Sunday, 25 October 2015

5:2 Fast Day Menu Planner (including full Vegetarian options and Gluten Free) - never have a boring fast day menu again!

A tasty selection of fully calorie-counted ideas and recipes for fast days - ideal meal inspiration for fasters old and new!

Whether you're new to the 5:2 diet or intermittent fasting, or you're a veteran in search of new ideas (in which case, you can probably scroll down past all the tips to the menu plans and skip this bit!), I hope this selection of fast day menu ideas helps you out.

There are eight menus for fast days with three meals (including breakfast) and eight more menus for fast days with two meals (no breakfasts) - all with full vegetarian options (and gluten free notes in the recipes)... and then there are a bonus further eight fast day dinner suggestions for those who like to save most of their calories for dinners (or men, who have an extra 100 calories to 'spend' on a fast day, the lucky so-and-so's!).

I've been developing calorie-counted recipes suitable for the 5:2 diet for my Facebook recipe group members for over two years now (you're very welcome to join us!), so I'm actually surprised myself, that I've not put something like this together before! [Edit: Now I know why... it took days!!!]

A word of 'warning'... This is all freshly cooked, healthy food. No jars, no packets, no ready-meals, no cheats, no artificial sweeteners - but don't let that put you off (OK, there is one sachet of miso soup, and some baked beans somewhere, but that's all!)! I mean, there's no point me sticking up a bunch of ready meal combinations - you can go to the supermarket with a calculater and figure that out yourself - it's much harder to figure out the calorie content of home cooked food, so I've done it for you.

There are a range of dishes to suit people: some quick and easy, some with no cooking, minimal cooking, and some that you can cook up ahead of time and freeze, or pop in the fridge the day before so it's easy to lift out and re-heat on a fast day when you're hungry. There are no dishes which should be beyond anyone who can't read and follow instructions, and I hope that the variety of different ideas from different countries inspires people to try new foods, and search further on my blog (and other places) for more new things to cook, as there is a lot to choose from now, with over 250 recipes, virtually all of them calorie counted for you!

If you're new to the 5:2 diet, you'll find lots of available information out there. My 'area' is developing tasty, calorie counted recipes for people to enjoy on fast days and in general with their families, rather than being an expert on the science / diet side. You can watch the original documentary, 'Eat, Fast and Live Longer' by Dr. Michael Moseley here if you'd like to learn a bit more about fasting and the health benefits, or buy his book, The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer - Revised and Updated*.

Having said that, the mechanics of the 5:2 diet are pretty simple: to lose weight in a steady manner, 'fast' for two days a week, and eat normally for the other five. A fast day on the 5:2 diet means eating up to 500 calories if you're a woman, and up to 600 calories if you're a man. You can choose any two days of the week you like, and change them to suit you each week. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions be sure to consult your GP (doctor) before embarking on any kind of diet. If you have any kind of questions regarding my recipes, please feel free to post them under the relevant recipe, but I am unable to help with any personal or medical queries.

What you will find below is a selection of ideas for fast days. In my experience, broadly speaking, there are two camps of fasters:

  • Those who wish to go 16+ hours since their last meal, to gain the health benefits of fasting such as reduced risk of cancer, Alzheimer's disease etc. etc. as well as losing weight (so, for example, finishing eating your last meal the day before a fast day at 7pm, and not eating your first calorific food [including drinks with milk or sugars in - water or black coffee/tea etc. is fine] until after 11am on your fast day, the following day).

  • Those who just want to lose weight by restricting calories, so may wish to have something to eat from first thing in the morning, and have three light meals, or breakfast and dinner etc., rather than wait 16+ hours before consuming food or calorific drinks.

Many people start off having a breakfast, and then find after a few fasts they no longer want or need a breakfast on a fast day (or indeed, that having breakfast kickstarts their metabolism and makes them hungrier earlier in the day), and graduate to just having a lunch (or brunch) and dinner instead. Personally, I don't have breakfast, but have something light (like a miso soup with a few mushrooms thrown in) mid afternoon when I get hungry, and save the majority of my calories for my dinner, and maybe a treat! I've included fast day menus both with and without breakfast below. Mix and match the suggestions to suit your day, and if you're someone who wants snacks etc. then adjust to suit by choosing the lower calorie menus, or taking off the breakfast calories if you don't eat it.

My menu plans are for natural, healthy, home-cooked food from fresh ingredients which is obviously the ideal - but of course cooking sometimes takes a back step to life, so you can substitute whatever suits you best (such as grabbing a calorie counted ready meal, or soup or sandwich on the run), as long as you keep to the calorie count for the day (500 calories for women, 600 calories for men). I've numbered the days for your convenience (but of course you can pick and choose!), and my calorie counts are taken predominantly from UK supplier and manufacturer's nutritional information, and the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference for each, individual ingredient, so they are as accurate as I can possibly get them - not just whipped off My Fitness Pal, or some website you put your recipe in, or similar.

For ease of use, I've simplified ingredients and not included methods on this blog for things like e.g. salads (where you need to chop the veg, and mix together the dressings, then toss together), smoothies (blend together), soups (fry onions and spices, add cubed veg and stock, cook 20 minutes or until tender, then blitz with herbs), omelettes / tortillas (cook veg in oil, add eggs, cook through) because I know most people will be quite capable of doing this if I just list the ingredients with calories. (My recipes have full methods and tips, if you click on the links).

Have a pair of scales handy - the easiest way to do this, is to have some flat digital scales that you can balance your bowl or dish on, zero, and just add the ingredients to, while setting to zero each time. Also a 5ml tsp measure, and a 15ml tbsp measure is useful too, as you will need these for spices, oils, and other ingredients.

Try to plan your fast days, if possible. There's nothing worse than getting home from work, feeling really hungry, and having nothing you can reach for to satisfy that hunger without having to spend 20-30 minutes chopping or cooking first. It's much easier to cook yourself up a batch of soup on a Sunday (or make yourself a salad), pop a portion in the fridge to have on Monday, and the rest in portions in the freezer. Stick in the oven, a pan or even the microwave for a few minutes, and there's no chance of you reaching for a calorific snack, or picking something up on the way home.

Preparation is the key! You can even pre-cook your meal(s) at the weekend too, to reheat on fast days. Bolognese sauce, a curry, crustless quiche, a tray of roasted veg, casserole... it can all be done ahead, and you can feed the family at the same time too - while you have cauliflower rice on the side, they can have normal rice. You can have courgette 'spaghetti', while they have the wheat stuff. You have a couple of new potatoes or extra veg on the side while they have chips, mash, a baked potato with butter or roasties. There's no need for you to go without, and there's no need to cook for yourself separately. All the way through, I've cooked mostly for the whole family, and just varied the sides or quantities for me for fast days, so there's plenty here to choose from to keep everyone happy and stop you cooking seperate meals! (N.B. for younger children, don't add salt to meals before you have taken their portion out)

I have included calorie counts for each ingredient on the menu plans below, so you can swap or omit things to suit your tastes, e.g. swap tomatoes for mushrooms, or swap bacon for ham, or raspberries for strawberries etc., and add oil spray / oil / butter if desired, to fry ingredients instead of grilling or poaching, adding on calories appropriately.

Please note, I've included things for all tastes, and also ingredients to make healthy meals tasty - so there may be the odd smidgen of sugar, honey or similar here and there, and fresh fruit etc. as for me it's about overall healthy food full of flavour and fun, not a monotony of cardboard food! To maximise the amount of filling food you spend your calories on for fast days, stick to a majority of lean protein and vegetables / salad.

Black tea or coffee (and water, obviously) can be drunk freely - for a 30ml shot of semi-skimmed milk (2 tbsp) it's 15 calories. You can 'infuse' still or sparkling water overnight with small amounts of chopped fruit etc. (e.g. a few slices of cucumber and / or strawberry and a sprig of mint) for negligible calories, or chill herbal teas etc. if you don't want to drink plain water. Low calorie savoury drinks will help to keep your electrolytes up, and therefore keep potential headaches at bay (I like miso soup, some people like things like bovril, chicken / vegetable / beef stock [don't put a whole cube in a mug or it will be too salty!], bone broth etc.).

Click on the purple text (hyperlinks) to go to my recipes, where appropriate. Many of my recipes also have Thermomix methods included, or links to the equivalent Thermomix recipe where appropriate, as well as conventional.

[Calories are in square brackets next to ingredients, so you can substitute / omit things if you wish]

I think that's everything! Now, are you ready to be amazed by how much delicious food you can eat on a 'fast' day? Here are sixteen fast day menus, with menus 1 to 8 including breakfasts; and 9 to 16 not including breakfasts, with vegetarian options for every meal - and then a further 8 fast day meals with higher calories for those who eat less in the day, and/or men who have an extra 100 calories (not all with vegetarian options though)... if you get a chance, don't forget to leave me a comment at the bottom of a recipe you've tried to let me know what you thought - feedback is sincerely appreciated, and helps me to constantly improve my recipes. Thank you.


OK, just one last thing. Please don't be daunted. I am no wonder woman or super mum, and I definitely don't cook three times a day, nor do I expect anyone else to! Virtually all of the soups and hot meals here can be cooked in advance and frozen in portions for easy re-heating if you're not sharing with the family (I batch-cook, and freeze in small food bags), and salads can all be prepared the day before and dressed before eating.

Fast Day ~ Menu 1 
(with breakfast)
482 to 487 (V) calories 

Breakfast - 115 calories
'Half English' breakfast (V)

  • One medium egg (58g), poached or boiled [88]
  • One large vine tomato (80g), cut in half, seasoned and grilled or baked [16]
  • One large flat mushroom (70g), seasoned and grilled or baked together with the tomato [11]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Miso Soup
Lunch - 71 calories 
Quick miso soup OR spinach and tofu / mushroom soup (V)

  • One sachet Yukata Miso Soup (available supermarkets, or use 250ml chicken or vegetable stock (V) and a dash of light soy sauce) [18]
  • 50g tofu, cubed [38]
  • 50g chopped spinach [12]
  • Finely sliced spring onion (scallion), to garnish [3]
Add hot water to the soup, and warm the tofu and wilt the spinach in the soup. If you don't like miso soup or tofu, just use a light chicken or vegetable stock (also for vegetarians), and you could substitute the tofu for up to 200g sliced mushrooms if you prefer, at 16 calories per 100g and simmer until tender, adding the spinach at the end. Want to make your own miso soup from scratch? My recipe is here.

Easy Prawn and Coconut Curry
Dinner - 296 to 301 calories
Easy Prawn and Coconut Curry OR Muttar Paneer (Indian Spinach and Cheese Curry) (V); served with Cauliflower Rice

Fast Day ~ Menu 2 
(with breakfast)
446 to 486 calories

Berry Yoghurt Breakfast
Breakfast - 94 calories 
Berry yoghurt breakfast
  • 100g raspberries or strawberries [32/33], topped with
  • 80g 0% fat Greek Yoghurt [46]
  • 1 level tsp runny honey (5g) (optional) [16] 
To make sure you don't 'overdose' on the honey, it's easiest to pop your bowl on top of some digital scales and watch the weight while you drizzle on the honey.

Lunch -  169 calories
Nicoise style salad: tuna or egg (V)

  • 75g tinned tuna in spring water/brine, drained OR 1 medium boiled egg, chopped [88]
  • 80g chopped lettuce [13]
  • 1 chopped tomato (60g) [12]
  • 50g chopped cucumber [6]
  • 40g green beans, cooked, cooled and cut into 1 inch lengths [10]
  • 6 olives, sliced [30]
  • A few fresh basil leaves, torn (optional) [1]
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar* [9]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*Use a low calorie dressing instead, if you prefer.

If making this as a packed lunch, layer up the ingredients but don't add the vinegar / dressing until just before you eat it. 

Mushroom stroganoff
Dinner -  183 to 223 calories 
Tasty mushroom stroganoff

Fast Day ~ Menu 3 
(with breakfast)
478 to 522 calories
Vegetarian option (V) 421 to 465 calories

Breakfast - 107 to 151 calories 
Quick spinach omelette

  • Two egg whites (90ml) or one medium egg* (58g) [44/88]
  • Grating of nutmeg (optional) [1]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Couple of sprays of pure olive oil (e.g. Bertolli 100% olive oil spray) [8]
  • 10g freshly grated parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative, optional) [39]
  • 60g fresh spinach, roughly chopped (or use up to 100g sliced mushrooms, and fry off first) [15]
Whisk together egg, nutmeg and seasoning. Spray small non-stick pan with oil, and cook until bottom is set. Sprinkle with parmesan, then spinach, and pop under grill until spinach has wilted and top set, and serve.
*To reduce calories, use two egg whites instead of one whole egg. 'Two Chicks Liquid Egg Whites' is available from chilled section in some supermarkets - 6 tbsp / 90ml (equivalent to two whole eggs) is 44 calories. 

Thai-spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Lunch -  100 calories 
Spicy squash soup; fruit OR vegetable sticks

Thai-spiced Salmon Fish Cakes
Dinner - 214 (V) to 271 calories
Thai fish cakes OR marinated tofu (V) with Asian slaw and courgette noodles
You can make the fish cakes ahead, and either freeze some, or enjoy with the family, who can have rice or noodles with their portion. The slaw can be made a day ahead too, and dressed just before serving.

Fast Day ~ Menu 4 
(with breakfast)
495 calories 

Peach Yoghurt Bowl
Breakfast - 93 calories 
Peach melba yoghurt bowl
  • 1 peach or nectarine, sliced [41], and
  • 70g raspberries OR 50g blueberries [23], topped with
  • 50g 0% fat Greek Yoghurt [29]

Lunch - 159 calories 
All day breakfast OR broccoli and stilton soup

  • 100g reduced salt and sugar baked beans [67]
  • 2 rashers bacon medallions (35g), grilled, OR one Quorn low fat sausage (V) OR one small egg (43g), poached or boiled [65]
  • One large vine tomato (80g), cut in half, seasoned and grilled or baked [16]
  • One large flat mushroom (70g), seasoned and grilled or baked [11]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Men with an extra 100 calories to 'spend' on a fast day can add two slices light wholemeal bread, toasted - e.g. Hovis Nimble - for 102 calories
Broccoli and Stilton Soup
  • Broccoli and Stilton Soup (aka Dustbin Soup!) [95], served with
  • 1 slice light wholemeal bread (e.g. Hovis Nimble) (optional) [51]

Cod with Romesco Sauce
Dinner - 243 calories
Cod fillet with romesco sauce and roasted Mediterranean vegetables

Men could choose to 'spend' their extra 100 calories on 120g baby / new potatoes, parboiled then roasted in the oven with a couple of sprays of pure olive oil and some seasoning until tender inside.

Fast Day ~ Menu 5 
(with breakfast)
498 to 500 calories 

Breakfast - 171 to 173 (V) calories
Smoked haddock, poached egg, spinach and tomatoes OR cinnamon-apple porridge (V)
  • 70g smoked haddock fillet, poached [61]
  • Small egg (43g), poached [65]
  • 80g spinach (e.g. baby leaf), wilted [20]
  • 125g fresh tomatoes, baked or grilled OR 100g tinned tomatoes, heated [25]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 x 27g sachet Oat-So-Simple porridge oats (or 27g oats) [100], cooked with
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste) [3]
  • 90ml water, and
  • 90ml skimmed milk [32]
  • 1 small apple, coarsely grated and stirred in at the end [38]
If you need to sweeten your porridge further, it is 16 calories per teaspoon of sugar / honey

Lunch -  92 calories
Tomato, mozarella and rocket salad OR shiitake mushroom and egg drop soup

Shiitake Mushroom and Egg Drop Soup
  • 80g baby wild rocket leaves [13]
  • 1 large vine tomato (80g, sliced/chopped) [16]
  • 30g reduced fat mozarella, torn into pieces [53]
  • Drizzle balsamic vinegar (1/2 tbsp) [9]
  • A few fresh basil leaves, torn [1]


Mushroom 'Caulisotto'
Dinner -  235 calories 
Mushroom 'risotto' made with cauliflower rice
Omit the 30ml white wine from this recipe to reduce the calories from 260 to 235

Fast Day ~ Menu 6 
(with breakfast)
481 (V) to 496 calories 

Raspberry Yoghurt Ice with Oatbran
Breakfast - 158 calories 
Raspberry and oatbran yoghurt ice

Lunch -  117 calories 
Asparagus spears and poached egg

  • One medium egg (58g), poached or boiled [88]
  • 100g asparagus, steamed, boiled or griddled [29]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cajun Chicken with Mango Salsa
Dinner - 206 (V) to 221 calories
Cajun chicken (or spicy bean burger) with mango salsa and salad
Vegetarians - why not go for a spicy bean burger [195], with the mango salsa and salad leaves , cucumber and celery as above (but without the bun)?

Men could use their extra 100 calories to have potato wedges with this - simply blanch 130g raw potato wedges in boiling water for a few minutes, then place in the oven with a few sprays of oil and some seasoning.

Fast Day ~ Menu 7 
(with breakfast)
458 (V) to 498 calories 

Breakfast - 97 calories
Fresh fruit cocktail
  • One small apple, diced (e,g, Royal Gala, 80g) [38]
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (toss apple in juice to prevent browning) [1]
  • One small satsuma, separated [25] 
  • 50g seedless grapes [33]

Spiced Sweet Potato and Tomato Soup
Lunch - 141 calories
Speedy spiced sweet potato soup

Chicken Tikka Skewers
Dinner - 220 (V) to 260 calories
Chicken Tikka Skewers OR Courgette and Aubergine Curry, served with Cauliflower rice, Cachumber salad and minted yoghurt
Vegetarians can double the cauliflower rice quantity, if desired, with the 40 calories saved by having the vegetarian curry.

Fast Day ~ Menu 8 
(with breakfast)
455 to 486 calories 

Breakfast - 81 calories
Grilled mushrooms and toast
  • Three large flat mushrooms (190g), grilled or oven baked [30]
  • One* slice light wholemeal bread (e.g. Hovis Nimble) [51]
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Large, flat mushrooms often come in 250g packs of four, this will give you the correct weight, or just weigh out your favourite mushrooms, slice and pan fry in a non-stick pan if you prefer. The moistness of mushrooms should mean you don't miss having butter on your toast.

*Don't forget men can have up to 600 calories on a fast day, so you can have extra slices of toast if you're male! Unfair or what, ladies?!

Prawn Cocktail Salad
Lunch -  121 to 152 calories
Prawn cocktail salad OR Easy Pea and Ham (or Pea, Feta and Mint (V)) Soup

If making this as a packed lunch, layer up the ingredients but don't add the dressing until just before you eat it. 

Pea and Ham Soup

Bolognese with Courgette 'Spaghetti'
Dinner - 253 calories
Rich Red Lentil Bolognese


Fast Day ~ Menu 9 
(no breakfast)
473 to 498 calories 

Courgette, Pea and Goats Cheese Frittata
Lunch - 157 calories 
Courgette, pea and goats cheese frittata with fresh herbs [157]

Trout, Asparagus and Potato Salad
Dinner - 316 (V) to 341 calories
Ten-minute Trout, Asparagus and New Potato Salad [315], followed by strawberries or raspberries - Vegetarians substitute the trout for either 60g lighter halloumi cheese, sliced and grilled [315], OR (if you really love eggs!) two small (43g) eggs per serving (boiled and quartered, or poached), and reduce by 25 calories per serving [290]

If you want to save yourself calories on this dinner, you can substitute sliced new potatoes, for sliced lightly steamed or blanched courgettes instead, at only 18 calories per 100g.

Fast Day ~ Menu 10 
(no breakfast)
492 (V) to 497 calories 

Easy Masala Omelette
Lunch - 237 calories 
Easy Indian Masala Omelette (V)

Pork Vindaloo
Dinner -  255 (V) to 260 calories
Pork Vindaloo (hot) OR Saag Paneer (medium vegetarian Indian cheese and spinach curry); with cauliflower rice and minted yoghurt

Fast Day ~ Menu 11 
(no breakfast)
500 calories 

Homemade Hummus
Lunch - 154 calories 
Homemade Hummus and Tzaziki with cucumber and carrot sticks [154]

  • Homemade Hummus (50g serving) [86], plus
  • One serving home-made Tzatziki (75g, made with fat free yoghurt) [38]
  • 100g cucumber sticks [9]
  • 100g carrot sticks [21]
If you dont want to make your own hummus and tzaziki, a 50g serving of reduced fat hummus from the supermarket is around 120 calories, and a 75g serving of bought tzatziki is around 92 calories - so increase the calorie count to 242 calories and use less calories for dinner.

Spanokopita and Greek Salad
Dinner - 346 calories
Greek Spinach and Feta Filo Pie (Spanokopita), served with Greek Village Salad [346]

Fast Day ~ Menu 12 
(no breakfast)
476 to 480 calories 

Crab, Mushroom and Spinach Soup
Lunch - 216 calories 
Japanese style Crab, Mushroom and Spinach Soup, followed by a banana OR nectarine and bluberries with yoghurt

You can make this soup vegetarian by substituting the crab for diced tofu, and seasoning with an extra little splash of soy.

Spicy Chicken Salad
Dinner - 260 (V) to 264 calories
Yo Sushi! style Spicy Chicken Salad [264], OR Soy, Ginger and Sake marinated Tofu served with Wakame and Shaved Vegetable Salad (V)[260]


Wakame and Shaved Vegetable Salad

Fast Day ~ Menu 13 
(no breakfast)
494 to 505 calories
Vegetarians deduct 75 calories 

Chorizo, Chickpea and Spinach Soup
Lunch - 177 calories 
Spicy Chorizo, Chickpea and Spinach Soup

You can make this vegetarian by simply leaving out the chorizo and adding an extra clove or two of garlic and some smoked paprika as a flavour substitute.

Dinner -  317 to 328 calories
Albondigas (Spanish meatballs) in tomato sauce with roasted vegetables and cauliflower rice / courgette spaghetti OR Pollo al Chilindron (Chicken with peppers and tomatoes) - with egg substitute for vegetarians, see recipe

Chicken Chilindron

Vegetarians who eat Quorn, can substitute Quorn Swedish style 'meatballs' to make this a vegetarian meal using 150g 'meatballs' per serving and saving 34 calories per serving. You can omit the roasted vegetables and increase the quantity of cauliflower rice / courgette spaghetti if you prefer.  

Vegetarians save 97 calories if cooking the egg version of Pollo al Chilindron - this could be 'spent' on 120g baby / new potatoes, parboiled then roasted in the oven with a couple of sprays of pure olive oil and some seasoning until tender inside.

Fast Day ~ Menu 14 
(no breakfast)
 394 to 497 calories* 

Skinny Spring Rolls
Lunch - 141 to 245 calories 
Skinny Spring Rolls with dips or Egg Fu Yung
These skinny spring rolls are actually pretty easy to make, as they can be made using a stir-fry vegetable mix (OK, that's a little cheat!)
*If you're having the beef with black bean sauce for dinner or the spicy Szechuan duck, go for spring rolls for lunch to keep the calories under 500. If you're having tofu or sea-spiced aubergines, you can choose either lunch.

Beef in Black Bean Sauce
Dinner -  253 (V) to 356 calories
Beef (or tofu) in Black Bean Sauce with Green Peppers, served with Courgette 'noodles', OR Spicy Szechuan Duck with Pineapple and Ginger OR Sea-Spiced Aubergines with rice

Spicy Szechuan Duck with Pineapple

Sea-Spiced Aubergines
If you're vegetarian and you don't fancy tofu in black bean sauce, you could go for a main sized portion of my Sea-Spiced Aubergines, at only 84 calories, and serve it on top of  steamed rice (50g raw weight) for approximately the same amount of calories in total [253].

Fast Day ~ Menu 15 
(no breakfast)
497 calories

Moroccan-Spiced Roast Vegetable Soup
Lunch - 150 calories 
Moroccan-Spiced Roast Vegetable and Lentil Soup, served with light wholemeal bread, or added chickpeas

Easy Harissa Chicken with Lentil Stew
Dinner - 347 calories
Easy Harissa Chicken with Spiced Puy Lentil and Tomato Stew and green beans, OR Moroccan-Spiced Superfood Stew with feta cheese and green beans

Moroccan-Spiced Superfood Stew

Fast Day ~ Menu 16 
(no breakfast)
449 to 500 calories

Tom Yum (Hot and Sour) Soup
Lunch - 166 to 181 calories 
Tom Yum Goong (Thai hot and sour soup with prawns - make with tofu for vegetarian version (V)) OR Quick Thai Prawn and Pineapple Skewers, served with salad OR Sesame Miso Asparagus with Sunomono and Boiled Egg (V)


Prawn and Pineapple Skewers
  • Quick Thai Prawn and Pineapple Skewers [124], served with salad as below, or buy / make up your own!
  • 80g shredded lettuce leaves [13]
  • 30g white cabbage, shredded [8] 
  • 40g cucumber, sliced [4]
  • 30g carrot, grated or julienned [8]
  • 3 radishes, sliced [6]
  • 30g (fine/French) green beans (or string beans if you can get them). Blanch if you don’t like them raw. [9]
  • Squeeze of lime juice [2]
  • Few drops of light soy sauce (a tsp) [3] Total 177 calories for prawn skewers and salad

Sesame Miso Asparagus
  • Sesame Miso Asparagus [59], served with
  • Sunomono [42] and
  • One small egg, poached or boiled (43g) [65] Total 166 calories

Thai Pork Stir-fry with Green Beans
Dinner - 283 to 334 (V) calories
Pad Prik King Moo (Thai pork stir-fry with green beans) OR Miso-Sesame Grilled Aubergines and Asparagus with Cucumber-Radish Pickles (V)
  • Pad Prik King Moo (Thai pork with green beans) [279], served with your choice of
  • Zero / shirataki / slim noodles [4], OR
  • Cauliflower rice (100g) [38], OR
  • Courgette 'spaghetti' (150g) [27]  Total 283 to 317 calories

Miso-Sesame Grilled Aubergines

If choosing this option, choose the asparagus lunch option to stay within 500 calories, or substitute the grain rice for cauliflower rice or courgette noodles.


For those of you who like to save the majority of your fast day calories to really treat yourself for your dinner (this is also good for men, who have an extra 100 calories to 'spend' per fast day), and use less calories on eating during the day, here are a few more delicious lower calorie dinners you might like to try on fast days, that are a little higher on calories, but still fit for fast days...

1. The Tex-Mex
Chilli Con Carne [315] (or Quorn version (V)) [218])
Cauliflower rice (150g) [57]
2 tbsp yoghurt and fresh coriander [20]
25g cheddar cheese (optional) [104]
OR 20g tortilla chips (optional) [100]
492 to 496 calories in total (or 395 to 399 calories (V))

2. The Persian Inspired Dinner
Persian Chicken Kebabs with Lemon and Saffron [166], served with
Salad Shirazi [38] and
Quinoa, Lentil and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Sumac [174]
378 calories in total

3. The Steak Dinner
150g fillet steak, grilled [211]
Chasseur sauce [120]
100g baby/new potatoes par-boiled then roasted in 1/2 tsp oil [88]
100g fine green beans, steamed/boiled [25]
444 calories in total

4. The Indian
Murgh Masala (Punjabi Chicken Curry) or Muttar Panner (V) [270 / 248] (or choose pork vindaloo for a skinnier, but hotter option)
Cauliflower rice (150g) [57]
1 poppadom [38]
Cachumber (Indian cucumber, tomato and onion salad) [43]
2 tbsp Mango Chutney [34 homemade, 96 bought]
30g fat free yoghurt mixed with chopped fresh mint [19]
461 to 523 calories in total (minus 22 calories for (V))

5. The Turkish Feast
1 Chicken Shish Kebab [76]
1 Lamb Kofte Kebab [133]
1 Vegetable Kebab with Za'ater [45]
1 small portion Turkish Rice [145]
One serving home-made Tzatziki (75g, made with fat free yoghurt) [38]
Turkish Red Cabbage Salad [28]
Small side salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes) with a squeeze of lemon [around 25]
490 calories in total

6. The Chinese
15g Prawn Crackers (optional) [81]
Crab Claws with Chilli, Garlic and Ginger [120]
Spicy Singapore (zero/shirataki) Noodles [275]
476 calories in total

7. The Posh Duck Dinner
Pan-roast Duck breast with a Cherry and Port Sauce [325]
140g celeriac cubed and blanched for 8 minutes, 40g leek chunks, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds roasted with 4 sprays oil and seasoning for 30 minutes [59]
60g fine asparagus, steamed [17]
401 calories in total

8. The Thai
Thai Satay Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad [330] or Thai Green Chicken Curry (V1) [348]
40g (uncooked weight) Jasmine rice, steamed [132]
462 calories in total

Well, that's it (for now...)!

I hope you've found some inspiration here to help you plan your fast days if you're the sort of person who enjoys cooking and eating fresh and healthy food for yourself and your family. This is what I cook for myself and my family on fast days and it's fair to say that they've enjoyed eating all of it (albeit they get to eat real rice and pasta and potatoes etc. with it!). There's plenty more if you take a look around, please feel free to share this blog anywhere it might help those who would like fast day ideas, and don't forget to leave me a comment and let me know anything you've particularly enjoyed eating, or any suggestions you have.


*Affiliate link for Fast Diet book (it won't cost you any money to click on this, or add any extra to the price if you choose to buy the book, but I will get a few pence to help towards the running of my blog)


  1. Lots of fabulous ideas to try! Great thanks Andrea, and so handy having the vegetarian option (with often a second option) too.
    Looking forward to trying out some of these in the next couple of weeks! :)

  2. Love that it is all fresh food based and Themrie recipes as well!

  3. Just stumbled across your blog! This is awesome! Thank you so much!


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