lemon-scented cous-cous salad

Lemon-scented cous-cous salad

This fat-free, low-carb, low-calorie salad is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach

Lemon-scented cous-cous salad, served with seared tuna steak

I’ve created this salad for my pre-surgery diet before my weight-loss surgery, but despite the lemon-scent (obtained from grating in some lemon zest), if you take out the tomatoes and replace them with additional vegetables, e.g. cucumber, sweetcorn, freshly shelled peas etc, it is also suitable for anyone following a reflux diet.  I am tolerating tomatoes quite well now my reflux has settled down a lot, and as my diet is so severely restricted for these few days before my surgery, I have opted to use the tomatoes. 

You can have this salad on its own, or serve it with a variety of meat or fish.  In this instance, I served it with a delicious seared tuna steak, seasoned with sea salt, garlic and chilli. 

Ingredients (for one generous portion)

  • Three small tomatoes, chopped into small pieces (see note above if you are following a reflux diet)
  • 1/3rd of a red pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/3rd of a yellow pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 2tbsp cooked cous-cous
  • 1tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • zest of 1/3rd of a lemon, finely grated
  • sea salt, to taste


Mix all ingredients together.  Serve & enjoy!

Gloriously simple, gloriously good!


Seared tuna steak with salsa and cous-cous

Another low-cal, low-fat, low-carb quick lunch / dinner

seared tuna steak with salsa and cous-cous

This is another one of my quick lunches for the pre-surgery diet before I have my weight-loss surgery, though of course it’s a delicious dish in its own right.  If you are not following a strict pre-op diet for bariatric surgery, feel free to adjust the quantities, of course, though I found this to be surprisingly filling!

Ingredients (for one person)

  • small tuna steak (approx. 100g)
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 2tbsp cooked cous-cous (seasoned with a pinch of salt at time of cooking)
  • salt (to taste)
  • garlic (to taste; fresh or granules – if fresh, crush or chop very finely)
  • chilli (to taste; fresh or powder – if fresh, chop very finely)
  • coriander leaves (to taste; fresh or dried – if fresh, chop finely)


Cook the cous-cous and set aside. If you really want to give the whole dish a kick, you can add garlic and chilli to the cous-cous straight after cooking.

Cut the tomatoes into very small chunks, season to taste with salt, garlic, chilli and coriander leaves.  I used dry store-cupboard ingredients for this as I wanted a fuss-free, quick lunch, but of course you can use fresh ingredients for an even richer, fresher flavour! Set aside. 

Pre-heat a griddle or non-stick pan until it’s sizzling hot.  Lightly season the tuna with salt, garlic and chilli (powders work best here so you don’t burn the fresh ingredients, and they stay on the tuna steak better).  Place on the hot griddle and sear for a minute or two, then turn over and sear the other side.  The aim is for the middle to stay nice and pink (that’s how I like it, but of course you can cook it more thoroughly if you prefer your tuna well-cooked). 

Serve the tuna with the tomato salsa and cous-cous on the side. 

Gloriously simple, gloriously good!

Hearty vegetable soup with tomatoes and chicken

This is another one of my low-cal, low-carb, low-fat recipes for my pre-op diet before I have weight loss surgery next week. 

Hearty vegetable soup with tomatoes and chicken - gloriouslygoodfood.com

The recipe is one of those ‘chuck things in’ kind of recipes, so the vegetable quantities are approximate.  Play around with it and find what suits your palate in terms of actual vegetables used and ratio of one to another 🙂

Ingredients (for two hearty / filling portions containing virtually no fat and half the amount of protein I was advised to have in one day during my pre-op diet)

  • 1 chicken thigh (boneless, skinless, all visible fat removed), approx. 100g raw weight
  • 1l chicken stock (I make this with 2 Knorr chicken stock pots and 1l water, but you can make your own low-fat stock or buy other stock cubes / pots)
  • 2-3 baby carrots or one standard carrot, scraped, topped and tailed (cut into smaller chunks if using a standard size carrot)
  • 2-3 broccoli florets
  • Approximately 200g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 very small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small courgette, cut into chunky slices


Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked and the harder vegetables are tender enough to break easily with a spoon. 

Once the soup is cooked, remove the chicken thigh and set it aside, then place the remaining ingredients (all stock and all vegetables) into a food processor.  Blend until smooth or, if you prefer, leave a few chunkier pieces in. 

Chop the chicken into pea-size pieces.  As this makes two portions,
place half the chicken pieces into a food storage container or bag and add half the soup.

If you don’t want that much soup in one go, you can of course split this into more portions.  If you are following a pre-op diet like mine, make sure you have enough protein in your other meal of the day if you have less than half the chicken thigh in one meal.

Serve the remaining half of soup, with the remaining half of chopped chicken pieces, immediately.