Search This Blog

Search This Blog

5:2 Diet - One Pot Southern-Style Rice

A quick and spicy rice dish. Tomatoes, peppers and courgette are complimented by a range of herbs and spices. Low fat and low calorie. Great if you are following the fast diet.

QuickCook Low Fat

This flavourful rice dish comes from a little book by Hamlyn called Quick Cook Low Fat.

It is one of a series of dinky little books. I have a set of them and have to admit I turn to them quite often for ideas.

They are simple little cookbooks, each on a different theme, but all with the same layout. 

Each book is cut down into categories and each recipe has a two pages. 

Photo on one side and recipe on the other. 

That sounds like most cookbooks, I hear you say. Aha, but it's not. Each recipe has 3 variations. 

One that can be cooked in 30 minutes, one that can be cooked in 20 minutes and one that can be cooked in 10 minutes. Nifty!

On the page for this rice dish, which can be cooked in 30 minutes, there was also a 20 minute Southern-Style Mixed Vegetable and Bean Stir-Fry and a 10 minute Five Mixed-Bean and Rice Salad.

My rice dish took a bit longer than 30 minutes to cook, but I was cooking another dish at the same time, so that could be the culprit. 

Even though it did take longer than the promised timescale, I was still very impressed with it. Graham loved it (it's vegan) and the boy ate a good few spoonfuls, which is almost miraculous in these suspicious times of toddlerdom.

Now, the recipe says this serves 4, but come on! Look at my large Le Creuset casserole pot, it is just about full. I would say 6 servings, if not more, but for the purpose of calorie counting I am going for the 6 servings.

232 calories per serving

Just perfect for my 5:2 Diet.

Next, check out Easy Vegan Rice Recipes for Lunch or Dinner.

print recipe

One Pot Southern-Style Rice
A quick and spicy rice dish. Tomatoes, peppers and courgette are complimented by a range of herbs and spices. Low fat and low calorie. Great if you are following the fast diet.
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 courgette, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme, dried oregano, hot smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 250 g basmati rice, rinsed under running cold water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 450ml vegetable stock
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and red and yellow peppers and cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the courgette and cook for a further 3–4 minutes.2. Add the herbs, spices and rice and stir-fry for 1 minute, coating the rice well in the other ingredients. Stir in the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper.3. Bring to the boil and cover with a tight fitting lid, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for 15–18 minutes until the rice is cooked and the mixture thickened.
Total time:
Yield: Serves 6
Calories: 232 per serving

Recipe Tweaks

A quick note about the recipe. 

I used olive oil instead of the stated vegetable oil and I used double the amount of paprika, in fact I might have been even more heavy handed than the ½ teaspoon I stated. 

Start at half and you can always add more. I also added some water near the end, to stop it from sticking to the pan.

The Fast Diet

The Fast Diet book

A wee note about the 5:2 diet. Michael Mosley has a new book out called The Fast Diet and there is a website working alongside the book, also called The Fast Diet, where you can learn more about this diet as well as some recipe ideas.  

Disclosure: I received a copy of Quick Cook Low Fat to review. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own. I bought my own copy of The Fast Diet.


  1. thanks for the mention Jac...and that looks a lovely recipe!

  2. Lovley, my kind of one pot meal! Will check out the books and Fast Diet website, too. So glad it is going well for you. x

    1. Thanks Ren. It is going well. Unfortunately I am stuck losing the pounds I put on over Christmas and New Year before I lose any more :)

  3. ummm, that does look good. I'm trying to get the kids to be a bit more adventurous with their meals, so I might try them on this one...

    1. It's really tasty and my wee boy liked it. We just had it on it's own with some crusty bread, but it would be great as a side dish too.

  4. I thought I didn't like rice so avoided it. Turns out I don't like plain rice - anything with flavour, or cooked in stock, is lovely. This looks great

    1. Oh well this is the one for you CC and I can understand, there is such a difference in flavour.

  5. That looks really hearty and delicious Jacqueline, I know my kids would love this:-)

  6. Hi!
    I'm writing to you from across the pond (US).
    Thank you so much for sharing all of your fabulous vegetarian recipes.
    So far I've read four and bookmarked them all!


    Have a fabulous day!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I do hope you enjoy the recipes.


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x