Breakfast on the go!

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I’m always looking out for quickie breakfasts that are clean, filling AND super tasty for when I’m on the go. I have been stalking KALYN’S KITCHEN recently for ideas and came across a broccoli and cheese casserole that I had to try. The concept is simple, you can pretty much go crazy and add any mix of vegetables you like and it can be eaten hot or cold – perfect if you don’t have access to a microwave! 
Preheat the oven to 375 F whilst preparing the ingredients. I used:
1 broccoli crown
1 red pepper
1 cup spinach
1/3 cup mexican cheese blend
6 eggs + 1 cup egg whites + splash whole milk
I blanched the broccoli for a couple of minutes in boiling water and then added them to the tin along with the chopped red pepper and spinach. I whisked the eggs and egg whites together with some whole milk – you could use almond milk here as an alternative. I added salt, pepper, marjoram spice and basil to the eggs then poured over the veggies in the tin. I mixed it all together using a spoon and sprinkled the cheese over the top. I then baked it in the oven for approx 25mins – basically until it has cooked through. Once cool, I cut into portions (it made 5 servings) and wrapped in foil for the fridge. 

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Cookie Dough DIP!

IMG_4657Following on from my last post about your winter waistline, I thought I’d scour some healthy eating blogs and find some tasty recipes to try out in preparation. I came across Chocolate Covered Katie and love her creative recipe ideas! Since moving to Houston I’ve been blown away by cookie dough. I wish I’d never tried it as I’m hooked! If you haven’t visited Marble Slab Creamery then take a trip there. Oh. My. God. it is the cream of the crop when it comes to cookie dough ice-cream. It’s my go to place when I want to indulge and treat myself. 
So when I spotted this recipe for a Healthy Cookie Dough Dip, I was excited. My excitement soon faded however when I looked at the ingredients. Chick peas. Say what?! I really doubted that this could taste good but curiosity got the better of me and I tried it out. Well I was wrong, it’s delicious and I encourage you to try this out and see for yourself. I have such a sweet tooth and this really hit the spot. It’s not a bang-on equivalent to cookie dough but it is a seriously tasty dip that resembles cookie dough flavours. It’s protein rich from the chick peas, gluten-free and contains no refined sugar. I have pretty much demolished the whole tub. Winner.
Ingredients:
1 can chick peas / garbanzo beans (drain and rinse well)
Pinch salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/3 cup choc chips – I used 62% cacao dark chocolate chunks
3 tbsp rolled gluten free oats
I very simply combined all of the above ingredients (apart from the chocky) into a blender and mixed until it was a paste-like consistency. I then added the chocky chunks and blasted it in the blender so that it was still pretty chunky throughout the dip. Put in the fridge overnight and serve up with rice cakes, crackers, chips or shortbread. Featured in the photo is mini star-shaped shortbread cookies I picked up! 

Guilt-free CARROT CAKE

IMG_4648So I’ll start by giving full credit here to my hubby, who whipped up this AMAZING carrot cake yesterday whilst I was out at CrossFit. It’s SO good that I had to post and share this wonderful recipe to all those that love to eat clean but still get that sweet sugary hit. After indulging quite a bit over Thanksgiving, we were both craving a sweet to follow our Sunday dinner! Ross is a dab hand at baking so I put in a request for a clean recipe that was free from added sugar and butter so we can treat ourselves, GUILT FREE. He adapted a recipe from a fellow bloggers site – Amy’s Healthy Baking
I had another slice earlier and I’m blown away at how bloody good this cake is. It’s moist, fluffy and sweet with warm spices. I guarantee a lot of happiness when eating this cake! 
Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour – be exact with measurements
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk
  • 3 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 small orange (cut in half and squeezed)
  • Large handful walnuts
  • Large handful raisins
Frosting ingredients:
  • 8 oz nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat your baking tin with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
For the cake, whisk together the flour and next 5 ingredients (down to and including the salt) in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup and Greek yogurt, thoroughly mixing with a whisk until it’s lump free. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, stirring just until incorporated, Add in more milk if the mixture is too dry. Fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins and add the squeezed orange juice. 
Spread the batter into the tin, and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, using a knife insert it into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. Ross’s needed another 10 minutes or so to cook right through. Cool in the tin before removing the cake from the tin. Cool completely to room temperature before adding the frosting. 
To prepare the frosting, stir together the ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, agave, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread on top of the cake and let it set for at least 1-2 hrs. We couldn’t wait beyond the 2hrs mark! We put it in the fridge overnight and I swear it tastes even better today and the frosting has really set. 
The frosting is really sweet and balances the cake out perfectly. Enjoy a slice with a hot cuppa!! YUM!!

Lean, mean burgers!

IMG_4641Not only do these burgers taste delicious, they are very simple to make with few ingredients and won’t take more than 30 mins. Enjoy as a main meal with homemade sweet potato chips and veggies, for lunch with a large salad or take one with you for a nutritious snack! A pound of mince will make 6-8 burgers. Here’s what you’ll need –
  • 1lb extra lean pork mince
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 oz feta cheese
  • 3 cups spinach
  • tbsp basil
  • tbsp garlic powder
  • tbsp red pepper chilli flakes
  • salt & pepper as desired
I combined all of the ingredients listed above, apart from the mince, in a blender and mixed together well. The mixture will be grainy. Add the mixture to the mince in a large bowl and mix together with your hands, separating into individual burgers. Mine are approx 3oz per burger. Using a flat skillet on a med temp, cook each burger on either side for a couple of minutes to seal them and then put into the oven at 375°F for approx 25mins / until cooked through. I used baking paper to line the oven tray to soak up any excess fat. I’ll be enjoying these tonight!!!

Heat your cockles – Mild Cod Curry

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This is a repost of a recipe on my facebook page that we enjoyed last night. Perfect for the colder weather! There is lots of hype in the press about fish oil and the intake of omega 3’s due to hundreds of studies backing up the benefits. It’s been shown to reduce the risk cardiovascular disease, reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels; function as a natural blood thinner, which results in the lowering of blood pressure; and reduces inflammation in the body. So on that note, I try get a range of fish in my diet – salmon, cod, tuna. Here’s a very simple recipe with minimal prep time and takes 20mins to cook! 
Alaskan cod fillet
1 Red bell pepper
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander / fresh leaves
Pinch red chilli pepper flakes
(Salt & black pepper to taste)

Sautee the red pepper for a couple of mins then add all the dry herbs/spices. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the fish, poaching it for approx 20 mins or until the fish flakes. Buy a large piece of fish so you can portion it out across several meals. This tastes AMAZING on day two! Serve with your favourite green veggies!!

Fuel your workout

We get energy from the food we consume – proteins, fats and carbohydrates (macronutrients). Without going into too much detail, each of these macro’s are of great importance to your diet AND your workouts. 
So in order to have a great workout with heaps of energy AND to ensure that you recover quickly and effectively from it, you need to make sure that your feeding yourself before and after. Everyone’s nutritional needs will differ but regardless of your goals / activity level, the importance of eating these macros is paramount. If you are not exercising super early in the morning, ensure you have a well BALANCED meal of protein, carbs and fats, 2-3 hrs prior. I talk to so many people that go CRAZY for high-protein, low-carb meals. Protein rarely supplies energy during exercise. The only time it can be used as fuel is when your in starvation mode!! Carbohydrates will provide you with fuel and energy for day to day life and exercise. Simple carbs are a great option before exercise as they are easily digested – fruit being a top option as it’s easily digested, convenient and easy to take with you if you’re out and about.
I prefer to have a snack that combines all my macros – mainly carbs with some protein and fat. Similar to my main meals but a far smaller portion! This concept I carry throughout the day, including post workout. Eating this way does require preparation and if you can find 5 minutes to organise these, you will see an increase in your energy levels and no doubt greater results! Your portion size and timing of your snack can only be determined with trial and error. Aim to eat your snack 30mins-1hr prior to exercise. It has taken me a long time to get to this point of knowing what and when I need to eat before I workout. The below are some PRE WORKOUT snacks I enjoy!!
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 1/2 cup cantaloupe melon, tsp almond butter
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, small handful raw unsalted nuts
  • my PANCAKE RECIPE!
  • spread tsp almond butter on 1 rice cake, mash 1/3 banana on the top (YUM)
  • smoothies!! 1 cup almond milk, scoop vanilla protein, 1/2 cup blueberries, small handful raw unsalted nuts
  • another smoothie – 1 cup almond milk, scoop vanilla protein, cup spinach, 1/2 apple, tbsp avocado
  • 2 hard boiled eggs with carrot stalks and hummus
  • 2 slices turkey breast, 1 cup wilted spinach, tbsp avocado on half an ezekiel muffin
  • Apple slices with tsp almond butter
Please share any yummy pre-workout snacks or habits that you have!! I’m always up for trying something new!!

Autumn grilled salmon

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With the change of weather comes a change in taste buds. My body is preparing for winter hibernation so I’m craving warm and filling foods. No more salads. So I dusted off my George Forman for a spot of indoor grilling. If you don’t have one, I highly suggest adding one to the kitchen collection. You can pretty much whack anything on the Forman. They are inexpensive and everything seems to taste great when cooked on it. When using it for meats, the grease simply drains off reducing the amount of saturated fat and calories. This is a simple dish with lots of beautiful flavours that requires little preparation and cooking time. Just how I like it, FUSS FREE AND FULL OF GOODNESS. There’s a full list of ingredients at the bottom of the post.
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Season the salmon with sea salt, black pepper and I’ve used a cajun creole seasoning here (blend of paprika, onion, lemon peel, chile pepper, thyme, cloves, red pepper, bay leaf)
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Pop the fillet into the Georgey and close the lid. Cooking time will depend on how you like it and the thickness of the fillet. I like it quite pink in the middle, so this fillet only took 10 minutes. Meanwhile clean the brussels, chop the ends off and chop into smaller pieces. Heat a skillet with a large helping of grapeseed oil. You can use olive oil. Throw in the brussels, chopped zucchini and season with garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper and a large handful of WALNUTS. 
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Saute the brussels for approx 10 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how you like them!  I like mine with a little crunch! The skin of the salmon should peel of easily when removed from the grill. The walnuts work so well with the brussels, I really love all these flavours together. Enjoy! 
IMG_4587 Ingredients:
  • Salmon fillet
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Zucchini
  • Large handful of raw unsalted walnuts
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper