Sams Brasserie and Bar 5:2 Diet Menu and Celery with Split Pea Soup Recipe

Dining in and out on the 5:2 Diet – Sam’s Brasserie Menu and a simple but substantial 5:2 diet recipe for Celery and Pea Soup:

Sams Bar Brasserie Mussels - 5-2 diet menu

I love dining out.  And, for the most part one of the advantages of the 5:2 diet is that I don’t have to worry about counting calories when I am on a 5:2 diet fast day.  But, I also know how annoying it is when my friends want to meet up on a day I’ve earmarked as a fast day.  Restaurants are generally quite unhelpful at indicating which dishes MIGHT be low calorie and even if you have a reasonable idea of what will work, it only takes a chef who is a little generous with butter or olive oil to change the calorie count of, for example, a fish dish.  So, I love the initiative at Sam’s Brasserie and Bar to offer a 5:2 diet friendly set menu.  And I was curious to see just how well it performed as a normal ‘meal’.  Now, it wasn’t a 5:2 diet fast day for me, but if it had been, I could easily have picked the lower calorie options and still had enough for a bowl of soup and a little milk for my coffee.  Three courses for under 400 calories sounds remarkable doesn’t it.

In fact I wasn’t fasting and so I didn’t even try to work out a way to have three courses under 500 calories. Although my choice of Chicken Satay, followed by Mussels with a Passion-fruit Pannacotta for dessert DID come in at just 469cals.

Starting with the chicken, it was a perfectly cooked portion of three skewers, coated in a nutty flavoured sauce and served with a fresh coriander and beanshoot salad and some fresh lime.  Really delicious, while you might have guessed this was a ‘healthy’ dish as there was no oil or grease, the taste and quantity was in no way compromised.

Sams Brasserie - Chicken Satay 5-2 diet menu

Steamed mussels are an obvious diet dish when eating out and trying to keep the calories low.  The only catch is that a wine and cream based sauce can quickly ramp up the calories.  By serving a tangy tomato based broth as the base for the mussels, the calorie count is just 208 per portion.

On to dessert.  The last time I tried a ‘diet’ dessert when I was eating out I did feel that the dish was a little sad.  Here though, the panna cotta was lush, creamy and had the perfect wobble.  Using passion fruit and vanilla as the flavour is a smart way to help keep the calories down, because the slightly acid passion fruit works very well with yoghurt which replaced cream as the base for this panna cotta, keeping the calories down under 150!

Sams Brasserie Passionfruit Pannacotta

So all in, a great success, with no feeling on my part that my lunch was spoilt by my diet.  I would happily have picked any of these dishes again and I REALLY didn’t need three courses to fill me up.

The menu is actually worth checking out in it’s entirety – I’m quite sure I will be making my own version of some of these dishes myself over the next few weeks.  If you decide that you’d like to let someone else do the hard work, it’s available at lunch time or before 7pm and  costs £13.50  for two courses or  £16.50 for three.  I love Sam’s Brasserie and Bar – it’s not quite on my doorstep enough for me to be a regular there, but it’s the sort of place you can take anyone – your parents, a business colleague or a date – and it’s a very child friendly place.   So, next time one of my friends wants to meet up, it will be top of the list.

Sam’s Brasserie 5:2 Diet Menu

Watermelon & Feta Salad (99 calories)
Thai Style Fish Kebabs (230 calories)
Chicken Satay (117 calories)

Butternut Squash & Ricotta Frittata, Watercress & Mixed Seed Salad (298 calories)
Steamed Mussels, Tomato Broth (208 calories)
Lo-Lo Pork Meatballs, Cavolo Nero (264 calories)

Baked Honey Apricots, Greek Yoghurt (161 calories)
Passion Fruit &  Vanilla Panna Cotta (144 calories)
Champagne Granita, Blueberries (86 calories)

Meanwhile, just in case you think I’ve given up, this recipe for Celery and Split Pea Soup with Thyme is my latest 5:2 Diet Recipe.  Again, I am reworking an old favourite to try and create something that includes a little more protein.  Like lentils, split peas help to thicken soups and stews but are also high in protein and low GI, so by adding in a handful here instead of potato or celeriac, I’ve made something that has more substance.


5-2 Diet Recipe Low Calorie Celery and Split Pea Soup

Serves 3-4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Soup
Misc Serve Hot


  • 1 head Celery (Trimmed, any woody parts removed and cut into 1cm pieces)
  • 1 Medium Onion (Peeled and finely chopped)
  • 40g Yellow Split Pease
  • 1 handful Fresh Thyme (Leaves stripped and stalks removed)
  • 750ml Vegetable Stock
  • 2-3 shots 1-cal oil (or a few drops of olive oil on a piece of kitchen paper)


Step 1 Spray or wipe the base of a heavy pan with oil. Add the onion and heat gently over a low flame till translucent (5 minutes or so).
Step 2 Add the thyme and celery. Mix well and continue to cook for 2 or 3 minutes
Step 3 Pour over the stock and add the split peas. Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for 30-40 minutes.
Step 4 Once the peas are soft, blitz with a wand mixer and add salt and pepper as required
Step 5 Serve garnished with fresh parsley, croutons or even a little bit of crispy bacon!

Celery and Split Pea Soup

5-2 diet celery and split pea soup

The perfect way to keep warm and avoid those hunger pangs on a 5:2 Diet Fast Day.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


  1. says

    I love Sams Brasserie and visited it often when we lived in W4. I love the idea of 5:2 friendly food in a restaurant with such flavour, though personally I tend to avoid socialising on fast days as the rest of the menu would just tempt me too much…!

    • says

      honestly I thought it would tempt me too, but this was REALLY good. Where I did fail was with a glass of wine though…but I went on a normal day so that if necessary I could go over the 500 calories

    • Patrick says


      I was surprised to find out how well it worked – I’ve lost about 3kg/7lbs in a month. I tried it because I knew a couple who had great success doing this and had kept the weight off. The only way to find out if it works for you is to do it, luckily it is very easy and you’ll be able to quickly see results.

      I wasn’t heavily overweight, in fact my BMI (21.7) fell within the healthy levels at , yet I still lost measurable weight quickly. It requires a certain amount of self control, but being able to eat ‘normally’ for 5 days a week makes the 2 restricted calorie days fairly easy to do. I found my capacity to eat reduced within the first couple of weeks and have had the satisfaction of seeing my belly getting smaller.

      Just give it a go, do it for yourself, it has a great benefit that many other diets don’t have, which is the general health aspect due to ‘fasting’ a couple of days a week.

      Fiona, thanks for your interesting blog and recipes, I found you whilst searching for some celery soup recipe ideas. Soups are a fabulous way to fill up without too many calories and not just on the fast days, celery appeals as a soup base because it has just 7 calories per 100g!

  2. says

    Great idea for a restaurant to have a 5:2 diet friendly menu. Very forward thinking, and it sounds like a great choice too. Your soup looks fab, hearty and wholesome. I’ve pinned it to my 5:2 board :)

  3. says

    What exactly is a 5:2 diet? I don’t diet but I’m always interested in the latest diet fads. I love to dine out too, I just wish it wasn’t so expensive! All of that looks delicious, especially those mussels, yum! I wish i could have some right now.

    • says

      the 5:2 diet is based on intermittent fasting. You eat what you want 5 days of the week (think sensible, healthy food, nothing banned, no ‘diet’ plans). On two days of the week you cut your calories down to 500 for a woman and 600 for a man. Again, no forbidden foods. For me, the easiest way is low calorie home made soup at lunch time and a healthy fish/white meat with veg supper. And no alcohol. But, I know others who do it differently – there are no rules about what you should eat…just a ‘semi’ fast, which adjusts your body’s eating patterns and (for me) helps me eat less on non-fast days. It’s not really a fad – in the UK it is a lifestyle choice now for a lot of us and has been around for a year and a half.

  4. Pamela Morse says

    I have the same attitude about dining out..but do it much less than you do. I completely admire the way you are Epicurean and also wellness aware. Good job, Fiona..and I am knocking off the soup recipe.

  5. says

    I think I need to pay more attention to this 5:2 diet and get on board. The menu at that restaurant looks amazing, and something I would order even though I’m not fasting. Your soup looks delicious too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *