The 5-2 Challenge. My Mantra. Eat Mindfully. Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad.


Following last week’s experience I was determined to start today’s  fast day organised. My mantra? Eat mindfully. Extremely important on fast days when I am restricted to a mere 500 calories, The 5-2 challenge works best for me if I know well in advance what I’m going to be eating on my fast days.

Generally I’m not too hungry in the morning. So that means something small at lunch and  a more substantial dinner at night. Seafood of any description works extremely well with this eating plan.Its low in calories and easy to prepare. Fortunately for me, on the weekend  Ana over at How It All Started In The Kitchen posted a divine recipe for a  Nicoise Salad.  The inspiration for today’s post.

I will say at the outset that Ana’s recipe is infinitely more decadent than mine. It includes crisp prosciutto, anchovies and lashings more dressing that sadly couldn’t be accommodated in my low calorie rendition. Nevertheless my fast day recipe for Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad is incredibly moreish. At only 340 calories per serve it’s the perfect meal solution. Balanced. Healthy. Delicious. Who said fasting has to be boring and uninspiring. Eating mindfully I’m certainly savouring each and every mouthful and discovering new ways to pack a flavour punch into my meals. As for Ana’s Nicoise recipe. I  know I will be trying it on one feast day soon. Here is how my latest fast day panned out.

Breakfast 2 cups  tea


Lunch 1 Tuna and Avocado Sushi Roll


Mid Afternoon 2 cups  tea


Dinner 1 serving Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad
2 cups tea



Total Calories


Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad

Serves 4 (340 calories per serve)

500 g fresh tuna steaks (540 calories)
250g green beans, trimmed, sliced on the diagonal into bite size pieces, steamed and refreshed (78 calories)
4 chat potatoes, cooked whole, peeled and sliced (210 calories)
2 eggs, soft or hard boiled to your liking, sliced  into eighths (150 calories)
2 green shallots, sliced on the diagonal (4 calories)
4 cups (or about 200 g) mixed cos or romaine lettuce and rocket leaves, washed (32 calories)
1/2 punnet (1 cup) cherry tomatoes (27 calories)
8 kalamata olives (50 calories)

For the dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil (240 calories)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (5 calories)
1 clove garlic, minced (4 calories)
1 teaspoon seeded mustard (15 calories)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

IN A  LARGE bowl add the washed salad leaves, green beans, sliced potatoes, tomatoes, sliced shallots, and olives.
IN A JUG whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic and a little salt and pepper for the dressing. Set aside.
BRING a large heavy based non stick pan to a very high heat.  Sear the tuna steaks into the hot pan and cook to your liking. I like to sear each steak for about a minute each side, depending on the thickness of the steak. Set aside for a few minutes to rest.

To Assemble the Salad

TEAR cooked tuna into chunks.
POUR most of the dressing over the prepared bowl of  salad ingredients.
TOSS to coat. Arrange on a large platter or on individual plates.
SCATTER tuna chunks and  sliced egg over the plated salad. Serve.

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