This is a fairly simple meal to prepare, but you do need to get your hands dirty rolling meatballs. But you can view this as enjoying a meal. It’s an excellent way of adding some veggies to your main meal, if you don’t have time to make a salad to go with it. You can increase the refuelling capacity by having extra rice to suit your needs, and conversely you can reduce the kilojoule intake by having more salad and less rice. I actually used turkey mince instead of chicken mince which tasted great, although it was probably a little higher in fat as it was the leg meat or brown meat rather than the low fat breast meat. This meatball dish would also work well with pasta as a carbohydrate source, but give the raita a miss as it wouldn’t suit as well. You could also add some chilli in the mix if you like a bit of spice!
450g chicken mince
½ medium sized eggplant, cut into 1cm cubes
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp finely sliced green onions
1 ½ cups tomato pasta sauce
200g tub low fat natural yoghurt
100g low fat ricotta (optional)
1 small Lebanese cucumber
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp chopped mint leaves
Spray a large frying pan with oil. Add eggplant and and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until very soft. You can add small amounts of water to the pan to prevent sticking. Cool.
Put mince, zest, mint and onion into a large bowl, then add cooked eggplant. Mix together and mould ~20 meatballs with your hands.
Spray the pan with oil again, and brown the meatballs. Add the tomato pasta sauce to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Raita by grating the cucumber and squeezing out the excess liquid. Mix the yoghurt, mint, ricotta and garlic, to a paste then fold in the cucumber
Serve the meatballs with steamed rice, green salad and Raita.
This dish was inspired by the classic Greek combination of feta cheese and olives. It is a tomato based pasta sauce with the added mediterranean flavour of fennel. Fennel is one of my favourite vegetables, I love to eat it raw, and I cook with it to. Olives added to a pasta dish is a great way to add some flare and colour to a pasta.
(Serves 2 hungry athletes)
250g dried pasta
1/2 an onion, diced
1/2 fennel, finely sliced
1 clove or 1 tsp crushed garlic
fresh red chilli, 1/4 – whole depending on desired spice level
500g tomato passata (sugo)
10-15 pitted olives, halved
50g fetta, 2cm cubes
3 sprigs of fresh parsley
pepper to taste
This meal is a really high carbohydrate meal that would be ideal before an event or game. It has buckets of flavour with the inclusion of naturally salty foods of olives and feta. There are lots of changes you can make to this dish to make it more simple (use dried parsley and dried chilli), or more tasty (include fennel seeds at the onset of cooking), or a bit naughty and higher in fat (add 2 tsps of cream to make a softer rosa style sauce).
Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water till al-dente
Cook the onions and garlic in a splash of oil in a large frypan until transluscent
Add the fennel and chilli, cook for a further 3-4 minutes
When the fennel is slightly soft, add the pasatta and olives
When heated through and the liquid has reduced a little add the cubes of feta, pepper and parsley
You can add the feta a little earlier and cook it for two minutes if you want the cheese to melt and make a creamy cheese consistency
Toss the sance through the cooked pasta and serve.