5:2 Fast Day Dinner – Greek Night! Low Fat Hummus, Lean Lamb Stir-Fry with Feta

For a change I thought of having lamb for our last fast day dinner in February. One thing led to another, and our meal became greek inspired….

Low fat Hummus and Crudités

I’ve been making hummus since my sister showed me how when I was a teenager. Usually I would be more generous with the tahini paste and olive oil, but when it came to eating it, I don’t think either of us noticed anything missing! If you left out the tahini altogether, it would save 20kcals per serving – personally I love that sesame flavour that it adds, which sets apart home made from so many of the shop bought ones.

Low-fat Hummus

Makes 8 servings of 70kcals each. With crudités – 100kcals.

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained (265g drained weight)
  • 25g tahini (about 2 level tblsp)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • cold water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, plus a sprinkle to garnish
  • a drizzle of olive oil (1/2 tsp max)
  • optional garnish: finely chopped mint or coriander

Put the chick peas, lemon juice and garlic into a blender and process until almost smooth, adding water as necessary to keep the blender going and to get the consistency the way you like it – firm is good for scooping up with crudités, then you can make it slightly more sloppy for a normal day when you can dip toasted pita bread into it! Mix in the cayenne pepper and season to taste. I rarely use salt when cooking these days, but on a fast day it feels like a need a bit to help with hydration.

This amount makes 8 fast day sized helpings of 50grams weight (approx 2 tbsp).

Serve in individual dishes (to avoid fighting!) and sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper and a tiny drizzle of olive oil (remembering that 1 tsp of olive oil = 40 kcals….)

Serve with crudités. I used 100g celery, 50g carrot, 30g radish, 50g cucumber and 50g fennel between the 2 of us – 30kcal each.

(Leftovers will go with some wholewheat pitta bread tomorrow and be followed by lamb kebas…)

Lean Lamb Stir-Fry with Feta

I had 3 lean leg steaks in the freezer. After trimming them to remove all separable fat, I had enough meat for our main fast day dish, plus a slightly larger amount for kebabs the following day. (Saves £s as well as lbs, this way of eating!)

Lean Lamb Stir-Fry with Feta

Serves 2, His and Hers portions – 340/240 kcals

  • 165g lean leg of lamb, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground (I usually have a jar of these two spices mixed together, which I use often!)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 50g carrots (3 small)
  • 100g celery (3 sticks)
  • 120g cauliflower florets
  • 180g tomatoes (2 large)
  • 80g mushrooms (2 large)
  • 135g spinach
  • 80g savoy cabbage (about a 1/4 of a whole head)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • seasoning to taste
  • 25g feta cheese

Rub the spices over the lamb and set aside while you prepare the vegetables.

If the spinach has large leaves, discard the stalks and tear the leaves into a few pieces. Halve the tomatoes and cut each half into 4. Slice the mushrooms. Slice the carrots diagonally. Cut the celery into diagonal chunks. Cut the cabbage into wide strips.Lean Lamb Stir-Fry with Feta

Heat half the olive oil in a wok over medium heat. Cook the lamb until nicely browned on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the onions and garlic and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Next add the carrots, celery and cauliflower and cook a few more minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Continue to stir fry as the tomatoes break down and start to release their liquid. You may need to add a little water if they are not particularly juicy, but try not to dilute the luscious flavours too much! Next add the cabbage and give that a minute or so before you add the spinach. Before the spinach has completely wilted down, return the lamb to the pan and mix together well.

Divide into two (unequal!) portions and add sliced or crumbled feta to the top. This makes such a difference to the overall enjoyment of the dish, don’t be tempted to omit it!

His portion

340 kcal portion

We would really have relished a bit more of the cheese on top, but no calories to spare, as we finished our meal with a small helping of 0% fat fromage blanc, topped with a sprinkling of toasted almonds. Maybe it was lacking a drizzle of honey, but hey, it’s a fast day, and you know what?

Her portion

240 kcal portion

We were both happily satiated by our greek inspired dinner.

After a breakfast of porridge with blackberries for me and porridge with prunes for him, that came in for the day just under our targets of 500/600 kcals.

These recipes can be used as part of any weight loss programme or as part of a normal healthy diet. A little carbohydrate in the form of pitta bread and rice, or even oven baked jacket fries, would go well with this meal on a non-fasting day.

These recipes use seasonal ingredients for Februrary :  Cauliflower,  Cabbage and Carrots

If you try these recipes and have any suggestions for improvements, or any comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Advertisements

Jerusalem Artichoke and Goat’s Cheese Gratin

This is what we had for lunch today – totally delicious and lovely textures. This makes a great feature of Jerusalem Artichokes, which are in season now.  Not entirely plant-based proteins, because of the goat’s cheese….

_MG_3253 Jerusalem Artichoke and Goat's Cheese Gratin _MG_3309 Jerusalem Artichoke and Goat's Cheese Gratin

Jerusalem Artichoke and Goat’s Cheese Gratin

for 2 people (but we couldn’t finish it!). 490 kcals, 12.6g protein per serving

  • 450 grams peeled or scrubbed artichokes (keep under water to stop them going brown)
  • 3 small leeks
  • a grating of fresh nutmeg and black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 40g shelled walnut pieces
  • 2 rounds of fresh young goat’s cheese (called Cabecou here)
  • A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme

Heat oven to 200C.

Slice the artichokes into rounds, about 5mm (1/4″) thick. Cook in boiling lightly salted water for about 3 minutes, until slightly soft. Drain.

Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan until slightly coloured, then chop finely.

Trim, wash and slice the leeks finely. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the leeks and spices, stir fry for a minute or two, then add about 100ml of water. Put the lid on and lower the heat to minimum and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and luscious.

Put the leeks in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. If they have dried out, add a couple of tablespoons of water, then layer the artichokes on top. Sprinkle the nuts over and then crumble the goats cheese on top. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cheese is starting to brown.

Serve with a rocket and orange salad (half an orange), dressed with the squeezed orange juice and a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar.

_MG_3307

We finished our meal with Vanilla Soya Custard with Banana.

Vanila Soya Custard with Banana

Entered in At Home with Mrs M’s Recipe Link PartyMade with Love Mondays hosted by javelin warrior and Simple and in Season which is hosted this month by Caroline at Cake, Crumbs and Cooking

A colourful weekly shop on a chilly Sunday

Market - February 24 Brrrhh, it was chilly in the local market this morning, with snow flurries. Very few stallholders and not many more customers – most of them were crowded into the café (thank goodness it is non-smoking these days).

IMG_1307So with the freezing temperatures there wasn’t much sign of spring, apart from some cheerful sprigs of mimosa on the charcuterie stall.

I still managed to come back with several goodies though :-

  • a lovely huge bunch of watercress
  • two rounds of fresh cabecou goats cheese
  • A huge slice of pumpkin for less than 1 euro
  • rich red and orange carrots, bought directly from the organic grower
  • a delicate bunch of slim leeks
  • a brimming bag-full of spinach leaves
  • an interesting collection of knobbly jerusalem artichokes

_MG_3238-2 _MG_3243 _MG_3249 _MG_3253

Added to the celery, cauliflower, fennel and mushrooms from the grocery store, this gives us a good range of colourful, nutritious veggies for this week.

_MG_3241

For fruit this week I have local French Braeburn apples, Comice pears, pomegranate and kiwi fruit, together with some imported sunshine – a pineapple from Africa, bananas from the Windward Islands, satsumas from Spain and pink grapefruit from Florida.

_MG_3258

All I have to do now is prepare all the meals for our 5:2 way of eating and enjoy!

5:2 Meal Plan Feb 23 – Mar 1

Week 7 of fasting coming up. Definitely thinner. Loving this 5:2 as it’s so easy to follow. Yes we are eating sensibly every day, with few ‘treats’, but nothing is forbidden, so there is nothing to feel guilty about, nothing to really miss. Really I’m finding that I don’t want so much to eat and we have got right out of the habit of snacking before our evening meals. I think a lot of that it is to do with not drinking alcohol most of the week.

We went out one evening last week, so I changed things around a bit with my meal plan and still have at least one menu which I didn’t use.

I’ll be going to the local market on Sunday morning and hoping to find local and seasonal watercress, cauliflower, carrots, leeks, pomegranate. Maybe some mushrooms?

I used to eat half a banana every day, for the potassium, but I discovered that mushrooms are also a good source and much lower in calories. I’ll also buy some luscious Prunes d’Agen – although all dried fruit is relatively high in calories, one of the problems with fasting for some people is that it can upset your regular bowel habit, perhaps due to reduced volume. 2 prunes is only 50 calories, so they can easily fit into a normal day.

I’m not showing breakfast except on fast day, or if I plan to try something new.

Here’s the plan:-

Saturday – a day to relax and have some of our favourites – but still with an eye on total intake!

  • lunch: Home made Chorizo, Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza
    Mixed Leaf Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Satsuma
  • supper: Chicken and Vegetable Curry with a flame-grilled poppadum and a small helping of brown rice, served with chutney, pickle and mint raita
    Apple and Ginger dessert
  • extras: yes, wine and chocolates, if we feel like it – at this rate my box of Christmas chocolates are going to last right to my birthday in May (by which time I hope to have achieved my target weight)

Sunday – looks like it will be chilly, a brisk walk after lunch may be called for….

  • lunch: Baked Guinea Fowl with a Pomegranate Jus and Seasonal Vegetables I still have red cabbage, a little butternut squash, some green cabbage and a couple of parsnips to use up. Guinea Fowl is in season, but I may have to settle for a chicken or a couple of quail. I need just a little leftover meat for the soup tomorrow and I do like to make my own stock from a carcass.
    Chocolate Pear Crisp – 140 kcal (I couldn’t make this last week as I suddenly realised I hadn’t got any ground almonds)
  • dinner: Watercress Soup
    Mushrooms and Grilled Back Bacon on Wholewheat Toast, green salad with balsamic dressing
    fresh fruit
  • extras: wine and dark Belgian chocolate (that’s it for treats until next weekend…)

Monday – FAST day

  • breakfast: Scrambled Egg with Lean Ham – 120 kcal
  • dinner: Tom Yum Gai (Thai style chicken broth) – 75 kcal
    Superhealthy Salmon BurgersI turn this recipe into small asian style fish cakes, served with pickled ribbons of carrot and cucumber245 kcal
    spiced fruit and fromage blanc – 55 kcal

Tuesday –

  • lunch: Toulouse Sausage with Cauliflower Mash and Roasted Red Onions – These sausages are very meaty with no added cereal. Cauliflower makes a great mash with far less calories than spuds! 
    Filo cups with Apple and Blackberry
  • supper: Indian Chickpea and Vegetable Soup with naan bread
    Figs Poached with Stem Ginger

Wednesday

Thursday – FAST day

  • breakfast: Bircher Muesli with Apple (soak oats overnight, add grated apple in the morning)
  • dinner: Simple Vegetable Soup
    Smoked Haddock with Poached Egg and Wilted Spinach
    Mocha Fromage Blanc

Friday

  • lunch: Hummus and Crudités
    Stir fry Lamb with Feta, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes
    Yogurt with toasted Almonds and a drizzle of honey
  • supper: Wholewheat Penne Pasta with Duck Ragu
    fresh fruit

I’m lucky to have some home grown produce in the freezer – cherries, figs, blackberries, mange tout, courgettes and green beans at least and also my own sun-dried tomatoes – to bring a taste of summer into my otherwise seasonal menu.

I’m looking forward to it, and will try and photograph and write up my recipes. I’m a bit behind in getting all the information onto here – not enough hours in the day. But if you have any questions about anything here, don’t hesitate to either comment, or contact me through the Facebook 5:2 Intermittent Fasting group, where you’ll find me – Belinda Berry

5:2 Meal Plan Feb 16 – 22

We’re on to week 6 of our 5:2 lifestyle and I’m delighted to have got below a virtual milestone this week. On to my next goal!

So my plan for the week ahead. I still have some food left in the fridge – it’s amazing how much less we are eating. So I have to think about how to use up the odds and ends as well as making the most of whatever local seasonal produce I can find and also to keep things simple – I’m not going to be spending much time in the kitchen this week.

My choice of seasonal and locally grown foods for this week include: red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, leeks, celeriac, parsnips, apples, kiwi fruit, pears, plus clementines from Spain.

I am working on a target of 450 – 500 calories on a fast day and 1200 calories on a feed day – any more than that has to be earned by exercise. The numbers are based on my calculations for losing 1lb a week according to my BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate), as a largely sedentary person of my age, height and current weight. You can calculate your BMR here.

My husband has a target of 600 calories on a Fast Day and 1800 on a feed day. He gets larger portions and tends to eat crackers with soup as well.

I’m not showing breakfast except on fast day, or if I plan to try something new.

Here’s the plan:-

Saturday

  • lunch: Home made pizza – 320 kcal for my portion
    Mixed Leaf Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette – 50 kcal
    Satsuma – 30 kcal
  • supper: Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower & Almond soup – 160 kcals (for 200 ml BBC Good Food version – mine is lighter)
    Mushrooms and Grilled Back Bacon on Wholewheat Toast, green salad with balsamic dressing
    Glazed Pineapple with Cinnamon Fromage Frais 160 kcal ( BBC Good Food again, my version is lighter, but I haven’t had time to write it up yet!)
  • extras: yes, wine and chocolates, why not?
    I make the pizza dough in my bread maker. I split one batch to make 2 thin crust pizzas, which cuts the calories down enormously.

Sunday

  • lunch: Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower & Almond soup – 160 kcals
    Farmhouse Paté with crispbread, light cole slaw and green salad – 260 kcals
    small piece of cheddar cheese – 10g – 40 kcals
    Fresh fruit salad (apple, pear, blood orange, banana)- 80 kcals
  • dinner: Roast Pork with Seasonal Vegetables – going to try a variation of my healthy Sunday roast this week, using a lean pork fillet joint. I may base it on this recipe (290 kcals) and I’ll add some seasonal veg, like parsnips and red cabbage.
    Chocolate Pear Crisp – 140 kcal (I made this last week and it was yummy, but I think I can improve on it)
  • extras: wine and dark Belgian chocolate (that’s it for treats until next weekend…)
    I’ll make a couple of wholewheat loaves today and freeze one. I’m trying to make sure that the majority of our staple carbs are wholegrain.

Monday – FAST day

  • breakfast: Scrambled Egg with Lean Ham – 120 kcal
  • dinner: Simple Vegetable Soup70 kcal
    Asian Poached Chicken
    Vegetable Salad (red pepper, celeriac, carrot, broccoli, spring onion)
    Vietnamese Style Dressing
    Cherry Choc dessert (0% fat fromage blanc, cherries and grated dark chocolate; no sweetener)

Tuesday

  • lunch: Stir-fry pork and vegetables (using leftover from roast)
    Light apple and blackberry crumble
  • supper: Caribbean Butternut Squash Soup
    No-Carb Caesar Salad with Crispy Parma Ham (this is a suggestion in The Fast Diet book, it is a really good idea. I’ll use leftover poached chicken in this).
    fresh fruit and fromage blanc

Wednesday

  • lunch: Leek Risotto with Parmesan Crisps (Nigel Slater recipe) – 250 kcal
    I’ll use the chicken stock from the Asian Poached Chicken for this
    Frozen Cherry Choc dessert
  • supper : Caribbean Butternut Squash Soup
    Farmhouse Paté with light cole slaw and mixed salad – 260 kcals
    light apple and blackberry crumble

Thursday – FAST day

  • breakfast: Porridge with blackberries
  • dinner: Carrot and coriander soup
    Teriyaki Salmon with steamed vegetables
    Clementine

Friday

  • breakfast: Swiss style muesli with grated apple (soak oats overnight, add grated apple in the morning)
  • lunch: Wholewheat Penne Pasta with Duck Ragu (from the freezer)
    fresh fruit salad
  • Carrot and coriander soup
    Tuna and Bean Salad with Feta Cheese
    fromage blanc topped with chopped kiwi and dried cherries

There should be enough tasty variety of food there to keep us both happy – and keep the weight off. I’ll try and add the recipes as I have the time. I’ve got plenty more ideas!

5:2 Meal Plan Feb 9 -16

We’re on to week 5 of our 5:2 and it’s proving to be straightforward to stick to and the results are pleasing – we are both visibly slimmer. I’m trying to increase my activity level as well with a weekly Zumba class, some cycling and in between using Wii Fit and Wii Zumba.

So my plan for the week ahead. I’m going to the local market on Sunday and will be hoping that they have some lovely seasonal veg to use – at this time of year I might find sprouting broccoli, leeks, parsnips and chicory. Not much happening in my garden, just a few parsnips and some beetroot left. Several of the meals here are based on BBC Good Food recipes, though I nearly always reduce the sugar/fat/carbs even more. I’ll be putting up my own versions as soon as I get tome to write them up.

Note: calorie amounts here are for what I eat myself, my target is 1200 calories on an ordinary day and 400 – 500 on a fast day (I’m only 5′ tall and base my requirements on being sedentary – extra food has to be earnt by exercise!). I serve larger portions to my husband!

Here’s the plan:-

Saturday

  • breakfast: porridge with a little soya milk – 64 kcal
  • lunch: Home made pizza – 320 kcal for a half portion
    (When I first made these pizzas I thought we would eat a whole one between us, but I usually only eat 1/4 and there is always some left over for tomorrow’s supper)
    Mixed Leaf Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette – 50 kcal
    Satsuma – 30 kcal
  • supper: Indian Chickpea and Vegetable Soup – 170 kcal
    Sardines on Toast – 140 kcal (per slice)
    Chocolate Pear Crisp – 140 kcal
  • extras: 2 glasses of wine and 1 dark Belgian chocolate (we’ve been SO good!)

Sunday

  • breakfast: wholewheat toast with a scrape of butter and marmite – 110 kcal
  • lunch: Baked Orange Chicken with Seasonal Vegetables – 400 kcal
    (we’ve had this nearly every week recently, I like the fact that I get at least 3 meals from this, plus stock for soup)
    Baked Pear with Amaretti and vanilla ice cream – 140 kcal
    (1 scoop of carte d’Or ice cream on half a hot pear with its crunchy topping. yummy)
  • supper: Indian Chickpea and Vegetable Soup – 170 kcal
    leftover Pizza and Salad – 200 kcal
    Mocha Fromage Blanc – 50 kcal
  • extras: 2 glasses of wine and 1 dark Belgian chocolate (that’s it for treats until next weekend…)

Monday – FAST day

  • breakfast: Scrambled Egg with Smoked Trout140 kcal
    quick and easy fast day breakfast - 140 kcals

    quick and easy fast day breakfast – 140 kcals

    Simple Vegetable Soup

    Simple Vegetable Soup – 70 kcals

  • dinner: Simple Vegetable Soup – 70 kcal
    (100g frozen veggies, 1 tsp marigold bouillon powder, 300ml water per person, simmer 20 mins, blend a little if you like to vary the texture)
    Rump Steak – 100g / 125 kcal,
    Watercress and Orange Salad – 40 kcal,
    Light Coleslaw – 30 kcal
    Mushrooms with Garlic – 15 kcal
    Cherry compote with fromage blanc – 55 kcal
    (frozen cherries, 5 spice powder, a little water, simmer until softened. sprinkle a little spice on the fromage blanc too)
  • Total for the day: 475 kcal
Rump Steak (100g) with garlic mushrooms, coleslaw and watercress salad

Rump Steak (100g) with garlic mushrooms, coleslaw and watercress salad – 210 kcals

5 Spice Cherry Compote with Fromage Frais

5 Spice Cherry Compote with Fromage Frais – 55 kcals

Tuesday

  • breakfast: half a grapefruit
  • lunch: Leftover baked chicken and vegetables
    Cherry compote with fromage blanc
  • supper: Moroccan spiced cauliflower and almond soup
    (this was a big hit last week, so I’ll do a whole cauli this time and freeze what’s left)
    Tuna and bean salad with feta cheese
    Pancakes with lemon and sugar / maple syrup (it’s Shrove Tuesday!)

Wednesday

  • breakfast: wholewheat toast
  • lunch: Thai style turkey stir fry with noodles and prawn crackers
    apple and cheese
  • Chicken fajita wraps (using remaining leftover chicken) with guacamole
    kiwi fruit

Thursday – FAST day

  • breakfast: Porridge with blackberries
  • dinner: Carrot and coriander soup
    Smoked mackerel with a poached egg and wilted spinach
    Satsuma

Friday

  • breakfast: half a grapefruit
  • lunch: Ham, egg and chips
    (restricted to 100g of chunky oven chips)
    fresh fruit salad
  • Carrot and coriander soup
    Pasta spirals with duck ragu
    fruit with fromage blanc

That’s it. I’ll add in the rest of the calorie counts later, along with any other fruits or veggies that get included.

5:2 Meal Plan Feb 2 – 9

Amazing, this is our 4th week of doing the 5:2 diet and we are both feeling good and looking better!

Here’s my plan for the week, almost completed (my plans run Saturday – Friday). I won’t include breakfast except on Fast Days. My brekkie is usually either a slice of home-made wholewheat toast with marmite (or peanut butter for a treat) or porridge, or occasionally half a grapefruit.

We are trying to switch to having our main meal in the middle of the day and a lighter supper – except of course for fast days when we aren’t having lunch at all!

  • Sat lunch: home made thin crust pizza with parma ham, sundried tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, green salad. satsuma
  • Sat supper, with friends: guacamole with taco chips. super healthy salmon burgers with rice (based on BBC Good Food recipe), pickled carrot ribbons and steamed broccoli. crepes with lemon and sugar (Candelmas Day treat)
  • Sun lunch: Orange baked chicken with pumpkin, parsnips & peppers. baked pear with amaretti
  • Sun supper: Moroccan spiced cauliflower and almond soup (BBC Good Food). leftover pizza and salad. fruit salad with fromage blanc
  • Mon breakfast: ham and poached egg
  • Mon supper: Vegetable soup. Baked cod with steamed vegetables. Fruit salad with fromage blanc
  • Tue lunch: leftover baked chicken and vegetables. Cherry compote (no sugar) and fromage blanc
  • Tue supper: Grilled halloumi. Rice and beans with tuna. Cherry compote with fromage blanc and crumbled amaretti
  • Wed lunch: Coronation chicken (mayo mixed with yogurt) with avocado salad. half a pear and a satsuma
  • Wed supper: Lentil and coconut curry with cauliflower (based on BBC Good Food), naan bread. spiced pineapple with cinnamon fromage frais (based on BBC Good Food, but much less honey)
  • Thus breakfast: porridge with blackberries
  • Thurs dinner: vegetable sop. smoked haddock with poached egg and spinach. satsuma
  • Fri lunch: Mexican meatballs with wild and basmati rice mix, avocado salad. cheddar cheese. satsuma
  • Fri supper: Chorizo and rocket spaghetti. spiced pineapple with fromage frais