Anytime Meals

Anytime Meals are for when you haven’t trained before eating. They are high in protein and healthy fats, with your carb intake coming from vegetables and fibrous fruits, the ‘Always Carbs’.

The recipes in the Anytime Meals chapter can be eaten for lunch and dinner on rest days.

They should also be eaten on training days when you haven’t yet trained. For example, if you are training after lunch, you would eat an Anytime Meal for lunch.

With all the Anytime recipes, you can always add a portion of Sometimes Carbs and make it a post-training meal when your body needs more energy. I have made suggestions for what might work well throughout, but of course you can choose whatever you like (see page XXX for more ideas).

Seared Seabass with Spicy Red Pepper Salsa

A meal with an energy-lifting kick. Cayenne pepper benefits your gut, and studies have suggested it may speed up your metabolism, aid your digestion and promote heart health. So why not add some quality spice to your life!

1 tsp coconut oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil

180g seabass fillets (1–2, depending on size)

salt and pepper

½ a courgette, chopped into chunks

70g spinach, washed

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced

3 cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ a red onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp salsa (see Sauces )

1 tsp cayenne pepper

a handful of fresh basil, leaves and stalks, finely chopped

  1. Put the oil into a pan and place on a medium heat. When hot, season the seabass with salt and pepper and add to the pan, skin side down. Cook for about 6 minutes, turning once, then remove from the pan.
  1. Add the courgettes and spinach to the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes.
  1. In a medium bowl, mix the red pepper, cherry tomatoes and onion with the salsa, cayenne pepper and basil.
  1. Transfer the seabass, spinach and courgettes to a plate and spoon the salsa on top of the fish before serving.

Post-training option: Mix some nutty barley (see Sometimes Carbs ), in with the red pepper salsa.

Tangy Stir-Fried Tofu & Vegetables

My dear friend Saffron lives in Indiand whenever she and her husband come to London they stay with me and my daughter Raven. Thanks to them I have learned some extremely yummy combinations. Vikings love fusion, and this vegetarian stir-fry is a favourite.

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

a thumb-size piece of ginger (approx. 2½cm), grated

100g tofu, chopped into 1½cm cubes

1 medium carrot, finely sliced into strips

2 Portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 pak choi, roughly chopped

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp raw honey

70g spinach, washed

1 tsp sesame seeds

  1. Put the sesame oil into a wok (or a pan) on a medium to high heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking), add the garlic and ginger, stir-fry for 10 seconds until fragrant, then add the tofu. Stir fry for 2–3 minutes, until the tofu starts to turn golden brown.
  1. Turn the heat down to medium and add the carrot, mushrooms, pak choi and soy sauce to the pan. Stir-fry for around 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  1. Drizzle in the honey, mixing to incorporate, then add the spinach and stir-fry for 1 minute until it begins to wilt.
  1. To toast the sesame seeds (this can be done in advance), simply place a small pan on a medium-low heat. Cook the seeds for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and just starting to colour. Sprinkle over the stir-fry.

Post-training option: Rice or egg noodles make an excellent addition (see Sometimes Carbs for cooking instructions). Add a splash more soy sauce and an extra drizzle of honey, if you like.

Cajun-spiced Chicken with Halloumi

Who can resist grilled halloumi? I know I can’t! Especially when it’s combined with soft shallots and tangy spices, as here.

1 large chicken breast, chopped into bite-size pieces

1½ tsp Cajun spice

½ tsp paprika

1 tsp coconut oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil

½ a shallot, finely chopped

80g halloumi, chopped into 1cm chunks

6 closed-cup mushrooms, roughly chopped

4 cauliflower florets, roughly chopped

70g spinach, washed

salt and pepper

  1. A couple of hours before you want to cook, put the chicken into a small bowl with the spices, mix together, then cover and pop into the fridge to marinate.
  1. Put the oil into a pan and place on a medium-high heat. When hot, add the marinated chicken and cook for 7–10 minutes, turning halfway through, until it’s crisp and golden brown on the outside and white and juicy inside. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  1. Lower the heat to medium and add the shallots and halloumi to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, stirring the shallots, and turning the halloumi so that it’s golden all over. When the shallots have softened and the halloumi is colouring, remove the halloumi from the pan, then add the mushrooms and cauliflower and continue to cook (blanch the cauliflower beforehand if you prefer it to be softer: bring a small pan of water to the boil and cook the cauliflower for couple of minutes before removing with a slotted spoon). Once the mushrooms are tender, add the spinach and cook until it starts to wilt.
  1. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and serve with the halloumi alongside the chicken.

Post-training option: Add 150g of organic tinned butter beans: just add them to the pan at the same time as the mushrooms and stir to warm through.

Veggie option: Remove the chicken and instead add some organic firm tofu. Cut the tofu into 1cm cubes, then cook in the same way as the chicken, marinating and frying for 7–10 minutes.

Chicken & Golden Cauliflower Rice

Crunchy, filling and packed with vitamin C, cauliflower rice tastes fantastic and is an easy way of adding more veg to your diet. The turmeric and curry powder make it really flavourful and satisfying, turning the cauliflower pieces a brilliant vibrant yellow. A meal to make you go for gold!

1 whole cauliflower, trimmed and roughly chopped

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp medium curry powder

salt and pepper

½ a red pepper, chopped

5 spring onions, chopped

3 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 large cooked chicken breast

½ an avocado

a spoonful of sheep’s milk yoghurt (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  1. Roughly chop the cauliflower, then blitz it to small pieces in a food processor – it should look similar to quinoa.
  1. Spread the coconut oil on a baking tray. Add the cauliflower rice, turmeric, curry powder and a pinch of salt, and mix together so that the cauliflower is evenly coated with the spices. Mix in the red pepper, spring onions and cherry tomatoes, making sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Roast for 20 minutes, until tender.
  1. Serve the cauliflower rice with the chicken, the sliced avocado and a drizzle of yoghurt.

Post-training option: 15 minutes into the cooking time, mix 150g of cooked kidney beans or chickpeas through the cauliflower rice and veg and pop back into the oven for the last 5 minutes.

Veggie option: Black beans fit extremely well with the flavour and texture of the cauliflower rice and spices. Go to Sometimes Carbs for instructions. 120g halloumi, cut in slices and cooked on a griddle pan, 4 minutes on each side or until golden, is also extremely delicious with the cauliflower rice. Your choice!

Roasted Vegetables with Feta and Seeds

This is one of those recipes that is so much more than the sum of its parts in terms of flavour and satisfaction. They may be small, but seeds are Viking mainstays in terms of nutrition: a great source of protein and unsaturated fats, and packed full of vitamins.

Serves 2

1 courgette, roughly chopped

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, roughly chopped

2 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil

salt and pepper

100g goat’s milk feta cheese

For the seeds

25g sunflower seeds

25g pumpkin seeds

15g sesame seeds

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

½ tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  1. Spread the chopped veg on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, giving everything a shuffle halfway through to help it cook evenly.
  1. While the veg are in the oven, roast the seeds. Place all the seeds on a baking tray, drizzle over the soy sauce and oil, then mix together with your hands, making sure they’re well coated. Roast for 7–8 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon every 2-3 minutes, until the seeds are lightly coloured and the pumpkin seeds have puffed up. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
  1. A couple of minutes before the veg are cooked, crumble over the feta cheese and put back into the oven to melt slightly. Sprinkle over the seeds before serving.

Post-training option: This works really well with fluffy quinoa (see Sometimes Carbs ), or spooned on top of a slice of toast.

Roasted Tuna Steak and Mixed Vegetables

A juicy, colourful recipe that is done in the blink of an eye – and using just one tray too. This is great after a long day when you can’t be bothered to spend too long in the kitchen but still want something tasty and nutritious.

1 carrot, chopped into batons

½ a small courgette, sliced into rings

3 cherry tomatoes, halved

½ a red pepper, deseeded and sliced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 tuna steak (approx. 150g)

juice from ½ a lemon

4 broccoli florets

50g kale

garlic salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6
  1. Line a roasting tray with foil and add the carrots, courgettes, tomatoes and red peppers. Sprinkle over the garlic, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper, then mix together with your hands. Put into the oven for around 7 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to colour.
  1. Add the tuna to the tray, season with salt and pepper and squeeze over the lemon juice. Return to the oven for around 4 minutes, then turn the tuna over and roast for a final 4 minutes. For those final minutes, throw in the kale and the broccoli. The tuna should have lost all of its pinkness on the outside when it is ready.
  1. Season with garlic salt before serving.

Post-training option: Add 150g of cooked tinned chickpeas, drained. Add to the tray first, drizzling with the oil, then put into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Then, as above, add the vegetables apart from the kale and broccoli. Cook for 7 minutes, then throw in the other two greens for 4 minutes. 

Salsa Chicken

This recipe is a great reason to make salsa (see Sauces ). Spring onions are such a versatile ingredient and are easy to use up when cooking meals for one or two, as you’re never left with half an onion in the fridge! I also like using them because research suggests that they are fantastic for cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, boost the immune system and speed up blood circulation. 

1 large boneless skinless chicken breast

1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

1 tsp coconut oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil

3–4 tbsp salsa (see page XXX), mixed with the juice of 1 lime

3 spring onions, chopped

2 large broccoli florets, chopped

½ an avocado, peeled and sliced

8 almonds, chopped very finely

  1. Coat the chicken breast with the mustard, then season with salt and pepper.
  1. Put the oil into a large pan and place on a high heat. When hot, add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes. Turn it over, reduce the heat to medium, then spoon over the salsa-lime mixture and add the spring onions to the pan.
  1. Simmer, uncovered, for around 8–10 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through (cut into it to check, if unsure) and the sauce has thickened.
  1. Remove the chicken to a clean plate. Turn the heat back up to high and continue to cook the sauce for about 30 seconds, then add the broccoli for a minute or two, until just tender (I like my broccoli on the crunchier side, but you can cook it a bit longer if you prefer it softer).
  1. Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with sliced avocado and chopped almonds.

Post-training option: I like to add brown rice with a teaspoon of curry powder mixed through it.

Icelandic-inspired Poached Cod

Cod always reminds me of Iceland and being little. It’s funny – then I would be like, ‘God, not fish again,’ whereas now I say to my daughter, ‘Let’s have fish, Raven!’ I have turned into my mother. This is how I like to poach cod, served alongside some of my favourite ingredients.

1 tsp coconut oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil

60g halloumi, cut into 1cm cubes

6 closed-cup mushrooms, sliced

salt and pepper

70g spinach, washed

400ml almond milk

½ a red onion, thinly sliced

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 dried bay leaf, finely chopped

1 fresh bay leaf

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

2 small cod fillets

½ an avocado, peeled and sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  1. Spread the coconut oil on a baking tray (or drizzle with rapeseed oil, if using), add the halloumi and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 10–15 minutes, until soft and golden, adding the spinach to the tray for the last minute
  1. Pour the milk into a pan and add the onion, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Place on a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  1. Add the cod to the infused milk and continue to simmer for 7–8 minutes.
  1. Carefully lift the cod out of the pan and on to a plate, then scoop out the onion, garlic and thyme, discarding the bay leaf (a slotted spoon is handy here), and place on top of the fish. Serve with the baked halloumi, mushrooms and spinach, and the sliced avocado alongside.

Post-training option: Add sweet potato fries (see Sometimes Carbs ) for Viking-style fish and chips!

Chicken Fajita Salad

Everything that’s delicious about chicken fajitas, just without the wraps. Rich in deliciousness and very rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

½ an avocado, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp salsa (see page XXX)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp chilli powder

1 large chicken breast, sliced into long pieces

1 tbsp coconut oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil

½ a red onion, finely chopped

1 small red pepper, sliced

juice of ½–1 lime

juice of 1 lemon

1 Little Gem lettuce, washed and chopped

  1. Roughly mash the avocado in a small bowl and mix in the salsa.
  1. Put the garlic, cumin, oregano, chilli powder and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl and mix together. Toss the chicken in the mixture until fully coated.
  1. Put the oil into a large pan and place on a medium heat. When hot, sauté the onion for around 3 minutes, then add the chicken and cook for around 8–10 minutes, until it is golden brown and fully cooked through.
  1. Add the red pepper to the pan with the lime juice – start with the juice of ½ a lime and add more if you think it needs it. Cook for 3 minutes, until the pepper has softened. 
  1. Serve the chicken with the lettuce and the avocado-salsa mix. Squeeze the lemon juice over to finalize the greatness!

Post-training option: Add a couple of wholewheat tortilla wraps and wrap it up!

Cajun Goat’s Milk Yoghurt Chicken

The longer you marinate chicken, the more flavoursome and tender it becomes. A few hours in the fridge will make it extremely juicy, so it’s worth prepping ahead if you have the time.

1 large chicken breast, diced

200ml goat’s milk yogurt

2 tsp Cajun spice

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp coconut oil

a small thumb-size piece of ginger, grated

1 clove of garlic, chopped

½ a red pepper, chopped

4 spring onions, chopped

½ chicken stock cube, finely chopped

4 broccoli florets

70g spinach, washed

salt and pepper

  1. Put the chicken into a medium-size bowl with the goat’s yoghurt, Cajun spice and paprika, and mix together well. Cover with clingfilm and pop into the fridge for at least half an hour, and ideally a couple of hours.
  1. Put the oil into a pan and place on a medium heat. When hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a minute, until fragrant. Add the red pepper and spring onions to the pan and sauté, stirring, for a minute.
  1. Using a spatula, add the chicken and all its yoghurt marinade to the pan, along with the stock cube. Stir to combine, then simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through – about 8 minutes. (If you’re unsure, cut into a piece to check.)
  1. When the chicken is cooked, add the broccoli and spinach to the pan for a minute and season with salt and pepper. The broccoli should be cooked but with a bite to it, and the spinach wilted (I like my broccoli on the crunchier side, but you can cook it a bit longer if you prefer it softer).
  1. Plate up and enjoy, Viking!

Post-training option: Add 100g of cooked barley, season with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of paprika, and mix together well.

Thor-red Salmon.

Fish has always been a huge part of the Nordic diet and has sustained strong Vikings through the ages. An oily fish, salmon is bursting with nutrients and is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus and vitamin B6, as well as a great source of protein. Food to keep you as fighting fit as the red-haired god of thunder.

1 tbsp coconut oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1–2 salmon fillets (120g each)

2 tsp vegan red pesto (gluten, dairy and wheat free)

½ a courgette, chopped

½ a red pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 large clove of garlic, chopped

½ a red onion, sliced

salt and pepper

50g goat’s milk feta

3 cherry tomatoes, halved.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  1. Line a baking tray with foil and spread the coconut oil over it, or drizzle with the rapeseed oil. Place the salmon in the middle, and spoon the pesto on top, covering the fish evenly.
  1. Scatter the courgettes, tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions around the salmon, mixing everything together to combine, then season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes. The vegetables should be golden when done, and the salmon an opaque, solid pink.
  1. About 4 minutes before it’s ready, dot the feta around the veg and put back in the oven until it’s warmed through and starting to melt.
  1. Transfer the salmon and vegetables with gorgeous melted feta on top to a plate and enjoy.

Post-training option: 100g of cooked nutty brown rice goes so well with the rich oily salmon.

Chicken with Wine & Buttery Mushrooms

We Vikings love hygge, and with its buttery sauce this is comfort in a dish. The wine adds such a nice flavour to the chicken – it’s worth adding. Hygge is the word we Nordic people use for the warm, heart-filling enjoyments of life: wonderful dinner by candlelight, reading all snuggled up on the sofa, enjoying cosy evenings with our loved ones. The little things that give us contentment and the feeling of peace and love.

Serves 2

1 tsp coconut oil

4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in

salt and pepper

½ an onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

 2 tbsp tomato purée

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

3 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped

50ml white wine

a knob of goat’s butter

100g closed-cup mushrooms, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  1. Line a roasting tin (or a high-sided baking tray) with foil and spread over the coconut oil. Place the chicken in the middle, season with salt and pepper, then roast for 10 minutes, until starting to brown.
  1. Put the onion, garlic, tomato purée, thyme, parsley and wine into a pan and place on a medium heat. Simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  1. Remove the chicken from the oven and pour the hot aromatic liquid over it, then cover the roasting tin with foil and return it to the oven for 30 minutes.
  1. While the chicken is cooking, put the butter into a pan on a medium heat. When melted, sauté the mushrooms for around 3–4 minutes or until golden brown and juicy, seasoning them at the end.
  1. Serve the chicken and its sauce in a soup plate or other high-rimmed plate with the mushrooms alongside.

Post-training option: Add 100g cooked brown rice, mixing it with the mushrooms and their butter.

Chicken Stir-fry with Edamame

Stir-frying is one of my favourite ways to cook vegetables – it’s so quick and easy, and you still retain that vital crunch. Edamame are young green soya beans: they are a great plant-based form of protein and are high in the B vitamin, folate, which helps to make red blood cells. If you can’t find them fresh, they are readily available frozen.

1 tsp coconut oil

1 large chicken breast, skinless, boneless, cut into bite-size cubes

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2 tsp grated ginger

1 medium carrot, cut into batons

35g leeks, sliced

50g mushrooms, chopped

2 tsp lime juice

2 tbsp warm water

7 fresh edamame pods

salt

1–2 tbsp teriyaki sauce, according to taste

  1. Put the coconut oil into a pan and place on a medium heat. When it’s hot, add the chicken and stir-fry for around 8 minutes, until it’s golden brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside.
  1. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and stir-fry for a minute, until fragrant. Add the carrots, leeks, mushrooms, lime juice and water. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes, until the carrots are cooked but with a slight bite to them.
  1. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil with a pinch of salt. Add the edamame and cook for 4 minutes, then drain and sprinkle over a little salt.
  1. Arrange the chicken and vegetable stir-fry on a plate, with the edamame on the side, and drizzle the teriyaki sauce over the top.

Post-training option: Add a nest of egg noodles, which will go perfectly with this dish! Cook according to the packet instructions, drain, and add to the pan at the last minute, just to mix them in.

Veggie option: Use 100g of organic firm tofu (smoked tofu works well) instead of the chicken, stir-frying it in the same way.

Sirloin Steak with Filled Portobello Mushrooms

I am a sucker for a quality steak; I usually have red meat once or twice a week, and sirloin is my favourite! It’s such a treat, and this recipe, full of rich, juicy flavour and texture, is something I always look forward to.

2 portobello mushrooms

70g halloumi

250g sirloin steak, around 3cm thick

1 tsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil

salt and pepper

3 broccoli florets

70g spinach, washed

1 tbsp hummus

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  1. Cut off the mushroom stalk so you are left with two mushroom caps for stuffing.
  1. Cut the halloumi into thin slices, then turn the mushrooms upside down and fill with the cheese. Place both mushrooms on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
  1. Rub the steak with the oil and season on both sides. Put a frying pan on a medium-high heat. When hot (you want it really hot), put the steak into the pan. I like steak medium rare, so I cook it for 3–4 minutes on each side. If you want it rarer or more well done, adjust the cooking time accordingly (around 2–3 minutes for rare, and 5–6 minutes for well done, though of course this will depend on the thickness of your steak). When cooked to your liking, remove from the heat to a plate or board and leave to rest.
  2. Boil enough water to cover the broccoli and spinach in a pot. Cook the veg for less than a minute. It’s quick! Drain the water.
  3. Place the rested steak on a plate, with the mushrooms, the broccoli and spinach, and the hummus.

Post-training option: Peel a medium sweet potato and cut into 1cm rounds. Grill in a hot pan with a teaspoon of oil for 10 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the steak.

Tip: Avoid overcooking the steak by pressing your finger into it gently after turning. You want it to be soft and juicy on the inside, therefore you should be able to press down into it easily. When it’s browned but still has a bit of a give, take it off the heat – remember that it will continue to cook while it rests.

Chicken Skewers with Satay Sauce

This is great in the summertime, perfect for cooking on the barbecue and a real crowd pleaser if you’re having a gathering! Pick a salad to serve with it, if you fancy. I like The Flu Slayer Salad – the roasted pumpkin seeds go especially well with this dish. 

1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-size chunks

150g cashews

250g goat’s milk yoghurt

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ an avocado

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  1. Slide the chicken pieces on to three wooden skewers. Place them on a baking tray and in the oven or about 20 minutes.
  1. Put the cashews, yoghurt and mustard into a food processor and blitz to a thick cream-like consistency.
  • When the chicken is crisp and cooked through, take it out of the oven and on to a plate. Cut the avocado into bites and add to the plate as well. Then pour the sauce over the chicken.
  1. Go to the Salads and pick one of the yummy salads! Place it in a side bowl.

Post-training option: Add a medium sweet potato, either grilled, baked or made into fries (see Sometimes Carbs ).

Chicken Flower Salad

This salad is light but filling – a good one for when it’s hot outside. I like to arrange it so it looks like a flower, with the lettuce, carrots and cucumber as the petals.

1 tsp coconut oil

1 large chicken breast, skinless, boneless,cut into bite-size pieces

2 tsp paprika

salt and pepper

1 Little Gem lettuce, washed and dried, large leaves halved

1 small carrot, cut into batons

½ a small cucumber, cut into batons

70g red cabbage, outer leaves removed, rinsed, and grated

1 tbsp hummus

  1. Put the oil into a pan and place on a medium heat. When hot, add the chicken, sprinkling over the paprika and seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, for around 8 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Take off the heat and set aside.
  2. Put the lettuce on a plate, then arrange the carrot, cucumber and cabbage on top. Add the chicken into the middle and dot over the hummus.

Post-training: Sprinkle over a portion of Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas (see Snacks).

Cod with Mediterranean Spinach and Halloumi

Halloumi has a very high melting point, making it excellent for grilling and baking. Both the texture and the flavour go perfectly with the cod and with the amazing immune-boosting side ingredients, garlic, spinach and lemon. Fish and cheese are not often paired, but I love fish and I love cheese. Vikings don’t play by the rules.

1 tsp coconut oil

1–2 cod fillets (I normally have 2)

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

salt and pepper

4 slices of halloumi (about ½cm thick)

2 tsp paprika

½ an onion, finely chopped

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

8 black olives, sliced

70g spinach, washed

juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.

  1. Line a roasting tray with foil and cover with ½ teaspoon of oil. Place the cod in the middle, sprinkle over the garlic and thyme, squeeze over the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Place the halloumi around the cod. Cook for 7 minutes, then take out and turn the halloumi over. Sprinkle over the paprika and return to the oven for another 6–8 minutes, or until the cod has turned opaque and can be easily flaked with a fork.
  1. While the cod and halloumi are in the oven, put the remaining ½ teaspoon of coconut oil into a pan and place on a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the tomatoes and olives and cook for a further few minutes, or until the tomatoes start to get soft and caramelize around the edges. Add a tiny splash of water to the pan and throw in the spinach. Stir until it wilts, then turn off the heat and serve alongside the cod and halloumi.

Post-Training: Nutty barley goes really well with this dish. Soak 100g of barley overnight in water. Rinse, then put into a pan with 500ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until cooked.

Veggie option: Use 150g of organic tofu in place of the cod. Cut into strips lengthways and cook using the same method as for the cod. Cook for 15 minutes, then take out, flip over and add the halloumi and the paprika. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Honey Glazed Salmon

Lemon pepper is my secret weapon for making all fish super yummy. (Well, that, plus butter.) In Iceland we use it quite a lot, though it seems less common in the UK. If you have lemon pepper and butter, then you are good. Add garlic salt and honey, and you are good as gold.

1 tsp coconut oil or cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 salmon fillet (approx. 140g)

lemon pepper

garlic salt

2 tsp raw honey

40g sheep’s butter, cut into small pieces

70g spinach, washed

½ an avocado

1 small carrot, peeled

½ beetroot, peeled

salt and pepper

a drizzle of olive oil

a squeeze of lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  2. Line a roasting tray with a piece of foil large enough to wrap the fish, and cover it with the coconut oil. Place the salmon in the middle, and season with lemon pepper and garlic salt. Drizzle over the honey and dot with the butter. Fold the foil over and seal into a parcel. Roast for 15–20 minutes. For the last 5 minutes add the spinach to the tray.
  3. Cut the avocado into chunks and place in a medium-size bowl. Place a box grater over the top and coarsely grate in the carrot and beetroot (do the beetroot last, as its juice goes everywhere!). Season with salt and pepper, then mix together with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
  4.  Remove the salmon and spinach from the oven when ready, and serve with the salad alongside.

Post-training: Add 100g of cooked chickpeas to the crunchy side salad.

Sesame Arctic Char

This tastes fantastic and is so simple. Just the thing for evenings when you come home ravenous. Healthy fast food!

1 tsp coconut oil

2 Arctic char fillets (approx. 240g)

salt and pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

100g sheep’s butter

40ml sesame oil

40ml sweet chilli sauce

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

5 spring onions, finely chopped

1 cantaloupe melon, peeled, seeds removed, cut into bite-size chunks

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.
  2. Take a roasting tray and spread with the coconut oil. Place the Arctic char in the middle, and season with salt, pepper and garlic salt.
  3. Put the butter into a pan over a medium-low heat. Watch it carefully: remove from the heat when it is about three-quarters melted, and stir with a wooden spoon until completely melted. Mix in the sesame oil, chilli sauce, sesame seeds and spring onions, then pour over the char. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. The char should be easy to flake when it’s done.
  4. Peel the melon and take out the seeds. Cut into bite-size pieces and serve with the Arctic char.

Post-training: Add 100g of organic tinned butter beans. Drain and rinse the beans and put them into a pan for a few minutes over a low heat until they are warm through. Drain and mix them in a bowl with the melon.

Lamb Stew<

This is a proper Viking recipe, perfect for warming you up from the inside out on those long, cold winter nights. You can use any part of the lamb, but I like to use the leg.

As a side, I really like to eat this with chopped tinned pears drizzled with a couple of teaspoons of melted raspberry jam. It might sound strange, but I love the sweetness with the rich, meaty lamb! The Alkaliner Salad (Go to Salads ) also goes really well.

For 2-3

500g lamb, cut into bite-size pieces

salt and pepper

1 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil

2 onions, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato purée

½ tbsp paprika

2 beef stock cubes, mixed with 1 litre boiling water

  1. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
  2. Put the oil into a pan and place on a medium-high heat. When hot, add the lamb, browning it on all sides to seal it – around 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the lamb to a large heavy-bottomed pan, along with all the other ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for an hour, or until the meat is tender and in a rich savoury sauce.

 

Post-Training: Serve with brown rice, to soak up all those good meaty juices.

Whole Roasted Celeriac

This is an amazing vegetarian option – it couldn’t be simpler to make, and any leftovers are great for your lunchbox too. I like to serve this alongside a salad, or with kale or spinach, sautéd with garlic.

Makes 4 servings

1 whole celeriac

1½ tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

a knob of goat’s butter, chopped into small bits

salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Line a baking tray with enough foil to entirely cover the celeriac.
  2. Scrub the celeriac well to remove any dirt or gnarly bits – a vegetable brush is handy if you have one. Make small incisions all over it with a sharp knife.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the oil, both mustards, garlic and thyme leaves (pull them off the sprigs) to make a marinade.
  4. Place the celeriac in the middle of the tray and rub the marinade into it, really working to get it into the little cuts. Stud with the butter and season well, then fold the foil over tightly to seal.
  5. Roast for around 2 hours, or until completely tender, then slice into thick wedges and serve.

Post-Training: Serve with a portion of cooked barley.

Venison Sausages and Spiced Braised Red Cabbage

Venison sausages are lean but full of flavour (just check the label and make sure they’re not combined with pork), and are perfect with the sweet spiced cabbage.

Serves 2

4 venison sausages

For the red cabbage

1 small red cabbage, core removed, finely sliced

1 Red Gala apple, cored and finely sliced

½ a red onion, finely sliced

1 tsp raw honey

75ml cider vinegar

50ml red wine (or use water)

½ tsp juniper berries, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

a knob of goat’s butter

salt and pepper

  1. Put all the red cabbage ingredients into a saucepan and place on a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down slightly and cover with a lid. Cook for around 90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is fragrant and totally tender.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line a roasting tray with foil and place a grill rack on top.
  3. 20 minutes before the cabbage is ready, put the sausages on to the grill rack and put the roasting tray into the oven. Roast until the sausages are dark golden and crisp, turning once or twice.
  4. Serve the cabbage with the sausages.

Veggie option: The braised cabbage is wonderful with goat’s cheese melted on top. Just spoon the cabbage into an ovenproof dish, top with slices of goat’s cheese, and bake at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 until melted and golden.

Lamb Goulash with Buttery Mushrooms

This is my mum’s traditional Icelandic goulash. Just the thing to warm you up when it’s cold outside and you’ve been giving it your all. Serve with a salad of your choice (see Salads), or with my favourite, sautéd broccoli, red onion and tomatoes.

Serves 2–3

500g lamb (leg or shoulder work well, but you can use any cut)

a good drizzle of cold-pressed rapeseed oil

½ an onion, chopped

200g white button mushrooms, chopped

1–2 tbsp vegan, goat’s or sheep’s butter

200ml water

1 beef stock cube

100g organic tomato purée

½ a bunch of fresh parsley chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  2. Cut the lamb into chunks and place in a high-sided roasting tray. Drizzle with oil, mixing to cover so that the lamb pieces are all glazed. Roast for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the water, beef stock cube, onion and tomato puree to a pot on medium heat, mixing together to dissolve for a few minutes.
  4. Take the lamb out, pour over the the mix and back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. When you have placed it back in, then pre-heat a pan, medium heat and add the butter. Let it melt, then add the mushrooms. Stir in the butter until cooked and golden.
  6. Take out the lamb when done, add the mushrooms,making sure to scrape in all the buttery juices and sprinkle the chopped parsley over. Place in the tray on table and then plate it up!

-It is better to add the parsley at the end as it is then fully fresh and has all of its flavour.

Creamy Curried Pepper Soup

For those cosy nights in when you just want to relax and have it hygge, this hearty, helthy soup is perfect. Serve with a salad of your choosing (see Salads).

For 4

1 tsp coconut oil

1 leek, washed well and trimmed

4 peppers (yellow, red or both), deseeded and chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp organic curry paste

400g vegan cream cheese

180g chilli sauce

1 vegetable stock cube, mixed with 1½ litres boiling water

250g dairy-free cream, such as soya or coconut

ground paprika

salt and pepper

  1. Put the coconut oil into a pan (large enough for all the ingredients) and place on a medium heat. When hot, add the leeks to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, until softened. Add the peppers, stir so everything is coated in oil, and cook for a couple more minutes, again until softened.
  2. Add the garlic and curry paste, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream cheese, chilli sauce, stock, cream, and paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring, to bring everything together.
  3. Blend until smooth, using a hand-held electric blender.

Option: Chicken is really yummy in this soup. Cut chicken breasts (allow 1 per serving) into cubes, and fry for 8–10 minutes in a frying pan in oil. Then add to the soup in step 2, along with the other ingredients.

Steamed Cod and Fennel

Fennel is fantastic for a powerful Viking heart, as it’s packed full of fibre, potassium, folate, and vitamins B6 and C, which all appear to support great heart health. Plus its sweet, aniseedy flavour goes so well with delicate white fish like cod. Serve with a salad of your choosing (see pages XXX–XX) – I like to add goat’s cheese feta, as I think it goes perfectly with this dish!

For 2

1 tbsp vegan, goat’s or sheep’s butter

a drizzle of cold-pressed rapeseed oil

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and finely sliced

4 cod fillets, skinless and boneless

salt and pepper

1 lemon, halved

  1. Put the butter and oil into a sauté pan for which you have a lid and place on a medium heat (the oil has a higher burning point than the butter, so stops it burning). When the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add the fennel and fry, stirring, until softened – about 5 minutes.
  2. Place the cod on top of the fennel, season with salt and pepper and lower the heat slightly. Cover with the lid and cook for 12 minutes, or until the fish is cooked (gently insert a knife to check if you’re unsure: it should flake easily, and be white throughout).
  3. Remove from the heat, and squeeze over the lemon juice before serving.

Post-training: The fluffy texture of quinoa pairs perfectly with this recipe (see Sometimes Carbs).