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Food And Nutrition

Healthy steak pie



Probably the fastest steak pie you’ll ever make! Cooking the pastry topping separately to the filling saves time and helps keep the beef tender and delicious.


  • 320g/11½oz sheet ready-rolled puff pastry (you will only use half)
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 3 tsp sunflower oil
  • 250g/9oz thin frying steaks, cut into roughly 2cm/¾in pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g/1lb 2oz chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
  • 4 tsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, crushed)
  • 350ml/12fl oz beef stock (made with 1 beef stock cube)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Unroll the pastry and cut in half. Re-roll one half, wrap in foil and set aside or freeze for another time. Cut the remaining piece into 10–11 long strips.

  2. Place the pastry strips on the lined tray, weaving in and out to make a criss-cross lattice. Turn a 1 litre/1¾ pint pie dish or tin upside-down on top of the lattice and cut around it, leaving roughly 2cm/¾in on each side to allow for shrinkage.

  3. Remove the dish or tin, brush the pastry with a little milk and bake for 15–20 minutes, or until well risen and golden-brown.

  4. To make the filling, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Season the sliced beef all over with freshly ground black pepper. Fry the beef for just 2 minutes, or until lightly browned, and transfer to a plate.

  5. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining oil and fry the onion and mushrooms for 5–6 minutes, stirring regularly until lightly browned. Sprinkle over the flour and garlic powder (or crushed garlic) and stir well.

  6. Slowly add the stock, just a little at a time, stirring all the time. Add the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and dried herbs and bring to a simmer.

  7. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, then stir in the beef, heat through for a few seconds and immediately remove from the heat. (As the beef is very lean, it is important not to overcook it at this point.)

  8. Spoon the beef filling into the pie dish (see Recipe Tip below), top with the cooked puff pastry and serve.

READ ALSO  Chocolate Angel Food Cake Recipe
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Food And Nutrition

What Can My Kids Do in the Kitchen? Kitchen Activities for Kids




What Can My Kids Do in the Kitchen?: What Kids Can Do In the Kitchen at What Age

Kitchen Activities for Kids, Ages 3-5

Pour, dump, stir, sprinkle.  They can help get out the equipment you need – spoons, measuring cups, bowls (nothing heavy or sharp).

Cast Iron Pan Pizza / Mia / Katie Workman /

Kitchen Activities for Kids, Ages 5-7

More of the above, with less assistance from you.  Maybe start cutting soft items like avocado, with a kid-safe plastic serrated knife.  There are some good ones on the market, made just for this purpose, sharp enough to cut food, gentle enough not to cut little fingers, from companies like Zyliss and Curious Chef. Kneading bread, rolling dough, brushing olive oil, cutting out cookies.  They can start to weigh in on how much of a spice to add, what herbs might be fun to try in various dishes.

How to Cut Avocados

Kitchen Activities for Kids, Ages 7-9

Even more of the above, and measuring, frosting, decorating.  Don’t forget to talk about some math concepts, like fractions and multiplication, while you are measuring.  Have them help read the recipe, and clarify any terms that are unfamiliar.  Talk about the chemistry that is involved with cooking and baking (and if you’re not up to speed on all of it, let your kid take the lead in looking it up online or in a book.  What happens when baking soda is added to a recipe?  What is the difference between unsweetened chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate?)

And encourage them to start thinking about the presentation; thinking about how things look on the plate, and how to make them as appealing as possible is something some kids find extremely engaging.

How to Make Perfect Quinoa / Laura Agra / Katie Workman /

Kitchen Activities for Kids, Ages 9-12

At this point they may be ready to start using a real knife (begin with very soft foods, like butter or a banana, since the knife is less likely to slip).  They may also be ready to get in front of a stove.  Height is a factor here; if your child stands on a step stool near a stove, make very sure it’s secure.  Never leave a kid along in front of a stove, not for a minute, especially if they are on a stool.

READ ALSO  Crisp roast potatoes with honey and bacon

Show them how to position the handle of a pan away from them, so they won’t bump it, and to never ever look away from what they are doing.  And let them take the lead on a recipe, and you play sous chef.  Thinking about the order of steps, how long the preparation will take.

Pan Sauce Chicken / Mia / Katie Workman /

Kitchen Clean Up with Kids

And, no matter what age they are, enlist their help when it comes time for clean up.  It’s part of the deal, and the earlier that is understood, the happier you’ll be. I can still remember my mother lifting up the toaster oven to find the pile of crumbs I had brushed underneath.

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Food And Nutrition

Preparing Moroccan Lamb Tagine With Dates




It is the perfect fragrant rich comfort food meal for those looking for something a little different to do for a winter meal.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Dates & Almonds


  • 2 pounds 3 ounces tender lamb, or beef, cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon ras el hanout, optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or butter
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • small handful cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional
  • Handful fried almonds, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large pot or pressure cooker, mix the meat with the onions, garlic, spices, and oils. Brown the meat for a few minutes over medium heat.

  3. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and the cilantro. Over high heat, bring the meat and liquids to a rapid simmer.

Pressure Cooker Method

  1. If using a pressure cooker, cover tightly and continue heating until pressure is achieved.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook with pressure for 45 to 50 minutes. (About halfway through cooking, remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.)
  3. After the meat has cooked, release the pressure and reduce the sauce, uncovered, until it is mostly oils and onion.

Pot Method

  1. If using a pot, cover and simmer the meat over medium heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and breaks away easily from the bone. (About halfway through cooking, remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.)
  2. If necessary, add a small amount of water during cooking to prevent the meat from scorching.
  3. When the meat has cooked, reduce the sauce until it is mostly oil and onions.

Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method

  1. Slice 1 of the onions into rings instead of grating it, and layer the onion rings on the bottom of the tagine.
  2. Mix the meat with the grated onion, garlic, oils, and spices, and arrange the mixture on top of the onion rings.
  3. Add 2 1/2 cups water, cover, and place the tagine on a diffuser over medium-low to medium heat. Allow the tagine to reach a simmer (this may take a long time), and then reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer.
  4. Allow the tagine to cook for 3 hours or longer until the meat is very tender and the liquids are reduced. (About 2 hours into the cooking, remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.)

Simmer the Dates

  1. While the meat is cooking, remove the pits from the dates. Put the pitted dates in a small pot with the liquids reserved from the meat.

  2. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, and simmer the dates gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are sitting in a thick syrup.

To Serve

  1. Put the meat and sauce on a large serving platter, and spoon the dates and syrup on top. (If you cooked the dish in a tagine, the vessel will double as a serving dish; simply add the dates and syrup to the tagine at serving time.)

  2. If desired, garnish with sesame seeds and/or fried almonds.

READ ALSO  Guyanese Cheese Pie
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Food And Nutrition

Healthy chilli con carne




You’ll feel full of beans and be well on your way to five a day with this healthy chilli con carne.

Each serving provides 505 kcal, 40g protein, 61g carbohydrates (of which 14.5g sugars), 8g fat (of which 3g saturates), 14g fibre and 1.2g salt.


  • low-calorie cooking spray
  • 450g/1lb extra lean minced beef (5% fat)
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp finely grated garlic
  • 1 courgette, cut into 1cm/½in pieces
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 1cm/½in pieces
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 1cm/½in pieces
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 400g tin red kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 200ml/7fl oz beef stock
  • 200g/7oz brown basmati rice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt and chopped fresh coriander, to serve


  1. Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray. Add the beef and stir-fry over a high heat for 5–6 minutes, or until lightly browned.

  2. Add the onion, garlic, courgette, aubergine and red pepper and stir-fry for a further 3–4 minutes. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon and chilli powder and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes.

  3. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato purée and stock and season well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Uncover, stir and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.

  6. Ladle the chilli over the rice in warmed bowls and serve immediately, with a dollop of fat-free yogurt and some chopped coriander.

READ ALSO  Preparing Iron Skillet Roast Chicken
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