Choc, date and cashew energy squares

These choc, date and cashew energy squares are easy to prepare providing a boost of energy (from nourishing ingredients) to help fuel any active persons day.

This recipe was inspired by a challenge set by Runners World magazine (where I am a regular contributor) to create DIY no bake energy bars to fuel runners! 


2 cups of pitted dates (soak for about 1 hour to help with processing if you have time)

1 cup of rolled oats

½ cup of chopped dried apricots

2 cups of cashew nuts

½ cup of cocoa powder

2 Tbsp. water+ a dash of water for processing dates

¼ tsp. salt


Pulse oats until finely ground then put aside.

Pulse dates in a food processor with a dash of water until they become a smooth paste.

Add ground oats, apricots, cashew nuts, cocoa powder, water and salt and pulse until everything is combined.

Line a 20cm x 20cm tray with glad wrap, leaving enough overhang on one side to wrap over the top of the mixture once in.

Pour the mixture into the tray.

Wrap the mixture with the glad wrap and firmly press into the tray and flatten with the back of a spatula.

Put into the fridge overnight and then cut them up into 16 squares.

These will keep in the fridge for approximately one week.

* Try adding 1 tsp of orange essence or orange oil to the mix to change up the flavour.

 Nutrition per bar: 918 kilojoules, 25g carbs, 4g fibre, 5g protein, 10g fat

poached eggs with sweet potato and kale

Since returning home from our Italian escape (and yes I need to report back on that amazing foodie adventure) we have been thrown back into the hectic life we lead. My husband is back training and studying, while I have taken on a little more work in the sports nutrition world and have decided to run a little event we call the marathon. The thought of the marathon isn’t making me crazy just yet (or maybe I am crazy for contemplating it)?… I like to run for my daily exercise and running with my group on Tuesday and Thursday nights has become a nice habit and time to relax…

Again we need to make sure we are prepared. This has been working well, however the other Thursday night we were both home late and I didn’t have anything pre-prepared. I knew however that I could whip up something quick and healthy with some ingredients that I had in the house.

Now I believe these meals are often the best, and in this case we both thoroughly enjoyed what I came up with.

This meal can be served as a breakfast, lunch or dinner option and the quinoa could be replaced with any grain of choice (or leave that part out if you haven’t had an active day). This meal is gluten free for those requiring a gluten free diet, provides carbohydrate for refuelling and sustained energy and provides the benefits of the nutrient dense ingredients – sweet potato, kale, quinoa and olive oil (you will notice that I don’t use this sparingly).

Because I had just been running I wanted to ensure that I had enough protein for recovery. Two eggs gives you about 50% of your protein needs after training so I had a glass of milk after the meal to make up for the rest.

Here it is…

Ingredients (serves two)

 1/3 cup (60g) quinoa - or other grain of preference

 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small-medium (300g) sweet potato, cut into 1cm x 1 cm cubes

1 handful kale roughly chopped into strips

¼ cup water or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon chilli flakes (or more if you like it hot)!

 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

 ¼  teaspoon paprika

 ½ teaspoon cumim

 ½  teaspoon ground coriander seeds

 2 tablespoons fresh coriander or parsley

4 fresh eggs (the freshest you can find for perfect poaching)


1.    Start cooking quinoa (or grain of choice) and set to the side when ready.

2.    Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over a medium-high heat.

3.    Add sweet potato and sauté for about 3 minutes then add the chilli and garlic and sauté for a further 2 minutes  or until almost tender, stirring frequently.

4.    Add paprika, cumin and ground coriander and stir through sweet potato for a couple of minutes.

5.    Add kale and water (or stock) and continue to stir frequently on low-medium heat for ~5 minutes or until the kale starts to shrink.

6.    Once the kale is tender add the quinoa to the pan, stir through and turn off the heat.

 Poaching the eggs

1.    Fill a small saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water from the kettle and add a pinch of salt.

2.    Bring water to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer.

3.    Crack an egg into a cup and gently pour it into the water. Do this for each egg.

4.    They should be ready in about 4 minutes for soft yolks or 5 minutes for firm yolks. When they are cooked to your liking, remove the eggs from the water and set on paper towel to soak up excess water.

To serve, divide the quinoa, sweet potato and kale mix between two bowls, top with the eggs, a little salt, cracked pepper and the fresh coriander or parsley.

Nutrition information (per serve): Kilojoules: 1978kJ (470cal) Protein: 22g Carbohydrate: 48g Fat: 20g Saturated fat: 5g Fibre:7g Sodium: 178mg