The fast 800 diet all new summer recipes (2024)

With summer upon us there is still time to get to grips with losing unwanted weight – and the latest science points to my new best- selling Fast 800 diet as one of the most successful ways to shift fat fast and keep it off.

Earlier this year, I shared the Fast 800 diet plan with Daily Mail readers, pulling together the most up-to-date research on the benefits of intermittent fasting – on which I based my original 5:2 diet – and introducing the option of a rapid weight-loss plan in which you eat 800 calories every day to kick-start your regimen and reap many other health benefits besides.

The Fast 800, which incorporates the latest scientific studies, and feedback from numerous doctors and the general public, shot to the top of UK and international bestseller charts, and has already been embraced by thousands of people.

There was an immediate demand for more Fast 800 low-calorie recipes, plus advice and information on this updated version of my simple yet flexible weight-loss approach, which has also been shown to help put type 2 diabetes into remission and reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases.

Drs Clare Bailey and Michael Mosley (pictured) shared a selection of recipes for losing weight and overhauling health

The result is The Fast 800 Recipe Book – unveiled here today – with more tips on how to lose weight and transform your health, plus over 130 brand new low-calorie recipes created by my wife Dr Clare Bailey, who was responsible for the enticing meal suggestions featured in my previous books, along with acclaimed food writer Justine Pattison.


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The recipes feature an array of colourful ingredients found in many Mediterranean dishes – which not only taste deliciously summery but are also great for your health according to numerous scientific studies.

You’ll find inspiring dishes for all occasions, brimming with fresh vegetables, healthy fats including olive oil, nuts, seeds, pulses, fish and seafood, other lean proteins and some full-fat dairy products.

The Fast 800 Recipe Book – unveiled here today – with more tips on how to lose weight and transform your health

These new Fast 800 recipes are also low in starchy carbohydrates found in foods such as white bread, pasta, rice and cereals.

That’s because those foods are rapidly converted in the body to sugar, which is problematic for anyone with diabetes or who is trying to lose weight.

As well as what you eat, I recommend that you pay attention to the timings of your meals and try to eat within a limited time ‘window’ during the day.

This structure – called Time Restricted Eating (TRE) – is based on pioneering research by Dr Satchin Panda, a professor at the Salk Institute in San Diego, US, who has shown that extending your overnight fast to ten or even 12 hours will not only encourage more fat-burning but also helps to start ‘spring cleaning’ and repairing cells.

In our exclusive new series, which continues in tomorrow’s Mail On Sunday and all next week in the Daily Mail, I’ll explain in detail how the Fast 800 could help you begin to transform your weight and health in a matter of weeks.

Plus, there will be plenty of Clare’s tempting recipe suggestions, starting today with some of our favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.

Speaking from personal experience, I can say they are not only good for your waist – but they taste delicious and are filling as well!


One of the main benefits of the Fast 800-calorie diet is that it enables you to lose weight very quickly – and this is highly motivating.

Limiting yourself to 800 calories a day is low enough to induce mild ketosis, a natural metabolic state when the body burns fat instead of sugar as an energy source. However it is also enough to ensure you get the nutrients you need.

Check with your GP first

  • This diet is not suitable for teenagers, or if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or undergoing fertility treatment.
  • Discuss with your GP if you are on medication or if you have a medical condition, including diabetes, low or high blood pressure, retinopathy or epilepsy.
  • Do not do it if you are underweight, have an eating disorder, or are frail, unwell or doing endurance exercise.
  • For more detailed information see

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Contrary to what we’re told, losing weight quickly doesn’t mean you’ll put it back on again. What’s more, it’s also good for your health.

If you’re on the New 5:2 diet, your ‘fasting’ days should also be 800 calories.

This is slightly more than the 500 calories a day for women and 600 for men that I originally allowed for when I created the diet.

On the original 5:2 diet, you may remember, I recommended that you follow a weekly pattern of fasting for two days – with a restricted calorie allowance – and then eating a normal, healthy diet for the remaining five days. The diet is now widely acclaimed as a safe and speedy way to lose weight.

However, I discovered that some people found this too restrictive and ended up eating nearer 800 calories on their fast days, with equally successful results.

At the same time, I became aware of lots of new, science-based weight-loss studies which were established on a food intake of 800 calories a day.

A recent, hugely impressive study called DiRECT – short for Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial – showed that people with type 2 diabetes who were randomly allocated an 800-calorie diet managed to lose and keep off far more weight than those who were put on a slow and steady diet.


Calorie counts

All the calorie counts given on the recipes refer to one individual serving, unless stated otherwise.

That said, please be aware that we include calorie counts as a rough guide only.

There are variations between different nutritionists, counters and apps, and you should not be too concerned by a few extra calories here or there.

Green light for green veg

Drs Clare Bailey and Michael Mosley suggest adapting healthy recipes when not sticking to 800 calories by doubling the portion size or adding brown rice (file image)

All non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli, salad leaves, radishes, runner beans and celery, have been classed as ‘no counting ’ options – because the calories in these foods are insignificant compared with their nutritional benefits.

If a recipe includes a serving suggestion, such as a salad or some steamed greens, then these can be considered as a free non-counting extra – unless you want to add a dressing or a teaspoonful of extra-virgin olive oil, in which case consult the recipe for its calorie value.

On non-fast days

For days when you are not sticking to 800 calories – for instance if you are on the New 5:2 diet or have moved on to the maintenance stage (see Getting Started panel, right) – there are suggestions for adapting the recipes to make them more substantial.

These also work for other family members who do not have weight to lose.

They might involve simply increasing or doubling the portion size, or adding a few tablespoons of brown rice or lentils, an extra glug of olive oil, a slice of seeded bread or extra vegetables.

Add your own twist

These recipes are based on a Mediterranean-style way of eating, but they can be adapted to fit different cuisines and tastes.

Feel free to adjust them – for instance, by using different herbs and spices which have minimal impact on calories. You could turn a basic Bolognese into a spicy Mexican dish, for example, or Mediterranean vegetables into a curry.

The tastier and more satisfying your food, the more likely you are to stick to this way of eating.

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First, you need to decide whether to kick-start your weight loss by going for the Fast 800 or take the more gradual New 5:2 approach.

It’s a good idea to find out your Body Mass Index (BMI) before you begin so you can set goals.

To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared – or use an online calculator.

A healthy range is considered to be 18.5 to 24.9. Once you’ve reached your target, you can shift to a maintenance programme.


  • Stick to 800 calories per day and eat within a 12-hour window (such as 8am to 8pm) and you could lose up to 9kg after four weeks.
  • We recommend you start with this intensive stage particularly if you have excessive fat around your abdomen, have a lot of weight to lose or have high blood sugar levels.
  • Our recipes are for a low-carb Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fresh vegetables, pulses, whole grains, fish and good oils such as olive oil, all of which contain compounds that could help protect against raised blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Some people find meal replacement shakes make this ‘fast track’ stage easier, so we’ll also be sharing some home-made healthy recipes for these in next week’s Daily Mail. They’re also perfect for those on the go or when you’re at work.
  • After two weeks, reflect on how it’s going. If you’re feeling good and not struggling to stick to 800 calories a day, carry on until you reach your target or for up to 12 weeks.


  • If you don’t have so much weight to lose, prefer a gentler approach or have already started with the Fast 800, then the New 5:2 is a good method.
  • It’s probably one of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Eat 800 calories on two days per week in a ten-hour window (8am to 6pm, for instance – or skip breakfast and enjoy two meals rather than three). Then eat freely following a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet for the remaining five days to lose 1-2kg a week. There’s no need to count calories on non-fast days.


  • Once you’ve hit your goal, you’ll almost certainly find your tastes have changed and you naturally love our eating plan. Congratulations, you are now in the maintenance phase!
  • Carry on sticking to the New 5:2 general principles, using our tweaks for non-fast days. You decide what works for you, but many people like a 6:1 strategy – one fast day with six days of normal, healthy eating.
  • You can enjoy the odd treat or special occasion, but try to carry on eating a diet low in sugar and fairly low in starchy carbs to help prevent too much sugar in your blood stream or the weight creeping back on. However, if an outfit starts to feel a bit too tight, you know what to do…



This delicious smashed avocado on toast recipe can be topped with poached eggs or crumbled feta on non-fasting days

This super-fast breakfast is a great way of using up avocados that are over-ripe.

Serves 2 Per serving: 289 cals l Protein 6g l Fat 23.5g l Fibre 5g l Carbs 10.5g

  • 2 thin slices of wholegrain sourdough bread (each 20g)
  • 1 ripe medium avocado, stoned, peeled and roughly chopped (about 100g prepared weight)
  • 25g walnut halves (around 10), roughly chopped
  • 1 plump red chilli, deseeded and diced, or a pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toast the bread and divide between two plates (or serve on one plate to share).

Place the avocado and chopped walnuts in a small bowl and mash with a fork.

Spread on the hot toast, sprinkle with the chilli, if using, and drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the top. Season with some sea salt and ground black pepper to serve.

5:2 non-fast days

Top the avocado toast with one or two poached eggs, or some crumbled feta. A tablespoon of toasted mixed seeds is lovely too.


This glorious warm berry compote with yoghurt is oozing fresh flavours and can be enjoyed with mixed seeds or nuts

A luscious combination that makes the most of frozen fruit. Choose a berry selection that includes naturally sweet strawberries or cherries if you can.

Serves 2 Per serving: 190 cals l Protein 6g l Fat 10g l Fibre 2.5g l Carbs 17g

  • 100g mixed frozen berries, any variety
  • 2 soft pitted dates, finely chopped
  • 200g full-fat live Greek yoghurt

Put the frozen berries and dates in a small saucepan and heat gently for 3-5 minutes, until the fruit has thawed and warmed, stirring regularly.

Add a splash of water, if needed, to help the fruit soften.

Divide the yoghurt between two bowls and spoon the warm compote on top. Eat immediately.

5:2 non-fast days

Sprinkle with toasted jumbo oats, mixed seeds or roughly chopped nuts.


These amazing blueberry pancakes are the perfect treat to share as a family and can be paired with sliced banana

A weekend treat, which can be multiplied to serve all the family. Use rolled porridge oats rather than the jumbo variety for the best results.

Serves 2 Per serving: 284 cals l Protein 12g l Fat 9.5g l Fibre 1.5g l Carbs 37g

  • 75g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 15g porridge oats (not jumbo)
  • 1 large egg
  • 100ml full-fat milk
  • 125g blueberries
  • 2tsp rapeseed or coconut oil

Place the flour and oats in a bowl, make a well in the centre and break the egg into it. Pour in half the milk and, using a whisk, beat everything together to form a thick batter.

Add the remaining milk and beat hard until the batter is smooth.

Tip the blueberries into a separate bowl, keeping some aside for garnishing later, and lightly crush with the back of a spoon before adding to the batter and mixing well.

Brush a large non-stick frying pan with a little oil and place over a medium-high heat.

Spoon a sixth of the batter in a loose heap on one side of the pan and allow to spread gently.

Add two more spoonfuls in the same way.

Cook for 2 minutes, or until small bubbles appear on the surface and the top is beginning to set, then carefully flip over and cook on the other side for 1½-2 minutes.

Transfer the pancakes to a warmed plate and cook the remaining three pancakes in the same way. Serve with the reserved blueberries.

5:2 non-fast days

Top the pancakes with a sliced banana or a handful of fresh berries.


This scrumptious poached eggs with mushroom and spinach recipe is a hearty dish for feeling fuller for longer

A quick, low-calorie but filling breakfast for one. Make sure you use eggs that are very fresh.

Serves 1 Per serving: 241 cals l Protein 21g l Fat 17g l Fibre 1g l Carbs 0.5g

  • 2 medium eggs, fridge cold
  • 5g butter or 1tsp olive oil
  • 75g small chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • A large handful of young spinach leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a pan a third of the way with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Break each egg into a cup, then tip one at a time into the pan.

Cook over a very low heat, with the water hardly bubbling, for about 3 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks remain runny.

While the eggs are poaching, melt the butter or oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and stir-fry the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned.

Cook's tip

If you aren’t using eggs that have been kept in the fridge to make this recipe, then make sure you reduce the cooking time slightly.

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Add the spinach and toss until just wilted. Don’t over-cook or lots of liquid will be released. Season with a pinch of sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper.

Spoon the mushrooms and spinach on to a warmed plate.

Drain the eggs with a slotted spoon and place on top of the vegetables. Season with a little more ground black pepper to serve

5:2 non-fast days

Serve on top of a slice of wholegrain buttered toast.


This superb bacon, broccoli,tomato and mushroom fry-up is a delicious treat that can be prepared in less than 10 minutes

A handy breakfast or brunch that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Processed meats such as bacon should be eaten in moderation, but this makes a lovely weekend treat.

Serves 2 Per serving: 144 cals l Protein 8g l Fat 10.5g l Fibre 3g l Carbs 3.5g

  • 100g broccoli, cut into smallflorets
  • 1tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 2 rashers of smoked back bacon, trimmed of the fat then cut into wide strips
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Fill a saucepan a third of the way with water and bring to the boil. Add the broccoli and return to the boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan and fry the bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes for 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned.

Add the broccoli and cook for 1 minute more, stirring. Divide between two plates and season with black pepper.

5:2 non-fast days

Push the broccoli and bacon mixture to one side of the pan, add a little more oil and fry a couple of eggs.



This fantastic turkey fajitas dish is the perfect alternative to a fast food takeaway and is oozing with authentic Mexican flavours

Turkey makes a fantastic alternative to chicken in this recipe, and iceberg lettuce is the perfect carrier for this tasty Mexican-style filling. Simply let everyone help themselves at the table.

Serves 4 Per serving: 195 cals l Protein 28g l Fat 5g l Fibre 3g l Carbs 7.5g

  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • 1tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 400g thin turkey breast steaks, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 12 wedges
  • 2 peppers (1 red and 1 yellow), deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful of fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped
  • 100g full-fat live Greek yoghurt
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Turn the lettuce over and cut around the stalk end with a small knife. Carefully peel away at least eight leaves and wash and drain them well.

(Use the rest of the lettuce for anotherrecipe.)

Place the leaves on a serving platter.Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the turkey, onion and peppers for 5-6 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked and the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly.

Cook's tip

Try to avoid the temptation to use a ready-made, shop-bought fajita mix, as most contain added sugars.

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Add the spicesand cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Season with sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Take the pan to the table or transfer the turkey mixture to a warmed dish and sprinkle with lots of coriander.

Pile the hot turkey intothe lettuce leaves, top with yoghurt and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

5:2 non-fast days

Top the turkey with guacamole and grated cheese, too. Serve in a small good-quality wholemeal wrap, if you like.


This wonderful wholegrain pizza is a quick and easy choice to enjoy with a delightful mixed salad

The perfect wholegrain pizza also happens to be the quickest! Serve with a large mixed salad.

Serves 2 Per serving: 221 cals l Protein 9g l Fat 11.5g l Fibre 4.5g l Carbs 18.5g

  • 1 x 227g tin of chopped tomatoes (or ½ a 400g tin)
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • ½tsp dried oregano, or a few roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 wholemeal pitta bread (around 58g)
  • 2 roasted red peppers from a jar (around 40g), drained and sliced
  • 2 chestnut mushrooms (around 45g), very finely sliced
  • 35g ready-grated mozzarella
  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the grill to medium-hot. To make the pizza topping, tip the tomatoes into a sieve and shake to remove the excess juice. (There’s no need to press it.)

Transfer the tomato pulp to a bowl and stir in the tomato purée and oregano. Season with a pinch of sea salt and lots of ground black pepper.

Lightly toast the pitta bread, just enough to warm it up, then place on a board. Carefully cut the bread in half horizontally with a bread knife and separate the two oval pieces.

Place them on a bakingtray, cut-side down.

Spread thepitta halves with the tomato sauce and top with the peppers, mushrooms and mozzarella.

Drizzlewith the olive oil and grill for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese hasmelted and the tomato topping, mushrooms and peppers are hot.

5:2 non-fast days

Use a whole pitta per serving and add pitted olives and some pine nuts. For a meat version, top the pizza with sliced salami or chorizo. Add a dressing to the salad.


This glorious goat's cheese frittata is the ultimate treat to pack for a delicious lunchtime treat

Great for lunchboxes but also brilliant served warm with a crunchy salad, or cooked green vegetables, as a light meal.

Serves 4 Per serving: 294 cals l Protein 22g l Fat 20g l Fibre 2g l Carbs 5g

  • 1tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into roughly 1.5cm chunks
  • 1 medium courgette, trimmed and cut into roughly 1.5cm chunks
  • 100g goat’s cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 8 medium eggs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas 6. Grease and line the base of a 20cm square cake tin (not loose-based) with non-stick baking paper.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and gently fry the onion, pepper and courgette for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Tip into the prepared tin and spreadto the sides. Scatter the goat’s cheese all over the vegetables.

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl with sea salt and lots of ground black pepper until thoroughly combined.

Pour over thecheese and vegetables and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the frittata has set and is slightly puffy and golden brown. Cut into squares or bars to serve.

5:2 non-fast days

Enjoy a larger portion.


This salmon salad bowl is a filling dish, packed with nutrition and appetizing flavours

Serve the salad warm or cool quickly and take to work for a nutritious, filling packed lunch.

Serves 2 Per serving: 542 cals l Protein 33g l Fat 35.5g l Fibre 6g l Carbs 20g

  • 25g wholegrain brown rice, or brown and wild rice mix
  • 75g frozen edamame beans or frozen peas
  • 2 x 120g salmon fillets
  • 1tsp sesame seeds
  • A pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 large handfuls of young spinach leaves or mixed baby salad leaves
  • ½ a medium avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, trimmed and coarsely grated
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 4 radishes, trimmed and sliced
  • Lime wedges, to serve

For the soy and lime dressing

  • 2tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1tbsp sesame oil
  • 1tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1tsp runny honey

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6 and line a small baking tray with foil. Half fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil.

Add the rice and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender. Add the edamame beans or peas and return to the boil, stirring. Drain immediately.

To make the dressing, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and honey in a small bowl and whisk well. Place the salmon, skin-side down, on the tray and drizzle with 2tsp of dressing.

Cook's tip

The dressing has 39 cals per tablespoon without the honey. Feel free to add it to different salads, but don’t forget to count the extra calories.

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Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chilli flakes, if using. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just cooked. (It is ready when the salmon flakes into large pieces easily when prodded with a fork.)

Divide the leaves, rice and beans or peas between two bowls.

Arrange the avocado, carrot, spring onions and radishes alongside.

Flake the salmon into the bowls (leaving behind the skin), drizzle with the rest of the dressing and serve with lime wedges.

5:2 non-fast days

Choose larger fillets – cook them for a few minutes longer. Increase the quantity of rice, or cook diced butternut squash alongside the salmon; you’ll need to roast the squash for 10 minutes more.


This crab, courgette and avocado salad is the ultimate healthy choice for lovers of seafood

Michael and I both lived by the sea when we were children and love all seafood. This super summer salad is very healthy and also contains minerals that we can be lacking, such as selenium and iodine.

Serves 2 Per serving: 421 cals l Protein 16.5g l Fat 36.5g l Fibre 5g l Carbs 4g

  • 20g pine nuts
  • 2 medium courgettes (each around 250g), trimmed
  • 1 small avocado, stoned, peeled and diced
  • 2 large handfuls of rocket
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g white crabmeat, tinned or fresh
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced or diced (optional)

For the lime dressing

  • 3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

To make the dressing, place the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together well.

Scatter the pine nuts into a small frying pan and toast over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Tip on to a plate and set aside.

Cook's tip

The dressing contains 75 cals per tablespoon. Feel free to add it to a different salad but don’t forget to add the extra calories.

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Slice the courgettes into long, wide strips using a vegetable peeler and place in a wide bowl.

Add the avocado and rocket leaves, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss lightly.

Scatter the crabmeat on top and sprinkle with the pine nuts and chilli, if using. Drizzle with the dressing to serve.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with warm wholegrainbread and olive oil for dipping


This extraordinary bean soup with kale and pesto is a heartwarming dish for a super-quick lunch

Super-quick and easy, this tastes fabulous topped with fresh basil pesto. You can use any of your favourite beans – keep the quantities the same.

Serves 4 Per serving: 249 cals l Protein 7g l Fat 14.5g l Fibre 8g l Carbs 18.5g

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, cut into roughly 1cm chunks
  • 2 medium carrots, trimmed and cut into roughly 1cm chunks
  • 1 medium courgette, trimmed, halved lengthways and cut into roughly 1cm slices
  • 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400g tin of borlotti or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
  • 75g kale or dark green cabbage, thickly sliced and tough stalks discarded
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 60g fresh basil pesto

Cook's tip

You’ll find fresh basil pesto in the chilled section of the supermarket, usually with the fresh pasta, but you can use the jarred kind too.

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Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the onion, celery, carrots and courgette and gently fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tip the beans into the pan, add the stock cube and 1.2 litres of water and stir to dissolve. Add the kale or cabbage and bring to a simmer.

Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, then ladle into warmed bowls and top with the pesto.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and toasted wholegrain bread. Or add some diced fried halloumi or bacon.


This chicken goujons with Parmesan crumb is a delicious treat that pairs perfectly with steamed sliced courgettes

Tender chicken breast pieces with a crunchy golden Parmesan coating. Delicious served warm with a large mixed salad or with steamed sliced courgettes or a generous portion of mangetout.

Serves 2 Per serving: 399 cals l Protein 62g l Fat 13g l Fibre 0.5g l Carbs 9g

  • 1 medium egg
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 25g quick-cook polenta
  • ½tsp dried thyme
  • ½tsp paprika (not smoked)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets (around 400g), each cut into 4-5 thin strips
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Whisk the egg in a medium bowl until smooth.

Combine the Parmesan, polenta, thyme and paprika with some fine sea salt and a good grind of black pepper in a separate bowl. Scatter half the mixture over a large plate.

Dip the chicken strips, one at a time, into the egg, then coat in the Parmesan crumb. Top up the crumbs on the plate when the first batch is used up.

Place the goujons on the baking tray and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until crisp, golden brown and cooked through.

Divide between two plates and serve with lemon wedges.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with a lemon mayo by combining a good-quality full-fat mayonnaise with a little grated lemon zest and lemon juice.


This aromatic spaghetti dish is packed with nutrition for a filling and healthy lunch without too many calories

Some token spaghetti gives this delicious carbonara a bit of texture, but without adding too many calories. Serve with a salad – use radicchio or red chicory for extra antioxidants.

Serves 2 Per serving: 461 cals l Protein 21g l Fat 27g l Fibre 7g l Carbs 29g

  • 80g dried wholewheat spaghetti
  • 1 large courgette, trimmed and spiralised (see tip) or 250g ready-prepared courgetti
  • 20g pine nuts
  • 50g cubed pancetta, smoked lardons or diced bacon
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 150g young spinach leaves
  • 80g feta
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the spaghetti, return to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tender. Add the spiralised courgette and stir together quickly, then immediately strain through a colander and run very briefly under a cold tap.

Meanwhile, place the pine nuts and pancetta (or lardons or bacon) in a non-stick saucepan with half the oil and fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly until lightly browned.

Tip out onto a plate and return the pan to the heat.

Cook's tip

A spiraliser will help cut courgettes into spaghettilike strips. If you don’t have one, peel the courgette into long strips using a potato peeler

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Add the remaining oil and the spinach and cook over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly, until the spinach is soft.

Crumble two-thirds of the feta over the top, season and cook until the feta melts, making a creamy coating for the spinach.

Return the spaghetti and courgetti to their saucepan, add the spinach and feta sauce and, using two forks, toss together well over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Divide between two shallow bowls, crumble the remaining feta over the top and sprinkle with the pancetta and pine nuts.

5:2 non-fast days

Increase the amount of wholewheat spaghetti.



This spectacular creamy cashew and tofu curry is an aromatic dish, that can be alternated with Quorn pieces instead of tofu

Thai-style curries always seem to go down well and this one is particularly flavoursome. If you don’t like tofu, try Quorn pieces instead. Please note, some curry pastes contain fish sauce.

Serves 4 Per serving: 598 cals l Protein 20g l Fat 43.5g l Fibre 10.5g l Carbs 26g

  • 2tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil
  • 1 medium aubergine (around 225g), cut into roughly 2cm chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 12 wedges
  • 350g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into roughly 2cm chunks
  • 4tbsp Thai red or green curry paste
  • 1 x 400ml tin of full-fat coconut milk
  • 100g cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 large pepper (any colour), deseeded and cut into roughly 2cm chunks
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20g fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped
  • 280g firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 300g cauliflower rice (optional)

Heat 1tbsp of oil in a large, deep frying pan or shallow casserole dish over a high heat. Add the aubergine and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown.

Transfer to a bowl. Reduce the heat, add the remaining oil, onion and squash to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the coconut milk, half the nuts, the pepper and 100ml of water.

Season with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Cover the pan loosely with a lid, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir the aubergine and half of the chopped coriander into the pan and return to a simmer. Add the tofu, cover and cook for a further 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the aubergine is softened and the tofu hot.

Add a splash more water if the curry reduces too much.

Sprinkle the reserved coriander and cashew nuts over the dish, and serve with freshly cooked cauliflower rice on the side, if using.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with a small portion of brown rice or wholewheat noodles


This Swedish spicy carrot with cod dish is an impressive healthy dinner dish for entertaining guests

Juicy cod steaks sitting on a creamy carrot purée. Heaven. This recipe was inspired by a memorable meal after a 5:2 conference in Stockholm.

Servewith half a plateful of cooked green vegetables, such as long-stemmed broccoli, spring greens or kale.

Serves 2 Per serving: 279 cals l Protein 27.5g l Fat 13.5g l Fibre 5g l Carbs 9g

  • 2 large carrots (around 300g), trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 15g fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 15g butter
  • ½tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x 150g thick, skinless cod fillets (or other white fish)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • A good pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes
  • Steamed vegetables such as longstemmed broccoli, spring greens or kale

Place the carrots, garlic and ginger in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until soft.

Remove the pan from the heat, scoop out and reserve a ladleful of water (100ml), then drain the carrot, garlic and ginger.

Return them to the pan with3tbsp of the reserved water, the butter and lemon juice. Using a stick blender, blitz the carrots to a soft, smooth purée, adding a little extra cooking water if needed.

Season to taste. Keep warm.Season the cod on all sides.

Heat theoil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cod and fry for 4 minutes.

Turn the fish, sprinkle withchilli flakes and cook on the other side for 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness. The cod is ready when beginning to flake into large chunks.

Spoon the purée on to two plates. Add the fish and steamed vegetables.

5:2 non-fast days

Scatter with a handful of toasted almonds and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Add a few tablespoons of cooked puy lentils to your plate


This Chinese-style drumsticks recipe is a juicy recipe for a flavoursome dinner that can be easily paired with greens

These can be oven-baked but are great for cooking on the barbecue, too. Serve with steamed pak choi or spring greens, or a large mixed salad.

Serves 4 Per serving: 238 cals l Protein 33g l Fat 10.5g l Fibre 0g l Carbs 3g

  • 2tsp Chinese five spice
  • 4tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2tsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced (optional)

Put the Chinese five spice, soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Slash each chicken drumstick through the thickest part 2-3 times and add to the marinade. Mix well.

Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or ideally several hours, turning occasionally.

Cook's tip

Serve with pickled cucumber. Mix ½ a red onion with ½ a cucumber, both sliced. Add 1½tbsp cider vinegar. Season with sea salt. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Line a large baking tray with foil.

Place the drumsticks on the prepared tray, reserving any marinade left in the bowl, and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, brush the chicken generously with the remaining marinade and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked thoroughly.

Serve garnished with the spring onions, if using.

5:2 non-fast days

Enjoy with 3tablespoons of brown rice or quinoa.


This glorious steak with colourful salad is an easy low-carb combination, packed with splendid flavours

A juicy steak with a colourfuldressed salad is a fantastic, easy, low-carb combination, which provides a good protein boost on a fast day.

Serves 2 Per serving: 346 cals l Protein 30g l Fat 22g l Fibre 3g l Carbs 5g

  • 225g lean sirloin beefsteak, cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 150g button chestnut mushrooms, halved or sliced if large

For the salad

  • 100g mixed leaves
  • ½ a yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 of a cucumber, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

For the balsamic dressing

  • 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2tsp balsamic vinegar

To make the salad, toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Season the beef all over with sea salt and lots of ground black pepper.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until done to your liking.

Put the steaks on two warmed plates and leave to rest.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until browned, stirring regularly.

Spoon on top of the steaks. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over the salad and toss lightly.

Serve alongside the steak and mushrooms.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with roasted butternut squash wedges, add a generous spoonful of full-fat crème fraîche to the mushrooms just before the end of their cooking time, and double up the dressing ingredients.


This glorious spicy bean chilli, is a rich and flavoursome dish for lovers of spicy food

A rich, spicy chilli made with different beans for fibre and slow-release complex carbs. Serve with a large mixed salad.

Serves 4 Per serving: 346 cals l Protein 18g l Fat 17g l Fibre 10g l Carbs 26g

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1-1½tsp hot smoked paprika (to taste)
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin of black beans or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400g tin of mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 300ml vegetable stock (made with 1 stock cube)
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • 1tsp dried oregano or mixed dried herbs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 75g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100g full-fat live Greek yoghurt

Heat the oil in a large, deep, non-stick frying pan, wide-based saucepan or shallow flame-proof casserole, and gently fry the onion for 3-4 minutes, or until softened, stirring frequently.

Cook's tip

If you have IBS, you might need to reduce the bean portions. For extra flavour, add 1tbsp of cocoa powder (11 cals) along with the dried herbs.

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Add the smoked paprika, cumin and coriander and cook for a few seconds, stirring.

Add the tomatoes, beans,vegetable stock, tomato purée and dried herbs, season with sea salt and lots of ground black pepper and bring to a simmer.

Cover loosely with a lid andcook for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally.

Serve topped with Cheddar cheese and generous spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with brown rice and top with sliced avocado. Drizzle the salad with a splash of balsamic vinegar and a glug of olive oil


This aromatic stir-fry tuna with hoisin sauce is packed with vegetables for a quick and nutritious dinner

This quick tuna dish is the perfect meal after a busy day. Packs of stir-fry vegetables save time.

Or make your own with any fresh crispy vegetables.

And don’t worry about the minor variations in the calorie count, just enjoy it!

Serves 1 Per serving: 328 cals l Protein 31.5g l Fat 13g l Fibre 9g l Carbs 16.5g

  • 1 x 110g fresh tuna steak, cut into roughly 3cm chunks
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil
  • 1 x 300-350g pack of stir-fry vegetables
  • 2tbsp ready-made hoisin sauce
  • A pinch of crushed dried chilli flakes (optional)

Season the tuna on all sides with sea salt and ground black pepper.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok over a high heat and stir-fry the tuna and vegetables for 3-4 minutes, or according to the pack instructions, until the tuna is lightly browned.

Drizzle with the hoisin sauce and stir-fry the fish and vegetables for another 20-30 seconds.

Sprinkle with the chilli flakes, if using, and serve immediately.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with a small portion of wholewheat noodles or brown rice. You could also add a few tablespoons of defrosted edamame beans to the vegetables.


This pan-fried fish with lemon and parsley recipe is a satisfying dish for a quick and simple dinner

This is the ideal meal for one, but can be easily doubled up.

Cook your vegetables, or prepare a salad, before you start frying the fish, as it takes less than 5 minutes.

If you don’t fancy plaice, sea bass or sea bream make good alternatives.

Serves 1 Per serving: 368 cals l Protein 33g l Fat 26g l Fibre 0.5g l Carbs 0.5g

  • 1 plaice fillet (around 175g), or other white fish fillet, thawed if frozen
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15g butter
  • 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • A small bunch of fresh parsley, leaves finely chopped (around 2tbsp)

Season the fish on the skinless side with sea salt and black pepper. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.

Add the plaice fillet, skin-side down, and cook for 3 minutes.

Cook's tip

Capers are delicious with this. Add 1tbsp drained mini capers with the lemon juice. To be dairy free, omit the butter (28 cals less per serving).

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Carefully turn over and cook on the other side for a further 1-2 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillet. (You can peel off the skin carefully at this point, if you like.)

Lift the plaice fillet on to a warmed plate using a fish slice or spatula, turning so the skin side is down.

Return the pan to the heat, add the lemon juice and parsley and simmer for just a few seconds, stirring constantly.

Pour the buttery juices over the fish to serve.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with a portion ofwarm white beans or some roasted vegetables. Add a knob of butter to your cooked greens or a generous splash of dressing to your salad. A serving of celeriac chips will also add a tasty extra flavour


Meat lovers can rejoice with this juicy pulled pork recipe that can be enjoyed as a wrap

This reheats beautifully, so can be enjoyed the next day. Serve in wraps made from Little Gem leaves topped with diced cornichons.

Serves 6 Per serving: 192 cals l Protein 28g l Fat 5g l Fibre 0.5g l Carbs 3g

  • 1kg pork shoulder joint, rind on

For the marinade

  • 45g tomato purée (around 3tbsp)
  • 30g chipotle paste (around 2tbsp)
  • Juice of 3 large oranges
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground allspice
  • 1tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Place all the marinade ingredients in a large non-metallic bowl and whisk until combined.

Remove any string from the pork and put the joint in the marinade. Turn several times to coat.

Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3. Put the pork and its marinade in a casserole, cover and bake for about 3 hours, or until the pork falls apart when prodded with a fork.

Check after a couple of hours, adding water if needed to keep the pork moist.

Transfer to a warmed platter and shred with two forks, discarding the rind and fat. Spoon the cooking juices over.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve in ready-made corn tacos with salad.



This moreish chocolate beetroot brownie recipe is an indulgent and low calorie treat

Challenge anyone to identify the main ingredient!

Serves 20 Per serving: 128 cals l Protein 3g l Fat 8g l Fibre 1.5g l Carbs 10.5g

  • 100g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 275g cooked beetroot, drained and cut into small chunks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 100g soft pitted dates
  • 100g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 75g plain dark chocolate (around 85% cocoa solids), roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm loose-based square cake tin with some non-stick baking parchment.

Place the coconut oil, beetroot,eggs, cocoa powder and dates in a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined.

You can alsoblend the ingredients together in a bowl with a stick blender.

Add theflour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of sea salt, and blend until well combined. Add 1tbsp water to loosen the mixture, if needed.

Stir in the chocolate,then spoon into the prepared tin, spreading to the sides. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until risen and just firm to the touch.

Cook's tip

To cook the beetroot, wash it, place in a pan of water, bring to the boil and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until tender, then peel.

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Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cut into squares to serve.

5:2 non-fast days

To add a bit of crunch and extra protein, throw in 150g roughly chopped pecans with the chocolate.

Serve after a meal witha handful of berries, a dollop of fullfat yoghurt or crème fraîche.

(Youcan reheat in the microwave for a few seconds first, if you like.)


This seared peaches with yoghurt & pistachios recipe is a refreshing treat for either dessert or breakfast

This also makes a great summery breakfast.

Serves 4 Per serving: 130 cals l Protein 6g l Fat 5.5g l Fibre 3g l Carbs 12g

  • 1tsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 4 firm but ripe peaches or nectarines, halved and stoned
  • 150g full-fat live Greek yoghurt
  • 25g unsalted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

Place a large griddle pan over a medium-high heat and brush with the oil.

Place the peacheson the griddle, cut-side down, and cook, without moving, for about 3 minutes, or until hot and marked with griddle lines. Serve with yoghurt and a sprinkling of nuts.

5:2 non-fast days

Enjoy a larger portion.


This cinnamon apple crisps recipe is a satisfying treat that can be enjoyed as an alternative to shop-bought snacks

These snacks contain lots of healthy soluble fibre.

Serves 2 Per serving: 81 cals l Protein 0.6g l Fat 3.5g lFibre 1g l Carbs 11g

  • 2tsp coconut oil
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large red-skinned apple (around 200g)

Preheat the oven to 130°C/fan 110°C/gas ½. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Melt the coconut oil and cinnamon in a small saucepan over a low heat, then set aside.

Top, tail and core theapple. Finely slice into discs of 3-4mm thick.

Brush thecinnamon oil all over the apple slices, then place in a single layer on the baking tray.

Bake for 1½ hours, or untilvery dry and quite crisp. Switch off the oven and leave the apples to dehydrate further for 2-3 hours.

Dividebetween two people to serve

5:2 non-fast days

Enjoy the crisps dipped in full-fat yoghurt.


This glorious chocolate mug cake is the perfect gooey-centred treat for indulging after a busy day

Try this for instant gooey-centred chocolate indulgence.

Serves 2 Per serving: 216 cals l Protein 8g l Fat 17g l Fibre 1g l Carbs 7.5g

  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 soft pitted dates (around 30g), finely chopped
  • 1 medium egg, beaten well
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 7g cocoa powder (around 1tbsp)
  • ¼tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 square (around 5g) plain dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids)
  • A handful of fresh raspberries, to serve

You will need

  • A microwave-proof mug (around 300ml)

Place the coconut oil in the mug and melt in the microwave on high for a few seconds. Do not allow to overheat.

Add the dates, egg, almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder and a small pinch of flaked sea salt to the mug and, using a fork, mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Add 1-2tsp water to loosen the mixture, if needed.

Press the square of chocolate vertically into the top of the cake batter until submerged and microwave on high for about 1 minute, or until the cake is risen, firm and just beginning to shrink from the sides of the mug.

Holding the hot mug carefully, turn the cake out on to a plate and cut in half to reveal the melted chocolate.

Divide between two plates and serve each half with some fresh raspberries.

5:2 non-fast days

Serve with a dollop of full-fat live Greek yoghurt.


This mouthwatering strawberry & vanilla yoghurt recipe is perfect for either dessert or breakfast

A super-easy yoghurt that makes a great dessert or breakfast. Strawberries are naturally sweet but surprisingly low in sugar.

Serves 4 Per serving: 123 cals l Protein 4.5g l Fat 8g l Fibre 2.5g l Carbs 7g

  • 250g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 300g full-fat live Greek yoghurt
  • ½tsp vanilla extract

Place the strawberries in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork to crush the berries and release their juices.

Mix the yoghurt andvanilla together in a separate bowl, then lightly fold the mashed strawberries in.

Divide between small dishes or glasses and keep chilled until ready to eat.

5:2 non-fast days

Cook's tip

You can use frozen strawberries or mixed berries for this recipe – make sure they’re well thawed and drained before you mash them.

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Enjoy with an extra portion of strawberries.

The Fast 800 Recipe Book by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison is published by Short Books, £16.99. © Parenting Matters Ltd. To order a copy for £13.60 call 0844 571 0640. P&P is free on orders over £15. Offer valid until 22 June 2019.

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