Each meal costs less than £1.50 per serving (Picture: Aldi)
Want to know what the athletes are eating?
Aldi and Team GB nutritionist Nigel Mitchell have worked together to create five recipes, all at a low cost, all good for the mind and body.
Research from Aldi shows that a quarter of us reach for comfort food at least five times a week, but more than half say it makes them feel worse after.
There’s a misconception that eating healthier is more costly, as 69% say this is what puts them off having better meals.
These recipes below all cost less than £1.50 per serving – so you can know what you’re signing up for before visiting the supermarket.
Nigel says: ‘It’s fascinating how our bodies react to certain foods, and when our mood is low, we do tend to turn to things that give us a sense of comfort.
‘While there’s nothing wrong with having a treat from time to time, it’s also really important that we are aware of the link between our diets and mood to ensure we incorporate foods that can have a positive impact too.’
Start the day with this (Picture: Aldi)
Nigel says: ‘Probably my number one breakfast choice for athletes is porridge.
‘It’s warming, comforting and provides ideal slow-release carbohydrates. This helps to maintain blood glucose levels which supports an even brain energy level to prevent drops in mood.
‘I love the versatility of it and this version has become my favorite in my constant quest for packing in more nutrition with athletes!
‘It is easy to make this plant-based by swapping the milk for your choice of dairy free milk. I suggest soya because it provides more protein than other dairy free milk.
‘Chia seeds are not only a great source of protein, but they are also high in fats which the body uses to make DHA fatty acids. This is essential for the brain to function – impacting everything from cognition to mood.’
- Porridge oats 50g
- ½ cup of frozen berries (defrosted) 50g
- Chia seeds 10g (1 tablespoon)
- Quinoa 10g (1 tablespoon)
- Coconut oil 10g (1 tablespoon)
- Water 75ml
- Milk semi skimmed 75ml
- For best results soak the quinoa and chia seeds overnight with the oats and water and milk.
- Put all the ingredients in a microwave proof container, stir and cook in the microwave for two minutes. Stir again and cook for a further one to two minutes.
- Leave it to stand for a minute and then give it a final stir. Add more water if you like it runny.
- If you don’t have a microwave, cook in a heavy bottom pan. Warm the water, gradually add the oats whilst stirring, and add the rest of the ingredients. Leave on a low heat for 3-4 minutes and add more water if required.
Tuna and pistachio quinoa salad
A healthy lunch (Picture: Aldi)
Nigel says: ‘Combining the high-quality proteins of tuna and pistachio nuts provides a nutrient-rich, protein-packed meal.
‘These are also great brain foods. Tuna is a strong supplier of Omega 3 fats such as DHA which is an essential part of the brain.
‘Meanwhile, the greens and purples in the pistachio nuts are high in anthocyanins (antioxidants) which have been associated with supporting a happy mind.
‘For a plant-based version leave out the tuna and double the pistachios.’
- Tinned tuna (in brine) 320g (2 x tins)
- Pistachio nuts (kernels) 70g
- Quinoa (mixed colour) 300g
- Water 600ml
- Tomatoes 200g
- Pepper’s 100g
- Spring onions 50g
- Flat leaf parsley 20g
- Olive Oil 20g
- Lemon juice 10g
- First cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa before cooking to remove extra starch.
- Put the rinsed quinoa into a saucepan and add the water. Season with salt and heat until boiling (do not cover).
- Once the water is boiling, switch the heat down to a simmer and let it simmer until the water has absorbed. Put a lid on the pan and take it off the heat. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes.
- While the quinoa is resting, open and drain the tuna, roughly chop the tomatoes, pepper, spring onion, parsley and pistachio nuts. Mix in a bowl and add the oil and lemon juice.
- Transfer the quinoa to a large serving plate and combine the rest of the ingredients. Any leftovers are great served cold.
Marinated chicken thigh skewers
Dinner sorted (Picture: Aldi)
Nigel says: ‘Skewers are great for combining meats and vegetables, with my vegetables of choice often being peppers and chestnut mushrooms.
‘If you look on packets of mushrooms you will see some are labeled as containing Vitamin D, and that’s dependent on their exposure to UV light. Just like when we are exposed to sunlight and produce vitamin D, it helps to boost your immunity and low levels are associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
‘Meanwhile, brightly-coloured vegetables such as peppers are high in phytonutrients which help with blood flow around the body – including the brain.
‘These are great served with wholemeal pitta breads or on a bed of grains.
‘The ginger in the marinade of this one is packed with gingerols which are bioactive compounds. These are anti-inflammatory and help to support a healthy brain.’
- Ginger 30g (small piece)
- Soy sauce 80ml
- White wine vinegar 80ml
- Chicken thighs (fillets) – 8 thighs (approx. 500g)
- Red bell pepper 1 large
- Chestnut mushrooms – 8
- Tomatoes – 4 medium
- For the marinade, peel the ginger and chop finely, then place it in a bowl. Add the soya sauce and white wine vinegar and give a good stir. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken to the marinade and stir until the chicken is well coated. Leave for at least two hours or overnight.
- Once the chicken has been marinated, cut the pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes ready to place on your skewers.
- Use long skewers (either wood or metal) and coat with oil. Add your ingredients to the skewer and lay the packed skewers on a baking tray. Drizzle a little oil over them and the rest of the marinade.
- If the weather is good, these are great for a BBQ – or you can roast in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 180oC and cook for about 25-30 mins. The chicken should be slightly browned and peppers caramelised.
Mixed bean chili
Nutritious (Picture: Aldi)
Nigel says: ‘This is one of my family’s absolute favorites – so much so that I often make a big batch to enjoy twice a week!
‘From a nutritional perspective, the recipe is packed with brain and mood supporting ingredients.
‘The peppers and tomatoes contain antioxidants that support your brain, while the beans provide slowly released energy to help fuel your thinking.
‘This is great served with guacamole and salad to supply even more brain nutrients.
‘When the chili is cold it can be mashed and re-purposed as a pate or spread.’
Serves four to six
- Onions 3-4 medium
- Tinned tomatoes (chopped) 400g (1 x tin)
- Bell peppers (any color) – 2 large
- Mixed beans 1,200 (720g drained)
- Tomato puree 50g
- Vegetable stock cubes – 2 (14g)
- Garlic 4 cloves
- Cumin 1 tablespoon
- Paprika 1 tablespoon
- Chili Powder 1 tablespoon
- Chop the onions and garlic. Add a drizzle of oil to a pan and add the onions and garlic.
- While the onions and garlic soften, chop the peppers into small chunks.
- Add the peppers into the mix with the tomato puree, cumin, paprika and chili powder.
- Stir the ingredients together before adding in the tinned tomatoes, mixed beans and vegetable stock cubes.
- Leave to simmer for about 20-30 minutes before serving up. Serve with either rice or tacos.
Chocolate Berry Mess
A healthy dessert (Picture: Aldi)
Nigel says: ‘Dark chocolate is full of cocoa flavonoids which are associated with improving mood and cognitive function, while the yoghurt provides great protein.
‘Brightly-coloured berries are packed with antioxidants which are said to help with numerous mood disorders and the flax seeds provide great fats for the brain which can be mood uplifting.
‘This simple sweet could also make a great snack or maybe even breakfast.
‘Frozen berries are convenient, cost-effective and nutritious. Just take out what you need the night before and let them defrost.’
- Dark chocolate (85%) 80g
- Mixed berries (defrosted) 80g
- Natural yoghurt 150g
- Milled flax (blend with berries) 20g
- Chop the chocolate into small chunks—or give a quick blast in a blender.
- Mix the chocolate, berries and yoghurt together and sprinkle on the flax seed.
- If you want a bit more sweetness, give it a squirt of honey.
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