Crustless Mini Quiches / Egg Muffins

These healthy, handy little quiches 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.  At…

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…

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…

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…

Elderberry and coconut lemon drizzle polenta cake

As a fairweather forager, elderberries are one of the few things I can pick each year that I’m confident won’t kill anyone. Even then, the stems are toxic, thus making the hours it takes to get rid of as many of the tiny stalks as possible a necessity. Use a fork to strip off the berries, and…

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…

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros, or ‘rancher’s eggs’, is the original Mexican brunch: a big mid-morning meal designed to keep farm workers going. Nowadays brunch more likely means a late night requires a spicy, filling hangover cure, but don’t feel bad about it: this is still better for you than a fry up, just as satisfying and as easy to make. Equally splendid as…

Umami fried gnocchi with capers, olives and mushrooms

Ok, it’s not as healthy as boiled gnocchi, but when fried you get that holy grail of crispy on the outside and fluffy within…covered with this seriously savoury sauce, my life-long gnocchi agnostic husband was won over (he’d been hoping I’d just bake the potatoes and stop there). Baking the potatoes might seem like a hassle, but…

Caponata (Sicilian sweet and sour aubergine)

One of our favourite week-night recipes, this is somehow so much more than the sum of its parts. Though it sounds a bit fancy, ‘caponata’ basically just means ‘stuff’ in Italian – this is a Sicilian dish that’s excellent for using up leftovers and relies on store-cupboard basics for a great depth of flavour. Finely…

Sugar-free banana bread

  Makes one very large or two medium sized loaves. Ingredients 4 large, very ripe bananas 180g dried apricots or dates 120g butter 2 eggs 250g self-raising flour 50g wholemeal flour 1 medium apple or 80g apple compote 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Method Preheat oven to 180C / gas 4. Line…

Taste not waste: Strawberry and panettone crumb pudding

A quick and simple concoction invented around elderly things in my fridge and a bag of leftover Christmas panettone that I’d blitzed into crumbs and frozen. A bit like bread pudding with a fun souffle rise to it: you could use any berries of course, and substitute panettone crumbs for normal breadcrumbs plus a tablespoon…