28 Aug

Lunchbox Tips

I can safely say that I’ve literally made hundreds of school lunches over the years and I’ve hundreds more to make.

If you’ve got a child starting school this year or if you are looking to freshen up your lunchboxes, here are my top, tried and tested, tips for packing a lunchbox: Read More

23 Dec

Ham Soup With Dumplings

This ham soup with dumplings is a great one-pot meal. You could even freeze the cooking water from the ham on Christmas Day and reheat it to make the soup at a later date. Ham Soup With Dumplings - Wholesome Ireland - Food & Parenting Blog

Ham Soup With Dumplings

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 litre ham cooking liquid/stock
  • 1/2 turnip/swede, peeled and chopped into dice sized pieces
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into dice sized pieces
  • 100g of dried soup mix
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 spring onions/scallions finely chopped
  • 30g melted butter
  • 70ml cold water
  • 400g shredded, cooked ham

Method

Take a large, heavy bottomed saucepan with a firm lid. Pour in the stock, soup mix and chopped vegetables and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, scallions and melted butter. Then slowly pour in the cold water in quarters. Stir the mixture with a fork and stop adding water when you have a stiff dough.

Once the vegetables in the pot are cooked and tender, stir in the shredded ham. Shape the dough into small ping-pong sized balls. Sit them on top of the soup. Put the lid back on the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Using a large spoon, gently turn the dough over and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Serve in large soup bowls and eat with a spoon.

Ham Soup With Dumplings - Wholesome Ireland - Food & Parenting BlogNB: Soup mix is a dried mixture of pulses that you can buy in your supermarket. There are 2 types. One requires presoaking, I only buy the ready to use version! You’ll typically find a mixture of barley, wheat, lentils and small beans in the mixture.  Very handy for bulking up a soup or stew and adding fibre to your diet.

03 Oct

Potato Peel Crisps

When we’re preparing food, we get into a rhythm. I suppose that rhythm is to blame for us not using every single bit of our ingredients.

Traditionally we peel potatoes because the skin can be tough. Skin on potatoes makes for horrible mash unless you remove it. Skin on roast potatoes makes sections chewy. There are blemishes on the skin of potatoes, from where the tubers had shoots. These blemishes are perfectly edible but unsightly to some.

There’s a natural instinct to take what we cast to one side and then put it into the bin. However, potato skin is fine to eat. It contains dietary fibre, and providing you’ve scrubbed your skins clean of dirt before peeling, there is no reason why you shouldn’t cook with them. Read More

14 May

Easy Tomato Tart Recipe

Hooray for Irish tomatoes being in season! My tomatoes in the polytunnel are nearly ready but you should be seeing Irish tomatoes in the supermarket at this stage. There is nothing like the flavour of a warm sun-ripened tomato picked straight from the vine. This easy tomato tart recipe is uncomplicated, in fact it’s nearly too easy to call it a recipe! Don’t let the small number of ingredients listed here limit your options. I make this tart with chorizo, fresh basil (thyme, oregano, and sage also work well), peppers, courgette, onions, the list goes on.

As a bonus, to go along with the recipe I’ve another simple video for you to follow! Read More

02 Mar

Beetroot Hummus Recipe

Traditional hummus is a great way of getting more fibre into your diet, and my children love it. I use the flavours from hummus to introduce other vegetables to the kids and this pink hummus is always a big success. Firstly it’s pink! Secondly it’s got beetroot in it with no olive oil, which I’d use for regular hummus, so it’s healthier.

Cooked beetroot does not mean pickled beetroot in a jar. Regular cooked beetroot has a wonderful sweet, earthy flavour. Read More

03 Oct

Pitta Pocket Lunch

You gotta pitta pocket or two! Cheesey singing is not obligatory in my household but I do love how versatile pitta bread is for lunchboxes. My top tip for keeping them fresh is to keep your packets of pitta bread in the freezer, then take them out one-by-one. To make sure your pitta is perfect for filling, take the frozen bread and splash it with a bit of cold water, sit on a piece of kitchen roll and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds. You’ll get a bitta pitta perfection everytime.

Also before I forget! You may not notice on mobile, but I’ve made a couple of changes to the blog. Please let me know what you think? Read More

28 Oct

Bulgur Salad With Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables

Whenever I want an easy lunch I always make double quantities for dinner the night before. What easier way to make up a lunch than to grab out a tray of prepared roasted vegetables and my lunch is ready in minutes. Why not try making this bulgur salad with roasted vegetables?

It’s never a hardship to prepare extra vegetables when I’m in a food preparation groove at the sink. More often than not I’ll have a couple of extra hands at the sink who are willing to help out with peeling anyway so why not make the most of them? Read More

31 Jul

Pea Shoot Salad And Buttermilk Dressing

When people find out that we grow our own food I’m often asked what the best item for kids to grow is. Peas is always my answer. With peas kids can follow their growth from small shoots to big plants. They can eat the plant at any stage of growth – be it shoots, leaves, whole pods, or just little peas that have been podded. Peas were the first vegetable we grew in our front garden 6 years ago now. They’re also one of my favourite crops for all the reasons listed above.

Pea Shoots

Pea Shoots

This year we sowed 6 main pea crops at the allotment, but I also keep a tray of pea shoots in the kitchen for salads and stir frys. They typically only take about 2 weeks to grow to a stage where I have to give the tray a serious haircut, but can be eaten as soon as the little shoots appear. I sow the peas thickly in a perforated tray on top of coir (also known as coconut flower soil). There’s no need to cover the pea seeds. The perforated tray sits inside a slightly larger tray, which is where I add the water to keep the peas topped up with plenty of water. Read More

27 May

Quick Pickled Radishes

It’s been two and a half years since we moved into our current allotment. This year is the first time that I feel like we are managing our time there better, we’re growing far more crops than we ever had, and the kids are reaping the benefits. I used to feel overwhelmed when I stood at the gate and viewed all the work that had to be done, now though it’s more like I have a list of jobs to complete.

Wholesome Open Sandwich

Wholesome Open Sandwich

Read More

04 Mar

St Patrick’s Day Pie

St Patrick’s Day Pie is made at a time of the year when the core ingredients are still fresh, seasonal, and local. I accept it’s also a cheesy/corny name for a pie, but with the green, white, and gold colours what else could I call it?

Apparently it’s “Pie Week” in the UK. There’s a week for pies now? I just had to redeem myself after the whole Leftovers Pie affair a few weeks ago.

St Patrick's Day Pie - Wholesome Ireland

You could eat this pie still warm from the oven, or you could wait for it to go completely cold, wrap it in a snug covering of greaseproof paper, then put it in the fridge overnight. Then, as I did, stuff a hunk into the bottom of your bag for lunch-on-the-go the following day. Some meals are best if you can resist eating them for a while. Read More

19 Feb

Warming Soup

After 5 days in a row at the allotment, I’m taking a break today. It has been great to get back to work, even if it’s a bit hard going at the start of the year. We’ve been adding to our raised beds, changing the format of the polytunnel, and much more. This warming soup has been on the go all week. I made a couple of batches. The gentle heat instantly starts working as soon as I have a bowl in my hand, and the fresh bitter greens along with citrus hit from the lemon is a real change to a classic thick blended soup.

The key to making the soup last is to add the greens just before serving, then a decent squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The base of the warming soup will keep for a little bit longer that way and you keep the fresh, vibrant green colours in the broth.Warming Soup - Wholesome Ireland - Caitriona Redmond Read More

14 Aug

Egg Tarts

I’ll keep it short today! These egg tarts are great for lunchboxes. You can make them ahead and they will keep in a lined box in the fridge for up to 2 days. They also reheat very well too. I just lash whatever squishy veg/leftover meat I have in the fridge into the tarts. Don’t complicate things, make life easy on yourself.Egg Tart Wholesome Ireland

Note you’ll also need about 200g of rice or baking beans for this recipe but they aren’t eaten and can be used again on another occasion.

Egg Tarts (serves 6 hungry adults – more kids)

Ingredients

  • 1 roll of chilled puff pastry
  • 1 small onion
  • Handful of squishy cherry tomatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • 50ml full fat milk (or 75ml natural yoghurt)
  • Leftover meat (if you have it)
  • 50g of parmesan, grated (or any other hard cheese you may have)

Read More

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