Photo by Holly Bell
We're set for a heat wave. Did you hear? It starts tomorrow. Let's eat outside and what's more, get the kids making the food. Put that Prittstick away! These three recipes provide lots of short term concentration span activities. There's breaking an egg, there's crumbling feta cheese, there's measuring out herbs, there's scrunching and shaping koftas. No time to get bored, oh no.
Then in the 20 minutes they take to cook, there's shredding (with supervision) vegetables, mixing up coleslaw and blitzing hummus. If your kids are anything like mine they love the opportunity to press the buttons of grown up kitchen equipment. Obviously, watch them like hawks. I know I don't need to say that but I feel duty bound, in a Mum like fashion.
You can watch the recipe being made on ITV's This Morning by clicking here.
Serves 4 - 6
For the koftas:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g lamb mince
- 75g fresh breadcrumbs
- 30ml milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 60g feta cheese, crumbled
Grease a large roasting tray with the oil and preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. In a large bowl mix together the mince, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, salt, pepper, oregano and cumin. Use your hands to make sure every ingredient is really well distributed. You can use a food processor to do this but beware of over mixing it into sludge. Add the crumbled feta and mix through gently with your hands.
Dip your hands in some cold water and form sausage shaped koftas from the mixture, using a piece of the mixture about the size of a small apple. Place each kofta on the greased tray and continue until the entire mixture has been used. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway. Serve with either coleslaw, a simple feta-less Greek salad, orzo pasta, hummus or just toasted pitta with tzatziki.
- If you don't like lamb then substitute for chicken or turkey mince and use lemon zest and coriander rather than the oregano and feta.
- You can make this mixture into meatballs and simply roast for 15 minutes longer.
- The koftas are delicious the next day cold in lunchboxes or for a picnic.
- If making this for under 1's then leave out the salt and reduce the feta by half or leave it out entirely.
For the coleslaw:
- ¼ red cabbage (about 400g)
- 1 red onion, peeled
- 10 radishes, trimmed
- 3 large carrots, trimmed and peeled
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 apples, I use Granny Smith for their crunch, cored
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 5 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted or untoasted)
Finely shred the cabbage, red onion and radishes into strips. I use my food processor but a sharp knife and a little time spent concentrating on even cutting and you'll have the same result. Grate the carrots and place these, the cabbage, red onion and radishes in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 40 minutes to drain away any excess liquid.
Just before serving, finely shred the apples and tip into a serving bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice and toss well. Stir in the vegetables and the mayonnaise until evenly distributed. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.
- To toast sesame seeds simply dry fry in a pan for a minute or so. Watch them like a hawk as they burn easily. Tip onto a plate as soon as they have browned a little.
- Make this coleslaw a little lower fat by using creme fraiche instead of mayo.
- You can add a little fresh chilli if you like to turn up the heat.
For the homemade hummus:
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
- 3 tbsps tahini
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsps water
- Paprika, to garnish
- 50g roasted red peppers (jarred variety are fine)
- 10g fresh coriander leaves
- Zest of 1 lemon
Blitz the chickpeas, tahini (which you can leave out if you can't find it) and lemon juice until smooth in a food processor. With the processor running add the oil until combined, then add the garlic, salt and the water to loosen the hummus. Spoon into a dish and add a little paprika as a garnish.
- To make roasted red pepper hummus simply blitz the red peppers into the dip before garnishing with paprika.
- To make lemon and coriander hummus blitz the fresh coriander and lemon zest through the dip and serve with a little extra freshly chopped coriander.
Holly blogs at Recipes from a Normal Mum
Her first book is out now, also called Recipes from a Normal Mum