Category Archives: Meals

Recipe: Speedy chicken satay stir fry

After going out for a beautiful Thai meal recently, where I had the most amazing grilled peanut chicken, the more I stared at the oversize tub of peanut butter on the worktop, the more I thought about trying to make a Thai-inspired dinner involving peanut butter, but that wouldn’t take forever to make or have loads of ingredients. And lo, the speedy chicken satay stir fry was born!

This recipe has all the things I value: it’s quick and inexpensive to make, it’s tasty, and above all, it’s just about the most well-balanced recovery meal you could make after training- there’s protein and fats from the chicken and the peanut butter, electrolytes from the soy, carbs from the noodles and loads of goodness from the delicious crunchy veg. Yum!

Ingredients (serves 1 hungry runner/cyclist)

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 pack ready-to-wok noodles
  • 2-3 big handfuls of crunchy veg of your choice; I used a mixed stir fry pack with some extra mange tout for crunch
  • A little oil
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1-2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • Big squeeze of lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic

Method

 Chicken satay stir fryChicken satay stir fry

Mix together the peanut butter, chilli sauce, soy sauce, garlic and a good dash of lime or lemon juice together until smooth, and let down with a splash of cold water until the sauce is a pourable consistency (but still coats the back of a spoon).

Heat up the oil in a wok or big frying pan, and after cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces, crack on with stir frying it.

Chicken satay stir fry

Once the chicken has started to colour, add the veg, and then the noodles, and cook for a few more minutes, until the veg starts to colour but doesn’t go soft- you want that all important crunch!

Chicken satay stir fryChicken satay stir fry

Finally, mix in the satay sauce and allow it to heat through, stirring well so it coats all of the veg, noodles and chicken.

Chicken satay stir fry

Voila! Plate up and dig in. Speedy, healthy, delicious!

Tried & tested recipes: part 1

Inspired by the lovely Steph‘s recent post series, I thought I’d share a few of the recipes I’ve made and loved lately- all nice and easy, all super tasty!

Creamy salmon & chilli linguine

I love carbonara style pasta dishes, and had a glut of salmon fillets in the freezer, so had a bash at making this gorgeous fitnaturally salmon pasta. I didn’t have any fresh mint, lemon juice or parmesan, and substituted a leek instead of the onion, and it was still sensationally tasty, and kept me full right through till the next morning! It also reheated well.

Blueberry baked porridge

blueberry baked porridgeAnother great fitnaturally recipe, this baked porridge has umpteen variations. I made mine with fresh blueberries, flaked almonds and a sprinkle of cinammon, and served it with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt- filling, tasty and super easy to make the night before and reheat in the microwave!

Wholemeal mug bread

Before you decide I’ve taken leave of my senses and made bread in a mug in the microwave, calm down; the mug is involved in the measuring. I love freshly baked bread and the smell it makes in the house, and this recipe is the easiest one ever: no kneading, about 5 minutes in total spent in the kitchen and not a set of scales in sight. My kind of baking! For this loaf, I used one mug of strong white flour and one and a quarter mugs of strong wholemeal flour. The result was a yummy, crusty wholemeal loaf, which makes amazing toast!

Spicy tuna & cottage cheese jacket potato

photo (7)

I love a good jacket potato; all crispy and golden and all fluffy inside. I eat loads of them. That is why beans and cheese have become a little boring, so I went off in search of new jacket potato toppings and came across this one. It’s delicious; I opted to miss out the coriander and the cherry tomatoes and it was just perfect. It’s simultaneously light but filling, spicy but cooling: definitely one to make again!

 Greek yoghurt cookies

greek yoghurt cookies greek yoghurt cookies

My lovely friend Steph recently posted this recipe for dreamy Greek yoghurt cookies, and whilst the pumpkin, oat and raisin ones sounded ace, I couldn’t wait to bake the dark chocolate chip ones, and they were everything they promised to be- soft, gooey and delightful when warm from the oven. Yum!

 

Recipe: Spanish chicken and tomato stew

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been trying out recipes from The Feed Zone Cookbook to help me fuel and recover from training, and I wanted to share one of my favourites with you. It’s a super quick spanish chicken and tomato stew, which is easy to prep, and then can be put in the slow cooker to be ready when you’re back from your long run or ride. Then, just cook some rice or as I do, slice up some yummy crusty bread, and you have a healthy, balanced meal to refuel.

The Feed Zone Spanish Chicken and Tomato Stew

Spanish chicken and tomato stew

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used rapeseed)
  • 2lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup of chorizo
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion)
  • 2 mild green chillies, chopped, with seeds left in (I’m a wuss and decreased this to one!)
  • 2-4 cups of chicken stock or water
  • Half a cup of apple cider vinegar (optional- I didn’t have any)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of cooked white beans, rinsed (I used a tin of chickpeas)

Method

  • Pour the oil into a heavy pot and put over a medium to high heat. Whilst the oil is heating, season the chicken with salt and pepper
  • Add the chorizo to the pot and brown thoroughly, then add the chicken and cook for about 5-6 minutes, until browned
  • Add all of the other ingredients apart from the chickpeas/beans, cover the pot with a lid and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 45 minutes, then season to taste. Add the beans, if using, just before serving.
  • Serve with warmed polenta, steamed rice, or like I did, warm crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce.
  • Note: To prepare in a slow cooker, brown the meat as above, and then transfer all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours- just long enough to get out and do some training!

I have been trialling the Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables cookbook after receiving review copies from them. I have tested this recipe loads of times, including on my fellow members of Team Bear. Republished with permission from VeloPress from The Feed Zone Cookbook. Try more recipes at http://www.feedzonecookbook.com

Apple crumble for breakfast? Yes, you can!

Bet that title caught your attention, didn’t it?

I think we all agree that eating apple crumble for breakfast is a) living the dream but b) a bit indulgent, which is why I’ve created this breakfast that is as near to apple crumble as can be, but is actually packed with good stuff to power you through until lunchtime. It has everything I want in a crumble- tasty fruit, crispy topping and fills the kitchen with a heavenly smell whilst it cooks. Did I mention it’s pretty quick too?

Apple crumble breakfast

 

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 eating apples, peeled if you want, diced into small chunks
  • A good shake of cinnamon (optional!)
  • A knob (lolz) of butter, and a bit to grease the dish
  • 80g jumbo porridge oats
  • Half a teaspoon of baking powder
  • Toasted chopped/flaked nuts ( a tbsp or two)
  • 200ml full fat milk
  • A big squeeze of runny honey
  • Greek yoghurt to serve

Method

  • Pop the oven on to preheat at 200 degrees Celsius, and butter a smallish dish- mine is about 7″ and round, but if it’s a bigger dish, no worries, you’ll just get even more golden, crispy bits
  • Pop the diced apple, cinnamon if using and knob of butter in a frying pan over a gentle heat and soften for a few minutes. I can’t stand mushy fruit so I did it for about 5 minutes, but if you like softer apples, go ahead and cook them a bit longerApple crumble breakfast
  • Tip the apples into the buttered dish. Mix together the oats, nuts and baking powder and sprinkle over the apples
  • Mix together the milk and honey and pour over the oaty, appley mixture in the bottom of the dish.

Bake for around 20 minutes, until the top is crispy and golden and your kitchen smells divine

Apple crumble breakfastDish up, top with a dollop of Greek yoghurt (I reckon vanilla flavour would also be pretty lush), and dig in!

If you’re at all like me, and can’t manage much more than grunting in response to other humans or complex tasks until you’re well-caffeinated, this works pretty well to make in an evening, and microwave in the morning, so you’ve made two days’ breakfasts in one go.

This recipe was adapted from fitnaturally’s baked porridge recipe, found here.

Guest post: A smoothie for banana haters!

I want to love smoothies, I really do, and both Cat and Nicola have made me yummy green smoothies that I’ve really liked, but invariably, the ones I’ve tried to recreate have always had bananas in. I’m quite particular about bananas: I like to eat them only, and they can’t be too ripe, never before a race because they make me feel sick during a run, never ever in a smoothie unless they’re well hidden and certainly no artificial banana flavours. 

So imagine my joy when the lovely Stephanie (not a real magpie!) offered to guest post for me, featuring a banana-less smoothie? She writes a blog that you should definitely check out: she’s got legs to die for, awesome taste in short shorts and bakes the most delicious-looking cakes when she’s not busy running marathons and being a yogi. We’re taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks this year, and Steph is 100% in charge of snacks…

Baked Apple Smoothie

I rather love smoothies, I love them extra thick in a bowl, I love them almost juice like for a refreshing pick me up. But all my smoothies start with a banana. When I found out Sarah didn’t like bananas, I realised my boyfriend wasn’t the only weirdo banana hater and set about creating a smoothie recipe that would still be creamy and filling without the banana.
In addition my boyfriend (and possibly many of you) have seen me (or one of the million instagrams of LA hotties) drinking a green smoothie – which is one that has kale, spinach, watercress or similar added. These smoothies get particular disdain from my boyfriend. So to turn his head I snuck a handful of spinach in this one and he didn’t even notice.
The spinach makes this apple smoothie pleasingly green and the ice helps to keep it thick. The cinnamon adds a surprisingly Christmassy taste – so I’ll be revisiting this one later on in the year.
If you added some toasted oats or Granola on top I think you could get away with calling this an apple pie smoothie – why not.
I know it’s a bit American but I’ve done this recipe in cups, really it’s very flexible, use whatever receptacle you have, your favourite mug, guestimation whatever!

Serves one, easily doubled.
1 large apple, peeled, cored and sliced.
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup yoghurt
1 cup ice
¼ cup water
Handful spinach
2 dates (if you like it sweet, I’d use 1 for me)
1 tsp flax seed
 
The night before you want to eat/drink your smoothie: sauté (fry gently) your apple slices until the start to go soft, add ½ of the cinnamon and continuing moving around the pan until the edges start to change colour and your kitchen is filled with the smell of apple pie – sorry about that folks.
Put the apples to one side to cool down and forget about them until morning.
 
 
The morning you want your smoothie: Grab your smoothie maker/blender type thing. Chuck in all the ingredients including the apple and the other ½ of the cinnamon. Put the lid on tight and whiz away on full speed until the ice has broken down – this took quite a long time in mine, as it is a bit underpowered.
 
 
Pour into your chosen glass and enjoy!
 
 
Yummy!
 

Cheats’ Thai green chicken curry recipe

When you’re confined to one food cupboard in a little house of three as a student, you can’t keep as well-stocked a store cupboard as would be ideal, and especially at the end of term, it wasn’t worth buying loads of stuff to make an authentic Thai green curry when I fancied one, when I’d end up chucking the rest of it away. I also wanted to try and make it a bit healthier and a whole lot quicker, so I faffed around a bit and came up with this. It’s very mild, so if you like your Thai curry hot you might want to add in some extra chillies or more curry paste, but I thought this was pretty nice for how quickly I made it.

Ingredients
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 tsp oil
2-3 tbsp Thai green curry paste (depends how hot you want it!)
2-3 chicken breasts, sliced (depends on size!)
120g light Philadelphia
4-5 tbsp milk
Juice of 1 lime

Rice, to serve

To cook:
1. Gently heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the onion and cook until starting to soften.
2. Add the Thai curry paste and chicken, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Add the pepper and carry on cooking for another 3-4 minutes, until the pepper softens and the chicken is definitely cooked through.
4. Stir in the Philadelphia and milk, and leave to simmer for a couple of minutes.
5. Stir in the lime juice and dig in!

Healthy meatballs and pasta recipe.

As a student who runs, I eat endless pasta, and quite often, it features mince, because it’s one of the cheapest meats around. After a successful foray into using turkey mince as a substitute (see my nutrition ideas for runners post), I started to ponder how else I could make pasta sauces healthier but still packed with protein.

Then, it struck me, as I was shopping in Sainsbury’s:

Veggie sausages are amazingly high in protein for the size of them, and very low in saturated fats and cholesterol (if you go for the soya ones, not the cheesy ones!). Curious, I bought a pack and toddled off home to try and make them into meatballs, and the result? Amazing. I couldn’t tell the difference, and would go as far as to say they taste better than normal meatballs. So, without further ado, I give you my healthy meatballs in pasta sauce recipe!
Ingredients (serves 3 runners)6 veggie sausages, defrosted
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed/very finely chopped
Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp paprika
Glug of balsamic vinegar
Few drops of Lea & Perrins
2 big handfuls of baby leaf spinach
300g pasta/spaghetti
Olive oil
Salt/pepper
1. Pop a pan of salted water on to be coming to the boil ready for the pasta
2. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan. Meanwhile, break the veggie sausages into bite-sized chunks, and roll each one between your palms until it forms a ball.
3. Put your ‘meatballs’ into the hot pan and brown them for a few moments, until they hold their shape well. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4. To the hot pan, add the onion and fry gently for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another two minutes. 
5. Pop the pasta in the (hopefully now) boiling water to be cooking.
6. Add the ‘meatballs’ back into the pan, followed by the tin of tomatoes, the tomato puree, the herbs and the paprika. Season to taste- I like plenty of black pepper in mine. Add the balsamic vinegar and Lea & Perrins too. Give it a good ol’ stir.
6. Allow to simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, and when your pasta is a few minutes away from being ready, grab your spinach and snip it into the sauce with scissors, so it’s in small shreds. Stir it in well so it can wilt.
7. Drain the pasta, divide into three bowls and pile a generous helping of meatballs and sauce onto the top.
8. Retire to the sofa with some cheesy TV and a nice drink. Enjoy!