There’s only so much pasta, breaded chicken and fish fingers that I can eat when I’m tight on time, so I’ve decided to make the most of my slow cooker and lovely Le Creuset pots and make food ahead of time. It takes a bit of planning but I’ve found that with just a bit of prep you can pop it all in a pan and have a lovely meal ready for dinner without really thinking of it.
I grew up on a lot of pork stews of some sort or another so I thought I would give pork another go (I generally think pork and dry pork chops to come to mind) so here’s a quick and easy recipe that can be made ahead ready to be eaten or frozen and kept for another day.
- 400g chopped pork (stewing pork or pork belly is best)
- 1 red onion
- 2 peppers sliced (red and yellow)
- 200g button mushrooms
- 400g plum tomatoes
- 200ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp crushed chillies (optional)
- 1 packet of spinach (optional)
You’ll also need an oven proof dish. I use a Le Creuset dish that you can use on the gas hob and then the oven but you could do the first steps in a frying pan and then move it to an oven proof dish with a lid for the main cooking part.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C fan
- On the hob in a frying pan or the oven proof dish, fry the onion until soft and then add the pork and brown lightly
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook gently for 10 minutes
- Put the lid on the dish and pop in the oven for 1.5 – 2 hours or until the pork is tender
- Stir in the spinach and serve with potatoes or rice
- If you find the pork is drying out, add some extra stock
- Add extra vegetables – root vegetables work well as they don’t disintegrate when they’re cooked for a long time or add some other vegetables like spinach, peas, sweetcorn etc near the end of the cooking time
- Add more paprika or chilli to your taste
Sometimes cereal or toast won’t cut it for breakfast and this is when pancakes are the best idea! Here’s a super quick recipe for pancakes which you can whip up for a breakfast treat. I added blueberries and chopped banana to the batter but you can add whatever you like – strawberries, raspberries, chocolate chips or anything else that you may fancy. I slathered mine with maple syrup!
150g Plain Flour
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbornate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
10g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp melted butter
Mix all your ingredients together until you get a smooth batter. Add your fruit or additions of your choice.
Heat a pan and brush with butter
Drop a few tablespoons of batter in the pan and when little bubbles start to appear on the surface of the pancakes you can flip them over. A couple of minutes on each side will do (depending on the size of your pancakes)
Enjoy hot with maple syrup!
I’m a massive brownies fan but never really tried blondies, I mean what’s the point if they don’t have chocolate right!? Well I decided to branch out and try out some blondies and added some rolos for a chocolate caramel hit.
These rolo brownies were super easy to make, require just one bowl which means less washing up and you don’t even need a mixer so you can just whip up a batch super quickly!
- You can substitute the rolos for any chocolate of choice
- Make sure that the chocolate isn’t too small as it will melt and just burn
- Don’t overcook your brownies, as soon as they look like they’re getting a crispy top take them out of the oven. They tend to continue cooking when you take them out and they’re also brownies so should be gooey in the middle
- They keep really well for up to a week (that’s if you have any left after a day!!) so pop them in a tin to keep them fresh
Makes 16 rolo blondies
115g (4oz) butter
150g (7oz) soft light brown sugar
50G (2oz) caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g rolos (approx 4 packets)
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a brownie or rectangular tin (approx 15cm x 10cm)
- In a bowl melt the butter and then add the sugars and egg and mix together until smooth and there are no lumps
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix until fully combined
- Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for 20-25 minutes until the top begins to form a crust, the centre should be slightly gooey
- Allow to cool and then cut into squares, perfect with a cup of tea or glass of milk!