When I was trying to lose weight ,the most important factor was the lack of fat in my diet.I am sure that lowering the fat in my diet really helped me achieve my goal.At first I thought that it would be boring but it turned out to be completely the opposite. I was amazed how good it was.I am not one for having ready meals but if I did have one I made sure it was about 5% fat content or lower.Even a year after reaching my goal I still eat mostly fat free meals.I now find ingredients like butter to rich, I was a person who could eat butter by the spoonful!! ….I gave up butter on my sandwiches and I don’t even miss it.After a year I still don’t eat it….Take a look at my favourite fat free recipes and enjoy your dieting instead of suffering and feeling that it is a chore!!
Pasta with sundried tomatoes
This so quick and easy it could be called fast food.
1 garlic clove crushed
1celery stick thinly sliced
115g/4ox sundried tomatoes chopped
90ml/6tbs red wine
8 fresh plum tomatoes (any other tomatoes will do if no plum)
350g/12oz dried linguine (or other pasta)
salt & ground black pepper.
- Put the garlic,celery sun dried tomatoes and wine into a pan and cook gently for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile plunge the tomatoes into a separate pan of boiling water for 30seconds,then transfer the tomatoes to pan of cold water.
- Drain,then slip off their skins.
- Halve them , remove and discard the seeds and cores and roughly chop the flesh.
- Add the tomato flesh to the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes.Season to taste.
- Meanwhile cook the linguine in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes or until al dente.Drain well.
- Return the pasta to the pan.add half the tomato sauce and toss to mix well.
- Serve immediately on warmed plates,topped with remaining sauce.
Roast chicken with potatoes and lemon
cal 297/fat 4.7g
This easy low fat recipe is ideal for a family meal,everything is baked together so that the potatoes absorb all the different flavours.
1 chicken about 3 and half lb in weight.
2 garlic cloves peeled but left whole (optional)
15ml/1tbs chopped fresh thyme or oregano.
juice of 1 lemon.
15ml/1tbs extra virgin olive oil.
300ml/half pint hot water.
salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 200c/gas 6.Place the chicken ,breast side down ,in a large roasting tin,then tuck the garlic cloves (if used) and the thyme or oregano sprigs inside the bird.
- Peel the potatoes and quarter them length ways.If they are very large ,slice them length ways into thinner pieces.
- Arrange the potatoes around the chicken,then pour the lemon juice over the chicken and potatoes.
- Season with salt and pepper ,drizzle the olive oil over the top,then sprinkle over about three quarters of the chopped fresh or dried thyme or oregano.
- Pour the hot water into the roasting pan.
- Roast the chicken and potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes,then remove the roasting pan from the oven and turn the chicken over.Season the chicken with more salt and pepper,sprinkle over the remaining herbs and add more hot water if needed.Reduce the heat in the oven to 190c/gas 5.
- Return the chicken and potatoes to the oven and roast for a further hour,or slightly longer by which time both the chicken should be cooked and a golden colour.
- Remove and discard the skin from the chicken,then carve and serve with added vegetables or salad.
Red pepper risotto.
Cal 490/ Fat 3.1
This yummy Italian rissotto creates a really low fat supper or main course dish.
3 large red peppers.
10ml/2tsp olive oil.
3 large cloves garlic thinly sliced (optional)
400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes.
225g/8oz tin chopped tomatoes.
2 bay leaves.
about 1.5lts – 2 lts / 2 – 3 pints vegetable stock.
450g/1lb arborio rice or brown long grain rice.
6 basil leaves shredded.
salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Preheat the grill(broiler) to high.Put the peppers in a grill pan and grill until the skins are blackened and blistered all over.
- Transfer the peppers to a bowl ,cover with cling film or a clean damp cloth and leave for 10 minutes.Peel off and discard the skins,then slice the peppers ,discarding the cores and seeds .Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a wide shallow non stick pan.Add the garlic (if liked) and tomatoes and cook gently,stirring occasionally for 5 minutes,then add the prepared pepper slices and the bay leaves.Stir well,then cook gently,stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
- Pour the vegetable stock into a separate large,heavy pan and heat it to simmering point.Stir the rice into the vegetable mixture and cook for about 2 minutes,then add 2 or 3 ladles of hot stock.
- Cook stirring occasionally until all the stock has been absorbed into the rice.
- Continue to add stock ,making sure each addition has been absorbed before adding the next.
- When the rice is tender season to taste.
- Remove the pan from the heat,cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes.Remove the bay leaf and discard then stir in the shredded basil.
Turkey & pasta bake
358cal / 4.5g fat
Serve this turkey dish with a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables for a mid week dish.
275g/10oz minced turkey (or chicken)
150g/5oz smoked turkey rashers or bacon chopped
1 onion finely chopped
2 carrots diced
30ml /2tbs tomato puree
300ml /half pint chicken stock
225g/8oz dried pasta
30ml/2tbs parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Place the minced turkey in a non stick pan and cook,breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon until well browned all over.
- Add the chopped turkey rashers,onion ,carrots,tomato puree,stock and seasoning.
- Bring to the boil ,then reduce the heat,cover and simmer stirring occasionally for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4.Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente.
- Drain thoroughly,then mix the pasta with the turkey sauce.
- Transfer the mixture to a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Serve immediately.
Spicy chicken casserole with red wine.
Cal 250/fat 4.5g
This is a traditional chicken dish from Greece.It is usually served with plain rice .
30ml/tbs extra virgin olive oil
6 – 8 chicken pieces
1 large onion ,roughly chopped.
250ml/8fl oz red wine
30ml/2tbs tomato puree diluted in 450ml water
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp all spice
2 bay leaves
salt and ground black pepper
boiled rice to serve.
- Heat the oil in a large non stick pan,add the chicken pieces and cook until browned on both sides.Lift them out with tongs and set them aside.
- Add the onion to the hot oil and cook,stirring over a medium heat until it looks translucent.
- Return the chicken pieces to the pan,pour the wine over and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until the wine has reduced.
- Add the tomato puree mixture ,cinnamon,allspice and bay leaves.Season well with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan,reduce the heat and cook gently for 1 hour,or until the chicken is cooked and tender.
- Serve with boiled rice.
about 150 calories per serving
This is one of my very favourite recipes given to me by a friend of mine..You can really add anything you like to this & it is a recipe that is different every time you make it.It is also a good recipe if you are watching your calories as it is a good filling soup .You can omit the oil & simmer vegetables in a small amount of water…When I was trying to lose weight I would keep a bowl of this in the fridge and just eat a spoonful or two when I felt peckish.
1 large onion
3 sticks of celery
8 oz any other root veg
40z pearl barley or soaked lentils
1 and half pints of chicken stock
1 tin of tomatoes
salt & pepper
teaspoon Cayenne pepper or paprika
You can also add nearer the end of cooking sliced courgettes,green beans or peas.
- Fry gently the chopped vegetables in the oil for a couple of minutes
- Add tinned tomatoes,tomato puree and chicken stock.
- Add lentils and / or pearl barley
- cook gently till all vegetables are cooked.
- Add seasonings
- Cook for 2 more minutes.
- Put all into a food processor till everything is finely chopped.
- You can then return to pan and add small pasta pieces and tinned beans i.e. pinto,black eyed or cannelloni also worcestershire sauce if liked.
Pasta,bean and vegetable soup.
Really anything edible can go in this soup.Use whatever beans and vegetables are to hand.
75g/3oz dried brown lentils
15g/half oz dried mushrooms
15ml/1tbs olive oil (optional)
1 carrot diced
1celery stick diced
1 onion finely chopped
pinch crushed red chillies (optional)
1.5litres/2 and a bit pints vegetable stock
150g/5oz each canned red kidney beans,cannelloni beans and chick peas
115g/4oz dried small pasta shapes
salt and black pepper
- Put the lentils in a pan,add 475ml/16fl oz water and bring to the boil over a high heat.Reduce the heat and simmer gently stirring occasionally for 15 – 20 minutes or until tender.
- Soak the dried mushrooms in 175ml/16fl oz warm water for 20 minutes.
- Tip the lentils into a sieve to drain ,then rinse under the cold tap.Drain the soaked mushrooms and reserve the soaking liquid.Finely chop the mushrooms and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan(if you don’t want to use oil you can simmer the following in a small amount of water)add the carrot,celery,onion and chillies if using.Cook over a low heat for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Add the stock, then the mushrooms and their soaking liquid.
- Bting to the boil then add the beans,chick peas and lentils with salt and pepper to taste.Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Add the pasta and bring the soup back to the boil,stirring .Simmer stirring frequently until the pasta is al dente,7 – 8 minutes or according to the instructions on the packet.
- Serve hot in soup bowls,Sprinkle with Parmesan if liked.