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Seafood Spelt Pancakes for the 5-2 Diet:
When I was asked if I’d like to review Jessica’s Recipe Bag for ‘Spelt Week’ I was intrigued. I’ve never tried cooking with Spelt, in fact, I really didn’t know what to expect. Except that it would be healthy! And, although I am not a great fan of ReadyMeals, the idea that all the ingredients you might need to cook for your family or just for two of you for a few meals would be delivered in a convenient bag, together with recipes to make, seemed very sensible. I’m sure I DID mention that there’s only one of me. But somehow, I know I got the family bag! And while I can feed a friend and pretend to be a couple, there’s no way I can magic up a couple of hungry children and a partner!
I’m not going to list out the contents, which came in two large carrier bags, but it included 600g of chicken thighs, 350g of prawns and 500g of lamb mince. And enough vegetables to feed me for at least 3 weeks! Because it was spelt week there was also pearl spelt (a bit like pearl barley) spelt pasta, spelt flakes, spelt flour, spelt oats and a couple of boxes of breakfast cereals with spelt and fruit. All excellent quality, this comes from Sharpham Park, an organic farm in Somerset.
Anyway, luckily I have some hungry friends who were delighted to have half of pretty much all the meat, fish and vegetables. I kept some of everything so that I could try some of the recipes and explore how the bag might work for a family or couple.
I also kept the spelt for myself because actually, it is something that I think might be good for me. High in fibre and with a more easily digestible form of gluten than conventional wheat products, it is also high in vitamins, iron and zinc and a good source of complex carbohydrates. Now, I need to be careful about cholesterol levels and associated heart disease, and spelt is something that should help with that. It’s also important as a way of preventing bowel cancer, diabetes, breast cancer and even migraines.
My second challenge was that I had an Oxo Good Grips pancake kit to review that had arrived just a little too late for pancake day. I really wanted to try it out. There’s an excellent flat pancake ‘slice’ that is rather wider than a conventional fish slice and perfect for someone like me who can’t flip. And a lovely red heat proof silicon whisk. That with a helpful white mixing bowl with measures on the inside making it perfect for mixing and then pouring pancake batter (the bowl has a small lip)
And, my third challenge was the 5-2 diet. During the week I tend to be fasting on any day when I am not going out at the moment. So, I was hoping there would be something that would work as supper on a 5-2 diet day without too much adjustment. In fact I ended up making a spicy tomato filling for my spelt pancakes rather than the lush sounding bechamel based one that Jessica recommended. But I will try another of her recipes later this week.
Without more ado, here’s what I came up with. I’ve used prawns because that was supplied in the bag, but any white fish or shell fish would work well in this recipe:-
- 50 g Spelt Flour
- 1 Small Egg
- 150 ml Skimmed Milk
- 125 g Mushrooms chopped and tripped
- 175 g Cooked or Green Prawns
- 1 Shallot finely diced
- 1 tin Chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Chilli sauce I used gran luchito, but any hot chilli sauce will do. Use less if you are using a hot sauce
- 20 g Parmesan finely grated
- 2-3 shots 1-cal oil
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt
- Make a well in the middle of the flour and break the egg into the well
- Mix together, gradually adding the milk until you have a mixture about the consistency of single cream
- Put to one side and allow to rest for 30 minutes
- Heat a large crepe pan and spray with 1cal
- Add about 2/3 of a ladle of batter and spread around by tilting the pan till you have a thinnish pancake
- Cook on one side until the pancake moves easily, then turn using a flsh slice (unless you are brave and want to toss the pancake!)
- Continue till you have four pancakes
- Make up the filling by chopping the shallot and sweating gently for 5 minutes in a heavy based pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- dice the mushrooms, removing any woody parts of the stems. Add to the shallot and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add in the chilli and tomato and cook for around 20 minutes till the mixture is reduced by about a third. Stir in the prawns.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Fill and roll the pancakes and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with the parmesan and place in a preheated oven at 200c 15 minutes or until the parmesan is golden brown
They were delicious. Two pancakes with this filling comes in at around 370 calories and makes a substantial 5-2 diet main meal. And, the spelt adds a nice nutty flavour to the pancakes themselves as well as improving the GI of this dish and helping you to feel full for longer.
I will be experimenting with some of my other spelt goodies over the next few weeks in addition to cooking more of the recipes in Jessica’s Recipe Bag. While I don’t see myself ordering a regular bag, I do think Jessica’s Recipe Bag offers a sensible way to ensure your family eats healthy meals. The food really is excellent quality and I believe the cost is quite reasonable (although of course I don’t normally shop for four people!). If I did have a young family and was a working mum, I’d really appreciate having my shopping done for me and supplied complete with recipe leaflet.
While this is just a little higher in calories than my normal recipe for a 5-2 diet fast day, I think it’s healthy and very tasty. I just made sure that I ate less during the day, in the form of a very low calorie broccoli soup for lunch.
Disclaimer: I was sent a Jessica’s Recipe Bag and an Oxo Good Grips Pancake kit to review. There was no obligation from either supplier to write a review and all views expressed are my own.