Archives for posts with tag: vegetarian

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.

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Asparagus mimosa

It’s that time of year when my lunches often contain some combination of asparagus and egg. I’ve had asparagus with poached egg and asparagus omelette of late, so was looking for something different. This dish makes an interesting change from my standard asparagus-and-egg combos. I had some hard-boiled eggs to use up, so used two in this. If you just use one, you can bring the calorie count down to 215.

Asparagus mimosa (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
110g asparagus 22
2 hard-boiled eggs 126
1½ tsp lemon juice 2
1 tbsp olive oil 120
1 tsp wholegrain Dijon mustard 5
Chopped herbs to taste 2

Total calories per serving: 275 (215 with one egg)

Method: Steam the asparagus for about 8 minutes, or until tender. Dice the egg(s) or grate finely. Beat the oil, mustard and lemon juice together and stir in the herbs (I used garlic chives). Rinse the asparagus under cold water to stop the spears from cooking, then pat dry and arrange on a plate. Pour the vinaigrette over the asparagus and then sprinkle the egg over the top.

Spring omelette

Egyptian walking onionsThe first vegetable I get from my garden in the Spring is the intriguingly-named Egyptian Walking Onion. This plant was given to me by a neighbour about six years ago and it (or its offspring) has been a permanent feature of my front garden bed ever since. (Indeed, I think it is one of those plants that is quite difficult to get rid of, once established – but I’m not complaining!)

Here I’ve used my first harvest of the year to make a very easy omelette. I had two leftover egg whites to use up, so this one has two eggs and two whites, bringing it to 220 calories in all. If I’d just used two eggs it would have been 185 calories. I suppose I could have just used the egg whites and brought the whole dish down to under 100 calories – but there’s something a bit too Hollywood about egg white omelettes, somehow!

Spring omelette (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
5g butter 36
5 spring onions/scallions, trimmed of roots and sliced into short lengths 24
2 eggs, beaten 126
2 egg whites (optional) 34
salt and pepper to taste 0

Total calories per serving: 220 (185 without the egg whites)

Method: Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the sliced onions. Cook for a minute, then pour over the eggs. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste and continue cooking until the top of the omelette is set. Fold in half and serve.

Green lentil and tomato salad

I had an over-indulgent day yesterday which resulted in me waking up with indigestion at 4am. Not nice, so I resolved to have a fasting day today to give my system a break. This salad is about as simple a meal as you can get, but it was an easy, filling lunch and soothed my guilty conscience about abusing my body yesterday!

Green lentil and tomato salad (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
100g/½ cup cooked green lentils 116
40g (5) cherry tomatoes, halved 7
60g iceberg lettuce leaves 8
1 tsp olive oil 40
2 tsp balsamic vinegar 2
salt & pepper 0

Total calories per serving: 175

Method: Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate, then mix the remaining ingredients together and pile on top. If you have some fresh herbs available, it would be good to add some to this dish. Still winter here, so unfortunately not an option for me!

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!

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.

Egg saladA very simple lunch dish.

Egg salad (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 egg, hard-boiled 63
25g iceberg lettuce, shredded 3
25g carrot, grated 10
2 tsps sliced sundried tomatoes in oil 54

Total calories per serving: 130

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.

I’d stopped posting here because I’d mostly stopped fasting, believing that just not eating breakfast and eating sensibly was going to be enough to maintain my post-fasting-diet weight.

Turns out I was wrong about that, and my weight and waistline have been gradually increasing, to the point where I have to be honest with myself and get back to ‘proper’ fasting. I notice from the stats on this blog that a lot of other people are in the same situation after the festive season, so welcome if this is your first visit here and I wish you good luck in your fasting!

So, back to it. I plan on making egg fried rice for supper, and I need something light for lunch just to keep me going. This lentil dal should do the trick. There are two portions here, so I’ll keep one in the fridge for my second fasting day of the week. It’s not the most exciting-looking dish, but it’s warming and comforting on a cold winter’s day like this one (-22°C with the windchill right now!).

Lentil dal

Lentil dal (serves 2)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1 tsp oil 20
1 onion, diced 22
1 clove garlic, crushed 2
1 red chilli pepper, sliced 1
¼cup red lentils 85
1 tsp ground ginger 3
1 tsp ground cumin 4
salt and pepper to taste 0

Total calories per serving: 137

Method: Heat the oil in a saucepan, then stir in the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and chilli, cook briefly, then stir in the spices. Add the lentils and a cup of water, then bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about half an hour to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toward the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and stir, raising the heat if necessary to thicken the dal to your desired texture. Season to taste, allow to cool a little, then serve.

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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.