Archives for posts with tag: side dishes

This simple stir-fry makes a good base for a fasting-day meal. You could add some cheese, nuts, pulses or maybe some lean meat to make a nutritious, filling supper dish.

Eggplant, pepper and kale stir-fryEggplant, pepper and kale stir-fry (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
2 tbsp sunflower oil 248
250g eggplant/aubergine, diced 61
1 small red pepper, quartered and sliced 8
40g kale leaves, stem removed, torn into 2-inch pieces 20
salt and pepper (or other spices, to taste) 0

Total calories per serving: 340

Method: Heat the oil over a medium-high flame until it’s good and hot, then stir in the eggplant/aubergine pieces and cook, stirring often, for about five minutes until the eggplant is soft and beginning to brown. Add the pepper, cook for another minute or two, then turn the heat down a little and stir in the kale. Cook until the kale is just wilted, season, and remove from the heat.


Ratatouille with a kick

Ratatouille again? Well it’s that time of year when the garden is churning out peppers, eggplants and tomatoes faster than I can keep up. I made a lovely spicy eggplant chutney at the weekend and plan to preserve more of them up by making another batch of that, but in the meantime it’s back to ratatouille for my working lunch today. It’s just such a convenient way of using up a whole range of glut-veg. In this one I’ve added a couple of the hotter peppers, some cumin and some smoked paprika to spice it up a bit.

This makes quite a lot of ratatouille – you could easily have it as a side dish for two, bringing the calorie count down to 220.

Ratatouille with a kick (serves 1 or 2)

Ingredient Calories per serving
2 tbsp olive oil 240
335g eggplant/aubergine, cut into chunks 82
100g red pepper, diced 31
25g Hungarian hot wax pepper (like a jalapeño), diced 9
1 fresh cayenne pepper 2
1 tsp cumin seeds 8
55g zucchini/courgette, sliced 9
300g paste tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped 54
1 tsp smoked paprika 6
salt and pepper 0

Total calories per serving: 440 (or 220 for two)

Method: Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chunks of eggplant and cook over a medium heat for five minutes. Stir in the peppers and cumin and cook for another five minutes. Then add the zucchini and fry for a further five minutes. By now, the eggplant should be soft. Stir in the diced tomatoes and the smoked paprika and simmer until the tomatoes have reduced to a rich red sauce. Season to taste.

Bean, Corn and Tomato SaladThis is really just a cold version of the Mexican Soup I featured a few weeks ago. I liked the flavour combination so much that I turned it into a salad. We had this as part of a picnic, but it would make a good low-calorie fasting-day lunch.

Bean, corn and tomato salad (serves 3)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 cup cooked black beans 76
1½ cups cooked sweetcorn kernels 58
300g fresh tomatoes, diced 18
1 tbsp olive oil 40
1 tsp white wine vinegar 0
salt and pepper to taste 0

Total calories per serving: 190

Method: Mix everything together!

Eggplant and tomatoes

Eggplants are a good fasting-day food, as they’re fairly high-fibre and low-calorie, with a satisfying, filling, texture. For a long time, the only recipe I ever used them in was moussaka, but now I cook with them in quite a lot of ways (mostly because I grow far too many of them!). The one I used in this recipe is the variety in the photo – an Italian type called Rosa Bianca (a name almost as pretty as the fruit).

This is a very simple dish: a side dish really, but also suitable for a light meal on a fasting day. If you’ve got the barbecue going, it’s easy to cook the eggplant alongside other food, or you could use a very hot frying pan or grill/broiler instead.

Grilled eggplant/aubergine and tomato stack (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 medium eggplant/aubergine (220g), thickly sliced 54
1 tbsp sunflower oil 124
salt and pepper 0
1 or 2 large tomatoes (200g), thickly sliced 36
20g parmesan, grated 64

Total calories per serving: 275

Eggplant and tomato stackMethod: Lightly brush the eggplant slices with the oil and cook over a high heat until tender (about 10 minutes), turning regularly and seasoning each side with a little salt and pepper (or any other spice you have to hand). When they are almost cooked, put the slices of tomato on the heat (you don’t want them fully cooked, just lightly charred – about 30 seconds on each side is fine).

Remove them from the heat and build into a stack, alternating tomato and eggplant slices. Plate them up and sprinkle Parmesan over the top.

Pea Pesto

Just at the end of the fresh pea season here. I spent an hour this morning shelling my last harvest.

Shelling peas

I ended up with a pound and a half (700g) of peas and used some of them to make this easy but lovely bright green pesto. I served this on some toasted sourdough bread for supper, but it would be good with pasta or just as a side dish or dip, too.

Pea pesto (serves 4)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 cup/6oz/180g fresh peas 36
2 tbsp lemon juice 2
2 cloves garlic 2
¼cup/60ml sunflower oil 120
salt and pepper 0

Total calories per serving: 160

Method: Steam the peas for five minutes, or until tender. Put them in a blender with the other ingredients and blitz until smoothish.

Pea Pesto on Sourdough Toast

Fasting day meals need to be filling, flavoursome and frugal (calorie-wise). This combination of snap beans, sugar snap peas and black beans ticks all of those boxes. The fibre content of the black beans keeps you feeling full after you’ve eaten, while the crunch of the sugar snap peas provides an interesting contrast in textures. Garlic scapes, cumin, lemon and cilantro provide the strong flavours that you need on a fasting day to convince you that you have eaten well.

In addition to containing lots of ‘snap’ vegetables, this salad is quick and easy to put together, so thoroughly deserves its name!

Snappy Salad
Recipe for Snappy salad (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
75g green and yellow snap/French beans, trimmed and sliced 26
1 tsp oil or butter 13
1 tsp cumin seeds 8
5 garlic scapes, sliced (or two cloves of garlic, chopped) 25 (8)
75g sugar snap peas/mangetout, trimmed and sliced 32
100g cooked black beans 132
2 tsps lemon juice 2
salt and pepper 0
a few cilantro/coriander leaves, roughly chopped 1
30g lettuce 4

Total calories per serving: 265 (250)

Method: Steam the beans until they are tender, then run under cold water and set to one side. Heat the butter or oil and fry the cumin seeds and garlic scapes/garlic for a minute. Stir in the sliced sugar snap peas/mangetout and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the snap beans, black beans, lemon juice and seasonings. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves, with the cilantro/coriander sprinkled on top.

Almond and Lemon CouscousThis is a very easy side dish for a fasting day: filling and tasty, too! It would serve four as a main course (at around 240 calories).

Recipe for Almond and lemon couscous (serves 5)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 cup wholemeal couscous 130
½ cup flaked almonds 54
1½ cups stock 3
zest and juice of half a lemon 2

Total calories per serving: 190

Method: Dry-roast the almond slices in a frying pan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown. Heat the stock to boiling point and pour over the dry couscous. Stir and leave to rest until the water has all been absorbed, then stir in the almonds and lemon.