5-2 Diet – Recipes for the 5-2 Diet:
Now, I am still doing the 5-2 diet. I am really encouraged by the weight loss so far, and I am hoping that I am also getting some of the health benefits. I watched the Horizon programme, Eat, Fast and Live Longer which highlighted research that has shown that by fasting you can greatly reduce your IGF-1 levels, which is the hormone that encourages cell growth and detracts your body’s ability to repair itself. The growth factor has strong links to the development of Alzheimers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and various cancers. I’ve lost about 2.5 kilos in three weeks and I am feeling more alert, fitter, less bloated and generally as if things are moving in the right direction.
But like many bloggers, I have a little pile of recipe books waiting to be reviewed. I tend to browse through them, making myself hungry and getting hungry. Eventually I DO write a review, but I want to try out a few recipes first, and that can take some time. I rather fancied a curry today and I have Reza’s Indian Spice sitting in my review pile. So, I decided to have a go at adapting one of the recipes in there. I cut the amount of oil right down to a minimum, used zero fat quark rather than yogurt (low fat yogurt tends to split when it is cooked) and used just a bit more tumeric than was in the recipe. And, it was delicious.
- 1 Skinless Chicken Breast Cut into cubes
- 1 Shallot Finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic Crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon Chilli Powder
- pinch Tumeric
- 2 teaspoons Grated Root Ginger
- 1 Chilli Seeds removed and finely chopped. Use less if you prefer a milder curry
- 1/2 Lemon
- 50 g Zero Fat Quark
- 1 teaspoon Sunflower Oil
- 1 handful Fresh Coriander Leaves Finely chopped
- Zest the lemon and stir the zest into the quark
- Gently fry the shallot in the oil, turning frequently, till it is soft and starts to caramelise
- Stir through the spices, garlic and ginger and cook for 20-30 seconds
- Add in the chicken and stir for a few minutes till the meat is coated in spices and sealed on all sides
- Add in the quark, stirring constantly. If the mixture looks too dry, add a little water
- Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes. If the mixture starts too look a little dry, add some water
- Now add the lemon juice, chilli and coriander and continue to cook till the meat is tender (a further 10 minutes or so)
- Serve with basamati rice.
Now, a little secret from me – I tend to avoid trying to make Indian style dishes because the spices always seem a bit complicated to me. If I want a curry I cheat and add in some curry paste then follow the instructions on the jar! The catch with that if you are trying to diet, is that the curry sauces in jars tend to be full of calories! So, I was quite delighted at how easy this curry was and how well it could be adapted to a diet recipe (something that is a lot harder to do with shop bought curry paste)
This recipe adds up to around 250 calories with a 130=140g chicken breast (no skin!!!). It’s delicious and very fresh tasting. I would give it 5 out of 5 chillis if I was rating it for heat – if you prefer a milder curry then use half a chilli rather than a whole one.
The trick, for me, of cooking and eating well on the 5-2 diet is to cook REAL food but use ingredients carefully. I’m weighing and measuring a lot more than I have done in the past. And it’s suprising me how much oil I was adding to recipes without realising and how easy it is to use low calorie, low fat ingredients instead of the ones I am used to. That way my 5-2 diet fast days don’t feel like torture and I can get on with life as normal.