10 minute Energy Balls

 

Energy balls 1

It is no coincidence that this week’s recipe is quick, easy, with ingredients to give you an energy boost! My weekly post is later than usual this week due to work pressures however worth the wait I hope! These energy balls are delicious, made in minutes and quite addictive. They are full of good things and contain only natural sugars. I have been trying to cut down on sugar over the past year and I get my ‘sweet fix’ now from dark chocolate (74% cocoa solids), these energy balls and these sugar-free chocolate chip cookies from a previous post. (I am sure any goodness is negated however once you eat more than 4 of them in one go!).

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Mushroom Soup

 

Mushroom soup 4
This soup came about by accident when Mr ‘HForT’ came home with two punnets of mushrooms that were being sold for €1  – he does love a bargain! So mushroom soup had to be made. It is one of the easiest, tastiest and quickest soups you will ever make with just a few ingredients – a really simple recipe for anyone to try who hasn’t made soup before, or for children to make.

You will know by now that I am a great fan of soups – so handy to have in the fridge when people come in starving from school, college or work. My teenage daughter polished this off on several days this week when she came in from school. The trick is to leave the mushrooms for a few days before using them, they will be darker in colour and will have much more flavour. If you want to make the soup even tastier use some mixed exotic mushrooms sold in packs in most supermarkets. Also you can make the soup gluten free by substituting the plain flour with rice flour.
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Delicious Chickpea Burgers

 

Chickpea burgers 3

These burgers are a revelation – delicious, healthy, good for you, low in fat,  quick and easy to make. They also keep you feeling fuller for longer because chickpeas are full of protein and fibre and as if that wasn’t enough they also contain exceptional levels of iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium. The burgers take only minutes to make so they are the ultimate healthy ‘fast food’.  Continue reading

Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Chicken & Veg Soup 2

I am not one for making New Year resolutions as I find it hard enough to get through the dark and dreary month of January without making it even tougher. Anyway most resolutions tend to be based on things we feel guilty about like eating and drinking too much over Christmas. (Why do we do this to ourselves?!) I would encourage anyone who is considering going on a diet now to scrap the guilt and instead consider being kind to yourself by cooking and eating real food and cutting back on sugar and processed foods. However, making wholesale changes to eating habits can be overwhelming and difficult to do all at once so another approach is to  start gradually by focussing on one meal in the day for a start e.g. for the first week / month resolve to eat a good, healthy breakfast or lunch each day.    Continue reading

Cauliflower Soup 3 ways

 

Cauli Soup 4

This week’s recipe is a delicious, simple, comforting soup that can be styled / flavoured three different ways!  Cauliflower is not a vegetable that excites me, mainly because of it’s colour. However, when one arrived home in the weekly grocery shop recently because it was on “special offer” I was scratching my head as to what to do with it! So I  decided to do a little experimentation with the basic soup recipe by making 3 variations from the poor, unloved head of cauliflower! It turns out that the soup is the perfect palate to which flavours can be added to create something that will surprise your taste buds. Continue reading

Winter quinoa salad

Quinoa salad 6

This beautiful and nutritious salad will brighten up any dark, dreary day. I know you are probably saying salads are for Summer but the ingredients in this recipe are available all year round in our supermarkets so there is no reason not to give it a go to brighten up any day –  you will be so glad and your body will thank you for it. You will know from a previous recipe that I am a big fan of quinoa not just because it is quick and easy to make, but also because it is a super healthy source of (plant-based) protein and a slow release energy sustaining food (i.e. keeps you full for longer!).  It also keeps and travels well so very handy for making wonderful healthy lunches to bring to work and also for using up leftovers such as cooked chicken or roasted vegetables. Beats a ham sandwich any day! Continue reading

Healthy cheat’s pizza

Pizza photo 2

This ‘pizza’ is the fastest, easiest meal you could ever make and so tasty as well. I use tortilla wraps as pizza bases and they make a lovely thin and crispy crust. They are also a whole lot healthier (and cheaper) than frozen or takeaway pizzas. I made this twice this week, varying it by using different cheeses. I used Buffalo Mozzarella on the one in the picture but goat’s cheese or cheddar cheese work really well also. They are great when you need to make something quickly and for using up leftovers as you only need small quantities of the toppings (depending on how many you are making of course!). Children and teenagers love ‘dressing’ their own pizzas – in my house everyone has different tastes so they make their own. My son, for example doesn’t like cheese so he makes his pizza with lots of peppers, salami, pepperoni etc. My own favourite is goat’s cheese, caramelised onion jam / marmalade, asparagus and rocket. You need to use two tortilla wraps to make the base firm enough. Once you top it with the tomato purée you can be as creative as you like. They take approx. 10 mins in an oven heated to 160°C / 325°F.

Ingredients for 1 pizza

2 tortilla wraps (preferably wholemeal)
Tomato purée or passata
Mixed peppers, diced
Black olives, sliced
Buffalo Mozzarella
Olive Oil
Rocket

  • Place two wraps on a baking tray
  • Spread with tomato purée making sure the surface of the wrap is fully covered
  • Scatter peppers, olives and torn mozzarella plus any other toppings on top
  • Drizzle with a little olive oil
  • Bake in the oven for 10 mins until the cheese is melted and bubbling
  • Serve with rocket scattered across the top and a further drizzle of oil (optional)

Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup

Bnut Squash Soup 2

I felt like the need for a warm, comforting soup during the last week as I found myself shivering with the sudden, early arrival of Autumn. This delicious soup is creamy, rich and full of flavour. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it is to make. Butternut squash is one of those rare vegetables that keeps for ages in the vegetable drawer so it is something I would always have in stock. I always like to have coconut milk in my press as well so I can make this soup without having to go shopping! This will last in the fridge for 2-3 days.  Continue reading

Flapjacks

 

Flapjacks 3

These tasty, healthy ‘back to school’ flapjacks are quick and easy to make and perfect for a lunch box or snack. I like to put these in my teenage daughter’s school lunchbox along with some cheese, fruit and a sandwich. They are great for anyone who has to eat ‘on the go’ and / or re-fuel after exercise when you want to try to avoid sugary snacks. You can play around with the basic recipe and add fruit, nuts and / or seeds depending on what you have available or just to vary them according to your own tastes. The recipe uses coconut oil which is a good, healthy source of saturated fat and oats which provide a slow release of energy.  Continue reading

Smoked Salmon with soft boiled egg and quinoa

 

Smoked Salmon & Egg Photo bw

If you haven’t tried quinoa before I urge you to buy some this weekend and include it in your diet from now on. Quinoa is a great source of protein, fibre and is rich in minerals, B-vitamins and vitamin E. It cooks in 15 minutes and is also wheat-free, gluten-free and contains anti-inflammatory compounds. I am a big fan because it is so versatile, adds protein and substance to salads to make them more filling and satisfying (fuller for  longer!) plus it’s a keeper i.e. cooked quinoa keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour in itself(same as pasta or rice) but has a nice nutty flavour and fluffy texture. This quick lunch was made from some left-over white quinoa to which I piled on some beautiful Irish organic smoked salmon and a soft boiled egg. This would also make a great breakfast. It was topped off with some of my homemade mayonnaise (see previous post) to which I added some chopped dill. You will also find another recipe using quinoa in a previous post – Butternut Squash & Quinoa salad.

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