Tag: lunch

carrot and coriander soup

Carrot and coriander soup

carrot and coriander soup

Difficulty: Easy

Time:40 minutes (10 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking)

Serves: 4



3 tbsp butter
3 leeks or onions
2 cloves of garlic
5 large carrots (approx 600g)
1 tbsp coriander (cilantro)
4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock
1 tbsp plain yoghurt or crème fraiche

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It’s well and truly soup season in our house. As well as being a good winter warmer I like giving the kids soup for lunch as it’s healthy and a great way of getting a shot of vegetables in them in the middle of the day. Hannah chose this recipe – she loves carrot soup, or so she says. I love making it at home though because it’s so cheap (a whole bag of carrots cost us 65p) and really simple. What’s not to like?!


Prepare and cook the vegetables
Peel and chop the carrots, onions/leek and garlic.

Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the onions/leeks, carrots and garlic and stir well to coat in the butter. Cover and leave to cook on a low heat for around 10 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften.

Add the coriander and stock
Stir in the coriander and cook for about one minute. Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for around 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.


Serve the carrot and coriander soup
Leave to cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender or with a stick blender until the soup is smooth.


Serve with a dollop of yoghurt or crème fraiche.


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animal rolls

Animal rolls

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 1.5 hours proving + 15 minutes baking

Serves: 8+ rolls

450g (3 3/4 cup) strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
50g (1/4 cup) butter, softened.
250ml (1 cup) lukewarm milk
1 egg
For decoration
Sultanas/raisins cut in half


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We’ve made rolls before, but never ones shaped into anything interesting. So when I saw someone make bread rolls into bunny rabbits on pinterest I thought we had to try that. We got a bit carried away though and ended up with a small menagerie of bunnies, hedgehogs, a tortoise, and a snail. I’m sure there are other things you could make so let you and your kids imagination run away with itself. Our animal rolls definitely looked more like animals going into the oven than they did coming out, but the kids really enjoyed making them (and eating them) so i’m considering them a success!


Mix the dry ingredients
Get your child to measure the flour (450g) out and pour that into a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.


Add the salt (2 tsp), sugar (1 tsp) and yeast. As you are using a whole packet of dried yeast you can get the smallest chefs involved by just pouring it all in.


Weigh the butter (50g) out. If it’s not softened, pop it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds so it’s soft, but not melted. This will make it easier to mix.

Rub the mixture together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can either do this by hand or using a mixer. The mixer is obviously quicker but my kids really enjoyed getting their hands messy!

Add the egg and milk
Get your child to pour the milk (250ml) into a measuring jug, or a bowl on your scales set to ml. We put ours in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it lukewarm.

Make a well in the flour mixture then add the egg and milk.
Knead the dough

If you’re using a mixer, add the dough hook and turn it on to mix for 5 minutes or so. If you are doing it by hand, turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead it for 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. We did a bit of both – started in the mixer until it was almost done, then the kids had a turn doing it by hand. They wouldn’t have had the patience to do it all by hand but really enjoy getting their hands messy!


Pop the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Put it in a warm place to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Make the animal rolls
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper
Turn the dough out on to a floured surface. Get your kids to knock it back (punch it) and knead it for a few minutes. Start by dividing your dough into 8-10 pieces and roll them into balls.


We made a few different animal rolls:
Hedgehogs, use half sultanas/raisins for the eyes and nose then get your child to make little snips all over the hedgehogs back with scissors to make the spines.
Bunnies: use the half sultanas/raisins for the eyes and nose and use scissors to snip two ears. Make them quite big as they shrink a little when the rolls rise/cook.
Tortoise: Roll 5 small round balls and attach for the head and legs, add the eyes and nose using the half sultanas/raisins. If you want you can also score across the back of the tortoise with a sharp knife to make the tortoise shell.
Snail: Make a sausage and roll up into a snail. Add the eyes and nose using half raisins/sultanas.


Put the rolls on a baking tray, spacing them well apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.

Bake the rolls

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan.
Bake the animal rolls in the oven for 10-15 minutes. They are ready when they have turned golden and sound a bit hollow if you tap them underneath.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

animal rolls


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bacon leek and cheese muffins

Bacon, leek and cheese muffins

leek and bacon muffins

Difficulty: A bit tricky

Time: 30 minutes + 30 minutes baking

Serves: 4







1 leek, trimmed
100g butter, melted
4 rashers bacon, chopped
300g Asda self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp paprika
2 large eggs
175ml semi-skimmed milk
150g extra mature Cheddar, grated


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I don’t always have a lot of time to make interesting things for lunch but in the summer holidays we’ve had a few opportunities to spend a bit of time and prepare something a bit different. These bacon, leek and cheese muffins I found on ASDA’s Good Living website were worth the effort and you could make it a bit easier by preparing all filling in advance and just getting your kids to help measure out the rest and mix it all together.


Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 160C Fan and prepare the baking dish
Get your toddler to lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tray.


Prepare the leek and bacon
Trim the leeks, cut into quarters lengthways then slice finely. Cook in a tbsp of butter over a low heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Set aside. If your child is a bit older and you trust them they could perhaps help stir the leeks while they’re cooking.

Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small strips then add to the leeks and cook through.


Make the muffin mixture
Get your child to measure the flour into a bowl. Add the baking powder, mustard, paprika and a pinch of salt. Grate the cheese into the bowl (we didn’t bother weighing it, just added a good chunk!)


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Measure the butter then melt in a separate bowl. We normally do this in the microwave but you can do it on the hob instead.

Get your toddler to crack the eggs into a bowl or measuring jug. Lightly beat them. Add the milk and the melted butter then mix together.


Bake the muffins
Add the bacon & leeks, and egg & milk mixtures to the bowl of flour. Stir everything together until it’s nicely mixed. Don’t over mix or the muffins may be tough.

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Divide the mixture between the muffin tins.


Bake your bacon, leek and cheese muffins in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are nice and golden.

img_3404-small bacon, leek and cheese muffins


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cheese scones

Cheese scones

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 15 minutes + 10 minutes baking

Serves: 4 – 6

225g self raising flour
1 pinch salt
55g butter
25g Cheddar cheese
150ml milk


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My kids are cheese fiends so these cheese scones make a good snack or lunch treat. There’s only a few ingredients so they don’t take long to make and are delicious served straight from the oven.


Pre heat the oven to 200C/190C Fan
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper

Mix the flour and butter together
Get your child to measure the flour (225g) into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt.


Weigh the butter (55g), then cut it into small pieces before adding to the flour. Rub it together with your hands until it is nicely combined.

Grate your cheese (25g) and add to the flour, and again using your hands, mix it all in.


Add the milk
Measure the milk into a jug. Make a well in the middle of your flour mixture, then slowly add the milk until you have a soft but firm dough. Don’t add it all at once, as you might not need it all to get it to the right consistency.


Make the cheese scones
Lightly sprinkle flour on to your work surface. Roll out or pat down the dough until it is about 2cm thick. Using a cutter (or a glass if you don’t have any) cut out your scones and pop them on the baking tray.


Bake the scones
Brush the tops with a little milk then bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

They’re best served warm with butter or more cheese.

cheese scones

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homemade pitta bread

Homemade pitta bread

Difficulty: A bit of a faff

Time: 30 minutes + 1-2 hrs proving + 15 minutes baking

Serves: makes 6 pitta bread







350g white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp easy-blend yeast
210ml water
1 tbsp olive oil


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We make our own pizzas quite often but I’ve not made homemade pitta bread since having the kids. It’s a similar process so I thought we’d give it a go. It’s obviously not as quick as opening a pack from the supermarket but it was a fun thing to do in a free afternoon and homemade bread always tastes nice!


Mix together your ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (350g) into a bowl.

Add the salt (1.5 tsp), sugar (1 tsp) and yeast (1 tsp) into different corners of the bowl. You need to be relatively accurate with these measurements so you might be better doing this bit yourself or just getting your little one to help you.

Pour the water (210 ml) and oil (1 tbsp) into the bowl a little at a time. Use a spoon (or your hands) to mix until all the flour comes away from the side and you have a soft dough. You might not need to add all the water – you want the dough to be soft, not sticky.

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Kneed your dough
Put a little oil on your work surface to stop the dough sticking. Put the dough on top and start kneading. You’ll need to do it for 5-10 minutes until it looks smooth. We probably did it for a lot longer though as Hannah was having fun. She even gave Lewis a quick lesson in how to knead although I’m not sure whether their poking technique is exactly conventional!

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Once you’re done, place it in a clean bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it somewhere warm until it has doubled in size.

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Preheat the oven to 250C

Place a baking tray or baking stone on the middle shelf.

Make the pitta breads
Once the dough has doubled in size, pour it out on to a lightly floured work surface and knock it back (fold it inwards again and again until the air has gone – or just get your toddler to man handle it!)

Split the dough into 6 equal sized balls then roll each into a 3-5mm oval shape.

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Remove the baking tray from the oven, sprinkle with flour and place the pitta bread on it.

Bake for 5-10 minutes. They’re ready when they’ve started to colour – some of ours also puffed up really nicely into big pockets.

pitta bread

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corn fritters

Corn fritters

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 10 minutes + 10 minutes cooking

Serves: 4img_1449-small





100g self raising flour
¼ tsp mustard powder
2 eggs
3 tbsp milk
140g sweetcorn


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We like corn fritters (or sweetcorn pancakes as Hannah calls them) for a simple lunch. Lewis enjoys his finger food at the moment and as you can cut them into strips they are a good way of getting a few vegetables into him.


Measure out the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (100g) into a bowl using a spoon. While she’s doing this add the mustard powder (1/4 tsp) and season with salt and pepper.

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Measure out the wet ingredients then mix into the flour
Break the 2 eggs into a separate bowl or measuring jug. You could add them straight in, but I tend to break them into a different bowl in case you need to fish out some egg shell (which i normally do). Add the milk (3 tbsp). Your toddler can help you measure these out as it doesn’t matter too much if you put a little too much in.

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Give your toddler a fork or whisk and get them to mix the egg and milk together. Pour the mixture slowly into the flour and stir it together.

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Add the sweetcorn your mixture.
Cook your corn fritters
Heat a little oil in a pan and then dollop your mixture into little fritters. Cook for a few minutes on each side. I don’t normally let Hannah help when I’m using the hob so she just watches from her spot on the counter. They’re ready when they’re browned a little on each side.

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Serve and enjoy!

img_1468-small corn fritters

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