Oliver McCabe

Recipe of the Month – Mediterranean Chicken and Chickpea Stew

Recipe of the Month, Only Natural, Oliver McCabe
A tireless advocate of natural health in Ireland is natural food chef and author Oliver McCabe and, as I chatted to Ollie at the Vitality Expo, I thought of how long it had been since we’ve shared one of his wonderful recipes. So as we head into the time when we all want nourishing and warming soups and casseroles here’s Oliver’s recipe for Mediterranean Chicken and Chickpea Stew. What a doddle, prep it in 15 minutes, cook it in 40! Because of the addition of herbs and spices, olives and lemons the flavour is divine and the lean protein, chickpeas and millet make it super nutritious. Try this one when there’s a chill in the air and your body’s craving comfort. read more →

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Product of the Month – Viridian 7 Day Sugar Detox

Product of the Month Viridian 7 Day Sugar Detox

Sugar is the new smoking; it is addictive and linked to a wide range of serious health problems and, like cigarettes 20 years ago, there are no health warnings on high-sugar foods.  Sugar and refined carbohydrates from white bread, pasta, bakery items, cereals and sweetened beverages can disrupt your blood sugar balance over time. Another problem is that sugar makes healthy food taste worse, as our taste buds are conditioned to the sweetness of sugary foods.

Recently a sugar detox was found to be a very successful way to reduce sugar cravings (within a few days), reduce desire for sugary foods, and improve the taste of healthier alternatives. A sugar detox could be the start of your road to better energy levels, better mood and a whole list of other ‘betters’.

Viridian, the company we love for their ethical stance just as for their brilliantly effective products, have just brought out a great tool in the fight to change our sugary ways, The 7 Day Sugar Detox. The great thing is that it’s not just a product (although the combination of cinnamon and chromium that it contains probably is THE nutritional path to better blood sugar balance), it also comes with great support in the form of a free app which helps you track just how much sugar, much of it hidden in foods, you’re currently eating, how to make better food choices to support the supplement’s action and lots of information on just how refined carbohydrates are bad for your metabolism.

Product of the Month Viridian 7 Day Sugar Detox

There’s even a suggested mealplan and recipes for each meal of the day, with many of them from, our friend of the store, Oliver McCabe’s Fuel Food Cookbook (Viridian and Oliver are now working closely together).  You can view the meal plans, recipes and shopping list here so there’s no guessing work!

We’re hugely behind this great new tool on the road to better health, so much so that’s we’re prepared to do it ourselves!  So make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook page to see how we’re getting on!  And at less than €10 for a week’s supply what have you got to lose (except low mood and energy and a few inches round the waistline maybe?).

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Recipe of the Month – Burger ‘n Chips

I’ll have a burger and chips please

Recipe of the month Burger 'n Chips

How can you turn the ultimate bloke’s chow down into something that’s good for you? It can be done, read on!
The burgers in question are Oliver McCabe’s ‘Lentil and Cashew Burgers’ from the ‘Fuel Food Cookbook, they’re simple to make and taste wonderful. They’re full of protein, fibre and vitamin C, gluten free and low GL.

Burger

Ingredients

145g red lentil, rinsed and drained
350ml water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
115g red onion, finely chopped
100g kale, washed and shredded
70g toasted cashew nuts, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon Himalyayan fine rock salt
30g oat bran
Rapeseed oil, for frying

Recipe of the month Burger 'n Chips

Method

  1. Place the lentils and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Use a spatula to scrape the lentils into a medium-sized bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar and mash well.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a wok over a low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 7 minutes, until softened. Add all remaining ingredients except the oat bran and sauté for 7 minutes more, until all the vegeables are tender. Add to the lentils with the oat bran and mix well. Leave to stand for 1 hour, until cool.
  4. Form six medium-sized burgers with clean hands. Heat a little rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the burger for about 5 minutes per side, until cooked through and golden on the outside.

Then for our ‘chips’. This simple recipe for ‘vege fries’ comes from Anthony William’s medicalmedium.com website where you’ll find all manner of great recipes based on natural food and superfoods.

The trick is to boil the root vegetables and then shake them vigorously before baking. The herbs and garlic generously coat the outside and the smudged edges will turn crispy in the oven. If you’re pressed for time, you can omit the extra steps and send them straight to the oven, though those few extra minutes will yield truly amazing results. Make a big enough batch to share -these won’t last long.

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The Lowdown on Natural Sweeteners

natural sweeteners sugar
It’s a fact that Ireland is getting fatter and, as people strive to buck the trend while still occasionally satisfying a sweet tooth, we’re frequently asked which of the many natural sweeteners we recommend people to use. Firstly I’d say it’s a matter of frequency. If your sweet treat is a once a week indulgence your choice will have less impact, if it’s more often think carefully. Before thinking about sweeteners at all give some thought to other refined carbohydrates like white flour and pasta and maybe cut them out or way down first. Then look at some of the unrefined natural sweeteners you can use in your own cooking and which are finding their way more and more into bought products.

Natural Sweeteners options:

stevia imageStevia is extracted from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana and has been used for sweetening for centuries in South America. It’s compounds make it many times sweeter than sugar without any of the calories. It has been linked with health benefits like lowering elevated blood pressure and lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics. However… many people dislike the taste of Stevia. It does depend on the brand though, you may need to experiment to find one that you like.

How to use Stevia: Unlike raw honey, stevia is heat stable, so feel free to use it in any way you desire. Remember, it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, so don’t use it in the same ratio. For baking, this can present a problem, as refined sugar gives bulk to recipes. However, this can be easily rectified. To make up for the lost bulk when using stevia, use 1/3 to ½ cup of one of the following bulking agents: fresh fruit puree, yogurt, roasted winter squash, two whipped egg whites, or you can use 1–2 tablespoons of coconut flour.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol with a sweetness similar to sugar. It contains 2.4 calories per gram, or about 75% of the caloric value of sugar. It appears to have some benefits for dental health, reducing the risk of cavities and dental decay. It may also improve bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis and it doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels.

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Ger’s on South East Radio

Oliver & Ger picTune into The Morning Mix with Alan Corcoran at 11.05am to hear Ger tell us all about, what promises to be, a fantastic morning out at Murphy’s Barn.  Oliver McCabe, author of recently published, wholefood cookbook, The FuelFood Cookbook, is hosting a cookery demonstration on Saturday 7th May.  Read more details of this event here.

Part of the proceeds of the day go the Wexford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Services so Claire from the R&SASS will be on air with Ger letting us know the vital services they provide and where these much needed funds will be headed.

R&SASS image

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Recipe of the Month – Ollie’s Fuel Food Veggie Bake

Millet Bake2

As we get closer to our cookery demo day with Oliver McCabe in Murphy’s Barn on Saturday May 7th we’re enthusiastically trying lots of recipes from his book. Both Ruth (full credit to her for these beautiful images of her creation!) and I cooked his Fuel Food Veggie Bake and were in agreement that it was hearty, comforting, wholefood at its best so it’s the recipe we want to share with you now. What can I say? If you don’t have the book it’s well worth the purchase (we have signed copies for €20) and if you’d like to take it a step further, meet Olly and hear about his unique food philosophy at first hand then put Saturday May 7th in your diary right now.

I was so impressed with the use of millet in this recipe and felt this powerhouse grain needed looking into more, want to know more on millet, just click here.

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Recipe of the Month – Ollie’s Mammy’s Stew

Irish Stew

What? Cocoa in a stew, who’d have thought?
I’m really loving Oliver McCabe’s new The FuelFood Cookbook and it was a great pleasure to have him signing copies in Only Natural recently. We’re equally excited at the prospect of having him do a demonstration day in Murphy’s Barn on Saturday May 7th. It’s going to be a wonderful opportunity to benefit from Oliver’s unique wholefood cookery knowledge at first hand, on top of which we’ll be throwing in a delicious and wholesome lunch with recipes from the book and all in the most inspiring setting not far from Wexford town. Why not keep the date free? Tickets are now available online here.

Anyway back to the recipe. It’s Oliver’s mammy’s very own recipe for Irish Stew and, what with Paddy’s Day just round the corner we thought it might be good to remind you that, even in today’s multi cultured food world, our own tradition of simply prepared, wholesome dishes deserves to be honoured and enjoyed. This Irish Stew however has a bit of a twist, yes cocoa! I’ve added chocolate to chilli before and I must say that this works too. The result is a rounded, mellow flavour where the strong taste of the lamb isn’t quite so dominant. The quality of the ingredients is everything in a recipe like this so we’d suggest (A) supporting your local Craft Butcher for better quality meat and (B) buying organic vegetables where possible. The chilly season isn’t quite over yet and trust me, this is what you want when it’s cold and rainy outside. Do give it a try!

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