Soy & Wasabi Salmon Skewers

salmon skewers

This is hands down, my favourite recipe. The taste from the soy & wasabi glaze is out of this world. Don’t worry about the wasabi being too hot, when it’s mixed with the soy and cooked, it becomes more of a salty, spicy marinade rather than the mind-blowing wasabi paste you have with sushi. Wasabi paste is available in all supermarkets now, so don’t be shy if you’ve not cooked with it before, it’s nice and easy to find.

This is perfect with my sticky coconut & coriander rice.

Adapted from Dale Pinnock’s ‘Healthy Everyday’

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp (or a good squeeze) Wasabi paste
  • 4 spring onions
  • Wooden/metal skewers

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Line a baking tray with foil.

Mix the soy sauce and wasabi paste in a medium size bowl and whisk together to form a smooth marinade with no lumps. Set aside.

Remove the skin from the salmon fillets by gently running a sharp knife just underneath the skin, away from your body. Cut the salmon fillets into 5-6 chunks. Stab each chunk with the knife to make a little cut. This allows the marinade to penetrate the salmon so you don’t have to soak it for hours. Add the chunks to the marinade bowl and use your hands to coat the salmon pieces in the japanese sauce. Leave to marinate for 10 mins (or longer, if you have time).

Clean the spring onions and chop the ends off. Slice each onion into 5 sections, each about 4cm long.

Take your skewers and thread the onion and salmon pieces alternately. Place the skewers on the foil-lined baking tray and bake for 20 mins, turning after 10. Be careful of the skewers – they get hot!

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Spice Up Your Rice – Sticky Coconut & Coriander

coconut rice

The second part of my Spice Up Your Rice mini-series, this has become a firm favourite in boosting my clean bulk. Super easy (as ever) but with a richer, creamier taste than standard Basmati and a perfect compliment to Asian style dishes. Cooking the rice in coconut milk does increase the fat content of this rice, but it’s all monounsaturated, meaning your body utilises it for energy quickly, instead of storing it.

Ingredients:

  • Basmati rice (75g per person)
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Method:

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the rice grains and coat evenly in the oil. If you’re doing a large portion, you might want to add a bit more oil, so all the rice is coated.

Tip the contents of the coconut milk into a bowl and mix to a smooth consistency. Measure out the same volume as the rice, eg. 75g rice = 75ml coconut milk. Add to the pan, along with the same amount of water. Bring to a strong simmer, whilst stirring; then cover and turn the heat right down to it’s lowest setting. Cook the rice like this for  10-15 mins, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The rice should be slightly sticky and not watery in texture when it’s done – you shouldn’t need to drain it.

Top with fresh chopped coriander and serve.

Let me know if you want a particular rice recipe via twitter or the comment box below!

 

Chicken & Peanut Buckwheat Noodles

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Another day, another tonne of carbs! Buckwheat noodles are the centre of this clean, gluten-free dish which satisfies cravings quickly and provides a steady supply of energy for hours afterwards (well, 2 hours…did I mention I’m bulking?!) You could use average noodles for this if you’re not fussed about eating clean, but buckwheat or soba noodles give it a Wagamamma’s feel and are much more nutritious.

Everything can be cooked from scratch and it’ll take about 30 minutes, or take a few short cuts and have it ready in 15. It’s a great one to whip up for a quick post-workout dinner, making extra for tupperware glory at lunchtime the next day.

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Ingredients (for 2):

  • 2 nests buckwheat noodles
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp nut butter (peanut or cashew work best)
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 200g pack pre-cooked chicken (or 2 chicken breasts you’ve already cooked)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • handful sugarsnap peas
  • sprinkling of sesame seeds (I’ve used black sesame here for colour)
  • handful dry roasted peanuts, bashed up with a rolling pin.

Method:

If making from scratch, cook your chicken breasts at 170C (for 25-30mins). Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the noodles. Simmer for 4 mins. Meanwhile, combine the sesame oil, soy, lime juice, honey, nut butter, Tabasco and a splash of water in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 45 secs. Stir well to combine into a smooth sauce.

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Add the sauce to the noodles and then chuck in the chicken, pepper and sugarsnaps. Sprinkle with the dry roasted nuts and sesame seeds and serve!

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Protein Shake

peanut butter & jelly protein

When you buy giant tubs of whey at a time, you can get so bored of the same flavour, day in, day out. I usually buy vanilla so I can add things to it to stop this happening. My current favourite is this classic American combo. It’s thick, sweet and a delicious change from standard protein shakes. The chia seeds and peanut butter will increase your good fat content too, so this really fills you up.

Note: You definitely need a straw for this, or you may as well just drink a shake and then eat a spoonful of jam afterwards.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Juice 1 lime
  • Big handful of strawberries or raspberries
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 vanilla flavoured whey protein serving (I use 3 scoops CNP Pro-Peptide)
  • 2-300ml semi-skimmed milk/almond milk/whatever milk you want

Method:

Make the jam by blending the berries and lime juice together, then pouring over the chia seeds. Leave for about 10 minutes until it forms a jelly.

Meanwhile, make the protein shake using the whey powder and milk and blend the peanut butter into it. When the chia jelly is ready, pour over the peanut butter shake and add a straw!

Just Peachy

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This week I’ve increased my calorie intake to 20% above maintenance (SHOCK HORROR – not all women are trying to lose weight) in effort to get stronger and build more muscle. Eating so many calories of food that’s actually nutritious can get pretty difficult, especially when half of it is from sustainable carbohydrate sources. I’ve found that at the end of the day I usually have some carbs to make up in my macros and at 9pm in the evening, I don’t want more oats, sweet potatoes or brown rice.

I’m not good at eating fruit in general, I don’t particularly like it, especially not for dessert, largely because it’s not cream or chocolate. However, I absolutely love it cooked. Stewed apples, caramelised bananas and my latest obsession, roasted peach.

Peaches are so sweet and juicy at this time of year and easy to make into a delicious pudding. This dish is very high in carbs, which I know isn’t suitable for a lot of people, especially mid-cutting season!! But if you struggle with sugar cravings and want a fuss-free, delicious summer pudding, you can’t go far wrong. Yeah, it’s sugar, but at least it’s natural sugar and with the addition of greek yoghurt, you get a liiiiittle bit of protein too.

This isn’t even really a recipe as such, more of a construction. Just a side note – peaches are one of the fruits you really should buy organic. They’re so sweet that they require a gas tank of pesticide to keep flies away, so organically grown peaches are much safer and more delicious.

  • 1 peach per person
  • 170g Total Greek 0% fat yoghurt
  • handful pistachios, roughly chopped
  • handful blueberries
  • maple syrup
  • cinnamon

Approx macros per serving: Kcal – 221 Carbs – 44g Fat – 2g Protein – 6g

Method:

Heat the oven to 150C. Halve and stone the peaches, then fill the indent with blueberries. Put into a baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with maple syrup (I could drown in the stuff, so use 2 tbsp per peach, obviously adjust it if you care about dental health). Bake for 40 mins, until peaches are very soft.

Serve with the Greek yoghurt and chopped pistachios. And maybe some more maple syrup…..

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Instant Gratification Chocolate Mousse

mousse 2

Ok so the title for this post is a little weird…but this really is instant gratification in so many ways! It takes barely 2 minutes to make (plus a little refrigeration), uses only a few ingredients and is genuinely good for you! That, and calling it ‘instant, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan, clean chocolate mousse’ didn’t really work.

The secret ingredient is avocado, which seems weird in a dessert, but actually does a similar thing to what bananas do to smoothies. A blended avocado gives a velvet texture, a whole bunch of decent fats and a creamy taste to this pudding. Plus, it’s angelic just for the fact it’s a mousse without cream and sugar!

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. This makes them ideal for meeting calorie intake and getting in some healthy fats without seriously increasing your carbohydrate intake. Monounsaturated fats are vital for glowing skin, strong hair and nails. They’re also an excellent source of fiber, B vitamins and folic acid, which women are often deficient in. So there literally is no reason not to make a massive vat of this mousse and eat it all guilt free!

For 2 mousses:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp 70% organic cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp 100% cacao, melted (optional – increase cocoa powder to your own preference, or use 70% dark chocolate instead)

You might want something to serve it with, I used hazelnuts and raspberries.

Method:

Squeeze the avocado flesh from their skins into a blender & blitz with all other ingredients, until smooth. Chill in the fridge for 40 mins or so and serve!

mousse

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Baked Vanilla Protein Cheesecake

cheesecake

I’ve been trying to perfect a protein cheesecake recipe for ages now and have eaten a lot of luke warm cottage cheese with lumps of protein in for the cause. To be honest though, the filling was the easy bit. Trying to make a low carb base that didn’t taste like cardboard was much tougher (lolllll…..sorry).

This is perfect if you’re a) lazy and b) hate carbs. The caramel sauce is sugar free and the base is ground almonds & peanut butter. I find it easier to use cup measurements for some desserts like this where you can just chuck everything in a bowl & mix it up. If you don’t have a cup set, work out the volume of your protein scoop & use that, or convert the units online. I used liquid egg whites which you can get everywhere now. Separating eggs is fine, but if they can come out of a carton, even better!

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 3 tablespoons organic peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Freedom (or honey/agave syrup)

Cheesecake filling:

  • 1 small pot (170g) 0% Fat Total Greek yoghurt
  • 150g low fat cottage cheese
  • 100g low fat Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup vanilla whey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional – if your whey is weak on flavour you’re gonna want this)
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg whites

Caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Equipment:

1 small spring form, non stick tin, greased with coconut oil.

Preheat oven to 160C/150C fan.

Method:

Put all the base ingredients into a bowl & mix until it looks like dense sand. If it’s too wet, add more ground almonds. Press into the tin with your knuckles.

For the filling, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl & whisk until the whey is mixed in properly. Pour it on top of the base & bake in the oven for 35-40 mins. Don’t let it cook like a sponge cake, it should wobble & look kind of uncooked in the middle when you take it out.

Leave the cheescake to cool at room temp for 15 mins or so, then fridge it until it’s set.

For the sauce, mix the watery and cream bits of the coconut milk together in a bowl, take a cup of it and put it in a small frying pan, along with the other sauce ingredients. Bring it to the boil and then leave it, shaking the pan occasionally, until really big bubbles form & it looks quite dark, like a whiskey colour. Take it off the heat & stir to check if it’s ready, then drizzle on the cheesecake after you’ve sliced it up.

Approx macros per slice

30g protein

10g carbs

14g fat

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Chipotle chicken, salsa & corn: Gains in a bag!

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I seem to start nearly every recipe post by banging on about how simple it is; but seriously, a blind monkey could make this one.

The secret is to buy Bart Smokey Chipotle Rub, because the whole recipe uses this massive plastic baking bag which is packaged up really small inside the spice box. Essentially, you just chuck the corn, chicken and spices in the bag and then chop up the salsa ingredients – that is literally IT. You could make it with a different brand and cover it with foil in a baking tray; but for simplicity and ease, just buy the Bart one.

If you haven’t tried chipotle yet, you’re either crazy, or living on the moon. It’s been popping up everywhere over the past year, from street food to Southern American rib & burger joints that are taking over at the moment.  The spice has a really smokey, barbeque flavour which is perfect with meat. You can buy it in rubs, sauces, marinades, jams; all with varying levels of heat. I’ve made chipotle ribs before with a sauce; but didn’t post them because it was so spicy it was inedible!! The rub I bought for this gave the smokey depth you can only achieve with this spice, but just the right amount of heat to enhance the flavour without losing it. If you’re a gym bunny who’s shoveling chicken & rice on the daily, chipotle is a must – it transforms the ordinary into an addictive must-have.

Serves 4 (small plates (1 chicken breast, 1 cob, 1 serving salsa) or 2 large. If you want something more substantial, a baked sweet potato with low fat cottage cheese would go well with this.

Ingredients:

  • 4  British Chicken Breast Fillets
  • 4 whole sweetcorn
  • 27g pack Bart Smokey Chipotle Rub
  • 1 tbsp clear honey

For the salsa:

  • 400g can black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method:

Put the chicken and sweetcorn in the marinade bag, with the honey and chipotle, tie it and shake it up to coat. Leave it to marinate for about 20 mins while you make the salsa.

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For the salsa, just chop all the ingredients and combine in a bowl with the oil and lime juice.

Preheat the oven to 190C/180C fan and put the bag in a roasting tin to cook for 25 mins. Be really careful opening it, steam burns are nasty! Serve with the salsa!

Tip: This is an ideal BBQ dish, cook as above and finish off on the coals!

Approx Macros: 395kcals, 10.5g fat, 31.2g carbohydrate, 43.8g protein per serving

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Thai salmon burgers with lime & ginger quinoa

salmon burgers

Unfortunately I can’t take credit for this recipe, but I had to post it because its one of my favourites, super nutritious and absolutely packed with protein. The key ingredients, salmon, quinoa and edamame (soy) beans are all rich sources of it and one serving should contain at least 42g. The Thai spices make this fun and tasty to eat, a nice change from chicken & rice…

Adapted from Dale Pinnock’s Healthy Everyday

Serves 4 (or two if you’re hungry)

Approx Macros:

Protein – 42g, Carbs – 50g, Fat – 23g

Ingredients
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus wedges to serve
  • 2cm pieces of ginger
  • 200g quinoa
  • 150g edamame beans (fresh or frozen)
  • Large bunch fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
  • Splash olive oil, for frying
  • Salt & pepper
Method
  1. Place the salmon, garlic, Thai curry paste and half the lime juice in a food processor, season with salt, and process into a smooth, mince-like texture. If you don’t have a processor or blender, steam the salmon then flake it and mix with the above ingredients.
  2. Remove the mixture, divide in half, and using your hands, form 4 burger patty shapes (or 8 small ones). Set aside in the fridge to firm up slightly. If you’ve pre-cooked the salmon, make sure it’s completely cool before you fridge it. You could freeze the burgers at this point too.
  3. Put the quinoa in a pan with the piece of ginger, cover with boiling water, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until just tender (if your edamame beans are frozen, at the same time, boil these for 3-4 minutes in a separate pan until tender) .
  4. Drain the quinoa and stir in the edamame beans, remaining lime juice and coriander. Season with salt & pepper. Stir well and set aside.
  5. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, add the salmon burgers, and fry for 5 minutes on each side, or just until solid & warmed through if salmon is pre-cooked.
  6. Place some quinoa on the center of each plate. Place the burger on top and garnish with coriander and lime wedges

Sin-free Fried Chicken

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I’ve been trying to create a healthy version of fried chicken for ages and have tried so many combinations in search of that crispy, crunchy coating with the juicy, soft chicken center. I’ve finally found the resounding winner- thank god- or I’d be starting to look like I was on some kind of dirty bulk..just in time for summer!

Fried chicken will always have a high fat content, because it’s cooked by hot fat soaking into the meat. This recipe minimizes damage limitation by using coconut oil a raw, pure fat source which is easily synthesized by the body and perfect for high-heat frying. Instead of a carb loaded batter, I used a beaten egg, dessicated coconut and quinoa flakes. The quinoa flakes are like really fine porridge oats, with a high protein content. It fries up really crispy and the coconut gives it a bit of a Caribbean feel. I serve this with chipotle sauce, which I’m obsessed with and sweet potato fries & coleslaw (recipe coming up soon!)

Ingredients:

  • Chicken strips, or breasts cut into strips
  • Dessicated coconut
  • quinoa flakes
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt & pepper to season

Method:

Beat the egg into a shallow bowl & season generously with salt & pepper. Cover a large plate or tray with a mixture of the quinoa flakes and dessicated coconut (how much you use of each is up to your individual taste) and more salt and pepper. Get another plate out and put it next to this one.

Dip the chicken strips in the beaten egg, then roll across the quinoa-coconut plate. Make sure the chicken is totally covered in the quinoa and coconut. If it’s not sticking, dip it back in the egg and then coat again. Keep doing this until all your chicken strips are coated and on the clean plate.

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Heat a large frying pan on a high heat and add the coconut oil. It will need to heat to a high temperature, so when it looks shimmery, drop a few quinoa flakes in. If they turn into crispy, golden flakes within a few seconds, the oil is hot enough. Add the chicken strips carefully. Turn them with tongs after a couple of minutes and fry until the coating is golden all over. Cut one in half to ensure the chicken is cooked through, then drain the rest on a slotted spoon over kitchen paper.

Serve and enjoy, guilt free!