“ Grand Slams don’t fall off a tree” – Gareth Davies
This is my Lentil Cumberland pie with sweet potato mash as the topping as a healthier alternative to normal white potato mash.
Not only does Sweet Potato contain lots of vital Vitamin A, it is also a low GI starchy vegetable. This is more relevant to the athletes among us as eating a low sugar diet is hugely important in terms of being able to recover quicker and back up the intensity of training sessions.
This becomes of even more importance if for instance you are in the middle of marathon training are there are days whereby you are training twice a day. If this is the case not only is it hugely important that you eat a low GI diet, but in addition it is important that you eat your post training/race meal within 2 hours after the training/race finishes because this is when your body replenishes the low glucose levels at its quickest.
You may have noticed that I eat a lot of Spinach or Kale and pulses and that I have accompanied this particular dish with Spinach.
Forget all the Popeye jokes people. Spinach is hugely important mainly as it contains an excellent source of iron and there is more iron per gram in Spinach or Kale than there is in any meats. I feel very tired as I am writing this but it is important to learn the difference between tiredness and lethargy. This week I have done over 40k in three days so far and even in training at a quicker pace already than what I would need to do to go Sub 3 for the Marathon.
This is because I ensure I eat all the right things and my Iron levels are appropriately stored.
If we are not careful, it can be common, especially in athletes ( and especially female) for some athletes to experience iron deficiency in their diets. I remember an old coach of mine in Windsor explaining he had an athlete who experienced it.
I also have a fellow Athlete from Harriers who has been feeling ill recently and doctors are still doing tests and don’t know what it Is but she is running fine as always. I explained to her that it could well be she feels lethargic more often due to low iron stores.
Iron is one of the most vitally important things that our bodies need. Iron is hugely responsible for the making of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body in the red blood cells. It also contributes towards healthy myoglobin levels, which ensures that there are good levels of oxygen in our muscle cells.
Statistics show that nearly 30% of female athletes suffer from iron deficiency.
Spinach contains more iron per portion size than Chicken and roughly the same amount as any red meat.
Red Lentils have one of the highest iron content of any foods.
1 Onion ( 38 Calories, 0g Fat, 8g Carbs, 1g Protein)
3 Sticks of Celery, finely diced ( 10 Calories, 1g Fat, 1g Carbs, 1g Protein)
3 Carrots, finely diced ( 41 Calories, 0g Fat, 8g Carbs, 1g Protein)
150ml Vegetable Stock ( 35 Calories, 3g Fat, 1g Carbs, 1g Protein)
400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes ( 94 Calories, 0g Fat, 14g Carbs, 6g Protein)
2oz Dry Red Lentils ( 136 Calories, 2g Fat, 16g Carbs, 12g Protein)
50g Mushrooms, chopped ( 8 Calories, 0.5g Fat, 0g Carbs, 1g Protein)
3 Large Sweet Potatoes ( 87 Calories, 0g Fat, 19g Carbs, 1g Protein)
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil ( 60 Calories, 2g Fat, 7g Carbs, 4g Protein)
1 tbsp Butter ( 102 Calories, 12g Fat, 0g Carbs, 0g Protein)
100g Spinach ( 24 Calories, 1g Fat, 3g Carbs, 3g Protein)
1) Fry the Onion, Celery, carrots and mushrooms in the olive oil on a medium heat until starting to soften.
2) Add the Vegetable Stock and Red Lentils and then bring everything to the boil.
3) Add the chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil again and then simmer for 15-20 minutes on a medium-low heat until the lentils are thoroughly cooked and the mixture is a little thicker.
4) While the mixture is simmering, peel and chop the sweet potatoes in to 1cm slices and add to a Saucepan of salted, boiling water.
5) Bring to the boil and cook the sweet potatoes for approximately 15-20 minutes.
6) Spoon the mixture in to a ovenproof Round pie dish and set aside.
7) Grate some of the Cheese in with the Sweet Potato and Add the butter and mash the sweet potato.
8) Top the pie mixture with the Sweet Potato topping and use a fork or wooden spoon to even out the sweet potato mash.
9) Grate the rest of the Cheese on Top and cook in the oven on Gas mark 6 (200C) for 15 minutes.
10) Serve with wilted Spinach.