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Adapting Favourite Recipes for the 5:2 diet – Low Calorie Options:
When I cook something that I enjoy these days, I generally try to work out whether or not it could be adjusted for the 5:2 diet. And, as you may remember, I recently had a go at making Tonia Buxton’s Prawns with Feta, using ingredients that had been sent to me by Kitchen Nomad. Prawns are great ingredients for 5:2 diet recipes with around 80 calories per 100 grams. And, the high protein level makes them quite sustaining
I wanted to make a lower calorie version of the dish, but one that would work as a main meal without bread which I find can make me feel a little bloated. And, having tried the recipe once, there were a few things I thought I might change and try out to make a version that would work as a 5:2 diet recipe.
So, I cut down the amount of olive oil, added in a little chilli and some fresh tomato and celery and used low fat feta, as well as a tiny amount of orzo – a kind of pasta that looks like rice. While it might not be a very authentic version of the recipe, it DID save calories. Adding in chilli was partly for flavour but partly because chilli is thermogenic and will help raise your metabolic rate (and hopefully burn more calories).
- 150 g Uncooked prawns Shelled and deveined. You may leave tails on
- 1/2 Onion Finely chopped
- 30 ml Passata Or fresh tomato sauce
- 1 clove Garlic Finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Sun dried tomato paste
- 1 stick Celery Finely chopped
- 15 g Orzo pasta
- 50 ml Dry white wine Or water
- 1 handful Mixed fresh herbs I used mint and basil. Any mixture of chervil, oregano, mint, basil or dill could work, adjust according to taste
- 15 g Half fat feta cheese
- 3-4 shots 1-cal olive oil spray
- 1 Medium Tomato Chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Chilli paste I used luchito. You could add in flaked chilli if you can't buy paste
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Spray a heavy skillet with 1cal oil and gently soften the onion, celery and garlic for 5-8 minutes
- Add the orzo, passata, chopped tomato and chilli and tomato paste and reduce down by about a third.
- Add in the wine or water and half of the herbs. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add in the prawns and a little extra water if necessary. Keep stirring to ensure the pasta doesn't stick and cook for 5 minutes or so.
- Once the prawns are cooked, crumble the feta over the top of the pan and place in the oven for a further 3-4 minutes
- Season with fresh pepper and salt as necessary and serve garnished with the remaining herbs.
I’ve been travelling, enjoying myself at Wimbledon and Henley and generally not able to follow the 5:2 diet for the last few weeks. And I am genuinely happy to have enough time now to start again. I made the ‘full fat’ version of this recipe a few days ago using the ingredients and recipe card that came in my Kitchen Nomad box, but I wanted to see if I could do a version that would work for the diet.
For the most part, it is quite easy to cut the calories without losing flavour. I’ve added a little chilli paste, some sun-dried tomatoes and some celery to compensate for cutting down the calorific olive oil. And, instead of serving the dish with bread, I’ve added in just a little pasta because it’s a more controllable way to include some carbohydrates at least for me. If I have a lovely soft and crusty loaf of bread in front of me, I WILL eat too much.
The result? A dish with all the flavour and less than 300 calories.
Perfect for the 5:2 diet or any other low-calorie diet.
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