The family friendly veggie weekly – 2nd December

CMeal 1 – Homemade pasta with tomato sauce – The Cyclist made the pasta with a team effort from the boys.  He got a bit fancy and added some chopped basil to the dough.  We bought a pasta attachment for the Kenwood Chef the other year, so making pasta is reasonably quick and easy, having two of you on the case helps though, one to feed dough in and the other to chop the pasta shapes as they are squeezed out. I use a basic tomato sauce a lot for various recipes.  I make 3-4 batches of sauce each time and freeze them.  My tomato sauce recipe is something along the lines of 3 small-medium onions, 4-5 cloves of garlic and 2 medium carrots and 3 cartons/tins of chopped tomatoes and passata or something there about. Because I am lazy I put all the ingredients except the tomatoes in the food processor and blitz it all up.  Fry in a good glug of olive oil until softened or slightly translucent, add tomatoes and stew on a very low heat for up to an hour, season if necessary. I sometimes blend the mix if its a bit chunky.  It’s ideal then for pizzas.  Then freeze. So this is a the sauce we used, stirred into fresh egg basil pasta, topped with pecorino, oh and a few capers for the grown ups.


Verdict – Yummy!! Nice and easy to eat, homemade pasta is delicious and sauce was lovely and rich, always a winner.

Meal 2 – Boston baked beans with potato wedges, corn on the cob and coleslaw.  After a bit more research I think boston baked beans is made with bacon or something porky at least, I thought it meant slightly smoky beans.  I didn’t use pork, but did manage a slightly smoky flavour, mainly by slightly burning the beans….in a slow cooker.  ‘You burnt beans in a slow cooker?’ Why yes, yes I did! Now you may think it’s impossible to burn things in a slow cooker, but alas I can do it! My recipe is similar to one found in the Covent Garden Soup cookbook. I used dried beans, so soaked them overnight and the rapidly boiled them for ten minutes before adding them into a saucepan of…

250g dried beans (I used what was in the drawer, haricot and pinto)

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp black treacle

1tsp of mustard

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

squeeze of tomato puree

1/2 tsp of smoked paprika (optional)

1/2 tsp of some sort of curry spices, ground coriander, ground cumin etc

500ml water

After soaking and boiling the beans, put all ingredients together in a pan and bring to the boil.  When boiling add to the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Add seasoning if necessary. Turns out 12 hours cooking is too much…Saying that everyone seemed to enjoy them and there were non left. We served these with potato wedges and corn on the cob.  I completely forgot about the coleslaw.  This meal was for The Fireman’s birthday tea, so I forgot about lots of things that day, including taking a photo of the meal, here’s one of him waiting patiently for us to finish singing happy birthday.


Verdict – Beans a little burnt, but far better than tinned, tinned beans make me gag for some reason. Sweetcorn always good as far as The Farmer is concerned, he’d eat a field full if he could, even better that you get to stab some sharp fork things into each end. This whole meal works well when feeding a crowd and we did have twelve people to feed.

DMeal 3 – Vegetable samosas – First point – **GIVE YOURSELF LOTS OF TIME TO MAKE THESE**, i.e. don’t start making them an hour before you wish to eat. As we’d stuffed our faces with pizza earlier that day we just served the samosas with a bit of salad, more specifically, some tomatoes. I used an Indian restaurant cookbook. I made the dough earlier in the day. For the dough add 4 dessertspoons of corn oil to 450g of strong white flour and add enough water to bring the dough together (I’d use the food processor next time). Leave the dough for at least an hour. I know this is a bit naughty, but I can’t be bothered to try and explain how to make the actual samosas, so I took a picture of the instructions, shhh, don’t tell anyone!. The filling was really basic, about 1.5kg of mashed spuds mixed with a couple of handfuls of peas and 2tsp of a garam masala type of spice mix and some salt and pepper. Once made deep fry in batches of 3-4 for 10 mins on a low-medium heat.BA

Verdict – I was quite impressed how they looked and the taste whilst not bad was really bland.  It needed more ‘stuff’ in it, so less mashed and more lumpy veg and potatoes.  The dough could have done with a little salt. The filling needed more spices, bit of chilli too if your feeling brave with your little ones. The cherry tomatoes were divine 😉

For the following week…

Veggie scotch eggs – recipe donated by Derby Grandma

Winter vegetable soup with pearl barley

Going to stick to just 2 recipes each week, as there’s more chance i’ll do them without too much stress!