The 'Fast Diet': Recipes From Dr. Michael Mosley

PHOTO: The FastDiet book.
The FastDiet

"The Fast Diet" is a bestselling book that outlines a weight-loss plan in which participants can eat what they want for five days, but must fast for two non-consecutive days.

Dr. Michael Mosley, the book's author, defines fasting as 500 calories a day for women and 600 for men. Adults can consume these calories, which amount to 25 percent of a normal adult's daily food intake, in one mid-day meal or spread across the course of the day. But protein and lots of fruits and vegetables are highly recommended.

Watch Dr. Mosley Explain the 'Fast Diet'

The other five days, according to the plan, dieters can eat whatever they want, including cheeseburgers and croissants, in a guilt-free way.

Click through to see recipes recommended by Dr. Mosley to achieve weight loss with the "The Fast Diet" and click HERE for even more "Fast Diet" recipes.

PHOTO: Yogurt from the Fast Diet book.
Romas Foord
Yogurt With Plum, Blanched Almonds and Agave Nectar

Yogurt has long been considered a "health food"—and it is packed with calcium, B vitamins and friendly bacteria. On a fast day, choose wisely. Fruit yogurts can be high in fat and hidden sugars, so go for a low-fat unflavored version and boost the taste with fresh plums. Plums are relatively low-calorie and a good source of fiber, which makes them brilliantly satiating.

These ingredients look gorgeous when layered in a glass tumbler. The only other thing you need is a spoon.

1/2 cup unflavored low-fat yogurt

2 plums, pitted and sliced

1 level tablespoon blanched almonds

2 teaspoons raw agave nectar

Total Calories: 264

PHOTO: Oatmeal in the FastDiet.
Romas Foord
Oatmeal With Jewel Fruits

Add a delicate swirl of pomegranate molasses, along with pomegranate seeds and a dusting of cinnamon, to arrive at a wonderful, ruby-studded dish with a flash of inspiration from the Middle East. Use old-fashioned oatmeal as it will keep you fuller longer than the more processed varieties.

1 1/4 cups skimmed milk

1 ounce old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses

Scant 2 ounces fruit of choice (stick to the lower-GI fruits such as berries and cherries)

Heat the milk, oats, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir well untill the oatmeal is thickened, 4 to 5 minutes (you can do this in a microwave, stirring halfway through the 5-minute cooking time). Leave to stand for a minute before adding the molasses and fruit.

Total Calories: 284

PHOTO: Thai food from the Fast Diet book.
Romas Foord
Hot Thai Stir-Fry

Here's another opportunity to go wild with the greens and consume as many vegetables as you can usefully fit into one sitting. You could eat, say, bean sprouts as a panda does bamboo and never really put on any weight. The trio of fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice, plus ginger and chile, is a total Thai classic and works brilliantly here to deliver supercharged zing.

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 1/4 ounces red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 carrot, julienned

2 1/4 ounces cauliflower florets, chopped

2 1/4 ounces broccoli florets, chopped

1 ounce snow peas

1 ounce bean sprouts, plus more for serving

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 red chile, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce

A squeeze of lime juice

10 unsalted peanuts, chopped, for serving (optional)

Heat the oil in a wok on high. Add the vegetables in order and stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the garlic, chile, ginger, and coriander and stir-fry for a few minutes more. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, and lime juice for the final minute of cooking and serve with more raw bean sprouts, and chopped peanuts if your calorie count allows.

Total Calories: 249 (341 with peanuts)

PHOTO: Salmon fillet on a plate.
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Salmon Fillet, Three More Ways

These recipes use salmon fillet (80 calories per 3 1/2 ounces) because it is easily accessible and is a fish that nearly everyone likes. These recipes work equally well with other fish, too. You could push out the boat and attempt any of them with tilapia, trout, arctic char, or cod.

3 1/2 ounces salmon fillet

Salt and pepper

Scant 2 ounces iceberg lettuce leaves

Scant 2 ounces romaine lettuce leaves

Scant 2 ounces baby spinach, lamb's lettuce, or purslane

1/4 seedless cucumber, quartered, cored, and sliced into crescents

Dressing

2 tablespoons unflavored low-fat yogurt

Juice of 1/2 lime

A handful of chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

Lime wedges, for garnish

Season the salmon fillet with salt and pepper and place in a bamboo steamer over boiling water. Steam till opaque. Set aside to cool. Mix the dressing. Arrange the leaves and cucumber on a plate and break the warm salmon into pieces on top. Dress and garnish with more dill and lime wedges.

Total Calories: 257

PHOTO: Grilled chicken breasts in the Fast Diet.
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Chicken Breast Eight Ways

A firm favorite in our house—tangy, easy, and somehow sumptuous without being calorific. It plays on some of the classic ingredients of Thai cooking (fish sauce, lime, cilantro), a reliable foundation for fantastic fast day flavor.

Lime Chicken Salad, Szechuan Style

Olive oil

1 skin-on, boneless 4-ounce/110g chicken breast

Salt and pepper

1/2 medium seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and

cut on the diagonal into crescents

A handful of fresh cilantro, including stems, finely chopped

A handful of fresh mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, crushed

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 scallion (green onion), thinly sliced on the diagonal

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 ounces shredded iceberg lettuce

Lime wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375°F. oil the chicken breast lightly before seasoning with salt and pepper. Bake, covered, till cooked through and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool. remove the skin and tear the chicken into shreds. Place in a bowl with the cucumber and most of the cilantro and mint. Make a dressing with the Szechuan pepper, fish sauce, sesame oil, scallion, and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Combine with the chicken and serve on the lettuce, garnished with lime wedges and the remaining cilantro and mint.

Total Calories: 195

PHOTO: Meatballs in the FastDiet.
Romas Foord
Lo-Lo Meatballs With Cavolo Nero

"Lo-lo" because much of the saturated fat you'd usually find in a typical Italian mamma meatball has been stripped out by swapping in a leaner meat and eliminating all but the merest flash of oil. And the cavolo nero? Because it just sounds so great, the musketeer of the veggie world. Besides, cavolo nero—also known as Tuscan or black kale—is tasty, nutritious, easy to grow, and, yes, somehow glamorous.

Serves 2

Meatballs

7 ounces/lean ground pork or ground turkey

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small carrot, grated

A pinch of dried oregano

1 small egg, beaten

Salt and pepper

Spray oil, for the skillet

Tomato sauce

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

1/2 clove garlic, chopped

One 14-ounce/400g can diced tomatoes

Scant 2 ounces/50g fresh tomatoes, peeled

(see page 34), seeded, and chopped

1 teaspoon tomato paste

A pinch of sugar

2/3 cup water

Red pepper flakes

A dash of worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Cavolo nero

7 ounces cavolo nero, steamed

A squeeze of lemon

Flaky sea salt

Combine the ground meat with the onion, garlic, carrot, oregano, egg, and salt and pepper. Mix well and shape into 12 small meatballs. In a skillet, brown gently over medium heat, about 4 minutes. For the sauce, saute the onion till softened. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the diced and chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and water, plus red pepper and Worcestershire to taste. Simmer till reduced and unctuous. Add the meatballs and oregano, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with steamed kale, dressed with a light squeeze of lemon and a scatter of flaky salt.

Total Calories: 264

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