#FlexYourMussels with Moules Marinières

Moules Mariniere

Moules Mariniere

Eating mussels reminds me of being on holidays in France where we sat for hours one summers evening eating a huge pot of Moules Marinières in Bordeaux. There’s something so enticing about lifting the lid and smelling those garlic and white wine aromas wafting from the pot. I’ve been cooking them at home ever since, sometimes steaming them with cider, grilling them with garlic butter or adding them to a seafood stew. Mussels are the ultimate healthy fast food and something I love to cook. Bord Bia now have a whole range of delicious recipes using mussels on their website here and have just launched a great competition that gives you a chance to #flexyourmussels by posting a photo of a mussel dish that you’ve cooked at home and using the hashtag #flexyourmussels to be in with a chance to win one of three €100 One4All vouchers. I’ll select the winners by Monday 4th July so good luck!

I can’t wait to see loads of creative mussels recipes and get even more inspiration! In the mean time here’s the perfect recipe for the traditional Moules Marinières. It couldn’t be simpler and is surprisingly quick to make. Make sure you have plenty of crusty bread to hand for mopping up all of the delicious sauce at the end of the pot!

Moules Marinières

Serves 2 as a starter, one as a main course.

Time: 10 minutes

1kg mussels, prepared

A knob of butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

60mls white wine

Chopped parsley, to serve

Set a large saucepan over a medium heat.  Melt the butter.  Add the chopped shallot and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. They should soften but not brown.  Add the wine and mussels, turn the heat up to high and cover tightly with a lid.  Allow the mussels to cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to ensure they cook evenly. Discard any that have not opened.

Remove the pan from the heat to stop the mussels cooking any further. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, then spoon them into warmed bowls and pour over the pan juices.

Serve with lots of crusty bread.

Nutritional Analysis per serving:
Energy: 424kcal
Protein: 20g
Carbohydrate: 47g
Fat: 15g
Iron: 6.47mg


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Easy Rawnola Recipe (no dehydrator needed!)


Rawnola is basically a mixture of delicious seeds,nuts, dried fruits and anything else you want to add.  It’s like blitzed up muesli. I’ve used oats like a traditional granola, so it’s packed full of slow release energy as well as having all of that goodness from the seeds and nuts. The dates help to hold it all together and give a natural sweetness. I’ve added a little cinnamon which balances out that sweetness and is barely obvious so if you want a more warm cinnamon spice taste just add another teaspoon. I put everything in the food processor and blitz it till it starts to clump together then you can add a little extra coconut flakes for texture.

I only had hemp seeds so milled them down in the Nutribullet. That means the hemp powder is really fresh, much nicer than the ready milled stuff.

This is a great breakfast to have with your choice of milk, yogurt, fresh fruit or you can scatter it over a smoothie bowl. I keep mine in the fridge so its stays extra fresh, it’s so delicious with coconut milk and raspberries! Sprinkle over a teaspoon of cacao nibs and this is serious dessert territory!

Lilly x

Hemp and Coconut Rawnola

Makes 1 big mason jar

1/4 cup ground hemp seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

2 cups dates, pitted

1 cup shredded coconut

1 1/2 cups oats

1 tsp cinnamon

Place everything in a food processor and blitz till the mixture starts to clump together. Leave some texture or fold in some extra shredded coconut once done.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve with yogurt, milk, fruit or as a topping for smoothies.

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Brunch Recipes from my chat with Dave Fanning on 2FM earlier today…

Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Morning! Here are the recipes that I was talking about this morning on 2FM with Dave Fanning. You can listen back here, it’s about 35mins in. Gorgeous brunch recipes that taste amazing and will make you feel great too. Most of them are from my second cookbook, Dream Deli.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Lilly x

Chocolate chip smoothie

Serves 1

This feels like you’re drinking a chocolate ice cream milk shake but really it’s a green smoothie in disguise. Kids love it too. Add a tsp of linseed, chia or sunflower seeds for even more texture and health benefits!

1 banana, sliced & frozen

1 large handful of kale or spinach leaves

400ml water

1-2 tbsp cocoa or raw cacao powder

3 brazil nuts

1 tbsp cacao nibs

Blitz the banana, kale, water and cocoa powder till smooth. I use a nutribullet for this.

Add a few brazil nuts and 1 tbsp cacao nibs and blitz briefly so there are crunchy cacao chips and nut in the smoothie. Serve straight away.

Crepes with Berries

Crepes with Berries

Perfect Crêpes

300g plain flour

1 tsp sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

480ml milk

1 tbsp butter, melted

sunflower oil

Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl, then make a well in the centre.

Whisk the eggs and milk together with 2 1/2 tablespoons water. Slowly pour into the well in the dry ingredients, whisking all the time to ensure a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter. Cover and place in the fridge to rest for 20–30 minutes.

Heat a crêpe pan or non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and coat lightly with sunflower oil. Pour in enough batter to form a thin coat on the base of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, or until the crêpe comes away from the side of the pan. Flip over and cook until golden on the other side.

Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Stack the crêpes on a plate with a little greaseproof paper or icing sugar between each one. Cover with tin foil till ready to serve.

Chocolate Granola

Chocolate Granola

Chocolate Granola

Serves 6

Who doesn’t want a chocolatey breakfast? Kids especially love this granola as it turns the milk chocolatey with much less sugar than store bought cereals.

300g porridge oats

150g desiccated coconut

50g cocoa powder

100ml honey

pinch of sea salt

120g almond flakes, toasted

Preheat the oven to 100°C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Mix the oats and coconut in a large bowl. Sieve over the cocoa and stir. Add the honey and sea salt and mix until it forms a dry crumble.

Spread it out on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 1 hour, or until dry and crumbly. Keep turning so it bakes evenly. Leave to cool before folding in the toasted flaked almonds. Store in an airtight container.

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Serves 2

This is a really nice little breakfast or have it before you tuck into a fry at the weekend. It’s basically overnight oats, you can pack little jam jars of this stuff to bring to work, it’s perfectly portable and will keep you going till lunch.

1 orange

1 grapefruit

1 lime

200g porridge oats

50g raisins

1 large eating apple, grated

50ml yoghurt

2 tbsp honey

Juice the citrus fruit – there should be approximately 300ml juice in total. Place the juice, oats and raisins into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Cover with cling film and leave to soak in the fridge for half an hour, or ideally overnight.

Stir the grated apple, yoghurt and honey through just before serving.

Welsh Rarebit

Serves 4

2 tsp Dijon mustard

60ml stout (I like Eight Degrees Knockmealdown Porter)

60g butter

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, to taste

350g mature farmhouse cheese, grated

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk

4 slices of bread

Mix the mustard and a little stout to make a paste in a small pan. Add the remaining stout, the butter and the Worcestershire sauce. Gently heat until the butter melts. Stir in the cheese to melt, but don’t let the mixture boil. Stir until smooth, then taste for seasoning. Remove from the heat and keep slightly warm while you toast the bread.

Heat the grill and toast the bread on both sides. Beat the eggs and yolk into the cheese sauce. Once smooth, spoon it generously onto the toast and grill until bubbling and golden.

Weekend Waffles

Makes about 10 waffles

300g plain flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

60g Demerara sugar

2 eggs

500ml milk

100g butter, melted, plus extra for cooking

Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl and then stir through the sugar.

Whisk the eggs and milk together in a jug and add the melted butter. Make a hollow in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until just combined and there are no large lumps of flour.

Brush the plates of a preheated electric waffle iron with melted butter. Carefully ladle on the batter, keeping in mind that it will spread to the edges once the iron is closed. Lower the lid and cook until the waffles are fluffy and golden. Keep warm until ready to serve.


Fried bacon and maple syrup

Chantilly cream and fleur de sel caramel sauce

Strawberries and cream

Raspberries and lightly whipped cream that has been muddled with fresh mint leaves

Grilled pineapple slices flambéed in rum and a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Slices of banana and a drizzle of honey

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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


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


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


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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