A couple of weeks back I mentioned that we were inviting our followers to join us for dinner… and today was the day… Eat for the Earth is an initiative to support a local organisation that teaches communities how to grow their own vegetables.
Well today was the day. So avocado on fresh seed loaf sandwiches while we got our dinner prepared, because lets face it hungry troops aren’t always the best helpers!!!
And the menu… well it is a Wednesday and lately our Wednesday meals have looked like this:
- Flat bread
- Cottage Pie
- Baked Apples
I am always on the look out for really easy meals that my kids can make without any intervention from me… and they have been working on these meals over the last couple of weeks and today was the perfect day to give them “the keys to the kitchen” so to speak…
Let’s start with the earth-shaped flat bread…
A flat bread covered in mozzarella and and chopped herbs sprinkled on it to represent the earth… and our favourite continent of course!!!
This is a great recipe for kids to learn because there are so many little jobs for them to help with and it is a very forgiving recipe – practically fool proof. Not to mention, this meal can be made way in advance, which is always handy when you are expecting guests.
Step 1: Start by preparing your vegetables and this is where I go the extra mile and extend the pack of mince to the number of folk that will be eating the meal. I never add more meat for more visitors, but I will add in extra vegetables. My meat eaters and my vegetable lovers really enjoy this meal because they both feature… I try and combine a couple of different vegetables into each meal rather than just one or two… and as long as you don’t add a heap of one vegetable, and overwhelm the dish with one flavour, you can pretty much go wild. So one or two large carrots, a handful of courgettes… you can even add a quarter of a small cabbage. If I have other vegetables I just toss them in. A meat sauce that would have been skimpy becomes robust. First we peel the vegetables, then we cut them really fine – lately we have been using the food processor and grating them… it works just as well.
Step 2: Soften the vegetables in a pan with a dash of olive oil, then put them aside. Pop the mince in the pan and cook it through, add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and any herbs and spices you like the taste of. We always add cumin seeds – just love the flavour… and a couple of other fresh herbs chopped from the garden. Add the vegetables back into the meat sauce and if I have any stock or a small can of tomato paste in the fridge I add it now, and just let it simmer on the stove top while you prepare your potatoes.
Step 3: Peel the potatoes, roughly one small to medium potato for each diner. Cover the peeled potatoes with water and add a pinch of salt, boil them for about fifteen minutes until they are soft when you prick them with a fork.
Step 4: Grease a large oven proof dish and spread your meat sauce over the dish.
Step 5: Add a large knob of butter and cup of warm milk and mash away… if you want your potatoes smoother then add a little more milk.
Step 6: Cover your meat sauce completely, with mashed potatoes and make some strips and stripes with a fork.
Step 7: Add a dash or two of butter and pop the dish into a medium oven to heat through. Leave it in the oven for about half an hour the top will crisp up and the meat sauce will bubble away. Take it out and leave it to stand for a few minutes before you divide it up and serve it.
Baked Apples are about the easiest dessert in the world and extremely impressive every time!!!
You will need:
- An apple for each diner
- Sultanas or golden raisins
- Brown sugar
Step 1: Core your apples and score a line around the centre of each apple before placing it into a greased oven pan.
Step 2: Fill the empty cores with sultanas and sprinkle with brown sugar. Add a block of butter to the top of each apple core and your apples are ready for the oven.
Step 3: Pop into a medium heat oven for about an hour… until they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – a gentle poke with a fork will let you know that your apples are ready.
Step 4: Serve them with lashings of whipped cream or ice-cream or custard… whichever take your fancy…
So an easy menu for kids to make and serve for any number of guests… our meal for family and friends and Eat for the Earth…
If you would like to support our project, at Eat for the Earth then click on the button below…
And that’s us… until next year, when I am sure we will join the project all over again!!!