Category Archives: Family Meals

Mulled Wine Gravy.

Who doesn’t love a bit of gravy with their roast dinner? Being Wheat intolerant  and liking homemade food I stay away from gravy granules and make my own. This week we had some leftover mulled wine and a last minute decision to add it to the gravy turned out to be a very good one. The end result was something a little Christmassy and very tasty.

Recipe:

  • Put 1 heaped tbsp of flour into a saucepan and mix with 50ml cold water. (I used Bezgluten’s universal gluten free flour).
  • Add 100ml hot water from the kettle, a bay leaf, dried mixed herbs, and either stock or if you are roasting meat, some meat juices.
  • Let this come to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Add mulled wine to thin to the right consistency and season to taste.
Dietitian UK: Mulled Wine Gravy
Dietitian UK: Mulled Wine Gravy

Go on…try it out with your next roast.

 

Aubergine Bake for an Aubergine Addict.

It’s no secret that I LOVE a good bargain, last week I picked up Aubergines for 10p, yes you read that right. I’d been saving them and ruminating in my mind about what I should do with them and then got inspired by a chef friend. So here is my aubergine bake.

Ingredients (serves 4):

2 aubergines

1.5 tins chopped tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

1 onion

1 stock cube

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp sugar

Dried mixed herbs

Mozerella

 

Recipe:

  • Slice aubergines lengthways into long slices. Drizzle with a little oil and then cook on a griddle pan or under the grill for a few minutes on each side.
Dietitian UK:  Griddled Aubergines
Dietitian UK: Griddled Aubergines
  • Whilst the aubergines cook, put the tins of chopped tomatoes into a pan with garlic, chopped onion, dried mixed herbs,  stock cube (gluten free if required),  tomato puree, sugar and plenty of black pepper.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes so it reduces and thickens.
  • Spread a layer of aubergine in an ovenprood dish, top with the sauce and then repeat the layers – a bit like a lasagne.
  • Finally top with mozzerella.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at Gas Mark 5.
Dietitian UK: Aubergine Bake
Dietitian UK: Aubergine Bake
  • Serve with pasta and a green salad. YUM.
What’s your favourite Aubergine recipe? Please let me know, I’m an aubergine addict!

 

Baby Breakfasts Ebook.

It’s all to easy to get stuck in a rut with breakfasts, we do it as adults, and when you are a parent you suddenly have to feed a little tummy and your own. It can feel like a big responsiblity – it is. So how about getting the advice from a top dietitian and mummy?

I love giving weaning advice and I had such fun weaning my own little one. Almost everywhere I go other mummies ask me for top tips and advice, so I’ve decided to start my own range of Ebooks. Now I don’t have a big publishing company behind me so right now these are going to consist of no frills, simple, practical advice . When I get cleverer I’ll hope to add in fancy pictures and graphics, but I figure what is really needed is the basics!

So here is my first Ebook: Baby Breakfasts. It contains Meal ideas including fresh ideas for what to do with cereals, eggs and toast. Some yummy recipes for baking breakfasts goods and top tips from myself too.

Dietitian UK: Baby Breakfast Ebook
Dietitian UK: Baby Breakfast Ebook

There are more to come. I’d love to hear the subject you’d like an Ebook on.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Quick, Simple, Fresh and Tasty Mushroom Pasta Sauce

So what do you do when you look in the fridge and see a large punnet of mushrooms that are about to go past their best? You make this! It’s a quick, easy and tasty dish that you can rustle up with ease and with the knowledge it’s healthy too. Plus it’s Wheat free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and great for getting those veggies into little ones 😉

Recipe (Serves 2 plus toddler):

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp flour (I used rice flour)

200ml white wine

500g mushrooms

200ml water

Mixed Herbs

Seasoning

  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan, remove from the heat and stir in the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Dietitian UK: Mix Rice flour and oil to resemble breadcrumbs
Dietitian UK: Mix Rice flour and oil to resemble breadcrumbs
  • Add half the white wine and stir well to make a sauce free of lumps.
  • Place it back on the heat and gradually add the rest of the wine – do not stop stirring!
  • Add the mushroom and keep on a medium heat, the mushrooms will release water as they cook.
Dietitian UK: Cooking the Mushroom Sauce
Dietitian UK: Cooking the Mushroom Sauce
  • When the mushrooms have cooked down a little add some of the water, the amount you need will depend on your mushrooms.
  • Add mixed herbs (fresh parsley would be amazing) and season well. Leave it to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with pasta. Nom Nom.
Dietitian UK: Mushroom Pasta Sauce
Dietitian UK: Mushroom Pasta Sauce

 

Now of course you could finish this with cream……but that’s just not my way 😉 Enjoy and let me know your variations by commenting below…

 

Easy Peasy Baked Apples

Evenings. They can be those times when you just fancy a sweet treat. Perhaps it’s been a tough day, perhaps it’s the fact the kids are in bed and you have time to yourself, perhaps you’ve been working out and need a snack. You know the feeling.

This also makes an ideal pudding – great for family mealtimes.

Here’s one of my winter warmers, it’s super quick, filling and satisfying, plus you can make all kinds of variations on a theme. Go get creative and let me know what you come up with. I need inspiration too 😉

Recipe:

    • Cut the core out of the apple – I place it on a chopping board and hack with a knife, but use an apple corer if you have one.
    • Fill the centre with rasins, cinnamon and whatever else you fancy.
    • Microwave for 1 minute.
    • Top with custard and reheat then EAT.
    • Dietitian UK: Baked Apple - stuff it with raisins then microwave
      Dietitian UK: Baked Apple – stuff it with raisins then microwaveDietitian UK: Baked Apple with raisins and custard.Dietitian UK: Baked Apple with raisins and custard.

 

Contains 1-2 portions of fruit, fibre and calcium from the custard.

Roasted Beetroot Pasta, It’s Pink!

This weekend we went to the farmers market and I just couldn’t help but buy a bunch of large, large beetroot. They have sat looking at me from the veg rack for a few days and today I knew I needed to use them. But how?

I knew roasting them would be ideal because of their size and roasting veggies always draws out their sweetness, so I washed them, cut the leaves off and put them in the oven to roast at Gas Mark 6. This gave me 45 minutes or so to plan what to do next!

It’s Friday so in our house that’s quick meal night as I have feed toddler, feed myself and  get toddler to bed all before 7pm. So I went for pasta and was mighty pleased with the result, a bit on the pink side but delicious and packed full of veg. Beetroot contain folate, manganese, vitamin C, fibre and potassium amongst other nutrition. The red colour is due to Betacyanins, a phytonutrient and antioxidant. Roasting for more than 1 hour or boiling for too long can lead to this antioxidant being damaged so keep the cooking time down.

Recipe (serves 2 plus toddler):

(gluten free, wheat free, low fat, weaning food)

  • 4 large beetoots
  • 1 tbsp rapseed oil
  • pasta (can be gluten free)
  • 2 tbsp low fat creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp quark
  • pepper

 

  • Wash the beetroot and cut the leaves off, but do not peel. Place in a roasting tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp oil, roast for 45 minutes at Gas Mark 6.
  • When the beetroot feel soft  (you can stab them with a knife to check), remove and peel them. I did this under the cold tap as I was in a rush and had no time to let them cool. The skin will come off easily.
  • Chop the beetroot into bite size chunks and put into a non stick pan on a medium heat. Add the creme fraiche and quark and let is cook gently for 10 minutes.
Dietitian UK: Beetroot mixture cooks in the pan
Dietitian UK: Beetroot mixture cooks in the pan
  •  Meanwhile cook the pasta.
  • Season to taste then mix the beetroot into the pasta and serve.
Dietitian UK: Roasted Beetroot Pasta
Dietitian UK: Roasted Beetroot Pasta

It’s pink, it’s pretty and it’s packed with goodness. Go try it out!

 

Meal Planning: make life simpler, smarter and sustainable.

Every now and again I get myself into a bit of a stressful state, life feels like it’s overtaking me, I have lists of things to do, nothing feels like it’s getting done and suddenly I realise I’ve no idea what we’re eating for dinner and am running low on food. DISASTER. You know that feeling?

Hilariously as a dietitian I am often found writing meal plans for others, but then I forget to write my own. OOOPS. I love recipes, food, cooking, meal ideas and all that jazz, so actually for me sitting down and planning out the meals for the week is a relaxing and fun thing to do, it means I have time to think through the week, flick through some recipe books, bring those food ideas to the front of my brain and at the end of it I have at least one part of life under control.

Here’s mine for the next 2 weeks, I’d love to see yours!

Dietitian UK: Meal Planner
Dietitian UK: Meal Planner

5 Reasons to Meal Plan:

  1. SAVE TIME in the long run. Half an hour planning means you won’t be stood in the kitchen later racking your brains for a meal idea.
  2. Use it as a chance to check the BALANCE of your weeks meals, see the tips below.
  3. SAVE MONEY by then planning your shopping list so you don’t end up with random ingredients that you don’t need.
  4. SAVE WASTE by using all the ingredients in your fridge and planning it so you can take leftovers for lunches or fill the freezer.
  5. SAVE STRESS. Having a plan helps my stress levels, I can plan the quicker meals for busy days and know what I’m doing from day to day.

5 Top Tips for Balance over the week:

  1. Meat free Monday: Plan in some meat free days, we usually have 3-4 a week.
  2. Fishy Friday: Aim for fish a couple of times a week, oily fish contains those heart healthy omega 3’s.
  3. Reduce the Red Meat: to just 1-2 times a week.
  4. Veggie Vitality: Eat a range of colourful veggies over the week.
  5. Treats  Ahoy: Keep that takeaway or those chips to planned times, so they don’t appear on the menu too often.

Get planning those meals and please share – I’d love to hear how you do things and what meals you include.

Sri-Lanka Cookery: Mallum a form of greens

I’m half Sri-Lankan so loving Sri-Lankan food is a given…and the greens that my grandmother (Archchi) cooks are an all round favourite of mine. So I was very excited to be able to learn how to make this variation which uses a leaf called Mallum. I’d not heard of it before but it’s known in Sri-Lanka to be very nutritious. I also tried a Mallum salad and Mallum style porridge (very green but tasty).

I’m going to try making this dish at home with Swiss chard because that’s what I have growing in my garden. Here’s my great aunt showing us how to do it, in her kitchen in Sri-Lanka.

What are your favourite curry recipes? Have you been to Sri-Lanka, I’d love to know.

Spicy Bean Burger Heaven

I love bean burgers. They are one of those foods that want me make to turn vegetarian. But they just aren’t one of those things that I make very often. Till now.

Tonight was one of those evenings where I hadn’t got round to planning dinner, so I turned to the fridge for inspiration…. the bowl of kidney beans was calling my name. We also had  carrot and courgette’s eyeing me. Bingo.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting these to work well as I literally threw them together on a whim, but in my experience that’s often when my best recipes occur. In my opinion this is one of them.

A great recipe for Family Meals, for weaning, it’s vegetarian, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free….need I say more?! Oh, hold on… ITS TASTY!

Ingredients:

1 tin kidney beans

2 carrots

1 courgette

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp Curry powder (I used a Sri-Lanka blend, use your favourite mix)

1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs or a pinch of dried

seasoning

Method:

  • I am a complete cheat. I used my food processor. To do this – place the beans, carrot, courgette, onions, garlic in the food processor and provess until finely chopped.
  • If you don’t have a food processor then grate the carrot and courgette, finely chop the beans, onion and garlic.
Dietitian UK: Bean Burger Mix
Dietitian UK: Bean Burger Mix
  • Shape the mix into large patties, pressing the mixture firmly together. I made 5 patties in total.
  • Place on a greased baking tray, pop into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. (You could make ahead to this stage and cook later or freeze them at this stage).
Dietitian UK: Bean Burger's Firming Up
Dietitian UK: Bean Burger’s Firming Up
  • Cook in a large pan or on a griddle, turning part way through cooking.
  • I served ours with salad and potato wedges.
Dietitian UK: Homemade Bean Burgers and Salad
Dietitian UK: Homemade Bean Burgers and Salad
Seriously yummy.

 

Making Fishcakes Vlog

My top 5 reasons to make Fishcakes:

1. A delicious way to get the family to eat fish, suitable as weaning food, finger food and adult food too.

2. An easy way to mix veggies into a meal (these ones have mushrooms but it could be any veg of your choice).

3. Great for the summer with salad.

4. Fun for the kids to get involved in making.

5. Can be prepared in advance then put in the oven to cook ready for dinner.

Here’s a little vlog showing my cutie pie helped and myself making ours. She promptly devoured 2 for her dinner!

Get that fish in that dish 😉