Archives for posts with tag: main meals

Chard, blue cheese and pearl barley salad

Pearl barley, chard and blue cheese salad (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
¼cup uncooked pearl barley 176
1tsp oil 40
3 leaves Swiss chard (with stalks), roughly chopped 28
2 cloves garlic, chopped 9
1 small hot wax pepper, deseeded and diced 4
15g blue cheese, crumbled 53
110g tomatoes, chopped 20

Total calories per serving: 326

Method: Cook the pearl barley – it will take 20 minutes in a pressure cooker or 50 minutes in a regular pan. Heat the oil and cook the chopped chard stalks, garlic and diced pepper for a few minutes, then stir in the chopped leaves of the chard until they are wilted and take the pan off the heat. Allow the barley to cool and combine it with the cooled chard mixture. Stir in the tomatoes and cheese and refrigerate until you are ready to eat it.

shrimp aspragus and bok choi noodlesYes, more asparagus!

Shrimp, asparagus and bok choi noodles (serves 4)

Ingredient Calories per serving
210g dry egg noodles 72
145g asparagus 7
120g bok choi 4
1 tbsp sesame oil 30
1 tbsp sunflower oil 31
400g raw, peeled shrimp 119
1 tbsp soy sauce 2
1 tsp fish sauce 1
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar 3
1 tsp ground ginger 2
1 tbsp cornflour 7
1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1

Total calories per serving: 280

Method: Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions and set aside. Slice the asparagus spears into 1cm lengths and separate the tips. Slice the bok choi into similar sized pieces and separate out the more stalky parts from the more leafy ones. Place the shrimp into a small bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients.

Now put a wok or large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the sesame and sunflower oils. When the oil is good and hot, stir in the shrimp and all of the asparagus except the tips. Stir fry for about three minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Then add the asparagus tips and the stalkier parts of the bok choi. Cook for another minute or so, then finally stir in the leafy parts of the bok choi and the reserved noodles. Continue to stir over a highish heat until the noodles are warmed through.

Serve immediately, with a little more soy sauce to taste.

Pork and Pinto curry

I had some leftover pork from a Sunday roast to use up, so it went into this curry with some pinto beans, carrot and onions to make a filling meal for a fasting day. You could easily replace the pork with more beans or with another vegetable to make this a vegetarian or vegan dish. I served it with a cup of brown rice, which adds 140 calories per portion. I also served naan bread for the non-fasters. This is a very mild, child-friendly curry – for a bit more kick you could add chilli powder or a fresh red chilli pepper.

Pork and pinto curry (serves 5)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 cup uncooked pinto beans 134
200g cold roast pork, diced 117
1 tbsp oil 25
1 onion, diced 9
1 tsp ground ginger 1
1 tsp ground cumin 2
1 tsp smoked paprika 1
1 tsp turmeric 2
200g carrot, diced 16
100ml coconut milk 47
salt & pepper 0
1 tbsp cornflour 5

Total calories per serving: 355

Method: Soak the pinto beans in cold water for at least five hours (or cover the beans with just-boiled water to speed up the soaking time to one hour). I cooked mine in the pressure cooker with the diced pork for ten minutes in three cups of water. You’d have to simmer them for an hour if you’re not using a pressure cooker (and I probably wouldn’t put them in with the pork if I was doing it that way). Reserve the cooking water.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, cooking until it is translucent. Add the spices and then the carrot and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, the beans and the pork, adding as much of the beans’ cooking water as needed to make the sauce. Cover and simmer for half an hour, or until the carrots are tender. Stir the cornflour into a few tablespoons of cold water and then add it to the curry, stirring until the sauce thickens up.

bean corn and cottage cheese salad

Cottage cheese, corn and black bean salad (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
½ cup cottage cheese 102
½ cup cooked black beans 114
½ cup cooked sweetcorn kernels 62
1 red chilli, sliced 8
salt & pepper 0

Total calories per serving: 285

A very simple but filling salad. If you don’t fancy eating a whole raw chilli, you could replace it with some cayenne pepper or chilli flakes to sprinkle over the top. It would be a bit bland without anything else, I think. And according to a 2011 study, “consuming red pepper can help manage appetite and burn more calories after a meal” – which is an added incentive on a fasting day!

salmon and cauliflower rice

I served this with noodles for the non-fasting members of the family.

Salmon with spiced cauliflower rice (serves 4)

Ingredient Calories per serving
4 112g/quarter pound fillets of salmon 149
1 medium head of cauliflower 36
2 tbsps oil 60
1 onion, diced 11
1 tbsp turmeric 2
1 tbsp ground cumin 2
1 tbsp allspice 1
salt & pepper 0

Total calories per serving: 260

Method: Use a food processor to blitz the cauliflower into tiny pieces. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan and cook the onion until translucent. Stir in the cauliflower, spices and seasoning and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, cook the salmon separately in the remaining tablespoon of oil.

Mediterranean chickpeas

Mediterranean chickpeas (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
100g/½ cup dried or 140g cooked chickpeas 230
30g sundried tomatoes in oil 90
90g crushed tomatoes/tomato sauce 16
2 olives, sliced 27
salt & pepper, dried or fresh herbs, to taste 5

Total calories per serving: 358

Method: Soak chickpeas overnight if using dried ones and cook them (this takes about 12 minutes in a pressure cooker, an hour or so in a regular pan). Mix the cooked peas with the other ingredients (I used dried oregano to flavour the dish). This can be served warm or cold.

Baked pinto beans

Something that can be challenging when you’re living with non-fasting people is making meals that everyone in the household will also enjoy on a fasting day. This baked bean recipe is something that can be used as the basis of a simple meal for the people who are fasting, with additions like grated cheese or sour cream (or cornbread!) for those who aren’t. I served this with baked potatoes and a bowl of grated cheese (which I then tried to ignore). A small baked potato (weighing 125g) will add around 100 calories, while a large one (300g) would add 230.

Baked pinto beans (serves 4)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1½ cups dry pinto beans 251
1 onion, peeled and diced 20
1 tsp mustard powder 6
1 tsp smoked paprika 2
1 tbsp molasses/black treacle 15
2 tbsp tomato ketchup 7
salt and pepper to taste 0

Total calories per serving: 300

Method: Soak the beans in water for at least four hours and then discard the soaking water. Cook them with two cups of water until tender (about 6 minutes in a pressure cooker, an hour or so in a regular pan). Put the remaining ingredients into an ovenproof dish with a lid and add the beans with their cooking liquid. Cover with the lid and bake at 350°F/180°C for two or three hours, or until the sauce around the beans has thickened to a creamy consistency. You can see by the photo how much the liquid level in the pot drops over the cooking time. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

DSC01705-001

A simple, delicious, lunch or supper dish.

Asparagus and Parmesan omelette (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
5g butter 36
200g fresh asparagus spears, sliced into short lengths 40
2 eggs, beaten 126
15g Parmesan cheese, grated 48
salt and pepper to taste 0

Total calories per serving: 250

Method: Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the sliced asparagus spears. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender, then pour over the beaten eggs. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the eggs and add salt and pepper. Cook the omelette until the top is set (about 3 minutes). Fold the omelette in half and serve.

Chickpea, chorizo, pepper and tomato stewChickpea, chorizo, pepper and tomato stew (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
½ cup cooked chickpeas 134
35g chorizo sausage 87
1 large red pepper (160g), diced 50
25g sundried tomatoes, sliced 65
1 cup crushed tinned tomatoes 32
1 tsp smoked paprika 6
salt and pepper to taste 0

Total calories per serving: 380

Method: If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and cook them until tender (this takes about an hour in a regular pan, or 15 minutes in a pressure cooker). Slice the chorizo and then cut the slices into quarters. Cook the chorizo pieces in a small pan until they exude some fat, then add the diced red pepper and cook for a few minutes. (For a vegetarian/vegan version, just use a teaspoon of olive oil instead of the chorizo.) Stir in the sliced sundried tomatoes, then add the crushed tomatoes, paprika and seasoning. Stir in the cooked chick peas (if you are using canned chick peas, heat until the chick peas are warmed through).

Chickpea and pepper raita

This is a good (very easy) side dish for an Indian meal – but also makes an excellent lunch or supper on a fasting day (or indeed both, if you can save half of it for later on). The spices listed here are just suggestions – put in whatever you like or have to hand.

Chickpea and pepper raita (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 cup cooked chickpeas 269
1 sweet red pepper, deseeded and diced 37
½ tsp cumin seeds 4
½ tsp fenugreek seeds 6
½tsp mustard seeds 8
½ cup yoghurt (2% fat) 87
2 tsps lemon juice 2
salt and pepper 0

Total calories per serving: 415

Method: Toast the whole spices over a medium heat until they are fragrant, then coarsely grind them with a mortar and pestle. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and chill for an hour or two before eating (the dish that is – but you could, too!).