There are A LOT of diet books out this January – more than I’ve seen in quite some time. Of course, I’d all prefer you bought mine but the fact is, one diet does not work for everyone – for example, if you don’t like the food in a plan it’s not going to work for you, or if it doesn’t suit your genetics it won’t work for you – so I’m happy to talk about the others. And one that’s caught my attention is The Sunshine Diet. Partly because I like the title but also I really like the cover and author Shelina Permalloo looks glowing on it. Look….
If Shelina looks familiar it’s because she won Masterchef in 2012 but success took it’s toll – on the scales. All the touring she was doing meant Shelina started to gain weight, so in an attempt to get back into balance she started creating lower calorie recipes – and these are 120 of them! They obviously work – Shelina lost 45lb using them.
I admit, they aren’t for the non-cheffy amongst you – they are packed with herbs and spices and there is some faffing (see muslin cloths below – the closest I’ve ever got to muslin cloth is the one that comes with my cleanser) but if you think losing weight is bland and tasteless this could be the book that changes your mind.
It’s published by Ebury Press, £14.99 – and available in bookstores or at amazon now the sunshine diet. Or to get you started today, here’s one of the recipes….
Roasted Aubergines with Fennel and Labneh
P E R S E RV I N G :
CALO R I E S 1 6 0 KCAL
FAT 5 G
SUGAR 1 0 G
Labneh is a Middle Eastern strained yoghurt that is really easy to make and is a healthier alternative to soured cream or cream cheese. It usually takes around 12 hours to make, so it’s best to prepare it the night before and leave it to drain in the fridge overnight. You will also need a piece of muslin.
1 tsp salt
450g 0%-fat Greek-style yoghurt
1 tbsp nigella seeds
1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseed if you just want the flavour and not the heat)
bunch of freshly chopped
2 large aubergines
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
To make the labneh, mix the salt into the yoghurt – you can do this in the yoghurt tub to save on washing
1) Take a piece of clean muslin and spoon the yoghurt into the centre of it. Gather the muslin and tie it up, then hang it over a bowl and place in the fridge. You then need to leave this for 12 hours to allow the whey (liquid) to separate from the yoghurt.
2) After 12 hours, turn out the labneh into a clean bowl (discard the whey) and mix through the nigella seeds, chilli and mint. Set aside in the fridge while you roast the aubergines.
3) Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
4) Slice the aubergines in half lengthways and rub all over with the oil, then sprinkle with the fennel seeds. Place on a baking tray, cut side up. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the aubergine flesh begins to collapse and the skin starts to blacken and burst.
5) Serve the warm roasted aubergines with the labneh alongside. Garnish with a little extra chilli, mint and nigella seeds, if you like.
Extracted from The Sunshine Diet by Shelina Permalloo (Ebury Press, Trade Paperback £14.99)
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Photography | Martin Poole