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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Learn to Cook: how to scramble, boil and poach an egg

There’s something poetic about an egg. One of the cheapest, most nutritious and easily cooked of foodstuffs, they are nevertheless taken for granted, have been libelled with health misinformation and tainted with fears about animal welfare, salmonella and allergens. But eggs are not so easily broken: in 2015 we still ate 12.2 billion of them – averaging 189 each…

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…

Learn to Cook: How to make white sauce

White sauce, otherwise known as béchamel, is the basis of a catalogue of other dishes you’re going to want to make: lasagne, fish pie, pasta bake, macaroni cheese. It is easy. It is not something you want to buy in a pot. It is good exercise for the arms (whisk whisk whisk!). You only really…

Simple snacks: Oat and fruit balls

This is a good very first recipe for young kids to ‘help’ with, getting involved in the stirring, mixing and trying to roll the balls up. It’s about as simple as baking gets. These oat balls can be taken anywhere you like from their most basic form: 200g porridge oats 100g dried fruit (a mix of raisins…