Skinny Fish Stew Recipe for 5:2 Diet:
I’ve written before about Fish Stew from Livorno or Cacciucco alla Livornese. It’s a traditional Italian dish, so making a skinny version seems rather inappropriate. Luckily, because it is fish and tomato based, it really doesn’t need too much changed. Of course, if you are not trying to diet, then the full fat version with extra olive oil and wine is worth trying. But, made this way it comes in at around 300 calories for a portion without the bread. And, if you are cooking for someone who isn’t dieting it’s very easy to give them a slightly naughtier version by drizzling the bread with olive oil and grilling it as you would do a bruschetta. I do think it is important to use SOME olive oil, but half a tablespoon is only 50 calories and doesn’t completely spoil the calorie counting for the 5:2 diet.
The story of the stew is that traditionally it was made by Italian fishermen with the ‘leftovers’. So an authentic version will be full of small fish that couldn’t be sold on the market. The addition of shellfish like prawns is recent. But, the basic concept, of fish cooked in a simple tomato reduction with bread to soak up the juices stays the same. I used some hake in the recipe this time because I had some that had been sent to me from John at Delish Fish, but I’ve made this recipe before with cod and I think you could use almost any firm fish. You can also vary the shellfish, or use a variety of white fish instead.
- 4 Mussels
- 1 Squid Tube
- 150 g White Fish I used hake
- 4 Green Prawns
- 1/2 Red Chilli
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 stick Celery
- 4 Tomatoes (preferably plum)
- 1 Rustic Bread Roll
- 1 handful Flat leaved parsley
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Shallot
- 100 ml Stock Or dry white wine
- Cut the tomatoes in half then grate and discard the skins
- Roughly chop the celery, onion, garlic and chilli, then process in a food processor till you have a fine dice (or chop by hand)
- Cook the chopped vegetables gently in olive oil for 5-10 minutes.
- Now add the tomato mixture, ,most of the parsley and stock or wine. Reduce down for a further 15 minutes.
- Cut the white fish into bite sized chunks and slice the squid.
- Add the white fish, squid and prawns to the tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes
- Put the mussels in a microwave proof dish with a little water. Microwave for 3-4 minutes and discard any that don't open
- Add the mussels to the stew
- If you are using bread, grill it for a few minutes till golden.
- Place the bread in the bottom of flattish bowls and then spoon the stew over the bread
- Garnish with parsley and serve
You may be surprised that I’ve grated the tomatoes. I learnt that trick at a Spanish cookery course and where I want an intense tomato taste, I’ve found it works very well at preserving the flavour. If you can’t find very ripe fresh tomatoes, use a tin of plum tomatoes. And if you just want a slightly more intense tomato flavour, add a little tomato puree.
So, day three of my 5:2 diet fasting hasn’t ended up being too bad, although I hadn’t planned to make a slimline version of the Livorno fish stew…and I had planned on producing some recipes for the 5:2 diet that didn’t involve fish as the main ingredient!
I’m going to produce a little list of the recipes I make for the 5:2 diet to help everyone. There are other things on this blog which might work, but until I’ve had a chance to check the calorie count I won’t include them here.