Tuesday 30 September 2008

Slimming World Food Night

At the Slimming World meeting last night, everyone was supposed to bring a low "syn" food for others to try, so my husband and I decided to each make something to bring. Robert brought Onion Bhajis with Cucumber Raita, and I brought Baked Vanilla Cheesecake. They were both a hit at the meeting, and we will definitely make them again at home.


Bombay Bhajis & Cucumber Raita


Fry Light
1 medium onion, chopped
170g/6oz potatoes, cooked and chopped
227g/8oz canned chickpeas, drained
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Bombay mixed spice (we didn't have this, so Robert used a hot madras curry spice.)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1/2 cucumber, chopped
113g/4oz very low fat natural yogurt
4 spring onions, chopped

1. To make raita, place the cucumber in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Dry well and transfer into a bowl. Stir in the yogurt and spring onions and chill until ready to serve.

2. To make the bhajis, spray a non-stick frying pan with Fry Light and cook the onion for approximately 5 minutes until tender. Transfer to a bowl, add the potato and chickpeas and mash together. Stir in the remaining ingredients and form into 20 small balls.

3. Arrange the bhajis on a baking tray that has been sprayed with Fry Light. Bake in a preheated oven at 220C/Gas 7 for approximately 15 minutes until golden. Serve immediately with cucumber raita.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Free on Green on the Slimming World plan. (I'll look up and add the calories count later.)

I do not like cucumbers, so I was not fond of the dip, and when we made this at home for us (rather than this one which we brought to the meeting), I had Robert make me some of the dip with only spring onion in it and no cucumber. The bhajis taste great, but can be a little bit dry and crumbly, so having a dip with them is definitely a must.

Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

12 reduced fat digestive biscuits, finely crushed
6 level tbsp low fat spread
511g/1lb 2oz Quark
3 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla essence
8-10 tbsp artificial sweetener
finely grated zest of 1 orange and one lemon
1 level tsp icing sugar, to dust
mixed berries, to serve

1. Place the crushed biscuits in a bowl and melt the low fat spread. Add to the biscuits and stir to mix well. Spoon into a 20cm/8 inch non-stick spring form cake tin, pressing down firmly to make a smooth and even base. Chill in the fridge, preferably overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Beat together the quark, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, sweetener and the citrus zest until well combined and pour over the prepared biscuit base. Place in the oven and cook for 50-55 minutes or until set and golden.

3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours. To serve, dust with icing sugar, cut into thin wedges and serve with mixed berries.

Serves 10.

6 Syns on Green on the Slimming World plan.
6 Syns on Original on the Slimming World plan.

I had never even heard of Quark until i joined slimming World and noticed it mentioned as an ingredient in so many of the recipes. It's basically a soft cheese spread like Philadelphia Cream Cheese is, so if they don't have it at your local store, you could probably substitute the Light Philadelphia Cream Cheese for Quark.

I found that adding the cinnamon gave a slightly brownish colour to the cheesecake mixture, so it didn't look much like the picture in the book. Next time we make it, I will try to get a good photograph of the cheesecake. The berries I topped it with were raspberries and blackberries. Everybody loved it, including Robert and I, but I realized later that I had miscalculated the artificial sweetener. I used Splenda, and I measured out 10 teaspoons of it instead of the tablespoons that the recipe calls for. It still tasted great though, so maybe it doesn't need as much sweetener as it asks for after all!

I will try and work out the overall calories for a slice of the cheesecake to add here later.

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