I'm cooking down some cherry tomatoes for a quick pasta sauce. They should be paired with chilli, anchovies and heaps of garlic, but somehow I ran out of the latter. I don't know how that happened? It's certainly never happened before.
This is what @gplandiet store cupboard preparation looks like!
The entire shopping list for the plan is quite extensive, no less than 150 items! (Including fresh stuff) but variety is the name of the game with this plan and that's exactly what I need.
Being the geek that I am, I approached this with a spreadsheet, listing all the items I need at each phase. I like to be organised and I'm determined to do this properly so I've stocked dry/canned ingredients for all three phases so that I don't have the excuse of not having the items in my cupboard.
Before buying anything, I took stock of everything I already had such as grains, spices, and nuts (checking expiry dates obvs!) I'd say about a third of this table is what I already had in my cupboard.
I'm planning to buy phase 1 fresh ingredients later in the week. In the meantime I'm planning meals for the next few days using up what I have in the freezer.
Rainy baking day whilst listening to endless reruns from Harry’s animal band toy (the sheep LOVE to sing in the band). Sour cherry flapjacks, peach and redcurrant cobbler with pistachios and a brick-like cheese & chilli cornbread (blame Jamie Oliver for that one). #baking#rainy#freezerfruit#storecupboard#animalband
Henry absolutely loves pizza, but they’re such a faff to make at home I hardly ever bother. I saw @barney_desmazery’s brilliant method for getting the crusts right in @bbcgoodfood and decided to try a baby-friendly version…the result is packed with good stuff & took me 25 minutes from start to first bite. The base is a 3-ingredient, instant flatbread recipe that I use time & again. I’ve used ½ & ½ spelt & plain flour to up the nutritional oomph a bit, & made a (very) quick sauce using nothing but fresh tomatoes and olive oil. This recipe makes 4 mini pizzas – we’re having them for a train picnic tomorrow, but if you were feeding a whole family you could double it & make bigger pizzas for the adults. The timings would still be the same, just double the ingredients in each big pizza & use a bigger pan. I’m really pleased with these – I love it when I find an easy (& delicious) option for something fiddly.
25-minute spelt pizzas
200g ripe tomatoes
100g plain flour
100g spelt flour
2tsp baking powder
180g natural yogurt
1tbsp olive oil
4-8 mushrooms, finely sliced
150g ball mozzarella, torn into small chunks
8 black olives, torn
pesto and basil leaves, to top
1. Blitz the tomatoes until smooth with a stick blender. Put in a pan with a drizzle olive oil & bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 mins, stirring often, until reduced & thick. Set aside.
2. Put the flours, baking powder, yogurt, oil & a little salt in a mixing bowl & mix with a spoon to form a soft dough. Knead in the bowl for a few minutes until smooth, then divide into four, & roll each out on a well-floured surface to a thin 15cm circle. Carefully transfer onto a well-floured cake tin base that it will slide off easily. Spread a tbsp of the tomato sauce over the top, then add 1-2 mushrooms, ¼ of the mozzarella pieces, & 2 of the olives.
3. Heat the grill to high, & heat an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat. Once the pan is hot, carefully slide in the pizza. Cook for 2 mins, until the base is darkened & cooked & the crust is puffy. Put under the grill for 4 mins to melt the cheese & cook the crust, then slide out of the pan, top with pesto and basil and serve.
Full disclosure: about 70% of the time, Henry gets a bowl of shredded wheat and a banana for breakfast. But sometimes I like to make a bit of effort. This morning it’s porridge made with milk and mixed with coconut cream, strawberries and pistachios. Now he’s got molars he’s really enjoying nuts, which is good because they’re my favourite things. Have great mornings everyone!
I’ve been making versions of this oven-baked risotto since Henry was about 7 months. It’s much less hassle than a regular risotto, and tastes just as good (I can hear Italians everywhere swearing at me for that comment 😬). This one is made with spring green veg, and finished with some toasted hazelnuts, for crunch and flavour. I know rice is a bit controversial to freeze, but as long as you cool it relatively quickly, get it in the freezer, then defrost quickly and thoroughly, I think it’s fine. It’s a very versatile recipe – you can mix the flavours up with whatever you’ve got – I also like to add mushrooms, roasted squash and sage, or mixed crab meat at the end. YUM.
Spring veg risotto
For 2 portions plus 4-6 baby size portions
50g unsalted butter
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 large courgettes, grated
250g risotto rice
Optional glass white wine
700ml chicken or vegetable stock (I use 500ml fresh chicken stock and top up with water)
125g asparagus, chopped into small pieces
2 handfuls frozen peas
basil, toasted hazelnuts and grated parmesan
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Melt the butter in an ovenproof frying pan or casserole, and add the onion and garlic. Cook on a medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes until softened but not coloured, then add the courgettes and fry on a higher heat for 2 minutes to wilt. Add the rice and stir to coat it in the butter. If you’re using it, add the wine, turn the heat up and bubble until completely reduced. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer, add the asparagus, stir and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Add the peas and give it a stir halfway through. Once cooked, stir and let it stand for a minute, then garnish with the basil, nuts and parmesan and serve.