Five recipes under 500 calories!
Dive into our five delicious dinners, full of goodness and flavour and all under 500 calories!
All recipes serve 4
Harissa chicken skewers with bulgar and pea salad
A flavour-packed dinner that tastes as good as it looks!
Ready in 30 minutes plus chilling
1 tbsp harissa paste, plus 1 tbsp extra to serve good pinch cinnamon 1 tbsp olive oil 4 chicken breasts, cut into large cubes 100g fat-free Greek yoghurt
For the salad: 150g wholewheat bulgar wheat 200g tenderstem broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces 200g sugar snaps, halved lengthways 4 spring onions, finely chopped 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano 1 small garlic clove, crushed juice ½ lemon 100g pomegranate seeds
1 Combine the harissa paste, cinnamon and oil and season well. Add the chicken, combine well and chill for an hour or overnight if possible. Thread the chicken on to skewers. Preheat the grill to medium high and cook the chicken for 10 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked through and lightly charred.
2 Meanwhile, to make the salad, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the bulgar wheat and cook for 10 minutes until tender. Drain well and set to one side. Steam the broccoli for 2 minutes, add the sugar snaps and steam for 2 minutes. Combine the bulgar wheat and steamed veggies, add the remaining ingredients and season very well. Serve the skewers with the salad, a spoonful of yoghurt and some extra harissa paste.
Nutrition: Per portion: 400 kcals, 5.5g fat, 1 portion of your five a day
Double up on this gorgeous salad so you have leftovers for lunch or add to grilled salmon or roasted vegetables the next night.
Creamy mushroom quinoa risotto
Using a combination of quinoa and rice reduces calories and ups your protein without losing any of the flavour
Ready in 35 minutes
1 tbsp olive oil 300g mixed mushrooms, sliced if large 100g quinoa
1 garlic clove, chopped 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme 1 litre light hot vegetable stock 175g risotto rice 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 100g ricotta cheese 25g Parmesan, finely grated
1 Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the mushrooms and garlic and season. Cook over a medium-high heat for 4 minutes until all of the moisture has cooked off the mushrooms. Add the thyme and quinoa, stir to coat in the oil. Add a ladleful of stock and stir until absorbed.
2 Add the rice, stir well and then add another ladleful of stock. Keep stirring and adding the stock until the rice is just tender and the stock has been used up. Remove from the heat, season to taste, add parsley then divide among four warmed bowls. Top each with some ricotta and Parmesan and serve with wilted chard or spinach.
Per portion: 340 cals, 9g fat, 1 portion of your five a day
Add even more flavour by adding 15g dried porcini mushrooms to the hot stock and allowing to soak before ladling into the rice.
Tomato pepper pasta bake
A low cal comfort food dish that hits the spot
Ready in 1 hour
250g large pasta shells 1 tsp olive oil 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, chopped 3 x red peppers 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano good pinch chilli
For the topping: 125g light mozzarella, torn 25g stale white bread
1 garlic clove, chopped 1 tsp olive oil sprig rosemary
1 Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, ensuring the pasta is still quite firm. Drain well and set to one side. Preheat the grill to high, place the peppers on the grill pan and cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally until lightly charred and softened. Allow to cool before peeling, deseeding and roughly chopping.
2 To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and very gently cook for three minutes, taking care not to burn. Add the chilli and oregano and stir in the tomatoes. Add 300ml water, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until thickened and rich.
3 Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Combine the pasta, sauce and peppers and spoon into a 2-litre ovenproof dish. Scatter over the mozzarella. Break the bread up into rough crumbs, mix with the olive oil, garlic and rosemary and season. Scatter over the pasta and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Nutrition: Per portion: 400 kcals, 4.5g fat, 2 portions of your five a day
This dish freezes really well. Simply cool and chill in the dish, cover tightly with cling film and freeze for up to three months. Defrost thoroughly before baking.
Seared steak with garlic ‘mayo’ and wedges
This fat-free mayo will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days – great in sandwiches and salads
Ready in 30 minutes
4 x 150g bavette steaks 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tsp olive oil
800g floury potatoes, scrubbed 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (we used thyme, chives and parsley) 1 tsp olive oil
For the mayo:
300g packet silken tofu 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp lemon juice 1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Cut the potatoes into wedges, place in a non-stick roasting tin, drizzle with the oil and combine. Roast for 20 minutes, turning at times until crisp and cooked through.
2 Place the mayo ingredients in a food processor and whizz until perfectly smooth. Season to taste and chill until needed.
3 Place the steaks on a plate, drizzle over the balsamic and oil, scatter with the herbs and season well. Preheat a large frying pan until hot, add the steaks 2 at a time and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Allow to rest before serving with the wedges and
2 tbsp of the ‘mayo’. Serve with salad.
Nutrition: Per portion: 432 kcals, 10.5g fat, 0 portions of your five a day
Bavette steak is a great-value cut that really does need to be served medium rare. If you like your steaks a little more well done, go for fillet or well-trimmed sirloin instead.
Really rich veggie Bolognese
All your recommended daily intake in one go!
Ready in 45 minutes
150g puy lentils 2 tbsp rapeseed oil 2 onions, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 2 celery sticks, finely chopped 1 red pepper, finely chopped 250g chestnut mushrooms, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 tsp oregano 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
To serve: 150g dried spaghetti 1 large courgette, spiralled
25g Parmesan or vegetarian Italian hard cheese, finely grated (optional)
1 Rinse the lentils and place in a large pan. Cover with plenty of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set to one side.
2 Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook gently for 10 minutes until perfectly softened.
3 Add the pepper, mushrooms and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano and tomatoes and add 300ml water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lentils to the sauce and cook for 5-10 minutes until perfectly rich. Season well.
4 Meanwhile, cook the pasta as per the instructions, adding the courgette for the last minute of cooking. Drain well, divide among four warmed shallow bowls and
top with the sauce.
Nutrition: Per portion: 444 kcals, 9.5g fat,
5 portions of your five a day
Portion any leftovers into freezer bags, label and freeze for up to three months.
All recipes by Catherine Hill and serve 4.
Photos by Terry Benson.
Props styling by Luis Peral.