I love to scroll aimlessly through Instagram looking at all the fabulously healthy food that people are making. Sometimes if I’m feeling very adventurous (note that said adventure can only occur when Frankie is sleeping) I will even click in and see what ingredients are required should I decide to make such a thing and that’s where that little escapade usually ends. Most often there are both far too many ingredients and my concentration levels just aren’t what they used to be or else I know for a fact that the ingredients included are not stocked on the shelves of Tesco and therefore will not appear in the blue box that the Tesco man delivers to my kitchen table.
Once upon a time I shopped in various places for my ingredients. I was one of those fearless foodies before I had ‘company’. Before the ‘company’ decided that hanging from my legs was the most comforting place to be. Oh yes I used to make raw food this and organic-cocoa-nibbed and sliced almond that with abandon. Now getting to eat a banana without having to share it is something I consider a luxury. Yes I have definitely found this first year of motherhood put me back in my box and made me simplify the way I eat but I think things may be improving as we hit that year mark. It’s not all the baby’s fault either; I think I have just become a bit lazy about what I cook too. However I’m getting strict with myself and forcing myself to start putting a bit of effort back into the whole food making process. It’s not really that hard when you plan your meals properly for the week and I’ve been getting up a little earlier too by default (or teeth-fault) so I’ve had some extra time to prepare things in the morning. I’ve also given up the online and gone back to the in-real-life version of food shopping. Here are two dinner recipes that I love and would highly recommend. Have a look in your press and see what you have first (making sure they’re not dated 2010) and then make a list of what you don’t have and off you go!
Shepherd’s Pie from Derval O’Rourke’s book Food For The Fast Lane
(Click on the picture of Derval’s book for a link to where you can buy it – it’s a super recipe book)
All three of us loved, loved, loved this recipe. I doubled the recipe and we got the two adult portions and the two baby portions from the big dish on the right and himself took the two little dishes on the left to work for the two days afterwards.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 rashers, thinly sliced
2 onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp dried herbs (I just threw all the dried herbs I had in the press together)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g lean minced beef
300ml beef stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 bay leaves (didn’t use, don’t think it had any effect)
850g potatoes, peeled and quartered (I used sweet potato and it was gorgeous!)
40g cheddar, grated
Preheat oven to 180
Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat
(Boil the kettle for the stock – try not to forget about it and actually put the cube into it and stir)
Add rashers, onions, herbs & pinch of salt – cook for 5 mins until softened
Add garlic – cook for 2 mins
Add mince – cook for 10 mins until brown
Stir in the stock, peas, Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée & bay leaves and bring to the boil
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
Make the mash by boiling the potatoes in water for 10-15 mins (10 if using sweet potatoes)
Top with mash
Bake for 20 mins
Divide and conquer!
Chicken Fajitas with homemade guacamole and salsa from Jamie Oliver’s book Ministry of Food
(Click on the picture of Jamie’s book for a link to his website)
This is one of my favourite recipes of all time. So much so that himself usually has to tell me to take a break from it sometimes when it’s been on the menu for a few weeks running. I do make a couple of changes to Jamie’s recipe and how he suggests you cook this. I’ll have it with wholemeal wraps (usually 2 per person) if I’m really hungry or if I’ve had a busy day exercising but often just put the chicken on top of a bed of salad leaves or spinach if not.
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper (my addition), deseeded and chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
Chicken breasts (when making I usually use 4), chopped into strips
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 small pinch of ground cumin (woops I just realised I’ve been using a tsp of this!)
1 lime, halved
4 flour tortilla wraps
150ml natural yoghurt (Jamie specified fat-free but I don’t really do fat-free so I use Glenisk whole organic yoghurt)
50g cheddar cheese
1 fresh red chilli to your taste (I’m lazy about this one and use a squirt of the Schwarz chilli paste)
15 ripe cherry tomatoes (I don’t use this many), chopped
1 small bunch of fresh coriander (get the real deal here, makes a big difference), chopped with stalks
Salt and pepper
½ lime, juice of
Olive oil, tiny drizzle
Guacamole (Jamie’s recipe for this is a lot more complex and feel free to check it out on his page but this is my simplified version):
1 avocado, mashed to your desired consistency
½ lime, juice of
1 small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped roughly
Salt and pepper
Again the following is not how Jamie instructs you to make it but this is how it works for me:
Put the peppers, onion, chicken, paprika and cumin into a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of the lime and drizzle the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and leave to marinate for 5 minutes.
Heat the pan over a medium heat then add above ingredients and cook for 10 minutes, turning regularly.
To make the salsa and guacamole simply add all of the ingredients listed together to serve (obviously separately for each one).
Don’t forget the natural yoghurt, cheddar cheese and wraps too if using!