Slimming World Christmas Dinner Swaps

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year for parties and celebrations but unfortunately not the most wonderful time of the year for your waistline.   

There are different ways you can approach this;

First option is to say stuff it it's Christmas and eat anything and everything you fancy - if anyone points out you will put on weight then eat them too!

Second option is to avoid all parties, don't drink,  refuse all treats and generally make yourself feel like you are missing out. 

Personally I have always gone for the first option, and traditionally start January maybe half a stone heavier and feeling a bit rubbish.  This year I am ATTEMPTING* a third option, one that Slimming World has been suggesting to me for many years. 

I aim to stick to the plan when I can  (oops I sound like I've eaten a SW consultant now - sorry!) 

The plan being - not to eat mince pies for breakfast 'just because it's Christmas'
Not to drink every day in December 'just because it's Christmas'
Not to eat piles of chocolates 'just because it's Christmas'
Not to give up making homemade chips and using frozen 'just because it's Christmas'

You get the idea! 

I have been really trying to get to my 1.5 stone award by Christmas,   I have two weigh in's and 4.5 lb to go - it's very tight going on my recent track record but still possible.   Then over Christmas my ideal goal is to maintain the same weight, at the moment I am quietly optimistic  (she says whilst writing about it on a public blog!)     

In an attempt to do this,  as I am cooking Christmas dinner this year, I thought I might do it SW style, well at least some of it! 

The plan being is I can then fill my face as I wish, guilt free during the actual dinner, which is the main event after all.   Therefore leaving my syns for booze and a few chocolates  (A FEW.... must remember that bit!) 

We had a practice run last month and it is surprisingly easy to create an awesome roast dinner with very few syns. 

The meat and the usual vegetables of course are not the issue, it's the very tempting and calorie filled side dishes that add the syns to a traditional Christmas roast so here's a couple of my low syn swaps.

Slimming World Roast Potatoes

There are many variations on SW Roasties out there, and mine vary a little each time I make them. I've tried many different herbs and seasoning on them over the years,  gone with plain salt, roasted them in oxo stock etc, so the best thing is to play around and see what you prefer.   

The potatoes are probably the bit of a Christmas dinner that is the most different the SW way but you will save yourself a TON of syns by not roasting them in a bucket of goose fat or similar - think of the sweet treats coming later!

Ready to save your syns?    I'm sure every SW member knows how to make roasties or SW chips (same process, different shape!) but in case you've been missing out... 
  • Pre-heat your oven to 220c / Gas Mark 7.   Peel and cut your potatoes.
  • Parboil them - just enough to get a  knife easily through them, but before they all fall apart. 
  • Drain,   leave them to drain for a while in the sieve if you can, the drier they are the better they will roast. Give them a good shake to rough them up. 
  • Spray with oil (fry-light is free, don't forget to consider the syns if you use an Olive Oil spray) 
  • Sprinkle with sea salt, give 'em a shake and spray again to ensure they are well covered. 
  • Spread them over a tray lined with foil and roast for approx 45 minutes - turn halfway through and make sure you check occasionally afterwards, the cooking time can vary depending on the size of your spuds. 

Braised Red Cabbage

You can make this completely syn free but assuming you will not be eating the entire thing it is worth adding the extras.  

Red Cabbage
Red Onion
Red apple (approx 1 syn per 100g as you are cooking it) 
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp water
Salt and Pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tablespoon brown sugar (3 syns) 
1 tablespoon butter (5 syns)

Chop the cabbage, onion and apple and mix roughly in a large ovenproof dish.  Add the extras, cover and roast for at least one hour.  Stir at least once partway through. 
As long as you check it is not drying out, the longer you cook this for the better. I usually cook in advance, freeze and pop it in the oven once defrosted for about 30 minutes.

With your choice frozen or fresh veg which of course is free, plus Syn Free Cauliflower Cheese

Stuffing balls are 1.5 syns each for 25g,  sausage meat works out about the same, depending on which you use.

There are many recipes around for syn free gravy,  but I'm not that strict, gravy granules work out to be 1 syn per tsp which is what we usually have if I am making dinner. For the best gravy though I hand over to Aaron who makes the best, although not syn free - worth it though for the amount that I have!

*I reserve the right to abandon all good intentions and deal with it in January like I usually do - but I figure it's good to at least start with a plan! 


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