Daily Salad

I make a salad every couple of days; there is no particular method to the salad except the mantra “use what I have and keep it colourful”; so to be honest, anything goes and every time we try a new variation it surprises us (last night it was the pickled ginger in the salad dressing).

This salad will keep in the fridge for a couple of means and sometimes I just top up as we go. There are no hard and fast rules, experiment and try some new and different variations. Get in the habit of having something with greens every dinner time and if you can for bonus points, pack some for your lunch.

The rules:

Something green and leafy, torn or chopped, e.g.

  • Spinach, rocket, watercress, kale, mixed leaves, chicory and any type or colourful lettuce that you can get your hands on

Something crunchy, grated, sliced or finely chopped, e.g.

  • Red cabbage
  • Green cabbage
  • Cauliflower leaves
  • Fennel
  • Celery
  • Radicchio
  • Grated carrot
  • Grated beets
  • Cucumber
  • Grated sprouts
  • Peppers
  • Baby peas
  • Baby beans
  • I am sure that there are more!

Something roasted, e.g.

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Tasty tomato sauce in a hurry with twists!!

Its been a while since i have posted a recipe. But that doesn’t mean that lots of tasty things aren’t being created in this athlete kitchen!!

Here is last nights dinner, I don’t have complete photos because as ever we were hungry, in a hurry and spent the time chatting and connecting rather than photo-snapping our inner.

The recipe is inspired by Cookie and Kate, with tweaks for speed and also to boost our protein intake. Here is Kate’s recipe Baked Goat Cheese with Tomato Sauce and here is what I prepared at lightening speed using the crock pot.

 

Ingredients

  • Decent glug extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small red onions (2 medium-sized ones will suffice) – roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic – mashed or finely chopped
  • Uncooked spicy Spanish chorizo sausage (optional but adds a tremendous depth of flavour)
  • As I didn’t have the fresh basil called for in the recipe I used 1 heaped tablespoon fresh basil pesto
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes/ chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (more than the original recipe)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar (I didn’t have any white wine vinegar; I am sure that apple cider vinegar will work also)
  • 3 cans of good quality crushed tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 grated carrots (a handy way to sneak in more veggies and give the dish a nice texture)
  • Fresh stock or stock made from a cube/ pod as needed to prevent the texture of the tomato sauce from being too thick
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional beans – I had some cooked soya beans to hand so added these, red kidney beans or chick peas or lack beans etc will all work wonderfully. These can be pre-cooked or from a can.

Instructions

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add the chorizo and spices/ herbs and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the basil/ basil pesto, tomatoes, grated carrot, vinegar and turn the crock pot onto a low heat such as 120 C and allow to simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Add more stock if your sauce is too thick. Towards the end of cooking add your beans to heat them through the sauce.
  4. Voila!

Serving suggestions:

Garron ate this on cooked polenta, I had this on the side of a fresh salad (I had a training day off and wasn’t mega hungry for carbs).

Serving options include pasta, edamame pasta, rice, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, mashed potato or as we did, quick cook polenta. Steamed veggies will work well with this and some chopped basil or parsley will add some vitamin K and magnesium clout when serving. 

Enjoy, apologies I don’t have any fancy photos but life rarely works the photo-shopped way!

Love, Andrea

Proper bone broth

I made some bone broth over the weekend.

Yes it is a labour of love; cheap to almost free to make until you count the man hours and electricity!! But oh so worth it to have the result of a broth that is so dense with healing amino acids that it solidifies in the fridge.

Ingredients

I kept mine simple. I also made a large volume of it to make use of the time I invested and so that I could freeze several batches for use later in soups, casseroles and stews. 

  • Bones from the local butcher – I used three knuckly joint bones that had an open end long bone with bone marrow at one end and a big joint at the other. The bones were large and messy (cartilage and fat and sinew) and this means you get the best results as they are full of soft tissue and ligaments that break down their nutrients into the broth. Hard clean long bones are great also but you will not get as much nutrition released from a solid bone no matter how long you boil it for. Bones just don’t disintegrate no matter what claims people make for adding vinegar (not unless the poor animal had osteoporosis!). It does all seem a bit yucky I can appreciate this, but this is also ethical eating where we use more of the animal and waste less.
  • Vinegar –  this can be cider or wine. I used 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar as it was the first one in reach in my cupboard.
  • 1 onion – roughly sliced
  • 1 carrot – peeled and roughly sliced
  • Optional diced fresh chili, ginger, garlic, and/ or fresh turmeric (this time I used a fresh red chili and a couple of cloves of garlic)
  • Mixed dried herbs
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground dried turmeric
  • Filtered water – a lot
  • Large stock pot with lid
  • Strainer/ sieve
  • Fat separating jug (I’ve spoken about this fantastic kitchen aid before; see here:https://andreacullenhealthsolutions.com/2013/08/15/bone-broth-for-healing-how-do-you-do-yours/)
  • Seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Super chicken recipe for the slow-cooker

Hi folks,

I am planning on attacking this recipe tomorrow so sharing on.

Bake a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

We don’t eat chicken often in our house given the difficulty sourcing genuinely organic and free-range chicken. We also buy duck eggs by preference.

But tomorrow we have a chicken! I will probably pull the chicken apart and serve with a large salad.

Love,

Andrea

PS Here is more about regulations and definitions for organic and free-range in Ireland.

And here: ORGANIC OR FREE RANGE – IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

Basic vegetable soup

I threw a quick healthy soup together today for our dinner. Soup isn’t only a lunch option; adding sufficient protein on the side such as some sliced meat or a poached egg and even some beans or bean pasta, rice or quinoa into your soup will make for a filling and complete dinner meal.

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“It’s quite green” he said!

Soup is VERY simple to make and most vegetables will work. This is what I used today:

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Anti-inflammatory recovery smoothie

Hi Folks,

This is a quick recipe to add to your routine to assist with muscle soreness, improve recovery and also aid your digestive system, liver and overall health.

This is the bare basic bones of it; so don’t be afraid to switch your protein source around (e.g. hemp or brown rice or casein before bed), or add other goodies such as a dash of dark green leaves (e.g. spinach, rocket), cacao powder, or berries. Not everyone has the time to do fancy, so I kept it simple here and I do encourage you to play around with this recipe.

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What you need:

  • 1 small piece of fresh turmeric or approximately 1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of honey
  • 1 serving whey protein
  • Whole-fat organic or raw milk
  • If you can stomach it a dash of black pepper will assist the absorption of the turmeric, there is sufficient fat in the milk to further enhance absorption.

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How:

  1. Place all your ingredients and milk to your desired volume into a nutribullet and blitz.imag2862
  2. If you need additional anti-inflammatory support then consider adding some ginger; if pain is an issue a dash of cayenne pepper will also help as strong as you can handle!.
  3. Enjoy after training or before bed.

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PS My injury is healing wonderfully, see here for my updated blog post on healing an injury

 

Slow Cooked Livers

liver

Organ meats are good for us; I have written about why here. The nutrition from offal foods like liver is simply outstanding and something that we should get into the habit of including in our meals a couple of times a month.

For many, liver isn’t the most delicious meat so it is important to use recipes that are simple and also tasty. Chris Masterjohn gives some excellent tips here on liver storage and preparation and if you scroll down readers share helpful cooking tips.

Garron cooks a delicious onion and liver dish coated in flax seed meal that I havent yet managed to beat. It is started on the pan and finished in the oven and if I get my hands on the recipe I will share it.

I prepared a slow cooker liver dish yesterday.

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