Maria Tecce is currently touring with comedy trio The Nualas and appears in the Acceptable Risk TV series.
Where do you shop?
Anywhere that’s close to home. I love farmer’s markets and Fallon & Byrne in Dublin when I’m feeling posh. They have a great cheese counter (and are very generous with samples).
Can you list the contents of your weekly shop?
M&S is my go-to when I don’t have time to cook. I buy lots of fruit and vegetables to feed my Italian side or all the fixings for a roast dinner with friends if I’m feeling industrious.
Describe your typical breakfast
I need to remind myself to eat first thing. If I’ve planned ahead ‒ yogurt, muesli and fruit. Otherwise it’s toast and tea and an apple on the run.
Describe your typical lunch
When I’m rehearsing I’ll pop into Ukiyo Bar on Exchequer Street for a bento box or else Simon’s Place on George’s Street for a big plate of salads.
I’m a confirmed carnivore so usually it’s something quite meaty with vegetables. No starches usually. I’ve lived in Ireland 15 years and still can’t cook a spud properly ‒ shocking!
I’m not really a snacker. I have to remind myself to eat sometimes when things get really busy. But when I do eat, I eat.
Is there anything you won’t eat?
What would you cook to impress someone?
Being Italian-American I love my food and can cook one thing really well – lasagne.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Champagne. Is that a food? Otherwise anything that involves the words chocolate and mousse.
What is your ultimate comfort food?
My Mum’s roast beef with all the trimmings. She’s 80 years old and still a wonderful cook.
What is your favourite takeaway?
Pad Thai from Kanoodle.
Have you tried any diet fads?
I’m a disaster with diets. I tried every diet fad going when I was in high school, so I did my share in my teens.
What would be your Last Supper?
Being a New Englander it would have to be a clambake with lobster and all the trimmings, lashings of champagne and Boston Cream Pie for dessert.
It’s great to hear that Maria appreciates good food, and rejects faddy diets in favour of wholesome, tasty meals. Farmers markets can be a great way to shop for local, fresh foods and more unusual options too. Maria stocks up on loads of fresh fruit and vegetables in her normal weekly shop to help form the basis of her daily meals and snacks. The importance of including a wide range of colourful fruits and veggies in your daily diet cannot be emphasised enough, as they help to support normal health and energy levels.
Many adults also don’t reach their everyday requirements for fibre, so whole plant foods are an important way to get enough fibre into your diet to support healthy digestion.
Maria enjoys a roast dinner with all the trimmings, which she prepares for loved ones. But for everyday meals, stocking up on beans, lentils, grains, herbs, spices, nuts and seeds, is a good way to ensure that your cupboards are filled with the ingredients needed to make quick, nourishing meals.
Maria’s usual breakfast is yoghurt, muesli and fruit, which provides a balanced meal of protein, carbohydrate, fat and fibre. It’s best to shop for muesli brands without added refined sugar. and she may also want to add in walnuts or flaxseed for their omega-3 fat, and fresh berries for their high levels of antioxidants.
If she’s rushing, Maria’s breakfast consists of toast, tea and an apple on the run. It’s important to eat protein with every meal and snack to help keep you feeling full throughout the day, so I would suggest that Maria includes a handful of raw unsalted almonds with this breakfast if she’s tight for time. Keeping a bag in your handbag or car ensures a healthy snack is on hand for hunger emergencies.
For lunch, Maria opts for sushi or salads, both of which can be healthy options. With a lunchtime salad, my advice is to ensure that it contains a source of protein, such as beans, nuts or seeds, poultry or fish, plus a source of healthy fat, such as avocado, to help her to stay full throughout the afternoon and ensure that her body has the nutrients it needs to fuel a busy day.
Maria’s evening meal is usually meat with vegetables. A selection of both greens and colourful veggies would be perfect to pair with it, and it’s best to ensure that meat is fresh and unprocessed.
Maria isn’t that keen on snacking, but her comfort foods include Pad Thai and her mum’s roast beef. It’s good news that she doesn’t appear to have much of a sweet tooth, and generally chooses to eat fresh, whole foods for each meal. Well done Maria!