I’ve been using both the original Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming, Home-style Recipes Book by Catherine Allinson, Kate Allinson, and Kay Featherstone 2-3 times a week since Christmas and recently purchased their newer release, Pinch of Nom: Everyday Light: 100 easy, slimming recipes: all under 400 calories, at the beginning of March. Since January I’ve lost nearly 2 stone and although I’ve drastically improved my fitness and stopped snacking, using these books regularly has undoubtedly contributed too. Pinch of Nom is actually a healthy-eating blog targeted towards people who want light, fuss-free recipes that support their weight-loss journey. Their website has a lot of recipes available for free, so if you’re not sure whether these books are right for you, why not pop on to PinchofNom.com and put a few recipes to the test? That’s what I did. Some of their most popular recipes are Chicken Satay Skewers, Nando’s Spicy Rice and Dirty Fries. It’s worth noting that Pinch of Nom isn’t affiliated with Slimming Word but the authors were originally inspired by the brand, however, due to legal reasons, you can no longer find trademarked terms such as ‘syn values’ on their website, however, there are still WW points to refer too.
The recipes in the books are divided similarly to the blog. You’ll find that recipes fall into the following categories: Quick Meals, Bakes & Roasts, Batch Cooks, Sweet Treats and, my personal favourite and most popular, Fakeaways. Here you’ll find healthy takes on your favourite dishes from your local takeaways with a fraction of the calories. Some recipes also offer different cooking methods so there are opportunities to use your pressure cooker and slow cookers too. The original book (the turquoise one) contains ‘Weekly Indulgence’ recipes whereas the second book (the red one) is full of ‘Everyday Light’ options which all contain under 400 calories. There is also a food journal available which runs alongside both books to keep track of your weight loss and contains 26 additional recipes to try.
I’ve tried a lot of recipes over the last couple of months and here’s a breakdown of some of my favourites and some that just weren’t my cup of tea…
Cajun Dirty Rice (available online) | This was the first Pinch of Nom recipe I ever tried. I was really impressed at how easy this recipe was to make and how I could prepare a huge batch and freeze it for later. It’s a simple recipe which is easy to personalise. I swapped out the minced beef for Quorn mince, ditched the bacon and upped the veggies. 8/10
Philly Cheesesteak | Made using a gluten-free ciabatta, lean steak, opinions, mushrooms and light spreadable cheese. This was delicious but I’m totally guilty of adding extra grated cheese on top and popping it under the grill – I just couldn’t resist. 8/10
Super Simple Chicken Curry | When they mean simple, the mean simple. You could whip this up in literally minutes and although I like a creamy curry, I get that sacrifices have to be made to reduced that calorie count! 7/10
Honey Chilli Chicken | One of my favourite recipes. Chicken marinated in honey, soy sauce and chilli flakes. Really simple recipe, however, be warned, I found the portion size to be on the stingy side so I always have this in a wrap or with homemade chips. 8/10
Diet Cola Chicken | You read that right, this recipe requires a whole can of Diet Coke and it’s amazing. I was sceptical too but it helps to makes a delicious, sticky sauce – no coke taste insight. The downside: this recipe requires a lot of ingredients. You may find that your first shop will be expensive, but once you’ve bought a basic foundation of spices and herbs to use, you’ll find the majority of recipes are surprisingly affordable. Definetly cheaper and less calorific than your weekly takeaway that’s for sure. 9/10
Campfire Stew | This is a recipe I prepared in my slow cooker. Unfortunately, it’s just not to my personal taste. I found that the shredded gammon had a strange artificial taste that reminded me of Spam. Ross, however, loved it and, I must admit, it was really convenient to come home after work and already have dinner prepared. 3/10
Chicken & Leeks in Blue Cheese Sauce | Hands down my favourite meal. It might not be much to look at (I personally love beige food), however, I absolutely love it. It’s creamy and tastes indulgent. I’m definitely guilty of piling on the blue cheese to give it an extra-strong punch, which I know is not to everyone’s taste but I absolutely adore it. I also serve it with Pinch of Nom’s Lazy Mash. 10/10
Pizza Stuffed Chicken | Chicken stuffed with mushrooms, bacon and red onion topped with tomatoes and cheese. 7/10
Breakfast Muffins | Pinch of Nom have a whole range of yummy breakfast ideas including Overnight Oats, Cinnamon Swirls and Sweet Potato & Carrot Rostis. These ‘muffins’ are super versatile and there are multiple options in the book including mushroom and garlic; spinach, red pepper & paprika and broccoli, red onion and black pepper. These were great but you have to coat the pan heavily in oil for you to be able to remove them from the pan. I’ve made these 3 times and they’ve only ever worked once. These can be frozen once you’ve perfected the technique. 5/10
Crying Tiger Beef | Steak served with a light and tangy dressing with chillies, tomatoes, lime juice and garlic. I used to have a thick peppercorn sauce with my streak but now I’ve swapped to this option. Absolutely delicious. 9/10
Lemon & Pepper Chicken Tagliatelle | Unfortunately, as good as this looks and sounds, I was disappointed by this dish. It was tasteless. If I ever make it again, I think I’ll pop some low-fat cream cheese into the sauce. 4/10
Thai-Spiced Fish with Noodles | I’m not a fan of fish but even I like this. I especially love how little time it takes to prepare and cook. 8/10
Spinach, Feta And Potato Bake | I could quite happily sit and demolish an entire casserole dish of this potato bake. It’s so good and I always end up having more than the recommended serving. 9/10
Yorkshire Pudding Wrap | So you’re supposed to make one giant wrap and divide it among two and serve with a green salad, but I make us one each. I also add beef or onion gravy to make it less dry. You also need to add loads of low-fat cooking spray to ensure your wraps don’t stick to the cake pan.
That’s all I’ve made so far. Do you also have these books? What’s your favourite dish?16