We’re so sick of hearing that counting calories means missing out on a darn good feed.
The opposite is true - the more careful you are about what you pop down that pork-pie hole, the better you’ll eat. Plus you’ll have room left over for treats too.
Don’t believe us? Check out these four fantastic feasts, which all come in at under 500 calories - perfect on a fast day if you’re following the 5:2 diet!
If you’re sticking to around 2,500 calories a day for men and 2,000 for women, swapping a 500-calorie recipe for a heavier meal leaves you the option to enjoy the odd pint too.
Teriyaki Salmon, 494 calories per portion . Serves 2.
2 salmon fillets, 125g - 150g each (check on the label they are from a sustainable source)
1 garlic clove
1 small red chilli
1cm cube fresh ginger
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
4-5 tbsp dark soy sauce
200g rice noodles
Coriander, to serve
Chop the garlic, ginger and chilli as finely as you can and fry in half the the oil over a low heat.
Add in the soy sauce, lime zest and juice and sugar. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened a little.
Put your grill on high and place your salmon, skin side up, under the grill for 4 - 6 minutes. Turn and finish for another minute or two.
Cook the noodles as per packet instructions. Serve with the salmon and finish with the teriyaki sauce and freshly chopped coriander.
Sausage, Sweet Potato and Feta Bake, 480 calories per portion. Serves 2.
1 or 2 sweet potatoes (about 100g per person)
2 red peppers
4 cloves garlic
25g feta cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
Thyme, fresh or dried
Cut the sweet potato into wedges. Coat with half the oil.
Put sausages, sweet potato, garlic (in skin) into a large baking dish, season with salt and pepper and some thyme, then roast at 200C/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile core and quarter the peppers, then add in to the dish with the rest of the oil, stir, and roast for another 15 minutes.
Serve with the feta crumbled over each portion.
Tomato, red onion and basil tart, 440 calories per portion. Serves 4.
500g or 4 - 6 good quality large tomatoes. Choose the best available
500g red onion, finely sliced
1 packet ready-made puff pastry sheet
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp soft brown sugar
Fry the red onion on a low heat in the oil, balsamic and sugar. The onions should turn translucent after five minutes and within 15 you’ll see the liquid caramelise leaving you with a sticky red onion relish.
Roll out your square of pastry. With a sharp knife score a frame around the outside around 2cm in from each edge. Whisk the egg to make an egg wash and brush it generously over this outer frame using a pastry brush.
Spread the red onion evenly over the inside of your tart case. Place a few fresh basil leaves (use as many or as few as you like) on the onion, then lay your slices of tomato across the tart. Pack them in close and overlap if necessary, as they will shrink while cooking. Season with black pepper.
Put the tart on a baking tray and into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 180C/Gas mark 4, until the tomatoes are soft and the pastry is golden.
Slice into four, garnish with more basil and serve with a green salad.
Chicken and orange casserole, 470 calories per portion. Serves 4.
4 chicken legs, skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Zest and juice one orange and slice the other two into thin rounds.
Put the orange slices, juice and zest into a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper and leave for at least 1 hour - the longer you leave it the better the flavour. Stir from time to time.
Transfer to a roasting dish and roast for 40 minutes to 1 hour at 200C/gas mark 6.
Serve with steamed carrots.
By Sophie Morris
[ Recipes Under 200 Calories: Healthy Meal Ideas ]
[ 6 Paleo Recipes To Try This Summer ]