Thai Salmon Patties with Pickled Vegetable Ribbons <250kcal

Thai Salmon Patties with Pickled Vegetable RibbonsI was reminded of these when a member of the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet group on Facebook asked for a fishcake recipe that didn’t require the use of breadcrumbs or mashed potato. I can’t wait for our next 5:2 fast day to do them again! Pickled vegetables are quite a thing now, turning up regularly on Masterchef as an accompaniment. It’s a great way of adding some zingy flavour without a lot of calories.

Thai Salmon Patties with Pickled Vegetable Ribbons

I had always thought that fish cakes needed potato or something to hold them together, but not so, these work beautifully. I like to make them small so that they cook quickly and the centre stays moist and pink. 

I’ve usually done the fish patties with salmon, but they would work equally well with any firm white fish or tuna or swordfish.

As an alternative to rice wine vinegar, try apple cider vinegar. I use maple syrup as it mixes in easily, but you could use coconut sugar or raw brown sugar instead. A little sweetness adds to the complexity of flavours.

Cucumber and carrots are obvious candidates for pickle, but you could use courgettes, beetroot, cauliflower or fennel as alternatives and slices of red onion instead of spring onion.

Serves 2

  • 250g salmon fillets 244 kcals
  • 2 tsp grated root ginger 4 kcals
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaf
  • 1 tsp Thai red curry paste 10 kcals
  • 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce 16 kcals
  • 1 tsp maple syrup 12 kcals
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar 6 kcals
  • 1 carrot 26 kcals
  • 1/2 cucumber 18 kcals
  • 2 spring onions 10 kcals
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil 120 kcals

Put the salmon, ginger, coriander, Thai curry paste and Tamari into a food processor and whizz until the fish is minced. With damp hands, form into 6 patties. Keep them cool while you prepare the vegetables.

Mix the vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl.

Peel the carrot and cucumber into long strips or ribbons and cut the spring onion into long slivers. Add to the bowl and toss together well.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the patties for a couple of minutes on each side, until just cooked through.

Serve immediately with the vegetable pickle.

Per serving: kcals 228
Carbs 12g Fat 11g 7g

For a main meal, also serve some steamed broccoli and wilted spinach.

Thai Salmon Patties with Pickled Vegetable Ribbons

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

Upside Down Fish Pie

This is dish I have made lots of times now. It is very forgiving of quantities, of the type of fish, of the herbs in the gremolata. You can peel the potatoes or not, use big or small ones, use red, white or spring onions, use whole small or larger halved tomatoes, or even some tinned or frozen tomatoes… It’s a great dish for preparing ahead, up to the stage where you add the fish for the final cooking time; so it works well for a dinner party with friends, all you need to serve alongside is perhaps a fresh green salad or lightly steamed green veg. I have served it on a fast day by using smaller pieces of fish and being mean with the olive oil and potatoes! It is quite substantial and satisfying. For a lower-carb version, you could swap potatoes for slices of summer squash.

Tip: I keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in a ziploc bag in the freezer, which makes it really easy just to grab a couple of handfuls to sprinkle over the top of a dish like this – it adds a great texture and saves the fish from drying out.

_MG_5159

Upside Down Fish Pie with Gremolata

This recipe has evolved from a recipe that I spotted in “delicious” magazine, where the potatoes are on the bottom and there are breadcrumbs sprinkled on the top. I particularly like it with salmon, but it works brilliantly with cod, haddock or for a real treat try it with sea bass.

Serves 4

  • 500g red skinned potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 352 kcals
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced 44 kcals
  • 2 tsp olive oil 80 kcals
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved 16 kcals
  • 25g sundried tomatoes, sliced 64 kcals
  • 4 fish fillets 844 kcals
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced 4 kcals
  • 8 slices of lemon 16 kcals
  • 60g wholewheat breadcrumbs 144 kcals
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 120 kcals

For the Gremolata

  • 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
  • Preheat the oven to 180c (fan).

Brush a roasting tin with oil, then add the potatoes, onions into a roasting tray, drizzle with the remaining oil, season with salt and pepper and then mix together.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and dried tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes, by which time the potatoes should be nearly cooked through.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the olive oil in a plastic bag and shake to mix.

Put the fish fillets on top, decorate with lemon and chilli slices and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top.

Bake for a further 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.

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

Serve with the Gremolata drizzled over.

Per serving: kcals 460
Carbs 51g Fat 21g Protein 20g

If you have started the meal with a salad or a vegetable dish, there is no need to serve anything else with this, but a crisp green salad, some wilted spinach or steamed broccoli make a good visual contrast.

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

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! 

[yumprint-recipe id=’38’]

Smoked Fish Tart with Orange Gremolata

In those fondly remembered days when we lived on board our yacht Oasis in the Caribbean, one of our favourite visits was to the French islands Les Saintes. There we had a memorable Smoked Swordfish Tart at Le Genois

DSCF1647

front.6.200

It is fairly unusual to find smoked swordfish or marlin outside of the Caribbean I think, but sometimes here I find smoked tuna slices, which fits the bill perfectly.  I haven’t tried it with canned smoked fish, as the texture of fresh (or defrosted) is so much nicer.  You can use smoked salmon or trout instead.

For a non-fast day, I made this with a wholewheat shortcrust base, but it would work equally well as a crustless quiche – just make sure that you use a really good non-stick dish or grease it really well. You can have 4 generous servings from your tart – it comes to 488 calories with the pastry version – but just 260 per serving for a crustless one, so that would be a lovely main dish for a fast day, to serve with a crisp green salad or steamed vegetables.  The serving shown in the photo is just 1/6, at only 320 kcals.

bourgdesaintesJust imagine that you are looking over crystal clear blue waters and feeling the tropical heat…  

You can get a glimpse of the lovely islands of Les Saintes (and other delightful places) in my cruising journal.

 

 

 

[yumprint-recipe id=’33’]

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. 

 

 

 

[yumprint-recipe id=’29’]

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

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

Spiced Red Mullet, Coconut-Lime Sauce, Puy Lentil Salad < 400 kcals

I love these little fish which have such pretty pink skin and a lovely flavour and texture. I buy them frozen and defrost before using.

Red Mullet with Coconut Lime Sauce and Puy Lentil Salad

This is a good recipe for entertaining, as the salad can be prepared ahead of time and the fish are quick to cook. Being less than 400 calories per serving, this could equally find its place as the centre piece of a fast day.

[yumprint-recipe id=’14’]

Haddock in a Saffron Sauce

If you like the Spanish flavours of Saffron and Garlic, I’m sure you will enjoy this way of cooking fish. 

Fish in Saffron Sauce

This recipe is based on one in Tapas, the little dishes of Spain, by Penelope Casas, where she used Swordfish or Shark – but these are off the list of acceptable fish to use these days. I used Haddock, but it would be equally good with Cod or Halibut or a firm meaty fish like Tuna (as long as it was caught by pole and line). If you want more information about which fish are ok to eat and which aren’t, please download Fish to Eat and Fish to Avoid  or get the Fish Fight App.

The lovely golden colour of the finished dish is not entirely due to saffron – I used some frozen tomato flesh, of a home-grown variety called Amish Gold.

I served the Fish in Saffron Sauce with Cauliflower Rice and Broad Beans. A very satisfying and delicious main course under 300 kcals.

Fish in Saffron Sauce, with Cauliflower Rice and Broad Beans

 

[yumprint-recipe id=’12’]

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:

[yumprint-recipe id=’3′][yumprint-recipe id=’4′] 

[yumprint-recipe id=’5′] 

I hope you enjoy something similar!