Eat, Fast and Live Longer. A 5-2 Fast Diet Meal Idea Under 400 Calories. Warm Chicken And Fregola Salad With Charred Radicchio and Fennel.

Warm Chicken And Fregola Salad With Charred Radicchio and Fennel

I will admit that over the past month I have been more than a little lax with my 5-2 fast diet. Five two effortlessly morphed into six one and for one particularly hectic week reached a rock bottom seven zero. This week well and truly marks the return to a no holds barred five two fast day regime.

What to eat to get back on track? I’m thinking something substantial to ease myself back into the routine. This warm poached  chicken salad hits the spot. Studded with just enough toasty fregola (a Sardinian  pasta which I adore) to keep the hunger pangs at bay and plenty of charred bitter radicchio and aniseed-y fennel to add freshness and crunch.

A perfect cooler weather salad  that makes the most of our wonderful Autumn produce and ticks all the 5-2 fast day meal boxes.  Tastes divine, is low in calories and wonderfully vibrant on a plate. On that last point you will have to take my word for it. As you can see my diners wasted no time digging into the platter before I had time to take the crucial photo. Proving yet again that rumbling stomachs wait for no-one.

Warm Chicken And Fregola Salad With Charred Radicchio and Fennel
Serves 4 (322 calories per generous two cup serve)

1 cup toasted fregola sarda (or substitute Israeli couscous prepared to packet instructions) (510 calories)
2 cups chicken stock (40 calories)
1 small head radicchio treviso, cored and sliced (75 calories)
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced into eighths (73 calories)
2 x 150 g chicken breasts, poached (330 calories)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (240 calories)
juice and finely grated zest of 1 large lemon  (24 calories)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (24 calories)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly (chopped 2 calories)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

BRING a saucepan of  stock to the boil. Add fregola. Cook for 10 to 12 mins or until al dente (firm to the bite but not hard). Drain and refresh under cold  running water.
PLACE cooked fregola into a large bowl. Add one tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Toss well to combine. Set aside.
COAT chopped radicchio and fennel with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
HEAT a griddle pan until smoking. char grill the radicchio and fennel until cooked through but still crunchy.
MEANWHILE shred the poached chicken. Add to the fregola salad together with the charred radicchio and fennel.
DRIZZLE with white balsamic vinegar, season with a little more sea salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
GARNISH with chopped parsley to serve.

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8 Responses to Eat, Fast and Live Longer. A 5-2 Fast Diet Meal Idea Under 400 Calories. Warm Chicken And Fregola Salad With Charred Radicchio and Fennel.

  1. Lynn Kriedemann says:

    Looks and sounds wonderful! I am itching to try it, so dinner tonight is now sorted. Where do you get the fregola? I have had it in restaurants but didn’t realise it was pasta! I thought it was a grain. Simon Johnson, maybe?

    • I would imagine SJ would stick it but usually I pick it up at a good Italian deli.Always available in Haberfield and Five Dock and sometimes Norton Street Grocer in Bondi Junction. Giant Israeli couscous is a good substitute and a little easier to source.

  2. Jodie says:

    Quinoa is a good sub for Fregola as a GF option. 1C cooked quinoa is only 222 cal!

  3. reggiorif says:

    I’m a fan of your light dishes, they always look so fresh and tasty! I love that you’ve added radicchio, its sourness must go so well with the other ingredients.

    • Char grilling seems to take the edge off the bitterness of the radicchio Its all beautifully balanced by the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar. My whole family loves this salad so it’s a really easy fast day dinner option.

  4. My French Heaven says:

    I really don’t know if I could do the fast thing. I admire you for trying! So don’t give up! I for one am with you. 🙂

    • I’m having a hard time getting back into the routine but know it will get easier. My strategy is to fast for two days so I can enjoy delicious food for the remaining five. Sadly I seem to have very little willpower.

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