Parma ham, smokey mushroom and mixed bean salad

Parma-ham-smokey-mushroom- mixed-bean-salad

Parma ham, smokey mushroom and mixed bean salad

Have you ever wanted to love salad but it always tastes so bland and leafy or maybe you love salad and you want to try something new?

You need to try this taste sensation!

Ingredients:
2 Iceberg lettuce leaves (torn)
Handful of baby spinach leaves
2 Slices of parma ham
6 Red seedless grapes (halved)
6 Slices of sweet red pepper (halved)
1 Large flat cap mushroom
1 Teaspoon rapeseed oil
1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 Tin mixed beans..dutch brown beans, chick peas and haricot beans (Sweet Harvest/Aldi)
1 Tablespoon of light french dressing (Bramwells/Aldi)

To cook:
Chop the mushroom into large pieces like you would a pizza. Heat the rapeseed oil in a small pot and add the chopped mushroom and smoked paprika. Cook for 2 minutes until golden.

To prepare:
Toss the torn iceberg lettuce leaves, baby spinach, sweet red pepper in a bowl with the light french dressing. Add the mixed beans making sure you rinse and drain them first. Rip the parma ham into pieces and scatter on top. Add the grapes next sporadically and then add the cooked smokey mushroom.

The addition of a few crumbled pieces of feta cheese adds a new dimension to this dish!

Tip: It is easy to store in a container to bring to work or for a picnic at the park. Just make sure you keep the dressing separate. I often put some kitchen roll in the container to keep the leaves dry and crunchy but please don’t eat that 😉

Rhubarb & natural yogurt compote

Rhubarb-natura- yogurt-compote

Rhubarb & natural yogurt compote

Home-made comfort food that is good for you!

Ingredients:
Bunch of fresh rhubarb
4 Teaspoons of raw cane sugar
Splash of water
3 Tablespoons of natural live yogurt (Glenilen farm)

To cook:
Slice the rhubarb into even sized peices
Add the sugar and water and stew for about 5 minutes until soft, stir occasionally.

To serve:
When cool serve with natural yogurt

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.

Sautéed mushroom & spinach on Irish soda bread with scrambled eggs

Sautéed mushroom-spinach-on-Irish-soda-bread-with-scrambled-eggs

Sautéed mushroom & spinach on Irish soda bread with scrambled eggs

Breakfast is one of the best meals of the day and this Irish classic is sure to awaken your taste-buds.

Ingredients:
2 large free range eggs
a dash of milk
1 teaspoon of butter
Pinch of salt
A handful of spinach
1 large flat capped mushroom
1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil
2 slices of Gluten Free Home made Irish soda bread

To cook:

Crack 2 eggs into a heat proof jug, add the milk and the butter and a pinch of salt and beat with a fork until fluffy. Microwave for 1 minute, beat again and return to the microwave for another 30 seconds or until they are cooked to your liking.

Put the rapeseed oil into a small pot and add the mushroom until golden, it takes only 2 minutes. Add the spinach until wilted.

Toast 2 slices of soda bread and spread a light coating of butter on them both. Put the mushroom and spinach mixture on top of the toast and serve the scrambled eggs on the side.

Enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread

Irish-Soda-Bread

Irish Soda Bread

My first attempt at making soda bread that was both gluten-free and low GI was undoubtedly a success! Always the skeptic I saw the ingredients and thought…mmm there is no way this will taste like or even resemble the wonderful Irish soda bread that I longed for. Much to my surprise, it did. Thanks to my wonderful auntie Maureen for sharing this recipe with me. I won’t be buying any more shop bought GF breads from now on!

Ingredients:
1 Large greek style natural yogurt (Glenisk)
Irish oats (Enough to fill 2 large containers of yogurt)
2 Teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon salt

Use a 9 inch square baking tray preferably, that has been coated in butter. or any flat tray you have will do.

To make:
Empty your yogurt into a large mixing bowl. Fill the empty container with oats. If you have time it is best to break up the oats a little smaller, this can be done with your hands. Add the soda and salt and mix thoroughly. Then bring the mixture together into the shape of a square with your hands. Place into the baking tray and at this point you can sprinkle more oats on top or sunflower seeds if you wish. For those who are not gluten intolerant I suggest topping with milled bran as this adds more texture and crunch.

To cook:
Preheat the oven to 180C and cook for 50 minutes
Take out of the oven and cool on a wire tray

To serve:

Poached-egg-served-on-toasted-soda-bread

Poached egg served on toasted soda bread

Protein Pancakes

Check out my friend Mauds fab new blog full of amazing recipies like these protien pancakes with mango & natural yougert #qualifiednutritionist #healthyfood #weightloss #love

à la Maude

One of my favorite things about the weekend is that I have lots of free time to make brunch, the most important meal of the day!!

I usually head to the gym on Saturday mornings so protein pancakes are exactly what I need. Most of the blogs I read use whey protein powder for their pancakes and that’s absolutely fine but you can also get a cheaper, very easily absorbed, high quality protein from your diet. If you don’t use whey protein, these pancakes are perfect for your post-gym brunch!

The protein in these pancakes comes from egg whites and cottage cheese – don’t knock them till you try them!

Ingredients:

This recipe serves 2 – Makes 5 pancakes

PP Start

3 eggs

45g rolled oats

200g cottage cheese

2 Tablespoons of reduced fat milk (or any other milk you use)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of…

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Yorkshire Pudding

gluten-free-yorkshire-pudding

Yorkshire Pudding

Ingredients:
115g Doves Farm gluten-free self-raising flour
142ml milk
142ml water
1 pinch salt
1 medium egg
30g vegetable oil

How to Cook:
Heat the oven to 220°C. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl: make a well in the centre with a wooden spoon. Drop the egg and half the milk and water mixture into it. Gradually work the flour into the egg and milk and water mixture to form a smooth creamy texture. Slowly add the rest of the milk and water mixture and then beat well. Heat the oil in 8-10 patty tins or in a 23 x 18cm tray in the oven. When the oil begins to smoke, pour in the batter two thirds of the way as they do need room to rise. Bake in the top of the oven until well risen and brown; about 20 minutes. Serve immediately with your roast dinner.

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.

Orange & Honey Syrup Cake with Greek yoghurt and Pistachios

orange-honey-syrup-cake -greek yoghurt-pistachios

Orange & Honey Syrup Cake with Greek yoghurt and Pistachios

Ingredients:
For the cake:
Juice of 2 Oranges
Zest of 2 Oranges
125g Ground almonds
175g Softened butter and a little extra for greasing
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
250g semolina
4½ teaspoons baking powder

For the syrup:
200ml Boyne Valley Honey
5 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of good quality marmalade (no bits)
Juice of one orange
Juice of one lemon

For the topping:
200g Glenisk Natural Greek yoghurt
40g unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts
A drizzle of Boyne valley honey

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C
You will also need an 9 inch round loose-based cake tin, greased, with a non-stick base liner.

Method:
First, remove the zest from the outside of the oranges and cut the oranges into halves for juicing. Put all the other cake ingredients into a large bowl and use an electric hand whisk to whisk everything together until smooth. Add the Orange juice and zest and mix for a further minute. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top with and smooth the top with a spatuala.

Bake for an initial 10 minutes at 200°C and then turn the temperature down to 180°C for a further 30 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springy in the centre. You may find that your cake has shrunk slightly from the sides of the tin, this is perfect. If you find the cake is browning too quickly reduce the heat to 150°C and cover the top with tin foil for the last 10 minutes.

To make the syrup:
Combine the honey and 5 tablespoons water with the marmalade, place it over a gentle heat, whisking continuously. Bring it up to simmering point and let it simmer gently for about 5 minutes. After that, take the pan off the heat, and stir in the orange and lemon juices.

Cool the cake on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove it from the tin (leaving it to cool will ensure the cake doesn’t break apart) with a large plate underneath. Make a few holes all over it with a skewer before pouring the syrup over the cake slowly allowing it to absorb all the syrup, this will make the cake lovely and moist. When the cake is completely cooled, place it carefully on a serving plate and spread with the Greek yougert, sprinkle the pistachios on top and drizzle over the honey and it is ready to serve.

This cake should provide 8-10 slices and should be covered and kept in the fridge. It was a perfect treat for me and a break away from the books.

orange-honey-syrup- cake-greek yoghurt-pistachios

Orange & Honey Syrup Cake with Greek yoghurt and Pistachios

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.