4 Minute Paella

This may be the fastest and easiest thing you can feed your kids apart from beans on toast… and it feels way more exotic.

INGREDIENTS

1 pouch of Uncle Ben’s Microwave Chicken Rice

1 inch chorizo, sliced thinly

1 small cup of frozen peas

8 cooked king prawns

5g butter or oil

METHOD

Microwave the rice according to packet instructions.

Meanwhile melt the butter or oil in a non stick pan. Add the chorizo and peas and stir for 3 or 4 minutes.

Add the prawns and rice and stir to combine. Make sure the prawns are heated through, and bingo! You’re ready to serve.

Baa Baa Black Stew 

(AKA Mediterranean Lamb Stew)

Serves 2

2 tbsps olive oil

1 lamb loin steak, cut into pieces 

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

8 black olives, sliced

1/2 a yellow pepper

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp balsamic glaze

Rice to serve

This one’s nice to get a big portion of veg into the veg haters, as the tomato sauce counts towards it.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the garlic and lamb pieces. Stir to brown for 5 mins.

Add the peppers and olives, stir and cook for 5 mins.

Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano and balsamic glaze. You could also use a ready made tomato & basil sauce if you’re short of time.

Stir, cover the pan, and leave gently bubbling away on a low heat for at least 30 mins, 45 if poss. If the sauce gets too dry, add a little water.

Serve with rice or potatoes or even a pitta or flatbread. 

Roast Pork Noodles

50g leftover meat

A few pieces of leftover veg or some fresh or frozen bits

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp tomato purée 

1 tsp cheat’s garlic & ginger

1 nest of egg noodles

Tonight’s dinner was made miles easier by the fact we had a roast yesterday. 
I chopped up some of the leftover meat and veg and whacked it into the pan with a squeeze of tomato purée, some jarred cheat’s garlic & ginger, a little low salt soy sauce and some water. 

I used leftover pork, broccoli, green beans and a fresh mushroom I threw in for good measure.

Boil up some egg noodles, give them a quick drain and pop them into the pan, giving everything a nice stir around.

Dinner sorted in 6 minutes including chopping the veg small enough to disguise it from my 2 year old! Even they couldn’t believe how fast it was on the table. Enjoy. 

S(o)uper Pasta

Here’s a nice quick and ridiculously easy dinner for your kids without masses of salt or bad stuff.

The stock gives the orzo a flavour so good I have to step away from the dinner table to avoid snaffling leftovers!

SOUPER PASTA Serves 2

100g orzo or other small pasta 

(or 100g spaghetti snapped into little lengths)

750ml chicken stock (Boots and Kallo do great low-salt cubes for teeny kids)

Half a carrot, peeled and chopped into small pieces

40g frozen peas

30g cooked chicken or other meat or fish (optional)

Boil the kettle and make up the stock in a measuring jug.

Then put the heat under a pan – a wide shallow frying pan works best for this but a saucepan is also fine. 

Pour the stock into the pan and add the orzo and carrots. Boil for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally so the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Add the peas and chicken (if using) and stir – by this time the liquid should be almost gone. Cook for another 2 mins until the peas are done.

Serve the pasta with any soupy residue left in the pan poured over the top.

BOOM! A healthy dinner in less than 10 mins. 

Kedgeree


Easy, healthy, tasty… Kedgeree!

KEDGEREE Serves 2

100g smoked fish

15g butter

125g rice 

1 egg

1 tsp Turmeric 

1 tsp curry powder 

50g peas

1 tbsp chopped fresh chives 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Put the fish onto a piece of tinfoil, add the butter and scrunch up the foil to seal. 

Put the parcel on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 mins. 

Put the rice on to boil according to packet instructions.

Put the egg in a pan of cold water and put onto the heat – it should cook for 5 mins from when the water starts to boil and then be plunged into a bowl of cold water to stop it cooking and make it cool enough for you to peel. 

4 mins before the rice finishes cooking, add the turmeric and peas to the pan. 

Peel the eggs and chop them into chunks. 

Drain the rice & peas and put in a bowl. Stir in the egg, flake in the fish (removing the skin), stir in the curry powder and chives. 

Serve piping hot – or cooled a little for small ones! 

Fridge Flan


This one’s especially for everyone who asks “WHAT can I do with those little odds and sods which get leftover in the fridge?” The answer? Fridge Flan. 

FRIDGE FLAN Serves 2

50g leftover pastry, puff or shortcrust

2 tbsps creme fraiche, plain yoghurt, cream cheese, going us or pesto

1/2 a tomato, diced

25g cheese, grated

2 pitted black olives

15g chorizo 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Roll out the pastry (or use ready rolled!) to about 2mm thick.

Spread the cream or cheese and add toppings – you could use literally anything which needs using up, a spoon or two of this and that.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins.

Cheat’s Stew

Want an easy, healthy dinner that a) the kids won’t reject b) is good for them c) takes minutes to prepare and d) uses up fridge leftovers? 

DING! ✅ Step forward Cheat’s Stew. It’s so simple and makes use of leftover gravy. If you don’t have that, you could use some chopped tomatoes, a bit of stock or some yoghurt, cream or creme fraîche. Whatever you have in the fridge! 

CHEAT’S STEW (Serves 2) 

1 tsp oil

40g leftover meat (I used pork)

1 ramekin’s worth of leftover gravy

1/2 a carrot, peeled and chopped into small pieces

Carbs to serve

Heat the oil in a pan and add the carrots. Fry gently for 2 or 3 minutes.

Chop the meat up into small pieces and add to the pan. Add the gravy and stir well.
Heat for 5 or 6 minutes and serve with whatever you fancy – potatoes, wedges, croquettes, waffles, or even rice or pasta.

Crabby Spaghetti


First things first: confessions. There is no crab in this pasta. But there could be – and kids love a name that excites them, don’t they? 

This is an easy peasy creamy treat and great to get some shellfish into them and I hope they’ll lick their plates clean like mine do!

CRABBY SPAGHETTI (Serves 2)

80g spaghetti

1 tsp oil 

75g crayfish, cooked prawns, crab or other shellfish

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 tbsp creme fraîche, cream, or cream cheese

50g peas (you could also use green peppers, leeks or spring onions)

2 slices Gouda or similar melty cheese, torn into pieces

Boil water and snap the spaghetti into 4 (much easier than chasing it round the plate to chop up when it’s cold!)

In a frying pan, heat the oil and gently fry the garlic and crayfish for a minute or two. 

Add the peas straight from frozen, then after a minute add the creme fraîche and cheese.

Stir well and let it heat through, then remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta, pop the seafood mixture on top and serve.

Fishy Cakes

Got children who aren’t keen on fish? Give these a whirl.

FISHY CAKES (Makes 6)

2 large or 3 small fish fillets

300ml milk

3 potatoes

50g grated cheese

1 large knob of butter

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 tsp mustard (optional)

1 egg 

100g breadcrumbs

50g flour

Boil a pan of water, peel and chop the potatoes into small chunks and boil for 15 mins.

Meanwhile put the fish fillets in a shallow frying pan and cover with the milk. Allow to cook over a medium heat for 7 or 8 mins until the fish is starting to break up. 

Flake the fish into a bowl then add the potatoes, cheese, a little splash of the milk you cooked the fish in and the mayonnaise (and mustard if using.)

Mash together with a masher or fork and then form into patties with your hands. 

Dip each one in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs.

Then melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and cook the fishcakes until golden brown, flipping halfway through cooking.

These can be frozen before or after cooking and are mild enough to fool even the most fish-phobic kids. 

I used pollack but salmon, cod or even smoked fish would work fine. My two like these with peas. 

The Importance Of Eating Meals Together

As a kid family meals were just HOW IT WAS in our house. Up to the age of 18 when I went to uni – and beyond when I was home – we had to call (on a landline obvs, GOD I’m old) to tell Mum if we weren’t going to be home for 6pm otherwise she would assume we would be at the table.

So it’s lovely to read some actual research and science about why eating meals together is important. My husband and I both work different shifts during the week but try to eat breakfast together if we can and then all weekend meals together. Read why it’s important – and some good tips on getting your toddler used to doing it – in Bounty’s article HERE.