Paul on 2019


As 2019 roars into action for Kevin Noel and myself the list of things to do this year, last year’s list was fairly small. As many people know getting a proper 3 meals a day is hard enough, and in the kitchen surrounded by food it’s often hard than you’d think, tasting and seasoning and tasting again keeps hunger pangs at bay a lot of the time. We often go a few days without a proper meal in the kitchen, “Did we eat yesterday??” Is a common question in the kitchen here anyway. We tend to feed everyone but else ourselves, ironic cooks for everyone except himself. 

As a result we eat late and honestly fairly crappy food, snack box, toastie, chocolate, basically all the stuff you shouldn’t be eating. I’m just speaking here from personal experience, across the industry, both front and back. 

When I 1st met my now wife, i was fairly slender, now I’ve what’s called a Dad bod, or beer belly. Whichever you prefer, catching it now seems like a good idea. 

I’ve a fairly hectic life as it stands without the addition of exercise and cooking at home. 

I found last year I had motivation from here to go after my goals for last year so I figure why not do the same here. I don’t want or need a shaped muscular toned beach body, just a healthier body than what I currently hold, I know my BMI is high and I also realise the flaws with it. For me it’s pretty accurate. Just a few stone 2 or 3. 

Now I don’t plan on sticking to a regimental diet of apples and oranges with spinach and kale, that to me seems counter productive, as I know I won’t stick to that at all or anything resembling it. 

To speak frankly I want to do this naturally, good honest food less of t ghe crappy processed food that I currently consume. I want potato with butter, I want bacon, beef, pork, fish and lamb all honest food. As I believe it’s the added sugar salt and chemicals that’s added to food today to cut cost and maximise profit. 

Here goes. 

As always stay tuned, 

@chefpaulc on all social media platforms. 

Beet and honey salad

Roasted Mooncoin Beet, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Warm apairy Honey Salad

2 Ruby Red grapefruits

3 medium red beets

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt


2 tablespoons local honey

1 (1-inch) rosemary sprig

Flaky sea salt, for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1

Using a sharp knife, cut the skin and bitter white pith from grapefruits. Working over a medium bowl, cut in between the membranes to release sections, and cut sections in half. Squeeze juice from membranes into bowl.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 160. On a large sheet of heavy-duty tin foil, rub beets with olive oil and season with salt. Wrap beets in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 50 minutes. Unwrap beets and let cool slightly, then rub skins off with paper towels. Cut beets into 1/4-inch wedges. Add to bowl with grapefruit. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Transfer to platter.

In a small saucepan, warm honey and rosemary sprig over moderately low heat. Remove sprig, and drizzle rosemary honey over salad. Garnish with flaky sea salt

Food alerts, David thoughts


Ok there is something that has been kinda bothering me as of recently, and that is the growing number of recalls of food within supermarkets and local shops due to malpractice with the so called product being produced. We all heard about the frozen food being recalled about being contaminated with Listeria. Well here’s a wee little lesson on Listeria for you. Listeria is a foodborne bacterial illness that can be very serious for pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems. Listeria is most commonly contracted by eating improperly processed deli meats and unpasteurized milk products. Listeria bacteria can survive refrigeration and even freezing. That’s why people who are at higher risk of serious infections should avoid eating the types of food most likely to contain listeria bacteria.


If you develop a listeria infection, you may experience:

Muscle aches

Symptoms may begin a few days after you’ve eaten contaminated food, but it may take as long as 30 days or more before the first signs and symptoms of infection begin.

If the listeria infection spreads to your nervous system, signs and symptoms may include:

Stiff neck
Confusion or changes in alertness
Loss of balance

9 people died from this particular foorborne illness in the past month alone, and as much as it scares me. I just keep seeing more recalls no one is questioning the big corporations. People are literally dying or being left really I’ll and hospitalised. How is it that these big corporations are not responsible for such things. I know as being a chef we have a duty of care to make sure every customer has a plesent meal and in no way gets sick or harmed by eating that meal. Does that always happen. No. And we unfortunately get blamed and have to suffer the the consequences. So why are the big corporations different.

Just as of yesterday morning (27 july) the Pepsi co had to recall a multivitamin juice due to fermentation. Fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat found mainly in the making of beer and other alcohol products.

And that’s just yesterday if i go back towards the start of the month (6th july) there was a massive recall on dunnes and spar own brand pesto for contamination due to salmonella.

Salmonella (salmonellosis) is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and are shed through feces. Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food.

Typically, people with salmonella infection have no symptoms. Others develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within eight to 72 hours.

Now with this particular recall I have a few issues.
1- dunnes and spar both claim to be Irish and do Irish food – well why would then have to buy in pesto from Belgium to mask as your own
2- as a junior chef who works in kitchen where a lot of foraging takes place pesto is frequently used. So what blows my mind is where in the **** do you get salmonella from basil oil and pine nuts.

It defiantly makes me wonder. WHAT IS IN OUR FOOD?

Malachy Kelly rebalance your life

Is your dinner giving you cancer?
In the UK, one in four people die of cancer. In Ireland, one in three will die from it. This is a startling statistic, and may be a damning indictment of modern lifestyles. With the wealth of research that has been carried out on all aspects of cancer, why is it still killing one in three in this country? (one in four if skin cancer is excluded).

What are the factors which cause cancer? Many associations are well known and high in the consciousness of the general public, such as tobacco smoking and excessive exposure to UV radiation from sunlight. What is much lower in the awareness of the general population is that we may very well be eating ourselves to death.

There is an ongoing trend globally towards obesity which is worrying health care service providers. This is mainly being combated by informing the general public of the health risks associated with obesity, focusing on heart disease and diabetes. Rarely if ever is cancer mentioned as a an associated risk, even though there is significant evidence to show this may be the case, as concluded by Carroll, who stated: “The evidence has been most consistent for endometrial cancer, breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and renal cell cancer. More variable results have been reported for colorectal, prostate and pancreatic cancer.”

Researchers have been able to identify risk associated foods by looking at the varying incidences of different types of cancers which occur in regions which have traditionally had different or very different nutritional practices, eg., Japan Vs India Vs western Europe. Numerous studies have found variances in cancer levels in populations where the diet is more traditional, but when members of those respective communities adopt a western style diet themselves, cancer demographics begin to resemble those of the west. In general those consuming a western style diet have vastly elevated levels of cancers of certain types. Is this due to an over consumption of processed foods?

According to a review of the available research on heat processed foods by Jägerstad and Skog, “food-borne toxicants present in cooked foods are possibly or probably carcinogenic to humans”. This review adds weight to the arguments for moving towards fresh food. Other studies identify red meat as a high risk factor in certain types of cancer as documented in a 1995 review by Willett “recent data have supported a causative role for red meat in the development of colon and prostate cancers“.

Thankfully, some foods have been proven to have positive effects on cancer related health. Fresh fruit and vegetables, besides being excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, also contain a number of compounds known to be beneficial in preventing or even treating cancers. Brassica vegetables, including cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower have been shown conclusively in almost 100 studies to have the effect of decreasing the risk of cancers in the lung, stomach, colon, and rectum, while broccoli consumption decreases risk of all cancers. A 1999 review by Giovannucci of studies relating Lycopene (a compound most commonly found in tomatoes) and cancer risk, reported that “The evidence for a benefit was strongest for cancers of the prostate, lung, and stomach. Data were also suggestive of a benefit for cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, oesophagus, oral cavity, breast, and cervix.”

Numerous epidemiological studies refer to a study carried out in 1976 amongst a large population of Seventh-Day Adventists who observe a strict vegan diet. One such study carried out by Jacobsen et al., 98, concluded that consumption of soya milk on a daily basis could reduce risk of prostate cancer by up to 70%, and recommended that further research be carried out on the influence of soy products on prostate cancer.

What can we take from all this research? The answer is plain.
Regardless of how healthy our lifestyles are otherwise, not paying attention to what we eat could kill us.

Davids dairy free ice cream


Diary Free Chocolate Ice Cream
So for this recipe I’m using my son for inspiration he is 2 years old and is lactose intolerant (can’t have dairy products). And with the sudden heat wave we’ve been getting it’s difficult not to have ice cream in the house, so I taught to myself the main ingredient in ice cream is milk, what if I used almond which he is used to and drinks daily.
So here’s the recipe I put together
• 750ml almond milk
• 125ml honey
• 100g dark choc (I used 74% cacao) * again not diary in the chocolate*
Melt the choc over a Bain Marie or in a microwave personally I used a microwave to save time. Mix the milk and honey and choc together in a mixer or by hand with a whisk. Pour into a container and freeze for a few over night.
• Almond milk €1.69
• Honey €1.27
• Chocolate €0.95
Total = €3.91 = 1litre
A serving = €0.76

The price of making stays in line with some of these
So after leaving it in the freezer over night the ice cream had become firm, almost like sorbet but the creamy texture of ice cream still holds true. The flavour is good even thou it was a high percentage cacao the result is nice and mild.

Turmeric by sid



Sid Sheehan, Chef, Nutritional Therapist and CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) graduate writes about the medicinal benefits of Turmeric.

Sid offers a range of nutritional advice and gives practical demonstrations on how to implement these changes into your diet at his Cookery School in Listowel Co. Kerry.

More information on him and the courses he runs can be found at

The Power of Turmeric

Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories, or rather the chemical compound Curcumin, which is its key component.

This yellow flowered plant is a member of the ginger family. It is grown in Indonesia, China, India and other parts of the tropics, where the dried aromatic root like stem is ground to form a powder. This deep orange yellow powder is commonly used as a spice and one of the main ingredients in curry powder. Along with being used as a preservative, colouring and flavouring agent, turmeric has been used for over 4000yrs in Indian and Chinese medicine to relieve conditions ranging from flatulence and digestive disorders to menstrual irregularities. It is now widely recognised in the West as a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

How it fights Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s attempt at self-protection. When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body there is a biological response to protect the affected area.

This immune response to a whole host of injuries, infections, illnesses and general disease of any part of the body is characterised by heat, redness, swelling and pain in the affected area. This complex protective mechanism can however become self-perpetuating whereby more inflammation is created in response to the existing inflammation. It is at this stage that we need to treat the inflammation by attempting to reduce it with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Curcumin works as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals, these harmful molecules damage cell membranes and cause cell death. In addition they inhibit oxidative DNA damage and relieve oxidative stress. Curcumin is able to regulate the foundation of nitric oxide which is carcinogenic and plays a key role in inflammation.

As an anti-inflammatory, Curcumin works in a similar way to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) by inhibiting the activity and synthesis of specific enzymes. Clinical trials show that at dosages of 400-1200mg/day, curcumin is comparable to ibuprofen.

Curcumin also acts as a choleretic, that is, a substance that increases the volume of bile and amounts of solids secreted from the liver.

Through its various mechanisms, this spice supports colon health, exerts neuro-protective activity and helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system by providing significant protection against damage of the inner lining of the blood vessels.

Extensive lab tests have shown that curcumin interferes with melanoma skin cancer cells causing them to self-destruct.

How best to get Turmeric into the diet

If you can manage to get your hands on fresh turmeric root, then that’s fantastic. You can use it grated or finely chopped in soups, stews and curries. Chances are though that you will find it in its powdered form more easily. The bio-availability of turmeric is greatly increased when co-administered with piperine, a powerful component found in black pepper. Always use a good twist of freshly ground black pepper when cooking with turmeric, to enhance its healing benefits. I always add a teaspoon of ground turmeric to a breakfast smoothie in the mornings


Recipe for Anti Inflammatory Breakfast Smoothie

200mls coconut milk

1 Banana

½ ripe mango

1 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp cinnamon

¼” slice fresh ginger (peeled and chopped small)


Place all ingredients in blender with some ice and blend until smooth, this will make approx. 500ml smoothie.


Beetroot by sid sheehan




Most people would agree that one of the most prevalent words in nutrition is superfood. One vegetable that is certainly worthy of this title is the humble beetroot. Well known for its purple-crimson colour, beetroot is a highly nutritious food with many long-recognised health benefits.


The rich, red colour of beetroot is due to pigments called betalains, of which there are two types – betacyanins and betaxanthins. These pigments possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and usually also contain nitrate. Recent studies have found that nitrates in beetroot have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.


The antioxidant compounds found in beetroot are reported to have health promoting properties. Studies have demonstrated beetroot’s ability to increase levels of important antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase, one of the most important antioxidant enzymes.


As well as being a rich source of antioxidants, beetroot also contains good levels of many nutrients, including folic acid, vitamin B6, fibre, manganese, potassium, vitamin C and iron. In fact, beetroot and beetroot juice is a traditional home remedy for iron-deficiency.


Beetroots are also a source of betaine (known as trimethylglycine or TMG), a substance known for its ability to lower homocysteine levels, thereby supporting cardiovascular and cognitive health. The fibre found in beets has also been shown to support healthy cholesterol levels.


The versatile beetroot can be used raw in salads, but is equally delicious roasted or made into soup. It’s become very fashionable to bake with beetroot too – look out for recipes like beetroot cakes and muffins. Using beetroot juice or dried extracts of beetroot are simple ways of getting the benefits of this health-promoting vegetable.


• Cardiovascular Health

• Cancer Fighting

• Antioxidant Rich

• Endurance Sports

• Detoxification

Sid sheehan runs nourish by nature cookery school in listowel . Check out their web page, and facebook , twitter