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.
Down in Schull, West Cork there is the most amazing French café called Gwens. If you have ever seen the film Chocolat you have a pretty good picture of what this place is like. Gwens started off as a chocolate shop on the main street of Schull selling amazing little homemade chocolates, cakes and ice-cream. They since moved into the famous Courtyard building where they have expanded to serving breakfast, lunch and also wine in the wine bar they have since opened. Everything here is amazing and so authentically French. When you go here, especially at the weekends it is buzzing with people coming in for their sweet fix, often a coffee and an almond croissant or a chocolate scone. I am incapable of passing this place without popping in for a few of their chocolates!
The last time that I was here I had the most amazing French Onion soup. It was so comforting, tasty and actually quite filling. I decided to try to re-create it and my recipe below is for a more traditional dark French onion soup, to copy Gwen’s as pictured above try using white wine instead of red. This dish is definitely worth a go!
Ingredients (serves 2):
4 medium/large onions (sliced)
1 cloves garlic crushed
50ml red wine (or white if you want it like Gwens)
One beef stock cube in 500ml boiling water (the jelly stock cubes are best)
1 fresh bay leaves (or 3 dried bay leaves)
1 baguette (I already had a ciabatta in the cupboard so used this instead)
100g sliced Comte or Gruyere cheese (I used Gubbeen as I had it already)
Heat the butter in a large, heavy pot. Gently sweat the onion and garlic for about 15 minutes. Make sure they don’t go brown. Put on a lid to let the onions sweat. You want them very soft (almost translucent) and slightly carmelised.
Mix the stock cube with the water , add the wine, thyme and bay leaves and throw in to the pot. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or so with the lid on. Stirring every few minutes.
Traditional French onion soup has the little toasted bits of bread placed on top of the soup with cheese on top and put under the grill for a few mins to melt. (I had a ciabatta already so I used this and made a cheese toasty-which is why mine looks so less glamorous than Gwens… it still tasted amazing though!)
When your cheesy bread is melted, remove and serve on the side with your soup.
On Sunday I went with my family to the Famers Market in Schull, West Cork, which is always a nice trip as there’s always a great atmosphere and even better food. The Gubbeen Cheese stall has to be my favourite and I quickly bought a big chunk of their soft goats cheese and cranberry roulade, and also a small wheel of their Gubbeen Oak Smoked Cheese (my personal favourite). I have been working my way through the cheese since then and last night decided to try it in a pasta dish, so below is the recipe I dreamt up. The oyster mushrooms and bacon really compliment the smokey cheese and the walnuts give a nice little bite!
Gubbeen Cheese has been a family favourite for years. We went on a tour of the Gubbeen dairy and smokehouse when we were small and the fascination has grown since then! There’s obviously a sense of pride that such a famous cheese comes from Cork, and it’s important to support our local producers, but more importantly it tastes amazing. Its a really good Irish cheese and you can get it almost anywhere, so I would definitely recommend giving it a try.
Ingredients (serves 2):
100g Gubbeen Oak Smoked Cheese grated
1 egg yolk
12 oyster mushrooms sliced
4 rashers (smoked or streaky would be best)
Bunch of scallions finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
Handful walnuts chopped
Pasta (I used spelt pasta but just use your favourite)
Salt & Pepper
Heat some oil in a pan on a medium flame, add the garlic and scallions. Cover the pan with a lid to sweat them to prevent them from going crispy.
Cut bacon into lengths (approx 1 inch by 1 cm in shape) and add to pan and let cook away for 5 minutes. Put your pasta into a saucepan filled with boiling water, some salt and oil and let to cook away.
When bacon is cooked, add the sliced mushrooms and walnuts and cover with lid to allow to sweat.
When pasta is cooked, drain and add to pan with the bacon and veg.
Mix the egg, cheese and milk and add to the pan- let it cook for about a minute or so (before the egg starts to cook!). Give it a good stir to make sure the pasta is coated evenly with your cheese sauce and the sauce is heated enough.
Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and serve in deep bowls! Enjoy!