I never reallly enjoyed porridge until I moved to Ireland, now I love it for breakfast with fruit and yoghurt. The Irish soil and climate produces highly nutritious, good quality oats. The grains fluff up really well and have a lovely texture, not boarding school gloop
This is a favourite takeawayish recipe, perfect for kids and people trying to convert to healthier dinners. Jam packed with extra crunchy, colourful veggies that you can sneak into your family's diet. The ish factor is the sauce, a really tasty authentic sauce but with a fraction of the sugar of shop-bought 'cook in' sauces.
This is the very first stir fry recipe I cooked in the wok that my dad bought me when I was 17. The wok is still going strong and so is this recipe. The ish factor is the sauce and the marinade. Hoisin sauce has a lovely sweet plummy taste and oyster sauce is deep and rich, perfect for beef. The pale dry sherry is the substitute for Chinese rice wine,and really enhances the aromatic heat of the ginger. Use extra veggies if preferred and serve with rice or noodles to mop up the sauce.
One of my favourite recipes for entertaining, this salad looks fabulous for Christmas with ruby red pomegranate jewels and juicy mango. The ish ingredient is Chinese 5 Spice which is an aromatic blend of spices that marries perfectly with luxurious duck breasts. Toasted sesame oil, another ish factor, and plenty of fresh lime, finishes off this very special sensational salad.
Friends coming over?
This recipe makes the most gooey, decadent chocolate brownies imaginable. A word to the lads: if you have annoyed your missus, a tray of these will go a long way to patching things up. With chocolate as the mortar. The frozen raspberries work brilliantly as they stay whole during the baking process, adding bursts of pink tartness in the slab of chocolatey goodness.
This is a great takeawayish recipe, all the tastes and textures of a traditional Chinese, but with extra crunch and veggies. Use skinless boneless chicken thighs for really juicy tender chicken, much better than chicken fillets. You can make this a vegetarian main meal by swapping out the chicken for extra veggies like courgettes and extra peppers. The real ish ingredient is pale dry sherry, also called fino sherry. This is the closest Western equivelant to Chinese sxhaosing wine which is a traditional rice wine.
Shop-bought muffins are a bugbear of mine, full of sugar and very high calorie! They are really cake without the icing. Definitely not a good breakfast option or a lunchbox filler! These muffins get a fibre boost from apples, carrots and oats, all good sources of healthy carbohydrates too! The recipe uses natural sweeteners like apple, raisins and nutmeg and less sugar. Ideal for breakfast or as a lunchbox treat.
Stored properly, it may last up to a week.
Ireland is very fortunate to have such an abundance of fresh seafood - so important as part of a varied and healthy diet. I love to experiment with new recipes, but I still come back to old favourites like fish chowder. I fell in love with seafood chowder on a wet October weekend in Doolin when I moved to Ireland many years ago. I use this basic mixture in several different ways - delish over a baked potato too!