As Charlie goes off to university very soon (sob), and as we all know, being a student means living on a pretty limited budget. I want to make sure that he has loads of recipes that he can refer to here so that he can make himself a few decent meals without resorting to expensive takeaways. For a Friday night treat, is there anything better than pizza? It’s horrendously expensive to buy, but incredibly easy – and much cheaper – to make at home. Step forward my favourite essential Waitrose range which stocks all the products you need at great prices (and great welfare standards) without compromising on quality. Charlie loves halloumi, so I’ve created this pizza especially for him, piled high with all the ingredients he likes: here’s how to make my halloumi, olive and mint pizzas at home:
I love pottering about in the kitchen; I find stirring, chopping, rolling and mixing completely therapeutic – that kind of mindless manual labour that’s both soothing and uncomplicated (although I mostly do the kneading in the KitchenAid, if I’m honest – I’m far too lazy for that). There’s only one thing that makes pottering nicer, and that’s the chatter of people. One of my favourite evenings is a weekend night when the boys are both home, maybe with friends/girlfriends in tow and we have an impromptu pizza night. I can only fit two at a time in the oven, so there’s a whole pizza production line going on, with people chatting and munching – I love it. My one photograph – snapped before someone grabbed a slice – is completely rubbish (I’ll rephotograph it, I promise) but I wanted you to experience this lovely, fun family evening as soon as possible. Here’s my foolproof, easy home made pizza recipe, that you can jazz up/double up as much as you wish:
This week’s Sunday baking is steering into uncharted territory for me. I make pizza all the time and have a tried and tested dough recipe that always turns out well, so when the lovely chaps at Beko asked if I’d create a pizza for them, I was really happy to give it a go. Turns out, though, that Beko were after something a bit different! They have a sweet pizza recipe page on their website and my challenge was to come up with a new sweet pizza creation.
Sweet pizza you say? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
You’ll probably remember that back in the summer, The Organic Trade Board challenged us to take the #thriftyorganic challenge and switch our usual weekly shop for a 100% organic one, all for £83, the average grocery shopping budget for a UK family of four. We ate really well AND stayed on budget, and it made me really think about what we eat, and made me plan our meals properly as well. Eating organic on a budget really is possible!
So recently. The Organic Trade Board challenged us to take the Thrifty Organic Challenge and switch our usual weekly shop for organic. The average grocery shopping budget for a UK family of four is £83 a week. Could I switch everything we usually buy to organic , stay on budget, and still produce yummy, healthy food for my family? Here’s how we got on.
So I’m still suffering from hideous jetlag after our recent trip to the Bahamas on the Disney Dream (much more of this coming up). We got a night flight back from Orlando and it was practically empty, which meant we could all spread out and I spent most of the flight spread out across a row of four seats, snoozing blissfully, and only woke up when they started opening up the blinds and tidying up ready for landing. Still, I’m now suffering that weirdness that crossing timezones always seems to bring – for me, this means an increase in my usual clumsiness, a general heavy tiredness, and a craving for junk food.
I’ve done a few of these Lean on Turkey challenges now, supporting our fabulous British turkey farmers and showing you just how versatile turkey is. The first challenge for 2013 is ‘pizza and pasta’ and I just had to go with pizza as, with a houseful of teenagers, it’s a bit of a staple.
This pizza went down so well it’s been requested again already and has affectionately become known as the ‘jurkey’ pizza. The best thing about pizza is that you can personalise it, so if you want, you can jazz it up with peppers, red onions… even jalapenos if you’re a real spice-fiend.
You can buy pizza bases, but it’s really easy to make your own, so I’ve done a little step by step in case you haven’t done it before.
Likewise with the tomato sauce. It’s so easy to do, it’s almost not worth buying it.
Here’s how to do it:
For the pizza base:
- 350g strong white bread flour
- 1 x 7g sachet of fast action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 225ml warm water
Put the flour, yeast and salt into a bowl. Mix 2 tbsp oil and the warm water together. Add the water to the flour, bringing it together until you get a soft dough. You might not need all the water so don’t just chuck it all in.
Now, you can either roll your sleeves up and knead it by hand (it’ll need about 10 minutes), or you can put it in the food mixer with a dough hook and it’ll take about five minutes.
Rub some oil round a clean bowl and pop in the dough. Roll it around a bit, then cover it (I use a hotel shower cap, which I nick on a regular basis to refresh my supply) or just use clingfilm. Pop it in the airing cupboard or somewhere warm for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size.
While it’s rising, make the tomato sauce:
- 1 red onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 2tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tin good quality chopped tomatoes
So just chop up the onion and pop it into a saucepan with a slug of oil. Sprinkle the salt over the onion then cook it gently until it’s translucent. Add in the sugar, red wine vinegar and tomatoes and cook it gently until it’s thick. If you’ve got fussy ones you might need to give it a quick whizz in the blender to get it smooth.
For the toppings:
- 1 pack turkey breast steaks
- 1 ball Mozzarella cheese, grated
- Small amount of Parmesan, if liked
- Smoked streaky bacon, chopped
To make the jerk chicken, just slice the turkey thinly, then fry in a little oil. Sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of jerk seasoning and cook until just opaque (remember it’s going to get a good blast in the oven).
Now, get the dough back and punch it down, then divide it in two and roll each one out until it’s nice and thin. It’s easier to pop it onto a floured baking sheet, then add the toppings from there. Remember to pre-heat your oven as high as it will go.
Spoon the tomato sauce over, then add your toppings: grated Mozzarella, snipped bacon, pieces of turkey, and anything else you fancy, then just pop into a hot oven. Watch the pizza as it cooks quite quickly – 10 – 15 minutes should do it.
Serve with a salad and maybe some coleslaw, and that’s all there is to it!
My shopping list:
From the store cupboard:
Red wine vinegar
From the fridge:
Yeast: 98p (for six sachets, so about 16p)
Tin Napolina tomatoes: £1.25
Waitrose Essential turkey breast steaks (450g) £4.59
Waitrose Essential smoked streaky British bacon £2.39
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes including prep and rising time.
For more information on the Lean on Turkey campaign, head to leanonturkey.co.uk
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