IN DEVISING these recipes for The F2 Diet, cookery expert Maggie Pannell knows you aren't planning a prestige dinner-party and it's even possible your personal maid won't be on hand today to pour your bath. Shame! So she's cut out the fuss and fiddle and come up with some healthy low-fat recipes that are
really easy to make. We urge you, in particular, to make generous quantities of some of the basics, like the tomato and curry sauces and ratatouille, and freeze them in portions before you begin F2.
You will, we promise, be very glad you did. Following these main-meal recipes you'll find some easy, fruity desserts, providing healthy and helpful answers to sugar cravings. Fat units given for each recipe are for an individual portion.
Salt: we've left the quantity used to you, but advise as little as possible for reasons of health.
Basic Tomato Sauce
An indispensable and versatile tomato sauce, which can be varied with extra ingredients (see ideas below). Make up the basic sauce and freeze it in individual portion sizes, then use it as a quick pasta sauce or for a pizza topping.
1. Peel and chop the onion and carrot. Trim the celery and also chop it. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the vegetables and cook them gently on a low heat for 7-8 minutes until softened but not colored. Crush the garlic into the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes with their juice. the stock, tomato puree, oregano and sugar. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook gently for 15-20 minutes. until the vegetables are tender.
3. Allow to cool, then tip into a blender or food processor and whizz briefly – it needn't be completely smooth. Season to taste with pepper and smt if necessary.
4. Allow to cool completely then pack the sauce into small plastic containers ready for freezing.
5. Thaw thoroughly, add any of the extra flavorings suggested below if liked, then use as required, either for spreading on a pizza base or reheated for serving with pasta.
For a pasta sauce, reheat gently with 50g/20z sliced mushrooms, or 50g/2oz cooked prawns ( ½ fat unit) or 1 chopped roasted red pepper. You can buy roasted peppers in jars. packed in GI-lowering vinegar (not oil), in the supermarket. Once opened they keep well in the fridge and make a useful and convenient fat-free vegetable for adding to salads, pasta dishes, pizzas and sandwiches.
MAKES 4 PORTIONS
• 1 medium onion
• 1 medium carrot
• 1 celery stick
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on the size of the cloves)
• 400g can chopped tomatoes
• 300ml'h pint vegetable stock
• 2 tbsp tomato puree
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• pinch of sugar
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, basil or parsley or
• A pinch of chilli powder or sauce or
• 1 tbsp chopped stoned olives, capers or anchovies.