This post follows on from our last article about how important nutrition is in order to keep you in the best possible shape.
As most of you know by now we run three fitness retreats every year and our most recent one was held in Somerset last month, to help those that attended to get their new year off to a good start.
So, in this article we have highlighted five healthy recipes that we have used on past retreats which you can easily recreate at home.
The first four are from our client Felicity Cave who, using Rose Elliot’s ‘Fast, Fresh and Fabulous’ cook book, (http://www.roseelliot.com) made us incredibly delicious dips for all those carrots, celery and cucumbers! These dips served as great snacks to have inbetween sessions and proved to be incredibly popular, and they are all mostly, very healthy and good for you!
1. Lentil and Black Olive Pate
Whizz together the drained contents of a 425g can of green or Puy lentils, a small crushed garlic clove, 4 sun-dried tomatoes, 120-175g stoned black olives, and the the juice of half a lemon. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt, if necessary – very little is needed as the olives are already salty.
2. Light and Creamy Hummus
Drain a 425g can of chick peas, reserving the liquid. Whizz the chick peas in a food processor with 2 garlic cloves, the juice of a lemon and a little salt until the mixture is as smooth as possible, adding a bit of the reserved chick pea liquid if necessary. Add 4 tablespoons of tahini and whizz again until gloriously smooth and creamy, adding more of the liquid as you go – you probably won’t need it all. Serve in a bowl, or spread it out on a plate and sprinkle the top with some paprika. You could also drizzle some olive oil over the top and decorate with a few olives, depending on what you’re having with it.
NB I also add in ground cumin to taste at the second whizzing stage
3. Baba Ganooj
Prick 3 aubergines in several places, then put them ona shelf in a hot over (grid style rather than solid shelf), or arranged on the stop-top over gas burners (watch carefully if you choose this method) or under a very hot grill. For best results the skins of the aubergines need to be well charred. This takes 25-30 minutes and you’ll have to turn them frequently (with tongs). Cool the aubergines slightly, then peel off the charred skin – it will come off easily in long strips. Whizz the aubergine to a pale cream with 2 crushed garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons of tahini, 3 tablespoons of oliver oil and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add more more lemon juice, if necessary.
[All from Rose Elliot’s ‘Fast, Fresh and Fabulous’ cook book]
4. Tuna pate
Take one tin of tuna chunks in spring water and a packet (carton) of cream cheese (avoid the lite, as it doesn’t taste so good). Make sure to drain any excess liquid off, so the pate isn’t too runny. Chop up very small a shallot/small onion (or whizz in food processor) and some parsley. Put all together and put in fridge to get cold.
The final recipe is for the infamous retreat Sweet Potato Brownies!
In this post we have highlighted the recipe from “Deliciously Ella”
Makes 10 brownies
– 2 medium to large sweet potatoes (600g)
– 2/3 of a cup of ground almonds (80g)
– 1/2 a cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour (100g)
– 14 medjool dates
– 4 tablespoons of raw cacao
– 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
– a pinch of salt
Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C, then peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about twenty minutes, until they become really soft.
Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates – this will form one of the sweetest, creamiest, most delicious mixes ever!
Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.
Place into a lined baking dish and cook for about twenty minutes, until you can pierce the brownie cake with a fork bringing it out dry. Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about ten minutes – this is really important as it needs this time to stick together! Remove the brownies from the tray, leaving it another few minutes before cutting them into squares – then dig in and enjoy!
So, there you have 4 healthy dip options and a “chocolate brownie” option that you can eat guilt free!
If you have any healthy recipes along the same lines then please do let us know and they could be on the menu at our Spring Fitness Retreat in May at Norton Barn, Cotswolds!