Curried Cauliflower & Potato

A hugely popular dish in its Indian Motherland, Potato & Cauliflower Curry or “Aloo Gobi” is a deliciously simple curry to whip up and is also great for those Meat-Free-Mondays or any other meals you would like to try al-veggie. I made this dish a few weeks ago and put it away in portions for lunch and ready-meals. The recipe below got me about 8 portions which is pretty great considering how little is required to put this together – you are defo getting serious bang for your buck!

Curries are such good dishes to make when you’re on a  budget or time poor and in need of something that will get that metabolism going. This one is packed with vegetables and spices so is a great all-rounder for when you want to get all your nutrients in and stay on top of your healthy meal plan.

Potatoes are a great addition to any curry, helping your curry sauce thicken and adding lots of texture. They’re also great in the classic Massaman Curry for those of you who venture to Thai cuisine for your curry fix. Cauliflower is such a superfood as it is and is welcome in any healthy meal you’re making if it fit the bill.

I also added some peas and green beans as they are a great filler for any curry. You can add other greens like snap peas, mange tout or baby broccoli too if you like 

Another great thing about this dish is that you don’t need to add a rice or noodle side-dish due to the presence of the potato and cauliflower. Now that’s not to say you can’t either – go for it if you want 

The great thing about a home-made curry is you can make it as mild or as spicy as you like so make sure to play around with the seasoning until your happy. Be careful too though as the flavour will develop as the curry cooks so try it intermittently to make sure it doesn’t get too hot for your taste buds.

Keep this in the fridge for up to 3 days and you can freeze it off too if you don’t think you’ll get through it all in this space of time. It defrosts quickly and reheats well so is an all-round great recipe for the quick and convenient health-at-home approach.

As always, enjoy my dears! xX

Ingredients

100ml Vegetable Stock in Water
1 Brown onion, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. Tomato Puree
1 Large Cauliflower, broken into florets
1 Tbsp. Curry Powder
8 Baby Potatoes, quartered
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 cup Green Beans
1/2 Red Chilli, thinly sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Add the chopped onions and crushed garlic to a heated, oiled pot on the hob and cook until the start to brown and are aromatic (about 1-2 minutes).
Add the stock water to the pot and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a low heat once bubbling.
Add the cauliflower florets, diced potatoes and curry powder to the pot and stir thoroughly.
Feel free to add a pinch of your favourite spices at this point too – maybe some chilli flakes for an extra kick?
Let the curry mix fuse and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato purée and some more water if desired, stir through and leave to cook on low for about 10-15 minutes.
Do some taste testing during this time and add any seasoning you want to reach the perfect flavour.
Right at the end, add the peas, green beans and chopped red chilli.
Let these heat through for a couple of minutes and then remove the pot from the heat.
Your curry is now ready to serve-straight from pot to plate!

 

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There’s No Taste Like Home

This weekend I decided to hide away at home and cook to my heart’s content (along with watching a scary amount of Gilmore Girls!)

I pretty much spent the last of this month’s pay cheque on a super long list of ingredients and fired up the oven. I’ve been preparing so many new Autumn/Winter recipes in my head the past couple of weeks so I thought it was about time I sat down and actually formulate, type and share them.

This recipe is one I use so often and have done for years. Like Irish Soda Bread, scones are so much more than a traditional Irish food. Their taste can bring you back to years gone by or remind you of that great afternoon spent with friends or family chatting with a pot of tea. There  is something about scones that make the Irish heart melt faster than the butter used with them. When we were away in Australia, tea and scones were a regular and love-filled treat that we would sit down and share together. A true reminder of home.

Scones can be made sweet, plain or savoury to name but a few and today I am sharing a savoury recipe as this is the one I love the most. I’m not much of a sweet tooth but will work on putting together a sweet version of this if you guys are happy with how these turn out.

Now the smell from the oven is telling me to wrap it up so I can enjoy one of these beauties with my cup of tea on this freezing Sunday afternoon. Enjoy folks!

 

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Ingredients

200 grams Plain Flour
1200 grams Brown Flour
2 Tsp. Baking Soda
50 grams butter
200 ml Buttermilk
Pinch of Salt
⅛ cup of Dried Herbs of choice (e.g. parsley, rosemary, thyme)
¼ cup of grated cheese (optional but delicious)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 Degrees Celsius.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, butter, cheese, herbs, salt and baking soda and mix thoroughly.
Use your fingertips to rub in any unmixed lumps of butter until you have a fine mix.
Slowly pour in the buttermilk and mix until you get a dough-like consistency.
Add a drop of water if the mix is too dry.
Sprinkle some flour out on the countertop and transfer your dough from the bowl to the surface.
Gently knead the dough until it is holding strong.
Tear away small handfuls of the dough and roll into your scone shape.
Place the scones on a lined baking tray.
When all the dough has been used up, brush a small bit of buttermilk on each of the scones.
Place the baking tray in the middle shelf of the oven and bake the scones for about 15 minutes.
When the scones have turned a beautiful golden-brown colour and are cooked all the way through, remove from the oven.
Allow to cool and then serve.
I have enjoyed these with soup and ham and cheese too. Plain old butter will also do the trick, the choice is your own 😉

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Simple Sunday Tray Bake

This recipe occurred to me by total accident and extremely unfortunate circumstances last Sunday. I made it home to my home-house for the first time in months and was so excited about my mothers Sunday dinner. My darling mother could sense the anticipation and even made double the provisions so that I could take some leftovers back to Dublin with me for a yummy Monday lunch in work.

After our dinner, I soon hit the food-coma stage and decided I had better get on the road sooner rather than later before I get too lazy to go anywhere so I jumped into the car and headed home…FORGETTING THE LEFTOVERS!! By the time I realised, it was too late and words cannot describe the devastation I felt!

So, me being me, I had it in my head what I wanted for lunch in work on Monday and was adamant to replicate the Sunday dinner but in an easier (lazier) version as it would be late on Sunday evening after a busy weekend that I would be throwing this together and I wanted as little effort as possible.

While daydreaming about food (as usual), I took the wrong exit off the motorway and ended up outside a Supermarket that was open late, “it’s a sign” I thought so I ran in and grabbed some provisions for my vision!

I eventually got home, turned on the oven and the result was actually a masterpiece – and took little or no effort whatsoever! Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner – Literally!!

This one is barely a recipe but brilliant all the same so give it a go next Sunday and reap the rewards of a really yummy and easy Sunday dinner.

Ingredients

8 Chicken Thighs (on the bone is better for flavour but it’s up to you)
900 grams / 1 large head Brocolli
750 grams baby potatoes, washed
250 grams Basil Pesto (homemade or ready-made depending on energy/hangover levels)
Olive Oil Spray
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large oven dish, place your chicken thighs and spray with some olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place dish in the middle tray of the oven and leave to bake for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
About 20 minutes into cooking the chicken thighs, take out the tray and pour the baby potatoes onto the tray, distributing them evenly with the chicken thighs.
Spray and season the potatoes and pop back in the oven to cook.
Put a pot of water on the hob to boil and add the broccoli florets to the water to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Strain the broccoli and leave to one side.
When the chicken and potatoes are almost cooked with about 5/10 minutes to go, add the broccoli to the tray and pour the pesto over the whole tray.
Place the mix back in the oven and finish cooking for about another 10 minutes.
When you’re satisfied that the chicken and potatoes have been cooked through, remove the oven dish and serve!

Simple…As…That!


 

Steamed Hake & Greens in Broth

We recently went to a beautiful seafood restaurant on Dublin Bay called The Bay (https://bay.ie/) and it was simply delicious.
I am a huge seafood fan and their menu was really great, there was so much I wanted to choose from but I settled on the old reliable hake and veg.
Little did I know I was about to have one of the nicest serves of hake ever and so today I wanted to recreate this gorgeous and seriously simple dish so I could relive how good the meal was but by adding my own twist.
This is a great meal to make if you fancy something light and if you have not got much time left in the day. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to cook so it really does take no time at all to come out with a restaurant worthy dish that will leave you feeling really satisfied.
I hope you enjoy it and even if you don’t want to make it at home, you should check out The Bay as it’s well worth a trip out.

Ingredients

200 gram fillet of Fresh Hake
½ cup Asparagus, chopped in thirds
½ cup Bok Choi, Thinly sliced
½ cup fresh Baby Spinach
1 cup Green Beans
1 cup Mange Tout
500 ml vegetable stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
Knob of Real Butter
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice

Method

Add all your green vegetables to a pot and pour over the vegetable stock.
Bring the pot to the boil then reduce the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes – DO NOT OVERCOOK – The green veg can overcook very quickly and turn to a very unsightly colour so keep an eye!
(As you can gather, this has happened to me and it was devastating!)
While your veg is cooking, add your hake fillet, salt, pepper, butter and lemon juice to a microwave steam bag and pop in the microwave for 4-5 minutes.
I use steam bags a lot for cooking fish as it retains all the moisture and they are just so quick to use, they are well worth picking up in the store.
Drain the green veggies and add to your serving bowl.
Keep the stock that the veg has been cooked in and add the juices from the steam bag to the mix.
Add the hake fillet to your serving bowl also.
Allow the vegetable stock and juices to fuse and add some salt and pepper to taste.
Once you’re happy, pour the broth over the hake and greens and allow the ingredients to sit on the broth.
Serve and enjoy – I bet there won’t be a drop left!

Chicken & Lentil Hot Pot

Last week was the week before pay day for me so there were slim pickin’s in the pantry.
I always to try to keep my budget meals as healthy as possible and not resort to giant bowls of pasta so I had a look at what I had and thought about what I fancied eating.
The result was this really hearty and wholesome hot pot or stew that I packed out with chunky veggies and lentils along with chicken thighs and it tasted great.
I used the right combo of ingredients to keep me feeling full for hours but I still found myself going back for more as it was just so yum.
This is a real Sunday kind of dinner or cold day dinner as it’s super comforting and full of flavour.
You can make up a bulk batch and freeze some off too.
The only thing I would say with this one is that it doesn’t keep for too long so decide before you start cooking what you’re going to do with the batch.
I would advise to keep it up to two days in the fridge or else freeze straight away after you’ve had you first serve.
Don’t be put off by this however as it’s highly unlikely the hot pot will last this long if you make it right, I even had it for breakfast the next morning!

Ingredients

400 grams boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs
300 grams Red Lentils, uncooked but rinsed
1 Brown Onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
1 Litre Vegetable or Chicken Stock or 50/50
3 Carrots, chopped
4 Celery Stalks, chopped
1 Tsp. Dried Ginger
1 Tbsp. Chili Flakes
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Ground Coriander
Salt & Pepper to taste
(play around with your seasoning as much as you like, you don’t have to stick the above measurements)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 handful of Fresh Coriander to serve

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onions and garlic.
Once the onions and garlic are aromatic and starting to brown, add the chicken fillets to the pot and cook until seared.
Pour in the stock and add your carrots and celery.
Add your seasoning to taste and cook on low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the rinsed red lentils and give the pot a good stir.
Leave the pot to bubble away on a low heat for another 10-15 minutes, doing taste tests along the way until your happy with the flavour.
(I wanted to go for a bit of an Asian flavour as it is Summer so see if you can get that too)
Once you’re happy with the taste and your chicken is thoroughly cooked, serve your stew with some fresh coriander sprinkled on top.
Delish!

Infused Olive Oils

Olive oil is one of the good ones, full of the good fats and an essential cooking product for the healthy chef.

To heat on the pan when cooking or drizzle over salad as a dressing alternative, its just something you need to have in the cupboard.
A great way to enjoy olive oil more and use it more diversely is to infuse it with your favourite herbs and spices.
This is just a quick post to show you how to create some really interesting flavours that you can then add to your favourite cooked dishes and especially salads.
Essentially all you need is a big bottle of good quality olive oil, some smaller glass bottles or jars and your desired ingredients to add to the oil.
Below is the guide for:

Chili Oil
Garlic Oil
Basil Oil
Rosemary Oil

Basil Oil
3-4 sprigs fresh Basil
½ cup olive oil

Rosemary Oil
3-4 sprigs Rosemary
½ cup olive oil

Chili Oil
1 tbsp Red Chili Flakes
1 to 2 whole, dried Thai chilies
½ cup olive oil

For each of the above ingredients, the recipe is pretty simple.
Stuff your herb or chili into the bottle or jar you are going to use.
Warm the olive oil on a pan until it starts to bubble slightly.
Ten pour the oil into the jar and seal tightly.
Store in the fridge overnight and it will be ready to use.

Garlic Oil
4 cloves Garlic, peeled
Juice from ¼ lemon
1 to 2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Garlic infused oil is a bit more complex to put together as uncooked garlic can cause food poisoning.
So, half your garlic cloves steep them in the lemon juice.
Then roast them in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Add the cloves to a small airtight container and pour the oil over the cloves until they are covered in oil.
Refrigerate overnight and then strain the oil into a jar or bottle and seal.
Do not add the garlic cloves to the bottle.

These oils can be used and stored for about 10-14 days. I would recommend storing them in the fridge also.

Inspiration : Asian

With overseas travel becoming more affordable and popular in recent years, international cuisine is fast becoming the same.
Curries, stir fries, noodles, sushi – they are available everywhere now and the best thing about these South East Asian eats is that they’re quick, clean and wholesome.
Travelling South East Asia last year was a culinary feast for me as a foodie, I literally couldn’t wait for the next time I would be hungry and my bucket list mainly contained local, ethnic dishes I had heard about before the trip.
Anyone who has been to South East Asia will agree with me that the locals like to cook fast. The main means to a main meal in South East Asia is usually a giant hot wok where you throw all of your
desired ingredients in and let the fusion begin. With most of these countries belonging to the third world, you will also see that the locals will source their food as fresh and as cheap as possible with vegetarian dishes being hugely popular
due to the high cost of meat and poultry.
A foodies dream, South East Asia dared me to push my taste buds to the max and dip outside my comfort zone every now and then by trying something new and bizarre.
The intense aroma of chili and garlic fusing together with fresh coriander and basil winding its way through a busy food market is really something else!

IMG_0816
Me trying the local delicacy – deep fried cockroach

I took notes of every dish that delighted or surprised me, guessing what flavours were used to make me so satisfied.
I also took a Thai Cooking Class in Northern Thailand to learn as much as I could about the core fundamentals of South East Asian cuisine.
I would like to share with you some of my favourite dishes from the trip over a series of posts and hopefully give you some Asian Inspiration for your next meal.

First up is an all ’round favourite – Thai Green Curry.
Here you will see how to create the paste from scratch and I’ll add a quick recipe to throw it together at the end.

Ingredients

5 fresh Green Chilis, finely chopped
1 Tsp. Salt
1 thumb Lemongrass, finely chopped
5 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Shallots, sliced
1/4 lime, sliced
1 Tbsp. Coriander, chopped
1 Tsp. Turmeric
1 Tsp. Shrimp Paste
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Ground Coriander
1/2 Tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp. Ground Ginger

Method

Using a food processor, pestle and mortar, coffee grinder; combine ground coriander, cumin seeds and black pepper.
Add the green chilis and salt and mix thoroughly.
Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the shrimp paste and combine together.
Once youve reached a smooth paste-like consistency, add the shrimp paste and mix until smooth and fine.
*If you want to make the paste greener, add in some coriander or basil leaf and combine.
You now have your paste!
I know its much easier just to buy from the jar but trust me, it tastes far better when you make it yourself – so authentic!

*To make a thai green curry with your paste, brown a chopped onion on a hot pan and add 2 Tsp. of the paste.
Stir in 1/2 cup of coconut milk and stir until mixed through.
Add your sliced meat of choice, I usually use chicken or prawns and stir until meat is cooked through.
Gradually add another 1/2 cup of coconut milk and 1 Tbsp. fish sauce and stir through.
Leave to bubble on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes and serve with steamed rice.
Delish!

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Vietnamese Noodle Soup

This is one of my favourite quick dishes to throw together.
It takes no time at all and is so yum!

Ingredients

500 ml vegetable or chicken stock
50 grams rice noodles
5-8 mushrooms, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts, washed
1 cup bok choy leaves, chopped
1/2 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 red chilli, sliced and de-seeded
Pinch of garlic powder
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tpsn. Fish Sauce
1/2 cup thinly sliced meat of choice (chicken, beef, pork or a handful of prawns)

Method

I don’t really have too much of a method for this one, its usually just me throwing it all in and hoping for the best.

In a small pot, bring your stock to the boil.
Once bubbling, add the thinly sliced meat of choice and let it cook in the stock for about 5 minutes to make your broth.
Add mushrooms, spring onion, carrots, garlic and fish sauce and let fuse until mushrooms are soft.
Add rice noodles and cook for about 5 minutes.
At this stage, do a taste test and see what you want to add more of, garlic, chilli flakes, salt, whatever.
Once you’re happy with the flavour, throw in the fresh chilis, bean sprouts, bok choy and soy sauce and let them warm up for about a minute or two.
Transfer from the pot to a bowl and dig in.
My mouth is actually watering writing this, I think I know whats on the menu for me today!

The Salad Bar – Tomato & Chick Pea Salad

This is such a good On-The-Go salad to have made up or it can be used as a side dish to a main meal.It takes 5 minutes to put together and tastes fab. Its super filling and packed with fibre too.

Ingredients

1 tin Chick Peas
6 small – medium Tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Turmeric
1 Tbsp. Cracked Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Sprig of Fresh Parsley

Method

Empty the tin of chick peas into a colander and rinse thoroughly.
Leave to one side and let the excess water dry off.
Chop the tomatoes into quarters and add to a large mixing bowl.
Finely chop the fresh parsley and add to the bowl along with the pepper and turmeric.
Add the chick peas and the olive oil to the bowl now and then mix it all up so that your seasoning and oil covers the
tomatoes and chick peas evenly.
Easy Peasy!

The Slow Cooker Series – Nepalese Lentil Curry

This curry takes a bit more work than most of my recipes but its one I really want to share.
I went to Nepal in 2015 and as amazing as the views and the people and everything else that the country had to offer were,
the recipe for this dish is one of the best things I took away with me from that trip.
Known as Dahl Makhani in Nepal, this lentil curry is a staple dish to the people there and it just so happens its one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tasted.
I made it my mission when I came home last year to perfect this dish and create something special to keep with me from my short time spent there.
I use my Slow Cooker for this dish as I just think curries do so well when cooked over a long amount of time – slow and low.
If you don’t have a slow cooker don’t worry, I’ll put the regular temperatures and times at the bottom for your reference.
This dish really is so special and I really urge you to give it a go!

Remember this is a Sow Cooker recipe so you might want to make it in the morning or afternoon so that it’s ready in time for dinner (6-8 hours).

Ingredients

2 cups Black Lentils / Black Dahl
6 cups water
1/2 cup tinned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
150 grams tomato puree
2 Tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp. Coriander Seeds
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Garam Masala
1 Tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
2 Dried Red Chilis
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
4 thumb piece of Ginger
2 Tsp. Salt
2 fresh Green Chilis
30 gram Real Butter
100 ml Greek Yogurt

Method

IMPORTANT: You need to soak your lentils overnight. Rinse them until the water runs clear and leave to soak in a bowl overnight.
Add the soaked lentils along with 6 cups of water to the Slow Cooker and cook on low for 4 hours until soft.
Once soft, mash the lentils with a potato masher of give them a quick whizz with a hand blender to break them up until they give a creamy texture.
Using a pestle and mortar, food processor or coffee grinder (I use my Nutriullet milling blade), grind your cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, black pepper and dried red chillies into a finee powdery paste.
When you’re happy with that, add your spice mixture to the lentils and stir through.
Back in the food processor or pestle and mortar; add the garlic and ginger with about a teaspoon of water and combine to make a paste.
Pour in your rinsed kidney beans and your garlic and ginger paste to the slow cooker along with the tomato puree, salt, butter and fresh green chilis (cut in half).
When everything has been stirred together, add enough water so that there is about 1/2 an inch of water covering the mix.
Dont worry if it looks too watery, the curry mix will drink it up.
Leave the curry to cook away on low for about 2-4 hours depending on how much time you have, everything is pretty much cooked by now and you cant overcook a curry this way – the longer the better!
Check in on it maybe every 30 minutes to an hour for a quick stir.
Do a little taste test each time to determine if you need to add a little bt more of anything.
About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, stir through the Greek yogurt and maybe a little bit more butter if you like.
This dish goes really well with basmati rice or naan bread but serve it with whatever you fancy.
You should have enough for about 8 serves so it’s a great meal prep dish or else you can show off to your friends if they’re over for dinner.
I’ve made this for quite a few people now because I’m so eager to share it and it’s been empty bowls all ’round.

*If you dont have a Slow Cooker you can still create this dish on the hob in a large pot.
Cook on low (1 or 2) and just cook for half the time of the Slow Cooker e.g 4 hours on the Slow Cooker is 2 hours on the hob.
Instead of adding 6 cups of water to the lentils at the beginning, add just enough to cover the lentils by about an inch but be sure to keep an eye on them adding a tipple of water now and then when neccessary.
The same applies for after you add the spice mix and kidney beans until the last hour or so when you just add a trickle and the water is almost fully absorbed before you add the yogurt.
Make sure you dont let it get too watery but if you do, just take some of the water out with a ladle or something – get creative (I had to do it plenty of times until I perfected it so dont panic).

I’d love to know your feedback on this one if you do attempt it so make sure to leave a comment!

What’s In Clodagh’s Cupboard?

To stay consistent with eating healthy when you’re on-the-go, it’s important to keep your pantry or cupboard stacked with handy, go-to items.

This way, you’ll always have something on hand even when the fridge shelf is looking a bit bare (it’s usually the week for payday for me, sometimes I have sleep for dinner).

The trick is to stay organised and have enough of the essentials on hand at all times. You can build up your collection a little bit over each trip to the supermarket or go all guns blazing and dedicate one trip to a full sweep.

A stocked pantry also helps me to make all my own sauces and seasonings so I’m less likely to reach for the flavoured powder packets and jars of sauce.

I’m also free to play around more and create some really interesting and delicious flavours by adding pinches of this and dashes of that as I go.

Below is a breakdown of what lives in my cupboard;

Welcome

 Dried Herbs and Spices

Parsley
Coriander
Basil
Chilli Flakes
Cayenne Pepper
Smoked Paprika
Paprika
Ginger
Turmeric
Garlic
Cumin Seeds
Ground Cumin
Cardamon Pods
Fenugreek
Ground Coriander
Ground Black Pepper
Salt

Stock Cubes are a great essential to have on hand but it’s important
to buy a good quality stock.
I have endless cubes of vegetable, chicken and beef stock cubes sitting on the shelf and
use them with almost all of my dishes whether it be for
dry seasoning or mixed with boiling water.

 Tinned Goods

Chick Peas
Mixed Beans
Chopped Tomatoes
Tuna in water or brine
Coconut Milk
Kidney Beans

Soup tins are good to have in an emergency as a back-up meal and also as additions for main meals such as chicken and broccoli bake (see main meals for recipe).

 Jars

Passata
Tahini
Thai Green Curry Paste (best to make your own from scratch but always handy to have if you are time poor. See my recipe for details).
Soy Sauce
Fish Sauce
Barbeque Sauce
Sweet chilli sauce
Franks Hot Sauce (Original)
Honey
Gravy Granules

herbsandspices

 Nuts, Seeds & Grains

Quinoa
Cous Cous
4 Seed Mix
Pumpkin Seeds
Linseed
Brown Rice
Brown Pasta
Medium Noodles (great for a quick stir fry)
Almonds
Walnuts
Hazelnuts

 Bits and Bobs

Large bag of porridge oats (used for so many of my recipes as you will come to see)
Brown flour
Baking soda
Artificial sweetener
Brown sugar
Green tea
Chamomile Tea
Dark chocolate chips
Pitted Dates
Dried Figs
Sultanas
Balsamic Vinegar
Good quality Olive Oil

 This list is not exhaustive and your pantry will certainly have more and differentiating flavoursome inhabitants to mine.

You can simply use this list for some inspo or to add to your already packed pantry. It’s totally down to you!

Soulful Soup

Soup. The epitome of comfort food. A centrepiece in the Irish family home. You really can’t beat coming home to a steaming bowl of fresh homemade soup. It’s the ideal dish to maximise your veg intake and keep your fridge clean. Almost any combination of vegetables will fuse to create a tasty and fresh pot of homemade goodness for you to enjoy.

The key to a good soup is down to the stock and the seasoning. Using the right balance of each will help you blend together all of your ingredients and drink up your dish down to the last drop. I love the concept of homemade soup as part of a fresh, wholesome diet as you can make it in bulk to freeze off and meal prep and you can keep going back for more without feeling guilty as the core components are water and vegetables. Its Win Win!

With most of my recipes, you will see that I suggest using pretty much whatever is available for general dishes, it’s always fun to experiment. The same definitely goes for soup. Here I just want to share with you some of my favourite soup recipes and hope to inspire you to try your hand with what’s in the vegetable drawer and have some fun with it.

Use my recipes more so as a guideline and don’t be afraid to add a bit more or a bit less of ingredients like garlic, chili, water content depending on how thick / thin you like your soup etc. I often stray from the recipe and am always happy with the end result.

Green Soup

This is my personal favourite at the moment as it is a combination of some top Superfoods and tastes surprisingly amazing.

Ingredients

1 head broccoli, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 bag baby spinach leaves
1 bag kale leaves
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 brown onion, chopped
2 vegetable stock cubes
Salt & Pepper to season
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
750ml – 1 litre water (may vary)

Method

Heat olive oil on a hot pan and add garlic and onion until it starts to brown.
Add the cooked onion and garlic to a large soup pot and then pop your broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and kale in too.
Crumble in both stock cubes and add some salt and pepper to taste.
Boil the kettle and pour in enough water to just cover your vegetables and stir.
Bring the pot to the boil, stirring occasionally.
Once the soup has been brought to the boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer
for about 10 minutes or until the broccoli and cauliflower have softened.
Whip out your trusty hand blender and get to work blending your vegetables to your desired consistency.
If you prefer a thinner soup, gradually add some more hot water as you blend until your happy with the consistency.
Do a taste test and decide what seasoning you want to add more off, if any.
I’m big on flavour so would likely add some more black pepper and crumbled stock.
Once you’re happy with the taste, let the soup simmer away for another few minute so it has evenly heated through.
Some recipes advise leaving soup to simmer for up to 30 minutes but I like the idea of the vegetables being as fresh as possible so I remove it from the heat and serve once I’m happy with the taster and am sure it’s hot throughout.

Green soup is so nutritious and a nice, hot alternative to a green juice in the colder months. It is packed full of vitamins and minerals and will leave you feeling full and satisfied after a nice big bowl.
Again, don’t be afraid to vary the recipe by adding any other green veg you might like or have on hand. It will taste good and nourish you either way.

soup2

Carrot & Coriander Soup

Ingredients

4 carrots, peeled and chopped
400 grams butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 litre vegetable stock
2 tspn. ground coriander
1 tspn. ground cumin
1 tspn. ground cinnamon
1 tspn. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup Greek style yogurt
Coriander leaves, to serve

Method

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add onion and garlic and stir until they start to brown.
Add ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon and paprika and stir for about a minute.
Add carrots, butternut squash and stock and bring to the boil.
Once bubbling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes and remove from the heat.
Using your hand blender, whizz your ingredients until you reach the consistency you desire.
Return the pot to the heat and stir in the honey and greek yoghurt.
Cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes adding any extra seasoning you think will work and do a taste test until happy.
Sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves on each serving and enjoy!

soup3

Spicy Tomato Soup

Ingredients

6 large tomatoes, chopped
250 grams cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 litre vegetable stock
2 tspn. ground coriander
1 tspn. cayenne pepper
1 tspn. cracked black pepper
1 tspn. sweet paprika
1 tspn. chili flakes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup greek style yoghurt
Basil leaves, to serve
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add onion and garlic and stir until they start to brown.
Add ground coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper and chili flakes and stir for about a minute.
Add your fresh tomatoes and tin of tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.
Once bubbling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes and remove from the heat.
Using your hand blender, mix it all up until you reach the desired thickness
Return the pot to the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt.
Do a taste test and decide if there is anything extra you would like to add with regards to herbs, spices or seasoning.
Once certain that youre the best soup chef ever, serve with a sprinke of fresh basil leaves and a bit more cracked black pepper.

soup4

Pesto Hey Presto!

Pesto is one of those inventions that, to me anyway, is truly life changing.
It’s just so damn good!
A pretty recent foodie phenomenon, this simple mix of ingredients transforms an everyday dish into something elegant and exotic, never mind frickin’ gorgeous.
The best part is, pesto is ridiculously easy to make and here I’m going to share with you some of my favourite pesto flavours.
I use my Nutribullet to make my pesto but you can use a pestle and mortar or a regular food processor or blender either, whatever is available.

Basil Pesto

1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 large knob parmesan
2 clove garlic
Large dash of olive oil
Lemon juice from ½ lemon
Small handful of pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for some crunch
Salt & Pepper to taste

Spinach Pesto

1 cup baby spinach
1 cup fresh basil
1 large knob parmesan
2 clove garlic
Large dash of olive oil
Lemon juice of ½ lemon
Small handful of pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for some crunch
Salt & Pepper to taste

Red Pepper Pesto

4 halved and roasted red peppers
1 cup fresh basil
2 clove garlic
Large dash of olive oil
Lemon juice of ½ lemon
Small handful of pine nuts or pumpkin seeds for some crunch
Salt and Pepper to taste

Literally just throw all of these ingredients into your appliance and whizz it all up until it reaches the consistency you like.
Toss through pasta, zucchini pasta or rice, serve as a dip with fresh bread or crudités or coat a salmon or chicken fillet before baking.
There are so many ways you can utilise pesto so get creative and have some fun with it.