Tuscan chicken with roasted vegetables

On Sunday I negotiated with my mother in law a trade off, she would cut and style my hair into something that didn’t resemble bed head crossed with frazzled mummy and I would whip up a tasty meal for the family. After hunting through the fridge and cupboards I found enough ingredients to create a Tuscan feast for 5.

There is something homely and cosy about Italian food and a rustic dish can stretch quite far (in our case everyone had two servings of the Tuscan chicken). So if you’re looking for a simple dish to dazzle the family look no further than here…

Tuscan Chicken with roasted vegetables

You will need:

500g of diced chicken
6 pork, smoked bacon and herb sausages (or any type with a mild herb flavour)
1kg sweet potatoes – peeled and chopped into inch thick cubes
4 small red onions – 1 finely sliced, 3 roughly chopped
1 tub mini garlic and herb bourskin cheese
1 carton passatta
2 tsp mushroom paste (optional)
250g chestnut mushrooms (quartered)
1 tbsp Italian dried herbs
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tbsp tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
Ciabatta or Artizan loaf to accompany meal

1. In a deep sauce pan or stock pot fill 3/4 with boiling water and poach the chicken on a high heat for 25 minutes. Whilst the chicken is poaching, place the sausages in a pre heated oven at 200 degrees and also cook for 25 minutes.
2. In a deep roasting tin toss together the sweet potatoes and chopped red onions. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside until the meat is cooked.
3. Once the meat is cooked, drain the chicken and clean out the pot. Remove the sausages from the oven, turn the oven down to 180 degrees and place the vegetables on the middle shelf for 30 minutes.
4. In the pot add 1 tsp oil (if you have garlic oil use that to bring out the flavours). Add the sliced red onions, chopped garlic and sweat until soft on a medium – high heat.
5. Add the mushrooms, passatta, tomato purée and sauce, chicken, sausages (chopped into chunks), mushroom paste and stir.
6. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer.
7. When the vegetables are cooked through remove from the oven and sprinkle with the bourskin cheese. Put back into the oven for a further 10 minutes and if serving bread put this in the oven on the bottom shelf to warm through.
8. Once the cheese is warm and starting to melt remove the vegetables and serve immediately. Take the Tuscan Chicken pot over to the table with the bread so people can serve themselves.

This meal goes lovely with a summer fruit Red or with a mild Sauvignon Blanc.

Let me know your thoughts if you decide to use this recipe x


BBQ Pork and Chilli Bean Quesadillas with Smoky Bacon Wedges

As readers of my blog may have gathered I like my food with a hint of spice and fire, especially on the cold nights that we have been having of late. As a busy parent you may not have the time to pop to the shops to pick up tea so the only option is to forage through the freezer to see what you can whip up for a healthy yet filling tea.

As an avid fan of Adam Richman’s Man V Food I tend to take ideas from his food findings to create a meal worthy of a man’s size appetite. So as I was foraging (Nigella like through my mounds of meat bags) I came across a pork loin, onions, half a bag of baby potatoes, 4 wraps and some cheese and decided to do my take on the quesadilla.

You will need:

1 medium pork loin fillet
1 red onion finely sliced
1 small tin chilli beans
Half a bag of baby potatoes for the wedges
Smoky bacon seasoning (available from most supermarkets)
4 tbsp BBQ sauce
2 handfuls grated cheese
4 tortilla wraps

1. Steam roast the pork loin in a foil tray loosely covered with foil for 30 minutes at 180. Season with salt and pepper before placing in the oven.
2. Wash the potatoes and cut into half, and half again. Place in a saucepan of salted water and par boil for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
3. When the potatoes have boiled place on a bacon tray and season with pepper and the smoky bacon seasoning. Place in the oven at 180 for 15 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
4. Remove the pork from the oven and pull apart and chop into fine cuts of meat. Add the onions, chilli beans and BBQ sauce and stir so everything is coated. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes so the sauce goes sticky and coats the meat.
5. Place a frying pan on the hob on a medium high heat to warm the pan. Add a tsp of oil.
6. Place a tortilla wrap in the frying pan and on one half spoon out some of the pork and add some cheese. Fold the wrap in half and cook each side for a minute or until the cheese starts to melt and the wrap goes golden.
7. Do the same with the other three wraps.
8. Serve the wraps with the wedges, some baby leaf salad (or whatever is in the fridge) and some sour cream.
9. Tuck in and enjoy…

This meal is a delicious mid week family treat. If you do not have pork you can swap it for chicken or beef, both work just as well. You can add extras to the quesadillas but don’t overload them too much or the cheese won’t be able to do it’s job properly!!

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.


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.


Pork and Chorizo Chilli

Looking after a baby is challenging to the most accomplished multi tasker and meal times become a military operation. Luckily help is on hand to create a scrumptious meal that will delight the other half and is quick and easy to prepare whilst your bundle of joy is fast asleep.

Shopping list:

Pork tenderloin fillet
2 chorizo sausages
2 red onions
Large tin of sweetcorn
Small tin of red kidney beans in chilli sauce
Chilli spice mix (packet from all supermarkets)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
Green chilli

1. Wrap the pork fillet in a foil parcel and place in a pre heated oven (180 degrees) for 35 minutes. When cooked place to one side to rest.

2. Whilst the pork is cooking roughly dice your onions, slice your chorizo and chop your garlic cloves and green chilli. Place into a large pan or stock pot with the oil and cook on a medium heat until the onions soften.

3. Add the kidney beans and sweetcorn and turn the heat up.

4. Pull the pork apart so you have a mixture of chunky pieces and pulled pork and add to the pot. Add the chilli packet mix and fill the small red kidney bean tin with water and add to the pot.

5. Stir and reduce to a medium heat and leave to simmer for 25 minutes

6. Once cooked serve with garlic rice or sweet potato wedges for a healthy warming winter meal.

Keep reading for more yummy mummy recipes…