Browsing Category


Breakfast, Lunchbox, Sides, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, Videos

New Video – aging, and how to put the breaks on

This is the start of a fun #WTF series on healthy foods. Cleaning up your diet doesn’t need to assault your taste buds or involve thigh-licking lycra. No one should be threatened with that.

Tell me what you think, and which foods you’d like me to cover next! 

Leave your comments below and don’t forget to tag a friend, share on twitter or subscribe to my You Tube channel if you’re digging the vibe …  


Introducing skin-repairing zinc from pumpkin seeds, almond’s vitamin E stash, and orgasms …




Next week? #WTF Kale


Sides, x For Freezer x

Gheelicious Stuff

Seriously. I want to smell like hot ghee for the rest of my life. It’s a marriage of straight-out-of-the-oven shortbread and Parmesan.


So anyway, what’s this gheelicious stuff?

The Ancients in Ayurvedic teachings (them ones with sagacity and sexperience) considered ghee to be the most sacred of foods as it enabled the “goodness” from our diet to be absorbed. Scientists can now tell us why. Ghee, a sister of butter, is rich in fat-soluble vitamins A and D, without which some nutrients like calcium cannot be synthesised in the body.

Interesting, eh?

Yes, it’s still saturated fat but this doesn’t bother me.

What interests me most is its nutritional whistle, and its stability when heated in a frying pan. As soon as any fat reaches its ‘smoke point’, the point at which the fat begins to decompose and make free radicals, the fat will lose any nutritional purchase it once had. Free radicals are those nasty carcinogenic compounds that act like evil Power Rangers in our system. Not the sort of thing you want to serve your family.


ghee hotghee milk solids



Extra Virgin olive oil has a ‘smoke point’ of 180C, so anything higher will disfigure the fat and mutilate its nutritional profile.

Similarly, hemp oil has a low smoke point of 160C, and will fox trot with your arteries if heated any higher (this one is awesome for salad dressings, so keep it away from the pan).

What do I use? Coconut oil, with a boastful smoke point of 220C. But ghee is sneaking into Irish kitchens, without the threat of yogi pantaloons. It has a smoke point of around 220C.

Why not just use butter? I hear you! The milk solids (proteins and natural sugars) bring butter’s smoke point down to 150C. In the process of making ghee, these milk solids including lactose and casein are removed, leaving only liquid gold and a house smelling of freshly baked shortbread. This markedly raises its smoke point. Ghee whizz.

This might help explain why so many dairy-intolerants are dandy with ghee.
Making Ghee

You can find ghee in Middle Eastern stores or health food shops across Ireland. But you can also make it in your own kitchen today! It’s easier than boiling pasta.

Irish ghee is the best in the world, don’t you know?


500g block of unsalted Irish butter

50g patience


Ideally, use a small heavy-based saucepan. Bring the butter to a gentle putter on a low to medium flame. Let it burp and rumble for 20-30 minutes.

During this time, expect a queer foam to coat the top. Just scoop this off and throw away. We are interested in the next layer – the liquid gold. After 20 minutes, the lighter-coloured milk solids will drop to the bottom of the saucepan, underneath the layer of fabulously golden butterfat.

Watch carefully. When the smell of freshly baked parmesany shortbread cookies fills the air, it’s done. You’ll also notice the milk solids changing colour on the bottom. Remove from the flame.

I use scrupulously clean jam jars, and line each one with muslin or cheesecloth. Pour the now-clarified butter into each jar, straining first through the muslin cloth. This will catch the milk solids, which in turn will prevent the ghee spoiling.

Leave to cool at room temperature before storing in the fridge.

Expect ghee to last for up to 1 year in the fridge, or 12 weeks at room temperature. Your frying pan’s new BF.







Lunchbox, Salads & Suppers, Sides, Vegan &/or Raw

Buckwheat Noodles Wrapped in ‘shrooms & Badass Ginger


Mushrooms have been revered throughout many cultures as far back as Ancient Egypt. These furred-up fungi were believed to bring immortality and bottomless libidos. That must have been before the empire disappeared. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms were celebrated for giving super-human strength. Take that, Popeye! 

Today, mushrooms don’t enjoy nearly the same level of prestige unless they are of the hallucinogenic kind. But many of these outrageous health claims can now be traced to a range of polysaccharides specific to mushrooms. (Scientists, look away now while I brutalise your language).

Lentinans and beta glucan polysaccharides for example are believed to stimulate the immune system by activating certain proteins, macrophages and T-cells. These white blood cells declare war on terrorism (pesky bugs and the like), and begin bombing the blood with their infantry.  

In laboratory studies, the polysaccharides present in shiitake extract have slowed the growth of tumours in some cell cultures. But not in all cell cultures, highlighting the complexity surrounding their use. For now, I’m sufficiently excited to indulge in the fantasy of everlasting life while scoffing a bucket of wild mushrooms.


wild mushrooms before cooking


Love Noodles

It’s argued that some of us have the genetic ability to become aroused by a mere whiff of certain types of mushrooms. 

Phwoar. No wonder the forests of County Wicklow are feverishly descended upon this time of year. 

Fall is shroom season, as they say in the trade. It’s best to go with an expert like Bill O’Dea to avoid picking poisonous ones. You don’t have to dress like an idiot to go shroom hunting, but Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall seems to think it helps.


wild mushrooms


For two people:
3 handfuls of various field mushrooms
2 long spring onions
a bunch of 100% buckwheat soba noodles
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
Up to 1 tablespoon tamari soya sauce


For the dressing:
3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
pinch of chilli, dried or fresh (optional)

Slice the spring onions and larger mushrooms. Spring onions will look better wrapped among the noodles when they’re cut lengthways, rather than into tiny discs. Set both aside. You might find a few stray pieces of grass or dirt if the mushrooms are bone fide wild. Do discard these, unless you want to spend the evening with a toothpick.

Cook the soba noodles as directed on the packet. Normally this takes 5–8 minutes in boiling water. A quick dash of toasted sesame oil in the pot adds great flavour, but not essential.

While the noodles are cooking, heat a frying pan on a medium flame to stir-fry the mushrooms in a spot of coconut oil. Just as they deepen in colour – say, 4 minutes – chuck in a splash of tamari and enjoy the sizzle and splash. 

Remove from the heat immediately, add the sliced spring onions, mix everything together and let it sit in the pan while you get going on your dressing.

Crush the ginger and garlic to a smooth paste in a pestle and mortar. The smell of freshly smashed herbs and spices will serenade your nostrils and do all sorts of joyous things to your sensory neurons. Once you have recovered sufficiently from the pestle and mortar excitement, whisk in the sesame oil and remaining tamari with a fork. If you have it, a touch of chilli or truffle salt should get your blood beating like a voodoo drum. Just make sure you’re not serving this to somebody inappropriate, like an unsuspecting in-law.

The noodles should be nicely cooked by now. Remove from the heat, rinse under cold water to stop the noodles from sticking, drain, and wrap with the ginger dressing. Tumble into the mushrooms and spring onions. Serve with a renewed sense of devilment and a mischievous smile.


Paige, the seaweed hunter