This month, Nadia tells us how she’s been fuelling her body, ready for her upcoming trek in the Himalayas
On the 25th of October, I will be on a plane to Delhi in India so, depending on when you’re reading this, I may already be mid-trek in the Himalayas – pray for me! As I mentioned in last month’s column, I’m heading out there with one hundred other women to take part in the Fabulous Challenge to push ourselves to our physical limits, as well as raise lots of cash for the brilliant breast cancer awareness charity, Coppafeel (coppafeel.org).
Because of this, training hard and eating the right foods has been a big part of my life recently. Good food makes great fuel for the body, so I’ve been eating as well as I possibly can. Soup has been my big thing over the past few weeks as they are so filling, easy to make and low-calorie to boot. And, as I’ve already got a heavy rucksack on my back, the less weight I’m carrying on this body of mine, the better. This Indian spiced butternut squash and lentil soup has been an absolute winner and the dollop of Greek yoghurt on top gives me a protein boost to help build up my muscles. Have a try of this little beauty and let me know what you think!
1 tbsp olive oil • 1 medium onion, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 250g Chantenay carrots, whole and unpeeled • 350g mixed vegetables, chopped (tinned sweetcorn, courgettes, mushrooms, red, yellow and green peppers all work well) • 2 tsp ground cumin • 2 tsp ground coriander • 2 tsp dried oregano • 1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes • 1 tsp paprika (smoked or unsmoked) • 1 tin mixed beans • 1 tin chopped tomatoes • 300ml boiling water
1. Fry the onions, chilli and garlic over a low heat until they’re softened but not browned.
2. Then, add the cumin, cumin seeds and freshly ground black pepper and fry until the aroma is released. Next, add the squash, lentils, stock and salt and turn up the heat to bring everything to the boil.
3. Once it’s boiling, turn down the heat and simmer with the lid on until the ingredients are tender. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, then serve with a dollop of yoghurt, a sprinkle of coriander and a few pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
This month I’ve been loving cooking with cauliflower. It’s a super-versatile veg and I like to simply prepare it by roasting florets in the oven for 15 minutes with a little olive oil and garlic salt. Yum!
An apple a day
I’ve been going a bit retro this month with baked apples! Try this: core an eating apple and score around the circumference with the tip of a sharp knife. Stuff with raisins, cinnamon and walnuts, then place it in a dish with a little water and bake for 30-45 minutes until tender.