Tag Archives: Protein

Veggie Pasta Frittata

Providing 3 of your 5 a day and a fun way to spice up a frittata in this easy and cheap meal!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 200g pasta (cooked weight)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 80g peas, cooked
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 30g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, and add the onion and fry for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the peppers, garlic and cherry tomatoes, and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Turn to a high heat and add the cooked pasta and peas, mix.
  4. Add the beaten eggs and mix slowly until they start to form an omelette at the bottom.
  5. Top with cheese and move the frying pan to under the grill and leave until the cheese has melted.

NUTRITION

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 20.00.12.png

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. They are also a major contributor of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in this meal.

Pasta – A low-fat, high-carbohydrate base, full of fibre for digestion and a fun swap for the regular potato which is used normally in a frittata.

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.

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

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

 

Moroccan-Spiced Chicken One-Pot

A low-fat, high protein (52.2g per serving) and moderate calorie main meal, perfect for the summer and packing a punch with spices and flavour!

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 50g dried couscous
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 150ml water or chicken stock
  • 80g cooked peas
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh mint

METHOD:

  1. Heat the olive oil on a high heat.
  2. Sear the chicken so there is no pink around the outside, and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the spices, garlic and carrots, and cook for a further 4minutes until the carrots are slightly soft.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the stock or boiled water, the peas and the couscous. Combine well.
  6. Leave for 5 minutes, until the couscous has expanded and is soft and fluffy.
  7. Add fresh mint to serve.
  8. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 13.00.02.png

YES LADS LOOK AT ALL THAT GREEN!

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.

Couscous – high in protein (6g per portion) and providing a good base for this dish.

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

Carrots – High in retinol for vision, thiamin for energy release from carbohydrates and neurotransmitter synthesis, fibre for digestion, vitamin C for immune and antioxidant function, and potassium.

 

Squash Lentil Dhal

This vegan meal is high in protein and rich in spices which are all complemented by a sweetness from the butternut squash. Any leftovers can also be reheated or eaten cold for a meal the next day!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 150g dried red lentils
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 600L vegetable stock
  • Half butternut squash, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander

METHOD:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan, and cook the onions until soft.
  2. Add the garlic, dried coriander, turmeric and cumin and cook for a further 1 minute.
  3. Add the butternut squash and coat in the spice onion mix.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and stock, and bring to the boil.
  5. Simmer for 10-15minutes until the squash is just cooked.
  6. Add the lentils (and any extra water if needed) and simmer for a further 10minutes, until the lentils and squash are tender.
  7. Mix in the fresh coriander and season.
  8. Serve with a sprig of coriander on top.
  9. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 23.02.38.png

Squash – despite the large natural sugar content, squash provides LOADS OF B vitamins, which have functions in energy release in respiration, and is massively high in potassium which maintains fluid and electrolyte balance.

Lentils – providing a whopping 35g of protein per portion, high for a plant-based protein, lentils give an amazing base for this vegan meal. They are also high in fibre for digestion and folate for DNA 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.

Tofu Cashew Sweet Potato Curry

Providing 2 of your 5 a day, this vegan recipe is high in protein and SUPER DELICIOUS.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 240g plain tofu, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 450g sweet potato
  • 25g plain cashew nuts
  • 150g broccoli
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp mushed ginger
  • 150g fat free plain yoghurt (or alternative)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 400ml of boiling water

METHOD

  1. Partially dry the tofu chunks by putting in kitchen roll and placing a heavy object (like a frying pan) on the top. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and cook for 5-10minutes or until the tofu is browned on the outside. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and cook the onions until soft (for around 5 minutes) on a medium heat.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder and cook for a furthur 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the water and sweet potato and bring to the boil.
  6. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes until tender.
  8. Take off the heat and stir through the yoghurt and chopped cashew nuts.
  9. Season and serve.

NUTRITION

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 13.32.49.png

Tofu – Providing nearly 20g of protein per portion, these soya bean based chunks of goodness are also high in phosphorous for growth and repair of tissues, and are much lower in salt and fat than most meat-based alternatives.

Cashew nuts – Nuts are an AMAZING source of unsaturated fats (the healthier ones) and also provide protein and minerals like zinc for enzyme and immune function, and selenium which makes antioxidants.

Sweet potato – one of your 5-a-day, and a useful source for many vitamins and minerals including: retinol needed for vision, growth, immune function and is a key antioxidant; thiamin for energy production; and vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis, detoxification and acts as an antioxidant.

Yoghurt – low in fat, and plain so not containing any added sugar, this food not only makes the dip taste AMAZING but also contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance.

 

Sweet Potato Chicken Hotpot

This simple but delicious recipe fills you up and will use any leftover chicken you don’t want to waste!

Leftover roast potatoes can also be used to top the hotpot, just bake in the oven for a little less time!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion
  • 10g flour
  • 300ml water or chicken stock
  • 100g cooked chicken
  • Teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Veg – I used broccoli and sweetcorn but any mixed veg will work!

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180CF/6
  2. Chop onion and cook on a low heat with the olive oil in a saucepan until soft, or for around 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the flour.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and stir to cook the flour for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Slowly add the water or chicken stock and, once added, season with pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  6. Bring the boil and keep stirring until the mixture thickens slightly.
  7. Stir in the cooked chicken and vegetables.
  8. Slice the sweet potato into rounds.
  9. Pour the chicken mixture into a baking dish and top with the sweet potato rounds so that no chicken mixture is exposed.
  10. Brush with olive oil and season the top of the hotpot.
  11. Oven bake for 30-35minutes.
  12. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 19.09.13.png

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.

Sweet Potato – one of your 5-a-day, and a useful source for many vitamins and minerals including: retinol needed for vision, growth, immune function and is a key antioxidant; thiamin for energy production; and vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis, detoxification and acts as an antioxidant.

The vegetables chosen will also contribute to your 5-a-day and vitamin and mineral intake. I recommend selecting no less than 2 or 3, however the more the merrier!

Staving those hunger cravings

Imagine this: hefty day at work….. stomach rumbling….. looks at watch……. damn it’s only 11am…..

HOW DO I CONCENTRATE FOR 2 HOURS ON NO FOOD?

We’ve all been there, either too hungry before lunch or before tea, and it is NOT a pleasant feeling.

the science – satiety levels tend to improve when food stays in the digestive system longer. For carbohydrates, this can be explained via Glycaemic index* – which is a number expressing how the carbohydrate affects blood glucose levels. Foods with lower glycaemic indexes tend to keep a person fuller for longer as they are slowly digested and contain more fibre/ resistant starch – for example wholemeal foods and pulses. These foods therefore cause a slow and gradual rise in blood glucose levels. Foods with high glycaemic indexes are rapidly digested as they contain sugars and cause quick spikes in blood glucose levels – for example white bread and cereals like cornflakes. Foods may also stay longer in the digestive system, and therefore improve mid-morning/afternoon hunger, if paired with fat or protein as these nutrients tend to have effects on gut emptying.

*Note that there can be some issues with using this method to predict satiety levels as it can be affected by the amount of carbohydrate consumed  and the other components of the meal.

Hopefully I can give you a few handy tips on stopping this from happening so you can power on through your day!

HUNGRY AT 11AM

Just think about what you have had for breakfast…. Cereal? Toast? Eggs? Nothing?

I mean, to point out the obvious, if you’re hungry at 11am and you haven’t had breakfast I think I’ve just solved the issue.

BUT, for the majority of us, the hunger pangs are down to WHAT we are eating at breakfast.

BREAKFAST FOODS THAT CAN KEEP US FULLER FOR LONGER:

EGGS:

Eggs are high in protein which stays in the digestive system for long periods of time, therefore a mixture of eggs with other carbohydrate or fat-based foods will keep you powering on through until lunchtime.

  • Cheese and spinach omelette
  • Poached eggs and avocado on wholemeal toast
  • Scrambled eggs and lean bacon on wholemeal toast
  • Boiled dippy eggs with wholemeal toast and grilled tomatoes

PORRIDGE:

Porridge stays in the digestive system longer as it is high in fibre, so when cooked with semi-skimmed milk (which provides proteins and fats), and topped with some yummy but nutritious toppings, it is the perfect breakfast to start the day with. Here are some topping ideas:

  • Honey, dried fruit, nut and seeds
  • Peanut butter and banana
  • Dates, raisens, banana and cinnamon
  • Nutella and strawberries
  • Coconut flakes, mango, papaya and pineapple
  • Chopped pears and maple syrup

ANYTHING WHOLEGRAIN:

  • Wholemeal/rye bread – jam on toast, bacon butty, dippy eggs, you name it – should increase satiety levels when eaten compared its white bread counterpart.
  • Wholemeal cereals – there is truth behind the saying ‘he must have had his Weetabix this morning’, so stock up on those flaked rectangles of goodness as well as cereals like fruit and fibre, and avoid cereals like Cornflakes and Rice Krispies which contain sugars rather than slowly digesting carbohydrates.
  • Wholemeal rice/pasta – okay, okay, I know this isn’t a conventional breakfast food. As a student, when it is coming up to shopping week, I admittedly have has pasta and pesto for breakfast a few times, and it has kept me full until lunchtime!

HUNGRY AT 4PM

Please refer to ‘HUNGRY AT 11AM’. One of the main reasons that you could be getting hungry at 4 is that your breakfast is not big or nutritious enough to sustain you throughout the day.

Despite this, most people (including me) reach for a mid-afternoon snack to keep me going through to teatime and there has been some pretty extensive research on what snacks we should be eating to keep us going, and stop us from over-snacking or over-eating at the next meal.

SNACK FOODS THAT CAN KEEP US FULLER FOR LONGER:

YOGHURT:

There has been some interesting research conducted that found that eating yoghurt over other high-fat snacks increases the satiety of the consumer, and yoghurt tends to include high amounts of protein which can also aid this. Greek yoghurts tend to be the preferred option, and if you prefer it topped with something to sweeten it, refer to the porridge toppings above.

NUTS:

Again, high in protein and fat, nuts are a great snack alternative to anything high in sugar. Although a handful may not seem like much quantity-wise, they will sure fill you up. Here are some nut options worth about 100 calories:

  • 15-19 almonds
  • 13-14 cashews
  • 28-30 peanuts
  • 10 pecan halves
  • 28 shelled pistachios

DRIED FRUIT

High in fibre so moves through the gut slower, containing lots of vitamins and minerals and counting as one of your 5-a-day, these are a perfect snacking option. A handful is usually a good portion, and prunes, plums and dates have been found to come out on top when looking at satiety levels.

I hope this helps stave those cravings and gives some good options for breakfast and snacks for those on-the-go days!

Continue reading Staving those hunger cravings