Updated: Jan 19, 2021
If you're used to eating out during the day at work or have children at school, then times like this can present challenges for summoning up inspiration for quick and easy meals. The recent news coverage of the sub-standard food parcels for free school meals highlights the difficulties of producing a varied but affordable diet for children. Equally, adults can sometimes resort to repeating the same meals throughout the week because it's so hard to be enthusiastic about anything at the moment.
So, I have trawled through our recipe archives to add some quick and easy ideas which you will soon (depending on how quick Ali is!) be able to find in the "Recipe" section of the website. Apologies in advance as our website is designed to be a shop and it has limited apps that facilitate a recipe section, so you will have to scroll through that section to explore them. Please remember that a recipe is a guide and you can always add or take out ingredients to meet your requirements. The measurements can also be adjusted dependant on preferences.
I have tried to find recipes that use everyday ingredients that will hopefully be in the cupboard or can be sourced from us. I know some people are trying to reduce their meat consumption so I have added some of our favourite vegetarian dishes like Sweet Potato and Lentil Korma which I know goes down well with the kids.
Talking of children, I have included some snack ideas that they can help with, for example fruit skewers and vegetable or breadsticks with either humous, soft cheese or minted yoghurt. If the children are at home at the moment then that is another meal that needs to be planned and this can be a headache!
In our experience we have found that they love tortillas and especially the Cheesy Stack Wrap. We have added recipes for enchiladas and quesadillas and the great thing is you can put as little or as much of what you like in them. Pasta bakes are also a good idea and you can always make more and freeze them for another day. A variety of ingredients can be included but maybe not all at the same time include salmon (tinned is cheaper), tuna, sweetcorn, chicken, bacon, ham, cheese, leeks, mushrooms, courgettes, broccoli and cauliflower.
Gary's Top Tip is the magical Tomato Base Sauce. We have used it for years as a way of smuggling vegetables into the childrens' school meals. It is so easy to make up batches and freeze them for another day and is a fantastic mechanism for using up stuff in the fridge. Our recipe is a guide but you can use whatever you like in it and it can be used as a pizza topping or meatball sauce or in spaghetti bolognaise, ratatouilles, pasta bakes and lots more. You can also use it as a sauce on the side. It goes well with our Real Chicken Nuggets which is a homemade dish that children will recognise from certain well known take away establishments. The best thing is you know exactly what's in it as you and the children have made it!
We are great believers in sharing especially in these difficult times, so if you have any recipe ideas then please do send them in. Please feel free to give them a name that references your family and we will add them to the website.
Once again, stay safe and best wishes from Gary, Ali and the Ashlyns Team