Your Go-To Place For Perfect Portables!


What a summer we’ve had (or haven’t in some cases) – sky-high temperatures in some regions and torrential rain and chilly weather in others! The dilemma therefore for me with this newsletter was to come up with a topic that would straddle these variations and prove helpful with your bariatric eating regime regardless of where you reside in the world and what climate you might be enjoying or simply tolerating.

I know many will still be enjoying their summer break or even planning one; others will have already seen family or themselves back to school and work; and yet more will be getting to grips with all the changes that bariatric surgery brings to everyday eating and socialising, especially those ‘newbies’.  

What seems to apply to all is the need to be flexible with food especially when you’re required to take it into work; eat on the run through choice or need; socialise away from the reliability of your own kitchen; and tread that fine line when entertaining with or catering for others. In other words, I have been looking for some ways of solving all these culinary dilemmas with portable solutions that are nutritious, but also pleasurable.
Frequent visitors to my website and long-time newsletter recipients know that I don’t focus on what we can’t have so much as home-in on those tasty things we can, so food has to have soul and taste good!

So whether you’re packing up a meal for the back-to-workplace; checking out options for breakfast or lunch on the run or move; planning a meal that can be eaten out of doors (but is portable enough to be hastily moved back indoors should the weather turn); or looking for a versatile dish that can be served hot, warm or cold according to the diktats of the seasons or skies, I hope we have an idea or two here.
So when life’s a picnic … or maybe not …you’ll have something to hand.


It hasn’t been quiet at  we’ve had a very busy summer – we’ve been testing and developing lots of new products and whittled them down to those we think will help you – watch out for news of them in the coming weeks!

We’ve also secured ourselves a supporter in the name of Ramsay Health Care UK (see details towards the end of this newsletter) which we’re really excited about since it means we can do so much more for WLS patients.

We’ve also started working on a new research type project for the HOOP charity which endeavours to try and get more focussed help and understanding on the issues of obesity. I’ll be asking for your help to make sure this is relevant as time goes on.
But since bariatric-friendly food is what we’re mainly all about let’s get started with this issues recipes the ones that kept us firmly-rooted in our test kitchen this summer …


This has to be my new favourite go-to bariatric recipe! Don’t get me wrong, I love my crust-less quiche recipes, but somehow I have always missed the ‘crust’ (and you tell me you do too). So, after a brain-storming session to discuss this, one of my able tasters and testers remarked couldn’t it be done with a tortilla just like we have done with our bariatric pizza (which is tolerated by almost everyone we know)? Well yes, yes and yes again because it worked and here it is!
Now we didn’t just stop at a tortilla we decided to show-boat this one with a tortilla boat-shaped shell. Some wag also put a lettuce sail in some for our ‘launch’ tasting! We love the recipe not least because it’s perfectly portioned for our appetites but because it fits very nicely onto our bariatric portion plate and also inside our bariatric bento box, so what’s not to like?
I think you’ll agree this is a recipe that will take you through lunch, brunch or main meal at home or when you’re on the move or at work – and is delicious both hot and cold. We’ve used a traditional quiche filling for this recipe but the variations will be endless – there will be more seasonal recipes to come on this theme for sure … 



4 X 32g/1¼ oz stand n’ stuff soft flour tortillas (I used Old El Paso)
low-fat cooking spray or mist
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
50 g/½ cup sliced mushrooms
50 g/¼ cup chopped cooked ham
1 x 300 g/11 oz carton or 1½ cups fat-free cottage cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
40 g/1/3 cup grated low-fat mature cheese
1 tomato, sliced

1.  Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/gas mark 4. Place the tortilla shells on a baking sheet.
2.  Spritz a small pan with low-fat spray or mist. Heat, add the onion and mushrooms and lightly cook until tender and all the liquid has evaporated. Divide between the shells with the ham.
3.  Mix the cottage cheese with the eggs and salt and pepper to taste and spoon evenly over the ham mixture. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and top each with a tomato slice.
4.  Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes until firm or until a knife inserted into the mixture indicates a good set – don’t be tempted to overcook or you will get a rubbery rather than creamy result.
5.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving warm, or allow to cool to chill and serve cold.
PROTEIN: 20.7g
FAT: 6.9g


I’m a huge enthusiast of the Kilner jar ‘grab n’ go’ type salad. Made up the night before required it’s a quick, delicious and easy way to get lunch on the move. This is a tasty Asian inspired vegetarian version that packs real crunch as well as protein punch. The key to jar salads is in the order they are put in the jar. Put the dressing in the bottom and then layer firmer vegetables at the base, the protein in the middle and the leafy greens at the top where they won’t get wet, limp and soggy.



1 tbsp reduced-fat, no-added-sugar peanut butter
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
100 g/4 oz fresh egg or udon noodles
1 stick/stalk celery, sliced
4 radishes, sliced into wedges
100 g/4 oz frozen soya beans
3 leaves Chinese leaf lettuce, finely shredded
1 spring onion/scallion, sliced

1.  To make the dressing, mix the peanut butter with the soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli flakes and vinegar adding just a splash of water until smooth. Pour into the bottom of 1 large or 2 small Kilner-type jars. Defrost the soya beans in boiling water then drain well.
2.  Layer the noodles on top of the dressing, then top with the celery and radishes. Cover with the soya beans, Chinese leaf lettuce and spring onion/scallion. Seal and chill until required.
3.  To serve, tip everything into a bowl or onto a plate, stir or toss well before eating.
SERVES: 1 or 2 small portions
WLS PORTION: ½ or 1 small
V suitable for Vegetarians
PROTEIN: 11.1g
FAT: 12.1g


I know there are many early post-op and long-term bariatrics that shun carbs – some can’t tolerate them; some want to watch their intake; and others avoid because just a little means it opens the door to excess. I get all of these reasons and therefore my next recipe is an Italian-inspired dish that gives you all the taste of a cheesy pizza but none of the carby dough! This is a real deep-pan type feast using turkey or chicken as the base. It’s wonderful both hot and cold (am I the only one to miss and welcome back cold



low-fat cooking spray or mist
1 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 green or red pepper/capsicum, chopped
4 mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 chicken fillets, about 100 g/4 oz each
40 g/1½ oz reduced-fat mature cheese, sliced
a few fresh basil leaves

1.  Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F/gas mark 7.
2.  Spritz a pan with low-fat spray or mist, heat then add the onion, garlic, pepper/capsicum and mushrooms (if used). Cook for 5-8 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, mixed herbs and seasoning to taste.
3.  Meanwhile, cut each chicken fillet in half horizontally, being careful not to cut it the whole way through to make a butterfly shape. This flattened chicken base cooks beautifully tender compared to a whole unsliced fillet and is easy to cut in half later for a bariatric sized portion.
4.  Spritz a non-stick sauté pan with low-fat spray or mist, heat, add the chicken and cook on both sides to colour over a high heat. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until just tender.
5.  Top the chicken fillets with the prepared tomato mixture, top with the cheese and sprinkle with a few basil leaves. Return to the oven for 5 minutes so that the cheese just melts. Serve hot with vegetables or a salad or cold with salad as liked.
PROTEIN: 38.4g
FAT: 5.9g


It will come as no surprise that I enjoy summer dishes where most of the work has been done for you. This is one – you just simply combine some subtly flavoured tuna flakes with cooked linguine (or other pasta if you prefer) and lightly cooked baby tomatoes and basil. What might come as a surprise is that this dish can be spooned into a wide-necked flask and will keep well and warm for several hours for eating alfresco away from home. I used 2 cans of infused tuna for speed and convenience but you can use ordinary tuna mixed with grated lemon zest and chopped fresh thyme if unavailable. Just don’t forget to pack some cutlery, it’s not finger food! 



150 g/5 oz linguine (or other pasta if preferred)
low-fat cooking spray or mist
1 clove garlic, crushed
200 g/7 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
2 x 80 g/3 oz cans infused tuna (I used John West Lemon & Thyme Tuna Infusions)
6 basil leaves, roughly torn
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water according to the packet instructions, about 10 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, spritz a pan with low-fat cooking spray or mist. Heat, add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened but still holding their shape.
3.  Drain the pasta and return to the pan, off the heat. Add the tomato mixture, tuna, basil, salt and pepper to taste and the Parmesan. Toss lightly together to serve.
PROTEIN: 30.7g
FAT: 13.2g
Note: if you can’t tolerate pasta but can manage rice then use instead for a delicious (and gluten-free) variation on this dish.


I often say that if you have an egg to hand then you have the makings of a meal and it’s true, but you also need the means to cook it. Not so with a tub of yogurt! This little pot of goodness can be a life-saver at any time of day especially if you bolster it with protein boosting extras like fruit, nuts and perhaps a scoop of protein powder. I prefer to use fat-free or 2% fat thick Greek yogurt (boosted with a scoop of flavoured protein powder if I’m constantly under-scoring on the protein front or need to up the figures that day), with fresh berries and just a drizzle of sugar-free syrup.
You’ll no doubt find your favourite yogurt – just watch out for the ones with added sugar; most palatable protein powder (it really is a matter of personal taste); combination of fruit, nuts and seeds that you enjoy; and sweetening drizzle that rocks your boat.
I’ve learnt to mix up little pots of mixed seeds and nuts with a few dried fruits (sparingly since they have concentrated sugars) so that I can grab a yogurt pot and my stash from my store to take from home for a great nutritious breakfast or snack. I even have an emergency ration in the car since I can usually find a yogurt at a filling station or one-stop-shop should I be delayed – it’s worth the forethought.


I can’t tell you how many times I have made this cake or a variation of it. It first appeared in my Return 2 Slender … Second Helpings Book as a pear and ginger cake. Since then I have made it with apples and cinnamon; blackberries and apples; apricots and almonds … and now as a blueberry version with poppy seeds. Use whatever fruit you like in season but experiment with flavours and textures for spice and crunch by adding nuts, ground spices and now poppy seeds. 
The cake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, travels well and can also be served warm with custard or yogurt. It made a welcome addition to our beach picnic recently even if we told the children present that the poppy seeds were tiny squashed flies – they still wanted seconds!



100 g plain flour/1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp Splenda granulated sweetener
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp poppy seeds
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs
3 tbsp skimmed milk
75 g/3 oz low-fat spread or light butter, melted
about 350 g/1 pint blueberries
low-fat cooking spray or mist
yogurt and extra blueberries to serve (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/gas mark 6.
2.  Mix the flour with the sweetener, baking powder, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and the milk. Whisk and add the melted spread or butter.
3.  Add the blueberries to the batter and fold in gently.
4.  Spritz a 23-cm/9-inch loose-bottomed, non-stick cake tin/pan with the low-fat cooking spray or mist and add the prepared blueberry mixture. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until well-risen, just firm and golden.
5.  Allow to cool slightly before serving warm, or chill to then slice and serve with yogurt and extra berries if liked.
V suitable for Vegetarians
FAT: 6.9g


Those of you who are sharp-eyed or frequent visitors to the website will see we now have a supporter with Ramsay Health Care UK.

Ramsay Health Care is a leading provider of weight-loss surgery in the UK. Founded in the 1960’s it has become a global hospital group operating over 100 hospitals and day surgery facilities across Australia, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and France.

Ramsay offers weight-loss procedures including gastric banding, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and gastric balloon. Longer term post-op patients will also be pleased to hear they offer a number of body contouring options too.

We are in good company since Ramsay Health Care work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced bariatric surgeons in the UK, ensuring that patients receive the best treatment based on individual needs and have a first-class proven record of success.

We welcome their support since they will enable to have access to first-class clinicians, resources and the latest developments in bariatric surgery. We hope in turn to help them with valuable pre and post-surgery advice on eating after weight-loss surgery and many other issues that you tell us arise post-op. This should ensure better post-op care and more information for the bariatric patient both short and long term.

I welcome them and recommend them to you.




Slender Recipes & Perfect Portion Control For Bariatrics

Photography Credits: and copyright for Portion Perfecto Mini Tortilla Quiches  for ‘Love The Crunch’ Asian Noodle Jar Salad for Tuna and Fresh Tomato Linguine for Protein Boost Yogurt for Anytime of Day

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