CORE KITCHEN HAS MOVED!

I now have my own domain and a slicker Core Kitchen at www.corekitchen.co.uk

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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!

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

mousse 3

What I Eat: Minimal Effort Macro Shopping List

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Sticking to nutritional goals is a massive challenge for most people, from those who compete professionally to those who are battling weight loss. With the amount of effort meal prep and macros can be, it’s no wonder, a full-time job and regular training routine takes up enough time as it is, before you’ve even thought about what you’re eating or feeding the rest of your family.

Unfortunately, when you start training properly, it becomes pretty obvious that the gym does not ‘free’ up calories for you to replace as soon as you get back to the fridge and if you want to reach whatever goal you’ve set yourself, nutrition is of equal importance to your workout, as well as playing a vital role in keeping you motivated and energised.

To make it all a little easier, I have a list that I order online when I’m short of time, can’t be bothered to think, too tired etc etc. It’s like that show Ready, Steady, Cook! Lay it all out, grab things and you’ve got a decent meal with minimal effort. My list comprises mostly of unrefined carbs, healthy fats and protein. These mostly whole ingredients can be made into a variety of easy, nutritionally balanced meals when you’re struggling.

It’s not perfect, as you can see I’m not a massive fan of fruit and dark green veg (oooops), but this is what fits my macros, doesn’t cost the earth and also what I won’t have to kid myself I like and then end up throwing in the bin (KALE).

shopping list

A few(but not all) ideas:

Breakfasts:

  • eggs + spinach + peppers = omelet
  • Total Greek + blueberries + oats + maple syrup
  • oats + blueberries + milk + maple syrup = porridge
  • steak + eggs

Lunches:

  • hot smoked salmon fillet + spinach + quinoa salad
  • avocado + chicken breast + quinoa salad
  • tuna + hard boiled eggs + spinach salad
  • wholewheat pasta + spring onions + tuna salad with creme fraiche mayo
  • baked sweet potato + cottage cheese

Dinners:

Desserts:

  • Total Greek + maple syrup + chocolate + blueberries
  • All the above frozen = frozen yoghurt
  • melted chocolate + almonds/brazils/pecans from mixed nuts
  • avocado + chocolate + maple syrup = rich chocolate mousse
  • chocolate rice cakes + Total Greek + blueberries

 

Most supermarkets allow you to save lists like this online, so you can literally just book a slot and press a button and your food arrives the next day. This is a god send if you’re pushed for time. Or not, I mean who actually wants to spend any time in the supermarket anyway?! To make your own list, check your MyFitnessPal or keep a food diary for 7 days. Work out what you eat the most of and how versatile these ingredients are and then just save it all, with a few options (as above) stuck on the fridge. It will seriously stop post-gym binges, late night take-outs & the hours of beating yourself up that usually follow.

It’s a bit of effort, but saves you a lot along the way..if you try it, tweet me & let me know how you get on x

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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My Daily Diet

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This post is for all the lovely girls who ask me what I eat & how much of it! Unfortunately it’s quite hard for women to know how much we should eat, what and when particularly if you’re trying to lose weight. Women’s media has reported for so long that if you eat a low calorie diet, you’ll be skinny. While it’s largely true that if you burn more calories than you take in, your weight will drop; eating half the recommended daily allowance isn’t the answer for most of us.

I didn’t realise how little I was eating until I started using MyFitness Pal to log my food and count my macros. I was really low on energy when I started training regularly and would crash out as soon as I got in from the gym. It was difficult to start eating my recommended daily calories, it felt like my stomach wasn’t big enough and I had to remind myself to make time to eat actual meals instead of my 1 meal a day and a bunch of snacks. I think this is the case for so many women and a lot of girls who contact me about diet & workouts are confused about why they don’t look how they want to when they’re hardly eating. Even if you don’t want to count macros all the time, it’s a good starting point to make a habit of it for a few months, until you build up an awareness of what to eat, how much and how often to make yourself feel healthier and stronger. Diet is absolutely integral to reaching aesthetic goals & building a basic understanding of nutrition is really important if you’re looking for optimum results from your workout. Training and diet is a vital partnership, results won’t be at their best if you have one without the other. Once you’ve built a foundation, you won’t have to log and count everything unless you want to, or you’re training specifically for something.

It took me a while to start to recognise the nutritional profile of certain foods and when I did I found I was eating more or less the same thing all the time just to hit macros. Now, I try and vary it and try new things by substituting the standard rice and chicken for other grains and lean meats like quinoa or turkey. Still, there are certain things I order every time I shop and I’ll do a post later in the week about what they are and why I rely on them.

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This is a typical food diary for me, I’m 5’5″, weigh 56kg with 17% body fat and eat 2200-2300kcal a day, with a macro split of approx 241g carbs, 165g protein and 64g fat. Sometimes I switch it up so it’s lower carb & higher fat, but try to stick to weekly macros, including if I decide to have a cheat meal.

Breakfast Calories Carbs Fat Protein Iron Sugar
3 Egg Omelette with spinach 210 1 15 19 0 1
210 1 15 19 0 1
Lunch

Chicken & Cashew nuts with broccoli

Sainsbury’s – Chicken Diced Breast, 150 g 236 0 6 45 0 0
Small Handful – Cashew Nuts, 25 g 146 6 11 6 0 2
Sainsburys – Brown Rice, 60 g uncooked 212 43 2 5 0 0
594 49 19 56 0 2
Dinner: Herb crusted grilled chicken w/sweet potato mash, kale & spinach
Mashed Sweet Potato (W/o Skin, Boiled), 250 grams 190 45 0 5 4 0
Sainsburys – Chicken Breast Fillet Portions –  150 g 207 0 3 46 0 0

397 45 3 51 4 0
Snacks
Cnp – Pro Peptide protein shake 1 X 3 Scoop Serving, 3 Scoops 230 6 3 45 0 3
Sainsbury’s – 1% Fat Milk, 350 ml 151 17 4 13 0 17
Petit Filous Strawberry – 50g Pot, 100 g 96 13 2 5 0 12
Blueberries – Raw, 25 g 14 4 0 0 0 2
Metcalfe’s Skinny Topcorn – Sweet N’ Salt Popcorn, 25 g bag 115 18 5 2 0 5
Green and Blacks Organic – Mini Chocolate Bars, 15 g bar 84 7 5 1 0 0
Sainsbury’s – 1% Fat Milk, 200 ml 86 10 2 7 0 10

792 78 21 73 0 49
Intra Workout
Haribo – Tangfastics, 40 g 136 31 0 3 0 24
136 31 0 3 0 24
Totals 2,129 204 58 202 4 76
Your Daily Goal 2,200 248 61 165 100 77
Remaining 71 44 3 -37 96 1
Calories Carbs Fat Protein Iron Sugar