Quinoa Meatballs, super stuff.

Quinoa is one of the most versatile and delicious super foods. These balls are just as hearty and filling as (meat) meatballs. They’re brilliant if you’re looking for something filling and nutritious tonight

Prep 15 mins
Feed : 2 people


½ cup dry quinoa, pre-rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup cooked green lentils, well drained
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
½ cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup gluten free bread crumbs or whole wheat panko bread crumbs (add additional bread crumbs if the meatballs need to be firmer and aren’t holding together well)
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat parsley leaves
1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg white (for vegan add 2-3 teaspoons water)
3 tablespoons olive oilHow to put it together:Add pre-rinsed quinoa and water to a medium pot, cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking 15 minutes or until water is completely absorbed. I

n the meantime, in a large non-stick skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil, heat to medium-low and sauté diced onions and bell pepper until tender about 4 minutes, add garlic, parsley and oregano and sauté one additional minute.

Remove quinoa from heat and allow to rest 10 minutes. Press down on quinoa with a paper towel to remove any remaining water.

In a large mixing bowl combine sautéed onion, garlic, parsley and oregano along with remaining ingredients, except oil. Use either a potato masher or fork and mash the ingredients until the lentils are well mashed. Using your hands, shape into 1 ½ “ (meatless) meatballs, place in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to a large non-stick skillet, heat to medium-low and add quinoa (meatless) meatballs. Brown meatballs, turn over and brown on the other side. Cook until browned and heated through, about 16 minutes. Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel.

If you plan to serve these (meatless) meatballs with marinara, add to the marinara sauce, gently turn to coat. Simmer until hot and serve over pasta.

These are a perfect food to eat prior to working out as they provide complex carbohydrates for energy and protein for building muscles. When on hand, I’ll have a few before a workout.

TIP: For a vegan version, use vegan egg replacer or 1 tbsp of flaxmeal mixed with 3 tbsp water rather than the 2-3 teaspoons straight water.


Festive Mince Pies

NDC mince pies

You will need …

225g/8 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
50g/2 oz icing sugar
25g/1 oz ground almonds
175g/6 oz Irish butter (from the fridge)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the filling …

675g/ 1 ½ lb (approx) sweet mincemeat


Preparation and baking

  • To make the pastry, sieve the flour, salt and icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in the ground almonds. Chop or coarsely grate the cold butter and rub this into the dry ingredients (a food processor may be used to do this).
  • . In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and lemon juice. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix together to form a smooth dough. Knead gently on a floured board, cover with cling-film and refrigerate until required.
  •  To make the mince pies, leave the pastry at room temperature for approximately 20 minutes. Roll out thinly on a floured board. Using a round 3” fluted cutter, cut out circles of pastry. Makes approximately 36.
  • Use the pastry circles to line the bases of shallow patty tins. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pie and bake these in a pre-heated oven at 190°C, 375°F or Gas Mark 5 for approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the tray.


To serve

Serve warm or cold with lightly whipped cream.

For variation, cut out star shapes from the pastry trimmings and use these to top the pies before baking. When baked, just sprinkle with a little sieved icing sugar.


Crispy Baked Hake with Yogurt Tartar Sauce

 Panko breadcrumbs, if available, make the coating extra crispy but they are not essential.

Serves 4

Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 4 hake fillets, approx. 175g each, skinned and boned
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 75g of stale breadcrumbs or Panko breadcrumbs
  • 15g finely grated cheese
  • 1 tablesp. chopped parsley leaves
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Yogurt Tartar Sauce

  • 150g Greek style yogurt
  • 1 teasp. Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablesp. capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 small gherkin, finely chopped
  • 1 tablesp. chopped parsley leaves

To Cook

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F). Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Brush a little of the melted butter over the parchment paper.

Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish with the grated cheese and parsley. Place the flour and egg in separate shallow dishes.

Season the hake with a little salt and black pepper. Dip the hake, one piece at a time, into the flour, shake off the excess, then dip into the egg and finally into the breadcrumb mixture. Place on the baking tray. Brush the remaining melted butter over the top and sides of the fish. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile make the Yogurt Tartar Sauce:
Place yogurt, mustard, capers, gherkin, parsley, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well to combine.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the sauce with the crispy hake, tender stem broccoli and sautéed potatoes.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving

Protein: 43g 

Carbohydrates: 44g 

Fat: 17g 

Iron: 2.3mg 

Energy: 504kcal 


Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake


About This Dish

By Enrique Gili

November 15, 2015, 2:12 p.m.

The end of the harvest season means pumpkin and all things pumpkin-flavored are having a moment in the sun. So why not splurge on a dessert that brings that flavor to your table? Spiced pumpkin cheesecake merges two classics into one flavorful dessert.

In a break from the norm, I used a cast-iron skillet rather than a spring-form pan to bake this dessert. Why? Skillets tend to heat food evenly, so the cracking that often mars the surface of cheesecake is less likely to occur. Plus, the rustic presentation is appealing for a casual dinner without being too fussy.

By using reduced fat cream cheese and eschewing heavy cream as ingredients, this cheesecake contains about half the calories but still tastes rich — so much so that a small wedge of this dense cheesecake is all you need for dessert, with or without the bourbon pecan topping.

Prep Time

1 hour

Total Time

2 hours


1 pie

  1. 1 large mixing bowl
  2. 9-inch cast iron skillet
  3. Saucepan or skillet
  4. Food processor
  5. Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  6. Wire rack or cutting board
  • 20 ginger snap cookies (about 1.5 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ounce white cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 24 ounces light cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white cane sugar
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 ounce brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Break ginger snaps into pieces and pulse in a food processor until ground fine. Add melted butter, sugar and ginger. Pulse a few more times until the ingredients are combined. Then press mixture into the bottom of 9-inch skillet and along sides. Place skillet on middle rack and bake for 10 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, make cheesecake batter. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese with sugar and stir ingredients until peaks form, about 2 minutes. Then add pumpkin puree and stir until blended, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle spices into mixing bowl, stirring as you go, about 1 minute. Then crack eggs one by one into bowl stirring whites and yolks into the batter. Lastly, add flour and vanilla extract and stir again.
  4. Pour batter onto piecrust. Place skillet on the center rack and bake for 40 minutes. The edges of the cheesecake should be firm while the center is jiggly. Close oven, turn off heat and allow cheesecake to cool inside oven for at least one hour. Then, place cheesecake on counter atop wire rack until handle of skillet is warm to the touch and then refrigerate overnight.
  5. For the topping, melt butter in saucepan. Then add bourbon, moving pan side-to-side to combine. Place pecan halves in pan and toast until fragrant, stirring frequently to avoid burning, about 5 minutes. Then add sugar, cinnamon and salt and stir to ensure an even coating. Remove from heat and allow pecans to cool, about 5 minutes. Add half the pecans to a food processor set to pulse. Whiz a few times until crumbled. Sprinkle pecan halves and bits on cheesecake, plate and serve. Save the remaining pecans for snacks.


Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter



40 minutes




Christmas Brownies with Cranberries and Mixed Spice



  • 300g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 220g Kerrygold butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • Icing sugar, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 30x20cm baking tin with baking parchment.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir gently until smooth then set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy.

4. Combine the chocolate and butter mix with the egg mix, then gently fold in the flour, mixed spice, pecans, and cranberries until fully incorporated.

5. Pour into the prepared tin then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the brownie is firm to the touch.

6. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then place on a wire rack until cooled completely.

7. Once cool, cut into squares and dust the tops with icing sugar. To be extra festive you can use a christmas stencil to dust the tops with icing sugar!


Potato and Spinach Hash with Fried Eggs

Bord Bia - Daniel Davey - Alan Rowlette Photography Bord Bia Egg Campaign Recipes: Daniel Davey Styled by: Jette Virdi Pics: Alan Rowlette
Bord Bia – Daniel Davey – Alan Rowlette Photography
Bord Bia Egg Campaign
Recipes: Daniel Davey
Styled by: Jette Virdi
Pics: Alan Rowlette

Another great nutritious egg recipe from Daniel Davey, Sports Nutritionist


  • 750g mini white potatoes
  • 1 tablesp. coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablesp. butter
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 100g coarsely shredded spinach
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper (optional)

To Cook

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the potatoes until fork-tender. This will take roughly 10 minutes. drain, let cool slightly and cut into quarters.
2. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil over a medium-low heat in a large non-stick pan. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring often. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3.In the same pan, melt the butter over a medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until light golden brown. Sprinkle with half each of the salt and pepper. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook over a medium heat for about 2 minutes until tender. Add the spinach and onion and cook until the spinach is wilted. Stir in the cheese until melted.
4. Add a little oil to a separate clean pan and cook the eggs over medium heat until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft, or until almost hard if you prefer.
5. Serve the eggs over the hash with a little cayenne pepper sprinkled over them.