There’s no denying that Joe Wicks is a healthy eating, HIIT workout sensation- in addition to his ever increasing Instagram following he sold over two million Lean in 15 books last year- which is why it may come as a surprise that his new release, Cooking For Family & Friends , features not one workout and the likes of sticky toffee pudding. What gives Mr Wicks?
We’ll let Joe explain the premise of Cooking For Family & Friends:
“I think there is a big misconception that when you are trying to get lean and eat healthier, it isolates you from your friends and family. I think that could be the case for people following a really low-calorie restrictive diet but I’m not about that life. That’s not enjoyable or sustainable. I don’t believe in low calorie diets and I don’t believe you need to spend your day eating boring meals out of lunch boxes, cooking separate meals for yourself or avoiding meals out with friends and family altogether.”
“With my new recipes I’m going to show you that eating healthily can be fun and inclusive for everyone at every occasion- even parties, barbeques and Sunday lunches.”
So, admittedly Joe does recommend doing three to four 25 minute workouts a week alongside tucking in, and some of his recipes are intended as treats rather than everyday fodder, but otherwise his ‘start ‘em young’ feed a crowd vibe is freeing, inclusive and only a little bit “naughty”, as Joe would put it. Speaking of naughty, we feel that he had a field day on the pun front with the following recipe...
Joe’s Big Meaty Balls
“I’ve combined both beef and lamb mince in this recipe and it works so well. It gives the meatballs so much more flavour. I think once you try these you’ll be coming back for more.”
Good to freeze
PREP 15 mins
COOK 45 mins
500g lamb mince
250g beef mince
12 pitted black olives, roughly chopped
20g pine nuts, roughly chopped
Small bunch of parsley, Finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 jarred red peppers (about 100g), drained and roughly chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes salt and pepper
2 x 110g balls of mozzarella
Mint leaves, roughly chopped salad or steamed green beans
Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/gas mark 4).
Place the lamb and beef mince into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Crack in the egg and chuck in the olives, pine nuts, chopped parsley and red peppers.
Get your hands stuck in and knead all of the ingredients together until the mixture is well combined. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 12 large balls and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof pan over a medium to high heat. When the oil is hot, chuck in the red onion and fry, stirring regularly for 2 minutes. Tip in the chopped tomatoes along with a quarter tin of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Place the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over with a large spoon. Tear up the mozzarella balls and lay a little piece on top of each meat ball. Any remaining cheese can be scattered in the sauce.
Slide your pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked through and the cheese has melted and turned golden brown on top. Scatter over the mint leaves and remaining chopped parsley and serve with a helping of salad or steamed green beans.
Ginger chicken biryani
“Did someone say curry night? I hope so. If you want to impress your mates, don’t order one in, get this one going instead. It tastes authentic and is leaner than any takeaway.”
PREP 15 mins
COOK 50 mins
2 tbsp coconut oil
5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 onions, roughly chopped
7cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
11⁄2 tsp chilli powder – more if you like it hot
10 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, roughly cut into 4cm chunks
3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 bunches of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
3 x 250g packets of pre-cooked rice
Pomegranate seeds, to serve
Large hob-proof casserole dish
Melt 11⁄2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. When it is hot, add the cloves and cardamom pods and fry for 2 minutes. While the spices are frying, blitz the onions in a food processor until they are pretty much smooth and tip straight into the pan.
Fry the onions and spices, stirring regularly for about 8 minutes, until soft. Add the fresh ginger and garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, then sprinkle in all of the ground herbs and spices. Fry, stirring constantly for 1 minute. If the mixture is starting to stick to the bottom of the pan, pour in a little water.
Scrape in the chicken and stir, cooking for another minute or so. Next add the chopped tomatoes and pour in 200ml of water. Gently bring the whole lot to a simmer. Simmer the curry with a cocked lid on top for 30 minutes, giving it a little stir every now and then to make sure it isn’t burning at the bottom of the pan.
After 30 minutes, take the curry off the heat and stir through half of the chopped coriander. Leave the curry to cool to room temperature.
About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, zap the rice in the microwave. Melt the remaining coconut oil in a large casserole pan and carefully tilt the pan so that the bottom and the sides are greased with coconut oil. Remove the pan from the heat.
Banana & date cake
“The key to a tasty banana cake is using over-ripe bananas – the darker the better. This makes a great snack for work or in kid’s lunch boxes.”
PREP 15 mins
150g pitted dates, roughly chopped into small pieces
75g butter, cubed
25g light brown soft sugar
3 bananas, peeled and roughly chopped (about 250g)
200g strong wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.5 litre loaf tin
Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/gas mark 4) and line the loaf tin with baking parchment.
Put the chopped dates, butter, sugar and 75ml of boiling water into a heatproof bowl, give the ingredients a little stir and leave them to soak and melt for 5 minutes.
Tip the contents of the bowl into the food processor and add the banana chunks and eggs. Blitz until the whole lot is smooth and then tip the mixture into a medium mixing bowl.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture, giving it a good beating with a wooden spoon until well combined. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake the cake for 1 hour in the oven.
Remove the loaf tin from the oven and leave it to sit for 10 minutes before turning out and cutting up.
Craving more Joe Wicks recipes ? We don’t blame you- visit our recipe hub
Follow Joe on Instagram @thebodycoach and Twitter @thebodycoach