Recipes from my Agriaware Demo At Coughlan’s Farm in Buttevant

Whipped Pea dip with Quick Dukkah

Whipped Pea dip with Quick Dukkah

Here are my recipes from today’s demo at John and Ann Coughlan’s farm in Buttevant. It was a fantastic day with glorious sunshine and fantastic support from the local community with approx. 1500 people attending. Thanks so much to Agriaware for organizing such a great day and to the Coughlan family for opening the gates to their fantastic farm and welcoming us all!

agriaware demo

Whipped Pea Dip with Quick Dukkah 

Serves 2-6

250g peas, fresh or frozen

10g basil leaves

10g mint leaves

Zest and juice of ½ lemon


For the dukkah:

50g hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed

25g toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp nigella seeds

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp dried mint

To serve: Chili oil, raw vegetables like carrot, radicchio, peppers, radish etc.

If the peas are frozen then pour boiling water over them and leave to defrost for a minute or two. Drain over the sink. Place the peas, basil, mint, lemon zest and juice into a food processor or high speed blender. I use the nutribullet. Blitz till quite smooth but still retaining some texture. Season to taste.

To make the dukkah simply chop the toasted hazelnuts quite finely and place in a jar. Add the sesame  and nigella seeds, salt, pepper, cumin and mint. Place the lid on and shake well to combine.

Drizzle the hummus with a little chili or olive oil, scatter with the dukkah and serve with fresh raw vegetables and crusty bread.

Beef with Sesame and Oyster Sauce

Beef with Sesame and Oyster Sauce

Beef with sesame and spinach

Serves 4

600g minced beef

200g baby spinach leaves

30g coriander

4tbs oyster sauce

2tbs sesame seed oil

Olive oil

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Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan or wok.

Add the minced beef and cook on a high heat until browned and starting to crisp up on the edges.

Add the oyster sauce and the spinach leaves. Cook for another minute or so until the leaves start to wilt.

Remove from the heat and drizzle with sesame seed oil. Season to taste.

Serve with boiled rice or noodles.

rhubarb rice pudding

Chai Rice Pudding with Roast Rhubarb 

500g rhubarb, chopped into 3” pieces

120g sugar

1 orange, thickly sliced

100g toasted flaked almonds or pistachio nuts

75g pudding rice

375ml milk

2 chai tea bags

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp. orange blossom water

Prehat the oven to 180C. Place the rhubarb into an oven proof dish. Pour over the sugar. Place the orange slices on top. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the orange blossom water and leave to cool.

Place the rice, milk, chai tea bags and sugar in a saucepan.

Bring to the boil on the hob. Turn down to simmer slowly for 30 – 40 minutes, only leave the tea bags in the milk for ten minutes before removing.

Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t catch on the bottom.

Spoon the rice pudding into bowls, top with some rhubarb and scatter with toasted almonds. Serve right away.

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Mum Talks and Ballymaloe Well Fest

rainbow crudites for the smalliescathal beet 3

Happy New Year! I hope 2018 has kicked off to a great start for you!

I’m going to be taking part in two up coming events in February. The first is Mum Talks on February 13th. There’s a brilliant lineup with Sian Horn, founder of Elite Pilates and Gina Cassidy, founder of Purcell and Woodcock. Mum Talks are events for women looking to be inspired, learn something new and make new friends.  I’m delighted to be taking part and sharing my story of what I do and how I do it!  Tickets are available here.

Then on Sunday February 25th Ballymaloe Good Living Day is taking place in Ballymaloe, Co.Cork.  It promises to be another vibrant, fun filled & informative day of engaging and inspiring health and wellness events for the whole family. I’ll be doing a cooking demo all about Kids Lunchbox ideas. I’ll be talking about the way my kids refuse to eat sandwiches so I’ve had to think up countless ways to cram goodness into their school lunchbox! I’ll be sharing loads of tips, tricks and ideas. Tickets are available here.

Hope to see you there!

Lilly x

apple basket copy

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Chocolate Beetroot Cake and other recipes from my demo at FEAST!

beetroot cake 3This weekend I’m doing a cookery demo at Feast, the new Food & Drinks Festival in Midleton, Co.Cork. Midleton is very near where I live and has one of the best Farmer’s Markets in the country. There are so many fantastic producers in the area and we’re very lucky to have access to all of their beautiful produce. I seem to constantly buy beetroot there every Saturday, especially this time of year. There are only so many salads you can eat so I’ve made a chocolate cake with some! This cake is sublime. There’s no other word for it. The earthiness of the beets with the rich cacao and fruity olive oil is all balanced with a honey kissed cream cheese frosting. So beautiful! I hope you try it.

I’ll also be making a Feta Bake with the last of the summer’s tomatoes, the recipe is below, this Chocolate Granola and golden beetroot hummus.

Lilly x

beetroot cake 2beetroot cake 1

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Makes 1 loaf

160g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

200g grated raw beetroot

110g plain flour

35g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

100ml light olive oil

For the frosting:

1 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

200g cream cheese, cold

Preheat the oven to 170C. Brush a loaf tin with olive oil and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.

Beat the eggs and sugar together till pale and light. Add the vanilla. Fold in the grated beetroot. Sieve in half the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Mix gently till combined. Add the olive oil and the remaining flour. Mix only till there are no lumps.

Spoon the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes or until the cake starts to come away form the side of the tin and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to rest in the tin for five minutes before cooling on a rack.

To make the frosting just combine the cream cheese with the honey and vanilla. Once the cake is cool spread the icing in a thick layer on top. You can drizzle with a little glace icing tinted with beetroot juice and scatter some cacao nibs or berries over the top too.

This cake tastes best when kept in the fridge.

beetroot cake 4

Tomato & Feta Bake

(Serves 6)

  • 1 red onion, halved & thinly sliced
  • 1kg Tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp Marjoram leaves
  • 80 g Kalamata olives, destoned & chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Chilli flakes
  • Black pepper
  • 500g Feta
  • Crusty bread & a great salad to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C. 

Place the onion, tomatoes, olive oil, half the herbs, chopped olives and garlic in a bowl. Season with black pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes. Be very cautious in seasoning this dish as the feta and olives are already salty Mix gently. Place the feta in the centre of an oven safe serving dish. Arrange the tomato mixture on top and around the feta. Bake in the hot oven for fifteen minutes , scatter the remaining herbs over and serve immediately.


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Braised Lamb Shanks with Orange Flavoured Gremolata

As I mentioned in my previous post I’ve partnered with EU Lamb again this year to promote it as being the modern, convenient, versatile and tasty meat for everyone. The 2017 Lamb campaign runs from July- September so expect to see plenty more tasty, easy and fun lamb recipes online. I chose two recipes from a creative list of many over on

lamb shank4This lamb shank dish is divine and incredibly easy to put together. The slow cooking process does all the work in making this a melt in the mouth midweek winner of a dish. The orange gremolata adds a fresh pop of flavor to the finished dish. The kids particularly loved this one. I served it with herb laden couscous and toasted almond flakes. There was more than enough in this recipe for two adults and three kids. The first time I made this I cooked it as is and it was delicious but the second time I made it I let it simmer for an extra hour and only added the carrots half an hour towards the end. We ate this outside with big bowls of couscous but I imagine it will taste amazing during colder months with mashed sweet potato and a hint of cinnamon! I regularly get asked for slow cooker recipes. The slow cooker is your best friend when it comes to quick and easy dinners. This lamb shank dish is THE perfect recipe for the slow cooker. Just spend a few minutes assembling it the night before or that morning then turn it on low. By the time you come home that evening it will all be perfectly cooked and ready to serve. There’s no reheating involved with a slowcooker, just lift the lid and serve. I just soak some couscous for ten minutes and whip up the gremolata. It’s couldn’t be easier.

I bought my lamb shanks in The English Market here in Cork. The butcher said they are hugely popular on restaurant menus and should be cooked at home more often as they’re so cheap and, in his opinion, the tastiest cut. Having made this a few times now I think he’s right and this is something I’ll make again, especially with the citrus twist.

This is a sponsored post promoting how undeniably delicious lamb is to cook and eat! See #tastyeasylamb on Twitter and Instagram for more recipes or visit

lamb shank2 lamb shank5

Braised Lamb Shanks with Orange Flavoured Gremolata

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients for 4 people:

4 lamb shanks

2 tbsp. olive oil

a knob of butter

salt and pepper

3 carrots, cleaned and sliced into batons

6 shallots, peeled

2 tbsp. plain flour

1 bouquet garni

500 ml stock or water


Handful of flat-leaf parsley 1 clove of garlic


  • Heat the oil in a large hob-proof casserole dish then add a knob of butter. Add the lamb shanks and brown on all sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the meat and add the carrots and shallots to the casserole dish. Allow to brown for a couple of minutes then sprinkle in the flour. Mix this for 1 minute then return the lamb shanks to the dish along with the bouquet garni and the stock or water. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Leave to simmer on a very low heat for at least 11⁄2 hours, turning the shanks occasionally. The meat should be very tender after this time.
  • To make the gremolata: Finely chop the parsley leaves, crush the garlic clove and grate the orange zest, then mix together.

Serve the shanks with vegetables and scatter the gremolata over the top. Tip: You can replace the orange zest with lemon zest.

lamb shank1 lamb shank3

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Roast Lamb with Tapenade and Spring Onions

roast lamb1

roast lamb5

I’m proud to be a lambassador again this year, discovering how tasty, easy and fun lamb is. The campaign shows what a modern, convenient, versatile and tasty meat lamb is. I’m sharing one recipe with you today but there are loads more at to show just how cooking with lamb can be a fun and creative experience.

The first recipe I’ve chosen is the Roast lamb with tapenade and Spring Onions, mainly because I seem to be stuck in a ‘roast leg of lamb on a Sunday’ rut and thought it would be fun to roast a different joint midweek. My butcher, I went to O’Farrells in Midleton, gave me plenty of options for joints that I could roast. There were some with a bone in for more flavour and others with no bone so that slicing it up would be super easy.

I used new season spring onions for this and they were delicious. Along with sun ripened cherry tomatoes this is one easy dinner to rustle up. I served it with some hot buttered orzo one night and made it a few days later and served it with potato wedges. It’s got that special Sunday roast feel to it but with none of the hassle. The salty tapenade is delicious with the lamb, definitely a combination I’ll repeat again.

This is a sponsored post promoting how undeniably delicious lamb is to cook and eat! See #tastyeasylamb on Twitter and Instagram for more recipes or visit

roast lamb2

Roast Lamb with Tapenade and Spring Onions

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes

Ingredients for 4 people:

A small lamb joint (750 to 800 g)

A knob of butter

salt and pepper

120 g black olive tapenade

2 tbsp. breadcrumbs

400 g cherry tomatoes

3 bunches of spring onions or baby leeks

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 sprigs of rosemary

  • Take the lamb out of the fridge 1 hour in advance.
  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F.
  • Melt a little butter in a large frying pan. Then brown the lamb on all sides. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place in a large oven dish and cook for 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Take the dish out of the oven, spread half the tapenade over the joint then sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Surround the joint with the cherry tomatoes and onions/leeks. Mix the olive oil with the rest of the tapenade and spread over the vegetables. Add the sprigs of rosemary and place back in the oven for 20 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, cover the dish with tin foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice the meat and serve with steamed vegetables and roast potatoes 
Tip: You can also use two racks of lamb for this recipe (around 400 g per piece). In that case, the first time they go in the oven they will only need cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.

roast lamb3 roast lamb4


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Edible Flowers and how much I love them!

paleo cake

I’m a big fan of edible flowers. They make everything look more beautiful and give a sense of nature to a dish, celebrating the seasons and adding a touch of Mother Nature’s magic.  I’m so delighted to see so many edible flowers popping up everywhere in the garden. Whilst some flowers are more for decoration than eating there are others that actually add to the flavor too. My favorites are peppery nasturtium petals, little chive blossoms, wild garlic and three cornered leek flowers. For cakes I love all types of primrose, primula and pansy. Apple blossoms are incredibly pretty too. They make even the healthiest breakfast feel like a treat! My borage is finally flowering and destined for eye catching ice cubes to jazz up my gin & tonics.

bumblebee farm flowers

Recently I discovered Bumblebee Flower Farm in West Cork. Their website is beautiful and I love spotting their gorgeous creations on my Instagram and Twitter feed. Instagram is just the perfect place to find a small family run business like this with such a passion for what they do. Recently I’ve spotted them making amazing floral headpieces too, if you’re looking for a wedding florist look no further! They have the most amazing edible flower selection, they sent me a few boxes a few months ago and I had great fun putting them on absolutely everything!! I put some pansies on the rhubarb frangipan I made on The Today Show on RTE. The allium flowers went on a roast vegetable dish, the camelias went on my favorite Paleo chocolate cake, the recipe is from Elanas Pantry. I fill and frost it with an avocado chocolate mousse from my second book, Dream Deli. I made a raspberry and rosewater chia jam for it too. Incredible.


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I bought loads of edible flower seeds from Sarah Ravens website and they’re doing great or Irish Seed Savers have some lovely edible ones like Sweet William and Marigold too.

Here’s a list of edible flowers and there are photos too so you can easily identify them.

There are so many fun and creative ways to use edible flowers, my favorite has to be using them to decorate cakes instead of using sugary fondant or multicolored sprinkles. There’s nothing prettier than a few locally grown blossoms. Get in touch on Instagram or Twitter and let me know how you use edible flowers! And if you’re a business owner who’s looking for professional secretarial services, then you may want to visit a site like for your best preferences!

Lilly x

PS. This post isn’t sponsored or anything, it’s just a few links to people and things that I love!

roast veg allium flowers

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St. Patrick’s Day Multicoloured Bagels ( recipe & tutorial )

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial

Making your own bagels is great fun but making your own multicoloured bagels is just mind blowing! What better time to dye that dough than this week in honour of St.Patrick.  Get kneading and your family and friends could be lucky enough to share in the delicious results.  These tricolour beauties are not just pretty they’re chewy and crusty, with a soft yeasty interior. You’ll never look back. Paired with some cold dill cream cheese and organic Irish Smoked Salmon these make a suitably festive brunch come St.Patricks day. Perfect fuel for all the family before the big parade. I’m not one for going overboard on food colouring but had to make an exception for these! This recipe ( from my first book Make Bake Love ) makes a huge amount of bagels but they do freeze well, just don’t forget to slice them in half. These would make a really nice gift over the weekend for friends and family too. Enjoy!
Lilly x

1 mixer

St. Patrick’s Day Bagels

Makes about 21

Make the dough recipe below x 3

For 1 batch of dough you’ll need:

300ml warm water

½ tsp salt

1 sachet (7g) fast action yeast

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

580g (1lb 4oz) strong bread flour

Food colouring in orange or green (I had no orange so mixed red & yellow)

Mix the water, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. You can add the food colouring now too. Add a little at first and see what results you get. You can always add more to the dough as you knead it.

Add the flour and oil. Mix until a dough forms. Add more food colouring as necessary.

Knead for 10 minutes. Repeat three times so you have one ball of plain dough, one orange and one green. Leave each dough rest for half an hour in a large bowl covered with cling film.

Green Regular & Orange Bagel dough

3 orange dough

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial

Roll each ball of dough out into a large rectangle about 16″ long and 10″ wide. Layer the rectangles on top of one another. Use a sharp knife to slice down vertically, 1 1/2 ” strips of dough. Cut each length of dough in three then twist each length into a spiral bagel shape. It’s quite easy to do but complicated to explain! Make sure you seal the ends tightly. Place the bagels on an oiled tray and cover with a clean cloth. Leave to rest for half an hour.

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial www.lillyhiggins.ieSt.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

Gently drop each bagel into the water, turn every minute or so.

After 3 minutes of boiling carefully place each bagel on a rack to dry slightly.

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial

Place the boiled bagels on a greased baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, turn over and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on a rack. Serve lightly toasted with dill cream cheese and smoked salmon.

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial

St.Patrick's Day multicoloured bagels tutorial

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Roast Mussels with Chorizo, Tomato & Basil



I’ve teamed up with Bord Bia again this year for their #FlexYourMussels campaign. It’s a great excuse for me to recipe test lots of gorgeous mussels dishes and this one was by far our favourite.

I devised this recipe, as usual, from picking up some delicious key ingredients. The queue at the fish stall at my local Farmers’ Market is always the longest and starts early but it’s easy to see why. The fish is so incredibly fresh. I got a huge bag of mussels last weekend for about four euro so picked up some chorizo and crusty bread to have with it. I usually steam mussels and love delicious Moules Mariniere with white wine and garlic. I had been describing to the kids how the shells open so we decided to oven roast them and watch through the glass as each shell sprang open in the heat. To say these went down a treat would be an understatement! I’m going to cook them like this from now on. I didn’t use any oil and just relied on the juices from the chorizo and mussels to create a spicy salty sauce. It was so gorgeous with sweet liquorice basil leaves wilted in amongst the burst tomatoes.

These mighty little shellfish are packed full of nutrients being a great source of quality protein and provide several vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, some B group vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. They are also low in fat but I balanced that out nicely with the chorizo! I was delighted to see the kids eating them so eagerly. The entire dish took twenty minutes to make and that included scrubbing the shells and cooking time. I did have plenty of insistent help though!! I’m going to throw in some crushed fennel seeds next time I make this and top it with flat leaf parsley. It would have been delicious drizzled with pesto too.

For tips, videos and recipe inspiration, check out

out of oven

Roast Mussels with Chorizo, Tomatoes & Basil

Serves 2-4

800g of mussels, washed and de-bearded

2 large handfuls cherry tomatoes

150g chorizo, sliced into coins and cut into quarters

Crusty baguette or sourdough bread

Large bunch of basil leaves, roughly torn

Preheat the oven to 250°C

Wash and debeard the mussels. Tap each one on the sink if it is open, if it doesn’t close then discard it. Dry any excess water from the shells with kitchen towel and place the mussels on a baking tray. Add the tomatoes and chopped up chorizo.

Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are almost bursting and the mussel shells are open.

Discard any mussels that have not opened. Transfer the mussels, chorizo and tomatoes into a wide serving dish. Spoon over the gorgeous chorizo juices, make sure you pour it into the mussel shells too. Scatter with plenty of torn basil and serve right away with the crusty bread.

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Easy Homemade Chicken Nuggets using leftover roast chicken

Easy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

If you shudder at the thought of what goes into some shop bought chicken nuggets then this recipe is for you! Simply use leftovers from a plump free range roast chicken and these nuggets will be on the table in no time. They’re a big hit with kids and freeze really well too!

Lilly x

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Makes 12-15

1 small onion

225g cooked chicken, brown and white meat

1 tbsp marjoram

1/2 tsp rosemary

1 egg

1 tbsp mayonnaise

50g parmesan, grated

80g breadcrumbs

To serve: Chips, baked potatoes or salad


Preheat the oven to 200C.

Brush a baking tray with oil. Place the onion, chicken and herbs into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz briefly chopped up but still rough in texture. Next add the egg, mayonnaise and parmesan. Blitz till just combined. You don’t want a paste but rather a uniform mix that comes together. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into little balls then flatten slightly, coat in the breadcrumbs and place on the tray. Bake for ten minutes then turn over and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until golden. Serve right away with chips, salad or baked potatoes.

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Tasty, Easy Lamb Tagliata


I love lamb. Whenever I cook it it’s usually in the form of a big Sunday roast with all the trimmings, a leg of lamb with plenty of leftovers to make a shepherds pie. I always make mint sauce to go with it, so delicious! I buy minced lamb regularly and make Greek meatballs full of herbs and lemon zest, the kids love them on skewers. I’m not familiar with cooking lamb fillets so was looking forward to trying this recipe from . Bord Bia have just launched their new lamb campaign (or lambpaign!) showing how tasty, easy and fun lamb can be. The website provides all the information you’ll need on cooking lamb, helpful tips and hints and of course a fantastic selection of delicious recipes. I’ve made this dish three times since I first came across the recipe and it’s a big hit with everyone, so incredibly quick and easy to make. Dinner is literally on the table in fifteen minutes. I serve it with couscous or flat breads. I’ve used spinach leaves here but any salad leaves will do. I’ve even massaged some kale leaves with lemon juice and olive oil then added a few finely shredded mint leaves and it’s tasted amazing. I’m going to try the lamb cutlets with chimichurri sauce next and then the Greek salad with lentils and lamb. They’re lovely summery dishes that are quick and easy to make and a little bit different from the usual dinners I tend to make midweek.

Lilly x


Lamb Tagliata with Spinach

Serves 4

4 x lamb fillets

125g parmesan cheese

200g baby spinach leaves

2-3tbsp olive oil

Balsamic Cream

Salt & Pepper

Take the lamb out of the fridge 30 minutes in advance.

Using a peeler, cut the cheese into shavings.

Divide the spinach between 4 plates or spread out on a large dish.

Pre-heat a barbecue or frying pan on a high heat. Brush the lamb fillets with olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and place on the barbecue or in the pan.

Grill them for 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat and continue to cook depending on your preference and the thickness of the cut. Remove from the barbecue or pan and leave to rest for 2 minutes.

Drizzle olive oil over the spinach. Slice the meat and place on top, drizzling the balsamic cream over the top in a zigzag pattern. Top with the cheese shavings.

Serve immediately with bread or crisp baby potatoes fried with coarse salt and herbs.

Tip: You can add a few toasted pine nuts to the spinach.


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