So today saw me doing a lot of research on iron levels in athletes; and promoted by a mention of a traditional way of consuming the iron-rich Ethiopian grain Teff,…
Sedona veggie one-pot
So since I have arrived in Sedona, AZ, I have not had any desire to eat meat or fish except when I was taken out by Clint and Michelle for a fabulous Thai where it was all about the juicy meat. The terms of where I am staying ask that I respect their vegetarian policy so I saw this as an opportunity to take a break from meat and explore how I feel eating more vegetarian structured meals.
I spoke about some new foods that I discovered in a recent video blog post:
So today I had a bit of me time and cooking is my go-to for creative time. From a limited pantry I knocked up a delicious one-pot meal; so here is the recipe. This is a great meal for cleansing, giving the system a rest from meat (or not), and also for sensitive stomachs post tummy upset or when suffering a flare up of IBS, Crohn’s or Ulcerative colitis; enjoy.
PS. This is a great carb loading meal for athletes as it is jammed with electrolytes and easy on the stomach, non-bloating carbs; add fish, poultry or meat to complete the meal.
Here is a simple vegetable recipe that doesn’t require much work and can be prepared in advance for several meals.
I could have made this in the le Creuset pot but i was also cooking a beef and lentil curry so i made do with a large glass Pyrex dish.
This will be tasty served with white fish, poached/ fried eggs, or chicken and optional carbs on the side if needed such as brown or basmati rice, quinoa, mashed potato or baked potato or sweet potato.
Cottage cheese will also blend well on the side of this Ratatouille. If you are a condiments queen or king as myself then pesto or fresh herbs (e.g. basil) will add even more flavour to this dish.
Here is tonight’s dinner; a nice mix of animal and vegetarian protein providing an abundance of nutrition for the body.
I am a big fan of curries; when cooked healthily they are packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric, chili, ginger, and can be jam packed with all varieties of protein, beans and lentils, and vegetables. It is added fats from cream, too much butter/ ghee or coconut cream, and excess rice, fried rice and naan breads that can take the dish into ‘high calorie’ territory. This is something totally in your control. If we are too lazy to cook we sometimes order the meat part of the curry as take-out and serve with added vegetables and if we have earned the extra recovery carbs then we will make home-made pancakes or chapatis/ Roti’s (try a google for some recipes).
Serving options include simply with greens if you are going lighter on the carbs, with some rice, quinoa or sweet potato for a more sustaining recovery meal, or with an egg if you crave a little more protein. Some chopped coriander will top this nicely once we hit the spring and summer months when herbs are more available.
Apologies for the quick post; I will let you use your imagination on the more cheffy strategies as I am off to get a training session in!!
Ingredients: more or less
Hi healthy peeps,
Here are two recent curries made in the Cullen household. They are simple to prepare and don’t have too many scary ingredients and are jammers with vegetarian protein and nourishment.
To save on baby-sitting time I started them on the hob and then finished them off in the oven where no stirring was required and only the odd peak was required to check whether the beans / lentils were expanding at a greater rate than the amount of water added (yes) requiring some adjustments along the way. Beans and lentils can expand a lot when cooking, just so you know!
I don’t often have time to cook curry from scratch and most curry powders and pre-prepared mixes are of good quality (check the labels) so will suffice perfectly well for busy households.
I made a large volume sufficient for several meals, a large family, or freezing. I use a Le Creuset pot; I am sure that this will work equally well in a slow cooker. Avoid buying cheap oven pots as lead leaching from coatings or Teflon coated non-stick pots are also a potential health issue.
I have added my photos but curry is impossible to make look tasty!!
1. Red lentil slow cooker curry
I am a firm believer in the power of real food in an athlete’s diet; not only in the main meals but also for recovery. So this means more fish, meat, eggs, root veggies or whole grains and vegetables straight after training. However this is not always possible or appetizing after a long training session.
This is another little number created for my hard in training ironman boyfriend who had a big training day today. They are similar to the coffee-date recovery muffins but higher again in protein; this makes them a super choice for not only endurance athletes but also strength-power athletes. They also work well as an occasional treat for us less active persons given they are far healthier than normal bread, muffins and croissant options.
I have written more on recovery in my other recipe so please click here:
An ideal snack time for these is before or after training. They provide fuel before with the added benefit of protein, and recovery after training. Enjoy!!!
I am not a trained cook; I grew up in a family of us all having to help in order for the day to be a success between school runs, swimming, sports and music commitments, and home-work. My brothers are skilled cooks also; there was no separation of tasks between boy and girl; everything was equal rights!
So we all learnt to cook in the traditional old-fashioned Protestant way. “Real food” in other words and no fear of fats; until in later years when this was wrongfully drilled into our parents and Flora and Stork margarine then appeared on the scene.
Foods back in the 80’s were more basic, food budgets tighter and the choice of vegetables and fruits more limited. We didn’t suffer for this; it just was what it was, more basic. We enjoyed meat, fish and poultry with vegetables and potatoes, stir-fries were a Saturday night bonding between my dad and I, mum made a spaghetti Bolognese to die for, pasta was rare, and we enjoyed some Irish curries 🙂 loaded with vegetables on rice on occasion.
My vegetarian stint was most likely a major inconvenience to my mother but she rose to the food challenge and we probably all benefitted from new food ideas and a bit more variety.
I now live in a busy house of two self-employed long-working hours persons. My boyfriend and I both train 6 to 7 days a week. We love food, we love home-cooking and we value and appreciate our bodies. You must nourish and fuel well to stay healthy, fit, and strong. It takes a continued and persistent effort to locate, buy and prepare good food and to not get caught out on busy days. As much as we love food, we don’t have time for fancy cooking and recipe book reviews so what gets prepped in this kitchen comes from the heart.
Our busy lives mean that we often enjoy a slow cooked stew; they bring warmth, comfort, nourishment, and multiple health benefits. They also pack up well for lunch and freeze well for a busy day’s meal. Stews are also a light and easily digestible meal and a super choice for weight management.
I am going to detail a few of the recent recipes in our house to hopefully inspire you to see that making a nice stew is quite easy and can be a very economical option.
Coffee-Date recovery muffins
This little number was created for my hard in training ironman boyfriend who had a big training day today. The fatigued body and mind demands that several strategies are put in place.
“Endurance training depletes not only muscle and liver fuel stores; but also places stress on antioxidant, electrolyte and pH buffering systems, the nervous system, hormonal system, and obviously also muscle fibres and soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments will be severely stressed.
People often forget that long training runs will negatively impact the gastrointestinal system and the immune system is placed under significant stress.
Recovery takes time, nutrition, and active processes such as warm Epsom salt baths, gentle stretching and for some the use of elevation or compression practices. From what I read the verdict is now less clear on the benefits of ice baths so I do not recommend them.
Aromatherapy oils such as Vibrant Blue oils lymph and inflammation and Young Living oils Pan-Away are also superb to aid recovery; we use these in the clinic in combination with PEMF treatments.
Today’s nutrition recovery thus included protein, healthy fats and some additional carbohydrates before a warm Epsom salts bath. Hydration is also important and I covered this along with several other nutrition goals in the beef rib and vegetable stew that we demolished tonight with garlicky polenta on the side (lots for him less for me as my run was only 1.20 hr and his 3 hours plus).
Recovery will occur over several hours following a long training run so be sure to eat every few hours. Foods with anti-inflammatory effect and an abundance of minerals and antioxidants will be especially beneficial. The stew we ate also contained some healthy fats and glycosaminoglycans to support gastro and soft tissue health. NO JUNK or alcohol if you are serious about your recovery.
Here is another quick and experimental bread that I knocked together and wow it worked a treat! Be sure to bake only to the point of just done to keep this moist and enjoy with real butter, nut butter, pesto, cheese, or hummus.
This bread is super for hard training recovery and far better for the body than processed gluten-free varieties.
“My goal when I bake breads is to add in more goodness,
and remove the ingredients that I don’t tend to need.
The inclusion of healthier more nutrient dense flours,
and the addition of grated vegetables raises the nutritional
density of the bread.
I don’t add milk, butter, oils or sugar as they simply aren’t needed.”
There are many substitutions that can be made in this bread recipe; for example:
Fruity-veggie athlete bread (gluten-free)
This loaf is similar to the Athlete fruit bread but jam packs in some more goodness in the form of vegetables, fruit and nutrition rich grain alternatives. Who would have thought you can sneak in all this goodness into a slice of bread!!
Amaranth is a super little seed that is high in protein, minerals and fibre and works like a grain in the diet. It can be prepared as a grain (similar to quinoa), popped like popcorn, or used as the whole seed or flour in baking or as a porridge option for breakfast.