Fast 800-4-1 week 4

A week of main meals suitable for those following a fast 800 (low calorie, low carb) approach, but cooking mainly for one person. Recipes from the Fast 800 series unless otherwise stated.

Mon: Roast veg with cumin and goats cheese (easy p177). This was very tasty and straightforward, although the recipe at one point refers to “all the vegetables” when it really means “except the tomatoes”. You’re now going to tell me that tomatoes are technically a fruit, aren’t you. Meat-eating husband had his as a side, and it worked well as that. If I do this again I’d make more and have leftovers for lunch.

Goats cheese cumin veg

Tues: Mushroom omelette. A quick go to for the solo cook. Served with green veg on the side.

Wed: Prawn courgetti. (Easy p118) I had to change my plans at the last minute as husband wanted some too, and he’s not a fan of courgettes.

Thurs: Broccoli and paneer (easy p 182)

The recipe book gives this as serves 3, which always looks odd! Anyway, easy to adapt for one person, using 80g paneer. Following the recipe I fried the paneer cubes in oil first, but they were very spluttery, and I hope I haven’t ruined the frock I was wearing by having blobs of hot oil splashed on it, and my hands. Very simple list of ingredients, usually things I would have around.

simple uncomplicated ingredients

Fri: Indian feast. I tried the broccoli dish again, but dry fried the paneer first, which was much less splattery. I swapped the tomatoes for mushrooms, as I’m not a fan of scalding hot toms that burn the roof of your mouth. I adapted a Joe Wicks thai curry recipe using up aubergine and mushroom with red thai paste and coconut milk, served it with some shredded cabbage done in the microwave, a blob of yoghurt and some lime pickle. A sprinkle of cashews for added protein and crunch.

Brocoli paneer, thai aubergine mushroom, shredded cabbage, yoghurt, lime pickle

Sat: Tuna stuffed peppers. (Easy p84) One pepper, one can of tuna, there’s a little bit of stuffing left over, depends on the size of your peppers. It was very salty with a lot of anchovies and capers in it, and again, those hot scalding cherry toms….

Tuna stuffed pepper

Sun: Cauliflower cheese and veggie sosig, celeriac chips. Linda McCartney’s veggie sausages are very tasty, and come in around 100 calories and 10g protein each, which is a good ratio to aim for. The cauliflower and broccoli cheese was from the BSD recipe books, and wasn’t that exciting, though I do like the addition of chopped jalapeños! It heated up well for lunch next day. The celeriac chips were not really crispy enough, other people say they do take a long time in the oven. I have lots of celeriac left, but I’m planning pizza bases and Spanish omelettes for next week.

F800-4-1 week 3

This weeks menu:

BSD blood sugar diet book, R red recipe book, E blue easy recipe book

Monday overnight oats, egg wrap with smoked salmon and cream cheese(R94) veggie bolognaise w edamame spaghetti and green beans

Tuesday: Greek yoghurt and granola ( joe wicks spicy nutty recipe) , bolognaise w green beans, mushroom omelette w soy asparagus and broccoli

Wednesday: apple and peanut butter, goats cheese salad, fish finger sandwich

Thursday: green ginger shake(R53), tuna apple salad, leek and barley risotto (R216)

Friday: ainsley Szechuan soup, pesto baked fish (E105)

Saturday: fry up, pesto fish

Sunday: scrambled egg, leftover barley risotto, prawn and egg curry (E 121) w roast cauliflower and raita

Now, the fish finger sandwich wasnt really on plan, it started as a bit of a joke, and is served with a curried yoghurt and a sprinkle of Bombay mix!
The egg wrap was really, good, triple protein and easy to make for one.

egg wrap w smoked salmon and cream cheese

Barley, leek and goats cheese risotto takes a bit of time to cook, but leftovers reheat well.

veggie bolognaise w edamame spaghetti

I really disliked the green ginger shake. I’m not a fan of shakes generally, but I’m still using up apples! They take too long to drink, I don’t like the icy cold temperature, I couldn’t bring myself to add the olive oil in the recipe so I added yoghurt instead.

goats cheese salad
green ginger shake

The pesto fish dish takes longer to cook than the book suggests, and I don’t really like reheating fish, it’s much better done fresh.

pesto fish

Prawns are a great protein to calorie source, but the size of packs they come in can prove difficult for single diners. My husband mistakenly bought 3 packs at 180g, so I’ll be using those up over the next few days. Again, I don’t like reheating prawn dishes as the prawns go too rubbery, and I don’t like freezing them, especially if the prawns were previously frozen. I also try to avoid taking fishy things to the office in case the smell is offensive. So I might just eat all the prawns myself and count the calories.

The prawn egg curry was very watery – a full tin of tomatoes and then a full tin of water makes it too liquid. I managed to overdo the prawns too, so I didn’t get a decent picture.

mushroom omelette

Fast800-4-1 week 2

A weeks worth of food following Fast 800 principles, but suited to cooking for one.

Menu:

Monday: Greek yoghurt and granola, veggie sausage, miso aubergine

Tuesday: mushroom scrambled egg, blue cheese and chicory, cauliflower rice paella

Wednesday: chia pot, thai curry, prawns w courgetti and edamame spaghetti

Thursday: chia pot, thai veg curry, prawn stir-fry

Friday: Boiled egg, smoked salmon salad, halloumi ratatouille

Saturday: Overnight oats, halloumi ratatouille, salmon fillet w hoisin roast cauliflower

Sunday: Overnight oats, smoked salmon salad, veg burger, turnip fries, cheesy leeks

Foods that to be used up this week include apples, oranges, cauliflower, turnip, smoked salmon.

Vegetarian sausages come in a pack of 8, and it’s usually easiest just to cook them all at once. So Monday’s lunch was leftover from the sausages I’d cooked at the weekend, in an onion gravy. This reheats quite well in the microwave. Miso aubergine is p178 in the Easy F800 recipe book. It was very salty, and I wasn’t keen on the edamame cooked open in the oven, I’ll just micro them next time. But a satisfying plate of food.

Having a load of apples to use up, I made one into cinnamon apple crisps, p 220 first recipe book. These take a long time in a cool oven, but are a nice crisp snack.

Tuesday- blue cheese and chicory. It may be very good for your gut, but boy this is bitter! I could only eat half of one raw with salad, kept the rest for dinner. I was adding in some seafood to up my protein, and I love little pickled cockles. Any seafood packs a good protein to calorie ratio. So I made a cauliflower rice dish with paella flavours of paprika and garlic. And added the rest of the chicory as a side.

Wednesday: due to spend the rest of the week in the office, so I made a pot of chia seeds and yoghurt to have mid morning, defrosted a tub of Thai curry for lunches, and had some olives leftover from the paella. One of the issues about cooking for one is the freezing of leftovers, which is limited by the size of tubs available. But having 2 portions in one tub is suited to bringingto work, where I have access to a fridge and microwave.

I found edamame spaghetti in Holland and Barrett. The calories are similar to normal pasta, but it does have a protein content. I mixed a small portion (25g) with some courgette cut into thin strips, and served this with garlicky prawns. Frozen prawns are always on hand in my freezer, but they come in different size packs, so do check. I used half of a 180g pack, saving the rest for tomorrow. From a bag of mixed leaves I used some rocket to garnish.

Thursday I still had the chia pot and curry in the office fridge, and for dinner I used the rest of the prawns to make a stir fry, using some spinach leaves out of my salad bag. I added some Konjac noodles – I’m not a huge fan of these, they need to be rinsed well, and then dry fried to get rid of the fishy smell. But they were in the cupboard and I hate waste! Kimchi on the side, I love this stuff.


Friday: I always boil more than one egg when I’m cooking them, so have hard boiled eggs ready to eat in the fridge. Had one for breakfast. Lunch was some more salad leaves with smoked salmon, and for dinner I was cooking for my husband also. He likes the ratatouille w halloumi p212 of the original recipe book. The recipe serves 4, but husband eats 2 portions, I eat one and there’s one leftover for lunch.

Saturday: I made a big bowl of overnight oats using one apple, to do over 3 days. I can’t remember why I had so many oranges, but I decided to try the orange and almond loaf, p 222 of the original recipe book, which would also use up some of the dates I had left from Christmas. 300g of ground almonds! And 300 calories a slice! I’m not sure this really fits well with a low calorie diet, but I was intending to freeze most of it to have as an occasional treat. It smelled good while cooking, but the end result is quite heavy, and not worth all those calories.

Lunch was the leftover ratatouille, which reheats well, and for dinner I was tying the hoisin roast cauliflower, p210 of the blue recipe book. This was unpleasant, the addition of vinegar to the marinade makes it pungent and sour, and hot vinegary chilli but still crunchy cauliflower is really nasty. Turning a perfectly good low calorie veg into a 250 calorie side dish is not a move I’ll be repeating. Recipe serves 2, I kept the rest to have cold as a salad next day.


sunday: overnight oats, salad with the cold cauliflower, boiled egg mixed with sour cream and horseradish, smoked salmon, and the rest of my salad leaves bag. I’d bought a slab of plant based mince, so I was making a burger to go with turnip fries and cheesey leeks. These are easy to make in the microwave, zap the sliced leeks, then stir in some soft cheese and grated mozzarella. I had actually made 2 patties, but I left the room at one point and when I came back there was only one! Not sure which dog is the guilty party, but I know which husband should have been paying more attention!


Fast 800-4-1: Week 1

I’ve been trying to follow the Fast 800 style of eating for a while now. I did the original 5-2 back in the day, and managed to get through a day on 500 calories based around fish, veg and eggs. Since then the diet has become more popular and has evolved into what is now Fast 800, where it is 800 good quality calories per day every day for up to 12 weeks. It gained even more popularity when a TV show Lose a Stone in Three Weeks was aired during 2020, and of course a whole series of books have followed.

For ease of typing, I will refer to the books as O (the original guide) R ( the first red recipe book) E (the new blue topped Easy recipe book) and BSD (the Blood Sugar Diet book).

I have a number of issues with the books. I don’t eat meat but I do eat fish, and I find the veggie recipes can be quite high calorie (600 cals for a curry?) and have a sizeable carb content. But the biggest issue I have is that I am often just cooking for myself. There are a few recipes my husband also will eat (the halloumi ratatouille R212 being a favourite), and there are a handful of recipes for one (miso soup, omelettes), but more often than not I’m making adjustments to the quantities to either have a portion leftover for lunch, or to freeze. Having single portions of something suitable in the freezer is great, but can be limited by the availability of suitable containers. This also leads to the problem of how to use up half tins of coconut milk, or an opened jar of pesto.

So this will be a blog series looking at how to get a week of recipes using up what needs using, without too much repetition or saminess.

So. This week’s stuff that needs using: tofu, half an aubergine, half a pepper, half a block of halloumi, end of a cabbage, pak choi, spring onions and coriander. Smoked mackerel, mushrooms, kale, beansprouts, half an avocado.

Sunday: I made little aubergine halloumi and pepper stacks, and served them with a quick salad with yoghurt dressing.

Monday: I got creative with the smoked mackerel. Half of it I made into pate (BSD 73) which did 2 lunches, and the other half I made into fishcakes (E 110).

The recipe served 4 but was simple enough to halve, served with sesame stir fry veg, and I cooked and kept a portion to have cold with a salad.

Tuesday: Loaded miso soup with tofu and mushrooms.

These little mini snack packs of dried seaweed are great for tearing over Japanese dishes.

Wednesday: I’d used a stuffed butternut squash dish for my Christmas centrepiece, and had chopped the remainder into chunks and kept in the freezer. I used some to make a Red Thai curry with the coconut milk, made 2 portions and froze one.

Thursday: stir fry with tofu, beansprouts, and some frozen stir fry veg. These packs are very handy when cooking for one, as you just use as much as you need.

Friday: The rest of the squash roasted with sage, and served with a portion of veggie bolognaise (R194) that I had in the freezer.

Saturday: The coriander is really getting past it now, but used to garnish a shakshouka

Sunday: Another use-it-up stirfry.

Overall verdict: This was pretty good, I had a colourful array of vegetables, but I always struggle with using fresh herbs before they go off. I may revert to buying them frozen. What would I do without my freezer!