10 Ingredients You Should Always Have In Your Kitchen

Eating healthy shouldn’t be a chore and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. I believe it only get’s expensive when you start buying all the Gucci stuff. I remember buying all the ingredients in the world just to make some paleo treats but it’s not necessary. We don’t have to over-complicate recipes, less is more sometimes! It’s taken me quite a while to register that and to be honest I follow a simpler way of eating now. There’s no secret we know what’s good for us and what’s not, if you’re hungry, eat and if you’re not, Don’t!

With some basic ingredients, you will always have the framework for healthy meals or snacks reducing the cravings for any junk food. It’s not a definitive list but I always keep these 10 ingredients fully stocked, everything else can chop and change but these are staple foods.

me

#1 Avocado

Because it literally goes with EVERYTHING! Mashed on toast, soulmate of eggs, smashed with squeezed lime, salt, pepper and chili flakes for a super speedy guac and did I say everything?

#2 Eggs

NEVER allow yourself to run out of eggs they’re a life saver for all meals and are a great natural source of protein (and they wonderful of course). Without eggs there would be no pancakes, breakfast would be unsatisfying and avocado toast would be very sad.

#3 Sweet potato

Mashed, grated, baked, fried so many great ways to add to any meal for a healthy source of carbs. The great thing is they cook pretty quick so perfect for post training fuel. If you fancy something sweet you can even try sweet potato brownies!

img_9490

#4 Spinach 

If it’s good enough for Popeye? Adding something green to every meal ensures you get all the great nutrients that come with it! The base for your salad, work well with eggs and add to smoothies for those extra gains!

#5 Oats

Fuelling beefcakes since the 1900’s! The ultimate pre/post training food, you only have to scroll through your Instagram feed and you’ll see a zillion bowls of the stuff. An essential ingredient for energy balls, protein pancakes, healthy bread and makes a great coating for breaded fish/chicken.

#6 Almond milk

Even though I do take dairy milk occasionally, I always buy almond milk. I prefer it in my porridge or in my smoothies.There’s no saturated fat in almond milk, It’s low in sodium and high in healthy fats. Get all the great benefits by making your own, as some shop bought versions only have about 7% almonds in it!

unnamed-7

#7 Greek yogurt

I actually don’t think I could function without my daily injection of Greek yogurt. It’s the perfect food and works in sweet and savory meals. My go to snack is yogurt mixed with protein, usually before bed. I always add it to my smoothies, overnight oats, a replacement for cream and even in hot curries! My favourite brands include Fage, Glenisk and SKYR. (not an #ad)

#8 Bananas

It’s very rare that I ever run out of bananas, they are a life saver when you need something sweet or as a handy snack. Bananas are made to be eaten with peanut butter, my go-to snack is simply bananas cut into coins and spread with peanut butter. Freeze them, and you have ice cream, I mean anything that you can turn into ice cream is good with me!

#9 Peanut/Almond butter

Do I really need to explain this? Nut butter is food from the gods. I actually had to wean myself off eating tubs of the stuff! I add nut butter to all my energy balls, gorge with greek yogurt, on toast with banana or as we know straight from the jar.

img_7222

#10 Raspberries/Blueberries

Not just because they’re full of antioxidants but they are so bloody tasty. As you can see with this list of ingredients most work great together. Oats are no longer boring when topped with fresh berries, greek yogurt turns into a dashing dessert with berries and what are pancakes without berries?

Some miscellaneous items I always have too: Protein, coconut oil, maple syrup, Kerrygold butter, pink Himalayan salt.

Let me know what ingredients you can’t live without in the comments below!

Roasted Beetroot & Feta Salad

IMG_6612Fresh roasted beetroot is so different from the vacuum packed or jarred kind that you get in the Supermarket. So many people “think” they don’t like this delicious superfood because of experiences with the processed kind. If this is you, then you need this recipe in your life because it’s a game changer!! I know this because I was a beetroot hater until I tried some gorgeous roasted beetroot at a bbq and a love affair started that very same day!

I picked out a selection of beetroot in Fallon & Byrne in Dublin to create a pretty platter for my salad. This dish would make a great addition to any BBQ or dinner party, the colours are so striking that your guests will be fighting over it!

Ingredients:

  • 5 raw beetroots (choose a selection)
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • bunch fresh mint (finely chopped)
  • bunch fresh flat leafed parsley (finely chopped)
  • olive oil (for roasting)
  •  2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt/pepper

beetroots_3212706b

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Wash beetroot. Pat dry. Wrap in foil with a dash of olive oil and salt/pepper. Place on a baking tray. Roast for 1 hour or until tender.
  3. Cool for 15 minutes. wearing gloves, peel and discard skin from beetroot and cut into even slices.
  4. Spread the beetroot out anyway you like on a tray, in a bowl, on a plate etc and crumble the feta over.
  5. To make the dressing pour the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic into a jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, Put the lid on the jar and shake well- pour over the beetroot, finish off by sprinkling the fresh herbs over and serve.

Foodie Fun in Vegas

Sorry I went a little AWOL there for a few weeks! I was on holiday for 10 days in the US of A and could only find time to keep my social media covered, it was all go between Vegas and then seeing my sister in San Francisco! I flew solo to Vegas as Mr. PP was on business there, but we also got tickets to the UFC 189 card. The whole experience was insane and one I’ll never forget. I’ve shared all these experiences over on my Facebook/Instagram pages but I wanted to share some of the great food experiences I had in Vegas. It got so hot at times I lost my appetite but I certainly made up for it in San Francisco, I will do a post on that also!

Cold Brew Coffee:

With the temperature well over 40 degrees most days, the last thing on your mind is a hot coffee! But, you still need a caffeine fix, so the best option is a cold brew coffee, poured over ice with some organic milk. We picked up a couple of different brands but Stumptown was by far my favourite. Blended with only 2 ingredients; coffee & water; it kept all of it’s natural flavours and was so refreshing with breakfast. (We were staying in a hotel with self-service features, so could make our own breakfast each morning!)

IMG_4878

Epic Bites:

I love the Epic bars which can be found in Bodyfirst here. They’re pretty pricey but I always pick up a couple when I’m there. Mr. PP had picked up a selection of the Epic Bites packs in Wholefoods the day before I arrived. OMG, they were so good, serious flavour bombs! My favourite was the beef steak, it was nice and spicy without blowing your head off and the cranberries gave it a subtle sweetness. I found the bacon option a little too salty; bacon is already a salty meat so I feel they should have used something else beside sea salt as an additional flavour. The best thing about this snack was the fact that it could withstand the heat, meaning you could carry them anywhere for emergencies (we even brought some to the UFC fight for when we got hungry.)

IMG_5467

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice-Lolly:

I love trying new and unique foods when I’m away and SASA SWEETS CHILLSPOT in downtown vegas was a super find! Tucked away in the very cool Downtown Container Park– An Offbeat shopping center built from shipping containers! SasaSweets are the creators of award winning SasaPops brand artisan frozen pops, which come in an array of quirky flavours. It was so hard to choose amongst all the options (they even do Liquid nitrogen ice creams and sorbets made fresh while you wait) but in the end I went for the cheesecake option. It was so good & tasted exactly like a creamy cheesecake, it even had the biscuit base hidden inside!

IMG_5468

Big Erns BBQ:

Award winning “Big Erns bbq” is also located in the Downtown Container Park as above and is a must for all the bbq fans out there! While I admit the staff weren’t the friendliest, the food certainly diminished any hard feelings-This was probably the best slow cooked meat I’ve ever eaten! Super tender, fall off the bone meat, they slow smoke the meat over hickory and oak wood giving it a very unique flavour and all sides are made from scratch. Mr PP went a bit crazy on the order, but we got to try lots of options and take away what we couldn’t finish. I’m still dreaming about this place!

IMG_5088

Easy Holiday Breakfast:

No it’s not fully clean but I am custom to a delicious croissant when I’m away! We purchased a box of them from Whole Foods and filled with some parma ham and organic cheese for a quick breakfast. The fruit came prepared in a huge pack for about $17 but there was 20% off that and it lasted the full 5 days I was there and more. This was another cold-brew I tried and it was good, a darker roast but slightly chalky in taste. Water is essential in vegas as the heat is insane, I drank at least 4 of these litre bottles everyday.

IMG_5096

Kombucha: 

With long distance travelling it’s important to keep your immune system and gut in good order to avoid any colds or illnesses. Packed full of proprietary probiotics and powerful antioxidants, drinking kombucha is a great way to boost the immune system naturally! I tried the Synergy brand and drank it over a couple of days, the bottles are pretty big so will last. Packed with antioxidants because of the Blueberry and ginger juice flavour combo, it was a great choice to go for after landing!

IMG_5479

Whole Foods:

I had to save the best for last!! This magical shop is like Narnia for all the health and fitness enthusiasts out there! Most people go to vegas to party or gamble but I was so thrilled to be running around Whole Foods looking at the amazing selection of food on offer. With all the beautiful fresh fruit and veg, nut butter dispensers, paleo fast food, the cold brew, kombucha & jerky listed about- (the list is never ending really) I was in health foodie heaven! If you are staying in a hotel in with self-service options then hit the nearest whole-foods and kit out your fridge!! It’s gonna cost a lot but everyone should experience it.. (even just once!!)

IMG_5482

Crazed Health Foodie in Whole Foods.

IMG_5480 IMG_5481

Competition Time with Stript Snacks!

Hey guys,

As a mahoooosive Thank you to you all for supporting and all my new followers! I’m delighted to have teamed up with Stript Snacks for this giveaway. They are one of my favourite Irish brands and provide delicious Jerky; perfect for that high protein hit on the move! This is a great opportunity if you haven’t tried it already and I’m giving away 2 weeks worth as well as a Primal Piggy t-shirt!

IMG_2117

ENTER COMPETITION HERE:

Stript Snacks & PrimalPiggy

Kale, Pancetta and Vine Tomato Hash

IMG_1225You wake up on a Sunday morning and you want to eat something delicious but you also want your coffee ASAP. (Prime example of #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEMS!!!!) But I am here to save you, this easy-peasy brunch dish can be whipped up in less than 20 minutes.

The great thing about a “hash” is you can change it up anyway you want, add some baby potatoes, grated sweet potato, spinach or replace the pancetta with bacon or chorizo to name a few.

I’ve made this dish many times with sweet potato and chorizo and it’s ridiculous yummy. I posted that recipe on Boxrox, you can find the recipe right here. That recipe is a little bit time consuming so I figured I’d try a quicker version using kale and it worked out perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • Roughly 100g (2 good handfuls) kale washed and chopped
  • 65g pancetta cubes
  • 10 Piccolo Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 2 medium organic eggs
  • small bunch fresh coriander chopped
  • salt and black pepper

Method

  1. In a non-stick pan over a medium heat cook the pancetta, this is quite a fatty meat so no oil is required. When it nice and crispy, transfer to a small bowl.
  2. In the same pan add the kale, you can include a small bit of coconut oil here if needed (no more than a tsp) and fry for a couple of minutes, now add the tomatoes, pancetta, half of the coriander and some seasoning- cook for a about 2 minutes.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and break in two eggs and place under the grill until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
  4. Sprinkle on the rest of the coriander and some black pepper and serve immediately.

Hope you enjoy xx

IMG_1102

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?

IMG_9491

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