Category Archives: Healthier Recipes

Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie

My Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie is a lighter way to enjoy a pie, perfect for #BritishPieWeek. A delicious creamy filling packed with chicken and ham hock and topped with crisp filo pastry. 

Pies are a British Institution. As a nation we do love our pies and this can be seen by just how many variations of pies there are. There are so many different pies out there with lots of variations of fillings and pastry used. 

Technically I think a pie is defined as a pastry lined dish usually topped with pastry. I however think pies can also just be topped with pastry. Apologies if this offends you but I’m still going to refer to my dish as a pie even though it isn’t pastry lined!

I do love a pie, they are comforting and delicious. I don’t associate pies with healthy eating however as the pastry is usually quite calorific. The fillings can also be quite rich which isn’t always what you’re looking for. 

This is why I came up with my Chicken & Ham Hock Filo Pie as a lighter way to enjoy a pie. Using filo pastry as a pie topping isn’t a new idea, but it is far lower in calories than a lot of other types. Not only is it healthier, but it is also far lighter and less dense than shortcrust pastry, for example. This makes this pie perfect for enjoying in spring and even summer. 

This pie is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken to make a completely new meal. If you don’t have any leftover chicken, you can do what I did and cook a few chicken thighs. The ham hock can be easily substituted to what you have to hand too. I love ham hock but haven’t found any to cook myself yet. Most supermarkets these days sell packs of cooked ham hock in the cold meat section. If you didn’t want to use ham hock, you could chop up some ham or add some cooked bacon lardons. 

Although this pie has a lovely creamy sauce, it is actually less than 400 calories per portion. For a creamy pie, personally I think this is pretty good. You can serve this with whatever you like, but I served it with tenderstem broccoli and rainbow carrots I saw in M&S. I wish I could get these carrots in my local shop because they were so delicious and gave the dish some lovely colour. 

Serves 4 

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 large leek, sliced
3 tbsp plain flour

1 ½ tbsp olive oil
250ml chicken stock
250ml milk
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
¼ tsp mustard powder
150g cooked chicken, shredded
100g ham hock
5 sheets filo pastry
Spray oil 

  1. Add the vegetable oil to a frying pan of a medium heat and add the sliced leek. Stir for approximately 10 minutes until soft 

  1. Remove the leeks from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add the olive oil and the flour. Stir to create a paste and cook for a minute 

  1. Slowly add the chicken stock whisking to make sure it is all absorbed before you add more

  1. Once all of the stock has been added, gradually pour in the milk and whisk to combine
  2. Add the thyme, wholegrain mustard, salt, pepper and mustard powder and simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens 
  3. After the sauce has thickened, add the cooked chicken, ham hock and leeks. Stir though to make sure everything is coated in the sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan or 200ºC  non fan assisted)
  2. Pour the pie filling into a dish 
  3. Unwrap the filo pastry and crumple each sheet on top of the pie filling – this doesn’t have to be neat

  1. Once the pie is completely covered with the filo pastry, spray thoroughly with oil and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown

Pin for later

Skinny Creamy Chicken Sausage Pasta

Creamy and delicious pasta but without the guilt. My Skinny Creamy Chicken Sausage Pasta is full of flavour and lower in calories than you would expect!

Pasta is a food many people love for its versatility and speed. It can be used to make so many tasty dishes. Some of the most delicious pasta dishes can be quite calorific which isn’t ideal if you are trying to eat more healthily. 

Growing up I didn’t really enjoy eating pasta. A lot of the time my Mum made it for us as a quick meal when we were children. A lot of the time this was pasta with a tomato based sauce which wasn’t my idea of a tasty meal. Then when I went to uni, unlike most of the people I knew, I still didn’t eat much pasta at all. 

Since then I have realised that there are so many really tasty dishes you make with pasta and these definitely don’t come out of a jar. I know jars of pasta sauce are really popular, but they tend to have quite a lot of sugar in them as well as not being the healthiest option. 

My Skinny Creamy Chicken Sausage Pasta is a great way of getting your pasta fix and even enjoying a delicious and creamy sauce, but with fewer calories. Would you believe me if I told you this recipe comes in at less than 450 calories per portion? For a pasta dish with a creamy sauce and meat, I think that is pretty good! And the really good thing about it is that it doesn’t taste ‘healthy’. It tastes like it is an indulgent, rich and creamy pasta dish. 

I have used HECK Chicken Italia Sausages for this recipe. I am a bit obsessed with HECK sausages and eat them frequently due to them being low in calories and great taste. This isn’t a HECK sponsored post, I just really like them. If you don’t want to use them, you can use another type of chicken sausage or leave them out completely. 

I used frozen basil in this recipe because my and fresh basil don’t seem to be friends. I like it, but it goes limp on me and dies. Because of this I don’t tend to buy it fresh very often because it doesn’t always last as long as I want it to. This is why frozen basil is a great freezer staple for me. It doesn’t pack as much flavour as fresh basil, but I think it is great to have. 

The secret of this being lower in calorie is really down to the sauce. You wouldn’t think cream a few tablespoons of cream cheese, some milk and flour could make a sauce this creamy, but they can! Parmesan is also a great calorie saver as it has far less calories than other cheeses such as cheddar. It also has a strong flavour so you need less to achieve a cheesy flavour. 

You can use any shape of dried or fresh pasta for this recipe, it really is up to you. Personally I like to use a pasta shape that will help catch the tasty creamy sauce, like conchiglie. Plus they look pretty too! 

For other healthy pasta dishes, check out my Ravoli LasagneSkinny Chicken Pasta Bake and  Skinny Chicken Fajita Pasta.

Serves 4

300g pasta
350g HECK Chicken Italia sausages, de-skinned
½ tsp sunflower oil 

3 tbsp low fat cream cheese
1 tbsp plain flour
80ml semi skimmed milk
250ml chicken stock
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp frozen or dried basil 
pinch of black pepper

20g parmesan, grated 

  1. Cook the pasta as per the packet’s instructions 
  2. Remove the casing from the sausages and split each sausage into roughly four pieces. Roll each piece between your palms to make little balls 
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium high heat and add the sausage. Cook until crisp and brown on the outside and cooked through 
  4. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside

  1. Mix the cream cheese, milk and flour together in a mini food processor 
  2. Turn the pan onto a low heat and add the cream cheese mix to the pan along with the stock and whisk to combine. It will look a little lumpy, but keep whisking and it will come together. Keep whisking until it thickens slightly 
  3. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil and stir through 

  1. Add the sausage back to the pan and add the drained pasta

  1. Stir through and allow everything to heat through for a couple of minutes
  2. Add the grated parmesan, stir through and serve 

Pin for later

Linking to 

Link up your recipe of the week
Hijacked By Twins

Store Cupboard Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole

My Store Cupboard Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole is a warm and comforting dish which doesn’t require any fancy ingredients, just things you’ll find in your fridge and cupboard. 

I chose a short and catchy name for this recipe!

I have made quite a few chicken casseroles in my time. They are so versatile as they can be eaten with potatoes and vegetables as a simple and warming dish or topped with some puff pastry for a quick and delicious pie. Although a lot of the recipes I have followed in the past have been delicious, they tend to need some forward planning.

I think there is nothing more annoying than wanting to make a recipe but realising you’re missing a vital ingredient. It can’t just be me that writes numerous lists and will still always forget something when you go to the shop?! When I was at uni, my housemate and I found a delicious chicken casserole/pie recipe that we would make; but the recipe used creme fraiche which isn’t something I tend to have in my fridge. And then once you have used the small amount you need for the recipe, the rest goes to waste as it sits in the fridge because you don’t know what else to do with it.

I decided I wanted to come up with a chicken casserole recipe that was minimum effort and used mainly ingredients I (and other people), tend to already have in their cupboards or fridges. Obviously you can substitute ingredients still but this recipe will provide you with a deliciously comforting chicken casserole without needing a long shopping list!

You can use chicken breast or thigh; or even a mixture of the two for this Store Cupboard Slow Cooker Casserole. Personally I prefer using thighs because I am a fan of dark meat anyway, but also because I think they are more juicy. This lends them to slow cooking because you don’t want your chicken to become dry during the longer cooking times. 

I have used carrots and leeks because they are vegetables I like that can withstand long cooking times. As I have mentioned before, I am not a massive fan of onions and the leeks in this recipe provide a similar taste so I have left out the onion. If you’re a normal person and like onion, feel free to add one in. 

I think mushrooms would work well in this recipe but I would cut them quite big so they don’t disintegrate to nothing. Unfortunately Mr Curly doesn’t get mushrooms because I don’t like them! I have added new potatoes to this casserole before and it works well as a one pot dish. I must say the potatoes don’t freeze very well and once defrosted they have a grainy texture. I would recommend leaving the potatoes out of the casserole unless you aren’t planning to freeze it.  

This chicken casserole freezes really well. When you reheat it, the chicken tends to break up slightly but I don’t mind this at all! I usually serve this with small baked potato and vegetables. I also freeze smaller portions to eat for my lunch which is very tasty. 

4 – 5 people

500g chicken, breast or thigh
500g carrots, peeled and sliced
300g leeks, washed and sliced
400g tin cream of chicken soup
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp dried thyme
350ml semi skimmed milk
Chicken stock pot
Spray oil 

¼ ground pepper
1 tsp salt 
2 tbsp cornflour mixed with water (optional)

  1. Cut the chicken into cubes. Brown the chicken in batches in a pan or in your slow cooker on the hob (if your slow cooker allows this) using some spray oil

2017-03-12 11.47.30

  1. Once all of the chicken is browned, add it all to the slow cooker dish. Add the sliced carrots, leeks and the rest of the ingredients apart from the cornflour. I add the soup and then use the tin to measure the milk and then fill nearly to the top with recently boiled water. Not only does this give you the correct measurements but it also rinses out the tin too!

2017-03-12 11.52.42

2017-03-12 11.59.49

  1. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8
  2. Once the casserole has finished cooking, check to see if the sauce is the right consistency. If it is too thin, use the cornflour and add enough water to make a slurry. Add this to the casserole and allow it to cook for another 30 minutes

Pin for later

Linking to:

Hosted by Baking Queen 74

Couscous Salad

2016-07-12 19.28.05

Fresh, colourful and versatile. This cous cous dish is delicious as well as being healthy.

Growing up I didn’t like cous cous. Well I told myself I didn’t as the only time I had come across it was when my Mum made her version of Tabbouleh. This was never going to be the best cous cous dish for me to try as it is packed with herbs such as parsley, mint and coriander – all of which I can’t stand. After years of thinking I didn’t like it, my Mum made a version with no herbs and very similar to what I make today and I realised I did actually like cous cous!

Along with my Mum, my sister and I have been making this recipe for years but with different variations. This recipe is great for adding things you like and leaving out anything you don’t. My Mum and sister make theirs using tomatoes and spring onions as well as the ingredients I use. I like tomatoes but I don’t seem to have them in my fridge every week whereas I always have the other ingredients. So please feel free to add anything else you fancy. I decided to call is Cous Cous Salad because I tend to use basic ingredients that I’d put in a salad – imaginative I know!

2016-07-12 19.31.37

The versatility doesn’t end with the ingredients in the cous cous, you can also add a whole range of ‘toppings’. We usually have this cous cous with marinated chicken, but we have had it with chorizo, grilled halloumi and my new favourite; chicken sausages.

This is now my boyfriend’s favourite recipe to make for his lunches during the week. If he can make it, then you can too!

2017-01-29 22.20.39

Serves 4
350g cous cous
750g boiled water
1 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 peppers
1 x 340g tin of sweetcorn, drained
¾ of a cucumber, diced
20g butter (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. De-seed and slice the peppers. Put them on a baking tray and roast in the oven for around 30 minutes, turning half way. You want them to get slightly blackened
  2. Put the cous cous in a large bowl. Add the chicken stock, olive oil and water to the cous cous. The water should just cover the cous cous by around 1cm. Stir with a fork and then cover with cling film
  3. While the cous cous is cooking, dice the cucumber and drain the sweetcorn
  4. After around 15 minutes the cous cous should have plumped and cooked. Test it is ready by trying it, if it is still a little hard recover for a few more minutes

2016-07-12 19.07.29

  1. Once the cous cous is cooked, add the butter if you are using it and fork through to fluff up the cous cous2016-07-12 19.12.52
  2. Remove the peppers from the oven and slice up. Add to the cous cous along with the sweetcorn and cucumber and fork through to mix


Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

Melt in your mouth chicken packed with loads of delicious flavours; this Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken is quickly becoming a new favourite!  

My sister has been trying to convince me to get a slow cooker for a long time. I was reluctant because in my head I thought it was cheating and taking out some of the fun of cooking. Obviously I was wrong! She bought me one for my birthday after finally giving in and saying I would give one a go – and now I love it!

The first thing I attempted to make were cinnamon rolls. They really didn’t turn out well at all! However this wasn’t the slow cooker’s fault but mine as the part of the recipe that specifically warned me to be very precise, I wasn’t. I decided to leave the desserts alone for a while and focus on savoury dishes.

I’d seen a few recipes using chicken and Mexican flavours so used them to create my own interpretation which I decided to call Fiesta Chicken! My main inspiration came from one of my favourite bloggers over at Skinny Taste. I tweaked her Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken recipe.

This recipe is really flexible. Add more of what you want, less or none of what you don’t and make it your own. I happened to have some chicken thighs and a couple of breasts in the fridge so I decided to chuck them both in. I love chicken thighs as they have so much flavour but until recently I have always tended to buy breasts. Since I’ve got a chest freezer I now go a little crazy and buy thighs in bulk and have a mass de-boning session. Last week I de-boned approximately 80 thighs ready for BBQ’s. They are definitely my favourite cut of chicken but use whichever you fancy!

I used a combination of chilli powders that I buy from the Cool Chile Co. They have a store in Borough Market but you can also order from their website and they have great service (I just genuinely like their products, they aren’t paying me to mention them). Don’t let not having different chilli powders put you off making this dish. Use whatever you have – chilli powders, cayenne pepper, paprika etc. and add more if you like a bit of heat. The quantities in the recipe below are more to add flavour than heat, so adjust as you wish. This also depends on the heat rating of the chille powder you decide to use, for example chipotle chilli powder is hotter than a guajillo chilli. I would always veer on the side of caution and then give it a little try when you add the shredded chicken back in. You can always add some more chilli at this stage if it needs a bit more of a kick.

I added a tin of flame roasted mild green chillies which I bought from Tesco maybe a year ago. I’d seen a few American recipes where they included tinned tomatoes with mild green chillies, so when I saw the tin of chillies in the World Food’s aisle I bought them. This recipe was finally a reason to use them! You’ll notice I haven’t included them in the recipe though as since making this dish, I haven’t been able to find them anywhere. I’ve even searched online for them and it seems you need to order them from America which isn’t the cheapest option, so I decided it was better to miss them out, however sad this made me feel.

I was so impressed with how tasty this recipe was and it was such minimal effort. I did find that there was too much liquid when I made it so I have reduced the amount slightly. That is the only thing I have found with slow cookers, because you are cooking with the lid on, they keep all of their liquid and it doesn’t evaporate. If you want to try and thicken the dish without using cornflour (or as well as) just take the lid off for the last 30 mins cooking to help some of the water evaporate.

The recipe below made enough for 7 large portions – 6 of which I will use for dinner and then I split the last one into two smaller portions for lunches.

approx 500g chicken
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 ½ tbsp Mexican oregano
3 tsp chilli powder (I used a mixture of ancho, guajillo and chipotle)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
400g tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
340g tin sweetcorn, drained
2 peppers, sliced
300g chicken stock
3 spring onions, sliced
1 tbsp cornflour (if needed to thicken)

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, oregano and the chilli powders

2016-06-18 12.48.46

  1. Add the tomatoes, black beans, sweetcorn, pepper, stock and spring onions to the slow cooker and stir to mix
  2. Lie the chicken on top of the ingredients and put the lid on the slow cooker

2016-06-18 12.55.23

  1. Cook for 10 hours on low or 6 hours on high
  2. 30 mins before serving, remove the chicken onto a board and shred using two forks. Return to the slow cooker and stir through

2016-06-18 18.33.50

2016-06-18 19.31.39

  1. If there is too much liquid, in a glass mix the cornflour with just enough water to make a liquid and add this to the slow cooker and continue cooking for the 30 minutes
  2. Serve with rice sprinkled with grated cheese and spring onions

Pin for later

Linked with:

Searching for Spice

Hosted by BakingQueen74

Skinny Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake

2016-04-12 20.49.14

This tasty zesty cake is perfect as an afternoon treat, especially as it is a healthy version too!

I’d wanted to make a lemon and poppy seed cake for a while because I liked the look of the cake dotted with tiny black poppy seeds. I haven’t made as many cakes recently because I’m trying to eat more healthily and if I make cake, then I have no self control and I end up eating the cake.  I then found this recipe for a skinny lemon and poppy seed cake on Pinterest so no longer had any excuse not to give it a go! Even though it was a healthier cake, I managed to give most of it away to my family so I didn’t end up eating it all.

2016-03-05 16.36.28

When I was making this cake, I was dubious. It looked thick as I was mixing the ingredients and then once it was baked it looked quite dense so I did fear the worst. I’m pleased to say it wasn’t dense or dry and was very tasty. My Mum liked it but she wasn’t massively keen on the poppy seeds as she said they got stuck in her teeth. I didn’t find this surprising as she doesn’t like jam where the fruit has the seeds in as she says the same happens then. So if you’re a little bit fussy like my Mum, this maybe won’t be your favourite cake but I do recommend giving it a go otherwise.

2016-03-05 16.36.35

For the cake
1½ cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine salt
¾ cup caster sugar
1 lemon, zest finely grated
½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup semi-skimmed milk 
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 tbsp poppy seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 2lb loaf tin
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  3. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, lemon, yogurt, milk, olive oil, vanilla, egg and egg whites and poppy seeds until combined
  4. Add the flour mix to the wet mix and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

2016-03-05 11.38.20

  1. Let the cake cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely

2016-03-05 12.40.09

For the glaze
1½ cups icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp milk

  1. Once the cake is completely cooled, make the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, lemon juice and milk. Pour the glaze all over the cake



Skinny Chicken Fajita Pasta

Deliciously creamy pasta perfect for people who like lots of flavour but are looking to keep dishes a bit healthier. This recipe is really tasty and works out at under 450 calories per portion.

2016-02-23 19.45.33

I came across this recipe when someone shared it on Facebook. I ended up going to the blog and finding lots of tasty and healthy dishes so I really recommend you have a look at Skinny Taste for this recipe and loads more.

As with most recipes, I have made a few tweaks because I’m fussy! I was originally drawn to how easy and simple it sounded and that it was low in calories was a massive plus. I did initially think adding cream cheese was slightly odd but it adds a lovely creamy taste but without all of the calories. The original recipe includes mushrooms, onions and tomatoes but these weren’t for me. Feel free to add these or any other vegetables you would like. They also used Cajun seasoning, but I changed this to Fajita seasoning as it is something I always have in the house and really like the flavour.

I was so impressed by how tasty this recipe was and can see it becoming a regular meal in our house. I made the full amount as listed below which meant I had leftovers for lunch the next day. I’d gone and heated it up and was so excited by the recipe I was showing people I work with what it looked like. I’d been saying how much I was looking forward to it…and then I dropped it on the floor. I just stood there looking at my lovely lunch all over the floor. Gutted doesn’t even start to describe how I felt! What made it worse was that I had already knocked my cereal all over my desk in the morning. I’m not usually this clumsy, but I was having a really bad food day 🙁

2016-02-23 19.45.44

Serves 4

230g pasta – linguine or tagliatelle work well
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp Fajita seasoning (add more or less depending on your taste)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 peppers (any colours you like)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
250ml chicken stock
80ml semi-skimmed milk (use skimmed if you would prefer)
1 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp light cream cheese
¼ tsp salt
Pepper to taste

  1. Slice the peppers into thin strips. Whiz together the milk, cream cheese and flour in a small food processor and set aside

2016-02-23 19.17.26

  1. Cut the chicken in to very thin strips and season generously with the fajita mix

2016-02-23 19.09.21

  1. In a large pan of salted water, cook the pasta as per the packet’s instructions
  2. Heat a large frying pan with the cooking spray and cook the chicken on a medium high heat until the chicken is browned and cooked through (roughly 5 mins). Remove the chicken and set aside

2016-02-23 19.30.57

  1. Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil. Add the peppers and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper

2016-02-23 19.31.16

  1. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the chicken stock and cream cheese mix. Stir through and allow to cook for a couple of minutes

2016-02-23 19.40.28

  1. Return the chicken to the pan and add the drained pasta. Stir thoroughly and cook for a minute or so before serving

2016-02-23 19.43.44


Feta Stuffed Peppers

2016-01-10 13.24.36

Delicious, tasty and super easy these Feta Stuffed Peppers make an excellent light lunch or starter.

I found this recipe in my friend’s Weight Watchers recipe book which is always a good sign that it is going to be healthy! I really love the flavour of peppers when they are roasted as it brings out their sweetness so thought I would give this recipe a try. They did mention added chilli flakes, but I didn’t fancy this so I left them out but feel free to add them if you want a bit of a kick!

I didn’t have any fresh basil so I sprinkled on some frozen basil. I don’t seem to be very good at keeping plants alive so don’t tend to buy the little herb plants you see in the shop and I find that the fresh cut basil doesn’t last very long. So instead I bought a pot of frozen basil which is always there when I need it. Obviously fresh basil will be the most flavoursome and the frozen basil won’t be ideal for everything but it worked well in this recipe.

2016-01-10 13.29.08

Each pepper (two halves) is less than 250 calories so it makes a perfect light lunch or you could use half a pepper as a starter.

2 red peppers, halved and de-seeded
16 cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
100g feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil
Spray oil

  1. Spray a baking tray with oil. Put the four pepper halves on the tray and divide the ingredients between them

2016-01-10 12.38.36

  1. Spray again with oil and put in the oven for 40-45 minutes
  2. Serve with a green salad

Skinny Chicken & Prosciutto Pasta Bake

Deliciously creamy pasta bake which is skinny but you really wouldn’t guess it! My Skinny Chicken & Prosciutto Pasta Bake is a tasty meal that all the family will love and a great way to use up leftover chicken. 

Well it’s January again (where did 2015 go?!) which means the vast majority of us will be trying to make healthier choices. I’m going to try and not use the word ‘diet’ because personally I am hoping to make a change to my lifestyle which is something more permanent than a diet.

This Skinny Chicken & Prosciutto Pasta Bake is a perfect healthier option which means you don’t have to miss out on pasta. I have adapted a recipe from Gimmie Some Oven which has an amazing, healthier, but still deliciously creamy sauce. I do love a good tuna pasta bake with a creamy white sauce, but when you actually work out how many calories are in the sauce it is quite alarming. This recipe lets you still enjoy a delicious pasta bake, but with fraction of the calories.

Sometimes when recipes are made ‘skinny’ the taste is compromised to make them lower in calories. This recipe doesn’t taste like it is a healthy alternative at all. Don’t get me wrong, pasta is always going to have more calories in it than something like a salad, but this recipe is far healthier than the traditional pasta bakes that most people will have had before. 

Instead of butter, this recipe uses olive oil which is a healthier fat to make the base of the sauce rather than the usual butter. It also uses Parmesan and low fat mozzarella which are far healthier choices than the more commonly used cheddar cheese. The sauce makes a fantastic base for adding other flavours to make it even tastier. The mustard doesn’t have a distinct flavour, but it really adds a depth to the sauce which is really delicious. 

This is a great way to use up leftover chicken from your Sunday roast that is a bit more imaginative than a cold chicken sandwich! If you don’t have leftover chicken, do not panic you can still make this recipe! Just season two small chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook them in the oven at 190ºC for 15-20 minutes until the juices run clear. Let the chicken cool slightly and then shred it using two forks, or your hands. 

I have made this recipe before by adding around 50g of diced chorizo. It is really tasty, but does add a few calories onto the dish. So I have since changed the recipe to adding slices of prosciutto (or any other cured ham) to the top. This is far lower in calories and crisps up in the oven which is so delicious. 

If you didn’t want to use prosciutto, you could always cook some bacon or bacon lardons and add these to the dish, These won’t be as healthy as prosciutto but not everyone is watching what they eat and even if you are, treats are always allowed every now and then! 

You can use whatever pasta shape you prefer (or happen to have in your cupboard). I have made it with penne, fussili and conchiglie. My favourite is the conchiglie which is what I have shown in the photos; as this really seemed to hold onto the sauce. 

This recipe is easily made gluten free, just swap to gluten free pasta and flour. Obviously check any meat you add is gluten free too, but a lot of continental meats do tend to be gluten free. 

This dish is also great for leftovers – perfect for lunch the next day. I sometimes find when you are trying to be healthy that lunch gets forgotten about and you end up having the same boring, low calorie lunch each day. I then end up feeling hungry for the rest of the day – maybe this is just me?! Something like this for lunch is great as it helps keep you full without being high in calories.

Updated September 2017

Serves 4

340g pasta (any shape you like)
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
4 gloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp flour
250ml chicken stock
250ml semi-skimmed milk (you can also use 1% milk)
40g grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp dried oregano

200g chicken, cooked and shredded
1 x 340g tin sweetcorn, drained

1 ball of low-fat mozzarella cheese
3-4 slices of prosciutto

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package’s directions making sure it is al dente
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for a minute or so, stirring occasionally

2015-11-03 19.02.00

  1. Add the flour and stir to combine. Saute for another minute or so to cook the flour, again stirring occasionally

2015-11-03 19.05.29

  1. Gradually add the chicken stock whisking as you to go combine and create a smooth sauce. Once all the stock is added, whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. Allow the sauce to thicken for a minute or so and then stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper

2015-11-03 19.13.53

  1. Reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally until the pasta is cooked
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the sauce along with the cooked, shredded chicken and sweetcorn. Stir to make sure the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce


  1. Pour half of the pasta into a large baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and then add the rest of the pasta. Finish by adding the rest of the mozzarella and the prosciutto 

  1. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to turn slightly golden

Linking to: 
Hijacked By Twins
Link up your recipe of the week
Hosted by A Mummy Too

Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad

Peppery rocket draped with flavoursome cured ham and sweet delicious figs, this salad is definitely something a little special. 

I am obsessed with figs. Not only are they delicious, they are really pretty too. I spend all year waiting for them to come into season and then eat as many of them as possible. I am always shocked by how many people have never seen them let alone tried them. My mother in law had only tried them dried in fig rolls before and two of my friends at work had no idea what it was when I brought them into work. 

I am making it my little mission to make as many people aware of figs as possible so I insisted that my friends tried them. You should have seen their faces, you would have thought I was asking them to try something really weird. They both thought the figs were alright which is a much better reaction than I thought I was going to get!

This is a great recipe to try if you haven’t eaten figs before because it is so easy and includes familiar ingredients too. Most people may associate figs with sweet dishes, like my Honey, Fig and Mascarpone Cupcakes. However figs go really well as part of a savoury dish and add a great sweetness. This salad makes a lovely starter or light lunch and is really healthy.

This salad is really simple and quick to whip up. I first made this just for myself thinking it wouldn’t be Mr Curly’s kind of thing. He had a little bit to give it a try and really liked it so ended up eating half of it! In the week since I made it, he has kept asking when I am going to make it again because he loved it.

I decided to use Prosciutto, but feel free to use Parma or Serano ham instead – just use whichever cured ham you fancy. With the dressing, you can either use balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze. This recipe is definitely not set in stone, the quantities below are just a guide so if you want more of one ingredient, go for it.

Updated October 2017

Serves 2 
1 bag of rocket 
3 – 4 figs 
4 slices of Prosciutto
20g Parmesan
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze  

  1. Rinse the rocket if it hasn’t already been washed and scatter over your serving plate or bowl
  2. Cut the figs into quarters or sixths depending on how big they are and add them to the rocket
  3. Drape slices of Prosciutto over the plate
  4. Grate the Parmesan over the salad with a vegetable peeler so you get curls of cheese
  5. Drizzle the salad with balsamic vinegar

2015-10-03 17.49.46