Monday, 9 March 2015

Post workout recovery meals for when you're feeling a bit lazy or just pure knackered!

Forget the protein shakes, countless supplements and powders, and just remember the four R's for recovering post workout:

REST - Get a good night's sleep, this is when most muscle repair and growth will occur

REHYDRATE - Be sure to hydrate prior to, during and after your workout. Add a little fruit juice and a pinch of salt to make a cheap sports drink to optimise hydration and replace valuable salts lost during exercise!

REPAIR - eat meals rich in protein from animal and non animal sources to aid muscle growth and repair

REFUEL - carbohydrates are incredibly important post workout to replace lost energy stores. The first source of energy your body uses is carbohydrates stored as glycogen, so it is important to replace these stores.

Here are a few of my favourite post workout meals. Favourite because not only are they high in protein, low in fat, and rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, but they are just so simple you can't go wrong!

Baked potatoes and chicken - serves one

- large baked potato
- chicken breast, cooked
- two ripe tomatoes
- dried oregano, basil or rosemary
- 50g greek yoghurt
- spring onion finely chopped
- red pesto (optional)

1. Scrub the potatoes, then dry and prick each one several times with a sharp knife.
2. Microwave Method: Cook one potato (225g/8oz) for 6 minutes on full power (800W), turn half way through cooking. Allow to stand for 1 – 2 minutes before serving. If cooking more than one potato at a time you need to increase the cooking time accordingly.
Oven Method: Rub a few drops of olive oil into the potato skin, place the potatoes in a pre-heated oven at 200°C/400°F on a baking tray with salt sprinkled around the potato. Bake for 1¼ hours or until soft.
3. When the potatoes are almost ready, cut chicken breast into bitesize chunks, heat a non-stick frying pan and pan fry until lightly browned on both sides and cooked through about 6-8 mins. Add a pinch of dried oregano, rosemary or basil per person.
4. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes into chunks, discarding the seeds. When the chicken is cooked, stir together the chicken, tomato. spring onions and the pot of yogurt.

Ginger and Soy Glazed Salmon - serves four

- thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 6 tbsp light soy sauce
- 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 4 salmon fillets, about 140g/5oz each
- 200g soba noodles
- 350g frozen soya beans, defrosted
- 2 x 175g packs baby corn and mange tout mix, chopped

1. In a small bowl, mix the ginger, garlic, soy and vinegar. Add the salmon and leave to marinate for 10 mins. Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Lift the fish from the marinade with a slotted spoon and fry for 2-3 mins on each side, then tip in the marinade and a splash of water, and bubble for 1 min.
2. Cook the noodles following pack instructions. Tip in the soya beans 3 mins before the end, then add the veg mix for the final min. Drain everything really well. Serve the noodles and veg with the salmon and sauce spooned over.

Chicken and soy bean salad - serves one

- handful frozen soya beans
- 1 skinless cooked chicken breast, shredded
- ¼ cucumber, peeled, deseeded and chopped
- ½ avocado, flesh scooped out
- few drops Tabasco sauce
- juice ½ lemon, plus a lemon wedge
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 5-6 Little Gem lettuce leaves
- 1 tsp mixed seed

1. Blanch the soya beans for 3 mins. Rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly. Put the chicken, beans and cucumber in a bowl.
2. Blitz the avocado, Tabasco, lemon juice and oil in a food processor or with a hand blender. Season, pour into the bowl and mix well to coat.
3. Spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves (or serve it alongside them) and sprinkle with the seeds. Chill until lunch, then serve with a lemon wedge.

Pomegranate chicken with Almond couscous - serves 4

- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 200g couscous
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 600g chicken mini fillets
- 4 tbsp tagine spice paste (available from Tesco or Marks & Spencer), or 2 tbsp harissa
- 190ml bottle pomegranate juice (not sweetened; we used Pom Wonderful)
- 100g pack pomegranate seeds
- 100g pack toasted flaked almonds
- small pack mint, chopped

1. Boil the kettle and heat the oil in a large frying pan. Put the couscous in a bowl with some seasoning and crumble in half the stock cube. Add the onion to the pan and fry for a few mins to soften. Pour boiling water over the couscous to just cover, then cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside.
2. Push the onion to one side of the pan, add the chicken fillets and brown on all sides. Stir in the tagine paste or harissa and the pomegranate juice, then crumble in the rest of the stock cube and season well. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the pomegranate seeds, saving a few to scatter over before serving.
3. After 5 mins, fluff up the couscous with a fork and stir through the almonds and mint. Serve the chicken on the couscous with the sauce spooned over.

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