5-2 Diet Meal Planning and Red Cabbage Soup:
My name is Fiona and I am a foodaholic. Seriously, one thing the 5-2 diet has made me very aware of is how much my life revolves around food. I’ve developed a snobbery about ready meals and I really miss not cooking. So for me, the only way to make the 5-2 diet fast day works is to cook. Quite often lunch as well as supper, although I do sometimes manage to eat something simple for lunch. It’s not that I dislike ready meals or pre-prepared soups but, I think there’s a therapy for me in counting the calories of the food I am making and then actually spending time ensuring that my 5-2 fast day food is tasty and filling.
Anyway, I also hate food waste – and I had a head of red cabbage lurking in the depths of my fridge left over from Christmas. So rather than buy more vegetables for soup making, I decided to make a red cabbage soup. Cabbage is very low in calories (a small whole head of cabbage should be around 150 calories depending on weight) so even with the addition of a little potato, onion and some vinegar and spiced quince confit (another Christmas leftover), a bowl of this stuff should be around 70 calories. I loved the smell of the caraway seed when I was cooking this soup and the slight sweet-sour of the vinegar and quince really worked well.
What I wasn’t (quite) prepared for though was the witches brew that would result. It tastes wonderful, but I’m not sure I’d serve it at a dinner party, except perhaps at Halloween.
Just in case you DO want to try for yourself, here’s the recipe:-
- 3 Sprays 1cal Oil
- 1 head Red Cabbage
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Quince Confit or honey
- Creme Fraiche to serve
- 1 Medium Potato
- Chop the onion finely
- Spray a heavy bottomed pan with one cal and gently sweat the onion for 2-3 minutes
- Add the caraway seed and continue to cook for a minute or two
- Shred the cabbage and cut the potato into quarters.
- Put the cabbage and potato in with the onion mixture and top up with water
- Bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes till the cabbage and potato are soft
- Blitz with a wand mixer and add the wine vinegar and quince or honey
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste
- Serve with a teaspoon of low fat creme fraiche or greek yoghurt in each bowl.
Meanwhile, what about the rest of the day? For this 5-2 fast day I skipped breakfast and my first food of the day was the soup. I had a healthy portion with a teaspoon of creme fraiche and probably used up 100 calories at lunchtime.
I’ve been sent some ‘Easy Beans’ to review and my original plan was to eat a pot of beans for supper. But, I was rather hungry and at 214 calories for the Mexican Chilli Bean pot, I thought it might not be substantial enough. So, I made up a Mexican feast for myself. Salad, half a breast of chicken, a teaspoon of Luchito mexican chilli paste, the remains of my Konjac rice and half a pot of Easy Beans. I have no idea what the calorie count of Luchito chilli paste is, but just a teaspoonful is unlikely to be more than pure oil (40 calories). I estimate this meal at around 325 calories. Which ensures I’ve stayed well under the 500 calorie count for my 5:2 diet fast day and gives me enough space for milk in my coffee all day and perhaps a bed time snack if I am hungry again.
Filling yes – the Easy Beans would make a great lunch on a 5-2 diet fast day and they are very tasty – the next best thing to home made if you don’t want to cook. Would I make it again? Yes, but not with the Konjac rice because it has no flavour of its own and a rather rubbery texture. So, while it might work if you stirred it through something like a curry, on the side it added very little. The noodles work a lot better, I suspect because you stir them into a stirfry or soup so that they absorb the flavour of the other ingredients.
I’m going to try a few more ready meals. And I do understand that for some people it is easier not to cook and not to think about food at all on a 5-2 diet fast day. But, my feeling is that the opposite is true for me. Even if I do end up making purple soup.