Beetroot Houmous

Just looking at this beetroot Houmous makes me feel insanely happy. The colour is so vibrant, it’s hard not to break into a smile just looking at it. It also tastes as good it looks and is so easy to whiz up.

Ingredients:

Half a tin of cooked chick peas (plus half of the juice it’s in)

150g pre cooked beetroot

1tbsp Olive oil

1tbsp Tahini paste

Juice of half a lemon

2 cloves of garlic

Seasoning as required

Method:

Quite simply pop everything into the blender and pulse for a few seconds. Add a bit more lemon if required and season to taste.

Bon appetite!

Lip-Smacking Lockdown Lemonade

So, during these worrying of times, we’re back with a lip-smacking bang to keep the kids thirst kept at bay. This really is a treat in our house, not for the every day but a recipe the children love to make on sunny days.

Inspired by Allegra McEvedy who has written a cookbook inspired by the stories of Enid Blyton, why not give the kids a lesson on the art of making Lemonade? It really is so simple and I can promise the results are totally worth it! My kids delight in reading out and copying down the ingredients and method, the measuring and weighing and the jolly good shaking!!! Most of all, they love the outcome and it certainly quenched our thirst during these warm days in the Uk. Let’s get going!

Ingredients;

3 lemons

2 limes

100g caster sugar

Method;

Start off by quartering the fruits and then let the kids squeeze out the juices into a jug. You should end up with about 150-200ml of juice. Place the skins to one side.

Next up, place the juice into a jar, add the sugar and 250ml water. Place the lid on top and get the kids to give it all a good old shake until the sugar dissolves.

Add 1 litre of cold water and the squeezed out lemon and lime skins. Give it all a jolly good stir!! Add ice and Enjoy!!!

Something For The Weekend – Banging Burgers

Looking for something quick and easy to knock up this evening? Look no further than these Pork & Egg burgers. It’s been a busy week here at Mums In Real and as a result, I resorted to trying a food delivery company called Gousto. I wasn’t convinced as I like to make everything from scratch when possible, but a friend convinced me of the benefits. I’ve been very impressed! My order arrived in a big box, all of the produce was super fresh and from an environmental perspective, there was very little plastic. Big plus from me already!

The meal still needs preparing from scratch, Gousto (others are available) provide you with almost all ingredients and a step by step recipe card on how to prepare and cook the food. It’s also really easy to replicate (if you already have the provisions to hand) so I can use these recipes in the future. Also, my children had a great time looking at the recipes and helping me pick out 4 days worth of dinner. It’s a thumbs up from them! It really is a great alternative for busy parents and whilst I can’t see myself ordering on a weekly basis, I certainly recommend it. Plus I received a really nice wooden spoon, which I wasn’t expecting!

Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients;

500g Pork mince

2tsp dried sage

2tsp dried oregano

30ml soy sauce

50g panko breadcrumbs

20g fried onions (I used shop bought but these are easy enough to make from fresh)

Mustard ketchup

Salt & pepper to season

Method;

Mix the mince, herbs, soy sauce and breadcrumbs together and season well. Separate the burger mixture into 4 generous patties and place on a baking tray. Refrigerate for until needed (place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes as this helps them hold together when cooking).

When ready, place a non stick frying pan onto a moderate heat and drizzle with oil. Pop in your burgers and cook on each side for 5-6 minutes. Once cooked, place into a plate and cover. Meanwhile, add a bit more oil to the frying pan and cook the eggs.

Whilst the eggs are cooking, lightly grill the burger buns. Now plate up! Spread some sauce of choice onto the buns (I used mustard ketchup), pop in the burger and place an egg on top. Sprinkle the fried onions over the top and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

Something For The Weekend: Beef & Guinness Stew

As the chilly air creeps in & the evenings become darker earlier, we are thinking of mouth watering stews to warm our tummies.

This gorgeous beef and Guineas stew does just that.

Let’s get started!!

Ingredients;

500g diced beef

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 celery sticks, cubed

3 large carrots, cut diagonally

1/2 a bunch of fresh rosemary & thyme

500g swede, cubed

500g squash, skin on and cut into chunks

4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced

1 litre beef stock

1/2 x can of Guiness

Start off by preheating the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Place a large casserole pan onto a medium heat & add 1tbsp of oil. Add the onions to pan and allow to soften for a few minutes. Stir the carrots & celery into the pan, then add the rosemary & thyme.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the beef, swede and squash. After a few minutes, add the stock and Guinness, stirring gently.

Bring up to a be gentle simmer and cover with a wet scrunched up sheet of greaseproof paper and pop into the oven for an hour.

After an hour, remove the paper and cook the stew for another hour (ish) until the meat is tender.

Next up, it’s time to make the dumplings. Mix 2oz of suet and 4oz of self raising flour together with 4tbsp of cold water. Mix in well and form into a ball. Divide into 8 dumplings (or if you prefer big dumplings, divide into 4) and roll into balls.

Place the dumplings on top of the stew and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before plating up. Serve with chunky bread and enjoy!

Hassle Free Chicken With Chilli, Lemon And Mint

Every now and again I really get stuck in a rut at meal times. As you probably know by now, I love flavour. This is something that my kids don’t always agree with me on! And who can blame them right? I don’t remember eating the type of food I try to cook for them. Our meals were always the same most week days. I always knew Tuesday would be Lasagne, Friday would be fish fingers and we’d almost always have a roast on a Sunday. Nothing wrong with that. Absolutely not. It’s just not me these days.

So anyway, here I was feeling a bit stuck. Dinner needed to be quick and tasty. My fridge was also looking a bit on the bare side. I therefore decided to get some inspiration from my recipe books, and I came across this little beauty. To make matters better, I had all of the ingredients to hand. That is always a bonus. Especially when you live in the back end of nowhere.

This recipe is lifted straight from Nigel Slaters classic guide to comfort food. It really did hit all the right notes and was so easy to make.

Ingredients:

400g Chicken fillets

1 medium sized red chilli, seeded and chopped

1tsp dried chilli powder

2 pinches of saffron

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Handful of mint leaves (about 20)

4 tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Halves of lemons to serve

Method:

Cut the chicken into finger size strips and pop into a dish. Blitz the fresh and dried Chillies, the garlic, saffron, most of the mint , olive oil and most of the lemon juice for about seconds until you have a lumpy marinade.

Spoon the marinade over the chicken strips and set aside for half an hour or so.

Next up, heat a frying pan (or you can use the grill) and lightly oil it. Add the chicken to the pan and gently fry for 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown in places (make sure the chilli doesn’t burn). Season the dish with some salt and the remaining mint and lemon juice.

I served this (as suggested by Nigel Slater) with some well buttered couscous, flecked with coriander and coriander. I also added a blob of Creme Fraiche on top, which I mixed some finely chopped mint leaves into.

Bon appetite lovely people! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Salmon And Cod Laksa With Soba Noodles

Originating from maritime South East Asia, Laksa curry is a must for curry fans. It’s fragrant smells will drive you insane!

This is a really simple version that I put together on a week night. But just because it was quick (think 10 minutes) doesn’t mean it lacked in flavour! It packed the punches and hit all the right taste buds. I made up my own version of a Laksa paste, however they are readily available in the shops should this be your preference.

Ingredients for the Laksa paste;

4-6 small dried red chillies

1tsp ground coriander

1/2tsp paprika

1/2tsp cumin

1/2tsp turmeric

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1tsp lemongrass paste

3-4 cm piece of ginger, shredded

2 cloves of garlic

1tbsp sesame oil

Ingredients for the Curry;

500g Salmon & Cod fillets, skin off and cut into chunks

200g Coconut milk

1 1/2 pints of Vegetable stock

1tbsp olive pil

1 onion, finely sliced

200g green beans, trimmed and cut into quarters

225g shredded white cabbage

3 tbsp Laksa paste

Handful of frozen sweet corn

2 bundles of dried soba noodles

1 spring onion, sliced diagonally

1 lime, halved

Method for Laksa paste;

Pop everything into a mixer and blitz for a few seconds into a smooth (ish) paste.

Method for Laksa Curry;

Warm up a large saucepan and add the olive oil. Gently fry the onion and cabbage for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the Laksa paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Next up, add the coconut milk, stock and green beans and season well. Bring up to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the fish chunks and gently stir the mixture.

Leave to cook for about 4 – 5 or until the fish is opaque to their centre.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to boil and add in the soba noodles.

Cook for 4 minutes and drain and return to the pan.

Once the fish is cooked, stir in the curry. Serve out into large bowls and garnish with sliced spring onions and halves of limes.

Squash And Vegetable Soup

It’s that time of year when everywhere you look, pumpkins and squashes adorned the shelves in shops.

If you’re looking for something to do with them other than carving out ghoulish faces or pumpkin pie, look no further!

This delicious soup is hands down the tastiest thing I make at this time of year, and to make matters even better, my kids eat it! Surely that’s worthy of a parent point?!

Ingredients (serves 4 with plenty for seconds);

1kg Squash or pumpkin

2 carrots, cubed

2 large potatoes, skin on cubed

2 small onions, sliced

2 cloves of Garlic (or more, depending on taste buds)

2 pints of Vegetable stock

Sprigs of Rosemary & Sage

Seasoning

3 slices of brown bread

1tbsp olive oil

Method;

Start off by quartering the squash and carefully cut off the skin. Cut into large chunks, deseed and chuck them into a large saucepan.

Next, add the remaining vegetables and crushed garlic. Remove the herb leaves from the stalks and roughly tear up and pop on top of the vegetables.

Cover the ingredients with 2 pints of vegetable stock and bring up to boil on a medium heat.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for about 35/40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The next part is up to you and depends on your preference. You can eat the soup nice and Chunky as it is, or you can pulse it with a handheld blender for a few seconds. I chose the latter as my kids like their soups nice and smooth.

While the soup is cooling down, roughly chop up 3 slices of bread (crusts off) to make some croutons and place a large frying pan onto a low heat to warm up. Add a splash of olive oil and add the cubed bread.

Gently fry until the croutons are nice and crisp on each side, it should only take a couple of minutes.

Now serve up the soup and pop some crispy croutons on top.

Peruvian Inspired Sweet Potato And Chicken Soup

This earthy Peruvian inspired soup is my own interpretation of a Jamie Oliver recipe. I’m a bit of a maverick when it comes to following recipes, often straying heavily. However, the core herbs and spices are the same, I just adapted some of the vegetables with what I had to hand. I must say, this is a very tasty soup indeed!

Ingredients;

1 large red onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped

2 mixed colour peppers

3 potatoes

2 small sweet potatoes

1kg chicken thighs, skin off

Olive oil

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp coriander leaves

Pinch of ground cloves

1.5l of Vegetable stock

2 limes, halved

100g Couscous

1 bunch of fresh coriander

Method;

Prep all of the veg and once done, place a large casserole pan on a medium – high heat to warm up. Put the chicken and 1tbsp of olive oil in the pan and stir well. Brown off the chicken.

Next up, tip in the herbs and spices stirring regularly. Stir in all of the prepped veg and cook for 15 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring the mixture up to boiling point. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

Put the limes in and pour in the couscous. Cook for a final 15 minutes until the couscous is cooked through. Remove from the heat. Season well and stir in the chopped fresh coriander.

Bon appetite!

Crust Topped Cod Fillets

If you are looking for a light and healthy yet tasty fish recipe, you’ve landed in the right place.

This delicious dish is unbelievably easy to prep and only takes 12 minutes to bake. Want to know more? Let’s go!

Ingredients:

2-3 Cod Fillets

2 slices of stale bread (crusts off)

2 cloves of garlic

Small handful of cornflakes (optional)

10 – 12 black pitted olives

2 sprigs of rosemary (off the stem)

1 tbsp Oregano

Salt & Pepper

1 egg white

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220•C (fan) and lay the fillets onto an oven proof tray. To make the crust, place the bread, cornflakes, garlic, 4 olives and herbs into a mixure and blitz. Season to your taste.

Next up, coat the top of the fillets with the egg white and crumble the crust on top. Spray lightly with cooking oil.

Sprinkle the remaining olives and some fresh herbs around the fillets and bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Serve with side of choice – we had mash & peas!

Bon appetite!

Let’s Talk Prosecco

Here at Mums In Real Life we love a good hack, and yesterday we were introduced to this one. How this has escaped us so far, we don’t know!

Have you ever opened a bottle of fizz only for it to go flat once back in the fridge? We have, but no longer!

Simply place a spoon into the neck of the bottle and pop the bottle back into the fridge. The bubbles will remain! Voila!

Do you have any handy hacks you can share? Please do let us know, we always love hearing from you X