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!

DSCF6332[1]

 

 

Advertisements

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

photo 1(11)

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.

photo 5(5)

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.

photo 4(10)

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!

photo 2(11)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Eat: Minimal Effort Macro Shopping List

DSCF6272[1]

 

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

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

Curls for Girls, Weights for Women

PicMonkey Collage

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know I love lifting and am always cheerleading other ladies who love it too. I’ve really gotten into it in the past 6 months and am always trying to educate girls about the benefits and great fun that come with building muscle.

Freeweights and heavy, compound exercises are rarely advertised to women. Better quality women’s fitness magazines, like Women’s Health have been promoting the reason why we should all take a tip from the men, but women who read these probably know this anyway and the message has failed to penetrate the mass media. The fear that lifting heavy makes you bulky still haunts women’s workout schedules, when really, it should be leading them.

I’ve recently joined a new gym which is almost overwhelmingly polarised by gender. Women fill the cardio sections and mats; men run the freeweights room. After a while on a specific training programme, I know my way around an Olympic bar; but I was seriously intimidated by the amount of men in the freeweights room (see above…) and the serious lack of women. After 15 minutes of totally unnecessary extra cardio and many emergency SOS #fitfam tweets, I decided I couldn’t let my own anxieties keep me from completing a decent workout, so I bit the bullet and headed in to the squat rack. I was the only woman in there for 25 minutes. When I left, shaking up my protein, I got a lot of weird looks from other women in the gym.

The sad thing is, I wish they knew how much better they might feel if they lifted too. How much their confidence, energy and strength would increase if they spent one of their workouts somewhere other than the crosstrainer. Don’t get me wrong, cardio obviously has it’s benefits. But combining it with weight training will improve most women’s results ten fold.

While men seem to pack on the gains after a few sessions on the bench, women simply don’t have enough testosterone to build this amount of muscle. Lifting heavy weights on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts and bench presses will increase metabolism and burn fat for longer than a standard cardio workout. ‘Toning’ simply refers to firm, visible muscle mass and a low body fat percentage. To achieve this, you have to strength train. Not endless reps with light 3kg dumbells, but fewer reps of heavy weights combined with intense cardio sessions like HIIT, a balanced diet and plenty of protein. After a few months on a strength program like this, your results will far surpass what you could have achieved with cardio alone.

In addition to the strong, toned and curvy figure weight training sculpts, I continue to up my weight in the gym because of the surge I have seen in my confidence, energy and focus. Knowing I can give some guys a run for their gym membership gives me an inner strength that matches the gains I’ve made with my figure and I push myself much more in all areas of my life since I started taking my training seriously. Focusing hard on picking up something heavy a few times a week is almost meditative and has made me calmer and happier.

I hope more women start to realise the physical and emotional merits of lifting and that women’s media start to fairly represent this area of fitness. Next time you’re in the gym, book another induction based around the free weights and get a PT to show you how to lift. I haven’t met a woman yet who’s not wished she’d started sooner.

tumblr_mtp0txClh21scog3to1_1280

Fitness-model

Spicy Tuna Burgers

tuna burgers

If you’re a gym rat then you’re likely chugging tuna quicker than John West can catch it. If you’re not then you should be. Tuna is one of the richest sources of protein available and a standard tin gives you about 45g of the stuff. If you’re new to training or nutrition, that’s pretty decent. A high quality whey/casein shake would give you about 55g, so for a natural source, tuna is the one.

Eating a diet high in protein will keep you fuller and more satisfied for longer. On top of that, if you’re looking to build muscle (including ‘toning’, girls, it’s the same thing), protein is the macro nutrient that will help you do that. Lifting breaks down muscle fiber and protein helps rebuild muscle. So, you work in the gym to break down the muscle, you work in the kitchen to build it back bigger. As a high protein diet helps aid recovery, you won’t be as sore the day after a hard session. What’s not to love?!

Well unfortunately, tuna gets boring really quickly. These tuna burgers make it a little more interesting and are simple to make. It’s an adapted recipe from my absolute favourite gym resource LDN Muscle and I’ve just added a bunch of herbs and spices to liven them up a bit.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

+ 2 tins tuna

+ 2 eggs

+ small bunch coriander, roughly chopped

+ 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped

+ 1 red chilli, finely chopped

+ 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

+ salt to season

Method:

Drain the tuna & put it in a large bowl. Heat a large frying pan on a high heat, with 1-2tbsp oil in. Beat the eggs and add to the tuna bowl, combining. Add everything else and mix well.

Shape the tuna mix into balls (meat ball size) then flatten. Fry in the pan until crispy (about 2 mins per side) serve with salad and wait for the gains!

Spicy & Salty Edamame Beans

DSCF6188[1]

Asian inspired food is amazing if you’re on a health kick or getting bored with the same old snacks. Edamame (or soy) beans are like the crack of the vegetable world, but also insanely nutritious with a decent protein content (17g protein per 125g serving)

The ginger, soy and vinegar in this recipe gives the edamame a salty, sour depth to the initial chilli hit and the combination of flavours makes them ultra satisfying.

Great for vegetarians or for a post workout snack, the high protein, high fibre and low fat content makes them ideal for gym rats & clean eaters. I like these on leg day with a salmon fillet to help build muscle!! They take about 5 mins to prepare and are crazy delicious. After you’ve made them once you can alter the ingredient quantities to suit your taste.

Ingredients:

+150g edamame beans (Wholefoods or Waitrose snack aisle if you’re not near an Asian supermarket)

+1 red chilli, finely chopped

+1 1.5cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped

+1 clove garlic, finely chopped

+1tbsp balsamic vinegar

+ few good glugs of soy sauce

+1tsp Sweet Freedom syrup, or honey

+ sea salt flakes to serve

Method:

Heat a small frying pan on a medium heat and add a tsp oil (ideally coconut but any works).

Add the ginger, chilli and garlic and keep moving in the pan. After 2 mins, add the beans and stir well. Add the soy and balsamic and syrup and increase heat to high.

After 3 mins or so, when marinade has reduced slightly, put the beans in a serving bowl using tongs. Pour over remaining marinade and add a tbsp of sea salt flakes.

Serve with kitchen roll!!!

Kicks & Kit!

gymkit

My essential gym kit!

Clockwise, L-R

Nike sports bra – I love a bright sports bra, totally cheers up your workout and this one is reversible pink & orange to match my trainers…unintentionally of course…

Rubber resistance band – these are great for leg lifts and hip abductor exercises, you can also use them for various rows and shoulder mobility. My workout teacher gave me this one, but check out Amazon for similar.

Adidas neon leopard print leggings – I’m obsessed with patterned leggings and running tights, these are my current faves. They’re not specifically for the gym though, for performance and flattering comfort (and leg days when I know I’m gonna sweat hard) you cant beat Nike Legends.

Triangl Bikini – This Australian brand are right on the money with their hipster-hit bikini’s. On every InstaG fitspo blog at the moment, they’re worth every penny of the $90 price tag. It’s so hard to find a great bikini that lasts longer than a few decent swimming sessions and as they’re made from neoprene (wetsuit material), they’re up to the task with a great minimalist, sporty look.

Nike Total Core trainers – No they’re not Nike Free Runs! Or Roches! I love my Total Core’s, they’re sleek enough for classes and cardio, but supportive enough for free weights. A seriously underrated trainer.

Nike performance vest – Because British girls prefer more than a sports bra…flattering, breathable, sucks up sweat before you even know it’s there, it’s worth paying a bit more for a decent vest.

Adidas Stella McCartney hoodie – If I could afford it, I’d buy everything gym related from Stella. The clothes are really high performance, insaaaanely flattering and in amazing colours. This hoodie was a Net-A-Porter sale bargain and has seen me through many winter runs. It’s seriously warm, yet incredibly light and the tight fabric is very form fitting, but doesn’t gather or cling. Worth It.

PhD Diet Whey Protein Powder – 2 scoops of this with some water after a workout really supercharge you back to full energy and help reconstruct muscle fibre to ensure all those weights give you some visible results! Protein does not bulk you up unless you’re shooting testosterone and steroids in crazy quantities, or are just a man. This tastes pretty good as far as whey goes and isn’t calorific and full of sugar and chemicals like most brands. Keep an eye out for my ‘demystifying supplements’ post later this week!

Sports Direct skipping rope – This cost about £1.99 at the till and is a total winner! Can really cheer up a HIIT routine and is a full-body cardio workout. Boxers often skip for coordination and concentration, not to mention it’s waaay more fun than the treadmill!