Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

Italian sausage and bean fusilli


This dish has officially taken over as our favourite pasta dish. I actually don’t know how I’ve only just discovered this combination of ingredients! As the children are growing, portions are getting bigger, so the rich tomato sauce I’ve been doing for years is no longer substantial enough. This sausage and bean fusilli does the trick as it is heavier and packs more of a protein punch than the simple neapolitan version. For a meat-free option, simply substitute the sausage with an extra can of beans.

This is What You Need:

2 tbsps olive or rapeseed oil
2 tsps dried Italian herbs
1 large red onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
500g Italian sausage, chopped
2 x 400g tinned tomatoes OR 1 tin of tomatoes and 100ml fresh cream
1 heaped tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 cup of red wine (preferably full-bodied)
400g can cannellini beans
fresh basil leaves (optional)
parmesan cheese

400g fusilli or pasta of your choice




Salmon and Vegetable Pie

This salmon and vegetable pie is inspired by my tuna and spinach pie, that I’ve been making for yeeeears. I’ll write up the recipe for that too. This is easy to make and you can just vary it as you wish, depending on available ingredients and your mood! The tuna one is possibly my kids’ most favouritest bestest meal (not counting pasta…they’ll eat anything with pasta).




dried herbs such as tarragon/thyme/mixed

1 onion

1 to 3 tsps English mustard or 1tsp mustard powder

100ml (ish) vegetable bouillon

generous dollop of cream cheese

100g to 200g frozen spinach (optional)

frozen or fresh mixed vegetables

200g tinned salmon




Roast Chorizo Chicken

THERE ARE ROASTS AND THERE ARE ROASTS! I do love a good old traditional joint of meat with loads of veg, yorkshire pudding and heaps of broccoli cheese etc. But that tends to be a labour of love and more of a cold Winter Sunday affair. THIS CHORIZO CHICKEN DISH however, is a superb alternative when you are craving the comfort factor of a roast but want one that takes half the time…and uses half the pots and pans. Oh yes that’s right: it all goes in one tray! 



couple of lashings of olive oil (not pictured)

sprinkling of dried oregano

3 red onions

whole head (less if you’re not wild about it) of garlic skins still on

8 to 12 large chicken drumsticks, skin on, washed and drained

at least 250g spicy (or regular if you’re not a ‘heat’ fan) chorizo

a generous handful of good sized carrots

 at least 5 medium to large potatoes

salt and pepper as desired

This quantity gives me leftovers as my kids are not big eaters. As with all my recipes, adjust measures according to your needs.




Creamy Bean and Bacon Soup

Bean and bacon soup is probably my favourite soup of them all.

It has just the ‘right’ amount of heaviness to fill the belly up nicely and the creamy texture is wonderfully cosseting on a chilly Autumn evening. It’s great when the weather turns but you’re not quite ready for something as hearty as my Leek and Potato soupI use the maximum of the quantities shown below as I like to have some left over for lunch, after serving a family of five the night before.





This is What You Need:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (not pictured)

2 to 3 large onions

2 or 3 sticks of celery

2 x 400 g cans of borlotti beans or correct dry equivalent soaked

150 – 200g bacon

700ml to 1 litre chicken stock or Swiss Marigold Vegetable Bouillon

handful of fresh parsley (not pictured)




Linked to:

Cuddle Fairy

Multicolour Vegetable Rice

I hesitated to even write up this multicolour vegetable rice dish as I call it

as it’s hardly a ‘recipe’. (Actually we call it the colourful veggie thingy at home but I had to come up with something vaguely professional for the site!) This is perfect when you need to rustle up something midweek and can’t face doing anything complicated. Frozen food alert: as the emphasis for many parents is on minimal fuss meals, (especially once school life kicks in), this features a ready-to-use assortment of mixed vegetables (but it is a good rubbish-free one with no unnecessary colourings, thickeners or other yucky whatsits).


What You Need:



2 tbsps olive or rapeseed oil
2 onions, finely chopped
300g CHECK brown rice (preferably basmati but long grain is alright too)
750g approx frozen mixed vegetables (I use Mexican bean combination rather than mediterranean variety)
1L vegetable bouillon (less or more as required)
2 eggs (optional)
200g can tuna in sunflower oil
cheddar cheese, as much as you like (I use a boat load…not pictured)


Grab My Full Multicolour Vegetable Rice Recipe Here

Linked to:

Mama’s Spaghetti Marinara

My spaghetti marinara is probably nothing like an actual Italian mama’s one! I’m sure there is a whole art to how the Italians make this and the real thing must surely involve sea food bought from an actual fishmonger and not from the supermarket frozen food section! Still, this is a brilliant weekday storecupboard/freezer meal for when you need to get dinner on the table quickly and it is really easy to make.

Grab my Mama’s Spaghetti Marinara recipe here.



It’s been a while since I linked up to the fab recipes linky run by two of my good blogging buddies Trista of Domesticated Momster and Becky of Cuddle Fairy.

So I’m linking this to:

Cuddle Fairy

Summer Couscous



Couscous is such a versatile grain. This is a filling dish that you can have fun trying out with different ingredients. I’ll be adding a Winter variation but for now this is my Summer version!

This simple recipe is really good if you’re on a low carb diet. I come back to it when my tummy (and my purse) need a break from quinoa 🙂


Linked to:

Domesticated Momster

Start the Day Banana Smoothie



I hardly ever make smoothies because I can rarely find combinations I really like. They either end up too sweet, too sour or just don’t taste right!

For me this banana smoothie is just perfect. It’s super filling, incredibly nutritious and best of all, it is absolutely brilliant in the morning if you’re not a big sit-down-and-eat-breakfast person or you have kids who are the same. My lot love breakfast but they are the slowest eaters on earth who would give most tortoises a run for their money (alright, maybe not the best phrase to use there but you get me!). So this is a great way to get something down quickly and it keeps everyone going for at least a couple of hours. (You could even make it the night before and refrigerate to save time in the morning.)