GymBug

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Archive for the tag “recipe”

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

Snack time!

Hi there!

Sorry I’ve been absent, the weather is gorgeous and I’ve been spending a lot of time outside getting my daily dose of Vitamin D!

Getafe

Can’t help but be outside.

However, yesterday I discovered a new delicious, quick and healthy snack! It’s pretty basic but tastes like apple pie!

Ingredients;

  • 1 apple, chopped (go for any type you want)
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 1/4 cup cornflakes/bran flakes/crunchy cereal
    Watch what you choose, remember some are high in sugar and calories
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon

Method;

  1. Add the oats, apple and cornflakes/bran flakes/crunchy cereal to a bowl.
  2. Add as much honey and cinnamon as you like.
  3. Enjoy!
  4. Optional; if you’re looking for a punchier snack, add some greek yoghurt to it (proteeeeeein).
Om nom nom

Om nom nom

I know it doesn’t look like much but I swear it’s delicious!

Happy snacking!

Gym Bug

Energy drinks; recipe for a sugar crash

Hi there!

I found an article recently about energy drinks and how they can contain up to 20 teaspoons of sugar PER CAN! This is insane, especially since our new recommended daily amount of sugar has been reduced to 6 teaspoons according to the WHO. This is insane and what’s even more concerning is that people, especially children, are drinking these regularly! I did a post on child obesity and this links directly with that. Studies have linked energy drink consumption with issues such as obesity, caffeine overdoses, risky behaviour and addiction.

Thee energy drinks are also targetted at those who participate in sports as a way to get that ‘much needed energy boost’ to improve performance. I can’t sit here and say I’ve never drank them and I never will again. I had half a red bull a few weeks ago (I had been drinking a little, so my ability to comprehend it’s awful-ness was hindered somewhat) but I most certainly drink far less. I probably average about 1 every 6-8 months. Prior to my half a can of red bull a few weeks ago, I think the last one I had was in the summer of 2014.

Anyway, energy drinks are getting an increasingly bad reputation. When I say energy drinks I’m referring to brands such as Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, Bullet and so on. They typically come is huge cans as well. They are also becoming increasingly mixed with artificial fruit juices to make them more appealing. Not only does this amp up the calories but it makes the sugar content sky rocket. For example, Rockstar Tropical Punch contains 260 calories and 31g of sugar! That’s 20 teaspoons of sugar (Note; 1 teaspoon of sugar= 4grams) These energy drinks truly are something to avoid consuming regularly!

Energy Drinks

There are other drinks out there, such as Powerade or Lucozade, that are marketed as ‘sports drinks’ and something athletes should consume to help them. However, you should really only consume these ‘sports drink’ (I’m using the term lightly) when you’re participating in long, intense exercise. Typical standard is to skip the ‘sports drink’ if you’re running anything less than 30 minutes. Consumption of them before, during or after anything longer than this can be beneficial as it provides your body with carbohydrates, which is necessary to endure and recover. I typically opt for water however, whatever the distance or I’ll choose energy tablets, which you dissolve into water, for example I drank High5 Zero Pink Grapefruit before I ran Tough Mudder in 2014. I did notice I didn’t cramp during the race, which I did in 2013. High5 is an electrolyte based ‘sports drink’ and I personally prefer them a lot more to traditional ‘sports drink’ or energy drinks. But again, I only consume them for hard, intense, long exercise (or if I’m hungover, they work wonders).

An increasingly popular alternative is to make your own! Here’s a recipe I found on Everyday Roots.

Make Your Own Electrolyte Drink

Gym Bug

Image 1 Source; http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/var/plain_site/storage/images/publications/food-beverage-nutrition/foodnavigator-usa.com/markets/bad-press-affecting-energy-drink-category-mintel/8678378-1-eng-GB/Bad-press-affecting-energy-drink-category-Mintel.jpg

Image 2 Source; http://everydayroots.com/homemade-energy-drink

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 #5

Hi there!

Something a little different for this Foodie Challenge. I did not follow any recipes but instead just gave it a go with what I had! It was fun to try and see what I could do and it (fortunately) tasted really good. This is my very own Sriracha Salmon! I will explain the recipe with the vegetables I used, but feel free to change them to suit your preferences and tastes.

Ingredients

  • 1 salmon fillet (choose your preferred size), skin on preferably, boned.
  • 1/2 large, white onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped.
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped.
  • 1/2 cup squash, cubed.
  • 1 cup of spinach.
  • 1/2 cup brocoli.
  • 1 tomato, chopped.
  • Pinch of smoked paprika (optional, I really like the smokey flavour).
  • 2 tables of Sriracha sauce (I used the on with the Rooster on the bottle).
  • Black pepper.
  • Olive oil.

Method

  1. Put the squash in a pot with water and boil (until soft, check regularly throughout cooking).
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add the onion, paprika (if using) and black pepper.
  3. Add all the sriracha sauce and stir well.
  4. Cover with a lid and leave the onions to soften, stirring occassionally.
    Note; I add a dash of vinegar here to keep it from burning to the bottom, this is optional.
  5. Make a space in the middle of the pan and add the salmon, skin side down (if there’s skin on the fillet).
  6. Allow the salmon to cook for about 2 minutes (or until it’s gone pale pink about half way up the fillet).
  7. Flip the salmon and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat off and add the remaining vegetables, cover and leave for 2 minutes.
    Note; I enjoy my vegeables being crunchy and only warmed through, add them in step 3 or 4 for cooked vegetables.

    Note; Serve with natural yoghurt or non-fat greek yoghurt if you enjoy spice but it proves too much.
    Note; A great carbohydrate for this would be sweet potato, add 1 small sweet potato (chopped) with the squash.

I really enjoyed this, I’m a huge fan of salmon and was so glad I didn’t ruin it with my experiments!

Sriracha Salmon

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

A Foodie Challenge

Hi there!

So I’m back in Spain with mixed feelings. I’m missing home majorly but my whole family is visiting me at some stage this semester so I better get my act together! But in an attempt to keep myself busy I have set myself a challenge and I recommend you all to try it to!

I’ve decided that at least once a month I’m going to tackle a new recipe. Whether it’s from trust Pinterest, a cookbook, online or a nutrition book my sister gave me I want to try a new recipe every week. I shall be posting updates of new recipes I try out here on my blog so keep your eyes peeled! I say ‘once a month’ because I know that I wouldn’t be able to manage once a week once classes start again!

I intend to start this next week after my last exam (I really need to knuckle down for this one) so there may not be much activity between now and Wednesday (the date of the exam).

But if you decide to try out the Challenge keep me updated! I would love recipe inspiration too!

Gym Bug

Breakfast; The Most Important Meal of the Day

Hi there!

Today I shall be discussing the most important meal of the day; BREAKFAST. Studies have repeatedly shown breakfast is vital if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Literally, Google the importance of breakfast and see what happens!

The whole idea behind ‘breakfast is the important meal of the day’ relates to the fact that you haven’t eaten for a considerable amount of time whilst you’ve been sleeping. It’s roughly an average of 5-7 hours. That’s a long time for your body not to receive fuel. Yes, your metabolism is not running at such a high rate when you’re sleeping but you are still burning calories to breath and function, right? Eating breakfast gives you the energy to perform better, concentrate, exercise and generally tackle the day better. It may also reduce hunger throughout the day, leading to weight loss or management. Overall, breakfast is a must-have if you’re looking to make healthier lifestyle choices. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious and it can be quick if you need it to be!

Here are some excellent breakfast options;

  • Porridge
    A huge favourite of mine. I usually have this for breakfast every day and I never get sick of it. The best part about porridge is that you can change it up all the time. Try it with sliced banana, apple, berries, pineapples and more fruit! I love cooking the fruit in with the porridge to soften the fruit and get the juices mixed with the oats. You can also add honey, agave syrup, seeds, cacoa powder, dark chocolate drops, nut butter and cinnamon! Also if you’ve made it rather thick, a good spoonful of yoghurt is delicious too. Porridge is a low glycaemic index food which means it’s slow releasing, keeping you fuelled and focused until lunch (or maybe snack time).
  • Pancakes
    I’ve done two different pancakes posts; Protein Power Pancakes and 2-Ingredient Pancakes. There are literally hundreds of recipes out there though and you can make variations on both these recipes. The best and most versatile thing about pancakes though is the toppings. Go for fruit, syrup (watch the quantities), nut butters, yoghurt, some cinnamon to make them sweet. If you’re wanting something a bit more savoury pancakes are great with eggs (maybe not the two recipes listed above, but a more neutral pancake mix), bacon, sausage (not the healthiest options), even have them with some ham and tomato or avocado.
  • Overnight oats
    I have had Bircher’s Muesli that my mum made once and it’s phenomenal, I’ll post the recipe below for you to try but overnight oats are becoming insanely popular. These are great if you need a grab’n’go breakfast.
  • Eggs
    Have them scrambled, boiled, poached, in an omelette, however you like them! These are a great source of protein which will keep you going until lunch. Have a veggie omelette, veggie scramble, boiled eggs with whole wheat toast, scrambled eggs and avocado, again the possibilities are endless!
  • Muffins
    You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, it sounds strange but you can create some delicious and healthy breakfast muffins for another grab’n’go breakfast. It’s all about preparing the night before and making sure you’re not buying your breakfast muffin! Here’s a recipe below I found for delicious Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins.
  • Smoothies
    Another grab’n’go one here. Through in your favourite fruit, some low-fat yoghurt, oats and blitz it! You can also make vegetable juices or through in some spinach, kale etc to make different combinations of smoothies. Freeze the fruit for an ice-cold serving of breakfast. Also, if you’re taking protein feel free to through in a scoop of your powder to really get a packed breakfast.

These are but a few options. Here’s a link to my Breakfast board on Pinterest for more inspiration  I’m constantly updating it with new finds and I’ll post on here when I use new recipes and let you know the verdict!

Now for the Bircher’s Muesli (for 6, overnight recipe)

Ingredients;
1 cup rolled oats
1 ¾ cups water or milk
1 green apple
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups plain yoghurt/non-fat greek yoghurt/ low-fat fruit yoghurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Method;
1. Combine the water or milk and oats, cover and leave overnight.
2. The next morning make sure your oats are nice and soft.
3. Core and grate the apple into the oats.
4. Add the honey, yoghurt and (if using) the cinnamon to the oats and apple.
5. Stir until all is well combined.
6. Serve as it is or with your favourite breakfast toppings.

Some favourite toppings; banana, dark chocolate drops, berries, raisins, nuts.

This is a delicious breakfast and one I’m sneakily hoping will be prepared at some stage when I’m home, I may even make it myself!

With all these amazing recipes why would you want to skip breakfast!?

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

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