Gemma Atkinson is pregnant with her first child. The former soap star, known for her enviable physique has now released a cookbook, The Ultimate Body Plan, here are three of our favourite recipes
Gemma Atkinson has announced that she is pregnant with her first child. This morning Gemma and her boyfriend Gorka Marquez who she met on the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 took to Instagram to reveal the happy news.
The actress and model is a well known advocate of healthy living and healthy eating and now we get to see exactly how she does it. The Ultimate Body Plan features 75 easy recipes plus a few workouts for you to try at home or at the gym.
Healthy Recipe #1 Peanut Butter Porridge
Porridge is always a healthy and warming way to start the day, and because it’s high in fibre and low GI it makes you feel full, so you’re less likely to feel hungry and need a snack mid-morning.
Preparation time 5 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
390kcals Per serving. Vegan. Gluten Free.
- 85g (3oz/1 cup) rolled oats
- 240ml (8fl oz/1 cup) water
- 240ml (8fl oz/1 cup) unsweetened almond milk
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp peanut butter (no added sugar)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- Small banana, sliced
- tbsp toasted pecans or almonds chopped
- Maple syrup, for drizzling
1. Put the oats, water, almond milk and salt in a non-stick saucepan and set over a low heat. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until the oats start to soften, then increase the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
2. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook gently for 2–3 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the porridge is thick and creamy.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup.
4. Spoon the porridge into two breakfast bowls and top with the sliced banana and nuts. Serve hot, drizzled with maple syrup.
Stir in some dark (bittersweet) chocolate chips just before serving.
Swap the peanut butter for another nut butter, such as almond or cashew.
Top with fresh berries or cacao nibs.
Healthy Recipe #2 Super Healthy Veggie Burgers
This recipe is for four veggie burgers because I like to prepare them in advance and then chill them in the fridge overnight, or even freeze them for a later date, before cooking.
Preparation time 45 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
590kcals Per Serving. Vegan.
- 500g/1lb 2oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 175g/6oz kale or spring greens, shredded
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Small bunch of chives, snipped 50g (2oz/scant ½ cup) roughly
- Chopped roasted hazelnuts or almonds
- tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 75g/3oz mixed seeds, e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 wholemeal rolls or burger buns sliced tomato and lettuce
- Tomato ketchup or chilli sauce, for drizzling
1. Cook the sweet potatoes in a saucepan of boiling salted water for about 15 minutes until tender. Drain well and set aside to cool before roughly crushing with a potato masher. Don’t worry if it’s a bit lumpy.
2. Meanwhile, cook the kale or spring greens in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 4–5 minutes. Drain and roughly chop.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small frying pan (skillet) set over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in the chives.
4. Combine the onion mixture in a bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes, cooked greens and nuts. Stir in the flour and mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide into four portions and use your hands to shape each one into a burger. Roll each burger in the mixed seeds, pressing lightly to coat them all over. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan set over a medium heat. Cook the burgers for 3–4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper (paper towels).
6. Split and lightly toast the rolls or burger buns. Serve the burgers in the buns with some tomato and lettuce, drizzled with tomato ketchup or chilli sauce.
Healthy Recipe #3 Warm Lentil & Mozzarella Salad with Pesto
This salad is best served lukewarm or at room temperature rather than cold from the fridge. And please don’t use red lentils to make it as they collapse when cooked and don’t retain their shape. I learned that the mushy way.
Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
405kcals Per serving. Vegetarian. Gluten Free.
- 100g (4oz/½ cup) Puy or green lentils (dry weight)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Onion, chopped#
- Carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed 150g/5oz
- Baby plum tomatoes, halved
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Handful of parsley or basil, leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 100g/4oz fine green beans, trimmed 60g/2oz
- Mozzarella, sliced
- 2 tsp fresh green pesto
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the lentils into a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until they are just tender but still retain some bite. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large deep frying pan (skillet) set over a low heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until softened.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and cooked lentils and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the lentils start to stick to the pan, add a little water or vegetable stock. Stir in the lemon juice, herbs and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
4. Cook the green beans in a saucepan of boiling water for about 3 minutes until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper (paper towels).
5. Divide the lentil salad between two serving plates. Top with the mozzarella and green beans, and drizzle with pesto.
The Ultimate Body Plan by Gemma Atkinson (Harper Thorsons, £16.99) or is available to buy on Amazon.