Tag Archives: beetroot

Chocolate and Beetroot Loaf Cake- Just Mix it

My Father in law was going away recently and gave me some items from his fridge to use up. There were three cooked and peeled bulbs of beetroot in a bowl. Hmm I said. Salad? nah. Cake? Yes! And I’m not a fan of the hiding vegetables-in-cake brigade, as

a) My family EAT vegetables

b) I’m hesitant about the nutritional value of the said vegetable post bake

Anyway, in this case the beetroot needed using, so chocolate cake ensued. Beetroot is almost always organically grown as it is resistant to most pests. Good News.  But grows best in cooler climes, so with the onset of climate change definitely starting to affect us here… Bad News.

9/365 Beetroot

Chocolate and Beetroot Loaf Cake


150g of cooked beetroot (simply boil in it’s scrubbed skin until soft, then peel)

140g plain white flour

1 rounded teaspoon of baking powder

60g good quality cocoa powder

150g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

140g sunflower oil

50g dark chocolate, chopped


Heat your oven to 170oC.  Grease a good quality loaf tin, and line with baking paper, bringing it well up the sides. Unusually I am using my Kenwood food processor, that I normally wouldn’t DREAM of making cakes in.  (and yes, since you’re asking I dream about making cakes ALL the time)
Beetroot Cake

Anyway, I digress.  “Blend” the beetroot until like little grated chunks. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla, eggs and cocoa.  Blend again slowly then add the oil down through the chute until you get a nice sloppy cake consistency.  You may need to scoot around the sides with a spatula to make sure everything is nicely blended.

Pour/ scoop into the prepared tin and sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top.

Beetroot Cake

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes or until the skewer comes out almost clean.  Leave in the tin to cool down completely.

This is a rich, dense cake that lends itself to be eaten with some softly whipped cream. And no, you don’t taste the beetroot.
Beetroot Cake


Cottage Cheese and Beetroot for Lunch?

I was perusing a magazine, in which there was the usual “back to school” lunch ideas.  I don’t know about yours, but mine wouldn’t touch Cottage Cheese with Beetroot. No thank you.  Wouldn’t touch it myself to be honest, but I’m not really a fan of cottage cheese- reminds my of weight watchers.

My eldest when asked every day in Primary school what he wanted in his sandwich, always gave the same reply- ham and cheese.  Jords went through stages of wraps or rolls, but in the end, in the majority of cases it was some sort of meat and cheese.

Feed the Parents Xmas 2012

Posh Nosh at the weekend

I am funny when it comes to lunch, I either want a really good sandwich (good bread, then not too much filling), or something as simple as an apple and a yoghurt.  Other days I am just ravenous- and could eat everything put in front of me.  But unfortunately, unless it’s a late lunch, I find I am just as hungry again in the evening.

Soda Bread Chicken Sandwich

Soda Bread Chicken Sandwich

So until the weather gets colder and it’s soup time, lunches will consist of cheese and tomato.  Boring you might say? Not at all… the tomatoes are perfect at the moment, and there is nothing better than pairing them with a good cheddar cheese, or a nice French Camembert.

So, what do you like for lunch?I’d love to be organised enough to have something slightly different every week, but alas due to the fact that I am not a morning person- that’s never going to happen!  And as you know from previous posts, finding a good lunch can be very hard.  Sometimes only a toasted special with chips is your only man!

Of course most lunches are improved when on holidays and a small glass of vino is included…..





I’m not a pheasant plucker….

Or even a pheasant plucker’s son.  Thank goodness.  Week one in Ballymaloe we plucked game.  It is a thankless job.  Difficult, time consuming, and just a little icky.

My poor Pheasant

My poor Pheasant- Thankfully the picture is blurry

Even though we did our best, the poor bird looked a little worse for wear.  So when I decided on Pheasant for dinner last night, I wanted to give it as much love and attention as I could as it was so beautifully prepared.

Pheasant prep

Pheasant prep

And really, in essence, simple is best (Yes, Rory, I was listening).  So I seasoned with both salt and pepper, and rubbed a generous amount of good quality olive oil all over the skin.  A small drop of our honey was rubbed on the breast, and it went into a medium oven for 45 mins. I had put some beetroot into roast an hour previously, with some crushed garlic and thyme.  At this time of year it needs lots of love to make to shine as it’s getting a bit old.

Beetroot ready for roasting

Beetroot ready for roasting

But for fresh greens we had some purple sprouting broccoli that I had picked only an hour before it was cooked.  Without doubt this is one of my favourite vegetables.

The freshest of fresh brocolli

The freshest of fresh broccoli

Served with a simple salad, with foraged greens from our lane, it made for a delicious dinner, and was enjoyed by all.  A rather posh dinner for a Tuesday night, but what the hell.

Roasted Pheasant

Roasted Pheasant



Grease Lightning Dinner ….with a little help from Glenisk

In my version of the words of the infamous “Beauty School Dropout” from the Musical Grease….

My Story’s sad to tell.

Midweek dinners ne’er do well

Most mixed ingredients on the block…

Your dinner’s so unclear now..

What’s left of your ideas now…

Can’t even get a idea from my blog….

Ah but I can!

Midweek, or even week dinners are sometimes a chore, as every day someone in the family has an activity.  And at this time of the year there are only so many stews and casseroles you can put on the table when it’s still so warm outside- definitely not complaining by the way.

This is my midweek solution for speed, taste and a little bit of WOW.

Chicken and yogurt for a simple marinade

Chicken and yogurt for a simple marinade

Pan Roasted Honey Chicken, served with baby new potatoes and a beetroot salad.


For the marinade:

4 skinless chicken breasts, preferably organic

1 pot of Glenisk Organic Natural Yogurt (less one tablespoon)

5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4 tablespoons of runny honey

2 tablespoons of soy sauce


500g of new potatoes

2 carrots, peeled and pared into ribbons

1 beetroot, diced into 1 cm pieces

1 pot of Glenisk Crème Fraiche


The night before (or in the morning- whichever’s easier), make slits on the chicken breast to help the marinade infuse.  Mix the remaining marinade ingredients together and gently spoon over the chicken.  The yogurt is essential in preventing the chicken from drying out.

The mixing of the marinade.

The mixing of the marinade.

Cover and chill.

Turn on the oven to 180oC.

Boil the beetroot until cooked, remove the beetroot to drain and reserve 25ml of the pink cooking liquor.

Boil the new potatoes.

Heat a griddle pan and gently place the chicken breasts on the heat.  When the chicken is nicely browned remove back to the marinade dish. Spooning the marinade back over the breasts. Bake in the oven for 25 mins.

Meanwhile steam the carrot strips, and heat the remaining honey in a pan. Once the honey has heated mix in the extra yogurt.

Pour this over the chicken, once plated.

While the chicken is resting, mix the warm beetroot with the crème fraiche and the reserved beetroot liquor.

The cooked beetroot awaiting it's delicious crème fraiche dressing

The cooked beetroot awaiting it’s delicious crème fraiche dressing

Serve the chicken with the new potatoes, the carrot strips, and warm beetroot salad.

Fresh, healthy and tasty on a plate.

Lightening Quick but ultra Tasty