Tag Archives: healthy

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

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

Epic Healthy Italian Turkey Meatballs & Roast Tomato Sauce

Delicious Italian Turkey Meatballs With Roasted Tomato Sauce... Wowza!
Delicious Italian Turkey Meatballs With Roasted Tomato Sauce… Wowza!

Something I’ve wanted to make for ages has been turkey meatballs. Apart from roast turkey at Christmas dinner, it’s not something we ever really cooked at home. However, being on a huge health kick this January (such a cliche, I know), I decided to give them a go. Turkey is obviously a great source of protein, but it’s also an extremely lean meat so it’s often suggested to people who are trying to eat healthily.

These meatballs are jam packed with veggies for an extra nutritional hit and flavour, and I used almond flour instead of breadcrumbs for a change. They taste absolutely gorgeous and this recipe makes about 30-40 small meatballs, so I tend to make a big batch and freeze smaller portions of them to defrost throughout the week for a quick and easy meal.

These taste completely decadent and are so comforting despite being really healthy. So if you’re getting sick of eating chicken salads as you try and get healthy, these are just the thing for you.

Finally A Plate Of Pasta And Meatballs That Tastes Ace But Is Super Healthy
Finally A Plate Of Pasta And Meatballs That Tastes Ace But Is Super Healthy
The Roast Tomato And Basil Sauce To Go With The Meatballs Is Incredible
The Roast Tomato And Basil Sauce To Go With The Meatballs Is Incredible

Ingredients:

Meatballs

2lb turkey mince

1 bunch basil

2 large carrots

2 sticks celery

1 large onion

1 – 2 eggs

50g ground almond

Sauce

1kg vine tomatoes

6 large shallots

4 large cloves garlic

1 bunch basil

Extras

Spelt spaghetti

Parmesan Cheese

  1. For the meatballs- grate the carrots and celery and very finely dice the onion. Finely slice the basil as fine as you can get it. Set it all aside in a bowl and add the mince. You may not need both eggs to bind the mix (depends on their size) so add one first and if it doesn’t hold together add the second egg. Add in the flour to help further bind the mix (again, if the mix is too wet, you can add more ground almond).
  2. On a baking sheet lay out the washed tomatoes and the peeled onion and garlic cloves (just remove their outer skin). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Throw into an oven preheated to 180C for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Using your hand, roll your meatballs together into whatever size you please. I kept mine a bit smaller than a golf ball. This will make 30-40 meatballs so you can freeze the ones you won’t be cooking straight away. Fry the meatballs in some olive oil on a medium high heat until they’re golden all over. If they’re sticking to the pan you could add some stock instead of oil as they continue to cook. They’ll take about 10-15 minutes, depending on size. Add your spaghetti to a boiling pot of water when the meatballs are looking close to being ready.
  4. When the vegetables are ready (the tomatoes will start to split and the shallots and onions will be soft), pop them all into a large bowl and blend with the other bunch of basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It’s that easy!
  5. Add some of the sauce to the pan and let the cooked meatballs stew away in the sauce until the pasta is ready.
  6. Drain the pasta when cooked and serve on a plate with a heap of meatballs and grate some parmesan cheese on top!
How Beautiful Are These Simple Veggies?
How Beautiful Are These Simple Veggies?
All Your Veggie Goodness To Go In To The Meatballs
All Your Veggie Goodness To Go In To The Meatballs
Get Squishing All Your Meatball Ingredients Together
Get Squishing All Your Meatball Ingredients Together
A Whole Army Of Meatballs Waiting To Be Fried
A Whole Army Of Meatballs Waiting To Be Fried
After A Good Roasting These Veggies Become Soft And Super Sweet
After A Good Roasting These Veggies Become Soft And Super Sweet
This Is No Joke The Nicest And Easiest Tomato Sauce Ever!
This Is No Joke The Nicest And Easiest Tomato Sauce Ever!
Meatballs Bathing In Delicious Roast Tomato Sauce... A Sight To Behold
Meatballs Bathing In Delicious Roast Tomato Sauce… A Sight To Behold
Dig In To These Nutritious And Delicious Turkey Meatballs
Dig In To These Nutritious And Delicious Turkey Meatballs

A Delicious Coconut And Chocolate Chia Pudding You’ll Actually Want To Eat

Chia Pudding is probably not for everyone, well on first glance at least. Despite it’s slightly tadpole appearance, it’s really tasty when mixed with interesting flavours and is a blank canvas to experiment with whichever way you like.

A Healthy And Delicious Chia Pudding You Can Enjoy Guilt Free
A Healthy And Delicious Chia Pudding You Can Enjoy Guilt Free

I decided to go with two of my favourite flavour combos, coconut and chocolate. The important thing with chia pudding is to jazz it up with fresh berries, nuts etc. This is one of the healthiest things you can eat in the morning as this super seed is jam packed with omega 3s, protein and is a high source of fibre. Having this pudding for breakfast is the ultimate morning health kick!

Three Layers Of Chia Pudding Goodness
Three Layers Of Chia Pudding Goodness

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

80g chia seeds

1/2 can light coconut milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

2 bananas

2 tbsp cocoa powder

Fresh berries

  1. Stir together your seeds, cinnamon, vanilla and your coconut milk. At first they’ll float around but within a few minutes they’ll start to swell, stir again 10 minutes later so they don’t clump together. It’s best to do this step the night before so it’s ready for the morning. Just make sure to stir a few times and as it thickens you’ll need probably need to add more water.
  2. With a hand blender blitz up the banana and the cocoa powder until it’s a smooth chocolatey sauce.
  3. Layer up a jar one third of the way with chocolate and then fill the rest of the jar almost to the top with the chia pudding just leave a little space for the berries. You could also top with crushed nuts, yoghurt or bee pollen like I did.
  4. It’s that simple!
Mix Together Your Chia Pudding Ingredients
Mix Together Your Chia Pudding Ingredients
Mix Together The Chia Pudding Ingredients And Watch Them Swell
Mix Together The Chia Pudding Ingredients And Watch Them Swell
Layer Your Jar With Your Delicious Chocolate Sauce
Layer Your Jar With Your Delicious Chocolate Sauce
Fill Your Jar With Your Tasty Tadpoles
Fill Your Jar With Your Tasty Tadpoles
This Chocolate And Coconut Chia Pudding Is The Healthiest Breakfast
This Chocolate And Coconut Chia Pudding Is The Healthiest Breakfast

Ham and Butter Bean Soup

Delicious, Wholesome, Meaty Soup
Delicious, Wholesome, Meaty Soup
Bowl of Ham and Butter Bean Soup
Bowl of Ham and Butter Bean Soup
Ham and Butter Bean Soup
Ham and Butter Bean Soup

I can appreciate that this soup is about as unattractive as it comes, but don’t hold that against it. This soup is really delicious, bursting with flavour, really meaty and filling while still being pretty healthy. I’ve been sick with a pretty bad sore throat and head cold and so today decided to make a pot of soup with some of the leftover Christmas ham, in the hopes that it would make me feel better in time for New Year’s Eve.

This is actually really delicious, and really hit the spot. The ham and butter beans make it a really filling meal. I definitely plan on making another pot tomorrow. If you have any leftover Christmas ham, try this recipe to use it up.

Perfect Soup To Use Up Leftovers
Perfect Soup To Use Up Leftovers

Ingredients:

200g chopped or shredded ham

1 can butter beans

2 leeks finely chopped

2 carrots finely chopped

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 sprigs of thyme (remove the leaves from the stalks)

750ml cold water

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1 pinch salt

1 splash rapeseed oil

  1. Pop the garlic, thyme leaves, leeks and carrots in a large heavy bottomed pot with the splash of oil and stir on a medium low heat until soft.
  2. Add the water and after a few minutes blitz with a hand blender to liquidize the vegetables.
  3. Add the drained can of butter beans, the ham, salt and pepper.
  4. Let the pot simmer away on a medium low heat for about 15 minutes until hot and then serve.
Sweat Down Vegetables
Sweat Down Vegetables
Add The Ham To The Pot
Add The Ham To The Pot
Pot Of Ham and Butter Bean Soup
Pot Of Ham and Butter Bean Soup

Beetroot and Camembert Salad

Beetroot and Camembert Salad
Beetroot and Camembert Salad
Healthy and Delicious
Healthy and Delicious

Salads don’t need to be boring, limp and tasteless! You can put anything you want into a salad, and this one I love as it has some of my favourite things in it. I made this for a party not too long ago and it was really popular. I’ve been using my training for the Cork half marathon as an excuse to indulge in carb heavy dishes, but after a few weeks of hamming it up with pasta dishes, toasties, risottos and home made pizzas I think it’s time to get back into the swing of fitting in a few salads a week!

This is a really delicious salad though, and you definitely don’t feel cheated of an indulgent meal! The beetroot and cranberries add some lovely colour, the Camembert cheese adds a lovely silky soft texture and taste, and the walnuts give a nice little bite.

This literally takes 5 minutes to prepare, all that’s involved is a little chopping and tossing and it’s done. This makes a lovely lunch or a side dish for a party.

Ingredients:

4 cooked beetroots (You can buy them in all supermarkets cooked and vacuum packed)

1 wheel of Camembert cheese

1 large handful of walnuts

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1 large bag of salad leaves (dark leaves such as spinach and rocket work best, avoid iceberg lettuce)

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1. Chop the beetroot into bite sized chunks, let any excess water from the beetroot drain away.

2. Chop up the Camembert into small chunks.

3. Mix together the beetroot, salad leaves, walnuts, cranberries and Camembert into a bowl and loosen it with a little olive oil.

4. Sprinkle a little remaining walnut and cranberry on top and season lightly with salt and pepper. Done!

Chop Up Beetroot and Camembert
Chop Up Beetroot and Camembert
It's That Quick To Make!
It’s That Quick To Make!

Smoked Paprika Squash Salad

Smoked Paprika Squash Salad
Smoked Paprika Squash Salad
Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat

This is my new favourite salad. As we’re coming in to the warmer (marginally warmer in Ireland) months, we tend to gravitate towards lighter meals, but salads don’t need to be the boring lettuce and tomato variety! This one is packed with flavour and texture, and can be eaten as a main with some crusty bread.

I made a home made mayonnaise laced with smoked paprika, roasted peppers and a little bit of chilli and it really gave tonnes of flavour to the roasted squash. I added roasted peppers to the salad itself also and used some of the fruity oil they come preserved in to dress the leaves. I also toasted a little pan of pumpkin seeds which added a little crunch.

This is a really good, tasty salad. I made it for a party recently and it went down a treat! You really must make your own mayonnaise though, there is no comparison between the home made kind and the jellyish shop bought kind, and it is surprisingly easy to make. You can make twice the amount you need and keep a little jar in the fridge for sandwiches. Two jobs done in one go!

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash

1 jar of roasted red peppers

1 bag of mixed salad leaves (I used rocket, baby spinach and watercress)

1 large handful of pumpkin seeds

salt and pepper

Smoked Paprika Mayo:

1 egg yolk

150ml to 200ml oil (you can use the oil from the jar of roasted peppers, nut oil or sunflower oil… avoid olive or other strong tasting oils)

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

3 roasted red peppers blended into a paste

1. Put your oven on 180C and allow to preheat. Peel and chop your squash into equal sizes to allow it to cook evenly. Throw into a roasting tin, add a little mild tasting oil and salt and pepper and allow to roast away (around 45 to 55 minutes)

2. For the mayo add the egg yolk to a bowl and whisk in the mustard. Very slowly and little bit by little bit whisk in the oil. This is so easy to make, but if you add all the oil at once it will never come together, so add the oil very slowly. When it all has been added in and you have a nice smooth texture, then whisk in the paprika, chilli and blended peppers. Add more paprika or chilli to taste.

3. Take your pumpkin seeds and dry fry them on pan for less then a minute. Make sure to stir them constantly as they burn very quickly. Once they start popping and become nice and crispy then set aside.

4. When the squash is cooked (and make sure it is soft all the way through, nothing worse than undercooked squash), stir in enough mayo to coat all the squash. Add the rest of the jar of the roasted red peppers, the salad leaves and most of the pumpkin seeds. Stir together and add more of the oil from the roasted red peppers to coat the salad leaves if needed. Sprinkle the remaining seeds on top and serve with crusty bread.

Stir in Paprika and Chilli to the Mayonnaise
Stir in Paprika and Chilli to the Mayonnaise
Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise
Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise
Ready to Eat
Ready to Eat