Family Foodies: the fab fast food round-up

FabFastFood Collage

If you are looking for fresh ideas for tasty, healthy food to cook when time is tight, you’ve come to the right place. Our latest Family Foodies challenge has attracted a brilliant array of fab fast food recipes for feeding your hectic, hungry family and I have to say I’m really looking forward to working (and eating) my way through this little lot over the coming weeks.

So let’s crack on and take a look through those enticing entries…

Julie Collage

Pasta and Gnocchi from Julie’s Farmhouse Kitchen

Julie gets things rolling with a tempting trio of Italian-inspired dishes from her Farmhouse Kitchen. She made a hearty bowlful of Gnocchi with Chorizo, Spinach and Tomato Sauce, a quick and easy Creamy Pesto Pancetta, Peas and Mushrooms with Spirali Pasta, and Spaghetti with Mushroom, Spinach & Pancetta Sauce. I made this last dish, the spaghetti, for supper the other week and I can confirm it really is very good.

Salmon and potato salad

Pan Fried Salmon & Syrian Potato Salad from Farmersgirl Kitchen

This beautiful dish of simply cooked salmon served with a fresh and zingy potato salad from Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen has springtime written all over it, and what’s more it is so quick to rustle up too. It looks so inviting, doesn’t it?

HomeCookFood Collage

Fast & Spicy from Home Cook Food

Linsy from Home Cook Food brought an exciting assortment of dishes to our Fab Fast Food buffet. There’s a beautifully spiced Methi Vegetable Malai, a protein-packed Kala Chana Aur Methi Curry (black chickpeas with fenugreek leaves), fragrant Mint and Coriander Leaves Paratha (flatbread), a robustly flavoured Bruschetta Pasta and last, but not least, this very tasty Eggplant Rice. I’m so inspired by Linsy’s use of spices in these dishes and I look forward to trying them out on my brood.

stir fry on a budget

Stir-Fry on a Budget from Happiness is Homemade

Sylvia’s photographs on her blog Happiness is Homemade are always utterly gorgeous, and these pictures of her simple take on a stir-fry live up to her usual stunning standard. Don’t you just want to dive straight into this image of whole wheat spaghetti with vegetables? You just know it’s going to taste every bit as good as it looks.

beef broccoli pasta

Beef and Broccoli Pasta from Elizabeth’s Kitchen

Another blog where I always wish I could climb into the screen to sample the food is Elizabeth’s Kitchen. Elizabeth can invite me around any night of the week to eat pasta as attractive as this! Quick, healthy and delicious – just perfect.

quirky Collage

Intriguing Inspiration from Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous

Sudha from Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous likes to surprise and delight her blog readers with intriguing and inspiring recipes and her four entries for the Fab Fast Food challenge are perfect examples of her cooking style. There are Spicy ChickpeasGluten Free PancakesQuirky Quinoa Patties and Naked Egg Inspired Pasta. The big question for me is which one to try first…

coco banana freeze bites

Coco-Banana Freeze Bites from The Gluten Free Alchemist

These gluten-free coco-banana bites were the brilliant result of an “over-ripe banana fest” in the kitchen of Kate aka The Gluten Free Alchemist. These little morsels of fruity, frozen deliciousness are ever so healthy, particularly if you opt for carob, although to be honest I think I’ll quite happily stick with chocolate. Not only are they made in minutes but they keep in the freezer for ages, perfect for a handy snack when life gets manic.

Eat Your Veg Collage

Fast & Healthy from Eat Your Veg

My Family Foodies partner-in-crime, Lou from Eat Your Veg is up next and she really is a pro when it comes to healthy fast food. Just take a look at this little lot – there’s a super speedy Chicken & Veggie Chow Mein, a Healthier Tuna Mayo and these simply wonderful Bread Tarts, which I so wish I’d thought of myself and intend to try out on my kids very, very soon.

FFF Collage

A Delicious Duo from Family-Friends-Food

Helen from Family-Friends-Food knows a thing or two about creating child-friendly food, and these two offerings to our Fab Fast Food table demonstrate how just easy it can be to rustle up delicious food in a matter of minutes. Her Zesty Tuna Pasta has a wonderfully Mediterranean feel to it and is great eaten either warm or cold, while I reckon these French Toast Pizza Rolls are simply ingenious.

BM Collage

Fast and Wholesome from Bangers & Mash

Next are three dishes from yours truly, each of which are super quick and super easy. Oh and super tasty too. Firstly, there’s my Baked Rice with Spinach, Cannellini Beans and Eggs using basic store cupboard ingredients. Then there’s a Chicken Soup with Rice, perfect for feeding little (and big) people when they’re poorly. And finally, how about Baked Sea Bass with Ginger, Garlic & Chilli and Miso Rice – an incredible combination of fresh, zesty flavours and all cooked in a foil parcel, keeping washing up to a minimum. Result.

chicken chow mein Lancashire  Food

Chicken Chow Mein from Lancashire Food

Linzi from Lancashire Food brings us her gorgeous chicken chow mein, on the table within just 30 minutes. It’s always a hit with her own family. Linzi’s recipe features Chinese five spice, one of my favourite spice blends, and is perfect for using up whatever veggies you happen to have in.

hot dog pasta
Speedy Hot Dog Pasta from JibberJabberUK

Another quick and easy recipe making the most of store cupboard ingredients is this satisfying hot dog pasta from Ness at JibberJabberUK. My children adore hot dog sausages so I know they’d be first in line for this dish, plus I like Ness’ top tip about throwing in some finely chopped broccoli stalk too – a great way to reduce your food waste.


Beef Noodle Soup from Searching for Spice

Another way to reduce food waste of course is to make the most of  your leftovers, which is what this tasty noodle soup from Corina at Searching for Spice calls for – leftover beef brisket to be exact. Packed with vegetables and flavoured with chillies, garlic, lime and ginger, this is definitely my kind of soup.


Zesty Salmon Goujons from Feeding Boys

These salmon goujons from Katie at Feeding Boys look just so tempting, I really can’t imagine any child refusing these. Katie promises they only take 10 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake and in her words “you’ll be rewarded with luxurious chunky goujons instead of the skinny minnie versions that come out of a packet when you’re knackered on a Thursday evening.” That’s it. I’m sold!

potato quinoa tikki

Potato Quinoa Tikki from My Receipes

I must admit, I had to Google the work ‘tikki’. I discovered from Wikipedia (where would I be without Wikipedia?) that it means “a small cutlet or croquette” and hails from North India. Normally made from potato (aloo tikki), Vidhya from My Receipes has come up with her own take which also uses quinoa and frozen peas. Flavoured with a whole host of spices, these tikki sound absolutely delicious.

bok choy and edamame miso stir fry

Bok Choy and Edamame Miso Stir Fry from The Taste Space

Nasifriet from The Taste Space is midway through a 30 different vegetables in 30 days challenge. She needed to come up with some not-so-common vegetables and so headed straight for her local Asian grocer and came home with baby bok choy, which she turned into this wonderfully healthy and attractive stir fry with shiitake mushrooms, snow peas, edamame and miso. It sounds incredible to me – divinely simply temple food that you know is going to do you so much good.

Mincemeat Muffins

Banana & Mincemeat Buns from Chocolate Log Blog

Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog promises these scrummy banana and mincemeat buns can be rustled up in under half an hour, so long as your butter is soft and your ingredients handy. I’m ready for that challenge! We always seem to have ripe bananas in our house, so this recipe is definitely one for me to bookmark.


Fresh Herb and Tapenade Flatbreads from How to Cook Good Food

As Laura from How to Cook Good Food says, you can never have too many flatbread recipes up your sleeve. As well as offering us her herb and tapenade flatbreads, she also shares a fantastic list of her favourite flatbread recipes from other blogs. So if you’re in need of flatbread inspiration, you know where to head! Laura’s version looks fantastic – it looks delightfully light and crispy and I love the use of fresh herbs and dukkah, a fabulous Middle Eastern spice mix.

mad house cookbook

And the winner is…

Thanks to everyone for sharing their fabulous fast food ideas in this month’s Family Foodies challenge. Each and every one was a real winner in its own right, but as ever only one of you can take home the prize of Jo Pratt’s inspirational Madhouse Cookbook.

I’m pleased to announce the winner of the Fab Fast Food challenge is Elizabeth from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary for her very tasty beef and broccoli pasta. Well done Elizabeth! Your prize will be in the post to you very soon.

Louisa at Eat Your Veg will be revealing April’s theme for Family Foodies very soon, so do keep an eye out for that – I promise, you’re going to love it! I can’t wait to see what you come up with…



March’s Family Foodies challenge: fab fast food


Wanted: your Fab Fast Food for the Family Foodies challenge!

While I am of course rather prone to abundant alliteration, my real reasons for choosing this month’s theme for the Family Foodies challenge are entirely selfish.

I have an urgent, personal need for your suggestions for super speedy suppers and fabulously fast family food. For the next couple of months I am upping my working hours by combining two part-time, in-house jobs and, if I stand any chance of sitting down with my family for evening meals, I’ll need a tried-and-tested list of quick and easy meals up my sleeve that can be rustled up in a matter of minutes.

So speed is of the essence in this challenge – anything that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less is perfect – but it’s also got to be tasty and appealing, and if you can squeeze in the odd healthy ingredient or two, then so much the better.

Up for the challenge? Simply post your favourite fast family foods on your own blog and link up to this post before the end of the month. I’ll be eternally grateful for your ideas, I promise you, but if that’s not enough of an incentive, there’s also the prospect of winning a copy of the Madhouse Cookbook by acclaimed food stylist, writer and presenter, Jo Pratt.

mad house cookbook

Family Foodie Entry Guidelines:

  • You may submit any recipe on your blog that fits this month’s theme, new or from the archive, and feel free to enter as many times as you wish. You’re also welcome to submit the post to other challenges too. If the recipe is not your own, please give the appropriate credit.
  • Send your recipe URL to me at vanesther-at-reescommunications-dot-co-dot-uk, including your own email address and the title of your recipe or post. The closing date this month is Friday 28 March 2014.
  • Display the Family Foodies badge (below) on your recipe post, with a link back to both Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, as well as details of this month’s challenge.
  • If you’re on Twitter, then please tweet your post to myself @BangerMashChat and Lou @Eat_Your_Veg and include the hashtag #FamilyFoodies. We’ll retweet all that we see.
  • You may enter from anywhere in the blogosphere, but prizes can only be posted out to UK addresses.
  • At the end of the month a guest judge will choose a winning recipe. The winner will be announced in a monthly round-up of all the entries. Winners will get to display a Family Foodie Winner annotated badge on their blog if they wish and their recipe will go through to the Family Foodies Hall of Fame on each of our sites.
  • All entries will be added to the Family Foodies Pinterest Group Board.

I really can’t wait to see your entries for March’s Family Foodies. I know I say that at the end of every challenge post but I really, really mean it this month. Otherwise my children might well be surviving on beans on toast in the coming months…

March’s entries

  1. Methi Vegetable Malai from Home Cook Food
  2. Spaghetti with Mushroom, Spinach & Pancetta Sauce from Julie’s Family Kitchen
  3. Baked Sea Bass with Ginger, Garlic & Chilli and Miso Rice from Bangers & Mash
  4. Kala Chana Aur Methi Curry from Home Cook Food
  5. Spicy Chickpeas from Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous
  6. Chicken & Veggie Chow Mein from Eat Your Veg
  7. Stir-Fry on a Budget from Happiness is Homemade
  8. Zesty Tuna Pasta from Family – Friends – Food
  9. Gluten Free Pancakes from Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous
  10. Baked Rice with Spinach, Cannellini Beans and Eggs from Bangers & Mash
  11. Coco-Banana Freeze Bites from The Gluten Free Alchemist
  12. Mint and Coriander Leaves Paratha from Home Cook Food
  13. Creamy Pesto Pancetta, Peas and Mushrooms with Spirali Pasta from Julie’s Family Kitchen
  14. Bruschetta Pasta and Italian Platter from Home Cook Food
  15. Healthier Tuna Mayo from Eat Your Veg
  16. Beef and Broccoli Pasta from Elizabeth’s Kitchen
  17. Eggplant Rice from Home Cook Food
  18. Chicken Chow Mein from Lancashire Food
  19. Speedy Hot Dog Pasta from JibberJabberUK
  20. Chicken Soup with Rice from Bangers & Mash
  21. Quirky Quinoa Patties from Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous
  22. Naked Egg Inspired Pasta from Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous
  23. Gnocchi with Chorizo, Spinach and Tomato Sauce from Julie’s Family Kitchen
  24. Zesty Salmon Goujons from Feeding Boys
  25. Beef Noodle Soup from Searching for Spice

  26. French Toast Pizza Rolls from Family – Friends – Food
  27. Potato Quinoa Tikki from My Receipes
  28. Pan Fried Salmon and a Syrian Potato Salad from Farmersgirl Kitchen
  29. Bread Tarts from Eat Your Veg
  30. Bok Choy and Edamame Miso Stir Fry from The Taste Space
  31. Banana & Mincemeat Buns from Chocolate Log Blog
  32. Fresh Herb & Tapenade Flatbreads from How to Cook Good Food