Tag Archives: healthy food

Perfect Sweet Potato Fries

Right so let me just say that what constitutes as perfectly cooked sweet potato fries or any potato fries for that matter entirely depends on each person individual preferences. Some prefer crisp and crunchy while others prefer soft and smushy. Personally I like both as long as they taste good. But put a gun to my head and make me choose then it’s without a doubt crispy for me.

Methods of cooking will determine the final outcome of flavour and texture. Deep fried in oil will always guarantee crispy delicious golden fries but that about all you will get. Plus the nutrional value becomes irrelevant as soon as anything is cooked in large amounts of boiling hot grease.

If you want to achieve really tasty and delicious fries that are also beneficiary to your health then I suggest roasting is the best way to go. By roasting the fries you can load up on loads of extra flavour.

Traditionally, roasting anything invloves cooking food in an oven using fat (usually in the form of oil) and dry heat to render and soften meat or vegetables. The combination of fat and heat reduces moisture and causes the natural sugars in the food to caramelize and turn dark giving it a really rich intense and sweet flavour. When roasting, food is almost left uncovered and the food is cooked from the outside in.

Baking on the other hand is similar to roasting in terms of the dry heat method. However, fat is not used on the food and are often cooked “dry” covered with foil in order to retain the moisture.

Baking with fat – think of cakes and pastries. Fat is added into the mixture along with other ingredients. This time the dry heat and fat react in a way that forces the mixture to rise rather than carmelize. Food is covered and cooked from the inside out.

Sweet Potato Fries

These are so simple and the method below will without any doubt will create perfect fries each time. Many people I have spoken with who have tried to make sweet potatoefries in the oven always have the same complaint – that the fries don’t go crispy enough and that they always end up being to soft and limp.

The reason that they go soft and limp is because of too much moisture retention due to lack of heat in the oven and the airflow between them is not enough either. Essentially the potatoes are stewing in there own juices getting soggy.

First things first – for crispy fries you need to cut then up small. By small I don’t mean shoe string. Cut them up so that one large potato isn’t just 5 big wedges. Cut the potato in half and then half again and then in half again until a finger in length and size.

Quantities

For every 250g of fries I use 10g of coconut oil. I find this ratio works really well.

Spices

Paprika, Tumeric, Cayenne, Sea Salt & Pepper and sometimes Cinnamon.

Herbs

Garlic, Thyme, Rosemary

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Put all of the veg and spices into z bowl or large tray. Melt the oil, pour over and give a good mix. Didn’t over fill the tray. Make sure there’s enough space for adequate air flow. Space them out, use two trays is necessary and rotate them in ghe oven from top to bottom every 30 mins or so.

Place in the oven and cook for 45-60 mins minimum. After that it’s a matter of personal preference.

Final word

With everything in the kitchen practice makes perfect. Learn from previous mistakes and then try again next time. Everything can be tailored and adjusted to suit the situation. Quality of food, the type of oven – gas or electric can have a huge impact when attempting a recipe. Recipes are only guidelines so try to figure out how you can do it better next time before giving up after the first time.

Shane

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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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

 

Tried & Tested: Shredded Chicken & Hot Sauce

I am REALLY diggin’ this combination lately. Not only is it delicious but also effortless to make from scratch. Any brand of hot sauce will do, although I highly suggest using the Franks Original or Buffalo flavors because you will only need 1 or 2 tablespoons, packs a punch, inexpensive and available in the majority of shops.

Ingredients

Chicken breast

Spring onions

Red onions

Peppers

Mushrooms

Chilli’s

Franks hot sauce

Grated cheese

Hot salsa

Sour creme or Creme fraiche

Spray Oil (coconut used in this recipe)

Tortilla (optional)

 

 

For maximum efficiency & speed I like to use the George Foreman (GF) while the veggies cook away on the pan.  A few sprays of the oil on each will be more than enough. Then, when the chicken is fully cooked put it into a bowl, take two forks and gently shred the chicken up and mix in two tablespoons of the hot sauce.

If you’re having a tortilla toast it on the GF until everything else is ready it will only take 3 or 4 minutes. Put everything into a bowl and top it off with the cheese, salsa and sour creme.

It’s as simple as that – nothing else involved in making this for lunch or dinner. Literally made in 15 minutes so it’s great to have on days when there’s not much time to prepare food or getting in late in the evening.

Shane

FFCreations # 11 Protein Pancakes

Couldn’t decide on pancakes or waffles so I made both… ⤴

Just as good as your ordinary stack with the added benefit of being lower carbohydrates and packed full of Protein. Also suitable for coeliacs, perfect at anytime of the day even better after the gym.

Getting straight to it…

Protein Pancakes

(Makes 2 Full Stacks of pancakes, enough for 2 people)

Ingredients:

100g Banana

3 eggs

30g Nut Butter (Almond)

60g Greek Yogurt (Glenisk)

60g Protein Powder

50-60 ml Unsweetened Almond Milk (Alpro)

Method:

Blend all of the ingredients in a processor

Depending on how thick or thin you prefer you like your pancakes just add less/more milk.

Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Heat up a small pan (or waffle maker) with some low calorie spray oil or use coconut oil.

Pour in a small amount of the mix and cook on each side for 3 minutes over a medium heat.

Additional condiments are a great way of elevating dishes, just remember to track any additional food as the recipe above is only what is uploaded onto myfitnesspal. Search for feastfoodcreations