It’s the final week of our 4 Week Family Friendly Meal Plan. Some great recipes for you this week. Happy cooking. Links to PDF’s below.
One Pan Mexican Quinoa
I love this meal, sometimes I add some sharp, grated cheddar to the finished dish. The lime and coriander give it a lovely fresh, zingy taste. This dish keeps for 3 days in the fridge. If you are eating this after storing in the fridge, you may need to add a drop of water when reheating. Wait till just before serving to add the avocado.
3 cups cooked black turtle beans (this recipes uses dried beans, cooked beforehand but you can use canned if that’s too much hassle)
1.5 cups quinoa
1 carton of tomatoes
1 red chilli
2 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
1 cup vegetable broth or stock
1 cup corn kernels
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
Himalayan salt and black pepper
(I added a good pinch of cayenne pepper as I like spice)
1 avocado, peeled and diced
Juice of a lime
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander
Heat a little olive oil in a large pan, add garlic, chilli, onion and peppers and cook until soft but not browned.
Stir in quinoa, vegetable stock, beans, tomatoes, corn, spices and salt and pepper. Bring to boil, you may need to add more water here, I did as it was a little dry. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until quinoa cooked through.
Stir in the avocado, lime juice and coriander.
Serve immediately. Sprinkle a little good cheddar cheese on top if you like. Enjoy.
Chicken and Tomato Pasta Bake
Making your own pasta sauces is so much healthier that the sugar and salt laden jarred versions. This is a firm favourite in our house, I make double and freeze.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
One can diced tomatoes
400ml homemade tomato sauce
50g cream cheese
250g fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1-1/2 cups penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Add the chicken and brown on both sides, then remove from the pan. It’s OK if it’s not quite cooked through because it will be baked later.
Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, then add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Add the cream cheese and stir to melt into the sauce. Add the spinach and stir to coat in the sauce.
Add the browned chicken back in and add the pasta. Stir and coat with the sauce.
Spoon everything into a or 8-inch square baking dish. Top with the mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Fish and Leek Crumble
A nice topping that doesn’t rely on breadcrumbs. It’s good to mix up your grains, millet flakes are fairly widely available and can be used to coat chicken or fish and in burgers. Millet porridge makes a change from regular porridge too. I wouldn’t freeze this dish if you’re using previously frozen fish fillets.
4 medium leeks
2 pieces of white fish of your choice
Small handful peppercorns
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
3 tablespoons corn flour (or arrowroot)
Salt to taste
For the topping
225g millet flakes (or oatflakes)
75g nuts (hazelnuts, cashew or almonds)
Preheat the oven to 180. Trim and chop the leeks coarsely. Put the fish and leeks in a heavy pan with the water, peppercorns and the marjoram. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
Remove the fish from the pan and leave to cool.
Mix the cornflour with the milk and add to the cooking liquid. Mix well and continue to simmer until the liquid thickens. Season to taste with the salt.
Put the fish into a baking dish and pour over the leeks and juices.
To make the crumble, process the millet/oat flakes for a couple of minutes. Mix with the nuts, salt and butter.
Spread over the fish and leek mixture and cook for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with salad or steamed vegetables.
Spicy Lamb Chops
Lovely marinaded chops! Slightly messy but delicious.
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 pack fresh coriander chopped finely
½ onion peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
4 lamb loin chops
Mix together all the marinade ingredients and spoon over the lamb chops. Cover and marinate for an hour. If you’re organised enough, this could be made the night before and left to marinate for 24 hours, in which case they’ll be even more delicious.
Place chops under a heated grill for 4-5 minutes each side until browned and cooked through, or slightly less if you prefer them pink inside.
Serve with a spoonful of greek yogurt, to mix with the herby marinade that oozes from the lamb.
Serve with potatoes and vegetable of your choice. Mash and green beans and broccoli would go well or perhaps roasted baby potatoes and root veg.
One Pan Chicken and Veg
I love these simple one pan dishes, much easier to clean up afterwards. You can vary the veg here to whatever you have at home.
2 chicken fillets
1 large sweet potato, diced
I head of broccoli
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Lay out the sweet potato, chicken fillets and broccoli. Evenly distribute the garlic, rosemary, paprika, salt and pepper over the entire pan. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake at 400F/200C for 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165%/75C and the juices run clear. Serve up. For an easy clean up, just toss the foil and you’re good to go.
Falafel in Pitta Pockets
A nice light dinner to have with a large mixed salad. Parents can take leftover falafels to work for lunch.
2 cartons of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 egg, beaten
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coridander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A pinch of chilli powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plain flour for coating
Olive oil for frying
Wholemeal pitta breads
Mash the chickpeas thoroughy, then add the egg, onion, parsley, garlic and spices. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Shape the mixture into balls about the size of chestnuts and coat in the flour.
Warm the pitta bread in a moderate oven or under the grill.
Pour enough oil into a frying pan to cover the base thinly and when it’s hot fry the falafel for 3 minutes on each side, until golden-brown. Drain well on kitchen paper.
Cut each pitta bread in half across the centre, then fill each with falafel, sliced tomato and cucumber and garnish with lemon.
Mince and Onion Pie
This is such a wholesome and tasty pie, looks and smells gorgeous and is sure to be a family favourite. It contains lots of store cupboard ingredients that you will use over and over, vegetables that you will easily use up throughout the week and is freezer friendly
2 medium onions
2 sticks celery
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (dried will do fine too)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp mustard
500g minced beef
1 tsp marmite (optional)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps flour, plus extra for dusting
1 beef stock cube
500g shortcrust pastry
1 large egg
Peel and roughly chop your onions, carrots and celery. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalks and chop finely. Place a large pan on a high heat, add oil, all the veg and rosemary leaves. Stir every minute or so for about 10 minutes or until the veg have softened or coloured lightly. Stir in the mince, breaking it up as you go. Add the mustard, marmite (if using), Worcestershire sauce and 2 tsps of flour. Dissolve the stock cube in a litre of boiling water and add to the pan. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer with the lid slightly askew for about an hour stirring every now and again to stop it catching.
Fill a large baking dish with the mince filling and let it cool down. Remove the pastry from the fridge 10 minutes before you need to roll it out.
Preheat the over for 180 degrees Celsius. Dust a work surface and your rolling pin with some flour and roll out the pastry to about 3mm in width. Once it’s large enough to cover your dish, wind the pastry around your rolling pin and unroll it over your dish. If it breaks up, don’t fret, just patch it up. Run a knife around the edge to trim off any excess pastry. I usually make the kids initials out of the pastry and stick it on top! Using a fork, press down around the edge of the pastry. Make a hole in the middle using the tip of a knife. Brush top of pastry with beaten egg or a little milk and bake on the bottom shelf of the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Place the pie in the middle of the table and dish it out, be careful with the kiddies, it will be steaming hot inside.