Thursday, 7 April 2016
Thursday, 25 February 2016
This is another throw-it-all-in and do as much or as little cooking as you want at the end of the day. You can do a whole slow-cooked lasagna, but I’m not quite brave enough to try that one yet, and we never have spaghetti (pasta) bolognese, so that’s what I’m going to use this mince for. You could make it into a lasagna, or change the flavours slightly for a more Taginey feel. Simply add harissa, chopped apricots, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and honey instead of the red wine, mixed herbs and tomato puree.
I ground my own mince earlier this week, seasoned, and divided and froze suitable sized portions. So once I’ve remembered to retrieve it from the freezer, all will be well! If you’re super organised, this is a really good one to use your Prep. Ahead skills on. Finely chop celery, onions and carrots and bag up ready. I did this whilst preparing the veg for the wraps – let the little ones get chopping using a safety knife on some pepper, celery and cucumber strips, whilst you complete the chopping for the rest of the week. Again, you could freeze mixed bags of these to whip out the night before and simply stir in.
Fry off the beef mince, throw in the slow cooker with the veg, glass of red wine, tomato puree, salt, pepper and mixed herbs and a can of chopped tomatoes. Add a small teaspoon of sugar to take the acidity from the tomatoes. Top up with beef stock, making sure the liquid just covers the meat and veg, but no more. You want a rich sauce, not a loose, sloppy one. Leave on low in the slow cooker for the day and serve as you will! If you don’t have a slow cooker, put on the hob and leave to simmer and reduce for about an hour – stir every so often to stop the meat from sticking.
Again, once the prep. is done, there’s noting more to do apart from put it all in the pot and leave it to do what it does best.
Wednesday, 24 February 2016
How much easier could this get…I mean, really? Packed full of veggie salad stuff with a tasty dressing and oven baked chips, it’s not even bad for you!
Get your little ones to help with the prep too…this always means they’ll eat more as they’re chopping and be far more likely to try new ingredients. Make sure there are some firm favourites too – red peppers and carrot sticks in our house – but throw in a few unfamiliar ones, maybe some avocado for a change, and see what happens. You’ve got nothing to lose!
The shopping list for today suggests you buy cheese, pre-cooked chicken or ham, but really it’s up to you. Cut all your veg. into batons and long strips for the chicken. If you’re using ham, leave it in slices. Now, what turns a boring wrap into a tasty one is the dressing. I’m going for a spicy mayo, simply combining mayonnaise with some curried seasoning such as tikka powder or cajun spices. Add dash of lime or lemon juice too and some sharp red onions to the wrap for extra zing.
Either use normal or sweet potatoes, and peel and chip, or leave the skin on and wedge. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil and bake until cooked.
My little one loves these for dinner and she’s even convinced her best friend too – who’s had them every night for the past week!
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
I was recently sent three trial packs of Little Dish Go Gos, a new oaty snack biscuit, perfect for toddlers on the go! I wasn't convinced as when we were originally sent a range of 'in the process' development products, my LO was not convinced. They were too solid and 'cardboardy' so I was a little hesitant that these would be given the four year old's seal of approval...but they were! She chose the ginger flavour to try and wolfed them down. Although still rather close textured, they seemed to hit the spot and she was caught an hour later debating which flavour to try next!
The little ring biscuits have been created with the help of Little Dish’s nutritionist and are wheat and dairy free with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, or refined sugar, but instead use whole grain oats, molasses, honey and a flax and chia seed mix. And because of that, each 25g bag is filled with 3g of protein too, 20% of a 1-3 YO's recommended daily intake. They're sold as suitable for children over one and even come with a little sticker to reseal the bag, or stick on 'small t-shirts' , which is where ours went!
You can buy them in single packs (60p) or multipacks of 5, priced at £2.50 and choose from three flavours: raspberry, vanilla or ginger, which isn't too gingery or strong. I've been looking for something a little more grown-up for my four year old, but biscuity based to combat those after school sweetness craving, so will definitely be investing in a few more packs!
Disclaimer: Although I was sent complimentary products, all views and opinions are entirely my own, truthful and honest.
Monday, 22 February 2016
This week is a real mix with little cooking as it’s made up from an occasional left-over from previous weeks! Therefore, there is no shopping list as it’s mostly heating stuff that’s already been ready.
Monday: Shop-bought Piri Piri Chicken, Potato Dauphinois and Veg (leftover from husband’s roast dinner yesterday!)
Tuesday: Shop-bought Chicken and Chorizo Paella (frozen from Valentines meal that we never ate)
Wednesday: Hake (a nice chunky piece from Paul, my fish man who arrives every Wednesday evening) with butter and sage, wild rice and asparagus
Thursday: Sausage, Chorizo and Pepper pasta (for me and F as OH is out)
Friday: Out with friends
I’ll post the Sausage Pasta recipe as it’s one of the tastiest pasta sauces, and again, one of the simplest.
Thursday, 18 February 2016
What I’ll focus on in this post is the coleslaw, since I’m fairly certain you can all pan fry a steak to your own liking and shove frozen potatoes into the oven! I watched James Martin make a dijon mayonnaise at the weekend and he made it look so simple, I thought I’d give it a go! So, this is the recipe I used … it’s a combination of the one on th video and the James Martin one online and makes quite a thick mayo, which I think is nice, especially if you’re eating it over a couple of days as the water from the veg. always loosens it anyway.
- 2 free-range egg yolks
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- pinch salt
- 200ml/7fl oz rapeseed oil
- 50ml/3½fl oz olive oil
- ½ lemon, juice only
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Watch it here on YouTube
Basically, in a processor, pop in your egg yolks, vinegar (cider or white wine) salt and dijon and blend until smooth. Gradually pour in the oil, drip by drip, until thickened. You may not need all the oil. Either grate or finely slice your veg: I used the traditional carrots and white cabbage but added red onions for a sharper taste. I slice everything on the slicer attachment on the processor for ease and speed. Combine everything with the lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. It really was this easy. I ran the processor a little longer after adding the oil, just to thicken it up further, but the quantities worked a treat. I’ll definintely be doing it again…mayo without xanthan gum, stabilisers and preservative? Yes please.
Monday, 15 February 2016
It’s half term so I’ve got a little more time on my hands, but don’’t really want to use it all for cooking! With that in mind, I bought prok, beef and chicken on Friday and spent a good hour or so mincing, seasoning and sausaging ready for the week. We have several playdates arranged for F and only one day free, so I’ve had to consider lunches as well this week.
Monday – Wraps and Chips
Tuesday – Steak, Salad, Coleslaw & Potato Dauphinois
Wednesday – Homemade McDonalds Chicken Burger
Thursday – Slow-cooked bolognaise
Friday – MacCheese & Sticky Sausages
So, you’ve seen the Chicken Burger before and the rest is fairly simple. Having made sausages and minced beef already, it really is a case this week of cooking or assembling. Quick, simple, tasty and easy family meals with fresh ingredients. Even the MacCheese has spinach and courgette. And I’ve got a speedy and simple coleslaw recipe too where you can choose to make your own mayo or not…it’s up to you.
Your shopping list link is here. Enjoy.
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.