Category Archives: Lunch

Bloody Beautiful Beetroot Soup With A Sour Cream And Chive Garnish

A Fine Looking Bowl Of Beetroot Soup If I Do Say So Myself
A Fine Looking Bowl Of Beetroot Soup If I Do Say So Myself

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.

Stir The Sour Cream Garnish Into The Beautiful Beetroot Soup
Stir The Sour Cream Garnish Into The Beautiful Beetroot Soup

Ingredients:

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

Sour Cream

Chives, chopped

  1. 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.
  2. In a large soup pot add the finely chopped garlic and grated ginger to some oil, gently fry for a minute or two.
  3. Add the chopped onion and apple to the pot and cook for another few minutes before adding the roasted veggies.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve in warm bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of chives.
  6. Enjoy!
Eating Your Five A Day Has Never Been So Appealing!
Eating Your Five A Day Has Never Been So Appealing!
Beetroot And Apple Soup With Sour Cream And Chives
Beetroot And Apple Soup With Sour Cream And Chives

Zingy Poached Salmon And Rice Noodle Salad

Zingy Poached Salmon And Rice Noodle Salad
Zingy Poached Salmon And Rice Noodle Salad

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!

Poached Salmon And Rice Noodle Salad
Poached Salmon And Rice Noodle Salad

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

Fresh coriander

Toasted Sesame Oil

Soy Sauce

1 Lime

75g Rice Noodles

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
Poach Your Salmon in Seasoned Water
Poach Your Salmon in Seasoned Water
Slice Up All Your Veggies And Herbs
Slice Up All Your Veggies And Herbs
Lightly Fry Your Veggies For A Few Minutes
Lightly Fry Your Veggies For A Few Minutes
Stir In The Rice Noodles, Soy Sauce And Coriander
Stir In The Rice Noodles, Soy Sauce And Coriander
Poached Salmon And Rice Noodle Salad
Poached Salmon And Rice Noodle Salad

Leftover Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

A Tasty Bowl Of Fragrant Chicken Noodle Soup
A Tasty Bowl Of Fragrant Chicken Noodle Soup

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!

A Damn Fine Chicken Noodle Soup
A Damn Fine Chicken Noodle Soup

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.

You Just Need A Few Fresh And Tasty Ingredients
You Just Need A Few Fresh And Tasty Ingredients

Ingredients:

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

Fresh Ginger

5 Cloves Garlic

200g Shiitake Mushrooms

1 Bunch Spring Onions

1 Red Chilli

2 Limes

1 Handful Fresh Coriander

Soy Sauce

Toasted Sesame Oil

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Chuck Those Bones In A Pot And Boil!!!
Chuck Those Bones In A Pot And Boil!!!
A Light But Deliciously Flavoured Chicken Noodle Broth
A Light But Deliciously Flavoured Chicken Noodle Broth
Add In Your Noodles And Let Them Soften In The Broth
Add In Your Noodles And Let Them Soften In The Broth
When The Noodles Are Soft Serve Immediately
When The Noodles Are Soft Serve Immediately
There's No Better Way To Use Up Your Leftover Roast Chicken
There’s No Better Way To Use Up Your Leftover Roast Chicken

The Best Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

I used to hate tomato soup. I mean really loath it. I think it was a result of having the tinned stuff forced on me in a friends house when I was younger… Shudder. So sickly sweet and salty at the same time- it turned my stomach. I’ve thankfully grown to love the stuff though after trying so many beautiful homemade ones over the last few years.

Delicious Mouth Watering Tomato Soup
Delicious Mouth Watering Tomato Soup
This Soup May Change Your Life
This Soup May Change Your Life
World's Best Tomato Soup!
World’s Best Tomato Soup!

I was browsing the Temple Bar market last week and couldn’t but notice the most incredible juicy tomatoes of all different shapes and colours. I’ve probably mentioned the McNally Organic Farm stall before but wow, their produce is incredible. I bought as many as I could carry and starting thinking of all kinds of tomato based foods I could. The weather was pretty rotten so I decided the first thing I would make would be tomato soup. No joke this is absolutely incredible. Roasting the tomatoes brings out their rich natural sweetness, and the garlic and basil give it a big kick of flavour. Make this immediately and it will be on your recipe rotation all Autumn and Winter!

Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1.5kg tomatoes (if you can’t get fancy ones like above at least get vine tomatoes from your supermarket- the flavour is much stronger)

1 onion

2 celery sticks

2 carrots

6 garlic cloves

1 large bunch fresh basil

Boiling Water

Salt & Pepper

  1. Chop up your tomatoes and sprinkle with salt. Throw into an oven preheated to 180C for 30 – 40 minutes, check them every 5 minutes and stir.
  2. About half way through you will notice that all the juice will have run out of the tomatoes. Pour this juice out into a jug for later (this will be your stock) and continue roasting your tomatoes. Once the juice is removed they can wilt down and sweeten.
  3. Peel your garlic and finely chop it.  Finely dice your onion and celery and grate your carrot.
  4. In a big soup pot fry your garlic on medium heat in a generous glug of olive oil.  After a minute add the onion, watch the heat and make sure they don’t burn. Then after a few minutes add in the carrot and celery. Stir it around and let it cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
  5. Add in the roasted tomatoes and pour the hot tomato juice over the top. Chop up your basil and throw it in.
  6. With a hand blender blitz the soup until totally smooth, at this point it will be really thick like passata so just add enough boiling water to reach your desired consistency. I like mine a little thick so I didn’t add too much water in. You don’t need stock cubes, if your tomatoes are nice then just use the water as the stock cubes will distract from the beautiful natural sweetness of the roast tomatoes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Chop Up The Tomatoes and Sprinkle With Sea Salt
Chop Up The Tomatoes and Sprinkle With Sea Salt
After About 30-40 Minutes The Tomatoes Reduce To Soft Squidgy Deliciousness
After About 30-40 Minutes The Tomatoes Reduce To Soft Squidgy Deliciousness
Finely Dice Your Carrots, Onion, Celery and Garlic
Finely Dice Your Carrots, Onion, Celery and Garlic
Add In Your Basil And Blitz
Add In Your Basil And Blitz
Literally The Nicest Tomato Soup You Will Ever Try
Literally The Nicest Tomato Soup You Will Ever Try

Pomegranate and Quinoa Sexy Supermodel Salad

So Healthy And Delicious
So Healthy And Delicious
A Salad People Will Actually Enjoy
A Salad People Will Actually Enjoy

Ok so I have no idea what most supermodels eat (probably a packet of cigarettes and a diet coke), but I still live in hope that eating dishes like this will bring me one step closer becoming Miranda Kerr.

Maybe not. If not I won’t be too upset though as this taste so delicious, it’s one of those salads that doesn’t really feel like a salad. I like it best as a side with some fish, meat or quiche. It’s a perfect side for a BBQ. It’s full of all the good stuff especially quinoa which is a really high protein grain.

With the weather looking mighty for the rest of the summer (I hope I didn’t jinx that), this is definitely one worth banging out.

Little Bowl of Salad Heaven
Little Bowl of Salad Heaven

Ingredients:

1 mug dried quinoa grains

1/2 chicken or veg stock cube

2 peeled garlic cloves

1 large handful mangetout

1 bunch spring onions

3 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Seeds of 1 pomegranate

Zest of 1 lemon

  1. Rinse the quinoa really well in a sieve under water. This is important as the coating of quinoa has a soapy residue so if you don’t rinse it well it will taste yuck. Tip the rinsed grains into a pot of boiling water with the chicken stock cube and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and let simmer away for about 15-20 minute- until cooked through. It needs a bit, not to be mushy.
  2. Chop the scallions and fry in a little oil the set aside. Slice the mangtout and pop in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, then remove and pop into a bowl of icy water. Strain and set aside.
  3. When the quinoa is cooked through, strain it and pop into a serving bowl. Add in the spring onions, mangetout, 2 tbsp of the almonds, most of the pomegranate seeds and most of the lemon zest.
  4. Stir it all together and to serve sprinkle with some more of the almonds, lemon zest and pomegranate.
  5. Serve immediately but this will keep well for a few days in the fridge.
Cook The Quinoa With Some Stock and Garlic
Cook The Quinoa With Some Stock and Garlic
Lovely Fluffy Quinoa
Lovely Fluffy Quinoa
Fry The Scallions Until Almost Soft
Fry The Scallions Until Almost Soft
Blanch Your Mangetout
Blanch Your Mangetout
The Easiest Way To Get The Pomegranate Seeds Out Is By Pushing It Inside Out
The Easiest Way To Get The Pomegranate Seeds Out Is By Pushing It Inside Out
Garnish And Serve
Garnish And Serve

Carrot, Clementine and Mixed Seed Salad

Delicious Carrot Salad
Delicious Carrot Salad

The sun is finally shining…. Hurray! I actually didn’t need to wear a big woolly coat at all the last few days and even managed to forgo my morning porridge for fruit and yoghurt. This is big news as for the the last 6 months in Ireland I may as well have been living in Antarctica. The excitement of the approaching summer has me craving fresher, lighter dishes in the same way that in winter I crave warm, hearty stews.

This salad is incredibly quick and easy to make, it only takes a few minutes but I find myself making it a lot as an easy side to go with lunches or dinners, any leftovers are always good in a sandwich or wrap the following day too. Make sure to try out this easy, tasty recipe and leave me a comment to let me know how you get on!

Carrot, Clementine, Mixed Seed & Raisin Salad
Carrot, Clementine, Mixed Seed & Raisin Salad

Ingredients:

3 large carrots

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used sunflower and flax)

2 tbsp raisins

1 clementine

  1. Wash and peel the carrots and then dry them off. Take a vegetable peeler and peel the carrots lengthways in long ribbons.
  2. Peel the clementine  and then take the skins off the segments and roughly chop.
  3. Pop the carrot ribbons into a serving bowl and stir in the apple cider vinegar, seeds, raisins and clementines until evenly coated.
  4. Taste and add a little more apple cider vinegar if necessary. (Sometimes if I want it sweeter I add a squeeze of clementine juice also).
Carrot and Clementine Salad
Carrot and Clementine Salad

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Chickpeas
Curried Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Chickpeas
Delicious Cumin Roasted Chickpeas
Delicious Cumin Roasted Chickpeas
Healthy and Delicious Curried Cauliflower Soup
Healthy and Delicious Curried Cauliflower Soup

I want to say this recipe is mine as it’s so delicious, but in fact I stole it from my Dad. He made it over Christmas, and I was weak for it. It’s really tough to pull me away from my favourite Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Soup, but this is a strong contender. It’s so packed with flavour and the coconut milk makes it nice and filling, so if you have it for lunch, you won’t get the munchies again an hour later. It’s also really healthy, a great way to get lots of vitamins, minerals, fibre and spices into one steaming hot pot of goodness!

It’s also really easy to make and doesn’t involve much fresh ingredients apart from the two veggies (Cauliflower and Onion), everything else you will hopefully have in your press.

I made these Roasted Chickpeas after stumbling across a few photos of roasted chickpeas on Pinterest… I am a big chickpea fan, but the idea of roasting them blew my mind! They not only taste delicious, and are a really filling and healthy topping for your soup, but they’re also a delicious snack to have in the kitchen. Make these, and they’ll be a regular on your recipe list (you can use whatever spices you like, but mine work really well with this particular soup).

Ingredients:

Curried Cauliflower Soup:

1 large/2 small heads cauliflower chopped into bits

1 onion diced

1 can coconut milk

2 beef stock cubes & 500ml boiling water

1 heaped tsp medium curry powder

Coconut or rapeseed oil

Salt and Pepper

  1. Pop the chopped cauliflower on a baking tray, toss in a little oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 180C.
  2. In a large pot with a little oil, pop in the chopped onion and roasted cauliflower and sauté for 10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the curry powder and stir for 3 minutes (you want the curry powder to cook so it infuses properly).
  4. Add in the coconut milk and stock, bring to the boil and then let it simmer for 30 minutes. Then liquidise with a hand blender. You can add a little more hot water/stock if it’s too thick for you. Season if necessary.
  5. Serve with Roasted Chickpeas (recipe below).
Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower
Curried Cauliflower and Coconut Milk Soup
Curried Cauliflower and Coconut Milk Soup

Roasted Chickpeas

1 can of chickpeas (pre-cooked, not dried chickpeas)

1 large pinch salt

1 large pinch cracked black pepper

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil

  1. Mix together all ingredients and place in a roasting dish. Roast in an oven preheated to 180C for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Ta-Da…. Done!
Beautiful Curried Cauliflower Soup
Beautiful Curried Cauliflower Soup