recipe: crunchy munchy wraps

Crunchy munchy wraps. Listen, cut me some slack, I can’t think of a better name (and if I’m entirely honest, I’m sure I’ve used that name before somewhere and it’s bugging me enough to make my forehead furrows appear but not enough for me to get off my fat arse and check) and avocado smash wraps makes us sound like dicks. Regular readers will know that we’re fans of the avocado here – despite Slimming World’s nonsense approach – but even I’m sick of seeing it on menus now). Mind, it’s not as bad as people pretending a portobello mushroom is a sound swap for a burger bun or, worse, sliced cauliflower is a substitute for a steak. In what world is that acceptable? I’d sooner eat the stuffing out of my writing chair, and I know how toxic my south-mouth can be.

Perhaps I’m just feeling a bit curmudgeonly because of the heat, though. Perhaps I ought to do some deep breathing and calm down. But see, summer means that when I breathe deeply, I’m rewarded with lungfuls of flower ejaculate that immediately sets about clagging up my nostrils and making my eyes itchy. I also burn ridiculously easily so, although I do currently have a nice golden tan (almost like I’ve been standing next to a wood fire), I know that if I misjudge it my skin will rebel, turn shiny pink and send me scuttling inside to hide in the shadows again. At least with wind and rain you know where you are – pop a coat on if it’s wet, extra layer if it’s cold: not like I can just take my tits off to go outside when it’s sweltering. I genuinely hate summer. Remember in the Teletubbies when they’d wake up and the sun would come out to play, with a creepy baby in the middle gurgling away? That’s my life, only the sun is a drunken Nicki French shouting obscenities at me and calling me fat. Raging, hun.

And I think, if I may, that because I always have the low level irritant of being:

  • too hot to function without a shiny patina forming on my forehead; and
  • achingly conscious of the fact that now I’m always in a t-shirt, every time I sit down it’ll ride up and show my arse-crack to the world

that every other little annoyance that may have once glanced over me really hits home.

Even polite gestures are vexing me. We’re still in Chubby Towers Adjacent and there honestly hasn’t been another guest in this hotel who hasn’t been a delight to talk to. One thing I’ve come to realise is that people who smoke are far more interesting than their counterparts (aye, but you non-smokers always have the edge when it comes to blowing up party balloons) given some of the wonderful conversations I’ve been having outside with all and sundry whilst we work on our COPD. Everyone has a story to tell and I’m proper enjoying listening. Didn’t know I could! But what this does mean is that there’s many a time when they’ll do something lovely like holding the lift door open, meaning I have to then waddle-jog over and politely refuse because of the one-household-rule. This then creates that awkward ten seconds where you’re waiting for the lift door to shut so they disappear and you can press the button, and doesn’t that ten seconds feel like a lifetime, having to alternately stare at your shoes, smile wanly at them and going ‘oh ho ho, I’ll get the next one’. Yes, here at this hotel, I cosplay as Santa.

Linked to my mention of hayfever earlier, whilst we’re here, can we have a permanent abeyance on people saying ‘bless you’ after each sneeze? Once is fine – I mean, I can do without it full-stop because I’m fairly confident my sniffles is pollen related and not the fucking plague – but you do you. This wouldn’t ordinarily be so bad save for the fact that when I get going, I’ll sneeze a good six or seven times, which then leads to the person invariably clicking on that they’re going to be there a while and thus ought to go full ham. Bless you! BLESS YOU! BLESS YOU HAHA. BLESS YOU. OOOH DO YOU RECKON YOU COULD DO A FEW MORE BLESS YOU. BLESS YOU. OOOH ONE MORE AND YOU’LL ORGASM BLESS YOOOU.

I know you mean well but I’ve had that schtick all my life. Next time it happens I’m going to pull an almighty cum-face and pop a mayonnaise sachet in my pocket. Just one bless you and be gone, thot.

Anyway, that’s quite enough misery. We’ve got something wonderful in the form of these wraps – they’re just something we threw together a few weeks ago for tea to use up all the shite in our cupboard. As ever with our recipes and doubly so with these wraps – fill them with whatever you like. And that’s that. To the crunchy munchy wraps.

crunchy munchy wraps

Stuff the crunchy munchy wraps how you like. Stuff them with lettuce, herbs, onion, or stuff them up your arse. Either or.

crunchy munchy wraps

Tell you what though: I wrap a bloody good wrap.

crunchy munchy wraps



Yield 4 wraps

This makes enough for four wraps, or eight halves. Obviously. Lovely and summery these.

Up to you if you syn avocado - Slimming World syn it as something ridiculous and if you're following the plan, you ought to do the same. However, if you're like us, you won't syn it at all and then these are syn free...


  • one large avocado (14 syns) (hmmm)
  • a big packet of wafer thin turkey
  • a selection of small peppers chopped into strips
  • one small can of chickpeas, drained
  • pinch of curry powder
  • juice of one lime
  • a tablespoon or two of yoghurt
  • whatever wraps you're allowed


  • mash the avocado with a good pinch of salt and the lime juice
  • mash your chickpeas with the yoghurt and curry powder
  • layer your wrap - chickpeas on the bottom, peppers, wafer thin turkey and then avocado
  • wrap up and eat


The dish

  • swap out the turkey for ham and add cheese
  • we tend not to toast our wraps because we're too fat to wait to eat, but these done in a griddle pan would be superb
  • roll these up and wrap in tin foil - they're good for lunch if made in the morning

The books

  • our slimming cookbook can be ordered online now – full of 100+ slimming recipes, and bloody amazing, with over 2400 5* reviews – even if we do say so ourselves: click here to order
  • our new diet planner is out now and utterly brilliant – you can order it here – thank you to everyone so far for the positive feedback!


Courses wraps

Cuisine who can say

There you go – shove that in yer mush! Want more wrap ideas? Here you go:


syn free sweet potato and turkey layered casserole

Turned up for the sweet potato and turkey layered casserole, that’s syn-free and awash with taste? Well, don’t hasten along just yet. A word please, but for once, I’ll make it a quick one.

How do people keep falling for Facebook scams? It’s beyond me. I get it, people are keen for a bargain and would snatch the skin off your face if it meant getting 25% discount at Aldi, but please, exercise just a modicum of common sense. Tesco aren’t giving away 500 gift-cards with £500 quid on them because they’ve turned 50. You can tell that because a) Tesco wouldn’t give away a quarter of a million quid via stay-at-home-mums on facebook ‘buy ‘n’ sell’ pages (the ‘n’ stands for not having THAT in my house because it’s fucking gopping) and b) Tesco wouldn’t give you the steam off its piss.

I only mention it because Alton Towers have had to issue a statement explicitly stating that they’re not running a promotion for five free tickets for each person who shares some crappy low-res and clearly photoshopped picture of a ticket. I just find it perplexing that people get suckered in by crap like that. Surely at some point during the ‘complete X surveys’ and ‘submit your Paypal account details here’ an alarm bell must ring, and presumably that bell is going to be bloody loud because it’s got no brain to muffle the sound? Pfft. If I was in charge of Alton Towers, I’d honour the crummy tickets and put all the people most vocal about it straight on The Smiler – and I’d put the work experience kid in front of the controls. I mean HONESTLY.

This wouldn’t have caused me so much ire if Alton Tower’s official status on Facebook wasn’t awash with people who immediately started twisting their gobs about how Alton Towers had a duty to provide free tickets as compensation. Com-pen-bloody-sation! Listen, you should get compensation if you have your legs blown off by faulty wiring or your eyes smacked from your skull from a falling crane, you don’t deserve compensation just because you got your juicebox in a froth thinking you’d get a free ticket because of some barely literate sharing on Facebook.

Anyway, the last time I went to Alton Towers I had a very reasonable time. Make of that what you will. I enjoyed waiting in the queues for a one minute ride, I loved looking at the delicate displays of litter and wasps and found the experience of applying for a loan just to buy a small fries and hotdog to be remarkably thrilling. I love theme parks but I’ve been utterly spoiled by spending a month in Florida, with the added bonus of not being the fattest person in the park.

My mind boggles.

Speaking of mind boggling, you need to give Stranger Things a go. It was recommended by a friend, who, to her credit, is normally fairly spot-on with her recommendations and tea-making. It’s sublime. Wonderfully shot, gorgeously scored, tightly plotted and just something so unusual on TV these days – a real rare treat. It’s on Netflix and I can’t, in turn, recommend it highly enough. Who knew Winona Ryder (Ryder? I barely knew her!) could act? She’s a revelation. Even the kids can act! How comes whenever we see children on UK television they’re always that unique breed of smug, breathy annoyances with a know-it-all attitude and a name like an old Victoria affliction. OH LITTLE DROPSY, DO COME ALONG, YOU’LL BE LATE FOR YOUR MANDARIN CLASS. That kind of shite.

If it helps sweeten the deal, there’s a policeman in there with a strong jaw and a mean attitude, so at least you’re guaranteed a bit of rain at Fort Bushy.



Let’s get to the bloody casserole, eh, before I give you a nosebleed.

Look, it doesn’t look great, but it’s a good way of getting some speed veg in, it freezes well and you know, you could do worse!

sweet potato and turkey layered casserole

to make sweet potato and turkey layered casserole, you’ll need:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 500g turkey mince (or use beef mince, and yeah, you’ll get plenty in our box below)
  • 250g bacon medallions (you’ll get some in any of our musclefood deals!)
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 50ml almond milk (this works out at less than 1/3rd of a syn – I didn’t count it but you can if you like)
  • 4 tbsp quark
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 150g mushrooms, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

to make sweet potato and turkey layered casserole, you should:

  • begin by peeling the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks, and add to a pan of boiling water, cook until tender and drain
  • in another pan meanwhile, cook the bacon under a hot grill until crispy – when done, remove from the under the grill and set aside
  • great – now preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  • cook the cauliflower florets in a pan of boiling water, for about 7 minutes (or until tender)
  • over a sink, drain the cauliflower and put into a food processor (or blender)
  • completely blend with half of the almond milk, a load of black pepper and half of the quark – blend until smooth and set aside
  • kindly do exactly the same with the sweet potato, but add parmesan if you want rather than peppers
  • in a large frying pan, add a little oil and cook the turkey mince
  • now, once the mince starts to brown, add the onions and mushrooms to the pan and keep stirring every now and again
  • mainly a job of layering now – in a large ovenproof dish (pyrex is best!) spoon half of the mince mixture and spread out to a thin layer
  • yes, add all of the cauliflower mix and spread out, then add the remaining meat mixture followed by the sweet potato
  • bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  • usually, we chop or crumble the bacon into little pieces and spread over the dish when cooked
  • masses of casserole for everyone – serve!

Looking for even more recipes? Good lord woman, steady on, you’ll snap it off. Click the buttons below for even more!


Hope that left you satisfied and smiling.


delicious buffalo turkey meatball subs

Are you dripping from both ends at the thought of these delicious buffalo turkey meatball subs? Well, I’ll get to them. I will, honest, but first, something awful happened yesterday.

I say yesterday, but it was a few weeks ago – I just didn’t want to write about it because I felt so bad. I’m not a man who easily shames – I’d need the priest to cancel his summer if I ever went into a confessions box – and I’m very much a ‘meh’ person when it comes to morality and decency, but sometimes even I feel penitent. I need to apologise genuinely to everyone out there who thought I was a decent person. Let me explain, OK?

Naturally, because I’m a gobshite, I’ll need to set the scene. It was a glorious summer day – the type of Sunday afternoon that is just fizzing with possibility – do you spend all day watching Four in a Bed re-runs on More 4 or the Come Dine With Me omnibus on 40D? Due to the weather being so damn warm we were at serious risk of bonding directly with our leather sofa so we decided, after peeling ourselves off the leather with a loud, wet fart, to ‘go for a drive’. My parents used to take me and my sister out to go ‘there and back to see how far it is’, and that’s exactly what we planned to do. An amble out in the car to shout loudly at the back of caravans and the front of BMWs.

As you may or may not know, we live near the Northumbrian coast, and it was a matter of minutes before we were beetling up the coast road, with Paul’s terrible taste in music playing loudly through the speakers of my car. That’s the deal. If we take my (better) car he gets to choose the music, meaning eight hours of Tracy Chapman Sucks The Joy Out Of Every Conceivable Situation. Meh, I like doing the driving so I let it slide. Anyway, we had only been going for about fifteen minutes when he turned the music off and turned to me, mischief writ large on his already burning, doughy moon-face, and suggested we go and look at caravans.

Well, I was shocked, let me tell you – Paul has all of his own teeth and isn’t unemployed, so why suggest a caravan? He explained that he didn’t want to buy a caravan, rather just have a nosey around, and that he had seen a sign for an ‘open day’ at a nearby caravan park but a few moments ago. I can’t say no to Paul – one look at his rheumy, beady eyes and I’ll give him the world.  Caravans have never appealed to me – I don’t see the joy in dashing away on holiday to look at the same four walls you’ve previously looked at for a long wet week. The ones I have been in always start of smelling of foist and sex and end up smelling of farts and shame, which perhaps says more about me. I’m not a snob, I’m sure there are some lovely models out there that don’t come in discharge-beige, but they’re just not my scene.

Nevertheless, I turned the car around under the guise of humouring Paul but really wanting to have a nose myself. I’ve always wanted to see how someone could find sweating in a plastic box so inviting. We pulled in at around 1pm with the idea that we would have a gander around a couple of caravans, maybe swear at some children in the bar and buy some cinder toffee for the drive home.

WE WERE THERE FOUR FUCKING HOURS. FOUR! Why? Well, this is the bit I feel I have to apologise for. We had no sooner walked in when some wonderful, charming, effortlessly polite young man hustled over in a veritable cloud of Lynx Africa and sat us down in a comfy chair. I immediately started mouthing DON’T SAY ANYTHING to Paul but he had his eyes on both ends of an eight-berth caravan with balcony and when asked if we’d like a coffee, said yes please. I could see at this point we’d be there a while NOW MY HUSBAND HAS COMMITTED US. Yep.

The guy was charm himself and I didn’t want to feel like we were wasting his time so when asked whether we were thinking about buying, I issued a vague ‘we’ve come into a bit of money but can’t commit today’ in the hope of appeasing him and getting away sharp. No. No, he couldn’t have had a firmer grip on me if he’d sunk his teeth into my scrotum. He promised us a look around, asked a few questions which Paul, lost in a reverie thanks to his machine-brewed cappucino, left me to deal with. I floundered but still the salesman pressed on. He asked us how often we would be visiting (never), what attracted us to caravans (nothing) (perhaps maybe the swinging), how long we’d been together, who held the purse-strings…

advert - freezer-01

Speaking of purse strings, feel free to blow the dust off your purse and buy some meat. Look at everything you get in our freezer filler – buy it and live like a meat-filled queen. I do.

Out we went. We were treated to an almost two hour tour of the facilities. As caravan parks go I’m sure it was lovely, but I just can’t relax when a good half of the men walking about look like they’re going to kick your teeth out through your arsehole and their wives have more writing on their knuckles than on the work experience bit of their CVs. We wandered down to the beach which afforded us wonderful views – and that part is true, I’ve never seen an aluminium smelter glint in the sunlight with such beauty – but listen, I know what gets discharged into the North Sea (hell, I’m responsible for the worst of it) and I don’t fancy bobbing out of the water with a turd-cigar in my mouth.

Actually, that point was highlighted a little later with the appearance of a ‘secret beach’, a little sandy cove hidden out of sight by virtue of a bit of marshland and the flats of the dried-up river-bed. Nothing says ‘enjoy a summer picnic with me darling’ like watching two seagulls fighting in the carcass of a bloated cat and a rat trying to free itself from a spent condom.

All through the tour the sense of feeling shit for wasting this guy’s time was growing, but we thought he’d be finished in no time and then we could slip away before most of his afternoon was wasted. But he just kept going with his endless energy. I don’t know who his girlfriend is but I bet she walks around with a huge smile and two pairs of chapped lips.

So much time passed that we couldn’t in all good conscience tell him we had only wanted to look around a caravan and nothing more. He extolled the virtues of the site-wide WiFi (because we would definitely want to be on the same network as some of the guys we’d spotted looking mournfully from their caravan windows, yessir), the on-site entertainment and the swimming pool. Actually, the pool looked great – it’s been ages since I’d had a verruca to pick at. I’m not going to fib though – whether it was the heat of the day, my body expressing shock at moving more than 100 yards under my own steam or just his excellent sales patter, the idea of owning a caravan here was starting to look more tempting. If only so I could lie down and scratch my feet with a match-box.

We finished the afternoon with the most awkward hour of my life – looking someone in the eye who was so keen for a sale that he skipped over my obvious attempts at deflection – we’re gay, Paul’s an arsonist, I have bail conditions banning me from being near old folk – with that deft, assured mannerism that must come from months of getting people off the fence and into caravan ownership. He asked for a number to contact me on and in my haste to get away I gave him the right number – which he then called a day or two later – thus this being the first instance of me giving my number of a guy and him not immediately scribbling it on a toilet wall with the annotation ‘CAN TAKE THREE AT ONCE’. We discussed finance packages, we discussed carpet options, whether I’d bring my own gas from home (I always do, I chortled, and the crowd went mild), park rules (which essentially boiled down to not nicking the copper from the exchange box and not being a grass), whether my parents would be interested and whether we’d need a two double-bed set-up. I exclaimed that we weren’t that fat which finally seemed to kill the mood and, after many promises that we would be in touch, we were able to slink away.

Paul made to put his Tracy Chapman music back on once we were in the car but I slapped his hand away and reminded him that as his cappucino had almost cost us £30,000 in 6540 crippling monthly payments, I’d choose the music. Our salesman called us a few days later and we explained that my parents hadn’t quite died just yet and that we’d be in contact and do you know, he was so nice – said no worries, thanked us for a lovely afternoon and bid us goodbye. I was so stricken with guilt that I immediately called back and asked if I could send a letter in about his wonderful customer service (and it really was – fair enough he chewed my ears off but he was polite, courteous and charming to an absolute fault) but he said we didn’t need to, as long as we kept him in mind if we ever wanted a caravan. I felt like I’d kicked a begging dog to death.

So, my apology then. A big, heartfelt genuine apology to the poor lad who showed us around for an entire afternoon with the impression we were going to buy a caravan. We weren’t. We had gone in just to have a nose about and were too cowardly to say we were just nebbing. In our defence, we did try to make it obvious we couldn’t commit, but you were so impassioned by your job that we didn’t want to break your spirit. There comes a point a couple of hours in when it’s too late to back out and we hit that point around the time of the secret beach. But: you were great, you really were, and if we ever do decide that we want to give up on life and get a caravan, we’ll come to you. I hope we’re forgiven. I still think of you when I get stuck behind a Shitcabin Deluxe-3000 on the A69 and even now the remorse is raw. Goodbye, Mr Caravan Man.

Now, before anyone kicks off, let me reiterate one thing: this blog is written for comic effect. Of course the folk at the caravan park weren’t exceptionally rough and I’m sure it’s a charming place to stay with kids. It’s not our cup of tea, no, but I’m not genuinely taking the piss. If you enjoy them, go, and have a whale of a time. I’ll watch from the car. With the windows up. In the height of summer. I’ll take the risk.

Oh, as an aside, remember my dislike of caravans for a much later post, won’t you? We’re planning something fun in 2017 which might just revisit them…

I love a Subway sandwich, and see we’ve made a marinara sub before which you can find right here. I’ve said 2.5 syns per sub – it’s actually a fraction less – but you have to make sure you’re using a HEB bun! Or Mags herself will come and smack your ankles in with an iron bar. It’s the rules!

buffalo turkey meatball subs

to make buffalo turkey meatball subs you will need:

serves 6

to make buffalo turkey meatball subs you should:

  • in a large bowl, mix together the turkey mince, celery, carrots, garlic, chilli powder, paprika, panko, parmesan and egg, and roll into 18 meatballs
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the meatballs until cooked through – turn them regularly!
  • when cooked, plop three into each bun and top with one tbsp of natural yoghurt, and 1 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • eat

Admittedly, it’s a sloppy eat and you’re going to end up looking like you’ve been the bullseye at a badly-gone-wrong bukkake party, but hey! Enjoy this fakeaway? Click the buttons below for more ideas on fakeaways, beef or poultry!




turkey biryani and Corsica shenanigans

Three things before we set off:

  • I was in ASDA before (the glamour!) and as I was busy upsetting the self-scan machine, I heard some pompous bellend bark at an ASDA employee to ‘fetch me a basket’. The worker had the good grace to point him in the direction of some baskets, but I was instantly reminded why I hate people before I love them. The only thing I would have fetched him was his arsehole through his throat. 
  • It’s approaching poppy season, which means the people whose DNA had to decide between growing black teeth or growing brain cells and promptly decided on the former will be on facebook telling you that poppies can’t be sold in XYZ because of Muslims. I’ve exhausted myself on facebook arguing with numpties, but look, it’s bullshit. The Royal British Legion have confirmed. Just research it!
  • First weigh-in since we decided to give it a bit more effort. I lost 5.5lb (and you’ve seen the meals I’ve been eating!) and Paul managed a respectable 2lb, meaning half a stone’s worth of pressure has been taken off the metal slats of our bed. Good. See, eating properly works, so put down your Scan-Bran and crack on.

A lovely lady at class last night told me I had to crack on with my Corsica holiday trip – and she’s quite right, of course, as ladies always are. So here we go. The last entry finished with us landing at the world’s smallest airport and being given a Peugeot 206: Sloth Edition to trundle around the island in. If you’re not a fan of my writing and you just want the recipe, hit the scroll button, because this is a long one. Like you can’t handle a long entry, you FILTHY MINX. So…

After landing at Figari, and wrestling the keys from a woman who probably could have brought the car in on her shoulders, we were on our way down the N198 (the main road ‘around’ Corsica) to the charming little town of Sainte Lucie de Porto Vecchio, which was a good half hour drive away. We didn’t mind the drive, it gave us an opportunity to let the scenery sink in. Corsica is beautiful – a true island of contrasts, with white beaches, heady mountains, green fields and dusty trees – and not what I was expecting. Our car, protesting as it did every time I dared nudge it above 40mph, shuttled us towards the town, and, us being us, we drive right past the turn off for the villa. Good stuff! We realised our mistake a good twenty minutes down the road and pulled over in a dusty lay-by by a beach to take stock. I could have texted the rep for directions and assistance but Paul had packed away my mobile into the suitcase, locked the suitcase, and put it in the bottom of the boot. It was altogether too much effort to sort. Paul insists on locking the suitcases at every opportunity, partly because they’re fancy-dan editions where the zips actually form part of the locking system. He locked them after we had wedged them into the boot of the car. He remained entirely non-plussed by my bewildered reasoning of ‘who the fuck is going to nick anything from a moving car, a tiny Corsican gypsy hiding in the ashtray?’. Honestly, the things I have to put up with. Frankly, if someone is that desperate to be at my passport that they want to sort through my extra-extra-large t-shirts and his ‘broken in’ boxers shorts, they deserve a reward.

Paul nipped into the bushes for a piddle and came dashing out with an alarmed face – not because of snakes, or scary wild boars, but (in his words) ‘there’s SO MUCH SHITTY BOG PAPER IN HERE’. Oh lovely! That would be a bit of a theme mind. Corsica is astonishing, but by god don’t venture into the bushes to change your clothes, empty your shoes of half a ton of sand or for a piss, because they sure do love shitting and leaving the paper for nature. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t imagine anyone would take their skidmarked paper home like a flower pressing, but at least bury it, don’t festoon the fucking branches with it. Honestly, it looked like Christmas in Worksop.

We stopped at a nearby Spar for groceries. Groceries isn’t quite the right word for the food you buy on holiday, though, is it? The only thing we left the shop with that could provide any nutritional value was the receipt. I’m going to hazard a guess that it will be the only time in my life that a bottle of Limoncello, swimming googles, eight bags of Haribo, headache pills, Pringles and enough bread to build an ark would appear in my shopping basket together. We did buy a token bag of rocket which looked great in the fridge at the start of the holiday and even better in the bin at the end. As a ‘car snack’ we bought a pretzel the size of a steering wheel to eat in the car (I was reassured that I could have dislodged any errant blobs of dough from my teeth with the toenail clipping that the previous driver had generously left on the dash) and we were back on our way. Let me tell you – it’s difficult to drive an unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads whilst trying to make sure Paul didn’t get more than half of the bread. We made our back, veering dangerously across the road and spraying crumbs everywhere until we spotted the turn-off.

I have to say, the approach to the villa wasn’t very inviting – it looked like the start of every dodgy serial-killer film I’ve ever seen – and the architects had carefully and assuredly made sure to put as many possible pot-holes and boulders on the drive-way, so that the 100m drive up to the villa made me feel like a trainer in a tumble drier. It was worth it, though.


living_dining_terrace master_bedroom_2

Casa Julia! I’ve stolen the photos from Simpson Travel’s website because frankly, my photography skills are up there with Stevie Wonder’s. I could be alone in the world and still manage to get the back of someone’s head or a rogue thumb into my shots. Anyway, we paid a king’s ransom for the villa, I’m fairly sure they can let me use their photos. Isn’t it beautiful? It accommodates ten people, so naturally it was just the right size for Paul and I to mince around naked and use every single bed to get the full value out of the holiday. Anyone else do that? God forbid the maid would get a moment to herself, we were too busy crinkling the bedsheets and leaving chest hairs in every conceivable crevice to care. Paul went for a dump almost immediately, despite having ‘freshened the air’ at the airport a mere hour ago. He uses new toilets like one might stamp a passport – to say he’s been. 

Nevertheless, the suitcases hadn’t been unlocked more than half a minute before I was fully undressed and scampering to the pool. That’s a fib, I’m too fat to scamper. Let’s go with trundle. Lumbered. Yeah – I lumbered excitedly to the pool. That doesn’t work either, actually, because you can’t lumber with enthusiasm. How the fuck do you describe that grotesque speedy ‘shift’ that us fatties do? Shall we say I galumphed to the pool? That means to move in a ‘loud and clumsy way’, which describes the way my thighs slap when I go at speed. I galumphed to the pool. Not quite ‘Arnold raced out of the door’, mind.

I spent five minutes teetering on the step of the pool because it was SO BLOODY COLD. Not because it wasn’t heated, it was, but because I was so overheated in my ‘English’ clothes that anything less than a pan of boiling jam hurled in my face would have felt a bit ‘nippy’. Paul shouted encouragement from the lavatory (thankfully that was a one-way process – I don’t think the locals would have been especially pleased to hear my Geordie tones shouting ‘PUSH’ and ‘IS IT CROWNING YET’ across the fields) but that’s rich coming from him. Paul has never, ever just ‘got’ into a pool. He has to inch himself in, letting the water hit each part of his body and letting out a tiny scream as it does so….OOOH ME ANKLES…OOH IT’S COLD…OOOH IT’S ON MY HELMET…CHRIST MY GUNT….and so on. He’ll then spend ten minutes with it lapping just under his tits before finally he’ll crack and tumble in like a falling mountain. A fatslide, if you will. I’m the opposite, I’ll dither and fanny on for a little bit and then just jump in. I’ve got the luxury of all-over hair, see – the cold doesn’t bother me so much because it has to penetrate my shag. It does rather look like someone has pushed an old persian rug into the pool, however. Even the air-filter gasped rather unnecessarily when I waded in, I thought.

Once I’d managed to acclimatise to the coldness of the pool and my scrotum had stopped resembling a Shredded Wheat, it was lovely. I swam around in that fat-person style – 2m of front-crawl, bob under the water, kick my legs about, lie on my back. I got a bloody fright when I felt something swim underneath me and envisioning some kind of aqua-wild-boar, I hurtled (again, however a fat man hurtles) to the other end of the pool only to realise it was the bloody pool cleaner. I hated it immediately. I have an inherent and deep phobia of machinery in water ever since I watched 999 and watched some poor horse-faced lady get stuck underwater when her pony-tail was sucked into a filter. Brrr. Although looking back, everyone was panicking and screaming but really, no-one thought to grab a pair of scissors? Anyway, this little device looked like a Roomba – a smooth circle of menace attached to a hose and with three turning wheels, and it’s job was to beetle around the pool during the day (when normally, the guest would be out), sucking up leaves and hair and tagnuts. It was creepy. It moved silently through the water aside from a tiny electrical hum every now and then and all I could think was that it was going to either get entangled in my arse-hair (imagine THAT 999) or it’ll somehow become live and fry me in the water like an especially fatty pork chop. I couldn’t relax until Paul finished his dump, fished it out for me (the robot, not the poo) and placed it to the side, where it lay gasping and spluttering and wishing me dead. We did manage to turn it off before it drained the pool. Phew.

We then spent a hearty two hours getting in and out of the pool, lying on every sun-lounger and swinging in the hammock that rather put me in mind of a big metal bollock. By god they were comfy. I looked for them online when I got home only to discover they were over £1,000 each. I like comfort, but I don’t think an afternoon lying in the mild air of Northumberland quite justifies the cost. Plus, I’d need to be dressed here, and it just wouldn’t be the same. I was swinging away in my hammock telling Paul all my thoughts on the stewardesses and Corsicans when his lack of answering – and his rumbling snoring – told me he was off to sleep. Ah well. Regular readers will know that we can’t go more than a few scattered minutes without impressing some kind of embarrassment on ourselves and it was my time to shine with a trip to buy yet more beer and bread. Beer and bread, it genuinely doesn’t get better than that for a fatty. Don’t worry needlessly however, we weren’t forgetting our roots – the beer was an entirely unnecessary raspberry froth called pietra (recommended by a far classier and tasteful friend) and the bread a foccacia with pressed olives and bacon wedged inside. We’re that fancy. Leaving Paul in the hammock to fart away to his heart, and indeed his arse’s, content, I stole out of the villa with a view to restocking the fridge with all manner of local ‘nice things’ from the other grocery shop I’d spotted down the road.

You may recall that I can’t speak a lick of French. I really can’t. I only managed one year of ‘French lessons’ before I got so bored it was either transfer to Spanish or defenestrate myself. Actually, we used to take our lessons on the ground floor so the most I could have hoped for was a grazed knee and an audition for drama school. It didn’t help that our French teacher had an eye full of blood for seven months. It’s all any of us could look at. No wonder I never learned my pronouns for goodness sake, he looked like the Terminator 2 poster rendered in Microsoft Paint. After a year I transferred over to learn Spanish and well, no me arrepiento, right? That said, I’m always keen to at least try, so I spent the fifteen minutes walking down to the shop reading my language app and practising out loud anything I may need to say – ‘…huit tranches de jambon, s’il vous plaît’, or ‘une petite portion de fromage local, mon amour‘ or indeed, ‘…pouvez-vous me montrer aux préservatifs extra-forts?‘ I genuinely thought I’d be welcomed and praised for my attempts, that perhaps someone would admirably slap me on my back and strike up in French with me about the local political situation or Greece’s turbulent economy. Thank fuck they didn’t – me repeating ‘QUOI’ over and over wouldn’t have quite the same effect.

Anyway, you can guess, that didn’t quite happen. No. I minced around the shop, filling my basket with ham and eggs and cheeses and, somewhat inexplicably, a box of blonde hair dye because I had a fit of the vapours and thought about dyeing my hair blonde because I’m on holiday, which has to rank up there amongst the ‘unlikeliest thing to do because I’m on holiday’ together with having a colonoscopy or visiting the dentist. My basket was full of deliciousness and I was immensely proud of myself for engaging the various shop folk in stilted, bare-bones chatter. I spotted the beer I’d seen earlier and put two six packs in my basket. All good. No. In my haste to reach for a bottle of mixer, my basket tipped over and deposited everything I’d picked up all over the bloody floor, each beer bottle shattering at once in the most noisy fashion. It would have been quieter if I’d ramraided the shop in a fucking train.

Time stopped. Every single person in the shop – indeed, the island – span around to look at me in a most accusatory manner, as if I was some tiny-scale terrorist. I stood there, desperately fishing around in my head for any relevant French, but I could feel every last French word in my brain popping like champagne bubbles, rendering me entirely mute and confused in a sea of glass and blood-coloured beer. Finally, the silence was broken by the absolute harridan behind the till yelling and shouting at me in incomprehensible gibberish and waving her hands around like Tony Blair bringing in an aeroplane. After a good couple of minutes I FINALLY remembered and I blurted out ‘je suis désolé‘ over and over until she FINALLY twigged I couldn’t understand her. Do you know what is shameful? I only know ‘je suis désolé’ from a bloody Madonna song. Thank God for ole Vinegartits! Some genuinely tiny hairy man came bustling out from the back with a brush and set about clearing away the glass with such exaggerated sighs and harumphing that I almost emptied out my tomatoes and gave him the paper bag to breathe into. I wish I knew what the French was for FAT, ENGLISH, CLUMSY OAF. I felt paranoid that the cow behind the counter was going to put a tannoy announcement mocking my silliness so I hastily paid (her slapping the coins down into my hand with such venom that if I turn my wrist towards the sun, I can make out the imprint of a two euro coin under my thumb) and scuttled back to Paul, who hadn’t so much as noticed I was out of the pool.

To make up for my folly, he prepared a delicious tea of French bread, cheese, ham, grapes and that great equaliser, Pringles. ROSEMARY FLAVOURED PRINGLES, mind you. Living the dream! We spent the rest of the evening lounging and watching Modern Family on the Chromecast.

Sweet Jesus. I’ve typed 3,000 words and all I’ve managed to do is get to the villa and drop some beer. I need an editor! We’ll leave it here, because the tip-tapping of this tiny Mac keyboard is getting on my tits. What do we have for dinner tonight? Turkey biryani! I’m making a bit of effort to use turkey mince where I can because it’s cheaper and a lot of you ask us for cheaper recipes – plus it’s very low in fat. That said, if you’re feeling like a decadent trollop, swap in beef mince. Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off – it’s easy to make and tastes delightful. Ah fuck, I said delightful. That’s one of my least favourite synonyms.

turkey biryani

to make turkey biryani, you’ll need (deep breath):

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1″  knob of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli pepper, finely shopped
  • 1 tsp of cardamom seeds
  • 1 tbsp each of ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 6 cloves or half a tsp of clove powder (but you’re so much better with actual cloves)
  • 1 cinnamon stick or half a tsp of cinnamon (see above)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 25g sultanas (4 syns)
  • 250g basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • salt
  • 100g fat­free yoghurt
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint (or 1 tsp mint sauce)

You can get away with leaving out the odd spice, just use what you have. 

then to make the turkey biryani, you should:

  • cook your onion gently, until nicely golden
  • add the turkey mince and cook over a medium heat until cooked through
  • stir in all the spices bar the turmeric and leave to cook for a minute or two
  • add the tomatoes, stock, sultanas and a pinch of salt
  • bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to let it gently cook for around forty five minutes
  • meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160 degrees
  • cook the rice however you like – we use the one cup of rice to two cup of water rule – add the turmeric before it boils – BUT STOP after ten minutes – you don’t want the rice fully cooked yet
  • mix together the turkey and the rice and place in a casserole dish
  • cover and cook in the oven for 25 minutes, add a little more stock if the rice isn’t cooked after 20 minutes
  • meanwhile, core the cucumber of its seeds and then grate it into the yoghurt, adding the mint
  • serve everything together

Yum. I am so tired now.


courgette and turkey meatloaf balls

Well, howdy. Just a quick post tonight as we’re both feeling pretty lousy for a myriad of different reasons – all rather banal and a bit wimpy but will be solved easily with some trash telly and a cup of tea on the new sofa. Which, I have to say, is divine. I don’t know how we existed before we had a reclining sofa. My ankles have never been so unswollen!

This recipe comes courtesy of the latest ASDA magazine and tweaked a little bit to make it Slimming World friendly. I hate those magazines, I really do. They’re always full of gap-toothed kids doing something cutesy-poo whilst some yummy-mummy type looks on. Blechh. So, anyways, here it is – courgette and turkey meatloaf balls. This is a great recipe to make from whatever’s left in the cupboards at home – turkey mince can always be found in our local supermarket reduced so we’ve got a freezer full of it, and all the other bits are probably floating around in your kitchen. And now you’ve finally got a recipe for that softening courgette you’ve all got in your fridges…


Here’s what to do:

to make courgette and turkey meatloaf balls, you’ll need:

  • 1 courgette, grated
  • 500g lean turkey mince
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 wholemeal roll, made into breadcrumbs (HEA)
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs

and then to make the courgette and turkey meatloaf balls, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200°c
  • squeeze as much liquid as you can from the grated courgette and then place in a bowl with the spring onions, garlic, egg, worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs and herbs
  • line eight muffin tins holes with greaseproof paper (or spray with frylight)
  • divide the mixture into eight, roll into neat balls and plop into the holes
  • bake for 25 minutes

and that’s all there really is to it. Easy! We served ours with some mashed potato and baby turnips but you do whatever you like. The only uses 1/4 of a healthy extra so go to town, why not throw in some syns as well?




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?