Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

Recent Posts

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 […]

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 for breakfast at work this week my colleague actually asked why I was eating pudding for breakfast! An easy mistake to make as this Apple, Apricot and Pecan Baked Oat Porridge Oats is almost like having dessert – and who doesn’t want pudding for breakfast right? With the slow energy release oats and the protein addition of the nuts, eggs and milk, a portion will fill you up till lunchtime. So it’s also a great evening snack if you have skipped dinner or eaten early and need something else.

The apples you use in the base can make a difference to the overall dish. If you are not a fan of sweet foods then go for a cooking apple for a tart, more intense apple-y taste. If you like your food sweeter then a dessert apple is more suited to you. The maple-syrup like pecans lend a depth to the dish and the dried apricots are also sweet too. Feel free to add some honey, maple syrup or stevia to the oat mix before cooking if you do have a very sweet tooth though. Or drizzle honey or syrup over the warm oatmeal to taste before eating. I love mine with a dollop of yoghurt on the side…

Apple, Apricot and Pecan Baked Porridge Oats

February 20, 2018
: 10 min
: 30 min

By:

Ingredients
  • 250g peeled, chopped apples into bite size pieces
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 200g oats (not jumbo)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • butter to grease the dish
Directions
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan / 200°C / 425°F / Gas 7.
  • Step 2 Thickly grease a glass or ceramic baking dish 28cm x 20cm, with butter.
  • Step 3 Scatter the apples evenly on the bottom of the dish.
  • Step 4 In a separate bowl mash the banana then add in all the dry ingredients before mixing well and pouring in the wet ingredients. Combine thoroughly and pour over the apples.
  • Step 5 Bake for 30mins, the top should be golden and the oats set. Serve warm with a dollop of yoghurt.

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 […]

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 they are packed with protein without containing any protein powders and are gluten-free too.

 

These really are a meal prep, weekday hit for the whole family. I love them as I can simply grab some from the freezer on the way out the door to work as I freeze them in batches of three or four. They are a quick but nutritious breakfast for the kids as they can be reheated in seconds. I love serving them with yoghurt and fruit on the side, because the pancakes are full of protein to keep them feeling full until lunch (or break at least!) and have slow release carbs in the oats to prevent sugar spikes and crashes.

 

I know there is a fab range of protein powders on the market but some can be expensive, other unpalatable. And some people just prefer to get their protein boost without such a refined ingredient. These pancakes use simple and cheap ingredients which can be easily found in supermarkets and kitchen cupboards.

 

Serve these as indulgently as you please! They are a winner with maple syrup, nut butters, fruit, cream yoghurt or even a hot chocolate sauce over them as a pudding. Make them your own and I bet you will find Chocolate Protein Pancakes are a regular in your household too!

Chocolate Protein Pancakes (gluten and protein powder free)

February 7, 2018
: makes 20
: 5 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 180g oats, gluten free if needs be
  • 250g Quark
  • 1 banana
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 20g cocoa
  • 100ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • oil to fry
Directions
  • Step 1 Blend all the ingredients together (I use my Nutribullet) until smooth.
  • Step 2 Heat a little oil in a frying pan and pour or ladle in the pancake batter. I find about ¾ of a ladle is about right for me but it depends how big you like your pancakes!
  • Step 3 Using the back of a spoon, smooth out the batter so each pancake is even in thickness. If you like your pancakes thicker then just make sure you cook them a little longer each side so the middle is done.
  • Step 4 After three mins on a low heat, when the top is no longer liquid at all and you can see bubbles in the pancake, flip over.
  • Step 5 Cook for a further two minutes and serve.

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 […]

‘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 kids love now.

 

The strangest thing is this originally was just a recipe in a magazine in the 1980s which my mum clipped, cooked and kept. When I left home I didn’t have the recipe written down (I’m sure she sent it to me lots of times but hey, I’m not so organised with the paperwork!) so I would make it according to sight and taste. Some of the ingredients for it have changed over time too – no one had heard of balsamic vinegar back then.

 

The original recipe calls for brown sugar in a quantity which now I would probably find a little too sweet so I substitute in honey instead. If you would like to make this recipe vegan though, swap the honey back to brown sugar. There is lots of delicious sauce with this dish so it’s great served with mashed potatoes or over a jacket spud with green vegetables on the side. It’s also a brilliant dish to make ahead to reheat later or for the freezer. I freeze in single portions for my son to have in his packed lunch.

 

It’s fine to use any kind of sausages in this casserole. I use vegan ones which is great as they soak up some of the lovely sauce. Equally you can use any meat sausages too just as well. Also feel free to chop them up either in half or as many as five pieces depending on how you are serving and how far you want the meal to do. I find chopping them into at five makes more portions and is bite size and easy to eat for smaller mouths. This is a great way of using up leftover sausages from a BBQ too, you could even add in some chopped up burgers too!

 

Why not tweak this ‘BBQ Bangers’ Sausage Casserole to suit your family and pass down the generations too?

‘BBQ Bangers’ Sausage Casserole

January 30, 2018
: 4
: 10 min
: 15 min
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 8 sausages
  • Splash of oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, or vegan equivalent
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour dissolved in ¼ pint cold water
Directions
  • Step 1 Cook the sausages whole in a frying pan, under the grill and place to one side.
  • Step 2 Cook the onion and pepper in a little oil in a large saucepan with the lid on for a few minutes until they are soft but not brown.
  • Step 3 Add the vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and tin of chopped tomatoes including the juice. Stir well, bring to the boil then cook on a medium heat for around 3mins.
  • Step 4 Add the cornflour and water mixture and stir well. Cook on low to medium heat for a few minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy.
  • Step 5 Chop the sausages into evenly sized piece and stir into the sauce. If they have cooled down then simply cook with the lid on, on a medium heat until they are piping hot and serve.
Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter and soup go together hand-in-hand and this Winter Vegetable Soup is a fantastic way of using some of the cheap and plentiful veggies which are so easy to pick up at this time of the year.   This soup is absolutely packed with variety […]