Romantic slimmers wanting to cook their way to their honey’s heart this Valentine’s Day can spoil the apple of their eye without spoiling their successful slimming campaign, says a Hoo St Werburgh weight loss expert.

Ash O’Neill who runs a Slimming World group in the Jubilee Hall on Pottery road in Hoo says it’s understandable when people are bananas about their partner that they want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style and losing weight doesn’t have to mean missing out.

She says: “The calendar is full of dates that can distract slimmers from their weight loss dreams, but at Slimming World members share ideas to prepare for challenges like birthdays, parties and events like Valentine’s Day and when following our healthy eating plan no food is banned. So, at Slimming World having fun and losing weight at the same time really can be a piece of cake!”

Anyone planning a dinner at home with candles and firelight, could sample Ash’s mouthwatering Valentine’s menu which is typical of the sort of tempting and tasty dishes Slimming World members enjoy.

ash3Hot-smoked salmon pate:
Saute a bunch of sliced spring onions in low fat cooking spray for a minute.
Flake 454g/1lb of hot-smoked salmon into the pan and cook for a further minute.
Remove from heat and stir in 255g/ 9oz quark, 1 level teaspoon creamed horseradish and a dash of Tabasco. Mix together until well combined and serve with a mix of vegetable crudités like finely sliced carrots, celery and cucumber.

ash2Fillet steaks with mustard sauce:
Potatoes: preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Cut slices into new potatoes at regular intervals (don’t cut right through), place on a baking sheet and spray with low calorie cooking spray. Tuck small sprigs of rosemary into some of the slices, sprinkle with sea salt and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the potatoes and cook for a further 30-40 minutes. (pic)

Sauce (serves 4): place chopped shallots, a couple of tsp mustard powder, 340ml/12fl oz beef stock and 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard in a small pan. Mix well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and add sliced mushrooms (button, chestnut, shiitake) and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in 6 tbsp fat free natural yogurt and some chopped parsley. Season well.

Steak: season lean beef fillet steaks with crushed pepper corns and some. Cook in a non-stick frying pan in low calorie spray until cooked to your liking.

Serve with the steak with the potatoes and wilted greens and pour the sauce lovingly on top.

ash1Champagne Ginger Granita:
2.5cm/1in piece of root ginger, grated
426ml/ ¾pint dry pink or white champagne or sparkling wine
3-4 tbsp artificial sweetener
Redcurrants and whitecurrants to garnish

Gently stir the ginger into the champagne and sweeten to taste. Pour carefully into a freezerproof container and freeze for 1½ – 2 hours until slushy.
Beat the slushy mixture with a fork to break up the ice crystals and refreeze for a further 2 hours. Stir occasionally to keep the mixture smooth. (Do not allow the granite to become too hard. If it does, blend it in a food processor for a few minutes until smooth.)
Serve in individual glasses garnished with redcurrants and whitecurrants (or strawberries and grapes).

The Hoo St Werburgh Slimming World group meets every Thursday at 5.30pm & 7.30pm at The Jubilee Hall, Pottery Rd, Hoo, ME3 9BS.
Everyone’s welcome or for more information call Ash on 01634250170/07733264751