Enjoy a quick and healthy lunch of Slimming World Friendly Tzatziki served up with a tasty smoked salmon salad and a portion of butternut squash chips. It’s ready in under ten minutes, packed with flavour and totally guilt free!
Salad and chips has long been one of my favourite combinations, as odd as that may sound, so I’ve given it a healthier makeover. Baking wedges of butternut squash coated in fry light and plenty of seasoning is a revelation – crisp and full of flavour and ideal if you’re having chip cravings.
If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you’ll know I’m into my second week following the Slimming World Food Optimising plan and have lost a rather brilliant FIVE POUNDS in seven days! So I thought it’d be useful to share some of the meals I’ve been eating in case any of you guys are on the Slimming World plan too.
Food Optimising Explainer
One week in and I’m amazed at just how much food you can eat compared to other diets I’ve been on. Not only can you eat unlimited fruit and veg, but you can also put away as much lean meat, quorn, pasta, rice and potatoes as you like – amazing! Things like bread, cereals, milk and cheese must be measured to count as your two ‘healthy extras’ of the day. Then any naughties are counted as ‘syns’ – like booze, crisps and chocolate! You’re allowed 5-15 syns per day so you can save them up for things you love to indulge in the most, which psychologically really helps you stay on plan as you’re not totally going without.
I’ve got a big family wedding coming up at the end of May, plus a Summer holiday by a pool with friends, so I’m absolutely determined to shed a significant amount of weight. I’m doing it with a few friends with similar goals so we’re all supporting each other through it. I think it definitely helps to be able to sound-off with people in the same boat, and share recipe inspiration. It also helps keep you motivated!
The Slimming World Friendly Tzatziki is great with salads like this or makes a brilliant dip for parties and barbecues too. I’ve used fat free Greek-style yogurt as the base and then just mixed in cucumber, garlic and seasoning. You can play around with the recipe to put your own spin on it.
While it’s cheaper to buy a butternut squash and make the chips yourself, I grabbed a 300g bag of ready-prepped BNS chips from Sainsbury’s. They’re quite steep at £1.50, BUT you can kiss goodbye to all of that tedious peeling and chopping if you’re in a hurry. And let’s face it, butternut squash is a right royal pain in the bum to deal with.
It brings back memories of making purees for Sam when I was weaning him. My god I spent hours peeling vegetables, dutifully following Annabel Karmel’s Baby & Toddler Meal Planner. In fact I spent far too long slavishly following baby manuals first time around. Needless to say that all went out of the window when I had Arlo!
Anyway back to the recipe…
A light and delicious summer salad perfect for lunch when you're following the Slimming World food optimisation plan. It's completely syn free and has loads of speed foods in!
- 300 g butternut squash cut into evenly sized chip wedges
- fry light spray
- 1 pinch smoked paprika
- 1 pinch sea salt flakes
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 200 g fat free Greek style yogurt
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 squeeze lemon juice
- 65 g cucumber finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- pinch sea salt flakes
- pinch ground black pepper
- 1 bag salad leaves washed
- 150 g smoked salmon
- 1 lemon cut into wedges to serve
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 6
Put the butternut squash chips into a bowl, spray liberally with fry light and add the seasonings then toss to fully coat. Spread them out on a baking sheet and then pop in the top of the oven for 35 minutes until golden. Give them the occasional shake during cooking.
Make the Tzatziki by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl, check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Divide between two small ramekins.
Line two bowls with salad, nestle each with a pot of tzatziki, then dot the leaves with pieces of smoked salmon. Once they're cooked, divide the golden butternut squash chips between the two salad bowls. Garnish with the lemon wedges and serve immediately!
So what else have I been eating?
Well a typical day starts with overnight oats for breakfast made with fat free yogurt and frozen berries. Lunch could be a jacket sweet potato with cottage cheese and salad. Then a glorious dinner of steak with slimming world chips and heaps of greens. I’m snacking on fruit like never before, drinking lots of water and rewarding myself with a packet of crisps like KP Skips or French Fries if I fancy some.
On the booze front I’ve switched from glasses of syn-heavy wine to small measures of gin with slimline tonic – what a difference that’s made!
The key for me is to plan a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners in advance and do the food shop accordingly. I then log every single thing I eat in a food diary so I know exactly where I’m at. It means there’s absolutely no where to hide and you’re being completely honest with yourself.
Anyway I’ll be back with more recipes as the weeks unfold. It’ll be a mixture of mum-friendly lunches and family-friendly dinners. I’ve been really heartened by the fact that a lot of what I can make for diner on this diet is totally suitable for Matthew and the boys too, so it doesn’t mean cooking lots of different things at once.
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