Top Tips for Healthy Meal Planning

The ever-popular Bord Bia Quality Kitchen Stage returns to Bloom this June with a packed line-up of demonstrations from some of Ireland’s best chefs. Over the five days of the festival they will share plenty of tips and ideas to help you create healthy and wholesome dishes. Among them is chef BRIAN McDERMOTT who explains why good health starts with eating better at home.

‘This is going to be my ninth year at Bord Bia Bloom and I can’t wait to get back to the Phoenix Park after a two-year break. Bloom for me means summer and it is such a great time and place to cook. You are surrounded by the best people who produce the best food on our island.

Once again this year I will be sharing some tips to help people ‘eat better to be well’. That’s my mantra and I firmly believe that good health starts with good food. Making simple changes to how you plan and prepare food can have a massive impact on your health and wellbeing.

This begins with eliminating processed foods and going back to the way our mothers and grandmothers would have cooked, preparing food from scratch using ingredients that are in season. This can seem like a lot of work for busy people who are short on time but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all down to good planning.

Brian McDermott at Bord Bia Bloom 2019

Food should be a conversation you have in the home. This could be a quick chat with your family on a Sunday, taking stock of what ingredients you have in your cupboard and what your family would like to eat throughout the week. There are plenty of time-saving techniques you can employ that will eliminate that mid-week dash to the supermarket for highly-processed convenience food.

Batch cooking and freezing food is a great way to do this. Freeze portions in small containers so that they can be thawed and heated quickly. I keep a list on my freezer door so I know exactly what I have and when it’s going out of date. This helps to plan meals throughout the week and it is a great way to reduce food waste.

How you cook is just as important as what you cook and at Bloom I will talk about the best way to cook to preserve the nutrients and goodness of your ingredients. I’ll be sharing ideas for quick and easy meals at home.

Brian McDermott is an award-winning chef, cookery book author and presenter from Donegal. See him at the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen Stage 10.30 on Sunday, 5th and 12.25 on Monday, 6th June. Book your tickets for your preferred day at Bord Bia Bloom here.