Monday, 12 November 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 46

Breakfast for baby S: toast
Lunch or dinner for baby S - carrot, sweetcorn and cheese meal from a packet - baby S wasn't feeling well so I wanted something simple and easy to eat, followed by blueberries
Dinner for us for me, rest of haddock gratin from freezer. For him: chicken chargrills

Breakfast for baby S: yogurt with fruit
Lunch or dinner for baby S - cucumber, tomatoes, pitta bread, cheese
Dinner for us pork medallions in a mustard sauce for me, chicken pie for him

Breakfast for baby S: porridge with fruit
Lunch or dinner for baby S - Swede and carrot mash with chicken 
Dinner for us  I’m at a charity quiz so will have dinner before my husband gets home - I fancy a pasta ready meal, he can then have a frozen pizza when he gets home
Breakfast for baby S: carrot and courgette cupcake based on this recipe
Lunch or dinner for baby S - pouch of ready made pork casserole
Dinner for us chicken and veg risotto for me, sausage and mash and a bit of risotto for him

Breakfast for baby S: porridge with fruit
Lunch or dinner for baby S - chicken and veg risotto
Dinner for us spaghetti and meatballs
Breakfast for baby S: probably just milk as we need to head out early
Lunch for us - not sure where we will be for lunch as we are at baby S’s Waterbabies photo shoot just before midday
Lunch or dinner for baby S - tomato puree puff pastry twists, cucumber, cooked chicken breast
Dinner for us spicy chicken with potato wedges and Nutella pastry twist for dessert
Lunch for all of us crumpets
Dinner for baby S - fish pie
Dinner for us roast chicken thighs with chicken breast for him and Yorkshire puddings

Monday, 5 November 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 45

Lunch for all three of us cheese on toast
Dinner for baby S: chicken casserole from my freezer stash
Dinner for us: pizza - I was going to make something else but the baby was crying and restless and I couldn't start cooking til 7.30 so frozen pizza it was!

Breakfast for baby S porridge with fruit
Lunch or dinner for baby S:  chicken and sweet potato mash
Lunch for me: frittata (ready made) with two leftover hotdogs from the weekend
Dinner for us: fish pie for me, chicken pie for him

Breakfast for baby S yogurt with fruit
Lunch or dinner for baby S: fish pie
Lunch for me: ham sandwich
Dinner for us: For me, broccoli and salmon bake from this recipe I meant to do last week but didn't; beef grillsteak for him

Breakfast for baby S yogurt with fruit
Lunch or dinner for baby S: cheesy pasta with broccoli I didn't do last week
Lunch for me: mini pizza (bought this before we ended up having pizza for dinner on Monday!)
Dinner for us: homemade turkey burger for me, beef burger for him

Breakfast for baby S Farley's rusk
Lunch or dinner for baby S: jar of 'my first bolognese' with minced turkey
Lunch for me: sandwich
Dinner for us: chicken/ prawn tacos

Breakfast for baby S porridge with fruit
Lunch or dinner for baby S:  rest of jar of baby food mixed with mince and pasta
Lunch for me: soup and bread roll
Dinner for us: steak and chips

Breakfast for baby S toast
Lunch or dinner for baby S: cod mixed with sweet potato puree
Lunch for me: fresh pasta with garlic bread
Dinner for us: toad in the hole

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie to use your leftover pumpkin

I was determined to use up my pumpkins in cooking this year and not just throw them away so as well as this pumpkin and gnocchi gratin I made a pumpkin pie. I've made a pumpkin cheesecake (vegan) before, and this chocolate pumpkin cheesecake, but I've never made an actual pumpkin pie before.

I was spending the weekend with friends so a pie seemed like a nice thing to take; one friend is vegan so I needed to find a vegan recipe. I had a look online and ended up creating my own recipe based on this one from Yummy Mummy Kitchen, but using shop-bought shortcrust pastry, which is vegan, and using my fresh pumpkin rather than canned, coconut milk and cornflour to thicken, and brown sugar and golden syrup to sweeten it. The end result was a soft baked pie filling, almost the consistency of a baked cheesecake, which tasted delicious! It was very popular with my friends, vegan and non-vegan alike.

See below for the full recipe - I also want to mention here the vacuum seal food storage container from Ozeri that I used to transport and store my pie in. You get two large domed containers in the pack, and you simply close the valve at the top and push down to create a vaccum seal; when you want to open the container just open the valve. This keeps the food fresh and there's also a handy dial you turn to show which day you put the food in the container. They are fairly large to store but are a nice sturdy design and I like the fact that the lid is clear plastic so you can see what's inside, so this is also a nice way to serve food for instance when you are outside in the summer and want to keep the insects away!


It's currently available on the UK Amazon site but with fairly high shipping costs as it comes from the US, or you can find it on other Amazon sites which are cheaper to ship to the UK.

So here's how I made my pumpkin pie
Serves 10-12

Flesh from one large pumpkin, skin removed, chopped
500g shortcrust pastry block
The cream from the top of a 400ml tin of coconut milk plus some of the milk making up 200ml in total
150ml golden syrup
75g brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tbsp. cornflour

Stew the chopped pumpkin in a pan of boiling water until softened then drain. Allow to cool then pulse in a food processor until you have a smooth puree.

Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out the pastry and use to line either a deep tart tin or a loose bottomed cake tin. Line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans and blind bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cook while you make the filling.

In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, coconut cream and milk, golden syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornflour and beat until smooth.

Pour into the pie crust and return to the oven for 45 minutes. If the top of the pie starts to brown too much, cover with foil.


Remove from the oven and leave to cool then chill overnight in the fridge - this should make the filling set.

I'm sharing this with Baking Crumbs hosted by Jo's Kitchen Larder and CookBlogShare hosted by EasyPeasyFoodie.

Thanks to Ozeri for the food storage containers to review.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Pumpkin and Gnocchi Gratin

Around eight million pumpkins are expected to be thrown away in the UK after Halloween this year - and according to this Guardian article, only a third of consumers will cook and eat any of them.

I didn't get around to carving a pumpkin this year but did buy two, for some photos with my little girl!

I then made use of them in various ways - soup, pie, and this pumpkin and gnocchi gratin. The recipe is from an old issue of Weightwatchers magazine; but I added bacon lardons as well (if you want it without, this makes a nice vegetarian dish). I also used more cheese and allowed more gnocchi per person.
This is really tasty - I'm not a huge fan of gnocchi as it's very doughy and needs more than just a tomato sauce, but it works wonderfully in this recipe - you could also substitute the pumpkin for butternut squash.

Serves 4
400g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 small red onion, cut into wedges
4 tbsp. chopped fresh sage - I used 4 tsp dried sage to keep the cost down
200g bacon lardons
low fat cooking spray (or oil if you are not following Weightwatchers)
500g gnocchi
250g tomato passata
5 tbsp. grated cheddar

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with foil and spray with non stick spray or pour in a little oil. Roast the pumpkin, garlic, onion and sage, and sprinkle over some salt and pepper then toss in the oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the pumpkin has softened.

Meanwhile fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan.

Cook the gnocchi in boiling water according to the pack instructions - it only takes a few minutes.

Squeeze the garlic out of its skin and mash with a fork, discarding the skin. In a large ovenproof dish mix the garlic, pumpkin and onion, bacon lardons, gnocchi, then pour over the passata and gently mix in. Finally sprinkle over the cheese.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes; serve with a green veg like broccoli or a salad and garlic bread.

A lovely winter warmer, and a good way to use up pumpkin so it isn't wasted.


 And here's my little pumpkin herself!

I'm sharing this with Cook Blog Share, hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie.