Leftovers Beef Orange Stir Fry

Quick and easy, this beef orange stir fry uses all my leftover vegetables to provide you with 5 OF YOUR 5-A-DAY!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Handful Spinach
  • 140g lean stir fry beef
  • 1 carrot, sliced finely
  • 80g sweetcorn
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 orange, half juiced and half in segments
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Noodles, cooked

METHOD:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and add the onion and carrot; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic clove and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Add the stir fry beef strips and turn up the heat until browned. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the orange segments, sweetcorn and noodles, cooking for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, honey, and orange juice. Combine and cook until heated through.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION: Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 10.37.32.png

Beef – High in protein and low in fat, when the lean version is bought. It is also high in vitamin B3, B6 and B12 for energy release in respiration, and iron for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis and immune function.

Onion – High in vitamin C for immune function, folic acid for DNA synthesis, and fibre for digestion.

Orange – Concentrated in vitamin C for immune and antioxidant function; oranges are also high in fibre for digestion and potassium for fluid balance and electrolytes.

Carrot – high in vitamin A (specifically beta-carotene) for vision and immune function.

Spinach – providing vitamin K for cell signalling and vitamin A for eye function, as well as fibre for digestion.

Sweetcorn – High in vitamin B1 and B5 for release of energy from respiration, and vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis.

Noodles – high in carbohydrate to give you loads of energy to get you through your day!

3 Courses of Chocolate

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY!!! To celebrate, I have created 3 courses of chocolate – all healthy recipes which provide numerous vitamins and minerals: spinach and pear salad with a chocolate vinaigrette for starter; steak with a chocolate and coffee sauce for main; and chocolate fruit pudding for dessert. I use 85% dark chocolate in all the recipes, which is high in antioxidants and minerals such as copper for iron metabolism and blood clots; and manganese for bone health and reducing inflammation. Enjoy!

Starter: Spinach and Pear Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pear
  • handful of spinach
  • 10g 85% dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 slices parma ham
  • 1 tsp honey

METHOD:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30s-1min, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey, season, and whisk to create the vinaigrette.
  3. Arrange the spinach, pear and pancetta on a plate, and cover in dressing.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Pear – High in vitamin C for immune and antioxidant function, K for cell signalling, and potassium for fluid balance and electrolytes.

Spinach – providing vitamin K for cell signalling and vitamin A for eye function, as well as fibre for digestion.

Parma ham – High in protein and the B vitamins for carbohydrate and energy utilisation, and mineral phosphorus for bone and protein function.

Main: Steak with Chocolate and Coffee Sauce

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 140g (1 average) lean trimmed steak
  • 1 medium potato, cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 slices parma ham
  • 50ml white wine
  • 50ml fat free creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp coffee (I used 1 tsp instant made up with water)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns
  • 10g 85% dark chocolate

NUTRITION:Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 09.29.56.png

Beef – High in protein and low in fat, when the lean version is bought. It is also high in vitamin B3, B6 and B12 for energy release in respiration, and iron for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis and immune function.

Onion –  High in vitamin C for immune function, folic acid for DNA synthesis, and fibre for digestion.

Creme fraiche – contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance.

Parma ham – High in protein and the B vitamins for carbohydrate and energy utilisation, and mineral phosphorus for bone and protein function.

Spinach – providing vitamin K for cell signalling and vitamin A for eye function, as well as fibre for digestion.

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/ 6.
  2. Mix 1 tsp of olive oil with the potato wedges and season. Bake for 40minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and sauté the onion until caramelised for 5minutes. Blitz in a blender with the white wine into a paste.
  4. Add the steak to the pan and fry on each side for 2 minutes on a high heat. Remove from the pan.
  5. Add the parma ham and fry until just crisping, then add the onion paste and heat through for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Return the beef to the pan along with the creme fraiche and peppercorns and cook until bubbling, then add the coffee, chocolate and thyme until simmering.
  7. Serve with spinach and the potato wedges.
  8. Enjoy!

Dessert: Chocolate Blueberry Pudding

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 150ml fat free greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 60g blueberry
  • half a banana
  • 1 tso 85% dark chocolate, grated
  • honey (optional, to make sweeter)

METHOD:

  1. Mix half the greek yoghurt with the cocoa powder.
  2. Serve in a tall glass tumbler, layering the cocoa yoghurt, fruit, and plain yoghurt.
  3. Top with chocolate shavings and a mint leaf.
  4. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 09.31.43.png

Yoghurt – contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance.

Blueberries – Containing iron for oxygen transfer, phosphorus for bone structure, and magnesium for nerve transmission and DNA replication.

Banana – High in potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction, and containing naturally occurring sugars to keep your energy up for longer!

Changing Behaviour: The Kindness Method

I have recently finished reading The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi – a self-help book dedicated to sustaining habit change. I never had time for self-help books, which could be due to both my stubbornness to change, and my belief that they are a load of bullsh*t. However, after a rewarding yet gruelling summer ‘holiday’ of working way too much and not looking after myself, my mum (of course, mother knows best), urged me to give the psychobabble another shot.

So, as recommended by Shahroo, I went out and bought a new swanky notebook to write down all my life thoughts. And here it began.

The book (or bible of positivity as I am now calling it) consists of a number of exercises, questions for thought, and mind maps to aid self-induced change. It urges a continuous process, which really is what change is, to build confidence (something that I have a severe lack of) in both myself and the prospect of sustained change. I felt like I was my own councillor – and I loved it!

After a week of reading and completing all the exercises, this is what I realised:

I need to treat myself how I treat others

From primary school, the rule “treat others how you would like to be treated” always stuck with me. It made sense; I wouldn’t like it if someone said horrible things to me, so why should I say it to them. However, I also lack the ability to be assertive and say no; I blame this rule. Shahroo has made me realise that now I should live by another rule, “treat yourself how you treat others”, and this was achieved by a very simple but effective exercise – a comparison between the thoughts that I say to myself in my head when I am upset, and the phrases I may say to a loved one if they were upset. For example, I would never say to someone “You know what, you are fat and ugly and you will never lose as much weight as you want”, “Yes I completely agree, you are lazy and useless and will never get that promotion”. No, I would say. “You can do this, you are beautiful and can work through this rough patch”, “You will succeed, you deserve this”. So here inviting this question – why am I saying all these negative phrases to myself when I would never dream of saying them to a loved one?

My unwanted habits are completely understandable

Following from this – negative phrases are often caused by unwanted habits. I am hard on myself because I am stuck in a pattern of unwanted behaviours that I cannot seem to break. This is where another comparison comes in – writing both the harmful impact of the habit, and why I haven’t changed it yet – essentially, the pros and cons of the behaviour. This here is where I find the motivation to change the behaviour, and some potential barriers – cleverly disguised amongst two relatively easy-to-answer questions. It also made me understand why the unwanted habit has dug its claws in and stuck; there are an unusual number of positives to it, despite them being unhealthy. For only a day, the negative thoughts surrounding the keeping of this habit disappeared. When these thoughts reappear, all I have to do is look back at my ‘why haven’t I changed already map’, and it stops me from being so hard on myself.

I need to look back in order to go forwards

Reflection – a skill that has been fully emphasised in the duration of my first year at university and will continue to be for the rest of my working life. And rightly so. Understanding who, what, where, why, and how my previous habit changes have and haven’t worked will help me in making my revised plan for change. Again, Shahroo does this by asking questions to make us think – a skill that I would like to refine as a future dietitian. What hasn’t worked? When are you ‘in the zone’? What are your excuses when avoiding change?

The Kindness Method puts the focus on what may have gone wrong in the past, learning from the experiences, and concentrating on positive attributes to maintain habits, as well as setting realistic goals.

I have only explained a few exercises included in the book; this is not to say that the others were not as, if not more, rewarding. It is also a process that can be maintained for however long necessary, with plans being made and reviewed every 3 weeks.

I would highly recommend.

Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree

Brunch or dinner, this recipe provides MULTIPLE essential nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from the mackerel, protein from the eggs (and mackerel), and loads of vitamins from the vegetables.

Serves 2.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 100g rice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cooked smoked mackerel fillets
  • 1/2 lime

METHOD:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a high heat; add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds and curry leaves and stir until the seeds crackle, for roughly 1 minute.
  2. Add the onion, leek and carrot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for roughly 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rice, turmeric and curry powder and combine; frying for 1 minute.
  5. Add the appropriate amount of boiling water for 100g of rice, reduce to a simmer,  and cover to cook for 15 minutes – keep watching, I read that 250ml water would be sufficient but found that much more was needed.
  6. Whilst the rice is cooking, boil the eggs for 5 minutes, then remove the shell and keep to the side.
  7. Uncover the rice, flake in the mackerel and season. Cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes – more water may need to be added to stop the rice sticking.
  8. Season and serve with the egg and 1/4 lime wedge.
  9. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Mackerel – High in essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids of which you should be having three times a week, and protein, so is a good choice of fish (and it tastes AMAZING).

Eggs –  Eggs are the most useful protein source as they provide essential amino acids (the building molecules of protein), which are also absorbed most efficiently by the body.

Rice – high in carbohydrate to give you loads of energy to get you through your day!

Carrots – high in vitamin A (specifically beta-carotene) for vision and immune function.

Onion – High in vitamin C for immune function, folic acid for DNA synthesis, and fibre for digestion.

Pesto Pork with Italian Couscous

Looking for something quick? High protein? Spiced? Delicious? This is the perfect meal – packing in two of your 5-a-day, as well as plenty of protein, this will satisfy your cravings and keep you fuller for longer!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Pork chop
  • 1 tbsp reduced-fat pesto
  • 30g dried couscous
  • 150ml water or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/7.
  2. Cover the pesto on the pork chop
  3. Add the onion and pepper to a baking tray and mix in olive oil, half the spices, and seasoning. Make space in the middle to place the pork chop, facing pesto side up. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the remaining spices to the couscous and cover with the boiling water/ stock and leave for 5 minutes so the couscous can absorb the water.
  5. After the pork has been baking for 20minutes, remove the chop from the tray and mix the couscous with the vegetables. Make a well in the middle and add the chop again, baking for a further 10minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Pork – High in protein and the B vitamins for carbohydrate and energy utilisation, and mineral phosphorus for bone and protein function.

Couscous – high in protein and providing a good base for this dish.

Onion – High in vitamin C for immune function, folic acid for DNA synthesis, and fibre for digestion.

Pepper – high in vitamin A and C, but also B6 to release energy and folate which helps DNA synthesis.