Fast Diet recipes – Day 5

Breakfast: Prune and vanilla porridge – 193 calories

Lunch: Slow-roasted tomato and red onion soup – 180 calories

Dinner: Smoked Haddock with celeriac and spinach mash – 181 calories

= 554 calories

It seems like ages since the last fast day and we’ve had plenty of indulgences in between, so I feel ready for another 500 – 600 calorie day. Apart from the small portion sizes, this menu didn’t really feel like ‘special diet food’ and there wasn’t any point in the day that I felt particularly hungry.

Prune and vanilla porridge

After last week’s disappointing banana porridge, I’m pleased to say that this version is about 100 times nicer. The little moments of prune are just sweet enough to make the dish enjoyable without making it cloying.

193 calories per portion

Serves 1


40 g Rude Health oatmeal (152 cal)

25 g dried pitted prunes (41 cal)

½ tsp vanilla extract

  • Bring 150 ml of water to the boil in a saucepan, then add the oatmeal and a pinch of fine sea salt.
  • Finely chop the prunes and add them to the pan.
  • Simmer the porridge over a low heat for 5 – 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little more water if it gets too thick.
  • Turn off the heat, cover the pan and leave the porridge to stand for 1 minute before stirring in the vanilla extract.


Slow-roasted tomato and red onion soup

Slow-roasting the tomatoes brings out the best of their flavour and blitzing them whole – skin, seeds and all – means that all the nutrients and fibre are retained. The lentils help to thicken the soup and do a good job of filling you up for the afternoon. I used beef stock because I like the flavour with tomatoes, but by all means opt for vegetable stock if you’re that way inclined. If we get a summer’s day hot enough, it would also be good chilled.

180 calories per serving

Serves 4


900 g ripe tomatoes, halved (145 cal)

1 tbsp olive oil (120 cal)

1 red onion, sliced (38 cal)

8 garlic cloves, unpeeled (64 cal)

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

800 ml beef stock (104 cal)

75 g dried red lentils (249 cal)

  • Preheat the oven to 110c / GM ½.
  • Put the tomatoes in the roasting tin, cut side up, and scatter the sliced onion and garlic cloves around.
  • Brush everything with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme and season with salt and pepper, then slow roast for 2 hours to concentrate the flavours.
  • Towards the end of the cooking time, bring the beef stock to the boil. Add the lentils and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
  • Squeeze the garlic into a food processor or liquidiser and discard the skins. Add the roasted tomato and onion mixture, along with the stock and lentils.
  • Blend the soup until smooth, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Smoked haddock with celeriac and spinach mash

I haven’t had smoked haddock for ages, so this dish actually felt like a bit of a treat. Perhaps that’s good advice for the 5:2 diet in general – if there’s something you love that’s actually fairly good for you and low in calories, wheel it out on a fast day!

181 calories per serving

Serves 4


400 g celeriac, peeled and cubed (168 cal)

4 x 100 g smoked haddock fillets (320 cal)

600 ml skimmed milk (210 cal)

1 tsp Dijon mustard (6 cal)

100 g baby spinach leaves (23 cal)

  • Cook the celeriac in boiling, salted water for 20 minutes or until tender to the point of a knife.
  • Meanwhile, bring the milk to a simmer then turn off the heat and submerge the smoked haddock. Cover the pan with a lid and leave to steep for 10 minutes.
  • When the celeriac is ready, drain it well and transfer to a food processor. Blend it with the mustard and enough of the haddock milk to make a soft mash.
  • Transfer the celeriac back to the saucepan and stir in the spinach over a low heat until it wilts. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper, then spoon it into 4 warm bowls.
  • Remove and discard the haddock skin then position it on top of the mash. Spoon a little of the poaching milk over each portion.


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