Tuna Casserole, aka tuna pasta bake
This dish combines two of Lentil’s favourite foods – fish and pasta. So I was expecting it to pass the Lentil taste test with flying colours – surely?? Well actually, it only got the star sticker of approval second time round. I made the first dish using Penne pasta. Fine for adults, but the pasta was just a bit too big for a toddler-sized mouth. The eating of it made more difficult as said toddler hasn’t quite mastered cutting his food with a knife, yet insists on trying everything himself without any help!! Suffice to say it was a very long mealtime and require infinite patience!
Lesson learnt I decided to use macaroni on the second attempt. The result was the same delicious taste, but a toddler-friendly eating experience. Big sigh of relief all round!
Comforting fish pie with salmon, white fish, potatoes and cheese
The only fish and indeed the only pie I ate as a child was my mother’s fish pie topped with crumbled cheese and onion crisps. And not just any cheese and onion crisps: a very special brand called Tayto, which are only available in the 4 fair provinces of Ireland. It was such a special dinner. As a young girl I wasn’t a great eater and dinnertime was a bit of a chore. Fish pie day on the other hand was such a joy – who ever heard of having a treat like crisps with dinner??
This is my tasty little twist on a traditional potato dauphinoise. It’s easy to make and great as a side to a fish or meat dish, or even just on it’s own as a veggie option.
Makes 3 large or 5 small portions
a knob of unsalted butter
1 onion, finely sliced
4 baby leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
1 small courgette, finely sliced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
100ml full-fat milk
100g cheddar cheese, grated
a little nutmeg, grated
Tip: To get really thin slices of potato use a mandolin slicer. The potatoes crisp up nicely in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 200 (180 fan).
Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion, leeks and courgette until soft (about 2-3 minutes). In a separate saucepan heat the milk, cream and nutmeg on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Rub an ovenproof dish with some unsalted butter and empty the onion, leeks and courgette into it. Next add layers of potato until you have used all of them. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. This dish is suitable for freezing.
Pasta seems to be a favourite at the moment. If Lentil is given any choice at all, the response is “pasta” even if it wasn’t one of the choices! I received a very nice and timely cookery class voucher from some friends recently so I have booked myself on the “Pasta Master” class. I’m not convinced giving up 90 minutes on a Saturday morning is going to make me a master of anything, but it should be a bit of fun. Will I be posting some homemade pasta recipes soon….who knows?!
In the meantime, here’s a quick ‘n easy veggie macaroni cheese recipe using shop bought pasta!
Pancakes are an easy and fun meal that you can get your kids involved in. There are loads of savoury and sweet options and they have the added advantage that everyone can choose their own filling!