I don’t think I know anybody who doesn’t like pesto!
Pesto is a great item to have in the fridge as it will turn simple ingredients into a great meal in seconds. Stir some pesto through pasta, roast vegetables or beans like in my Pesto Butterbeans with Kale, Sundried Tomatoes and Feta recipe.
I love making my own pesto as it is incredibly easy and you can experiment with lots of different flavours. Pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts, basil, oil and parmesan. However, I tend to use roasted nuts or seeds with any herb I have on hand.
Here are some of my favourite pesto recipes:
Almond & Basil Pesto – this pesto works great with chicken, vegetable or regular spaghetti and also with my Pesto Butterbean dish.
Pumpkin Seed & Coriander Pesto – drizzle this pesto over roasted root vegetables or swirl through a quiche, frittata or omelette for some serious flavour.
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Is this recipe breakfast or dessert? How about both? Now that’s how every morning should start!
Oats are my favourite way to start the day. They are such a versatile ingredient that you never get tired of oats; start with some granola, porridge, overnight oats, add to a smoothie or try these baked oat and berry pots.
A cross between a souffle and porridge may be the best way to describe these without any of the stress. Use your favourite nuts and berries and you won’t go wrong.
For more Delalicious oat recipe inspiration click here.
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp nut butter
- 6 walnut halves, chopped
- 4 tbsp jumbo oats
- 2 tbsp regular oats
- 8 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp frozen or fresh berries, raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- Whisk the eggs and nut butter together in a large bowl.
- Add the walnuts, oats and milk and continue to whisk until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into two ovenproof ramekin dishes.
- Bake in the oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly. You can also cook in a microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- For the berry coulis: stir the berries and water together in a small bowl. Place in microwave for 1 minute on high or simmer in a saucepan over a low heat for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
- To serve: spoon the yoghurt and berry coulis over the cooked oat pots.
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Afghan cookies are a New Zealand classic treat. As I’m travelling around New Zealand at the moment, it would be rude not to eat like a local. Traditionally Afghan cookies are made with crumbled corn flakes. As I am not a major fan of corn flakes, I have substituted them for chopped walnuts. I think grated fresh or crystallized ginger would also be great additions to these cookies.
Don’t worry if the cookie mixture becomes quite dry when mixing. Simply mould the dough into a big ball and create cookie portions with your hands.
The cookies will keep fresh in a airtight container or bag for at least 4 days.
Makes 12 cookies.
- 250g butter, softened
- 65g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 50g walnuts, chopped
- 200g dessicated coconut
- 2 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
- 300g plain flour
- 50g dark chocolate
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 12 whole walnuts for decorating
- Preheat an oven to 180°C and grease a baking tray with a little coconut oil.
- Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric beater.
- Add the vanilla essence, chopped walnuts and coconut.
- Sift in the cocoa and flour and mix well together.
- Place tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough on the prepared baking tray. Flatten each cookie with the back of a spoon and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- For the cookie icing: melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water. Once melted, stir in the coconut oil until glossy.
- Spoon the chocolate over each cookie and add a whole walnut to finish.
My favourite desserts include raspberries so since it was my birthday this week they had to feature! The mousse recipe comes courtesy of Eunice Power with a pecan, coconut & cacao base topped with a dark chocolate ganache. The mousse simply on its own would be perfect served in ramekins or jars with a drizzle of the ganache and some fresh berries. So go on, try the recipe and treat yourself & someone special.
- 100ml water
- 150g caster sugar
- 400g fresh/frozen raspberries
- Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 leaves gelatine
- 125g pecan nuts
- 3 tbsp dessicated coconut
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 70g coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 150ml cream
- 150g creme fraiche
- 2 egg whites
- 35g icing sugar
- 75g dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Line a 20cm springform tin with cling film, grease the tin first with a little oil to ensure the it sticks.
- Place the caster sugar & water in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add the raspberries, lemon juice and zest and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and blitz in a food processor or blender.
- Strain through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.
- Cover the gelatine in cold water and allow to soak for 10 minutes.
- Blitz the nuts in a food processor, blender or place in a resealable bag and bash with a rolling pin until you get a fine crumble.
- Combine the dessicated coconut, cacao, vanilla essence and melted coconut oil with the nuts. Create an even layer in the bottom of the tin. Place in the fridge to set.
- Place the raspberry purée in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Squeeze any water from the gelatine and stir through the purée until fully combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Whip the cream and creme fraiche together into soft peaks.
- Whisk the egg whites together until they begin to form stiff peaks, at this stage gradually add 1 tbsp of icing sugar at a time as you continue to whisk.
- Fold the egg whites into the cream and gradually add the raspberry purée, ensure no pockets of the cream mixture is left.
- Pour the mousse into the lines tin. Gently tap the bottom of the tin off the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
- Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.
- Once set, melted the dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering pan. Remove from the heat once melted and stir through the coconut oil.
- Gently remove the cake from the tin and peel off the cling film. Pour over the dark chocolate topping and top with some fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint.
- Store in the fridge.
Personally I just love Bircher muesli, it is made in minutes and is a simple answer to a delicious breakfast as the oats soak up all the goodness the night before to fill you up come morning time with minimal effort and maximum reward. The orange zest and juice give a really nice lift to these oats to remind us of the sun filled days to come!
- 110g oats
- 2 tbsp milled linseed
- 1 tbsp hemp or chia seeds
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- 1 tbsp raisins/dried cranberries/apricot
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Zest of 1/2 small orange
- 1/2 juice of a fresh small orange
- 150ml milk (use whatever variety you like natural/nut/rice/oat/soya)
- 50ml water
- Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl or Kilner jar.
- Add the orange juice along with the milk & water.
- Stir well together & store in the fridge overnight (if you think the mix looks a little dry or you like a more gooey texture just add more milk/water).
- Come morning, stir again to ensure well combined & serve with orange segments & a dollop of natural/Greek yoghurt.
Snacks are essential to life but more often than not, we will be easily swayed by the allure of the numerous chocolate bars, cleverly marketed cereal bars and fizzy drinks clamoring for attention on every magazine, shop till and bus-stop. Life is busy and work is result driven therefore we all need to fuel our bodies to perform. Ensuring you are eating adequate food sources regularly is essential to maintain a full tank of energy for whatever the day brings!
Another quick way to ensure you are not unnecessarily snacking and maintaining peak performance is by ensuring you are hydrated. As a sportswoman, hydration is part of my daily routine, a full bottle of water is always by my side.
For this blog post, I have teamed up with Ballygowan who are a great Irish company who meet the hydration needs of many workplaces and sports teams across the country. They have recently launched a new product, Sparklingly Fruity, which is a great replacement for anyone who favours fizz over water to meet their hydration needs. So why not try some of my top five favourite snacks.
- Water – did you know our bodies are approximately 60% water? We are constantly losing and gaining water throughout the day, that’s why it is essential to keep a close eye on your urine colour and ensuring you are snacking on water. Again if you are trying to curb unnecessary snacking – simply have a bottle of water close at hand to banish cravings for sugar.
- Nuts – a quick and easy source of essential fat, protein and numerous trace elements. Simply have a large bag of mixed nuts in your handbag, car or at your desk to ensure a healthy snack option at all times. A small amount goes far so this infograph is a great guide to portion sizes.
- Apples slices topped with nut butter – quick, easy and tasty.
- Granola coated nutty banana – simply slather some nut butter over a banana and then roll in granola. These can be frozen or kept in the fridge until ready to be eaten. I find these great to have as a pre-match snack.
- Oatcakes and hummus – oatcakes are a great source of slow release energy whilst the hummus is bursting with protein. Follow this super easy recipe to make your own oatcakes and beetroot hummus.
- 8oz oats
- 25g solid coconut oil
- 225ml boiling water
- Blitz the oats in a blender of food processor until they form a coarse flour.
- Melt the oil in the water & add to the oats. Combine with a fork until a dough forms, cover with cling film & place in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
- Divide the dough in two & place one half between two sheets of parchment. Roll the dough out to about 1 inch thick.
- Using a cookie cutter divide into portions. Repeat the process with the remaining half of dough. Place on a greased & lined baking tray.
- Bake at 130°c for 1.5 to 2hours. Allow to cool on a wire rack & store in an airtight box or freeze.
Minty Beetroot Hummus:
- 400g tin broad beans
- 300g cooked beetroot
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 50g walnuts
- Rinse & strain the tinned beans.
- Place the beans, roughly chopped beetroot & mint in a food processor. Blitz until a smooth purée is formed.
- Add the walnuts & lemon juice. Blitz again until fully combined.
- Keeps fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days or divide into smaller portions & freeze.