Beef and Pumpkin Casserole

Beef and Pumpkin Casserole 

This is a deliciously haunting meal that is packed full of nutrients so that you are strong enough to keep the zombies away! One that will feed all the family this Halloween and make use of any leftover pumpkins. A good substitute for pumpkin is butternut squash so this is a meal that can be made all year round.


What do I need to feed 5 mouths? 


  • 400g Cannellini beans
  • 600g stewing beef
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper, 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 large carrots
  • 350ml beef stock
  • Pumpkin diced
  • 150g chopped mushrooms
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic

Halloween Mash

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 100g curly kale
  • 1 red onion
  • 100ml Whole milk
  • 25g butter

Equipment: Casserole dish, frying pan, pot, spatula, peeler, sharp knife, chopping board, masher.

And now what do I do? 

  • Cook beef and chopped garlic on a relatively low heat.
  • Chop and peel your vegetables.
  • Add all vegetables, beef, beef stock and spices to a casserole dish.
  • Pop it into the oven for 40 minutes (You can let this slow cook for a few hours if you have the time for it).
  • Peel and chop potatoes and bring to boil until soft.
  • Melt the butter and add the chopped kale and onion.
  • Allow to simmer, stir occasionally.
  • Drain the potatoes, add the kale, onion and milk, mash it all together.
  • Serve the Halloween mash with the casserole and enjoy!

Total prep/ cook time: 60 mins

Serves: 5

Nutrition content per portion:

  • Calories: 505
  • Protein: 39g
  • Carbohydrates: 58g
  • Fat: 12g

Cost per serving: €2.18






Player Insight: Lindsay Peat – Ireland Rugby

Athlete: Lindsay Peat

Age: 36

How did you get into sport in the first place? What made you take it up? 

  • I fell into sport by chance, my mam didn’t want me idle during my summers. She had visions of me running the streets and getting into trouble so she sent me over to the local basketball team. Little did she know I guess what a happy and successful place she would be opening me up to.


I know you from the basketball court but you have since triumphed on the Gaelic pitch for Dublin and international territory for Irish rugby. What sport did your sporting career really start with and what made you choose that sport?

  • Funnily enough my success in sport, for which I’m very honoured and proud, really and truly stemmed from what I learnt through my years of basketball. The coaches I was exposed to, the amazingly talented player’s I played against and just the challenges I faced prepared me for my tough but amazing journeys into the Gaelic and rugby Worlds.


What do you think is behind your progression from your initial starting point to now playing rugby for Ireland?

  • Again I think the experience I had with basketball and GAA had a huge part to play. Sport has evolved so much from where I started to where I am now and I wouldn’t have been able to compete with this evolution to rugby without my exposure to strength and conditioning and nutrition programme with the various teams I was with and again I am so lucky and thankful to have been exposed to many talented and knowledgeable people. You have to not only be a skilled player but a finely tuned athlete in today’s modern world of elite sport.


When entering a new sport, aside from remembering rules and skills of course, does your mindset change at all? Or do you get into a particular state of mind that you can pull across each sport?

  • No my mind set doesn’t really change overall I don’t feel. I can only be me and I have to buy into and believe in what I’m doing. I suppose I’m someone with a philosophy and the philosophy of me is to bring work rate, aggression and belief. After that I must couple what I bring as an athlete to what the game demands and the role I need to play in the overall game plan of the team.  I feel that yes I have evolved in aspects of myself and my personality but obviously I have something that coaches see and that thankfully has stood to me.


Who is your inspiration? 

  • My main inspiration now is my family, my wife and my son.  Taking time away from them really inspires me to be the best and make the most of everything I do in a sporting sense.  On a sporting level as regard’s those players who inspired me, I have had many.  I grew up wanting to be many of the players I got to play with. My main inspiration would have been Denise Walsh, Susan Moran – the list of basketball women I could list here is endless tbh.  Even now the players I play against inspire me to be better and it’s the one thing that tells me I’m not ready to hang up any boots yet.


What is your greatest sporting achievement? (I know this one will be a tough one for you so you can have more than one if you want!:) )


  • Hahaha…THANK YOU!! I suppose dancing on the podium in Croke Park lifting the Brendan Martin Cup in my beloved Dublin Jersey will always be a very standout moment for me but also the first time I played for Ireland in basketball and getting to play in rugby World Cup.  They are all very proud and standout moments for me.  I truly am blessed.


What is your current sporting goal and how do you plan to go about getting it?

  • I think this one is a tough one as I think I’m at a cross roads a little due to decisions we need to make as a family but my goal would be to play for Ireland in the next six nations 2018 but that’s still very much undecided.


Aside from your sporting achievements and athletic ability, do you think there are any attributes you have acquired over the years from sport, that benefit you in your life outside of sport?

  • Yes absolutely.  I have learned to believe in myself and not be afraid to fail. I’ve failed many times in sport but I’ve also won so much and done things no one else could even dream of yet I never always had that in me for my life outside of sport.  Now I give things a try whether that’s standing up in front of 2,000 students in the convention centre giving a motivational talk or going for an interview. I need to try things and push the boat out and not be afraid to fail and to learn.  I also can only ever be me that’s not to say I don’t need to continue to improve or be a better version of me but being me is ok.


How have you learned to manage juggling work and playing at such a competitive level? Is there anything you struggle with the most?

  • A Diary.  It’s been the best and yet simplest tool. Just having to go through what’s on each week from a family point and obviously to include training; talks; media; work.  I never struggled that much really when I was single but since getting married and having a baby it’s very hard to juggle everything in life, very hard at times but we’ve managed so far and that’s all down to the patience of my wife, my family and my friends.


Have you had to sacrifice a lot to be where you are? Is there anything you would change? 

  • Yes I have but at the same time I can’t play sport for ever and the opportunities are limited and you have to take them while they are there.  I’ve sacrificed a lot of special times with my family and friends and missed out on some very special occasions. If I could change anything it would be to have more time to fit everything in and if women got paid for sport that would be amazing!


In your opinion, what does it mean to be part of a team?  

  • To be part of a team is to be like part of a family.  Obviously you won’t like all members of your family the same lol! But you need to have each other’s back no matter what.  You are spending so much time together; working so hard you have to love what you do and the people you’re doing it – it just means so much more then.  Michael Jordan famously said that “Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins Championships”.


Is there any other sports you would like to try and should we expect to see you in a different kit soon enough? 

  • Hahaha! I would love to try boxing I really would but if I was to ever do it, it would be on a very amateur and fun basis!!


What’s your advice to the younger Lindsay?

  • Hmmm…..very good question.  I think the problem with the younger Lindsay is from memory is no matter what advice you’d give her she probably wouldn’t listen anyway!! If she did though I just tell her to drive on for what she wants it’ll all work out – what’s meant for you won’t pass you!


What’s your advice to someone who has never played a sport before and is considering, picking one up?

  • DO IT!!  Port for me has been my happy place, my sanctuary, my driving force but that’s how we connected and it just happened to progress on to the higher echelons but to me Sport is for everyone.  Keep trying every sport till you find one you like and once it makes you happy and you’re enjoying it, anything on top such as winning etc is a bonus. Sport makes me feel good both mentally and physically and once I’m in that happy place and have that happy balance I can take on anything.  It’s one of the best therapy’s out there.


If there is anything you would like to add? If so, please share below. 

  • Just to thank everyone who has helped and supported me along the way especially my wife, my parents who are amazing, my sisters, my in-laws, my friends, coaches, fellow players, my clubs, just everyone. I couldn’t have done it without all of their help.  To anyone who needs advice and I can lend a hand I’m more than happy to help. And finally Sport is amazing give it a try and especially from the girls side of things please, please, please give it a try and if not as a player there are plenty more roles within Sport that are just as enjoyable.  There is a window right now to propel Women’s Sport Worldwide and I just hope all of the organisations who are involved with Women’s Sports here in our great country take advantage of that otherwise we’ll be left behind and we’ll seriously miss out.  That’s from the ground right up to International level. 

Player Insight: Lauren Delany – Ireland Rugby

Name: Lauren Delany

Sport: Rugby, Gaelic football, Basketball (*This piece was written before Lauren made the Irish Women’s Rugby team) 

Your sport and why you chose it?  How long have you been playing it for?

  • I’ve played basketball for 15 years and got into it when starting secondary school. I’m in my second season of playing Gaelic football and started as a way to make friends in a new city as well as having a sport to do during the summer months or offseason from rugby. I’m heading into my 4th year playing rugby and like with Gaelic football, I started it as a way to meet people in a new city but also because I loved to watch the sport and knew of a lot of basketball players that converted and did very well.I also go to the gym regularly and do yoga. As I work in professional sport, spending time in the gym is a given.

What was the first sport you took part in and when? What do you think is behind your progression from that point to now playing premier league rugby?

  • The first sport I took part in was probably through PE class in primary school. I remember playing Gaelic football competitively for my school but broke my collar bone in 5th class playing with the lads and couldn’t play a sport for the rest of primary school. I’ve always been really competitive since a young age and loved playing outside with friends and then in team based sports. I love testing myself physically and mentally to try and get the best out of myself. I’ve moved house 6 times in the last 5 years to multiple cities so sport has been a great way to make friends in new places and rugby was always a sport I wanted to try. I think 15 years of basketball definitely helped in my quick progression with rugby and working in elite sport also motivates me to achieve more as I’m always surrounded by world class athletes.

What is your greatest sporting achievement?

  • My greatest basketball sporting achievement is probably representing my country at the under 16 European Championships in Estonia. In rugby, my greatest achievement is winning the national county championship with Lancashire last year in London.

What is your current sporting goal and how do you plan to go about getting it?

  • I am currently in preseason leading up to the new women’s Premiership in England. My goal is to develop as an athlete and be competitive in this league, hopefully with the aim of making the Irish 15s team in the near future. I still play Gaelic football as I think it adds great fitness and skills to my rugby game and the season is opposite to rugby so keeps my fitness up.

Aside from your sporting achievements and athletic ability, do you think there are any attributes you have acquired over the years that benefit you in your life outside of sport?

  • Sport has taught me how to work as a team, how to work hard in order to gain success, how to manage my time, how to communicate effectively with different people, how to deal with loss/being unsuccessful, how to deal with stressful situations under pressure, how to bounce back from disappointment and how to always strive for more. Sport has also taught me that life’s not fair, but it’s not fair for everyone!

How do you find juggling work and playing at such a competitive level? Is there anything you struggle with most?

  • Every week is different. As I have played competitive sport since a young age I have developed good strategies for being time efficient, eating quickly and being organised. There are always weeks where I struggle, especially when work is really busy or I have been busy for the whole weekend with friends/family and I’m not organised for the week ahead. Sport is my way to unwind after a hard day so I really try my best to make every session no matter what.The thing I probably struggle with the most is keeping up with all the washing haha!

Have you had to sacrifice a lot to be where you are? Is there anything you would change? 

  • I think I have a good balance of work, sport and social life. I have sacrificed some holidays and nights out and time with friends/family for training and playing but luckily most of my friends play sport so they’re either there playing with me or they understand the commitment needed. As I’ve played sport since a young age my family always understand and are supportive.I’m a firm believer though that sport is my own choice and being committed to a group of people with a common goal means you have to live with the sacrifices.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be part of a team?  

  • I love team sports and I’ve always been known as a ‘team player’ whether in sport, work or life. A group of people coming together to achieve a common goal is a powerful thing and everyone should feel this once in their life. A team becomes a family. ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’

What’s your advice to the younger Lauren?

  • Enjoy the journey. Rehab your ankles properly when you injure them first time and pick up rugby at a younger age, it’s an epic sport!

What’s your advice to someone who has never played a sport before and is considering, picking one up?

  • My advice would be to try a local team sport, there’s always loads of teams open to newbies. Rugby is a great sport for people of all abilities and body types so don’t be put off by the contact, grab a friend and give it a go. If contact isn’t your scene then give tough or tag rugby a go as these are really socialable and there are loads of mixed teams. Team sports are the best way I know to make friends, especially in a new area, they’re great fun and good motivation to go training instead of relying on your own willpower to train on your own.

If there is anything you would like to add, please share below. 

  • Sport has the power to change the world. It can improve our health, teach us all the discipline needed to achieve success in life and bring us together as a community to support a common goal. Be part of it and you won’t regret it!

Photo credit: IRFU