Wonderful watercress - Women's Running

Wonderful watercress

Watercress has been proven to help reduce DNA damage induced through running and exercise – so eating watercress pre or post-exercise is going to do wonders for your recovery.

Don’t believe us? Try these 5 delicious and healthy recipes from www.watercress.co.uk.

Brown Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms, Watercress and Pine Nuts
Cooked in a seasoned broth, this delicious Middle Eastern dish will leave you feeling full and satisfied. The heightened fibre content of the brown rice will aid with high cholesterol and blood pressure, whilst the nutrition rich watercress adds a peppery kick.

Serves 4
Prep time:  20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

250g brown basmati rice
700ml vegetable stock
100g pine nuts
100g shiitake, chestnut or button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
25g butter (can be left out or swapped for vegan butter for vegan or dairy free option)
15g watercress, roughly chopped
15g rocket, roughly chopped
Juice of half a lemon
4 eggs
1 red chilli, finely diced
3 spring onions, finely chopped
100ml white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper

  1. Bring the vegetable stock to the boil.  In the meantime, place a large frying pan on a medium high heat.  Add the pine nuts and toast for a few minutes until lightly browned, tossing occasionally.  Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Return the pan to the heat.  Add the chopped mushrooms and dry-fry, stirring occasionally, until they have released liquid and begun to brown.  Remove from the pan and add to the bowl with the pine nuts.
  3. Add the vegetable oil to the pan and turn up the heat to high.  Add the rice and stir to coat thoroughly with the oil.  Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the onions and continue to cook until the onions have softened and turned translucent.  Add the pine nuts, mushrooms and spices and remove from the heat.
  4. Carefully add the rice mixture to the saucepan with the stock along with 2 tsp of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper.  Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cover the pan.  Cook for around 40 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes.  While the rice is standing, bring another pan of water to the boil then add the white wine vinegar.  Once the water has boiled again, turn down to a gentle simmer and carefully crack in the four eggs.  Cook the eggs in the simmering water for 3.5 minutes, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on some paper towel.
  5. To serve, stir the watercress, rocket, lemon juice, chilli, spring onion and butter into the brown rice, adding seasoning to taste.    Split evenly between four serving bowls and top each with a poached egg, finishing with a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper.  Serve immediately.

Watercress, Avocado & Lime Smoothie
A simple, delicious and very green smoothie.  Ideal for breakfast for a healthy start to the day brimming with a range of fantastic compounds, vitamins and minerals that will leave you feeling energised and ready for anything.

Serves 1
Prep time: 10 minutes

1 small avocado, peeled and seed removed
50g diced pineapple, fresh or frozen
33g watercress
23g baby spinach
1 whole lime, peeled
Small handful mint leaves
250ml chilled coconut water

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender or smoothie maker and blend thoroughly.
  2. Add more coconut water to achieve desired consistency if necessary, then either serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to three days.

Dairy Free Beef & Watercress Griddle Cakes
These little cakes don’t just taste great, they are packed full of protein and contain a wealth of nutrients from the fresh watercress. They can also be easily made gluten free just by substituting potato or rice flour.   Ideal for a light lunch or supper.

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

100g lean minced beef
1 bag watercress roughly chopped plus a few sprigs to garnish
3 spring onions, finely chopped
3 eggs
30g plain flour, wholewheat flour or gluten free flour
2 tbsp water
Pinch salt
Pinch black pepper
4 tbsp vegetable oil
Soy sauce to serve, or for gluten free use wheat-free tamari

  1. Fry the beef with a large pinch of salt until brown in a large frying pan, then drain on a paper towel.  Once drained, stir together with the watercress and spring onions in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, flour and water with a pinch of salt until fully combined. Add to the beef and watercress mixture, adding more flour if consistency seems too thin.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a griddle or frying pan over a medium heat.  Measure out 2 tbsp of the mixture per cake and drop into the skillet.  Fry until brown, then flip and brown on the other side.
  4. Remove the cake and place on a warm plate lined with greaseproof paper, keeping covered until serving.  Repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more oil when required.
  5. Serve the griddle cakes warm with the soy sauce on the side for dipping.

Ultimate Superfood Salad
This ultimate superfood salad is quick, simple and tastes great! It’s perfect for a healthy light lunch but try adding a roasted salmon fillet or chicken breast for an extra protein hit.

Serves 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

85g watercress
100g quinoa
1 pomegranate
1 ripe avocado
100g roasted sweet potato
1 small punnet alfalfa sprouts or mixed sprouts
1 clove garlic
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
25g mixed nuts, toasted
Sea salt and black pepper
Pinch chilli flakes
Juice of 1 lime
75ml olive oil
25g chopped coriander

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, then chop the sweet potatoes into inch cubes with the skin on.  Place into a roasting tray, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Cook the quinoa in salted boiling water according to the packet instructions.  Place the broccoli into a metal colander and set over the boiling quinoa.  Cover and steam the broccoli for three minutes.
  3. Once cooked, drain and rinse the quinoa and broccoli under cold running water.  Remove the sweet potato from the oven.
  4. Cut the pomegranate in half and squeeze the juice from one half into a large bowl.  Add the olive oil, chilli flakes and lime juice, whisk together and season to taste.  Add in the coriander, alfalfa, quinoa and sweet potato and toss well.
  5. Peel the avocado, remove the stone and roughly chop.  Spread the quinoa and sweet potato mixture onto a serving plate and dot the avocado over the top.
  6. Finally, bash the second half of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon to knock the seeds out and scatter these over the plate along with the toasted nuts.

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