Recipes using Foods which Give You More Energy

Being busy (and having kids who don’t sleep well) means that feeling tired or run-down during the day often feels inevitable.

At which point reaching for the jelly beans for an instant sugar boost can feel like the easiest thing (I’m not judging, we’ve all been there!).

But as the type and quantity of food you eat plays such a big role in your energy levels its worth avoiding those short-term fixes and seeking out foods containing nutrients which specifically help sustained energy release and energy creation.

It is easier said than done, but here’s some of my favourite recipes with ‘Energy promoting foods’ in:

Energy in Sweet Potatoes

I love Sweet Potatoes (you may have noticed from the amount of my meals than contain them) because they can be cooked in so many ways and are easy to incorporate into your diet. But they are also a wonderful source of energy for those looking for an extra boost.

One medium-sized sweet potato could pack up to 23 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of fibre, 28% of the RDI for manganese and a whopping 438% of the RDI for vitamin A.

What does this mean? Well the fibre content and complex carbs allows slow digestion providing a steady supply of energy. And the high manganese helps the breakdown of nutrients to produce energy.

Sweet potatoes don’t always have to be a side-dish or a topping, here’s a quick and easy week night meal that also is a good lunchtime leftover meal!

sweet potato energy
avacado energy

Sweet Potato Mash With Dill Avocado Sauce

(recipe by Michele Elizabeth)

Cooking Time: 20 mins


  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 90g chopped broccoli
  • 40g chopped onion
  • 20g chopped button mushrooms

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 2 stems of dill (just the leaves not the actual stem)
  • 1/2 a squeezed lime
  • Water (enough for blending depending on desired consistency, add slowly)


  1. Steam sweet potato cubes (If you don’t have a steam tray, you can improvise with a metal colander above a pan, with 2 cups of boiling water in the pan on a low heat.
  2. After 5 minutes add the chopped broccoli to steamer.
  3. Check after a further 12 minutes by prodding with a fork. If the fork slides in easily, they are cooked. If they still feel hard, cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Once potatoes and broccoli are done add the onions and mushroom and mash them all together.
  5. Add dressing ingredients to small mixer and blend until creamy smooth. Add over top of potato mash and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 208 | Carbs: 30 g | Fat: 8 g | Protein: 7 g | Sodium: 58 mg | Sugar: 10 g| Fibre 7.8g

If, like me you also love sweet potatoes, check out my meals containing them :

Kirsty’s Lentil Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato


There are also many reasons to love lentils, besides being a rich source of protein that’s affordable, they are rich in carbs and fibre.

Meaning sustainable energy levels because of the slower digestion and controlled increases in blood sugar levels.

Additionally, lentils can increase your energy levels by replenishing your stores of folate, manganese, zinc and iron.

All of which assist in the effective production of energy in cells and breakdown of nutrients for the release of energy.

Lentil Fritters

A more exciting way to eat lentils, although the ‘resting time’ makes this a longer recipe, the actual cooking steps are simple & quick.

Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus 20 minutes chilling time
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ chilli, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 100 g spinach, finely sliced
  • 300 g red lentils, boiled (for approx. 25 mins)
  • 50 g butter
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp chutney
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • sunflower oil, for frying


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the fritters, combine all the ingredients and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  3. Fry spoonfuls in hot oil until they are golden on both sides, then drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes and serve.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 356 | Carbs: 41 g | Fat: 12 g | Protein: 17 g | Sodium: 10 mg | Sugar: 11 g | Fibre 11g

If this recipe doesn’t take your fancy, check out my Lentil Cottage Pie:

Kirsty’s Lentil Cottage Pie

Brown Rice

Switching from White rice to less processed Brown rice will boost your intake of fibre and that all important mineral manganese, helping slow energy release and energy generation.

Chai Coconut Brown Rice Pudding

Cooked brown rice is so easy, delicious and wholesome, you can have it dessert or for breakfast!

(recipe by Liren Baker)

Cooking Time 15 minutes

Serves 2


  • 250 ml light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 bag chai tea
  • pinch salt
  • 250g cooked brown rice
  • fresh berries for serving
  • nuts for serving


  • Combine the coconut milk, water, maple syrup, bag of chai tea and salt in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Add the brown rice and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes, or until the rice has reached your desired consistency.
  • The rice should be fluffy and creamy. Serve with a drizzle of more coconut milk, fresh berries & nuts.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 300| Carbs: 52 g | Fat: 7 g | Protein: 2 g | Sodium: 90 mg | Sugar: 17 g | Fibre 5.3g

If you are looking for savoury dishes with Brown Rice in, check out my Spanish Chicken, Malaysian Butternut Squash Curry and NEW Sicilian Veg One Pot meals

Kirsty’s Spanish Chicken

Kirsty’s Sicilian Veg One Pot

Kirsty’s Malaysian Butternut Squash Curry


Even though this superfood is high in carbohydrates, it has a low glycemic index, which indicates that its carbs are absorbed slowly and can provide sustained energy release.

Additionally, quinoa provides more than 20% of the RDI for manganese, magnesium and folate.

All of these nutrients are used by enzymes in the process of producing energy

One-pan Mexican Quinoa recipe

Kids and adults love this spicy Mexican-inspired quinoa, black bean and sweetcorn dish – all made in one pot. For a vegetarian dish, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.


Cooking time :25min


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 400g tin black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 150g sweetcorn
  • 170g quinoa
  • 240ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt
  • 1 avocado (peeled, pitted and diced)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp coriander (freshly chopped)


  1. Heat oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic in hot oil for about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, quinoa and chicken stock; season with chilli flakes, chilli powder, cumin & salt.
  3. Bring to the boil and cover with a lid; reduce heat to low and simmer until quinoa is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir avocado, lime juice, and fresh coriander into quinoa until combined.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 460| Carbs: 68 g | Fat: 16 g | Protein: 18 g | Sodium: 303 mg | Sugar: 10 g I Fibre 18g

Alternatively our Sicilian Veg One Pot is a great source of Quinoa

Kirsty’s Sicilian Veg One Pot

mexican salad energy