Tupperware warrior

To those of you who have come over form the #tasteofeire page firslty thank you and welcome. Here I try to detail the food/recipes posted on social media so you guys can get a clearer understanding of how it is made and what little effort it takes to cook delicious food. I am always on the lookout for new ideas so if there are any suggestions please feel free to engage with me on here or on Instagram etc. as I am really interested in learning more about food, cooking, ingredients, diets, health and everything in between.

I eat therefore I lift

My name is Shane, 27 from Dublin. I am currently a F/T business student in DIT. I almost never post the nutritional value of food but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I measure everything to the gram bar the veggies unless I’m eating large quantities.
I’m not a PT, not quite shredded either (although working hard on that) but mainly I just love to Eat Delicious food and need to compensate for that. The point is, dieting, eating healthy, counting macros etc isn’t my area of expertise but cooking certainly is. Somehow I’m trying to combine the two and strike a balance that allows me to stay on track but also enjoy it at the same time. Real food doesn’t have to be boring and certainly shouldn’t make you fell guilty either. As Tony Bourdain said ” the body is not a temple, it’s a roller coaster that goes up and down so enjoy the ride.

The reality is, the food photographs on Instagram are only a small percentage of what is eaten throughout the week. Everyday “foodporn” on a plate is unrealistic and unsustainable unless you can stay ant home all day and cook it. Usually, the visually appealing food is made maybe twice or three times a week. Most of the time it’s basic and eaten out of a lunch box. Nutritional value is far greater than the visual so be sure to lay those foundations first and then move onto the aesthetics.

The Recipe

Scroll down to see how 4 basic ingredients transform into an amazing meal.
Stongroots sweet potatoes x100g
Turkey burger X1
Spring onion
Spinach
Mayonnaise/dressing

293 calories
28 Protein
22 Carbs
9 Fat

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Finding food inspiration online and beyond

I made this the other night as a last stitch effort to break the boring chicken and veg dinners that I mostly eat during the week, that if I’m honest don’t make it onto the Instagram stories (after all who wants to see a repeat of the same shit over and over again). The dish itself is is nothing special but that’s the beauty of it – hear me out. Having decided I wanted to change things up and inject some excitement I had a quick look at what was available in the house and ended up having one of the nicest meals in a  long time. Throughout the week people have been asking me how I think of new dishes and make them look so appealing.

The answer…. frankly I don’t know because as I said there is nothing special about this dish. Look at it! It is literally a breast of chicken, a tortilla wrap and some veggies with a tablespoon of chipotle sauce from the bottle. That is why I think it is so great. Simple ingredients that are available in all stores and most likely already sitting in the fridge in your house right now. I had gotten the idea to make this from a random post on Instagram earlier that day which happened to catch my attention.

I get by with  a little help from my friends…. online

Find your tribe and do what they do. When it comes to creating new recipes I always try to take inspiration from whoever I can without completely ripping them off. Instagram a great platform for getting new ideas and is widely used by some of the best foodies out there to promote their own creations. Even better is there are plenty of “normal” people who are also great cooks that post pictures of food that actually look like it hasn’t been painted onto the screen. Further more, chances are that their ingredients and cooking methods are more applicable and easier to relate to because they cook as a side gig, on a budget, in a small kitchen with basic equipment. The added benefit of food finding food inspiration online is that you don’t always need an exact recipe to recreate it. In saying that sometimes a recipe is required especially when baking or cooking large quantities of food over long periods of time. But most of the time all you really need is a picture and Boooom there it is an idea for something different.

I’ll use the featured image as an example. So say you’re scrolling through Instagram and you come across the picture above. Straight away you can see what it involves: chicken, tortillas, peppers, red onions, tomatoes, spinach and jalapenos. Again all of which are very easy to source. Next is the caption “chipotle”chicken. Even if you have no idea what this is – Google it and in less then 5 seconds you’ll have an idea of what chipotle is, where it comes from, what its made from, where you can buy it and even how to make it if you really want to go that extra step. The point being is that not all recipes require the exact ingredients. Simply by looking at a picture is more than suffice as you can tweak it overtime to make it look or taste better.

Going beyond the shackles of the screens bright light

Unfortunately there is a downside to finding inspiration for food online because the inability to taste what you see. Yep, food that is appealing to look at will always generate an interest at first glance. However, taste is King and is far more powerful on the senses than sight. Besides being social and having fun, eating out is an amazing experience. Fortunately living in Dublin has allowed me to visit many of the restaurants, deli’s, cafes, coffee shops, smoke houses and burger joints around the city. I recommend wherever you live to try sample different places and draw inspiration from how they do things.

Roughly 5 years ago when I was still working in kitchens my life was completely taken over by food and how to improve. Back then I was on a whole different level compared to now. Eager to watch, taste, eat and understand why people where cooking the way they did was an obsession. I was eating all around me eager to know. At restaurants after having a 3 course meal I would order another dessert, not because I was hungry but merely intrigued by the menu that I had to know how it was made and how it tasted. I was a sucker for it. Luckily back then I was a lot younger and my metabolism burned like a house on fire. As the years went on, I moved on of kitchens, no longer a chef I became less active began to see the weight pilling on.

So I  cut back on the amount if food being consumed, eating more at home and to some extent everything in moderation. But still, to this day I am a sucker for seeing something on a menu and wanting to have it. That obsession still lurks in the background but I suppose I have become more aware of it and want to control it. I guess its jut the excitement of eating out that leads to eyes-bigger-than-bellyitus. When there’s something on the menu that’s a “must have” I just make sure to only order the one and not five.

On a final note, they way in which I cook is heavily influenced by many different factors ranging from budget, diet, time frames, work – life balance to name a few. Most nights I”ll eat the same food just because its economical and efficient and then when I have some free time I’ll usually try something new. It doesn’t always work out .Cooking is a skill, therefore anyone can learn how to do it. At times it can be really frustrating because of how consuming it becomes and the end result doesn’t always meet what we expected. But that’s okay because if that happens at least you know what NOT to do the next time. Just give it a little tweak and try again in a few days. Stick with it and practice the same recipes one or twice a week and overtime you will begin to notice ways of improving it. Keep a diary of any changes in the ingredients or methods and before you know it it becomes a staple of your weekly breakfast/lunch/dinner and then its time to find the next one. Remember, one dish at a time. Try it, improve it, master it and then move on.

 

Hope this post provides some insight when looking for some food inspo. The beauty of social media is that there is a surplus of supply out there. The same goes for eating out as any reputable food joint worth visiting is sure to have a  social media presence. Its just a matter of finding like minded folks and following in their footsteps.

 

Have a good weekend – happy eating

Shane

 

Sun’s Out, Smoothies Out

No mucking around here with this one so ill be brief – on the rare occasion when we get sun in Ireland everyone takes advantage when they can by heading outdoors, leaving work early or having a BBQ in the backyard or at the beach. Last week was great with temperatures exceeding 25 degree Celsius. This week hasn’t even come close as rain fell all throughout the weekend. But feat not, the sun will be back and when it does arrive be sure to take full advantage and get the smoothies out.

On hot sweltering day I wanted something refreshing and filling st the same time, hence why the choice of ingredients. The best way to describe the flavor is it resembles that of a brunch ice-cream. I wonder if they still make them??

To make this you will need:

200g quark cheese

100ml unsweetened almond milk

1/2 scoop (15-20g) of vanilla whey protein

50g strawberries

1 banana

Ice

For the toppings I used 1 square of 85% dark chocolate and 2 cookies because you know – treat yo self!!

Happy eating,

Shane.

 

Apple & Blueberry Crumble

The sunshine might not always appear from behind the clouds as often as we want but you can tell from the rise in the humidity that summer is well and truly on its way. With that comes brighter mornings, longer evenings, holidays, picnics and BBQ at the weekends are just a few of the things to look forward too in the coming coming weeks.

Of course, my favorite part of summer is the abundance of fresh food that is available. We’re lucky enough that most of our favorite food is available all year round because suppliers import it from other countries. But there’s something special about fresh Irish produce coming into season such as ripened Wexford strawberries and succulent Irish lamb that makes food come alive at this time of year when compared to the mutant fruit and veg that is stocked in most shops during the winter.

Summer is definitely a great time to experiment with new food and try new recipes because the chances are more time is spent socializing with friends and family, going to restaurants and eating out while on holiday. I am always in search for new ways to cook food, how to improve my cooking and how to fit it in on a daily basis.

This weekend is gearing up to be a cracker according to the forecast. If so, me and my girlfriend are going to go to Dublin Zoo on Sunday and then have a picnic in the Phoenix Park in the afternoon. We want to keep the food relatively healthy and balanced but at the same time want to enjoy it too.

A crumble with apples & blueberries is a classic dish and a flavor combination that’s hard not to enjoy. Even though both fruits are worthy contenders of their own place in the spotlight – they combine together seamlessly.  Having been craving a crumble for some time now I have decided to make my own version that doesn’t include any additives or require any baking. There is a tiny amount of cooking to this but nothing compared to an actual crumble pie. Most of all it tastes great and can be made in small Tupperware boxes to enjoy on the go.

This recipe is still a work in progress and the aim I’m hoping is to somehow make the crumble less of a granola and more along the lines of a biscuit base. Until then this will do just fine.

Feel free to play around with this and let me know if there are any tips or ways to improve.

Have a good one,

Shane.

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the crumble base is made with golden linseed & oats toasted in a dry pan

Ingredients

200ml of cold water

1 Punnet of blueberries

1 Green apple

1 t-spoon cinnamon

200g Greek Yogurt

25g Golden linseed

12.5g Oats

How to make

Toast the linseed and oats in a dry pan on a low heat until golden brown and the oats have softened. Allow to cool.

Dice the apple and mix it with the cinnamon and place into a dry pan on a low heat and cook it for a few minutes (The purpose of this is to allow the spice to toast and the release the flavor) then add in 100ml of the water and allow to cook until the water has evaporated and the apple is translucent. Remove and allow to cool.

Put the blueberries and the remaining 100m of water into a pan and cook low until they become soft and jam like.

Once all of this is done then all that is left to combine everything together.

 

 

 

 

Mocha Overnight Oats – chocolate & coffee flavored porridge

Just a quick FYI. This is not a paid endorsement/advertisement by any of the companies mentioned. Should I ever be so lucky to be in a position to be paid to test food I’ll be sure to scream it from the highest rooftop 🙂 This is just my way of sharing some knowledge. 

Coffee, Chocolate, Caramel. All great great in their own right, even better paired together.

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Having oats for breakfast have become a staple of my diet recently so I have been tried and tested some different flavors just so I could mix things up from day to day and keep the first meal of the day exciting. These Mocha Overnight Oats are by far a game changer and I urge anyone reading this post to give them a try. Especially if you love the taste of coffee… and chocolate… and caramel…. together!! There’s a choice of hazelnut which has yet to be done but definitely looking forward to that sometime soon.

As can be seen in both pictures the main player is the flavored instant coffee made by Beanies. Aldi had them in stock a few weeks ago for €3 each (side note: props to Aldi recently, they have been killing it (in a good way) with their food options as of lately. Somehow whenever I think about an idea for food I would like to try/create Aldi happen to be selling it the very next week).

I enjoy coffee and usually drink espresso straight. Becoming accustomed to the strong bitterness is a required taste however should you develop a habit over time the bitterness soon becomes a lot milder and in no time tastes like sweet nectar when it meets the lips. The coffee (Beanies) itself is already slightly sweetened which takes away some of the bitterness left in your mouth although its worth playing around with quantities until the right balance is achieved. In saying that the addition of protein powder or flavor drops etc. will  add sweetness too.

Leaving the house at 5:00am to train before work is tough enough without having to prepare meals in advance. Therefore making these the night before and having them ready to go after a shake is a huge time saver. From a flavor perspective leaving the oats to soak up overnight allows the coffee and chocolate to marinade and come through which produces a much deeper flavor more so than if heated up.

Again it is important to mention that the quantities are based on my own requirements and should be adjusted to fit your own lifestyle and needs.

Ingredients 

85g Oats

20g Protein

12g Peanut butter powder

5g Raw cacoa powder

2 tsp Beanies coffee – 1 chocolate & 1 caramel (you decide)

Method

Mix everything and add in some water or milk until just about covered, mix and leave overnight. That’s the simplicity of overnight oats. Hope you enjoy this one. Any tips please feel free to share as I am always on the hunt for new things.

 

Shane.

Its your preference – Hot or Cold Oats?

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I am addicted to porridge oats, definitely because of how versatile they are (the variations are endless, (although I am yet to embrace my inner Heston Blumenthal and create Hot & Cold at the same time  – but who knows) and  mostly because of the influx of carbohydrates in the morning after a heavy workout. On weekends there is definitely more time to carefully cook oats on the hob with a watchful eye so as to guarantee them going really fluffy and steaming hot. Mon – Fri when when things are more hectic with college and work etc. having oats made from then night before is of great benefit to staying on track and getting to eat on time especially if there is no option of hot water readily available. Whatever your preference – Hot or Cold you can elevate a simple bowl of oats into winner with a few keep steps and ingredients.

Cookie Shots

Are the pieces of chocolate crumbled up over the top. Made by an Irish company called the foods of athenry they can be found in Tesco, and are frigin delish man. That’s the best way to describe them. Usually when I’m struggling to reach Carbs ‘ll have some of them in my yogurt too, so check them out.

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Making Oats Hot or Cold

Either way the ingredients are the same, the only difference is ho oats are made fresh and cold oats are left in the fridge overnight.

Quantities will vary from person to person but for the purpose of this recipe I’ll just use my quantities.

200ml – 250ml Unsweetened Almond Milk

85g Porridge Oats

30g Vanilla Whey

6g Peanutbutter powder

5g Cacoa Powder

5g Flaked Almonds

2 Cookie Shots

Berries

Overnight Oats (Cold)

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, add the liquid then leave overnight in the fridge. Berries and Almonds on top.

Hob Oats (Hot)

Toast the Almonds in a dry pan over a very low heat as they brown in no time. Put the Oats and milk into a small pan and slowly bring to the boil. Allow to simmer, mixing it away until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add in the Protein powder and the Cacoa and take off the heat. Continue to mix everything until the powder has dispersed evenly and the porridge is light and fluffy. Add some hot water from the kettle if it becomes too stodgy – this should loosen up there afterwards.

Mix the Peanut-butter powder with a small amount of water – instructions are usually on the packet. Pour this over the top, crumble up the cookies and add a handful of berries.

 

Hope you enjoy this one, by far one of my favorite variations of Oats although I did make Mocha flavored Oats this week which where very impressive. For those I used Beanies flavored instant coffee. Recipe will be posted next week, until then it can also be found on my Instagram (@feastfoodco) so feel free to head over and take a look.

 

 

Shane

 

The Ultimate Sub

Apologies for the poor picture quality – first world problems my phone broke and was using an ipod camera which is tiny.

This happened back in March when I was hungover. It was around Paddy’s day and it was my girlfriends birthday so we ended up (well at least I did) going well over my limit. Anyway, I had an idea for an ultimate sub for a while but couldn’t justify calories until I woke up and realized I needed a curer. Normally pizza is my go to if I had a couple of drinks but I decided against it that day mostly because I just wanted an epic sambo for a change. So instead, straight down to Supervalue because they make the best rolls and a few other essentials that are listed below. Not a lot of ingredients go into this, just the sheer size of it alone requires more attention than usual.

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Supplies

1 Sub roll. Supervalue is your best option for it

2 chicken breasts cooked in Gymchef Cajun spice

5 smoked streaky bacon

Slow roasted peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes.

Gherkins

Chives

Homemade garlic mayonnaise

Dijon mustard

Franks hot sauce or Piri Piri (optional)

Cooking

Being hungover I wasn’t bothered with the cooking aspect so I threw everything onto the George Foreman until lit was cooked. Use two forks to pull the chicken apart, this makes it easier to eat because the roll itself is a tough Mother to tackle, so do yourself a favor and shred the chicken. Mix in a tablespoon of Hot Sauce, Piri Piri, or BBQ if using.

The garlic Mayonnaise I had made previously but it’s simple – Crushed garlic, mayonnaise and a drop of water to thin it out.

Heat the roll – ” just a little”  in the oven  and then load that bad boy up. Doesn’t matter in hat order just get it all in and Mustard the top.

 

Next time you’ve had one to many and decide you don’t want pizza or takeaway give this one a go – it hits the spot 10 times over just try not to make it a habit 😉

 

Shane

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