Monday, September 22, 2014

Stuffed Peppers

I eat these stuffed peppers all the time – they’re gorgeous. They’re full of goodness and they make a complete meal when you serve them with rice, quinoa or couscous. Once they’re in the oven, they pretty much take care of themselves.

2 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g lean minced beef
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato purée
200g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 pepper, halved lengthways and deseeded
2 tbsp grated Parmesan or 2 slices of mozzarella
a handful of mixed salad leaves
rice, quinoa or couscous, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 10minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the mince, soy sauce, tomato purée and chopped tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place the pepper halves on an ovenproof dish and bake for about 12 minutes, being careful not to burn them. Carefully remove the peppers from the oven and spoon the cooked mince into them. Sprinkle over the Parmesan and return the peppers to the oven for 20 minutes.

Arrange the salad leaves on a serving plate alongside the stuffed peppers and serve with rice, quinoa or couscous.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grab-and-Go Snacks

We all get busy and find ourselves in need of a snack. That’s
why my book is full of make-ahead snack ideas, so you never have to face the junk aisle if you don’t want to. 

Of course, you won’t always have the time to prepare snacks for the day ahead. If you’re short on time but still want to eat well, try these zero-preparation snacks. 

Just grab – and go!

Dried fruit 
Handful of mixed nuts
A few squares of dark chocolate
Apple pieces dipped in nut butter 
Fruit smoothie 
Vegetable juice 
Handful of mixed berries 
Pot of natural yoghurt
Rice cakes with nut butter

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oaty Breakfast Muffin

I prefer to grab a coffee and a muffin and get going, so I had to come up with a recipe that would make this a healthy choice.

The best thing about these muffins is that you can do a half-and-half batch, so this
recipe makes six Banana Pecan and six Chocolate Coconut in one go. It’s like a coffee
shop in your kitchen.

250g Greek yoghurt
120g jumbo porridge oats
100g agave syrup
70g ground linseed
2 tsp baking powder
For the Banana Pecan:
1 banana, peeled and mashed
50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped

For the Chocolate Coconut:
30g dark chocolate (70% cocoa
solids), chopped
30g desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line a muffin tin
with 12 deep paper cases.

Mix the Greek yoghurt, oats, agave syrup, linseed and
baking powder in a large bowl. Then remove half of this
mixture to a separate large bowl.

Stir the banana and pecans into the first large bowl, mixing
until just combined. Stir the dark chocolate and coconut
into the second large bowl, mixing until just combined.

Use a spoon to divide the Banana Pecan batter evenly among
6 of the paper cases, so that they are almost full. Repeat with
the Chocolate Coconut batter.

Bake for 15–20 minutes until the muffins are golden and a
skewer inserted comes out clean. Carefully remove the
muffins from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Oats

These oats are perfect for the summer
months because you don’t have to cook
them. You just mix everything together
and the recipe takes care of itself
overnight in the fridge. The next morning
you can add whatever topping you like.


50g porridge oats
120ml Greek yogurt
120ml milk (or water if you don’t want to use milk)
1 tsp chia seeds
½ tsp vanilla extract

Combine all of the ingredients in a
large bowl. Transfer the mixture to a
serving bowl, cover and leave to soak
overnight in the fridge.
Next morning, add the topping
of your choice and serve.

 These toppings are great with Summer Oats: 
Chopped banana, crushed pecans and a drizzle of agave syrup
Blueberries and sliced strawberries 
 Grated apple and crushed raw cashews
Chopped medjool dates and a drizzle of agave.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Healthy Alternatives

I think life is too short to exclude the things I love. Rather than having a list of meals that are offlimits
because they contain certain ingredients, I find ways to adapt my meals to incorporate
healthier alternatives. Most of the time, it works brilliantly and it’s a guilt-free way of eating any
meal I want.

I love to take a recipe and make substitutions for any of the ingredients that could do with a
healthier alternative. So, rather than using white flour and white sugar, I’ll try the recipe with spelt
flour and agave syrup. Many of the recipes in this book came about because I was experimenting
in this way. If you want to give it a go yourself, here’s a handy chart to get you started.

Original .........Alternative
White sugar ........Agave syrup
Cooking oil ........Coconut oil
Cream .........Natural yoghurt
Mayonnaise...... Greek yoghurt
White flour ......Gram, coconut or spelt flour
White rice ......Brown rice or quinoa
White pasta .......Wholewheat pasta
White bread........ Brown bread or rye bread

Friday, August 15, 2014

Peter’s Frozen Protein Bars

This recipe makes some of the tastiest protein bars you’ll ever have. Plus – there is no
actual cooking in them. Win-win! 

Peter, my husband, makes these at least once a week
and they are always gobbled up within a couple of days.


300g chocolate protein powder (banana
or vanilla flavours also work well)
160g jumbo porridge oats
70g sunflower seeds
50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) chopped
30g ground almonds
1 banana, peeled and mashed
120ml water
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line a 33cm x 23cm (13 inch x 9 inch) baking tin
with parchment paper.

Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing
bowl and use your hands to mash everything to
a sticky consistency. This process will take a few
minutes and the mixture must not be too wet,
so do not panic and throw in more water.

Simply keep working the mixture with your

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and
place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Remove the tin from the freezer and leave to
stand for about 30 minutes.

Cut the slab into bars and carefully remove from the tin. Store the
bars in airtight plastic bags in the fridge. 

Take them out as needed.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Project Book

Hi Everyone,

It seems like a long time since I wrote a blog. What better time to start then when I have exciting news?

As many people know I'm really into healthy, tasty cooking. I love to spend my time trying out new recipes and coming up with healthy options.

I had an idea years ago about writing a book that combined tasty, healthy recipes with practical tips and lots of fitness/motivation.

I spent the past decade eating great food to run fast and now I eat great food to live well.

It took my experience as a professional athlete, a full time course in cookery school, pitching it to a publisher and a huge amount of time (over 2 years I think!) to pull it together. But I did it!

It is now officially gone to print. I'm very, very excited. It's due to hit the shelves in September.

Derval xxx