This week, we asked Vanesther from Bangers & Mash to take the Ten at Ten reins. She’s chosen her ten favourite family food posts – perfect for any parent who wants to rustle up something fast but tasty for their brood. Vanether’s blog is big on planning meals to maximise time and money left in the bank. She’s also keen on healthy eating making the most of seasonal ingredients and local produce.. “I’m not an expert in the kitchen by any stretch of the imagination,” says Vanesther. “Before having children, I could barely cook at all. But I enjoy learning and see the kitchen as the starting point for all kinds of culinary adventures.”
over to vanesther…
I’m a busy mum, although that really goes without saying! Have you ever met a parent who isn’t? And so, I’m always on the lookout for good food to feed my family that’s also quick and easy. While the Jamie Olivers of this world demonstrate countless ideas for culinary masterpieces in a matter of minutes, I’m much more likely to turn to fellow food bloggers for new ideas; people who genuinely understand the realities of feeding a family on a limited budget and with limited time.
Here are some of the dishes I’ve bookmarked recently on my favourite family foodie blogs…
When rustling up a speedy supper, noodles are one of my go-to ingredients, so these pulled pork noodles with savoy cabbage from Sarah at Dinner with Crayons has my name all over it. They can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes using leftover meat from Sunday lunch – simply perfect.
Matt and Corpy are two West Country dads who blog at Good Stuff about cooking, eating, playing and all the other bits of family life in between. I share their philosophy that the best way to get a kid interested in eating good food (even during refusal-ridden phases) is to involve them in the cooking. And their delicious crispy chicken pasta looks perfect for just that.
Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes is always a brilliant source of family food inspiration. These spiced tofu fingers caught my eye recently. A dairy-free version of breaded mozzarella sticks, they are a fabulously healthy snack or starter for both kids and adults. They’re also another great way to involve little ones in the cooking, as Jacqueline’s adorable photos of her son Cooper demonstrate.
Jam tarts are a good old fashioned bake to make with children and these cute crumble topped jam tarts from Sian at Fish Fingers for Tea put a lovely spin on a classic tea time treat. When making these with her daughter Izzy, I was pleased to see Sian sensibly opted to fill her tasty tarts with homemade damson jam rather than an aphrodisiac preserve featuring horny goat…
Mexican food is always a winner in our house and these Mexican lentil tacos from Bintu at Recipes From A Pantry are most definitely on my list of recipes to try out on my brood at the earliest opportunity. My husband’s reaction is likely to be similar to that of Bintu’s – as in “where’s the meat?” – but I know he’ll love them after the first bite.
I have fond memories of making spring rolls with my mum when I was little. Even though Chinese spring rolls are stuffed full of veggies and very, very tasty, they aren’t always the healthiest of options. So these baked bad boys from Louisa at Eat Your Veg are a wonderfully virtuous alternative. I know my children will get on very well with these, especially with their favourite sweet chilli dipping sauce.
Charlotte, one of the bloggers at The Motherhood, has devised these brilliantly simple and oh-so-barbecue chicken and pineapple quesadillas. I know these will be perfect for feeding the little monsters on one of those frantic nights when cooking gets squeezed in between after-school clubs and finishing last-minute homework projects. They’re super cheap too – what’s not to like?
Feeding fussy eaters is a challenge faced by most parents and carers at some point, so I was very pleased to come across this new blog, Hide and Sneak, where James shares his secrets for packing his pre-school son’s meals with more fruit and veg than he’ll ever realise. These burgers, for example, contain a sneaky smattering of beetroot, celery and apple, and look ruddy gorgeous.
My children are used to me coming up with dishes using up leftovers, some more successful than others. But I think this healthy baked bubble and squeak from Filipa – aka the Gourmet Mum – will have them demanding seconds, and probably thirds too – particularly if served with a poached egg. Our family goes crazy for anything with an egg on top.
And finally, here’s a recipe to please my husband as it doesn’t require use of a hundred different pots and pans. It’s a scrummy cherry tomato, spinach and garlic mozzarella pasta bake from Emily at A Mummy Too. Who doesn’t love a tasty pasta bake?
If you have a quick and easy family favourite of your own, why not share it in this month’s Family Foodies event hosted by Bangers & Mash and Eat Your Veg? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.
Massive thank you to Vanesther for these family-friendly picks. Have you blogged a recipe perfect for kids? Comment below and let us know.