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…

Quick creamy mushroom and olive pasta

Very close to a stroganoff, but even slightly quicker. I challenge you to miss meat while eating this savoury, comforting dinner. Serves 4, generously Ingredients 500g mushrooms, sliced 4 tablespoons olives, well rinsed and roughly chopped 2 teaspoons thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 teaspoon paprika 150ml double cream or…

Low sugar chocolate chip oat biscuits

  I had a hankering for chocolately oat/digestive biscuits, and I’m now struggling to keep my hands off these. Fortunately there’s only a tablespoon of sugar in the whole lot, so they’re a perfectly reasonable snack that I predict are going to be made pretty regularly. Dark chocolate makes them taste more grown up and,…

Banana pancakes

These have been made too frequently in the short time since I remembered about them; I’m almost sick of them already. Almost. Our local greengrocer has a box of squashy cut-price bananas which I raid almost daily to use in kefir smoothies, banana ice cream (i.e. frozen bananas chucked in the blender) and porridge; they’re…

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 leaving…

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…

Chai, date and honey loaf cake

This is entirely because my much loved pot of chai spice mix suggests adding it to cakes. Tremendous idea. This low-sugar loaf cake is light as air; quick and simple to make; wonderful with a cup of tea and its grown-up flavour still passed the toddler test. Freezes well, cuts into 10-12 slices Ingredients 3 tablespoons honey 200g unsalted butter…

Sweet potato and mackerel bites

Mackerel is one of those relatively strong flavours that I’m surprised how readily babies and small children take to – mackerel pate has been a favourite food of my daughter’s since she weaned. She’s always been a fan of various versions of these, but they’re definitely not ‘just’ for children; they make just as good a…

Learn to Cook: apple crumble

Serves 6 Ingredients 800g apples (about 5) of any variety about 60g brown sugar: demerara, soft brown or golden caster are all fine (use less sugar if your apples are already sweet) juice of 1/2 lemon For the crumble: 350g plain flour 100g brown sugar 250g cold butter To finish: 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons…

Thai-meets-Scottish crab cakes to celebrate Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight

The approaching end of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight prompted me to devise this recipe showcasing one of my favourite local ingredients – crab. Our house in East Lothian almost dips its toes into the North Sea, and fishing boats are a common sight from our windows. Though there’s little white fish left, mackerel, langoustine and crab remain plentiful, the…

Banana, oat and coconut sugar-free biscuits

This is a great first baking recipe for tiny hands to help with – lots of squishing possibilities, helpful tasting, pouring, scrunching and mixing, and ONLY THREE ingredients. Also fool-proof to make, even if you’re trying to prevent a toddler from simultaneously falling off the chair they’re standing on, eating all the banana and smearing dough…

Sweet potato and chickpea burgers with halloumi

This is an incredibly cheap, quick, healthy and satisfying meal (don’t scrimp on the cheese). In these hastily executed dinner photos I decided to add the halloumi to the side salad – this was a mistake. It’s much better in the burger. The burgers would also be a great kid’s or weaning meal, and freeze…