Guilt-Free Dining Out

Chicken Skewers with dried
fruit cous cousBack by popular demand - we gave a taster of Happy Heart Eat Out Month in our last e-zine and there were so many requests for more that we said, sure, why not...

Small is beautiful when you’re dining out in June according to the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF), who have linked up with the HSE and safefood for this year’s Happy Heart Eat Out month. Running throughout June in hundreds of participating restaurants, workplaces and communities all over Ireland, the theme ‘For a Happy Heart...Think Small’ carries a simple message.

Eating healthily and well can be easy, colourful and fun when you’re enjoying a meal out, if you keep an eye on portion sizes – and that the delicious little dishes that are good for your waist are also good for your heart. To demonstrate the point, the IHF has collected tempting and very do-able recipes from some of Ireland’s favourite restaurants for a free recipe booklet, so you can cook them at home.

Top chefs who have contributed recipes include TV chefs like Neven Maguire of MacNean House & Restaurant and Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody Country House & Cookery School and other highly respected names including Garrett Byrne, of Kilkenny City’s leading restaurant, Campagne, and Oliver Dunne of the Michelin-starred restaurant, Bon Appétit in Malahide, Co Dublin.

Asked to come up with dishes with “plenty of fruit and vegetables and that are low in fat, sugar and salt and rich in fibre”, here are some more ‘that they made earlier’, for you to try for yourself at home.

Tom Yaam GoongTom Yaam Goong

This traditional recipe for Spicy Prawn Soup with Thai Herbs comes from Chef Taweesak Trakoolwattana (Tao), of the popular Thai restaurant Saba, on Clarendon Street, Dublin 2.

Serves 4

Click here for recipe

Chicken Skewers with dried fruit cous cousChicken Skewers with Dried Fruit Couscous

The Strawberry Tree at The Brooklodge Hotel & Wells Spa, Co. Wicklow is Ireland’s only certified organic restaurant. They lay great emphasis on the importance of quality ingredients and many of those suitable for producing in the Irish climate would be supplied from organic producers in the surrounding area.

Buying quality chicken is especially important and, when dining out, remember to ‘Just Ask, where it comes from if it’s not mentioned on the menu!

This aromatic, gently spicy recipe is from Tim Daly, chef at The Strawberry Tree.

Serves 4

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Rigatoni Pasta with Goats Cheese and Spinach MarinaraRigatoni Pasta with Goats Cheese and Spinach Marinara

Wineport Lodge is well known to viewers of RTE’s ‘The Restaurant’, as it has been the location for the show during the last few series of the programme. Beautifully located on the eastern shore of Lough Ree, near Athlone, Co. Westmeath, it is a gorgeous place for a real restaurant at other times and chef Cathal Moran makes sure that guests remember the dining experience as much as the view.

This tasty vegetarian dish is a home cooking suggestion from Wineport.

Serves 4

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Exotic Fruit PavlovaExotic Fruit Pavlova

Popular TV chef Neven Maguire is well known for his wonderful desserts. While simpler than the creations at his restaurant, MacNean House & Restaurant, at Blacklion, Co. Cavan, this colourful pavlova would be the highlight of any home cooked meal.

The meringue can be cooked the day before and kept in a cool place until needed – and the fruit selection can be varied according to the season, making this an all-year favourite.

Serves 4

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