Piperade with Sofrito & Pastrami

12 Aug

Piperade with Sofrito & Pastrami

186 Calories per serving

Serves 6

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 25 minutes


6 large eggs

Thyme sprigs, leaves removed, or large pinch of dried thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish

1 tablespoon olive oil

125 g (4 oz) pastrami, thinly sliced

Salt & pepper


375 g (12 oz) or 3 small different coloured peppers

500 g (1lb) tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed


  1. To make the sofrito, grill or cook the peppers directly in a gas flame for about 10 minutes, turning then until the skins have blistered and blackened. Rub the skins from the flesh and discard. Rinse the peppers under cold running water. Halve and deseed, then cut the flesh into strips
  2. Put the tomatoes in a large saucepan or heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover, and then leave for about 1 minute. Drain, skin the tomatoes carefully and then chop the flesh.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes until softened and transparent. Add the garlic, tomatoes and peppers and simmer for 5 minutes until any juice has evaporated from the tomatoes. Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Beat together the eggs, thyme and salt and pepper in a bowl. Heat the oil in a saucepan; add the eggs, stirring until they are lightly scrambled.
  5. Meanwhile, reheat the sofrito. Stir the scrambled eggs into the reheated sofrito and spoon on to 6 serving plates. Arrange slices of pastrami around the eggs and serve immediately, garnished with sprigs of thyme.

Parsley & Garlic Sardines

12 Aug

Parsley & Garlic Sardines


180 Calories per serving

Serves 6

Preparation time 10 minutes, plus chilling (optional)

Cooking time 5 minutes


12 fresh sardines cleaned or use fillets if preferred


50 g (2 oz) chopped parsley

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, crushed

Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons white wine

1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  2. Place the sardines on a hot barbeque or on a preheated hot griddle or under a hot grill. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until crisp and golden
  3. Arrange the sardines in a single layer in a shallow serving dish. Pour the warm marinade over the sardines and serve hot. Alternatively, cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving cold.

Pan-fried Plaice with Mustard Sauce

12 Aug

Pan-fried Plaice with Mustard Sauce


182 Calories per serving

Serves 4

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes


1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

4 plaice or sole fillets, about 150 g (5 oz) each

125 ml (4 fl oz) dry white wine

2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

200 g (7 oz) crème fraiche

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for 3 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the fish fillets and cook for 1 minute on each side, then add the wine and simmer until reduced by half.
  3. Stir through the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and the fish is tender. Serve immediately.

Top Tip

Reward yourself for your successes. Set yourself targets and once you have reached them, treat yourself to something nice.


Orange & Almond couscous Salad

12 Aug

Orange & Almond CousCous Salad


160 calories per serving

Serves 6

Preparation time 15 minutes, plus standing

Cooking time 5 minutes


250 ml (8 fl oz) apple juice

175 g (6 oz) couscous

½ red pepper, cored, deseed and diced

4 tablespoons chopped parsley

3 tablespoons chopped mint

25 g (1 oz) currants

2 oranges

1 red onion, sliced

25 g (1 oz) flaked almonds


Juice of 1 orange

Juice of 1 lemon or lime

2 teaspoons olive oil hazelnut oil

1 teaspoon honey

  1. Pour the apple juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then slowly stir in the couscous. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.
  2. Add the red pepper, herbs and currants to the couscous and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  3. Cut the top and bottom of the oranges with a serrate knife to reveal the flesh, then cut away the remaining peel and pith. Holding the fruit above the serving bowl, cut between the membranes to release the fruit segments over the couscous, then scatter over the onion
  4. To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the honey- do not allow to boil. Drizzle over the salad and serve scattered with the almonds.


Onion & Fennel Soup

12 Aug

Onion & Fennel Soup

160 calories per serving

Serves 4

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 20-25 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil

6 onions, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped thyme

1 tablespoon rosemary leaves

1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable or beef stock

600 ml (1 pint) of water

425 g (14 oz) trimmed fennel, finely sliced

Salt & pepper

Parmesan cheese shavings, to garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat, add the onions, thyme and rosemary and cook for 10 minutes
  2. Add the stock, measurement water and fennel and cook over a medium heat for 10- 15 minutes, or until the fennel is tender. Season with salt
  3. Serve the soup, sprinkled with pepper and garnished with parmesan shavings

Top Tip

Soup is a great, low-calories option when you want a filling lunch. Cook a big batch of soup in advance and freeze it in portions to defrost for a quick and easy lunch.


Mushroom & Artichoke Bake

12 Aug

Mushroom & Artichoke Bake


168 Calories per serving

Serves 2

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 25 minutes


500 g (1lb) canned artichoke hearts, drained

1 teaspoon olive oil, plus extra for greasing

50 g (2 oz) onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

300 g (10 oz) mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon dry white wine

1 tablespoon brown breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper

Parsley sprigs, to garnish


  1. Place the artichokes in a lightly oiled, medium- sized baking tin.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and fry gently. Stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and herbs.
  3. Add the lemon juice and wine, then season with salt & pepper and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs
  4. Spoon the mushroom mixture evenly over the artichokes, then bake in a preheated oven, 180 c ( 350 f) gas mark 4, for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle over the parmesan. Bake for a further 10 minutes, then serve garnished with sprigs of parsley.


Moroccan Tomato & Chickpea Salad

12 Aug

Moroccan Tomato & Chickpea Salad


200 Calories per serving

Serves 4

Preparation time 10 minutes, plus standing


1 red onion, finely sliced

2 x 400 g (13 oz) canned chickpeas, rinsed & drained

4 tomatoes, chopped

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Handful of fresh mixed herbs, such as mint & parsley, chopped

Pinch of paprika

Pinch of ground cumin

Salt & pepper


  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a large non-metallic bowl and leave to stand for 10 minutes to all the flavours to infuse before serving


Top Tip

If you can’t resist a taste of sweetness on your fast day, the best option would be to choose an airy dessert, like a mousse or a dish that uses fresh or dried fruit to provide the sweetness.