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January 2020

Chunky Root Vegetable Hotpot – Slimming World Recipe

chunky root vegetable hotpot

This chunky root vegetable hotpot is a cheap and hearty meal for those cold Winter evenings.

Chunky Root Vegetable Hotpot

Serves 4
Syn free


  • 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 celery sticks, roughly sliced
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 turnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 60g yellow split peas
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 300g small button mushrooms
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)


  1. Place the onion and celery and half of the stock in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining stock along with the garlic, turnips, carrots, parsnips and potatoes.
  3. Bring back to the boil and add the split peas, tomatoes, mushrooms and rosemary.
  4. Bring the mixture back to boil once again, reduce the heat, season well and simmer gently 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley, if using, and serve immediately.

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Cheesy Mexican Bake -Slimming World Recipe

cheesy mexican bake slimming world recipe

I don’t know about you but when something says it’s cheesy, it needs to be cheesy so we increased the cheese in this Mexican cheesy bake to 120g of cheddar. I used it as one of my healthy extra portions.

Cheesy Mexican Bake

Serves 4
Syns per serving – 1.5


  • 1 red onion, halved and cut into wedges
  • 560g can new potatoes in water, drained and halved or quartered
  • 400g can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 1 large courgette, cubed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 200g plain quark
  • 120g vegetable stock, cooled
  • 40g reduced-fat Cheddar-style cheese
  • A little freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
  2. Put the onion, potatoes, artichokes, garlic, peppers, celery and courgette in a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the oregano, paprika and cumin.
  3. Season lightly and mix well, then spray with low-calorie cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  5. Stir the quark and stock together to make a thick cream and drizzle it over the vegetables.
  6. Scatter the cheese on top and bake for 10-15 minutes. or until golden and bubbling. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve hot.

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Slimming World Weekly Update – Week 5 Weight Loss

Slimming World weight loss result week 5

I was a bit disappointed with my week 5 weight loss result this week as I’d expected much more. I’m still happy with my total loss this month, however, and I’m determined to lose more this week 🙂

Weigh-In Results

Date – 29th January
Weight – 27 st 6 lb
Result – 1lb loss
Total Weight Loss – 3 st 9 lb

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

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How can you tell the difference between a good and bad estate agent?

Estate agent shaking hands with a house buyer

When it comes to selling a home, the trusty estate agent plays a pivotal role. In fact, the role of an estate agent is not too dissimilar from that of a midfielder in a football game. They facilitate the transfer of the ball from the defenders (seller) to the strikers (buyer), ensuring that none of the other players need to cover the whole field. It is therefore important that one chooses the right person for this vital role.

But how can one tell the difference between a good and a bad estate agent? Below are some qualities that will set them apart.

Qualities of a good real estate agent

Communication skills

Communication (or lack thereof) can be the difference between a very frustrated and very satisfied client. Owing to the time-sensitive nature of the housing market, the agent should have an efficient way of quickly relaying information to their clients to keep them in the loop about their selling or buying situation. An agent who communicates efficiently keeps their customer informed and prepared, preventing last-minute frustrations that could cause promising transactions to fall through.

Understanding the needs of the client

Knowing the needs of the client ensures the agent aims not just at closing a deal but closing it in a way that is satisfactory to the buyer or seller. For example, a person who is looking to sell their family home will almost certainly have different priorities from someone who is looking to sell the home of a deceased relative.


It is always a joy being served by someone who is passionate about what they are doing. A passionate estate agent will be more willing to put in long hours to ensure their client’s gets sold. They will also be pro-active, constantly chasing new leads on behalf of their customers and keeping them well-informed. Such an agent will not only close deals but will also do so with the least hustle on the customer’s side.


Despite what an estate agent might say about themselves, reliable feedback can only be obtained from references. Ask your agent for their last ten customers and see what they have to say about him/her. A good agent will have nothing to fear and will easily provide you with previous customers to vouch for them. On the other hand, if an agent is reluctant to let you hear from any of their previous clients, you could be dealing with a poorer quality agent who has earned only bad reviews from previous experiences. If any of your friends or family have recently sold or purchased a home nearby, be sure to ask them for their recommendations too.

You could also check what other customers have to say about an agent through online reviews. Trustpilot, The Agent Guide and AllAgents are examples of sites where clients post reviews about their agents. If one is poorly reviewed by several clients, it would be safe to run for the hills to avoid a catastrophic deal.

The above qualities will help you get a good agent who will ensure that the purchase or sale of your property is a smooth process. While it is not possible to gauge the presence or absence of these qualities at face value, interacting with your agent and asking them questions beforehand will reduce the risk of ending up with a bad egg.

This is a collaborative post

Cauliflower Rosti Pie – Slimming World Recipe

cauliflower rosti pie

Poor Ant had tears streaming while grating the onion for this cauliflower rosti pie!
It says it serves four people but it served 5 of us and there was even a portion left for Ant to have for his lunch the next day.

Cauliflower Rosti Pie

Serves 4
6 syns per serving if not using the cheese as a healthy extra.


  • 700g potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
  • Salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 onion, coarsely grated
  • Low calorie cooking spray
  • Steamed green beans, to serve

For the filling:

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 800g cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • A small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 120g Red Leicester cheese, grated
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6.
  2. Place the potatoes in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then squeeze out the excess water.
  3. Mix together the potatoes, egg whites and grated onion.
  4. Spoon into a 22cm rectangular pie dish and spread out evenly, lining the bottom and patting the mixture up the sides to make a ‘crust’.
  5. Spray lightly with low-calorie cooking spray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  6. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, for the filling, spray a large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat.
  8. Add the chopped onion, garlic and cauliflower, and stir in the stock.
  9. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the cauliflower has started to soften.
  10. Allow to cool, then stir in the dried herbs, parsley, half the cheese, the tomatoes and the beaten eggs.
  11. Remove the pie crust from the oven. Spoon in the cauliflower mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and the smoked paprika.
  12. Bake for a further 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve with plenty of green beans.

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Meal Planning Menu – Slimming World Menu Week 5

Meal Planning Monday Slimming World Vegetarian Menu

Aiden, KayCee and Ella asked if we could have some normal meals this week so we’re not trying any new recipes! We’ve also got a couple of non- vegetarian meals planned because everyone is missing meat!

Because I weigh at Slimming World on a Wednesday, our meal planning menus run from Wednesday to Tuesday each week, just in case you were wondering why I start on a Wednesday!

Meal Planning Menu Week 5 – 29th January to 4th February

Wednesday – Quorn spaghetti bolognese

Thursday – Fry-up consisting of sausages, bacon, fried mushrooms, fried potatoes, eggs and beans.

Friday – Quorn chilli and chips

Saturday – Quorn cottage pie

Sunday – Chicken curry and rice

Monday – Quorn roast with roast potatoes, carrots, sprouts and gravy

Tuesday – Vegetable stew

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Bonfire Night Bangers and Mash Pie – Slimming World Recipe

bonfire night cheese topped bangers and mash pie

Bangers and mash pie with a cheese topping sounded just delicious to me so we had to try this recipe. We used Quorn sausages but you can choose your favourites. Just remember to syn them if needed.

Cheese Topped Bangers and Mash Pie

Serves 4
Syns per serving – 6 syns if not using the cheese as one of your healthy extras.


  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 Quorn sausages, roughly chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200g mixed vegetables
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly chopped herbs, to garnish


  • 900g potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fat free fromage frais
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 120g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp dried parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
  2. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for 15-20 minutes until soft.
  3. Drain and mash with the fromage frais, beaten egg, cheese, nutmeg and dried parsley. Season well and set aside.
  4. Spray a pan with low-calorie cooking spray and cook the onion, garlic, sausages and tomatoes.
  5. Stir and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the mixed beans, mixed vegetables and soy sauce, season and pour into an ovenproof dish.
  7. Carefully spread the potato mixture over the top.
  8. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the topping is lightly browned. Serve garnished with the freshly chopped herbs.

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Curried Lentils with Ginger – Slimming World Recipe

curried lentils with ginger

I love lentil dishes and I love curry so this curried lentils with ginger recipe from Slimming World is perfect for me.
We’re going to have to make Ella something else, however, as she isn’t a curry fan!

Curried Lentils with Ginger

Serves 2
2 syns per serving


  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 level tsp turmeric
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 75ml canned coconut milk
  • 275ml vegetable stock
  • 460g cooked lentils
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 level tsp lime pickle
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • Fresh coriander sprigs, to serve

For the spice mixture

  • 1 level tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 level tbsp coriander seeds


  1. To make the spice mixture dry roast the spices for 2 minutes over a medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove the spices and grind in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Cook the onions and garlic in low-calorie cooking spray over a high heat for 5 minutes, until golden.
  3. Add the ginger, chilli, cinnamon, turmeric and spice mixture and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and stock and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cooked lentils, lime zest and juice and the lime pickle and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
  6. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if required. Serve the curry with the hard-boiled eggs, garnished with coriander sprigs.

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Creamy Basil and Chilli Linguine Slimming World Recipe

creamy basil and chilli linguine slimming world recipe

We have to keep the heat quite low when making anything with chilli in it as Ella and I don’t like it too spicy so Ant never puts the recipe amount in when we’re eating!
This basil and chilli linguine pasta is a vegetarian Slimming World recipe and is quick to make. It’s also is another comfort food for me.

creamy basil and chilli linguine

Basil and Chilli Linguine Pasta

Serves 4
Syn free


  • 500g dried linguine or spaghetti
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp sweetener
  • A large handful of fresh basil, chopped, plus leaves to garnish
  • 100g fat-free natural yogurt
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water until just tender. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Spray a large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the tomatoes, chilli and sweetener.
  4. Turn the heat to high and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook gently for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped basil and the yogurt, season well, and stir through the drained pasta. Serve garnished with basil leaves.

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Colcannon – Slimming World Recipe


Colcannon is comfort food for me and it’s also a quick and easy dish to make. We served ours with meat-free burgers and roast vegetables.



  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ Savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 100g fat-free natural fromage frais
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 12-15 minutes, adding the cabbage for the last 5 minutes to soften the leaves.
  2. Drain and return to a low heat to dry off any excess moisture.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the fromage frais and mash until smooth. Season to taste and serve hot.

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