Browsing Tag

food

FOOD FOOD NEWS

Fabulous Sprinkles of Flavour

Salmon Sprinkles from Gold as Gold Foods

I love an ‘aul food market or festival, so I do. But regularly going to food markets on a small island such as ours can get a bit Groundhog Dayish after a while, albeit a very enjoyable and flavour-filled Groundhog Day! So it was nice to stumble across Jack Healy’s “Wild Salmon Charqui”, a new product that I hadn’t seen before that faithful day in the Temple Bar Food Market.

The product, a salmon equivalent of beef jerky, is based on the native Indian method of preserving fish by drying. Jack has created a number of different flavours, both sweet and savoury, using garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, Tabasco sauce, various herbs, and chilli to create a perfect high-protein, low-calorie snack which makes a great alternative to the usual snacks on offer. Although I like the jerky, or “charqui” as he calls it, it is the salmon sprinkles which he also sells which excites me the most. Let’s just say these are frickin’ brilliant! They are so versatile, and having a shelf-life of 12 months means that they are the perfect cupboard staple. Let me explain readers, the sprinkles (I’m sure he has another name for them, but it’s my blog, so sprinkles it is!) are dried wild salmon ground down into the size small breadcrumbs. You can use these babies in scrambled egg to give them gorgeous salmon flavour,  sprinkled on top of poached eggs and hollandaise sauce for Eggs Royale, on a baked potato with sour cream, sprinkled on soups, or with creamy pasta and a bit of parmesan. The permutations are endless!

Salmon Sprinkles from Good as Gold Foods
Added to that are the well-documented and proven health benefits of salmon:

* Reduces inflammation
* Lowers blood pressure
* Reduces the risk of cancer
* Reduces the risk of heart disease
* Improves brain function
* Helps makes your skin only gorgeous!

Jack is not currently trading at Temple Bar (in fairness, it’s nippy out there!), but a new website and new markets are currently being planned, so if you’d like more information or order some product, you can contact him on his Facebook page

Let’s make this a year to really get behind Irish businesses and startups, so that our economy and our subsequent welfare become less reliant on external factors.  The innovation and entrepreneurial spirit certainly exists in abundance. And with any luck, we should be seeing this particular brilliant product in supermarkets and restaurants throughout the country very soon.

Images borrowed from As Good as Gold Facebook page
RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Real Gourmet Burger Terenure Review

Real Gourmet Burger, Terenure

And so my quest to keep it local continues. On this particular occasion, I had a severe bout of the lazy-Maisies and didn’t want to cook, and so armed with a jammy little voucher from Groupon, I took myself and the Mammy up to Terenure to a spot I’ve been curious about for some months – Real Gourmet Burger. The restaurant is situated in the heart of Terenure Cross/Village/Enclave which has seen the opening of quite a few new eateries and quality shops in the past year. Not to mention a right fancy looking Aldi. On the ground floor, the restaurant has a laid back atmosphere, decorated with modern, solid Scandi-style furniture, bricked walls, and an open kitchen at the back. Upstairs, there’s plenty of space to easily house small functions and gatherings. And so on to the food, the voucher was for 2 burgers & fries, plus wine (or craft beer) for €20, which given that all the meat is naturally reared and free-range is quite the deal indeed!

Unlike Bunsen, Real Gourmet Burger offers up a whole host of burgers – with 12 types of beef, 2 lamb, 3 chicken, and a couple of vegetarian options. I ordered the classic lamb burger with melted mozzarella, aubergine, and mint mayonnaise. The Mammy went for the Old Timer beef burger with roasted mushroom, caramelised onions, streaky bacon, Swiss cheese and house-made horseradish mayo. Both burgers were served in a poppy seed bun with rosemary fries, and a nice little Pinot Grigio to wash it down. I have to say, everything was a complete triumph.The burgers were cooked perfectly and the add-ons enhanced the flavour of the meat, without overpowering it. Admittedly, there is a brief moment when you think “how am I going to get my gob around that”. But never underestimate the humble gob, folks! They are truly a marvel of design and engineering. Or is that the Golden Gate Bridge? Anyhoo, despite our fullness, but in consideration of the Sundayness of the day, dessert was, I felt, entirely necessary, and so we shared an Eton mess. Lots of meringue – although, perhaps too much – with lashings of cream and beautifully sweet strawberries. A nice end to a lovely meal!

rgbmontage

The restaurant has a great buzz with some pretty decent tunes in the background, and friendly staff adding to the casual atmosphere. When we arrived it was almost full. By the time we left it had got quieter, which is to be expected on Sunday evening. I’d highly recommend picking up one of the vouchers while they are still available. And if they’re gone, hey nonny nonny,  it’s is still great value at full price. Methinks, you’ll like it a lot!

Real Gourmet Burger, 101 Terenure Road East, Dublin 6

RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Eat Yourself Healthy at Siam Thai

Siam Thai Malahide

So this week I was lucky to be invited to one of the health & nutrition talks currently running in Siam Thai’s two Dublin restaurants in Dundrum and Malahide. I have wanted to go to their Dundrum restaurant for ages, but have somehow never got around to it, so when I got the opportunity to visit the one in Malahide, I snapped it up. The topic of the evening’s talk was Nutrition on the Go and was held by the charming Gaye Godkin, a clinical nutritionist who works as a nutritional consultant for both organisations and individuals, and has worked with the chefs of Siam Thai to create new dishes with a nutritional focus.

Upon arrival we were greeted with Prosecco (always a plus), before being brought up to a separate dining area, away from the main restaurant, where our group could listen to Gaye’s presentation while simultaneously enjoying the delicious starters which were served up to us consisting of fresh spring rolls, carrot & papaza salad, and Larb Gai (minced chicken). The starters were an absolute triumph – packed full with flavour, but without the guilt! I positively felt like running out to the nearest Eason’s and snapping up a heap of Roz Purcell cook books!

Healthy Starters at Siam Thai Malahide

The main course offering had something for everyone, but I partook in my usual Pad Thai with prawns. Call me a slave to habit, but I like to think it more as a Thai restaurant comparison tool. And a ridiculously tasty one at that! So how did Siam Thai fare? Let’s just say, in my eyes at least, they are quite possible top of the Dublin Thai Restaurant League right now. The prawns were plump, the noodles were cooked perfectly, the sauce had just the right amount of sweetness, and (importantly), there was more than enough to fill this ‘ole belly!

Pad Thai at Siam Thai Malahide

We finished off the meal with a coffee, and as I left the buzzing restaurant (even on a Tuesday evening), I definitely felt more motivated and inspired to put less focus on calories, and give more attention to the nutritional aspect of food, without needing to compromise on taste. On this evening, Siam Thai more than proved it was possible.

Siam Thai, 1 The Green, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Tel: 01 845 4698.

 

FOOD NEWS HEALTH

Mythbusting | Warm Water & Lemon

Warm water and lemon

So I’m sure all of you have, at some stage, heard of the wonders of drinking hot water and lemon in the morning. In the age of Facebook, the popularity of such fads increases exponentially, so that it soon becomes, or at least appears to be, sound scientific fact. Further endorsements by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Claudia Schiffer, go a long way to giving it some extra clout.  So with that in mind, this little guinea pig decided to give this fad a go for the month of February and see if there was anything behind it all. So what benefits did I have to look forward to?

  1. Improved Digestion: This is based on the idea that the citric acid in lemon juice contributes to supporting an optimal acidic environment in the stomach. In addition, lemons are high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen toxins in the digestive tract.
  2. Clear Skin: The vitamin C contained within lemon helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Furthermore, because of its antiseptic qualities, it helps the skin purify itself from the inside out.
  3. Improved immune system. Due to the anti-bacterial and high vitamin C content of lemons, it helps build up your immune system and fight off colds and illness.
  4. Energising and mood enhancing. By not drinking caffeine-rich drinks such as tea or coffee in the morning which cause energy levels to crash mid-morning , warm water and lemon should help you feel energised and awake. This is facilitated further by the alleged mood-enhancing effects of lemon scent.
  5. Aids weight loss. Because of the pectin fibres contained in lemons, food cravings are said to be reduced.

So what was the result? Ehhhh, not quite sure. There were no tangible differences to the ‘aul digestion, perhaps a few extra toilet visits each day, which proponents would put down to the diuretic qualities of lemon. A bit tedious maybe, but just think of all those toxins flushing down the toilet! In terms of weight loss and clear skin – oh, how we laughed! The amount of vitamin C contained in your morning cuppa is by far too low to have any tangible impact. A lemon isn’t even the favourite child of the Vitamin C family – peaches, kiwis and blackcurrants all have more! And what about the mood enhancing? Well, nothing says “happy days” more than a mug of hot water compared to a frothy caffé latte, now does it. But hey, at least there was no mid-morning slump.

At this stage you’re probably thinking, well no more lemons for cynical Cindy here. And you’d be wrong. Apparently, it takes about 21 days to form a new habit, so this new habit has been formed and I’m in it for the long haul. Hey who knows, maybe I have the cleanest digestive tract in the northern hemisphere!