Friday, 21 October 2016

FrubesMoves Challenge with BritMums

My daughter has grown so much since my last post (not just physically, but personality wise too). She is becoming more independent and it's ever more important that I encourage her to make healthy food choices and influence good food habits. As I have been vitamin D deficient for most of my adult life, I try to ensure my daughter gets enough vitamin D and calcium (calcium helps the body to absorb vitamin D) through her diet and by spending some time safely in the sun. 

As the days get colder and wetter and winter fast approaches, it's not as easy to spend days out at the park to get a dose of vitamin D and some exercise. That's why I jumped at the chance to take part in the Frubes moves challenge with BritMums!

Frubes contain vitamin D and calcium, have no added colours or artificial sweeteners, are suitable for vegetarians, and can keep out of the fridge for up to 8 hours, making them a great healthy snack for kids (and adults too). They are also available in 4 great flavours - Strawberry, Red Berry, Peach, and Banana. 

Frubes have also teamed up with The Angry Birds Movie to encourage families to get dancing and have fun! On the Frubes website you'll find a fun Angry Birds dance game where you get to stage "dance offs" between the characters to see who the best dancer is. There are downloadable masks that you can print out so that you can join in the dance off fun too and get into character! My daughter has loved showing off her own dance moves that she learns from her ballet and modern dance classes - my partner and I have enjoyed getting involved and showing off our (probably very embarrassing) moves too. It is safe to say our little dancer won our dance competitions hands down!

Frubes and The Angry Birds movie are also offering a chance to win some fantastic prizes with promotional packs that include a weekly prize draw to win a selection of Angry Birds Movie merchandise, and grand prize of a family holiday in the Bahamas (sun = more vitamin D).

A healthy, enjoyable snack that kids love and encourages them to get active? What's not to love!

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes < >

Friday, 12 February 2016

Small Steps, Big Changes

It's been such a long time since my last blog post; so much has happened in our lives since then (some good, some bad) and I am so happy to be back with you to hopefully inspire you to get the most of out family life.

I've been on a roller-coaster journey this last year and have had some real highs and lows. There are things I've learned that are helping to attract more positivity into our lives, and this particular post comes at a very apt time as Valentines day approaches.

Whether you go in for the flowers, cards, chocolates, special dinners or not, all relationships, especially those where you are parents, are so important to support a healthy family lifestyle. With increasing pressures in society, it's easy to put your partnership on the back burner while you help your children with homework, make the dinner, wash the dishes do the washing, pack the lunch, catch up on that report for work etc. By the time this is all done, where is the head space and energy left for moments to connect with your partner?

I certainly don't think there is a code that can be cracked to solve this one, although there ARE things that we can start adopting into our lives to help us be just that little bit more positive about the hectic lives we lead; which in turn, brings down the stress volume and gives us a bit more energy to make more of an effort to connect with our partners.

This post really only scratches the surface but hopefully by following these two basic principals, you should start to notice a positive step change in your lives.

1) Learn to love yourself. This isn't about vanity or thinking you are above anyone else. It's focusing on and taking the time to think of all your great personality traits to remind yourself that hey, you are actually a good person that deserves happiness. Example - "I am kind" or "I am courageous" and then follow that up with reasons to "prove" those statements to yourself , example "I went the extra mile I help a colleague out at work" or "I moved to a new company/city/country and started a new life" etc. The theory is, the more you focus on the positive, the happier you feel within yourself and in turn the people around you will feel happier too.

2) Help your partner to love themselves. Not only will your partner benefit personally as mentioned above, this also helps you to focus more on the great things you love about your partner which in turn can strengthen your relationship (when things are tough elsewhere in your lives, you generally tend to focus more on your partners traits that are not so great!) Everyday think of something you love about them and, either say it, send it as a text or write a little note and leave it where they can find it at home. They'll start to see through your eyes what you love about them and it will help them to register in  their minds aspects of their personality that they should be proud of.

Once you both get into the habit of reminding yourselves of your wonderful qualities, hopefully it will mean the start of even more happy times together as a couple and ultimately as a family unit.


Monday, 16 March 2015

Light Bites

It has to be said, over the last few days it really feels like Spring is nearly here! I can't wait for the days to be longer and the weather to warm up - we love getting out as a family, exploring and having picnics. This super quick and easy recipe is great to have as a light lunch on a weekend or during half term and you can get really adventurous with your fillings; it would also make a great addition to a picnic when the weather well and truly warms up.

My little one loved helping me cut out the pastry, spreading the filling, adding the cheese and squishing the parcels together. They tasted absolutely delicious and we shall definitely be experimenting with different flavours.

We ended up having ours with carrot and cucumber sticks with some houmous. 


Makes approximately 12 small puffs    Prep time: 10-15 minutes   Cook time: 10-15 minutes


1/2 jar of Sacla Sun dried tomato paste
100g of grated medium cheddar cheese
x 1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry
Small fluted scone cutter
30 mls of semi-skimmed milk


o  Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6
o  Line a large baking tray with parchment paper
o  Unroll your pastry onto the baking sheet and using your cutters to cut out 24 round circles and place on your baking try lined with parchment paper
o Use a teaspoon to add a small amount of the sun dried tomato paste to all of the cut out pastry shapes
o  Add a small amount of the grated cheese to half of the cut out pastry shapes (you may need to break the cheese up into smaller pieces) and place another pastry tomato side down and pinch all around with your fingers until they are sealed
o Repeat this with the rest of your pastry until you've made 12 puffs
o Using a basting brush, baste milk the puffs on the to tops and the sides of each puff
o  Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the pastry turns golden brown
o  Whilst your pastry is cooking, cut up some veg, e.g. carrot and cucumber, into sticks and serve with a dollop or two of houmous

Make it go further: If you like your pastry a little thinner or you just want to make more puffs (like we did!) use a rolling pin to roll out your ready made pastry even thinner, then cut out your shapes. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Greek New Year's Cake Recipe - Vasilopita

So, the New Year, 2015 is here. I hope you all enjoyed the festivities over Christmas and are back into the swing of things. It's been a while since I've posted as life has been incredibly busy for us (as I'msure it has been for everyone) and I have really missed posting. The reason I started this blog was to give something back to others, whether that be by sharing a recipe or suggested days out or activities to enjoy with your families. 

It may seem counter intuitive to post a cake recipe in January when this is the month that most start a health kick, however, this cake is not only delicious, it's not extremely indulgent either and is also a tradition for us Greeks. Vasilopita (St. Basil's bread) is a bread/cake hybrid infused with orange which is baked with a foil wrapped coin inside it; it is traditionally served on New Year’s Day. There are a few different versions of the biblical tale and the story of St. Basil and the tradition of baking a cake with a foil wrapped coin in it. When I was little, my folks always told me that the person who finds the coin will have success in the New Year ahead. 

I am sure you and your families will enjoy this recipe. It is my own and I hope you love it. 

Enjoy Cx

Serves:  10-12   Prep time:  15 mins   Cook time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes cooling time


110 ml vegetable oil 
150g caster sugar 
240g self-raising flour (sieved) 
2 tsp baking powder (sieved) 
3 large eggs 
150g flaked almonds (optional) 
Juice of 1 orange 
Rind of 1 orange 
2 tbsp brandy (optional) 
Grease proof paper 
X 1 pound coin (washed in hot, soapy water then wrapped up super tight in kitchen foil)


o Preheat your oven to 195c/170c fan/gas mark 5 and line a cake tin with the grease proof paper - I use a silicone Bundt mould to make this cake as it is designed to make turning out cakes really easy without the need to use grease proof paper - you can buy one here
o Mix and beat the oil and the sugar
o If using flaked almonds, place them in a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin until most are broken up
o Place the almonds on a baking tray and place in the oven for around 5-8 minutes, checking regularly until they are golden brown colour (make sure they don't burn!)
o Whilst waiting for the almonds to brown, beat the eggs and then add this, along with the orange rind orange juice, and brandy to the oil and sugar mixture - mix well.
o Add your flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients and fold in gently.
o Take your almonds out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes then stir into your cake mixture
o Add your cake mixture to your tin lined with greaseproof baking paper.
o Lightly dust your foil wrapped coin in flour and put into the cake batter until it sinks in completely
o Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Check the cake is cooked  through by inserting a sharp knife or skewer into it. If it comes out clean, it's ready!
o Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then finish off with a dusting of sieved icing sugar to decorate

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Autumn Warmer - Chicken, Potato & Chorizo bake

The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, there is a chill in the air and every time we go shopping our little one gets excited at seeing pumpkins and Halloween costumes that have appeared in the supermarket. Autumn has truly arrived, and today was the first day in a long time that we felt like making a tea that would warm us up and we loved it! This is another recipe that can be slightly adjusted - you could use chicken thighs, add more vegetables (tomatoes or aubergines) or adjust the herbs and spices. Our recipe below worked out at about £2.55 per portion (approx.)

This one is completely new for us (we were experimenting) and we were so pleased at how it turned out . If you do try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.


Serves 4   Prep time: 10 mins   Cook time: 60 minutes


400g Maris Piper potatoes
4 x Chicken breasts
4 tablespoons of olive oil
150g  diced cooking chorizo
4 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 x red onion
4 tablespoons red wine
Zest of 1/2 of an orange
Pepper & salt for seasoning

For the salad:

100g of cherry tomatoes
80g of cucumber
120g pre-packed salad
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of olive oil
Small squeeze of lemon juice
Pepper for seasoning


o Preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.
o In a large non-stick roasting dish add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, some pepper and pinch of salt
o Coat chicken breasts with 3 tablespoons of smoked paprika and 1 tablespoon of olive oil
o Cut your potatoes into evenly sized small chunks, add these to your dish along with your chicken and the orange zest (for added crispiness, you can par boil your potatoes for 5 minutes then stir with a fork and touch of butter before adding to the dish)
o Roughly chop your onion
o Place the potatoes and the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes.
o Remove the dish from the oven and add your diced chorizo, red onion, red wine and another tablespoon of smoked paprika, stir thoroughly and return to the oven for 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. You may want to check on your chicken half way through the cooking time to baste the chicken breasts with the juices from the dish to keep it moist.
o When you have 5 minutes left on the timer remaining, prepare your salad.

This post is an entry for #FluffyMarisPiper Linky Challenge sponsored by Potato Council. Learn more at

*Prices per portion are approximate, are correct at time of posting & only include ingredients. Prices will vary depending on where you shop.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Saving Time and Money

It feels strange that I've not posted for quite a while. It's been quite a busy few months for us as we recently went on a family holiday. It's something that we've not been able to afford to do for a long time. Since we found out we were going to be parents, we've been saving as much as we can to try and get our feet on the property ladder and, as we all may well know, holiday's in the UK and abroad are becoming increasingly expensive. Which is why as soon as I put the deposit down for the holiday, I instantly regretted it. It all of a sudden hit me that the expense of the holiday isn't just the flights and accommodation; it's the summer clothes to buy, the spending money, the sun cream, mosquito repellent and so on. It's not as if we didn't deserve a bit of sunshine and some quality family time together, but when you have been living in your parents house for 6 years whilst trying to raise a family and a deposit for a property, jetting away on a holiday is not of the highest priority.

The deed was done though and the holiday had been purchased - there was no going back; so I had to try and eliminate any bad feelings and try to look forward to it. A whole week, just the three of us, no work, and lots of sunshine. I then started thinking about different ways we could be savvy shoppers leading up to the holiday; to save us some dosh when we did the weekly shop or started buying holiday clothes. Now, I love a voucher code, however I am not one of these people who buys stuff just because there is a voucher/saving out there, as that would defeat the object of trying to save some cash! If I have made up my mind that I need to purchase something I will search the Internet for a deal or voucher.

By doing so, I saved around £100 in discounts on stuff I was planning to buy anyway for the holiday. I also did this for the first time last Christmas and calculated a saving of around £250 on presents I was planning to buy anyway! I know there are a lot of websites and blogs out there that you can search to find good deals and online discount codes, however, I thought I would share some of my best picks of the deals out there at the moment that will be of interest to those with families. Just to help others like us who may be counting the pennies.

Here are the top 5 I've rounded up this week - I hope you find them useful!


20% on Birthday presents for your little ones at ELC! - register here for the Birthday Club
No expiry stated - it is recommended that you register at least 8 weeks before your little one's birthday

12 % at Kickers - enter mvc1 at the checkout (also try code pandpforfree for added free delivery bonus!)
Expires 10.10.2014

20% on adults shoes and bags at Clarks - enter BSHOE at the checkout
Expires 12.10.2014

20% off home and furniture at Tesco  - enter TDX-CVKP at the checkout
Expires 26.10.2014

35% off The Body Shop orders - enter 14317 at the checkout
Expires 07.10.2014

Please remember that terms and conditions and certain product restrictions apply when using voucher codes online. I receive weekly emails with offers/discounts and want to round up a small selection for you, to try and save you time searching for offers. Full voucher details, please visit or 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Home-made Takeaway

Now this blog isn't supposed to be just about food, although with the school holidays fast approaching, I am trying out new recipes to help bring more variety to mealtimes. I tried this one on Sunday after a lovely day at a local park with my daughter and it was an absolute winner for all of us. Ok, half the food on the plate was bought ready made from a supermarket, but who says you can't cheat on the weekends sometimes?

You also could try this on a Saturday night instead of reaching for the take away menu - picking up a similar meal from a restaurant could set you back £10-£12 each! Following this recipe (that feeds four very generously) will only set you back approx. £3.00* each and it will be ready in 30 minutes from start to finish. Which means you'll have more money to put towards days out with the kids.

As we say in Greek - Καλή όρεξη!! (Kalí óreksi!) - Bon appétit!


Serves 4   Prep time: 5 mins   Cook time: 20 minutes


460g Chicken Fillets cut into chunks
1 x packet of Schwartz Grillmates Mojito Lime spice (or any other other herbs and spices that you like - Schwartz Perfect Shake Chicken Seasoning is also nice - just sprinkle on to your taste)
1 x tablespoon of olive oil
180g packet of antipasti Olives (we bought ones that were flavoured with sweet pepper & basil)
300g ready made potato salad
300g ready made coleslaw
250g ready made vegetable cous cous
4 x sweetcorn cobettes
4 x wholemeal pittas


o Preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.
o Chop your chicken breast into chunks and add your spices and olive oil so that all the chicken is covered well.
o Transfer to an oven proof dish and place in the oven - cook for approx. 20 minute until the chicken is cooked through (you'll want to stir the pieces to turn them half way through.)
o Once the chicken has been cooking for about 10 minutes, boil a medium sized pan half filled with water. Add a pinch of salt and add your sweetcorn cobettes. Cook for approx 5-6 minutes
o Toast your pitta breads and add the salads to your plates ready for when the chicken in cooked through and ready to serve.

P.S. The instructions on the Schwartz Grillmates Mojito Lime spice suggests mixing white rum and olive with the spices - we mixed the spices with olive oil only and it still tasted great!

*Prices per portion are approximate, are correct at time of posting & only include ingredients. Prices will vary depending on where you shop.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Sweet Chilli and Crispy Chicken Tortillas

This post is an entry for the #MorrisonsMum Summer Recipe eBook Challenge sponsored by Morrisons, which has recently cut prices on over a thousand every day products. Find out more here price checker tool. We hope you enjoy this light summer family meal as much as we do!

It's officially summer! Say hello to longer sunshine-y day's, ice cream, barbecues and picnics in the park. With the summer holidays now fast approaching, for me it'll be a case of cooking easy family meals that require as little time in the kitchen as possible so that more time can be spent enjoying the wonderful British summer with my family. Even if it does rain every now and again!

This toddler tested and approved recipe is a great way to contribute to their five a day. The main reason I love this meal so much is that it is so versatile. You can encourage your little one to let you know which veggies and sauce they'd like before you make it. My little one chose beetroot, sweetcorn and lettuce for hers (no sauce), whilst her dad and I opted for sweetcorn, lettuce, mixed peppers and sweet chilli sauce. Getting the little ones involved will go some way in making sure that at the end of the meal, all you see is empty plates. Feel free to change it up and experiment!

This recipe comes out at approximately £2.02 per portion if you buy Morrisons own brand products.


Serves 4   Prep time: 10 mins   Cook time: 20-25 minutes


400g Morrisons British Chicken Breast Steaks
Morrisons Little Gem Lettuce (pack of 2)
Morrisons Sweet Chilli Sauce
x1 packet of soft flour tortillas 
x1 red, green & yellow peppers
x1 tin of sweetcorn
Half a packet of golden breadcrumbs
80g plain flour
80 ml semi skimmed milk
8 tbsp of sunflower/vegetable oil


o Wash and prep your chosen vegetables and set to one side.
o Place the flour and the milk in separate bowls.
o Grab a plate and sprinkle half a packet of breadcrumbs onto one side of the plate.
o Cut your chicken steaks in half (into thin strips.) Place some cling film on your worktop and put your chicken strips on top. Use additional cling film to cover them
o Using a rolling pin, gently tap your chicken breasts to tenderise the meat. 
o Once you have done this, uncover the meat and place each chicken strip into the flour bowl, then the milk bowl and finally roll into the breadcrumbs and leave on the plate.
o Once you have done this with all the chicken strips, add 4 tbsp of sunflower or vegetable oil into a frying pan on a medium heat and preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.
o Add half of the chicken strips and cook on each side for 2 minutes. Once you have sealed off the first batch of chicken, transfer to an oven proof dish. Before adding another 4 tbsp of oil to the pan to repeat this process for the second batch of chicken, empty any breadcrumbs that are loose in the pan into the sink so that they do not burn.  
o By now, your oven should be warm enough to add your dish with all your sealed  off chicken strips. o Cook for another 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through thoroughly.
o Once your chicken is done, warm up your tortillas, get them on a plate and chuck on a couple of chicken strips on each along with a selection of the vegetables you prepared at the start and finish off with a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce.

*Prices per portion are approximate, are correct at time of posting & only include ingredients. Prices will vary depending on where you shop.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Bath Time Fun

Whether you're a full time working parent (like me) or a stay at home mum/dad, there seems to be one thing we have in common. It's a feeling you get when you do not spend as much quality time as you'd like with your children; and that feeling is guilt.

My weekday mornings go by in a blur. I'm up at 6am and it's a race against time to get breakfast on the table and get showered & dressed (x3!). My partner does his fair share in the morning too and we still manage to only just drop our little one at nursery on time and get to work in time for that early morning meeting.

I  do not find it easy being away from my daughter all day during the week. In the evenings, I get through the door with just enough time to catch the end of In the Night Garden; which means that I've pretty much got half an hour before I am reading her a bedtime story and tucking her up in bed. When the weekend hits it's all systems go to catch up on all the personal chores that I didn't get time to do during the week.

Every moment we share with our little ones is important. That's why I try to think of creative ways of spending quality time with my daughter, even when there isn't time for play. I invested in these Bathtime Buddies Wet 'N' Stick Alphabet set (£2.50 from Wilko or £3.00 at Tesco) so that, on bath nights during the week we can practice spelling in a fun & engaging way. It also helps my daughter to recognise letters through phonics to help with her reading.

We look forward to this time we spend together and it's a great way of taking an active role in supporting what they learn at school/nursery. I hope that by sharing this simple idea with you that you and your little ones can enjoy bath time as much as we do.


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Weekend Flavour

The weekend is here, the World Cup has arrived, it's Father's Day on Sunday and even though we can't guarantee that the sun will continue to shine there's no better feeling than being with friends and family.

If you're busy hosting Father's Day this year, take the time to put your feet up on Saturday night (especially if you are staying up to watch the football) and try your hand at this super easy "tear and share" mozzarella, tomato and spinach pastry and super refreshing salad. After a long week at work, I know I'll be giving this another go!

Enjoy the weekend.


Serves 4   Prep time: 10-15 mins   Cook time: 12-15 minutes


For the pastry:

375g puff pastry (I use the Sainsburys Ready Rolled Light Puff Pastry)
3 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato paste
50g of fresh spinach
75g of mozzarella
250g of cherry tomatoes
30g of medium cheddar cheese
Pinch of pepper for seasoning

For the salad:

100g of cherry tomatoes
80g of cucumber
120g pre-packed salad (I use Sainsburys Bistro salad)
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of olive oil
Small squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of pepper for seasoning


o   Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6
o   Line a large baking tray with parchment paper
o   Unroll your pastry onto the baking sheet. Add, and then spread your sundried tomato paste leaving 1cm all around the pastry edges
o   Wash your spinach and tomatoes. Chop your tomatoes, grate your cheddar cheese, then tear up your mozzarella into small/medium sized pieces and chuck all your ingredients onto the pastry
o   Add a pinch of pepper for seasoning
o   Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden brown
o   Whilst your pastry is cooking, fix up your salad. Chop your remaining cucumber & tomatoes, add them to your washed salad & season with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, some black pepper and a small squeeze of lemon juice

Waste not, want not – if you have some left over sun-dried tomato paste you could try stirring this in to 250g boiled pasta (we like Fusilli). Steam your leftover spinach as per the cooking instructions and add this, along with any leftover mozzarella to create a simple, healthy pasta dish.

*Prices per portion are approximate, are correct at time of posting & only include ingredients. Prices will vary depending on where you shop.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Days Out - Box Hill, Surrey

Hooray for bank holiday weekends! Having a job that keeps me out of the house for 11 hours a day, 5 days a week really makes me appreciate this extra day I have to spend time with my family (not that I don't love or appreciate the work I do but who doesn't love an extra day off?!) I have to be honest, sometimes it can be difficult to decide how to spend it. Of course the essential chores take place, along with the occasional trips to Homebase of B&Q (well, it wouldn't be a bank holiday without a bit of DIY), although my partner and I do often find ourselves asking "what exactly shall we do?"

Whilst we are saving to buy our first house, the cost of a day out does sometimes influence how we spend our time together. One our favourite fun filled days out has to be a picnic & exploration at Box Hill in Surrey. The costs to factor in here are car parking (currently at £3 for the day), your picnic, and the cost in petrol to get there. Once you are there you will spoilt for choice at how you spend your day.

For those with younger children, the Play Natural Trail is a fantastic way for your little adventurers to learn about, and discover the great outdoors.  For those with older explorers, the Stepping Stones Walk is a stunning riverside walk that will be sure to take your breath away (not just because of the all the walking you will be doing but also because of the amazing panoramic views).

There are lots of reasons why I love visiting Box Hill with my little one and partner, some of which I have already mentioned. You also get a chance to connect with nature, exercise (you can borrow kites to fly too), and discover and learn new things; but above all, you get a chance to switch off and connect with one another as a family.

Come rain or shine, I am sure that if you are able to visit Box Hill, you will create lasting memories, just like we have.

For up to date information on how to get there, what to do and what is happening during half term, please visit the National Trust website:


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Simple Weeknight Meal

There are very few things in this world that make me happier than giving a plate or bowl full of food that I have cooked to my daughter, seeing her smell the aromas, eat a forkful & say "mummy, you are the best cook in the world." I feel even better when I know that what she is enjoying is a plate full of healthy food that didn't take hours slaving over a stove to concoct and actually, didn't cost a huge amount of money to make.

It may sound silly, but these days, juggling a full time job whilst raising a family does mean that getting anything edible on a plate on a week night (or even weekends, well who else is going to do that washing, cleaning & ironing?) is a triumph in itself. I learnt most of my culinary skills from my mother, who always did her best to introduce my siblings and me to good food from different cultures (this one is a Greek dish called Kritharaki). 

If, by sharing some of these recipes, you can experience an (almost) stress free mealtime & maybe even an extra 15 minutes to spend with your family before Cbeebies bedtime hour is over, well...that would make me even happier.

For you lovely veggies, feel free to substitute the chicken breast for Quorn chicken style pieces or leave it out altogether for an even simpler pasta dish.

For those with little ones that like a little heat, you could also add half of a finely chopped red chili to give the dish a bit of a kick.

The cost per portion is approximately £1.45 and is based on the By Sainsbury's ingredients used below.



Serves 4     Prep time: 10 mins    Cook time: 20 mins


o   460g chicken breast fillets
o   400g orzo pasta
o   1 onion
o   1 tin of chopped tomatoes
o   1 tsp mixed herbs
o   1 tbsp. of tomato puree
o   1 tbsp. olive oil
o   Pinch of salt
o   Pepper (for seasoning)
o   Fresh flat leaf parsley (for seasoning)


1. Rinse your chicken breast and dice into chunks
2. Finley dice your onion
3. Add your olive oil to another pan and place on a medium heat and chuck in your chicken breast - cook for approx. 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Add your onions, chopped tomatoes, mixed herbs, tomato puree and a dash of pepper.
4. Boil 4 litres of water in your kettle & transfer to a large pan on a medium heat and add just a pinch of salt
5. Whilst your chicken is cooking thoroughly in the sauce (it needs to cook for at least another 10 minutes while your pasta is cooking) add your orzo to your large pan of boiling water & cook for approx. 9-11 minutes.
6. Once your pasta is done, drain off the water, add a drizzle of olive oil & transfer the pasta to the sauce pan. Turn off the heat & stir the sauce through the pasta.
7. Add a small amount of chopped parsley & you're ready to tuck in.

*Prices per portion are approximate, are correct at time of posting & only include ingredients. Prices will vary depending on where you shop.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easy Sunday Lunch

Here’s an easy, healthy & cheaper alternative to a Sunday roast - minus some trimmings (you can add Yorkshire puds if you feel that a roast isn’t complete without one!)

It was inspired by our Easter Sunday lunch. We cooked it Kleftiko “style” (baked slowly & covered in the oven).

Don’t let the 3 hour cooking time fool you – this is one of those deceptively easy recipes that frees up some precious time to get on with the washing/ironing or spending time with the kids.

Based on the ingredients used (a mixture of By Sainsbury'sSainsbury's Basics & So Organic ranges) this works out to roughly £3.36 per portion.*

You can also replace the lamb steaks with a leg of, or diced lamb. Enjoy!

Serves 4   Prep time: 15 mins   Cook time: 3 hours

For the meat:

o 2 tbsp. olive oil

o 2 carrots
o 2 onions
o 3 cloves garlic 
o 1 bay leaf
o 2 sprigs of rosemary
o 2 sprigs of rhyme
o Juice of 1 lemon
o 400g of lamb leg steaks (approx. 4 steaks)
o 1 sheet of parchment paper

For the potatoes:

o 1kg Maris piper or Desiree potatoes (halved or quartered)

o A few glugs of olive oil

For the salad:

o 1 bag of salad

o 160g of cherry tomatoes
o Half a cucumber
o Drizzle of olive oil & Balsamic vinegar


1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4

2. Line a baking tray with your sheet of parchment paper, pop your lamb chops in & drizzle with 2 tbsp. of olive oil & add your fresh rosemary & thyme (dried herbs work just as well) along with some black pepper.
3. Peel & chop your washed carrots along with your onions (which should be cut into quarters) and your garlic (sliced into halves).
4. Add your veg into the tray of lamb & finish off with juice of 1 lemon.
5. Cover the tray with baking foil & place in the oven on the top shelf (the lamb will need to cook for 3 hours).
6. After 1 hour & 30 mins scrub, wash, peel & halve (or quarter) your potatoes & par boil them in a pan for about 6 minutes. Once drained & while they are still hot toss in a colander (this will help them turn nice & crispy) and add a pinch of salt. Add a few glugs of olive oil to a roasting pan & pop in the oven for 5 minutes to warm up; then add your potatoes to the pan covering each one with some of the oil. Pop them into the oven when there is 1 hour left on the clock for the lamb. Place your lamb on the bottom shelf of the oven & place your potatoes on the top shelf. Increase oven temperature to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7 for the remaining hour. 
7. 10 minutes before your timer goes, wash & chop your cucumber & tomatoes, add them to your washed salad & season with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar & some black pepper.


*Prices per portion are approximate, are correct at time of posting & only include ingredients. Prices will vary depending on where you shop.