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 leaving…

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…

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…

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…

Herby cornbread muffins / loaf

Very easy to make, these make a change from the usual bread roll to have alongside soup or salad – definitely best served warm, even if you just bung one in the microwave for 10 seconds. These would be good with all sorts of additions: more cheese (of course); dried herbs; crispy bacon bits stirred through…

Spanakopita

A vegetarian Greek classic that’s surprisingly filling, and an excellent way of encouraging enthusiastic spinach eating in those who may otherwise be reluctant. This makes a happy spring lunch alongside a punchy vinaigrette-dressed salad. Should probably serve six, but serves four in our household… Ingredients 500g frozen spinach or 1.5kg fresh 10 spring onions, finely chopped…

Sweet potato falafels

These freeze well, and are as good for babies (go easy on the chilli!) as they are for party snacks, picnics or lunch boxes. Ingredients About 450g sweet potato 200g gram or plain flour 1 tin chickpeas, drained 1 small onion 4 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon tomato puree 50g raisins A small bunch each of fresh…

Walnut pesto

A quick, healthy, cheaper spin on the usual basil & pine nuts version – this makes an ideal week-night dinner, and spare pesto will keep well in the freezer. This is a useful way to get healthy nuts into babies and young children, but don’t serve it to babies under six months of age. Makes…

Quinoa and celeriac fritters (better than they sound)

Surprisingly delicious for a recipe that sounds off-puttingly healthy, these are great hot and fresh, and work really well for baby-led weaning. They freeze well: make up a batch, then open-freeze the ones you don’t eat before popping them into a freezer bag. The fritters defrost quickly, then crisp back up in a dry frying pan….