Food Month digest: From great-value meals to kitchen designs, here’s what our food writers have in store

As part of our Frugal Feasts series, we will bring you another affordable and delicious recipe each weekday

We’re entering the second week of Food Month at The Irish Times and this weekly digest gives you a rundown of everything you may have missed in the past week, plus a sneak peek at what’s to come.

Frugal Feasts

Great value is at the heart of the 10th annual Food Month, and this past week saw the start of our Frugal Feasts series. Every weekday we’ll give you a delicious recipe that will feed a family of four for less than €10. On the menu this week was Caz Mooney’s slow-cooker beef and bacon stew, Clodagh McKenna’s linguine puttanesca, Conor Spacey’s homemade chickpea burgers and Daniel Lambert’s salt and chilli chicken tray.

There was also plenty more where those came from, with this handy guide to three 30-minute family meals. Research at Maynooth University has shown that time pressures and lack of inspiration are two of the major stresses parents face when preparing family meals, so Jolene Cox’s recipes are made to take the stress and strain out of cooking - with minimal wash-up afterwards.

Restaurant recommendations

Great value doesn’t stop at home and our experts scoured the country to find the top 100 great-value places to eat in Ireland in 2022. They looked under eight categories: new, sustainable, places for lunch, places for dinner, takeaways, a quick bite, for small plates, and seafood. You can find their 100 recommendations here.


Dubliner James McGill, who is a wheelchair user, also brings you the best restaurants that are fully accessible in Ireland. “In a lot of places, you still wouldn’t be able to go to the bathroom by yourself; you would need someone to hold a door at some point, and often you will find wheelchair toilets being used as a storage area,” he says. Find his suggestions here.

Cooking for children

Rock’n’roll dad and Eurovision winner Paul Harrington wrote about cooking for his three-year-old. He says that “a varied weekly menu is important, not only because it gives us and her [his daughter] more choice but also because it provides more opportunities to taste, and sometimes reject, different foods, and occasionally get to like the taste of a certain food over time”. Read the full piece here.

Kitchen trends

If you’re looking to redesign your kitchen, Joanne Hunt has all the latest that you need to know. From open-plan designs to low-noise extractor fans and “fancy-pants taps”, there are so many ways you can modernise your cooking space. Find them here.

Coming soon

It doesn’t end there. This week we’ll have plenty more Food Month articles, including a first look at Hyde, Dublin 2′s new three-storey restaurant. Also, Sylvia Thompson asks how Ireland can shake its bad reputation around hospital food, and our Frugal Feasts recipe series will continue throughout the week.

Former food editor of the LA Times Russ Parsons will look at what he has learned from three years of shopping, cooking and eating in Ireland. “I find myself cooking more simply,” he says. Parsons will also chat to London chef and restaurateur Jeremy Lee about his new cookbook, which he describes as “a big scrapbook of things I love”.

Also this week, you can dine with Leinster Rugby at Saba at our live reader event. There you’ll find out how the Leinster squad maintain their nutrition programme at home, what they enjoy cooking and how they prepare to be match-fit - all while you enjoy a three-course lunch full of explosive flavour and paired with a selection of hand-picked wine. Tickets are here.

Meet the Chef continues, this week with our new cookery columnist and the head of Mae restaurant, Gráinne O’Keefe. She’ll host a dinner and wine-tasting evening at her Ballsbridge restaurant, and tickets are available here.