Less of the quick, please.
to make spinach and chickpea curry:
Easy, right? Back tomorrow…
I’ve done a bit of rejigging on the blog as I realised it was getting difficult to find all the recipes – so now if you’re looking for them, just click the category on the right and voila, all the badly realised comic-style recipes you can manage!
Paul’s actually off down in London at the ‘Give Britain a Payrise’ rally. I work in the private sector so my eyes tend to glaze over when he goes on about rallies and protests, but fair play to the bugger for campaigning. Last time I told him to try and keep a low profile, and he ended up headlining the 1pm news with a soundbite about pensions. Even worse, the last time his place of work went on strike, he threw himself in front of someone’s car and called her a scab, without realising it was the Chief Executive inside. Oops. Anyway, he’s coming back home now and the latest text I got was ‘Missing you, dying for a shit’, which I don’t really know how to take but I’ll assume it was meant as a compliment.
I spent all morning lying in bed and willing myself to get up, but I didn’t quite manage it until 1pm. Which sounds lazy, but I’ve had a very long week and our bed is super comfortable. Actually, that’s a bit of a fib as I got up once and managed to moon someone putting a leaflet through our front door at the same time. I should explain. I got up for a wee and noticed the postman had been. We sleep naked, but the curtains were drawn so I went to the front door and bent down, completely naked, at the same time someone pushed a takeaway leaflet through the letterbox. Luckily our front door has that weird frosted glass in it, but I’m still fairly sure he got a damn good view of my tea-towel holder winking at him as I scrabbled to pick up the post. Ah well. This afternoon I decided to take it upon myself to go to B&M to find an elusive curry mix that Slimming World members go on about which is low in syns. Now, I’ve never been in B&M before, and well, goodness me.
Let me caveat the following by saying that I’m no snob, I don’t mind cheap shops and I don’t care how much something costs. But honest to god, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many polyester-mix fleeces hung in one place. I’m lucky I didn’t come out of there sparking and jolting like Electro from Spiderman. I did, however, get the elusive curry mix – Mayflower Curry Sauce Mix, at 8 syns for 56g (which makes more than enough sauce for two people to have a curry). With this in my hot sweaty hands, and the smell of chip-pans and sour milk a mere memory, I set about making tonight’s meal – a vegetable curry.
This was supposed to be a chicken curry, but fate put the kibosh on that. I defrosted the chicken, had the audacity to leave the room for a minute to have a slash, only to find upon my return Bowser (our cat) munching his way through it, having dragged it out of the kitchen, across the living room and into his cat house. I was gone less than a minute, and the chicken was steaming hot. He must have been like bloody lightning, so I let him have the chicken and decided to ‘superfree’ the curry instead. He got a stern look and as a punishment, I won’t be turning on his water fountain tonight and he’ll just have to quench his thirst like a normal cat. I’m kidding, I’m far too in love with his button nose to do that.
ingredients: all the veg you see above, and really, anything you have spare. Pack it out with whatever you have left in the freezer, or tins, or fresh – we tend to buy a lot of stuff on the off-chance we’ll use it and then chuck it out, but don’t – throw it all in the curry. It’s a fantastic way of getting your superfree food quota, and this meal is easily over your 1/3 portion size rule. Serve with rice, or chips, or even on its own as a warming treat. It’ll certainly warm you again in eight hours or so.
recipe: cut up all your veg, add a dash of water, steam it until soft but not mush. The mushier the veg, the less nutrients, plus it’ll feel like you’re eating your dinner in a nursing home. To make the curry sauce, add 56g of powder to cold water, and start whisking. Turn the heat up to get the liquid to boiling, then whack it right back down to a very low heat. It’ll thicken in no time at all, but if you stop whisking, it’ll end up lumpy. Mix it up with the veg and serve with your side.
extra-easy: yes – though not syn free. the sauce is 8 syns for 56g of powder but then divided down into portion size, I reckon about 2 syns. This recipe would easily serve four. You’ve got more superfree food in here than you could shake a water-retaining finger at. Best of all, it really DOES taste like takeaway curry.
top tips: this would be made a lot more ‘takeaway’ by taking away a lot of the veg, and remaking it with cooked chicken, garden peas and chunks of onion. It could be made even more takeaway by flicking some fag ash and a few chest hairs in there, and having the ‘chicken’ squeak when you bite into it.
OK, anyway – enjoy. I’m off to shave off my beard. Sob!
A minor catastrophe this morning. Having been asked to go into work early, I find that my wonderful work colleague has kindly left me a pain au chocolat and croissant on my desk, still warm and freshly baked as compensation for the early start. Now, if I had wanted to be a rude arse, I would have declined and stuck to my banana (er, as in the fruit, not a euphemism for wanking) but because you ‘fit Slimming World into your life’ I took the pain au chocolat and enjoyed every last buttery morsel. My colleagues are used to me spraying crumbs everywhere when I talk so that was no great problem. 12 syns! But worth it. I did give my croissant away, and spent the next twenty minutes crying curled up in a foetal positions in the gents. Generosity doesn’t come easy to me! Anyway, today’s recipe.
BTW, I think Paul got sick of me shouting SAAAAAGALOOOOO like Olivia Newton-John’s Xanadu about four minutes into cooking. He should be grateful I didn’t come wheeling into the kitchen dressed in Bacofoil and wearing skates.
I apologise for the standard of photos in this recipe card. It’s quite hard to make a curry look appetising when you’re using fromage frais rather than oil! It does, unfortunately, look like someone has been sick into my Le Creuset pot. Let me tell you now, if that happened they’d find themselves detesticled quicker than you can say boiled eggs. Both the saag aloo and the korma are completely syn-free on extra easy and I’ve included the spice mixes after the recipe as they’re quite comprehensive. My favourite spice? Ginger. Wrecked the fucking group when she left, mind – Holler was NOTHING.
The full recipe can be found in Slimming World’s fakeaways recipe book, which is genuinely really good. Both the korma and saag aloo are a case of preparing the meat or potatoes, adding spices, adding stock, boiling down and for the korma, a couple of dollops of fromage frais (let the sauce cool before adding or it’ll curdle and look like a pavement pizza).
Saag aloo spices: 2tsp cumin seeds, 2tsp black mustard seeds, 1tsp cumin, 1tsp ground coriander, 1/2tsp turemic, 1/2tsp garam masala, 1/2tsp chilli powder
Korma: 1 cinnamon stick, 1tsp cardamom seeds (crushed), 1/4tsp ground cloves, 2tsp cumin seeds, 1tbsp ground coriander, 1tbsp ground cumin, 2tsp mild curry powder.
It’s worth getting yourself a good range of spices if you haven’t already. They’re a great way to add flavour without adding syns to a meal, and a small amount goes a long, long way.
warning: take heed of the warning about the fromage frais, because it looks bloody rotten if it curdles. You can still eat it but there’s no guarantee your body won’t think it’s already tried it and chucked it. Nothing else to say here, you can’t go too wrong with a curry as long as you’re not pouring bloody Gold Top into it.
extra-easy: completely syn-free. chuck it full of peppers, onion, tomatoes and chilli to boost your superfree.
double warning: Paul accidentally used red-hot chilli peppers instead of the milder version, so that’ll be me on the toilet firing a chocolate laser out of my nipsy tomorrow. Cheers love!