Donal dishes up class act at school
THEY call him Ireland's answer to Jamie Oliver. So it's no surprise that talented young chef Donal Skehan is now about to shake up school dinners.
The well-known food blogger and author has produced a range of nutritious recipes designed to wipe high-fat, low-nutrition options off the menu.
Bangers and mash are nowhere to be seen, but nor is he plotting to shove platefuls of greens down reluctant mouths.
The 23-year-old from Howth, Co Dublin, has cooked up a twist on lunches for Irish schools and institutes of technology.
He has been enlisted by canteen operator Unilever Food Solutions to bring his "power of good mood food" philosophy to the school dinner table.
Unilever nutrition manager Wendy Duncan said they wanted dishes to have the necessary nutritional balance while also having lots of colour to make them look more appealing.
Donal's range includes pesto salmon with tomato and basil sauce, pepper and courgette frittata and salmon fishcakes with spicy tomato sauce.
He said when designing the range the challenge was to keep the balance between what everyone wanted and not go overboard on the healthy side.
"In young people, it is really important to go for ingredients that will sustain them for a while," he said.
"The dishes include strong ingredients like salmon, wholewheat pasta and fresh vegetables, that will keep students going for the rest of the day."
Unilever will roll out the new menus to about 100 schools and colleges in the coming weeks, and students will be given recipe cards to try themselves.