Gaelic Moussaka

This dish is a legend! Creamy, juicy and absolutely delicious!

greek-mussaka

Greek Mussaka

Ingredients:
1.5 Lb of Irish grass fed round steak minced
1 jar of Bunalun Organic Passata*contains no added sugar
1 full head of garlic crushed
10 mushrooms diced
1 onion diced
1 red pepper diced
1 green pepper diced
1 red chilli finely diced
1 green chilli finely diced
1 teasp paprika
1/2 teasp cumin
1 teasp turmeric
1 teasp chilli powder
1/2 teasp of mixed herbs
1 handful of fresh parsley chopped
crushed black pepper to taste
1 tube of Organic Bunalun Tomato Paste*contains no added sugar
1 Knorr Beef Stockpot

Ingredients for the cheese sauce:
250ml full-fat Avonmore double cream
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 chicken stock pot
1 cup grated Arla lactose-free mild cheddar cheese

Layers:
Fresh aubergine x 2 sliced about 8cm thick

To Prepare the meat sauce:
Brown the steak mince in a large pot. Add the chopped veg,  onion, garlic and chilli first then stir for 1 minute before adding the remaining veg until they are partly cooked. Stir in the spices and then add the tomato passata and herbs. Simmer on a low heat for about 30-40 minutes with the lid on. Then add the full tube of tomato paste.

To make the cheese sauce:
Warm the cream slowly and then add the grated parmesan and 1/2 a chicken stock pot (no water) simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces to a thicker consistency. Add a small bit of the cheddar if you like it or a knob of butter if you like it less cheesy.

Prepare the aubergine:
Some people call it ‘eggplant’ but we will stick with aubergine since we are in Ireland and we grow shamrocks and other cool stuff like that!  So this is something that my friend graciously unearthed to me and I have never forgotten… by slicing your aubergine into 8cm thick slices and laying them onto a plate with 2 layers of kitchen paper and dusting with salt and covering with another 2 layers of kitchen paper. You will absorb all the moisture from the aubergine within about 5 minutes and they will be ready to dry fry.  We do this on a skillet for a couple of minutes on each side until them are golden, this will prevent it from going soggy and they will taste unreal.  If you have some rapeseed oil that you would like to lightly spray the pan with before you fry that is also acceptable and will help to brown them better. *(do not douce them in oil it makes them taste gross)

Assemble:
In a large oven proof dish start to layer, meat, then aubergine, then cheese sauce and repeat. Then top with the remaining cheddar cheese and cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 200C or until the top is golden.

To Serve:
Accompany with home-made chips by cutting a few potatoes into chips and then coating in 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil, salt and a dusting of paprika and cook for about 25 minutes in a really hot oven 225C until crispy.

Make it Keto:
It’s already gluten-free & keto so all you have to do is serve it with cauliflower & green veg for a really satisfying keto-friendly dish!

It gave me about 8 portions once its cooled down it was perfect to store in the fridge until the next day and also to freeze for up to 3 months.  For all you meal preppers out there.. I find it defrosts and reheats really well in the microwave.

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Chicken & Cashew nut Stir-fry

chicken-cashew-nut-stir-fry

Chicken & Cashew Nut Stir Fry

Feeds 4 hungry people

Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts 9 (cubed)
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1/4 cup asparagus (chopped into bite-size pieces)
1/4 cup zucchini (chopped into bite-size pieces)
10 mushrooms cut into quarters
4 cloves of garlic
1 small thumb size piece of fresh ginger (minced)
1 shallot (cut into strips)
1 red chilli (finely diced)
1 mini red pepper
1 mini yellow pepper (cut into small strips)
1 tbsp tamari *Gluten-Free alternative for soy sauce
1 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil (melted) or 1 tbsp rapeseed oil & a splash of sesame seed oil
1 Knor chicken stock pot *gluten-free
1 handful of cashew nuts (optional)

Spices:
1 teasp turmeric
1 teasp paprika
1 teasp onion salt
1 teasp garlic salt
handful of fresh parsley

Preparation is everything!

chicken-cashew-stir-fry-preparation

Chicken & Cashew stir-fry preparation

To Make:

Brown the chicken in a skillet pan with the coconut oil for about 8 minutes, then add the onions, garlic, chilli, ginger, mushrooms and the remaining vegetables until slightly softened this should take about 3 minutes.  Then add the tamari and the stock pot with a tablespoon of water and cook for 1 min.  Add the cashew nuts at the very end.

Serve on it’s own for a Keto-friendly meal or add brown rice, pilau rice,  jasmin rice or quinoa for a really healthy meal.

Red Lentil & Coconut Chicken Curry

re-lentil-coconut-chicken-curry

Red Lentil & Coconut Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

1 Large free range chicken
2 Chicken stock cubes
2 Red onions finely sliced
3 Peppers (red, green, orange) diced
3 Large flat cap mushrooms diced
4-6 Garlic cloves crushed
1 Red chilli & 1 green chilli finely diced
1 Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
2 Tablespoons rapeseed oil
6 Medium beef tomatoes
2 Teasp salt
500g Mix red Lentils, green puy lentils, yellow split peas, chickpeas
1 x 400ml Tin of coconut milk
3 Tablespoons tamari
1 Lime, juice only
1 Tablespoon medium curry powder
2 Teaspoons ground cumin
2 Teaspoons ground coriander
1 Teaspoon ground turmeric
1 Teaspoon paprika
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.5 Liters water
100g Baby spinach
1 tube of tomato paste

Cooked brown rice, to serve

To Prepare:

1. Soak the lentils overnight in separate bowls. Boil the lentils and chickpeas for 30 mins until cooked through. The red lentils will not require prior cooking and will be added directly to the curry.

2. Immerse the chicken in a extra large pot of water,add the stock cubes and bring to the boil. Drop the heat down to a slow simmer and cook for a further 45 mins to 1 hr until the chicken is falling off the bone. Remove the chicken from the water and set aside. Strain the stock that the chicken was in and set aside. (This will make up the 1.5 liters of stock)

3. To skin your tomatoes slit each with a cross just piercing the skin and soak in boiling water for a couple of minutes until the skin can be removed easily. Chop tomatoes in large chunks and set aside.

4. Prepare all the veg and set aside your spices on a small plate.

Ready to cook:

1. Saute the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger, peppers and mushrooms in the oil in extra large pot on a high heat for 5 minutes. When the onions are soft, add the tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover the pot and cook gently over a low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the Lentils and chickpeas, coconut milk, tamari, lime juice and all the spices and remaining teaspoon of salt and 1.5 liters of stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a low heat and simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are cooked through and soft. Stir regularly.

3. While the pot is simmering away you have time to prepare your chicken, remove all the flesh from the bones and set aside.

4. When the lentils are cooked add the tomato paste to thicken. Turn off the heat and stir through the baby spinach until it wilts.

5. Add the prepared chicken and your delicious curry is complete.

Serve on a bed of brown rice.

Garlic & lemon char-grilled chicken

Garlic & lemon-chargrilled-chicken

Garlic & lemon chargrilled chicken

A bit of sunshine and us Irish have lost the run of ourselves altogether!! This recipe is perfect for this time of year when your not quite sure if you should take the bikini or man-kini out quite yet. This marinade promises all of the taste and none of the belly!

Ingredients:
Free range chicken breast x 3
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
3 cloves of fresh garlic (finely chopped)
1 Lemon
Fresh thyme

To prepare:
Slice 3 pieces of lemon and set aside.  Put your chicken breasts into a large container, add the rapeseed oil, garlic and thyme. Squeeze in the remaining lemon and coat well with all ingredients. Put the remaining lemon slices on top of each of the chicken breasts. Cover and leave in the fridge until ready to cook. Preferably over night.

To cook:
Cook on a BBQ or grill for approx 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and it is golden on the outside. Turning a few times to ensure even cooking.

To serve:
Serve with Roasted root vegetables (parsnip, sweet potato) using rapeseed oil, salt & pepper and a medley of steamed veg. This Garlic lemon char-grilled chicken would also be a great addition to a fresh salad.

Spicy marinated BBQ Chicken

spicy-marinated-BBQ-Chicken

Spicy marinated BBQ Chicken

Its official, the sun is out and time to take that BBQ out for a test drive! This marinade is so special because you made it with love yourself. It is so easy to make, the chicken is so full of flavour, crispy on the outside and delicious and succulent on the inside that you will be converted for life!

For the Marinade:
Half a lemon squeezed
1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 red chilli finely chopped
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
2 Tablespoons of gluten-free organic Greek yoghurt or natural yoghurt
A handful of fresh thyme

marinade -for-bbq-chicken

Marinade for BBQ Chicken

To prepare:
Put your chicken pieces, (skin and bone left on) into a large container and put all the ingredients on top and with clean hands rub the mixture into the chicken pieces. I have used a whole chicken which I cut into parts, 2 breasts, two legs. Leave in the fridge for at least 20 minutes but it is also ideal for leaving overnight in the fridge, in fact the flavours will be more intense.

To Cook:
Prepare your BBQ by putting the grill up to a high heat and coating with either vegetable or rapeseed oil. Then reduce the head to a low to medium heat and place the chicken on the grill. Cook on one side until golden and then turn over to cook the other side. Baste with the remaining marinade during cooking to keep moist. Repeat the procedure until the chicken is cooked through and has a charred appearance. The slower you cook the chicken the better as it will prevent the outside from burning.

To Serve:
I have served this with a large side salad consisting of sweet red peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and some of the lovely Cooleeney Handmade Irish Cheese my friend brought me back from cork, drizzled with a balsamic dressing. For more information on Irish Cheese producers please see: Irish Farmhouse Cheese Association

cooleeney-handmade-soft-irish-cheese

Cooleeney Handmade Soft Irish Cheese

I made some of my Potato Salad to accompany it and large mushroom which I coated in rapeseed oil and placed on the BBQ grill during the last 10 minutes of cooking but a baked potato would be ideal also.

Baked Salmon with sundried tomato, Blackened Sweet Potato, Carrot & Cauliflower

roasted-salmon-blackened-sweet potato-carrot-cauliflower

Roasted Salmon with Blackened Sweet Potato, Carrot &
Cauliflower

Ingredients:
for the salmon:
2 Salmon fillets
Pinch salt & black pepper
1 drizzle of rapeseed oil
Tablespoon of sundried tomato paste

for the veg:
2 Large sweet potato sliced lengthways into wedges (with skin on)
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
2 Carrots sliced diagonally and halved again
Pinch of salt & black pepper
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
Pinch of curry powder
2 Tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil

preparation-for-baking

Preparation for Baking

To Cook:
Put the salmon into an oven proof dish and drizzle a small amount of rapeseed oil, sprinkle a pinch of salt and black pepper over them. Prepare vegetables in a bowl and rub with all ingredients, place on a wire grill tray and cook in an oven grill for about 20-25 minutes until blackened and cooked through or alternatively you can pop them on a hot BBQ grill plate which should only take about 10 minutes. By cooking the vegetables in this way, it brings out their sweet flavour. When the veg has been cooking for about 15 minutes, put the salmon into the oven, depending on the size it should only require 8-15 minutes cooking time. You may need to turn the veg once at this point. 3 minutes before serving take the salmon out, smear with the sundried tomato paste and put back into the oven to cook through.

Serve with home-made coleslaw, a wedge of lemon and a side salad of your choice.

BBQ Steak with Mushroom & Potato Salad

bbq-steak-blackened-sweet-potato-carrot-cauliflower-mushroom

BBQ Steak with Blackened Sweet Potato, Carrot & Cauliflower

Summer time is nearly here, the sun is shining in Ireland and all the white legs are out! What better way to enjoy a steak in the evening or at the weekends than to cook it on the BBQ. I always enjoy the smell of a BBQ wafting through the air with the smell of freshly cut grass and sea air while lazing in the garden after a long walk on the beach.

Ingredients:
for the steak:
4 Sirloin steaks
Bunch fresh thyme
Pinch Salt & black pepper
2 Tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil
4 Large Flat cap mushrooms

for potato salad:
4 New Potatoes
Pinch of salt & black pepper
2 Tablespoons of light mayonnaise
3 scallions sliced
Finely chopped fresh parsley

for the coleslaw:
1/4 Coleslaw cabbage sliced thin and fine
2 Carrots grated
1 small white onion finely chopped
2 Tablespoons of light mayonnaise
1 squeeze of lemon
Finely chopped fresh parsley

Steak

Preparation of Steak

To Cook:
Marinade the steak for a few hours in all the ingredients. Coat the Mushrooms with a little rapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Prepare your potato salad by boiling the potatoes until just cooked, wait for them to cool, chop into quarters, or if the potatoes are large into bitesize pieces. Mix the scallions and mayo through and sprinkle with fresh parsley. To make your coleslaw, slice the coleslaw cabbage finely and add the grated carrots (Press down with some kitchen paper to take out the moisture). Add the finely chopped onion and a little fresh parsley and mix through the mayo and a squeeze of lemon. Prepare your salad, I used baby gem lettuce and cherry tomatoes cut in half and dressed it with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and grated parmesan. Then you are ready to cook your steak and mushrooms.

For the steak and mushrooms you can either use a hot BBQ or griddle pan (insure you coat the griddle with oil to stop the food sticking). Cook the steak for a couple of minutes on each side until the fat has rendered out and they are nice and charred on the outside, and slightly pink in the middle (medium rare). If you like it (well done) just cook for a couple of minutes longer. Put the mushrooms on the grill at the same time and turn once. As soon as the mushrooms are golden and cooked through they are ready, this should only take about 4 minutes.

Serve with a wedge of lemon.