27 April 2016

Mars Bar Slice Recipe


Mars Bar Slice. A retro treat that's no-bake and easy to make. Crisp chocolate (a layer or dark, then a layer of milk chocolate) on top of a chewy caramel crispy base.


Mars bar slice is a treat I remember making with my mum when I was little. We had such fun playing about in the kitchen making treats like these, truffles and chocolate krispie cakes. There was always chocolate involved.

It's funny, as a child I was offered chocolate and sweets regularly. but I didn't eat a lot and a quarter of sweets would last me a week.

I decided not to go down this route with Cooper. He has chocolate occasionally, but never sweets. We never give him a bar or packet of chocolate to work his way through either, it's more a sharing thing and the great thing is although he loves chocolate, especially dark chocolate, he'll often say no to it and isn't desperate for it like some children I see hounding their parents.

I know there's debate about this and some say it causes problems in later life, but I believe the best thing to do with food, any food, but especially unhealthy food, is let children try it but not make a big fuss about it. Making a fuss gives it too much importance and it can become an emotional issue or a power struggle. 


25 April 2016

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (25 April 2016)


Happy Monday everyone! Have you had a good week?

We had a busy week, but a really fun weekend. I took Cooper ice skating on Saturday morning, then we spent a few hours are our local country park. As you can see someone had great fun playing with sand. On Sunday is was time to do some housework and bake for Baking Club. The boys went out for a long dog walk while I got on in the house and now it's Monday again already and time for Meat Free Mondays. There are some great recipes to inspire you this week.


24 April 2016

Oreo Chia Shake (dairy Free)



I mostly make smoothies in my Optimum G2.1 blender, but occasionally I make shakes too. This is one I make as a treat for Cooper. It's made with Oreos so it's not the healthiest recipe, but I balance that out by adding lots of seeds, cacao powder and baobab powder.

I made this shake with almond milk, but you could make it with your favourite milk, either dairy or dairy free, it's your choice. You could even add a scoop of ice cream for a spot of luxury.

It's so quick to whip up a shake and there are so many flavour options. Here are a few ideas:

  • apple pie shake - apples, apple juice, milk, cinnamon, ginger, chia seeds and ice
  • chocolate orange shake - orange juice, orange peel, milk, cacao powder (or cocoa), baobab powder and ice
  • peach melba shake  - peaches, raspberries, milk, vanilla extract, flax seeds and ice
  • strawberry shortcake shake - strawberries, a finger of shortbread, milk, vanilla extract, sesame seeds and ice
    • note: if you don't have a power blender like mine, skip the ice. It will just burn out your blender's motor.

21 April 2016

Gennaro's Garlic Mushroom Tagliatelle Recipe

Garlicky mushrooms and fresh herbs tossed through freshly cooked tagliatelle. Recipe from Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo for Bertolli.

Pasta. It's a staple in our house. It's quick, filling and tasty.

Penne with a fresh tomato and basil sauce, spaghetti with a rich bolognaise sauce, farfalle with a creamy mushroom sauce and lots of fresh herbs, shell pasta with roasted vegetables or belly button pasta salad with pesto, sundried tomatoes, roast peppers and fresh basil.

Are you in the mood for pasta now?

This simple, but satisfying pasta dish comes from the Bertolli website. It's an authentic Italian dish from Gennaro Contaldo and made with Bertolli with Butter. Garlicky mushrooms and fresh herbs tossed through freshly cooked tagliatelle.

18 April 2016

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (18 April 2016)



Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a fabulous week. I don't have anything to report this week. We've just been getting back into routine after our wee holiday in Caridff. The wee boy had a few days with his grandparents, where I am sure he was spoiled rotten. Anyway it's time to look to the week ahead and plan some meals.

14 April 2016

Quick Quorn Lasagne Bites Recipe

Quick veggie lasagne bites made with Quorn mince, mushrooms, ready made cheese sauce, tomato sauce and grated mozzarella. This one is all about the short-cuts, but big flavours.


I do love veggie lasagne and now we've discovered that Violife sell dairy free mozzarella and cheddar that melts really well and tastes good too, I can also make a vegan lasagne that's just as sumptuous.

Lasagne tends to be a dish I make on a Sunday because it takes me ages to make. So many separate components to make. The savoury veggie mince in tomato sauce, the cheese sauce made from scratch, pre-boiling the lasagne sheets a little so they are soft and pliable, grating the mozzarella, then there's the stacking up and baking. It's always worth it, as it tastes so good, but it's good to have a quicker option too.

These lasagne bites are made with Quorn Meat Free Mince, which is a really handy product to have in a veggie freezer. It's great for making chilli, lasagne and bolognaise and the good news is Quorn™ now have a vegan option too (the vegan range doesn't include mince yet, see at end of post for a vegan alternative). For these quick bites I also used ready made cheese sauce from the chilled cabinet at my local supermarket, jarred rich tomato sauce, fresh lasagne sheets (also chilled) and ready grated mozzarella.

11 April 2016

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (11 April 2016)



Happy Monday my friends. I hope you've had a great week since we spoke last. 

We've had a fabulous time in Cardiff, which we're now rather in love with. We wandered through arcades popping into the most interesting little shops, we visited the harbour and Roald Dahl's Norwegian Church and had a scare or two at The Doctor Who Experience. We took a boat ride, had fun dressing up in the caste and marvelling at the resplendent ceilings. We ate well and played board games in the evenings. A truly wonderful holiday. I hope you had just as much fun.

Now it's back to planning, shopping and cooking, oh and the joy of eating of course. Tuck in everyone!


06 April 2016

Vegan Shepherd's Pie with Lentils and Creamy Mash


Vegan Shepherd's Pie with Lentils and Creamy Mash



I made four individual shepherd's pies, but we only need three of them. Would you like one?

I often make shepherd's pie with soya mince, but this time I made it with lentils. Green lentils, mushrooms, onions and carrots in a rich tasty gravy and topped with a creamy mash, then baked until golden and bubbling.


04 April 2016

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (4 April 2016)



Happy Monday everyone. Another eventful week. It was my birthday last week, although I never got around to celebrating it or going for my special treat as my poor wee boy had a horrible sickness bug that made him very poorly indeed. However a few days later and he has bounced back and is having a few fun filled days with his grandparents.

The featured photo this week is the birthday cake I made to take into my work. It's my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It was a little heavier than usual, as I'm struggling with my new oven, but it was still moist and chocolate overload in the best kind of way. I filled it and topped it with chocolate buttercream and then finished it with praline seashells. I offer you are virtual slice to celebrate with me my friends.

So now it's time for me to share another seven amazing recipes to help you plan your week ahead.

03 April 2016

No Croutons Required - Soups and Salads


It's my turn to host No Croutons Required again. You can have a look at last month's roundup of recipes over at Lisa's Kitchen for some tasty inspiration.

If you create a veggie or vegan soup or salad this month, be sure to link back to this challenge and drop your link in the linky below. I can't wait to see what you make.

01 April 2016

Soup Recipes

SOUPS



Veggie 


Autumnal Noodle Soup
Broccoli & Cheese Soup
Carrot, Cumin & Yoghurt Soup
Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Broccoli
Cheesey Broccoli & Spinach Soup
Courgette, Brie & Cumin Soup
Courgette Vichyssoise With Parmesan Crusted Courgette Croutons
Madras Curried Tomato Soup
Onion, Celery & Apple Soup
Rich Mushroom Soup
Roast Onion & Lemon Thyme Soup
Spinach, Pear & Blue Cheese Soup

Vegan

5 Minute Green Smoothie Soup  
Basic Lentil Soup 
Broccoli & Celery Soup  
Butternut & Spinach Soup  
Carrot & Coriander Soup  
Carrot, Leek & Mustard Seed Soup 
Carrot, Spinach & Lentil Soup 
Carrot, Spinach & Coconut Soup 
Charred Tomato Soup  
Creamy Butternut Squash & Tomato Soup  
Curly Kale, Watercress & Potato Soup  
Curried Lentil Soup with Lime  
Curried Parsnip & Sweet Potato Soup  
Earthy Mushroom & Baby Leaf Soup  
Easy Broccoli and Spinach Soup
Four Tomato & Red Pepper Soup  
Fridge Lentil Soup  
Fridge Vegetable Soup  
Green Lunchtime Soup for One  
Leftovers Lentil Soup   
Lightly Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
Low Calorie Spicy Tomato Soup  
Minestrone Soup  
Parsnip, Carrot & Lentil Soup  
Red Lentil, Carrot & Coconut Soup   
Rich Blender Tomato Soup  
Roasted Butternut Squash & Sage Soup  
Scottish Tattie, Neep & Carrot Soup  
Spiced Carrot, Lentil and Kale Soup
Spiced Potato & Red Lentil Soup 
Spicy Aubergine & Tomato Soup  
Squash, Carrot & Noodle Soup 
Tomato, Lentil & Coriander Soup 
Vegetable Soup  
Warming Red Lentil & Chickpea Soup  
Winter Vegetable Soup 
Yellow Split Pea Soup

Starter and Side Recipes

BEER BATTERED


Veggie

Crispy Battered Quorn Sausage Bites

Vegan

Beer Battered Haggis Balls
Beer Battered Garlic Mushrooms




CHEESE


Veggie

Avocado, Peas and Goats Cheese Bruschetta
BBQ Apricots with Goats Cheese
Easy Pizza Dip with Cream Cheese
Marinated Mozzarelle Ottolenghi Style
Paprika Spiced Cauliflower with Four Cheese Dip
Saganaki Fried Cheese (halloumi)
Spinach & Feta Triangles  (Spanakopita)






EGGS





Veggie

Baby Egg Pies
Jamie Oliver's Baked Eggs in Popped Beans and Cherry Tomatoes
Spicy Tiffin Eggs
Vegetable Fritatta
Vegetarian Picnic Eggs





FRITTERS & FALAFEL


Veggie

Beetroot, Rocket & Feta Fritters
Kale & Cheddar Bubble & Squeak
Turkish Zucchini (Courgette) Fritters

Vegan

Kidney Bean Falafel






SIDE SALAD


Veggie

Chickpea and Tomato Side Salad
Green Bean Side Salad
Green Charlotte Salad
Red Cabbage Coleslaw
Warm Ribbon Courgette & Potato Salad

Vegan

Balsamic Beetroot & Chickpea Salad 
Beetroot Slaw 
Bulgur, Couscous and Puy Lentil Salad
Carrot & Orange Salad with a Coriander & Brazil Nut Dressing 
Creamy Pesto Potato Salad with Baby Corn
Creamy Vegan Potato Salad  
Quinoa, Lentil and Bean Salad
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Potato & Bean Salad with a Zingy Herb Dressing  
Potato Salad with Rhubarb Balsamic Dressing  






SOUP





Veggie 


Autumnal Noodle Soup
Broccoli & Cheese Soup
Carrot, Cumin & Yoghurt Soup
Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Broccoli
Cheesey Broccoli & Spinach Soup
Courgette, Brie & Cumin Soup
Courgette Vichyssoise With Parmesan Crusted Courgette Croutons
Madras Curried Tomato Soup
Onion, Celery & Apple Soup
Rich Mushroom Soup
Roast Onion & Lemon Thyme Soup
Spinach, Pear & Blue Cheese Soup

Vegan

5 Minute Green Smoothie Soup   
Basic Lentil Soup  
Broccoli & Celery Soup  
Butternut & Spinach Soup  
Carrot & Coriander Soup   
Carrot, Leek & Mustard Seed Soup 
Carrot, Spinach & Lentil Soup  
Carrot, Spinach & Coconut Soup 
Charred Tomato Soup  
Creamy Butternut Squash & Tomato Soup  
Curly Kale, Watercress & Potato Soup  
Curried Lentil Soup with Lime 
Curried Parsnip & Sweet Potato Soup 
Earthy Mushroom & Baby Leaf Soup 
Easy Broccoli and Spinach Soup
Four Tomato & Red Pepper Soup  
Fridge Lentil Soup  
Fridge Vegetable Soup 
Green Lunchtime Soup for One  
Leftovers Lentil Soup  
Lightly Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
Low Calorie Spicy Tomato Soup 
Minestrone Soup 
Parsnip, Carrot & Lentil Soup
Red Lentil, Carrot & Coconut Soup  
Rich Blender Tomato Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash & Sage Soup  
Scottish Tattie, Neep & Carrot Soup  
Spiced Potato & Red Lentil Soup 
Spicy Aubergine & Tomato Soup
Squash, Carrot & Noodle Soup 
Tomato, Lentil & Coriander Soup 
Vegetable Soup
Warming Red Lentil & Chickpea Soup  
Winter Vegetable Soup  
Yellow Split Pea Soup





Baby & Toddler Recipes

BAKING


9 months +

Blueberry Muffins
Maple Cupcakes  (no salt)


12 months +




DRINKS


toddler +

Apricot Melba Smoothie
Chocolate & Avocado Super Shakes
Choco Snazzle Smoothie Shake
Frothy Babycinno
Mangolicious Shake
Melon, Spinach & Avocado Smoothie
Super Mud Smoothie
Swamp Juice
Watermelon and Strawberry Smoothie



MAIN MEALS



9 months +

Baby Egg Pies
Garden Cottage Pie    (no salt and no salt or very low salt vegetable stock cubes)
Homemade Spaghetti Hoops
Lentil Bolognaise
Tattie Scones   (no salt)
Tomato Couscous & Bean Stew 


10 months +

Babapasta with Seeds
Easy Chickpea and Coriander Burgers
Falafel, Peas & Beans
Herby Quinoa Salad with Peas
Vegetable & Coconut Korma


12 months +


Lentils with Oniona & Watercress
Mini Savoury Mince Pies    (no salt and no salt or very low salt vegetable stock cubes)
Spiced Tofu Fingers


Toddler +

Spicy Tattie Puffs
Spinach & Onion Puff Tart






SAUCES & DIPS



9 months +

Creamy Triple Green Pesto Sauce for Pasta
Roasted Carrot & Hummus Dip
Roast Vegetable Sauce for Pasta
Spinach and Pea Pesto for Pasta





SWEET TREATS



9 months +

Blueberry Frozen Yoghurt
Healthy Chocolate Mousse
Ice Lollies for Babies


Toddler 

Chocolate P B Banana Tart
Simple Coconut & Jam Pastries






Salad Recipes


SIDE SALADS


Veggie

Green Bean Side Salad
Green Charlotte Salad
Red Cabbage Coleslaw
Warm Ribbon Courgette & Potato Salad

Vegan

Balsamic Beetroot & Chickpea Salad  
Beetroot Slaw    
Carrot & Orange Salad with a Coriander & Brazil Nut Dressing   
Creamy Pesto Potato Salad with Baby Corn   
Creamy Vegan Potato Salad  
Potato & Bean Salad with a Zingy Herb Dressing  
Potato Salad with Rhubarb Balsamic Dressing  
Turkish Carrot & Beetroot Salad