Fast Diet recipes – day 2

Breakfast: Rhubarb breakfast pots (187 calories)

Lunch: Crunchy Asian salad (160 calories)

Dinner: Lamb and lentil koftas with yoghurt dip & tabbouleh (183 calories)

= 530 calories

Yesterday was our second fast day and so far, so good. I’ve managed to bring the calories down closer to the ladies’ quota, so Justin was able to have another portion of the mandarin jelly from last week and milk in his morning coffee to bring him up to 600.


Rhubarb Breakfast Pots

This is actually our normal everyday breakfast at this time of year, but replacing the usual Greek-style yoghurt with 0% fat natural yoghurt takes 60 calories off the total.

187 calories per portion (with fat-free natural yoghurt)

For the rhubarb compote (makes 6 portions)

750 g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into chunks (158 cal)

4 tbsp caster sugar (240 cal)

1 orange, juiced and zest finely grated (41 cal)


To make each portion:

125 g rhubarb compote (73 cal)

85 g fat-free natural yoghurt (46 cal)

15 g granola (68 cal)

  • Make the rhubarb compote in advance. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (160⁰ fan) / 350F / gas 4.
  • Put the rhubarb in a roasting tin with the sugar and the orange juice and zest.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until tender, then leave to cool completely.
  • Store in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Spoon 125 g of the compote into a small bowl and top with an 85 g layer of yoghurt.
  • Sprinkle with granola before serving.


Crunchy Asian salad

This is my favourite salad dressing and doubles up as a dipping sauce for other Asian dishes.

160 calories per serving

½ (40 g) carrot, julienned (10 cal)

1/8 (38 g) cucumber, julienned (4 cal)

40 g red cabbage, finely shredded (12 cal)

1 spring onion, thinly sliced (4 cal)

10 sugar snap peas, sliced (10 cal)

¼ mango, peeled and sliced (34 cal)

1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped (1 cal)

a few mint leaves, finely chopped (1 cal)

10 g salted peanuts or cashews (60 cal)

¼ of the Vietnamese dressing above (24 cal)


For the Vietnamese dressing (4 servings):

3 tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1-2 limes) (12 cal)

1 tbsp caster sugar (60 cal)

1 tbsp fish sauce (16 cal)

½ garlic clove, crushed (4 cal)

½ red chilli, finely chopped (2 cal)

  • First make the dressing: mix the lime juice with the sugar and fish sauce, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Stir in the garlic and chilli, then store in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to use.
  • To assemble the salad, simply toss all the ingredients together with the dressing and serve straight away.



Lamb and lentil koftas

with tabbouleh and yoghurt dip

This is a dish you could serve to friends on a fast day and they need never know you were dieting at all. The inclusion of lentils makes the lamb go further and gives the koftas a wonderfully tender texture. Replacing bulgur wheat with finely chopped cauliflower makes a big difference to the calorie count, but surprisingly little difference to the taste. I’ve made the recipe to serve 6 as the koftas freeze really well. If you’re only serving 1 or 2 portions at a time, reduce the yoghurt dip and tabbouleh ingredients accordingly as they should be made fresh every time.

Makes 6 servings

183 calories per serving

50 g dried red lentils (166 cal)

450 g lean minced lamb (648 cal)

½ onion, grated (22 cal)

1 red chilli, finely chopped (4 cal)

2 garlic cloves, crushed (16 cal)

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground mixed spice

a small bunch coriander, chopped (2 cal)

= 858 calories (143 per serving)


For the yoghurt dip:

200 ml fat-free natural yoghurt (108 cal)

2 tbsp chopped mint (1 cal)

2 tbsp chopped coriander (1 cal)

1 garlic clove, crushed (8 cal)

2 tsp lemon juice (2 cal)

= 120 calories (20 calories per serving)


For the parsley and cauliflower tabbouleh:

80 g (1/6 of a small) cauliflower (20 cal)

150 g (a large bunch) flat leaf parsley, chopped (55 cal)

160 g (2 medium) tomatoes, chopped (26 cal)

2 spring onions, finely chopped (8 cal)

1 lemon, juiced (12 cal)

= 121 calories (20 calories per serving)


  • To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together until smooth and store in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Cook the lentils in boiling water for 20 minutes, then drain well.
  • Transfer the lentils to a food processor with the lamb, onion, chilli, garlic, spices and coriander and pulse until evenly mixed. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
  • Soak 12 skewers in cold water for 20 minutes.
  • To make the tabbouleh, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it turns the texture of cracked bulgur wheat.
  • Toss it with the parsley, tomatoes and spring onions and add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Divide the chilled lamb mixture into 12 equal pieces and shape into sausages around one end of the skewers.
  • Preheat the grill to its highest setting.
  • Grill the koftas for 8 – 10 minutes, turning regularly, until cooked through and golden brown.
  • Serve 2 koftas with a 6th of the tabbouleh and 2 tbsp of the yoghurt dip per person.

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