GymBug

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Archive for the tag “cooking”

Veggies- Cooked or Raw?

Hi there!

I’m sorry (again) for gaps in posts! i have been studying and enjoying the wonderful weather Spain has been blessed with! However, I suddenly realised that something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is something you might find interesting! There are forever new articles coming out about the raw food diet (exactly as it sounds, raw food). And whilst I do enjoy some food raw I don’t like it all raw and started doing some research into what foods are better cooked and what foods are better raw! I don’t have an exceptionally long list, but they are staples in my meals so might come in handy for you too!

In the cooked corner;

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Aspragus
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage

In the raw corner;

  • Peppers
  • Broccolli
  • Garlic
  • Beetroot
  • Onions

Have it either way;

  • Spinach

This is a list I will continue to update as I find more information about but the idea behind the ‘optimal methods’ for consuming these depends on the nutrients and what best preserves them. For example, according to BBC Good Food, heating up the foods listed above makes it easier for our bodies to enjoy the benefits from some of their protective antioxidants. Essentially, it helps us better absorb nutrients, like lycopene in tomatoes.
On the other hand, some vegetables like those listed in the raw section are better kept raw because heating them up can damage an enzyme which results in the strength of anti-cancer compunds (glucosinolates) being reduced.

So, here’s a list (that’s incomplete) on how to best prepare your veggies! Let me know what you think and if you know of any others!

As always, I’m a GN Academy member and if you need some protein or any brilliant qualiy supplements/snacks/a lot, lot more then check Go Nutrition out! Use my referral code A5CJC for free 250g of protein when you spend £10 or more!

Gym Bug

Fuel your day!

Hi there!

I’m going to try and get more regular posts out now! I’ll be a bit more room bound now that exams are racing round so will have a bit of time to sit down and write! Today, I’d like to post about breakfast. My favourite meal ever and I love trying out new things to give me a great, healthy kick start to the day! I thought I’d share a couple of my favourite recipes! Unfortunately, there are no photos, except ones of breakfasts I’ve already posted! Unless otherwise stated, all recipes are for 1 person.

1) My Rock n Roll 10k breakfast; I made this just this weekend to prepare me for my first 10km race. I ate it about 1 hour 30 minutes before I started and it kept me powering through! It needs to be left in the fridge overnight.

Ingredients;

  • 1 portion of natural/greek yoghurt (your preference here)
  • 1 protein scoop of oats (this is about 25g worth of oats)
  • 6 frozen strawberries
  • Optional; 1 teaspoon cinammon/agave syrup/golden syrup

Method;

  1. In a resealable tub, mix the oats with the cinammon (if using).
  2. Chop 3 of the frozen strawberries into chunks and pile on top of the oats.
  3. Add the yoghurt.
  4. Cut the remianing strawberries and place them on top of the yoghurt.
  5. Drizzle the agave syrup/golden syrup on top (if using) or sprinkle more cinammon (if using).
  6. Leave this covered in the fridge overnight.

2) Power Up Pancakesfollow the link for the recipe!

Protein Pancakes

3) Avocado & Egg Toast; oats aren’t everybodies cup of tea, so here’s a more savoury option for those dreary mornings!

Ingredients;

  • 2 slices wholegrain bread
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 medium eggs
  • To season; ground black pepper, smoked paprika, salt, tabasco, you’re condiment of choice

Method;

  1. Slice the avocado into strips.
  2. Scramble the eggs (try use olive oil rather than butter here).
    If you want, feel free to boil/poach/omlette your eggs!
  3. Toast the bread whilst the eggs are cooking.
  4. Put the avocado on top of the toast first.
  5. Add the eggs on top.
  6. Season.
  7. Devour.

4) Super fruit bowlfor a fresher, lighter start to the day!

Ingredients;

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 small apple
  • Handful of berries (you choose)
  • 1 portion of natural/greek yoghurt
  • Optional; cinammon, golden syrup, agave syrup, cocoa powder

Method;

  1. Chop all the fruit and pile into a bowl.
  2. Mix the yoghurt and any optional toppings you fancy.
  3. Simples!

These are 4 super easy and healthy recipes you can whip up for breakfast to keep the day starting right! I always find if I start the day on a good, healthy note, then maintaining my healthy eating throughout the day is so much easier. I also feel more energetic and have more energy right through to snack time.

Have a great week guys! Anyone else counting down the days until summer!?

Gym Bug

Foodie Challenge #8

Hi there!

I have a sort of dinner club with 2 friends here and we each take turns cooking the main every Wednesday. It was my turn this time round and I opted to make my own variation of sweet potato and white bean burgers! I wanted to try something healthy, fast and cheap.

Ingredients ( 2 large patties);

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 250g white beans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • Olive oil

Method;

  1. Peel and cube the sweet potato and boil them until soft enough to mash.
  2. Dry the sweet potatoes and allow them to cool.
  3. Once cooled, mash the white beans and seasoning in together.
  4. Optional; add the egg. I didn’t use one, because I found they bound very well together without it, however, they didn’t crisp up excellently.
  5. Create either 2 large patties or more mini patties.
  6. Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
  7. Cook the patties until they are a nice, crisp, brown colour.
  8. Serve with side salad, vegetables, whatever you fancy!

I apologise for the photo, my phone died before I could get a finished product photo, but here’s a mini patty cooking!

Sweet Potato and White Bean Burger

You can also bulk them out a bit with breadcrumbs or have a burger bun with them!

Gym Bug

Foodie Challenge #7

Hi there!

I had a night out on Friday for Carnival here in Spain and offered to cook dinner for myself and 2 friends. I wanted something that would be bulky enough for us to be able have a few drinks and not leave the contents of our stomach somewhere embarassing or wake up feeling like we’d been ran over (some of my friends did wake up like this, but anyway). I decided to cook something I haven’t eaten in a while and never cooked before; gnocchi. Gnocchi is essentially potato dumplings that feel more like a pasta based dish. So it ticked the boxes of being carb heavy to line our stomachs! My family make it with mascarpone, tomatoes and spinach but dietary requirements of one friends ruled the mascarpone cheese out, so I decided to wing it.

Ingredients (this served 3 of us with a dash leftover);

  • 400g of gnocchi
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of aubergine, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • Crushed  black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • Couple of sprigs of fresh basil
  • Olive oil
  • 100ml red wine

Method;

  1. Mix the aubergine with the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and red wine.
  2. On a medium heat, put the lid on the pan and allow the onions to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes and all the seasoning, tasting and adjusting accordingly.
  4. Allow the sauce to simmer for around 5 minutes then add the gnocchi and spinach.
  5. Put the lid on and allow the gnocchi to soften in the sauce, takes about 5-10 minutes, stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  6. To check if the gnocchi has cooked properly, you can slice one open and it should be soft through the centre and hot.
    Note; alternatively, you can boil the gnocchi in water for 2-3 minutes, then add to the sauce.
  7. Tear up the basil and sprinkle on top before serving.

Gnocchi

It’s tasty, simple, cheap, quick and it’s healthy! We had a side dish of caeser salad with ours. You can also add peppers in with the tomatoes to add more vegetables (going to try that next time).

I’m finding that I’m enjoying just winging recipes with new ingredients but I will return to using recipes too! I have a rather long bucket list awaiting my attention!

Gym Bug

Foodie Challenge #4

Hi there!

Trying lots of recipes recently! Classes are about to start so it will likely become less frequent but I will try maintain my one new recipe a month! Last nights dinner was a delicious Sweet Potato and White Bean stew, I got the inspiration to this from this recipe but made many edits. What’s great about this is it uses any leftovers from last Foodie Challenge #3!

Ingredients (for one);

  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped into chunks.
  • 1 carrot, chopped.
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely chopped.
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped.
  • 1 cup spinach.
  • 1/2 cup aubergine, cubed.
  • 2-3 mushrooms, sliced.
  • 1/2 cup brocoli.
  • 100g white beans.
  • 200g tinned tomatoes.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes.
  • 100ml red wine.
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed.
  • Crushed black pepper.
  • Olive oil

Method;

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and soften the garlic and onions (use a lid to do this).
  2. Add the cumin, black pepper and chili flakes and stir to coat over the onions.
  3. Add all the vegetables, sweet potato and tinned tomatoes and mix well.
  4. Add the beans and the red wine and stir it well.
  5. Cover with a lid and cook gently on a simmer for 40-50 minutes until the vegetables are tender, the sweet potato is soft and the stew has thickened.
  6. Taste and season further as required.

This takes longer to cook than my other recipes but it’s delicious, filling and healthy!

It looks very similar to yesterdays post but it's sweet potato not prawns in it!

It looks very similar to yesterdays post but it’s sweet potato not prawns in it!

Not going to lie, I’m really enjoying this challenge!

Gym Bug

Foodie Challenge #3

Hi there!

Another Foodie Challenge post today. This was last nights dinner and was based on Runner’s World Complete Guide to Nutrition recipe for Prawns and White beans. I edited the recipe slightly to add more vegetables to it.

Ingredients (for one);

  • 200g tinned tomatoes
  • 100g white beans
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Crushed black pepper
  • 10 prawns, cooked (you can add more or less also mine just needed their shells removed)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brocoli, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes

Method;

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions and garlic.
  2. Place a lid on the pan and soften the onions.
  3. Add the tomatoes, paprika (both kinds), chili, black pepper and peppers, stir everything together.
  4. Place a lid on the pan and allow the mix to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the spinach and the beans and stir together well.
  6. Add the prawns and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes to make sure the prawns are hot.
    (Taste the sauce and add any additional seasoning if desired)
  7. Sprinkle the brocoli over the top, remove from heat and allow the dish to sit for 1 minute.
    (Here you can boil the brocoli if you prefer it soft, but I enjoy brocoli raw and crunchy)

That’s it! Nice and healthy and very easy. It’s also relatively cheap (the prawns may not be) but you can replace the prawns with chicken! Just add the chicken with the onions in step 1 and ensure it’s cooked through before serving!

Prawns and Beans

I love prawns and the extra kick from the chili gave a nice heat to it!

Gym Bug

Oats!

Hi there!

Warning: I will use oats and porridge interchangeably.

I’ve already done a post on Stoats, which is a great porridge company based in Scotland. I love their oats and recommend trying their flavours to mix breakfast up! However, if you prefer making your own delicious oats, I’ve made a list of easy toppings that you can cook into the porridge (just cook the toppings with th oats) or throw on after cooking. I usually cook my oats in the microwave also a make it slightly drier.

  • Banana; very simple. If you microwave your oats the banana disappears and creates a delicious and creamy mix.
  • Banana and honey; bit sweeter.
  • Pineapple; this becomes insanely hot in the microwave, but it’s a great sweet and sour flavour. Add some dried/fresh coconut to make a tropical breakfast.
  • Dried fruit; cranberries, raisins, sultanas, apricots, dried coconut, the list goes on! Bananas and raisins are also delicious.
  • Cinnamon; powdered cinnamon is brilliant, throw it in with bananas, apples, raisins for even more flavour.
  • Apples; cook them with the porridge too for delicious, hot breakfast.
  • Berries; strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. Again, add these on top or cook into the porridge. Cooking them creates a lovely compote.
  • Peanut butter; on its own, with cinnamon, bananas or apples.
  • Jam; a bit more fruit (and a bit more sugar).
  • Peanut Butter and Jam; watch the portions here, but it’s a delicious treat.
  • Dark chocolate; a couple of squares, great if you’re craving some chocolate.
  • Cocoa powder; not as tasty as dark chocolate but better if you’re watching your calories.
  • Yoghurt; I really enjoy cooking up a nice, hot bowl of porridge and adding a tablespoon of low-fat natural or fruit flavoured yoghurt.
  • Granola; top your bowl with a modest amount of granola for a lovely crunch.
  • Almonds; adds a nice crunch and delicious flavour. Best add these in and cook for the final 20 seconds or crush them into your porridge.
  • Protein Powder; I recommend mixing up the protein and milk in your shaker then adding that to the oats before cooking to make sure the protein dissolves well.

You can also make porridge savoury, but I’ve never tried this (yet) but here’s a list of recipes from Shape to try if sweet porridge is not your thing!

If hot porridge is not your thing then try mixing your oats (typical 40g portion) with yoghurt in an airtight container (I use Weight Watchers individual pots, one per breakfast, great flavours), throw in some toppings listed above  and leave it overnight. Next morning you’ll have delicious cold oats, they must be left overnight however to ensure the oats soften. I’ve already mentioned overnight oats before with a recipe for Bircher’s Muesli that my mum makes.

IMPORTANT; porridge doesn’t need to be just for breakfast. Porridge can be a brilliant recovery food. Over the Christmas holidays I enjoyed cold, overnight oats post-run. You can get a great balance of carbohydrates and proteins and some sugars to help your body recover.

I’m a huge fan of porridge in case no one noticed.

Gym Bug

Foodie Challenge #2

Hi there!

Another Foodie Challenge post! Today’s post is inspired by a good friend’s incredible soup recipe with lentils, tomatoes, onions and lots of amazing seasoning!

Ingredients (makes about 10 bowls)

  • 500g puy lentils (best leave these to soak for an hour prior to making the recipe)
  • 800g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 teaspoons Chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 stock cube
  • Black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil

Method

  1. Fill a pot halfway with water and start to boil.
  2. Add all the vegetables, lentils, garlic, ginger and sweet potato into the water.
  3. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer for approximately 30 minutes (until the lentils are soft)
  4. Add the tomatoes and herbs.
  5. Stir it all together well and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Taste the soup and season as required.
  7. My friend added some leeks at this stage and cooked for a further 5 minutes, this is optional.
  8. You can puree the soup or leave it nice and chunky.

This is truly a delicious and addictive soup but it’s nice a healthy! You can add more vegetables too such as courgette (zucchini), potatoes and aubergine (eggplant) too to add more vegetables. You would add these with the carrots! Another nice thing to do is to slice an entire aubergine lengthways, add a light drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper then griddle them as delicious dipping devices instead of bread! (We didn’t make these). And that’s it! A very easy soup that got protein in it and lots of healthy vegetables!

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Gym Bug

2-Ingredient Pancakes

Hi there!

Last night was pancake night! A friend and I had decided to make some pancakes to give ourselves a break from studying. However, we used a recipe neither of us had tried before. I was slightly sceptical, there is literally 2 ingredients in these pancakes but they were actually really, really good.

Ingredients; (for one person, about 3-5 pancakes)

1 large, ripe banana
2 eggs
Cinnamon (optional, we actually forgot)

Method;

  • Mash the eggs, bananas and cinnamon (if using) all together to form a smooth batter.
    You could use a blender here if you have one.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan (on a medium heat).
  • Fry the pancakes until browned on each side, about 2 tablespoons per pancake works well.
  • Serve with your favourite toppings!

We had jam or honey or a bit of dark chocolate on ours, but try with yoghurt, fruit, dark chocolate drops, maple syrup, whatever you love on pancakes! They are sweet because of the banana, so watch out for that!

A couple of cooking notes;

  • The ‘batter’ will be quite thin if you leave your bananas slightly chunkier (like we did), it still works really well, plus you get delicious hits of warm banana through the pancake.
  • They are paler than normal pancakes, to ensure the egg is cooked leave about 2-3 on each side.
  • If you’ve left banana chunks in there; you will find wetter parts through the pancake as you are eating it, the pancake is cooked (if you’ve left it long enough) it’s just the banana making it a bit more moist.
  • Next time I think I’ll add some raisins or dark chocolate drops to add to these a bit.
  • If you’re looking to bulk them up a bit add some peanut butter in there or any nut butter (or you could use these as toppings).
  • Chocolate craving? Cocao powder in there.
  • These average out at about 25 calories per pancake (untopped), that’s about a 20 calorie saving per pancake compared to generic pancakes!

These were such a great mix up to my usual boring dinners! Love them! There are some photos below (on my iPhone, apologies about the quality) of them cooking and one finished pancake!

Pancake Cooking

Pancake cooking

One completed pancake

One completed pancake

The set-up

The set-up

It’s a Monday! Did you get your Monday off to a great start with a workout!? I did not, the gym is closed so I went yesterday instead! But if you can go on a Monday I recommend it! It sets you up for the week!
Here’s to a great week.

Gym Bug

Dinner; Panga Stir Fry

Hi there!

Thought I’d share another recipe with you. Last night I had curried panga with vegetables.
Panga is a relatively cheap white fish that’s pretty bland on its own, hence the curried element to it. The photo below is what I had tonight, it doesn’t look amazing. This is because I chunk the panga once it’s cooked to make extra sure it’s cooked. I’m paranoid about eating undercooked poultry, fish, pork etc, so I tend to break it up to make sure it’s all cooked through. Also, it releases more juices and helps flavour the vegetables.

So here we go, the recipe for one person

Ingredients;
1 x panga fillet
1 x medium carrot
1/2 cup brocolli
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup aubergine
1/2 cup courgette
1/2 cup pepper (red, yellow or green)
Handful of spinach
Garlic clove
Curry seasoning (optional)
Black pepper
Olive oil

Method;
1) Rub some curry seasoning onto the panga filet (if you can do this the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight, even better)
2) Chop the onion and garlic (to whatever size you like, I like mine finely sliced)
3) Heat up a little olive oil in a wok/pan
4) Add the onions and garlic and soften them
5) Whilst softening the onions, cube the carrots, brocolli, pepper, aubergine and courgette
6) Once the onions are softened, throw in the vegetables and stir often to prevent anything burning, do this for about 3 minutes
7) Make a space in the middle of the vegetables and add the panga filet
8) Keep the vegetables moving as much as possible, after about 2-3 minutes flip the panga
9) Allow the filet to cook another 2-3 minutes (I, at this point, start breaking the fish up and mixing it with the vegetables, cooks it thoroughly and mixes flavours)
10) Add the spinach and turn off the heat, stir continuosly to wilt the spinach
11) Serve

There should be some nice juices from the panga, flavoured with the garlic, vegetables and curry powder. It’s delicious.

If the curry rub isn’t your thing here are some alternatives I’ve tried;

  • Spicy paprika, oregano, black pepper rub
  • Spicy paprika, black pepper rub
  • Oregano, black pepper rub
  • Black pepper, lemon juice (put this into the wok at the end for a minute or so)

You could other seasonings as well, but it needs something to help give the fish a bit of flavour!

It’s super simple, quick, cheap and healthy.

Panga Stir Fry

This has the paprika, oregano, black pepper rub

Panga Stir Fry

Tonight’s dinner with the curry rub and black pepper

Panga Stir Fry

Here is the paprika, oregano, black pepper version cooking in the wok

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Gym Bug

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