Socca “Pizza” with Fresh Chickpea Pesto

Socca “Pizza” with Fresh Chickpea Pesto

Versatile chickpea flour (which happens to be gluten free) may not be as beloved as standard all-purpose—but we think that may be about to change. It's used to make socca, a Mediterranean chickpea pancake, which we top with a fresh chickpea pesto and goat cheese to turn it into a socca pizza. While it isn't a pizza in the technical sense, it still satisfies cravings for something doughy and cheesy.

Ingredients
  

  • For the Socca:
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove finely grated
  • Pinch cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the Chickpea Pesto:
  • 8 ounces 4 cups whole fresh green chickpeas, shucked (1 cup)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh chervil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove roughly chopped
  • For Assembly:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 ounces goat cheese crumbled (¼ cup)
  • 1 serrano chile thinly sliced
  • Chopped pistachios for garnish
  • Mâche rosettes for garnish
  • Chervil leaves for garnish
  • Flaky sea salt for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Make the socca: In a large bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until a smooth batter forms. Cover in plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the chickpea pesto: Bring a small pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Season the water with salt. Add the fresh chickpeas and cook until tender, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chickpeas to the ice bath. Once cool, drain the chickpeas and remove their thin shells around the green centers. Transfer the chickpeas to a small food processor with the remaining pesto ingredients. Pulse until a smooth paste comes together, then season with salt.
  • Assemble the socca pizza: Preheat the broiler with the rack 6 inches away from the heat source. In a 10-inch ovenproof, nonstick pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Pour the batter into the pan, swirling to cover the entire surface, then transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until the socca sets, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven. Spread the chickpea pesto over the socca and dot with the goat cheese. Return to the oven and broil until the cheese is slightly golden, 4 minutes more. Transfer the socca to a board and top with the sliced serrano, chopped pistachios, mâche and chervil. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with flaky sea salt, then serve.

Two-step sausage and lentil salad!

Two step sausage and lentil salad

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pkt Garlic & Herb Beef Sausages
  • 2 x 400g cans brown lentils rinsed, drained
  • 250 g cooked baby beetroot cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup Coles Marinated Danish Fetta drained reserving marinade
  • 60 g Spinach

Instructions
 

  • Heat a greased frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the sausages, turning occasionally, for 8 mins or until cooked through. Halve diagonally.
  • Arrange the lentils, beetroot, fetta and spinach on a serving platter with the sausage. Drizzle with 1/4 cup (60ml) of the reserved marinade and season to serve.

What’s Just As Prevalent As The Gender Pay Gap? The Gender Injury Gap!

We are all familiar with the misplays of the month and have all seen just about every way possible to injure yourself or someone else. Based on the amount of televised sport being predominantly male, you might think that sports injuries are more common among male than female athletes.

That may be true for college and NFL football players, since nearly all are male. However, girls and women are actually more prone than men to suffer many of the most common sports-related injuries. There are a variety of reasons for this “gender gap,” but there is much about it that remains uncertain. But the recognition of this gap has led to innovative efforts to prevent injuries among women in sports including but not limited to getting young girls into strength and conditioning programs from an earlier age much like their male counterparts.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the main structures in the knee that provides stability under stress. Injuries of this ligament are up to 6 times more common among women than men. A number of other sports-related injuries are also more common among women such as:

  • Ankle sprain. This is one of the most common sports injury, but it’s particularly common among women.
  • Shoulder injuries. Ranging in everything for inflammation/irritation to rotator cuff problems.
  • Knee injuries. These include irritation under the knee cap (called patellofemoral syndrome) and ligament damage (including tears to the ACL), which is especially common among soccer and basketball players.
  • Stress fractures. These are especially common in the foot or lower leg (tibia) among women with the “female athlete triad,” a combination of inadequate calorie and nutrient intake, irregular menstrual periods, and bone loss. Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, contribute to this triad.

Keep in mind that theses are only a few of the most common injuries seen and much more research is required.

Why are women more prone to these injuries than men?

We have more theories than answers. The most common explanation is that it’s due to basic differences between the bodies of men and women. For example, the typical female athlete, as compared with her male counterpart, has:

  • higher estrogen levels, along with less muscle mass.
    • greater flexibility (due to looser ligaments).
    • a wider pelvis, which alters the alignment of the knee and ankle
    • a narrower space within the knee for the ACL to travel through.

Some other important factors to consider are the following:

  • Less early access to strength and conditioning programs.
  • Female athletes also tend to have a higher pain threshold and are likely to play through pain and injury.
  • Social pressure to look/act “feminine”

So if you have a daughter or are an athlete yourself, the current research points at three main options in injury prevention.

  1. Early access to strength and conditioning programs and coaching.
  2. Healthier relationships with food. (also results in better nutrition).
  3. More female focused and lead research!

Looking for speed, strength, agility and vertical training? Come in to SST today to find out how we take care of our female athletes!

Cottage Cheese and acorn squash toast!

Cottage cheese and acorn squash toast.

Farmer cheese is basically a very dry cottage cheese with most of the whey (liquid part) pressed out of it. Its texture is very similar to ricotta Farmer cheese is low-fat, has low levels of lactose (so those who have difficulty digesting dairy would most likely have no problem with it), has descent levels of protein, and is super mild and versatile. It’s most common usage is for fillings in Eastern European dishes such as blintzes, but here I’ve used it as a spread on toasted bread that you can top with a wide array of vegetables, fruit, seeds, etc.

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Slices Toasted rye bread Or any other bread
  • 100 g Farmers cheese or regular cottage cheese
  • 1 Acorn squash
  • 2 tbps Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Toast bread of choice to desired color.
  • Spread a tsp cottage cheese over toast.
  • Acorn squash prep
  • Roast the squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (easier cleanup) for about 20-25 minutes until the squash is soft. Let it cool and just peel off the skin with your fingers- it will come off very easily! Spread the farmer cheese on toasted bread (pumpernickel, whole grain, rye, sourdough).
  • Top with the slices of squash, and finish with salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to add some crunch, extra protein, omega-3 fats, and magnesium!

Notes

A faster option is to just add a drizzle of honey to the cheese. Eat this before or after a workout, for breakfast, or as a side with your favorite soup. Enjoy!
 

Protein Pancakes!!

Protein Pancakes!!

If you’re looking for the perfect thing to eat post-workout, then you must try my easy protein pancakes recipe. These contain 26g of protein per serving. Banana's and walnuts are my favorite toppers!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Scoop Protein powder
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 80 ml Milk
  • Fruits to serve

Instructions
 

  • Add the Protein Powder, Banana, Baking Powder, Egg and Milk into a blender. Blitz to form a smooth batter.
  • Heat a drizzle of Oil in a non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat on the stove.
  • Slowly pour the batter into the pan for each individual pancake. Leave to cook (usually for 1 minute) until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake.
  • Flip the pancake and cook for a further minute then remove from the pan.
  • Repeat the process to use up all the batter. Stack the pancakes then top them off with the Fruits. Enjoy!

Our favorite Recovery Techniques for Athletes!

The foundation on which all success is built for any athlete, is strong muscles. Without them, it is impossible for athletes to achieve the highest level of performance in their chosen Sport.

One of the biggest obstacles to improving strength and increasing athletic performance is muscle recovery, the process in which muscles receive nutrients and repair themselves after intense use. While some recovery time will always be necessary for human muscles, there are a few muscle recovery techniques for athletes that are designed to minimize the amount of downtime that the muscles require. This means that an athlete has more time to spend improving their skills at their chosen sport.

Stretching Intensity

Stretching is among the best muscle recovery techniques because it improves the flow of blood to the muscles that are being stretched. In this way, it speeds up the recovery process by allowing the muscles to more readily receive the nutrients they need.

Both static and dynamic stretching are beneficial!

Get Enough Rest

Although many competitive athletes aren’t fond of the idea of limiting their activity, adequately resting muscles that are being worked out is one of the most critical muscle recovery techniques for athletes. When the body is asleep, it goes through several important processes that repair muscle tissue and restores balance to the rest of the body. Sleep is especially important for those athletes who want to improve their muscle mass; some medical specialists believe that a lack of sleep can actually contribute to the loss of muscle mass, based on the hormonal changes that occur while a person is asleep.

Even the most elite athletes in the world do not neglect their sleep. Tennis legend Roger Federer is known to sleep between ten and twelve hours a night, as does basketball star LeBron James. In late 2014 it was reported that NFL quarterback Tom Brady, goes to bed at 8:30 PM each night to make sure he can get enough sleep to wake up early and work on his skills.

Improving Blood Flow

The nutrients contained in the body’s blood are important because they eventually get sent to muscles that are recovering, allowing them to begin the process of restoring muscle fibers to make them stronger than they were before. Without sufficient blood flow, muscles will not receive these important building blocks, ultimately limiting their growth. Some of the muscle recovery techniques for athletes that can help contribute to blood flow include stretching and maintaining a diet of healthy foods that do not contribute to blocked arteries or veins.

Getting a Massage

Many athletes get massages frequently to alleviate tense muscles, so their bodies feel better and don’t give them as much pain. Receiving a massage can be one of the best muscle recovery techniques for athletes because it helps make the biological process of muscle recovery more efficient. In a post on The New York Times’ blog entitled Well, scientific research showed that people who received a massage had lower levels of cytokines, a compound that causes inflammation, and higher levels of mitochondria activity, which helps convert glucose into the energy that is important for cell repair.

Remember, if you are an athlete looking for recovery through massage, you don’t need to go to a professional each and every time. Learning a few different massage techniques and applying them yourself after a workout or competition can help you get many of the great benefits of massage without having to make an appointment with a massage therapist. There are plenty of massage products on the market as well, which are designed to work specific areas.

Drinking Enough Water

Water is important for many of our bodily functions; it is no wonder, when you consider that most scientists agree that the average adult human body is 55 to 60% water. While most athletes already know that staying hydrated is important during performance or training sessions, some may forget that drinking water is one of the best muscle recovery techniques for athletes today. This is because drinking water helps fill up the cells and prevent them from falling victim to protein synthesis. Hydration is also important for facilitating digestion, so that the body can receive all of the nutrients that are needed for proper recovery. Water helps contribute to a healthy digestive process.

The standard suggestion for water consumption each day is 64 ounces or about half a gallon. However, some athletes may need to drink more than that to be adequately hydrated. A good tip for drinking enough water each day is to take a reusable water bottle with you to work or school so that you can space out your water drinking and maintain hydration throughout the day. Use your urine as an indicator of hydration… if its clear then you’re getting enough but if its yellow or dark you need to step it up!

Consuming Coconut Products

Why are coconuts considered valuable to the muscle recovery process? There are a few common reasons why coconut-based drinks and foods have become so popular with today’s athletic community. First, coconut products contain compounds known as medium-chain triglycerides, which are fats that the body can absorb into the bloodstream more easily than other types. This makes it an ideal form of fuel for the muscle recovery process.

Coconut water is becoming a popular alternative to traditional sports drinks for athletes, because of its effectiveness at restoring hydration after a workout. Coconut water contains electrolytes and plenty of potassium, which means that it is one of the best muscle recovery techniques for athletes who want to reduce their downtime between workouts. Many athletes have decided to stop drinking the traditional sports drinks on the market in favor of coconut-based juices and water drinks.

Rolling Your Muscles

Rolling your muscles is a great way to release tension in your body by removing knots in areas like the legs, arms, and sides. This can be done with a specialized foam roller, a medicine ball, or other similar devices that are meant to move easily along the muscles. There are different kinds of techniques employed for muscle rolling depending on the areas and specific muscles that need to be rolled.

When you roll your muscles, it results in better flexibility and less painful movement of the muscles in question, because you break up tightness and knots that cause stiffness and pain. Muscle rolling is one of the great muscle recovery techniques for athletes because it helps restore range of motion and eliminate the tightness and pain that often comes with inflammation as a result of intense competitions or training sessions. Muscle rolling is also a good recovery technique because it gives you more control over the specific areas that you target for recovery, which can provide highly effective relief.

Ginger-lime Salmon Quinoa bowl

Ginger-lime Salmon Quinoa bowl

Not only healthy, but satisfying. One master vinaigrette of ginger and lime flavors the whole dish, while pickled onions and marinated tomatoes add the perfect tang. Tender seared salmon and creamy avocado top it off for the perfect grain bowl.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 4 People

Ingredients
  

  • For the Pickled Onions:
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic chives
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 garlic cloves finely grated
  • One 1-inch piece ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 1/2 jalapeño seeded and minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • For the Bowls:
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups adult pea tendrils or baby spinach
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 pound salmon cut into four 4-ounce fillets
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 radishes thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced on a bias
  • 1 avocado peeled, pitted and thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • Make the picked onions: Place the onions in a medium, heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining pickled onion ingredients to a boil, then pour over the onions. Let cool completely.
  • Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified.
  • Prepare the bowls: In a small glass bowl, toss together the cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and let marinate.
  • In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pea tendrils and cook until wilted, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and keep warm.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of each fillet with salt. Sear, flipping once, until golden and cooked to medium, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the quinoa with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and divide between 4 bowls. Place a piece of salmon in the center of each bowl, then divide the pickled onions, marinated tomatoes, sautéed pea tendrils, radishes, scallions and avocado around each fillet. Serve immediately.

Notes

Playing off the Asian flavors of this dish, I grabbed some adult pea tendrils in Chinatown for the dish. Have you ever seen the micro pea leaves at the market? Well, these are just adult versions of them snipped off the pea plant. If you happen to spot them they add a lovely delicate pea flavor to the dish, but if you can’t baby spinach is just as great subbed in.

Delicious coconut-braised short ribs!

Coconut-Braised Short ribs

Pro tip: These leftovers are perfect for breakfast the next day. Chop up the short ribs and mix with whatever leftover brown rice and braising liquid. Heat a little butter in a hot cast iron pan and cook until the rice just starts to crisp up. Make a few wells and crack an egg in each. Cook until the whites are set and you have a true breakfast of champions.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 40 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 pounds 8 to 10 beef short ribs
  • 12 garlic cloves peeled
  • 8 scallions white and greens separated and each thinly sliced
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 dried bird’s eye chilies
  • 1 medium yellow onion thinly sliced
  • One 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 7 ounces enoki mushrooms trimmed and separated
  • Brown rice for serving

Instructions
 

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, sear the short ribs on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
  • To the Dutch oven, add the garlic, scallion whites, kaffir lime leaves, dried chilies and onion. Cook until lightly golden and aromatic, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the short ribs back to the pot with the coconut milk, beef stock, soy sauce and vinegar, and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the short ribs are extremely tender, 3 hours.
  • Carefully transfer the short ribs to a plate and skim the sauce to remove excess fat. Bring to a boil and cook until lightly reduced, 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the short ribs and cook for 1 minute more, then remove from the heat.
  • Serve over brown rice, garnishing with the sliced scallion greens.

Roasted Broccoli with garlic, lemon and tahini!

Roasted Broccoli with garlic, lemon and tahini

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons tahini well stirred
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus more to serve
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups broccoli cut into 1 1/2-inch florets

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450° F.
  • Place all of the ingredients except for the broccoli in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add broccoli and toss well to thoroughly coat.
  • Scatter on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot for best flavor, squeezing a little extra lemon juice on top.

Get Up & Go Power Salad!

Power Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup of diced raw leek
  • 1/2 cup of sprouts
  • 1/2 cup of diced cucumber
  • 1 tsp of hemp hearts
  • 2 tsp of good quality EV olive oil
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp of grapeseed oil
  • 3 large kale leaves

Instructions
 

  • For the salad: combine all the ingredients, don’t overthink it, any greens will do in place of kale.
  • For the chickpeas: heat grape seed oil in a wok on medium heat, add the diced red onion, 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Add the chickpeas, 2 minutes, the pan is medium to hot.
  • Add garlic, chilli and paprika, 1 minute.
  • Add greens, the pan is now hot, 1 minute.
  • Add the rice wine and let it deglaze the wok. Serve immediately with salad.

Notes

Nutrition infromation:
Serving Size
173g
Sodium
402mg
17%
Fat
8.33g
13%
Fiber
9.84g
39%
Carbs
34.6g
12%
Protein
11.8g
24%
Energy
250kcal
13%