Stir It Up – Recipes for those living With Visual Impairments

In this episode, chef and retired doctor Paula Gilvarry meets Jackie McBrearty and her guide dog Ruhm. Jackie who lost a majority of her sight challenges, Paula, to cook for the entire program blindfolded! Listen as Paula learns from Jackie and teaches her four tantalizing recipes – Slow cooker mash, meat pie, apple pie and slow cooker chicken curry. Find the recipes mentioned in the program below along with a guide to cooking if you have partial sight or total vision loss.

Slow cooker chicken curry


  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed or garlic paste to taste
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and grated or 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and chopped into pieces  and /or other vegetables
  • ( I use courgette, cucumber, potatoes, cut into pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ pint stock( use a good stock cube)
  • ½ tin of coconut milk.


1)Measure out the spices and flour. Roll the chicken thighs in the mix. Place in the base of the slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic, ginger. stock and coconut milk.

2) Place the vegetables on top.

3) Turn slow cooker to low. Put on the lid and leave for 6 hours.

4)You can do this the night before and put the bowl of the slow cooker in the fridge overnight.

5)Serve with rice and mango chutney



Meat Pie 

Ingredients :

1 tablespoon oil
2 pounds lean beef mince or pork
112 cups beef stock ( or chicken stock)
1  onions finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups mushrooms sliced
1 cup celery finely chopped

  1. In a large skillet( Jackie used a large saucepan) over medium-high heat, heat oil and crumble ground beef or pork into the pan. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off any fat.
  2. Add the stock, onions, garlic, mushrooms, celery, and seasonings (salt, pepper,). Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 35-45 minutes (until there is about 2 tablespoons of liquid remaining), stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat. Cover and refrigerate until cold (can also freeze the filling at this point).
  5. When you’re ready to make the pie, preheat the oven to 375.
  6. Roll out one pie crust on a lightly floured surface and fit it into a pie plate or use ready rolled pastry cut to fit your pie tin.
  7. Spoon the filling into the crust.
  8. Roll out second pie crust and place over the top of the filling. Crimp the edges of the pie. (Can freeze at this point.)
  9. Beat egg and water together and brush over the top of the pie crust. Cut steam vents in the crust and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.
  10. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.



Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

TOTAL TIME 4hrs 10mins            PREP 10 MINS           16 SERVING         COOK 4 HRS

After several failed recipe attempts, I finally did it. I came up with a way to make mashed potatoes in the slow cooker. I’m so excited. This will definitely help on time during the last minute craze to get dinner on the table and have the potatoes still warm! 


  • 5lbs sierra gold potatoes or 5 lbs red potatoes, diced with peel
  • 1cup water
  • 1cup butter, cut into chunks
  • 1tablespoon salt, plus
  • 14teaspoon salt 
  • 34teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Place the potatoes, water, and butter into a slow cooker.
  • Season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
  • Cover, and cook High for 4 hours.
  • Do not remove the excess water from slow cooker. This adds to the creamy texture.
  • Mash potatoes with a masher or electric beater, adding the desired amount of warm milk to achieve a creamy consistency.
  • Keep warm on low until serving.
  • My slow cooker has a warm setting which it automatically goes to once cooking time has been reached. Potatoes keep consistency for a couple of hours after mashing. Just keep the lid on the slow cooker and serve directly from there.


Apple Tart 

Ingredients :

  • 700g mixed Cox’s and Bramley apples
  • 230g Jus-Rol fresh  shortcrust pastry
  • 1 heaped tablespoon golden caster sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked
  • 200g Jus-Rol fresh shortcrust pie lid, 24cm in diameter
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined demerara sugar


  1. Cut the pastry to fit your tin and create a second circle to cover the top. If you have not enough pastry cut the remaining pastry into strips for a latticed lid.

2)Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 200°C. on a baking sheet. Then, all you do is peel, halve, core and slice the apples and pile them into the pastry case (making them higher in the centre) then sprinkle over the caster sugar and dot with the cloves. 

3)Next, dampen the edges with some of the egg white and place the pastry lid, crimping all round with your thumb or a fork or lattice the strips across the top sealing the edges on the base pastry case over the apples, crimping with your thumb or a fork. Make a steam hole ( if a solid top) in the center about the size of a 50p-piece, then brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle the demerara sugar over that. Now pop it into the center of the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes, until the apples are cooked and tender when tested with a skewer. Serve with thick cream, custard or ice-cream.

TIP. If you want to put a handful of flour on the base before adding the apples, to prevent a soggy base when cooked.



Click here for our visual impaired cooking guide!