For some of us, eating is a total pleasure and can be the highlight of our day. And the process of cooking can be truelly life enhancing – creative, absorbing and hugely rewarding. Yes for others, it’s just another chore to add to the daily grind.

The food that we eat can radically alter our feelings and our mood and can either enhance or in some extreme cases can really damage our bodies.

We’re planning a wonderful new food section with some quick and healthy recipe’s but in the meantime, to whet your appetite (so to speak) here is a small selection of our favourites.



Recipe adapted from In the Mood for Quick Family Food by Jo Pratt
Photography by Gareth Morgans Photography

The beauty of this dish is that you can eat it warm when you make it, then any leftovers are delicious eaten cold over the next day or two. Two meals in one is always a bonus.



COOKING TIME: 10-15 minutes

  • 400-500g dry pasta
  • 150g frozen peas, defrosted
  • 150g baby spinach leaves, rocket or watercress
  • 400g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 bunch of mint, roughly chopped
  • 100g pitted green olives, chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1.Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 10 minutes until al dente, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes of the cooking time, just allowing the peas to heat through.

2.Put the spinach, rocket or watercress in a colander, and once cooked drain the pasta and peas on top of the green leaves, which will immediately wilt. Shake off excess water and return everything to the pan.

3. Scatter over the feta, mint, olives, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lightly toss until everything is combined then serve warm or keep in the fridge to eat the following day


Recipe adapted from In the Mood for Quick Family Food by Jo Pratt
Photography by Gareth Morgans Photography

This is hearty and flavoursome in the tradition of the Italian classic the name of which means ‘big soup’ – it’s also quick and easy to make. For this recipe, don’t have to be strict in the ingredients you use  – it’s really a case of what you can find in your fridge and any shape pasta you have in the cupboard. Any leftovers can be gently reheated the following day or so with an extra splash of water if it’s too thick, or you can freeze in individual portions for an instant meal at a later date.



COOKING TIME: 20 minutes

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • 3-4 veggies from your fridge (roughly 250g, chopped, such as courgette, carrot, small red pepper, handful of green beans, small leek
  • 750ml hot vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes, or 750ml passata
  • 100g spaghetti or linguine, broken into small pieces or small pasta shapes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Green pesto, to serve
  • Parmesan, to serve

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and bacon, if using, and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is beginning to soften.

Stir in the garlic, celery and any chopped vegetables you have. Cook for about 5 minutes, and then add the stock, tomatoes and spaghetti, linguine or pasta shapes. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables and pasta are all tender. Season with some salt and pepper.

Ladle into a bowls, add a spoon of pesto, if using, and grate over some Parmesan to finish.

For a vegetarian version of this soup – the smoked bacon can be left out all together and vegetable stock used instead of chicken stock. You could add a pinch of smoked paprika when cooking the soup to give the smokiness the bacon was providing.


Recipe adapted from In the Mood for Quick Family Food by Jo Pratt
Photography by Gareth Morgans Photography

If you like the idea of minimal preparation that can be done ahead of time, this is definitely the recipe for you. You can prepare these tasty parcels any time during the day, pop in the fridge and bake when needed that evening.

Furthermore, since this is a complete meal all cooked in individual parcels there is very minimal washing up required after you’ve eaten. Win win!



COOKING TIME 20 minutes


  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 240g tin butter beans, draineD
  • small handful pitted black olives
  • 1 roasted red pepper (ready prepared from a jar or tin), sliced
  • 10–12 thin slices of chorizo (about 40g), halved
  • 2 large handfuls of baby or young spinach leaves
  • 2 fish fillets, such as cod, pollack, haddock or salmon
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Take a piece of tin foil or greaseproof paper about 60–80cm/24–32in long
and fold in half to make it double thickness, then fold in half again. Tightly fold together to seal two of the edges, creating a pouch, making sure there are no gaps for the food to escape when cooking. Repeat with another piece of greaseproof paper. (Alternatively, you can buy roasting bags or greaseproof paper bags from supermarkets that are all ready to use.)

Divide the tomatoes between the parcels, then do the same with the butter beans, olives, red pepper, chorizo and spinach. Season inside
the bags with salt and pepper, then put the cod on top of the spinach.

Season the fish and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Seal the open end of the bags by folding the edges over, leaving as much space in the bags as possible for steam to circulate when cooking. If you are not cooking straight away, sit on a plate or tray in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7 and put a large baking tray in the oven to heat.

Put the parcels on the hot baking tray and bake for 25 minutes until the fish is cooked through. When cooked, split open the parcels and serve hot.