Boost your energy

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Lose weight, boost your health and enjoy tasty food with these low-GI recipes

What if we told you there was a way to improve your health, boost your energy levels and make your skin positively glow? Oh, and lose weight to boot. You’d struggle to believe us, right? Well, with new book, Cut The Carbs!, food and travel writer Tori Haschka has the answer. Her vibrant new book boasts 100 recipes that, simply put, make it seem a breeze to ditch refined carbs thanks to the ease and appeal of its mouth-watering dishes. White carbs, as they’re referred to in the book, are devoid of fibre and therefore nutrients. An array of health issues can arise from overeating these kinds of carbs: you could experience weight gain from the spikes in blood-sugar levels, which make it virtually impossible to burn fat, or you could experience severe low energy thanks to the come-downs that follow these sugar spikes.

But, don’t worry – you won’t need to avoid carbs completely, as Tori has put together meals that use low-GI carbs like sweet potato. Plus she’s taken inspiration from all over the world so you’ll never tire of treating yourself to these breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. The result? As well as enjoying delicious food, you’ll feel fuller for longer (fibre will do that!), you’ll look at food with a much healthier viewpoint and you’ll feel better than you’ve ever felt. Not convinced? How do Mexican Baked Eggs sound for brekkie? Or how about snacking on Courgette Frites? Yep, we thought so! With these fantastic recipes you’ll feel good about food and finally wean yourself off those white carbs. Tuck in!

FETA, MINT, LENTIL AND PISTACHIO OMELETTES

Serves 2 

5tbsp olive oil

400g tin brown lentils, rinsed and drained

2 large handfuls of baby spinach

1tsp sea salt

50g Persian (marinated) feta, crumbled

6 eggs

4tbsp fresh mint leaves, roughly torn

Freshly ground black pepper

To serve

Lemon wedges and chilli sauce

1) lace 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the lentils, spinach and salt. Stir to warm the ingredients through and wilt the spinach. Season with pepper and transfer the contents of the pan to a plate. Crumble the Persian feta over the top of the lentils and set aside while you make your omelettes.

2) Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the frying pan and add half the egg mix, swirling the pan to coat the base. Cook until the top of the omelette is almost set and base is golden.

3) Spoon half the lentil mixture over the half of the omelette that’s furthest away from you. Use firm shakes of the pan to jerk the nearest edge of the omelette up the lip of the pan. Use a spatula to fold the nearest half over the filling to enclose it.

4) Slide the omelette onto a plate and scatter with half the mint and pistachios. Serve with a wedge of lemon and chilli sauce. Repeat with the remaining oil, eggs and lentil mix to make a second omelette and garnish with the mint and pistachios.

QUINOA AGUADITO (PERUVIAN CHICKEN AND CORIANDER SOUP)

Bunch of fresh coriander

1 onion

2 garlic cloves, peeled

3tbsp olive oil

1L chicken stock

85g quinoa, rinsed well

2 raw chicken breasts or 350g cooked chicken, shredded

130g frozen peas

1tsp sea salt

To serve

2-3 lime wedges

Finely chopped green chilli (optional)

1) To prepare the coriander, trim the very ends off the stems. Now roughly chop the stems and set all the leaves aside for later.

2) Put the coriander stems, onion, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor and blitz everything to a paste.

3) Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the coriander paste and fry for about 3 minutes to soften the onion and garlic.

4) Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring it to the boil. Add the quinoa, cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 15 minutes. If you are using raw chicken, place it in the pot to poach. After 15 minutes, or when the quinoa and chicken are cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and shred it with 2 forks.

5) Add the peas and chicken to the pan and heat until piping hot.

6) Pound the reserved coriander and olive oil, plus the salt, to a paste, using a pestle and mortar or food processor. Stir this through the soup before serving with lime wedges. You could also add a green chilli, if you fancy.

THAI GREEN PAPAYA SALAD WITH TROUT

1kg green papaya (or green mango)

400g cooked trout or prawns, peeled (or poached, shredded chicken, or roasted, sliced duck)

70g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped 

6 spring onions, green bits shredded

400g cherry tomatoes, halved

Handful of fresh Thai basil leaves, torn

For the dressing 

1 large red chilli, finely diced 

2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated

1tbsp palm sugar, grated, or brown muscovado sugar

4tbsp lime juice

4tbsp fish sauce

1tbsp toasted sesame oil 

3tsp rice wine vinegar

1) To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients together and stir them until all the sugar has dissolved.

2) Peel the skin off the papaya carefully. Use the shredding attachment on a mandolin to grate it, or cut it into sections and place them through the shredder of a food processor. If using a mango, be sure to avoid shredding the stone!

3) Combine all the salad ingredients with the dressing, reserving some of the peanuts to sprinkle over the top of the salad.

BLACK BEAN, CHORIZO, SWEET POTATO AND COCONUT BOWL

Serves 2

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed 

2tbsp olive oil

50g chorizo, cut into thin coins and then in half (if vegetarian, sprinkle the sweet potato with 1tsp ground cumin and 1tsp smoked paprika instead)

Handful of dried coconut shavings

1 red onion, peeled and cut into eighths

400g tin black beans

Rinsed handful of fresh coriander (or mint)

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

To serve 

Greek yoghurt  

Salt and ground black pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4.

2) Place the sweet potato in a roasting tray, drizzle the sweet potato with the olive oil and season with a little salt. Roast it in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until it’s gained a little bit of colour around the edges.

3) After about 20 minutes, add in the chorizo, coconut shavings and most of the onion (leave around one-eighth of the onion aside to sliver raw at the end). Roast for 20 another minutes.

4) When the potato is well cooked through and the onion has been stained slightly pink by the oil from the chorizo, remove the tray from the oven and mix in the black beans. The heat from the roasting tray and its contents will help to warm the beans.

5) Cut the remaining onion pieces into slivers – try to get them as thin as you can manage. Add the onion slivers, along with the coriander and the chilli, to the roasting tray.

6) Season everything with a little salt and pepper. Portion everything into two bowls and drizzle a helping of the Greek yoghurt over the top of each bowl before serving, if you wish.

CHIA, MANGO, COCONUT AND MACADAMIA TRIFLE

Serves 4

70g chia seeds

400ml coconut milk 

425g tin of mango pieces, drained, or 2 medium mangos, peeled and pitted

1tin of lychees, drained, or 20 lychees, shelled and pitted

2tbsp macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

1) Whisk together the chia seeds and coconut milk.

2) Using a stick blender or food processor, blitz three-quarters of the tinned or fresh mango until you have a smooth purée. Slice the remaining mango into slivers and cut the lychees in half and set them aside.

3) Swirl the mango purée through the chia-coconut mixture and divide half the mixture between 4 glasses.

4) Add a layer of mango and lychee. Top with the mango-chia-coconut mixture and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to set. Top with the remaining mango and lychee, and the macadamias, shitbefore serving.


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