Tag Archives: food blog

5 Days – 5 Meals: Fans Choice Meatzza & Sweet Potatoes

Difficulty: easy

Cooking time: 20 – 30 mins

Serves: 2

Nutritional info (based on 1 person)

Calories: 505

Carbs:39

Fats: 11

Protein: 47

Ingredients

2 Fans Choice Meatzza’s

150g Strong Roots

1 Red or White onion

2 Peppers

125g mushrooms

2 tbsp Cajun gymchef spice

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven on the highest gas mark.
  2. Measure the sweet potatoes onto a tray and place them on the top shelf in the oven straight away.
  3. Slice up all of the veg into chunky bite sized pieces and place them onto another try with the gymchef seasoning.
  4. Move the sweet potatoes down and put the veg tray into the oven along with the meazta.
  5. Turn the oven down to 5 or 190 degrees Celsius and cook for 20 – 30 minutes

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

 

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