Archives for the month of: December, 2012

Beef and vegetable stew and dumplings

This is another flexible meal which is suitable for fasters and non-fasters. With the dumplings, the calories total around 600. Without, the meal is under 250.

Recipe for Beef and vegetable stew (serves 5)

Stew ingredients1 tsp oil
425g stewing beef, cubed
360g swede, peeled and cubed
70g onions, diced
150g carrots, diced
100g cabbage, sliced
1l beef stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Total calories per serving: 225

Method: Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. Heat the oil in an ovenproof dish and brown the beef at a high temperature. Stir in the swede, onions, carrot and cabbage, cook for 5 minutes or so and then stir in the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and put in the oven. Cook for three hours, checking the level of the liquid every so often and topping up with hot water if needed.

Recipe for parsley dumplings (serves 4)

200g flour
100g butter
5g parsley
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper

Total calories per serving: 365

Method: Put all the ingredients except the water into a food processor and blitz until well blended and the texture of breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl and add enough water to make a soft dough. Form into eight dumplings and add to the stew in the last half-hour of its cooking time.


Cock-a-leekie soupFasting through a season of feasts can be challenging, especially if you have visitors staying with you and are trying to be social at mealtimes. Rather than saving all my calories for one evening meal in such circumstances, I find it friendlier to serve a soup at lunchtime. I don’t have any bread with mine, but for a heartier meal for visitors, serving bread and butter alongside the soup makes for a social lunchtime meal without feeling as though you are depriving your guests of anything.

Recipe for Cock-a-leekie soup (serves 2)

Leek and carrot1 tsp butter
150g leek, sliced
150g carrot, diced
500ml stock
35g pearl barley
110g cooked chicken, diced

Total calories per serving: 250

Method: Trim the roots and tops of the leek and cut it along its length into quarters, then slice widthways. Melt the butter and stir in the leeks and diced carrot, cooking for a few minutes. Stir in the stock and barley and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then stir in the cooked chicken and simmer for a further five minutes, until the barley is soft.

Peter Piper's pizzaSince the pizza my husband ate ‘accidentally’ last week turned out to be around 500 calories, I thought I’d make the same again and have it as our ‘official’ fasting day meal today. I often make big four-pound batches of pizza dough and freeze them in approximately 1lb/500g bags for later use (a pound of dough makes two pizzas: today I made a slightly bigger pizza for the children and used 200g of dough for this dish). The pizza dough is half wholemeal, half white-bread flour and doesn’t have any added sugar in it (although it does have olive oil).

Recipe for Peter Piper’s pizza (serves 2)

Oregano and thyme200g fresh or tinned tomatoes, blended
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 tbsp flour
200g pizza dough
40g chorizo, sliced
2 pickled peppers, sliced
50g Cheddar cheese, grated

Total calories per serving: 490

Method: Make the tomato sauce by simmering the tomatoes with the salt and pepper until it thickens up (may take an hour or so). Stir in the herbs at the end of the cooking time. Preheat a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven to 500°F/260°C. Sprinkle a pizza peel or large chopping board with the flour and cornmeal. Roll out the pizza dough, transfer it to the floury board and add the toppings. Carefully jiggle the pizza onto the hot pizza stone/baking sheet and turn the oven down to 450°F/230°C. Bake the pizza for 10 minutes.

For a vegetarian alternative, just leave out the chorizo for a 400 calorie meal.

Mediterranean haddockRecipe for Mediterranean haddock with baked potato (serves 1)

spritz of olive oil
30g onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
200g tomatoes (fresh or canned), blended
1 tsp oregano, chopped
1 tsp thyme, chopped
salt and pepper
85g haddock fillet
1 potato (150g)

Total calories per serving: 250

Method: Fry the onion and garlic in a spritz of olive oil until softened, then stir in the blended tomatoes, herbs and the seasoning. Cook until it is a good, thick consistency, then add the haddock fillet and continue to simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve with a baked potato.

I’m pretty sure there must be an optimal egg-to-other-ingredients ratio for frittata. And I’m equally sure that this recipe gets it wrong :?. But, what the heck, it tasted good and took away my hunger pangs, even if it won’t win any frittata beauty contest prizes.

Bacon, mushroom and spinach frittata

Recipe for Bacon, spinach and mushroom frittata (serves 1)

60g lean bacon
65g spinach
50g mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten
black pepper

Total calories per serving: 250

Method: Cut the bacon into small strips and fry in a non-stick pan until a little fat runs. Stir in the mushrooms and spinach and cook until soft, then stir in the beaten eggs and grind black pepper over the top. Cook for about 5 minutes until the egg is set, then serve. If you don’t eat meat, use a teaspoon of butter or oil to fry the mushrooms and spinach.