font loading for Top nav



If anyone understands how important it is to keep the joy of food alive while dieting, it’s chef and low-calorie recipe expert Tom Kerridge. Try your hand at three of his deliciously healthy recipes fresh from his new book Lose Weight for Good

“My recipes are designed to achieve satisfyingly large portion sizes that have extra layers of flavour and plenty of interesting textures to keep your meals exciting.”


“To lose weight, we know that we need to eat less and move more. We are told by doctors, nutritionists, dieticians and personal trainers that it’s all about a balanced diet and eating fewer calories than we use. There’s plenty of good advice out there, so why are so many people in Britain still overweight?

“Bland and unappetising ‘diet food’ is a major factor. If lower calorie food came packed with flavour and in generous portions, people would be more likely to lose weight, and that’s where I think I can help, by providing lots of delicious and satisfying recipes that are also lower in calories.

“It’s no secret that I used to be a big lad! At my heaviest I weighed in at around 30 stone and my health was suffering. When I celebrated my 40th birthday, I knew I had to make a change, and fast, or else I might not get to see my 50th – or my little boy grow up.

“A calorie-restricted diet, where you consume only a certain amount of calories – based on your height, weight-loss goals and the amount of exercise you do – is much easier for most people to stick to because you can still eat many of your favourite foods. I realise that counting calories is a bit boring, but soon you’ll get to know the calories in the ingredients you use regularly so you won’t have to think about it so much. And as for the recipes in my book, all the counting has been done for you!

“As we lead increasingly busy lives, being faced with complicated dishes that take ages to plan and cook is a recipe for diet failure. I want to show you how to make everyday food that is incredibly simple and totally delicious. Lots of the recipes in this book can be made in less than half an hour, and most can be made ahead in part, or full, and frozen, too. It’s all about maximum flavour for minimum effort.”

Extract taken from Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge (Absolute, £22) out now.



Apricot and cranberry muffins

“Dried cranberries are one of my favourite ingredients to use because they have a fantastic level of acidity that helps cut through any sweetness. Using mashed bananas is a good butter replacement, while the orange adds a fresh, zesty flavour.”

Makes 12
Calories: 170 per muffin

1 large, very ripe banana, peeled
200ml skimmed milk
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
250g self-raising flour
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp granulated sweetener
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp ground ginger
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
50g dried apricots, chopped
30g dried cranberries

For the topping
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp rolled oats

Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gas 6. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with large muffin cases.

In a bowl, mash the banana well with a fork. Add the milk, oil, eggs and orange zest. Measure out 4 tbsp of the orange juice and add to the bowl. Mix well.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, sweetener, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, vanilla seeds and dried fruit. Add the banana mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and sprinkle the desiccated coconut and rolled oats on top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the muffins are golden on top and firm to the touch.

Allow the muffins to cool a little on a wire rack, then eat while still warm. They will keep for up to 3 days in a tin and you can reheat them in an oven preheated to fan 160°C/gas 4 for 5 minutes.


Tom yum soup

“A good meal can have the power to transport you to exotic far-flung places, and this soup does exactly that. It’s low in calories, yet the prawns and chicken – and ton of veggies – make it really satisfying, and it smells amazing.”

Serves: 4
Calories: 255 per serving

440g raw tiger prawns, shell on
40g galangal root, thinly sliced
2 lemongrass stems, tough outer layers removed and thinly sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 litre fresh chicken stock
250ml water
3 tbsp good-quality tom yum paste
1 red chilli, sliced on an angle
80g button mushrooms, halved
175g baby corn, halved lengthways
200g skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
80g mangetout, halved on an angle
100g bean sprouts
Juice of 1 lime
A handful of coriander leaves, to finish

Peel and de-vein the prawns, leaving the tails intact; cover and refrigerate. Put the prawn heads and shells into a saucepan and crush them with the end of a rolling pin to release more flavour.

Add the galangal, lemongrass and half the kaffir lime leaves. Pour in the chicken stock and water, bring up to a gentle simmer and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Strain the stock into a clean saucepan. Stir in the tom yum paste and red chilli and bring to a simmer. Add the button mushrooms and baby corn and cook for 5 minutes, then toss in the sliced chicken and prawns and cook for 4 minutes.

Add the mangetout, bean sprouts and lime juice, stir through and cook for 1 minute. Check that the chicken and prawns are properly cooked, then remove from the heat.

Ladle the soup into warmed big bowls and scatter with coriander to serve.


Courgette and cardamom cake

“Like the carrots in a carrot cake, courgette keeps this delicious cake lovely and moist. The cake will keep in the fridge for a couple of days – just bring it to room temperature before serving to enjoy it at its best.”

Serves: 8
Calories: 365 per serving

Sunflower oil spray
250g half-fat margarine
100g caster sugar
4 tbsp granulated sweetener
3 large free-range eggs
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
200g courgettes, grated

For the icing
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp light cream cheese
1 tbsp lime juice

To finish
Grated zest of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gas 6. Spray a 900g (2lb) non-stick loaf tin with a few sprays of oil. Using a stand mixer or electric hand whisk and large bowl, cream together the margarine, caster sugar and

sweetener until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground cardamom together over the mixture, add the vanilla seeds and lime zest and fold in gently, using a spatula, until just combined. Lastly, fold in the grated courgettes.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the surface. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 50–60 minutes. To test, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake: it should come out clean; if not give it a little longer.

Once cooked, leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, in a bowl, whisk the icing sugar, cream cheese and lime juice together until smoothly combined.

Spread the icing on top of the cake and sprinkle with the lime zest. Cut into 8 thick slices to serve.

Recipes: Tom Kerridge / Photographer: Cristian Barnett / Editor: Emma Sleight

Trending stories

Editor’s Pick
Introducing low-calorie wine
Editor’s Pick
Chocolate cakes for everyone
Editor’s Pick
Get in a pickle
First Bite
Mind, body & soul food