Family Feasts

Sometimes it really is a pain to be cooking something for a toddler and then your own meal – these recipes are great for all the family, saving time, energy and money – you can spend what you’ve saved on wine instead 😉

Pop back here often, we add to this page every week so there is always something new to try

French Trimmed Lamb Cutlets with Multi-Colour Veg

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This dish is aimed more at older children in the way we have cooked it, however we adapt this recipe so Baby Moo can also enjoy it – just see below for a great all rounder for all the family, the perfect Sunday roast option or a great dinner party classic with a twist

You need:
3-4 lamb cutlets for adults / 2-3 for older kids / 1-2 for small people

A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

Large garlic clove

Rainbow carrots – 3 per person

Romanesco (a cross between cauliflower and broccoli, utterly delicious and looks like a crazy alien creature)

Fennel – 1 for 2 people – 2 for 4 people

2 tablespoons olive oil + 2 more tablespoons for the lamb

3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 large white potato for 2 people – 2 for 4 people

1 large sweet potato for 2 people – 2 for 4 people

Spring onion

Mint sauce (optional)

Salt and pepper

Splash of milk and dollop of butter for mash if required

***We purchased our meat from Cottage Farms Ltd who has a butchery at Polhill Garden Centre, alternatively you can shop online. All produce was purchased fresh from Polhill Farm Shop – again they offer an online service too***

Method:

1.   Preheat oven to 180 degree’s

2.   Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a small bowl. Peel the garlic, crush and add to the olive oil. Remove the rosemary leaves, chop and add to the mix (but reserve a teaspoon or so for the fennel) – season with salt and pepper as required

3.   Add the lamb to the above mixture and leave to marinade while you do the rest

4.   Cut off the leafy part of the fennel, halve the bulb(s) lengthwise then cut them lengthwise again into 1-inch thick wedges

5.   Drizzle a small baking tray with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, throw in the reserved rosemary then toss the fennel in the mixture and pop onto the bottom shelf of the oven for 45 minutes

6.   In the meantime peel all the potatoes and cut into quarters, place into a pan of water and get them off to a good start by having them on max heat. Once they start to boil turn down to a little over a simmer

7.   Leave the tops and tails on the carrots and scrub the skin with a vegetable brush. Place in a pan of water, turn onto max, get boiling then turn down a smidge so they still retain a little bit of a crunch

8.   Treat the romanesco like you would cauliflower or broccoli. Cut the florets off and place into a pan of water – again just like the potatoes and carrots – up to hot then turn down to a simmer

9.   Toss the fennel and add to the top shelf so the edges can start to caramelise from the balsamic – if it’s not looking particularly roasted – turn it up 5 degree’s and that should do the trick! Keep an eye on it though 🙂

10.   Slice the spring onion finely, ready to stir through the mash just before serving

11.   Check all your veggies, turn up or down where required

12.   Add your mixture and lamb to a griddle pan and whack on high. Turn down as soon as it starts to sizzle but don’t move the meat if you want some rather pro-looking griddled lines across your meat 😉
We like our meat medium – so do the kids – 3 minutes each side. But for Baby Moo and those that like meat that little bit more well done, we cooked his slightly longer so no pink remained

13.   Drain your potatoes. The moisture of the sweet potato once mashed should become a good consistency so you won’t require any butter or milk to mash however if required, feel free to add both – chuck in the spring onion, pop a lid on the pan and leave until you are ready to serve
TURN YOUR MEAT

14.   Drain your remaining vegetables – the carrots and romanesco – and serve

15.   Carefully take your fennel out of the oven, toss one more time to coat in any remaining oils and serve over the vegetables plated

16.   Spoon out the potatoes after one last stir and then plonk on your lamb. Serve with a dollop of mint sauce if that floats your boat. Utterly gorgeous. Roll on Sunday. Or any other bloody day 🙂

If you are cooking for little ones, as I do for my toddler, we ensure the meat is cooked through and cut into tiny tiny pieces.
You can then:
– Set aside some carrots (make sure you top and tail them after they’ve been cooked) and mash these with some of the potatoes – prior to adding the spring onions
– Mash in some of the romanesco with the above if you want, but be aware it doesn’t mash to the consistency of cauliflower or broccoli if it isn’t really boiled…
– I’d steer clear of the fennel for new little taste buds 😉

Chicken Toppers (with whatever you have left in the fridge)

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 19.36.22The great thing about this dish is that you can use a whole chicken breast for the adults and for smaller appetites just butterfly the chicken and have half each for the kids.
You can serve them butterflied open, or if you wanted you could fold them back over. Why not then wrap them in bacon for a stuffed chicken style dish? So versatile…

You need:
Large chicken breasts (enough as outlined above)

1 teaspoon of tomato puree OR cream cheese per chicken breast (of course HALF this if doing a half portion of chicken for small people

A ton of vegetables; chopped small – courgettes, mushrooms, peppers, onion, sweetcorn, tomatoes, leeks – anything you fancy

1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs (optional) – again if only using half the chicken breast make this 1/4 teaspoon

Mozzarella or cheese (if using)

Bacon (if using)

Method:
1.   Preheat oven to 180 degree’s. Butterfly the chicken breast and cut in half any chicken breasts for smaller appetites

2.   Squidge a dollop of tomato puree onto each chicken breast and spread to the edges

3.   Add the herbs if using

4.   Add half the cheese if using

5.   Sprinkle over the chopped vegetables

6.   Place chicken in a very lightly oiled baking tray

6.   IF YOU ARE WRAPPING IN BACON – fold over the butterfly chicken breast and wrap the whole piece of stuffed meat with bacon. Brush with a little oil and add to baking tray. Cover the entire baking tray with foil and cook for 15 minutes covered and then 15 minutes uncovered until cooked through and no pink meat remains

IF YOU ARE ADDING ADDITIONAL CHEESE – place the chicken breast in the middle/top of the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the cheese. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted, lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through

IF YOU AREN”T ADDING CHEESE OR BACON – place the chicken breast in the middle/top of the oven and cook for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and no pink remains

***We like to serve this with spiralled courgette, sliced & fried white potato, sweet potato mash or a toasted walnut salad***

Hints & Tips: If your chicken breasts are quite small, butterfly them, cover with baking paper and bash with a rolling pin to make bigger so that you can top with the mixture easier

Traffic Light Pizza Baps

One bun makes two portions, below is the recipe for this so use as many buns as you need and simply add more for additional portions. For toddlers very finely chop the vegetables and for you, keep it chunky. I always use the faithful chopper for this. Every parent chef should have this in their cupboard!

You need:
1 bap / burger bun

A few dollops tomato puree

1/2 yellow pepper

1/4 green courgette

1 mushroom

1/4 red onion

80g cheddar cheese – grated (plus a chunk of mozzarella if you want to go crazy!

1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano


Method:

1.   Cut the bap in half and pop under the grill or in the toaster to lightly brown

2.   Squidge a dollop of tomato puree onto each bap and spread to the edges

3.   Finely chop the red onion. Place over a medium heat in a pan and sauté. Once done to your liking lay out over tomato puree

4.   Cut the veg into large chunks (keep like this for you) place the rest into the chopper so it’s super small and add to the baps

5.   Sprinkle over the oregano and then add the cheese

6.   Place under a medium heated grill until the cheese has melted and browned slightly. Scrummy and super easy for everyone. Cut into chunks or fingers for toddlers to self feed

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Chunky Chilli Con Sausage

Yep, you read that right – mince and sausage. It works trust me. Not all kids like chilli but chuck some sausage chunks in and they love it so this is a great recipe for little ones. Gradually if you want to make it hotter, add a few more spices and a bit more chilli. Want to make it not so punchy? Dairy combats heat so stir in a bit of milk, sour cream or yoghurt

You need:
2 peppers

400g beef mince

150g sausages – basically 2-3 sausages

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion – chopped

1 white onion – chopped

4 cloves of garlic

2 cans of kidney beans – drained

1-2 red chilli’s – chopped

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 x 400g chopped tomatoes

250ml/9 fl oz red wine

3 tablespoons tomato puree

1 beef stock cube

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 stick of cinnamon

Splash of worcestershire sauce

1 bunch of coriander – finely chopped

Method:
1.   Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan with a lid and fry the onion and garlic until softened. Increase the heat and add the mince, cooking quickly until browned and breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon

2.   Heat some more oil and over a medium heat fry the sausages. Once they are browned add them to the browned mince

3.   Add the tomato puree and stir in the tinned tomatoes, fresh chilli (or chilli flakes), cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and Worcestershire sauce, cocoa powder and crumble in the stock cube. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the mixture is rich and thickened

5.   Blend half of one of the tins of kidney beans and add to the mixture. Add the other tin of kidney beans and fresh coriander. Cook for a further ten minutes, uncovered, before removing from the heat, adding any extra seasoning if necessary. Serve with rice, guacamole, sour cream, a big green salad

This recipe is suitable for 6-8 people. I like making big batches of this and then freezing the rest to have with a jacket potato another time. You can even make this in advance and store in the fridge for up to two days – all the flavours really come together and make it even more tasty

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Thai Green Curry with Chunky Veg

This dish is my kids favourite! They love it and they actually eat all the vegetables which is always a bonus. If you want more kick add some extra green curry paste or some chopped green chilli’s. Serve with thai crackers to dunk in the super tasty sauce

You need:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1-2 tbsp green curry paste

6 chicken thighs – skin and bones removed, meat cut into chunks

400ml tin coconut milk

2 lime leaves (optional – if you can find them in your local supermarket)

2 tbsp Thai fish paste

1 tbsp sugar

handful of baby corn – cut into chunks

handful of mange tout

1 red pepper

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:
1.   Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking. Add the green curry paste and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant

2.   Add the chicken strips and stir until coated in the curry paste. Continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, or until the chicken has browned on all sides

3.   Add the coconut milk, lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar and stir well. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Continue to simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened

4.   Add the peppers, mange tout and baby corn and continue to simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly, until just tender. Season with salt and pepper

5.   To serve, spoon the rice into four serving bowls, then ladle over the Thai green chicken curry. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and get dunking with your crackers

Chicken Saag Aloo Korma

Confused? You needn’t be, this recipe just combines two great dishes into one scrummy one; chicken korma and saag aloo. It’s quick and easy to cook and utterly delicious!

You need:
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 large red onion – chopped

450g boneless, skinless chicken thighs – cut into bite size pieces

165g jar korma paste

2 garlic cloves – crushed

250g white potatoes

250g sweet potato

400g can of chopped tomatoes

100g baby spinach

Drizzle of double cream

Basmati rice and garlic and coriander naan bread to serve

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What Ya Likey Turkey, Veg & Potato Curry

This is a great one for near Christmas as it uses up all that extra turkey without having to suffer yet another turkey sandwich. You can even throw your leftover potatoes and veg into the mix

You need:
1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 large onion – chopped

1 green pepper – deseeded and chopped

1/2 bag of spinach

Any leftover vegetables

2 tablespoons curry paste

2 garlic cloves – crushed

400g can chopped tomato

300g leftover turkey – diced

300g  – leftover potato – either boiled or roasted

2 tablespoons mango chutney

Small pack of coroner – roughly chopped

Rice or naan bread to serve