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I don’t know about you but, alongside pub quizzes on Zoom and baking banana bread, Sal’s store-cupboard cook-ins have been keeping me going through lockdown. With social distancing still in place, we’re all keen to limit our shopping trips – and Sal’s cook-along recipe videos are here to help keep your weight loss on track with tasty Free meals that use simple ingredients you are likely to have in your kitchen.

Cooking from her sister’s kitchen, Sal’s already served up a classic spag bol, vegetarian chilli, easy chicken curry, ‘anything goes’ frittata, leftover roast chicken fajitas, and a chilli con carne – as filmed by her nieces on their mobile phones! This week, we’re bringing you a fresh peek at our new Passion for Pasta (and Noodles!) cookbook, with a faff-free family favourite that’s packed with delicious veggies.

On the menu this week is Slimming World’s zesty salmon pasta. Sal tells us more…

“This recipe has become a firm favourite in our house during lockdown. It’s filling, tasty and totally Free, plus you can easily make the salmon stretch further by packing the dish with pasta and lots of veg – which is handy when you’ve got lots of hungry mouths to feed.

While we’re all trying to minimise our food shops, we need to be adaptable with our meals and there’s lots of ways you can change up this recipe. Farfalle, penne or even macaroni work just as well as fusilli, and if salmon isn’t your thing, use trout, or stir through cooked prawns or tinned tuna (Free when in brine or spring water) before serving. If you don’t have fresh peppers, use roasted peppers in brine from a jar or sliced ones from the freezer and instead of green beans you could try peas, asparagus or sugar snaps. There are endless possibilities!”

Sal’s top zesty salmon pasta tips

  • Try to get a nice brown colour on the salmon, as it adds flavour to the final dish.
  • If you don’t have an unwaxed lemon, use a clean new scourer (not the one you use for the dishes!) and rub it over the skin of a lemon under cold running water to remove any wax from the fruit.
  • You can use chopped rocket instead of watercress, or even chopped spinach or pea shoots. Just add a good amount of black pepper as it will be missing the pepperiness of the watercress, which makes this dish so delicious.
  • Fat-free fromage frais can be used instead of plain quark or even fat-free cottage cheese (just whizz it in your food processor to make it smooth).
  • Stir the fish through at the end when you’re happy with the seasoning, to avoid breaking it up too much.
  • Sometimes I like this dish a little spicy, so I mix through a fresh chopped red chilli or dash of Tabasco sauce.

Slimming World’s zesty salmon pasta

serves 4
ready in 25 minutes

What you need:

500g dried fusilli pasta
low-calorie cooking spray
4 skinless and boneless salmon fillets, cut into bite-size chunks
2 peppers (any colours), deseeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed 
300g green beans, trimmed and halved
100g fat-free natural fromage frais
1 large unwaxed lemon, zested and cut into wedges
small bag of watercress, a few sprigs reserved, the rest chopped

What you do:

1. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions, then drain and return to the pan, reserving 100ml of the pasta cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, spray a wide non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium-high heat. Add the salmon chunks and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just cooked, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the peppers, garlic and green beans to the frying pan and cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender and lightly charred, stirring often. Add to the salmon cubes and mix gently.

4. Toss the salmon mixture through the pasta and stir in the fromage frais, lemon zest, chopped watercress and as much of the pasta water as you need to make a good sauce. Season lightly and divide between plates or shallow bowls. Scatter over the watercress sprigs and serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Slimming World members have access to over 1,000 easy-to-make recipes on the website and app, as well as a handy Food Search tool to make meal planning easy. Add to that the support of an expert Consultant and the welcoming Slimming World community, and you’ll have all you need to set you up for a successful weight loss journey.

Please join in with the cook-along and let us know how you get on – we’d love to see what you’re creating, how you’ve made it work for you and the ingredients you have. And you can share your pics on social media, too, using #EatWellAtHome.

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