Spicy Chickpea and Spinach Soup – 150 kcals per serving

Here’s a warming and satisfying soup that works well for a fast day or as a lunch or supper any day. This one is is my book 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life (available on Amazon worldwide in print or kindle editions).  

Spicy Chickpea and Spinach Soup

I used sunflower oil for sautéing the onions, but coconut oil would be great for this. You can vary the green vegetables according to what’s available – I’m going to try this next time with some of my home-grown kale. You could use any canned beans, but I love the almost nutty flavour of chickpeas. For a non-fast day a swirl of coconut cream on top and some slivers of toasted coconut would be lovely.

Spicy Chickpea and Spinach Soup

Serves 4

  • 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil 60 kcals
  • 1 onion, chopped 44 kcals
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped 4 kcals
  • 2.5 cm root ginger, finely grated 9 kcals
  • 1/2 fresh green chilli, finely chopped 4 kcals
  • 1 litre vegetable stock 24 kcals
  • 2 large carrots, chopped 58 kcals
  • 400g can of chickpeas, drained 339 kcals
  • 150g spinach leaves, washed and shredded 35 kcals

For the garam masala

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 8 kcals
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds 5 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric 4 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper 3 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder 3 kcals
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 3 kcals

Heat the oil in heavy pan over low-medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli for a few minutes, until the onion starts to become translucent and soft.

Add the garam masala and cook for another couple of minutes, until the spices are fragrant – add a splash of water if necessary to stop them burning.

Add the stock and carrots, bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so until the carrots are tender.

Add the chickpeas and then whizz a little with a stick blender, making sure to leave some nice chunky bits.

Add the spinach and cook for a few more minutes until the spinach is wilted.

Serve in warmed bowls.

Per serving: kcals 150
Carbs 23g Fat 4g Protein 7g


For tortoises and slow losers….

Following on from a post on the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet group on Facebook about slow losers, I thought it would be helpful to share some suggestions for those who are following 5:2 but get stuck without losing any weight for 4 weeks or more.

Provided you are actually managing to do 2 fast days a week of under 500/600 calories, and you really do have some weight to lose – well there are lots of things that you can do to make a difference.

In general, we aren’t overweight because we don’t eat enough (though not eating enough on a regular basis may confound our attempts to lose). Fast days will help us to cut back – maybe enough to stop us gaining any more, but for some of us, not enough to make a noticeable difference to weight loss.

Intermittent Fasting is excellent at helping you to burn dangerous visceral fat, so that at least should be shifting, as your body transfers resources to more easy to access locations. So you may realise that you are changing shape, even if the scales don’t budge.

You may be happy enough with the long term health benefits to continue with little or no weight loss, and that is absolutely fine. But if you are frustrated enough to want to change things, then here are my suggestions (in no particular order, pick whatever appeals to you):

  • Option 1. Add in an extra fast day. Try 4:3 for a couple of weeks and see if it makes the difference. That may be enough to kick start the process again, so then go back to 5:2. You may learn through doing this that non fast days are your problem and that you need to cut back, just a little, on your portion sizes or particular types of foods in future.
  • Option 2. Mindful eating. Consider what you are going to eat before you put it in your mouth. So much of what we do is habit and nothing to do with appetite or hunger. So much of what we eat isn’t really food! Close the fridge/cupboard door again and come back later. Leave some on the plate. Put less on your plate in the first place. Mindful shopping is a good adjunct to this – if you don’t buy it in the first place, it won’t be there to tempt you. Planning ahead so that you have a week’s worth of well thought out menus to choose from before you go shopping can really help too. With mindful eating, if you think about it, really want it, and are hungry, then go ahead and eat – but stop before you are full. Eat slowly enough so that your fullness sensor has a chance to detect that you have eaten!
  • Option 3. Portion control. Using the hand guide to portion sizes can be a simple way to limit your intake, especially of things like pasta and other starchy carbs. No more than a fistful of those. See the graphic for more info.
  • Option 3. Start tracking. Track everything that you are eating and drinking for a week or two – it can be really illuminating, showing you where you eat those little extra things that are really high in sugar, or just generally high in calories. Once you have a handle on what you are really having, you can target things to cut back on. 
  • Option 4. Cut back on non fast days**. We may be shocked to discover how little we really need to stay the same weight, and gaining weight slowly over the years, is testament to that. Check your sedentary TDEE – If it is the average of about 2000 for a woman, then fast days alone will give a 3000 calorie deficit (we need to drop 3500 calories or so to lose a pound, as a rough guide). But you need to not exceed your TDEE on the others! It can be helpful to vary your intake, so some days can be lean and mean, and others can be more indulgent. ** Please note, I say cut back (to normal), not calorie restrict as you would with other diets. Intermittent Fasting requires that you refuel properly on non-fast days and eat normal amounts, which gives a good contrast to fast days and help keep your metabolism working normally.
  • Option 5. Avoid snacking. Make your 2 or 3 meals a day truly satisfying and nutritionally sound, so that you don’t need to top up between meals or afterwards. Snacks are often calorie dense and nutritionally poor, so ditching them can save lots of potential excess and leave room for adding some extra deliciousness to your meals – have a starter course instead of crisps, have a dessert instead of reaching for the sweets and so on.
  • Option 6. Cut out added sugar. Lots of prepared and packaged foods have hidden sugar that we really don’t need. If you make your own sauces, dressings, desserts and so on, you can easily avoid the unnecessary extras. Don’t be tempted to substitute with non-nutritive sweeteners, or even natural alternatives; it is better to let your palate become accustomed to less sweetness. Fruit is naturally sweet. Vanilla, Cinnamon and other spices can enhance the natural sweetness in our foods. Lots of root vegetables are naturally sweet too and the more you stay away from sugar, the more you will notice and appreciate them.
  • Option 7. Ditch highly refined foods. Refined foods like white rice, white pasta, white flour, white sugar and anything made from them, not only rack up your carb intake and spike your blood sugar, but for lots of people they cause bloating, inflammation and water retention. Cutting back on these sources of carbs can help enormously. Don’t be tempted to cut back on carbs too far, they are a much needed source of energy and you will end up feeling tired and cranky if you go too low. Aim for mostly low GI carbs and go for whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits.
  • Option 8. Ditch processed and packaged foods. Go for fresh, seasonal, local and home-made whenever possible. You will know that what you eat is full of good ingredients and you can add liberal amounts of love while preparing your meal. Read the labels! Long lists of ingredients and unpronounceable names are a warning sign. Not all ready meals or packages are bad, but many of them make up for poor ingredients and short cuts with additives and fillers, plus ingredients and techniques to extend the shelf life, that rob the food of its intrinsic qualities. Home-made doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. Remember that 2 days a week you are eating less anyway, so your shopping bill should be lower and give you a bit of leeway for buying fresh, organic, good quality food and supporting local producers.
  • Option 9. Ditch the low fat and light products. It may seem counter-intuitive, but fat is not the enemy. Fat helps to add flavour, texture and satiety to many foods and lowers the glycemic load of carbs when eaten together. Better to eat a small amount of the real thing than something that has been modified with fillers, flavourings and sugar to make up for what has been removed. Yes, fat has a high calorific value, with 1 tsp of oil coming in at 40 calories, but there are plenty of techniques to help you make the most of using just a little. Use a little strong cheese, such as parmesan, some real butter, flavourful olive oil, rich seed oils, full fat greek yogurt and so on to enable your body to benefit from fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Option 10. Add Activity. Exercise alone is not a good way to lose weight, but as an addition to your Intermittent Fasting regime, it will make you feel good, boost your metabolism, firm up your flab, help you get into fat burning mode on a fast day and may stave off hunger. Many of us have found that a small amount of weight loss has made us feel a whole lot more enthusiastic about various exercise activities. So go for it! Do be aware that starting a new activity may temporarily increase your weight, as your muscles retain water to repair and grow. Stick with it and you will get the benefits.

I hope this has given you some ideas to encourage you to stick with fasting and to realise that maybe just a small tweak here and there may be all that is needed to make the difference between staying the same and seeing the scales going down…

This may seem more like following a ‘diet’ for a bit I guess, but the way I look at it, this is a way of eating, something you are going to follow for the rest of your life, so you may as well make some small, permanent changes that you can really live with, that will give you the results you want – and enable you to look and feel good.


Hand Guide to Portion Control


Tomato Fest

 Here are some of the tomatoes I am growing this year – DSCF4855

This one is Ananas – a large tomato with really beautiful marbled colours


A selection of smaller tomatoes – Rosada (small red plum), White Cherry (actually a lot bigger than a cherry, what I would call a small tomato), Sungold (orange colour, cherry sized), Rosella (dark red with green blush, cherry sized), Sungella / Golden Sunrise (same colour as sungold but larger), Black Cherry (darkish red with green gel around the seeds, small tomato), Brown Berry, a mahogany colour, you might just be able to see Black Russian Plum (dark red with greenish shoulders).




DSCF4860Two of my visual favourites – Green Zebra and Amish Gold.


De-light-ful Summer Evening Eating

I love having dinner parties in the garden, but the trick for me is to have as much as possible prepared ahead. The only thing that needed cooking on the night was the kofta kebabs on the barbecue, everything else was prepared and just the final presentation done at the table – people enjoy watching things coming together in front of them, before they get to demolish them! That way I get to spend lots of time with my guests, not in the kitchen (though there was a good amount of time in there earlier! ). I wanted to provide a light, inspiring meal, that wouldn’t result in anyone groaning when finally leaving the table.

Here’s my menu, focussing on fresh, seasonal, local ingredients and making the most of my garden produce :-


Quercy Melon with soft Goat’s Cheese, Cucumber and Sun-dried Tomatoes, with an olive oil and walnut vinegar dressing, and chopped basil. This recipe is in Focus on Flavour. I usually use a buche de chevre that I buy from the local market, but this time I used a soft cheese “Petit Billy”, that worked really well. Feta could be an alternative, as it has a salty tang to contrast well with the sweet melon. If you are in France for a visit, do buy walnut vinegar – it makes a fantastic dressing with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar.


Chilled Skinny Gazpacho Shots, with cumin seed, celery salt and chives, served with pretzel sticks. The recipe for Gazpacho is in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life and you can find the recipe here. This time, I used only the flesh of the tomatoes and cucumbers (our chickens enjoyed the seeds), which resulted in a finer, more liquid drink as opposed to a soup.


Chargrilled Courgettes with olive oil, lemon, red chilli, garlic, mint and basil drizzle on a bed of little gem lettuce. The recipe is in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life and you can find it here


Homegrown Heritage Tomato Salad with cucumber, green pepper and red onion, dressed with olive oil, cider vinegar and dried Greek oregano.

I love to grow a selection of different-coloured tomatoes and slice them in different ways to emphasis their different sizes and shapes.


Aubergines with Yogurt topped with pomegranate seeds and spicy herb mix.

Cold aubergine has been a revelation! This is based on Ottolenghi’s recipe, from Plenty, but using greek Yogurt as I cannot get buttermilk here and cooking the aubergines on the barbecue, rather than in the oven, which is so easy. Because you serve them cold, make some extra for another day, but only add the topping at the last minute. Instead of Za’atar I used a really nice spice/herb mix “Salade Bonheur” that I found in Bio-Coop, that has rosemary, lovage, thyme, tarragon, dill, oregano, basil, cumin, aniseed, marjoram, wild garlic, cornflower and marigold. It looks pretty.


Moroccan Flatbread with Fennel seed, from a recipe in Moro, the Cookbook, by Sam and Sam Clark. I had no idea what this was supposed to look or taste like. I used my breadmaker to make the dough and divided into 5 instead of 4, so that we could have one each (but we didn’t eat that much). Glazed with egg and milk.  I think another time I would cook for a shorter time or slightly cooler, so that the bread would be softer. But I liked the light flavouring from the fennel seed. I used an organic strong white flour – Mon Bio, ‘pain tradition’.


Barbecued Kofta Kebabs, made from pork and beef mince, with some breadcrumbs and egg to bind the mix, spiced with onion, garlic, ras-al-hanout, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkled with smoked paprika when cooked. I used my recipe for Swedish Meatballs from 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life and adapted the flavourings. You can find the recipe here. I actually made each one a little smaller this time, only 60g each, which is 120kcal.

I served some spiced cous cous for those who wanted some extra carbs, and there was a fresh rustic loaf of bread too, to go with the starter, and mop up the juices…

I wanted a show-stopper dessert to celebrate the fantastic crop of raspberries that we have had this year. A rare indulgence using sugar… but delightful – a cloud of crispy outer shell with a soft marshmallow like interior. 


Raspberry Pavolva with whipped crème fraîche, fresh raspberry jam, raspberries and toasted, chopped hazelnuts.

I was nervous about making my first pavlova and took advice from my chums over at 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Recipes from Around the World, and it worked perfectly (thank you Kim!). I added in some chopped hazelnuts, as I had originally been inspired by this recipe on delicious, which popped up on my newsfeed – but in the end decided against complicating the flavours with nectarines and honey. The raspberries are divine and deserve to shine alone. The raspberry jam is another Ottolenghi recipe, from Ottolenghi, the Cookbook. It gave just the right amount of drizzle and an extra hit of raspberri-ness.  The hazelnuts were a Zen exercise, as I couldn’t buy any blanched hazelnuts. But I have a basket of nuts from M. Tye down the road, who grows them commercially. So shelling and removing the skins was a little time consuming – but overall, I think worthwhile for the added dimension of texture and flavour. I was tempted to grate some Willies Venezuelan Black 100% Cacao over the top, but maybe that would have been a step too far… maybe next time, when I may make a chocolate meringue too.

No, I didn’t count the calories! The delights of a non-fast day :-) But apart from the dessert and the bread, these are all ideas that could make part of a delicious fast day meal.

In fact, just totting up the pavlova, it actually works out to only 225 calories a serving; so whilst it seems indulgent, it is a lot less than many other desserts would be.

Enjoy your summer! Relish in the wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables and be brave with your use of herbs and spices.

A Taste of Summer – Bargeman’s Tomato Soup – 110kcals


I came across this recipe in a book about cooking on a canal barge by Kate Ratliffe “A Culinary Journey in Gascony”. It makes a wonderful summery soup using loads of fresh tomatoes, but t it would be perfect for a fast day even in winter using tinned, bottled or frozen tomatoes. Adding an egg just before the end of cooking increases the protein content and gives added interest.

I would serve this over some toasted bread rubbed with garlic for a non-fast day.

So imagine yourself cruising along the Canal du Midi and stopping to buy a big bag of misshapen Marmande tomatoes, and enjoying this for lunch….


Bargeman's Tomato Soup
Serves 2
A wonderful tomato, onion and garlic soup, simple as you like, perfect for making the most of summer or with tinned tomatoes in winter. Add a beaten egg just before serving.
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
85 calories
12 g
93 g
3 g
5 g
1 g
465 g
314 g
6 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85
Calories from Fat 24
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 93mg
Sodium 314mg
Total Carbohydrates 12g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 6g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 can (425g) of chopped tomatoes, or 500g fresh tomatoes, peeled and crushed (74 kcals)
  2. 1 onion, roughly chopped (46 kcals)
  3. 4 cloves of garlic, crushed (13 kcals)
  4. 500ml water
  5. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 large egg (70 kcals)
  7. A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stalk (or a tsp of dried thyme) or fresh basil, chopped
  1. Put the tomatoes, onion and garlic into a pan along with the water and season well.
  2. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Bring back to a boil, beat the egg lightly and stir into the soup.
  4. Check and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs.
  6. Per serving: kcals 110
  7. Carbs 13g Fat 3g Protein 6g
Adapted from A Culinary Journey in Gascony, Kate Ratliffe
Adapted from A Culinary Journey in Gascony, Kate Ratliffe
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/


This recipe can be found in my book “5:2 Healthy Eating for Life“, available on Amazon in print or kindle format.


Raspberry Ice Cream Cake – about 250 calories per portion

I was looking for ideas to use our bumper crop of home-grown raspberries and came across this recipe on delicious.com. An ice-cream based dessert that is a cross between a cheesecake and tray bake, but no cooking required.  I have used far less biscuit and toffee sauce than suggested. Really yummy with our own home-grown raspberries! A lovely weekend treat that isn’t too high in calories.  

IMG_3123 IMG_3126 IMG_3129 DSCF4778

Raspberry Ice Cream Cake
Serves 8
A simple to prepare frozen dessert using raspberries and digestive biscuits, with a drizzle of caramel sauce
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
822 calories
129 g
27 g
31 g
12 g
11 g
243 g
844 g
72 g
0 g
18 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 822
Calories from Fat 273
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g
Saturated Fat 11g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 27mg
Sodium 844mg
Total Carbohydrates 129g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 72g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 tub Vanilla ice cream (900kcal)
  2. 8 digestive biscuits, crushed (568 kcal)
  3. 50g unsalted butter, melted (373 kcal)
  4. 25g confiture de lait (or dulce de leche or other caramel sauce) (81 kcal)
  5. 200g raspberries (103 kcal)
  1. Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to soften.
  2. Melt the butter and mix in most of the crushed biscuits (reserve about a tablespoonful).
  3. Line a dish (suitable to freeze) with baking paper and press the mixture evenly across the bottom, then chill for about 15 minutes.
  4. Spread the ice cream over the base and press in some of the raspberries.
  5. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top and then decorate with raspberries and sprinkle over the reserved biscuit crumbs.
  6. Freeze for a few hours.
  7. Cut into squares and serve with some additional raspberries and a little whipped cream (not included in calorie count)
  1. The calorie count from this recipe card is incorrect, but I'm not sure why.
  2. I have triple checked on caloriecount.com, MyFitnessPal and with individual ingredients and all of those come to about 250 kcal per portion.
Adapted from delicious
Adapted from delicious
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/

Consider what you eat, not just how much….

I actually think that what you eat is really far more important than how much, so if anyone wants some guidelines on what to eat on non fast days, to encourage healthy weight loss and not worry about calories, here are my 10 top tips:-

1. Eat mainly plants and eat all parts of plants – roots, stems, leaves, fruit, nuts and seeds
2. Eat reasonable amounts of protein (no more than 0.8g per kilo of body weight per day), from organic sources as far as possible
3. Keep carbs to low GI or low GL
4. Avoid added sugar (but fruit is ok)
5. Minimise consumption of refined foods, like white flour, white rice, white pasta and use whole grains instead
6. Minimise consumption of processed and packaged foods
7. Avoid all diet, light and low fat foods
8. Eat good fats, avoiding trans and hydrogenated fats
9. Eat some raw food every day
10. Have an occasional day when anything goes!

It’s pretty easy at this time of year for us, when the garden is the source of most of our meals, but eating seasonally and from local sources where possible, is a great way of keeping costs down and avoiding food miles.

gaarden produce

Kate Harrison’s 5:2 Podcast features Foodie Fasting in France

Much excitement chez Berry today, as my interview with Kate Harrison is released.


If you haven’t already come across them, do subscribe to these podcasts, or listen online – Kate has a lively, engaging series of chats with all kinds of useful hints and tips to keep you inspired.

The thumbnail photo for this edition features my lemony yogurt cheesecake with strawberries – a perfect seasonal treat.

Lemon Yogurt Cheesecake with Strawberries


Kate Harrison is the author of The 5:2 Diet Book, The Ultimate 5:2 Recipe Book (featuring my Raw Vegetable Salad with a Zingy, Spicy Dressing), 5:2 Your Life, and The 5:2 Good Food Kitchen, as well as several delightful novels. We share a passion for eating well and following 5:2 and I was delighted to have been chosen to share some of my story and enthusiasm for the 5:2 way of life with Kate’s many listeners.

We took the opportunity of having some other photographers here to get a photo taken of us both wearing the ridiculously large Hawaiian shirt that prompted us to take weight loss seriously. For your amusement, here we are..


Decluttering the Spice Shelf – mmm, tasty!


Over the last few weeks I have worked my way through my fridge, freezer and store cupboards, figuring out what I have and putting together a plan each week to use up some of the things that have been in store for the longest. It’s working well and I’m saving lots of money (at least in the short term) – and trying out some new ideas.

Next, I approached the spice and herb shelf. Oh dear, it is groaning. I have over 50 jars! 


An article by Marie Kondo, Japanese tidiness expert, led me to approach my spice shelf with a new perspective. See 10 steps to make you more tidy now.

Each jar was looked at – do I love it? Does it bring me joy?

Out went anything that was really old, flavourless or unappealing, including some dried rosemary – I have fresh growing in the garden, all year round, so why bother?

Of the remaining spices, mixes and herbs, there were only two that I wasn’t sure about, juniper and fenugreek seeds.

The juniper must have been bought for something specific, but I have forgotten what. I tried using some at Christmas with cranberries, but the flavour was far too strong.

The fenugreek seeds are something that I occasionally use for sprouting; they have a bitterness and a distinct curry aroma, that can make an interesting addition to a salad or as a garnish.

I got some wonderful suggestions from the lovely members of the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Recipes from Around the World group (a real mouthful in more ways than one!)

  • Juniper as a partner for game, such as venison or wild boar.
  • mmmmmmm a chopped shallot soup with thyme, juniper, garlic and bay leaf…
  • a rub for pork, using salt, dried rosemary and juniper (damn! retrieve the dried rosemary :-) )
  • Juniper berries for braised red cabbage

and I found some interesting recipes on line:

I am encouraged to try growing my own, as fenugreek, also known as ‘methi’, is used widely as a herb in Indian recipes. An interesting addition to my micro leaves selection!

So, with spices in mind, what am I cooking this week?

I bought a whole free range chicken, which I jointed. I made the breasts into Butter Chicken, following a Rick Stein recipe, which was succulent and absolutely delicious. The joints are marinading in spices and yogurt. I will dry bake them in a hot oven for our fast day dinner, with leftovers for lunch another day. 

Having thrown out my old garam masala, I had no alternative but to make my own. In a hot dry pan, I roasted some cumin, cardamom and coriander seeds with cinnamon bark. I added peppercorns, fenugreek, salt and chilli powder and pounded all together in my pestle and mortar. Mmmm, wonderful aromas! This became an ingredient in the sauce for the Butter Chicken as well as a garnish for the dhal. It should keep well for at least a month.

The chicken carcass has made a lovely asian-flavoured stock, with star anise, chillies, peppercorns and lime leaves, and the tops of some fresh leeks – I have retrieved a surprising amount of meat from the bones, and with the stock this will make a wonderful soup, with the addition of some finely sliced mushrooms.

Hot and Sour Chicken and Mushroom Soup

My ‘treat’ purchases this week – a small whole camembert: bake until melted, then dip into with toasted pita bread; and a basket of small pears.

Sat lunch: Pizza and Salad; fresh fruit
Dinner: Butter Chicken with Naan and Red Lentil Dhal; Ice Cream

Sun lunch: leftover Pizza with Salad; fresh fruit
Dinner: Roast Rib of Beef, Dauphinoise Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding, Carrots and Peas; Cinnamon-spiced Cherries topped with an Oat Crumble with chopped Hazelnuts

Mon Fast Day: Spicy Chicken and Mushroom Broth; Tandoori Chicken with Cauliflower Rice and Dhal; sliced Oranges with Dates and Pistachios

Tue lunch: Thai Style Roast Beef Salad with roasted Peanuts and a vietnamese dressing; fresh fruit
Dinner: Toulouse Sausages with Potato and Celeriac Bake; Fig Frangipani tart with custard

Wed lunch: French Onion Soup; Coronation Chicken Salad; fresh fruit
Dinner: Black Bean and Sausage Burritos; leftover Fig Frangipani tart with yogurt


Thurs, fast day: Morrocan Cauliflower Soup; Salmon Teriyaki with Leeks and Mushrooms; Spiced Poached Cherries with Yogurt

Teriyaki Salmon

Fri lunch: Egg Mayonnaise Salad; fresh fruit
dinner: Baked Camembert with Pitta crisps;  Red Mullet with Coconut-Lime sauce, spiced puy lentil salad, Pears with Chocolate Meringue topping

Pear with Chocolate Meringue   

 Plenty of lovely meals to look forward to, and a spice cupboard in which I can almost find what I am looking for… still over-crowded, but at least I know what’s in there.

Anyone got any ideas for using dried rosebuds?


Meal Plan – Mad as a March Hare!


Mad as March Hare? Well maybe not that crazy, my efforts to work my way through stores are going well and saving us money in the short term. It’s good to have space in the freezer for when there are special offers, or home grown produce to take advantage of.  

I did quite well at following my last plan, and it also saved a lot of effort, so I’m encouraged to continue. I still have a lovely assortment of things to use up from my freezer and store cupboards, and it means I can splash out on a really good piece of meat or a nice bottle of wine for Saturday night. All I have to buy apart from that is some more salad and fresh fruit and some yogurts and fromage blanc. I’m looking forward to making buckwheat burgers, I haven’t done them for years! I should have thought of them when the weather was really cold, they are great for warming you up from within. But I think they will be great for a fast day.  

So little in my shopping trolley this week! My treat is a bag of pink Brittany onions, which immediately say ‘French Onion Soup’..  so I bought some Comté cheese as well :-) Ah well, that leaves a ready made soup in the freezer for a busy day in future.

I’ll be taking photos as I go along, and if there are any winners, will be writing up the recipes to publish here or in my next book….

Mon, fast day: ; Butternut Squash stuffed with Mushrooms and Walnuts (leftover from Sunday), Plum Kulfi with toasted pistachios
recipe for Plum Kulfi in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life

Tues lunch: Wild Mushroom Omelette with Fennel and Radish salad; fresh fruit
dinner: Boston baked Borlotti Beans with FrankfurtersFrench Apple Tart with custard

Wed lunch:  Griddled Halloumi, Hummus, Pita Bread, Spanakopitta and salad; fresh fruit
dinner: Marmalade Glazed Tofu with Sesame Seeds, Stir Fried Veg, Carmargue Rce; leftover apple tart
recipe for Hummus, Pita Bread and Spanakopitta in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life

Thurs fast day: Miso soup with Wakame and Tofu; Buckwheat Burgers with veg stir fry; Poached Cherries with Cinnamon

Fri lunch: French Onion Soup;  fresh fruit
recipe for French Onion Soup in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life
dinner: Corn Spaghetti with Salmon, Chillies and Sundried Tomatoes; Cherries topped with Oat and Sunflower Seed Crumble

Sat lunch: oh well, probably Pizza as usual, we love it! with salad and followed by fruit
dinner:  Steak with Peppercorn Sauce, Garlic Mushrooms and Oven Fries; Bread and Butter pudding with Red and White Currants

Sun lunch: Citrus baked Chicken with Pumpkin and Peppers; leftover bread pudding
dinner: Mushrooms on Toast with Bacon; Fruit Salad
recipe for the Citrus Baked Chicken and the Mushrooms on Toast in 5:2 Healthy Eating for Life