Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

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Root Vegetable and Bean Stew with Herb Dumplings

Root Vegetable and Bean Stew with Herb Dumplings

Where I live is currently under a blanket of snow – which is pretty unusual for the UK and frankly the country is not coping! But we are hunkering down with plenty of comfort food to warm up between sledging and snowman making. And this […]

10 minute Sugar Free Chia Strawberry Jam

10 minute Sugar Free Chia Strawberry Jam

The most nutritious jam you will ever make! Strawberry jam (or strawberry jelly depending on where you live) is a childhood staple which travels with us from childhood. But in these more sugar conscious times the fact that even many homemade versions are 50 percent […]

Five Minute Simple Salmon Fishcakes

Five Minute Simple Salmon Fishcakes

Do you suffer from leftover mash stress? Don’t want to bin it but don’t want to eat mashed potato for another day in a row? Well this recipe is the equivalent of a deep breath as it’s the solution for your mash over catering! These Five Minute Simple Salmon Fishcakes are so easy and taste so much better than a shop-bought fishcake. They are fab to make in smaller portions and freeze ahead for a fuss-free quick kids dinner and a brilliant family meal. With just a handful of ingredients you turn those not so super spuds into a proper meal. What’s not to love?!?!

I have used tinned salmon in this recipe for two reasons, firstly it’s fast. No need to cook it, just open the tin, drain and you are ready to go. Secondly it can work out cheaper. I find the large tins are often cheap as the small (I pick up my wild salmon from Lidl for less than £2) and great to have in to make a fast meal – with pesto on pasta, in a sandwich etc. I know some people find the idea of removing the skin and bones daunting but it shouldn’t be. I slide off the skin first, then gently open the fillets along the lines of the main, spinal bones to remove them pretty much in one gentle go.

Those tiny little bones? Just mash them in! They are so soft in a tin they pose no problem and you are thoroughly mashing the salmon anyway. In fact, they will super charge the nutritional content of your fishcakes as they contain high-levels of vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, and calcium. And you will be reducing waste to boot. And I make my own breadcrumbs from a bit of old bread. I find wholemeal breadcrumbs work really well here and you really don’t need a lot to make the necessary for this recipe. I like to keep some in the freezer all the time but bought breadcrumbs are also fine.

Five Minute Simple Salmon Fishcakes

February 23, 2018
: Makes 4 large and 8 small
: 10 min
: 15 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 250g mashed potato
  • 250g cooked salmon (I use tinned)
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped (optional)
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • One egg
  • A few tablespoons of plain flour
  • 30-40g breadcrumbs
  • a little oil for frying
Directions
  • Step 1 Prepare the salmon and mash well, combine with the potato and horseradish and finally mix in the onions if you are using and parsley.
  • Step 2 Divide into four portions and form into round patties. If you are making for children make eight smaller fishcakes.
  • Step 3 Beat the egg into a bowl. In another bowl place the flour and in a third the breadcrumbs.
  • Step 4 Take a formed fishcake and cover in the flour. Shake off excess.
  • Step 5 Now dip in the egg and allow the excess to drip off.
  • Step 6 Roll in the breadcrumbs.
  • Step 7 Place the finished fishcake on a plate while you complete the rest.
  • Step 8 When you are ready, heat a little oil in a frying pan and gently cook until browned on both sides and hot in the middle. This should take about 15mins total. If you have made your fishcakes fatter rather than flatter it will take a little longer.
Apple, Apricot and Pecan Baked Porridge Oats

Apple, Apricot and Pecan Baked Porridge Oats

Baked oatmeal is a new thing for many Brits but it is the perfect meal prep for the week ahead – or even longer if you freeze in portions. And unlike most grab-and-go breakfasts this one has zero sugar. When I was tucking into some […]

In the News – Smallish magazine

In the News – Smallish magazine

I am so pleased to start the weekend with a mention in the new issue of Smallish magazine! It’s such a fab mag for parents with beautiful photos to boot. Check me out on the Food News section, very happy to feature in their Insta […]

Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

I am always looking for different ways to cook the most seasonal vegetables. At the moment carrots and parsnips are so plentiful and cheap I’m incorporating them into lots of meals. Even when they are served as a side, you can ring the changes if you add some herbs or cook them in a slightly different way. These Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Carrots and Parsnips are great if you are making a roast as they can be popped in the oven with everything else. They are fab as a side to most dishes frankly!

 

You can use fresh rosemary if you have it, else scatter some dried over the vegetables before roasting. The five minute par-cook boil of the veg can be done the day before if necessary, it’s fine for the vegetables to go into the oven cold, they may just need another 5 minutes. You can also scale up or down the qualities accordingly – just make sure the vegetables aren’t overlapping on the baking tray too much so they can all get a tasty, roasty crust.

Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

February 9, 2018
: 4
: 5 min
: 30 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 350g carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 350g parsnips, peeled and trimmed
  • 5 cloves of garlic, papery skin on
  • Pinch of dried rosemary or 3 stems of fresh
  • Tablespoon coconut oil or oil of your choice
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 220°C / Fan 200 °C / 425°F / Gas 7.
  • Step 2 Cut the carrots and parsnips lengthways so they are in similar size pieces, you may have to quarter them if they are large.
  • Step 3 Boil the parsnips and carrots in a large pan of water water for 5mins.
  • Step 4 Meanwhile place the roasting tin with the tablespoon of coconut oil into the oven.
  • Step 5 Drain the cooked vegetables well and leave in a colander or the pan with the lid off so they steam dry.
  • Step 6 Crush the whole garlic cloves with the back of a large knife.
  • Step 7 When the oil in the roasting tin is hot, remove from the oven and toss in the vegetables, garlic and rosemary.
  • Step 8 Cook for 15mins and give the veg a shake or turn to check it’s cooking evenly.
  • Step 9 Roast for another 10 to 15mins until the edges are golden.
  • Step 10 Season with fresh ground salt and pepper just before serving if you wish.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes (gluten and protein powder free)

Chocolate Protein Pancakes (gluten and protein powder free)

It’s no secret that we are a pancake loving household – and it’s so easy to be when there are just so many different ways of making them. These Chocolate Protein Pancakes tick a lot of boxes as not only are they utterly delicious but […]

Peanut Satay Sauce

Peanut Satay Sauce

I think the mark of a good recipe is if someone who doesn’t like the main ingredient still loves the finished dish. And give that my peanut-hating husband wolfed down this sauce when I used it in our vegetable and Quorn stir fry, I would […]

Perfect Pizza Crust and Sauce – in less time than a delivery pizza and only £1 for four!

Perfect Pizza Crust and Sauce – in less time than a delivery pizza and only £1 for four!

 

I have to admit I’m not the biggest fan of a delivery pizza because I’ve discovered you can make a tastier version in the time it takes for the average delivery to come. And not only that the pizza dough and tomato sauce costs a fraction of the price and can be so much healthier too. This budget but authentic Italian pizza base and sauce makes four 9-11 inch pizzas for about £1 (yes, that’s for all four) so top this Perfect Pizza Crust exactly as you like it!

 

Lots of people are too worried that yeast cookery is hard work to give it a go but it’s not as complex as you think. Pizza dough is really straight forward and you can make this base and have it in the oven in an hour. And what’s time consuming about leaving it in a warm place while it’s doing its yeasty business? There’s no double proving with this recipe – it rises once and is then ready to shape and cook.  I use a mixer with a dough hook so pop that on for the 5 minutes mix time while making the sauce, which takes basically the same amount of time.  Then I can leave the sauce to cool a bit before blending and the dough to rise while I get on with other things. It’s also a very forgiving dough so if you need to leave it a little longer just make and leave in a room temperature rather than warm location for longer.

 

This is such a lovely recipe to make with kids. The dough is beautifully stretchy and pliable so you don’t really roll it out as such. In the traditional Italian way you gently pull and prise the dough into shape. This makes it brilliant if you have several children together as they can all make their own pizza without the need for lots of utensils. It’s certainly a fave for playdates at my house. The kids also love ripping up the mozzarella ball and choosing exactly what they like on their pizza top.

 

You can also make this healthier by using half wholemeal and half white flour. You will find the dough a little tighter and have to add a drop more water to the mix but it’s so delicious even fussy eaters won’t clock it. Also there is no added sugar in this pizza at all which considering the average take-out pizza more than 100pc of an adults recommended sugar allowance, that is a big difference. You can also add some chopped carrot and red, yellow or orange pepper to the sauce when you cook it to get a few more veggies in there too.

 

If you prefer a fatter base then just use more dough per pizza (this amount will then make less pizzas of course) or you could allow the base to rise again a second time. You will need to cook it for a little longer but the beauty is you won’t have a stodgy base like some bought bases can be.

 

Try this Perfect Pizza Crust and I reckon you will be a convert too!

Perfect Pizza Crust and Sauce

February 1, 2018
: 4
: 15 min
: 15 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 600g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 340ml warm (but not hot) water
  • For the sauce:
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in their juice, do no drain
  • 1 medium size white onion
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Directions
  • Step 1 Place all the dough ingredients together in a bowl and mix with a dough hook for 5mins or knead for 10mins. After this time the dough should be smooth and elastic, you should be able to give it a good stretch before it breaks. If it’s not quite there then mix/knead for another few minutes.
  • Step 2 When the dough Is ready place in an oiled bowl and smooth some oil over the top too. Cover with cling film and place in a warm place (like an airing cupboard, a warm window sill or near a radiator) for 45mins.
  • Step 3 To make the sauce roughly chop the onion and place in a small saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. With the lid on bring to the boil and then simmer for 5mins. Check that the onion is cooked through and if so remove from the heat. Blend until smooth.
  • Step 4 When you are ready to assemble the pizza preheat your oven to 220°C fan / 200°C / Gas 7 /400°F simple divide the dough into four balls and roll or ideally stretch the dough out until thin (it will puff up a little in the oven) . Lightly flour your baking sheet if it’s not non-stick and place your base on it. Top the a quarter of the sauce and then the toppings of your choice.
  • Step 5 Place into the hot oven for around 15mins.

‘BBQ Bangers’ Sausage Casserole

‘BBQ Bangers’ Sausage Casserole

There are certain recipes which just kinda stick around for generations. They may get tweaked along the way but in essence they remain the same. That’s the future I predict for this ‘BBQ Bangers’ Sausage Casserole recipe which I enjoyed as a child and my […]