Spicy Stew

This quick one-stop pot is delicious for a family tea, for a healthy lunch or for an easy meal to share with friends with some hot crusty baguettes and a couple of bottles of wine.

You will need:

Large stock pot/sauce pan
4 small chorizo sausages (they come in packs in most supermarkets)
4 medium sweet potatoes
2 red onions
2 peppers (you choose what colours)
1 tbsp paprika
1 carton passatta
1 tin of Red kidney beans in chilli sauce
1 large tin of sweetcorn
1 tin of butter beans

Put the hob onto a medium/high heat.

1. Cut the onions, sweet potatoes, peppers, chorizo into large chunks and put into the pan.
2. Add the beans and sweetcorn, stir.
3. Add the passatta and paprika, stir so everything is evenly coated.
4. Fill the passatta carton half way with cold water and add to the pan.
5. Bring to the boil and stir again.
6. Reduce to a medium heat and allow to simmer for 45 minutes until everything has cooked through.

Once cooked dish up immediately and serve with crusty bread.

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Saturday Night Supper

It’s not easy being a busy mum and there are times when picking up the phone and dialling for a takeaway is the easiest option, but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve a million pots and pans and is on the right side of healthy then my chicken parcels with kale frittata and garlic roasties will definitely tick the right boxes.

One thing I am obsessed with is foil trays. Just over a pound for 4 they are brilliant for roasting and can be thrown away saving on the washing up.

You will need:

Foil roasting tray/tin roasting tray covered with foil
Frying pan
Baking tray
Large saucepan/boiling pot

2 chicken breasts
Mozzarella ball
4 slices Parma Ham (1pack)
Small bag baby potatoes
5 garlic cloves
1 red onion
1 bag Curly Kale
3 medium eggs

1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees
2. Wrap the chicken breasts in individual foil parcels and steam bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
3. Par boil the potatoes for 10 minutes.
4. At the same time finely dice the red onion and 2 garlic cloves and place in a frying pan with 1 tsp olive oil so the flavours infuse.
5. Once the chicken has steam baked and the potatoes have boiled, remove the chicken and put to one side to rest whilst you cut the potatoes in half (keep 5 back for the frittata) and place in the foil tray. Add the three remaining garlic cloves (whole) and sprinkle with a generous amount of sea salt.
6. Place the potatoes in the oven.
7. Unwrap the chicken from the parcels and discard the foil. Cut into the side of the chicken breast to create a pocket. Slice the mozzarella and add two slices per chicken breast and wrap with 2 slices of Parma ham.
8. Place the chicken back on the baking tray and pop in the oven for 20 minutes.
9. On a high heat boil the kale in salted water for 8 minutes. Once cooked, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper so all the moisture is soaked up. Slice the 5 cooled potatoes.
10. Place the diced garlic and onion on the hob for 3 minutes until softened. Add the kale and the sliced potatoes and stir so all the flavours blend with each other.
11. Whisk the three eggs in a bowl and add salt and pepper for seasoning. Add to the frying pan and stir everything together so the egg coats the kale. Top with the remaining mozzarella.
12. Place the frying pan in the oven for the top of the frittata to cook and the cheese to melt for 6 minutes.
13. Once everything is cooked (which should be at the same time) cut the frittata into 4. Serve a piece of frittata with the chicken on top and the potatoes delicately piled up on the side.

For those who fancy indulging in a glass of wine I recommend a chilled Sauvignon Blanc which compliments the saltiness of the potatoes and the Parma ham.

I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy meal.

Please let me know your thoughts on this recipe and feel free to share your mummy friendly meals.

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When I grow up I want to be…

…Queen of the world.

That was my answer at 4 years old and suffice to say I have not yet achieved my ultimate goal by the age of 30, but never say never!!

I recently blasted the world of Twitter and Facebook to find out what words of wisdom you will give your children to guide them through life. From appreciating what they have to retaining their individuality and independence to learning to budget and seeing the world, questioning your teachers to living out your dreams, the parents who responded are developing a positive future generation. One of my favourite responses was treat all women like princesses (because it shows that I raised my sons properly).

On the topic of princesses (and princes) one of my biggest tips that I will pass on to my children is to love someone like they show us to in fairy tales. We live in a society where break ups and multiple marriages are the norm, where children can be subjected to the latest “friend” without the parent batting an eyelid and this culture that we are creating makes me sad to think that love – genuine love – could become obsolete.

There is no better feeling in the world than that overwhelming feeling of being in love. The intensity of the butterflies colliding in one’s stomach, the fleeting glances that warm you up from your toes to the end of your fingers, those stolen kisses that last minutes but feel like time has stopped especially for you to savour the moment. Now I’m not naive nor delusional, and I am fully aware that with love comes heartbreak (in one form or another) from the first argument to the break up, but both love and heartbreak are inevitable in life and helps structure your character. Having been through the sort of love that took my breath away and resulted in the most crushing pain I thought I could imagine (first love) I come equipped to pass on my knowledge to my daughter when that inevitable day arises, and I am proof, as are the majority of adults, that you can get through it because there is something waiting for us on the other side.

There is something quite comforting knowing that in 16 years time I will be in a position to share my experiences with Evie and hopefully be seen as someone she can confide in (as opposed to me being seen as ‘out dated’ and in the dramatic world of teenage girls someone who could never understand the intensity of her feelings – that was me once upon a time!!)

The other big one I want her to grasp with both hands (as with any other children I may have) is to dream big and go for it without fear of thinking they’re not good enough. I remember when I graduated I wanted to go to London and be a TV presenter (it could’ve been me on the sofa with Phil) but I was told to be realistic and I ended up in the Civil Service, so when the chance came up 18 months ago to become an International Trade Policy Advisor for the UK (ok not as stylish but outlooks change as you get older) I took a huge risk (I was not qualified in the slightest) and it paid off. Proof that if you want something enough you can make it yours. So if any of my children tell me at the tender age of 4 that they too want to rule the world who am I to get in their way?? I’ll be armed ready with the tools to help them (my special designer ‘I rule the world’ heels are tucked away ready for their debut on the world stage…)

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