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10th Jan 2022

What I eat in a week in Dublin: Burnt boil in the bag rice and an attempt at vegetarianuary

Lovin' Media

food diary- smithwick's

Welcome to What I eat in a week in Dublin, where we find out what Dubliners are having. We’re asking people who live in this fine city what they are really having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This isn’t a platform for lecturing or snarky comments, just a place for foodies to tell us what they are putting in their face holes during any given week. 

Location: Dublin

Diet: Everything (although this month I’m supposed to be doing vegetarianuary)

Is there anything you don’t eat/drink? 

Salt & Vinegar crisps, most pickles and I’ve had a v rocky history with whiskey.

What snack can always be found in your bag?

My family always joke that if there was a nuclear disaster I’d survive for several days with the supplies I always have stashed. I’m always with a bottle of water, dark chocolate rice cakes, and if I was let 10 packets of Percy Pigs.

Your fridge is never without?

Milk (for tea), hummus, cheese, and a can (just in case).

What’s your emergency dinner?

So boring, but probably pasta and spicy tomato sauce. It’s so easy to do and you nearly always have it in the press already plus you can pretend to chop garlic like Paulie from Goodfellas.

If you had to eat one place in Dublin for the rest of your life where would it be?

Maybe Avoca because they just cover it all.. breakfast, lunch and dinners.

Day One 

8:10 am. – While the shrilling cat is fed, the kettle is put on. Tea has to be heavily brewed (I mean stewed) and made cold with the amount of milk that’s been thrown into the cup (the milk is full fat and from a cow).

10.00 am. – A slice of breakfast panettone with the weakest coffee this world has ever seen while I work (from home and in my pajamas). New Year’s was last week so breakfast panettone is still acceptable.

1:20 pm.- My meal times seem to correspond with the cat’s at the moment, she gets fed her stinking pouch of crud while I reheat leftover aloo gobi from last year (yep that joke never gets old). I attempt to make rice (an ongoing debacle), I manage to semi-burn what I think might have been boil in the bag rice that I accidentally opened. Sticking with plain old loose basmati next time, better the devil you know.

1.52 pm.- After having my burnt lunch, I’m still hungry. Potentially because I’m trying to readjust from the Christmas period which centered around the cheese board and made grazing a full-time hobby. Have some spicy peanut & corn mix from Lidl (or Aldi) who knows, this is an extremely top-tier snack that reminds me of those little snack bowls you get in Spain with drinks. Fierce continental.

2.41pm.- Ever the slave to caffeine I have another coffee this time it tastes like coffee and not like dishcloths. 13-25 Percy Pigs (the fizzy ones) were also consumed alongside the coffee which made for an interesting mouthfeel.

4:20pm.- Despite hiding the Percy Pigs I manage to locate them and eat the remaining packet. Hide the other packet in the house as a precaution.

8.10pm.- Perhaps down to the sheer amount of Percy Pig parts consumed I’m not that hungry so opt for a baked sweet potato which is mixed with equal parts sour cream, cheese, and chopped spring onion.

8.30pm.- A can of Smithwick’s to finish off the day because why the hell not.

Day Two

7.35am.- After snooze is hit (just the once) I commence the tea brewing. The cat is fed, washing is distributed around the high and dry areas of the house, and I make banana and peanut butter on toast (which must contain butter because life doesn’t have enough sweet and salty elements to it). Have my cup of tea in bed and mentally prepare myself to go for a pre-work run, because that’s what New Year’s resolutions were made for.. the week directly after a new year.

9.53am.- I play that reckless game of trying to do twenty things before a meeting- including making a coffee but manage to pull it off and make a halfway decent one. The Aeropress is back in the good books.

1.50pm.- Despite one of my New Year’s resolutions being “spend less money on outside food” I’ve succumbed to the bare fridge and grabbed lunch from Riggers in Inchicore. I also broke another one of my resolutions by ordering meat even though I was supposed to be doing Veganuary. The Caesar salad was very good, could have eaten two of them though.

2.57pm.- Again, the pre-meeting renegade coffee just to make sure that the anxiety levels are in check.

6.23pm.- A mandarin because I’m a hashtag fitfam now.

8.03pm.- Dinner is mushroom-y lemon-y buttery pasta with toasted bread and olive oil. Pretend to my partner that I didn’t eat a Caeser salad and glory in our smugness at making it through another meat-free day with him.

9.30pm.- In an attempt to wean myself off my now daily evening beer, I have a cacao and orange tea from Nibbed out in Wicklow. The teapot is barely big enough for one cup, so I selflessly give my partner the first cup while I throw another bit of boiling water in and settle for the dregs which are surprisingly nice.

Day Three

7.56am.- This morning was a snooze-heavy morning. All intentions to go for a pre-work walk were scuppered by how warm the bed was. Have a cup of tea in bed while reading The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride, which feels like too soft-core porn to be reading in the morning with a cup of tea but how and ever.

11.28am.- Coffee o’clock, my head was actually throbbing before I had it, I’m well aware of my caffeine addiction.

1.07pm.- Have lunch at lunchtime which is strange for me. Pumpkin soup, which was in the freezer since the Halloween pumpkin glut and resembles the consistency of baby food and needs to be diluted. Have it with a slice of buttered toast, because the only reason soup exists is to consume more bread.

2.03pm.- Come back from shop with milk, two courgettes, wild apple and cinnamon Pukka tea (the undefeated king of all teas) and the last two aubergines in the shop. What is going on why is there a rush on aubergines?

2.13pm.- Have another mandarin

6.00pm.- Eat the last slice of the panettone, have a little cry when I got back to the spot where the panettone was once placed and it’s no longer there.

8.10pm.- Make a tofu stirfry with celery, red pepper, and mushrooms. Top it with kimchi from Fumbally Ferments which is nice but is alarmingly cold (since it was kept in the fridge).

Day Four

8.00am.- the snooze was heavy this morning, went for a record-breaking 4 snooze sessions. Tea.

12.00pm.- Coffee, on the weaker side of things (not ideal)

1.30pm.- Strangely haven’t eaten yet today think it might be my loyal coworker anxiety tapping me on the shoulder. Have leftover tofu and veg from yesterday but make some egg-fried rice to go with it (I’m basically Nigella now) it looks better than it tastes since I forgot about the concept of seasoning while I was making it.

2.40pm.- More tea

8.10pm.- Am delivered a cold can of Smithwick’s in bed while I watch Ted Lasso with the electric blanket turnt up to level 4.

8.50pm. Extremely late dinner because my partner is cooking and they are slow-pokes. Have vegan chili, which turns into vegetarian when I add an ungodly amount of grated cheese. It’s nice but a bit fuego, and not what I had in my mind’s eye when I think about chili. It was kind of soupy.

Day Five

7.20am.- Am woken up by a distant neighbours alarm, which is probably for the best as it negates the endless snoozing. Throw a husk of bread into the toaster and put an ungodly amount of butter on it to disguise from the huskiness. I need to eat something though because I’m going on a run.

7.30am.- Return to bed with a cup of tea and read my book… I’m at the tell-all section with the older actor character and can’t seem to break away from it.

9.00am.- Manage to somehow fit a run and a shower in before work.

10.50am.- Coffee and one and a half-pint glasses of water because I forgot all about my New Year’s resolution until now.

2.30pm.- Lunch was curtailed by a man visiting 0ur place to figure out our kitchen. I’m half-starved and there’s v little in the fridge so I have porridge with oat milk (the only milk to have it with), frozen raspberries, my Dad’s homemade granola and a squirt of honey that was basically the squirty containers’ swan song.

2.56pm.- a cup of coffee while I listen to The Prodigy’s Spitfire on repeat.

6.13pm.- I am now slightly deranged with hunger so we order Coke Lane Pizza for dinner.

7.30pm.- Have a glass of red wine (Vacqueyras on special offer in SuperValu doncha know).

Day Six

8.00am.- Tea, tea, and more tea. There’s very little in the house so tea will have to suffice.

12.10pm.- Walk over to the new Griolladh on Thomas street (hard to miss it’s got bright yellow tiles). Have an OG with the iconic pink mayo. V good, the flakes of salt make a serious difference and I really never thought they mattered that much tbh.

3.50pm.- Have a hummus and cheese sandwich while partially minding my nephews.. also a coffee which I inadvertently put cold water into and have to put in the microwave.

5.00pm.- Guinness in Neary’s mmmm…

8.10pm.- Break vegetarianuary aaaaagain and have dash burger (sob) double smash with chipotle cheese fries.

Day Seven

9.25am.- Wake with regret… drink some tea.

10.00am.- Eat two slices of toast with an ungodly amount of butter.

12.40pm.- Order vegan kebabs and wedges (which were unnecessary and absolutely too much food) from the Vegan Sandwich Company. The “donor” kebab was excellent had the same salt level as the meat-eater donor, but without the regret and the absolute stress that you are eating meat that’s been strung up on a big rotating spike.

2.00pm.- Continue to eat the wedges over the course of the day

4.20pm.- Share a raspberry Bakewell tart from The Cupcake Bloke.. top tier.

8.10pm.- Return to my vegetarian diet once more lol, have szechuan aubergine and rice for dinner.


This was a fairly tumultuous week of food for me. During the week I definitely wasn’t eating as much as I normally do, which was definitely stress-related, and then I definitely had some great things over the weekend. It was great to try some new spots like Griolladh and old faves like Coke Lane and Dash Burger. Ideally, I would like to be better at sticking to vegetarianuary and not breaking it as soon as I get the whiff of meat on a grill.

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