I Love Salads!!

Lunch, Salad

As most of you know by now, I love salads!! Favourites are always hard to choose but time and time again I find myself coming back to these two recipes so obviously I had to share them.

The bitter tang of feta with the smooth crunch of toasted hazelnuts make a simple broccoli and tomato salad sing for me. My second salad recipe offers you a taste of the Middle East with the addition of a simple tahini sauce to enliven a simple red cabbage slaw.

Both recipes will keep well in the fridge for at least 3-4 days once stored in a resealable container. I would regularly make these at the start of the week and refill my lunchbox daily from these along some simple salad greens and a protein source. Check out my food prep guide for more simple mealtime ideas.

Salads, Delalicious

Broccoli, Tomato, Feta & Hazelnut

Serves 4 as a side.

Broccoli, Tomato, Feta & Hazelnut Salad, Delalicious

  • 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 50g Feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, remove from the heat and add the broccoli florets. Cover with the lid and allow to blanch for 8-10 minutes (you want the broccoli to still have a bite but not rock hard).
  2. Strain the broccoli and rinse under cold running water until fully cooled. Continue to strain any excess water until ready to use.
  3. Toast the hazelnuts on a frying pan or in a medium heat oven until the skin begins to loosen, remove from the pan/oven and allow to cool.
  4. Once the hazelnuts are cooled, chop in half.
  5. Whisk together the olive oil, honey, sesame oil,  apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  6. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

Middle Eastern Style Red Cabbage Slaw

Serves 5 as a side.

Middle Eastern Style Red Cabbage Slaw, Delalicious

  • 200g red cabbage
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 3 tsp tahini paste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 tsp
  • 3 tbsp water
  1. Finely slice the red cabbage and spring onion. Julienne (or finely slice) the carrots.
  2. Place all the vegetables and seeds in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir through 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp of olive oil.
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and water until you get a runny sauce (depending on the consistency of your tahini, your sauce may still be too thick or too thin – if so, just add more tahini to make it thicker and more water to make it thinner).
  5. Serve the salad in a large bowl with a drizzle of the sauce over the top.

Garlic and Bacon Home Fries

Dinner, Snack

Garlic, bacon and crispy potatoes – a few of life’s simple pleasures.

I was recently overseas at a wedding with a large group of my friends. As we arrived late to our rented house the night before the wedding, come morning we had no food in the house. A quick trip to the local supermarket for supplies with the thoughts of what to cook my friends that would be quick, easy and filling for the long day ahead. Initially I planned a large frittata but then we somehow managed to forget the eggs at the checkout so here I was left looking at potatoes, bacon, spinach, tomatoes, onions and garlic with the stares of fifteen hungry friends.

Hence this recipe for home fries served with fried garlic onions and a salad of spinach and tomatoes was created. These potatoes would also work great alongside grilled meat, a pie or frittata.

The happiness around that table ensured this recipe had to be shared so please enjoy and share with your friends.

Serves 6 as a side.

Garlic & Bacon Home Fries, Delalicious

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic, skin on
  • 100g bacon lardons/rashers/streaky bacon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Halve the potatoes and cook on high in the microwave for 8 minutes. This gently cooks the potatoes which allows a much more crispier but still fluffy finish in the oven.
  2. Preheat an oven to 200°C and place the garlic, bacon and olive oil in a large baking tray or ovenproof dish.
  3. Chop the potatoes into chunks and add to the ovenproof dish.Garlic and Bacon Home Fries, Delalicious
  4. Combine all the ingredients together and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until crispy. Stir the potatoes once or twice to ensure an even colour.
  5. Before serving, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skin and return to the dish.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

Snack, Treats

Chocolate chip cookies are heavenly and make the perfect treat with a glass of milk. As a lot of cookies are laden with sugar, using nut butter and chickpeas provides a natural sweet flavour.

These cookies use chickpeas instead of flour so are naturally gluten-free and rich in protein so great for our muscles.

Store the cookies in a resealable container in the fridge for at least one week or freeze.

Makes 8.Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies, Delalicious

  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 125g almond butter
  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F and line a baking tray with parchment.
  2. Place all ingredients excluding the chocolate in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and place tablespoons of the mix on the baking tray.
  4. Flatten with a fork and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Pulses like chickpeas and butter beans are great additions to baking. Try my Dark Chocolate & Cashew Bites for another pulse based treat.

Food Prep

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“Fail to prepare or prepare to go hungry!!”

20170801_093019.jpgWell that’s my motto in life anyway! Of course you won’t starve as there are shops, cafes and restaurants in abundance only ready to soothe your hunger but also deplete your wallet.

Every day can be tough when living on a budget, travelling frequently, juggling a hectic schedule or just trying to make improved food choices for you and your family. This is where planning and preparation come into play. We plan and prepare ourselves everyday for a variety of tasks and activities. Sometimes to the outside world we can display ourselves as extremely organised but behind closed doors and particularly in the kitchen it can be chaos.

This is normal life for many and can be easily altered by following my top tips for each mealtime of the day.

Breakfast

I love breakfast and kind of can’t understand how people can leave the house without something eaten or a meal packed to eat on the commute. My favourite breakfast options can all be prepared in advance and take only minutes.

Top my homemade granola with some yoghurt and fresh fruit. Prepare an overnight oats pot the night before to grab and go in the morning. Freeze a batch of cupcake quiches for a quick protein hit in the morning. Blend a colourful juice or smoothie to get your day off to a colourful start. Overnight oats, bircher muesli, meal prep, Delalicious

Lunch

Depending on the time of year and my plans for the day my go-to lunch options are leftover dinner, salads and soups. Soup is a great option as it can be frozen in batches and defrosted quickly in the microwave. Have the soup on it’s own or add a slice of oat bread on the side. Salads can be eaten everyday, all you need to do is rotate your fillings. Store your salad contents in a jam jar to stop it going to mush with the more delicate items like salad leaves on top and the juicer contents like beetroot and tomato on the bottom. Here are my favourite combinations:

Dinner

You arrive in late from work, starving and don’t have the energy to cook, this is where your freezer becomes your best friend! Batch cook a big curry, lentil stew or risotto at the weekend, then simple portion and freeze. All you need to do is allow it to defrost in the fridge during the day or when you get home in the microwave. Revitalise this dish by adding some fresh leafy vegetables or adding a grilled protein source to a vegetable dish. Tinned fish is another great protein option to add to a frozen vegetable dinner. Here are some of my tried and tested batch cooking options:

Snacks

My mother used to describe me as a “grazer” at home and unfortunately I haven’t changed. Snacking is important for everyone but ensure you are eating correct portions.

Nuts are such an easy option, pop a bag in your car, handbag or desk drawer to always have them on hand. A whole bag of nuts can disappear before you know it so check out this great infographic for nut portions.

Vegetable sticks and hummus I find are great for travelling. Snacking before exercise, I tend to eat a plain banana or some of my Banana & Nut Bites made ahead. Homemade muffins baked in advance, frozen and defrosted are perfect for outdoor adventures.Nuts, snack, meal prep, DelaliciousAs you can see, there are plenty of recipe options for each and every mealtime. Now it’s over to you. I challenge you to make one thing on this list and freeze or store it for later. Schedule some time during the next week or month to plan what meals you need to prepare in advance, what you would like to cook and the ingredients you need to purchase. By writing these things down, you formulate a plan and consciously make decisions about your mealtimes.

Before you know it, a healthy habit will be formed. Not only will this habit reward you with a full belly but also save time and money, keep you well nourished and in control of your mealtimes!

Keep an eye on my Instagram story where I often share the contents of my lunchbox.

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Summer Salad Jar

Lunch, Salad

Sun, sea and salad – just a few of my favourite things about summer!!

Salad is one of the easiest things to make at home, you can create a really tasty meal super fast and with very few ingredients.

Transporting salads can be notoriously difficult and can end in a sad, soggy mess. Using a jar is not only great for the environment but also the ideal way to create a simple layered salad. So next time, keep a big one aside for your next salad feast.

When using a jar or lunchbox, the key is how you layer the ingredients. I prefer to put the messy ingredients – yes I’m looking at you tomatoes or beetroot at the bottom. Add a layer of grain on top followed by your remaining ingredients. Finish with the delicate leafy greens on top. Keep dressings separate in a small jar or tub and add when you are ready to eat .

Serves 1.

Salad, Lunch, Couscous, Delalicious

  • 1/2 large tomato
  • sea salt
  • 2 tbsp Curried Apricot & Raisin Couscous
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • black pepper
  • 50g smoked mackerel
  • 1 large fistful baby leaf spinach
  1. Dice the tomato and mix through a pinch of sea salt.
  2. Spoon the tomato into the bottom of the jar followed by the couscous.Couscous, Summer, Salad, Delalicious
  3. Create carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandolin.
  4. Add the vinegar and a pinch of black pepper to the carrots and mix well.
  5. Place the carrot ribbons on top of the couscous, followed by the mackerel and top it all with the spinach.
  6. Place in the fridge until ready to eat.

TheTaste.ie March Issue

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After the great success of my two recipes that were featured in February‘s issue of TheTaste.ie. I was asked to contribute on a regular basis to the monthly food and drink magazine. Here are my two recipes that featured in this month’s issue:

Roast Butternut Squash & Carrot Spiced Soup – soup never goes out of fashion and is one of my favourite things to make. wp-image-333789580jpg.jpg

Sweet & Savoury Tapioca Crepes – inspired by my recent travels to Brazil, Tapioca crepes are naturally gluten-free and a great way to use up leftovers as fillings.Tapioca Crepe.1.jpg

 

The Taste.ie Features Delalicious 

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2017 is a year for me of new beginnings as I embarked just before Christmas on a year away from work as a chartered Physiotherapist and from the football field with both club and county. As I travel the globe, I am getting the opportunity to explore cuisines from many different cultures and countries. I am also afforded the time to concentrate a little more on my blog and really tackle some goals of mine to spread my recipes near and far. 

One such goal was to have some of my recipes featured on TheTaste.ie. If you haven’t subscribed yet to their newsletters you need to. They not only share with you some really generous offers for luxury getaways to Michelin starred restaurants all on your doorstep in Ireland but also showcase all that’s good about Irish food and hospitality. They give you rare insights into chefs and hotel staffs careers, inspiration and dreams. They also provide their readers with recipes from some of the most talented chefs in Ireland whilst also featuring Irish food bloggers

To be featured on their website was one of my goals for 2017 and in their February issue this was achieved. So enough waffle, follow the links below to two of my favourite recipes to add a little colour, life and taste to your day as we approach Spring time. 

Spring Bircher Muesli:

Broccoli, Baby Gem & Vegetable Crisp Salad: