Mexican Chicken Salad

 

Beardy’s new favourite. I didn’t think this would go down too well with the kids but I do love giving them new things to try, so did it anyway!

Neither of them have found their spice tastebuds yet, if it’s got even a hint of spice to it, they’ll find it. They don’t like dressing on their salad, pepper on anything, Mayo, mustard, anything like that, but like all kids will happily smother tomato ketchup over EVERYTHING! So….I was totally expecting a meltdown when they saw Mexican salad on the menu…..

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Salad leaves
  • 1/4 Cucumber
  • 8 Baby tomatoes
  • 4 Spring onions
  • 1/2 small tin of Sweetcorn
  • 1 Avocado
  • Cheddar – grated
  • Bag of Nachos
  • Ranch or Caesar dressing
  • Black pepper

Method

  • Coat the chicken in the Cajun seasoning and pop on a baking tray into the oven on 160 for 20-25 mins
  • Meanwhile get a big bowl and chuck all the salad leaves into it
  • Chop the cucumber and avocado into small chunks, tomatoes in halves and slice the onions. Put them, along with half the tin of sweetcorn, into the bowl with the leaves.
  • When the chicken is done slice into strips or chunks and put into the salad bowl along with 2 handfuls of grated cheese.
  • Drizzle your dressing over, just enough to coat the salad, and toss well.
  • Scrunch up 3 handfuls of nachos in your hands and sprinkle into the mix with a couple of grinds of black pepper. Toss again and serve.

YUMMY!!!

So….I actually went out of the room while the kids ate this (they seem to eat better when I’m not there to moan at)…I hid round by the stairs, pretending I was doing something. 

‘Is this new food?’ Bear shouted, ‘erm…kind of’ I replied….they were quiet..’will we get a monster if we eat it?’ Boo shouted, (they get monsters on their reward chart for eating new food), ‘yes!’ I shouted back (with my hand cupped round my mouth, giving the false impression I was further away than I really was, (cunning!)) unbeknown to them I was actually right by the door, spying on them! I went and sat down in the den for a few minutes. I felt weird, they’d been eating for 10 minutes and no complaining. I was confused and felt like I was in someone else’s house. 

Another 5 minutes passed in silence so I walked back into the kitchen. 

THEY HAD FINISHED THE WHOLE LOT! BOTH OF THEM! PLATES CLEAN! Sorry for the shouting but reliving this moment is very exciting for me!!! 

So, then came the marks out of 10.

Bear – 9!

Boo – 25! 

Beardy – “this can definitely go on the menu every week!”

Woop! A hit all round…..and no ketchup in sight. ūüôā

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Lamb Flatbreads

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I feel like I’ve neglected the blog a bit, I know it’s only been a week but I’ve missed writing it so it’s a double whammy tonight!

Haven’t tried the kids on this one yet,¬†but Beardy and I tried it and liked it so….

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 Flour tortillas
  • 250g minced Lamb
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lamb stock cube
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Fresh Mint (2 handfuls)
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Splash of worcester sauce
  • Natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Harissa paste

Method

  • Fry off the lamb until brown and get rid of any water/fat that comes off
  • Add¬†all the ingredients to the lamb except: Tortillas, Mint, Natural yoghurt and Harissa
  • Leave to simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly and is not too runny
  • Add in half of the Mint
  • Pop the tortillas under the grill, both sides until they feel slightly crispy, don’t panic if they bubble up, this is normal!
  • Pop 2 tbsp yoghurt in a bowl and the tsp of Harissa paste on top of the yoghurt
  • Once the tortillas are done put the lamb mixture on top
  • Tear up the remaining¬†Mint leaves and sprinkle on top along with dollops of the yoghurt/harissa

Done. Enjoy!

 

Prawn Laksa

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I’m loving my new found passion¬†for quick and easy meals. I’m getting a lot of inspiration from Jamie’s 15 minute meals, Yummly and Good Food books but always like to slightly change them according to my tastes as I find some of them quite bland.

Laksa is always a hit with Beardy and me. I tried this on the kids the other night, dreading what the reaction would be, as I do with all new food, but was pleasantly surprised. I altered this slightly for them and then added extra bits to it after for ours (ours is the yummier looking picture!).

The kids version didn’t have cayenne pepper or peanut butter in (Boo doesn’t like it – seriously, who doesn’t like peanut butter?!) and I knew they’d moan about the ‘bits of grass in it’ if I put the coriander in so omitted that too, but the rest was the same and was eaten happily by both. Also, I totally forgot that Boo has decided she doesn’t like prawns anymore so I had to take the prawns out for her, hers ended up being ‘Broccoli and not much else Laksa!’

Not much point in asking Boo for her marks out of 10 because if she likes it, it’s always 10 hundred out of 10 (which is what she said about this)¬†and if she doesn’t like it it’s a¬†9, which is still, in my books, a pretty successful meal! Bear gave it 6, so not a massive hit but he still ate it without moaning and said he would again ‘if he had to’! Charming!

Personally I could definitely have this on my menu every week!

Ingredients

  • Prawns (I buy them ready cooked so I just have to chuck them in at the end to heat through)
  • 0.5 ltr chicken stock
  • Ginger – grated (about the size of your thumb)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 6 spring onions (chopped)
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • A good handful of Coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tin of Coconut milk
  • Broccoli
  • Noodles

Method

  • Set a saucepan on to boil.
  • Pop a good glug of oil in a frying pan. Chop up the broccoli into chunky slices¬†and fry it¬†for a¬†minute or so in¬†the ginger and garlic.
  • Add in all the other ingredients except the prawns and coriander¬†and leave to simmer
  • Pop the noodles in the boiling water and boil for 4-5 minutes.
  • Drain the noodles and add to the liquid mixture with the prawns and coriander and season to taste.
  • If you like your soups a bit thicker you can add a bit of flour to thicken up.
  • Garnish with a bit more coriander

THATS IT – Bish Bash Bosh – 20 minutes max (including prep)! It’s all about simple meals over here.

Note: Equally as nice with Chicken, which I’ll be doing for the kids next time due to Boo’s new found hatred for Prawns.

Top Tip – Chicken Nuggets

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I know my Best Friend won’t mind me sharing this with the world – she gave me a top tip the other day which I hadn’t heard before and¬†we tried it tonight!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets/Dippers/Goujons 

Cut up your chicken breasts into strips or chunks. Dip them in your seasoned egg mixture and then into a bowl of crushed up cornflakes!!!! Pure genius – makes total sense and much less messy than double dipping. Now my finger nails won’t get clogged up with eggy flour and breadcrumb mixture! Yay! And delicious to boot. ūüôā

Easy Cheesy Mushrooms on Toast

cheesy mushrooms

It’s all about simple, quick dinners this week. Beardy has abandoned me for a week on a business trip, so I’m cooking for one and really can’t be bothered with anything that’s going to take longer than about 10 minutes…and yes! Shocker! I actually remembered to take a photo!!!

After Beardy, Bear and Boo, Cheese is my next big love (if you’re a follower you’ll know this already), then comes Mushrooms, so what better than a plate of Cheesy Mushrooms on Toast! Not very interesting you might think, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. No measurements, no messing, no mucking Рjust chucking! Hmmm, might make that my new motto.

Ingredients

  • Pack of mushrooms (I like to break them up with my fingers¬†rather than cut with a knife as like mouthfuls of rustic chunkiness)
  • Butter
  • Handful of cheddar cheese
  • Couple of slices of brie (I had this left over so chucked it in)
  • Half a ball of mozzarella, torn up
  • Half a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
  • Lots of black pepper

Method

Basically, fry off the mushrooms in a bit of butter for a few minutes and then chuck everything else in until you have a big gooey cheesy mess of loveliness (did I mention I love cheese?), pop on top of your toast/bagel/muffin and enjoy! Job done. Yummy in my Tummy.

(also yum with some blue cheese in place of the mustard).

Moussaka

good stuff

The picture¬†is nothing to do with Moussaka, I just liked it and pages generally look better with a picture¬†on! Note to self – remember to take photos of what you cook! Sorry!…again.

My Bestie asked me to put a recipe for Moussaka on here and not being one to want to disappoint here it is…..

Great for a family meal as we all love it, the kids tell me every time they see an aubergine that they hate aubergines;¬†when they ask me what the black bits are in¬†Moussaka and I tell them ‘aubergine’, they laugh at me, like they think I’m joking, because apparently they hate aubergine so it can’t be that. I’ve given up and now tell them they’re slugs, they seem to be ok with this?!

Ingredients

  • 2 Aubergines (or slugs – not really though, please don’t put slugs in your Moussaka!)
  • 500g Minced lamb
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • dash of Worcester Sauce
  • glass of red wine (optional)
  • 2 tsp marmite (I know this sounds weird, but it works)
  • two handfuls of grated cheddar cheese
  • 150ml double cream

Method

  • Pop the oven on to 180 degrees
  • Slice the aubergines into 1cm slices and place on a baking tray, sprinkle with water and pop in the oven for 15 mins
  • Meanwhile, in a large pan fry off the lamb mince and drain off any fat
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, worcester sauce, all spice, marmite and red wine to the mince and leave to simmer (sometimes I forget the red wine and still tastes good)
  • Season as preferred
  • Once the mince is done get out a baking dish and remove aubergines from the oven
  • Put one layer of mince on the bottom, covered by a layer of aubergine, on top of this put some grated cheese and drizzle half of the cream over the top of the cheese. Do the same again with another layer leaving the layer of aubergine on the top with cream first and lots of cheese on top of the cream.
  • Put in the oven until the cheese on top is brown and bubbling.

Nom Nom Nom.

Prawn & Chorizo Spanish Rice

prawn and chorizo

I based this recipe on one in my quick and easy Good Food book, which I love (and which the photo is of as I totally forgot to take a photo….again! Soz). All the recipes in there are, surprisingly, yep, quick and easy! They actually got the title right on this one.

So tonight, we had Prawn and Chorizo Rice. I thought it would be a hit as both love all the ingredients, alas Boo decides that tonight is the night she doesn’t like Prawns any more, if it didn’t have Prawns in it would have got 10 hundred out of 10 – Woop! (when will she get it??)…. and Bear pipes up that he doesn’t like the see through bits in it (onion) so we spent a while trying to pick these out, not ideal when you’ve ‘finely chopped’ them! So got a 7/10 from him, with the promise that he ‘would definitely¬†have it again if it didn’t have the see through bits in’. Lovely.

Ingredients

  • 200g Chorizo – sliced (obv get the actual sausage though rather than the ready sliced stuff, it’s much nicer)
  • King Prawns (however many you like) – I bought these already cooked so I just had to heat them through
  • Basmati Rice (150g)
  • 1 Onion – finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1/2 ltr chicken stock
  • handful of Parmesan
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Butter

For the chef:
1 glass (or bottle…hic!) of red wine – it’s a Sunday, why the hell not!

Method

  • ¬†Put a knob of butter in a large pan and fry off the onion and garlic until soft
  • Add in the rice and coat in the juices
  • Add the glass of white wine and simmer for a few minutes
  • In another pan (small frying pan), add another knob of butter and fry off the chorizo for a minute or so.
  • Add into the rice about half¬†of the chicken stock and stir
  • Add the chorizo with all the juices into the pan
  • Pour¬†in the remainder¬†of the chicken stock
  • Keep stirring as if you’re doing a risotto, leaving to simmer for a minute or so and then a quick stir, keep going until the rice is almost done and add in the prawns at the last minute to heat through and season accordingly.
  • Stir¬†in the parmesan or just add on top to serve

I chose Basmati rice because it cooks quicker, this dish took me about 20 minutes, including prep, as the rice only took about 12 minutes to cook.

Obviously you could also do this as a Risotto, which I think would be even nicer but my kids aren’t overly keen on Risotto rice, they prefer the normal kind so hence my choice. If I was cooking this for me and Beardy I’d probably also put a bit of chilli in.

Original recipe from Good Food below. 
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/11640/spanish-rice-and-prawn-onepot

 

 

Kids Chicken and Bacon Carbanana (Carbonara)

I say kids, because it’s super creamy and cheesy, in other words, unhealthy (and delicious), not that I ply my kids with unhealthy stuff you understand, they eat well and have a very balanced diet (she says after just posting a peanut butter cookie recipe!), but because of this I don’t mind spoiling them occasionally with something creamy and delicious, something I very rarely treat Beardy and myself to! If I mention the word ‘cream’ in a dinner to Beardy I get a disappointed look (we’re¬†trying to be ‘good’), thus forcing me to sneak away¬†and secretly hide in the fridge eating cheese and drinking cream, out of Beardys view, shhhh, he doesn’t need to know (if I get caught I’ll just say I’m nibbling a lettuce leaf – got it covered!) Saying all this, it still doesn’t stop him¬†‘making sure it tastes ok!’

So, if you’re a follower of my blog you’ll know I don’t like spending loads of time cooking for the kids. I love this recipe because it’s easy and quick. We got in late tonight and I had some chicken, bacon and double cream to use up and this is what popped into my head. They both love normal Carbonara (or Carbanana as they used to call it), so knew they’d like it, but there is always¬†something, no matter how small, left on the¬†plate, not tonight, oh no,¬†I almost didn’t need to wash their plates up they were so clean!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • 4 rashers of bacon, cut into small strips
  • 1 egg
  • Grated cheddar cheese, about a handful (I usually use Pecorino, but didn’t have any)
  • Double cream, say, half a cup
  • Pasta (I used Farfalle¬†but obviously you can use whatever you have)
  • Pasta cooking water

Method

Put the pasta on to boil. In the meantime, put a couple of glugs of oil in a large pan and fry off the¬†bacon until it’s crispy, set aside with the juices in a separate dish. Fry off the chicken until done, get rid of the fat. Chuck the bacon with¬†it’s juices and pasta back into the pan with the chicken and add half the cream. Crack the egg over the top of the mixture and mix in well, making sure you break the yolk (you can obviously mix up the egg before you put it in, but it just saves on washing up if you crack it straight in the pan). Season (I like to add lots of pepper). Add in the cheese and the rest of the cream until it becomes a thick creamy sauce. Then lastly add in a ladle or two of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce up.

You can make this¬†slightly healthier by adding broccoli, which I would have done if I’d had more time but I didn’t, so I didn’t.

Bear and Boo polished this off in about 3 minutes, and I gave them quite big portions. Both gave it 10/10. Shame it’s so unhealthy!

 

 

Salmon & Broccoli Bake

salmon and broccoli

Creamy Salmon and Broccoli Bake

Being a semi-working Mum (3 days a week) I’m always looking for¬†quick easy dinners to do the kids. I find myself getting annoyed and frustrated at myself when I put the same things¬†on the menu because I just don’t know what else to cook, so I try to find or create new dishes, just to satisfy my own irritations really.

I don’t want to spend ages cooking them as kids and new food just doesn’t mix, whenever I put something new in front of them, I get met with an ‘urgh’ face or an ‘I don’t like that’ (obviously before they’ve tried it), it infuriates me, BUT I persist because I like to write something different on my blackboard. I’ve even created a reward chart now where one of the rows is to try to new food and they get a little monster against the row if they eat it, 10 monsters =¬†little treat.

So quick, easy, new dishes¬†is the key for me. I can’t wait to see what the kids think of them¬†and get quite excited when they like them. I couldn’t really go wrong with this as they both love Salmon, Broccoli and Potatoes (especially new potatoes). This was a bit of a mish mash of stuff I had to use up by the best before date so I got a big pat on the back for this one¬†(by myself obvs coz no-one else will).

I haven’t put any measurements on here because I didn’t measure them, I just kinda chucked it all in, when I’m making up my own recipes I very rarely measure!

By the way, I forgot to take a photo of it after I cooked it so this photo is just a generic Salmon and Broccoli Bake, not¬†my¬†one, but it’s the picture that looked most like it (apart from my cheese on top was a bit more browned!)

Ingredients

Salmon fillets (2 – cut into chunks) (you could also use chicken)
New Potatoes (or you can also use pasta)
Broccoli (or any veg really!)
Cheese (you can use cheddar, which is what I used but could equally use any other, blue cheese I think would be especially nice if you’re using chicken!)
Garlic
White wine (1 glass)
Double cream or Cream Fraiche (as much as you want really!!! – I use loads)
Onion (finely chopped)
Breadcrumbs (if you want to)

Method

  • Boil your potatoes in a pan of salted water.
  • Whilst potatoes are boiling, put a few glugs of oil in a pan and add in the garlic and chopped onion, fry for a few minutes.
  • Cut up the broccoli and give it a quick 2 minute blast in the microwave with a little bit of water.
  • Add the broccoli, salmon, white wine and cream to the pan and fry for a few minutes. I also add a bit of water at this point, not much, just maybe¬†2 or¬†3¬†tbsps.
  • Take out your potatoes and cut them in half or thirds/quarters if they’re particularly big.
  • Add your potatoes to the¬†other mixture and mix it all up.¬†Season the mixture to your liking.
  • Transfer, in layers, to a baking dish, covering each layer with some grated cheese. When you put on your top layer I put another layer of cheese on top and then breadcrumbs on top of this.
  • Put into the oven for approx 10 mins.
  • Enjoy!

With the cheese, if your using blue cheese I wouldn’t bother putting a layer on the top with this as it’s such a strong taste and I’d just crumble a few bits in between the layers.

If you’re using chicken, I’d add this in with the garlic and onion at step 2.

I love this recipe as you can change so many aspects of it, it’s so versatile.¬†¬†I might try chicken with leek and pasta next time. If you don’t like cream or cheese or are lactose intolerant you could also substitute them with tinned tomatoes and a bit of chili or¬†tomato puree and lemon juice.

So, results: Bear gave it an 8/10 and Boo, always one to give high marks –¬†100/10! (she’s still not got it).

 

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

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Its another ‘YAY!’ On the Bear and Boo chart – Beef Stroganoff is a massive leading contender with a 9/10 from The Bear and a whopping 10/10 from Boo! Such a simple homemade quick and easy recipe too, took me half hour with prep!

Recipe – serves 4
Beef (I used frying steak for ease and quickness but any cut will work)
Mushrooms, sliced
Onion, sliced and diced
Sour cream, as much as you want really but I used a 300ml tub (I like it creamy)
Tomato purée, 1 tbsp
Garlic, 2 cloves
Beef stock, 450ml
French or Dijon mustard, 2 tsp

Method
Whizz up the mustard, stock and tomato purée in a blender.
Fry the garlic and onion off until the onion is soft then add the beef and mushrooms to the pan. Once beef is brown add the liquid and simmer until reduced by half (if you find this reduces too much you can add more water). Add the sour cream and warm through. Job done! Simples!

I did this with basmati rice as long grain takes too long to cook! I don’t like meals that take forever. Quick easy meals for working mums are the way forward.