We asked Manchester City left-back Demi Stokes what her go-to breakfast, lunch and dinner looks like when she’s off-pitch.
It’s a good day if you’re eating like Demi! This football legend has impeccable taste in food. Being a major cooking fan, she joined us at Jamie Oliver HQ to cook up one of her favourite dishes: brown stewed chicken with cabbage and rice. Let us tell you, the smells coming out of that kitchen were absolute heaven! Watch the video below to see how she does it.
This is Demi Stokes’ Day on a Plate with a little insight into post-match meals, barbecues and the dish she just can’t live without…
Being her favourite breakfast dish, shakshuka is often on the breakfast menu at Demi’s house. “If I’m not making it myself, there’s a really nice breakfast place I go to called Gladstone in Stalybridge that does a great one.”
Otherwise, she’d probably go for porridge with bananas and berries like raspberries or blueberries, as her son loves this for breakfast, too.
With nutrition instilled in the footballer’s daily habits, it’s no big surprise that a tasty salad is a classic lunch at home. Demi loves chicken, and the nuts in this recipe add extra goodness and flavour. Fruit in salad is a no-no, but as long as there’s a coffee on the side (a flat white with oat milk, please), she’s happy!
“I’m the chef of the house. When I’m off I have all the time to cook which is what I love to do. But [I cook] even when I’m not off as I finish a lot earlier than my partner, and she loves it because she’ll walk in the door and be like ‘what country am I visiting today!’”
Dinner could be a whole range of things, but Bolognese is her little boy Harlen’s favourite, so that’s always a winner. Otherwise, curry is another one of Demi’s staple dinner dishes, especially if it’s lamb – so this balti goes down a treat.
Q&A with Demi Stokes
What’s your go-to post-match meal?
Because I like curry a lot, I’ll either make a curry like a madras, or get takeout if I really can’t be bothered. Or if I’ve cooked I’ll probably tend to do classic rice and peas with jerk chicken and steamed cabbage.
We usually will have pasta given to us after the game so I don’t really like to cook that so much at home. It’s usually the choice of pesto chicken pasta or Bolognese, or you can have a tuna wrap or chicken wrap. Yeah, if I’ve travelled from Manchester to London I’ll probably end up eating twice! After a game you might not feel so hungry but obviously you have to eat, so I usually go for a tuna wrap and then when I get home I’ll eat a meal.
Does food play an important role in your football training?
Oh yeah definitely. And just in life in general for your mood. I always say if you’ve had a good meal you’re always a lot happier aren’t you, whereas if you have a rubbish one you can feel quite annoyed! I always say good food is your mood.
Then obviously because we’re training all the time, we’ve got to be wise on what you eat, when you eat it, if you’re gonna have a treat like a dessert it all obviously plays into it. 80% of [training] is what you put into your body. When you get hangry because you’ve not eaten, then you’re not going to feel like yourself and won’t have enough energy, so you’re not going to be in the best shape.
I don’t think a diet plan has to be boiled rice, chicken and veg. I enjoy cooking so I think that gives me the luxury to enjoy more foods, because you’ve made it yourself and know what’s gone into it so you can enjoy it more.
What do mealtimes look like in your house? Do you like to meal plan?
When I go shopping I’ll always buy ingredients for certain meals rather than just fill the fridge. Especially when things are going up in price, it’s so important not to waste food. And because we have the baby it’s important to know what he’s having, so I always try to balance it with what he’s had at nursery.
While I’ve been off [football due to injury] and I’ve got a lot of time, I usually know what we’ll eat for the day by 10 in the morning because I’ve had time to think about it. I’ve had to pull meat out of the freezer. So yeah I would say that I do plan and I do enjoy it because it means I look forward to the meal I’ve planned for later on.
It’s the FIFA World Cup at the moment in Australia – do you think the Lionesses will have time for an Aussie BBQ while they’re competing? What’s your favourite part of a barbecue?
Oh I hope so, I hope they have time. Obviously when you’re in a tournament, there’s a lot of build up. So I’m sure when they’ve been there in the earlier stages they might’ve found time for a barbecue. Obviously when the games kick in it’s more about your normal standard nutrition, your go-to meals so they might not have the chance.
I love barbecue, I’m just waiting for good weather in Manchester to get my smoker going. I have a barbecue-smoker and I love that in the summer, I don’t think I use my oven when it’s sunny because it’s just really efficient. I just love outdoor dining and love meat so I always get a joint of meat and season it up – then I’m like “I can’t wait to put it on tomorrow”. So yeah, when I got that grill I was literally so excited. When people come over in the summer I always try to get it out and everyone’s so amazed that it’s a smoker as well.
Scrambled, fried or poached?
If you could eat one dish every day forever, what would it be?
Jerk chicken, rice and peas with a side of curry goat, steamed veg and coleslaw. Any Caribbean dish I could just eat everyday.