Menu Planning for 5:2 Diet and Chicken Tarragon Parcels:
I’m quite enjoying this 5:2 diet business.
I’m not finding 5:2 menu planning hard and as it goes, the 5:2 diet itself is not that bad. I’m finding that I am increasingly less hungry on the 5 days, while I’m even managing to exercise on the 5:2 fasting days now.
I suspect it’s partly that I’m enjoying menu planning for dieting on 5:2 fast days, I do like a challenge and really to make the 5:2 fasting days work on the basis of 2 meals and a few cups of coffee with skimmed milk, I need to keep to a ‘main’ meal of around 350 calories. But I want my food to look like a real meal and to include meat or fish. While I’d love to be a health fiend, I’m old enough and wise enough to know that eating that way won’t work for me in the long term!
For today’s 5:2 menu planning I was keen to use chicken rather than fish. I just had a bit of a yearning for some chicken…and although it is higher in calories by weight than most white fish, a medium to large chicken breast without skin is still only around 250 calories. So perfectly ok for a 5:2 if you are careful with the other things you serve with it. Of course most of us make rich sauces for chicken, or eat the breast with skin on. And the calories quickly add up if you do that. So menu planning for 5:2 is everything!
- 2 Medium Chicken Breasts For a slimline dish, choose skinless chicken!
- 12 Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 sprigs French Tarragon
- 4 Kalamata olives
- 1 Lemon sliced
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Coat each of the chicken breasts with a tiny amount of olive oil
Put each chicken breast in a square of foil
place a sprig of tarragon on each one
Now cover with sliced lemons
Put the cherry tomatoes and olives around the chicken
Season with salt and pepper and close up the parcels, crimping the edges so that they are sealed all round
Place on a baking tray in a preheated oven at 180c,
Cook for 20 minutes
Serve by unsealing the parcels, removing the tarragon and lemon and plating the chicken up with olives and tomatoes surrounding.
I suspect dieting using the 5:2 diet plan is easier in summer. I never feel so hungry when it’s warm and I am happy to eat healthy salads and light meals. Today’s chicken dish was partly inspired because I have some beautiful cherry tomatoes ripening on the balcony. And, a couple of pots of tarragon. I’ve made a tomato and chicken tarragon recipe before, but it involved far too much olive oil for the 5:2 diet, so I decided the best way to create this dish was to use foil packages and effectively steam the chicken with lemon and tarragon. I griddled some vegetables on the George Foreman grill to go with the chicken, just dressed with a little za’atar (no added oil at all). And, now I feel quite full!
The calories for this particular meal add up as follows:
Chicken breast – 250cal (will depend on weight of chicken – this allows for a large breast!)
6 cherry tomatoes 3cal
1/2 teaspoon olive oil 15cal
3 olives 15cal
1 courgette 18 cals
1/2 red pepper 15 cals
Total 330 cals
If chicken isn’t your thing, here are some other 5:2 diet fasting recipes
My 5:2 menu planning for today has been as follows:-
1 small bowl greek yoghurt with 1/2 teaspoon of honey 50 cals
1 small bowl of spinach and celery soup (recipe link below) 70 cals
Chicken Tarragon Parcels – as above, with griddled vegetables 330 cals
2 cups of coffee with milk 20 cals