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Taming Twins by Sarah Barnes - 1d ago

The ultimate Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe – Smothered in honey and chipotle, this easy crock pot pork shoulder creates a delicious sticky and smoky sauce. A winning base for so many meals. This pulled pork freezes well too.

Looking for a crowd pleasing recipe to serve a big group? A batch cook to give you the base of heaps of meals from the freezer?

Or just a little somethin’ somethin’ to make Friday night feel special?

HELLO Honey Chipotle Sticky Slow Cooker Pulled Pork!

This recipe takes about 30 seconds to prep, and 12 hours later, greets you with a sticky, spicy delicious treat of a meaty dish.

Here’s why you should add this to your meal plan:

✅ Pulled pork can be a base of SO many quick meals.

✅ Big batch cooking saves tons of time later – YES.

✅ Just a handful of ingredients.

✅ Uses low cost pork shoulder for a great value meaty dish.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:

Pork – I think the best cut of meat for pulled pork is pork shoulder.

It’s cheaper than pork loin and the fatty stripes through the meat mean it lends itself very well to this kind of cooking. I used a free range pork shoulder (like this one from Ocado) and it always works well. You could use a pork loin for this recipe but it just doesn’t really have enough fat. I think it’s much better to use a more economical cut like shoulder and then drain the excess fat.

I do cut off the pork skin and any excess visible fat (plus the string!) before popping in the slow cooker.

Chipotle Paste – For a sweet and smoky pulled pork I use a Chipotle Paste. Most major supermarkets stock this now and it’s so worth finding. It’s such a fab shortcut to really tasty pulled pork.

Vinegar – I use Balsamic, but you could use Red Wine Vinegar if you prefer.

Honey – Any honey is fine, I just use runny honey as it’s easy to pour in.

How to make Crockpot (Slow Cooker) Pulled Pork:

I know I say this a lot but this really is a super simple recipe.

Firstly, remove any skin from the pork joint using sharp scissors.

Place your pork into your slow cooker bowl and set it to LOW.

The magic in this recipe is all in the rub. Pour chipotle paste, balsamic vinegar, ketchup and honey over the pork joint.

Rub it into the pork with clean hands, making sure it’s all covered well.

Cook on LOW for 12 hours.

How do you PULL the PORK?!

When the meat is cooked, drain and keep the juices.

Using a couple of forks, shred up the pork into chunks.

Now you have a couple of choices:

  1. If the juice you drained off doesn’t look too fatty (like mine in the photo below) just add back into the meat.
  2. If there’s a LOT of fat (that layer at the top) pour that carefully off the top before adding the juices back into the meat.
  3. If you want a more dry finished pulled pork, you can put the juices into a small pan over a high heat and let them bubble for a few minutes until they reduce. Then add back to the pork. (I don’t often do this as the meat kind of absorbs the juices as it sits in them, keeping it moist.

How long do you cook a pork shoulder for in the slow cooker?

I’ve cooked this slow cooker pulled pork on low for 12 hours, this makes it, juicy and tender and its the perfect set and leave recipe for long days at work.

If you have less time you could cook on HIGH, it will be delicious but it won’t be as meltingly tender as the slower cooked version. It should take around 6 – 7 hours on HIGH.

What I used to make Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:

My love affair with slow cookers is a relatively new thing, but oh my goodness, since I’ve had this one I’m converted.

It wasn’t necessary in this recipe but my slow cooker pan can be used directly on the hob, check if yours does to, it saves time, and washing up. This is the one I have:

Ideas for way to serve pulled pork:
  • In bread rolls, or as sandwiches, add some apple sauce and pour over extra gravy.
  • As a taco filling.
  • Tortilla wraps, lime, avocado, sour cream/yoghurt and cheese (like Pork Carnitas).
  • American style with homemade potato wedges, baked beans and coleslaw.
  • Add to tomato sauce and pasta for a pork ragu style dish.
  • Those following a low carb diet you could also serve as a pulled pork salad, or on top of scrambled or fried eggs as a protein packed breakfast.
  • On tortilla chips for loaded nachos.

Love a meaty slow cooker recipe…? Have a look at these:

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make it. Give me feedback by rating the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to my newsletter for weekly meal plans, and follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for lots of chat, recipes and life updates!

How to make this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

The ultimate Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe – Smothered in honey and chipotle, this easy crock pot pork shoulder creates a delicious sticky and smoky sauce. A winning base for so many meals. This pulled pork freezes well too.

  • 1.5 kg Pork Shoulder
  • 90 g Chipotle Paste (One jar)
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  1. Set your slow cooker to LOW. 

  2. Mix the chipotle paste, honey, ketchup and balsamic vinegar. 

  3. If there is a layer of skin on the pork remove this and then rub the marinade onto the pork.

  4. Place in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 12 hours. 

  5. Once finished drain all of the juices from the slow cooker, remove the fat and then add the juices back and start to pull the pork using two forks into bite sized chunks. 

  6. Enjoy!

The post Slow Cooker Pulled Pork appeared first on Taming Twins.

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This Grilled Halloumi Cheese Bake is a quick and healthy, vegetarian dinner. Delicious crispy, salty cheese slices on top of a tasty tomato vegetable sauce, perfect for bread dunking!

On my weekly meal plan menu every week from now on: Grilled Halloumi Cheese Bake.

Can we please just take a moment to appreciate the crunchy, golden, salty, gooey underneath, downright delicious gem that awaits you?

I first made this recipe months ago following an online recipe from one of the big supermarket chains. I’ve tweaked a bit, added courgettes, reduced the spices required and reduced the cooking time to make life a little easier.

Unusually for my site, this recipe is just for two people.

It’s super easy to double for four (or more), but I tend to reserve this for a late night cheese fest/bread dunking/wine drinking dinner as George is not a Halloumi fan (I KNOW – WHAT THE).

Here’s why you need this in your life:

✅ SQUEAKY CHEESE GOODNESS (I pretty much rest my case..)

✅ A veggie rich meal, for a dose of goodness and 3 of your 5 a day

✅ This reheats really well, great lunch leftovers to brighten up your day

How to make the Grilled Halloumi Cheese Bake recipe:

Start by gently frying your onions and garlic.

When they’ve softened, add the other vegetables; courgette (zucchini) and aubergine (egg plant), spices (smoked paprika and ground cumin), allow to soften and become a little softer.

Add the tinned tomatoes, some water, tomato puree, honey and salt and pepper. Let everything bubble away with a lid on to soften.

Top tip! If you’re in a rush, this tomato ‘stew’ sauce part, only NEEDS 10 minutes to cook, but I try and give it a little longer if I have time, to get really thick and rich in flavour.

Pop your slices of halloumi cheese on top, brush or spray with oil and put under a hot grill to crisp on top.

Serve straight away with crusty bread and a sprinkle of herbs if you fancy. Cheese dreams right there my friends!

What to serve with the Vegetarian Grilled Halloumi Cheese Bake:
  • I love fresh crusty bread and butter (or olive oil) with this.
  • A green salad, with lettuce and avocado also works well.
  • Cooked cous cous, orzo or bulgar wheat would soak up the sauce and vegetables well.

Top tips for making the Grilled Halloumi Cheese Bake:
  1. Cook the sauce for longer if you have time, not vital but it will be more rich.
  2. Add other vegetables if you prefer. You could try mushrooms, peas or broccoli.
  3. I like to let the grilled Halloumi cheese get really crispy and crunchy. You can cook remove it from the grill more quickly if you prefer it soft.
  4. This reheats surprisingly well, leftovers make a great meal prep type lunch.

Feeling cheesy? How about..

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this Grilled Halloumi Bake recipe. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

Also, if you fancy showing me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations and try and share as many of them as I can.

Grilled Halloumi Cheese Bake

This Grilled Halloumi Cheese Bake is a quick and healthy, vegetarian dinner. Delicious crispy, salty cheese slices on top of a tasty tomato vegetable sauce, perfect for dunking!

  • 1 tsp Olive oil (Plus extra for brushing)
  • 1 Large Onion (Peeled and chopped into chunks)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and crushed)
  • 2 Medium Courgettes (Zucchini) (Chopped into chunks)
  • 1 Large Aubergine (Egg plant) (Chopped into chunks)
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 400 g Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato puree
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250 g Halloumi cheese
Optional
  • Fresh parsley or basil to garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan, add the onion and garlic and soften for 5 minutes.

  2. Add the courgettes, aubergine, cumin and smoked paprika and cook for a further 5 minutes until softened.

  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, honey and salt and pepper. Half fill one of the empty tomato cans with water and splosh in too. Pop the lid on the pan and let everything cook down for about 10 minutes. (See notes below.)

  4. Preheat the grill to very hot.

  5. When the sauce had thickened and softened, cut the halloumi cheese into thin slices, place on top of the vegetable sauce and brush (or spray) with oil.

  6. Pop under the grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese is crunchy and golden.

  • 10 minutes is the minimum time to cook down the vegetable stew part of this recipe, if I have longer, I try to let it cook for up to 30 minutes. It’s not necessary, but it just makes it a bit richer in flavour.
  • Try to use a good quality tomato puree, it will really add to the flavour of this dish.

The post Grilled Halloumi Cheese Bake Recipe appeared first on Taming Twins.

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This easy No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is a winner every time. Simple to make and deliciously creamy, with a crumbly biscuit base, it is foolproof!


Oh easy peasy no bake cheesecakes recipe, I’ve missed youuuuu! It’s been a few months.

I can’t believe I’ve never shared this most basic, classic, DREAMY of cheesecake recipes.

At this point, I would like to confess that I’ve never ever liked cheesecakes until I came up with my version of a No Bake Cheesecake about 5 years ago. It’s so different to the usual, BAKED cheesecakes I’d eaten before. Light, fluffy, creamy and bonus, easy to make.

Moral of the story, cheesecake phobic people, come and embrace this beaut’ and thank me later for the joy in your life!

This No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe should definitely make it onto your TO BE COOKED list because:

Simple, easy to get hold of ingredients.

✅ Really quick to pull together.

✅ Easily adaptable, add raspberries, strawberries or even more white chocolate (hello Milky Bar Cheesecake!)

✅ Everyone LOVES this classic.

How to make a White Chocolate Cheesecake:

Make a simple biscuit base with crushed ginger nut biscuits and then top with the deliciously light and creamy filling. This White Chocolate Cheesecake uses whipped double cream, icing sugar, philadelphia (cream cheese) and melted white chocolate.

When the cheesecake is set, decorate with grated white chocolate, swirls of cream and chunks of Milky Bar chocolate.

Ingredients to make a No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake:

Butter – I use unsalted butter for this and just melt it quickly in a mug in the microwave.

Gingernut Biscuits – Gingernut biscuits work really well in this recipe to give an added flavour. You could use another type of ginger biscuit, digestive biscuit, or graham crackers if you’re in the USA. (You may need slightly more butter if you change the biscuit you use).

Cream Cheese – I like to use Philadelphia brand cream cheese for this recipe, I drain off any liquid before using. You can use other brands, but I find they are SLIGHTLY more difficult to combine. Be sure to always use Full Fat Cream Cheese.

Double Cream – Whip this before using until light and holding soft peaks. For this recipe, the cream does not need to be as stiff as some of my other No Bake Cheesecake recipes as the chocolate helps to set the cheesecake.

White Chocolate – I used my favourite Callebaut chocolate for this recipe. This chocolate is just amazing, it melts so well and really makes a difference to any recipe. When you buy it in bulk (1kg bags at a time) from Amazon it works out about the same price as supermarket chocolate. A good investment I think as it really does make SUCH a difference. I do like a chunk of Milky Bar on top though!

Lemon – After you add your lemon juice, taste the mixture in case you think it needs a little more to balance out the sweetness. It’s personal preference.

Vanilla Extract – Be sure to use extract and not essence as it’s the pure, real taste. A little goes a long way.

What I used to make the White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe:

Cake tin – This recipe is for a 7″ tin which is also DEEP (not a standard depth sandwich cake tin, it may overflow). You can use smaller or larger tin or a different shape, but your cheesecake will obviously be taller or shorter. I would DEFINITELY recommend this tin though as it is a great size and very easy to use.

Vegetable peeler – I use these to ‘grate’ a bar of white chocolate to decorate. Really quick and effective and no grating your fingers by accident.

Disposable piping bag –  I know, these are not great for the environment. But using reusable bags takes so much detergent to get them clean, I’m honestly not sure of the best option so I’m still with these at the moment.

Piping Nozzle – I use this piping nozzle all the time, a great all rounder.

TIPS FOR MAKING THIS NO BAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE RECIPE:
  • The consistency of this no bake cheesecake should be sliceable but not solid. Something like room temperature butter, it will give a little quiver if you wobble it gently.
  • White Chocolate Cheesecake too runny and won’t set? It’s probably because your cream wasn’t whipped quite enough. No problem, pop it into the freezer for a few hours before serving.
  • Melt your white chocolate by breaking into chunks and microwaving for 30 seconds at a time (no more!) and stirring well in between. It will probably only take 1.5 minutes in total.
  • If the melted white chocolate seizes (i.e. goes too thick) add a small amount of vegetable oil and keep stirring until it returns to the correct consistency.
Most important top tip:
  • Be SURE to let your white chocolate come TOTALLY to room temperature before adding to your mixture. This means, almost cold whilst still runny. This is really important, as if it’s too warm, it will form clumps as soon as it hits the cold cream.
  • To avoid this even further, try to bring the cream and cream cheese to room temperature before using too.
Cheesecake lover? Try these..

If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to my newsletter for weekly meal plans, and follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for lots of chat, recipes and life updates!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

How to make this White Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe:

White Chocolate Cheesecake

This easy No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is a winner every time. Simple to make and deliciously creamy, with a crumbly biscuit base, it is foolproof!

  • 175 g Ginger biscuits
  • 75 g Butter
  • 500 ml Double Cream (Whipped until forming soft peaks)
  • 500 g Full Fat Cream Cheese
  • 300 g White Chocolate (Melted and then cooled to room temperature)
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
To decorate:
  • 100 ml Double Cream
  • 200 g White chocolate (12 Chunks and the remainder grated)
  1. About 2 hours before you want to start, bring your cream and cream cheese out of the fridge (see recipe notes).

  2. Crush the biscuits (either with a rolling pin or in a food processor). Mix with the melted butter and press into your 7″ tin.

  3. Combine the whipped cream, cream cheese, melted ROOM TEMPERATURE white chocolate, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Fold in gently until fully combined.

  4. Smooth on top of the biscuit base and flatten the top with the back of a spoon or a palette knife if you have one.

  5. Chill for 2 hours or even better, over night.

  6. Use my knife tip (in recipe notes) to remove the cheesecake from the tin. Pipe the remaining whipped cream and decorate with grated chocolate and chocolate chunks.

  • Be SURE to let your melted white chocolate come TOTALLY to room temperature before adding to your mixture. This means, almost cold whilst still runny. This is really important, as if it’s too warm, it will form clumps as soon as it hits the cold cream.
  • To avoid this even further, try to bring the cream and cream cheese to room temperature before using too.
  • Run around the outside of the tin with a warm knife to easily remove the cheesecake. 
  • To decorate, save 12 chunks of chocolate and grate the rest. Sprinkle the grated chocolate on top, then pipe 12 swirls, and top with the chunks.

The post No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake appeared first on Taming Twins.

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Taming Twins by Sarah Barnes - 1w ago

This quick and simple Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe, is light but creamy, fresh and healthy! From fridge to table in under 30 minutes it is a perfect fast midweek dinner, the whole family will love. 

Pesto pasta is the dinner time saviour of busy lives everywhere. But, I’m going to be honest with you dear friends, after eating it with toddlers about three times a week for two years, it had rather (happily) fallen off of my meal plans for a while.

I decided to resurrect it this week because:

✅ A really quick, midweek assembly job dinner.

✅ It makes great lunchbox leftovers

✅ My children LOVE it and sometimes, we all need a no moaning dinner option, right?

How to make Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta:

Firstly, preheat your grill to high.

Flatten your chicken breasts (fillets). I flatten mine by laying them between sheets of cling film and bashing with a rolling pin.

Pop the chicken onto a baking tray and cook one side under the grill for 5 minutes, turn over and spread a teaspoon of the pesto onto each one and pop back under the grill for another 5 minutes or until cooked through.

Whilst the chicken is cooking away cook your dried pasta according to the instructions, and your preference. I find around 10 minutes gives the perfect bite. About 4 minutes before the end of the pasta cooking time, add the green beans.

Once the pasta is fully cooked stir in: Creme Fraiche, cherry tomatoes, green beans, salt and pepper and the grilled chicken.

Serve sprinkled with pine nuts and mozzarella pearls.

Ingredients for the Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe:

Chicken – I use (flattened) chicken breasts (or fillets) for this recipe, as they cook really quickly. You could use boneless thighs if you’d prefer but they’d take longer to cook. You could also use pre-cooked or leftover chicken if you prefer.

Pesto – I tend to buy fresh, supermarket ready made pesto for this recipe as it is such a key part of the recipe and really makes it feel a bit special. Pesto from a jar is fine though.

Pasta – You could also use fresh pasta in place of dried to reduce your cooking time. You could also use wholemeal pasta instead to increase the fibre content and make the meal a little more healthy. (You may find this needs a slightly longer cooking time so be sure to test.)

Vegetables – You can vary the vegetables used in this recipe to whatever you prefer. It would be delicious with spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, mange tout and also frozen peas.

Creme Fraiche – For a simple way to make this recipe healthier without compromising on taste, use half fat Creme Fraiche.

Variations on this Chicken Pesto pasta recipe:
  • Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake – To make this a pasta BAKE, just save the mozzarella, when everything else is mixed together, pop into a baking dish, top with the mozzarella cheese and put into a hot oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
  • Chicken Red Pesto Pasta – Just replace the green pesto with red pesto if you prefer, or fancy a change.
  • Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad – Simply chill everything to use as a cold pasta dish, perfect for lunchtimes. This is also a great recipe for meal prepping – serve warm as a dinner and use these handy containers to store the leftovers for a lunch later in the week.

Tips on making Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta:
  • If you prefer, you can oven cook the chicken breasts for between 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.
  • This recipe can easily be made gluten free by using a gluten free pasta, or for a low carbohydrate diet try using spelt pasta or making courgetti using courgettes and a spirilizer.
  • To appeal to children and add variety vary the shapes of pasta that you use. Spaghetti, conchiglie, cavatapi, fusilli: you name it, it all works well.
  • If you are following Slimming world you may wish to try making my homemade syn free pesto – and then you can follow this recipe (removing the Creme Fraiche and the Mozzarella).
  • For a quick, Vegetarian budget friendly version, remove the chicken, also be sure to source vegetarian pesto or make your own using a vegetarian hard cheese rather than pesto (as above my Homemade Pesto Recipe would be suitable.)

Need some midweek recipe inspiration…? Look at these:

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to my newsletter for weekly meal plans, and follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for lots of chat, recipes and life updates!

How to make this Easy Chicken Pasta Pesto recipe:

Chicken Pesto Pasta

This quick and simple Chicken Pesto Pasta recipe, is light but creamy, fresh and healthy! A perfect fast midweek dinner, the whole family will love.

  • 400 g Chicken breast fillets, skinless and boneless (2 x Chicken breasts)
  • 145 g Fresh pesto
  • 350 g Dried pasta
  • 200 g Green beans
  • 200 g Cherry tomatoes (Halved)
  • 2 tbsp Creme fraiche
  • Salt and pepper
To serve (optional)
  • 20 g Pine nuts
  • 100 g Mozzarella pearls
  1. Preheat the grill to hot.

  2. Flatten your chicken breasts (I do this by laying them between sheets of cling film and bashing with a rolling pin). Pop them onto a baking tray and cook one side under the grill for 5 minutes, turn over and spread a teaspoon of the pesto onto each one and pop back under the grill for another 5 minutes or until cooked through.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes or according to pack instructions.

  4. Whilst the pasta is cooking halve the cherry tomatoes, and trim the green beans as necessary. 

  5. 4 minutes before the end of the cooking time, throw in the green beans with the boiling pasta.

  6. Cut the chicken into thin slices.

  7. Drain the pasta and beans, stir in the rest of the pasta, the cherry tomato halves, the creme fraiche, chicken,salt and pepper and pine nuts.

  8. Enjoy!

  • This is the perfect store cupboard recipe as you can substitute fresh pesto for jarred if you need to. Fresh Pesto is more flavoursome however, it will still taste great with another longlife version, perfect for rustling up meals quickly! 
  • You can also use a lighter version of Creme Fraiche to reduce the fat levels in this recipe. 
  • For even greater time saving you can use fresh pasta. 
  • Flatter chicken breasts (fillets) will cook more quickly. I flatten mine by laying them between sheets of cling film and bashing with a rolling pin.

The post Chicken Pesto Pasta appeared first on Taming Twins.

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Taming Twins by Sarah Barnes - 2w ago

A simple Vegetarian Moussaka recipe. This classic Greek dish is made with aubergines, potatoes and courgettes with a creamy cheese topping. It is a delicious family friendly recipe which makes a great midweek meal, and is also perfect to batch cook and freeze for later. Gluten free and can be modified for those following the Slimming World plan. 

How’s your week going my friends? I’m already trying to get myself organised in advance of the school summer holidays HOW CAN THIS BE?!

It means juggling and planning and, may I be frank? It makes my brain ache. I love having the kids at home, love no school runs, love that I work for myself so that I CAN juggle BUT it takes me two months to plan two months off and so here we are.

I’m working late and stacking up work in advance so I don’t have to be photographing cakes at 5am all summer as I have some years.

And we all know what busy times call for, yes? A CHEESE CARB FEST. Enter: Delicious Creamy Ricotta Vegetarian Moussaka with Extra Carbs or Vegetable Moussaka for short.

Fast vs Best

I generally try to keep all of my recipes here, super simple and quick. I know, your lives are super busy and that’s what you want.

This recipe is a little longer (it should take about 90 minutes) BUT you can easily double up and make one for freeze so you’re effectively catering for two meals in that time.

BUT BUT BUT. I promise, it’s SO worth it! Here’s why:

  1. Delicious, creamy, cheesy topping without the faff of a white sauce.
  2. PACKED with mountains of veg whilst still feeling like a treat.
  3. Easy to double up and freeze – invest the time one weekend and thank yourself later!

How do you make a Vegetarian Moussaka?

Pre heat your oven to 180C and chop the onions, garlic, and the courgettes.

TOP TIME SAVING TIP: I often use frozen onion and garlic, it is so handy!

Firstly, fry the onions and garlic in a little of the olive oil for around 3 minutes, until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Now add in the courgettes, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, and fry for three minutes until the courgette begins to soften.

Now add in chopped tomatoes, water, honey, cinnamon and lentils, stir to combine and simmer for approx 30 minutes.

If it get too thick and starts to stick, add a splash more water.

Top tip! At the end of the cooking time, check that the the lentils are soft and tender, not grainy. If not, cook for a couple more minutes.

Top tip! To reduce cooking time you could you ready cooked tinned green lentils however I must say the texture of this is much nicer with the red.

Whilst the tomato mixture is bubbling away, wash and slice your aubergines into two cm thick slices (see photos). There is no need to salt them. Add a grind of pepper. Peel and slice your potatoes to the same thickness as your courgettes.

Place your sliced aubergine on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Boil your potatoes for around 15 minutes. In traditional Greek recipes the aubergine would be fried on a griddle, but I’ve chosen to oven cook as its is much simpler and the aubergine absorbs less oil so it makes for a healthier dish.

Top tip! You can buy frozen sliced Aubergine to cut out one of the steps! You can simply defrost this and layer on top of the tomato mixture so it cooks in the oven.

Now, spread the tomato mixture into a baking dish, layer your cooked aubergine over the top, overlapping the slices.

Layer your potatoes over the aubergine. Now to make the topping!

Put, ricotta, eggs and some grated fresh nutmeg into a bowl and combine gently with a whisk.

Pour the topping mixture over your potatoes, taking care to ensure everything is covered. Now sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and place back into the oven for 20 minutes, until golden and bubbling….yummy!

Potatoes

Potatoes aren’t ALWAYS used in a moussaka recipe but I love them (generally and also in this recipe). They soak up the yummy tomato sauce, and make the whole dish more stable.

If you’d prefer to leave them out, you can do. Perhaps add more aubergine slices.

Can you make moussaka ahead of time?
This Vegetable Moussaka is the perfect make ahead recipe. You can make the tomato & vegetable sauce and keep it in the fridge for up to two days before cooking, you can also assemble the moussaka and store this in the fridge 48 hours before you cook it.
Can you freeze Vegetarian Moussaka?

Yes! I when I make moussaka, I always make two, one to eat that day and the other to assemble and freeze ready to defrost another day.

You can also freeze the leftovers portioned up into takeaway containers like these.. I buy them in bulk from Amazon, about £8 for 50. (I wash and reuse them but they are much cheaper than buying hundreds of thick Tupperware containers.)

What I used to make this Aubergine and Potato Moussaka:
  • Believe me when I say a good quality peeler is such an invaluable piece of kitchen kit. A swivel blade has actually made potato peeling a pleasurable experience!
  • A fairly deep, but sturdy rectangular dish works well for this recipe. I like this one, which is also a total bargain price: Oven Safe Serving Dish on Amazon.
Fancy some more vegetarian meals?…Feast upon these:

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make it. Give me feedback by rating the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to my newsletter for weekly meal plans, and follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for lots of chat, recipes and life updates!

How to make this Vegetable Moussaka recipe:

Vegetarian Moussaka

A simple vegetarian Moussaka recipe. Made with aubergines, potatoes and courgettes, topped with a creamy cheese sauce. this delicious family friendly recipe makes a great midweek meal, and is also perfect to batch cook and freeze for later. It is also gluten free and can be modified for those following the Slimming World plan. 

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion (Chopped)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (Chopped)
  • 2 Courgettes (Sliced)
  • 2 Large Aubergine
  • 750 g Potatoes
  • 2x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 100 g Red Lentils (Dried)
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
For the topping:
  • 250 g Ricotta
  • 2 Eggs (Whisk with fork)
  • 100 g Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg ((About))
  • 100 g Cheddar (Grated)
  1. Preheat your oven to 180deg (fan). 

  2. Finely chop onions and garlic, slice courgettes. 

  3. Slice aubergine lengthways into 2cm thick slices. 

  4. Peel and chop potatoes also to 2cm thick slices. 

  5. Fry onion and garlic in some of the olive oil for around 5 minutes until the onion has begun to brown. 

  6. Add courgettes, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, honey and cinnamon and cook for a further three minutes. 

  7. Now add chopped tomatoes and lentils, half fill one of your empty tomato tins with water and pour that in, stir to combine and simmer for approx 30 minutes. 

  8. Whilst this is cooking away arrange your slices of aubergine on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and cook for 20 minutes. 

  9. Boil your potatoes for around 15 minutes. 

  10. Spread the tomato mixture on the bottom of a dish, lay slices of potato on top, followed by the aubergine. 

  11. Combine the ricotta, eggs, greek yoghurt, and nutmeg in bowl and pour over the aubergine, lastly sprinkle with the grated cheddar. 

  12. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the moussaka is golden and bubbling. 

  13. Enjoy!

  • I often use frozen onion and garlic, it is so handy! If you use frozen aubergines, defrost and then add to the mixture to cook in the oven. 

 

  • After cooking in the pan with the tomatoes check that the the lentils are soft and tender, not grainy. If not, cook for a couple more minutes. 

 

  • To reduce cooking time you could you ready cooked tinned green lentils however I must say the texture of this is much nicer with the red. 

 

  • This is the perfect dish for batch cooking, simply double the recipe and make two, one to eat now and one to freeze. For best results assemble the moussaka and then freeze before cooking, either as a whole or in individual portions. The leftovers also freeze well too!

The post Vegetarian Moussaka appeared first on Taming Twins.

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This healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry is SO incredibly easy. No browning, no preparation. Just leave it to bubble away and come home to the most delicious, creamy but light, coconut milk curry.

I’ve wanted to try making a curry recipe using this slow cooker method for SO long. I love easy, slow cooked curries, but who has time for browning meat at 7am before work?!

So, I thought I’d test out, NOT browning the meat and just kind of, flinging it all in to the slow cooker (or crock pot if you’re in the USA). Friends, THIS is the total gem of a result.

Let’s be honest, an authentic Indian curry, Madras curry or Thai curry, this is not. BUT it’s a super shortcut to a delicious, easy dinner. Just what we like!

Why you should make this recipe:

✅ It’s so easy. No prep, no stirring, combine everything and come home to a delicious Chicken Curry.

✅ The recipe uses Coconut Milk and no cream for a yummy flavour and a lighter, healthier curry.

✅ Perfect for families, kids, or spicy phobic people, as you can really simply adjust the level spice.

✅ Oh and I did I mentioned – it tastes SO GOOD.

How to make a Slow Cooker Chicken Curry:

Pop all of your ingredients, (apart from your Garam Masala) into the slow cooker and cook until soft and tender. Gently break up the meat and mix in with the sauce, plus the Garam Masala.

Serve and get ready to fall in sweet curry love.

Garlic, Ginger & Onion – I use all of these from the freezer, pre prepared. (Always after a shortcut) You can obviously prepare fresh if you’d prefer.

Medium Curry Powder – Replace with mild, or extra hot depending on your spicy taste. This is just right for us.

Chilli Flakes – This just gives a little extra flicker of heat. Feel free to leave out if you prefer.

Salt – I use good quality flakes like Maldon Sea Salt. It really adds to the flavour.

Mango Chutney – This added a sweet, ’rounded’ taste. Use whichever brand is your favourite – with more to serve of course!

Reduced Fat Coconut Milk – You can use full fat if you prefer, this is just what I usually have in the cupboard. Give the can a shake before you add it. Coconut Milk curry is so creamy without the heavy feeling of a curry like Chicken Tikka Masala or Chicken Korma made with double cream.

Chicken Thighs – These should be boneless and skinless. You could use chicken breast in this recipe, but it won’t be as tender or shred when cooked in the same way.

Garam Masala – We add this after cooking as it can become a little bitter if cooked, it is (I believe) usually used as an uncooked seasoning in Indian food recipes.

When the recipe has cooked for 4 hours on HIGH or 6 hours on LOW, take off the lid, give everything a good stir. You’ll notice the chicken breaking up.

Top tip! I like to gently shred the chicken with forks when the curry is cooked, whilst still in the slow cooker (crock pot) and stir it into the sauce. It kind of soaks into the sauce and thickens the sauce.

Stir in the Garam Masala and some extra mango chutney if you think it needs a little more sweetness. Garnish with mint or coriander if you fancy.

What to serve with the Slow Cooker Chicken Curry?
  • Boiled Basmati rice (or from a microwave pouch if you’re saving time!)
  • Raita salad (yoghurt mixed with mint and cucumber and a little lemon juice)
  • My easy Flatbreads
  • Naan breads
  • Roasted cauliflower (I coat in oil and some curry powder and roast – it’s SO GOOD!)
  • Poppadoms (or GIANT crisps as George and Harriet call them)

Should you brown chicken before cooking in the slow cooker?

If you want to get scientific, the reason we brown meat before slow cooking, is because it causes a Maillard reaction. The process of frying, heating it very hot until it browns, changes the flavour compounds in the meat, basically adding a depth of flavour.

Does it add something to most slow cooked dishes? Yes. Is it vital in this dish, which is packed with other flavour? No.

My opinion is that it’s much more important in red meat dishes and even then, sometimes speed and ease are more important.

Variations on the Slow Cooker Chicken Curry recipe:
  • Butter Chicken Slow Cooker Curry – Add the juice of half a lemon, and 50g of butter before serving, stir well into the sauce.
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Korma – Use Korma curry powder, and add 3 tbsp of ground almonds before serving.
  • Madras Chicken Curry – Use Madras curry powder.
  • Slimming World Slow Cooker Chicken Curry – Count the Syns for the mango chutney and coconut milk.

I’m not promising any of these are mega authentic, but we all need a shortcut sometimes, right?!

Can you freeze this recipe?

Yes! I LOVE making a big batch of this and freezing it for another day. When it’s cold, I portion it up into takeaway containers (in the photo below).

I buy them in bulk from Amazon, about £8 for 50. (I wash and reuse them but they are much cheaper than buying hundreds of thick Tupperware containers.) I then defrost and warm through when needed.

Fancy some more slow cooked dinner recipes?

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this Slow Cooker Chicken Curry recipe. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

Also, if you fancy showing me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

This healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry is SO incredibly easy. No browning, no preparation. Just leave it to bubble away and come home to the most delicious, creamy but light, coconut milk curry.

  • 4 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and chopped, or frozen, ready prepared)
  • 2 tsp Fresh ginger (Peeled and grated, or use a ready prepared paste)
  • 3 tbsp Medium curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 100 g Mango chutney
  • 400 ml Reduced fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Large Onion (Peeled and very finely chopped, I use frozen ready prepared)
  • 1 kg Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  1. Put everything APART FROM the Garam Masala into the slow cooker (crock pot). Give it a good stir.

  2. Put the lid on and cook on HIGH for 4 hour or LOW for at least 6 hours.

  3. When the chicken is tender and falling apart, gently shred it with two forks and stir in the Garam Masala. Mix well until everything is coated and softened in the sauce.

  • When you taste the curry at the end, you can add another tablespoon or two of Mango Chutney if you think it needs more sweetness.
  • Garnish with mint or coriander if you fancy.

The post Slow Cooker Chicken Curry – Easiest Ever Recipe! appeared first on Taming Twins.

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Taming Twins by Sarah Barnes - 2w ago

This delicious Malteser Cake recipe, is full of the chocolate malt flavours of the classic treat. It’s surprisingly easy to make, perfect for birthdays, celebrations or... Dessert!

OH HI new favourite cake of mine!

This Malteser Cake (why do I always spell if Malteasers? Just me?) is the stuff dreams are made of. Light, fluffy and with the delicious malty flavour which has lead me to consume my body weight in Malted Milk biscuits over the years. It’s a good ‘un.

I made this last week and it was winking at me from the cake tin all week. It would be rude not to test it five or six or 10 times, RIGHT.

Over the years I’ve used the Nigella Malteser Cake recipe and also the Mary Berry Malteser Cake recipe. This one recipe of mine, is a bit of a hybrid of the two, with my own adjustments; making it larger (obvs) and simplifying slightly.

Here’s why I think you NEEEEED this beauty of a cake in your life:

  1. Whose day would not be brightened by a slice of this?!
  2. The cake is really simple to make using basic storecupboard ingredients.
  3. It’s really moist (sorry anyone who hates that word – it is TRUE!) so keeps well in a tin for up to 4 days.

How to make the Malteser Cake recipe:

Start by creaming your butter (room temperature) with your sugars until light and fluffy.

Combine your cocoa and Ovaltine in another bowl with enough boiling water to form a thick paste.

Then add your eggs and flour, to the butter and sugars, along with the cocoa mixture.

Beat it all together really well until thick and smooth.

Pour evenly into 3 x 7″ baking tins that have been lined and buttered.

Top tip! Make sure that you butter your tins REALLY well. I also line the sides of the tins with baking paper for this cake as the cakes are quite delicate. I also think (maybe?) it makes the edges a bit neater as they are being served naked. No desperate need though if you’re short on time.

Make the icing by combining the butter (again, room temperature) with the icing sugar, and a paste make of the cocoa, Ovaltine and some boiling water.

Keep beating and beating until everything is smooth, thick and light.

Top tip! If the icing is too soft, pop in the fridge for an hour OR add a little more icing sugar. If too solid, add a tiny bit more boiling water.

The cakes are cooked when:

  • A skewer comes out of the centre of the cake clean
  • The are ‘pulling’ away from the sides of the tin

Allow them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then take out of the tins and let them cool completely.

If the sponge cakes have a dome top at all, trim off with a sharp bread knife (this is really important so that the tower of cake sits level).

Then sandwich the cakes together, spreading icing across the middle of each layer, and piping dollops of icing around the edge. (I use just a piping bag with the end snipped off.)

Decorate with crushed and whole Maltesers.

Top tip! This Malteser cake will last 4 days stored in a airtight container..if it lasts that long!

What I used to make the Malteser Cake:
  • It really helps to use good tins for baking, I use these thick, great quality 7″ cake tins (I have the deep ones so I can use them for cheesecakes too!) they are a great investment.

  • Disposable Piping Bags these are a must buy if you’re planning on some cake decorating, they are so easy to use. I know, these are not great for the environment. But using reusable bags takes so much detergent to get them clean, I’m honestly not sure of the best option.
  • An an angled palette knife is SO useful for spreading icing, it’s one of my favourite little kitchen tools.

NEED MORE CAKE IN YOUR LIFE?…HAVE A LOOK AT THESE:

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to my newsletter for weekly meal plans, and follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for lots of chat, recipes and life updates!

How to make this Malteser Cake recipe:

Malteser Cake

This delicious Malteser Cake recipe, is full of the chocolate malt flavours of the classic treat. It’s surprisingly easy to make, perfect for birthdays, celebrations or.. Dessert!

  • 150 g Soft brown sugar
  • 150 g Caster sugar
  • 300 g Unsalted butter (At room temperature)
  • 6 Medium eggs ((Or 5 Large))
  • 240 g Self raising flour
  • 30 g Cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
  • 30 g Malted drink powder (I used Horlicks, Ovaltine would also be fine)
  • 5 tbsp Boiling water
For the Icing
  • 400 g Icing sugar
  • 200 g Unsalted butter (At room temperature)
  • 25 g Cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
  • 75 g Malted drink powder (I used Horlicks, Ovaltine would also be fine)
  • Boiling water ((Enough to form a paste – see notes))
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

  2. Beat the sugars with the butter until soft and fluffy.

  3. In another bowl mix the cocoa and malted drink powder with ABOUT 5 tbsp of boiling water. Add it gradually, whisking and mixing until you have a smooth paste. You may need a little more or less depending on the brands you use. Be sure to mix out all lumps.

  4. Add the eggs, flour and cocoa mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until smooth and totally combined.

  5. Share the mixture out between three 7″ cake tins, well buttered and lined with baking paper. Smooth out the tops and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes.

  6. Make your icing by combining the butter, icing sugar and a paste made with the cocoa, malted drink powder and JUST enough boiling water to make make the paste. (Be sure to mix out all lumps from the paste). Beat the icing really well, it will be very stiff and powdery at the start.

  7. When the cakes are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove from the tins and trim the tops off if needed.

  8. Sandwich together with the icing and decorate with Maltesers.

  • Make sure that you butter your tins REALLY well. I also line the sides of the tins with baking paper for this cake as the cakes are quite delicate. I also think (maybe?) it makes the edges a bit neater as they are being served naked. No desperate need though if you’re short on time.
  • The cakes are cooked when: A skewer comes out of the centre of the cake clean and/or the are ‘pulling’ away from the sides of the tin.
  • If the icing is too soft, pop in the fridge for an hour OR add a little more icing sugar. If too solid, add a tiny bit more boiling water.
  • Store the cake in an airtight tin, for upto 4 days. 

The post Malteser Cake Recipe appeared first on Taming Twins.

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Taming Twins by Sarah Barnes - 3w ago

Simple and delicious, this Oven Baked Salmon is cooked with potatoes and courgettes for a one pan meal. Drenched in garlic, herbs and lemon it’s quick and healthy. Also gluten free and suitable for the Slimming World plan. 

I’ve been making an effort to reduce the amount of meat we eat lately. It’s dawned on me that we normally end up eating red meat or chicken most days of the week, by habit more than choice.

George and Harriet don’t LOVE fish (unless it’s in batter..) but I’m persevering and it’s definitely getting easier. I love this dish as it’s so simple and adaptable, no thought required for a weekday night.

Also.. For some reason this recipe goes down better than I call it ‘Pink Fish Parcel’ rather than ‘Oven Baked Salmon‘?!

Hope it helps if you’re looking for quick recipes that maybe encourage you to eat a little more fish too.

Here’s why I think you’ll like it:

  1. TIME – There is minimal prep and it takes only 20 minutes in the oven.
  2. It’s HEALTHY – the salmon is full of amazing Omega 3’s which I keep telling George is brain food (anyone else have that drummed into them as a child), healthy fats, a portion of vegetables and a healthy balance of carbs.
  3. It is cooked in ONE PAN (I did mean to shout that!). Hands up who loves a one pan dish, I’m a big fan.

HOW TO MAKE BAKED SALMON:

Firstly par boil your potatoes, for about 10 minutes (I left mine in the skins) until they are just beginning to soften. (You can do this in the microwave too if you prefer. Just prick them with a fork, wrap in kitchen paper and microwave for about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, thinly slice your courgettes and lemon. They should be about a 0.5 cm thickness.

TIME SAVING TIP: I use a mandolin to slice for this dish – they are about £15 on amazon and they are great for dishes like this, but they really feel like an essential purchase when making potato dauphinoise, or a hot pot, and even homemade chips.

Drain your potatoes and slice thinly too.

Next take a piece of foil, spray or brush with oil and start arranging your potato slices across the foil, over lapping them slightly. Then do the same with your courgettes. Now sprinkle with approx half of your fresh thyme. See the photos below for how I arranged my slices.

Now lay your four salmon fillets on top of the courgettes, space them evenly so everything has room to cook.

Place a slice of lemon on each salmon fillet, and sprinkle over the remaining thyme, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper, and if you like a squeeze of the remaining lemon.

Wrap your tin foil parcel up, sealing it but making sure it doesn’t touch the fish.

Bake the salmon fillets in the oven for around 20 minutes and serve when cooked through.

What to serve with Baked Salmon?

This is a complete meal, with carbs and veg, but you might like to add:

  • A good quality shop bought mayonnaise to serve.
  • A dollop of Creme Fraiche with lemon zest to serve.
  • Some leafy spinach added to the parcel 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
  • Some extra, cooked petit pois to serve.
  • More wedges of fresh lemon to serve.

What I used to make this Baked Salmon Recipe:
  • Mandolin – as I said above these really are so useful! I use mine to make thick slices and then chop them up for making homemade chips too. Mine is ancient and not available any more, but the one I’ve links has excellent reviews.

TIPS ON MAKING THIS OVEN BAKED SALMON RECIPE:
  1. If you want to serve for more than four people it may be more economical to buy a side of salmon. If you do decide to do this then you can follow the recipe exactly as detained, however you should increase your cooking time to around 30 minutes.
  2. This baked salmon recipe is really versatile and you can swap the salmon for cod, or another white fish if you’d prefer.
  3. I used Lemon Thyme as I saw it in the supermarket and thought if would work well (it did!). Regular thyme works fine though.
  4. Towards the end of the cooking time, say at 15 minutes, check inside your parcel. If you want the salmon to be a bit more coloured, leave the parcel open when you pop it back into the oven.
  5. If you’re following the Slimming World plan, just replace the oil with spray.

MORE SALMON DISHES…?

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this Baked Salmon recipe. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to my newsletter for weekly meal plans, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for lots of chat, recipes and life updates!

How to Make this Baked Fish Dish!

Baked Salmon – A healthy, oven baked salmon dish.

A simple and delicious healthy oven baked salmon dish. Moist salmon with potatoes and courgettes oven cooked in foil. A quick, healthy simple dish, perfect for lunches and midweek dinners. 

  • 4 Salmon fillets
  • 3 Medium Potatoes
  • 3 Courgettes ((or 2 big ones))
  • 20 g Fresh thyme
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and crushed)
  • 1 Lemon (Sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 180c.

  2. Boil or microwave your potatoes (in their skins) for about 10 minutes to just soften.

  3. Drain your potatoes and slice your potatoes and courgettes into approx 0.5 cm slices (or use a mandolin if you have one).

  4. Now cut a piece of foil that is big enough to create a parcel to hold your food, You need enough excess to wrap across the top of the ingredients. 

  5. Spray of brush the foil with a little olive oil. Arrange the slices of partially cooked potato on the foil, over lapping them to  fill the dish. Lay slices of courgette on top. 

  6. Once all of the courgette has been used up place the four salmon fillets on top, followed by a slice of lemon on each.  Sprinkle with the fresh thyme, crushed garlic and a drizzle of oil.

  7. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. Wrap the foil over the top of the salmon.  Cook for 20 minutes.

  1. This is a really good recipe to scale down- if you want to cook for less people just reduce the recipe accordingly, it’s the perfect supper for nights on your own. 
  2. Be sure not to overcook the salmon, it shouldn’t have that tell tale white residue coming from it. If you notice this on the fish, remove from the oven straight away.

The post Baked Salmon Recipe appeared first on Taming Twins.

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Dinner in 15 minutes? Don’t mind if I do! This Easy Egg Fried Rice recipe is healthy, packed with vegetables, vegetarian and ready in a flash.

This easy and super healthy Egg Fried Rice recipe is one of my most favourite, super quick, go to, what-on-earth-can-I-make-in-15-minutes dinners. Here’s why:

  • Made with microwave rice packs for a SUPER easy store cupboard dinner.
  • Uses up whatever leftover vegetables you have hanging around.
  • Ready in FIFTEEN MINUTES!
  • Just one pan – woohoo!
  • Easily adaptable to be Egg Fried Rice with Chicken, Egg Fried Rice with Prawns, Egg Fried Rice with Ham. The list is ENDLESS.

I could go on here, but honestly, I promise, you’ll be SO thankful for this little gem in your repertoire.

Plus, for me, it has the added benefit of using up some of our many eggs. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might’ve seen the other residents of our new house (it’s been 6 months now, that’s not new is it?!)

There are eight BEAUTIFUL ladies who joined us earlier this year.

Meet.. Margot, Barbara, Poppy, Wendy the Hendy, Nugget, Scarface the Terrible, Ella (Salmonella!!) and Pablo. (Don’t ask!)

They are laying an egg a day at the moment, which means 56 eggs A WEEK!

I give lots away, but as you can imagine, I’m always looking for more egg recipes.

Plus the fact that eggs are high in protein, vegetarian, and quick to cook they are a brilliant base for a meal.

Nugget the Wyandotte on the look out for worms How do you make Vegetable Fried Rice?

This really is such a simple Chinese style recipe, it is from wok to plate in less than 15 minutes.

I dare say, it’s probably not VERY traditional Chinese, but as always, using my own little tweaks make this fit with the time I have and the children love it, so, can’t argue with that.

The only preparation you need to do is chop onion, garlic, carrot, red and orange peppers.

TOP TIP! I often use frozen onions, garlic and ginger, and for store cupboard emergencies I keep in both garlic and ginger paste. SO useful. Just try to choose a brand with no, or few, preservatives.

Heat your oil in a deep frying pan or wok. (For a more authentic egg fried rice, substitute olive oil for sesame oil, however, don’t go out and buy it, olive oil is just fine.)

Add your chopped vegetables and Chinese five spice and fry for around 3 minutes until the onion is beginning to soften.

Next, add in your rice, peas, dark soy and oyster sauces.

The Rice

I have use microwavable wholegrain basmati rice, if you prefer you can cook your own rice and add it in, but this makes it so simple and quick. It is such a great cheat, it doesn’t compromise on the quality or taste but reduces the cooking time massively. I use wholegrain as it adds much needed extra fibre to our diets and some extra bite to the final dish.

Dark Soy Sauce

I use dark soy, as it gives colour and taste. If you only have light soy sauce in your kitchen, that’s an okay substitute.

Oyster Sauce

This really is the secret to good Chinese style cooking. It is so worth investing in a bottle to keep in the fridge. Once you get the taste for it you’ll use it all the time!

Once you’ve added them into your pan..

Cook for around three minutes on a high heat, stirring to allow everything to mix well. (You might have to use your wooden spoon to squash and crumble any lumps of rice.)

Now for the exciting bit, whisk up your eggs quickly using a fork.

Make two wells in the rice mixture and pour the eggs in. Leave them to cook for a minute before stirring. Allow the eggs to cook in the mixture for around 4 minutes.

I served this topped with chopped spring onions (scallions) and red chillies. Prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauce on the side are also a tasty extra.

TIPS FOR MAKING THIS EASY EGG FRIED RICE:
  • If you like chunky pieces of egg in your egg fried rice then allow the eggs to cook in the wells for a while longer before stirring. For smaller egg pieces, and to get a more sticky rice mixture, stir the eggs more quickly, say in after a minute.
  • For a more authentic egg fried rice, substitute olive oil for sesame oil, however, don’t go out and buy it, olive oil is just fine.
  • I have used wholemeal basmati rice, this gives extra bite and provides a heathy dose of fibre, however you can use which ever type of rice you prefer.
  • I have used four eggs in the recipe, one per person, but we have a glut of eggs! Two would be fine.
What I used to make the Egg Fried Rice recipe:
  • I LOVE this pan for making recipes like this. It is an investment purchase, but mine looks as good as it did the day I bought it 10 years ago (yes I’m that old – waaahh!) Kind of wok, kind of saucepan, kind of frying pan, it is PERFECT.

Ways to adapt this Vegetarian Egg Fried Rice Recipe:
  • Add cooked pieces of chicken (ready bought or leftovers) to make Egg Fried Rice with Chicken.
  • Use straight to wok noodles instead of rice for Egg Fried Noodles.
  • Use Frylight and count the Syns of the rice packets for Slimming World Egg Fried Rice.
  • Add cooked prawns to make Egg Fried Rice with Prawns.
  • Use Garam Masala instead of Chinese Five Spice and replace the Oyster Sauce and Soy Sauce with some Sweet Chilli Sauce to make Indian Egg Fried Rice.

FANCY SOME MORE VEGETARIAN MEALS?… Feast upon these:

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make it. Give me feedback by rating the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to my newsletter for weekly meal plans, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for lots of chat, recipes and life updates!

Egg Fried Rice Recipe

Dinner in 15 minutes? Don’t mind if I do! This Easy Egg Fried Rice recipe is healthy, packed with vegetables, vegetarian and ready in a flash.

  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic (Crushed)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger (Paste)
  • 1 Onion (Finely chopped)
  • 1 Red pepper (Sliced)
  • 1 Orange pepper (Sliced)
  • 2 Carrots (Chopped)
  • 150 g Peas (Frozen)
  • 2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 500 g Microwave rice ((2 x 250g Packs))
  • 4 Eggs
To serve (Optional):
  • Spring Onions (Scallion) (Sliced. )
  • Red chilli (Finely chopped. )
Optional additional ingredients:
  • Cooked Chicken
  • Ham
  • Prawns
  1. Heat your oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan. 

  2. Add onions, garlic, ginger, five spice and fry over a high heat for 4 minutes.  

  3. Pour in your rice, oyster sauce and soy sauce and fry for a further three minutes. 

  4. Whisk your eggs, make a couple of wells in the mixture and add the eggs, leave them to cook in the wells for one minute, and then keep stirring until cooked, approx 4 minutes. 

  5. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions and chillies. 

  6. Enjoy!

  • For a more authentic taste, substitute olive oil for sesame oil, however, don’t go out and buy it, olive oil is just fine!
  • I usually use a ginger paste, but fresh or frozen would also be fine, the same applies for garlic. 
  • I have used wholemeal basmati rice, this gives extra bite and provides a heathy dose of fibre, however you can use which ever type of rice you prefer.
  • I have used four eggs, one per person, but we have a glut of eggs, so two would be fine. 
  • If you like your pieces of egg to be chunky leave them in the wells until they are almost cooked and stir to break up, if you prefer smaller sticky pieces stir them after about two minutes. 

The post Egg Fried Rice Recipe – Easy 15 Minute Meal appeared first on Taming Twins.

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This healthy Tuna Pasta Bake recipe, is made with a quick homemade tomato sauce and cheesy top for an easy comfort food dinner that everyone will love. 

This post was originally publish on Dec 15, 2016 and updated, with new photos and tips on April 23, 2019

Meals in my house growing up were homely, warming, but definitely pretty traditional. There were lamb chops, casseroles and the odd steak. Until, sometime about 1990, when my lovely Mum discovered pasta.

She’d seen someone using it on TV and we needed to get with the times and try it. From then on, Cheesy Tuna Pasta Bake was a regular staple dinner in our house. It was new found sophistication, don’t you know.

This recipe takes me right back to growing up, meal times in that steamy kitchen. My recipe for this pasta bake has hardly changed since then and George and Harriet love it just as much as I did then.

After I asked you on Instagram a few weeks ago what type of recipes you’d like to see, heaps of you said pasta recipes.

Honestly, I often forget to share them as they are my regular, back up, store cupboard recipes. So, I guess they feel a bit unexciting to share here?

But sometimes, the simplest things are the best though aren’t they? So, here you have it, our ever popular in this household Tuna and Broccoli Pasta Bake!

How to make a Tuna Pasta Bake recipe:

Start by cooking your pasta in boiling, salted water. A few minutes before it’s done, add in your broccoli florets.

Meanwhile, fry off your onion and garlic to soften, before adding in your tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano and salt and pepper to make a simple and healthy tomato sauce.

Drain your cooked pasta and broccoli, add in the tuna and your tomato sauce and give everything a good mix.

Pop into a dish and top with grated cheese.

Top tip!

If you’re making this pasta bake and serving straight away, just pop under the grill to melt the cheese. The pasta and sauce will already be hot and it will be quicker than heating up the whole oven.

OR if you want to prep this in advance (which I often do), bake it in the oven (180C for about 20 minutes) to heat through and melt the cheese on top.

Top tip!

I’ve used a mixture of Cheddar and Red Leicester cheeses here grated.

You can use whichever cheese you have to hand.

The Red Leicester gives colour, which I like, but I probably wouldn’t buy it especially for the recipe. You could also use Mozzarella if you like the stretchy cheese effect.

Can you reheat this recipe?

You can reheat Tuna Pasta Bake. Just warm it through in a microwave until it’s piping hot.

(It’s also fine served cold, leftovers make a good lunchbox filler.)

Can you freeze this recipe?

You can freeze this Tuna Pasta Bake recipe, but honestly, I’m never a huge fan of defrosted pasta.

If you do want to freeze it, just undercook the pasta everso slightly (by 2 or 3 minutes) when you’re boiling it, so it doesn’t overcook when you defrost/reheat it.

Allow it to thaw fully and then heat through before serving.

Making a Healthy Tuna Pasta Bake recipe:

There are lots of ‘Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake’ recipes around, but in mine, I’ve always used a tomato sauce.

I prefer this tuna pasta bake tomato sauce as it’s a little lighter and with added broccoli too it makes it a one pan meal with about 2 of your 5 a day.

If you do want to make the dish more creamy, add in 100g of Cream Cheese or Creme Fraiche to the tomato sauce at the very end of cooking when you add it to the pasta. This keeps it light, but adds that creamy sauce texture.

How to make Slimming World Tuna Pasta Bake:

This can be easily adapted to be Slimming World friendly, if you’re following that plan.

Just use Frylight spray instead of oil and count the cheese as your Healthy Extra allowance or count the Syns. Simple and Syn free!

What I used to make the recipe: Variations for your Tuna and Broccoli Pasta Bake:
  • Tuna Pasta Bake with Crisps – I know. RETRO! But one of my friends swears by this! Crumble of a bag of smashed crisps with your cheese for added texture!
  • Tuna Bake without Pasta – In place of pasta, you could use boiled and cubed potatoes for a different Tuna recipe.
  • Spicy Tuna Pasta Bake – Add 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes (or more if you dare!) to the tomato sauce as it cooks to make a Spicy Tuna Pasta Bake.
  • Breadcrumbs – Add 4 tbsp of breadcrumbs when you sprinkle your cheese on for added CRUNCH!
  • Creamy Tuna Pasta – If you want a more Creamy Tuna Pasta, add in 100g of Cream Cheese or Creme Fraiche to the tomato sauce at the very end of cooking when you add it to the pasta.
  • Tuna Pasta Bake without Cheese – feel free to omit the cheese off of the top if you prefer, you could just add a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs instead.
  • Higher fibre – Replace the same quantity of pasta with wholemeal pasta to up the fibre content.

Fancy some other easy pasta recipes? How about:

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make this. Please rate the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.

Also, if you fancy showing me a photo by tagging me on Instagram (@tamingtwins) I LOVE to see your creations.

Tuna Pasta Bake – Easy Cheesy Family Friendly Recipe

A great mid week comforting meal for all the family

  • 300 g Pasta shapes
  • 250 g Broccoli (Or one medium sized head of broccoli)
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and chopped)
  • 1 Large Onion (Peeled and chopped)
  • 800 g Tinned tomatoes (Two tins)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato puree (Optional, if you have it)
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • Plenty of salt and pepper
  • 150 g Tinned tuna in spring water
  • 125 g Mature cheddar cheese (grated)
  1. Cook the pasta according to pack instructions, add the broccoli into the boiling water with the pasta about 4 minutes before the end of it’s cooking time. 

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in another large pan. Add the garlic and onions and soften for 4 – 5 minutes.

  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree (if using), oregano and salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and let it bubble and thicken for about 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, drain the pasta and broccoli (they should be done by now).

  5. Now mix the drained pasta, tomato sauce, and drained tuna until well combined. Pop into a shallow dish and sprinkle with the cheese.

  6. Pop under the hot grill (or oven – see notes) to melt and bubble the cheese.

  • If you’re making this pasta bake and serving straight away, just pop under the grill to melt the cheese. The pasta and sauce will already be hot and it will be quicker than heating up the whole oven.
  • OR if you want to prep this in advance (which I often do), bake it in the oven (180C for about 20 minutes) to heat through and melt the cheese on top.

The post Healthy Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe with Cheesy Topping appeared first on Taming Twins.

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