Fast Diet recipes – Day 13

Breakfast: Gooseberry breakfast pots (196 calories)

Lunch: Butterbean, tomato and caper salad (140 calories)

Dinner: Konnyaku noodle pho (198 calories)

= 534 calories

I have just been introduced to ‘miracle noodles’: fasting suddenly seems a whole lot easier!


It’s still peak gooseberry season in our house, so it was gooseberry breakfast pots again first thing. Since discovering Total’s deliciously thick 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt, we’ve actually stopped using full fat Greek-style yoghurt on the non-fast days. It’s not as tangy and full-flavoured as the Yeo Valley we’re used to, but once it’s sandwiched between gooseberry compote and granola, you don’t really notice.


For lunch we couldn’t resist revisiting the butterbean, tomato and caper salad from yesterday – it’s so easy to knock up the night before or first thing in the morning and it seems to actually benefit from a couple of hours in a box in the fridge. The only thing I tend to add at the last minute is the basil as it can discolour quite easily.


Konnyaku noodle pho

My Auntie Jane introduced me to the wonders of these “miracle noodles” and this is the first time I’ve tried cooking with them. Known as shirataki or konnyaku noodles, they manage to be virtually carb-free and calorie-free due to their unusual composition of 98% water with a little yam fibre to bind them together. This does technically break my “no pretend foods” rule, but it’s just too tempting not to give it a go and in this dish it will at least be balanced with lots of nutritionally-rich vegetables and protein. It’s also a bit of a crime to be making pho with bought-in stock, but I wanted to recreate the flavours of a dish I love without the temptation of having a pot of bubbling brisket on the stove for 4 hours.

Serves 2

198 calories per serving

100 g lean rump steak (125 cal)

500 ml fresh beef stock (I used Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients) (190 cal)

1 star anise

3 slices root ginger (calories not counted as discarded)

2 shallots, halved (calories not counted as discarded)

1 tbsp fish sauce (16 cal)

228 g packet of konnyaku noodles, drained and rinsed twice (< 1 cal)

2 spring onions, thinly sliced (8 cal)

100 g beansprouts (30 cal)

60 g baby leaf spinach (14 cal)

1 tsp mint leaves, chopped (< 1 cal)

2 tsp coriander leaves, chopped (< 1 cal)

½ red chilli, chopped (2 cal)

½ lime, cut in half (10 cal)

  • Cut the beef as thinly as you can and set aside. It’s easiest to cut the beef when it’s partly frozen, so either use frozen beef and part defrost it or put your fresh beef in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
  • Put the stock in a saucepan with the star anise, root ginger, shallot and fish sauce. Bring to the boil, then turn off the heat, add the noodles and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

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