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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Spice Up Your Rice!

spice up your rice

Apologies to everyone who’s been asking for recipes recently, I moved house this week so blogging kinda went out the window. BUT, as of today, my content will be much more frequent and I’ve got tons of fab recipes to share.

As anyone who follows me on twitter will know, I’m currently doing a clean bulk. My PT has increased my intake of complex carbs by about tenfold and after two weeks, I’m pretty god damn bored of sweet potatoes and rice. So for the past week I’ve been trying to find ways to jazz it up, while keeping it clean.

This is the first part of the INCREDIBLY exciting mini series ‘Spice up your rice’ (I know, try to contain yourselves…) I’ll post 4 ways I’ve started eating rice which helps me on my way to hitting my massive 400g daily carb target, without going insane. For those of you who meal prep, you can still cook a giant batch of plain rice, then portion it up and add the flavouring ingredients afterwards. First up, Spicy tomato rice.

Ingredients:

  • Rice (I used 75-100g wholegrain rice per serving for this)
  • 3-4 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2 peppers (I used 1 red, 1 yellow, for sweetness and colour).
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1/2 chilli (optional)

Method:

Cook the rice according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, finely chop the peppers and chilli, if using. Slice up the spring onions, but separate the green and white parts.

Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat and add a little oil. Add the white parts of the spring onions and when softened, add the diced peppers. If you like it really hot, add the chilli now too. If not, add it cold at the end. Once the veggies are softened, but still retain their shape, add the tomato puree and rice. Mix everything up well, so the puree colours the rice, and allow the rice to fully heat through. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the green parts of the spring onions for crunch.

This is great with a chicken breast and chipotle sauce if you’re stuck for a decent dinner and need to hit some macros.

Don’t forget to tweet me some pics if you make any of my recipes! Next up…Sticky coconut rice with coriander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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

Ultimate Macro-friendly Snacks

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Those of you who track macros and eat well will know preparation is key. ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is literally the rule to live by when you’re trying to lose weight or stick to fitness goals. For me, the hardest thing to control is snacking. I eat every couple of hours at least, I am pretty much eating all the time! My body works best this way and it keeps my energy levels up. If I’m really hungry, I lose all rationality and eat whatever is near, usually high GI, sugar fuelled carbs, send me on a crazy cycle of uncontrollable cravings for the rest of the day.

These are the snacks I keep with me to make sure I stick to my macros and stay full up & bursting with energy!

High (good) fat, low carb:

Almonds:

High-protein almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Great for your skin, almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, which protecst against UV light damage and Alzheimer’s disease. Minerals manganese and magnesium help strengthen bones and regulate blood sugar.

Avocados:

Another great source of monounsaturated fats, avocados really fill you up and and are seriously satisfying. A fab source of folic acid, avocados have anti-inflammatory properties. Great in smoothies and even as a chocolate mousse base, but I like them best in my super-quick guacamole, keep the avocado stone and put it in the middle of the guacamole to stop it turning brown.

 

Low fat, low carb:

Popcorn:

Not Butterkist!! Homemade popcorn is way better, as you can control what flavouring and oil you put on it. 15g bags of Sweet & Salty popcorn from M&S come in at a close second and are an ideal substitute for crisps or chocolate in a 3pm lull, but with only 8.4g of carbs and 0.5g fat per bag.

Green & Blacks Miniature 70% chocolate bars

Sometimes you just need chocolate. I keep these teeny bars handy for ultimate damage limitation. Only 15g, but just enough to hit a craving, a 15g bar contains 84kcal, 5.3g fat and 6.6g carbs. I guess you could just weigh out 15g of a bigger bar, but two squares of chocolate is demoralising and there’s something I love about being able to eat the (tiny) entire bar and throw the wrapper away without reaching for more.

 

Holy-grail snacks:

Blueberries

Hailed as ‘the ultimate superfood’,  blueberries are an absolute god send. Just 100g (4oz) of blueberries contain the same amount of age-defying antioxidants as five servings of other fruit and vegetables. Antioxidants help guard against a range of cancers, heart disease, asthma, arthritis and cataracts, Alzheimer’s and age-related neurological diseases. That same amount contains a mere 57 kcal and 14.5g of carbs and a pathetic 0.3g of fat! Some research has shown that 100g a day can boost brain power, speeding up cognitive performance, memory and even slowing the ageing process of the skin.

Total Greek Yoghurt 0% Fat

My latest obsession, these little pots provide a whopping 10+g of protein! Really thick, luxurious Greek yoghurt feels like a treat and is very filling and satisfying. Great with honey and fruit for breakfast, a snack or dessert.

Hemp Seed

More of a topping than an actual snack, but I had to mention these as they’re unbelievable boosters to yoghurts, porridge, salads and smoothies. Another nutrient packed superfood, 2 tbsps of hemp seeds contains 10.5g protein and the full spectrum of amino acids, including those which the body doesn’t produce naturally and are vital to muscle growth and regeneration (the same stuff packed into BCAA’s). As if that wasn’t enough, this tiny serving will give you the ideal ratio of Omega 3, 6 and 9; fatty acids which help maintain optimum CV and immune health.

 

*Whipped protein dessert recipe:

Layer blueberries, 1 Total Greek 0% fat yoghurt, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, honey and strawberries in a small bowl or glass.

 

 

 

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!

Chocolate protein banana loaves

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Banana bread is one of life’s greatest comforts, but it can be far from wholesome. I bought these little loaf cases from Waitrose a while ago and have been wanting to use them for something I can snack on during those 3pm sugar cravings I know so well. No longer a straight-up carb party, I’ve added a whey/casein blend protein powder to this, to level the nutritional content a bit.

I’ve used hazelnuts, but walnuts or almonds would work well too, as would vanilla or banana whey. If you don’t care about the protein evaluate your priorities
substitute with flour instead. If you want to lower the fat content, leave the nuts & chocolate out altogether and switch the almond milk for water. Play around with it to suit your taste/macros.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 scoops of whey protein
  • 170g whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 10g stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150ml almond milk
  • few squares 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • Handful of chopped hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Maca powder (optional for a superfood boost/slightly malted flavour)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C, 170C fan.

Mix all the dry ingredients together, except for the nuts and chocolate. Mix together the wet ingredients, including the bananas, then add them to the dry. The texture should be like a thick, stiff cake batter, that falls off a spoon when you tap it sharply.

Add the hazelnuts and chocolate and stir up together. Put into greased cases, as above, or a large greased loaf tin. I use coconut oil for a clean grease. Fill them very slightly past half way, as they’ll rise.

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Baking time depends on your oven and the size of the loaves. I baked mine for 30 mins, a larger cake will take 45-50. After 30 mins uninterrupted baking (do not open that door) insert a skewer or sharp knife and it should come out roughly clean. If it’s covered in uncooked cake batter, give it another 10 and check again. When they’re baked, leave to cool slightly on a wire rack.

Will keep in an air tight tin for 4-5 days.