More on Planning for 5:2 Diet Fast Days
I’m really not good at meal planning. It’s probably because living along, I’m used to catering for myself in a kitchen foraging kind of way. At best it leads to inventive cooking. At worst it’s only me who gets to see and eat what ever I happen to have ‘created’.
But, to follow something like the 5:2 Diet, I find you really do have to plan for your fast days. It’s partly because with just 500 calories to play with for the day it’s hard to just pick something out of the fridge. It’s also because a little planning really does help keep the calories down. Replacing potatoes with celeriac cuts the calorie count by about 50%, using shirataki noodles gives you a big bowl of comfort food for less than 150 calories including vegetables and meat, and making your own soup means you can avoid adding cream, fat and too much potato and still have a hearty and warming meal.
So, yesterday’s meal plan was as follows:
Breakfast – Coffee with a little milk (nothing else because I really wasn’t hungry)
Lunch – Home made spicy tomato and lentil soup. I used my own recipe for 5:2 diet spicy lentil soup, but made a much-improved version by using half a teaspoon of Gran Luchito chilli paste rather than the red chilli that I’d originally used. The result was a smokier, deeper flavour which was if anything a little less fiery. Highly recommended (and I’ve updated the recipe!!!)
Supper- I made Gratinated Smoked Haddock in Mustard Sauce. Very good indeed but I think next time I might try a smooth mustard rather than the dijon, just to improve the appearance which is fine ‘in the pan’ but kind of messy on the plate (though very very tasty!)
This particular recipe comes in at about 280 calories, depending on the size of the haddock fillet and is real winter comfort food without the calories. You really do only need a touch of parmesan on top of the tomatoes to give it that lovely gratinated flavour, and good smoked haddock like the sort I was sent by John at DelishFish makes this dish truly tasty!
- 15 g Cornflour
- 60 ml 1% Milk
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 20 g Parmesan Finely Grated
- 1 Fillet of smoked haddock Natural please, not the bright yellow dyed stuff
- 1 Tomato Sliced
- 1 Shallot Finely diced
- 1 Stick of celery Finely diced
- 15 g Unsalted butter
- Begin by poaching the smoked haddock for 5 minutes in the milk. Remove the fish from the milk and retain the flavoured milk
- Sweat the shallot and celery in melted butter for 5 minutes, then stir through the cornflour and cook for a minute
- Stir the milk into the mixure and warm through till it thickens. Add mustard and pepper to taste, but be careful about adding any salt as smoked fish can taste quite salty.
- Place the fish in a buttered gratin dish, cover with sauce and place the sliced tomatoes on top
- Sprinkle over the grated parmesan and bake for 15-20 minutes till everything is bubbling and the top of the gratin is golden
- Serve with green vegetables
My total calories for the day were around 450, including milk for coffee throughout the day.
Interestingly, there’s a school of thought within the 5:2 dieting community that suggests you should try to extend the ‘natural’ total fast of sleep for a further 12 hours or so, effectively eating nothing at all until your evening meal on fast days. I haven’t found that a particularly easy concept to follow, but I’ve managed quite well to not eat breakfast and drink just green tea or herbal tea without milk when the weather is good. Sadly, as winter has crept up on us, I’ve felt an increasing need for comfort food and the two recipes I’ve listed for yesterday’s 5:2 diet fast day both fall into that category.