Cheap Minestrone Soup

This is my “I can’t be arsed going to the shops” recipe. It’s a good way to use up leftover vegetables and pasta too. I always keep frozen vegetables in the house so I can make healthy meals without having to go out and buy fresh stuff first. My kids mostly just pick the pasta out of this, eating around everything that is a vegetable/could be posing as a vegetable – but with their fussiness levels, that is to be expected. You can use any veg you like. It’s good with a mixture of root veg/greens/pulses.

Ingredients

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots
1 potato
2 large mushrooms
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
900ml veg stock
Two handfuls of random pasta shapes
Broccoli/frozen green veg
Large handful of peas/beans
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Generous shake of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Fry garlic, onion, chopped carrots, potatoes, mushrooms (all fresh veg) in oil until onions are clear. Add tin of tomatoes and stock, herbs/seasoning and cook on medium heat for 15 mins. Add pasta and lower heat. Add frozen veg and beans/peas for last few minutes. Allow it to cook until thickened and flavours developed. This is good with homemade bread and cheese sprinkled on top.

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Kids Smoothie Cups Recipe

Smoothie Cups For Kids (and Adults) Recipe

This isn’t really a proper recipe, but I thought I’d share it since it went down as well with my kids as ice cream, without the hyperactive results. I was looking for easy ways to entertain kids today since I’m sick and these took two minutes to make and eating them kept them entertained for a long time 🙂 they’re like a cross between a smoothie and frozen yogurt.

Ingredients

1 frozen banana (just peel and shove in the freezer and add straight to blender)

1 handful frozen strawberries

a few blueberries

2 tbsps Greek yogurt

300ml whole milk (or any milk you like)

a large squeeze of honey

1 tsp chia seeds

Method

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until you have achieved your desired consistency.  Give it to them in little cups with spoons, party cups or add an umbrella if you want to make them for a party 🙂

I got all of the ingredients in Lidl. They have lots of frozen berries which are great for smoothies 🙂

Cheap and Cheerful Pizza Sauce (40p)

A lot of people seem to buy jars of pre-made pizza sauce, which admittedly is probably less effort, but probably costs more and doesn’t taste as good. This sauce is so easy to make and goes particularly well with this pizza dough recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/pizza-dough-recipe-1921714

This is the best pizza dough recipe I have found. It tastes as good as takeaway pizza and you can let the dough rise in the fridge overnight if you want to make it the day before. It also freezes really well.

Here is the recipe for sauce (I am hoping all of these measurements are accurate since I typically just throw things at a pot.)

Ingredients:

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp rosemary

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oil

Throw all ingredients in a pot (apart from the oil) and simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes until all the flavours have combined.

Take it off the heat and stir in the oil, transfer to a blender and puree as smoothly as you like. I usually do mine in a smoothie maker and it comes out really smooth and a very vibrant colour, but you can use a blender, hand blender or if you have neither, just mash it really well 🙂 This usually makes enough sauce to top three 10 inch pizzas. (You can double the recipe to make a larger quantity.) The sauce also freezes well (just drain off any excess liquid when it defrosts before putting it on the pizza.)

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For a really quick pizza use this on pittas, grilled muffins, bagels or make pizza toast for kids 🙂