GymBug

I've caught it. Fortunately, it's not treatable.

Archive for the tag “recipes”

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 #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

10 Diets in 50 Days

Hi there!

I found this interesting article from the Daily Mail (not the most realiable but it seems more of a diary from a general person). It’s written by Andy Leeks, who decided to try 10 different diets in 50 days after years of struggling to stick with any diet plan. He chose the following diets;

“the 5:2 diet; the Special K diet, where two out of three meals are replaced by Special K cereal or snack bars; following NHS guidance for a healthy diet; a juice fast; the high-fat, low-carb Atkins diet; a raw food diet; the baby food diet (replacing two out of three meals a day with tiny jars of baby food, in order to cut calories); calorie counting using a mobile phone app; the grapefruit diet, which involves having either grapefruit or grapefruit juice before or after each meal, supposedly to boost fat-burning; and the cabbage soup diet.”

I think what’s the most interesting, is that whilst he lost weight on all the diets, he said the NHS guidance for a healthy diet was the easiest and most enjoyable to follow. He lost a total of 4lbs on that diet, which was not the most he lost in 5 days (5lbs on the Special K and 5:2 diet) he said his mood was better and he enjoyed it more.

I thought I’d share this because this shows that you don’t need faddy diets to lose weight. It’s not a “2 week eat right, lose weight, be fine” type of thing. If you at a balanced diet and exercise regularly you can lose weight without eating cabbage soup all day (not fun I’d imagine).

The NHS Guidelines are great and have loads of tips, advice and recipes to check out!

Faddy diets DO NOT WORK. You’ll see short term weight loss and long run gains (somtimes even more than you lost). It takes time and effort to get a healthy diet going but once it’s your lifestyle, it’s dead simple.

Gym Bug

National Obesity Awareness Week

Hi there!

So it is National Obesity Awareness Week and something everyone should look into! It’s not just about helping promote healthier lifestyles and helping people turns their lives around, it’s about making healthier changes in your life too! You can go on their website and take a look at great tips, recipes, exercises and GET INVOLVED.

Thought I’d share this as it is a great thing to do. We need to start getting off the couch and improving our lives! It’s running from Janury 12th to the 18th but what you take away from it can last forever.

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

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

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

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