Who would love a colourful and healthy detox salad? Karen explains how this one is not the shy and retiring type, and it is packed with lovely textures and flavours. At only 180 calories per serving it's perfect if you're following the 5:2 diet or are just looking to cut down on calories.
Dieting doesn’t have to be dull and boring, as I have discovered over the last year following the 5:2 diet
– it’s all about taste and flavour and also common sense. Whereas some diets have “forbidden” food, which would attract me to them immediately, the 5:2 diet is all about eating low calorie recipes on two days a week, and normally for the remaining five days. For women, that is two days of 500 calories and 600 calories for men, and although it may seem impossible at first, it is achievable and I always feel full at the end of my two fast days.
It’s made all the easier by planning ahead, so I always have a “Meal Plan” in place at the beginning of the week
; you must never have “fast days” (low calorie days of 500 and 600 calories) consecutively, and it’s best to try to avoid the weekends if you plan to socialise. I always like to have breakfast, lunch and dinner/tea, but other’s following the diet prefer to save all of their calories up for one main meal or two smaller ones. It’s a lifestyle diet that you can choose how to follow, and that’s one of its main attractions.
Soups and salads are obvious recipe choices for the diet, and salads always feature on my table throughout the winter months as well as the summer. Salads don’t have to be a pile of limp lettuce leaves with a few sad slices of cucumber and an out of season lacklustre tomato – they can be vibrant, crunchy affairs packed with fruit, vegetables and flavour. One of my favourite cold weather 5:2 diet salads is for a Roast Vegetable & Cheese Salad
……a salad packed with aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes and onions, with a salty crumbling of some fresh goat’s cheese.
As for soups, they can be thick and velvety without the extra calories, and my current favourite is a spicy little number made with leftover cooked carrots, Smoky Carrot & Coriander Soup,
and it also comes with croutons for a VERY low 129 calories a bowl!
Other favourites comprise: Butter Bean & Chorizo Stew with Tomatoes
, Curried Leek and Apple Soup
and a big bowl of Meat-Free Scotch Broth
for very cold days.
But back to salads…….today’s salad recipe, for a very colourful and healthy Detox Fruit and Vegetable Salad
, is not the shy and retiring type, and it is packed with lovely textures and flavours.
Curly kale is cooked until just soft by with an essential crunch and is then “dressed” with clementine segments, russet apple slices, kiwi slices, seedless grapes, baby plum tomatoes and a sprinkling of seasonal pomegranate seeds and juice. If you want to add a dressing, then just add a teaspoon of Balsamic vinegar for an extra kick, but we always find the fruit juices in the fruit sufficient. If you are lucky enough to have any fresh herbs still around, then some chopped fresh mint is amazing when added to this “still life” salad. The recipe for this robust salad is below, and you can also enjoy this on a non-fast day with cheese and crusty bread, why not!
(Serves 2 people – 180 calories per serving)
5:2 Diet Detox Fruit and Vegetable Salad
100g fresh chopped curly kale, steamed for 8 to 10 minutes until soft but still crunchy
8 baby plum tomatoes, halved
2 small clementines, peeled and split into segments
10 green seedless grapes
2 small kiwi fruit, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small russet apple, cut into quarters and cored, then sliced thinly
½ pomegranate, the seeds and juice
Low-fat/calorie dressing, optional, add the extra calories if using
Arrange the cooked and cooled shredded kale on a large serving plate and then arrange the rest of the ingredients in and around the leaves.
Dress with a little low-fat/calorie dressing if desired.
Add some cheese and serve with crusty bread on a non-fast day.