I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes and in this weather I am enjoying it roasted with spices and put into salads, or baked and stuffed with delicious things. I recently tried it with smoked rainbow trout and the contrast between the smoky, salty fish and the sweet, fluffy baked potato is wonderful.
Rainbow trout is a great alternative to salmon and is considerably cheaper. I found Goatsbridge smoked trout in my local supermarket. This is farmed trout from the waters of the Little Arrigle River in Kilkenny and it has a unique taste and texture. (Although my kids didn't even notice that this was trout and not salmon.)
Goatsbridge is an Irish company that uses Irish fish. I would much prefer to eat that than a whole Chilean salmon that's been frozen and shipped into the EU, then processed here in Ireland and sold on as "Irish salmon".
By eating the same things all the time, we miss out on fantastic food. The more diverse our menu is, the better. Apart from being more interesting, it also ensures we’re getting a broad range of nutrients.
Choosing sustainable fish such as pollock gives endangered species such as cod a chance to replenish their numbers. The same goes for chicken. In recent years, it has become very intensively reared and far removed from it’s free-range, farm-reared origins. There are many other options, and ideally when we do eat chicken we will go for plump, local birds that are reared ethically. It’s always more of a treat and the meat is so much better than on the cheaper birds.
I’m guilty of buying the same things regularly myself. When you’re busy, hungry and short on time, you don’t want to be experimenting in the kitchen with something new.
It can be quite difficult to get out of that rut and pop something different in the trolley or venture towards a new stall at the farmer’s market.
I'm like a magpie when it comes to new producers: always collecting them. I have a weakness for Irish farmhouse cheeses, and I recently came across Ballinrostig Homestead Cheese, an artisan cheese that is hand-made in east Cork by Stephen Bender. The soft cheese with nettle and garlic is incredible: creamy and smooth with no cloying garlic aftertaste like some garlic cheeses can have.
It’s delicious spread on a baked potato like this in place of the avocado and would be a great alternative to cream cheese in a bagel with smoked rainbow trout.