Southern Hemispherites FD Recipes

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Southern Hemispherites FD Recipes

This topic contains 68 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  CFinNC 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Hi SH,

    this is an area to post all our FD recipes – not for chatting :))

    Quick basic Celery Soup:


    2 large onions – diced / sliced – however is easier
    1/2 – 1 bunch celery (trial and error as to how much you like) chopped into 2cm/ inch pieces
    4tsp chicken stock
    4 cups water
    (adjust to how thick or thin you want your soup)


    brown the diced onion,
    add the celery and sweat it and sautee slightly,
    add chicken stock, garlic, chilly fresh or chopped to taste, salt, pepper.
    bring to boil and simmer 10-15 mins or until celery is soft and soup has cooked through

    zap with a blender

    Pretty quick.
    I make enough to freeze a couple of packs for later.

    I then eat it with zucchini and/or carrot strips, a dollop of plain yoghurt and a couple of drops of balsamic vinegar.

    103 calories per serve
    Serves 2

    400g cauliflower, chopped (100)
    2 cloves garlic (8)
    1 medium onion (38)
    2 cups chicken stock (15) – campbells says 40
    2 tbs light sour cream (44)
    ½ tsp pepper
    pinch nutmeg
    ¼ tsp cayenne

    Dice onion and garlic, saute in a little hot water on very low heat until soft.
    Add cauliflower, pepper, stock, bring to a low boil.
    Cook 10-15 mins until cauliflower is soft. Blend.
    Return to pan, add nutmeg, extra water and seasoning as necessary. Warm up and stir through sour cream.


    142 cals
    Serves 2

    • 1 packet Slendier Angel Hair
    • 1 Olive Oil Spray
    • 1 jalapeno (seeded and chopped)
    • 1 onion (finely diced)
    • ½ red capsicum (seeded and sliced)
    • 1 tsp garlic (minced)
    • ½ cup reduced salt vegetable stock
    • ½ cup tinned tomato
    • 1 tsp chilli powder
    • ½ tsp ground cumin
    • ½ tsp dried oregano
    • ¼ tsp pepper
    • 2 eggs
    • 1½ tsp coriander leaves
    • ½ lime (cut into wedges)

    1. Prepare Angel Hair per pack and set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 180C. Spray 2 small ovenproof ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.
    3. Spray large fry pan with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Add jalapeno, onion and red capsicum and sauté until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
    4. Add Angel Hair, ½ the stock, tomatoes, chilli powder, cumin, oregano and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover. Stir once or twice over 3-4 mins. Add more stock or water if too dry.
    5. Transfer the mixture evenly between to 2 ramekins. Break 1 egg in each dish gently in the centre of the baking dish. Place carefully in oven and bake until whites are just set (approx. 7 min).
    6. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with lime wedges.


    251 calories
    Serves 2

    • 250 gms Slendier fettuccine
    • 100 gms smoked salmon sliced
    • ½ cup light evaporated milk
    • ½ avocado diced
    • 1 garlic clove diced
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill

    1. Prepare Slendier Fettuccine per pack
    2. Add oil to pan, cook garlic until just fragrant, add evaporated milk, reduce heat
    3. Toss in fettuccine, coat with sauce, add smoked salmon and dill
    4. Remove from heat and gently toss through diced avocado
    5. Garnish with extra dill


    237 cals
    Serves 2

    • 1 packet of Slendier fettuccine
    • 200 gms lean chicken breast
    • ¼ cup basil leaves
    • 1 tbs parmesan cheese
    • 1 tbs pine nuts
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 med avocado
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • ½ tomato diced
    • 1 handful of toasted pine nuts

    • Prepare Slendier fettuccine per pack
    • Gently heat non-stick pan add chicken breast and cook for 7-8 mins or until cooked through. Remove from pan and slice thinly. Set aside.
    • To make avocado pesto, place basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and avocado in a processor and process until finely chopped. With motor running, add teaspoon of olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Process to combine.
    • In large bowl add prepared Slendier Fettuccine, avocado pesto and sliced chicken. Toss gently to combine. Top with diced tomato and extra pine nuts.


    132 cals (please check for yourself, I’d say closer to 166 cals)
    Serves 2

    2 x 15g Japanese miso paste sachets
    1 chicken breast, skinned and sliced
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    ½ tsp grated ginger
    8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
    dash soy sauce
    ¼ Savoy cabbage, finely shredded

    Pour 600 ml boiling water into a pan and whisk in the miso paste.

    Add the rest of ingredients, except cabbage, and simmer for 10 mins.

    Stir in the cabbage, cook for 3 mins.


    195 calories
    Serves 1

    80g asparagus
    1 egg
    10g natural low-fat yogurt
    1 tsp dill, finely chopped
    1 tsp lemon juice
    50g wild Alaskan smoked salmon

    Cook asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge in ice cold water.

    Poach the egg (3.5 mins)

    To make the dressing, combine the natural yogurt with the dill and lemon juice.

    Serve the smoked salmon, asparagus and poached egg with the dressing on the side.


    199 cals
    Serves 4

    800g butternut squash, peeled, diced finely
    6 eggs
    150ml skimmed milk
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    calorie controlled cooking spray
    150g baby spinach leaves, washed
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add squash, cook for 10–15 mins, until tender. Drain.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk and mustard and season.

    Heat a large non-stick frying pan, spray with cooking spray. Add squash, stir fry for a few minutes, until golden. Add spinach, stir fry few minutes, until wilted. Tip egg mixture into the pan.

    Stir gently together and cook over the lowest heat, without stirring, 10–12 mins or until bottom is golden and tortilla is nearly set. Preheat grill to medium.

    Slide pan under the preheated grill for a few minutes, until top is golden and puffy and egg is completely set. Cut into four wedges and serve.


    190 calories
    Serves 3

    • 1½ tbs olive oil
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • 1½ mixed peppers, deseeded and diced
    • 1 courgette, diced
    • ½ large aubergine, diced
    • 2-3 tsp Cajun spice mix
    • 400g tin cherry tomatoes in juice
    • ½ x 400gm tin kidney beans, drained (= 100 gms beans!)
    • 125g bag of young spinach

    Put olive oil, diced red onions, mixed peppers, courgettes, large aubergine and Cajun spice mix in a large saucepan.

    Cook over a medium heat for about 10 mins. Add tomatoes and kidney beans and simmer for a further 15 mins. Finally, stir through spinach.


    Calories 170
    Serves: 4-5 (annoyingly – but I’ve included it as it’s very good)

    2 tbs groundnut or vegetable oil (24)
    125g packet oyster mushrooms, sliced (button=4 ea)
    1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced (150gm=46)
    125g tender stem broccoli, cut into pieces (49)
    1 carrot, peeled and sliced (34)
    1 tbs lite soy sauce (15)
    1 tbs rice vinegar (15-25)
    1-2 tbs oyster sauce (20-40)
    300g ready-to-use medium egg noodles
    1 lime, to serve

    Heat oil in wok or large frying pan. Add veg and cook for 2-3 mins. Pour in soy sauce, vinegar and oyster sauce. Add noodles to the pan and heat through.

    Serve immediately with lime squeezed over the top.


    231 cals
    Serves 4

    Sweet spices coat lean pork tenderloin while apples get a savoury treatment with shallots and thyme. Serve with spinach salad.

    • 3/8 tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp ground coriander
    • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 450 gms pork tenderloin, trimmed & cut crosswise into 12 pieces
    • cooking spray
    • 2 tbs butter
    • 2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled apple (1½ apples)
    • 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup apple cider
    • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

    1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 mins each side. Remove from pan; keep warm.
    2. Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, shallots, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; sauté 4 mins or until apple starts to brown. Add apple cider to pan, cook 2 mins or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Serve apple mixture with pork.


    249 cals
    Serves 4

    HUGE family favourite at my house. Hearty comfort food. Delicious & filling. The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t add the chicken until near the end of the cooking time, keeping the chicken beautifully tender. The sauce freezes well before the chicken is added.

    4 slices streaky bacon, roughly chopped (140 cals)
    1 onion, peeled and chopped (65 cals)
    1 carrot, peeled and diced (35 cals)
    1 parsnip, peeled and diced (45 cals)
    1 leek, washed and sliced (104 cals)
    1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped (51 cals)
    salt and pepper to taste
    250g chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced (32 cals)
    200ml dry white wine (66 cals)
    500ml chicken stock (35 cals)
    2 bay leaves
    400g chicken breast, diced into 1” cubes (424 cals)

    • Pre-heat oven to 180C / 160C fan.

    • Heat a large lidded frying pan or oven-proof casserole on a med-high heat on hob. When hot add the streaky bacon. Fry 2-3 mins until just turning brown. Remove using slotted spoon and set aside.

    • Add onion to the pan and immediately reduce heat. Leave onion to cook slowly in the bacon fat for about 5 mins.

    • Add carrot, parsnip, leeks and pepper to the pan. Stir thoroughly and season with salt & pepper. Turn heat up a little and continue to cook for a further 3 mins.

    • Stir through mushrooms and add wine and chicken stock. Add bay leaves and put bacon back in. Bring to gentle simmer.

    • Transfer to an oven-proof dish if necessary.

    • Place the lidded dish in the pre-heated oven and cook for approximately an hour.

    • When you are ready to eat, heat the dish on the hob and bring up to a gentle simmer. If necessary, add a little extra water. Add the diced chicken and bring back to simmering point. Cook gently for 10 mins. Check the chicken is cooked through before serving immediately.


    250 calories
    Serves: 3-4 (annoying when they aren’t specific so please work out your own cals)

    175g dried udon noodles or rice noodles (approx. 155 cals)
    1.5 litres vegetable or beef stock
    5cm piece of fresh root ginger, sliced into thin slivers
    1 sachet miso paste or Thai green curry paste for a Thai version
    1-2 tbs fish sauce or soy sauce
    1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
    1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced, optional
    250g mixed mushrooms – button, shiitake, oyster, thinly sliced or torn into bite-sized pieces
    100g mangetout, cut into fine strips
    150g finely sliced fillet steak
    2 spring onions, trimmed and shredded, optional
    Lime wedges to serve

    Cook noodles in large pan of boiling salted water, according to pack instructions until tender, 6-8 mins. Drain them, then rinse in cold water and set aside.

    Meanwhile, heat the stock with the ginger in a large pan. Whisk in miso paste (or Thai paste) and fish (or soy) sauce. Bring to boil, add chilli, garlic and mushrooms and simmer 3 mins.

    Add mangetout and then the meat. Simmer for 2 mins. Season to taste with more fish or soy sauce.

    Divide the noodles between 3-4 warm bowls and spoon the hot broth over. Sprinkle over shredded spring onions, if using, and serve with lime wedges.


    259 cals
    Serves 6 (3 heaped soup ladles each)

    Another huge favourite at the thinatlast family table

    1.5 litres chicken stock
    4 chicken thighs on the bone, skinned, with fat removed
    1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
    2 small bay leaves and a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
    1kg mixed winter veg – carrot, turnip, swede, parsnip and celeriac
    2 sticks celery
    150 gms pearl barley
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    freshly chopped parsley, to garnish

    Bring stock to boil, add chicken thighs, onion and herbs. Cover and simmer over low heat 20 mins until meat is tender.

    Peel and chop all the winter vegetables and trim and chop the celery. Take the chicken out of the pan with a draining spoon and set it aside.

    Put all the vegetables in the pan. Bring to boil, stir in barley. Bring back to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 mins or until vegetables are tender.

    Meanwhile, take the meat off the thigh bones, shred it and keep it warm. Season the soup and ladle it into bowls. Top with shreds of chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with chunks of bread for the OFMs.

    Copied this out from another recipe thread on here… with the ‘zoodles’ it is really filling and low in cals.

    originally shared by Lindanaf

    250g courgette “noodles” (43 calories)

    1/2 teaspoon olive oil (20 calories)
    25g onion, finely chopped (10)
    1 clove garlic, minced (5)
    200g raw mushrooms, halved or sliced (depending on size) (41)
    1/4 cup of prepared vegetable bouillon (1/4 teaspoon powder or 1/8 cube) (5)
    1/2 teaspoon tomato puree (2)
    1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (3)
    50g of plain unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (I use Sojade brand, available at health shops) (26)
    salt to taste

    Lightly salt the courgette noodles and place them in a strainer set over a bowl, to draw some of the extra moisture out. This is best done a couple of hours in advance.

    Heat olive oil, add onion and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Saute until onion is soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add splashes of water to keep onion from sticking/burning. Add garlic and saute for another couple of minutes. Then add mushrooms and continue to saute until they have release their moisture and are starting to brown. Add prepared bouillon, tomato puree and Dijon and mix well. Saute for a few minutes, then stir in yogurt and heat through. Remove from pan.

    Warm courgette noodles in the pan for a few minutes, until hot and softened as much as you like (I like mine quite “crunchy” but you can cook a bit longer to soften further). Add the stroganoff back into pan and heat well. Serves 1.

    TIP: Light cream cheese works really well, if you can’t find any non dairy yoghurt.

    These are some great salad webpage recommendations from Cinque and Intesha.
    The calorie counts probably should be looked at and tweaked to make them useful for FDs.

    Intesha recommended:

    co-incidently Cinque also recommended:

    Cinque: I also think about whether to have everything sliced thin, or big chunks, or a chopped salad:

    or how about this idea a French friend put me on to:

    Originally posted by Foxycoxy.


    100g Zucchini (grated)
    100g cooked chopped silverbeet or spinach
    100g short cut bacon (no fat -diced)
    50g capsicum finely diced
    50g onions finely diced
    100g cherry tomatoes halved
    4 jumbo eggs (67g each)
    60g tasty cheese grated
    50g feta cheese diced
    100g Low Fat Greek Style yoghurt
    1/2 Cup Wholemeal SR Flour
    1/2 Tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
    Olive Oil Spray

    Mix zucchini, bacon, onions, capsicum, spinach, tasty cheese in a large bowl. Lightly beat eggs with yoghurt. Add to mix along with diced feta. Stir and lastly add flour and mix until all combined. Spray quiche dish with olive oil spray – couple of seconds. Pour mix in and smooth, push halved cherry tomatoes onto top spacing around dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes or until brown on top. Cut into wedges and serve hot or cold.

    Six Serves = 225 calories ( Fat 11.9 Protein 15.9 Carb 12.1 Fibre 2.6 )

    Four Serves = 335 calories

    ** You can really use whatever veg you like. It also works well with tuna or salmon, or just leave out bacon for a vegetarian version.
    ** I’ve calculated it for jumbo eggs as my girls lay big ones, calories would be reduced if you used large eggs or a combination of 2 eggs and 2 egg whites.

    – I forgot to add the bacon, but did add mushrooms and grated carrots to the mix. I also did two whole eggs and two egg whites.

    VEGGIE BURGERS (Cinque style!)

    Homemade veggie burgers should be much tastier than bought ones, and full of your own favourite vegetables, legumes, grains and/or nuts.
    Some people make them almost like vegetable pancakes but I like them less eggy and floury than that. I don’t have a recipe, but these are the basics for my style of veggie burger!

    Ooze from the veggies is the biggest problem! I grate zucchini and carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato or normal potato (depending on what I have!), sprinkle with salt, and then let them sit (in a cloth over a sieve) and then squeeze well. These veggies (root veggies and squashes) are key because they cook and soften and help hold everything together.

    Legumes are great, and can be a main ingredient: chickpeas, lentils or any other favourite bean, well cooked so they can mash a bit, or a lot. You can used tinned beans as well ofcourse: drain well. Beans need lots of flavour to spark up their comfy goodness. They can be completely mashed, or whole to add texture, or somewhere in between!

    Grains are good to add, especially if your patties/burgers are going to be served with just a salad. If they are going to be in a bun, or a wrap, or served with a grain…. well that might be enough grains. My favourite grain to add is well cooked brown rice, burghul (soaked and drained) works well, millet, buckwheat, and couscous are all good additions.

    More grains! I usually add some flour to help glue it all together. A sprinkle of cornmeal, semolina, chickpea flour, plain wheat flour, or any other flour can help. So can some rolled oats!

    The non squeezy additions would be onion, celery, capsicum, corn: chopped fine. These add texture as well as flavour. The finer you chop them the more it all hangs together, but some bigger bits (whole kernels of corn for example) add nice texture.

    Chopped nuts: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, Brazil nuts etc are a great addition. Again, the finer you chop them the more it all sticks together, but bigger bits add some interest and texture.

    And you can add finely chopped parsley or other herbs: just getting those vitamins and minerals in with a bit more flavour!

    Be bold with flavourings. To really spark up the taste add chili! (Chopped finely, or flakes, or ground.) I usually add lots of garlic and spices (cumin is my favourite). Curry powder would work, turmeric is a great addition. The salt on the veggies to help them drain might be all the seasoning you need, check and add more salt if needed, and pepper too!

    It is mostly the (root and squash) vegetables and floury grains that hold it together. If the veggies are well squeezed out they don’t need much egg to hold them together.
    If you aren’t using egg you will surely need flour. The veggies will still have enough moisture to mix with it, you might need to let them sit a while until the flour is moistened (avoid adding liquid or they will be claggy). No egg means they will be trickier to cook.

    Hard cheese is really good to help hold them together, (grated Parmesan and/or cheddar) but maybe not on Fast Days! Crumbled soft cheeses such a ricotta or feta can be a lovely addition too.

    Frying them in oil brings out the taste and makes for a nice crispy outside. but you can still make delicious ones cutting down on the amount of oil. Just a brush or spray of oil so they don’t stick should work.

    Make them fairly small (no bigger than 5 – 6 cm diameter) to make sure they don’t break. (When you get used to them you might find you can make bigger ones). I heat the pan and add oil, then drop some of the mixture in, and form a pattie. It isn’t holding together well at this stage, but is easy to make a mound and then pat down with a spatula thing to the right shape.

    Cook them for a longer time, on a lower heat, so they get to cook right though and the veggies soften and stick it all together, and the outside is golden and crispy. Maybe 10 minutes each side? I haven’t timed them, so that is just a guess.

    I try to get my veggie burgers with as little flour and egg as I can get away with. It is a balance! I want them as full of texture as I can, without falling apart. And I love them to be just bursting with flavour so if I eat them in a sandwich or wrap they are the star, and not just some more stodginess!

    You can try different styles, eg an Asian style veggie burger with grated sweet potato and pumpkin, coriander leaves, and finely chopped peanuts or cashews in them, chilies, ginger, garlic, onions, and egg.

    I hope this gives some good ideas to take you on a delicious veggie burger adventure! I am sure I have forgotten some things (sesame seeds?) and once I submit I can’t come back and add them in, but they can be your discovery!

    From the Slendier recipes

    Serves 4 people (200kcal/ serve)

    ½ cup(s) Red capsicum diced
    ½ cup(s) Green capsicum diced
    3 cup(s) Spring onions chopped
    ½ cup(s) Sultanas
    ¼ cup(s) Flaked /slivered almonds
    1 Celery stalk trimmed and finely chopped
    1 cup(s) Corn kernels
    1 teaspoon(s) Cracked black pepper
    1 tablespoon(s) Lemon juice
    1 tablespoon(s) Zest of lemon
    1 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard
    2 teaspoon(s) Teaspoon olive oil

    Prepare Slendier rice style as per instructions on the pack and set aside
    In a large bowl add salad ingredients and toss through. Add dressing ingredient to small jug and whisk to combine
    Add prepared Slendier rice style and toss to combine. Dress with dressing and serve.


    137 cals per serve
    Serves: 6
    One serving is 150gms cooked

    For the Dhal:
    • 250g chana dhal (yellow dried split peas), rinsed well
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 level tbs freshly grated ginger
    • 1 level tsp turmeric
    • 2 bay leaves
    • Salt

    For the Tarka:
    2 tbs ghee or vegetable oil
    • ½ level tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • Pinch of chilli flakes

    Freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag, use within 3 months. Defrost before reheating.

    Boil 1 litre water, add chana dhal, garlic, ginger, turmeric and bay leaves. Return to the boil and skim off any scum from the top. Cover pan and simmer 45-60 mins, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.

    Tarka: heat oil or ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds and cook for few seconds. Add onion, garlic and chilli. Cook over medium heat 10-15 mins, or until onion has softened. Remove pan from heat.

    If dhal mixture is still runny, remove lid and increase heat to reduce liquid, stirring well.

    Once the dhal has softened and is almost smooth, season with salt. Serve with the tarka spooned on top, reheating if necessary.

    French Lentil Soup
    This is a classic and this is the recipe I found that reflects how I make it.
    I buy a bag of dried lentils, green ones are good for this recipe, or puy lentils if you can get them, My favourite is the small whole red lentils that are available in the middle eastern shops we are lucky to have nearby. One cup, soaked overnight, will make the right amount for this recipe. The soaked lentils take about 20 minutes, of simmering in the soup, to cook. Of course tinned lentils can be used and they are already cooked. ( dried lentils that have been soaked, and then just starting to sprout, take about 2 minutes to cook). You could make it with unsoaked dried beans, but it might take longer than the 35 mins in the recipe.
    Note when cooking lentils and beans, don’t add the salt until after they have cooked, or acid things like the tomatoes, otherwise the lentils take forever to cook.
    I have never blended part of the soup, as suggested in the recipe, it is a nice idea. And of course you can add more broth to make it a more liquid soup ( my preference).

    Lebanese Lentil and Spinach Soup, with Lemon.

    This is the go when you have a nice bunch of spinach, or silver beet (although you’ll see the recipe uses frozen spinach).
    This is the simplest version I could find, and very much how I make it, although I have never used mint (I will next time I make it!).

    What I wrote about lentils in the last lentil soup recipe, goes for this soup too!

    Some versions add chopped chili, or chili powder, that gives it a great kick.
    Often a tin of diced tomatoes is added.
    Diced potatoes is another common addition and really turns it into a meal.
    Some recipes add lemon zest (as well as the juice), and more spices, especially coriander and cumin.
    Some recipes call for part of the soup to be blended, and then mixed back in, for a thicker soup.

    You will work out the proportions you like best, of lentils, spinach, and how much stock. It is a great down to earth soup!

    Cinque wrote on Hello Southern Hemispherites!!:

    Liquorice Tea! I first heard about it when a friend got this:
    I loved the taste.
    Then on a CFS site a doctor was talking about the benfits of licorice for orthostatic intolerance (a symptom I have). It helps with water retention and regulating blood pressure (not letting it go too low). But it is quite powerful, and you shouldn’t have more than 1/2 a tsp a day. Plus people with high blood pressure and/or water retention problems shouldn’t have it at all.
    This is what the pieces of liquorice root look like when I buy them:
    And then this shows them ground up (much finer than I do it, and what the tea looks like:
    It is lovely and sweet with a light liquorice flavour.
    I put 1/2 a tsp of the liquorice root into a cup, fill it up with boiling water and drink it. Refill and drink again, and sometimes a third time, but it is very weak by then. 🙂


    Mexican Black Bean Chilli

    SERVES 4

    cooking oil spray

    1 onion, finely chopped

    2 courgettes, chopped

    2 red peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

    1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

    1 celery stick, chopped

    1 garlic clove, crushed

    1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded to taste)

    ½ tsp ground coriander

    ½ tsp ground cumin

    400g tin cherry tomatoes

    1 tbsp tomato purée

    400g tin black beans, rinsed

    100g frozen sweetcorn

    75ml water

    1 tbsp lime juice

    salt and pepper


    coriander leaves

    natural yoghurt

    Calories per portion: 144

    ● Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan. Gently fry the onion, courgettes, peppers, carrot and celery on a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, chilli and spices, stir and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, black beans, sweetcorn and water and simmer on a low heat for 20-25 minutes until sauce thickens. Stir in the lime juice, season and serve with coriander and a spoonful of low-fat natural yoghurt.

    OPTIONAL EXTRA 1 avocado, chopped and dressed with lemon juice (+75 cals per quarter).

    187 cals
    Serves 2

    This soup is lovely and thick. Intensely warming and satisfying. If you want to make it even more quickly, microwave the butternut squash 5 mins in a covered, microwave-safe bowl. Then follow the instructions as normal but only simmer the soup for 5 mins.

    1 tsp olive oil (27 cals)
    1 onion, peeled and diced (65 cals)
    1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped (4 cals)
    ½ butternut squash (400g), peeled and diced (144 cals)
    1 tsp paprika (14 cals)
    1 tsp mild chilli powder
    ½ tsp ground coriander
    1 clove garlic, crushed (4 cals)
    salt and pepper
    500ml water
    1 tbs (15ml) dry white vermouth (24 cals)
    1 tbs dijon mustard (33 cals)
    handful fresh coriander, chopped
    2 heaped tsp low fat crème fraiche (59 cals) or natural yogurt

    Heat oil in a large saucepan. Toss in onion and red chilli and fry gently 5 mins. Stir in butternut squash and all spices, garlic and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Add water, bring to the boil and simmer 20 mins.

    Remove from heat and add vermouth and dijon mustard.

    Transfer to blender and blend until smooth. Return to pan and add coriander. Reheat gently for 2 minutes before serving with a scoop of crème fraiche.

    277 calories
    Serves 4

    4 chicken drumsticks (304 cals)
    1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped (65 cals)
    1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (35 cals)
    1 litre water
    400g can chopped tomatoes (128 cals)
    300ml passata (93 cals)
    1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped (24 cals)
    1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (4 cals)
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (8 cals)
    1 tsp dried mixed herbs
    1 tsp paprika (14 cals)
    1 tsp smoked paprika (14 cals)
    ½ tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp mild chilli powder
    1x400g can black beans, drained or 60gms dried (210 cals)
    1x400g can kidney beans, drained (210 cals)
    Salt and pepper

    Place the chicken drumsticks, onion and carrot in a large saucepan. Pour over the water and bring up to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove the chicken drumsticks with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

    Add the chopped tomatoes, passata, green pepper, chilli and garlic and bring back up to simmering point. Add the dried herbs, both paprikas, cumin and chilli powder and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

    Remove the skin from the drumsticks and pull as much chicken as possible off the bone. Shred the chicken meat and return it to the pan, along with the black beans and kidney beans, for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Season generously with salt and pepper.

    240 cals
    Serves: 8
    Prep time: 20 mins (more like an hour and 20mins for me!)
    Cooking time: 1 hr 10 mins

    400g lean minced beef
    2 medium onions, chopped
    2 celery sticks, finely sliced
    2 medium carrots, diced
    400g can of chopped tomatoes
    2 tbs tomato purée
    500ml beef stock, made with 1 beef stock cube
    1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
    1tsp dried mixed herbs
    4 tsp cornflour
    1tbs cold water
    sea salt & black pepper

    For the leeky potato topping:

    750g floury potatoes
    2 tsp sunflower oil
    2 slender leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
    150g half-fat crème fraiche (sour cream or yoghurt)
    flaked sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

    Place large non-stick saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add mince and cook with onions, celery and carrots 10 mins until lightly coloured.

    Stir in tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and mixed herbs. Season with salt & plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover loosely & simmer gently 40 mins, stirring occasionally until mince is tender.

    About 20 minutes before meat is ready, make potato topping. Peel potatoes and cut into rough 4cm chunks. Put in large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil, simmer 18–20 mins or until very tender. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry leeks 5 mins until softened but not coloured, stirring often. Drain potatoes, tip them back into the pan, season to taste and mash with yoghurt until smooth. Stir in sautéed leeks and set aside.

    Preheat oven 220°C. When beef has been simmering 40 mins, mix cornflour with cold water to make smooth paste. Stir into beef and cook 1–2 mins or until sauce is thickened, stirring often.

    Pour beef mixture into a 2-litre shallow ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, top the beef with mashed potatoes and leeks. Spoon mixture all around the edge of the dish before heading into the middle, then fluff up with a fork.

    Bake 30 mins until topping is golden and the filling is bubbling. If making ahead of time, let the pie cool, then cover and put in fridge.

    25 calories per 100 gram serving

    Prep time: 5-15 minutes
    Cooking time: 5-15 minutes

    1 head cauliflower
    salt (optional)
    pepper (optional)

    Grate or finely chop the cauliflower florets until they resemble rice grains. ( Box grater produces quality ‘rice’ texture, though the fastest way to do this is blitzing in a blender or using chopping blade or grater in a food processor which will result in a finer texture that’s a little more like couscous. Pulse to make sure it’s not over-processed.)

    Cooking method options:

    ● Microwave grated cauliflower by cooking on full power for 2 minutes in a lightly covered microwavable dish (reduce to 60 seconds if using one portion’s worth). Don’t add water: there’s already enough water in the cauliflower to stop it drying out. Season to taste.

    ● Sauté in non-stick pan with a dash of water from 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until the cauliflower is cooked through and has lost its raw taste. Season to taste.

    ● Preheat oven to 200 C. Spread cauliflower rice out in a thin, even layer on a grease-proof baking tray. Place in the oven and cook for 12 -24 stirring halfway through. Bake until cauliflower rice begins forming a few brown spots. Season to taste.

    ● Steam the grated cauliflower in a vegetable steamer (with fine holes, so the grains won’t fall through) or in a sieve set over a pan of simmering water (cover the sieve tightly with foil to allow the cauliflower to steam) for 2-5 minutes until fluffy.

    Lael’s note: I was skeptical that this could taste good. I was pleasantly surprised that I couldn’t tell the difference when served alongside my chicken curry. This is my first choice ‘go to’ and I prefer it over white or brown rice options. 100 grams cooked cauliflower rice yields 25 calories, 2 grams protein, 5 grams total carbs, 2 grams fiber,● 100 grams white rice cooked yields 130 calories, 2.69 grams protein, 28.14 grams total carbs, 0.4 grams fiber,

    Here’s a new recipe we tried tonight and it was to die for – it will definitely b become a regular FD meal – it’s only 308 Calories per:
    Mango Sriracha Chicken Skewers

    Serves: 3 servings

    *600 Gms boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
    * For the Marinade:
    * 1 (420 GM) can light coconut milk
    * 1 cup chopped mango
    * 2 cloves garlic, minced
    * 3 Tbsp sriracha sauce
    * 1 Tbsp lime juice
    * 2 Tbsp honey or Brown Rice Syrup (no Fructose)
    * 3 Tbsp olive oil
    * Salt and pepper, to taste
    * Handful fresh Coriander
    * For the Salsa:
    * 1½ cups mango, chopped
    * ½ cup red Capsicum, chopped
    * 1 jalapenos Chilli, chopped
    * ¼ cup red onion, chopped
    * ¼ cup sliced green onions
    * 3 Tbsp coriander, chopped
    * 2 Tbsp lime juice
    * ½ tsp. lime zest


    1. Soak the skewers in cold water for about 20 minutes to prevent them from burning on the grill and set aside.
    2. In a blender, combine all ingredients for the marinade up through the salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Add Coriander and pulse until roughly chopped. Reserve about a cup of marinade to brush over the chicken when placed on the grill.
    3. Slice chicken into 1-inch cubes and pour marinade over top of chicken and let marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes to overnight.
    4. While the chicken is marinating, mix together all the ingredients for the salsa in a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
    5. Preheat pan or BBQ on medium-high heat, making sure to lightly spray with oil to avoid sticking.
    6. While BBQ/Pan is heating up, start threading your chicken onto the skewers (about 5 pieces each) and discard the marinade. Place the skewers on the grill, cooking the chicken about 2 to 3 minutes on each side and brushing with the reserved marinade until the chicken is cooked through.
    7. Top skewers with mango salsa, serve and enjoy!

    Serving Size: 4 skewers + ⅓ cup salsa • Calories: 308 • Fat: 8 g • Saturated Fat: 2.6 g • Carbs: 12.9 g • Fiber: 1.3 g • Protein: 40.7 g • Sugar: 7.8 g

    Bob Appetit Aussies

    Spicy Pineapple Salsa
    Goes perfectly with Grilled white fish (Snapper, Coral Trout, Barramundi)

    * 1½ cups (340 grams) diced pineapple
    * 1 Continental cucumber, peeled, diced
    * 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove ribs and seeds if you can’t stand the heat)
    * ¼ cup diced red onion
    * ¼ cup minced coriander
    * 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    * Juice from 1 lime
    * Kosher salt
    * Freshly ground black pepper

    Here’s how to make it:
    Combine everything in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
    226 Calories (lessen the Calories by reducing the oil)
    Bon Appetit

    This is a really easy dinner and under 300 Calories plus you get to use up left over cooked chook.

    Cooked/Roast Chicken Curry:

    261 Calories per serve (incl 1 cup cooked basmati rice)

    Vegetable oil
    1 onion, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
    1 tbsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
    2-3 large tomatoes, chopped (plus extra to serve)
    300ml chicken stock
    leftover roast chicken, roughly chopped – 100g per serve
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tbsp plain yoghurt
    fresh coriander, chopped, to serve
    2 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp garam Marsala
    half tsp ground cardamom
    half tsp ground cinnamon
    half tsp ground turmeric
    half tsp ground chilli powder (or to taste)

    steamed rice, to serve
    Heat about two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Gently fry the chopped onion together with a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and ginger. Continue to gently fry for another two to three minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Add the spices and ensure that they are well mixed with the onion. Continue to gently fry for another three minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir well and cook for another minute or so. Add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes so the flavours infuse.

    Add the roasted chicken and warm through. Dollop in about 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt. Gently warm through so that it doesn’t curdle.

    Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle over a little fresh coriander and chopped fresh tomato.

    Bon Appetit

    Hi all, please find following my recipe for a vegetable frittata. My inspiration was from the movie Morning Glory with Harrison Ford making one. (mine is better)

    2 eggs 800kj – 191cal
    3 egg whites (100grams) 200kj – 47cal
    100grams capsicum diced (3 cheeks) 115kj – 27cal
    100grams broccoli 85kj – 20cal
    50grams peas (de-frost in a bowl of warm water) 135kj – 32cal
    50grams onion diced 106kj – 25cal
    1 tomato sliced and slices cut in half 90kj 21cal
    1 tsp dried oregano

    mix eggs, egg whites and oregano in a bowl until combined and pour into a 20cm cake tin lined with baking paper with the baking paper going up the sides of the tin. ( use a dab of butter in the cake tin make the baking paper stick)
    Add all the vegetables into the mixture using half the tomatoes to cover the top of the frittata
    Place into an oven at 200c for 35-40mins until cooked.
    Remove tin from the oven and lift, using the paper, on to a plate.
    Using a spatula or shirt lifter, gently go around the edges to seperate the frittata from the paper then remove paper.
    Serve with a glass of your favourite water.

    Total 1531kj – 366cal
    Serves 1

    *Note you may add 10grams of hot salami which is 2 shaved slices for 178kj – 42cal
    or 50grams of mushrooms for 55kj – 13cal.

    Do you mean 259 calls per serve or is that for all the serves

    Hi Southern Hemispherites,

    Hope you don’t mind a whinging pom (usually to be found on the Maintenance thread) sneaking on to your recipe site and cutting and pasting some of your amazing calorie-counted, fast-day-friendly recipes. Special thanks to thinatlast, but I’m grateful to all of you who’ve come up with ideas.

    With winter coming on soups are particularly welcome for fast day lunches. Sometimes the usual cold lean protein and salad don’t quite hit the spot.

    News is just breaking here of a powerful earthquake and tsunami on New Zealand’s South Island. Thinking of all of you based in the region and hoping you are safe and well.

    Hi all

    Hope you and yours are safe and well post earthquake. I don’t know you well enough to understand if anyone will personally affected but I very much hope not.

    Which recipe are you asking about (259 Calories)?
    It almost certainly would be per serve but if you can point to the recipe – name/date – I could answer more precisely

    A friendly reminder – please limit your posts to recipes only on this thread for ease of finding. Thanks so much!

    CAULIFLOWER RICE SUSHI – from ‘I Quit Sugar’.

    1 small avocado
    1 large carrot
    1/2 cucumber
    200 g fresh salmon, crab meat or tuna

    Cauliflower Rice
    1 small onion, diced
    1 tsp coconut oil
    1 large head of cauliflower
    2 tbs rice vinegar
    2 tsp rice malt syrup
    1 tsp tahini

    1. Grate cauliflower with a grater or in the food processor to the texture of fine crumbs. Squeeze out excess water with your hands.

    2. In a large saucepan heat up coconut oil on medium heat and fry onion for a few mins. Add cauliflower and fry 2-3 mins. constantly stir until softened a bit. Remove from heat and add rice vinegar, rice malt syrup, tahini and salt and set aside.

    3. Cut avocado, cucumber and carrots into long skinny stripes.

    4. Place nori sheets on a bamboo mat and spread 3-4 tbs of cauliflower rice onto the each sheet. It should fill about 2/3 of the nori sheets. Place veggies and fish onto it and roll up into a long roll and using a dab of water to stick the two ends of the nori sheet together.

    No calorie count / serving number supplied unfortunately. Just an alternative to rice for sushi.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes.
    Just popping in from January Challenge to share this, as it’s a go-to recipe for me when I’m craving bread.


    1 cup grated fresh cauliflower
    1 med egg
    1 tsp GF flour
    1 dessertspoon shredded parmesan
    1 tsp olive oil for frying

    Mix first 4 ingredients.
    Heat the oil in a frypan to medium-hot.
    Divide mix into 3 portions and drop each into the pan and flatten to about 1cm to make 3 fritters.
    Fry till golden on the bottom, about 4 mins. Turn and fry 3-4 mins on the other side.

    Approx 215 calories and 12g carb in total.

    Notes: cooking time is approximate. Turn heat down and cook a little longer if necessary.
    You can leave out the flour, but I found that little bit helps the texture. You
    could also try substituting for other flours.

    GREEN MISO NOODLE BOWL 198 calories

    Serves: 2
    Prep time: 2 mins
    Cooking time: 8 mins

    Freeze a portion to reheat on a day when you don’t fancy cooking.

    • 2 miso paste sachets
    • 3cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
    • 45g soba noodles (Tesco 50gm = 177)
    • 50g sugar snap peas
    • 8 asparagus stems, sliced
    • 1 courgette, spiralised into noodles
    • 100g tenderstem broccoli
    • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
    • 1 orange pepper, sliced
    • 1tbs soy sauce
    • Large handful coriander leaves

    Pour 600ml boiling water into a pan, add the miso, ginger and garlic, then allow to gently simmer for 3-4 mins.

    Add the soba noodles and vegetables to the pan, and cook for a further 3-4 mins, until just tender. Stir through the soy sauce and ladle into warm bowls. Top with coriander leaves to serve.

    Here are some veggies that are good on the BBQ and some marinades and rubs that add a lot of flavour to the veg. Some veg that normally don’t grill well, can be barbequed if you blanch them first.

    (you can also cook these on the stove using a griddle plate or cast iron frying pan.)
    Eggplant- cut into 1cm slices and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 20 minutes then rinse and dry.
    Zucchini – cut lengthways into slices approx half a cm thick
    Mushrooms – any size mushroom can be barbequed whole, just trim the stem back so it’s level with the rest of the mushroom. Really large field mushrooms can be cut into 1cm thick slices if you prefer.
    Capsicm – cut in half lengthways and remove the stem and seeds. Cut into halves then into 2-3 slices.
    Roma tomatoes – choose ripe but firm tomatoes. Slice in half lengthways. Sprinkle with a little dried basil or oregano before grilling.
    Asparagus – blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes then drain and cool.
    Asian broccoli – blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes then drain and cool.
    Green beans- blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes then drain and cool.
    Choy sum – remove the green leafy tops (these don’t BBQ well, so put them aside for later use in a stir fry), then slice in half lengthways. Blanch in boiling water for no more than 1 minute then drain and cool.
    Kebabs – similar sized chunks of red onion, capsicm, zucchini, eggplant, cherry tomatoes and button mushrooms can be threaded onto skewers and then barbequed.

    Add whatever protein you prefer to this vegetable collection.

    Once you’ve prepared your veggies you can just add a little oil spray before grilling them, but they taste great with marinades and rubs. You need 20minutes in the marinade before you can barbeque the veg. Some options that I use are:
    Harissa, Baharat Chermoula, Curry powder or curry paste, Gremolata
    Asian marinade – minced garlic, ginger, chilli and fresh coriander with a little soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil
    There are a lot of pre-mixed spice and herb blends on the market that will also work well, just watch the labels for salt and sugar content.
    If you are using a rub that doesn’t contain oil then you can spray your veg with oil spray before adding them to the BBQ.
    The veg can be served with salads or you can turn the BBQ veg into a warm salad.

    Green Salad – any combination of green leaves – baby spinach, lettuce, rocket, fresh leafy herbs
    Carrot – grated carrot, very finely sliced celery, mung bean sprouts, finely shredded snow peas, a little grated (strong flavoured) cheese
    Coleslaw – finely shredded cabbage, carrot, celery, capsicum, red onion, parsley (for added sweetness you can also add some finely sliced snow peas)
    Green spears – blanched asparagus, broccolini and green beans (boil for about 2 minutes then drain and cool) – this salad can be served warm or cold, it’s lovely with a balsamic or lemon vinaigrette
    Chunky Salsa – diced tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, capsicum, chilli (optional), parsley or basil leaves (nice with a balsamic dressing)
    Grilled Mediterranean Veg – griddle or BBQ slices of zucchini, capsicum, eggplant and mushrooms. Add plenty of raw halved cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves– this salad can be served warm or cold.
    Tomato – a range of tomatoes or cherry tomatoes which have different colours and shapes, chopped into chunks, torn basil leaves – this salad is best if you can get a range of tomatoes with different colours and flavours
    Tabouleh – cooked cooled cauliflower rice, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, garlic, spring onion. Dice the veggies and combine with a lemon juice & olive oil viniagarette.
    Fatoush –
    1 bunch parsley (about 2 cups) chopped
    1 bunch mint (about 1 cup) chopped
    4 shallots (about ¼ cup) chopped thinly (can replace with a spanish onion)
    2 small radishes (cut into slivers) or small cubes
    1/2 cup shredded lettuce
    1-2 large tomato diced
    2 medium cucumbers diced
    30g wholemeal pita bread (toasted until it’s brittle)
    (Chop everything as large or small as you prefer. Amounts given are a guide. It’s a salad so its forgiving if you don’t have enough of an ingredient.
    Dressing: Lemon juice, Salt, Olive oil, Sumac

    A vinaigrette is fine for any of these salads.
    White vinegar will give you the sharpest flavour; apple cider vinegar will give a more mellow flavour; and balsamic vinegar will be sweeter.
    You can replace the vinegar with lemon or lime juice.
    The oil that you use will have an effect on the flavour. Some of the flavour infused oils are very nice in salad dressings (eg lemon, garlic or herb infused oils)
    You can change the flavour of a basic vinaigrette by adding other flavours. The best method is to add these extras to the oil then add the vinegar. Options include:
    aromatics such as garlic, ginger or chilli
    Mustard – French/wholegrain/Dijon (French mustard adds a slight creaminess to the dressing so it’s good on a salad like coleslaw)
    any herbs or spices that you like (use spices sparingly as they can easily overpower a dressing)
    add Asian influence with fish sauce, soy, tamari, lime juice, ginger, coriander, lemongrass


    I love dips, but most of the commercial ones are packed with fat, sugar and preservatives, so I usually make my own.

    All of these dips can be served with crunchy raw vegies such as carrot sticks, celery, cucumber, button mushrooms, snow peas, capsicum strips, cos lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower florets.
    I have judged 1 serve to be the amount that I can eat with approx 200g raw vegie sticks.
    My preference is to make 2 dips and have a half serve of each with raw vegies.
    These are really useful recipies for entertaining on a FD – the satay orange veg dip is particularly popular and I get requests to bring it.

    Roasted Eggplant Dip
    This is a lighter version of Babaganoush
    Serves 2
    1 eggplant
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1 tsp sesame oil OR 2 tsp tahini
    1-2 tsp lemon or lime juice
    ½ tsp tamari or low salt soy sauce
    a generous pinch each of paprika, cinnamon and cumin
    1-2 tblsp fresh parsley leaves
    Preheat oven to 200°C.
    Pierce the eggplant skin about 6 times with a skewer then place onto a tray and roast for 30 minutes or until eggplant is soft. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool a little.
    Slit the eggplant open and scoop the soft flesh into a bowl, discard the skin and stem. Add everything else and use a fork or potato masher to mash together until well combined. (You can use a food processor if you prefer.)

    Satay Orange Vegetable Dip
    Serves 2
    2 carrots, or 1 orange sweet potato or a similar quantity of pumpkin
    1 zucchini
    1 tsp sesame oil
    salt & pepper
    ½ tsp cumin
    ½ tsp tamari or low sodium soy
    a pinch of cinnamon
    2 tsp satay sauce
    Optional – lemon juice, chilli
    Peel the carrot/pumpkin etc and cut into into small chunks. Cut the zucchini into chunks. Put these into a small baking dish with ½ tsp sesame oil, toss to coat the veg with oil. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper and ¼ tsp cumin. Roast at 180C until the carrots are very soft. This should take about 40 minutes.
    Using either a potato masher or a food processor puree the veg with another ½ tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp satay sauce, ½ tsp tamari, ¼ tsp cumin, pinch or cinnamon and 2 tsp water. Add extra water, 1 tsp at a time until you have a thick textured dip.
    The finished dip will we quite sweet as the roasting process enhances the sweetness of the veg. If it’s too sweet for you, tone it down with a few drops of lemon juice. If you like spicy flavours you can also add a little chilli.
    NOTE – most satay sauces are high in calories. The lightest I’ve found locally is Masterfoods Satay Marinade with 9 calories and 1.1g carbohydrate per tsp)

    Pesto Gremolata
    This is a combination of the flavours in pesto and gremolata, with the fat, nuts and cheese removed. It can be used as a dip or a salad dressing. You can also toss hot steamed vegies or konjac spaghetti or prawns in this sauce.
    Serves 3 as a dip or 1 as a sauce
    ½ cup baby spinach leaves
    ½ cup parsley leaves (or rocket if you like a peppery flavour)
    ½ cup fresh basil leaves (you can change the flavour dramatically by using other leafy herbs that you prefer, such as mint, coriander, oregano, sorrel marjoram)
    1tsp extra virgin olive oil
    1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
    zest of 1 lemon or lime
    1 tsp lemon or lime juice
    Using either a food processor or a mortar and pestle process the mixture. If you need more liquid to get the right texture, add water 1 tsp at a time. This should be a very thick dip.

    Roasted Capsicum Dip
    This is based on a pasta sauce that I make in summer. It will work as both a dip and a pasta sauce. Serves 3 as a dip or 1 as a pasta sauce.
    1 red capsicum
    1 ripe roma tomato
    1 lebanese or finger eggplant (or you can roast a large eggplant and use ¼ of it)
    1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic (unpeeled)
    Mediterranean herbs (eg oregano, basil or thyme)
    ¼ tsp sweet paprika (if you like strong smoky flavours you could use smoked paprika instead)
    salt and pepper
    Place the whole capsicum, tomato, eggplant and unpeeled garlic cloves into a baking dish and roast at 220C until the vegetables are soft and the capsicum skin is a little blackened. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until they can be safely handled.
    Remove all of the skins from the capsicum, tomato and garlic and discard. Open up the capsicum and remove and discard the seed and stems. In a bowl, cut open the roasted tomato and remove and discard the stem. Squeeze the tomato into the bowl and reserve this liquid. Slit open the eggplant and scrape out the soft centre.
    Place the capsicum, eggplant and tomato flesh into a food processor with the garlic, olive oil and your choice of herbs. Process until it’s smooth, adding enough of the reserved tomato water to achieve the desired texture. Season to taste. You can do this in a bowl with a potato masher but the result will be chunkier. If you like chilli you can add a fresh chilli to the roasting pan – prepare it the same way as the capsicum.
    If you want to use this as a pasta sauce the eggplant is optional and I’d recommend using more tomatoes.

    You can use these dips as a a pasta sauce with konjac noodles
    You can also use it as a topping for plain steamed or grilled veg, or fish or chicken.


    Take some spinach, kale or chard leaves and wash and dry really well. Remove the stalk and tear the leaves into decent size chunks (they shrink during cooking). Put onto a tray lines with baking paper. Spray with oil and sprinkle with salt or any other spice blend you like. Don’t over season – I find a little goes a long way on the finished chip.
    Bake at about 180 for about 8 mins (don’t walk away, keep checking) some cook quicker than others. May need longer or shorter in the oven – I find each batch is different.

    In addition to spinach, I tried turning a few other veggies into chips. My favourite was zucchini as it has a bland flavour which really takes up the spices that you flavour it with. I find the iron flavour of the spinach tends to dominate the spices that I added. Carrot is also quite nice, but takes a really long time in the oven to become crisp.

    The method for other veg, is the same as for spinach chips – use a veggie peeler to cut ribbons of zucchini or carrot along the length of the veg. Zucchini takes a couple of minutes more in the oven than spinach. Carrot takes 2-3 times as long depending on how thick your peels are. My favourite spice blends for these are BBQ spice blend or lemon pepper or garlic powder or garlic salt.

    A note of caution about veggie chips. By the time you’ve turned veggies into chips there is a vast shrinking in volume. A kilogram of veggies will turn into a tiny bowl of chips. It would be very very easy to overeat, so measure and count your veggies while they are raw, and just make one batch unless you have excellent willpower.

    Postscript to Veggie Dips:

    I should have said that these veggie dips, especially if serve with crudite are snacks or a light meal. If you want to add protein to turn them into a full meal then the easiest way is to add either legumes of low fat fresh whey cheese to the dip.

    Mash of puree 1/2 cup cooked chick peas, lentils or beans and stir one of the veg dips through – the satay carrot dip or the eggplant dip are both really good when added to mashed legumes.

    For cheese, use about 1/2 quark or cottage cheese or ricotta and add 1 serve of a dip – the pesto-gremolata or roast capsicum are particularly good with soft cheese.

    These are also very transportable foods if you need something for lunch.

    Laksa is my favourite Asian soup, so having a low calorie version makes a meal a look forward to on a fast day. I usually make it with 100g peeled green prawn tails, but if you can spare more calories you can use chicken or pork or firm tofu. It’s a massive bowl of soup and I’m definitely full when I’m done.

    Following are 2 versions of low calorie laksa. As with all Asian soups, the flavour of the final soup really depends on how much time you put into the stock. So I’ve provided 2 options – a fast 15 minute version that uses bought stock and a version that takes the time to make an infused stock (it’s not a lot more actual work, but does take time to simmer and steep).

    Light Laksa – The 15 Minute Version

    The Soup:
    1 sachet of miso broth paste or 1 teaspoon stock powder (I prefer Massel, low sodium)
    1 tsp laksa paste (if you like chilli, use more)
    ½ tsp crushed garlic
    ½ tsp crushed ginger
    ¼ teaspoon palm sugar or alternative (omit if you prefer)
    1 lime
    2 tsp skim milk powder
    ½ tsp fish sauce (if you use miso paste you might want to omit this, otherwise it will be too salty)
    ¼ tsp coconut essence

    The Garnishes:
    2 handfuls of bean sprouts
    1 packet of drained washed konjac noodles
    100g sliced chicken breast, or pork, or green prawn meat, or squid, or firm tofu
    1-2 cups of other vegetables: eg bok choy, choy sum, baby spinach, spring onions, broccoli, snow peas, green beans
    Coriander leaves

    Place the stock paste or powder into a saucepan. Add at least 2 cups of water, the laksa paste, garlic, ginger, coconut essence and sugar and bring to the boil. Taste, and if it’s not too salty, add the fish sauce. Add the chicken/prawns etc and firmer vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the leafy vegetables and bean sprouts and konjac noodles and bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat as soon as it boils.
    Dissolve the skim milk powder in a little water, then stir it into the soup. Squeeze lime juice into the soup and stir through. Serve in a large bowl garnished with fresh coriander leaves.
    You’ll need either a Chinese soup spoon and chopsticks (or a spoon and fork) to eat this.

    Light Laksa – The Longer Version

    The Broth (enough for 3 serves):
    2 sachet of miso broth paste or 3 teaspoons stock powder (I prefer Massel, low sodium chicken stock powder)
    3 tsp laksa paste
    2 garlic cloves cut in half
    1 cm slice of fresh ginger
    1 fresh or dried chilli (optional)
    ½ teaspoon palm sugar or alternative (omit if you prefer)
    Strips of zest from 1 lime (use a vegetable peeler to get these strips)
    2 kaffir lime leaves
    1 lemongrass stalk, crushed
    ½ tsp fish sauce (if you use miso paste you might want to reduce this to ¼ tsp)
    ½ tsp coconut essence
    1 chicken carcass or a couple of chicken wings and prawn shells (you can omit, but they really add something to the flavour)

    The Laksa:
    1 serve of the prepared broth (plus enough water to make 2 cups)
    2 handfuls of bean sprouts
    1 packet of drained washed konjac noodles
    100g sliced chicken breast, or pork, or green prawn meat, or firm tofu
    1-2 cups of other vegetables: eg bok choy, choy sum, baby spinach, spring onions, broccoli, snow peas, green beans
    2 tsp skim milk powder
    Lime juice
    Coriander leaves

    Place all of the broth ingredients into a large saucepan and cover with 1.5 litres water.
    Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
    Remove from the heat and leave with the lid on until cooled. Strain the broth well through a very fine sieve, to remove all of the flavouring ingredients and leave a clear broth.
    This is 3 serves of broth and can be frozen in individual portions at this stage. This broth works as a base for many SE Asian soups.

    Bring one serve of the broth to the boil. Add the chicken/prawns etc and the firmer vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes.
    Add the leafy vegetables and bean sprouts and konjac noodles and bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat as soon at it boils.
    Dissolve the skim milk powder in a little water, then stir it into the soup. Squeeze lime juice into the soup and stir through. Serve in a large bowl garnished with fresh coriander leaves.
    You’ll need either a Chinese soup spoon and chopsticks (or a spoon and fork) to eat this.

    One serve of either broth recipie (including the milk powder) is 50-60 calories, depending on which stock powder/paste you use. (Miso paste has more calories.)
    Just add the relevant calories for your chosen vegetables and protein to this. Depending on your choices, the completed soup will be 200-300 calories.

    You can obviously use coconut cream or coconut milk instead of the skim milk powder, proving you can spare the extra calories.
    If you are making this on a non-fast day, I’d definitely recommend replacing the coconut essence and skim milk powder with 2 tblsp of either coconut cream or full fat coconut milk.

    For those of you avoiding all sugar you can leave the palm sugar out, although I find it upsets the important balance in SE Asian cuisine between hot, salty, sour & sweet – if I leave one out it doesn’t taste right to me.

    Hi all

    As I’m slightly obsessive when it comes to calorie counting I don’t rely on calorie estimates with any recipies, I check them as I go, every time I make then, to make sure I’m counting every calorie that goes into the pot, especially as different brands can vary. What has surprised me a little is that some of the calorie counts of recipies here are well under what I came up with.

    This could just be the ingredients I used, but I’m wondering if the difference between US and AUS measurements could be causing a problem.
    In the US 1 tablespoon is only 3 teaspoons (15ml), in AUS it’s 4 teaspoons (20ml). Their cup measures are also smaller than ours.
    A lot of the calorie counters available online or as apps were developed in the US. If those calorie counters use US tablespoon and cup measures and we are making our recipies using metric AUS measures then it would be easily possible to understimate the calories in a recipie (particularly when measuring high calorie ingredients like fats). Using the calorie values for millilitres or grams rather than tblsp/cups (if your calorie counter offers it) should eliminate the problem.

    You may all have taken this into account already, but worth considering if you haven’t.

    I realise everyone probably uses eggs and omelettes already for FDs. I’ve been using a one yolk recipie as a low calorie meal for ages (well before starting 5:2, but it fits nicely into a FD). The reason I replace some of the whole eggs with egg white is obviously to save calories. I could achieve the same calorie reduction just by using 2 whole eggs and no egg white, but a 2 egg omelette doesn’t feel like dinner to me – it’s also not large enough to contain the mound of vegetables that I put inside. Basically, the calories in 1 whole egg is about the same as 1/2 cup of eggwhite.

    The Basic Omelette:
    1 whole egg (I use a 50g egg)
    ½ cup eggwhite
    A few drops of fish sauce (or a pinch of salt)
    A little ground black pepper
    ¼ tsp dried oregano (or fresh parsley or chives if you prefer)
    Calories : 119

    Vegetable Fillings (ONE of the following, 200g raw veg weight):
    Steamed asparagus and chopped fresh tomatoes (37 calories)
    Chopped fresh tomatoes and fresh baby spinach leaves (40 calories)
    Pan fried mushrooms and zucchini, using 1 tsp butter (75 calories)
    Roasted pumpkin in tiny cubes (using 1 tsp oil to roast) and baby spinach (111 calories)

    Other Extras:
    20g grated parmesan (75 calories)
    1 tsp butter (36 calories)

    For the omelette, beat all the ingredients together with a fork. Heat a large frying pan (I use large non stick pan). If I’m using the butter I add ½ tsp and add the egg mixture as soon as it has melted but hasn’t browned.
    Once the omelette is half cooked I sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top. If I’m using raw veg such as tomato and spinach I also add it at this stage too so it has time to heat and cook a little. If using cooked veg I add it when the omelette is almost cooked so it has time to warm through. Add the veg to one half of the omelette surface only.
    Once it’s cooked I flip the omelette without veg on it over the other half and slide onto a plate. Take the remaining 1/2 tsp of butter and spread it over the top of the omelette. I’ve found by adding it after cooking rather than using it all during cooking I actually get the butter flavour with every mouthful. It makes what is essentially a low fat omelette taste rich.

    Tonight I made this omelette with panfried mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. I used 1 tsp butter in total for both the mushrooms and the omelette. Total calories: 269

    The pumpkin filling is my favourite but I’m not going to roast pumpkin and then put in an omelette in one evening. I usually make a point of cooking extra butternut when I cook a roast so I will have some as an omelette filling later in the week (I have also frozen some for later use and that worked well).

    I realise the fish sauce sounds like a barmy thing to add to eggs, but I actually find that as the source of salt for the omelette it works. (I discovered this when making chinese omelette as a garnish for a vegetarian stirfry.) Just go easy 3-4 drops is enough as you get salt from the parmesan as well.

    If I’m really pressed for time, my shortcut is to add some defrosted frozen spinach and the parmesan directly to the egg mixture. Stir it all together and cook the omelette in my non stick pan. (The final omelette will be green.) Dinner in 5 minutes max.

    I’m sure many of you use cauliflower already as a substitute for rice. It can also be made into steaks.

    This is a link to an Australian food blogger who post a lots of recipies that I like:

    The method described above uses marinated raw cauliflower that is roasted for half an hour. When I make cauliflower steaks I use a different method:
    I cut 2 large steaks from the centre of a head of cauliflower each about 1.5cm thick. (To hold together, the steaks need to be held together by the stem, so the edges of the cauliflower don’t work for this.) I blanch the steaks in boiling water (or better still, boiling stock) for 3 minutes. Then remove, drain and cool. They will keep in the fridge for several days after blanching. If they have been blanched then they can be cooked quickly by pan frying, in just a few minutes.
    – They are nice just pan fried in a little butter with a sprinkle of herbs
    – Or you can jazz them up by topping with parmesan and grilling
    – Make a parmagiana by spreading with a chunky tomato sauce then top with grated cheese and put under the grill for 3 minutes,
    – Marinate in any asian sauce with garlic and ginger and panfry in sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
    – These can also be barbequed if you rub the surface with oil first.

    I find having a mainly veg meal can help me keep the calories low on a fast day, so a veg alternative to meat is useful.

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