Food

Positive energy

Ali Riley turns her attention to vegan cooking in her new series Girls Gone Veg – and teaches us the unique delights of the jackfruit taco

Ali Riley is a qualified nutritionist, alongside the day job of being a footballer CAPTION

I had always thought about health and how to be a better athlete from a selfish viewpoint; how to be fitter or stronger. Then I realised that if I’m doing it, why not share my recipes with everyone? Anything that gives people ideas, energy and positivity around food, health and wellness makes me happy; it’s a way to connect with fans. A lot of fellow athletes became interested in the recipes too and now I’m partnering with my Orlando team- mate Toni Pressley. We’re writing a cookbook and making a cooking show called Girls Gone Veg; check it out @wearegirlsgoneveg on Insta and former NFL player and TV personality Brandon Marshall’s I am Athlete platform.

"I didn't know it was possible to eat vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete"


It’s all vegan recipes but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them. It’s a mix of my healthy, sugar-free, paleo meals and Toni’s very rich and traditional southern crowd-pleasing recipes. It’s a cookbook for people who want to cut out meat once a day, a few times a week, and just want to start getting into plant-based food. I’ve loved creating it because I didn’t know it was possible to eat fun and delicious vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete.

It's really important right now to have female voices, female faces and athletes out there. I also have a show on Just Women’s Sports: it’s called Off the Ball with Ali Riley and I interview and do a fun challenge with my team-mates. Marta was my first guest and we talked about her life, her music, the progress of women’s soccer in Brazil and how she barbecues meat for all her friends, even though she’s a vegan.

Food
Jackfruit tacos

A jackfruit is huge. It’s spiky and intimidating, but it’s a good source of carbs and I just love the texture. You can get it fresh or in cans already chopped up. The first time I ate pulled jackfruit I had to double check that I had received the right order – I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t meat. I also thought it must be super complicated to achieve those textures and flavours; turns out it’s really easy. Have it in a taco with all the other veggies you would normally have and off you go.

600g Young, green jackfruit
120ml Water
1 Small yellow onion, diced
1 Clove garlic, crushed
½ Lime, plus wedges for serving
2tbsps Taco seasoning of your choice
1tsp oil


Rinse your jackfruit and roughly chop up the pieces, breaking up the tougher core as much as possible. Sauté the garlic and onions in the oil until the onions have softened, usually about five minutes. Add the jackfruit, taco seasoning and water. Mix and simmer over low heat for about five minutes. Add more seasoning or water as needed to reach desired flavour and consistency.

To really get that pulled-meat texture, use your spatula or spoon to mash up the jackfruit even more. Squeeze over the lime and serve immediately with your favourite tortillas and toppings. I made a bean and “cheese” mixture by warming black beans with grated non-dairy cheese.

I had always thought about health and how to be a better athlete from a selfish viewpoint; how to be fitter or stronger. Then I realised that if I’m doing it, why not share my recipes with everyone? Anything that gives people ideas, energy and positivity around food, health and wellness makes me happy; it’s a way to connect with fans. A lot of fellow athletes became interested in the recipes too and now I’m partnering with my Orlando team- mate Toni Pressley. We’re writing a cookbook and making a cooking show called Girls Gone Veg; check it out @wearegirlsgoneveg on Insta and former NFL player and TV personality Brandon Marshall’s I am Athlete platform.

"I didn't know it was possible to eat vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete"


It’s all vegan recipes but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them. It’s a mix of my healthy, sugar-free, paleo meals and Toni’s very rich and traditional southern crowd-pleasing recipes. It’s a cookbook for people who want to cut out meat once a day, a few times a week, and just want to start getting into plant-based food. I’ve loved creating it because I didn’t know it was possible to eat fun and delicious vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete.

It's really important right now to have female voices, female faces and athletes out there. I also have a show on Just Women’s Sports: it’s called Off the Ball with Ali Riley and I interview and do a fun challenge with my team-mates. Marta was my first guest and we talked about her life, her music, the progress of women’s soccer in Brazil and how she barbecues meat for all her friends, even though she’s a vegan.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

We got her playing the cavaquinho – the Brazilian guitar – and the accordion. She’s so much fun. These are the things that give me so much energy and I think the world can only be a better place by hearing the stories of these brilliant women. It’s so cool to see them, to empower them and to be able to brag about them, as well as letting fans get to know us a little bit better as they get a glimpse into our lives. We, as women athletes, are so complex and we have so many things going on, and so it’s just a valuable chance to share that with the rest of the world.

Marta has won the FIFA Best Player award six times and so I asked her if she can still improve, and she’s like, “Every day – every day I can learn things.” I love that. Especially for us 30-somethings, seeing someone like Marta still so motivated and open to learning really proves you can always get better. She’s a great team-mate, she works so hard. She’s not a forward who’s just walking up there, waiting for the ball. She does it all. And we have so much fun together off the field too.

The recipe this time is for a jackfruit taco that I actually made for Marta. It’s super easy – just put your favourite taco seasoning on it and sauté it. It’s so good and such a great alternative to meat, and it’s so filling. Try this vegan recipe out on your pulled- pork-loving friends and see what they think!

Food
Jackfruit tacos

A jackfruit is huge. It’s spiky and intimidating, but it’s a good source of carbs and I just love the texture. You can get it fresh or in cans already chopped up. The first time I ate pulled jackfruit I had to double check that I had received the right order – I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t meat. I also thought it must be super complicated to achieve those textures and flavours; turns out it’s really easy. Have it in a taco with all the other veggies you would normally have and off you go.

600g Young, green jackfruit
120ml Water
1 Small yellow onion, diced
1 Clove garlic, crushed
½ Lime, plus wedges for serving
2tbsps Taco seasoning of your choice
1tsp oil


Rinse your jackfruit and roughly chop up the pieces, breaking up the tougher core as much as possible. Sauté the garlic and onions in the oil until the onions have softened, usually about five minutes. Add the jackfruit, taco seasoning and water. Mix and simmer over low heat for about five minutes. Add more seasoning or water as needed to reach desired flavour and consistency.

To really get that pulled-meat texture, use your spatula or spoon to mash up the jackfruit even more. Squeeze over the lime and serve immediately with your favourite tortillas and toppings. I made a bean and “cheese” mixture by warming black beans with grated non-dairy cheese.

I had always thought about health and how to be a better athlete from a selfish viewpoint; how to be fitter or stronger. Then I realised that if I’m doing it, why not share my recipes with everyone? Anything that gives people ideas, energy and positivity around food, health and wellness makes me happy; it’s a way to connect with fans. A lot of fellow athletes became interested in the recipes too and now I’m partnering with my Orlando team- mate Toni Pressley. We’re writing a cookbook and making a cooking show called Girls Gone Veg; check it out @wearegirlsgoneveg on Insta and former NFL player and TV personality Brandon Marshall’s I am Athlete platform.

"I didn't know it was possible to eat vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete"


It’s all vegan recipes but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them. It’s a mix of my healthy, sugar-free, paleo meals and Toni’s very rich and traditional southern crowd-pleasing recipes. It’s a cookbook for people who want to cut out meat once a day, a few times a week, and just want to start getting into plant-based food. I’ve loved creating it because I didn’t know it was possible to eat fun and delicious vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete.

It's really important right now to have female voices, female faces and athletes out there. I also have a show on Just Women’s Sports: it’s called Off the Ball with Ali Riley and I interview and do a fun challenge with my team-mates. Marta was my first guest and we talked about her life, her music, the progress of women’s soccer in Brazil and how she barbecues meat for all her friends, even though she’s a vegan.

Food
Positive energy

A jackfruit is huge. It’s spiky and intimidating, but it’s a good source of carbs and I just love the texture. You can get it fresh or in cans already chopped up. The first time I ate pulled jackfruit I had to double check that I had received the right order – I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t meat. I also thought it must be super complicated to achieve those textures and flavours; turns out it’s really easy. Have it in a taco with all the other veggies you would normally have and off you go.

600g Young, green jackfruit
120ml Water
1 Small yellow onion, diced
1 Clove garlic, crushed
½ Lime, plus wedges for serving
2tbsps Taco seasoning of your choice
1tsp oil


Rinse your jackfruit and roughly chop up the pieces, breaking up the tougher core as much as possible. Sauté the garlic and onions in the oil until the onions have softened, usually about five minutes. Add the jackfruit, taco seasoning and water. Mix and simmer over low heat for about five minutes. Add more seasoning or water as needed to reach desired flavour and consistency.

To really get that pulled-meat texture, use your spatula or spoon to mash up the jackfruit even more. Squeeze over the lime and serve immediately with your favourite tortillas and toppings. I made a bean and “cheese” mixture by warming black beans with grated non-dairy cheese.

Food

Positive energy

Ali Riley turns her attention to vegan cooking in her new series Girls Gone Veg – and teaches us the unique delights of the jackfruit taco

Ali Riley is a qualified nutritionist, alongside the day job of being a footballer CAPTION

I had always thought about health and how to be a better athlete from a selfish viewpoint; how to be fitter or stronger. Then I realised that if I’m doing it, why not share my recipes with everyone? Anything that gives people ideas, energy and positivity around food, health and wellness makes me happy; it’s a way to connect with fans. A lot of fellow athletes became interested in the recipes too and now I’m partnering with my Orlando team- mate Toni Pressley. We’re writing a cookbook and making a cooking show called Girls Gone Veg; check it out @wearegirlsgoneveg on Insta and former NFL player and TV personality Brandon Marshall’s I am Athlete platform.

"I didn't know it was possible to eat vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete"


It’s all vegan recipes but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them. It’s a mix of my healthy, sugar-free, paleo meals and Toni’s very rich and traditional southern crowd-pleasing recipes. It’s a cookbook for people who want to cut out meat once a day, a few times a week, and just want to start getting into plant-based food. I’ve loved creating it because I didn’t know it was possible to eat fun and delicious vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete.

It's really important right now to have female voices, female faces and athletes out there. I also have a show on Just Women’s Sports: it’s called Off the Ball with Ali Riley and I interview and do a fun challenge with my team-mates. Marta was my first guest and we talked about her life, her music, the progress of women’s soccer in Brazil and how she barbecues meat for all her friends, even though she’s a vegan.

Food
Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

I had always thought about health and how to be a better athlete from a selfish viewpoint; how to be fitter or stronger. Then I realised that if I’m doing it, why not share my recipes with everyone? Anything that gives people ideas, energy and positivity around food, health and wellness makes me happy; it’s a way to connect with fans. A lot of fellow athletes became interested in the recipes too and now I’m partnering with my Orlando team- mate Toni Pressley. We’re writing a cookbook and making a cooking show called Girls Gone Veg; check it out @wearegirlsgoneveg on Insta and former NFL player and TV personality Brandon Marshall’s I am Athlete platform.

"I didn't know it was possible to eat vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete"


It’s all vegan recipes but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them. It’s a mix of my healthy, sugar-free, paleo meals and Toni’s very rich and traditional southern crowd-pleasing recipes. It’s a cookbook for people who want to cut out meat once a day, a few times a week, and just want to start getting into plant-based food. I’ve loved creating it because I didn’t know it was possible to eat fun and delicious vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete.

It's really important right now to have female voices, female faces and athletes out there. I also have a show on Just Women’s Sports: it’s called Off the Ball with Ali Riley and I interview and do a fun challenge with my team-mates. Marta was my first guest and we talked about her life, her music, the progress of women’s soccer in Brazil and how she barbecues meat for all her friends, even though she’s a vegan.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

We got her playing the cavaquinho – the Brazilian guitar – and the accordion. She’s so much fun. These are the things that give me so much energy and I think the world can only be a better place by hearing the stories of these brilliant women. It’s so cool to see them, to empower them and to be able to brag about them, as well as letting fans get to know us a little bit better as they get a glimpse into our lives. We, as women athletes, are so complex and we have so many things going on, and so it’s just a valuable chance to share that with the rest of the world.

Marta has won the FIFA Best Player award six times and so I asked her if she can still improve, and she’s like, “Every day – every day I can learn things.” I love that. Especially for us 30-somethings, seeing someone like Marta still so motivated and open to learning really proves you can always get better. She’s a great team-mate, she works so hard. She’s not a forward who’s just walking up there, waiting for the ball. She does it all. And we have so much fun together off the field too.

The recipe this time is for a jackfruit taco that I actually made for Marta. It’s super easy – just put your favourite taco seasoning on it and sauté it. It’s so good and such a great alternative to meat, and it’s so filling. Try this vegan recipe out on your pulled- pork-loving friends and see what they think!

Food
Jackfruit tacos

A jackfruit is huge. It’s spiky and intimidating, but it’s a good source of carbs and I just love the texture. You can get it fresh or in cans already chopped up. The first time I ate pulled jackfruit I had to double check that I had received the right order – I couldn’t believe that it wasn’t meat. I also thought it must be super complicated to achieve those textures and flavours; turns out it’s really easy. Have it in a taco with all the other veggies you would normally have and off you go.

600g Young, green jackfruit
120ml Water
1 Small yellow onion, diced
1 Clove garlic, crushed
½ Lime, plus wedges for serving
2tbsps Taco seasoning of your choice
1tsp oil


Rinse your jackfruit and roughly chop up the pieces, breaking up the tougher core as much as possible. Sauté the garlic and onions in the oil until the onions have softened, usually about five minutes. Add the jackfruit, taco seasoning and water. Mix and simmer over low heat for about five minutes. Add more seasoning or water as needed to reach desired flavour and consistency.

To really get that pulled-meat texture, use your spatula or spoon to mash up the jackfruit even more. Squeeze over the lime and serve immediately with your favourite tortillas and toppings. I made a bean and “cheese” mixture by warming black beans with grated non-dairy cheese.

I had always thought about health and how to be a better athlete from a selfish viewpoint; how to be fitter or stronger. Then I realised that if I’m doing it, why not share my recipes with everyone? Anything that gives people ideas, energy and positivity around food, health and wellness makes me happy; it’s a way to connect with fans. A lot of fellow athletes became interested in the recipes too and now I’m partnering with my Orlando team- mate Toni Pressley. We’re writing a cookbook and making a cooking show called Girls Gone Veg; check it out @wearegirlsgoneveg on Insta and former NFL player and TV personality Brandon Marshall’s I am Athlete platform.

"I didn't know it was possible to eat vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete"


It’s all vegan recipes but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy them. It’s a mix of my healthy, sugar-free, paleo meals and Toni’s very rich and traditional southern crowd-pleasing recipes. It’s a cookbook for people who want to cut out meat once a day, a few times a week, and just want to start getting into plant-based food. I’ve loved creating it because I didn’t know it was possible to eat fun and delicious vegan food while also getting all the nutrients you need as an athlete.

It's really important right now to have female voices, female faces and athletes out there. I also have a show on Just Women’s Sports: it’s called Off the Ball with Ali Riley and I interview and do a fun challenge with my team-mates. Marta was my first guest and we talked about her life, her music, the progress of women’s soccer in Brazil and how she barbecues meat for all her friends, even though she’s a vegan.

Food
Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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