Sweet and Sour Vegetables

Quick, easy and SO much better than a takeaway. You could use any combination of veg here of course, but this one works well – the mushrooms bring savoury richness, and roasting the veg and pineapple first adds sweet, caramelised flavour. Definitely worth the small amount of extra time. This dish is also vegan (except…

Tortilla Pizza Cups

A healthy, quick and easy twist on pizza – or the tortilla pizza that I like to make – that children can get involved with making. There are lots of fun age-appropriate jobs they can help with: get them to choose the veg fillings, tear the mozzarella, grate cheddar and veg, practise their chopping skills,…

Ratatouille

This is better made the day before eating to allow all the flavours to deepen and combine. Photos courtesy of the P5s at West Barns Primary School, who enjoyed making this as part of their Plenty Project week. Serves 4 Ingredients 2 aubergines, chopped into 2cm pieces 4 courgettes, chopped into 2cm pieces 4 peppers,…

Roast vegetable tart with nut-free spinach / kale pesto

This classic easy dinner is a great one for children to help make. Rolling out and pricking the pastry, ‘painting’ it with egg and talking about different vegetables and how to prepare them gives lots of scope for involvement. Whizzing up the pesto is fun too – this one was devised with seasonality in mind…

Easy Seasonal Stone Fruit Tart

This quick tart looks and tastes more impressive than its simple assembly and six basic ingredients would imply. Serve with yoghurt or a spoonful of ice-cream for a satisfying pudding that makes the most of the glut of wonderful late-summer stone fruit. Serves 6 Ingredients 250g puff pastry 12 plums or apricots, halved and de-stoned;…

Vegetable and lentil loaded Bolognaise sauce

This sauce has so many uses: on its own with bread mixed through spaghetti or other pasta (choose wholemeal if you can) top with mashed potato for a cottage pie turn it into a lasagne top with savoury crumble spoon over rice (again, brown is better) add kidney beans and chilli powder for a quick…

Mexican (ish) potato skins with refried beans, cheese and guacamole

This recipe works very neatly in tandem with gnocchi; it means you don’t have to waste those beautiful crispy potato skins once you’ve baked the spuds. It’s also a really cheap meal. Serves 2 Ingredients Cooked skins of 2 baked potatoes – just the skins, potato flesh removed 1 tablespoon jalapenos,¬†finely sliced Refried beans 1…

Cheap, quick and simple vegetarian courgette lasagne

  Much quicker than the usual bechamel/white sauce version, this is a good week-night lasagne. Flavour comes from the garlicky, herby tomato sauce and the cheeses; it’s a rich but healthy dinner which is popular with children and a handy fallback for a meat-free night. To make this more seasonal in the winter months, try…

Ginger spiced parsnip and apple soup

Rain scatterguns the windows; it’s pitch dark by 5pm. The waves are a constant thunder, provoked by Storm Angus out of yesterday’s flat calm. A night like this calls for a soup like this, flickering with ginger warmth and Christmas nutmeg spice: decorate¬†it with savoury treats and serve with hot buttered toast. Serves 6 Ingredients…

Roast squash, goats cheese and walnut filo parcels

Satisfying, crunchy parcels that you can eat with your hands if you want – they’re best hot and crisp out of the oven, but would make good picnic food too. These can, of course, be adapted to hold so many things – whatever cheese, veg, herbs and nuts you have around, and would also be…

Breaded hake with green sauce, pak choi and lentils

This works with any meaty white fish: pollock/coley, rock turbot, cod, haddock (and monkfish, but please only as a very occasional treat, there are question marks over its sustainability). Pak choi can be substituted for mushrooms or most greens: kale, spinach, spring greens and broccoli all work (though I clearly forgot to add any of…