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 I made up with little bit of referencing from my cookbooks, but essentially because I had some fresh ginger root and a lime in the fridge, and the prawn cutlets were on special at my grocery shop! Voila. It tasted so fresh and healthy, with a slightly Japanese style flavour. It was also really easy to prepare and cook, and didn’t take up too much time.
400g raw prawn cutlet meat
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
juice of 1 lime
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tsps sesame seeds
chili powder or crushed dried (optional)
dash of sesame oil (or other)
jasmine rice, cooked
1 carrot, julienne
1 small zucchini, julienne
A great meal for athletes with the carbohydrate content able to be varied depending on stage of training and size. It is a really low fat meal while still packed with flavour and punch if you add chili. The vegetables can be changed to preferred options, and you could also stir-fry the vegetables with the prawns as an alternative preparation.
Place prawns, ginger, lime, soy sauce, chili and sesame seeds in a bowl and let marinade
Cook desired amount of rice
Julienne the vegetables, and steam or microwave for 2-3 minutes to the desired texture
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, and fry the prawns in two to three batches for a few minutes until opaque
This fabulous risotto I first came across when travelling in Munich Germany, served to us by our German friend. Although I have made it many times since, it is always different to the first time. Maybe it was those German cheeses she used. Beetroot seems an unlikely match for a risotto, but the purple colour of the beetroot makes for an outstanding look to the meal. It will be a fabulous hit for your friends or family.
2 whole beetroots
2 tsp crushed garlic
2 sprigs fresh or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
100ml red wine
500ml vegetable stock
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Risotto is always a great meal for athletes due to the high carbohydrate content of the rice. This has an extra added carbohydrate bonus from the beetroot as well. It would make a supurb meal for the night before an event, being very low fat, and high carbohydrate. You may want to exclude the wine in the recipe, not to eliminate alcohol from the dish, as all the alcohol evaporates on cooking, but because you may be tempted to drink the rest of the bottle.
Boil the beets till tender, approximately 30 minutes. Drain most of the juice from the pot, keeping about a cup.
Chop the beets into small cubes
In a separate pot cook the onion, garlic and fennel in the oil until translucent
Add the Arborio rice and cook for a few minutes longer till rice is coated
Add the wine and cook till evaporated
Add half the stock, 1 ladel at a time, stirring regularly while cooking
Add the diced beetroot and thyme to the pot, followed by the remaining stock and continue stirring
Use the beetroot juice if the risotto gets a little dry and the rice is not done
When the rice is soft but still slightly al-dente, turn the element off, add the parmesan and pepper and stir vigorously
Serve sprinkled with walnuts, soft goats cheese and rocket leaves to spruce it up a little for a dinner party.
You can roast the beetroot wrapped in foil as opposed to boiling in step #1
you can use chicken stock instead of vegetable for a lightly different flavour
This dish was inspired by a meal I ordered at a local restuarant. There’s no doubt the original chef-made version was very high fat, but I have recreated it as a healthy alternative. It is a pesto flavoured risotto made with pearl barley instead of the traditional arborio rice. Pearl barley is a high fibre grain that needs to be cooked for longer than rice (due to the unrefined nature of it), and is often soaked overnight for quickest cooking. The feta cheese matches really well with the lamb in this dish, and the tomato just adds colour and a fresh cool flavour.
(Serves 3, or 2 hungry athletes)
2 cups of pre-soaked pearl barley (~1 cup dry)
400g boneless lean lamb (backstrap)
dash of oil
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups beef stock
1 cup broccoli florets
2 Tbs pesto
50g feta cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1 tomato roughly chopped into 2cm cubes
Barley has a slightly lower carbohydrate content per gram than other refined white rice due to the fiberous husk, however is comparable nutritionally to brown rice. You could also use brown rice as an alternative in this recipe. The lamb makes this recipe high in iron and suitable for female athletes, or distance runners. The lamb should be low fat to reduce the amount of saturated fat, however pesto contains a lot of fat but the good type of oil, so if you are trying to reduce body fat, reduce or eliminate the amount of pesto, and replace with 1/2 bunch of fresh basil to boost the flavour.
Soak barley overnight if possible, otherwise cooking time will be increased
Fry the lamb in a non-stick fry pan until cooked and slightly pink in the centre (or as desired), leave to rest steps 3 & 4, then slice thinly while waiting in step 5
Using a deep non-stick pot, fry onions on med-high heat with a dash of oil till soft
Add pearl barley to the pot, then add the baslamic vinegar, stir till mostly evaporated
Add 1 cup of stock and cook until mostly absorbed (~5 minutes)
Add broccoli and second cup of stock and cook until mostly absorbed (~5 minutes)
Add small amounts of water until barley is soft but still with a slight crunch
Add the sliced lamb
Turn off heat and stir in pesto, crumbled feta and pepper