Smoked Haddock, Cod & Salmon Chowder with white wine, shallot & turmeric cream

smoked-haddock-cod-salmon-spinich-shallot-white-wine-tumeric-cream

Fish Chowder

Ingredients:

200g Smoked Haddock
200g Salmon
200g Cod
2/3 Large potatoes
2 Carrots
2 Large shallots
Large handfull of fresh baby spinach
400ml Chicken Stock (1/2 cube)
100ml White wine
200ml Fresh cream
5 tsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 tsp Turmeric
small handful of freshly chopped parsley
drizzle of rapeseed oil
Kerrygold butter 2 knobs
Pinch salt & black pepper

To Prepare:

Having everything chopped in advance is the key to a good chowder! So get chopping. Potatoes should be pealed and diced into large cubes, carrots diced fine and shallots diced into tiny cubes. Prepare the fish by making sure there are no bones and all skin is removed. Dice into large pieces. The reason they should all be about the same size is so they will cook evenly. Ok, boil the kettle and you are ready to go!

Diced Fish

Smoked Haddock, Cod & Salmon

To Cook:

Get a large stainless steal pot and heat the oil and one knob of butter leaving the other until the end of cooking and slowly sweat the shallot for about a minute, then add the carrot and potato. Mix with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and boil for about 5 minutes with the lid on until the vegetables are al dente, ensuring they are not completely cooked through. Then add Fish and the remaining ingredients and leave to simmer on a low heat for the further 4-6 minutes making sure you cover with a lid. If you have muscles or uncooked fresh prawns these would be an ideal addition. Add some salt and pepper to taste and you are ready to eat!

fish-chowder

Fish Chowder

I recommend serving with fresh Irish brown soda bread and Kerrygold butter for a really satisfying winter meal that will serve 2-4 people depending on how hungry your family are…mmm mine are piglets!

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Quinoa Salad with Lentils & Butternut Squash

There’s a reason quinoa, pronounced “keen-wa”, has been making headlines and leading healthy-eating trends. Related to swiss chard and beets, quinoa is a fantastic food to add to your diet for many reasons. With power foods like quinoa and lentils in one dish, just one serving of this salad gives you plenty of protein, fibre, folate and Iron. Just another reason to enjoy your delicious lunch…

quinoa-salad-with-lentils

Quinoa Salad with Lentils

Ingredients:
170g quinoa
100g green lentils (soaked in water for 30 minutes, drain and boil for 20-30 minutes)
100g red lentils (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
1/2 large butternut squash
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
small bunch of freshly chopped coriander
small bunch of freshly chopped parsley
1 large carrot
1/2 orange bell pepper
1 stick celery
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
dash black ground pepper
1/2 pint stock (chicken stock works best for flavour/ for vegans or vegetarians use vegetable stock)
handful of spinach

To prepare:
Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve, drain and boil in a medium pot for approx 12 minutes and add a pinch of salt (similar cooking instructions to rice). Boil the green lentils for about 20-30 minutes until soft, then drain them in a colander. The red lentils only need draining as these will cook much quicker and don’t require prior boiling. Peal and chop the butternut squash into 1 cm square cubes and boil for 10-15 minutes until soft but still retaining their shape (par boil), drain in a colander. Dice the carrots, celery and orange bell pepper.. Finely dice the shallots and garlic.

lentil-butternut-squash

Lentil & butternut squash

To cook:
In a large non-stick pan heat the rapeseed oil and sweat the shallots and garlic for 1 minute, then add the carrots, celery and pepper. Add the cooked butternut squash, green lentils, red lentils and then the coriander, cumin and ground black pepper. Gently stir all ingredients for 1 minute before adding the stock. Add the fresh herbs. Simmer on a medium heat with the lid on for a further 5 minutes or until the lentils have absorbed all the liquid.

To serve:
Serve on a bed of washed spinach, place the quinoa on top of the spinach and then top with the lentil salad.

Enjoy!

Learn more about quinoa…

organic-quinoa

Organic Quinoa

Many people think that quinoa is a grain – like wheat or rice. But really it’s a vegetable seed. For vegetarians and vegans, quinoa is an excellent source of protein that contains the nine essential amino-acids your body needs to function optimally. Quinoa contains around 20 percent protein, which is higher than rice, millet or wheat. Adding quinoa to meals in the form of salads, sides or main courses can ensure that your body receives adequate protein to build and rebuild tissue. It is packed full of Riboflavin (B2) and Magnesium which is shown to help increase energy and reduce the occurrence of migraines, as well as helping cells function optimally.

Meanwhile, magnesium helps to prevent hypertension by relaxing the muscles around your blood cells. It is low calorie, gluten free, low GI and high in fiber to keep you fuller for longer as well as lowering cholesterol. It is also a good source of Iron, lysine and Manganese. Having the proper balance of iron in your diet helps your muscles function properly to supply oxygen to the brain as well as regulate body temperature and enzymes. By ensuring an adequate intake of lysine, your body can repair tissues quickly. And the anti-oxidant manganese helps to protect mitochondria and red blood cells from damage.

For me the best reason to eat quinoa is for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Consumption of quinoa has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in animal studies – including a reduction in obesity by lowering levels of fat tissue. By including quinoa in your diet you are also promoting healthy growth of bones by assisting the absorption of calcium and the development of collagen.

Quinoa can be used in bars, to replace oatmeal for breakfast, in salads or granola, in soups, or even in homemade veggie burgers and can also be found in flour form for pancakes, baking and other treats. The possibilities are endless and best of all, it tastes really good!

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