Roast Tomato & Aubergine Salad

A friend of mine grows all kind of fruit and veg and always surprises us with his amazing produce. This time we got a variety of tomatoes and aubergine, I wish flavour-gram was invented already because the flavour of the tomatoes was so luscious. Seriously they tasted like sweets and I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes usually but I nearly ate them all straight off the chopping board.

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I decided I would make a roast salad to bring out the flavour and after two weddings this week I was craving a simple healthy salad for dinner!

This week I also received a delivery from the lovely lads at Newgrange Gold who sent me a bottle of their new Camelina “Wild Flax” Oil to try and if there was ever a perfect recipe to try it, it was definitely this one.

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What is Camelina?

Camelina contains high levels of Omega 3 oils in comparison to other vegetable oils. It also contains antioxidants (Vitamin E) which helps the oil to remain stable, and avoid oxidation, and rancidity. In comparison to flax oil, which contains up to 60% Omega 3; Camelina contains over 30% Omega 3 oils. Although the Omega 3 content is less in Camelina, it is suitable for cooking with (flax oil is not), which makes it easier to include in your daily diet. You can add it to salads and smoothies also!

There’s not a lot of ingredients to this so like the many of my recipes can be made in less than 30 mins for a speedy dinner.

Ingredients:

  • A variety of in season tomatoes cut in quarters
  • 1 small aubergine cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic diced
  • A good splash of Camelina oil/olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 (16 ounce) package fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 70g packet of wild rocket leaves, rinsed and dried
  • Himalayan sea salt/fresh black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. In a roasting tray add the aubergine with a splash of oil and half of the garlic, roast for about 10/15 mins.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the tray with the rest of the garlic and a little more oil, roast for a further 15 mins until the tomatoes begin to caramelize and are wrinkled. Allow to cool slightly so the heat doesn’t wilt the leaves.
  4. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except the oil and balsamic, you can make a dressing with the two and pour over or serve on the side.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve with some homemade garlic bread.

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The Perfect Jeans For “Girls That Lift”

You know the deal, you’ve discovered weightlifting and the barbell is now your best friend. The PR’s are flying in and you’re loving life UNTIL you find yourself in Topshop of a Saturday and none of the jeans seem to go past your quads! We’ve all been there and the term “the struggle is real” never felt so apt as your twist and turn in the changing room, praying you don’t come crashing through the door!

To help all you lady beasts out there, I drafted some super strong women to find out what jeans they happily get over their quads and bootay! We all come in different shapes and sizes so it was interesting to see what brands they wear! Strong is sexy, so don’t forget that and don’t be stressed, there’s always jeggings!

Me! Lover of Barbell’s and Blogger

River Island- €50

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I’ve always struggled with jeans! I’m pretty short and mother nature granted me with Beyonce-esque thighs! Most jeans cut off the blood supply to my legs and if I jump up a size, let’s just say it’s more bob the builder than Beyonce!

You have to search until you find the perfect fit for you and while I love the Baxter/Jamie design from Topshop, I find they are always too long for my short legs! River Island is where it’s at for me. I discovered the black Amelie skinny jeans and now I can run in and grab my size without even trying them on! They are cut perfectly with subtle stretchy material and never lose the shape.

I particularly love River Island jeans because they cater for the short arses of Ireland like myself! I just hope they never change the design because I believe they’re the perfect jeans for the girls that lift!

 

Sarah Doyle, Founder of The Better Life Project and Powerlifter

Zara- €50 (€25 on sale)

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I got these jeans from Zara during the Christmas sales. They were reduced from about €50 to €25 so I was pretty happy. I actually laughed when Aimee asked me to take part in this feature, as I’ve always struggled with jeans! James says I have squatters genetics aka “a big arse” but I think it’s my legs that are the part I struggle with the most. If I can get a pair of jeans over my thighs I am winning.

But I never usually can and if I do they are hanging off my waist so when stretchy jeans were invented I was one happy girl. My fave jeans are probably River Island and Dr. Denim. This pair from Zara was a great deal. 

Claire McGrath, Miss Fitness Ireland and All Round Fitness Fanatic

Tommy- €120 (€80 on sale)

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I got these jeans in Tommy in Dundrum, they were €120 but got them on sale for €80. They are just the perfect fit, I love them because they are super stretchy, they fit me when I’m leaner for the on season and even for off-season gains lol!

Lisa Regan, PR Queen and All Round Fitness Fanatic

Topshop-€60

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My top pick for jeans is Topshop Jamie brand– soft and large pockets on the bum. This is key for your bum to look good- the bigger the pocket the nicer the bum! I have these 6 months and they wash and fit great. A little stretch in them and they sit well on the waist and move with your body as opposed to it.

Jeans are my staple but are so hard to come by! A good pair is worth it’s weight in gold! I love an ankle grazer as it elongates the leg giving the illusion of a slimmer leg and also the ankle is a nice area to have exposed as it helps to break up your look of you are doing just one colour. These jeans are perfect for work, day wear or night time.

Michelle Massey, Weightlifting/Crossfit athlete and Blogger at Kettlebelle

Pull and Bear- €29.99

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I get all my jeans from Pull and Bear! They have an amazing selection and they stock these ‘stretch fit’. Basically, that means I can still buy my standard size but they stretch to fit perfectly around my quads and ass which are slightly bigger than what would be classed as a “standard” size 8. I find buying jeans that sit on my hips rather than waist works well too!!!

Kelly Donegan, Author and Health & Fitness Influencer

H&M-€38

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I’ll be honest and say I hate jeans to death…I still haven’t found a brand, style or shape that fits my tree trunk quads. Lately I’m wearing these faux leather pants from H&M because they are super stretchy and comfy!

Jeans are a no go unless they are a huge size then I tend to need a belt because the waist is too big! First world problems I think..

Ursula Macken, PT, Weightlifting Athlete and Blogger

Bershka €29.99

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These are my favorite pair. They’re the first pair I’ve found that fit me perfectly. Tight in the right places but have enough stretch too, basically the next best thing to gym pants (LOL)!

I usually find with skinny trousers that either the ends are too baggy if they fit around the waist, or the legs will be perfect but the waist too high! It’s funny, I live in them but I’ve no decent pictures wearing them!


Freddy Jeans

I haven’t worn them myself but I’ve read multiple reviews from women who can’t wear any other brand! They have a very unique cut that really accentuate your “gains” but all the reviews say they are super comfy and I’m all about that! Do any of you guys have a pair and would you recommend them? If you recommend a brand that’s not mentioned, be are to comment below!

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-All views in this article are the individuals own, none are linked to brands mentioned.

Linseed And Chia Seed Porridge Bread

My dad told me about porridge bread ages ago and I forgot all about it until I found the recipe over the weekend. It should actually be called “Lazy Bread” as it’s so easy to make. As someone who rarely eats bread, this lovely bread has been disappearing very quickly in my presence. It reminds me of the soda bread my dad used to make when we were younger, you couldn’t wait for it to cool down and the butter would go all melty-HEAVEN!

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For this recipe I’ve used gluten free oats but you can use regular oats too and like I always say in my recipes, don’t feel tied to what I put in. You can add any nuts or seeds or even dried fruit!

Ingredients:

Make 2 small loaves or one large!

  • 2 yogurt tubs of porridge oats
  • 500 ml tub of greek yogurt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tbsp of bread soda
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole flaxseed
  • ½ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C  Grease a standard loaf tin
  2. In a large bowl; add the yogurt, milk and egg and give it a little mix.
  3. Using the same yogurt tub measure out 2 tubs of oats, add to the bowl along with the bread soda, salt and seeds.
  4. Stir thoroughly.
  5. Pour the mixture into your loaf tin.
  6. Cut a line down the centre, not too deep-just along the top.
  7. Sprinkle some oats (or seeds) on top.
  8. Bake for about 30 mins-35 mins.
  9. Leave to cool before removing from the tin, but you can transfer to a wire rack after 15 mins.

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Slow Cooked Turkey

Just incase you didn’t have enough turkey at Christmas, here I am with a super easy and incredibly delicious slow cooker recipe! I had this 1kg slab of turkey breast and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, I didn’t want it to go dry in the oven!

Eureka!! The slow cooker, the amazing kitchen tool that I always forget about! I’ve been using it a lot more this month, they are wonderful for low budget meals (perfect for January)!

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This particular recipe is really simple, but you can add extra veg in or mess around with the spice blend for different flavours! I have also added in a brunch/lunch type recipe using the  turkey.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg pure turkey breast
  • 1 bottle tomato passata
  • 1 pot Knorr chicken Stock Pot (28g Pot-no water)
  • 2 gloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder or chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt/pepper

Method:

  1. Place the turkey in the slow cooker.
  2. Pour the passata in and add add the spices and chicken stock (remember no water)
  3. Stir it all up or you can use your hands to mix in the spices.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on low.
  5. Cook for 8-10 hours. (I cooked mine from 9pm until 7am.)

Recipe

Slow cooked turkey, smashed avocado and vine tomato/coriander dressing with a super clean wrap!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp slow cooked turkey
  • half an avocado
  • 6 ripe vine tomatos chopped
  • bunch of coriander chopped
  • splash of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Wrap

  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1/2-1 tbsp almond flour
  • salt/pepper

Method

  1. Scoop the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork, squeeze in a bit of lemon or lime just and season, you can add chilli flakes for a little kick.
  2. Add the tomato and coriander to a bowl with the olive oil and season.
  3. To make the wrap, whisk the egg, flours and seasoning in a bowl.
  4. Melt oil or good quality butter (I used coconut oil) in a pan over a medium heat.
  5. Pour in the egg mix and cook on both sides.
  6. Transfer to a plate and top with the turkey, smashed avocado and dressing.

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

(Easy Peasy) Gluten Free Wraps

IMG_0395I don’t eat much bread at all these days but sometimes I do get cravings for a sandwich or wrap. When I get these cravings I usually make a healthier version and these wraps are made using only 2 main ingredients. The flour used is “Gram Flour” and this is milled from naturally gluten and wheat free gram or Chana Dahl. It’s a type of small chickpea and is used to make onion bhajias and other Middle Eastern or Indian dishes. It can be purchased in any health store or asian/middle eastern shop for about €2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of gram flour
  • 1/2-1 cup warm water
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Black pepper
  • Any extra seasoning of your choice

Method:

  1. Add the flour to a bowl and make a well, start pouring in the water slowly and mix with a fork. Add the seasoning and keep mixing until it’s smooth. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan (I used my crepe pan) over a medium heat and when it’s hot, pour the batter on and swirl to ensure you get nice round wraps. Cook on both sides until golden.
  3. Serve up with your favourite fillings.

Hope you enjoy!

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Flu Fighting Soup

IMG_9700With the freezing cold weather upon us it seems everyone has been hit with the dreaded flu! Soups and stews are the only remedy to being nursed back to health, and this recipe from the Medicinal Chef is one of the best out there! This one-pot wonder filled with immune-boosting ingredients is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to dealing with colds and flu. (My head is a lot clearer after just one bowl!)

(I adapted the Recipe slightly by adding chicken stock and turmeric)

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced, skins left on
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
  • thumb sized piece fresh ginger skinned and chopped
  • 1 punnet shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 handfuls goji berries
  • chicken stock, to cover-Use veg stock for vegan/veggie diets
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper

Method:

  1. Put the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger in a large pan with the olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion softens.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms to the pan along with the goji berries, Give it a good stir then add enough chicken stock to cover all the ingredients. Stir in the turmeric and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully add the soup to a blender in batches and blend into a smooth soup.

Hope you enjoy!

Check out The Medicinal Chef for some great recipes!

Sweet Potato and Turmeric Pancakes

IMG_9490I’m obsessed with turmeric at the moment. I’ve been adding it to as many recipes as possible and also making turmeric tea. This has comes after reading many articles about this super-spice and learning of the benefits. The list is endless really- turmeric is most commonly known to relieve many day to day aches and pain, but what else can it be used for?

Let’s look at 10 health benefits of turmeric.

  1. It’s a natural liver detoxifier.
  2. Can help reduce cholesterol.
  3. May help to treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
  4. Natural Anti-inflamatory
  5. It boosts your immune system.
  6. Helps to ease arthritis .
  7. Anti-aging properties.
  8. Has been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
  9. A natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, therefore can be used as an effective disinfectant.
  10. May speed up metabolism and aid weightloss

So there are some of the many reasons to include turmeric in your diet – pretty amazing right?

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Now onto my recipe, it’s super easy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large sweet potato grated
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt and pepper

Method:

1. In a glass jug/bowl add all of the ingredients except the sweet potato. Mix well so that you have an even paste, then mix in the sweet potato and leave aside for about 2 mins to let it soak.

2. Add some coconut oil to a pan over a high heat, and add a good tablespoon of the mixture to your heated pan. Press down with a spatula to flatten. Cook on both side until crisp and serve immediately (wth bacon, of course!)

Happy weekend xxx

Primal Pizza

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Recreating pizza is a fun task – there’s always the doubt that it won’t work out right and all your hard work and ingredients have to go in the bin. But nothing can wipe the smile off your face when it turns out pretty good! This recipe is fun – it looks like a pizza, feels like a pizza and tastes pretty close to your everyday pizza, except this recipe is grain and gluten free! You could say it’s suitable for a paleo diet but I’m pretty sure the cavemen didn’t eat pizza!

The main ingredient in the pizza base is “Tapioca” (I love that word!). This could be a new ingredient to your pantry, and can be used for lots of recipes. It’s pretty cheap and can be bought from most health shops.
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What exactly is Tapioca?

Tapioca is the starch extracted from the cassava root. The cassava plant is native to Brazil and its starch is referred to as “tapioca”. Cassava is naturally gluten free, making it a good substitute for flour as a thickener, as well as a base for a tasty, sweet pudding.

This recipe can be a little tricky, but just have patience with it and it will work out.

Pizza base recipe:

  • 1 cup organic tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium or 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt or garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

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Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C, and if you have a pizza stone place that in the oven too.

2. In a large bowl, mix the tapioca flour, about a 1/3 cup of the coconut flour and seasoning. Slowly add the oil in a little at a time,  stirring as you pour. Then add the water and give it a good mix. Next, pour in the egg and again mix well. 

3. To create the dough, add a couple of tablespoons of coconut flour until it reaches a dough-like consistency.

4. Spinkle your surface with some tapioca flour and turn out the dough, and knead it gently into a ball. If it is too sticky, sprinkle more of tapioca flour.

5. Roll out some parchment paper and sprinkle with tapioca flour. Transfer the dough to the paper, and using a rolling pin covered in the flour, roll the dough out to a thin base. Sprinkle a small with of flour on the base, and using your hand smooth it out.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and then remove from the heat. Add whatever toppings you choose, and pop back in the oven to bake for about 5 mins.

Hope you enjoy x
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Protein Hot Chocolate

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Sometimes in life it’s just too cold to drink a smoothie or a protein shake! Well, if you’re in Ireland anyway! The last few weeks have been insane and anyone that knows me, will know how much I dislike the freezing weather! I’m always joking with my mam, that I was definitely born in the wrong climate and I should be living somewhere hot!! But when these wishes can’t be granted the next best thing is a big mug of hot chocolate!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 2 tbs raw cacao
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 scoop vanilla/plain protein
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

1. In a pot over a medium heat add the coconut cream, almond milk, cacao, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Mix well to combine and when it starts to foam, remove from the heat.

2. Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a blender, add the scoop of protein and blend for 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

** Tips:

  • Add 1tsp maple syrup if you wish to sweeten.
  • Add 1-2 squares of dark chocolate to the pot for that extra YUM factor.

Guest Post: Paleo Scotch Eggs

Paula’s Scotch Eggs

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These handy little protein bombs are a great clean snack or good as a side for any meal. They’re really filling, cheap, and easy-peasy to make. I’ve included the herbs that I normally use, but add any fresh or dried herbs depending on your own taste. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 400g pork mince
  • 5 back rashers (unsmoked)
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Plenty of salt and black pepper

**The amount of herbs added is approximate here, I just throw it in!

 Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Hard boil your eggs. I usually add the eggs to a pan, pour boiling water over them, bring to the boil again and allow to simmer for a few minutes, allow to cool before peeling (cold water speeds up the process).
  3. Combine the mince and all the herbs – use a fork to mash the mince so it’s easier to handle.
  4. Take a ball of mince in the palm of your hand and flatten it out, add the egg and wrap the mince around, until the egg is completely covered.
  5. Wrap a piece of bacon around the egg and place on a baking dish.
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 mins or until the bacon looks crispy.
  7. Allow to cool, cut open and enjoy!

Tip: depending how much mince you use for each one, you could do this with more or less eggs.

Note from Primalpiggy: I have tasted these Gems and they’re so delicious, it’s a great recipe from Paula and you have to be quick when they’re brought to the gym as they last about 10 seconds 🙂

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