Tuesday, 15 January 2013

5:2 diet: Harissa chicken and courgette cous cous

Here's a quick, simple and tasty recipe suitable for those following the 5:2 (or any low calorie) diet. 
By making a few simple changes, such as using half fat creme fraiche, bulking up the cous cous with courgettes and getting flavour from herbs and spices instead of butter/oil, it's quite easy to cook healthy dinners for under 300 calories. This one comes in at around 267 calories  (see individual calories below).


(serves two)
1 chicken breast
1 heaped tbsp half fat creme fraiche
2 tsp harissa paste
1 courgette
75g cous cous
chicken stock (from a cube)
1 spray flora frying oil
1 lemon
20g mint chiffonade (sliced into strips)

1. Horizontally slice the chicken in half. Place between two sheets of cling film and hammer with a rolling pin, mallet (or in my case, a wine bottle!) until its nice and thin.

2. Place the creme fraiche and harrisa paste in a bowl and mix together. Add the chicken to the bowl and cover. Place in the fridge and leave to marinate for at least a few hours.

3. Grate the courgette and put aside. Make up the cous cous according to packet instructions (I use a chicken stock cube) - do NOT add any butter or oil. 

4. Put the chicken on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, or until cooked. Meanwhile fry the courgette in the oil until starting to crisp up.

5. Add the courgette to the cous cous, along with the mint, and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

6. Serve the chicken on top of a bed of cous cous, with wedges of lemon on the side.

Recipe adapted from bbcgoodfood.com

Calorie content:

1 chicken breast (139 calories)
1 heaped tbsp half fat creme fraiche (51 calories)
2 tsp harissa paste (32 calories)
1 courgette (18 calories)
75g cous cous (275 calories)
chicken stock cube (15 calories)
1 spray flora frying oil (3 calories)
1 lemon (negligible as juice only)
10g mint chiffonade (negligible)

So, I make that a grand total of 533 calories, or about 267 calories per serving. The cous cous is the big contributor to the calorie total here, so if you are really trying to cut back, either have a smaller serving or try to skip altogether. I think here it helps fill you up, and the grated courgette makes a big difference too.

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