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!

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.

Easy Packed Lunches – Food That The Kids Can Help Out With

The theme this week is packed lunches. What do you put in your kids lunch box? We’ve always stuck to sandwiches, day in and day out for oh, about 7 years now. I’ve decided to change all of that and be a bit more experimental.

These gorgeous little pizzas/patties/pastries with toppings (not quite sure what to call them, if I’m honest) have gone done a storm at lunch time.

They are so easy to make – the kids got stuck in with their favourite toppings – and they cost pennies.

This time around I totally cheated and bought some ready made pastry (it was on offer for 90p – bargain!). We heated and thickened up a tin of chopped tomatoes, adding in some mixed herbs. Once the sauce had thickened, I took it off the heat and placed to one side to cool down.

The kids used scone cutters to cut out the bases, then we set about choosing the toppings. They went for green peppers, left over green pesto sauce (https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/basil-pesto-sauce/),sliced baby bells and Chiritzo.

Once all of the ingredients had been chopped and sliced, we set about spooning a blob of the tomato sauce on top of the pastry bases. We then sprinkled over the ingredients, made them look pretty and popped them into a preheated oven at 180•C for about 12 minutes.

As you can see, they look dreamy. Leave to cool down on a wire rack and enjoy! Bon appetite.

Here at Mums In Real Life we’re always looking for tips and hints. Please do share any favourite Packed lunch ideas with us. Thank you x

The Scuffin Way – Healthy Packed Lunch Boxes

The summer holidays have come to an end and it’s back to making packed lunches for the little ones. It can often be challenging to think of different healthy foods to pack in their lunch boxes, this is therefore a great choice and it certainly ticks the boxes in terms of taste.

I hadn’t heard of Scuffins before, until I picked up a recipe book from a trendy young lady called Izy Hossack. They are the shape of a scone but with the texture of a muffin. They also taste pretty damn good and got a massive thumbs up from my kids, which is always a bonus.

I used Izy’s recipe as a guide, but made quite a few adaptations based on the quantity I needed and the fruit I had to hand. Let’s go!

Ingredients (makes 6);

30g Red Lentils

1 Egg

3tbsp Milk

40ml Olive Oil

1/2tsp Nutmeg

80g Plain Flour

30g Oats

1tsp Baking powder

150g Pears (Cooked) & Strawberries – cubed

30g Demerara Sugar

Method;

Kick off by preheating the oven to 180•C fan. Line a baking tray with baking paper, or use fairy cake cases.

Next up, put the lentils into a saucepan and cover with water. Boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and place back into the saucepan.

Stir in the egg, oil, milk, nutmeg and sugar and stir well. Add the remaining ingredients combine everything together.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out about 2tbsp worth onto either baking paper or into the cases (I tried both) until the mixture has been shared out evenly.

Bake in the oven for 17 – 20 minutes, until spring and golden. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

Wrap Platter For A Hungry Gathering Of Mini Eaters

This platter of mini wraps is the perfect solution when you have lots of mouths to feed at lunch time, it always receives a cheer of approval from the kids! Based on their favourite sandwich fillings, ingredients included:

To feed 5 children:

*3 Wholemeal and 5 white Wraps

*Tuna & cucumber

*Ham

*Cheese

*Baby Tomatoes

*Rocket to dress

Simply spread your ingredients onto flat wraps, roll and cut into equal portions. Place onto serving dish and decorate with rocket, baby tomatoes and some cucumber.

This lunch platter will be making an appearance again over the weekend, that’s for sure!

Summer Has Arrived! Roasted Gazpacho Soup – Served Hot With Croutons

It’s been a busy week, so much has been going on! As always, food is never far from my thoughts and I just have to share this recipe with you all.

I stumbled across a recipe book in the library by Miguel Barclay called ‘Super easy One pound meals’ and naturally, I had to see what it was all about! How have I not come across him before?

His concept is simple, he curates meals based from others recipes (some his own) & adapts them to come as close to £1 (per portion) as he can. After flicking through with my kids, we decided that tonight’s tea would be his ‘roasted Gazpacho Soup’. Me being me (and driven by what was in my cupboards/fridge) gave it my own twist. I’ll give you both recipes.

Here is a pic of Miguel’s recipe:

My take on the recipe…

Ingredients:

1 Red pepper, sliced

2 tins of Tomatoes

3 small white onions, roughly chopped

8 Garlic cloves, whole

Olive oil

Seasoning

Method:

Start by preheating the oven to 190•C/gas mark 5 and then place all of the ingredients into an oven proof dish. Glug a generous amount of olive oil over the ingredients and season well (I left out the salt).

Pop into the oven for 20 mins. Once roasted, transfer the peppers and onions (and any juices) into a saucepan along with the tinned tomatoes. Pop the garlic out of their cloves straight into the mixture.

Place on a gentle heat, until simmering. Use a blender (mine is hand held) to pulse it all together.

Add a bit of water if you feel the need to loosen it up.

Next up, roughly cube some bread (I left crusts on!). Drizzle some olive oil into a pan and add the bread once the oil is hot. Toss. You now have your croutons.

Plate the soup up, add some croutons on top and garnish with Basil.

I hope you enjoy it – it certainly got the thumbs up here 👍🏻

Super easy working lunch

So I whipped this up this morning for Carly and I, as we were working together today on a DIY project. It was super easy, really healthy and filling.

Takes only 10 mins to make and prepare:

Ingredients

  • Two hard boiled eggs
  • Rocket/mixed salad/cucumber/peppers
  • 10 black olives (I used Kalamata)
  • Green beans – blanched
  • Tuna steak (mine were frozen from Iceland)
  • Dressing: one part olive oil to two parts white wine vinegar plus a dollop of Wholegrain mustard

Method

  1. Pop some water in an pan to boil
  2. Put your tuna steak on a microwaveable plate. Splash with water and salt and pepper and cover. Microwave a minute at a time until just cooked
  3. Put your eggs and beans into the boiling water and simmer (covered) for 5 minutes
  4. Prep your salad and put in one takeaway pot (lettuce/rocket/olives/cucumber etc)
  5. Fill the saucepan with cold water to cool your eggs/beans and leave for a couple of minutes
  6. Add the eggs and beans to the salad
  7. Add the dressing ingredients to a pot and season (I use a jam jar)
  8. Put your tuna steaks in to another pot until ready to serve.
  9. Wait until you’re starving and then assemble. Shake up your dressing a drizzle over your salad. Enjoy!