Ultimate Unfried Chicken

The clean meal that feels like a treat meal, yes you found it! You’ll notice I never use the words “Cheat Meal” anymore. I’m not on a diet and even if I was, I shouldn’t feel guilty for “cheating” on said diet. Growing up the word “cheat” always meant bad, so why bring negatives emotions to food choices (there’s already enough stigma out there)just enjoy your food for gods sake! I now say “Treat Meals”, when you work hard you deserve to be treated! Be mindful about your choices but enjoy your life without guilty feelings!

There’s nothing fancy or expensive about this recipe and the macros are great too. Whip them up for lunch or dinner anytime you crave fast food! It’s also a great recipe if you’re bored of eating plain chicken fillets.

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If you have time to spare you can soak the fillets in milk (and seasoning) as it softens the meat making it more juicy and tender. I didn’t this time as I was starving (story of my life lol) but it was still absolutely delicious!

You could really go fancy by filling the chicken fillet with garlic butter before coating for a healthy chicken kiev.

Ingredients

  • 2- 4 chicken fillets
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 1 cup of gluten-free oats
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • 2 cups of milk (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano
  • A mix of any herbs/spices (I used paprika, some chilli flakes, and dried basil)

Method

  1. Set the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Prepare all your coating so add the eggs to a bowl, the arrowroot to another and keep another for the oat coating. Now you have a chicken breading station all set up.
  3. In a nutribullet/blender combine the oats,cheese and herbs/spices and pour into a bowl.
  4. Take the chicken fillets one by one and coat in the arrowroot, then eggs and finally the oat mix ensuring it’s evenly coated.
  5. Bake for 15/20 mins until golden and crispy.
  6. To make pesto dressing; in a jar combine 1-2 tbsp pesto with a dash of extra virgin olive oil, shake and pour.

Hope you enjoy, what’s your favourite “treat meal” let me know in the comments and I’ll try to make a healthier version of it!

Namaste ❤

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Brownie Cake With Quest Bar Chunks

This was a fun recipe to make, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out but it was bloody gorgeous!! I kept the brownie texture nice and gooey on the inside just to make this a really indulgent treat and the quest bar pieces actually turned out like biscuit pieces which was even nicer than I imagined! I used the oreo quest bars but you could use any one you like, the cookie dough or smores would work quite well too I’d imagine!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond/coconut flour
  • 3 tbs plain gluten free flour (or any GF flour)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Quest Bars chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup melted butter/coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Line a round baking tin with greaseproof paper and put aside.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl (except quest bars) and in a second smaller bowl mix the wet ingredients until combined.
  4. Mix the wet into the dry, this can be done in a food processor or by hand. When you get an even consistency, mix in the quest bar pieces.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they’re just barely beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Don’t overcook them, unlike cakes, you don’t want a skewer to come out clean. Brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle.
  7. Leave aside to cool before removing from the tin.
  8. Serve up with some greek yogurt mixed with the protein of your choice!

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The perfect cake for any beefcakes in your life, maybe they have a birthday coming up? You could always swap out some of the flour for extra protein too, to ensure the extra gains are there!

Macros:

Calories: 340 per slice
Carbs: 26g
Fat: 23g
Protein: 13g

High Energy Bars

This is a super easy bar that is packed with protein, good carbs and no refined sugar! Prep a batch on a Sunday and you’ll have the perfect pre/post workout snack with you at all times! Say goodbye to “hanger” moments forever….

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1-2 scoops of protein
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. In a food processor add in all of the wet ingredients, and mix until you get an even consistency.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients except the seeds and chocolate chips, and add into the wet mixture. Process again until it’s all mixed well but still with lots of texture
  4. Stir in the seeds and chocolate chips in by hand.
  5. Turn out onto a parchment lined baking dish. Press and flatten with a spatula until even.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
  7. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
  8. Store in an airtight container -these bars can also be frozen (but they won’t last that long!)

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Review: Mash Direct Foods

Some days there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day! Working, training, cooking, cleaning and some of you have kids to add to the mix aswell! If we cut corners every so often, it can give us some time to relax and thanks to brands like Mash Direct, lunch and dinner time can be prepped super quick, with minimal cleaning too!

I was delighted to receive a package of their veggie delights to review in January. It was perfect timing after the madness of Christmas and definitely helped kickstart my healthy habits again!

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What I tested:  Carrot and parsnip, carrot, parsnip and turnip, red cabbage and beetroot, and the new gluten free veggie burgers.

I absolutely loved the carrot and parsnip option, made with only butter and seasoning, there’s no hidden nasties. It’s so creamy and delicious, I served it with slow cooked brisket and it was a perfect match. But there’s nothing it won’t go with; chicken, steak etc you can’t go wrong with it!

The carrot, parsnip and turnip has more of an earthy flavour. I’m not a huge fan of turnip usually but it was more palatable mixed with the carrot and parsnip. It’s a great way to get more veggies in and just like the other option it’s only blended with butter and seasoning, making is super clean and tasty!

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It was great to try something different like the beetroot and red cabbage, a side dish packed full of antioxidants! It made a yummy addition to the Sunday dinner and if I’m honest I wasn’t sure at first but then I couldn’t stop eating it, it definitely doesn’t lack flavour! I will definitely pick this up again!

As most of you know I was a veggie for 10 years so I’ve eaten my fair share of veggie burgers! The mash direct version are made with freshly steam cooked potato, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, spring cabbage & parsnip coated in a golden gluten free coating. They were absolutely delicious, so full of natural flavours and one burger was really filling. I cooked them for lunch and it made a nice change to what I usually have!

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When I used to eat a paleo diet, I would always try to only make EVERYTHING myself! This would lead to stressful moments of staying up late just to make food for the following day, or finding myself stuck in situations where I need to fuel up before I head to training! Most of the time I over consumed food like nuts or nut butters as that was all I had available!

I don’t eat a paleo diet anymore but thanks to companies like Mash Direct who make clean food with no crap added. It’s a convenient food that you can grab on the way home from the gym/work etc and be comfortable knowing you are getting clean whole foods into the diet!

All the products are available in most supermarkets, so pick some up on your next shopping trip and save yourself time in the kitchen!

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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Lemon and Honey Polenta Cake

11221577_930038320400085_588745345756165927_nI received a lovely gift of a Gluten Free cooking workshop at Cooks Academy last year. It was very hands on and we made everything from soda bread to delicious pizza. One of the highlights for me was a very moreish lemon polenta cake. I am a sucker for zingy citrus flavours and the polenta cake was exactly that! Sadly it’s taken me this long to actually make it again!

You’ve probably heard of Polenta but do you know what it is? Polenta hails from Italy! It’s a corn variety and is generally cheap to source. I love the grittiness it gives this cake recipe, a unique texture!

In this recipe I’ve used coconut sugar which can be sourced from most supermarkets now (Woo-hoo breakthrough!). Don’t be alarmed that it gives the cake a darker appearance than normal!

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Ingredients: 

Cake

  • 1 cups (200 grams) soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
  • 1 cup ( 200 grams) caster sugar 
  • 1 cup (200 grams) ground almonds 
  • 100 grams fine polenta (or cornmeal)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (see note below)
  • large eggs 
  • zest of  lemons (save juice for syrup)

Honey Syrup

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. Grease a 9 inch springform cake tin lightly with butter or line with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until it’s pale and consistency is smooth. You can do this either by hand or using a mixer.
  4. Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter/sugar mixture, mix in 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and egg mix. Ensure you are constantly beating.
  5. Finally, mix in the lemon zest and transfer the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes.
  6. Important note: It may seem wobbly but, if the cake is cooked, a toothpick should come out clean and the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
  7. Remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack.

To make syrup

  1. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and honey in a small saucepan.
  2. Prick the top of the cake with a toothpick and pour this syrup slowly and evenly over the top of the cake. (keep in the pan)
  3. Allow the cake to soak up the syrup (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from the pan and serve.

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Some Fun Healthy (ish) Places to eat

First on the list My little Zen place, where I go when I need a time out, myself & christys happy place before a movie, I love this little Jem!!

THE BLACK SHEEP- OK your probably thinking how can a place full of beer be healthy, well that’s where the “ish” comes in lol!!

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I ate there before a movie last week and tried their new salad- Goats Cheese, roasted beetroot, sweet potato and baby leaves It was delicious, I didn’t even leave a grain of pepper, I ate every last piece. Beetroot is a newbie on my list, thanks to a good friend of mine (Thanks Niamh!!) and now I cant get enough of it!! Salad is €10.50

To accompany my salad I had a Gluten Free beer- DAAS Ambre- This is an organic, gluten free Beer from Belgium and tastes really pure with a hint of spice. Its €6.50 per bottle & totally worth it!!

Second on the list is:

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KC Peaches-

They opened a new Cafe on Dame St & we met a friend for lunch, It seemed like they may have only opened that day cause there was a few headless chickens running around ha ha, However the food was yummy- nice self-service salad & hot food bar with lots of options, they also do sandwiches, breakfast and much more but I went straight for the salad bar, I got some Asian style Chicken & Tabbouleh– It was nice and fresh and just what I needed!

The cake selection may have you drown in your own saliva, there is so much choice and it all looks too perfect to eat, (well not that perfect lol) I had to try something, it took me about 10 mins to finally choose & I got a Raspberry and Pistachio tart, it was chewy and sweet with a biscuit type base, fresh raspberries and crumbled pistachio decorated the top. It kind of reminded me of Baklava!

I had an Americano with my dessert and it was a great coffee so top marks there!!