4 Low Calorie Summer Recipes To Beat The Lockdown Bloat

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Social distancing may have caused a rise in comfort eating but with summer just around the corner, it’s time to clean up our eating habits. Here are some low calorie summer recipes to help you get back on track.

From a prawn Pad Thai, to Greek-style lamb burgers with tzatziki, you won’t be short of flavour with these healthy alternatives.

Prawn Pad Thai with courgetti

In the days when we could eat out in a Thai restaurant, a single portion of prawn pad Thai can contain a whopping 600 to 900 calories! However, this delicious low-carb version, made with courgetti instead of regular noodles, is low in carbs and only 200 kcals per serving, allowing you to bring a healthy taste of Thailand to your own home.

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 minutes

Calories: 200 kcals
Per Serving:
4.8g fat
3.5g fibre
7g carbs
3.8g salt
Low GI

2 large courgettes
spray oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onions, sliced
1 small green chilli, diced
200g peeled raw prawns
100g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 medium free-range egg, lightly beaten
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbsp soy sauce
50g bean sprouts
a handful of coriander, finely chopped


Spiralise the courgettes using blade C of a spiraliser. If you don’t have one, you can use a julienne peeler, a mandolin slicer or an ordinary potato peeler, but you will have thicker ‘noodles’.

Lightly spray a wok or deep frying pan with oil and set over a high heat. Add the garlic, spring onions and chilli and stir-fry briskly for 1 minute. Add the prawns and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes until they turn pink.

Add the courgettes and tomatoes and stir-fry for one to two minutes until warmed through and the courgettes are just tender but still retain a little ‘bite’.

Push everything to the side of the pan and pour the beaten egg into the middle. Cook for one minute, stirring all the time, until it scrambles. Stir into the courgette and prawn mixture.

Add the lime zest and juice, nam pla, soy sauce and bean sprouts. Stir-fry for a minute. Stir in the coriander and remove from the heat.

Divide the mixture between two shallow serving bowls and eat immediately.

Low Calorie Summer Recipes

Warm cauliflower rice and spicy chicken salad

This tangy salad is so healthy and refreshing, and with cauliflower ‘rice’ you can keep carbs low, while still feeling full. What’s more, you can make the salad in advance and keep it for several hours or even overnight in the fridge – it’s convenient too!

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 minutes
Chill: 15 minutes

Calories: 200kcals
Per Serving:
2.5g fat
5g fibre
11g carbs
3g salt
Low GI

200g raw cauliflower florets
spray oil
1 lemongrass stalk, peeled and diced
1 small red chilli, diced
4 spring onions, sliced
75g grated carrot
75g grated courgette
1 small red or yellow pepper, deseeded and diced
2 x 100g cooked chicken breast fillets, skinned and shredded
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
a handful of coriander or mint, finely chopped

Lime dressing:
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)


Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse until they have the consistency of rice-sized ‘grains’.

Lightly spray a wok or deep frying pan with oil and set over a medium to high heat. Stir-fry the lemongrass, chilli and spring onions for 2–3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for 4–5 minutes until tender but still slightly crunchy.

Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the carrots, courgettes, pepper, chicken, lime leaves and herbs.

Make the dressing: blend the lime juice and fish sauce and sweeten to taste. Sprinkle over the salad and toss gently.

Cover the bowl with a lid or some cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or until required.

Low Calorie Summer Recipes

Cheat’s courgette lasagne

This delicious vegetarian lasagne is made without any pasta or the usual creamy white sauce. It’s easy to make and uses the sort of ingredients you keep in your kitchen cupboards and fridge.

If you’re not a fan of courgette, you could also substitute sliced pumpkin or aubergine for the courgette, and the calories will remain approximately the same!

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45-55 minutes

Calories: 200 kcals
Per Serving:
3.6g fat
5.5g fibre
18g carbs
1.6g salt
Low GI

spray oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, diced
1 large carrot, diced
150g small mushrooms, quartered
200g canned chopped tomatoes
a pinch of dried basil or some shredded leaves
3 medium courgettes
200g fat-free cottage cheese
100g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
1 small free-range egg, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Lightly spray a saucepan with oil and set over a low to medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic, celery and carrot, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes until tender but not coloured. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2–3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juice and continue cooking for about 10 minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cut each courgette lengthways into 4 long slices. Lightly spray a griddle or frying pan with oil and se over a medium to high heat. Add the sliced courgette, a few at a time. To the hot pan and cook for 1–2 minutes each side until golden brown. Remove with a slice and drain on kitchen paper.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. In a bowl, beat together the cottage cheese, yoghurt and egg. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Assemble the lasagne: cover the base of a small ovenproof dish with four courgette slices. Top with half of the vegetable mixture and cover with four more courgette slices. Spoon half of the cottage cheese mixture over the top and then the remaining vegetable mixture. Cover with the rest of the courgettes and spoon the remaining cottage cheese mixture over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 minutes until bubbling and golden. Serve immediately.

Low Calorie Summer Recipes

Greek-style lamb burgers with tzatziki

Who doesn’t enjoy a juicy, succulent burger with salad in a soft bun? The Greeks use minced lamb and flavour it with herbs and spices to make grilled patties before serving them with cool tzatziki in a bun or a warm split pitta bread. On a hot summer’s day, these burgers taste deliciously smoky if you cook them over hot coals on a barbecue.

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Calories: 400 kcals

Per Serving:
9g fat
45g carbs
7g fibre
1g salt
Medium GI

250g extra lean minced lamb
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 spring onions, finely chopped
a handful of mint, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
spray oil
2 x 50g burger buns
a few crisp lettuce leaves and cucumber slices
mixed salad to serve (optional)

For the tzatziki:
200g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
½ small fennel bulb, chopped
¼ cucumber, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
a handful of mint, finely chopped
a squeeze of lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Mix together the lamb, garlic, spring onions, mint and ground spices in a bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into two portions and, with your hands, mould each one into a burger. Wrap in some cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm them up.

Meanwhile, make the tzatziki: mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste.

Lightly spray a ridged griddle pan or frying pan with oil and set over a medium heat. When it’s really hot, add the burgers and cook for 4–5 minutes each side, depending on how well cooked you like your lamb.

Lightly toast and split the burger buns. Place the lettuce, cucumber and burgers on the toasted bases and spoon the tzatziki over the top. Cover with the top halves of the buns and serve immediately with a salad garnish (optional).

Recipes provided by The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan

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