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  1. Veggie Pasta Sauce

    I used to love cooking, I'd quite happily spend a couple of hours prepping a hearty meal that would take about 5 minutes to eat. But then we became self-employed and time was very much money and I just stopped doing it. We became dependent on convenience and easy quick-fix meals, not only were we getting fatter, but we were eating very unhealthily. We watched a documentary one night that showed how much sugar was in different pasta sauces, and we just couldn't believe it. Have you actually looked at how much sugar is in the pasta sauce you buy? It's disgustingly high! So over the last few years I have found myself learning how to make delicious dishes whilst making something out of nothing. It is my favourite type of cooking, I hate recipes and instructions, I'd rather just go with the flow. Yes, I do have quite a few cookery books, but I use them for inspiration as to the type of dish I want to create. I thankfully doscovered passata. Looking at the sugar content of tin tomatoes in comparison to passata, there's still a difference so passata is the healthiest way to go, and it's nice and smooth which is brilliant for a sauce. So here's my go-to quick-fix healthy and most importantly tasty meal! 

    Veggie Pasta Sauce

    The dish I made tonight had:

    250g of pasta
    (Pasta of your choice (we go for brown wholewheat) and we chop and change in terms of type sometimes it's penne, sometimes fussili and we've enjoyed it with simple spaghetti chopped up too)
    Splash of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
    1 box of tomato passata 500g
    A good half a tube of garlic puree
    A good helping of basil and oregano
    A big spoonfull of paprika
    About 8 chunks of frozen spinach
    2 red onions, chopped
    Third of a jar of green olives
    Third of a jar of black olives
    1 Kallo organic beef stock cube

    Boil pasta with a little garlic puree and a pinch of basil until cooked

    Put olive oil in a different pan
    Soften red onions
    Add passatta
    Add spinach
    Add garlic, herbs and paprika
    Add olives
    Wait until spinach and onions are cooked before adding the stock cube

    Drain pasta and add to the sauce

    Stir and serve

    If serving young mouths, please be sure to chop up the olives and spinach first.

    This would serve a family of four easily on it's own as a good hearty portion of pasta or keep half for tomorrow by bulking up the meal with some peas, garlic mushrooms, sweet potato jacket, greek salad, bread etc would probably go nice with chicken too!

    The great thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to your taste. If you want to add different veg, go for it, but if you add a lot, you might want to add another box of passata to ensure it's saucy enough. You can use fresh spinach if you prefer but I find frozen easier and quicker. And you can take the olives out if you don't like them. You can even add chunks of feta to it, adds a bit of an edge, or mushrooms, peppers, whatever you fancy. And you can always serve it with a fancy bit of olive oil on top and a grinding of black pepper. 

    I do not see myself as a chef or anything, I'm not even sure I could call myself a good cook, I am quite simply a Mother trying to use the little time I have to cook to make as tasty and as healthy a meal as I can for my family. 

    In my cooking journey of learning whilst making something out of nothing, I now have many go-to dishes that I love making time and time again to have a change from sandwiches which include:

    Veggie stir fry
    Bean Chilli
    Garlic and mushroom cheesy sweet potato mash
    Curried beans with sweet potato jackets
    Mediterranean fajitas
    Greek pizza made with normal toast, baguettes, rolls

    Obviously some of these are going to be healthier than others, but everything in moderation. I am not a vegetarian but most of my meals are veggie based. 

    I have to make sure I have garlic puree and frozen spinach in the house, and I like to keep my paprika, tumeric, basil and oregano topped up just incase. If you have flavour available, you really can make something out of the 'nothing'you have!

    What's your favourite dish to make that's quick, healthy and tasty? Which ingredients do you keep topped up?

    Next time you go for a jar, maybe have a think whether you'd rather give this a go instead ;-)

    Thank you, Mrs F

  2. 12795116_10156652747825137_4878346308419233389_o

    1. You shake bottles, ones that do not contain the baby's formula, they probably contain fizzy pop which spells out disaster.

    2. The little one is playing on the floor, and you still have your foot on the rocker, rocking away for a good 5-10 minutes before realising it's empty.

    3. You're watching a rivetting tv show eg Game of Thrones whilst rocking the baby in the rocker with your hand. The show just gets more intense and you have to be told to stop, you are so excited that you're near enough bouncing the baby out of the rocker

    4. You found out either whilst out or when you were back home that you were wearing one or more item of clothing inside-out, back-to-front or both.

    5. You have walked around in public with stains on your clothes when you don't have your child with you, the presence of a child would usually warrant an acceptance from the public as to the state you're in...without the child, you just look like a dirty scruffy slob.

    6. You walk out of the house and reach the car before you notice that you're still wearing your slippers.

    7. You try to put your trousers on in the dark, quietly, so as to not wake the little munchkin...think to yourself that they seem too small/too big and work out that you are trying to put on your partner's jeans

    8. You put handsoap on your toothbrush instead of toothpaste...

    9. You take a huge well-earned gulp of tea and it is has gone disgustingly cold, or worse, forget to boil the kettle in the first place and make cold tea.

    10. You find yourself singing baby tv theme songs out loud as if they were chart toppers, and constantly get angry at yourself for doing so and shouting shut public, this is even more humiliating (the singing and the talking to yourself!).

    11. You carry on watching children programmes even though your child has either left the room or fallen asleep.

    12. You find yourself being wound up by characters on a cartoon eg how nasty Susie Sheep can be, how many jobs does Miss Rabbit have etc; and you constantly complain about the standard of singing on baby shows...this is a sign you really need to get out more!!

    13. You reach for an alcoholic bottle to pour into your pasta rather than olive oil, in my case it was strawberry pimms, bleurgh!

    14. You get out of the car, lock it, think you've forgotten something, penny drops, unlock the car, take baby out.

    15. My most shameful moment...whilst eating a bowl of cornflakes, baby tried to climb the sofa, in trying to stop him fall, somehow the whole content of my bowl landed on his head...his face was literally dripping with milk and cornflakes. Poor thing!

    These have all happened in our household over the past year since becoming parents for the first time.
    Please tell us that we are not alone in losing the plot.
    Have you done any of the above? What's your most shameful parenting moment? 

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