Written by Katie Byrne, published 21st dec 2016
'Tis the season, after all - if you fancy something delicious (and healthy!) over the holidays, try one of these delectable recipes today!
Starter: chicken, tarragon and lemon soup
As well as being perfect winter comfort food, Slimming World’s chicken soup makes an elegant start to the most important meal of the year.
Serves 4; ready in 40 minutes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 600ml boiling chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Knorr Touch of Taste Chicken Concentrated Liquid Stock
- 1 large skinless and boneless chicken breast
- 1 medium floury potato, such as King Edward, peeled and cut into chunks
- Zest and juice of 1 small unwaxed lemon
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, plus sprigs to garnish
- 4 tbsp fat-free natural Greek yogurt, plus 4 tsp to serve
Put the onion and 4 tbsp stock into a lidded saucepan over a medium-high heat. As soon as it is bubbling, season lightly, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes or until soft but not browned. Add the rest of the stock, concentrated stock, chicken and potato to the pan, cover again and cook gently for 20 minutes.
Lift the chicken on to a plate and, when it is cool enough to handle, gently shred the meat and keep warm. (The chicken pieces will give your soup a lovely texture.) Blitz the soup with a stick blender (or use a food processor or blender). Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, most of the tarragon, half of the cooked chicken and seasoning to taste. Bring back to a gentle simmer.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, swirl in the extra yogurt and scatter over the remaining tarragon. Pile the rest of the chicken in the middle of each bowl and garnish with tarragon sprigs to serve.
Main: Maple-glazed chicken breasts with cheesy ham and leek stuffing
The irresistible filling in these stylish chicken breasts makes them ideal for a low-cost and fuss-free Christmas dinner.
Serves 4; ready in 1 hour
- Low-calorie cooking spray
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ small leek, thinly sliced
- 1 small celery stick, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp chicken stock
- 4 thin slices lean smoked ham, visible fat removed, finely chopped
- 75g low-fat natural cottage cheese
- 30g wholemeal bread, crumbed
- 1 level tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp beaten egg
- 4 large skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- 1 level tbsp maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Spray a non-stick saucepan with a little low-calorie cooking spray and place over a low heat. Add the onion, leek, celery and chicken stock and season lightly. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not browned then tip the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool slightly.
Stir the ham, cottage cheese, breadcrumbs, mustard, thyme and egg into the vegetable mixture and season to taste. Cut a long deep pocket into the thickest side of each breast. Fill each of the pockets with the stuffing mixture, press the chicken breasts back into shape and tie them in 3 places with kitchen string, just tightly enough to keep all that lovely stuffing in the right place.
Arrange the chicken breasts on a rack set over a roasting tin, season lightly then brush each one with a little of the maple syrup. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until the juices run clear, basting twice more with maple syrup. Serve straight away with your favourite vegetables.
Dessert: cranberry cranachan
Lots of cranberries in the sauce give this Slimming World version of the Scottish favourite a festive flavour that will go down a treat.
Serves 4; ready in 10 minutes
- 1 level tbsp porridge oats
- 300g cranberries, fresh or frozen, plus fresh cranberries to decorate (optional)
- 1 tbsp whisky
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp sweetener granules
- 300g fat-free natural Greek yogurt
Preheat the grill to medium. Spread out the oats on a baking tray and toast under the grill, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool. Meanwhile, put the cranberries into a small pan with the whisky, orange juice and sweetener. Bring to a simmer over a low heat and cook for 5 minutes or until the berries have popped and the juices have thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Spoon half of the cranberry mixture into 4 tall dessert glasses. Divide half of the yogurt between the glasses and sprinkle with some of the toasted oats. Repeat the layers, ending with a sprinkling of oats. Decorate each glass with a few fresh cranberries, if using, and serve straight away.
Recipes taken from Slimming World’s new recipe book Festive Feasts, available in all Slimming World groups in the UK and Ireland priced £4.95/€7.95. To find your nearest Slimming World group visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or call 0344 897 8000. Image credits: Slimming World/Will Heap.