In case you didn't know this, well let us tell you here and now, vegetable soup is your friend. Hungry? Vegetable soup! Not hungry but have to eat? Vegetable soup! Going out for dinner and want to reduce your appetite but still go out and have fun? Vegetable soup!
Whether you like it blended or smooth, it is full of fibers, nutrients, and best of all, water. It's yet another aid in our forever quest to drink more water. It freezes brilliantly in ice cube moulds and we use it as stock in stews! No waste here with us!
Whilst our recipe is the absolute basic, you do not have to be bored with vegetable soup, it doesn't have to be bland. It can be something you have fun making and eating! Use different kinds of vegetables and think spices, not everything curry powder, try a good pinch of saffron for something very different. When you think about spices you could go for a blend like garram masala or you could just go with your nose and taste buds and see what pleases you. So think of turmeric, ginger (fresh is best for extra zing), coriander seeds, onion powder, chili powders, smoked paprika. Any of these will bring sunshine to your bowl of vegetable soup.
And then think toppings, some toasted cumin seeds on top of a carrots soup are absolutely magnificent. Onions sliced thinly and fried in a bit of cooking spray until crisp, simply gorgeous. Use different salts, or a drizzle of lemon juice can really lift it. Fresh herbs work a treat, the brighter the better, maybe some chervil, dill, coriander, parsley or even a bit of mint.
Finally, if you think your soup is too liquid, a small potato or two will thicken it, or a handful of red lentils will do the same and cook in half the time.
One last trick for the road.... cauliflower gives soup a silkiness that even cream can't achieve!
Sorry, but is there anything that smells better than a house where bread is cooking? We think not. Porridge bread is full of fibres and of the goodness of yogurt.
This fool-proof recipe for porridge bread is the perfect Sunday bake. It's so easy to put together. You will need one large bowl and a smaller one along with a fork and wooden spoon. We use loaf-shaped cake tins with parchment paper to line the tins but silicone paper cases work very well too if you can find them (they're often in the baking section in the supermarkets. This means we don't have to worry about greasing the tins or anything sticking. It's also much easier for the washing-up!
The best thing about this porridge bread? It is DELICIOUS! The ingredients are simple but work so well together to bring together the best of Irish comfort food. We normally like to jazz up our recipes with spices and herbs, but this bread is perfect in its simplicity.
If you are lucky enough to have a freezer and even luckier to have a bit of space in it, then make a few loaves on a Sunday morning or whenever you know you have a day at home or whatever day you do your prepping for the week ahead. You then wait for the bread to be completely cooled down (torture, we know, but you can do it!) and then and only then you slice them (we get 12 slices out of this recipe and so should you), wrap them individually with baking paper wrapped around them and stack them in your freezer. You now only ever have to stick them in the toaster when you want a warm fresh slice of porridge bread. The best trick in the world!
Fakeaway Taco Fries
What we love about Taco Fries, is that everybody loves them. The sweetness of the caramelised onions, the flavour of the garlic, the treat of the grated cheese on top of a warm pile of meaty goodness on a base of crispy fries... What is there not to love?
This fake-away taco fries recipe demands that you put on a bit of happy music, whatever that may mean for you but make it sunny, this kind of food needs a chef that's happy to be in the kitchen. Nothing wrong with a few salsa moves while you stir the onions so they don't burn.
These taco fries taste even better eaten with your fingers, sitting around the table with family or friends, chatting the afternoon away.
As per usual, we advocate thinking ahead and making life easier for yourself. Why not make at least double the portion of the mince mixture and freeze half of it? This way, when you fancy these fake-away taco fries again but are stuck for time, you will only have to defrost the mince and reheat it. So much easier on you once the fries are popped into the oven!
For freezing, a nifty trick (once the mince is fully cooled down) is to pack a portion per freezer bag and freeze the bags horizontally on top of each other so they are nice and thin. Once they are frozen this way, you can either stack them vertically or horizontally. But basically, look at your freezer space and freeze the bags in the easiest shape for you. It's like a cold game of Tetris!
Finally, a bit of torn parsley or coriander is absolutely gorgeous on this dish as a garnish. The colours and flavour of the herbs will brighten up the meal for both the eyes and the palate.
Skinny Spice Bag
Do you know the ways some days are just a bit meh, and nothing feels like it will work out again. Those days where you just want brown food for comfort. Something warm and crunchy with a bit of a garlic or spice kick to pick you up and help you feel a bit better?
Well, you just wait until you try our Skinny Spice Bag. We call it skinny but simply, it's just real food, cooked well with a few herbs and spices to excite your taste buds.
More importantly, this spice bag is so good, you won't even be bothered with the local takeaway ones anymore. The recipe below assumes that you are using our Gorge Us Chips and honestly, you'd be mad not to! It also assumes that you do not have the "spice bag" spice blend you can now find in most supermarkets but if you do, use that instead of the Chinese all spice (also known as 5 spice) and chili flakes.
Now, stick on some tunes, make yourself a cuppa, and start prepping. It will take you just a bit more than 30 min and you'll have such a deeply satisfying dinner, it will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step!