Tag Archives: healthy

It’s Porridge Week- Have many ways can I use thee??

We have porridge every morning during the school year. It’s quick, easy and does the job of keeping tummies full and minds alert for the morning’s work ahead.  We all have it different ways; mine with fruits and a scant spoon of sugar, others with milk and weetabix on top.

Porridge is a staple in Ireland for many people now due to reports of it’s health properties. The other positive side is that it comes at a very reasonable cost.  We like the Organic Flahavans Porridge.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly as we eat organically as much as is possible. And secondly it is grown locally.  These oat fields have no pesticides or other chemicals sprayed on them.  Thereby making the immediate environment also a better place to be and live with your community.
Wednesday 04 November 2015 015

This week, it being porridge week, I decided to experiment a little.  And have porridge or some form of it with every meal. Breakfast was the easiest of course.

And the bread was not too much of a stretch either.  I make this bread at least twice a week, and the family love it best when I reduce the amount of wholemeal flour and add some white and, more importantly, porridge flakes.
Brown Bread

Dinner was more of a challenge.  It would have been easy to simply use the oat flakes scattered on top of a cottage pie, or instead of barley in an Irish Stew.  I decided to go with a family favourite- homemade chicken goujons and give them a twist.  I whizzed up the porridge to make the crumb coating.  And,  if I’m honest if was far superior in taste to the usual crumb coating consisting of ritz crackers.

Then there was the final sweet touch.  I had only recently blogged about my most favourite apple crumble. So an alternative was found.  I added them to my blueberry financiers.  To much acclaim I might add.  So these will also be staying on the menu so to speak.  But even though they contain both porridge and blueberries, it would be a stretch to have them as breakfast.

All recipes will be blogged in the coming weeks, so keep tuned this way, but if you just can’t wait, contact me here.


The Healthier Roast Dinner

Who doesn’t love a roast dinner? We regularly have a Roast Chicken dinner as a treat.  And depending on the time of year, may of may not have “all the trimmings”.  In the summer I try to add fresh salads instead of stuffing, and new boiled potatoes instead of roasties.

  • Choose your meat carefully

A Roast dinner is like any meal really- you can choose to make it healthier with just a few simple changes.  The one thing I don’t like to compromise on is the meat.  I’m not a fan of buying leaner meat to reduce the fat.  Cook it with the fat on to give it the taste, but you don’t have to eat the fat once it’s cooked- except if it’s pork crackling- then you do.  It’s the law. And if you do buy a lean joint.  Wrap it in some good quality prosciutto or failing that back bacon, it needs the fat to help the flavour!

Chicken PrepIn this case I’ve taken a free range chicken (organic is just out of my budget unless it’s one of our own- and they aren’t really suitable for roasting.)  Sprinkled a little flaky sea salt and some freshly cracked black pepper, and added the slightest drizzle of some super duper special olive oil.

  • Make sure the balance of vegetables on your plate is right.

This means in essence- make sure you have more vegetables/ salad on your plate than everything else. And yes, I know we are all trying to be conscious about portion sizes.  But in this case- as long as there’s no hidden dressings or gravy over it all- go for broke.

  • Sauces

Speaking of sauces- they are often a key addition to any Roast dinner.  If you really have to have gravy- make it yourself- and be careful of the amount of salt you add.  Also it’s ok to have a little gravy, the spuds don’t have to be swimming in it!  The same with the salad dressing- make it yourself- or even just sprinkle over some good quality extra virgin olive oil.

But in this case we’ve gone with simple. Some homemade coleslaw, my super salad and some boiled new potatoes.

Healthy Roast Chicken Dinner

Healthy Roast Chicken Dinne

Now I’m off to watch the olympics….