I am a qualified Nutrition Coach. As well as this, I have personally lost over 20kg on my own weight loss journey. The aim of my site is to share some of the insight I have picked up by making every mistake there is along the way.
Protein yogurt is delicious, and it is a great way to help you meet your daily protein requirements. Shop bought versions can be a little expensive, so I am giving you a recipe for a great tasting homemade version. It really couldn’t be easier. Enjoy xxx
500g fat free natural yogurt
250g of your favourite berries, I have used raspberries and blackberries
100g unflavoured protein powder
Put your berries into a small sauce pan
Squeeze half the orange into the pan. You are looking for about 4 tablespoons of juice
Heat the berries over a medium heat until they are mostly liquid and soft
Remove your berries from the heat and allow to cool well
In a large bowl combine your yogurt and protein powder. Make sure you stir this together very well to ensure there are no lumps
Once the berries are nice and cool, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of a glass or bowl
Nothing says comfort food quite like a Shepherd’s pie. This classic dish is given a modern twist with the addition of sweet potato, one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can eat! This dish freezes and reheats like a dream, so it’s a definitely batch cooking essential. Winter doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but on the upside, it gives us more opportunity to make delicious, warming dishes like this one. Enjoy xxx
450g lamb mince
2 large sweet potatoes
1 large onion
A cup full of frozen peas
Beef stock cube (I love the Knorr Rich Beef stock pot)
Cost per portion: €3.25
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Centigrade and boil a full kettle of water
Peel your sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks
Put the sweet potato into a pot of boiling water to boil. They will take about 25 minutes
Peel and slice your carrots. You are looking to end up with little disks
Dice your onion quite finely
Put a large pan or wok on to heat
Place your lamb and diced onion into the pan and cook until the mince is browned and the onion is softened
Dissolve your stock in about 100ml of boiling water. Most of your gravy will come from your meat and vegetable juices, so you are just looking to get the stock into liquid form
Once the lamb is browned, add your stock, a good shake of mixed herbs, your carrots and your peas. Give it a good stir and take it off the heat
Transfer your meat mixture into a Pyrex dish. The one I use is a square one, about 25cm
Once your sweet potato is nice and soft (it should nearly be falling apart) drain it and mash it
Top the meat mixture with a layer of the sweet potato
Pop the dish into the over for about 30 minutes, or until it is bubbling and delicious
Growing up in Ireland in the 80’s, few things were as sacrosanct as the tradition of eating fish on Friday. Each week my mother would take the bus into St. Thomas Street to buy fresh fish from the markets. Each one of us had our own particular favourite, mine was always ray. To this day, I still adore it. It is this love coupled with nostalgia, which makes it almost impossible for me to resist it when I find it available in my local butchers. Over the past few years, I have done a lot of experimenting with food. Ray, however, is one thing I still cook exactly as my mother did. Enjoy xxx
For this recipe you will need a two tier steamer and a good non-stick frying pan.
About 800g of ray wing. This was one large wing, I asked my butcher to cut it in half for me
About 10-12 baby new potatoes
A head of broccoli
A butternut squash
A packet of sugar snap peas
A cup of plain flour
A drizzle of olive oil
Cost per portion: €6.80
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade and boil a kettle of water
Pop your potatoes in a pot of water to boil for about five minutes
Drain them and place them into a Pyrex dish, drizzle a little olive oil over them, shake them and put them into your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes
Peel your squash. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut off the narrow part. The round part contains the seeds, so I normally don’t bother with this it. Cut off the very top too and then you can stand it up and slice the skin off length-ways.
Once your squash is peeled, chop it into bite sized cubes and put it into the bottom tier of your steamer. The squash will take about 15 minutes
Pour the plain flour onto a plate, and use it to coat the ray wings. You just need a thin layer of flour on each side of the fish.
Pour a little cooking oil onto your frying pan and get it good and hot. To test the temperature, drop a tiny bit of the flour into the pan, if it sizzles the oil is hot enough
Carefully place the fish into the hot pan. This will take 8-9 minutes to fry, turn it about 4 times during cooking to ensure the skin isn’t burning and it is cooking evenly
Chop up the broccoli and put it in the top tier of the steamer together with the sugar snap peas. The greens will only take 5 minutes
When the fish is ready, use some paper towel to soak up any excess oil
Serve everything on warmed plates, garnish with wedges of lemon if desired, and enjoy!
Fish is one thing that I have always loved. But I was mistakenly under the impression that it was difficult and complicated to cook. Fearing failure, I limited myself to ordering it in restaurants. Last year, my husband started working nights, and so with just myself to cook for most evenings, I felt ready to try new things. Besides, with a big German Shepherd in the house, even burnt offerings don’t go to waste. This recipe is one of my favourite new discoveries. Enjoy xxx
Two fillets of cod (approximately 200g each)
120g of Easy Cook brown rice (check the packet for cooking times, the one I use takes 25 minutes, so adjust accordingly)
1 butternut squash
1 red onion
2 bell peppers
2 tablespoons of pesto
a drizzle of olive oil
Cost per serving: €5.50
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade and boil a full kettle of water
Peel the squash and chop it into cubes
Cut the top off the peppers, pull out the seeds and chop them into large bite size pieces
Peel the onion and cut in into quarters.
Put all the chopped veg into a Pyrex dish and drizzle a little olive oil over them, shake them and pop them into the over
Put the rice into a pot of boiling water, the rice should take about 25 minutes to cook
Slice your tomatoes
Put the fish into a Pyrex dish, skin side down, season with salt and pepper
Lay the sliced tomatoes out on top of the fish and top it with about a tablespoon of pesto on each piece of fish
When the rice has about 15 minutes left, pop the fish into the oven
I always find that during the week my evenings consist of running around like a crazy woman trying to get everything done, so that I can eventually sit down! No matter how organised I try to be, there is always a dishwasher to be unloaded or laundry to be done. That’s why I love dinner like this one. After just a few minutes of prep, I can just bung it all in the oven and while it’s doing its thing, I can do mine. If your weekday evenings sound like mine, then this recipe is definitely one to try. Enjoy xxx
Two large chicken fillets
About 10 baby potatoes
A packet of Parma ham
A drizzle of olive oil
A shake of Italian seasoning (mixed herbs will do)
(Adjust the quantity of the veg depending on size, use the after photo as a guide to what the portion should end up looking like)
Cost per serving: €4.05 (I buy my chicken in Nolan’s butchers, the rest came from Aldi)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade and put a full kettle on to boil
Peel your carrots and parsnips and chop them into batons. To do this, cut the vegetable into thirds and chop each third into quarters lengthwise.
When the water is boiled, fill a large pot with the water and add the chopped veg and potatoes. Put the pot on high heat to boil for about 5 minutes
Trim any bits of fat or sinew off the chicken
Wrap each fillet in 3 slices of Parma ham. Start at one end of the fillet and work your way down. They will be overlapping
When the veg has been boiling for about 5 minutes, drain them and pop them into a large Pyrex dish. Drizzle the olive oil over them, just enough to give them a light coating. Shake some Italian seasoning over them and give them a good shake.
Put your veg and your chicken in the oven for about 25-30 minutes
Plate up and enjoy!
*Top tip, I always double up on the veg when I make this. It keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days, and it is a life saver for really hectic nights.
The classic burger is being given a new lease of life. More and more gourmet burger joints are popping up everyday to feed our insatiable appetite for this old time favourite. This is a recipe for a stay at home option. All the delicious burger goodness, without the hefty price tag, and definitely no queue for a table. It really is the perfect weekend fake-away, and with Valetine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a wonderful treat for your honey. Enjoy!
Cost per serving – €3.89 (mince from Nolan’s of Kilcullen, rest of ingredients are from Aldi)
450g of lean mince beef (the best quality you can afford)
6 streaky rashers
2 large sweet potatoes
1 red onion
Baby gem lettuce, 3 leaves per portion
6 cheese slices (whichever is your favourite, I use white cheddar here)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Heat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade
Cut your sweet potatoes into quarters and then into wedges about 2cm thick. No need to be too exact.
Put your wedges into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a shake of chili powder and toss them around until they are coated.
Spread the wedges out on a baking tray and pop them into the oven. They will take 25-30 minutes, give them a shake halfway through
Fry your bacon on a dry pan and when cooked set aside
Form three burgers of even size with your mince and put them on the pan on medium heat. Cover the pan a lid or another pan. This will help the burgers to cook through. Your burgers will take about 15 minutes to cook. Turn them every 3 minutes or so to make sure they aren’t burning, and don’t be afraid to cut one open to see if they are cooked through before serving.
Slice up your tomatoes and onions.
On each plate make a stack of lettuce leaves, tomatoes, onions and one slice of cheese (make sure the cheese is on top so the heat of the burger will melt it!)
When your burgers are ready top each one with two slices of bacon and one slice of cheese. Pop the second pan back over them for one minute or until the cheese is nice and melty.
Have you ever had one of those times when you get home late from work or the gym. Tired, starving and feeling like if you don’t eat something in the next few minutes, you won’t be responsible for your actions? Well, I certainly have. This recipe is ideal in those very situations. Not only is it tasty and satisfying, but it goes from fridge to fork in less than ten minutes. Enjoy.
3 Large Eggs
40g Feta Cheese
50g Pancetta (or bacon lardons)
2 Big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
Cost per portion: €1.34 (I shop in Aldi, prices correct as at 30/01/2016)
Turn on your grill. Put your plate in to heat.
In a hot, dry pan fry your pancetta until crispy and sizzling. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Return your pan to the heat.
Whisk the eggs in a large jug
Chop up the Feta into small cubes and add it to the eggs
Add the pancetta to the eggs, stir and pour your mixture onto your hot pan. You won’t need any oils as your pancetta will have coated the pan.
Drop the spinach leaves onto the omelette. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s too much, it will reduce in size.
Fry the omelette for about 3 minutes. If you lift the edges with your spatula, the underneath should be a lovely golden colour.
Pop the pan under the grill for another 2-3 minutes. Believe me, this is much easier and safer than trying to flip it!
When the eggs are set and the cheese is melty, you’re done.
Simply fold the omelette in half, transfer it to your heated plate and enjoy!