For the love of vegetables

Vegetables (in my opinion) play a significant part in successful 5:2 fasting, .  They are so filling!  One gets a lot of filling food on ones plate for ones calories.

Fast Day dinner.  A 95g sea bass fillet (108 cals), pan fried in 2.5ml of olive oil (21 cals).  Braised fennel and tomatoes (38 cals), roasted cauliflower steaks (71 cals), mashed swede and carrot (49 cals).  100g of leek (22 cals) friend in half a teaspoon of olive oil and 2.5g of butter (21 & 18 cals).  Total 348 calories. 

Thankfully I LOVE vegetables.  I prepare them in a variety of ways – not just boiling or steaming.  Oven roasting adds a whole different dimension to the flavours.  Cooking vegetables in a tomato sauce, griddling in a pan over a low heat….

I particularly love these cauliflower steaks and they are so simple to make.  I trim the stalk from the cauliflower leaving the base flat and then cut the cauliflower vertically through the middle.  I then cut a “steak” of about 1.5cm from either half.  Depending on the cauliflower, you can get two or three steaks before you reach the crumbling outer parts.

I lay these gently onto a baking sheet and spray with low calorie spray oil (about 15 squirts).  Place in a pre-heated (200 degrees) oven and cook for 30 minutes, turning over half way through.

The texture is perfect.  Still “el dente”.

The braised fennel and tomato shown is really simple to cook too.  I make a huge batch, as it works well with so many things and is very low calorie.  Simply slice two fennel bulbs into the slow cooker, pour over two tins of chopped tomato and cook on Medium for two hours, turning to Low for another three hours.  I then freeze in smaller individual portions.

Other vegetables I love are:  cubed and roasted butternut squash, courgette, aubergines (usually cooked in some sort of casserole or curry), savoy cabbage, roasted peppers, beetroot… actually, I think I love ALL vegetables – yes, even spinach and kale!  They’re great for adding a bit of bulk to all sorts of dishes.

Far from five a day, I probably eat 6 or 7 portions of vegetables on a Fast day!

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