More late summer fast diet recipes

The end of the summer seems to have whizzed by – apologies for the lack of recipe posts! We’re still fasting and the recipes had been jotted down and photos taken, but they didn’t quite reach the laptop. If you fancy a few new recipes to try out before autumn descends, read on!

Griddled courgette and mint tart

If you’ve tried the griddled courgette salad, you’ll know that all that time-consuming griddling is rewarded by a lovely smoky flavour. Making the courgettes into a tart makes a low calorie dish feel like a bit of a treat when you have a bit of extra time to spend.

196 calories per serving

Serves 2

400 g (3 medium) courgettes (66 cal)

1 garlic clove, crushed (8 cal)

2 tsp mint, finely chopped (<1 cal)

½ lemon, juiced (6 cal)

2 sheets (90 g) filo pastry (238 cal)

75 g lighter soft cheese (74 cal)

  • Preheat the oven to 190 c / gas 5. Slice the courgettes lengthways into very thin strips with a mandolin or vegetable peeler.
  • Put a griddle pan on to heat until smoking hot while you season the courgettes with salt and pepper.
  • Griddle the courgette slices in batches for a minute or two on each side or until nicely marked.
  • Stir the garlic and half the mint into the lemon and use to dress the courgettes
  • Scrunch the pastry sheets onto a baking tray and bake for 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Leave the pastry to cool a little, while you stir the rest of the mint into the cream cheese.
  • Spoon the cream cheese over the pastry and top with the courgettes.


Lamb and lentil koftas with butterbean dip & cucumber batons

The latest incarnation of the koftas is a great lunchbox filler.

Serves 2

224 calories per serving

1 garlic clove, crushed (8 cal)

½ red chilli, finely chopped (4 cal)

½ tsp olive oil (20 cal)

130 g tinned butterbeans, drained (111 cal)

2 tsp lemon juice (2 cal)

4 lamb and lentil koftas (286 cal)

½ cucumber, cut into batons (16 cal)

  • Fry the garlic and chilli in the oil until fragrant, then stir in the butterbeans and season well with salt and pepper. Blend to a smooth puree, adding a little water if necessary.
  • 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 per person with half of the dip and half of the cucumber batons each.


Tomato, lentil & pepper stew

This is a lovely warming med-style stew that came about because I found a tin of lentils in the cupboard. I’d normally use dried as it seems all together more sustainable, but these were undeniably quicker for a busy evening!

195 calories per serving

Serves 2

1 tsp olive oil (80 cal)

2 garlic cloves, crushed (16 cal)

1 red chilli, finely chopped (4 cal)

1 orange pepper, thinly sliced (25 cal)

450 g tomatoes, diced (73 cal)

1 tin lentils, drained (193 cal)

a few sprigs of basil, torn (< 1 cal)

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic & chilli until fragrant.
  • Add the peppers and a sprinkle of salt and fry over a low heat for a few minutes to soften, then turn up the heat and add the tomatoes.
  • Cook for 8 minutes or until they break down into a thick sauce, then stir in the lentils and warm through.
  • Stir in the basil, divide between 2 bowls and serve.


Thermomix sweetcorn chowder

This soup is super speedy and hands-free in the Thermo, but you could always simmer everything together in a saucepan before blending in a liquidiser.

158 calories per serving

Serves 2

1 large red chilli (4 cal)

1 spring onion (4 cal)

200 g tinned sweetcorn (160 cal)

250 ml chicken stock (128 cal)

1 clove of garlic, crushed (8 cal)

a pinch of ground coriander (< 1 cal)

2 x 10 g spoonfuls of 0% fat Greek yoghurt (12 cal)

  • Snip the chilli and spring onion into the TM bowl with a pair of scissors, then weigh in the rest of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
  • Blend for 15 seconds, speed 7 to finely chop the vegetables.
  • Cook for 10 minutes / 100c / speed 1. Taste for seasoning then serve topped with a spoonful of yoghurt.


Vegetable frittata

I love this frittata warm from the pan, but it also makes a useful sandwich substitute in a packed lunch.

Serves 2

211 calories per serving

100 g butternut squash, peeled & cubed (45 cal)

5 g butter (36 cal)

50 g leek, finely chopped (31 cal)

1 garlic clove, crushed (8 cal)

2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped (< 1 cal)

100 g mushrooms, diced (22 cal)

1 orange pepper, roasted, skinned & sliced (45 cal)

3 medium eggs, lightly beaten (234 cal)

  • Boil the squash in salted water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
  • Melt the butter in a frying pan, then fry the leek, garlic and thyme for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and season with salt, then fry until any moisture that comes out has evaporated.
  • Mix the mushroom mixture with the butternut squash and sliced peppers, then stir in the eggs and season well.
  • Heat the grill to its highest setting. Put the frying pan back on the heat and pour in the egg mixture. Cook over a low heat until the outside is cooked, but the centre is still a little runny.
  • Put the pan under the grill and cook the top, then cut in half and serve.


Tandoori chicken skewers with minted cucumber salad

This dish is super tasty, even if it isn’t the most filling dinner in the world. Deploy when you want to feel treated, rather than when you’re ravenous.

190 calories per portion

Serves 4

300 g boneless, skinless chicken thigh (621 cal)

½ lemon, squeezed (6 cal)

40 g 0 % fat Greek yoghurt (22 cal)

1 tbsp curry powder (< 1 cal)

= 162 calories per portion


2 tbsp rice wine vinegar (< 1 cal)

2 tsp caster sugar (40 cal)

1 cucumber (32 cal)

1 red onion, very thinly sliced (40 cal)

a few mint leaves, shredded (< 1 cal)

= 28 calories per portion

  • Cut the chicken thigh pieces into strips, then massage in the lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  • Mix the yoghurt with the curry powder and stir it into the chicken to coat.
  • Leave the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
  • To make the salad, stir the vinegar into the sugar with a big pinch of salt until dissolved. Use a julienne tool to shred the cucumber into strings, then toss with the onion, mint and dressing. Leave to lightly pickle for an hour or so.
  • Soak 8 – 12 wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes before using.
  • Tread the chicken onto the skewers, then cook under a very hot grill for 8 minutes, turning occasionally, or until cooked through.
  • Serve with the cucumber salad.


Leek & shrimp salad

I borrowed this lovely dish from Simon Hopkinson’s website and adapted the quantities to be more fast-day-friendly.

Serves: 2

186 calories per portion

400 g leeks (244 cal)

1 – 2 tsp red wine vinegar (< 1 cal)

1 tsp lemon juice (1 cal)

90 g peeled brown shrimp (87 cal)

4-5 sprigs dill (< 1 cal)

½ tsp extra virgin olive oil (40 cal)

  • Thickly slice the leeks then arrange them on a plate and sprinkle with salt. Transfer the plate to a steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
  • While the leeks are cooking, mix the shrimps with the lemon juice and dill.
  • Transfer the leeks to a serving plate and pour over some of the steaming juices. Spoon over the shrimp mixture then drizzle with vinegar and olive oil and season with black pepper.


Asian noodle soup

This dish is a little like a laksa, but with a minimal amount of coconut milk to keep the calorie count down.

Serves 2

200 calories per serving

2 tbsp canned coconut cream (64 cal)

1 tbsp Thai red curry paste (<1 cal)

500 ml fish stock (120 cal)

2 kaffir lime leaves (< 1 cal)

50 g baby broad beans (36 cal)

456 g (2 packets) konnyaku spaghetti-style noodles (< 1 cal)

1 tbsp fish sauce (16 cal)

1 tsp caster sugar (20 cal)

50 g pointed cabbage (12 cal)

125 g courgette, shredded with a julienne tool (25 cal)

100 g beansprouts (30 cal)

100 g cooked, peeled prawns (67 cal)

2 lime quarters (10 cal)

  • Heat the coconut cream in a frying pan or wok then fry the curry paste for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the fish stock and lime leaves and bring to a simmer, then add the baby broad beans.
  • Drain and rinse the noodles really well, then drain again before adding them to the pan.
  • Season the soup with the fish sauce and sugar.
  • Add the cabbage, courgette and beansprouts and bring back to a simmer.
  • Add the prawns and warm through, then ladle into bowls and serve with the lime quarters for squeezing over.


Puttanesca butterbean stew

This soupy stew has the flavour of one of my favourite pasta dishes, spaghetti Puttanesca. It’s a handy dish to have up your sleeve when you don’t want the temptation of going food shopping, as most of the ingredients tend to be lurking in the cupboard, fridge or herb patch.

Serves 2

170 calories per serving

2 garlic cloves, crushed (16 cal)

½ red chilli, finely chopped (4 cal)

4 salted anchovy fillets in oil, drained & chopped (13 cal)

1 tsp olive oil (40 cal)

400 g tin of cherry tomatoes, (84 cal)

230 g tinned butterbeans, drained weight (196 cal)

10 g capers in brine, drained (3 cal)

5 g (a few sprigs) flat leaf parsley, chopped (<1 cal)

5 g (a few sprigs) basil, chopped (<1 cal)

  • Fry the garlic, chilli and anchovies in the oil until fragrant, then add the tinned tomatoes and beans and bring to a simmer.
  • To make it into more of a soup, half-fill the tomato tin with water and stir it in.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the herbs and serve.


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