Spinach & Ricotta Polpetti

Spinach Polpette 1

This is a really easy, comforting and tasty vegetarian dish – I adore the combination of ricotta and spinach in just about anything particularly in filled pasta like tortellini or cannelloni. Plus you get a whopping portion of all that iron (so essential for all us women) and nutritional goodness in the spinach particularly when you use frozen spinach. The average bag of fresh spinach weighs approx. 180g and there is 400g of frozen spinach in this dish so you get the picture. This is good for you! Don’t be tempted to leave out the nutmeg, it really does add something special to the overall flavour of the dish. Continue reading

Stuffed chicken breast with leeks & bacon

Chicken stuffed leeks & bacon

I am often scratching my head trying to do something different or interesting with skinless chicken breasts. During the week it is all about speed and simplicity so my ‘go to’ recipe would be my chicken breasts with honey and mustard or perhaps a stir-fry or a curry. At the weekend I try to do something a little fancier if I have the time and this stuffed chicken is one of those dishes. This would also be a great dish to do if you were having anyone for dinner as it can be prepared in advance. As well as being delicious and moist, it is also a very healthy way to cook the chicken. I have used a leek & bacon mixture in the stuffing but you could equally invent your own or use the traditional sage & onion stuffing where any leftover chicken sliced thinly and would make a pretty tasty sandwich the next day. I am all for this type of cooking where a little bit extra or leftover can sort lunches for the next day.  Continue reading

Bacon & Cabbage

Bacon & Cabbage 4

Bacon & cabbage is one of my absolute favourite dinners, true comfort food and traditional in our house to have on St Patrick’s Day.  It is also one of those dishes that I have rarely enjoyed in a restaurant – you don’t tend to see it on menus and even when you do see it, it is often disappointing as the cabbage tends to be overcooked and would put you off it for life. I cook this regularly now because this particular cut of bacon is so easily available, so cheap and the leftover cooked ham makes delicious sandwiches – so much nicer and healthier than anything you get in a packet. Continue reading

Mason Jar Salads

Mason Jar Salad 1

These Mason Jar* salads are a recent discovery of mine. They are genius!  Since I went back working I have been buying my lunch out each day which is not something I can or want to keep doing. Apart from the expense I find I am eating stuff I wouldn’t normally choose to eat. In line with my 80/20 philosophy about food I like to eat healthily during the week so I can relax at the weekend and enjoy a few treats plus a few glasses of wine. This requires a bit of organisation and planning though during the week and these salads in a jar are a brilliant idea.  I make two at a time and they fit neatly in my handbag. With these salads it is all about the order of the ingredients – salad dressing first, this is so important as it guarantees that your salad ingredients don’t get soggy. Then put in a grain or a protein or something else big and chunky (e.g. chick peas, quinoa, sweet potato, butternut squash, pasta etc) layer your ingredients according to how heavy they are, e.g towards the top add nuts, grated cheese, seeds and lastly top it with your salad leaves. When you are ready to eat it then you just turn it out into a bowl, the salad leaves will be at the bottom.  Just mix it and there you go – a perfectly fresh and satisfying salad.   This website which I came across will give you some great ideas to encourage you to give this a go.

*PS – I bought the jar in SuperValu for €4.50 – however any clean jar that has a suitably wide opening will do.

In the one in the photo there is the following (from the bottom up!):

  • Spiralised / grated courgette
  • Shredded carrot
  • Black olives
  • Cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • Cucumber chunks
  • Cooked chicken
  • Mange tout(lightly steamed)
  • Broccoli (lightly steamed)
  • Mixed leaves

 

 

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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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

Avocado Chocolate Mousse


Avocado choc mousse

Avocado and chocolate in the same sentence??? Kind of hard to get your head around isn’t it? Can you think of any nicer way to eat something healthy and good for you than in a chocolate mousse??? Bring it on, I hear you say! Any time I mention the words avocado and chocolate in the same sentence, people turn their noses up BUT they are people who have never tried it. It is also possibly the quickest, simplest and healthiest chocolate mousse there is. Continue reading