February is my least favourite month. Too cold, too grey, too far away from summer. You eat salad because of all the mince pies you packed away in December but really you just want endless roast dinners, except without the washing up.
I’m already sick of thinking about food for the kids. I can’t wait for the days of lawn picnics where I can dispose of all the bits and pieces in the fridge under the guise of alfresco living. Or even better, full time nursery, which means I’m only responsible for two suppers a week.
These meals, however, tasted nice, involved minimal prep, and had plenty of veg, with the exception of the Nutella pancakes, obviously. Which, frankly, were everyone’s favourite.
One-pot green macaroni cheese
Macaroni cheese. Green vegetables. And only one pot to wash up. It’s a dream meal.
I used this recipe as a basis, but left out the Quorn and added green veg.
In a large saucepan, saute grated courgette and finely sliced celery in a little oil and garlic. Then add 450ml milk, 500 ml double cream, 200 ml water and 500g macaroni, and season with salt and pepper, mustard powder and nutmeg.
Bring to a low simmer and cook til the macaroni is done, about 15 minutes. Throw in some frozen chopped spinach and a handful of peas, then add 200g of cheese – cheddar obviously melts nicely but use whatever is in the fridge
Stuffed Italian chicken
Mix together cream cheese, mozzarella, garlic, spinach and mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and any herbs you like – try oregano and basil, or a mixed Italian blend.
Roll each flattened chicken breast around a blob of filling. Tuck these into a baking tray and cover with tinned chopped tomatoes, then bake at 180C for about 40 minutes.
I used this recipe from BBC Good Food.
Big G likes chopped up hot dogs and cheese sauce on his. WTF? Gross.
The girls and I had bolognese sauce.
And Nutella for after.
This whole virtuous dinner – baked salmon, sweet potato fries and mushy peas.
Fish for brain development and good fats, sweet potatoes for fibre and vitamin A, and peas because green. Give yourself a pat on the back for your excellent nutrition-ing.
Peel and chop the sweet potato into chips. Dust in cornflour and a little garlic salt, if you have it, and bake at 180C for 40 minutes. 25 minutes in, add the salmon fillets to the tray.
Meanwhile, make the mushy peas. Boil/microwave frozen peas, drain, and add a large knob of butter and a slug of cream. I also put a teaspoon of mint sauce in for extra sweetness. Use a hand blender to whizz it all together, but leave a few chunky peas for texture.
What’s proved popular in your house this month?