Archive for July, 2007

And Now For The Science Bit! Squash!

Squash! A bit more exotic to some compared to a regular onion or potato however just as tasty if not more! Squash come from the same family as pumpkin, melon and cucumber and were traditionally buried with dead native Americans for a bit of grub on their final journey. However dead Indians aside Squash full of nutrients which benefit the body and is in season from now until the end of winter. HERE IT COMES THE REASON’S TO EAT SQUASH!

  1. It has Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Omega 3 fatty acids, and potassium to name but a few of the many nutrients the mighty squash contains!
  2. It is full of beta carotene which has an anti inflammatory effect and is said to reduce the severity of Asthma and osteoporosis.
  3. If you are a smoker, eating vitamin A rich foods can vastly reduce the deficiency in the vitamin caused by smoking.
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July 31, 2007 at 2:30 pm 1 comment

::Spicy Sticky Roast Squash Salad!


GOOD MORNING! Well this was dinner last night mainly because I decided that if i didn’t use the squash in the fridge it was going to end up in the bin! I love love love roast veggies, when there done properly that is, I mean when there’s a little crispy chewy and caramel like on the outside and soft and mushy on the inside, now that’s perfection. I have just moved into a new apartment which means a new oven, which means getting used to regulating the heat! I’m used to gas hob and oven so moving to electric isn’t exactly great news as it seems much harder to regulate the temperature. But I’m getting there!

Also I just want to apologise if you’ve seen the gaudy yellow plates repetitively in photo’s and have had just about enough of them but there all I have at the moment what with the moving and all! Were going to Sweden in a few weeks time so I intend to stock up with a few Ikea essentials.

This dish came together as a result of wanting to make a meal out of the squash rather than presenting it as the weird vegetable on the side of some other complicated dish. Squash is a strong meaty vegetable and should be treated as such.

Spicy Sticky Roast Squash Salad

(serves 2)

  1. 1 Large Squash
  2. 1 Red Onion
  3. 1 Red Pepper
  4. 1 Large Carrot
  5. 8 cloves of garlic
  6. 2 tablespoons of Honey
  7. 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  8. A good splash of olive oil

This is an extremely easy dish and comes out looking like your a pro! So first of all prepare all your veg. I’ve read about different ways of cooking squash mainly with the skin on but being a glutton for punishment I like to peel them, so there’s no work involved during the eating process. Once you have peeled your squash, cut it into halves and scoop out the seeds, then cut into chunky slices. Prepare the rest of the veg cutting into chunks. Leave the garlic cloves as they are, this will result in a rich yet mellow flavour a lot more palatable than in it’s raw form.

Place all the veg into a large roasting tin and toss in some olive oil, next drizzle the honey over the mix, and finally sprinkle the chili powder.

Roast in a preheated oven at about 150 degrees Celsius for approx 30 minutes or until brown. YUM!

July 31, 2007 at 12:51 am 5 comments

And Now For The Science Bit! Aubergine Parmigiana


The mystical Vegetable that is THE AUBERGINE!
Apart from this beautiful and glossy vegetable being so nice to look at, it also has some interesting health benefits, you’ll be interested to know! Aubergine’s are from the nightshade family which includes vegetables like peppers, tomato’s and potato’s, in my opinion they have a very distinct taste and texture, but then that’s something you should really discover yourself!

AND HERE ARE THE REASONS YOU SHOULD EAT AN AUBERGINE:

  1. Right now they are in season and will be until the end of October.
  2. Aubergine’s contain phytonutrients which apparently have antioxident properties and protect cell membranes. That can only be good right?
  3. Aubergine’s have been found to have, wait for it, anti cancer and anti cholesterol properties.
  4. Aubergine’s are extremely low fat, but also extremely absorbant so make sure to roast or grill instead of frying! (I’ve learned my lesson!)

Now I bet you agree, AN AMAZING VEGETABLE!

July 30, 2007 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

::FISHING TRIP! (Part One)

I reluctantly agreed to go on a fishing trip over the weekend with my dad, I say reluctantly because he asks every weekend! Anyway I agreed mostly because my girlfriend jumps at chance every time she’s asked and then gives me the eyes which say you better come, but mostly because I’d get the chance to use my new camera which hasn’t really had much use since I got it.

I think when you grow up with the sea as part of your life you become accustomed to it and maybe even take it for granted, but even though I moan about being dragged out on the boat, I think there is an element of secretly enjoying it! I also think as I get that bit older I begin start appreciating surrounding’s more and more!

The intention was to take some pics as the fish were being caught and then picture them as they were being cooked but my battery ran out! But hey that’s life! So instead some pics of a Galway Hooker, the fisherman and woman, Howth pier, and Cod in it’s last few moment’s of life.

Fishing trip part two will come when, the girlfriend attempts to cook the mackerel later this evening!

EDIT: the girlfreind just messaged me asking if eating fish which hadn’t been cooked properly could harm her. I asked her had she heard of Sushi.

July 30, 2007 at 9:43 pm 1 comment

:: Aubergine Parmigiana

Now I am not going to profess a love for aubergines but I ate this dish on a holiday recently in Rome, and was pleasantly surprised with the fresh full flavoured taste! I immediately wanted to know how to recreate it, so when I came home I looked through some Italian cookbooks and unfortunately what I came up with were deep fried or cheese laden version’s.

So just the other day I experimented with what I thought was the closest to the recipe I had eaten. I fried the aubergine slices in olive oil but I think it would be easier to grill them in future! So here goes:

Aubergine Parmigiana

  1. 2 Large Aubergine slice length ways
  2. A good splash of Olive Oil
  3. 2 Cloves of Garlic
  4. 1 Red Onion
  5. 2 400g Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  6. 2 Teaspoons of dried Oregano
  7. 2 Teaspoons of fresh parsley finely chopped
  8. 1/3 of a cup of grated Parmesan cheese

I read about preparing Aubergine’s and there seems to be some sort of argument over whether or not to soak them in salted water before cooking. But I decided to soak them not wanting to go against tradition!

Soak the aubergine slices in salted water for 20 minutes, then remove from the water and pat dry. As I said already I fried the slices but I think it would be far more healthier and less time consuming to grill them till soft. Put the cooked slices to the side.

While the Aubergine slices are soaking, in a saucepan fry the garlic and red onion till soft. Then add the two tins of tomatoes, Oregano and Parsley. Bring the sauce to the boil and leave to simmer for about 15 Min’s or until reduced. When the sauce has cooked stir in some salt and pepper to taste and leave to cool.

In a large roasting tin, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce and place the aubergine slices on top, add more tomato sauce, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, and repeat the process until you run out.

Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 Min’s.

July 30, 2007 at 10:52 am 5 comments

:: SATURDAY STOCKUP!

Thanks to fresh cut foods for the great fruit and veg! I hope you don’t find it demeaning that I labeled the photo’s! 😉
Raspberries

Fruit and Veg For the week!

Baby Potato

Blackberries
Broccoli

Leeks
Portobella Mushroom

Aubergine

Fruit and Veg!

July 28, 2007 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

:: What is the mood food blog all about?

I started this blog because I have had this idea for a while now and felt that I needed some sort of outlet for it.

I originally started thinking about it when I was sick and, instead of taking all the usual commercial medicine, like those 4 flu tablets, I treated it with lemon juice and honey in boiling water. It was just a normal common cold. I also made sure I ate healthily every 2-3 hours. I went for a walk to get a little exercise, got lots of rest and went to bed early.

The next day I felt just fine and it got me thinking that, and I know this is stating the obvious, but most common sickness are caused by a lack of care for yourself. Of course you can pick up things from various bacteria but at the end of the day if your immune system is strong enough it should be able to handle things.

I would like to think I have a fairly strong knowledge of nutrition but this train of thought meant I began researching further, the healing properties of different ingredients, how they can affect mood, and particularly foods affecting the immune system. There is quite a lot of information written about it but very few recipe’s available with this in mind. So I decided to start creating my own.

The posts so far, I feel haven’t really hit the nail on the head when it comes to talking specifically about mood food, so I hope to include more information about just that in future posts. If there is anything you think I should include, exclude feel free to comment!

July 27, 2007 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

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