5and2: Choke Ceasar

Had a good Monday fast this week – a mushroom spinach scramble for breakfast saw me through a morning meeting with the boss, then a miso soup and a satsuma at lunchtime. I’d been saving calories in case I was eating with husband at dinner time, but he wasn’t feeling well, so I made myself a quick tom-yum soup, using leeks, mushrooms, rocket, tomato and spring onion,  before heading out to Scottish dancing, where I allowed myself the smallest biscuit on the plate.

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I’d hoped to have Thursday as my second fast day, but darling daughter is over from her London college this week, and was keen to go out to dinner on Thursday night. That left Wednesday – but that was the day I was taking off work to drive daughter and friends up to the North Coast to visit my parents. Ah well, great excuse to avoid my mother’s cooking!

Breakfast was a scrambled duck egg, with a blob of red caviar from IKEA for added oomph, and a sprinkling of cress for colour.  A glass of cranberry light at only 20 calories is my go-to breakfast juice these days.

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I made sure I had plenty of water for the drive, even though daughter purloined my emergency orange! Lunch was homemade vegetable soup – I passed on the wheaten bread and cheese, as well as the smoked salmon and crisps nibbles, but did allow myself one small traybake. And one fudge Heroes. And a quality street toffee stick on the journey home.

For dinner I rustled up a rather fabulous gourmet salad. I’ve been experimenting with quark ever since reading a discussion about it and fromage frais on MFP. I’ve previously used a Jamie 15 minute recipe for a lighter ceasar salad dressing using yoghurt, so I decided to adapt that for quark.


In a bowl, mash 2 anchovies. Stir in 2 good blobs of quark, and season with black pepper.
Arrange quartered artichoke hearts and thick slices of cucumber on the dressing. Sprinkle with cress.

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The contrast of textures is lovely – the solid earthiness of the artichokes against the crisp cool crunch of the cucumber, in the velvety creaminess of the dressing, with a slight tang, and a hum provided by the anchovies. All for under 100 calories.

And I really enjoyed the suggestion of a fellow 5and2er for a special and refreshing drink – fake Pimms.  Add a splash of angostura bitters and some balsamic vinegar to a glass filled with ice, top up with soda water, and add chunks of whatever’s to hand – in my case cucumber and cantaloupe, which was a surprisingly good combination!  I must pass this on to my vinegar-loving best friend.

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