5:2 Diet: Comfort Food that’s Low in Calories!
Très Rapide French Tarragon Chicken
Using the last of the French tarragon in my garden, I have lightened up a favourite recipe of mine, Très Rapide French Tarragon Chicken, the original buttery high calorie recipe can be found here Très Rapide French Summer Tarragon Chicken for Bastille Day! But, I have more than halved the calories for this delightfully easy and comforting dish, thus making it a VERY suitable recipe for my 5:2 diet fast days, which, I am still doing. With a weight loss of one stone over seven weeks now, and that includes the odd blip now and then, as I was travelling and attending press days and events, I am really pleased with how I feel, as well as the obvious weight loss of course. I have more energy and I’m sleeping much better; also, whilst having a meal at a friend’s house recently, I also had lots of compliments at just how “well” I looked……..so, although I was originally sceptical about the 5:2 diet, I am seeing (and feeling) real benefits now, and I am also eating much healthier.
One of the reasons I am eating healthier, (and I have always thought we ate very healthily at home, with lots of fruit and veg, and not many fried foods etc) is that on my two “fast days” (that’s the low calorie days that I have two days a week, with a maximum of 500 calories to consume in a day) I am developing recipes and cooking more creatively with seasonal ingredients to hand. So, instead of reaching for ready-to-eat diet meals in the supermarket, I am creating my own low calorie recipes at home, which means I have more control over salt and additives. This recipe to day is a perfect example; there was a very similar “French style” low-calorie meal for offer (in the freezer section) of my local supermarket, but it was loaded with salt and also had 100 calories more per portion! Then I remembered my summer stand-by recipe…..the one I make when I only have to cook for one, and when I want something tasty and comforting. I lightened up the original recipe by cutting back on the oil, omitting the butter, and using half fat crème fraîche, and less of it.
This makes a great main meal for a fast day on the 5:2 diet and has only 227 calories per serving, including a generous portion of steamed spinach…….it’s comforting for the cooler weather and fills you up for the rest of the day, if you eat it for lunch. On the day I ate the “lightened” version of this recipe, I had a small boiled egg in the morning with a small banana (54 calories + 80 calories = 134 calories) and then a bowl of my lovely Roast Tomato & Garlic Soup Recipe (70 Calories) with my milk allowance (51 calories), I had eaten well and only consumed 482 calories for the day!
With apologies for the lack of a Mid-Week meal plan that I premised yesterday, but my daughter is visiting for a wee break and time is at a premium…….however, I have posted a few previous meal plan links below, so you may gather inspiration from them, and I am also linking this post to Mrs M’s Meal Planning Monday post too…..that’s it for today, look out for more seasonal recipes later on this week, as well as some news on what I have been up to lately! Oh yes, as this recipe has herbs in it, I am also linking it up to my own Herbs on Saturday challenge too, where there is a wonderful prize up for grab, for the best recipe of the month – so, if you have cooked with herbs on any day throughout the month, do join in here: October’s Herbs on Saturday – Win a copy of The Kitchen Herb Garden Cookbook. See you later, Karen
Low Fat Très Rapide French Tarragon Chicken
|Prep time||5 minutes|
|Cook time||10 minutes|
|Total time||15 minutes|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Dish|
|Occasion||Casual Party, Formal Party, Valentines day|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- Skinless Chicken Breast Fillet, 100g (154 calories)
- Fry Light Olive Oil Spray, 4 sprays (4 calories)
- 1 tablespoon Half Fat Creme Fraiche (47 calories)
- juice of half a lemon (8 calories)
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped French tarragon (3 calories)
- Spinach: Cooked, boiled, drained, with a litle nutmeg, 50g (To serve - 12 calories)
A simple low-fat 5:2 Diet supper or luncheon recipe that can be whipped up in a trice! Organic chicken breasts that are diced and then sautéed with fresh tarragon and half-fat crème fraîche with just a hint of lemon juice! This can be made in less than 15 minutes from prep to plate, making it an ideal recipe for busy bees or couch potatoes! I love this served with spinach or a side salad. Do try to use fresh tarragon, I have not tried this with dried, but imagine that it will not be as zingy and fresh. (215 calories without the spinach or 227 calories WITH a portion of spinach)
|Step 1||Cut your chicken breast into smallish pieces, I like to cut mine into fingers about 1/2" wide and 3" long -- you can also dice it into cubes if you wish.|
|Step 2||Heat a frying pan and spray the oil in, then add the chopped chicken pieces immediately and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the chicken is sticky and a nice caramel colour; turn the chicken over and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.|
|Step 3||Add the crème fraîche, and allow to bubble for about 2 minutes; then add the tarragon and lemon juice and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.|
|Step 4||Serve with fresh tarragon leaves scattered over the top and a portion of steamed or boiled spinach for a super healthy and satisfying meal|
Meal Planning Links:
Mid-Week Meal Plan: Meat-Free Scotch Broth Recipe (5:2 Fast and Feast Diet)
Elderberries, Stormy Days and Meal Planning: Autumn Broth Recipe (5:2 Diet)
Weekly Meal Plan and a New 5:2 Diet Recipe for Fast Days – Creamy Garlic Mushrooms on Toast (190 Calories)
A Weekly Meal Plan, A Taste of Autumn and Allotment Soup (100 calories) for the 5:2 Diet
A New 5:2 Diet Fast Day Recipe – Greek Lunch Box Salad with Feta Cheese and Mint Dressing
5:2 Diet – Fast Days & Feast Days, Weekly Meal Plan and a LOW CALORIE Breakfast Omelette Recipe
5:2 Diet – Fast Days & Feast Days, Monday Meal Plan and a LOW CALORIE Salad Niçoise Recipe
Oh yes, this looks lovely. I am bookmarking that for my 5:2 days. Only thing is tarragon is not always that easy to come by here. Any suggestions for alternative herbs?
THANKS! I am sure a good quality dried tarragon would be lovely, or fresh basil or even my favourite herb lovage! Most herbs marry well with chicken, but basil might be a zingy fresh substitute! Karen 🙂
Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me says
Keep those 5:2 recipes coming Karen, I’m now into my second week of fasting and I’m looking forward to counting the benefits soon.
Thanks Angela! I do have lots more in my blog…….and I will keep them coming! Well done on week 2, it’s quite easy once you get in to the routine isn’t it? Karen
Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me says
Yes it really is quite easy, particularly if you have a busy day and you are focused so not thinking about food.
I love the flavour of tarragon in cream with chicken this is such a good alternative for those of us watching our waistline.
Thanks Denise, I just lightened up an existing recipe, and halved the calories!
Looks delicious, and I’ve never actually made Tarragon Chicken, despite having a particularly large and healthy tarragon plant in my garden! MUST make. Thanks, Louisa
This is dead easy to make Louisa and I am sure you will all love it! Karen
This sounds delicious. I’m not following the 5:2 diet, I’m far too lazy that but I’m tempted to give this a go anyway as I always like to try and eat healthily when I can.
Thanks Jen! Yes, lots of my 5:2 recipes are not really diet recipes at all, which is the way I like it!
Hi Karen, these recipes all look wonderful, and I’m already looking forward to trying them out. I actually found this site as my Dad requested a collection of easy 5:2 Diet whole Day menus and recipes. I would quite happily buy him a book of recipes, but there doesn’t seem to be one. I think you have created some amazing looking recipes and laid them out so nicely, with lovely photos, that you could easily make yourself some extra pocketmoney trying to sell a book on them! If you do, please send me a link!
Thanks, Ella from Switzerland 🙂
Thanks Ella, stand by for more news about a book….I will let you know nearer the time! But in the meantime, please keep popping back, as I have lots of recipes here, as you know, and I am constantly adding new ones to my site each week too! Many thanks for your lovely comments, and hope to see you here often! Karen 🙂
Fiona Matters says
This looks just wonderful. There is nothing better than fresh herbs. I do love chicken – but so many people massively overcook it at home because they’re so worried about food poisoning. Nothing worse than overcooked chicken!
Lesley Adams.. says
I couldn’t get hold of Tarragon fresh. So found Barts do Chopped Tarragon in sunflower oil. Very handy. X
Karen Booth says
Good quality such as Barts is a good sub when fresh is not in season!
Deborah Callahan Poulin says
I have recently been introduced to the 5/2 menu plans. I am ready to make healthy changes concerning food and my relationship with it. I have made a pledge to cleanse,exercise, and reduce my wine in take. During the next six weeks I hope to pamper myself with these exciting, colorful, and healthy menus. Our son graduates from Cornell University this May 26 th. I want to be healthy and happy on this very special occasion.
Deborah C. Poulin
Manchester, Maine 04351
Maya Russell says
I only recently discovered that tarragon and chicken is one of my favourite combinations. Shared on Twitter: https://twitter.com/maisietoo/status/329847813452201986
Kathy D says
Lovely and easy recipe! I wanted a quick recipe and this fit the bill. The chicken is still full of flavor thanks to the tarragon and lemon juice. I really loved the hint of creaminess from the creme fraiche, too. Thank you!
Karen Burns-Booth says
I am so pleased that you enjoyed this dish, it’s a favourite of mine too Kathy!