Spicy 5:2 Diet Fish Tagine
Sometimes on a 5:2 diet fast day I get a real yearning for a spicy dish. I think spice helps to reduce hunger pangs and stop you craving sugar too. Curries and Tagines can be quite high in calories – if you want to make a low-calorie version, you need to be very careful with the amount of oil you use and use a tomato or onion based sauce without much cream or coconut milk. But it can be done!
In this particular fish tagine, inspired by the food of Morocco, I cut the oil used both for the chermoula and for the main tagine and the result was a dish that is around 320 calories per serving (including the chermoula). That makes it perfect for the 5:2 diet.
Of course, it is a fish tagine using white fish – which is both low in calories and fat (although still reasonably high in Omega3 oils). One of the nice things about this recipe is that you can easily make it for one person – or scale up the ingredients to make larger quantities.
It’s actually an adapted version of my chicken tagine, but by using the wonderful, fresh fish from DelishFish, I’ve got a recipe that will work well for a 5-2 diet fast day. If you can’t find preserved lemons, don’t add whole fresh lemons instead – the preserved ones are smaller and not so acid. A better solution is to juice and zest a fresh lemon – use half in the chermoula and half in the tagine itself.
- 1/2 Chermoula Half the mix made below. You can store the remainder in the fridge for a week
- 1 Red Chilli Deseeded (less if you want a milder tagine)
- 1 pinch Saffron Soaked in a teaspoon of warm water
- 1 handful Fresh Parsley
- 1 handful Fresh Coriander
- 1 piece Fresh ginger About 2cm, peeled and chopped roughly
- 2 cloves Garlic Peeled and chopped roughly
- 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
- 1 Preserved Lemon Any seeds removed and chopped roughly
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 150 g Cod Fillet Or any other firm fish. You could make this dish with Hake, Salmon, Tuna or even Monkfish
- 1 Small Red Onion Peeled and finely sliced
- 100 g Baby Potatoes Cut into halves or quarters
- 200 g Tinned Tomatoes
- 25 g Olives Pitted black or green olives
- 1 Preserved Lemon
- 5 shots 1cal oil
- Fresh Parsley
Mix all the dry ingredients for the Chermoula in a spice grinder or small blender. Blitz till you have a powder
Add the remaining chermoula ingredients and blitz until you have a paste.
Use half this mixture to marinade your fish. The remainder can be stored in the fridge for a week, or frozen for a month if you don't want to use it immediately. Allow the fish to marinade for half an hour to an hour at room temperature or for 3 - 6 hours n the fridge.
Spray a heavy pan with the 1cal and gently fry the onion slices for 8-10 minutes until soft and starting to caramelise. NB I haven't used a tagine pot as mine is for 2-4 people.
Add the tomato, olives and potato and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add water if necessary to stop the sauce from getting too thick
Now add the fish with all the chermoula and with the remaining preserved lemon cut into thin slices or segments. Cook for a further 8-10 minutes until everything is cooked through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and serve garnished with fresh parsley
This particular recipe is quite spicy, but you can use half the chilli or even leave it out altogether if you prefer. Let me know if you try this 5-2 diet fish tagine for yourself.