Family-friendly dairy and soya free 5:2 meal plan

So excited to have our son and his family coming to stay! With our little grand-daughter having allergies to dairy and soya, I need to think ahead to make sure I have some tasty ideas for all of us to enjoy together. We are planning to continue with two fast days too. 

Thanks so much to everyone on the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Recipes from Around the World group who have contributed ideas!

It’s a fabulous time for fruit here, plus of course the summer vegetables which are beginning to be abundant.

Sunday:  family lunch for 8
Melon with charcuterie (air-dried ham, saucisson, coarse paté) and sun-dried tomatoes
Duck Confit pie, topped with sliced potato
Tomato and Cucumber salad, Carrot and Cumin salad
Strawberry Lavender Sorbet with fresh Peaches

dinner for 6
Baba Ganoush / Hummus / Crudites / Seedy Flatbread
Baked whole Salmon, with potatoes, green beans and garlicky courgettes. This will give us leftovers to make into fish cakes.
Creme Catalan au Lavande, made with almond or oat milk

Monday – fast day 
apple and peanut butter slices, Scrambled egg on toast for those that are having lunch

Chunky Vegetable Soup
Fish Cakes with Carrot and Courgette ribbons
Melon and Ginger Sorbet

Tuesday – picnic up at the lake where there is a beach
Sausage Rolls, Cole Slaw, Sweet Potato crisps, Ants on a Log
Rasberries and hopefully fresh Apricots from the garden
Forking Foodie: Chocolate Pecan Fudge and Cocoa Dusted Truffles

Onion Bhaji
Chicken Curry, Lentil Dhal, Chapatti (by special request)
Raspberry Marshmallow Mousse

Wednesday
lunch – out in Cahors (market day, carousel, little train, toy shop….)

Pulled Pork with an assortment of veggies
Apricot Frangipane Tart

Thursday – fast day
for those eating lunch: Pulled Pork wraps 
Frozen Banania lollies

Dips and breadsticks
BBQ Chicken Skewers/Sausages/ Sweetcorn/Courgettes with Boston Baked Beans 
Apple and Blackcurrant Compote with Nutty Crumble Topping

Friday
Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad with Garlic Breadsticks
Nectarines, Raspberries and Melon

Pasta with Meatballs and Tomato Sauce
Chocolate Mousse with raspberry wafers

Saturday 
Citrus Roast Chicken with Peppers and Sweet Potato
Garden Fruit Salad

Making the most of a shoulder of lamb

I am getting a bit concerned about the price of meat here in France, and it certainly makes me consider more veggie based meals. If I do splash out and buy a nice joint, I want to make sure that we get the best out of it. As a birthday treat for Graham, we decided on a shoulder of lamb.

I made a wonderful marinaded and slow roasted Lamb Kleftiko, with a recipe from Andrea Lee’s excellent blog Forking Foodie. It was really delicious, soft and falling off the bone. We enjoyed it with a greek style salad with feta cheese and some lemon and olive oil roasted potatoes.  

On our next non-fast day, I stuffed some homemade wholewheat pita with leftover salad and chunks of lamb, drizzled it with a harissa sauce and topped it with some home made tsatsiki.

Finally, I minced what was left and mixed it with cooked onion and garlic, toasted pine nuts, a handful of raisins and a good teaspoonful of ground cinnamon. I then wrapped this into filo pastry rolls, brushed them with olive oil and baked them in a hot oven until golden. Really delicious! We had 2 (or 3) each as a main dish and there were still a couple left which we had as a starter the following day.

So we got 3 good meals and a starter from our shoulder of lamb, and while it was most definitely a treat for our non-fast days, it wasn’t as expensive as it at first seemed. 

Sorry – no photos!

Anniversary 5:2 Meal Plan

Anniversary? Yes, I’ve been maintaining my weight on 5:2 for a year today!

Scotch Eggs with Light Coleslaw Griddled Courgette Salad _MG_2492

 

 

 

 

 

I was so thrilled to achieve my healthy weight target (55kgs for me, which is somewhere in the middle of the normal BMI range for my height and age) let June, but I am even more delighted to have been able to stay there. I gave myself a 2 kg range to stay within (53 – 55) and in the last year I have not gone below the bottom, and only temporarily very slightly over (like when I have been away on holiday and not fasted for a week).

So I thought it would be of interest to show you a typical menu plan for a week, bearing in mind that I have a TDEE of about 1300 without exercise, so I don’t have a lot of calories to play with, but I certainly eat well and pretty much what I want.

_MG_3346

 

 

 

 

 

Ok here’s my meal plan for the next week. It’s BBQ weather! I still have lots of strawberries, the cherries are ripening, artichokes are ready and the shops are starting to be full of summer fruits. Recipes for dishes in bold text are included in  5:2 Healthy Eating for Life, those in italics are in Focus on Flavour. Some recipes are new and once I have cooked them again and calorie counted them, I will share them with you.

  1. Friday
    • Ham, Egg and Chips
    • fresh fruit
    • Spanakopitta - spinach and feta filo triangles (recipe here)
    • Lemony Lamb Kebabs with Wholewheat Pita  (recipe here) and Greek Salad with Feta and Olives 
    • Homemade Strawberry ice cream drizzled with strawberry coulis and sprinkled with strawberry dust from my latest thing, dehydrated strawberries
  2. Saturday
    • Thin Crust Wholewheat Ham and Chorizo Pizza with Green Salad with Seeds
    • fresh fruit
    • Spring Rolls (if I am able to buy fresh beanshoots, I will make them myself)
    • Chicken Satay with Satay Sauce, cucumber, spring onion and carrot ribbons and Beanshoot Salad. Maybe a little rice to go with it
    • Cheesecake in Chocolate Cups with Strawberries
  3. Sunday
    • Globe Artichoke hearts with lemon juice and melted butter
    • Leftover pizza and salad
    • fresh fruit
    •  Out for dinner
  4. Monday – Fast Day
    • Harira style Soup (vegetables in a spicy tomato based broth) 125
    • Harissa-rubbed Chicken breast with vegetable accompaniments  250
    • Poached Spiced Cherries with Fromage Frais – 100
  5. Tuesday
    • Peppered Mackerel with Avocado, Cherry and Walnut Salad and Minted Beetroot Salad
    • fresh fruit
    • BBQ Sweetcorn
    • Moroccan style Chicken Kebabs with Kachumber Salad drizzled with argan oil, Wholewheat Maneesh (seedy flatbread) and yogurt with ginger
    • Poached Spiced Cherries with filo sesame wafers
  6. Wednesday 
    • A picnic of Oven Baked Scotch Eggs,  Black Pepper Chicken Sticks with Spicy Tomato Dipping Sauce and Light Coleslaw with Cherries
    • Strawberry Marshmallow Mousse
    • Chargrilled Courgette Salad (recipe here)
    • BBQ Toulouse Sausage with spicy Puy Lentil Salad
    • Cherry and Choc Chip Gelato
  7. Thursday – Fast Day
    • Italian Vegetable Soup – 124
    • Haddock in Saffron Sauce – 205 with cauliflower rice (recipe here)
    • Mocha Dessert - 87 with a few blueberries (recipe here)

Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I usually start my day with two cups of tea (with soya milk as I don’t like dairy milk).
  • Breakfast on non-fast days is a plain yogurt with a few berries and one slice of wholewheat toast with almond butter and marmite; or two slices of toast. Black coffee. I don’t eat breakfast on fast days.
  • Mid morning on non-fast days I have a small capuccino made with soya milk. On fast days I have espresso.
  • Mid afternoon I have a herbal or ordinary tea.
  • While preparing dinner I have a glass of water kefir.
  • On non-fast days I do usually have wine.  As we often don’t eat dinner until 8pm or so, if I have a glass of wine before dinner, I will also have some nuts. At the weekend I enjoy having one or two pieces of dark chocolate after dinner, but I rarely think of chocolate these days!
  • I drink plenty of water and occasionally a glass of unsweetened lemon squash

I hope you have a great week! I’m looking forward to it…. :-)

A Fast Day Menu for June

Lots of people ask what they should eat on Fast Days.

There are no restrictions as such, but it is helpful to stick to low-GI foods and avoid refined carbohydrates. Protein is great for making you feel full and keeping you satisfied and veggies provide lots of bulk without a lot of calories. So most of our fast days are based on that. I prefer to save all my calories for an evening meal – skipping breakfast seems to make no difference to how hungry I feel during the day, and I get the added benefits of an overall fasting time of about 24 hours without eating – more cell repair time and more fat-burning time!

I get into a bit of a rut sometimes, eating more or less the same things which are quick to prepare and I know work – but I have lots of ideas in my recipe book and a lot of strawberries to use, so here’s what I’m planning for tomorrow.

  • Spring Minestrone – 150 kcals 
  • Masala Baked Haddock – 162 kcals
  • Kachumber Salad – 45 kcals
  • Strawberries with a spoonful of creme fraiche – 60 kcals

Spring Minestrone SoupMasala Baked HaddockKachumber Salad

 

 

There’s enough calories left for a cup of tea to start the day and a cup of hot bouillon somewhere around lunchtime.  I may add a drizzle of argan oil to the salad, since I brought some back from Morocco, it is a great addition to this. Recipes below, which can also be found in my book 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life.

Spring Minestrone

For me, broad beans and asparagus are star ingredients when they are in season.  Just a spoonful of crème fraîche and some basil oil gives this soup some extra va va voom and transforms a simple vegetable soup into something luxurious.

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 120 kcals
  • 1 leek, chopped quite small 56 kcals
  • 1 litre vegetable stock, made with 2 tsp vegetable bouillon 24 kcals
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 4 kcals
  • 250g green asparagus, trimmed, cut in 1cm slices 52 kcals
  • 250g shelled broad beans 212 kcals
  • 1 tbsp half fat crème fraîche 24 kcals
  • 1 tsp basil oil (or pesto) 16 kcals

To garnish

  • 25g freshly grated Parmesan 80 kcals

Heat olive oil and cook leek gently until soft.

Add stock and garlic and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add remaining vegetables and simmer for a further 5 – 7 minutes.

Stir in crème fraîche and pesto.

Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.

Per serving: kcals 150
Carbs 14g Fat 7g Protein 10g

Masala Baked Haddock

I came across this idea when watching Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey. The first time I tried it I found it far too mustardy and bitter, but the idea of coating a piece of white fish with a masala paste and topping it with onions, then wrapping it in foil or baking paper to cook in the oven won me over. So I have now adapted it and am much happier with the result.

You can make the masala paste in a blender or you can pound it in a pestle and mortar.

This will be good with any firm white fish.

Serves 2

  • 250g haddock or cod fillets 200 kcals
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • Some red or green chilli, sliced (optional)

For the Masala

  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds 16 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 4 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder 2 kcals
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil 80 kcals
  • 1/2 onion, sliced 22 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 4 kcals
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed 4 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180c (fan)

Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry all the masala ingredients until the onions soften and start to colour, adding a splash of water if needed to stop it sticking.

Blend into a paste, using a food processor or pestle and mortar.

Put the fish in the centre of a piece of foil or baking paper and smother with the paste.

Top with some slices of red onion and maybe a few slices of red or green chilli.

Wrap the parcels and fold over the edges securely.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets, until just cooked through.

Per serving: kcals 162
Carbs 4g Fat 5g Protein 24g

Kachumber Salad

This is the perfect salad to go with spicy Indian style food and introduces the idea of adding spice seeds to enhance everyday ingredients. This goes perfectly with the Masala Baked Haddock (page 94).

Serves 2

  • 100g baby plum tomatoes, halved or quartered 22 kcals
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced 22 kcals
  • 1/2 small cucumber, peeled and sliced 22 kcals
  • 1/2 lime, juice only 5 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed 4 kcals
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • sea salt

Toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan, shaking frequently, until they become fragrant but before they burn.

While the seeds cool, arrange the vegetables on a serving dish.

Crumble a little sea salt over the top and scatter the seeds and coriander leaf over.

Per serving: kcals 45
Carbs 11g Fat 0g Protein 1g

Lemony Yogurt Cheesecake – with Strawberries

Lemon Yogurt Cheesecake with Strawberries

It’s been a bit of a strawberry fest over the last couple of weeks, it has been a really prolific harvest this year and we haven’t been able to keep up with eating them fresh.

So far I have made Strawberry and Lavender sorbet (very good), Strawberry Fromage Blanc Ice Cream (lovely), Strawberry and Rhubarb with Meringue Topping (delish), gently cooked alongside Spiced Pineapple and we’ve eaten them plain with and without cream, as Eton Mess – mixed with meringues and vanilla ice cream – and as a savoury dish, combined with avocado in a salad (very complementary).

Still there are more!

So I decided to try drying some in the oven. I made a coulis. I cooked some gently as a compote. Then I made my low calorie, greek yogurt based, New York style cheesecake with lemon and topped it with fresh strawberries.

This makes a great treat for the weekend, but doesn’t leave you feeling over-stuffed. Of course with just the two of us we didn’t want to waste it, so we had a tiny sliver each for dessert on our fast day too….

Lemon Yogurt Cheesecake with Strawberries

Lemony Yogurt Cheesecake with an Oatcake Base

Using oats instead of digestive biscuits (Graham crackers) for the crust and delicious Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese for the filling, makes this a much lighter but still delicious alternative to a classic New York Cheesecake. 

Serves 8

  • 7 oatcakes, crumbled 408 kcals
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted 359 kcals
  • 70g raw cane sugar 280 kcals
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 6 kcals
  • 600g low fat Greek yogurt 450 kcals
  • 2 large eggs 143 kcals
  • 2 large egg yolks 108 kcals
  • 1 tbsp cornflour 26 kcals
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon 17 kcals

Preheat oven to 140°C (fan).

Mix oatcake crumbs and melted butter, then turn out into a 20cm (8-inch) loose-bottomed cake tin pan and press mixture into an even crust across the bottom, with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until firm and dry, then remove from oven and put on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks on low speed, then add sugar, cornflour, salt, vanilla, and yogurt and continue to beat on low speed until light and slightly bubbly.

Add lemon juice and lemon zest and beat briefly to incorporate.

Pour mixture into prepared crust and place in the centre of the oven.

Start checking cheesecake after 50 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that, by shaking the pan gently – the filling should look creamy but firm at the edges, and still appear slightly jiggly in the centre (it will firm up as it cools).

Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) before serving.

Per serving: kcals 225
Carbs 20g Fat 11g Protein 11g

I didn’t calculate the calories for the strawberry topping, I would  guess no more than 20 calories per serving, including the ‘nappage’ (can’t think what that’s called in English!).

Strawberry Coulis

Perfect to top a simple dessert of fromage blanc or Greek yogurt, to drizzle over ice cream or to top a cheesecake.

Serves 2

  • 100g strawberry pieces 34 kcals
  • 2 tsp golden granulated sugar 33 kcals
  • a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar 1 kcal

Wash the strawberries and put in a small plan with the sugar and vinegar.

Cook gently for about 5 minutes until soft enough to pass through a sieve.

Per serving: kcals 34
Carbs 8g Fat 0g Protein 0g

 These recipes are taken from my book “5:2 Healthy Eating for Life” which is available on Amazon in print and kindle formats.

Delightful Seasonal Dessert – Strawberry and Rhubarb with Meringue Topping

Strawberry and Rhubarb with Meringue Topping

Strawberry and Rhubarb with Meringue Topping

I was so thrilled to discover that you can make something that has the same lusciousness as a lemon meringue pie, but without the pastry. Rhubarb is a wonderful partner with strawberries and has a delightful tartness that contrasts really well with the slightly sweet berries. If you find that rhubarb is available before the strawberries are in season, then you can use a tablespoonful of strawberry jam instead of fresh fruit (12 calories per serving extra), but I highly recommend using fresh fruit if possible.

Serves 4

  • 500g rhubarb, chopped into 3cm lengths 105 kcals
  • 2 tbsp Acacia honey 128 kcals
  • half an orange 43 kcals
  • 2 eggs, separated 126 kcals
  • 50g caster sugar 194 kcals
  • 100g strawberries, hulled and sliced 34 kcals

Heat the oven to 160ºc (fan).

Use a peeler or sharp knife to take the outer skin from half an orange without any of the pith, then slice into fine strips.

Juice the orange. Put the rhubarb in a shallow ovenproof dish with the honey, orange rind and juice. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft, but still holds its shape.

Meanwhile put the strawberries in a small pan and cook gently until the strawberries have softened, about 5 minutes.

Mix the rhubarb and strawberries with the egg yolks and divide between 4 ramekins. Put the ramekins onto a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then add 25g of sugar and whisk again. Fold in the remaining sugar.

Pile the meringue on top of the ramekins and ensure that the rhubarb is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown, then serve immediately.

Per serving: kcals 157
Carbs 32g Fat 3g Protein 4g

Strawberry and Rhubarb with Meringue Topping

 

Baked Chicken and Vegetables <500 calories

I love the idea of cooking everything at the same time in a single oven tray. So simple!

The chicken is ‘washed’ with lime juice and then sprinkled with jerk spice. The mushrooms have a little olive oil in the centre and about half a clove of crushed garlic in each one. The sprouts are drizzled with a little olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes at 180c (fan). Roasting sprouts like this is really a great way of cooking them. I have just a few left growing in the garden, so I’m looking forward to finishing them!

This was a non-fast day for us and I served it with baked sweet potato and a knob of butter (put a skewer through the middle to help them cook more quickly. I gave them about 45 minutes).

Baked Chicken and Vegetables

Baked Chicken and Vegetables 469 kcals

 

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken leg,  eaten without the skin: 250 kcal
  • 1 tsp jerk seasoning 0 kcals
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 120 kcals
  • 2 medium mushrooms 8 kcals
  • 1 clove garlic 4 kcals
  • 5 cherry tomatoes 14 kcals
  • 1/2 cup brussels sprouts 19 kcals

Per serving: 469 kcals
 Carbs 8g Fat 26g Protein 49g

  • 1 sweet potato 100 kcals
  • 15g butter 108 kcals

Per serving: 208 kcals
Carbs 24g Fat 12g Protein 2g

Roast Pumpkin and Glazed Walnut Salad <200 kcals

Roast Pumpkin and Glazed Walnut Salad

Roast Pumpkin and Glazed Walnut Salad

Glorious colour to brighten up a dull day. This would be very good with some bacon lardons running through it, or topped with chopped feta or blue cheese or slices of taleggio. You could also dress it with toasted pumpkin seeds.  As an alternative to pumpkin, use butternut squash

Serves 2

  • 300g pumpkin, peeled and cubed 102 kcals
  • 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil 62 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar 3 kcals
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 25g walnut pieces 155 kcals
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 52 kcals
  • 2 tbsp walnut or cider vinegar 6 kcals
  • 75g rocket leaves 19 kcals

Preheat the oven to 180c (fan).

Put the cubes of pumpkin on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 25 – 30 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and starting to brown.

Heat the maple syrup and vinegar in a small pan until they are well combined then toss the walnut pieces in to coat thoroughly.

Dress the rocket with the pumpkin and walnuts, drizzling over any remaining dressing.

Serve warm.

Per serving: kcals 199
Carbs 22g Fat 12g Protein 6g

Blood Orange with Pistachios and Dates <200 kcals

When shopping this week, I found some lovely blood oranges. The perfect finish for a Moroccan inspired dinner or to follow something spicy. 

Blood Orange with PistachiosBlood Orange with Pistachios

I love the vibrant colour of these blood oranges, but of course ordinary ones would be lovely prepared like this too.

Per person

  • 1 large orange 86 kcals
  • 3 dates, pitted and roughly chopped 70 kcals
  • 6 unsalted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped and toasted 33 kcals
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon

Cut the rind and pith off the orange and then slice thinly.

Arrange on a plate and distribute the dates over the top.

Chill until ready to serve.

To serve, sprinkle with cinnamon and scatter the pistachios over the top.

Per serving: kcals 193
Carbs 43g Fat 3g Protein 4g

This recipe can be found in my book 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life.

Crustless Asparagus and Salmon Quiche <300 kcals

sparagus and Salmon Quiche

It is really quite surprising how successful a crustless quiche is – you really don’t need the pastry. This is also a useful way to use any leftover cooked fish, or you could use smoked salmon, which gives it a wonderful flavour.

Serves 3

  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil 20 kcals
  • 3 large eggs 225 kcals
  • 10 green or white asparagus spears 40 kcals
  • 175 ml soya or dairy milk 130 kcals
  • 50g Cantal or other well-flavoured hard cheese, grated 193 kcals
  • 150g salmon fillet 237 kcals
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan).

Snap the asparagus as near to the base as possible and discard the ends.

If using white asparagus, peel off the outer skin with a peeler or sharp knife.

Steam the asparagus spears for 5 – 6 minutes, until just tender.

Drain and leave until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, wrap the fish in baking parchment and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or grill until just cooked. Separate into large flakes. If using smoked salmon, cut into strips.

Brush or spray a little oil on the inside of a quiche dish.

Distribute the salmon over the base of the dish.

Trim the asparagus to fit the radius of the dish and lay evenly around with the points towards the centre.

Use any trimmings to fill the gaps.

Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top.

Break the eggs into a jug, beat well, stir in the milk and season well (you will not really need any salt if using smoked salmon).

Pour over the salmon and asparagus, then garnish with the chopped parsley.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until lightly golden brown and set in the middle.

Serve hot, warm or cold.

Per serving: kcals 282 Carbs 4g Fat 12g Protein 20g

This is really excellent if served with a good drizzle of Gremolata (page 96).

I’ve served it here with some mashed cauliflower and steamed green beans.

Crustless Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Quiche

 

For the Gremolata 

serves 4

  • 6 marinaded anchovy fillets, chopped 24 kcals
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped 8 kcals
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 120 kcals
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • A bunch of parsley leaves, chopped 4 kcals

make the Gremolata by whizzing all the ingredients in a food processor to make a sauce

Per serving: kcals 40 

These recipes are taken from 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life