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 (leave out 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 A small bunch each of fresh coriander, parsley and mint 1/2 teaspoon…

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….

Easy cheesy pasta

An incredibly quick version of macaroni cheese that owes something to the Greek dip tzatziki. It might seem a bit odd to have warm cucumber, but it works somehow. For babies this can be spoon-fed or just plopped onto the highchair tray for grabbing. Freezer friendly Ingredients 3 tablespoons full fat creme fraiche Leaves from…

Beetroot hummus

Babies love this beautifully coloured dip spread on fingers of toast, or eaten off a spoon. It’s flavoursome enough for grown ups though: if you’re making it just for adults add a pinch of salt. As ‘hummus’ is the Arabic word for ‘chickpeas’ this is not technically hummus, but we all know what we mean……

First foods: mackerel pate

It’s worth the mess: this pate can be served up from six months, and will hopefully surprise you with its popularity. It’s a great way to tick off their weekly portion of oily fish, makes a good finger food when spread on toast or scooped onto cucumber, and as ever is flavoursome enough to share…

Easiest-Ever Soda Bread: How to eat organic bread every day for less than £1

..without having to buy a bread-maker, or spend time each morning and evening kneading dough. Read more about why you should care about real bread here, but in summary: mass-produced bread is nutritionally limited; the white stuff is made of refined white flour which causes unhealthy blood sugar spikes; and evidence suggests that long-fermented sourdough is easier to…

Cheese scones

Fool-proof and crowd pleasing, everyone needs a good scone recipe up their sleeve. Keep some of these in the freezer to quickly defrost when soup’s on the menu for lunch (try spreading them with Marmite). Ingredients 220g plain flour 2 level teaspoons baking powder 130g grated cheese (cheddar, gouda, whatever you have in the fridge…