Winter is definitely here. The calendar tells me so, but much more telling is how many times I’ve had to cancel plans lately because one of us is sick. I’ve been in a miserable state for over a week now. Both the kids have been running from the nose, coughing through the night and juuust grizzly enough to keep me constantly on my toes (wishing I could find a dark corner to rock in, if I’m honest).
When we are a healthy bunch of bananas, I’m a pretty enthusiastic person and I always put effort into the things I consider part of my ‘job’. One of these tasks is putting a decent, nutritious meal on the table. I keep the boredom at bay by trying something new most nights, normally from the Healthy Food Guide.
When I’m sick, I turn into a total sook. I have always hated being sick, but feeling terrible with two kids is a new kind of hell. Murphy’s Law dictates the kids will be on their worst behaviour when their mother has a bright red Rudolph nose and sounds like Darth Vader.
So while I’m throwing myself a pity party (calling my mum for maximum sympathy) I treat myself to a bit of a break by making some easy meals. I can’t quite bring myself to be a ‘heat up a frozen pizza’ kind of mum, although wouldn’t the kids love me for it. I just go back to basics and make something simple enough to throw together before the Lemsip buzz wears off. Here are two of my favourites:
Boston Baked Beans
Recipe from the Healthy Food Guide – find it here
Beans, beans, the magical fruit! I love this recipe with a passion and have made it half a million times. It’s so quick, the ingredients are easy to keep in stock and you can jazz it up any way you like. We use bacon, ham, chorizo, salami, spicy pulled pork. Follow this recipe and you’ll have a big ol’ batch of beans which can be eaten lots ways. Try them on toast for breakfast, in a salad-filled wrap for lunch or as a taco filling for dinner. They’re equally as delicious on their own with some crusty garlic bread.
This is my mum’s recipe and we had it a lot as kids. Just like the beans, you can throw this together in no time and use up all sorts of bits and bobs from your fridge. The cup of cheese is not the healthiest, but I love my quiche to be a cheese-fest – balanced out by some saintly spinach or broccoli.
Whisk together 4 eggs and 1 and ½ cups of milk, adding salt and pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 a cup of flour, 1 and 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1 cup of grated cheese. Mix the two together and then add whatever takes your fancy. I always use up any ham or chorizo floating around in the fridge, as well as mushrooms, spinach, broccoli (cut the florets really small), grated zucchini or carrot, asparagus, tomatoes…
Cook at 180 for 35-45 minutes, until the top bounces back when touched and is a golden brown colour. Serve with salad and some delicious chutney!