Naan Bread

Easy & delicious naan bread to go with your curry

These were easy to make & delicious. The recipe said it would make 6 naan, but I split it into 5 to avoid arguments about who would get the extra one. Perfect for me, DH & the 3 kids (6, 9, 11)

Naan Bread

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 150g plain yogurt
  • 25g butter or ghee, melted, plus extra 2-3 tbsp for greasing and brushing
  • garlic (optional)
  • nigella seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put 125ml warm water into a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Leave for 10-15 mins or until frothy
  2. While you are waiting, put the flour, remaining sugar, 0.5 tsp salt and baking powder in a large bowl & mix together.
  3. Once the yeast mixture is ready, make a well in the flour mix & pour in the melted butter, yogurt, nigella seeds and yeast mixture.
  4. Stir well, then start to bring the mixture together with your hands until it makes a nice soft dough. If it’s too wet add flour. If it’s too dry, add a splash of water.
  5. Kneed for about 10 mins on a floured surface
  6. Grease the bowl with melted butter, pop the dough in the bowl & cover with a damp towel. Leave for about an hour or until it’s twice it’s original size.
  7. If you want to keep the naan warm in the oven while you cook them all, put the oven on to a low heat now.
  8. Heat a frying pan up.
  9. Split the dough into however many pieces you want (I did 5) & roll into balls. Put them on a floured surface & cover with the damp tea towel.
  10. Roll a piece out into the shape of a naan bread, when the frying pan is hot, lay the naan in the pan & dry for for 2-3 mins, then turn over & cook for another 2-3 mins.
  11. Once cooked, brush with a little butter (add some garlic if you want)
  12. If you want to keep it warm while you cook the rest, put it on a baking tray, cover with some foil & pop in the oven. Alternatively, put straight on the table & let the fastest child win.
  13. Repeat with the other naan, piling them up on the baking tray as you go.

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Sweetcorn Salad

DC3 (5) came home with this salad recipe in a school book earlier in the year & they really enjoyed making it.

We recently remembered about it & it has become a favourite meal. We usually serve it with the egg & dressing on the side as not everyone likes them.

Sweetcorn Salad by DC3 (aged 5)

Sweetcorn Salad

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 large tin of sweetcorn
  • 2 eggs, cooked & shelled
  • pasta, cooked & drained
  • chunks of cheese
  • 1 carrot
  • cress
  • radishes
  • salad dressing

Instructions

  1. Boil the eggs (run them under cold water once cooked) & cook the pasta if you haven’t done it already
  2. Chop the eggs
  3. Drain the sweetcorn
  4. Cut up the carrot
  5. Slice the radishes
  6. Cut the cress
  7. Serve the salad as required ūüôā

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Yogurt Bread

Q: What do you do when you have no bread flour, no self-raising flour, no yeast & no baking powder, but want to make some bread? A: Make this Yogurt bread! #lockdown2020

Yogurt Bread

It did look a bit like cake, but it was easy to make (no kneading or proving!), tasted really nice & went perfectly with some Quick Tomato Soup!

The original recipe says to let it cool in the tin before turing out & slicing, but we were all to hungry to wait that long.

Yogurt Bread

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 500g plain flour, plus extra
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 350-400g plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra for oiling the bowl

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and put a flat baking sheet in the oven so it can get really hot.
  2. Line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.
  3. Mix the flour, bicarb, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and tip in the yogurt. Bring together to make a slightly sticky dough.
  4. Lightly dust the dough with extra flour and form into a fat log, around the same size as the tin.
  5. Put in the tin. Dip a wooden spoon in flour and make a line along the centre.
  6. Bake on the hot baking sheet for 40-45 mins or until golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into slices

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Pitta Bread

I remember seeing a recipe for pitta bread ages ago, which claimed that once you had made your own, you would NEVER buy it from the supermarket again…. Then a few days ago this recipe popped up in my Facebook Feed, so I thought I’d better give it a go!

Pitta Bread

It was really easy to make & I managed to schedule the making of the dough & the leaving to rise bit around my work calls #lockdown2020. The recipe makes 4 pitta breads, but I split the dough into 5 so we could have one each. Everyone loved them & have demanded that we have them again very soon.

Pitta Bread

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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The original recipe says this makes 4 pitta bread, but as there are 5 of us, I split it into 5..

Ingredients

  • 250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 tsp dried fast-action yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 150ml tepid water (50ml boiling + 100ml cold)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra for oiling the bowl

Instructions

  1. Add the flour, yeast, sugar and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir.
  2. Pour in the tepid water and olive oil to the mixing bowl & stir again
  3. Once it’s a dough, kneed for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Lightly oil the inside of the mixing bowl, then put the dough in the bowl & cover the bowl with a damp tea towel. Leave the dough to prove in a warm place for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
  5. Turn the oven on as hot as it will go & put a large baking tray in there to heat up.
  6. Lightly flour your work surface & turn the dough out once it is ready.
  7. Cut into 4 or 5 pieces, roll them into balls & leave them to proove again under a damp tea-towel for 10 minutes
  8. When the 10 minutes are up, roll the pieces of dough out into ovals about 5m thick
  9. Take the baking tray out of the oven & quickly put as many pittas on it as you can.
  10. Quickly put back in the oven for between 4-8 minutes (mine just took 4)
  11. Take them out of the oven & leave them to cool under a tea towel.
  12. Repeat if necessary of any remaining pittas you couldn’t fit in the oven.

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Halloumi Rainbow Salad

This is one of my favourite salads & is based on this delicious recipe. It’s also great to take to work for lunch – I just need to be extra careful when eating the beetroot at my desk!

Halloumi Rainbow Salad

Halloumi Rainbow Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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The kids love this salad, apart from the beetroot,so I have to serve it on the side when giving it to them.

Ingredients for the Salad

  • 1 pack of halloumi
  • 1 sweet pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 pack of beetroot, cut into small chunks
  • 1 pack of baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 spring onion (optional), sliced
  • 1 Packet of rocket & other salad leaves
  • Olive oil

and for the Dressing

  • 1 tsp good olive oil
  • 0.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 0.25 tsp dried chopped chilli

Instructions

  1. Warm some olive oil in a frying pan.
  2. Slice the halloumi & fry for a few minutes on each side until a nicely browned. Cool on some kitchen roll when cooked.
  3. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Chop peppers, peel & grate the carrot, halve the tomatoes & slice the spring onions.
  5. Plate the salad (or put in your lunchbox) and top with the cooled halloumi. Either pour over the dressing, or pop into a little dressing pot to take in your lunchbox.

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Flatbread

We *love* flatbread & for years we have been buying it pre-made from the supermarket. However, in my quest to reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate I looked into making it ourselves & it is SO very easy to make, we haven’t looked back & I get the kids (5, 8 & 11) to make it whenever possible! ūüôā

Here’s a link to the original recipe – we slightly reduce the salt & omit the herbs because the children prefer it plain. The recipe makes three flatbreads which is perfect for us (2 adults, 3 kids). I did get greedy once & made more, but it was just too much for us. I did then discover that if I baked it in the oven again for a few minutes, it made tasty nacho chips for snacking on the following day.

If you don’t have any self-raising flour in the cupboard, then you can sub it with:

  • 1.75 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt

Flatbread

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Flatbread

Easy to make & tastes delicious

Ingredients

  • 1.75 cups Self-Raising Flour
  • 0.5 cup olive oil
  • 0.5 cup water

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230 C
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder & salt together in a bowl
  3. Stir in the water & 1/3 cup of the oil *** not all of the oil!! ***
  4. Kneed until it makes a nice soft dough
  5. Cut some parchment paper to fit your big baking tray (a pizza tray is perfect)
  6. Split the dough into thirds & shape into balls
  7. Roll each ball into a 10″ circle on the parchment paper
  8. Put onto the baking tray, lightly brush with oil & bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough

Flatbread

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Flatbread

Easy to make & tastes delicious

Ingredients

  • 1.75 cups Self-Raising Flour
  • OR
  • 1.75 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 cup olive oil
  • 0.5 cup water

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230 C
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder & salt together in a bowl
  3. Stir in the water & 1/3 cup of the oil *** not all of the oil!! ***
  4. Kneed until it makes a nice soft dough
  5. Cut some parchment paper to fit your big baking tray (a pizza tray is perfect)
  6. Split the dough into thirds & shape into balls
  7. Roll each ball into a 10″ circle on the parchment paper
  8. Put onto the baking tray, lightly brush with oil & bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Repeat with remaining dough

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Chickpea Salad

This was inspired by this delicious Roasted Chickpea Salad, but needed some alterations to suit the picky children everyone’s tastes… The plate shown was beautifully laid out by DC1 (10).

Chickpea Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chickpea Salad

Great for a take-to-work lunch too!

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 3 carrots, spiralised
  • 1 punnet grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large tin sweetcorn
  • 2 avocados, minimum

Instructions

  1. Drain the chickpeas
  2. Chop lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, and avocado.
  3. Spiralise (or grate or chop) carrots.
  4. Mix it all together in a bowl & drizzle with the Olive Oil before serving

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Mini Wraps

Mini Wraps
Mini Wraps

I’m always looking for quick & easy meals for the kids, especially ones which can be prepped ahead. ¬†I spotted these spicy bean wraps while having a nose around on the Vegetarian Society’s Website¬†& thought the kids would love them. ¬†For a bit of variety I also made some carrot & hummus, and cream cheese & tomato ones too.

Strangely, neither DC1(5) or DC2 (3) were that keen on the bean ones, but luckily loved the other ones. ¬†I’ll definately be making them again though as DH & I really liked them all!

Mini Wraps

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Make-ahead wraps from the Vegetarian Society

These should all be made at least 4 hours before you need them, wrapped in cling-film & left in the fridge.

Credit: The Vegetarian Society

Ingredients

For the Spicy Bean Wraps

  • 75g vegetarian cream cheese
  • 3 tsp dried chives
  • 400g tin of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato pur√©e
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

For the Hummus & Carrot Wraps

  • hummus
  • 1 carrot, peeled & grated
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

For the Cheese & Tomato wraps

  • 75g vegetarian cream cheese
  • 4¬†tomatoes, pips removed & diced
  • 2 x 25cm tortilla wraps

Instructions

For the Spicy Bean Wraps

  1. rinse & drain the beans
  2. mix the cream cheese & chives together
  3. divide the mix between the two tortilla wraps & spread evenly
  4. put the beans into a bowl & slightly mash using a fork. Mix in the remaining ingredients
  5. divide the mix between the two tortilla wraps & spread over the top of the cream cheese, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  6. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  7. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  8. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

For the Hummus & Carrot Wraps

  1. spread the hummus evenly over two tortilla wraps
  2. sprinkle the grated carrot over the top of the hummus, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  3. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  4. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  5. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

For the Cheese & Tomato Wraps

  1. spread the cream cheese evenly over two tortilla wraps
  2. scatter the diced tomato over the top of the cheese, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of each wrap
  3. roll the tortilla into a sausage shape from the bottom towards the 2cm gap you left at the top
  4. wrap the tortillas in cling film & put in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  5. when ready to serve, remove from the fridge & slice

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Mini Mouse Birthday Cake

Mini Mouse Birthday Cake
Mini Mouse Birthday Cake

I just realised that I forgot to¬†post a piccy of DC2’s birthday cake (it was ^only^ 5 months ago!)

DC2 adores Mini Mouse, so it seemed the obvious choice. DH did his usual thing of googling for an apropriate image, and making a couple of easy chocolate cakes.

After forming the right shape from the cakes, he cut out a piece of greaseproof paper the same size & shape as the cake, and copied the picture of Mini¬†onto it. ¬†Using this as a guide, he rolled out and cut up the various coloured packs of ready-made icing he’d bought and then decorated the cake with them.

It always sounds so simple, but I seriously doubt I could do such a good job. Why not check out his efforts from previous years?

Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Basil

A light pasta dish that’s quick & easy to make and perfect for the summer.

Spaghetti with tomatoes & basil
Spaghetti with tomatoes & basil

This is such a simple dish & so very tasty. DH made it last week when we were away with friends & they loved it too.

Our dried spaghetti takes around 10mins to cook, if you are using fresh you might find it better to put the pasta on after you have added the tomatoes to the pan.

Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Basil

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 0.25¬†cup good olive oil
  • 3 cloves crushed¬†garlic
  • 2¬†pints small cherry tomatoes
  • 9¬†large basil leaves,¬†thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh curly parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 0.5 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 0.5 teaspoon freshly ground¬†salt
  • 0.25¬†teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 200g¬†dried¬†wholewheat spaghetti (or other pasta of your choice)
  • 0.75¬†cups freshly grated VEGETARIAN Parmesan-style cheese
  • Extra chopped basil and grated Parmesan for serving

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook as per instructions on the packet.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn it!
  4. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for five to seven minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften but don’t break up.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water.
  6. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, add the tomatoes and Parmesan, and toss well. Add some of the pasta water if the pasta seems too dry. Serve large bowls of pasta with extra basil sprinkled on top and a big bowl of extra Parmesan on the side.

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