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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Posh Chips & Dips 

Ok so I know we have been having a miserable summer so far, but sometimes there's no harm in just pretending and getting in the summer mood by sitting outside with some girlfriends surrounded by yummy cocktails and nibbles. Just remember to wear something to protect you from the Irish chill factor! These dips are all light, tasty and take minutes to rustle up while someone else is concentrating on the drinks! If you have a food processor these will takes minutes to prepare and be worth the minimal effort required. All of these dips can be made according to your own taste and availability of fresh ingredients. Start with these recipes and adjust according to your own palate. 


1 Cucumber
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
2 Cups of Low-fat Natural Yogurt
Handful of fresh mint
1/2 Lemon, juiced

1. Peel the cucumber and slice down the middle. Using a teaspoon scoop out all of the seeds and discard. Roughly shop up and place in food processor.
2. Add in all of the other ingredients and blitz for 20 seconds and hey presto! This dip is summery and light, it will go perfectly with vegetable crudites, pitta crisps. This dip is also great for barbecued meats such as chicken and lamb as a side dressing.

Hummus/ Basil Humus

1 Tin of Chickpeas
2 Tbsp of liquid from chickpea tin
3 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Tahini Paste (you can buy this in any supermarket)
Large handful of basil leaves for basil hummus

1. Blitz all of the above ingredients in your food processor until it well blended. If you like it lumpy then just pulse blend for 20 seconds or so. The hummus will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, it is also great used as a spread on sandwiches, crackers and toast.


A lot of people are a bit fearful of guacamole because they think that avocados are very fattening when in actual fact they are an excellent source of vitamins B, E & K, and they contain more potassium than bananas. They do have a high fat content but the fat avocados contain is known as the 'good fat'. These monounsaturated fats are known to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, so a healthy choice all round so long as your night eating them around the clock! Guacamole also contains chillies which are known to speed up your metabolism, nothing wrong with that :)

2 Avocados
1/4 Red Onion
1/2 Small red Chilli
1 tbsp Lime juice
Pinch Salt & Pepper
1/2 Ripe Tomato

1. Deseed the chilli and chop finely. Be careful not to touch your eyes after touching the chilli as they will burn. Use as much of the chili as you like depending on how hot would like the guacamole to be.
2. Cut the avocados in half and take out the stone. Peel and roughly chop the flesh.
3. Place all of the above ingredients in to the food processor and blitz according to how chunky you like the texture to be. If you do not have a processor you can simply chop up all of the ingredients and mash with the back of a fork.

Pitta Chips

2 Wholemeal Pitta Bread
Wram these in the toaster and then open them out. Cut the pitta up in to triangles and sprinkle with dried herbs, parmesan shavings, chilli flakes or just salt and pepper. Whatever you fancy,  crisp up in a hot oven for 10 minutes and serve with the dips.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cheats Pizza 

This is a super fast delicious lunch or light dinner when you just don't feel like putting in the effort but don't want to scrimp on flavour. The best thing about this recipe is it is completely adaptable depending on what you have in your fridge on the day. So long as you have the basics you can be as adventurous as you like! For this pizza I used thin slices of chorizo, red onion, mushrooms, thinly sliced turkey, cherry tomatoes and basil for toppings and arranged them in such a way that each slice would be different. This pizza is light, bursting with flavour and tailor made by you, so hope you enjoy!


1 wholewheat Wrap
1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Tsp Ballymaloe Relish
2 Tsp Dried Herbs
Fresh basil if you have it
3 Slices of Low-fat Fresh Mozzarella
1 Tbsp Low-fat Grated Cheese

Suggested Lite Toppings:  

Pineapple     Onion    Cherry Tomatoes    Turkey or wafer thin ham
Sweetcorn     Mushrooms      Olives     Tuna     Spinach     Chilli     Peppers
Capers     Sun-dried tomatoes     Anchovies   Serrano Ham    Garlic


1. Preheat the oven at 180/ Gas mark 4.
2. Warm the wholewheat wrap base for 2-3 minutes, take care not to let it crisp up.
3. Spread the tomato puree and relish on the base with back of a spoon.
4. Sprinkle the grated cheese and tear the mozzarella over the tomato base.
5. Finish off by placing whatever toppings you are using around your pizza.
6. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes depending on how long your toppings will take.
7. Its that easy!! Slice up and enjoy, without feeling bloated or guilty after!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Brocolli Soup garnished with Hard Goats Cheese & Nutmeg

Soup is great - we all know it so lets just embrace it.
This is my totally quick, simple, delicious, knock up late on Sunday night - enjoy on Monday lunch soup.
Coniferous brocolli has amazing health benefits in relation to blood pressure, a healthy nervous system, bone health, a healthy digestive system and is packed with Vitamin C & Calcium.
For a richer, creamier soup add a touch of light cream, extra light philadelphia or soya cream. (dairy allergy, vegan)
Any stock can be used - dried cubes, gel stock pots, fresh homemade, liquid concentrate or marigold swiss vegan vegetable stock.

Serves 2
1 head brocolli
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 very small potato
500/700ml stock (depending how thick or thin you like your soup)
Freshly ground black pepper
small drizzle of  light cream
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
20g hard fresh artisan goats cheese

  1. Prepare all  ingredients. Wash the brocolli - remove the stalk and chop into florets. A little stalk is fine. Wash, peel and dice the potato into small cubes. Peel and dice the onion and garlic.
  2. On a high heat warm the rapeseed oil and saute the onion, garlic and potato for about 3/4 minutes.
  3. Add in the brocolli - pour over the stock and simmer for 20mins. While its simmering grate the cheese and nutmeg.
  4. When the vegetables are tender blitz in the food processor - add a touch of seasoning, a little cream.
  5. Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkle of cheese and pinch of nutmeg.
  6. Enjoy with some warm taosted rye bread. Delish. 
P.S Please don't underestimate the importance of the nutmeg in this dish - it really does elevate this to a much more interesting soup.

P.P.S Goat or sheep feta would also be great crumbled on top of this soup.

Fennel Seasoned Lemon Sole on a Bed of Black Pudding Cannelini Beans

I picked up some beautiful lemon sole fillets the other day, and as a treat I got the fishmonger to throw in a couple of Dublin Bay Prawns.  I spent time deliberating on what to do with them - grill with rapeseed oil, lemon, garlic & a pinch of paprika ? stuff with a little crabmeat ? low fat creamy garlic mash and steamed brocolli. Well no - going on what was left in the fridge & store cupboard I found black pudding, chorizo, cannellini beans & tomatoes.

In line with the ethos of SkinnyLovesFood  - its all about high impact flavour and low saturated fat content. The aim is to create a light, tasty meal full of flavour with lots of protein for a feeling of fullness.

The seasoning for the fish is a blend of really delicate and subtly flavour which enhance the overall flavour of the meal and tie all the flavours together beautifully.

Serves 2
1/4 (quarter) tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp vegetable boullion/ fish
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 (half) tsp dill
1/2 (half) tsp celery salt

2/4 fillets of lemon sole (depending on how hungry you are - they can be quiet thin)
25g black pudding

Bean Cassoulet
1 tin cannellini beans
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1/2 (half) red onion
4 cloves garlic
30g black pudding
30g choirizo
1/2 (half) tin tomatoes
1 tsp tomato puree
pinch saffron
1 tsp capers
50ml white wine

  1. Preheat the oven 200oC / Gas 8
  2. To make the fish seasoning - using a mortar & pestle  ( or the base of a rolling pin etc) bash all the ingredients until they form a fine powder
  3. Dice the onion & garlic.Cut the pudding & chorizo into small cubes.
  4. Open the tin of cannellini beans - rinse through with cold water.
  5. Heat 1 tsp rapeseed oil - saute the onion, garlic, chorizo & black pudding for a couple of minutes.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the wine - this means pouring the wine in and lifting all the lovely flavour from the bottom of the pan . Allow to simmer until the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Add in the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, saffron & capers. Add in 100mls water - gradually as you need it. Allow to simmer for 20mins.
  8. Lightly oil a baking sheet and pop in the oven to warm for few minutes. Dice the 25g black pudding.
  9.  Remove and pop on the sole fillets. Sprinkle the fennel seasoning on top, spritz with a little fresh lemon juice and scatter black pudding pieces on top. Place Dublin Bay Prawns on the baking tray and bake for 10 mins.
  10. To serve , place the bean cassoulet on the bottom of the serving dish and sit the lemon sole fillets on top.  Serve with some steamed green beans, drizzled with a little chilli or garlic oil. Enjoy.

P.S. You made need to add 1 tsp sugar (preferrable brown) to the cannellini bean cassoulet to sweeten up the tomatoes.

P.P.S. I added some fennel and basil marinated olives to garnish the dish - totally optional !!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Skinny Smokie Pie

Smokies are traditionally smoked fish (normally haddock), tomtoes & spring onions mixed together with creme fraiche and gratinated in the oven.
My skinny version has far more character, seriously lower in calories and saturated fat and becomes an entire meal when served with a leafy salad with a lemon & balsamic dressing. It  also follows our mantra of quick and easy. Traditionally pies have shortcrust or puff pastry which is severly calorific - this one just has a thin, crisp layer of filo on the bottom.

Serves 4
2 sheets of filo pastry ( shop bought)
300g cod
200g smoked haddock/coley
12/15 vine cherry tomatoes
8 spring onions
1 tbsp brandy
1/2 fish stock cube
300ml slimline milk
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp tomato puree
50ml avonmore cooking cream (low fat alternative)
50g grated low fat kilmeadan cheddar

  1. Preheat the oven. Quarter the tomatoes, thinly slice the spring onions, grate the cheese, cut the fish into 2cm cubes.
  2. Layer the filo pastry into the pie/quiche dish - putting a spritz of spray oil between each layer. Set aside.
  3. Warm the milk in a small saucepan. Pop in the fish, keep it on a medium heat and poach for about 4 - 5 mins. Remove the fish using a slotted spoon.
  4. Bake the filo pastry in the oven for 5 -7 mins.
  5. As it bakes, heat 1 tsp rapeseed/olive oil in a frying pan.Saute the spring onion & tomatoes for about 3/4 mins.Add in the fish and then 1 brandy. Allow the alcohol to burn off from the brandy, then stir in the mustard, tomato puree and cream. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes, add in some of the poaching liquid little by little if required.
  6. Remove the pastry base from the oven - pour in the creamy fish mixture, top with the grated cheese and bake for 15 - 20mins.
  7. Allow to cool a little before serving and enjoy with an organic leaf salad or some steamed brocolli with low fat garlic butter.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Spicy Thai Red Lentil Soup

The weather is geting frosty and I seem to be getting busier by the day so I am looking for really quick & easy lunch recipes. There is a fab red lace dress with my name on it for Christmas so being really good for the next couple of weeks is so important. I find myself getting bored with soup quickly so I have begun just making small 1 or 2 batch serving.

Yesterday was Potato & Leek ( Its too simple to even do a recipe - Heat 1 tsp oil in a small saucepan - add in 1 leek thinly sliced, 1/2 potato finely diced, 1 chicken stock cube & pinch of pepper. Allow to simmer for 20mins, blitz and add 1 tsp avonmore cooking cream when reheating)

Today, its Spicy Thai Red Lentil Soup

There is such a temptation to complicate this soup however the joy of it is that it only has 6 ingredients and takes 20mins to cook. Store the remaining curry paste in the fridge and with the leftover 300ml of coconut milk divide it between two freezer bags, freeze and use in a curry at a later stage.

This soup is very low in fat and high in fibre which means it will keep you full for longer. There is no need for bread or a carb with this soup. Lentils are a great source of protein and are associated with reducing the risk of heart disease and maintaining steady blood sugar levels (great for any one suffering from or at risk of diabetes)

Serves 2
100g red lentils
1/2 onion
1 tsp olive oil / donegal rapeseed oil
1 1/2 tsp thai red curry paste
1 chicken stock cube
100ml reduced fat coconut milk (1/4 tin )

  1. Peel & dice the onion.
  2. Heat the oil, saute the onion for a minute or two. If it starts to stick add a drop of water.
  3. Then add in the lentils & stir in the thai red curry paste.
  4. Pour in 400ml chicken stock.
  5. Allow to simmer for 20 / 30mins.
  6. Remove from the heat, pour in the coconut milk and blitz.
  7. To add a little pizazz grate over some lime zest and garnish with a little red chilli.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teriyaki Salmon with Stir Fry Brown Rice

This Japanese inspired dish is so quick and simple. The salmon is full of the essential GOOD fatty acids - Omega 3, easily digested proteins and minerals like selenium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium and iron. Selenium is an interesting one as salmon is one of its best sources. It  is necessary for building up of tissues, hair, nails etc. When combined with the other elements in salmon ( Omega 3, Vitamin A & D ) it is linked with regulating metabolisms, can act as an anti depressant and increase the efficiency of the brain. All the brightly coloured vegetables contribute to a healthy immune system for these winter months and as this dish is rapidly stirfried alot of the valuable anti - oxidants are retained. The Tilda wholegrain basmati rice is rich in B group vitamins, provides fibre and a little will keep you feeling full until bed time. This recipe calls for cooked rice - I normally cook a large pot and then freeze in batches. Seriously handy and saves so much time. Teriyaki can be bought in all supermarkets nowadays.


4/6 tbsp teriyaki marinade
1/2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1/2 tbsp seasame oil
2 120g organic salmon fillets
120g cooked brown rice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red, green & yellow pepper
1 courgette
1 carrot
1 red onion
2 large handfuls of spinach
Handful of onion seeds

  1. Marinade the salmon fillets in the teriyaki sauce. In an ideal world this would be done the night before or a few hours in advance. 15 mins will be fine.
  2. Prepare all the vegetables by washing first. Using a vegetable peeler prepare the carrot and courgette into ribbons.
  3. Peel the onion and cut into semi circles. Deseed the peppers and thinly slice.
  4. Preheat the grill. Remove the salmon from the marinade and place on a tray under the grill. Drizzle a little teriyaki over the salmon and turn after 5 mins.
  5. Heat the wok - when hot add in the oil. Stirfry the onion and garlic, add in the peppers. Cook for 5 mins. Then add in the ribbons of carrot  and courgette. After another 5 mins add in the wholegrain basmati rice. Pour over the remaining teriyaki marinade. Cook for another 3 mins.
  6. At this stage the salmon will have been turned and be skin side up. Turn off the grill. Turn off the stirfry vegetables and rice. Stir in the spinach.
  7. On a warm plate spoon the stirfry rice and vegetables. Place the salmon on top and sprinkle with some onion seeds.