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As you all know, Pinch of Nom loves and respects Slimming World, its consultants and its brand. We have done since the very first time we walked through the doors to lose some weight. We found a welcome space and a few friends who we shared some recipes with. This sharing of recipes became a little bit bigger and then here you find us today!

Slimming World recently contacted us again and asked us to remove their trademarked terms from our website. Whilst we have been using them fairly and with their blessing, we completely respect their wishes, so of course we will comply with their requests, in the same way we always have done.

Therefore, over the coming weeks, we will be removing the Syn values from our website and you will see a few more changes regarding the use of the name Slimming World and their trademarks, as requested. So you may see some changes, but they are superficial only – you’ll still get the same amazing recipes from us. 

We have loved and supported you lot from day one. We hope we can ask the same in return while we make adjustments to the website. 

With love,

The post A Note From Us Regarding Slimming World appeared first on Pinch Of Nom.

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Here is our round up of how to thicken soups, stews and sauces for anyone counting calories or following plans like Slimming World and Weight Watchers.

Something we get asked about quite often, here at Pinch of Nom, is ‘How can I thicken this…..?’

Pre-slimming we wouldn’t think twice about using a good few tablespoons of flour to thicken a soup, or a pan of gravy. Now, however, we’re always on the lookout for some lower calorie options.

There are many ways to thicken dishes, so we thought we’d run through some of the options. Some are lower in calories than others, some Syn Free and low Points, depending what diet plan you are following. The best option for you will depend on the dish in question and your specific requirements.

Thicken by Reducing the Dish Itself

This is a great way to thicken soups or stews without having to add anything extra to the dish.

Your first option is to  leave the pan over a low heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced and the dish has thickened. 

Another great option is to remove some of the chunks from the soup or stew (a few spoonfuls of the vegetables and meat) then blitz it to a puree with a food processor or stick blender. Stir it back into the remaining soup or stew and it will thicken instantly.

This method adds no extra calories, is Syn Free and keeps the Weight Watchers Points the same in the dish.

Thicken with Potatoes

Potatoes can be mashed or blitzed to thicken your dish. If it already contains potatoes you will probably find it will thicken slightly anyway, just by simmering the potato in the liquid. This is because of the potato starch.

We use potatoes as a thickener in lots of dishes, including the curry sauce for our Katsu Chicken Curry recipe!

If adding extra potatoes to thicken the dish remember there will be extra calories. As a guide 1 large potato is around 283 calories. You will likely be able to use half this amount and remember that the calories will be split between the number of portions in the dish.

Adding potatoes to thicken is Syn Free for people following Slimming World.

There will be extra Points using potatoes to thicken if  you are following Weight Watchers. The amount depends on how much potato is used, but as a guide 1 large potato is 4 Points.  You will probably only need half this and remember to split the amount per portion!

Thicken with Tomato Puree

If you’re making a tomato based dish, like soup, tomato sauce or bolognese you can thicken it slightly by adding some tomato puree.

We use tomato puree in many of our dishes, including this tasty Baked Spaghetti with Chicken!

This method will add some extra calories, but not lots. Depending on the brand of tomato puree you choose there will be around 6 calories per level tablespoon.

This method is Syn Free for those following Slimming World, as long as the puree has no added oil.

There is 1 Point for 2 tablespoons of tomato puree when following Weight Watchers.

Thicken with Xanthan Gum

This is made from glucose (obtained from things like cane sugar) which is fermented with a bacteria that’s found naturally in plants. It’s actually the same bacteria that forms the little black spots on veg like cauliflower, carrots etc (Xanthomonas Campestris if you want the fancy name). The resulting fermentation is then dried and made into a powder. It’s used as an emulsifier to stop water and oil separating.

Xanthan Gum is used in many things commercially. Salad dressings, yogurts, mayonnaise and even in some ice creams to stop ice crystals forming. It’s also gluten free so it’s often used to improve the crumb structure in gluten free baking, and as a cornflour substitution when thickening sauces.

Thickening with Xanthan gum is very easy. All you need to do is whisk a very small amount into the liquid you want to thicken. It’s important to stir it in well, or your dish may end up lumpy.

When we say a very small amount, we’re talking a quarter of a teaspoon at a time. If it’s not thick enough add a tiny but more.

Xanthan Gum thickens quickly so you’ll know if you need to add more pretty much immediately.

An important note, be very careful using this or you may end up with a pan of wallpaper paste-like gloop! Less is definitely more.

We use Xanthan Gum in a number of our recipes, like this delicious homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce!

Because you need so little, adding Xanthan Gum will only add a few extra calories to a dish. 1/2 teaspoon is only 6 calories.

Xanthan Gum is Syn Free for those following Slimming World.

There are 0 Points on Weight Watchers for the amount of Xanthan Gum you will need in your dish, making it a great option for thickening your dishes!

Thicken with Eggs

You can use egg yolks or whole beaten eggs to thicken some soups and sauces.
First you need to drizzle a small amount of the hot liquid onto the egg, whisking vigorously as you pour. Then stir the egg back into the pan and heat gently until it starts to thicken.

This is a similar method to the one we use in our Carbonara recipe!

This method will add around 55 calories to a dish per egg yolk – remember to divide that by the number of portions.

Eggs are a P (Protein) food on Slimming World making this a Syn Free method of thickening.

Eggs are a Zero Point food on Weight Watchers so no need to add extra Points to your meal with this method!

Thicken with Flour

As I mentioned earlier, flour was the go to method of thickening before our slimming journey.

There are 2 ways to use flour for thickening. Traditionally you would add it to some melted butter to make a roux, then add the liquid, but as the butter would just add loads of calories, Syns and Points, the better way is to make a slurry.

To do this just mix the measured flour with a little water, then stir it into the boiling liquid.

This will thicken the dish almost immediately, but don’t be tempted to remove it from the heat just yet. If you do you will end up with a claggy, floury taste.

The flour needs to be cooked out, so let it simmer for a few minutes.

Plain Flour is around 30 calories for 1 level tablespoon so you will need to factor this in if you are calorie counting.

Plain flour is around 2 Syns per tablespoon depending on brand. Though this seems like a lot, if you’re using a couple of tablespoons to thicken a pan of stew for 6-8 people then it doesn’t work out too bad.

There are 2 Points in 1 tablespoon of plain flour so keep this in mind if you use this method when following Weight Watchers.

Thicken with Cornflour

This is another instant thickener!

Cornflour should be mixed with a little cold water to make a slurry, then added to the boiling liquid. Cornflour doesn’t need to be cooked out for as long as flour, so can be removed from the heat as soon as the starchy taste has gone.

It’s generally used for thickening soups and stews as it makes the liquid cloudy and opaque when added.

We use cornflour as a thickener in this delicious Brandy Sauce recipe, which is well worth giving a go!

Cornflour is around 31 calories for 1 level tbsp so you will need to factor this in if you are calorie counting.

1 tablespoon of Cornflour will cost you 1 Syn, so use it sparingly.

There are 2 Points in 1 tbsp of cornflour so keep this in mind if you use this method when following Weight Watchers.

Thicken with Arrowroot

Arrowroot Powder thickens instantly, like cornflour but it doesn’t discolour the liquid or affect the taste. It’s often used in things like puddings and jellies.

There are 29 calories in 1 tablespoon of Arrowroot Powder, only slightly less than cornflour.

Arrowroot Powder is around 1 Syn per tablespoon for those following Slimming World.

1 level tablespoon of Arrowroot is 2 WW Points.

Thicken with Gravy Granules

If you’re making a stew or a chilli, it’s tempting to just add a sprinkling of gravy mix to the pan. It’s an effective way of thickening and adding flavour, but it can add quite a few more calories, Syns and Points to the dish if you use a heavy hand.

There are around 17 calories per teaspoon of gravy granules (depending on the brand you chose) so make sure you account for this if you use this method. It’s easy to use lots more than this!

For those following Slimming World gravy granules are 1 Syn per teaspoon. It can add up very quickly so be mindful if you are using them.

Gravy granules come in at 1..

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If you have a cupboard overflowing with herbs and spices, but don’t know what to do with them, we’re here to help with these Cheap & Easy Spice Blends!

We’ve come up with a list of some cheap & easy spice blends to help you with your cooking.

At the bottom of this article you’ll also find a cheat sheet that you can refer back to!

What do I need to make these Cheap & Easy Spice Blends?

This post contains affiliate links. Find out what this means.

There’s no fancy gadgets or tools you need to make these Cheap & Easy Spice Blends, but there are a few things to make life a little easier!

Firstly, if you’re anything like us, you’ve got a cupboard which is over flowing with herbs and spices. Why not get them organised with a spice rack!

This one from Amazon is great as you’ll be able to pot up all your new blends and keep them on display and ready to use!

You might also want to get some spice jars so you can make batches of your spice blends and store them to use whenever you fancy!

Lastly, some measuring spoons are really useful for nearly every recipe you’ll make, as well as these Cheap & Easy Spice Blends. Pick up these pretty ones from Amazon!

How do I make these Cheap & Easy Spice Blends? Cajun Blend

Cajun is a blend of spices mostly used in dishes from Louisiana and New Orleans. It has a bit of a kick, without being mega spicy! 

  • 2 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Coriander
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder (Optional)

You can use this Cajun Blend in our Cajun Dirty Rice!

Greek Blend

This blend of herbs and spices brings a Mediterranean feel to your dish. You can use it on meat or fish, or even mix it with some lemon juice for a salad dressing!

  • 1 tbsp Garlic Granules
  • 1 tbsp Dried Basil
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
Lemon & Herb Blend

This zingy mix will give your Chicken a real lift. You could even use it on pork, fish or Quorn!

  • 1 tsp Sumac (You can substitute for lemon juice/zest or both)
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Granules
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Dried Basil

This Lemon & Herb Blend would work sooo well in our Lemon & Garlic Chicken Tray Bake!

Italian Blend

This classic Italian Blend has everything you need for that Italiano flavour! You could even use it on our Rustic Potato Wedges!

  • 2 tbsp Dried Basil
  • 2 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Granules
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme

Why not beef up these Rustic Potato Wedges with some Italian flavours?

Mexican Blend

Great for chilli, Tacos, fajitas, wedges, use hot or mild chilli powder depending on taste or add more if you like it hot!

  • 1 tbsp Garlic Granules
  • 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Onion Granules
Mild Curry Blend

Recipe calls for curry powder but you’ve run out? Never fear – it’s dead easy to make!

  • 2 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Granules
Hot Curry Blend
  • 2 tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Granules

Why not try one of these curry blends in our Katsu Chicken Curry?

We’ve got loads of other curry recipes too – why not choose something new?

Everything Blend

This was one I made up on the fly before going on a camping trip, and I still use it often!

The idea was that I wanted a seasoning that would go with pretty much anything I would be cooking when camping. Scrambled eggs and cooked breakfasts, add a little something to baked beans, enhance homemade burgers – you get the picture! Premix a pot of this and reduce what you need to take whilst still enjoying tasty food.

  • 1 tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1 tbsp Onion Granules
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Granules

Of course, if one blend isn’t enough for your travels (and I wouldn’t blame you!) then how about this travel bag of 6 stainless steel shakers

Need some extra..
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Over in our Facebook group (where we now have over 812,830 members – it keeps going up each week!) one of the hot topics of each week is spotting new products that are Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly, for our New Slimming  Shopping Essentials list! 

We’ll be adding extra information for every item we feature in the Shopping Essentials lists for 2019. The write up will include the calorie count, Weight Watchers Points and the Slimming World Syns too!

Not all of you are in our Facebook group (you should be!), but you can join up using the link below for the latest news and discussions on brand new Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly products.

This post contains affiliate links. Find out what this means.

Slimming World recommend having 1/3 Speed Food with every meal where appropriate as part of the Extra Easy plan.

If you’re not sure whether your fruit and vegetable choices are Speed Foods, you can check our Speed Foods list. Items listed in green are linked to a recipe, too. Just click on the word to take you there.

We’re always searching for a range of Speed Foods, some Free Foods and a few different ways to use your Syns/Points/calorie allowance in our weekly Shopping Essentials round up.

We visit the supermarkets and check food websites every week to find a selection of new products and special offers that will help you stay on track with Slimming World/Weight Watchers or any calorie counting eating plan. 

Aldi Super 6 

We’re starting the weekly round up with a trip to Aldi. The budget supermarkets have some great weekly offers, so it’s always worth checking them out. Fresh fruit and veg can make up a large part of the weekly shopping bill, so if you can save a few pennies, so much the better! 

Pinch of Nom Garlic, Parsley & Lemon Chicken Goujons

This week the Aldi offers are as follows;

Pinch of Nom Roasted Garlic & Beetroot Soup

Prices range from 39p to 75p per pack, subject to availability. The offer is due to change early next week, but details can be found online or via the instore leaflet. 

Tesco Jackfruit In Water

Jackfruit has become a popular choice recently to replace meat in recipes. It’s often used in vegetarian dishes. It has a texture similar to pulled pork when marinated and cooked in a sauce. Now Tesco are selling this canned Jackfruit in water; 

  • 78 kcal per half can
  • SW Free (app)
  • WW 0 Points 

Jackfruit would work well in our Campfire Stew recipe – perfect if you fancy a non meat alternative to gammon. 

Pinch of Nom Campfire Stew

Although often used as a meat replacement for vegetarians, it’s not very high in protein, so it’s important to find additional sources to ensure you’re eating enough protein. It costs £2.00 for a 410g tin. You can find it here, on the Tesco website.

Yutaka Miso Paste

Many of you have been enjoying some of the delicious recipes from our fab new Pinch of Nom cookbook over the last few weeks! It’s just been incredible to see what you’re all making from the book! 

There are a couple of recipes in the book that use Miso Paste. This is a fab ingredient which gives a great oriental, savoury flavour to dishes. Why not try our Pinch of Nom Hoi Sin Chicken Stir Fry from the website to see for yourself! 

Pinch of Nom Hoi Sin Chicken Stir Fry

Some people have been asking where they can buy Miso paste from, so I thought I’d include it here so you know what you’re looking for. 

  • 198 kcal per 100g
  • SW Free per 5ml tsp (app)
  • WW 1 Point per tbsp 

It costs £1.00 for a 100g jar in Tesco, and you can also find it here, on the Tesco website.

Tesco Lighter Than Light Mayonnaise

If you’re following a healthy eating plan, there are some things that are off limits, such as oily, full fat salad dressings. A couple of tablespoons of a full fat dressing can add a relatively large number of Calories/Syns/Points in no time at all. 

Time for some damage limitation. By making smart swaps for lower calorie options, you can still enjoy the taste, without the guilt. Tesco are now selling this Lighter than Light Mayonnaise, which has the following values; 

  • 15 kcal per tbsp
  • SW 1 Syn per tbsp (est)
  • WW 1 Point per 2 tbsps 

Tesco Light Than Light Mayonnaise costs 85p for a 450ml bottle. You can find it here, on the Tesco website

East End Mango Mint Sauce

This Hot Mango Mint Sauce from Tesco is something just a little bit different! You could use it in a number of different ways, including as a dressing over a salad, or as a dip with our delicious Onion Bhajis. Tasty!! 

Pinch of Nom Onion Bhajis

The values for this East End Hot Mango Mint Sauce are as follows;

  • 136 kcal per 100g
  • SW 1 Syn per tbsp (est) 
  • WW 8 Point per 100g

You can find this in Tesco stores, priced at £1.29 for a 260g bottle. You can also find it here, on the Tesco website.

Tesco Low Fat Balsamic Dressing

We’re always on the lookout for salad dressings that can be enjoyed when following a healthy eating plan. I spotted this on the Tesco website earlier this week, so I’ve done the research and brought you the information. 

  • 10 kcal per tbsp
  • SW 0.5 Syns per tbsp (est)
  • WW 1 Point per tbsp
Pinch of Nom Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella salad

This dressing is a little thicker than standard balsamic vinegar. It’s lovely over a salad to liven things up, with a sharp, tangy taste from Italian Balsamic Vinegar. It would complement our Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad perfectly. 

It costs 85p for a 250ml bottle of Tesco Low Fat Balsamic Dressing. You can find it here, on the Tesco website.

Laughing Cow Light

We love cheese! Cheese is just delicious in all its forms, whether it’s grated, sliced or spread. The one fact you can’t avoid is that cheese has a pretty high calorie count, so it’s a great idea to look for reduced fat alternatives to keep the calories lower. 

Laughing Cow has been available in a lighter, reduced fat variety for a long time, but they’ve now introduced a larger tub, so you don’t have to sit peeling pesky foil triangles if you’re using it in a recipe! 

  • 52 kcal per 30g
  • SW 75g HEA/6 Syns (app)
  • WW 2 Points per 30g serving
Pinch of Nom Chilli Cheesy Nachos

If you’ve already made this Chilli Cheesy Nachos recipe, you’ll know how good it is. We use Primula Light in this recipe, but you could use Laughing Cow Light instead. Go on…give it a try! You won’t be disappointed!

Laughing Cow Light costs £1.45 for a 150g tub from Asda. 

Aldi The Pantry Wholemeal Bread Mix

Freshly baked wholemeal bread is a real treat. This Aldi The Pantry wholemeal bread mix can be hard to find sometimes, but it’s been reinstated on the shelf at my local branch, so it is still available. If your local store isn’t stocking it, ask the manager! 

We use this bread mix to make pizza. Yup…that’s right…pizza! Have a look at this fab recipe for Dominoes Fakeaway Pepperoni Passion Pizza. I could eat that right now, couldn’t you? 

Pinch of Nom Dominos Fakeaway Pepperoni Passion Pizza

Aldi The Pantry Wholemeal Bread Mix has the following values;

  • 246 kcal per 100g (made up as directed)
  • SW HEB/6 Syns 60g (app) made up
  • WW 3 Points per 45g slice (baked)

You will find the bread mix in the baking section at Aldi, sitting alongside the flour. It costs 59p for a 500g pack. 

Skinny Crunch Bars

Last year we created something of a frenzy by including Skinny Whip bars in the Shopping Essentials round up. Shelves were being emptied up and down the country, making them impossible to find. 

A couple of weeks ago we saw these Skinny Crunch bars posted in our Facebook group, so we’ve had to add them to our list for this week! They come in two flavours;

Peanut Butter
  •  63 kcal per bar
  • SW 3 Syns per bar (est)
  • WW 3 Points per bar

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The post 10 Free Bonus Recipes appeared first on Pinch Of Nom.

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Over in our Facebook group (where we now have over 803,260 members – it keeps going up each week!) one of the hot topics of each week is spotting new products that are Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly, for our New Slimming  Shopping Essentials list!

We’ll be adding extra information for every item we feature in the Shopping Essentials lists for 2019. The write up will include the calorie count, Weight Watchers Points and the Slimming World Syns too!

Not all of you are in our Facebook group (you should be!), but you can join up using the link below for the latest news and discussions on brand new Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly products.

This post contains affiliate links. Find out what this means.

Slimming World recommend having 1/3 Speed Food with every meal where appropriate as part of the Extra Easy plan.

If you’re not sure whether your fruit and vegetable choices are Speed Foods, you can check our Speed Foods list. Items listed in green are linked to a recipe, too. Just click on the word to take you there.

We’re always searching for a range of Speed Foods, some Free Foods and a few different ways to use your Syns/Points/calorie allowance in our weekly Shopping Essentials round up.

We visit the supermarkets and check food websites every week to find a selection of new products and special offers that will help you stay on track with Slimming World/Weight Watchers or any calorie counting eating plan. 

Lidl Pick of the Week

Our selection this week starts with a trip to Lidl for some tasty fruit and veg at a great price. The budget supermarkets are a great place to fill up your trolley as they have weekly offers on fresh produce that fits in with all healthy eating plans! 

This week in Lidl, the Pick of the Week includes;

Prices range from 35p each for the grapefruit to £1.19 for the Strawberries. Available from Lidl stores while stocks last. 

Vivera Veggie Greek Kebab

Regular followers of the Shopping Essentials feature will recognise the Vivera brand, as we’ve brought you several of their products previously. 

This is another tasty sounding product – seasoned vegan Greek kebab, made from rehydrated soya protein. If you’re a non-meat eater, or just fancy something a bit different, this might just be it! 

Pinch of Nom Chicken Gyros Kebabs

If you’re a meat eater and love kebabs, you could try our Chicken Gyros Kebabs – so tasty. 

Vivera Veggie Greek Kebab has the following values;

  • 164 kcal per 100g
  • SW 3 Syns per pack (est)
  • WW 4 Points per 100g
Pinch of Nom Coleslaw

I had some of this with the Aldi mini wholemeal pitta breads that we showed you in a recent Shopping Essentials and some coleslaw – gorgeous! It costs £2.50 for a 175g pack from Sainsbury’s. 

Sainsbury’s Love Your Veg! Shroomballs

Mushrooms, or ‘shrooms’ for short, are often used in vegetarian dishes, and these Shroomballs from Sainsbury’s are a fab new edition to the range. 

Sainsbury’s Love Your Veg! Shroomballs are made from jackfruit and mushrooms to create non-meatballs! Reviews describe them as firm and savoury when cooked, and great served with spaghetti or couscous. They’d be ideal in our Baked Spicy Meatballs recipe

Pinch of Nom Baked Spicy Meatballs

The nutritional info is as follows;

  • 141 kcal per 4 Shroomballs
  • SW 1.5 Syns each (app)
  • WW 4 Points per 4

You can buy these from Sainsbury’s, priced at £2.50 for a 270g pack. 

Tesco Sushi Packs

I’m always looking for a quick grab and go option when I’m out and about. I used to buy a meal deal; sandwich, crisps and a drink, without a second thought. That little lot would put a huge dent in your allowance for the day if you’re following a healthy eating plan. 

Tesco Smoked Salmon & Tuna Sushi

Grabbing something like this Tesco Smoked Salmon and Tuna Sushi pack is a great way to stay on track and enjoy a tasty lunch. 

  • 240 kcal per pack
  • SW 3.5 syns per pack (app)
  • WW 7 Points per pack

The pack contains 2 rolled tuna California rolls, 2 salmon nigiri and 3 salmon hosomaki, plus a little bottle of soy sauce. You can buy from Tesco, priced at £2.00. You can also buy them here, on the Tesco website

Tesco Smoked Salmon Sushi

Tesco have other sushi options available in-store which would be great for a quick, healthy lunch. This smoked salmon sushi pack contains 2 low fat soft cheese and smoked salmon California rolls with a black sesame seed coating, 3 cucumber hosomaki and a bottle of soy sauce.

  • 119 kcal per pack
  • SW 2 Syns per pack (app)
  • WW 4 Points per pack

Tesco Smoked Salmon Sushi costs just £1.20 per pack, so cheaper than pre-packed sandwiches too! You can also find it here, on the Tesco website.

Quorn Thai Aromatic Bites

We have seen a lot of talk about Quorn products in the Facebook group recently. The Quorn Crispy Nuggets were all the rage a few weeks ago, and there are regular questions about substituting veggie alternatives for meat in recipes, too. 

The range of Quorn products is expanding all the time, and this is a new addition to the range – Thai Aromatic Bites. 

  • 148 kcal per 4 bites
  • SW 0.5 Syns each (app)
  • WW 5 Points per 4 bites

The bites are described as having a savoury flavour, seasoned with ginger, coriander, red chilli and lemon grass. They cost £2.25 for a 180g pack in Sainsbury’s. 

Tesco Silverskin Pearl Onions

I love pickles! I go through jars of them. They’re great for a savoury snack, deliver the crunch factor and really stop me reaching for the sweet stuff. 

These cute little silverskin pearl onions are a smaller, daintier variety of pickled onion. They’re fab to munch straight from the jar to curb hunger pangs, or you can add them to a salad. 

  • 10 kcal per 40g
  • SW Free and Speed
  • WW 0 Points
Pinch of Nom Orzo Primavera Pasta Salad

I added some of these to our Orzo Primavera Pasta Salad earlier in the week, and they were a great success! A 340g jar costs 85p from Tesco. You can find them here, on the Tesco website.

McCain Lighter Home Chips Straight Cut

I love chips, but whichever healthy eating plan you follow, you need to choose your chips wisely to stay within your Points/Syns/Calorie allowance for the day! 

McCain Lighter Home Chips have 30% less fat than their standard straight cut home chips. They have a crunchy coating and fluffy potato inside. 

  • 142 kcal per 100g (frozen)
  • SW 2.5 Syns per 100g (frozen) (app)
  • WW 4 Points per 100g (frozen)
Pinch of Nom Chips

Personally, I prefer making these Pinch of Nom chips – they’re soooo good! The McCain Lighter Home Style Straight Cut Chips are available from Morrisons. They cost £1.95 for a 900g bag. 

Koko Dairy Free Super Drink

We see lots of new dairy free products appearing on the shelves every week in supermarkets up and down the country, and we try to bring you as many as we can in our weekly Shopping Essentials articles. You can find all the previous editions on the website.

This is a dairy free alternative to milk made with coconut milk, calcium and added vitamins and minerals. 

  • 87 kcal per 200ml serving
  • 4.5 Syns per 200ml (est) 
  • WW 2 Points per 100ml

Koko Dairy Free Super is made using freshly pressed coconut milk, so it is free from all major allergens including dairy, soya, nuts and gluten. It costs £2.00 for a 1 litre carton. You can find it here, on the Tesco website.

Metcalfe’s Mini Rice Cakes

Rice cakes might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you do like them, you’ll definitely like these. Plain rice cakes can sometimes feel a bit like munching through a roll of loft insulation, but add some chocolate…and now you’re talking! 

Metcalfe’s Mini Rice Cakes Milk Chocolate

An individual pack of 4 milk chocolate coated mini rice cakes – perfect for a snack attack. The rice cakes are gluten-free, with no artificial flavours. They’re suitable for vegetarians too.

  • 81 kcal per pack
  • SW 4 Syns per pack (est)
  • WW 4 Points per pack

A single pack, containing 4 milk chocolate rice cakes costs £1.00 from Tesco. You can find them

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The Pinch of Nom Cookbook has finally been released and many of you have you got your hands on a copy. Some of you have been wondering where to get the bits and bobs we use in the book – so here’s a useful list of equipment and ingredients we use.

Handy for recipes in your new food bible…as well as some old favourites from the website!

You don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment to use our cookbook. We’ve made it really accessible for everyone, and these suggestions are not essential!

This post contains affiliate links. Find out what this means.

Our Facebook Group

Whether you’re wanting to share pictures of your amazing creations from the Cookbook, or not sure which recipe to try first and looking for some inspiration, our Facebook Group is the place to go!

If you’ve got a query about one of the recipes, we’ll always try and help! 

We absolutely love seeing all the excitement and photos of your dishes – make sure you let us know which is your favourite Cookbook recipe!

Sticky Tabs/Post It Notes

One thing that many people are finding helpful is some sticky tabs or Post It Notes.

If you want to make notes about recipes and how they fit in with your diet plan of choice, make some notes, even colour code them!

You will be able to quickly see all your notes and keep your book up to date by switching them out when you need to make changes.

  Knife Sharpener

You will already have some knives, but how sharp are they? Cooking prep is so much faster, and safer when your tools are at their best. If you don’t have a knife sharpener, this one is a really affordable and effective choice!

The suction pad stops it moving around as you sharpen making it a safe, quick and painless job. We keep ours stuck to the backsplash using the suction for easy access!

If your knives are beyond saving, its worth investing in an all purpose chefs knife. It’s suitable for pretty much everything you will need, and will really make cooking 100% nicer!

  Cookbook Stand

The beauty of our book is that you can easily flick through and have it next to you in the kitchen as you cook without worrying about your device going to sleep or scrolling up and down to get the info you need.

Give it pride of place and easy to read on a cookbook stand!

You can even use this stand for your phone or tablet if you are making recipes from our website – it also has a splash screen to keep your Pinch of Nom Cookbook nice and clean!

  Slow Cooker

If you like the idea of chucking all your dinner ingredients in a pot in the morning and coming home to a delicious dinner at night, a slow cooker is the gadget for you!

All of our book recipes that are suitable for slow cooking have instructions for both the oven and the slow cooker, so there’s no working out to do!

  Mini Muffin Tin

A silicone mini muffin tin makes cooking little sweet treats a doddle! They don’t need any prep before you used them, are really easy to clean and make super cute cakes!

You’ll need a Mini Muffin Tin if you’re wanting to bake our Mini Coffee & Pecan Cakes which can be found on Page 246 of our Cookbook!

If you prefer, you can use a non-stick metal mini muffin tin instead!

We use a Mini Muffin Tin for these Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes!

  Multi-Cooker/Pressure cooker

Pressure cooking is the opposite of of slow cooking, helping you pump out delicious meals in a fraction of the time. Invest in a multi cooker you can use it for slow cooking too, what’s not to love?!

Theres a few different options out there to suit all budgets. 

The Pressure King Pro is a great option that many of our followers love!

The Instant Pot is another solid choice, and it’s the multicooker that we use whenever we want to rustle up something tasty and fast.

  Baking Tray & Cupcake Tin

A good quality baking tray is always a useful piece of kitchen equipment for so many recipes, including those in the Pinch of Nom Cookbook! Try to get the best quality one you can as it’ll last so much longer and you’ll get a heap more use out of it!

If you don’t already have a cupcake tin, then grab yourself one like this from Amazon. They’re super cheap and you can actually use them for loads of different recipes, including those in the Pinch of Nom Cookbook!

  Fine Grater

Trying to make a small amount of cheese go a long way can be tricky…which is why we tend to use one of these micro fine graters! We tend to use it whenever we use cheese to save on the Syns, Points and Calories by making less go further!

  Spring Form Tin

You’d think that you would only need one of these spring form tins to make cakes, but they’re actually really useful for making other recipes too, including savoury things! 

  Xanthan Gum

We don’t tend to use super fancy ingredients, and although Xanthan Gum sounds exotic, it’s dead easy to get hold of. You can pick some up in the “free from” aisle of most supermarkets, or over on Amazon.

We useXanthan Gum as a thickener, and is a great, gluten free alternative to cornflour! 

You’ll only use a tiny amount for most recipes. You can use it in our Fish Pie!

  Peanut Butter Powder

Again, this isn’t as fancy as it sounds! Peanut Butter Powder is reduced in fat (and therefore has less Syns, Points and Calories) but doesn’t lose any of that amazing flavour!

If you’re wanting to make the Chicken Satay recipe from our Cookbook (Page 55!), then you can pick up some Peanut Butter Powder either from your local supermarket (it’s normally with the other peanut butters!), or over on Amazon!

We use it in loads of recipes such as this Chicken Pad Thai!

Or why not try these Banana and Peanut Muffins?

Haven’t got the Pinch of Nom Cookbook yet? Find out more here!

If you haven’t got your copy of the book then what are you waiting for?! If you have, remember it’s Mothers Day soon, maybe you should treat your mum or a friend!

Need some extra help & motivation on your slimming journey?

Come join our Facebook group! We have over 785,000 members, who want to help you! You wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun would you?

You might just find the inspiration you need from our awesome members. If you’ve joined already why not invite any friends that may find it helpful?

The post Getting the Most Out of Your Pinch of Nom Cookbook appeared first on Pinch Of Nom.

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Over in our Facebook group (where we now have over 777,830 members – it keeps going up each week!) one of the hot topics of each week is spotting new products that are Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly, for our New Slimming  Shopping Essentials list!

We’ll be adding extra information for every item we feature in the Shopping Essentials lists for 2019. The write up will include the calorie count, Weight Watchers Points and the Slimming World Syns too!

Pre-Order Our Cookbook for just £10

We’ve been squirrelling away doing squirelly things behind the scenes and can finally announce that our very first cookbook is available for pre-order!!

The book will feature 100 recipes – around 80 of them BRAND NEW and not available anywhere else. Full colour photographs, hardback, a quality book that will stand up to frequent use!

Each recipe has been taste tested by twenty members of the Pinch of Nom community to ensure that they are amazing.

The book will be released on the 21st March 2019, and if you pre order now via Waterstones or Amazon, you won’t be charged until it’s released.

Check out our cookbook page for more information!

Not all of you are in our Facebook group (you should be!), but you can join up using the link below for the latest news and discussions on brand new Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly products.

This post contains affiliate links. Find out what this means.

Slimming World recommend having 1/3 Speed Food with every meal where appropriate as part of the Extra Easy plan.

If you’re not sure whether your fruit and vegetable choices are Speed Foods, you can check our Speed Foods list. Items listed in green are linked to a recipe, too. Just click on the word to take you there.

We’re always searching for a range of Speed Foods, some Free Foods and a few different ways to use your Syns/Points/calorie allowance in our weekly Shopping Essentials round up.

We visit the supermarkets and check food websites every week to find a selection of new products and special offers that will help you stay on track with Slimming World/Weight Watchers or any calorie counting eating plan. 

Asda Fruit Pot

I always take a quick look at the fresh fruit pots and platters that are in supermarkets when I’m shopping. They are a quick snack option when you’re out and about and won’t put a huge dent in your daily allowance. 

This combination is a different one as it’s melon free, whereas most of the pots contain melon as one of the fruits. 

  • 55 Kcal per 100g
  • SW Free/Speed
  • WW 0 Points

This selection of pineapple, grapes and apples costs £1.00 per pot from Asda. 

Aldi Special Offers

We try to include a selection from one of the budget supermarkets in this section each week, as they’re a great way to watch the pennies. This week we’ve gone with Aldi’s Super 6. All are Speed veg for Slimming World and 0 Point foods for WW! 

Pinch of Nom Roasted Garlic & Beetroot Soup Pinch of Nom Ham & Mushroom Pizza Calzone

All items are priced at 49p per pack except the asparagus bundle, which costs £1.19 in Aldi stores, subject to availability. 

M&S Wholemeal Finger Rolls

We are always on the lookout for Healthy Extra alternatives, as it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut having the same ones every day. We have some ideas for alternative Healthy Extra A choices and Healthy Extra B choices on the website!

I was delighted to find these in my local M&S Food Hall. 

  • 144 Kcal per 63g roll
  • SW HEB/7 Syns (app)
  • WW 4 Points
Pinch of Nom Zinger Burger

They are a really good size, soft wholemeal rolls, perfect for lunch or for dipping into a bowl of soup as a really substantial meal. You could even use them for your Zinger Burgers!  They cost £1.25 for a pack of 4 Wholemeal finger rolls. 

Asda Steam Bags

Many of us who follow healthy eating plans enjoy pasta and rice as a meal accompaniment. If you’re looking for a lower carb alternative, we have some suggestions here

Vegetable rice is a really easy way to increase your veg intake, so these new steam bags from Asda are worth a look. Quick and convenient portions of frozen vegetable rice, with no additional oil or flavourings. 

Broccoli & Courgette Rice
  • 55 Kcal per bag
  • SW Free (est)
  • WW 0 Points 
Cauliflower Rice
  • 66 Kcal per bag
  • SW Free (app)
  • WW 0 Points

Both types of frozen vegetable rice are available from Asda, priced at £1.75 for a pack of 4 individual bags. 

Muller Light Greek Style Pink Grapefruit

If you love pink grapefruit, these new flavoured Greek Style yogurts might be right up your street. They’re really low in Syns/Points/calories, so they can easily be included in your allowance for the day. 

  • 61 Kcal per 100g
  • SW 0.5 Syns per pot (app)
  • WW 3 Points

I have a weakness for citrus flavoured yogurts, so I gave these a try and I wasn’t disappointed! The Pink Grapefruit is a limited edition flavour. They cost £1.00 for a pack of 4 yogurts.

Muller Light Greek Style Natural 0%

We see new yogurts appearing on supermarket shelves every week, the choices increase all the time. This Muller Light Greek Style Natural has appeared this week, in a new shaped, larger sized 450g tub.

Natural Greek Style yogurt has a less sour taste than ordinary natural yogurt, and a creamier texture. It’s great for using is sweet and savoury dishes, and would be amazing in our Lamb Rogan Josh curry. 

Pinch of Nom Lamb Rogan Josh
  • 68 Kcal per 100g
  • SW Free
  • WW 0 Points

This 450g tub of Muller Light Greek Style Natural 0% yogurt costs £2.00 in Asda stores. 

Aero Chocolate Mousse Snack Bars

Someone shared these new Aero Chocolate Mousse Snack Bars in our Facebook group last week, so I wanted to look at them here, too. 

Last year we featured Rolo snack bars in our Shopping Essentials article. Aero Mousse snack bars are very similar. The epitome of a naughty snack, but can still be enjoyed as part of your allowance for the day, no matter which plan you follow. 

  • 128 Kcal each
  • SW 6.5 Syns (snackulator)
  • WW 6 Points each

The Aero Mousse Snack Bars can be found in the chilled desserts section, alongside the yogurts and desserts. They cost £1.00 for a pack of 4 x 30g snack bars in Asda.

Actimel Lemon 0% Fat

The Actimel range from Danone has always been popular. Danone introduced their 0% fat range, with no added sugar, to appeal to those of us watching our waistlines too. 

A lemon flavour Actimel 0% fat, low calorie and no added sugar has now been added to the range, and will easily be within your daily allowance. 

  • 27 Kcal per 100g
  • SW 1.5 Syns (est)
  • WW 1 Point per 100g

A pack of 8 x 100g bottles costs £2.75 in Asda, and they’re also on offer at 2 for £4.00. 

Muller Light Amore

My first thought when I saw these pots was that there was no way they’d be low in calories/Syns/Points, so I almost walked past them. Curiosity made me take a closer look…and I’m glad I did!

They are Italian inspired, creamy, fat free yogurts, with sugar and sweetener, and no gelatine, so suitable for vegetarians, too. All 3 flavours are pretty low – here are the values;

Lemon
  • 60 Kcal per 100g
  • SW 1 Syn per pot (app)
  • WW 2 Points
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Over in our Facebook group (where we now have over 769,000 members – it keeps going up each week!) one of the hot topics of each week is spotting new products that are Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly, for our New Slimming  Shopping Essentials list!

We’ll be adding extra information for every item we feature in the Shopping Essentials List for 2019. The write up will include the calorie count, Weight Watchers Points and the Slimming World Syns too!

Not all of you are in our Facebook group (you should be!), but you can join up using the link below for the latest news and discussions on brand new Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly products.

This post contains affiliate links. Find out what this means.

Slimming World recommend having 1/3 Speed Food with every meal where appropriate as part of the Extra Easy plan.

If you’re not sure whether your fruit and vegetable choices are Speed Foods, you can check our Speed Foods list. Items listed in green are linked to a recipe, too. Just click on the word to take you there.

We’re always searching for a range of Speed Foods, some Free Foods and a few different ways to use your Syns/Points/calorie allowance in our weekly Shopping Essentials round up.

We check the supermarkets and food websites every week to find a selection of new products and special offers that will help you stay on track with Slimming World/Weight Watchers or any calorie counting eating plan. 

Aldi Super 6

Fruit and vegetables are a great way to fill yourself up with minimal damage to your daily allowance, no matter which eating plan you follow. Most of the supermarkets have offers on a range of seasonal produce, so it always worth a quick look.

Did you know that you can search the Pinch of Nom website by keyword? If you type the name of your ingredient into the search box, you’ll see lots of recipe ideas for that ingredient. Go on, give it a try! Click here.

Pinch of Nom Tex Mex Chicken

In the meantime, we have suggestions for some of this week’s Super 6 selection from Aldi. 

  • Limes – try our amazing Tex Mex Chicken
  • Mini Easy Peelers – grab and go for a speedy snack
  • Mini Apples – great choice for the whole family
  • Pineapple – for our gorgeous Pineapple Salsa
  • Snack Pack Grapes – juicy and sweet
  • Unwaxed Lemons – how about these Mini Lemon Curd Cakes
Pinch of Nom Pineapple Salsa

All of these products are priced at 69p per pack, so they’re great value. Available in Aldi stores from 28th February, while stocks last and subject to availability. 

Aldi Sweet Potato Burgers

We have seen lots of people talking about these Aldi Sweet Potato Burgers in the Facebook group over the last few weeks, so it made sense to feature them here. 

The Deli Sweet Potato Burgers have replaced the previous brand that was available from Aldi, and the good news is that these are lower in calories/Syns/Points. They’re suitable for vegans, and gluten free too. 

  • 172 Kcal per burger
  • SW 0.5 Syns each (app)
  • WW 6 Points
Pinch of Nom Souvlaki with Tzatziki

Made with chickpeas, carrot and red pepper, with cumin and a hint of chilli, these are yummy served with a minty yogurt dip, such as Tzatziki. I had them for a quick dinner, alongside a plateful of speed veg. They cost £1.49 for a pack of 2 burgers.

Aldi Beetroot Burgers

We have seen a huge rise in the range of vegetarian and vegan products that are available in supermarkets. There are lots of new products appearing every week, giving more choice to those who are choosing not to eat meat. 

The Deli Beetroot Burgers from Aldi are gluten free and suitable for vegans.  

  • 165 Kcal per burger
  • SW 4.5 Syns each (app)
  • WW 5 Points each

You can find these in the chilled fresh food section at Aldi, priced at £1.49 for a pack of 2 burgers. 

Aldi Masala Roast Cauliflower Sausages

I spotted these when I was out shopping this week. Aldi have been busy adding more products to their veggie range, so there’s a greater choice than ever for non meat eaters. 

These are described as Garam Masala Spiced Roasted Cauliflower sausages, made with red onion, brown rice and yellow split peas. 

  • 43 Kcal per sausage
  • SW 1.5 Syns each (app)
  • WW 1 point each

The values listed above are based on oven cooked sausages. A pack of 6 sausages costs £1.49 in Aldi stores. They are vegan and gluten free. 

Aldi Red Pepper & Butternut Squash Sausages

You will often see ‘pairs’ of new products in Aldi, when 2 varieties of a new product are introduced at the same time. Sitting alongside the Masala Roast Cauliflower Sausages are these Red Pepper & Butternut Squash Sausages. 

Made with yellow split peas, red pepper, roasted butternut squash and parsley, with smoked paprika and black pepper, they are gluten free and vegan friendly, too. 

  • 49 Kcal per sausage
  • SW 1.5 Syns each (app)
  • WW 1 Point each
Pinch of Nom Spicy Sausage Pasta

You could even use these in our Spicy Sausage Pasta dish. It’s a great choice for a quick and easy dinner. A pack of 6 sausages costs £1.49 from Aldi. 

Village Bakery Mini Wholemeal Pittas

We see so many questions in the Facebook group asking for lunch ideas. If you search Lunch on the Pinch of Nom website, you’ll find lots of inspiration to get you started. 

Aldi Village Bakery Mini Wholemeal Pittas are a great choice, and if you’re following Slimming World, you can have 3 of these as a Healthy Extra B choice. I love these toasted, with a tub of our Caramelised Onion Hummus and a pile of veg sticks.

Pinch of Nom Caramelised Onion Hummus
  • 50 Kcal per Pitta
  • SW 3 for HEB/2.5 Syns per pitta (app)
  • WW 1 Point each

The Village Bakery Mini Wholemeal Pittas cost 59p for a pack of 12, which is amazing value, too. 

Graham’s Skyr Natural Yogurt

Natural yogurt is such a versatile product, as it’s neither sweet nor savoury, so can be used in many ways. You might choose to use it straight from the pot, add ingredients to flavour it or use it in a recipe, such as our fab Chicken Kebab

Pinch of Nom Chicken Kebab

Skyr yogurt is thicker and milder than some brands of natural yogurt, so it’s a great one to try. Skyr Natural is also classed as a P food now if you follow Slimming World, so can be eaten on an SP day. 

  • 65 Kcal per 100g
  • SW P/Free per 100g (app)
  • WW 1 Point per 100g

A 450g pot of Graham’s Skyr Natural Yogurt costs £1.39 from Aldi Stores. 

Morrison’s Unsweetened Soya Drink

If you can’t have dairy products, you will need to find other options for your daily cuppa. If you are on the Slimming World plan, you’ll know that the Healthy Extra A choices are to give you a measured amount of calcium in your daily intake.

This Morrison’s Unsweetened Soya drink is chilled, so you’ll find it in the fridge in the Free From section of your local Morrison’s store. 

  • 19 Kcal per 100ml
  • SW 400ml HEA/6 Syns (app)
  • WW 1 Point per 250ml serving

A litre of Unsweetened Soya Drink costs £1.10 from Morrisons stores, and it’s also part of a multi-buy Free From milk offer, which gives you 3 for £3.00. 

Morrisons Fibre Bars

You may well be thinking that these look familiar. They are remarkably similar to Fibre One Bars and they’re new to Morrisons this week. These Fibre Bars are available in two flavours so far, Chocolate Brownie and Lemon. These are not an HEB choice, though. 

Morrisons Lemon Fibre Bars
  • 85 Kcal per bar
  • SW 4.5 Syns each (estimator)
  • WW 3 Points
Morrisons Chocolate Brownie Fibre Bars
  • 88 Kcal per bar
  • SW 4.5 Syns each (estimator)
  • WW 4 Points

I picked up a box of the Lemon flavour to try and was pleasantly surprised. They’re quite chewy and have a lovely, zesty lemon flavour, with a drizzle of icing on the top. Both flavours cost £1.74 for a box of 6 bars from Morrisons. 

Graze Morning Oats Minis

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