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Recipes you can get the kids to make

With the whole family at home all day, working out what you are going to eat next can be a bit of a challenge. Add to which it can be quite boring for everyone stuck inside. 

To help keep everyone upbeat, why not get your children involved in the kitchen? With a selection of both proper meals and sweet treats, there are plenty of recipes to keep everyone busy, happy and well-fed!

Main meals

Loaded veggie quesadillas

Ingredients:

red pesto 

8 tortilla wraps

320g of mature cheddar

2 red onions 

4 red or yellow peppers (not green)

3 courgettes 

2 aubergines 

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F
  • Slice up your veg into chunks and whack them on a tray. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes until cooked through and caramelised
  • Remove veg from the oven
  • Get a frying pan on the heat and add some oil. Rub it around the pan with some kitchen roll so it is all covered
  • Place a tortilla on the base. Add a heaped teaspoon of red pesto and spread it out. Grate over a large handful of cheddar and add a large spoon of the roasted veg
  • Top with more grated cheddar and place another wrap on the top. Cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the bottom layer of cheddar has melted
  • Flip the quesadilla by placing a plate on top of it and turning the pan over. Slide the quesadilla from the plate and put it back into the pan. Cook for another 4-5 minutes and remove from the heat when all the cheese has melted
  • Repeat this three more times with your remaining veg and tortillas, carve up your quesadillas and tuck in

Green Lasagne

Ingredients:

400g ricotta

200g spinach 

100g parmesan or vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese

1 bunch of basil 

1 bunch of mint 

700g peas 

250g asparagus 

300g lasagne pasta 

garlic 

1 lemon

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F
  • Boil the peas. Mush half of them, keep the other half whole
  • Boil asparagus for 5 minutes, until al dente
  • Get a large pan on the heat and add some olive oil. Fry 2 chopped garlic cloves. Once softened, add the spinach and wilt it. Add the mushy and whole peas. Mix everything together
  • Add the asparagus and a large handful of chopped mint and basil. Add 400g of ricotta and 80g of grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, mix everything together and remove the filling from the heat
  • Get an oven-proof dish. Add a layer of the filling followed by a layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat with more filling, more pasta and top with the remaining filling, a generous grating of the parmesan or vegetarian cheese and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Place in the oven for 40 minutes
  • After 40 minutes, the pasta should be cooked and the cheese golden and bubbling. Tuck in and enjoy

Tomato and cheese pasta

Ingredients:

4 tbsp olive oil 

2 onions chopped 

2 carrots chopped

2 celery chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped 

1tsp sugar

4 x 400g chopped tomatoes 

Grated cheese to serve 

  • Heat the olive oil in pan and add vegetables
  • Stir in sugar and a pinch of salt
  • Gently cook for 10-15 minutes until the veg is tender
  • Stir in the tomatoes - fill one empty tin with water and add
  • Simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and is thick
  • Serve with pasta and cheese
  • Any remaining can be frozen

Singapore-style fried rice (or noodles)

This one comes courtesy of Oprah Winfrey and Jamie Oliver...

Ingredients:

any veg you can get your hands on!

rice or noodles

option to add shrimp, chopped sausage, bacon

soft herbs (basil, oregano)

lemon 

a sauce of your choosing (soy, black bean or chilli)

  • Cut everything into small pieces
  • Start cooking your rice/noodles
  • Heat a non-stick pan with olive oil until fairly hot
  • If cooking meat or shrimp, cook first
  • Add veg, but try not to overload the pan otherwise you’re not really stir-frying
  • Transfer the ingredients to a bigger pan and add rice/noodles
  • Add soft herbs, a squeeze of lemon and a sauce such as soy, black bean or chilli 

Risotto with peas, lettuce and lemon

Ingredients:

300g risotto rice - or any other rice you have

1 tbsp oil or butter

2 tbsp white wine, if you have it

750ml stock

200g frozen peas

quarter of a head of lettuce

2 tbsp lemon juice

a pinch of pepper

  • Grab a wide, shallow-based non-stick saucepan and pop it on the hob. Shake in your rice and add the oil or butter, and turn up the heat to gently toast it at the edges for a minute or two
  • Add a splash of stock and stir well to stop the rice from sticking and burning. Add a splash more. When it has absorbed, add a splash more, and repeat until the stock is two-thirds empty. When the rice is starting to swell and almost all of the stock is absorbed, splash in the rest, along with the wine and one tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Add the peas and pepper and stir well. Finely slice the lettuce and set to one side; you will fold this through (gently stir it in) right at the very end (any earlier and you will end up with a soggy rotten mess!)
  • When the risotto is finished, that is, the rice is soft and sitting in a sticky, creamy liquid, bejewelled with bright green peas and a hint of wine, remove it from the heat. Gently fold in the lettuce to wilt it, dash over the rest of the lemon juice and an extra smattering of pepper, and serve immediately for best results

Ratatouille

Ingredients:

2 large onions

6 cloves of garlic

1 pepper – red, orange or yellow work best, but green will do

1 tbsp light cooking oil

Salt and pepper, to season

1 large aubergine

2 courgettes

2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

2 tsp white vinegar

A pinch of sugar

2 tsp mixed dried herbs

  • Peel and finely slice your onion and toss into a large, non-stick pan
  • Peel your garlic cloves and quarter them lengthways, and add to the pan
  • Slice the pepper, discarding any seeds
  • Measure in the oil, season with a little salt and pepper and bring to a low heat. Cook for five minutes, stirring gently, to start to soften
  • Dice your aubergine and courgettes and add to the pan, and quickly pour over the chopped tomatoes to stop them from browning as they are exposed to the air. Aubergines turn very quickly once chopped; they’re fine to use once they start to discolour -  they just don’t look brilliant. Add the vinegar, sugar and herbs, and turn up the heat
  • Cook on a medium heat, stirring, for 30 minutes, until the veg is soft but not mushy, and the liquid reduced and thickened and glossy
  • Season with a little extra salt and pepper to taste. Can be served hot or cold, and is one of those dishes that improves with a rest and a reheat, so it will keep well in the fridge for two days or it can be cooled completely and frozen for up to three months

Cheese and marmite scones

Ingredients:

225g self-raising flour

50g butter at room temp, cut into small pieces 

1tsp baking powder

85g of cheddar

150ml milk 

1 egg yolk 

  • Heat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7
  • Tip flour into a large bowl with baking powder and a pinch of salt
  • Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add the cheese and pour in the milk
  • Use a knife to bring the dough together - make sure you don’t overwork the dough as this will make the scones heavy
  • Tip the dough onto a work surface and roll out to around 1.5cm thick
  • Using a cookie cutter cut out roughly 12 scones using the scraps
  • Place on a lightly floured baking tray
  • Whisk together a splash of milk and the egg yolk and brush over scones and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown
  • Leave on a rack to cool
  • Serve with butter and marmite

Sweet treats 

Blueberry pancakes

Ingredients:

200g self-raising flour 

1tsp baking powder

300 milk 

knob of butter 

150g pack of blueberries (or any other berries/ banana you may have)

Sunflower oil for cooking 

honey/ maple syrup to serve 

  • Mix together flour and baking powder
  • Beat egg with milk then making a well in the centre of dry ingredients whisk in milk to make a smooth batter
  • Beat in a knob of melted butter and gently stir in blueberries
  • Heat a tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan
  • Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter per pancake into the pan
  • Cook for around 3 minutes over medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake then flip and cook for a couple of mins on the other side until golden
  • Serve with honey/ golden syrup or maple syrup

Hummingbird bakery's banana bread

Ingredients:

270g soft light brown sugar

2 eggs

200g peeled bananas, mashed 

280g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon ground ginger

140g unsalted butter, melted 

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3
  • Put the sugar and eggs in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until well incorporated. Beat in the mashed bananas
  • Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon and ginger to the egg mixture. Mix it thoroughly until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated. Pour in the melted butter and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed
  • Pour into the prepared loaf tin and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely

Peanut butter and banana muffins

Ingredients:

2 really rather ripe bananas

100g peanut butter

1 tbsp oil (vegetable or sunflower)

2 tsp sugar (10g)

A pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder (4g)

150g oats

A few squares dark chocolate, grated (20g) 

  • Use a little oil to grease your muffin tins and set to one side. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  • Mash your bananas into a mixing bowl, and add the peanut butter and oil. Stir vigorously to mash the bananas, blend it all together into a smooth creamy consistency.
  • Blitz most of the oats in a blender (if you don’t have a blender, put them into a freezer bag, tie the top tightly but with no air trapped inside, and bash a lot with a rolling pin or similar weighty object until most of the oats are broken up into little pieces).
  • Tip the oats, whole and broken, into the mixing bowl. Stir in the baking powder, salt, sugar and chocolate.
  • Spoon it into the muffin tins, filling each two-thirds of the way full, and pop into the oven for 15-18 minutes, until risen and cooked through.
  • Then – and this is super-important – leave them in the muffin trays for just over 5 mins to cool and firm up. If you take them out straight away they will crumble in your hand – still edible, just not so muffiny.

Peanut butter hot chocolate

Ingredients:

50ml water

3 squares of chocolate

1 heaped tablespoon of peanut butter

150ml milk (for vegans, almond milk is amazing in this, for an extra smooth nutty flavour…)

  • Pop the water and peanut butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan on a medium heat. Stir well until the chocolate and peanut butter have melted and form a glossy, sticky paste
  • Add a splash of the milk and stir in, repeat with a bigger splash, and then the rest. Don’t just pour it all in at once – it will be hard to get the lumps out!
  • Pour into your favourite mug, sit, forget about everything else

TIP: You can make this in the microwave too. Just add the peanut butter, chocolate and water to a jug or your mug, and melt for 20 seconds. Remove and stir. Add half the milk, microwave again for 20 seconds, remove and stir. Repeat with the rest of the milk. It won’t be as creamy as the saucepan method, but it’s still a bloomin’ delicious treat.

TIP: I made mine with crunchy peanut butter, as it was all I had in the kitchen, and just ate the crunchy bits from the bottom of the mug when I’d finished. You can always strain them out if you’re not that keen!


Choc-chip cookies

Ingredients:

175g soft butter

200g light brown soft sugar 

100g caster sugar 

1 tbsp vanilla extract 

1 egg

250g plain flour

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 

50g white chocolate chips 

100g dark/milk chocolate chips 

100g mini chocolate eggs lightly crushed with a rolling pin or chocolate roughly chopped

  • Heat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5
  • Using a handheld whisk beat the butter, sugars and vanilla together until pale and fluffy
  • Add the egg and beat again
  • Tip in the flour, bicarb and mix together using a spatula
  • Add chocolate and mix again until everything is combined
  • Scoop golf-ball sized mounds of cookie dough onto baking sheets lined with baking parchment making sure you leave space between each one
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cookies are golden around the edges but still pale and soft in the middle
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack