Are you ready for a breakfast cereal recipe that will blow your socks off yet is still 100% healthy? Something that will have you jumping out of bed and bounding down the stairs? This Totally Tropical Healthy Morning Muesli is just the ticket, and even better just takes minutes to make. No melting, no soaking, no baking, just a little chopping and mixing.
I’m usually reluctant to move away from my granola, yoghurt and berries in the mornings (it’s just so irresistibly crunchy), but this muesli with milk and ripe, juicy chopped peach is absolutely delicious. The mango, coconut and brazil nuts give it a tropical feel and the vanilla and cinnamon add another level of deliciousness. It’s also a bit lighter than granola as there is no oil or honey used.
2 Cup Oats
1 Cup Chopped Dried Mango
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Cup Chopped Brazil Nuts
1/2 Cup Seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower, flaxseed & chia)
1/2 Cup Dried Coconut
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Powder
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and store in an air tight container… Yes it really is that easy! You can add in more oats, nuts or fruit as you like. Serve with milk or yoghurt and some fresh fruit- I’m loving donut peaches at the moment!
With beetroots in season at the moment, you’re probably seeing them pop up in shops and supermarkets everywhere. It’s like we’re experiencing a mass invasion of the little blighters. Beetroot juice, beetroot crisps, beetroot brownies, beetroot hummus… It’s like the world only recently (but very enthusiastically) just discovered the things. It was in response to this glut of beetroots spilling off the shelves of my local shop that I decided to bang together this soup. With beetroot being credited with lowering blood pressure, increasing stamina and improving blood flow, there’s never been a better reason to add them to your five a day! (Oh, and there’s also the fact they’re great for your liver if you need to detox, or even if you just want to help recover from a heavy weekend).
This soup looks smashing. Its bright, bloody pink colour adds a bit of “wow factor” to a lunch for friends or as a dinner party starter… If I do say so myself. The sour cream and chive garnish packs a serious punch and adds a nice smack of flavour. Beetroots taste quite earthy so the sharpness of the sour cream garnish really complements it… So don’t skip it! I added a few wild leek flowers to my garnish but you don’t have to, I just have them growing all around my house and so have been throwing them into everything! Try this recipe out to make the most of the current beetroot season, and if you have any ideas for other beetroot recipes let me know in the comment section below.
6 large raw beetroots
3 large carrots
1 large onion
2 Irish Apples
2 large cloves garlic
1 inch ginger grated
Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper
Chop your beetroot into rough cubes and chop your carrots, add to a roasting dish with some oil & salt and roast until cooked through. Wear some gloves when chopping the beetroot unless you’re happy to have red nails for the next week.
In a large soup pot add the finely chopped garlic and grated ginger to some oil, gently fry for a minute or two.
Add the chopped onion and apple to the pot and cook for another few minutes before adding the roasted veggies.
Add in your stock and let the pot hum away for 20 minutes on a medium heat until all veggies are soft. Blitz with a hand blender (watch out for sprays of boiling soup… Never pleasant) until completely smooth. Have a taste and add salt and pepper (or even some apple cider vinegar) as needed.
Serve in warm bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of chives.
I did a day course on fermentation in Ballymaloe a few months ago, and ever since I’ve been fermenting and pickling foods until the cows come home! Despite fermentation coming hugely into fashion in the last year, it’s an ancient form of food preparation with massive health benefits. Fermented foods are great for the gut, so anybody with digestive issues (or people with healthy guts who want to keep them that way) should try incorporating them into their diets.
I’ll admit, the term ‘fermented foods’ doesn’t exactly get most people’s mouth watering if they haven’t tried them before, however once people try them and realise that fermented vegetables, breads (like my sourdough) and drinks don’t taste like old socks, they usually become hooked.
I love slightly sour tasting foods and anything bursting with flavour, so this particular recipe is a favourite of mine. If you’re new to fermentation then try this recipe, it’s the tastiest, cheapest and easiest to make. I like to eat a few spoons of it as a side with lunch or dinner. It’s also a tasty sandwich filling (especially in a Rueben). Pop your fermentation cherry (sounds so wrong but tastes so right) today and you won’t look back!
800g Red Cabbage
8tbsp Maldon Sea Salt (table salt just won’t do)
Coarsely grate the cabbage, carrot and onion. If you have a food processor you’ll make quick work of this step. Don’t grate them too finely, you want to retain some bite to your veg.
Put all the grated veggies into a huge bowl and sprinkle all the salt on top. Mix it all together and squeeze and scrunch the veggies between your hands. Do this for about 5 minutes until some liquid starts coming out of the vegetables.
Put the veg and their juice into a 2 litre, sterilised Kilner jar. Pack the veg right down to the end of the jar with your fist, the juice should rise above the top of the veg. Get a glass weight (like a tea light holder) and place on top of the veg- this keeps the veg down and a little liquid above the veg which prevents mould from forming. Close the lid of the jar. If you can’t find a weight, then check on the jar a few times a day and push the veg back down if necessary.
After 5 days in a cool dry space (out of direct sunlight) the mix should be perfectly sour, but not too sour. Taste a little spoon each day though to ensure it’s to your taste, you may prefer it after 3 days or 7 days etc. When you’re happy, put the jar in the fridge where it will keep fresh for months!
Last week I mentioned that I’m having an awful time with my psoriasis and eczema recently. I’m getting flair ups almost every day, even water against my hands is causing sensitivity. I’m trying everything from acupuncture to homeopathy after finding only temporary relief from traditional treatments. In a bid to try and rid, or at least reduce, the flair ups I’m making a big effort to clean up my diet a bit more. I’m usually a healthy eater anyway, but I recently read a few articles stating that anti-inflammatory diets can give relief to skin complaints, so I decided to give it a go.
Anti-inflammatory diet, eh? Sounds about as appealing as cabbage soup and mouldy toast at first, I know, but in fact it all seems pretty straight forward. From what I’ve read, it just advocates eating more fresh fruit, veg, whole grains, fish, anti inflammatory spices (like ginger and turmeric), nuts and healthy fats while cutting down on processed foods, sugar, red meat, eggs and dairy. The key take away point of it though seems to be the more fresh fruit and veg in your diet, the merrier! Apparently it helps people with the symptoms of a whole host of inflammatory diseases including arthritis and psoriasis. I decided to give it a go because, well, what the heck. It’s nothing outlandish anyway, it just really touts knowledge and food principles we’ve already heard a thousand times… More veg, fish, nuts and less biscuits, burgers and cheese on toast. Got it.
I have a massive sweet tooth, and thought that would be the aspect of the diet upon which I would crumble (pun 100% intended), so was delighted when I successfully whizzed up this recipe and it was received by my guinea pigs with thumbs up. The fruit mix has an incredible flavour thanks to the ginger, orange zest and vanilla, while the crumble topping has a far more wholesome and nutty crunch than the usual flour and butter mix. Despite cutting out eggs, wheat and dairy, this is still at least, if not more, delicious than the average crumble. Hopefully you’ll whizz this up for yourself and be pleasantly surprised that something so good for you can taste so heavenly!
Ingredients (Serves 4-6):
3 Large Pears
1 Orange (remove zest and set aside before peeling)
1 Cup Mixed Berries (I used frozen… Cheap and cheerful)
1 Inch Fresh Ginger, Grated
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder/Extract (I like Nua Naturals)
1 Cup Oats
1 Cup Almonds
1/2 Cup Walnuts
6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (rapeseed works too)
Coconut Yoghurt, to serve
Chop the pears and add to a pot with the grated ginger, orange zest and a splash of water. Put a lid on and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes until the pear pieces are softened.
Chop the orange and mix into the pot of pears along with the mixed berries. Stir in the vanilla powder. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes so they’re all mixed together nicely.
Spread the fruit mix into a small/medium baking dish.
Pop the nuts in a food processor and blitz until they’re roughly chopped (or you can just chop them by hand). Mix in a bowl with the oats and melted coconut oil until all is well mixed.
Spread the oat and nut crumble mix over the fruit mix.
Pop the crumble into an oven preheated to 180C for 35 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of coconut or greek yoghurt and enjoy!
With the weather heating up recently all I’m craving are lighter and fresher meals (well, most of the time!). This poached salmon and rice noodle salad is so unbelievably tasty, yet still light and healthy.
I have pretty full on psoriasis and eczema on my hands, so I’m becoming much more conscious of what I eat at the moment and am trying to boost my Omega 3 intake by eating more oily fish. Thankfully this recipe can be whipped up in 10-15 minutes and is as nice cold as it is hot, so it makes eating more salmon very easy. So easy in fact, that I’ve been making this every week (when I fall for a new recipe, I fall hard!). The zingy lime, ginger, garlic and chilli gives it a nice kick, and despite being a nutritional powerhouse, this recipe really feels like a treat!
Ingredients (Serves One):
1 Fillet Salmon
1/2 Bunch of Spring Onions
1 Red Chilli (more or less depending how much heat you can handle)
1 Piece Fresh Ginger
1 Large Clove of Garlic
Toasted Sesame Oil
75g Rice Noodles
Half fill a pot with boiling water. Add in about 2 tbsp soy sauce, the juice of half a lime, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 3-4 slices of fresh ginger, let it boil away for a few minutes before adding your salmon fillet. The salmon will take between 10-15 minutes to cook so keep an eye on it.
Your rice noodles should only take about 5-10 minutes to cook, but check the packet instructions to be sure. You want them to be cooked just before your salmon.
Slice the spring onions and chilli diagonally, finely chop the ginger and finely dice a few slices of fresh ginger. All them all to a medium heat frying pan with a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. The toasted sesame oil will give this a delicious, nutty tasty. Fry for about 2-3 minutes. You don’t want these to go totally soft.
When the rice noodles are cooked, drain them (reserving a few tablespoons of cooking water) and add them to the pan of veggies. Stir them in with a few tablespoons of soy sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, about a tablespoon of chopped coriander and some of the reserved cooking water if needed to loosen the mix out.
When the salmon is done, serve the noodles on a warm plate and place the salmon on top. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice over the salmon and another drizzle of the toasted sesame oil. Garnish with some fresh coriander
Do you, like me, often suffer the boredom of trying to use up leftover chicken after your Sunday (or whatever day) roast? There’s only so many chicken sandwiches a person can eat! Last Sunday when faced with a mountain of chicken and a perfectly lovely carcass, I decided to make an Asian inspired chicken noodle soup for a change.
As a huge fan of the gorgeous and talented Hemsley sisters, I have rediscovered the joys of a good homemade stock (“Boil Your Bones” as they so eloquently put it). Now I can scarce look at a chicken bone without imagining what to do with the nutritious stock I plan on squeezing out of it. A good bone broth is packed with amazing health benefits, so get boiling them bones. Even if you’re not bothered about your health, you still need a good homemade stock for this recipe, the cubed stuff will taste awful. This soup is based around a light and fragrant broth, so make the effort here and you’ll reap the rewards!
This is really filling due to the vermicelli noodles, but also really light due to the fragrant broth base. No ingredients in this recipe are fried, so you get a great fresh flavour. While this is best eaten straight away, it lasts happily for about 3 days in the fridge.
1.5 Litres Good Quality Homemade Chicken Stock
Leftover Roast Chicken (as much as you have but at least a good cup or two)
150g Vermicelli Noodles
5 Cloves Garlic
200g Shiitake Mushrooms
1 Bunch Spring Onions
1 Red Chilli
1 Handful Fresh Coriander
Toasted Sesame Oil
Put your stock into a large, heavy bottomed pot. Peel a good inch of ginger and slice it into long pieces, peel the garlic cloves and smash slightly with the back of a knife. Add to the stock (you’ll fish them out again before serving) and let simmer on a medium heat for 30 mins.
Slice your mushrooms and chilli finely and add to the broth. Chop or tear your chicken into strips and add to the pot. Let it cook away for another 10 minutes.
Add the vermicelli noodles to the pot (check the packet instructions, some need to be soaked in cold water first) and cook to until soft, about 5-10 minutes.
Add about 4 tablespoons of soy sauce and the juice of two limes to the broth. Chop up your coriander finely and add it in. Slice the spring onions diagonally and add to the pot to cook for about 5 more minutes.
Just before serving, fish out the chunks of ginger and garlic and taste the broth, add more soy sauce or lime juice as you need.
Serve in warm bowls and garnish with some fresh coriander and another squeeze of lime if you have it. Finish with a generous drizzle of toasted sesame oil.
With Easter coming up it seems we all have chocolate on the brain! Well at least I do; it’s the one day a year I can indulge my chocoholic tendencies without judgement or guilt.
While giving friends and family gifts of Easter eggs is the norm as we celebrate this holiday, I think it’s a nice touch to make some homemade chocolate truffles instead of a shop bought egg. Despite these truffles looking the bee’s knees (if I do humbly say so myself), they are stupidly easy to make. This is a great recipe to add to your repertoire as a box of these bad boys always makes a thoughtful gift.
Best of all it only requires a few simple ingredients and you can use your imagination for the toppings. So put your apron on, get into the kitchen and channel your inner Juliette Binoche!
Ingredients (Makes Approx 24):
400g 70% dark chocolate
Cocoa powder & Cinnamon (equal amounts of each)
Crushed Roasted Hazelnuts
Break up all your chocolate into little pieces and place into a large bowl.
Heat your cream in a saucepan and just before it comes to the boil take it off and pour it over the chocolate pieces. Stir the chocolate and cream together continuously until it combines.
Add a splash of whiskey (I’ll let you use your judgement on this! Even if you’re not a whiskey fan I still advise adding a shot as it just adds a great depth of flavour rather than a strong whiskey taste. Don’t add more than 2 shots of whiskey though as the mix needs to be thick enough to set). Keep stirring until totally combined.
Leave the mix in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours until it sets. When set, take it out and take a spoon at a time and roll between your hands until they form into ball shapes, do this quickly or they will melt from the heat of your hand. Don’t worry about them being perfectly circular. I advise wearing rubber gloves for this or your nails may go black!
Set up bowls containing the toppings and roll the truffles in each until they’re well coating in either your coconut, hazelnut or cocoa cinnamon topping.
Put into a lined box or tupperware and make sure to keep in the fridge until ready to eat. They will keep for up to a week, but my experience is that they all get gobbled up within a day or two!