This week marks the end of school term. Looking at my diary yesterday it became apparent that I would need to reschedule my week. Substitute Thursday for my usual Friday fast day. The beauty of the 5-2 challenge is that it is very adaptable to changing circumstances. Perfectly agreeable to a change of course. All it asks is that two non consecutive days of every week are dedicated to fasting and the consumption of a restricted 500 calorie limit. If only my subconscious was as accommodating.
My day started well with my customary cups of tea. My menu plan was sorted. The calories counted in advance. A trip to the greengrocer the previous day meant my larder was well stocked . My carefully constructed eating plan revolved around gorgeous, small, in season Shephard avocados, and a salad of pumpkin, spinach and leek. I had even incorporated a small, protein hit. My butcher had obligingly sliced lean, beef round steak into thin minute steaks. Ready to be flash seared in a griddle pan. My family would have a more substantial meal. Steak sandwiches with a side of the salad. There were even some leftover caramelised onions in the fridge.
The spanner in the works? A back up in my after school carpooling arrangements, an unscheduled catch up with a girl friend mid afternoon and no less than two extraneous skim milk cappuccinos. It’s not the first time my 5-2 resolve has been scuttled by a cappuccino. My obvious Achilles heel. I recall a previous post with a note to myself right there in the title. Avoid Cappuccinos. I will definitely have to make a bigger effort to heed my own advice.
That said veering off course put me over my 500 calorie limit by a mere 75 calories. Not too bad in the scheme of things. My saving grace? A very tasty and filling Pumpkin,Leek and Spinach Salad.
|Breakfast||2 cups of tea||
|Lunch||1 small avocado 75g pitted||
|3 pm||2 skim cappuccinos||
|Dinner||Pumpkin, Leek and Spinach Salad||
|75 g lean grilled minute steak||
Pumpkin, Leek and Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts
Serves 5 (166 calories per serve)
5 cups butternut pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into wedges (150 calories)
1 leek, white part only, sliced (38 calories)
2 teaspoons olive oil (60 calories)
2 teaspoons honey (42 calories)
4 unpeeled garlic cloves (16 calories)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey, extra (63 calories)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (240 calories)
2 teaspoon wholegrain mustard (10 calories)
1 x 150g packet baby spinach leaves (34 calories)
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (174 calories)
PREHEAT oven to 200 C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
PLACE the pumpkin, leek and garlic cloves in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and honey. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Gently toss until the pumpkin and leek are well coated. Place in a single layer on the lined tray.
BAKE, turning once during cooking, for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with the sesame seeds. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the seeds are lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
COMBINE lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, mustard, peeled oven roasted garlic and extra honey in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
PLACE the pumpkin, spinach and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss until just combined. Serve immediately.