Vege Pasta

We had this super quick vege pasta for tea last night. I always try and have a tin of ratatouille in the cupboard as it’s so useful for adding veggies to meals without all the prep.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

400g pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red pepper, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

Seasoning

1 400g tin ratatouille

1/2 jar sundried tomatoes, chopped

160g bag spinach

125g ball of mozzarella, chopped

Grated parmesan

METHOD

1. Start by getting 400g of pasta on the boil.

2. Fry the red pepper and onion in olive oil for 5 minutes.

3. Next add the garlic and fry gently for a further minute. Season.

4. Then add the ratatouille, sun dried tomatoes and spinach.

5. Finally stir in the cooked pasta and mozzarella.

6. Serve with grated Parmesan for extra cheesiness.

Cajun Cod with Puy Lentils

This is such a quick, easy recipe. The smoked paprika in the sauce gives it a lovely flavour. @merchantgourmet cooked puy lentil pouches are really convenient and cut the cooking time considerably.

Cajun Cod with Puy Lentils

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 red onion, diced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

150ml vegetable stock

Seasoning

5 sundried tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 pouch @merchantgourmet cooked puy lentils

2 400ml tins chopped tomatoes

4 fresh cod fillets

METHOD

1. Fry the onion in the oil until softened.

2. Season and add the garlic, fry gently for a further minute.

3. Pour over the stock and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in both the tinned and sundried tomatoes, paprika and puy lentils.

5. Place the cod fillets on top and season.

6. Cover and cook on a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.

7. Check the cod is cooked through and serve.

Greek Salad with Halloumi

I love my monthly @sainsburysmag This month there were so many summery recipes to try. The Greek Halloumi Salad on page 12 was amazing! So fresh and zingy. The kids loved the honey and sesame marinade on the halloumi.

Hidden veg sauce and meatballs

Last night we had turkey meatballs and hidden veg sauce. I haven’t made a hidden veg pasta sauce in years as my children are older and I don’t believe there’s any need to hide the vegetables now (although my 10 year old still pushes courgette round her plate!). However, it’s a great way of getting vegetables into younger children and also it suits people who don’t particularly like the texture of certain foods.

The @morrisons turkey meatballs are a healthy alternative to beef especially if you cook them in the oven rather than frying them. They’re also really convenient if you don’t want to make your own.

INGREDIENTS

Turkey meatballs

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red pepper, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1/2 courgette, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

Seasoning

1 and half 400g tins chopped tomatoes

Spaghetti

Fresh basil

Parmesan

METHOD

1) Bake the meatballs in an ovenproof dish (no oil) at 180oC for 20 minutes.

2) While they’re cooking, fry the vegetables in the olive oil.

3) After 10 minutes, add 1 crushed clove of garlic and cook for a further minute.

4) Season, then add the tomatoes and heat through.

5) Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then blend in a nutribullet or use a hand blender.

6) Pour back into the pan, add the cooked meatballs and heat through.

7) Serve with spaghetti, fresh basil and grated Parmesan.

Halloumi and roasted veg

Roasted vegetables with halloumi seasoned with za’atar spice mix and couscous.

I got this dinner idea from @what_i_cooked_for_dinner this week. She made a ratatouille but I couldn’t as I didn’t have any tomatoes in #neverhavetherightingredients 🤦‍♀️🤣 However, the roasted vegetables were lovely. I chopped a courgette, aubergine, 2 red onions and 1 red pepper roughly and tossed in olive oil and seasoning. Roasted at 200oC for 30 minutes.

The za’atar spice mix is from @morrisons and tasted delicious, it made such a difference to the halloumi. I seasoned one side of the halloumi with it and fried the slices on a high heat for around 4 minutes each side.

The couscous was a bit random but worked- mix 2 tsp red pesto and a vegetable stock cube into 150g dried couscous and cover a thumb width high with boiling water. Cover for 5 minutes, season and drizzle with a little olive oil then lightly separate the grains with a fork.

Paella

A friend at work asked me if I could post my recipe for paella so here it is 😊 I cooked the whole chicken thighs separately last night and added them at the end but usually I cook the meat in the pan at the start. It’s a very versatile meal- sometimes I omit the prawns and other times I add a seafood mix. I especially love serving it at the table in my large cast iron pan as it reminds me of seeing paella being cooked at Spanish markets.

Paella

Serves 4 (large portions!)

INGREDIENTS

8 chicken thighs

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

1 red onion, roughly chopped

1 chorizo ring, sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried thyme

1 pinch of dried chilli flakes

Seasoning

350g paella rice

1.75 pints of chicken stock

3 tbsp frozen peas

14 cherry tomatoes, halved

200g cooked king prawns

METHOD

1. Cook the chicken thighs in the oven at 190oC for 45 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and set aside.

2. While the chicken is cooking, fry the onions, pepper and chorizo in the olive oil for 5 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, spices and thyme and fry for a further minute.

4. Season and stir in the paella rice ensuring it gets coated in oil.

5. Pour in 1 pint of the chicken stock and the frozen peas and simmer for around 25 minutes.

6. Keep an eye on the paella rice, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

7. Top up with the chicken stock every so often when it starts getting a bit dry so the rice is submerged.

8. After 20 minutes add the cooked prawns and stir through.

9. Most of the stock should have been added (you may need to add more/less- taste the rice to see if it’s cooked). Finish by stirring through the tomatoes and giving them a couple of minutes to warm up.

10. Serve with the cooked chicken thighs on top.

Fajitas!

Homemade fajitas!!! You can’t beat a fajita can you?! 🤤 I used to buy the kits but for the last year or so I make them from scratch as the chicken fajita seasoning is so simple to make and the guacamole and salsa are so much tastier made fresh. The @morrisons mexican rice was a cheat but it was really tasty and only cost 47p!

Fajita chicken

I fry 3/4 sliced chicken breasts with sliced red onion and pepper and then sprinkle on around half a tsp of cayenne pepper, paprika, smoked paprika and cumin. Then I add a pinch of dried chilli flakes and a little water to stop it sticking.

Salsa

The salsa is simply 4 chopped salad tomatoes, with 1 small onion diced, the juice of half a lime, a pinch of dried chilli flakes and a small handful of fresh coriander chopped.

Guacamole

Chop 2 avocados, squeeze half a lime over, add 1 small crushed garlic clove, a handful of chopped fresh coriander, a pinch of chilli flakes and seasoning. Roughly mash with a fork.