Spanish style smoked paprika, chicken and butterbean stew

With summer in full fledge, what better way to celebrate than with a siesta and a fiesta of flavour? This warming stew can easily feed the whole family or provide lunches/dinners for the week too. I paired mine with sweet potato topped with cinnamon and smoked paprika as a post workout meal, but would also work well with rice or chopped, panfried chorizo for a lower carb, higher fat alternative.

stew

Serves 4

Nutritional Information per portion; 302kcal, 32g protein, 32.7g carbs, 3g fat

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp fresh, chopped rosemary
  • 2 large zucchinis/courgettes, sliced
  • 5 large handfuls of kale
  • 1 can of butterbeans, drained
  • 16oz chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 can of Trader Joes fire roasted chopped tomatoes (other brands are fine, but I would suggest adding a tsp of chopped chilli/lazy chilli if using plain chopped tomatoes)
  • 1/2 can of water (use the tomato can)

Method

  1. In a large non-stick pan, add the onion, garlic, half of the paprika and rosemary. Cook for about 5 minutes, over a medium heat, until the onion is soft. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is sealed.
  2. Add the other tbsp of paprika and ensure the chicken is fully coated. Add the zucchini and kale and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until the courgettes/zucchini has softened and the kale has wilted.
  3. Add in the butterbeans, tomatoes and water and simmer the stew until it has ‘knitted together’ and the sauce is nice and thick.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy your Spanish taste of summer!

7 tips to avoid the post holiday bloat

Going on holiday brings so much excitement – a break from the daily grind, a chance to relax and explore new territories and a chance to spend plenty of time with friends and family. Often, people try to ‘tone up’ and ‘lose weight’ ready for a holiday and head off looking their best. After a week or two of indulgences and justification ‘well, we are on holiday after all’, the condition you have worked so hard for can quickly fade away. Post holiday blues are enough without feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Now, I definitely think holidays are a time to enjoy yourself, but they should not be a ‘screw it, let’s eat everything mentality’ time either. Having recently travelled back to the UK for 2 weeks and enjoyed many a cherry bakewell, chocolate, mushy peas and lots of eating out/takeaway food but without gaining any weight, I will share my top tips on holiday fun without post holiday flab…

  1. Bring snacks. Either pack them in your suitcase or stock up on snacks and make sure your handbag always carries a couple. For me, I bought a tub of whey protein, a jar of peanut butter and a box of protein bars. I carried around protein and protein bars with me throughout my holiday and they were a convenient ‘go to’ whenever I was hungry. Plus, you won’t have to continually stop your activities; socialising with family to respond to your stomach!
  2. Accept that you are not going to be able to stick to your usual eating plan completely. For me, I still tracked macros on MyFitnessPal and made use of flexible dieting. I ensured I hit my protein target each day and didn’t worry too much about my carbs or fats, just ensured I stayed around about my calorie goal. But you don’t have to do this either, just be mindful of what you are eating.
  3. Plan your indulgences. If you are going out for a meal in the evening and you have a favourite food or want to try a local dish, plan for it. Eat ‘cleaner’ during the day – choosing lean proteins and vegetables, and save the bulk of your calories for the evening.
  4. Keep water intake high. If you are eating out a lot, chances are the foods will contain a lot more sodium than you are typically used to consuming. This makes the body hold onto water, and will leave you feeling bloated. Plus, travelling on planes always dehydrates my skin (especially my nostrils!). The more water you drink, the less your body holds onto it. So drink up!
  5. Eat when you are hungry and not for the sake of it. Especially at all inclusive buffets. Don’t eat until you feel sick!
  6. Use the holiday vibe to plan activities. Even if you are staying on a beach all week, are there many things more beautiful than a sunset stroll along the beach? If you are on a city break, chances are that you will be doing a lot of walking anyway so the steps all add up!
  7. Finally, if you follow these tips but do put on weight, don’t be too hard on yourself. I expect a lot of it will be water weight anyway so after a week or so back in your normal routine, it will go! Holidays are a time to make memories, to relax and to take a break from your everyday life. This goes for your eating regime too.

-Benchpressingbaubles, x