Boxty – Potato pancakes

We don’t eat enough boxty in Ireland. These potato pancakes are so easy to make and so tasty. Boxty is a thrifty and clever way to use up left over mash, stretched further by adding grated raw potato! The secret to really tasty boxty is adding a small knob of butter to finish frying them on the pan.

Eat them as they are or serve with eggs, mushrooms and beans for a delicious weekend brunch.

Lou

Ingredients: makes 16 approx

Method:

  1. Peel and grate the raw potato. Place in a clean tea towel, wrap it and squeeze out the starch.
  2. Finely slice the spring onions and keep some of the green tops for garnish.
  3. Add the mash potato to a mixing bowl along with the grated potato, sliced spring onion, bicarbonate of soda, buttermilk, flour and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Give the batter a good mix.
  4. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat.
  5. Lightly coat the pan with oil.
  6. Spoon on 3 – 4 generous mounds of the potato batter.
  7. Cook gently and just like pancakes, wait for little bubbles to form.
  8. Carefully flip and cook for a further few minutes.
  9. Cook all of the boxty and then return to the pan and drop in a couple knobs of butter, let the butter melt and coat the potato pancakes. Serve straight away.

Sugar Free Flapjacks

The days of 3 square meals has gone out the window for most. Snacking seems to be habitual to many and it definitely isn’t a bad thing so long as the snacks are packed full of energy boasting ingredients like these yummy sugar free flapjacks.

Feel free to snack on these morning, noon or night they taste so good. We favour these over individually wrapped packets from the supermarket too! #lessplasticpackaging

Tip: These flapjacks work best with really ripe black bananas. You can ripen yellow bananas by baking them in the oven for 30-40 mins at 180c or in the air fryer at 180c for 13 minutes.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160c. Line a 8×8 inc baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Put the dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water for a couple of minutes to soften.
  3. Measure the oats, coconut and seeds into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  4. Discard the water from the dates and add them to a blender along with the 4 ripe bananas and melted butter. Blend to a smoothish paste.
  5. Add the paste to the mixing bowl and stir everything together.
  6. Tip the mix into the baking tray, push it down and flatten the top as best you can.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Cool and cut into squares.

Homemade Twix Bar

The Twix bar is so iconic! Well known for its biscuit base, caramel centre and topped with chocolate. Would you believe me if I said these are sugar free, wheat free, dairy free and an utterly delicious alternative. #guiltfreetreats

The date and almond caramel filling is divine, make extra and use it for dipping apple slices, in brownies, on porridge or add it to smoothies.

Find all the ingredient needed in the groceries section, most of which are in compostable or reusable packaging.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients: Makes 8-10

  • For the base
  • 100g coconut flour
  • 80g coconut oil, melted
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) honey or maple syrup
  • For the caramel
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 40g coconut oil , melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g almond butter (or cashew butter)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 4-6 tablespoons of hot water
  • To finish:
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate

Method:

  1. Line a small tray (4x8inch approx) or lunch box with parchment paper.
  2. Start by making the base, measure the coconut flour, melted coconut oil and maple syrup into a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
  3. Spoon into the tray and push down to flatten. Tip use an extra piece of parchment paper the size of the tray put it on top of the base and push to flatten with the palm of your hand. Chill the base for 5 minutes.
  4. For the caramel add all the ingredients to a small blender, pulse to blend and add the hot water as needed- you might not need it all. Blend until smooth, the consistency should be thick and not too loose.
  5. Spoon the caramel onto the base and smooth with the back of a spoon until its nice and even. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  6. After this time cut into bars and place on a wire rack or plate.
  7. Melt the chocolate gently in a pot or in the microwave.
  8. Spoon the melted chocolate over top of the bars and chill for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Baked Oats

We love oats in every way, when you eat them they release energy slowly over the next few hours and make for a great start to the day! However, porridge everyday can get a bit boring so we’ve added a few good ingredients to make this indulgent baked oats dish. Of course you probably won’t have chocolate oats everyday so give this a go at the weekend or to celebrate a special day! Serve as it is or with yoghurt and banana or ice cream and berries.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 200g oats
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 40g mixed seeds or nuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 300g milk of your choice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter, and extra to blob on top
  • 50g chopped dark chocolate- optional

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven 180c.
  2. Have a deep baking tray or pie dish ready to go.
  3. Add the oats, seeds, cocoa powder and baking powder to a mixing bowl and stir well.
  4. Measure the milk into a jug, crack in the egg, add the mashed banana, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk well with a fork.
  5. Pour the milk mix into the mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Pour the mix into the baking tray.
  7. Blob on 4-6 teaspoons of the peanut butter, and sprinkle over the chopped chocolate.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool for 5 minutes then serve. It goes really well with yoghurt and fresh raspberries.

Saag Aloo Gobi

Saag aloo gobi = greens potatoes cauliflower. It’s a classic Indian side dish, a drier curry, delicately spiced and absolutely delicious! We find it easier to mostly make it in the oven and then quickly finish it off on the hob with the spinach/kale and lemon juice. It is honestly gorgeous, we make it so often to go with our weekly bowl of dal or chickpea masala. Or to make it a meal in it’s own right, add a drained tin of chickpeas or some chopped extra firm tofu to the pan for some protein. Don’t stress if you don’t have the brown mustard seeds or cumin seeds, just leave them out. Top with sliced chilli for an extra kick. I hope you really enjoy it.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • around 6 medium potatoes, cut into bites
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 200g chopped kale/spinach

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C and find a large oven and hob safe dish (or you can just use a deep oven dish). Tumble in the chopped onion, cauliflower and potatoes then drizzle with the oil.
  2. Add the whole spices, curry powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper then mix well with your hands to evenly coat each bite with the seasoning.
  3. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Check and stir the dish every 10 minutes to ensure an even bake.
  4. Now place the pan on a hot hob and stir through the lemon juice and kale/spinach. Cook until the greens are wilted. Alternatively, if you are using a baking dish that is not safe on the hob, wilt the greens separately then stir through with the lemon juice.
  5. Serve hot with rice and dal or chickpea masala. Enjoy!

Celebration Pancakes with Toffee Apple & Coconut Granola

Pancakes are the best any time of year but make them extra special for new years day brunch! Make them large with sticky toffee apples, coconut granola and add your favourite ice cream plus a few sparklers if you wish!

Happy New Year to you, may 2023 be a healthy and happy one.

Lou x

Ingredients

  • For the toffee apples
  • 3 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • For the coconut granola
  • 100g oats
  • 100g desiccated coconut 
  • 50g butter
  • 50g honey
  • For the pancakes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter – melted 
  • 250g self raising flour 
  • 1 flat teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 280ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
  • 1 egg – at room temperature 
  • 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • oil to fry 
  • vanilla ice cream to serve

Method

For the toffee apples.

  1. Warm a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the knob of butter, and warm through to melt. Tip in the diced apples and cook to soften for a couple of minutes. Add the cinnamon and maple syrup. Cook for a further few minutes until you get a toffee consistency, then pour into a bowl.

For the coconut granola

  1. Preheat the oven to 170c.
  2. Add the coconut, oats, honey and melted butter to a bowl, mix well. Transfer to a lined baking tray.
  3. Toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until nice and golden. Keep a close eye so it does not burn. When its cooled pour into a serving bowl.

For the pancakes

  1. Add the flour, sugar, bicarb of soda to a mixing bowl, give it a good stir.
  2. Measure the milk into a jug, crack in the egg, add the vinegar and vanilla and whisk well. Pour into the mixing bowl withe the flour and mix the batter with a fork.
  3. Add the melted butter and gently fold in.
  4. Warm a frying pan on a medium heat, add a drizzle of oil.
  5. To make big pancakes add 4 tablespoons of batter to the pan. Cook until you see bubbles, then flip. Repeat with all the batter.
  6. To serve, stack the pancakes on a plate, add the toffee apples, a few scoops of ice cream, top with coconut granola and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Parsnip and Mushroom Wellington

Every feast needs a centre piece and this bronzed pastry parcel looks the part on a festive table. Stuffed with delicious veggies, nuts and cheese its a real crowd pleaser.

The best part is that this can be made ahead of time, make and wrap the filling and keep it in the fridge until the day of the dinner, then add its pastry coat and bake. Serve with your favourite potatoes, side veg and a delicious gravy.

I hope you enjoy this one.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients- serves 6

  • 500g parsnip, washed and diced
  • 200g mushrooms, diced small
  • 2 onion, finely dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x tin of cooked puy lentils, drained 260g approx
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or sage chopped
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 100g cheddar cheese – diced – we love Mossfield
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ready rolled puff pastry, 380g
  • 1 egg and splash of milk whisked for egg wash 

Method

  1. Cook the parsnips, it’s best to steam them, but boiling or roasting will work too. When they’ve cooked, set them aside too cool. 
  2. Cook the onions and garlic together on a low heat, until completely soft and translucent. Add a small pinch of salt and pepper and add the chopped rosemary and thyme. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Warm a frying pan on a medium heat, add a drizzle of oil and cook the mushrooms on low for 10 minutes, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper half way through. 
  4. To a mixing bowl add the cooked parsnip, cooked onions and garlic, cooked mushrooms, chopped walnuts, drained lentils, cheddar cheese and salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Gently mix to combine, taste the mix, add more salt or pepper if needed.
  6. Lay two pieces of clingfilm on a worktop, slightly overlapping on the horizontal. 
  7. Make a mound like a sausage shape with the mix in the middle of the clingfilm. Fold the clingfilm over and wrap it tightly so there are no pockets of air. 
  8. Place in the fridge or freezer for at least 2 hours to set. Leave in the fridge overnight if you can.
  9. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  10. Take the puff pastry from the fridge 30 minutes before using, so it’s not too cold to work with. 
  11. Measure the wrapped mix against the pastry rectangle if it’s a bit short use a rolling pin to make it wider. 
  12. Egg wash around the edge of the pastry.
  13. Carefully take the clingfilm off the mix and wrap it neatly in the pastry. Seal the seam using a fork, keep the seal underneath the wellington. 
  14. Using a knife make diamond criss cross shapes on the top of the pastry. Brush all over with egg wash. 
  15. Bake for 50 mins to 1 hour in the oven, until bronzed and golden all over. Cut into nice large slices and serve with your favourite veg and sides.

Spiced Butter (Air Fryer) Hasselback Squash

Cooking methods have evolved over the years. Traditional methods of steaming, boiling and roasting will remain but air frying is a new enough method and a great addition. I decided to hop on the air frying wagon a couple of months ago and have not regretted it one bit.

Air fryers are very economical to run and so efficient! And whats more they are great for cooking vegetables in a speedy tasty manor.

Butternut squash is a great winter veg, I spied the hasselback version and was dying to try it out. Basted in a spiced butter it is a delicious side dish. If you don’t own an air fryer you can make the same dish in a casserole or roasting dish in the oven, it will take about an hour at 180C.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients

Method:

  1. Cut the top off the butternut squash.
  2. Carefully cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
  3. You’ll need 2 chop sticks to make incisions in the squash. Take one half of the squash and place a chop stick on either side. Hold the sticks in place along with the squash with one hand and chop multiple thin slices with a sharp knife down as far as the sticks with the other hand. they should be about 4mm thick. Repeat with the other half of the squash.
  4. Melt the butter in a pot or microwave and add in the paprika, cumin, chilli, salt and pepper, give it a stir.
  5. Remove the grill place and pour the spiced butter into the air fryer basket
  6. Place both of the pieces of squash in the basket, flat side down in the spiced butter.
  7. Air fry for 25 minutes, basting with the butter half way through.
  8. Check the squash is fully cooked by piercing with the tip of a sharp knife.
  9. When its fully cooked remove carefully from the basket, baste again with the spiced butter and serve.

Cauliflower Schnitzel Tray Bake

There is nothing more satisfying and healthy than a big plate of local, seasonal vegetables. This dish is so simple to put together, and it’s faff-free, all being baked on one tray. So perfect for a mid-week meal. The crunchy, breaded cauliflower brings delicious texture to the plate (we recommend doing the same technique with butternut squash slices too) and the creamy garlic and herb dip makes every mouthful delectable! Hope you enjoy it!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the cauliflower schnitzel:

  • 2 large slices from the middle of a cauliflower (pop the rest of the cauliflower back in the fridge to use in another recipe)
  • around 8 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • around 8 tbsp bread crumbs

Vegetables for the tray:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 10 brussels sprouts
  • olive oil, salt & pepper to taste

For the garlic & herb dip:

  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a large handful of chopped herbs eg chives, parsley, sage, rosemary
  • salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Turn your oven on to 200C and get your steamer set up. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Cut your cauliflower into two thick steaks and pop them into the steamer for 8 minutes or until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile prepare two wide bowls, one with the natural yoghurt and one with the breadcumbs. Season the yoghurt with salt and pepper and mix well. When your cauliflower steaks are tender, drench them first in the yoghurt, then in the breadcrumbs, turning over a few times until nicely coated. Place the breaded cauliflower steaks on the baking tray.
  3. Cut your potatoes, parsnips and carrots and arrange on the tray alongside the cauliflower schnitzels. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then place in the oven to bake for around 30 minutes. You can carefully turn everything after 15 minutes to ensure an even bake.
  4. Prepare the brussels sprouts by cutting off the base and slicing them in half. Toss in a small bowl with a little oil and seasoning, these can be added to the tray for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  5. Prepare the garlic and herb dipping sauce. In a strong, small blender, blend the cashews, water, garlic & vinegar until completely smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir into a bowl with the chopped herbs.
  6. When the schnitzels and vegetables are cooked through and golden brown, divide between two plates and add a generous side of the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Festive Spiced Muffins

We just love a seasonal muffin…they are so versatile and portable. This is a good alternative to the sugar laden shop bought ones, and a big hit with my young kids. They’re almost soufflé like, light and fluffy muffins with warming winter spices! Absolutely delicious with a hot chocolate in front of a cosy fire.

We’re all used to festive flavoured cookies but these muffins are nice for a change. Bake them up over the festive season to enjoy for breakfast or as a snack in the lunch box.

They can be made with most nut or seed butters. I used light tahini (thats blended sesame seeds) and they were light and delicious. I was going to blend up some oats to use as the flour but decided to use Ready Brek instead and it worked, so I’ve kept it in the recipe.

Try them soon,

Lou 🙂

Ingredients – makes 12 (GF)

  • 200g sweet potato– peeled and diced
  • 1 large apple- peeled and diced
  • 100g nut or seed butter chose one of the following- almond, cashew, tahini, pumpkin
  • 100g butter softened – dairy or non dairy
  • 80g maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 30g buckwheat flour/ oat flour or Ready Break (I used Ready Brek) or regular plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • small pinch of salt
  • To garnish:
  • Apple slices and fresh rosemary sprigs to decorate optional

Method:

  1. Begin by peeling and dicing the sweet potato and apple.
  2. Steam them in a pot until cooked, it will take about 15 minutes.
  3. When they are cooked through take off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven 180c. Prepare your muffin tin, line with paper cases if needed.
  5. Add the cooked sweet potato and apple to a blender along with all of the other ingredients. Blend to form a smooth batter.
  6. Pour into the muffin mounds.
  7. Top with a piece of apple. You can slice it or cut out a shape like I did with the star. Add some sprigs of rosemary if you wish.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer when inserted comes out clean.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
  10. Enjoy with a hot chocolate.