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.

Like this? How about…

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

Like this? How about:

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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Easy Miso Soup

I just love Miso Soup and was so pleased to find it it so easy to make at home.

Miso Soup
Miso Soup

I love miso soup,¬†so thought it was about time I made it myself. ¬†This recipe from the Muffin Myth sounded just perfect. It’s such a comforting taste and yet so healthy – what more could you want?!

You can add whatever you like to the basic miso/stock mix (which makes it perfect for clearing out the veggies in the bottom of the fridge), but I always want some little cubes of tofu in there.

The first time I made this the kids loved it, but the next time DC1(5) decided she no longer liked it <sigh> I’ll have to try giving it to her again in a couple of months….

Miso Soup

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups low salt vegetable¬†stock
  • 2 cloves garlic,¬†crushed
  • 2 Tbsp ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced red¬†chilli pepper (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1 spring¬†onion, thinly sliced
  • a handful of cubed tofu
  • another 2 handfuls of chopped veg. e.g. carrots, asparagus or broccoli spears

Instructions

  1. Place the vegetable stock, ginger, garlic, chilli pepper, and green onion in a medium pot over high heat. Bring to the boil, uncovered, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Put the miso paste into a small bowl, and add a little of the stock to it. Use a fork to mash the paste into the stock, then add to the soup pot. Do not allow the broth to return to a boil!
  3. Add the tofu & veg to the pot. Allow them to heat through for a few minutes so the vegetables cook just slightly.

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Frozen Banana Dessert

frozen banana dessert frozen banana dessert with chopped nutsApparently 1.4 million bananas are thrown away every day! How many of them are yours?

I usually make banana bread or banana and oatmeal muffins with my old bananas but when I saw this recipe for banana icecream I started putting my over-ripe bananas in the freezer straight away!

A few weeks later when I had enough bananas in the freezer, I discovered that the blitzing process is made a lot easier if you slice the bananas quite thinly before you freeze them, and let them thaw slightly before turning the processor on!

So far, we’ve had just plain banana, and some topped with chopped nuts & everyone has loved them – next time we’re going to try making lollies!

Frozen Banana Dessert

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 large, very ripe bananas – peeled, cut into thin slices¬†and then frozen
  • 0.5¬†tsp¬†cinnamon
  • 0.5¬†tsp¬†vanilla extract

optional extras

  • fresh fruit, chopped
  • chocolate chips
  • coconut flakes
  • nuts or seeds

Instructions

  1. Let bananas soften at room temperature for about five minutes.
  2. Blitz bananas, cinnamon and vanilla in a blender until smooth and creamy, this may take a few minutes.
  3. Pour into bowl, top with extras and serve immediately, or add to your favorite ice-lolly molds and freeze for later.

 

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Singapore Noodles with Tofu

Singapore Noodles with Tofu
Singapore Noodles with Tofu

We always need quick & easy meals, which are still reasonably healthy Рa quick search on BBC Good Food suggested this which seemed to fit the bill.

The original recipe called for Tikka Masala¬†Paste, but as I have ishoos with¬†buying jars of stuff I’m only going to use once, DH made his own using a Jamie Oliver recipe¬†which I’ve included below.

We didn’t have beansprouts as my sprouter is languishing in a cupboard somewhere, and used a splash of lime juice instead of real lime wedges to serve.

Singapore Noodles with Tofu

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 100g fine rice noodles
  • 140g firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 spring onions, shredded
  • 1 small chunk fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 100g mangetout
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 1 tsp tikka masala paste (see JO recipe below if you don’t have any)
  • 2 tsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • roughly chopped coriander and lime wedges, to serve

tikka masala paste

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Instructions

  1. drain the tofu (we do this by wrapping in a clean tea-towel & placing under the heavy chopping board)
  2. make the tikka masala paste if making from scratch
  3. cook the noodles as per instructions. Drain & rinse under cold water & cut into short lengths
  4. heat 1tbsp of the oil in a wok or frying pan, add the tofu & stir-fry until browned all over. Drain on kitchen roll
  5. heat the rest of the oil in the wok. Add the spring onions, ginger, pepper and mangetout, then stir-fry for 1 min. Add the noodles and beansprouts, then stir to mix.
  6. mix together the tikka masala paste, soy sauce, chilli sauce and 1 tbsp water, then add to the wok, stirring until everything is well coated in the sauce.
  7. serve sprinkled with the coriander, with lime wedges for squeezing over.

Like this?  How about:

Cherry Choc Chip Icecream

Cherry Choc Chip Icecream
Cherry Choc Chip Icecream

DC1 (5) absolutely adores cherries, so when this recipe for Cherry Choc Chip icecream popped up on my facebook feed (like Super Healthy Kids here) I knew I had to make it.

It’s the same kind of things as the Frozen Berry Yogurt we all love, you just make it a couple of hours ahead & pop in the freezer. ¬†As expected, it was very easy to make & absolutely delicious. ¬†I only had plain yogurt, so added a tsp of vanilla essence to the mix.

Cherry Choc Chip Icecream

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • 0.5 cup vanilla yogurt/soy yogurt
  • 0.5 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. blitz the frozen cherries with the yogurt in your blender
  2. stir in the chocolate chips
  3. put in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving

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Japanese Tofu Bowl

Japanese Tofu Bowl
Japanese Tofu Bowl

Do you sometimes get in a food rut?

I try really hard to have a variety of things on the menu, but one meal which has stayed the same for what feels like the last million years is wednesday night pizza.  We have good reason for it,  we have a maximum of 30 mins between getting the kids to bed & DH going out, and chucking a frozen pizza in the oven and opening a bag of salad is a very easy (and relatively healthy) option.

Needless to say, we have now both got incredibly bored of it.  DH has suggested we have omelette every week instead, but I want to find a few different options for us to have to avoid the rut sinking  in again.

I started by looking through the¬†the¬†Quick Veggie¬†section of BBC Good Food and saw this¬†recipe for a¬†Japanese Tofu Bowl¬†which I thought was right up our street. The original recipe was for 4 people, so I’ve adapted for the 2 of us (i.e. reduced the liquid, but kept the rest the same) ¬†It suggested covering the tofu in cornflour before frying to get that lovely crispy coating, but I really didn’t see the point as surely it would just get soggy in the soup? ¬†We didn’t have any chilli oil or coriander to garnish, but survived without them.

Although this claims to be quick to make, you do have to first drain the tofu (I do this by wrapping in a clean tea-towel & putting it under the heavy chopping board for 30 mins or so) & then marinade it (ideally for at least 30 mins), which means it might not be much good if you’re rushing in from work to make it. ¬† Despite a few complications (I failed to pre-marinade the tofu, the edaname beans the supermarket sent me were still in their pods, and my noodles weren’t ready cooked) this was still easy to make & very tasty. It’s lightness made it feel like it was very ‘clean’ to eat IYKWIM, but beacuse of the tofu, edaname¬†& noodles it was still substantial enough for our evening meal. ¬†I hope to make it againvery soon as I plan to use some of the broad beans from the garden in place of the edaname.

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp reduced salt¬†soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 200g firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into 8 cubes
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 1 bunch asparagus, base of stalks snapped off, cut diagonally into about 4 pieces
  • 50g fresh or frozen edamame beans
  • 50g frozen peas
  • small piece ginger, grated
  • 400g pack straight-to-wok udon noodles
  • coriander leaves, to garnish
  • chilli oil, to serve

Instructions

  1. Drain the tofu.
  2. Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin in a shallow bowl. Place the tofu in the marinade and turn to coat. Leave for about 30 mins or more. (If  marinading for several hours, pop it in the fridge.)
  3. Boil the kettle
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the tofu (keep the left over marinade). When cooked, drain on kitchen roll, then wrap in clean kitchen roll to keep warm.
  5. While the tofu is cooking, put 500ml of boiled water in a medium saucepan with the reserved marinade and bring to the boil. Add asparagus, edamame beans, peas, ginger and noodles and return to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 3-4 mins.
  6. Divide between 2 bowls and put the tofu on top.
  7. Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve drizzled with a little chilli oil.

Like this?  How about:

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Mexican Quinoa Salad
Mexican Quinoa Salad

Since DC3’s arrival I’ve been trying to make my life easier when it comes to meal prep, so I’ve been looking for some interesting salads that are easy to make, I can eat at home, DH can take to work & the kids can have for their tea – this¬†Mexican Quinoa Salad recipe¬†seemed to fit the bill.

The first time I made it I over-cooked the quinoa & there was far too much of it, so the next time I reduced the quanity & the cooking time and it was much better.  I also omitted the spring onions, and garlic as neither I or the kids are keen on the in salads (sorry DH!)   I also added some avocado, just because we love it

Mexican Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 400g tin black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 325g¬†tin sweetcorn, drained
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 0.5¬†cup chopped fresh corriander(or more to taste)

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime

to serve

  • ciabatta or other nice bread
  • 1 avocado, diced

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain quinoa.
  2. Add to a pan of boiling water & cook for 10 minutes (this was perfect for me, YMMV)
  3. Rinse and drain black beans
  4. In a small bowl, add dressing ingredients and whisk together to thoroughly combine.
  5. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa with all other salad ingredients.
  6. Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine or serve with the dressing on the side.
  7. Can either serve immediately or chill before serving.

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