Slimming World for me was a great way to lose weight, mainly as I could eat lots of food, no portion control, just ensuring I was eating my superfree third,which is a third of your plate filled with vegetables, salad of fruit, depending on the meal.
I dropped three dress sizes and am now maintaining my size 8 a year and a half later, I eat well and am able to have a takeaway or a splurge, knowing that my eating habits are good for the vast majority of my week.
Once I grasped the concepts of the SW healthy eating, I was able to adapt a few of my favourites,chilli, spag bol, stews to ensure it did not feel like I was deprived. Cutting fat off meat and cooking in frylight or extra virgin olive oil which is allowed as a healthy extra has become routine in the house. Adding lots of extra veg to a stew or curry is a norm now and though recipes may not be the original exact meal, as I now add extra peppers and onions, shun fat and replace cream with fat free yogurt, creme fraiche or light philly.
Some meals were trickier to adapt due to ingredients such as pastry, cream, sugars and fats.
I longed for my homemade quiche, pastry was totally out of the question unless I had saved up my syns,my curry's usually rich with ghee or oil with sides of bhaji, chapattis and nans were taboo.
I now add extra peppers and onions to chilli con carne and serve with a chilli spiced salad, curries too are packed with different veg.
I make quiche with cottage cheese to bulk out the custard mix and allow for it to be baked without pastry.
Now I think I can hear some of you cry out (as Chris did) "But its not the same!" However looking fit and feeling healthy outweighs this. Chris was gutted to lose the fat off bacon, he loves it all crispy, but we still get to eat and savour the flavour, so it balances out!
So onto a low fat Spaghetti Carbonara, this was for some reason the meal I got fixated on having and adapting, there were a few, but this was the dream meal and I tried all the SW versions, with quark and found it bitter and nothing like what I wanted it to taste like.
I had been to a Philadelphia event a few months before my weight loss started and pleased that it was a healthy extra for Slimming World so took a look on their site and I found a recipe. I have adapted a good few Philly recipes, they give that extra creamy taste.
Its hard to see how something that tastes rich and creamy could possibly be anything to do with weight loss, but I ate lots and the weight came off each week.
Again mine is inspired by as I change ingredients and measurements to keep it SW friendly and feed an army, I tweak and adapt, no parsley, as I dislike it, herbs detract from it being a close relative of the real thing, so after trying chives I ditched trying others.
I use frylight as the bacon fries well in it.
I add mushrooms, one to add in some superfree and two to bulk it out,three as they do not take away from the taste.
I have added garlic and onion in the past, it works, but takes a completely different dish flavour.
I do stick with the bacon, it has to be smoked to lift the sauce. The stock turns the philly into a sauce that clings to the pasta, I use a healthy extra portion per person,
The amounts that Philadelphia state just don't quite work for a family of six, I use two packs of bacon, three to four eggs and if I was not making it for Slimming world I would add way more philly. I do add a little fat free creme fraiche if I have any in.
I will not say its the same as the cream version, but if you are trying to cut out fat,on a low fat diet, Slimming World plan or need a yummy pasta fix with creamy based sauces,this is it.
Please note that Slimming World change the Healthy Extra quanties quite often due to manufacturers recipe changes, so if reading in the future, check amounts, it works with less,but nicer with more. At the moment it is 75g of Philly Light for a Healthy Extra A, so you can use 225g philly and 42g of parmesan for the topping but I syn my Parmesan.
500g pack of spaghetti
2 packs of smoked bacon,trimmed of all visible fat, cut into strips
Mushrooms as many as you fancy or none at all, finely sliced.
300g Philadelphia light ( 4 HexA's)
3-4 egg yolks
300ml vegetable stock
Parmesan shavings, to garnish
Cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions.
While it is cooking, fry the bacon pieces in a large pan, add the mushrooms once the bacon has started to crisp. Keep stirring until the mushrooms are cooked.
Beat together the Philly and the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it.
Add the stock to the bacon pan, then add the pasta and mix together.
Add the philly and egg mixture, and stir through well to combine everything.
Serve the pasta onto plates, scatter with a few shavings of parmesan.