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Main meals

These are a few ideas for main meals for care settings to use.  Please note, each recipe makes 12 child size portions.

Mixed bean casserole (12 child-size portions)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
2 medium carrots diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon wholewheat flour
1 large (400g) can red kidney beans, drained
1 large (400g) can butter beans, drained
1 large (400g) can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
½ teaspoon black pepper
300ml water 

  • Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions until softened.
  • Add the celery, carrots and garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour and all the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour into an ovenproof dish and cook at 180.C/350.F/Gas 4 for about 30-45 minutes.

Serve with new potatoes and petits pois

Suggested portion sizes:

Mixed bean casserole- 115g, New potatoes- 80g, Petits pois- 40g

Chicken Korma, brown rice and naan bread (12 child-size portions)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ green pepper, diced
½ red pepper, diced
10 small mushrooms, sliced
500g cooked chicken, diced
5 tablespoons garam masala
4 tablespoons curry powder
3 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
550ml semi-skimmed milk
3 tablespoons cornflour
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 small (150g) carton natural yogurt

  • In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion and garlic, cooking until softened.
  • Add the diced peppers and the mushrooms to the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time.
  • Add the chicken, spices and milk, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Mix the cornflour with a little water and add this mixture to the sauce along with the natural yogurt and mix well.  Cook for 2 minutes to thicken the sauce.

Suggested portion sizes:

Chicken korma – 90g, Brown rice – 80g, naan bread – 20g

Chick peas fritters (12 child-size portions)

2 large (400g) cans chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium sized onions diced
1 ½ teaspoons fresh sage finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons dried mixed herbs
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
2 eggs
4 medium slices wholemeal bread crumbed

  • Mash the drained chick peas and place in a large bowl
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the diced onion until softened.
  • Add the onions, sage, herbs and curry powder to the chickpeas and mix well.
  • Beat one egg, add it to the mixture and mix well. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into sausage shapes.
  • Beat the remaining egg in a bowl, dip the fritters into the beaten egg, and then roll them in the breadcrumbs.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 200.C/400.F/ Gas 6
  • Serve hot or cold

Serve with sweet potato mash and sweetcorn

Suggested portion sizes:

Chick pea fritters- 90g, Sweet potato mash- 80g, Sweetcorn- 40g

Ratatouille with chickpeas, baby jacket potato and cheddar cheese (12 child-size portions)

2 medium onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 medium sized courgettes, cubed
1 small aubergine, cubed
1 large green pepper, diced
5 medium – sized tomatoes, diced
300 ml water
3 table spoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon black pepper

  • Combine all the vegetables in a thick – bottomed pan and add the water and tomato puree.
  • Stir in the herbs and simmer until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.

Serve with chick peas

Baby jacket potatoes

12 small potatoes

  • Scrub the potatoes thoroughly with water and pat dry.
  • Slice across the top of each potato with a sharp knife.
  • Place on a microwavable plate and cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Carefully turn the potatoes over and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Place on an oven tray and bake at 200C for 15 minutes.

Suggested portion sizes:

Ratatouille – 100g, Chick peas – 40g, baby jacket potato – 80g, cheddar cheese – 15g

Broccoli quiche (12 child-size portions)

100g butter
140g plain flour
60g wholemeal flour
40g water
1 large head of broccoli, florets only
6 eggs
600ml semi skimmed milk
40g strong cheddar cheese, grated

  • Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the water to make a pastry.  Roll out to line a flan dish.
  • Bake blind at 180˚C / 350˚F / gas 4 for 15 mins.  Cool.
  • Steam the broccoli florets until tender.
  • Beat the eggs and milk together.
  • Place the broccoli on the pastry base and pour the egg mix over it.
  • Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and bake for 30 mins.

Serve with mashed potato and baked beans.

Suggested portions sizes:

Broccoli quiche 90g, Mashed potato 80g, Baked beans 60g

Vegetarian spaghetti bologneise (12 child size portions)

65g red lentils, dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
400g soya or vege-mince granules
1 large (400g) can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
350ml water

  • Cook the lentils in boiling water for about 20 mins until softened.  Drain.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened.
  • Add the soya or vege-mince granules, tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs and lentils and stir for 2 mins.
  • Add the water and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 – 20 mins

Serve with broccoli.

Suggested portion sizes:

Wholemeal / white pasta mix 80g, Vegetarian bologneise sauce 90g, Broccoli 40g

Coconut fish curry (12 child size portions)

600g cod fillet
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 400ml can light coconut milk

  • Slice the fish into strips, making sure there are no bones.
  • Peel and dice the garlic
  • Heat to oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened.
  • Add the curry powder , tomato puree and lemon juice and mix well.  Cook for 2-3 mins, stirring all the time so that the mixture does not burn.
  • Add the coconut milk and stir until it boils.  Turn the heat down and ass the fish.
  • Simmer for 10 mins until the sauce thickens.

Serve with basmalti rice and chopped tomatoes.

Note:  when serving fish to children, make sure all the bones are removed.

Suggested portion sizes:

Coconut fish curry 95g, Basmalti rice 80g, Chopped tomatoes 40g

White fish and broccoli pie (12 child-size portions)

500g white fish
200g broccoli florets
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 small leek, trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
3 tablespoon cornflour
500ml semi-skimmed milk
1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 teaspoons vegetable spread

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C / 350˚F / gas 4
  • Steam the white fish and broccoli florets until cooked.  Flake the fish and dice the broccoli and keep cool until needed.
  • Heat the vegetable oil and fry the onion and leek until softened.  
  • Add the parsley, cook for 2 mins and then take off the heat.
  • Mix the cornflour in a little of the milk to make a paste
  • Put the remaining milk in the pan, add the cornflour paste and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the white sauce thickens.
  • Add the onion mixture, fish and broccoli to the white sauce and stir gently to mix well.
  • Pour the fish mixture into a large ovenproof dish.
  • Boil the potatoes for mashing, and when tender, mash with the vegetable spread.  Spread the mash over the top of the fish mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 mins and finish off under a hot grill to brown the potato.

Serve with sweetcorn.

Note:  when serving fish to children, make sure all the bones are removed.

Suggested portion sizes:

White fish and broccoli pie 180g, Sweetcorn 40g

Chicken fajitas with salad and sweetcorn salsa (12 child-size portions)

Spicy chicken

600g chicken breast
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
2 teaspoons of mild chilli powder
1 teaspoon of mustard powder

  • Cut the chicken into strips and put in a dish.
  • Mix all the other ingredients together to make a marinade.
  • Add the chicken to the marinade, making sure all the pieces are covered. Cover the dish and chill for about an hour.
  • Grill the chicken strips till thoroughly cooked.

Sweetcorn salsa

1 small red pepper, cored
½ cucumber
½ medium sized onion peeled
1 small (210g) can sweetcorn, drained
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon of English mustard powder
1 teaspoon of sugar
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • Dice the pepper, cucumber and onion.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and chill.

Serve with cucumber and cherry tomato salad

Suggested portion sizes:

Spicy chicken- 45g,Tortilla wrap- 30g, Cucumber and cherry tomatoes- 40g, Sweetcorn salsa- 30g

Sweet and sour pork, egg noodles and stir-fried vegetables (12 child-size portions)

Sweet and sour pork

700g pork loin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
Spears from 1 small broccoli
1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
1 small (250g) can crushed pineapple in juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon cornflour
250 ml water

  • Thinly slice the pork.  Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the pork until slightly brown and thoroughly cooked and tender.  
  • Make the sauce by combining the garlic and vegetables in a separate pan with the pineapple and it’s juice, soy sauce, tomato puree, ketchup and vinegar.
  • Blend the cornflour with a little water and add this, along with the remaining water to the vegetables.  Bring the mixture to the boil.  Simmer for 20 mins.

Stir-fried vegetables

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and cut into fine strips
200g beansprouts
½ small green cabbage, finely sliced
1 medium onion

  • Heat the oil in a wok or large pan
  • Add the vegetables and stir over a high heat for a few minutes.  Place the lid on the pan and cook, covered for about 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened.

Serve with egg noodles

Suggested portion sizes:

Sweet and sour pork 95g, Egg noodles 70g, Stir-fried vegetables 40g

Cottage pie (12 child-size portions)

700g lean minced beef
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1 stick of celery, diced
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons plain flour
300ml water

  • Dry fry the mince in a large frying pan and drain or skim off any fat
  • Add the diced onion, carrot, celery, tomato puree, herbs and pepper and mix well.
  • Blend the flour with a little of the water to make a smooth paste.  Add this to the remaining water and then add it to the beef mixture.
  • Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Boil the potatoes until soft and then drain them and mash with the vegetable spread or butter.
  • Place the mince mixture in an ovenproof dish and top with the mashed potato.  Place under a hot grill to brown the potato.

Serve with peas and broccoli

Suggested portions sizes:

Cottage pie 180g, Peas 40g, Broccoli 40g

Chicken risotto and red pepper sticks (12 child size portions)

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, diced
500g chicken breast, diced
6 medium-sized mushrooms, diced
100g frozen peas
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
100g frozen sweetcorn
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
320g long grain rice
800ml water

  • Heat the oil in a large and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes until it softens.  Add the chicken and lightly cook.
  • Stir in the mushrooms, peas, tomatoes, sweetcorn, herbs and rice and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the water and bring to the boil.  Simmer with a lid on until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Serve with red pepper sticks

Suggested portion sizes:

Chicken risotto 140g, Red pepper sticks 40g

Summer salmon salad (12 child-size portions)

1 large can of red salmon
3 spring onions
250g couscous
500ml boiling water
½ cucumber
10 cherry tomatoes
½ lemon
1 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh coriander, finely chopped

  • Drain the salmon, flake and keep chilled until needed
  • Slice the spring onions finely and mix with the couscous
  • Bring the water to the boil and pour over the couscous, stir and cover for approx 4 minutes.  Fluff up with a fork, chill.
  • Grate the cucumber
  • dice the cherry tomatoes
  • zest and squeeze the lemon
  • Mix all the ingredients together with the herbs and chill until serving.

Serve with cucumber and pepper sticks

Note:  when serving fish to children, make sure all the bones are removed.

Suggested portion sizes:

Summer salmon salad 120g. Cucumber and pepper sticks 40g

Creole Jambalaya with pitta (12 child-size portions)

1 table spoon vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
175g vegetarian mince
3 vegetarian sausages, sliced into bite-sized chunks
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 stick of celery, diced
1 courgette, diced
8 medium-sized mushrooms, diced
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
2 teaspoons mild chilli powder
200g long grain rice
600g chopped tomatoes, sieved

  • In a large pan, heat the oil, add the onion and garlic and soften for 2 minutes
  • Add the mince and sausages and brown
  • Add the leek, red pepper, celery, courgette and mushrooms and stir until the vegetables have softened slightly
  • Add the herbs and chill and stir well, then stir in the rice until well mixed
  • Add the seived tomatoes cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the rice is tender.

Serve with pitta bread fingers

Suggested portion sizes:

Creole jambalaya 120g, Pitta bread