By now, you'll know that an impressive physique is built in the kitchen. It's one of the most exhausted fitness clichés for a reason — because it's true. If you're not feeding your muscles, then you'll find it significantly harder to make gains and your goals will take longer to reach.
One of the key cornerstones of any athletic diet is protein. It repairs your muscles after a workout and, essentially, helps you to continually get stronger as your training progresses. So, if you're doing everything right at the gym or in your home workouts, tweaking your protein intake can accelerate your hard work and help you to fill out a T-shirt.
This, however, doesn't mean you have to swear by twice-daily lunches of unflavoured chicken, broccoli and rice. Far from it. By tapping into Caribbean cuisine with the help of Craig and Shaun McAnuff, authors of Original Flava: Caribbean Recipes from Home, you can keep your protein intake high while enjoying flavoursome, healthy meals that you can also batch cook and meal prep for the next days and weeks.
Of course, you can tweak the levels of spices and sauce to your individual taste and, once mastered, the recipes will prove that the days of bland chicken breasts and greens are long gone. Grab a chopping board and let's get started.
Plantain and Chickpea Curry
Chickpeas are high in filling fibre and muscle-building protein, and are low in calories. Plantain adds a welcome sweet addition to the dish, which only takes 30 minutes to prep and cook. What more could you ask for?
- 8 Ripe Plantains
- Chick peas 250g x3
- 6 tbsp. Curry powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tbsp. Black pepper
- 1 tbsp. Chilli powder
- 1 tbsp. Mixed herbs
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- Coconut milk 200ml x2
- 1 tsp. Cumin
- ½ cup of water
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. Ginger
- 540g Callaloo /Spinach
- 6 Spring onions
- 4 Carrots
- 3 Medium bell peppers
- 1 medium onion
- On high heat add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to your pot until it starts to sizzle
- Then Add 1 medium diced onion, 4 diced garlic cloves, 1 tbsp. of fresh ginger and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add 4 tbsp. of curry powder and a tiny bit of water and mix together, and then add a little salt, black pepper, chilli powder and cumin and mix.
- You’ll also need to add a tiny coconut milk at first, then mix together to for a paste.
- Then add your chickpeas and mix together with the curry paste then add ½ cup of water, Along with 2 Tins of coconut milk and stir.
- Add spring onion peppers and carrots, and some 2tbsp. more of curry powder, 1 tsp. of salt black pepper, chilli, and cumin and stir.
- Sliced some plantain and add to the pot and then mix together.
- Over with a lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes
- After that give it a mix and add your Callaloo, then stir gently. Add scotch bonnet and simmer for further 5 minutes
Jerk Chicken Bowl
No Caribbean recipe list is without the all-time favourite jerk chicken making a welcome appearance. Bring the heat with this healthy recipe:
- Quarter chicken
- 2 tsp of allspice
- 4 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tsp of browning or soy sauce 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 tsp of black pepper
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers
- 2 spring onion (chopped)
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 60ml of vinegar
- 60ml of water
- Squeeze of lime juice
- 1⁄2 a medium white cabbage 2 carrots
- 5 tbsp of mayonnaise
- 1 medium onion (sliced)
- 1 tsp of black pepper
- 1⁄4 medium green bell pepper (diced) 1⁄4 medium red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 tbsp of salad cream
- A little bit of salt
- 1⁄2 a scotch bonnet pepper or
- 1 tbsp of hot pepper sauce
- 165g of sweetcorn
- Wash chicken with lemon and water and pat dry.
- Slit chicken, place in a large mixing bowl and add jerk seasoning and jerk paste. Massage into chicken and then marinate in the fridge overnight.
- After marinating, place chicken on baking tray and cook in pre–heated oven for 45 minutes at 180 degrees. Chicken should be dark brown and slightly crispy.
For Fried Plantain
- 2 ripe plantains
- Vegetable oil* (enough for shallow fry)
- All purpose seasoning
- Using a sharp knife, cut off both tip ends and then gently score a line along the full length of plantain (making sure you don’t cut the inside flesh)
- Remove the skin by peeling from the score line.
- Put the plantain on a cutting board and cut it into slightly thick 45 degree angle pieces. On a high heat, add oil to the frying pan.
- Once the oil is hot, lower it to a medium heat and then carefully place the plantain pieces to the pan. Let the pieces fry until they turn light brown on both sides.
- Remove from frying pan, place on paper towel to drain excess oil.
- 260g Salmon fillet
- 1tsp. sea salt
- 1tsp. Black pepper
- ½ tsp. dried herbs
- 1 tsp. all purpose seasoning
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion sliced
- ½ red bell pepper sliced
- ½ carrot julienne
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 tbsp. Mango chutney
- ½ scotch bonnet pepper sliced
- Season salmon with salt, black pepper, herbs, and all purpose seasoning then set aside to marinate.
- Add butter to a frying pan on a medium heat and wait for butter to melt.
- Then add salmon fillets and cook until brown.
- Remove salmon fillets, then add onions, bell peppers, carrots and fresh thyme and caramelise, then remove veggies.
- Add in your mango chutney, with a little water and mix to create a paste.
- Add veggies back in along with the salmon then simmer.
One Pot Chicken and Caribbean Veggies
- 2lbs chicken thighs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. all purpose seasoning
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 Courgette sliced
- 1 aubergine sliced
- 1 corn on the cob sliced
- 1 sweet potato sliced
- 5 okras
- 1 plantain
- 1 scotch bonnet
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, allpurpose seasonings and add some olive oil then mix together.
- Part boil all the veggies then add to a greased oven tray. Then add chicken in between the veggies.
- Place in a pre-heated oven for 40 mins at 180 degrees. Garnish with parsley
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