Sunday 22 April 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!

FRENCH TOAST TWO WAYS: NAUGHTY: French Toast Why not make this weekend's brunch an indulgent one with this French toast recipe for two.

Using brioche heightens the naughtiness, but if you can't find brioche regular sliced, white pan will do. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large, nonstick frying pan over a medium to high heat. Start by beating 4 large free-range eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Now take 4 slices of a brioche loaf and dip into the beaten egg, until each slice is evenly coated.

Cook in the frying pan until golden brown on each side. Sweeten it by serving with fresh blueberries and cream or vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, go savoury with a few slices of cooked smoked and streaky bacon topped with a generous drizzle of maple syrup. Jamie Oliver has a great version using crumpets instead of sliced pan, with an added kick of chilli. See

NICE: Vegan French Toast This is an adaptation of Hollywood actress Alicia Silverstone's favourite vegan French toast — she loves it so much that she put it on her website,, for all of her fans to try. You’ll need: 1½ cups (about 300g) of firm tofu; 2 wholegrain or seeded bread slices; 1½ tsp of cinnamon; 2 tbsp of rice (or maple) syrup; ½ cup of soya milk; ½ tsp of sea salt; 1 tbsp of corn oil; 1 tsp of vanilla; 2 splashes of oil of your choice for frying.

Blend the tofu, cinnamon, rice (or maple) syrup, soya milk, sea salt, 1 tbsp oil, and vanilla together in a blender until smooth. If it is a little too thick, add some soy milk until it thins out. Place a skillet or frying pan on to a medium-high heat and add a splash of oil. Pour the tofu and spice mixture into a shallow bowl and then dip each slice of bread into it. Then, place the dipped slices in the frying pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. You may have some dip left for another two slices.


From August 4 to 7, the third annual Belfast Ta ste and Music Fest will be taking over The Great Lawn in the city’s beautiful Botanic Gardens. Some of Northern Ireland’s best chefs will be on hand to create an al fresco dining experience in the garden, with lots of naughty, yet affordable, treats for local and visiting foodies.

There will be a choice of starters, main dishes, antipastos, pastries and desserts with a glass of wine, beer or a cup of Illy coffee. After sampling the food, why not take part in the family events on the Sunday? There will be a family run, plus a special children’s menu. There will also be ‘sport-stacking’, the perfect way to have fun for all the family. Tickets are between £6 and £10. See for all further details on events and ticket prices.

Foodies to follow:

For the Pork and Bacon Lovers

@oldefarm Old Farm is a North Tipperary small-holding that is home to Margaret and Alfie and their rare-breed black-and-white British Saddleback pigs. These happy porkies get lots of outdoor exercise and enjoy a healthy diet, making for particularly delicious pork. Follow them on Twitter and check out their website ( for details on how to order pork and bacon boxes.

For the Allergy-prone

@allergyguide Aurea runs a fantastic blog that's aimed at all who have food allergies — from nuts and corn to soya and gluten, she covers it all on her blog. With a range of food allergies and sensitivities herself, Aurea still loves eating out and adores cooking, and tweets about the best restaurants, great places to shop and all the other essentials when it comes to eating allergy-free.

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