GymBug

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Archive for the tag “garlic”

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

Foodie Challenge #6

Hi there!

Another Foodie Challenge post! This time it’s a side dish I prepared last night to go along with some grilled chicken breast and sweet potato. I had plenty leftover and enjoyed the rest for lunch today. This recipe is based off of what I fancied at the time!

Ingredients (for one);

  • 1/2 apple, cubed.
  • 1 beetroot, cubed.
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped (you can have more, but I’m not a huge fan of red onion).
  • 1/2 orange, peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded.
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • 1 garlic glove.

Method;

  1. In bowl/jar/bottle mix the salt, pepper, garlic (which has been squashed but not chopped), olive oil and balsmic together. Set to one side.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients into a bowl.
  3. Pour over the dressing (as much or as little as you want).
  4. Done. Easier than mixing up a protein shake.

I’ve included this one in my foodie challenge series because it’s a recipe I’d never tried before using an ingredient I’d never used before; red cabbage. It’s super simple, cheap and healthy! It’s also really colourful!

Apple, Beetroot, Walnut Salad

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

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!

P1020419 P1020422 P1020423

Gym Bug

Foodie Challenge #1

Hi there!

So I decided to try a new recipe as part of my Foodie Challenge. I made an attempt at Runner’s World Endurance Boosting Pisto from their amazing book The Complete Guide To Nutrition. It’s filled with advice, research, knowledge and delicious looking recipes that are healthy and help you perform at your best! They have a whole array of books available to look at here. Now for the recipe.

This serves 2 people and takes approximately 30 minutes start to finish.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded, diced
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chillies
  • 300g aubergine, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 200g courgette, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 400g skinned, chopped tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • Pinch of hot pimenton (paprika)
  • Sea salt and frehly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the onions and peppers and cover.
  2. Cook them gently for 7 minutes or until golden.
  3. Stir in the garlic, cumin and chillies and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the aubergine and cover and cook for 4 minutes.
  5. Stir in the courgette, season and cook for 4 mins.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, 150ml water and seasoning, simmer for 7 minutes (you want the veg to be tender and the sauce thick).
  7. Break the eggs on top and sprinkle with pimenton (paprika), cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer gently until the eggs are cooked.

Here is what I ended up with! Not quite like the recipe photo, but it tasted really good despite appearances!

la foto (1)

I had some variations, mainly portions, this does serve two but this was my dinner so I used 2 medium eggs instead and was unable to weight the vegetables so I just went for what I fancied. This is delicious and I really enjoyed it!

So there’s Foodie Challenge #1 complete! Stay tuned to see what I attempt next!

Gym Bug

Adoring Avocados

Hi there!

It’s almost Christmas (as I’ve said, I know, but I’m so excited). Which means delicious food circling and lots of opportunities to show off some (healthy) cooking! These recipes are not just exclusively for Christmas though so keep a note of them for future opportunities to use them! They’re great for dinner parties, appetisers or just a healthy dinner!

A big health food in my house is avocado. We love them! They’re in season May through to August (but you can still get some now) and are brilliant sources of good fats (poly- and monounsaturated fats) which when eaten instead of saturated fats can help lower cholesterol. Some avoid avocado because they are high in fat and therefor calories, but again, good fats. They are very easy to chop up and throw in a salad, put on some ryvita or crispbread or whip up some guacamole! Here are some recipes below my family enjoy.

Guacamole

1 avocado
1/3 red chili, deseeded and chopped
1/2 red onion
1 clove of garlic
3 cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper

  1. Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor until to the desired consistency.
  2. Add salt, pepper, more chili to taste.
  3. Store in an airtight container, keeps for roughly 3 days (ensure to leave the avocado pip in with the guacamole to prevent browning)

Avocado Salad Dressing

1 avocado
1/2 tablespoon honey
2- 3 drops of Tabasco
Handful of coriander
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoon of cider or sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion
Juice from 1 lime
3/4 cup of water
Salt and pepper

  1. Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until you get a smooth, creamy texture.
  2. Season as required to your own personal taste, add more Tabasco if you like the kick.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for around an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
  4. This will keep for around 3-5 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container.

Caeser Salad Dressing-this is a great, healthier alternative to a mayonnaise based dressing, you can also use fat-free natural or greek yoghurt (about 5 tablespoons)

1 avocado
2 tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper

  1. Blend the avocado in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the olive oil.
  3. Add the olive oil last and stir briefly.
  4. Season if desired.
  5. This will store in an airtight container for about 3 days in the fridge.
You can play around with the quantities of all of these recipes to get the desired flavors and consistencies. Honestly, when I make them I just go with it until I get the flavor I’m looking for. Beware with the Avocado Salad Dressing, the honey can be very distinctive and make the dressing sweet, best go for less at first then add if desired.
Parmaham, Avocado and Balsamic Salad
1 pack parmaham
1 avocado
50g pine nuts
150ml balasmic dressing
200ml extra virgin olive oil
As much rocket as you like
Salt and pepper
  1. Wash the rocket thoroughly and pat dry, lay out on a large, flat plate.
  2. Toast your pine nuts by laying them on a frying pan (no oil) on a medium-high heat until they start to brown (some may have black patches, that’s fine) remove from the heat and allow to cool in a dish.
  3. Mix the balsamic and olive oil together, we place it in a  glass bottle with an unpeeled clove of garlic, salt and pepper and shake thoroughly (you can store it in this bottle in the fridge for salads too).
  4. Peel and slice the avocado, best to cut the avocado in half, remove the pip then slice length ways to keep the curved shape in each slice.
  5. Scatter the avocado across the rocket, tear the parmaham and scatter it too then sprinkle over the pine nuts.
  6. Drizzle some of the dressing (not all of it) over the plate and allow others to add more dressing if desired (remember that dressing can be used for all salads).
  7. Best eaten then and there, but will keep in the fridge for a day or 2, make sure to keep the avocado pip and pop it on the plate/in the container when you store it.
Creamy Avocado Pasta (for one)- this is a super simple, cheap pasta dish that’s very quick and healthy!
1 avocado (the riper, the better)
70g wholewheat pasta
1 garlic clove
1 red onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
50g peas
Chicken or prawns (optional)
Salt and pepper
  1. Start cooking your wholewheat pasta, it takes slightly longer than normal pasta, best give it around 12 minutes, at around minute 9 or 10 throw in the peas to the water.
  2. If you’re having chicken cook it now any way you wish and slice it into manageable chunks, if your prawns are raw cook them now.
  3. Chop the garlic and onion and put in a food processor with the avocado, chili powder, olive oil,salt and pepper and blitz until you get a smooth, creamy sauce.
  4. Once your pasta and chicken/prawns are ready, drain the pasta and throw in the chicken/prawns and stir in the avocado sauce (I do this in the pot the pasta was cooked in to heat the sauce up a bit)
  5. For vegetarians you could try adding tofu or quorn (never tested this myself).

Guaranteed the Parmaham, Avocado and Balsamic salad will make an appearance in my household over the festive period (or at least a variation of it). Give them go and always be willing to tweak them as you see fit (and healthy).

It’s the weekend! Have a great weekend everybody!
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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