Easy recipes for 800-calorie days

Avocado, crispy bacon and white bean salad. Picture: Smith & Gilmour
Avocado, crispy bacon and white bean salad. Picture: Smith & Gilmour

Following their bestselling Fast 800 Recipe Book, Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison return with a fabulous new cookbook, featuring super-simple recipes to enable you to eat well with minimum prep time on your fasting days.

All of the dishes in this book are based on the Mediterranean style of eating now proven to revolutionise your health, and many can be thrown together from freezer or store-cupboard staples. There are numerous vegetarian options, plus simple ways to expand meals for non-fast days or when you are eating with friends or family.

With everything from salads and wraps to winter stews and curries, Fast 800 Easy will help you rustle up delicious, nutritious meals in minutes - food that tastes so good you won't feel the low calorie count.

  • The Fast 800 Easy, by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison. Simon & Schuster Australia, $35. Pictures: Smith & Gilmour

Avocado, crispy bacon and white bean salad

Simple and delicious - and your microbiome will love it. On a non-fast day, use a whole avocado and twice the amount of pine nuts, or top with parmesan shavings and serve with a slice of wholegrain sourdough bread.

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 rashers smoked back bacon (around 75g), thinly sliced

2 tbsp pine nuts

2 Little Gem lettuces, trimmed and leaves separated

1/2 400g can cannellini or haricot beans, drained and rinsed (123g drained weight)

1/2 small avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced (around 60g prepared weight)

10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method

1. Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a small non-stick frying pan, add the bacon and pine nuts and fry over a low-medium heat for two to three minutes, or until the bacon is lightly browned and beginning to crisp, stirring regularly.

2. Meanwhile, tear the lettuce leaves into pieces and divide between two shallow bowls. Scatter the beans, avocado and tomatoes on top. Season with a little ground black pepper.

3. Remove the frying pan from the heat, stir in the remaining olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Allow to bubble for a few seconds then spoon over the salad to serve.

Per serving 467 cals | protein 16g | carbs 16g | fat 35.5g | fibre 10g

Serves 2.

Baked nectarines with blackberries. Picture: Smith & Gilmour

Baked nectarines with blackberries. Picture: Smith & Gilmour

Baked nectarines with blackberries

This is one of our favourite summer desserts. It's incredibly easy to make and can be served warm or cold. It also makes a lovely, fruity breakfast, served with yoghurt and a sprinkling of sugar-free granola.

Ingredients

4 ripe nectarines or peaches, halved and stoned

150g fresh or frozen blackberries

2 tbsp flaked almonds (around 15g)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Place the nectarine or peach halves in a small, shallow ovenproof dish or tin, cut side up. Sprinkle over six tablespoons of cold water. Scatter over the blackberries and the flaked almonds. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Remove the foil and bake for a further five to 10 minutes, or until the almonds are lightly toasted and the nectarines are very soft.

4. Serve warm or cold with full-fat Greek yoghurt (20 cals per tablespoon) or crème frache (57cals per tablespoon).

Tip: If you don't have blackberries, use raspberries instead.

Per serving 102 cals | protein 3g | carbs 15g | fat 2.5g | fibre 4g.

Serves 4.

Feta, pea and mint crustless quiche. Picture: Smith & Gilmour

Feta, pea and mint crustless quiche. Picture: Smith & Gilmour

Feta, pea and mint crustless quiche

This light and minty crustless quiche is lifted by the salty feta. Perfect for a packed lunch, it will also keep well in the fridge for up to two days. Serve warm or cold with a lightly dressed mixed salad.

Ingredients

1 tsp olive or canola oil, for greasing

200g feta, cut into roughly 1.5cm cubes

200g frozen peas, thawed

4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

6 large eggs

200g full-fat crème frache

1 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C and lightly oil a shallow round 20cm ceramic pie or quiche dish. It should be about 4cm deep.

2. Arrange the cubes of feta and the peas in the dish and sprinkle over the spring onions.

3. Beat the eggs and crème frache together in a bowl, then stir in the mint and season well with ground black pepper. (You probably won't need salt as the cheese is salty already.)

4. Pour the egg mixture over the feta and peas and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until just set. (Test by inserting the tip of a knife into the centre - there should be no liquid remaining.)

5. Leave the quiche to cool for a few minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

Tip: Quickly thaw the peas by putting in a sieve and pouring just-boiled water slowly over the top. Drain well.

Per serving 340 cals | protein 17g | carbs 5.5g | fat 27.5g | fibre 2g

Serves 6.

Low-carb sausage lasagne. Picture: Smith & Gilmour

Low-carb sausage lasagne. Picture: Smith & Gilmour

Low-carb sausage "lasagne"

This easy low-carb "lasagne" was created during a brilliant Zoom session when we had to come up with a dish using specific ingredients. These included sausages, tinned tomatoes and spinach. We skipped the starchy lasagne sheets and used layers of zucchini instead.

Ingredients

6 good-quality sausages (around 400g total weight)

2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 400g can chopped tomatoes

250g young spinach leaves

2 medium zucchinis, trimmed and sliced lengthways into strips 3-4mm thick

good pinch ground nutmeg

200g full-fat crème frache

40g Parmesan, finely grated

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Place a shallow, flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Squeeze the sausages out of their skins and into the pan in small chunks. Add the onions and fry together, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened and the sausages are lightly browned. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for a few seconds. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and simmer for five minutes, stirring regularly, until thick.

3. Place the spinach in a colander in the sink and pour just-boiled water over the top until it softens. Otherwise, you can soften it in the microwave. Leave to stand until cool enough to handle, then squeeze the leaves to remove as much water as possible.

4. Remove the casserole from the heat and season well. Place the zucchini slices over the sausage mixture, then top with the spinach leaves.

5. Stir the nutmeg into the crème frache and spread over the spinach - you don't need to be too neat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and season with more ground black pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until starting to brown.

6. Remove from the oven and serve with a large green salad.

Tip: Avoid cooking this dish for any longer than stated, as the zucchinis will release more liquid as they bake.

Per serving 379 cals | protein 16g | carbs 10g | fat 30g | fibre 3g

Serves 6.

This story Add some variety to your life with these delicious low-calorie meals first appeared on The Canberra Times.