Winter Family Cooking

It’s turned much colder so I’ve been cooking some nice heart warming meals for my family. I have a husband who doesn’t eat vegetables and a daughter who doesn’t eat much meat and me with an ever increasing and decreasing waistline. It’s not easy to find recipes we all like.

My little girl is in nursery and school all day so I always like to have lots of meals in the freezer for her- one pot meals are best because I can hide vegetables in them and they freeze easily. I often have similar meals for my lunch in work although I was the butt of some ridicule when my colleagues spotted my tiny jacket potato, my spoonful of beans and my tiny pear. Maybe I have taken my lunches to the extreme-I can often been seen eating out of my girls plastic bowls and my favourite spoon is a pink plastic one!!!!!!!!

I love cooking but I don’t enjoy slave labour so you’ll find my ideas quick to make and fairly basic.

Hope you enjoy and try some of these ideas:

Macaroni cheese with ham and hidden vegetables:

No recipe-I just cooked some macaroni, added vegetables to the water. Drain and add cheese sauce and ham. Simple.

Soya Bolognese over a jacket potato.

Fry in olive oil some onions, carrots, garlic and herbs. Add a great big jar of pasatta. Add some soya mince which has been left in water to expand for a while. Add pepper and Worcester sauce and cook until the soya mince has absorbed the tomatoes and taken on their colour. This is great left in the fridge to have with pasta or a jacket potato. It’s surprisingly meaty!

Cauliflower and lentil curry.


Found this great recipe today and will be trying it out this afternoon. I think the addition of coconut milk will make it really appealing for my daughter.

Warming soup.


Whether you open a can, cook a ready made mix of fresh vegetables or make your own soup from scratch it doesn’t matter-soup rocks in winter and is a fantastic way of getting your family to eat their vegetables. I found these great soup mugs in a charity shop-I’ll be making some soup later today-ASDA do a brilliant soup mix which I just love! It costs just £1 and will serve me and my girl for 2 days. Bargain!

If you get change to go to a market stock up on vegetables and then find some recipes when you get home. I have found a great fresh vegetable stall locally and yesterday bought a punnet of grapes, raspberries, big bag of white potatoes-big enough for baking, a cauliflower, a curly kale cabbage, onion, carrots, pineapple and a swede for £10. It will feed my family for the whole week.

There are some great recipe sites I use too-just Google the item you want to cook with and you’ll get loads of suggestions.

My top five sites are:

All Recipes

BBC Good Food

Good To Know


Jamie Oliver

Thanks for stopping by-ironically now I’m off out to Sunday lunch-well even mums deserve time off


Say Your Peas And Thank You’s!

How do I get my toddler to eat their veggies? I asked my Mum friends what their secrets were and they didn’t disappoint with their healthy, creative and sometimes downright sneaky tips- here they are for you to read:

  • Let your little one grow their own vegetables so they can see where they come from and be proud that they grew something you can eat. Look at this fab ‘My First Ever Vegetable Garden’ Children’s Grow Kit by Canova available on Amazon
  • Let them help you prepare vegetables-toddlers like nothing more than sneaking something away when you’re cooking and they want to be just like Mum
  • Home made pizzas can include blended vegetables in the tomato base sauce-get them to decorate with peppers, sweet corn, mushrooms etc then sprinkle with cheese. Great tip from my friend thanks (I use muffins cut in half for the base-so quick and easy. Meal in minutes) Great recipe from Sainsbury’s for toddler muffin pizzasmuffin
  • Hidden vegetable pasta sauce- you can buy shop bought pasta sauces with vegetables inside or you can blend a variety of vegetables and mix them with passata. Bulk make this sauce as use as a pizza base, a Bolognese sauce or a chilli con carne base.
  • Heinz Baked Beans count as one of your five a day so don’t feel guilty for serving them up for lunch.
  • Cover it in gravy!
  • Introduce veggies as soon as they are old enough to chew and eat solids-carrots, sweet potato and parsnip work well and if you are trying baby led weaning methods sticks of vegetables like carrot batons, green beans and cucumber sticks are enticing for your little one
  • Home made soup-so many benefits, lots of different types to try, great way of serving vegetables without them looking like veggies, healthy, cheap, easy and freezable. When my little one was small I used to just buy a great big jar of passata, add to some garlic cooked in a little olive oil and sprinkle with fresh or dried basil. So easy. Other easy soups to make are vegetable, potato and leek, sweet potato, coriander and coconut, carrot and coriander and finally tomato and corned beef which dissolves to make a meaty soup.
  • Don’t give them a choice-serve at every meal from the start so it is the norm.
  • STAR TIP***** Blend everything you eat and feed to your toddler at the weaning stage. It saves double cooking and introduces your toddler to the same foods you eat.
  • I have to quote a friend here as I don’t want to take the credit for such ‘trickery’- My eldest wouldn’t touch any kind of veg until I told her that cabbage would make her boobs grow!” 🙂 I’ll be using that one for sure
  • Roll it in sugar! Hmmmmm. No fear mums this was said in joke

Some great ideas here-what I love it the honesty of them. We’re not boasting about feeding our kids asparagus tips served on bed of spinach. Although that does sound quite nice. It’s just good honest food served by mums who care.

Is it just my toddler that won’t eat veg? Rest easy-here’s some science from Edward Abramson, Ph.D on psychology today :

  • It may help to recognize that we’re born preferring sweet tastes
  • Hundreds of thousands of years ago our prehistoric ancestors who ate sour or bitter things were more likely to perish, those who ate only sweet things were more likely to survive
  • Liking sweet tastes was a survival mechanism that has been passed down to us

It’s NOT Just Baby Fat!: 10 Steps to Help Your Child to a Healthy Weight at Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/g9TAhX

Phew! We can all sigh with relief!

Thanks for the tips mums-keep them coming and thanks for sharing.

Next blog is going to be about making food fun!

Have a good week-photos of my puddings for just 25p will be added today