Smokey Paprika Hasselback Potatoes with Kale & Coriander Pesto

hasselback blog  copy

 

Potatoes: More than a bit on the side! 

Can’t decide if you’ll have crispy roast potatoes or fluffy baked potatoes? Make these Smokey Paprika Hasselbacks! This dish has basically got it all. The kale and coriander pesto will give you your daily greens boost and a burst of citrus from the lime. The potatoes are salt, gluten and fat free and I’ve kept the skins on so they still have all of those fantastic nutrients. Potatoes are a great source of potassium and fibre, as well as being low in sugar. I’ve added Greek yogurt for a bit of protein and the avocado for lots of good fats making this the perfect complete meal.

The beauty of the hasselback potato is that it cooks super quick with all of those cut layers so dinner is on the table in no time. You can make so many different variations of this dish. I’ve used smokey paprika here but you can use regular olive oil or different spices like garam masala or cumin. You could also stuff things between those slices like grated cheese or chorizo then return them to the oven for a further few minutes to melt. They’re extremely versatile so be as adventurous as you like with the flavouring! My kids love these ‘hedgehog’ potatoes and peel off each crispy slice one by one. They’re fun to make and fun to eat! I place the potatoes on a wooden spoon to slice them, ensuring that I don’t cut all the way through. It really speeds up the process.

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This dinner is perfect mid week when everyone is hungry, I’m short on time and I need to make something that I know everyone will enjoy.

For more information and inspiration on how the humble spud can be be more than a bit on the side in your kitchen just go to www.potato.ie

Lilly x

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Smokey Paprika Hasselback Potatoes with Kale & Coriander Pesto

10 mins prep time, 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

8 medium potatoes (Kerr’s Pink, Maris Piper or Rooster)

2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

1 tbsp olive oil

Sea Salt

2 avocados

2 limes

25g coriander, stems removed

1 large handful of curly kale, stems removed

100ml olive oil

1 clove garlic

180ml Greek yoghurt

To serve, lime wedges, coriander leaves, 1/2 small red onion, finely diced

Preheat the oven to 200C. First prepare the potatoes. Scrub each one if necessary then dry. Place on a wooden spoon and carefully cut slits down with a sharp knife as if slicing the potato but stop before you cut it fully (see photo above). The wooden spoon will help as a guide, preventing you from cutting through. Repeat with each potato. Mix the paprika and olive oil in a small bowl with a generous pinch of salt. Brush the potatoes with the paprika oil and place on a tray in the oven for 20 mins. Remove and brush with the remainder of the paprika oil then roast for a further ten minutes till crisp and cooked through.

While the potatoes are cooking make the pesto. Tear the kale into pieces and place in a blender or food processor with the coriander leaves, garlic and a pinch of sea salt. Blend to break them down and then add the oil and the juice of 1/2 lime. Blend till fully smooth. I use a nutribullet for this but any strong blender or processor will work.

Slice the avocados and divide amongst four plates, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a generous spoon of the kale pesto. Scatter with diced red onion and a few more coriander leaves. Place two potatoes on each plate and enjoy right away!

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Peanut Butter & Sesame Cookies (Gluten free & Refined Sugar Free )

My original peanut butter & sesame cookies

My original peanut butter & sesame cookies

One of my favourite recipes from my first book Make Bake Love is for Peanut Butter Sesame cookies. A salty sweet dough rolled in sesame seeds then baked till golden and cracking around the edges. I’ve baked literally hundreds of them at this stage and I would still say they’re my desert island biscuit. Loads of people make them and tell me they love them which is really great. The only problem is… there’s quite a bit of sugar in them. Two different types of sugar. So I can’t really justify eating a huge stack of them with a glass of cold milk. I can’t admit to it anyway. 

But then recently I spotted a recipe for three ingredient peanut butter cookies doing the rounds online. Just egg, caster sugar and nut butter. I have used coconut sugar in place of the demerera before but kept the caster sugar in there too. Coconut sugar is low on the glycaemic index but it’s high in fructose so will still put stress on your liver. I’m afraid sugar is sugar no matter what. Armed with that information it’s up to us to make the right choices so I’d go for the coconut sugar over the super refined white stuff as it has minerals, vitamins and inulin. Another benefit is that coconut sugar has a really nice butterscotch, almost caramel flavour that really adds to baking.

So after a bit of experimenting I give you the new and improved Peanut Butter Sesame cookie recipe! Now with no gluten, grains or refined sugars. Just pure melt in the mouth deliciousness. Hurray!

Lilly x

The new recipe peanut butter cookies. Just as delicious as the original.

The new recipe peanut butter cookies. Just as delicious as the original.

Peanut Butter Sesame Cookies

Makes 16-20

250g smooth peanut butter

1 egg

100g coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla paste

Sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 180C. Mix the peanut butter, egg, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and well combined. Roll teaspoons of the mix into little balls. Place the sesame seeds in a bowl and roll each ball in the seeds. Place on a tray loned with baking paper. Flatten the top of each cookie with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the sesame coating is cracking and the coookies are nicely browned. Leave to cool on the tray for a minute before transferring to a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin.

 

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Easy Fennel and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe

Ottolenghi's Quick Pickled Lemons are perfect if you want your pickles sooner rather than later

Ottolenghi’s Quick Pickled Lemons are perfect if you want your pickles sooner rather than later

One of my sisters has had the fermenting bug for a few years now and whips up batches of kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha like a pro. She always tells me how easy it is and I always nod enthusiastically then distract her while I stow away another bottle of her amazing kombucha in my bag. It just seems to take way too long, I’m into instant gratification. I want to make it and eat it right away. Three weeks waiting for something to ferment is just torture, but worth it! I usually make Ottolenghi’s quick pickled lemons to keep me going while I have a jar of preserved lemons stowed away at the back of the cupboard. They’re so gorgeous. Last year my sister finally gave me her recipe for sauerkraut so I’ve started to make my own and guess what? It’s super easy! I’ve been making lots recently and love it for so many reasons:

1. It’s so unbelievably cheap to make. An organic cabbage is all it takes.

2. It’s incredibly healthy. A jar of sauerkraut is packed full of all that gut loving healthy bacteria they call lactobacillus bacteria. It keeps the immune system strong and aids digestion.

3. It’s very easy, even enjoyable to make and you’ll feel like a mad Scientist on the brink of discovering something. Something delicious (see reason no.4)

4. It’s delicious. It seems to go with everything. I have it in sandwiches, wraps, as part of a salad bowl, with roast vegetables and hummus, with fish, alongside a roast chicken. It’s amazing. There are so many different versions you can make too by adding extras like spices or other vegetables.

5. This recipe makes a huge amount that will last about 2 months in the fridge.

raw wrap

Raw carrot wrap loaded with preserved lemon hummus, vegetables, sauerkraut and leaves. A really quick and tasty dinner that’s super healthy too!

My best advice is buy some real live sauerkraut and then you’ll know what it should taste like. There are lots of pasteurized cheap versions in supermarkets but you want the live raw one kept in the fridge. The Cultured Food Company, based in Ballydehob make amazing sauerkraut and kimchi. Buy some of theirs and taste it. The Juniper version is particularly good. I have a jar of that in the fridge at the moment and I love it. There’s a really good video here with the brilliant Laura Miller on how to make your own if you want to see the process.

Here’s my Fennel and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut recipe. I hope you make it and love it too!

Lilly x

Fennel and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

Makes 2 large jars

2 heads red cabbage

2 1/2 tbsp sea salt

2 tbsp fennel seeds

2 large kilner jars

1 small piece of muslin or cotton

First clean everything you’ll be using really really well. You don’t want to introduce any extra bacteria so scrub your hands, chopping board, jar etc. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and finely shred the cabbage. Either use a mandolin or a sharp knife. Place the cabbage in a large clay or china bowl. Pour over the sea salt and massage it all really well into the cabbage. This will break down the fibres of the cabbage leaves and make it release it’s natural liquids. Add the fennel seeds and mix well. Leave for an hour and you’ll be amazed how much liquid will come out. Pack the cabbage mixture as tightly as possible into the jar. Pack it down with your fist. Pour the cabbage juice over the top. It’s important that the cabbage is completely covered by liquid so really press it down. I then add a weight. I scrubbed a small jam jar till spotlessly clean and filled with baking beans then press this down on top of the cabbage, cover the top of the jar with the muslin cloth and tie with string or an elastic band. Place somewhere cool and dark for 10-20 days. Check your sauerkraut every few days and feel free to taste it. Once it tastes fermented enough to your liking then place it in the fridge. There may be some harmless scum or bubbles on top so just remove that before you place it in the fridge. You definitely don’t want to see any mould so remove it immediately and discard any pieces if cabbage that have been contaminated. The sauerkraut will keep in the fridge for 1-2 months.

Red cabbage and coriander seed sauerkraut

Red cabbage and coriander seed sauerkraut

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Mango, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Curry

mango , sweet potato and cauliflower curry

Cook away those January blues with this sunny, warming and incredibly delicious curry!  Mango curry is a popular vegan dish and this one is almost like a savoury smoothie packed full or turmeric, ginger and garlic as well as creamy coconut milk and mango. I’m a little obsessed with my nutribullet and I use it for everything but of course you can grate the ginger or use a food processor or regular stick blender.  You can add whatever you want to the basic curry, I’ve used sweet potato and cauliflower but chickpeas, broccoli or squash also taste great. Or you can use chicken or prawns. I use a really great recipe for Garam Masala from Madhur Jaffrey. It’s incredibly fresh and you can dictate just how much of each spice you want to add. My secret ingredient to garnish a curry is a generous scattering of nigella seeds also known as kalonji seeds. They add crunch and a gorgeous distinctive taste. Let me know if you make it!

Lilly x

Mango, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Curry

Serves 4

1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger

1/2 thumb sized piece of fresh turmeric

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 perfectly ripe mango, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tbsp garam masala

1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1/2 cauliflower, broken into florets

1 tin full fat coconut milk

20g coriander

2 tbsp nigella seeds

 

Place the ginger, garlic, turmeric and onion into a food processor or nutribullet. Blitz till almost like a puree. You can also grate everything really finely.

Place 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy based pan. Add the onion puree. Cook for a few minutes then add the garam masala and cook for another minute or so. Puree the mango and add to the onion mix. Remove a few tbsp of the thick coconut cream from the top of the tin and set aside. Add the remaining contents of the can to the pot along with the sweet potato and cauliflower and place the lid on. Simmer the curry till the vegetables are just cooked, ten to fifteen minutes. You may need to add a little water, just make sure the sauce isn’t sticking. Ladle the curry over hot rice or quinoa.  Top with a dollop of the reserved coconut cream, scatter with finely chopped coriander and the nigella seeds. Enjoy!

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Festive Spiced panforte and tutorial videos for Christmas cooking

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So The Great Irish Bake Off 2015 is over! Thanks a million to all of the fantastic competitors for taking part. Paul Kelly and Anna Nolan are just fantastic and of course all the behind the scenes production crew that worked tirelessly to make it a success. We have a fantastic winner in Cathy McKenna and so well deserved. She’s so naturally talented and was consistent in her baking throughout. That olive oil cake she made for International week was unreal, my favourite bake of the whole series.  Myself and Cathy will be on the Ray Darcy show on RTE1 this afternoon chatting about all things Bake Off. The Christmas Special will be on next sunday night too with lots of tips and recipes from myself and Paul for festive baking as well as some great chat with food and drinks experts.

I’ll be bringing my Spiced Panforte, a cake I always make this time of year that’s perfect for giving! Wrapped in greaseproof paper and tied with string, it’s a traditional Italian cake packed full of spice, nuts and dried fruits. It’s a lovely alternative to the traditional Christmas cake. It usually has pepper in it but I’ve stuck to festive mixed spice and cinnamon for the recipe below. You can also add candied peel, candied ginger or a little chili powder for heat.  I’m planning on making this even more festive this year by using pistachios and goji berries for a pretty green and red flecked interior.

All this week I have videos of really great Christmas recipes that are quick and easy to make on The Irish Times website. They’re all in keeping with my regular friday Give Me Five column, needing five or less ingredients. First up is Balsamic Roast Sprouts with grapes and pecan nuts. It tastes amaaaazing and I’ll definitely have it on the menu this Christmas day!

Lilly x

panforte mix

Spiced Panforte

INGREDIENTS

150g (5½oz) shelled pistachios (or use mixed nuts)
150g (5½oz) blanched almonds
175g (6oz) dried figs, quartered
100g (3½oz) dates, chopped
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½tsp mixed spice
2tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
50g (1oz) plain flour
25g (1oz) butter
150g (5½oz) runny honey (or maple syrup, agave etc.)
150g (5½oz) soft brown sugar
icing sugar, to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8in) sandwich tin with baking parchment.

Place the pistachios, almonds, figs and dates in a heatproof bowl. Sift over the cinnamon, mixed spice, cocoa and flour and stir to combine.

Put the butter, honey and brown sugar in a pan, over a medium heat, and stir until the mixture has melted together and just comes to the boil.

Pour on top of the dry ingredients, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Transfer to the sandwich tin and press down with the back of the spoon, making the surface level.

Place in the oven for 45 minutes, until it is bubbling slightly. Remove from the oven and leave until completely cool, before removing from the tin, and dusting with icing sugar.

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The Great Irish Bake Off 2015 is about to begin!

Tv3 Great Irish Bake Off 8

 

Eeeeeek! Sunday evenings will never be the same again! Well for the next few weeks anyway as The Great Irish Bake Off 2015 will be on! I had a great time being judge with Paul Kelly and I really can’t wait to see it all put together on screen. Anna Nolan is so fantastic as presenter and we all had such great fun, ate such gorgeous cake and met such talented bakers. Every Sunday I’ll be baking something lovely to enjoy while we watch the Bake Off so join in and bake something lovely to share too! I’ll post my bake off treats on twitter and instagram and share the recipes here on the blog. The Bake Off starts this Sunday evening at 9pm on TV3.

Lilly x

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Plenty Five Ingredient Recipes all in one place!

give me five

If you like the sound of pickled peaches, roasted grapes, polenta chips and whipped goats cheese then head on over to The Irish Times website where there are links to all my Give Me Five recipes. For over a year now I’ve been writing simple supper solutions each week that use only five ingredients. It’s a lovely way to cook and a really hassle free way to shop too as so few ingredients are needed for each dish. The articles are packed full of plenty ways to enhance or change up the recipes so enjoy! Here’s the link.

Lilly x

 

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Carrot Cake Pancakes with Spiced Apple Butter Yogurt

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Spiced Apple Butter Yogurt

Carrot Cake Pancakes with Spiced Apple Butter Yogurt

My interests and career path have always been driven by one thing: my love of food. I want to eat something so I research it, I get the ingredients and I cook it. The whole reason I went to Ballymaloe Cookery School was so that I could learn more about food, I always want to learn as much as I can about the food we cook and eat. It’s such a life skill to be able to cook, to dream up something delicious then make it happen. I’d imagine it’s the same for computer programmers or engineers. They have a dream and then they make it a reality and share it with the universe! Well my dream this weekend was Carrot Cake pancakes. They won’t change the world in any major way but my goodness they make an amazing breakfast…

I’ve used a mixture of flours here. Both Rye and Spelt. I love spelt as it makes a really lovely light pancake. I used the Doves Farm brand of both. Last year I made huge batches of apple butter and add them to everything, It’s a really lovely preserve to have in the cupboard for dolloping onto porridge or for adding sweetness to cakes etc. My recipe for apple butter is here. I would imagine that these would be amazing served with honey laced cream cheese or a few toasted chopped walnuts thrown into the batter.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Lilly x

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Makes 10 small pancakes

  • 100g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 50g wholemeal Rye flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large carrot, roughly grated
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp apple butter or sweetener of choice
  • 2 tbsp raisins or 1 large medjool date, cubed
  • 150ml milk
  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 1 large egg

Place the flours and baking powder into a large mixing bowl with the cinnamon. Stir with a whisk to combine and introduce a little air. Add the roughly grated carrot and raisins, coat well in the flour.

In a separate jug measure out the milk then add the apple butter, yogurt and egg. Whisk till well combined. Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Pour the wet ingredients in and gently whisk so there are no lumps of flour and it is an even batter.

Heat a tsp butter in a non stick pan over a medium heat, dollop heaped tbsp of the batter onto the pan and cook in batches. Once bubbles begin to form on one side they are ready to flip over.

Serve hot with honey or Greek yogurt rippled with spiced apple butter.

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Paleo Carrot Cake Recipe from NutShed

The amazing array of healthy treats available at NutShed

The amazing array of healthy treats available at NutShed

I don’t usually do guest posts but recently Evie from NutShed in Limerick’s Milk Market adapted my carrot cake recipe from Make Bake Love to make it super healthy and paleo friendy. Woohoo! She’s kindly shared her recipe below and I think it’s amazing. Follow Evie on Instagram and Twitter @NutShed_ for more beautiful inspiring recipes and pop into her gorgeous stall in The Milk Market!

Lilly x

A selection of the raw energy balls made by NutShed

A selection of the raw energy balls made by NutShed

 

My world has been all things NutShed for 1 1/2 years now and what a journey it has been!

I never once expected to find myself baking until 2am and trading from 6am at Limerick’s prestigious Milk Market, but every Saturday there I am, and loving every minute I get to engage with my wonderful customers.

I humbly began importing seriously high quality nuts, seeds and super foods and selling them to Country Choice, my dad’s food shop, where I was working at the time.

I started to see an immediate demand from our customers for really high quality wholefoods, so immediately I took to the books and immersed my self in as much knowledge as I could accumulate.

I spent weeks trawling online, reading case studies and articles, buying books and reading blogs and I was just overcome by my findings! I was hooked. The undeniable studies I encountered opened my eyes to the immense wellbeing and curable properties of some of these amazing wholefoods I had been importing. I have always been a serious eater and have dedicated my life to ensuring that food and health are so so deeply connected. I have a great respect for food and farming and all of this new learning just fuelled the existing spark in me to search further.

I decided to take my passion and products straight to the customers of the Limerick’s Milk Market and alas….NutShed was born!

I could see immediately how my customers loved chatting to me and learning  about the properties behind the product they had been eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. My customers could see the quality of my products over more conventional and more expensive ones that may be found in super markets and this always sparked conversation.

When chatting to my customers I was always made aware of their busy lifestyles and the struggles they encountered when trying to stay healthy on the go during the day. This made me think…. Maybe I could start using my recipes that I had accumulated over time (I have been baking since I was 8) and adapting them to the dietary needs of my busy customers. I began with vegan deserts, paleo cakes, raw energy balls & superfood porridge pots and I just couldn’t stock enough. It gave me great joy creating things in my kitchen each week to be met with smiles and warm words from my lovely customers, who were coming back each week to see what decadent treats I had taken on and made virtuous and wholesome.

My latest adaptation is of a much loved Carrot Cake recipe from Make Bake Love that I have been using for years. Made on an almond base with a rich cashew cheese icing, this tastes equally as decadent as the original and went down a treat with my customers this weekend.

If you’re not at the Milk Market, follow my makings on Instagram or Twitter @NutShed_

Evie

Paleo Carrot Cake from The NutShed

Paleo Carrot Cake from The NutShed

Paleo Carrot Cake from The NutShed 

170g Organic Agave Syrup

10g Deglet Dates, chopped

215ml Coconut Oil

3 Organic Eggs

1/2tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

300g Ground Almonds

2tsp Ground Ginger

1tsp Ground Cinnamon

3tsp Baking Powder

1/2tsp Bread Soda

300g Organic Carrots, grated

250g Organic Pineapple, chopped

50g Walnuts, chopped

Cashew Cheese Frosting

300g Raw Cashew Nuts, soaked for 4-8 hours

Juice of 2 Organic Lemons

4tbsp Coconut Oil

4tbsp Organic Agave Syrup

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 170c and grease 2x20cm sandwich tins with coconut oil & line base with parchment.
  • Beat the agave, coconut oil, eggs & vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients & fold into the egg mixture.
  • Fold in the chopped pineapple, walnuts and grated carrot.
  • Pour the batter into the two tins and bake for 40mins.
  • To make the icing: Put the soaked cashew nuts, coconut oil, agave & lemon juice into the food processor and turn on high. Add as much water as necessary, little by little, to get the desired consistency, but be patient as the process takes a few minutes.

To assemble:Place one cake on a serving plate and spread half the icing over the top. Top with the second cake as much icing as desired. Decorate with chopped pistachio & enjoy.

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Raw Chia Mandarin and Passionfruit Marmalade

Raw chia Marmalade on  a coconut chia pudding, breakfast of champions!

Raw chia Marmalade on a coconut chia pudding, breakfast of champions!

I’m a major fan of chia. I really am. I can’t think of a good reason not to eat it. I started using it years ago when I read how the Aztecs valued it’s incredible health giving properties. It’s basically a great source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, fibre, calcium, protein and loads of minerals. There are many other reasons, like how full it keeps me till lunchtime! But mostly I love it because it’s revolutionised breakfast time in my house. Breakfast is always so busy, especially midweek. I’m either making pancakes, porridge or cooking eggs in whatever million ways the boys specify (like the egg Peppa had. Not that way.The way the egg was like a dinosaur. NOT THAT WAY!!!! etc etc.) So I usually ended up with toast and marmalade or ate whatever the smallies were eating. But now I try to have little pots of chia pudding in the fridge and add various toppings like fresh fruit or cacao nibs. I’ve thrown them in my bag for long train journeys and brought them in the car during the winter when I’ve had to leave the house at the crack of dawn. They’re little life savers.

There really are a million variations. I’ve added a tag to my chia dishes on Instagram if you need some chia inspiration! Just look up #mychiadiaries

I love raw raspberry chia jam and use it to top puddings, breakfasts, cakes, yogurt and more. It’s more like a compote, really rich in fruit flavours. I’ve been looking everywhere for  a chia marmalade recipe so finally got experimenting last night and made this divine mandarin version. It really doesn’t need any sweetener and actually needed something to sharpen it up, hence the passionfruit. This tastes like the healthiest Solero icecream you’ll ever have. So fresh and zingy, perfect for a coconutty chia pudding or on toasted buckwheat bread.

Lilly x

Raw Chia Marmalade on Buckwheat toast

Raw Chia Marmalade on Buckwheat toast

Raw Chia Mandarin and Passionfruit Marmalade 

Makes enough to top 6 chia puddings

  • 3 mandarin oranges, peeled & any pips removed
  • 2 passionfruit
  • 1 tbsp whole chia seeds

Place the mandarin segments into a small jug or bowl. Blitz with a hand held blender or in a food processor until it’s roughly mixed and broken down but not a smooth puree.

Half each passionfruit and spoon the pulp into the mandarin mix. Stir with a fork to mix thoroughly. Stir in the chia seeds then cover and leave to set overnight or for at least 6 hours. Keeps in the fridge for a week.

 

 

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