Professional dance partner Karen Hauer may be doing a great job getting Dave Myers into shape on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, but his ever diminishing physique has as much to do with his ability to rustle up a healthy salsa in the kitchen as it has to do with the dance floor, as Dave and his big-hearted buddy Si King, also known as the Hairy Bikers Britain’s bestselling down-to-earth chefs, return with another fantastic cook book for food lovers to lose weight for life.
Following on from their No.1 bestselling diet book, The Hairy Dieters, their second book, The Hairy Dieters: Eat for Life, is full of even more delicious low-calorie family favourites and easy-to-follow advice to prove that cooking without calories doesn’t have to compromise on taste.
From ‘Real Food Fast’, ‘Family Favourites’, ‘Fakeaways’ and ‘Meals on the Move’, their recipes are practical, easy to make and taste like real food, not diet food, which all the family will love.
One of the recipes I’ve tried already is their Home-made fishcakes and I can confirm not only are they incredibly simple to make, they taste delicious and are very filling. Oh and yes, you can make these just as easily using leftover mashed potato!
Image copyright: Andrew Hayes-Watkins
187 calories per portion
Fishcakes are a great standby and everyone loves them. These contain more fish than potato, so they taste even better, are less calorific than most – and there’s extra fish for your cakehole! A little tartare sauce goes down a treat, but don’t forget to add 15 calories per teaspoon. If you don’t like the flavour of smoked fish, just use an extra 100g of cod or haddock.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30–35 minutes
275g potatoes (preferably Maris Pipers), peeled and cut into rough 3cm chunks
300g thick cod or haddock fillet, unskinned
100g smoked haddock fillet, unskinned (preferably undyed)
1 bay leaf
finely grated zest of ½ small lemon
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced (including lots of green)
oil, for spraying
1 large egg
50g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
1 tsp paprika
lemon wedges, to serve
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Put the potatoes in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.
While the potatoes are cooking, put the fish fillets in a large saucepan, placing the thicker fillets on the bottom of the pan. Cover with cold water and add the bay leaf. Put a tight-fitting lid on the pan and gently bring to a simmer, then immediately take the pan off the heat. Leave the fish to stand for 5 minutes.
Drain the potatoes well in a colander, tip them back into the pan and mash them until smooth or pass them through a potato ricer. Put the mash in a large bowl and season with salt and black pepper.
Drain the fish really well in a colander and break it into large chunks, discarding the skin and any bones as you go. Put the fish in the same bowl as the mashed potato and stir in the lemon zest and spring onions with a large wooden spoon – try not to break up the fish too much. Divide the mixture into 4 balls and flatten each ball to about 3cm thick. If the mixture is too soft to shape into balls, cover and leave it to cool for a while. The potato will stiffen up as it cools. Lightly mist a baking tray with oil.
Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs with the paprika in a large bowl. Dip a fishcake into the egg, coating it on all sides. Allow any excess egg to drip off the fishcake and then place it in the breadcrumbs, turning it and pressing firmly to get an even coating of crumbs on all sides. Place the fishcake on the greased tray and prepare the rest in the same way. Leave them to chill in the fridge until you’re ready to cook, but use them within 24 hours.
To cook the fishcakes, preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/ Gas 7. Mist the fishcakes with the oil and bake them for 15–20 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Serve with vegetables or a lightly dressed salad and some lemon wedges for squeezing.
Recipe from THE HAIRY DIETERS EAT FOR LIFE by Si King & Dave Myers, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 15 August 2013 in trade paperback at £14.99, eBook: £7.99