slimming world ikea meatballs and gravy

Not going to lie – these were bloody amazing! My favourite bit about going to IKEA, other than causing arguments amongst other couples and farting in cupboards, is getting a plate full of meatballs and chips. I don’t care that the meatballs are probably made from reindeer anus and chipboard, they taste delicious and I’d cheerfully bathe in the gravy. Even the addition of that shitty bit of parsley doesn’t ruin my meal like it normally does, now that I know it serves a purpose (the size of the parsley sprig is used to signify whether you have a large, medium or small portion of meatballs, so that the cashier doesn’t have to count how many meatballs you’ve got!). So Paul was tasked with doing a bit of research and we’ve managed to find a recipe and tailor it so it is possible on Slimming World. Nevermind a platinum Body Magic sticker, I frankly think we should be given an OBE each. Scroll down for the recipe, but if you want, stick around for a bit beforehand – I’ve got more to tell you about our trip to Corsica…

…when I last signed off, we were asleep with a puck of beef resting in our stomach. I reckon it’s still in there. We woke ridiculously early to give us enough time to walk the 27 miles to the Pod, only to have to walk back and get a code from reception before they’d open the gates. Nothing says ‘home comforts’ like a prison gate to get out of your hotel. The Pod remained amazing and we were in Terminal 5 in moments. I’ve never flown from Heathrow despite having done a fair bit of travelling, so it was all very new and exciting. Ah wait no, sorry, it was dull and tedious. I know airports are never the most exciting of places, but I get the impression that unless you were minted, the terminal wasn’t really for you. It’s still better than Newcastle Airport mind, but that’s more due to the fact Newcastle Airport consists of a couple of bars, a duty free shop and some toilets that haven’t been cleaned since the days of me being an early teenager and buying condoms from the machine on the wall because my then-f’buddy was too worried. Ha! Plus it’s invariably full of at least 2,000 pissed up Geordies who think they’re sophisticated because they’ve got a Stella Artois moustache at 4.30am in the morning. Oh honestly you know I’m right.

We decided on a light breakfast in The Pilot’s Lounge, so-called because I went up-a-height when I saw the price. The waitress – a smile wearing a tabard and sensible shoes – forgot to give me my pot of tea, my toast and my hash-brown. It’s alright though, I forgot to give her a tip, so that balances things. You know how I can’t go anywhere without immediately discovering a new enemy? I’d barely buttered Paul’s toast when I overheard an American chap behind me LOUDLY telling everyone south of Manchester how ‘TERRABUL’ the coffee was in England. Oh it was just ‘AWFUL’ (though he was strangling every vowel as he spoke). I couldn’t eat my breakfast because my teeth were grinding so hard diamonds were falling out of my nose. I’m a proper moaner, don’t get me wrong, but I’m awfully British about it – I’ll twist my face to Paul about something that has upset me, but I’ll wait six months and bring it up in the bath or something. He went on – it was all I could do not to hurl Paul’s tea in his oily face. Listen, I’ve been to America and I’ve had what passes for coffee there – it looks, smells and tastes like what I’ve bled out of my radiators. When he wasn’t moaning he was hacking away, coughing up phlegm like it was jet-fuel. No discreet coughs into a hanky for this chap, no, he preferred to let us listen to his chest echo and rattle. No wonder the coffee didn’t taste good, chum, it has to sink through eight yards of lungbutter to get to your stomach. Fucker. 

Having finished breakfast and realised to our absolute horror that there wasn’t so much as an arcade for me to throw a month’s wage into, we settled down for the two hours before our flight. Thankfully, I had my new phone, old phone and iPad to entertain me, so I just sat on one of the departure lounge chairs with them spread out in front of me like I was on the lowest budget version of 24 you could imagine. Paul ate a Toblerone. OF COURSE, though, the horsefucker from the restaurant was on our flight. Of course! So we had two hours of boredom punctuated by him mining for phlegm. Lovely. My sigh of relief when they opened the gate almost blew the Newcastle to London Cityjet service over. The good thing about flying British Airways is the allocated seating – I can’t bear the undignified scramble for seats you get with the likes of easyJet and Ryanair. I don’t understand it – it’s not as if the flight attendants are going to auction off the spare seats if you’re not jammed in the bloody doorway one minute after the gate opens. 

We promptly boarded the plane and, as expected, immediately brought the average age of the passengers on board down by around thirty years – everyone, to an absolute fault, was ancient. I wouldn’t have been surprised if British Airways had removed the back toilet and fitted an onboard crematorium. Normally I watch the safety demonstration like my life depends on it (boom boom) but I didn’t bother – it was clear from the amount of creaking hips and whistling hearing aids that if the engine had caught fire and we needed to evacuate post-haste, both Paul and I would perish in the flames whilst Elsie in 22A blocked the aisle putting her good teeth in and trying to get the inflatable slide to come out of the toilet door. We did have a chuckle when the exceptionally posh older chap sitting behind us dropped something on the floor and burst out with the loudest ‘FUCK’ I’ve ever heard. My ears were still rippling as we flew over Nice. I love it when posh folk swear with gusto. 

The pilot came on the radio (you’d think that would make it hard to grip) and announced that it would be a smooth flight all the way to Corsica and that it was gorgeous and sunny. Excellent! I like to hear the hairs on my leg crinkle when I get off the plane when I’m on holiday. Go hot or go home, or something like that. I don’t know the hip sayings, I’m in my thirties now. Oh fuck I’m old.

As usual when I fly, I spent the entire time on the runway thinking about how it would feel if my face was burned off when the fuel tank exploded or what sound the bones in my leg would make as they were concertinaed by the crumpling metal of a crashing 737, but as soon as we were airborne I was fine and only concerned with making sure I didn’t miss out on the onboard snack, which turned out to be a croissant I could have shaved with and a plastic cup of orange water. Delicious! I still ate every last crumb whilst moaning about it to Paul. Our flight attendant was charming but looked like Missy from Doctor Who, which was a little alarming, because I did expect her to wrest the controls from the pilot and ditch us into the sea. 

The flight itself was uneventful, bar for a tiny bout of turbulence as we flew over the bottom of France which shook a few pair of dentures loose, and we disembarked in Figari after only two hours. Figari Airport is absolutely tiny and only seems to appear once the plane is low enough for me to look for a four-leaf clover amongst the grass. It was in no time at all that we were off the plane and through what was ostensibly called security but actually amounted to nothing more than a very handsome Frenchman saying bonjour to me and oppressing his smirk at my bong-eyed passport photo. Paul held us up with his pressing need to have a poo as soon as we arrive anywhere new (I touched on this when I wrote about our visit to Germany – it’s like a nervous tic he has) and we were forced to wait behind M. Physema in the AVIS car hire queue.

The car hire process was unpleasant, not least because I had to listen to the guy in front churning his lungs for a good thirty minutes before we got anywhere. The unpleasant shrew behind the counter barked at me in what I’m not even sure was French, hurled a set of paperwork at me like I’d murdered her child and then spat in the general direction of a trillion parked cars and sent me on my way. I don’t think I managed one word other than a cheery bonjour which might have caused her ire. We trundled our suitcases down to the little garage only for someone else to shout inexplicably at us. At this point, we were a little deflated, and when someone finally drove a car around to us my spirits didn’t lift. It was a Peugeot 208. A new one, yes, but I’ve had farts with better acceleration. Plus, Paul and I are big guys and a tiny car doesn’t quite suit our ample frames – I’ve never had to pour myself into a car like a glob of wax in a lava-lamp. Nevermind. They clearly hadn’t cleaned the car either given there was someone’s chewed off fingernail sitting on the dash. I made a mental note to leave a skidmark on the back seat and cracked on.

We didn’t have the language skills to argue or beg a better car, plus I got the impression that had I gone back to the rental desk and complained, my face would have been taken off by the tongue of the angry pickled Nana Mouskouri lookalike behind the desk. So we set off, slowly. Oh so slowly. The road away from Figari airport takes you up a fairly steep hill and clearly I overstretched the car because it stalled on the first hill. Superb! Thankfully I was so distracted by trying to master driving this shitbox that I forgot all my worries about driving on the right, which was a relief given I’d built it up into being a terrifying experience in my mind.

Actually, a serious note. If you’re nervous about driving on the other side of the road, don’t be. It comes very naturally – the only thing of concern were the roundabouts, of which there are many, and the fact that absolutely no fucker indicates. Not one! Joining a roundabout becomes a terrifying guessing game of intentions and given the average Corsican drives like the interior of their car is on fire and they’ve got a mouthful of petrol, you really do just need to take your time.

Yes, the driving leaves a lot to be desired (or, another view, they all know the roads so well that they know where they can afford to take chances) – quite often on a mountain pass you’ll be faced with someone hurtling towards you in a little Renault, fag in one hand, phone in the other, steering the car with their blanket of chest hair, leaving you with the choice of a solid wall on one side of the road and nothing but air on the other. Best of all is the look of absolute astonishment that they’ve found someone coming towards them on the opposite side of the road. I’m not a religious man but there were more than a few times I just shut my eyes and prayed for the best. It’s not uncommon for someone to overtake you on a blind corner or on the crest of a hill and to blur alongside the car shouting something terrible. I finally discovered what it must feel like to have me driving up behind you effing and jeffing. What am I like. Our villa awaited, but my fingers are bleeding now, so I’ll stop for the night. Here’s the recipe!

IKEA meatballs

Note that we served this with mashed potatoes, rainbow carrots and tenderstem broccoli. We’re making a bit of an effort with our 1/3 speed rule and if we come up with a fancy recipe for anything like that, I’ll be sure to include it.

to make IKEA meatballs and gravy, you’ll need:

  • 500g turkey mince
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp each of oregano, paprika and rosemary
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp quark
  • 450ml stock (made with 2 beef stock cubes)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour (4.5 syns)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

Don’t sweat it too much regarding the herbs. Go for fresh, always better, but dried is fine! I’m going to call it 1 syn – you don’t use all of the gravy, but it’s up to you.

to make IKEA meatballs and gravy, you should:

  • sort out your sides – potatoes, broccoli, the gayest carrots in the world, whatever you like
  • in a bowl mix together the mince, half the nutmeg, rosemary, oregano, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper and half the parsley then divide the mixture and roll to make about thirty meatballs
  • spray a large frying pan with a little Frylight and cook the meatballs until cooked through and browned – better to cook them nice and hot to get a brown crust – urgh, crust
  • transfer the meatballs to a plate to rest and let the meatballs pan cool a little…then…
  • add the quark and 2 tbsp of the stock
  • mix well until the quark is softened and melted
  • add the mustard powder, worcestershire sauce, the rest of the nutmeg and cornflour
  • mix well until you have a smooth, thick paste
  • add the rest of the stock and cook over a low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens (you can gradually increase the heat if you wish to speed the process up, but be a kind and gentle lover and watch for signs of the mixture splitting)
  • transfer the meatballs to the pan to warm through
  • serve!

If you feel the need to have a hot-dog for dessert to complete the IKEA experience, I won’t judge.

Though, I’m always judging.


budget week: loaded turkey chilli jacket potatoes

Today, we ended up in a sex shop, thanks in no small part to my dear mother. If you’re prudish, scroll down to the recipe.

See, you may recall me whingeing that our ongoing hunt for garden furniture was bearing no fruit? The situation remains the same, so my mum helpfully pointed out a place she’d found in an industrial estate by the banks of the Tyne which ‘might have’ sold charming garden furniture. Paul and I duly set off after a quick stop to IKEA to have an argument and walk around in a HÜFF like 95% of the other couples there. Hell, we didn’t even stop to buy a hotdog, that’s how severe the argument was. All was forgotten by the time we got back to the car, of course. I reckon they pump testosterone through the vents at IKEA to cause all the discord. So off we went to find the garden furniture place.

Well honestly. We ended up on a bleak, wind-swept, pretty much derelict industrial estate – the very type of place where someone is taken on TV to get shot in the back of the head by a bent copper. I didn’t dare stop the car in case a load of chavs came dashing out of the river to steal my tyres. We drove around and around until we eventually found the place but given a) it was closed and b) there were three balding, shirtless old men smacking an old fridge with a wrench in the courtyard, we sharp left. It was only after four or so miles of air-conditioning and Radio 4 that I stopped talking like I was an extra from Kes.

But listen, we at twochubbycubs don’t like to miss an opportunity for shenanigans, and we soon spotted a way to liven up our afternoon – a visit to a sex-shop. Yes, this dystopian wilderness offered up the opportunity to peruse all sorts of erotica and, following the tasteful roadsign signs promising cocktails and sex-toys, we were in. Previous visits to sex shops have always been awful – Paul was once served (not serviced) by someone who had his cock slapped on the counter like a discarded buffet sausage roll the whole time, and I got stuck behind someone roughly the size and shape of a reversing coach loudly bellowing about her desire for a ‘clit ring’. I almost blurted out ‘have you tried a hula-hoop, you brash beast’ but instead chewed my lips in restraint. 

Now, neither of us are prudish about sex. I think it’s absolutely smashing and can heartily recommend it. But some of the things on show in there made my eyes water (and only the top two, mind). A 20″ latex fist to pop up your bottom? 20″! What are you hoping to do, scratch the back of your teeth with the fucker? What if you’re too rough and a giant black rubber cock comes bursting out of your stomach like that scene with John Hurt in Alien? There was also the terrifying named ‘arse-lock’ which was essentially something that looked like a trainspotter’s flask made out of rubber combined with a stretchy rubber hoop, the idea being that it keeps ‘everything locked down from bumhole to ballsack. SOME MIGHT CALL THAT MARRIAGE, AM I RIGHT? I spent a couple of minutes trying to figure it out until I realised how pervy it looked and quickly backed away to look at mouth-gags. 

The whole experience wasn’t helped by being stared at the whole time by two middle-aged ladies who I thought I faintly recognised from my school-dinner days. What did they think I was going to steal? It’s not like you can make a quick getaway with a dildo the size of a roll of carpet hidden in/on your person, is it? I did try cracking a joke – pointing to a fire extinguisher on the wall and asking how much it would be for that model – but their stony faces sharp put paid to my ribald humour.

Tell you what hasn’t changed a bit though – pornography, though I was somewhat startled to see so many erect cocks winking at me from the shelves – I felt like I was operating a gloryhole in a hall of mirrors. It’s all so hilariously naff, especially the attempts at gay porn where the ‘lads’ are supposed to be straight / butch. I’ve certainly never known many ‘scallies fresh out of borstal’ who wear lipliner and purse their mouths whilst they’re getting bummed. And I’ve known a fair few.

However, the award for most awkward went to the DVD of porn that catered for those with a wheelchair fetish. Let me make something clear – I’m not ripping the piss out of the fact that disabled folk have sex, not one bit – it’s the fact that this DVD was so, so, so, so distasteful. The DVD had a big ‘blue badge’ on it like the one that gives you free parking and plastered on the middle was a randy old bugger who was the absolute double of the caretaker from the Harry Potter movies, with a full bonk-on and his hand on some passing girl’s clapper. It gets better – they’d mapped flames on the wheels of his wheelchair. But even that’s not it – it was the fact it was called The Handi Man. I love a bit of wordplay but I’m not convinced I’ll be sending that in to I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. Good lord.

We didn’t buy anything, by the way. Again, not because we’re prudish, but rather sensible folk buy their toys and kit from places like Honestly, the things that have come through our letterbox…


Now, back to the blog. I know budget week has been a bit hit and miss, but that’s really because of the bad timing – we’ve just got too much going on to really focus on costing up our recipes, so we’re going to re-run the budget week with a bit more vim later in the year. For now, we’re going back to basics, with good, decent diet food all synned up and lovely. That said, if we spot that one of our recipes can be done on the cheap (and, be fair, it’s not like we’re using caviar and steak in every meal), we’ll point it out. We’ve got three or four more ‘budget’ recipes to post first though, so you’re still getting plenty. Jesus.

Tonight’s recipe is a turkey chilli. The joy with chilli is simple – you can chuck anything into it veg wise that you have sitting in the fridge. You can bulk it out with more beans, lentils, butter beans, rice…so one small portion of meat can easily serve eight if you’re savvy.

This recipe made four big portions and we served them with jacket potatoes.

turkey chilli

Apologies for the quality of the photo but the iPad was flat so we had to take it with Paul’s Game Boy Colour.

to make turkey chilli you’ll need:

  • 250g of turkey mince (you can buy it at Tesco and it’s cheap)
  • one can of mixed beans
  • one can of baked beans
  • one can of red kidney beans
  • two onions
  • one stalk of celery
  • one grated carrot
  • couple of mushrooms
  • one carton of passata
  • one tin of chopped tomatoes
  • pinch of salt
  • good pinch of hot chilli powder
  • one beef stock cube

Like I said, add in any old shite.

to make turkey chilli you should:

  • chop up and sweat off the onion, celery and mushrooms
  • add the turkey mince and brown it off
  • add absolutely everything else and allow to simmer gently for a couple of hours – in fact, the longer you leave it to simmer the better. If you can make it the night before you want it, even better
  • serve with potatoes and your healthy extra of cheese

This isn’t the most exciting recipe, no, but it’s quick to make, cheap and very filling – exactly what you need on Slimming World! Get it down you.

Now if you don’t mind, we’re off to try out our new toys.

budget week: sweet potato, turkey and leek bake

I’m in an awful mood because it took me ninety minutes to get home instead of the usual twenty-five, thanks to all the braying hoo-rays spilling out of Newcastle Racecourse and blocking the road with their shitty Audis. So, instead of my usual pleasantries, I’m going to rattle off a list of random things that piss me off. WARNING: COARSE LANGUAGE. Of course!

sour sweets – they’re never quite sour enough for me. Seriously – if I buy a packet of sour sweets, I want my mouth to resemble the arsehole of someone who’s trying to hold back a fart at a funeral. I want to wince and tremble every time I put one on my tongue, not crash my car because my eyes have rolled to the back of my head with disappointment. Take a note Haribo, you lying bastards;

hun – I know it’s an obvious one but it drives me up the fucking wall quicker than Princess Di’s driver. Out of all the facebook platitudes, this has to be the most vapid and inane – there’s simply no excuse;

hairflickers – I went four years with hair past my shoulderblades and at no point did I feel the need to swoosh my hair like a horse being bothered by a fly – it’s an affected, fey little move and I don’t think I’m especially irrational for hoping it snaps your spinal cord;

bingo websites – since I signed up to a few bingo sites a while back (read here for my guide to making some easy money from them), we have been inundated with shitty little pieces of junk-mail through our letterbox, and they’re all the same – horrible balloon font (the type of font you’d use for warning signs in a special school), some actress who was last seen in Crossroads with badly whitened teeth, a few rainbows and a shit name –,, and so on;

mincers – that stupid affected little mince that certain ladies do on the way to the car at the supermarket, with their knock-off handbag in the crook of an elbow and a bunch of keys to the other. We get it, you can drive, but I’d bet my house you’ve got ‘SPEED BITCH’ on your bumper and think your indicators are for resting your ankles on during coitus;

scratchers – people who buy scratchcards and can’t even wait until they’re out of the shop before losing all dignity and going at them – there’s someone in our local newsagent who is a bugger for this – he’s got a permanently silver fingertip. Use a coin, you sweaty-faced titrash;

straight men – well, not all straight men, only those who think that because I love a bit of cock that I must want theirs. I don’t. And just as an aside, if you’re a straight man who enjoys a bit of lavender action behind your wife’s back, then YOU’RE NOT FUCKING 100% STRAIGHT. The whole thing about it ‘not being gay if you don’t push back’ definitely, absolutely does not apply. There’s a simple enough test for blokes: if you have a cock between your legs, that’s reasonable. But if you have one pistoning away between your bumcheeks, then you’re not straight – and that’s cool, everyone has different degrees of sexuality, but stop with the 100% bollocks;

readers – people who read communal newspapers and don’t put them back in any sensible order, instead leaving all the pages out of sync and the entire paper looking like it’s blown down the street by a force 9 gale;

Paul – that I can’t find a good word to describe Paul – I don’t like husband because it sounds like I’m trying to make a political point, I don’t like partner because it makes it sound like we’ve only been together for a few months and are just testing the water, I don’t like ‘boyfriend’ because I actually have hair on my arse and my voice is broken so it’s not relevant, I don’t like life partner because just fuck off, I don’t like other half because that’s how thick chancers on game shows refer to their wives and apparently referring to him as Fatty or Shitty McGee is insulting;

‘s – it’s Tesco, not Tescos. It’s ASDA, not ASDAs. It’s especially NOT Marks and fucking Spencers;

drawn on eyebrows – why lighten your hair and then shave off your eyebrows and then draw them on with a Midnight Black Crayola? It’s even worse when they use a tin of Impulse as a drawing guide and put those half-moon shapes on above their eyes, giving them the look of someone who’s just been shot right on the sphincter with a pellet gun;

my face – I don’t like being told to cheer up. Look, I’m a genuinely cheerful guy most of the time, it just so happens that years of being cripplingly obese has left my face looking like an elderly pug being given bad news. I appreciate the concern, but equally, fuck off; and

phantom shitters – I’m not coy about dropping the kids off as and when I need to, so public toilets hold no fear for me. That said, it absolutely boils my piss when I nip into the gents only to find someone has sand-blasted the bowl or left something that could resink the Titanic floating around for everyone to look at. It’s not that bloody hard to flush a toilet and, if you’ve left the pan looking like someone wearing heavy boots has stepped on a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, fucking clean it up! The brush next to the toilet isn’t a bloody ornament.


So yeah, the recipe! Look it looks like a proper school dinner. It’s not fancy-dan, but it’s stodge, syn-free and cheap to make (and you can make it even cheaper if you try). Give it a go! Syn-free if you use a spray olive oil and HEA the cheese easily between six.

sweet potato bake

to make the sweet potato, turkey and leek bake, you need:

  • 1 large turkey fillet  (£3 from Tesco)
  • 200g mushrooms, chopped (Tesco Value – 45p)
  • 2 leeks, sliced (40p)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped (69p, used 40p)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (use up some of the cloves from previous meals)
  • sprig of thyme (grown in the garden, or nick a sprig from the shop!)
  • 300g fat free cottage cheese (Tesco Value, syn free – 64p)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (63p, Tesco)
  • 1 ball of mozzarella, shredded (47p – Tesco Everyday Value mozzarella)

This serves six, so by my estimation, this costs around £1 a serving – if you’re on a budget, just use the rest of the pack of mushrooms you buy instead of turkey and sweat it down a bit longer – that reduces the cost per serving by 50p and makes it veggie friendly. That’ll put a smile on your grey, ashen, meat-deprived face. Just kidding, before you write your complaints…

to make the sweet potato, turkey and leek bake, you should:

  • place the sweet potato in a large pan of boiling water and cook until soft, mash and set aside
  • flatten the turkey (if needed) using a rolling pin so that it is about 2cm thick, just imagine it’s someone you hate and you’re trying to kill them;
  • using a pan with a lid, heat one teaspoon of oil over a medium heat and add the turkey (syn the oil if you’re feeling anal, but haway);
  • allow the turkey to cook for ten minutes with the lid on;
  • after ten minutes, turn off the heat – keep the lid on and allow it to continue cooking in the leftover heat;
  • remove the lid from the pan and leave for another 5-10 minutes just to cool down;
  • check the turkey is cooked throughout and there is no pink meat remaining – if there is, cook for another five minutes over a medium heat until you’ve really beaten your pink meat;
  • when the turkey is cooked, shred it using two forks to pull the meat apart and set aside;
  • heat a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add another teaspoon of oil (or Frylight);
  • add the garlic and cook until it’s sizzling and lovely, stirring occasionally;
  • add the mushrooms, leek and celery and stir until softened and the creepy mushroom juice has reduced;
  • remove from the heat, add the cottage cheese and turkey, and mix well;
  • spoon the turkey mixture into a casserole dish, or individual dishes;
  • top with the sweet potato and shredded mozarella and bake in the oven at 190 until the cheese is browned
  • serve with a flourish, you big fairy.

to gussy it up:

  • use chicken (we did, but turkey is cheaper)
  • add bacon (fat off, mind)
  • pipe your sweet potato on so it looks prettier – Paul flung the mash on ours with all the grace of a distressed chimp in a zoo flinging his faeces around

to reduce the cost:

  • take out the meat and replace with mushrooms
  • take out the leeks and use bog standard onion
  • go to ALDI or t’market
  • seriously, if you need thyme, you could just break off a bit as you schlep around the supermarket. Naughty…or, leave it out, it adds a nice flavour but it could sit without it just as well.

One thing: Tesco Everyday Value low-fat cottage cheese is syn-free and a lot cheaper than their healthy living cottage cheese. So there’s that.

Eee, I’m sorry for the rant before…it’s just not like me!


thai basil turkey mince with glass noodles

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

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

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

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

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

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

thai basi

to make thai basil turkey mince

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

then you should:

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

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



200 posts – plus turkey and bacon meatballs with homemade bbq sauce

Well christ almighty, we’ve made it to two hundred posts. 200! To put that into perspective, each post on average is around 1500 words, so that 300,000 words, or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix combined with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. AND, unlike JK Rowling, I can still crack a smile or two! Actually, that’s unfair, she seems like a lovely person – she’s just always looks as though she’s seen her arse and doesn’t care for the colour. I bet the words of a fat diet blogger really stings – she’ll be sobbing into her solid-gold handkerchief and dabbing her tears with £50 notes.

But honestly, it’s just incredible to me that we’ve racked up so many recipes, posts, slang words for willies, nonsense and flimflam in just under eight months, and that’s excluding the various interludes where we stuffed ourselves with pizza fixed up the house or the website. Normally we take up a hobby and give it up fairly quickly, but it’s become a proper routine in Cubs Towers – plan the recipes, buy the ingredients, type the blog.

Occasionally it can feel like a slog typing it all out, but listen – we know what it’s like to be on SW and seeing the same old recipes bandied around. There’s lots of nice foods but people limit themselves to the same watery stews, anaemic veg and nonsense chemical concoctions, and it’s just not sustainable. The best ‘recipe’ I’ve seen recently is a ‘jam doughnut’, which was a bloody brown breadbun injected with a bit of jam and rolled in sweetener. That’s no more a jam doughnut than I am a black lesbian. Why do that to yourself? Why not have a jam doughnut and syn it? Or, make a decent attempt at a low-syn pudding and take the edge off? Eh, I don’t know.

Certainly, our weight loss has been slow – but it’s been steady. I haven’t updated that banner in a few weeks but we’re nearly up to 60lb weight loss between us, and cumulatively, we’ve actually lost more than that – but gained a few pounds back on holiday. Our aim has always been 2lb a week for me and 1lb a week for Paul. I’ve seen grown women throwing tantrums because they’ve “only lost 2lb this week” (although actually, it’s usually “OMG onli lst 2lb dis wk :'(“, like there’s some kind of fucking tax on vowel usage) and I just despair – it’s so much better to lose slowly and not feel like you’re on a diet than it is to starve yourself, eat beans all day and shit your way to weight loss which you’ll immediately put on the second you slip into size-16 knickers. We’ve all been there too, losing a stone and then zipping around Tesco like we’re on the final round of Supermarket Sweep, running our arm along the biscuit aisle and emptying the shelves into our trolley. It’s pointless and doesn’t work. 

Look through our recipes and you’ll see many, many different styles of cooking and flavours. We consciously avoid repeating recipes too much, and we’ll normally try and sneak in an unusual flavour or arrangement at least once a week. We’ve learnt so much and, for once, we’re enjoying being on a diet. This blog gives me (James) a mouthpiece for rambling and nonsense but it’s actually kept us on track – having to think up new foods means we’re focused on our diet and the ‘can’t be arsed’ element disappears.

But – and christ, prepare for your teeth to start rotting – the best part about all of this is you. Seriously. Seeing people trying our recipes, sharing links, joining our group (4,000+ members) or facebook page (almost 14,000 likes in two weeks), passing around that FAQ or even stopping us to let us know how much you enjoy it – well it genuinely, whole-heartedly makes our day. I’m actually quite a quiet person at times, and it’s such a lovely feeling to know people are enjoying what I have to say. Please continue to comment, to share, to take part, we love it all, and we promise that in return we’ll keep going. Not least because I want to get to 365 posts…!

Right, you can come back now. I know, feelings much. To celebrate, I’m going to post a recipe that we’ve been keeping back for a special occasion because it was so, so nice. It’s a long one, but you can take it. Just push out and think of England.

turkey meatballs with bacon

How best to do this…let’s go for constituent parts. So…

to make the sauce, you’ll need:

  • one very large white onion, or two smaller ones, I’m not a size queen (that’s a lie, I totally am)
  • 500ml of passata
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp of honey (5 syns – but this makes – easily – eight servings, so I’m going to say one syn for the dish)
  • 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper
  • some chilli flakes if you want to punish your nipsy

This recipe is wonderfully easy. You’ll need a receptacle for your sauce – this makes enough to fill two medium sized ketchup bottles. Ours are Kilner and like everything else, we bought it from Amazon. You can get six for a tenner here. You’ll use about a bottle’s worth in this recipe, so the other bottle you can keep sealed in the fridge. It really does make a wonderful sauce which would be amazing on pulled pork or burgers.

The other thing I’m going to push here is our Kenwood Mini Chopper. Normally we chop our onions by hand but because the recipe calls for it to be very finely chopped, we used this. It makes very quick work of cutting up onions and various other things and is excellent for making breadcrumbs too. It’s £14 on Amazon. Not essential but I will say this – as people who use a lot of gadgets, this is probably one of our favourites. Right, so…

you’ll need to do this:

  • if you’re using a chopper, finely pulse the onion and garlic until you get a finely chopped paste – don’t make it too mushy mind
  • if you’re using a knife, you want it cut very fine
  • tip into a pan with a drop of oil and the salt and, on a medium heat, allow to soften
  • add everything else into the pan after five minutes or so (make sure the onion doesn’t catch, although, a bit of smokiness is no bad thing)
  • simmer gently for five minutes or so
  • allow to cool, and then blend it – again, we just tipped it into the Mini Chopper, whizzed it up and then poured it into the ketchup bottles – no need for extra dishes or gadgets

Keep those bottles to one side. Don’t put the lids on until they’re nice and cool mind. On we go…

to make the spinach, you’ll need:

  • a big family bag of spinach – not a pissy little few leaves, because it’s a scientific fact that spinach reduces in volume by 10,000% if someone so much as breathes near it
  • two garlic cloves – cut into the finest of slivers
  • a couple of squirts of oil or Frylight

and then you:

  • squirt the bottom of the pan with a drop of oil or frylight
  • add in the garlic
  • apply a gentle heat and allow the garlic to take on a bit of colour and flavour the oil
  • add spinach, lower the heat, cover and allow to wilt right down
  • serve (note: this spinach takes about five minutes, so make it at the end of your meal)

to make the meatballs, you’ll need:

  • 500g of turkey mince – a lot of people ask me where they can find this – Tesco is my answer, and here’s another tip, it’s forever being reduced. If you spot it in the reduced meats bit, check to see whether it has a £3 for £10 sticker on it still – if it has, SCORE. Buy three packs and although it’s reduced in price, it still discounts the lot as though they were full price, which means you end up paying about £4 for three packets of mince. Damn, I shouldn’t give that away…
  • 6 bacon medallions, or normal bacon with the best bit cut off
  • 4 spring onions, chopped fine, white and green bits used please
  • one small breadbun made into breadcrumbs (HEB) – you’ll may not need them all
  • 1 small egg
  • 2 tsp of ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp of dried parsley or even better, fresh parsley, but double up if it’s fresh

you’ll then need to:

  • put the oven up to 200ºC or 180ºC fan – do you know, I really loathe how Mary Berry says ‘fan’, fact-fans
  • cook your bacon – nice and crispy mind, then allow it to cool and cut it up (or use your chopper) into nice small bits
  • put your turkey mince into a bowl, add everything else, and mash it all together. Really take out your frustrations here. Lady in Primark gave you a shitty look? Someone cut you up in a company-lease BMW? Sat behind someone with dickies on the bus? Imagine that’s their face and PUMMEL
  • once you’ve got all that anger out and your tears have dried on your cheeks, you want to set to work dividing up the meatballs – keep them small – perhaps the size of a child’s bouncy ball* – and place onto a baking tray sprayed with one spurt of oil or Frylight
  • at this point, you might find you’ve got too many to eat in one go – that’s fine – set aside any leftover balls on a plate and put into the freezer, and once they’re frozen, take them off the plate and put into a bag (that way they don’t stick together whilst they freeze, genius right?)
  • brown your balls in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes until they’ve firmed up and taken on a bit of colour
  • finish them off in a frying pan – get it fairly hot, drop in your balls and then tip in maybe a quarter or half of your sauce, and cook them through, letting the sauce glaze your balls
  • serve on top of your noodles and spinach with carrots on the side if you want them

* know this. I spent about fifteen minutes, I shit you not, trying to think of something comparable in size to a meatball, and all I could think about was testicles. It’s hard being me. 

to make the carrots, you’ll need:

  • six or seven carrots, spiralised
  • 1 tbsp of honey (2.5 syns)
  • a squirt or two of oil
  • caraway seeds

Just a note about the spiraliser – you don’t need one. Look you really don’t. But they’re good fun and a piece of piss to use. We’ve only just got one and if you’re interested, you can buy one for £27 here. They make courgettes into spaghetti and various other things, but you can do the same thing with a knife, so don’t get your bajingo frothing if you can’t find one. 

and then you’ll need to do this:

  • spiralise or cut up your carrots
  • put into a bowl and add the oil and honey
  • chuck in the caraway seeds and a pinch of salt
  • mix, mix, mix, mix – get everything nicely coated (it helps to use runny honey) 
  • chuck in the oven until they’re soft – or crunchy, if you prefer it, up to you!

We cooked up some syn-free noodles and layered our plate with noodles, spinach and meatballs, with extra BBQ sauce on the top and those carrots on the side. You don’t need the carrots, but they’re a nice addition – we just had a surplus rattling around in the bottom of the fridge, so why not?





BLTE bap, hot tuna salad and larb burger

So here’s the thing. I get a lot of people telling me to write a book, and I’ve always wanted to, but never really had the right idea or the inclination to do research and gain the appropriate knowledge. Then, as it happens, Paul decided to stroke my ego in the car today (and we weren’t pulled over in a layby flashing our interior lights at lorry drivers, which is normally what we’re doing in the car together – honestly, I hope Eddie Stobart’s drivers aren’t epileptic, it looks like an Eighties disco in our car) and told me I really should get on with it. Well, I love writing, I adore writing this blog (for the most part) and because I’m massively egocentric, what better topic to write about than what is happening in our lives? That would be great for me – but boring(ish) for you.

Here’s my idea: I am going to write a book – it’s going to be in the same format as what we’re doing now with the blog posts, but with fictional stuff interwoven amongst the nonsense. It won’t be a slimming book, simply because I don’t want Margaret coming after me with her Lynda la Plante weave all awry and her gang of Slimming World lawyers straining on the leash to do me in for copyright law. But I’ll put a few of my favourite recipes in there too. It’ll be like Bridget Jones Diary, only massively less successful. Renee Zellweger could totally play me though, if she put 180lb on and fell face-first into a fire. Naturally the blog remains at the forefront of my writing, and this side project will be something I’ll be tinkering on with for the next few months. In the meantime, if you fancy reading more of our writing, don’t forget we have a book on Amazon which is an account of our four weeks in Orlando: read about how I spent the first two days of the holiday tinted blue thanks to cheap sunscreen, or how I exposed my not unsubstantial arse to a crowd in a waterpark. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and by paying only £1.20, you’ll keep Paul and I in replacement ped-eggs. That can be found here.

Right, so with that announcement over, let’s start with day four of SP! Tomorrow I’m going to explain SP in a bit more detail and also tell you exactly what I think of it. I’ll give you a clue: I think it’s a load of horse’s arse. And I’m not even going to mark that as a protein, either.


blt slimming world


The E stands for egg (P), obviously. Plus lettuce (S) and tomato (S). There’s not an awful lot to say about this, other than: 

  • we totally didn’t have two each *cough/splutter*
  • I got Paul out of bed to make this (because I was hungry) by setting off the smoke alarm and then hiding in the kitchen – he came dashing in completely nude like the world’s cuddliest fireman and then proceeded to tell me off for about five minutes, the whole while I’m standing there agreeing solemnly with everything he said and pushing the packet of bacon closer and closer to him. I know one day our actifry is going to burst into flame through overuse and we’ll both perish in the fire because we’ve played too many pranks with the smoke alarm. I bet Paul manages to die with a pious ‘see I told you’ expression on his face
  • there’s a certain type of wholemeal bread roll you’re allowed – I think it’s a Weight Watchers one – but we only had these little buns in the freezer and after waking Paul up by tricking him into thinking he was in The Towering Inferno, I didn’t have the temerity to tell him to go to the shop…so we just used these. They’re about the same size.


hot hot tuna salad

Hot, hot tuna salad

So good I named it twice, see. No, it’s hot in both senses of the word – hot because of the added chilli and also, served hot. Usually tuna salad is served cold and, to someone who doesn’t like fish, isn’t especially appetising. Hell, I’ll make Paul wash Little Paul in the bathroom sink before he gets his birthday gobble. 

Christ can I say as an aside I realise that this post is making it sound like Paul has an awful life, like some hairy Little Mo to my Trevor. Honestly, it’s not that bad, no-one needs to call Relate for us just yet. The only time he’s raised an iron in anger is when our ironing lady was off for two weeks having something done with her ovaries. Having them out I think, not wallpapered.

Anyway, yes, tuna salad:

to make hot, hot tuna salad you will need: 

several big fuck-off lettuce leaves (S) – I grow mine in the greenhouse and honest to God, it’s like Day of the Triffids in there at the moment. I’m lucky I have a retractable hose-pipe – if I get lost amongst the lettuce, I just pull myself free. Yep. You’ll also need two tins of tuna (P), two large sweet peppers cut into chunks (S), three shallots sliced thinly (S), two tomatoes cut into chunks (S), 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tsp of garlic salt, 1 tsp of chilli flakes, 1/4 tsp of salt and a bit of oil.

to make hot, hot tuna salad you should:

  • mix the tuna together with all the spices and salt and set aside
  • fry the onion and pepper in a dab of oil or some frylight until soft
  • chuck the tuna in and heat through – why not add a bit of chilli sauce if you like your hoop to look like a deflated liferaft
  • serve up on the giant lettuce leaves
  • to eat, fold the lettuce into neat parcels and chew

mandarin water


My favourite water so far! It tasted like sunshine in a glass. Well no, not quite, but it’s just one ingredient:

  • mandarin – which is excellent for vitamin C, which is handy for preventing skin wrinkling. 

Don’t forget, if you want a gloriously ostentatious way of serving up your water (and don’t think for a second that come Eurovision night that isn’t going to be full of punch) you can buy one from Amazon. I will say this, we’ve certainly consumed a lot more water since we bought it, but that’s more because I’m such a tight-arse that I’m determined not to lose face and see it consigned to the back of the cupboard along with the lollipop maker and the ravioli crimper.

Haha, crimper.




Ah geocaching. I’ve rumbled on about geocaching before – it’s essentially a giant treasure hunt where no-one wins. But you don’t need to win a prize to enjoy it, it’s fantastic fun if you’re GIANT NERDS like us. People have hidden containers all over the world (and I’d bet my savings there’s probably at least five within easy walking distance from your house right now) and you use your GPS or an app on your smartphone to find them. Then you sign the book and put it back. It’s a great way of:

  • livening up a charming walk out in the country; and
  • making the British public think you’re loitering in the bushes with your knob out ready to strike.

See, part of geocaching is that you have to be subtle – some of the containers are hidden in plain sight, so you have to try and swipe them without people seeing, which can be difficult when you’re stumbling around in the trees like a flannel-shirted rapist. We had a lovely walk around a nature reserve and ended up on one of Northumberland’s fantastic beaches. Just look at that scene above. See, the North is so much more than child-beating and whippets. That picture of the rock at the top – that’s called a disco cache, where the logbook is hidden inside a container designed to look like something completely different. They’re extra hard – I’ve hid caches myself inside golf balls, birds nest and even a fake blob of chewing gum. It’s all free of charge and hey, if you’ve got kids, get them involved too.

Everyone I ever explain geocaching to wrinkles their nose and asks me what is the point, but it’s great fun. You’ll end up enjoying yourself, trust me. Visit, pop in your postcode and go and find the closest one to you.


larb burgers

Larb burgers

Told you I was getting the use out of my lettuce! Note: I used a carrot and ginger dressing from Tesco on this which works out at almost a syn for two tablespoons. But you can use fat-free vinaigrette if you dare not sacrifice a syn. 

to make larb burgers you will need: 

  • 500g of turkey mince or three chicken breasts (if you’re using breasts, then you’ll need a mincer – and how often as a gay man do I get to say that?), 3 shallots (S) (one thickly sliced, the other two thinly), 3 cloves of garlic (S), a few lime leaves (get them from Tesco’s world food bit), 1 small stalk of lemongrass, a dash of fish sauce, a bit of ginger (you only need a little knob to really taste it – and how often as a gay man do I get to say that), a lime (S), pickled cabbage (S I think) and the ubiquitous giant lettuce leaves (S).

to make larb burgers you should:

  • get your food processor or blender or what have you on the go
  • throw in the thickly cut shallot, garlic, lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce and a pinch of salt and pulse to a paste
  • add the meat and pulse so it’s nicely mixed up with the spices
  • shape into six burgers
  • heat a griddle pan with a drop of oil or some Frylight and get it medium hot
  • add the burgers and cook hard – you want to get some sear lines into the burger for that classy bitches look
  • turn over and repeat on the other side – we cooked them for seven minutes each side to really cook them through – always be careful with chicken
  • if they look a bit dry, throw some lime juice into the pan
  • in the same griddle pan, put the finely sliced shallots in to fry off in the juice of the meat and lime
  • once cooked through, assemble onto the lettuce leaves, add some pickled cabbage and the shallots, and serve (you can add dressing if you want, I found it wasn’t necessary.

Enjoy! Oooh it’s like you in a tropical paradise, right?



turkey stroganoff

That has to be the most tortuous way ever of getting the recipe title into a pun. The recipe today will be a turkey stroganoff – cheap to make, difficult to pronounce and syn-free. Oh yes!

Someone lovely responded to one of our posts today saying they’d love us in book form. Let me tell you, I’d love to write a book (and indeed, I have – my Honeymoon Diary is on Amazon) and my head is full of ideas, but I’m the world’s worst procrastinator. If I can find a way of putting something off to do later, I will, even if it’s something I enjoy doing like writing. Hell, a book about a wizard made JK Rowling insanely rich, even if she does walk around with a face like a franked stamp. Like she’s seen her arse and doesn’t like the colour of it, as my dad would say. Like she’d lost a fiver and found a pound, if you will. Like an abandoned sofa. I’m only jealous. 

To give you a few examples, I painted our bedroom a charming slate grey last summer (Paul wouldn’t let me put a slab of wipe-clean Perspex on the wall behind the bed, which I think was a mistake) and I had every intention of going around with a little scrubby cloth and getting all the paint of the windowsills, lest our gardener looks in and thinks I’m a cack-handed slattern. I am, but I don’t want him judging me. But I’ve put it off and put it off to the point where I’d rather repaint the room than go at it with a cloth. For a year and a half in our old flat we had a bed that dipped in the middle almost to the floor because three of the slats snapped (sadly not through passionate love-making, but because I plucked one of Paul’s bum-hairs as he walked past naked and he fell onto the bed in fright). Did we go to IKEA and get some new slats? No, we propped it up with a few DVDs and spent 18 months walking around with spines like question marks.

If I take a day off, it’s always done with good intentions that I’ll go shopping, get some nice food in, do tasks around the house, practice writing, have a walk. What invariably happens is that I’ll spend three hours pressing the snooze button and the rest of the day watching Come Dine With Me on Channel 4 catch-up in my ‘house boxers’ – i.e. the ones I can’t wear outside of the house because my knackers tumble out of a hole in the gusset. We’ve got several pairs of these, super comfy, but god knows what we do to our boxers to make them fall apart like that. Paul puts it down to friction, I put it down to his rancid farts burning through like when you toast the top of a crème brûlée. Nevertheless, they’re handy for dossing around the house, though I do think my neighbours over the road have seen my balls swinging around more times than they would care to admit.

Here, have some stroganoff – it doesn’t look all that in the picture but it tasted lahverley! And it’s something new, so get on it.

turkey stroganoff sw

to make turkey stroganoff you will need:

1 tbsp olive oil (or Frylight if you’re that way inclined), 500g turkey mince, 1 brown onion (diced), 225g sliced mushrooms, 170g passata, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon chilli sauce (we used Cholula, which to me sounds like something you’d rub onto an irritated foof, but for goodness sake DON’T), 500ml chicken stock, 200g fusili pasta, 250g fat-free greek yoghurt, parsley

to make turkey stroganoff you should:

  • in a bowl, mix together the chopped tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, garlic power and chilli sauce. Keep to one side whilst you make the magic happen
  • in a large stockpot or even better one of these babies, heat the olive oil (or Frylight, pussy) over a medium-high heat.
  • add the minced turkey and onion and stir frequently for about two minutes. Make sure to keep breaking up the clumps of mince as you go
  • add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Don’t worry if it starts to look a bit watery – that’s what you want
  • add salt and pepper and anything else you might fancy. We won’t judge
  • stir in the passata and the delicious tomatoey sauce you made earlier and mix well
  • add the stock and bring the whole lot to a boil. Don’t be shy – if you keep stirring, it won’t stick
  • once it’s bubbling away add the pasta and reduce the heat to a nice simmer
  • cook for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked as you like it. Stir occasionally, but not too often
  • add anything else you might fancy (lots of pepper is nice), remove from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes or so. If you do this next step whilst it’s still really hot it’ll look like you’ve spewed in it
  • add the yoghurt and mix well
  • serve, worship us and then share the recipe with your friends!

Remember – we’re on Twitter! If you enjoy us, SHARE – @twochubbycubs


greek turkey meatballs

Surreal sight #477 in Tesco today. Well, no, just outside of Tesco, some biffa standing next to her bags with an inhaler in one hand and a cigarette in the other – she’d take a couple of drags on her cigarette and then a quick puff on the inhaler. Now THAT’S commitment. Even when you can physically feel yourself choking, you carry on – oxygen is for pussies, after all. It’s like opening an AA meeting with a swift half and a celebratory chaser. Takes all sorts. Anyway, there’s a rant coming, so batten down the hatches.

I’m going to write about tweaks today. Before I start, know that this isn’t exactly the official Slimming World position, but rather my own. Obviously.

To me, the ‘no tweaks’ rule is something Slimming World have put into place to stop you blending eighteen bananas into a smoothie for breakfast, or using two tubs of Smash and some Splenda to fashion a small motor car to take you to McDonalds. The logic is over-consuming is easy – you can drink a smoothie in moments but it would take an age to eat the fruit that goes into one, and you’d likely stop before you’d even had a third. You’d need to press a whole lot of apples to make a glass of fresh juice, but one apple would normally curb your hunger.

But people take it to ridiculous levels, and my carrot cake overnight oats from a week or so ago caused a bit of a stir because I said it was syn free despite it having a mashed banana in it. If you follow the Slimming World rule about fruit to its absolute base level, then yes, it should be synned. But, if you apply logic and reason, there’s no difference to me mashing the banana using my fancy-pants potato ricer than there is mashing it between my teeth. Using a masher isn’t going to coat the banana in Nutella, it isn’t going to ‘add sugars’ or ‘release the fibre content’ any different. Sugar doesn’t float about in the air like a midge, waiting to strike the very second you cut into a piece of fruit. Some try and say that you’d use up energy chewing your banana which you don’t do if you mash it in a bowl – perhaps, but I’m not a fucking snake, I don’t dislocate my jaw and swallow the bowl and its contents without chewing, for goodness sake. I have a banana every morning on top of my porridge, the only difference here is that it’s inside my porridge as opposed to sitting on top. It’s still going to be chewed, digested and turned into a gentleman’s egg a few hours later – and I’m not going to fucking syn it!

What irks me more is that there’s always a curious sanctimony applied with the rule, with some people delighting in pointing out ‘BUT THAT SHOULD BE SYNNED’ like they’ve got Margaret MB standing behind them, pointing a pistol at the back of their shaking heads. A rule is a rule, but common sense also needs to apply. I mean, you’re not exactly supposed to stop in the middle of a road, but you do if an ambulance needs to be past – you don’t sit there blocking it, sucking air through your teeth and going WELL THE HIGHWAY CODE SAYS OTHERWISE as some poor bugger has his chest pumped in the back. I’ve been told before that it could confuse new starters, well, perhaps so – but my nephew still craps his pants because he hasn’t got the hang on his potty quite yet, should I start wearing adult nappies so he doesn’t get a complex? Haway!

And finally, what really riles me about being told off about my tweaking is that the very same people will sit there and tut and huff about a cake made from chickpeas but will then make a brownie using a bollockload of artificial sweetener until their countertops look like the inside of Kerry Katona’s fucking nostril. At least I cook proper, healthy, nutritious food instead of manky, artificially-sweetened pap – even if I do have the temerity to use a mashed up banana. FORGIVE ME.

BAH. After that, I could murder a cigarette, but I don’t smoke, and I don’t know where my old salbutamol inhaler is. Anyway, after all that, here’s tonight’s recipe which is actually bloody delicious!


to make greek turkey meatballs you will need:

300g of chopped frozen spinach (defrosted), 500g of turkey mince (very low in fat), 3 cloves of garlic chopped so finely, an egg, tsp of oregano, salt, pepper, 90g of crumbled feta (45g is your HEA, but this serves four) and you might, dependent on the quality of your mince, need some breadcrumbs – if so, chuck in 25g of dried breadcrumbs (4 syns – so 1 syn each) but we didn’t need them. For the sauce, a pot of passata, garlic, onion. Spaghetti, any.

to make greek turkey meatballs you should:

nothing more to it for the meatballs than combining everything together for the balls into one bowl, mixing and squeezing and really blending it with your hands and shaping it into 24 balls. Stick them onto a non-stick tray and pop them in the oven for twenty or so minutes on 180 until nicely browned. Meanwhile, cook your spaghetti. Make a simple tomato sauce by mixing passata, sauteed onions and garlic. Combine sauce with cooked spaghetti, put meatballs on top.

extra-easy: yup. plenty of spinach and tomatoes in this to make it a go-go-go. You could jazz up the sauce by adding peppers if you were so inclined but this’ll do nicely. The balls are tasty and cheesy, and it’s not often I say that.

Cheers now,


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.

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, 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!


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!