Turkey Bolognese – a Low Calorie 5:2 Diet Recipe:
This dish of bolognese sauce made with turkey leftovers scores no points for authenticity. But, it is a delicious, low fat, low calorie way to enjoy leftovers of turkey from Christmas (or chicken) and a good example of how making a few simple changes in what you eat can save calories and adapt recipes for the 5:2 diet. If you’ve managed to eat all your turkey this year, or like me had venison for a change you could make a big batch of this with fresh turkey mince and freeze it in small portions for when you want a quick lunch. It is a great recipe for leftover turkey though and very economical.
I’ve actually hit my 5:2 diet target this week, though I suspect that might have more to do with the effects of the tummy bug than to my diligence in following the diet. Nevertheless I am now, officially, maintaining (trying to stay somewhere around the same weight). I’ve lost a total of 14 kilos (that’s about 2 stone 3lbs to those who use imperial weights) over the last year and a bit. I’d happily lose a little more but, most importantly, I don’t want to creep back up in weight again.
So, I am going to continue using the 5:2 diet – perhaps sometimes trying what is called 16:8 too (for the uninitiated, that is only eating in an eight hour window each day). And, I’m trying to keep up some of the good things that happened with the bootcamp, so this morning I did 20 minutes on the cross trainer, broken up into five minute groups with circuit exercises in between (squats, sumo squats, lunges, plank, sit-ups and toe taps, medicine ball twists and a few stretchy yoga things). Will it work and is it sustainable? who knows…but I do hope so because, tummy bugs apart, I do feel better overall.
In my case I didn’t have a thanksgiving dinner and nor did I have turkey at Christmas this year. But I did have some cooked turkey in the freezer that needed using up – and I really fancied something with a bit of a umami kick. I think that’s the effect of so much bland food while I was getting over the tummy bug.
Turkey is naturally high in protein and low in fat and calories. If you are not careful it can be a little dry – but adding just a bit of bacon will help a lot. Make sure you snip off all the fat if you are using this recipe on a 5:2 diet fast day.
- 100 g cooked turkey or chicken finely chopped or minced. Or use fresh minced turkey
- 400 g tinned tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 Medium onion finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery finely chopped
- 1 Small carrot finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon worcester sauce
- 100 ml vegetable stock
- 1/4 star anise
- 1 pinch hot chilli powder
- 25 g diced lean bacon
- 10 g olive oil
- 4 or 5 dried porcini mushrooms broken into pieces and soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
- Gently warm the oil, add in the star anise and chilli poweder and heat through for a minute or two.
- Add the diced onion, celery, carrot, bacon and garlic. Soften gently for 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the oregano and the diced turkey (If you are using raw turkey mince seal the meat completely on a slightly higher heat). Add in all the remaining ingredients including the water you've used to soak the porcini mushrooms and stir well.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if the mixture starts to dry out. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
- Serve with pasta and a little grated parmesan cheese
Now the nice thing about this dish is that you CAN afford some pasta or polenta with the sauce. I served one portion with 40 grams of dried pasta (add 114 calories). Then the next evening, I’ve made a version with creamed polenta using 1/4 cup of polenta (add 120 calories). And then a little bit for the parmesan (1 tablespoon of grated parmesan is 20 calories).
So, a meal at around 320 calories for a healthy portion seems very good to me. It’s warming, hearty and just doesn’t feel like diet food. Recommended for the 5:2 Diet or any other low calorie/low fat diet.