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3 Donal Skehan recipes from across the globe

Healthy dinners inspired by chef Donal Skehan’s global travels
3 Donal Skehan recipes from across the globe
April 10, 2017   |    Donal Skehan

With a grandmother who hand-wrote recipes, a mum who loves to cook and a career in the kitchen that goes back to his teens, Donal Skehan was destined to be a chef.

The Irish cook, who’s just moved to LA (so recently, in fact, he doesn’t even have a house yet), publishes his seventh cookbook Eat. Live. Go. this month, after spending much of 2015 travelling around Europe and Asia for his Food Network show, Follow Donal.

Last year, Donal visited 20 countries and picked up a raft of inspiration along the way.

Many of his influences are from Asian food and Middle Eastern, which he says are his ‘desert island flavours’. As for the healthy element, he’s adamant it doesn’t have to be difficult: ‘I’m always looking for ways to up my veg content because I’m travelling a lot, so I want to get as much nutrition as possible. Store-cupboard items like chickpeas are great for bulking out dishes.

‘From the get-go, my recipes have always been about accessible meals anyone can try. One chapter in the book is all about quick cooking; things like my one-pan Singapore noodles are 15-minute meals. It’s about big flavours, with minimal time and effort. I’m living in an AirBnb right now, so I’m aware of the limitations people who don’t cook on a regular basis have.

‘Sometimes, little twists are all it takes. I’ve got a shepherd’s pie in the book which I make with a cauliflower mash instead of potato mash. Small changes like that can turn comfort food into something more healthy.’


Serves 2-4


2 sirloin steaks (225g each), about 4cm thick
4tbsp za’atar
1tbsp rapeseed oil

For the beetroot hummus
2 cooked beetroots
200g of chickpeas, rinsed
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
1tsp ground cumin
1tbsp pomegranate molasses; extra to drizzle
1½tsp tahini
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt, black pepper

For the pickled cucumber salad
2 baby cucumbers
4tbsp rice wine vinegar
2tbsp caster sugar
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
6 fresh mint leaves
1tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Pat steaks dry and press za’atar on both sides.

For the beetroot hummus, blitz ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste.

To make the salad, use a swivel vegetable peeler to pare into long thin ribbons. Place vinegar in bowl and stir in sugar. Add cucumber ribbons, sliced red onion and toss to coat.

Cover with cling film, leave for at least 10 minutes in fridge.

Heat oil in large, frying pan over high heat. Add steaks and cook for 3-4 minutes each side. Season and set aside, covered in foil, for 5 minutes before carving into thin slices.

To serve, drain cucumber salad, then tear mint leaves into small pieces and fold into salad with sesame seeds. Arrange on plates with the sliced beef. Add large dollop of beetroot hummus, drizzled with a little extra pomegranate molasses.


Serves 4


For the beetballs
1 small onion, grated
2 raw beetroots, peeled and grated
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
150g porridge oats
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed
3tbsp tahini
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2tbsp olive oil, for frying

For the courgetti
1tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1tsp dried chilli flakes
1 x 680g jar passata
3 large, thick courgettes, trimmed
Large handful of fresh basil leaves torn, plus extra to serve
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan, to serve

First make the beetballs. Squeeze all the excess liquid from the grated vegetables. Add to food processor with oats, chickpeas and tahini, and season. Blitz until you have chunky mixture, then form into 16 bite-sized balls and set aside.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for 30 seconds before adding the passata. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until slightly reduced. Season to taste.

While the sauce is simmering, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat and add the beetballs. Fry for 8–10 minutes or until golden brown on all sides andcooked through.

Use a spiraliser (or julienne peeler) to create long noodles from the courgettes. When the sauce is ready, add the courgettes and basil and toss through to coat the noodles with the sauce.

Serve in deep plates, topped with the beetballs. Scatter over the parmesan shavings and
remaining basil leaves to serve.


Serves 4


2tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1tsp ground turmeric (or a thumbsized piece of fresh turmeric, finely chopped)
1tbsp curry powder
2 large sweet potatoes, diced
400ml vegetable stock
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed
Juice of ½ lime
Large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and fry for 6–8 minutes until tender.

Add the garlic, chilli, turmeric and curry powder and fry for a further 2 minutes until the spices release their aroma.

Add the sweet potato chunks and stir until coated in the spices, then pour in the vegetable stock, coconut milk and chickpeas. Bring back to a steady simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is just tender.

Check the seasoning and stir through the lime juice and coriander. Serve in deep bowls.

EAT. LIVE. GO by Donal Skehan is on sale 20 October – £25, Hodder & Stoughton

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