Monday 11 December 2017

Friday Night Fakeaways

Tempted to reach for the phone instead of toiling in the kitchen? Performance nutritionist Daniel Davey, co-founder of FoodFlicker, presents some healthy alternatives to take-out favourites

Sweet and Spicy Thai Chicken

This homemade Thai dish is really satisfying, far more so than a take away and much better for you too! It has a wonderful combination of spice from the chili and sweetness with the sweet chili sauce. This dish is naturally flavoured with garlic, ginger, basil and a little sweet chili and soy sauce, no flavor enhancers required here.

Ingredients (serves two)

2 chicken breasts

Thumb size piece of ginger, grated

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 fresh red chili, finely chopped

5 shallots, chopped

2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce

2 bunches of bok choy, chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Small bunch of fresh basil, shredded


1. Chop your chicken into desired pieces and add to a bowl with 2 tbsp. olive oil, chopped garlic, ginger and chili. Let it marinate for at least an hour.

2. Then add the chicken and shallots to a nonstick pan and cook on a medium heat until the shallots turn light brown, roughly two minutes.

3. Add in the soy sauce, vinegar and sweet chili sauce and stir well, cooking for 5-6 minutes

4. Add in your bok choi and cook for another 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are all nice and tender

5. Lastly add in the basil and cook for 2-3 minutes

6. Serve immediately with cauliflower rice or basmati rice

Healthy eating has come a long way in recent years, and Irish people have cottoned on to the fact that having a healthy diet doesn't mean deprivation or subsisting on lettuce leaves. However, weekends can often throw a spanner in the works of even the most saintly lifestyle.

With that in mind, Daniel Davey of FoodFlicker is coming to the rescue. A performance nutritionist currently working in professional rugby and elite Gaelic games, he is one of the co-founders of the healthy eating website and social media platform FoodFlicker, providing readers with delicious alternatives to fast and junk food. What's more is that you don't have to be an absolute whizz in the kitchen to follow their recipes - they're simple, tasty and consist of real, fresh food, not processed convenience ingredients.

Chicken Korma with Coconut Cream

Homemade korma is a wonderfully tasty and satisfying dish with an abundance of flavor. The key benefit of this homemade dish is that you know exactly what goes in it, no cheap ingredients or added sugars. The flavour comes from the fresh herbs and spices, and one of the key health benefits of this dish is that it goes really well with cauliflower rice rather than regular rice. This will reduce the total amount of carbohydrate in the meal with no real loss in the enjoyment!

Ingredients (serves two)

For the chicken marinade

3 chicken breasts, chopped

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tsp. curry powder

ƒ tsp. salt

ƒ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

250ml coconut cream

2 onions, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 small handful of fresh coriander finely chopped

1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper

ƒ tsp. cumin

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger root

1 Tbsp. Greek yogurt

ƒ a small red and green fresh chili

1 Tbsp. honey


1. Marinate the chicken with the olive oil some garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper for at least two hours.

2. When the chicken is marinated, start by placing the garlic, chillies, onion and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions begin to brown

3. Add in the chicken and cook thoroughly, roughly 10 minutes.

4. Next, make the sauce: place the onions, garlic, chillies and a little water in a blender and blitz to a creamy texture.

5. Measure out the spices (curry powder through cumin) in to a small bowl.

6. In a large saucepan heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Next, add the pureed onion mixture and cook for a 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

7. Add the ginger, coconut cream, yogurt, pre-measured spices, and honey and mix together.

8. Turn the heat down to low and simmer 35-40 minutes, mixing regularly, until the sauce has reduced.

Serve with cauliflower rice or regular brown or white rice if you prefer

Cauliflower Rice

This is a great alternative to regular white rice. It provides the same eating experience as white rice but is lower in carbohydrate, so is works well on low carb diets or when you want a lower calorie alternative to regular rice. Simple to make, cauliflower rice is a low glycaemic index food high in fibre and also containing many vitamins and minerals. This makes it a great accompaniment or side dish for chicken or beef!


1 head of cauliflower

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 Tsp. chilli

ƒ tsp. black pepper


1. Remove the cauliflower leaves and stalk and cut florets into pieces.

2. Blitz the cauliflower florets in a food processor or blender until it's the same size and texture of rice. Remove any larger pieces of the cauliflower.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the cauliflower to the pan and spread out evenly. Next add the salt, pepper, chilli and other spices of choice.

4. Keep stirring the cauliflower until it becomes light, fluffy and dry. Remove the cauliflower once you notice the edges becoming slightly brown. It only takes 5-8 minutes

Homemade Beef Burgers

These burgers are simply delicious! There is nothing to beat the taste of quality meat and an array of your own spices. Oven baked rather than fried in cheap quality frying oil, these burgers are the perfect healthy alternative the take away burger and go really well with homemade chips.

Ingredients (serves two)

500g lean beef mince

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 egg

2 Tbsp. tomato puree

1 Tbsp. wholegrain mustard

Pinch of salt and pepper

ƒ tsp. dried oregano

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


1. Beat the egg along with garlic, basil, mustard, tomato puree salt and pepper.

2. In a large bowl and using your hands, add the chopped onion to the beef mince.

3. Next, add the egg mix, mixing well using your hands and then form into burgers of desired size.

4. Next pre-heat your oven to 190°C. Then place the burgers on a baking tray greased with olive oil, cook for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how well you like your burgers done.

Sweet Potato and Potato Chips

When oven baked with a little salt and spices homemade potato chips are a much healthier alternative to deep fried take away chips! Not only are they more nutritious but they also taste fantastic and can be made into any shape or size to suit your preference, chunky and thick or thin and crispy!


2 white potatoes

1 sweet potato

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle of sea salt

Sprinkle of cumin

Sprinkle of smoked paprika

Sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C

2. Chop potatoes into wedges and toss in a large bowl with the olive oil, cumin, paprika, pepper and salt.

3. Spread the slices evenly over a baking tray greased with coconut oil.

4. Bake for 15 minutes, flip them over, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Irish Independent

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