Pfizer Healthy Towns & Recipes

Hi everyone,

Well this was a busy and exciting week for us all here at Ballyknocken Cookery School and I for one am looking forward to our Southern Italian class taking place tomorrow the 19th of September. We will have the lovely winner of our latest competition joining us which will be great. Well done Emer McCudden !!

Another highlight of this week was the fantastic Pfizer Healthy Towns cookery demonstration I did in Athlone’s Sheraton Hotel which I was really delighted to be a part of .

This was the second week of the Irish Times and Pfizer Healthy Town programme ‘Eat Well, Live Well’ that launched on Monday 14 September. On Tuesday, 15th September, I along with the Irish Heart Foundation, hosted a free public nutrition event in Athlone. I was delighted to do a cookery demonstration with Janis Morrissey, dietitian with the Irish Heart Foundation who gave a talk on nutrition and how you can make positive changes to your diet. We hoped we shared plenty of tips and techniques for cooking healthy and nutritious food.

Recipes I prepared on the night include chargrilled summer courgettes and aubergines on a bed of Leaves with orange and radish salad, drizzled with a Lemon Thyme Dressing, Chicken and Spinach Lasagne made with healthier choices than traditional lasagne, fish parcels with oven baked sesame sweet potato chips, a healthier option than the traditional fish and chips and berry parfaits to demonstrate how easy it is to make a healthy dessert.

If you’re unsure where to start with healthy eating, the following 5 simple tips will put you on the right track[1]:

  • Shake the salt habit. Eighty per cent of the salt we eat is hidden in processed foods. Taste your food first before you add salt. Choose fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables over processed foods whenever possible.
  • The food pyramid. To eat a balanced diet you need to combine several different types of foods – from each of the main food groups – in the right amounts so your body gets all the nutrients it needs while maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Portion sizes. Eating an extra 100 calories a day can lead to weight gain of 4.5kg (10lb) a year. Keep portion sizes healthy by eating from a smaller plate or filling a third of your dinner plate with vegetables or salad.
  • Drink water. Get into the habit of always serving water, whether it’s with meals or as a daily thirst quencher. Carry a bottle of water with you to work. Remember that fizzy drinks contain a lot of sugar and can be very harmful to teeth so try not to drink them too often.
  • Eat together. Eating together as a family is both social and a great way to have some quality time as a family. There is also a strong and relationship between eating in front of the screen and an unhealthy diet and weight so try to eat at the table.

 A dedicated microsite and all the recipes I prepared for Healthy Town can be viewed at www.irishtimes.com/healthytown. The site will be regularly updated with details of local events and activities taking place in Athlone Town. To register for any of the free public talks please email: healthy.town@ogilvy.com or phone 01 669 0165

Chargrilled Summer Courgettes and Aubergines on a bed of Leaves, Orange and Radish salad drizzled with a Lemon Thyme Dressing

[1] http://www.safefood.eu/Healthy-Eating

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