Life Food & Drink

Saturday 20 January 2018

Naughty or Nice?

Enjoying food is all about balance, so let foodies Aoife McElwain and Aoife Barry give you a naughty and a nice option each week. Choice never tasted so good!

Rice Vs Quinoa: RICE A standard bag of long-grain rice holds the possibility of many a delicious meal, including the much-maligned fried rice. But by making it at home, you can bring this dinner back from the brink.

For a super-quick prawn fried rice, heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok and fry one sliced red onion with a 200g pack of stir-fry vegetables for three minutes. Add 200g of prawns and cook for four minutes along with three sliced garlic cloves and two tablespoons of fish sauce. Now add 500g of cooked basmati rice and cook for another four minutes until everything is piping hot. Serve with some chopped coriander and a splosh of soy sauce for extra flavour. See for more quick fried-rice ideas.

QUINOA: Quinoa seeds might not look very substantial, but each one is a nutritional powerhouse. Packed full of protein and complete amino acids, quinoa has found lots of fans here — no wonder, as it's delicious and totally gluten-free. Buy fair trade organic quinoa to ensure the workers are paid fairly. For coconut quinoa (serves four), take one cup (around 250g) of dried quinoa, place in a fine sieve and rinse well. Then put it in a pot and cover with half its volume in water and half its volume in coconut milk. Add five whole cardamom pods and half a teaspoon of curry powder. Bring to the boil, then simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy. Discard the cardamom pods and serve the quinoa with a curry or mix it into a salad. You can even have quinoa for breakfast — see


Be naughty and nice under one roof at Dublin’s Cooks Academy. If you want to learn how to cook low-fat fare, but fear your food might end up tasting like cardboard, then check out their Light and Healthy cookery course. The next one starts on May 4 and runs from 6.30pm-9pm across four Wednesday nights.

It could well be the perfect foil to the Delicious Desserts course running on May 22. Aiming to quash your baking phobias and get you on good terms with all things pudding-related, this is a one-day, hands-on session, from 10am-4pm.

For further details on all available courses at the Cooks Academy and how to book, see

Foodies to follow:



Eat Like A Girl, otherwise known as Niamh Shields, is a London-based Irish foodie

who blogs about all things delectable on Currently writing her

debut cookbook ‘Spice’, 2011 could well be Eat Like A Girl's best year yet. Follow

Niamh for delicious recipes and information on that up-coming cookbook.



Glauce Ferrari is a committed vegan who bakes vegan cakes for her made-to-order business,

Sweet, and runs the ‘Food in My Life’ blog. A journalist and keen traveller, her tweets

are in English and Portuguese and she uses Twitter to spread the word about great vegan

products and eating well while being an animal activist.

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