Posted in food, nutrition, Uncategorized

Recipe: Quorn mince and green lentil curry.

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It was my turn to cook dinner last week and I decided to be adventurous and try something new.  I have eaten quorn on numerous occasions when I lived away from home as a student but my family hadn’t so I thought there’s no time like the present to serve it to them. I knew my brother would pull a face being the meat-lover that he is and not the most willing to try vegetarian options, but I hoped to change his mind about this sustainable protein source!

I found a recipe for “Quorn Meat Free Mince & Vegetable Curry” on the quorn website and thought it sounded delicious, I just adapted it slightly in terms of veggies used. I liked the fact this recipe had an abundance of herbs and spices to add flavour, because I know quorn can be quite bland and not have much of a taste. This was also a positive when trying to convince a stubborn meat eater that quorn tastes good.

Ingredients (serves 4):

300g Quorn mince

1 tspn olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 tin chopped tomatoe

1 tspn tomato puree

1 red onion

1 red pepper

1 can green lentils drained

Curry Spices:

1 tspn chilli powder

1 tspn ground ginger

½ tspn ground coriander

½ tspn ground cumin

½ tspn ground turmeric

Combine the spices together and set aside in a bowl. Fry the veg and garlic in oil and then add the spice mix. Add tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Add the quorn mince and green lentils. I served with brown rice.

Unfortunately I did not win my brother over completely with the quorn in that he still prefers beef due to the flavour. I mean I prefer the flavour of beef mince but I think of the health and environmental benefits when consuming quorn!

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Posted in food

Recipe: Spinach and ricotta pastry twists. 

To celebrate the last day of uni lectures/ tutorials on Friday, my course held a pot luck lunch. 

With there being 25 of us on the course and everyone bringing something, there was a lot of food. Somewhow we managed to devour the majority of it though!

I decided to make something savoury as there always seems to be an abundance of sweet food at these things. Spinach and ricotta is a favourite combination of mine so I opted for this filling within pastry. They were delicious and can be eaten hot or cold. 

Ingredients:

250g puff pastry

150g spinach 

100g ricotta cheese

1 red onion

1 tspn olive oil

1 egg 

Salt and pepper for flavour 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Fry the onion in oil, then add the spinach and then the ricotta. Separate the pastry into 4 balls and roll out into a large oval shape with a rolling pin. Score the sides of the pastry with a knife to form slits. Spoon the mixture into the centre of the pastry oval. Wrap the pastry slits round the filling and place on a baking tray. Brush egg over the top of the twists and bake for 25 minutes. 

Posted in fitness, food

Catching a cold and turning 22.

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This past week hasn’t been the best quality in terms of fitness. Firstly it was for a bad reason – I caught the common cold. But thankfully the second reason was more joyous – my birthday.

I made it to the gym last Monday for a leg session. It was actually a great session. The attachment for the cable machine which I love using for glute kickbacks also turned up again. I was so glad because this is one of my fav exercises at the gym. My routine was pretty much my usual leg day:

Squats – 10 x 20 kg, 40 kg, 50 kg and 2 x 5 at 55 kg

Curtsy lunges – 20 holding 10 kg plate then 10

Pull throughs – 3 x 10 at 12.5 kg

Glute kickbacks – 3 x 10 on each leg at 10 kg

Glute bridges – 3 x 15, hold for 10 then pulse for 10 with 10 kg plate

American deadlifts – 3 x 10 with 30 kg barbell

Stretches to finish.

Then on Wednesday I did a HIIT session of my own outdoors with the sun shining. Yes the sun was shining in Scotland – haha. But Wednesday night was when the cold started to hit. It wasn’t just the common cold either, as my head was constantly pounding and my energy levels were at an all time low. I started to feel better on Friday but thought it was best to wait until my full recovery before working out again. I made myself and my brother a veggie filled lunch to get as many nutrients in as possible to help get rid of this flu.

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All I did was throw broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and spinach into a pan along with tuna, a packet of Tilda brown basmati and quinoa, tuna, a tablespoon of Philadelphia and some mixed herbs.  It tasted really good and the volume of veg produced a filling dish. (If you try and make this, microwave or boil the veg for a short time before pan cooking).

Then was Sunday, my birthday and turning the grand old age of 22. I had my fav breakfast pictured below of scrambled eggs on toast with smoked salmon. Delish!

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The day ended with a delicious bar meal and a few cheeky cocktails. This was very much an indulgent weekend so this week I plan to get more workouts in, in between my piles of uni work. Hope you all had a great week!

Posted in food

Smoked salmon and crème frîache pasta.

I don’t know about you guys but smoked salmon is one of my ultimate favourite foods. Cold in a sandwich, on a cracker, in a salad I will try and eat it when I can. But in moderation of course!

I was shopping in Aldi with my dad and when we saw smoked salmon trimmings for a very good price     we just had to purchase these and thought they would go great in a pasta!

We had a joint effort to come up with a sauce to go with it and cooking the final result. We used a mixture of plain spaghetti and linguine because it was all we had in the house. It can be made healthier by using wholewheat pasta but we decided to treat ourselves with this meal. You can also have a side of salad to up the micronutrient content. 

Ingredients (for 3):

225g pasta of your choice (long thin pasta like the ones I used go best)

1 tspn olive oil

80g crème frîache

100ml chicken stock

150g peas

Mixed herbs to season

Boil the pasta. Whilst cookin the pasta, place the olive oil in a pan, add the peas and crème frîache until basically boiling. Add the salmon and herbs to taste.

Posted in food

Chicken pepper and onion kebab recipe. 

I saw someone’s blog post of a dish similar to this and I was so tempted to try it. A combonation of seeing that post and a friend telling me about an amazing Greek restaurant they had visited, had me craving humus and pitta bread! 

I decided that onion pepper and chicken kebabs were the perfect combo to go with this. I just had to come up with a marinade. I wanted something with lemon for zing and oregano one of my favourite herbs, so I made up this marinade:

50ml rapeseed oil

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 dessert spoon of lemon zest

1 garlic clove 

1 tablespoon oregano 

I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl and added chopped chicken breast and left for around an hour. I then fried this off. I’m quite skeptical about putting raw chicken straight in the oven in case it’s not cooked thoroughly. I then added the chopped onion and pepper so they could absorb some of the marinade. The pepper onion and chicken was assembled onto skewers and then placed under the grill for around 10 minutes. This was served with warm wholemeal pitta bread and humus. 

I couldn’t have been more pleased with the result. The flavour was so tasty. This also satisfied my craving of humus and pitta but made it healthy! 

Posted in food, nutrition

Smoothie recipe.

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I’m not usually a smoothie fan, mainly due to the fact that I feel hungry around an hour later after consuming them as a meal. However I have now discovered that drinking these as a snack are perfect and satisfy my hunger between meals.

I decided to make one on Friday as a post-workout snack and it was delicious! I think I will start consuming these more as a post-workout snack.

This one consisted of:

1 frozen banana

200ml milk (use the milk you like but I don’t have an intolerance so cows milk does me fine)

1 heaped teaspoon of peanut butter

A handful of spinach

1/2 scoop My protein chocolate peanut butter whey (my absolute fav)

I blended the banana and the milk first to make a thick almost ice cream like texture, then added the other ingredients one at a time. I just drank it out of the Blend-active cup with a straw, although it does get quite thick at the bottom I’ll warn you.

If like me you love banana, peanut butter and chocolate this flavour combo is to die for. It also really satisfies those sweet cravings!

Posted in food

Chocolate peanut banana porridge. 

I decided to mix up my regular breakfast porridge and add banana to the main bulk of the porridge instead of as a topping. It tasted good but so sweet! I think I would have it again as a dessert but not for breakfast.

It’s funny I used to have a real sweet too and always lived by the notion that dessert was the best course of a meal. However over the past few years I’ve moved towards having more of a savoury tooth. I’d much rather go for a starter or cheese board than any rich dessert. I think it must be a sign of getting old-haha. But has anyone else gone through this faze too? 

I simply measured out 50g oats as normal then added chopped banana and mashing. I then added around 100ml milk as usual and microwaved for 1 minute. Once heated I added half a scoop of my favourite whey protein – My protein chocolate peanut butter and some chia seeds. 

Try this if you have a sweet tooth! 

Posted in food

Homemade fajita spice and guacamole. 

For a while I’ve wanted to try and make my own fajita spice mix. I just feel the packets you can buy in supermarkets are unnecessarily high in salt. Anyway this was my experiment yesterday, to see if I could lower the salt without compromising on taste.

I can tell you my recipe needs amending slightly, perhaps a touch of salt was needed because the shop bought ones taste better. But if any of you can make recommendations to adjust this recipe to make it taste a bit better please let me know!

My spice mix included:

3 teaspoons mild chilli powder

2 teaspoons paprika 

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove crushed garlic 

I mixed the spices together and rubbed all over chopped chicken breast then fried in a small amount of sunflower oil. I then added the red onion and peppers, before serving into Mission deli Multigrain wraps with some salsa and guacamole. 

The guacamole however came out a treat, so tasty. I braved chopping up chillis too for the recipe. 
The ingredient for this was:

1 avocado 

The juice of 1 lime

1/2 a red onion

1/2 a red chilli

One clove of garlic 

Simply mash the avocado, squeeze the juice of one lime and mix in. Crush the garlic, chop and de-seed the chilli and chop the onion. Then mix all of this together.

You can alter this recipe by adding tomatoes and coriander for example.

Posted in food

Shakshuka recipe. 

Okay so you’re all probably thinking “what on earth is shakshuka, and how do you even pronounce that?!”. I thought the same to begin with unti I found out what it actually is and I was won over just reading about it!

It’s basically a tomato based stew which is highly flavoured with yummy herbs and spices, with eggs cracked on top. It’s also so easy to make. You can choose how spicy you want it and if you like the flavour of some spices more than others then you can add more of those. It’s totally up to you. There are many recipe variations flying around the internet like adding chorizo or feta to the mix. My recipe is vegetarian (for those who do eat eggs). Personally I’m not a vegetarian but it’s sustainable and healthy to have some meat free days! I have to admit I rarely have meat free days, more meat free meals but hey ho I’m working on it. 

Ingredients (serves 2):

400g tinned tomatoes 

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1 white onion

1 tspn tomato puree 

1 clove of garlic

4 eggs

1 tspn cumin

1 tspn paprika

1 tspn mild chilli powder

1/2 tspn cayenne pepper (this is spicy!)

1 tspn cooking oil of your choice 

Simply fry the chopped onion, peppers and garlic in the cooking oil. Add in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Add all the spices. Simmer unti all veg is soft and a lot of the liquid has evaporated off. Make four wells in the mixture and crack the eggs into each well. Cover the pan until the eggs are cooked. It took about 10 minutes for the eggs to cook for me. 

I served this with some cous cous. Delicious! 

Posted in food, Uncategorized

Chocolate peanut date energy balls.

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I was busy in the kitchen yesterday experimenting with energy balls. Those of you who have read my previous blog posts will see I have a bit of an obsession with making energy balls.I have tried a few different types composed of different ingredients but yesterday I tried adding chia seeds into the mix.

Having just bought a large 1kg bag of chia seeds and recently bought a pouch of my fav whey protein – Chocolate peanut butter from My protein – I decided to include these! These are the larger ones pictured on the right. I have posted the almond balls on the left in a post before, so these are the same but with an added teaspoon of chia seeds.

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

80g pitted dates chopped

55g oats

1 tspn sunflower oil

1 tspn chia seeds

1 scoop whey protein

Simply blend up the oats, add the rest of the ingredients then form into balls with your hands.

Macros:

117 kcal

2g Fat

19g CHO

6g Protein