Recipe: Fat Free Salad Dressing

Della says…

Fat Free Salad Dressing

This is by far the tastiest salad dressing I’ve ever had – it’s become a speciality in our house – guests always ask for it now!


1 heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard

1 tablespoon of fat free tomato based dressing (I use a dollop of hot pepper sauce because I like it spicy. But you do need some kind of tomato based dressing to offset the other flavours. Tomato puree will work if you can’t get fat free tomato based dressing – they seem to be quite rare these days).

2 or 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

A dash of soy sauce

2 or 3 tablespoons of Teriyaki marinade (my favourite is Kikkoman Teriyaki – available in big supermarkets)

A little garlic if liked.

Fresh herbs (optional but chives work well)

(the beauty of this dressing is that you can just use whatever you have handy. The core ingredients are wholegrain mustard, tomato based fat free dressing, balsamic and soy sauce.  I tend to see what I’ve got in the cupboard. There is no olive oil and you really don’t need it.


Mix ingredients together well and leave to marinade. It can be kept in the fridge (covered) for a week to ten days. It’s better if you make it the day before you need it.

Jacket Potatoes – an eat-loadser’s best friend

jacket-potatoes-300x198Della says…

We talk about substitutes a fair bit in the book. “Substitutes!” I hear you cry. “Well if you think I’m substituting
chips for lettuce, forget it!” Before you switch off your Kindle, or fling your iPad, iTouch, iPhone, across the room in disgust – wait! Hear me out. I promise I won’t suggest that you swap chips for lettuce. In fact you can eat as many chips as you like, although there is one condition. You can’t fry them. You will need to swap the cooking method. You can find lots more about chips elsewhere on this blog but first, I would like you to consider an alternative.

Jacket Spuds

Jacket potatoes. They are an eat-loadser’s best friend, providing you don’t smother them in butter and cheese. You can have a small handful of cheese – and if it’s a reduced fat version you can have a larger handful. But don’t panic. There are plenty of other things you can smother them in. You can have beans, tuna, or any number of salad type concoctions (see Peter’s ‘Extreme Salads’). You can also smother them in Stir Fry, or Very Meaty Chilli, or Bolognaise (see our website for recipes), or various other tasty sauces, but you do need to swap the cooking methods and you will possibly need to use different ingredients than you usually choose. But I can promise you one thing categorically. You don’t need to sacrifice taste.

The beauty of jacket potatoes is that providing you have a nice topping they’re tasty, they’re cheap, and you can generally get them if you’re eating out, which is a bonus. They also fill you up. Don’t stop at one. Have two or three if you like. I’ll say it again. Jacket potatoes are an eat-loadser’s best friend. They truly are.

You can also eat your potatoes steamed, boiled, mashed, roasted or fried. It is not the potato itself that is fattening; it’s the fat that’s used to cook it. This was a revelation for me when I learned about losing weight. A lot of the meals I really, really liked didn’t have to be banned; they just had to be altered slightly to make them more slimmer friendly.

They are mostly swaps: low fat spray for oil; lean mince for regular mince; skimmed milk for full fat; half fat cheese for regular. This means that when I eat out, which I enjoy and do often, I don’t have to worry too much about what I eat. I have whatever I fancy. Staying slim is about what you do most of the time. The odd chocolate moment or meal out is not such a heinous crime as you might think.

Recipe: Fat Free Chocolate Cake

Della Says…

Chocolate Swiss Roll
Slightly different angle

What if I told you that this swiss roll is totally fat free. Sugar free too. In fact, you can eat the whole thing in one sitting without worrying about adding a single centimetre to your waistline.

It tastes quite nice too. In fact the first one I made disappeared before I could take any photos!

Front View
It’s actually a Slimming World recipe this one. To make it a chocolate cake you need to add a Cadbury’s Hi-light Sachet (sometimes called Options)

4 medium eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
a tub of quark (250g)
3 tbsp of sweetener (level not heaped)

  1. Separate the 4 eggs into two bowls, yolks and whites
  2. Add ½ tub of quark, sweetener, vanilla essence & baking powder to the yolks
  3. Wisk into a creamy consistency and put to one side
  4. Take the egg whites and wisk until stiff
  5. Add half of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and stir in gently
  6. Then fold the other half of the eggs whites into the mixture
  7. Take an oven tray, line line with grease proof paper and spray with fry light
  8. Ensure you use plenty of fry light to avoid the cake sticking to the paper
  9. Pour the mixture on the tray/paper
  10. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown 180c (it doesn’t take very long to bake
  11. Whilst warm peel the paper from the cake (gently) and then lay cake out to cool
  12. I used a big knife underneath the paper to gently remove the cake from paper
  13. While cooling take the remainder of the quark and add sweetener to taste
  14. Spread the quark onto the cake (now cool) and add fruit you are using
  15. I used raspberries and added them evenly across the cake and squished them
  16. Then gently roll the cake up into a roll (like a swiss roll)
  17. Cut into 4-6 pieces – or eat the whole cake yourself

Recipe: Spicy Leek and Carrot Soup


Della says

This is a rather tasty winter warmer soup.  You can eat it by the bowl full if you’re an ‘eat loadser’. It’s also a handy snack if you’re doing the five two diet because it happens to be very low in calories.

Spicy Leek and Carrot soup – serves two

Ready in about 25 minutes (including preparation time)



2 leeks (approx 145 cals)

3 medium sized carrots (approx 100 calories)

half a can of sweetcorn (80 cals)

1 vegetable stock cube (I use Knorr) (34 cals)

clove of garlic  (negligible)

1 chilli (negligible)

Smallish piece of fresh ginger (negligible)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon of Marmite – optional (20 calories)


Chop carrots and leeks roughly, and finely chop chilli and ginger and crush garlic and place in saucepan.

Cover with three quarters of a pint of water. Add sweetcorn. Add stock cube and seasoning and Marmite if using. Heat and then simmer till cooked.

Top Tip. This tastes even better the day after (keep in fridge overnight). It’s less than 400 calories a pan (serves two) so makes a handy and quite filling lunch or part lunch if you are on a ‘fast day’ on the five two diet.



Recipe: Very low fat cheese and onion quiche


Della says

Very low fat cheese and onion quiche – serves four

Ready in about 25 minutes (plus 20 minutes preparation time)


2-3 medium sized potatoes (No need to peel, just wash them and grate coarsely)

4 eggs

1 tub (500g) of fat free cottage cheese.

1 onion (chopped)

120g reduced fat mature cheddar (grated)

Fresh chives to taste

Black pepper



Preheat oven to 180 C

Spray a square quiche pan with Frylight.  Squeeze excess water from potatoes through a sieve. Spread grated potato over base of quiche pan and up the sides. Bake in oven until it has started to brown. (About fifteen minutes.)

Beat eggs in large bowl and then blend with cottage cheese, chopped onion, grated cheese and chives. Season with black pepper and pinch of salt if liked. Pour over the rosti potato base. Bake in oven for 25-30 mins. Should be golden on top and cooked through.

Serve hot or cold with:

Side salad. Or serve hot with baked beans.

This quiche also works very well with the following combinations. Replace the onion and some of the cheese with:

Smoked salmon and black olives.

Red pepper and ham.

Sweetcorn and tuna.

I actually find it’s better the next day (refrigerate overnight). It’s lovely cold.

Feel free to add comments in the box below or on our facebook page.

Three yummy uses for 0 % Total Yoghurt

Della says


Three yummy uses of 0% Total Yoghurt.

Fat free yoghurts feature quite a lot in my diet and I’m always looking for good ones.  Total 0 % is creamy and tastes good. But don’t just eat it as it is. Here are three uses for it that you may not have considered.

  1. For a quick sweet snack, stir a heaped teaspoon of Nutella through it, then dollop over a sliced banana. Awesome and pretty saintly.
  2. Use it to dollop over hot beef chilli (instead of full fat yoghurt or sour cream) it’s lower in calories and has a nicer flavour.
  3. Use it instead of cream on fresh fruit salad. (you can wear a halo while doing this as it’s positively saintly)

And no, I am not on commission. Unfortunately! 

How to stay slim on your holidays (or at least some damage limitation!)


Della says

I’ve just come back from holiday – it was a working holiday really, I was teaching a creative writing course at the University of Wales, but the interesting thing was that food was out of my control. At least it was in the respect that I didn’t have to cook it. I just had to make a choice. I queued up in one of two queues – hot or cold. The cold queue was for the salad bar, and, interestingly, this was by far the most popular queue. Mind you, there wasn’t just lettuce and tomatoes on offer. There was all manner of mayonnaise-dressed salads, cold meats and fish. Easy to make a healthy choice; equally easy to make an unhealthy choice. I did a bit of both (well I was on holiday) and so this does fall within the remit of my How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim principles.

Also, if I made a healthy choice, it meant I could have pudding. Yesss! This is also within the remit of the How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim principles. However, I knew having pudding every day (twice a day!) could lead to disastrous consequences (being forced to buy bigger jeans). So here’s what I did. Every single time I was deciding on whether to have a pudding, I asked myself the following question:


Sometimes I didn’t know until I’d actually tried the pudding. But often I could tell just by looking. A soggy bit of cheescake? – no thanks! A rather yummy looking chocolate mousse – yes, yes yes!

On this basis I decided against having muffins (which I don’t like much anyway) and also (interestingly) fruit salad, which I only ever have in an effort to be saintly, and also don’t much like. Once, I even started eating a scrummy looking chocolate tart, before deciding it wasn’t worth the calories and leaving the rest. (Get me!)

This might sound a bit mad, but actually it really works. Try it. I came back the grand total of one pound heavier than when I went. Which is miraculous for me – because there were puddings available every single day, twice a day and I love puddings. Oh, and I had a cooked breakfast every day too. But I didn’t have anything fried. I had a combination of beans, tomatoes, scrambled eggs and the odd vegetarian sausage!

Food for thought!

Recipe: Very Meaty Bolognaise

Della says…


Very Meaty Bolognaise – serves four

Ready in about 25 minutes


400 g extra lean beef mince (cook with low fat cooking spray)

1 medium onion

1 pepper (any colour)

125 g mushrooms

4 beefsteak tomatoes

1 can chopped tomatoes with olives

1 garlic clove

Small piece of chopped ginger (tablespoon)

Pinch of paprika

Black pepper

Splash of good quality balsamic

Splash of fish sauce

Small amount of grated reduced fat cheese or parmesan to serve


Roughly chop onion, pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes. Crush garlic, finely chop ginger.

Fry mince until nearly brown using low fat spray (I use Fry Light). Drain off excess fat. Then add garlic, ginger, paprika, black pepper and continue cooking for a minute or so.

Add chopped pepper, onion, tomatoes, continue cooking till these are soft.

Add can of tomatoes, then mushrooms.

Add balsamic, fish sauce and more black pepper if desired.

Simmer till all ingredients cooked.

Serve with:

Try jacket potatoes or fat free chips as a change from pasta (if using pasta, dried is more slimmer-friendly).  Have a sprinkle of reduced fat cheese. Or if you want to be really angelic leave it off. You don’t really need it. This sauce is very tasty and it’s even more tasty the day after you’ve made it when the flavours have had time to marinate.