Saturday, May 11

Cheats Pea, Prawn, and Asparagus 'Carbonara'

Summer is nearly upon us.
Sun, sand, and sea beckon with promises of sun kissed skin and summer smiles.
However, whilst this idea of lounging in a hammock without a care in the world seems like paradise, for many of us it is also hell.
And why do you ask is a crystal blue sea, palm trees, and golden beaches up there with Satan's pit?
Because for a lot of girls this means one thing, the impossible quest to achieve...

*Dum Dum Durrrrr* ..."The Ultimate Beach Body".

If you are like me, this dream is a quest in itself.
I am obsessed with healthy food. I could happily munch through a whole plate of vegetables, the thought of a kebab makes me feel physically sick, and my fridge is stocked full of greenery.
But if you haven't noticed, I love to bake... Oreo Nut Brownies, Zebra Bars, White Chocolate and Raspberry Blondies, and even Strawberry Cupcakes... You name it, I will bake it!
If I attempt to cut them out completely, it works in the short term, but is catastrophic in the long term when my will power gives way.

And so ladies and gentlemen, I give you one of my secret recipes! I've found that I can have my cake and devour it, I just have to balance it with this nutritional deliciousness!

Ta Da! Here is my Cheats Pea, Prawn, and Asparagus 'Carbonara'.

Utterly simple to make, healthy, and cheap.
It is low calorie, gluten free, and full of healthy nutrients!
If you do not like any of the ingredients these can be easily swapped to what ever needs eating up in your fridge.
I've tried substituting the prawns for bacon or ham hock and that worked really well too.

White cabbage is a calorie counters dream. If you love pasta, then this could be a good solution to reducing those extra pounds.
I know what you are thinking... Cabbage?! Instead of long strands of tangled spagetti?! Good joke!
But trust me, it is worth a try! I was highly sceptical when I read about it on Rose's blog, but I've never looked back since that first crunchy mouthful.

One batch serves two hearty bowls and keeps in the fridge for up to two days.
But it gets even better, this whole recipe is only around 500 calories in total!
A 250 calorie, filling, and satisfying meal? Umm, yes please!

To make your own Cheats Pea, Prawn, and Asparagus 'Carbonara' you will need:
- 500g chopped, white cabbage
- 200g frozen peas
- 100g asparagus
- 30ml half fat creme fraiche
- 100g peeled prawns
- 1 large egg yolk
- Grated Parmezan to serve

Chop up your cabbage into slithers, pop a large heavy based saucepan full of water onto a medium heat and bring to the boil.
Tip in the cabbage to bubble away gently for around 10-12 minutes. (I like mine a bit softer so I leave it in for 12+ minutes, but if you prefer a cruncher bite just shorten the time).

Chop off the 'woody' ends of the asparagus and slice into pieces.

Add the frozen peas into the cabbage pan after a few minutes and allow to bubble away together.

I decided to steam my asparagus in a saucepan, but otherwise you can just give the chunks a quick flash fry in a pan or boil with the cabbage from the very start.

Now to decapitate these little beauties!
I managed to pick up some delicious prawns at Waitrose for a jaw-dropping price, if you are on a budget it is well worth finding out the day when each supermarket reduces the price of their stock! You can find some real bargains on the reduced shelves. (Plus, it is always brilliant to see the look on your friend's faces when they realise you are eating smoked salmon, tropical fruit, and foreign delicacies on a teeny budget!)

Usually I would buy the prawns pre peeled, but if they are still in all their glory, I've found that this is the easiest way to decapitate and strip each little critter:

First, pinch the end of head and pull to remove.

Next pull off the end of the tail.

And then gently peel off the hard shell and legs.

When your cabbage is 'aldente', drain off the water, return to the pan with the asparagus strands and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Pop this onto a very low heat to keep everything warm.

Add a little zing with a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Beat together the yolk of one egg and mix with the contents of the pan.

Dollop in two large tablespoons of half fat creme fraiche and give everything a good stir.
(This is where it does start to seem a bit like carbonara, especially if you swapped the prawns for ham or bacon.)

Finally, stir in the prawns before dividing the dish into two bowls, (you could even pop the second helping into a pot for lunch at uni or work the next day.)

Finished, all in under 20 minutes! 
Speedy, healthy, and delicious.

For the finishing touch, sprinkle with some parmesan before brandishing your knife and fork!

Time to get stuck in and not have to worry about those pesky pounds.
This recipe alone cannot grant you that ultimate beach body which you might crave, (oh how I wish it was that simple), yet it sure can help you step in the right direction!

Now... Which way to the beach!?



  1. Loving the commentary on this post. I haven't yet tried the white cabbage instead of pasta thing, but this might just have been the recipe to persuade me.
    Bring on summer!!! x x x

    1. Give it a go! I've never looked back since! X

  2. oh myyyy this looks soooooo yummy! Love alll the ingredients. Bikini bod can't come soon enough! X

    1. Oh how I wish you could just click your fingers for one! X

  3. Love this post! I could eat pasta all day long so I'm excited to try this. It was just yesterday that I found half a white cabbage in the bottom of my fridge and couldn't think of anything to do with it - I will be making this for lunch today! Thankyou! x

    1. Oh let me know how it goes! Glad you like the post :) x

  4. Que buena pinta!!! mmmmmm

  5. This looks so tasty Emily, I'm going to try this after the success with the burgers, perhaps I can win Mum round over using cabbage instead of pasta! xxx

    1. My mum is convinced, my Dad and Brother are still "meat and two veg" kind of guys, I'm working on them! XX


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