Slimming World sides: macho peas & orange and carrot mash

Sometimes we have recipes that don’t really warrant a post of their own – usually they’re simple side dishes – so tonight I’m bundling two for the price of one into the same post. You might worry that your inbox can’t handle two at once but I’m sure if you bear down and push out, everything will be tickety-boo. The macho peas recipe is a variant on the Nandos staple and the orange carrot mash was found in a BBC Good Food magazine that I found in the dentist. I’m not saying the magazine was out of date, but when they kept referring to getting in the carrots before the Luftwaffe wrecked the carrot fields, well…

OH: IF YOU’RE READING THIS ON THURSDAY 25 JANUARY 2018, and you want something worth £50 on Amazon – click here and use the code BIGTHANKS to knock a tenner off. Better than a slap in the face with a big wet willy!

So not farting about: straight to the recipes. Both recipes make enough for two large sides. Obviously the orange carrot mash doesn’t refer to orange carrots, but rather the fresh orange juice you use in the recipe! First, macho peas!

macho peas

to make macho peas, you’ll need:

  • three big handfuls of frozen peas – or fresh, if you’re fancy
  • one finely chopped onion
  • a nice big red chilli pepper or a teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • a good bunch of fresh mint (hell, use mint sauce if you want) (but it won’t taste so good)
  • for the first time in my life, I recommend a little knob – of SALTED BUTTER! AND THE CROWD GOES WILD! 10g of salted butter will make all the difference – 3.5 syns, and what’s that between friends? You could leave it out but I remind you: it’s two bloody syns each

to make macho peas, you should:

  • get a pan of water bubbling and throw in your peas – cook until softened slightly but not mush
  • pop your onion – finely chopped mind – into a pan, pop it on medium and sweat them down
  • whilst they’re cooking, chop up your mint nice and fine together with the chilli if not using flakes
  • drain your peas, mash them slightly  stir in the butter, onion, chopped mint and chopped chilli
  • serve!

See? Gorgeous! And now…

to make orange and carrot mash, you’ll need:

  • 500g of fresh carrots
  • 250ml of fresh orange juice (we use Tropicana 50/50 – 1 syn per 100g – 2.5 syns)
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp of fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of fat free greek yoghurt

to make orange and carrot mash, you’ll need:

  • peel your carrots and then thinly slice them
  • spray some oil into a decent pan, heat it up and then pop the fennel seeds in until they pop
  • chuck in the carrot slices
  • add the orange juice and vegetable stock and bring to the boil
  • allow to simmer for thirty minutes until most of the liquid has disappeared and the carrots are soft
  • mash those carrots with lots of black pepper and a spoonful of fat free greek yoghurt

top tips for your orange carrot mash:

  • use a bloody mandolin slicer to slice your carrots quickly and uniformly – but please watch those fingers! Only £12 on Amazon!

Two lovely sides for you to consider. Want more veggie recipes? Of course!

Yum!

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

gallo pinto: a pan of tasty rice and beans

Rice and beans! Gosh, those words take me back. Absolutely no messing about tonight, straight to the recipe – I had plans to sit and type out the next part of our Stockholm adventures (one a week) but like all best laid plans, they were unravelled by the introduction of a wildcard third party, this time in the form of my parents. We received a phonecall at 2pm to inform us that they’d broken down (the car, not their personalities) in Blyth (for those that don’t know, Blyth is a verruca on the model’s foot that is the Northumbrian coast) and could we possibly get them a pack of batteries as they thought the immobiliser key was at fault. Meh, fair enough: should be easy, no? You’d think so, only they didn’t know the size of the battery. Or where to go. I rang Halfords who were about as much help as a glass hammer, Maplins who didn’t bother to answer and Homebase who put me on hold until time immemorial to ‘check the stock’. I don’t know if anyone is missing a pleasant-voiced nana in the North East area, but I assume she’s trapped somewhere in the back of Homebase under a load of decking. We schlepped around the shops – in the snow, no less – and managed to secure one of those cards of tiny batteries from B&M of all places. I hate B&M – it’s all a bit shellsuit, isn’t it – but at least they had what we needed.

A nice 15 mph crawl back to Blyth (stuck behind someone who was driving as though the lightly falling snow were greasy ball bearings) revealed the next part of the fun – none of the batteries were the right size. Oh good! Helpfully, neither parent had brought along their glasses meaning they couldn’t read the tiny make and model of the battery, but luckily Paul’s eager eyes spotted it. Off we went, once more, into the snow, car swerving merrily on the slick roads. If I asked you where to get a PX28A battery at 3pm on a Sunday – with only an hour to go until the shops shut – what would you do? We took a gamble on a mad dash to another Halfords a few miles away. Paul rang ahead to check and salvation lay within: they had six of what we needed. Driving altogether too quickly for safety and adding in an alarming drift around a roundabout, we arrived with minutes to spare. I sent Paul in for what should have been a quick purchase and out, but five minutes passed and still he hadn’t reappeared. A text came through from him to say he was “stuck behind some chavvy c*nt with liquorice teeth arguing about baby seats”. I went to investigate and he was spot on – one of those vile arrogant-without-a-good-reason bucket-boxed trollops giving it the Big I-Am because she’s got an bottom-end Audi on extensive finance and who thinks she’s Anita Roddick because she’s a green level Younique seller. She was doing that awful thing of repeating what she was complaining about over and over and louder and louder (with a foul mouth) without listening for a reply. To her absolute credit, the cashier managed to shut her down in the end and turned to serve us with broken eyes. We bought those batteries with two minutes left on the clock.

I don’t like to be cruel, but I do hope that Audi span into a river on the way home.

Anyway, a sharp drive back to Blyth was met with sarcastic replies about timekeeping from my parents and much shivering. The battery was hastily replaced, the key was turned…and the battery was flat. Repeated attempts to start the battery had left it as flat as a witch’s tit. We tried to jump start it using my car but a combination of me being a total fanny about anything mechanical and us all being unable to get to my engine meant we had to rope someone else in – and then it turned out that wasn’t the issue either. Finally: time for my parents to bite the bullet and phone a bloody breakdown service. We then had to sit all huddled in my car for an hour or so, which was fine, but the car park we were in is a notorious dogging spot and so it was altogether exceptionally awkward. To pour salt in the wound, we were dispatched to get a McDonalds for our nephew meaning my car now smells delicious and we had to watch all sorts of lovely food being chowed down by folks who don’t know they’re born. Bastards. Ah well. We got home at 7pm and whaddya know, the local newsagents just doesn’t sell the green beans nor veal that we needed for tonight’s tea.

I’m thinking about having them put in a home prematurely.

Anyway listen, let’s not procrastinate. I said I would get straight to the recipe and I failed you wildly. I apologise. Let’s do the rice and beans – to me, this makes more than enough for a proper meal (veggie too) but if you want to bulk it out, grill some chicken breasts with peri-peri sauce and feel like you’re in Nandos, only without having to pretend that the chicken and chips you’ve massively overpaid for isn’t a bit shit, actually. I hate Nandos: it’s a cesspit of first dates, crap chicken and folks who think they’re too good for KFC.

I’m sure this recipe is entirely inauthentic but I don’t care, it was tasty! Serves four-ish. I found the recipe on stripedspatula.com and adapted it only slightly to make it SW friendly – full credit to them!


rice and beans

to make gallo pinto (rice and beans) you’ll need:

  • one large red pepper
  • one large white onion
  • two cloves of garlic
  • a tin of black beans – you can find them in most major supermarkets, sometimes in the ‘World Foods’ bit, but if not, use kidney beans)
  • 8 tbsp of salsa (2 syns – the salsa we use is from ASDA and comes in a Hot and Spicy edition) (but most salsa kicks in about the 1/2 syn for a tbsp mark)
  • a good glug of worcestershire sauce (or tamari)
  • 200ml of beef or chicken stock (or veggie)
  • chopped coriander for the top
  • 400g of cooked rice – much better to use day-old leftover rice, but MAKE SURE THE DISH IS COOKED THROUGH GOOD AND HOT
  • if you can’t be arsed with leftover rice, cook some fresh and allow to cool.

top tips for gallo pinto (rice and beans):

to make gallo pinto (rice and beans) you should:

  • chop the onion and pepper up into little chunks and gently fry them off in a few squirts of oil (0.5 syns, but between four? Come on)
  • once they’re softened, add the garlic (minced: use one of these to save your smelly fingers!)
  • tip everything else in bar the coriander and give everything a stir and allow to bubble quickly for a few minutes until the stock has almost boiled off and the rice is steaming hot
  • top with the coriander and serve!

Easy peasy – and a great side dish! Want more random ideas? Click any of the buttons below to be whisked away on on adventure through time and eating!

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J

banoffee overnight oats – simple and delicious

Banoffee overnight oats? Oh I know, we’re terrible, but it’s been that long since we did an overnight oats and I woke this morning just itching for a breakfast that’ll stick to the roof off my mouth and take eight weeks to pass through me. I shook Paul awake [joke redacted here involving a famous case from the 90s] and sent him to the shops to buy all the bits we needed.

Well, I couldn’t very well go myself, could I? Have you seen it out there? I can’t claim that we’re snowed in or anything dramatic, but rather we’re just awash with shite winter weather. You know the sort – the snow is icy rather than powdering so making a snowman is out of the question unless you’re wearing chain mail gloves, every conceivable surface is covered in ice just waiting to send you crashing to the floor with a fat-man-oof and the roads, oh god the roads, are full of either people driving at 2 miles an hour like they’ve got a burning chip pan in their laps or sprinting along at 90mph and wondering why you haven’t moved out of fourth gear on a 20mph limit. I just can’t be done with it.

What I can be done with however is efficiency, and that’s why today I’m treating you and going straight to the banoffee overnight oats recipe! No flim-flam. Remember to share us around!

banoffee overnight oats

banoffee overnight oats

to make banoffee overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 40g of oats – any you like, we use Quaker oats because we’re just fancy-dan
  • one big banana – don’t be shy, get one that’ll make your eyes water
  • 4 Werthers Original sugar free sweeties (they’re only half a syn each by the way, so a good sucky-sweet) (2 syns)
  • a toffee yoghurt – any you like, but make sure they’re syn-free – Muller toffee yoghurt is certainly syn free)
  • lighter squirty cream (12.5g) (look, I just put a good squirt in there, I don’t care) (1.5 syns)

You can make these in any old container, you know, you don’t need a fancy glass. Just remember to mix things!

to make banoffee overnight oats, you should:

  • if you don’t know this by now, you will never never never know this (sorry, and mind I can’t stand Mick Hucknall, he looks like a unwashed chode emerging from a sea of ginger pubes)
  • cut your banana into thirds, and then mash two thirds up*
  • put a spoonful of mashed banana at the bottom of your glass
  • then, mix your oats with the toffee yoghurt and a spoonful of mashed banana and put in the first layer
  • smash up your werthers and sprinkle most of them in as the next layer
  • add the second layer of oats and yoghurt
  • slice up the remaining banana and dot it around the top
  • when you come to eat it the next day, top it with the squirty cream and the remainder of the smashed up sweets – yum!

OMG YOU SHUD SYN THE BANDANAS IF UR MASHING THEM

Yes, technically, you ought to syn the banana if you’re mashing it with your fork. Don’t you know mashing RELEASES THE SHERGARS? Pfft. Listen, you’re eating the same amount of banana whether you poke it in your ear, mash it with a fork or stick it up your arse. We’ve been through this. To take it to the most ludicrous conclusion, you could always put the banana in your mouth, mash it with your teeth and then spit it out again. Or just be a bloody normal person and understand that mashing a banana with your fork isn’t going to make an ha’peth of difference to your weight loss.

Though exercise caution with your banana because remember:

Enjoy!

Want more of our fabulous ideas for overnight oats? Of course!

J

super sticky mushrooms (or chicken) one-pot

A super quick fakeaway dinner of sticky mushrooms tonight because it’s boot camp in an hour or so and I need to go put on my industrial-strength Lanacane with a paint roller. Honestly, you could fry an egg on my thighs after boot-camp, which to be fair would go remarkably well with the scent of bacon that pervades. Cor, stinks in ‘ere, dunnit!

Anyway I’m terrifically excited. You know how last year was the year of mini holidays? This is the year of the beast, and we’ve finally agreed it with work, booked the flights and figured out how we’re going to look after the cats – we’ve decided to spend the next few months training them how to use the electric tin opener and leave them a slab of Whiskas. We’re going somewhere we’ve always wanted to go but never found the time: OH CANADAAAAAAA! Yes! It’s like Cub Heaven: it’s cool in temperature, hot in bearded-men stakes and full of beauty. If we happen to catch the eye of some bearish mountain daddy who wants to keep us both and take us logging, both literally and euphemistically you understand, then so be it.

You know the best bit? We’re turning left on the plane. That’s right, the pilots have read all my witty comments about having a go at the controls and said, you know what, he’s seen enough episodes of Air Crash Investigation, he knows what the flaps do, let’s give it a whirl. No, I’ve actually just come off the phone with an incredibly helpful agent who managed to get us into first class both ways (proper first class, mind) for pretty much the same price as premium economy. I was breathing that heavily with excitement that he patched me through to 111 thinking I was having chest pains. We’ve flown first before but not for 10 hours and not on the massive A380. I don’t doubt that I’ll make a tit of myself within ten minutes by blowing cheese pasty crumbs across the floor and breaking wind as they hand me my pyjamas but what can you do? I’m just upset that poor Cilla Black carked it because I would have loved to have pushed her out of her seat.

Now we’re not boasting or showing off here – we save up all year for our holiday and forgo all of life’s little pleasures to get there – we don’t smoke, don’t do drugs and only drink alcohol every other hour. We tried prostituting Paul but he just came back with a runny nose and an empty wallet. Anyway listen – it’s going to make for an absolutely blinding set of travel posts, so look forward to it!

Speaking of looking forward, I bet you’re just wishing I’d shut the hell up and get to the sticky mushrooms. Of course! This is a veggie recipe but you could very easily swap in some chicken or beef – but actually, the mushrooms work just fine on their own. Trust me! Plus if you’re in the mood for something quick and tasty, this will really hit the spot because you can make it in less time than it takes to cook the rice. You don’t need to serve it in quite such a froufrou fashion as me, either, but I remind you: I am homosexual.

sticky mushrooms

sticky mushrooms

to make super sticky mushrooms you’ll need:

  • two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 400g of mushrooms – now, get a good mix (the oriental selection in Tesco is absolutely perfect) of types and flavours and chop them up to a good uniform size – don’t just get boring plain mushrooms, you need the flavour
  • 4 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (please, don’t use sweetener – you could, but it’ll ruin the taste of the dish) (3 syns) or swap for honey (1 tbsp – 2.5 syns)
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • serve with steamed rice, sliced radishes and chopped spring onions, or whatever veg and rice you want!

top tips:

  • if you want to use chicken, you may need to add about 50ml of stock – the mushrooms release a lot of water which is what creates the sticky sauce
  • keep the chicken chopped nice and small
  • mince your garlic with a little mincer and stop your fingers reeking
  • seriously don’t use sweetener – this’ll taste so much better with proper sugar!
  • this serves two

to make super sticky mushrooms you should:

  • get a good solid pan out of the cupboard and start cooking your rice – this dish only takes about fifteen minutes or so
  • spray with a Gina G of oil (ooh-aah just a little bit)
  • add your minced garlic and gently saute it until it smells laaahverley
  • add all the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two more
  • add everything else into the pan (bar the rice and spring onions and radishes, duh) and then leave to gently burble away on the hob for about ten minutes – add some stock if things start looking dry
  • once it’s dark and delicious, serve with your rice!

Now come on. Tell me that’s not easy – you add everything into one pan and gently heat until deliciousness ensues. Short of me coming around and feeding you, I can’t do anything more than that!

Want more fakeaways? Want more vegetarian recipes? Have no fear, we’ve got stories for years – click the buttons below!

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J – who is off to practice his ‘oh how cute, this is economy, is it?’ expression. I’m kidding. I’ll never change. I’m one shave away from being Rab C Nesbitt.

breakfast sausage and egg hash browns

Nice simple recipe for breakfast hash browns coming up – and coming up quickly, mind you – but first, I want to share three little irritations. I need to get them off my chest otherwise they’ll bubble and boil and I’ll end up taking it out on the cat, perhaps by forgetting to turn on their chilled water or giving them Whiskas instead of their fancy organic shite. That’s a waste of money, anyway: yes, it might be organic, but I’ve seen my cat vomit up a bird and have another bash at eating it immediately after. They’re not picky.

Firstly, I’ve been gravely wounded. I’ve been cut up. Shanked. Given a ‘Welcome to Byker’. I jest, though I passed through Byker once in the car. They didn’t film Byker Grove there, by the way – it’s just one devastating lie after another. No see, I’ve started giving a toss what my hair looks like. Normally I like to let it grow cheerily for seven or eight weeks, spreading out however it wished like Molton Brown-scented mould. But now my face is slightly less egg-like I’ve taken to getting it cut with a straight-edge razor at a Turkish barbers that I’ve discovered in Newcastle. I only called in to try and get taken around the back to have my comb dipped, but alas, no dice. Anyway they’re usually very good and, for the most part, don’t chat, which I like. I can’t stand making small-talk especially when I’m gazing at my own reflection in the mirror – it feels like the most schizophrenic interview ever. The thing with having your head shaved with a proper razor is that you can’t move – you can’t nod or jolt or disco dance because otherwise you’ll end up looking like Carrie White.

I’m good at sitting still – being fat does tend to gift that skill to a person – but even I was on edge. We were almost done when he must have jolted and, in the process of doing so, gave me a lovely long cut right on the back of my shiny bald bonce. Worst part is, I didn’t even feel it happen – the blade is that sharp, I only noticed when he apologised and stuck a square of kitchen roll on the back of my head. Apology accepted, he then set about doing my beard, and you have to understand that there’s no tension quite like what you feel when you’ve got a man capable of random spasms holding a razor-blade right in front of your throat. Brrr! He did a fabulous job though, and gave me a free haircut. Someone said the scar would add character and make me look like a hard man: aye right fella – I’m more Ann Mitchell than Grant Mitchell.

I couldn’t find the right place to drop this in, so please, accept this bon mot floating out of place: “It’s certainly the closest a wet gash has ever been to my face“.

Second, let’s talk needless offence. This always happens when we have a swell of new people in our facebook group – the professionally offended itching for their chance to climb on their high horses and look down at those chuckling at good humour. Let me give you an example: someone shared a post of a photography business who had posted a load of ‘new parent’ pictures, only instead of a baby they used a cat. Said photos included them cuddling their swaddled cat, the ‘father’ crying with emotion and the mother whipping her breast out as if to feed. The cat wasn’t latched on. It wasn’t pushed out of her fadge. It was happy enough in a blanket being cooed over. But Christ, you’d think we’d uploaded footage of a cat being tied to the space shuttle for shits and giggles. Cries of ‘omg this is sik’ and ‘shud be band ADMIN’ rang out like bells at Christmas. There was a common theme amongst the complainants was that it only took 30 seconds to review each Facebook profile and find a ‘97% OF PEOPLE WON’T SHARE THIS PICTURE OF A BACON SANDWICH DO IT BEFORE FACEBOOK BAN IT’ meme. I wish we could take the Internet away from these folks. They’re the same cavalcade of clits that complain about men kissing in soup adverts or the fact Tesco use Muslims in their Christmas adverts. Arseholes, in short.

Lastly, elderly drivers. No look I’m sorry, I know it’s a blanket, sweeping statement, but I’ve had years of hearing how bad boy racers are at driving their little acne-carriages, let’s have a pop at the elderly. Before I do: I know there’s loads of good old drivers out there, but they’re seemingly all down South – they’re certainly not in bloody Newcastle. You know what I mean: going 40mph whether on the motorway, outside a school or ploughing into pedestrians. Incapable of seeing over the steering wheel. Rictus frown on their face. My latest encounter was outside of Lidl only today, and actually, I was on foot and yet they still managed to aggravate me. I was just stepping onto a zebra crossing to cross the car-park when a Nissan Family-Circle-Tin ran over the front of my left shoe, having elected not to bother stopping. Normally I’d just give him some Newcastle sign-language but because he’d actually kept going, I banged on his roof. Well, he almost shit himself (and there’s a certain inevitability about that). He wound down his window and muttered that he hadn’t seen me. How can you not see me? I’m the size of a vending machine and I know for a fact that my outlet-bargain Jacamo jacket doesn’t have a double-function as a fucking invisibility cloak. I waited for an apology that wasn’t coming, gave him a shitty look and hobbled off. Tell you what: I reckon a good 80% of the folks who cut me up, slam their brakes on or drive like bellends are octogenerian or plus. But of course, it’s not their fault. No-no. Argh.

Actually, fuck it, let’s add a fourth irritation: the ad-bumpers on The Chase, featuring the most excruciating raillery even committed to film. I love The Chase but I have to turn it over before it cuts to the drama students guffawing into their hands. It’s either that or I put my foot through the telly. Who approves this nonsense? The same degenerate who allowed the TUI adverts to go ahead. You know the one: some canyon-toothed dolly-dippit singing an appalling cover of Ain’t Nobody in that awful drab register so common these days whilst men who ought to be ashamed of their life tap-dance in the background. I’d sooner book a flight on a crashing plane than TUI. Dot the Ts and cross the Is? They don’t even do that! Bastards!

Eee I feel better for that – it’s like lancing a boil. And, on that attractive note, let’s do these sausage and egg hash browns, shall we? This made six, but it really depends on the size of your Yorkshire pudding tin.

hash browns

hash browns

to make breakfast sausage and egg hash browns, you’ll need:

  • about 800g of potatoes
  • one red onion
  • 80g of lighter extra mature cheddar
  • six eggs
  • a few sausages of your choice – we don’t go for anything fancy, just the 0.5 syn sausages from our Musclefood offers – grilled – and then cut into chunks. If you want to syn two pieces of 0.5 syn sausage, you crack on. I’m not stressing about quarter of a syn.
  • lots of black pepper and salt
  • a good clean teatowel
  • a Yorkshire pudding tin
  • squirty oil spray

to make breakfast sausage and egg hash browns, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 190 degrees
  • grate your potatoes (skin on) and onion – use a box grater or, if you’ve got a fancy Kenwood like us, the grater blade – it’ll take no time at all
  • using the clean tea-towel to wrap the grated potato and onion in, squeeze as much liquid as you can out of it – then do it again – you need it as dry as possible
  • add lots of salt and pepper and mix the cheese in too
  • spray your pudding tin with some spray oil (0.5 syns for 5 sprays, you only need ten at most, and this makes six hash browns, so it’s up to you if you syn them
  • press equal amounts of mixture into the tin – really press the bottom down mind and then up the side
  • add diced sausage and crack an egg on the top
  • pop in the oven for a good twenty five minutes or so
  • done!

Make life easy for yourself: don’t make the ‘walls’ of the hash-browns too thick, or they’ll not crisp up. Also, rather than squeezing with a tea-towel, use a potato ricer. Yep – the thing we always recommend for perfect mash can also be put to use here by squeezing every last drop from your potatoes in no time at all! These freeze really well, too! I’ve included the cooking picture so you can see how I made them.

Want more breakfast ideas? Please take a look:

J

slow cooker pork and apple stew

We’re all about the slow cooker pork and apple stew and we’re going to get that out to you in a moment, but first, a clarification from Paul.

Well, Cubettes, I am FUMMIN hun x (it’s Paul here, by the way). After reading yesterday’s blog entry written by James, I’m going to have to put a few things straight. Namely:

Here’s how every single holiday of ours gets planned: I suggest somewhere, Paul sucks air in over his teeth and say ‘oooh’ with that look a roofer gives you when he’s going to need to take your tiles off, I suggest somewhere else, he grimaces like he’s shitting an acorn. 

I’d just like to say this is a total lie and in fact it’s bloody James that does this! I’m totally amenable to going anywhere (as long as it’s not a shithole). In fact, I can think of at least ten places I suggested that were kicked off the list for daft reasons; “too hot”, “too cold”, “we’ve done a city break already”, “they won’t like fat people”, “that’s the kind of place your mum would go”. My suggestion initially for the ‘big holiday’ was Las Vegas but that was knocked back because it was too ‘gambly’.

Honestly. I bit my tongue so hard that it gave me piles. But then, James has always been the neurotic one – we’ve written before about how he is convinced that every electrical appliance in the house is waiting for us to leave so each one can spontaneously combust into flames. Even the smoke alarm is in on the act. Have you ever known someone take out the batteries when they go away on holiday?! He will however happily leave the Mac running 24 hours a day so now those two little bald men at the top are actually burned into the screen.

So that, dear readers, is the truth. And you can rely on it being the truth because I’d never lie to you. Unlike Fatty McFat-tits. Now that’s out the way, let’s move back onto marital bliss, and this absolute belter. slow cooker pork and apple stew

slow cooker pork and apple stew

to make slow cooker pork and apple stew you will need:

  • 500g diced pork
  • 300g baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp gravy granules (2½ syns)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
  • 175ml apple juice (3½ syns)
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp thyme

We found this recipe on daisiesandpie – thoroughly recommend you take a wee look!

A slow cooker is essential if you’re following Slimming World! You don’t even need to spend much money, a cheap one will do the job just as well! You can pick one up from Amazon for peanuts and help to send a few pennies our way!

to make slow cooker pork and apple stew you should:

  • switch on the slow cooker to the LOW setting
  • spray a little oil into the bottom of the dish (Fry Light tastes shite. Get this instead!)
  • chuck everything (bar the gravy powder) into the slow cooker, pop on the lid and leave to cook for 8-9 hours
  • once you’re ready, take everything out with a slotted spoon and slop the sauce into a pan – add the gravy powder, whack the heat up and thicken that sauce
  • serve with a bit of mash for perfection

See now come on, how easy is that – and cheap too! Perfect winter warmer!

Want more slow cooker recipes? Have a look at these!

Enjoy!

J

the dirty threesome burger with the twochubbycubs!

A dirty threesome burger? Bet that got your attention, you saucy minx! You know sometimes you see something on the Internet, you long for it, you lust for it – it pervades your thoughts, wears you down and ultimately you NEED IT. You HAVE to have it. So you just do it? Well, this burger is that thought process brought to life. It seems I was in an especially suggestible mood yesterday because I only saw a picture of this sexy monstrosity yesterday and there I am, not 24 hours later, toiling in the kitchen. So easily persuaded. It’s lucky my postman didn’t offer to take my package round the back this morning – I’d have put on a condom and reached for the Flora Buttery before he had a chance to take off his satchel.

So, because something like this needs no introduction, I won’t go on and on with my usual spiel. I did want to point out that we’ve developed a new page however:

Go ahead and click – it’ll open in a new tab so you won’t lose this page. We’re just pig sick of people buying a £3.99 rotating candle from Wilkos and saying they’ve got an Actifry and they’re shit because they can’t cook chips in it. It doesn’t help that the halogen oven markets itself as an airfryer when it’s bloody well not – it’s a lightbulb in Darth Vader drag. Anyway, click the link and let me know what you think.

So what is a dirty threesome burger? Easy! It’s for when you can’t decide what you want in your mouth and thus combines pizza, burger, bacon and chips in one unholy, terrifying, WONDERFUL alliance. Shall we begin? You might want to pop a towel down to catch the sloshing. This makes enough for two BEASTS.

dirty threesome burger

dirty threesome burger

dirty threesome burger

to make a dirty threesome burger, you’ll need:

  • 500g of extra lean beef mince
  • one chopped onion
  • a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • your healthy extra breadbun – or any bun you like, as long as you syn it (cough)
  • six thick rashers of bacon
  • a little carton of passata
  • whatever you want for your pizza topping: we used peppers and a bit of chopped chorizo – a tiny amount of 5g, which is about half a syn – but you know what, who is counting
  • potatoes for chips
  • tomato sauce (tbsp – which is what we used – is a syn)
  • 40g of lighter  mature cheddar for the burger (1 x HEA)
  • 40g of lighter red leicester for the top (1 x HEA)

Wondering about the two HEAs? Remember, this makes enough for two – so you get half of each – which is one healthy extra. Simple!

Also, you can get decent mince AND bacon (plus loads more!) in our fantastic Musclefood packs! Just click here to find out what deals we’ve got on!

This looks complicated but read the recipe first, it’s a genuine doddle.

to make a dirty threesome burger, you should:

  • first, turn your gold-framed photo of Mags away to face the wall, she doesn’t need to see this
  • cook your chips however you want them – but we have a definitive guide to cooking Slimming World chips right here, which will open in a new window – you’ll need a handful per burger
  • prepare your burger by taking 400g and keeping 100g of mince for later, then squash that mince with your hands – we don’t like to over-complicate things assuming you’ve got good beef – so just add good pinch of salt, a good pinch of pepper and perhaps some garlic powder – form into two rounds
  • grill your burger however you normally do it – we used our Optigrill for this recipe (heat up, press burger, go) and it worked a charm, but it can be done just as easy under the grill or on a George Foreman – no expensive kit needed with us, remember
  • once the burgers are almost done, stick your bacon on the grill to cook
  • whilst all that is sizzling away, chop up your onion, throw it in a pan with the leftover mince and cook it off with a little bit of passata – you don’t need much, just enough to make a small amount of basic bolognese – maybe add some garlic if you’re fancy – cook until really thick!
  • once that is thick, and the burgers and bacon are cooked, it’s time…
  • first, top your burgers with 20g of mature cheddar each – better to have a couple of slices rather than grated
  • next – cut your breadbun in half and then, using your fingers, push the top down so you create a well, pressing the bread down – imagine, of all things, you were making an ashtray out of clay – you don’t want to push through though
  • add the bolognese, grated red leicester and whatever pizza topping you want – then a bit more cheese
  • whack both the bolognese bun and the burger under the grill for two minutes to melt the cheese and then…
  • assemble! Bottom of the breadbun, chips, tomato sauce, burger with cheese on, bacon, then top with the top of the breadbun with the bolognese and cheese topping! Chips topped with burger topped with pizza.

I mean really. Listen, I don’t suggest you have one of these every night – clearly it’s an ‘excess’ meal, but goodness me what a fun treat!

Oh and if you liked our outrageous burger, DO SHARE using the buttons below, and even better, why not try our other burgers?

Phew!

J

slimming world chips: a definitive guide

What a formal title for what is a load of potatoes. It’s possibly one of the most common things people ask for – how to do good Slimming World chips. There’s a tonne of recipes out there, some more convoluted than the friggin’ Macarena (boil the chips, put them in a microwave, take them out, tumble them, put them in the microwave, take them out, aput them in the oven, die a little bit inside) and actually, I’ve always found the Slimming World way of parboiling them to be a pain in the arse too. So below, find the easiest and guaranteed way to make decent chips.

But before I get to that, I want to answer a couple of questions that we’ve been asked by newer members – and well, it never does any harm to reiterate a few important messages!

We’re not Slimming World consultants!

We get asked this all the time – admittedly, it would be hilarious if we had to run a class. I reckon we’d get about seven minutes in before Paul said something mortifyingly offensive and I compared the shrinking HiFi bars to a cold cock. Right at the very start of this blog we made enquiries about becoming Slimming World consultants – never heard back. Pity: we’re fabulous – though I won’t lie, I prefer dealing with people from behind a keyboard as opposed to face to face, and there are days when I can’t be arsed with all the fake bonhomie. So, if you have a proper Slimming World question, have a gab with your consultant – it’s what they are there for, after all! If you’re on the fence about going to a class, we say give it a go: yes, it’s not the most exciting way to spend two hours (sorry, Mags, but it isn’t) but you’ll usually meet good people and enjoy the support.

Are your syn values accurate?

They’re as accurate as Slimming World’s own syn calculator – that is, we run everything through the syns checker if we don’t know how high in syns they are. We’re fully paid-up members who attend a class and so we’re up to date with the latest changes. But if you have any concerns, check them yourself!

How many folks do your recipes serve?

It depends, honestly. It’s usually four people, but if you’re a greedy fat bastard like us, then sometimes just two. But four portions. Does that make sense? If you’re the type of greedy person who will suck your toothbrush dry rather than rinsing it under the tap, then you’ll be on bigger portions and thus two. But listen: you’ll never go hungry with our recipes. Sometimes we do smaller or larger recipes and if we do, we usually say when it serves more. So if you can’t see a comment about servings, assume 4.

Can we freeze your recipe / swap an ingredient for another / is it suitable for me and my allergies?

We’re two fat blokes from the North. We work in offices, not laboratories. We don’t mention you can freeze recipes unless we’ve done it ourselves and haven’t shat the world from our arse the day after. If we said you could freeze it, then made you seriously ill, we couldn’t live with ourselves. Same goes for allergy / gluten free posts – we don’t have enough of an understanding about it in order to make concrete comments. I know, it’s a shame, but at least we’re honest!

What makes your blog different from other SW blogs out there?

There’s some fantastic blogs out there, pumping out recipes and resources like someone shelling peas. That’s grand, but we like to be different. I can’t bear all the cutesy-poo language, omg-you-can-do-it, inspirational-quote-a-matic bollocks that surrounds dieting. Dieting isn’t fun, it isn’t interesting, it isn’t a gas. You’re never gonna burst into peals of laughter over a salad, after all. That’s why we started twochubbycubs – so we could post real recipes but also make light of this awful struggle. Yes, our language is coarse and the content can be raunchy, but we need to have fun to do this! We also try to be honest: if we recommend a product, it’s because you genuinely need it for a recipe. But 99% of our recipes can be made with stuff you’ll buy from the supermarket and use several times over. Being on a diet is expensive: why should you have to buy a ridiculously over-priced sweetener on top of that when a bit of honey will always nearly do? It’s bollocks. You can always rely on us to be honest – which leads me to the next point.

Advertising

We have a very strong policy on this: if you see a link, it’s because we own the product and enjoy it. We turn down a lot of requests to monetise this blog by shilling products. If those products could be useful, we will try them and recommend them only if we actually like them. We’re always open and honest if we’re paid to promote a product. Alongside that, we’re happy that we’ve been running for three years and still only have a couple of discreet adverts on the page. We’ve got to have them – it’s what pays for the blog – but we’d rather you didn’t have to battle through pop-ups, pop-unders, background ads, scrolling ads and all that shite to see us. To give you an example of what I mean, I just loaded up another blog of similar content and our Adblocker counted 19 adverts on the page. Ours has three. Hmmm.

Your recipe didn’t work!

Listen, we can take constructive criticism. Our recipes all work for us, otherwise we wouldn’t post them – and we use the ingredients we say we use, instead of cooking using all sorts of delicious synned ingredients for the sake of a gorgeous photo. If they don’t work for you, I apologise, but something clearly went awry, and please let us know if you think it is our fault. Let me give you an example: we had someone crashing their gash at us the other day because they made our perfect carbonara and it was ‘runny raw egg shite*’. When we responded that she must have added the egg when the pasta was cold – despite our three clear warnings that the pasta must be hot in order to cook the egg – we got a ‘omg u can’t take criticism*’ remark. We can but remember, a bad workman blames his tools.

*I’ve improved her comment by adding vowels – she didn’t seem to think it was necessary.

How do we get in contact with you? 

Leave a comment. We’ll usually get in touch if we’re interested!

Easy! All questions done. Sorry, I know it’s not terrifically interesting, but we’re obliged to do these posts every now and then just to keep things in check!

CHIPS. LET’S DO THE SLIMMING WORLD CHIPS JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY

We’ll do a non-Actifry route and an Actifry recipe. Because we’re canny. They boil down to the same outcome anyway.

slimming world chips

slimming world chips

to make perfect Slimming World chips using an Actifry, you’ll need:

  • about 900g of potatoes – now, any type will do but if you want REALLY nice chips you’re better off going for a ‘buttery’ type, or Maris Piper
  • oil – again, any type will do. We use olive oil, but rapeseed works well too.
  • flavouring – optional, but it really does make them so much better. Our favourites are stock cubes (lamb or beef), Steak seasoning, or good old fashioned sea salt.

to make perfect Slimming World chips using an Actifry, you should:

  • chop the potatoes however you like them (there’s no need to peel). We like them quite chunky. They don’t have to be exact, slice each potato 2-3 time across, and then each slice into 2-3 slices again. You can use a chipper if you like, but a good, sharp knife does the job just as quickly (especially when you’ve done it a few times).
  • tip the potatoes into the Actifry (don’t bother patting them dry or parboiling)
  • add the oil – you can either drizzle a tablespoon of oil (6 syns) over the chips, or use a sprayer (syn free) if you’re feeling more angelic. Avoid Fry Light if you can because it’ll clag up your machine and ruin the non-stick coating. Instead, try getting one of these and filling it with your own oil
  • If you’re spraying, spray the oil over the chips for about 6-8 sprays – you don’t need a lot. If you’re making loads of chips, maybe give them a shake in the pan and spray a bit more
  • next, sprinkle over whatever flavouring you’re using. If you’re using a stock cube (our fave!) make sure to crumble it well
  • close the lid and switch it on
  • if you want realllly tasty chips, try turning the machine off for ten minutes halfway through. I’m not sure how it works but it really does make them tastier!
  • switch the machine back on again until cooked
  • eat!

to make perfect Slimming World chips in the oven, you’ll need:

  • about 900g of potatoes potatoes
  • oil
  • flavouring

to make perfect Slimming World chips in the oven, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 240ºc
  • chop the potatoes however you like them
  • tip the potatoes into a large bowl
  • next, either drizzle over your oil or spray it over
  • tumble the potatoes well to make sure they’re evenly coated – the reason you often see blistered and crappy looking SW chips is because the oil is distributed unevenly! sprinkle in the flavourings too and give a good mix
  • next, tip the chips onto a non-stick tray and spread out into a single layer
  • bake in the oven for fifteen minutes, turn, and then bake for another fifteen minutes
  • eat!

Now, if you want really tasty chips without any of faff you really need to grab yourself a Tefal Actifry. Halos, Airfryers, Towers, Halogen ovens just don’t do the job as well at all (in our opinion)! Now mind, we’re not getting paid by Tefal for this. If you want consistently decent chips that taste almost like the proper thing, it’s the Actifry you want! You can make loads more than chips in it as well, just click some of the other recipes below that we’ve knocked up in our Actifry!

Yum!

J

vegan-friendly avocado pesto pasta

Avocado pesto pasta? Vegan friendly? What’s come over me? I feel like I’m one moustache-wax away from giving up my car, wearing altogether too much denim and living on millet. But I ought to explain: we received a lovely message from a vegan who loves our blog but struggles with the amount of meat. Listen, I hear you. We do have a good vegetarian section though and I encourage any veggies out there or indeed, anyone who doesn’t want to be straining on the toilet for twenty minutes at a pop, to have a look. Click the wee button!

vegetariansmall

Mind, normally I’d ignore requests for recipes because frankly, if I don’t enjoy eating it, it isn’t going on the blog. But I’m a sucker for a nice message as opposed to the usual how mani suns hon bollocks we tend to attract, so here we are. Just to complete the smug middle-class pretentiousness of it all, I found the recipe in the Guardian section. Whilst lounging in bed late on a Sunday morning, because I don’t have children pawing at me with dirty hands. I know, what a dreamboat!

Let’s do the recipe then – though first, please do take a moment to wish Paul a happy birthday. He’s a love!

Now this avocado pesto pasta is made without parmesan (good lord) and with avocado, which is, if you’re unfamiliar with Slimming World, THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD. It’s 14 syns for a whole avocado. Don’t worry though folks, a Kitkat Chunky is less syns, though doesn’t taste as good in guacamole. So here’s the thing: you can choose to syn it (and if you’re following Slimming World to the letter, you should) or you can accept that an avocado is a source of good fats, incredibly healthy for you and full of taste and flavour. Up to you…

avocado pesto pasta

avocado pesto pasta

to make avocado pesto pasta, you’ll need:

  • 400g pasta
  • ¼ avocado
  • 300g fine beans (sometimes called ‘French’ beans – buy the already-trimmed ones to save you faffing on)
  • 75g basil leaves
  • 1 broccoli, cut into florets
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt

Random link, but don’t forget we have three books out! Take us with you wherever you like!

to make avocado pesto pasta you should:

  • trim the ends off the beans if you need to
  • cook the pasta according to the instructions
  • meanwhile, bring another pan of water to the boil and cook the beans for 7-8 minutes with the lid on
  • add the broccoli to the pan and cook for another 3-4 minutes, then drain and set aside
  • next, plop the avocado, basil, garlic, lemon juice and salt into a food processor with about 60ml of water and blitz until smooth. you can add 1tbsp water at a time if you need to
  • drain the pasta and keep aside a mugful of the water
  • combine the pasta with the vegetables, the pesto and as much of the cooking water as you need (stir a little bit in at a time to make it creamy to your liking, you won’t need the whole lot)
  • serve!

Easy! Proper easy!

J