A Silky Courgette Pasta Sauce

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It’s the time to be sneaky again. Vegetables will be disguised in many forms so that our little ones will eat and hopefully enjoy them through the flavour rather than texture. I feel it is the texture that many children fear when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables. I couldn’t do aubergine when I was younger as it felt rather slimy on my tongue! Now I can’t live without them! Thanks to my Mum’s perseverance in feeding them to me.

Pasta is always a winner and chunks of courgettes are not appealing to our children so blitz it, make it smooth and silky! They’ll be none the wiser!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large courgette
1 tin plum tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 level tsp dried oregano
Dried chilli flakes to taste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
100ml water

METHOD

Blend the courgette, tomatoes and garlic to a smooth paste with the water

Heat up the oil on a low heat in a medium saucepan with the oregano and chilli flakes.  Once the oil starts to sizzle slowly pour in the tomato blend.  Stir in the salt

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Keeping on a low heat, allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Whilst the sauce is cooking through put on your penne pasta to boil

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Serve the sauce on a bed of pasta with a sprinkling of grated mature cheddar cheese

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Avocado, Banana Smoothie

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So you know when you first have a baby and the first foods to wean them on are avocado and banana smashed together.  I never tried it until now! But I can see why  babies like it.  I incorporated these two wonderful superpower food ingredients into the smoothie for today with blueberries full of antioxidants but to add a slight kick with a strawberry cordial running through it!

Such a creamy consistency. Blend yourself one…sit back and enjoy your weekend! Much love D x

INGREDIENTS

Half an avocado
1 small banana
Handful of frozen blueberries
200ml diluted strawberry cordial drink

METHOD

Blitz well in a blender or smoothie maker. Add water if you like it more juice like

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The Calm Me Down Smoothie!

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Recently there has been a lot of change to my daily routine as now my two boys are in school and I find myself alone at home with our pet rabbit Alfie. It’s lovely having some quiet time but mostly I find myself constantly running around like a headless chicken.  This morning I went food shopping which I absolutely adore.  I feel all stocked up and ready to invent more recipes. . I also cleaned the kitchen!

For when I need to calm down and relax I have come up with this wonderful soothing smoothie recipe to help me unwind.  No caffeine, no added sugar just pure peaceful bliss. The chamomile and mint tea does the trick!

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INGREDIENTS

200ml of cold mint & chamomile tea
1 small banana
1 nectarine in halves
Handful of frozen blueberries
Handful of baby spinach

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METHOD

Place all the ingredients into a blender or NutriBullet and blitz till smooth.  Serve with ice if desired

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A Minty Fruit Smoothie

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We are going to have pizza tonight, so an hour before I decided to line my stomach with a fresh minty and fruity smoothie.  This way I’ll feel a little less guilty knowing that I have fruit in my tummy before I consume huge amounts of pizza yumminess!

INGREDIENTS

1 small banana peeled
7 strawberries
1 pear sliced into chunks
A few sprigs of fresh mint
1 cup pineapple juice

METHOD

Blitz all the ingredients in a Nutri Bullet or blender until smooth

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Serve with some ice or add a little water if the smoothie is too thick

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My First Homemade Chutney!

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I didn’t know that home made chutneys are so easy to make!  And so damn tasty!  I made this delectable tomato chutney with green tomatoes that were picked fresh out of my mother in law’s garden.  She is extremely gifted when it comes to gardening and my husband definitely inherits his green fingers from her. 

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This chutney will go superbly with Indian flatbread due to the heat or with a strong mature cheddar or brie and crackers as it is also sour and slightly sweet! An all rounded chutney.  Shame that 1kg of toms gave me 1 small jar of chutney. However I know where I can find more tomatoes! Mother in law I’m on my way!

With tomatoes being harvested, do give this simple recipe a go! You’ll make it again and again

INGREDIENTS

1kg green tomatoes cored and chopped
1 large white onion diced
1 cup cider vinegar
1¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp crystallized ginger
1 tsp red dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp mixed spice

METHOD

Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan, mix well, bring the contents to a boil and then cover, simmer for 50 minutes on a low to medium heat

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Make sure most of the liquid has evaporated, this will give the chutney an intense flavour

Israeli Cous Cous Salad

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For someone that is not partial to cous cous I had never tasted Israeli cous cous until a few weeks ago. Not very cous cous like but is actually little pearl like pasta. I found it to be filling and goes well with all sorts of vegetables. I am writing this post up as I wait here for my husband to come home and try this salad for the first time. I will let you know his verdict. I know it will be good 😉

Enjoy your day, much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Israeli cous cous (cooked as per instruction on packet)
285g tinned sweetcorn
1 bag of baby spinach
1 large courgette sliced thinly
12 cherry tomatoes
6 unpeeled cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Lemon juice
Cheddar cheese grated

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METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°c, put the courgette, cherry tomatoes and garlic into a shallow roasting dish.  Drizzle over with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through and the courgette slices are soft and tender

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In a large salad bowl, combine all the ingredients, the pre cooked cous cous, sweetcorn along with the roasted vegetables fresh out of the oven

Mix well, smash the cherry tomatoes a little to release some juice for flavour, season with salt and fresh lemon juice

Serve on a bed of baby spinach and sprinkle with cheese.  Feta cheese here would also be a lovely choice

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