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With the much-anticipated party season upon us, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to stay healthy—especially with all the temptation and added opportunities to overindulge in rich foods. But there’s certainly no need to cut out all the joy when it comes to food!
With a big part of the festive period centered around treating yourself and spending time with friends and family over delicious meals, it’s not always easy to stay balanced. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of best-selling UK author and fitness expert Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach.
“Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and you shouldn’t be worrying about what you are or aren’t eating... it’s Christmas after all!,” says Joe. “I’ll get up on Boxing Day and do a workout and then get back to the cheese board and chocolates!"
Joe’s sharing two of his favorite recipes from his book, “Cooking for Family & Friends by Joe Wicks,” to help you to stay on track whilst not straying far from the fun lane.
The Turkey, Ham & Mushroom Filo Pie is a great wholesome equivalent to a Sunday roast or a yummy reduced-carb way to put your leftovers to good use.
“This is another tasty way to use up your festive food for a crowd,” says Joe. “The crispy filo is a delicious contrast to the creamy filling.”
Turkey, Ham & Mushroom Filo Pie
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
3 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large leek, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
200g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon cornflour
400ml hot chicken stock
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoon crème Fraiche
300g leftover turkey, cut into chunks
200g thick-sliced ham, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh tarragon and parsley
4 sheets filo pastry
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a medium pan over a low heat. Chuck in the leek, carrots, and mushrooms and cook for 15 minutes until softened but not coloured.
- Stir in the cornflour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked turkey, ham and chopped herbs and spoon the mixture into a medium pie dish.
- Preheat your oven to 200-degree Celsius (fan 180-degree Celsius/gas mark 6). Melt the remaining coconut oil in a small pan.
- Unroll the filo pastry and cover with a clean damp tea towel. Put a single sheet on a board and brush with a little oil. Rough scrunch up the pastry and put on top of the turkey mixture. Repeat with the remaining filo until the top of the pie is covered.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filo is golden and the pie mixture is bubbling. Get stuck in.
For something sweet, you can’t get much better than the perfect blend of dark chocolate and fresh, juicy raspberries in Joe’s Guilteee Chocolate & Raspberry Log.
“It’s not the leanest, but the tastiest Swiss roll I’ve ever made,” says Joe, “And should be made as a treat (over the festive period) or on Christmas Day.”
Guilteee Chocolate & Raspberry Log
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
80g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
4 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon coffee extract
100g golden caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
75g self-raising flour, sifted cocoa powder for dusting
For the filing
300g double cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
180g fresh raspberries (or frozen raspberries)
24x 35cm Swiss roll tin
- Preheat your oven to 180 degree Celsius (fan 160 degree Celsius/gas mark 4). Line the sides and base of the Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
- Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to melt, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Place the eggs into a large bowl with the coffee essence and sugar, and whisk using an electric whisk until pale and thickened (about 8-10 minutes). Fold in the cooled melted chocolates and flour.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten with a palette knife. Bake for 12-15 minutes until springy to the touch.
- Place a large sheet of baking parchment on a clean work surface and lightly sprinkle with casting sugar. Remove the cake from the oven and flip onto the baking parchment. Peel away the parchment from the sponge. Loosely roll the sponge from the short end and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the cream, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Top with fresh raspberries* in a single layer and re-roll the sponge, removing the baking paper as you do it. Decorate with cocoa and caster sugar.
*If using frozen raspberries, allow them to defrost and stir them through the vanilla cream.
Whatever you’re up to over the party season, enjoy it! Use food as a fuel for lots of activity and festive sweats. If you need some inspiration or want to squeeze in an extra workout in between all the parties, find a fitness class that fits your busy schedule on the MINDBODY app.
Cooking for Family & Friends by Joe Wicks is out now (Bluebird).