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Posts tagged ‘family meal recipe’

Lemon and Garlic Pan-Fried Sea Bass

Lemon and Garlic Pan-Fried Sea BassWell it hasn’t exactly been barbecue weather recently so I opted to pan-fry this yummylicious fish instead! Sea bass is by far one of my absolute FAVOURITE fishes. As with all fish it’s quick to cook, tastes delicious, and barbecues really well too. Whilst it is a fab source of protein, is low in fat, and packed with omega-3 fatty acids – the Department of Health recommends eating sea bass as a ‘treat’ as it contains similar levels of pollutants as oily fish. So whilst it is safe for children occasionally, it’s best to cook with alternative fishes such as white fish (cod, coley, pollack, haddock) if you like to cook fish for your family on a regular basis. Feel free to use my marinade with white fish too – it tastes great! Enjoy!!

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Back to Reality | Crumbly Beef Goulash

This week was back to reality with a GIANT THUD being my first week back at work after the Christmas and New Year’s break. The holidays feel like a dream now and I find that I’m dragging myself around the office with a serious case of the holiday blues. That said, I like to look at the holiday blues as a positive, so here is my personal diagnosis of what the holiday blues is really about.

holiday blues quote

There you go… do my words of wisdom help you feel a little better about getting back into the old routine??

Anyway, old routine resumed (grudgingly) and the quick family meal recipes are once again back in demand. So I cooked this beef goulash recipe last night after work. It’s a Hungarian classic with a dash of Indian spices to make this a delish family meal.

crumbly beef goulash

I call this goulash a ‘crumbly’ goulash because I’ve chosen to use minced beef in this recipe over the usual chunks of beef so it’s much quicker from stove to table. And this satisfying, hassle-free meal and is even quicker because you simply serve it up with a freshly baked baguette from the supermarket. Or other alternatives are:

  1. Part-baked baguettes which you can buy from the supermarket. I LURVE these – ready in 10mins, warm, soft and fluffy straight from the oven. They keep in the cupboard for a few weeks too so a great purchase for your food cupboard.
  2. Garlic bread. Definitely not the traditional way to serve this meal but it tastes good so I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Another one that keeps for a while… just whack it in your freezer.

Finally just before I get to the recipe, here’s my usual summary of the superfoods and superspices included in this meal:

SuperFoods included – olive oil, onion, garlic, tomatoes, green bell pepper, yogurt
SuperSpices included – paprika, cardamom, black pepper, cayenne pepper (if used)

Total cooking and preparation time: 35-40mins
Serves a family of 4

Drizzle of olive oil
500g (1lb 2oz.) lean mined beef – washed, drained
1 onion – peeled, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. ground paprika
2 cardamom pods – green, crushed
1 x 400g (14 oz.) can of chopped tomatoes
120g (4 oz.) macaroni pasta
250ml (8 fl oz. / 1 cup) of water
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 green bell pepper – washed, de-seeded, diced
Salt to taste (optional)
Ground cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Greek style yogurt – to serve

Heat the oil in a pan, add the mince and stir-fry until browned (approx. 10mins).

Add the onions, garlic, paprika and cardamom and cook for 2mins. Then add the tomatoes, macaroni, water, black pepper. Stir, cover and simmer for 7mins.

Add the bell pepper, stir, cover and continue to simmer for a further 7-8mins until the peppers, macaroni and beef are all cooked.

Serve with a dollop of greek style yogurt and a baguette of your choice.

Tip: If you want to add salt and chillies to your serving but don’t want to include any in your kids meals, simply remove a serving or two from the main pot and set aside for the kids. Then feel free to add salt and chillies to the main pot and stir.

Rainbow Protein Udon Noodle Stir-fry (Chicken or Tofu)


I got home from work yesterday at 5.45pm and thought “crap! I haven’t prepared any dinner for tonight!”

To give you a bit of background I like to cook up a couple of big family meals on a Sunday and keep them in the fridge (or freezer). Then each evening I simply heat up (or thaw and heat up) a meal and serve it to the family. At least this way I know we are always eating home-cooked food even though I am at work four days a week.

Anyway I ransacked my fridge, cupboard and freezer and these are the ingredients I found.


I took a long hard look at the ingredients staring back at me and thought “okay, the ingredients have spoken… tonight is going to be stir-fry night.”

The longest part of this stir-fry is the chopping to be honest. Cooking it is very quick, only takes about 15 minutes.

The benefits:

SuperFoods included – olive oil, garlic, ginger, red/ yellow bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, lime
SuperSpices included – coriander

This family meal is loaded with vitamin C (from the broccoli and bell peppers), vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene (carrots), protein (chicken or tofu for substitute). Garlic is also anti-viral, helping to keep colds and flu away which might be useful for the forthcoming change in weather.

rainbow udon noodle

Total preparation time: 15mins
Total cooking time: 15mins

Serves a family of 4

Drizzle of olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced ginger
Handful of fresh coriander – washed and torn with hands
2 x chicken breast fillets – fresh (or frozen like mine) – thawed in microwave, washed, sliced
1 x red bell pepper – washed, deseeded, finely sliced
1 x yellow bell pepper – washed, deseeded, finely sliced
2 x medium carrots – peeled, washed, finely sliced into strips
400g (14oz.) frozen broccoli florets –  washed, chopped
2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
Squeeze of half lime – ensuring no seeds fall in
1 tbsp. cornflour
3 x 150g (5oz.) packs of udon thick noodles – straight to wok

Heat the oil in a wok on medium-high heat and add the garlic, ginger and fresh coriander. Stir-fry for 1-1 ½mins then add the chicken or tofu. Stir-fry until chicken is sealed (approx. 7-8mins).

Add all the vegetables to the wok along with the soy sauce, lime juice and stir-fry continuously for 5mins.

Mix the cornflour in a cup with 3 tbsps of water and add to the stir-fry to thicken the sauce.

Add the udon noodles and stir-fry for a further 2mins.

Serve to kids warm and for those who enjoy a little heat, garnish with chilli flakes.

Note: Substitute the chicken for 300g (11oz.) packet of firm tofu for a vegetarian meal.

Tip: Always keep cornflour in the cupboard. If you are ever cooking anything and think “wow this is tasty”, but oh “no, it’s too watery”, whack in a bit of cornflour mixture and suddenly your watery meal turns into a lush tasty sauce.