What to cook this weekend

With two small children, my husband and I almost certainly will not be found checking out the newest Michelin star or trendy pop up restaurant in London this weekend. That sort of thing takes too much careful planning these days and is only reserved for special occasions. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not still foodies at heart and that we don’t want to eat well, enjoy our food and try something new. That’s why I spend time each week reading food magazines, watching cooking programmes and trawling through recipes to find the most delicious, satisfying and tastebud tantalising recipes the season can offer. Sometimes they’re perfect as is, sometimes I tweak them slightly to suit our tastes or to make them kid friendly so our kids can enjoy them too. I would like to share a few of these with you – this is where you benefit from my love of good food!

Read on for my top three food picks for you to make this weekend:

1. My spiced sweet potato oat bars.

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They’re healthy, contain no refined sugar and taste of autumn. What more could you ask for? Make a batch or two and store some in your freezer for the coming week. Your kids will thank me (and so will you if you’re the snacking type..hello elevensies…these are sooo good with a cup of tea or coffee!).

2. Jamie Oliver’s Winter Nights Chilli.

It might not be winter yet, but there’s a definite hint of chill in the evening air and the nights are beginning to shorten. I think that’s reason enough to make this deliciously hearty and warming chilli that makes the most of the new-season butternut squash. It’s also dairy free and gluten free, which is a plus, as even my little girl can eat it (FYI I don’t add salt or chilli peppers to the kids’ portions). Jamie makes his with pork belly and brisket but I normally make mine with very good quality steak mince in the same quantity by weight. I also swap the cannellini beans or chickpeas for kidney beans and I add a couple of tablespoons of mild chilli powder (having grown up in the US, chilli is not chilli without chilli powder). This recipe serves 12 so it lasts us a long time when we serve it over rice. We don’t normally eat too much red meat during the week, so I usually freeze this to have over the coming weeks and it freezes beautifully (obviously don’t freeze the salsa).

This is delicious served with a glass of Rioja or, for a non-alcoholic tipple, I love Torres Natureo de-alcoholised Syrah which I think stands up perfectly to the rich flavours of the butternut squash and the meat.

3. delicious. magazine’s fig, pancetta and burrata pizzas.

I will be making this for Sunday lunch with friends along with a root vegetable and feta salad. It looks stunning but is super simple to make. I will substitute prosciutto for the pancetta (I prefer it) and Buffalo mozzarella could be used in place of the burrata, if desired. Unfortunately the recipe is not on the delicious magazine website yet but keep an eye out for it or buy the September issue. I think this would be perfect with a Sauvignon Blanc or a non alcoholic Seedlip garden and tonic!

Have a great weekend and bon appetit!

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