Honey and Cider Roasted Sprouts

Dinner

Brussel sprouts are generally loved or loathed but I think this recipe will convert most haters fairly quickly. The secret is par-cooking the sprouts by blanching and refreshing them in ice cold water so that they roast really quickly in the honey and cider sauce. Some pecan nuts would also be delicious added in with the bacon and cranberries to add a little Thanksgiving-esque touch to your Christmas dinner feast. I’ve used carrots and turnips here but parsnips, squash, sweet potato or any other root vegetable would also work great.

Serves 5.Roast Brussel Sprouts

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 250g turnip, peeled and cubed
  • 400g brussel sprouts
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 100g bacon lardons or 3 rashers, cubed
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F. Melt the coconut oil in a large roasting tray.
  2. Once the coconut oil is melted, add the carrots and turnip and coat in the oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until soft through, stir regularly to ensure they evenly colour.Roast Brussel Sprouts
  3. Whilst the carrots roast, prepare the sprouts. Remove the outer leaves of the sprouts and rinse.
  4. Bring a large saucepan of water  with the salt to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the sprouts. Allow to blanch with the lid on for 5 minutes before straining and refreshing under cold running water.
  5. Whisk the honey and vinegar together and stir through the sprouts, bacon and cranberries until well coated.Roast Brussel Sprouts
  6. Once the carrots and turnip are soft through, add the sprout mix and combine together.Roast Brussel Sprouts
  7. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F and return all the vegetables to the oven. Continue to roast for 10 minutes until crispy.Roast Brussel Sprouts
  8. Remove from the oven and serve.

Roasted Hasselback Potatoes

Dinner

Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be the same without some roasted spuds!! Hasselback potatoes are basically sliced whole potatoes roasted with butter that results in the perfect crispy, golden potatoes. You can add herbs, crushed nuts, spices and anything else you can imagine to add a little twist to your potatoes. Here I’ve given you the recipe to my favourite variation but don’t be afraid to experiment – your guests will love you with the results!!

Serves 5.Christmas Trimmings

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 10 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F.
  2. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until soft through.
  3. Place the peeled potatoes in a large bowl with the salt and cover with water (this can be done the night before as it will stop the potatoes from browning and remove the starch resulting in crispy potatoes).
  4. Place the butter and coconut oil into a large roasting tray and melt in the oven. Once melted, squeeze the centre of the roasted garlic out and mash together.Roast Hasselback Potatoes
  5. Remove the potatoes from the water and pat dry with a towel. Place each potato between two wooden spoons and slice width ways down to the spoon – leaving a section of un-sliced potato at the bottom keeping the potato whole.Roast Hasselback Potatoes
  6. Roll each potato in the garlic butter and oil mix.Roast Hasselback Potatoes
  7. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Regularly spoon any liquid over the potatoes to ensure a really crispy finish.Roast Hasselback Potatoes

Roast Pumpkin & Kale Salad

Dinner, Salad

Fuss-free dishes are my favourites; roasting vegetables is one of the easiest things to quickly add bucket loads of flavour and produce tender, melt in your mouth grub in no time!

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large handfuls kale, de-stalked
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  1. Preheat an oven to 180C.
  2. Halve the pumpkin and spoon out the seeds. Slice the pumpkin into half moon shaped wedges.
  3. Wash the seeds in a fine sieve, place in a separate roasting tray and roast in the oven until crisp.
  4. Stir the honey, oil and cinnamon together in the bottom of a roasting tray before adding the pumpkin.
  5. Roast in the oven for 20mins.
  6. Whilst the pumpkin is roasting cook the bulgur wheat: place the bulgur, water and stock in a saucepan, cover with the lid and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer on the lowest heat until all the water is absorbed. Allow to cool.
  7. Roughly tear the kale with your hands and massage in the salt.
  8. To serve: mix the kale and bulgur wheat together in a serving dish, add the roasted pumpkin on top and scatter over the pumpkin and pomegranate seeds.

 

Roasted Cauliflower with Carrot Ribbons & Salsa Verde

Dinner, Salad

I know what your thinking…cauliflower… it’s not that tasty, I hate it, ugh how could you eat it?? Well I promise you, it’s not any of the above. Blanching and slow roasting, allows it to tenderise and burst with flavour. I learnt this cooking method whilst attending a course recently with the Dublin Cookery School and it’s been a constant on my weekly menu since! The cauliflower is perfect on it’s own as a side dish or add some salsa verde, carrot ribbons and sauteed cauliflower leaves for some colour and texture as a main dish. It also works great with a big juicy steak or roast beef.

  • 1/2 whole cauliflower
  • 8 inner cauliflower leaves
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp salsa verde
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and pre-heat an oven to 180°C.
  2. Peel the leaves off the cauliflower, roughly chop the inner paler coloured leaves for later. Divide the cauliflower into florets or wedges.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the cauliflower wedges and blanch for 2 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
  4. Add 1 tsp coconut oil to a large baking tray and melt in the oven. Add the blanched wedges onto the tray with the peeled garlic cloves and thyme. Stir to combine.
  5. Place the tray in the oven and allow the cauliflower to roast for 20-30 mins until soft through.
  6. Prepare the salsa verde. For the carrots, use a vegetable peeler to create long thin carrot ribbons, stir through the olive oil and apple cider vinegar until lightly dressed. Place both in the fridge until required.
  7. Once the cauliflower has roasted, remove from the oven and cover with tinfoil to keep warm. Place a pan on a medium heat and lightly sauté the roughly chopped cauliflower leaves.
  8. To serve: place a layer of cauliflower leaves, top with the cauliflower wedges/florets, spoon over the salsa verde and add the carrot ribbons to finish.

Spicy Chicken & Beans

Dinner

I recently got a challenge from some of my friends to make a recipe using chicken and beans and this is the very tasty result. I’ve added a few more ingredients but they are things you will easily find in your cupboards at home. The tomato based sauce can be prepared ahead and frozen in batches or stored in the fridge. The sauce works great as a base for pasta dishes or mixed through some mince or shredded chicken for a quick and easy dinner. Serve the chicken with rice, mashed potatoes/vegetables or steamed green vegetables.

Serves 5.

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 paprika
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco or hot chilli sauce
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin cannellini/butter beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3 large handfuls spinach
  • 3 rashers, chopped or 50g bacon lardons
  • 5 chicken breasts/thighs
  1. Preheat an oven to 160°C.
  2. Over a medium heat, fry off the chopped rashers in a large saucepan. Once nicely browned, remove to the side and rinse the pan.
  3. Melt the coconut oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  4. Add the cooked rashers, dried herbs, spices and tomatoes to the pan and continue to cook until the sauce begins to bubble. (At this stage you could place the sauce into a container, allow to cool and place in the fridge or freezer for future use.)
  5. Reduce the heat and stir through the beans and spinach before transferring to a large ovenproof dish.
  6. Rinse the saucepan and brown the chicken on all sides.
  7. Nestle the chicken breasts amongst the bean mix and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Hot Smoked Salmon & Avocado Salad

Dinner, Fish, Lunch, Salad

This salad doesn’t get much easier, it’ll be ready in three easy steps and demolished in minutes!! Salmon and avocado are packed full of healthy fatty acids so perfect for all diets and great for bone, muscle and heart health.

Serves 2.

  • 1 head baby gem lettuce
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 cooked beetroot
  • 2 radish
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 portion hot smoked salmon (substitute regular smoked/tinned salmon either)
  • 2 tbsp Frenchie dressing
  1. Roughly chop the lettuce. Thinly slice the celery and radish. Cube the cucumber, beetroot and avocado.
  2. Gently flake the smoked salmon fillet into chunks.
  3. Divide the vegetables amongst the 2 plates, sprinkle over the salmon and drizzle with the dressing.

Charred Baby Gem with Tahini & Dukkah

Dinner, Salad, Snack

Food waste is a major sin in my mind so this recipe is great to use up lettuce or type of cabbage before it goes off. I used a grill pan but these would work well on the BBQ too just make sure to oil the lettuce first and stand over the BBQ to make sure they don’t blacken on you!! If you don’t have tahini or Dukkah (find it in your local health food shop or large supermarket; I make my own using Ottolenghi’s recipe), sprinkle some balsamic vinegar or a spoon full of your favourite herb/spice/chopped nuts on top.

Serves 2.

  • 2 baby gem lettuce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp Dukkah
  1. Remove the stalk of the lettuce and cut lengthways in half. 
  2. Bring a dry grill pan to smoking point, reduce the heat a little, roll the lettuce in olive oil and place onto the grill with a sizzle.
  3. Flip over once nicely charred on one side.
  4. Remove from the pan and sprinkle the tahini and Dukkah on top.

Veggie Prawns in a Garlic, Tomato & Cashew Sauce

Dinner, Fish

Love when I’m rustling around the bottom of the fridge & these kind of magical accidents happen! Kale, spinach or any leafy green can be used instead of the cabbage or bulk it up a bit more with sweet potato instead of carrot. The sauce would work great through pasta or simply as a dip.

Serves 2.

  • 3 tbsp raw cashews
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 100ml water
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/4 courgette
  • 30g sugar snap green beans
  • 1/2 head Savoy cabbage
  • 100g frozen pre-cooked prawns
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  1. In a bowl, cover the cashews with water & allow to soak for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat an oven to 180C and melt 1 tsp coconut oil in a roasting tray. Add the whole cherry tomatoes and peeled garlic cloves. Roast for 20-30 mins until the tomato skins have blistered.
  3. Defrost the prawns by placing in a bowl of water.
  4. Chop the carrot, courgette and sugar snaps into bite size pieces. Steam gently until the carrots are cooked through.
  5. Melt the remaining coconut oil in a large frying pan. Finely slice the cabbage and sauté in the pan for about 5 mins, add the strained and rinsed defrosted prawns and continue to cook until warm through.
  6. For the sauce: strain and rinse the cashews, add the roasted garlic and tomatoes with 100ml of water to the nuts and blitz with a hand blender until a thick sauce consistency is formed.
  7. Add the steamed veg and sauce to the frying pan and stir together until well coated over a low heat.

Mexican Bean Salsa

Dinner, Lunch, Salad

This salsa simply sings with all the best things about food: colour, texture, flavour and goodness. Fresh corn on the cob works best but tinned corn will be fine too. Serve alongside some Citrus Chicken and smoky paprika sweet potato wedges, add to a crunchy lettuce cup as a quick snack or simply eat directly off the spoon.

Serves 4.

  • 2 vacuum packed fresh corn on the cob or 1 x 400g tin corn
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 fistful fresh coriander
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  1. Cook the corn on the cob as per packet or rinse tinned corn. Once cooked, heat a grill pan until smoking and lightly charr the corn on all sides.
  2. Allow to cool and cut the corn off the cob.
  3. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, dice the tomatoes, finely slice the spring onions and finely chop the coriander.
  4. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl, squeeze in the lime juice and mix well.

Beetroot, Black Bean & Feta Burgers

Dinner, Lunch, Snack

Until about two years ago, beetroot was a vegetable I never ate and barely contemplated tasted. Beetroot and pickle came to mind and the thought of a pickled food sent a shiver down my spine after experiencing a pickled gherkin inside a McDonald’s Happy Meal burger, back in the day when a Happy Meal was the ultimate treat. Thankfully my concept of a treat has evolved along with my taste buds and now beetroot is a weekly fixture on my food shopping list, I simply can’t get enough of it! As a sportsperson, beetroot packs a serious nutritional punch as a source of calcium, vitamins A and C, magnesium, folic acid & iron with some research highlighting the benefits of beetroot juice on blood pressure regulation thanks to its nitrate content. These burgers are bursting with flavour, goodness and just try not to eat them all in one go once you’ve tasted. Serve with a leafy green salad or stuff in a toasted pitta with some Greek yoghurt and avocado. They freeze very well too.

Makes 8 medium sized burgers.

  • 140g walnuts
  • 500g cooked beetroot
  • 100g feta
  • 6 scallions
  • 1 fistful fresh/frozen mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tin black beans
  1. Pre-heat an oven to 180C.
  2. Roast the walnuts for 8 minutes until they soften and begin to crisp.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, coarsely grate the beetroot, finely slice the scallions, cube the feta cheese, de-stalk and finely chop the mint leaves and roughly chop the walnuts. 
  4. Drain and rinse the black beans before gently mashing or pulsing with a stick blender or food processor.
  5. Add the black beans and lemon juice to the other ingredients and gently mix together until well combined.
  6. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  7. Moisten your hands with water before taking a tbsp of the beetroot mix in your hands and mould into burgers of whatever size you like.
  8. Add each burger to the baking trays and gently press down with the back of a spoon. 
  9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the burgers half way through.