I love this stew and I always make it if I have a large amount of people over for dinner as you can just double the ingredient quantities. It’s especially good around Christmas time, when you may have a few more for dinner than usual!
5 chestnut mushrooms or 10–15 small button mushrooms, halved
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
400g tin of coconut milk
1 heaped tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (don’t be tempted to add more – it’s hot!)
500g stewing beef, diced
Put the onion, mushrooms and carrots in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until finely chopped (or chop them with a knife very finely). Place at the bottom of the slow cooker.
In a small saucepan or frying pan, heat the butter or olive oil gently and lightly fry the garlic for 1–2 minutes (keep the heat low and don’t let it brown).
Add the garlic and the rest of the ingredients (apart from the meat) to the slow cooker and stir well.
Lastly add the meat and let it sink into the sauce, place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8–9 hours or on HIGH for 5–6 hours, until the meat is tender and the sweet potato is falling apart.
For a less creamy dish, omit the tinned coconut and replace with an extra tin of chopped tomatoes.
* Keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge
* Freezable for up to 4 months
A quick meal packed with lots goodness, this is very quick to prepare, and then just stick it in the oven and you have a cooked lunch or dinner for the children before you know it. You could either make it in single ramekins or use a bigger Pyrex dish and make one big one…which will also save on washing up and it will cool down quicker.
Flake the mackerel out with a fork and spread over the bottom of a 20cm square baking dish and mix with the mushrooms. Mash the avocado with the back of a fork and add the squeeze of a lemon then add to the dish followed by the tomatoes.
Now, crack the eggs on top (one is each corner) and swivel the dish around so that the egg white covers its corner well or beat the eggs first and then add to the dish (for a scrambled affect)
Finally, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, if using, and the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until the eggs are cooked on top and the cheese is bubbling.
* For a vegetarian dish, lightly fry some quorn mince with ½ tin of chopped tomatoes and 1 teaspoon of tamari and add in place of the mackerel
* Keeps for up to 2 days in the fridge
* Freezable for up to 3 months
All my children love this: it’s their favourite and they ask for it all the time. What’s good about this sauce is that you can make it on the spot and stir it straight through some hot pasta. Add some shredded chicken or garlic prawns for a bigger meal.
few slices of Cheddar cheese and extra grated on top (optional)
400g-tin plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of salt and pepper (for children over 12 months)
To roast the pepper and carrot-Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 6. Cut the pepper in half and discard the stalk and seeds, chop the ends of the carrot, peel and halve. Place on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes. Personally I don’t brush them peppers with oil, but you could.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, put all the other ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Drain the cooked pasta and stir the sauce through before serving and top.
Adults may prefer to have their sauce heated first and for extra flavour to be added. Mixed herbs bump up the flavour, as do a few drops of tamari or chilli sauce.
* Left over sauce keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge
* Freezable for up to 6 months- but you must either blanch the carrot for 5 minutes or heat the sauce for 5 minutes if using it raw then leave to cool completely before freezing.
*You can also store and freeze the pasta but for best results freeze the sauce separately and make the pasta fresh for when you need it.