The fit foodie: Spinach and Pepper Frittata and fuss-free pasta

Every week when I write this column I have a moment where I think “people want something fancier” but the reality when I talk to people is that the simpler and easier the cooking the better. 

This week has two great recipes. One is egg-based, I’m egg obsessed! The other is a simple pasta dinner.

My fitness chat this week is for you if you are considering taking out a gym membership or if you are trying to think about how to get more from the gym membership you have.

Spinach and Pepper Frittata

There are certain ingredients that are always in my house. 

They make life that bit easier when you are making your meals.

Eggs are definitely one of my hero ingredients. They are versatile and nutritious. 

They are one of the few foods that you could happily eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This is a lunchtime frittata but it’s a super quick mid-week dinner too.

Serves 3

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs, I love basil in fritattas
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp cheddar, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 small pepper, finely chopped
  • small handful of spinach

Method

Pre-heat the grill to a high heat.

Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl. 

Add the herbs, cream cheese and cheddar and season to taste.

Heat the oil in a large oven proof frying pan over a medium-high heat. 

Cook the onion and pepper for 10 minutes. Reduce to a low heat and pour the eggs into the pan. 

Do not stir the eggs, use a wooden spoon to move the ingredients around and allow the eggs to leak into any available gaps. Cook for about ten minutes.

To finish place the pan under the grill for a few minutes and cook until the top of the frittata is set and golden.

Cut the frittata into slices and serve.

Fast and Fuss-Free Pasta

This recipe was created out of sheer desperation for a really fast and fuss free dinner after a busy day. I had very few ingredients and no time to go to the shop.

This is a lovely pasta dinner dish and best of all it is fuss free.

It’s not one of my healthiest dinners so it’s great for every now and then ... but I don’t eat this every week!

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp crushed nuts, I like pistachios, cashews will work well too
  • Half red chilli, finely chopped
  • 180ml cream
  • 100g pasta
  • 2 tbsp parmesan
  • Handful of fresh herbs, 2 tbsp seeds
  • salt and pepper

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the pistachios and chilli, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, reduce the heat and simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta and tip it into the pan with the cream sauce.

Add the parmesan, herbs and seeds and stir through the pasta.

Season to taste and divide the pasta between warmed serving bowls.

Nutty Dates

I need to confess that this is a snack I give to my toddler but I promise it’s lovely for adults too!

I find myself making a couple extra and eating them. These go great with a cuppa and are a lovely elevenses option.

These are a simple snacking solution.

  • 4 Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter

Cut each date in half using a sharp knife. Stuff each half with some nut butter.

Eat straight away or pop in a storage container for a snack later.

FITNESS FOCUS

I work with a fantastic girl called Amy O’Leary. Amy is the business development manager with my company “Fit Foodie”. 

Amy and I spend a lot of time together so we have endless chats about all things food and fitness.

Amy tends to do more gym based fitness work than I do. Amy and I lead different lifestyles but we both love staying fit. It’s always nice for me to hear the different methods she uses.

On a recent drive I asked her to name the five biggest positives for going to the gym and why people should consider a gym membership. 

I love her answers and have shared them below.

1. It keeps me fit: Being fit for everyday life is really important and the time I spend in the gym keeps me fit for life. Those busy work days when I have to run across a road or rush to a meeting, it’s important to feel fit for those.

2. Me time: It’s time I set aside in my schedule that is just for me. I try not to think of work, or other commitments. I try to focus on myself, my body and get the most out of my workout while listening to my favourite songs.

3. Being social: The gym is a great place to have a social life. I really like classes in the gym for this exact reason. It’s a class full of like-minded people who are excited to exercise and feel good.

4. Scheduling: Like everyone else I can use the excuse that I’m too busy to exercise but most gyms have great opening hours and make it easy to schedule in fitness.

5. It challenges me: I don’t have a budget for a personal trainer and I work out by myself. It can be hard to stay motivated and know how much to challenge yourself. I try to do one class every week where I know the instructor and they know me and I can challenge myself in a supervised setting.

Fitspiration

A huge amount of staying fit and healthy is your mindset. This week I’m suggesting giving Kate Kirby a follow on social media @sportpsychkate. 

Kate is a sports psychologist and has worked with Olympic medallists.

She has some fantastic tips for staying on track!



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