Standard ‘Dial-a-Spice’ offerings can be fat-heavy and nutrient-light, but this homemade veggie option minimises the nutritional nasties and provides a great balance of carbohydrates and protein. ‘Indian spices are also a great source of key minerals for runners,’ says Percy.
• 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 chilli, roughly chopped
• 2.5-cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 2 tsp garam masala
• 1 tsp cumin powder
• 200g red lentils
• 1 tin chickpeas
• Mixed vegetables (eg 2x medium carrots, ¼ medium cauliflower, ½ small aubergine, handful of green beans) chopped into bite-size pieces
• 2 medium tomatoes
• ½ tin low-fat coconut milk
• 2 large handfuls of spinach
• 180g quinoa
• Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
1 Blend the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger into a fine paste. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and then add in the onion paste and spices.
2 Stir in the lentils, chickpeas, vegetables and tomatoes and mix until they’re all coated with paste.
3 Add just enough boiling water to cover everything, then add your coconut milk. Next, simmer, stirring regularly for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the veg is cooked (add more water if necessary).
4 Add the spinach leaves and stir until wilted.
5 Meanwhile, simmer the quinoa in 360ml of water for 10 minutes. Serve with a garnish of chopped coriander.
Fine grain The supergrain quinoa makes a great alternative to your standard rice. ‘It’s not only packed with carbs, but also very high in protein and a rich source of magnesium, which is essential for both energy production and preventing cramps,’ says Bailey.
Find a pulse ‘Bulk out your curry with chickpeas,’ says Percy. ‘They’re rich in slow-release carbohydrates and can contribute to endurance levels and help you focus for longer. Chickpeas also contain protein, B vitamins, and minerals such as calcium and iron.
Hot coco For all the flavour without the harmful fats found in ghee-laden takeaways, use coconut oil. ‘It’s stable, so it won’t break down into trans fats,’ says Bailey. ‘It also has lauric acid to support immunity.’
It was all yellow ‘Turmeric is a rich source of curcumin, which is said to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-cancer properties,’ says Percy. ‘It also helps lower cholesterol.’
Nutrition Before After
Calories 1,338 520
Fat 55.5g 12g
Carbs 112g 85g
Protein 28g 36g