Roscommon gets a brand new Friday morning group

A local weight-loss expert says eating healthily needn’t be scary this Halloween – and slimmers can even save money this fright night! Tracy Conlon, who runs local Slimming World group/s in Roscommon, says anyone watching their weight can whip up a delicious, guilt-free meal with the leftovers from their Halloween lanterns.

  She says: “At Halloween lots of us love to hollow out pumpkins to make scary faces, whether it’s for parties, decoration or as a fun family activity. Very often we throw the flesh in the compost or the bin without a second thought, but anyone doing that is wasting a healthy and filling food that could be the basis of a spookily great family meal.

  “From pumpkin curry to pumpkin soup, there are loads of tasty meals you can create with chunks of pumpkin. My favourite is a delicious and filling pumpkin, bacon and sage tagliatelle, though, and my whole family loves it too.”

  Tracy’s recipe, below, is based on Slimming World’s Food Optimising healthy eating plan, which allows slimmers to satisfy their appetite on a wide range of healthy, filling foods like fruit and veg, lean meat, fish, pasta, rice, eggs and more. It means they can lose weight without going hungry. 

  She says Slimming World members can enjoy traditional Halloween goodies, too: “When people join our groups they soon realise that we’re not about dieting and deprivation. Instead our members make life-long changes to the way that they shop, cook and eat and learn how to make healthy choices so they can still enjoy treats, like chocolate, sweets, wine and more, in moderation as well.”

  To find out more about Food Optimising or join the Roscommon Slimming World group, which is held every Thursday at 9.30 am, 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm and now every Friday at 9.30 am in Hannon’s Hotel, call Tracy on 087-6567059 or simply pop along.

  Other fabulous local groups are on Tuesdays at 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm at the Community and Sports Centre, Strokestown, Roscommon (call Melissa on 089-2212441) and every Thursday at 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm in St. Joseph’s School, Boyle. Call Mary on 087-2376348.

  For more delicious recipes visit 

Our Halloween Recipe

Pumpkin, bacon and sage tagliatelle

Serves 4

Ready in about 25 minutes

1.5kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into small pieces

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Low calorie cooking spray

450g dried tagliatelle

300g back bacon rashers, all visible fat removed, cut into small pieces

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, reserving some to garnish

Mixed lettuce leaves dressed with the juice of 1 lemon, to serve

*Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Put the pumpkin pieces on a baking tray. Season, spray with low calorie cooking spray and roast for 10-12 minutes, or until soft and browned at the edges.

*Meanwhile, cook the tagliatelle according to packet instructions, then drain well.

*Place a large frying pan sprayed with low-calorie cooking spray over a high heat. Add the bacon and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly browned.

*Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the pumpkin, chilli and most of the sage, and stir-fry for a further 3-4 minutes.

*Add the tagliatelle to the pumpkin mixture, season and toss well. Divide between 4 bowls, garnish with the reserved sage and add a twist of black pepper. Serve with the mixed salad.