Category Archives: School lunch

Slow Cooker Spice Rack Pork


At the beginning of winter I bought a slow cooker and a few months later I am a complete convert on nights when we are all coming and going.

The seasoning for the pork is very simple but don’t be tempted to add more liquid, it really doesn’t need any.

I love chimichurri and it goes so well here, cutting through the rich meat and adding a gorgeous splash of colour.

Serves 8. Any leftover meat freezes well with the pan juices and the boys have wraps with salad, pork and chimichurri for school in the days after we have this.

Ingredients

2kg boned pork shoulder/pork butt cut into 5-7cm dice

1 large orange, juiced

3 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons dried oregano

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Chimichurri Ingredients

20g parsley leaves

80g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

1 green chilli, deseeded

1 lime juiced

2 garlic cloves

75mls olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine all of the pork ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cook on high for six hours.

To make the chimichurri…….

Process all of the ingredients, add a little more oil if you need to.

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Chickpea Pizza Base

Another pizza base!

I love how quickly these can be made and then personalised and the base only has three ingredients, chickpea flour/besan which I always have a box of,water and salt, too easy!

This pizza is topped with passata, chorizo, Parmesan and spring onions.

To make this vegan, just use oil in your pan and select your usual toppings.

Makes 5-6 pizza bases.

Ingredients

275g chickpea flour

750mls water

Pinch of salt

Butter and or oil

Method

Measure the flour into a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and slowly whisk the water into the flour to form a very runny batter. Set aside for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, heat your grill or broiler to high.

Take a non stick, oven proof, 22/24cm frying pan and heat over medium to high heat with 10g butter and 10mls oil.

Whisk the batter, season and whisk again.

Once the butter has melted, swirl around the pan and add 200mls of batter.

Swirl the pan and pop back on the heat.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until the surface appears to dry a little.

Now slide the pan under the grill, my pan doesn’t have an oven proof handle so I have it sticking out away from the heat!

Grill for 3-4 minutes until colouring.

Now you can choose to top the pizza and grill again to melt your toppings or as I do, make all the bases and then bake them in a 210 degree Centigrade oven until the toppings have melted, less than a minute for the pizza in the picture.

Taco Coleslaw

I’ve found that the best way to get raw vegetables into the boys is make them an essential component of their tacos!

We have this coleslaw with most of our tacos, fajitas and burritos. Due to the creamy dressing I tend not to have sour cream as well, another incentive to get the boys to eat veg and not just meat and sour cream!

We love dill so there is a fair whack of it in this salad but cut it back if you aren’t a fan. I do deseeded the pickled chillis but if you love spicy food, leave them in.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

1/4 large white cabbage, very finely sliced

2 large carrots, peeled and julienned

25g fresh chives, snipped

25g dill, fronds picked and roughly chopped

2 pickled jalapeños, deseeded and finely diced

DRESSING

130mls mayonnaise

100mls sour cream

1 lime, juiced

Salt and pepper

Method

Combine the dressing ingredients.

Pour over the slaw ingredients and mix well, I use my hands.

Allow to sit for 30 minutes if you have time and then serve.


Red Chilli Rice


I love this rice for popping into burritos along with what we call taco coleslaw.

Apart from being a gorgeous colour, this rice has bags of flavour and can really stand alone if you are having it as a side dish.

Leftovers reheat well and I send the boys to school with rice filled wraps too, anything to fill them up!

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

1 x 400g tin crushed tomatoes

1 small onion, peeled and quartered

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 chipotle chilli in Adobe sauce

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried dill tips

1 lime, juiced

75g butter or oil

400g basmati rice

750mls water

Method

Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chipotle chilli, oregano, dill, lime juice and salt in a food processor and whizz to make a loose paste.

Heat the butter in a pan that you will use to cook the rice.

Pour in the tomato paste and simmer gently for 30mins until dark and thickened.

Add the rice to the pan and cook for 1 minute and then add the water, stir, cover and bring up to the boil.

Simmer for 18 minutes, turn the heat off but leave the lid on.

After 10 minute rest, remove the lid, stir the rice and serve.

Coconut and Cranberry Balls


In the days before healthy bliss balls, I can remember my Mum making a version of these, raisins instead of cranberries and dipped in chocolate. 

This recipe makes 25 balls. They are small but trust me, you don’t want them too big, these are rich sweeties!

Ingredients

110g butter

150g icing sugar

80g desiccated coconut

130g cranberries

25g 70% coco solids chocolate

Method

In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar.

Add the cranberries and coconut and pulse until combined.

Form into balls and place, spaced out, on a piece of baking parchment.

Now melt the chocolate, I cheat and melt it carefully in the microwave.

Take teaspoons of the chocolate and drizzle over the balls.

Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Swedish Meatballs With Gravy

The challenge was set by my youngest son to come up with a gluten free meatball just like Ikea’s and apparently these are winners. To make them completely authentic I serve them with mashed potato, some green Veg and a dollop of Ikea’s finest lingonberry jam!

The quantity is big but I always think that when you are going to the effort to make meatballs you should always make extra for the freezer, your hands are dirty anyway!

This recipe makes 90 meatballs with sauce and that’s enough to feed 18!!!!!

Freeze the excess in foil trays or ziplock bags with the sauce on them for a quick defrost and bake dinner another night.

Ingredients

MEATBALLS

1kg minced beef

1kg minced pork

150mls milk

60g fresh gluten free breadcrumbs

2 onions, peeled and grated

2 teaspoon dried thyme, ground in a mortar and pestle

3 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons oil

GRAVY

100g butter

6 tablespoons gluten free plain flour

1 tablespoon tomato paste

500mls red wine

1.5 litres beef stock

50mls gluten free Worcestershire sauce

275mls cream

Salt and pepper

Method

Combine the beef, pork, milk, breadcrumbs, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Use your hands to ensure that it is totally mixed.

Set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Form the meat into small balls, set aside on a third baking tray.

Heat a large frying pan, I use a 32cm pan, this is a BIG quantity, over a high heat, add the oil and once hot start frying the meatballs in batches. Cook until coloured all over and then using a slotted spoon, remove and pop them onto the prepared baking trays lined with baking parchment.

Once all of the meatballs are sealed and on the trays slide into the oven and bake for 10 minutes until cooked through.

While the meatballs are cooking make the gravy.

Add the butter to the frying pan, once melted add the flour and tomato paste, cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, scraping all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.

Now add the wine and stock, whisk over a medium heat for 7 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cream, heat through.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and either add them to the gravy or place in a serving dish and pour over the gravy. Serve hot.

 At this stage I use foil trays for the meatballs going in the freezer, pour over the gravy, chill and freeze.

Gluten Free Donuts

Unfortunately, these don’t last long in our house!

Quick to make, baked not fried and leftovers, if you have any, freeze well.

Makes 18 donuts.

Ingredients

75g Greek yogurt

3 eggs, beaten

125mls oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

110g gluten free plain flour

80g ground almonds/ almond meal

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

200g caster sugar

Icing sugar to dust

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Centigrade.

Butter the donut tins very well.

Combine the yogurt, eggs, oil and vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder and sugar.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold in.

Pour the batter into an icing bag or a large plastic bag. If using a bag, cut the corner off to create a piping bag.

Squeeze the batter out into each individual ring, no more than a third filled.

Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes.

Allow to cool a little in the tin before tipping out onto a baking rack.

Dust with a little icing sugar and serve.