The best food, and the best-tasting food, is food that has been cooked simply. You don’t need to be a masterchef. You just need to be able to chop that onion. Photograph: Kevin Clark/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Confronted by ill health, very many of us don’t how to cook our way out of the cul-de-sac we are in

Much of the early clinical use of LSD involved it being used to help people with problems such as alcoholism, drug addiction and depression. Photograph: iStock

With reports of mind-altering drugs aiding recovery from post-traumatic stress and helping smokers quit the habit, the case for ps(...)

Changing your food narrative offers a win-win: you feel better physically and mentally. Photograph: Getty Images

A ripping story of action, mayhem, turmoil and tension – all taking place inside your gut

Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only true fjord, with Leenane in the distance. Photograph:  Gerard Lovett.

The challenge was simple: beside the best food, Sally and John McKenna were on the hunt for the best walks, beaches, knife-makers,(...)

Make a mushroom omelette and have it with that glass of milk – liver and tuna are good for vitamin D too

Vitamin D: Making sure we have enough calcium for our bone health ‘is just as important for the adult as the child’

‘If I could see this carrot as something very costly and precious, it would change the way I treated it,’  says Rene Redzepi

If we think of the vegetables as just an afterthought, a bit player, then we are doomed

'If food writers disagree on the time it takes to cook a turkey, then surely the big meal of the year will be a mess.' Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Can anything explain the enormous divergence of opinion among prominent food writers on the simple matter of roasting the Christma(...)

This winter turn to those superfoods that armour-plate our system: ginger, turmeric, bone broth, cider vinegar, garlic, seaweeds

Feed the good bugs in your body, and they will fight off the bad bugs

The happy pair: Brothers Stephen and David Flynn on the seafront in Bray, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Nutritious food and fitness are a match made in heaven, and like any great relationship, they bring out each other’s very best qu(...)

We need to eat when we are hungry, at consistent mealtimes, and we need to listen to the ticking of those billions of circadian clocks that keep us healthy

“Eat like a king in the morning, a prince at noon, and a peasant at dinner”

It propels us to wellness but how do we keep on cooking when we just don’t feel like it?

If you do crave an umami fix, then remove the stem from whole flat or portobello mushrooms and grill them.

It’s 15 years since Cork chef Denis Cotter showed how vegetables can be a barbie revelation

Maybe that Morrissey was right.

Meat used to be a treat and, somehow, we have got to try to get back to that concept

Sourdoughs take time to make. You can’t rush them, in the way that modern commercial breads are rushed through the baking process. Photograph: iStock

Opinion: What they call ‘bread’ in most shops is not actually bread. It’s dough

“Food is there to be celebrated, not feared”

Two cookery books gently nudge you towards making smarter food choices that are good for your health

Some food writers are obsessed with healthy eating, to an unhealthy degree

Do you find yourself saying ‘Oh sorry, but I can’t eat that’

Milk has become the latest food to be gifted its own menu. Photograph: iStock

Is Irish butter and milk going to storm the supermarkets of the world and confound the standard nutritional advice that butter and(...)

In the best professional kitchens today, none of that waste would be permitted

Top tips to avoid food waste, and the guilt that can accompany it

Bone broth: is it the next superfood?

The advocates of bone broth are certain of its curative powers – and yoga bones up too

Power struggles at the table are not that unusual. Photograph: iStock

The Donald Trump example shows how the family table can be the perfect battlefield

Gearóid Lynch, chef-proprietor of The Olde Post Inn, in Butlersbridge, Co Cavan, has written his first cookery book, and it’s a book of gluten-free recipes. Photograph: Joanne Murphy

Gearóid Lynch’s coeliac diagnosis, like Novak Djokovic’s, was transformatory

The white stuff: in many ways, milk is the ultimate magic liquid – volatile, shape-shifting, mercurial.

Scientists try to control milk using pasteurisation, but raw milk has many benefits, says John McKenna

Fats are our friends, because fats and proteins satisfy us, so we know when to stop eating. Photograph: Thinkstock

Carbs trigger insulin by turning to glucose in the body – and insulin makes us fat

The trillions of bacteria in our gut do the heavy lifting when it comes to processing our food and keep us healthy

You are eating for two, you and your gut, so start working on your GDP – your gut digestive preferences

Often vegetables are a last-minute addition to a meal, but with a little imagination they can be a main course in their own right. Photograph: Thinkstock

Take inspiration from around the world – you can even create a Sunday roast

The ability to cook for oneself and one’s family is the single most enduring skill that every school-leaver should have mastered confidently before heading off to college or into the job market. Photograph: Thinkstock

In a world of distractions, cooking helps us to engage fully with the world

Katie Sanderson and Aisling Rogerson at the Fumbally Cafe in Dublin 8. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

People have made lacto-fermented drinks for centuries, because they knew of the enormous good these drinks can do for our intestin(...)

Stewed courgettes with basil, a dish from April Bloomfield’s new recipe book.

April Bloomfield is obsessive about the tiny aspects of cooking that turn everyday meals into joy on a plate

Claire Davey, of America Village Apothecary Company, with a bottle of her tonic syrup, which makes the best gin and tonic ever.

Having the full kaleidoscope of tastes in our diet is important, and the resurgence of bitter is good for our health

There is a factory in the UK producing 10 tons of chicken tikka a day.Photograph: Thinkstock

Joanna Blythman’s new book, “Swallow This”, is packed with insights that make for salutary reading

Making carbonara is difficult. Because there is little or nothing to it, the potential for failure is huge. Photograph: Thinkstock

The way to a child’s stomach is not culinary osmosis; it’s through explaining and teaching, says John McKenna

Derval O’Rourke: Without the right lifestyle of eating well and sleeping well she knew she was going to keep coming in in seventh place.  Photograph: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Think about the food you’re eating a little more, while you wait for your Road to Damascus moment

A sign at the Spanish Arch in Galway city urging people not to feed the swans.

White bread – or, rather, ‘water standing up’ – can kill swans. So should we be eating it?

The White Hag stand at the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival in the RDS

Ireland is getting crafty as it rethinks its attitude to drinking, from quantity to quality and local culture

When you sat down at the table in that lovely restaurant, did you check your messages or switch off?  Photograph: Thinkstock

When it comes to cooking and eating, you need to switch your brain off to get all the benefits

Organically produced foods offer us more antioxidants which, it can be argued, are of key importance for our health

If you get lucky with the rod and catch some mackerel, gut, wash and rinse them in seawater before bringing them home. Photograph: Thinkstcok

Swimming in the ocean is akin to immersing ourselves in a bath of the fundamental elements of our universe

Sarah Roarty of N17 Brewery in Tuam, Co Galway. Photograph: Fotissima

Sarah Roarty’s brewing philosophy blends sustainability with opportunity

Asylum seekers queue for their meals in a direct provision facility. Photograph: Frank Miller

Not allowing asylum seekers to cook their natural ethnic foods is cruel and degrading

Dietary guidelines from industry professionals and university nutritionists emphasise the fact that people should eat ‘real food’. Photograph: Getty Images

Trust your granny when it comes to advice on healthy eating for you and your family

Factory farmed cows and chickens: ‘The intensification of animal farming has virtually destroyed the nutritional quality of our food,’ says Prof Michael Crawford, of London’s Institute of Brain Chemistry and Nutrition.  Photographs: Getty Images

Factory farming is based on cost – the animals do not count, and nor do the people in or near the factories

People have had life-altering experiences with food during the crucial teenage years

Worth more than a hill of beans: bean video makes us ask ourselves if we have been showing enough respect to the most humble things that we grow. Photograph: Getty Images

A video and an article about beans in ‘The New Yorker’ entitled ‘The intelligent plant’ made my mind boggle

You can eat and drink what you like over the Christmas period, so long as you exercise every day. A walk, run or a cycle will cancel out all the extra indulgence. Photograph: Getty Images

Go to the gym or keep jogging, and you can truly enjoy the luxuries of the season


Pleasant kitchen smells can contribute as much to our happiness as the hearty meal it heralds

Irish cows are grass-fed which means their beef is as lean as a skinless chicken breast. Photograph: Joanne Murphy

After a half-century of listening to nutritional advice that made us fatter, it’s time to reassess our attitude to red meat

Are you eating a rainbow of colours to make your tummy happy and your head healthy? Photograph: Getty Images

We need to garden our health, our food, our gut. Think colour, variety, texture, seasonality, taste and fun

Even the simple ritual of setting a table enables us to taste food better and focus more on taste. Photograph: Getty Images

Make your dining experience, wherever you are, a beautiful one with a nicely set table, candles and gleaming glasses

A new book helps you take food out of the cellophane-clad chill cabinet and straight into your garden – and onto your barbecue

The link between cooking and mindfulness was brought into focus by the work of sushi master Yoshimi Hayakawa of Wa cafe

We need to get mighty and moral when it comes to processed foods

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