Ok so this recipe is not one of my particularly ‘fast’ recipes but it is delicious so thought I might include it

There are 3 components: the red sauce, the white sauce and the pasta sheets. 

For the Red sauce: Dice one onion and sweat in a pan on a medium heat with a little olive oil. After 5 minutes add a crushed glove of garlic and continue to stir for a couple of minutes before turning up the heat and adding 500g of mince beef. Brown the meat then turn the heat down, add a sprinkling of grated Parmesan, a teaspoon of dried basil, seasoning and a table spoon of tomato purée and stir for another couple of minutes before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes and a mug of beef stock. Stir well and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes whilst you make the white sauce. 

To make the white sauce: first melt 25g of butter in a pan then add 1 heaped tablespoon of plain flour and mix vigorously off the heat. Next return to the heat and slowly add 1 1/2 pints of milk a little at a time ensuring that you continue to whisk, slowly bring the mixture to the boil where it should start to thicken. Once thickened, add approx 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan, some seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs. 

Next start to construct the lasagna. You will need approx 15 sheets of dried lasagna pasta. 

Start by adding a ladle of the white sauce to the bottom of your lasagna dish. Next layer on the pasta sheet another ladle of the white sauce and follow with a heaped ladle of the red sauce, next add another sheet of pasta and then a ladle of white sauce ensuring the pasta is covered and then red sauce. You should aim for 3 layers of red sauce ending with a layer of pasta and the remaining white sauce poured all over the lasagna. 

Add a small sprinkling of grated cheese and bake in the over for approx 30 minutes on 190 fan 


Stuffed peppers with roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes


My son Sammy is really in to diggers at the moment and he particularly enjoys ‘digging’ the rice out of these stuffed peppers!

First, peel and chop some sweet potatoes and butternut squash into 1cm cubes, I used half a large sweet potatoes and 1/3 of a butternut squash, and steam in the microwave to soften for 2-3 minutes. Then place in a roasting tray along with some seasoning and a teaspoon of olive oil, give it all a stir. Next, halve 3 sweet bell peppers and place in the oven along with the sweet potato/butternut squash for 10 minutes on 180 fan whilst you prepare the pepper fillng.

In a large frying pan add one crushed garlic clove and one diced onion with a little olive oil and fry on a medium heat until softened, next add 250g of mince beef and fry for a further couple of minutes until the meat starts to brown, next add two teaspoons of dried basil and one tablespoon of grated parmesan along with seasoning and cook until the meat is cooked. Next stir in approximately 3 mugs worth of cooked rice (I usually use left over rice from the night before but if you don’t have any, make some up in advance) . Remove your peppers from the oven and stuff with your rice filling and sprinkle a little more parmesan on top before returning to the oven for a further 10 minutes and then serve

Teriyaki Beef with Chinese Leaf Rice



Get your brown rice cooking according to packet instructions, this should take about 25-30 minutes to cook.

Next, chop two spring onions. Add the whites of the spring onion to a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 table spoons of honey, one clove or garlic and some grated ginger – about the size of a large thumb. Give this all a good mix and then finely slice a flank steak of beef in to thin slices and add to the marinade, leave for 10 minutes whilst you slice up half a Chinese Leaf in to thin strips

Once the beef has had time to marinate, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a hot pan, and fry the beef on a high heat for a couple of minutes being careful not to over cook. Once cooked remove the steak from the pan and set aside but keep warm.  Add the Chinese Leaf to the pan and cook in the pan with the remaining marinade for 5 minutes.

Once the rice is cooked, drain then add to the pan with the Chinese Leaf, mix and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Serve the rice, with the Steak on top, the greens from the spring onion and some sesame seeds if you have them

Ginger Beef and Broccoli stir fry


Serves 2 adults and 2 little people

I’m really loving ginger at the moment and I’m keen to get my children to eat lots of different flavours so this is a good recipe to try ginger out on them, it only takes 20 minutes so if they’re not that keen you haven’t wasted much time!

First steam a large handful of purple sprouting broccoli in the microwave for 2 minutes, this should leave it still firm to bite.

Next, slice 250g of flank beef steak into finger sized strips and season with salt, pepper, a teaspoon of ground coriander and a glug of olive oil.

This would be a good time to get some egg noodles boiling, so cook these according to packet instructions.

Finely slice a small red onion, crush a clove of garlic and grate or finely chop a piece of root ginger the size of your index and middle fingers, – yes a pretty decent chunk! You can use less if you’d prefer

Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan on a high heat and fry the onion,  garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes until the onions soften then add the beef. Continue to fry for a couple of minutes then add the steamed broccoli and stir for a further two minutes. Finally add a tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of sesame oil and fry for another minute. 

Drain then toss the noodles in a teaspoon of sesame oil, serve the beef stir fry on top and, if you have some, a squeeze of lime juice makes a big difference


Meatball and Pasta soup


In the words of my husband ‘Meatball and Pasta soup??? Now that’s the kind of soup I like’ this soup is delicious and filling so won’t leave anyone hungry. Perfect for a cold day! I have hello fresh to thank for this recipe!

First finely dice a stick of celery and a carrot, then fry in a saucepan on medium heat for 5 minutes with 2 cloves of crushed garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil.

Next add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a vegetable stock cube and 500ml of boiling water. Let this summer whilst you make the meatballs

In a bowl mix 200gm of minced beef with 1/2 teaspoon of chilli, 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan, a handful of finely chopped fresh marjoram (or 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram) and season with salt and pepper,  make in to meatball and fry for a couple of minutes until browned then set aside

Next, add your pasta into you soup mix (approximately 3-4 handfuls) and cook in the soup

When the pasta is 5 minutes away from being done, add the meatballs and cook in the soup for the remaining time.

Serve with some grated parmesan and crusty bread 




Cottage Pie


Sometimes only a pie will do! This one takes longer than my usual recipes but it’s worth it!

First dice a large onion and place in a cast iron saucepan, sweat over a medium heat until softened. Add a clove of garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes. Meanwhile dice two carrots and steam in the microwave for a couple of minutes to soften. Turn the heat up on the pan and add 500g of mince beef and the diced carrots, heat until the meat is browned. Next add 2 tablespoons of flour and mix in to the meat then add 200ml of beef stock, 125ml of white wine and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then place in a fan oven 180degree for 20 minutes while you prepare the mash potato topping

For the topping peel, quarter and boil approx 3 large potatoes, set aside 2 quarters pieces of potatoe and mash the rest with a little butter and seasoning. Remove the pie from the oven then spread the topping over the meat and finally grate over the two quarter pieces of potato which you set aside earlier. This will give the pie a nice crunchy topping. Put back in the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes then grill for a further 5 minutes to brown the top. Serve with some greens x

Beef Goulash


Another slow cooker recipe that takes 5 minutes to prepare.

In your slow cooker, put the following ingredients in :

500g diced beef, one tin of plum tomatoes, one tablespoon of tomato puree, one diced onion, one diced red pepper, 15-20 buttons mushrooms, two teaspoons of paprika, two crushed cloves of garlic and season with salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir and cook all day.

Serve with rice or mash potatoes


Chilli Burritos


So this is a really great way of using left over Chilli and rice and turning it into another meal.

Just grab a wrap, warm it in the microwave for a couple of seconds and start piling it up with rice, chilli, spring onion, avocado, tomatoes, and grated cheese. Roll the wrap up in to a burrito and secure with some foil to keep the filling in place – this is particularly useful for little ones – and enjoy!



Slow cooker chilli con carne


So the best thing about this chilli is that it’s cooked in a slow cooker and there’s no need to brown any mince or onions, I just put everything in a slow cooker raw and leave it to stew all day and that’s it. The second good thing about making a chilli is that is that I use all the left overs to make Burritos for the next day’s meal so I get two meals for very little effort. I will write up the burritos recipe on tomorrow blog so come back and have a look for that.

For the chilli get your slow cooker out and add 500g of mince beef, one diced onion, one tin of kidney beans, one tin of chick peas (I use the full size tins but you can use half size tins of you prefer), one tin of plum tomatoes, one table spoon of tomato puree, one teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (or to your taste), two teaspoons of dried cumin seeds, one teaspoon of paprika, one teaspoon of marjoram if you have it and two cloves of crushed garlic. Give everything a good stir and then cook in the slow cooker all day – I have been know to get this on the night before and slow cook it on low for 24 hours and this tastes incredible. There is something about a chilli that makes it taste better the longer it cooks!

When you’re ready to serve, dish it up with some boiled rice and Doritos!



Polpetti Conchiglioni – aka meatballs and pasta


Meatballs is definitely up there as one of my favourite dishes and I think most people would agree with me.

With this recipe I make the sauce from scratch too but trust me, it’s the simplest of sauces and the taste difference is well worth the extra minute it will take

First make the meatballs by mixing together a 500g pack of mince meat with (roughly) 2 teaspoons of dried basil, 2 teaspoons of dried parsley and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Make up into meatballs, this mixture should make approximately 25 meatballs

Next fry the meatballs on a medium to high heat until browned all over then remove from the pan and set aside whilst you make the sauce.

In a food processor blitz 6 ripe tomatoes with 1-2 cloves of garlic, half an onion and a handful of basil leaves (if you don’t have any fresh, just use a large heaped teaspoon of dried basil but you can mix that in after you’ve blended the ingredients) and that’s the sauce prepped

Once blitzed pour out in to the frying pan that you used to cook the meatballs and add a dollop of tomato puree and another 2 teaspoons of grated parmesan, mix and bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes, next add the meatballs, mix them in the sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes whilst you cook some pasta.

Serve with a large glass of wine and some crusty bread to mop up all the lovely sauce