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Ciara Brennan, Happy Food at Home, has Recipe for Success at this Weekend’s Pig n Porter!

Ciara Brennan, the founder of Happy Food at Home, will be at the Pig n Porter festival this weekend. Picture: Valerie O’Connor.

Ciara Brennan, Happy Food at Home, has Recipe for Success at this Weekend’s Pig n Porter!

“Scrumptious” food has been promised at this weekend’s Pig n Porter Festival so if you are headed to the world’s largest and best tag rugby sporting festival, keep an eye out for Ciara Brennan and her Happy Food at Home food stall.

Ciara, who has an anchor pop up at the iconic Saturday Limerick Milk Market, will be serving an array of her nutritious plant-based dishes at the Old Crescent RFC, Limerick this Saturday, July 13 including her popular “roasted butternut squash salad with bulgur wheat.”  This delicious salad is full of protein and slow-releasing energy and if you miss out on it this weekend, here’s the recipe to try it at home!



Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Bulgur Wheat

By Ciara Brennan, Happy Food at Home  


Ingredients (serves 4)

1 butternut squash

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp nigella seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

150g bulgur wheat


1 grated carrot

50g flaked almonds

A handful of chopped parsley

4 tbsp vinaigrette



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half and remove the seeds.
  3. Sprinkle the smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper on top and place on an oven tray.
  4. Wash butternut squash seeds and remove excess water and place on the tray beside the squash with some sprinkled salt.
  5. Place butternut squash and butternut squash seeds in the oven for 20 minutes. Check with a knife that the butternut squash is soft before removing.  Then leave to cool before chopping into chunks.
  6. Place the butternut squash seeds, nigella and cumin seeds into a pan and stir on medium heat to toast lightly.  Add the bulgur wheat with double the contents of the pan by pouring water on top.  Bring to the boil and leave to simmer with the lid on.
  7. When the bulgur wheat is ready (the water will have evaporated and it will be light and fluffy), add the roasted butternut squash, grated carrot, almonds, parsley and vinaigrette. Mix well and serve.
Ciara Brennan

Ciara will be serving an array of her nutritious plant-based dishes, including her popular ‘roasted butternut squash salad with bulgur wheat’ (pictured above).

About Ciara Brennan & Happy Food at Home

Ciara Brennan has been a vegetarian for as long as she can remember. Her mother reckons it’s because she saw a dead pheasant on the dinner table when she was very small and since then Ciara did everything, she could to eat only plant-based food.  Anything that resembled meat on her plate ended up on the floor or in the dog’s mouth! 

Despite this Ciara always had a passion for food and cooking in particular. That passion led her from Dublin to Shannon where she studied Hotel Management so that she could become a chef. During college, she enjoyed work placements in various types of kitchens from cafés all the way up to five-star restaurants. 

Ciara spoke about her experience as a chef and said, “It was a strange time for me as I found that my vegetarian diet just wasn’t compatible with the chef training, because I had to cook and taste meat in order to satisfy my customers. I was supposed to be living the dream, working in fabulous restaurants in cities such as Geneva, but it actually dulled my passion for cooking so much that I gave it up professionally and moved into Human Resource Management.”

“However, my passion for cooking never went away, and when I decided, along with my daughter Shaena to go completely vegan, I also decided to put all my beliefs, experiences and passions together and cook again, creating ‘Happy Food at Home’,” she added.

Around this time Ciara received a breast cancer diagnosis. She had surgery and went through treatment and is fully recovered and more determined than ever to live a vegan lifestyle.  

Since its inception in 2016 Happy Food at Home has gone from strength to strength as a plant-based bespoke catering and pop up business in various locations throughout Limerick and Clare with its anchor location upstairs every Saturday in the iconic Limerick Milk Market.

For more information on Pig n Porter, go here.

For more stories on Pig n Porter, go here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.