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If you’re anything like me, you’ll love that feeling of discovering a delicious new dish. The good news is Slimming World members are spoilt for choice when it comes to tasty meals you can enjoy while losing weight, and that’s all thanks to our fantastic Free Foods. These slimming superheroes mean you can fill up for breakfast, lunch or dinner, without ever feeling hungry.

To celebrate this amazing variety (and because we love having a nosy at other slimmers’ menus), we’re asking a few of our superstar slimmers to share their culinary creations. Our Top Target Consultant 2019 Kathryn Cooke loves cooking a Free Food feast and she’s serving up her fall-apart tender Middle Eastern braised beef. She says:

Kathryn Cooke before and after - Free Food Festival - Slimming World Blog

“Filling up on Free Foods is definitely what’s helped me to maintain my weight loss for over 37 years! There are so many different ways to use them and I’ve found a real passion for discovering new recipes to keep things interesting.

“The mix of spices and orange in this dish are delicious, and all the veg makes it really filling. It’s only me and my husband at home, so the other two portions are perfect to keep in the freezer or to take to work for lunch the next day.”

Let’s sneak a peek at Kathryn’s top recipe…

Kathryn’s favourite Middle Eastern braised beef

Makes 4
Ready in 3½ hours

What you need:

low-calorie cooking spray
750g lean casserole/braising steak, visible fat removed, cut into large chunks
2 red onions, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp dried rosemary
250g passata
300ml hot beef stock
4 bay leaves
pared zest of ½ a small orange
2 carrots, sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thickly sliced
200g runner beans, each cut into 3-4 pieces
2 courgettes, thickly sliced
2 large tomatoes, halved and thickly sliced
small handful of fresh parsley, chopped, to serve

What you do:

1. Preheat your oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/gas 2
2. Spray a large lidded non-stick ovenproof saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add half the beef and brown all over, then spoon on to a plate and repeat with the rest of the beef.
3. Add the onions, garlic and 3 tbsp water to the pan, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the onions and garlic are soft.
4. Uncover the pan and stir in the tomato purée, paprika, chilli flakes, rosemary, passata, stock, bay leaves, strips of orange zest, ½ tsp salt and a twist of black pepper. Bring to the boil over a high heat, stirring, then stir in the beef, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in all the vegetables. Cover again and return to the oven for 1 hour or until everything is tender.
6. Discard the bay leaves, check the seasoning and scatter with parsley to serve.

Middle Eastern braised beef - Free Food Festival - Slimming World Blog

Kathryn spotted this brilliant beef recipe in our One for all cookbook – one of our fantastic recipe books, which Slimming World members can buy in their local group (or in our digital shop if you’re a Slimming World Online member). You’ll also find lots more one-pot wonders on our website, like hearty Greek beef stew with orzo pasta and our famous dirty rice.

When you’re Food Optimising, there are so many fantastic Free Foods to choose from – and so many ways to turn each of them into a delicious dinner! You’ll find heaps of healthy, filling recipe ideas and Free Food swaps at your local group or at Slimming World Online. Get ‘that Slimming World feeling’ and discover how you really can eat well and still lose weight!

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