The 5-2 Challenge. Staying on Task. Seared Blue Eye Cod. Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. Cauliflower and Cannellini Bean Mash.


Friday morning came around very quickly this week. So much so that I had downed half a cup of my morning cappuccino before I realised today was a fast not feast day. Oops. Cappuccino with full cream milk, no less. 56 squandered calories in a mere half cup. Just over a tenth of my daily allowance. Not the most salubrious start. At least I hadn’t downed it all. Be thankful for small mercies.The bigger problem with that half cup of coffee was that it left me feeling hungry for most of the day. Psychosomatic?  Perhaps. Reminding me, a little too late, exactly why I had sworn off coffee on fast days.

So this fast day wore on. A little slowly and very much distractedly. Lunch was restricted to a very small bunch of grapes. 15 seedless green grapes. 3 calories per grape. Sitting next to the fruit bowl?  A small bowl of mini Easter eggs. A big thanks a lot to my children. I am proud to say I resisted an overwhelmingly strong urge to indulge. Trivial as this might seem, each one of my grapes were the size of those eggs. Calorie differential? 3 calories for a grape versus a whopping 65 for each brightly foiled Easter egg. Sobering food for thought.

As the afternoon wore on I became hungrier and hungrier. And increasingly obsessed with dinner. I wanted something filling and definitely wasn’t in the mood for soup of any description. A brisk walk to my nearest shopping centre. Desperate to fill in time and escape those beckoning Easter eggs. I think I might have driven my local fishmonger mad with my requests to individually weigh almost every blue eye cod fillet in his display. Dinner was a very satisfying seared fillet of blue eye cod with oven roasted cherry tomatoes on a bed of cauliflower and cannellini mash. All that food for an impressive 374 calories. Note to self.  Staying on task with the 5-2 challenge is difficult without proper planning. No more winging it. Definitely no cappuccinos on fast days. And remove all temptation from the kitchen bench. Thankfully tomorrow is a feast day. There are some magnificent beef  rib eye cutlets waiting to be devoured in the refrigerator.

Breakfast ½  cappuccino


2 cups peppermint tea


Lunch 15 grapes


Dinner Seared blue eye cod with roast tomatoes


Cauliflower and cannellini bean mash


2 cups peppermint tea


Total Calories


Seared Blue Eye Cod With Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 4 – 286 calories per serve

4  200g blue eye cod fillets  (240 calories per fillet)

1 tablespoon olive oil (120 calories)
2 garlic cloves, sliced into paper thin slivers (4 calories)
2  cups cherry tomatoes (scored, plunged in boiling water and peeled) (54 calories)
12 basil leaves, torn (5 calories)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

PREHEAT oven to 200 C
HEAT oil in a large heavy based frypan on high
SEASON fish fillets with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear skin side down in hot frypan until skin is golden and crisp.
TURN fish over, and push gently to the sides of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Do not allow to brown.
ADD tomatoes and basil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Cook on stove top for a few minutes more until warmed through Transfer the pan to a hot oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the  fish fillets are just cooked through. Timing will depend on the thickness of the fillets.
SERVE on a bed of cauliflower and cannellini bean mash.

Cauliflower and Cannellini Bean Mash

Serves 5 – 88 calories per serve

1 medium head cauliflower (144 calories)
1 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (drained weight 250g – 206 calories)
1/2 tablespoon butter (50 calories)
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt (40 calories)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

BRING a large saucepan  of lightly salted water to  the boil on high heat. Divide cauliflower into florets. Add to boiling water and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until tender.
DRAIN and return cauliflower to the hot saucepan off heat. Cover with a lid and allow to stand 2 to 3 minutes.
ADD the cannellini beans, butter, and yoghurt to the saucepan. Puree until smooth with a stick blender. Season to taste.
REHEAT gently prior to serving.

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20 Responses to The 5-2 Challenge. Staying on Task. Seared Blue Eye Cod. Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. Cauliflower and Cannellini Bean Mash.

  1. Vinny Grette says:

    That fish dish is impressive! I think you’ll feel happier if you could throw in an egg with breakfast and a low-fat yogurt for lunch… just a few more calories but the nutritional benefits are great. I should read about 5-2… it might explain why you are eating such a little bit 🙂

  2. ana74x says:

    Looks delicious. Will be trying this for sure.

  3. Janet Rörschåch says:

    1) Thanks for explaining the 5-2 diet. 2) That cauliflower cannelloni mash looks spectacular. That is my kind of comfort food.

  4. Love the cannellini and cauliflower mash…that sounds really good (and blended with the Greek yogurt too)!

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  6. oh wow! How did i missed this?! I didn’t realized when I came by to drop you a line about the nomination that you were posting about 5-2 Diet! lol As you can see I just posted a post to same subject! May be I can link your post to mine?

    • Sure. I’ll check out your post when I get some free time. Are you embarking on the 5-2 plan too? We might be able to help each other out. It’s all new to me but seems to work. So far so good.

      • I think so. I need something more substantial then tea for breakfast if I am to stay on 5:2. I need to figure out meals that everyone in my family can eat (in regular portion) and I in smaller during fasting days. Basically, I just need to do a lot of good planning and not just winging it from whatever is in the fridge since it is not guarrantee that I have high nutritional value ingredients all the time. That would be great to support each others while we try to get on track. your dinner looks good. May try that tonight.

        • The rest of my family eats normally through the day and has a larger portion of dinner at night. Except Fridays when they have the option of take-away. Miso soup is filling through the day at from memory about 36 calories a cup. I make it up from miso paste and dashi granules to minimize the calorie count. An egg for breakfast is only 70 or so calories depending on size. Vegetable soup with a hfew lentils is also filling and works well on this diet. I’m posting a dinner recipe for each fast day and a table of what I ate for the day. Keeps me on track and it’s easy to see what works and what doesn’t. The other option is two have two mini meals a day. I keep telling myself it’s just two days a week. I feel amazing the day after a fast day.

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  9. says:

    how much is a serving size for the cauliflower mash?

    • About 2/3 – 3/4 of a cup depending on the size of cauliflower used. Most of the calorie count for this is in the cannellini beans which give the mash structure, and yoghurt and butter which provides the flavour. Hope this helps.

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