James Street South Cookery School: Shake it up a little for the marathon

Milkshakes are a popular choice at Niall's Cast and Crew restaurant in Belfast's Titanic Quarter
Niall McKenna

THIS week’s recipes are two of the all-time favourites from our menu at Cast and Crew in Belfast's Titanic Quarter. Whether the workers from the Science Park, tourists from Titanic Belfast or students from the Met next door, we can always guarantee that there will be a steady stream of both shakes and salads leaving the kitchen, whether for sitting in or taking away.


Hopefully the insane weather of this week will have passed by Monday as we are all really excited about the Belfast Marathon that will have thousands of runners being cheered on by the whole city. We are lucky at Cast and Crew to be right beside the first major checkpoint and relay handover spot of the race so I thought I would give you some recipes which I have no doubt will be really popular on Monday among competitors and spectators alike.

The shakes for the families or friends waiting on their loved ones to cross the checkpoint or for later at the finish line, while the kale and peanut salad will be perfect for all the runners who need to re-fuel.


Shakes are also a great way to get more fruit into children and making them at home makes you more aware of what goes into them as shop-bought shakes can be overloaded with sugar which takes any goodness away from the fruit content.


The kale salad is a great and simple idea for kale. Besides boiling or frying it, there are not too many ways to cook it but putting it in this salad, with the delicious crunch of the nuts, and our yummy dressing, makes a great use of the ingredient and can be used at home for a starter, a side dish for a main or a meal in itself if you want to add grilled chicken or prawns.


If you are gearing up for the summer season, you might be interested in the Smokin’ Hot Night at Cast & Crew next Saturday, May 7 when, for only £20, you can enjoy slow-cooked tender BBQ beef brisket or mouth-watering pulled pork served in buttermilk buns with our signature slaw, all served with an ice-cold Yardsman beer. Visit the Cast & Crew Facebook page for more details.


In the meantime, good luck to everyone for the marathon on Monday and we hope to see you soon.





250ml house dressing (see recipe below)

125g peanut butter

25g dry roasted peanuts

¼ bulb garlic crushed

2 chillies, de-seeded and chopped

125ml light soy sauce

50ml white wine vinegar

125g honey


Place all ingredients in a blender and put on full power until well blended.



A good handful of Kale

small amount of sliced red onion

small amount of diced tomato

small handful of peanut nibs

salt and pepper to season


For the house dressing:

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup honey

¼ pnt white wine vinegar

1 pnt olive oil

3 tblsp Dijon mustard

½ tblsp salt & pepper


Place all ingredient except the oil in a blender or food processor and put on full power, then slowly and gradually pour the oil in. Stop pouring if it looks like it is starting to split or the oil isn’t mixing into the dressing and leave on full power until it comes together. Toss the salad ingredients in just enough dressing to coat everything well and serve.




400ml milk

200g strawberries or raspberries, stalks removed

½ tsp vanilla extract

6 ice cubes

Honey to taste




400ml milk

2 ripe bananas peeled and chopped

2 tblsp peanut butter

6 ice cubes

Honey to taste




400ml milk

2 tablesp maple syrup

1 teasp vanilla extract

6 ice cubes


Pour the milk into a blender and add the rest of the ingredients, depending on which shake you are making and blend for 30-45 seconds until smooth. Add the honey to taste if you like the added sweetness. Use a sieve to strain into glasses to remove any chunks of ice.




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