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…

Potato latkes

These deceptively simple potato cakes bring some serious symbolism to the table, as I found out when researching the recipe to include in a lesson at a local primary school. The children had been learning about Judaism so I included this dish, traditionally eaten at Hanukka – also known as the Festival of Lights. This…

Butter Bean Dip

Devised as a nut-free alternative to hummus, this healthy dip can be whizzed up in minutes from store-cupboard ingredients. It’s a great weaning food too, just leave out the salt. Ingredients 1 tin butter beans, drained 1 small clove garlic, crushed – go with half first, it’s easy to make it too strong 2 tablespoons…

Easy cheese girdle scones / bannocks

Makes 12 bannocks, or 8 triangular scones (as above) Ingredients 250g plain flour, plus extra for shaping 1 teaspoon baking powder 2¬†tablespoons butter, plus 1 teaspoon extra for cooking pinch of salt 2 tablespoons grated cheese, cheddar or similar 120ml whole milk Method Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Rub the butter into…

Quiche / Egg Muffins

These healthy, handy little quiche muffins are quick and easy to make and are perfect for lunchboxes (yours or children’s), toddler meals, weaning feasts, substantial snacks and picnics. They also make great use of leftovers – you can put almost any old veg, cheese, herbs and shredded meat into them that you have lying around….

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…

Giant oven baked potato rosti

A simple supper, making something out of almost nothing. It’s categorised under ’30 minutes or quicker’, but it’s on the cusp – 20 of that’s in the oven though, so you can just have a sit down. Serves 4 Basic ingredients 800g potato 1 egg 1 onion Black pepper & salt A knob of butter…

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…

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…

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…