Apple Pie Porridge

This is a quick and easy way to have apple pie for breakfast and you only need 5 ingredients!!

apple pie panck ingred

Ingredients:

This recipe serves 1

35g porridge oats

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 green apple

1 tsp brown sugar

150ml of milk (whatever your preference – I have used almond milk)

Method:

  • Roughly grate the green apple and add to a non-stick frying pan, on a medium heat.

apple pie pnke grated

  • When the apple starts to sizzle slightly, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and add the brown sugar and cinnamon, mix well.
  • In a separate pan, combine your milk and oats and cook until you have a creamy consistency.

porridge and apple

  • Combine the cooked apple and oats in a bowl and serve immediately.
  • I sprinkled a tablespoon of my homemade granola on top but you can top with some almonds,pumpkin seeds or walnuts if you don’t have any granola.

apple pie and granola

Nutritional information per serving (with 1 tbsp granola on top):

328kcal, 9g protein, 4g fat, 55g carbohydrate, 8g fibre,

breakfast time

Advertisements

Spicy Baked Eggs

It was too rainy to leave the house this morning BUT  it was a bank holiday (WOOP WOOP!) so I had lots of free time to make our own brunch and also managed to keep it under 300 calories! This dish is dead easy to make, it has all the taste with half the calories and it looks beautiful on the kitchen table!

Ingredients:

Serves 2

baked eggs ingred

4 eggs, keep them at room temperature before making this recipe.

1 medium red onion

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 medium bell pepper

30g of feta cheese

100g rocket

10 cherry tomatoes, halved.

salt and pepper

chilli flakes/fresh chilli

2 crushed cloves of garlic

*Note: your frying pan must fit into your grill oven*

Method:

fried onion

  • Finely chop the red onion and add to a non-stick frying pan (or use a low kcal spray oil) with the crushed garlic cloves – keep on a medium heat until the onion becomes slightly translucent

onion and tomato

  • Next add the tin of chopped tomatoes with a generous helping of ground pepper and keep on the medium heat for 4-5minutes

ALL the tomatos

  • Once the tomato mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and add the cherry tomatoes.

baked eggs

  • Add the chopped peppers to your mixture and then using your spatula, one at a time, create four small holes in your mixture and crack an egg into each hole. It doesn’t have to be perfect, don’t worry! The eggs will sink to the bottom of the mixture anyway and will form proper shapes as they cook.

baked eggs under grill

  • Once the egg whites have turned opaque, crumble the feta on top and place your pan under the grill for 3-5minutes. Keep watching your pan as it can burn very quickly.

baked eggs done

  • You know the recipe is ready to serve when the eggs have cooked on top, there should be no clear egg white left and it shouldn’t be very wobbly, you can then remove the pan and sprinkle the rocket and chilli flakes/fresh chilli on top.
  • I love serving this recipe straight from the pan but be careful as it can be very hot after being in the grill. This recipe is best served immediately, with a side salad and some sweet potato wedges!

happy roomate

*Pictured above: A very happy roommate!*

berforeafter

Nutritional information per serving :

275kcal, 20g protein, 14g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 6g fibre.

Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Bake

I looovvvvveeeeee burritos and this recipe is like a cross between a burrito bowl and a healthy chicken enchilada. You can make this on a Sunday and then freeze the extra portions and use throughout the week! Tastes like burrito but without all the calories.

Ingredients:

Makes 6 servings

ingred

3 chicken breasts (with all visible fat removed)

1 can of black beans drained (approx 290g)

1 cup of homemade enchilada sauce (approx 240ml)

1 Tbsp chilli powder

half a jar of jalapeños

1 small red onion, finely chopped

170g quinoa (dry) and 1 tsp olive oil

50g low fat cheddar

50g feta cheese

2 sprays of frylight or a similar low kcal cooking spray

Methods:

Preheat a fan oven to 180°C.

First of all you will need to get all of your ingredients ready so you can ultimately combine them all:

INGRED 2

Homemade enchilada sauce: Click here for my homemade enchilada sauce. You can also buy an enchilada sauce, look out for brands that are low sodium and low sugar.

Onion and jalapeños: Finely chop and set aside

Black beans: drain, rinse and set aside.

Chicken: You can cook grill, bake poach or fry your chicken. I baked my chicken at 180 degrees celsius for 25mins. Once cooked, I cut it into cubes and set aside.

IMG_1693IMG_1701IMG_1702Quinoa: Over a medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil to a pan and then add your 170g dry quinoa. Stir the quinoa until it has absorbed the olive oil and then add 320ml boiling water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower heat to the lowest setting and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside.

all in the pan

sauce in the pan

Once all your ingredients are ready add your onions to a medium heat frying pan and cook until translucent.

Add all the rest of your ingredients to the pan, combine and cook on medium heat for about 5minutes until sauce reduces.

ready for the oven

cheese

Once sauce has reduced, add mixture to baking tray and cover with feta cheese and low fat cheddar cheese.

Bake in oven at 180°C for 10-15minutes and serve with salad and avocado.

Nutritional Information per serving (with quarter of an avocado):
335kcal; 26g protein; 30g carbohydrates; 12g fat

time to eat

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I haven’t been posting as often as I would like to because I am currently in the process of moving to London which is very exciting, if not a little bit stressful. Even though I haven’t been posting, I have still been cooking (of course) and I have lots of new recipes that I’ll be putting up in the coming weeks!! Hopefully I’ll be back to posting regularly by next week!

I know that I’ve called this an enchilada sauce but it can just as easily be added to pasta or other dishes that need a bit of a kick. This is a really basic recipe but I find that most people buy pasta sauces, instead of making their own, and there are usually lots of nasty surprises in those ready made sauces (mainly salt and hidden calories). You can make a batch of this on Sunday and have it in the fridge for the week or you can reduce the amount you make and make single servings. I will be using this sauce in the next two recipes that I post just to show you how diverse it is.

Ingredients:

Makes approx five 150g servings

enchilada sauce ingredientsTwo 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

Half a Tbsp of olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

4 Minced garlic cloves

2-4 Tbsp Cayenne pepper (keep tasting!)*

Black pepper

Pinch of salt

*NOTE: Cayenne Pepper is technically a chilli powder. It’s actually 100% chili powder, while labelled chili powders are often a mix of chili powder along with other spices. Those spices can include oregano or cumin, among many others. So the flavor of each can be unexpectedly different from one another. Depending on what flavour you’re going for (or how spicy you like your sauces) you can use chilli powder if you prefer.

Method:

Chop up your onion, peel your garlic cloves and cut your lemon in half, ensuring the pips have been removed. Don’t worry if your onion isn’t chopped finely, we will blend the sauce later.

enchilada sauce choppedAdd half a Tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan and heat over a medium heat. Once you can feel heat over the pan, add your onions, minced garlic cloves, pinch of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Cook until onions are translucent.

enchilada sauce cookingLastly, add two tins of chopped tomatoes with the juice of half of the lemon. Stir until combined and then add 2-4 Tbsp of Cayenne Pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. I keep tasting the sauce until I get the heat/spice I want from it. You can further add black pepper or another pinch of salt here if it’s not what you’re looking for.

enchilada sauce finishedLet your sauce cool and then transfer to a blender and blend until you get the consistency that you like. I like a chunky sauce so I usually only give it a quick whizz with the blender.

As I said at the start, you can keep your sauce in the fridge for a week and keep using it for whatever dishes need a bit of  kick!

 Nutritional Information (per 150g sauce – 1 serving):

48kcal; 7g carbohydrates; 2g fat; 2g protein; 1g fibre

Almond, Vanilla and Cranberry Granola

I LOVE granola…..LOVE IT! But I can never eat it without feeling slightly guilty as it usually contains a huge amount of sugar  and calories. This is my version of basic granola that won’t break the calorie bank.

granola side

Granola is basically cooked muesli so oats, nuts and berries are obvious ingredients. I’ve used almonds, cranberries and vanilla for this one but you could, for example, use unsalted roasted peanuts, raisins and cinnamon instead. Play around with a few variations until you find your favourite and then you can make it in big batches and store for up to a month in an airtight mason jar.

GRANOLA INGREDIENTS

Makes 680g (17 servings) 

One serving = 40g

Dry Ingredients:

 300g oats

100g almond flakes

50g milled flaxseed

4 Tbsp chia seeds

30g sunflower seeds

100g dried cranberries

50g desiccated coconut

Wet Ingredients:

2 Tbsp of rapeseed oil (vegetable oil)

1.5 Tbsp of dark molasses (or 2 Tbsp of honey)

125ml pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

NOTE: Molasses are a by product of the refining sugar process. Molasses have a high mineral content and are a good source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin B6. 

Method:

  •  Preheat your fan oven to 150 degrees celsius. In a bowl mix all of the dry ingredients, except the coconut and cranberries.

GRANOLA 2 DRY INGRED

  •  In another bowl mix up your wet ingredients – honey, maple syrup, vanilla and rapeseed oil.
  •  Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and thoroughly mix until all the dry ingredients are slightly wet and sticky.

GRANOLA 3 DRY AND WET

  • Split the mixture and spread evenly onto two baking trays/dishes so that there is lots of room for the granola to bake. If you overfill a container and then bake it, you won’t get a crispy granola (this is a mistake I have made many times). Bake your granola for 15minutes.

GRANOLA 4 BEFORE OVEN

  •  After 15minutes, remove your baking trays from the oven and then add your cranberries and coconut.

granola 5 berries

  •  Bake for a further 15minutes.

GRANOLA KILNER

  • Once cool, store your granola in airtight jars and it will keep for up to a month.
  • Serve with your choice of milk or yoghurt. I like to have a bowl of this with a small banana, pomegranate or a pear.

Nutritional Information per 40g bowl with 150ml slimline milk:

270kcal; 30g carbohydrates; 11g fat; 11g protein; 

This recipe is a good source of omega 3 and 6 fats and contains a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.

granola finished

Chocolate Pots

Whether you’re single or taken, Valentine’s Day is ALL about chocolate!!!

val day

Just in time for Valentine’s, I have my 140kcal chocolate pots so you can enjoy the night without going overboard on the calories. These chocolate pots are wonderfully rich, smooth and satisfying.

This recipe makes 7/8 pots but the nutritional info is calculated for 8.

choc pots ingreds

Ingredients:

Serves 8 

50g boiled and mashed sweet potato

1 large banana (or 2 small)

1 whole egg

3 egg whites

130g 70-80% dark chocolate

35g honey

1 tsp vanilla essence or almond essence

Method:

choc pots sweet potato     Pre heat the oven to 180°C.

Chop up the sweet potato into small cubes (the smaller the cubes, the faster it will boil) and place into boiling water.   Simmer for 15minutes until the sweet potato is soft when you poke it with a fork. Drain the water and mash sweet potato with fork.

In a bowl, mash up the banana and add the mashed sweet potato, 1 tsp of vanilla essence or almond essence, the whole egg and honey. Combine together and set aside.choc pots mix

choc pots melt

Break up the chocolate into cubes and place in a glass bowl over boiling water. Keep an eye on the chocolate so that it doesn’t burn. Stir every now again. Once most of the lumps are gone, take the pan off the heat and keep stirring until all lumps are gone.

Add the mixture of banana, sweet potato, honey, egg to the bowl of melted chocolate and stir until fully combined. To make your mixture smoother, you can give it a blitz in a blenderchoc pots all together choc pots bulletLeave your chocolate mixture to sit. choc pots egg whites

Separate egg whites and whisk until they become slightly stiff.

The final step is to fold the egg whites into your chocolate mixture.

choc pots egg white fold

choc pots before cook

choc pots after cook

Add your mixture to oven safe ceramic pots (I got mine in Tiger, Rathmines, Dublin) and bake in the oven for 8 minutes.

I served mine with some pomegranate seeds and some desiccated coconut.

pom

finish 2

Nutritional Composition (per pot):

144kcal; 8g Fat; 14g Carbohydrate; 4g Protein 

finish

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Feta and Poached Egg

I had this for my weekend brunch however, it can also make a lovely lunch or dinner. This is a low calorie meal that leaves you feeling satisfied and is super easy to make.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 servings

no1

Half a large sweet potato

100g button mushrooms

1 medium carrot

Half a large yellow pepper

1 large red bell pepper

2 medium eggs

Half a medium onion

100g beetroot

30g feta cheese

salt and pepper

1 tbsp paprika

3/4 garlic cloves

2 tsp olive oil

Method:

Chop up the mushrooms, peppers, carrot, onion and sweet potato.

n03

Add all of the chopped vegetables to a bowl and drizzle 2 tsp of olive oil over them along with some salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of paprika.

no2

Once you’ve tossed the vegetables in oil, salt & pepper and paprika, add to a baking tray and place 3/4 garlic cloves among the veg.

n04

Bake your veg at 200°C for 20-25mins until browned

n08

Once veg have been cooked, chop up 100g of beetroot and mix into the warm vegetables.

n06

n09

Separate the veg out on two plates and crumble 15g of feta on top of each plate.

Poach two eggs and place on top of the vegetables and feta.

How to poach eggs:

Boil water in a pan and add a tbsp of vinegar to the simmering water.

Using a spoon, stir the simmering water to create a gentle whirlpool.

Crack your egg into the whirlpool and cook for 3 -4 mins.

Here is a link to a BBC Good Food “How to” video.

Serve immediately.

no10

n0.12

Nutritional Information per serving:

271kcal; 27g carbohydrates; 11g protein; 13g fat.

Kinder Bueno Protein Balls

I’m not joking; these taste like the stuff in the middle of Kinder Bueno! I love having these in the fridge and grabbing one or two on the way to the gym. They’re also good to have when you get home from the gym and you’re desperately trying not to eat everything in the fridge before you make your lunch or dinner. It is important to have a post workout snack/meal at least 30minutes after a workout session to aid muscle repair and muscle glycogen storage, so these are very easy to pop into a zip lock bag and put into your gym bag.

Ingredients:

Makes 30 balls (15 servings)

PB ingreds

1 scoop of vanilla whey protein (30g)

40g porridge oats

15g unsweetened desiccated coconut

3 tbsp honey

40g dark chocolate chips (optional)

240g smooth peanut butter (you could use crunchy but I prefer the smooth texture for these)

Method:

 Measure out all of your ingredients and add everything, except the coconut, to a bowl.

PB2

Using a spoon, mix ingredients together until they are combined.
PB balls mix 2Have a clean surface/plate to put your balls on once you have rolled them out.

Run your hands under a cold tap so that your mixture does not stick to your palms.

Slowly roll out 30 balls.

You may need to run your hands under the cold tap a few times so that you can easily roll out your balls.

coconut rolling

Once you have rolled out 30 balls, measure out 15g of desiccated coconut into a small bowl and roll each ball in the coconut until they are evenly covered.

PB5

I usually store my protein balls in a lunchbox with greaseproof paper separating the layers.

It’s best to keep these in the fridge as they will keep for approx 2 weeks or you can freeze them and they will keep for longer ( approx one month). I recommend eating them within the 2 weeks as the taste is much better when they are fresh.

They also make a really good gift for a health conscious/gym bunny friend. You can get mason jars in Home Store and more for around 3 euro with some ribbon and put together a really lovely present. Below is a picture of a few Kris Kindle presents of oat protein balls and homemade granola I gave to friends at Christmas.

Nutritional Information per serving (2 balls):

157kcal; 13g carbohydrates; 5g protein; 11g fat.

PBFINAL

Hell & Back – Nutrition tips for Race Day

I started this post on Thursday when I was snowed in at the office, looking out the window and cursing my decision to sign up for Hell & Back this Sunday…….However cold and miserable the day may be, it will be for a very good cause. I’m taking part in the 10km adventure race Hell & Back with a team from work for Irish Autism Ireland and so far we have raised a whopping 1200euro!!

HellNBackHellnBack2

These races are SO popular so I thought it might be a good idea to post on what your diet should look like leading up to an endurance adventure race, like Hell & Back. As you can imagine, running an adventure race like Hell & Back will increase your calorie needs and to ensure that you have optimal energy stores for the race and to beat early fatigue on the day, you should pay attention to your diet the day before the event, the day of the event and the day after the event.

Carbohydrate

carb loadingCarbohydrate (CHO) is the most important fuel for endurance exercise. Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles as glycogen but the stores are short lived and need to be replenished daily. It is important that you have high carbohydrate (low fibre) meals with the addition of protein the day before the event, the day of the event and the day after the event. In terms of recovery, the sooner you can get carbohydrates into your system after the event, the better because the faster the muscle glycogen stores are replenished after exercise, the faster the recovery process and theoretically the greater the return of performance capacity. The first 30minutes – 24 hours after finishing the event is when your muscles are most permeable to (ready to absorb) carbohydrates and nutrients so that they can begin to rebuild from the stress they have just endured. If you plan your recovery meal/snack right it can help to prevent further muscle breakdown and can help to ensure that your muscles and liver absorb the optimum amount of carbohydrate and store it high CHOas glycogen. If you do not include a recovery meal your body can stay in the catabolic state that it was in during exercise i.e. continue to further breakdown muscles resulting in increased muscle soreness in the hours and days following the event.

If you look at the chart to the left you can see that a high CHO diet results in higher muscle glycogen stores. So your meals leading up to the event (and after the event) should be primarily based on carbohydrates. Aim for 1-4g CHO/kg body weight. So if you are a 65kg female, you should have at least 65g of carbohydrate in your main meal before the event. Be sure to consume carbohydrate in the 30mins – hour following the event. Below is a table of commonly eaten foods and their carbohydrate content.

cho

Protein

Most people would think that protein is the most important macronutrient for exercise but it is carbohydrate that is your main

proteinfuel source. The addition of protein to your recovery meal/snack after the event will help your cells absorb more carbohydrate. Research has found that adding a small amount of protein—approximately 15 to 25 grams—to the pre and post event meal will speed your muscle recovery. Consuming protein in addition to carbohydrate will help repair muscles and will help to increase the amount of protein in your muscles. Eating too little protein or none at all would mean that you are not allowing your muscles to rebuild or repair after the event. Examples of good sources of protein:

Egg whites: ~4g whole egg white

Portion of lean beef: 22g per 85g serving

Portion of lean chicken: 25g per 100g serving

Tin of tuna in brine: 24g protein

Small tin of beans: 10g protein

A note on hydration:

It has been shown that as little as 2% dehydration (≥ 2% loss of bodyweight due to exercise-induced dehydration) can reduce your endurance capacity and potentially impair performance! Dehydration does this by increasing cardiovascular stress, HYDRATEincreasing your body’s consumption of carbohydrates (your precious fuel stores) and also impairs your temperature regulation. For these reasons, it is important to be adequately hydrated leading up to the event and especially on the day of the event. Fluid intake of 1L/hr is realistic to offset fluid loss (as long as climate is not too hot) and try to consume the recommended daily fluid intake of 1.5-2L a day the week of the event.

On the day of the event hydration should be as follows:

  • 2 hours to go: Sip on 8ml/Kg body weight – usually = 500-600mls of an isotonic sports drink from 2 hours to go and continue until go time
  • one hour to go: A cup of unsweetened black coffee can help to delay the early onset of fatigue/ glucose jellies
  • During exercise >60mins: Water and sports drink, sip constantly throughout

 Caffeine:

CAFFINWIt has been suggested in the past that caffeine may contribute to dehydration through exerting a diuretic effect (increased water loss through urine) however there is a body of more recent evidence to suggest that this is not the case. Evidence suggests that caffeine improves endurance. 6mg/kg caffeine taken 60mins prior to the event ( 300mg for a 65kg woman – equivalent to an unsweetened large cup of brewed coffee or a venti Starbucks Americano) or 1.5mg/kg taken in divided doses throughout an intense workout has been shown to benefit performance (e.g. 4 caffeine containing sports gels over two hours). Caffeine’s side effects include laxative effects, trembling and anxiety. If you are sensitive to caffeine it would probably be best to avoid it to ensure that you do not have any negative side effects during the event.

Day before the race:

It is probably best to have your main meal at lunch time and your smaller meal for dinner so you have plenty of time to digest.

  • keep calmBreakfast can be any of the high CHO foods mentioned above with low fat and moderate protein combination.

Example:

  •  A large bowl of low fibre cereal, 1 banana and 1 glass of orange juice
  • Lunch and Dinner should be low in fat and fibre to prevent abdominal cramping during your event.

Example:

  • Beans on toast with orange juice
  • 2 rounds of sandwiches, a large piece of fruit with jaffa cakes
  • Spaghetti with pasta sauce and lean chicken with a glass of orange juice.

 On the day:

You should have a high carbohydrate, low fat, low fibre meal 2-3 hours before the event, for example:

pre race1 Large bowl of cereal (muesli/porridge/cornflakes) with low fat milk, 1 large banana and fruit yoghurt

OR..

4 slices toast and jam, glass fruit juice and a fruit yoghurt

OR..

4 stack of pancakes with syrup plus 1 pint of milk

OR…

2 rounds of Sandwiches, ham/chicken/tuna filling, 2 satsuma /1 banana plus 5 jaffa cakes

AVOID:

New foods; high fibre foods (bran); large quantities of meat >100g;large quantities of caffeine;

 Pre race:

  • Extra snacks can be taken before the race to boost your carbohydrate stores (cereal bars, isotonic drinks/yogurts).
  • Ensure you start the event fully hydrated. A general guide is slowly sip on 400-600ml in the 2 hours leading up to the event.

During the race:

STARTBecause Hell&Back is not really about winning, I don’t think this is entirely relevant. There are hydration stations throughout the Hell&Back racecourse but I don’t think there is many opportunities to eat while wading through a smelly swamp or river. This advice would be better for a more competitive adventure race like Gaelforce:

  • Take 30-60g of carbohydrate every hour e.g. 600 – 1000ml isotonic drink, 1.5-2 packets gels or 40-75g dried fruit (or a combination of these).
  • Fluids – a general guideline is to drink 150-200ml every 15 minutes. The aim is to lose no more than 2% of your body weight during exercise (e.g. 1.5kg for a 70kg person).

After the race – Recovery

  • Ensure a snack or meal high in carbohydrate and protein is taken within 30 minutes of finishing the race. Examples include:

finished

  • Flavoured milk, apple and muesli bar
  • 600ml sports drink and cereal barBanana and low fat fruit yoghurt
  • Breakfast cereal, low fat milk and dried fruit
  • Sandwich/roll/wrap filled with chicken/ham/egg/tuna
  • Jacket potato with tuna/baked beans/low fat cheese
  • Baked beans/spaghetti on toast

Make sure to take high carbohydrate meals and snacks for the next 24 hours after the race.

Good luck!!!!!

Chocolate Banana Bread

This is SUCH an easy recipe to make and it’s a bit of a twist on the traditional banana bread. I tend to make a batch of this when there are black bananas in the kitchen and they’re about to be thrown out. The more ripe the bananas are, the sweeter they will be.

Ingredients:

Makes 10 slices

BB start

120g wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking soda

30g cocoa powder (unsweetened is best)

3 medium ripe bananas (the riper, the better!)

1 medium egg

120g natural yoghurt

1 tsp vanilla essence

Topping:

30g peanut butter

10g walnuts/cacao nibs

Method:

dry and wet

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C

Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and in another bowl, mash the bananas and add the rest of the wet ingredients

Combine wet and dry ingredients

wet

Grease a loaf tin and add your ingredients. Spread evenly in the tin.

bb before

Bake for 45mins-1 hour. When you can prick the bread with a toothpick and it comes out clean, you know that it is ready. This is a very wet mixture so the toothpick may come out gooey but that’s fine.

bb after

Let the bread cool on a rack for 10-15minutes and then spread 30g of peanut butter on top. You can use either chopped up walnuts, unsweetened desiccated coconut or cacao nibs as a topping.

bb finisged

BB finished cut aerial

Nutritional Information per slice:

120kcal; 18g carbohydrates; 3g fat; 3g protein; 

This recipe is a good source of potassium.

bb ready to eat