I consider cheat meals (within reason) to be useful in replenishing your glycogen stores and bolstering your morale. I try to time my cheat meals on the evenings before heavy lift days or long run days to make sure I’m tanked up on energy to flog my muscles to the max.
The harder you push your muscles the stronger they repair themselves. If you time your cheat meals right you safeguard against becoming demotivated and use it as a tool to augment your workout and prevent premature fatigue in the gym.
In the spirit of cheat meals checkout these amazing recipes
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Tuna Pasta. Bake
This one’s for all those times when your cupboard is bare, and all you can find is tuna, pasta, canned tomato and some sort of dried herbs in the dark depths of your pantry…. Sure it’s simple, and yet SO TASTY!! . Serves 4 - 5 . INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves , minced 1 small onion , finely diced 800 g / 28 oz crushed tomato (Note 1) 1 tbsp tomato paste (optional, thickens sauce slightly) 3/4 cup / 185ml water (Note 2) 1 tbsp Italian mixed herbs , or other dried herbs of choice 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper 425 g / 15 oz can chunk tuna (preferably in oil), drained (Note 3) 200 g / 7 oz spiral pasta (or other pasta of choice) 1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (100 - 150g) (Note 4) Olive Oil , for drizzling . DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. 2. Cook pasta per packet directions, minus 1 minute. Drain, rinse under tap water to stop it sticking together, set aside. 3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 3 minutes until golden. 4. Add tomato, water, herbs, salt and pepper and tomato paste if using. Stir, bring to simmer, lower heat to medium and simmer energetically for 5 min (stir every now and then) until it thickens. 5. Adjust salt to taste. Also add a touch of sugar if it tastes a bit sour (depends on quality of tomato). 6. Turn the stove off, add pasta, stir in. 7. Add tuna and GENTLY stir it in - don't break up the tuna so it disintegrates into mush. Leave some chunks on the surface (nice when it is golden). 8. Drizzle with oil, top with cheese then bake for 20 minutes until golden and you get those nice crusty bits you see in the photos. 9. Stand for 3 minutes then serve!
Stock up your freezer with these homemade frozen pizzas!! THIN & CRISPY | Makes 10 25cm / 10” pizzas . INGREDIENTS 10 thick round flatbreads , 25cm / 10" diameter (Note 1) 250 g / 8 oz salami sliced , chopped 3/4 cup / 100 g sliced black olives , drained 1 large green capsicum / bell pepper , sliced 1 large red onion , chopped 15 medium mushrooms , sliced (~golf ball size) 400 g / 14 oz / 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 300 - 350 g / 10 - 12 oz / 3.5 cups shredded Monterey Jack , Tasty, Cheddar (or more mozz) Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce: 1/4 cup / 65 ml extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves , minced 800 g / 28 oz crushed canned tomato + 2 tbsp tomato paste 1/2 cup / 125 ml water 1 tsp EACH dried oregano, thyme, red chilli flakes (adjust to taste) 3/4 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp black pepper . DIRECTIONS 1. Sauce: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 min. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and adjust heat so it is simmering gently (about medium heat). Cook down for 40 min, then puree with a stick (or cool a bit then transfer to blender). COOL before using (hot sauce = soggy base). 2. Top a flatbread with 2.5 tbsp of Sauce. Sprinkle a tiny amount of cheese over the base, avoiding the very edges. Sprinkle over onion, capsicum, salami, olives, mushrooms then cheese. Repeat with remaining flatbreads. 3. Stack them using paper in between each pizza. Wrap in cling wrap (about 3 together), transfer to a large airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze. 4. Baking: Remove oven shelf from oven and clean. Preheat oven to 240C/460F (standard) / 220C / 430F (fan/convection). Place frozen (or thawed) pizza directly on shelf. Bake for 10 min or until golden on the edges and the base is crispy. Cut and serve immediately! . Note 1. I am in Australia. I use a brand called Golden Top Bakery "Greek Pitta Bread which is perfect for thin and crispy pizza base. It's twice the thickness of a tortilla - so thicker than normal flatbreads used as wraps. Available at Harris Farms in Australia and Middle Eastern stores. Lebanese Bread is a terrific sub.
Roasted Sweet potato stacks
Makes 12 . INGREDIENTS 1.2 kg / 2.4 lb sweet potato , unpeeled, muffin tin width 50 g / 3 tbsp unsalted butter , melted 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tbsp dried, or other herbs of choice) 1 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper . DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C (standard) or 350F/180C (fan/convection). 2. Peel the potatoes, then slice thinly (about 2 mm / 1/10" thick). Transfer into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Toss well with your hands. 3. Place piles of the slices in the muffin tin. Don't worry if they are higher than the rim - they shrink about 25%. 4. Top each stack with about 1/2 tsp of the remaining butter mixture in the bowl. 5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the edge of the top slices are starting to brown and the inside of the stacks are cooked (use skewer or knife to check). 6. Use a fork and knife to remove the stacks from the muffin tin. Optional: Brush tops with residual butter in muffin tin. Serve as soon as possible.
Ultra lazy Zucchini ham cheese omelette
There’s a reason I call this an ULTRA LAZY Omelette….. Perfect for a lazy weekend brekki because you can even make it when you’re half asleep! Though truthfully, I make this more often for dinner. No matter how exhausted I am, I can still manage to make this!! . | Serves 1 . INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp / 15g butter 1/2 garlic 1 medium zucchini (courgette) 2 large eggs (~60g/2oz) 25 g / 1 oz ham , shaved / torn 2 tbsp / 20g grated cheese (any melting cheese of choice) Salt and pepper . DIRECTIONS 1. Melt butter in a medium non stick skillet over medium high heat (or medium if your stove is strong). 2. While the butter is melting, use a box grater to grate 1/2 a garlic clove straight into the pan. Then grate in the zucchini. 3. Saute zucchini until it softens - about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 4. Spread zucchini in the skillet, crack in the eggs onto the zucchini. Use a fork to "whisk" and spread it out. 5. Top with cheese then ham, sprinkle with pepper. 6. When you can see the egg is mostly set on the surface, fold in half - there should be golden bits on the underside. 7. Leave for 20 seconds then flip again. Leave for 20 seconds, then remove from stove and slide the omelette straight onto a plate. Serve immediately! .
Spring Rolls baked or fried
I’m losing the plot, I thought I shared this ages ago!! Will you BAKE or FRY them? PS These are called Egg Rolls to those on the other side of the pond. . Makes 13 – 16 . INGREDIENTS 5 dried shitake mushrooms OR 6 fresh (or sub with other mushrooms) 1 tbsp oil 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 400g / 13 oz pork, chicken or turkey mince (ie ground meat) 1 ½ cups EACH shredded carrot, bean sprouts, shredded green cabbage 1 tsp cornflour / cornstarch + 1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce + 1 ½ tbsp Oyster Sauce 13 – 16 spring roll wrappers (21.5 cm / 8” squares) Oil for frying OR oil spray for baking Sealing rolls: 2 tsp cornflour + 1 tbsp water Sweet and Sour Sauce: 2 tsp cornflour/ cornstarch + 1/4 cup water + ½ cup apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup brown sugar (adjust to taste) + 2 tbsp ketchup + 2 tsp soy sauce . DIRECTIONS 1. Soak mushrooms in plenty of boiled water for 20 minutes or until rehydrated (don’t do this step if using fresh mushrooms). Drain, squeeze excess water out of the mushrooms (like they are a sponge), then finely chop. 2. Heat oil in a skill or wok over high heat. Add garlic, stir quickly, then add pork. Cook, breaking it up as you go, until it turns white. 3. Add carrot, bean sprouts, cabbage and mushrooms. Cook for 3 min or until vegetables are wilted. Add cornflour, soy sauce and Oyster sauce, cook for 1 minute until the liquid is gone. 4. Cool Filling (super speedy: spread on tray, refrigerate 5 min). 5. Defrost spring roll wrappers. Peel one off, keep the others covered under a damp tea towel. 6. Place the wrapper with the SMOOTH SIDE DOWN (not a deal breaker) in a diamond position. Place a heaped tablespoon of filling on the bottom. Roll up halfway, fold sides in, then finish rolling. Use cornflour sludge to seal. 7. Heat oil, fry, drain on paper towels. Serve with Sauce. 8. BAKING: Place on rack, spray VERY WELL with oil all over, rolling for coverage. Bake @ 180C /350F for 20 minutes until golden and crispy all over. No need to turn. 9. SWEET & SOUR SAUCE: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring regularly, then simmer until it thickens to taste.
This is how I make Chocolate Cupcakes WITHOUT an electric beater that are moist, deeply chocolatey and with a tender crumb. These are truly magical, you are going to be amazed! And they stay moist for days!! . I use butter for flavour and oil for moisture, and using a bit of melted chocolate makes all the difference to really get chocolate flavour into cupcakes.