Pork and Mushroom Stroganoff with Wholegrain Mustard and Creme Fraiche

This is another dinner I don’t think we have ever had and another dinner that I think will become a firm favourite in our house. Both the kids ate it and it would be lovely with Rice, Pasta or even on top of a Jacket Potato.

We had ours with long grain Rice and Broccoli and it was so good! If you aren’t a fan of Mustard you could leave it out or not add as much but it really adds to the flavour and makes it a bit next level!

For 4 people you will need:

  • 1 Tenderloin or Pork
  • 1 diced Onion (I used frozen from Asda)
  • 2 handfuls of sliced Mushrooms (again I used frozen from Asda)
  • 2 tsp of Garlic (frozen again!)
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • 150g Creme Fraiche
  • 1 level tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
  • Parsley

Trim the Pork Fillet of any visible fat and sinew then cut into strips.

Sweat the Onion and Garlic with a pinch of Salt and Pepper for 5 minutes. Add the Mushrooms and fry for a further 5 minutes, if using the frozen variety I cook till the moisture has reduced right down.

Add the Pork with a little more Salt and Pepper and seal it off.

Add the Chicken Stock and simmer for around 15 minutes until reduced and thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Creme Fraiche and Mustard.

Add chopped Parsley and serve!

So simple and quick with such a good flavour, I think next time I will have it with a Jacket Potato and with a knob of Butter!

Hope you enjoy it!

L x

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Slow Cooker Chunky Beef Chilli

My Dad always used to make this and I always used to turn my nose up at it! I was a die hard Beef Mince girl and never really liked Casserole Beef, isn’t it funny how what you like to eat changes as you get older.

I think after making and eating this, I am now converted to having it this way… it’s proper comfort food and the best part you can just wack it all in the slow cooker and leave it on low all day.

For 4-6 portions you will need:

  • 500g Diced Chuck Beef
  • 1 Diced Onion (I used frozen diced Onion from Asda)
  • 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 carton Passata
  • 2 tsp Lazy Garlic (also frozen from Asda)
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tin Kidney Beans

First put everything into the slow cooker or casserole dish except the Kidney Beans and Cocoa Powder and pop on a low heat. If using a Casserole dish in the oven I would put on 120′.

Cook on low for around 5-6 hours with the lid on and a tea towel around the lid to absorb some of the steam.

After 6 hours ish… Remove the lid slightly and turn the heat up to high for an hour, adding the Kidney Beans and Cocoa Powder.

Check the seasoning and add more Salt/Sugar to taste.

And that is literally it! Once you have all your Ingredients together it’s so simple. If you want your sauce thicker cook for longer with the lid ajar so the Sauce can reduce and thicken.

It’s packed with flavour and the perfect dinner to pop on in the morning if you have a busy day.

I had mine with Chilli, Coriander, Avocado, Lime, Greek Yog and Fluffy Rice.

Hope you like it!

L x

Asda Meals Made Freezy

So, let me begin by saying that I cook fresh everything.

I use Frozen Peas and Frozen Fruit for smoothies… but thats about as Frozen I go. Being a Chef and knowing a thing or two about food (I like to think!) the saying ‘fresh is best’ comes to mind BUT that being said… I had never delved into the world of frozen to have anything to compare it to and what I will also say is that life is becoming more and more hectic with work/kids/school runs/blog etc etc that I am not making anywhere near as much food at home as I once was because I quite simply do not have the time to be cooking three meals a day.

When Asda got in touch to see if I would like to spend the day at L’Atlier Des Chefs to try out some of their frozen produce of course the answer was yes and I would say that within an hour of being there I was near on converted. We had some delicious Frozen smoothies for Breakfast and I went for the Green Apple, Spinach and Cucumber which was so nice.

There were cook from Frozen ingredients like Diced Onions (diced!! already… NO DICING NEEDED) can you tell I was most excited about that… Mushrooms, Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Diced Potatoes, Chips and so much more.

The two Chefs Mark and Andrew demonstrated a few dishes to us using mainly frozen ingredients then I was paired up with Georgie @_boss_mummy_ to cook a few of our own. We made a Chicken, Ham and Sweet Potato Pie, Grilled Seabass with Italian Squash, Chilli and Garlic Dressing and One Pot Spanish Chicken Bake.

I was mostly impressed by all the different Veg you could get pre chopped and ready to cook and also happy to see that there are absolutely no hidden nasties or added oil to anything it is literally just Veg. Also something I will be using a lot of is the frozen Herbs, Garlic, Ginger and Chilli, I usually stick to the lazy varieties that come in a jar but they have added vinegar in and I think the vinegar can sometimes add a flavour to something that you don’t really want in there… the herbs will be great for Pastas and Sauces but I will still buy Fresh herbs for Garnish as some of the colour is lost in the freezing process as it adds moisture to the Herbs.

After cooking with all of the ingredients of course the proof is in the pudding so we sat down to eat everything we made and I will say I couldn’t tell any difference, I always buy fresh Chicken breasts but there was absolutely no difference in the Frozen ones especially in something like a Pie!

So thanks to Asda my freezer is now fit to burst with lots of time saving ingredients and I’m looking forward to getting creative with them and seeing how they come out. I can already say that I will 100% be repurchasing for the time saving element alone and I know Kieran will find them all really helpful too for the nights I’m at work because he isn’t too handy with his knife skills!

Hope you found this blog helpful and let me know what you think about frozen food, do you use it/would you try it?

L x

I am proud to say this post was Sponsored by Asda but as always, all words, images and opinions are my own.

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Pasta Shells

Is there anything better than baked pasta of ANY kind?! No, no theres not.

This was inspired by a (very) complicated recipe I stumbled across on Pinterest. It looked so good but had about 1569 ingredients and a lot of faffing around so I’m extremely pleased with how this came out considering it was a first timer and I definitely winged it.

The girls demolished it too so sneaky hidden broccoli for the win.

I used cooked shredded Chicken. I had cooked the Chicken Breasts the day before seasoned with Salt and Pepper, Dried Thyme, Rosemary and Oregano, then added some Garlic Cloves and Lemon wedges to the roasting tray… tin foiled the tray and cooked on 180′ for 20 minutes and shredded it up… it was so yummy and definitely adds a lot of flavour to the dish!

For 4 people you will need:

  • 250g Large Pasta Shells (I got mine in Tesco)
  • 200g Broccoli
  • 200g Cooked Chicken
  • 250ml Chicken Stock
  • 150g Philadelphia Light
  • 1 carton of Passatta with Herbs
  • Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 30g Parmesan

First cook the Broccoli and Pasta. Once the Broccoli is cooked chop it up nice and finely. The Pasta will only need around 8 minutes you want it to be soft enough to work with but finish cooking it in the Oven so it doesn’t turn to mush! Once the Pasta is cooked drizzle it with a little Olive Oil to stop it sticking together.

Whisk the Chicken Stock (hot) and the Philadelphia together and set to one side. Add the Chicken and Broccoli and check the seasoning.

In a Baking Dish add the Passatta, some Salt and Pepper and Dried Oregano.

Fill the Pasta Shells with the Chicken and Broccoli mix and lay open side up into the dish with the Passatta.

Top with Grated Parmesan, Salt and Pepper then bake in the Oven at 180′ for 15 minutes.

And thats it!

Hope you enjoy.

L x

It’s OK

I remember being pregnant with Abbie, thinking about what she would look like, what would she be like, would she be a Mummy’s Girl or Daddy’s Girl, what would she want to be when she grows up etc etc… not once did I think ‘Oh I hope she has good mental health’.

It just wasn’t something that crossed my mind… and to be quite honest not something I’ve thought about much AT ALL until recently when I started to get to grips with my own mental health not being at its best and also noticing changes in Abbie as she gets older, more clued up and of course is having more life experiences and challenges.

As a Mum something I think about on the regs is ‘I really hope I don’t screw my kids up’. By think, I mean worry. This last 18 months have been pretty tough, going from 1 to 2 is hard, our relationship has hit rock bottom more than once, I’ve cried and screamed and shouted ALOT in front of Abbie… and whilst I know its important for her to know it’s OK to not be OK… I feel that there were times where I should of held it together for her sake because quite frankly seeing your Mum upset is pretty heart wrenching and I cant help but feel to blame for her being over sensitive and anxious at times.

Now that I feel like I and We are coming out of the fog and life doesn’t feel so tough, I’ve noticed changes in my daughter. My daughter who I look at and feel like I’ve blinked and missed 18 months of her life.

She makes little comments and I think ‘why are you worried about that?!’ or she will sit with a look of concern on her face picking her lips and I just wish I knew what she was thinking. I know its all so minor and not much to worry about in the grand scheme of things… but knowing my own behaviour and how I deal with things I can’t help but worry she is mirroring some of that and I wish I sometimes knew the right thing to say to her to know whats on her mind.

I went to a Childs Mental Health Workshop recently with Sarah @themindmedic who is a Psychiatrist specialising in Children and Adolescents and something I picked up which is SO simple was to just ask Abs ‘How Are You Feeling?’ and obviously as she is only 4 it might be difficult for her to talk about things or explain so asking her to draw a face of how she’s feeling could be a way for her to communicate if something was bothering her. 

Sarah talked about her TLC system for having conversations with your children if you are worried about them. T for Time, make sure it’s a suitable time… not when you are rushing around in the morning or in the middle of Aldi’s… L for Location, make sure its a place where the child feels safe and comfortable and C for Child, every single child is different… you wont be able to have the same convo with a 5 year old as you would with a 15 year old. 

She also talked about her Traffic Light system which we were given a handy little card of so I’ll pop a photo below of that.Just to add as well Sarah has a book available for pre-order which you can order here.

Photo Credits @themindmedic Instagram.

Now I’m a self confessed over thinker and worrier, I came away from the workshop feeling SO reassured that I don’t need to worry SO much about things but also armed with some better communication skills for if/when I ever do need have a conversation with Abs that might be tough.

I think is SO amazing how much more people are speaking about mental health and we definitely all need to keep those conversations going but it’s also so important to know what to do next and how to take action when there is a genuine concern. 

As Mums we all have a built in instinct, that gut feeling… and whenever I get asked what would be your biggest piece of advice to a new parent… it would be to always listen to that gut instinct… If you truly feel something isn’t right, ask for help, if nobody helps you push and demand until you feel reassured that something is being done. Keep those conversations going with your kids and reassure them that it’s OK to not be OK… I’m no expert but I KNOW I’m doing a good job, I make mistakes, probably daily… but I learn from them and move forward feeling like I’m grasping motherhood just that little bit better (not always) but knowing those bad days are just part of the parcel and knowing that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel is very comforting.

So I’m going to worry less, embrace more and listen to my gut, there is absolutely no shame in asking for help if you need it and with the conversation about mental health being more open than ever, If you feel able to share your story then please do as you never know who you could be helping… and hopefully our children will grow up feeling able and confident to talk and know its OK to not be OK.

L x

Prawn and Chorizo Risotto

I can’t believe this isn’t already on my blog. It’s up there with one of my favourite meals (like a lot of meals…) and it always feels like such a treat as I see it as a fancy dinner… like a Friday or Saturday night dinner.

If you have a Chinese Supermarket nearby, get in there and get yourself some frozen Tiger Prawns, they are much cheaper and I get a big bag of de-veined and shelled Tiger Prawns when I go and I’m always so chuffed with them.

This recipe makes up 1 portion because well I was only cooking for myself, but you can obviously increase quantities if you are cooking for more than 1!

For 1 person you will need:

  • 6 Tiger Prawns, butterflied (basically cut down the middle leaving the end together)
  • 30g Chorizo, sliced
  • 2 Shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tsp Lazy Garlic
  • 75g Risotto Rice
  • 150g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 400ml Chicken/Fish Stock
  • 15g Parmesan
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

Sweat the Shallot on a low heat for 5 minutes, then add the Garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the Risotto Rice and Chorizo and turn the heat up, fry for a couple of minutes.

Next add the Chopped Tomatoes, keep stirring and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Start adding the Stock bit by bit. I add gradually, stirring often and keep tasting and checking the Rice.

When the Rice is nearly done but still has a bite to it, add the Prawns and put a lid on the pan. Cook for a few minutes, stirring a couple of times, you may need to add a little more Stock, I used nearly all the 400ml by the end.

Add the Chopped Parsley and Parmesan then check the seasoning, add Salt and Pepper to taste.

And thats it! I had mine with Tenderstem Broccoli and a wedge of Lemon and it was SO good!!!

Hope you enjoy it.

L x

Salmon, Broccoli and Spring Onion Fishcakes

I bloody love a Fish Cake. I can’t remember the last time I actually made some and what I love about this Recipe is it makes 7 Fishcakes in total so I now have some in the freezer for a quick and easy homemade lunch, just pop one in the Oven or Air Fryer and have with a couple of Poached Eggs or some Veggies.

There is a little effort involved in making them, but it’s all worth it and as I said you get a few portions out of it!

For approx 7 Large Fishcakes you will need:

  • 2 Salmon fillets
  • 750g peeled Potatoes
  • 200g Broccoli florrets
  • 4 Spring Onions sliced
  • 1 tsp dried Dill
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Wholemeal Breadcrumbs (I just blitzed up 2 slices of Bread)
  • 50g Plain Flour
  • 2 Eggs

Season the Salmon Fillets and pop into the Oven on 180′ for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the Potatoes to the boil in salted water and cook the Broccoli separately for around 3/4 minutes.

Keep checking the Potatoes until they are soft, around 10-15 mins depending how big they are. Drain and leave in the colander to steam dry. Put them back in the pan and add the Mustard Powder, Dill and cooked Broccoli and mash all together.

Transfer to a bowl and add the Spring Onions and the cooked Salmon broken into large flakes. Stir and mix gently to keep the Salmon in nice chunks and check the seasoning, add Salt and Pepper if you need to. Separate the mix into large balls and flatten into patties.

Set up the ‘Panne’ for the fish cakes. I always season the Flour with Salt and Pepper.

Lightly flour the Fishcakes, then dip into the Egg, followed by the Breadcrumbs. Keep one hand for the Flour and Egg then another for Breadcrumbs so you don’t end up too messy!

Pop them on a baking tray with some baking paper. If you have an Air Fryer cook for 15 minutes on 180, turning half way through but you can cook them the same way in the Oven. Freeze any leftover Fishcakes on a tray, once frozen you can transfer into air tight Tupperware or freezer bags. If cooking from Frozen allow 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

I had my Fishcakes with Pea and Spinach Puree which you can find a recipe for here and a Poached Egg which was a really yummy combo, but you could have them with whatever you fancy!

Hope you enjoy.

L x