5-2 Diet Made to Measure Vegetable Curry

Low Calorie Vegetable Curry for the 5-2 Diet:

I was sent a large box of rather beautiful organic fruit and vegetables from  Soil and Seed last week.  Now,  when I was asked if I would like to trial one of the boxes I looked at the range currently on offer and was a little bit thrown.  As a single person household trying my best to follow the 5-2 diet, I can’t easily eat through a family box of fruit and vegetables.  But, they only had small boxes of either fruit OR vegetables.   And I really wanted to try both, because at this time of year, for the most part, organic seasonal vegetables need cooking.  So, purely in the interest in trialing the box I ended up with a LOT of fresh fruit and vegetables this week.  My £22 box (retail) had rudolph potatoes, red onions, brown onions, leeks carrots, parsnips, celeriac, turnip and savoy cabbage – as well as apples, pears and pomegranate.  So, this week I am eating a vegetarian diet when I am at home and you’ll probably find more than one 5-2 diet vegetarian recipe!

5-2 diet vegetable curry

Generally I’d make this curry up with chicken or prawns.  I’m sure it’s not in the least bit authentic, but it IS very nice.  And, actually the vegetarian version I made, with roasted root vegetables and a little broccoli was really tasty and filling.  Roasting the vegetables is a good way to get that nice caramelised depth of taste without adding too much fat (I spray mine with one cal and roast on a non-stick tray)

Made to Measure Curry

Serves 2
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Region Indian


Curry Base

  • 1 Medium Carrot (100g)
  • 1 Medium Onion (50g)
  • 1 can Tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin (Ground in a pestle and mortar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander Seed (Ground in a pestle and mortar)
  • 1 piece Cinnamon (Ground in a pestle and mortar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 piece Ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 3-4 shots 1cal oil
  • 1 handful Fresh Coriander
  • 1/2 Lemon


  • 500g Carrots/parsnips/turnips/onion/celeriac (Chopped into chunks. You can also use broccolli, cauliflower, celery)

Curry (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons Coconut milk


Curry Base
Step 1 Slice the onion finely and peel and dice the carrot
Step 2 Spray a heavy based pan with 1 cal and add in the dry spices
Step 3 heat over a medium heat for a minute before adding in the onion, garlic, ginger and carrot. Stir well and cook over a low heat till the onion is translucent
Step 4 Add in the tinned tomatoes and the juice of the lemon and cook for 15 - 20 minutes over a low heat until the carrot and onion is completely soft. Then stir through the fresh coriander and blitz with a hand blender and check the seasoning, adding salt and more chilli as necessary. This makes enough for two portions of curry, so if you are cooking just for yourself, remove half and either freeze or put in the fridge. You will also only need 250g of roasted vegetables for one person.
Step 5 Put all the slow cooking vegetables onto a non-stick baking tray and spray with 1 cal
Step 6 Roast in the oven at 160 for about 20 minutes, adding in the soft vegetables (cauliflower, brocolli etc) for the last 5 minutes.
Step 7 Stir the vegetables and the coconut milk (if you are using it) into half the curry sauce and heat gently for 5-8 minutes
Step 8 Serve with rice, quinoa or just by itself depending on your personal taste and calorie count!

I’ve called it a made-to-measure curry, because I can easily see how this recipe could be adapted to pretty much how every many calories you have to spare for your evening meal.  The basic curry sauce has 79 calories per portion.  Adding coconut milk will add 20-30 calories but make the dish richer and creamier.   And the calorie count of the final curry will depend then upon your mix of vegetables.  It should be perfectly possible though to put together 250g of mixed vegetables for 100-150 calories. If you were really trying to eat a low calorie meal, you could simply stick to the low calorie vegetables and have a large portion of curry for about 150 calories in total!  With the vegetable mix I used, I  had enough calories left to add in a little quinoa from Quinola, an ethical importer of award wining organic peruvian quinoa .  That was another sample I was sent last week, and a lovely addition to the dish which helped make it even more filling!  I’ll write some more about quinoa and Quinola in particular once I’ve experimented a little more. Mine with a small helping of quinoa (30g uncooked or about 50g cooked) comes in at 300 calories, but that was enough for two bowlfuls and I really did feel full!

I’ve done a little check list for myself, so that I can easily keep on track

  • Low Calorie Vegetables: Celery, Turnip, Cauliflower, Broccoli (under 30 calories per 100g)
  • Medium Calorie Vegetables: Onion, Carrot, Celeriac (30-70 calories per 100g)
  • High Calorie vegetables: Potato, Parsnip (over 70 calories per 100g)

On top of the calories, you need to remember that some vegetables are quite dense.  So, a small potato will be around 100 calories.  There’s a good visual guide to what I;m talking about here.


soil and seed box

The organic fruit and vegetable box WAS a little bit too big for me to think I will be buying regularly, but very good value at £22.00 (they even threw in a free sample of some gluten free pasta)    I’m guessing it would provide most of the needs of a normal family of four for a week of meals.  I’ve already made a large pot of carrot and cumin soup as well as enough curry sauce for another meal.  The vegetables are good quality, maybe not quite as regular in size as you might be used to buying from the supermarket, but very well flavoured.  Delivery, in London only at the moment, is via Tesco, so you can now order a good value organic food box with your regular supermarket shop.  I’m used to ordering (occasionally) from Abel and Cole and this box stands up well to the produce they’ve sent me.  For me, at the moment, I’d probably stick with Abel and Cole simply because it suits my own lifestyle to be able to order smaller quantities and to chose what items I want in my box.  But for a normal household, being able to order a good value organic fruit and vegetable box WITH your regular groceries and with the same flexibility that you get from Tesco Direct, should be a winning formula



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  1. says

    Interesting concept with the box! So do they pick out all the seasonal veggies for you and send them as a surprise, or do you have say as to what goes into the box? We have FreshDirect delivery in NYC, but you pick our your own food (grocery products included) and quantities, perhaps a little different.

  2. Bea says

    Thanks a lot for this recipe, it looks awesome and I will make it next week.
    I was wondering what website you use for working out the calories, I use myfitnesspal and it comes to 200 cals (for the lot) for the curry sauce.

  3. says


    You might want to try riced cauliflower as an accompaniment (though obviously if you do, don’t add more cauliflower in the curry).

    Grate a portion of cauliflower (or pulse it in the food processor about 6-8 times until it’s mostly between the size of rice and cous cous) put it in the microwave in a lidded pot for about 3-4 minutes. You want it hot but not cooked through so it still has some texture. This enhances the illusion that you are eating something rice-like IMO.

    I can’t tell you how much I hate the flavour of cauliflower unless it’s masked by something strongly flavoured (cheese/curry etc), and yet this I like, because it’s not cooked it’s very mild and starchy. And 100g is a huge portion tons yet less than 30cal. It’s a great accompaniment to veggie chilli and curries, and stews of all kinds.

    Oh and if you are blitzing it, you can use the stalk (just chop it up a bit first) too which means less waste.

  4. jonono says

    I had never seen a recipe for vegetable curry using roasted vegetables before so was intrigued to try this. It was quite surprisingly absolutely delicious – authentic flavour, very distinctive and much hotter than expected. I drizzled some pomegranite molasses over the vegetables before baking them (and why not?) but made the mistake of not chopping the vegetables small enough so they were still hard after baking so were cooked longer in the sauce to soften. I’m going to make up a big batch to freeze for Christmas week when I just can’t be bothered to cook. A good idea or doesn’t it freeze well?

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