Elly Curshen (also known as Elly Pear) runs the Pear Cafe in Bristol. Five years ago, her weight had increased. She wasn’t the sort of person that tried one diet after another. Like many of us, she had watched Michael Mosley’s Horizon documentary Eat Fast and Live Longer.
Michael discovered that fasting for two days out of five caused him to lose weight among other benefits (do read more about the diet for full details). The 5:2 diet grew in popularity.
Elly thought she’d give the diet a go and started fasting (eating less than 500 calories) on 2 days each week and eating normally on 5 days. On those two fasting days, it is very important to get a good balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Not an easy task so she started creating recipes.
She lost weight easily and it has stayed off! The cookery book Fast and Feast contains over 120 recipes. Some are specifically for fast days, other for feasting days. Elly walks you through the ingredients you need, the equipment and how to tackle cooking for the week to help you follow the 5:2 diet. There’s a helpful section on drinks and a good FAQ section.
I’ve cooked a few recipes from the book so far. I discovered that it is not the sort of cookbook you dip into and create something from what you have in the cupboard. But once you’ve got the ingredients, the dishes are simple and easy to make and are bound to become favourites. Elly suggests you adjust the seasoning and I found that for my palate, I needed more in each case. I
The fast day recipes are the most welcome – great to find something really easy and tasty to make and fill you sufficiently for the day.
Elly is not claiming to be an expert on the 5:2 diet, but to point you in the right direction and perhaps, even, inspired to try it yourself. The following recipe is a feast day recipe.
- 400 gr chickpeas (tinned)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil with extra for frying
- 1 tsp toasted caraway or cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
- Handful of parsley or coriander, chopped
- 150 gr beetroot
- 1.5 tablespoons flour
- Salt and pepper
- Place the first 5 items in the processor and blitz together. Change the blade to the grater attachment and grate the beedtroot. Tip into a large bowl.
- Check for seasoning
- Shape into four even burgers.
- Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl.
- To cook the burgers, dust the burgers with the flour.
- Heat the oil in the pan. Add the burgers and fry for 6-8 minutes until browned. Flip over and cook the other side. Check that the burgers are heated well through.
Find out more
Buy the book