVA), let me tell you.

So, us being generous Cubs, decided to finish our American holiday entries with a Slimming World Big Mac which weighs in at an altogether less unseemly 6.5 syns. You could have four! But don’t, you greedy bugger. Before we get to the recipe, indulge me for another few minutes as I give you a happy ending to be proud of, as it’s part seven of our New York trip!

slimming world big mac

click here for part one | click here for part two | click here for part three | click here for part four | click here for part five | click here for part six

We decided that it was imperative we be at the airport in good time lest we be late and miss our flight – I mean, can you imagine being stranded in New York? I’d feel like little Kevin McAllister, only without the shenanigans and inappropriate touching. As such, rather than clart about with the trains, we hailed a taxi. Our taxi driver was colourful with his language, going to great lengths to tell us what’s wrong with most Brits (we don’t tip, we’re too hoity-toity, Paul’s too fat, that sort of thing) and speeding through the streets like he’d stole the car. When it came to paying the fare I made a gag about asking Paul if he had twenty cents so we could give the exact fare and I swear to God, I thought the driver was going to shoot my face through the back of my head. I don’t like to exaggerate but I’ve never seen such ire in a man’s eyes – and I’ve gone in dry on more than one occasion. Just saying.

Naturally, with Speedy McMoodytits at the wheel, we arrived at the airport thirty minutes before check-in even opened, meaning we had to sit around forlornly by the front doors with our suitcases. It’s about the only time I miss smoking, at airports – it gives you something to do between getting fingered by some terse security attendant and spending the rest of your ‘foreign money’ on expensive tat for work colleagues. Do you know, I don’t think I’ve successfully managed to pass through an airport without buying a giant Toblerone since I was eighteen and got my first job? There’s always sarky remarks about originality but hey, at least it wasn’t a giant bag of wax fruit sweets that every other fucker brings back from their holiday.

I remember the first time Paul and I flew long-haul together (to Orlando, the tales of which you can find in our honeymoon book, which I’ve told is attractively priced on Amazon and available at the touch of a button on the very device you’re reading this on now). We were committed smokers at that point and the thought of nine hours in the air filled us with terror and dread.  We spent almost an hour mainlining fags outside of Manchester Airport then, once we had landed, it was literally the only thing we could think of. Fuck Mickey Mouse I cried, we’ve got emphysema to nurture. Naturally, Paul had lost the lighter and we spent a tense fifteen minutes trying to buy matches before some kind soul wheezed to our aid. It’s embarrassing, looking back.

Anyway, without smoking to pass the minutes, we occupied ourselves by streamlining our hand luggage and eating the bags of sweets I’d bought for my parents. It’s what they would have wanted. Finally time moved forward just enough for us to be granted permission to check in. The guy behind the counter was another grumpy sort who spent more time than I thought was decent fannying about with my passport. I resisted the urge to touch his hands and say ‘I’m sorry, I’m married, but I can send a signed photo by Fedex’ but he looked as though he’d snap my fingers.

What followed was the longest three hours of my life. Is there a more surprisingly awful, boring airport than JFK? I assumed that, being an exit hub, it would be full of vibrant shops and classy eateries for the carefree tourist to spend their money in. Nope. We had a Starbucks and watched the planes for a bit. Then we had a McDonalds and watched the planes for a bit. I enjoyed twenty-five minutes of furiously looking at my iPad whilst it failed to connect to the public Wi-Fi. We both went for a shite just to pass the time but found ourselves unable to commit the dirty deed because yet again the toilets only had a metal postage stamp for a door. I hate making eye-contact with anyone, let alone when I’m trying to birth an otter. Bah!

After looking around the duty free shop for the fourth time (why? Perhaps we thought there was an undiscovered wing to explore just behind the Smirnoff stand? Or that they rotated the stock on an hourly basis?) we succumbed and bought some aftershave: Paul some cloying Issey Miyake stuff, me some classy Tom Ford. I’ve come a long way since spraying my Mum’s bottle of Mum under my boobs before PE, I can tell you.

Finally, it was time to board. As usual, four hundred people leapt up at once as though fearful the plane might accidentally nip away before they’d had a chance to fuss about with the safety cards and put their duty free in the overhead bins. We hung back – we’re too fat to move safely in crowds – one of us trips and we’re taking people out on the way down. When we eventually made it to the final beep-beep check of the tickets and passport, a very stern lady with ice-blonde hair and a face that had never seen sunlight told us to stand to one side.

They then took our passports and tickets away from us whilst people walked past tutting at us as though we were terrorists. I mean, fair enough I hadn’t shaved, but I wasn’t a complete disaster.  For almost five minutes we waited whilst they let other people past. My arsehole was nipping so much I was surprised the two kilos of coke stuck up there didn’t fall out. Paul remained calm – as usual – I could hurl a burning pan of hot oil into his ear and he’d still yawn and look impassive, though he might feel a bit sad that he wasn’t getting chips.

Finally, we were given new tickets and told we had been moved from our original seats. We’re not fussy so didn’t say much and rejoined the queue. It was only on boarding that we were told we’d been upgraded. Hooray! Premium Economy is the lowest class we’ll fly because we’re fat and snotty (just kidding: it really is just because we’re fat) so anything higher was always going to be great. A genuinely lovely end to a fantastic holiday.

Quick thoughts? It was great being able to lie down properly on an overnight flight, although I didn’t like not being right next to Paul – I find it hard to sleep unless some of his fat isn’t rolling over me and the sound of him choking on his own neck is lullabying me to the land of nod. Having my own ‘pod’ was a novelty though – I spent a good forty minutes pressing every switch, turning on every light, opening every little drawer (a drawer to put my shoes in: how clever!) and carefully secreting every freebie into my bag. It was only when the Captain announced that someone was draining the power from the engines that I stopped whirring my chair, charging my iPod and frying myself some chips.

slimming world big mac

BYEEEEEEE LOL MISSING U HUN

The stewardesses came around shortly after take-off and asked everyone if they would like anything to eat. Paul, much to my horror, said he was full and only wanted a vodka. I was foaming. Everyone knows you need to make the most of this type of situation, even if it makes you look like a grasping harlot. I ordered a gin and tonic and a full meal (despite having already had a three course meal in the airport – ah well, I had plenty of time to sleep it off).

Here’s the thing – this is why I can’t have nice things. I was served a wonderful array of dishes but to me, they were nothing special and the portion sizes were tiny. I appreciate this is just me being a big fat pig but it seems the more you pay for food, the less you get. Don’t get me wrong, I put it all away in record time and did a discreet celebratory burp into my pillow for good measure, but I don’t like being served a big white plate with a shaving of radish on it and a flea-bite of cheese. I could have breathed my dinner into my lungs. I did make Paul watch me eat a delicious chocolate melting pudding, though – I stared right in his eyes and smacked my lips. That’ll teach him.

The night flight passed smoothly, soothed as I was by the sounds of my fellow fliers sleeping soundly and farting long into the night. Paul woke up at one point thinking the landing gear was coming down until I explained it was merely the mechanics of my chair straining under my bulk.

I was disappointed by the toilets – I wasn’t expecting someone to come in and wipe my taint but really, it’s not very upper class to be standing in someone else’s piss whilst you slap on the Elemis eye-cream. I know that on Emirates’ A380 you can actually have a hot shower whilst you fly. I can’t conceive of something I’d rather do less at 38,000ft – I know that as soon as I undressed and climbed into the shower we’d hit extreme turbulence and I’d end up shooting out of the bathroom with suds in my hair and my cock a-flapping whilst everyone screamed around me. It’s what happens when I get changed at the gym, why should it be any different in the sky?

We landed in good time and, unusually, were through security in no time at all. We did the usual things – updated Facebook to show off our fancy flying, texted my mother to tell her that I hadn’t made an unscheduled stop into the sea and that she could cancel the hearse, then made our way through grey London for our Virgin train back home. As you’d expect with a train journey, it was entirely uneventful, and we were home in no time for a good sleep.

That’s that! New York – done. It’s somewhere we’ve always wanted to go and it was made all the sweeter by Paul not knowing about it in advance. Normally I can’t keep a secret for toffee but somehow I managed to pull off a full holiday without giving the game away. The people, for the most part, were friendly, and everything we visited was absolutely worth it. I can see why people go back – we’ve only scratched the surface of what the city has to offer.

We’d move there in a heartbeat save for the fact that a decent flat in a nice area is over a million quid and well, we don’t have that sort of money hidden down the sofa (feel free to buy more copies of this book though, it might pay for a lamp or something). I think my favourite day, of all of them, was walking around Central Park – nothing much happened but it was so beautiful and so New York.

We travelled with Virgin Trains (reasonable), British Airways (excellent) and stayed at the Wyndham New Yorker (lovely, but ask for a newer room – our room was a bit old-fashioned and stuffy. We liked it, but you might not).

Onto the next holiday…


Right! Yes. THIS MAKES FOUR! If you want fewer, just reduce the amount as you need to.

slimming world big mac

to make a Slimming World Big Mac, you’re going to need:

  • (this makes enough for four, mind you)
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 6 wholemeal rolls (use 4x as a HeB each, and then syn the remaining two at 12 syns to make the middle bun)
  • half an iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • sliced gherkins
  • 4 slices of reduced-fat processed cheese (12 syns)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced

for the special sauce

  • 4 tbsp extra-light mayonnaise (2 syns)
  • 2 tbsp reduced-fat thousand island dressing (1 syn)
  • 4 tsp chopped gherkins
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt

We used a proper bun for the pictures and don’t even care – if you’re using white buns with sesame seeds, you’re looking at about 12 syns, and even then it’s half the syn cost of a proper one. AND you can reduce the syns further still by swapping out the cheese for some of your proper HEA cheese, but if you’re going to do this, you’ve got to do it properly, see?

Two things we used to help with this recipe, neither of which are critical to the recipe but they do help: our Optigrill and our canny little burger maker (dirt cheap)!

to make a Slimming World Big Mac, you should:

  • bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the chopped onion – simmer for 30 seconds, then drain and set aside
  • next, mix together the sauce ingredients in a bowl, including 2 tbsp of diced onion, and set aside
  • add salt and pepper to the mince and then divide into 8 balls (just over 60g each) and flatten into burger shapes – they don’t need to be perfect, and remember, McDonalds burgers are normally thin!
  • if you’re using the OptiGrill: fire it up and select the ‘burger’ option – when the light goes blue simply whack the burgers on, close the lid and cook until the light is orange
  • otherwise – preheat the grill to high and cook the burgers until done – remembering to flip over
  • whilst they’re cooking, toast the buns
  • next – assemble the burger – you want it in this order:
    • bottom bun
    • tbsp special sauce
    • tbsp diced onion
    • chopped lettuce
    • slice of cheese
    • burger
    • bun half
    • tbsp special sauce
    • tbsp onion
    • lettuce
    • gherkins
    • burger
    • top bun
  • forget you’re on a diet
  • turn into poo

How nice is that? For the full McDonalds experience, try and eat your burger whilst eighteen kids off their tits on e-numbers and sugar run screaming around your ankles whilst neck-tattooed dads stare glumly at you with their dead, soulless eyes.

Big thanks to @TEFALUK and @Foodies100!

Fancy more to fill your pie hole? Just click one of the buttons below!

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J

introducing the girthburger and a happy new year!

Well hello there! The girthburger awaits! We always get such a flood of new people joining in the New Year, and we can both absolutely sympathise. You’ve had an amazing Christmas but you’re getting out of breath wiping your bum and you have realised that things need to change. A bidet wouldn’t go with your bathroom so it’s time to lose weight. Bridget Jones once said that New Year’s Day is the worst time to make your resolutions and start your new life because everyone is still buzzing on nicotine, drugs, stranger’s semen (just us?), alcohol and good food, and I’m inclined to agree with her. It is pointless. So we’re starting tomorrow, even if new recipes are kicking off today.

Because there’s lots of new people, just a boring bit of housekeeping – I’ll keep it to bullet points though so it’s nice and short. If you’ve got the attention span of a gnat, click on this carrot to jump straight to the recipe.

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Where were we? Ah yes:

  • we’re 100% not Slimming World consultants – we’ve been members for nearly nine years and have spent so much money buying Slimming World books and magazines that we ought to be listed as shareholders on Companies House – we always check the syns online but if you’re ever unsure, check them yourself and if you have any further SW questions, speak to one of their excellent consultants;
  • along similar lines, we’re definitely not your average slimming / diet blog – I can’t bear 99% of food blogs out there. I hate all the cutesy-poo flowery language, I hate all the patronising U CAN DO IT!!!11 guff and I hate the fact that so many blogs out there advertise syn-free crap but only if you buy sweeteners from XYZ company and agar agar from ABC online. We’re not like that. We don’t soak our blog in adverts, we don’t spam people, we don’t bullshit and we don’t sugarcoat, not least because if we did sugarcoat our words, you greedy fuckers would only eat them;
  • that said, we do recommend Musclefood meat and get paid for doing so – but let me tell you this – the second they start going shite. we won’t use them. We recommend their products because we actually eat them. The same goes with the Amazon product we sometimes recommend in our recipes – if you buy them, we get a small bit of cashback, and that’s what keeps the blog going. If we don’t own the item we don’t recommend it, it’s as simple as that. We’re 100% open and honest here at 2CC – we’re not going to push a recipe just to get money;
  • our food is made with proper ingredients and we’re not afraid to use a few syns for a meal – that’s what they’re there for. It’s rare that we go above four syns though, so we’re hardly talking gutbusters; and
  • most recipes have a bit of waffle beforehand if something funny has happened or if I just fancy being gobby – just scroll down to the recipe if blue language and coarse humour offends you. Sending me a message telling me not to swear is never going to end well!

I think that covers everything! If you’re looking for all of our recipes, you can find them here. A humourous guide to Slimming World can be found here. All of our Musclefood deals are on one handy page right here. There’s a bit about the two fat blokes who run the blog right here. We’re on Twitter, we have a facebook page with 130,000 folks following and a facebook group (which is sadly full at the moment!). Ah and we have three books out – not recipe books, Mags would sulk, but rather two books of all our blog entries and another about our honeymoon in Florida. Click here for those – it’s worth it just to see what filth we get included with! All done! Here’s to a good year.

The burger then. Well christ, look at the bloody clip of it. It’s our response to all those towering monstrosities that you get in fancy burger joints these days. About eight hundred thousand of these places opened in Newcastle last year alone – I want to go (there’s just something appealing to me about cramming so much meat between two buttered buns) but I’m always worried that I’m going to have a heart attack mid-meal. At least at home I have Paul who knows his way around mouth to mouth.

The burger is syn free until you slather it in mustard and ketchup which weigh in at 1 syn per tablespoon. As the amount you put on is up to you, you’ll need to syn accordingly.

The recipe below is for one person (i.e it makes one burger with two patties inside) – just scale up as needed.

the girthburger

to make the girthburger you will need:

to make the girthburger you should:

  • add the diced onion to a small saucepan, add a splash of oil and a pinch of salt
  • stir, cover and cook over a medium-low heat and cook for about 40 minutes, until caramelised (stir every 15-20 minutes or so)
  • meanwhile, roll the mince into two balls and slap out onto a square of greaseproof paper
  • gently push down on top of the balls with one hand whilst cupping the edge, to make a burger shape
  • keep shaping and squashing until you end up with two burgers that are about ½cm thick – they might look massive, but that’s what you want!
  • in a small frying pan, dry-fry the bacon medallions over a high heat until crispy, slice in half lengthwise then set aside
  • toast each side of the wholemeal bun under the grill and then top with the sliced gherkins
  • add the tomato sauce and mustard
  • heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add a little oil, switch the grill on too (on high) at this point for later on
  • add the burgers to the pan (don’t overcrowd the pan – do it in batches if you need to) and sprinkle on the salt and pepper
  • cook each burger for one minute, then flip and cook for another minute, then flip again
  • spread over some of the caramelised onion and cook for another minute (the burgers should cook for three minutes in total)
  • remove the burgers from the pan and transfer to the grill pan
  • top with a slice of cheese and the strips of bacon and put under the grill on the highest shelf and grill just until the cheese has melted
  • stack the burgers on top of each other on the bap, add some sliced onion and enjoy!

if you love burgers as much as we do, give these other recipes a try!

Don’t forget, we’ve got over 400 other recipes just waiting for you! click one of the buttons below to find something else that might tickle your fancy…

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Happy new year, all!

J

veggie ploughman’s burgers plus mojito water

Super quick post tonight of two recipes – a veggie ploughman’s burger made from all sorts of speed food plus mojito water, which is rather a grand name for some fancy water with lime and mint added. No alcohol sadly, sorry, you’ll have to go back to that bottle of schnapps you keep hidden in your handbag. We all know.

Part of the reason for such a short post, aside from the fact that you’ve had rather a long run from us lately, is because I want to do some research into laser eye surgery. I hate wearing glasses, I truly do, and you know I went about four years thinking the world was going slightly quicker than I was due to all the blurring. I thought Paul was Puerto-Rican until that first fateful visit to Vision Express. It’s such an expensive habit, and don’t tell me I can buy glasses cheaply online – I did it once, and it went very wrong. See, I put in all the measurements that I had on my prescription, accounted for my weird astigmatism and chose a delicate black frame. The pair that turned up were exactly as I ordered, bar the fact they were about 50% too small for my elephantine head. It looked like I was wearing a pair of pince nez or fancy-dressing as Harry Potter looking into one of those concave mirrors that posh folk have at their end of their drives to check for tractors.

Of course, being a tight fucker, I wore those glasses for a good six months before Paul stopped going anywhere with me and made me change them, and the expense (and discomfort during eye-tests) has never stopped since. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t forever cleaning the fucking things – it seemed I just need to blink three times before the lenses look like someone has rubbed a block of Trex onto them and swept a chimney. I spend more time making sure I can see clearly than actually looking where I’m going. 

Laser eye surgery though…I’m on the fence, because although the benefits would be clear vision and no need to pay for glasses, I know for an absolute concrete fact that it’ll go wrong. I’m a catastrophic thinker – I can’t open a christmas gift from a beloved relative without worrying I’m going to papercut through my jugular with the gift-tag or have a massive cardiac arrest from the surprise of a Radox gift set. So yes, it’s bound to go wrong Final Destination style, with my eyeballs being turned into burnt cornflakes and me destined to spend my life alone in the blackness listening to All By Myself and wailing. Bah. Suppose I could get a nice dog out of it though…

Anyway, enough of me. Let’s start with the veggie ploughman’s burger. This recipe makes enough for four burgers, so where I’ve put HexA, that’s for one slice of reduced-fat cheese. Don’t be a piggy. I’m not normally a fan of vegetarian burgers but this not only held its shape but also tasted decent, unlike the usual farts and sadness.

veggie ploughman's burgers

to make veggie ploughman’s burgers, you’ll need:

  • 4 wholemeal rolls (1 HexB each)
  • 1 large tin of chickpeas, drained thoroughly
  • 150g broccoli florets
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium mushrooms
  • 25g panko (5 syns) (or use ordinary breadcrumbs, maybe blitz a small bun, but syn accordingly)
  • handful of chopped coriander (not a fan? You can’t taste it)
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • lettuce
  • 4 slices of reduced-fat cheese (HexA)
  • 2 tbsp pickle (Branston is 1 syn per tbsp) (so half a tablespoon per burger, or leave it out)

These actually come to 1.7 syns, but for goodness sake. 1.5 syn each.

to make veggie ploughman’s burgers, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200ºc
  • grate the broccoli and carrot together into a large bowl (this is a great gadget for the job)
  • making sure your chickpeas are thoroughly drained – and listen, I mean this, get them bloody dry), pour them into a food processor along with the mushrooms and pulse until you get a smooth paste
  • scrape the chickpea mixture into the bowl with the carrot and broccoli, add the coriander, panko and egg and stir well to mix until you can form a large ball
  • spray a baking sheet with a little frylight and divide the mixture into 4 and press into a burger shape
  • spray with a bit more frylight and bake for about 15-20 minutes each side
  • when cooked, serve in the bun with whatever other toppings you’d like – we used sliced apple, pickle, lettuce and cheese, hence the ploughman’s link, see. Just out of shot on that photo is some little pickles in a bowl which, just like rocket on any dinner ever, got put straight in the bin.

Tasty!

BONUS RECIPE IDEA 

It’s not a food recipe, no, but remember when we did those flavoured waters back in the summer? Well, I thought we could pick that up and based on the amount of Slimming World folk putting on facebook that they, er, how to put this delicately…are having trouble negotiating the release of the hostages (i.e. they can’t shit), I thought I’d find a natural remedy. Well, apparently fresh mint helps with the digestive transit so with this delicious water, you’ll be back to plopping in no time. 

mojito water

Pretty simple! Combine a load of ice, fresh chopped mint and fresh chopped limes in one of those fancy drink dispensers. Pick any one you like from this page, they’re all good, but mind the cheaper ones are prone to leaking. Want some more ideas for flavoured waters? Have a look back over the following links and laugh yourself silly – plus, lucky for you, you’ll find three SP week food recipes on each of these links too! WOW RIGHT OMG.

Enjoy!

J

black bean and quinoa burgers

I managed to make a tit of myself today in a garden centre, and not just because I’m a 30 year old lad who’ll actively choose to go to a garden centre on a Sunday afternoon. What can I say, I like the variety – where else can you go and buy a new connector for a hosepipe, a double DVD box set of Das Boot and Last of the Summer Wine and a white chocolate florentine? Years ago I would have rather ran a power-sander over the tip of my cock than schlep around sniffing flowers and Yankee Candles, but I’m getting old now.

Can we take a moment to discuss Yankee Candles? Now, and this will come as no surprise to anyone, I don’t mind a scented candle, but can someone explain to me how they come up with the names for their ‘scents’? Red Raspberry I can understand, but who decides what a ‘Wedding Day’ smells like (disappointing sausage rolls and regretful sex?) or indeed, what the hell ‘New Born’ is? To me a ‘New Born’ candle should smell like placenta, chyme and the crushing realisation you’ll never have your life to yourself again, but the good folk at Yankee  Candle seem to think it smells like a urinal cake. Ah well.

We were there trying to find some suitable garden furniture for the new patio we’ve had built in the back garden. This is proving tricky in itself. All we want is a decent hardwood table and chairs. There’s no point in getting anything that needs to be brought in over the winter because we’re simply far too lazy and it’ll just to be left to rot. We had three pairs of boxer shorts hanging on our rotary drier all though Christmas last year because we kept meaning to bring them in. It was only when a particularly strong January wind blew one pair  onto next door’s greenhouse roof that we took action.

There’s no point in getting anything plastic either, because it looks absolutely awful, and you just know the very second our arse touches the seat it’ll splinter into individual atoms with a loud enough crack to blow the windows in over the road and rattan isn’t going to work either because it’ll give too much under our weight and end up looking like a knackered shopping bag after three or four lazy Sundays.

So yes: hardwood, oak preferably. The garden centre didn’t cater for such a ridiculous notion as decent garden furniture but it did have a very comfortable little fabric sun-lounger on show. Of course, me being me, I had to have a go, and I poured myself in like one might tip a jelly out of a mould. It was grand, save for the fact that, thanks to my weight, the fabric pretty much ensconced me like a venus-fly-trap and it soon became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to get back out unassisted. Bearing in mind it was fairly busy and Paul was busy in the candles bit trying to figure out what the fuck ‘A Child’s Wish’ smells like, I had to free myself using only my own steam, especially as I couldn’t swing my legs out as the crotch on the jeans I was wearing had split a few weeks ago and I wasn’t entirely confident I was wearing underwear that wouldn’t have shown my balls to the world.

So – turns out the easiest way is simply to swing to one side and tip the whole lounger over until I was wearing it on my back like a turtle and then throw it off. The whole process was over in less than ten seconds but my face was burning so brightly that I’m surprised Paul’s ‘Felching Remains’ Yankle Candle didn’t set itself away and take out his nosehair. We left immediately, hurtling out of the entrance hiding our faces like a disgraced politician entering court. So that was that.

I’ll need to crack on with the recipe now as the rest of the evening is going to be spent pulling up the god-awful carpet that haunts this house in anticipation of our fabulous new carpet that arrives tomorrow. I genuinely can’t wait. Words cannot describe how god-awful the current one is, it’s no wonder the previous occupant chose to die on the toilet in the bathroom rather than face-down in this shag, you’d never find a body.

So, black bean and quinoa burgers then…

black bean and quinoa burgers

to make the black bean and quinoa burgers you need (makes six burgers):

  • 1 tin of black eyed beans (drained) (Tesco, 55p)
  • 65g quinoa (£2.35 for 300g in Tesco, so I’m calling 50p)
  • ½ red onion (7p)
  • ½ wholemeal roll, made into breadcrumbs (use one from a pack of six and the remainder of the six to put your burgers (65p)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (10p from the bulb you’ve been using for the rest of the recipes)
  • 50ml of lime juice (you can buy a 250ml bottle for 85 – 17p used)
  • ½ tsp cumin (if you’ve got it)
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (if you’ve got it)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (if you’ve got it)

34p a burger!

to make the black bean and quinoa burgers , you should:

  • add the quinoa and 250ml water to a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat for about fifteen minutes (or until nearly all the water is absorbed)
  •  meanwhile, add a tsp of oil to a frying pan over a medium heat and gently sweat the chopped onion until softened
  • in a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, onion and black beans, eggs, breadcrumbs, garlic, lime juice and seasonings
  • mix by hand, gently mashing the beans with your hands slightly
  • when mixed, divide the portion into six and shape into burgers – if it feels a little wet you can add more breadcrumbs (though watch the syns!)
  • heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and add one tbsp of olive oil or squirt your frylight like a boss
  • cook the burgers for about 4 minutes each side
  • assemble!

Syn-free as long as you HEB the breadbun. Up to you if you think half a bun between six for the breadcrumbs is worth synning but we’re talking half a syn at most.

to gussy it up:

  • de-vegetarian the meal – make it with chicken, bacon and dashed hopes
  • add rocket
  • add a range of tomatoes

to cheapen it further:

  • the spices add flavour, but you can make do with a bit of salt and pepper
  • hmmm…

Enjoy!

J

the reuben burger and perfect chips

Bah! Off to a great start with having work done – having left work early, powerminced to my car and drove like a loon to get home in time to clean the skidders off the toilet and to file away the cats before the gas-man turned up…he just didn’t bother to turn up. All he had to do was come over, take away our god-awful fireplace, disconnect the gas and bugger off.

But no. No, he turned off his phone and when I called him this morning, he informed me that ‘he was stuck on a big job’. I resisted the urge to tell him to eat more fibre and fuck off, so I told him primly that his services were no longer needed. He’s a fool, because, given we’re naïve and foolish with money, he could have totally taken advantage, told us we needed to demolish the front of the house to take the fire out, and we would have hurled notes of money at him until he disappeared in his little van. Urgh.

It’s only a very quick post tonight of the recipe as we’re starting to move furniture around ahead of our plasterer coming to sandblast the Artex, so I won’t even push my book. BUT PLEASE BUY IT. PLEASE. I know American week has rumbled on a bit, but damn…the food is so good! These Reuben burgers are delicious – just a few different toppings make a world of difference.

reuben burger

reuben burgers – you’ll need:

  • your healthy extra bread bun choice
  • chopped cooked ham
  • two slices of swiss cheese (Leerdammer lighter – two slices is a HEA)
  • lettuce
  • burger sauce (which you can find the recipe for here)
  • sauerkraut (you can leave these off, but why would you)
  • 5% beef mince (500g)
  • pepper, salt

and it’s as easy as this:

  • shape the mince into four decent size burgers
  • mix in some salt and pepper
  • grill until cooked
  • assemble the burger by toasting the bun, smearing the sauce on the bread, adding lettuce, a burger, cheese, a burger, cheese, ham, sauerkraut and the top of the bun.

Easy!

We served ours with chips:

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  • use a decent, ‘wet’ potato, like a Maris Piper
  • don’t use oil if you’re putting them in an actifry, just use worcestershire sauce
  • crumble on an Oxo cube
  • COOK

Heaven! Get an Actifry man, you’ll never look back and you’re a long time dead. What you waiting for? The big one is currently reduced from £250 to £140 on Amazon. Nice.

J

kangaroo burger with fries

Only a teensy tiny post tonight as Paul is out gallivanting and I’m stuck at work – so I’m activating a saved post! Enjoy!

kangaroo burger with fries

Actually, not much to say about this recipe aside from the burger – we bought it from www.musclefood.com where we previously got a big old box of chicken. Delivery was quick and the meat really has been second to none. The kangaroo burger has languished at the back of the freezer and we thought, well why not? Let me tell you – it was very tasty! You could hoy a beefburger in here just as easy. It’s syn free, very lean meat and chucked in a bun with tomato, onion, rocket and a slice of cheese it made for a good tea. Cook it under the grill for around fifteen minutes until the juices run clear. If Musclefood float your boat, order using this link and you’ll get four free chicken breasts. Goodness! Remember, HEB for the bun, HEA for the cheese.

The fries were easier still – just cut them thin, drop of oil, a bit of salt and into the Actifry. Same effect could be made from doing them in the oven!

Finally, if you’re a fan of the snazzy little (wanky) chip pan, you can pick up a pack of four here. All you need to complete the gastropub experience is a giant plate with a tiny bit of crackling and a tiny period of cranberry sauce on it. Yum!

falafel burgers

For some reason, Jehovah’s Witnesses have taken to standing around outside of Eldon Square of a lunchtime, thrusting copies of The Watchtower at me as I shuffle past with my headphones in and trying desperately not to catch their eye. I feel like I can’t be mean to religious people in the same way I often am with chuggers – I usually just point at my ears and pretend I’m deaf, and I once told someone collecting for Alzheimer’s Research that she’d spoken to me just a few minutes before, didn’t she remember…she called me a very unsavoury name, and perhaps rightly so. But the JWs are a bit creepy – too earnest with the smiles, too keen to stop people and try and engage them, too comfortable with being told to fuck off. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll rock up to them and ask what they can do for me, as a blood-giving (sssh), civil-partnered sodomite who believes in abortion and hard living.

I’ve never been a religious person – the only time I went to church growing up was at Easter to get a free Easter egg (although it was always a Spar special egg, dead cheap with white bloom on the chocolate) or Christmas for the same reason, substituting egg for a chocolate jesus. It didn’t help that the guy delivering the sermons had an almighty lisp, which as a child was immensely hilarious. I know, cruel, but there you go. Actually, unusual disability seems to have followed me around through religion – our RE teacher in middle school was amazing (used to let us watch South Park rather than read the bible) but he had a tremor in his left hand, which combined with his hand all clawed up through arthritis, looked like he was wanking all the time. Awful I know, but that also used to cause much hilarity during lessons – teacher twittering on about God whilst calling him a wanker with his left hand.

I haven’t had much experience with other religions either, sadly. As part of a cultural exchange, our class had to go and visit Newcastle Hindu Temple – the idea being our minds would be broadened by their lavish food, colourful buildings and pleasant atmosphere, whereas young Hindu children would get to come and sit on the rock hard pews and listen to a man in a frock lisp his way through All Thingth Bright and Beautiful. Well see it was all going swimmingly until we had to sit cross-legged on the floor and listen to the brahmin explain Hinduism – champion. Except I, coming from an environment where the only spice I consumed belonged to Ginger, Baby, Scary, Sporty and Posh, was having a bad reaction to the pakora we had been given at the start and, genuinely accidentally, let out a fart that, pushed between my flabby schoolboy bumcheeks and the hard, polished floorboards, was ridiculously loud. And long. Once it was coming, there was no stopping it – at least ten seconds easily of earth-shattering, hair-burning fart. It sounded like the police helicopter was hovering overheard, it truly did. No-one believed me that it was a genuine accident and I got made to stand outside, although to be fair that was probably to give my nipsy a chance to cool off in the autumn air. I got detention and summarily bollocked for that little incident. It’s no wonder there’s so much tension these days – if only there’d been a bit more tension in my sphincter, eh.

Whilst I’m talking about religion, a quick comment on the upcoming Pegida march through Newcastle. I find it shameful, utterly shameful. People say it isn’t racist but you’ve only got to look at the comments on Facebook to see the true colours. I’ll say only one thing – people bleat on and on and on about what asylum seekers get given – but they base it on hearsay and what they read in the paper. Take a moment, do some proper research – they get next to nothing. I worked for a charity for over a year and the state of some of the properties that these asylum seekers were living in would make you weep. It really would. You’d hear stories of what they went through, what they’d seen, and you’d know straightaway why they tried to get away. Awash with benefits? Absolutely not. And do you know, it was always, always, ALWAYS the same type of person complaining about foreigners getting this that and the other – bone-idle, lazy bastards who had never worked a day in their life, or even intended to. Give me 1000 asylum seekers over just one of those type of people each and every time. That’s all I’m saying – don’t like to tubthumb on a funny blog, but it boils my piss.

Anyway! Let’s move on. Tonight’s recipe is these lovely falafel burgers, served with tzatziki dip.

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Assume you’re using your bun as your healthy extra, this is syn free. Admittedly I had two, but ssh.

to make falafel burgers you will need:

1/4 chopped onion, three cloves of garlic, a good handful of parsley (or rocket), 2 tsp cumin, pinch of smoked paprika, salt and pepper, 1 tsp of lemon zest, 1/2tsp of baking soda, pinch of pepper. You’ll also need 250g of chickpeas but NOT the tinned version, no, get dried and soak them for around 36 hours – just cover them, leave, drain and dry. I chucked in some shredded chicken that I had in the fridge but you don’t need to.

to make falafel burgers you should:

blend everything together, gently – you want a coarse, grainy paste, nothing too smooth. If you need to dry it out a little, add breadcrumbs (6 syns for a wholemeal roll). Shape into four burgers and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake on 180 for thirty minutes, serve with tzatziki in a wholemeal bun!

to make tzatziki you will need:

mix 200g of finely chopped cucumber, a small red onion finely chopped, 200g of fat free yoghurt, a bit of garlic finely chopped, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Season to taste and put in the fridge until you need it.

Enjoy, enjoy.

J

introducing the beastburger!

I’m at a difficult stage in my life. The hour long commute from my home to work has to be done in a car (well no, I could take the bus, but so do so many smelly people and I can’t be done inhaling someone else’s body odour for an hour whilst I try to prevent my cankles brushing theirs) and I’m having trouble selecting a radio station. See, I used to enjoy Radio 1, and I admit that I think Nick Grimshaw is fantastic in the morning, but oh god lord the music. Occasionally there will be a song I enjoy, but most of the time I’m wailing at the radio because of the standard of music. For example, they play Lorde all the god-damn time, and her heaby breathing and straining of every single syllable makes it sound like she’s singing for gold in a COPD clinic talent show. So, I end up stabbing at the buttons and switching to Radio 2.

Radio 2 is alright. I used to chortle along with Moira but I find her braying fake laugh like nails on a blackboard now. The music is slightly better, though I’ve heard it classed as 90% period-pain music, 10% Take That, which I think sums it up nicely. I’m usually alright with this for most of the journey until they play HIM. Ed Fucking Sheeran. Good heavens no. His voice is alright, and his songs catchy, but there’s something about him that really makes my skin crawl. Well, not so much crawl as sprint right off my flesh and through a shredder. For one, in nearly every single photo I ever see of him he’s doing this incredibly vexing squint-smile combination, like he’s trying to read a heartfelt message off the head of a pin. Plus, he looks the absolute spit of my ex, who spent more time in bed scratching his dry skin than anything else. And he was a good one! I dated a proper abusive dick for a good year called Neil, until his passive-aggressiveness and cheating ways ended up with me cutting his treasured pony tail off. Remember: what do you find when you lift up a pony’s tail? An ARSE. He had a weird bone disease too which meant he had really long arms and legs – sex was like getting into a fight with a rotary drier. So yeah! Radio 2. Alright until that flame-haired moon-faced bumhole starts his warbling.

What’s left? I’m not intellectual enough for Radio 4, I’m sick of hearing the same eight pieces of music on Classic FM and, as I’m not a taxi offender / habitual sex-offender, Smooth FM is out of the window. BBC Radio Newcastle consists of people ringing up talking about their ingrown toenails and Metro Radio, which used to be grand back in the day, is fronted by two thick people and a sound effects machine. Bah. I generally end up getting in a huff with myself and singing instead. I could put on a podcast or my own music but I’m too lazy to figure out how the bluetooth works on my car. Ah well.

Anyway, that’s enough from me – here’s the real star of the show today – the beastburger!

beastburger

I wasn’t sure how to go about giving this a title – I was going to go with “I’ve never had so much meat pressed between my brown buns” but even I blanched at that. But look at it! It’s a thing of beauty.

Now I know, it’s ridiculous. Ridiculously tasty! The syns come from the Heck burger (1 syn) (swap for a chicken breast for a syn-free alternative) and the cheese (Low Low Slices – 2 syns each) which you could very easily leave off, making this giant behemoth syn free! Use your breadbun as a healthy extra. Served with sweet potato chips if you’re feeling especially piggy, this will really fill a hole.

With meat.

To make the pulled pork, use my old recipe here and for the beef burgers, one of the very first recipes I ever made, right here. Easy!

Enjoy!

well burger me, it’s burger in a bowl time

When I heard that this dish tasted just like Big Mack, I thought of an ambulance driver I once knew. Except he tasted like an anchovy.

Meanwhile, just a little entry tonight. Ahem. This recipe is the infamous Slimming World burger in a bowl, or big-mac in a bowl, where the individual components of a big-mac are layered in a bowl with a ‘special sauce’ (not that kind). It’s actually surprisingly tasty and only 1 syn a serving! Just a quick post and I’ll fill it out tomorrow as Apprentice is on and I want to see it. I can’t tear myself away from Alan Sugar, even if he does look like a potato with grey mould growing on it.

UPDATE: having since watched this week’s Apprentice and got more and more annoyed by being unable to place where I recognise Sarah, the bolshy PA from, it finally clicked. I had the misfortune of seeing ‘White Chicks’ a few years ago where Marlon Wayans (black, male) went undercover as a ‘hot’ white female. Tell me I’m wrong.

Marlon Wayans in White Chicks

Sarah from the Apprentice

968full-marlon-wayans

Marlon Wayans. See?

Recipe card then…

to make burger in a bowl

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ingredients: 500g extra-lean mince, finely chopped onion (though I think Paul used a butter knife to chop the onions, judging by the pictures), 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 iceberg lettuce, 8 gherkins, 1 small red onion, 2 tomatoes. For the sauce: 3 level tbsp extra-light mayo, 5 tbsp fat free fromage frais (seriously, every recipe I do uses fromage frais, can we not start taken it as a given?), 1 level tbsp of American style mustard, 2 tbsp tomato puree and 2tsp white wine vinegar. Add 1/2tsp of garlic salt and 1/4 onion granules. Pinch of smoked paprika.

recipe: bit of an assembly job this one, but fairly self-explanatory. Prepare the base – slice the gherkins, tomatoes, the lettuce and the red onion. Prepare the mince by frying the onion, mince and garlic until cooked through. Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Put the mince onto the salad and the sauce onto the mince and, if you’re feeling especially flatitious, hoy your healthy extra A cheese on top (30g).

extra-easy: yes – and only a syn per portion. Haha, portion. The gherkins, onion, tomatoes and lettuce are all superfree so that’s your 1/3 hit right there. REJOICE.

top tips: this is a good, filling meal that does oddly taste like a big-mac, if only for the special sauce. Using a good strong, mature cheddar gives it a bit of a kick and means you don’t have to spread your syns. Enjoy!

J

a fisherman’s burger

Tonight’s recipe is Fisherman’s Burger – basically a breaded cod fillet in a bun with homemade tartare sauce. I’m not kidding – I’m not a massive fan of fish, but this was just tremendous! And so easy to make, give it a go. Here’s a recipe card:

fishy

ingredients: cod fillets, skinless and boneless, lettuce, gherkins, two small wholemeal buns, four small slices of wholemeal bread, extra light mayo, fat free fromage frais, dill, parsley, salt and pepper, garlic, onion and gherkins.

recipe: easy! blitz the sliced bread, garlic, parsley and dill to make crumbs, dip the fish in egg, then into the crumbs. Pop it in the oven for fifteen minutes until crunchy. Whack it into a bun with crunchy lettuce and tartare sauce as made above. Serve with chips, mushy peas and lemon.

extra-easy: it’s three and a half syns per burger, and you’ll need to use your healthy extra B for the bun. If you’re having two, syn the second bun for 6.5 syns. It’s worth it though! You could make a salad to go with the bun to up your superfree though. I think (and I may be wrong) that the syns come from the crumbs, but most of that stays in the tray so I’d actually say it was 1.5 syn per burger. Bloody go for it! Fish is an excellent food – if it swims, it slims.

Enjoy 🙂