How to persuade fussy eaters to eat healthily

Some people are born with the genetic inclination to like certain foods, healthy or sugary. This might give a small advantage or disadvantage in learning to enjoy eating healthily, but the way we teach ourselves to eat (and it is teaching and learning) counts for much more. Apart from anything, having a child who is…

Brandy Mincemeat

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas…Quite simply, it doesn’t matter how many taste test competitions magazines run (spoiler: Lidl or Aldi always win), there is no mince pie like a homemade mince pie. Commercial pastry is too sweet, and even just spooning supermarket mincemeat into homemade pastry makes all the difference. I’ve never…

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…

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…

Haemul pajeon – Korean seafood pancake

This rainy-day Korean snack is a favourite dinner of ours – we call it ‘humpty pigeon’, after my husband mis-read the meals blackboard. Healthy comfort food, it’s an omelette pancake based on spring onions and seafood: ‘pa’ means spring onion, ‘jeon’ pancake, and ‘haemul’ seafood. It’s usually made with shrimp or prawns among the seafood,…

Sushi rolls: perfect sushi rice and my sushi su

Perfect sushi rice For four or fewer rolls, weigh out 150g of rice per sheet of nori. For more than four rolls, weigh out 120g of rice per sheet. Wash the rice thoroughly in a sieve to remove much of the starch on the outside of the grains. Drain. Use equal rice to water, and bring…

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…

Glossary

This post will be updated on-the-hoof as I find myself using terminology in recipes that could do with an explanation. Open Freezing The best way to freeze individual items, allowing you to grab one at a time without having to defrost the whole lot because they’ve stuck together. Useful for fritters, chocolates, slices of cake, sweet or…

The Easiest Way: To keep to government drinking guidelines

In January 2016, the government came out with the nerve-jangling announcement that there is no such thing as a ‘safe drinking level’ – any amount of alcohol can increase the chance of developing cancer. Terrifying though this thought might be, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should all become teetotal – study after study has…

Coley en papillote with minted pea puree and roast tomatoes

This recipe would work with any white fish, but do please buy MSC-certified cod and haddock, and eat monkfish as a very occasional treat. Pollock’s much better if you can find it, or rock turbot (also known as catfish). This is an ideal dinner party dish: it’s quick to cook; can be prepared in advance; is…

Learn to Cook: how to make soup

Soup is an essential dish to become confident with for a number of reasons: It is quick and very easy to make; It is usually healthy; It is one of the cheapest possible meals; It is a great way of using up all sorts of leftovers, from vegetables to meat to pasta; It can be adapted…