Whilst the ProLon diet may be great for our health, it’s somewhat limited in its scope of taste and ingredients. But it needn’t be – in this article I’ll, share with you some ways to ‘spice up’ these soups.

The key here is to use ingredients that contain minuscule amounts of additional calories – so that we don’t negate the health benefits of the diet. In the recipes below I’ve calculated the calorie counts, and ensured they are low. That being said, L-Nutra’s official guidelines on herbs/spices is 1 teaspoon per day (which is up to 8 calories, depending on the herb or spice), and generally these recipes use slightly more. I’ve added a section at the bottom for how to square the maths on these additional calories.

Use these suggestions as guides, but adjust to your own tastes. That’s the beauty of this – as long as you stick to ultra-low calorie additions, you’re free to customize these recipes. For example – whilst some people love chilli, others don’t – so if you see a recipe with chilli, try adding a small amount, or leave it out completely.

I’d imagine once you see these suggestions, you’ll quickly see ways to adjust them to suit your own palate!

If you’re someone who’s on the go all the time, and has limited time in the kitchen, perhaps pick just one or two soups to experiment with when you find yourself with time at home. My personal favourites from the recipes below were minestrone with quinoa (from “soup variety 1”) and curry flavored butternut squash with quinoa (from “soup variety 2”).

Note that all recipes have been made according to the packet instructions and cooked within the specified timeframes. However, if you find these either too thick or too thin, please adjust the amount of water as you see fit.

We’ll begin with the soups from the original ProLon, and then move on to the soups from “Soup Variety 2”.

“Original” ProLon (Soup Variety 1)

Minestrone with vegetables

This recipe gives the soup an “Italian” twist.

Ingredients:
– 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh basil
– 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
– 1/8 to 1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice (adjust to taste)

Instructions:
– Combine the soup powder with water in a saucepan
– Add a pinch of oregano
– Heat on the stove as per the instructions
– Just before serving, add a teaspoon of chopped basil (this preserves the flavor and freshness of the basil)
– To finish, add a squeeze of lemon and serve

Calorie Count – Minestrone with vegetables

Ingredients Weight (g) Calories (k/cal)
1 teaspoon of chopped basil 1g 1
1/4 teaspoon of oregano powder 0.5g 1.5
1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice ~20g 4.5
Total 7 calories

Minestrone with quinoa

This recipe has a peri-peri kick.

Ingredients:
– 1/3 teaspoon of smoked paprika powder
– 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
– 1/8 teaspoon of chilli powder
– 1/8 to 1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice (adjust to taste)

Instructions:
– Combine the soup powder with water
– Add the smoked paprika, oregano and chilli
– Heat on the hob as per the instructions
– To finish, add a squeeze of lemon and serve

Calorie Count – Minestrone with quinoa

Ingredients Weight (g) Calories (k/cal)
1/3 teaspoon of smoked paprika powder 0.75g 2
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano 0.25g 0.7
1/8 teaspoon of chilli powder 0.5g 1
1/4 fresh squeezed lemon juice ~20g 4.5
Total 8.2 calories

Vegetable

This recipe goes for a curried flavor.

Ingredients:
– 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
– (Optional) 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder
– 1/8 teaspoon of smoked paprika powder
– 1/4 fresh squeezed lime juice
– Teaspoon of fresh cilantro

Instructions:
– Add the turmeric, cumin, paprika (and if using, add curry powder also) to a dry saucepan and gently heat (this is referred to as ‘toasting’ the spices). Keep an eye on the spices at this stage, you want to heat them until they smell fragrant but not burnt
– Mix the soup powder and water in a separate bowl, add to the pan with the now toasted herbs
– Heat to the instructed amount of time
– Stir in a teaspoon of fresh cilantro and serve with a squeeze of lemon

Calorie Count – Vegetable

Ingredients Weight (g) Calories (k/cal)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder 0.5g 1.5
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder 0.5g 2
(optional) 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder 0.5g 1.5
1/8 teaspoon of smoked paprika powder 0.27g 0.75
1/4 fresh squeezed lime juice 10g 3
Teaspoon of fresh cilantro 0.33g 0.5
Total 9.25 calories

Tomato

Ingredients:
– 1/4 clove of garlic
– 1 teaspoon of cilantro
– Dash of tabasco sauce

Instructions:
– Chop 1/4 clove of garlic as finely as you can and heat with a splash of water in a pan (avoiding oil) until it smells fragrant
– Separately mix the soup powder with water and add to the pan when the garlic is ready
– Cook on heat as per instructions
– Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped cilantro and a dash of Tabasco, then serve

Calorie Count – Tomato

Ingredients Weight (g) Calories (k/cal)
1/4 clove of garlic 1.5 2.5
1 teaspoon of cilantro 0.33g 0.5
1 dash of tabasco 2g 0.25
Total 3.25 calories

Mushroom

Admittedly, for some palates, the mushroom soup a bit of a hard one to “tweak”. But, after rounds of testing, we’ve discovered a combination that works.

Ingredients:
– 1/4 teaspoon of dried sage
– 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon of fresh parsley

Instructions:
– Combine the soup powder and water in a saucepan and begin heating
– Add sage and thyme
– Heat as per instructions
– Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley and serve

Calorie Count – Mushroom

Ingredients Weight (g) Calories (k/cal)
1/4 teaspoon of dried sage 0.25g 1.5
1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme 0.25g 0.75
1/2 teaspoon of fresh parsley 0.25g 0.5
Total 2.75 calories

ProLon (Soup Variety 2)

ProLon offers 2 different boxes, each with different flavor soups. This one swaps out:
– Minestrone with vegetable
– Vegetable
– Mushroom

Replacing them with the soups in the section below.

Butternut squash

Ingredients:
– 2 cm piece of ginger
– 1/2 fresh red chilli
– 1/2 fresh squeezed lime juice
– 2 fresh mint leaves
– 1 fresh basil leaf
– 2 fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions:
– Combine the soup powder and water in a saucepan and begin heating
– Grate the ginger straight into the soup
– Finely dice the chilli and add to the soup
– Heat according to the instructions on the packet
– Just before serving, add a squeeze of lime and stir it in to the soup
– Add the fresh herbs (tip: roll the leaves together and chop, so they mix in the process)
– Serve

Calorie Count – Butternut squash

Ingredients Weight (g) Calories (k/cal)
2 cm piece of ginger 8g 6.5
1/2 small (fresh) red chilli 4.5g 2
1/2 fresh squeezed lime juice 20g 6
2 fresh mint leaves 1g 1
1 fresh basil leaf 0.5g 0.5
2 fresh cilantro leaves 1g 1
Total 17 calories

Butternut squash with quinoa

Ingredients:
– 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala powder
– 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
– 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder
– Pinch of dried chilli (~1/8 teaspoon)
– Squeeze of fresh lime juice
– Mint and cilantro (2 small leaves of each)

Instructions:
– Heat all the spices in a saucepan to dry warm them – pay close attention so that they don’t burn!
– Combine soup powder and water in a separate jug
– Once the spices have been heated for a couple of minutes, add the soup to the saucepan
– Heat the soup for the amount of time indicated on the instructions
– Once cooked, add a squeeze of fresh lime
– Add 2 small leaves of fresh mint and cilantro (tip: roll the leaves together and chop, so they mix in the process)
– Add the chopped leaves and serve

Calorie Count – Butternut squash with quinoa

Ingredients Weight (g) Calories (k/cal)
1/4 teaspoon of garam masala powder 0.65 2
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder 0.5g 2
1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder 0.5g 2
1/4 teaspoon of chilli powder 0.5 2
– 1/4 fresh squeezed lime juice 10g 3
2 mint leaves 1g 1
2 cilantro leaves 1g 1
Total 13 calories

White bean and spinach

Ingredients:
– 1/4 of a (small) garlic clove
– 1/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes
– 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
– 1/8 teaspoon of dried cilantro powder

Instructions:
– Heat 1/4 of a (small) garlic clove in water (no oil), and remember to top up with water if it dries out while heating
– Add 1/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes
– Add 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
– Add pinch of dried cilantro
– Separately combine the soup powder with boiling water
– Then add this to the saucepan with your ingredients
– Now heat soup for duration on the instructions, then serve

Calorie Count – White bean and spinach

Ingredients Weight (g) Calories (k/cal)
1/4 of a (small) garlic clove 1g 1.5
1/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes 0.6g 2
1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika 0.77g 2.2
1/8 teaspoon of dried cilantro powder 0.33g 0.1
Total 5.8 calories

Calories – Will adding calories break the fast?

One very rational concern with adding any ingredients to the ProLon box is around whether or not it will interfere with the beneficial effects of the fast. For the original ProLon box (“soup variety 1”), if you were to follow the above recipes for every day, you would add approximately 55 calories total to the 5 day program. Or with “soup variety 2”, you’d add approximately 90 calories total.

How this impacts the fast will actually have a certain amount to do with your physical build and how much you exercise over the time period. For a more heavily muscled, or taller man or women, your calorie demands will be at the top end, and thus an extra 50-90 calories would have less of an impact compared to a less muscled or shorter person. Similarly, if one is very active over these 5 days, compared to someone who is not, that will also have an impact.

All that said, the easiest way to square the maths on this, would be to shave off a small amount of the nut based L-Bar. Each one has 280 calories per 45g bar (see here for its nutritional info). So if you were to shave off and not eat 1/10 – that’s a “saving” of 28 calories. Do that on 2 separate days and that’s 56 calories – the equivalent of the added ingredients to soup variety 1. Do that 3x, and that’s 84 calories, almost the 90 calories that the recipes above add to the soup variety 2.

Now I’d imagine not everyone might want to do this, and lose a tiny bit of their nut based L-bar – but at least it’s an option to balance the calorie maths.

Final Words

So hopefully the above recipes provide you options for adding some (extra) flavor to the ProLon soups.

Let me know how you get on with them in the comments, and if you’ve any suggestions for further improvement!

Alex

Posted by Alex

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