LighterLife Bonfire Night low calorie recipe ideas

November 4, 2013 - Recipes

Beautiful happy girl with Christmas fireworks on abstract blurreThe weather might be gloomy, but you can spread a little cheer this Bonfire Night without piling on the pounds with some of these high fun but low calorie recipe ideas.

Traditionally, the 5 November is a time when the whole family gathers together to watch the fireworks and, in many households, the occasion calls for home-cooked comfort foods to warm you up after an evening outside watching the night sky. While in many cases the options are calorific, there are a few simple ways you can double up on flavour while cutting back on fat. Check out the recipes below and feel inspired this Bonfire Night!

Veggie beanburgers with salsa
Veggie BeanburgersThese spicy veggie burgers are simple to make and very filling. We have served them with salsa but you could try topping them with some low-fat guacamole, Thai sweet chilli sauce or even some old-fashioned tomato ketchup – whatever takes your fancy.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Serves: 2
Per serving:
151 kcal
8g protein
29g carbs
2g fat



  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
  2. Heat the stock in a saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion, then cover and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrot, red pepper and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the coriander and chilli powder and stir for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Mash the drained kidney beans in a bowl and mix in the fresh white breadcrumbs and chopped coriander. Add the onion mixture, mix well and season with black pepper.
  4. Divide the kidney bean mixture into four equal-sized portions and, using your hands, shape into burgers and coat lightly with the dried wholewheat breadcrumbs (see page 32).
  5. Place the burgers on non-stick greaseproof paper on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown on one side, then turn them over and brown the other side.
  6. Serve the hot burgers with a spoonful of hot salsa and some fromage frais. Eat with a crisp mixed salad and serve with lime wedges.

Mushroom toads with onion gravy

Mushroom-ToadsHere’s a low-calorie vegetarian version of traditional toad in the hole. Flavoured with mushrooms and thyme, and served with a delicious red onion gravy, it’s terrific for warming up as those autumn days draw nearer.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Standing: 5–10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Serves: 2
Per serving:
272 kcal
14g protein
33g carbs
7g fat


For the red onion gravy:


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7.
  2. Sift the flour into a basin, add the egg and gradually beat in the skimmed milk, until you have a smooth batter with no lumps. Add the thyme leaves and black pepper. Set aside to stand for 5–10 minutes.
  3. Place two shallow individual non-stick ovenproof dishes or two non-stick muffin pans on a baking tray and pop them into the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, until they’re really hot.
  4. Quickly pour in the batter and then add the mushrooms. Put them back in the oven straight away and cook for 20 minutes, or until the batter rises and the puddings are crisp and golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, make the gravy: put the onion in a pan with 3 tablespoons stock and cook gently over a low heat for 10 minutes, until tender and caramelized. Stir in the plain flour and then gradually add the rest of the stock with the red wine, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Flavour with mustard powder and the brown sugar, and season to taste with black pepper. If the gravy is too thick, just thin it with a little more stock or some cooking water from your vegetables. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve the mushroom toads immediately in a pool of red onion gravy with a selection of fresh vegetables.

Poached spiced pears
Poached Spiced PearsAlthough you can enjoy this dessert all year round, it’s perfect in the autumn when fresh pears are cheap and plentiful. Easy to make, it can be enjoyed hot or cold – just cool thoroughly and then leave in a covered container in the fridge until required.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Serves: 2
Per serving:
126 kcal
1g protein
26g carbs
2g fat



  1. Put the pomegranate, cranberry and orange juices in a large saucepan with the orange zest, spices and honey, and then warm through gently over a low heat.
  2. Peel each pear, leaving the stem intact, and remove the core from the base, using a small knife or corer. Slice a small section off the bottom of each pear to enable them to stand up on their own.
  3. Place the pears upright in the pan and baste with the warm juice and spice mixture. Simmer gently for 20–30 minutes, until cooked. The pears should be tender when pierced with the point of a knife. Remove them from the pan and transfer to two serving plates.
  4. Turn up the heat and let the juice bubble away until it has reduced by half and has become syrupy. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  5. To serve, spoon the syrup over the top of each pear. Serve warm with a spoonful of fromage frais and some thin slivers of orange zest.