Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Instant Low Fat Berry Frozen Yogurt

First off, may I apologise profusely for my lack of blogging lately. It has been manic to say the least, but finishing up in work tomorrow to open the doors of Sika Lodge for the summer, so hopefully will have a bit more time to give to the blogging now that I’m not juggling as much.

May I say what amazing weather we’ve been blessed with these past few weeks. We’ve had many BBQs, notably my Happy Sea Beam and My butterflied chicken, classics on the blog!

With glorious weather comes a time for salads, great when trying to stay trim. Also the temptation for ice-cream and whipped ice-cream cones with chocolate flakes also increases; which isn’t easy when one is trying to diet! But we should enjoy ice cream this weather, without the guilt!!

 Yesterday evening I dusted off my Magimix processor and threw a 500ml carton of low fat natural yogurt into it with 400gs of frozen mixed summer fruits, and whizzed up both ingredients for 5 minutes, and there I had it……Instant Low Fat Frozen Berry Yogurt. Delicious! It was slightly creamy and soft, which could have been eaten just there and then, but I put it into a lunch box container and covered it in the freezer for an hour to harden a little. This is certainly a guilt free treat for the summer!!!

So….to recap:

·         500ml of low fat yogurt
·         400g of frozen berries

1.       Whizz both together in a food processor for 5 minutes, stiring if a frozen berry get stuck in the processor and then whizz again. Put in a freezer proof container, cover and freeze until required.

2.       Put in a wine glass and decorate with a sprig of mint.

How easy is that!!!!!!

Note: This is a slight bite bitter, so you wont need to scoff much to get that sweet hit you were looking for, but if you want to sweeten it up a little, I’d add a tablespoon of honey before whizzing in the processor!!!!!

This is such a versatile recipe; you could experiment with different flavours, boiled lemons? Strawberries? Blueberries? Or why not add some textures, i.e. flaked alonds?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Leftover Lamb Fried Rice

I may have mentioned cooking a big butterflied leg of lamb over the weekend….Well I have lots of meat leftover as I seemed to have cooked a ginormous leg, enough to feed 10 people, not the six that I was cooking for! This resulted in lots of leftovers for lamb pitta pockets for lunch all week. To make a dent in the leftover mound of tasty meat and because time was not on my side, I decided to make really quick leftover fried rice for the husband for dinner. He may actually turn into a sheep after the lamb over load!!!!!!

I would use any leftover meat for this recipe, be it chicken, boiled bacon or pork!!!! It would all taste equally delicious. In this instance the lamb still had the smoky BBQ flavour on it, which made the fried rice extremely tasty.

Serves 2


·         Leftover meat, diced
·         2 carrots diced
·         6 mushrooms, diced
·         2 spring onions, diced
·         120g of rice, cooked according to packet (to speed things up further microwave pouch rice is good)
·         1 egg
·         1 garlic clove, diced
·         ½ a red chilli, deseeded and diced
·         2 tbsp of soy sauce
·         1 tbsp of oyster sauce
·         1 tbsp of hoisin sauce
·         1 tbsp of oil
·         1 tbsp of chopped coriander


1.       Make sure you have all your ingredients prepared, as once you start cooking, it all comes together really fast!
2.       Get your wok on a high heat with the oil and add the garlic and chilli, stir fry for a moment
3.       Add the carrots and mushrooms and fry for 4 minutes.
4.       Remove from the wok to a plate.
5.       Add the rice and fry with the diced meat.
6.       Add the 3 sauces and mix through the meat.
7.       Break the egg directly into the wok and stir vigorously to cook the egg.
8.       Return the veg to the wok and stir to combine all the ingredients together.
9.       Add the chopped coriander to finish it off.
10.   Serve with some sweet chilli sauce on the side

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quinoa, Chickpea & Carrot Herb Salad

I’m really on an middle-eastern inspired buzz at the moment. It’s so spicy and fragrant and fresh though, it’s quite easy to get carried away with middle-eastern inspired dinners every night of the week.

I BBQ’ed a butterflied leg of lamb over the weekend and I had lots of small sides, such as hummus, cous cous, herb salads, honeyed carrots etc. It was divine to say the least. This salad really was a chance to use up all the leftovers in fridge from the ingredients in making all those sides.
So that is how I came up with my Quinoa, Chickpea & Carrot Herb Salad w/ Cumin Squash Wedges!!!!!! Fresh and invigorating, not to mention extremely healthy. I made extra for lunch the following day. It can be stuffed into a pitta pocket with some feta and natural yogurt and be the envy of all work colleagues with their limp ham salad sambos…..


Serves 4

·         1 drained tin of chickpeas
·         75g of quinoa
·         2 carrots, cut into batons
·         1 lemon
·         1 small carton of natural yogurt
·         1 tomato, deseeded and cut into strips
·         3-4 spring onions, sliced
·         2 tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley
·         2 tbsp of chopped coriander
·         2 tbsp of chopped mint
·         2-3 tbsp of hummus (shop bought or from this blog)
·         ½ red chilli, sliced thinly

Cumin Squash Wedges

·         ½ a butternut squash, cut into thin wedges
·         2 tbsp of ground cumin
·         Low cal spray


1.       Firstly make the wedges and get the quinoa on the boil.
2.       Preheat the oven to 220 degrees
3.       Lay the wedges on a baking tray and sprinkle with the cumin powder, and spray with low cal spray.
4.       Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes
5.       Boil the quinoa according to packet instructions (normally 15 minutes)
6.       To assemble the salad get a large bowl and add the herbs, carrots, spring onions, tomatoes and chickpeas.
7.       When the quinoa is cooked, rinse under cold water and drain, removed excess moisture with kitchen paper before adding to the salad.
8.       Stir well to distribute the quinoa.
9.       Place some hummus in centre of salad and top with the chilli strips and wedges of lemon.
10.   Serve with natural yogurt (low fat is fine), and the wedges.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Low Fat Chilli Con Carne

After a crazy few weeks of getting Sika Lodge ready to be open for business, I’m finally back in my (brand new) kitchen and cooking our dinners again. Yay!!!
T’was a hard slog and actually over the last week I was even forgetting to eat I was so busy!!!! Imagine that!!! It’s first, let me tell you!!!!

I’m out of my mom’s kitchen and relishing my new kitchen, with all my new Neff appliances. But you know what, after all that hard work, and time still not on my side (still commuting to cork daily to work), I’ve been craving something with a punch, that’s effortless and convenient, that won’t compromise on calories naturally.

Those who know me know that I’m a big advocator of turkey mince, it’s so versatile and more importantly low fat and packed full of protein. This recipe puts a Latino twist on my turkey mince…… it’s my Low Fat Chilli Con Carne recipe. I’m not including the normal accompaniments here, but some guacamole, sour cream, grated cheese and tortilla chips would make this the ultimate fiesta dinner for a crowd at the weekend also!!!! Super casual, super tasty, and diet friendly!!!!

If I’ll be having drinks parties (and I will!!) off season of course, this Chilli will certainly be served to my guests. Though, in that case, I would opt for the steak mince.

Serves 4


·         400g turkey mince
·         Garlic clove, diced
·         1 onion, diced
·         1 tin of chopped tomatoes
·         1 tbsp of tomato puree
·         1 tin of kidney beans (rinsed)
·         1 tbsp of ground cumin
·         1 tbsp of ground coriander
·         1 large red chilli, deseeded and diced
·         ½ tbsp. of brown sugar
·         5 table spoons of fresh chopped coriander
·         Salt/pepper/low fat oil spray

To serve : rice or low fat baked sweet potato wedges


1.       Get a pan on medium heat and spray with low cal spray
2.       Add the mince and brown
3.       Add the garlic and onion and fry for a few minutes
4.       To this stir through the tomato puree and tin of tomatoes.
5.       So as not to loose all the tomato juices in the tin, pour water a quarter full, swirl  the tin and add to the pan.
6.       (at the point, this is a base for any turkey mince dish (i.e. Spaghetti Bol, so you could easily add pesto and basil for a low fat Italian Spag Bol)
7.       Cover the mince, leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
8.       Then uncover, add the chilli, cumin, coriander and sugar.
9.       Rinse the kidney beans and add them also.
10.   Stir thoroughly and cook for a further 5 minutes.
11.   Add the chopped coriander and serve with either rice or potato wedges (optional cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and guacamole of course)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mushroom & Irish Cheddar Cheese Mini Frittatas From Sika Lodge

These’s frittatas started out as just plain scrambled eggs with fried mushroom for my dad on Sunday morning, but trying to be fancy schmancy, I ended up using cooking rings and created beautiful mini frittatas. The whole thing happened so quickly, I said these are definite contenders for the menu in Sika Lodge for breakfast. 

Simple, delicious and slightly impressive visually, whats not to like!!!

After my testing on my Dad last Sunday I said I'd put them to the test on my very first breakfast guests, on put them on the Sika Breakfast Board, and my guests, Phillipe and Sonia, natives of France, today ordered them for breakfast!!!! They got a great response, to say I was chuffed was a huge understand!!!! This has earned the Frittatas as a permanent fixture on the Sika Breakfast menu, a great low fat and vegetarian alternative to the Full Irish!!! (But I couldn't resist adding a few sneaky slices of bacon)

The Frittatas are also a perfect little Sunday Brunch dish, serve with coffee, toast and the Sunday papers!!!!

Serves 2


  • 6 mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp of cream
  • 5 medium free range eggs
  • 1 tsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of grated cheddar
  • 1 tsp of chopped chives 

Serve with
Toast and grilled tomato halves, & (optional Bacon)


  1. Break the eggs into a jug with the cream,season and whisk
  2. Fry the sliced mushrooms in an oven proof pan in the oil and butter
  3. Remove from the pan
  4. Add 4 cooking rings (greased on the inside) to the pan.
  5. Divide the mushrooms between the rings
  6. Pour the eggs into each ring and cook for a minute
  7. Sprinkle with the cheddar
  8. Transfer to an oven preheated to 200 degrees.
  9. Cook for 5 minutes
  10. In a preheated grill with the tomatoes
  11. Remove and take care when slipping off the rings
  12. Serve with the tomatoes, toast and sprinkle with chives

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