5:2 Diet Hake with Saffron Sauce

5:2 Diet Hake with Saffron Sauce:

One of the challenges of a fasting day on the 5:2 diet is making the food I eat interesting without piling on calories.  Fish is a really good solution and I am still using some lovely fish that was sent to me by Delish Fish in Scotland.  But, I really wanted a creamy sauce today – preferably without the calories.

When I was in Boscastle, one of the chefs on stage was Emily Scott from The Harbour Kitchen.  Her presentation focussed on Simple Suppers.  Dishes that you and I can make easily at home.  One of her dishes was monkfish with saffron sauce.  Now, I didn’t have any monkfish, but I did have some rather fabulous hake.  Emily’s recipe used rather more ‘naughty’ ingredients than I thought I could include – her version of the saffron sauce used a tablespoon of olive oil and another double cream instead of the 1 cal spray and low fat creme fraiche I used!


monkfish in cream and saffron - not 5:2 diet

It was quite stunning – my picture of the samples those of us watching in the audience got to enjoy really doesn’t do it justice.  What I did today was take the sauce and adapt it to  reduce the calories.  My version isn’t quite as pretty as Emily’s, mostly because I wasn’t quite careful enough when making the sauce and low fat ingredients are more likely to split than their full fat cousins.  But it was satisfying and filling and something I will repeat.  I will also try Emily’s own recipe ‘properly’ at some point.

Emily Scott at Boscastle

But for now, since I am still doing the 5:2 diet, here’s the recipe I used

5-2 Diet Hake with Saffron Sauce

Serves 1
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Allergy Fish
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot


  • 1 piece Hake (or other sustainable white fish (about 150-200g))
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon Low fat creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon White wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 4 shots Fry 1Cal Olive Oil Spray
  • 2 teaspoons Milk
  • 4-6 Saffron Threads
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Step 1 Put the saffron in the milk and warm in the microwave for 20 seconds. Allow the mixture to infuse while you cook the fish
Step 2 Coat the fish on both sides with Fry I cal olive oil spray. Heat a heavy based frying pan on a medium heat and put the fish service side down. Cook for a few minutes.
Step 3 Add the wine and lemon juice and turn the fish over. Reduce the heat to low and allow the liquid to bubble for a few minutes
Step 4 Stir in the creme fraiche and the milk and saffron mixture and cook till slightly thickened.
Step 5 Stir in the chives and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a simple green vegetable or a rocket salad

I had quite a large piece of hake, about 200g, so I am estimating this recipe at around 340 calories.  Using the Fry 1 cal olive oil spray definitely helps – as does using  low fat creme fraiche.  It was deeply satisfying to have a dish with a thick creamy sauce on a 5:2 fast day, even if my version didn’t look quite as pretty as Emily’s. The sauce went a little bit lumpy I think because using low fat creme fraiche, I probably needed to heat it much more gently rather than trying to reduce it down.

So thank you, for a fabulous and inspiring presentation Emily, I think the other recipe that was presented will work for the 5:2 diet with very little adapting (I will just make a celeriac and potato mixed lemony mash to reduce the calories down to around 120).  And next time I am in Boscastle I will definitely come and visit the Harbour Kitchen.  I’ll just have to make sure it’s not a 5:2 diet fast day – so I can enjoy dessert!





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  1. says

    Wow! This recipe sounds both healthy and tasty. I’m not on a 5:2, but I do still try to maintain a healthy diet. I’ll definitely be adding this to my recipe book. Great post!

  2. says

    I shall be making this tonight for a friend who does not know it is low fat.. I might let her have some potatoes too but I’m hoping she won’t be able to tell it’s low calorie..

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