Eat your veg http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk Healthier, Fun & Delish Family Recipes | Childrens Cook Teacher | Fressh @ Eat Your Veg Hereford Street Food Thu, 31 May 2018 16:02:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.12 Gruffalo Crumble Muffins! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/gruffalo-crumble-muffins/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/gruffalo-crumble-muffins/#respond Tue, 27 Feb 2018 20:47:10 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=9018 I promise that no gruffalos are actually harmed in the making of these muffins, just apples or pears, or a delicious mix of both. They’re a particularly moreish munch with a yummy oaty crumble topping. A little healthier than your average muffin being half wholemeal, lower in sugar, using better for you fats (rapeseed oil and natural yogurt) and packed full of fruit. They’ve been my go-to recipe for several Growing Local children’s stalls in the last couple of years, and were first made for the grand opening of the Gruffalo Trail at nearby Queenswood.

The recipe also featured on the 2018 Growing Local Calendar as the September recipe, which is of course when apples and pears are harvested. Though handily both will keep for several months if stored satisfactorily and are usually good for seeing through the winter. Here’s the recipe page, along with gorgeous apple artwork produced by children at our Cook Art Workshops we hosted last Summer. 

The Gruffalo rice paper toppers can be bought online, and do make a fun finishing touch if you can source them. This recipe makes 12 large muffins or 24 mini sized ones.

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A Fressh 2018 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/fressh-in-2018/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/fressh-in-2018/#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:19:23 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=9006 Fressh is back for 2018! FRESSH @ Eat Your Veg is my street food foray into the delectable world of grown up fodder. See me at markets, events and food festivals across Herefordshire and beyond. I’m currently busy getting the diary booked up but so far here’s where I’ll be at during the beginning of the season:

Saturday 17 Feb 2018  Big Day @ The Butter Market, Hereford

Saturday 5 May 2018  Hereford River Carnival

Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 June 2018 Hereford Food Festival

Saturday 30 June & Sunday 1 July 2018  Shobdon Food & Flying Festival

Sunday 8th July 2018 Ledbury Food & Poetry Festival

If you like to see Fressh at your event then read more here and email lou@eatyourveg.co.uk.

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Chicken & Veggie Noodles http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/chicken-veggie-noodles/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/chicken-veggie-noodles/#respond Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:01:35 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=9002 A tasty one-pan stir-fry sizzler that’s packed with flavour and good for you, too. Stir fries are a great way to easily bump up your 5-a-day and are certainly a family favourite here at Eat Your Veg HQ.

Mix and vary your veggies as to what’s in season or you have in and try to eat a rainbow of colours for added nutrition, in fact stir fries are a perfect vessel for introducing children to new or less favoured veg. Other great stir fry veggies other than in the recipe include green beans, mange tout/sugar snap peas, bean sprouts, baby sweetcorn or sweetcorn kernels, courgette, red/white/green cabbage, cauliflower.

If you like a little heat add a sliced chilli with the veggies. Don’t fancy chicken, then use beef or pork strips or prawns instead. Go veggie and leave out the chicken and replace with another veggie or tofu.

This is a great recipe for children to practice knife skills and build oodles of confidence in the kitchen. I’ve made this dish at many after school cook clubs and more recently at my National Lottery funded ‘Healthy Cook Club’ workshops with Growing Local. More information on this super-exciting project can be read about here.

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http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8988/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 03:09:06 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8988 Slide-4 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/slides/slide-4/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 02:53:48 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=slides&p=8987 Slide-3 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/slides/slide-3/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 02:53:28 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=slides&p=8986 Slide 2 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/slides/slide-2/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 02:53:00 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=slides&p=8985 Slide 1 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/slides/slide-1/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 02:51:57 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=slides&p=8984 Welcome To Email Subscribers http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/es_template/welcome-to-email-subscribers/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 02:42:04 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/welcome-to-email-subscribers/ What can you achieve using Email Subscribers?

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Sausage, Bean & Veggie Hotpot http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/sausage-bean-veggie-hotpot/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/sausage-bean-veggie-hotpot/#respond Tue, 06 Feb 2018 21:30:06 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8966 Fittingly for the sub-zero temperatures out there this week here’s a comforting and hearty family favourite to warm the cockles. This one-pot wonder dish is packed full of seasonal veggies, sausages and beans, topped with sliced potatoes and baked in the oven. Use veggie sausages and stock for a vegetarian dish.

Do sub the veggies for any other roots or sturdy veg . Delicious with a green veg on the side. I like to add a large pinch of dried chilli flakes to warm things up a little, but do leave out for the chilli adverse.

Keep warm, eat hotpot folks,

Louisa

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Baked Cheesy Chicken Dippers http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/baked-cheesy-chicken-dippers/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/baked-cheesy-chicken-dippers/#respond Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:52:31 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8956
Bit of a fave here at Eat Your Veg HQ. And genuinely a cinch to make, and a quick mid-week made-in-mins cinch at that. If your children are partial to chicken nuggets then this IS the recipe for you. So soooo much healthier than anything nuggety and you can use real chicken breast, and preferably real free range chicken breast. Being baked and not fried they’re a good deal less fatty too.

Do get the kids making these themselves, about ten minutes from weighing out to oven ready. Admittedly it’ll be ten messy minutes and you’ll have a clogged up sink afterwards. And an eggy flour splattered floor. But it will be worth it. A dinner kids can easily make entirely themselves is highly satisfying for them and for you, and gives bags of confidence in the cooking department.

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Easy Veggie Lasagne http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/veggie-lasagne/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/veggie-lasagne/#respond Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:11:46 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8952
Who doesn’t love a lasagne? Well my daughter for one. I’m never too sure why, but thankfully of late she’s conceded to actually eating it without too much whinging. Jacques (aka Pasta Man) and I could  happily eat it every day, though that would seem a tad harsh on Fran. This is quite a rich veggie lasagne and should satisfy the most ardent of carnivores.

I’ve successfully made this recipe at many an school cook club and with my own kids too, proving a good deal less faffy and time consuming than an ordinary lasagne. It leaves out the béchamel cheese sauce replacing with a simple mix of creme fraiche and grated cheese, a handy little kitchen hack to save on sauce time. You can of course do this for a meat lasagne too. Equally, feel free to make a béchamel/cheese sauce if you wish. 

The veggie bolognese makes for a delish sauce in it’s own right to serve with pasta, so why not make a big batch to freeze in portions for later use. Do use whatever veggies are in season or you have in, mine are only suggestions. If your kids are particularly veg adverse, whiz them through a food processor to a very fine dice (the veggies, not the children). For an even healthier kick, use wholewheat pasta.

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Apple, Carrot & Pecan Mini-Mega-Muffins http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/apple-carrot-muffins/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/apple-carrot-muffins/#respond Mon, 05 Feb 2018 21:13:50 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8949

I’ve made these muffins countless times over recent years. Initially at my Sutton Primary after school Healthy Snacks Clubs introducing children to healthier baking using better for you ingredients and more recently for paying adult folk on my Fressh stall. A deliciously moreish muffin crammed with so much good stuff but you wouldn’t know it, think apple, carrot, coconut, pecans, seeds, oats, sultanas and half wholemeal flour to boot. What’s not to love? Equally scrum as a breakfast munch, substantial elevenses, lunch box treat or afternoon naughty.

With children I tend to make smaller mini sized muffins using an ordinary mince pie tin and fairy cake cases, but for adults or selling on my stall a larger standard muffin size using muffin cases or wraps and a muffin tray. This recipe makes 12 small muffins or 6 large.

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Roasted Chickpeas http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/roasted-chickpeas/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/roasted-chickpeas/#respond Thu, 01 Feb 2018 21:58:17 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8944 A blast from the past recipe from my Lottery funded Sutton Primary after school #HealthySnacksClub. A truly scrumptious healthy snack made from the humble chickpea, and a great way to inspire little people to love their chickpeas. Eat just as they, season with one of my flavour ideas below or make up your own flavouring. Enjoy!

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Veg Plot Minestrone Soup http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/veg-plot-minestrone-soup/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/veg-plot-minestrone-soup/#respond Thu, 01 Feb 2018 21:13:28 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8941

A favourite recipe from our primary school Harvest & Cook Workshops at the Growing Local plot. Uber-healthy, uber-tasty and uber-easy to make, this is a great recipe to make with children and get them loving their veggies whilst practicing safe knife skills to boot. We’ve managed a staggeringly healthy twenty two veggies no less at the plot!

Do vary your veggies as to what’s in season or you have in. This soup can be made all year around and taste totally different each time you make by varying your seasonal veg. Go heavier on the roots and sturdy greens in the winter, use peppers, fresh tomatoes, beans, peas and courgettes in the summer. There’s no rules here other than to dice the veggies fairly finely and to a similar size so they cook evenly. Cook root veggies (like parsnips, carrots, swede, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes) for longer than greener easier to cook ones (like green beans, cabbage, kale, spinach, courgette, chard, peas etc).

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Easy Strawberry Fool http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/easy-strawberry-fool/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/easy-strawberry-fool/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 21:23:32 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8930 Strawberry Fool

According to good ol’ Wiki “A fool is an English dessert. Traditionally, fruit fool is made by folding pureed stewed fruit into sweet custard. Modern fool recipes often skip the traditional custard and use whipped cream.”

The fool of my childhood was usually gooseberry made indeed with custard and not cream, I can’t say I was particularly partial to it! I make this version for my kids, or more often they can now make for me. Simply crushed strawberries stirred through whipped cream and Greek yogurt. A mightily impressive pud with minimal effort, literally whipped up in a few minutes. What’s not to love? A great recipe for children to make on their own too. If you have a rotary whisk they’re ideal for little ones to use, if not, either get them exercising some muscle power with a balloon whisk or supervise an electric hand held whisk.

Try also making a fool with crushed raspberries, peaches or apricots or cooked gooseberriesapple and blackberries or ginger and rhubarb (the latter being a Fressh stall favourite).

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Spicy Tomato Brunch Eggs http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/spicy-tomato-brunch-eggs/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/spicy-tomato-brunch-eggs/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 08:13:48 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8927 Spicy Tomato Baked Brunch EggsInspiration for this dish comes part from Mexican ‘huevos rancheros’ and part from Middle Eastern ‘shakshouka’, either way I do love a little chilli in my weekend breakfasts. We do eat this quite a lot, every couple of weeks at least I’d say. Tending to be a later breakie or brunch option and a healthier change to our usual bacon butties which I’m probably a little over-partial for. The Monsters too. I can’t help but cram as many veggies as I can muster to the tomato and chilli sauce as it’s always good to smugly know you’re well on your way to 5-a-day by the end of breakfast, particularly good if you’re aiming at the recently suggested veggie-tactic 10-a-day. My kids will sometimes eat this, it’s more the veggies for breakfast that puts them off than the chilli content. Chillies are suddenly the height of uber cool to seven year olds apparently. On the whole though it’s a better recipe for older children or grown ups.

Like all my food there’s no rules here, just throw in any veggies you have to hand, even some sneaky bacon or chorizo if you wish to meat things up. Start the sauce with leek or onion, garlic too if you can handle it for breakie. Add your veggies, peppers are perfect, courgette, mushrooms and aubergines work a treat and I always like some greenery in there too, think spinach, kale or chard. Add chilli (fresh or dried. I use two whole pakistani dried red chillies, my fave at the moment). Throw in a tin of chopped tomatoes (fresh are great when in season) and some tommie puree. Season well, cook until the veggies are tender then poach the eggs in the sauce. Top with a few snipped chives, coriander or parsley, maybe even a little crumbled feta or goats cheese too. Serve with crusty bread or even better quickie homemade soda bread to soak up all the sauce. And save any leftovers for late night snacking later. 

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Caldo Verde, Portugese Greens Soup http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/caldo-verde-portugese-greens-soup/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/caldo-verde-portugese-greens-soup/#respond Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:57:47 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8922 Caldo VerdeI can’t even begin to tell you how awful I feel about the neglect of Eat Your Veg. I do miss it, truly. But circumstances dictate I simply don’t have the disposable time that I used to have these days, which whilst sad, on a positive note does mean my work elsewhere is good. More on my exciting new workie ventures in a blog one day soon.  But for now my 2017 promise to myself is to dive into Eat Your Veg with a recipe whenever I have a spare evening, and tonight is one such evening. So here I give you Caldo Verde, part soup, part stew. A hearty and substantial winter warmer of a bowlful that’s sure to knock the socks off this cold snap we’re currently experiencing.

Caldo Verde is essentially a simple Portuguese potato and robust greens soup flavoured with chorizo, I tend to cram as much greenery in there as it will hold, usually using a mix of savoy cabbage and kale. I’m not the biggest fan of chorizo by the way, don’t get me wrong I do love it, but from a health point of you it’s a highly flavoured highly processed meat product that I wouldn’t advise eating on a regularly basis. But as a once in a while treat I’m sure it’s fine, which is all it is in these parts. My kids love it too, and by adding a touch to a soup like this it’s a great way of coercing them to tuck into their greens.

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#Lakefest http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/lakefest2016/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/lakefest2016/#respond Sat, 27 Aug 2016 09:54:23 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8901 IMG_2143The weekend before last I was lucky enough to be given tickets to the family-friendly festival Lakefest, which was handily held this year at nearby Eastnor Castle. A mere 25 minutes from our home. And of course we were all delighted to go, the first ever festival for The Monsters, and first festival in nearly ten years for me. The intention had been to camp and soak up the full festival atmosphere, but due to last minute dog sitting woes we ended up staying at home (which in all honesty I was pretty glad of in the end!).

Unknown-2Our tickets were courtesy of Bassetts Vitamins and their #LifeWithMoreColour campaign. Bassetts Vitamins have developed a range of nutritionally balanced, deliciously chewy and liquid vitamins for the whole family, from babies to grandparents, to ensure families are ready and set to go, whatever the day brings.

IMG_2137We got to hang out on the Bassetts pop-up stand at the festival which Jacques and Frannie loved. Endless dressing up opportunities, fun colouring in and some truly awesome face IMG_2145painting and body art. And I got to chat to the stunningly gorgeous Rachel Stevens (of S Club 7 fame) about her work and family life (she has two little girls, 2 and 5). Rachel is the new face of the Bassetts Vitamins campaign and of course her girls take their daily vitamins. She also cooks for her children and even has a small veggie and herb garden, yay! I was particularly interested in her work with Water Aid too, as one of the primary school workshops I run with Growing Local and Concern Universal is a Comic Relief funded African Garden Workshop exploring problems of water shortage and growing in Africa.

The kids got to try out the yummy soft and chewy vitamins for the first time and gave them a very firm thumbs up. We took home goody bags of product which I’m pleased to say are now very much part of our family morning routine. Whilst we generally have a very balanced diet here at Eat Your Veg HQ easily munching through our 5-a-day there are times we occasionally slip, especially during the holidays (which thus far have been no less than crazily chaotic). So it’s good to know the children’s nutritional needs are now always covered. As readers well know sweets are very much a no go around here, so I was happy to discover Bassetts Vitamins contain only natural flavours and colours and no added sugar. Awesome. For more information visit www.bassettsvitamins.co.uk.

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As for the rest of our time at Lakefest, we truly had a blast. The sun shone, the music blared, the kids played, smiled and laughed and we relished our first ever family festival experience. I would have preferred a little more chilled time listening to the bands but The Monsters patience with unfamiliar music ran out all too quickly, eh well. I did however manage to enjoy The Cracked, Duke Special, Cast and Big Country. The circus skills and tight rope walking areas were more of a draw to The Monsters and Jacques got to see some awesome BMX action. And we all chowed down on some excellent festival fodder, though I couldn’t help but notice the lack of local food on offer. If Lakefest return to Eastnor next year I’d be truly tempted to run a Fressh stall selling my all Herefordshire healthier Tarts, Pies and Salads.

Thank you Lakelest and Bassetts Vitamins, we had a fab family weekend!

Louisa x

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#Fressh #News http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/fressh-in-2016/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/fressh-in-2016/#respond Mon, 25 Jul 2016 22:11:34 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8893 Shobdon CollageAfter a four month stint of #Fressh stalls every Friday and several Saturdays between August and December last year I took a bit of breather until recently. To tell you the truth I was more than a tad burnt out by Christmas, as I still had my after school clubs to run and various Growing Local commitments plus of course two children and two doggies to look after. All in all a bit too much. Which is why it took me until the end of May to get it together to get Fressh back up and running for 2016. But not every week this time round, only on the weeks my other workie stuff is thinner on the ground. And with a much shorter, simpler menu I’ve cut down on valuable prep time and can knock a Friday stall together on one long Thursday.  I’m focusing on Seasonal Tarts, Homity Pies and loads of Salads, using fabulous Growing Local produce of course, plus my homegrown greenery and herbage. And so far so successful, and genuinely enjoyable! And a good deal less stressful to boot.

Stall Pic

I also made it to Shobdon Food and Flying Festival at the end of June which was a total blast. Admittedly a masseef amount of work for several days before and five knackering midnight finishes. But the two days at the festival were so much fun at possibly the friendliest food festival I’ve ever been to. If you’ve never been to Shobdon I urge you to next year. You won’t be disappointed. And take the kids!.

Fressh dates coming up in the summer, Friday 29th July and Friday 26th August I’m running a joint Fressh / Growing Local stall in Hereford High Town hoping to make lots of Veg Bag sign ups, as well as selling out of Tarts & Salads of course. We’ll probably be positioned near The Bull so do bob by and sell hello,

Louisa x

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Cheese & Butternut Scones http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/cheese-butternut-scones/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/cheese-butternut-scones/#respond Wed, 30 Mar 2016 16:12:26 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8873 Cheese and Butternut Scones

hi_big_e_lrg_blue-2This recipe completes a set of fifteen recipe cards for my Sutton Primary Big Lottery funded ‘Healthy Snacks Club’. Fifteen easy recipes for kids to make at home with their parents as a healthier after school snack. Each week we make or bake one or two of the recipes at the club, munch on lots of healthy stuff and talk a little about sugar.

The club began last June with the then year 6s and has progressed through the year groups to my current two groups of little year 2 and 3s. As the children are now getting younger the recipes are getting a good deal easier too, and I’m looking forward to making these cheesy scones with them after the holidays. Lets hope they enjoy them as much as we did!.

I do love a cheesy scone, probably more than a sweet one. The same goes for The Monsters, being the cheese fiends that they are. I was particularly pleased with how these turned out as the recipe’s a good deal healthier than your usual scone, part wholemeal flour and with a decent amount of nutritious hidden butternut squash in there to boot. The butternut also gave them a glorious colour like no other. Adding veggies to bakes allows for a moister bake that keeps well for longer. Not that the two rounds of scones I road-tested kept well at all; they were snaffled up in minutes round here!.

If you’re up for a spot of Easter holiday baking then please do give my scones a whirl, they really are very easy to make and bake. Scones are a great learning to bake recipe for even the littlest of little ones. And very very scrummy, especially with a generous slathering of butter.

Here’s all fifteen of my recipe card covers, several recipes I’ve already posted on Eat Your Veg, the rest will of course be at some point…..

L x

Sutton Recipe Cards for Blog

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Sugar Tax is not hard-hitting enough http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/sugar-tax/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/sugar-tax/#respond Mon, 28 Mar 2016 11:38:18 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8878 hereford_times

I was delighted to have been asked last week by The Hereford Times to write an article on my opinions of the Sugar Tax. Even more chuffed to be labelled a ‘healthy eating ambassador’, please take a moment to read it here:

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Withington mum and healthy eating ambassador welcomes sugar tax but says measures could have been more hard-hitting

 

Other recent Hereford Times pieces on my after school clubs:

After school club aims to combat child tooth decay and sugary snacks

Withington children take to the kitchen to prepare healthy snacks

Sutton After School Club Publicity Pic

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A Bangin’ Bangers & Beans Super-Stew http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/sausage-bean-stew/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/sausage-bean-stew/#comments Sat, 19 Mar 2016 09:55:57 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8869 Bangers and Beans Super Stew 2As I write this I’m happily contemplating the possible end of stew weather; the sun has shined for at least five days in the last week now, obviously barring yesterdays cold and overcast onslaught. And there’s finally some spring warmth, admittedly more than a tad chill still at night though!. Stew weather or not this is a truly child-friendly crowd pleaser of a stew that I couldn’t resist posting as we near the end of March. After much faffing around with sausage and bean hotpots and stews over the last few weeks to find a great recipe for my after-school cook club, with Frannie and Jacques my ever faithful foodie guinea pigs, I reckon this is pretty much bang on as an easy family recipe.

Uber-tasty yet reasonably high in the healthy stakes with plenty of veggies, beans and pearl barley. Quick and easy to put together mid-week, tops 45 minutes from start to finish. Budget friendly with no fancy ingredients, just the usual store cupboard and fridge staples. Most importantly the guinea pigs happily wolfed it down, beans and all, which believe was a major stewy feat, especially for bean-phobic Frannie. Though I must confess to employing a teensy cheat on the bean front. Call it baked beans, albeit low sugar and salt baked beans. But at least their familiarity with kids won’t put them off from eating beans in a stew, same goes for good ol’ bangers.

Luckily my ‘Healthy Dinners Club’ after-school cook club liked it too, a full house seven out of seven saying they ate it for their family dinner last week. Result. I’m on my final group of sessions now at Withington Primary with seven of the keenest and most enthusiastic attendees from previous sessions which is really fantastic. I may even get the opportunity to work with many of them again next year if my grant to work at Aylestone Secondary School and Broadlands Primary comes off too. Fingers crossed.

So five new dishes for my last super-group to make including this stew, my low-sugar Oaty-Licious Apple & Pear Crumble, a Chicken & Butternut Korma next week and Cheesy Chicken Dippers and easy Veggie Lasagne after Easter. In an hour and a half we prep together the entire dish to take home for their families to eat that night, with a big emphasis on safe knife skills (aka loads of veggie prep!), food hygiene and washing and drying up. The latter of which this group are beyond amazing at, yay!.

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Oaty-Licious Apple & Pear Crumble http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/apple-pear-crumble/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/apple-pear-crumble/#respond Sat, 05 Mar 2016 08:29:18 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8834 Apple & Pear Crumble with BorderThree blogs almost within a week, very probably a record over the last twelve months. Yippee as Jacques would say.  I seem to have a massive backlog of recipes and news to post so I’m trying my very best to get down and bloggie this week.

A bit of a simple recipe today but everyone should learn to make a crumble, a healthier-than-most pud. A bare few minutes to make and not much longer to bake and you’re quickly transported to comfort food pudding nirvana. Crumble’s my standard Sunday Dinner haven’t-thought-of-a-pud-yet fallback option as there’s always fruit lurking about to throw in one, fresh, frozen or tinned. And who doesn’t love a good ‘ol crumble. About half my current after school club of year 2s apparently. There were almost tears last week at the prospect of crumble making, who’d have thought it. Luckily the half that weren’t upset seemed to really enjoy their pud making, phew. It had either been crumble or a (child-friendly) Chilli Con Carne that the previous older groups had made, but the latter seemed a stretch beyond them.

This is pretty much the standard crumble recipe I’ve been making for years, though the fruit is variable according to what’s around. Plum, damson and apple and blackberry are my favourites in the late summer or early Autumn. The rest of the year it’s apple or pear or a combination of them both or tinned or frozen (and thawed) fruits, it all works. Sometimes sultanas or chopped apricots, occasionally a sliced banana or two too. But my topping is invariably the same, I do like a hearty inclusion of oats for crunch, flavour and added sneaky nutrition.

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March #News #Fressh http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/march-news-fressh/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/march-news-fressh/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2016 15:16:17 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8861 It’s been a while since I last reported on my Fressh venture; my foray into ‘grown up fodder’ in the form of a street food stall in Hereford High Town. After a marathon stretch of Fridays between August and Christmas and several Farmers Market Saturdays I decided to take a little break over the winter. Ooooooo it was getting nippy and just a tad miserable out there.

The Christmas market ‘pie extravaganza’ stalls were a total blast, and a total sell out. Together with my foodie big brother Julian we baked more pies than I would like to remember and pleasingly purveyed the lot in a couple of sell out Fridays. Complete with elf hats and all three Now Christmas albums blaring from Frannie’s pink boombox. As well as my usual Hereford Hop Homity Pies we made seasonal Stilton Homities and developed a special ‘Christmas Dinner Winner Pie’ with layers of all your usual Christmas Dinner. Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Potatoes, Gravy, Spiced Red Cabbage and even Sprouts with Lardons no less. I was mightily chuffed with how they turned out, and all thanks to the inspiration of a Fressh customer who suggested I have a crack at making ‘Sunday Dinner Pies’. I didn’t get to know his name but he was a lovely man with a partiality for my Homity Pies.

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Julian came up with a Butty Bach Beefy Burster Pie to rival the Christmas Dinner Winners. Six hour slow cooked Neil Powell’s beef shin in Wye Valley Brewery Butty Bach ale.  It’s now March and I’m still dreaming of them. That good. All veggies in the pies were of course from Growing Local and local cheeses from The Mousetrap. And bread with my Soups and Stews from the delectable Peter Cooks Bread.

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With the onset of cold I took the decision to give Fressh a miss over the winter and take a breather/think on the stall, and on which I’m still thinking. Whilst I loved my Fridays it was an enormous effort every week from Wednesday evening through to Friday night, especially with all my after school clubs and Growing Local commitments too. Not to mention the two little people and two furballs I’m responsible for. That said I’m still considering coming back fortnightly on Fridays after Easter and will most definitely be at all special local markets or foodie events. I’m booked into Shobdon Food Festival already and will probably be going to the Hereford River Carnival too.

And if you can’t wait that long I’m always available to cater for private or small corporate events with my Pulled Meat Wraps, Salads, Tarts, Pies, Soups or Stews. Or any other seasonal delicacies you’d like, using local Herefordshire produce as far as possible too of course. Do get in touch via email to lou@eatyourveg.co.uk.

And for now, here’s a few more Fressh pics from the last few months…..

Fressh Stall Pic

Fressh Stall Pics 2

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Baked Veggie Crisps http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/baked-veggie-crisps/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/baked-veggie-crisps/#respond Thu, 25 Feb 2016 12:59:35 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8832 Baked Veggie Crisps

At the end of each run of my lottery funded ‘Healthy Snacks Club’ at Sutton Primary School I issue evaluation forms for parents and children to complete. As well as reporting back on the impact the club has had I ask for suggestions on other healthy snacks we could make at future clubs. The most requested by far has to be Veggie Crisps. So finally I got busy in the kitchen last weekend baking various root veggie strips testing out whether indeed it was possible to make a healthier alternative to the oh-so-moreish commercial packets. Of which of course I do love, and who doesn’t, but when deep fried and salted as they are you have to question their nutritional value.

A little curious on this matter I checked out a packet from a local well known producer, and indeed whilst the levels of fibre were reasonable (about 5g per serving) they actually contained more fat and salt than comparison potato crisps from the same company, yikes! As for the nutritional value of the fried veggies I couldn’t find any info, but I’m guessing they must have some.GL Logo

My oven baked crisps have only the merest coating of olive oil (or even better rapeseed oil if you have it) and a weeny pinch of salt (and pepper) so are naturally much better for you. Almost the same crunch as the fried variety and still very tasty and satisfying, my kids devoured them in about two minutes flat which says it all really. Jacques even said he preferred them to the packet ones, good lad. And Frannie actually ate beetroot, result. It probably helped that I used uber-flavoursome veggies to start with, supplied by Growing Local of course. Whom I now work for and next week will be starting to run educational workshops with. Exciting times!.

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January #News #GrowingLocal http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/january-news-growinglocal/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/january-news-growinglocal/#respond Fri, 22 Jan 2016 11:35:52 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8820 Happy New Year folks (I know, I know, I know it’s a tad late). Christmas was for once a fabulously relaxing time around here, albeit now a mere distant memory. A glorious two weeks of time off with family and friends and ample quality days in and out with The Monsters. And lie ins too. Bliss. January is a dry one in this household, my first ever. Anyone else doing it? Good for my health I’m sure, but the fact most of it’s been spent with a stinking cold has dwindled the enthusiasm somewhat.

Best coloured logoAs ever a good deal has happened since my last blogging action, which quite frankly was embarrassingly long ago. First and foremost I have some really exciting news to share with you, I’m becoming a director of Growing Local, a Hereford based Community Interest Company. Growing Local not only supply top quality, largely organic, fruit and veg bags to the people of Hereford and surrounding areas. All supplied by Herefordshire small producers.  But they deliver land based educational courses across the county too. Chiefly to primary school children, but older children and adults too.

 

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Which is where I come in!. I shall be taking over their educational commitments as of Easter which is quite possibly my dream job. I’l be mainly taking school groups at their veggie plot at Court Farm in Tillington for African Garden workshops or allotment based veggie sessions. And as of next year farming and lambing workshops out in Dulas towards the Black Mountains. We’re also in the process of applying for grant funding to extend the Growing Local offering to include harvesting and cookery sessions. Dream job, most definitely! And we now have a brand new indoor space to do some of this from, by way of a (soon to be converted) shipping container donated to us.

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The GL educational plot at Court Farm, Tillington in fully summer bloom

 

A typical Autumn 'large' fruit & veg bag

A typical Autumn ‘large’ fruit & veg bag

I’ll also be working a little on the sales and promotion side, not only helping with packing and veg bag deliveries on Thursdays but attending various local events promoting GL. The first of which will be Seed Swap at The Courtyard Theatre on Saturday 6th Feb. And a brand new website is in the pipeline too!  All such very exciting news and I so can’t wait to get properly cracking.

Fressh_Logo_05I’m also planning on getting my Fressh stall up and running again once the warmer weather returns, and shall of course be using only glorious Growing Local veggies as before. More on the stall in a blog very soon though. In other news my after school clubs are back in full swing, three a week until Easter (all using GL fruit & veggies too!) and I promise a bloggie update on their progress soon too.

More news on all of this very soon folks. But for now if you’re interested in being supplied by the most glorious produce that Herefordshire has to offer and live locally, they do give me a bell or email and I can happily arrange, louisa@growinglocal.org.uk. And please support Growing Local on Twitter @GrowingLocalHQ, Instagram @growing_local_hq or Facebook Growing Local is Going Local CIC!

Muchos Veggie Love

Louisa x

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education

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Fressh @ Eat Your Veg http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/fressh-eat-your-veg/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/fressh-eat-your-veg/#respond Fri, 30 Oct 2015 19:22:46 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8805 Fressh StallToday was my eighth Fressh @ Eat Your Veg stall, and high time I reported on how it’s all going. Fressh is my foray into ‘adult’ food, a more grown up, spiced up, saladed up Eat Your Veg if you like. I’m in Hereford High Town every Friday (poorly doggie/child permitting) and also the first Saturday of the month Farmers Markets.

And so far so good. Admittedly a lot of hard work, and I mean A LOT. From Wednesday night through to very late on Thursday my kitchen goes all industrial pumping out out various pies, tarts, salads, meatballs, cakes, muffins, pulled meats, soups, stews….. Whatever I’ve decided to feature on my seasonally and weekly changing menu. A usually extremely late night packing up of Herbie the Landrover followed by an early start on Friday to load up my enormous Igloo Box and it’s off to market for the fun bit of selling. It may be hard work, and I’m cream crackered beyond belief by Friday night, but I can honestly say I’m loving it. Love the menu planning, love the prep, love the market banter, love my already loyal and regular customers, love the feedback and positive comments I’m getting used to receiving. And in a sick kind of way l’m loving all the hard work that goes into project Fressh! A total feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. At last!.

IMG_7114As for today, it was a bit on an average to poor day. Town was really quiet despite it being half term; the morning’s wind and rain probably put many folks off coming into town. But nevertheless takings were still okay, and a few more lessons learnt on this very steep learning curve that I appear to be on! Namely don’t bother trying to serve the public cauliflower soup, no matter how tasty and spiced up it may be (and it was, the few people I convinced to try it all came back to tell me they’ve loved it). Spiced Cauliflower & Almond Soup is definitely off the menu. I’m going for a safer Roasted Tommie Soup next week.

Here’s a few pics of todays stall and offerings and more on Fressh very soon I promise…..

Today's Menu

Today’s Menu

Homity Pies & Mega Muffins

My best seller ‘Homity Pies’ lovingly made with one of my favourite cheeses, Hereford Hop (as supplied by local cheese shop The Mousetrap and produced by Croome Cuisine), Herefordshire potatoes and onions from Growing Local, homegrown chard from my garden and just a smidgen of cream. And with a part wholemeal poppy seed crust for a healthier Eat Your Veg twist. For a sweet offering I had my also popular ‘Mega Muffins’. About as healthy as a muffin can get, low in added sugar, half wholemeal and packed full of so much good stuff including carrot, apple, pecan nuts, coconut and sultanas. And with a seedy crumble topping to boot. Despite their healthy credentials they do actually taste good too! Recipe on the blog soon…..

Beef in Butty

Today’s meaty offering was a Herefordshire ‘Beef in Butty’ Hotbox, beef shin (from Powells) braised in Butty Bach (a local Wye Valley ale) with Button Mushrooms, my homegrown Shallots and Root Veggies from Growing Local. Served with hunks of no-less-than-fabulous Peter Cooks Bread, baked just a few short miles down the road from me in Bromyard. If you haven’t already tried his bread then you MUST.

Salads

Today’s Salads, using all Growing Local’s glorious Herefordshire grown veggies (well apart from the Cucumber!).

Tart

Tart of the Day was Roasted Peppers & Tomatoes with Ragstone Goats Cheese (from Neal’s Yard Creamery), Thyme & Olives.

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My #HealthyDinnersClub http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/after-school-clubs/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/after-school-clubs/#respond Sun, 25 Oct 2015 08:00:48 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8797 Withington After School Cook Club Collage 1Hi folks,

hi_big_e_lrg_blue-2A little newsy post for you today on my after school cook clubs. Since the Spring I’ve been lucky enough to receive Big Lottery funding on behalf of two local Herefordshire schools to run healthy eating cook classes.  Eat Your Veg in action and I’m loving every minute, my dream vocation in fact. It’s been truly brilliant, and massively rewarding of course, to inspire interest in our future generation of cooks and watch their skills and confidence grow week on week. It never ceases to delight me how naturally excited and interested kids are to cook, and if I can ignite an everlasting passion in food and healthy eating in just a handful of children over the year then my job is done.

At my Withington ‘Healthy Dinners Club’ we cook an entire meal from scratch every week. In just under an hour and a half, including healthy snack and drink time, we put together such tasty delights as Meatballs in a Hidden Veggie Tommie Sauce, Chicken & Veggie Tikka Masala,  Baked Fishcakes & Wedges, Chilli Con Carne, Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry and Summer Veggie & Gnocchi Bake. The kids then get to proudly take their food home for their families to eat that night, along with a recipe card and any re-heating notes. I deliberately aimed high in my choice of dishes, choosing many that kids of primary age would not normally be making so as to demonstrate quite how simple many usual family dinners can be. And in turn to instill confidence and familiarity with common foods and veggies at a young age.

The kids don’t obviously do everything themselves, as myself and an assistant are there at all times to lend a helping hand, but are encouraged to do the lion’s share. Some kids in particular have been feistily independent and refused any help whatsoever, which of course is awesome.  Others start off very timid and unconfident with the food and have limited knife skills, but by the end are cracking out meatballs and dicing a courgette without a worry.

It’s also been an excellent exercise in getting children to try different foods and dishes. I’m a firm believer that these little people are far more willing to eat a dinner they’ve helped make (though I have to admit my own daughter firmly contradicts this!). Take my Veggie & Gnocchi Bake, I’ve made the dish with three groups now and can vouch that initially virtually every child has recoiled in horror at the idea of a meatless dinner, and especially one containing so many veggies (namely aubergines, courgettes, red peppers and tomatoes). But once they’ve chopped all the veggies, made their rich and very tasty tommie sauce, cooked the gnocchi and smothered it all in Mozzarella and Parmesan I’ve yet to have a child who hasn’t loved it, and loved trying gnocchi for the first time too. We always try to find the time at the end of the sessions to have a taste test before whisking the dishes home, and they all give it a good go. And usually really like what they’ve made.

Each of the dinners contains at least two veggie portions of their 5-a-day and most contain a good bitBest coloured logo more, in true Eat Your Veg style!. A very useful exercise in veggie familiarity too; by the end of the five week course kids can name pretty much all seasonal veggies and know exactly how to chop them. All veggies are supplied by  Hereford based Growing Local is Going Local, which is a fantastic community interest company that supply locally grown (mainly organic) fruit and veggies direct to your door every Thursday (or as many Thursdays as you wish). Profits go to fund their excellent veggie growing educational work with local schools.

My other club is at Sutton Primary where I run a ‘Healthy Snacks Club’ making and baking healthier low sugar after school treats. But much more on this club in a separate post soon….

Back soon with more EYV news!

Louisa xWithington After School Club Collage 2

 

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Fruity-Licious Banana Bread http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/banana-bread/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/banana-bread/#respond Tue, 20 Oct 2015 09:58:16 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8794 Eat Your Veg | Fruity Licious Banana BreadThe unanimous baking request from my latest after school ‘Healthy Snacks Club’ group was for Banana Bread. I don’t blame them, banana bread’s a total gem of a yummy bake and a cinch to make too. Unbelievably it’s been a good couple of years since I’ve made banana cake in loaf form so mg_1890yesterday I enjoyed taking a nostalgic look back at all my previous banana recipes to develop a dead easy healthy recipe for the club. Check out ‘naked’ (bar the apron!) three year old chef Frannie baking Banana Eat Your Veg | Easy Bakes for Kids - Yogurt Pot CakesMini-Muffins, what a cutie she was!. Or both mini-monsters here making Banana Bread together. And more recently their Yogurt Pot Banana Cakes, which I’m looking forward to baking with the younger kids at school shortly.

My latest Fruity-Licious Banana Bread recipe is an amalgamation of all these, packed full of lots of good stuff and really easy to make. Bananas of course, plus sultanas and chopped apricots. Low in added sugar, and dark brown sugar at that, part wholemeal too. As sugar is something we’re really focusing on at the club, I worked out that each slice has about 1 teaspoon of added sugar, 1 gram more than a sugar cube, which is fantastic for a cake. Naturally sweetened by the very ripe bananas (preferably use the really brown spotty ones) and all the dried fruit.

Last week we started looking at snack packets and the amounts of sugar contained in bought cakes, biscuits, choccie bars, drinks and sweets plus foods like baked beans and tinned spaghetti. The sugar cube towers we made were a pretty terrifying sight, particularly when compared to the NHS recommended maximum of 30g of added sugar a day. Which worked out at less than one can of a fizzy fruit drink (coke was even more!) and a mini chocolate bar. A useful exercise to demonstrate just how easy it is to reach 30g. We’re discussing hidden sugars in more depth tomorrow.

Eat Your Veg | |Super Fruity Banana Bread

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Sugar-Free Choc, Fruit & Nut ENERGY BALLS http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/energy-balls/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/energy-balls/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2015 20:19:56 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8780 Eat Your Veg | Sugar-Free Energy BallsOoooo I’m a little bit addicted to these awesome balls of energy at the minute. Amazing shamazingly they’re sugar free too, at least in terms of added sugar content with their sweetness entirely derived from dates and any other dried fruits of your fancy. And choca full of so much other good stuff too, oats, nuts, unsweetened cocoa powder and coconut.  They also happen to be remarkably makable in minutes, just a quick blast in a food processor and a cursory rolling into balls. No baking required. What’s more The Monsters are big fans too, bonus, frequently requesting them after school as a healthy choccie hit.

I originally made the balls in the early Summer for the first group of kids at my after school ‘Healthy Snacks Club’, and admittedly it’s taken me this long to actually blog. Each week we make together one or two healthy bakes, makes or cakes to eat during the club and to take home for the families to sample too. Attempting throughout to use as little sugar as possible of course. And these choccie balls have certainly proved to be a popular and healthy success so far with the kids. More on the club in another post very soon, plus I’ll eventually be blogging all of my healthy snack recipes here too.

Eat Your Veg | Choc Energy Balls

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Child Friendly Chilli Con Carne! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/child-friendly-chilli-con-carne/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/child-friendly-chilli-con-carne/#respond Mon, 12 Oct 2015 21:47:01 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8776 Eat Your Veg | Child Friendly Chilli RecipeBefore Jacques started school I used to cook practically every day with him, soups, stews, cakes, muffins, bread, absolutely anything and everything. He was even more obsessed than me, loving nothing more than cutting up a courgette with his big plastic ‘lettuce’ knife or stirring a pot on the hob, my diddy budding chef. Happy days. Occasionally Frannie would join in too, if I could catch her before she’d scarper off yelling behind her “You and Jacques are the cookers Mummy, not me”. Well sadly school and work curtailed many of Jac and my cook sessions, plus the ever increasing distractions of bikes, footballs, lego, tractors, cars, bugs, plus of course the odd bit of homework.

Just recently I’ve been making a concerted effort to make that time again. And interestingly it’s been Frannie that’s enthusiastically hung around for the duration and Jacques wrangling off his apron and attempting a runner half way in. Funny eh, though I’m guessing he’ll rekindle his interest when he’s good and ready and I’m just pleased for now Frannie’s developing a passion. Even if for now she’s less interested in the actual eating part!.

We made this chilli together last Friday and for once I had two willing participants. I was trialing the recipe for my Lottery funded after-school ‘Healthy Dinners Club’. My current group of 7 to 10 year olds unanimously requested we make a Chilli con Carne in replacement for the Chicken Tikka Masala I’ve made with the last couple of groups.  I was after a really tasty chilli recipe with bags of flavour but devoid of much heat, budget friendly, easy and quick to make and of course most importantly, healthily containing oodles of veggies.

I’m pretty pleased my recipe ticks all requirements plus had the seasonal (and colourful) inclusion of pumpkin and the fun element of a smidgen of dark chocolate for a little Mexican authenticity.  An added bonus being on taste testing 50% of my offspring loved it, the other contingent (Frannie) did have a solid attempt but wasn’t quite so keen. No change there then. Recipe cards have now been designed and ordered and I’m very much looking forward to cooking this recipe next week at the after school club. Just hope the kids and their families like it!Eat Your Veg | Chilli Con Carne

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Eat Your Veg HQ #News #Summer http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/eat-your-veg-hq-news-summer/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/eat-your-veg-hq-news-summer/#comments Wed, 09 Sep 2015 22:54:28 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8755 #Fressh@EatYourVeg #StreetFood #FamilyCookeryEvents #Holidays #Istanbul #TheGarden

I feel like I start every blog post with an apology these days, yet again it’s been weeks since my last posting, sorry folks. Despite my good intentions to get firmly back on the bloggie block over the hols I wound up inordinately busy. Kids, holidays and my new Fressh @ Eat Your Veg venture took over. Plus the getting up to date of my accounts, yawn, and a couple of interesting family cookery events in Ross on Wye. All in all it was the quickest seven weeks of school holidays EVER.

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First and foremost my brand new street food venture, Fressh @ Eat Your Veg, has FINALLY lifted off the ground, yippee. On Friday 14th August, which also so happened to be the wettest and wildest day of the summer thus far, I had a trial run in Hereford outdoor market. Despite the downpours somehow or other I managed to do a smidgeon better than break even and loved every second of it, muchos relief on both fronts. Here’s a few pics of the day:

Fressh @ Eat Your Veg Launch Aug 15

IMG_6674As of this week I’m planning on a regular Friday stall, plus the first Saturday of the month producers markets. A seasonally  changing menu every week, they’ll always be a meaty and a veggie option, sides of salads and dressed veggies plus a healthier cake or pud. This was August’s launch menu but on Friday I’m selling hot Pulled Pork Flatbread Wraps with a Cider Teriyaki Sauce, Seasonal Slaw and Rocket; flatbreads from Rocket Cafe and pork from Neil Powells. My very own creation of a Hereford Homity Pie (which sold out on launch day), made with potatoes, onions, homegrown rainbow chard and Hereford Hop Cheese, all encased in a part wholemeal & poppy seed shortcrust. There’s also Salad Boxes with a choice of my Seasonal Veggie Slaw in a Yogurt DressingHerby Giant Couscous with Feta, Spinach & LemonSpicy Carrots, French Beans & Rocket or Puy Lentils & Freekeh with Roasted Summer Veggies. And finally for a sweet treat, Blackberry & Apple Crumble Topped Muffins. All veggies supplied by Herefordshire veg bag delivery scheme Growing Local is Going Local.

Over the Summer I was delighted to run a couple of Family Cookery Events at Tudorville & District Community Centre in Ross on Wye. Local children came along for a morning of cooking fun with a parent, grandparent or in one case a great-grandmother. We cooked lunch together before sitting down to eat our wares. Meatballs in a Hidden Veggie Tommie Sauce was on the menu for the first event, followed by Fruit Kebabs with a Greek Yogurt & Honey Dipping Sauce. At the second event we made a Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry and oodles of Magically Instant Fruity Ice Cream which went down a storm with the children.

2015-08-28 15.14.01The garden came on fairly well over the summer, though the brassicas took more than a little hit from an army of caterpillars. Make that five armies. Literally thousands moved in whilst we were away in Mallorca nibbling to the stems all my kale, brussels, calabrese and PSB. Much to Jacques delight and my dismay. The tommies are now finally coming good, as are the carrots and rainbow chard. Earlier in the season the shallots were lifted and we were happily inundated for a while with peas.Eat Your Veg HQ Veggies

As well as a magical family hol in Mallorca last week visiting my brother Jules who fortunately for us so happens to live on the sunny Isle, we had a fab few, and surprisingly hot, days camping at Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Back in July I escaped childfree for eight days to Istanbul. To visit my no less than awesome, brave and inspiring friend Debbie who was having an alternative course of chemotherapy treatment at a clinic there. I also managed put on over half a stone sampling the gastronomic delights the wondrous city had to offer. From heavenly (and exceedingly naughty) borek (stuffed and rolled puff or filo pastries) and pide (oblong Turkish pizzas) to marvelous mezes, kebaps, grilled fish and mackerel sarnies. Halva, baklava and plenty of delish fresh fruits too. All of which was fantastic research for my Fressh stall of course, and I couldn’t resist coming home with half a case of spices from the spice markets, plus glorious pomegranate molasses and olive oils.

Istanbul Collage

Well that’s it for this news round up. Next one I’ll tell you about my after school cook clubs that will shortly be back running again. And I won’t be leaving it so long before the next post this time. Truly!

Louisa x

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A Trio of Magically Instant Fruity Ice Creams http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/instant-ice-cream/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/instant-ice-cream/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 08:47:59 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8751 Eat Your Veg | Magic Instant Ice Cream

I promised in my last post to get back on the bloggie blog, and with two posts in one day I’d say I was definitely achieving that!. Don’t get too excited though, I’m actually off away tomorrow on my jollies for the next nine days so it’ll predictably be a while again until my next post. The Monsters are off to their Dads in London and I jet off from Heathrow to fabulous Instanbul to see my lovely friend Debbie. And a spot of Fressh stall research, aka, eating. Lots.

With hols in mind this is just a quickie of a recipe today, but a summer corker of one if you ask me. Instant ice cream, need I say more?. Not being a massive pud or ice cream fan myself I never ever get around to making ‘proper’ ice cream so this is the perfect compromise for the kids. By using frozen fruit you really can magically whiz up a healthy, no nasties, ice cream in a processor in a mere minute or two. Amazeballs. And kids LOVE them. Definitely one of the more popular snacks at my ‘Healthy Snacks’ after school club.

If you have any fresh berries or bananas going past their best, bag them up and pop in your freezer for a later instant pud, remembering to first peel bananas and cut of the green bits from strawberries (a bit too fiddly a task when frozen, believe me I’ve tried!). To make an uber-healthy ice use buttermilk or low fat (no added sugar) yogurt. I tend to use single cream or plain Greek yogurt, and the recipes work perfectly with free from or soya yogurts too.

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I’m Back! With a Broad Bean & Feta Dip for starters…. http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/broad-bean-dip/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/broad-bean-dip/#respond Sat, 18 Jul 2015 08:05:05 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8748 Eat Your Veg | Broad Bean DipI’m not entirely sure how it’s happened but more than a month has passed since my last blog post. Which is definitely a record in the whole five whole years I’ve been blogging. Ouchy. Apologies. And about time I seriously got back on it folks. It’s not exactly that I haven’t been recipe concocting, far from it. I’ve been super-busy testing out ten brand new recipes for my after-school ‘Healthy Snacks Club’ that I began this last half term at Sutton Primary school. Goodies like Dried Fruit & Nut Energy Balls and Veggie-tastic Cheesy Muffins to Magically Instant Fruity Ice Creams and Nice ‘n Spicy Roasted Chickpeas. Eventually I’ll get around to posting them ALL on here, but before the broad bean season’s over here’s a dip the year 6s made back in Week 1 of the club.

Get the kids making the dip themselves, obviously carefully managing the blender whizzing bit. Even very young children love shelling broad beans or peas, give them a bunch and I’ll bet they won’t be able to resist popping a few in their mouths. Bonus. And anything in tasty (unrecognisable) dip form is an enticing way to get kids eating veggies they’re less keen on. All the kids at the cook club professed a distinct dislike to broad beans, but didn’t think twice about hoovering them up in this dip. To maximise on the good stuff offer a big selection of raw dipping receptacles to go with your dips, think carrot, pepper, cucumber, courgette and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap or mange tout peas, apple or pear slices etc. Add to the adventure by getting the kids to cut their own, even very little kids can saw through a pepper, courgette, cucumber or pear with a table knife. For some carbs serve up unsalted rice cakes, wholemeal toasted pitta strips, wholemeal toast or bread sticks.

Broad Bean, Mint & Feta Dip

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Baked Fish Cakes with Sweet Potato Wedges http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/baked-fish-cakes-with-sweet-potato-wedges/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/baked-fish-cakes-with-sweet-potato-wedges/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 15:24:49 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8702 Eat Your Veg | Baked Fishcakes with Sweet Potato Wedges

Love a fishcake? We certainly do round here, and if you’ve never made them before they really are a bit of a doddle. A slightly messy doddle maybe, but a fun one nevertheless. And a great little make for the kids, we’ve made these twice now at my after-school ‘Healthy Dinners Club’ at Withington Pirmary. Interesting my first group of mainly year 6’s were not so keen on fish, though most of them did thankfully try them. Just as I was considering taking them off the menu for the next group the feedback from the parents of the first group was on the whole fairly positive. Whilst the attendees may have not been so keen the Mums, Dads or baby siblings were, phew. And my second group of fabulously enthusiastic and keen year 4 and 5s pretty much unanimously gave a firm thumbs up to fish, yay!!! Good job really as we happened to have a photographer from The Hereford Times for our fishy sess on Tuesday. Do have a read of the article that went out, it’s a really nice little piece up on the club and even made it to a whole page in the print version.

Fishcakes are a great way to entice the little (or indeed bigger) people to eat fish. Like homemade fish fingers or fish pie kids that wouldn’t ordinarily eat fish on it’s own actually tuck into fishcakes with gusto. And especially if they’ve had fun making them all by themselves. As these are baked and not fried they also happen to be super-duper good for you, especially when served with baked sweet potato wedges which you can cook at the same time and a chopped salad on the side. Both of which I also get the kids at school to prep (though I do cut the tricky sweet potatoes for them) to take home for their families too.

For a more adult flavour to your fishcakes, pimp them up with with a few capers and/or chopped gherkins, phwarr.

Eat Your Veg | Baked Fish Cakes with Sweet Potato Fries

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Eat Your Veg HQ #News #May http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/news-may/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/news-may/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 19:16:14 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8725 #AfterSchoolClubs #Fressh #GrowYourOwn #Veggies #GrowingLocal #The Bar #TheBlog #AGARangemaster

Welcome to the first of my new ‘news’ post folks, a brand new feature on Eat Your Veg and something I’ve been meaning to write for some time now. All year in fact. But needless to say it’s taken me until the third third of May to get finger to keyboard and crack on with it. Things certainly have been busy around here lately, crazily hectic probably, but that’s just the way I like it.

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Fishcake Prep!

First up I’m now running two National Lottery funded After-School hi_big_e_min_blueCook Clubs, one started a few weeks ago at Withington Primary and so far so great. Each week at our ‘Healthy Dinners Club’ the children prep on their own a healthy meal to take home for their family to enjoy. We’ve made Chicken & Veggie Chow Mein, Baked Fish Cakes & Sweet Potato Wedges and Meatballs with a Hidden Veggie Tommie Sauce. My other ‘Healthy Snacks’ club at Sutton Primary is due to kick off after the holidays where we’ll be prepping better for you homemade snacks, comparing them to a less healthy commercial options and talking a good deal about sugar.Eat Your Veg | Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Best coloured logoI’m very pleased to announce I’ve now officially joined the lovely team of ladies at Hereford based Growing Local is Going Local, a community interest company delivering locally grown fruit and veggie bags to homes in and around Hereford City. I’m working on their sales side, i.e. getting veggie-interested folks like YOU to buy their bags!. They really are superb quality, variety and value and what’s more profits go towards funding their educational work with local schools at the Growing Local ‘Community Garden’ and ‘African Garden’. If you’re local do follow Growing Local on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Growing Local Collage

Fressh_Logo_07Now for my own new and very exciting venture, my foray into street food with Fressh @ Eat Your Veg. Yes really, I’m going for it!  Hearty and wholesome food from Herefordshire it will be, seasonal naturally and hopefully tasty too. Think of it as a more ‘grown up’ version of Eat Your Veg…..pulled meat flatbread wraps, Ottolenghi stylie salads, seasonal tarts, pies and pasties (I’ve been working on a local mini ‘Hereford Homity Pie’ and a ‘Hereford Pasty’), healthier cakes and local yogurt and compote tubs. All with a heavy emphasis on veggies (Growing Local veggies of course!) and fruit. In the winter they’ll be soups, flavour-smacking stews and veggie mashes. Using all Herefordshire produce and promoting the abundance of goodies that this largely unknown to the rest of England county has to boast. I’m hoping to be out there serving every Thursday at Hereford Market from early June. Do watch out for more news!

New-Banner-for-Blog

I really must mention my back garden organic veggie growing exploits.  Thanks to a Mr D in my life I now have three no less than fabulous, sexy even, raised beds to grow my veggies in, phwoooar.  Between the beds and a multitude of pots I’m (attempting) growing various salad leaves and rocket, shallots, kale, carrots, parsnips, radish, tomatoes, chillies, courgettes, PSB, calabrese, sprouts, chard, sweetcorn, peas, green beans, pumpkins and butternut squash. Oh and cucumber for gin.   Not forgetting the herbage of course, oregano, coriander, parsley, thyme, mint, rosemary for now. I’m probably being way over-adventurous for the somewhat limited amount of space but I’m not one for restraint!. Many of you will remember I was pretty much veggie self-sufficient back in France, though I did have the virtue of a hot Southern French sun and an enormous virtually predator free plot. One day again for sure!.Veg Growing May

rangemaster_logo232x312-CookbookAll this coupled with two monsters to look after and a house to somehow keep in order (poorly admittedly) it’s probably needless to say my blog has been just a little bit neglected of late. Though I’m hoping to be back with a vengeance posting all my after school club and Fressh recipes and news of the new stall.  I was however delighted to see two of my recipes recently featured in the AGA Rangemaster online cookbook, my Lighter Good ‘Ol Lancashire Hotpot and Fruity Bread and NO Butter Pud. Do check out the fab book, packed full of tasty and inspiring healthier recipes, including a healthy take on a Mars Bar!.

See you next month folks, hopefully with a little less news to tell you! Oh and before I go here’s a pic of my new back garden bar. Yep a BAR, our very own bar, another Mr D extravaganza of course. Was supposed to be an outside kitchen but as yet I see no evidence of a cooking facility. Not that I’m complaining…..

L xx

The Bar

The Bar

 

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Gnocchi, Tomato & Summer Veggie Bake http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/gnocchi-bake/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/gnocchi-bake/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 20:36:28 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8721 Eat Your Veg | Gnocchi, Tomato & Summer Vegetable Bake

It’s National Vegetarian Week this week folks, a week that encourages the UK to go ‘veggie’ and explore new and delicious vegetarian meals. Whilst we’re not all-out veggies here at Eat Your Veg, by our very namesake we are partial to a meatless meal pretty often!. Probably three or four days a week I’d guess at, sometimes more. And we’re virtually always a #MeatFreeMonday household, which I’m really pleased to see is on a boom lately. It’s interesting how many people are cutting down on their meat consumption and meals isn’t it? Are you? I know I’m ever-conscience of the amount I buy and consume, and it’s definitely becoming noticeably less over the years. To be honest neither of my kids are that bothered about eating meat and could probably very easily go veggie. Though I think Jac would be unhappy not to have his quota of fish which he’s currently a bit obsessed about!.

My easy Gnocchi, Tomato & Summer Veggie Bake is a recipe I had planned for my after school ‘Healthy Dinners Club’ this week. It’s a National Lottery funded scheme with the aim that all children at the school will take part in five cook sessions preparing healthy dinners to take home for their families to enjoy. Being National Vegetarian Week I thought we’d go with it and get them making a delicious and uber-easy-to-prep veggie treat. Extremely budget friendly too. But sadly illness took hold at Eat Your Veg HQ and I had two heavily bugged and poorly children to tend so had to cancel. Instead we’ll be making the gnocchi in our next session after half term.

I’m sharing my recipe with Betta Living’s National Vegetarian Week event #bettaveggies

Also with mine and Vanesther’s Family Foodies event, this month we’ve an Italian theme, Ciao Bambino!

ciao-bambino

Eat Your Veg | Baked Gnocchi with Tomato & Veg

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Meatballs with a Hidden Veggie Tommie Sauce http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/meatballs-tomato-sauce/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/meatballs-tomato-sauce/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:10:53 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8707 Eat Your Veg | Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

We LOVE a meatball around here, well who doesn’t? There’s something supremely comforting about tucking into a (large) bowl of steaming homemade balls in tommie sauce, with oodles of pasta too of course. They’re definitely in Jacques Top 5 fave meals, in fact funnily enough all his fave’s contain pasta. Hence his recent super-hero naming of ‘Pasta Man’, ordinarily a pretty slow eater but give him pasta then Jacques literally inhales it. And these days it’s wholewheat pasta for us, which is a good deal better for you than the ordinary white stuff. Takes a little getting used to but I now prefer the nuttier taste and texture. And the kids didn’t even clock the difference.

Now standard meatballs are okay for you but not exactly screaming with healthy credentials. But my balls are made with lean pork and beef mince and get to bathe in a tommie sauce packed full of hidden veggies (namely grated carrot, pepper and courgette). AND even more amazingly you soooo wouldn’t know it, go on try it and report back. All the appearance, taste & texture of ordinary tommie sauce but much better for you. Bonus. In fact the sauce on it’s own is great with pasta, nevermind the balls. Unlike most meatball recipes, I don’t pre-bake mine, just had them raw to the tomato sauce and let them cook in the sauce. This makes for juicy meatballs and an uber-flavoursome sauce, just don’t be tempted to stir them around too much until they’re cooked or they’ll fall apart. This is a great recipe to make with kids of all ages too, my own Monsters have been moulding meatballs for a couple of years now. Older kids could prep and make the sauce too, just be careful with their use of graters.

hi_big_e_min_blueI’m actually going to be making these healthier balls with my after-school ‘Healthy Dinners Club’. A group of eight children, myself and an assistant spend a fun and manic hour and a half talking about healthy eating and prepping dinners together to take home for their entire families to tuck into and enjoy. Funded by the National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ it’s a fantastic club, and by it’s end next year I should have worked my way through the entire school of pupils, each receiving a series of five cook sessions. That’s a whole lot of healthy dinners!.

ciao-bambinoAs our current theme on Family Foodies is Italian, Ciao Bambino!, I shall of course be entering my sincerely inauthentic Italian Balls. Family Foodies is hosted by myself and Vanesther at Bangers and Mashfamily-foodies1

 

 

 

 

Eat Your Veg | Meatballs with Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce

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Cook & Gardening Workshops http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8693/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8693/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:38:33 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8693 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8693/feed/ 0 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8694/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8694/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:38:33 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8694 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8694/feed/ 0 School Curriculum Cook Classes http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/school-curriculum-cook-classes/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/school-curriculum-cook-classes/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:37:41 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?page_id=8691

Children’s Cook & Gardening Workshops

 

As the Education Officer for Growing Local I deliver a programme of cook and gardening workshops to primary and secondary schools, community and youth groups and families across Herefordshire. 

 

Workshops aim to enthuse children and young people about the benefits and pleasures of growing, cooking and eating fresh, seasonal and local fruit and vegetables, helping to transform a child’s engagement, relationship and understanding of where food comes from.

 

More information on all our workshops can be seen on the Growing Local website Educational Projects page. Educational enquiries to louisa@growinglocal.org.uk

 

 

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After School Clubs http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/after-school-clubs/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/after-school-clubs/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:36:50 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?page_id=8689 Sutton After School Club Publicity PicAfter School Clubs

 

After School Clubs @ Eat Your Veg 

 

Eat Your Veg are occasionally available to run healthy eating primary or secondary after-school cook clubs in Herefordshire. Past clubs have included the themes of Healthier Baking, Healthy Snacks or Healthy Dinners and have been funded by schools or subsidised by grants.

 

In 2018 Growing Local are very pleased to have funding from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver 25 after school, weekend or holiday Healthy Cook Clubs. If your school or community group are interested in taking part then please read more about the project here and email louisa@growinglocal.org.uk.

 

Eat Your Veg after-school club news posts can be read here. Hereford Times features Withington ‘Healthy Dinners Club’ and Sutton Primary Academy ‘Healthy Snacks Club’.

 

Withington After School Cook Club Collage 1

Withington After School Club Collage 2

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Blog Challenges http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/blog-challenges/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/blog-challenges/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:12:49 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?page_id=8677 J F & Me Edited.jpgBlog Challenges

 

Blog Challenges 2015

 

Use the drop down to look the pages or click Family Foodies or Four seasons Food.

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FRESSH @EatYourVeg http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8675/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8675/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:09:23 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8675 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8675/feed/ 0 FRESSH @ Eat Your Veg http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/fressh-eatyourveg/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/fressh-eatyourveg/#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:07:56 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?page_id=8673 FRESSH @ Eat Your Veg

 

 

FRESSH @ Eat Your Veg is my street food foray into the world of grown up fodder. See me at markets, events and food festivals across Herefordshire and beyond.

 

Saturday 17 Feb 2018  Big Day @ The Butter Market, Hereford

 

Saturday 5 May 2018  Hereford River Carnival

 

Saturday 2nd June 2018 Kington Food Festival

 

Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 June 2018 Hereford Food Festival

 

Saturday 30 June & Sunday 1 July 2018  Shobdon Food & Flying Festival

 

Sunday 8th July 2018 Ledbury Food & Poetry Festival

 

Saturday 1st September 2018 Leominster Food Festival

 

Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th September 2018 Bromyard Folk Festival

 

Using only Herefordshire sourced meats from Neil Powells, local cheeses from The Mousetrap and fruit and veggies from local bag delivery scheme Growing Local.

 

Fressh offerings include zingy wholesome salads (think puy lentils, quinoa, freekeh, roast veggies, giant couscous, taboullehs etc), salad boxes and wraps, seasonal veggie tarts (Roast Pumpkin, Leek & Smoked Little Hereford, Roast Mushroom, Wilted Spinach & Blue Monk to name a couple). Plus my sell out hand crafted Hereford Homity Pies (a heavenly mix of potatoes, onions, homegrown chard and cream topped with Hereford Hop Cheese) and Butty Bach Beefy Burster Pies.  Pulled Pork or Beef Wraps with sourdough flatbreads from The Rocket Cafe.,Spicy Lamb Meatball or Moroccan Tagine Hot Boxes with Giant Couscous & Superfood Slaw. Butternut, Coconut & Ginger or Caul & Turmeric Soup with delectable Peter Cooks Bread. And for the sweet toothed there’s often seasonal Fruity Muffins, Fools, Yogurt Pots or Brownies.

 

My menu is strictly seasonal and event dependant. At smaller local events I typically serve 4 – 5 salads, Homity Pies, Tarts & Pasties with or without Salad Boxes. During the winter or in evenings Moroccan Meatball and Tagine Hotboxes with Couscous & Superfood Slaw and Soups. At larger events it’s all about the salad with a big Salad Bar and choice of Salad Wraps.

 

Do email lou@eatyourveg.co.uk if you would like Fressh at your event.

 

Fressh @ Eat Your Veg Launch Aug 15

 

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Tomato Soup with Hidden Veggies for Canned Food Week http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/tomato-soup-with-hidden-veggies-for-canned-food-week/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/tomato-soup-with-hidden-veggies-for-canned-food-week/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:34:44 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8665 Eat Your Veg | Hidden Veggie Tomato Soup

I cook a good deal with canned food. Virtually every day I’d say, and my cupboards are certainly testament to that. There’s always chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, cannellini and kidney beans, lentils and coconut milk, my tinned store heroes. Not forgetting tuna and baked beans for The Monsters of course. What canned foods do you have in?

unnamedDid you know it was Canned Food Week recently, between 30th March and 5th April actually. It was set up to celebrate the value, ease and convenience of cooking with canned foods. To coincide with the week Canned Food UK launched a series of recipes, including some from James Martin. Together with celebrity nutritionalist Amanda Hamilton they have also handily developed several healthy eating plans. James’s videos can be watched on the Canned Food UK You Tube Channel.

I was asked to take part in the week and got to make a very tasty Tomato Soup with Hidden IMG_1157Vegetables. Who’d have thought a soup made with tinned chopped tomatoes could be so delish? Choca full of so many hidden veggies it’s an incredibly healthy recipe too. Tommie Soup being one of their favourite soups, The Monsters each polished off two bowls in rapid succession and have already requested it be made again. Result. And a cinch to make result at that. Cheap too. The recipe is featured as part of Canned Food’s healthy eating plan ‘For Your Small Army’ which is tailored especially to those with young children, the plan is downloadable here.  The plan has plenty of interesting and useful healthy eating tips, my favourite being: ‘don’t polish off the kids’ leftovers. This is a fast-track to weight gain for parents’, yep I’m totally guilty of that one!. Plus of course a wealth of scrumptious sounding family-friendly recipes that feature canned foods including Fun Fish Cakes with Vegetable Mash, Spanish Style Tortilla and Breakfast Fruit & Cereal Crumble.

Eat Your Veg | Tomato Soup for Canned Food Week

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Chicken Tikka Masala & have a happy ActiFryDay! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/actifryday/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/actifryday/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:59:51 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8659 Eat Your Veg | ActiFry Days Chicken Tikka Masala

I was invited by Tefal to take part in their ActiFryDay Challenge to demonstrate easy ways to swop a Friday night takeaway for a healthier homemade alternative using the ActiFry health frier. Naturally a challenge right up the Eat Your Veg street. Would you believe Brits consume over a staggering half a billion takeaways a year which means collectively we’re feasting on more than 12,000 tonnes of saturated fat annually from takeaways alone. Yikes!. A report commissioned by Tefal revealed that Brits eat up to 2,900 calories and 161 grams of fat in their most popular takeaway meals, and one in seven order at least one a week. An average takeaway main alone clocks up a whopping 908 calories, along with 52g of fat of which 18g are saturated. And that’s not counting side orders which can add an average of 916 calories and 43g of fat.

Tefal ActiFry Express XL blackAll in all a shocking amount of fat to be regularly eating. To help fight the fatty fad Tefal launched it’s ActiFryDay Challenge, showing Brits easy ways to swop their Friday night takeaway for healthier alternatives. Azmina Govindji, expert nutrition consultant and author comments: “most of us know takeaways contain fat, but sometimes we forget how high these levels are. Taking up the challenge is a great way of balancing the foods you love with healthier alternatives.”

I chose to make a delicious Chicken Tikka Masala. By cooking in the ActiFry with just one spoon of oil the saturated fat content was a mere 1g per serving compared to an average takeaway portion of 17.4g.  Now there’s a result, and a very tasty result at that. And truly very easy and quick to make too, no need for any stirring or timing, the ActiFry does all the hard work for you. The curry was ready to eat in thirty minutes which is certainly less time that it would take to get a takeaway ordered or delivered! Not of course forgetting the zero guilt factor too.

To replicate more of your favourite takeaway dishes with a healthy twist, like Battered Fish & Chips, Sweet & Sour Pork,  Chinese Beef & Vegetables or Healthy Lamb Kebabs do download the My ActiFry App, where you’ll find a collection of 450 inspiringly delicious and healthy recipes. The ActiFry Express XL can cook over 1.5 kilos of fresh veggies, melt-in-the-mouth curries, and of course chips using very little oil and in under 30 minutes making it the quickest low-fat fryer on the UK market. And believe me it’s chips (and sweet potato chips) are AMAZING, all the taste and crispiness of high fat versions but totally guilt free. The stirring paddle means your food is evenly cooked and this mixing action is perfect for making casseroles, curries and risottos without any need for stirring. Added to that it truly looks like a cool bit of space age kit, and the bowl, paddle and spoon are dishwasher safe. I’m genuinely impressed on all levels and cannot recommend highly enough. And believe me I’m not ordinarily one for gadgets or extra kitchen appliances!.

The brand new ActiFry Express XL model is currently available at John Lewis priced at £249.99.

I was very kindly given the ActiFry Express to try out. No monies exchanged hands and all opinions  expressed are my own.

LP-03

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Sponsored Video: Celebrating a delicious British Easter with Sainburys http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/delicious-easter/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/delicious-easter/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 09:57:17 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8649

How do you celebrate Easter? Do you have an easter egg hunt for the little ones, get busy in the kitchen baking or making any special dishes, have the family over for a big Easter Sunday lunch or just gorge on bucket loads of choccie? Personally I just relish in it being one of my favourite holidays of the year, no pressures to organise, purchase and cook like christmas. Not as long nor as hot as the summer hols. Two weeks of lie ins plus usually some pretty decent weather and a couple of bank holidays to boot.

For us it’s a holiday of staying at home, keeping our ‘jamas on for as long as is decent, leisurely breakies, maybe even a sneakie morning movie, picnics, bike rides, doggie walks, no doubt lots of mud, maybe a hill walk, day trips out, relatives, friends, fun. Hopefully lots of baking thrown in too. And there’s always a special family get together meal on Easter Sunday, probably lamb, and spent with my Mum and Dad and as many of my brothers as we can get (I’ve three!). This year I think they’ll be nine of us in total, and I can’t wait. And of course they’ll be easter egg hunts, we’ll be taking part in local charity, St Michael’s Hospice, ‘Easter Bunny Trail‘ around Hereford this year. Organised by a teacher at the children’s school in memory of Jacques’s best friend at school Lucus’s Mum who tragically died of breast cancer just before he started school last August. They’ll also be a choccie hunt with our neighbours and I’ve my eye on the one at nearby National Trust Croft Castle too.

What does Easter mean to you? Do watch the fab little video clip above from Sainburys, it really does say it all.

Eat Your Veg | Healthier Easter Biscuits Recipe

As for Easter recipes I was a bit alarmed to find I only have one Easter-centric recipe on my blog, Fruity Easter Biscuits, a fun little make for the little ones and as biccies go are a tad healthier than the norm. But if you’re after something a little more naughty or a little more chocolatey then do check out these gems I’ve found for you from across the blogosphere:

Easter Ombré Pinata Cake from Taming Twins:

Mini-Egg-Pinata-Cake

 

 MaltEaster Brownies from Taming Twins:

MaltEaster-Brownies

                            Choc Cross Buns from Tin and Thyme                             

Hot-Cross-Buns-1-300x225

Hazelnut Easter Egg Cake from Recipes from a Pantry

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Dairy Free Easter Cookies from The Hedge Combers

Easter-Cookies

Chocolate Mousse with Mini Eggs from Lavender and Lovage:

Chocolate-Mousse-with-Mini-Eggs-and-Cream-6-680x555

Easter Chick Crackers from Green Gourmet Giraffe:

easter-chick-crackers-2-300x300

 

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Yogurt Pot Cakes http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/yogurt-pot-cakes/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/yogurt-pot-cakes/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:03:51 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8630 Eat Your Veg | Easy Bakes for Kids - Yogurt Pot Cakes

Welcome to the Easter hols peeps, and the probably predictable onset of wet and wild weather. If you’re going to be stuck inside with the kids then there’s no better opportunity than to indulge in a spot of holiday baking. These little yogurt pot cakes are about as simple as cake can be to make for even the littlest of little chefs. No need for scales as all ingredients are measured by the handy employment of a small yogurt pot, nor any fancy equipment for that matter either. No careful mixing, whisking or folding, just dolloping, mashing, stirring and spooning. It’s a very forgiving recipe!. The three experimental batches made by The Monsters are testament to that.

Please be warned that Yogurt Pot Cakes are not exactly GBBO material but they are a great fun  bake for little children.  And a perfect introduction to baking, a rare recipe that can truly be made proudly and entirely on their little selves.  With very little additional sugar being naturally sweetened by banana and sultanas and using part wholemeal flour and oats too they’re a pretty healthy bake too. Perfect to pop in a lunchbox or take on a picnic.

family-foodies

Our theme for this month’s Family Foodies, which I co-host with Vanesther from Bangers & Mash, so happens to be Let’s Get Baking, so I’m making a very last second March entry!

Eat Your Veg | Yogurt Pot Cakes

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@ Eat Your Veg HQ We Say YES! #March http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/eat-your-veg-march-review/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/eat-your-veg-march-review/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:27:23 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8631 It’s been a while since my last review post so I’ve quite a collection for you this month, busy as we may have been at Eat Your Veg HQ lately we’ve still found the time to munch our way through oodles of tasty new foods and test out a range of great new gear.

51yZrUGlnQL._SL1200_First up the Epica Ultra Fast Digital Food Thermometer. A handy bit of pocket size kit for the home or professional cook, the Epica is super-quick (readings in under 5 seconds), super-clear (easy to read on an LCD screen) and exceptionally easy to use. And with a range of -50º to 200ºc it certainly covers most culinary uses! I’ve tried mine out on an assortment of soups, stews and meat joints over the last few weeks. Currently available on Amazon for a mere £14.95 I’d say this was a total bargain and knocks the socks off cheaper versions, of which my previous thermometer was and has been duly binned!.

We love an apron or two around here and The Monsters appear to be building up almost as big a collection as their Mum these days. Asked by Cookery Doodle Doo, who incidentally offer nationwide parent and child cookery classes, if they’d like to adorn their gear they were more than delighted to. Jacques’s very proud of his professional ‘Cheeky Monkey Chef Set‘, though for some reason, only known to Jacques, restricts it’s wear to our Friday night ‘pizza nights’ where he turns into mini pizza chef extraordinaire. Frannie was equally as charmed with her cute as pie pink ‘Vintage Apron Set‘. With easter coming up I reckon these sets would make a great alternative pressie to choccie overload. @cookerydoodledo

Cookery Doodle Doo

2014-08-15 19.49.31I’ve now been lucky enough to receive two Clearspring Organic Foods goodie boxes, each packed to the brim with a fine selection of their range. I can honestly say I’ve been impressed by each and every one of their 2014-12-23 16.59.03“authentic, wholesome, easy-to-prepare and great tasting organic Japanese and fine foods”. I can particularly recommend their Quick Cook range of organic grains and pulses, healthy grains on your plate in a mere ten minutes with no need for soaking or lengthy boiling. Do check out my Bejeweled Brown Rice & Quinoa recipe using Clearspring Quick grains and dressed with delicious Omeg-a-Day Flax Oil Blend and Tamari Soya Sauce. The kids were particularly taken with the 100% Fruit Puree pouches and tasty Teriyaki Rice Cakes, both of which I’ve purchased since.    @ClearspringFood

Eat Your Veg | Quick Cook Bejeweled Rice & Quinoa

Eat Your Veg | Veggie Cottage PieI know Quorn‘s not exactly a new product on our shelves but it does appear to be having a huge revival of interest lately, particularly amongst the meat eaters. As more peeps are choosing to ditch the meat for at least one day a week, as Meat Free Mondays can attest to, Quorn is stepping in as a great protein packed replacement. Cheap, easy to cook and tasty too. I’ve only ever bought the frozen mince to cook with (did you see my Quorn, Veggie & Lentil Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato Mash or Veggie Burritos?) but they do offer a huge range of  meat substitutes (bacon, bangers, hams etc) and tasty sounding ready meals @QuornFoods

unnamed-1M&S invited The Monsters to sample some of their Taste Buds range for 3 to 8 year olds that was launched back in the Autumn, “twelve scrummy new meals , including excitingunnamed-2 smaller versions of Mum and Dad’s favourites such as Sweet & Sour Chicken, and a Melt in the Middle Fish Cake. No added salt or sugar, and many dishes include cleverly hidden vegetables”. They got to munch their way unnamedthrough the Tomato & Basil Chicken Pasta Bake, the Mighty Meaty Pasta Melt (Frannie’s fave) and the Mighty Mac & Cheese Bake (Jacques’s fave, wolfed down at breakneck speed) which I was pleased to see had cauli in too. Pleasingly in fact all three meals had one of their 5-a-day, though me being me I did serve them with extra steamed veggies on the side!. Jacques announced after his sampling: “I love all of them, all three are good….and yummy”. ‘Nuff said.

imagesHave you dared to branch away from peanut butter yet? Nut butters seem to have hit the shops by storm lately and for very good reason. I’ve totally been loving Keen’s Crunchy Almond Butter, most deservedly a Great Taste award 2014 winner. Made with 100% roasted almond goodness and thus naturally sugar and additive free, it’s a damn sight better for you than most peanut butters and has proved a breakie sensation for me on wholemeal toast. You must try. @KeenNutrition

prd_3_2425059_vegetable_burger_spring_cabbage_webNow to Mash Direct mash and veggie based sides and mains “cooked fresh on our farm” in Northern Ireland, naturally right up the Eat Your Veg street. We were more than happy to sampleprd_3_128647_rc_web their range including delicious and dairy free Vegetable Burgers with Spring Cabbage (we can all highly recommend!), Red Cabbage & Beetroot (perfect with a roast or stew and a fab flavour combo I’ve since re-created myself) and another side of Carrot & Parsnip (the first time I’ve EVER achieved parsnip approval from The Monsters, result). The Broccoli with a Cheese Sauce was super-duper-yummy and met with unanimous approval as did the tasty wee Potato Croquettes which were hard to resist. In Jacques words “I love all the vegetables”, believe it or not this is most definitely not something he’s ever said before!. Many products unsurprisingly have Great Taste awards and are now widely available at Asda, Booths, Ocado and Spar, so get out there and get Mashed! @mashdirectprd_3_495651_broccoli

Well that’s it for this month folks, thanks for reading and thanks for all the goodies supplied. As ever we’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves trying them all out and if you have a new and exciting foodie related product, food or drink you think we may like at Eat Your Veg HQ then do tweet or email.

See you next month,

Louisa, Frannie & Jacques xxx

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Butternut, Sweet Potato, Coconut & Ginger Soup http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/butternut-coconut-soup/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/butternut-coconut-soup/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 16:47:23 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8626 Eat Your Veg | Butternut Squash, Ginger & Coconut Soup

Soup’s a bit of a mega mid-week staple round here and it’s rare a week goes by without either one of The Monsters declaring a desire for something soupy for their tea. And being honest they’re not exactly fussy in their tastes either, any thick and hearty root veggie or squash based soup will always suffice. Made simply with veggie stock, sometimes a few lentils and occasionally a dollop of creme fraiche. Just as long as it’s served with copious quantities of cheesy toasts they’re invariably happy, and I’m equally as happy as little tummies get filled to the brim with loads of good stuff.

But nice as they are, I personally like a little more flavour to my soup, particularly by this time of the year when I’ve slurped my way through a whole season of them. Though my attempts to pimp things up in the flavour department more often than not are met with outright rejection, especially if there’s any chilli involved as Frannie annoyingly now appears chilli-phobic. Ahrrrrr.  But this butternut and sweet potato based soup was thankfully met with all round family approval and rapidly emptied bowls. High in the flavour stakes with a liberal use of garlic and fresh ginger, a solid nutritional punch from the veggies and lentils plus a refreshingly different twist of coconut milk. So enjoyed in fact that’s it’s been made and relished twice since. Result. For additional grown up appeal stir through a smidgeon of harissa paste or a pinch of chilli flakes.

IMG_4849I made my soup using a Barfoots ‘Grown with Love’ Diced Butternut & Sweet Potato 1kg Soup Pack, all ready prepped for you to open and pop straight in your soup. I was lucky enough to be recently sent a large selection of Barfoots veggies to try out, all of which went down a storm at Eat Your Veg HQ. Jacques took one glance and asked for corn on the cob and butternut soup for his tea, good lad. And of course I was more than happy to oblige! The asparagus and Tenderstem were delicious in a simple orzo pasta and smoked salmon dish I made, do watch out for that recipe soon too. And the sweet potato wedges (another fave around here) were scrumptious baked with a little rapeseed oil and a liberal dusting of freshly ground cumin and coriander.

I should point out that not only were the veggies themselves of an excellent condition and flavour but they were indeed ‘grown with love’, sustainably produced with much respect for the environment. Barfoot’s vegetable philosophy being ‘Happy Soil = Happy Veg”. Their holistic veggie growing methods are spread to the various farming partners they have around the world so you can rest assured that your imported asparagus, corn on the cob or Tenderstem broccoli have also had the very best of environmentally sensitive upbringings.

Eat Your Veg | Butternut Coconut & Ginger Soup

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March Family Foodies event: Let’s Get Baking! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/march-family-foodies-baking/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/march-family-foodies-baking/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:29:22 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8622 Family-Foodies-March-2015-Let's-Get-Baking

Hooray for March and the beginning of spring! Ever the optimist I’m going with the met office official start date of the 1st March rather than the spring equinox on the 20th March. It’s certainly seemed like it around here since Sunday anyway, glorious sunshine and blue skies albeit with a frosty nip in the air. And a brand new month on Family Foodies it is too.

As we’re amidst British Pie Week, Mothering Sunday is but a short hop, skip and a jump away and the school jollies and Easter not far behind March is all about baking isn’t it? Not forgetting the so far highly amusing Great Comic Relief Bake Off. So Let’s Get Baking folks, preferably with those little ones getting down and floury too, but do link up any of your child-friendly bakes. We’re talking biscuits, breads, tarts, pies, cakes, muffins, brownies, traybakes. Sweet or savoury anything goes this month, just make sure it’s baked and delicious!. So Go Bake folks…..

Closing date for entries 29th March 2015.

family-foodies

Here’s a few guidelines for the Challenge:

? You may submit any recipe that fits the current theme, past or current, up to a maximum of three entries per month. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own please give the appropriate credit.

? Post your recipe url to the Linky at the bottom of each month’s challenge, including your email address and the title of the recipe.

? Display the Family Foodies badge on the recipe post, with a link back to Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, and details of the current monthly challenge you’re entering.

? If you’re on Twitter then please tweet your post to myself @Eat_Your_Veg and Vanesther @BangerMashChat and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.

? You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere of the World, any prizes will be happily posted out unless otherwise stated.

? At the end of the month a winning recipe will be chosen and any prizes sent out. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries.

? All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board

 

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#WIN Higgidy goodies to celebrate British Pie Week! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/win-pies/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/win-pies/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:30:48 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8618 higgidy-giveaway

Just in case you hadn’t heard already it’s British Pie Week this week folks, hooray! Now there’s a foodie event most worthy of celebrating. It probably goes without saying but we’re rather partial to a pie here at Eat Your Veg HQ, so naturally we’ll be celebrating in pie-tastic form. All three of us love a pie but Frannie’s crazy about them, they rock her six year old world and are unquestionably, invariably her number one food ever. For her last birthday party we even had to have pie, for which  I made three enormous puff pastry topped beauties. Her current fave being my ever-so-slowly braised beef cheek ‘Love Pie‘.

Eat Your Veg | Chunky Chilli Fish PieLast Autumn I took part in the Higgidy Recipe Hunt to create a brand new pie filling with my Chunky Chilli Fish Pie. It sadly didn’t win, but then there were over six hundred entries, no kidding! And just goes to show quite how many people love a pie. The winning entry I must confess most definitely got my vote, Hand Pulled Pork & Sweet Potato no less. Filledimages with British pulled pork in a rich smoky tomato sauce and topped with a heap of roasted sweet potato mash. Higgidy kindly sent a few for us to try out and we were suitably impressed. A truly delicious melt-in-the-mouth combination, and impressive to see a veggie based topping in place of pastry. And perfectly spiced to not be overbearing for the little ones either. Shame. The new pies are now available in Higgidy retailers which include Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado, Booths, Budgens, Co-Op and Asda. Go find.

To help you celebrate Pie Week this year, West Sussex based piemakers Higgidy are giving away some exciting prizes to help you make delicious pies in your very own kitchen. All you need to do is enter below via the Rafflecopter widget for a chance to win a copy of The Higgidy Cookbook, featuring 100 recipes for pies and more, and a Higgidy apron. What better excuse is there to cook up a storm in the kitchen and impress your friends and family with your pie baking skills? And, in case you don’t feel like cooking, they’ve also popped in £15 of Higgidy vouchers, so you can pick up some of their delicious pies from the supermarket to enjoy at home.

Higgidy believe there is nothing better than homemade, which is why they bake their pies in small batches, fill them with ingredients just like you would use in your kitchen at home and finish every one by hand.

A few T&Cs

By taking part in this competition all participants will be deemed to have accepted and be bound by these terms and conditions:

  • This prize draw is only open to residents of the UK.
  • No responsibility is taken for entries that are lost, delayed, misdirected or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason. Proof of delivery of the entry is not proof of receipt.
  • Each winner will receive a pack containing a copy of The Higgidy Cookbook, an apron and four Higgidy pie vouchers. Higgidy accepts no responsibility for any costs associated with the prize and not specifically included in the prize.
  • The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
  • Higgidy retains the right to substitute the prize, or any of its contents, with another prize of similar value in the event the original prize offered is not available.
  • The winners names may be promoted on Higgidy’s website or social media websites.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Higgidy accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering the prize draw or accepting the prize. Higgidy further disclaims liability for any injury or damage to your or any other person’s computer relating to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials in connection with the prize draw.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Kale & Mushroom Pancakes http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/kale-mushroom-pancakes/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/kale-mushroom-pancakes/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:15:14 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8607 Eat Your Veg | Baked Kale & Garlic Mushroom Pancakes

Ahrr, so I missed pancake day on this one!. My very best of bloggie intentions dashed in the frenzy that is half term week. We’ve had a few days of celebrating Grandpa’s 77th birthday, walks in the Black Mountains, cinema (Shaun the Sheep, not 50 Shades before you ask), family lunches and dinners, baking, lots of doggies walks, fresh air and play dates. Here’s a pic of Jacques on Sunday, on Hatterrall Hill which is short walk up from the stunning Llanthony Priory in Wales (taken by my brother Si):

10991294_1528573207408992_2459396898278351296_n

But The Monsters were dispatched this morning for the rest of the hols to their Dad, and I get to catch up on various projects and Eat Your Veg. Plus a spot of socialising by way of a weekend up North to my old stomping ground Harrogate. Really excited about that one.

Of course we didn’t actually miss pancake day in real life, the kids weren’t going to allow that to happen, pancakes probably being up there in their top five fave foods. We consumed a double dose no less, pancakes for breakie and dinner. We do eat an inordinate amount of them around here. Usually I hasten to add in the traditional crepe form with lemon or orange juice and sugar, occasionally with Nutella with or without banana as an uber-special treat. But don’t tell anyone. A popular brunch are my smaller American style Banana Pancakes or Fluffy Wholemeal Yogurt Pancakes scoffed down with yogurt or creme fraiche and various chopped fruits and berries. And when in season, as it is now, the latter are delish with Rhubarb, Blood Orange and Stem Ginger Compote. The recipes for which I was delighted to see featured as the ‘winning recipe’ in the Saturday Guardian Reader’s Recipe Swap, both in print in the Cook section and online. Two weeks in a row I’ve been in print actually, last week it was my Bread Tarts. Totally chuffed!.

But for my Shrove Tuesday recipe this year I thought I’d go for something savoury for a change, a variation on a spinach and ricotta filling. Using seasonal and abundant kale, garlic mushrooms, Ricotta, Parmesan, plus a little nutmeg, black pepper and lemon juice. Not least because I’m always on the think for a new way to get The Monsters to eat kale. Topped with a simple tomato sauce, more Parmesan and baked they were a really scrummy dinner. At least for the grown ups, The Monsters remained firmly kale-adverse. I shall however persist…..

pancake-textI haven’t included the recipe for pancakes, as without fail I use Delia’s basic pancake recipe here.

I’m entering my pancakes to this month’s Family Foodies, a bloggie event I co-host with Vanesther over at Bangers and Mash. This month it’s Vanesther’s turn to host and the challenge is to ‘Make every day Pancake Day’! Oh yes please, The Monsters would certainly approve, albeit minus the kale.

Eat Your Veg | Kale & Mushroom Pancakes

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Homemade ♥ Florentines! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/florentines/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/florentines/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:56:02 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8602 Eat Your Veg | Homemade Heart Florentines

I have two sentimental reasons for making florentines. The first stems back twenty two years, back to my first year at Uni in Newcastle upon Tyne and to a local corner shop that sold the most delectably delicious florentines ever, biggies too, and for peanuts. Introduced to them by my very good friend Nic we may well have bonded a lifelong friendship over our fondness for those florentines. Together with our shared penchant for cheap vodka anyway, which naturally the shop also kept us in flowing supply of. Why such a shop came to sell such delicacies was always a bit of a mystery, I don’t recall it selling any other homemade goodies, nor was it a particularly salubrious joint. I do however remember it peddling the entire flavour range of 20/20, remember that stuff? I wish I didn’t. Believe it or not I’ve not actually made florentines myself until now, and they’re really not as tricky as you may think. Next time we meet Nic, I promise you homemade florentines, vodka of course too. Though of a superior quality than we guzzled back then!.

IMG_1023Sentimental reason number two. I have a special somebody to make Valentines treats for. A bit of a shocker I know, though I’m not going to divulge any details here other than to tell you he’s most definitely earned his florentines. Not least for constructing, digging and filling a magnificent set of raised veggie beds at Eat Your Veg HQ.  I know it may sound strange to most of you but this is possibly the single most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. And yes I probably do have a skewed sense of romance, but then that makes two of us!. Do watch out for progress on the veggie beds, now that Eat Your Veg are officially back in the growing game.

Explanations delivered, now for the florentines. As I said they’re not nearly as tricky as you might conceive. Simply a matter of warming a little (and I mean a little) unrefined sugar, butter and flour together, stirring through cream and then combining with an interesting mix of dried fruits and nuts. I used flaked almonds, hazelnuts, apricots, cranberries and sultanas though more traditional recipes use glace cherries which I chose to omit. Just go with whatever you happen to have in. Then of course a brief baking, shaping and cooling before slathering in a slick of chocolate. And they’re really very, very good. Probably too good!.

If your loved ones are more savoury inclined then don’t forget my Love Pie from last year, I’m making one this Valentines for The Monsters with beef cheeks.

Eat Your Veg | The Love Pie | Slow Cooked Beef Braised in Red Wine

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The ‘Healthy Kids’ Round-Up http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/the-healthy-kids-round-up/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/the-healthy-kids-round-up/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 12:31:06 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8596 Family Foodies Jan PicJanuary’s Family Foodies event was all about ‘healthy kids’, needless to say a theme right up the Eat Your Veg street. And by heck did we get some temptingly tasty wholesome fodder linked up by you healthy little lot. Everything from homemade sushi to kale samosas, mango smoothies to energy balls galore!. Soups, savoury nibbles and bakes, family-friendly mains, better for you puds and healthier cookies and cakes. Prepare to be feasted, in a healthy kinda way!.

molecular-gastronomy-kit-spheres-mainWe have a prize this month, kindly offered by the folks at Cheeky Monkey Cream Chargers. A fascinating and no doubt great fun ‘Molecular Gastronomy Spherification Kit’ no less. Just how cool? Do read through to the bottom to see which lucky blogger has won the chance to go all Heston on us.

Super Soups and Savoury Nibbles:

Soups & Savoury Nibbles

1. Slow Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

2. DIY Sushi from By the Way….by Nasifuet

3. Pizza Muffins from The Gluten Free Alchemist

4. Beetroot Puri from Herbs, Spices and Tradition

5. Broken Wheat Chickpeas Pulav from Home Cooked Food

6. Kale & Cauliflower Samosas from Bangers & Mash Chat

 

Wholesome Mains:

Family Foodies Wholesome Mains

1. A Simple Country Chicken Casserole from The Hedge Combers

2. Quorn & Veggie Cottage Pie topped with Sweet Potato Mash from Eat Your Veg

3. Roo’s Vegetable Pasta with Crispy Bacon and Seeds from The Free From Fairy

4. Sausage, Apple & Bean Casserole from The Gluten Free Alchemist

5. Veggie Sausage and Roasted Vegetable Traybake from Family-Friends-Food

6. Mushroom, Spinach & Barley Bake from Family-Friends-Food

7. Oat Pancakes from The Gluten Free Alchemist

8. Sausage, Roasted Pepper & Pea Frittata from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter

 

Healthier Sweet Treats

Family Foodies Healthy Kids- Sweet Treats

1. Easy muesli Cookies from Family-Friends-Food

2. Coconut, Apricot & Sultana Snack Balls from Searching for Spice

3. Super Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins from the Free From Fairy

4. Chocolate Bliss Balls from Green Gourmet Giraffe

5. Mincemeat and Cranberry Flapjacks from Jibber Jabber

6. 5 Ingredient Energy Balls from Home Cook Food

7. Healthy Digestive Biscuits from Tales From The Kitchen Shed

 

Puds & Drinks:

Healthy Drinks & Puds

1. Mango Smoothie from Herbs, Spices & Tradition

2. Greek Yogurt Cheesecake (Gluten & Sugar Free) from Instructables

3. Fruity Bread & Butter Pudding from Eat Your Veg

Well that’s it for January folks, I wasn’t wrong when I said it was a feast this month was I? Thank you so much to everyone who very kindly contributed. Which now of course leaves me with the task of picking a winner of the molecular gastronomy prize. Gosh, that’s definitely a hard one as I can honestly say I’m tempted by each and every recipe this month. Truly. But the winner for me had to be the Free From Fairy’s ‘Vegetable Pasta with Bacon and Seeds’, invented and made by Vicki’s seven year old daughter Roo! I couldn’t help but be impressed that a seven year old could not only think up such a wholesome meal but actually ask to make it for her family. I wonder if the day will come that one of my own monkeys will announce they want to cook tea, fingers crossed!.

Thanks again for all your lipsmackingly tasty entries folks. I’ll see you again next month, but in the mean time do link up your pancake recipes to February’s Family Foodies over at Bangers & Mash,

Keep healthy!

L x

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A Lighter & Leaner Good Ol’ Lancashire Hotpot http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/lighter-lancashire-hotpot/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/lighter-lancashire-hotpot/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:01:11 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8587 Eat Your Veg | Lighter Lancashire Hotpot

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ Lancashire Hotpot eh? There’s something undeniably comforting about what’s essentially just a basic lamb stew with a layer of sliced tatters baked on the top. But warming, inviting, delicious and British simplicity at it’s very best it is. And always reminds me of my (brief) Corrie watching student days, those days when I somehow managed a quota of no less than five soaps. Five I tell you. How I found the time between all the, ahem, studying, boggles me. Especially considering it’s probably at least ten years since I’ve watched an entire episode of any soap.

Soaps aside and back to the hotpot, obviously I couldn’t just serve you up a classic Hotpot of the Betty variety. Naturally mine’s been given the Eat Your Veg makeover, a healthier, leaner and lower in fat version using lamb steaks, a heartier abundance of root veggies and a smattering of pearl barley to boot. But there’s nothing missing on the tasty stakes believe me, The Monsters were certainly testament to that, wolfing down a handsomely large bowlful with pleasing gusto. Parsnips and all, which they’re ordinarily repellent to. A right result.

If you’re fish adverse don’t be put off by the inclusion of a couple of tinned anchovy fillets in the recipe, they just had a subtle flavour boost, a strangely meaty flavour boost actually.  I tend to chuck them in most of my meaty stews and casseroles for an instantly bolder and more robust dish. But do omit if you really cannot cope with them. Anchovies, Marmite and Worcester Sauce are my secret flavour weapons, what do you use?

Eat Your Veg | Lighter & Leaner Hotpot

Eat Your Veg | Lighter & Leaner Lancashire Hotpot

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Fruity Bread & Butter Pud http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/fruity-bread-butter-pudding/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/fruity-bread-butter-pudding/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:11:38 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8582 Eat Your Veg | Apple Bread & Butter Pudding

Just in case you hadn’t noticed I’m not normally one for puds. I mainly blame the kids. I do quite like a homemade pud myself, particularly something fruity to follow a sunday dinner. But The Monsters are ne’er too keen, usually requiring a good deal of coaxing to even attempt a morsel. And we’re not talking way out puds here, just the usual crumbles, fruit pies, eve’s puds, bread and butters, fruity tarts, cheesecakes. Even the custard doesn’t do it for them. Slightly perturbing to be honest, DNA testing should really be on the cards.

Even more perturbing that the same can’t be said for the school dinner puds, they’re all too happy to tell me how much they like those. And always eat them. Grrrr, I’m obviously not school dinnersie enough in my pudding making, and I’m really not sure whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Joking aside, I’m not really that bothered that they don’t eat puds, any less sugar in their diet has to be a good thing. And good for me as I don’t bother to make many, as I’ll only go and eat them all!.

Having said, I do feel the need to address my abysmally bereft catalogue of healthy family puds on Eat Your Veg, so do watch out for them over the next few weeks. Starting today with my healthier take on a Bread & Butter Pudding. I switched the cream for semi-skimmed milk, organic if you can, the bread for sliced fruit bread (minus the thickly spread butter) and only used a small amount of unrefined soft brown sugar. Plus lots of lovely cinnamon flavoured apples for a fruity twist. I’d confidently say my version gives the traditional pud a handsome run for it’s money on the yum factor, do let me know if you try it yourselves.

Family Foodies Jan Pic

I’m hosting this month’s Family Foodies event, a blogging challenge I co-host with Vanesther over at Bangers & Mash (who’s incidentally deservedly just scooped a major award, the SW Food Reader Award no less, enormous congrats!). This month our theme’s Healthy Kids but if you want to enter do be quick, the event closes tomorrow.

Eat Your Veg | Fruity Bread & Butter Pudding

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Veggie Cottage Pie topped with Sweet Potato Mash http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/veggie-cottage-pie/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/veggie-cottage-pie/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 09:58:35 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8574 Eat Your Veg | Veggie Cottage Pie

We do love a cottage pie around here, an invariably popular option with The Monsters. Like most families it’a a bit of a winter staple and the perfect huggy antidote to these cold and dank long days. Ordinarily I make mine with good quality beef mince and ‘veg it up’ with a whole host of finely chopped veggies, AKA a fridge clearing exercise. A great way to inject lots of good stuff into little tums and particularly with the veggies they’re less enamoured with, just make sure they’e unidentifiably tinily diced. Do check out my Seasonally Vegged-Up Cottage Pie recipe from a couple of years ago, it’s a goodie.

My recipe today’s gone one healthy step further and cut out the meat altogether. Replacing the protein with Quorn mince and lovely Puy lentils (though you could use ordinary green or brown ones). Of course there’s a barrage of veggies too, along with the usual suspect onions, carrots and celery I added nearly half a kilo of finely sliced green beans, diced butternut and celeriac and a few handfuls of miscellaneous finely shredded greens. And if that’s not enough veggies to fill your boots there’s a sweet potato mash top, subtly flavoured with a grating of nutmeg. Naturally vegetarian too it’s an uber-healthy family favourite of a dish, make that vegan if you use a dairy free soya spread in the mash as I do.

We’re on the whole diary-free again round here, omitting cows milk to try and cure Jacques nasty winter cough. The same flemmy hacking nighttime cough he’s had for the four winters since he was born, the cough he’s had countless trip to the doctors about over the years but as yet has remained undiagnosed. Not one has seemed terribly bothered about it. Admittedly it’s not exactly life threatening but the lack of sleep and inherent winter grumpiness this in turns brings to the whole family isn’t joyous. But on a very positive note I’ve discovered a temporary cure myself. Putting J on a rigid cows milk, yogurt and cheese-free diet definitely improves the cough, at least until the next winter cold anyway. Then we start the cycle again. And just as all the doc’s say I’m sure he’ll grow out of it one of these years, fingers crossed eh!.

Cottage Pie Challenge Logos

I’m entering a few challenges with my Cottage Pie, so here goes:

molecular-gastronomy-kit-spheres-main1) As Family Foodies (which I co-host with Vanesther aka Bangers & Mash) is going all healthy for the New Year, I’m entering my recipe to this month’s challenge. Obviously exempt myself, there’s a prize of a fab fun Moleculur Gastronomy set up for grabs for the winning recipe, so do join in with your healthy recipe posts.

2) To Utterly Scrummys and Fuss Free Flavours ‘Extra Veg’ event.

3) To Citrus Spice’s ‘In My Veg Box’ event which so happens to be Sweet Potatoes this month, hosted for January by Heidi Robert’s Kitchen Talk.

Eat Your Veg | Quorn, Lentil & Veggie Cottage Pie

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January’s Family Foodies http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/januarys-family-foodies/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/januarys-family-foodies/#comments Sun, 04 Jan 2015 21:43:04 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8568 Family Foodies Jan Pic

Happy New Year family foodies, may your 2015 be healthy, prosperous and full of deliciousness. To begin the brand new year as we mean to go on, Family Foodies is having a little health kick and we’re asking you to link up your healthier child-friendly recipes. Anything goes this month, breakfasts, lunches or dinners, snacks, sides or drinks. Just as long as recipes are better for those precious little tums in some way. They could be lower in sugar or use refined or natural sugars, lower in fat or better for you fats or make greater use of life’s good stuff wholegrains, fruits, veggies, pulses or nuts.

molecular-gastronomy-kit-spheres-main

And we have a fun prize for January’s winner, a Molecular Gastronomy Spherification Kit no less, kindly donated by the folks at Cheeky Monkey Cream Chargers. The kits provide all the equipment, molecular ingredients and Spherification Caviarrecipes to introduce children (and big children!) to the magical world of molecular gastronomy. Just how much fun?

Deadline for entries: 29th January

family-foodies

Here’s a few guidelines for the Challenge:

? You may submit any recipe that fits the current theme, past or current, up to a maximum of three entries per month. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own please give the appropriate credit.

? Post your recipe url to the Linky at the bottom of each month’s challenge, including your email address and the title of the recipe.

? Display the Family Foodies badge on the recipe post, with a link back to Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, and details of the current monthly challenge you’re entering.

? If you’re on Twitter then please tweet your post to myself @Eat_Your_Veg and Vanesther @BangerMashChat and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.

? You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere of the World, any prizes will be happily posted out unless otherwise stated.

? At the end of the month a winning recipe will be chosen and any prizes sent out. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries. Winners will get to display a Family Foodie Winner annotated badge on their blog if they wish and their recipe will go through to the Family Foodies Hall of Fame on each of our sites.

? All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board

 

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A Very Merry Christmas and Festive Dips & Sticks! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/festive-dips-sticks/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/festive-dips-sticks/#comments Tue, 23 Dec 2014 15:53:28 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8564 Eat Your Veg | Festive Dips and Sticks

Christmas doesn’t have to be all about the naughty stuff you know. There’s plenty of good stuff to be had amongst the endless choccies, sweets, sausage rolls and mince pies. I’m not saying to avoid it all, just apply a little balance here and there if you can. And my festive christmas tree dips and sticks are a fun way to grab the kids attention. As I seem to be regularly mentioning on Eat Your Veg lately, kids just love a dip and they’re the perfect vehicle to get oodles of goodliness into those precious little tummies. Today I have for you a Beetroot & Feta Dip, marginally more successful at getting beetroot into The Monsters than my Halloween Blood Soup, though I’m not going to lie, they did prefer the hummus.

The tree however they really loved, and proved a bit of a hit at a festive play date we had last week. Simply an assembly job of plenty of sliced peppers, cucumber, courgettes and carrots and dotted with a few cherry tommie baubles, sweetcorn and cheesy squares. Not forgetting the bread stick tree trunk. It really didn’t take long to put together, a few short and fun minutes if that. And to see the look of delight on the children’s faces, it was so worth it.

Other dip recipes popular at Eat Your Veg HQ include my Smoked Salmon & Roasted Pepper, Tuna & Cream Cheese, Minted Pea & Feta, Homemade Hummus, Holy Moly Guacamole and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.

Before I sign off for christmas bidding you all a wonderful, fun and healthy festive break I offer you my apologies for being a little absent lately. I’d fully intended on a few more healthy festive posts in the run up to christmas but things have all been a little hectic in the Eat Your Veg household lately. Hectic in an extremely wonderful and happy way I can assure you!

Have a wonderful foodie christmas folks and wishing you an extremely happy, prosperous and healthy 2015, see you on the other side,

Louisa, Frannie & Jacques x

festive-family-foodies

As Family Foodies has gone festive for December I shall of course be entering my christmas tree and dips, Vanesther’s hosting over at Bangers and Mash and there’s a fab cookbook prize to be won this month.

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November’s Family Foodies Vegetarian Round-Up http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/novembers-family-foodies-vegetarian-round-up/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/novembers-family-foodies-vegetarian-round-up/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:09:57 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8549 Family Foodies Nov Vegetarian

November’s Family Foodies went Veggie for our first time, and as ever we had a fabulous array of inventive and of course tasty looking family friendly recipes linked up. Do take the time to have a look through the entries, bookmark and comment on any that grab your fancy and of course do read down to the bottom to see which entry wins this month’s prize of the River Cottage Veg Every Day cookbook, one of my personal faves.

Family Foodies Nov 1 -5

Hot off the mark with our first veggie entry was Family-Friends-Food‘s yummylicious Quesadillas with holiday-inspired Vegetables & Feta (1), inspired her recent trip to Israel and a dinner in a Jerusalem Cafe. Originally with pasta Helen recreated the mix in tortillas to form a quesadilla.

Janie, aka The Hedge Comber, served up a pot of hearty vegan Aduki Bean Stew (2) made in a slow cooker, also tempted us with thoughts of aduki bean sweet steamed dumplings from her travels to China.

Linsy from Home Cooked Food linked up a spiced and delicious sounding Vermicelli Pulav (3) using frozen veggies, sure to tickle those taste buds!

Anne’s Kitchen tempted us with her Spicy Mushroom & Bean Sausage Rolls (4), and by heck do they sound good, and considerably tastier than most veggie sausage rolls I’ve tried in the past.

A recipe from France next, by way of a Roast Pumpkin Soup with Sage, Garlic & Chilli from De Tout Coeur Limousin, the perfect antidote to the nasty bugs and germs that seem to be so prevalent at this time of the year.

Family Foodies Nov 6 - 10

There followed another couple of tasty entries from De Tout Coeur Limousin. For starters, a taste of late summer with Baked Courgettes with Feta, Tomato, Mint & Marjoram (6). Followed by a vegetarian favourite, Iman Bayildi (7), a Middle Eastern inspired Aubergine and Tomato Stew, which is traditionally made swimming in olive oil but a considerably more restrained version here! 

Janet from The Taste Spice posted a recipe from The Complete Coconut Cookbook, a vegan Cauliflower ‘couscous’ and Date Salad (8). Move over cauliflower ‘rice’ a welcome cauli couscous folks! And an exceptionally zingy and flavour packed dish it sounds too, “a mosaic of tastes, textures and scents” indeedie.

Another entry from Home Cook Food, this time Linsy’s Corn on the Cob Curry (9), it sounds a bang on balance of delicious sweet and spicy, and the first time I’ve seen corn on the cob used in a curry.

Lancashire Food Linzi tickled my taste buds with a fabulous looking bowl of Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Soup (10), with a stinking cold myself this is EXACTLY what I need to be eating right now. Two whole bulbs of garlic, that should sort it!

Family Foodies Nov 11 - 15

Utterly Scrummy also linked up a soup recipe, a Tomato & Basil Soup (11) made by her eleven year old daughter for a food technology class, complete with her own photos. Impressive stuff I’d say. And coming in at a mere 59p for four bowlfuls it’s exceptionally frugal too.

The Stuffed Butternut Squash (12) from Searching for Spice using leftover homemade soup looks a hearty tasty affair, and left me wondering why I’ve never stuffed and roasted butternut  myself even though it’s one of my fave ever veggies.

A rather delicious sounding Smoky Cheesy Pasta (13) was served up to woo Green Gourmet Giraffe’s five year old daughter. It would certainly work on me, and with lots of lovely veggies it’s a wholesome eat too.

After a handy recipe for using up leftover Halloween pumpkin, then bookmark this one for next year from Family Friends Food (14). The Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta looks ridiculously scrumptious and sure to be a big cheesy hit with the little peeps.

Choclette of the Chocolate Log Blog took delivery of an Italian feast from Ufuud (15) and reminded me of the joy that is a bowl of excellent pasta served with a simple sauce of equally excellent top notch ingredients, and the fewer the better. Delicious.

Family Foodies Nov 16 - 20

Fresh, Home Made and Gluten Free Pasta (16) from The Gluten Free Alchemist looks a bit of a revelation. A fabulously successful effort at gluten free pasta using a combination of five different flours, namely brown rice, gram, sorghum, tapioca and glutinous rice flours! If you’ve a gluten intolerance then I urge you to check it out.

If want a made in minutes soup recipe then do check out my own Pea & Coriander Soup in a Flash (17) recipe, surprisingly popular with The Monsters and handily made from store cupboard ingreds.

Laura from How to Cook Good Food served up a rather festive looking and I think you’ll agree most stunning Kale Roasted Cranberry & Smoked Almond Salad (18), which would certainly make a mighty fine accompaniment to any festive meal and particularly all those leftovers.

Brussel Sprout & Red Cabbage Slaw (19) from my Family Foodies co-host Vanesther of Bangers and Mash. Another great side to have up your sleeve for the imminent silly season and may just be a way to convince those doubting little folk that sprouts truly rock!

And finally a third entry from Family Friends Food, this time in yummy sounding Wild Mushroom Baked Risotto (20) form. I do love a labour-saving baked risotto, and this flavour packed dried and fresh mushroom one sounds no exception.

UnknownWhat a lovely bunch of recipes eh folks? Which always makes it all the more tricky a task to pick out a winner and recipient of a copy of the River Cottage Veg Everyday. I finally decided on the Tomato & Basil Soup with Cheese Toasts cleverly made and photographed by Michelle’s eleven year old daughter over at Utterly Scrummy. In the true spirit of Family Foodies I felt that this was a most appealing dish to kids, frugal and of course high on the yum factor. Tommie soup is certainly up there in my own two’s most requested….especially with cheesy toast! Thanks Michelle, do email me your address and I’ll get the book to you.

Vanesther’s hosting December’s event over at Bangers and Mash, and we’re going all suitably festive. Whether your festivity is Christmas, Eid, Diwali or Hanukkah. And there’s a lovely bookie prize up for grabs for the winning recipe blog.

So that’s it from me folks, big Happy Christmas Family Foodies and I’ll see you on the other side in January,

Eat Well,

Louisa x

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A Handy Little Side Number: Bejeweled Rice & Quinoa http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/bejeweled-rice-quinoa/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/bejeweled-rice-quinoa/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:15:10 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8552 Eat Your Veg | Quick Cook Bejeweled Rice & Quinoa

Made from start to finish in ten minutes flat this certainly is a handy little side number. And with the silly season in our midst it could be a useful healthy side dish to have up your sleeve. Equally tasty as part of a buffet or asian style meal, as a side for fish or cold meats or a nutritious and filling lunch to eat cold at work or school. If your kids like rice this is a super-duper easy way of getting oodles of the good stuff into their tums. And by adding veggie colours from across the rainbow it’s not only pretty but maxing out on nutritional value too. Bonus.

I’m lucky enough to have kids that both love their rice. They’d happily chow down on a bowl of plain rice given half a chance, and they often do if it accompanies a curry or stir fry they’re a little sniffy about!. Just as it was a cinch to convert them to wholewheat pasta from white they rarely eat anything other than brown rice these days. Well at least at home anyway. And building on their love for rice it’s very easy to add uber-nutritious quinoa and finely diced veggies to the pot, which they’re equally as happy to wolf down, especially with a tasty soya sauce dressing.

I used Clearspring products in my recipe today as I was lucky enough to receive a huge box of their goodies to try out. And suitably impressed I was too. The quick cook organic Brown Rice & Red Quinoa made light work of the salad, cooking in a mere ten minutes. And the dressing I made from the Organic ‘Omeg-A-Day’ Flax Oil blend (made from linseeds/flax, walnut, sunflower, olive and pumpkin oils) and gluten-free Tamari Soya Sauce was high in taste as well as health stakes.

Eat Your Veg | Bejeweled Rice & Quinoa

Eat Your Veg | Clearspring Quick Cook Rice & Quinoa

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Eating Well Whilst on the Go ‘Lunch in a Jar’ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/lunch-in-a-jar/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/lunch-in-a-jar/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 21:23:18 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8543 Eat Your Veg | Instant Veggie Noodle Soup in a Jar

I was recently challenged by Eat Natural and Rachel from Well Worn Whisk to develop a healthy make-ahead lunch time recipe for busy on-the-go or working Mums. And what could be more simple than a make ahead uber-healthy instant veggie noodle soup, or a ‘homemade pot noodle’ as I like to think of them?.

Take a largish jar (a Mason jar if you have one, but any lidded jar will do) and pack it full to the brim with a selection of shredded veggies preferably from across the colour spectrum of the rainbow. Think courgettes, carrots, red or green cabbage, green, red, orange or yellow peppers, green beans, kale, spinach….. Plus a small bundle of fine rice noodles. Add oodles of flavour by way of Japanese miso paste, grated ginger, finely diced spring onions, sesame oil and lower salt soya sauce plus a little sliced chilli if you fancy a cheeky kick. Finally a sprinkling of sesame seeds for a little added crunch. Assembled in minutes and can be stored in the fridge for a few days until you’re ready to eat or take to work. Then simply filled with boiling water, sealed and left for a few minutes before eating. Either slurped straight from the jar or poured into a bowl. Job done.

I like the simplicity of this veggie noodle soup as is, but for a more substantial lunch you could  add shredded pre-cooked chicken or leftover roast meats. Even a handful of cooked prawns.

IDShot_540x540Eat Natural produce a range of healthy bars and breakfasts for those fast-moving peeps on the go.  Their new single serving Buckwheat Toasted Muesli is a fantastically healthy and tasty cereal, available from Tesco stores, priced only at 79p.

 

Eat Your Veg | Homemade Veggie Pot Noodles

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Go ActiFry! Courgette, Chorizo & Sun Dried Tomato Risotto http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/courgette-chorizo-risotto/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/courgette-chorizo-risotto/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 21:01:37 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8532 Eat Your Veg | Go Actifry Risotto Recipe

2tefalsI was recently asked if I’d like to try out a Tefal ActiFry. It didn’t take me too long to think about that one, especially as I’d already heard plenty of good things about their capabiliites. Admittedly, mainly to do with their exceptionally excellent low fat chips which I can wholeheartedly verify. Believe me. In the few short weeks it’s been in my presence my little lot have put it though the paces, testing out a variety of different oils, fats and potatoes. Purely for experimental reasons you understand. Oh the chore. But more on those 3% fat healthy chips in a later post.

The ActiFry isn’t just for chips. It’s more than capable of producing a variety of healthy family meals from bologneses to curries to stir fries, in fact there’s even a My ActiFry App choca full of inspiring and tasty-looking recipes. Having watched the mixing paddle gently turning the chips, on too many occasions to mention, it occurred to me it should be a natural at making a risotto. Ordinarily a dish that requires pretty constant stirring on a hob, the ActiFry could take away the human element and do the stirring for you. I also removed several steps from an ordinary risotto recipe, allowing this ActiFry all-in-one version to be made in four simple and easy stages. And to mightily impressive results I must say, a delicious, creamy and totally hassle-free risotto. I rarely made risottos mid-week before, being too time consuming to do so on my own with little ones to attend to, all that stirring and adding to it just wasn’t possible. But this ActiFry version literally does all the hard work for you. Totally amazeballs.

This is a risotto recipe I used to make pretty often but have neglected for a long time, it’s a heady combination of slightly spicy chorizo and courgettes, flavoured with white wine, tomato purée and sun-dried tomatoes. Not normally one to use chorizo these days the kids had a real hampering for it and cajoled me into buying some last week. A little of what you fancy eh, and besides it is paired with plenty of courgette. And the kids loved it, which is not something I can say about most risottos I’ve fed them lately!. Obviously the recipe could also be made in a saucepan on a hob, and I’ve included a traditional method following the ActiFry one.

The ActiFry incidentally works pretty much as a fryer but with only a teeny bit of oil. Food is heated using a revolutionary hot air system and thus a good deal safer and naturally healthier than a deep fat fryer. The unique stirring paddle ensures food is evenly coated and cooked and can be safely left for the cooking duration. The ActiFry contains an in-built odour free filter so no nasty chip shop smells either. I feel I should also point out it’s ease of cleaning, absolutely zero hassle, handily comes apart and can be popped in a dishwasher. All key features in my book.

I hope you get to try out my risotto recipe and do keep an eye out for more ActiFry posts coming very soon.

Disclaimer: I received a Family 1.5 Tefal ActiFry for review. All opinions and views are my own.

Eat Your Veg | Courgette, Chorizo & Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto

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Pea & Coriander Soup in a Flash! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/pea-coriander-soup/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/pea-coriander-soup/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:26:11 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8530 Eat Your Veg | Pea & Coriander Soup

We do eat a lot of soup in our house. Nine times out of ten if I ask Frannie what she wants for tea, it’s soup, the tenth time it’s fish and chips. In reality she’d probably suggest fish and chippies more if she thought there was a chance of getting them!  Handily a girl of simple tastes, who genuinely loves nothing more than slurping her way through a bowl or two of thick homemade veggie soup, her record’s four bowls in one sitting. Served with rounds of cheese on toast on the side which has become a bit of a tradition for us with soup, this makes for a super-nutricious, super-easy and pretty substantial family meal for us all. And any veggies will suffice, which I find a particularly useful exercise for clearing out the fridge before our next veg box delivery.

But this is a soup I make when we really are down on the veggies, handily made out of frozen peas which I make sure we always have in. Livened up in this recipe with lots of lovely fragrant coriander, but also tasty with a bunch of parsley or mint if you happen to have it. This is also about one of the fastest soups, or indeed dinners, you can make, so’s perfect for a healthy after school dinner in a flash. Simply a case of sautéing an onion with garlic, pouring in peas and stock. Cooking for a minute or two then whizzing with a stick blender or in a jug blender or processor. I used my Russell Hobbs Illumina Jug Blender which I was recently sent to trial. As ever it made super light and quick work of the task in hand, effortlessly whizzing to a pleasingly smooth soup in seconds. And impressively easy to clean afterwards too, which is a necessary importance around here!. Do read my other posts on the Illumina for more information: The Russell Hobbs Ilumina and the Power of the Green Smoothie and Banana & Oat Breakfast Smoothie.

Eat Your Veg | Quick Pea & Coriander Soup Recipe

It’s been a while since I entered any bloggie challenges, my apologies but here goes!: 

1) First to my very own Family Foodies, which I co-host with Vanesther at Bangers and Mash. This month I’m hosting and we have a theme of family friendly vegetarian.

2) To Allotment 2 Kitchen‘s Eat Your Green’s event, a monthly vegetarian cooking challenge showcasing the power of the green veggie!

3) To No Croutons Required, a soup and salad veggie challenge hosted by Jac from Tinned Tomatoes and this month by Lisa’s Kitchen.

4) Finally to Fab Food 4 Alls and Fuss Free Flavours Credit Crunch Munch event, this month guest hosted by My Little Italian Kitchen.

Challenge Logos

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Easy Bakes for Kids: Jacques’s Butternut Muffins http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/butternut-muffins/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/butternut-muffins/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:30:44 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8525 Easy Bakes for Kids | Jacques's Butternut Muffins

The sad reality of Jacques now being a full time school boy is our cosy little afternoon baking sessions are sadly too few and far between these days. He’s not just in school but between the two of them virtually every night’s suddenly taken up by some after school club or other. Jacques’s loving the school dance club, relishing being it’s youngest member and only boy. I even spied him making some awesome attempts at pirouttes this week. Interestingly big sis Frannie dramatically ‘quit’ dance club at about the same time he took it up, favouring instead the brother-less and girl-less Beavers and Footie Clubs. Hilarious. I’ve no idea where she gets it from, ahem. And the weekends aren’t much more time friendly either. For a start they spend alternate weekends in London with their Dad, and with me there’s quite often a horse riding lesson (Frannie’s only nod to girldom thus far), sleepover or birthday party, more often than not uncles and cousins to see and virtually always Sunday dinner with Grandma and Pa.

So that glorious expanse of baking and making time suddenly seems to have vanished, and I have to purposefully make the time these days. Not that Frannie’s bothered, she still hotfoots it out of the kitchen at the mere mention of any cooking action, invariably declaring “I’m not a cooker Mummy”. She does however happily partake in the eating element. Jacques, luckily, is still my superkeen sous chef. Whether it’s chopping veggies for a soup, picking herbs, stirring a risotto, making scrambled eggs or baking cakes. He just has to be there getting involved.

A couple of weeks ago an opportunity arose for a spot of mum and son baking. Jacques was off school a little bit poorly, though in reality barely poorly at all as the day turned out. And certainly well enough to accompany his beloved Grandpa to hospital for his cataracts op which was all a big adventure in his four year old eyes. And topped off by an impromptu afternoon’s baking sess it was a pretty good ‘sick’ day all in all. Funnily enough he was back at school the next day!

We made these Butternut and Orange Muffins which are a great little make for budding mini-cooks, with plenty of elements they can do entirely themselves (items marked as ‘K’ in the recipe). Older kids could easily follow the whole recipe on their own, there’s no great skill involved, simply weighing, grating, stirring and assembly really. They’re a pretty healthy munch too, packed full of nearly half a kilo of fiber-brilliant antioxidant-loaded butternut squash, good oil (especially if you use rapeseed oil), unrefined sugar, part wholemeal flour and sultanas. Significantly better than your average cake anyway. And great to pop in a lunchbox or hand out as an after school treat. Or even for an easy breakie served with a smoothie.

Eat Your Veg | Butternut Squash Muffins

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September’s FSF ‘Getting Fruity’ Round Up http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/septembers-fsf-getting-fruity-round-up/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/septembers-fsf-getting-fruity-round-up/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 10:12:05 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8491 FSF Sept Round Up Collage

I know, I know, I know….this is an exceptionally overdue round-up post from September, but FINALLY here I am….in….ahem…. mid November. My sincere apologies folks in taking so long to get around to reading and commenting on all your wonderfully fruity recipes. As ever I’ve been blown away by the diversity and ingenuity of all your entries, from homemade ‘Jaffa Cakes’ to Muffins, Mini Loaf Cakes to Cheesecakes, Ice Creams, Sorbets, Jam, Ketchup, Fools, Tarts and Cakes a plenty, even a fruity salad. Do grab a cuppa and feast your eyes on this exceptionally pretty and delicious looking lot, but be warned you’ll be wanting a little extra with that cuppa!

As it’s a bit of a bumper round up this month I’m attempting to round up each of the entries in a mere three(ish) words, wish me luck!

Blackberry & Apple Yogurt Fool from Eat Your Veg

Easy-Peasy Baby-licious Seasonal

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 Homemade Plum, Star Anise & Amaretti Ice Cream from Deena Kakaya

Creamy Exotic Loveliness

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Blackberry Crumble Traybake from Jibber Jabber

Foragers Oaty Crumble-licious!

Blackberry crumble slice

Plum, Sloe & Vanilla Jam from Chez Maximka

Late Summer Jaminess

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A Hearty Autumn Salad from The Garden Deli

Hearty Autumnal Crunchy

salad

Wholemeal Blackberry & Banana Muffins from Sneaky Veg

Dairy-Free Good-For-You Mini-Muffins

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3 Easy Recipes with Frozen Pineapple from Drizzling Delicacies

Granita, Cooler, Popsicles

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Mixed Berry ‘Jaffa’ Cakes from The Gluten Free Alchemist

OMG Homemade-Jaffa-Cake Awesomeness

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Chunky Blackberry Hazelnut Crumble from I’d Much Rather Bake Than…

Wine-Roasted Low-Sugar Crumble-Heaven

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An Autumn ‘Summer Pudding’ from Lavender and Lovage

Fruitylicious Berrylicious Gorgeousness

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Vegan Cinnamon Plum Cake from Allotment 2 Kitchen

Yummy Vegan Pretty

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Vegan Ice Cream, One Ingredient, Three Flavour Ideas from Veg Hot Pot

Instant Frozen-Banana Deliciousness

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Autumn Breakfast Smoothie from How to Cook Good Food

Autumnal Healthfulness in a Glass

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Mango Chia Seed Pudding from Spice, Quirky & Serendipito

Fall-in-Love Mango Pud!

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Apple & White Chocolate Tarts from the Choclette Log Blog

Intriguingly Delicious Pairing

Apple Tarts

Blackberry-Coconut Chocolate Nobble Cheesecake from the Gluten Free Alchemist

Stunning Dreamy Coconut-Creamy

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Banana & Berry Loaf from The More Than Occasional Baker

Berry-licious Loaf Cake

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Easy Peasy Home Made Tomato Ketchup from The Hedgecombers

Ticklingly Sweet Sharp Hot

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Rum & Raisin Cinnamon Rolls from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

Drool Yes-Please Drool

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Blackberry, Lemon & Vanilla Cheesecake from The More Than Occasional Baker

Double-Layered Cheesecake Heaven

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Cider Punch Drizzle Loaf Cakes from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter

Scrumptious Intriguing Mini-Loafcakes

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Sticky Toffe Apple Pudding from Caroline Makes

Perfect Alchemy of Two-Great-Puds

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Banana, Nectarine & Cinnamon Muffins from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter

Cinnamon-Sugar Crusted Muffin-Marvelousness

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Simple Raspberry Fool from Garden Tea Cakes and Me

Naturally Sweet Summer-Licious

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Autumn Pavlova from Vohn’s Vittles

Beautiful Tart vs Sweet Loveliness

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Raspberry, Fig & Pistachio Cake from How to Cook Good Food

Sunshine in a Cake!

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Almond Apple Traybake from I’d Much Rather Bake Than….

Deliciously Fluffy Photo-Perfection!

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Blackberry & Apple Skillet Breakfast Crumble from Elizabeth’s Kitchen

Crumble for Breakfast, er Yes!

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I think you’ll agree that’s twenty eight fruityliciously gorgeous entries! An impressively beautiful array, which naturally makes picking out a winner a very tricky task this month. But a winner we shall have and after much drooling deliberation I decided on Kate’s AKA The Gluten Free Alchemist’s Mixed Berry ‘Jaffa’ Cakes. I mean homemade Jaffa Cakes, need I say more?. But not just any jaffa cake, these are gluten free jaffa cakes made with a cakey base of rice and almond flour (and interesting coconut oil), a jelly made from homemade blackberry, blueberry, raspberries and apple jam not forgetting to mention that generous layer of dark chocolate. Ooooooo. And ooooooo again. A very well deserved win Kate!.

As some of you may have noticed Anneli and I haven’t hosted FSF this last couple of months, we decided to take a little break from the challenge as we’re both sillily busy with other projects at the moment. But rest assured FSF will be back soon, in the mean time if anyone fancies taking up the hosting please do drop me a line,

See you again soon folks,

Louisa x

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November’s Family Foodies goes Veggie! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/nov-family-foodies/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/nov-family-foodies/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 21:32:51 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8487 Family Foodies November 2014

Can you believe it’s November already, in fact five whole days into the month and Bonfire night even. And the weather’s finally taken it’s wintery turn, gosh it’s suddenly chilly out there isn’t it. But we can’t really complain in the UK can we, after a lovely long summer and one of the mildest Autumns on record.

This month on Family Foodies we’ve decided on a veggie theme for our first time, a theme very much at the core of Eat Your Veg. Whilst we’re not exclusively vegetarian here I’d say my little lot don’t eat meat for at least four days out of seven, sometimes more. Interestingly The Monsters don’t really like roasts or cuts of meat other than chicken, I think it’s a texture thing, so veggie’s always a good option for them, or their beloved fish. Having been a vegetarian myself for over ten years of my earlier life I’ve always had a big appreciation for all things meat free and it’s certainly an ethos I’ve often considered going back to. And so much better for your general health and that of our planet. But I like to think we do our little bit now by eating meat only a handful of times in a week. How often do you eat meat?

UnknownPlease do share your veggie recipes, be they a vegetarian breakfast, lunch or dinner, a savoury bake or make, a pie, tart or quiche, a pasta sauce or even an appetiser or nibble. Absolutely anything meatfree goes this month!  We even have a prize of the River Cottage ‘Veg Every Day’ for our winning recipe, a book I actually own, cherish and regular peruse for interesting ‘veg-tastic’ recipes.

The closing date for entries is 29th November 2014, see you at the end of the month folks for my round up and winner announcement,

Louisa x

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Here’s a few guidelines for the Challenge:

? You may submit any recipe that fits the current theme, past or current, up to a maximum of three entries per month. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own please give the appropriate credit.

? Post your recipe url to the Linky at the bottom of each month’s challenge, including your email address and the title of the recipe.

? Display the Family Foodies badge on the recipe post, with a link back to Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, and details of the current monthly challenge you’re entering.

? If you’re on Twitter then please tweet your post to myself @Eat_Your_Veg and Vanesther @BangerMashChat and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.

? You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere of the World, any prizes will be happily posted out unless otherwise stated.

? At the end of the month a winning recipe will be chosen and any prizes sent out. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries. Winners will get to display a Family Foodie Winner annotated badge on their blog if they wish and their recipe will go through to the Family Foodies Hall of Fame on each of our sites.

? All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board

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@ Eat Your Veg HQ We Say Yes! #October http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/eat-your-veg-hq-we-say-yes-october/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/eat-your-veg-hq-we-say-yes-october/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:02:59 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8465 Lots of lovely foods, snacks, drinks and foodie related products and even an App have been winging their way to our attention at Eat Your Veg HQ this month. Thanks as ever to my chief testers, Francesca (newly 6) and Jacques (4).

 

Vita Coco Kids:

Picnic & Day Out in the Brecon Beacons

First up this month, Vita Coco Kids drinks. Coconut water based naturally and gently fruity flavoured drinks suitable for the little peeps in your life. To be honest I’m not a fan of most drinks aimed at kids, usually because of their way too high sugar and unnecessary nasty content, but Vita Coco drinks are pretty impressive. Here’s the ingredient’s list for the Apple & Blackcurrant Drink: Coconut Water (37.5%), water (36.5%), grape juice (25%), citric acid, natural apple and blackcurrant flavourings. There’s also a Mango & Pineapple flavour. And actually they don’t taste at all overly sweet and so get my vote. And The Monsters liked them. Result. Recently launched in the UK, the drinks can be found at a number of independent health stores and Waitrose, Amazon and Holland & Barratt. Follow Vita Coco on Twitter @VitaCocoKidsUK

A big thank you to Vita Coco for sending us a fab and fun hamper of goodies to enjoy on a family picnic. That we did a couple of weekends ago when we headed out to the stunning Brecon Beacons and enjoyed a picnic besides the impressive Llanthony Abbey, fueling us before a mammoth walk up stunning Hatterrall Hill.  Sadly we didn’t quite manage to make it to the top, curtailed by extremely changeable weather and a little too much wind and rain for The Monster’s liking. But next time we will!.

 

Frank Bars:

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Next up, Frank Bars. Like they say they’re “frank”, and packed full of “natural, honest ingredients”. And they taste really good too. Coming in five flavours: Blueberry & Chocolate, Orange & Chocolate, Oat & Chocolate (our personal fave) Double Chocolate (yes please!) and Strawberry & Chocolate (totally delish) they all give a satisfying yet healthy choccie hit, are rich and decadently flavoured and have a fudgy texture. Made from wholegrain oats, dates and dried plums and topped with dairy free coconut cream chocolate they’re 100% guilt free too. I’d happily give them, and have indeed done so with eager chomping results, to The Monsters and I genuinely can’t say that about most snack bars on the market!

Great to pop in lunch boxes, hand/man bags or to take to work or the gym for a healthy energy hit. Available at various health store independents plus the biggies Asda and Ocado. I couldn’t help but notice they happen to be produced a mere stone’s throw away from my old working stomping ground on Manse Lane in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire! Follow Frank on Twitter: @FrankBars

 

Amy’s Kitchen

Amys Kitchen

I’ve a good deal of time for Amy’s Kitchen vegetarian ready meals, a family business gone really big and global. Established in 1987 in the States they’re continuing to hit the UK market by storm literally available at all major supermarkets plus Holland & Barrett and Wholefoods. Amy’s Kitchen dishes are made from real ingredients with zero nasties, additives or preservatives “if a child can’t pronounce it, you won’t find it on an Amy’s label” and “fruits, vegetables and grains are grown naturally, the way nature intended food to grow, without the use of insecticides, harmful chemicals or genetic modification”. They certainly get my vote on ethos alone, but every product I’ve tried  thus far is really very tasty too and there’s a huge range to choose from.

We were recently sent a couple of new Amy’s dishes to try out. The Chinese Noodles & Veggies were a delish microwavable treat, bursting with flavour and packed full of good stuff including rice noodles, baked tofu, shitake mushrooms, broccoli and carrots all encased in a creamy and fragrant dairy-free cashew butter sauce. The perfect stand-by dinner I’d say. The kids were pretty impressed too, though I was a little loath to share such a treat with them! Being big noodle fans Amy’s version were no exception and they eagerly got stuck in. I was also sent Amy’s first breakfast product, a Veggie Sausage Breakfast Sandwich. A meatless sausage patty, Amy’s ‘secret sauce’ and a layer of golden scrambled tofu encased in a gluten free bun it’s a microwavable or oven re-heatable easy breakfast option. Whilst undoubtedly tasty I’d be less inclined to buy such a product preferring to make my own version of a breakie sarnie.

I should also mention Amy’s tinned Soups are delish. I’ve tried a couple now and they’ve already become my store cupboard ’emergency’ lunch staple. Perfectly flavoursome, hearty and wholesome their packed to the hilt with beans, lentils, veggies and other good stuff. Do try the Organic Hearty Spanish Rice & Red Bean Soup. Follow Amy’s Kitchen on Twitter: @AmysKitchenUK

 

Henri Le Worm and the Missing Cookbook

Henri Le Worm

Special mention must be made to the delightful Henri who features on the new-to-me kids App Henri Le Worm. Jacques’s been virtually inseparable from him every morning since I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago (being the early riser that he is he has 30 mins to an hour every morning snuggled up to me in bed playing on my iPad before breakie and big sis getting up!). Created by Oliver Blanc and based on his famous Dad, Raymond Blanc, the superchef Henri Le Worm lives in the magical Forest of Plenty alongside a bunch of his fun animated friends. The game runs through a series of scenes as Henri searches for his missing cookbook, encouraging children along the journey to engage with nature, cooking and vegetables. There’s also recipes from Raymond Blanc himself which children are encouraged to make with their parents.

This is a truly charming, fun and informative app that I’m sure will delight your kids. Aimed at 3 to 8 year olds but I would say Jacques at 4 is bang on the perfect age. Currently £1.49 in iTunes (and only available for iPad or iPhone) I’d say this is a bit of a snip of a buy for all the would be mini foodies out there. And do follow Henri on Twitter.

 

Buzz Cloth

Buzz Cloth

Do let me introduce you to a brand new food wrap to the market, in the name of the natural, eco-friendly, reusable and washable Buzz Cloth! Made from hemp and beeswax it’s interesting a very tactile material that easily hugs and envelopes all food placed and wrapped within. I’ve been using mine for a few weeks now to wrap various cheeses and cold meats, and interesting they don’t spoil or dry out in the same way of other food coverings, probably because the food’s still allowed to breath.

I’m mightily impressed with my Buzz Cloth and it actually provides a more functional and useful replacement to all that nasty and wasteful cling film and foil. It genuinely works superbly too, clinging and moulding itself to whatever lies within and sealing at any wrapped edges. You really do have to feel and use it to believe it! And the fact that it’s easily washable, non-toxic, safe, biodegradable (at the end of it’s life) and handmade in Devon are all added bonuses. Currently only available to buy online directly from the site, but I’d imagine Buzz Cloth will be winging it’s way to a store near you shortly. Get the Buzz on Facebook here.

Well that’s it for my October round up folks (and yes I know we’re now well into November!). If you have a suitably healthy new food, product, app or gadget you’d like us try out then do drop me a line, we’d love to hear from you!

See you next month folks,

Louisa, Frannie & Jacques xx

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‘Wow No Cow’ with Oatly http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/wow-no-cow-with-oatly/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/wow-no-cow-with-oatly/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 17:31:01 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8480 UK_OatDrinkOatly oat drinks seem to be taking the UK by storm, suddenly this fabulously scrummy and supremely healthy Swedish brand of oat drinks are everywhere! And good on them for being so out there. We’re totally hooked on Oatly Chocolate Oat Milk at Eat Your Veg HQ. Myself and the kids just can’t get enough of it as mentioned in my recent post. And their Oat Cream is LUSH in coffee. The drinks and oat ‘milks’ are naturally dairy free, high in fiber and only made from the very finest of Swedish oats.

And if all this isn’t cool enough then you really MUST check out Oatly’s mulit-talented and uber-cool CEO Toni Peterrson in action.  A few days ago he released a quirky song “Wow No Cow” on Oatly’s You Tube channel. Toni sings a song he wrote entirely himself to explain exactly what Oatly’s all about, even filmed in the organic oat fields of Southern Sweden where Oatly has it’s offices. It’s certainly a one of a kind performance, I ? Toni.

Go on watch it, you might even sing along. But you’ll definitely smile. Go Toni!

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Halloween Blood Soup! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/halloween-blood-soup/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/halloween-blood-soup/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 07:50:52 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8475 Eat Your Veg | Blood Soup

When contemplating healthier Halloween food I couldn’t resist the idea of attempting to make a Blood Soup, only without any actual blood of course! Beetroot and tomatoes it seems make the perfect ghoulish pairing to achieve a rich, thick and blood like consistency. And my soup happened to tie nicely with a little experiment I’ve been meaning to run past The Monsters for a while now. The potential for beetroot soup to make your wee pink. Which I figured may be the only way I can get them to actually eat beetroot, well other than in Chocolate Brownie form anyway.

Admittedly whilst they were initially intrigued by the look and name of the soup there wasn’t exactly going to be any actual eating. BUT once I smugly played the ‘pink wee’ card they both got stuck in. Frannie in particular slurped a whole (small) bowl minus any fuss determined to test out my assertion. Jacques managed a few spoons also excited to test me out but gave up shortly afterwards, not quite being able to get over the blood red bedetroot content. Still a fairly reasonable result I’d say. And as for the pink wee, well you’ll have to try for yourselves won’t you!

To accompany the blood I played around with some Halloween cutters and made them a selection of bat, spider and cat cheesy toasts, the essential accompaniment to soup in our house.

2014-10-19 09.17.08I’m entering my Blood Soup to Sykes Cottages ‘Healthy Halloween’ challenge. Thanking you very kindly folks for inviting Eat Your Veg to take part and for sending me a copy of Roald Dahl’s Completely Revolting Recipes book. Packed full of intriguing, fun and sometimes downright disgusting ideas that have provided a good deal of inspiration!. And attracted much interest from The Monsters who’ve only just become acquainted with Roald Dahl stories, and are already firm fans.

Eat Your Veg | Blood Soup Recipe

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Mini Orange Pumpkins with Raspberry ‘Blood’ Sorbet http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/mini-pumpkins-with-blood-sorbet/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/mini-pumpkins-with-blood-sorbet/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:09:23 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8470 Eat Your Veg | Mini Orange Pumpkins with Raspberry 'Blood' Sorbet

Halloween food tends to be a little on the yak side for my liking, usually high in sugar or bad fats, a  liberal use of colourings and way too many additives. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve a couple of ghoulish yet particularly healthy recipes I’m going to share with you.

First up today my orange mini cut out ‘pumpkins’ filled with a ridiculously simple instant ‘blood’ raspberry sorbet. A great little Halloween party piece and I have to admit my kids were suitably delighted so well worth the little effort that they take. They also store perfectly well in the freezer so can be handily made in advance for your Halloween guests. And the sorbet really is a cinch, literally throw some frozen raspberries in a food processor with a little honey and let it do it’s whizzing magic for as long as it takes to achieve a smooth sorbet. And a particularly delicious sorbet it makes too, perfect for an instant pud any time of the year and not just for halloween. It would actually make a fine accompaniment to a rich choccie dessert.

And thanks so much to Sykes Cottages for inviting me to take part in their ‘healthy Halloween’ event, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge!.

Eat Your Veg | Mini Pumpkins with Raspberry 'Blood' Sorbet

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Family Foodies August & September Round Up: The Under 2s http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/family-foodies-august-september-round-up-the-under-2s/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/family-foodies-august-september-round-up-the-under-2s/#respond Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:41:01 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8407 Family Foodies The Under 2s Round Up

I really should start this post by way of an apology, I’m a little late in the posting but things have been pretty hectic at Eat Your Veg HQ. But here I am now. For our first time ever on Family Foodies we decided to invite you to share your recipes specifically aimed at The Under 2s. That sometimes tricky, occasionally finickity but always messy brigade of first time eaters.

Thanks so much to all of you that linked up your recipes, we had weaning purees, first finger nibbles, slurpy smoothies, meaty mains, fun sandwiches and tasty bakes and makes. And do read down to check out this month’s winner, who’ll receive vouchers to try out Marks and Spencer’s new Tiny Taste Buds range.

First up Sneaky Veg (I soooo LOVE the name of this blog) attempted to tempt her littlies to the wonders of courgettes with what looks to me like some simply delicious baked Courgette Polpette. A recipe I’ve firmly bookmarked to try out on my own monsters.

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Utterly Scrummy linked up her very tasty looking Mini Picnic Bakes which I think you’ll agree look most tempting and a perfect finger food to those mini novice eaters. Choca full of so much good stuff too!

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Family Friends Food made some very cute Roly Poly Sandwiches along with a multitude of tasty filling suggestions. I can firmly vouch from experience that anything in rolled up wrap form is infinitely more exciting to these easily swayed little people. Which in turn means you can hide lots  more of the good stuff!

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My Family Foodies co-host Vanesther from Bangers And Mash linked her recipe for wholesome, tomato flavoured and veggie packed Tasty Chicken Rice and a cute-as-pie pic of her daughter Jessie at one following a scrumptious Chicken & Rice session!.

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I posted my own seasonal puree recipe for a four-ingredient Blackberry & Apple Yogurt Fool, a deliciously simple and healthy pud for all ages, not just the weaners.

Eat Your Veg | Blackberry and Apple Yogurt Fool

Croque Maman linked her ultimate baby/toddler comfort food recipe: Carrot Coconut Purée. I do love a ‘go to’ simple recipe like this, something that you just know will be relished by your little ones when they’re under the weather and in need of quick and tasty nourishment.

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Finally Laura from How to Cook Good Food served up a seasonal Autumnal Breakfast Smoothie, dairy-free and packed full of so much good stuff besides the apples and blackberries I couldn’t think of a better start to the day for your little ones. Autumn-smoothie

After much deliberation over the entries I decided to choose Croque Maman as our winner this month, for her ultimate baby comfort food Carrot Coconut Purée. A delightfully simple and nutritious recipe, sure to delight all from those first time weaners as a puree to adults as a tasty veggie side dish. Thank you so much Hélène, I’ll be in touch about your Marks and Spencer’s vouchers!

Vanesther’s hosting October’s Family Foodies and there’s still a few days left to enter your recipes suitable for ‘Cooking with Kids’. There’s even a very special prize of a Lakeland Gingerbread House Cutter Set! 

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Homemade Oxtail Soup & a Donald Russell ‘Humble Cuts’ #GIVEAWAY! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/oxtail-soup/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/oxtail-soup/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:36:51 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8453 Eat Your Veg | Homemade Oxtail Soup

I was recently given some glorious oxtail to try out from the ‘Humble Cuts’ range at online butcher’s Donald Russell.  Having been meaning to use oxtail for some time now I was really excited to get stuck in and started with a particularly unctuous Oxtail Stew a few weeks ago, leaving the remainder to be made into an Oxtail Soup this week. Attempting of course to rival that certain very well known tinned brand. After a very long and gentle braising in my slow cooker with red wine, good quality beef stock, carrots, celery, onions and garlic and a few surprise spoons of this and that I confidently feel I may just have nailed this one.

The resultant soup was thick, rich, uber-beefy and quite frankly delicious. And I can only imagine perfect to fend off a cold winter’s day, which quite frankly I’m glad we haven’t arrived at yet!. I was slightly concerned The Monsters would go for such a meaty soup as this, but that they did. Both chowing down with great gusto and barely lifting their heads until it was all messily slurped down. Inauthentically I whizzed the whole lot up with a stick blender directly into the slow cooker which did admittedly give an ever so slightly grainy texture to the soup from the broken up oxtail (obviously the bones were removed first!) but this wasn’t in the slightest bit off putting. More traditional recipes call for the meat to be removed and served as chunks on top of a more broth like soup. But I like my soups hearty and thick and decided to go with it, besides thicker soups are so much easier for little children to manage.

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Donald Russell would also like to give one lucky Eat Your Veg reader a selection of delicious meats from their Humble Cuts range too, including Oxtail, Shin of Beef and Diced Venison. Enter by completing the Rafflecopter widget below and answering the question ‘What’s your favourite Winter Warmer dish?’.  Deadline for entries is Thursday 6th November 2014.

A few T&Cs: 

– Only open to UK participants over the age of 18.

– There’s no cash alternative and the prize is not transferable. No part or parts of the prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions.

– Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Eat Your Veg | Homemade Oxtail Soup Recipe

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My Higgidy Pie #RecipeHunt entry: Chunky Chilli Fish Pie! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/chilli-fish-pie-2/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/chilli-fish-pie-2/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:07:55 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8450 Eat Your Veg | Chunky Chilli Fish Pie

Few can deny that I both love a challenge and I love a good pie. So when the lovely folk at Higgidy asked if I wanted to take part in their Recipe Hunt to create a brand spanking new pie to be the next Special Guest Pie you can guess my response. One big ecstatic pietastic yes. But what to make, it wasn’t an easy decision I can tell you.

After much pie deliberation and consultation with anyone who would listen, I finally settled on a salmon based pie. Large chunks, hence the name ‘chunky’, of salmon mingled with finely chopped peppers, sun dried tomatoes and a mild chilli (easily omittable for the heat adverse), plus plenty of fresh coriander and lemon zest. Stirred together with double cream and topped with a generous layer of puff pastry. Not ordinarily one to mix my coriander or chilli with cream, being a little too fusion for my normal tastes, I can confirm it’s a combination that truly works. The chilli gives a deliciously gentle heat to the sauce and together with the coriander complements the robust salmon. I should probably ‘fess up it wasn’t my idea. But inspired by a recent special dinner I was lucky enough to eat, which I’ve now tweaked here and there and turned into delicious pie form!

And unlike traditional fish pies and their hefty time commitment of a white sauce and potato topping this is a cinch on your time. Just an assembly job really, especially if you use ready rolled puff pastry. Of course you could make your own rough puff, which I have many a time in the past using this recipe here.

I made a couple of pies with the mixture, one with chilli and one without for The Monsters. My kids love a pie about as much as I do, so were giddily excited to discover my baking endeavours when they came home from school last week. Frannie immediately asking of their contents, to which I suggested she take a closer look at my hand crafted tops and make a guess. “Dolphin Pie?” was her reply. Errr, no love. Just fish. We don’t normally eat dolphins. But I wasn’t going to admit to them being salmon. She always claims to not like it but in fish pie form hasn’t as yet ever turned it down, dolphin pie included. Jacques being about as big a fish fan as is possible of a four year old was equally as joyous, practically inhaling his plate empty. Result.

Thanks very much Higgidy for asking me to take part in your challenge and for all the fab goodies you sent to aid my pie creation, including the personalised rolling pin, pie dish and pie funnel. I’m an enormous fan of Higgidy Pies and Quiches, having munched my way through pretty much their entire range by now. I can happily confirm that each and every one’s a delicious homemade-style treat of loveliness packed full of top quality ingredients and cased in interesting and crisp hand-crafted pastry.

Do check out my previous Higgidy posts, My Higgidy Pie Party back in March, and the collection of summery pie or quiche side dishes I developed in conjunction with Sarah Raven: Chickpea, Cherry Tomato & Rocket Salad, New Potatoes with Lettuce Pesto Dressing and Bulgar Salad with Mustard Leaves, Walnuts & Cranberries.

Eat Your Veg | Chunky Chilli Fish Pie Recipe

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Education http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8433/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8433/#respond Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:52:42 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8433 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/8433/feed/ 0 Schools http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/schools-2/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/schools-2/#respond Wed, 15 Oct 2014 07:51:28 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?page_id=8431 Coming soon…

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Banana & Oat Breakfast Smoothie http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/banana-oat-smoothie/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/banana-oat-smoothie/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:35:53 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8409 Eat Your Veg | Banana Breakfast SmoothieEat Your Veg | Green Smoothie with Kiwi & OrangeEver since I was sent my beloved Russell Hobbs Illumina jug blender to try out back in May, there’s been a distinct increase in smoothie making at Eat Your Veg HQ, which has to be a good thing. Being short on cupboard space it’s taken on a cosy spot for itself on my work surface and thus on permanent view to The Monsters. Who pretty much without fail have taken to asking for a smoothie every day, and usually for breakie.

Funny really as they’ve never been into smoothies at all before, pa3090_illumina_light_ring_jug_blenderturning their little noses up at virtually every combination I’ve put their way in the past. I put it down to the funky light rings on the Illumina which they were immediately drawn to, blue for a slow speed blend (purees), pinky purple for medium (smoothies), green for faster blends (soups) and red for pulsing (ice crushing). There’s always a bit of fight on as to who’ll get to work the control dial!

500g oatbran with Heart UKAnd I’d say this recipe is by far the most requested smoothie. Simply a banana or two broken into a jug blender along with a couple of tablespoons each of natural or Greek yogurt and oatbran or oats, a teaspoon of honey and all topped up with lots of lovely organic milk before whizzing into a smoothie. I use top quality and tasty Mornflake Oatbran or Jumbo Oats which I was recently given to try out and have been most impressed with. Here’s a couple of my other Mornflake oaty recipes: Oatmeal Mackerel Fillets with Rhubarb and Easy Peasy Spelt & Oat Soda Bread.

A handy hint on the banana front. Peel and freeze your brown bananas, they’re perfect to use in a smoothie or to turn into my yummy instant ice cream.

For more breakie inspiration do check out my Breakfast page.

Eat Your Veg | Banana & Oat Breakfast Smoothie

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Pepper Power Pesto! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/pepper-pesto/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/pepper-pesto/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:45:51 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8394 Eat Your Veg | Red Pepper Pesto

Next up in my ‘Pepper Power’ series of family-friendly pepper recipes, a homemade Roasted Red Pepper Pesto. Kids generally* go a bit loopy for pesto and pasta, so why not make your own? A total cinch to make and with the added inclusion of lots of lovely roasted red peppers this is IMG_0419a particularly tasty and nutritious recipe. *As I said ‘generally’ kids just can’t get enough pesto but there’s always the exception and Frannie just happens to be one of them, along with the other stalwart children’s heros of pizza and macaroni cheese she’s just never liked it. Maybe it’s the greenery I don’t know but with the addition of peppers she’s suddenly a fan. A right royal result in the Foti household I can tell you. Jacques on the other hand LOVES all thing’s pesto, or ‘green sauce’ as he calls it, and would happily scoff it by the tablespoon given half a chance. I know!.

IMG_0438Stir in a few halved cherry tomatoes and peas for easy added nutrition, or cooked sliced green beans, courgette, broccoli, sweetcorn or any other veggie that takes your children’s fancy.  Serve the pesto liberally ran through wholewheat pasta if you can too, the refined white stuff’s had all the nutrients and fiber stripped away and without the fiber quickly converts to sugar in the digestive system. Apart from when out and about we rarely eat white refined pasta any more, and it’s such an easy substitution to make.

This pesto also makes for a tasty and healthy sandwich, wrap or pitta filling, especially combined with a few crunchy salad ingredients (think sliced courgettes, cucumber, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, grated carrots etc). And spreads and eats like a tasty vegetarian pate too, try spreading on wholemeal toast or bread for a healthy after school snack.

Here’s a few of my other recent pasta recipes:

Eat Your Veg | Wholewheat Broccoli Pasta

Quickie Broccoli Pasta

Roasted Veggie Pasta Bake

Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheesy Pasta Bake

Easy Peasy Meatballs for Kids

Eat Your Veg | Roasted Veggie Pasta BakeSimple Tomato & Veggie Pasta Sauce

Minestrone Super Soup

Kids 5-a-Day Bolognese

Smoked Salmon & Courgette Carbonara

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To learn about my recent visit to Thanet Earth in Kent, one of the UK’s biggest glass house pepper growing farms, do read here. And for plenty more family-friendly tempting pepper recipes check out the Colourful Taste site.

 

Eat Your Veg | Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/red-pepper-hummus/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/red-pepper-hummus/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:18:22 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8388 Eat Your Veg | Roasted Red Pepper HummusFollowing my recent visit to one of the UK’s biggest pepper farms, Thanet Earth in Kent, I’m on a bit of Pepper Power mission to bring you a selection of family-friendly uber-tasty simple pepper recipes, the first of which is in hummus form today. My kids just can’t get enough homemade hummus, since weaning babies they’ve always had a bit of a thing for it and made back then without any salt it was the perfectly nutritious, albeit messy, vehicle for exploring the world of dips and self feeding. And even to this day rarely a week goes by without there being some form of homemade hummus on the go, their interest fortunately never waning. It’s still my most powerful means of getting a barrage of raw stuff into little tums in the form of a rainbow of accompanying dip sticks.

Eat Your Veg | Roasting Red PeppersAdding veggies to your hummus naturally ups the healthy intake too, and peppers are a fabulously tasty and colourful pairing. Just half a pepper contains 100% of your daily vitamin C requirements, as well as lots of other goodies, and with three whole peppers going into this hummus recipe that’s very easily achievable!. And served with a rainbow of colourful dippy sticks kids can effortlessly consume two or three of their five-a-day. Try carrot, cucumber, courgette or celery sticks, sliced red, orange, green or yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, cored and sliced apples and pears, even raw mange tout or sugar snap peas. Or for more sustenance wholemeal pitta slices or bread sticks.

If you want to learn more about sustainable glass house pepper growing in the UK do read my en.gfbpost from a couple of weeks ago.  And for more family-friendly pepper recipes check out the Colourful Taste site.

Eat Your Veg | Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe

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Slow Cooked Oxtail Stew http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/oxtail-stew/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/oxtail-stew/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 10:29:48 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8382 Eat Your Veg | Oxtail StewTaking a positive spin on the finality of the summer one of my favourite end of season markers has to be the glorious onset of wintery stews, casseroles and slow cooked treats. Somehow not allowed during the summer months, however awful the weather may be, I can’t help but get excited by these slower foods, unctuous, rich, and heartily rib sticking. Of course by the spring my tolerance to them is somewhat faltering, and I’m getting excited again for lighter and less meaty fair.

My kids LOVE a stew too, ever since they were teeny weening babies they’ve never turned down a stew or casserole. Interestingly neither are big meat eaters and I rarely cook meat on it’s own, bar a bit of chicken, as they just don’t like or get the chewy texture (apologies to my veggie readers). But give them a slow cooked stew with meltingly tender meat they’ll happily wolf it all down and invariably ask for seconds. They’re also a great vehicle for hiding veggies from those adverse as they tend to melt into unidentifiable form in the gravy. I also regularly add beans and pulses for added healthy bulk.

Jacques’s going through yet another of his veggie renunciation phases, just will not eat them plainly steamed, boiled, roasted or baked. Well not without a good deal of ‘encouragement’ AKA unashamed blackmail to do so anyway. Frustratingly he chows down on all the veggies put before him in his beloved school dinners, and comes home each and every day to tell me all about it. A fact I’ve even had backed up by the lovely dinner ladies! Oh these fickle four year olds are sent to test us aren’t they?. At home I have to employ a little cunning, giving him his veggies in pasta sauce, stir fry, pie, omelette, toastie sandwich, casserole or stew form. All of which he’ll happily eat and never pick out the good stuff from. Annoying. Very. But I’m sure it won’t last for ever.

Oxtail is a newbie to cook with for me and something I’ve been excited about getting my hands on for too long to mention now.  So when award winning online butcher Donald Russell got in touch and asked if I’d like to sample their Humble Cuts range I naturally jumped at the chance to trial some out.  Oxtail definitely lends itself to a long and gentle slow cooking, and although I was tempted to use my slow cooker I decided to trial my inaugeral recipe out in a casserole in a low oven. After three hours the meat was meltingly falling off the bone and utterly delicious and the resultant gravy as decadently rich and unctuous as a stew can be. Dreamy in fact, especially served with pillows of buttery mash and some plain steamed veggies on the side. I had my Mum and Dad around for Sunday lunch to help sample and along with The Monsters were more than suitably impressed. Never mind seconds, we all had thirds!

And next up in the oxtail trials I’m looking forward to making Oxtail Soup in the slow cooker, here’s hoping I can rival a certain well known tinned version.

Eat Your Veg | Slow Cooked Oxtail Stew

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Wholemeal Sweet Potato, Butternut & Smoked Cheese Pasties & WIN a #BakingMad HAMPER! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/wholemeal-sweet-potato-butternut-smoked-cheese-pasties-win-a-bakingmad-hamper/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/wholemeal-sweet-potato-butternut-smoked-cheese-pasties-win-a-bakingmad-hamper/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:20:50 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8378 #BakingMad Wholemeal Sweet Potato, Butternut & Smoked Cheese Pasties

Well it seems Autumn is truly with us. Whilst the weather’s holding out in glorious September fashion the trees most definitely are a-changing. The kids are back at school and I’m back in the kitchen busy baking, for some reason it’s this time of the year I do my most baking and continue my spree right up until Christmas, whereafter my interest wanes somewhat.  Maybe it’s the abundance of fruit begging to be caked or the squash, pumpkin and roots singing for a pie, the onset of cooler weather or the relief of having a few minutes more cooking time whilst the kids are at school.

I do however know it’s been a long, long time since I last made pasties and when asked by the Baking Mad folks (a joint initiative between Allinson’s Flour, Billington’s Sugar and Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract) to try out one of the recipes from their site, I was instantly attracted to the idea of a recipe from the Autumn collection: Wholemeal Smoked Cheese & Sweet Potato Pasties. Being the veggie-appreciator wholemeal-fanatic that I am of course!. And so very tasty they were too, an exceptionally yummy combination of roast sweet potato and butternut squash cubes, melted Bavarian smoked cheese and a little fresh sage. Easy to make too and popular with the pastry-mad little folk.  Perfect for lunch boxes, Autumnal picnics or post-school re-fuelling.

Eat Your Veg | Wholemeal Sweet Potato & Butternut Pasties

Baking Mad have kindly allowed me reproduce the pasty recipe below for you, and I can assure you it’s a goodie! Do check out their site for more recipe inspirations and if you’d like to win yourselves some Allinson and Billington goodies by way of a fabulous Baking Mad Hamper then complete the simple Rafflecopter widget below. Entries close next Thursday 25th September.

The Baking Mad Hamper includes:

–          Allinson plain flour

–          Allinson self-raising flour

–          Billington’s golden caster sugar (unrefined)

–          Billington’s light muscovado (unrefined)

–          Billington’s dark muscovado (unrefined)

–          Baking Mad apron

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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P_P_Pick up a Pepper! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/p_p_pick-up-a-pepper/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/p_p_pick-up-a-pepper/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:23:14 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8367 12_1.girl-orange-pepperjpgDid you know there’s three times the amount of vitamin C in red or orange peppers than in oranges and a mere half a pepper contains 100% of your daily requirement? Bet you didn’t. To be honest nor did I, at least not until I visited Thanet Earth in Kent on a recent and most interesting press trip to learn all about the world of UK pepper growing and consumption.

Not only that but peppers are a great source of fibre and folate,en.camp.beeld.1 high on vitamins B1, B2 and E and have exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Unsurprisingly they contain zero fat and are very low on calories. Eaten raw or cooked they’re also super-duper versatile in the kitchen, perfect dipped, stir-fried, sautéd, curried, stewed, casseroled, grilled, roasted or baked. Or popped in a salad, quiche, tart, pizza or omelette or just eaten plain and simply raw. You name it they just work! I can in all honesty say we’re rarely without a pepper or two in our fridge at Eat Your Veg HQ and I’m very lucky that both monsters are happy little pepper munchers.

Interestingly that despite their healthy credentials and versatility our pepper consumption in the UK is way behind that of our Western European counterparts. We actually eat less than half the quantities that the Germans and Dutch do and only a mere 65% of Brits even buy peppers!

Thanet Earth Collage

At Thanet Earth we’re not talking your average garden greenhouse.  Each of the monumental glass houses are a quarter of a mile long and could contain twelve football pitches. Truly magnificent in actual fact. And it’s sustainable growing too, each glass house is it’s own power station generating power to feed the national grid and the whole site supplies 50,000 homes. The waste heat keeps the glasshouses warm and waste CO? and collected rainwater goes back to feeding the hydrophonically grown plants. And all with minimal pesticide intervention, relying instead on biological control. Which essentially involves sending in ‘good’ insects to eat the ‘bad’ guys and is all very fascinating stuff if you ask me. By growing in and supply the UK pepper market there’s obviously less food miles going on here too.

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Not only did we get to visit the vast greenhouses at Thanet Earth but were treated to various pepper tasting events. Deliciously morish raw peppers on sticks coated in assorted herbs and spices were a fun little starter session and something I’ll most definitely be re-creating for friends. Namely yellow peppers with coriander and soya sauce, orange peppers with lemon grass, red peppers with cumin and basil and finally green peppers with goats cheese and tarragon. About as healthy as an appetiser can get. Our peppery ‘high tea’ got even tastier. Finely diced green peppers, Granny Smith apples, cucumber and cress topped with smoked salmon. Pots of yellow peppers and prawns with a lemon grass dressing and finally red peppers dressed with Kikkoman soy sauce and sesame seeds and served with rocket, smoked turkey and various other cold cuts.  All exceptionally delicious and inventive ways to eat raw peppers.

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Our finale dinner was a more cooked affair and unsurprisingly involved yet more peppers, four courses in fact! And four courses all cooked by our own fair hands, well under the watchful guidance of Dutch chef and pepper guru Guus Vredenburg. Refreshing Gazpacho to start, a Pepper, Goats cheese and Walnut Salad then a rather yummy Stir-Fried dish of Orange Pepper with Orange Juice and Chicken. My own dish of Pepperonata (a slow cooked pepper stew) I made with Nick from Foodepedia was our final course and topped with steak cooked by Guus himself. A pepper feast indeed, though I was wondering where the pepper cocktails were? Seriously missing a trick there!.

East Kent Collage

Thanks so much to Punch Communications, Thanet Earth and Colourful Taste for organising the Pepper Press trip, I had a thoroughly enjoyable, interesting and peppery time!. For a feast of family-friendly pepper recipes do check out the Colourful Taste site, a European funded initiative to get UK families eating more peppers. And look out for my own new pepper recipes that I’ll be posting over the next few weeks.

Go p_p_pick up a pepper folks!

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@ Eat Your Veg HQ we say YES! #September http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/eat-your-veg-hq-we-say-yes-september/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/eat-your-veg-hq-we-say-yes-september/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 09:12:04 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8364 Welcome to a brand new feature on the site, my monthly review post of what’s currently hot at Eat Your Veg HQ. Chief taste testers are Francesca (five, soon to be six), Jacques (four) and myself (too scary to disclose). This month we’re reviewing everything from veggie bangers to kids coconut drinks and reusable food pouches!.

Oatly CollageFirst up on my inaugural review, Oatly oat milk products, dairy free and made exclusively from the very finest Swedish oats and thus supremely high in nutritional value and fiber and utterly delish. Especially the addictivly downable Chocolate Oat Drink, which we all guzzled a little too eagerly and proved the perfect post-run nutritious refreshment for me. Blended with bananas, popped into lolly moulds and frozen it made for some uber-tasty choccie ‘nana ice pops for us all too. I’ve been very pleased to see Oatly products popping up in lots of major supermarkets lately so do look out for them.

Catch the lovely “Wow no Cow” guys from Oatly on Twitter @OatlyUK.

Moose Maple Butter Collage

Moose Maple Butter: fresh top quality butter blended with pure grade A maple syrup, need I say more? Believe me everyone needs a little moose in their lives, not overly sweet but perfectly hitting the mark. Delightful slathered on toast, pancakes and my recent discovery crumpets. Oh yeah baby!. I’ve met the moose lady Farrah (who’s incidentally gorgeous in every way possible!) a couple of times now and I sincerely wish her well in this year’s planned nationwide UK product launch. But for now Moose Maple Butter’s available at a couple of London outlets.

Spread the Moose on Twitter @FarrahMoose

Rebel Coconut Mylk Drinks Collage

Rebel Kitchen‘s coconut milk based uber-cool ‘Mylk’ drinks received a very firm thumbs up all round, make that inter-sibling warfare as to who was going to have the last Choco Mylk, though the Orange Choc and Banana flavours were also big hits. Lactose and dairy free, vegan and packed full of good stuff without any of the nasties I was delighted to give them to the monsters. And the adult Matcha Green Tea, Chai Mylk and Chocolate drinks were equally enjoyed my myself, a thoroughly refreshing drink and also a perfect post-workout guzzle. Buy Rebel drinks at Waitrose, Ocado, Wholefoods and several other stockists or on-line.

Follow @rebel_kitchen on Twitter.

Secret Sausages Collage

We were lucky enough to road test three varieties of veggie-tastic Secret Sausages,
Honey Bee, Cheese & Spring Onion and Chilli & Coriander, the Honey Bee being the clear fave amongst the littlies, myself preferring the Chilli ones. Secret Sausages have 90% less fat, 50% fewer calories and 35% less salt than your average meaty banger, and if you eat three you’ve eaten one of your 5 a day, yay!. All gluten free and freezable. Available at listed stockists.

Say hi on Twitter @Vegindisguise

Cotwold Gold Collage

Regular readers of Eat Your Veg well know of my new love affair with rapeseed oil, it’s health credentials are fantastical (high in omega 3 and vitamin E, low in cholesterol and less than half the saturated fat of olive oil), it’s grown and produced in the UK, tastes nuttily delicious and happens to be a fab all-rounder in the kitchen not to mention cheaper than it’s rival olive oil. Do let me introduce you local-to-me and utterly delicious Cotswold Gold Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil. And they don’t just produce their gloriously golden yellow oil, but a range of infused oils from chilli and smoked to basil and garlic. My kids happened to greedily taste test the lot at the recent Hereford Flavours festival, mini foodie Jacques loving in particular the chilli oil and Frannie the herby ones. They also produce a heavenly lemony mayo and a rather decedent Rapeseed and  White Truffle Oil, both of which I’m lucky enough to now own. Buy online or at these stockists.

Do follow on Twitter @CotswoldGold

Nom Nom Kids Collage

Nom Nom Kids reusable food pouches are a must for any parent who makes their own baby purees, smoothies or puds. A convenient, mess-free and fun way to feed your little ones and can be used time and time again, easily fillable in the double zip lock side opening and they’re even dishwasher friendly. My kids at 4 and 5 still love them and they’ve been super-handy to fill with yogurt or a homemade compote and pack in their lunch boxes. Do check out my pouch-friendly Apple & Blackberry Yogurt Fool recipe and look out for a wee upcoming competition I’m running to win yourselves some pouches.

Say hi to Suzanne on Twitter @NomNomKidsGo

Well that’s it for September folks. If you’d like your family-friendly (healthy) products testing out at Eat Your Veg HQ then do drop me a line, I’m sure we’d be happy to oblige.

See you in October for our next round up!

Louisa, Frannie & Jacques xx

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September’s Four Seasons Food event gets FRUITY http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/septembers-four-seasons-food-event-goes-fruity/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/septembers-four-seasons-food-event-goes-fruity/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2014 21:18:13 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8324 FSF September 2014 Getting Fruity

Welcome to a brand new month on Four Seasons Food (admittedly a little late I accept!) and indeed a brand new season. I love Autumn and the noted crispness in the air, for the beauty of the changing colours around us but most of all I love it for the splendidly rich bounty it presents us with.

For our September challenge and our first month of Autumn we’re ‘Getting Fruity’ with you, celebrating the wonderful fruits that abound at this time of the year. Namely apples, pears, blackberries, figs if you’re lucky, plums, raspberries, damsons, sloes, elderberries and quinces and maybe a good deal more if you live in other parts of the world. Link up your jam, chutney or pickle recipes, fruity cakes, makes or puds, drinks, sauces, stews, pies or curries. Absolutely anything goes as long as your recipe uses a seasonal fruit, or two or ten.

Deadline for entries 29th September.

Go get fruity folks!

Louisa x

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Our normal guidelines apply:

 

? Any recipe that fits the current month’s theme can be entered, new or old.

? A maximum of three entries per blogger. And of course feel free to enter your recipes to any other blogging challenges you like.

? You’re very welcome to enter from anywhere in the World, and if there’s a prize we’ll happily post out to you unless specifically stated to be open to UK addresses only.

? Please give due credit if your recipe is not your own.

? Add your recipe URL to the Linky. Please include the recipe title, the URL and your email address.

? Please include a link to Delicieux & Eat Your Veg on each entry.

? Please add the relevant seasons badge – Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. Please update old posts that you enter to include a badge also.

? If you’re on Twitter then do Tweet your entries using the hashtag #FourSeasonsFood and include @Delicieux_fr and @Eat_Your_Veg and we will retweet all that we see.

? All entries will be added to the Pinterest Group Board – Four Seasons Food.

? The winning entry each month will be promoted via Twitter, Delicieux & Eat Your Veg Facebook pages and Google+ by both co-hosts.

Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg

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Blackberry & Apple Yogurt Fool: Goodbye Holidays and Hello Autumn http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/blackberry-apple-fool/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/blackberry-apple-fool/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:43:52 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8316 Eat Your Veg | Blackberry & Apple Yogurt FoolWell hi there folks! It’s me, long lost Louisa back after my few weeks of time out. Not exactly a conscious decision to be away from my beloved blog for so long, just the school holidays getting the better of me for a pleasant change. And I am so glad they did, we’ve had a great time. Though the barrage of recipes, reviews and round-ups I’m left with is quite frankly a frightening prospect. But alas I’m here now and you’d better brace yourselves for a bit on an Eat Your Veg onslaught!.

Have you heard of Nom Nom Kids Pouches? They’re cute-as-pie reusable food pouches to fill with your own purees, smoothies, yogurts or baby food. A great way to feed your kids exactly what you want them to eat when on the go in a convenient, mess free and fun way. They’re easily filled and super easy to clean using the double zip lock side opening. Perfect for weaning babies as well as nursery, pre-school and school lunch boxes.

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I was delighted to be asked by Suzanne, the lady behind Nom Nom Kids pouches and who happens to live locally to me in neighbouring county Worcestershire, to write a pouch suitable recipe for her site and as a recipe card to hand out to her customers. Taking a seasonal slant I opted for a made in minutes Blackberry & Apple Yogurt Fool and Suzanne also selected my Sweet Potato Daal recipe to use too (one of my own children’s early faves).

This really is a simple as can be pud, great for a quickie family dessert or for an on-the-go snack for your baby or little one. And handily can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for several days. Healthy too, bursting with cooked apples, blackberries and Greek yogurt and only a teeny weeny bit of soft brown sugar to sweeten.

Do check out Suzanne’s other pouch recipes on her site.

Eat Your Veg | Blackberry and Apple Yogurt FoolI’m entering my recipe to a couple of bloggie challenges this month:

1) To my very own Family Foodies event which I co-host with Vanesther over at Bangers & Mash. Throughout August and September we’re on the search for your Under 2’s suitable recipes, there’s  even an M&S voucher up for grabs for the winning recipe.

2) To my other challenge, Four Seasons Food, which I host with Anneli of Delicieux. I’m hosting September’s event and we’re ‘Getting Fruity’.

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Happy Holidays Folks! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/happy-holidays-folks/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/happy-holidays-folks/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:59:47 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8304 Summer Holidays CollageWhilst I may have had the very best of intentions to carry on blogging through the summer, the same intentions I have every summer, in reality there just isn’t the time to fit everything in. As I’m sure anyone with small children will attest to.  Hardly surprisingly given the school holidays, days out here there and everywhere, ten days in Mallorca and an impending (tomorrow actually!) camping holiday to Dorset. Before we know it the monsters will be uniformed-up and back at school. And I’ll be sobbing my heart out my little baby boy has somehow reached school age.

In the absence of any new recipes (I have written and photographed several actually, just haven’t had the time to post) I can instead make a distinctly non-foodie offering of a few fun pics of our jolidays so far. The above ones being of some of our days at home, and the sunnier bluer ones below of our holiday in Mallorca visiting my brother, the monster’s beloved Uncle Julian.

I do hope you’re all enjoying the summer as much as we are. Whilst it’s been a bit of a blast I’m very much looking forward to resuming normal recipe service in a couple of weeks,

See you on the other side folks!

Louisa x

Mallorca 14 Collage

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August & September’s #FamilyFoodies event NOW OPEN! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/august-family-foodies/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/august-family-foodies/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:35:52 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8284 Family-Foodies-August-The-Under-2s

Answers on a postcard please as to where July went? Our summer’s whizzing by at a sizzling speed isn’t it folks, and unbelievably we now find ourselves in August. And welcoming a brand spanking new month on Family Foodies, yay!.

As they’ve thus far been a little sidelined we’ve decided to focus on The Under Two’s for August’s Family Foodies. Recipes for the teeny weeny new-to-food weaners from super-smooth veggie purees to those with a few protein lumps and bumps and first finger foods. To the more dextrous and sophisticated taste buds of the foodies-in-the-making 12 to 24 month olds. It all goes this month, hit us with your favourite baby and toddler-friendly purees, puds, breakies, drinks, lunches, picnic ideas, cakes, finger foods and dinners. Just as long as there’s no added salt and not too much sugar and suitable for our precious little monsters whatever stage they’re at. I’m so excited to see what you clever lot all come up with, bring on the baby food!

We have a very lovely, and fitting, prize for the winning recipe post too. M&S have kindly sponsored the event and are giving away a £10.00 voucher to spend on their new Tiny Taste Buds range of “healthy and utterly yummy meals, designed to meet your child’s needs at each stage of the development”. Stage 1 (around 6 months) meals include Organic Root Vegetable Medley and Organic Banana Porridge. Stage 2 (7 months +) dinners of Organic Creamy Sweetcorn & Chicken or Organic Super Green Veg & Salmon with Cheese Sauce are sure to be bit hits. By stage 3 (10 months +) children can enjoy such delights as Organic Italian Bean Ragu or Organic Sweet Potato & Beef Casserole with Rice. And by stage 4 (12 months +) where the little munchkins are truly getting to grips with their food there’s Organic Supergreen Vegetable Risotto and Organic Chunky Vegetable & Chicken Casserole. Quite a feast I think you’ll agree!.

All the range are made from 100% organic ingredients and have no added sugar or additives and are low in salt. Such a shame they weren’t around a few years sooner for my own monsters to have enjoyed.

Tiny-Taste-BudsThe normal entry guidelines apply:

? Closing date for entries 29th September 2014.

? You may submit any recipe that fits the current theme, past or current, up to a maximum of three entries per month. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own please give the appropriate credit.

? Post your recipe url to the Linky at the bottom of each month’s challenge, including your email address and the title of the recipe.

? Display the Family Foodies badge on the recipe post, with a link back to Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, and details of the current monthly challenge you’re entering.

? If you’re on Twitter then please tweet your post to myself @Eat_Your_Veg and Vanesther @BangerMashChat and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.

? You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere of the World, any prizes will be happily posted out unless otherwise stated.

? At the end of the month a guest judge will choose a winning recipe and any prizes sent out. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries. Winners will get to display a Family Foodie Winner annotated badge on their blog if they wish and their recipe will go through to the Family Foodies Hall of Fame on each of our sites.

? All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board

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Oatmeal Mackerel Fillets with Rhubarb http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/mackerel-with-rhubarb/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/mackerel-with-rhubarb/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:53:29 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8277 Eat Your Veg | Oatmeal Mackerel Fillets with Rhubarb

I’ve been on my lonesome ownsome the last few days, The Monsters happily ensconced with their papa in London for a ten day spell. Admittedly it’s a bit strange, and needless to say quiet, having the house to myself but I’ve welcomed the ‘me’ time to recharge the batteries and catch up on various neglected projects and of course sleep!. There’s also been the opportunity to cook exactly what I want and when I want to eat it. There’s been a whole lot of fish, barbies and salads and many a glorious breakie in bed. Today I’ve a mackerel recipe to share with you, a dish I’ve been desperate to try for a long time now but knew it wouldn’t go down well with Francesca. Jacques on the other hand would have loved it being the fish fanatic that he appears to be. I’ve yet to find a fish or seafood he hasn’t devoured, and we can’t pass by a fish counter or shop anymore without some sort of purchase. He may be expensive that lad.

OATMEALFollowing on from my Oat & Spelt Soda Bread a few weeks ago I’ve another oaty recipe for you. This time keen to try out the Oatmeal the lovely folks at Mornflake gave me, I thought I’d use it coat some delicious fresh mackerel fillets I happened to come across. And served the fillets with a rhubarb and thyme compote on the side. And gosh it was rather delicious, the pinhead oatmeal providing a comforting nutty crunch and the rhubarb an edge of fruity punch to perfectly compliment the intense savouriness of the mackerel. I could have eaten rather a lot, well actually I did!. Incidentally it would go very well with the Oat & Spelt Soda Bread too.

In my soda bread post I ran a small giveaway for one lucky Eat Your Veg reader to win a Mornflake goody bag and as that competition closed yesterday I’m delighted to announce the Rafflecopter picked a winner for me, Leanne Lunn. Well done Leanne, myself and Mornflake will be in touch shortly!.

Eat Your Veg | Oatmeal Coated Mackerel with Rhubarb

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‘Chill Out Baby’ with Instant Choc-Ana Ice Cream http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/instant-chocolate-banana-ice-cream/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/instant-chocolate-banana-ice-cream/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:49:41 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8266 Eat Your Veg | Instant Banana & Chocolate Ice Cream

I’ve really got into instant ice cream lately, so much so it’s seriously threatening to become my latest obsession. Others in the last year have included savoury popcorn, vegetable cakes and homemade pesto. But oh it’s swoonably good. And so blinkin’ easy. Many moons ago I happened to see equally swoon worthy James Martin make an instant banana ice cream on Saturday Kitchen, and have been meaning to give it a whirl ever since. Finally I did a few weeks ago and let’s just say it’s made a pretty regular appearance ever since, and happens to be one of the very few of my puds the kids actually like!. Especially with the addition of a few Maltesers, aka ‘choccie balls’ in our house.

And instant it genuinely is, albeit if you happen to have a stock of frozen bananas in your freezer which I now invariably do. I don’t know about you but we often have past their best bananas lingering in the fruit bowl. I used to turn them into Banana Loaf, but these days they get peeled, broken into chunks and frozen. In addition to the nanas all you need is cocoa powder, honey and buttermilk or natural yogurt, ’tis all. Whizzed up in a food processor or blender for a few brief moments until smooth, dished out and ready to be eaten in a flash. About as simple as a pud can get and seriously addictive stuff. You really MUST try. Omit the cocoa for an even simpler three-ingredient pure banana hit.

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Four bloggie challenges for my instant ice cream, here goes:

1) Firstly to Family Foodies which I co-host with Vanesther, this month she’s hosting over at Bangers and Mash and so happens to be themed ‘Chill Out Baby‘. With all this glorious hot we’re so lucky to be experiencing I honestly couldn’t think of a more appropriate theme!

2) To the Four Seasons Food challenge which I co-host with Anneli at Delicieux. I’m hosting July and we’ve gone all Al Fresco.

3) A last minute entry to Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa which I’ve dismally failed to enter for the last few months. Since July’s theme so happens to be Ice Cream and Toppings I’m delighted to be finally making an entry, hosted this month by Elizabeth’s Kitchen.

4) Being that this is a wonderful way to use past their best bananas I’m entering my ice cream to Elizabeth’s Kitchens No Waste Food Challenge, which this month’s being hosted by Anne’s Kitchen.

Eat Your Veg | Four Ingredient Intant Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

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Barbie-tastic Dinner on a Stick! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/sausage-kebabs/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/sausage-kebabs/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:50:54 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8259 Eat Your Veg | Barbecue Dinner on SticksWith all this fabulously hot weather we’re enjoying it seemed most fitting that I post a barbie recipe or two. My first full summer back in the UK in four years and I really cannot believe our luck. We’ve certainly eaten outside more than we have inside over the last few weeks and mostly off the barbie. Amazeballs. Happily reminiscent of our last few summers in the South of France in fact.  Only without the sun being so hot that you have to take shelter and eat inside anyway!.

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Jac’s Happy Barbie Dance!

I love the simplicity of this kebab recipe, it really is an entire and complete dinner on a stick. Bangers, spuds and three veggies. Sweetcorn, peppers and courgettes on these, but feel free to use whatever you fancy. Lightly basted in a honey, mustard and olive oil marinade for a little added flavour appeal. Made in minutes and barbied in a few more this is a super-cinch of a tasty summer recipe. And certainly something to please the little folk. I used to think barbecues were all a bit of a faff but the more we have the more simple they seem to get, and the food really doesn’t have to be complicated.

2014-07-14 10.37.54Food on sticks never ceases to delight The Monsters, nor most peeps for that matter. Well I say that but Frannie scoffed down a couple of the kebabs, notably leaving the sweetcorn owing to the presence of a couple of precariously wobbly front teeth, then asked me in all earnest if we could have a ‘proper’ barbie next time. Apparently that’s burgers and hotdogs, buns and ketchup. And excludes veggies, kebabs or sticks. Nor Jacques and my barbie favourite, fresh fish. Hmmmm, I’m not very good at ‘proper’ barbies!.

I used the first of my homegrown courgettes in these kebabs. I’ve been back on the growing my own this year, albeit in a substantially reduced and simplistic form compared to the Chez Foti days. Namely lots of low maintenance patio pots, for the kids as much as anything. We’ve Pumpkins (five enormous plants!), Green Beans, Chard, Peas, Tomatoes, Sweetcorn, Courgettes of course plus lots of Lettuce and Salad Leaves and a plentiful supply of Herbs (Basil, Sage, Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley). Happy days again.

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I’m entering my barbie sticks to a few bloggie challenges:

1) Firstly to the Four Seasons Food challenge which I co-host with Anneli. This month it’s my turn and we’ve gone all ‘Al Fresco’.

2) To Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season as all my veggies were very much in season! This month Sally over at My Custard Pie’s guest hosting, while Ren takes a breather to enjoy brand new baby Matthew.

3) To Michelle and Helen’s Extra Veg event as these are a great way of sneaking in an extra portion or two of good stuff. This month Juggle Mum’s doing the hosting.

Eat Your Veg | Barbecue Dinner on a Stick

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June’s Family Foodies Al Fresco Round-Up http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/junes-family-foodies-al-fresco-round-up/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/junes-family-foodies-al-fresco-round-up/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 22:28:21 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8195 family-foodies

My apologies on how late my round up is this month, but it’s been a very busy few weeks at Eat Your Veg. And there were a crazy delicious number of barbecue, picnic and al fresco entries linked up. A whooping twenty nine to be exact, highly indicative of the lovely weather we’ve all generally been enjoying over the last few weeks. Could it really be the start of one long, hot scorcher of a summer? Well I’m keeping everything crossed.

To kick off this month’s event Home Cooked Food was hot off the mark with a trio of entries, her delicious looking Cinnamon Swirl Crumb Cake, Rajasthani Style Potato & Onion Curry and Soya, Chickpea and Spinach Curry.

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Utterly Scrummy linked up her utterly gorgeous Lavender & Strawberry Cake, surely a sight to cheer up even the gloomiest wet summer’s day!

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We Don’t Eat Anything With A Face served Greek Style Tortilla/Taco Salad with Halloumi, such a fun way to eat salad, and something I’m so going to try on my terrible twosome!

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Jinhooi tempted us with a new-to-me Lebanese breakfast dish Fattehmade up of toasted Lebanese bread and chickpeas covered in a tangy yogurt sauce.

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Camilla from Fab Food 4 All opted for barbecue with her Flavours of Brazil Turkey Burgers with Bacon & Pineapple. Flavoured with turtle beans, jalapeno peppers, smoked paprika, Cheddar, lime and garlic they certainly get my vote!

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We had a Savoury Summer Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Tart from The Gluten Free Alchemist, made naturally with gluten free (almond) pastry and a delectable ‘red’ filling of roasted Ramiro peppers, San Marzano tomatoes and topped off with a nice bit of chunky fruity Wensleydale. Oh my.

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Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker certainly lived up to her name with a trio of post-barbie or picnic sweet treats! Firstly her rather yummy sounding Daim Cookies, shortly followed by some seasonally fruity ‘best ever’ Flourless Chocolate & Raspberry Brownies and childhood favourite, her Mum’s Cornflake Chocolate Chip Bites. All I need now is an enormous vat of tea!

More than Occ Baker June 14

Raspberry Cranachan Ice Cream, Laura from How To Cook Good Food’s take on a raspberry ripple, has some rather clever sounding oat and pecan clusters running through, not to mention delicious!

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Spices Galore went camping for the first time and Grilled Indian Style Corn on the camp fire, recreating food memories of the street food dish from her childhood. Delicious indeed rubbed with salt, cayenne, lime and chaat masala.

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Kellie from Food to Glow wowed us with her centerpiece layered Rose & Summer Berries ‘Skinnifreddo’, in her words “a frozen Turkish delight”, giving all those mass-produced-packed-full-of-nasties frozen puds an exceedingly good run for their money. Simply stunning.

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Family Friends Food gave us a delicious looking Mushroom, Pesto & Asparagus Tart, the perfect sun-downer nibble I’d say. Oh I do love pesto on a pizza base (in truth make that pesto on pretty much).

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Three barbecue-tastic recipes from Tales from the Kitchen Shed. First up an Easy Bean Burger made with kidney beans, onion and peppers and flavoured with a little chilli and lots of homegrown herbs, good enough to please even the most ardent of meat eaters. Followed by Slow Cooker Jacket Spuds, a fab low maintenance side and finally her Mozzarella Melt Beef Burgers. Yummy Scrummy.

Tales from the Kitchen Shed CollageNext up an entry from yours truly with my side dish of New Potatoes with a Homemade Lettuce Pesto Dressing. Good for barbies or picnics. Or pies or quiches of course!

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Karen from Lavender and Lovage served us a very pretty ‘Arabian Nights’ Tabbouleh Salad fit for a nurse. Complete with chicken, Feta and marigold petals, how very lovely.

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Vohn of Vohn’s Vittles also fed the nurses with her Vietnamese-Style Summer Rollsdelicately fragrant, nutritious and importantly portable.

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Jac from Tinned Tomatoes gave us cake. In the form of a rather delicious sounding Lime Scented Victoria Sponge Cake with Lime Curd. Double lime. What’s not to love.

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A Warm Roast Vegetable Salad with Feta and Sumac looked really rather tasty from Searching for Spice and pretty similar to something I regularly make myself for dinner only minus the inspired Sumac addition.

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Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary made the most of a short break in her Shetland weather and made a sweet, sour and spicy Five Minute BBQ Sauce. Sounds a terrific ingred’s list to me.

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Some rather delicious looking Vegan Jamaican Patties Pies came from Shaheen at Allotment 2 Kitchen. Perfect for a beach jaunt or picnic and packed full to the brim with colourful, fragrant veggies.

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My Little Italian Kitchen linked her Italian Frittata with Vegetables, the perfectly portable picnic-perfect nibble. Oh I do love a veggie frittata.

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My co-host Vanesther from Bangers and Mash barbecued Chicken Satay and served with a Peanut Sauce and Coconut Rice. With her Malaysian heritage this seems a deliciously authentic recipe to me, packed full of punchy flavour to contrast beautifully with her creamy dreamy  coconut rice. And what better child-friendly tipple to drink with her satay than a seasonal glass of Elderflower Cordial.

Bangers & Mash

And last but most certainly not least Katie from Feeding Boys and a Firefighter fed her boys exceptionally well with these rather tasty looking zingy Lime, Mint & Chilli Chicken Kebabs. Served with a yogurt dressing, wraps and salad. With a jug of Mojito on the side to slurp them down with for the grown ups I’d say these are the perfect Saturday night summer fodder.

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And now to pick a winner for our Family Foodies Winner’s Hall of FameOrdinarily we choose someone to guest judge a winner for us, but being that I’m sillily late this month I’ve decided on yours truly to do the judging for a change. And having given it considered thought, and even more drooling, I decided on Camilla’s heavenly looking Flavours of Brazil Turkey Burgers as this month’s winner. Most aptly fitting the family-friendly ‘Al Fresco’ theme, high on the appeal and taste stakes and nice to see much underrated turkey shine on the barbie for a change. So well done Camilla, I shall be adding you to our winners gallery shortly.

July’s Family Foodies’ event’s now well under way, and if you haven’t already do bob over to Bangers and Mash to see what fun Vanesther has in store for you!.

Thanks so much to everyone who took part in June, see you next month,

Louisa x

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Love a Salad? Then you’ll love this GIVEAWAY! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/florette-giveaway/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/florette-giveaway/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:31:40 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?p=8232 nations-fave1

I have a brand new salady giveaway for you folks! The lovely folks at Florette have offered a fab bundle of goodies for one lucky Eat Your Veg reader. Full details of the giveaway below.

Just in case you missed it a couple of weeks ago I wrote about my Salad Wars with the Monsters in Small Children vs SaladMy continuing endeavours to get them to eat more goodly raw stuff. Oh it’s not easy, as pretty much any parent will attest to, but the best way I know is to get them in the kitchen making it themselves. Along with a dressing too of course. I even posted a short wee vid of Frannie & Jacques doing just that and here it is again if you didn’t see it. Terribly amateurish I know, but lots of fun and videoing is certainly something I’m planning on getting to grips with over the next few months. So do watch out for lots more from the terrible twosome, maybe even an appearance from camera shy Mummy.

And don’t forget to bob by the Florette site for lots more Salad Recipes and inspiration, a veritable salady feast for eyes and tums.

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So on to the giveaway. Florette are kindly giving away:

• A copy of Harry Eastwood’s new and most beautiful book ‘A Salad For All Seasons‘, a bible of year round exciting and extremely tempting salad recipes. Forget the ‘rabbit food’ image of old, Harry Eastwood shakes things up somewhat “introducing us to over 100 delicious, original and easy-to-make salads to see you through the year”.

• A Florette Tote Bag, Apron and Pen

• A Florette Salad Voucher

To enter please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below. Entry is by leaving a comment in my comments box (answering the question ‘What are your favourite salad ingredients?) and going back to the Rafflecopter and pressing ‘Enter’ and/or following myself and Florette on Facebook and Twitter. Bonus entries can be made by Tweeting about the giveaway. Sounds a little complicated but it’s really not, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions. Closing date for entries is Tuesday 12th August. Open to UK entrants only.

And if it’s not just salad that does it for you, then do enter my Mornflake oaty goodness giveaway too, where you can also find my recipe for quickie Oat & Spelt Soda Bread, a fine accompaniment to any salad!.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Trees and Dirt: Quickie Broccoli Pasta http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/broccoli-pasta/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/broccoli-pasta/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:13:25 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8202 Eat Your Veg | Wholewheat Broccoli Pasta

I love a quickie mid-week dinner. Something that can be knocked up in less than thirty minutes yet’s wholesome, sustaining and contains a good wad of veggies. This pasta dish can be made in a mere fourteen minutes and uses only one pan, hence some sort of variant of it gets made pretty often around here! Broccoli is our current veggie of choice, or ‘trees’ as both my kids still like to call the florets. Well it’s a fave for the moment anyway, until invariably they change their minds yet again. And especially handy that it virtually always turns up in my weekly veg box from local Skylark Organics. Whilst my kids love a proper roux cheese sauce with their pasta (see my Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese Bake) when time’s short I employ a little cheat. Simply creme fraiche, grated mature Cheddar cheese, a little mustard, lemon juice and some pasta water run through the cooked broccoli and pasta. It’s a damned good quickie alternative!

Pasta’s always a good option for speedy mid-weekers but of late I’ve been trying to give the white refined stuff a bit of a miss. Not always, but for at least fifty percent of our pasta consumption which is actually quite a lot. The first few times Jacques had wholewheat pasta he was convinced it was ‘dirty’, hilariously asking me repeatedly if I’d dropped in on the floor. Which obviously does’t say much about the cleanliness of our kitchen floor. Luckily he’s stopped asking now and just chows down. He loves his pasta. And Frannie’s never even noticed the difference!.

Incidentally most supermarkets stock at least two types of wholewheat pasta, believe me I’ve done the rounds. But Sainsbury’s definitely come out tops with the most extensive selection by far.  I know most people are a bit sniffy about going wholemeal with pasta, but it’s actually a good deal tastier than you might think. Give it a chance, I’m actually starting to prefer it to the white stuff now. White refined pasta has had all it’s goodness stripped away and without the fibre of the original grain turns to sugar very quickly in the digestive system. Thus causing highs and lows of blood sugar and cravings for more sugar and carbs. Wholewheat pasta has the fibre and nutrients still intact and releases sugars more slowly and makes you feel full for longer.

For other speedy dinners do check out my Mid-Week Wonder or Pasta pages. And if you’re in need of further inspiration then bob over to the Vanesther’s recent Family Foodies Fab Fast Food round up.

I’m entering my post to a couple of bloggie challenges: 

Broccoli Pasta Challenge Logos

1) To Ren Behan’s Simple and In Season which this month’s being hosted by My Custard Pie.

2) To Jac of Tinned TomatoesPasta Please event which this month has the theme Healthier/Lighter and’s being hosted by Dannii over at Hungry Healthy Happy.

3) To Shaheen from Allotment to Kitchen’s Eat Your Greens challenge as this is a great way to get the little folk (and big folk!) to eat more greenage.

Eat Your Veg | Broccoli Pasta

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Easy Peasy Spelt & Oat Soda Bread, plus WIN a Goody Bag of Oaty Goodness! http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/soda-bread/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/soda-bread/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 22:13:37 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8189 Eat Your Veg | Spelt & Oat Soda Bread

Entitled ‘easy peasy’ but in truth most soda breads by their very nature are a bit of a cinch. Unlike yeasted breads there’s no proving time and virtually no kneading required, so a simple loaf can be knocked up in under five minutes and thrown in the oven. Hey presto within an hour you have marvelous homemade bread to tuck into, perfect for a week-end breakfast, brunch, lunch or picnic. Or like me when you have the sunday evening ‘no bread in the house, shops are shut’ panic! This is my favourite recipe and uses a combination of Spelt Flour, Plain Flour, Oats and Buttermilk. I’m a big fan of spelt flour loving the subtle nuttiness and texture it adds to a bake, whether sweet or savoury.  Do look out for it and give it a go but if you can’t source just replace with wholemeal flour.

Organic Oats (Union Jack)I recently met some lovely wholesome peeps from Mornflake, the millers of mighty fine oats, at Food Blogger Connect. I was delighted to be given a selection of their oats, oatmeal and oat bran to try out in my recipes and this is my first oaty post for you, and uses their Organic Oats. I have of course also been tucking into the oats for our thrice (at least!) weekly porridge, which come rain or shine my children still ask for for their breakie. And a superior oat they are too I can tell you. Believe me after five years of intense porridge making I now know my oats.

Mornflake have also very kindly given me a goody bag to give away to one lucky Eat Your Veg reader, which includes:

•              Mornflake Superfast Oats

•              Mornflake Scottish Jumbo Oats

•              Mornflake Coarse Oatmeal

•              Mornflake Oatbran

•              Mornflake Oatbran Nuts & Seeds Granola

•              Mornflake Hessian bag

To enter the competition please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below. Entry is by leaving a comment in my comments box (answering the question ‘How do you like to eat your oats?) and going back to the Rafflecopter and pressing ‘Enter’ and/or following myself and Mornflake on Twitter and/or liking myself and Mornflake on Facebook. Bonus entries can be made by Tweeting about the giveaway. Sounds a little complicated but it’s really not, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions.

Closing date for entries Monday 28th July. Open to UK entrants only. 

Do look out for more wholesome oaty recipes coming to you very shortly!

Eat Your Veg | Easy Peasy Soda Bread

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Made in Mins Gooseberry Fool http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/gooseberry-fool/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/gooseberry-fool/#comments Sat, 05 Jul 2014 07:42:33 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8182 Eat Your Veg | Gooseberry FoolThere’s been a bit of an overdose of salad on the blog front lately hasn’t there?. And a noted absence of puds or cakes. Sorry folks, but I am planning on rectifying the status quo over the next few weeks. Being more of a savoury gal myself the sweet stuff just doesn’t come so naturally. And my kids don’t help the situation. Whilst they both love chocolate neither of them have a particularly sweet tooth for most puds or desserts preferring fruit or yogurt or occasionally ice cream if they’re lucky. They’ve even taken to asking for cheese on toast!. Turning their noses up at virtually every homemade pud I’ve put their way, though weirdly will usually enjoy one if we’re out and about at a cafe or restaurant. Maybe it’s just my pudding making skills.

2014-06-20 10.53.57Taking inspiration from my neighbour Sue’s very kind offering of her gooseberries I couldn’t resist a super easy Gooseberry Fool. Thinking I’d try my (outside) chance with the kids, who’ve previously been consistent in their Fool Rejection, it didn’t come as much surprise they only managed a mere spoonful before asking for a yogurt instead. Despite my protestations of it containing yogurt. And the employment of my brand new super-cute mini sundae glasses. They just gave me The Look. To be honest I wasn’t going to coax them into enjoyment as it’s a mighty fine fool, even if I do say so myself. And kept perfectly well for a few days in the fridge so I could enjoy it all to myself. Though I’m sure most normal puddingfaring kids would happily wolf this down, it’s really very, very yummy. Possibly a little on the tart side for some folks as I used less sugar than average recipes so feel free to indulge in a little more. Made with half Greek yogurt this is a little better for you than the full cream versions, but tastes just as indulgently creamy.

I’m entering my fool to a couple of bloggie challenges:

1) To Four Seasons Food which co-host with Anneli over at Delicieux. This month it’s my turn and we’re going all Al Fresco. A nice little pud to eat post-barbie or easily transportable on a picnic.

2) Being that gooseberries are in season right not to Ren Behan‘s Simple and in Season event which this month’s being hosted by My Custard Pie.

Gooseberry Fool Challenge Logos

Eat Your Veg | Easy Gooseberry Fool

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Small Children vs Salad http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/small-children-vs-salad/ http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/recipes/small-children-vs-salad/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 19:17:39 +0000 http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/?post_type=recipes&p=8176 Eat Your Veg | Making Salad with KidsWhat is it about small (and big) children and salad?. They just don’t do it do they. Don’t get it, don’t like it, won’t even try it.  I believe they do grow out of their salad probia at some point, but at what age? Once they have a mortgage and kids of their own probably. Parents of older offspring feel free to enlighten me.

I have to confess that trying to get my own monsters to eat salad is something I generally didn’t bother much with until recently. Tried and failed too many times, and at the end of the day I take heart from that they do get a pretty varied diet of veggies anyway. And plenty of fruit of course. They’ll also eat a limited amount of raw goodies in a pasta, rice or couscous salad occasionally. But if I want to inject some lots of raw stuff into little tums, a quickie homemade dip and salad dip sticks are my friend and effortlessly do the job. Think carrot, cucumber, peppers, celery, raw courgette, little gem leaves, cherry tomatoes, a whole smogisboard of goodliness if you can. As for the dips, faves with my own two are my Minted Pea & Feta, Tuna & Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon & Red Pepper, Hummus and Guacamole. Not convinced on the raw consumption? Then try putting a pot of made-in-minutes homemade dip in front of them after school with an assortment of dipping receptacles and just see if they get stuck in. You might be surprised.

But back on to salad proper which this post is about. And I mean the leafy green stuff. In it’s most chastised form, for most children anyway.  I do have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that have varying degree of success.

The first is to grow your own. Mine will happily munch of a piece or two of green leafage they’ve helped nurture, though typically when the plants are barely more than tender shoots and thereby destroying all future growth potential. Unintentionally I’m sure. Though I do also catch them regularly swiping a fully grown leaf from the garden. The downside of this method is it’s usually only in teeny and probably nutritionally invalid quantities.

The second is get them to make it themselves. Prepping the lettuce, chopping their fave salad extras (if indeed they have any) then making up there own dressing. As we all know kids are so much more likely to eat something they’ve made themselves, and that goes for salad too. Unless you’re called Francesca Foti that is, one stubborn mare that gal. There’s absolutely no way she’d eat a green salad, however much she took part and whatever tasty morsels you add. Jacques however is such a sucker for this trick, particularly if there’s an audience involved. He loves nothing more than showing off his homemade wares, and will greedily gobble away to prove the point. On his own however the salad making trick can be less effective. He really likes the whisking of the dressing and running it through the leaves, tasting all along the way. Next time you make a salad how about getting the kids in the kitchen, some safe knives (I use plastic ‘lettuce’ knives, but table knives work equally well for younger children) and get them busy with the chopping.

As for a salad dressing Jacques particularly likes a simple Honey & Mustard dressing, as do lots of kids. A slosh of good olive oil (extra virgin if you have it), runny honey, Dijon mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper (no salt for the under 3s). Lightly whisked together and run through the salad. The recipe’s below, but there’s really nothing to do it and absolutely no need for any exactment here, in fact it’s much more fun to get kids tasting along the way and adding more honey or mustard to suit their personal tastes. Older kids might like the challenge of developing entirely their own dressing. Try placing all your vinegars, oils, mustards, honey and various herbs on a table, give them a bowl and a whisk (or a jar with a lid to shake) and see what they come up with.  It may even be edible!.

As my second foray into the world of (extremely) amateur video, bordering shameful, here’s a short clip of the terrible twosome at the end of their salad and dressing making sess earlier this week. And before you shout me down I KNOW it’s stupidly in portrait, I realised just as I was coming to the end of filming. And the lighting’s shoddy too. Though I feel it’s good to have lots of room for improvement. I am however rather pleased with my 1.30am this morning find of The Salad Song though, quite a tune.

51P1Ok0sufL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_I’d love to hear how you get your own monsters to eat salad, even to enjoy it? What tricks or techniques do you employ? I probably don’t want to hear if they’re natural born salad eaters and can’t get enough of the stuff.

A big thanks to Florette for supplying our pack of ‘Classic Crispy’ leaves used in the vid. And for all the other wee goodies they sent, including Harry Eastwood’s beautiful book A Salad for All Seasons, of which I’ve been having a good gawp at lately. A bible of year round tempting and exciting salad recipes, of which I shall be trying several of very soon. And I’ll certainly be getting the monsters to help me. Do check out the Florette Salad Recipes, a veritable feast of salad-tastic ideas!.

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