Strength

Goat’s cheese and butternut squash salad

Butternut squash is a good source of carbohydrate needed after a workout or training session and a tasty alternative to rice, pasta or potatoes. Feta cheese is lower in fat than most other hard cheeses and provides plenty of protein, as well as zinc to help improve muscle strength.

Serves 2-3
Per portion: 276 kcal, 15g protein, 18g fat, 14g carbohydrate

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 a butternut squash
  2. Handful of fresh mint leaves
  3. Handful of fresh coriander leaves
  4. Half a cucumber, chopped into small chunks
  5. 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  6. 12 large green olives, halved
  7. 150g feta cheese, crumbled
  8. 2 gem lettuces, sliced
  9. Juice of half a lemon
  10. 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  11. Freshly ground black pepper

Method: 
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Remove the skin and seeds from the squash, cut the flesh into medium bite-sized pieces, and place on a non-stick baking tray, drizzled with a little olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until golden on the outside and soft in the middle. In the meantime, place the herbs, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, crumbled feta and salad leaves into a large bowl. Once the butternut squash has cooled slightly, add it to the bowl. Finally, mix the lemon juice, oil and pepper together and drizzle over the salad.

Singapore Noodles

Serves 4 
Per portion: 340 kcal, 21g protein, 4g fat, 50g carbohydrate

Ingredients:

  1. 250 g Chinese egg thread noodles
  2. 1 spray of oil
  3. 1 bunch of spring onions – diagonally sliced
  4. 5 cm piece of root ginger – grated
  5. 1 tbsp medium curry paste
  6. 125 g frozen peas
  7. 250 g cooked peeled prawns
  8. soy sauce to serve

Method: 
Break the noodles into a large bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to cover. Stir and toss the noodles in the water and then leave on one side for 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a wok and spray with oil. Stir-fry the onions and ginger until softened. Stir in the curry paste and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the peas and prawns. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 3 minutes.

Penne with goat’s cheese and pine nuts

It is important to eat within an hour or so of finishing your workout. This is the peak time for the body to metabolise and store nutrients, which will replenish energy stores and help the muscles repair and become stronger. This means you need a dish that is simple to make and will be ready in minutes when you get home. This pasta dish fits the bill perfectly. The pasta provides carbohydrate to top up muscle energy stores and the goat’s cheese provides easy-to-digest protein that will help muscles develop. The pine nuts are a rich source of zinc, also needed for muscle growth.

Serves 4
Per portion: 485 kcal, 20g protein, 16g fat, 70g carbohydrate

Ingredients:

  1. 500g cherry tomatoes
  2. Spray of olive oil
  3. 25g pine nuts
  4. 1 jar of artichoke hearts, drained
  5. 1 large jar of tomato and chilli sauce
  6. 300g penne pasta
  7. 100g goat’s cheese, diced
  8. Fresh basil leaves

Method: 
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and gently move around the pan for 3-4 minutes so they start to collapse. Add the pine nuts and cook for another 3 minutes, keep everything moving to avoid burning. Meanwhile boil the penne, according to the packet instructions. Add the artichoke hearts and sauce to the tomatoes, heat through and allow to simmer for 2 minutes and then stir in the goat’s cheese and basil leaves and heat for a further minute. Serve with the pasta.

Mediterranean couscous with feta

If you are really serious about your training, you need a post workout snack that you can eat as soon as you’re finished (before you even hit the showers!). Try this simple dish that you can take with you in your kit bag. The couscous and raisins have high GIs, so they will replace lost energy straight away to aid recovery and the feta cheese provides protein to help heal damaged muscles as well as salt to replace body sodium lost through sweating. Couscous is light and easy to digest so suits people who lose their appetite after a workout and find it hard to eat straight away.

Serves 1 
Per portion: 497 kcal, 35g protein, 14g fat, 81g carbohydrate

Ingredients:

  1. 1x 100g sachet of flavoured couscous
  2. Half a red pepper, sliced into strips
  3. 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  4. 6 black olives, halved
  5. 60g feta cheese, diced
  6. 1tbsp. raisins
  7. Half a tbsp. pine nuts
  8. Handful of parsley


Method:

Make up the couscous according to the packet instructions, place in a portable tub, fluff with a fork and allow to cool. Gently mix in all the ingredients and sprinkle with some chopped parsley. Keep in the fridge until ready to take with you.

Quick chicken noodles

Serves 2 
Per portion: 350 kcal, 19g protein, 14g fat, 39g carbohydrate

Ingredients:

  1. 100g glass noodles
  2. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1 tsp. five-spice
  4. 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  5. 1 heaped tsp. grated fresh ginger
  6. 250g chicken breast, diced
  7. 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  8. 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  9. 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce
  10. 1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  11. A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  12. 10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  13. 25g roasted peanuts
  14. Freshly ground black pepper

Method: 
Soak the noodles in a bowl of warm water until soft, then drain and put back into the bowl. Heat the oil in a wok, add the five-spice, and fry for 1 minute. Add the garlic, ginger and chicken and stir-fry for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir the contents of the wok into the noodles. Add the spring onions, lime juice, fish sauce, chilli, coriander, mint and peanuts. Toss well and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Snacks to go

Nut Crunchies

The cereals in these crunchies are a combination of slow-acting carbohydrate and fast acting carbohydrate. The condensed milk provides whey protein, which can help muscles repair and grow after exercise, the prunes are an excellent source of potassium, needed to replace and rebalance electrolyte levels lost through sweating.

Makes 12 
Per crunchie: 184 kcal, 10g protein, 30g carbohydrate, 7g fat

Ingredients:

  1. 100g walnut nuts pieces
  2. 100g chopped prunes
  3. 150g rolled oats
  4. 25g Bran Flakes
  5. 25g Rice Krispies
  6. 75g raisins
  7. 150ml condensed skimmed milk

Method: 
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Gently heat the condensed milk in a saucepan until it is warmed through. Add the cereals, prunes, nuts and raisins and mix well. Transfer into a non-stick 18 cm shallow square tin and press down. Bake for 25 minutes and when cool cut into 12 bars.

Apple and pecan squares

These squares are a great carb snack for your kit bag. The pecan nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, which can help protect cells against damage caused by exercise-induced free radicals.

Makes 12
Per portion: 318 kcal, 9g fat, 5g protein, 22g carbohydrate

Ingredients

  1. 100g olive oil spread
  2. 100g brown sugar
  3. 100ml apple juice
  4. 150g self raising flour
  5. 1 tsp. mixed spice or cinnamon
  6. 3 eggs, beaten
  7. 2 Cox’s apples, peeled and diced
  8. 100g pecan nut pieces
  9. 100g sultanas

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease a 7 inch square baking tin. Place the spread and sugar in a bowl and beat together with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Sieve the flour and spice into the mixture, add the eggs and beat together and then stir in the apple juice. Stir in the apple pieces, pecan nuts and sultanas and pour the mixture into the baking tin, smooth the surface with the back of a spoon to make level and even. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, transfer onto a cooling rack and cut into squares when cool.

Peach and blueberry crumble

Try this low fat, high carb healthy crumble. The blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants needed to keep the immune system strong.

Serves 4
Per portion: 294 kcal, 7g protein, 8g fat, 60g carbohydrate

Ingredients:

  1. 4 peaches, finely sliced
  2. 150g blueberries
  3. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp. ground ginger
  5. 50g olive oil spread
  6. 200g muesli
  7. 1 tbsp. sugar
  8. 50g ground almonds

Method: 
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Place the peach slices into a lightly greased ovenproof dish, mix in the blueberries and sprinkle over the spices. Gently melt the olive oil spread in a saucepan and mix in the muesli, sugar and ground almonds. Mix well until all the ingredients are coated with the spread. Spoon evenly over the fruit and bake for 25 minutes.