Keep your fast days interesting with this vegetarian 5:2 recipe for delicious pancakes that are under 250 calories

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Fancy trying the 5:2 diet  but want to stick to your vegetarian lifestyle? Kate Harrison has the answer with her new book, 5:2 Veggie & Vegan. In fact, whether you're meat-free or not, this deliciously easy veggie recipe from the book will keep you going on those tough fast days - a tasty and satisfying meal that comes in at only 222 calories, keeping you under the all-important 500 calorie mark.

"There’s so much to love about these: they look gorgeous on the plate and they taste delicate and sophisticated. They’re also made mostly from freezer and store cupboard ingredients. The perfect brunch or supper for two: or for cooking two days running – just keep the batter covered in the fridge and give it a quick mix before using."

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 9–10 minutes

Serves 2

222 calories


Pancakes: 127 calories per serving

150g frozen peas, 90

Good bunch/10g chopped herbs, such as dill, mint or chives, 5

1 egg, 66

1 tablespoon cornflour, 57

5g butter, 36, or 5ml oil, 41

Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For the topping: 95 calories per serving

Splash of vinegar

2 eggs, 132

20g watercress, 5

2 level tablespoons half-fat crème fraiche, 52


1. Cook the peas in a pan of boiling water or in the microwave according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, bring some water to the boil in a medium saucepan to poach the eggs for topping the dish.

2. Blend the cooked peas and chopped herbs using a hand blender, reserving a few herb leaves for garnish. Add the egg and cornflour and blend until well mixed. Season well.

3. Heat the butter or oil in a large non-stick frying pan, and when hot, make 4 pancakes by spooning 2 level tablespoons of the pea batter per pancake into onto the pan,  keeping the pancakes separate (if you don’t have a large enough pan, do this in two batches, keeping the first set warm on a plate in a low oven while you cook the others).

4. Cook over a high heat for 2–3 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned and the tops are set enough to turn. Turn carefully using a spatula and knife and lower the temperature, then cook for another 2–3 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, poach the eggs: add a splash of vinegar to the pan with the boiling water. Break your eggs into a cup. Create a whirlpool in the water with a fork or whisk and, with your other hand, slip the eggs into the middle of the saucepan as gently as possible. Turn off the heat and set a timer for 3 minutes. After that time, check that the egg whites have set before removing from the saucepan using a slotted spoon. Place gently onto a plate lined with kitchen roll to absorb the excess cooking water.

6. Arrange the watercress on one side of a plate and place two pancakes alongside. Place the poached egg on top of the pancakes and spoon the crème fraiche next to it, topped with the reserved herb leaves. Season and serve immediately.

P.S. The pancakes are delicious with a little mustard powder added to the mixture, or with French mustard on the side. They also go well with other breakfast items such as fried mushrooms or veggie sausages: serve with baby spinach rather than watercress if you prefer.

This recipe is from  5:2 VEGGIE & VEGAN by Kate Harrison , published by Orion (Paperback: £7.99, eBook: £4.99)

Food photography by Faith Mason. Author photography by Chris O'Donovan.

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