It's been a while since I've blogged a meal plan. I've been back at work (I'm a Chartered Town Planner by day if you didn't know) for 3 months now and I can report It's bl**dy hard work doing 5 days a week with 3 young children and trying to juggle cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing and gardening too.
The blogs taken a back seat of late but I'm off with the kids for 4 weeks now so hope to create some new recipes for my much neglected blog.
This weeks meals are in general a bit more adventurous than usual thanks to the extra time I'm going to get in the kitchen. Unless the kids have other ideas .....
Monday 25th July
Leftover Roast Chicken, Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese and Baked Sweet Potato
Tuesday 26th July
Sweet Potato Macaroni Cheese with Peas and Sweetcorn
Wednesday 27th July
Oven Baked Trout with Rice and Veggies
Thursday 28th July
Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne with Tortilla's
Friday 29th July
Beetroot Bertollini Pasta with Courgettes and Feta
Saturday 30th July
Chilli Pasta Bake with Salad
Sunday 31st July
Fridge Bottom Frittata - something along the lines of this one as I'll definitely have courgettes to use (I'm picking about 3 a day at the moment)
My first recipe in yonks! Returning to work from maternity leave coupled with 3 children and a husband to look after has meant that time has somewhat run away with me recently. Thankfully the holidays are here now and I've got a a whole month off! I need it. My house needs it. It needs a good clean, the windows need washing, the weeds in the garden need attention and I most definitely need to get back my blogging mojo.
We're not going away this summer, apart from a few weekend weddings - we've got plenty of DIY projects currently in progress that NEED to be finished and to be honest we're still feeling the hit of our Disneyland Paris trip earlier in the year. Thankfully we are blessed to live in a beautiful part of the country with beaches at our doorstep - so if you're listening....weather gods please be kind!
This recipe is perfect for a manic Monday, using up leftover roast chicken from the weekend. It's quick, filling (my kids stomachs have turned into bottomless pits) and most importantly tastes great.
Tarragon, a herb I don't use a lot, gives the dish a wonderful subtle (very subtle as the kids still ate it) aniseed flavour which worked really well. If you don't have any spinach you could add some frozen peas into the pasta water for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
This is best eaten al freso on a warm summers evening with a slice of my yeast free Pine Nut Bread on the side. Bliss.
CREAMY CHICKEN, BACON AND TARRAGON TAGLIATELLE
| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Total Time: 15 mins |
- 4 Smoked Bacon rashers, chopped
- 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
- Splash of White Wine
- 250ml Creme Fraiche
- 100g Leftover Roast Chicken
- 50g Spinach
- 25g Parmesan, grated
- 2 TBSP Tarragon, chopped
- 300g Tagliatelle
- Step 1: Put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. In a frying pan heat a TBSP of oil then gently fry the bacon and garlic.
- Step 2: After 5 mins add the wine and cook it off for a few minutes. Put the pasta into the boiling water to cook.
- Step 3: Add the creme fraiche, leftover cooked chicken, spinach, Parmesan and tarragon to the frying pan and simmer on a low heat until the pasta is cooked.
- Step 4: Drain the pasta and toss through the sauce. Serve with extra Parmesan if you like.
| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 24th July 2016 |
I have been using my slow cooker lots though and this veggie korma with sweet potato and peppers was a real hit with the kids. It couldn't be easier too - you just chop up the veg, pour over the sauce and cook on high for 5 hours! Serve with rice and naan breads for a filling and healthy meal.
SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATO KORMA
| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 5 hours | Total Time: ~ 5 Hours|
- 2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 Red Pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 Green Pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 2 Onions, chopped
- 2 Garlic, chopped
- 400g Coconut Milk
- 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 3 TBSP Korma Curry Paste
- Step 1: Put the prepared sweet potatoes, red pepper, green pepper, onions and garlic in the slow cookers basin.
- Step 2: In a jug whisk together the coconut milk, tin of tomatoes and korma paste and pour over veg.
- Step 3: Cook on high for 5 hours.
| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 13th April 2016 |
April is a month normally associated with showers, rain and just a glimpse of Spring, so you might not know that Thai New Year, Songkran is coming up from the 13th – 15th April. In Thailand, this means three days of festivals, spicy feasts and an almighty water fight in the streets.
To celebrate, Devon-based companies Burts Chips and the South Devon Chilli Farm have teamed up to offer one lucky person the chance to win an array of tasty goodies, including Burts Thai Sweet Chilli Chips and a delicious Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce from South Devon Chilli Farm – ideal for dipping the chips! Bursting with Asian flavour and Devon-grown spice, the hamper is perfect for adding some warmth into an otherwise wet month - and all prizes are not only delicious but also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
To find out more about Burts Chips visit the website at www.burtschips.com, like on Facebook, follow on Twitter or Instagram. To stay up to date with news on the South Devon Chilli Farm visit their website at: www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk
To be in for a chance of winning, simply answer the question below:
In Thailand, what is the traditional word used to celebrate Thai New Year?
I'm taking part in the Simply Beef and Lamb #LivePeasant challenge this week which aims to encourage every day home cooks like myself to embrace a more simple, rustic approach to cooking.
For one week I will be developing easy one pot, slow cooked recipes using Red Tractor Quality Assured Beef and Lamb...and we're starting with this tasty Minced Beef Keema which you can either cook in a slow cooker or a low oven. I love these types of meals as not only are they super easy to prepare, they also freeze well too. I sometimes make double and stash some portions in the freezer ready to pull out on a busy weeknight.
I served this Beef Keema with Rice, Naan Breads and Mango Chutney but any leftovers would make a great topping for jacket potatoes. I used Tikka Curry paste for this as the kids don't like things too hot, but if you like your food spicy, use madras curry paste instead and add a chopped red chilli with the onion, garlic and ginger. Lamb mince would also work well.
Don't forget to follow Simply Beef and Lamb on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #LivePeasant to showcase your peasant recipe creations. Will you take the #LivePeasant challenge with me?
ONE POT BEEF KEEMA
| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 6 Hours | Total Time: 6 Hours + |
- 1 Red Onion, chopped
- 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
- 1 Thumb Size piece of Ginger, peeled and grated
- 500g Minced Beef
- 4 TBSP Tikka Curry Paste
- 1 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 Beef Stock Pot
- 100g Frozen Peas
- Step 1: In a large pan, fry the onion, garlic and ginger until softened.
- Step 2: Add the minced beef and turn up the heat a little. Break up the minced beef with a wooden spoon and fry until brown.
- Step 3: Add the curry paste, tomatoes and stock pot, transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Add the peas for the final 30 minutes of cooking. If cooking in an oven place on the middle shelf for 1 hour (cover with lid)
- Step 4: Serve with Rice and Naan Bread.
| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 22nd March 2016 |
Sage Appliances recently sent me 'the smart waffle' waffle maker to try out...and I have to say I think I'm in love! I wasn't sure there was room in my my kitchen for another kitchen gadget but I've had to make room. It's amazing!
The kids and I made some classic waffles first, the recipe for which came in the instruction booklet and they were a great success. The kids loved watching the excess batter collect in the moat that runs all around the perimeter but I've now learnt the exact amount required to prevent such spillages - it's easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth if any does occur though. The smart waffle makes 2 waffles at a time and they take about 2-3 minutes to cook for a light brown colour but you can make them darker or lighter as required by turning a dial.
After mastering the basics I decided to try something a bit different in the form of these savoury cheese and ham stuffed waffles. I was worried the waffles might stick when I put the cheese and ham IN the waffles. Thankfully they came out just fine and made a yummy lunch with a fried egg.
CHEESE AND HAM STUFFED WAFFLES
| Serves: makes 8 waffles | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes |
- 250g Plain Flour
- 1 TBSP Sugar
- 1 TBSP Baking Powder
- 1 TSP Salt
- 115g Butter, melted
- 3 Eggs, beaten
- 425ml Full Fat Milk
- 8 slices Gouda Cheese
- 8 slices Ham
- Fried Egg and Rocket to serve
- Step 1: Preheat the waffle maker according to instructions.
- Step 2: Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl then whisk in the melted butter, eggs and milk until you have a smooth batter.
- Step 3: Ladle a quarter of a cup of mixture into each waffle mould (the smart waffle makes 2 at a tims), lay a slice of cheese and slice of ham on top then ladle over another quarter of a cup over each waffle mould and close the lid. Once waffles have cooked remove to a plate and repeat until all the batter has been used.
- Step 4: Serve with fried eggs and rocket.
| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 14th March 2016 |
Disclosure: Sage sent me the waffle maker to review. All thoughts are my own.
These bars make great packed lunch treats for children and you could add a handful of dried fruit or seeds (apricots, raisins or even chia seeds) to give them some extra goodness.
CRISPY PEANUT BUTTER BARS
| Serves: 12 bars | Prep Time: 6 minutes | Cook Time: 8 minutes | Total Time: 14 minutes |
- 75g Crispy Rice Cereal
- 150g Oats
- 75g Light Brown Sugar
- 100ml Golden Syrup
- 125g Smooth Peanut Butter
- 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
- Step 1: Grease and line a 30 x 20cm tin and preheat the oven to 160c (140c fan).
- Step 2: In a large bowl mix together the rice cereal and pats.
- Step 3: In a saucepan melt together the sugar, syrup, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Pour over the cereal and mix together.
- Step 4: Press mixture into tin and bake for 8 minutes. Cool before cutting into slices.
| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 9th March 2016 |
Have a good weekend whatever you're up to. I'm planning on lots of gardening so fingers crossed the weather holds. I'll be back on Sunday with my weekly meal plan.
CHEESY BACON AND TOMATO LASAGNE
| Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes |
- For the Tomato and Bacon Sauce
- 1 TBSP Oil
- 2 Onions, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 1 TSP Dried Oregano
- Handful of Basil, chopped
- 250g Smoked Bacon, chopped
- 700ml Passata
- 1 TBSP Tomato Puree
- 1 TSP Sugar
- For the Cheese Sauce
- 50g Butter
- 50g Plain FLour
- 600ml Whole Milk
- 200g Extra Strong Cheddar, grated
- 1 TSP Dijon Mustard
- Other Ingredients:
- 12 Dried Lasagne Sheets
- 50g Parmesan, grated
- Handful of cherry tomatoes to garnish
- Step 1: To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the bacon. Continue to fry until the bacon is cooked then add the oregano, basil, passata, tomato puree and sugar. Simmer on low whilst you prepare the cheese sauce. At this point PREHEAT THE OVEN to 190c/170cFan
- Step 2: To make the cheese sauce melt the butter in heavy bottomed saucepan and whisk in the flour. Cook for a few minutes then gradually whisk in the milk and stir until thickened.
- Step 3: Take the white sauce off the heat and add in the cheddar and mustard.
- Step 4: To assemble the lasagne spoon a third of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a lasagne dish about 30 x 30cm. Drizzle over a a quarter of the white sauce and place lasagne sheets over. Repeat this 2 more times and when you have put the final layer of lasagne sheets on, pour over the last quarter of the cheese sauce. Sprinkle over the parmesan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Cover with foil if the top is browning too much.
| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 4th March 2016 |
This is a beautiful vegetarian pasta dish but was enjoyed by all the meat lovers too! The butternut squash makes a lovely silky smooth sauce for the pasta, with the sage, garlic and parmesan giving it lots of extra flavour. This is a pasta dish I could eat over and over again.
It does take quite a long time to make as you have to roast the butternut squash first, but I promise you wont be disappointed. Perhaps one to try at the weekend?
CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA
| Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes |
- 1 Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, DO NOT PEEL
- Small bunch of Sage
- 3 TBSP Olive Oil
- 25g Butter
- 1 Small Onion
- 25g Plain Flour
- 200ml Double Cream
- 50g Parmesan, grated
- Ladleful of the cooking pasta water
- 250g Spaghetti
- Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200c (180C Fan). In a large roasting tin place the squash, sage and garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for around 45-50 minutes. Once cooled, puree in a food processor and set aside.
- Step 2: In a large pan melt the butter and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the flour then add the double cream, butternut squash puree and parmesan. Set to one side.
- Step 3: Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to instructions. Once cooked, pour 1 ladleful of the pasta cooking water into the butternut squash sauce before draining the pasta and place the squash sauce back on a low heat. Mix in the pasta then serve with extra parmesan and sage.
| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 2nd March 2016 |
National Marmalade Week (organised by the World Marmalade Awards at Dalemain, Penrith) runs from the 28th February to the 6th March this year. To celebrate, one of the main sponsors of the awards, Mackays asked me to develop a tasty recipe using one of their lovely range of marmalades.
We love marmalade here and my Marmalade Loaf is always a popular bake in this house but this time I wanted to create something altogether more savoury.
...and so this Marmalade Chicken recipe was born. It's a quick and easy meal for weeknight suppers taking less than half an hour to make. The marmalade caramelises as it cooks and produces a yummy sticky glaze for the chicken, which I served with rice and green beans. If you've got any half opened jars of marmalade crying out to be used then you need to try this recipe.
A big thanks to Mackays for sending me their range of marmalades to try and Happy National Marmalade Week!
| Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 25 Minutes |
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 4 TBSP Marmalade
- 300ml Chicken Stock
- 1 TBSP Thyme
- 1 TNSP Sweet Chilli Sauce
- 1 TSP Soy Sauce
- Step 1: Fry the chicken breasts for 10 mins in a frying pan and turn half way.
- Step 2: Add all of the other ingredients to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Step 3: Remove the chicken to a plate then boil the sauce until it turns sticky and syrupy.
- Step 4: Return the chicken to the pan and serve with rice and vegetables.