It’s that time again: time to reveal our latest edition of The Happy Pear’s scrumptious recipes! We love the enchiladas and chocolate cake combo they shared with us for our Spring 2021 issue. Read on to enjoy!
CNM (The College of Naturopathic Medicine) have long been valued contributors to our magazine, and we love their always-enlightening advice on health and wellbeing issues. They have a number of great events coming up, including an Online Open Day, a Womens’ Hormone Balance and Fertility evening, a Cooking for Brain Health workshop, and many more. Read on for the full scoop!
CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) have long been contributors to our magazine, and we love hearing their wisdom on health and nutritional topics. Scroll on to read their Winter 2020/21 article, on how we can boost our moods at this time.
The Happy Pear’s recipes never fail to get our mouths watering and our tummies rumbling … and their Summer 2020 offerings were no exception to that rule! Read on below to feast your eyes on their recipes for a gorgeous pasta all’arrabbiatta and a chocolate and salted caramel tart.
If you’re seeking to break negative patterns around food, or just want to learn more about intuitively eating for your chakras, we highly recommend the lovely Judith McAdam’s 3-hour Zoom Workshop, ‘Lighten Up’ on the 26th of July. Full details available here!
Looking for a mouth-watering plant-based dining experience? Look no further than the lovely Glas Restaurant, located on Chatham Street in Dublin 2! Read on to learn more.
July Joy: Hello, Positive Lifers! Enjoy this collection of fabulous events, products and holistic news we have put together for you.
We were delighted to welcome The Happy Pear twins, David and Stephen Flynn, to the Positive Life fold in our Spring 2019 issue! They shared a gorgeous pizza recipe that will be perfect for the coming days and weeks, when the heat gradually returns and we feel more inclined to embark on spring picnics. Enjoy!
Creacon Wellness Retreat in New Ross, Co. Wexford, served as the perfect getaway location for Tara Congdon, who described it as “a blissful place.” Learn more about it below!
A Beacon of Bliss
Total relaxation in Co. Wexford
by Tara Congdon
I recently had the enormous pleasure of taking a trip to Creacon Wellness Retreat. Creacon is cosily nestled a stone’s throw from New Ross in Co. Wexford. On entering the little driveway, a cute Buddha welcomed me with a smile from the garden, and as I parked, my eye was drawn to a sign that said, ‘it’s a wonderful life.’ My usual frantic adrenalin immediately began to settle itself.
I tumbled out of my car and into reception, passing sweet chimes on my way, setting the tone for my adventure. An aside – bags hanging out of me and arriving late, just a few minutes before dinner, I was distracted from the fact that my top had pretty much come undone and so I stood in front of Veronica, the receptionist (decorated receptionist, I might add: Veronica won the 2017 Receptionist of the year award) in my bra – I have to say I would highly recommend it as an icebreaker because it gave us a great belly laugh and we were solid buds from then on.
From the minute I saw my beautiful bedroom, named Hawthorn, and my big cosy double bed, all of my busy world faded away and I was completely enchanted by the place. There is Anespa Alkaline mineral ion water in the bathrooms – it helps relax the entire body, helps improve dry skin, poor circulation, eczema, insomnia, stiffness, fatigue, rheumatism and much more.
Creacon serves Kangen water, which is alkaline water. Some of its benefits include: relief of IBS and Acid Reflux, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar, and alleviating stress and anxiety!
At dinner, I was served up the most delicious menu of nutritious, wholesome and healthy plate of food – homemade marinated salmon served with basil mousse and garlic crostini, followed by a vegetarian ragu and polenta. Later, I had some chamomile tea with cookies in the heart room.
The café has recently opened up daily to the public too. The chef is Gaetano Pernagallo, who believes ‘food is medicine.’ The benefits of each dish are listed on the menus. Something I really liked is how everyone seems to gravitate together for meal times – including the staff – and it’s like chowing down with your family. It’s warm, with lots of storytelling and great craic too.
Some of the other lovely treats I discovered during my stay at Creacon were the bijou conservatory area for quiet time and meditative colouring, the yoga/meditation room equipped with cushions and cosy mats, the relaxing heart room, sometimes showing an inspirational film, and the upstairs yellow room with the most snug couches.
There is a daily opt in/out schedule, including things like Five Tibetan yoga, Gentle Hatha Yoga, Japa Meditation Class, Mandala Class … there really is something for everyone! If you wish, you can book a consultation or private session. Everything is put together so carefully to nurture and love its guests. Nothing is missed.
I am blessed to have had this experience. If I was to put my finger on one stand-out from my stay, it was, without a doubt, the people: staff and guests. Funny, witty, warm, honest, down to earth people – I immediately felt like part of the family … and I just felt completely at home. Creacon is a blissful place!
Our resident gardening and food writer Hans Wieland shares the secrets of horseradishes in this extract from our Summer 2018 issue.
Horseradish, a Vegetable to Cry For
Growing vegetables that make a difference
By Hans Wieland
I have been living with horseradish all my life – in fact, even before my life, as the wedding dish of my parents was beef in horseradish cream sauce with potatoes, considered a poor man’s dish in the 50s, but with an outstanding flavour, as my late mum claimed.
Horseradish is a hardy root crop, an often neglected group of nutritious vegetables, which are most useful during the winter months. In German, it’s called “Meerrettich” (sea radish) because it grows best by the sea. Many believe the English mispronounced the German word “Meer” and began calling it “mareradish.” Eventually it became known as horseradish. In my humble view, horseradish is one of those plants that can transform dishes.
How to grow horseradish…
My parents did not live by the sea. They grew their horseradish beside the compost heap, probably with no other intention than to give it enough space. The main culinary use at home was for sauces, to be grated and mixed with freshly made quark, and also as a source of Vitamin C in my mum’s winter tonic of horseradish, onions and garlic.
Horseradish is a vigorous perennial plant from the Cabbage family (brassica), which also includes mustard, wasabi and broccoli. It can grow up to one metre tall and develops long stout roots. As a root vegetable, it is cultivated primarily for its large, white, tapered root, and also used as a spice. The plant is probably native to south eastern Europe and western Asia, but has a place in most Middle European gardens.
It grows better roots for harvesting if given its own space and attention. A rich fertile soil would be great. Being a deep root crop, it needs depth to grow, so a hard subsoil won’t be to its liking. But in the wide area between these extremes, which is pretty much any healthy garden soil, it will give you a good crop with very little effort.
We grow horseradish at Neantóg in true family tradition, beside our compost heap where its spreading habit doesn’t become a problem. In a herb garden, it can be grown in a big and deep container: a half barrel, for example. It’s a large-leafed, tall perennial plant, so make sure it won’t be overpowering a more delicate neighbour.
Horseradish is best grown from a root cutting – similar to comfrey – or start with a potted plant from a good garden centre. In year one, I recommend growing it in a big, tall pot to boost growth without harvesting. In year two it can be planted in its final position.
After the first frost in autumn kills the leaves, the root can be dug and divided. The main root is harvested and one or more large offshoots of the main root are replanted to produce next year’s crop. Horseradish left undisturbed in the garden spreads via underground shoots and can become invasive. Older roots left in the ground become woody, after which they are no longer culinarily useful, though older plants can be dug and re-divided to start new plants. The early season leaves can be distinctively different: asymmetric and spiky, before the mature typical flat broad leaves start to be developed.
The culinary use of horseradish
The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma, but when cut or grated, enzymes from the now broken plant cells break down the sugars to produce mustard oil, which can irritate the mucous membranes of the sinuses and eyes. Once exposed to air or heat, it will begin to lose its pungency, darken in colour, and become unpleasantly bitter tasting over time.
The mustard oil (allyl isothiocyanate) serves the plant as a natural defence against herbivores. When an animal chews the plant, the mustard oil is released, repelling the animal. The health benefits of horseradish are manifold: a very high Vitamin C content, antibiotic properties and beneficial for blood circulation. Homemade remedies are more potent than bought ones. Chefs often use the grated root of the horseradish plant mixed with vinegar, which they call “prepared horseradish”. Preserved like that, it can be stored for months under refrigeration, but eventually it will darken, indicating it is losing flavour and should be replaced. The leaves of the plant or “horseradish greens” – while edible – are not commonly eaten, because of their very strong flavour.
The preferred use of horseradish in the Wieland household, besides being an ingredient in Gaby’s master tonic, is mixing it with quark, soft cheeses or ricotta. Here is a very simple recipe:
500g of fresh quark or soft cheese
3-4 tablespoons of freshly grated horseradish
1 apple grated, lemon juice, salt and pepper to season
Hans Wieland worked and taught at the Organic Centre for over 20 years before ‘retiring’ to Neantóg Kitchen Garden School in Cliffoney this May, along with his wife Gaby Wieland, herbalist and naturopath. The couple offer a range of courses and workshops in food growing, fermenting, foraging, cheese making, healthy cooking and baking.