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!
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.
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
Drain the tofu.
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.)
Boil the kettle
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.
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.
Divide between 2 bowls and put the tofu on top.
Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve drizzled with a little chilli oil.
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
4 spring onions, chopped, plus more for serving (we omitted this as the kids don’t like them)
0.25 cup fresh corriander leaves, chopped
sesame seeds, for serving
Make the Sauce: Combine the garlic, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger, and 2-3 Tbl water in a food processor and process until smooth.
Make the noodles: Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and toss them with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (to prevent them from sticking).
Make the salad: Add the edamame, bell peper, cucumber, carrot, spring onions, and coriander to the bowl with the noodles and toss until well combined.
When I saw this recipe on Oh She Glows I just knew I had to make it! Or rather eat it, anything involving this much chopping I hand over to DH, as although I am perfectly capable, it will take me forever!
After reading the original post, I haven’t been able to justify getting a spiralizer (yet), but I did immediately order a Julienne Peeler, which DH tells me is fab.
Despite some initial suspicion from DD1(5) about the ‘sauce’, the kids both love this & the amount below serves the four of us perfectly.
I was intrigued by how this creamy bean soup could be vegan & was surprised to learn that the creamyness actually comes from ground up cashews! Note: these need soaking for several hours before cooking – don’t forget!
The original recipe used coconut oil, but as I don’t have any I just used olive oil.
Both DH & I liked it, but the kids didn’t – they just ate the butterbeans & demanded more bread!
A few weeks ago the unthinkable happened….. I got bored of hummus! <gasp!> I couldn’t quite believe it myself, but even with a variety of additions (salad, harissa, avocado) I had eaten it so much I was bored of it!
So, an alternative was needed, and after a quick google I found this Smashed White Bean & avocado sandwich which saved the day 🙂 It’s one of those things that is so simple to make you feel a bit silly writing it down… but these days I need to write things down so I remember them!
To be perfectly honest, I’m not a huge fan of sandwiches – I tend to see them as a last resort, but they are just SO easy to make & convienient to eat at work, I usually have them a couple of times a week. My current bread of choice is Warburtons Brown Thins – just enough bread to hold the filling in, but not so much that they become too heavy & stodgy (I don’t want to fall asleep at my desk!)
The kids will eat bucketfuls of hummus, and love lentils, so thought I would try them with this Red Lentil Pate….
It was easy enough to make, but didn’t go well with the kids. DD1(5) refused to even try it & even DD2(2.5) – a.k.a. “The human dustbin” announced she didn’t like it after one mouthful! DH & I thought it was nice, but I don’t think I will be rushing to make it again in the near future!
DH ended up making them while I played with the kids. We both enjoyed them, but I did think they were a bit dry & will add some kind of yogurty/sour cream/sauce the next time we make them. Unfortunately the kids weren’t so keen which surprised me as they both love beans, rice & carrots! – DD1(5) is being ultra-fussy about anything ‘spicy’ at the moment, and as soon as she says she doesn’t like something, DD2 (2.5) just says the same <sigh>
6 large tortilla wraps
3 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
3 spring onions, roughly chopped (optional)
1 large courgette, coarsely grated
6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
75g white long grain rice, boiled and drained
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 400g tin of pre-cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (optional)
3 tbs sunflower oil, for roasting
green salad, guacamole or salsa
Have you cooked the rice yet? If not, do it now!
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Place a good measure of the mixture into the tortillas and roll to form wraps folded at both ends.
When all of the mixture is used up, place the wraps on a roasting or baking tray and brush all over with the oil.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown, turning once.
When cool, halve the wraps and serve with a green salad, guacamole or salsa of your choice.
I think I saw this on Pinterest & thought it would be a change from our usual chilli & being able to do it in the slow cooker is always appealing!
It was easy enough to make (I am a huge fan of chucking everything into the slow cooker & walking away!), and everyone liked it, but I think I need to make some changes the next time I make it….. as I was feeding it to the kids, I think I played it too safe by omitting the chipotle peppers & using mild chilli powder – it definately needed more spice. It was also a bit wet for my liking, so will either use a bit less stock next time I make it or try to thicken it up a bit.
1 medium onion – diced
1 red pepper – seeded and diced
14 oz chopped tomatoes
14 oz kidney beans – drained and rinsed
1 large butternut squash – peeled and diced
2 cups low salt vegetable stock
1 cup sweetcorn
3 cloves garlic – crushed
2 chipotle peppers in adobo – minced (remove seeds to lower heat) – optional
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
spring onions, chopped
greek yogurt or sour cream
tortilla chips, crushed
Put everything into the slow cooker and heat on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.