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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 !!