Hurray, the clocks have changed and the lighter nights are already making a difference which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a big boost for everyone!

Another big boost is how supportive everyone is in class every week. I love the way that members share their ideas, hints and tips with each other – in class and on our Slimtone Facebook page. In last week’s blog I told you about some of our recent weight losses. This week I want to congratulate Eira and Elaine from the Garw class – both have lost 2 stone since they joined in January. Isn’t that fantastic! Well done to you both and to everyone who is doing so well.

Let me give you all a treat and share some of our members’ ideas to help you on your way……remember, if you come to class you get these golden nuggets every single week!

Let’s start with rice.

  • Freezing cooked rice into individual portions of 168g/6oz is really convenient – and much cheaper than the microwave rice pouches. Once it’s defrosted you can make it soft and fluffy by stirring in a tablespoon of water before re-heating. Ideal for serving with curry or chilli, you can make a tasty meal by adding a portion of rice and a couple of slices of cooked chicken to Slimtone soup. Individual portions of rice also make a tasty packed meal or quick lunch – simply add chopped ham or tuna, cooked frozen peas, sweetcorn, chopped carrots, spring onions and peppers.

Now what about that family favourite – mashed potato….

  • Instead of butter and milk, add a Laughing Cow Light Cheese triangle or your favourite flavour extra light cream cheese for a decadent creamy flavour. And for extra tasty mashed potato, add a spoonful of coarse grain mustard or even grated celeriac. Swede mash and colcannon are both Slimtone favourites and are particularly tasty with a sausage dinner. Have a look on page 41 of your Lifestyle Plan for the recipes.

Have you got an air fryer? They’re very popular and a great way to save costs as you don’t need to switch the oven on. Here are some quick ideas for you:

  • Potatoes are probably the starting point for many of us with an air fryer. It’s perfect for delicious roast potatoes, jacket potatoes, chips, in fact almost every variation you can think of!
  • Hasselback New Potatoes are a particular favourite with lots of members – they’re really tasty, easy to prepare and an ideal alternative to chips! Simply slice a potato several times widthways making sure you don’t cut all the way through. A great tip to stop this happening is to pop the potato onto a wooden spoon and then cut it! Clever, eh! Now mist the potatoes with low cal cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with salt. Pop the potatoes into a pre-heated air fryer at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes..

Members are always sharing ideas for getting their “5-a-day” – let’s look at vegetables.

  • Roasted Vegetables: parboil a selection of vegetables such as carrots, onions, sweet potato, butternut squash – and even beetroot! Place the veggies on a baking tray or in the air fryer basket, sprinkle with your favourite herbs and mist with low calorie cooking spray. Roast in a warm oven until tender but crispy on the outside or cook in a pre-heated air fryer for around 20 minutes . Serve with any of the meals in your Lifestyle Plan.
  • Vegetable Frittata: Spray a non-stick pan with low calorie cooking spray and gently “fry” your selection of vegetables. Add two beaten eggs and gently simmer. Pop under a hot grill until golden brown and serve with three bacon medallions. (Approximately 300 calories).
  • Bubble and Squeak: Mix potatoes, cabbage and peas (and any other leftover cooked vegetables). Spoon into portions in a non-stick pan to form patties. Gently cook on both sides and serve with fish fingers and tomato sauce – mmmmm, one of my favourites!
  • Leftover Vegetables: It’s a great idea to always cook extra carrots – they are convenient for adding to any of the mince recipes. Also, for a quick “5-a-day”, cook carrots and swede together, mash and leave for a few minutes over the heat to dry out. Now freeze into convenient portions to use when you are pushed for time.
  • Pitta Pizza: Spread wholemeal pitta bread with tomato puree and top with tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and any leftover cooked carrots, diced chicken, wafer thin ham etc. Season with mixed herbs and pop into a hot oven for 5 – 10 minutes. Serve with sweet chilli sauce. I know this can be done in the air fryer too, but I haven’t tried it yet. If you’ve had a go, why not share your ideas on our Facebook page, we’d love to hear all about it!

There you have it, a few of our members’ quick and tasty ideas for rice, potatoes, vegetables and using an air fryer. Why don’t you share your ideas for something quick and tasty – I’d love to hear from you.

See you soon,
Marie x