The fit foodie: Tomato soup, spicy chicken pitta and simple snacking

This week I’m making soup and a sandwich my recipes of the week. It’s hard to beat the soup and sambo combo! 

I often work at home and on those days I’m looking for nice lunch options. 

I’ve taken a slight departure from my usual fitness focus and I’m chatting about a tweet I recently sent that got quite a big reaction.

Tomato Soup

Few soups are as lovely as tomato. In my house we call this a bowl of loveliness. 

This soup combines the beautiful flavour of tomatoes with the addition of cannellini beans. 

For convenience I always choose the ones in a tin. This means I have a store of them in my pantry.

Cannellini beans are a great source of high quality and inexpensive protein.

Serves 2

Prep time: 5 Minutes

Cook time: 15-20 minutes

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 600g fresh tomatoes
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp crème fraiche to serve

METHOD

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. 

Add the onion and basil and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.

Stir in the fresh tomatoes, chilli and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the tinned tomatoes and stock to the pan and stir well. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Puree the soup with a hand blender until smooth. Stir in the cannellini beans. Return to the pan and heat gently.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and top each with crème freche.

Spicy Chicken Pitta

I keep wholemeal pittas in the freezer. It’s a handy way to have lunch options when I’m working at home. 

Having some cooked chicken in your fridge is always handy for quick lunch sambos.

This spicy pitta has the addition of turmeric. This is the spice that gives curry powder its yellow colour. Turmeric is well worth adding to your foods. 

There is lots of research to suggest turmeric has many health benefits. This little spice makes this a super sambo!

Serves 1

  • 1 cooked free range chicken breast fillet
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 wholemeal pitta
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • handful of salad leaves

METHOD

Pop the pitta in the toaster. 

While it is toasting mix the almonds, yoghurt and spices in a small bowl. Add the cooked chicken and stir well.

Once the pitta is toasted, using a knife split it open and stuff it with the chicken mixture, carrot and salad leaves.

Enjoy with a cup of tea!

Simple Snacking

I travel a huge amount with work, sometimes I feel like my office is the motorway between Cork and Dublin.

One of the main ways I stay healthy is to have snacks in my handbag.

I always have a small Tupperware box of a dried fruit and nut mixture.

It’s super handy for nibbling on instead of grabbing a bar of chocolate or crisps.

This is my rough snacking box:

  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 3 Brazil nuts
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 2 medjool dates

FITNESS FOCUS

Why talent deserves opportunity and visibility

Each week I tend to talk about different fitness topics but this week I’m going to discuss a slightly different topic so bear with me for a week!

My background is professional sport. I ran as a professional athlete for about 12 years. I loved competing and my time in sport. I’ve always felt it was a real privilege to have had that career.

Recently the national indoor arena was opened in Abbotstown, Co Dublin. It looks amazing in pictures and I’m excited to see it in person. 

I tweeted about it and then I followed up with a tweet that I thought a picture from the launch was ‘odd’. 

The tweet received a lot of attention.

The picture was odd to me because it was 13 men in suits standing in a sporting facility – political figures and people in high administration positions in sport in Ireland. 

It just doesn’t fit with the sport I know and love. 

Firstly I couldn’t see any high profile athletes. Secondly there wasn’t one woman in the picture.

I just found the whole visual strange.

It was a missed opportunity to showcase some of our leading athletes. 

In non-Olympic years it’s hard for athletes to get media coverage and this was a great opportunity to put them front and centre.

Also there are some incredible women working in Irish sport. I’m fortunate to have worked with many during my career. But I do feel there is plenty room for more women to be in key roles. 

The quality is there and it needs to be met with the opportunity to excel.

I realise that this is a big topic and I could probably fill the entire Examiner on a Saturday with various thoughts, comments and opinion but rather than do that I wanted to write just a few of my thoughts!

Fitspiration

To keep on topic with my above thoughts I’d like you to give a follow to the sports women Ireland twitter account (@sportswomenIRL) 

The account aims to support and promote women’s sport in Ireland.



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