Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Fig and Coconut Ceral Bars before cutting
The quest for healthy homemade cereal bars continues! I have heavily adapted this recipe from this one at Smitten Kitchen. I have experimented with it, using different ingredients and I am happy now with this combination. The wonderful books The Guilt Free Gourmet and My Goodness have me experimenting with agave syrup and Xylitol (a healthier alternative to sugar).

This recipe makes 16 small square bars. Each one has 131 calories and 5g of fat. Not bad at all!


150g porridge oats
125g Xylitol
50g rice flour
half teaspoon salt
125g dried figs (topped, tailed and chopped small)
25g pumpkin seeds
40g dessicated coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter or marg (I used Vitalite dairy free)
60ml agave syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ tin in one direction with baking paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the paper and the exposed pan
  • Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and seeds
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted marg, liquid sweeteners and water
  • Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until evenly crumbly
  • Spread in the prepared pan, pressing firmly with a spoon
  • Bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown
  • They’ll still seem soft when you press
  • Cool the bars in their tin completely on a cooling rack
  • Once cool, use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. If bars seem crumbly, chill further in the fridge for 30 minutes to set them, then cut cold

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Muffins, buns. Buns muffins. These are really buns, but buns generally are not stuffed with carrots and walnuts so I am calling them muffins. Whatever you want to call them, use a bun tray and normal bun cases for baking.

These are dense and spicy. Very tasty.

And I have handily worked out the calorie content of each muffin: 137 calories and 7 grams of fat. So, not bad compared to your average shop bought bun or cereal bar. And walnuts combat memory loss. What's not to love??!!


150g spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g light muscovado sugar
40g chopped walnuts
1 large carrot finely grated
50g sultanas
½ tsp vanilla essence
45ml (3 tblsps) rapeseed oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsps cinnamon
60ml soya milk


• Pre heat oven to 200°C
• Line the bun tin with bun cases
Grate the carrot
• Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl
• Add the sultanas and walnuts
• Beat the egg in a bowl, with the milk and vanilla essence
• Mix in the grated carrots to the eggy mixture
• Mix in the oil
• Add this mix to the dry ingredients and combine well
• Divide the mix into the 12 bun cases (using two teaspoons!)
• Bake for 25 minutes

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I was so sad to find Café Fresh was no more on New Year's Eve in Dublin. Sob. But I am now SO happy to hear of the new vegan café Lurve, on Mary Street. Yay! I'll be trying it out ASAP and will report back. The northside of the inner city has long needed such a place.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Muesli Energy Bars

It's very hard to get decent cereal bars in the supermarket, though Kelkin, Nak'd and Jordans do a great job with their bars and lots of places stock them. Still, they are expensive. So, frustrated in both Aldi and Tesco today with the generally rubbishy cereal bars on offer (high sugar, coated in yogurt/chocolate), I decided to make my own. I found a couple of good recipes on the RTÉ website and I have adapted one of them, basically to use what was in my press. These came out quite crumbly but are totally delicious. (They might have stayed together better if I hadn't prised them out of the tin for testing before they were cold...)

Muesli Energy Bar 

  • 50g butter or marg.
  • 50ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 150g porridge oats
  • 25g mixed nuts (chopped)     
  • 25g dessicated coconut
  • 50g dates (chopped)
  • 25g pumpkin seeds
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 25 g raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (or any other flavour you like)

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C
  2. Line a shallow baking tin with baking paper
  3. Put butter, sugar and oil into a biggish pot, over a low heat, and stir until butter melts
  4. Remove from heat and stir in all the dry ingredients
  5. Whisk egg in a cup with vanilla essence and add to other ingredients
  6. Spread evenly into the tin using a spatula to flatten
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into bar shapes.
  9. Leave until completely cold before removing from the tin.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Happy New Year!!

I got gorgeous foodie goodies for Christmas (birdie apron, ceramic measuring spoons and book pictured), thanks to my lovely sister, friend and husband. I sat today reading Jordan and Jessica Bourke's The Guilt-free Gourmet, absolutely salivating. So I ran to the supermarket for supplies and made/adapted their delicious New York Avocado Toast.

Oh. My. God. Just delicious. And it's packed with goodness: avocado, lemon, parsley, tomatoes. OK, bagels are calorific but in my defence a) I totally WANTED one and, b) it was wholegrain. Anyway, here's how to make this gorgeous meal - it's your choice whether to use rye toast (like the Bourkes) or a bagel. I added minced garlic to one half of the mix (just to see) and that made it guacamole-like and delicious. (It depends how garlic obsessed you are whether you bother with that.) Serve with a green salad.

2 small avocados
grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
1 tblsp chopped parsley
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
8 vine cherry tomatoes
2 slices rye bread (or 2 wholegrain bagels)
1 clove garlic minced (optional)

Zest the lemon
Juice the lemon
De-stone the avocados and mash them in a bowl
Season with half the zest and lemon juice
Mix in the parsley, a  pinch of salt and the garlic (if using)
Halve the tomatoes and season with the remaining lemon juice, zest, a little olive oil and salt
Toast the bread/bagels
Pile the avocado mix on top and serve with the tomatoes. Mmm-mmm-mmm!!!