For more recipes, take a look at “30 nights 0f 300 calorie recipes”.
Recipes for the 5:2 diet, to read the diet click here.
All recipes serve one, but can be multiplied up.
1. Scallops with pancetta and leeks
Scallops are good news for fasters, with relatively few calories but lots of flavour.
Boys’ perk: add an extra slice of pancetta
2 paper-thin 8g slices of pancetta or bacon (70 cals)
85g scallops (three medium- sized ones) (75 cals)
50g sliced, washed leeks (30 cals)
80g peas (fresh or frozen) (62 cals)
fronds from six sprigs of dill (1 cal)
30g wild rocket leaves (9 cals)
Total: 247 calories
• Cut the pancetta slices in half and cook in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat until the fat runs and the pancetta browns and crisps. Scoop out on to a plate and keep to one side.
• Cut each scallop into two discs and pat dry on kitchen paper. Cook in the pan with the pancetta fat for a couple of minutes on each side, until browned. Lift them on to the pancetta plate.
• Add the leeks to the pan and cook in the last of the scallop and pancetta juices until soft. Add the peas and cook, stirring, until the peas are hot through. Stir in most of the dill, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
• Put the rocket in the middle of a plate and arrange the scallops around. Mound the leeks on top of the rocket and lay the pancetta pieces on top. Scatter with a few fronds of dill and eat straight away.
2. Green beans, spring onions and chicken liver with a soy dressing
Even liver-haters have been known to enjoy this, a tiny amount enriching the salad of beans rather than overwhelming it. It’s a huge amount of beans (I’m assuming you will be famished) but you could halve the quantity and double the liver if you are an offal fan.
Boys’ perk: a slice of pancetta, cooked as in the scallops recipe, or 40g more liver.
300g green beans (75 cals)
50g chicken liver (that’s about 1 whole liver) (58 cals)
¼ tsp olive oil (10 cals)
4 thin spring onions, thinly sliced (40g) (13 cals)
1 tbsp soy sauce (10 cals)
1 tsp olive oil (40 cals)
¼ tsp wine or cider vinegar
a few drops of chilli sauce (optional)
Total: 206 calories
• Steam the green beans until just done then cool under the tap.
• Check the liver for any white membranes or greenish spots and cut them out.
• Preheat the grill. Run the liver over with the ¼ tsp olive oil. Spread out the lobes of the liver and grill it for about two minutes on each side until lightly browned. Leave to cool.
• Mix the dressing ingredients. Toss the beans and spring onion in the dressing.
• Thinly slice the liver (a ceramic knife is the best implement) and mix through the salad.
3. Griddled courgettes with feta, lemon, mint, puy lentils
Puy lentils make this salad satisfyingly filling, while the flavours come from the smoky grilled courgettes, fragrant lemon zest and mint, and salt-sour feta. 1 tbsp raw lentils will be enough, if you are cooking your own, or use a tin. Keep the rest for a non-fast day, to eat mixed with chopped herbs and olive oil with meat or fish, or freeze them.
Boys’ perk: extra 20g feta cheese.
500g courgettes, the smallest you can find (90 cals)
30g feta cheese (83 cals)
15 mint leaves (1 cal)
1 tsp olive oil (40 cals)
30g (2 rounded tbsp) cooked puy lentils (35 cals)
lemon zest (1 cal)
Total 250 cals
• Cut the courgettes into long, ½ cm wide slices. Mix with the oil and a pinch of salt.
• Heat a ridged griddle until smoking, then cook the courgette slices, turning once, until striped with dark brown on both sides. You will probably have to do this in at least two batches.
• Transfer the courgettes to a bowl and mix with the lemon zest, feta and lentils. Just before serving, mix through the ripped mint leaves. If the feta is more salty than sharp, you may want to squeeze over a little lemon juice.
4. Roasted shallot, aubergine and cumin filo tart
Boys’ perk: use two sheets of filo, one on top of the other
200g small shallots (not the large “banana” shallots) (40 cals)
1 tsp olive oil (40 cals)
1 tsp cumin seed (1 cal)
a 300g aubergine (45 cals)
200g baby plum tomatoes (34 cals)
a small clove of garlic, crushed (3 cals)
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves (0 cals)
1 sheet of filo pastry (49 cals) plus ½ tsp olive oil (20 cals)
1 tbsp Greek yogurt (17 cals)
3-4 basil leaves (1 cal)
Total 250 calories
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
• Cut the shallots into quarters and peel off the papery skin. Put them in a large roasting tin lined with non-stick parchment and toss in the 1 tsp olive oil and most of the cumin (keep a pinch back for the pastry). Cut the aubergine into olive-sized chunks and mix them in.
• Put the roasting tin in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, halve the tomatoes.
• Mix the tomatoes, garlic and thyme in with the shallots and aubergines and cook for another 15 minutes.
• Lay the sheet of pastry on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment. Brush with ½ tsp oil and sprinkle with the last of the cumin seed. Crumple up the edges lightly to make a nest about the size of a side plate. Bake for about 4 minutes, until golden and crisp.
• Pile the shallot and aubergine mixture into the nest. Mix the yogurt with 1-2 tbsp water to make a pouring consistency. Drizzle over the tart and top with basil leaves.
5. Ramen soup
A big bowl of noodle soup is a great way to settle a hungry stomach.
Boys’ perk: the meat from a small, skinless cooked chicken thigh (35g or so) shredded.
1 sheet (60g) Ramen or Chinese egg noodles (108 cals)
½ tsp sesame seeds (8 cals)
1 sachet of miso soup (27 cals)
1 tsp mirin (7 cals)
1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (10 cals)
½ tsp grated root ginger (1 cal)
50g spring cabbage thinly sliced (12 cals)
50g beansprouts (14 cals)
50g carrot (15 cals)
50g shiitake mushrooms, sliced (20 cals)
Total: 222 cals
• Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, put them in a sieve and cool under the tap.
• Toast the sesame seeds in a hot dry frying pan until golden. Squeeze the gunky contents of the miso soup sachet into a saucepan with 500ml boiling water. Add the soy sauce, mirin and ginger and bring to the boil.
• Meanwhile, shave the carrot into long ribbons with a potato peeler.
• Add the cabbage to the soup pan and simmer for a minute. Add the carrot and mushrooms and simmer for another minute. Stir in the beansprouts.
• Drain the noodles and put them in the bottom of a large soup bowl. Pour over the contents of the pan. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.
6. Spiced tomato dal
A huge, filling bowl of soup, with red lentils for heft. I’d be tempted to add a shake of smoked paprika at the end, although it’s not in keeping with the Indian spicing.
Boys’ perk: a poppadom (37 cals).
½ tsp vegetable oil (20 cals)
80g red onion, thinly sliced (28 cals)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (0 cals)
½ tsp black mustard seeds (optional) (0 cals)
½ tsp ground cumin seeds (0 cals)
a pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional) (0 cals)
1 clove garlic, chopped (5 cals)
500g tomatoes, chopped (105 cals)
20g red lentils (72 cals)
3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped (1 cal)
1 tbsp Greek yogurt (17 cals)
Total: 248 cals
• Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft and lightly browned.
• Stir in the turmeric, cumin, mustard seed and chilli flakes (if you are using them) and cook gently for another minute.
• Add the garlic, tomatoes and lentils. Stir in 500ml water and a fat pinch of salt. Simmer for about half an hour, topping up with water if necessary, until the lentils are swollen and collapsing.
• Taste and adjust the seasoning. Mix the yogurt with 1-2 tbsp water to make a pouring consistency. Eat the soup scattered with coriander and drizzled with yogurt.
7. Sole with lemongrass dipping sauce
You could make this dish using a white fish fillet weighing about 150g. But I find fiddly food useful when dieting, forcing me to slow down and take smaller mouthfuls.
Boys’ perk: 50g cooked rice noodles mixed with the broccoli and sesame oil.
1 small lemon sole (about 275g) or slip sole, gutted (150 cals)
100g broccoli (35 cals)
1 tsp sesame oil (40 cals)
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (5 cals)
1 tbsp lime juice (2 cals)
½ tsp brown sugar (8 cals)
½ stem of lemongrass (0 cals)
½ red chilli, sliced (optional)
½ small clove garlic, chopped (2 cals)
Total: 242 cals
• Preheat the grill. Sprinkle the fish with salt and put it on a piece of non-stick paper and grill for
• 3-4 minutes on each side, until it is just done and patched with brown.
• Break the broccoli into florets and steam until just done. Toss in the sesame oil and a pinch of salt.
• Strip the tough outer layers from the lemongrass and chop the tender inside finely. Mix with the rest of the dipping sauce ingredients and add 1 tbsp water (this can be done up to a week ahead and kept in the fridge). Pour into a tiny bowl and dip the fish and broccoli in it as you eat.
Calorie counts from caloriecount.about.com, or from product packaging