The fit foodie: Bounty bars, Cheesy Turkey burgers and oven-baked avocado fries

For this week’s column I’ve taken two food classics and given them my healthy twist. The first is bounty bars and the second is burger and chips, I hope you enjoy my take on them.

 

For this week’s fitness I’ve decided to share my favourite fast ways to improve your health at work or as I’ve dubbed them, the Fit Foodie Health Hacks ‘Al Desko’. 

Most of us spend hours at a desk each day so these tips might help you to do that in a slightly healthier way.

Why not print them out and stick them up where you can see them at work or at home so that they become part of your daily routine.

If you have 30 seconds:

Take those precious seconds to reach for a glass of water and take a big drink. Staying hydrated will make you more focused and productive.

Let’s face it though; plain water can be a bit boring so why not try adding some lemon or lime slices and mint to dress it up a little. 

I like to keep a water bottle on my desk in the office to keep me happy and hydrated.

If you have one minute:

Take some time to stretch. Put your hands straight over your head and make yourself as tall as possible. 

Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat five times. Roll out your neck and concentrate on relaxing, repeat this five times.

If you have five minutes:

Take this time to suss out a healthy snack. A handful of nuts are a great option as they are packed with protein, fibre and essential fats. Pair with a piece of fruit for a balanced

snack.

I keep nuts in my bags and spend half my life finding packets of them and chomping on them. 

A simple mix I love to keep with me is dates, Brazil, cashews and raisins. Another option is cashews, almonds, goji berries and some dark chocolate chips.

My other go-to options include: nut butter and fruit or rice cakes, a few squares of good-quality dark chocolate, a pot of natural yoghurt with some berries and chia seeds or some of my homemade energy balls.

If you have 10 minutes:

Leave your desk and go for a walk that is brisk enough to elevate your heart rate. 

Try to zone out from stressful work thoughts and just think about the movement of one foot in front of the other.

Be on the lookout for other ways to sneak some extra activity into your working day. 

If you normally get the bus to work, why not start walking at least part of the route?

If you work in a building with stairs, take the stairs instead of the lift.

These small changes will pay dividends in the long run.

Fitspiration

If you are looking for some workplace healthy tips I often see some interesting ones on Healthy Ireland. 

Check them out on twitter @HealthyIreland

Bounty Bars

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cook time: None, just a few minutes to set

Makes: 7-8 bars

  • 2.5 scoops of protein (I use a good quality vanilla whey protein – Ros and Kinetica are good brands)
  • 20g raw cacao powder or coco powder if you don’t have cacoa
  • 40g porridge oats
  • 40g unsweetened desiccated coconut, plus extra for coating
  • 50ml almond milk
  • Pinch of salt

METHOD

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Keep mixing until all the dry ingredients stick together. 

If you still find the mixture to be slightly dry, add in an extra tablespoon.

Scoop out onto parchment paper and mould into flat squares (about 2cm tall). 

Cut into rectangles and roll in the remaining desiccated coconut. Alternatively these can be rolled as balls.

Leave to set for a few minutes, ideally in the fridge, until they are firm.

These bars are best stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cheesy Turkey burgers and oven-baked avocado fries

These burgers are delicious and while avocado fries may sound a little “out there” trust me, they are a total revelation and well worth a try. 

This recipe is a twist on the classic burger and fries combo.

The dip is a delicious addition to any meal.

Makes: 4 burgers

Prep time: 15mins

Cook time: 15mins

For the burgers

  • 700g turkey mince
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 wholegrain baps
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan, add the onions and cook until softened. 

Allow to cool slightly (This is my preference, don’t bother with this if you like slightly crunchier onions in your burger). 

Mix the turkey mince, onion, thyme and garlic together.

Season lightly with the salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into four. Roll the grated cheese into the four turkey pieces. Fold over and shape into four burgers

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a high heat and sear the burgers for one minute per side.

Place on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until cooked through.

Assemble your burgers in the baps with salad and condiments of your choosing.

Avocado fries

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 200ml natural yoghurt
  • 2 tsp Cajun spice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Put some olive oil on a metal baking tray.

Peel the avocados and remove the stones. Cut into slices about 1/2 cm thick and toss gently in the lime juice. 

Place the flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs inthree small bowls. 

Dip each of the avocado slices in flour, then dip in the beaten egg and finally coat in bread crumbs.

Place on the tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and place on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the yoghurt and Cajun seasoning to make the dip.

Serve alongside the burgers and enjoy.

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