It’s not easy to find everything we want to eat at the moment, which has made feeding the whole family a thing of great skill. But as grocery stores have time to restock amidst the panic buying while we are on lockdown, the Rescue Team has been practicing a few recipes with limited ingredients and limited time. Here are the ones we love the most.
Simple tomato and mozzarella vegetarian pasta bake
This pasta bake is easy to make, delicious and a sure hit for kids and adults. It’s also easy to freeze if you need to stock up. You can swap many of the ingredients out for what’s available in the store — we know that some brands are scarce at the moment, so choose what works for you!
To go for a vegan option, simply choose some vegan cheese rather than the dairy stuff. Or if you want to add in more vegetables, add in whatever’s at the bottom of the veg drawer; mushrooms, eggplant, peppers — just make sure they’re finely diced. If you want meat, a little bit of chorizo or bacon goes a long way, or diced chicken breast goes well.
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 x small tomatoes, chopped
- 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
- Handful of grated hard cheese (we prefer parmesan or pecorino here)
- 1 package pasta (any kind will do!)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Handful of basil, torn
- Salt and pepper, to season
Heat your oven at 375°F.
- In a deep sauté pan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, carrot and any other veg. Sauté for 5 minutes or until golden. Add the tomato paste and mix into the veg.
- Add the chopped tomatoes to the vegetables. Simmer for 10–15 minutes.
- While the vegetables simmer, cook your pasta per package directions.Drain and set aside.
- Transfer vegetable sauce to a blender and add the basil and the red wine vinegar. Blitz until it’s smooth and season to taste.
- Option: Fry your meat in a pan and mix into the smooth sauce.
- Divide your sauce in two. Put one half aside and mix the other half into the pasta.
- In a baking tray, layer the bake in this order: sauce, pasta, shredded mozzarella, sprinkle of hard cheese. Repeat until you run out of ingredients but try to get at least two full layers.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until it is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
One pot chicken, vegetables and rice
When the kids have been indoors all day, work has been incredibly busy and you need some heart-warming, healthy food, this recipe will get you through. If you are vegetarian, you can replace the chicken with grilled halloumi or a meat substitute.
Here are the nine steps to get to where you want to be: on the sofa, with some wine and a show to watch.
- 1 white onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Finely chopped vegetables (options: 1 eggplant, 1 leek, mushrooms, bell pepper)
- 2 cups rice (basmati, if possible)
- 2.5 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 4 chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 broccoli crown, chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Handful of cilantro or parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a heavy bottomed pot, add the olive oil on a low-medium heat. Add the sliced onion and garlic and sweat until translucent.
- Add your finely chopped vegetable of choice and heat for 5–10 minutes.
- In the meantime, rinse the rice until the water runs clear, and heat your stock up.
- To the semi-cooked vegetables, add the paprika and cumin and ensure the spices are mixed in well. Now add your chicken, mix to coat with the spices. Cook for 5 minutes until the meat is browned.
- Add the rice directly into the mix until the rice is also coated in the spices. Cook on a low heat for 2 minutes for the rice to absorb the flavors.
- Add the stock until the rice is covered, lower the heat and put a lid of. Cook for 10 minutes and do not open the lid.
- After 10 minutes, add your broccoli on top of the rice. Cook for another 15 minutes, until the rice is fluffy, and the vegetables are cooked.
- Sprinkle the chopped herbs over and serve.
- Option: let the kids eat first and when they are asleep, enjoy yours with white wine and Netflix.
Coconut flapjack cake
“Let them eat cake”, said Marie Antoinette. The Rescue Team agrees, but we have our own spin: “let the kids eat a not-so-sugary, semi-nutritious cake.” And this isn’t a kid-only dessert… this is a treat you’ll enjoy, too.
- 1¼ cups oats
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 4 Tbsp maple syrup
- Optional: dried fruit, seeds and crushed nuts
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Place half the oats in a blender and blend until they are fine.
- Mix all the ingredients (apart from the optional dried fruit and nuts) together in a large bowl. Don’t over mix; it should come together like a thick paste.
- Line a medium-sized cake tin with parchment and press the mixture with the back of a spoon until firm and filling the tin evenly.
- Sprinkle optional ingredients on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
- Cut into slices or squares and store in a cool area in a Tupperware, or freeze.