Not sure what to cook? Try this simple quiche made from leftovers

Fed up with cold turkey? Try this super-easy quiche made from Christmas leftovers to solve the post-Christmas quandary of what to eat next.

Hello lovely people. Hope you had a fab Christmas, and I’m guessing like me you’re stuck in that strange time-warp between Christmas and New Year. Still scoffing Baileys and chocolate for breakfast? (Perfectly acceptable).

If however, much like me your jeans are at bursting-point and you’ve actually forgotten how to cook, help is at hand with this super-easy left-over quiche recipe. You can draw upon any leftover cheese board dregs and also use up that pancetta you forgot to fry with the sprouts on Christmas Day (ok just me then).

To accompany this, you can also whip up a lovely red cabbage coleslaw with your leftover cabbage and carrots to make a refreshingly light dinner (with no sign of butter or even a hint of chocolate).

Ingredients

For your pastry base:

Either make your own shortcrust (see Carly’s recipe here) or if you’re more like me – dig some ready-made out of the fridge.

For your quiche:

  • Grated cheddar cheese (about 75g/a grater full)
  • 6 eggs whisked
  • Splash of cream
  • Leftover Christmas stuff (I used a packet of pancetta, some broccoli, and a bit of Stilton
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • tbsp Dijon mustard (or similar)

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 160° and grease a quiche tin (I like Pyrex) with a little butter or spray oil. Roll out your pastry and push in to the dish. Pop in the fridge to chill for a few mins whilst you prep the filling.

Fry the pancetta in a little oil until lightly browned. Whilst this is cooking, mix your egg and cream with about 3/4 of the cheddar and season to taste. Set to one side.

Break off the broccoli in to small florets and pop in a microwave bowl with a splash of water and microwave to soften for a minute or so (it should just be nicely steamed but still crunchy).

Line your pastry case with baking beans and blind bake for 10-15 mins. Remove from the oven and remove your baking beans and let cool for a few minutes.

Spread the Dijon mustard around the inside of the pastry case and sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top. Push the cheddar lightly into the pastry.

Pour your egg mixture on top, and sprinkle over the Stilton and broccoli and fried pancetta pieces evenly, then bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes, or until lightly browned and risen. The quiche should feel firm to the touch and have sprung up beautifully.

To create a coleslaw to accompany your quiche, you can chop some red cabbage, grate a carrot and finely chop half an onion (if you like your coleslaw with a bite). Mix together with a tsp of Dijon mustard and a couple of large tablespoons of natural yoghurt and some salt and pepper. Beautiful.

Enjoy! Merry twixtmas lovely people. Tahlia x

Christmas Tree Mini Pizzas

Ho Ho Ho….we had some neighbours round recently for Cheese and Mulled wine & the kids made these festive mini pizzas for their friends. They used cookie cutters for the bases. How cute do they look? Check out the link below for the quick no proving required pizza base:

https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/?s=Scone+base

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas xx

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!

Easy, hearty and delish leftover Chicken Stew

Happy Autumnal Thursday lovely people. After sharing the snap of my a scrummy chicken stew dinner on Monday night a few of you have asked for the recipe, so here it is.

(Those of you who know me well will know I’m a chuck-it in kind of girl, so the measurements are down to your individual cooking style!).

  • Cooked chicken carcass (from your roast – mine was stuffed with lemons and garlic so leave any stuffing in for flavour and I also like to pour over any left over gravy for flavour too)
  • Stock pots (one chicken one vegetable)
  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Left over veggies (if you have roasties chop them up small they’re a great thickener)
  • Green lentils (mine were tinned) or Pearl Barley
  • Sweetcorn (canned or frozen is fine)
  • Salt & Pepper and a bay leaf to season

Method

  1. Put your chicken carcass and any gravy in a large pot. Boil the kettle and pour over enough water to mostly cover the carcass (it’s ok if some isn’t covered, they’re tricky shaped, those chickens)
  2. Add any chopped left over potatoes, parsnips or sweet potatoes at this point as they will dissolve and help to thicken the stew. Also chop the celery finely and add now too.
  3. Add salt and pepper and a bay leaf and simmer on a low heat for about two hours or until the chicken comes away from the bones easily.
  4. Leave to cool (just enough so you don’t burn the skin of your fingers) and pick out all the chicken bones and assorted bits you don’t want to eat. I like to do this with a large slotted spoon and have a big bowl ready for all the discarded bits and pieces. Make sure you check really thoroughly for small bits of bone in the stock.
  5. When you’ve been through the pot and are pretty sure that everything is edible, then you can add your stock cubes and I also add the sweet potato here so it completely disappears in to the stew (mostly to avoid the accusatory “What’s that, Mum?” from the eldest bundle of joy). If your tiny humans are a bit less fussy then pop this in at the end with the carrots.
  6. Cook for about 45 mins until the offending sweet potato has pretty much disappeared from sight and then add the potato and cook for 5-10 minutes and then add your carrots and sweet potato here. Cook for about 20 mins until almost cooked through. If at any point it’s running a little dry, add a few splashes of boiling water.
  7. Pop in your canned lentils and sweetcorn to cook. Season to taste. I also popped some chopped parsley on mine which adds a lovely freshness.
  8. Serve with a lovely wedge of buttered bread and enjoy that lovely warm hug in a bowl.

A note of caution – trying to serve this two days in a row did not go down well with fussy eldest bundle of joy. “Why do we have to eat the same thing two days in a row? It’s not fair”). Fortunately the other two happily scoffed the rest so my eldest joy didn’t have to put up with it three days in a row. Shame.

Happy Thursday lovely people.

Tahlia x

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.

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!

Chicken Lollipop Dippers

If you are looking for something a little bit different for the kids, look no further than this Jamie Oliver recipe. My children love these lollipops and the little dip that went with it. What’s more, it was super easy, quick and hassle free.

Ingredients;

2 skinless chicken fillets

Olive oil

Seasoning

4 tbsp natural yogurt

2 tsps tomatoes paste

4 Lollipop sticks, soaked in water

Method;

Start off by cutting the chicken fillets into chunks and use a sharp knife to make a deep slit into the bottom of each piece of chicken.

Rub oil into each chunk and season well. Insert a lollipop stick into each slit and gently warm up a frying pan on a low – medium heat.

Place the chicken lollipops into the frying pan for 7 minutes on each side, until golden.

Whilst the chicken is cooking, mix the yogurt and tomato paste together in a bowl, seasoning to taste.

When everything is ready, plate up with your sides of choice and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

Autumnal Pork & Vegetable Stew

This delicious stew is perfect for these cooler days and tastes like a hug in a bowl. It’s so easy and the kids love it, so a real winner in our house!

Ingredients (serves 4 with plenty left for seconds);

3 pork chops, fat off and removed from the bone (optional)

3 potatoes, skin left on & cubed

1 sweet potato, skin left on & cubed

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 carrots, cut into chunks

1 apple, cored and diced

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

Cup of frozen peas

Splash of balsamic vinegar

Handful of fresh Sage, crushed and chopped (keep a few leaves aside to garnish when you plate up)

1 vegetable stock cube

Sprinkling of gravy granules

Method;

Preheat the oven to gas mark 180°C, and place all of the ingredients (except for the stock cube, gravy powder and frozen peas) into a large casserole pot. Cover with water and bring to boil on a medium heat on the hob. Reduce the heat to a simmer and sprinkle in the vegetable stock cube, stir. Put the lid on and pop into the oven.

After an hour, remove the casserole pot from the oven and stir. Sprinkle a generous amount of gravy granules over the top, stir and put it back into the oven for 45 minutes, until the gravy is thick and the vegetables are tender. Stir in the frozen peas and pop back in the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool down until ready to eat. Garnish with some fresh sage leaves and serve with chunky bread.

Bon appetite!