I love seeing what other people like to eat and tend to take a lot of inspiration from seeing posts similar to this or photos on Instagram! Therefore I thought this post might be useful to some people who are maybe struggling for ideas of what to cook….
I tend to eat the same thing every day for both breakfast and lunch during the week; simply because I really enjoy them and they’re easy to prepare! I also stick to mostly protein, fats and veggies during these meals as personally I prefer to have my carbs on an evening. I find that this not only helps with cravings but I also enjoy having a bigger meal after the gym and before bed as I feel more satisfied. Of course this varies person to person, for example I know that my sister really enjoys oats for breakfast and she functions really well on this, simply personal preference! Therefore it is on an evening when I tend to change things up and try different foods/meals.
For my evening meals I do stick to the basic foundation of having a protein source, a carbohydrate source and then a mountain of vegetables on my plate. Some days if I have had a particularly hard work out and I can’t be bothered to think about what I want to eat, I will simply have something like chicken, broccoli and rice, whereas on other days I enjoy being able to get a bit more creative. As I follow flexible dieting, this means I can eat whatever I want as long as it fits within my macro requirements for that day. In theory I could eat pizza everyday, but I don’t because I would much rather enjoy a larger more nutritious meal and feel more satisfied afterwards. That’s not to say that I don’t incorporate ‘treat’ foods into my diet, because I certainly do, they just tend to be more of the sweet variety! Your diet doesn’t have to be boring! My main tip is to use a wide variety of spices and seasonings in meals to ensure that they taste good.
You should enjoy food, and eat food which tastes good.
So here is what my last week looked like:
Chicken and Vegetable Curry, roasted tandoori cauliflower and butternut squash, rice and shredded lettuce
I love curries, with either a Thai Red curry or a Chicken Jalfrezi being my favourite. However they do tend to be quite high in calories, especially the readymade ones, my version is still just as tasty but without the high fat content. I love cooking this dish, as does my Dad! I normally add any vegetables which I have in the fridge and as I had roasted a chicken earlier in the day I just added some of the shredded meat before serving. The roasted cauliflower and butternut squash was a new idea which I had seen Simon Rimmer do on Sunday Kitchen and liked the look of; it turned out really good and super tasty. Added some of the microwaveable Tilda sundried tomato rice for more carbohydrates as I had done a particularly taxing deadlift session at the gym, and some extra lettuce as it simply needed using up!
Chicken and Sundried Tomato ‘Risotto’ with vegetables
This is another of my ‘go-to’ meals, it’s super comforting and filling, so as the weather was miserable and the nights are now drawing in, it was just what I fancied. I put risotto in inverted commas, as I don’t use the typical Arborio rice to make it, but instead prefer quinoa. Quinoa is a wheat-free grain which is high in protein with a moderate amount of carbs, and I really like the texture and taste of it! I cook it with a small amount of a chicken stock cube to add flavour as some people complain that it can taste a bit bland. I added some of the shredded chicken from yesterday as well as sundried tomatoes, which I absolutely love! You only need to add a small amount of them for tons of flavour. I also added some sautéed leeks and shallot, as well as cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach and asparagus. You will soon see that I tend to add broccoli to every meal is some way or another; it is my favourite vegetable for sure! Some garlic, lots and lots of black pepper as well as a blue cheese laughing cow triangle to make it creamy without the added calories of regular cheese, finished up this delicious meal.
Courgetti ‘Bolognaise’ with a mini pizza(and a side of broccoli!)
When I usually make courgetti I simply use a knife to cut into thin strips, however whilst in tesco I saw the ready ‘spiralised’ packet in the reduced section and decided that that is what I would have for tea! I made my bolognaise sauce my sweating some shallots and leeks with some garlic, then adding the extra lean steak mince, red peppers, mushrooms, some passata, worcestershire sauce and spices, oh and a little bit of chopped red chilli as I do like spicy foods! Courgetti is great as it has a similar texture to spaghetti, but with hardly any carbs, and it’s tasty and full of micronutrients! I added in some extra carbs since it had been my second leg day of the week earlier on, by making up one of these mini pizzas using a mini wrap which I get from Morrisons. I just topped with passata, chopped garlic, a laughing cow blue cheese, sundried tomatoes and some grated cheese, and although it looks slightly burnt around the edges(!) I can assure you that it still tasted great! This is such a simple dish, I make mince like this at least once a week and serve it a variety of different ways, either with rice, pasta or mashed sweet potato, and it is so versatile and tasty!
Chicken, Root Vegetable Mash and Greens
I work most Thursday evenings at a local fish restaurant and therefore dinner is usually out of a Tupperware tub. As it is a fish restaurant, I do usually do tend to eat fish this night and take with me sides to go with it. However I had some chicken which had defrosted and needed using, so poached that at home and then added some root vegetable mash, a mixture of cabbage and leeks, and some asparagus. The root mash is from tesco and made up of potato, parsnip and carrot. I get a similar one from morrisons as well which is really nice. Quite a plain meal, but does the job, and it literally only took me minutes to prepare.
Wrapped and stuffed chicken, roasted veg with spring greens and tomato garlic sauce
This was probably my favourite meal of the week! I had been to the gym earlier in the day which meant I had plenty of macros to work with on the night, hence why it looks such a big dinner! I stuffed the chicken breast with sundried tomato paste and a caramelised onion flavoured cheese, then wrapped in Serrano ham, crisped up the outside and then finished off in the oven. For the veg, I chopped cauliflower, sweet potato and butternut squash, flavoured it with smoked paprika and garlic and pepper seasoning, and then roasted in the oven for 40minutes, I also added some sliced chorizo towards the end. Greens were just a mixture of cabbage, leek, asparagus and broccoli which I steamed for a few minutes, got to make sure you hit those micronutrients, although I genuinely enjoy my green veg which is certainly a blessing! To make the tomato sauce, I added chopped garlic to passata and seasoned with tons of black pepper. Deeeelicious! I did not want this meal to end, I was so impressed with it that the photo also got uploaded to Instagram!haha!
Buffalo Chicken Salad
I was in away all day in Sheffield watching my beloved football team (they won for a change!) so I trained first thing in the morning and had lunch at my Aunties before the match. This normally means that the majority of my carbs come from this meal, another bonus of flexible dieting as it means I don’t freak out at the sign of a sandwich on white bread! I simply just incorporate it into my daily macros and account for it accordingly later in the day. Therefore dinner was a quick salad made up of; mixed lettuce, shredded cabbages, grated carrot, cucumber, raspberries and tomato. I also had some Moroccan spiced hummus on the side, this one is from Morrisons and is so tasty, I tend to have it for lunch most days as well! The chicken was just poached, shredded and then mixed in with some Frank’s buffalo sauce. I had also got some Ben and Jerrys in the freezer for afterwards so didn’t want a super heavy meal! sshhhh!
I work all day on a Sunday, so the last thing I want to do when I get in is cook, especially now the X-Factor has returned! I just wanted something quick, easy and comforting to eat. I used to have porridge every morning for breakfast until I switched it up and changed to eggs, so for some reason it always feels like a bit of a treat when I have it now, probably because I normally stir a serving of nutella into it! I make the base by mixing oats with protein powder and water and putting in the microwave, taking out and stirring occasionally to increase the volume! I have seen a lot of people recently using courgette to bulk out their oats without the added calories, so maybe I will try doing that next time! Then topped with banana, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, nutella, choc shot and a teeny mini Lindt truffle which Mum had bought a packet of to tempt me with! It reminded me how much I love porridge, so will definitely be having it more often!
So there you have it, my week of dinners! This is a fairly standard week for me, perhaps more chicken than usual and I would probably have fish for at least one meal normally, simply for more variety and the huge health benefits which come with it. I hope that you get a little bit of inspiration from it but also see that you don’t have to eat bland boring meals all the time! With just a bit of creativity you can create delicious meals really easily.
Love Abi xxxx
ps please excuse some of the photography, I really need/want to learn how to take nice photos of food!