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)

Smoked Haddock and Cauliflower Gratin – 350 calories

Smoked Haddock and Cauliflower GratinWe really enjoy tasty smoked haddock on a fast day, but were getting just a tad bored with the same old simple wilted spinach, smoked haddock and poached egg that we have had so often.

IMG_1810IMG_1815So I looked online for some inspiration and found an interesting recipe on BBC Good Food, from which I developed this fast day friendly version.  Using cauliflower on top of the spinach and fish turns this into a complete meal.

Choosing a strongly flavoured cheese like parmesan means that you can use a lot less but get a fantastic flavour. 

This got the thumbs up from us both and I will definitely be making it again!

For a vegetarian version, you could use smoked tofu, which would have a similar balance of flavours. But I also think that it would be lovely with a couple of big mushrooms each and maybe some chopped walnuts in the topping and some extra cheese. 

 

 

 

Smoked Haddock and Cauliflower Gratin
Serves 2
A fast day friendly fish gratin! Totally delicious and satisfying, a one-dish meal. the cauliflower makes an excellent alternative to potatoes.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 200g leaf spinach
  2. 2g butter (a trace)
  3. 170g smoked haddock, skinned and cut into 2 portions
  4. 1 large tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  5. ¼ cauliflower, cut into florets
For the topping
  1. 100ml creme fraiche
  2. juice ½ lemon
  3. 20g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  4. ½ red onion, finely sliced
  5. a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  6. 1 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c Fan.
  2. Lightly grease a shallow oven proof dish.
  3. Put the cauliflower florets in a saucepan of boiling water to cover and simmer until just tender.
  4. Put the spinach in a colander and gently pour over hot water from a kettle to wilt it.
  5. Freshen under cold water and then squeeze out as much water as possible.
  6. Roughly chop the spinach and spread over the bottom of the oven dish.
  7. Lay the haddock fillets over the top and tuck the tomato pieces around them.
  8. Drain the cauliflower florets and distribute evenly over the top.
  9. Season well with black pepper.
  10. Mix together the cream, lemon juice, parmesan and onion with some freshly grated nutmeg.
  11. Spread over the top of the cauliflower.
  12. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  13. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the topping starts to turn golden.
  14. Serve at once.
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/

5:2 Fast Day Dinner – Vegetable Soup, Smoked Haddock, Mocha Dessert


Smoked Haddock with Poached Egg and wilted Spinach

I just recently noticed that the fish counter in a local supermarket had smoked haddock. Something of a treat for us here in South West France!
Mocha Dessert
It makes a very satisfying evening meal on a fast day.  We started with Simple Vegetable Soup then Smoked Haddock with Poached Egg and wilted Spinach, and finished up with Mocha Fromage Blanc. Total for dinner 385 ~woman or 465 ~man Calories (kcals). Very filling and tasty. 

Here’s how:

Simple Vegetable Soup
Serves 1
Quick and easy, using frozen prepared vegetables and bouillon powder
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Per person
  1. 100g frozen mixed vegetables
  2. 1 tsp marigold bouillon powder
  3. 250ml water
Instructions
  1. Put the veg in a saucepan and add the water and bouillon powder.
  2. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Whizz with a stick blender to desired texture, or leave as a broth with veggie pieces.
Notes
  1. Per serving: 70 Calories (kcals)
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/
Smoked Haddock with Poached Egg and Wilted Spinach
Serves 1
an easy and quick to prepare, protein-rich, fast day main course.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
13 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
13 min
Ingredients
  1. 100g smoked haddock fillet
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 cup spinach leaves
  4. pinch grated nutmeg
  5. freshly ground black pepper
For the spinach
  1. Wash the spinach and put into a saucepan with the water that clings to it.
  2. Season with grated nutmeg and black pepper.
  3. Cook gently over a low heat until wilted.
For the smoked haddock
  1. Remove the skin from the fish, if necessary.
  2. Put enough water to cover the fish into a pan and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the fish and cook at a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillet.
  4. Meanwhile, poach your egg.
Notes
  1. Per serving: 210 Calories (kcals) with 1 egg, 285 Calories (kcals) with 2 eggs
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/
 

Mocha Fromage Blanc
Serves 1
A quick and tasty dessert to round off your meal, with a hit of coffee and a dusting of grated chocolate to satisfy your cravings
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 100g fromage blanc or fromage frais
  2. 1 tsp instant coffee granules
  3. 1 tsp water
  4. 1 tsp acacia honey
  5. 1 tsp grated 100% pure chocolate
Instructions
  1. Mix the coffee with a little water to dissolve, then add to the fromage blanc.
  2. Stir in the honey and mix well.
  3. Spoon into a serving dish and grate over some chocolate.
Notes
  1. I use a solid block of 100% Venezuelan Cocoa, if you can't get that use the highest percentage chocolate you can find.
  2. Per serving: 105 Calories (kcals)
Focus on Flavour http://www.focusonflavour.com/

I hope you enjoy something similar!