Guest Post from Welshcakes and Wellies – Top 5 Mid Week Family Meals

Family Meals Today I’m handing over the blog to the lovely Helen of Welshcakes and Wellies who has written up her top 5 mid week family meals. Now that my little man is eating evening meals and totally loves his food I am having to come up with new kid friendly dishes to cook all the time, obviously he is still quite young for most things but I’ll be popping a few of these in my save list to come back to them when he is older.

Welsh Cakes & Wellies is a blog all about eating out and getting out and about in South Wales with a young family.  As a busy mum of three, who is based in the Vale, it mainly focuses on exploring family friendly places in the Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Swansea and Cardiff along with some ventures further afield, providing honest reviews.  As someone who loves to eat and loves to cook, it also shares tried and tested family recipes. 

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking, relying on the same meals week in week out.  When you’re working all day or are running round after your family, the last thing you want to do is have to cook complicated dinners.  These are a few mid-week family meals that are budget friendly, require very little effort, but taste great.  All recipes serve 4. 

 

Meat Free Monday Aubergine Pasta

Serves 4
This is a great way to get some vegetables into kiddies. They love the Mediterranean flavours and pasta is always a firm favourite in our house for an easy mi-week meal. As it’s all bunged in the oven it is super easy to rustle together with very little hand on time.


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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 red onion
  2. 2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  3. 1 Aubergine
  4. 1 courgette
  5. 1 pepper
  6. 1 Tbsp dried basil
  7. 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. Pasta (400g)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees, fan assisted
  2. Cut the aubergine into four lengthways and then chop into chunks. Chop the pepper into chunks, slice the courgette and finely chop the onion
  3. Add all the ingredients to a casserole pot along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Give it all a stir, put the lid on and place in the oven. Bake for about 60 minutes or until the vegetables or cooked through. Give it a stir half way through cooking.
  4. About 12 minutes before the end, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, divide into four bowls and top with the aubergine bake.
  5. Top with some parmesan cheese or grated cheddar
Two Hearts One Roof http://twoheartsoneroof.com/

 

Store Cupboard Tuna Fishcakes

Serves 4
These are great for when you want to rustle something up without having to go shopping for fresh fish. I tend to make the patties the night before so they’re ready to cook as soon as I walk in the door after a busy day.


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Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can tuna in spring water drained (160g)
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 500g potatoes
  4. 1 stick of celery
  5. 1-2 eggs beaten
  6. 1 tbsp plain flour
  7. 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
  8. olive oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into chunks. Then boil in salted water for approximately 15 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and fry in a little oil over a medium heat for about 3 minutes until soft. Finely chop the celery. Add the potatoes, celery, tuna and onion to a large bowl.
  2. Beat one of the eggs in a bowl and add half of it to the mixture along with the flour. Mix it all together using a fork to break up the potatoes and to form a mash like consistency, but don’t over mash.
  3. Shape the mixture into about 8 balls and flatten slightly so you have a nice patty shape. Then dip first into the egg and then toss in the breadcrumbs to coat. Add an extra beaten egg if needed.
  4. Set on a plate, cover and chill in the fridge for an hour (You can prepare up to this stage the night before)
  5. When you’re ready, heat about tablespoon of olive oil in a large shallow frying pan and cook over a medium heat for approximately 2 – 3 minutes each side until golden brown. Serve with a side salad or vegetables.
Two Hearts One Roof http://twoheartsoneroof.com/

Cheats Pepperoni Pizza and Minestrone Soup

Serves 4
This is super easy and goes down really well in our house with the kids. It’s also an easy tea that can be doubled or works well if you’ve got kids over for a play date. The soup can be made ahead and re-heated to make it even easier.


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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 rashers of bacon
  2. 1 clove of garlic
  3. 1 onion
  4. 2 carrots
  5. 1 stick of celery
  6. 1 large potato
  7. 1 x 400g can butter beans
  8. 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  9. olive oil
  10. 1 Tbsp oregano
  11. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  12. 1 litre vegetable stock
  13. 50 g macaroni pasta
  14. salt and pepper
For the pizza
  1. 1 Tbsp red pesto
  2. 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  3. 50g cheddar cheese grated
  4. 2 small garlic rosemary focaccia (I got from Lidl)
  5. slices of pepperoni (about 10)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C. (fan assisted) Peel and finely chop the onion. Chop the ends of the carrots and celery and chop. Peel and chop the potato
  2. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy set saucepan over a medium heat. Slice the bacon and add to the saucepan, frying for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped onion. Peel the garlic and puree adding to the bacon and garlic. Fry for 2 – 3 minutes
  3. Add all the vegetables, the stock, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and oregano. Give it a stir and then bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes until everything is cooked through
  4. Meanwhile, add the tomato puree and pesto into a small bowl and mix. Top the focaccia with the mixture, spreading to coat it evenly. Sprinkle with some of the cheese, add the pepperoni slices and finish with the remainder of the cheese. Pop into the oven directly on the wire shelf for ten minutes
  5. Add the pasta and the butter beans to the saucepan and cook through for ten minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
  6. When ready, spoon the soup into bowls. Remove the pizza from the oven and cut in half. Serve the soup with half a focaccia pizza on the side.
Two Hearts One Roof http://twoheartsoneroof.com/

Slow Cooker Mild Chilli Con Carne

Serves 4
This is a mild chilli so it’s ideal for a family meal and is a great way to start introducing a bit of spice to kiddies. As it’s all done in the slow cooker, there’s no fuss and you cab be getting on with other things while it’s cooking. We usually serve with rice and garlic bread.


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Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 onion finely chopped
  3. 2 cloves of garlic pressed or grated
  4. 1 tsp ground cumin
  5. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tbsp mild chilli powder
  7. 1 tbsp dried oregano
  8. 500g mince meat
  9. 2 peppers (any colour)
  10. 150 ml beef stock.
  11. 1 can chopped tomatoes
  12. 1 cans kidney beans drained and rinsed
  13. Salt and pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes. Then tip into the slow cooker
  2. In the same pan, fry the mince meat (in batches if you need to) until browned. Add to the slow cooker
  3. Chop the pepper and add to the slow cooker. Then add the water, wine and stock cube and give it a stir. Cover with the lid and set the cooker to high and leave for four hours.
  4. Then add the kidney beans and stir in. Leave for another half and hour and then serve with rice, potato wedges or garlic bread and a dollop of sour cream
Two Hearts One Roof http://twoheartsoneroof.com/

Fake-away Friday Fish, Chips & Mushy Peas

Serves 4
This is so much healthier than take out fish and chips! I’ve used frozen fish as that way it’s a handy go to dish, which you can rustle up from things you probably have in the house anyway. You can substitute fresh fish if you prefer, just reduce the cooking time to about 10 – 12 minutes for the fish then.


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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4 large potatoes (Maris Piper or King Edward)
  2. 4 Frozen fillets of Fish (Cod or Haddock)
  3. 2 slices of white bread
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  6. Low Calorie Cooking Spray
  7. 500 g Frozen Peas
  8. 25 Butter
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan assisted). Peel the potatoes and then cut into chips with a crinkle cutter if you have one. Place in salted water and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 4 minutes. Spread onto a baking tray and spray generously with the low cal cooking spray. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, tossing a couple of times during cooking.
  2. Place the bread into a food processor and blitz into breadcrumbs. Then pop into a bowl and mix in the tablespoon of oil into the breadcrumbs gently with your hands. Next, break and separate the egg. Whisk the egg white until it is fluffy and forms peaks. Then whisk the egg yolk in a separate bowl and then fold into the egg whites.
  3. Put a layer of foil on top of a baking sheet and lay out your fish fillets. Spoon the egg mixture gently on top of the fish and then sprinkle generously with the breadcrumbs (set the remaining breadcrumbs aside to use another time). Place into the oven and cook for 20 – 25 minutes until the fish is cooked through
  4. Five minutes before the end, boil the peas in salted water for about 4 – 5 minutes until soft. Strain then add to a bowl with the butter and mash gently wth a potato masher until at the desired consistency.
  5. Remove the fish and chips from the oven and serve with the mushy peas
Two Hearts One Roof http://twoheartsoneroof.com/

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