Week 4 meal plan

Front_cover_only_small_80 Focus on Flavour Cod with Tomato and Chorizo Pear with Amaretti Crumble Watercress Soup _MG_3305 _MG_3219 Teriyaki Salmon _MG_3300This week I have a list of things I want to make, driven by ingredients to hand.

Starting on Monday, Fast Day: *Watercress for a Soup, then *Jerusalem Artichokes will make a lovely gratin. For dessert, some *Pineapple, spiced with cinnamon and given some extra zing with lime zest.

On Tuesday I plan to make a salad with *Pumpkin and Walnuts, using up some cheese that we have along with it. For dinner I will make the *Leek Risotto that I didn’t get round to last week. The *Parmesan Crisps will make sure we really get our cheese hit today! I may try something different with the leftover pineapple, or I still have some Raspberry Ice Cream Cake in the freezer.

On Wednesday, I will use some of our eggs for a #Spanish Tortilla for lunch. For dinner I am thinking of Tartes Fines with shallots, beetroot, walnut and goats cheese, along with some of my fresh garden greens steamed and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. 

Thursday is our 2nd fast day of the week and I am thinking of trying a Soba Noodle Soup, followed by *Salmon Teriyaki. Dessert will be whatever fruit is to hand with some fromage blanc.

On Friday I will make a glorious #French Onion Soup for lunch. For supper I am thinking of my variation of *Cod and Chips, where the fish is grilled rather than fried in batter and the chips are oven baked. I like to serve it with peas and a chunky tomato salsa. For dessert, the *Conference Pears that I have should be perfectly ripened and will be simply baked with an amaretti crumble topping.

For the weekend I want to try the Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce and am thinking that a *Beef and Carrot Casserole, with some added Barley would follow it nicely, but I may change this depending on what I see at the butcher’s counter. I would pair that with some #Pommes Boulangère and probably pop an Apple and Blackberry Crumble into the oven at the same time.

Lots of these recipes are in one or other of my books – * for 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life and # for Focus on Flavour….

No more time to write any more, I need to make the most of the sunshine to get on with the pruning!

Week 3 Meal Plan

Fig and Almond Tart

This week I am planning on using cherries and figs from the freezer, as we have lots of them. I’m hoping that defrosted figs will work well in this delicious Fig and Almond tart! If we didn’t have our own produce to use up, then I would be choosing pears, oranges and pineapple for desserts, which are all good right now. You can find several recipes for those by looking through the Recipe Index in the menu bar.

Peppered Mackerel with Horseradish DressingLeek Risotto with Parmesan Crisps Green Bean and Tuna Salad with Feta

I picked up a bargain pack of free range chicken legs, plus I already had a plan to make a batch of meatballs to prepare in 3 different ways (Scandinavian, Italian and Greek style), so this week is more meat-orientated than last. But we will have some fish with salad for lunch on a couple of days, and I am planning to do one of my favourite things ever with leeks – Leek Risotto with Parmesan Crisps. I have a lot of Green Beans in the freezer, plus there is still some kale and cabbage to gather, so I don’t need to buy much in the way of green veg.

Spanakopitta and SaladSaganaki with Black Sesame Seeds and HoneyHazelnut and Agave Syrup Baklava

Looking ahead to next weekend, I am planning a Greek inspired day. With so much talk of how good the Mediterranean diet is, I don’t need much of an excuse for making Spanakopitta, which makes a great lunch with some salad and can also make a wonderful fast day meal. 

It is hard to find the right sort of cheese to make Saganaki with in France, so we bought some Kefalotiri when we were last in England, which I keep in the freezer. You may have seen Rick Stein cooking this on his recent series “Venice to Istanbul“. He suggests using Halloumi, but that is equally hard to source here.  Sliced in half, dipped in semolina or flour and fried in olive oil, then drizzled with honey and sprinkled with black sesame seeds…. I remember having it with a fresh  tomato sauce in Piraeus, which adds a lovely splash of colour.

Scandinavian Meatballs Scandinavian MeatballsCabbage patch

We will follow it with Keftedes and Lemon-infused Greek style Roast Potatoes (I think my idea for this comes from Tessa Kiros’ book “Food from Many Greek Kitchens“). Alongside that I plan to serve some green vegetables, cooked in the style of Horta (Mountain Greens) – steamed or boiled shredded kale, cabbage and sprout tops, most likely, as that is what I can gather from the garden at the moment – the key thing is the addition of olive oil and lemon juice!

For dessert I will probably make Hazelnut and Agave Syrup Baklava, but I have a recipe for Knafeh (from Olives, Lemons, Za’atar by Rawia Bishara) – the “shredded wheat” type of pastry that I would love to try. But where do you find katafeh dough (shredded filo) in France? Can I just chop up some filo? Hmm, more research needed here. The only thing missing will be the Retsina, as it will still be Dry January…

I’m planning to add the recipes for the Fig and Almond Tart and the Meatballs over the next few days, but the latter can be found in my book 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life, along with a number of the other ideas in this weeks meal plan.

Have a tasty and healthy week – and try and move more! Wrap up well and get out in the crisp winter air, it may not last long!

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
SundayBacon, Egg, Tomato, Sausage (brunch)Fresh Fruit*Chicken and Lemon Tagine, Carrot and Cumin Salad, Gingered Yogurt, Za'atar Flat Bread
Fig Tart Almandine
MondayFAST DAY-*Carrot and Coriander Soup (100)
*Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Trout (160 / 270)
Poached Figs with Greek Yogurt (170)
TuesdayYogurt with CherriesSmoked Mackerel Salad
Fresh Fruit
leftover Chicken Tagine with Cous Cous and Steamed Vegetables
leftover Fig Tart
WednesdayYogurt with Figs*Leek Risotto with Parmesan Crisps
Fresh Fruit
*Scandinavian Meatballs, Lingonberry Jam, Creamy Pepper Sauce, Mashed Swede, Green Beans
Cherry Cobbler
ThursdayFAST DAY-Courgetti with Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (250 / 320)
*Poached Spiced Cherries with Fromage Blanc (100)
FridayWholewheat Toast with Almond ButterSeared Tuna and Green Beans à la Greque
Fresh Fruit
*Chicken with Saffron and Garlic, *Patatas Bravas, *Cabbage Green Pepper and Caraway Salad
leftover Cherry Cobbler
SaturdayBoiled Egg and Wholewheat Toast*Spanakopitta with Salad
Fresh Fruit
Saganaki with Black Sesame Seeds and Honey
*Keftedes, with Greek style Roast Potatoes and Mountain Greens
*Hazelnut and Agave Syrup Baklava
* indicates recipes that are in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life
# recipes are in Focus on Flavour

Another January Meal Plan

Chinese Pancakes with Pulled Pork Cinnamon and Citrus Pineapple Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Cabbage with Green Pepper and Caraway Turkey Chilli IMG_3129

I am relying on my meal plan a lot, though I do tend to change things around a bit. You will see that I try and plan how to use my leftovers, and will often cook more than I need, so that there will be some fruit to have with yogurt for breakfast, or some meat to add flavour and texture to a vegetable stir fry.

Of course I am also swayed by family requests, so for instance, the idea of not doing pizza on a Saturday, goes down like a lead balloon… and I really don’t mind as I enjoy it and it is easy to make 2 and have one in the freezer for the following week.

I’ve actually gone off plan from last week and am cooking Pulled Pork today. Tonight we will have it in Chinese style pancakes, with hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion. It is if you like, my version of a fake-away. I could do it with duck, but the pork was such a bargain and I know we will get at least 3 meals from it. 

I’ve bought a fresh pineapple as a treat though, and look forward to trying out some new ideas with it. One suggestion that I put on my Seasonal Pinterest board, is a Pineapple and Chilli Upside Down Cake. I’m thinking of working that as individual portions and significantly calorie reducing it by cutting out most of the sugar, plus adding in some more fibre, perhaps with some oat bran. I’ll let you know if it works out!

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
SundayBacon, Egg, Tomato, Baked BeansLeftover Pizza with Mixed Salad.
Fresh Fruit
Pulled Pork, Winter Slaw, *Pumpkin and Celeriac Galettes, Green Beans, BBQ Sauce
*Cinnamon Citrus Pineapple
MondayFAST DAY-*Caribbean Butternut Soup
Buckwheat Burger, Vegetable Stir Fry
Yogurt with Apple and Cinnamon
TuesdayYogurt with Apple and CinnamonSmoked Mackerel and Avocado Salad
Fresh Fruit
Sweet and Sour Pork and Pineapple Chow Mein (using leftover pork)
#Figs baked with Creme Fraiche
WednesdayYogurt with FigsCauliflower Cheese Soup
Fresh Fruit
*Guacamole and Taco Chips
*Red Bean and Chocolate Chilli
Apple and Blackberry Dessert
ThursdayFAST DAY-#Blackened Mahi Mahi Caesar Salad
*Frozen Banana "Ice Cream" with Toasted Coconut
FridayWholewheat Toast with Almond ButterHam, Egg and Oven Baked Potato ChipsQuinoa Spaghetti with Amazing Arabiatta Sauce
*Cherry Choc Chip Gelato
SaturdayBoiled Egg and Wholewheat Toast*Home Made Pizza and Salad.
Fresh Fruit.
*Spanish style Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean, *Cabbage, Green Pepper and Raisin Salad, Carrot and Cumin Salad
Raspberry Ice Cream Cake
* indicates recipes that are in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life
# recipes are in Focus on Flavour

A recipe for Za’atar and some ways of using it

Za'atarI’ve been having fun with my meal plan – turning dreams into reality….well at least, giving form to ideas and trying to make our meals both visually appealing and tasty. I find it really helps to have a plan to work to, even if I adjust my ideas a little as I go along.

For Tuesday lunch, the plan said ‘raw vegetable salad’ for lunch. A lot of possible interpretations of that. So I decided to go for a colour theme, which was Red, White and Green. Red and Green Salad Red Cabbage, with Oak Leaf Lettuce, Rocket and two kinds of Radishes – red and black made up my first salad. The little slivers of black radish, which is pure white inside, could be replaced with celeriac or turnip. This was dressed with my usual vinaigrette based on walnut and balsamic vinegars and olive oil.
Winter Salad The second one is what my mother would have called ‘Winter Salad’ – cooked beetroot, apple and celery. I topped it with the last of the Tsatsiki and sprinkled it with Za’atar. I must make some more of that, it has been useful in so many different dishes!  More on that in a moment.

For Braised Fennel with Chilli and Garlicdinner, I followed an idea from Mimi Spencer’s book “the fast diet recipe book“, rubbing crushed fennel seeds into some pork, which is sealed over a high heat, and then set aside. In the juices (or in a little olive oil if you aren’t using meat), gently sauté some chopped garlic and red chilli. Add 200ml of stock, some grated lemon zest, seasoning and a little lemon juice and pour over quartered fennel bulbs in a baking dish. Top with the pork and bake in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, covering with foil for the latter part of the cooking to keep the meat moist. I can imagine working this in several different ways, with tofu or fish, perhaps using capers and/or fresh herbs.

Filo CupFor dessert, I made filo cups – just one sheet of filo is enough to make two cups. Cut the sheet into quarters, brush lightly with melted butter, and lay two pieces on top of each other at angles and press into a ramekin. I used another smaller ramekin inside to help hold the shape, but I think it could work without.

Bake for about 8 minutes, until they start to turn golden, then remove and allow to cool. Plum and Ginger Filo BasketsI filled them with a spoonful of lemon curd and topped it with (defrosted) rasperries, but this is another idea which can take so many different fillings, such as poached plums with ginger, see left  (as in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life).
I think especially when you are having a low carb meal, having something that is light and crispy can make a big difference to enjoyment. Only 41 calories and 8g of carbs for the pastry, plus another perhaps 20 calories for the butter. Fill it with thick greek yogurt and fresh berries for a delectable low calorie treat.

Za'atarI have come across a lot of recipes calling for the use of Za’atar, but it was impossible to find locally. What surprised me was that despite it being frequently mentioned in books, none of the ones on my shelf had a recipe for it. Thanks to Google, I discovered that it only has 4 or 5 ingredients, so I resolved to make my own.

I found the Sumac in Cahors at Les Cafes Lebert, where they have a fabulous selection of world foods. The oregano came back with me from Greece and the thyme was a gift gathered by a friend who visited Provence. I do tend to look out for freshly dried herbs, if you know what I mean, rather than those rather dusty looking ones in little jars.

And here is my recipe for Za’atar

  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp Maldon salt 
  • 1 to 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp wild thyme
  • 1 tsp sumac

Grind all together and store in an airtight jar.

You will find lots of recipes that use Za’atar, particularly those by Ottolenghi. I love his baked aubergine recipe, which I top with greek yogurt and za’atar and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Aubergine with Yogurt and Pomegranate

I love it sprinkled on flatbread before baking (also works well to dip bread into, along with olive oil and balsamic vinegar), but also over dips and roasted vegetables. It reminds me of gomasio, the Japanese / macrobiotic condiment of crushed sesame seeds and salt; but the herbs, especially the lemony bitterness of the sumac, add another dimension and make it a versatile and more-ish choice for livening up simple vegetables.

12 Super Soups – for fast days or any day

Italian Vegetable Soup Spicy Chickpea and Spinach Soup _MG_5269-2 Tuscan Zucchini Soup Mushroom and Celery Soup Spring Minestrone Soup Hot and Sour Chicken and Mushroom Soup Watercress Soup Carrot and Coriander Soup butternut squash soup _MG_3080 Simple Vegetable Soup

I love soups! They are a great way of filling up before your main course, or make a perfect lunch. They can showcase all kinds of vegetables and elevate them to become star ingredients. They are a great way of increasing your veg intake, so helping you to have more fibre and get your five-a-day.

I make my own stock quite often, but if not, a good quality bouillon powder or cube is perfectly acceptable – especially on a fast day, the extra salt can be very helpful at balancing your electrolytes, so keeping headaches and light-headedness at bay.

Most of these soups are easy to prepare and quick to cook and can be simmering gently while you get on with making a main dish. I often make a larger quantity than I need and freeze leftovers for another day.

Vary your textures, from a clear broth such as in Hot and Sour Soup, to a hearty chunky soup such as the Spicy Chickpea and Spinach, with a variety of smoother textures in between. A stick blender is a really useful but inexpensive tool that helps to make smooth soups easily, right in the pan, without extra washing up.

Make the most of herbs and spices to add flavour and depth – a little sprinkle at the last minute is appealing to the eye as well as to the palate. Try a grating of strongly flavoured cheese, such as parmesan, a spoonful of pesto, a few toasted slivers of almonds, a swirl of yogurt, finely chopped fresh herbs, some drops of chilli sauce or some freshly roasted and ground spices.

Here they are, in order of calorie counts and with links to the recipes.

12 Super SoupsPhotosNumber of Calories
Click on the links above for the recipes
Mushroom and CeleryMushroom and Celery Soup36
WatercressWatercress Soup60
Hot and Sour (Tom Yum)Hot and Sour Chicken and Mushroom Soup76
Moroccan Cauliflower with AlmondMoroccan Cauliflower Soup87
Tuscan ZucchiniTuscan Zucchini Soup89
Carrot and CorianderCarrot and Coriander Soup97
Bargeman's Tomato_MG_5269-2110
Caribbean Butternut Squashbutternut squash soup120
Italian VegetableItalian Vegetable Soup124
Spicy Chickpea and SpinachSpicy Chickpea and Spinach Soup150
Spring MinestroneSpring Minestrone150

All the recipes are in my book 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life, available on Amazon in kindle and print editions

Italian Vegetable Soup – 125 calories

Italian Vegetable SoupThis is the final soup recipe for my collection of 12 Super Soups.  All these recipes can be found in my book 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life as well as here on this site.

I make a lot of soups as they are a great way of getting to eat more vegetables! 

A lot of people think that cheese is too high in calories to use on a fast day, but if you use a little strong cheese, it is amazing what a difference it can make to both the flavour and the texture. Because parmesan is a little salty too, it helps to balance your electrolytes  – when you may have been drinking a lot of fluids on a fast day, you do need some salt to replace what may have been lost or is missing because you haven’t eaten. So whereas on non-fast days I rarely use salt in cooking, on fast days I like to make sure that something salty is part of our menu. That could be capers or pickles, air dried ham perhaps, or the stock that I use in soup.

Italian Vegetable Soup
A little pesto and a sprinkle of parmesan bring a taste of Italy to a straightforward vegetable soup. There is lots of scope for varying the vegetables according to the season.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
827 calories
27 g
272 g
37 g
95 g
10 g
681 g
689 g
11 g
0 g
24 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
681g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 827
Calories from Fat 331
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 37g
57%
Saturated Fat 10g
48%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Cholesterol 272mg
91%
Sodium 689mg
29%
Total Carbohydrates 27g
9%
Dietary Fiber 8g
34%
Sugars 11g
Protein 95g
Vitamin A
238%
Vitamin C
209%
Calcium
30%
Iron
37%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. ½ tbsp olive oil
  2. ½ large onion, chopped
  3. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  4. 1 stalk celery, chopped
  5. ¼ cauliflower florets (150g)
  6. 1 medium carrot, chopped
  7. ¼ sweet red bell pepper, chopped
  8. 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  9. 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  10. 1 tsp pesto
  11. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve
  1. A few basil leaves, roughly torn
  2. 10g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pan and gently sauté the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, until a little softened.
  2. Then add the celery, carrot and red pepper and cook gently for a further 10 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to prevent them sticking.
  3. Add the cauliflower, parsley and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Add the pesto and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve in warmed bowls with some basil leaves and a sprinkle of Parmesan.
Notes
  1. Per serving: kcals 124
  2. Carbs 14g Fat 6g Protein 5g
  3. You could add some pasta or cannelini beans to make a more substantial soup for a non-fast day.
beta
calories
827
fat
37g
protein
95g
carbs
27g
more
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/

Salmon Stuffed with Pine Nuts and Herbs <200 calories

Salmon Stuffed with Pine Nuts and HerbsSalmon is one of my go-to ingredients for a fast day, when I focus on “mainly plants and protein” and I always have some fillets in the freezer. This recipe makes a good change from my usual technique of putting it on a pile of sliced vegetables and wrapping it in paper parcels. I will defrost the fish first.

This recipe is in my book 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life, but as I had included it in this week’s meal plan, and highlighted the photo, I thought I should share it here.

The original idea came from a New Zealand cook, Annabel Langbein, from her excellently-titled 2003 recipe book “Cooking to Impress without Stress”. 

You can use walnuts instead of pine nuts and vary the herbs. I plan to serve it with a spoonful of tsatsiki (greek yogurt with salted, drained, finely chopped cucumber and mint), but it would be lovely with a chilli and tomato salsa or on a non-fast day, a hollandaise sauce would be super.

A rainbow of steamed seasonal vegetables and perhaps a few baked mushrooms add visual appeal, flavour and plenty of fibre. Today we will be having swiss chard and carrots, plus some slivers of raw vegetables – my new kitchen gadget, a super-duper Mandolin, is going to be put to use! 

Salmon Stuffed with Pine Nuts and Herbs
Serves 4
A delicious and simple way to jazz up a fillet of salmon - it's quick too! You can prepare the stuffing while the oven is getting up to temperature.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
18 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
18 min
591 calories
13 g
195 g
24 g
81 g
3 g
443 g
478 g
3 g
0 g
11 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
443g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 591
Calories from Fat 215
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g
37%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 195mg
65%
Sodium 478mg
20%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 3g
Protein 81g
Vitamin A
14%
Vitamin C
115%
Calcium
8%
Iron
15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 salmon fillets (each about 100g), skinned
  2. Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  3. 1 bunch flat leaved parsley, finely chopped
  4. 1 tsp capers, roughly chopped
  5. 2 tbsp pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  6. sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve
  1. 6 lemon wedges
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 220ºC (fan)
  2. Lay the fish onto a non-stick baking sheet.
  3. Cut a diagonal slash in the top of each one.
  4. Mix the parsley, nuts, capers and lemon zest together and stuff some into each piece of fish.
  5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and squeeze lemon juice over.
  6. Bake for 6 – 8 minutes.
  7. Serve with a wedge or two of lemon to squeeze over.
Notes
  1. Defrost frozen fish before cooking - but you can slice the diagonal while still frozen, which speeds up the defrost time.
  2. Per serving: 186 kcals
  3. Carbs 2g Fat 10g Protein 21g
Adapted from Annabel Langbein
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calories
591
fat
24g
protein
81g
carbs
13g
more
Adapted from Annabel Langbein
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/

First Weekly Meal Plan of 2016

Salmon stuffed with Pine Nuts and Herbs

Well we’ve just about used up all the leftovers from Christmas, but what I do have is some fabulous stock from boiling the gammon. So the first thing to go into my meal plan for this week is some soup – one of my all time favourites, Pea and Ham.
Sometimes I make it with frozen peas, but today I decided that I should make an effort to use some of the dried foods in my cupboard, so I am making it with dried Split Green Peas. There are a few scraps of gammon left to use up in it.  We have some oddments of cheese and I also have a jar of fabulous lemon curd (thank you Wyn!), which needs to be finished! So that explains Sunday….

CauliflowerAfter that, I am trying to focus mainly on vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, with small amounts of meat, fish and dairy. This is my take on a planet and people friendly diet! Our chickens are still laying, so there are eggs in my plan too. So nothing is excluded, but because we are keen to start the New Year with getting back into shape, we are keeping our calorie intake down and generally that means that meals are lower in carbs. Seasonally speaking, I have cauliflower, Swiss chard, various root vegetables, citrus fruits and pears. But I also have to remember that I have a lot of our own produce in the freezer, so we will use some raspberries this week. 

You will find many of the recipes are linked to from the table, others can be found in one or other of my books – and some are just ideas that will be worked on and photographed – and no doubt shared with you if they are worthy of repeating!

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
SundayBacon, Egg, TomatoLeftover Pizza with Mixed Salad.
Fresh Fruit
Pea & Ham Soup.
Cheeseboard with Pickles.
Lemon Curd Ice Cream with Amaretti Biscuits.
MondayFAST DAY-*Moroccan Cauliflower Soup (90).
*Salmon Stuffed with Pine Nuts and Herbs, Steamed Vegetables (240).
*Oranges with Pistachio Nuts and Chopped Dates (120).
TuesdayYogurt with PrunesPea and Ham Soup.
Raw Vegetable Salad.
Fresh Fruit.
*Spice-rubbed Pork Escalope with Fennel, *Cheesy-topped Sweet Potato,
Lemon Curd and Raspberry Filo Tart
WednesdayYogurt with RaspberriesPaté, *Celeriac Remoulade, Pickles, Melba Toast.
Fresh Fruit.
*Spiced Red Mullet with Coconut-Lime Sauce, Cranberry-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
Coconut and Passion Fruit Creme Brûlée
ThursdayPorridge with Raspberries (80)FAST DAY*Leek and Crunchy Carrot Gratin (200).
Fromage Blanc with Passion Fruit (90)
FridayWholewheat Toast with Almond ButterBacon and Eggs with Baked Beans.
Fresh Fruit.
Beetroot and Shallot Tarte Tatin with a *Warm Puy Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Soft Goat's Cheese.
*Pear with Amaretti Crumble.
SaturdayBoiled Egg and Wholewheat Toast*Home Made Pizza and Salad.
Fresh Fruit.
Courgette Crisps with Garlic Mayonnaise dip.
Tofu Burger with *Fennel and Radish Salad and *Pumpkin and Celeriac Galettes.
#Flourless Clementine Cake with Chocolate Orange Sauce.
* indicates recipes that are in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life
# recipes are in Focus on Flavour

 

Moroccan Cauliflower Soup – 90 calories per serving

Is there anything that cauliflower doesn’t lend itself to? So many wonderful ways of using this vegetable! Here is one of my favourites, combining the kick of harissa and warm fragrant spices along with the nuttiness of almonds. The recipe came originally from the BBC Good Food site, which has lots of super ideas, but theirs was much higher in calories. I have used less oil and made the soup less dense, so that it is ideal for a fast day. Beware of the harissa! It can be fiercely hot if you aren’t used to it, so you might want to start with a smaller quantity and taste before adding it all. For a milder kick, you could use a chilli sauce, such as Cholula.

Moroccan Cauliflower Soup

This recipe can be found in my book 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life, available in kindle and print editions from Amazon, worldwide.

Moroccan Cauliflower Soup
Serves 6
A wonderful blend of cauliflower and almonds with warm, spicy tones and a kick of harissa
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
461 calories
8 g
176 g
20 g
61 g
5 g
350 g
295 g
3 g
0 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
350g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 461
Calories from Fat 177
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g
31%
Saturated Fat 5g
23%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 176mg
59%
Sodium 295mg
12%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 3g
14%
Sugars 3g
Protein 61g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
118%
Calcium
8%
Iron
18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp ground cumin
  5. 1 tsp ground coriander
  6. 1 tbsp harissa paste
  7. 2 litres chicken or vegetable stock, made with stock cube or bouillon powder
  8. 30g toasted flaked almonds
For serving
  1. 1 tsp harissa paste
  2. 1 tsp lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the spices together with the harissa paste, for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower and stock and most of the almonds, reserving some for decoration.
  3. Bring to the boil, cover and lower heat to simmer for 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Whizz with a hand blender until smooth.
  4. To serve, mix harissa paste with lemon juice to make a swirl for decorating and sprinkle flaked almonds over the top.
Notes
  1. Per serving: kcals 87
  2. Carbs 10g Fat 5g Protein 4g
Adapted from BBC Good Food
beta
calories
461
fat
20g
protein
61g
carbs
8g
more
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/

A Fast Day Meal Plan, with porridge for breakfast

Winter TreeOn a chilly day, you might like to start a fast day with porridge, which is low-GI and can help keep you feeling full for a remarkably long time. Make the porridge using water and add a little soya or semi skimmed milk when serving, if you like – or have a chopped prune instead (20 calories per prune), which can be helpful for your digestive system.

Simple Vegetable Soup

I’ve included my Simple Vegetable Soup again, which is a fast day standby for me. I always have a packet of ready prepared chopped vegetables in the freezer, so it is a quick and easy soup to make when you are hungry, with 100g of vegetables, a tsp of stock powder and 250ml of water – bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes and whizz with a stick blender to vary the texture.  If you choose not to have breakfast, you could have a more substantial soup instead.

Smoked Haddock with Poached Egg and wilted Spinach

Again, main course is really simple and doesn’t take long to prepare, so this menu is ideal when you have had a busy day. You could use frozen fish and frozen spinach too, so as long as you have some fresh eggs, this is something that can be prepared entirely from what you have in store. No excuses!

Mocha Dessert

For dessert, it is easy to use fromage blanc or greek yogurt as the basis and vary the flavours with some simple additions. Here I have used the classic combo of coffee and chocolate, but you can experiment with different essences, fresh or dried fruits, snipped candied peel, chopped toasted nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon… lots of possibilities and it doesn’t take much to give it a bit of added zing. I find it helps to make a meal feel complete, and it doesn’t need any sugar (though I did add a little honey to the mocha dessert, as it can be helpful to getting a good night’s sleep after a fast day).

You’ll find the recipes for this dinner here or in my book, 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life, which is available in kindle and print editions from Amazon worldwide.

Fast Day Menu with Breakfast and Dinner
Total Calories for the day 460/550
Breakfast
Make up your porridge using water
15 / 20g of Porridge Oats (55/70), with 50ml soya milk (20)
Dinner
Simple Vegetable Soup_MG_0303Mocha Dessert 105 kcals
Simple Vegetable Soup (70)Smoked Haddock with 1 or 2 Poached Eggs on a bed of Wilted Spinach (210/285)Mocha Dessert (105)