Tag Archives: Iron

Beef-ey Poached Eggs

Yummy yummy yummy… a twist on a shaklaka (of which I will be making soon…) and can be eaten for breakfast, tea or dinner!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g 5% fat minced beef
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 140g frozen peas

METHOD:

  1. Saute the onions for 3-4minutes on a medium heat until soft.
  2. Add the mince beef and turn to a high heat to brown. Then reduce the heat and cook for a further 5minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes and peas, and mix.
  5. Crack the eggs on top of the beef, cover and cook for 4minutes or until the eggs are cooked as wanted.
  6. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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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.

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.

Tomatoes – massively high in vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis; it also has functions in detoxification and as an antioxidant. It also gives you vitamin A for vision and immune function, and potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction.

Peas – providing potassium, vitamin B6 for energy and dietary fibre for bowel moment.

Clam Chorizo Linguine

Spanish food fever has hit; being in Barcelona inspired this meat and fish combo. Easy to make but super impressive.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300g clams, washed (tap on hard surface before cooking, if they remain un-open they are safe to eat)
  • 70g chorizo, chopped
  • 4 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 150g dried linguine
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 glass rosé wine

METHOD

  1. Boil the pasta in a pot of salted water for 1minute less than the packet states.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chorizo and cook for 3minutes until slightly crispy.
  4. Add the parsley, clams and red wine, stir once, and then cover and simmer for 3-4minutes – the clams are cooked when they ping open.
  5. Uncover, mix in the linguine, and simmer for a further 1 minute so it can absorb all the juices.
  6. Season and serve.
  7. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

Clams – high in protein, low in calorie, and high in the B vitamins for energy release, iron for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis, and magnesium for nerve function

Chorizo – Although relatively high in fat and salt, this meat is good for adding texture and flavour to meals.

Pasta – High in carbohydrates for a filling base, and high in fibre if a wholewheat spaghetti is picked.

Beef Teriyaki

This meal, adapted from Japanese recipes, brings Wagamama’s straight to your plate and home, and is much lower in fat.

Serves 2.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200g lean beef steak, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 300g mangetout or sugar-snap peas
  • 150g dry rice
  • Sesame seeds to top (optional)
  • Teriyaki sauce

Homemade teriyaki sauce:

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 60ml reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 120ml water
  • 60ml cold water
  • 5 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder

METHOD

  1. Heat the rice with boiling water and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a wok and cook the onion on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the diced beef and increase the heat; cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pepper and mange tout, cook for a further 4 minutes, until the vegetables are heated through.
  5. Add the teriyaki sauce and heat for a further minute.
  6. Serve with the rice and top with sesame seeds.
  7. Enjoy!

Method for homemade teriyaki sauce:

  1. Mix the soy sauce, 120ml of water, brown sugar, honey, garlic and ginger powder in a sauce pan, heat until simmering.
  2. Mix the cornstarch and 60ml of water, and add to the simmering soy sauce mix.
  3. Keep stirring until thick, add water or more cornstarch until desired thickness.

NUTRITION

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PLEASE NOTE: this recipe is high in salt and sugar due to the teriyaki sauce. It  should be only eaten in moderation; and if wanting to reduce the sugar and salt, leave out the teriyaki sauce.

BUT…

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.

This recipe also provides 3 of your 5-a-day, so supplying even more vitamins and minerals.

Beef Soft Tacos with Healthy Slaw

A healthier version with loads of vegetables and can easily be adapted to suit different diets!

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g 5% fat beef mince (or vegetarian alternative)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 red cabbage, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 4 tbsp fat-free plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 8 soft tacos (I used the Old El Paso ones)
  • Salsa and guacamole to serve (optional)

METHOD:

To make the beef:

  1. Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a pan.
  2. Add the onions and sauté for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the beef mince and garlic, and increase to a high heat to brown for 3-4minutes.
  4. Reduce to a low-medium heat and add the peppers and cook for a further 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To make the coleslaw:

  1. Mix together the carrots, cabbage and apples.
  2. Add the yoghurt and mayonnaise, and mix well.

Serve all with the tacos, salsa and guacamole. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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Beef – High in protein and low in fat, when the 5% 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.

Coleslaw – Providing fruit and vegetables for your 5-a-day, and lower in fat (and, in my opinion, tastier) due to plain yoghurt and reduced-fat mayo being used instead of normal mayonnaise.

 

FACTFILE: IRON

What is it?

Iron is a micromineral, or trace mineral, needed by the body for loads of different physiological functions. It’s deficiency is the most common, in both the UK and global population and can have some nasty side effects.

There are two types of iron: haem and non-haem. Haem iron is more useful to the body as it is more readily absorbed compared with non-haem iron, so is more effective in completing the physiological functions below.

What do we need it for?

Iron is used for oxygen transfer in the body by being a major component of haemoglobin, the protein which carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and working muscles.

Iron also helps make a protein called myoglobin which binds to oxygen in the muscles for storage.

The oxygen is then used to release energy, with help of cytochrome proteins which aid energy transfer and contains iron groups.

So, the mineral is pretty important in preventing fatigue.

It also has roles in the immune system as it helps produce white blood cells, which engulf and kill any invading bacteria.

Where can we get it?

Haem iron is present in animal sources:

  • Liver
  • Red meat
  • White meat
  • Fish

Non-haem iron is present in plant sources:

  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • White bread (note that although this is higher in iron, it lacks fibre which is also important in the diet)
  • Green vegetables
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit

How much do we need?

Men need 8.7mg/day

Women need 14.8mg/day

Women need more due to larger losses.

  • Chicken liver (100g) – 9.2mg
  • Lean beef (125g) – 3.38mg
  • Roasted chicken (100g) – 0.7mg
  • Roasted lamb (90g) – 1.71mg
  • One slice white bread – 0.54mg
  • 30g fortified cornflakes – 3.54mg
  • 85g broccoli – 0.51mg
  • 30g almonds – 0.9mg
  • 30g cashew nuts – 1.86mg
  • 1/2 can baked beans – 1.92mg
  • 1/2 can kidney beans – 2.20mg

IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE;

  • Try increasing your vitamin C intake if you are lower on iron; vitamin C makes iron more absorbable in the body.
  • Iron has many inhibitors which keep it insoluble so less is absorbed; it is important to avoid these in iron-rich meals. Foods containing these inhibitors include:
    • Wholegrains – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t cut these out of your diet as wholegrain foods are really important for increasing fibre, just think about WHAT they are consumed with (don’t eat them with iron rich foods).
    • Tea – Again, can be consumed but avoid with iron-rich meals.
    • Coffee – Same as tea.
    • Chocolate – Avoid with iron-rich meals.
    • Spinach – It is a common misconception that spinach is high in iron, it is often used as a source of iron by vegetarians and vegans, but it contains oxalic acid which stops absorption.
    • Egg yolks – Again, eggs are seen as a source high in iron, but they contain phosphates which inhibit absorption.

Turkey Feta Meatballs

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g turkey mince
  • 4 slices of prosciutto ham
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 115g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 320g wholewheat pasta, cooked

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, mix the turkey, feta cheese and oregano.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, half the garlic and tomato puree, then mix into the turkey mix.
  3. Form into meatballs.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan on a high heat, brown the meatballs and remove from the pan.
  5. Reduce the heat, and add the rest of the garlic and prosciutto to the pan and cook until the prosciutto is slightly crispy.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and the meatballs, and simmer for 15minutes – watch as water may need to be added.
  7. Add cooked pasta and mix.
  8. Serve with crumbled feta.
  9. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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Turkey – One of the most lean protein sources, turkey is also high in potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction, phosphorus for bone structure and metabolic functions, and iron for oxygen transport.

Feta – High in calcium for bone strength, feta cheese is relatively low in calories and fat compared with other cheeses.

Tomatoes – massively high in vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis; it also has functions in detoxification and as an antioxidant. It also gives you vitamin A for vision and immune function, and potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction.

Pasta – High in fibre (if wholewheat) for good digestion, and low in fat, this starchy source provides energy and a good base to this dish.

 

Vegan Chickpea Bean Burgers

Is everyone enjoying the sun? These low-calorie vegan burgers are perfect for cooking on a barbecue whilst soaking up all that vitamin D from the sunny days!

Makes 4-6 burgers.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can of  chickpeas
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • A little water
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD

  1. Combine the chickpeas, kidney beans, lemon zest, dried spices and fresh coriander in a food processor until broken up but still lumpy.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan on high heat.
  3. Add a little water if needed, and mould 4-6 patties out of the bean mix.
  4. Fry for 10-15 minutes, or until the outsides are crispy and golden and the insides are hot. Be careful when flipping as this is when the patties are most likely to break.
  5. Serve in breadcakes with salad or with oven chips.
  6. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

Typical serving for one patty (if 4 are made):

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Chickpeas – a plant-based protein source. They are high in iron for oxygen transport, immune and vitamin C function; folate for DNA synthesis and cell production; and dietary fibre for digestion.

Kidney beans – Another important source of plant-based protein. They are high in dietary fibre for digestion and are a source of iron for oxygen transport whilst containing loads of antioxidants.

Mexican Bean Burritos

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp salsa
  • 1 can (400g) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (400g) black beans, drained
  • 100g wholemeal rice
  • 350ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 can sweetcorn, drained
  • Wholemeal wraps (or see homemade wrap recipe at bottom)

METHOD:

  1. Rinse the rice through a sieve until the water runs clear.
  2. Boil rice with water for 15minutes covered.
  3. Mix in salsa and cumin and heat for a further 2minutes.
  4. Add the beans and sweetcorn, and heat for 5minutes or until the beans are fully cooked through.
  5. Serve with wraps and any spare salsa/ guac.
  6. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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Beans – Both black and kidney beans are an important source of plant-based protein, providing over 30g per portion. They are also high in dietary fibre for digestion. Kidney beans are a good source of iron for oxygen transport, and they contain loads of antioxidants.

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

Cumin – Surprisingly, cumin is high in fibre for digestion and iron for oxygen transport.

Salsa – primarily made of tomatoes, which are massively high in vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis; they also have functions in detoxification and as antioxidants. They also give you vitamin A for vision and immune function, and potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction.

Wraps and rice, if wholemeal,  provide dietary fibre for digestion.

HOMEMADE WRAP RECIPE

Makes 1 large/ 2 small wraps

INGREDIENTS:

  • 50g flour (and more for dusting)
  • 150ml warm water
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD

  1. Put flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Add the water a bit at a time, and the oil, and fold the flour in slowly until a dough has formed.
  3. Heat a little oil in a pan, meanwhile knead for 5minutes.
  4. Roll out the dough to make a thin wrap, and fry until brown spots have formed, turning halfway through.

NUTRITION

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For one large wrap (half if making small ones)

Chicken and Chickpea Protein Curry

This recipe uses chickpeas instead of a carbohydrate base, so is perfect for getting that protein in for muscle production. For a vegetarian alternative, substitute the chicken for rice or naan; or you could swap out one can of chickpeas for the carbohydrates if you think you need more nutrients for energy!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g chicken breast, diced
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, mushed
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add onion, cooking until soft.
  2. Add chicken breast and, whilst stirring, cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is mostly white all the way through.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add garam masala, turmeric, salt and pepper and combine.
  5. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, and again stir to combine and heat through.
  6. Cover with a lid and turn to a low heat, cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and mix in the coriander and lemon juice until the coriander has wilted.
  8. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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Chicken – a low-fat source of protein which is high in the vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and niacin for energy production; and zinc for enzyme function, immune control and protein synthesis.

Tomatoes – massively high in vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis; it also has functions in detoxification and as an antioxidant. It also gives you vitamin A for vision and immune function, and potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction.

Chickpeas – a plant-based protein source and a brilliant base if wanting a low-carb meal; chickpeas provide 36g of protein in addition to the 55g from the chicken. They are also high in iron for oxygen transport, immune and vitamin C function; folate for DNA synthesis and cell production; and dietary fibre for digestion.