Beans with Parmesan and Lemon


A simple way to cook beans that the boys love!


400g beans, topped and tailed

zest of half a lemon

20g Parmesan, finely grated

pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Lay the beans on the prepared tray in a single layer if possible.

Sprinkle over the cheese, lemon zest and pepper.

Bake in the oven for 10mins.

Cheesie Butteries


I lived in Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland for 6 years on and off and discovered the delights of Butteries, otherwise known as Aberdeen Butteries and Rowies, very quickly!

These were a breakfast treat and hard to find anywhere else in Scotland at the time.

Unfortunatley, being coeliac, Butteries had to leave my life for a while but I think, with this  gluten free option I’m as close as I will get to them!

Think a cross between a scone and buttery pastry with a little added cheese and you have this cheesie delight!

Makes 12


150g glutinous rice flour

75g chickpea/ besan flour

1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

75g butter, cubed small

200g Cheddar cheese grated

175-200ml milk

A little extra rice flour to dust with


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, chickpea flour, salt and baking powder.

Add the butter and rub in until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.

Mix in the grated cheese and make a well in the centre.

Add 175mls of milk, and gently bring together to form a dough. If it is still crumbly, add  more milk.

Flour your work surface with rice flour and flatten the dough with floured hands until its around 2cm thick. Cut out rounds and repeat, re forming the dough as you go.

Bake in the pre heated oven for 7-10 mins until golden.

Eat as soon as they are cool enough!



TexMex Jalapeño and Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs


These are a cross between Texan sausage balls and a stuffed Italian meatballs but it does work, trust me!

These are gluten free as the breadcrumb mix is based very loosely on the American style biscuit mix but using masa lista and rice flour instead, this mix makes a much lighter meatball, as if it is full of wheat breadcrumbs!

The oven has to be hot to ensure the outside of the ball seals before the mozzarella melts!

Makes 20, serves 6.


50g masa lista, Mexican corn flour

75g glutinous rice flour

1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder

50g butter

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

1-2 teaspoons chipotle chilli powder

salt and pepper

200g Cheddar, grated

1kg minced pork

20 mini fresh mozzarella balls

10 slices jalapeño chilli, pickled or fresh


In a large bowl, measure the flours and baking powder, add the cubed butter.

Rub the butter into the flours until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the smoked paprika, oregano, chipotle powder, salt, pepper and grated cheese.

Mix well and then add the minced pork, using your hands, squish the meat through the flour and cheese mix until completely combined.

Divide the meat into 20 portions.

Flatten a portion and stuff with a mozzarella ball and half a slice of jalapeño. Form into a ball ensuring a good seal. Repeat with the remaining meat.

Set the meatballs aside in a fridge for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Centigrade.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Bake the meatballs for 20-25mins until golden.

Sticky Carrots with Thyme


For years the boys would only eat raw carrots!

This way of cooking carrots brought them back to cooked carrots and the fact that they are called sticky makes them even more attractive to kids!

I like to make these when the oven  is on for something else, maybe a roast chook? I cut my carrots into discs with a corrugated knife to give the cute ridges, regular discs work a treat too or even cut into sticks, just adjust the cooking time to suit the size of your carrots.

Serves 6.


800g carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 – 1cm disc

1 tablespoon maple syrup

10mls olive oil

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a bowl, combine the carrots, maple syrup, oil, thyme, salt and pepper.

Spread over the lined baking sheets in a single layer.

Pop in the oven and bake for 20 mins.

Turn the carrots over and return to the oven for a further 15-20 mins until darkening and a little sticky.

Creamy Smoked Salmon and Pea Sauce for Pasta or Baked Potatoes


Creamy sauce, smoked salmon and peas go so well together!

The boys have theirs over pasta but for the gluten free option I allow the sauce to thicken before adding the salmon and peas and then spoon it over a baked potato, utter decadence!

Serves 4-6.


30g butter

1 large onion, sliced

250g cream cheese

700mls milk

200g smoked salmon, cut into strips

400g frozen peas, defrosted

salt and pepper

500g dried pasta


In a large frying pan over a medium to low heat, melt the butter and add the onion slices.

Cook gently until soft but not coloured, around 10mins.

Beat the cheese and 250mls of milk in a bowl until you have a creamy consistency.

Pour the cheese mix and the rest of the milk in with the onions and bring up to a gentle simmer.

Add the peas and salmon, cook until the salmon has only just lost its opaqueness.

Serve over pasta or allow to thicken a little in the pan and spoon over baked potatoes.

Baked Salmon with Noodles and Bok Choy


We all love a stir fry but I don’t think that salmon is the best fish for it so instead I bake the salmon having marinaded it in stir fry flavours and then use the marinade to flavour the noodles.

The boys eat mountains of noodles, the quantity in the recipe is very high, regular appetites might be nearer the 450g mark!

For the gluten free option I use rice noodles.

Serves 5.


5 salmon fillets, boned

50mls gluten free soy sauce or Tamari

30mls dry sherry or Chinese rice wine

Large thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated to give 25g

2 garlic cloves, grated

5 star anise

60mls sesame oil

300g Bok choy, leaves shredded, stalks cut in half lengthways

4 large spring onions, white part, finely sliced

550g dry noodles, cooked


In a dish that will fit the fish snugly, grate the ginger and garlic, add the soy sauce and sherry.

Place the salmon fillets in the marinade and turn to coat, pop the star anise into the marinade.

Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

Take a large piece of tin foil, lay it out and top with a slightly smaller piece of baking parchment.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Remove the salmon from the marinade, wipe off any excess ginger and garlic. Line the salmon fillets in the centre of the baking parchment and top with a star anise.

Bring the parchment up and over to enclose the salmon and then bring the foil up to help seal it, the fish is to bake in a mini tent.

Pop the package on a baking sheet and place in the oven, bake for 10mins, allow to sit while you finish the noodles.

Heat a large wok or frying pan over high heat, add the sesame oil, once smoking, add the marinade and cook until fragrant.

Next, add the bok choy stems and spring onions and stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the cooked noodles and bok choy leaves and stir fry for 3 mins.

Friday Night Nachos


As much as I love guacamole and salsa sometimes I can’t be bothered on a Friday night to make them to go with some corn chips.

This is a quick chilli meat fix with avocado, tomatoes and beans layered on top and all that you need to go with it is some sour cream, an easy and VERY popular meal for the boys!

I like to create a lower layer of beans and tomatoes so that even the fussiest boy will get some on his plate! Clean plates = pudding in our house!


2 tablespoons oil

1 onion, cut into thin wedges

3 cloves garlic, minced

500g minced pork

1-2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 – 1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper

10 tomatoes, deseeded and diced

2 avocados, cut into large chunks

425g tin black beans, drained

100g cheese, grated

300g corn chips, gluten free


In a large frying pan, heat the oil and cook the onion until soft.

Add the garlic and cook for 2 mins.

Break the mince into the pan and add the seasoning too.

Cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the meat is beginning to crisp a little.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and layer up the corn chips, beans, tomatoes, meat, avocado and cheese.

Bake for 10-15 mins until the cheese has melted.


Mango Chicken


I adore Indian food but to persuade the boys to eat it in their early years involved a jar of mango chutney on the table!

I seem to always have a jar or two lurking at the back of the fridge still, usually half eaten, so, this recipe evolved to use up the leftovers.

I know it might sound a bit, or possibly very, odd but this works, the chutney breaks through the creamy ness of the sauce and the boys happily eat mountains of chicken served with rice.

The chutney I buy does have a little kick to it, if yours doesn’t or you love chilli add a deseeded red chilli to the onions.

Serves 8.


2-4 tablespoons olive oil

1.6kg diced chicken, around 2-3cm

2 large onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

200g mango chutney

500mls cream

300mls milk

salt and peppers

A large bunch of coriander, roots removed, leaves picked and stems chopped


In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.

Season the chicken, in a bowl, with salt and pepper.

Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft, once soft, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Set aside.

Turn the heat under the frying pan to high. Add the chicken to the frying pan and cook, stirring frequently until sealed.

Return the onions and garlic to the pan.

Pour in the chutney, cream and milk, stir well, bring up to the boil and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Simmer, gently, uncovered for 25-30 mins until the chicken is cooked cooked through and the sauce thickened. if it thickens too quickly add a splash do milk.

Stir in the majority of coriander and then sprinkle with a few leaves over the top and serve.

Corned Beef Meatloaf


To make a change with leftover corned beef try making a loaf with it.

The trick with this loaf is that I start baking it in the tin and then turn it onto a baking sheet so that I can glaze a larger surface for extra crunch and sweetness.


1kg leftover cooked corned beef, shredded fairly finely

2 carrots, peeled and grated

2 onions, finely diced

4 tablespoons tomato ketchup

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, crushed

6 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper


6 tablespoons tomato ketchup

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment or a loaf tin liner.

In a large bowl, combine the meat loaf ingredients.

Press the meat loaf into the tin and smooth the surface.

Combine the glaze ingredients and brush a little, lightly, over the loaf.

Bake in the oven for 40 mins.

Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Carefully, tip the loaf onto the baking sheet so the top now becomes the bottom.

Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the glaze.

Pop back in the oven for 20mins, re glaze and return to the oven for a further 10-15mins to crisp the glaze up.

Honey Mustard Roast Chicken


Simple and effective, this is a dead easy way to roast a chicken!

I always roast two chooks now as we seem to get through the meat quickly in salads, risotto and sandwiches. It also means I have two sets of bones to make stock, the stock from this recipe goes beautifully with a simple carrot soup as the honey still adds a sweetness in the stock.

It may sound like a bit of a pain covering the chooks with soaked baking parchment but this stops the meat sticking to the sides of the roasting tin and foil . This roast is quick to go from golden to black due to the honey so keep an eye on it once the foil and paper come off!

If you are gluten free, double check your mustard ingredients, just in case!

The recipe is for two chickens but halves easily.


2 x 2.2kg chickens, washed and dried with paper towel

100ml runny honey

120ml Dijon mustard

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Combine the honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Place the chickens in your roasting tin and brush with the honey marinade. Set aside the leftover marinade for later.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Take a large piece of baking parchment, big enough to cover the chickens and tuck down the sides of the tin, crunch it up under running water.

Place the parchment over the chickens, tucking in the sides.

Cover with tin foil and seal.

Pop the chicken in the oven and roast for 2 hours.

Remove the foil and paper, brush the chicken again with the honey mix and pop back in the oven for 20mins.

Repeat the basting and again roast until the skin is darkening, around 10 mins.

Allow to rest before carving.