Crispy Kale Chinese ‘Seaweed’ in the Air Fryer

I just love getting seaweed with my Chinese takeaway. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s SO GOOD. I couldn’t believe it when I tried to make some crispy kale in my air fryer and managed to recreate the exact same food – same taste, same texture, same everything!

crispy-kale-chinese-seaweed

I don’t know if the picture does it justice but honestly this is life changing. You have to try this if you have an air fryer and you love Chinese food. If you don’t have an air fryer, I have no idea how it would turn out in an oven, but you could give it a go on a baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid sticking, I just don’t think the results would be as crisp.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 bag kale (yes really, it shrinks!)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Soft brown sugar

Take the kale and remove any stalks, this is really important. You just want the green fluffy leaves. Get them all together on a chopping board and go over them with a knife so they’re finely chopped. Take the sesame oil and salt and rub all over, they really only need a tiny bit of oil or they will go soggy. Pop in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes on 180 degrees and voila! Toss them in the brown sugar and serve.

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5 Tips for Eating More Protein

Since starting the gym this time last year, my biggest challenge (apart from all those heavy weights) has been my diet. I’ve never restricted myself, I’ve always been one of those people that eats everything. Now I work out this isn’t really that different except I follow more of an 80:20 rule – that is, eat 80% healthy balanced stuff, 20% treats. I more or less stick to this, maybe on weekends those treats go up to 40% but hey we’re all human.

My main change has been about what I eat though, and with my strength training there’s a real requirement to eat more protein to help heal and build my muscles. I’m aiming for just under double my body weight in grams, so between 80-100g a day. It’s a pretty big ask but I’ve found a few things that help me that I thought would be good to share.

1. Get a good breakfast

Eggs are everything. A large egg has around 7g of protein, scramble two of those on some toast with a handful of mushrooms and or spinach and you’re 14g down and off to a great start to the day.

2. Make ahead snacks

Your body can only digest and use 30g or so of protein in one serving. Snacks are a great way to keep getting that protein in small amounts throughout the day and here’s some of my favourites:

  • Chicken drumsticks (~13g per drummer)
  • Beef jerky (~20g per pack)
  • Cottage cheese and crudités (~10g per 100g)
  • Peanut butter and apple (~8g/2tbsp peanut butter)
  • Crispy chickpeas (~7g/handful)

3. Lentils, beans chickpeas are your friends

Meat is expensive, not great for the planet and can contain bad fats and other nasties. Plus let’s face it, it gets boring after a while. Varying your protein sources stops boredom and keeps things fresh. Lentils are hella cheap and delicious (hello, lentil curry) and chickpeas you can add to virtually anything. Beans are so versatile, they can add extra bulk to lots of things, or even be a replacement for mash. Stock up on these cupboard essentials and you’ll always have a cheap, protein rich meal to hand.

4. Don’t forget fibre

Your body needs fibre to help you process the protein so don’t be afraid of including brown carbs and plenty of fruit and veg. Basically, don’t ignore the other food groups!

5. Sometimes you have to have shakes

A high protein diet shouldn’t be ALL protein shakes but if you’re trying to meet 100g a day, they become a bit of a necessity. Protein cereal bars (I like Eat Natural) are also good to keep on hand if you get in a bind. Overall though, you should try and get as much from natural food sources as possible, as you need the other nutrients.

Are you eating a high protein diet? Let me know if you found this useful!

Liked it? Pin it! 5 tips eating more protein

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3 Ways to Make Mayonnaise Magical

If you’re a bit sad like me you can easily have fun pepping up normal mayonnaise you buy in the supermarket, and create delicious new mayos with minimal effort (and egg beating). Great for sandwiches, impressing dinner guests or just eating off the spoon.

I’ve listed my three favourites here.

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1. Spicy mayonnaise (pictured)
The paprika in this adds a nice warmed, smoky flavour. Great with cauliflower fritters or anything fried.

Mix your mayo well with a teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon (or however much you can stand) of Tabasco or hot sauce of your choice. You can also use cayenne, but a liquid sauce tends to mix a bit better.

2. ‘Big mac’ mayonnaise
This probably isn’t what is in Big Macs, but tastes great on a burger. It’s basically a mix of the three best – ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.

Combine 2 teaspoons of ketchup with 3-4 tablespoons of mayo. Add a teaspoon of mustard and stir until you have a golden, salmony coloured sauce. Add more ketchup or mustard to taste.

3. Basil mayonnaise
Got a sorry basil plant in the corner, not sure what to do with it? Basil mayo! It’s lovely on sandwiches and salads.

Very finely chop up a handful of fresh basil leaves and stir into mayonnaise. I also like to add black pepper for an extra kick.

Happy mayonnaising!!

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