You might think that the words skinny and stew + mash don’t belong in the same sentence, but hear me out.
With a few nifty adjustments this recipe delivers both, for less than 300 calories per serve.
Yup, that’s right.
Thick rich beef and mushroom stew and steaming creamy mash are a match made in heaven, usually a heavy creamy buttery heaven that has you loosening your jeans and wishing you stopped at the first serve, but not this time.
This recipe came about at a time when I was flirting with the 5:2 diet. You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of this diet, 5:2 fever has griped us like nothing before.
…Except for Low-Fat, Atkins, Paleo, Primal and hundreds of other diet fads, but whose counting.
It’s not surprising, I mean who doesn’t relish the idea of only having to diet 2 days a week?
It’s kind of like someone flipping the weekend/work week on you and telling you the weekend is now 5 days! Sign me up.
If you are one of the rare people who hasn’t come across this diet, it’s basically intermittent fasting. The idea being that on 2 days per week you only consume 25% of your normal calories (500 for women, 600 for men), then the remaining 5 glorious days you eat whatever you want and the weight falls off. Magic hey.
I’m sure it works for some people, I wasn’t one of them. Sure everything was going swimmingly on the 5 days, I was comfortably smug and thinking yeah, I got this 5:2 thing in the bag.
Unfortunately on the two other days of week I transformed into a lethargic short-tempered monster.
Oh and the organising. This diet really doesn’t allow for spontaneity, or a full gym schedule, or an active social life. Trying to fit the two days in around everything else I had on was a nightmare so 5:2 turned into 6:1, then 13:1, the 14:0.
The only benefit I really got out of it (besides learning I get hangry) is that it challenged me to turn 500 calories into the most filling and satisfying meals possible. And that my friend turns into a benefit for you too as I’m not one to keep secrets!
I made some simple tweaks to the beef and mushroom stew, but the real secret here is the mash. Ditch the potato and make friends with cauliflower. Trust me, it’ll be your new favourite vegetable.
All you need to do is cook the cauliflower till soft, drain, then whizz with a splash of chicken stock. Top with a small dab of butter and some fresh parsley to make it extra special. Job done.
It blends amazingly well and becomes sinfully creamy. You’ll never go back to potatoes again.
It makes the perfect welcoming bed for the rich stew. Packed full of protein and most importantly flavour, the beef and mushroom stew is:
- Melt in your mouth tender
- Richly tomato flavoured
- Perfect for leftover lunches
Make extra and freeze it or save for your lunches over the next few days. That’s what I did.
This dish is so good no one will even know it’s low calorie.
Shhh it can be our little secret!
- 850 gm lean rump steak, cubed
- 2 medium onions, 220 gm
- 600 gm mixed mushrooms, halved
- 500 ml Campbell's beef stock
- 400 gm can diced Italian tomatoes
- 50 gm tomato paste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 600 gm cauliflower florets
- 1 tsp butter
- Sprig fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat
- Brown the beef cubes in batches and set aside
- Add the onions to the pan and cook until translucent
- Add the mushrooms and toss to brown lightly
- Add the beef, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, beef stock and balsamic vinegar to the pan
- Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low
- Simmer for 60-90 minutes or until sauce is thick and meat is tender
- Meanwhile cook the cauliflower until soft
- Add the cauliflower and a splash of stock and whizz until smooth and creamy
- Season to taste
- Serve the cauliflower with a dollop of butter and fresh parsley if desired
- Tip - buy meat on special to make this meal more affordable. Cheaper cuts will become nice and tender with long slow cooking.
- Calories 299
- Carbs (gm) 18
- Fat (gm) 11
- Protein (gm) 36
- Fibre (gm) 4