Feeding the family

This evening I have been making one of my family’s main-stay dinners and it inspired me to share it and some of our other family favourites with you. For us, if a meal is tasty, can easily be bulked out to eat for a few meals and adapted to be made with what we’ve got in the fridge, doesn’t contain expensive ingredients and is healthy enough then it’s a winner. Hope you enjoy these.

Turkey chilli

This is what I’ve got simmering away as I type. No real recipe: just make your normal beef chilli recipe but substitute the beef mince for free range turkey mince. If you use loads of vegetables (onion, celery and carrot to start, then courgette, mushrooms, peppers later) then this is pretty darn healthy too as turkey is so lean. A perfect meal to make one evening and then have for lunch during the week. Prepare to feel smug with your healthy, warming, homemade lunch whilst everyone else is eating a boring sandwich.

Baked chicken

Based loosely on this recipe that we first found on the back of a Yeo Valley yoghurt pot, this one is always popular.  The longer you can leave it marinating the better (obviously be careful with raw chicken, so don’t leave it out of the fridge!). As an alternative, try a cheap pot of greek yoghurt + tomato puree + curry powder for a different (and easy) curry, make your own lemon marinade with lemon juice or simply just tip over the yoghurt and use whatever herbs you’ve got. I like this served with cous cous and roasted vegetables.

Macaroni cheese

Since I’ve been pregnant we have had either macaroni cheese or cauliflower cheese approximately once a week. When I was nauseous in the first trimester it was one of the only things I fancied eating and now it satisfies my constant need for milk and/or cheese (got to make sure I’m having enough calcium!). I am the queen of white sauces – to which I add cheddar and whole grain mustard at the end for this dish – but for a basic recipe, it’s got to be Delia.  We’ve also recently discovered Jamie Oliver’s macaroni and cauliflower cheese, made with creme fraiche rather than a white sauce. Highly recommended. Find it in the 30 Minute Meals book (which I also recommend).


I also make quite a fine risotto, even if I do say so myself. The key is to use homemade stock (just boil what’s left over from a roast chicken with some veg and herbs), a glass of wine as the first bit of liquid you add to the rice, take your time and add loads of Parmesan. A ‘recipe’ we’re loving at the moment is this:

  1. Make a plain risotto with onion and garlic. Remember the Parmesan!
  2. When it’s almost fully cooked, grate in some lemon rind, a few handfuls of frozen peas and some fresh thyme if you have it.
  3. After a couple of minutes check the peas are cooked and add the juice of a lemon and some cubed feta.
  4. Check the seasoning, adding more pepper if you like. It’s unlikely to need much salt because of the feta.
  5. This is delicious served by itself, but we also like it with steamed or fried salmon fillets.

I’ve got a few more that I’d love to share, but I’ll save those for later.

Happy eating!



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