Approaching Double Figures, Ice Baths and Smoothie Bowls

My most recent two runs are below. I am making good progress. I also tried my first ice bath as an aid to recovery, and I screamed like a big girlie girl, especially when the water reached my nipples. In my defence it was so cold in there that it burned, however it seems to have been effective as my muscles are nowhere near as sore as they have been. This will be an interesting ongoing experiment. I will keep doing it to see what the effect is on my body. Right now I can tell you that it felt great afterwards. My whole body felt like my mouth does after brushing my teeth! Extreme cold exposure is linked to longevity and excellent health and muscles recovery so I hope that this will help me get fitter faster.

Strava Data

The eight mile one was agony but today I flew over a new route and trail. The first half was more or less nonstop climbing, but the second half was a beautiful trail. Photo below. You can see that my time vastly improved today, which is encouraging because I climbed a massive hill on the first half of the run.

Double figures for miles covered are imminent. I have my eye on a half marathon, then to pass my best ever distance, fifteen miles. Once that is done I am going all in to to complete a marathon-distance run.

Food

In the meantime I have been scoffing plenty of good food, recipes to come soon, and below are some lovely photos of my smoothie bowls. Be sure to check out my Instagram for more photos and recipes.

Recipe: Tofu Scramble Protein Bowl

Another simple recipe that is full of yummy goodness. It is not quite SOS approved – no salt, oil or sugar – as there is a little frying involved, however it is still delicious and tremendously healthy and nutritious.

Ingredients

  • 100g pearl barley
  • 1 packet of tofu, frozen, thawed, drained and pressed
  • 1 avocado
  • Handful of cashews

Method

  • Cook the barley and set aside – I boil it with turmeric for the anti inflammatory goodness
  • Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet and fry the tofu until it starts to brown
  • Cube the avocado flesh and add to the pan for a minute or two
  • Add the cashews and fry for a couple more minutes
  • Serve on top of the barley

One bowl of yummy goodness, cooked! Add sriracha if you like a little bit of zing.

Recipe: Plant-Based Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Papaya Frosting

This is a recipe for a desert that is like tropical sweetness made flesh. It is very easy to make and great for sharing.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 150 grams walnuts
  • 12 pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (have a little more ready in case but the oil from the nuts should also help to combine)

Filling

  • 150 grams cashews, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
  • 6 passion fruits, pulped
  • 1 can of coconut milk, chilled in freezer and then the water drained away
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • Optional: maple syrup if you like it very sweet

Frosting

  • Pulp of one papaya, seeds removed
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Method

  • Pulverise the crust ingredients in the blender until the texture is even
  • Pour it all into whatever cake or pie dish you will serve it in, press firmly until you have a solid crust, then refrigerate whilst you prepare the rest of the recipe
  • Spin all of the ingredients for the filling in the blender until smooth, then pour onto the crust and refrigerate for a minimum four hours
  • Once the filling has fully set, spin all of the ingredients for the frosting in the blender, then pour over the filling and spread evenly with a spatula if necessary
  • Refrigerate until set, preferably overnight
  • Scatter the papaya seeds on top for a little bit of crunch
  • Serve up slices and enjoy!

Recipe: Decadent Plant Based Pancake Stack

Check it out folks. This pancake stack will leave you feeling as though you just ate your weekly meals in one go. You can oil or dry fry this mixture

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 200 grams oat flour (I just pulverised oats in the blender)
  • Maple syrup to sweeten to taste
  • Soy milk (or your preferred plant milk)

Method

  • Combine the flour, bananas and maple syrup in the blender
  • Slowly add milk whilst gently blending until you reach a sticky, almost dough-like consistency
  • Either heat a dry pan or oil if you prefer, and spoon into squash ball sized portions, squidging them down as they cook
  • Once brown, flip and repeat
  • Serve with fresh, dark berries and maple syrup

Tada! Couldn’t be more simple. For an alternative topping to maple syrup you can make lime stock sugar syrup which is just melted sugar, a little water, and the juice and zest of a lime, or chocolate sauce which is the same but just add cocoa powder instead of the lime ingredients.

Recipe: Quinoa Protein Bowl

This is something I just improvised but it is delicious and looks good so I decided to publish the recipe. It is full of protein, good fats and variety, and the quinoa has a very low glycemic index meaning weight loss.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams quinoa
  • 100 grams (dry weight) dried chickpeas, hydrated and cooked (or a can)
  • 1 bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 an iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced
  • A generous handful of cashews
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Boil your quinoa in water or stock, then rinse and set aside
  • Add a good glug of olive oil to a frying pan, add the chilli and cook for thirty seconds
  • Add the pepper, sweat for three minutes
  • Add the avocado and stir well, cooking for three more minutes
  • Add the lettuce and wilt
  • Throw in the nuts and toss the whole thing to mix well, season to taste, then turn the heat off
  • Add the quinoa to a bowl and fluff with a fork
  • Pour in the fried ingredients and then top off with the chickpeas
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice

Done! Most people will probably need two or three sittings to finish this so it’s cheap too. I might add chilli sauce or change the chickpeas for pinto beans perhaps next time. Maybe even some jalapeños for some twang. Enjoy!

In the pan

Quarantine Recipe: Lemon and Lime Quinoa with Chickpeas, Turmeric and Garlic

Obviously during quarantine I have had plenty of time on my hands, and with my exercise being short runs or long, slow cycle rides with the kids I am not posting them as they are wholly unremarkable. I have, however, had time to cook and create recipes, and this post is one such. I designed this as a rustic, simple meal that is ideal recovery food to eat after exercising. Best of all, it can be made in bulk and eaten all week, or that is the way I do it anyway. Chickpeas are packed with good fat to make you full, protein for muscle recovery and they have a good nutrient density per calorie. Plus chickpeas are beans and as Dan Buettner of the Blue Zones fame established, beans are the basis of the diets of the longest lived people on Earth. Show me a centenarian and I will show you somebody who ate beans their whole life. Turmeric also is a natural anti-inflammatory. Quinoa is a grain that has a super low glycemic index score meaning that your insulin will not spike and there will be no food hangover. It is very versatile and will taste of whatever you use to flavour it.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams of uncooked quinoa
  • 100 grams of dried chickpeas soaked in lightly salted water overnight
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Drain and thoroughly rinse the chickpeas, then set them boiling in a pan for thirty minutes – this can be done the previous day if that suits your schedule
  2. Put the quinoa in a large pot, add the stock and the turmeric, and simmer on medium
  3. Chop or mince the garlic, then zest and and juice the lemon and lime
  4. Once the quinoa has absorbed the stock completely turn of the heat, rinse using a sieve and cold water and return to the same pot after giving it a quick clean to get rid of residue
  5. Now combine the chickpeas and quinoa in the pot, mixing through
  6. Add the cayenne pepper and chopped garlic clove, mix through
  7. Add the citrus zest and juice, stir through and season to taste with salt and black pepper
At this point it is up to you whether you reheat it or serve it cold. It tastes great either way. You could even improvise and stuff pita breads with it, or serve on a sort of Greek flatbread, gyro style. This recipe is 3-4 servings so you are all set for the week when it comes to eating!

Recipe: Flambed Peaches with Citrus Cashew Cream

This is a knickers off dessert, as in serve this to a lady on date number three and watch her knickers fly off! This is a recipe that calls for you to flambé, i.e. ignite alcohol in the pan, so please be careful. You can see how to do it on YouTube, but if you’re not sure then don’t make this recipe.

Ingredients

  1. 4-5 peaches, stoned and sliced
  2. 2 tbsp of rum
  3. 3 tbsp sugar
  4. Zest and juice of a citrus fruit of your choice – I used a lime
  5. 100g cashews, soaked in boiling water to soften
  6. 100g icing sugar plus a little more for dusting
  7. Soy milk

Method

  • Heat a skillet very hot, then add the sugar and caramelise it
  • Add your peaches, reduce the heat and toss well in the caramel
  • Now you flambé. Take the pan off the heat and we’ll away from the flame, then add the rum and then ignite it. Be very careful and be sure you do this safely
  • Once the alcohol is burnt off the flames will stop, turn off the heat and leave whilst you make your citrus cream
  • Blend the icing sugar, cashews and soy milk to make a smooth cream. It’s up to you how thick you make it, obviously more milk will thin it out.
  • Pour into a jug and then whisk in the juice and zest. This will add air and lighten the cream a little
  • Serve by layering the peaches shortbread or some other similar type of biscuit, pour on some of the cream, then some of the rum sauce, and finally dust with icing sugar

Delicious dessert.

Recipe: Indian Roast Potatoes

This is such a yummy dish that I just HAD to share it with you all.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of potatoes, chopped
  • Fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 21 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice and zest of a lime

Method

  • Mix all of the powdered ingredients together to make your seasoning
  • Parboil the potatoes for 8-10 and then drain
  • Put 3 tbsp oil into a roasting tin, sprinkle in half of the seasoning and then add the potatoes and toss well
  • Sprinkle the remaining seasoning on top
  • Add the fresh coriander – I love coriander so I put loads in but it’s your preference
  • Add the lime zest and juice and toss again
  • Roast for thirty minutes, longer if you like them very crispy

I served it with lime and coriander rice from this recipe. There you go.

Easy to make and yet sooooooo scrumptious.

Recipe: Leek and Mushroom Cream Pasta with Tarragon

Delicious
Delicious

Standby for a yummy pasta dish that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside! This is a quick and simple recipe that combines the meaty mushroom flavour with cashew cream, whilst the aniseed flavour of the tarragon works brilliantly and explodes in your mouth.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams pasta – I used penne but pick your favourite
  • 300 grams mushrooms, any variety you prefer
  • A leek
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 150 grams cashews, soaked in boiling water
  • 200 ml vegetable stock
  • Splash of soya milk
  • Handful of fresh tarragon, dried will do if that’s all you have
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Pre boil a pan of salted water
  • In a hot skillet add olive oil and fry the mushrooms. They will sizzle as their water content boils off
  • Whilst the mushrooms cook, quarter the leek down the length and the chop roughly. Add to the pan along with the garlic and then season to your taste, turn the heat down to simmer for five minutes
  • Add your pasta to the water and cook al dente – don’t do the British thing where the pasta is distended and floppy! Drain and let stand dry, DON’T let it stand in the water
  • Drain your cashews, add a good glug of soya milk and blend to a cream
  • Add the cream to the skillet and mix through thoroughly, cook gently for two minutes
  • Gradually add your stock, mixing as you go
  • Once the sauce is mixed completely, add the pasta and make sure it is evenly mixed and coated.

The sauce when fully mixed:

The sauce when fully mixed

The tarragon ready to mix

Yummy anise flavour

The finished article:

Recipe: Tropical Crunch Smoothie

I love a yummy smoothie every now and then. It’s great fun to aexperiment with flavours to see what I can come up with. This recipe is a simple, two minute affair.

Delicious Tropical Crunch Smoothie
Delicious Tropical Crunch Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 papayas, peeled and chopped
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds
  • Optional depending on taste, either maple syrup for sweetness or lime juice for a bit of twang

Put everything in a blender and pulverise it all in the mixture for thirty seconds. This will leave the pomegranate and papaya seeds slightly intact, hence the crunch. Sweeten or sour it as you prefer, or not if you just like the fruity tastes. Delicious.

Delicious Tropical Crunch Smoothie
Delicious Tropical Crunch Smoothie