Tag Archives: toddlers

Tuna, Spinach and Potato Salad

So, I am sheepishly adding this distinctly non-vegetarian recipe to the blog because it genuinely is so tasty and is one of the first meals I ever invented. Generally I don’t eat much fish but sometimes I just can’t resist. Steak? Don’t get the big fuss over it at all. Chicken? Way too paranoid about food poisoning to ever truly enjoy it. Pork? My history teacher once told me that this is what human flesh tastes like so….no. Bacon? Oh okay, you got me there. Like a big fat walking cliche, bacon is a temptation that is truly a struggle to resist. But there is just something about fish, it makes me feel healthy. Even if my so-called healthy dinners are followed by ice cream or, er, an entire week’s worth of advent calendar chocolate.

Am I the only one who just isn’t very good at the whole Christmas thing? I am keeping up the festive charade for the sake of Ivy, bless her greedy present-obsessed little heart, but if it were up to me I would gladly trade Christmas for an entire year of summertime instead. Yesterday I decided to buy an expensive Christmas candle off Amazon in an attempt to feel less Scrooge-like but I accidentally ordered it to our old house address in totally different city and by the time I emailed the seller to change the address they had already dispatched it, so the new tenants are going to be receiving a nice little Christmas gift from old Scrooge over here. That certainly didn’t help my Christmas cheer!

But I AM good at buying presents. Well, I am shit at buying presents for friends and family (not as bad as my boyfriend who, 2 years ago, kindly bought me an M&M dispenser and a book by someone he knows I hate) but when it comes to kids toys, I am in the zone. Where I lack in genuine festive spirit, I make up for in genuine materialistic consumerism. And I am definitely not alone there, right?!

Luckily, it seems that Ivy is more of a festive soul than myself – as evidenced by the fact that she spotted these in Tesco a few days ago and has pretty much refused to take them off since. Look how CASUAL she is about it, like this has been her life’s calling all along:

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So seeing her young and innocent enthusiasm for the holiday as made me a little more determined to muster up some myself this year. This weekend will be spent Christmas tree decorating, mince pie making, watching A Muppets Christmas Carol (the superior Christmas film, I can no longer watch Home Alone without thinking about that tragic bee sting scene in My Girl…URGH see how bad I am at this?!) and going to a kids Christmas disco on Sunday, which also happens to be her daddy’s birthday. Maybe I’ll get him drunk and convince him to sit on Santa’s lap and request a present. Nothing could get me in the holiday mood more than seeing that.¬†

This salad is a great lunch or a good side dish to a homemade pizza or something. Does Pizza Express exist in the US? If not, I am sure any fairly creamy salad dressing would taste just as good.

Tuna, spinach and potato salad (serves 4)

185g tin of tuna in spring water, drained and separated with a fork

1/2 red pepper and 1/2 orange pepper, chopped

50g green beans

6-8 new potatoes, sliced

200g bag baby leaf spinach, washed

Pizza Express light olive oil dressing

Bring pan of water to boil and add new potatoes and green beans, simmer until tender. Place the spinach in a salad bowl, mix in the peppers and tuna, then add the potatoes and green beans on top. Drizzle with salad dressing and serve as a side to dinner or a slice of warm ciabatta bread for lunch.

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So, terrible meal for a true vegetarian, delicious meal for the rest of us flakes.

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Sweet Potato Cakes

So, we are here. Ivy is already completely in love with Brighton, as are we. The only catch being that our landlord seems to have the most questionable taste in decor I have ever seen, but thankfully has allowed us to change it as much as we like Рso we are staying with my mum while Dom makes it semi acceptable. When and how could anyone  ever think that royal blue walls and green carpets look good together? I totally imagined my first summer in Brighton relaxing in the sun on our local beach but thanks to this crappy weather we have been stuck inside for the most part, slowly developing cabin fever.

This isn’t my own recipe, and it is due to Ivy’s grabby hands that I found it. My mum has a freakishly large collection of recipe books (despite the fact that I can recall her making no more than 3 of the recipes since I was, I don’t know, 3) and Ivy is completely OBSESSED with Jamie Oliver’s cheeky little face. She stands by the books constantly pointing at him going ‘J-J!’ and trying to feed and kiss him – its weird and adorable in equal measure. So yesterday she was pulling out all the recipe books and placed an old Waitrose recipe card on my lap and I thought that anything with the words ‘sweet potato’ and ‘cake’ sound right up Ivy’s street. It would be a nice change to the usual sweet potato wedges that I make every time I’m feeling lazy.

Grating the sweet potato took fucking forever but you could be not as cheap as me and invest in a food processor, next time I think I’ll prepare them when Ivy is in bed and keep them chilled in the oven, I served them with veggie sausages and peas but they would make a great healthy lunch too. I only made half the recipe but they were so popular I will definitely make the full batch next time!

Sweet Potato Cakes

750g sweet potato, grated

100g goat’s cheese, crumbled

1 small onion, finely sliced and halved

1 garlic clove, minced or finely chopped

Oil

2 medium eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 220c. Heat oil in a pan and add onion and garlic until softened and browned. Add sweet potato, eggs and goat’s cheese and stir until mixed, shape into cakes (could make 4 large cakes but I made 8 mini ones). Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25-30 minutes.

So we may have a house of mismatched colours and the rainiest July on record, but it could be worse, right?

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Stewed Apple with Manuka Honey

So I have a poorly Ivy this week. I hate seeing her feel rubbish but hey, its an excuse to stay in pyjamas and watch Peter Pan on the laptop so Ivy is coping, little soldier

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It is so tough when they aren’t old enough to verbalise how they are feeling, but going by the fact that she had a temperature last night, a little puke and has been refusing to eat any solid foods today I am guessing that she has some kind of throat infection. Feeding her a cup a soup (her first full sentence today was ‘more soup please’, after saying ‘more please soup’ about 5 times) I just NEEDED to get some vitamins into her, watch her gulp down those horrid salty crappy tasting soups was painful for me.

So I decided to make some stewed apple, then remembered the manuka honey sitting in my cupboard, unused after all those months ago when my mum called me repeatedly and barked the health benefits at me until I finally relented and bought a jar to appease her. Apparently manuka honey is great for healing wounds, sore throats and other general cold and flu symptoms. Usually, I am a bit skeptical of anything that claims to miraculously heal you and make you live to 100 when the prices are usually insanely high, but I figured it was worth a try and it would probably make the stew taste a little nicer anyway.

Here is the very simple recipe. It feels like kind of a waste of a post but given that I haven’t cooked anything for 2 days it was either this or instructions on how to boil water and stir it into soup mix.

Stewed Apple with Manuka Honey (serves 2)

2 dessert apples; I used pink ladies

1 teaspoon cinnamon

15g raisins

1 tablespoon manuka honey

75ml water

Peel and core apple and chop into small cubes. Place the apple in a small saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until very soft and mushy, stirring occasionally. Next time I make this, I think I’ll try sprinkling some oats and adding a dollop of greek honey and the end, so I can trick myself into thinking I’m eating apple pie.

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It went down well

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As a side note, has anyone else watched Peter Pan recently? I don’t remember him being such an asshole, geez.

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