Healthy, Filling 5:2 Diet Recipe – Spinach and Lentil Soup:
Yes I know I keep making soup. Particularly in winter I find that a generous bowl of home made low calorie soup is one of the best ways to manage a 5:2 diet fast day. And, I’ve learnt a new trick thanks to Diana, the nutritionist on the Revival Boot Camp. One of her recommendations to us was that we should try to include protein in every meal, as a way to stave off hunger pangs. So, even though I used to think ‘pulses’ were for a particular type of uber-healthy vegetarians, I’m now busy working on some of my favourite soups to see how well they work with the addition of lentils or chickpeas (both of which are relatively high in protein) rather than potato, rice or pearl barley.
While this may look very like ‘last year’s soup’, there are subtle differences. I was actually quite suprised that my soup didn’t turn out a murky brown colour. I am trying my best not to open every packet of pulses in the store cupboard to colour co-ordinate lentils with soup and the pack I am currently working through are puy lentils – lovely small nutty black lentils that I’ve discovered I particularly like served with chicken or fish.
The result was a substantial and thick soup that really does seem to help to fill me up on a 5:2 diet fast day. I made enough for three portions (my supermarket pack of spinach was just right for that) and used just 30g of dried lentils. By doing that, I’ve added 20 calories or so per bowlful, but 3 hours after I ate, I’m not in the least bit hungry. I served my soup with a teaspoon of Zero Fat Greek Yoghurt just to make the texture a little creamier and even including that in the calorie count, it’s just a little over 100 calories for a substantial bowl of soup
So I do think it’s worth the extra calories. Even if you are on a 5:2 diet fast day and looking for low calorie recipes, a satisfying lunch for around 100 calories is, in my book, rather more likely to succeed than one with fewer calories that results in snacking later in the afternoon.
I’m planning to carry on working on recipes that help to keep you full for longer but that are also suitable for the 5:2 diet. Because for me, this way of eating has become a lifestyle choice not a short term diet.