Quick and Simple Salads - Stick To Your Healthy Resolutions

Whether you are already a fruit, vegetable and earth-loving nutrition guru or you're working on improving the amount of fibre, vitamin and macronutrient rich foods in your daily meals, I've got you covered. The 5-Minute Salad Lunchbox has a whole bunch of kickass ideas around combinations of flavours and colours to make your lunch delicious, satiating and balanced. Far from bland or insubstantial, as sometimes salad can be, these recipes have a protein, fibre-rich vegetables or pulses, and flavour rich seasoning that will keep you satiated for hours. Eating healthily is not about compromising what you actually enjoy and want for something you feel you should have. This is about discovering meals and foods you DO enjoy and that you DO want, recognising that foods that are good for you are also freakin' delicious once you start experimenting and realising you can have so many things you hadn't factored into a healthy diet and really enjoy them. Sometimes, exchanging full fat butter for nut butters, or using roast vegetables and crunchy roasted chickpeas in place of chips and starchy, processed burger patties can be a revelation.

Without further ado, the recipes. What are you going to make this week? Let me know on Facebook.


LEFT-OVER ROAST VEGETABLE SALAD

Substitute toasted pine nuts or almonds if you don’t have cashew nuts.

200 g (7 oz) left-over roast vegetables, such as carrot, pumpkin (winter squash), parsnip, potato, sweet potato and beetroot (beets), sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces
2 large handfuls of baby English spinach leaves
small handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
30 g (1 oz) cashew nuts, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons sumac
               
TAHINI DRESSING
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon water
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1.       Toss the salad ingredients together, then tip into your lunchbox.

2.       Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.

3.       Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss well.



LENTIL, HALOUMI & HERB SALAD

Cat's Note: as a vegan, I substitute vegan haloumi or chickpea tofu for the halouomi in this recipe. There's also nut-based vegan "cheese" or you could fry some tofu or add tempeh instead.
  
50 g (1¾ oz) slice of haloumi, fried in hot oil for 3 minutes, cubed * vegan halloumi recipe
150 g (5½ oz/⅔ cup) drained tinned brown lentils
1 tomato, diced
handful each of mint, parsley and coriander (cilantro), chopped

LEMON & CUMIN DRESSING
juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1.       Toss the salad ingredients together, then tip into your lunchbox.

2.       Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar or container with a tightfitting lid.

3.       Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss well.
RAW BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PEAR, HAZELNUTS & PECORINO


The sweetness from the pear and cranberries (also known as craisins) are the perfect foil for the peppery bite of the raw brussels sprouts. Apple will work just as well as pear and, while the hazelnuts bring something really special to this salad, walnuts are great here, too.

Cat's Note: as a vegan, I don't add pecorino but if you want an alternative, there's a cashew based vegan cheese alternative below.

150 g (5½ oz) brussels sprouts, shredded
1 pear, thinly sliced
30 g (1 oz) roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
30 g (1 oz/⅓ cup) grated pecorino
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped

CIDER VINEGAR DRESSING
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1.       Toss the salad ingredients together, then tip into your lunchbox.

2.       Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar or container with a tightfitting lid.

3.       Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving and toss well.



Vegan parmesan cheese
ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted cashews (150 g)*
  • 4 tbsp brewer’s or nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

instructions

  1. Grind all the ingredients in a grinder or food processor until well mixed.
Extracted from THE 5-MINUTE SALAD LUNCHBOX by Alexander Hart, published by Smith Street Books, RRP AU$24.99 or NZ$28.99 Photography © Chris Middleton / Food styling © Deborah Kaloper. 

Deliciously Ella Plant Based Recipes

I don't know about you, but I am a total sucker for cookbooks. Sure, blogs and websites and instagram are all awesome inspiration and I regularly end up recreating dishes or even just condiments and seasonings I've seen online, but nothing beats the loveliness of a solid, old-fashioned cookbook.
plant based ella cookbook

My new kitchen helper is Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook by Ella Mills (Woodward), published by Hachette Australia (RRP $32.99). All photographs by Nassima Rothacker.

The following recipes are my favourites from the book. I'd love you to tag me if you make them and want to share a photo to instagram! I'm at @cat13gram.

Vegan Deliciously Ella Plantbased Recipe Lentil Balls

HERBED LENTIL BALLS
WITH TOMATO RELISH
AND GARLIC CREAM


I know these may sound a little strange, but they taste amazing – especially
sitting in a bed of tomato relish and dressed with garlic cream. They’re
full of flavour thanks to the thyme, rosemary, parsley, garlic and onion.
I love them served simply with some brown rice and salad.

MAKES 10

150g dried green lentils
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
handful of parsley, roughly
chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper
for the tomato relish
6 tablespoons tomato purée
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
100ml water
handful of parsley
pinch of ground cumin
pinch of chilli powder
pinch of smoked paprika
for the garlic cream
100g cashews, soaked for at least
3 hours then drained
10 tablespoons almond milk
3 garlic cloves, roasted (see
page 35)
splash of lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 200.C (fan 180.C).

Start by placing the lentils in a pan of boiling water. Cook for
20–25 minutes until tender but still with a slight bite. Once cooked,
drain and leave to cool to room temperature.

While the lentils are cooking, place the onion and garlic in a pan
over a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and cook
for 5–10 minutes, until soft. Then leave to cool to room temperature.

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until
it forms a thick paste. Scoop balls of the mixture out of the food
processor using an ice-cream scoop, smooth them a little by rolling
them in your hands if you like, then place them on a baking tray
and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes. Check the lentil balls are
cooked through by inserting a knife into the middle of one ball –
if it comes out clean they’re ready, if not bake for a little longer.

While the balls are in the oven, prepare the tomato relish and garlic
cream. Simply place all of the ingredients for the relish in a food
processor and some salt and pulse until smooth. Then do the same
for the garlic cream, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve the
lentil balls piled high with the relish and garlic cream.

TIP
These are delicious served warm straight out the oven – if you’re
doing that then gently warm the tomato relish too.

Vegan Deliciously Ella Plantbased Recipe

YELLOW THAI CURRY


Aubergines are one of my favourite ingredients to use in a curry as they
soak up all of the flavours like a sponge. I’ve lost count of how many
bowls of this curry I’ve eaten in the last few years; when I’m having a
busy week I pop into the deli and devour a bowl with brown rice – it’s
warming, hearty and always keeps me going for hours. This one also
happens to be one of Matt’s favourites too.

SERVES 4

for the curry paste
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger,
peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 lemongrass stalk, bashed and
roughly chopped
1 lime leaf
31/2 tablespoons coconut oil

for the curry
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut
into bite-sized chunks
1 large aubergine, cut into bitesize
pieces
100g button mushrooms
100g baby corn, cut in half
olive oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 x 400g tins of coconut milk
(see tip on page 174)
1 tablespoon tamari
handful of Thai basil,
roughly chopped
salt

Preheat the oven to 240.C (fan 220.C).

Place all of the paste ingredients in a food processor and blitz
until smooth.

Place the peppers, aubergine, mushrooms and baby corn in a baking
tray with a little olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for 10–15 minutes,
so that they take on a bit of colour, then remove and leave to one side.

Next, place the coconut oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium
heat. Once hot, add the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes until
soft. Add the coconut milk and tamari and bring to the boil – then
lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and
blitz using a hand blender, then pass through a sieve to remove any
unwanted bits (if needed). Place back on to a medium heat and
add the roasted vegetables, then cook for a final 5 minutes. Try not
to overcook this curry – the sauce only needs this short cooking time
and there is a chance it could form a layer of oil on top if you cook
it for longer and reduce it too much.

Once everything is cooked through, sprinkle with a handful of chopped
Thai basil.

TIP
You could make a double batch of this curry and freeze half for
another day. It freezes so well and is really easy to cook straight
from the freezer – just place it into an oven set at 200C (fan 180C)
for 20–25 minutes until cooked through.


SPICY MISO AUBERGINE AND BROCCOLI SALAD


This salad was a real hit in the deli, and it’s one of my go-tos as well.
We used to serve it cool, but have recently discovered a new love of
serving it warm, straight out the oven and couldn’t recommend that
more. The dressing is partly what makes this so good and I use it a lot
in other dishes – the ginger, miso, sesame and lime mix is a real winner.

SERVES 2
AS A MAIN DISH,
4 AS A SIDE

2 medium aubergines, chopped
into bite-sized chunks
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
into florets
pinch of chilli flakes
handful of coriander, chopped
handful of sesame seeds
salt and pepper
for the miso dressing
4 tablespoons miso paste
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger,
peeled and grated

Preheat the oven to 240ºC (fan 220ºC).

For the dressing, blitz the miso, lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil,
ginger and some salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. If
you don’t have a blender, dissolve the miso paste in a tablespoon
of boiling water then stir through the other dressing ingredients.

In a large baking tray, mix the aubergine with the dressing and
roast for 30–35 minutes. At this point, remove the tray from the
oven and switch the oven over to the grill setting. Mix the broccoli
florets with the aubergine, then place the tray back in the oven for
another 10 minutes until the broccoli is lightly charred on top and
the aubergine is soft and golden.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, place in a serving bowl
and sprinkle with the chilli flakes, coriander and sesame seeds
before serving.





Surf Star Sally Fitzgibbons on Strength Training, Body Image & Living Well

Sally Fitzgibbons

creamy healthy chicken wrapSally Fitzgibbons is synonymous with surfing. Funnily though, she excelled at athletics, touch football and soccer in her teens. It's fair to say, if it required energy and sportsmanship, Sally was into it and mastering it. I had the pleasure of interviewing her for my iTunes podcast, Core Integrity With Cat, today. In light of her book, Summer Fit All Year Round, which I really enjoyed and am still referring to for recipes and body weight training ideas, I took the opportunity to ask Sally about how the book came to be, the role of athletes and authors in sharing their fitness and nutrition programs and how to do this responsibly.
pesto kaleAs you may suspect of an elite athlete, who rises at 5am to train and has a singular dedication to being the best she can be, Sally is an intelligent and articulate interview subject. She's also funny and energetic and inspiring. I may come to regret this, but I was so enthused by her I agreed to a trade of yoga training for a surf lesson. I fear I'll need more than one!

Here's some recipes from Sally's book. I've posted them as downloadable PDF so you can print and paste up on the fridge! Yes, old school.









Make Friends With Veggies & Kick Sugar To The Curb


We're already in the second week of the New Year - that's approximately 168 hours you've had to lapse on your New Year Resolutions. So, how's that going?

In the first week of January, I asked my barre class, "IF we were making resolutions, which we're not, what would they be?"


The Vegetable Book Recipes
I was surprised that almost everyone said their resolution was to eat less sugar and more vegetables. Surprised, because I love vegetables and find it easy to incorporate them into my daily meals. I suppose I take it for granted that I don't have any desire for sugar either... I think we can change our palate and what we desire to eat when we change our habits with persistent and dedicated focus. Choice by choice. This doesn't mean a life of no joy at all - and certainly, there's a number of naturally sweet foods that are extremely good for you! Some zealous celebrity trainers and insta-nutritionists will carp on about fruit being detrimental to healthy weight and body but that is absolutely baseless and irresponsible. Any food, in excess, isn't healthy. I hate to be boring, but remember that quote, "Eat, not too much. Mostly plants."

Yes. And I'd add to that, ENJOY what you eat because guilt tastes bitter and toxic and no amount of "clean" eating will eradicate that bitterness. 

So, in the spirit of supporting you to get excited about vegetables, here is a recipe from The Vegetable by Caroline Griffiths & Vicki Valsamis (Simon & Schuster). 
Zucchini mint cheese fritters


Raw Is More Recipes
I also want to recommend another book that I received over the holiday period and that I am VERY excited about. Raw Is More by Eccie and Gini Newton (Simon & Schuster). As some of you know, I'm studying to be a Raw Food Chef with the Raw Food Institute of Australia. I get so excited by the amount of delicious and flavourful food that can be prepared and shared: all raw. Anyone who has been to Ubud, Bali has discovered a world of raw, plant based food menus, where colour, freshness, flavour and nutrition are bursting off the plate morning to evening. Bring a bit of that raw, wild, colourful energy into your daily life here.


Just to keep you inspired and dedicated to adding veggies to your day, I've designed you a 7 Day Vegetable Commitment planner! All you need to do is circle at least three vegetables you've eaten that day. It is also a list that gives you a huge range of ideas for when the only idea that vegetable conjures up is brussel sprouts and lettuce. Free download (PDF).




Nourish - Two Superfood Salads to Love

From my new cookbook of choice, Nourish by Amber Locke (published by Mitchell Beazley, $24.99), two recipes that you can add to your lunch or dinner repertoire. Excellent for a solo meal or make it for family, friends or the workmate who has the same, boring ham and cheese sanga every day. 

Edamame Bean Salad Vegan

Edamame beans are young soya beans that are picked before they start to harden so they’re tender and fresh – a bit like young broad beans. They’re a great source of protein and are a general all-round nutritional super-food, and are particularly beneficial in a vegan diet.
They’re combined here with poppy seed-specked avocado and served on a bed of matchstick carrots (I’ve used purple, orange and yellow carrots).

Any citrus or creamy dressing, or the spicy Rose Harissa Dressing would work well with this salad.

  • 3–4 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled
  • 1–2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 300g (10½oz) shelled edamame beans
  • dressing of choice

Cut the carrots into fine matchsticks (there’s no need to peel them if they are organic) using a mandolin or julienne peeler, or coarsely grate them – they’ll taste just as good. Place them in a serving bowl.
Halve, peel and remove the stones of the avocados, then cut the flesh into large chunks. Put the avocado chunks in a bowl and lightly coat in the poppy seeds.
Place the edamame and avocado on top of the carrots, pour over the dressing of your choice and mix well to combine.

Protein boost...
Seared, poached or barbecued salmon goes well with this salad. Cooked, shredded tofu also an option.

Mango Beetroot Kale Radish Salad

For this salad you can either chop the kale finely or break it into pieces and massage it in the mango dressing. It can get a bit messy, but tastes delicious! I’ve cut the yellow beetroot and pink watermelon radishes into decorative shapes for the photograph, but slice, grate or shave them as you prefer. If you’d like to serve a dressing with this salad then I recommend the Orange Vinaigrette (see page 127).

  • 2 large bunches of kale
  • 2 teaspoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ripe mangoes
  • 1 large raw yellow beetroot, scrubbed or peeled
  • 1 large watermelon radish or 5–6 regular radishes, trimmed
  • Orange Vinaigrette (optional)

Tear the leafy parts of the kale away from the stems (save these for juicing) and remove any tough veins in the leaves. Tear the leaves into 2.5–5cm (1–2in) pieces and place in a large bowl.
Anoint the kale leaves in the olive oil and start to massage and scrunch them with your fingers. It will take a while for the leaves to yield but they will gradually start to soften and become more pliable and tender. They’re done when they feel silky soft.
Peel and stone the mangoes. If the mangoes are really ripe it’s a good idea to massage them into the kale as they may be difficult to cut up neatly. Simply mush them up with your hands and get going.
Slice, grate or shave the beetroot and watermelon radish, or cut into decorative shapes and scatter them over the salad just before serving.
Pour over the orange vinaigrette, if using.





Bowls Of Goodness

I've been a big fan of Nina Olssen on Instagram for a few years. She is the creator of Nourish Atelier, dedicated to creating and sharing divinely delicious plant based recipes and her buddha bowls (combinations of colourful and vibrant, healthy ingredients all in one bowl) are to die for. So, naturally, when her book of bowls was released this year, I was all over it. Luckily, I'm able to share two of my favourite recipes with you. Hope you love them and make them your own - perhaps you change one or two of the ingredients or you opt for a different condiment. Let me know how you modify these recipes and any of your favourite buddha bowl recipes are always welcome. Stay in touch via my Facebook page.

Recipes from Bowls of Goodness: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes Full of Nourishment by Nina Olsson. Published by Kyle Books. RRP $39.99. Out now.


Rainbow Pad Thai
ALMOST RAW RAINBOW CARROT NOODLES, TOASTED CASHEWS AND SPICY TOFU

rainbow pad thai
My family loves noodles in all shapes and colours. Serving a rainbow Pad Thai pleases both small and grown up eaters. It’s a little juicier and fresher then regular rice or buckwheat noodles, so it complements the spicy tofu and peanut sauce beautifully. The avocado plays an important role here, adding a buttery creaminess that binds it all together. This noodle bowl is just as good as dinner as it is a side salad.
   
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 handfuls of cashew nuts
6 rainbow carrots, spiralised
2 avocados, stoned, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 head of a small red cabbage, shredded
handful of chopped coriander
6 spring onions, finely chopped
   
4 tablespoons coconut sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon sriracha
2 tablespoons coconut oil
200g firm tofu, pressed
water, to thin
             
50ml peanut butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped to a paste
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
30ml soy sauce
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
juice of 1 lime
water, to thin

Mix the ingredients for the spicy peanut sauce and set aside. Mix the coconut sugar with soy, olive oil and sriracha for the tofu.
Heat up a frying pan over a medium– high heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Fry the tofu for 2-3 minutes until golden, then pour over the soy mix and fry for another 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from the heat. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil and stir-fry the cashew nuts for 2-3 minutes over a medium-high heat, then remove from the heat. Mix the carrot noodles with the avocado, red cabbage, coriander, cashews, tofu and spring onions and serve with the spicy peanut sauce.


The Loyal Lentil Chilli
Lentil chilli with butternut squash, coconut milk, pepper and lime

Do you have a dish that never fails you, like a loyal friend, who keeps showing up and impresses you by always being top-notch? I have a few and this lentil chilli has been the star of my regular repertoire for years. This is also one of the most made and loved recipes from my blog. Lentils can come across as a bit dull sometimes, but this dish is nothing like it. With flavours that really sing together – earthy cumin and cinnamon, tangy lime and coriander, hot chilli and garlic – it harmonises perfectly with sweet butternut squash and chewy lentils. Instead of butternut squash you can use cooked pumpkin, aubergine or any other fleshy vegetable you have.

SERVES 4
250 puy or beluga lentils
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
5– 7 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped to a
paste with 1 teaspoon salt
1 + ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
1-2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
400g butternut squash, cooked and chopped into small pieces
400ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

SIMPLE YOGURT SAUCE
200g yogurt or vegan yogurt (soygurt or coconut yogurt)
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

QUICKEST CUCUMBER SALAD
½ cucumber, shaved into ribbons
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
TO SERVE
fresh coriander
hot sauce, like sriracha
cooked brown rice or other whole grain
lime wedges

Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions, rinse, drain and set aside. Heat a frying pan over a medium– high heat. Add the oil and gently fry the shallots until transparent. Add the garlic, spices, pepper, chilli and tomatoes and fry for a few minutes over a medium– low heat. Stir in the lentils, squash, tahini and honey. Pour in the coconut milk and stir, then let the chilli simmer over a medium– low heat for 5 minutes, adding a little water if needed and stirring regularly. Add the lime juice and soy, then let it simmer for a further few minutes while stirring. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Mix the ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Make the cucumber salad by combining the shaved cucumber and rice vinegar. Drizzle the chilli with extra virgin olive oil, top with freshly chopped coriander and serve with the cool yogurt sauce and salad. Serve with a hot sauce, rice and lime as extras on the table. 

My Favourite Plant Based Food Sites

Disclaimer! I do eat fish and I occasionally eat meat too. I am not a vegan but I do advocate a diet high in plant foods for your insides AND your outsides.

Recent studies have proven the benefits of plentiful fibre in your diet for good health and longetivity. It's essential for bowel health, digestion, immunity and appetite regulation. Try to get a rainbow of colours in too.

While I hate all the "detox" and "clean eating" business - I believe that we need to consider our own taste predilections, favourite flavours and also our health and nutritional needs for age, any health conditions, and level of activity.

That said, listen to your body. You don't need to eat a purely vegan, purely plant-based diet to get all the benefits and nutrients of a veggie rich life! Here's some inspiration for snacks, side dishes, main meals and more.

Sushi Bowl

I adore this site. Beautiful to look at, easy-to-prepare dishes and simple instructions and layout.
Get the recipe on About That Food.

Cauliflower Satay Skewers

Oh my god! Marinaded, roasted cauliflower. You will be craving this non-stop once you try it.
Get the recipe on About That Food.

Broccomole

Christina makes gorgeous, organic plant-based recipes and blogs on lifestyle. This is SO simple - avocado,broccoli, lemon and garlic.
Get the recipe on Love-Fed.

Raw Vegan Tacos

What to dollop your broccomole on? Raw vegan tacos of course. Yum!
Get the recipe on My Body Zen.

Raw Rainbow Salad

Yay for an Australian site. Great recipes and gorgeous photos.
Get the recipe on Raw Not War.

Raw Vegan Pizza With Red Pepper Flax Crust

Because Pizza.
Get the recipe at One Green Planet.

Asparagus and Arugula Pizza

Yep. Love it. So light and yet soooo flavoursome. The Arugula pesto is vegan.
Get the recipe at Gourmandelle.

Shout out to Instagram Inspiration for Raw and Plant Based Inspiration:

@Raw_Vibrations
@BrusselsVegan
@VeganRawrior

Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook Allergen Free Treats

Another afternoon, another 3.30pm "WHERE ARE THE TREATS" dilemma.

Never fear. I bring treats with nutritional credit so you can feel satisfied AND highly self-righteous. And who doesn't need a bit of that during the mid-afternoon crawl to the finish line?
Coming to you from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott (Murdoch Books) - I know, it sounds very Pete Evans, hipster Crossfit what-have-you, but once you get beyond the title, the recipes are fabulous. Everything from salad to post-workout snack to dinner for 10.

Here's two of the fabulous finds - my favourites. I hope you love them and share them. I highly recommend popping the fig balls in a tupperware container and keeping in the fridge at work. They also make for some very happy post-school snack time and school fete fare.

FIG ENERGY BITES

Time: 1 hour
Yield: 16 Bites
Tools: Food Processor

370 g unsulphured dried figs
130 g fine shredded coconut, divided (unsweetened)
80 ml coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

1 Place the figs, 100 g of the coconut, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse on and off until a thick paste forms (you may have to stop and scrape the sides of your food processor a couple of times).

2  Form into 2.5 cm balls, then roll them in the reserved 30 g of shredded coconut.

3  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the coconut oil set.

Note: Feel free to play around with the dried fruit in this recipe-—dates, dried apples and apricots are all good substitutions for the figs.

Storage: Keeps for a week or two stored in the refrigerator. Also freezes well.

SEARED BROCCOLINI WITH COCONUT BASIL PESTO


Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4

2 tablespoons solid cooking fat
450 g broccolini, washed, ends of stems removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
250 ml Coconut-Basil Pesto (page 124)

1 Heat the cooking fat in a large frying pan on high heat. When the fat has melted and the pan is hot, sear the broccolini for a couple of minutes on each side. Turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic and let cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the broccolini is tender.

2 Serve with coconut pesto drizzled over the top.

Storage: Keeps well in the refrigerator.


coconut-Basil Pesto

Time: 15 Minutes
Yield: 375 mls

125 ml coconut water or filtered water
100 g fresh basil leaves
60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
4 cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
2–3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
A few sprigs of fresh mint

1 Place all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 15 seconds, stopping to scrape the sides if needed. If you want a smoother pesto, continue to blend until desired consistency is reached.

Variation: Use apple cider or coconut vinegars and add sea salt to taste, as those vinegars are not as salty as the plum.

Storage: Keeps for a couple of days, sealed, in the refrigerator.

Real Delicious Food

Too often in fitness and in food, there is a message from media, friends, family, personal trainers, supermarkets and pretty much everyone, that you need to follow a specific plan.

Usually, a specific plan that reaps plenty of money and devotion to a brand or individual. Drink our shakes! Purchase our appliances! Follow our instagram! And so forth.

What if you really considered what foods you like, what makes you feel good, what enables you to feel energetic enough to do what you have to do and what do you have the time and the enthusiasm to prepare?

I do have some paleo cookbooks and some raw food and vegan ones. I am not paleo, raw foodist or vegan. I think they have some fabulous recipes and I absolutely respect their ethos. I just know that I find I need animal based protein to feel truly satiated and energised.

I want to share some of the awesome books that are giving me recipe and happy, healthy food love at the moment. They are beautiful to look at and the recipes are not complex. They are not pushing a regimen on you - there's no self righteous eat THIS and NOT THAT! There's just a genuine celebration of flavour, fresh food and great combinations. Divided up between salads, main meals, sweet options and side dishes. Here's the lowdown on Real Delicious and Deliciously Ella.

Real Delicious by Chrissy Freer (Murdoch Books) is fabulous. The images are gorgeous - but don't be fooled by all the colour and prettiness - the recipes are simple and really good for both singles, small groups of friends and also feeding the whole family. Here are two of my must-try recipes: Japanese Pancakes and Fish and Sweet Potato

Japanese pancakes with mushrooms and chicken
Filled with shredded vegetables, minced lean chicken and protein-packed eggs, this version of a Japanese pancake makes a nutritious and filling lunch or light dinner. In Japan it’s traditionally served with mayonnaise, but I prefer to skip this in favour of a little sweet soy sauce and some salad leaves.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Makes 8


75 g (23/4 oz/1/2 cup) wholemeal spelt flour or plain (all-purpose) flour
3 eggs
11/2 tablespoons peanut or  macadamia oil
200 g (7 oz) minced (ground) chicken  or pork 
150 g (51/2 oz) mushrooms,  finely chopped 
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
130 g (41/2 oz/13/4 cups) shredded  savoy cabbage 
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
Sweet soy sauce, for drizzling
2 teaspoons sesame seeds,  lightly toasted
Sliced spring onions (scallions),  to serve
Baby kale leaves, to serve

Whisk together the flour, eggs and 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) cold water until smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the chicken and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the mushrooms, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool completely.

Stir the chicken mixture, cabbage and carrot into the egg batter.

Heat half the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium–high heat. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter per pancake into the pan  and spread out to 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick. Cook for 3 minutes each side  or until golden. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while you cook  the rest, adding a little more oil when necessary.

Serve the pancakes drizzled with a little sweet soy sauce and scattered with the sesame seeds, spring onions and kale leaves.

Fish and sweet potato cakes with dill dressing
These fish cakes are made with mashed sweet potato instead of regular potato, and they’re coated in wholegrain oats instead of breadcrumbs. I love using sweet potato because it doesn’t need any butter or salt to taste great. It has a lower GI than regular potato and it’s packed with the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Preparation time: 20 minutes,  plus 30 minutes chilling
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

400 g (14 oz) orange sweet potato,  cut into 3 cm (11/4 inch) dice
400 g (14 oz) firm white fish fillets
4 spring onions (scallions),  finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 long red chilli, seeded and  finely chopped
100 g (31/2 oz/1 cup) rolled  (porridge) oats
1 tablespoon olive or macadamia oil
Baby English spinach leaves, to serve

Dill dressing
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon salted baby capers, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of caster (superfine) sugar

Steam the sweet potato in a steamer over simmering water for  12 minutes or until tender. Drain, mash roughly with a fork and cool.

Steam the fish in a steamer over simmering water for 6–8 minutes  or until just cooked through. Set aside to cool, then flake with a fork.

Combine the sweet potato, fish, spring onion, herbs, lemon zest and chilli in a large bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Form the mixture into eight 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick patties.

Place the oats on a large plate. Press each fish cake into the oats  to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm.

Combine all the ingredients for the dill dressing.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat and cook the fish cakes for 2–3 minutes each side or until golden brown, adding a little extra oil if necessary. Serve with spinach leaves and dill dressing.

TIP
Young children love these fish cakes, but you might need to leave out the chilli.
Recipes and images from Real Food by Chrissy Freer (Murdoch Books)


Deliciously Ella Every Day (Hachette) is exactly what it promises: simple recipes from wholefoods that are totally delicious. Some of you have followed Ella's blog and she has a massive social media following. You don't need to be familiar or a fan to find this recipe book totally reliable and enjoyable though. In fact, I am blissfully new to Ella and her wholefood approach. I love it though and want to share some of my fave recipes with you. Enjoy!

Pad Thai

Such a delicious dish, I think it may end up being a favourite recipe for lots of you... it’s certainly very popular in my house! It’s inspired by a recipe that a friend sent to me; I fell in love with it and adapted it over time to create this version. The sauce is definitely my favourite part, as it’s so incredibly rich with the most amazing array of flavours.

Serves 2

For the noodles
2 large courgettes
2 large carrots
100g buckwheat noodles
1 red pepper, cut into very thin strips 
handful of sesame seeds
30g cashew nuts 
10g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

For the sauce
8 tablespoons olive oil
15g bunch of fresh coriander
3 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon tamari
juice of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Peel the courgettes, then use a vegetable peeler to peel the flesh into strips around the core. I normally discard the seedy centres, as they’re hard to peel. Do the same with the carrots.

Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Simply place everything into a blender or food processer with 9 tablespoons of water and whizz until smooth.

Once the noodles have cooked, drain them and let them cool for a few minutes.

Place the noodles, carrots, courgettes, pepper, sesame seeds and cashews in a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix everything together, then sprinkle the mint on top.

Cauliflower Pizza

Makes 2 large pizza crusts / Serves 4–6
4 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cauliflowers (about 1kg), roughly chopped
200g Apple Purée (page 40)
300g brown rice or buckwheat 
flour
juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons tamari
salt
4 teaspoons dried oregano
4 teaspoons dried basil

For the toppings, I like:
tomato purée
sliced tomatoes
canned sweetcorn
sliced mushrooms
fresh basil leaves
handful of rocket 
salt and pepper
olive oil

Place the chia seeds in a bowl with 280ml of water. Leave for 10–15 minutes, until the chia has formed a gel.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C).

Place the cauliflower in a food processor and blend it until a flour-like substance forms; this should take about a minute (you may need to do this in 2 batches). Place in a nut milk bag (page 53) and knead out excess water: it may take a few minutes but it’s a really important step, so please don’t skip it!

Add the cauliflower to a mixing bowl with the chia and apple purée and stir until blended. Mix in the flour, lemon juice, tamari, salt and dried herbs. Slowly pour in 150ml of ice-cold water, using your hands to mix it to a sticky dough. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.

Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and spread each piece of dough out over it, to form a pizza base. Bake the crusts for 20–30 minutes.

Once they are firm and slightly crispy, add the tomato purée and your toppings (except any basil or rocket), then cook for another 5–10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, the leaves, if using, and a drizzle of olive oil, then slice and serve!

Kitchen Know-How
I know it sounds strange to tell you to take the water out of the cauliflower and then add more water to the mix, but – trust me – it’s vital for the recipe to work, as it means you get exactly the right amount of liquid needed for the crust to bake properly.

These recipes are from Deliciously Ella Every Day by Ella Woodward, published by Hachette Australia RRP $29.99.

Heart Chakra Nutrition - Eat Your Greens

This is a guest post by the wonderful holistic nutritionist, Teri Mosey. She has been a much valued contributor to fitness and wellbeing journals and media, especially in the US. 


The Food Chakra Connection

When most people think of food, the conversation commonly goes towards calories, carbs or protein. What if a different conversation arose and you asked how does food nourish all of me; body, mind and soul?

Welcome to the world of holistic nutrition.

Holistic nutrition, practiced for thousands of years, sees food as a healer, nurturer and way of life. Foods goes beyond the calorie, having energetic characteristics that interact with your bio-field; more specifically, the chakras. Chakras are vortexes of Universal energy that run up and down your spine regulating your life force energy or qi. This energy is what gives the gift of life. With that said, chakras are the link between your energetic and physical beings, and the universal consciousness.

What does that mean? Each chakra vibrates at a particular frequency that impacts specific biological processes. For example, your heart chakra energy influences the health of your heart, lungs, cardiac nerve plexuses and thymus gland. Each chakra has a level of consciousness it reflects; with underlying universal life lessons. Your personal journey, all that you are meant to experience and learn in this lifetime is tucked into your biology!

A way to identify these lessons and discover your true nature is through your relationship to food. The link between food traits and chakras comes from sharing the same vibrational energies, corresponding physiological systems and your behaviors around the act of eating. Let’s look at the heart chakra; surrounded around the theme of love. Universal life lessons in love can be experienced through gratitude, acceptance, compassion and forgiveness; of yourself and others. These lessons around love manifest in heart and lung illnesses, making food choices that nourish the heart and strengthen the lungs at the forefront to foods for the heart chakra.

Food and eating strategies to nourish the flow of energy to the heart chakra begins with emphasizing a plant based dietary pattern. Plants are loaded with phytonutrients; health promoting compounds that assist the body’s self healing abilities while altering gene expression. Begin by adding colorful root vegetables, legumes and the grain quinoa to your dietary pattern. Two qualities that specifically vibrate with the heart chakra energies are green color foods and the flavor bitter. So add cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, rapini and bok choy into your weekly meals. Add those bitter leafy greens like arugula, watercress and lacinato kale to the mix. Daily! Instead of raw, place them under a little heat, wilting them. This makes nutrients more bioavailable and keeps your digestion happy. In recipe terms, explore a soba noodle soup, an adzuki bean stew, roasted root vegetables, a wilted green salad or a grilled veggie quinoa salad. The options are endless. Just keep in the plant family with a heavy presence of greens! And while you’re at it; add a little pungent flavor to these dishes, in the form of scallions, garlic or leeks. They help keep the lungs clear!

Observe if you have an aversion to the above mentioned foods; especially the bitter greens. That’s an underlying message that your heart chakra is asking for your attention! Take a moment to contemplate, “am I willing to live with an open heart?” It can even invite contemplation on questions like, “Do I have underlying resentment? Or “Are the majority of my decisions intellectual, keeping my heart out of the conversation?”

While in the kitchen which can become your space of active meditation, put on your favorite tunes and hum along as you cook! Humming deepens your breath and lowers your heart rate; perfect additional nourishment for the heart energies. Cooking a meal for yourself shows self-love, share it with others and you are expanding the vibration!

The chakras become a bridge between your soul and physical being, with an invitation to use your relationship to food as a way to discover your most authentic self. What an amazing opportunity.  Are you up for it?

Teri Mosey


Here's a VEGAN, heart chakra nourishing Spinach & Artichoke Pizza with garlic sauce. If that's not your cup of chai, have a Quinoa and Potato Crust pizza (also vegan!) You're welcome!

Heal Your Gut with Supercharged Food

There has been much research into the mind-gut-hormones connection and the science is compelling and convincing. What, when and how you eat directly affects your hormones and your immune system. Constantly getting infections? Feeling lethargic? Rashes and allergic-type reactions?
There are so many ways that poor diet can manifest in your body. This doesn't just mean eating bags full of jelly snakes during the afternoon slump. This means restricting food groups, severe calorie restriction, binge eating, eating processed and packaged food as replacements for whole foods (vegetables, fruit, legumes, grains).

I am not perfect, just as you (probably) are not perfect. I don't allow myself to read the "latest celebrity diet tricks" in magazines. I don't subscribe to any particular dietary regimen, although I respect ELEMENTS of some! I am not paleo, or vegan, or pescatarian...
There are weeks I will not eat meat at all, or times when that's exactly what my body craves. One thing I can definitely say I'm guilty of is overdoing the caffeine. I know it is behind my poor sleep and ability to get anxious in a heartbeat! So I will aim to reduce my caffeine and heal my gut. What will you do in the aims of healing your gut?

I've got Lee Holmes' (Supercharged Food) Heal Your Gut for inspiration, information and recipes galore. It's not only super informative and well-researched, but gorgeous to look at. Definitely one for the kitchen AND the coffee table.

The book is designed to assist in restoring gut health with 90 anti-inflammatory recipes to heal and nourish. These include warming drinks with ingredients such as turmeric, chamomile and ginger, sustaining vegetable and meat broths & soups and deliciously delicate desserts like baked blueberry custard.
Heal Your Gut: Supercharged Food by Lee Holmes (Murdoch Books)

Just because I love your guts, I'm going to share some recipes with you. Enjoy.

CUMIN DIGESTIVE AID (JEERA VELLAM)

SERVES 4
Jeera is Hindi for ‘cumin’ and vellam in this context means ‘water’. Cumin is 
a powerful digestive aid and a detoxifier for the kidneys and bladder. Drink this shot after eating to improve digestion.
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin sticks
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside for 2 minutes before straining. Cool to room temperature and divide between four glasses to serve.

Garden-fresh Asparagus Soup
serves 4
I just love the healthy snap of a bright-green new-season asparagus stalk. Enjoy their uniquely grassy, sweet flavour and their healthy-bacteria-boosting proteins in this fresh and uplifting soup.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped, plus extra,
curled in cold water, to serve
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4  teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 medium turnips, peeled and diced
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock (see page 151)
270 ml (91/2 fl oz) tin additive-free coconut milk
175 g (6 oz/1 bunch) asparagus, cut into 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) pieces
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spring onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft. Add the curry powder, ginger, turmeric, lemon zest, juice and turnip and cook, stirring frequently,
for 5 minutes.
Add the stock, coconut milk and asparagus, and simmer, partially covered,
for 15 minutes or until the turnip is tender, then add the salt.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then purée the mixture in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Reheat gently if necessary, then drizzle with olive oil, grind over black pepper and garnish
with curled spring onion.
Almond Milk Jelly Cup
makes 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup)

Gelatine is a good source of protein and contains eighteen protein-building amino acids. It’s a great ingredient to include in your gut-healing arsenal, as it seals the digestive tract to help boost nutrient absorption.
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) almond milk (see page 123)
2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
1/4  teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia
Put half the almond milk and the gelatine in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk briskly until the gelatine is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the remaining almond milk along with the vanilla and stevia, and whisk to combine.

Pour into one or two glasses or jelly moulds and refrigerate until set. The jelly can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1–2 weeks.

It's the 3pm Munchies Cure!

From the fabulous Recipes and Images from Courtyard Kitchen by Natalie Boog, published by Murdoch Books, I have two killer recipes that will have you racing for the door and ready to get into the kitchen tonight. Or now.
Book available now. Buy it here.

 Basil & Parmesan Polenta Chips

When cooked perfectly, these chips have a lovely crunchy crust. They’re delicious on their own as a snack, or served with steak and salad. If I’m cooking polenta to eat with another dish, I make extra with a little basil, and refrigerate it, so I have some ready to go for these yummy chips.

Serves 4 as a side.



500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) chicken or vegetable stock

190 g (6¾ oz/1 cup) coarse polenta (cornmeal)
80 g (2¾ oz/¾ cup) finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil spray (optional)

  1. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square glass or ceramic dish with baking paper.
  2. Put the stock and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Slowly pour in the polenta, whisking until well combined. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring regularly to prevent the polenta catching, for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and comes away from the side of the pan. 
  3. Remove from the heat, add the parmesan and basil, season to taste and combine well. Pour the polenta into the prepared dish, cool, then refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm. 
  4. Cut the polenta into chips and cook on a lightly oiled barbecue hotplate until golden and crisp on all sides. Alternatively, spray the chips with olive oil and bake at 180°C (350°F) for 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Serve hot.

Lamb & Herb Salad

Serves 4
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) lamb backstraps or loin fillets
3 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary 
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 g (5½ oz) cherry tomatoes
250 g (9 oz) haloumi cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves 
1 small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves 
1 small handful tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon coarsely torn basil leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint 
4 handfuls rocket
40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Put lamb in a shallow dish, drizzle with a little oil, add half the rosemary and thyme, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. 
  3. Put the tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and season. Roast for 20 minutes, or until soft but not falling apart. Leave oven on.
  4. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over medium–high heat and sear the lamb on both sides, until just browned. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the lamb for 10–12 minutes, or until it is cooked to your liking. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes, before slicing it diagonally.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the haloumi for 30 seconds on each side, or until golden. Remove from the pan and tear into large pieces.
  6. Put all the herbs, including the remaining rosemary and thyme, in a bowl. Add the rocket, pine nuts, roasted tomatoes and haloumi. 
  7. Whisk oil and vinegar together and season to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Divide the salad evenly among four plates, top with the sliced lamb and serve immediately.





Protein for Body, Mind and Muscle

Protein is essential for building, maintaining and restoring your muscle, especially if you're active.
There's a lot out there about what types, how much and the timing around it. So I'm going to make it simple and you can take it or leave it, but do read it.

Eat protein in the morning to recharge with nutrients. Protein also satiates the appetite so you are less likely to find yourself craving jelly beans at 10am. This can be as simple as milk (protein fortified is good), a handful of nuts, miso soup or soy-based cereal. Rolled oats (WHOLEGRAIN) or eggs (boiled or poached!) are also a fabulous source of protein.

Consuming protein before a work out kickstarts muscle synthesis (repairing and building muscle) throughout and even after hitting the weights.

Drink chocolate milk after a workout. Eat within half an hour of your workout. A milk-based smoothie is an excellent choice. Throw in some berries and you've got an antioxidant fix too!

Eat a fish, lean meat, soya/tofu based lunch. Go heavy on the protein in the middle of the day to ensure you have the energy to restore from your morning and have ongoing energy through the afternoon until evening. Don't ruin your meal by choosing high-fat, overly processed foods and please don't think a protein bar is a healthy choice. Yuck. Choose lean meat with a high protein content, like chicken, beef, lamb or kangaroo. Trimmed of fat, these are power foods.
Combined with fresh vegetables and a healthy choice of fat, you have a well-rounded and nutrient rich fuel for living. Healthy fats might include avocado, walnuts, coconut oil or inherently omega-3 rich foods like salmon and trout.

Snack on protein before dinner. A 250g tub of yoghurt, a smoothie, a handful of walnuts... your body will use the protein to repair and rebuild overnight.

Eat a protein-rich dinner. All the lunchtime protein options are great. You might also include a chickpea or kidney bean salad, quinoia or boiled egg.

Great picks: Salmon, Skinless Chicken Thigh, Wholegrain Rolled Oats, Kangaroo fillet, Quinoa, Eggs, Steak, Chickpeas, Homemade Protein Balls or slices.

Try this recipe from The Naked Kitchen: Chocolate Almond Protein Bars