Savoury Snacks & Sides

2-Ingredient Flatbread

This is such a fantastic recipe to have in your repertoire and kids love helping making the dough too! In fact, I originally developed it when my oldest daughter started to drop her nap and I wanted us to do something fun (and productive) in the extra time. The recipe below makes 4 medium flatbreads but just increase or decrease the quantities depending on how many you want but remember any extras can be portioned up and popped in the freezer to be used another day so always make more than you need.

flatbread.jpg
flatbreaddough.jpg

Makes 4 medium flatbreads

---------------------------------------------------

175g self raising flour

175g full fat natural yoghurt

---------------------------------------------------

Place the flour and yoghurt in a mixing bowl and mix until it begins to come together. Pop the rough dough out of the bowl and knead gently for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth ball. [Note: you can also use a KitchenAid (or similar) with its dough hook attachment but this does eliminate some of the fun for kids!]

Divide the dough into 4 even balls (or however many you are making) and cover. You can now place the dough in the fridge for up to 24 hours before using or pop in the freezer for up to one month.

When you are ready to cook your flatbread, remove one dough ball at a time from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll into a circle approx 3-4mm thick. Heat a large frying pan, or a pancake pan if you have one, until piping hot. Place the flatbread directly onto the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Reduce the temperature if the bread starts to char. Flip the bread over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side. Remove and serve.

Tomato & Cheddar Filo Quiches

Cheese and tomato is a winning combination if ever there was one and here is a wonderful recipe to illustrate the fact! These light little filo quiches are surprisingly easy to make and are fantastic for lunch boxes or for a light dinner. You could also substitute some of the tomatoes for ham and transform them into cute little quiche lorraine. 

Makes 6-8 mini quiches

---------------------------------------------------

150g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tsp dried oregano

5g fresh basil, sliced

2 eggs

200ml creme fraiche

75g Cheddar cheese

200g filo pastry, about 4 sheets

5 tbsp olive oil

---------------------------------------------------

Preheat the oven to 180Oc and lightly grease a muffin tin.

In a small bowl toss together the tomatoes, oregano and basil and set to one side. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, creme fraiche and cheddar cheese.

To prepare the filo: cut each sheet into 8 squares. For each quiche take one square, lightly brush with oil and then place a second square on top to form an 8-pointed star. Repeat with two more squares and then gently ease the filo into the prepared tin. Repeat with the rest of the pastry until you have 6-8 filo cases. Using a tablespoon, divide the egg mixture between the cases and finish with the tomatoes- the cases will be well filled. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until risen and lightly golden. Remove and ease the cases out of the muffin tin and place onto a baking tray. Place  back into the oven for 20 minutes to crisp up the cases. Remove and allow to cool completely before serving.

 

Boston Beans

This recipe is utterly delicious and a wonderful store cupboard recipe that can be made in 20 minutes. Fantastic for babies but also a winner for older children and adults.

Makes 2-4 child portions and 1 generous adult portion

---------------------------------------------------

1/2 quantity of creamy tomato & red pepper soup

1 x tin white beans- chose whichever you like the best

2 tsp Worchester sauce

1 tsp maple syrup

To serve:

grated cheese

---------------------------------------------------

Make the tomato soup and remove half of the sauce from the saucepan and put aside for later use. Add the beans to the remaining sauce along with the Worchester sauce and maple syrup. Bring to the boil and then cook for 5 minutes. It is quite saucy so fill free to up the amount of beans if you want to but we like it this way- especially served with loads of grated cheese.

Pure & Simple Falafel

I love falafel but have had very little success over the years with homemade recipes. However, I have been determined to develop a failsafe straight forward recipe for sometime and I've finally struck gold. There are a lot of recipes out there that try and jazz up falafel using beetroot, sweet potato, cauliflower or quinoa to name just a few but to be honest you will never get the same delicious and satisfying flavour or texture than from pure and simple chickpea falafel so that's what I have stuck to. Pure and simple. Madeleine loves these little crispy morsels especially dipped into hummus (see pictured below).

[Note: don't try to shallow fry or bake this recipe as falafel was created to be deep fried so I'm afraid you are going to have to miss out if you want to avoid this. Needs must.]

Makes 16 falafel

---------------------------------------------------

125g dried chickpeas, soaked in 250ml water overnight and then drained

1 shallot, finely diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 heaped tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1 heaped tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt, optional

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp nigella seeds

---------------------------------------------------

Place all the ingredients, apart from the chickpeas and sesame and nigella seeds in a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds until everything is finally chopped and combined. Now, with the motor running, add the drained chickpeas a handful at a time over 2 minutes. You should have a rough and quite dry paste. Add 1 tbsp water. Blitz for 30 seconds.

Use a tbsp measuring spoon to scoop out the mixture and place each falafel on a baking tray. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to firm up. 

Combine the sesame and nigella seeds in a small bowl and, once firm, roll the falafel carefully in the mixture to get a nice coating. 

Fill a small saucepan with sunflower oil- you need it to be about 3-cm up the side of the pan. Heat the oil- it is ready when a piece of bread lightly sizzles once lowered in on a slotted spoon. Cook the falafel in batches of 4s for 3-4 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen towel to suck up excess oil and sprinkle over sea salt if using. [Note: do not cook for less than 3 minutes or in hotter oil as you need this length of time to get the crispy exterior and crumbly interior!] Serve immediately with hummus or beetroot & feta dip or allow to cool and keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 

Baked Sweet Potato Crisps

With all the best intentions its just hard to resist crisps and its inevitable that whatever I’m eating my daughter wants so I have come up with this recipe so we can both sit and enjoy a good ol’ bag of crisps- albeit a far more attractive and colourful variant! Slicing the sweet potatoes can be tricky if you haven't the knife skills of a chef so a mandolin can be a very handy tool to have in your kitchen! Otherwise go slowly and carefully. 

Feeds 2-3 as a snack

---------------------------------------------------

200g thinly sliced sweet potato

1 tbsp olive oil

---------------------------------------------------

Preheat the oven to 120oC and line two large flat baking sheets with baking parchment. Place the prepped potato into a bowl and drizzle over the olive oil. Use your hands to ensure the slices are evenly coated. Now spread the slices over the two baking sheets in an even layer with no overlaps. Place in the oven for 45 minutes-1 hour and then turn off the oven and leave the slices inside to crisp up for a further 30-45minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before munching or storing. [Note: they will soften once stored but quite frankly they are delicious then too!]

Just for adults? add 1/4 tsp salt to the olive oil or sprinkle over your own portion

Za'atar Popcorn

Za'atar is a middle eastern spice mix consisting of thyme, sesame, oregano and sumac. It does sound a little exotic for a one year old but let them give it a go and you might be surprised what they will consume in popcorn format! Madeleine absolutely loves it.

Feeds 2-3 as a snack

---------------------------------------------------

2 tbsp olive oil

30g popcorn

2 tsp za'atar

---------------------------------------------------

Place 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan  over a medium-high heat and once hot add the popcorn. Toss to coat the kernels in the oil and then place a tight fitting lid on top. You will hear sizzling before popping but don't be tempted to take off the lid. Give the pan a little shake every 30 seconds or so. The popcorn is all popped when the pops are 3 seconds apart. Remove the lid and drizzle over the final 1 tbsp olive oil along with the za'atar. Place the lid back on and give everything a big shake.

To store: keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.